October 9 Energy News

October 9, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A team of researchers believes that world leaders need to change their policies regarding methane emissions. Their study, recently published in the journal Nature, found these emissions are 60% to 110% higher than previously estimated. They counted leaks coming from natural sources in addition to the oil and gas sector. [Pulse Headlines]

Oil pumps and natural gas flaring  (Photo credit: Associated Press / The Wall Street Journal)

Oil pumps and natural gas flaring
(Photo credit: Associated Press / The Wall Street Journal)

¶ Declining costs and improving performance are fueling rapid growth of renewable energy mini-grids, particularly in rural and remote areas. Worldwide, the market for hybrid renewable mini-grids is potentially worth more than $200 billion, according to a study released by the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Microgrid Media]

World:

¶ Empowered Biofuels teaches small villages and individuals in Costa Rica how to use local renewable resources to produce and consume energy in a more sustainable way and shows them that they can earn a living from sustainable enterprises. For biofuel production, they use a Costa Rican native tree species called Jatropha. [Leisure Group Travel]

Empowered Biofuels teaching at the local level

Empowered Biofuels teaching at the local level

¶ Nigerian power distribution firms will soon begin developing mini-grids to augment the electricity supply. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission said in a “Draft Mini-Grid Regulation 2016” that electricity distribution companies could now use mini-grids to accelerate their electrification activities. [Financial Watch]

¶ Alberta’s move to shift electricity production from coal plants to renewable energy will likely cost less than people expect, a specialist in the field says. The province plans by 2030 to phase out coal generation, which provides approximately 40% of the province’s power capacity, replacing it with renewables and natural gas. [Edmonton Journal]

Wind farm near Pincher Creek, Alberta  (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press)

Wind farm near Pincher Creek, Alberta
(Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press)

¶ Indian government is planning a new policy to push stalled hydro power projects. The Power ministry is proposing that projects with capacities of up to 25 MW be categorized as small hydro-power so they can get the same benefits other renewable energy projects. Indian hydro power has a potential estimated at about 150 GW. [The Hindu]

¶ A renewable energy fund, created by the East Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Power Renewables, has over £180,000 is available at the end of its first year. The money is income from local wind farms. The fund targets projects with a potential for long term benefits for communities in East Renfrewshire. [Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra]

Windy Standard wind farm  (Photo by John Horner, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Windy Standard wind farm
(Photo by John Horner, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ TEPCO is still struggling to put the Fukushima nuclear disaster behind it, admitting this week that paying for decommissioning the plant in one go risks leaving it insolvent. The Fukushima Disaster and the issues arising from it will ultimately cost more than ¥11 trillion ($106 billion), according to one recent academic study. [Gulf Times]

US:

¶ Three pipelines are proposed to run through West Virginia, carrying natural gas to destinations in Virginia, including one on the coast. A Synapse Energy Economics report shows that with upgrades and improvements to the existing system of pipelines and infrastructure, the region’s natural gas needs could be met through 2030. [Roanoke Times]

West Virginia mountains  (photo by ForestWander, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

West Virginia mountains
(photo by ForestWander, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The US Energy Information Agency has been arguing that cheap shale gas is the main factor behind the collapse of the US coal industry, and a research team from Case Western Reserve University has just added a new study, published in The Electricity Journal, to a growing pile of evidence in support of that claim. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The CEO of Duke Energy recently said her company could stop generating electricity from coal between 2030 and 2040. Duke CEO Lynn Good said in an interview with Bloomberg that and the company’s current move away from coal will continue, no matter who occupies the White House at this time next year. [The Exponent Telegram]

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