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  • Weekend Highlights Posted
  • Microgrids in Rural India (Weekend Highlights)
  • Bio Gas Projects in Brazil (Weekend Highlights)
  • World Bank Supports Carbon Pricing (Renewables)
  • ComEd Charts Roadmap for Illinois Energy Future (Utility)
  • China Boosts EV Use with Incentives (Smart Grid)
  • Solar Eclipse came and went; Europe Managed without Major Glitches (Spotlight)
  • President Obama Issues Executive Order on GHG Emissions in Federal Govt and Supply Chain (Spotlight)
  • DOI Issues Fracking Rules for Federal and Tribal Lands (Spotlight)
  • EU Embroiled in Energy Security Debate (Spotlight)
  • Smart Meter Rollout Goes on in UK Despite Concerns (Spotlight)




Publishers Note

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Weekend Highlights: March 27, 2015; Midweek Update: March 25, 2015; Vol.4, No. 12, March 23, 2015


solar eclipse-3-3-23-x1

Last week, solar eclipse came and went, Europe managed without major glitches.

This is the week that was in Smart Energy.

When lights went out in the sky, Europe was concerned about keeping lights on the ground. With proper planning, the whole Continent was able to manage with only minor glitches.

Despite stark predictions of power outages, Europe came out of the latest solar eclipse without any major power issues. European Transmission Operators had prepared for months to deal with pre-eclipse, in-eclipse, and post-eclipse power situations. ENTSO had a major hand in this. Their planning worked out very well. There were no major power issues overall. Currently, 89 GW of solar capacity has been implemented, only a small percentage of total grid power. In U.K., started at 8.40 am and lasted for 2 hours. (Europe’s Solar Farms and the Grid Survive the Solar Eclipse /Spotlight)


European Energy Union/Energy Security: The EU Plan proposes tools for energy while achieving sustainability and energy efficiency. The energy security issue has been pushed to the forefront by recent Russian actions regarding gas supply to Ukraine and Europe.

Negotiations on TTIP are underway. While EU sees the benefits it does not want to be rushed because of other concerns including environmental issues with the U.S.

Many aspects of a prospective TTIP agreement are yet to be settled and as a result there remains much uncertainty about the potential impacts on environmental regulation—the focus of our inquiry, which is accordingly intended to identify the issues which will have to be addressed later this year. The EU's stronger focus on applying the precautionary principle in setting regulations should not be weakened as a result of efforts under TTIP to align regulatory standards. (EC is concerned about TTIP Environmental Risks -Spotlight)

The EU is committed to building an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy on the basis of the Commission's framework strategy, whose five dimensions are closely interrelated and mutually reinforcing (energy security, solidarity and trust; a fully integrated European energy market; energy efficiency contributing to moderation of demand; decarbonizing the economy; and research, innovation and competitiveness). EU leaders have backed a contradictory set of priorities for energy and climate policy contained in the European Commission’s energy union plan. The plan supports the need to cut carbon emissions and recognizes the role of renewable energy, but does not rule out fossil fuels like coal or shale gas in the context of energy security.(European Council Focuses on Energy Security-Spotlight)

A suitable period is needed for tariff reductions for those products, which are energy-intensive, such as refining, fertilizer, steel, petrochemicals and others, said an EU Directive. (EU Needs More Time for TTIP Negotiations- Utility/Feature)

According to the analysis by the Coalition for Energy Savings, national action plans towards reaching the minimum level of energy savings required by the Energy Efficiency Directive continue to lack credibility. Since the Coalition released a similar study last year, Member States had opportunities to update their plans but few improvements were made. (EU Member States Lack Enthusiasm to Implement Energy Efficiency -Utility/Feature)

The European Parliament will continue to put pressure on the EU to be more ambitious with regard to its own targets, including in relation to energy efficiency. In addition, the Parliament will continue to push for climate diplomacy, We have to do more to diversify our oil and gas suppliers and act united when dealing with third parties, said Parliament President. (EU Needs to Step up Action on Energy Union- Utility/Feature)

A Senate Committee looked at the Future of the Modern Grid. Many witnesses testified on what the Grid will need to look like to accommodate Distributed Generation, Storage, Renewables, and a variety of other services it has to support.

Industry says renewables will be a major player in the modern grid

Advances in technologies, including smart grid and storage, must be carefully integrated as the grid is modernized in order to maintain reliability and avoid unintended consequences, Murkowski, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said at Tuesday’s oversight hearing.  (Electric Reliability Enhancement for the Modernized Grid-Spotlight)


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