August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Cost of EPA’s Climate Plan? Minor Compared to the Benefits” – The good news is that cutting carbon turns out to be not just affordable, but smart: the Clean Power Plan’s public health and climate benefits, worth an estimated $34 billion to $54 billion in 2030, far outweigh the estimated costs of $8.4 billion. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

Solar array at Nellis Air Force Base. USAF photo. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar array at Nellis Air Force Base. USAF photo. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. 

World:

¶ China’s public sector companies continue to support the development of renewable energy infrastructure in Pakistan. HydroChina Investment Corporation will invest $115 million for the implementation of a 50 MW wind energy project near Karachi. The project is expected to be operational by September producing enough power for 100,000 households, with an 8-year payback. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australian electricity companies have offered solar and battery systems for lease in a bid to keep customers and lower their own costs. Battery technology has been billed as the next “big phenomenon” by energy analysts — but too expensive for most people to install. But according to John Grimes of the Energy Storage Association power companies are trying to adapt. [ABC Online]

¶ UN chief Ban Ki-moon has voiced appreciation for US President Barack Obama’s personal engagement with India, China and Brazil on climate change, saying he counts on his strong leadership to reach an agreement on the issue in Paris in December. He commended Mr Obama’s “strong commitment” on climate change and said he counts on his continuing leadership. [Kashmir Images]

US:

¶ President Obama’s determination to reduce US carbon emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030 sends a message to the rest of the world’s leaders that the UN climate talks in Paris could succeed, saving the planet from overheating. Past talks have foundered on a range of excuses, but now the world’s two largest polluters have committed to far-reaching changes. [eco-business.com]

Coal barge on the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia. Image: Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock.com

Coal barge on the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia. Image: Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock.com

¶ The Business Renewables Center (BRC), an initiative convened by the Rocky Mountain Institute and a member-led platform, is working to accelerate corporate procurement of off-site renewable energy such by bringing together corporate buyers, project developers, and service providers. Microsoft has contracted for 285 MW of wind power over the past two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SunEdison will be supplying solar energy to the entirety of the Rialto Unified School District in Belmont, California, the company announced earlier this week. The agreement will see the renewable energy developer install a total of 8.4 MW of solar canopies at car parks at the district’s 28 schools, and then sell the clean power back to the schools over the course of 20 years. [Business Green]

¶ The United States installed a record of 845 wind turbines, totalling 1,661 MW, in the second quarter of 2015. The turbines were spread out across 12 separate projects in five different states, however it was the state of Texas that blew the competition away in the second quarter, installing a total of 1,226 MW. This brings Texas’ total installed capacity up over 15,000 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Part of the Panther Creek Wind Farm in Howard County, Texas. Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Part of the Panther Creek Wind Farm in Howard County, Texas. Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Demand for Tesla Energy’s revolutionary battery “has been crazy,” according to the company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk. He said there have been more than 100,000 reservations (roughly worth $1 billion) for the batteries, which have sold out through 2016. Musk said, “You can basically, in principle, shut down half of the world’s power plants if you had stationary storage.” [EcoWatch]

¶ A letter signed by 16 states opposes the EPA’s recently unveiled Clean Power Plan, requesting an “immediate stay” on a program the opposition says “unlawfully exploits Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.” The Clean Power Plan is opposed by states whose economies are heavily reliant on coal, which fear that conversions to cleaner sources might increase energy rates. [HydroWorld]

¶ Topeka-based Westar Energy Inc has been seeking to increase its rates by $152 million a year, but agreed instead to an increase of only $78 million. Westar said higher electric rates are needed to cover costs for improvements at coal-burning plants, mandated by federal air pollution standards, and for upgrades at the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant outside Burlington. [Daily Journal]

 

 

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