January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Last year was the warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA and NASA. While many expected 2015 would finish in first place, the margin of victory was startling. Global temperatures were 1.62˚F (0.90˚C) above the 20th century average, passing the previous record by 20%. [CNN]

Arctic sea ice decline September 1979 to May 2015. Image by NSIDC. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Arctic sea ice decline September 1979 to May 2015.
Image by NSIDC. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The Russian ruble has just collapsed to its lowest ever level, as oil sank below $27 a barrel to its lowest level since September 2003. Earnings from oil and gas exports make up roughly half of government revenues. To balance its budget, the country needs to be able to sell oil for $82 per barrel. [CNN]

¶ Falling oil prices are driving investments in renewable power in oil-producing countries. With oil at below $30 a barrel, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and Kuwait are looking to curb fossil fuel use at home to maximize export profits, and so they seek alternative energy sources for electricity. [The Guardian]

Visitors at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

Visitors at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

¶ Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa SA announced three orders from India totalling 130 MW. The company will supply a total of 65 units of its G97-2.0 MW turbine. Gamesa will build two wind farms, one of 50 MW and one of 30 MW, and will supply 50 MW of turbines to a third wind farm. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ An international consortium has been formed to fund and develop a commercial floating wind farm in the Atlantic waters off the coast of Portugal near Porto. This follows the successful trials of a prototype floating generator unit developed by WindFloat which has been operating for four years. [Maritime Journal]

¶ Australian utility AGL and global solar PV manufacturer First Solar have completed Australia’s two largest solar PV plants, doubling the country’s total solar PV capacity. The 102-MW Nyngan and the 53-MW Broken Hill solar projects, have a total of 2,044,140 solar panels feeding the grid. [CleanTechnica]

AGL solar array

AGL solar array

¶ GE Renewable Energy has announced that it secured 1.4-GW of firm and unconditional wind turbine supply orders in the month of December. The agreements call for GE’s wind technology to supply more than 20 new wind projects across seven different countries. About half of the sales were outside the US. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ A former TEPCO executive who feels guilt over the 2011 nuclear disaster is behind the start-up of a tomato farm which opened in the devastated region. Eiju Hangai, whose previous employer operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is now president of Minami-Soma Fukko Agri KK. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ The Cambodian government should invest more in sustainable energy, with a focus on solar power, experts told a conference on energy security yesterday, adding that this could reduce both the country’s dependence on large-scale hydropower projects and coal-fired plants and its emissions of carbon dioxide. [Khmer Times]

Tangled power cables are commonplace in Phnom Penh, like the ones above on Street 63. KT/ Mai Vireak

Tangled power cables are commonplace in Phnom Penh,
like the ones above on Street 63. KT/ Mai Vireak

¶ Seven of the 24 countries across the world with weapons-grade nuclear materials scored a zero in their ability to protect their nuclear facilities from a cyberattack, according to a new study by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. This is the first time the NTI included a threat of cyberattacks in its report. [BuzzFeed News]

US:

¶ Oil is in free fall. Last year, 42 US energy companies went bankrupt, owing more than $17 billion, according to a report from law firm Haynes & Boone. The four biggest US banks have set aside at least $2.5 billion combined to cover souring energy loans and may have to increase that amount. [Bloomberg]

¶ UK-based Renewable Energy Systems announced the sale of the 198-MW Bluestem wind project in Oklahoma to a unit of US energy major Exelon Corp. RES will immediately start building the wind farm in Beaver County. Vestas Wind Systems will supply 60 of its V117-3.3 MW turbines for the project. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Oklahoma. Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in Oklahoma. Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ A climate change program including New York and other northeastern states won’t be enough for the states to reach 2030 goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions unless more is done, a report warned.The report coincided with an announcement that 2015 was the hottest year on record. [Albany Times Union]

¶ US wind and solar developer Apex Clean Energy Holdings LLC said it has signed a power purchase agreement with the US Army for 65.8 MW of wind and solar capacity. The Army will buy electricity for Fort Hood in Texas and is expected to save about $168 million over the contract’s 28-year term. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines in Texas. Author: Will De Freitas. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Wind turbines in Texas. Author: Will De Freitas. License: Creative
Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

¶ Local officials from communities around Vermont are demanding a greater say in the siting of wind and solar energy projects. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns on Wednesday brought local officials and activists from around the state to the Statehouse to express their concerns. [Beaumont Enterprise]

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: