January 16 Energy News

January 16, 2016

Opinion:

Why Renewable Energy is Defying Gravity • In the face of the lowest oil prices for over a decade, a record $329 billion was invested in clean energy worldwide in 2015. That seems counterintuitive: conventional wisdom says that cheap fossil fuels inhibit the growth of renewables. [MIT Technology Review]

Contractors work on solar panels at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

Contractors work on solar panels at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

Oil is Dead and Renewable Energy is Killing It • Mark down 2015 and 2016 as special years. These two years might end up being two of the most important in the history of humankind. You might not see it yet, and that’s OK. It’s pretty easy to get preoccupied with everything else going on right now. [Money Morning Australia]

World:

¶ The Venezuelan government announced a 60-day economic emergency to deal with a crisis brought on by the huge fall in oil prices in the past 18 months, which slashed its revenues by 60%. The country has the world’s biggest known oil reserves, and oil exports account for as much as 95% of its revenue. [BBC]

¶ In a piece published on its website this week, the UK Solar Trade Association made it clear it believes that residential solar remains a good investment for householders, despite Government’s backsliding on their green policies, and in the wake of the recent modifications to the country’s Feed-in Tariff. [CleanTechnica]

Solar Power on the Grand Union Canal. This narrowboat has been modernized and its two solar panels were collecting rays from a cloudless Hertfordshire sky. Photo by Colin Smith. CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar Power on a narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal in Hertfordshire. Photo by Colin Smith. CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Gamesa announced it had received an unusual order for the supply and installation of 48 MW of special wind turbines. Gamesa will purpose-build 24 of its 2-MW wind turbines specifically configured to withstand the low temperatures and low air density conditions 3,400 meters (11,155 feet) above sea level. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India’s installed capacity of solar PVs has crossed the 5,000 MW milestone. The Indian Government has a target of 100 GW of PV capacity by the year 2021-22. It envisages 60 GW of ground mounted grid-connected solar power and 40 GW through roof-top grid interactive solar power. [Business Standard]

¶ Carbon dioxide emissions have declined by 22.72 lakh tonnes (3 million tons) in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh due to the generation of power from renewable energy sources, a senior official said. The state is promoting alternative energy, including wind, solar, biomass, and minor hydro projects. [Business Standard]

US:

¶ The Obama administration announced on Friday that it will suspend new coal leasing on federal lands and overhaul the program to better reflect environmental costs. This could be a turning point in climate policy. It is a concrete measure toward leaving fossil fuels in the ground, as the science demands. [InsideClimate News]

A coal train on its way to a power plant in Wyoming. Credit: Reuters

Coal is conveyed to a power plant in Wyoming. Credit: Reuters

¶ The city of Philadelphia dropped an interesting wrinkle into the building code that took effect on January 1. All new residential construction must have in-sink garbage disposals. The garbage will go to the city’s sewage treatment bio-digesters, where it will produce methane to power electric generation. [Metro.us]

¶ Lewis County, New York, reached a final agreement on a solar project expected to offer the county and its municipal hospital significant cost savings. The county and Lewis County General Hospital are guaranteed a saving of at least $3.3 million over the contract’s 20-year term. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

¶ Four months after it began work on a pair of solar farms near the Lowndes County Industrial Park, Silicon Ranch Corporation announced it is generating electricity. According to the company, the two facilities can generate 1.6 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 200 homes. [The Commercial Dispatch]

Silicon Ranch Corporation announced it is generating electricity at two solar farms near the Lowndes County Industrial Park. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Silicon Ranch Corporation announced it is generating electricity at two solar farms near the Lowndes County Industrial Park. Courtesy photo

¶ A new grid modernization blueprint released by the US DOE seeks to integrate conventional and renewable power sources with energy storage and efficiency, while ensuring the grid is resilient against cyberattacks and climate change threats. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the plan. [POWER magazine]

¶ Enel Green Power has begun constructing its new 108-MW Drift Sand wind project, located in Grady County, Oklahoma. The wind farm is expected to be completed and enter into service by year’s end. According to EGP, construction requires an investment of about $180 million. [North American Windpower]

Sunset Turbines, by US Geological Survey - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Sunset Turbines in Oklahoma, by US Geological Survey.
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

¶ Placing a cost on carbon could have significant impacts for utility shareholders and open up power companies to new litigation risks, according to a new paper published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. The paper quantified the potential liabilities of the top 10 emitters. [Utility Dive]

¶ Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc, which owns and operates the nuclear power plant, filed suit against Secretary of State Cesar Perales in federal court Thursday, seeking a court order to toss out the state’s refusal to grant the power plant a certificate to operate on the Hudson River.
[The Journal News | LoHud.com]

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: