April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Unencumbered by red tape, venture-backed fusion may be faster and cheaper than government-sponsored projects, and some very influential people agree. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel are all backing firms in fusion development. [BBC]

The plasma inside a tokamak reactor must be confined...but that's the hard part (Credit: SPL)

The plasma inside a tokamak reactor must be
confined … but that’s the hard part (Credit: SPL)

World:

¶ A new UK Public Attitudes Tracking Survey found that 81% of people polled support renewable energy. Support for individual technologies remained high. Total support for solar sat at 84%; Wave and Tidal at 77%; Offshore wind 76%; 69% for onshore wind; and 63% for biomass. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Peru’s Ministry of Energy said on Wednesday the country’s wind and solar energy output in March 2016 increased 79% year-on-year to 96 GWh. The huge difference can be attributed to the 97-MW CE Tres Hermanas wind park that began commercial operation that March. [SeeNews Renewables]

Renewable power. Author: Gerry Machen. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Renewable power. Author: Gerry Machen.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

¶ A global network of over 270 institutional investors, representing assets of over €20 trillion, warned global utilities of the threat of climate change. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change released a report this week as a guide to help move boards of utility companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently reported that the country added 6,937 MW of grid-connected renewable energy capacity during FY 2015–16. The target for the year was 4,460 MW. Additionally, 176 MW of distributed renewable energy capacity was added. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ A 36-inch natural gas pipeline 30 miles east of Pittsburgh exploded. One man got burns as he ran for his life. Towering trees were reduced to blackened poles and siding melted off buildings. A quarter-mile evacuation zone was established. The cause is unknown. [Staunton News Leader]

A burned out house after a natural gas explosion in Salem Township, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A burned out house after a natural gas explosion in Salem Township, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

¶ At present, 47% of conservative Republicans now believe climate change is happening. That’s according to a national survey released this week by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. [CNN]

¶ ExxonMobil reported a 63% slide in first quarter profits following low crude oil prices and weak refining margins. It reported a profit of $1.8 billion, a sharp decline from $4.94 billion for the same period last year and its lowest quarterly profit since 1999. Rival Chevron suffered losses. [BBC]

Reuters photo

Reuters photo

¶ The US wind industry added 520 MW in the first quarter of 2016, its most productive first quarter since 2012, with another 2 GW in construction. This brings the country’s total capacity in construction to 10,100 MW, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Vermont Supreme Court on Friday sided with developers of a major solar power project in Rutland Town against the wishes of the town and its neighbors. The five-member court split three ways before ruling 3-2 in support of allowing construction of the project. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

¶ If Nebraska switches from coal to wind energy, it would save the state almost two billion gallons of water a year, according to the Center for Rural Affairs. Nebraska currently ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy potential and 13th for solar power potential, but relies heavily on coal. [HPPR]

Wind power plants. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

Wind power plants. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Missouri-based Associated Electric Cooperative Inc has issued a request for proposals for 50 MW to 300 MW of renewable energy from wind power. AECI is a wholesale power supplier to six regional generation and transmission cooperatives in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. [North American Windpower]

¶ With Exelon’s Clinton nuclear power plant again in jeopardy of closing, Illinois state legislators and local officials are renewing their effort to pass legislation to save the plant that is DeWitt County’s largest employer. The plant has lost $453 million over the last six years. [Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette]

¶ A national campaign by the nuclear industry to stabilize profits in a volatile energy market scored a victory Friday night with the unanimous passage of bipartisan legislation changing the rules for procuring electricity in Connecticut, a state heavily reliant on nuclear power. [The CT Mirror]

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