January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2016


Clean power: It’s just a click away • While many don’t think of the Internet’s scope beyond their own personal devices, Greenpeace has recently noted that if the Internet were a country, its energy consumption would rank it sixth in the world. Of course this total is only expected to grow. [eco-business.com]

An Apple solar farm in Hongyuan, China. Image: Apple

An Apple solar farm in Hongyuan, China. Image: Apple


¶ Oil prices fell below $28 a barrel amid fears the lifting of Western sanctions on Iran could increase the oversupply. Brent crude, used as an international benchmark, fell as low as $27.67 a barrel, its lowest since 2003, before recovering slightly to trade at $28.17. The price of US crude fell to $28.86. [BBC]

¶ The North African country of Morocco has achieved a new low for wind energy costs, securing average bids of just $30/MWh from its tender for 850 MW tender of large-scale wind energy projects, with the lowest at around $25/MWh. Until recently, Morocco sourced all its energy needs from fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

Tarfaya Wind Energy Project, Morocco

Tarfaya Wind Energy Project, Morocco

¶ India is expected to significantly overachieve on its solar power capacity addition target for the financial year 2015-16, a consultancy firm has projected. Solar consultancy firm Bridge to India expects that around 2 GW of solar power capacity is expected to be added between January and March 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In its first year of operation, the so-named Shams 1 plant in Abu Dhabi beat expectations by a wide margin, and its second year figures are also better than predicted. The concentrating solar plant has a nameplate capacity of 100 MW, but in peak summer days during 2015, it often produced 125 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Photo by Tina Casey

Photo by Tina Casey

¶ On Monday, Toshiba Corp demonstrated a device it believes will be used to remove fuel-rod assemblies from the spent fuel pool in the reactor 3 building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is still impossible for humans even to monitor the removal of the fuel-rod assemblies safely in the building. [The Japan Times]

¶ Bibby Marine Services has contracted Damen Shipyards Group to deliver a service operations vessel for use in the offshore wind sector. Bibby WaveMaster 1 will be able to remain at sea for periods up to one month, accommodating up to 45 turbine maintenance personnel and 15 crew members. [reNews]

Photo by Bibby Line Group

Photo by Bibby Line Group


¶ The newest Solar Jobs Census from the Solar Foundation gives us some interesting insights into the US solar industry. The report notes that the solar workforce in the US grew 20% in 2015 for the third straight year. The US solar industry added jobs about 12 times faster than the other parts of the economy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In tomorrow’s world, it won’t be just the corn on the great American plains that is as high as an elephant’s eye, but also elephant grass. To deliver on US promises to reduce fossil fuel use, American motorists in future will drive on miscanthus, as elephant grass is also known, and prairie switchgrass. [EcoWatch]

Elephant grass has a high biomass yield and grows rapidly to over three metres tall. Photo credit: Tony Atkin / Wikimedia Commons

Elephant grass has a high biomass yield and grows rapidly to over
three metres tall. Photo credit: Tony Atkin / Wikimedia Commons

¶ Nevada solar system owners filed a lawsuit against NV Energy Inc accusing the utility of conspiring to reduce or eliminate competition, inflate price and illegally increase revenues. They claim the utility provided false and/or incomplete information to the Public Utilities Commission. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Twelve Nebraska cities and one regional utility decided not to sign new 20-year contracts to buy electricity from the Nebraska Public Power District. The utilities rejecting NPPD’s proposed contract are taking advantage of flexibility the power grid offers today to buy power from another provider. [Omaha World-Herald]

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