February 5 Energy News

February 5, 2016

Opinion:

Has the U.S. Really Reached an Epic Turning Point in Energy? • The amount of electricity from coal-fired power plants hit a record low while that from natural gas generators hit a record high. Renewable energy added the most new power in 2015, and annual carbon emissions reached a 20-year low. [National Geographic]

The United States is seeing a surge in wind energy. Here, turbines spin at the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Texas. Photo by Joe McNally, National Geographic

Turbines spin at the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Texas. Photo by Joe McNally, National Geographic

Sharing Clean Energy With Our Neighbors Is Saving Us Millions • One key challenge for grid operators is upgrading so we don’t have to throw away clean energy. Production of clean renewable energy sometimes gets shut down because the grid cannot absorb all the clean energy we produce. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

World:

¶ An article in the journal Nature Energy discusses the fact that renewable electricity investment has now outstripped spending on fossil fuels and that policies are focusing on improving energy efficiency and energy systems flexibility. It says these point to a global momentum toward sustainable energy systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewable energy developer SunEdison has commissioned 146 MW of Solar PV plants in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Energy from the solar power plants will be sold via 25-year power purchase agreements to local distribution companies and private corporations. [PV-Tech]

SunEdison installation at Charanka solar park in Gujarat. Credit: SunEdison

SunEdison installation at Charanka solar park in Gujarat. Credit: SunEdison

¶ The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change published its latest update on the country’s greenhouse gas emissions levels. According to the figures, UK’s greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be at 514.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent in 2014, or around 35% lower than 1990 levels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A Greenpeace Southeast Asia report revealed the health impacts of coal-fired power plant in the Philippines. It says 960 people die there each year due to stroke, ischemic heart disease, other cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases. With proposed new plants, that figure could more than double. [eco-business.com]

¶ King Mohammed VI of Morocco inaugurated his country’s first solar power plant, a massive project that the country sees as part of its goal of boosting its clean energy output. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal were among those who attended. [The Express Tribune]

AFP photo.

AFP photo.

¶ As of last month, three school divisions in Peace Country, an area of western Canadian, are powered by wind energy. The school divisions announced that their schools and administration offices now get power from a wind facility near Provost, about three hours southeast of Edmonton. [Alberta Daily Herald Tribune]

¶ India has decided to join a global treaty on nuclear accident liability. The country ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage. This is the latest effort the government has taken to ease suppliers’ concerns that they would be open to liability claims in case of a nuclear accident. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ In a stunning trend with broad implications, the economy has grown significantly since 2007, while electricity consumption has been flat, and total energy demand dropped. The economy has grown 10% since 2007, while primary energy consumption has fallen by 2.4%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [ThinkProgress]

Credit BNEF

Credit BNEF

¶ Natural gas-fired power projects continue to be developed in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas footprint, but low prices and the prospect of more renewable capacity has some wondering how many new gas-fired units will actually come online over the next few years. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report with some fascinating points about renewable energy in the Salton Sea area. It covers potentials for developing solar, geothermal, and algal energy sources. There is also a great potential for extracting lithium from brine. [CleanTechnica]

Salton Sea. Released into the public domain (by the author). Wikimedia Commons.

Salton Sea. Released into the public domain (by the author). Wikimedia Commons.

¶ County prosecutors filed a criminal misdemeanor charge against Southern California Gas Co. According to the District Attorney’s Office, SoCalGas is being charged because they allegedly failed to report the leak at Porter Ranch immediately. Meanwhile, the company now also faces a wrongful death lawsuit. [Lawyer Herald]

¶ The world’s largest manufacturer of office furniture will soon offset 70% of its total US electricity usage from wind power with a long-term virtual power purchase agreement. Steelcase, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, just announced an agreement with Apex Clean Energy for 25 MW of wind power. [RMI]

Photo courtesy of Eric Ward via Flickr, Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Photo courtesy of Eric Ward via Flickr, Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

¶ According to data just released in the 2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook – a project of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, produced for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy – the shift to renewables may be happening a lot faster than the EPA thought that it would less than a year ago. [HeraldNet]

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: