June 24 Energy News

June 24, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Citing a commitment to the issue of sustainability in product design, SunPower has announced that its E-Series and X-Series solar panels, manufactured at the company’s facilities in France, are Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver (C2C). This is good news for buyers of these solar electricity products for several reasons. [CleanTechnica]

Image credit: SunPower.

Image credit: SunPower.

¶ The impact of climate change is so great that it could undermine the last 50 years of gains in global health. That is the assessment of a new report from the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate, an independent, international and multi-disciplinary research group. Similar findings come from the US EPA. [Voice of America]

¶ A new technology to store excess energy generated by green energy sources could save Ontario up to $8 billion over a 20-year period, according to a study commissioned by NRStor and General Compression. NRStor is developing a 2-MW pilot project to allow Ontario decision-makers to see its benefit. [North American Windpower]

World:

¶ The renewable-energy boom is here. Trillions of dollars will be invested over the next 25 years, driving some of the most profound changes yet in how humans get their electricity. That view is according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets to 2040. [Livemint]

¶ The UK government plans to finance the Hinkley nuclear plant through subsidies amounting to €130 for each MWh of power generated for 35 years. Austria plans to file a suit to prevent this in EU court, in what chancellor Werner Faymann said “is also of symbolic value against nuclear power”. [TheParliamentMagazine.eu]

¶ Toy company Lego announced that it plans to invest about $150 million over the next 15 years in a program to develop new “sustainable” materials which will eventually replace the plastic currently used to make its iconic building blocks. Lego also plans to make its packaging more environmentally-friendly. [Huffington Post]

A Lego City. Photo by Michael Monahan. Put into the public domain by the author.

A Lego City. Photo by Michael Monahan. Put into the public domain by the author.

¶ According to a new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, wind and solar will supply the bulk of Australia’s electricity in 2040. Bloomberg New Energy Finance conducted a country-by-country, technology-by-technology analysis covering structural changes in the global electricity system. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Legislation to slash the renewable energy target has passed Australia’s federal parliament. A bipartisan deal, agreed to last month after a lengthy political stalemate that hamstrung the clean energy sector, will slash the target from 41,000 GWh to 33,000. Nevertheless, the new target offers investors some certainty. [SBS]

¶ Australia’s new renewable energy target will unlock more than A$10 billion ($7.8 billion) of investment, General Electric Co said. The new target of 33,000 GWh of electricity from large-scale renewable energy projects by 2020 will create thousands of new jobs and increase orders for hundreds of companies. [Bloomberg]

¶ Last year, 59% of capacity addition in the global power industry came from renewable energy. And 164 countries now have renewable energy targets, an increase by 20, in the year. The sector received an overall investment of $301 billion, according to the annual Renewables Global Status Report. [Greentech Lead]

¶ First Solar is to supply its photovoltaic modules for the 200-MW second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in Dubai. The facility will be the largest of its kind in the Middle East and will be powered by over 2.36 million First Solar modules. The plant is expected to be completed in early 2017. [reNews]

US:

¶ This month, Lake Mead, the 112-mile reservoir created by the Hoover Dam, is projected to hit 1,074.73 feet above sea level, the lowest it has been since 1937. Thanks to a 16-year drought and serious over-allocation, Lake Mead is now just 37% full. This means higher electricity costs for 29 million people. [High Country News]

Lake Mead in 2014. Photo by Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Lake Mead. in 2014, showing its low-water bathtub ring. Photo by Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ SunPower began construction of the 102 MWac Henrietta solar power plant in California. The electricity will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric under a long-term power purchase agreement. The plant is expected to be finished in 2016. It will create about 350 jobs and provide $3.8 million in local tax revenue. [CleanTechnica]

¶ NRG Renew LLC will develop a 20-MW solar system for Cisco’s San Jose headquarters. NRG Solar Blythe II, a 153-acre parcel that has been under development by NRG since 2010, will become a solar installation to help Cisco reach its goal of getting at least 25% of its electricity from renewables by 2017. [pv magazine]

¶ Greenfield is the first community in Massachusetts to adopt strict regulations of biomass plants. An ordinance passed last week prohibits industrial-scale wood-burning plants as well as trash-to-energy plants. It still allows anaerobic digesters, residential wood stoves, and small, clean-burning commercial plants. [MassLive.com]

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