EPA Introduces Revised Rules for New Power Plants
Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, recently introduced the revised pollution standards for new power plants. Under the new rules, large natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per MWh, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per MWh. The average U.S. coal plant emits 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per MWh-hour while natural gas plants emit 800 to 850 pounds. McCarthy adds that this latest version of the EPA’s standards is the result of some 2 million public comments directed to her office.
Cool Planet Energy Raises $19.4 Million for Biofuel Development
Cool Planet Energy Systems Inc., a biofuel developer, received $19.4 million to help build its first production facility. The plant, which will be in Louisiana, is on schedule to be completed by the end of 2014, CEO Barry Rowan said. The company utilizes a chemical-mechanical conversion process to produce fuel from non-food biomass, and it plans to build 30 manufacturing units within three years to make gasoline. Last June, Cool Planet raised $29.9 million from investors including General Electric Co., Google Inc., BP Plc, ConocoPhillips, NRG Energy Inc. and Exelon Corp. The company may raise $100 million this year, Rowan adds.
U.K. Turns Down $40 Billion Severn Barrage Tidal-Power Project
The U.K. rejected proposals for a 25 billion-pound ($40 billion) tidal-energy barrage designed to generate as much as 5 percent of the nation’s power needs. The plan by Hafren Power Ltd. to set-up an 18 kilometer dam-like barrage in Severn Lake was axed because of environmental as well as financial concerns, the government said in a report. The company needs to provide more details on the potential effect on the environment, economy and local industry from the development, according to the report. Tidal barrages use turbines to harness energy from water traveling in and out of rivers.
Commercial Solar Energy Storage to Overtake Residential and Utility-Scale in Four Years
A new report from IHS titled “The Role of Energy Storage in the PV industry”, anticipates that global installations of photovoltaic energy storage systems for commercial use will surge to 2.3 GW in 2017, up from just 3.2 MW in 2012. IHS analysts note that rising energy prices and the growing demand for backup power supplies will cause commercial enterprises to turn to PV storage solutions that will work in tandem with their existing solar power systems, thereby allowing commercial to move ahead of its residential and utility counterpart to become the biggest market for PV storage in four years time.