Archive for March 6th, 2017

March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ A Reversible Solid Oxide Cell device uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas by a process more efficient than the technologies in current use. ReSOC is particularly interesting because the exactly same device can also be operated “in reverse” to produce power from the hydrogen it produced. [EETE Power Management]

Please click on the image to enlarge it

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

World:

¶ Each year, environmental pollutants cost an estimated 1.7 million lives among children under 5, one in four deaths of children 1 month to 5 years old, according to World Health Organization reports released Monday. More than 90% of the world’s population is thought to breathe air that violates quality guidelines set by the WHO. [CNN]

¶ Abu Dhabi’s government-owned power utility aims to close a financing package for a 3.2 billion dirham ($872 million) solar power plant in April, a senior official at the utility said. The plant will be the world’s largest, with a capacity of 1,177 MW, and is expected to be operational in 2019, providing electricity for 2.42¢/kWh (US). [Utilities-ME.com]

Shams solar power station in Morocco

Shams solar power station in Morocco

¶ More than 100 Canberra homes and businesses have installed battery storage systems through the ACT’s Next Generation Renewables Energy Storage Grants program. The program aims to see 5,000 energy storage systems installed by 2020, and provides discounts of around $2900 for an average home battery system. [Energy Matters]

¶ Blackouts were averted in South Australia after an incident that saw more than 600 MW of electricity generation capacity suddenly lost. A transformer at a power plant exploded, resulting in units at the Pelican Point Power Station tripping. The loss was taken up by power transmitted from Victoria, solar PVs, and wind generators. [Energy Matters]

Pelican Point Power Station (Wikipedia)

Pelican Point Power Station (Wikipedia)

¶ UK electricity and natural gas prices in February fell from winter highs as supply and demand concerns eased, according to S&P Global Platts data. Demand for natural gas from power stations fell to a six-month low on weaker electricity demand, while both nuclear and renewable energy generation picked up. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ At the opening of the annual National People’s Congress, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to make the country’s smoggy skies blue again and “work faster” to address pollution caused by the burning of coal for heat and electricity. China’s middle class is growing increasingly vocal with greater awareness of the dangers of pollution. [CBC.ca]

Temple of Heaven park (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

Temple of Heaven park (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

¶ MHI Vestas is looking to recruit 414 employees for its nacelle and blade manufacturing facilities in Denmark, almost doubling the workforce at the company’s Lindø and Nakskov factories. The recruitment drive follows the company’s production ramp up at its UK facility on the Isle of Wight, where it hired over 100 employees. [reNews]

¶ Wind turbines generated enough energy to cover two-thirds of Scotland’s total electricity consumption last month, according to industry figures. WWF Scotland described the WeatherEnergy data as “amazing progress” and urged politicians to maximise renewable opportunities. Wind power output increased 43% from February, 2016. [The Scotsman]

Wind power in Scotland (Photo: John Devlin)

Wind power in Scotland (Photo: John Devlin)

US:

¶ California utilities are testing new ways to network solar panels and battery storage to create “virtual power plants” that manage green power and feed it into the power grid as needed. Solar farms in California create so much power during daylight hours that they often drive real-time wholesale prices in the state to zero. [The Australian]

¶ Scientists are warning that super floods and aging dams in the West could be a dangerous combination. An expert paleo-hydrologist of the University of Arizona found that floods much larger than any in recorded history are routine occurrences, and the historic record, which dates back only to the late 1800s, is inadequate for understanding risks. [Yahoo News]

Rushing water at the Oroville Dam  (Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources / Reuters)

Rushing water at the Oroville Dam
(Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources / Reuters)

¶ The Renewable Fuels Association has reported that President Trump will direct the EPA to make a big change to the country’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The change is one that has been long sought by refiners, who loathe the biofuel mandates that are in place, but it has been resisted by the country’s biofuel industry. [Forbes]

¶ One way or another, come next year, FirstEnergy Corp is getting rid of the Beaver Valley nuclear power station in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. It will shut down the 1,800-MW plant two decades ahead of schedule unless it can sell it. Selling it is a nonstarter unless legislators in Pennsylvania and Ohio give the plant a boost. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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