August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Flow batteries may offer a solution for utility-scale wind and solar energy storage. UniEnergy Technologies is part of a new demonstration program in the Pacific Northwest that pits the technology against lithium-ion batteries. UniEnergy claims their flow battery will have a levelized cost that is far lower than a lithium-ion system’s. [CleanTechnica]

Flow battery. Image Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

Vanadium flow battery. Image Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

¶ ViZn Energy Systems Inc will supply a 2 MW zinc-iron redox flow battery system to Hecate Energy to provide support to the Ontario grid. (ViZn and Hecate are both located in the United States, ViZn in Austin and Hecate in Nashville.) Here is an interview the CEO of ViZn Energy Systems about the company’s technology. [CleanTechnica]


¶ Enel Green Power has been awarded the right to sign 20-year energy supply contracts for a total of 553 MW with three new solar photovoltaic projects in Brazil. The awards for the projects – the 103-MW Horizonte MP, the 158-MW Lapa and 292-MW Nova Olinda – came through the ‘Leilão de Reserva’ public tender. [reNews]

¶ The government wants to slash by 87% subsidies for householders who install solar panels on their rooftops, in a move that renewable energy experts warn could kill off a promising industry. The assault on solar power comes after ministerial decisions to remove financial aid from new onshore wind farms and slash home energy efficiency measures. [The Guardian]

¶ Greek wind farm operator Eltech Anemos SA reported a first-half 2015 net profit of €4.6 million ($5.2 million), compared to €3.3 million last year. The performance improved thanks to improved wind conditions. It operates 184.5 MW of wind farms, one small hydro plant of 4.95 MW, and a 2-MW solar PV system. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines at work. Author: Nick Cross. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic. 

Wind turbines at work. Author: Nick Cross. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

¶ Major oil-producing countries are looking to sustainability. Recently, Bloomberg forecast that two-thirds of the $12.2 trillion global investment in capacity-generation to 2040 will be in the renewables sector. A signal simply of economic progression or of an increasing need for diversification in the energy mix. [Oil and Gas Industry Latest News]

¶ Eni’s discovery of potentially the world’s largest natural-gas field off the Egyptian coast will be a game changer for Egypt and the Mediterranean in terms of energy stability, the CEO of the Italian energy giant told CNBC on Monday. Eni said in a press release that the gas field that could satisfy Egypt’s natural gas demand for decades. [CNBC]

¶ Days after Western Australia’s energy minster predicted solar PV would soon displace coal as the state’s major generator of daytime, the Queensland government confirmed a similar departure from reliance on coal, with the promise to do everything it can to support the development of solar and wind projects in the state. [RenewEconomy]


¶ The White House might say Alaska is the canary in the climate change coal mine, with raging wildfires, ice melts in the arctic, vanishing glaciers, and whole villages forced to relocate away from rising seas. President Obama will carry that urgent message to Alaska as part of a drive to change the conversation on global warming. [CNN]

Mount McKinley is to be renamed Denali. Photo by Frank K. from Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Mount McKinley is to be renamed Denali. Photo by Frank K. from Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ SolarCity’s goals for the Silevo solar module manufacturing facility under development in Buffalo, New York, are certainly ambitious. Amongst them is to meet production costs of just 50¢/watt for solar modules with a +20% conversion efficiency. Another goal is an annual production output of 1 GW of solar modules [CleanTechnica]

¶ A 100-MW solar power project will be located in Cumberland County, in North Carolina, and is set to generate enough electricity to provide for the equivalent needs of 20,000 average US homes. Construction began earlier in August, and Principal Solar expects the project to begin generating power before the year is out. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The owner of Illinois’ 11 nuclear reactors must decide next month whether to close its Quad Cities plant, one of three generating stations Exelon Corp has said are in danger of closing if lawmakers don’t approve a surcharge on electric bills to boost profits. The future of the Clinton nuclear plant is also still in doubt. [Northwest Herald]

¶ With just a few days left in the state legislative session, more than 24 California companies have announced their support for two major climate bills that would set new ambitious state goals for reducing climate-changing pollution, boosting renewable energy and decreasing petroleum use over the next 15 years. [Environment News Service]

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