December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2015

Opinion:

The strong economics of wind energy • At the recent climate conference in Paris, 70 countries highlighted wind as a major component for their emissions-reduction schemes. Companies are investing in wind power not only because wind is competitive economically, but because it reduces emissions. [The Guardian]

The full moon shines behind a wind park near Norden, Germany. Photograph: Ingo Wagner/dpa/Corbis

The full moon shines behind a wind park near Norden, Germany. Photograph: Ingo Wagner/dpa/Corbis

NC Experts See Hope in Climate Deal • North Carolina could benefit from the deal made at COP21. An economist with the Environmental Defense Fund points to a set of provisions that encourages the use of markets to drive up investment in clean energy and drive down pollution. [Coastal Review Online]

10 Sustainable Business Stories That Shaped 2015 • The year 2015 was a pivotal time when humanity turned more decisively toward building a thriving and sustainable world. On our largest shared challenge, climate change, most of the major hurdles to action, both imagined and real, started to crumble. [Huffington Post]

Solar Could Produce As Much Electricity As Hinkley C For Much Less Money • While the Hinkley C project was delayed because of funding problems, it lumbered back to life thanks to a massive investment by China. But the delay may give proponents of solar power a chance to make their case. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed an organic aqueous flow battery expected to cost $180 per kWh, a projected savings of about 60% as compared to standard flow batteries. The electrolytes can be a drop-in replacement for those in existing batteries. [IHS Electronics360]

PNNL researcher Xiaoliang Wei prepares a small demonstration organic flow battery. (Source: PNNL)

PNNL researcher Xiaoliang Wei prepares a small demonstration organic flow battery. (Source: PNNL)

World:

¶ Indian IT services major Infosys Ltd launched a solar PV power plant of 6.6 MW capacity at a campus in Telangana. Combined with the existing 0.6-MW rooftop solar plant, it will make the Infosys campus one of the first corporate campuses in India to be run completely by renewable energy. [NetIndian]

¶ Germany is producing so much renewable energy, it sometimes finds it difficult to manage the excess. However, Germany’s grid operators have excelled at managing the variable loads that come with renewable energy, and they have done so without any meaningful energy storage capacity. [OilPrice.com]

¶ Nordex has installed the first of its low wind-speed N131/3300 turbines at the Krampfer project in Germany. The manufacturer said the 3.3-MW machine was built in Brandenburg for Rostock company Voss Energy. The machine is targeted at inland sites in Germany and can replace 3-MW Delta machines. [reNews]

N131 turbine in the 3-MW variant (Nordex)

N131 turbine in the 3-MW variant (Nordex)

¶ Enel Green Power SpA, the renewable-energy unit of Italy’s largest utility, began construction on a 254-megawatt solar farm in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia. Enel will invest $400 million to build the Ituverava solar farm. The project will power about 268,000 Brazilian households. [Bloomberg]

¶ Data from sports tracking app Strava have revealed cyclists and runners are using access roads at Scottish wind farms to rack up the miles. The app, which allows subscribers to share a wealth of information on their sporting activity, shows they have logged more than 13,000 miles in less than four years. [Energy Voice]

US:

¶ Google will launch its 15th global data center at the site of a former semiconductor plant in Tennessee, for an investment of $600 million. New technologies will “make this data center the most technologically advanced in the world,” Google said. It will use renewable power provided through the TVA. [Light Reading]

Google is opening its 15th data center at the site of a former semiconductor plant in Tennessee. Photo: Google

Google is opening its 15th data center at the site of a former semiconductor plant in Tennessee. Photo: Google

¶ Salesforce, which is committed to be carbon-neutral by 2050, announced they have signed a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement with a wind farm project in West Virginia to deliver 40 MW of power. This is more than the total amount Salesforce currently uses in their data center space. [ZDNet]

¶ There was no white Christmas for the eastern half of the US this year. Instead, there are record-highs: 86° in Tampa, 83° in Houston, 67° in Boston, 68° in Burlington, Vermont, and 66° in New York City, just to name a few. They end the globe’s hottest year with an exclamation point. [Greentech Media]

¶ Rooftop solar fans in Nevada got a huge lump of coal in their Christmas stockings just last Tuesday, when the state’s Public Utilities Commission voted to increase the charges – and lower the compensation – for rooftop solar installations. Worse yet, the PUC wants the changes to be retroactive. [CleanTechnica]

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