August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2016


¶ “UK energy mix faces seismic shift” • These last weeks have been a time when an inescapable set of signals emerges, all pointing in the same direction. The idea that renewables are not competitive with fossil fuels and nuclear power has lost all basis in fact. It’s time to wake up to the energy revolution. [Climate Home]

Wind turbine and moon. Pic: Pixabay

Wind turbine and moon. Pic: Pixabay.

¶ “Trump’s Toxic Threat: Oblivion To Climate Change, Even In His Backyard” • One of the largely unrecognized dangers of Donald Trump’s slash-and-burn presidential campaign is that his many outrageous statements are causing us to lose sight of the very real threat he poses to our shared environment. [WBUR]

Science and Technology:

¶ A team of Australian National University scientists brought economically competitive solar thermal energy generation closer to reality. They hit a record in efficiency for the technology with a design that boosts conversion of sunlight to steam to 97%. This could produce a 10% reduction in the cost of solar thermal electricity. [RenewEconomy]

The ANU solar thermal dish. Image: Stuart Hay, ANU

The ANU solar thermal dish. Image: Stuart Hay, ANU.


¶ A business based in South Canterbury, New Zealand has signed an Asian Development Bank contract to supply solar/battery mini-grids in the Cook Islands. The systems have been designed to supply nearly all the electricity requirements of four islands. Currently, the islands’ electricity is supplied by diesel generators. [Timaru Herald]

¶ A small Central American country of nearly five million people, Costa Rica is moving to create a society without fossil fuels, as nearly 100% of its electricity comes from five renewable sources – hydropower, geothermal, wind, solar and biomass. In 2015, they went 299 days with using fossil fuels for electricity. [The American Bazaar]

Costa Rica

Costa Rican landscape.

¶ IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $161 million in three biomass power plants in the Philippine province of Negros Occidental with support from the Canadian government and the Clean Technology Fund. The project is expected to generate 70 MW of clean renewable energy for the country. [The Standard]

¶ Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of wind and solar farms would need to be built in West Australia over the next four years under plans to double the state’s renewable energy. The Energy Minister wants obligations under the Federal Government’s revised renewable energy target to be sourced locally. [The West Australian]

Albany Wind Farm.

Albany Wind Farm.

¶ Jordan’s first nuclear power plant could be operational by 2025, if sufficient financing is secured, the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission said. The $10-billion, 2,000-MW project will be 30% financed by Jordan and Russia. JAEC is engaged in discussions with companies to secure the remaining 70%. [Ammon News]


¶ New York state committed to getting 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2030, and conservation groups are creating tools to help. The Nature Conservancy is launching an initiative called “Renewables on the Ground” to facilitate good decision making for siting wind farms and large solar installations. [Public News Service]

Utility-scale wind and solar infrastructure can affect plant and wildlife habitat. (Sgt bender/Wikimedia Commons)

Utility-scale wind and solar infrastructure can affect plant and wildlife habitat. Photo by Sgt bender / Wikimedia Commons

¶ East Kentucky Power Cooperative is working on a $2.9 million expansion to add capacity to a landfill gas plant in Boone County. The expansion is expected to be completed before the end of August, increasing power production to 4.6 MW, or enough electricity to power 2,500 average Kentucky homes. [Electric Co-op Today]

¶ The Utah Public Service Commission approved Rocky Mountain Power’s plan to supply electricity to a potential Facebook data center, ahead of a vote on whether to allow the facility itself. Given the unique rate structure of the power deal, PSC gave itself two days to approve the request, but it took only 45 minutes. [DatacenterDynamics]

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