August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Hydraulic fracturing and unconventional natural gas development may be associated with health issues such as sinus problems, migraines, and fatigue, according to a peer-reviewed study. The study acknowledges its own limitations and says more research is necessary to determine whether fracturing caused the symptoms. [Bloomberg BNA]

Flaring natural gas. Photo by Battenbrook. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Photo by Battenbrook. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The UK can meet its energy and climate change targets without the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, an Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit report found. More wind farms, gas-fired power stations, and demand management could save £1 billion a year “while keeping the lights on and meeting climate targets.” [This is The West Country]

¶ Sun Brilliance says it plans to build a 100-MW solar farm east of Perth. It would be the biggest solar system in West Australia by size, and biggest to date in Australia by output. The project was originally envisaged as a 25-MW solar farm, but Sun Brilliance decided to increase the size to 100-MW, partly based on market factors. [RenewEconomy]

Sun Brilliance site.

Sun Brilliance site.

¶ National Grid has awarded eight contracts worth a total of £65.95 million to energy storage companies to balance system frequency in the UK. National Grid is facilitating the use of new technologies for maintaining frequency in the face of increasing renewable generation and the continued closure of thermal plants. [Network]

US:

¶ Arizona land developer Vermaland announced its support for a proposal made by the Arizona Corporation Commission chairman that supports doubling the state’s requirements for solar and wind energy. Under the proposal, utilities would need to generate 30 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030. [AZ Big Media]

Wind farm and commuters.

Wind farm and commuters.

¶ Some experts within the coal business say winning or losing the Clean Power Plan won’t affect coal’s fortunes greatly. Utilities are diversifying their energy portfolios because of market forces, including cheap natural gas, new technology making renewables more reliable, and reduction in demand. [West Virginia Public Broadcasting]

¶ Driving in Seattle or in nearby areas in the Puget Sound is driving in congestion. Ridership has boomed more than expected on light rail in Seattle, and perhaps this is a reason why. The regional transit authority now has more plans to grow this more efficient option – plans for the third phase of light-rail expansion. [bikocity]

Sound Transit light rail. Photo by Oran Viriyincy (some rights reserved)

Sound Transit light rail. Photo by Oran Viriyincy (some rights reserved)

¶ For the first time since 1972, energy-associated CO2 emissions from coal are dropping below natural gas CO2 emissions. The Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook reports that energy-related CO2 emissions from natural gas are expected to be 10% higher than coal emissions for 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ With funding from the DOE, Cornell University will develop a scalable co-optimization solution for transmission and microgrids that includes demand response, storage, and renewable resources. It will incorporate realistic modeling and integration of responsive demand in the system for uncertainty management. [ithaca.com]

Greenstar solar panels in West Danby. Photo: Diane Duthie

Greenstar solar panels in West Danby. Photo: Diane Duthie

¶ Furman University announced plans to install a 743-kW PV array on six acres of land near the main campus entrance. The solar panels will reduce the campus electricity expenditures by up to 5% and greenhouse gas emissions by 3%. The project cost $1.7 million. The university expects an 8-year return on investment. [WSPA.com]

 

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