February 3 Energy News

February 3, 2016

World:

¶ The government of Indonesia is banking on renewable energy to boost power supply in the six darkest provinces. All are located in eastern Indonesia. It aims to increase the national electrification ratio to 99% by 2019, up from 87% at present. Currently, 12,669 villages are not connected to the electricity grid. [Jakarta Post]

Solar power in Indonesia. Courtesy of The Netherlands Education Support Office Indonesia.

Solar power in Indonesia. Courtesy of The
Netherlands Education Support Office Indonesia.

¶ First Solar has announced the opening of two utility-scale solar plants located in New South Wales. Today’s opening of the 155-MW Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants reflects the positive future of utility-scale solar in Australia. There is now a total of 245 MW of utility-scale solar operating in Australia. [RenewablesBiz]

¶ The more people know about fracking, the more likely they are to oppose it, a survey for the Government shows. Of those who said they knew a lot about fracking, 53% were against it. This compares to 33% who said they were in favour of it, the poll tracking attitudes to energy policies has revealed. [The Guardian]

An anti-fracking march in Sussex. Photograph: Natasha Quarmby / REX / Shutterstock

An anti-fracking march in Sussex.
Photo: Natasha Quarmby / REX / Shutterstock

¶ Swedish utility Vattenfall said low electricity prices and costs related to early closures of two nuclear reactors weighed on fourth-quarter net profits and full-year results. The state-owned company said net profit in the fourth quarter was 2.46 billion kronor ($287 million), down from 3.9 billion kronor a year ago. [Europe Online Magazine]

¶ China solidified its standing as the world’s wind energy behemoth in 2015, adding almost as much wind power capacity in one year as the total installed capacity of the three largest US wind-producing states. Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show China installed just under 29 GW in 2015. [Scientific American]

©iStock.com

©iStock.com

US:

¶ Non-hydro renewable energy sources accounted for 63% of all new power generation capacity installed in the USA in 2015, the latest report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows. There were 7,977 MW of wind turbines installed in the country, which is 48.39% of the year’s total. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Ameresco, based in Massachusetts, has its eye on 300 acres in New Milford, Connecticut, to establish a solar array and a fuel cell facility. It would sell power both to the grid and directly to the town. Connecticut aims to have the state obtain 20% of its electricity renewably by 2020. [The Greater New Milford Spectrum]

Contributed Photo

Contributed Photo

¶ An analysis conducted by investment adviser Advisor Partners has found that New York City’s biggest pension fund, the Teacher’s Retirement System of the City of New York, lost approximately $135 million from investments in oil and gas companies during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. [CleanTechnica]

¶ California’s Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the company responsible for a huge gas leak that began on 23 October, has forced over 13,000 people from their homes, and still goes on. She said the Southern California Gas Company violated health and safety laws by failing to report and contain leaking methane. [BBC]

The streets of Porter Ranch have been left deserted as a result of the leak. AFP photo

The streets of Porter Ranch have been left
deserted as a result of the leak. AFP photo

¶ The National Renewable Energy Laboratory brings good news on the wind. In a report of May, 2015, significantly more wind power potential was found in nearly every state thanks to advancing turbine technology. Over two-thirds of states could produce 100% or more of their annual consumption from wind energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ One form of renewable energy manages to create two useful products at the same time, and it is making a growing contribution to combatting climate change. The medieval alchemists who sought to turn base metal into gold would have thrilled at chemistry that let them dispose of waste by turning it into fuel and fertiliser. [eco-business.com]

A biogas installation in a farm that uses cow dung as energy source. Image: Shutterstock

A biogas installation in a farm that uses cow
dung as energy source. Image: Shutterstock

¶ More than 10,000 local jobs have been created in California as a result of the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, according to a new press release. The jobs are the result of the more than 50,000 home improvement projects completed via the HERO PACE program since 2011. [CleanTechnica]

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