July 15 Energy News

July 15, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “From Global Temps to Clean Energy, Broken Records Define the Climate Crisis” • We’re living in a time of records. More renewable energy came on stream in 2015 than ever, 147 GW, equal to Africa’s entire generating capacity. Other records were broken. But are the good records enough to help us deal with the bad? [AlterNet]

Image credit: Antonio-BanderAS / Shutterstock

Image credit: Antonio-BanderAS / Shutterstock

World:

¶ The UK’s government has axed the Department of Energy and Climate Change in a major departmental shake-up. The brief will be folded into an expanded Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under Greg Clark. Ed Miliband, the former energy and climate secretary under Labor, called the move “plain stupid.” [BBC]

¶ New figures from the US Energy Information Administration show that energy intensity continued its twenty-five year decline in 2015 in nearly every world region. According to the EIA, global energy intensity, measured as energy consumption per unit of GDP, has decreased by nearly one-third between 1990 and 2015. [CleanTechnica]

EIA image

           

¶ Acciona Energia signed a contract to sell electricity generated from the 168-MW El Cortijo wind farm in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state to the country’s Federal Electricity Commission. Under the 15-year contract, the company will annually supply 585.7 GWh. It also covers the clean energy certificates generated by the project. [CleanTechnology News]

¶ Charles Hendry, a former UK minister, said he is examining every possible way the £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) Swansea Tidal Lagoon can get the funds it needs to be built. His six-month review commissioned by the government is due to end in November. A loan guarantee used for a “super sewer” could be used as a model. [Bloomberg]

An artist's impression of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project . Source: Tidal Lagoon Power

An artist’s impression of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.
Source: Tidal Lagoon Power

US:

¶ A newly published investigation reveals systematic failures and retaliation against contractor employees who speak up about health and safety concerns throughout the DOE. In a news conference Thursday, three senators released the results of a two-year investigation from the Government Accountability Office. [Aiken Standard]

¶ Salt Lake City announced Wednesday its commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy sources by 2032. The city also plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2040. In the resolution, city officials stated that changes in water systems and extreme-weather events are increasingly having effects locally. [EcoWatch]

Salt Lake City skyline.

Salt Lake City skyline.

¶ The announcement that the Long Island Power Authority plans to approve a proposed 90-MW, 15-turbine wind farm next week was greeted enthusiastically by energy experts, elected officials and environmentalists. The US has no active wind farms and one of 30 MW capacity due to be online this summer. [The Japan Times]

¶ Nebraska ethanol producers are exploring ways to meet out-of-state carbon emission standards. Fuels sold in California, for instance, are taxed on the amount of carbon produced in their creation. The director of the Nebraska Energy Office says ethanol producers are looking to stay ahead of those regulations. [Nebraska Radio Network]

Corn piled near Plymouth, Nebraska. Photo by Ammodramus. CC BY-SA 1.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Corn piled near Plymouth, Nebraska. Photo by Ammodramus.
CC BY-SA 1.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The DOE announced up to $15 million for three projects aimed to reduce the production costs of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts through improvements in biomass yields. The projects are to develop highly productive algal cultivation coupled with effective, energy-efficient, and low-cost processing technologies. [Power Online]

¶ Kansas City Power and Light has announced the opening of its first solar power facility. The facility is located on 12 acres at KCP&L’s Greenwood Energy Center, a natural-gas power plant that is used at peak demand times. Its 11,500 solar panels will produce 4,700 MWh per year, enough to power nearly 440 homes. [Lee’s Summit Journal]

KCP&L’s Greenwood Energy Center solar array. Photo provided.

KCP&L’s Greenwood Energy Center solar array. Photo provided.

¶ A new report counts 66,000 clean-energy related jobs in Pennsylvania, up 15% from the last study, two years ago. “Clean Jobs Pennsylvania” said the employment at 5,900 businesses statewide was about 1% of the state’s total non-farm jobs. Most of the jobs, about 80%, were in the energy efficiency sector. [Pittsburgh Business Times]

¶ California has hit a new record for solar production of electric power, continuing its leadership in clean energy. According to officials, the new record of 8,030 MW was reached on Tuesday at 1:06 pm. They said this is nearly twice the amount of solar energy produced in mid-2014 and nearly 2,000 MW higher than in May of 2015. [KESQ]

Solar farm in California. Copyright 2016 Gulf California Broadcasting.

Solar farm in California. Copyright 2016 Gulf California Broadcasting.

¶ In November, Entergy announced that it would shutter the 41-year-old James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in January, amid economic pressures linked to low prices for natural gas. Now, Entergy confirmed it is in eleventh-hour discussions with Exelon for the sale of the plant, which is in New York state. [The Journal News | LoHud.com]

¶ The Florida Realtors joined business owners and others in support of Amendment 4, which would exempt solar panels on commercial properties from real property taxes. It will be on the August 30 primary election ballot. Amendment 4 would also exempt solar panels and equipment from the tangible personal property tax. [Builder Magazine]

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