October 25 Energy News

October 25, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ While human emissions of CO2 remained fairly static between 2014 and 2015, the onset of strong El Niño weather phenomena caused a spike in levels of the gas in the atmosphere. The spike results from drought conditions in tropical regions produced by El Niño, which meant that vegetation was less able to absorb the CO2. [BBC]

Air sampling station at Mauna Loa observatory (NOAA photo)

Air sampling station at Mauna Loa observatory (NOAA photo)

¶ Researchers from the UK’s Overseas Development Institute and India’s Vasudha Foundation warn that following through on plans to build more coal power would push global temperature increases beyond 2° C. This would plunge many millions into poverty as a result of climate change-driven effects on their regions. [pv magazine]

World:

¶ In Central Asia, a crisis is brewing over water and electricity. The Soviet-era system in which the five countries of the region shared their resources has broken down, leaving some facing water shortages and others chronic power cuts. Instances of small-scale unrest have already occurred, but this could be just the beginning. [BBC]

Tajikistan's largest hydro-electric power station, Nurek

Tajikistan’s largest hydro-electric power station, Nurek

¶ New installations of renewable energy overtook conventional power for the first time in 2015, the International Energy Agency said in its Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report. Global green power rose by a record 153 GW. This was equivalent to 55% of newly installed capacity last year, exceeding coal for the first time. [Bloomberg]

¶ Spain is aiming to provide 100% of its energy needs using only renewable sources, and experts in the country believe it is an achievable target. The current average per day stands at 17.4%, according to ABC News, enough to power 29 million homes across the region. That is a 2.5% increase in the past two years. [Huffington Post UK]

Wind farm (Photo: Charlie Dean via Getty Images)

Wind farm (Photo: Charlie Dean via Getty Images)

¶ Sweden is on track to produce all its energy from renewable sources by 2040, a top regulatory official from the country said late on Monday. Renewables accounted for 57% of the nation’s 159 TWh of power last year, with most of the rest coming from nuclear. Sweden does not plan to subsidize more nuclear energy because of costs. [Daily Mail]

¶ Senegal has become a regional player in renewables on a continent where the majority remain off-grid. The 20-MW Senergy 2 project, located close to the Mauritanian border, will serve 160,000 people with electricity and will contribute to Senegal’s target of having renewables provide 20% of its energy needs by the end of 2017. [africanews]

Senegal has a new 20-MW solar power plant.

Senegal has a new 20-MW solar power plant.

¶ According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, 10% of the 600 million people living off-grid in Africa now use solar energy to power their homes. The decreasing prices of home solar systems in Africa have made this possible, as the cost for solar has dropped below the cost of diesel and kerosene. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ Dong Energy has installed its 1000th offshore wind turbine, the first company globally to reach the milestone. Dong’s first offshore wind turbine was installed in 1991 and had a capacity of 0.45 MW. The company said that between 2016 and 2020 it is set to build more offshore wind capacity than in the preceding 25 years. [reNews]

Turbine installation at Gode 1&2 (Siemens image)

Turbine installation at Gode 1&2 (Siemens image)

¶ The cost of scrapping the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is set to rise to hundreds of billions of yen annually over a 30-year time from, according to a new government projection disclosed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Previous projections had the figure at ¥80 billion a year. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ In a groundbreaking precedent that will likely be felt for decades to come, a federal appeals court in the US has ruled that a species can be listed as “threatened” based on climate change projections. The decision reinstates Endangered Species Act protections for the bearded seals, but it also sets an important precedent. [Gizmodo India]

Alaskan seal (NOAA image)

Alaskan seal (NOAA image)

¶ Gasoline deliveries in the US during September 2016 reached a new record high (for the month), with roughly 9.4 million barrels on average being delivered every day of the month, according to new figures from API. That represents a 1.1% year-on-year rise as compared to September 2015. Year-to-date figures were also up in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Duke Energy Carolinas has issued a request for proposals for 750 GWh of renewable energy located in its service territory. The aim is for the company meet a North Carolina energy portfolio standard requiring generation 12.5% of its in-state retail sales by renewable energy or energy efficiency by 2021. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm (iStock image)

Wind farm (iStock image)

¶ The New Hampshire environmental protection and public health agencies just finished installing a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art biomass heating plant at its facility in Concord. While the broader EPA can’t seem to come to a consensus on biomass emissions, the technology has been chosen in at least some cases. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ Envision Solar International, Inc, a manufacturer of EV charging equipment, has announced that New York State has issued a purchase order for the Company’s EV ARC product. Envision Solar has previously delivered the EV ARC to New York City, but this is the first purchase order from New York State. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

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