October 27 Energy News

October 27, 2015


¶ Australian coal and gas industry representatives have seized on the long-term nature of Chief Scientist-designate Alan Finkel’s vision of a fossil fuel-free future for Australia to insist their products will live on when renewable energy is predominant. Dr Finkel had acknowledged the industry could not be “arbitrarily” turned off. [Sydney Morning Herald]

It will take many, many years to phase out use of fossil fuels globally. Photo: Michael Kamber/New York Times

It will take many, many years to phase out use of fossil fuels globally. Photo: Michael Kamber/New York Times

¶ According to The Maritime Executive, Norway is moving ahead with plans to construct a fleet of plug-in hybrid ships to service its marine industries. The ships will use LNG and batteries as energy sources. By some metrics, one large container ship creates as much atmospheric pollution as 50 million cars each year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ After many months of bad news for the country’s renewable energy industry, the UK House of Lords delivered some unexpected good news. In deliberations on Wednesday, the House of Lords voted to remove a section of the country’s Energy Bill that would end subsidies for onshore wind from 31 March, 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Work has started on a £3.5 million floating solar power farm at Godley reservoir near Manchester, England. Around 12,000 individual panels will cover an area of 45,500 square metres on the reservoir. Engineers hope to install, test and launch the operation before Christmas.The project may generate 2.7 GWh per year. [Manchester Evening News]

The floating solar panel reservoir

The floating solar panel reservoir

¶ South Australian power provider ZEN Energy announced Tuesday it would become the nation’s first “dedicated community renewable energy provider.” Using solar energy as well as wind, hydro and biomass combined with battery storage, homes and businesses will be able to end their reliance on conventional electricity providers. [Mashable]

¶ Sixty-one prominent Australians, from a Wallaby Rugby star, David Pocock, to the Anglican bishop of Canberra, George Browning, have signed an open letter calling on world leaders to discuss a ban on new coal mines and coal mine expansions at the United Nations climate change meeting in Paris in December. [The Guardian]


¶ Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced her support for the Clean Power Plan yesterday evening, making her the first Republican Senator to support the landmark policy to curb carbon pollution from power plants, protect vulnerable communities, and galvanize America’s transition to a clean energy economy. [eNews Park Forest]

¶ A growing number of Nebraska farmers, home owners, and business people have sharpened their pencils, done the math, and found small-scale solar arrays will save money while reducing carbon footprints. Solar panels are powering water pumps for livestock, power irrigation systems for row crops, and have economic benefits. [Columbus Telegram]

Matt Ryerson/Lincoln Journal Star

Rick Hammond stands next to his new 25-kilowatt solar array, which will power his farming operation west of Benedict. Matt Ryerson/Lincoln Journal Star

¶ The Florida Supreme Court approved a new ballot initiative that aims to expand the state’s use of solar energy. The ballot is backed by Floridians for Solar Choice, a solar energy advocacy group. The group now has to get 683,149 petition signatures before February 1, 2016, for the initiative to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said he will seek the state Supreme Court’s opinion on the legality of Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s lawsuit to stop implementation of the Clean Power Plan. Coffman’s office has joined 23 other states filing a lawsuit together against the EPA’s plan to reduce carbon emissions. [The Denver Post]

¶ Vermont’s first “ePark,” in the state’s southwest, will be created with a combination of solar power and Tesla Powerwall batteries. Pika Energy has been chosen by Green Mountain Power to plan and design Emerald Lake State Park so it will be powered by sunlight, with the Tesla batteries providing backup electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Southern California Edison is facing a $16.7 million penalty for holding improper talks with utility regulators related to the now-closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.The proposed penalty is the latest development tied to a dispute over a $4.7 billion settlement related to the shutdown of the San Onofre plant, in January, 2012. [KQED]

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 2013 photo D Ramey Logan, by WPPilot - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 2013 photo D Ramey Logan, by WPPilot – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons

¶ Rocky Mountain Power, Utah’s largest electric utility, is launching a new sustainable energy program aimed at meeting a growing demand for alternative sources of power. The utility announced that the Utah Public Service Commission has approved a pilot program that allows customers to sign up to get their power from solar. [RenewablesBiz]

¶ A Democrat running for governor of New Hampshire called on the state to quickly raise, and possibly eliminate, the limit on how much renewable power consumers can sell back to the state’s utilities under net metering. New Hampshire’s current law limits net metering to 50 MW, and the state’s utilities are closing in on that figure. [Valley News]

¶ New York’s Ginna nuclear plant’s owners appear to have struck a deal to continue generating power through at least next year. The deal will still need approval from the Public Service Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It would mean consumers pay about $2 more each month. The plant is currently refueling. [Utility Dive]

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