January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2017


¶ “Are feed-in tariffs going out of style?” • Feed-in tariffs helped to initiate a surge of renewable energy growth in many markets, but there are signs that the stock of the support mechanism is starting to fall. How and why are countries replacing feed-in tariffs, and is there a place for them in the energy markets of the future? [Power Technology]

Wind farm at sunset

Wind farm at sunset

Science and Technology:

¶ Sustainable Innovations, Inc is developing an electrochemical system that addresses multiple challenges and opportunities in the energy supply marketplace. The system converts waste CO2 and H2O to methane fuel. This is nearly identical to natural gas and can be stored or transported in existing natural gas pipelines. [Hydrocarbon Engineering]


¶ The global wind turbine market is expected to increase from $76.54 billion in 2015 to $81.14 billion in 2019, before declining to $71.21 billion in 2020, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. The report said the wind energy sector will be dominated by China, accounting to 26% of the market in 2020. [Energy Business Review]

Wind turbine (Photo: dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Wind turbine (Photo: dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

¶ The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar will begin building the 800-MW Phase 3 of the Dh 50 billion ($13.6 billion) Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park at the end of this month. The project’s power contracted under a power purchase agreement at 2.99¢/kWh. [Gulf Digital News]

¶ The Ukraine is focusing increasingly on the expansion of solar energy. According to a report presented by the expert board of the 6th International Conference on Exhibition Solar Energy Industry in Central and Eastern Europe, 54 new solar energy projects are planned to be completed by the end of this year, adding 488 MW of solar capacity. [pv magazine]

Solar array (activ solar flickr)

Solar array (activ solar flickr)

¶ Gatwick Airport has become the first UK airport to join the RE100 renewable electricity alliance and says it is on course to become carbon neutral by this Spring. The South East airport says the move heralds its transition to becoming an entirely carbon neutral operation after it started purchasing 100% renewable energy in 2013. [Bdaily]

¶ The first Siemens 6-MW turbine is supplying electricity from the 402-MW Veja Mate offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, two months ahead of schedule. A further 66 turbines are to be installed and commissioned with completion expected by the middle of 2017. Installations are by Fred Olsen Windcarrier jack-up Bold Tern and Seajacks Scylla. [reNews]

Seajacks Scylla (Image: Veja Mate)

Seajacks Scylla (Image: Veja Mate)

¶ Plans to resume operations at the Onagawa nuclear power plant’s No 2 reactor have taken a hit, as the building sustained 1,130 cracks in the walls and lost an estimated 70% of structural rigidity in the massive 2011 earthquake. Tohoku Electric Power Co revealed the extent of the damage at a Nuclear Regulation Authority review. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ University of California, Davis has been named the world’s most sustainable university by the University of Indonesia’s annual GreenMetric ranking. The study assessed 516 colleges
and universities in 74 countries, taking a close look at green policies and practices as well as research and education on sustainability. [The Sacramento Press]

LEED Platinum-certified Gallagher Hall (Photo by Steven Tyler / CC Flickr)

LEED Platinum-certified Gallagher Hall
(Photo by Steven Tyler / CC Flickr)

¶ Worldwide, commercial production of seaweed for food is a growing business. Now the DOE is taking a different approach for the US to get in on the action, with a particular focus on converting seaweed to carbon-neutral biofuel and other high value products. Advantages include no use of land, fresh water, or fertilizer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The city of Las Vegas is now home to the first self-driving, all-electric shuttle service on public roads in the US, according to recent reports. The new electric, autonomous shuttle service is the result of a collaboration between the shuttle manufacturer Navya, the fleet logistics provider Keolis, and the city of Las Vegas. [CleanTechnica]

Navya Shuttle Las Vegas

Navya Shuttle in Las Vegas

¶ The Vermont Technology Council and the Burlington Electric Department announced the formation of an exploratory team to assess the potential for a Vermont energy startup accelerator – PowerUp Vermont – to help businesses focused on innovating in the power industry and driving the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. [vtdigger.org]

¶ The UCLA Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge has awarded its second round of competitive research grants this month, providing $1 million to eight new projects, led by UCLA researchers, who will study self-driving cars, improve ways to capture and distribute solar power, map wild mammals in urban LA, and more. [UCLA Newsroom]

Downtown Los Angeles (Photo: Mark Esguerra)

Downtown Los Angeles (Photo: Mark Esguerra)

¶ Enel Green Power North America has signed agreements with three separate top-tier wind turbine manufacturers to support the future development of about 3.5 GW of new wind capacity in the US. The projects are not yet under construction. In 2017, the company is expected to complete 800 MW of new wind and solar capacity. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Rick Perry, Trump’s pick to head the DOE, saw how energy development can be impacted by infrastructure when he was governor of Texas. Texas has a history of success producing energy. Infrastructure and markets have been keys to success, which made Texan the leader in wind energy. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

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