June 20 Energy News

June 20, 2015


¶ “The Pope Is an Energy Wonk. Engineers Agree with His Assessment.” The Pope’s teachings are supported by the most comprehensive engineering analyses of the US power grid. The National Renewable Energy Lab summarized nine in-depth engineering analyses. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ Sixty-five million years ago, the dinosaurs disappeared in what’s known as the Earth’s fifth mass extinction. Today, a sixth mass extinction could be well underway and humans are most likely the culprit, through environmental changes including deforestation, poaching, overfishing, and global-warming. [CNN]

Moho nobilis, extinct. By John Gerrard Keulemans, 1842-1912. Copyright expired in the US. Wikimedia Commons.

Moho nobilis, extinct. Many others will follow. Painting by John Gerrard Keulemans, 1842-1912. Copyright expired in the US. Wikimedia Commons.


¶ The US has organized a Lower Mekong Initiative Renewable and Clean Energy Business Delegation, on the margins of the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2015. Talks focused on how US firms and technology can support clean energy and promote energy security in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. [Newsroom America]

¶ According to the Carbon Brief, the EU’s energy usage is at 1990 levels despite “a 6% increase in population and a 45% expansion of economic output.” This results from better building insulation and product energy efficiency, uptake of renewables, vehicle fuel efficiency standards and economic changes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The inauguration ceremony for the world’s 2nd largest offshore wind farm, Gwynt y Môr took place on June 19. The wind farm, located eight miles offshore in Liverpool Bay, includes 160 wind turbines with a combined electric generating capacity of 576 MW. It was built with an investment of $3.3 billion. [EnergyOnline]

¶ Tanzania’s untapped renewable energy potential can provide solutions for the 9 GW of additional power the country will need by 2035, a report says. Tanzania has 2,800-3,500 hours of sunshine per year and the solar sector presents good opportunities. There are also other important resources. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbine. Author: .Martin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Author: .Martin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic


¶ The NRC has cleared the way for Entergy Nuclear to take $220 million of the $660 million Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust fund to help pay for handling spent nuclear fuel. NRC regulations prohibit such a use of the funds, but the NRC has been granting exemptions to nuclear power plants. [Rutland Herald]

¶ Iowa is one of the leading states for renewable energy, and Heartland Power Cooperative in St. Ansgar is adding to that initiative by introducing their 2706 solar panel display, the largest in Iowa. The 4.5 acre solar farm has the ability to power 125 average size homes, and customers are signing on. [KIMT]

¶ Portland, Maine, has reduced greenhouse emissions in the last five years and is now planning to cut its carbon footprint by relying on renewable energy. The city has plans for five sites that could be used to generate electricity from solar PVs. They include facilities at schools, the library, a fire station, and an airport. [WMTW Portland]

¶ A show-down over budget politics is brewing between New Hampshire’s Democratic Governor and Republican legislature. Renewable energy advocates hope it can be an opportunity to convince budget writers to reconsider taking money away from renewable incentives to fund Homeland Security. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ The utility sector is going through a period of margin compression and market disruption which is challenging for some companies. NRG is using this challenging business environment and the current low interest rates to pivot all of the Company’s businesses to benefit from these trends going forward. [Seeking Alpha]

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