March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists have discovered a novel way to make plastic from carbon dioxide and inedible plant material, such as agricultural waste and grass. The new technology could provide a low-carbon alternative to plastic bottles and other items currently made from petroleum. [Futurity: Research News]

"Our goal is to replace petroleum-derived products with plastic made from CO2." (Credit: iStockphoto)

“Our goal is to replace petroleum-derived products
with plastic made from CO2.” (Credit: iStockphoto)

¶ Japanese scientists discovered a type of bacteria that can eat plastic, a finding that might help solve the world’s fast-growing plastic pollution problem. The species fully breaks down one of the most common kinds of plastic, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), often used to make beverage bottles. [CNN]

¶ According to a new study published by researchers from the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Australia, global warming could occur much more quickly than previously thought. The model forecasts an increase in the global average temperature by 1.5° C as early as 2020. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ After a run in with Donald Drumpf, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center has seen the beginning of offshore works start this month. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is being developed by a partnership of Vattenfall and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. [CleanTechnica]

Vattenfall Image

Vattenfall Image

¶ More than 80 organisations from across northern England have called on the Chancellor ahead of the Budget to “Keep it Clean” and back renewable energy. The North of England led the Industrial Revolution, and they say it should be at the forefront of this new, global, clean energy transformation. [Rochdale Online]

¶ President Barack Obama welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House as the two leaders sought to join forces to combat climate change. Trudeau and Obama have both described the warming planet as among the world’s most pressing challenges. [Midland Reporter-Telegram]

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama.
(AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

¶ EDF’s £18-billion project to build nuclear reactors in Britain is potentially risky for the state-owned utility, whose foreign investments in recent years have proved disappointing, France’s top public auditor has said. EDF’s cashflow and high debt limit its capacity to invest abroad. [The Guardian]

¶ A consortium comprising Italy’s Enel Green Power SpA, Morocco-based Nareva Holding, and Germany’s Siemens Wind Power have won the preferred bidder status in a 850-MW wind power tender in Morocco. There are five wind parks involved ranging from 100 MW to 300 MW. [SeeNews Renewables]

Sunset in the Sahara by Christopher L. on flickr.com CC BY 2.0

Sunset in the Sahara by Christopher L. on flickr.com CC BY 2.0

¶ While an area within 12.5 miles (20 km) of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remains an exclusion zone, it is still unclear how many people have succumbed to or suffer from radiation-caused cancer diseases directly linked to the crippled plant. Almost 10% of people still live in temporary housing. [RT]

US:

¶ Array Technologies, Inc, a provider of solar tracking systems, announced the commission of that the 45 MW Sandstone solar PV project in Florence, Arizona. Sandstone is owned and operated by sPower. It is a ground-mounted single-axis tracker photovoltaic installation. [solarserver.com]

Sandstone Solar has more than 182,000 JinkoSolar PV modules mounted on ATI’s trackers. Image: Salt River Project

Sandstone Solar has more than 182,000 JinkoSolar PV modules mounted on ATI’s trackers. Image: Salt River Project

¶ In 2015, Minnesota generated 21% of its electricity from renewable energy, including wind, solar, hydro and biomass. A decade ago, it was at just 6%. The state is well on pace to exceed its Renewable Energy Standard of 25% by 2025, according to its Department of Commerce. [Hometown Focus]

¶ Colorado regulators approved Xcel Energy’s $91-million plans for two battery test sites. The projects, part of the company’s Innovation Clean Technology demonstration project program, will be used to test the use of batteries and solar power for microgrids. [Utility Dive]

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