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DAILY ENERGY NEWS

May 15, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Enerkem, a waste-to-biofuels and renewable chemicals company, is launching a new research project with the Government of Canada, to develop new catalytic processes to convert waste into biofuels that are drop-in replacements for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. [Canada NewsWire]

World:

¶   Eurelectric, whose members are national electric trade associations and affiliates are such organizations as IBM and Siemens, has urged European policy makers to set 2030 carbon targets as soon as possible, with warnings about the results of failure to do so. [Commodities Now]

¶   A report from the governments of Scotland and the UK details the potential for renewable energy in the Scottish Islands. The report indicates the islands can contribute a large amount of power by 2020, and will get thousands of jobs in the process. [The Orcadian]

¶   A study by Siemens concluded that if European renewable installations are built at the sites offering  the highest power yields, some €45 billion of investment can be saved by 2030.[WebWire]

¶   A Berlin renewable energy co-operative group wants to take control of the city’s electricity grid to promote renewable energy. They accuse Vattenfall, the current operator, of failing to seek alternatives to fossil fuels. [Deutsche Welle]

¶   Kuwait is preparing for its first deficit, which could come as soon as 2017.  The country is looking at a switch from oil to renewables. [Green Prophet]

US:

¶   According to the analysis released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 32 US states cut their carbon dioxide emissions during the last decade, while 18 increased them. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   Georgia Power has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Rollcast Energy to boost its biomass power capacity by 53.5MW. Under the agreement, the owner of the plant will retain all Renewable Energy Credits. [Energy Business Review]

¶   SolarCity and Forest City Communities announced last week the start of a project providing solar energy for 6,500 military homes at the Marine Corps Base and the Navy Region in Hawaii, located in the Ohana Military Communities. [CleanTechnica]

 

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May 14, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “It Doesn’t Matter If We Never Run Out of Oil: We Won’t Want to Burn It Anymore” – Mainstream analysts see “peak oil” emerging not in supply but in demand, because modern technologies to save or displace oil cost far less than oil. [The Atlantic]

¶   US Media reports routinely fail to inform the public about the fossil fuel industry funders behind climate change contrarian think tanks, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

World:

¶   While Europe is adding generating capacity for wind, solar, biomass, and gas, its capacity for nuclear and coal is declining. The increased use of coal for generating electricity is probably not a long-term phenomenon. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   According to Synapse Energy Economics, adding more wind power to the grid in the PJM region of the Eastern Interconnection can reduce regional wholesale energy market prices, saving nearly $7 billion per year in the mid-2020s.[CleanTechnica]

¶   Congressional lawmakers from both parties are moving closer to making master limited partnerships open for renewable resources. They are tax breaks that have been available for 32 years to fossil fuel companies for expansion.[Kitsap Sun]

¶   Based on the falling costs of solar and rising electric prices, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), one of the largest utilities in the country that serves northern California, may not be able to compete with residential solar soon. [RenewableEnergyWorld.com]

¶   The Environment and Energy Commission of Columbia, Missouri is asking the city to increase the percentage of power generated from renewable sources by two percent every year. The goal is to reach 100% by the middle of the century. [KBIA]

¶   Wisconsin utilities’ statewide Focus on Energy program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, increased energy savings significantly in 2012, 17% more than the previous year. [Environmental Expert]

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May 13, 2013

Politics and Economics:

¶   G20 leaders have repeatedly committed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, which one estimate puts at 2.5% of global GDP. Despite the talk, not much progress has been made. [The Interpreter]

World:

¶   Chile which has one of the greatest potentials for geothermal energy development in Latin America, also lacked incentives for investment going past the exploratory phase. A strategic partnership with New Zealand aims to change that situation. [Aljazeera.com]

¶   Members of parliaments from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are visiting London this week to urge the UK to be more ambitious in its transition to renewable energy and maintain a more active role at the international climate change negotiations. [Responding to Climate Change]

¶   Hit hard by a power crisis, the Indian state of Tamil Nadu is focusing on renewable energy. It has started on a major solar energy initiative, announcing a Solar Energy Policy, to generate 3,000 MW in the next few years. [The New Indian Express]

¶   Solaria Corporation, which is based in Fremont, California, has announced it has established operations in China to meet demand for high-efficiency large-scale solar projects in that country. [Your Renewable News]

US:

¶   Solar project developer AllEarth Renewables chose ReneSola panels for three separate community-scale solar power projects in Vermont in the last few months. The sites are at Williston, Bridport, and at New Leaf Organic Farm in Monkton. [Your Renewable News]

¶   Wind power has many benefits. One is better economic stability than traditional thermal generating systems that are subject changing conditions in fuel markets. Another is offering employment opportunities. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

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May 12, 2013

World:

¶   During World War II, the Germans built the Wilhelmsburg flak bunker as part of the air defense for Hamburg. Now the Wilhelmsburg flak bunker is being transformed into the  Energiebunker, for solar power generation and storage.[EarthTechling]

¶   Renewable energy projects, especially wind farms, are succeeding in Scotland. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

US:

¶   Greenpeace, ranking corporations in its “Cool IT Leaderboard” report, said Google and Cisco are tied for first place. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶   Terra-Gen Power, a renewable power producers, filed a document saying after investing $3 billion, it is being punished by two-year delays in the Tehachapi transmission project resulting from opposition by Chino Hills, California. [Chino Champion]

¶   Iowa does not have wind resources that are as great as those of Nebraska, but Iowa is getting investment in wind power far faster. The reason has to do different approaches by the state governments. [Lincoln Journal Star]

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May 11, 2013

Commentary:

¶   “Time to reconsider ‘baseload’ power.” Baseload plants are poorly adapted to compete in changing market conditions.
[Midwest Energy News]

World:

¶   On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 ppm. Over the last 800,000 years, levels have been between about 180 ppm during ice ages and 280 ppm during warm periods. [NOAA]

¶    King Mohammed presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction on Morocco’s 160 MW concentrated solar power plant project in Ouarzazate. The German government has pledged €115 million in support for the project. [Eurasia Review]

US:

¶   Xcel Energy has had the greatest wind capacity of any US company for nine years in a row. Now it is facing competition for that position from MidAmerican, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶    The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act has been re-introduced in Congress. It aims to give investors in renewable energy projects access to a corporate structure currently only available for fossil fuel-based energy projects. [Domestic Fuel]

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May 10, 2013

Economics:

¶   Solar price parity has arrived early. Renewable energy now costs the same as other forms of electrical power. The world has changed. And it gets better…  [MSN Money]

Science and Technology:

¶   Two years of research on the history of renewable energy produces an interesting result: Renewables historically done far better and at a much lower price than conventional wisdom and conservative projections have said they would. [Greentech Media]

¶   Growing corn and processing it into ethanol for mixing with gasoline consumes tremendous amounts of water, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels. The ethanol/gasoline mix may be dirtier than some people imagine. [The Providence Journal]

World:

¶   Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister says there are enough renewable energy applications in the planning system to meet the target of generating 40% of electricity by 2020. Eighty-six wind farms that have already been given go-aheads. [Belfast Telegraph]

¶   The Green Party of British Columbia has joined forces with the province’s renewable energy sector to offer an alternative to an economy driven by fossil fuels, such as the massive export of liquefied natural gas. [Vancouver Sun]

¶   The offshore wind farm that was the subject of an ongoing public feud undertaken by American billionaire developer Donald Trump against its owners, is now under construction. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶   The Minnesota House of Representatives passed clean energy and jobs legislation to establish a 4% solar energy standard by 2020 and a 40% renewable electricity standard for investor-owned utilities by 2030. The bill passed by a narrow margin, 70-63. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   MidAmerican Energy has announced the single largest economic development plan in the history of Iowa. The company hopes to spend $1.9 billion dollars to install over 650 wind turbines throughout the state. [KCAU]

¶   The director of renewable-energy investments of US Bancorp, says North Carolina is the top state his bank is investing in. US Bancorp has $80 million to $100 million of investment approved for NC solar, mostly small projects built by local companies. [Charlotte Business Journal]

¶   Newport Biodiesel, a for-profit renewable energy company created in Rhode Island in 2008,  is in the business of recycling waste vegetable oil from more than 1,500 restaurants and cafeterias, turning that oil into a fuel for transportation and heating. [ecoRI news]

¶   The Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program, started in 2005, has helped 28 companies with various renewable energy projects, while creating over 20,000 jobs. The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing produced nearly another 40,000. [CleanTechnica]

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May 9, 2013

Press Q&A:

¶   Newly appointed GE Renewable Energy VP Anne McEntee, who will run the world leading wind division, met with a group of reporters to talk shop at Windpower 2013, the industry’s annual conclave. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   Germany and France want to make Europe a “pioneer continent” for the expansion of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, the countries’ environment ministers said. [Businessweek]

¶   Renewable energy in Spain has grown fast. The problem is that it was financed badly, using deficit spending at a time when the country was already in financial trouble. [Forbes]

¶  The U.K. Green Investment Bank said it has committed a total of 635 million pounds ($987 million) to 11 renewable energy and carbon-reduction projects during the period of the five months ending March 31. [Businessweek]

¶   The offshore wind market is posed for sweeping growth in the coming years, with global investment forecasted to reach €130 billion ($170.75 billion) between now and 2020, according to Roland Berger Consultancy. [EcoSeed]

¶   In April, the EU published a report acknowledging for the first time that the 20 percent renewable energy target may not be reached by 2020. There are, however, indicators of progress, both in Europe and elsewhere. [Commodities Now]

US:

¶   A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that for fourteen of the 29 states with an RPS where data was available, all but one had a cost increase of 1.6 percent or less. [Greentech Media]

¶   Opposition to Connecticut’s plan to revamp its renewable energy portfolio standards is growing, with New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan adding her voice to environmentalists who are against it. [New Haven Register]

¶   The Solar Foundation recently released an interactive map and a report that ranks states by the number of PV installations and solar industry jobs. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶   The nuclear renaissance seems to have gone into reverse. This last week is being called the worst for the nuclear industry in the US since the Fukushima disaster. [Sacramento Bee]

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May 8, 2013

Getting Attention:

¶   An Irish company, Mainstream Renewable Power, is sponsoring an attempt to cross the Northwest Passage in a rowboat. The purpose is to highlight the severe impact of global warming on the polar ice cap. [Energy Matters]

Science and Technology:

¶   Solar engineers from Australia’s University of New South Wales  have developed an innovative method to improve the quality of low-grade silicon, thereby improving electrical efficiency and reducing the cost of solar panels. [Energy Harvesting Journal]

World:

¶   According to the UK Department of Transportation, 66% of biofuels supplied in the UK are sustainable. [E2B]

¶   Spanish renewable power set a record in March as it provided 51.8% of the country’s power. That record was broken in April, at 54% of all power produced. Wind provided 22% of the total, and most of the production growth. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is moving forward with plans to construct biomass power plants in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China. [Adventist News Network]

¶   According to a new set of polls, support for renewable energy, which had already been high, is still growing in the UK.[CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   Hawaii is making progress developing renewable power. Two strong motives are to reduce costs and increase security.[EarthTechling]

¶   The National Center for Atmospheric Research produced a wind energy forecasting system that saved millions of dollars for Xcel Energy customers in eight states. Now, it is going for more sophisticated weather forecasts. [PR Web]

¶   Monadnock Paper Mills, of Bennington, New Hampshire, a family-owned paper manufacturer, says it has achieved 100% carbon neutral production status on 100% of its products.[Electric Light & Power]

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May 7, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Renewable power is disruptive – and that is good. It is cheaper to be clean than to be dirty, and that is disruptive to those who prefer to be dirty. Since 2008, the price of solar modules is down 80%, and wind turbines are down 29%. [ThinkProgress]

World:

¶   Renewable energy offers Southeast Asia clean and secure power at fixed long-term rates that are lower in price compared to power generation from marginal fossil fuel on an unsubsidized base. [eco-business.com]

¶   RES Group’s global construction portfolio had exceeded 8,000 MW, more than 6,000 MW of which is located in North America. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]

US:

¶   The Army announced the first awards Friday under its $7 billion procurement to obtain renewable energy through private sector financing, awarding contracts to five firms for potential geothermal energy projects. [Electric Light & Power]

¶   GE has announced it will provide operations and maintenance services for 819 wind turbines at eight wind farms in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas for E.ON Climate and Renewables North America. [4-traders]

¶   The California ISO is preparing for another summer without the San Onofre power station while facing the growing possibility that the nuclear plant will never return to service. They expect no blackouts for the summer. [Los Angeles Times]

¶   A poll of North Carolina senators in the finance committee shows that the voice vote to repeal the state’s renewable energy standard, which the chairman controversially declared passed, actually had a majority against the change.[WRAL.com]

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May 6, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A team of Stanford researchers has unveiled a new low-cost, high-capacity, hybrid flow battery that can stabilize fluctuations in wind and solar power to enable greater use of renewable energy sources. [The Stanford Daily]

World:

¶   A French government report says France needs to establish the regulatory framework for renewable marine energy quickly, allowing companies to experiment with wave and tide power.[Business Spectator]

US:

¶   Nevada legislators are pushing a bill that would remove loopholes that allow energy companies to meet the renewable energy standard through measures other than actual renewable energy production. [Las Vegas Sun]

¶   Concerned residents of New York, Vermont and Massachusetts will testify before an NRC Petition Review Board, arguing that Entergy is in violation of NRC regulations by operating two Northeast Reactors at a financial loss. [vtdigger.org]

¶   If the owners of the San Onofre nuclear plant decide to shut it down, consumers may face nearly $3 billion in costs, but the owners seem confident that its investors will suffer little impact. [U-T San Diego]

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May 5, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   The concept of solar fuels is gaining momentum. Solar fuels are forms of fuel that are produced through the use of solar energy. Amadee + Company, a leading market research firm, has released a new report on the subject. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶   Approximately twice the power generation is available from a single site when it combines wind and solar in a hybrid power plant. In practice, this works better than expected.[Times of Oman]

World:

¶   The UAE has officially inaugurated Shams 1, touted as the largest concentrated solar power plant in operation in the world. [SteelGuru]

¶   A Farmer and a Farmer Cooperative in the UK have joined forces to design and develop a biomass water heating module for dairies. The plant is specifically intended to be easy to install and resilient. [FarmersWeekly]

US:

¶   In rural Alaska, there is a wide variety of small alternative-energy projects operating or being built. This is thanks to the state’s unique Renewable Energy Fund, which jump-starts projects with locally matched grants. [Anchorage Daily News]

¶   After a slow-speed, 19-hour flight the Solar Impulse airplane landed safely early Saturday morning in Phoenix, Arizona, completing the first leg of a historic transcontinental airplane trip using zero fossil fuels. [Nature World News]

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May 4, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   An airplane called Solar Impulse has started on a journey across North America without using a single drop of fossil fuel, powered entirely by the sun. [Nature World News]

World:

¶ The Indian government has advised banks not to reject financing proposals for renewable energy projects on the grounds that power sector as a whole is under stress.[Economic Times]

US:

¶   Maine’s clean energy legislation has spurred more than $2 billion in local investment and created at least 2,500 jobs in the Pine Tree State. That isn’t stopping some state lawmakers from and trying to weaken and kill these laws for the sake of the fossil fuel industry. [De Smog Blog]

¶   The US DOE has made $7 million available to support the deployment of renewable energy and other “clean energy” projects on Native American lands. [solarserver.com]

¶   Duke Energy plans to file with regulatory authorities in the US state of North Carolina by mid-July 2013, for a program to sell electricity from renewable energy directly to companies. The move was prompted by a white paper from Google.[solarserver.com]

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May 3, 2013

World:

¶   Record output from German wind and solar plants helped to reduce European power prices in April, according to Platts the energy data provider. [Energy and Environmental Management]

¶   According to new UK energy figures for 2012, 3.2% of energy was generated from PV, an increase of 70%, while renewables accounted for 11.3%. Overall, renewable electricity generated 41.1 TWh, a 20% increase on the previous year. [pv magazine]

¶   The president of the Scottish National Farmers’ Union is telling farmers that while they have been successfully focusing on wind power, opportunities from hydro, solar, biomass and anaerobic digestion also exist and remain largely untapped.[The Scottish Farmer]

¶   Kazakhstan will be getting its first ever wind power plant. The 45-megawatt wind facility will have the capacity to generate 172.2 kilowatt-hours of clean power annually. The project is also expected to spur renewable energy development across the country. [EcoSeed]

US:

¶   Some conservatives are championing renewable energy because businesses are employing people and making money on a slow shift to renewable power. It turns out that renewable energy, as popular as mom’s apple pie with American consumers, is also good for American business.[Yahoo! News]

¶   The Windmade Product Label sets out the technical requirements that individual products will have to meet if they are to display the industry-backed label demonstrating that a product or service have been provided using renewable energy. [Business Green]

¶   Duke Energy’s CEO Jim Rogers has put himself squarely on the side of the North Carolina’s law promoting the use of renewable energy sources, as the law remains under attack in the N.C. General Assembly. [Charlotte Business Journal]

¶   The NRC is investigating a pair of goldfish found swimming in a lemonade pitcher of radioactive water in a supposedly secure area of the Perry nuclear plant. A facility representative said they later died, but it was because of bad care before they got to the plant, not radioactivity. [Plain Dealer]

 

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May 2, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “‘Business upheaval inevitable’ as fossil fuel era comes to an end.” The latest report warning that fossil fuel companies are running towards a financial cliff edge has prompted a call to New Zealand businesses to focus on the future and shock proof their business. [Voxy]

Science and Technology:

¶   The UltraBattery combines a traditional lead acid battery and a super capacitor, normally separate components, into one storage unit that simultaneously brings down the cost of hybrid electric vehicles and makes it easier to integrate more renewable energy into a grid. [EcoGeneration]

World:

¶   At 54%, electricity production from renewable energy reached a record high in Spain last month. Hydro provided 25%, and wind accounted for 22.1%. Photovoltaics, meanwhile, met 3.6% of demand. [pv magazine]

¶   An increasing number of large internationally operating companies in the Netherlands are switching to solar energy, using solar panels on their roofs to generate their own electricity. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   Alberta burns more coal than all other Canadian provinces combined, but a survey of Albertans conducted for Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada found 68% of those polled want the government to reduce the province’s reliance on coal-fired electricity. [Calgary Herald]

US:

¶   Repeal of the renewable energy program in North Carolina has been advanced in the state senate, as the senate finance committee passed it in a close voice vote, despite demands for a show of hands. [Mountain Xpress]

¶   The Connecticut state Senate approved legislation proposed by the governor change the rules on renewable energy. Instead of developing local, diversified renewable power, the state will buy hydropower from Canada. [TheDay.com]

¶   GE has got its first order for the 2.5-120 Brilliant turbine they announced in January. The new turbines incorporate short-term battery power-storage. [Businessweek]

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May 1, 2013

World:

¶   The head of Siemens AG’s energy division favors of an overhaul of Germany’s EEG clean-energy subsidy law so that renewable generators get subsidies only when the produced electricity is in demand. [Power Engineering International]

¶   According to a poll recently conducted in Wales, 64% of people would favor a local wind farm, figure is more than double the 24% who said they would support shale gas locally and the 27% in favor of nuclear. [Power Engineering Magazine] (This is significant because there are already a large number of wind farms in Wales, so many people are answering the question based on experience.)

¶   According to new data complied by the Government, 82% of people in the UK support the use of renewable energy sources to provide the country’s electricity needs. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶   Another coal-burning utility in the Southeast announced that a significant purchase of wind power will benefit ratepayers. Both utilities Georgia Power and Alabama Power report that the wind power contracts provide customers cost-savings and more stable electricity prices. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Researchers from the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have quantified the significant value that concentrating solar power plants can add to an electric grid.[Today’s Energy Solutions]

¶   The Colorado House has passed a bill to double the amount of renewable energy that the state’s rural electric cooperatives must use to 20 percent by 2020. The vote was 37-27. [Denver Business Journal]

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April 30, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A team of Stanford researchers has collaborated with scientists at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to produce the first successful demonstration of peel-and-stick solar cells, which can be attached to almost any surface or object. [The Stanford Daily]

¶   MIT researchers are working on what they call the Ocean Renewable Energy Storage system. The system uses wind power produced in low demand to pump water out of submerged storage tanks. During high demand times, the system can generate electricity as the tanks refill under pressure. [Energy Tribune]

World:

¶   Arfons, a town of less than 200 people in southern France , installed 11 wind turbines in 2009. The result is that its budget increased from €400,000 to €2.3 million in three years. The mayor says this is more than the town can conceivably spend, and they do not know what to do about it. [Huffington Post]

¶   A report by the Climate Commission of Australia says that though China remains the world’s largest polluting nation, it also leads the fight against climate change. China is ahead of any targets it set itself for renewable energy, and is likely to curb its carbon emissions far sooner than expected.[OilPrice.com]

¶   During the twelve months ending March 21, 2013,  Indian PV capacity nearly doubled. New capacity was 754 MW , and PV now represents 6% of all grid-tied renewable energy capacity in the nation. In addition, India installed 600,000 square meters of solar water heating collectors.[solarserver.com]

US:

¶   The US Bureau of Land Management will publish a regulation to limit mining claims near areas that have been identified as potential sites for wind or solar energy production or that are included in pending permits. [The Hill]

¶   Nebraskan lawmakers have advanced a bill intended to attract more wind-energy companies to Nebraska as long as residents receive some of the benefits. [The Republic]

¶   Hawaiian Electric Company announced it has achieved a record 13.9% of energy needs from renewable generation in 2012, which is well on the way to passing the next clean energy goal of 15% in 2015. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

¶   Entergy Nuclear, owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, has again sued the state of Vermont, because the state’s Public Service Board has refused to authorize construction of the so-called station blackout diesel generator.[Rutland Herald]

¶   Representatives from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be in Brattleboro tonight to discuss the 2012 performance review for Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. An open house at  Brattleboro Union High School starts at 5:30 p.m. A question and answer period starts at 7 pm. [Brattleboro Reformer]

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April 29, 2013

World:

¶   Oman has kicked off its plans to meet its surging electricity demands with renewables, announcing the construction of six renewable energy projects this year. Four will be solar plants and two will be wind farms. [EcoSeed]

¶   An exploratory study into 100% renewable energy scenarios for Australia concluded that its impact on consumer electricity prices over coming decades may be no more than the increases in the last few years to support network upgrades and the introduction of the carbon price. [Business Spectator]

US:

¶   Duke Energy has learned that solar and wind projects offer big advantages to electric utility companies and can be very profitable. They can get a premium rate for solar power, whose supply peaks in the afternoon alongside the higher load of air conditioning.[TheStreet.com]

¶   Tennessee Valley Authority officials say the demand for renewable energy projects is so strong that the agency has met its application goals for 2013. More than 250 small-scale renewable energy projects have been approved for 2013, most for solar energy. [Ct Post]

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April 28, 2013

Sustainable Living:

¶   Urban farming expert Will Allen is showing one way to provide affordable, fresh, and nutritious food to people, especially those in urban areas. [fox6now.com]

¶   The Dome of Visions in the Copenhagen harbor establishes visual and conceptual connections between the present and the future. [Pursuitist]

World:

¶   A renewable energy company which wants to build a windfarm at Tetney, on England’s east coast, could give people living near the development a discount of at least £100 per year on their electricity bills. [Louth Leader]

¶   Scotland is ahead of schedule for community ownership of renewable energy projects. The goal for 2020 is 500 MW of community owned generating capacity, and 200 MW is already in place. [stv.tv]

US:

¶   US Bank will install new solar carports and rooftop systems to generate solar electricity for its branches while providing shaded parking for customers. [Utility Products]

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April 27, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “The Oil And Gas Industry’s Assault On Renewable Energy”[Environmental Defense Fund]

¶   “Can Fossil Fuel Divestment Prevent The Carbon Bubble From Bursting?” [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶   A new low-cost, long-life flow battery has been created by researchers at the DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University that has the potential to help store electric power for the grid, balancing the loads.[PlanetSave.com]

¶   In testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, modules from Amonix, a solar power module developer, had an outdoor efficiency rating of 34.9%, a world record for concentrating photovoltaic systems. [socalTech.com]

World:

¶ Lim Solar Philippines, a subsidiary of US-based Mendoza Solar, says solar energy is still the best option to solve the power crisis in Mindanao, and that the fact that the Philippine Department of Energy’s turned down solar energy as a solution was “not a hindrance.” [Zamboanga Today Online]

US:

¶   Nuclear experts differ on whether Vermont could be facing cleanup expenses if Vermont Yankee closes early.  [Vermont Public Radio]

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April 26, 2013

World:

¶   Eleven European companies have joined forces for development of power-to-gas, a concept to use electricity to make natural gas. Renewable electricity is used to make hydrogen, which is catalyzed with carbon dioxide to make methane. [Fox Business]

¶   Finnish forest products company, UPM, has begun testing of a synthetic diesel oil called BioVerno. It is a biofuel is made from residues of the forest industry products that will have 80% less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. [IHB]

¶   A fund for developing deep-water wind turbine foundations has been announced by the Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism. The fund promotes development of foundations for wind turbines at depths greater than 30 metres. [Offshore Technology International]

¶   Russia’s Energy Ministry submitted a draft renewable energy law aimed at supporting the deployment of renewable energy sources including solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants across the country. [Energy Tribune]

US:

¶   As natural gas pushes coal and nuclear plants to close, the Northeast needs to diversify its electric power sources so it is not relying on a single fuel. Wind and Solar are the best resources to use. [AOL Government]

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April 25, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Researchers have genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert sugar into an oil that is almost identical to conventional diesel. [DigitalJournal.com]

World:

¶   Smart Wind, a joint venture of Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Financial Services, has signed a lease for UK wind projects with a planned total capacity of 1,800 MW.[NewsNet]

¶   Edinburgh College is being powered by Scotland’s first “solar meadow.” [BBC News]

¶   Mongolia is planning to increase renewable power production to meet increasing demand. [Bernama]

US:

¶   Three fuel barges carrying natural gas on the Mobile River in Alabama exploded, killing at least three people. [Huffington Post]

¶   The State of Vermont is not satisfied by the response it got from the NRC about the questions it raised over recent incidents that took place during refueling at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

¶   Berkshire East, in Clarlemont, Massachusetts, will be the world’s first ski area to be powered entirely from on-site renewables. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   For the time being, North Carolina’s renewable energy industry is safe from legislative threats. A bipartisan group in the sponsor’s own committee voted down his bill that would have repealed the state’s clean energy standard.[ThinkProgress]

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April 24, 2013

Projections:

¶   RenewEconomy’s Graph of the Day illustrates projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance on the future of energy to the year 2030. Growth of wind and solar range from important to extremely important, depending on the scenario.[RenewEconomy]

World:

¶   European Union proposals to set new renewable energy targets for 2030 received a boost yesterday, after the French energy and environment minister confirmed her government backed the plan. [Business Green]

¶   India is seeking to double its renewable energy capacity to 55,000 megawatts by 2017 as part of its efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Prime Minister Singh noted increasing opportunities as costs of solar and wind are falling. [EcoSeed]

US:

¶   Conservatives in Washington are coming out to back renewable energy, supporting the idea of expanding a business structure called a “master-limited partnership,” or MLP, which is currently available only to fossil fuel projects, to also be available to renewable-energy projects. [Yahoo! News]

¶   The California High-Speed Rail Authority will buy or produce enough renewable energy to offset the amount of energy it takes from the state’s power grid to operate trains and facilities, it says. [Central Valley Business Times]

¶   According to research prepared by Synapse Energy Economics for the Civil Society Institute (CSI),by 2050, regional electricity generation supply from renewables could meet or exceed demand in 99.4% of hours. [Fierce Energy]

¶   The City Council of Los Angeles unanimously passed a resolution calling on federal regulators to hold off on deciding whether the San Onofre nuclear plant can restart until more review can be done and more commentary taken. [Los Angeles Times]

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April 23, 2013

History:

¶   Seventy-five years ago this month, in April 1938, a paper was published with the title, “The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature.” [Raw Story]

World:

¶   According to a report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 70% of new power generation capacity added between 2012 and 2030 will come from renewable technologies. Wind and solar will account for 30% and 24% respectively. [pv magazine]

¶   New employment figures show that there are currently in excess of 15,000 working in the energy industry in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. [Scotsman]

¶   In the Netherlands, because of hundreds of local initiatives, the solar energy market is growing from the grassroots level, increasing as much as 250 percent in 2012.[InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   Germany—the world’s number four economy and Europe’s number one—has lately provided an impressive model of what a well-organized industrial society can achieve. [EarthTechling]

US:

¶   A new study prepared for the Civil Society Institute suggests that the power grid could integrate and balance many times the current level of renewables with no additional reliability issues. [NJ Spotlight]

¶   Investment in renewable energy in Oregon totals over $9 billion as of the end of 2012. A combination of wind, solar and geothermal projects generates more than $79 million in public revenue and creates an estimated 4,600 jobs. [Oregon Business]

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April 22, 2013

World:

¶   International Monetary Fund is taking a stand against fossil fuel subsidies in a report recently issued. According to their figures, the United States puts $502 billion into support for fossil fuels. The report supports subsidies for renewable power. [Climate Central]

¶   Annual spending on clean-energy projects that don’t add to greenhouse-gas pollution may rise to $630 billion at the end of the next decade from $190 billion last year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report today. [Businessweek]

¶   Australia’s Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund has announced a multi-million contribution to Queensland company Hydrexia. The $4.5 million contribution goes toward a $9.25 million investment in hydrogen storage technology. [Business Spectator]

US:

¶   A report from Yale and George Mason University Centers for Climate Change Communication says Republicans and right-leaning independents are changing their minds, and increasingly supporting action on climate change and increased clean energy production. [PolicyMic]

¶   The Obama administration is hoping to put a stop to an increasing problem for wind and solar power — feuds with environmental groups that say the projects threaten endangered species or valuable habitat. [Politico]

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April 21, 2013

World:

¶   The Ontario legislature has defeated proposed legislation that would have serious curtailed the province’s feed-in tariff for solar and wind energy. [PR.com]

¶   An advertisement, in which Donald Trump attacks support for wind farms by the Scottish First Minister, will this week be condemned as “misleading” by the UK Government’s advertising watchdog. [Herald Scotland]

¶   Proposals of German Environment Minister Altmaier and Economy Minister Rösler to change the German feed-in tariff system have failed. That means there will be no big changes in German feed-in tariff law this year. [CleanTechnica]

 

US:

¶   The Vermont Senate has passed an increase on taxes for gasoline and diesel oil. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

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April 20, 2013

US:

¶   Intel, which gets 100% of its electrical power from renewables, is at the top of the ten greenest organizations listed by the US EPA. The list also includes Microsoft, Kohl’s Department Stores, Whole Foods Market, Wal-Mart, the US Department of Energy, Staples, Starbucks, Lockheed Martin, and Apple. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]
… (The EPA also has a list of the largest energy users with 100% or more green energy: 100% Green Power Users. The top five users are Intel, Kohl’s, Whole Foods, Staples, and the government of the District of Columbia.)

¶   After putting over $1 billion into renewable power investment, Google is looking for ways to buy green power from utilities. Their current plan is to get power companies to offer green power plans allowing customers to pay a different rate for it. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
… The program, supported by Duke Energy, could significantly increase development of renewable energy projects in North Carolina by creating a market for the energy they produce.[Charlotte Business Journal]

¶   Bourne, Massachusetts is considering purchase of power generated by wind and solar, as a cost-cutting measure. [The Bourne Courier] (Bourne is on Cape Cod, and not far from Falmouth, where local people have opposed wind, claiming it has adverse health effects.)

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April 19, 2013

World:

¶   A new financial crisis may be looming, as fossil fuel companies plow hundreds of billions each year into finding assets they will probably be unable to use, and so may turn out to have no value. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶   Renewable power in Germany continues to grow quickly. For a period of three hours on April 18, output of renewable power in Germany exceeded the combined output of coal, gas, and nuclear. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that a battery with a storage capacity of around 60 megawatt hours will be installed in Hokkaido, to help provide a stable electricity supply generated from solar as well as wind power sources. [EcoSeed]

¶   In the Pew Charitable Trust’s fourth annual report, Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2012 Edition, Pew and Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that while investment dropped from 2011 to 2012 in G20 countries, it was up by more than 50 percent in non-G20 countries. [Greentech Media] (In G20 countries, costs dropped, so even with less investment, more capacity was added.)

¶   Électricité de France (EDF), which has been negotiating to build the nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, has not got agreement on a long-term price of electricity and is unlikely to decide on the project for at least another three months. [New Civil Engineer]
… EDF is preparing to let the talks fail. [Businessweek]

US:

¶   States, not Congress, are taking the lead on climate change laws – from a new cap-and-trade program in California to widespread adoption of renewable electricity standards. Moves to weaken those standards aren’t gaining traction in state capitals. [Christian Science Monitor]

¶   The Senate Energy Committee has endorsed the nomination of physicist Ernest Moniz to lead the Energy Department by a vote of 21-1. [Businessweek]

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April 18, 2013

Opinion:

¶   ”The Experts: What Renewable Energy Source Has the Most Promise?” [Wall Street Journal]

World:

¶   The world needs “strong, credible and long-term commitments” to reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gases across the economy and prevent catastrophic global warming, says a new report released Wednesday by the International Energy Agency. [Vancouver Sun]

¶   A German village is running a biodigester in a configuration providing combined heat and power. The available heat has attracted industrial jobs. [FarmersWeekly]

¶   Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh expressed serious concern over the “painfully slow” progress of climate change talks, and said India had launched itself to double the renewable energy capacity to 55000 MW by 2017. [The Hindu]

¶   Though global investment in renewable energy dropped  11%, to $269 billion in 2012, renewable energy installations grew by a record 88,000 MW, according to a report released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts. [National Journal]

US:

¶   A project to build one of the world’s largest solar energy complexes on contaminated farmland in California’s Central Valley has finally moved from the drawing board to the review process. The land is contaminated by minerals from irrigation.[Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶   Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and destroy the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century. [Grist.org]

¶   In a media conference call, renewable fuel industry leaders said today that U.S. agriculture is making impressive strides in sustainability, allowing producers to provide food, feed, fuel, fiber and fuel in an environmentally sensitive manner. [Agri-Pulse]

¶   Experts in renewable energy say the recent drop in investment is not a cause for alarm. [NJBIZ]

¶   Two European renewable-energy experts will visit Brattleboro next week to discuss the challenges and economic opportunities they’ve found in moving away from dependence on fossil fuels. [Brattleboro Reformer]

¶   NRG Energy Inc, one of the biggest power generators in the United States, could offer at least three plants in response to New York’s request for proposals for units that could replace the giant Indian Point nuclear plant, NRG said Wednesday.[MSN Money]

¶   If the US stops using coal, shuts down a quarter of existing nuclear reactors, and trims its use of natural gas by 2050, the increased reliance on wind, solar and other renewables will not result in a less reliable electricity grid, according to a new report. [InvestorIdeas.com]

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April 17, 2013

World:

¶   Clean energy investment capital is moving to China. China brought in 25% of the worldwide investments in solar, 37% of those in wind and 47% of other types of renewable energy, from small hydropower to geothermal. [Forbes]

¶   Crowdfunding offers all of us a new way to protect our shared environment and engage in the expansion of renewable and sustainable energy sources worldwide. Lenders can invest amounts of money as small as $25 to help support clean energy loans to individuals and small groups throughout the world. [Your Industry News]

US:

¶   The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced plans to increase energy efficiency on farms and help farmers update their technology with a proposal for streamlined applications for renewable energy funding. [Medill Reports: Chicago]

¶   The Colorado Senate passed this week a bill that aims to increase renewable energy mandates on rural electricity cooperatives from 10 to 25 percent by 2020. [Craig Daily Press]

¶   When winds are at their strongest in California, wind turbines provide the state with nearly twice as much electricity as nuclear reactors. California’s wind power capacity grew to 5,544 MW last year, making it second only to Texas, which has more than 12,000 MW of wind capacity installed. [Grist Magazine]

¶   The market for ethanol renewable identification numbers (RINs) has turned volatile this spring. Prices that had been 2¢ or 3¢ went to more than $1 briefly in March before slowly settling down to the 60-70¢ range. [Ethanol Producer Magazine]

¶   Worldwide investment in clean energy in the first quarter of 2013 was $40.6 billion, down 22% on a year earlier, due to a downturn in large wind and solar project financings. This was partly the result of policy uncertainty in key markets, and partly because of sharp declines in technology costs, among other things. [Renewable Energy Focus]

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April 16, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Joule announced the direct conversion of waste carbon dioxide into the essential components of gasoline and jet fuel. The process uses waste carbon dioxide as a feedstock, allowing industrial emitters to produce valuable fuel as a way to deal with emissions. [Business Wire]

World:

¶   In the UK, a High Court judge ruled that large wind turbines can be erected just 350 metres from homes, and that an attempt by a Buckinghamshire town council to impose a 1.2 km buffer zone between the turbines and the nearest house was “unlawful.” [The Week UK]

US:

¶   A proposal to allow renewable energy developers to take advantage of a tax structure that has long been popular among fossil fuel companies is gaining traction among lawmakers tasked with overhauling the tax code. [Midwest Energy News]

¶   Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke announced that the company intends produce or procure 7 billion kWh of renewable energy each year, a 600 percent increase from 2010 levels. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶   Ernest Moniz, nominee for energy secretary, told a Senate committee that he would prioritize consideration for energy storage, which some people regard as vital to renewable integration, to take up the issue within 30 days of taking office.[PV-Tech]

¶   Admirals Bank has launched a new division, Admirals Alternatives, specifically to finance residential solar and renewable energy systems. Their innovative loan programs help homeowners to own, rather than lease, their system while saving money. [San Francisco Chronicle]

¶   Entergy Nuclear, owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, will again be required to give the Nuclear Regulatory Commission a $40 million letter of credit because of shortfalls in Vermont Yankee’s decommissioning trust fund. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

 

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April 15, 2013

World:

¶   Electric power markets in South America and Mexico are currently dominated by thermal power, but analysts expect the market share of thermal power in the total energy mix will drop to 35% by 2020, while the share of renewable energy will “increase substantially”. [Gas to Power Journal]

¶   The Indian state of Kerala has a solar rooftop potential of 10,000 MW at the present efficiency levels, according to experts. [Hindu Business Line]

¶   In the face of increasing use of distributed renewable power generation in Australia, traditional electricity suppliers are pushing electric vehicles as a way to save their business base. [RenewEconomy]

¶   World capacity of geothermal power is expected to grow from the 11.4 GW of 2012 to 28.6 GW in 2030. [EcoSeed]

US:

¶   For the ninth consecutive year, Xcel Energy is the number one utility provider of wind energy in the United States, according to a newly released report from the American Wind Energy Association. [Your Renewable News]

¶   State policy can be a larger impediment to renewable energy than overcast skies and a lack of wind. With that in mind, the Clean Energy Coalition of Michigan got a $100,000 research grant from the Michigan Energy Office to study the barriers to increasing renewable energy projects in the state.[MiBiz]

¶   A General Accounting Office official has told Congress a new policy by the US DOE for the storage of nuclear waste, with a plan to build two new interim storage sites and a new permanent storage facility may be illegal. Critics have been saying the DOE is merely using the policy to stall on nuclear waste storage. [Forbes]

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April 14, 2013

Opinion:

¶   A new popular movement is coming together, resisting the dominance of fossil fuels. [OpEdNews]

World:

¶   Donald Trump told the Scots not to build a wind farm built within sight a golf course he owns. He even threatened to cancel a hotel and housing project there if it was built. Naturally, the project has been approved. It will power half the homes in Aberdeen.  [Mother Nature Network]

¶   Turkey’s energy minister says Turkey plans to increase the portion its energy coming from renewable resources to 30% by 2023. [Journal of Turkish Weekly]

¶   The government of Cuba is increasing the amount of renewable energy it intends to be using, and is calling for foreign investors to participate. It is planning five new biomass, wood, solar and wind energy projects. [Cuba Standard.com]

US:

¶   Duke Energy now has over 100 MW of solar capacity. Duke has been investing in renewable power for several years, and has put over $2.5 billion into the sector. [CleanTechnica]

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April 13, 2013

World:

¶   Researchers have linked local temperatures spikes in China to Chinese fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. [Christian Science Monitor]

¶   Europe is on track to achieve its 2020 renewable energy targets, but could stand some improvements in policy. [Greentech Media]

¶   Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of coal, but the cost of power from wind is less expensive there than the cost of coal or any other fossil fuel. [Energy Digital]

US:

¶   According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 100% of all new generating capacity added in the United States in March, 2013, was from solar power. During the first quarter, 82% was renewable. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The first commercial, grid-tied enhanced geothermal plant in the United States has gone online in Nevada. [Utility Products]

¶   Wind power capacity grew by 28% in 2012 in the United States. It accounted for 42% of all new generating capacity during the year. [Treehugger]

¶   The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Office of Clean Energy is suggesting taking some funding away from support for solar power and  putting it toward energy storage. [The Green Optimistic]

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April 12, 2013

World:

¶   Solar power has reached grid parity in Italy and India, according to a report from Germany’s Deutsche Bank. It will soon reach grid parity in other countries, as well. [EcoSeed]

¶   Even though there has been an enormous amount of solar and wind power capacity installed in Europe, the greatest source of renewable power there is from burning wood. In some countries, such as Finland and Poland, it accounts for 80% of renewable energy production. [Presseurop]

US:

¶   Xcel Energy wants to sell the surplus renewable energy credits it collects from a power plant in Benson, Minn., that burns turkey droppings. Utilities in North Carolina are interested in buying those credits to meet that state’s renewable energy mandate, which requires a portion of the power produced by its utilities to come from poultry litter.[Pioneer Press]

¶   The latest data shows alternative fuel use is up, and among the groups using fuel for vehicles at the highest rates, the larger, medium duty vans, most are picking to replace non-renewable oil with biodiesel. [Domestic Fuel]

¶   In Vermont, the Shumlin Administration, drawing on lessons learned from Tropical Storm Irene and the Fukushima Disaster, wants Vermont Yankee to pay more to help emergency officials respond to a nuclear accident. [Vermont Public Radio]

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April 11, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “Why 100 per cent renewables is possible… and affordable”[Business Spectator]

Science and Technology:

¶   The United Nations reports that more people die each year from air pollution than from AIDS and malaria combined. [msnNOW]

¶   The US DOE is beginning research into using solar power to increase the energy content of natural gas. [New York Times]

World:

¶   Renewable power has driven Australian carbon emissions to a ten-year low. [Power Engineering International]

¶   French Utility GDF Suez, which supplies 25% of the country’s electricity, is using renewables for half of its production. [Utility Products]
… GDF Suez plans to close three of the four gas-fired power plants it operates in its home country because their profitability fell. [Fox Business]
… GDF Suez was upgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report. [Mideast Time]

US:

¶   In the new budget, President  Obama proposed a dramatic increase in clean energy spending, expanding support for electric cars, wind power and other “green” technology. He would pay for the expansion in part by eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for oil, gas and coal industries. [Business Spectator]

¶   Many predictions were that 2012 would be a bad year for renewable power, but the industries surpassed expectations and appear to be positioned for continued growth. [AOL Energy]

¶   The GAO has issued a report saying evacuation plans for nuclear accidents are faulty. Reports of an accident would cause people outside an official evacuation zone to try to escape, filling roads and blocking the way for those within the evacuation zone. [Huffington Post]

¶   The Falmouth, Massachusetts, Town Meeting rejected a measure to authorize a town-wide vote on whether to borrow $14 million to dismantle two turbines. [Boston Globe]

¶   President Obama has unexpectedly called for the possible sale of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest publicly-owned U.S. power company. [Businessweek]

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April 10, 2013

World:

¶   China’s new leaders are taking steps to tackle problems seen in the country’s clean energy development, namely major bottlenecks in connecting wind and solar farms to the grid. They are also pushing for a surge in small-scale renewable energy production, where ordinary people become suppliers to the grid. [chinadialogue]

¶   Bloomberg New Energy Finance has doubled its expectations for Japanese PV installation for 2013 to 6.0-9.4 GW. This would see Japan overtake the US as the second largest PV market in 2013, and it may move even ahead of China. [Business Spectator]

¶   Moody’s Investors Service is warning that the trend toward solar and wind power has been so strong that it’s threatening the credit quality of thermal generation companies.[CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   Renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydro, accounted for 82% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed in the first quarter of this year, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest Energy Infrastructure Update report.[North American Windpower]

¶   According to a peer-reviewed study by researchers at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, coal power is far more economically vulnerable than most analysts have realized. [Washington Post]

¶   ResHydro, based in New York, has announced plans to establish operations in Glasgow, Scotland. Their plan is to work with the University of Strathclyde to advance its hydrokinetic energy generation device, which uses ocean currents to make power. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Fair Oaks Farm, one of the largest dairy farms in the country, is using a biodigester to make compressed natural gas, which it is using to power the tractor-trailers it uses to deliver milk. CEO Gary Corbett told the New York Times, ”As long as we keep milking cows, we never run out of gas.” [Opposing Views]

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April 9, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   Sol Voltaics has developed a process to make semiconductor nanowires of gallium arsenide that can boost the conversion efficiency of standard solar panels by as much as 25%. [Businessweek]

World:

¶   China increased its wind power production by 41% in 2012. The country generated 100.8 billion kWh of wind power last year, compared with 71.5 billion kWh in 2011.[Businessweek]

¶   A former NRC chairman says all 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology. [New York Times]

¶   The Japanese government will not ask people to save electricity this summer because utilities are expected to have sufficient supplies, sources said April 8. Supply is expected to exceed demand even if all idled nuclear reactors remain offline.[Asahi Shimbun]

¶   Experts who investigated the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the ongoing decommissioning process say the recently formed Nuclear Regulation Authority is being very lax with its oversight role in TEPCO’s post-disaster processes. [The Japan Daily Press]

US:

¶   Production of power from wind turbines in the California ISO grid hit 4196 MW, a new record, on April 7. [EON: Enhanced Online News]

¶   The head of U.S. forces in the Pacific says that climate change is a top concern for the military. The Army is proceeding with a “Net Zero Energy” initiative, aiming to produce as much energy and water as they use. Cost and reliability are primary reasons, but cutting carbon pollution is one of the outcomes.[Greentech Media]

¶   Town meeting members of Provincetown, Massachusetts voted 197-2 to call on Governor Deval Patrick to request the Nuclear Regulatory Commission close Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. [Cape Cod Today]

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April 8, 2013

Opinion:

¶   The old catch-cry ‘renewables can’t provide baseload’ continues to haunt discussions about our long-term energy future.  But this really misses the fact that we’re moving into an entirely new power system paradigm where traditional baseload won’t be required. [Business Spectator]

Science and Technology:

¶   A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience says fossil fuel use has severe impact on coral growth. [French Tribune]

World:

¶   A £200 million deal will turn fats, cooking waste from restaurants and food-processing companies that are currently a nuisance for from London sewage works, into renewable energy. [Greenwise Business]

¶   A new survey of property and construction industry insiders has shown that nine out of ten believe that Ireland should harness wind as its primary source of energy going forward.[thejournal.ie]

US:

¶   A study, led by researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities, provides a theoretical road map to how New Yorkers could rely on renewable energy within 17 years. [Huffington Post]

¶   Arizona Public Service, said last week that it added a record 148 megawatts of solar capacity in 2012, impressive enough on its own. But in 2013, new capacity should come in at more than twice that figure. [EarthTechling]

¶   The Brattleboro, Vermont Selectboard has agreed to enter the town into a 20-year contract to purchase solar power from a photovoltaic system which will be built in the coming year.[Brattleboro Reformer]

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April 7, 2013

World:

¶   Despite the ongoing shutdown of all its nuclear energy-producing facilities, Germany exported the greatest amount of power in 2012 of any year in the past five years. This happened because Germany’s renewable energy industry grew to produce 23% of nation’s power in 2012. [Utility Products]

¶   A big, largely unreported, news message is that some European countries, especially Germany, have launched projects that combine renewables like solar and wind with hydrogen for energy storage, implying clean, zero-emission, stable power grids that require no coal, oil, or nuclear power. [Bangkok Post]

¶   A partnership between a wind farm in India and a waste management project in Colombia sets both to benefit from a new to offset the carbon emissions of the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Office for Project Services.[Waste Management World]

US:

¶   NorthWestern Energy, Montana’s largest electric utility, is attempting to use the courts, the Legislature and state regulators to restrict severely any new power it must buy from small, independent wind power projects in Montana. [Billings Gazette]

¶   A Gallup poll conducted in March, 2013, found that 2 out of 3 Americans, including Republicans, want the U.S. to place more emphasis on the development of solar, and wind energy was not far behind. [Truth-Out]

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April 6, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “Renewable energy could make utilities obsolete in the future.” [Hydrogen Fuel News]

World:

¶   Malaysia’s Sustainable Energy Development Authority made a tender for 20 MW of PV systems under 500 kW for non-individuals. The quota was allocated within the first hour of opening the online application system [PV-Tech]

US:

¶   Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he is optimistic that Cape Wind, the nation’s first offshore wind farm, will break ground this year after more than a decade of delays. [Washington Post]

¶   The US Army is beginning its largest solar project so far at Fort Bliss, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. The ultimate goal is net zero emissions. [Energy Live News]

¶   The US DOE is undertaking a new initiative to restore the country to a place of leadership in energy technology and manufacturing for clean energy. [SmartMeters]

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April 5, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A team of researchers at Virginia Tech has succeeded in using xylose, the most abundant simple plant sugar, to produce a large quantity of hydrogen. The method can be performed using any source of biomass. [AZoCleantech]

¶   The Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and researchers at the Delft Technical University are working to develop a bladeless wind generator that operates on electrostatic charge on water droplets. [ENGINEERING.com]

World:

¶   European electric generation from renewables is expected to exceed that of fossil fuels by 2020, according to a report from ENTSO-E, the European association of European transmission line operators.  [Inside Climate News]

US:

¶   The Arkansas legislature rejected a proposed renewable power mandate when House Bill 1390, the Arkansas Distributed Generation Act, failed to make it out of a joint committee on energy. [Budget & Tax News]

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April 4, 2013

Opinion:

¶   ”More renewables for states”  An overwhelming majority of Americans — Democrat and Republican, pro-business and pro-environment — support renewable energy, and for good reason. [Politico]

Science and Technology:

¶   A company called Advanced Rail Energy Storage has proposed running loaded boxcars on a steep track to store electricity. The energy cannot be dissipated over time, and the system is claimed to be 90% efficient. [The Green Optimistic]

World:

¶   Denmark is now getting 25% of its electrical power from offshore wind. The goal for 2020 has been increased from 35% to 50%. The hope is to eliminate coal-burning generation altogether within 20 years. [Design & Trend]

¶   New research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia has drawn the conclusion that a “fully renewable” electricity system could not only be possible but cost-effective. [pv magazine]

¶   The government of Quebec will issue no permits for uranium exploration or mining until an independent study into its environmental impact has been completed. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission says such a moratorium is not founded on science. [World Nuclear News]

US:

¶   Nevada’s largest utility plans to begin closing four coal-fired power plants northeast of Las Vegas and invest more money in renewable energy. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

¶   State House lawmakers in North Carolina are moving ahead with a proposal to freeze and repeal the state’s renewable energy standards. [WRAL.com]

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April 3, 2013

Science and Technology:

¶   A European project called H2SusBuild demonstrated the feasibility of using excess power from renewable sources to produce hydrogen for power or heat that can be used during periods of low power production by wind and solar. [Nanowerk LLC]

World:

¶   Portugal got 70% of its electric power from renewable sources during the first quarter of 2013. [The Portugal News]

¶   British Prime Minister David Cameron has replaced wind power skeptic John Hayes as energy minister after warnings over a coalition split on new green targets. [UPI.com]

¶   Procter & Gamble has reduced its total waste by 68% over the past five years. It uses 45 zero waste sites, where waste from the manufacturing process is recycled, repurposed or converted into energy, with less than 1% left over. [Waste & Recycling News]

US:

¶   SolarReserve has finished building a 110 MW molten-salt solar power plant in Nevada. It will be the nation’s first commercial-scale solar power tower facility with energy storage and will produce power 24 hours per day. [Your Renewable News]

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April 2, 2013

World:

¶   Germany exported 22.8 billion kWh last year, up from 6 billion kWh the previous year, despite closing numerous nuclear plants. The surplus power was worth €1.4 billion ($1.8 billion).[Stockhouse]

¶   The Japanese government is introducing a plan to split the utilities to reduce monopolies on the grid, keep the electric supply stable, and reduce prices. [4-traders]

¶   Shellfish numbers have declined and one species of shellfish has disappeared from the waters along an 18-mile stretch of coast at the Fukushima Disaster. Those shellfish that are alive are highly radioactive. [United Press International, Asia]

US:

¶   The US Government is calling on small businesses in rural areas and agricultural producers to seek help for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. [Energy Live News]

¶   Combining the wind power production of Wyoming and Colorado by transmitting power between the states would help stabilize the grid in both and benefit both economically, according to two new studies. [Billings Gazette]

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April 1, 2013

Technology:

¶   GE has installed a new prototype wind turbine in the Netherlands. It increases efficiency by 25%. [EcoSeed]

US:

¶   New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has awarded $46 million to large-scale solar power projects in 33 counties across the state. The will have an overall generating capacity of 52 megawatts.[EcoSeed]

¶   An Exxon pipeline ruptured in Arkansas, spilling thousands of barrels of Canadian crude oil. [Huffington Post]

¶   The legislative attack in North Carolina on a Renewable Energy Standard appears dead in the water, as it languishes before committees. [StarNewsOnline.com]

¶   Congressman Peter Welch is planning to announce legislation that he says will make it easier to pay for renewable energy projects in Vermont and around the country. [Albany Times Union]

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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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DAILY ENERGY NEWS archive for March, 2013

DAILY ENERGY NEWS archive for February, 2013