March 27 Energy News

March 27, 2016

World:

¶ In India, Tata Power’s Mulshi solar plant shows how energy needs do not have to be met at the cost of the environment. Suitable plants will be grown immediately below the solar panels so that all the available land there can be utilized to its fullest, with its fertility maintained. [Daily News & Analysis]

The site of the Mulshi solar plant run by Tata Power

The site of the Mulshi solar plant run by Tata Power

¶ A battery storage trial by an Australian network operator shows that the combined benefits of battery storage nearly match the costs of technology, and should exceed them with falling battery costs. The trial tested battery systems using five different types of demand management. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Morgan Stanley, which predicted a million Australian households will adopt battery storage over the next four years, says the broader Australian energy market, including incumbent coal-fired generators, the big networks and retailers, still underestimates coming market changes. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Investment in wind generation of electricity has propelled Mexico on to the list of the 10 countries that recorded the greatest spending on renewable sources of energy. That spending in Mexico in 2015 totaled $4 billion, representing a growth of 105% over the previous year. [Mexico News Daily]

Long load: wind turbine blade en route to new Tamaulipas wind farm. El Sol de Tampico

Wind turbine blade en route to new Tamaulipas wind farm.
El Sol de Tampico

¶ Two large media companies, Sky and Bloomberg, have both pledged to go “100% renewable” as part of the RE100 initiative. Sky will source 100% renewable electricity by the year 2020 “where available;” and that Bloomberg will purchase only renewable electricity by the year 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A mere two days after bombs in Brussels killed 31 people, a security officer who worked for a nuclear power plant was murdered and his pass stolen. A story in local newspaper Dernière Heure emphasized the security badge was de-activated shortly after the guard was found dead. [Slate Magazine]

Belgium's Doel nuclear plant. Photo by LimoWreck. CC BY-SW 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Belgium’s Doel nuclear plant. Photo by LimoWreck.
CC BY-SW 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

US:

¶ The number of energy loans in danger of default is on course to extend above 50% this year at several major banks, including Wells Fargo & Co and Comerica Inc, according to bankers and others in the industry. Oil prices remaining at around $40 a barrel would be bad news for the banks. [morningstar.com]

¶ According to Solar Power Rocks, a website to help homeowners understand the ins and outs of investment returns on local solar panel installations, half of the top ten states where switching over to solar power makes the most economic sense are in the Northeast. [Republican & Herald]

¶ Wisconsin’s renewable energy landscape has been pretty much frozen for five years, especially for wind farms. While neighboring states have been blossoming with wind development, Wisconsin has become almost a “black hole” of development. And it shows in lost jobs. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Turbines on a We Energies wind farm near Johnsburg in northeastern Fond du Lac County in 2014. Credit: Mark Hoffman

Turbines on a We Energies wind farm near Johnsburg in northeastern Fond du Lac County in 2014. Credit: Mark Hoffman

¶ Natural gas may have become the dominant source nationally for electrical power generation in 2016, but coal remains king in Nebraska. Nevertheless, more renewable energy sources have begun to creep into Nebraska’s energy portfolio with investments in windpower. [Lincoln Journal Star]

¶ The US DOE released the agency’s first annual analysis of how changes in America’s energy profile are affecting national employment in multiple energy sectors. The inaugural US Energy and Employment Report provides a broad view of the energy employment landscape. [Imperial Valley News]

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