June 23 Energy News

June 23, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Nine myths about new energy” – Starting with a myth about renewables put forward by the ‘pro-nuclear, pro-coal, anti-renewable’ advocates circa 2005: 1) “We could never integrate more than 5% intermittent renewables (they meant wind and solar) into an electricity grid.” (Just a little off the mark.) [Business Spectator]

World:

¶ A new facility has been designed to handle up to three million tonnes of wood pellets a year that will be shipped from North America to fuel the Drax power station in North Yorkshire. Graham Construction will work on a new rail loading facility and storage capacity for 100,000 tonnes at the Port of Liverpool. [The Construction Index]

Cooling towers at the Drax power station. Photo by StaraBlazkova. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

Cooling towers at the Drax power station. Photo by StaraBlazkova. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ In less than a week after the Indian central government broadened the canvas for solar power play, the Tokyo-based telecommunications major, SoftBank, with a market capitalization of about $100 billion, committed to invest $20 billion in India’s solar energy projects with 20,000 MW capacities. [mydigitalfc.com]

¶ The rapidly dropping cost of producing solar power, which is expected to be on par in 2017 with conventional energy, has ignited interest in its potential across India, as the country increases its efforts to encourage renewable energy investment. The target for solar power in India was recently raised to 100 GW. [Rapid News Network]

¶ A British solar startup, Powervault, has decided to take on the Powerwall of the electric vehicle giant, Tesla Motors Inc, in the home batteries market, according to an article in the Financial Times. The news comes as the competition in home batteries market, especially in Europe, gets fiercer. [Business Finance News]

¶ Pan-African firm Eranove Group is to finance, develop, build, and operate a 42-MW hydroelectric project in Mali, 35 km east of Bamako, on the Niger River, after signing a 30-year concession agreement with the country’s government through its subsidiary Kenié Energie Renouvelable. [International Water Power and Dam Construction]

¶ Expecting opposition from the agri-food sector, the European Union is dropping its plan to put a limit on methane emissions, Irish Times reported. Methane is much worse than carbon dioxide, but the EU is scrapping it from the set of air pollutants to be limited as greenhouse gasses. [International Business Times AU]

¶ About 250 planned onshore wind farms in the UK are set to be cancelled because of an earlier than expected end to Government subsidies. The Government has revealed that new onshore wind farms will now be excluded from its subsidy scheme from 1 April 2016, a year earlier than expected. [Construction Enquirer]

¶ The head of France’s nuclear watchdog has upset the industry by taking an increasingly assertive approach that critics say could jeopardise efforts to win more business overseas. Speaking of weak spots found in the steel of a new reactor, he characterized the problem as “serious, even very serious.” [Economic Times]

US:

¶ The mayor of Los Angeles announced that the city will sell its shares in the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, based in Arizona. The sale is part of Garcetti’s pledge to make LA coal-free by 2025. Instead of relying on coal-fired power, the city is turning to renewable geothermal power. [LA Magazine]

The Navajo Generating station emitting flue gas. Photo by Myrabella. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Wikimedia Commons.

The Navajo Generating station emitting flue gas. Photo by Myrabella. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A survey by the financial services firm Wiser Capital indicates roughly two-thirds of large US investment firms plan to prioritize solar energy over the next 5 years. Roughly 80% of the firms queried stated interest in solar energy that was based at least partly on desire “to support a cleaner energy future.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ New York utility providers NYSEG and RG&E bought the 64 million kWh of wind energy, enough to power more than 4,000 typical homes for a year, through the companies’ Catch the Wind program, according to a release. At the close of 2014, more than 18,400 in the two company’s programs. [Henrietta Post]

¶ Presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has proposed an ambitious clean energy plan that would call for the United States to use all renewable sources by 2050. O’Malley tied his proposal to Pope Francis’ recent call to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Utility Dive]

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