June 12 Energy News

June 12, 2015


¶ “Microgrid power struggle tests century-old monopolies” –
Microgrids that can disconnect from a centralized electric grid and operate independently are sizzling hot these days. Cities vulnerable to storms want them. People interested in lower power bills want them. And now, traditional utilities want them. [Environmental Defense Fund]

New York skyline when half the city was in blackout due to a power failure during Hurricane Sandy. Photo by David Shankbone. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

New York skyline when half the city was in blackout due to Hurricane Sandy. Photo by David Shankbone. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


¶ Solar power now covers more than 1% of global electricity demand. In Italy, Germany and Greece, solar PV supplies more than 7% of electricity demand. This is reported by Solar Power Europe (previously EPIA – European Photovoltaic Industry Association). China is the fastest growing market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A draft decree shows Spain’s energy ministry is to introduce a new fee for the owners of grid-connected solar power system with energy storage. The move is to discourage the use of batteries. Under the draft legislation, such systems will also receive no payment for power they send to the grid. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The pace of change in China’s energy policy means that the targets it has set for cutting greenhouse gases are likely to be achieved sooner than expected, a study says. China had promised its emissions would peak in 2030 and subsequently decrease. It could now be five years ahead of schedule. [eco-business.com]

¶ The Scottish government published proposals aimed at developing the country’s energy efficiency potential, with district heating to take a vital role. The policy statement details measures to supply heat efficiently and at the lowest cost to consumers, as part decarbonisation. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]

¶ Aurora Wind Power, a venture of Engie (formerly GDF SUEZ, France), Investec Bank Limited, and KTH, announced that it has started commercial operation of the 94-MW West Coast 1 wind farm. The wind farm’s site is located in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, near the town of Vredenburg. [Cape Business News]

¶ Tohoku Electric Power Co plans to postpone restarting two of its idled nuclear reactors by around a year, officials with the regional power utility said Thursday. The No 1 reactor at the Higashidori plant in Aomori Prefecture and the No 2 reactor at the Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture will be delayed. [The Japan Times]

¶ South Korea’s oldest nuclear reactor may fail in its second bid for a life extension in the face of strong opposition as people have learned an important lesson from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis: Anything can happen at any time. The Kori-1 reactor was built in the southeastern port city of Busan in 1977. [GlobalPost]


¶ Iberdrola Renewables LLC announced it has signed a 25-year deal to supply Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc, of Westminster, Colorado, with the entire 76-MW output from a new wind farm Iberdrola will build on the state’s eastern plains. The project is to be finished in 2017. [Denver Business Journal]

Iberdrola wind farm. Photo by Iberdrola.

Iberdrola wind farm. Photo by Iberdrola.

¶ The US residential solar market grew by 76% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to a year earlier, installing 437 MW, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The US installed 1.3 GW of solar PV across all market segments, despite one of the worst winters recorded. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed H. 40, an energy bill into law that promises to create 1,000 new jobs and help Vermonters save on energy costs over a 15-year period. “I think it is the most forward-leaning legislation in the country,” Mary Powell, chief executive officer at Green Mountain Power, said. [vtdigger.org]

¶ Northwest Energy Innovations has successfully deployed its Azura wave energy device at the United States Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site near Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawai’i. The device will be deployed for 12 months of grid-connected testing as part of a program to commercialize the Azura technology. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ DTE Energy Company received the NRC approval to construct and operate a nuclear unit, Fermi Unit 3. The company can build Fermi Unit 3 at the existing 1,170 MW Fermi Unit 2 plant site, near Newport, Michigan. The new reactor will be the fifth in the US to complete the NRC’s combined license process. [Nasdaq]

¶ Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is investing more than $6.7 million in 544 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. The move will include grants that will help farmers, ranchers and small business owners use more renewable energy, reducing carbon footprints. [agprofessional.com]


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