North Dakota Oil Spill Draws Attention to Rule Delay
Three years after pipeline rupture in Michigan spilled 843,000 gallons of oil, regulators still haven’t produced rules to compel operators to detect leaks. A 20,000 barrel oil spill in North Dakota last month and the continued debate over construction of Keystone XL Pipeline have led to renewed criticism to the government’s idleness regarding pipeline safety. Over the past three years, there were 96 incidents that caused 41 deaths, 200 injuries and $400 million in property damage. The pipeline safety administration said it is still working on plans to reconfigure rules for the 185,000 miles of pipes carrying hazardous liquids that it oversees.
U.K. Risks Looking ‘Economically Insane’ on World’s Costliest Power Station
At a cost of 16 billion pounds ($26 billion), Electricite de France’s Hinkley Point C Nuclear facility will be the most expensive power plant per megawatt produced, says Peter Atherton, a utilities analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd. The London-based firm expressed their bewilderment on how the U.K. government has committed future generations of consumers to such huge amount of costs. The comments will inflame existing argument over U.K. energy policy as the Conservative-led government and opposition Labour party accuse each other of failing to address power bills that have already risen three to four times the inflation rate.
U.S. Reinforce Conditions to Back Development Coal Loans
Development banks such as the World Bank or the African Development Bank will have to meet more stringent criteria to obtain U.S. support for coal-fired power plants abroad under new guidelines released yesterday. Only projects in very poor nations that have no economically feasible alternatives, or in emerging markets that use carbon capture technologies, will get U.S. backing under the new protocol. The conditions aim to implement an aspect of President Obama’s climate action plan released last June. While the U.S. can’t stop such projects on its own, it promised to work on getting allies among other development banks’ member countries.
India Reaches 2 GW Solar Milestone
A new update from India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proclaimed the country has reached the 2 GW landmark for grid-connected solar. As of September 30, 2013, the total solar installed capacity was just over 2000 MW, while off-grid power amounted to around 140 MW. Earlier this month India invited bids to build 750 MW of solar plants as part of Phase-2 of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The government is offering 18.75 billion rupees ($303 million) in grants to the project. It was the first time the country has opened up bidding since 2011.