April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Earth Day: We’re not as doomed as you think” • There are plenty of reasons to be scared about the future: melting glaciers, intensifying heat waves, vanishing rainforests, falling temperature records, bleached out coral, and kids in China don’t know the sky is blue. But it’s not the full picture. [CNN]

Deforested landscape for tea cultivation in Malaysia. Photo by Myloismylife - Loke Seng Hon. CC BY-SA 3.o unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Landscape deforested for tea cultivation in Malaysia.
Photo by Myloismylife – Loke Seng Hon.
CC BY-SA 3.o unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ “New Evidence Of Challenge For Nuclear Power Industry” • GE-Hitachi to exit laser enrichment program. Pilgrim nuclear plant to cease operations. Serious earthquakes in Japan rattling the nuclear industry. US Nuclear power struggling to compete with solar and wind. [Seeking Alpha]

¶ “Germany’s Energiewende goes global” • As world leaders ratify the Paris climate agreement, many look to Germany’s energy transition as a model for reducing emissions. Even without a storage solution, Germany has managed to get 33% of its electricity with renewables. [Deutsche Welle]

Offshore wind in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium. Photo by Hans Hillewaert. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium. Photo by Hans Hillewaert. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ How much could you reduce reliance on grid power by installing solar plus a battery? Energy Matters’ new user-friendly solar + battery calculator provides an estimate. Other online solar + storage calculators already available, but they can be complicated to use and difficult to interpret. [Energy Matters]

World:

¶ South Africa’s PV industry is still small but it’s growing at an exponential rate with 159 MW already installed, up from just 35 MW a year before. As the price of PVs continues to fall and the price of electricity pushes ever upward, more people will look to rooftop PV as an alternative. [Daily Maverick]

Photo by ZME Science.

Photo by ZME Science.

¶ A dozen British companies will be paid to use electricity under a scheme National Grid will launch to balance the system in summer, when output is high from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. National Grid said 12 companies have won contracts for the scheme. [Reuters]

¶ The Paris Climate Agreement will be signed today. Signing the accord is not the same as “joining” it. For it to become law, at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have to formally join it by ratifying or approving it within their national governments. [Los Angeles Times]

Smoke curls from a chimney at a factory in Ahmadabad, India. (Ajit Solanki / Associated Press)

Smoke curls from a chimney at a factory in Ahmadabad, India.
(Ajit Solanki / Associated Press)

¶ The EU weakened proposals for environmental protections after receiving a letter from a top BP executive which warned of an exodus of the oil industry from Europe if they were pushed. The plant regulations eventually advanced were for a weaker pollution regime than China’s. [edie.net]

US:

¶ The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a draft environmental impact statement for the first phase of the Power Company of Wyoming’s 3-GW Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm in Rawlins, Wyoming. The agency is evaluating the impact of an eagle take permit for a 500-turbine project. [reNews]

Power Company of Wyoming image

Power Company of Wyoming image

¶ Political conservatives were once thought to be anti-solar, but some conservative groups are now advocating for solar. Rather than focusing on environmental benefits, however, their talking points emphasize energy security, freedom from monopolies and free-market principles. [Solar Industry]

¶ DC Solar Freedom has entered into an agreement with California State University, Northridge to provide solar energy products at its Northridge campus, at no cost to the University. The first-of-its-kind initiative by DC Solar Freedom aims to empower innovative uses for solar. [CSUN Today]

DC Solar charging stations give students the opportunity to charge devices when needed. Photo courtesy Austin Eriksson.

DC Solar charging stations give students the opportunity to charge devices when needed. Photo courtesy Austin Eriksson.

¶ SunEdison, once the fastest-growing US renewable energy company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a short-lived but unsustainable binge of debt-fueled acquisitions. The company said it had assets of $20.7 billion and liabilities of $16.1 billion as of September 30. [Yahoo News]

¶ US developer Invenergy is increasing the size of its proposed Bull Run wind farm in New York State by 50% to 449 MW. The company originally planned to build a 300 MW wind farm in Clinton County, located in the northeast corner of the state near the border with Canada. [reNews]

Invenergy image

Invenergy image

¶ A yet-to-be-introduced bill would extend a freeze on Ohio’s renewable-energy requirements for an additional three years. It would extend a current two-year delay in phasing in state targets for use of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy by Ohio power companies. [Akron Legal News]

¶ A study on the impact large-scale hydro and wind power imports could have on the Massachusetts energy market predicts significant savings for consumers, challenging the narrative put forward by critics the governor’s energy bill that hydropower would be a costly alternative. [Worcester Telegram]

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