September 29 Energy News

September 29, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The findings of a twenty year-long research project shows that golden eagles in proximity to the Beinn an Tuirc windfarm in Scotland are thriving. The wind farm has long-term resident birds successfully raising chicks, throwing a spanner in the works for anyone who claims wind farms and wind turbines are inherently dangerous to birds. [CleanTechnica]

Golden Eagle (Photo by Martin Mecnarowski, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Golden Eagle (Photo by Martin Mecnarowski, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ The price of oil surged and slipped back in trading as traders questioned whether the output cut agreed by Opec would be binding. Prices had jumped by 6% on Wednesday’s news that Opec had voted for the first production cut in eight years. Oil ministers said full details of the agreement would be finalized in November. [BBC]

¶ Ontario’s renewable energy industry will continue growing despite the suspension of plans for another round of wind, solar and hydroelectric projects, according to Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault. The Canadian Wind Energy Association noted 16 procurement contracts signed earlier this year for 455 MW will proceed across Ontario. [Toronto Star]

Wind turbines near Shelburne, Ontario. (Marcus Oleniuk / Toronto Star File Photo)

Wind turbines near Shelburne, Ontario.
(Marcus Oleniuk / Toronto Star File Photo)

¶ General Electric is teaming up with Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd, based in Ireland, to construct large-scale wind power plants in Vietnam with a total investment of $1.5 billion. They will work together to develop 1,000 MW of wind power capacity for the Vietnamese grid, according to the Wall Street Journal. [VnExpress International]

¶ Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put the country’s renewable energy mix up for discussion, unleashing a political storm over the blackout in South Australia. Experts insisted the statewide electricity failure had “absolutely nothing” to do with that state’s heavy reliance on wind power. [North Queensland Register]

Damaged transmission towers that brought the grid down (Photo: Twitter / Vic_Rollison)

Damaged transmission towers that brought the grid down
(Photo: Twitter / Vic_Rollison)

¶ China’s largest private investor group, China Minsheng New Energy Investment Co, is developing a 2-GW solar farm in the Ningxia region which will be made up of some 6 million solar panels. According to Bloomberg, it will be the largest solar farm the world has ever seen, requiring an investment of up to $2.34 billion. [Bloomberg]

¶ Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is working with Canada’s Beothuk Energy to develop wind farms in waters off the coast of Newfoundland. They will start with the 180-MW St Georges Bay project. CIP said Beothuk will continue to lead the development of St Georges Bay until a power purchase agreement has been obtained. [reNews]

Offshore wind (reNEWS image)

Offshore wind (reNEWS image)

¶ Dams surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant operated by TEPCO have become de facto storage facilities for increasingly high concentrations of radioactive cesium. Though no effective countermeasures are in sight, the government insists that water from the dams is safe. [Center for Research on Globalization]

¶ At least one chief executive hopes to be out of a job within five years. If Stephen Nolan succeeds at his job, he will lose it, and will be seeking new employment in 2021. Sustainable Nation will end in 2021, and if it achieves its goals, sustainability should simply be taken for granted at that point, ending any need for its work. [Irish Independent]

Stephen Nolan, ceo of Sustainable Nation Ireland. Picture credit. Photo: Damien Eagers

Stephen Nolan, ceo of Sustainable Nation Ireland.
Picture credit. Photo: Damien Eagers

US:

¶ Alabama Power Company posted a request for proposals this week for renewable energy projects, including, but not limited to, solar, wind, and geothermal. The utility has announced more than 90 MW of solar power projects since late last year and wants to weigh its options for additional renewable energy projects. [AL.com]

¶ The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, sitting en banc, heard oral argument in West Virginia v EPA, the legal challenge to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Ten judges participated, and arguments lasted seven hours, spanning a wide range of constitutional, statutory and procedural arguments about the validity of the rule. [Washington Post]

This coal-fired plant has closed. (George Frey / Reuters)

Closed coal-fired plant in Utah (George Frey / Reuters)

¶ Over the last eight years, renewable power deployment has “increased really dramatically,” Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz commented, after his department released a new report detailing green energy costs and generation. Since 2008, the costs of five clean energy technologies have had declines ranging from 40% to 94%. [The Hill]

¶ The City of Burlington, Vermont, wants to use waste heat from several major sources around town, which otherwise would be vented into the atmosphere, and use it to heat buildings and create hot water. A partnership of the city, businesses, advocates, and organizations will explore the potential of creating a district energy system. [Vermont Biz]

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