July 16 Energy News

July 16, 2015


¶ “Solar program: it doesn’t make sense not to participate” Solar isn’t just for wealthy homeowners anymore. As a renter with a modest income, I can’t install solar panels on my building. Community solar and available low-interest loans mean I can cut my electric bill, saving over $10,000 in 25 years. [Commons]

SunGen Sharon Solar Farm in Sharon, Vermont. Photo by SayCheeeeeese.  Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikipedia Commons. 

SunGen Sharon Solar Farm in Sharon, Vermont. Photo by SayCheeeeeese.  Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikipedia Commons.

¶ “A new business model for the electricity sector” Critics of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan fail to acknowledge a basic reality: The electricity sector is already in the midst of profound change, with new technological and market forces challenging utilities’ business models with a lower costs and increased reliability. [The Hill]

Science and Technology:

¶ Irreversible damage to overheated batteries in Solar Impulse 2 has pushed the second half of its round-the-world flight to early spring 2016. Despite the hard work of the team to repair the batteries that overheated in the record-breaking flight from Nagoya to Hawaii, Si2 will stay in Hawaii for further repairs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ It turns out the climate change deniers had one thing right: There isn’t 97% agreement among climate scientists. But the real figure is higher, not lower. The scientific “consensus” on climate change has gotten stronger, surging past 97% to more than 99.9%, according to a new study reviewed by MSNBC. [MSNBC]

¶ Climate change deniers’ new hero is Valentina Zharkova, a professor at Northumbria University in England. Her research seems to suggest a looming “ice age,” which is making your conspiracy-minded uncle cartwheel with glee. But hold on a minute, is the research legit climate science? Not even close. [MSNBC]


Reuters reports, based on figures from the Federation of Thai Industries renewable energy division, that Thai solar power investment is set to exceed $2 billion in 2015, installing at least 1,200 MW of new solar capacity by the end of the year. This will outperform all neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia. [CleanTechnica]

Image by Asian Development Bank (some rights reserved)

Image by Asian Development Bank (some rights reserved)

¶ The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has overspent its budget to support renewable energy projects over the next five years by £1.5 billion. Unless ministers increase the budget, the UK could struggle to meet legally binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [The Guardian]

¶ The UK’s first compressed air energy storage project is to be awarded almost €6.5 million by the European Union. It will hold air in specially engineered salt caverns under high pressure on Northern Ireland’s east coast, to be used as needed to generate up to 330 MW of electricity for up to six hours. [Belfast Telegraph]


¶ The US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important decision that supports clean electricity. It the upheld the constitutionality of Colorado’s renewable portfolio standard. It says the Colorado RPS does not impose unlawful regulations on out-of-state companies that supply electricity to the state. [CleanTechnica]

Solar wind turbines at sunset via Shutterstock.

Solar wind turbines at sunset via Shutterstock.

¶ In Amesbury, Massachusetts, efforts to pursue sustainable energy continued, as a contract for one solar field within the city was followed by the City Council approving development of a second, larger solar field down the road. The $10 million, 6.5-MW solar farm is on the site of a former landfill. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

¶ The Newberry Volcano, located 20 miles south of Bend, Oregon, is one of five sites that have been awarded $2 million by the DOE to conduct research on production of geothermal energy. Backers of the project see it as a potential competitor of nuclear power for production of carbon-free power. [The Corvallis Advocate]

¶ Advanced Microgrid Solutions and SunEdison announced a joint venture to finance and deliver 50 MW of energy storage for Southern California Edison, which will purchase capacity from the storage systems under a 10-year capacity contract. SCE plans to add 2.2 GW of cleaner resources by 2022. [Energy Matters]

¶ For nearly two decades, federal and state authorities allowed the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to operate with an expired Clean Water Act permit. Two dozen public-health and environmental groups formed a coalition that is now asking the agencies to suspend Entergy Corp.’s water pollution permit. [ecoRI news]

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