September 9 Energy News

September 9, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Rural poor aren’t going to wait for centralised clean coal” Global coal is on the ropes. Prices of thermal coal have collapsed as demand evaporates, stocks have crashed, and companies are going to the wall. The World Coal Association is clinging to parts of the world with limited access to energy as a possible lifeline. [Business Green]

Pollution in the Highveld, in South Africa. Photo by Hein waschefort. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Coal buring power plant in the Highveld, in South Africa. Photo by Hein waschefort. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ “Maybe We Aren’t Quite So Doomed On Climate Change” The planet just experienced its hottest month ever. Sea levels are rising three times faster than previously estimated. American politicians and climate-change deniers are blocking progress. But there is encouraging news to report, and reasons for optimism. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶ Suzlon Energy’s chairman announced that his company is progressing well on a 600-MW pilot offshore wind project off the coast of Gujarat, India. Construction is expected to begin next year, and the project should be commissioned in three to five years. The company expects the cost to be ₹6,000 crore ($923 million). [CleanTechnica]

¶ Indian Railways may introduce 500 trains with solar panel fitted coaches. LiveMint reports that the ministry of new and renewable energy could subsidize the project cost. The national transporter had run a pilot project with a specially outfitted coach earlier this year to study the feasibility of such an initiative. [Greentech Lead]

¶ Dutch solar is booming right now. Parties involved have reported sales increases up to 100% in the first half of 2015 compared to 2014. This is primarily due to the fact that the Netherlands has a generous net metering system and the public has faith that these policies will not be adjusted to their disadvantage soon. [CleanTechnica]

Image: rooftop solar in the Netherlands, via Shutterstock

Image: rooftop solar in the Netherlands, via Shutterstock

¶ Two of Australia’s renewable energy agencies are planning a massive investment in solar power which could see the construction of up to 10 large-scale power plants. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation announced a combined $350 million (Aus) investment. [ABC Online]

¶ The author of Australia’s landmark climate change review, Ross Garnaut, says the costs of renewable energy generation have been falling faster than those of nuclear power and South Australia could be better placed exploiting advantages in wind and solar than nuclear energy. He also expects a smaller role for gas. [InDaily]

¶ Nuclear regulators warned that Kansai Electric Power Co may not be allowed to extend the life span of its aging nuclear reactor at the Mihama plant, saying the utility has been slow to submit information required for a safety review. Current regulations allow the nuclear authority to grant a 20-year life span extension for a reactor. [The Japan Times]

¶ France’s oldest nuclear plant at Fessenheim in the country’s north-east will not be closed before the end of President Francois Hollande’s mandate in 2017, according to Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal. Though one of Hollande’s election promises was to close the plant, the law on nuclear power only caps nuclear capacity. [Reuters]

US:

¶ Movers and shakers within the snow-sports industry sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday expressing their unified support for global action on climate change. Three trade groups joined to sign the letter, Snowsports Industries America, The National Ski Areas Association and the nonprofit Protect Our Winters. [Aspen Times]

Spring skiing. Rising temperatures around the world are of major concern to the industry. Jeremy Wallace / The Aspen Times file photo

Spring skiing. Rising temperatures around the world are of major concern to the industry. Jeremy Wallace / The Aspen Times file photo

¶ SunEdison and Dominion have announced a joint venture for a 265-MW solar project in Utah. The Three Cedars solar project, currently under construction, will generate enough electricity to power more than 36,000 homes. The two companies had announced a different 420-MW project, also in Utah, only last month. [Energy Matters]

¶ FirstEnergy, with 6 million customers in Ohio and nearby states, owns a handful of big nuclear and coal power plants that are no longer competitive in power markets. Rather than shut down the plants, the company is asking Ohio regulators to force customers to buy the plants’ power for the next 15 years at $26/MWh above market prices. [Vox]

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