August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Holding Clean Energy Hostage” • Nuclear power got a much-needed lifeline in New York, at an estimated eventual cost to electricity customers of over $7 billion. Coal plants are uncompetitive. Clean energy is cheap, but electric utilities, invested in old technology, stand squarely in the way of such an energy future. [Jacobin magazine]

A coal-fired power plant in Flint Hills, KS. Patrick Emerson / Flickr.

A coal-fired power plant in Flint Hills, Kansas. Patrick Emerson / Flickr.

World:

¶ Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water has reportedly scrapped plans to build a nuclear power plant citing cost concerns. The country had planned to obtain a licence for the project from the United Nations. The ministry said alternative energy sources like wind and solar power were more cost-effective. [Gulf Business News]

¶ A study of the UK’s offshore wind energy potential has suggested that the total amount of economically feasible installed capacity offshore might be up to 675 GW. This could provide more than six times the UK’s present electricity demand. Steady winds and shallow waters make offshore wind in the UK especially attractive. [CleanTechnica]

Specialist ships are needed to build offshore wind turbines. Nightman1965 / shutterstock.

Specialist ships are needed to build offshore
wind turbines. Nightman1965 / shutterstock.

¶ In a bid to cut the increasing costs to run bank branches across Nigeria, many deposit money banks are now opting for renewable energy. The banks’ new strategy will have them spend less on diesel and maintenance of their power generating plants. Solar PVs power facilities from large branches down to ATMs. [AllAfrica.com]

¶ The South African government made it clear it is pursuing a diversified energy mix which includes independent power producers. This comes after a utility chairperson wrote a letter to the energy minister saying the power utility will not sign further power purchase agreements with IPPs without engagement over the matter. [ITWeb]

The South African government is pursuing a diversified energy mix, which includes independent power producers.

The South African government is pursuing a diversified
energy mix, which includes independent power producers.

¶ Germany’s opposition Green party unveiled Monday a 10-point plan to end electricity generation from coal within 20 years, a key plank of its campaign heading into next year’s general elections. Coal currently accounts for 40% of the energy mix in Europe’s top economy and has been the focus of determined protests. [Prothom Alo]

¶ In India, a dam-top solar project of the Kerala State Electricity Board set up at Banasura Sagar Dam is ready to be commissioned. Under the project, 400 kW of solar panels have been fixed to form a canopy on the dam-top road at a length of 285 meters. The project has 1,760 solar panels. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Banasura Saga Dam has 400 kW capacity.

Banasura Saga Dam has 400 kW capacity.

¶ Members of the environmental audit committee have called for a ban on microbeads after hearing that trillions of tiny bits of plastic are accumulating in the world’s waters, harming marine life and entering the food chain. A single shower could result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean, said the committee chair. [The Guardian]

¶ The 300 residents of Tyalgum, near the Queensland-New South Wales border, are fond of saying their town is “beautiful 24-7.” Soon, if all goes to plan, this town in a region famed for its alternative lifestyle could be the first place in Australia to get off the electricity grid and keep the lights on 24-7 using 100% renewable energy. [BBC News]

The town of Tyalgum has just 300 residents and is aiming to be taken off the electricity grid. Kacey Clifford.

The town of Tyalgum has just 300 residents and is
aiming to be taken off the electricity grid. Kacey Clifford.

US:

¶ The EPA told Texas to improve its regulation of fracking, linking the energy extraction method to seismic activity in the state. Its annual report to the state body that oversees fracking concluded, “there is a significant possibility that North Texas earthquake activity is associated with disposal wells.” [The District Sentinel News Co-op]

¶ Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy announced that its 100-MW Mustang solar installation in Kings County, California, has reached commercial operation. The Mustang solar project is part of a historic year for Recurrent Energy, in which the company will complete of more than 1 GW of US solar PV projects. [PV-Tech]

The Mustang project is expected to produce enough energy to power around 45,000 homes. Image: Recurrent Energy.

The Mustang project is expected to produce enough energy
to power around 45,000 homes. Image: Recurrent Energy.

¶ A long-awaited campaign to rebrand fossil fuels called Fueling US Forward made its public debut at the Red State Gathering 2016. The top line takeaway is that the campaign, which is backed financially by Koch Industries, is an effort to rebrand fossil fuels, focusing on the “positive” sides of oil, gas and coal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A solar farm that will generate enough electricity to power more than 150 homes, or about 10% of the Black Bear Casino’s electric needs, was unveiled Tuesday by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The 1-MW solar farm was built on five acres of a reclaimed gravel pit near the casino. [Bemidji Pioneer]

The 5-acre solar power array on the Fond du Lac Reservation features 3,230 panels in 10 rows. Bob King | Forum News Service

The 5-acre solar power array on the Fond du Lac Reservation
features 3,230 panels in 10 rows. Bob King | Forum News Service.

¶ Green Mountain Power and Efficiency Vermont are partnering on a community-wide rapid energy transformation project in Panton to reduce energy costs, lower fossil fuel use, and improve comfort. The project is called eVolve Panton, and it will put Panton at the forefront of energy innovation in Vermont. [Vermont Biz]

¶ As residents of Louisiana this week struggle to recover from a 1,000-year flood, “one of the worst floods in modern history,” there is a chance that federal aid may not be so forthcoming thanks to a trio of Bayou State Republicans, who back in 2013 voted against helping victims of another storm: Hurricane Sandy. [eNews Park Forest]

 

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