September 6 Energy News

September 6, 2015

Science and Technology:

Graphene. Photo by U.S. Army Material Command. CC BY 2.0

Graphene. US Army image. CC BY 2.0

¶ The new ‘wonder material’ graphene has also been suggested as a possible key to the solution for energy storage. Graphene has a number of interesting properties that have led researchers to suggest either modifying components of Li-ion batteries, or using graphene as the energy-storage medium instead as promising solutions. [The Ecologist]

World:

¶ A study from researchers from the Melbourne Energy Institute and RMIT in Australia has highlighted how demand has been reduced in the last five years. But also there are now 1.44 million households with a total of 4.4 GW of rooftop solar. The result is that there have been no more “super peaks” in electricity demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ban Ki-moon is concerned that the climate negotiations are moving too slowly to deliver a new global deal in December. His views were echoed by many delegates at the latest meeting in Germany. But one of the men tasked with drafting a new text said that even going at a snail’s pace , a draft agreement would be ready for Paris. [BBC]

While climate negotiators were meeting in Germany, President Obama was highlighting the issue at a glacier in Alaska.

While climate negotiators were meeting in Germany, President Obama was highlighting the issue at a glacier in Alaska.

¶ An environmentalist says Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, can become a ‘beacon of excellence’ for renewable energy after controversial early plans emerged for a solar farm on green belt land. Residents voiced their fears over plans to build a solar farm on land which has long been earmarked to be used for a country park. [Bucks Free Press]

¶ A grant for households in rural areas of the Philippines to install solar energy systems, as well as major airport and elevated commuter railway projects, fill out the list of projects planned for the remaining months of the Aquino administration. Five major projects have been approved for implementation during the remainder of the term. [gulfnews.com]

¶ Gaelectric both builds and buys wind farms. It owns or part-owns wind projects in Kilkenny and Tipperary and is building others at Faughary, Roosky, Leabeg and Ballagh. It wants to almost triple its wind-generating capacity by the end of the year, from 66.4 MW to 177.6 MW and ultimately to 400 MW by 2017. [Irish Independent]

¶ A high-ranking energy source, speaking after a further delay was announced to the building of a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset, said changes are coming at an extraordinary pace and will result in central power generating capacity becoming redundant. And this will mean fewer big power stations. [This is Money]

US:

¶ Profit margins are notoriously tight on Maine’s small farms, and Little Ridge Farm is among a growing number of ventures using renewable energy to cut costs and improve the bottom line. The latest USDA agriculture census, from 2012, lists 464 renewable energy systems, but new data would show many more. [Press Herald]

New solar panels cover the roof of a barn at Little Ridge Farm. Photo by Gordon Chibroski, Portland Press Herald Staff Photographer.

New solar panels cover the roof of a barn at Little Ridge Farm. Photo by Gordon Chibroski, Portland Press Herald Staff Photographer.

¶ Once it’s operating next year, Deepwater Wind’s Block Island project should generate 30 MW of electricity, enough for 17,200 homes, roughly 3 miles off Rhode Island’s coast. Two Louisiana firms with roots in the oil and gas industry have leading parts in building what may be the first US offshore wind farm. [The New Orleans Advocate]

¶ Environmental Entrepreneurs, or E2, ranked Utah fourth in a list of the top 10 states seeing job growth in clean energy and clean transportation. Ongoing solar projects in Iron and Beaver counties put Utah on the list, with three more solar farms to be built in the area, according to the E2 executive director. [St. George Daily Spectrum]

¶ North Carolina health officials in 1999 alone issued 111 orange or red warnings for “bad air days,” days on which sensitive groups or everyone was warned against exercising outside. None were made last year, as clean air standards likely helped cut death rates for asthma, pneumonia and emphysema in the state. [Asheville Citizen-Times]

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