February 14 Energy News

February 14, 2016

Opinion:

Have we reached the tipping point for investing in renewable energy? • Between 2014 and 2015, New York City’s biggest pension fund lost $135 million on fossil fuel holdings. Fossil fuel investments have cost 15 of Australia’s top funds an estimated $5.6 billion. Profitable sustainability is coming of age. [The Guardian]

Renewable energy is becoming increasingly viable, a trend that could potentially be a game-changer for investors pulling away from fossil fuels. Photograph: Alamy

Renewable energy is becoming increasingly viable, a trend that could potentially be a game-changer for investors. Photograph: Alamy

World:

¶ The first international agreement to cut commercial airline carbon emissions was signed by 23 countries, including the US. It entails a 4% reduction in the fuel consumption of commercial aircraft by dates depending on type. It aims to reduce emissions by over 650 million tons between 2020 and 2040. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has warned officials of the Ceylon Electricity Board that he will be forced to take measures on his own to implement proposals related to the power sector if they fail to do what is needed. They have proposed nine new coal plants. He will only allow two. [Sunday Leader]

¶ The Brigg Renewable Energy Plant in North Lincolnshire was completed within its £162 million budget and three months ahead of schedule. It is capable of generating enough electricity to power 75,000 homes, and as it uses renewable energy, it is expected to save more than 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. [Scunthorpe Telegraph]

The plant’s straw bail barn.

The plant’s straw bail barn.

¶ According to IEEE experts, newer and more efficient ways to consume energy using renewables with energy efficiency will be a main focus of the dominant energy trend this year. This includes extensive use of smart-grids and technologies that improve resilience and reliability, with clean energy resources. [Equity Bulls]

¶ Philippine Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday disclosed that arming the Philippines with a nuclear weapon was among the objectives of the construction of the now mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. This was planned during the administration of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. [Tempo]

¶ At a time when the governing British Columbia’s Liberal Party boasts about turning the province into a clean energy leader, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, country’s largest wind energy organization, has announced it is pulling out of the province to chase better opportunities in Alberta and Saskatchewan. [Alaska Highway News]

The Canadian Wind Energy Association is pulling out of B.C. File photo.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association is pulling out of B.C. File photo.

US:

¶ A solar boom is on in Minnesota. By the end of this year, Blue Earth County alone may have more solar capacity than the entire state does now. Xcel Energy predicts construction of these “solar gardens” to ramp up massively in 2016, generating more than 10 times the state’s current solar load. [Mankato Free Press]

¶ A new international quality standard for manufacturing solar PV modules has been created following on 5 years of work by researchers at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and elsewhere, according to a press release. The new standard is intended to supplement the existing one. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Approximately 85 state, local and county officials and business people gathered Thursday for a VIP dedication of Sandstone Solar, one of Arizona’s largest photovoltaic power plants. The 45-MW plant covers more than 300 acres of former farmland and uses more than 182,000 solar panels. [TriValley Central]

Jim Snyder, project manager for the new Sandstone Solar farm off, is interviewed after the dedication. Mark Cowling / Florence Reminder

Jim Snyder, project manager for the new Sandstone Solar farm off, is interviewed after the dedication. Mark Cowling / Florence Reminder

¶ Dominion Virginia Power will soon add more solar power to its generation portfolio. The company is partnering with SunEnergy1 to install 91,803 solar panels at a new solar farm in Chesapeake, Virginia, a press release says. The site will generate enough energy to power 5,000 homes. [Proud Green Building]

¶ National Grid customers paid more than $110 million in surcharges to keep a nuclear plant in western New York open since 2012. Governor Cuomo has ordered the state Public Service Commission to investigate NRG Energy’s decision to close the Dunkirk Power Plant and whether consumers have been defrauded. [Syracuse.com]

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