October 8 Energy News

October 8, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “How will we power the planet in 2050?” • A report from the World Energy Council found that renewable sources of power now represent around 30% of the world’s total capacity and 23% of electricity production. In the last 10 years, wind and solar power had seen rapid growth. CNBC spoke to the experts about what 2050 will look like. [CNBC]

A paddleboarder in the Irish (SeaPaul Ellis | AFP | Getty Images)

A paddleboarder in the Irish (SeaPaul Ellis | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ According to the team from the Solar Energy Institute of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, up to 1 MWh of energy can be stored in just one cubic meter of molten silicon. Silicon is the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. The technology holds a promise for dealing with the intermittency of renewable power generation. [E&T magazine]

World:

¶ German developer BayWa has secured power purchase agreements for five solar parks in the UK with a combined capacity of 83 MW. The five 15-year PPAs were signed with Neas Energy, a power trading unit of Centrica. The unnamed photovoltaic plants in southern England and Wales started operating in March 2016. [reNews]

Whitland solar in Wales (Credit: BayWa)

Whitland solar in Wales (Credit: BayWa)

¶ More Scottish homes and businesses are seeing the benefit of renewable heat than ever before, according to new figures. Data published by the Energy Saving Trust estimate that last year saw the largest annual increase in renewable heat output since measurement began in 2008, up by over 1,100 GWh in a single year. [Scottish Construction Now]

¶ If the European Union is to meet the terms laid out in the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels, the Member States have to act fast, and act now, beginning the process of decarbonizing, according to a report just published by the European Environment Agency. [pv magazine]

Coal power station (Credit: Flocko, via Wikimedia)

Coal power station (Credit: Flocko, via Wikimedia)

¶ A climate agreement struck among 191 countries would allow airlines to grow in the coming decades, but without growing their impact on the climate. The International Civil Aviation Organization will encourage airlines to purchase carbon credits in world markets to offset their emissions for many flights beginning in 2021. [Seeker]

¶ All lighthouses dotting India’s 7,517-km coast line will be fuelled by solar energy by December, helping reduce emissions of 6,000 kg of greenhouse gases per day, according to an announcement by the government. The Directorate General of Lighthouse & Lightships, maintains 193 Lighthouses in the coastal waters of India. [Financial Express]

Indian lighthouse

Indian lighthouse

¶ The cost of resuming operations at Japan’s trouble-plagued Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor is estimated to top ¥540 billion ($5.2 billion), the science ministry says. More than ¥1 trillion ($9.7 billion) has been spent on Monju, but it has only operated for a total of 250 days in the past 20 years due to a series of problems. [The Japan Times]

¶ Dutch development bank FMO has provided a $14.7 million loan for a 10-MW solar project in Uganda. The Tororo Solar North PV plant will generate enough energy for about 36,200 residents. This is great news for the country, which not only has electricity consumption among the world’s the lowest per capita, but also chronic power shortages. [PV-Tech]

Tororo, Uganda (Source: Flickr / Jake Stimpson)

Tororo, Uganda (Source: Flickr / Jake Stimpson)

US:

¶ More than five years after a wind energy boom on the North Fork, vineyard owners say the turbines, which sprang up in the late 2000s thanks to the availability of federal grants and rebates from the Long Island Power Authority, have paid back their investments. North Fork is a peninsula on the north shore of Long Island. [Suffolk Times]

¶ State and local leaders joined executives from NextEra Energy Resources and Xcel Energy to celebrate commissioning the Roswell and Chaves County Solar Energy Centers, New Mexico’s largest solar energy projects. They feature about 600,000 solar panels on trackers with a total generating capacity of 140 MW. [Electric Light & Power]

New Mexico solar array

New Mexico has a pair of new solar arrays.

¶ Residential prices for electricity have dropped this year for the first time since 2002, according the US Energy Information Administration, despite worries that shutting down coal-fired power plants and relying more on wind and solar would ruin the economy. This it not what the defenders of burning coal said would happen. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ Alabama Power issued a request for proposals for renewable energy resources during the last week of September. Proposals must be either a renewable resource or an environmentally specialized generating resource. Among the eligible projects included in the RFP are “tidal or ocean current and low-impact hydropower.” [HydroWorld]

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