December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2015

World:

¶ More than 200‚000 homes in South Africa are receiving power from the world’s largest storage solar farm near Upington in the Northern Cape. Just two years after the start of construction‚ the ACWA Solafrica Bokpoort CSP Power Plant is now operating at full capacity‚ ahead of schedule. [Times LIVE]

An array of solar panels at the Bokpoort plant. The power captured by day is used after sunset. Image by Ramón Vidal

An array of solar panels at the Bokpoort plant. The power captured by day is used after sunset. Image by Ramón Vidal

¶ Campaigners in the UK are furious that members of parliament backed fracking plans which they claim could damage the South Downs National Park. New rules voted in yesterday could allow fracking deep below Sussex beauty spots like the South Downs National Park and the Ashdown Forest. [The Argus]

¶ The UK’s government has been accused of “huge, misguided cuts” to clean energy after it announced reductions of subsidies for solar panels on homes.The move comes just days after the UK backed the COP21 agreement to avoid dangerous climate change by bringing down greenhouse gas emissions. [shropshirestar.com]

¶ India still plans to double coal output by 2020 and rely on the resource for decades afterwards, a senior official said, days after countries agreed in Paris to curb carbon emissions that cause global warming. India, the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, is dependent on coal for about two-thirds of its energy. [The Guardian]

The coal-based Badarpur Thermal Station in New Delhi. Photo: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

The coal-based Badarpur Thermal Station in New Delhi. Photo: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

¶ Analysis from the New Climate Economy think-tank found that positive social media messages regarding climate action and economic growth have increased nearly eightfold over the past three years, based on research done covering media published between January, 2013 and 13 December, 2015. [CleanTechnica]

¶ China is missing no opportunity to build a future without fossil fuels, abroad as well as at home. It is investing in the construction of the UK’s first new nuclear power station in 20 years. But most Chinese energy investment is in renewables, and it has decided to support developing solar power in France. [eco-business.com]

Solar power is not widely used in France. Collector dish of a solar oven at Font Romeu, France. Image: Shutterstock

Solar power is not widely used in France. Collector dish of a solar oven at Font Romeu, France. Image: Shutterstock

US:

¶ In a major boost to the wind and solar industries, Congressional leaders agreed on a multiyear extension of renewable energy tax credits, which could provide several years of predictable policies, encouraging investment in new projects. The tax credits are part of a 2,009-page omnibus-spending bill. [POWER magazine]

¶ Green Mountain Power says it is not supporting plans by a New York company to build a giant solar farm in the town of Ludlow, Vermont. The 20-MW Coolidge Project would be by far the largest solar farm in the state. GMP, the governor, and others, think the project is out of scale with Vermont’s energy needs. [WCAX]

¶ A 20-MW solar array in Jeff Davis County, Georgia, will produce 43,000 MWh of electricity a year. Electricity from the 187,000 solar panels at the 135-acre generation site is being transmitted to 27 electric co-ops in Georgia under a 25-year power purchase contract with the company. [Electric Co-op Today]

Photo by Green Power EMC

Photo by Green Power EMC

¶ Fresh off presenting his plan for promoting renewable energy sources at COP21, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed for a global carbon tax and a new look at solar power at a Tuesday meeting of the American Geophysical Union, saying the costs for fossil fuel-based energy production are all “wrong.” [Daily Caller]

¶ The city of Dallas, Texas, is now the first city in the US to possess a hybrid-electric streetcar that can run without an overhead wire-connection. In this case, the streetcar in question makes use of a new “wireless” battery-powered design, allowing it to make it across a mile-long bridge in the route comfortably. [CleanTechnica]

Image Credit: Bill Zeeble/KERA News

Image Credit: Bill Zeeble/KERA News

¶ The Navy, the Air Force, and Southern Company broke ground, marking the start of construction for three large-scale solar generating facilities at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Combined, these facilities will have approximately 1.5 million solar panels that could generate up to 120 MW of AC power. [Air Force Link]

¶ New Mexico state regulators have adopted a plan to shutter part of a coal-fired power plant that serves customers across the Southwest, bringing to a close years of wrangling over the best way to curb pollution while limiting the effects on utility bills and northwest New Mexico’s economy. [EagleFordTexas.com]

One Response to “December 17 Energy News”


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