August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Ask electric vehicle drivers what they don’t like about their electric car experience and the chances are most of them would say charging their vehicles away from home is their least favorite thing. Now, researchers in England are exploring the possibility of making wireless recharging available on some motorways, the English equivalent to our interstate highways. [CleanTechnica]

The possibility of EV recharging lanes is being explored in the UK.

The possibility of EV recharging lanes is being explored in the UK.


¶ India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy shared annual capacity addition targets for the National Solar Mission. India aims to install a solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022, including 40 GW of rooftop solar power capacity and 57 GW of utility-scale. Earlier this year, when it had 3 GW installed, it increased the targets to those levels from a target of 22 GW by 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Indian state of West Bengal has asked the central government to fund 40% of a planned 1-GW pumped storage hydroelectric facility, which will store power from a 1.2-GW solar park nearby. Constructing the Turga pumped storage system will require an investment of about ₹110 billion ($1.7 billion), compared to the solar power station’s cost of ₹60 billion. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In Australia, ANZ Bank has released a report it commissioned by consulting firm Port Jackson Partners which provides a detailed explanation of why smaller-scale renewable energy technologies, such as solar PV, can represent a better economic choice than conventional options for newly developing countries with poorly developed grid infrastructure. [Business Spectator]

¶ Technology to dip the voltage of electricity delivered to homes was trialled in one region of the UK. Half a million households part in the trial that was set to test increasing the capacity of the grid without costly new infrastructure. The trial is now at the end of its year lifespan, and shows promise as an option for increasing use of renewables with no complaints recorded. []

Offshore wind farms have production that varies depending on the weather.

Offshore wind farms have production that varies depending on the weather.

¶ Existing coal plants in Indonesia cause an estimated 7,100 premature deaths every year according to research by Harvard University and Greenpeace Southeast Asia, the first to look at illness and deaths associated with Indonesia’s coal-fired plants. The number could be over 28,000 if the country goes ahead with a rollout of over 100 new coal-fired power plants. [Dominican Today]

¶ India, the third-largest carbon emitter and a country very vulnerable to climate change, is a key player in global climate negotiations. Now, in the run-up to the Paris climate negotiations in October and November of this year, its negotiating position might be evolving dramatically. An internal document suggests that India should abandon old positions and seek new allies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Plans were announced in November 2012 for a cover to be constructed to encase the Fukushima Daiichi’s Unit 3 building, protecting it from the weather and preventing any release of radioactive particles during decommissioning work. Almost three years later, TEPCO says it can start installation as soon as the removal of rubble from the reactor building is completed. [World Nuclear News]


¶ The authors of a new environmental report say Massachusetts is falling short of its carbon reduction goals, but could get on track by increasingly embracing emerging energy technologies. Increased adoption of energy storage technology, offshore wind power, solar energy can help the state on its goal of reducing carbon emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by the year 2050. [Barnstable Patriot]

Alan and Kris Miller's wind turbine. Photo by Alan Miller.

Alan and Kris Miller’s wind turbine. Photo by Alan Miller.

¶ When Alan and Kris Miller installed the 140-foot-high wind turbine in their back yard near Stewartville, Minnesota, their electric utility tacked on a $5-per-month charge. Their letter of complaint to state regulators blew open a controversy, which led to the Public Utilities Commission ordering all of the state’s utilities to report whether they charge similar fees. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ New regulations limiting mercury and other pollutants plants can emit are an issue for a 60-year-old coal-burning plant in Lansing, Michigan. As it happens, the plant is old enough it’s also difficult to find parts to make repairs. And there are too many hurdles to switch it over to burn natural gas. Plus, it’s technically in a flood zone. The city is looking into alternative choices. [Michigan Radio]

¶ New analysis shows Minnesota is the only state in the Midwest on track to exceed federal targets for reducing climate change. The report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which supports the US EPA’s Clean Power Plan, said early investments in renewable energy and energy conservation will help the state surpass the targets set for 2022 and 2030. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

¶ Even as President Obama hails the campaign against climate change, he’s opening the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to drilling and is on track to lease massive amounts of coal in the West. Renowned climate scientist James Hansen said he plans to write an analysis of the president’s policies “probably entitled ‘Delusions at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,’ or something like that.” [Alaska Dispatch News]

¶ Ohio and 14 other states led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this afternoon asked the DC federal appeals court to block the US EPA from putting its Clean Power Plan into place until the courts decide whether the EPA can legally force states to limit CO2. This is unusual because a suit has not yet been filed on the legality of the EPA’s enforcement. []

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