October 19 Energy News

October 19, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Bristol University, as reported earlier this week, is pioneering a technology which aims to prevent coastal nuclear and coal-fired power plants from being disrupted by swarms of jellyfish. In one case, the 1200-MW Torness Nuclear Power Station was offline for a week because of a swarm of moon jellyfish. [Power Engineering International]




¶ The latest report into the South Australia blackout by the Australian Energy Market Operator has blown away two of the biggest myths about wind energy that its critics were using as reasons for the state-wide outage. Neither intermittent wind power nor excessive wind speed causing turbines to shut down was a factor. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched the second phase of the city’s air quality consultation, which includes proposals to introduce the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) a year earlier than planned, in 2019. The new proposals include a charge on heavily polluting vehicles that enter the city. [CleanTechnica]

London (Photo by barnyz via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND)

London (Photo by barnyz via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND)

¶ Argentina has awarded a total 1.1 GW of renewable energy projects in its first auction round of the RenovAR program. Of this total, 400 MW are of solar electricity projects with a median price of around $59.75/MWh. The winning projects are expected to provide about 2.9% of Argentina’s electricity consumption. [PlanetSave]

¶ In remote rural areas in Africa, electrification through grid extensions is often not viable. The long distances involved and low electricity demand do not justify bringing the national grid to these places. Existing mini-grids based on diesel can be retrofitted to be powered by hybrid sets of renewables. [ESI Africa]

Remote hydro facility

Remote African hydro facility

¶ Flexitricity, the UK’s largest demand response aggregator, has plans to harness the potential of combined heat and power plants to help drive a renewable revolution. There are 2,102 of these plants in the UK, with a total capacity of 19,900 GWh per year, enough to power over more than 4.8 million UK households. [Your Renewable News]

¶ The UN’s world heritage body made an urgent intervention to stop the construction of a coal power station in Bangladesh. A fact-finding mission found that the proposed site of the plant, which is 65 km north of the Sundarbans world heritage area, would expose the downriver forests to pollution and acid rain. [Climate Home]

Sundarbans mangroves, a home for Bengal tigers  (Photo: MN Gaurav / Commons)

Sundarbans mangroves, home to a quarter of all Bengal tigers
(Photo: MN Gaurav / Commons)

¶ Global investment in renewables rose to $285.9 billion in 2016, representing a five per cent increase from the previous year. According to United Nations Global Renewable Investment 2016 report released recently, investment in renewables has been running at more than $200 billion per year in the past six years. [Guardian]


¶ Nevada is the latest battleground in a national political fight over whether consumers and businesses should be able to choose where they buy electricity. A November ballot measure backed by Las Vegas casinos and other firms would create a competitive retail power market in which customers could choose their providers. [Nasdaq]

Ivanpah solar plant  (Photo by DiverDave, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Ivanpah solar plant
(Photo by DiverDave, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ South Burlington, Vermont is planning to put a solar array on top of an old landfill to get renewable energy and financial savings out of a piece of land that cannot be used for much else, officials said Tuesday. It is estimated that the project will save the municipal and school districts $5 million over its lifetime. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶ Wind energy is changing the economy of the Midwest. Wind is the fastest growing source of electricity in the United States, and about 70% of wind power is located in low income counties. Farmers benefit directly from wind turbines to tune of between $7,000 and $10,000 per turbine in annual leasing fees. [OilPrice.com]

Midwest wind farm

Midwest wind farm

¶ A 350-kilowatt, ground-mount photovoltaic solar array, owned by 36 families, has been completed by Renovus Solar in a field near Trumansburg, New York. The owners of panels receive power from New York State Electric & Gas Corp. and a credit on their bill equal to their share of the power generated by the solar farm. [Ithaca Journal]

¶ Airbnb and SolarCity Corp. are partnering to bring more solar power to the home-sharing community. In the collaboration, SolarCity will offer members of the Airbnb community a rebate – up to $1,000 cash back – on all solar panel systems through March 31, 2017. A smaller rebate will continue through the rest of 2017. [Solar Industry]

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