July 5 Energy News

July 5, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The Energy Transitions Commission, made up of corporate, government, academic and non-profit groups, is now working on analysis to enable a high penetration of renewable energy onto energy grids. Its early findings have said intermittent renewable power can contribute up to 70% of grid electricity. [Business Green]

West of Duddon Sands

West of Duddon Sands

¶ Research from MIT says various different energy storage options make economic sense at current prices for some renewable energy projects. The energy storage options profiled by the study included: battery systems, pumped hydroelectric storage, and compressed air energy storage, among others. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ The wide-scale deployment of solar energy technologies in Ireland would see the generation of over 7,300 “high-value” jobs and would also slash fines from the European Union by more than €300 million a year onward from 2020, according to a new report from the Irish Solar Energy Association. [CleanTechnica]

Ireland. Photo by infomatique via RemodelHunt | CC BY-SA

Ireland. Photo by infomatique via RemodelHunt | CC BY-SA

¶ Renewable energy accounted for nearly 25% of global electrical capacity in 2015, according to a new study by REN21. Renewable power also saw its largest annual increase in capacity ever in 2015. Wind and solar PV had record additions again this year, accounting for about 77% of new installations. [ACHR NEWS]

¶ The Irish government is facing fresh calls for clarity over a delayed solar energy subsidy scheme. The Irish Farmer’s Association claims thousands of acres of land are under contracts awaiting news. A consultation on a support scheme and future tariffs in was expected in June but has not come. [Solar Power Portal]

Six thousand acres of farmland are currently under contract with solar developers. Image: Lightsource.

Six thousand acres of farmland are currently under
contract with solar developers. Image: Lightsource.

¶ French energy giant EDF has reiterated support for its delayed new nuclear power station in Hinkley, although a final investment decision is yet to come. EDF has been consulting with unions in France, some of which have voiced concern about the financial impact of the £18 billion project on the company. [Energy Voice]

¶ Renewable electricity development in the UK is advancing well, but slow progress in other sectors means the country will miss 2020 renewables targets, a National Grid report says. The report’s most optimistic scenario is that the UK will only consume 12% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. [reNews]

Renewable energy on a Northumberland homestead. Photo by Oliver Dixon. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Renewable energy on a Northumberland homestead.
Photo by Oliver Dixon. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Japan, it seems, is willing to gamble when it comes to nuclear power. Five years after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the country’s Environment Ministry has announced its decision to reuse the tainted soil from the nuclear site even before its radiation level reaches the safety criteria. [Nature World News]

US:

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission has moved to allow Southern California Edison to put $8.7 million more into demand response programs intended specifically to deal with problems created by the Aliso Canyon leak. The investment is reportedly to be part of broader energy efficiency measures. [CleanTechnica]

Flying over the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak.

Flying over the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak.

¶ In the latest development for the rapidly shrinking US coal industry, last week the Interior Department announced a new rule closing a loophole basing royalties on artificially low prices. The loophole enabled exporters to pocket millions in revenue that could have gone back to the taxpaying public. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Murray Energy, the largest privately held US coal company, is warning workers of massive layoffs planned for September. As many as 82% of workers could lose their jobs at the company, which employs people across six states. Murray says Obama’s environmental regulations are partly to blame. [Antigua Observer]

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