January 26 Energy News

January 26, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Energy storage costs could decrease up to 70% in the next 15 years, according to a report, E-Storage: Shifting from Cost to Value. The report also explains a number of previously unquantified values of energy storage, such as improved grid reliability and predictability of generation needs. [CleanTechnica]

Sandia.gov photo

Grid storage installation. Sandia.gov photo

¶ Two global industry giants, DuPont and Archer Daniels Midland, have just announced a new “breakthrough” process for producing a high performance, 100% biodegradable bioplastic building block. A side-effect is that with these companies in the mix, the lobbying dynamics could begin to shift dramatically. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ In a move aimed to generate energy savings, reduce air pollution, and bring power to rural areas, India’s Maharashtra state is set to implement an off-grid energy scheme. The state’s chief minister said the government is promoting solar off-grid energy policy to encourage use of new and renewable energy.” [PennEnergy]

¶ Navigant Research predicts that 346.1 GW of distributed solar PV will be installed globally between 2015 and 2024, producing $668.5 billion in revenue for the industry. An additional 289.4 GW of utility-scale (or non-distributed) solar is also expected to come online during the forecast period. [CleanTechnica]

Annual Solar PV Installed Capacity and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2015-2024

Annual Solar PV Installed Capacity and Revenue
by Region, World Markets: 2015-2024

¶ Asia Biogas, which builds waste-to-power plants, has just started commercial operation of a project in the Thai tourist region of Krabi. The project will export 12,300 MWh per year of clean renewable energy to one of Thailand’s most beautiful regions, according to the company’s chief executive. [Irish Times]

¶ A Norwegian company has proposed setting up a 300-MW solar power plant in Sri Lanka and is waiting for more clarity on regulations for renewable energy projects, officials said. The company has done a feasibility study for generating 300 MW of solar energy and scaling it up to 900 MW. [EconomyNext]

¶ The UK faces a 40% to 55% electricity supply gap if the government implements its plans to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025 on top of retiring ageing nuclear power stations, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. It is unrealistic to fill the gap by building gas or nuclear plants. [reNews]

Coal. Image by sxc

¶ Vietnam’s Prime Minister signalled a reduced role for new coal-fired power stations in the country’s forthcoming power plans and an expanded role for renewable energy. He said, “There is a need to closely monitor environmental issues, especially in stringent monitoring of coal-fired power plants.” [End Coal]

¶ A French union has published a set of last-minute challenges to EDF over its plans to build an £18 billion nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with just days to go before an expected final investment decision. People close to the deal said they expected the decision on Wednesday. [Financial Times]

US:

¶ States could drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector in the next 15 years, if they ramped up their investment in renewables such as wind and solar, according to a study from scientists at UC Boulder and NOAA. It found costs could be kept in check while meeting demand increases. [Fox News]

Turbines blow in the wind south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Turbines blow in the wind south of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

… Scientists created a simulator that uses data from wind and solar weather models to determine where the best places to collect energy are in the country. The simulator then calculates the easiest ways to transfer that energy from where it was gathered to where it’s needed. This can reduce CO2 emissions by 80%. [The Denver Channel]

¶ The US Supreme Court upheld a major Obama administration electricity-markets regulation that encourages big power users like factories to cut consumption at peak times, rejecting a challenge brought by electric utilities. The court, ruling 6-2, reversed a 2014 decision by a US Court of Appeals. [Business Insider]

¶ Soon after SolarCity acquired solar panel maker Silevo in the summer of 2014, it announced the construction of a 1.2-million-square-foot ‘Solar Gigafactory’ in Buffalo, New York. The Buffalo solar gigafactory aims to start producing solar cells in 2016, with a ramping up to 1 GW of annual capacity by 2017. [Treehugger]

Solar gigafactory. SolarCity image.

Solar gigafactory. SolarCity image.

¶ Xcel Energy Inc launched the first element of a sweeping new plan that executives say will upgrade the state’s power grid and give customers more choice in how they source and use energy. The plan would greatly boost the amount of renewable energy, both wind and solar power, on Colorado’s grid. [Denver Sun Times]

¶ New Hampshire is among the states leading the charge on renewable energy, according to SmartAsset. Overall, the state ranked fourth in the nation. The rankings were based on renewable energy generation and growth, per-capita carbon emissions and solar energy incentives. [New Hampshire Business Review]

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