October 17 Energy News

October 17, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The HY4, the world’s first four-seater hydrogen fuel cell
plane, took off for the first time at the Stuttgart airport in Germany. The plane was developed by researchers from the German Aerospace Center with help from Hydrogenics, Pipistrel, H2FLY, the University of Ulm and Stuttgart Airport. [Composites Manufacturing Magazine]

HY4 hydrogen fuel cell aircraft

HY4 hydrogen fuel cell aircraft


¶ On October 30, Vancouver will have its second Great Climate Race, which is a 10-km run and 2.5-km walk through Stanley Park to raise funds for renewable energy and a cleaner future. Last week, the Great Climate Race announced that organizations can raise money directly for their projects through its website. [Straight.com]

¶ The first generator at the Norochcholai Coal-fired Power Plant ceased operations after an explosion on October 15, on a pipeline that carries water vapour. After the explosion, a fire had erupted in the third generator. The second unit also ceased operations as a result. The plant is the largest generating station in Sri Lanka. [Newsfirst]

Norochcholai Coal-fired Power Plant

Norochcholai Coal-fired Power Plant

¶ A German battery maker said it has secured €76 million ($85 million) from venture capital investors, including Chinese wind turbine and energy management group Envision, to develop its systems. The start-up, called sonnen, said it plans to use the money to expand in Italy, Australia, the United States and Britain. [Business Insider]

¶ According to the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change report, biomass sourced from whole trees and other large-diameter wood is a high-carbon fuel, increasing carbon emissions compared to coal and natural gas for decades, well beyond timeframes relevant for solving climate change. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Clearcut forest (Dogwood Alliance photo)

Clearcut forest (Dogwood Alliance photo)

¶ Acciona SA, a Spanish renewable energy developer worldwide, said it’s holding up further work in some states in India because local electric utilities aren’t paying their bills on time. Acciona, with 86 MW of installed wind power in India and another 78 MW under development, is the latest investor to complain on the issue. [Bloomberg]

¶ Tidal energy technology is being tested for the first time in Tasmania. A tidal energy turbine has been installed to investigate and optimize the device’s performance. Researchers from the Australian Maritime College will conduct field experiments with a prototype in partnership with developers MAKO Tidal Turbines. [PACE Today]

Tidal turbine (AMC image)

Tidal turbine (AMC image)

¶ An opposition candidate’s victory in Niigata Prefecture’s gubernatorial election threw the Abe administration into a state of shock over the possible consequences to its nuclear energy policy and its standing on the national level. Many believe the ruling Abe administration will have to review its energy policy. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) proposed a bill that would offer up to $3,000 a year in pre-tax benefits to people who commute in electric vehicles. The intent behind the proposed “Electric Vehicle Credit Act” is to incentivize the use of electric vehicles by commuters, and thus potentially reducing air pollution emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Looking at a Nissan LEAF (Image by Cynthia Shahan for CleanTechnica)

Looking at a Nissan LEAF
(Image by Cynthia Shahan for CleanTechnica)

¶ With a capacity factor of 51.9%, the 2,000-MW Sandstone Energy facility is equivalent to a 1.15 GW Nuclear Power plant. Over a 25-year lifetime, it will produce 227 billion kWh. At an expected cost of $5 billion, with a 30% federal tax credit, the system can be expected to generate electricity at a cost of 2.8¢/kWh. [Electrek]

¶ According to the Energy Information Administration, roughly 15,000 MW per year, mostly coal, will be retired, with or without new regulations. This is one way to gauge the so-called “war on coal” proposed by the Obama Administration. But in reality those coal plants slated for somewhat premature retirement are old and uncompetitive. [OilPrice.com]

Coal in decline

Coal in decline

¶ Community involvement in Hawaii’s goal of 100% renewable electric generation by 2045 has become tougher since Maui Electric Co’s net-metering program closed last October, and the customer-grid supply program hit its 5-MW capacity in June. Experts say now energy storage is “the way forward for the grid.” [Maui News]

¶ The food waste from a local supermarket, restaurant, or catering hall could end up being the fuel that serves a source of renewable energy for New Jersey. That’s the goal of a bill moving through the Legislature, which would require large generators of garbage to separate and recycle food waste with the aim of converting it to energy. [NJ Spotlight]

Food waste

Food waste for fuel

¶ Natural gas generators are a dominant source of power, especially for peak electricity demand periods in New England, but natural gas supply methods haven’t kept up. As a result, most of the region is vulnerable to volatile electricity prices, said Tom Dunn, CEO of VELCO, which manages transmission lines for utilities. [vtdigger.org]

¶ The forecast for private solar power in Arkansas is cloudy, and may be slow to clear up. Decisions by the Arkansas Public Service Commission could promote solar generation at homes and businesses or even cripple it, advocates say, but the most critical rulings may not come for more than a year. [Arkansas Business Online]

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