July 1 Energy News

July 1, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Samsung researchers developed a technology that enables coating silicon battery cathodes with high crystal graphene. They can now virtually double the capacity of lithium-ion batteries! This energy density increase could almost double the range of electric vehicles without adding a single pound of weight. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ China has submitted a United Nations climate Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). The Chinese greenhouse gas emitter’s contribution means plans from the 193 UN nations now cover over half the world’s GHG emissions. China’s plan is to cut the emissions relative to its GDP by 60% by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Yangtze River, China (cc via travelojos.com)

Yangtze River, China (cc via travelojos.com)

¶ Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture of Kyocera Corp and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp, has commenced construction of a 23-MW solar power plant on an abandoned golf course in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The plant will generate an estimated 26,312 MWh per year, enough for about 8,100 local households. [KSL.com]

¶ Brazil and the United States announced a joint effort to address climate change and boost renewable energy during a visit by Brazilian President Rousseff. Both countries pledged to increase renewable energy targets to 20% by 2030. Brazil will also restore 12 million hectares of forest, roughly the size of Pennsylvania. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Wholesale electricity prices in Ireland will continue to fall over the coming years as the onshore wind building boom gathers pace ahead of the 2017 refit deadline. A Moody’s Investors Service report says wholesale power is likely to fall by between €53 and €58 per MWh over the next three years due to windpower. [reNews]

US:

¶ A transformer fire that shut down Indian Point nuclear power plant on May 9 was caused by a failure of insulation, according to an internal investigation. Entergy Corp, which runs the plant, said the failure lead to the transformer in Unit 3 to short-circuit and catch fire. The fire was put out with water and foam. [CBS Local]

Black smoke billows from the Indian Point nuclear power plant on May 9, 2015. (Credit: @RocklandFires/Twitter)

Black smoke billows from the Indian Point nuclear power plant on May 9, 2015. (Credit: @RocklandFires/Twitter)

¶ An Oklahoma woman who was injured by an earthquake can sue oil companies for damages, the state’s highest court has ruled. This opens the door to other potential lawsuits against the state’s energy companies. Researchers have blamed fracking for a dramatic spike in earthquakes in the state. [Columbus Dispatch]

¶ Vestas has confirmed that it will be supplying 150 MW worth of wind turbines to the Salt Fork wind power plant in Texas. EDF Renewable Energy placed the order for 75 of Vestas’ V100-2.0 MW turbines to go towards the Salt Fork wind power plant, located in the Donley and Gray Counties of Texas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A statewide ban on fracking is now official in New York State, nearly a year after communities won the right to ban oil and gas development locally. This action concluded New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s comprehensive, seven-year review and completely prohibits fracking. [Environment News Service]

¶ Texas-based community-owned utility Austin Energy has received record-low, firm solar power bids of under $40 per MWh in a recent 600-MW request for proposals. Austin Energy has a goal to source from renewables 55% of its power by 2025, and it is retiring coal-fired and gas-fired power capacity. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar Farm. Author: Michael Mees meesphotography.com License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Solar Farm. Author: Michael Mees meesphotography.com License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ Bill Gates has announced that he will be investing $2 billion in renewable energy initiatives, especially focussing on those that make use of innovative technologies. Gates has become known as a supporter of clean energy and sustainability, investing aggressively in solar power and similar types of energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ Annapolis could leap to the front of the green-energy movement if plans for a 16.8-MW solar facility are approved. Annapolis Renewable Energy Park would house the nation’s largest solar energy project installed on a closed landfill. The city’s landfill is 80 acres, and its lease would earn the city $260,000 per year. [CapitalGazette.com]

¶ The US DOE and some state governments have launched funding and other programs to encourage microgrid development. Microgrids can increase renewable and distributed power generation and improve the resiliency of grid systems vulnerable to severe weather events and cyber-attacks. [energybiz]

¶ Duke Energy, Samsung SDI and Younicos are teaming up to upgrade a 36-MW energy storage and power management system at the 153-MW Notrees wind farm in west Texas. The system has been operating since 2012. Its lead-acid batteries which will be replaced during 2016 with lithium-ion technology. [reNews]

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