February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists have built a better flow battery. Using a predictive model of molecules and their properties, University of Utah and University of Michigan chemists developed a charge-storing molecule around 1,000 times more stable than current compounds. Their results are reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. [Phys.Org]

Flow battery in operation

Flow battery in operation – color represents charge

¶ Research from the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz found a strong association between the diagnosis of acute lymphocytic leukemia among children and levels of nearby oil and natural gas development. Children living near oil and gas wells are far more likely to develop the leukemia than those that aren’t. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Researchers from the University of California Irvine studied data collected from 1991 to 2015 on glaciers found in the Queen Elizabeth Islands in the Arctic. They found that, from 2005 to 2015, surface melt off of these glaciers rose by 900% – something they say is attributable to warming air temperatures in the region. [CBC.ca]

Petermann Glacier (NASA / NOAA / Aqua - MODIS)

Petermann Glacier in Greenland (NASA / NOAA / Aqua – MODIS)

World:

¶ The 497-MW EnBW Hohe See offshore wind farm off the coast of Germany is set to proceed, as Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge has decided to invest in the project, and German engineering company Siemens is committing for the first time to provide complete the project’s construction work. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Tocardo Tidal Power is preparing to deploy the InToTidal project at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. The company said the Universal Foundation System is the start of Tocardo’s planned 20-year commercial demonstration project at the site. The semi-submersible platform features five 300-kW devices. [reNews]

Tocardo turbines (Tocardo image)

Tocardo turbines (Tocardo image)

¶ South African utility Eskom is defying an “injunction” of president Jacob Zuma by attempting to negotiate tariffs with preferred bidders instead of signing existing PPAs, according to the South African Renewable Energy Council. The council says Eskom will “drag its feet wherever possible to resist signing … with renewable producers.” [PV-Tech]

¶ Wind energy developer Gamesa has reinforced its position in India with seven new orders totalling 278 MW. Gamesa has been ranked as the leading original equipment manufacturer in India for the last three years. The projects are scheduled for commissioning between March and October 2017. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Gamesa wind turbines (Gamesa image)

Gamesa wind turbines (Gamesa image)

¶ A survey by Essential on energy policy found that Australia’s Turnbull government is failing to persuade people of either its performance or its arguments on energy security. More than seven in ten (71%) said the government was not doing enough to ensure “affordable, reliable and clean energy” for households and businesses. [The Conversation AU]

¶ The additional costs intermittent renewables impose on the electricity system are “modest” according to a report published by the UK Energy Research Council. The UKERC said studies which found significantly higher costs are usually related to particularly inflexible systems, or where very little system re-optimisation was assumed. [reNews]

Kirkby Moor wind farm in Cumbria (Innogy UK Renewables)

Kirkby Moor wind farm in Cumbria (Innogy UK Renewables)

¶ Saudi Arabia has launched the first stage of its ambitious renewables tenders, including 400 MW of wind projects and 300 MW of solar. The kingdom plans to have 3.45 GW of renewables by 2020 and 9.5 GW by 2023. The projects will be backed by power purchase agreements of 25 years for solar and 20 years for wind. [Power Engineering International]

¶ In Gujarat, subdued demand and surplus electricity availability reduced additions of new capacity for generating power from conventional power sources such as coal and gas. The installed generating capacity of non-renewable energy sources grew by just 0.7% in 2015-16, compared with 6.2% in 2013-14 and 5.2% in 2013-14. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar and wind power

Solar and wind power

¶ The prolonged closure of a major French atomic reactor after an explosion this month probably costs EDF at least £1 million a day, according to experts. The nuclear plant operator, which will spend £18 billion building the UK’s first new nuclear power station in a generation, shut unit 1 at its Flamanville plant after a fire in the turbine hall. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Wind energy has become the largest renewable power sector in the United States, but its adoption has lagged in the Southeast. One of the reasons is that wind currents in the area are relatively weak. Wind turbines are becoming more efficient, however, and this may help bring new wind energy projects to the Southeast. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Wind turbines at sunset

Wind turbines at sunset

¶ The president of the University of Iowa announced that the UI will be coal-free by 2025. The university has already taken steps to reduce its dependence on coal; in 2008, it established seven “sustainability targets” to be achieved by 2020. Since the 2020 vision’s inception, the UI has managed to reduce its use of coal by 60%. [The Daily Iowan]

¶ Kevin de León has promised to lead the resistance to President Trump, and a new bill could make good on that promise. The California Senate leader has introduced legislation that would have the Golden State get 100% of its electricity from climate-friendly energy sources by 2045. The current renewable energy mandate is 50% by 2030. [KHOU.com]

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