August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2016


¶ “Why are people worried about a nuclear power plant being built 250 km from Ireland?” • Ireland has a history with UK nuclear power plants and projects. The government and anti-nuclear activists were long-engaged in a battle with the UK over the Sellafield nuclear site, which has fueled Irish opposition to nuclear power. []

Sellafield nuclear plant. Source: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire.

Sellafield nuclear plant. Source: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire.

¶ “SMEs Are Energiewende’s Backbone” • A number of companies come to mind when you mention Germany’s energy transition. Names like E.ON, Volkswagen, and Siemens are recognized worldwide. But Germany has 3.67 million small and medium-sized business enterprises, and they are Energiewende’s backbone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lagoons: the new technology better than Hinkley Point” • A tidal lagoon is one alternative to the Hinkley Point nuclear plant. It is a £1 billion project, awaiting ministerial approval, to build a walled lagoon in Swansea Bay that would generate (through largely British-built turbines) electricity on the ebb and flood of every tide. []

The Swansea Bay lagoon scheme.

The Swansea Bay lagoon scheme.

Science and Technology:

¶ Old smartphones can give us new opportunities. “There are around one billion idle smartphones in America,” the head of a startup business says. “They’re just sitting in drawers at the moment destined for landfill. Yet they’ve got a GPS, two cameras, a microphone, a processor and five or six other useful sensors.” [The Guardian]

¶ Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5° C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5° C, compared to pre-industrial temperatures, was made at the Paris climate negotiations last December. [The Guardian]

A tropical coral reef off Fiji. Photograph: Alamy

A tropical coral reef off Fiji. Photograph: Alamy


¶ A 1.2-GW offshore wind farm has been approved for the water off Yorkshire coast, England. Offshore wind developer Dong Energy said a final decision had been made to construct the 1.2-GW Hornsea Project One scheme off the coast of Yorkshire in northern England. The project will create 300 permanent jobs. [Seeker]

¶ When Egypt announced plans to develop renewable power in 2014, investors piled in, drawn by sunshine and high demand. Two years on, many projects have stalled, hitting confidence among much-needed foreign investors. Developers say they face currency risks, while wrangling over contract terms delays work. [Al-Arabiya]

Egypt had aimed to meet 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, but has pushed that back to 2022. (Reuters)

Egypt had aimed to meet 20% of its energy needs from renewable
sources by 2020, but has pushed that back to 2022. (Reuters)


¶ On the anniversary of finalizing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a report said implementing that plan could save businesses billions of dollars a year. Commercial customers are responsible for nearly a third of all electricity-related carbon pollution nationwide, and they could see significant savings under the plan. [Orange Leader]

¶ A California project would have 100 turbines on platforms tethered to ocean floor floating 33 miles off the coast. Trident Winds, a Seattle-based company, plans to place the turbines off the coast of Morro Bay. The turbines would be affixed to floating platforms, which would be tethered to the sea floor using cables. [Seeker]

A California offshore wind farm will float. Photo by Tycho, via Wikimedia Commons.

A different kind of offshore wind farm will float off California.
Photo by Tycho, via Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A majority of the Willingboro, New Jersey, Township Council voted to rescind an agreement with the Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority to put together a renewable-energy project on township-owned property. Now, the council, with the help of the municipal engineer, will lead the initiative. [Burlington County Times]

¶ A public report is expected this fall from Milwaukee’s Water Council and its energy-focused counterpart, M-WERC, but companies in the water and energy sectors have been given a glimpse. The bottom line: The global market for the sectors is projected to double by 2025, and Wisconsin companies can benefit. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]


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