October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2015

Photos Some People May Need to See:

¶ Almost 100% of climate scientists now agree that global climate change is caused by humans. If you believe this is not a serious problem, you owe it to yourself to look at the the pictures with this article. They show how climate-change-related events have affected regions around the world, whether directly or indirectly.  [Businessinsider India]

Click to View Slide Show

Click on image to View Slide Show

World:

¶ Coal is becoming obsolete. For the first time, the UK renewable energy market has moved ahead of coal for a whole quarter. In the period of April to June, renewable energy was responsible for supplying 25% of the UK’s energy needs. Meanwhile coal, a traditional mainstay of the British electricity market, fell to just 17%. [Pollution Solutions]

¶ The renewable energy offshoot of Toyota Corp has taken a 50% stake in a ground-breaking wind and solar hybrid energy park that could deliver “base load” energy to northern Queensland. Windlab and Eurus Energy says it will begin construction of the Kennedy wind park within 12 months. Eventually, capacity could be 1200 MW. [RenewEconomy]

Hybrid wind and solar plant in the US

Hybrid wind and solar plant in the US

¶ Investors around the world no longer see renewable energy as a risky or low-yield investment sector, a report by the UN on private sector climate finance has revealed. Trends in private sector climate finance shows that the renewable energy sector has matured significantly over the last few years as a safe investment avenue. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The African Development Bank’s new president wants to bring electricity to the poorest parts of the continent within a decade and says he can mobilize $55 billion a year to make it happen. At least 620-million people have no access to power, including those in war-torn countries such as South Sudan, Somalia and the Congo. [BDlive]

¶ A complex of four linked solar mega-plants, along with hydro and wind, will help provide nearly half of Morocco’s electricity from renewables by 2020. When they are finished, the four plants at Ouarzazate will generate 580-MW of electricity, enough to power a million homes. The first, Noor 1, has a generating capacity of 160-MW. [The Guardian]

Ouarzazate solar plant will create enough electricity to power a million homes once it is finished. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

Ouarzazate solar plant will create enough electricity to power a million homes once it is finished. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

¶ While plummeting oil and coal prices make fossil-fuel power projects more attractive, aggressive government support is making sure the renewable sector is still staying in the picture. While alternative energy sources are competing with cheap coal prices, new government policies are giving renewables extra market leverage. [CNBC]

¶ UK green energy company Ecotricity has announced plans to add sun parks to two existing wind parks in Devon and Lincolnshire, and add a third to a wind park currently being built in Leicestershire. Hybrid renewable energy parks combine wind and sun generation in the same project, in the same place, using the same grid connection. [H&V News]

US:

¶ After dropping to a 20-year low last year, Colorado coal production is still falling, state data shows. Statewide, 2015 production through August totaled 13.9 million tons, down from 15.5 million tons for the same period of last year. Production totaled nearly 40 million tons in 2004 and under 23 million tons last year. [Grand Junction Daily Sentinel]

Coal miner in Colorado completing paperwork for the Enhanced Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (black lung screening). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health photo. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Coal miner in Colorado completing paperwork for black lung screening. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health photo. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A Chinese investment firm is shelling out $1.3 billion to buy giant oil fields in Howard and Borden counties, Texas, reflecting growing interest from China in US energy resources. Yantai Xinchao will acquire oil assets in the western Texas Permian Basin that are currently owned by Tall City Exploration and Plymouth Petroleum. [CNN]

¶ It is a violation of NRC rules for nuclear power plants to take money from their decommissioning trust funds to pay for building the concrete pads and rows of concrete and steel casks where waste is stored after it is cooled in special storage pools. But the NRC grants exemptions from those rules every time it is asked. [Valley News]

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