January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A new study found that the melting Greenland ice sheet might affect a key aspect of global ocean circulation, which in turn could drive changes in Earth’s climate. It is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. It’s a massive ocean current system that’s critical to the stability of our climate. [Newsweek]

A map of the surface currents (solid curves) and deep currents (dashed curves) that form a portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. USGCRP / R. Curry / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A map of the surface currents (solid curves) and deep currents (dashed curves) that form a portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. USGCRP / R. Curry / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

¶ Some researchers suggest northern sea ice can bounce back and continue its role as refrigerator of the world. One has shared a vision for restoring sea ice at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco last month. More than 20,000 scientists attend the weeklong meeting. [Alaska Dispatch News]

World:

¶ Despite much of Australia being seemingly perfect for large scale solar, it has been slow in coming to the sun-drenched country. That could be set to change with the official opening of two plants that AGL Energy managing director and CEO says “signals the birth of large-scale solar in Australia”. [Gizmag]

Together, the Nyngan (pictured) and Broken Hill plants will produce around 360,000 MWh of renewable energy annually

Together, the Nyngan (pictured) and Broken Hill plants will produce
around 360,000 MWh of renewable energy annually

¶ Russia’s economy contracted by 3.7% in 2015, according to preliminary figures published by the country’s statistics service. Retail sales plunged by 10% and capital investment fell by 8.4%. The economy has been hit hard by the extraordinary collapse in oil prices, which have fallen by 70% in the past 15 months. [BBC]

¶ Facebook announced today that it plans to open a new data center in Clonee, Ireland. The name is EU2 because it’s the second data center in the European Union, after one in Sweden. This data center will run on 100% clean, renewable wind power, and it will use new and possibly disruptive computing technology. [ETCIO.com]

¶ The government of the Indian state of Gujarat government has identified around 1,500 hectare land to set up a 750-MW solar park. This will be the biggest solar park in the country after the 590-MW capacity solar park, the country’s first and Asia’s largest, was set up in Charnka village of Patan district in 2012. [The Indian Express]

This will be the biggest solar park to come up in the country after the 590 MW capacity solar park, the country’s first and Asia’s largest solar park, was set up in Charnka village of Patan district in 2012.

A much smaller solar installation in India.

¶ Five years ago, investments in the Australian renewable energy market would have been considered niche, but the market has grown very quickly. Now, 20% of the market for infrastructure is in renewable power assets, with growth driven by fundamental secular shifts. And the coal industry is the loser. [Investment Magazine]

¶ The minister responsible for Germany’s energy transition from coal and nuclear to renewables says solar and wind energy have clearly won the technology race. He said Germany’s task now is to focus on integration, digitizing the grid, and on storage, efficiency, transport, and building and industrial heat. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Lifting nuclear sanctions against Iran will boost the nation’s efforts to curb fossil-fuel emissions, one of its vice presidents said. Iran, which plans to sell 1 million barrels of oil a day, hopes to increase use of windpower, solar, and technology to curb greenhouse gases from power plants, homes and factories. [Business Mirror]

Wind farm in Xinjiang, China Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm in Xinjiang, China Wikimedia Commons

¶ Two armed ships set off from the northwest of England this week to sail round the world to Japan on a secretive and controversial mission to collect a consignment of plutonium and transport it to the US. The cargo of plutonium, one of the most toxic substances known, has no currently known commercial use. [eco-business.com]

US:

¶ In California, Castoro Cellars installed a project that will allow the winery to run 100% on solar power. The 625-kW system installed by REC Solar, covers nearly three acres. It will have produce over 1 million kWh per year and eliminate a monthly electric bill estimated to be $20,000 per month. [Solar Novus Today]

¶ Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on sustainability leadership, launched a new version of its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Sustainability Disclosure Search Tool. The tool helps users explore the disclosures oil and gas companies give to investors about carbon asset risk. [Triple Pundit]

Image credit: Flickr/Ken Hodge

Image credit: Flickr/Ken Hodge

¶ The work to switch to a renewable system in which thousands of customers are the energy producers increasingly is taking place in Western Pennsylvania, where universities, federal research centers and private companies are embarking on projects aimed at wiring together renewable sources and batteries. [Tribune-Review]

¶ Despite interest from communities across the state and reliable sunrays during peak summer months, Nebraska has shied away from solar power. A bill proposed in the Nebraska Legislature could make it easier for communities to begin generating their own renewable energy by offering grants of up to $150,000. [WOWT]

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