October 28 Energy News

October 28, 2015

World:

¶ A new report says “time is rapidly running out” for the UK to ensure a decarbonized energy system to meet emissions targets. The report, by the UK Prime Minister’s own Council for Science and Technology, outlines the actions necessary to “create a secure and affordable low carbon energy system for 2030 and beyond.” [CleanTechnica]

Another proof of climate change? Clump of bamboo growing at about 1000 feet in England's Peak District. Peter Barr. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Another proof of climate change? Clump of bamboo growing at about 1000 feet in England’s Peak District. Peter Barr. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ FTI Consulting has revised its forecasts for the global wind market for 2015, which is now expected to reach 59 GW. The global business advisory firm updated its forecast as part of FTI Intelligence’s latest renewable energy publication, Global Wind Market Update – H2 2015 Briefing, published on Monday. [CleanTechnica]

¶ If oil stays around $50 a barrel, most Middle Eastern oil producing countries will run out of cash within five years, warned a dire report from the International Monetary Fund this week. That includes OPEC leader Saudi Arabia as well as Oman and Bahrain. Low oil prices will wipe out an estimated $360 billion from the region this year alone. [CNN]

¶ Aela Energia, a 60/40 joint venture between private equity firm Actis and Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power has won contracts to build and operate two wind farms in Chile with a combined capacity of 265 MW. The Irish firm noted that Aela Energia won 65% of the auction in which a total of 31 companies participated. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Chile. Featured Image: Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock.com

Wind farm in Chile. Featured Image: Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock.com

¶ Less than two years ago, the German government called lignite East Germany’s “black gold.” Last week, it reached a deal with utilities that analysts see as the start of the phase-out for the dirtiest power-plant fuel. Producers agreed to close plants corresponding to 12% of the nation’s total lignite generation capacity. [Bloomberg]

¶ This year, China will become the world’s biggest installer of solar panels, but as companies increasingly struggle to secure the vast land banks they need for solar farms, they face greater needs to get around restrictions on converting agricultural land. So they grow everything from plants to hairy crabs beneath the solar cells. [Financial Times]

¶ Enel Green Power SpA has initiated construction of a 126-MW wind park in Mexico, which will boost the Italian firm’s wind capacity in the country to over 570 MW. The company will invest about $250 million (€226.6 million) in the Palo Alto wind farm in the state of Jalisc. The funds will come from group resources. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines. Author: Vik Walker. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Wind turbines. Author: Vik Walker. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

US:

¶ Austin, Texas just might become the most solar powered city in America. It has approved an additional 162 MW of solar capacity, adding to 288 MW already in the works and 220 MW installed, bringing the total to 670 MW. In case you wonder about costs, the 162 MW round of project set of contracts were at $38/MWh to $40/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The American energy boom is finally showing some cracks from the crash in oil prices. U.S. oil production decreased by 120,000 barrels per day in September from August, according to a report released by the Energy Information Administration on Tuesday. It marks the lowest monthly output in the last 12 months. [CNN]

¶ Selectmen in Andover, Massachusetts, approved increasing a solar power purchase made earlier this year. They had earlier agreed to buy about 4 million kWh of solar power but increased it to 6.2 million kWh, for a savings of about $300,000 per year. A cap on net metering could prevent the intended array from being built, however. [RenewablesBiz]

¶ A study produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that storm surge from a Category 3 hurricane could knock out a sixth of Southeast Florida’s electrical substations. Factor in sea level rise projections and the number doubles. By 2070, with sea rise fueling storm surges that spread farther inland, the number could triple. [Miami Herald]

Florida Power and Light workers replaced wood poles with sturdier concrete poles after a record number of hurricanes hit South Florida between 2004 and 2005. J. Albert Diaz Miami Herald Staff

Florida Power and Light workers replaced wood poles with sturdier concrete poles after a record number of hurricanes hit South Florida between 2004 and 2005. J. Albert Diaz Miami Herald Staff

¶ The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the month’s “Energy Infrastructure Update.” It says renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for more than 60% of the 7,276 MW of new electrical generation placed in service in the US during the first nine months of 2015. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ Calling for more stringent limits on methane emissions, Babcock & Wilcox formally commented on the EPA’s proposed emissions rules for municipal solid waste landfills. As a greenhouse gas, methane is much worse than carbon dioxide. Landfills are responsible for 18% of manmade methane emissions in the US. [Environmental Leader]

¶ The USDA provided $102 million in loan guarantees and $71 million in grants to 1,114 projects financed through the latest round of Rural Energy for America Program. REAP projects will generate or save an estimated 8.4 million MWh of electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 5 million metric tonnes. [Energy Matters]

¶ The NRC announced it will give Pacific Gas and Electric Company two extra months to reevaluate Diablo Canyon’s vulnerability to earthquakes. The agency is moving up the dates when most other plants must complete their seismic safety findings, but studies for Diablo and other West-Coast plants are being pushed back. [KCBX]

 

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