October 2 Energy News

October 2, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Climate change deniers, listen up: your end is nigh” • Climate change deniers need to be singing from the same hymn sheet. For it is, of course, more urgent than ever now that science is crowding in, now that the climate is changing before the people’s very eyes, and denials are exposed as ever more ludicrous. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Flooding in New South Wales (Photo: Nick Moir)

Flooding in New South Wales (Photo: Nick Moir)

World:

¶ Vikram Solar, a solar module manufacturer based in India, has announced plans to expand its manufacturing capacity to 2 GW by 2019. The current manufacturing capacity of the company stands at 500 MW. The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the German company Teamtechnik to support its expansion plans. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India plans to have a renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by March 2022. The Central Electricity Authority reports that thermal power projects are operating at a plant load factor of 50%, and as renewable energy targets are achieved, the PLF could fall even further. This could spell doom for the thermal power sector. [CleanTechnica]

Ramagundam Super Thermal Power Station (Photo by Getsuhas08, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Ramagundam Super Thermal Power Station
(Photo by Getsuhas08, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The government of New South Wales will push for a high-voltage interconnector to be built between NSW and South Australia following South Australia’s blackout, convinced the incident has highlighted the need for national energy security. The $500 million proposal would involve constructing a 300-kilometer transmission route. [Eden Magnet]

¶ Facebook has a new technology center in northern Sweden, 70 miles south of the Arctic circle. The temperature is below 50° most days, so large fans can bring in air to naturally cool the center’s thousands of servers. The center uses nearly 40% less power than most others, and this is provided by hydro-electric plants. [MensXP.com]

Facebook's new data center (© Facebook)

Facebook’s new data center (© Facebook)

¶ Industry stakeholders said the government of Bangladesh should incentivize green energy schemes to achieve the goal of producing 10% of total power through renewable sources by 2021. To achieve the goal, the 200 MW of electricity currently generated from renewable sources has to grow by 1,800 MW in five years. [The Daily Star]

¶ Eneco, a Dutch utility, wants to use several hundred Tesla Powerwall batteries to create a “virtual power plant,” and they are willing to pay customers to participate. If Eneco can tap into just 30% of the storage capacity of hundreds of Powerwalls, it can avoid using peaking plants powered by fossil fuels to balance the grid. [Teslarati]

Tesla Powerwalls at an event at the Gigafactory

Tesla Powerwalls at an event at the Gigafactory

¶ A review of the safety of France’s nuclear power stations found that at least 18 of EDF’s units are “operating at risk of major accident due to carbon anomalies.” The review was carried out at the request of Greenpeace France following the discovery of serious metallurgical flaws in a reactor vessel at Flamanville. [Center for Research on Globalization]

US:

¶ The mayor of Elgin, David Kaptain, and his wife Sandy made their home part of the Illinois Solar Tour this year. The event comes about one month before Illinois energy providers are expected to introduce legislation that would that would end net metering and implementing mandatory demand charges on all residential customers. [Chicago Tribune]

Solar panels on the mayor's garage roof  (Janelle Walker / The Courier-News)

The mayor’s family showing off solar panels on the garage roof
(Janelle Walker / The Courier-News)

¶ After years of adding wind power to its generating resources, Westar Energy will get half the power it sells from zero-emission sources by next year, a company official said. Westar is on track to get 33% of its power from wind and 17% from nuclear power plant near Burlington. Westar is one of the largest electric utilities in Kansas. [Wichita Eagle]

¶ Minnesota’s biodiesel mandate does not conflict with the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, a federal judge ruled Thursday in a lawsuit filed by petroleum interests and other groups. A judge in the US District Court for the District of Minnesota granted a plaintiff motion for summary judgement in the lawsuit. [KTIC]

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