March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2016

Opinion:

The Block Island Offshore Wind Project is Just the Beginning • Offshore wind and Block Island are a match made a heaven. But the island isn’t so unique. Many of the circumstances that make offshore wind so perfect for Block Island are also true up and down the Atlantic Coast. [Huffington Post]

Offshore wind farm. Photo: Stanford University

Offshore wind farm. Photo: Stanford University

Science and Technology:

¶ A joint research team from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy has a fresh approach to solar power. Working with quantum dots, the team achieved a breakthrough in solar-concentrating technology that can turn windows into electric generators. [Energy.gov]

World:

¶ A report tracks the technological advances and innovative business models which have emerged to transform the lives of millions through affordable modern solar energy services. It shows that the off-grid solar industry is benefiting from a wave of development partners, and investors. [CleanTechnica]

Images via Lighting Global

Image via Lighting Global

¶ More than half a million plug-in electric vehicles were delivered to buyers globally in 2015 – just under 540,000, to be nearly exact. These new numbers represent a roughly 70% increase over the figures for 2014, and that’s after the 2014 figures represented a roughly 50% increase on the 2013 ones. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Developers Vattenfall and ScottishPower Renewables are eyeing over 5 GW of offshore wind farm projects off the UK coast. The Crown Estate has signed off on final plans for Round 3 offshore wind farms. SPR has committed to two new projects of up to 800 MW in the East Anglia zone. [reNews]

Kentish Flats offshore wind farm (Vattenfall image)

Kentish Flats offshore wind farm (Vattenfall image)

¶ In the Philippines, Renewable energy company Citicore Power today inaugurated its 18-MW solar power project in Bataan. The start of the new solar station comes on the heels of the inauguration of the first phase of its other 25-MW solar facility in Silay, Negros Occidental in late February. [Rappler]

¶ After battling radioactive water leaks for five years at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the utility that ran it says it will need another four to finish the job. The contaminated water, now exceeding 760,000 tons and still growing, has been a major challenge. [Business Standard]

US:

¶ A Nevada-based data center operator, Switch, would convert a pyramid-shaped building that once housed a research center near Grand Rapids into a data center that operates 100% on renewable power. The Michigan Public Service Commission will review the contract. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

Data center operator Switch will open a super green facility in Grand Rapids.

Data center operator Switch will open a super green facility in Grand Rapids.

¶ An amendment to the Energy Modernization Act of 2015 introduced by US Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, defines forest bioenergy is carbon neutral and biomass as renewable. The amendment does not address a number of details relating to the issue. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Businesses made deals to acquire 3.4 GW of renewable energy in 2015, equivalent to half of North Dakota’s entire power capacity. Of that amount, two-thirds came from first-time buyers, according to figures from the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, which facilitates such deals. [National Geographic]

More companies are relying on wind farms, such as these near Sweetwater and Abilene, Texas, for their electricity.

More companies are relying on wind farms, such as these near Sweetwater and Abilene, Texas, for their electricity.

¶ Southern Power announced acquisition of its second solar project in Texas and its 35th generating facility overall, the 120-MW East Pecos Solar Facility. It will be located on about 1,000 acres in Pecos County and is expected to consist of approximately 1.2 million thin-film PV modules. [Power Online]

¶ The Florida Supreme Court is set to weigh in on a controversial ballot measure that purports to strengthen the legal rights of homeowners with rooftop solar panels. But the measure was created by an organization financed by the major electric utilities and groups with ties to the Koch brothers. [Grist]

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