April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Is it Over for Uranium?” • According to the World Nuclear Association, there are 57 reactors under construction globally, which, when combined with the 440 existing reactors should trigger an uptick in demand for uranium. However, the situation is not as simple as the headline numbers would have investors believe. [The Motley Fool Canada]

Uranium mine

¶ “Nuclear subsidy plan bows to PSEG demand” • If New Jersey’s nuclear bailout bill becomes law, ratepayers could be paying $300 million annually to boost the profits for owners of two South Jersey nuclear plants. All indications are that for now the plants remain profitable, but not enough for Public Service Enterprise Group. [Daily Record]

Science and Technology:

¶ The term “PlusEnergy” was apparently first used by Rolf Disch back in 1994 when designing a private residence for himself now known as “The Heliotrope.” The idea is for a building to produce notably more electricity than it uses via renewable energy technology. It serves its own needs and also becomes a local power plant. [CleanTechnica]

The Heliotrope (Image by Andrewglaser, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ A clear demonstration of climate change upsetting vital relationships between species has been revealed, thanks to a study led by the University of Sussex. The Research tracks how rising temperatures have wrecked a relationship, which depends on precise timing, between a rare orchid species and the bee that pollinates it. [Science Daily]

¶ A simple mathematical trick can accurately predict the shape and melting effects of ponds on Arctic sea ice, according to research by UChicago. The study, published in Physical Review Letters, should help climate scientists improve models of climate change and perhaps address the differences between scientific predictions and observations. [Phys.Org]

Arctic ice (Credit: Healy-Oden Trans-Arctic Expedition, 2005)

World:

¶ The African Development Bank is set to provide backing for coal-fired projects in Nigeria, Kenya, and Senegal. This is a departure from the International Monetary Fund, which has a ban on fossil fuels. Kenya is developing a 1-GW plant to use “clean-coal” technology, but the World Bank and IMF refused to support the project. [Caj News Africa]

¶ Subsidy-free offshore wind is getting a lot of attention after contracts were signed in Germany and the Netherlands were signed. However, experts say these zero-subsidy offshore wind farms will not be the norm anytime soon. While further zero-subsidy bids are likely in Europe, they will be linked to unusual market conditions. [Greentech Media]

Turbines (Vattenfall | Robin Dawe | Perfectly Clear Marketing)

¶ China Machinery Engineering Corporation signed a contract with Ukraine’s largest private energy holding, Donbas Fuel and Energy Company, to build a solar power plant in Ukraine. Under the deal, the CMEC will build a solar power plant with a total generating capacity of 200 MW. This is enough to provide for over 100,000 people. [EastDay.com]

¶ Scientists are finalizing plans to exploit the vast reservoir of warm water that fills disused mines and porous rock layers beneath Glasgow. They believe this subterranean store of naturally heated water could be used to warm homes. If the system proves successful, other cities and towns across Britain might use similar systems. [The Guardian]

Glasgow coal delivery, ca 1960 (Albert McCabe | Getty Images)

US:

¶ We Energies’ Pleasant Prairie facility in Kenosha County, one of Wisconsin’s largest coal-fired power plants, shut down for good about a week ahead of schedule. The company announced last fall that the plant would close this year due to changing energy economics resulting from the use of natural gas and renewable energy. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

¶ BYD announced another expansion to its Lancaster, California, electric bus and battery module factory. The expansion will add 100,000 square feet (9290 square meters) to the facility when it comes online at the end of June. It will be used to store parts and components for BYD’s products, freeing up space in the plant for manufacturing. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric vehicles in Shenzhen

¶ On the site of a closed Massachusetts naval air station, a home developer and General Electric plan a community with smart technology embedded in its energy, transportation, water, and lighting systems. Because they are starting from scratch, the companies can embed a number of new technologies to serve the community. [Seattle Times]

¶ A proposal to build the New Hampshire’s largest solar farm in the city of Concord was rejected after running afoul of the city’s zoning laws. The Zoning Board of Adjustment rejected a proposal for a 54-acre solar farm because it had too much “impervious surface,” meaning area that would cause rain to run off rather than soak in. [Valley News]

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