December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists have created a huge, yellow, doughnut-shaped device called “The Lifesaver,” which floats with the motion of the ocean. The device is full of gears, cables, and electronics, and it is in fact a wave energy converter. Wave energy converters are said to compare favorably with such renewable energy sources as wind or solar. [Business Recorder]


¶ From a wind farm off the coast of Scotland to a solar plant on a former coalmine in China, some record-breaking renewable energy schemes that have been built recently all have one thing in common: they float. As land becomes more expensive and planning consent for large-scale projects is more difficult to get, floating renewable projects are on the rise. [Real Views]

¶ For more than four years, McDonald’s has trying to find a way to produce “sustainable beef.” Now, the fast-food giant is setting out on a small but potentially significant project to measure and analyze the ability of cattle farming to sequester carbon in soil, using a style of grazing it has been researching called “adaptive multi-paddock.” [GreenBiz]

Carbon farming (Shutterstock | NagyDodo)


¶ In October this year Australia managed to install 100 MW of rooftop solar, a major milestone but still below the record set in June 2012, which was fueled by a rush to take advantage of a solar tariff before it was ended. Then last month the industry managed to install 120 MW, breaking the 2012 record without that tariff. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Indian consumers will be able to choose their power suppliers, after a proposed amendment to the existing Electricity Act is approved, the Power Minister said. The ministry will push an Electricity Amendment Bill that provides for separating the businesses supplying electricity from those that operate the distribution network. []

Indian power line workers

¶ Miners could drive down energy costs by up to 50% by use of effective energy management programs, a paper from Deloitte said. Renewables in Mining explores the role renewable energy sources play in the sector and how they can offer an operator a distinct competitive advantage while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [Global Mining Review]

¶ The governments of South Australia and the City of Adelaide will prioritize the growth of electric vehicle use in fleets, in keeping with new agreement made as part of a commitment to achieving the goals of the Climate Action Roundtable, the state’s press office announced. The roundtable include leaders of other states and cities. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan Leaf (Photo by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ Rooftop solar is reducing pressure on the Australian national grid and making demand response more attractive, a new audit reveals. And Australian states with higher levels of clean energy have lower wholesale prices. The news is made clear in an electricity update by the Australia Institute for October and November. [Energy Matters]

¶ The International Solar Alliance will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation as a legal entity on December 6, 2017. The ISA was jointly launched, on November 30, 2015, by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Francois Hollande, who was then President of France, on the side lines of COP21 in Paris. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar parking canopy

¶ Over the past week, batteries in households of the Australian Capital Territory have fed their stored energy into the grid as part of a trial virtual power plant run by ActewAGL Distribution and Reposit Power. During the event, the virtual power plant trials allowed consumers to participate in the National Electricity Market. [The RiotACT]

¶ UK Ministers are expected to back the first generation of small nuclear power stations in Britain with tens of millions of pounds this week, in an attempt to give the UK a competitive edge on the technology and provide what they hope to be a source of clean power. Rolls-Royce and a number of other companies have been lobbying for the support. [The Guardian]

Hinkley Point C Construction (Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)


¶ In 2016, the Arizona Corporations Commission approved a plan of electric utility Salt River Project to charge extra fees for its customers with rooftop solar systems. SolarCity claims those fees are an illegal attempt to limit competition and are therefore prohibited by antitrust laws. The case will be going before the Supreme Court. [CleanTechnica]

¶ For the fourth time in five years, custom home builder BPC Green Builders, based in Wilton, Connecticut, received the US DOE’s 2017 Housing Innovation Award in the Custom Homes for Buyers category. The awards recognize builders in the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program who innovate in energy efficiency. [The Wilton Bulletin]

BPC Green Builders’s award-winning colonial in Clinton, NY

¶ The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission has approved regulations for solar arrays with battery-storage systems. The rules only apply to solar arrays of 25 kW or less that connect to the power grid using a net-metering billing process. Solar and battery titan Tesla Inc has already indicated that it wants to amend the new rules. [ecoRI news]

¶ Borrego Springs, California, is a quaint town of about 3,400 people in the Anza-Borrego Desert, about 90 miles east of San Diego. Summers temperatures are often above 100°, and power losses can threaten lives. In the past, the town has suffered from frequent power outages, but today, Borrego Springs has its own microgrid. [InsideClimate News]

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