October 5 Energy News

October 5, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Africa’s ‘Light Bulb Moment’ and Its Lead Role in the Global Renewable Energy Transformation” Africa’s lack of access to clean, affordable energy is a scandal. The poorest households in Africa are spending the equivalent of U.S. $10 per kilowatt-hour on lighting. But Africa’s energy deficit is not only a scandal. It is an opportunity. [AllAfrica.com]

Cooking at the fire in Rwanda. Photo by Oorna.M. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons

Cooking at the fire in Rwanda. Photo by Oorna.M. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons

World:

¶ An expert report submitted to the Victorian government notes that in that state, as in many others in Australia, the current levy on PV exports to the grid pays rooftop solar owners around 6 ¢/kWh, which is then resold at 20 to 30¢/kWh, leaving 15 to 25¢/kWh to be shared as a “windfall profit” by the retailer and network operator. [RenewEconomy]

¶ South Africa’s ageing grid needs investment of $15 billion by 2022, an executive at German state development bank KfW said. Africa’s most advanced economy is investing heavily in renewable energy to counter chronic electricity deficits, but an ageing power grid is making feeding more electricity into the system difficult. [BizNews]

South Africa’s struggling power utility Eskom has marked 30 straight days without imposing rolling power cuts, providing a spark of hope to an economy on the brink of recession. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa’s struggling power utility Eskom has marked 30 straight days without imposing rolling power cuts, providing a spark of hope to an economy on the brink of recession. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

¶ The International Energy Agency is revising its new renewable energy forecasts. In its recent medium-term outlook assessment it now expects renewable energy will account for two-thirds of net additions to global power capacity over 2015 to 2020. It expects installation of 700 GW of renewable capacity in the next five years. [Business Spectator]

¶ TEPCO announced completion of the removal of a protective dome installed over Unit 1 at Fukushima Daiichi. The dome was installed in 2011 to stop radioactive particles from escaping into environment after the facility suffered a meltdown. The protective dome had to be taken down to remove debris inside the power unit. [Sputnik International]

US:

¶ Three famous Las Vegas casino companies announced they are attempting to terminate their contracts with NV Energy, their current provider. According to representatives of the three companies, they can cut down on their electricity bills if the power for their properties is provided by solar farms or another electrical company. [Casino News Daily]

An unrelated solar array near Las Vegas. The 911 emergency expansion for LV metro Police, 90 kw. Photo by Ballonboy101. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Unrelated, near Las Vegas. The 911 emergency expansion for LV metro Police, 90 kw. Photo by Ballonboy101. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ In Wisconsin, Madison Gas and Electric officials say that interest in solar energy is at an all-time high, but many residents are either priced out of investing in the expensive panels or have homes that don’t receive enough sunlight. The company is working to bring large-scale solar power to its customers by next summer. [Channel3000.com]

¶ Vassar College in the Town of Poughkeepsie has announced two renewable energy initiatives. One is a project with BQ Energy, a 2-MW solar farm to be in the Town of Northeast at a decommissioned landfill. The other is an agreement with the hydro-power company Gravity Renewables for power from the Groveville Hydro Facility. [Mid-Hudson News]

¶ Elected officials from the local, state and congressional level have organized a rally in support of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in New York state. There has been news of a possibility it could close. Lower electricity prices are squeezing the profits from some nuclear plants. FitzPatrick is owned by Entergy. [WRVO Public Media]

The FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. NRC photo.

The FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. NRC photo.

¶ Ten global food companies urged both the United States and world leaders to agree to address climate change in a joint letter. The CEOs from Mars, Unilever, General Mills, Nestlé USA, Kellogg Company, Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Brewing, Stonyfield Farm, Clif Bar and Dannon USA all signed the letter. [The Green Optimistic]

¶ This month SolarCity will start producing a solar panel with 22% efficiency. The company plans to produce the majority of the new PV panels at its 1-GW-plus manufacturing facility in Buffalo, New York, which is expected to open in 2016. Until that plant opens, the PVs will be produced in a pilot facility. [SeeNews Renewables]

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