October 7 Energy News

October 7, 2016


¶ “UK fracking decision is nothing short of hypocrisy” • Climate-polluting fracking, which is unproven in the UK, gets “all-out” government backing, with ministers steamrolling whatever local opposition might arise. Meanwhile, low-cost and low-carbon onshore windfarms get undermined, with local opposition given power to block applications. [The Guardian]

Cuadrilla Resources drilling pumping equipment. (Photo: Alamy)

Cuadrilla Resources drilling pumping equipment. (Photo: Alamy)

Science and Technology:

¶ As renewable energy accelerates its pace in electricity markets, wind power has seemingly hit stride. It is expected to see further price drops because of economies of scale and technological improvements. The cost of producing electricity via wind power is expected to fall 24%-30% by 2030, according to researchers at US DOE laboratories. [Environmental Leader]

¶ A commercial-scale, 500-kW kite-driven power station is set to be created in Scotland. The kites fly to heights of up to 450 meters in a figure-of-eight pattern, pulling tethers as they rise, which turn a turbine that produces electricity. Two kites work in tandem, one being blown upward as the other floats back down. [The Independent]

The kite to provide power (Kite Power Solutions Ltd)

The kite to provide power (Kite Power Solutions Ltd)


¶ A major new report published this week by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate called on financial institutions and governments to scale up and shift investment for sustainable infrastructure in an effort to not only address climate issues, but also in an effort to reignite global growth and reduce poverty. [CleanTechnica]

¶ AGL Energy, the bigger coal generator in Australia and the biggest player in the South Australia market, said in a statement released late on Thursday that wind farms are not to blame for the September 28 blackout in South Australia, in contradiction to the claims of the federal government and many in mainstream media. [RenewEconomy]

AGL’s Hallett wind farms

AGL’s Hallett wind farms

¶ Cubico Sustainable Investments, with an installed capacity of 2 GW, says it has won power purchase agreements in Mexico’s second long-term electricity auction for the 250-MW Mezquite wind project and the 290-MW Solem solar PV project. The total investment for the two will come to approximately $700 million. [North American Windpower]

¶ Australian state and territory energy ministers are gathering in Melbourne to discuss the nation’s energy needs following last week’s massive South Australian blackout. The blackout was caused by a storm, with winds knocking down transmission towers in a number of places. Politicians are trying to put the blame on windpower. [SBS]

Wattle Point wind farm, South Australia Source (Photo by Scott Davis, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Wattle Point wind farm, South Australia Source
(Photo by Scott Davis, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Environmentalists have hailed the Scottish Government’s block on underground coal gasification as a “victory for people power.” Green charities urged ministers to take a similar decision when it comes to unconventional oil and gas, including fracking, which is subject to a separate moratorium. [Glasgow Evening Times]

¶ A major 3-day conference, the 4th International Workshop on Accelerator Driven Systems and Thorium, held in the UK at the University of Huddersfield, attracted engineers and scientists to discussions advanced concepts in nuclear technology. They are particularly highlighting the problems of spent nuclear fuel and its disposal. [Labmate Online]

Huddersfield Narrow canal, university in the background (photo by David Stowell, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Huddersfield Narrow canal, university in the background
(photo by David Stowell, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ A coalition of environmental and consumer activists warned that New York electricity customers will be jolted by a “huge tax” stemming from the governor’s plan to subsidize aging nuclear power plants. Over seventy groups – consumer, environmental, and conservative – are working in unison to derail the “bailout.” [Oneonta Daily Star]

¶ The utility firm Hoosier Energy, of Bloomington, Indiana, has started operations at its latest landfill methane generation facility in Rockford, Illinois. The 16-MW Orchard Hills Generation Station is sited at Advance Disposal’s landfill in Davis Junction, Illinois. The company expects to be sending power to the grid in November. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

Hoosier Energy site (courtesy of Hoosier Energy)

Hoosier Energy site (courtesy of Hoosier Energy)

¶ Time is running out for those Ohio Republicans who want to change the state’s renewable energy standards, and a battle with Governor John Kasich could ensue. Legislation passed in 2014 put a two-year freeze on the standards while committee worked on modifications. Unchanged, the standards go back into effect at the beginning of 2017. [WCPO]

¶ Norwegian energy giant Statoil is mulling a floating wind farm in Hawaii, its first offshore foray in the US in three years. Statoil Wind US nominated its interest in the entire Oahu call area, which covers an area of about 485,000 acres and is split into two zones, after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a call to developers in June. [reNews]

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