March 19 Energy News

March 19, 2016

Opinion:

Dispelling the nuclear ‘baseload’ myth: nothing renewables can’t do better! • The main claim used to justify nuclear is that it’s the only low carbon power source that can supply ‘reliable, base-load electricity. But renewables can match grid demand continuously in a way nuclear power cannot. [RenewEconomy]

This wind farm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern helps the entire state to run on 100% renewable energy. Photo: Clemens v. Vogelsang via Flickr (CC BY).

Wind farm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The state runs on 100% renewable energy. Photo: Clemens v. Vogelsang via Flickr (CC BY).

Five ways to power the UK that are far better than Hinkley
Point
• The planned £18 billion nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset are derided by critics as “one of the worst deals ever” for Britain. One energy policy expert has come up with five better ways of powering the nation: [The Guardian]

World:

¶ The CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway was recently quoted as saying that people need to begin realizing and accepting that fossil fuels are “probably dead,” owing to a changing climate and the environmental hurdles that are likely to be introduced in coming years to large-scale use of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Canadian rail cars carrying coal.

Canadian rail cars carrying coal.

¶ In a record-setting year for Canadian electricity exports, British Columbia bolted to first place in 2015. Canada’s net electricity exports increased by more than 14 TWh in 2015, an overall 30% increase over 2014. More than half of the increase was an additional 7.4 TWH from BC. [Business in Vancouver]

¶ According to a report by the Lazard investment fund, the cost of electricity generated with wind power fell 61% in the years from 2009 to 2015. And the cost of solar energy fell 82%. This puts renewables into a price range that is competitive with fossil fuels, coal, or oil. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ Green energy production in the High Weald could power an entire village when plans for an anaerobic digester are submitted. The technology is off to a slow start in Britain, but hopes are high it could provide an alternative to fracking as a resource to produce power. [Kent and Sussex Courier]

A digester in Melton Ross, North Lincolnshire

A digester in Melton Ross, North Lincolnshire

¶ Solar microgrids are bringing reliable power to three remote villages in Nepal, where nearly a quarter of the population has no access to electricity. The microgrids have 35 kW of solar and battery storage, which is enough for 540 people and avoids carbon emissions. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ The global battery market in the telecom sector will grow 10.5% annually during the period 2016-2020, a report by Research and Markets said. Rising numbers of Telecom tower installations are built, 80% of which run on diesel generators. Solar or wind with batteries will reduce costs. [ETTelecom.com]

US:

¶ This is already turning out to be a very bad year for the “clean” image of natural gas, with earthquakes in Oklahoma, water pollution in Pennsylvania, a gas leak in California, and new federal emissions scrutiny. Now a proposed LNG export terminal on the Oregon coast failed to get approval. [Triple Pundit]

Cumulative number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or larger in the central and eastern United States, 1970–2016. Public domain: US Geological Survey Image. Wikimedia Commons.

Cumulative number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or larger in the central and eastern United States, 1970–2016. Public domain: US Geological Survey Image. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The three biggest coal mining companies in the United States, Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Cloud Peak Energy, depend on federal coal for the vast majority of coal they mine each year. This is the primary conclusion from a new report published this week by Greenpeace. [CleanTechnica]

¶ For the first time since Gallup first asked the question in 1994, a majority of Americans oppose nuclear energy. The 54% opposing it is up a lot from 43% a year ago. Those favoring nuclear have declined from 51% a year ago to 44% now. Before the Fukushima Disaster, approval stood at 57%. [Greentech Media]

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