July 17 Energy News

July 17, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Polar bears are unable to adapt their behaviour to cope with the food losses associated with warmer summers in the Arctic. The bears survive mainly on a diet of seals that they hunt on the sea ice, but increased melting in the summer reduces seal numbers and as a result the bears struggle to find a meal. [BBC News]

Polar bear. Photo by Ansgar Walk. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

Polar bear. Photo by Ansgar Walk. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The Japanese government says the country will cut 26% of their greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 levels by 2030. They will submit the plan to the UN for the global summit on climate change in Paris in November. The plan calls for relying slightly less on nuclear power than on renewable energy. [The Japan Times]

¶ The Canadian unit of EDF Energies Nouvelles officially dedicated the 150-MW first phase of the 350-MW Riviere-du-Moulin wind project in the province of Quebec. The wind park will be completed in December of 2015, when the second phase, adding 200 MW, is also commissioned. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ As part of the National Democratic Alliance government’s green energy push, India will award contracts for the supply of 15,000 MW this year. According to the plan, Solar Energy Corp of India will shortly call for bids from developers for buying 2,000 MW. India plans to install 100,000 MW of solar PVs by 2022. [Livemint]

¶ Global investment in new nuclear is an order of magnitude less than renewable energy investment. That is just one finding of a new independent report on the state of the worldwide nuclear industry that issued on Thursday. No matter how you look at the nuclear industry, the picture isn’t pretty. [Greentech Media]

¶ A Japanese delegation from Fukushima, site of a nuclear disaster in March 2011, visited Switzerland to discuss energy policies, technologies and the development of renewable forms of energy. Almost five years after the Fukushima Disaster, many inhabitants of the prefecture can’t lead normal lives. [swissinfo.ch]

Piles of radiated soil lay along the side of a road in a deserted town near the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on June 22, 2015 (Keystone)

Piles of radiated soil lay along the side of a road in a deserted town near the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on June 22, 2015 (Keystone)

¶ The first house in the UK that produces more energy than it consumes has been built in Wales by Cardiff University researchers. The prototype house combines renewable energy with multiple approaches to energy efficiency, including layers insulation, and energy-efficient windows and doors. [E&T magazine]

US:

¶ An Analysis Group report claims the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative involving 9 New England and Mid-Atlantic states has added $1.3 billion in economic activity to the region since 2011 and reduced carbon emissions by 15%. The program has also saved people in the area $460 on electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, a municipal bus operator in the Westside region of Los Angeles, is one of the first municipal transit authorities in the US to convert its fleet to biomethane, which is rated 90% cleaner than diesel. Fuel supplier Clean Energy Fuels call the product “renewable natural gas.” [NGV Global]

Big Blue Bus. Photo by George Lumbreras. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

Big Blue Bus. Photo by George Lumbreras. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The New York Public Service Commission established an innovative Shared Renewables program to expand consumer access to local solar, wind and other clean energy resources, particularly among low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. The program aids those who cannot put solar PVs on their homes. [Business Wire]

¶ The NY Prize Microgrid Competition is a first-in-the nation $40 million competition to help communities in New York State create their own microgrids. More than 130 proposals were submitted statewide. The town of Ossining is one winner, and will receive $100,000 to complete a feasibility assessment. [Patch.com]

¶ Renewable energy supporters say a proposed fee for Montana-Dakota Utilities customers who use their own wind or solar power is an attempt to stifle small-scale generating. The fee is built into a 21% rate increase proposed for about 26,000 eastern Montana customers of the North Dakota-based utility. [NBC Montana]

¶ In a deal expected to save residents $45 million over the next two decades, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city has signed a power purchase agreement with Iberdrola for the entire output of a wind farm in Pennsylvania. The total purchased will be about 125,000 MWh each year. [Utility Dive]

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