April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2016

Opinion:

Powerhive is delivering prepaid solar microgrids to rural
villages
• The next clean energy step for the developing world might be solar-powered microgrids, such as those Powerhive is developing. These systems can deliver clean energy to remote villages of as few as 200 people. [Treehugger]

Microgrid construction © Powerhive

Microgrid construction © Powerhive

Obama says wind power cheaper in Texas than power from ‘dirty fossil fuels’ • Rallying Texas Democrats, President Obama said that wind is a better bargain in Texas than traditional oil and gas. Come again? Wind power sure has sizzle, but is this true? The answer is “mostly yes.” [Houston Chronicle]

World:

¶ In a recent piece published on its website, consultancy firm Bridge to India posited that the question of whether the India solar market is “running on fumes.” The firm believes that “many developers seem to be bidding for project first and planning to raise capital later.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Energy storage manufacturer for solar, Sunvault Energy, is involved in a project to construct and maintain Canada’s first “self-sustainable community”, with technologies including solar, energy storage and biomass, alongside what will be British Columbia’s largest PV park. [PV-Tech]

SDC has already started work on the 200-home community in Kelowna, BC. Image: stantoncady / Flickr

SDC has already started work on the 200-home community in Kelowna, BC. Image: stantoncady / Flickr

¶ Argentina aims for $5 billion in investments in renewable energy by 2018 to reduce its energy deficit, as hopes for near-term increased output from the Vaca Muerta shale field fade. A new law mandates an increased share of renewable energy from its current 1.8% to 8% of consumption. [agprofessional.com]

¶ The project of the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant is dead, says the author of the project, Lithuania’s former energy minister Arvydas Sekmokas. He said it would not be an economically beneficial project at the moment. The future situation on the electricity market is not clear. [The Baltic Course]

¶ The UK is to get a network of hydrogen stations that can produce fuel on site, following a partnership between industrial gas supplier BOC and clean fuel company ITM Power. ITM’s technology uses surplus renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water via electrolysis. [Fleet World]

ITM Power has technology which can produce hydrogen on site, using renewable energy and water

ITM Power has technology which can produce hydrogen on site, using renewable energy and water

US:

¶ Wondering how prepared your state is for upcoming changes in climate? If you’re in Texas, you might be in for trouble. This week, Climate Central unveiled the first-ever national analysis of state-level preparedness for climate change-driven, weather-related threats. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to a new ‘Data Bite’ from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, production of US coal is currently running 30% below the same period a year earlier, reflecting “an historic shift in both the coal industry and the electric power sector it serves.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Colorado wind power is rising with 1,880 huge turbines erected across the prairie. It has reached the point where the wind turbines generated 67% of Xcel Energy’s Colorado-made electricity one morning in November and 54% for two 24-hour periods in October, feats that are unmatched. [The Denver Post]

Giant Vestas wind turbine blades are loaded on a train awaiting delivery at the plant on Tuesday. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Giant Vestas wind turbine blades take a train ride. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

¶ Duke Energy joined with Walt Disney World Resort and Reedy Creek Improvement District to develop a 5-MW solar facility on 22 acres near Epcot, across from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. The facility will be made of 48,000 solar panels and operated by Duke Energy. [Fox 35 Orlando]

¶ The Town Board of North Salem, New York, has opted to make the renewable energy option the default plan for residents and small business. The customers will have a fixed-rate of $0.07085/kWh for 100% renewable power, or can opt-out and go with a variable rate for utility power. [TAPinto.net]

¶ A noteworthy trend of the past year was growing demand for wind energy from major corporations. The trend goes beyond high-tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon Web Services, to such traditional companies as Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart. [Midland Reporter-Telegram]

Wind turbines in West Texas.

Wind turbines in West Texas.

¶ American wind power supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016, an increase of 20% in a year, according to a US Wind Industry Annual Market Report. Strong job growth coincided with wind ranking number one as America’s leading source of new generating capacity. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ The unicameral Nebraska legislature moved LB 824 to its third and final debate and vote by passing it as amended in a 32 to 8 vote and preventing a filibuster by its opponents. The bill will allow developers to more easily build in the wind-rich state and export the electricity to other states. [Utility Dive]

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