- Farmers in Japan could be in for a windfall if a new practice of combining agriculture with solar power generation takes root. In 2013, the Japanese government relaxed some restrictions on the use of farmland for solar power generation, provided it was also used for agriculture. Now, some farmers grow mushrooms under the solar panels. [Nikkei Asian Review]
- Giant batteries are starting to make a mark on the electricity grid that serves all of New England. Their unique characteristics could supercharge solar and wind energy development in the region. The batteries reduce stress on the power grid, and at the same time they reduce customer bills through a process called “peak shaving.” [WBUR]
- The 52-foot-diameter Cape Sharp Tidal turbine endured the winter and spring on the seabed in the Bay of Fundy, generating electricity. Now it is in port for upgrades. While the 1,100-ton machine looks as if it went through a couple of rounds with a powerful adversary, it did survive. That is an improvement over an earlier model’s performance. [Philly.com]
- When Washington Gas and Light started up in 1848, street lighting was the primary market for natural gas. Then the electric light bulb was invented, and gas eventually beat out coal in other energy sectors. Now low-cost wind and solar are beginning to take the place once occupied by natural gas, and WGL is changing with the times. [Triple Pundit]
- The Australian Energy Market Operator cited climate change, and the potential for fossil fuel generators to fail in summer heat waves as the biggest threat to Australia’s future electricity supply. It makes clear that there are plenty of alternatives to new baseload coal generators, and stresses a need for more wind and solar plants. [RenewEconomy]
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