October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2016


¶ “Is clean coal a lost cause?” • After decades of research and billions of dollars of funding, it seems time could be running out for ‘clean coal.’ With the latest large project backed by the US DOE ready to fail, Dr Gareth Evans hears from the rising number of voices proclaiming clean coal to be a lost cause. [Power Technology]

Clean coal?

Is clean coal a lost cause?


¶ The Prince of Wales is joining an Anglo-French government initiative to improve the condition of global soils. Ministers from both governments are meeting the prince to discuss how to improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming. Ministers will debate how to store more carbon in soils. [BBC]

¶ Edinburgh is celebrating the completion of what is thought to be the largest community-owned rooftop solar framework in the UK, after 1.4 MW of solar was deployed across the city’s public buildings. The project was funded by a community offer, which raised just under £1.5 million from local residents in six weeks. [Solar Power Portal]

Rooftop solar system in Edinburgh (Image: Emtec Energy)

Rooftop solar system in Edinburgh (Image: Emtec Energy)

¶ In May, the Norwegian government announced its intention to release ten production licenses to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic Barents Sea. A group of young people filed suit this week against the Norwegian government, contending that drilling for oil and gas violates their constitutional right to a healthy environment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ European countries climbed in Ernst & Young’s Renewable energy country attractiveness index, though the UK bucking the trend. The rise was not easy, because European countries lack the flexibility of emerging markets and face challenges of integrating renewables with historically centralized conventional power generation. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar farm in France. (Featured Image: Mny-Jhee / Shutterstock.com)

Solar farm in France. (Image: Mny-Jhee / Shutterstock.com)

¶ Entrade Energiesysteme AG will sell electricity from 400 of its container-sized biomass-to-power machines set up in Fukushima Prefecture, the company’s Chief Executive Officer said. The devices will generate 20 MW by next year, providing power that kicks in when the sun descends on the region’s solar panels. [Bloomberg]

¶ As it weans itself from nuclear power and embraces renewable generation, Germany’s power grid outage averaged 12.7 minutes last year, 41% less than in 2006, even though renewables have grown to account for as much as a third of power generation in the country, according to data released by the federal regulator last week. [RenewEconomy]



¶ For China’s nuclear industry, 2016 has been a frustrating year. So far, construction has started on only one new plant, and its target of bringing 58 GW of nuclear capacity in service by 2020 seems impossible to meet. At present, China has 19.3 GW of nuclear supply under construction and 31.4 GW in service, but progress is slow. [chinadialogue]


¶ New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve is growing greener thanks to a new partnership with electricity provider Green Mountain Energy Company. The 8,000-acre Mohonk Preserve in Gardiner, NY has signed an agreement with Green Mountain to provide clean electricity to power the site’s facilities. [3BL Media]

Autumn Morning at Mohonk Preserve (photo by Kate Schoonmaker)

Autumn Morning at Mohonk Preserve
(photo by Kate Schoonmaker)

¶ Solar industry entrepreneur Danny Kennedy, co-founder of Sungevity, the nation’s largest privately held solar company, gave an upbeat assessment of the solar industry’s future at the 2016 Annual Bioneers Conference in Marin County, north of San Francisco. He said California could be 70% renewably powered by 2030. [Huffington Post]

¶ VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, is going solar. VSECU entered into an innovative partnership with Soveren Solar, through which the credit union will purchase the solar net metering credits produced by a 500-kW solar array to offset its GMP power bill. [Vermont Biz]

Guilford solar array

Guilford solar array

¶ Dominion Virginia Power is set to add some major assets to its PV pipeline, as the company is currently constructing three large-scale solar projects in the Virginia counties of Isle of Wight, Louisa and Powhatan. The installations will generate 56 MW of PV generation at peak output, enough to power around 14,000 homes. [PV-Tech]

¶ Xcel Energy plans to build three new wind farms in Minnesota and one in North Dakota, part of a larger program to increase its wind generation capacity by 60% in the Upper Midwest. Together, the four projects total 750 MW, the company said, sufficient to provide enough energy to power nearly 400,000 homes. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

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