October 11 Energy News

October 11, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “New ways to put energy in the bank” There are many ways to store energy. Big batteries cost a lot of money. But concerns about climate change and consumer demand for clean energy are creating more demand for energy storage solutions – especially to fully capture the possibilities of alternative energy. [Los Angeles Times]

DESI (Distributed Energy Storage Integration) uses lithium-ion battery technology by NEC Energy Solutions to help Southern California Edison deliver more reliable electricity. (Ivan Penn / Los Angeles Times)

DESI (Distributed Energy Storage Integration) uses lithium-ion battery technology by NEC Energy Solutions to help Southern California Edison deliver more reliable electricity. (Ivan Penn / Los Angeles Times)

¶ “China’s green revolution” China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest economy, and over the past two decades its blitz of industrialization has pulled millions of people out of poverty. The world’s worst polluter is worried about climate change, and is now the biggest global investor in green technology. [The Week Magazine]

World:

¶ Provincial carbon pricing programs can both cut emissions and drive economic growth if managed correctly, according to experts. Despite some claims that a carbon tax would have negative impact, carbon pricing plans would have little impact on the economy in the short term and positive effects in the longer term. [National Observer]

¶ A group of 11 leading energy utilities from around the world have published a major report detailing how 50 different electricity technologies could play a role in meeting international climate change targets. It projects costs for solar PVs to fall to $1 per watt, and a new generation of nuclear reactors coming by the 2040s. [Business Green]

Walney Offshore Wind Farm. Photo: DONG Energy AS

Walney Offshore Wind Farm. Photo: DONG Energy AS

¶ The Latrobe Valley in the Australian state of Victoria is home to four operating brown coal-fired power plants, which are the most greenhouse gas intensive in the country. Many of the region’s towns were founded or expanded on the back of the industry over the last century. Now the Greens are pushing for closing the plants. [The Age]

US:

¶ Hilton has announced a rollout of EV charging stations. The stations are being installed at fifty Hilton Worldwide hotels in the US by the end of 2015; and a hundred US hotels by the end of 2016. It is worth noting that different charging stations will be present for those driving Teslas and those driving other EVs or plug-in hybrids. [CleanTechnica]

Lansing Board of Water and Light's Eckert Power plant uses coal to create electricity for their customers. Photo: Greg DeRuiter, Lansing State Journal

Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert Power plant uses coal to create electricity for their customers. Photo: Greg DeRuiter, Lansing State Journal

¶ Coal-fired power plants have supplied over 50% of the Michigan’s electricity generation for years, but that figure will soon drop. Due to old age and tighter environmental regulations, 25 coal units at Michigan power plants are scheduled to shut down by 2020. Likely replacements are gas, renewables, and efficiency. [Detroit Free Press]

¶ A $2.75 million settlement announced last month between Friends of Maine’s Mountains and SunEdison involving New England’s largest wind farm, near Bingham, has exposed a deep rift in the state’s wind-power resistance movement. While opponents decried it, parties to the settlement explained it in interviews. [Press Herald]

¶ Electric cars are few and far between in Oklahoma, but that isn’t stopping a startup company from charging ahead to find uses for the large advanced batteries once their driving life is over. Spiers New Technologies began in late 2014 in a warehouse in Oklahoma City. Now, it has 15 employees and contracts with car companies. [NewsOK.com]

¶ In North Carolina, state and local officials worry that an end this year to tax credits for solar farms could halt or significantly curtail an industry that has helped build the tax base and generate economic activity in job-hungry rural areas. The state budget passed last month does not include a 35% tax credit for solar energy. [Fayetteville Observer]

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