October 6 Energy News

October 6, 2016


¶ “The future belongs to clean energy” • As we close out a summer marked by uncertainty in news and events, one trend for which analysts voice increasing certainty is the accelerating pace of the clean-energy transformation reshaping how the world generates electricity. One reason is that renewable energy is inexpensive. [The Guardian]

A Masaai herdsman looking after cattle (Photo: Thomas Mukoya / Reuters/REUTERS)

A Masaai herdsman looking after cattle
(Photo: Thomas Mukoya / Reuters/REUTERS)

¶ “ExxonMobil Says Its Shale Oil Assets Are Not Threatened, While COP21 Paris Agreement Ratified: Something Has To
Give” • The COP21 agreement is now law, and yet oil majors are still contending that the price of oil will recover. Peabody Energy has a similar view about its prospects for expanding production of coal. [Seeking Alpha]

Science and Technology:

¶ With the climate warming and the sea level rising, conditions are ripe for storms even deadlier and more devastating than Sandy, putting many more people at risk. That’s the outlook from David A. Robinson, a Rutgers geography professor who has served as the New Jersey state climatologist for 25 years. [News from Rutgers]

Superstorm Sandy created a massive inlet in Mantoloking. (Photo: Greg Thompson/USFWS)

Superstorm Sandy created a massive inlet in Mantoloking.
(Photo: Greg Thompson/USFWS)

¶ We may soon have gasoline from forest waste. This week, the US EPA proposed some biofuel rule changes that would enable producers to add willow trees and poplar trees to the renewable fuel mix. Only last month, researchers at Washington State University announced a process to extract high-purity lignin as a source material. [CleanTechnica]


¶ In Strasbourg, France, yesterday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the President of the UN’s climate group (COP 21), Ségolène Royal, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker witnessed the European parliament’s signed approval of the ratification of the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

European Union ratifies the Paris Agreement, making it international law (audiovisual.europar.europa.eu)

European Union ratifies the Paris Agreement, making it international law (audiovisual.europar.europa.eu)

¶ The United Kingdom currently has 3.23 GW worth of energy storage operational, with at least another 453 MW planned or in development, according to new figures published by the UK’s Renewable Energy Association. There are 35 standalone grid-scale storage projects and at least 1,500 residential storage projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The energy storage software firm Younicos will be providing software and controls for Schwerin energy storage project expansion in Germany, which will see the utility company WEMAG’s energy storage resource triple its storage capacity to 14.5 MWh from 5 MWh, and double it power output to 10 MW from 5 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Younicos Sign (Images from a 2014 tour that CleanTechnica had of the Berlin Younicos headquarters.)

Younicos Sign (Image from a 2014 tour CleanTechnica 
had of the Berlin Younicos headquarters.)

¶ New analysis from Carbon Brief shows UK solar panels generated more electricity over the past six months than all the nation’s coal-fired power stations combined. Solar output over the period was equivalent to 5.2% of the UK’s overall electricity demand; nearly 10% than that of coal, which totalled 4.7% of demand. [Energy Matters]

¶ German market and economy research company EuPD Research recently surveyed British home owners about energy matters and solar PVs. The poll shows that the British prefer renewables for their future energy supply. They also believe that renewable sources are already outcompeting fossil or nuclear sources on cost. [solarserver.com]

Solar PV system on London's Blackfriars Bridge

Solar PV system on London’s Blackfriars Bridge

¶ The 2.3-MW Mount Majura Solar Farm has been officially opened in the Australian Capital Territory, marking the launch of yet another contributor to the Territory’s 100% renewable energy target. The project features single-axis tracking technology, potentially improving the PV system’s output by up to 40%. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Starbucks reached a milestone with the opening of its 1,000th LEED-certified store on October 4. In 2008, Starbucks made a commitment to build all company-owned stores to meet LEED standards. The standards are intended for evaluating a building’s environmental performance and encouraging sustainable design. [EPR Retail News]

Starbucks announces the opening of its 1,000th LEED-certified store.

Starbucks announces the opening
of its 1,000th LEED-certified store.


¶ Two new reports from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the US Energy Information Administration confirm that nuclear power is rapidly losing the race with renewable energy sources. Renewable capacity is about double that of nuclear, and the output from renewables is passing that of nuclear power. [EcoWatch]

¶ New Jersey energy company PSEG announced it will close its two coal-fired power plants in Jersey City and Hamilton next June. Still at question is whether the company will replace them with lower-cost natural gas units. Some factors, including additional costs, may preclude that option for the two coal plants. [NJ Spotlight]

PSEG's Mercer County plant

PSEG’s Mercer County plant

¶ OutBack Power Technologies, Inc is teaming up with altE Store of Boxborough, Massachusetts, to provide a class on October 11 that will help solar installers and interested homeowners learn about energy storage technologies and systems to better equip them for Massachusetts’ new law, H. 4568, signed on August 8th. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ The New York Public Interest Research Group and Food and Water Watch, based in Washington, DC, joined forces Wednesday to launch Stop The Cuomo Tax, a coalition of dozens of groups fighting a plan to infuse several billion dollars into the three aging nuclear power plants that have become uneconomical to operate. [WGRZ.com]

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