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DAILY ENERGY NEWS archive for March, 2013

March 31, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “Stop the fossil-fuel subsidies” Every country in the world would benefit from the honest pricing of energy. [Washington Post]

¶   “Can America Blow Away Nuclear Power?” As wind power produces increasingly long periods of negative prices, nuclear power generators suffer most. We might ask whether this is fair. [Insider Monkey] (I suspect more people would answer ‘yes’ than the author expects.)

US:

¶   The governor of Maine says the Renewable Energy Standard in that state limits the amount of renewable energy that can be used, and so prevents citizens from getting access to less expensive renewable energy. [St. John Valley Times]

¶   In a recent poll, would-be car buyers were 23% more likely to say they would choose an electric car, if they knew it would be supplied by, wind or small-scale hydroelectric power. [MetroNews Canada]

¶   The US Department of Agriculture is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.[PoliticalNews.me]

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March 30, 2013

World:

¶ The German government is to help Greece develop its renewable energy sector under an agreement signed Thursday by the two countries and an EU taskforce for the debt-laden country. [Capital.gr]

¶ Renewable sources supply 12.5% of India’s electricity. [Press Information Bureau]

¶ When Scotland set its new record for electric power production, the amount it achieved was sufficient for 100% of the country’s residential power demand. [Power Engineering Magazine]

US:

¶   The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is looking at an investment practice called securitization to reduce it’s levelized cost of energy down. This could save as much as 16% on an industrial-sized solar project. [Clean Energy Authority]

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March 29, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Closing a nuclear reactor in California has prevented an estimated 4,319 cases of cancer in the past 20 years, according to a new study published in the journal Biomedicine International.[Healthline]

¶   A research project called Combined Power Plant 2 (Kombikraftwerk2) shows how it is possible to provide power using renewable energies while maintaining a stable grid and without increased risk of blackout. [Phys.Org]

¶   Chemists at the University of Calgary, in Canada, have found an efficient way to turn electricity from wind and solar energy into hydrogen, which can be stored and used as needed for stable electrical power. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶   China is now getting more electricity from wind power than from nuclear. [Arabian Gazette]

¶   The Dutch power grid is undergoing a radical change. With solar photovoltaic panels becoming increasingly cheaper and energy prices continuing to rise, solar energy generated on private roofs is now cheaper than grid energy.[InvestorIdeas.com]

US:

¶   A Gallup poll of Americans on power found 76% supported solar, 71% supported wind, 46% supported production of oil, 37% supported nuclear, and 31% supported coal. [Solar Industry]

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March 28, 2013

World:

¶   The International Monetary Fund argues that the world “misprices” fossil fuels to the tune of some $1.9 trillion per year, through subsidies, and a big step toward fighting global warming is to stop that practice. [Washington Post]

¶   Feldheim, Germany’s first village powered by 100% renewables, has local energy costs of 16.6 euro cents per kWh are just a little more than half of the 27-30 cents Germans pay on average. [Business Spectator]

¶   The European Commission is trying for a 40% reduction in carbon emissions for 2030. [E2B]

¶   New figures released by Ofgem show wind energy costs UK households 2.67 pence per day. Wind accounted for almost 59% of renewable energy generation in the UK in 2011-2012. [This is Scunthorpe]

¶   Scotland set a record for renewable energy generation last year. The total for the year increased 7% over the previous year. The power generation for the country was 39% from renewables. [Businessweek]

¶   Observed Danish CO2 emissions fell 10.3 percent in 2012 compared with the previous year. [The Copenhagen Post]

¶   A recent study examining the potential for rooftop photovoltaics in Tokyo to replace nuclear capacity reveals some of the answer is already in place – pumped hydroelectric storage.[Energy Matters]

US:

¶   Energy analysts at international investment bank Citigroup question assumptions that gas and renewables will compete with each other. [RenewEconomy]

¶   A Maryland-based company wants to build two 2,250-foot-tall solar wind generating tunnels in the Arizona desert that would use downdrafts to provide a gigawatt of renewable energy to the grid. [KCET]

¶   The Brattleboro, Vermont town schools can look forward to saving 10 percent on electricity because of a $130,000 solar net metering credit purchase. [Commons]

¶   The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant reported a failed underground flood seal, compromising the flooding-prevention design of a nerve center where cables from the plant’s control room are routed to the rest of the plant.[Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

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March 27, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A study published in the Journal of Power Sources challenges a common belief on the intermittent nature of windpower, coming to the conclusion that fossil fuel and nuclear generating facilities may not be necessary for baseload support after all. [Midwest Energy News]

World:

¶   A study by the German VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies indicates that power storage will only become crucial as Germany approaches having 80% of its power from renewable sources. [KCET]

¶   A report on coal power in Alberta says it costs $300 million for health expenses and leads to nearly 100 premature deaths each year. [Globe and Mail]

¶   Italy got 28.2% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2012. [Electric Light & Power]

¶   Pacific Islands are getting $530 million in funding for renewable energy projects. [NewNet]

US:

¶   With a fair amount of political drama, the Vermont senate advanced a heavily modified version of a bill on windpower.[Vermont Public Radio]

… The bill was gutted. The parts wind advocates found most objectionable were removed. [vtdigger.org]

¶   The Vermont Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by the New England Coalition to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

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March 26, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Weird looking marine animals called tunicates may become important for providing both renewable fuel and food for farmed fish. [AZoCleantech]

¶   Vincent Callebaut Architects has designed a series of six sky-high “farmscapers,” futuristic residential and business towers equipped with wind turbines and solar cells to create renewable energy. [New York Daily News] (Personally, I think tunicates are prettier.)

World:

¶   Under budget and ahead of schedule, the Niagara tunnel project has been completed, providing Ontario with a new source of hydro power. [Renewable Energy Focus]

US:

¶   Ernest Moniz, who has been appointed to be energy secretary, has an unusual number of connections to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, leading some to believe he cannot be even-handed on renewable energy issues. [Facing South]

¶   Vermont’s new commissioner of the Public Service Department wants the NRC to provide more details about the federal agency’s 2012 decision to relicense the nuclear plant, after two equipment failures in one week. [vtdigger.org]

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March 25, 2013

World:

¶   The Australian Federal Government has decided to maintain the Renewable Energy Target to ensure at least 20% of Australia’s electricity comes from sources such as solar and wind power by 2020. [eco-business.com]

¶   Pacific countries spend 10% of their GDP on diesel to generate electricity and the region’s leaders are in Auckland lobbying for funds to create renewable energy projects. [TVNZ]

US:

¶   Proponents of both sides on the fracking debate are in agreement for a voluntary set of tough new standards for hydraulic fracturing in the Northeast that could lead to a major expansion of drilling. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶    Pennsylvania produces 1% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions, and has new bills to increase the percentage of renewable power in the state’s energy portfolio. An opinion piece from a legislator addresses the need. [The Mercury]

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March 24, 2013

Opinion:

¶   Three expert predictions on renewable energy for 2050: Solar will prevail, Europe will lead, and the world will be 80% to 100% run on sustainable power. [Big Think]

News Analysis:

¶   ”Life After Oil and Gas” A reviews of the news leads to a question of how much New York State really needs fossil fuels, as demand can be nearly entirely met with from renewable sources.[New York Times]

World:

¶   United Nations buildings across the world are more efficient and less dependent on fossil fuels. The offices in New York are getting 100% of their electric power from wind. [Electric Light and Power]

US:

¶   Thanks to recent opportunities in community solar and crowdfunding, we may see a renewable energy market in America where everyone wins. [EarthTechling]

¶   In Washington State, officials of the Cowlitz County Public Utility District, who vehemently fought a losing battle against an energy mandate six years ago, are now fighting to prevent changes to the it. [Longview Daily News]

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March 23, 2013

World:

¶   Associated Press reports that Suntech, one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in the world, has been pushed into bankruptcy following a missed $541 million payment to bondholders. [New York Injury News]

¶   About 75% of Germans polled said they prefer an unrestricted shift to green energy and rejected the plan to cap electricity price increases proposed last month by the environment and economic ministers. [Electric Light & Power]

¶   The European Commission wants to impose huge fines on several of its member states for failing to put EU renewable energy laws into national legislation. [Energy Live New]

¶   The UK’s renewable energy industry welcomed new figures that show support for wind power last year cost consumers less than three pence per day. [Business Green]

US:

¶   Massachusetts is set to have 250 MW of solar capacity four years ahead of the state’s 2017 goal, and showed a price decline of 29% year over year from 2011, so the goal could be expanded.[WWLP 22 News]

¶   Google has spent billions on renewable energy projects. The investment has not been just to benefit the environment. It was made with a goal to making a profit in the future. [NASDAQ]

¶   The CEO of Dominion Resources is warning against excessive reliance on natural gas, as prices will increase. [Fox Business]

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March 22, 2013

World:

¶   Regional demand in Africa and the Middle East for solar photovoltaic power will reach 1 gigawatt (GW) in 2013, a 625% year-to-year increase from 2012′s 136 megawatts (MW).[CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   Only a year after being given a D rating on power by Greenpeace, Apple is 100% renewable for its data centers.[Businessweek]

¶   The California grid will support 33% renewable power by 2020.[Electric Light & Power]

¶   Restarting one of the crippled San Onofre nuclear reactors this summer would cost Southern California Edison’s customers three times as much as keeping it shut down. [YubaNet]

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March 21, 2013

Opinion:

¶   We can protect the environment and develop renewable energy at the same time in Vermont, and Senate Bill 30 will make that a more difficult goal. [vtdigger.org]

Science and Technology:

¶   Green energy produces more jobs than fossil fuels or nuclear.[CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   If renewable energy grows at its current rate until 2020, Germany will have to struggle with “dramatic over-production of electricity”, according to the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry. [Electric Light & Power]

¶   The global market for utility-scale renewable energy storage technologies is projected to reach $33.6 billion by 2018, primarily driven by the growing contribution of solar and wind energy. [Renew Grid]

US:

¶   A San Antonio-based refiner has agreed to purchase algae-derived “green” crude oil from Sapphire Energy’s algae farm in Columbus, N.M. [San Antonio Express]

¶   The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory released a study saying the US can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by over 80% by 2050. [Fuel Cell Today]

¶   The American Legislative Exchange Council has joined with other agenda-driven political groups to dismantle the Renewable Portfolio Standard in every state that has one. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶   The Vermont Senate has delayed a vote on Senate Bill 30, which would make it more difficult to build wind farms, apparently to allow absent supporters to return before the vote is taken.[Vermont Public Radio]

¶   Changes in the energy marketplace have forced Entergy Nuclear to write down the value of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant from $517 million to $162 million. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

¶   Vermont’s Governor Shumlin is confident the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will be closed down, if not by courts then by economic necessity. [Vermont Public Radio]

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March 20, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Teenager Sara Volz  built an efficient algae-based biofuel lab under her bed. It won her a $100,000 four-year scholarship from the Science Talent Search. [ExtremeTech]

World:

¶   The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg plans to install a further 1,000 wind turbines by 2020 to meet its renewable energy targets. [Utility Products]

¶   Former state nuclear physicist He Zuoxiu says China is heading for a nuclear accident if it continues with current construction plans, and it is highly probable that it will happen before 2030. [chinadialogue]

US:

¶   The US could cut fuel emissions from vehicles by 80% by 2050, according to a National Research Council report. [Los Angeles Times]

¶   The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced that New Jersey now has over 1000 MW of installed solar capacity. [The Sparta Independent]

¶   An attempt to kill the renewable energy standard in Kansas has failed. [Topeka Capital Journal]

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March 19, 2013

World:

¶   Suntech, one of China’s leading solar panel manufacturers, has defaulted on a $541 million bond payment. [The Guardian]

¶   A poll says 62% of people in Scotland would favor large-scale wind projects in their local council area, more than double the number (24%) who said they would support shale gas. Nuclear got 32% support. [Energy Live News]

¶   In Germany, renewable power’s output is growing fast, and nuclear’s is falling. A series of graphs illustrate the point. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶   Thanks to technology advances, competition and state Renewable Portfolio Standards, the average price utilities spend for renewable energy has come way down.[SustainableBusiness.com]

¶   Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont are working together to fast-track a joint solicitation aimed at creating a significant buyer’s market for renewable energy and driving down its costs in New England [Platts]

¶   The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says the cost of integrating wind to the grid is cheap – $0.50 per MWh.[Greentech Media]

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March 18, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Solar power, having now surpassed the 100 GW threshold, has finally arrived. It is good to go, in many places, without subsidies. [Triple Pundit]

World:

¶   Global clean energy investment reached $250 billion in 2012. [Times of India]

¶   Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark are planning together for a future where renewable energy will meet most of the local demand. The renewable power source most talked about is tidal. [Channel Television]

¶   The UK’s Southwest is falling behind in building renewable resources, and could miss out on 24,000 new jobs as a result.[Insider Media]

US:

 

¶   The U. S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has cleared the way for a 130-square-mile research are for offshore wind off the coast of Virginia. [MarineLink]

¶   Southern California energy providers called for specific legislation federal lawmakers can enact, not only to support California policies, but to benefit the entire country, environmentally and economically. [ThinkProgress]

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March 17, 2013

World:

¶   The Bank of America is talking about putting put $50 billion up for support of the renewable energy sector in Bangladesh.[Financial Express Bangladesh]

¶   Abu Dhabi has opened a 100 MW concentrated solar plant, increasing its solar output by a factor of ten. [Businessweek]

¶   A new UK tax on gas and coal-fired power stations will increase profits for wind farms. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶   The CEO of Areva has been lobbying the European Commission for support for new nuclear stations while demanding cuts in both renewable energy subsidies and aid for poor people needing fuel. [The Independent]

US:

¶   Clean Line Energy Partners wants to build a $2 billion, 500-mile high-voltage transmission lines to move wind-generated electricity from Iowa to Chicago. [Sioux City Journal]

¶   The 10th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals rejected a challenge by the energy industry attempting to force the Secretary of the Interior to issue oil and gas leases on public lands in Utah and Wyoming. [Kansas City infoZine]

¶   Wisconsin is missing out on a wave of solar power development that’s going on around the country. Wisconsin utilities seem to want to make sure that continues.[MENAFN.COM]

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March 16, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Researchers from the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, are working on technology that could turn carbon dioxide into liquid and gaseous fuels. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

World:

¶   Highland councillors are being advised by planning officials to back controversial plans to construct the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the Scottish coast. The project will cost £4.5 billion and have 339 turbines. [Power Engineering Magazine]

US:

¶   A report from Pike Research says we can expect US grid storage capacity to expand by 56 GW over the next decade, driven by wind and solar installations. [The Green Optimistic]

¶   The Vermont Senate will debate a bill next week that would give towns much more authority to ban projects. Many environmentalists object to the bill. [Rutland Herald]

¶   Owners of the San Onofre nuclear plant want to collect $768.5 million from Southern California utility customers to pay for a steam generator replacement project that failed. [U-T San Diego]

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March 15, 2013

World:

¶   The chief executive of RWE npower, one of Britain’s biggest energy giants, has blasted Government plans to encourage new nuclear plants. [Mirror.co.uk]

¶   A secret French government report leaked to the press says the cost of an accident at a single reactor could amount to over three times the country’s GDP. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶   Lawmakers have proposed a draft bill that would charge the largest industrial polluters a fee for, or carbon tax on, their fossil-fuel emissions. [National Geographic]

¶   Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to a quarter of their electricity from wind farms. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   Over 150 businesses in Vermont agree that Senate Bill 30 is an unbalanced piece of legislation that will upend decades of well-planned, statewide energy permitting, stifle jobs and restrict access to affordable, clean energy. [Green Energy Times]

¶   Legislation to boost development of small hydropower projects was introduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   The US Interior Secretary says his department is developing standards for fracking that include disclosure of the chemicals used. [FuelFix]

¶   Wind power has come to the point that it is regularly forcing some nuclear plants to sell power at negative prices. [Money Talks News]

¶   The owner a South Carolina power and natural gas utility would save consumers almost $10 billion over 40 years by scrapping two nuclear reactors it’s constructing and instead building gas-fired plants, according to a report. [Bloomberg]

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March 14, 2013

World:

¶   Danish farmers are increasingly interested in investing in renewable energy, particularly solar, simply because it is very good business to do so. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶   A report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says that wind power may be a good hedge against rising prices for natural gas, and now is a good time to make that hedge. [Energy Collective]

¶   American wind power’s generation increased 117% last year, and produced more than 10% of the electricity in nine states, up from five states in 2011. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   The renewable energy market is expected to double by 2022, despite low prices for natural gas. [U.S. News & World Report]

¶   The federal government approved three renewable energy projects combine to produce enough energy for 340,000 homes. One is a 750 MW solar project by NextEra Energy. The others are a 150-MW solar farm and a 200-MW wind farm. [Chicago Tribune]

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March 13, 2013

Opinion:

¶   Renewable power is under attack because it works and is threatening financially to fossil fuel and nuclear interests.[Deming Headlight]

World:

¶   The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development recognizes the significance of Italian policies for renewable energy in its “Environmental Performance Review: Italy 2013” report. [solarserver.com]

¶   The European Commission’s draft paper on energy targets says the EU must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and increase renewable energy to 30% by 2030. [Reuters]

¶   India’s leading solar project developer, Welspun Energy Ltd., has commissioned Asia’s largest solar power facility in the state of Rajasthan ahead of schedule. [Ecoseed]

US:

¶   Some environmental groups are blocking renewable energy projects [by focusing narrowly on local damage without weighing global impact]. [Forbes]

¶   A study to be published in the journal Energy Policy, finds it possible to power New York state by wind, water and sunlight, while creating jobs and cutting costs. [Siliconrepublic.com]

¶   As national standards require increased use of renewable transportation fuels by 2022, Maine is positioned to be a leader in wood-based cellulosic ethanol production and use.[Bangor Daily News]

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March 12, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A Japanese energy explorer says it extracted gas from offshore methane hydrate deposits for the first time in the world, as part of an attempt to achieve commercial production within six years. [Reuters UK]

World:

¶   Is baseload power more reliable than wind? On Saturday night, the wholesale electricity market price skyrocketed in Queensland from $63 per megawatt-hour at 10:10 pm to $11,499 at 10:15 pm because a coal-burning plant went offline. [Climate Spectator]

¶   A study commissioned by the German renewable industry lobby BEE and Greenpeace has found that the transition to renewable energy will cost significantly less than what the German government estimates. [Utility Products]

US:

¶   Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn contracted to buy over 28 million kWh of electricity from renewable sources. The result is a smaller carbon footprint and lower electricity costs. [Healthcare Finance News]

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March 11, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A dynamic technology from Siemens should make it possible to store wind and solar-generated electricity that would previously have gone unused by converting excess power into hydrogen. [PACE Today]

World:

¶   A World Development Movement report says close links between senior government ministers and the oil industry favor a high carbon energy policy pushing the planet to the brink of climate catastrophe. [Greenwise Business]

¶   Indian Doctors for Peace and Development says renewable energy resources can meet India’s energy requirements, in a way that is entirely environment-friendly and safe. [Utility Products]

¶   Problems abound as Japan commemorates the second anniversary of the tsunami and Fukushima Disaster. [The Japan Daily Press]

US:

¶   New Energy Technologies, working with the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is developing a solar cell that can be an invisible coating on window glass.[CleanTechnica]

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March 10, 2013

World

¶   The city of Beijing is about to introduce new policies to speed up the rate of electric vehicle adoption in the city, and help to reduce its dangerous levels of air pollution.[CleanTechnica]

¶   A market researcher reports that if Taiwan converted its lighting to LEDs, the savings in electricity would be nearly equal to what would be produced by a controversial new nuclear plant. [Focus Taiwan News Channel]

US:

¶   In California, the grid is changing and adapting well to renewable power with innovation. [Power Engineering Magazine]

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March 9, 2013

Opinion:

¶   BP’s chief economist says unprecedented change in the global energy market will have deep-reaching economic, political and environmental effects. [The Australian]

Science and Technology:

¶   “Global warming is epic.” During the last hundred years, we have moved from one of the coldest decades since the Ice Age to one of the hottest, an unprecedented change. [CNN]

¶   Batteries storing power from solar panels are getting less expensive rapidly, and this poses a threat to electric utilities.[Utility Products]

US:

¶   The EPA has identified additional pathways that qualify for renewable standards on renewable fuel under the RFS standard. [Environmental Expert]

¶   According to the Proxy Preview 2013 report, investors are increasingly filing shareholder resolutions demanding climate action. [Environmental Leader]

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March 8, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “Graph of the Day: Even France could go 100% to renewables” [RenewEconomy]

¶   “Analysis – Renewables turn utilities into dinosaurs of the energy world” [Interactive Investor]

Science and Technology:

¶   “Where has all the ice gone?” The Earth Policy Institute tracks glacial melting. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   The power from solar and wind generators can be stored in the form of hydrogen. At Hanover Messe, 130 companies show off their technologies. [Nanotechnology News]

¶   Controlled whirlwinds can be used to generate electrical power. [Geekosystem]

World:

¶   Italy’s ERG more than doubled its core earnings in the fourth quarter, helped by an improved performance at its renewable energy and power and gas businesses, as it shifts from volatile refining. [Climate Spectator]

US:

¶   The US has a trade surplus in the solar trade with China, according to Pew Charitable Trust. [United Press International, Asia]

¶   Palo Alto, California, has instituted 100% renewable energy purchases. [Virtual-Strategy Magazine]

¶   As coal plants retire, and new sources of power come online, the grid is being upgraded. PJM has $5 billion in upgrades in the pipeline. [Platts]

¶   The Union of Concerned Scientists released its report on near-misses in nuclear plants. [The Advocate]

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March 7, 2013

World:

¶  The Indian Government has set a target to install 15 GW of wind power by the end of 2017. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶   Los Angeles will go coal free by 2025, as the city ends contracts with old plants in Nevada and Utah.[SustainableBusiness.com]

¶   More than 300 clean energy projects started in the US in 2012 are expected to create over 110,000 jobs.[InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   The Saddleback Ridge Wind Project, in Maine, is moving forward after being ordered by a court to limit noise to lower levels than originally allowed. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

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March 6, 2013

Economics:

¶   The massive global increase of installed solar PV-systems has an enormous impact on the position of energy utilities, which need to compensate with changes to their business models. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   Fossil fuels are the fastest growing energy source. [Commodities Now]

US:

¶   The sequester means a cut of 8.7% in renewable energy grants. [Greentech Media]

¶   The proposed New Hampshire moratorium on wind power is being held in committee over the summer. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶   There are mixed reactions to the appointment of Ernest Moniz, an advocate of both nuclear power and hydro fracking, to the position of Energy Secretary. [Energy Collective]

¶   Initial marketing tests show customers in California are strongly inclined to buy algae-based diesel fuel. [Autochannel]

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March 5, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Intermittent renewable power may render baseload power plants obsolete. [solarserver.com]

World:

¶   The Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources believes Ireland can easily meet the European targets of 20% of the country’s energy generated through renewables by 2020. [Irish Examiner]

¶   The Chairman of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Power Industries Division, has responded to the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Committee calling for a ‘plan B’ in case new nuclear reactors are not built in the UK. [Gasworld.com]

US:

¶   Two companies are planning large wind farms off the US East Coast within the year. [Slate Magazine]

¶   President Obama has nominated Ernest Moniz to be Energy Secretary. Moniz supports nuclear power. [Nuclear Street – Nuclear Power Portal]

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March 4, 2013

Economics:

¶   The fossil fuel industry’s party is about to end, according to Deutsche Bank and Standard and Poor’s. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶   Alta Devices has reached 30.8% solar cell efficiency from the company’s first implementation of a new generation solar cell technology. [SYS-CON Media]

World:

¶   Renewable energies can give hard-pressed farmers in the UK an important alternate source of income. [meatinfo.co.uk]

¶   Members of the UK parliament’s Energy Select Committee are warning that the government needs to plan for what happens if it cannot get new nuclear reactors built.[Telegraph.co.uk]

US:

¶   The greatest obstacle to taking advantage of the rich wind resources of  Texas is a need for new transmission lines. [El Paso Inc.]

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March 3, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Storage for excess power on the grid from intermittent sources is considered an obstacle to development of renewables, but solutions exist. [Power Engineering Magazine]

World:

¶   Environmental groups and businesses are meeting to discuss the future of the Severn estuary. One topic that appears to draw support is generating electricity from tidal power. [BBC News]

US:

¶   The US DOE is pushing development of offshore wind power. There are environmental and economic reasons for doing so. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶   Kansas lawmakers, who debated whether evolution could be taught in public schools a few years ago, are now debating whether climate change is real and whether to protect the environment. [The Olathenews]

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March 2, 2013

World:

¶   Tokelau, which has a grid supplied 100% by solar power, is taking on the fossil fuel industries. Their cry is, “We are not drowning, we are fighting.” And they are asking the rest of the world to join them in their fight. [Bay Area Indymedia]

US:

¶   Tidal power is making progress in Maine. [Co.Exist]

¶   The US budget sequestration is reducing available incentives for clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Warren Buffet is putting substantial amounts of money into investments in renewable energy. [MINING.com]

¶   The US may eventually phase out nuclear power for economic reasons. [Newsroom America]

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March 1, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A new nanotube technology may make it feasible to harvest power generated  from osmotic flow from differences in salinity between salt water and fresh water. [Science Daily]

World:

¶   World subsidies for fossil fuels exceeded $620 billion in 2011. Subsides for renewable energy were $88 billion in the same period. [eco-business.com]

US:

¶   A bill has been filed in the Texas House to eliminate that state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards.[TownSquareBuzz.com]

¶   A plan for a wood-fired generating plant in Vermont still needs a contract with a utility to be able to be counted as potentially contributing to the state’s renewable energy goals.[Rutland Herald]

¶   Democrats in Ventura County, California, have passed the first major resolution calling on California’s pension funds and colleges to divest themselves of fossil fuel stocks.[Motherboard]

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