Energy News: Germany's Solar Power is 10% of Demand; Michigan Oil Spill Larger Than Thought

Solar Power Provided 10% of Germany's Electricity Last Month
Further evidence of the effects of Germany's strong and consistent policy support for solar power, from ClimateProgress:

According to figures released by a German water and energy trade association, distributed solar photovoltaic systems produced 10 percent of Germany's total electricity consumption for the month of May. That's a 40 percent increase over May 2011. On the 25th and 26th of May, Germany was able to meet one third of its peak demand by solar alone.

US Lags Behind Europe, Indonesia in Renewable Energy Production
NRDC has just released a ranking of the world's largest nations' production of renewable energy (absent hydropower), showing mostly how much more has to be done. The report finds that the US produces about 2.7% of its electricity from wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and wave power, putting it into seventh place of the nations surveyed, behind European nations and Indonesia and just slightly ahead of Mexico.

Read the report: Delivering on Renewable Energy Around the World

Renewable Energy Faces Very Difficult Year Ahead
2011 was a record year for renewable energy growth, but as a new piece in National Geographic outlines, there are a number of different factors that could seriously put the brakes on continued rapid renewable energy expansion. In Europe, the debt crisis could constrain current robust renewables support; in the US, shale gas and cheap natural gas more broadly could divert investment; in many developing nations, where the will to develop renewables is strong, financing options aren't so strong. Read more: National Geographic

2010 Michigan Oil Spill Far Larger Than Officially Acknowledged
Remember the 2010 oil pipeline spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan? Remember that is was carrying tar sands oil? Well, Inside Climate News reports that official estimates (20,082 barrels) may well be far too low:

According to Enbridge's 2010 Emergency Response Plan, the oil released before a leak is isolated is supposed to be added to spill estimates. But Kolbuck's first-day estimate of the size of the spill didn't not include this calculation. The emergency plan says it takes the company's leak detection system five minutes to recognize a rupture and an additional three minutes to shut down the valves that can isolate it. A chart shows that in a worst case scenario, line 6B would discharge 33,627 barrels, or about 1.4 million gallons, in eight minutes.

Two years after the spill, oil is still being removed from the Kalamazoo River, with 30 miles still closed to the public.

Energy News: Germany's Solar Power is 10% of Demand; Michigan Oil Spill Larger Than Thought
Plus, the difficult path renewable energy faces after a record year, and, again how far the US lags behind Europe in renewable energy.

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