April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2016

Opinion:

Renewable energy versus nuclear: dispelling the myths • All of the world’s electricity needs can be supplied by renewables. But the first hurdle is to refute the deliberately misleading myths designed to promote the politically powerful but ultimately doomed nuclear industry. [The Ecologist]

Large wind and solar farms are ready now to replace fossil and nuclear electricity. Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

Large wind and solar farms are ready technology. Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

Science and Technology:

¶ Siemens AG is building a plant near Oxford, England, that makes ammonia by electrolysis instead of through the traditional reaction fed by fossil fuels. If fed by idled renewable power plants, the process would make emissions-free fertilizer used by farmers everywhere. [Bloomberg]

¶ Researchers at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland examined new methods of extracting lithium from natural brine sources. They found that the new methods allow for an increase in the purity of the recovered lithium solution all the way up to 99.9%. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium in Paraffin - Public Domain

Lithium in Paraffin – Public Domain

World:

¶ Mitsubishi Motors admitted falsifying fuel economy test data for more than 600,000 vehicles. The data involved 157,000 of its own brand light passenger cars and 468,000 vehicles produced for Nissan. The problem was uncovered after Nissan pointed out inconsistencies in emissions data. [BBC]

¶ Victoria network operator Ausnet Services is to take part of a Melbourne suburb completely off grid, powered only with rooftop solar and battery storage, in a first-of-its kind trial in Australia. The planned trial highlights mini-grids as a cost-effective alternative. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UAE just took another step in its shift to renewable electricity. Ninety thousand solar panels, capable of generating between 30 and 40 MW, will be installed on 19 rooftops in Dubai’s Jebel Ali free zone buildings, parking sheds, and the surrounding parking areas. [CleanTechnica]

Sun setting over downtown Dubai. Taken from Festival City by the_dead_pixel via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Sun setting over downtown Dubai. Taken from Festival City by the_dead_pixel via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

¶ India added close to 3,019 MW of grid-connected solar capacity in 2015-16, which is well above its target of 2,000 MW. India’s total solar power generation capacity touched 6,763 MW as of March 31, 2016, according to the latest update on progress on clean energy initiatives. [Moneycontrol.com]

¶ Solar power generation is now cheaper than coal power generation, India’s energy minister Piyush Goyal said. The latest auction of solar energy capacity in India achieved a record low price of ₹4.34/kWh (7¢/kWh). Goyal predicted a surge in solar energy in the near future. [The Inquisitr]

¶ Bladt Industries has loaded out the offshore substation for the 288-MW Sandbank offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The substation and its jacket foundation are in Aalborg on the barge AMT Commander, ready to sail to the construction site some 90 km west of the island of Sylt. [reNews]

Sandbank substation. Bladt Industries photo

Sandbank substation. Bladt Industries photo

¶ The UK’s energy secretary has admitted for the first time that the lights would stay on if new nuclear reactors at Hinkley were cancelled or delayed. She said previously that new gas and nuclear power would be “central to our energy-secure future.” Now she is talking about alternatives. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Six New York State electric utilities and three leading solar development companies have formed a “Solar Progress Partnership” to encourage more solar development across the state, while ensuring that adequate funding is available to maintain a resilient grid. [Marketwired]

Two workers installing a tilt-up PV array on a roof near Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo by Lucas Braun. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Two workers installing PVs near Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo by Lucas Braun. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Exelon Generation and Renewable Energy Systems announced today the development of a 10-MW battery storage facility in Clinton County, Ohio. Construction will begin during the second quarter of 2016, with the system expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. [SYS-CON Media]

¶ A partnership of the Navy, TVA and local utilities and agencies announced plans to build Tennessee’s largest solar-generating facility costing over $100 million at a 400-acre site in Millington. The 580,000 PV panels will be on tracking mounts and power about 7,500 homes. [Memphis Commercial Appeal]

A 400-acre solar array will be built on the north side of the Naval Support Activity Mid-South base in Millington. (file / The Commercial Appeal)

A 400-acre solar array will be built in Millington. (file / The Commercial Appeal)

¶ A nonprofit that installed solar panels on a church will appeal a decision by regulators saying it couldn’t charge for electricity. The nonprofit North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network billed the congregation about half of the retail price. [Richmond County Daily Journal]

¶ The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co LLC, celebrated opening its Green Energy Facility in Freetown, Massachusetts, on April 15. The facility will convert inedible food from its New England stores into energy that will help power the company’s distribution center. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

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