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April 9 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “What Made Vermont’s Net Metering Expansion Process So Unique?” Among other things, Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s largest utility (which is investor-owned) not only embraced but actively championed expanding the state’s net metering program. [Greentech Media]

Science and Technology:

  • Oregon State University chemists have found that cellulose — the most abundant organic polymer on Earth and a key component of trees — can be heated in a furnace in the presence of ammonia, and turned into the building blocks for supercapacitors. [Science Daily]
  • Dan Arvizu, the head of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the US, the world’s largest renewable energy research facility, has some simple points to make when he says that the energy system of today is unsustainable.[CleanTechnica]

World:

  • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has increased its faith in solar PV technology at the expense of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. As a result, it has increased its target for installed solar PV capacity 30% in FY 2014-15 while slashing its CSP target 90%. [CleanTechnica]
  • The UK government launched its long-awaited domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, in a bid to stimulate investment in new green technologies such as biomass boilers, solar thermal panels, and heat pumps. [Business Green]
  • The German government approved a reform of their energy transformation to reduce subsidies for renewables and stem rising electricity prices. The reform plan is still designed to meet 80% of its energy needs with renewables by 2050.[The Local.de]
  • Emissions from transportation may rise at the fastest rate of all major sources through 2050, the United Nations will say in a report due April 13, increasing up to 71% from 2010 levels, according to a leaked draft of an upcoming IPCC report. [eco-business.com]
  • Tony Abbott’s handpicked head of the panel reviewing Australia’s renewable energy target, the self-avowed climate “sceptic” Dick Warburton, is no fan of renewable energy and has insisted that nuclear energy was the only alternative to fossil fuel generation. [RenewEconomy]
  • Poland’s government approved a long-awaited draft law on Tuesday that lays out new long-term subsidies for renewable energy, aiming to cut costs to consumers as well as help the coal-reliant country meet EU climate targets. [Scientific American]
  • Renewable energy installations are forecast to rise 37 percent in the next two years, driven by a drop in the cost of wind and solar power that cut the value of investment, according to Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Businessweek]

US:

  • As the fracking boom continues unabated across the U.S., scientists, engineers, and government experts are increasingly focusing on the complex task of identifying the sources of these methane leaks and devising methods to stop them.[Resilience]
  • Ameresco, Inc. announced that its biomass cogeneration facility in Aiken, South Carolina is utilizing storm-damaged timber as a result of the major ice storm which impacted the U.S. southern region during February 11-13, 2014.[AZoCleantech]
  • The role of utilities is being questioned as technology changes. Dominion Virginia Power is establishing microgrids, which can be separated and provide power to communities without any support from the bulk power grid, as pilot projects. [Platts]
  • Of the decline in investment in renewable power capacity, 80% resulted from falling cost of renewable energy technology, primarily solar panels. The remaining 20% a drop in actual construction activity, thanks largely to the uncertain fate of government subsidies. [Mother Jones]
  • The company that owns the wind farm near the Balsams is open to reducing the buffer zone between its wind turbines and the slopes, a key to a developer’s plan to greatly expand the size of the ski resort. [New Hampshire Public Radio]
  • UK renewable energy supplier Good Energy has revealed 2013 saw its customer base increase by 32% and its pre-tax profits more than double to £3.3 million in 2013, as a result of dissatisfied ‘big six’ utility customers switching. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

 

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