March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A joint letter from more than 130 scientists refers to “lack of information,” “Misrepresentation,” and “Disregard for science that was not funded by the proponent.” Scientists condemn a flawed review process for a liquified natural gas project at the mouth of British Columbia’s Skeena River. [CleanTechnica]

Coast mountains near the mouth of the Skeena River by Roy Luck via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Coast mountains near the mouth of the Skeena River.
Photo by Roy Luck via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

World:

¶ As part of a plan announced last week, Norway will invest $923 million to create 10 broad, two lane, cross-country bicycle highways in and around Norway’s nine largest cities. The plan is a key component of an effort to slash Norway’s transportation emissions by 50%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India’s massive bet on solar power is paying off far earlier than anticipated. Indian solar prices are now within 15% of coal prices, according to KPMG. If current trends hold, the consultancy predicts electricity from solar will actually be 10% cheaper than domestic coal by 2020. [CNN]

A woman turns on a solar-powered light at her home near Mumbai.

A woman turns on a solar-powered light at her home near Mumbai.

¶ There is evidence that oil prices are stabilizing and could even begin to rise again, the International Energy Agency has said. Lower oil output in the US and other countries is curbing the glut in the oil supply. The increase in supply from Iran has also been less dramatic than first feared. [BBC]

¶ The 4,000-MW Nanticoke Generating Station ceased production in 2013 as part of Ontario’s phase-out of coal energy and was officially shuttered for safety reasons last year. But the strip of land on the north shore of Lake Erie will soon begin churning out power again, this time from solar PVs. [Solar Industry]

Ontario Power Generation’s Nanticoke Generating Station in southern Ontario. Photo: OPG

Ontario Power Generation’s Nanticoke Generating
Station in southern Ontario. Photo: OPG

¶ In the Philippines, five solar farms in Negros Island are producing another 139 MW of power, while the groundbreaking for a 25-MW biomass power plant is set April 6. Two other solar plants in Negros Occidental with a total output of 157.5 MW were connected to the grid. [Visayan Daily Star]

¶ It takes two years to build them. Each operator trains for a month before picking up their controls. And they get fried by radiation after working for just 10 hours. The robots sent in to search the core of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have a very short and specialized lifespan. [National Post]

A robot developed by Toshiba Corp. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

A robot developed by Toshiba Corp. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

¶ The boss of the French state-owned company behind the UK’s first new nuclear power station for 20 years has threatened to pull the plug on the £18-billion project without further backing from François Hollande’s government. He said he needed more financial support to proceed with construction. [HITC]

US:

¶ Oregon is the first state to eliminate coal from its power supply through legislation and now boasts some of the most stringent demands for renewable energy among. The law phases coal-generated energy by 2030 and requires utilities to provide half of its power renewably by 2040. [CNSNews.com]

¶ After six years and a lot of legal work, two couples won a rare $4.24 million jury verdict against a fracking company, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. The jury found that the company contaminated their water wells with methane leaching underground from natural gas fracking sites. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking Site in Warren Center, PA. Photo by Ostroff Law. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Fracking Site in Warren Center, PA.
Photo by Ostroff Law. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Vermont Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy unanimously approved a bill aimed at reforming Vermont’s energy siting process. State Senator John Rodgers said the Public Service Board still makes the final call despite increased local participation. [Watchdog.org]

¶ Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced on Friday that Holyoke will receive $1-million in grant funding to expand eco-friendly projects. The Department of Energy Resources awarded grants money to cities and towns with active or decommissioned coal generation facilities. [wwlp.com]

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