January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2016

Opinion:

Paris Fails to Revive the Nuclear Dream • At COP21, nuclear advocates made pitches on climate change, but analysis of the plans of 195 governments that signed the Paris agreement, each with its own plans to reduce national carbon emissions, show that nearly all of them exclude nuclear power. [EcoWatch]

Reactor at Qinshan: Many experts doubt that China can go far to meeting its needs with nuclear power. Photo credit: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Reactor at Qinshan: Many experts doubt that China can go far to meeting its needs with nuclear power. Photo credit: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Science and Technology:

¶ Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, recently tweeted some charts about CO2 and global temperatures. They tell a compelling story. Climate change has not slowed down; it has been unrelenting. The result, unless we act vigorously, is disaster on many fronts. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ In normal times, a months-long slide in energy prices would be enough to rattle a man who makes wind turbines for a living. Yet amid a worldwide glut of cheap fossil fuels, Vestas Wind Systems posted record gains and inked major deals to build wind farms in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

¶ More than 200 winning solar power projects, with 800 MW of total capacity, have been announced by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. The tariff for large rooftop solar projects is €129/MWh with €124/MWh for ground-mounted solar installations. [CleanTechnica]

Image: Laurent Joffre, Wiki Commons

Image: Laurent Joffre, Wiki Commons

¶ There are plans for nearly 10 GW of capacity to be added in the UAE by 2021. At least 7% of the nation’s total power generation will come from renewable sources by 2020. Some coal-fired generation is also being added. The largest addition to the mix is expected to be four APR 1400 nuclear units. [POWER magazine]

¶ In China, the ruling Communist party is now taking air quality measures very seriously in the wake of the Paris climate talks and growing public awareness. This is a big business opportunity for IBM and Microsoft, both of which have contracts to develop systems for predicting smog problems. [Hexa News]

US:

¶ Developers say solar technology has finally come of age in Idaho, resulting in a shift away from wind turbines in their renewable-energy project applications. This is thanks to a roughly 200% decline in the price of the technology during the past five years and a demand-based change in state policy. [Capital Press]

Courtesy of SunEdison, a 25-MW solar power project near Tucson.

Courtesy of SunEdison, a 25-MW solar power project near Tucson.

¶ The need for new business models is a pressing issue on the minds of utility industry stakeholders. In DNV GL’s second annual Utility of the Future Survey, a third of respondents cited the need to find new business models as the most significant challenge facing the industry over the next five years. [POWER magazine]

¶ In December, the New Jersey Senate passed legislation to require an increase in the percentage of the state’s energy coming from renewables, such as solar and wind, every five years. The portion would reach 80% by 2050. The bill must be posted by January 11, however, or the effort will be for naught. [NJ.com]

A bill has cleared the N.J. Senate that mandates 80% of the state's energy comes from renewable sources by 2050. (Andre Chung/MCT)

A bill has cleared the N.J. Senate that mandates 80% of the state’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2050. (Andre Chung/MCT)

¶ Hawaii’s State Energy Office has released a report on the state’s progress on clean energy. Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative was established in 2008, the state has surpassed all RPS mandates well ahead of time. The target for 2015, 15%, was reached in 2013. In 2014, renewables provided 21.1%. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ An NRC investigation found contractors at Waterford 3 nuclear power plant failed to perform fire inspections and falsified records for at least 10 months to show the inspections occurred. One contract worker admitted to sleeping instead of performing an inspection, but records say it was done. [St. Charles Herald Guide]

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