May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2015


¶ “New Wind Turbine Capacity Factor Could Increase From ~40% To ~60%” – The engineer and economist Bernard Chabot has written an article explaining how wind power capacity factors for new wind turbines could increase from about 40% to 60%. Such a change has profound implications. [CleanTechnica]

Four of the wind turbines on the Somerset Wind Farm, in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jeff Kubina from Columbia, Maryland. Wikimedia Commons.

Four wind turbines on the Somerset Wind Farm, in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jeff Kubina from Columbia, Maryland. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ Just weeks after producing its first batch of synthetic diesel fuel made from carbon dioxide and water, Audi has laid claim to another synthetic, clean-burning and petroleum-free gasoline replacement fuel called “e-benzin.” The fuel was created by Audi’s project partner Global Bioenergies, in France. [Gizmag]


¶ The Government of Japan signed a contribution agreement on its pledge of $1.5 billion to the Green Climate Fund, bringing the total confirmed agreements since the GCF’s November 2014 Berlin meeting up to 58.5% of amounts pledged, and well over the 50% threshold required by its governing board. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Britain’s biggest water and sewerage company is set to be powered solely with renewable energy, after yesterday signing a £500m deal with Drax. A Drax subsidiary will supply electricity from biomass power for the next five years. The deal is expected to put downward pressure on electric bills. [Business Green]

¶ A member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission told a panel discussion that the country’s coal-fired power station build program and continued reliance on fossil fuels was partly the result of the entrenchment of the interest of large mineral resources firms in government. [Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly]

¶ A $310 million grant extended by China’s Hanergy firm to expand the Jordanian national grid’s capacity will help open the door for more renewable energy projects. Last year, the government cancelled plans for five windpower plants with a total capacity of 400 MW because of limited grid capacity. [Al-Bawaba]

¶ The Edinburgh Council has revealed plans to install community-owned solar panels on buildings across the Scottish capital. Public buildings such as schools, leisure and community centres will be chosen to host the solar technology, which project chiefs say will deliver significant environmental and social benefits. [CleanTechnica]

 Cockburn Street in Edinburgh. Photo by David Monniaux. Wikimedia Commons. 

Cockburn Street in Edinburgh. Photo by David Monniaux. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk has grown to include over 100 institutional investors with more than $24 trillion in collective assets. The network is actively calling for an end to global fossil fuel subsidies and a strong Paris climate agreement later this year. It is also moving the corporate world. [Communities Digital News]

¶ A leading Chinese scientist has warned that China’s plans for a rapid expansion of nuclear power plants are “insane” because the country is not investing enough in safety controls. Proposals to build plants inland are particularly risky, because an accident could leave hundreds of millions of people without water. [The Guardian]


¶ New Jersey wants to double its spending on energy-storage projects to $6 million. Renewable sources, such as solar and wind, could supply more power, and critical facilities like schools and wastewater treatment plants could keep up and running when the power grid fails, as it did during Hurricane Sandy. [NJ Spotlight]

¶ Switch, a tech company that runs one of the nation’s leading data centers, applied to Nevada regulators in November to generate and purchase power without the utility so it could get 100% renewable power and cut bills. A memo from the state criticizing the company’s position is being challenged. [St. George Daily Spectrum]

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