February 17 Energy News

February 17, 2016

Opinion:

Clean Power Doesn’t Need a Federal Plan • Last week, the Supreme Court put a stopper on the US Clean Power Plan. From the get-go, the CPP was criticized for being unconstitutional and unnecessary. Well, barring the legal applications of the plan, at least one of those accusations may turn out to be true… [Energy and Capital]

Colorado solar plant

Colorado solar plant

World:

¶ In Germany and Portugal, a new drop-in biofuels process has emerged which is cost competitive with $30 oil, according to the inventors. The process breaks even with crude oil, on an 10-year amortized basis for capex, at roughly $20.30 per barrel of crude oil (assuming refining costs of $8.66 per barrel). [biofuelsdigest.com]

¶ Irish renewable energy firm, Solar 21 has acquired the project rights to build a 22-MW biomass power plant in England. The plant will be built on a 64-acre site near Hull. The firm is looking to secure €60 million through a fundraising round for the project, which has been under construction since October. [Irish Independent]

Solar 21 says that the plant will benefit from UK government-backed revenue.

Solar 21 says that the plant will benefit from UK government-backed revenue.

¶ Oil prices fell on Tuesday despite Saudi Arabia and Russia agreeing to freeze oil output at January levels if other producers follow suit. The announcement came after ministers from the two nations met in Doha along with their counterparts from Venezuela and Qatar. Brent crude fell 2% to $32.77 a barrel. [BBC]

¶ Bangladesh, regarded by many as the nation most vulnerable to the impacts of global climate change, is on track to construct two coal-fired power plants that critics say are dangerously close to the world’s largest single tract of mangrove forest called the Sundarbans. A backlash against the plants is brewing. [Mongabay.com]

Chital deer emerge from the mists of the Sundarbans. Photo by Fabian Lambeck via Wikimedia Commons (CC 4.0)

Chital deer emerge from the mists of the Sundarbans. Photo by Fabian Lambeck via Wikimedia Commons (CC 4.0)

¶ Woodside Petroleum, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company, posted a 99% fall in profits for the 12 months to December. The firm put the decline in profits down to the global fall of over 45% in oil prices. Woodside’s net income came to $26 million (£18.18 million) from $2.41 billion a year earlier. [BBC]

¶ A new $30 million hydroelectric generating station on the Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario, is expected to come online by the end of June 2016. It will generate 6 MW of renewable energy in addition to the 4 MW already generated by the existing station. The total will power around 4,000 homes. [kawarthaNOW.com]

Hydroelectric station on the Otonabee River. Photo by Bruce Head for kawarthaNOW.

Hydroelectric station on the Otonabee River. Photo by Bruce Head for kawarthaNOW.

¶ Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, will invest as much as $200 million in renewable energy over four to seven years. A new fund will take a minority stake in startups developing technologies including wind power, energy storage and smart grids, according to a company statement Tuesday. [Bloomberg]

¶ The UK’s Met Office has signed weather forecast service contracts for the 332-MW Nordsee One and 402-MW Veja Mate offshore wind farms in the south-west of the German Bight area of the North Sea. Nordsee One will also use Port forecasts and SafeVoyage for planning vessels’ routes in open water. [reNews]

First monopile headed for Nordsee One offshore wind farm (RWE Image)

First monopile headed for Nordsee One offshore wind farm (RWE Image)

US:

¶ A bipartisan group of 17 governors announced a new initiative by their states to advance clean energy, encourage clean transportation, and modernize energy infrastructure. The Governors Accord for a New Energy Future follows a Supreme Court ruling last week to temporarily block the Clean Power Plan. [Environment America]

¶ Michigan joined the list of states that have suspended Clean Power Plan compliance strategies after the Supreme Court ruling of last week. However Governor Rick Snyder also announced today that he has joined 16 other governors in signing the bipartisan Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future. [Midwest Energy News]

Power lines in Michigan. Photo by ellenm1 / Creative Commons

Power lines in Michigan. Photo by ellenm1 / Creative Commons

¶ A Los Angeles county transportation agency, the Antelope Valley Transit Agency, made the pledge to convert from diesel to 100% electric buses, according to recent reports. As the county’s bus fleet currently totals around 85, the pledge to go all-electric is a big one – one of the biggest in the US to date. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Trucking and transportation provider Estes Express Lines recently completed the installation of a $1.6 million rooftop solar power system at its Greensboro terminal. The system is designed to power the entire Estes Greensboro facility, which is made up of an approximately 80,000-square-foot dock. [Triad Business Journal]

Estes Express Lines' solar array.

Estes Express Lines’ solar array.

¶ Wisconsin’s state Senate has passed a bill that would lift the state’s moratorium on new nuclear plants. Currently, state regulators cannot approve new nuclear plants unless a federal facility for storing waste exists and such a plant does not burden ratepayers. No such federal facility exists, however. [Journal Times]

¶ The mayor of Cohoes, New York, announced that the city is going green. The city has a 2.6-MW solar PV and LED lighting project underway, which is expected to save the taxpayers millions of dollars. The power from the solar energy will mainly be allocated to city hall, the fire station and the library. [NEWS10 ABC]

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