July 30 Energy News

July 30, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Michael Liebreich Slams Extremely Expensive Hinkley Point C” • The £18 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant would be guaranteed payments equal to twice the current wholesale price of electricity (i.e., what it would get without subsidy) for 35 years! And why? For nonsensical political reasons. [CleanTechnica]

Lazard's LCOE chart. Note that the guaranteed price of £92.50 ($122.40) per kWh offered to Hinkley Point C falls in the middle of the LCOE for nuclear power presented in that chart.

Lazard’s LCOE chart. The guaranteed price of £92.50 ($122.40) per MWh offered to Hinkley Point C is well above costs for solar power.

¶ “Climate change video directed by James Cameron heats up the
DNC” • At the convention, Sigourney Weaver introduced a video directed by James Cameron that contrasts opposing views of on climate change. Titled “Not Reality TV,” the video shows how climate change affects everything from hurricanes to drought. [Inhabitat]

Science and Technology:

¶ Wood buildings sequester carbon, instead of burning it up in production, as steel and concrete do. A video from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute makes the case for increased use of wood in building construction, even in multi-level highrises. The use of wood is increasing in many types of commercial projects. [CleanTechnica]

Wood building store carbon units.

Wood buildings sequester carbon.

World:

¶ Plastic bag use has plummeted in England since the introduction of a 5p charge last year. In the six months after the levy was brought in last October, 640 million plastic bags were used in seven major supermarkets in England, it says. In 2014, the waste reduction charity Wrap estimated the same supermarkets had used 7.64 billion bags. [BBC]

¶ Portugal authorized processing licenses for solar projects totaling more than 2,000 MW. Solar projects totaling 180 MW have been authorized under the existing market system in the nation’s southern region, and an additional 68 licenses for solar projects are being processed, which total more than 2 GW of potential. [CleanTechnica]

Old buildings in Porto, Portugal via Shutterstock.

Old buildings in Porto, Portugal via Shutterstock.

¶ Indian downstream oil companies are the latest to express interest in developing large-scale solar power projects to meet electricity demand. Two of the leading oil refining companies in India, Indian Oil Corp and Oil India, are planning to set up 1 GW of solar capacity in state of Madhya Pradesh to power their operations. [CleanTechies]

¶ Some of the world’s biggest car makers including Vauxhall, BMW, VW and Audi are investigating their paint supply chains after the Guardian linked their suppliers to illegal mines in India where child labor and debt bondage are widespread. Children as young as 10 work at mines for mica, a mineral for shimmery car paint. [The Guardian]

Seven-year-old Karulal works with his father in a mica mine. Photograph: Peter Bengtsen

Seven-year-old Karulal works with his father in a mica mine. Photograph: Peter Bengtsen

¶ Six power plants in the Indian state of Maharashtra have shut down because they produced no power for at least a year. Operations were not viable at one. A couple of power producers had to close because of lack of supplies of coal and gas. The biggest among them all, at 1,380 MW capacity, lacked sufficient water. [The Indian Express]

¶ In 2015 renewable energy provided 25% of the UK’s electricity, up from 20% the previous year. Once considered the lifeblood of this country, coal is now marginally behind gas as the dominant source of electric energy in the UK, with renewable energy sources filling the gap it leaves behind. [Kensington Chelsea & Westminster Today]

Wind farm in the UK.

Wind farm in the UK.

US:

¶ A group of 67 scientists, including James Hansen, Ken Calderia, Mark Jacobson, Michael Oppenheimer, Susan Solomon, and Stuart Pimm, have penned an open letter to the US Department of the Interior calling on the government to end coal leasing on public lands in an effort to protect the climate, public health, and biodiversity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne on Friday put out a new wind-turbine siting policy statement. “If a town says no to a large industrial wind project I would use all the power of the governor’s office to ensure that is the end of the project,” Dunne said in his statement. “I will ensure that no means no.” [Seven Days]

Wind Farm in Vermont. Seven Days file photo.

Wind Farm in Vermont. Seven Days file photo.

¶ Profits at two of the biggest oil firms have been hit by the falling price of crude. Exxon Mobil saw its profit fall 59% to $1.7 billion from $4 billion in the second quarter last year. Meanwhile Chevron posted its largest quarterly loss since 2001, $1.5 billion in the second quarter, compared with a $571 million profit last year. [BBC]

¶ Since moving to its new location in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2015, Duke Energy’s Renewable Control Center has seen the number of wind and solar plants it monitors grow to over 3,500 MW. The center monitors and optimizes wind and solar power plants, as well as providing operations and maintenance services. [CleanTechnica]

Duke Energy Renewables Control Center.

Duke Energy Renewables Control Center.

¶ A key New York state board is set to consider a pricey subsidy for nuclear power plants that could amount to several billion dollars over the next 12 years. The Public Service Commission is scheduled to take up a clean-energy plan on Monday. It would require utilities to buy power from the nuclear plants at a premium. [Poughkeepsie Journal]

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