October 14 Energy News

October 14, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder recruited 20 sedentary volunteers to ride electric bicycles to work at least three times a week for a month. The riders were free to choose the level of assist they preferred, but each trip had to take at least 40 minutes. After one month all of the riders showed measurable health benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Researchers demonstrating pedal electric bicycle in Boulder
(Photo: Sydney Chinowsky | University of Colorado Boulder)

World:

¶ In March of this year, Paris suffered through a period of intense smog, during which the air over the city was dirtier than the air over Beijing. The city has since made a series of moves to reduce pollution from vehicles. Now it is considering a plan that seeks to remove all gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles from its streets by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The state-owned Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica intends to invest in the wind and solar power business in order to diversify its offering. It got a grant to conduct a feasibility study for a 30-MW offshore wind farm from the US Trade and Development Agency, and it is working on developing other projects, including rooftop PV. [pv magazine International]

Jamaica (Photo: Flickr | Darryl Braaten)

¶ A new Power Purchase Agreement reached between NL Hydro and a private company will help reduce the reliance on diesel generation for residents of Mary’s Harbour, Labrador. The president of St Mary’s River Energy Limited says they are reactivating a small hydro plant on the St Mary’s River that had operated from 1987 to 2007. [VOCM]

¶ Mongolia’s second wind site was completed in early October, taking its installed wind capacity to 100 MW. The 50-MW Tsetsii project, located near Tsogttsetsii, in southern Mongolia, is powered by 25 Vestas V110 2-MW turbines. At present, Mongolia has a power capacity of 1,130 MW, of which 88% is coal-fired and 8% renewable. [Windpower Monthly]

First Vestas turbine installed at the Tsetsii project

¶ Mongolia plans to expand its windpower capacity to 8 GW. The country aims to focus its wind power development on export potential in anticipation of the so-called Asian super-grid, which is planned to connect China, India, Russia, South Korea and Japan in a massive cross-border transmission network. [Power Engineering International]

¶ Olleco, the renewable division of ABP Food Group, has opened a 15-MW anaerobic digestion facility in Aylesbury, England. The ABP Food Group said that the new plant, a £22 million ($29.2 million) investment, would generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 12,000 households. The facility is situated next to an Arla dairy. [CNBC]

Lunching on simple salad (Andia | UIG | Getty Images)

¶ A scandal over product inspections data faked by Japanese materials and machinery giant Kobe Steel expanded to include products shipped to more than 500 customers. Kobe Steel has not identified the customers affected, but the company is a major supplier to many manufacturers, including nuclear power plants. [Japan Today]

¶ Dozens of government ministers and senior officials in the Maldives to coordinate efforts on renewable energy development and other ways to stave off the impacts of a changing climate. Small island states and nations with developing economies pledged to take a stronger initiative in the fight against climate change, low-carbon leaders said. [UPI.com]

Maldives beach (Photo: Élite Diving Agency | Wikimedia)

US:

¶ California has put its utilities on notice: When you’re putting together your next integrated resource plans, you’d better have non-gas generating options for meeting peak demand. That’s what Governor Jerry Brown mandated to utilities when he signed SB 338 into law yesterday, requiring that peak loads be met by alternatives to fossil fuels. [solarpaces.org]

¶ Congress has approved a loan of nearly $5 billion loan that will further burden the already bankrupt US territory of Puerto Rico. But various solar companies and nonprofits are continuing to work together to offer aid to the storm-ravaged island while also promoting a more sustainable future and resilient energy system. [Common Dreams]

Renewable energy technology (Photo: SolarCity)

¶ In Puerto Rico, Barrio Obrero fire station installed a 4-kW solar system that will provide it with full power. The station has been without reliable power since Hurricane Maria struck. While the federal government has focused on supplying diesel power, Tesla, Sonnen, New Star Solar, and others are building reliable microgrids. [CNBC]

¶ Officials of Wester Energy, the largest electric utility in Kansas, say new guidelines set by the EPA will not result in a major shift in fuel strategy. EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced ending the Clean Power Plan, but this does not affect Westar because it has a commitment to renewable energy sources, according to a company spokeswoman. [KMBZ]

Wind farm

¶ Wind energy is expected to overtake coal in Texas news that two large coal-fired power plants are set to close in the next year. The utility firm Luminant announced that it would close the Sandow Power Plant and the Big Brown Power Plant in early 2018. The plants have a capacity of 2,300 MW, enough to power 2.1 million Texas homes. [Washington Examiner]

¶ Sunnova is the largest residential solar provider in Puerto Rico. It installs it its own equipment on rooftops and sells the electricity to the customers, who only pay for the power. Until recently, the Puerto Rico’s public utility made it difficult for customers to generate their power without also relying on the electric grid. [Houston Chronicle]

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