November 14 Energy News

November 14, 2015

Opinion:

Danish wind farm company could change game in N.E. • The Danish executives entered the US market relatively quietly in April with a deal to acquire development rights for 187,500 acres 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. That is enough for a wind farm of over 100 turbines, powering up to 500,000 homes. [The Boston Globe]

Dong's Avedore power plant in Copenhagen.

Dong’s Avedore power plant in Copenhagen.

What One Conservative Texas Think Tank Doesn’t Want You to Know about the Clean Power Plan • Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, claims it is trying to protect people’s wallets – which is true if by ‘people,’ you mean its members. But what they push has costs for everyone else. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Science and Technology:

¶ One way to keep global average temperatures from warming beyond a catastrophic 2°-C tipping point may be to suck massive amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Scientists say it’s theoretically possible (though expensive) to extract CO2 from the air and turn it into materials for buildings and clothes and other everyday stuff. [CNN]

¶ Commissioned by SolarCity, the report Getting to 100 discusses what is driving the transition to increasing levels of renewable energy consumption. It identifies the successes and challenges of both governments and companies in targeting, and achieving, 100% renewable energy goals. The report focuses on five developments. [PennEnergy]

World:

¶ High-level representatives of 70 countries worked at a pre-COP21 meeting this week. They continued the work of surmounting obstacles and reinforcing their commitment “to succeed in reaching a universal agreement in December in Paris,” according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the chair of upcoming COP21. [CleanTechnica]

The pre-COP21 meeting, November 9-10, 2015 (ultimahoradigital.com)

The pre-COP21 meeting, November 9-10, 2015 (ultimahoradigital.com)

¶ The international network of scientists and parliamentarians Energy Watch Group has called on the International Energy Agency to release realistic energy projections. They say the World Energy Outlook 2015 misleadingly underestimates potentials of renewables and emphasizes the conventional energy sources. [Greentech Lead]

¶ German weekend power prices plunged Friday as wind power output was forecast to rise again towards 30 GW with the approach of a storm system. Baseload power for weekend delivery was assessed at €15/MWh (US 1.6¢/kWh). The week-ahead baseload rate was €28.75/MWh. (The week-ahead rate is closer to average.) [Platts]

¶ EDF staff have warned their employer’s plans to build the £18-billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset could put the company’s future at risk. An EDF employee ownership association, which owns a 1.7% stake in the French energy giant, said the plant’s financial risks could “threaten the survival” of the company. [Building.co.uk]

US:

¶ Texas wind farms are generating so much energy that some utilities are giving power away. One example is TXU Energy, which offers a free overnight plan to encourage customers to use less energy when wholesale prices are highest and use more when prices are lowest, 9 pm to 6 am. The plan has slightly higher daytime rates. [HPPR]

Part of the Desert Sky Wind Farm in Texas. Photo by Pismo. Placed in the public domain by the author. Wikimedia Commons.

Part of the Desert Sky Wind Farm in Texas. Photo by Pismo. Placed in the public domain by the author. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ US developer Invenergy has signed a 125-MW wind power purchase agreement with insulation, roofing, and fibreglass manufacturer Owens Corning. When completed, Invenergy’s Wake Wind facility in Texas will provide Owens Corning with power sufficient to supply the annual needs of 32,000 homes. [reNews]

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission reports it has received a signature-heavy petition calling on it not to enact controversial proposals to reform net metering in the state. Vote Solar, which works to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by promoting solar energy, organized the petition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ North Carolina reached a milestone this year as a national and regional leader in solar energy. Solar power installations in the state surpassed a combined 1 GW in capacity, putting North Carolina behind only California, Arizona and New Jersey. But the a key state tax credit behind growth will expire at the end of this year. [Mountain Xpress]

Char Colwell of Sundance Power Systems, installing a solar array in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Sundance Power Systems

Char Colwell of Sundance Power Systems, installing a solar array in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Sundance Power Systems

¶ Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company proposed new voluntary time-of-use rates for residential customers that encourage the use of power during mid-day and off-peak hours, or times when solar and wind resources are most productive. Special rates also support the growing EV market. [KHON2]

¶ The Northwest’s only commercial nuclear plant, just north of Richland, Washington, had a fuel leak in the reactor core that has led engineers to take four of its 764 fuel assemblies out of service. A spokesman for Energy Northwest confirmed there was a “fuel defect” at the plant but said it posed no safety risk to workers or the public. [OregonLive.com]

 

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