March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2016

World:

¶ Sixteen US ships that participated in relief efforts after Japan’s nuclear disaster five years ago remain contaminated with low levels of radiation from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, top Navy officials told Stars and Stripes. A total of 25 ships took part in Operation Tomadachi. [Stripes Japan]

Operation Tomadachi delivering supplies. Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark Stroud. Public domain photo, Marine Corps. Wikimedia Commons.

Operation Tomadachi delivering supplies. Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark Stroud. Public domain photo, Marine Corps. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The recent years have seen the demand for smart microgrids surge to unprecedented levels. This spike in demand is attributable to the growing share of renewable energy in the global energy matrix. Transparency Market Research has issued a report on the global smart microgrid market. [Industry Today]

¶ Connective Energy Holdings Limited, of Donegal, Ireland, has announced they will create 90 jobs over the next two years by using anaerobic digesters to turn manure into bio-gas. The first of six facilities is under construction at Glenmore Estate in Aghaveagh in Donegal. [Donegal Now]

Donegal company turns manure into 90 jobs

Donegal company turns manure into 90 jobs

¶ The Jordanian Cabinet approved delivering electricity to single-detached dwellings in poverty pockets using solar power units, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. The solar power units will not be part of the electricity grid and will cost a maximum of JD6,000 ($8462) for each house. [Zawya]

¶ Migrating trout near a Swedish hydropower plant are at the center of a long-running court case that may shape how utilities plan for a future without nuclear power. The case signals what lies ahead for utilities seeking alternative low-emission power sources in Sweden because nuclear is not profitable. [Chicago Tribune]

Water flows through the Ultra Hydroelectric power station. Must Credit: Bloomberg photo by Johan Jeppsson. (Johan Jeppsson / Bloomberg)

Water flows through the Ultra Hydroelectric power station. Must Credit: Bloomberg photo by Johan Jeppsson. (Johan Jeppsson / Bloomberg)

¶ Modelling from a group of engineers, energy analysts and IT experts in Western Australia shows that an electricity system with 85% renewable energy will be cheaper than “business as usual,” an average of A$124/MWh compared to A$127/MWh, and around the same price as current costs. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Five small off-grid solar power stations with energy storage will replace grid supply in a pilot project in Western Australia. Last year, devastating bushfires in the Esperance region destroyed hundreds of kilometers of power lines leaving customers without power for many days. [Energy Matters]

¶ Global efforts to curb the use of coal-fired power plants may provide a lifeline to Brazil’s embattled sugar cane industry. A group of companies formed a $130 million joint venture for making sugar cane-based biomass pellets that can be burned to produce electricity. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Ecologically grown sugarcane in Brazil. Photo by A. F. Yersin. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Ecologically grown sugarcane in Brazil. Photo by A. F. Yersin.
CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Sri Lanka today witnessed its third nationwide electricity blackout within six months. It disrupted the water supply to many parts of the island nation. The Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary said the cause of the power failure could a substation trip in Biyagama. [NDTV]

¶ Kansai Electric appealed a court decision ordering two nuclear reactors shut down even though they had been declared safe under tougher rules prompted by the Fukushima meltdown. The court had ordered the No 3 and No 4 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant to shut down. [Japan Today]

Kansai Electric Power's No 3 (L) and No 4 (R) reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant. AFP

Kansai Electric Power’s No 3 (L) and No 4 (R) reactors
at the Takahama nuclear plant. AFP

US:

¶ US wind and solar electricity generation grew by 20,659 MWh in 2015, compared to the full year 2014. That’s compared to fossil fuel electricity generation dropping by 18,041 MWh. Unfortunately, in part due to terrible drought, hydroelectricity generation dropped 8,199 MWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The 214 turbines in the Highland Wind Farm are online in O’Brien County, Iowa, and more are coming. O’Brien Wind Farm will add 104 turbines in the the county, and Ida Grove Wind Farm in Ida County will have 134 turbines. Both are expected to be finished by the end of the year. [Sioux City Journal]

Wind farm in Iowa. Photo by Tony Webster. CC-BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind farm in Iowa. Photo by Tony Webster.
CC-BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Energy Information Administration’s latest monthly report said the share of utility-scale renewable energy had increased by over 2% from 2014. Three months earlier, it predicted a decrease by 1.8% in 2015. The EIA’s record for long-term forecasts is consistently even worse. [DeSmog]

¶ Last week, a bipartisan group of 21 Florida mayors wrote to debate moderators to argue it would be “unconscionable for these issues of grave concern for the people of Florida [climate change and sea level rise] to not be addressed.” Candidates were asked and responded. [The Guardian]

Flooding in Florida community. Photo by Barry Bahler. Public domain - FEMA photo. Wikimedia Commons.

Flooding in Florida community. Photo by Barry Bahler.
Public domain – FEMA photo. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Arizona Public Service vocally supports flexible grid technologies, and peers in the industry ask why. APS identified five reasons it “got off the fence” over five years ago and began implementing flexible grid technologies to respond to a transforming marketplace. [Transmission and Distribution World]

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