December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2016


¶ “Going 100% renewable: An exciting new energy game” • An exciting new home energy game opened up for me this week when I made enquiries with my energy retailer. The average Australian emits 4.5 times the global average CO2, so the goal is to lower our household carbon emissions. It is an exciting game we play every day. [The Fifth Estate]

Wind turbines at sunrise (Wind Data Centre)

Wind turbines (Wind Data Centre)

¶ “Trump brings Koch network’s green-energy foes from the fringe to the center of power” • The head of the anti-renewable Institute for Energy Research is suddenly at the center of power. A former Koch Industries lobbyist who has led a coordinated national assault on renewable power is at the DOE, in charge of its transition. [Chicago Tribune]

¶ “Wind and Solar Are Better Together” • Building turbines and photovoltaics at the same location can reduce grid and battery costs and level out power supply. A handful of enterprising renewable energy developers are now exploring how solar and wind might better work together, developing hybrid solar-wind projects. [Scientific American]

Solar and wind (Credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC0 1.0)

Solar and wind together (Credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC0 1.0)


¶ UK utility Centrica is launching a three-year trial in which batteries and other systems, such as combined heat and power units, will be installed in dozens of houses, businesses and hospitals in Cornwall. The £19 million project will evaluate the potential for a new independent power market in the southwest of England. [Decentralized Energy]

¶ In Scotland, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is in support of the Dounreay Tri floating wind demonstration project of Swedish engineering company Hexicon AB. The conservation charity said it has submitted a consultation response to Marine Scotland in support of the project west of the Pentland Firth. [SeeNews Renewables]

Multi-turbine floating platform (Image: Hexicon)

Multi-turbine floating platform (Image: Hexicon)

¶ Canadian Solar has closed financing of ¥14.9 billion ($141.5 million) to build and operate the 55-MW Yamaguchi Shin Mine solar plant in Japan. The loan facilities were arranged by Hanwha Asset Management, with a maturity of 17 years. The company considers Japan as a key growth market, having 597 MW in late development stages. [reNews]

¶ Five western Queensland councils, as reported by local media, have made steps toward utilising the Great Artesian Basin for local geothermal energy production. One project in Winton is actually already developing a plant, which is expected to come online in early 2017. The potential for geothermal power to save money is high. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Winton, Queensland, Australia (source: flickr / Chris Fithall, creative commons)

Winton, Queensland, Australia
(source: flickr / Chris Fithall, creative commons)

¶ Consumers using rooftop solar panels and batteries will produce between a third and half of Australia’s electricity by mid-century if the right policies are introduced, according to a roadmap from the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia. It suggests it could help create a reliable electricity grid with zero emissions by 2050. [Queensland Country Life]

¶ The US is sponsoring India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which aims to stop nuclear proliferation by controlling exports of materials, equipment, and technology that can be used to assemble nuclear weapons. At the same time, the US is backing plans to construct six AP1000 nuclear power plants in India. [Power Technology]

Westinghouse reactor under construction

Westinghouse reactor under construction

¶ Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3% to a five-year low in the financial year through March owing to lower power demand, growing renewable energy and the restart of nuclear power plants, government figures showed. Emissions fell for a second straight year to 1.321 billion metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent. [Times of India]


¶ The Omaha Public Power District’s four proposed generation portfolios show that wind power is at the forefront of its future plans for renewables. The utility’s ultimate direction, however, depends on the new administration’s stance on renewable resources and implications of the Clean Power Plan’s judicial review. [Blair Enterprise Publishing]

Wind farm (Courtesy: Pixabay)

Wind farm (Courtesy: Pixabay)

¶ Former Vice President Al Gore has met President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump to discuss climate policy. The meeting “was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” according to Mr Gore, a climate change activist. Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly wants to make the subject one of her signature issues. [BBC]

¶ Two Vermont towns, Stowe and Hyde Park, have recently commissioned municipally owned solar plants, making them the first towns in the state to do so. Together, the plants will produce 2.7 MW of solar electricity. This is enough to power 229 average residences of in the towns, about 7% of the total number of homes. [pv magazine USA]

Vermont solar array

Hyde Park, Vermont solar array

¶ With two solar facilities moving toward completion and a third in the planning stages, Pownal, Vermont is becoming a leading community. The total countywide capacity from solar sources is approximately 3.7 MW, of which 2.2 MW are in Pownal, but a 2.2-MW array is under construction, and a smaller array is also planned. []

¶ A 20-year extension for the operating license of the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Michigan has been put on hold after an activist group encouraged a federal agency to look more closely into how potassium iodide pills would be given to area residents if the plant ever has a major release of radioactive steam. [Electric Light & Power]


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