June 4 Energy News

June 4, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists say climate change is causing Himalayan glaciers to melt at an alarming rate, creating huge glacial lakes which could burst their banks and devastate mountain communities. The surface area of one lake grew from 0.4 to 1.01 square kilometres between 1984 and 2009. [Deccan Chronicle]

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink by 70% or even disappear. (Representational Image)

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink by 70%
or even disappear. (Representational Image)

¶ Swedish researchers, whose study was reported in Science, found exposure to high concentrations of polystyrene makes perch larvae favor the particles over more natural foods. As a result of exposure to plastic, the young perch are smaller, slower and more susceptible to predators. [BBC]

World:

¶ Much of Europe prides itself on its determination to act resolutely on climate change, but in at least one key respect it has failed to back its rhetoric with action. Its investment in renewable energy showed a significant drop in 2015, falling to its lowest level in almost a decade. [Truthdig]

The decline in investment has cast a cloud over Europe’s renewable energy efforts. (kismihok via Flickr)

The decline in investment has cast a cloud over Europe’s
renewable energy efforts. (kismihok via Flickr)

¶ Solar thermal technology developer Solastor, based in New South Wales, is set to launch a proposal for the development of a solar thermal and storage plant of up to 170 MW in Port Augusta, South Australia, that it says will provide the state with 24/7 base load and peak load generation. [RenewEconomy]

¶ M+W group has selected Jenbacher gas engines and a Monsal anaerobic digestion system, both supplied by GE, for Surrey County Council’s new Eco Park waste treatment and biogas facility being built by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK in Shepperton, UK. [Waste Management World]

M+W anaerobic plant. Image ©

M+W anaerobic plant. Image ©

¶ The International Energy Agency published a paper, “Next Generation Wind and Solar Power: From cost to value,” which argues that we are approaching a new phase of deployment of wind and solar PV in which the two technologies are both technologically mature and affordable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority announced plans to build the world’s largest concentrated solar project. The site, about 50 km outside the city center, already houses PV technology. The first 200-MW project phase is scheduled to be completed by 2021. [CanadianManufacturing.com]

The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, currently the world's largest. Photo by Jllm06, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, currently the world’s largest.
Photo by Jllm06, via Wikimedia Commons.

¶ EDF and China General Nuclear Corporation, the same two companies that are set to build the UK’s Hinkley C nuclear power station, have just ‘sealed’ their twin reactors at Taishan, China, disregarding widespread fears that they are unsafe and may crack in operation. [The Ecologist]

¶ French energy group Engie has lined up ZAR 9.2 billion ($602 million / €532 million) in financing for its 100-MW Kathu concentrating solar power plant in South Africa, Agence Ecofin reports today, citing information from a legal adviser of Engie for the project. [SeeNews Renewables]

CSP plant in the US. Featured Image: Mike Flippo / Shutterstock.com

CSP plant in the US. Image: Mike Flippo / Shutterstock.com

US:

¶ A new report provides insights on solar power and energy storage. One of the more stunning of these is in its Executive Summary, “The addition of storage technologies has the potential to nearly double stand-alone solar electricity bill savings at about a third of the cost of solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Microgrid capacity in the US will reach 3.71 GW by 2020, an increase over GTM Research’s predictions last year which called for 2.85 GW in a base-case scenario. The new estimates, however, exceed even last year’s high-end predictions, Greentech Media reports. [Utility Dive]

Microgrid. Image Credit: Wiki.floksociety.org

Microgrid. Image Credit: Wiki.floksociety.org

¶ Italian firm Building Energy’s US subsidiary has signed two agreements with Capital One Bank to build and operate the first distributed generation windfarm in Iowa. With a total equity investment of about $56 million, it will add up to 30 MW of wind generation capacity. [Power Technology]

¶ The Sierra Club and its Beyond Coal Campaign released an economic analysis they say shows NV Energy ratepayers would save hundreds of millions of dollars if the scheduled closure of the North Valmy coal plant in northern Nevada was moved up from 2025 to 2019. [KNPR]

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