December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2015

Opinion:

Fossil fuels are all but finished: Renewable energies are the future, whether the GOP acknowledges it or not • 2015 can be viewed as the year in which an epochal transition in energy took off. With renewables making significant strides, the beginning of the end of the Fossil Fuel Era has come into sight. [Salon]

All but finished. Shutterstock

All but finished. Shutterstock

Bigger than Keystone – Lawmakers need to take up the cause of the Grain Belt transmission project • Build the Grain Belt Express! That should be the new rallying cry for members of Congress from Kansas and the message from Kansas lawmakers to their counterparts in neighboring Missouri. [Hutchinson News]

Book Review:

Book Review by Ralph Nader • In January of 2016, David Freeman and Leah Y Parks will publish an important book about energy and climate change: All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future. The book is scathing but optimistic, and manages to be bold while remaining pragmatic. [Eurasia Review]

World:

¶ Lack of clarity on policy governing privately-owned renewable energy-based mini-grids is preventing investors from expanding their network in the hinterlands of north India. One company that is unsure about its investment operates over 70 minigrids, each with a 25 kW biomass power plant. [Financial Express]

Husk Power Systems operates over 70 mini-grids. Its investment could suffer if the state government decides to install centralized grids in the areas of its operations. (Reuters)

Husk Power Systems’ investment could suffer if the state government decides to install centralized grids in the areas of its operations. (Reuters)

¶ Fortum is starting a wind farm project in Ulyanovsk, Russia with a total capacity of 35 MW. Its investment is approximately €65 million. The wind farm should start production in 2017. The generation capacity receives guaranteed payments for 15 years in order to ensure sufficient return on investment. [Windtech International]

¶ Airports around the world have been installing renewable energy systems, some of which are very innovative. While one airport is running entirely on solar energy, floor tile tech may one day power all of Heathrow just by being walked upon. Airplanes are being filled up on with biofuel, and there is more. [Road Warrior Voices]

Screenshot: PaveGen, YouTube

Screenshot: PaveGen, YouTube

¶ Tokyo Electric Power Co has unexpectedly been forced to deal with an increasingly large amount radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after seaside walls to block the flow of contaminated groundwater from flowing into sea were constructed in October. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ Hydropower plants have operated on five of the 23 locks and dams on the three major rivers in the Army Corps of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District since the 1980s. Right now, 13 hydropower projects at some stage of federal permitting review. If all are built, they would have a combined capacity of 212 MW. [PowerSource]

Locks and dams sit on the Monongahela River near Braddock. Bill Wade / Post-Gazette

Locks and dams on the Monongahela River. Bill Wade / Post-Gazette

¶ New York climbed the solar charts and witnessed the largest wind power purchase agreement in its history. It has put in place nation-leading policies, creating good jobs, saving consumers money on energy, helping our kids breathe cleaner air, and mitigating the serious impacts of climate change. [Energy Collective]

¶ Already among the two-dozen states suing to overturn new power plant emission rules, North Carolina is picking a separate fight with the Environmental Protection Agency by adopting a plan for compliance the agency is likely to reject.State officials hope that will create a shortcut to a federal appeals court. [WTVD-TV]

The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. AP

The coal-fired Plant Scherer in Juliette, Ga. AP

¶ The NRC is still reviewing plans for addressing concrete degradation at the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. It has said it will not act on the license extension until it is convinced the power plant’s owner has developed a satisfactory long-term plan for the problem. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

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