August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Switching from coal to natural gas will not save our planet” • If as little as 3% of natural gas leaks in the course of fracking and delivering it to the power plant through a pipe, then it’s worse than coal. And, sadly, it’s now clear that leakage rates are higher than that. Aerial surveys of one fracking area found leak rates as high as 9%. [The Seattle Times]

Natural gas well (Ralph Wilson | The Associated Press)

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at Rice University have developed a simple water filter that has been shown to remove up to 99% of the toxic heavy metals in treated water samples, including copper, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel. A single gram of it can treat up to 83,000 liters of contaminated water, after which it can be washed with vinegar and reused. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ineratic, a spinoff of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, has cooperated with Finnish partners to develop a mobile chemical pilot plant that can be used decentrally to produces gasoline, diesel oil, and kerosene from regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide from the air. The pilot plant is so compact that it fits into a shipping container. [domain-B]

Pilot plant (Image: VTT)

World:

¶ Irizar e-mobility has been awarded the contract to supply Madrid with its first 15 electric buses, and to supply Barcelona with its first 4 electric articulated buses. The city of Valencia will also buy its first electric bus from Irizar, and the city of Bilbao will buy two. These units are expected to all be delivered before the end of 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Belectric has built and commissioned a 16-MWh battery storage plant for Eins Energie in Saxony. The €10 million ($11.7 million) project provides primary reserve of 10 MW to the power market, Belectric said. The German state of Saxony funded the project, together with €1 million from the European Regional Development Fund. [reNews]

Belectric storage project (Credit: Belectric)

¶ The Queensland Government introduced a new program to support renewable energy investment and storage projects. Known as Renewables 400, it is part of the government’s A$1.16 billion ($919 million) Powering Queensland Plan. It aims to aid companies to develop large-scale renewable and battery storage projects. [Power Technology]

¶ Australian funds manager Impact Investment Group has committed to fund the construction and operation of a new 19-MW solar farm in Victoria’s Swan Hill. The Swan Hill Solar Farm is expected to produce 37,700 MWh in its first year of operation, enough to power the equivalent of about 6,300 Australian homes. [The Urban Developer]

Solar array

¶ Shell Energy Europe announced plans to enter the UK power market. It has applied for a licence to supply electric power to industries and businesses in Britain. The oil giant plans to start signing them up now to start providing them with electricity early next year. The company offtakes renewable power from wind farms and solar parks. [Energy Live News]

¶ A project that will test whether South Australia’s excess solar and wind power can be used to produce cheap hydrogen, both as a means to supplement Australia’s gas supply, and as a long-term energy storage option, has been backed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The agency is funding a pilot project with A$5 million. [RenewEconomy]

Snowtown II wind farm

¶ Homes across the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales will receive a second boost of locally-generated renewable electricity, with a 400,000 panel solar farm soon to be built in the region. The state government approved the 100-MW Metz Solar Farm. Construction is scheduled to begin early next year. [The Guyra Argus]

US:

¶ Goldwind Americas is to supply One Energy Enterprises with turbines totaling 60 MW for several wind projects in the US. The first 20 GW87/1500 machines are scheduled for immediate delivery, Goldwind said. The first four turbines will be installed at wind for industry projects to supply power to Whirlpool Corp facilities in Ohio. [reNews]

View from the top of a wind turbine (Goldwind image)

¶ US diplomats should sidestep questions on what it would take for the Trump administration to re-engage in the global Paris climate agreement, a diplomatic cable seen by Reuters said. The cable was sent to embassies by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. It also said diplomats should make clear the US wants to help other countries use fossil fuels. [HuffPost]

¶ The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released its annual Wind Technologies Market Report. It confirms that US wind energy costs continue to fall, technology continues to advance, and performance continues to improve. This has helped the wind industry sell energy at historically low prices to electricity customers. [Into the Wind]

American wind power

¶ Eagle Creek has acquired the 19-MW Abenaki and the 9-MW Anson facilities located on the Kennebec River in Maine. The two facilities had provided power to a mill until it closed in 2016. Under Eagle Creek’s ownership, they will now provide about 150 million kWh per year of electric energy to the New England power grid. [POWER magazine]

¶ When the South Carolina utilities decided to stop construction of the VC Summers nuclear plant, their move came “without warning,” Westinghouse said in a document filed with the bankruptcy court. The project owners did not give Westinghouse any notice before dismissing its subcontractors and vendors on the job. [PowerSource]

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