March 31 Energy News

March 31, 2016

Opinion:

This chart shows the United States’ mind-blowing clean energy potential • The United States uses about 3.7 million GWh of electricity each year. The next time someone tries to make the argument that 100 percent renewable energy is out of reach for the U.S., show them this image: [Grist]

From the Environment America Research & Policy Center

From the Environment America Research & Policy Center

Wake up call for oil companies: electric vehicles will deflate oil demand • Major oil companies greatly underestimate the impact electric vehicles will have on their market. Trends currently underway in the auto industry are likely to have a substantial impact on oil demand. [CleanTechnica]

Clear Skies From Wind Power • Over 17 million Americans have asthma. Every year it is responsible for more than 10 million doctor visits and 1.8 million trips to the emergency room. Health professionals tell us one of the biggest triggers for an asthma attack is air pollution. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶ David Cameron is to announce plans for the largest ever shipment of nuclear waste from the UK to the US. In return, the US will send a different type of used uranium to Europe, where it will be used medically. But Friends of the Earth said transporting nuclear waste across the ocean is too risky. [BBC]

The UK waste will come from the Dounreay facility in Caithness. Thinkstock

The UK waste will come from the Dounreay facility in Caithness. Thinkstock

¶ Japan’s electricity market is going through a fundamental shake-up, with the introduction of greater competition for households and small businesses. Until now, regional utilities have monopolized supply. With the change, consumers can choose their electricity provider. [The Japan Times]

¶ Energy storage development in Ireland remains purposely technology-agnostic and this, together with the strong drivers behind storage in the country, is transforming the country into Europe’s energy storage lab, as highlighted a recent Grid and Storage workshop in London. [pv magazine]

The ninth regional Grid and Storage workshop shone a light on Ireland's energy storage R&D. Pam Brophy/Wikipedia

The ninth regional Grid and Storage workshop shone a light on Ireland’s energy storage R&D. Pam Brophy/Wikipedia

¶ Cambodia can get 90% of its energy from wind, solar and biomass by 2050, the World Wildlife Federation found in a new report published yesterday. Renewable energy will soon be cheaper than fossil fuels, especially with their environmental damage and health costs. [The Phnom Penh Post]

¶ A new solar project in the Dominican Republic will be the largest of its kind in the Caribbean. The Monte Plata project, named for the capital city and province in which it is located, is a 33.4-MW PV array destined to churn out five times as much clean energy as the nation currently generates. [Inhabitat]

Image via Phanes Group

Image via Phanes Group

¶ Two solar power projects with a total installed capacity of 185 MW were commissioned in the Philippines. This includes the largest project in Southeast Asia, a 135 MW project now operational at Cadiz. Local media reports say the project’s total cost was about $200 million. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ Many have long speculated about fracking and its possible negative impact on drinking water. Recent research released today from Stanford scientists finds for the first time that fracking operations in Wyoming have had a clear impact on underground sources of drinking water. [CleanTechnica]

US EPA staff members sample a monitoring well for contaminants from hydraulic fracturing. (Photo: Dominic DiGiulio)

US EPA staff members sample a monitoring well for contaminants from hydraulic fracturing. (Photo: Dominic DiGiulio)

¶ Analysis of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the DOE for Environmental Entrepreneurs found that over 2.5 million Americans work in the clean energy sector. Almost 1.9 million work on energy efficiency, 300,000 in the solar industry, and 77,000 with windpower. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Dominion Virginia Power’s plan to build a 1,588 MW, natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant, rejecting assertions by independent power producers and environmentalists that the utility failed to fully explore cost-effective alternatives. [Platts]

¶ It might seem like a bad April Fool’s joke, but Plant Vogtle is no laughing matter to Georgia Power customers. They have already paid more than $1.4 billion for reactors that won’t be operational until 2020 or 2021. The first was supposed to be operational on April 1, 2016. [Creative Loafing Atlanta]

The first of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle were supposed to open April 1. (Georgia Power Company)

The first of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle were supposed to open April 1. (Georgia Power Company)

¶ HP is joining RE100, a worldwide initiative of big-name businesses committed to 100% renewables. RE100 works with companies like HP to help them transition to renewable energy sources and accelerate the shift of the global energy market to a low-carbon economy. [North American Windpower]

¶ SunEdison, the US-based solar power giant, is at “a substantial risk” of bankruptcy, ne of its own publicly listed subsidiaries says. The statement was made by one of SunEdison’s “yieldcos,” listed companies that hold renewable energy assets and have long-term power purchase deals with utilities. [GCR]

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