February 12 Energy News

February 12, 2016

Opinion:

To Minimize Wind Power’s Impact on Birds & Bats, The Dept. of Energy Can Use AWWI As A Model • The Audubon Society says climate change threatens over half of American bird species. The American Wind Wildlife Institute has studied ways to protect wildlife and can be a model. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Golden Eagle. (photo credit: Dave Taylor via Flickr)

Golden Eagle. (photo credit: Dave Taylor via Flickr)

Science and Technology:

¶ According to the Geothermal Energy Association, the industry reached about 3,442 MW at the end of 2013. Almost 700 geothermal projects are under development in 76 countries. Here is a closer look at some of the pros and cons when it comes to producing geothermal energy for home, business, or city. [PlanetSave.com]

World:

¶ The Indonesian island of Sumba is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, wind, solar and flowing water. In 2009 the Dutch NGO Hivos realized the potential these resources offered and conceived of a plan to electrify the island fully, using only renewable sources, by 2025. Now, about half the island has power. [GreenBiz]

Clean energy is spreading in Sumba, Indonesia. Shutterstock / Asian Development Bank

Clean energy is spreading in Sumba, Indonesia.
Shutterstock / Asian Development Bank

¶ China installed half of all new wind capacity worldwide last year, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. The country added an “astonishing” 30.5 GW to boost installations to 145.1 GW. It overtook the EU, which added a record 6 GW to increase its capacity to 141.6 GW, for the first time. [The Guardian]

¶ In Australia, Green Energy Markets concluded that supply will fall short of the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target by 2018. This will mean power retailers, and consequently their customers, will be paying the shortfall penalty on every MWh it is short. This results from actions of the Abbott Government. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm. Image credit: Shuttershock

Wind farm. Image credit: Shuttershock

¶ French utility EDF will need to spend some €100 billion ($113 billion) on upgrading its fleet of 58 nuclear power reactors by 2030, according to the country’s state audit office. The upgrades are needed to meet new safety requirements and to extend the lives of the units beyond 40 years. [Eurasia Review]

US:

¶ Conservation and clean-energy groups are urging Montana to continue its path toward renewable energy despite a setback this week, when the US Supreme Court put a temporary hold on the Clean Power Plan while it’s in litigation. Montana is one of 27 states that sued the EPA to block the plan. [Public News Service]

Conservation groups want Montana to rely less on coal-fired power plants such as Colstrip. (Talen Energy)

Conservation groups want Montana to rely less on coal-fired
power plants such as Colstrip. (Talen Energy)

¶ Despite a Supreme Court ruling delaying carbon-pollution limits, observers expect the changes under way in Virginia’s power grid to continue. Legal experts pointed out that the court order merely pauses enforcement until legal challenges are finished. It’s not a ruling on the plan itself. [Public News Service]

¶ In the US, K-12 schools spend $8 billion per year on energy. A school district in Colorado is doing something about that. The Boulder Valley School District is embarking on a program to have its portfolio of over 50 school buildings be net-zero energy and achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Florida Power & Light Co marked the ground breaking of its three new solar plants with a ceremony at the site of its future Manatee Solar Energy Center in Parrish. One of them, the FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center will consist of more than 338,000 solar panels over 762 acres, enough for 577 football fields. [Palm Beach Post]

FPL’s Martin County plant is a hybrid solar/natural gas plant. Photo provided by FPL.

FPL’s Martin County plant is a hybrid solar/natural gas plant.
Photo provided by FPL.

¶ 17,000 Nevadans who installed solar had the rug pulled out from under them when the Public Utilities Commission killed net metering in the state. Solar companies, solar installers, activists, and average, everyday citizens have been rallying against it since then, and a major milestone in that battle is this week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Nearly three-quarters of major energy deals made in 2015 were for renewables assets, and nearly three-quarters of the new generation capacity built in 2016 will be renewables, according to a study newly released by the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions. Here are eight trends shaping the change. [Utility Dive]

Wind farm. Image Credit: Depositphotos

Wind farm. Image Credit: Depositphotos

¶ A new report released by the national non-profit The Solar Foundation, found Vermont to be #3 in solar jobs per capita in the country. This marks the third year in a row Vermont is in the top-3 for local solar jobs. Median wages for solar installation jobs are higher paying jobs than the national average, at $23.00/hour. [Vermont Biz]

¶ On February 12, a bi-partisan group of elected leaders from around New Hampshire, will go to Concord to urge lawmakers to lift NH’s cap on net metering and to make improvements to the existing legislation that is before them to ensure that the renewable energy market does not come to a halt. [Satellite PR News]

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