October 29 Energy News

October 29, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “7 Solutions to the Climate Crisis” • With the Paris Agreement becoming official on November 4, we finally have the framework to fight climate change. We have the tools and technology to shift away from fossil fuels to clean energy, affordably and effectively. In case you want proof, here are seven reasons to be hopeful. [EcoWatch]

Rooftop solar system

Rooftop solar system

Science and Technology:

¶ Costs for onshore wind energy will fall 15%, while offshore
wind could cut costs by half, in the next five years, a report from the International Energy Agency says. The projections assume sustained policy support, continuing technology progress, and expansion into newer markets with better renewable resources. [Environmental Expert]

¶ Tesla announced an update to its Powerpack system, with a new energy module and power electronics, as well as twice the energy density of its predecessor, bringing it to 200 kWh. The company says, “The combined system is now a cost-competitive alternative to other traditional utility infrastructure solutions.” [Bloomington Pantagraph]

Powerpack (Image: Tesla Motors)

Powerpack (Image: Tesla Motors)

World:

¶ Exxon Mobil Corp warned it may be facing the biggest reserves revision in its history as production sank to a seven-year low and profit slid amid a prolonged slump in energy markets. About 4.6 billion barrels of reserves, mostly in the Canadian oil sands, may be in jeopardy if the average energy prices for 2016 persist. [Energy Voice]

¶ Bosnia and Herzegovina is a net exporter of power. It has some of the worst air pollution in Europe. Yet this small, Balkan state of 3.5 million people is planning to nearly double its coal power capacity, a major source of harmful emissions. Green groups are fighting a powerful energy lobby that says it is seeking to save jobs. [Climate Home]

Coal plant in Tuzla (Pic: Flickr/Steffen Emrich)

Coal plant in Tuzla (Pic: Flickr/Steffen Emrich)

¶ Danish energy giant DONG Energy has confirmed rumors that it is investigating the sale of its oil & gas business, and that JP Morgan has been contracted to conduct a preliminary market assessment. DONG had already divested itself of its Danish gas business and is has been concentrating on offshore wind power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ For the first time, renewable power has surpassed coal, according to the International Energy Agency’s Medium-Term Renewable Market Report. It says renewables have become the largest source of new installed power capacity in the world in 2015, exceeding coal power. This is largely due to growing solar and wind power. [Nature World News]

Burbo Bank wind farm (Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

Offshore wind farm (Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

US:

¶ New single-family homes built in Santa Monica, California must be rated at “zero net energy” use, starting in 2017. Santa Monica City Council voted this week to approve the first of its kind in the world requirement. They homes must generate as much energy from renewable sources as they use each year. [Central Valley Business Times]

¶ Roof tiles with built-in solar panels have been unveiled by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk. The tiles are intended to be a more attractive way to add solar panels to homes, compared with currently-used solar technology. The launch took place in Los Angeles, on what used to be the set for the television show Desperate Housewives. [BBC]

House with Tesla's solar roof tiles

House with Tesla’s solar roof tiles

¶ Installation of an innovative new AC/DC nanogrid has been completed at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Keating Sports Center by Aquion Energy, Schneider Electric, and Azimuth Energy. The nanogrid installation was designed and installed primarily by the engineering and construction firm Azimuth Energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Xcel Energy announced it intends to build four new wind farms, with a combined capacity of 750 MW, growing wind capacity in the upper Midwest. Almost 20% of electricity in North Dakota was generated from wind, as of July. In Minnesota, more than 17% of electricity generation was from wind, and in South Dakota, almost 27%. [INFORUM]

North Dakota wind farm (AP Photo / The Forum, Darren Gibbins)

North Dakota wind farm (AP Photo / The Forum, Darren Gibbins)

¶ The United States’ first offshore wind farm, Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm, hasn’t even begun generating electricity to the grid, but there is now news out there that suggests the country’s second offshore wind project could be developed in Lake Erie. Fred Olsen Renewables AS would build the 20.7-MW power plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Park City, Utah is the latest American city to pledge to turn to 100% renewable energy, setting 2032 as its deadline. Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco and San Diego, California, Georgetown, Texas Grand Rapids, Michigan, and other cities have already committed to the cause. With congress failing to act, cities are leading the way. [Off-Grid]

Park City Transit Center  (photo by An Errant Knight, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Park City Transit Center
(photo by An Errant Knight, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Green Street Solar Power, located in the Bronx, NY, has begun construction on a 4.1-MW high efficiency PV system in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It will be the state’s the largest single rooftop installation. The system will be used to offset the electric bills for the entire public school system in Attleboro. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Robbie Leppzer first thought of making a movie about the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant when he learned its operating license was set for review in 2012. He photographed 700 hours
of government deliberations and grassroots demonstrations. “Power Struggle” will debut on November 3, at a Brattleboro “sneak preview.” [Brattleboro Reformer]

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