July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2015


¶ Grid-connected wind generation capacity in the EU reached 129 GW in 2014, meeting 8% of Europe’s demand for electricity. A report by the European Commission’s in-house science service, projects that at least 12% of electricity will be from wind by 2020, a significant contribution to the European energy goal that 20% of energy come from renewable sources by 2020. [E&T magazine]

Wind power makes a valuable contribution to renewables targets. Photo credit: EU.

Wind power makes a valuable contribution to renewables targets. Photo credit: EU.

¶ Up until mid-last year, oil prices hovered over $100 per barrel, but with its excessive production paired with falling demand, the prices have declined by half and stayed low. The coal industry has also been struggling. Years of buildup in the mining capacity have forced global coal prices to tumble and there’s little hope that the industry will be back firmly to its knees. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The United Arab Emirates’ Energy Ministry has decided to terminate gasoline subsidies, as the country’s economy is being negatively affected by low oil prices. The average cost of gasoline in the UAE is equivalent to $1.78 per gallon and the policy change should increase the cost closer to global prices. The policy change is also very likely to reduce waste.[CleanTechnica]

¶ Kenya has outpaced its African peers in renewable energy production, and is ranked top in the five globally in geothermal energy investments. A renewables global status report 2015 shows Kenya increased its green energy output by 358 MW last year, more than doubling its stock to about 600 MW. The report said future policies need to respond to emerging opportunities. [The Star]

¶ Insurance giant Aviva has announced new targets to invest £500 million a year for the next five years in low-carbon infrastructure, in a move that will prevent 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The investments will be made in renewable energy and energy efficiency infrastructure in Europe. They will include investment in solar PV and wind power. [Business Green]

¶ Swedish utility Vattenfall AB says preparatory works on its 54.4-MW Ray wind farm near Kirkwhelpington, northern England, will begin this month. The £90 million ($139.6 million) wind park will start generating power in early 2017. Once fully operational, the facility is expected to produce enough power to meet the annual needs of over 30,000 UK households. [SeeNews Renewables]

Source: News Oresund. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Source: News Oresund. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.


¶ US solar manufacturer SunPower has announced that it will build a 100-MW solar PV power plant for NV Energy in Nevada. SunPower made the announcement on Thursday, revealing that it had signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with NV Energy in Nevada to build a 100-MW solar PV power plant in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nevada. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The state of Massachusetts has a goal to produce 1,600 MW of solar power by the year 2020. To do this, the state Senate voted on Thursday to raise the maximum amount of solar power permitted to be resold by consumers to the main grid. This is part of a far larger bill intended to fight against climate change, called the Climate Change Preparedness Bill. [Apex Tribune]

¶ An Arizona utility can burn trash and claim the electricity it generates is coming from renewable resources, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. The judges rejected arguments by the Sierra Club that the Arizona Corporation Commission acted illegally in concluding the Mohave Electric Cooperative could meet part of its renewable-energy mandate through trash. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ Almonds, which have been vilified during the current drought for being one of California’s thirstier crops, have a surprisingly small carbon footprint compared to other nutrient-rich crops, according to a report from a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis, and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. California grows about 80% of the world’s commercial almonds. [UC Davis]

¶ North Carolina is just beginning to explore offshore wind development. The federal government has identified possible sites off Kitty Hawk, Wilmington and Bald Head Island, but North Carolina’s offshore wind farms are years away. Still, with more uniform winds, offshore wind energy will be “the game changer,” as we transition from our use of dirty fuels. [News & Observer]

¶ A valve that failed during three inspections over the last five years was cited by the NRC as the reason water leaked into an electrical equipment room after the transformer explosion and fires at Indian Point in May. About half an inch of water was found on the floor of the switchgear room, warranting a special inspection by the NRC leading to a green-level violation. [Westfair Online]

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