October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2015

Observations:

¶ “Mining and Burning Coal Draws Tourists in Germany” While Germany’s Energiewende, or “energy transition,” will result in the near-term closure of its hard coal mines, the lignite mines will keep operating for a few more decades. This is a sore spot for environmentalists who points to environmental loss. [89.3 WFPL]

The Garzweiler II lignite mine near the town of Erkelenz, outside Cologne, Germany. Photo by Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

The Garzweiler II lignite mine. Click on the photo to see the relative size of the wind farm on the mine’s far edge. Photo by Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

World:

¶ A new survey conducted by ComRes for the UK’s Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit concluded that the majority of British adults believe that climate change is both happening and mainly caused by human activities. Notably, the percentage who believe this increased dramatically since 2014, rising from only 53% to 61%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Vestas, the Danish wind energy giant, announced that it had received an order for 70 units of the V110-1.8 MW turbine for the 126-MW Had Kanghan project, in the Songkla and Nakhon Si Thamarat provinces of Thailand. The order was placed by developer Energy Absolute PCL, with project commissioning expected in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewable power plants produced 31.3% of Spain’s power output in September, led by wind farms with 15.2% of total output. The wind farms generated 3,023 GWh, up 41.8% on the year. Hydro, PV and concentrated solar power plants registered shares of 8%, 3.5% and 2.5% of total generation, respectively. Demand was down 3.7%. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines in Spain. Author: petter palander. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind turbines in Spain. Author: petter palander. CC BY SA 2.0

¶ European countries have been warned that threats to energy security in Europe show the importance of expanding the use of renewable energy in the armed forces. The European Defence Agency has pointed out that energy and environmental factors are becoming increasingly important as Europe moves into a low carbon economy. [DefenseNews.com]

¶ Swiss engineering firm ABB has raised the upper limit for microgrid renewable-energy penetration without storage. Research by the company suggests up to 50% intermittent generation could be admitted to microgrids without needing storage, provided that automation systems are in place to keep the grid stable. [Greentech Media]

¶ The EU Court of Justice ruled Sweden’s levy on the available power of reactors rather than the actual amount of electricity they provide does not violate the bloc’s energy tax directive. After Sweden increased the tax by 17% in August, it now costs the nuclear industry about 4.6 billion kronor ($548 million) a year. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ Capital buildings in the state of California will soon be powered 100% by renewable energy. Plans are also now in the works for all government buildings in the state to make the transition to 100% renewables in the near future as well. The move follows plans for a 50% renewable portfolio standard made it through the state legislature. [CleanTechnica]

The California capital building will be 100% renewably powered. 

The California capital building will be 100% renewably powered.

¶ Energy storage just got a big vote of confidence from one of the world’s largest utilities. The CEO of NextEra Energy says he expects the company to deploy $100 million in energy storage projects in the next 12 months. He expects there will be no gas-fired peaking plants built after 2020 because of competition from batteries. [Greentech Media]

¶ In Ohio, the Republican-controlled Energy Mandates Study Committee released a report recommending that the state not resume its march toward achieving 25% of its power from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and advanced sources by 2025. Ohio Governor John Kasich says the recommendation is “unacceptable.” [Toledo Blade]

¶ Intuit Inc has switched its Dallas-area campus to wind power as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. Following the switchover on October 1, the facility has been 100% powered by wind energy, which has reduced its carbon footprint to zero. [MarketWatch]

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