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June 17 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility had its first fusion reaction that got more energy from the fuel than it absorbed. The reaction, which was at 50 million° C and a pressure of 150 billion atmospheres, produced twice as much power as was used to trigger it. [Scientific American]
  • Tesla has managed to bring down battery prices per kWh by half in just four years with plans to half the cost again when its gigafactory comes online in 2020. As electric cars become more affordable, demand should produce even more economies of scale. [ValueWalk]

World:

  • A Climate Council report finds Australia faces significant economic and environmental risks due to its ageing, inefficient and unprepared electricity sector. It calls for a faster transition to renewables and provides cost comparisons for sources of electricity generation. [The Daily Telegraph]
  • The growing number of community-led projects that generate their own power through renewable energy is the focus of Australia’s first Community Energy Congress, being held in Canberra this week. [ABC Local]
  • At the International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition in Manila, large international agencies and financial organizations showing support for off-grid renewable systems that can offer viable, strikingly swift change to remote communities. [CleanTechnica]
  • Solar project developer Solarcentury has moved into the market for community-owned solar farms, inking a deal for the first solar co-operative in the UK county of Hampshire. The new solar farm will have 2.4 MW capacity, wild flowers, bee hives, and sheep. [Business Green]
  • Windfarm owners say the head of Tony Abbott’s renewable energy review recently told them they were foolish to “build a whole business model on government largesse”, raising fears he will recommend a severe winding back of the renewable energy target. [The Guardian]
  • The new leader of Norway’s Labour Party has called for the country to become the world’s first zero-emission nation in an unexpectedly radical speech that signalled a sharp change in the party’s climate policy. [The Local.no]

US:

  • Cherryland Electric Cooperative in northern Michigan has a relatively modest 224-panel solar array. But it could serve as the catalyst to set renewable energy groups, utilities and the state on a path to find out how community power can be expanded in Michigan. [Great Lakes Echo]
  • El Paso Electric Monday announced that it’s now getting power from the recently completed Macho Springs solar plant near Deming, N.M., which is, at 50 MW, the largest solar plant in New Mexico. [Businessweek]
  • GE Power & Water’s Distributed Power business has announced the launch of its new, 10-MW class Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engine for the 60-Hz North American segment, offering one of the highest electrical efficiency commercially available today. [Windpower Engineering]
  • US utility Northwestern Energy has issued a request for proposals for up to 45 MW of community-owned renewable energy generation in Montana. The regulated investor-owned utility is required to purchase energy from qualified community projects. [reNews]
  • The political action committee of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce has helped recruit candidates to run against GOP members who voted against repealing a state law that requires utilities to generate a specific amount of energy from renewable sources. [Lawrence Journal-World]

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