February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2016


3 homes that will give you green energy envy • Renewable energy reduces your environmental impact and dependency on conventional energy technology, while increasing self-sufficiency. Some architects created impressively stunning designs that are energy efficient. Here are three of our favorites. [Memeburn]

Ecocapsule. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Ecocapsule. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Green electricity without batteries • A paper in the journal Research Policy suggests solar PV modules will continue to drop in cost at a roughly 10% rate. A paper in Nature indicates that extensive renewable electricity provision is possible without the need for storing large amounts of energy in batteries. [News24]

Science and Technology:

¶ Microsoft is planning to dive underwater in the future with its prototype data centre that it tested hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean off California. Under Project Natick, data centres will live under the sea in order to tackle high energy costs and control the carbon footprint. [International Business Times UK]


¶ A deal to take a £10 million stake in the company behind the proposed £1 billion Swansea Bay tidal lagoon has been signed. The Gupta family, who own Liberty Steel and the Simec energy company, has made the investment into Tidal Lagoon Power’s proposed projects in Cardiff and Newport. [BBC News]

Tidal Lagoon Power is the company behind the proposed £1bn project in Swansea Bay. TLP

Tidal Lagoon Power is the company behind the
proposed £1 billion project in Swansea Bay. TLP

¶ Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Address emphasized resolving North Korea’s power supply problems, so trading companies are importing large quantities of equipment for power stations and power transmission from China, including a marked increase in the number of solar panels entering North Korea. [Daily NK]

¶ The Australian government’s newest science adviser says Australia needs to accelerate its switch from coal to renewable energy. On his first day as Chief Scientist, engineer and neuroscientist Dr Alan Finkel said he wants to put sustainable energy on the agenda so Australians can weigh up different options. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Norwegian power producer Scatec Solar has acquired a majority stake in two Brazil PV projects from Spanish company Grupo Gransolar. The two plants total 72 MW and are expected to generate around 164,000 MWh annually. The power will be sold under 20-year power purchase agreements to ANEEL. [PV-Tech]

Scatec Solar has acquired two projects totalling 78 MW in Brazil. Image: Scatec Solar.

Scatec Solar has acquired two projects totalling
78 MW in Brazil. Image: Scatec Solar.

¶ A Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, believes the Kudankulam nuclear reactor has fundamental problems because its erection and commissioning was carried out by Indian contractors and engineers whose expertise is with Canadian designs. (interview) [Times of India]

¶ Exxon predicts our energy mix won’t change a whole lot over the next 25 years. In fact, Exxon Mobil projects that oil and gas will actually increase by 2040. This unfortunate vision of the future stems from the age-old conundrum of trying not to eat sugar when your pockets are full of candy. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Gas flaring.

Gas flaring.


¶ Apex Clean Energy announced it intents to invest $100 million in a wind farm on private land in Crab Orchard, Tennessee. The site is mostly forested with small quarrying operations. Turbines will be visible from Interstate 40, which local leaders praised as it shows off the county’s clean energy. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

¶ Wind energy production throughout the state of New York has reached a new peak, which both points to encouraging progress and indicates just how far we have to go in integrating renewables into New York’s energy infrastructure. The current output record for wind power in New York is 1,571 MW. [Albany Times Union]

¶ In Goshen, Indiana, the Green Cow Power Energy Center has two anaerobic digesters that turn waste from the 1,500 cows on a nearby dairy farm into electricity. Its three engines produce 3 MW of electricity, and it transfers enough energy to power 1,900 homes for a year to NIPSCO’s substation in Wakarusa. [South Bend Tribune]

Andrew Sloat, at Green Cow Power in Goshen, walks through the engine room. SBT Photo/Becky Malewitz

Andrew Sloat, at Green Cow Power in Goshen, walks through
the engine room. SBT Photo/Becky Malewitz

¶ Annette Smith has been fighting the power for more than 15 years, tenaciously opposing energy projects she believes harm the environment or quality of life in Vermont. Now she is the target of a criminal probe into whether her efforts constitute unlawful legal work. She has no comment on specifics of allegations. [GazetteNET]

¶ Competing hydroelectric companies united to form the Massachusetts Clean Electricity Partnership, a group that will formally launch its marketing efforts this week. Their focus: making sure Governor Charlie Baker’s pro-hydro bill, or some version of it, makes it through the Legislature this year. [The Boston Globe]

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