June 13 Energy News

June 13, 2015


¶ “How the Pope Could Turn US Climate Politics Upside Down” Pope Francis is about to release a much-anticipated letter to bishops about faith and climate change. If it has the impact he is counting on, it could finally budge a glacier of frozen thinking on the climate crisis. This is how he may pull this feat off. [Bloomberg]


¶ A planned £300 million green energy facility in Islandmagee could help transform Northern Ireland’s economy. Dublin-based renewable energy company Gaelectric plan to build a compressed air energy storage facility, the first of its kind in the UK and only the third such project anywhere in the world. [Carrickfergus Times]

Ballylumford and the power station at Islandmagee, in rural Northern Ireland. Photo by Kenneth Allen. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

View of Ballylumford and power station at Islandmagee, in rural Northern Ireland. Photo by Kenneth Allen. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

¶ China-based Solar Power has formed a joint venture with KK Uniroot, a diversified Osaka-based corporation, to develop 500 MW of solar power in Japan. SPI Solar will do the funding, construction, and equipment procurement. Uniroot will see to site acquisition, regulatory approvals, and selling power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told a broadcaster that wind turbines were “visually awful”, noisy, and caused health problems. When he was asked if he had ever visited a wind farm, he admitted to being near one turbine on one occasion. It was funded by the previous government of his own party. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ In Australia’s Southwest, cattle farmer Hamish Officer lives closer to wind turbines than most people. Five of them stand within 750 metres of the home he shares with his wife and two daughters. He disagrees with Prime Minister Abbott, saying they are not troublesome and “add to the landscape.” [Warrnambool Standard]

¶ According to media reports, integrated oil major Royal Dutch Shell plc is willing to leave Ukraine by stepping out from its exploration activities at its last well in the country. Shell is not the only company leaving. Last year, another Chevron Corporation cancelled a shale gas deal worth $10 billion and left in the country. [Zacks.com]

¶ A lack of customers is hurting Australian coal-fired power stations. A Grattan Institute energy expert says while some factors that led to Alinta Energy’s decision to close two coal-burning power plants were specific to the company, it could also lead to marginal coal producers reducing supply. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ In British Columbia, the Metro Vancouver Waste-to-Energy Facility says since the beginning of 2015, emissions have been reduced by 53% due to an updated emission control system, equivalent of removing about 20,000 vehicles from the road. The technology was developed by Covanta, of New Jersey. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

¶ Ethiopia submitted a climate deal that included a green house gas cut of 64% by 2030 and an intention to sell carbon credits over the 2020-2030 periods. Ethiopia became the third African country to unveil its plan to cut carbon emissions as part of a global pact, and the 40th country to post a plan for the UN. [StarAfrica.com]

¶ The South Korean government has started its first decommissioning of a nuclear plant. At a meeting in Seoul presided by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, the National Energy Council voted to recommend that the operator decommission the No 1 reactor at Kori Nuclear Power Plant. [The Hankyoreh]


¶ Ocean Renewable Power Co has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a two-year extension of its hydrokinetic pilot project license for the 300-kW Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy project in Maine. As a pilot project, licenses are short-term. The company is interested in continuing its research. [HydroWorld]

Photo courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Co.

Photo courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Co.

¶ A new solar agreement marks a key milestone for South Carolina customers in the Duke Energy service area. Enhancing Duke Energy’s Distributed Energy Resource programs, the new proposals are designed to grow solar capacity in the Duke’s South Carolina service area from about 2 MW to about 110 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Federal buildings in the Washington area might be seeing more solar power systems, under a new solicitation by the General Services Administration. The agency is looking for a power purchase agreement that would extend across multiple buildings in the Washington area, according to a solicitation. [Federal Times]

¶ Los Angeles city will not be purchasing power from Bechtel Corp’s planned 358-MW Soda Mountain Solar Project in the Mojave Desert. The news comes shortly after the Bureau of Land Management suggested that the project’s capacity be cut by a quarter for reasons ranging from environmental to visual. [SeeNews Renewables]

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