June 14 Energy Week

June 14, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A big spike in atmospheric CO2 levels means the greenhouse gas is about to pass a symbolic threshold. This year will very likely mark the first time the concentration of CO2, as measured atop Hawaii’s famous Mauna Loa volcano, has been above 400 parts per million for the entire year. [BBC]

Night falls at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Photo by LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Night falls at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Photo by LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy announced that it has received a major funding boost for its ambitious rooftop solar power program. The program is expected to receive low-cost debt funding worth $2.5 billion from several international development banks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Siemens and Van Oord have installed 75 of the 150 4-MW turbines at the 600-MW Gemini wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. The units are being transported from Esbjerg, in Denmark, to the project. It should be completed in 2017; it delivered first power in February. [reNews]

Turbines being installed at Gemini (Van Oord image)

Turbines being installed at Gemini (Van Oord image)

¶ According to a recently issued document by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, as many as 52 departments and ministries of the central government have pledged to add almost 6 GW of rooftops solar power capacity on land and rooftop area available with them. [PlanetSave.com]

¶ The Indian Energy Ministry cancelled plans for four coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon emission and focus on renewable energy. The four plants have a total capacity of 16 GW and were initially planned to be built in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh. [Power Technology]

India cancels plan to build four coal-fired power plants. Photo courtesy of meepoohfoto / Freedigitalphotos.

India cancels plan to build four coal-fired power plants.
Photo courtesy of meepoohfoto / Freedigitalphotos.

¶ Last week, the much-awaited monsoon rains arrived in India, to the relief of authorities and citizens. But this isn’t going to fix India’s long-term water issues. A Greenpeace report highlights how India’s coal industry is depleting water resources, though Renewables can mitigate this. [Quartz]

US:

¶ Last year 35% of all the electricity provided by San Diego Gas & Electric came from renewable sources, a record for the company and for California investor-owned utilities. That puts the company well ahead of schedule for California climate change requirements of 33% by 2020. [inewsource]

NRG Borrego Springs plant. Jim Sulley / newscast

NRG Borrego Springs plant. Jim Sulley / newscast

¶ The Supreme Court on Monday left intact a key Obama administration environmental regulation, refusing to hear an appeal from 20 states seeking to block rules that limit the emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from the nation’s power plants. [Washington Post]

¶ Toyota is about to move into its new 2.1 million square foot North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. It engaged Priority Power Management, an independent energy management and consulting services firm, to help it plan how to use almost entirely renewable power. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota image

Toyota image

¶ Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed S. 260. He said the bill addresses criticism of weak local control over wind and solar-energy projects in an earlier bill he had vetoed, while at the same time supporting the growth of green-energy infrastructure. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

¶ Utah is one of several states with budget shortfalls this year, as oil and gas production hit all-time lows. Coal production was at a 30-year low in 2015 and total energy revenues were half of what they were in 2014. Consumers are considering rooftop solar to take control of their own power. [KSL.com]

Photo Courtesy of Legend Solar

Photo Courtesy of Legend Solar

¶ New York policymakers are considering the most cost-effective way to reach the state’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030 within a competitive market. The Public Service Commission held a conference on a plan to transition the state away from fossil fuel, and eventually nuclear. [RTO Insider]

¶ The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved a plan by Minnesota Power Co to idle two units totaling 150 MW at the company’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center this fall and ceasing coal operations at the site in 2020. The plan also move up the date for closing two other facilities. [POWER magazine]

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