January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Thousands of power plants around the world may face severe reductions in their ability to generate electricity by mid-century due to water shortages, new research published in Nature says. Hydro-electric, nuclear, coal, gas, and biomass-fueled power plants are vulnerable to dwindling water supplies. [The Guardian]

The Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the Parana River, Brazil border. Most hydro-plants are in regions forecast to see water shortages. Photograph: Norberto Duarte / AFP / Getty Images

The Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the Parana River, Brazil border. Most hydro-plants are in regions forecast to see water shortages. Photograph: Norberto Duarte / AFP / Getty Images

World:

¶ Russia is touting nuclear power as a way to cut carbon emissions, but a study from Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology says Eurasia as a whole would be better served by a less expensive, less risky renewable energy “super-grid,” that relies on wind power even over battery storage. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK’s government has repeatedly cited official forecasts of rising energy costs to justify cuts to subsidies for renewables, saying consumer bills need to be kept under control. But government emails show a different story. Energy bills would be nearly £100 lower in 2020, despite higher subsidies. [Carbon Brief]

¶ Carnegie Wave Energy has turned on a wave power station it developed in Western Australia and it has been feeding electricity into the local grid. The technology uses underwater buoys that power pumps as waves move them, to push water through a pipeline. This drives a turbine to generate electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Image Credit: Carnegie Wave Technology

Image Credit: Carnegie Wave Technology

¶ Since a specialized recycling facility was opened in 2010 near Cumbernauld, Scotland, food waste from many sources has been processed and converted into energy for the National Grid. In less than five years 15.5 GWh have been generated, producing for annual needs of 2,000 homes. [Engineer Live]

¶ German energy giant E·ON has separated its fossil fuel assets into a new company, dubbed Uniper. The move became effective on January 1st. The energy company focus on renewables, energy networks, and energy efficiency services, as the independent Uniper will assume fossil fuel and hydro assets. [EurActiv]

¶ LWP Property Group, an Australian property developer, has commissioned an $1.1 million (Aus) study to see if 7,500 new homes can run entirely off-grid. Huntlee, a new township planned in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, could soon become Australia’s first off-grid town. [Greentech Media]

Photo Credit: LWP Property Group

Photo Credit: LWP Property Group

¶ Rooftop solar is now Western Australia’s “biggest power station,” consisting of many thousands of households and businesses with solar panels installed. Figures published by Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator current show more than 192,000 solar power systems installed throughout the state. [Energy Matters]

¶ Enel Green Power has connected to the grid the first 20 MW of its 97-MW Carrera Pinto solar plant in Atacama in Chile. The remaining 77 MW are expected to be completed and enter into service by the second half of 2016. EGP is investing approximately $180 million in the construction of Carrera Pinto. [reNews]

US:

¶ A natural gas leak in California is a problem for the industry, and so is the latest news from Oklahoma, which has been dealing with its own natural gas issues in the form of unprecedented swarms of earthquakes. Just last Tuesday a big one hit the town of Edmund, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale. [CleanTechnica]

Image: via US Geological Survey.

Image: via US Geological Survey.

¶ The US justice department is suing Volkswagen over the emissions scandal that saw the German car giant fit software in millions of cars to cheat emissions tests. VW has set aside €6.7 billion to cover costs worldwide, but experts say the final costs are likely to be much higher than that. [BBC]

One Response to “January 5 Energy News”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: