July 14 Energy News

July 14, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change, seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years on climate denying research. [The Guardian] (I missed this last week, for which I apologize.)


¶ Italian-based Enel Green Power says it has started construction of the 100-MW Vientos del Altiplano wind park in Mexico. Enel Green Power will invest $220 million in the project. The facility will have 50 turbines of 2 MW each, and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016. [SeeNews Renewables]

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

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

¶ Installed solar PV capacity in Australia totaled 4 GW at the end of 2014, and provided 2.5% of the nation’s electricity generation, according to the latest annual update from the Australian PV Institute. The report, said the nation’s market grew only slightly in 2014 – to a total installed capacity of 7.2%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Irish energy firm Mainstream Renewable Power has started construction on an 80-MW windfarm in South Africa.The windfarm, which is expected to be operational by the middle of next year, will cost about €137 million to develop. It is being built in Noupoort, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. [Irish Independent]

¶ A world-leading 1,200-MW wind and solar project proposed for north Queensland is competing head to head with a new coal station proposal favored by Tony Abbott. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates the price of electricity from coal at about $130/MWh, so it would require hefty subsidies. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The Clean Energy Finance Corporation could have an avenue to fight the Australian government’s ban on investing in wind power and rooftop solar, a senior lawyer says. The Abbott Government already tried to abolish the taxpayer-funded $10 billion CEFC twice and now is trying to redirect its efforts. [ABC Online]

¶ Australia’s solar power industry has vowed to expand its marginal-seats campaign against the Coalition, which dominates the Senate, and aims “to remove this government from office” after ministers directed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to avoid wind and small-scale solar investments. [The Guardian]

¶ Despite the continued increase in carbon emissions in China, the rate of growth of carbon emissions has been “in a steady decrease” since 2005, and was near zero in 2014, according to a new climate report. Factors include better energy efficiency, development of renewable energy, and air pollution concerns. [eco-business.com]

Sunset on more than 200 Windturbines at Guazhou wind farm. Photo by Popolon. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikimedia Commons.

Sunset on more than 200 Windturbines at Guazhou wind farm. Photo by Popolon. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ International nuclear inspectors told TEPCO to update its emergency manual to reflect new safety measures imposed after Fukushima Disaster. The order came after a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency completed two weeks of inspections of the company’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant. [The Japan Times]


¶ A report released at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners conference says states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have found that economic benefits accompany regulating carbon emissions from power plants through market-based mechanisms. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

¶ The California Department of Food and Agriculture will award nearly $11.1 million to help pay to build five anaerobic digesters in the Central Valley. AgPower Visalia, LLC, a partnership that includes the Moonlight Dairy near Visalia, will receive $3 million to put toward a digester at the dairy. [Visalia Times-Delta]

Schematic of the Biogas Reactor. By Tilley, E., Ulrich, L., Lüthi, C., Reymond, Ph., Zurbrügg, C. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Wikimedia Commons.

Schematic of the Biogas Reactor. By E. Tilley, L. Ulrich, C. Lüthi, P. Reymond, C. Zurbrügg. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Coal companies turn to bonds to raise money for such things as new mines and environmental cleanups, but investors are increasingly turning away. Coal bond prices tumbled 17% in the second quarter, according to analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. It’s the fourth consecutive quarter of price declines. [Mineweb]

¶ A new energy plan for the next 20 years released by TVA projects electricity demand in the Tennessee Valley to grow at the slowest rate in TVA’s 82-year history. This negates any need for the federal utility to build new nuclear, coal or other major baseload power facilities during that time. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ sPower, a leading renewable energy provider, announced that construction has begun on its 45-MW Sandstone Solar project in Florence, Arizona. The facility is scheduled to start delivering clean, renewable energy by the end of the year under a 21-year power purchase agreement between sPower and SRP. [PennEnergy]

¶ US Senators Tom Carper and Susan Collins have introduced an act that aims to provide financial incentives for investment in offshore wind. The act would create an investment tax credit that is redeemable for the first 3000 MW of offshore wind facilities placed into service, which is about 600 wind turbines. [reNews]

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