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October 5 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • Investment bank Citigroup says the return on investment for solar and battery storage by 2020 will beat the payback from solar now. That means socket parity in some countries by 2020, and utility-scale grid parity in large parts of the world by 2030. Fossil fuel generators and utility business models will be terminally challenged. [RenewEconomy]
  • Renewables have been capturing a larger and larger portion of the total global energy infrastructure pie, while the portion nuclear energy has not just been stagnating but actually shrinking somewhat. More interestingly, solar and wind energy are each gaining fast on nuclear independently. [CleanTechnica]
  • Two Swiss pilots plan to fly a solar-powered plane around the Earth, pushing human endurance as well as the boundaries of a technology that the aviators say isn’t anywhere near reaching its full potential for industry. The plane has the wingspan of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet but the weight of a family car. [Independent Online]

World:

  • New figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance covering the first three quarters of global clean energy investment for 2014 show that the industry is sustaining its year-long recovery after two years of decline, with a 16% lead over the same three quarters a year earlier. [CleanTechnica]
  • The 231 MW solar energy project currently being developed in Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan – the largest such project in Japan – is being funded via large investments by Toyo Engineering Corporation, GE unit GE Energy Financial Services, and Kuni Umi Asset Management, according to recent reports. [CleanTechnica]
  • There is good news coming for nearly 25,000 Indian villages still passing nights under darkness due to unavailability of electricity. Instead of relying over power grids, these villages will get electricity by using novel clean energy solutions, achieving the dream illuminating rural areas without grid electricity. [Oneindia]
  • El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, will be 100% by renewable energy within a few months. The island’s new wind energy/water turbine battery system (finished earlier this year) will be generating all of the island’s energy needs of up to 48 GWh, offsetting 6600 tons of diesel oil, each year. [CleanTechnica]

US:

  • New England has always endured high electricity costs, but this year’s 37% price surge reflects a relatively new problem: As many old coal-burning plants have retired, natural gas accounts for about half the region’s electricity generation. Utilities and customers  are both exposed to gas price spikes. [Boston Globe]
  • North Carolina ranked behind only California and Arizona in solar-power installations last year, with an added 261 MW, a 114% increase over 2012. Most of that was accounted for by massive solar farms generating electricity for Duke Energy’s grid, but ordinary rate payers are also getting solar installed. [Asheville Citizen-Times]
  • Renewable energy’s share of Minnesota’s power has quadrupled since 2000, to 16 percent, and now the state is touting the jobs that have been created as a result. There are 15,338 clean-energy jobs in the state, according to a report from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. [Mankato Free Press]

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