April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar energy panels that can also generate power from raindrops have been designed, offering a possible solution for homeowners in the UK to invest in renewable energy. The all-weather solar panels that can create electricity from light on sunny days and rain on cloudy days. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Solar panels can save up to £135 a year in energy bills.

Solar panels can save up to £135 a year in energy bills.

¶ January 2016 was the most anomalously hot month on record, going by NASA’s temperature figures. Now it appears that February 2016 already beat the record, with an anomaly (over the pre-industrial average) of somewhere between 1.15° C and 1.4° C during the month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Solar power has the potential to generate about 40% of America’s energy, yet the technology still has limitations. One is weather. Clouds and rain diminish solar cell efficiency, a problem for places that are more overcast than sunny. But new research could change that. [Inhabitat]

Clouds and solar panels. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Clouds and solar panels. Image via Wikimedia Commons


¶ Despite the strong bias that most Germans have for German-made cars, it appears that the Tesla Model 3 unveiling has made quite an impact. A new poll from the German car magazine Autobild found that 66% of those queried said that they would consider buying a Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Origin Energy, one of country’s big three utilities, says Australia could be a market leader in solar-powered electric vehicles, given the right incentives and policies that could encourage the uptake of renewable energy and force the closure of the most polluting brown coal power stations. [CleanTechnica]

Solar car port

Solar car port

¶ Technology giant Google announced it will help renewables grow in Asia. It will provide seed funding to the Center for Resource Solutions to start rolling out renewable energy certification programs across the continent. The program will begin work in Taiwan. [Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy]

¶ Expect some sparks to fly in Australia’s electricity market. Australia has 7000 MW of oversupply in the wholesale electricity market and needs another 5500 MW of new renewable energy generation to achieve its 2020 renewable energy target. This is going to cause enormous oversupply. [The Australian]

¶ Project partners Atkins and Pilot Offshore have filed to build a 48-MW floating wind demonstrator off the coast of Aberdeenshire. The project will feature eight 6-MW turbines semi-submersible floating foundations. Kincardine will be built in waters between 60 and 80 meters deep. [reNews]

Principle Power's Windfloat design (Principle Power)

Principle Power’s Windfloat design (Principle Power)

¶ A TEPCO senior official admitted to knowing the criteria to assess reactor meltdowns at onset of the Fukushima nuclear accident. It took the company two months to make the declaration and another five years to “discover” the operational manual that told it when to declare a meltdown. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a new estimate of rooftop solar potential, updating the 2008 energy atlas, Energy Self-Reliant States. New maps show much more potential to get our electricity from solar on nearby buildings than we thought. [CleanTechnica]

Changes attributable to more accurate roof surveys

Changes attributable to more accurate roof surveys

¶ A report released by the White House warns that climate change is a growing threat to public health, and extreme heat will kill around 27,000 US residents per year by 2100. A science adviser commenting on it said extreme heat waves will make outdoor work periodically “impossible.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Lawmakers will soon get a report on whether Vermont should purchase a series of hydroelectric dams along the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. In the meantime, they’re discovering that the next owners of the dams will be under heavy pressure to address a range of environmental concerns. [Valley News]


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