February 13 Energy News

February 13, 2016

Opinion:

Is This The Best Solar Chart Yet? • Solar energy has been in a boom of late (one that will arguably continue for a long while). One might ask why the technology has found increasing footholds in the global marketplace? Well, the graph below puts it more succinctly than I could, so have a gander. [CleanTechnica]

Image courtesy of the Earth Policy Institute/Bloomberg

Image courtesy of the Earth Policy Institute/Bloomberg

The CEO of the largest Russian bank said the age of oil was over. He is sort of right. • The CEO of the Russia’s largest Russian bank made a strong critical statement about the Russian economy. He said the oil age is over and Russia has lost the global competition because it has not adjusted to the clean energy race. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶ Oil prices surged as much as 12% on Friday after new suggestions that OPEC nations were set to cut oil production. The United Arab Emirates’ energy minister said OPEC members were ready to reduce output, the Wall Street Journal reported. But traders said sharp falls on Thursday may have triggered bargain-hunting. [BBC]

North Sea Oil rig. Photograph by Isaac Newton. CC BY-SA 2.5 Generic. Wikimedia Common.

North Sea Oil rig. Photograph by Isaac Newton.
CC BY-SA 2.5 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ In what could reflect a paradigm shift in power generation in India, officials of the state-owned utility NTPC said one reason for low plant load factor at their thermal power stations is due to increased share of clean energy. The plant load factor has declined to 77.8% in 2015 from 79.3% in 2014 and 85% in 2012-13. [Business Standard]

¶ BP chief executive Bob Dudley this week called on governments to adopt carbon pricing mechanisms to address climate change. Dudley noted BP’s latest Energy Outlook 2035, also released during the oil and gas executives’ conference, projects global emissions to rise about 1% per year. [Environmental Leader]

US:

¶ Concerned about legislative moves, Maine solar installers, local and national businesses, environmental organizations, and the newly formed Solar Energy Association of Maine delivered a petition with nearly 4,000 signatures to the state legislature, urging regulators and lawmakers to preserve net-metering. [CleanTechnica]

Maine lighthouse. Shutterstock image.

Maine lighthouse. Shutterstock image.

¶ Major utilities have hit New Hampshire’s arbitrary cap on net energy metering but have shown virtually no interest in a stable transition for solar companies. Legislators are considering bills to address this, but the bills, SB 333 and HB 1116, would only lead to job losses in a few months, as currently written. [CleanTechnica]

¶ US scientists have modelled how a 1930s-like dustbowl drought might impact agriculture today, and found it to be just as damaging. But the research shows the effects to be very sensitive to temperature, meaning the potential losses would be far worse later this century if Earth’s climate heats up as expected. [BBC]

Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, Oklahoma. Photo by Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985. US Farm Security

Farmer and sons in a dust storm, Oklahoma, 1936. Photo by Arthur Rothstein, 1915-1985. US Farm Security Administration photo. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Infrared video taken Friday confirmed that the Southern California Gas Company has stopped the flow of natural gas leaking from a well at a facility near Los Angeles. SoCalGas said a relief well had “intercepted the base of the leaking well” and operators were pumping fluids to temporarily keep the gas from leaking. [CNN]

¶ After five years and millions of dollars of investments, Michigan’s utilities have exceeded the 10% renewable energy production goal under the state’s 2008 landmark energy law, the Michigan Public Service Commission said in its annual report. All 75 producers met the targets by December 31. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

Michigan Wind 1 near Ubly. Photo by No Trams To Lime Street from Metro Detroit. CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan Wind 1 near Ubly. Photo by No Trams To Lime Street
from Metro Detroit. CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ By 2020 solar, wind, biomass and hydro will account for 10% of Georgia Power’s fuel mix, according to a new long-term plan the company recently filed with state regulators. That’s up from about 7% this year, or just 2% not counting hydro. In 2005, non-hydro renewables were not even counted in the mix. [MyAJC]

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority is giving up on a nearly decade-old plan to pursue the next generation of major nuclear reactors at the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama. TVA is facing a deadline today to tell its future plans to the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the US NRC. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

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