November 27 Energy News

November 27, 2015

World:

¶ China’s emissions tied directly to burning fossil fuels may rise only 0.24% in 2015, the slowest pace in at least 15 years, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance preliminary estimate based on coal consumption data drawn from government customs reports, company production filings and port inventories. [Macau Daily Times]

China is boosting renewable energy at a time its coal consumption is dropping.

China is boosting renewable energy at a time its coal consumption is dropping.

¶ Pakistan is looking to increase the share of renewable energy in its overall energy mix substantially and has announced a roadmap that will see around 3.5 GW wind energy capacity operational by 2018. Over 40 wind energy projects in various stages of development should contribute around 2,050 MW capacity by 2017-18. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Government of Bangladesh approved construction of a solar power project that is expected to play a critical role for the country to meet its renewable energy targets. A 200-MW solar power project in the Teknaf sub-district has been given the go ahead by the government to be developed by a SunEdison subsidiary. [CleanTechnica]

¶ CitiPower, via funding provided by the Australian Energy Regulator, is paying for battery storage to be installed in selected houses in Melbourne as a test. Properties with particular characteristics and in specific locations are being selected to see how those households’ reliance on the power grid changes with batteries in place. [The Age]

A solar-powered unit in East Melbourne. Councils are looking for ways to share solar power between residents. Photo: supplied

A solar-powered unit in East Melbourne. Councils are looking for ways to share solar power between residents. Photo: supplied

¶ South Australia has committed to a new target of zero net emissions by 2050, the state’s Premier has revealed. The announcement was made following the release of the recommendations of the South Australian Low Carbon Economy Expert Panel. The panel said 100% renewables could be achieved relatively quickly. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Unilever announced that it would stop using coal energy by 2020, and planned to use only renewable energy by 2030. Paul Polman, Unilever’s CEO, said, “If we don’t tackle climate change we won’t achieve economic growth. This is an issue for all businesses, not just Unilever. We all have to act.” [International Business Times]

¶ Completed only last month and designed to keep contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea, a 780-meter protective wall built alongside Fukushima Daiichi is already “slightly leaning,” plant operator TEPCO has announced. Pressure from the flow of groundwater has tilted the wall some 20cm towards the sea. [RT]

© The Japan Times / YouTube

Fukushima protective wall. © The Japan Times / YouTube

¶ Africa is quickly adapting to modern renewable energy sources, and could more than quadruple renewable energy use to 22% by 2030, up from 5% in 2013, according to a new report. International Renewable Energy Agency says Africa is currently among the leading markets for modern renewable energy sources. [SciDev.Net]

¶ Australia’s Federal Environment Minister has approved a $380 million wind farm on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland, subject to conditions aimed at protecting native species. Developers RATCH Australia and Port Bajool hope to start building the 63-turbine Mt Emerald wind farm, near Walkamin, mid-next year. [ABC Online]

¶ A trial of project of large-scale water-source heat pump technology has been launched in the UK. The Neatpump, by Star Renewable Energy, uses ammonia as a working fluid. The trial will supply heat and hot water to 300 new homes in a project near Exeter for utility E·On. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]

US:

¶ Enbridge says it has purchased a 103-MW wind farm under development in West Virginia for about $200 million from EverPower Wind Holdings. The Calgary-based pipeline operator, which has been increasing its stake in the clean energy sector, said it is aiming to have the New Wind Creek project in operation by December 2016. [CBC.ca]

Enbridge has been increasingly investing in renewable energy, including two major wind-power purchases in November 2015. (Reuters)

Enbridge has been increasingly investing in renewable energy, including two major wind-power purchases in November 2015. (Reuters)

¶ In a report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says, “In just four years, thanks to falling renewable energy technology costs, economic potential has more than tripled.” Economic potential is a metric that quantifies the amount of economically viable renewable generation that is available at a specific location. [pv magazine]

¶ The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant stopped producing power last year, but security measures, including heavily armed guards in bulletproof towers, will remain in place for decades to protect hundreds of tons of radioactive waste. The spent fuel will stay here until the federal government can determine where to store it. [The Boston Globe]

Dry cask storage was used to store spent fuel at the Entergy Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Dry cask storage was used to store spent fuel at the Entergy Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

¶ Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders calls climate change the greatest threat to national security. Hillary Rodham Clinton promises to install more than 500 million solar panels across the country. Republican Jeb Bush would phase out tax credits for solar power. Rival Marco Rubio wants to cut the federal gas tax by 80%. [ABC News]

¶ Google said it would offset the huge amounts of electricity it needed to run its North Carolina server farm with solar power under a new program that allows corporations to voluntarily pay more for renewable energy. Duke Energy will supply electricity it buys from a new Rutherford County solar farm under a new program. [domain-B]

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