September 21 Energy News

September 21, 2015

World:

¶ Greenpeace, working in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center, issued a report saying a 100% renewable power can be achieved by 2050. And not only is this transition possible, but it will create jobs and is cost-competitive, with the necessary investment more than covered by savings in future fuel costs. [Greenpeace International]

Greenpeace volunteers of Youth Solar (Jugendsolar) in cooperation with volunteers from the organisation 'Solaragenten', install a photovoltaic power plant on avalanche barriers in the ski resort of Bellwald.

Greenpeace volunteers of Youth Solar (Jugendsolar) in cooperation with volunteers from the organisation ‘Solaragenten’, install a photovoltaic power plant on avalanche barriers in the ski resort of Bellwald.

¶ Britain can produce 85% of its power via renewable energy by 2030 provided it undergoes significant changes in energy production and use, according to the Greenpeace study. However, energy initiatives would be necessary in the areas of home heating and insulation to reduce energy use there by 60%. [The Guardian]

¶ In Australia, the Turnbull government is signalling a new approach to climate policy despite its pledge to stick with the “Direct Action” climate plan, abandoning Tony Abbott’s attempt to abolish two key renewable energy agencies and considering tougher “safeguards” to ensure the policy actually reduces emissions. [Business Green]

¶ UK Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the UK will guarantee a £2 billion deal under which China will invest in the Hinkley Point nuclear power station. EDF welcomed the news but did not say if it put the project back on track. EDF recently admitted the project, which was to be running by 2023, would be delayed. [BBC]

¶  Munich’s Oktoberfest is superlative: It’s got nearly 200 rides flashing their lights, clashing music blaring out from multiple speakers, shooting galleries offering plastic roses. Then there are the festival tents filled with traditional German Volksmusik and girls in Dierndls dancing atop the long tables. But it is all very green. [Deutsche Welle]

Most drinkers in beer tents don't realize their waste is flushed away with reused grey water

Most drinkers in beer tents don’t realize their waste is flushed away with reused grey water

¶ The 117-MW Tafila wind farm in southern Jordan has started commercial operation in line with all deadlines and contracts. The 38-turbine wind park is worth about $287 million. Construction of the wind farm began in the spring of 2014. Now that the facility is operational, it will be producing about 400 GWh annually. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The UK Green Investment Bank and John Laing Group have committed £48 million of equity to Estover Energy’s forthcoming £138 million renewable energy facility in Cramlington, Northumberland. The biomass combined heat and power plant will generate 213 GWh of electricity each year, enough to power 52,000 homes. [ChronicleLive]

¶ The world’s first smog-fighting urban sculpture has been constructed in the Dutch city of Rotterdam with the ability to suck in polluted air, remove particles and blow out fresh air through a series of vents. The entire system is run on renewable wind power, and can clean 30,000 cubic metres of air per hour. It can be easily moved. [Architecture AU]

The Dutch city of Rotterdam is home to the world’s first “vacuum cleaner” structure that turns smog into fresh air. Image: Courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde

The Dutch city of Rotterdam is home to the world’s first “vacuum cleaner” structure that turns smog into fresh air. Image by Studio Roosegaarde

US:

¶ The University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana, plans to stop burning coal within five years and to cut its carbon footprint by more than half in the next 15 years in response to Pope Francis’ plea for bold action to curb climate change. Notre Dame may spend $113 million on renewable energy sources. [Diverse: Issues in Higher Education]

¶ LG Chem, one of the world’ s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers, has supplied a 1-MW/2-MWh energy storage system for a solar power station in Cedartown, Georgia. A Southern Company and Electric Power Research Institute initiative, the project is evaluating the grid impacts of the energy storage system. [Energy Matters]

¶ NRG Energy Inc unveiled plans to separate its expensive clean-energy businesses, as part of a series of moves by the power producer to simplify its structure and cut down on expenses and debt. GreenCo will operate independently from NRG’s conventional generation and retail business beginning January 1, 2016. [Herald Current]

¶ In Vernon, Vermont, a town hit hard by the shutdown of Vermont Yankee, officials say a natural-gas plant may be in the works. The optimism in Vernon is carefully qualified because the plant is far from a sure bet, and it’s not yet been disclosed which sites are under consideration. Development costs are estimated at $750 million. [vtdigger.org]

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