March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How Lies, Greed, & Mismanagement Blew Up The ‘Clean Coal’ Myth” • The clean coal and carbon capture process was promised to make electricity with the lowest carbon footprint of any fossil fuel. The problem is, they lied. Despite investments of hundreds of millions of dollars by the federal government, the technology does not work. [CleanTechnica]

Kemper “clean coal” plant

World:

¶ It has been more than 40 years since Mazda licensed Wankel engine technology, and since then the company has used it in many applications. Now, Mazda says it may use a small version of its rotary power plant as a range extender engine for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Once again, its compact dimensions and low weight could make it ideal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Costs have fallen in the latest French onshore wind tender. There were 22 projects awarded with a total capacity of 508.4 MW. The average winning price was €65/MWh (8.0¢/kWh), according to published results. Earlier auctions produced awards of over €72/MWh. Altogether, 900 MW of bids were submitted to the auction. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine in France

¶ Tech giant Microsoft said it signed its first renewable energy deal in India for powering its new facility in Bengaluru. Microsoft will purchase 3 MW of solar-powered electricity from Atria Power for its new office building in the city, meeting 80% of the projected electricity needs at the facility, a statement from the company said. [India Today]

¶ Swedish power company Vattenfall announced that it plans to invest €100 million in large-scale solar energy generation over the next two years, as part of the company’s plans to become fossil free within a generation. Vattenfall plans to develop in areas where existing infrastructure can be used to reduce the overall cost of a project. [CleanTechnica]

Vattenfall’s Parc Cynog project in Wales

¶ In Australia, 3.5 million solar panels were installed on rooftops last year, surpassing the previous record, which had been set in 2012. Their total capacity of 1,057 MW will produce power equivalent to a medium-sized coal-fired power station. In Australia, a fully installed 5-KW system has an average price of A$5,930 ($4,610). [The Guardian]

¶ Australia’s top gas distribution network operator, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, plans to mix hydrogen into its supplies to take advantage of excess renewable generation. The company announced plans for an A$11.4 million ($8.9 million) hydrogen power-to-gas demonstration plant, to be built in Adelaide, South Australia. [Greentech Media]

Gas infrastructure in Australia

¶ In a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology based on research conducted by an international team of scientists, explicit evidence of uranium and other radioactive materials has been found in the surrounding environment of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. Clearly, it was released from the damaged reactor. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Albany, Western Australia, could be completely energy self-sufficient by 2028, Mayor Dennis Wellington says, with the city to take the first step in the green dream next week. Speaking to the Albany Advertiser, Mr Wellington said works to remove the city from the State power grid must start now, to be certain of future energy supplies. [The West Australian]

Albany Wind Farm (Photo: Ashvij Puta Photography)

US:

¶ Despite last week’s heavy snowfall, Tahoe ski resorts know they cannot predict how strong each winter will be. After they have suffered through drought years, out of nowhere, last year, Tahoe was deluged with so much precipitation that avalanches are now a regular concern. As the climate changes, business is becoming unpredictable. [Modesto Bee]

¶ A survey from SoonerPoll has revealed that Oklahomans are overwhelmingly in support of the 2-GW Wind Catcher Energy Connection set to be developed Invenergy and GE Renewable Energy. The $4.5 billion project will be the world’s second largest wind farm when it is finished. It will consist of 800 GE 2.5-MW wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ The Illinois Commerce Commission issued its draft order of the Illinois Power Agency’s Long Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan. Included are renewable energy programs and mechanisms to finance and regulate projects, such as community solar and assistance for lower-income households and non-profit organizations. [pv magazine USA]

¶ The Internal Revenue Service released a private letter ruling determining that a residential energy storage facility may qualify for federal solar tax credits, as it is charged completely by an onsite solar array. The ruling only applies to a single case, but it indicates how agency staff views application of tax law in a specific situation. [Utility Dive]

Installing a rooftop solar system

¶ There is only one member of Congress who currently holds a PhD in science, but Bill Foster (D-IL), a physicist who formerly worked at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, may soon have some company. More than 60 candidates running for federal office in 2018 have backgrounds in science and technology, according to HuffPost. [The Scientist]

¶ Newly-released communications highlight the high level of angst just months into construction of the VC Summer Nuclear Station. Westinghouse even asked that disagreements not be made public. But the problems that plagued the reactors from the start led to Westinghouse going bankrupt and doomed the $9 billion project. [Charleston Post Courier]

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