November 4 Energy News

November 4, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at the UK’s Manchester University say they have discovered a property of graphene that could lead to an advance in battery technology. Their study, published in the journal Nature, says graphene membranes could be used to sieve hydrogen gas from the atmosphere, which could lead to generators powered by air. [CNN]

Molecular structure of a graphene crystal. Hydrogen atoms are red, and carbon atoms are blue.

Molecular structure of a graphene crystal. Hydrogen atoms are red, and carbon atoms are blue.

World:

¶ As November begins, promises from individual countries to the United Nations have addressed nearly 90% of the world’s current greenhouse gas emissions. The world consensus aims to reduce and stabilize them in order to keep earth’s temperatures from climbing higher than two degrees Celsius by 2100. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Still reeling from the diesel emissions scandal, VW said it had set carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption figures too low when certifying some models. It said about 800,000 mainly diesel vehicles were affected, and put a preliminary estimate of the cost to the company of the new admission at about €2 billion. [CNN]

¶ Norway was once at risk of losing its forests. After centuries of logging for timber and firewood, the country had consumed much of this previously vast natural resource. All that has changed, as forests recover. In fact, Norwegian forest growth is enough to offset roughly 40% of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC]

Norway has taken drastic steps to protect its forests. Credit: Michael Becker

Norway has taken drastic steps to protect its forests. Credit: Michael Becker

¶ UK government policy to end new subsidies for onshore wind farms could see residential energy customers pay £500 million more for electricity, warns Citizens Advice. The consumer group says onshore wind is one of the cheapest renewable technologies, and excluding subsidies will reverse cuts made to energy bills. [reNews]

¶ In a giant leap forward, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission approved feed-in tariff regulations for renewable energy sourced electricity. As per the provisions of the regulations, electricity distribution companies will be required to source at least 50% of their total procurement from renewable energy sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewable sources are predicted to account for one-third of all electricity used in Germany in 2015. An initial estimate shows that wind, solar and other renewable sources will have generated 193 billion kWh of electricity during 2015, up from 161 billion in 2014 and representing 27% of gross electricity consumption in that year. [reNews]

German renewables share hits 33%

German renewables share hits 33%

¶ US-based SunEdision Inc has won a bid to sell solar power in India at a record low tariff of ₹4.63 ($0.0706) per kWh, which could make the renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuel-derived electricity. The company won the auction for a 500-MW project in Andhra Pradesh. The previous low was 5.05 rupees per kilowatt-hour. [Reuters]

¶ With little progress on ground since the 2008 Indo-US nuclear agreement, the Indian government has cut the nuclear energy target from 63,000 MW by 2032 to just about 14,500 MW by 2024. Officials officials at the Department of Atomic Energy now say the higher figure was only “an expression of intention,” not a target. [Deccan Herald]

US:

¶ Canadian energy company Capital Power aims to start construction by early 2017 on the stalled 200-MW Black Fork wind farm in Ohio. Capital took over the project in 2014, when it acquired Element Power US in a $69 million deal that included 10 wind and four solar developments. The developer is contacting all property owners. [reNews]

11-4 Ohio wind

¶ US Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have announced the formation of a Senate Energy and Environment Working Group that will focus on ways to protect the environment and climate while backing clean energy innovation that helps drive job creation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Thunder Mountain Energy has finalized a $5.2 million sale of its portable solar powered energy units, the world’s most powerful portable solar powered energy unit, to Blackcomb Group of Nevada. Blackcomb Group has purchased several T3000 power units for their ongoing mining operations in Nevada, Utah and Idaho. [Your Renewable News]

¶ A solar array proposed for Brattleboro’s closed landfill, an installation that would be Vermont’s largest by current standards, could lead to a big payoff for Windham County municipalities. Estimates show that a typical town signing on to the project could see electric-bill savings of more than 60% by the end of a 20-year contract. [vtdigger.org]

Headquarters of Windham Solid Waste Management District. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger

Headquarters of Windham Solid Waste Management District. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger

¶ By the end of this year, 37% of the electricity generated on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai will come from a mix of renewable resources, including solar, hydropower and biomass. Located in the small town of Anahola, along the island’s eastern coast, a 12-MW, $54 million facility is being built on 60 acres of land. [Huffington Post]

¶ Plans have been approved for construction of a 10-MW solar power project at Fort Rucker, one of two major solar projects just approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission. The project supports the DOD Performance Goal and Master Plan, which calls for Army facilities to be 25% renewably powered by 2025. [Dothan Eagle]

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