November 4 Energy News

November 4, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A UN review of national plans to cut carbon says they are well short of the levels needed to keep the rise in global temperatures under 2° C. The report finds that by 2030 the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere will be some 25% above that mark. Many scientists say that technology to remove carbon from the air will be needed. [BCC]

Era of worse weather  (Photo by Justin Hobson, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

An era of gradually worsening weather
(Photo by Justin Hobson, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ Ratch Australia and Port Bajool have reached financial close on the 180-MW Mount Emerald wind farm in Queensland, according to the state government. The $380-million project now has engineering, procurement and construction contracts in place, a long-term contract, a 25-year grid connection agreement and finance secured. [reNews]

¶ EU Priority Dispatch rules require network operators to feed energy produced by renewables into the grid. However, an EU impact assessment seen by The Guardian this week shows that modelling of four future energy scenarios could include the removal of the system from the EU renewable energy directive. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Polish wind farm

Polish wind farm

¶ Alberta will hold its first auction for renewable power contracts early next year as the NDP government moves on its strategy of having 30% of the province’s electrical supply coming from sources such as wind, solar and hydro by 2030. Investors will bid to provide up to 400 MW of renewable electricity for 20 years. [Edmonton Journal]

¶ NextEra Canada has agreed to buy a 291-MW wind project in Alberta from local outfit Heritage Wind Farm Development. Heritage received clearance in 2011 for the 97-turbine proposal near Pincher Creek. In 2014, the Alberta Utilities Commission had approved an extension to December 2017 to complete construction. [reNews]

NextEra wind farm in Ontario (Image: NextEra)

NextEra wind farm in Ontario (Image: NextEra)

¶ The Philippine President said it’s unlikely his country will adopt nuclear energy during his six-year term because of safety concerns. He said nuclear energy remains an important option in the future, but the Philippines needs to undertake a study and put “really tight safeguards” in place to assure there will be no disasters. [PennEnergy]


¶ A press release from the US Solar Energy Industries Association reveals that Florida voters are waking up to deceptive wording on Florida’s Amendment 1, which is meant to slow the Sunshine State’s rooftop solar growth and even penalize it. But big utilities are pumping millions of dollars into ads before election day. [CleanTechnica]

Solar Victory poster

Solar Victory poster

¶ The US Department of Agriculture provided capital support to 17 Vermont businesses transitioning to renewable or energy efficient technologies to cut costs and energy consumption this year. The grants and loan guarantees through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program totalled over $3 million. [Vermont Biz]

¶ The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued an ‘eagle take permit’ for NRG Yield’s 137-MW Alta East wind farm in California. The agency said the project could kill up to three golden eagles over five years. NRG has prepared a conservation plan that includes steps to protect birds and bats from turbines and power lines. [reNews]

Golden Eagle (Image: Darren Danks)

Golden Eagle (Image: Darren Danks)

¶ Mountains of trash are being turned into utility resources in Brown County, Ohio. The Rumpke Brown County landfill is being turned into a place where methane from decomposition of trash will be used to generate electricity. Costing approximately $8 million, the plant should be operational in the late spring of 2017. [Ledger Independent]

¶ Electric vehicle use in Minnesota reduces greenhouse gas emissions (well-to-wheel carbon intensity) by at least 61%, according to a new analysis from the Great Plains Institute. If the electric vehicle owner uses 100% renewable energy to recharge the vehicle, then this figure can be raised to 95% most of the time. [CleanTechnica]

US electric use (Image: America's Power Plan)

US electric use (Image: America’s Power Plan)

¶ Connecticut’s fuel cell industry, one of the most robust in the nation, is up against a powerful coalition that includes the Koch brothers and other conservative interest groups. After elections, in a lame-duck session of Congress, there will be a showdown over the federal incentives for fuel cells and geothermal heat pumps. [The CT Mirror]

¶ National Renewable Energy Lab says ample resource availability, falling prices, and results from both research and actual experience in Europe are showing that there is no reason why we can’t reach much higher levels of renewable energy deployment. A 30% share of grid power from solar and wind would be easy. [pv magazine USA]

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