October 7 Energy News

October 7, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “The Republican Party stands alone in climate denial” Sondre Båtstrand at the University of Bergen compared the climate positions of conservative political parties from the USA, UK, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany. He found the US Republican Party stands alone on climate change denial. [Skeptical Science]

Science and Technology:

¶ The CITE project is a full-scale model of an ordinary American town, to be used as a petri dish to develop new technologies that will shape the future of the urban environment. No one will live there. The $1 billion scheme is dedicated to ambitious experiments in fields such as transport, construction, communication and security. [CNN]

Cite Project

Cite Project

¶ New research published in the journal Nature says 3.3 million people are killed every year as a result of outdoor air pollution. The number of deaths each year is currently set to rise to 6.6 million a year by 2050 (by researcher estimates), if emissions aren’t cut, reminding us of the importance of electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Wind power is now comparable in price to fossil fuels, and solar is well on its way, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that confirms earlier predictions that renewables aren’t just the best option for the environment – they’re unequivocally the smartest long-term investment you can make on energy. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ During a military parade in Beijing, there were azure blue skies with cotton-white clouds, because the government closed industries for the occasion. China built 23.2 GW of new wind capacity in 2014, accounting for about 45% of the world total, and that is having its own effect, and Beijing’s notorious smog has eased slightly this year. [WantChinaTimes]

Wind turbines in Qixia, Shandong province, May 5. (Photo/Xinhua)

Wind turbines in Qixia, Shandong province, May 5. (Photo/Xinhua)

¶ Greenpeace is exploring funding options to buy Vattenfall’s lignite operations in Germany as it seeks to shut the power plants and to prevent others from starting new coal mines. Vattenfall’s plants and mines, with a capacity of more than 8,000 MW combined, are worth €2 billion to €3 billion, according to one analyst. [BDlive]

¶ If anyone had any doubts about whether there had been much of a change in renewable energy policy with Malcolm Turnbull replacing Abbott as Prime Minister, Environment Minister Greg Hunt erased them in a speech he gave yesterday to a conference organised by the Investor Group on Climate Change. [Business Spectator]

Solar PVs on the side of a building in Denmark. Photo by RhinoMind. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons

Solar PVs on the side of a building in Denmark. Photo by RhinoMind. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Denmark’s renewable cumulative capacity is expected to reach 16.1 GW by 2025, up from 13.5 GW in 2014. The country is expected to produce 75% of its electricity from renewables, with wind energy the major resource. Wind power is forecast to account for 44.8% of total power generation by 2020. [Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy]

¶ Australian utility and gas group Alinta Energy has plans to close two coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta, South Australia, aiming for 31 March next year instead of previously planned closure March 2018. The 240-MW Playford and 540-MW Northern power plants have only operated sparingly for the past three years. [Argus Media]

US:

¶ Energy efficiency saved large manufacturers in the United States an estimated $2.4 billion in energy costs over the past five years, and could generate over $11 billion in annual energy savings by 2020, according to the US Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program, a multi-sector initiative to improve energy efficiency in buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SunEdison announced completion of two solar power systems in Minnesota totaling 1,280 kW AC. The systems were developed for the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities’ waste water treatment plant in partnership with Oak Leaf Energy Partners, a national solar developer. SunEdison will be the long-term owner and operator. [Water Online]

¶ Renew Oregon, a new coalition of clean-energy advocates, filed two proposed measures they hope to get on the November 2016 ballot. The measures would require Oregon’s large utilities to phase out coal-fired power generating plants by 2030. Oregon could be the first state in the nation to vote on the issue. [Statesman Journal]

Boardman Turbine Coal Plant near Boardman, Oregon. Photo by Tedder. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Boardman Turbine Coal Plant near Boardman, Oregon. Photo by Tedder. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The expectation of additional solar, wind and hydro-based power entering the California Independent System Operator’s grid is credit negative for the state’s merchant generators and companies that market electricity at competitive rates, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Natural gas plants may suffer lost value. [Moodys.com]

¶ At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 6, students, faculty, and administrators celebrated the completion of 132-kW roof-mounted solar installations at two schools in Clinton, Connecticut. Combined, the two photovoltaic solar arrays are expected to produce 325,000 kWh of clean electric energy per year. [Zip06]

¶ About one-third of U.S. nuclear power plants will close this fall for refueling, the most in nine years, as operators take advantage of a drop in electricity demand to carry out maintenance. Thirty of the nation’s 99 reactors, representing 31% of the fleet’s power supply, are expected to shut down through November. [The Japan Times]

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