July 14 Energy News

July 14, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Japan’s Renewable-Energy Revolution” • A set of images from a series of flights over the Tokyo and Kobe/Osaka regions of Japan show a range of PV projects on former golf courses, quarries, dams, man-made islands, and floating projects on ponds and reservoirs. They add a new look on energy and climate change. [Bloomberg]

Solar farm on the face of a dam (Photo: Jamey Stillings)
(Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Why Nuclear Power, Once Cash Cow, Now Has Tin Cup” • A decade ago, nuclear power plants in the US were cash cows. Now more than half of them are bleeding cash. The industry used to look down on the subsidies needed by its clean-energy rivals, wind and solar power, but now, some states are offering subsidies to nuclear plants. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Want to live in a zero-carbon home? Maybe try Texas” • In 2015, the city council of Austin pledged to achieve net zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, shifting its energy grid away from natural gas and coal to renewable energy. Now, the city and property developers are putting their money where their mouths are. [National Observer]

Austin (Photo: Earl McGehee on Flickr Creative Commons)

World:

¶ The growth of electric vehicles in the UK has the potential to increase peak electricity demand by 3.5 GW by 2030 and 18 GW by 2050, National Grid says in its latest Future Energy Scenarios analysis. Without smart charging technology the 2030 figure could be as high as 8 GW. Peak UK demand today is around 60 GW. [Platts]

¶ The UK should focus on using waste products like chip fat if it wants to double production of biofuels according a new study. A report from the Royal Academy of Engineering says that making fuel from crops like wheat should be restricted. Incentives should be given to farmers to increase production of fuel crops like Miscanthus on marginal land. [BBC]

Crop-based biofuels

¶ The Brazilian Senate approved a draft resolution authorizing an external credit of $750 million for financing the country’s incentive program for renewables. The additional program funds will be used mainly for projects of small and medium-sized companies in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. [pv magazine]

¶ In Pakistan, rumors are being spread that solar arrays raise ambient temperatures of the buildings they are attached to. Allegedly, utility company installers, fearing lost income, are trying to dissuade potential solar buyers even as the country reels under power shortage. And the rumors are slowing the switch to renewables. [Scroll.in]

Solar workers in Islamabad (Credit: Aamir Qureshi | AFP)

¶ Both France and Germany are heavy in baseload generating capacity. They should work together towards a clean energy future, as they are set to exit coal and nuclear, according to Berlin-based think tank Agora Energiewende and the French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations. [Platts]

¶ Indian Railways launched the first solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run between railway stations in Delhi and Haryana. Each of six coaches has sixteen 300-W solar panels. The train also has battery backup power, on which it can run for at least 72 hours. [Economic Times]

Solar power on its first train in India

¶ Toyota and several partners have announced the beginning of its Low-carbon Hydrogen Technology Demonstration Project, which aims to implement and evaluate an efficient hydrogen fuel supply chain. This supply chain would rely on renewable energy and would provide hydrogen fuel for various purposes in Japan. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

US:

¶ A new wind farm in Nebraska will boost wind power to about 40% of the Omaha Public Power District’s electricity generation by the end of 2019. That’s up from less than 20% in 2016. Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources will build a 160-MW wind farm, from which OPPD will purchase the electricity generated. [Omaha World-Herald]

Grande Prairie wind farm (Megan Farmer | The World Herald)

¶ Waste water from fracking has contaminated a watershed in Pennsylvania with organic chemicals, salts, radium, and alkaline earth metals. Some pollutants are associated with endocrine system changes and others with carcinogens. Fracking produces half of the oil and two-thirds of the natural gas extracted in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ EDF Renewable Energy acquired the 179-MW Switch Station 1 and 2 solar projects in Nevada from First Solar. The projects will both sell electricity and renewable energy credits to subsidiaries of NV Energy. Switch Station 1 is scheduled to come online later this month, while Switch Station 2 start commercial operations in late September. [reNews]

Switch Station solar project (Credit EDF RE)

¶ Switching to an alternative energy program called community choice will help the city of San Diego use more renewable sources of energy and could lower electricity costs, according to a study published this week. The long-anticipated study was paid for by the city and conducted by the firm Willdan Financial Services. [KPBS]

¶ The University of Bridgeport successfully installed a megawatt-class microgrid. The 1.4-MW fuel cell power plant can make the university grid independent. The microgrid was tested by disconnecting the University from the electric grid with the fuel cell power plant powering the school’s critical infrastructure. [Energy Manager Today]

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