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Published on July 18th, 2016 | by Derek Markham


Clean Energy News Roundup (Nevada & Florida Solar, Small Hydro, India Solar & Wind, Dirty Coal…)

July 18th, 2016 by  

In which we touch on Nevada’s solar boondoggle, India’s wind capacity growth, how to model small-scale hydropower, Florida utilities’ misleading solar initiative, growing solar in India’s agriculture sector, and remind you that dirty coal is still dirty (but could its ash be a resource?). All this and more in today’s clean energy news roundup.

[CleanTechnica isn’t the only Important Media site to cover clean energy news, and if you’re looking for more stories on solar, wind, and other renewable energy, we’ve got them at sites such as Solar Love, CleanTechies, and Planetsave.]

Nevada’s solar bait and Switch:

Switch filed a lawsuit this week alleging the agreement it eventually entered into for the purchase of solar power, which was brokered by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, was unfair and overpriced. The suit goes on to claim that employees of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission acted inappropriately. It asks for $30 million in damages for fraud, negligence, and conspiracy.

India winds up its wind capacity:

One of India’s leading wind energy solutions providers, Suzlon Energy, expects a 30% growth in the annual capacity addition during the current financial year.

Utility-backed Florida initiative masquerades as pro-solar:

The Florida Supreme Court approved the utility backed ballot initiative, now rebranded as “Yes On 1 For The Sun, by one vote. Justice Barbara Pariente wrote in a scathing dissent, “Let the pro-solar energy consumers beware. Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, this proposed constitutional amendment, supported by some of Florida’s major investor owned electric utility companies, actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.”

India’s NTPC to auction an additional 5 GW of solar capacity:

NTPC Limited plans to auction an additional 5 GW solar power capacity over the next three years. The company has been the leading entity in auctioning and allocation of solar power projects ever since the Indian government increased solar power target from 22 GW to 100 GW by March 2022.

Free open-source software models potential of small-scale hydropower projects:

A team of engineers at Oregon State University have created a computer modeling package that people anywhere in the world can use to assess the potential of a stream for small-scale, “run of river” hydro power. This option does not require building a dam. It is easy to use and can be an important means of bringing electricity to parts of the world where none is available.

Maharashtra, India, seeks to grow agricultural solar:

One of the largest states in India is planning to shift all its electricity consumers in the agricultural sector from thermal power to solar power. According to media reports, the government of Maharashtra is working on a long-term proposal to shift all agricultural power consumers to solar power. This motive behind this plan is to reduce the subsidy being provided to farmers for electricity supply.

Solar Energy Corporation of India announces 650 MW solar tender:

The Solar Energy Corporation of India recently issued a tender for allocation of 650 MW solar PV capacity at a solar park in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The auction is part of the 5 GW batch IV phase II of the National Solar Mission that aims to set up 5 GW of solar power capacity through viability gap funding.

This just in, coal still kills:

According to a recent report titled Europe’s Dark Cloud, 22,900 premature deaths are caused each year in the European Union by coal dust. 11,800 new cases of chronic bronchitis and 21,900 hospital admissions in 2013 were also linked to coal plants.

So does its waste stream deserve a place in buildings?

Scientists at the Center for Composite Materials Research at North Carolina A&T State University have found a way to encapsulate coal ash in polyurethane. In that form it can be either made building materials like siding or interior molding or into large blocks for storage. By entrapping pollutants like heavy metals in polyurethane, the process makes building new landfills unnecessary. The blocks can be safely stored above ground. At any time in the future, they can be ground to a powder and made into new products.

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About the Author

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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