February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia’s premier research organization, announced a new form of graphene it says can filter polluted water and make it drinkable in one step. It is a combination of graphene film and nanometer-size channels that allow water to pass but block pollutants. [CleanTechnica]

From Sydney Harbor to drinkable in one step (Credit: CSIRO)

¶ Researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK say they have developed a device that can be inserted directly into a lithium-ion cell that will give instantaneous information about internal temperatures. The information from the cell can help chargers maintain the highest charging rates without danger of overheating. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Scientists at the University of Sheffield in the UK released a study that suggests using granulated basaltic rocks from volcanic eruptions could provide several positive benefits for agriculture and the climate. The benefits include improving soil fertility, cutting amounts of pesticides needed, and increasing carbon sequestration. [CleanTechnica]

Spreading basaltic rock

World:

¶ A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis shows that major power systems can be able to cope well with increasing shares of intermittent renewables. The study says that increased generation of renewable resources does not make the grid less reliable or compromise the security of supply. [Business News Americas]

¶ The energy taxes that are currently in place in the world’s top economies are not extensive enough to aid in the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change to a large degree, a study said. The study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development looked at energy taxes in 42 different OECD and G20 economies. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution from a coal-burning power plant

¶ The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is, yet again, making headlines for its advances in clean energy. Since the Indian government began holding auctions for energy companies to bid for the lowest price per unit of wind energy, Tamil Nadu has risen to the world’s top fifteen markets in renewable energy production. [progrss]

¶ German grid regulator BNetzA has kicked off the first 200-MW combined wind and solar tender in the country. The auction, with a 3 April deadline, has a maximum price of €0.0884/kWh (10.9¢/kWh). BNetzA defined 98 administrative districts where bids will incur an additional charge. This is to reduce the need for reinforcing the distribution grid. [reNews]

Wind and solar together (Credit: Solarpraxis)

¶ There are 5.2 million properties in England at risk of flooding due to changes in the country’s climate, the UK’s Environment Agency warned. The agency launched its Flood Action Campaign after warning that intense bouts of flooding are set to become more frequent across England after changes to the country’s climate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Spanish infrastructure group Acciona SA said it has signed an agreement to supply renewable power to the main facilities in Chile of local water and wastewater company Aguas Chanar. Through Acciona Energia, the company will deliver enough power to cover more than 70% of Aguas Chanar’s needs in the Atacama region. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (Photo: Acciona SA)

US:

¶ Solar manufacturer SunPower, based in California, reported tepid results in its Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 results last week. Revenues were down 35% year-over-year and First Quarter and Full Year 2018 revenues well below expectations. SunPower is still in the early days of looking to make the best of the solar tariff ruling. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Michigan generates 2.7% of US electricity, ranking 11th among states. But only 0.1% of its electricity comes directly from the sun, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and Michigan’s 107 MW of PV capacity in 2017 ranks it 31st in the US. But SEIA expects the Michigan market to grow by 668 MW in the next five years. [pv magazine USA]

Lapeer Solar Park in Michigan (DTE Energy)

¶ The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved construction of two large solar facilities. Hillcrest Solar I is authorised to build the 125-MW Hillcrest Solar Farm in Brown County. Invenergy Solar Development North America’s subsidiary Hardin Solar Energy has approval for the 150-MW Hardin Solar Centre in Hardin County on. [Power Technology]

¶ Michigan utility Consumers Energy will phase out electric generation from coal by 2040 to reduce greenhouse gases, its president and CEO told the Associated Press. The utility plans to generate 40% of its power from renewable sources such as wind and solar, alongside natural gas, hydropower, and improved efficiency. [Jefferson City News Tribune]

BC Cobb Plant, which was closed in 2016
(Joel Bissell | Muskegon Chronicle via AP, File)

¶ The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition announced the launch of a new statewide effort aimed at encouraging Illinois to embrace renewable energy and carbon-free power. ICJC members said their policy goals include cutting carbon pollution from the Illinois power sector by 2030 and moving the state to 100% renewable energy by 2050. [CBS Chicago]

¶ The New Jersey legislature will try to advance a controversial nuclear subsidy bill again this week, the fourth version of the measure drafted this year, at least. Designed primarily to prop up Public Service Enterprise Group’s nuclear plants, the legislation has gone through drastic revisions to win backing. So far, it has not worked. [NJ Spotlight]

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