November 17 Energy News

November 17, 2015


¶ The task of electrifying Sarawak is no mean feat. Hampered by a lack of infrastructure, Malaysia’s largest state by land mass remains without constant supply of power in rural areas with a reported 33% of the state remaining off the grid. Now, one village will have a solar microgrid, the first of its kind in the state. [The Malaysian Insider]

Solar panels being installed in Sarawak. Malaysian Insider pic by Renai Mattu.

Solar panels being installed in Sarawak. Malaysian Insider pic by Renai Mattu.

¶ New fast-charging lithium-in batteries were recently unveiled by workers from Watt Lab, an arm of the Central Research Institute at Huawei Technology Corporation, at the recent 56th Battery Symposium in Japan. The newly unveiled batteries reportedly charge ~10 times faster than conventional lithium-ion batteries do. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Indian solar could scale up substantially to be a significant energy source by 2025, with the market penetration of solar power expected to be 5.7% (54 GW) by 2020 and 12.5% (166 GW) by 2025. Solar power prices are expected to be approximately 10% lower than coal power prices by 2020, and rooftop solar is already competitive. [Indiainfoline]

¶ Despite the general public impression of Russia as being relatively opposed to renewable energy and electric vehicles, the city of Moscow will actually be getting a fleet of electric buses in 2016, according to the head of the Department of Transportation and Development of road transport infrastructure, and the deputy mayor. [CleanTechnica]

Russian electric bus

Russian electric bus

¶ A record $391 billion flowed into low carbon and climate-resilient growth in 2014, according to a report released today by Climate Policy Initiative. The fresh figures come just two weeks before the COP21 climate talks begin in Paris, where finance is expected to play a pivotal role in scoring a robust global deal for a safe climate. [The Climate Group]

¶ The C20 Sustainability Working Group is asking the G20 to stop fossil fuel subsidies. The G20 promised to phase them out in 2009, but they still pump $452 billion annually into exploration for and production of fossil fuels, according to a report from the Overseas Development Institute released last week. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]


¶ French renewable energy producer Akuo Energy has wrapped up the development stage for a 30-MW first phase of its 300-MW Sterling wind power project in Tatum, New Mexico, and plans to start construction in 2016. Akuo Energy USA has secured all the key elements to develop the 30-MW first phase. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind park in the US. Author: CGP Grey. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Wind park in the US. Author: CGP Grey. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ Changes to solar net metering policies are being studied or have been enacted in over half of the states, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center’s latest “50 States of Solar” report says. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is administered by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The city of Lebanon, Tennessee, has broken ground for a new waste-to-energy gasification plant at the city’s waste water treatment facility that will be capable of processing 64 tons per day of sewer sludge, used tires and industrial wood waste. The facility is being designed and built by PHG Energy. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

¶ Tesla Motors CTO JB Straubel told engineering students at the University of Nevada that the gigafactory is designed to be a net-zero building with zero carbon emissions. What’s makes this statement more special is that this building will reportedly be one of the largest manmade structures on Earth when it is completed. [ValueWalk]

Tesla Gigafactory under construction. 

Tesla Gigafactory under construction.

¶ Under current Wisconsin law, state regulators can’t grant permission for a new nuclear power plant unless a federal storage facility for the waste from nuclear plants across the country exists and the plant wouldn’t burden state ratepayers. Now, a Republican legislator is renewing a push to lift the state’s moratorium. []

¶ Clean Line Energy will focus again on persuading Missouri’s utility regulators to approve the $2 billion, 780-mile Grain Belt Express transmission line that would carry wind-generated electricity from Kansas through Missouri and Illinois to Indiana. Missouri landowners are the only remaining group in the way. [Columbia Daily Tribune]

¶ Halfway into the University of Iowa’s 10-year sustainability initiative, officials say it has reached its progress target and remains on track to achieve 40% renewable energy consumption by 2020. Part of the success comes from the growing use of giant miscanthus grass. [The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines]

The University of Iowa and Iowa State University are partnering to grow giant Miscanthus. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The University of Iowa and Iowa State University are partnering to grow giant Miscanthus. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

¶ News of yet more microgrid activity in Pennsylvania came today with the announcement of an urban microgrid planned by Duquesne Light and the University of Pittsburgh. Their project will be to design and install the urban microgrid at its Woods Run Facility, a six-building campus in Pittsburgh’s North Shore. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ Deepwater Wind and GE are establishing a new temporary facility at the Port of Providence for the assembly of turbine components for the Block Island wind farm. GE, which recently joined forces with Alstom’s offshore wind unit, is supplying the 6-MW Haliade 150 offshore turbines for the Block Island wind farm. [reNews]

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