April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The great gas con: there are cheaper, cleaner alternatives” • Yet another Australian “gas summit” ended without a fix to soaring gas prices. Frankly, it beggars belief that the country’s industry is even bothering to ask for cheaper gas prices, when there are obviously cheaper alternatives available – for both electricity and for industrial gas users. [Echonetdaily]

Gas and oil refinery (shutterstock)

¶ “Plunging battery costs raise doubts over Tasmania’s $3 billion hydro plans” • Tasmania’s plans for a $3 billion investment in new pumped hydro schemes and a new submarine transmission link to the Australian mainland may turn out to be little more than damp squib, given concerns raised by two new studies in the proposal. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶ In March, NOAA saw something it has never seen before, a record high global temperature that exceed the 1981-2010 average by a full one degree Centigrade (1.8º F) “in the absence of an El Niño episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.” NOAA says the reading is a sign the underlying global warming trend is stronger than ever. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

World:

¶ In a new report examining how climate change will affect its bottom line, Calgary-based oil giant Suncor Energy is admitting its business will be turned upside down. The report notes that new technology and social change will trigger dramatic shifts in the market. But it isn’t ready to throw in the towel on oil any time soon. [National Observer]

¶ The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is projected to cost £1.3 billion and generate enough electricity for 155,000 homes, over a lifespan of 120 years. A report from Seafish takes a different look at it. Prospects for cultivating mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, cockles and seaweed in the proposed project are promising, it says. [TheFishSite.com]

Rendering of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project
(Courtesy: Tidal Lagoon Power)

¶ A majority of India’s 28,000 MW of gas-based power plants are likely to turn idle, especially on the eastern coast of the country, after the Union government decided to terminate the subsidies provided under the gas price pooling mechanism to the power companies beyond March 31, Industry officials told Financial Express. [Financial Express]

¶ A Concentrated Solar Power system in Denmark has reached full capacity. The plant provides the city of Brønderslev with sustainable heating through the city’s district heating network, but it will soon also be contributing to power production. The 16.6-MWth solar energy plant is based on parabolic trough technology. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Concentrated solar power in Denmark

¶ Strike action is already being threatened at the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, which is under construction in the UK county of Somerset, despite a ground breaking industrial relations agreement being in place that had been considered a blueprint for future best practice. The dispute at Hinkley Point C is over bonus payments. [The Construction Index]

US:

¶ When it comes to clean energy, Vermont is second only to California, according to a nationwide assessment of states by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Vermont came in at the top in two of the 12 categories used in its study, including the per capita creation of jobs in the clean energy economy, and the state’s carbon reduction target. [Rutland Herald]

Vermont Law School solar array
(SayCheeeeeese, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Eos Energy Storage, producer of the cost Znyth battery, announced new forward pricing for the company’s Eos Aurora DC Battery System at a record-breaking low cost. The company is taking orders for volume purchases at a price of $160/kWh for shipment in 2017 and $95 per usable kWh for shipment in 2022. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Apple has pledged to end its reliance on mining, and to make its devices from only renewable or recycled materials, although it’s not announced any timeline to do so. The pledge was announced in the company’s Environmental Responsibility Report. Apple already gets nearly 100% of its energy from renewable sources. [Cult of Mac]

iPhone (Photo: Ste Smith | Cult of Mac)

¶ Enel Green Power has begun construction of the 300-MW Red Dirt wind farm in Oklahoma. It is Enel Green Power North America’s largest wind farm in the state, and will bring the company’s cumulative capacity up to nearly 1,500 MW. The wind farm will sell its electricity under two long-term power purchase agreements. [CleanTechnica]

¶ L’Oréal USA’s plant in North Little Rock is set to house the fourth largest solar power project in Arkansas. The installation of 3,600 solar panels will provide 1.2 MW of renewable energy and will reduce carbon emissions for the state by 556 metric tons per year. L’Oréal’s plant has been in the state for 40 years and has nearly 500 employees. [THV 11]

L’Oréal solar array

¶ Recycling at Werkhoven Dairy near Monroe, Washington, takes on a whole new meaning when you have more than 3,000 cows that generate an average of 65 pounds of poop a day each. They have been turning cow manure into cow power for nearly a decade, producing enough electricity for nearly 300 homes and then some. [News3LV]

¶ One of the largest solar projects in Georgia has now been completed. The 52-MW solar facility in Hazlehurst is expected to generate more than 134 GWh of renewable energy annually for customers of Green Power EMC for the next 30 years, according to a news release. Construction began in April 2016 on the 480-acre utility. [The Telegraph]

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