June 15 Energy News

June 15, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Just days after the US EPA issued its long-awaited fracking report, Stanford University announced that it would undertake a comprehensive research effort aimed at resolving several areas of concern in the natural gas industry. The press release focuses particularly on fugitive emissions or methane leaks. [CleanTechnica]

Courtesy of US EPA.

Courtesy of US EPA.

World:

¶ Veolia has been awarded a €450 million deal to operate a wood-fuelled biomass power plant in Killala, County Mayo, Ireland. The company secured a 15-year contract from Mayo Renewable Power to operate the new 42.5-MW heat and power plant. It will produce enough electricity to supply 68,000 homes. [Irish Times]

¶ Power prices in the UK may fall below zero during some hours before the end of the decade as intermittent renewables output is poised to soar, according to National Grid Plc. Negative power prices, already prevalent in markets from Germany to the Nordic region, occur when supply exceeds demand. [Energy Voice]

¶ Solar energy is expected to change the utility landscape as it could reach as share of 9% to 12% of Europe’s electricity production by 2030, according to a study by consultancy Roland Berger. In Germany, the price of solar PV is already €0.17 ($0.19) per kWh below the retail electricity price. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In the Philippines, the Maibarara Geothermal Incorporated of PetroGreen Energy, Incorporated said its exploration activities in Sto. Tomas, Batangas showed there is enough steam needed to proceed with an expansion project of an existing 20-MW geothermal power plant, increasing its output by 50%. [Rappler]

Image from PetroEnergy Resources Corporation website

Image from PetroEnergy Resources Corporation website

¶ A peak in global energy-related emissions is possible as early as 2020 and at no net economic cost, the International Energy Agency said, while warning that without stronger action the world could see a temperature rise of 3° C by century’s end. The report identifies potential actions. [International Business Times UK]

¶ Applications for new wind farms in Australia’s state of Victoria will now be simpler due to planning changes streamlining project approvals. The changes will see applications for wind farms and supporting infrastructure assessed together, rather than multiple applications to State and local governments. [Energy Matters]

¶ Problems with a reactor in northern France have triggered deep concern in the British government about the future of the UK’s first new nuclear power station for 20 years at Hinkley Point in Somerset. EDF Energy, the French company behind Hinkley, has years of delay and cost increases at its plant in Normandy. [Financial Times]

¶ More and more companies are turning to wind energy to power their businesses, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. GWEC said wind energy has become fully mainstream and is today one of the fastest growing industrial sectors in the world, attracting $100 billion in investment in 2014. [reNews]

US:

¶ In its latest Utility Solar Market Snapshot, the US Solar Electric Power Association offers welcome news: solar energy is becoming increasingly attractive to utilities. Solar has become the fastest-growing power source in the nation, and report forecasts 25% to 50% solar market growth in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The New York State Senate passed legislation that would allow municipal landfills and water treatment facilities to offset their energy costs by producing their own energy and feeding it back into the grid. This bill broadens the net metering law in New York State by including energy from such plants. [Madison County Courier]

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