July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The co-pilots and founders of Solar Impulse, the remarkable solar powered plane that is making a ground-breaking flight around the world, have made a stunning prediction: There will be short-haul electric planes for up to 50 people operating within 10 years. Charging the planes would be on the ground, however. [CleanTechnica]

Solar Impulse 2 above the clouds.

Solar Impulse 2 above the clouds.

¶ Scientists have found yet another issue with fracking. Asthma patients are 1.5 to four times more likely to have asthma attacks if they live near bigger or a larger number of unconventional natural gas development wells, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. [CNN]

¶ Trials of wind assisted propulsion are going on, but there is not enough information on the real-life performance of different systems and hull variations. All of today’s experiments still see squared cross section hulls for optimal holding capacity. As experiments continue, data collection is key to develop reliable models. [The Motorship]

The Hybrid Flettner Freighter from C-Job will be added to the limited wind-assisted fleet.

The Hybrid Flettner Freighter from C-Job
will be added to the limited wind-assisted fleet.

World:

¶ The Indian minister for civil aviation recently announced that as many as 143 airports around the country will install a total of 148 MW of solar capacity over the next few months. According to the Airports Authority of India, 16 airports already have 5.4 MW, in addition to Kochi International Airport’s 12 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australian infrastructure investor Lyon Group says it plans to build the world’s biggest solar plus storage project in South Australia in the next two years, and sees a huge future for combined solar and battery storage plants. The first project for South Australia includes 100 MW of solar PVs and 40 MW of storage. [RenewEconomy]

Lyon solar and storage.

Lyon solar and storage.

¶ The European Commission is considering proposing 2030 targets for alternative transport fuels such as renewable electricity, natural gas and biofuels, according to an unofficial draft strategy paper seen by S&P Global Platts. The targets could involve obliging fuel suppliers to provide a certain share of alternative energy sources. [Platts]

¶ Senvion has erected the first of 46 3.2M114 turbines at the 150-MW Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind farm in Quebec, the company’s first 3-MW unit in North America. The project, a 50-50 joint venture between Innergex and three Mi’gmaq Nations of Quebec, is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2016. [reNews]

Senvion 3.2m114 turbine. Senvion image.

Senvion 3.2m114 turbine. Senvion image.

¶ The European country leading the charge on incorporating renewable energy into its power grid, is testing a specialized algorithm that could help with predicting levels of solar and wind power. The machine-learning program could assist grid operators in calculating renewable-energy output over the next 48 hours. [R & D Magazine]

¶ A building boom is underway offshore in Europe with hundreds of turbines being installed. With low oil prices, all this building work might seem to make little economic sense. But with falling prices for offshore wind power, the cost of electricity from new offshore wind is almost 30% cheaper than new nuclear. [The Ecologist]

Offshore wind farm. Photo by Tycho. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind farm. Photo by Tycho. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Indian government will double the target for energy to be generated from solar parks by 2020, a top official said, as roof-top installations have failed to take off and US company SunEdison’s projects are threatened by its bankruptcy. A new generation target of 40,000 MW for solar parks is said to be likely to be approved. [domain-B]

¶ Victoria has approved a $650 million, 96-turbine windfarm that will be the largest in the state as it bids to become Australia’s renewable energy leader. The Dundonnell project will create 300 direct and indirect jobs during construction, and the turbines will generate enough power for 140,000 homes. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine in Toora, Victoria. Photo by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au. CC BY NC. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbine in Toora, Victoria. Photo by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au.
CC BY NC. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Up to 6% of Britain’s peak electricity requirement, or 9.8 GW, could be met by businesses better managing their electricity demand and onsite generation, according to a new report from the Association for Decentralised Energy. Demand-side responses have the potential to save UK consumers £600 million by 2020. [City A.M.]

US:

¶ The US DOE just awarded a new round of $15 million in funding for three projects focusing on lowering the cost of algae biofuel production. The new effort follows upon an $18 million round last year. Some researchers say algae could be 10 or even 100 times more productive than traditional bioenergy feedstocks. [CleanTechnica]

“Raceway” type algae farm courtesy of Global Algae Innovations.

“Raceway” type algae farm courtesy of Global Algae Innovations.

¶ With a $5.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission, the San Diego Port Tenants Association announced Monday that seven of its partner tenants will receive all-electric forklifts and heavy-duty trucks. The vehicles emit zero greenhouse gas emissions and run almost as quietly as golf carts. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

¶ Diablo Canyon Power Plant set to shut down in nine years, so Pacific Gas and Electric is studying just how to go about decommissioning the plant, including how to fund the shutdown. A taxpayer trust fund is currently at about $3 billion, but shutting down the plant is expected to cost of nearly $4 billion. [KSBY San Luis Obispo News]

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