If it’s not Sustainable, its Condition is Terminal.

May 3, 2016

16,562 links to articles in 1432 regular daily posts 

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report, a distressingly dull digest of information from the NRC, posted most weekdays and Saturdays, most recently on May 3. Latest information is that out of 100 US reactors listed by the NRC, 3 were at reduced output and 15 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week: 4/28/2016 – Talking about energy and climate change, we start with suspension of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, bankruptcy for SunEdison, and an inability of EDF to decide to build the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the UK. Carbon Emissions are declining, but the oil industry may have overstated the amount of oil stock remaining by half. And there is more.

geoharvey is one of George Harvey’s Blogs.

May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2016

Opinion and Action:

¶ “Largest Civil Disobedience in History of the Environmental Movement Begins Today” • Starting today, a global wave of peaceful direct actions lasting for 12 days will take place across six continents targeting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, under the banner of Break Free. [EcoWatch]

World:

¶ While Tesla may have the lock on electric vehicles for personal use, BYD has its sights set on the commercial side of things. BYD is bringing a full array of electric trucks to market which are aimed directly at one of the key sources of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution in our cities – diesel trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In the UK, farmers and landowners built 209 new projects in 2015 with a combined capacity of 56 MW, providing valuable new revenue streams, often on low-quality land. Together they account for 28% of all independent renewable projects and 5% of the market by capacity. [FarmingUK]

Farmers and Landowners built 209 new projects in 2015.

Farmers and Landowners built 209 new projects in 2015.

¶ The UK wing of Danish-based energy supplier DONG Energy has announced offerings to UK businesses of renewable electricity at no additional premium to ‘brown energy’ sources. DONG Energy is already the leading developer and operator of offshore wind in the UK. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Kent’s independent renewable energy producers generate enough power to put pressure on the UK’s Big 6 energy companies to lower their prices, according to a new study. Kent has seen £70 million invested in 108 projects, for 351 MW of capacity, enough to power 179,000 homes last year. [Kent Online]

A green cottage in the UK. Photo by martin dawes. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

A green cottage in the UK. Photo by martin dawes. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ According to new information from IHS Inc of Englewood, Colorado, Europe recently reached an important solar energy milestone, installing 100 GW of grid-connected PV power. PV is one of the most competitive forms of energy generation in Europe today. [solarserver.com]

¶ Scottish wind power jumped 15% in April 2016 from April 2015, putting nearly 700,000 MWh onto the national grid. Figures highlighted by WWF Scotland showed that the country’s turbines generated enough to meet, on average, the electrical needs of 79% of Scottish households. [reNews]

The Farr wind farm in Scotland (Siemens photo)

The Farr wind farm in Scotland (Siemens photo)

¶ US solar investment and consulting firm GSSG Solar LLC has started construction of a 46.8-MW solar farm in Japan, to be completed by the end of 2017. GSSG Solar has assessed over 2.5 GW of potential projects in Japan, and has 170 MW under development. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ The Stone Edge Farm and winery in Sonoma, California has a 32 kW solar array, 14 of Aquion’s 25 kWh M-Line battery modules, and an Ideal Power 30 kW multi-port power conversion system. The solar PV array provides electricity to the primary residence, workshops, and offices. [CleanTechnica]

Stone Edge Farm photo

Stone Edge Farm photo

¶ Solar power in Minnesota is shining brightly. The state is poised to climb into the top 10 states for annual solar installations from its 25th rank in 2015, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which expects the state’s solar capacity to increase by more than 500 MW in 2016. [Osakis Review]

¶ The city of San Diego has enacted an initiative that will have it running on 100% renewable energy by 2035. According to the Climate Action Plan, not only will the city rely completely on renewable energy but it also hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 50% by 2035. [Digital Trends]

A solar-powered electric vehicle charging station. Photo by Joshua Rainey / 123RF

A solar-powered electric vehicle charging station in San Diego. Photo by Joshua Rainey / 123RF

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to start a nuclear chain reaction in its newest reactor this month as it moves toward adding the first new atomic unit to the US power grid in two decades by this summer. The Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant has a capacity of 1,411 MW. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]


May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse, the zero-fuel airplane, has flown the first leg across the continental US in its attempt to fly around the world. It left Mountain View, California, at dawn on Monday and landed 16 hours later in Goodyear, Arizona. It was the 10th leg of its round the world quest. [BBC]

A pre-dawn take-off for Solar Impulse from Moffett Airfield. Solar Impulse photo.

A pre-dawn take-off for Solar Impulse from Moffett Airfield.
Solar Impulse photo.

World:

¶ Manitoba Hydro is now helping customers go solar. The crown corporation announced the details of the new Power Smart Solar Energy PV Program. The plan allows goodies for businesses and home owners to go solar, while selling surplus solar energy back to Manitoba Hydro. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S has fully installed 31 turbines at the 310-MW Lake Turkana wind farm in Kenya. The Lake Turkana Wind Power project will use total of 365 pieces of V52-850 kW turbines, capable of generating over 1,400 GWh together. [SeeNews Renewables]

Lake Turkana wind system. Vestas photo.

Lake Turkana wind system. Vestas photo.

¶ An international consortium recently announced that it started building a 2-GW solar project in Egypt. The project is expected to require a total investment of $3.5 billion. The consortium includes Terra Sola Ventures, Terra Nex, RWE New Energy, and Hareon Solar Technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Mexico and Costa Rica aim to increase their capacities of geothermal power to help meet the challenges they face of curbing planet-warming emissions and making their energy supplies secure. Geothermal makes up only 5% of installed power capacity in Central America. [Reuters UK]

¶ Nestlé Waters, the world’s largest bottled water company, has today announced its UK operations are now powered by 100% renewable electricity. The firm, which produces San Pellegrino and other brands of water, said electricity for its Buxton factory is now entirely from renewable sources. [Business Green]

Nestlé Waters factory Buxton

Nestlé Waters factory Buxton

¶ Two Indian states have commissioned canal-top solar power projects, according to reports. Two projects with a total installed capacity of 5 MW were commissioned by the Punjab government. Andhra Pradesh commissioned a 400-kW project supplying power to five villages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Perhaps unsurprisingly, Denmark boasts the highest wind-produced electricity consumption in the world. And they announced last month another increase, with 42% of their total electricity use coming from wind turbines in 2015. That’s a highly significant rise of 3% from 2014. [The News Hub]

US:

¶ Oklahoma is the latest state to get into the game on community solar. Tri-County Electric Co-op, headquartered in Hooker, dedicated the first community solar project in the state on April 26. TCEC members pay a one-time subscription fee of $340 per share to buy into the project. [Electric Co-op Today]

Wind turbines in Oklahoma. Photo by the US Geological Survey. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbines in Oklahoma. Photo by the US Geological Survey. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Leadership from Georgia Power and the Navy, community leaders, and others gathered at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany to mark the start of construction at a 31-MW AC solar facility. It is Georgia Power’s fifth large-scale solar project on military bases. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

¶ Solar power in New Hampshire cleared a major hurdle Monday after Governor Maggie Hassan signed a bill into law that doubles the state cap for net metering from 50 MW to 100 MW. Net metering is an incentive that lets people sell their excess solar energy back into the grid. [Concord Monitor]

¶ Lawmakers in Massachusetts are drafting a bill that would jump-start the offshore wind industry. The energy bill is expected to require utilities to purchase power from offshore wind farms, according to Representative Thomas Golden, a Democrat, whose party controls the legislature. [Bloomberg]

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

¶ Solar energy is still a small part of Wisconsin’s overall energy mix, but it’s the fastest-growing component. The Solar Energy Industries Association reports Wisconsin ranks 30th overall among the 50 states in installed solar capacity, but investment in solar rose about 70% last year. [Kenosha News]

¶ Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Richard Shelby, and others are urging the Tennessee Valley Authority to sell its unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant. More than four decades of work hasn’t produced a watt of electricity. At least one potential buyer has been identified. [FederalNewsRadio.com]


May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is Changing Auto History” • In its first week alone, the Tesla had amassed, “about $14 billion in implied future sales, making this the single biggest one-week launch of any product ever.” And it’s growing. Last week, Tesla had almost 400,000 orders for the Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Stuck in Time – Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant to remain a threat for 3,000 years” • It is 30 years since Chernobyl came to mean more than just a little village in rural Ukraine. Now, 25 years after the country that built it ceased to exist, the full damage of that day is still argued. [The Keene Sentinel]

World:

¶ The price per barrel of global benchmark Brent Crude ended April just above $47. Since dipping briefly below $30 in January, it has risen by nearly two-thirds. That sounds a lot. And it is. But it’s worth remembering that the price is still down by 30% on this time last year, and 60% on June 2014. [BBC News]

Offshore oil. Nexen image.

Offshore oil. Nexen image.

¶ Palestinians will take a step toward greater power independence by announcing terms of a solar-energy auction intended to boost installed capacity by as much as 100 MW. The Palestinian Energy Authority said it plans to auction permits to build 10 solar plants generating 10 MW each. [gulfnews.com]

¶ The leading off-grid home solar energy system provider in Uganda, Fenix International, has now signed 60,000 leases for its ReadyPay Power offering (since January 2014), according to a new press release. An estimated 300,000 Ugandans now have reliable electricity for the first time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Danish marine energy developer Floating Power Plant teamed up with engineering outfit Ocean Power & Energy Services with a development agreement. FPP has been grid testing its combined wind and wave power solution off Denmark for a number of years and has three possibilities for sites. [reNews]

FPP wind and wave concept (FPP image)

FPP wind and wave concept (FPP image)

¶ Canadian company CMX Renewable Energy Inc has sought a license to build a 150-MW solar plant in the central Vietnamese province of Ninh Thuan at an estimated cost of $150 million, news website Dau Tu reported. Around 1% of the plant’s output would be provided free to locals. [Thanh Nien Daily]

¶ Spain’s power sector, which has been shaken financially in recent years owing to plunging power demand, posted its first electricity tariff surplus in 14 years at the end of 2015. The National Markets and Competition Commission said there was a 7% decrease from a year earlier. [POWER magazine]

Solar array in Spain. Photo by Certo Xornal. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons. 

Solar array in Spain. Photo by Certo Xornal. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Dubai’s tender for the right to build the 800-MW phase III of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar complex has attracted a bid of just $29.90 (€26) per MWh. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is now evaluating a total of five bids. The winner is to be announced in June. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ Growth in wind-power production slowed in 2015 to slightly over 5%, according to a DOE report. This was because of lower wind speeds in key regions, particularly in western states. Some states such as Colorado that put more turbines onto the grid held steady outputs. [Public News Service]

Wind farm in Colorado. (Makunin/Pixabay)

Wind farm in Colorado. (Makunin/Pixabay)

¶ After almost 12 years of political gridlock and stiff opposition from competitors, San Francisco’s green energy program, CleanPowerSF, began operating on Sunday. CleanPowerSF is now able to deliver electricity to more than 7,800 residences and businesses. [San Francisco Chronicle]


May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Running around the clock for two weeks, ACWA Power’s 50-MW Bokpoort project is an example of Concentrated Solar Power, the solar that can be called on day or night. Because when it has integrated thermal energy storage in molten salts, it is dispatchable solar. [CleanTechnica]

Image Credit: ACWA Power

Image Credit: ACWA Power

World:

¶ India will achieve the target of 10,500 MW new solar power capacity in the current fiscal, the New and Renewable Energy Minister said. He said, “The way things are progressing in solar energy sector, we will definitely achieve our target. Solar energy is economically viable.” [IndUS Business Journal]

¶ New plans from the ECOWAS Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency will see a “clean energy corridor” with 2 GW of combined capacity in West Africa. The corridor will feature numerous 10 to 15 MW solar PV systems, together with wind and hydro plants. [CleanTechnica]

Image by SEWA (some rights reserved)

West Africa. Image by SEWA (some rights reserved)

¶ Venezuelans lost half an hour of sleep on Sunday when their clocks moved forward to save power, as the country grapples with a deep economic crisis. The time change was ordered by President Nicolas Maduro as part of a package of measures to cope with a severe electricity shortage. [BBC]

¶ Global wind power installations are estimated to more than double in the next five years according to a new study, which also spotlights the record global wind growth in 2015, led by China and Germany. Prices continue to decrease and renewable energy is a priority for many countries. [The Climate Group]

Offshore wind

Offshore wind

¶ Belgium’s High Health Council decided to expand the radius of iodine pill distribution around the country’s nuclear sites from 20 km (12 miles) to 100 km (62 miles), focusing on people who are most susceptible to radiation illness, such as children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. [wtvr.com]

US:

¶ The Michigan utility company Consumers Energy recently finished shutting down 7 regional coal-fired power plants, and is beginning operations at a new community solar energy project in the area. The new 3-MW solar energy project is on a 17-acre site at Grand Valley State University. [CleanTechnica]

Image by Consumers Energy (some rights reserved)

Image by Consumers Energy (some rights reserved)

¶ Greentech Media notes that an average gross cost of a solar energy system in Texas is the lowest in the country, down to $3.21 per watt, while the national average cost is $3.69 per watt. This is based on data in EnergySage’s Second Solar Marketplace Intel Report. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Republican and Democratic presidential contests have been unusually competitive, with strong challengers and less dominant front-runners than years past. The presidential hopefuls all have made statements on coal. Some have put forward detailed policies. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ A Post and Courier analysis shows that South Carolina utility Santee Cooper has effectively deprived its more than 170,000 direct customers of the energy savings and environmental benefits that the state’s new renewable energy law made available to residents. [Charleston Post Courier]


April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Unencumbered by red tape, venture-backed fusion may be faster and cheaper than government-sponsored projects, and some very influential people agree. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel are all backing firms in fusion development. [BBC]

The plasma inside a tokamak reactor must be confined...but that's the hard part (Credit: SPL)

The plasma inside a tokamak reactor must be
confined … but that’s the hard part (Credit: SPL)

World:

¶ A new UK Public Attitudes Tracking Survey found that 81% of people polled support renewable energy. Support for individual technologies remained high. Total support for solar sat at 84%; Wave and Tidal at 77%; Offshore wind 76%; 69% for onshore wind; and 63% for biomass. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Peru’s Ministry of Energy said on Wednesday the country’s wind and solar energy output in March 2016 increased 79% year-on-year to 96 GWh. The huge difference can be attributed to the 97-MW CE Tres Hermanas wind park that began commercial operation that March. [SeeNews Renewables]

Renewable power. Author: Gerry Machen. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Renewable power. Author: Gerry Machen.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

¶ A global network of over 270 institutional investors, representing assets of over €20 trillion, warned global utilities of the threat of climate change. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change released a report this week as a guide to help move boards of utility companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently reported that the country added 6,937 MW of grid-connected renewable energy capacity during FY 2015–16. The target for the year was 4,460 MW. Additionally, 176 MW of distributed renewable energy capacity was added. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ A 36-inch natural gas pipeline 30 miles east of Pittsburgh exploded. One man got burns as he ran for his life. Towering trees were reduced to blackened poles and siding melted off buildings. A quarter-mile evacuation zone was established. The cause is unknown. [Staunton News Leader]

A burned out house after a natural gas explosion in Salem Township, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A burned out house after a natural gas explosion in Salem Township, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

¶ At present, 47% of conservative Republicans now believe climate change is happening. That’s according to a national survey released this week by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. [CNN]

¶ ExxonMobil reported a 63% slide in first quarter profits following low crude oil prices and weak refining margins. It reported a profit of $1.8 billion, a sharp decline from $4.94 billion for the same period last year and its lowest quarterly profit since 1999. Rival Chevron suffered losses. [BBC]

Reuters photo

Reuters photo

¶ The US wind industry added 520 MW in the first quarter of 2016, its most productive first quarter since 2012, with another 2 GW in construction. This brings the country’s total capacity in construction to 10,100 MW, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Vermont Supreme Court on Friday sided with developers of a major solar power project in Rutland Town against the wishes of the town and its neighbors. The five-member court split three ways before ruling 3-2 in support of allowing construction of the project. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

¶ If Nebraska switches from coal to wind energy, it would save the state almost two billion gallons of water a year, according to the Center for Rural Affairs. Nebraska currently ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy potential and 13th for solar power potential, but relies heavily on coal. [HPPR]

Wind power plants. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

Wind power plants. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Missouri-based Associated Electric Cooperative Inc has issued a request for proposals for 50 MW to 300 MW of renewable energy from wind power. AECI is a wholesale power supplier to six regional generation and transmission cooperatives in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. [North American Windpower]

¶ With Exelon’s Clinton nuclear power plant again in jeopardy of closing, Illinois state legislators and local officials are renewing their effort to pass legislation to save the plant that is DeWitt County’s largest employer. The plant has lost $453 million over the last six years. [Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette]

¶ A national campaign by the nuclear industry to stabilize profits in a volatile energy market scored a victory Friday night with the unanimous passage of bipartisan legislation changing the rules for procuring electricity in Connecticut, a state heavily reliant on nuclear power. [The CT Mirror]


April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “The Untold Grassroots History of Iowa’s Clean Energy Transformation” • In 2006, 75% of Iowa’s electricity already came from coal and more coal was planned. Now, Iowa-based utility MidAmerican says it will be 85% wind power by 2020, without raising electricity rates. [Huffington Post]

Winter Windmills in Iowa. Photo by Tony Webster. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Winter Windmills in Iowa. Photo by Tony Webster.
CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ “Do Voters In States Suing Over CPP Actually Oppose The
Plan?” • According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, polling found widespread support for the Clean Power Plan and attorneys general that filed the legal challenge are out of step with their constituents. [North American Windpower]

World:

¶ Next Kraftwerke, a German virtual power plant operator, aggregates small producers and sells their output in lucrative “balancing” markets. The firm stands to place more than 10 TWh on power exchanges this year, up from 9 TWh in 2015 and 5.3 TWh in 2014. [Business Recorder]

A small power producer in Germany. Photo by Molgreen. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

A small power producer in Germany. Photo by Molgreen.
CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ London-based Powervault bills itself as manufacturing the UK’s “first fully-integrated solar energy storage system for the home.” The start-up, which was launched back in 2012, announced on Wednesday the introduction of its new range of smart home energy storage products. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Australian Capital Territory government, which had a 90% renewable energy target by 2020, said it will in fact get 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by that date. ACT’s climate change minister said the switch to 100% renewables is achievable and affordable. [RenewEconomy]

Canberra Lake George wind farm

Canberra Lake George wind farm

¶ Gamesa announced on its website that it had received a new order for the supply of 65 of its G114-2.1 MW turbines to the Babilonia wind complex being developed in the Brazilian town of Morro do Chapéu, in Bahia state. Operation is expected to start in the second half of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Thermal energy management solutions company Viking Cold Storage announced the launch of Solar Energy Storage at Hannover Messe trade fair. The system can reduce peak demand for electricity by up to 90%, saving customers money and helping to balance the grid. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ A home energy storage partnership deal has been inked between California-based Verengo Solar and battery provider Swell Energy. The deal is intended to establish a(nother) one-stop home energy storage and backup power solution for the residential market. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panel installation. Image via Shutterstock

Solar panel installation. Image via Shutterstock

¶ A community solar project in Halfmoon, New York will allow more than 100 local residents to participate in generating solar energy, even if they can’t have their own private PV systems. The PV installation for the shared solar project in Halfmoon, NY will generate 741,230 kWh annually. [pv magazine]

¶ Duke Energy, the utility ranking third in the US for adding new solar projects for its customers, has increased its renewable energy target by 33% in light of recent growth and successes in the sector. The North Carolina-based firm will seek to reach 8 GW of installed clean power by 2030. [pv magazine]

Duke Energy

Duke Energy

¶ Renewable energy advocates and business interests launched a new campaign focused on steering the statewide energy debate toward renewable energy opportunities in the face of weakening demand for Montana coal. Called “Charge,” the campaign’s slogan is “A Boom That Won’t Bust.” [Montana Standard]

¶ The developer of the 468-MW Cape Wind project off Nantucket has gone to the Supreme Judicial Court in a bid to keep key transmission line approvals. The developer is appealing a Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board rejection of its application for permit extensions. [SeeNews Renewables]

Nantucket Sound image by Ernest McGray, Jr. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Nantucket Sound image by Ernest McGray, Jr. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

¶ Since the Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan, states have operated under uncertainty and have taken different approaches the rule. Here is a timeline of the events to date, a summary of the different legal arguments, and a brief overview of different state approaches on the CPP. [JD Supra]

¶ Consumption of steam coal for electricity generation in the US fell 29% from its peak of 1,045 million short tons (MMst) in 2007 to an estimated 739 MMst in 2015. Consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Power Plant Operations Report Form EIA-923

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Power Plant Operations Report Form EIA-923

¶ Federal regulators have approved a key permit for construction of a new nuclear reactor in New Jersey, at Artificial Island along the Delaware River in Lower Alloways Creek Township. It is not the final permit, however. Many federal, state and local approvals are still needed. [NJ.com]


April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2016

World:

¶ Australian credit finance group FlexiGroup has made a landmark issue of green Asset Backed Securities, a type of bond, raising $50 million to refinance residential rooftop solar systems in Australia. The issue brings rooftop solar into the mainstream bond market in Australia for the first time. [RenewEconomy]

Rooftop solar systems

Rooftop solar systems

¶ The end of the internal combustion engine may be in sight. The Austrian Ministry of Agriculture and Environment is working on a study that would mean an end to conventional cars sales by 2020. India, Norway, and the Netherlands have plans to end sales by 2025. [Renewables International]

¶ Global solar installations are expected to reach 66.7 GW in 2016, thanks to strong growth in China, the US, Japan, and India, according to Mercom. According to the Solar Market Update, China, the United States, Japan, and India will make up the year’s top four solar markets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ ITM Power will provide a 1.5-MW electrolyzer for the BIG HIT (Building Innovative Green Hydrogen systems in an Isolated Territory) on Orkney Islands, Scotland. A €5-million grant for the project came from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. [SeeNews Renewables]

Source: ITM Power (http://www.itm-power.com). License: All Rights Reserved.

Source: ITM Power License: All Rights Reserved.

¶ Laos aims to use Monsoon Wind Power, ASEAN’s largest wind farm, as an exemplary prototype. At 600-MW capacity, it will be the largest wind farm in ASEAN. The site covers two districts in southern Laos, Dak Cheung in Sekong province and Sanxay in Attapeu province. [The Nation]

¶ The International Solar Alliance has reiterated its desire to mobilize $1 trillion in investments to improve solar assets. Launched by India and France at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the International Solar Alliance is made up of governments from 25 countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Siemens has received an order for the supply, installation and commissioning of 60 direct-drive offshore wind turbines, each with a capacity of 6 MW. The Arkona offshore wind farm is set to be in service by 2019 with a capacity sufficient to supply up to 400,000 German households. [Renewable Energy Focus]

Offshore wind farm. Photo by El Pollock. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind farm. Photo by El Pollock. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A change in the electric power matrix will allow Cuba to increase its own energy production from 4% to 24 % of the total by 2030, said an expert from the Cuban Energy and Mining Ministry on Wednesday. Cuba should have capacity to generate 7,245 GW in the year 2030. [Prensa Latina]

¶ Siemens has received an order for 714 MW worth of wind turbines for the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm. The order is for 102 of its 7 MW turbines, each with a rotor diameter of 154 meters, for the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm being developed off the British east coast. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its monthly Energy Infrastructure Update yesterday, April 27. In the first quarter of this year, 98.6% of all new electric capacity additions in the US have been renewable. This does not include small solar power additions. [Green Energy Times]

Wind turbine in Hull, Massachusetts. Photo by Fish Cop, placed in the public domain by the author. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbine in Hull, Massachusetts. Photo by Fish Cop, placed in the public domain by the author. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Mississippi Power, Silicon Ranch Corporation, local officials from Hattiesburg and Forrest County, and the Area Development Partnership, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the state’s largest solar farm. The 50-MW facility will supply power for about 6,500 homes. [Consumer Electronics Net]

¶ With solar power to equal the output of the Seabrook nuclear plant, along with sufficient efficiency programs and demand response, New England should have more than enough electricity resources to meet demand this summer, even during a heat wave, according to ISO New England. [Concord Monitor]

Rooftop solar panels are an increasingly large part of New England's power grid. Associated Press

Rooftop solar panels are an increasingly large part of New England’s power grid. Associated Press

¶ Maine’s Governor Paul LePage vetoed a landmark solar energy bill Wednesday, after failed attempts by Democratic leadership to reach a compromise during extensive negotiations. Solar advocates now plan to press lawmakers to override the veto when they reconvene Friday. [Press Herald]

¶ The Vermont House gave unanimous approval to S230, a bill that aims to give towns a say over where renewable energy projects are sited. While some Vermonters hoped the Legislature would let towns make siting decisions, the bill involves local, regional and state planners. [Vermont Biz]

Two windmills stand above a farm in Sheldon. VBM photo.

Two windmills stand above a farm in Sheldon. VBM photo.

¶ Utilities are laying out cash to influence politicians. Ten spent more than $250 million total on political expenditures over a five-year period beginning in 2011, according to a report from the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute and the Sustainable Investments Institute. [Greentech Media]


April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Coal for water: crisis incoming”• The world’s rapidly dwindling freshwater resources could be further depleted if plans for hundreds of new coal power plants worldwide go ahead, threatening severe drought and competition, according to a new Greenpeace International report. [The Phuket News]

The Great Water Grab: How the coal industry is deepening the global water crisis.

The Great Water Grab: How the coal industry
is deepening the global water crisis.

¶ “Mikhail Gorbachev: 30 years after Chernobyl, time to phase out nuclear power” • At 85, committed environmentalist Mikhail Gorbachev still campaigns to bring the failed nuclear experiment to an end, while encouraging a clean, efficient and renewable global energy economy. [The Ecologist]

¶ “Digitalization: Where are the German digital utilities?” • In Germany, a lot has been written about two energy megatrends of our time, liberalization of energy markets and decentralization of the energy landscape. What we think has been neglected is a third megatrend: digitalization. [EurActiv]

Biogas unit in Next Kraftwerke's Power Plant. (Next Kraftwerke)

Biogas unit in Next Kraftwerke’s Power Plant. (Next Kraftwerke)

World:

¶ IKEA UK unveiled Solar Shops, its in-store offering to sell residential solar installations, partnering with Solarcentury. IKEA also released the results of its own survey which showed 33% of all UK homeowners would like to invest in solar panels, largely to cut their electricity bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Venezuela’s government has imposed a two-day working week for public sector workers as a temporary measure to help it overcome a serious energy crisis. Venezuela is in the middle of a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam. [BBC]

Electricity Minister Luis Motta looks at the massive Guri Dam, virtually dry because of the drought. Reuters photo.

Electricity Minister Luis Motta looks at the massive Guri Dam, virtually dry because of the drought. Reuters photo.

¶ Leclanché has secured a $28.9 million order for a 53 MWh battery system to be installed in Ontario. The company was founded in 1909, and began making energy storage modules for renewables in 2011. In 1987, it produced lead-acid batteries. Today, it focuses on lithium batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ For the upcoming Australian election, Labor is proposing two emissions trading schemes, one for big industrial polluters and one other consumers, in a climate policy that trumps the Coalition’s ambition but minimizes the hit on household power bills. Details are yet to be determined. [The Guardian]

The 9KW capacity solar system on Montague island.  Photo by Binarysequence. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

The 9KW capacity solar system on Montague island.  Photo by Binarysequence. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ According to China’s National Energy Administration, the first quarter of 2016 saw the country’s solar industry add 7.14 GW in capacity, bringing its total solar capacity to 50.3 GW. China’s solar capacity includes 43.29 GW of ground-mounted solar PVs, and 7.03 GW of distributed solar PVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Central banks might accomplish what anti-nuclear activists have not, forcing operators to decommission almost 150 nuclear plants now sitting in limbo across the globe. In the past, many operators waited to allow growth in the cleanup funds. But the funds have been shrinking. [Taipei Times]

¶ Employment opportunities in Australia’s energy industry have collapsed in recent years. But while oil and coal jobs continue to decline, data from Indeed, the world’s largest jobs site, suggests solar is staging a massive comeback. Solar jobs are up 34% in the last quarter. [Business Insider Australia]

The transition from carbon-based job openings to solar is a global trend.

The transition from carbon-based job openings
to solar is a global trend.

¶ Hokuriku Electric Power Co may be forced to decommission a reactor at its Shika nuclear power plant because a geological fault line beneath the building was assessed as active. A panel of five experts on active faults issued its report to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on April 27. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ When a sudden change in state policy seemed to block the solar ambitions of Minster, Ohio, the village wasn’t put off. Instead, it decided to look into battery storage. A 7-MW battery will allow the village to defer transmission and distribution costs, improve power quality, and shave peak demand. [CleanTechnica]

Minster, Ohio. USDA via Flickr (CC BY 2.0 license)

Minster, Ohio. USDA via Flickr (CC BY 2.0 license)

¶ The Senate passed a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that restores funding for wind energy research and development to $95.4 million, the same level as in FY16. The initial draft contained a $15.4 million cut. [KTVZ]

¶ An effort to bring renewable energy to Western Alaska has been recognized by the federal government. The Ocean Renewable Power Company was named the 2016 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters for its ability to bring hydropower to the Bristol Bay village of Igiugig. [KTOO]

The power system on station in Kvichak River. (Photo courtesy of ORPC)

The power system on station in Kvichak River.
(Photo courtesy of ORPC)

¶ Some of the sunniest states in the country maintain policies that block rooftop-solar development, a report from the Center for Biological Diversity says. Ten states have over 35% of the potential in the contiguous United States, but less than 3% of the installed capacity. [Center for Biological Diversity]


April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ In wave power systems, the challenge has been to design a machine that can withstand the brutal power of the ocean, and to find a gap in the market in the face of plummeting costs of other renewables. Carnegie may have found the answer with its CETO wave energy projects. [Power Technology]

Carnegie's CETO wave energy

Carnegie’s CETO wave energy

¶ Hydrogen fuel is a tremendous alternative to fossil fuels when it comes to powering both consumer and commercial applications. You may have read about them: cars, forklifts, refrigerated trucks, aircrafts, and now even personal electronics such as laptops and cell phones. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶ Ukraine is holding commemorations to mark the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. The UN-backed Chernobyl Forum estimated up to 9,000 people could eventually die from radiation exposure, although Greenpeace claims the figure could be as high as 93,000. [BBC]

Candles were lit at a ceremony in Slavutych, a town built to re-house workers who lived near the nuclear plant.

Candles were lit at a ceremony in Slavutych, a town built
to re-house workers who lived near the nuclear plant.

¶ The Saudi cabinet approved sweeping economic reforms to move the country away from its dependence on oil profits. Just over 70% of revenues came from oil last year, but falling prices hurt. Part of the plan is to sell shares in state-owned oil giant Aramco to create a sovereign wealth fund. [BBC]

¶ Mitsubishi Motors Corp, which acknowledged last week that it had intentionally lied about fuel economy data for some of its models, said an internal investigation found such tampering dated back to 1991. President Tetsuro Aikawa told reporters the probe was still ongoing. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ Germany already leads Europe’s nascent power-to-gas industry and insiders are expecting policies that will give it further support. Energy storage insiders expect German policymakers to reward power-to-gas (P2G) adoption as a logical next step to the country’s leadership in the field. [Solarplaza]

P2G System. Audi image

P2G System. Audi image

¶ Mumbai bus transportation authority BEST has announced plans to convert all CNG and diesel-powered buses into electric buses. Due to increasing population pressure and lack of space to expand city infrastructure, promoting public transport is the only option for many Indian cities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia plans to generate 9.5 GW of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, it said on Monday as it approved its Vision 2030 reform plan. The plan, a package of economic and social policies is designed to free the kingdom from dependence on oil exports. [Al-Arabiya]

¶ A South African solar power plant set a new African record for continuous supply of electricity. During its first month of commercial operation, the 50-MW Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power plant produced electricity for a continuous period of 161 hours, over six days. [Gulf Digital News]

The Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power plant.

The Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power plant.

¶ The French President has promised to begin the shutdown of the aging Fessenheim nuclear power plant, because of environmental and safety concerns. Fessenheim, near the German and Swiss borders, houses two 920-MW reactors and has been running since 1978. [RT]

¶ EDF has again pushed back the date for making a decision on the 3,200-MW Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project. The decision at this point will not be made earlier than September, according to French media reports. [Nuclear Street – Nuclear Power Plant News, Jobs, and Careers]

US:

¶ RES Distributed, which develops and operates wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects, announced an agreement with Pedernales Electric Cooperative to develop, construct, and manage a 15-MW distributed portfolio of PV projects in Texas Hill Country. [Your Renewable News]

The Applied Materials 24.8-kW solar array in Austin, Texas. Photo by Larry D Moore. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Applied Materials 24.8-kW solar array in Austin, Texas. Photo by Larry D Moore. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Massachusetts officials have approved over $1 million in funding to support upgrades to hydroelectric facilities in Orange, Ware, and West Springfield in a bid to increase the state’s clean energy generation by around 1.2 million kWh per year. [International Water Power and Dam Construction]

¶ Construction is set to begin on the 180-MW Bloom Wind Farm in Ford County, Kansas, about 20 miles south of Dodge City. It will consist of 42 turbines with blade sweeps of 492 feet. Overall the farm will sit on 15,000 acres of privately-owned land. [Dodge City Daily Globe]

¶ Ecoplexus Inc, a developer of solar PV systems, announced it has commissioned six solar PV projects, totaling 54 MW in North Carolina. The six projects, reaching $79 million in project value, represent the completion of Ecoplexus’ second and third portfolios in the state. [pv magazine]


April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear power’s economic meltdown 30 years after Chernobyl” The catastrophe at Chernobyl seemed to confirm the worst expectations of the environmental movement. Thirty years later, the nuclear industry is facing a meltdown of a different kind: an economic meltdown. [swissinfo.ch]

Science and Technology:

¶ An extensive new scientific analysis published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy & Environment says that proved conventional oil reserves as detailed in industry sources are likely “overstated” by half. The author is a former chief economist at Royal Dutch/Shell Group. [Middle East Eye]

World:

¶ A survey found communities across New South Wales support wind farms. Of the 2000 people surveyed in a study commissioned by the State Government, 81% said they supported wind farms in the state and 91% supported the use of renewables to generate electricity. [Clarence Valley Daily Examiner]

The Acciona wind farm near Gunning, New South Wales.

The Acciona wind farm near Gunning, New South Wales.

¶ Italian investors have signed a pact to install 1,000 MW of solar power capacity in Iran’s Qazvin province at a total cost of $1.5 billion (€1.3 billion). The memorandum of understanding outlines a plan to build 100 solar parks of 10 MW each over a period of 10 years. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Minerals Council of Australia launched a pro-uranium social media campaign on Wednesday. By that afternoon the twitter hashtag #untappedpotential was trending but ‒ as an AAP piece picked up by SBS and others noted ‒ contributors were overwhelmingly critical. [SBS]

A view of the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant 180 km from Minsk, Belarus, 2016. (AAP-EPA / Tatyana Zenkovich

A view of the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant 180 km from Minsk, Belarus, 2016. (AAP-EPA / Tatyana Zenkovich

¶ Indian utility Tata Power has decided to increase the share of its renewable energy output to 30-40% by 2025, up from its earlier target of 20%, a top company official has said. Currently, the private sector utility has an operational capacity of 9,156 MW, of which 14.7% is renewable. [Business Standard]

¶ The Turks and Caicos Islands has one of the highest reported greenhouse gas emissions in the Caribbean due to its reliance on fossil fuels. Almost all of its abundant renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind power, remain untapped, leaving it dependent on oil. [Turks and Caicos Weekly News]

¶ India’s Union power ministry estimates India’s electricity demand in the 2017-22 period to be 20% less than what was originally estimated, thanks to new energy efficiency targets and power-saving devices. Estimates demand in 2022 have been reduced from 298 GW to 239 GW. [Livemint]

Indian transmission lines. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Indian transmission lines. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

¶ Shares in French energy giant EDF plunged more than 5% Monday after the state said it would lead a €4-billion capital increase as the company tries to tackle a huge debt pile. The power company’s debt woes weigh on its €23-billion ($26 billion) nuclear project at Hinkley Point. [Bangkok Post]

US:

¶ New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that the amount of solar power installed across the city has tripled since the beginning of 2014. Now, he has launched Solarize NYC, a new citywide program designed to further increase access to solar through community group purchasing campaigns over the next nine years. [Solar Industry]

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

¶ Wells Fargo has announced an integrated strategy to address global social, economic and environmental challenges. The company made new commitments in home and small business lending, community investment, operational efficiency, and corporate philanthropy through 2020. [Justmeans]


April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Operating entirely on solar power and batteries in a flight from Hawaii, Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Mountain View, California, on April 23, just before midnight. The plane had taken off on April 21, resuming a journey that had stalled on the island of Oahu for almost 10 months. [CNN]

Solar Impulse 2 flew holding patterns for some hours above San Francisco before landing.

Solar Impulse 2 flew holding patterns for some hours
above San Francisco before landing.

¶ Li-ion batteries are on the verge of surpassing lead-acid batteries in terms of lifecycle costs. They already surpass them in all performance metrics, and cost trends strongly suggest that, even on an energy basis, Li-ion will reach cost parity with lead-acid in fewer than 5 years. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ With a target to have solar capacity of 100 GW operating by March 2022, the Indian government announced nearer-term annual targets. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy plans to add 15 GW and 16 GW of solar capacity in the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. [CleanTechnica]

India One Solar Thermal Power Plant under construction. Photo by Bkwcreator. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

India One Solar Thermal Power Plant. Photo by Bkwcreator.
CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the New South Wales parliament’s upper house, lit the surface of the Condamine River with a barbecue lighter to demonstrate the dangers of fracking. He posted a video on his Facebook page on Friday. By Sunday it had 2.2 million views. [The Guardian]

¶ Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power announced a load-shedding plan for urban and rural areas. It is stated that power cuts of six hours a day will be applicable to residential and commercial consumers in urban areas, 8 hours in rural areas and no load-shedding for industry. [Business Recorder]

¶ The isolated Canary island of El Hierro is aiming for energy independence using wind and hydro power in a setup that could provide a model for other islands, and then electric cars and organic farms. Pumped storage, storing power from the wind, is being used instead of diesel power. [Taipei Times]

El Heirro wind farm. AFP photo

El Heirro wind farm. AFP photo

¶ Daimler AG has begun shipping Mercedes-Benz stationary energy storage units for use in power grids powered by PVs or for recharging electric vehicles. The lithium-ion batteries powering the stationary battery storage units are installed together with a PV system. [IHS Electronics360]

¶ An Australian technology company has won a grant to expand its plans. The technology involves laying out a large array of mirrors that tracks the sun throughout the day and creates a concentrated light beam onto a highly efficient solar PV receiver sitting on top of a central tower. [Sydney Morning Herald]

John Lasich, CTO at RayGen, stands in front of mirrors for concentrating solar power. Photo: Joe Armao

John Lasich, CTO at RayGen, stands in front of mirrors for concentrating solar power. Photo: Joe Armao

¶ All the radar systems, lighthouses, barracks, ports and airfields that China has set up on its newly built island chain in the South China Sea require tremendous amounts of electricity, which is hard to come by on islands. China may have a solution: floating nuclear-power plants. [The Seattle Times]

US:

¶ Iowa now gets more than 31.3% of its electricity from wind, more than any other state. Iowa is pushing to increase the share of wind generation to 40% within the next five years. This would have lasting economic impacts beyond job growth, the Energy Department reported. [Lima Ohio]

Wind farm in Iowa. Photo by Tony Webster. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind farm in Iowa. Photo by Tony Webster.
 CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A coalition of industry stakeholders developed programs to promote the concept of “community storage” in utilities across the US. The programs would let utilities aggregate behind-the-meter resources like water heaters, electric vehicles and batteries, to provide services to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Legoland Florida Resort and Tampa Electric are partnering on a 2-MW solar energy project that will produce electricity – and shade – for visitors at the vacation destination. Tampa Electric will install a canopy of solar panels over the resort’s preferred parking lot. [Orlando Attractions Magazine]

Legoland Florida is building a new solar energy system in their parking lot.

Legoland Florida is building a new solar energy system
in their parking lot.

¶ A coalition of environmental and community groups is challenging the federal government’s decision to extend operations at the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant for 25 years. In a lawsuit, they say the approval lacked an assessment of clean alternatives. [Summit County Citizens Voice]


April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “We Could Be Witnessing the Death of the Fossil Fuel Industry – Will It Take the Rest of the Economy Down With It?” • In just two decades, the total value of the energy being produced via fossil fuel extraction has plummeted by more than half. Now $3 trillion of debt is at risk. [AlterNet]

Crude. Photo Credit: Pixabay

Crude. Photo Credit: Pixabay

World:

¶ Alberta could create more than 145,000 jobs by investing more heavily in renewable energy, energy efficiency and public transit, a report by three environmental organizations says. The move would boost employment when oil prices have dropped, and it would reduce carbon emissions. [Edmonton Sun]

¶ More than 170 nations attended the signing ceremony of the Paris Climate Agreement at the UN. For the Agreement to enter into full force, at least 55 nations comprising 55% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions must ratify it. [Forests News, Center for International Forestry Research]

Signing the Paris Agreement is a critical step. Mokhammad Edliadi CIFOR

Signing the Paris Agreement is a critical step toward saving the environment. Mokhammad Edliadi CIFOR

¶ A report from the Institute for Sustainable Futures in Sydney says a rapid transition to a 100% renewable energy system can save Australia money – with avoided fuel costs to quickly offset the extra capital expenditure of building wind, solar and other renewable energy installations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The city of Lismore in the north of New South Wales has called for tenders for a “floating solar plant” that will be community funded, and located on top of one of the settling ponds in its sewage treatment plant. The tender for the 99.9-kW project went out on Wednesday. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar in Jamestown, South Australia

Floating solar in Jamestown, South Australia

¶ The Hinkley Point C nuclear plant has been hit by more delays. EDF, the French energy company promoting the £18-billion reactor scheme, said there would be no final investment decision at least till the summer. Greenpeace said the project is “coming to a grinding halt.” [The Guardian]

¶ Good Energy’s “green gas” tariff was launched yesterday. It will include 6% biomethane, produced in the UK from organic matter including manure and even sewage. The move makes it the latest supplier to offer green gas produced from the 300 or so anaerobic digesters around the UK. [The Guardian]

From cow pat to biogas at the anaerobic digestion plant at Wyke Farms in Somerset. Photograph: John Morley

From cow pat to biogas at the anaerobic digestion plant at Wyke Farms in Somerset. Photograph: John Morley

¶ Dozens of Australian scientists have penned a letter to express major concern for the Great Barrier Reef, which is undergoing its worst coral bleaching in history. The letter signed by 56 scientists urged the government to make phasing out fossil fuels and coal a major priority to save the reef. [Daily Mail]

¶ Construction of wind farms on the platforms in the Caspian Sea will save about 200,000 cubic meters of gas per year, the head of Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources, told reporters. The 200-MW wind farm will be built on the platforms in the Caspian Sea. [Trend News Agency]

Offshore wind farm

Offshore wind farm

¶ Greenpeace and UK green energy supplier Ecotricity Group Ltd have warned the UK, France and Electricite de France that any further state aid for the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant could be illegal. In a letter, the two say they are prepared to challenge in court any further state funding for the much-delayed project. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ The Brooklyn Microgrid will operate as a backup option during storms, cyber attacks and other disruptions. But in the long term the infrastructure being installed could set participants on a path to fully owning the electricity their community generates, giving them their own power. [Scientific American]

Lawrence Orsini, founder the company installing the Brooklyn Microgrid project. Credit: Image courtesy of Sasha Santiago

Lawrence Orsini, founder LO3, which is installing the Brooklyn Microgrid project. Credit: Image courtesy of Sasha Santiago

¶ The United States solar sector has apparently now installed over 1 million installations across the country, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. “It took us 40 years to get to 1 million installations, and it will take us only two years to get to 2 million,” a spokesman said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ There’s some great news out of the Energy Information Administration: carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector – our country’s largest source of the pollution that’s driving climate change – fell significantly in 2015, to their lowest levels since 1993. [Natural Resources Defense Council]


April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Earth Day: We’re not as doomed as you think” • There are plenty of reasons to be scared about the future: melting glaciers, intensifying heat waves, vanishing rainforests, falling temperature records, bleached out coral, and kids in China don’t know the sky is blue. But it’s not the full picture. [CNN]

Deforested landscape for tea cultivation in Malaysia. Photo by Myloismylife - Loke Seng Hon. CC BY-SA 3.o unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Landscape deforested for tea cultivation in Malaysia.
Photo by Myloismylife – Loke Seng Hon.
CC BY-SA 3.o unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ “New Evidence Of Challenge For Nuclear Power Industry” • GE-Hitachi to exit laser enrichment program. Pilgrim nuclear plant to cease operations. Serious earthquakes in Japan rattling the nuclear industry. US Nuclear power struggling to compete with solar and wind. [Seeking Alpha]

¶ “Germany’s Energiewende goes global” • As world leaders ratify the Paris climate agreement, many look to Germany’s energy transition as a model for reducing emissions. Even without a storage solution, Germany has managed to get 33% of its electricity with renewables. [Deutsche Welle]

Offshore wind in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium. Photo by Hans Hillewaert. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium. Photo by Hans Hillewaert. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ How much could you reduce reliance on grid power by installing solar plus a battery? Energy Matters’ new user-friendly solar + battery calculator provides an estimate. Other online solar + storage calculators already available, but they can be complicated to use and difficult to interpret. [Energy Matters]

World:

¶ South Africa’s PV industry is still small but it’s growing at an exponential rate with 159 MW already installed, up from just 35 MW a year before. As the price of PVs continues to fall and the price of electricity pushes ever upward, more people will look to rooftop PV as an alternative. [Daily Maverick]

Photo by ZME Science.

Photo by ZME Science.

¶ A dozen British companies will be paid to use electricity under a scheme National Grid will launch to balance the system in summer, when output is high from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. National Grid said 12 companies have won contracts for the scheme. [Reuters]

¶ The Paris Climate Agreement will be signed today. Signing the accord is not the same as “joining” it. For it to become law, at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have to formally join it by ratifying or approving it within their national governments. [Los Angeles Times]

Smoke curls from a chimney at a factory in Ahmadabad, India. (Ajit Solanki / Associated Press)

Smoke curls from a chimney at a factory in Ahmadabad, India.
(Ajit Solanki / Associated Press)

¶ The EU weakened proposals for environmental protections after receiving a letter from a top BP executive which warned of an exodus of the oil industry from Europe if they were pushed. The plant regulations eventually advanced were for a weaker pollution regime than China’s. [edie.net]

US:

¶ The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a draft environmental impact statement for the first phase of the Power Company of Wyoming’s 3-GW Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm in Rawlins, Wyoming. The agency is evaluating the impact of an eagle take permit for a 500-turbine project. [reNews]

Power Company of Wyoming image

Power Company of Wyoming image

¶ Political conservatives were once thought to be anti-solar, but some conservative groups are now advocating for solar. Rather than focusing on environmental benefits, however, their talking points emphasize energy security, freedom from monopolies and free-market principles. [Solar Industry]

¶ DC Solar Freedom has entered into an agreement with California State University, Northridge to provide solar energy products at its Northridge campus, at no cost to the University. The first-of-its-kind initiative by DC Solar Freedom aims to empower innovative uses for solar. [CSUN Today]

DC Solar charging stations give students the opportunity to charge devices when needed. Photo courtesy Austin Eriksson.

DC Solar charging stations give students the opportunity to charge devices when needed. Photo courtesy Austin Eriksson.

¶ SunEdison, once the fastest-growing US renewable energy company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a short-lived but unsustainable binge of debt-fueled acquisitions. The company said it had assets of $20.7 billion and liabilities of $16.1 billion as of September 30. [Yahoo News]

¶ US developer Invenergy is increasing the size of its proposed Bull Run wind farm in New York State by 50% to 449 MW. The company originally planned to build a 300 MW wind farm in Clinton County, located in the northeast corner of the state near the border with Canada. [reNews]

Invenergy image

Invenergy image

¶ A yet-to-be-introduced bill would extend a freeze on Ohio’s renewable-energy requirements for an additional three years. It would extend a current two-year delay in phasing in state targets for use of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy by Ohio power companies. [Akron Legal News]

¶ A study on the impact large-scale hydro and wind power imports could have on the Massachusetts energy market predicts significant savings for consumers, challenging the narrative put forward by critics the governor’s energy bill that hydropower would be a costly alternative. [Worcester Telegram]


April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2016

Opinion:

Inflexible baseload power is just what we don’t need • Amory Lovins is absolutely right. It is time to recognize that inflexible baseload power is a dinosaur and a fallacy. We are quickly moving to a more democratic system involving small-scale generators and thousands of individuals. [Financial Times]

Baseload power plant. National Park Service photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Baseload power plant. National Park Service photo.
Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ The wireless electric vehicle charging technology company Momentum Dynamics will deliver a 200-kW wireless charging system for the municipal bus market by the end of the year, going by recent comments made by company reps. Even higher-powered systems may be coming. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Vestas Wind Systems A/S will partner with the Technical University of Denmark to test the technical feasibility of a multi-rotor turbine. A demonstration unit with four refurbished V29-225 kW nacelles mounted on a support structure is being installed at a site in Denmark. [SeeNews Renewables]

Illustration of the multi-rotor concept demonstration turbine. Source: Vestas (www.vestas.com).

Illustration of the multi-rotor concept demonstration turbine. Source: Vestas (www.vestas.com).

World:

¶ A tidal power site off the Isle of Wight has been given the green light. Perpetuus has been given the go-ahead from the Marine Management Organisation to place turbines off the south coast of the Island. The turbines are expected to generate enough power for 25% of Island homes. [Isle of Wight Radio]

¶ Global wind power installations will nearly double in the next five years as prices continue to fall and countries develop renewable energy to comply with emissions reduction targets, according to research published in Global Wind Energy Council flagship publication. [edie.net]

UK National Grid data revealed that 2015 was a record-breaking year for wind energy generation

UK National Grid data revealed that 2015 was a
record-breaking year for wind energy generation

¶ The German government asked Belgium to shutter two nuclear reactors citing security concerns. The German Environment Minister said that this was an unprecedented request, but it reflects serious concerns. German authorities are not satisfied the two reactors are safe. [New Europe]

¶ The joint venture between private equity firm Actis and Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power has ordered 93 turbines from Senvion for two wind projects in Chile totalling 300 MW. The two orders are for 50 of Senvion’s 3.4M114 turbines and 43 units of the 3.0M122 model. [SeeNews Renewables]

Senvion's 3.4M104 turbine. Source: Senvion SE 2014. License: All rights reserved.

Senvion’s 3.4M104 turbine. Source: Senvion SE 2014.
License: All rights reserved.

US:

¶ Work on the controversial Northeast Energy Direct pipeline has been suspended by energy giant Kinder Morgan. A company statement blamed the suspension on “inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers.” The project’s cost was estimated at $3.3 billion. [The Recorder]

¶ When world leaders gather in New York on Friday to sign the Paris climate accord, they will do so against a changing backdrop. As the cost of wind and solar power has plummeted, the solid consensus against alternative energy in the US Republican Party has begun to crack. [Bloomberg]

A wind farm in Marshalltown, Iowa. Photographer: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg

A wind farm in Marshalltown, Iowa.
Photographer: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg

¶ The Senate passed a far-reaching energy bill Wednesday that reflects significant changes in US oil and natural gas production and boosts alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. The Senate’s first ambitious energy bill in nearly a decade passed 85-12. [Farmington Daily Times]

¶ San Francisco just took a big step toward its goal of powering the city with 100% renewable electricity by 2025 with the passage of a bill that will require new residential and commercial buildings to include rooftop solar, either solar electric or solar water heating. [Treehugger]

San Francisco. CC BY 2.0 Germán Poo-Caamaño

San Francisco. CC BY 2.0 Germán Poo-Caamaño

¶ Over half of all Americans are exposed to unhealthy levels of either ozone or particulate pollution, putting them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects, including lung cancer, asthma attacks and developmental harm, according to the American Lung Association. [InsideClimate News]

¶ New York’s Con Edison is now generating over 100 MW of renewable energy for customers in New York City and Westchester County. Customers have completed 8,415 PV systems atop houses, condos, skyscrapers and warehouses, generating a total of 105.4 MW, enough for 16,000 homes. [PV-Tech]

Source: Flickr/Glenn Wedin.

New York. Source: Flickr/Glenn Wedin.

¶ An appeals court Wednesday overturned a decision by Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet that could have helped clear the way for Florida Power & Light to add two nuclear reactors in Miami-Dade County. The ruling sent the case back to the siting board for further review. [WWSB ABC 7]


April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2016

Opinion:

Renewable energy versus nuclear: dispelling the myths • All of the world’s electricity needs can be supplied by renewables. But the first hurdle is to refute the deliberately misleading myths designed to promote the politically powerful but ultimately doomed nuclear industry. [The Ecologist]

Large wind and solar farms are ready now to replace fossil and nuclear electricity. Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

Large wind and solar farms are ready technology. Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

Science and Technology:

¶ Siemens AG is building a plant near Oxford, England, that makes ammonia by electrolysis instead of through the traditional reaction fed by fossil fuels. If fed by idled renewable power plants, the process would make emissions-free fertilizer used by farmers everywhere. [Bloomberg]

¶ Researchers at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland examined new methods of extracting lithium from natural brine sources. They found that the new methods allow for an increase in the purity of the recovered lithium solution all the way up to 99.9%. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium in Paraffin - Public Domain

Lithium in Paraffin – Public Domain

World:

¶ Mitsubishi Motors admitted falsifying fuel economy test data for more than 600,000 vehicles. The data involved 157,000 of its own brand light passenger cars and 468,000 vehicles produced for Nissan. The problem was uncovered after Nissan pointed out inconsistencies in emissions data. [BBC]

¶ Victoria network operator Ausnet Services is to take part of a Melbourne suburb completely off grid, powered only with rooftop solar and battery storage, in a first-of-its kind trial in Australia. The planned trial highlights mini-grids as a cost-effective alternative. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UAE just took another step in its shift to renewable electricity. Ninety thousand solar panels, capable of generating between 30 and 40 MW, will be installed on 19 rooftops in Dubai’s Jebel Ali free zone buildings, parking sheds, and the surrounding parking areas. [CleanTechnica]

Sun setting over downtown Dubai. Taken from Festival City by the_dead_pixel via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Sun setting over downtown Dubai. Taken from Festival City by the_dead_pixel via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

¶ India added close to 3,019 MW of grid-connected solar capacity in 2015-16, which is well above its target of 2,000 MW. India’s total solar power generation capacity touched 6,763 MW as of March 31, 2016, according to the latest update on progress on clean energy initiatives. [Moneycontrol.com]

¶ Solar power generation is now cheaper than coal power generation, India’s energy minister Piyush Goyal said. The latest auction of solar energy capacity in India achieved a record low price of ₹4.34/kWh (7¢/kWh). Goyal predicted a surge in solar energy in the near future. [The Inquisitr]

¶ Bladt Industries has loaded out the offshore substation for the 288-MW Sandbank offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The substation and its jacket foundation are in Aalborg on the barge AMT Commander, ready to sail to the construction site some 90 km west of the island of Sylt. [reNews]

Sandbank substation. Bladt Industries photo

Sandbank substation. Bladt Industries photo

¶ The UK’s energy secretary has admitted for the first time that the lights would stay on if new nuclear reactors at Hinkley were cancelled or delayed. She said previously that new gas and nuclear power would be “central to our energy-secure future.” Now she is talking about alternatives. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Six New York State electric utilities and three leading solar development companies have formed a “Solar Progress Partnership” to encourage more solar development across the state, while ensuring that adequate funding is available to maintain a resilient grid. [Marketwired]

Two workers installing a tilt-up PV array on a roof near Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo by Lucas Braun. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Two workers installing PVs near Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo by Lucas Braun. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Exelon Generation and Renewable Energy Systems announced today the development of a 10-MW battery storage facility in Clinton County, Ohio. Construction will begin during the second quarter of 2016, with the system expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. [SYS-CON Media]

¶ A partnership of the Navy, TVA and local utilities and agencies announced plans to build Tennessee’s largest solar-generating facility costing over $100 million at a 400-acre site in Millington. The 580,000 PV panels will be on tracking mounts and power about 7,500 homes. [Memphis Commercial Appeal]

A 400-acre solar array will be built on the north side of the Naval Support Activity Mid-South base in Millington. (file / The Commercial Appeal)

A 400-acre solar array will be built in Millington. (file / The Commercial Appeal)

¶ A nonprofit that installed solar panels on a church will appeal a decision by regulators saying it couldn’t charge for electricity. The nonprofit North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network billed the congregation about half of the retail price. [Richmond County Daily Journal]

¶ The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co LLC, celebrated opening its Green Energy Facility in Freetown, Massachusetts, on April 15. The facility will convert inedible food from its New England stores into energy that will help power the company’s distribution center. [Renewable Energy from Waste]


April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2016

World:

¶ To avoid reduced values of existing renewable production, Norway does not plan to introduce new targets under its green certificate program, which will be ended by 2021. Norway’s green certificates scheme is operated jointly with Sweden and was introduced in 2012. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Norway. Author: John Christian Fjellestad. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in Norway. Author: John Christian Fjellestad.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ An Enel subsidiary has started building the Cristalândia wind farm in Brazil. It will have a capacity of 90 MW and should go into service in the second half of 2017. It will be able to generate more than 350 GWh per year, enough to meet the needs of 170,000 Brazilian households. [Your Renewable News]

¶ A plan to transform Australia’s energy use to 100% renewables was published by GetUp! and SolarCitizens on Tuesday after a modelling study commissioned by the groups suggested such a transition was technically feasible and would be cheaper than the status quo. [The Guardian]

A "homegrown power plan" can employ fossil fuels industry workers. Photograph: Bloomberg / via Getty Images

A “homegrown power plan” can employ fossil fuels industry workers. Photograph: Bloomberg / via Getty Images

¶ Australia’s Coalition government has kicked off its informal re-election campaign by repeating its desire to build a massive coal-fired power station in north Queensland, only this time it proposes to use climate funds to help pay for the project, confirming a continuation of Abbott policies. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Philippine President Benigno Aquino III led the ceremonial switch-on of the 59-MW San Carlos Sun power plant in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. The plant started delivering energy to the Visayas grid on March 9. It delivers more than 80 GWh per year, enough for 27,600 homes. [CNN Philippines]

Negros power plant

Negros power plant

¶ The lower house of the Dutch parliament passed a motion that would ban the sales of non-electric cars by 2025. The motion still needs to pass the Senate to become binding, but if it does, it would mean that anyone in the country looking to buy a new car would have to buy electric. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Work on the 500-kW Kirkthorpe hydro project in Yorkshire has kicked-off after developer Barn Energy secured the green light from local planners. The £5.3-million run of river project on the River Calder is expected to be completed later this year on lands owned by Wakefield Council. [reNews]

Kirkthorpe hydro project. Barn Energy image

Kirkthorpe hydro project. Barn Energy image

US:

¶ The Washington-based Center for International Environmental Law says it can show the petroleum industry has been obscuring data on climate change for seventy years. By combing through documents, it traced the industry’s coordinated deception back to a 1946 meeting in Los Angeles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A 1.25-MWh Aquion aqueous hybrid-ion battery has just been commissioned to support a 16-MW Puerto Rican solar power installation. The 16-MW solar power plant is located in Salinas, and the Aquion battery will generate 100% of the electricity used to operate it at night. [CleanTechnica]

Aquion battery. Image credit Aquion

Aquion battery. Image credit Aquion

¶ In its monthly report, the EIA says US energy production hit a record, equivalent to 91% of total consumption. Liquid and gas fuels production increased, while coal declined 10%. The shift goes on, for generation of electricity, from fossil fuels to solar and wind. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ Georgia Power is before the state’s Public Service Commission to defend its latest Integrated Resource Plan. The plan must be approved every third year by the commission in a months-long review process. The company said it bought land to explore building a nuclear power plant. [WABE 90.1 FM]

Georgia Power said it bought land in Stewart County to explore building a nuclear power plant there. Bob Edme / Associated Press

Georgia Power said it bought land in Stewart County to explore building a nuclear power plant there. Bob Edme / Associated Press

¶ Tennessee Valley Authority has awarded Nashville-based renewable energy provider Silicon Ranch Corporation a power-purchase agreement for a 53-MW solar project in Tennessee. The solar array will be the largest in the state and will provide power to for the next 20 years. [The Chattanoogan]

¶ Exelon Corporation announced that its Clinton nuclear power plant will operate for at least another year after it cleared a recent power capacity auction. A Clinton power station spokesperson says the plant hasn’t been profitable for several years because of falling energy prices. [Peoria Public Radio]


April 18 Energy News

April 18, 2016

Opinion:

From talk to action: Signs of progress since the Paris climate talks • In December, 196 countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. Since then, concrete steps have been made and examples of substantial progress that took place in 2015 are now coming to light. [GreenBiz]

Concrete results of the COP21 Paris are materializing.

Concrete results of the COP21 Paris are materializing.

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at the University of Bath have developed a fuel cell that can generate electricity from urine. Urine passes through the device, prompting a reaction within the bacteria which generates electricity which can then be stored or used to power electrical devices. [Bath Chronicle]

¶ The world can wean itself from fossil fuels in as few as ten years, with effort. Europe moved from wood to coal in Europe in 96 to 160 years, electricity took 47 to 69 years to become mainstream. But Ontario completed a shift away from coal between 2003 and 2014. [International Business Times]

Fossil fuels still generate a majority of the world's electricity. Reuters / Romeo Ranoco

Fossil fuels still generate a majority of the world’s electricity.
Reuters / Romeo Ranoco

World:

¶ A meeting of the world’s leading oil exporters to discuss capping production has ended without agreement. Members wanted a deal that would freeze output and help stem the plunge in crude prices over the past 18 months, but they concluded that they need more time to consult. [BBC]

¶ Earlier this year, Oslo Airport Gardermoen became the world’s first airport to offer renewable jet fuel refined by Neste in its hydrant system. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced that it will launch a series of flights with a fuel blend consisting of Neste Renewable Jet Fuel. [Benzinga]

KLM image bank photo

KLM image bank photo

¶ E.ON will be partnering with IBC Solar for the rollout of its new “Aura” solar PV + energy storage product. The all-in-one smart energy package, Aura, will feature a Solarwatt energy storage system, a smart energy management app, and a tailored electricity tariff. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Costa Rica got 97.14% of it electricity from renewable sources in the first quarter of the year, according to the Central Nacional de Control de Energia (National Energy Control Centre). Hydro electric produced 65.2%, followed by wind with 15.6% and geothermal with 13.7% [Q Costa Rica News]

Santa Ana, Costa-Rica Wind Turbines. Photo sites.psu.edu

Santa Ana, Costa-Rica Wind Turbines. Photo sites.psu.edu

¶ Kenya plans to prioritize the construction of electricity transmission lines that will help in scaling up generation of renewable energy. Additional transmission lines will be constructed to produce 1,646 MW of geothermal and 630 MW of wind power in the next five years. [Coastweek]

¶ Japan’s Cabinet Office has announced a draft strategy for energy innovation. It set a goal of doubling conversion efficiency and lowering power generation cost of next-generation power to ¥7/kWh or lower to promote innovative greenhouse gas emissions reductions. [Japan Today]

¶ UK energy efficiency and renewable energy firm Anesco Ltd has completed a 4.2-MW solar farm in Derbyshire at a former coal disposal point. The solar facility, managed by Anesco, is expected to generate enough power per year to meet the needs of around 1,200 local homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

Oxcroft Solar Farm. Original image owned by Anesco

Oxcroft Solar Farm. Original image owned by Anesco

¶ New Delhi-based renewables developer Orange Renewable sealed a power purchase agreement with Solar Energy Corp of India Ltd for a 100-MW solar project. Orange Renewable will get an average power tariff of ₹4.43 ($0.066, €0.059) per kWh for a 25-year period. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ As the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant continues to decommission, so too does the process of notifying nearby communities in case of an emergency. The long-standing emergency planning zone will shrink on April 19, at which time it will end at the plant’s boundary. [Vermont Public Radio]

Vermont Yankee. Toby Talbot / AP File

Vermont Yankee. Photo by Toby Talbot / AP File

¶ US renewables developer SunEdison Inc has been preparing to file for bankruptcy protection. An unnamed source informed the Reuters news agency about this development, but pointed out that the timing of the bankruptcy filing had not been finalized. [SeeNews Renewables]


April 17 Energy News

April 17, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Last summer, researchers found the first ever case of a loon that died of avian malaria in New England, on Umbagog Lake on the border of New Hampshire and Maine. Other birds in the area are infected. With climate change, the parasite appears to be moving north. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

A Great Northern Loon on a nest in Maine. Photo by Dana Moos. CC BY-SA 2.o generic. Wikimedia Commons.

A Great Northern Loon on a nest in Maine. Photo by Dana Moos. CC BY-SA 2.o generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Even relatively “low” levels of common air pollution damage the lung functioning of children, a recent study shows. It found that children living within 100 meters of a major highway had, on average, lung function around 6% lower than that of children living no closer than 400 meters. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ The French government is “completely committed” to constructing the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, the French economy minister has told the BBC. He said the £18-billion project in Somerset was “very important” for France and EDF, which is 85% government-owned. [BBC]

¶ The Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry reports that $320 million was invested in renewable energy in the first quarter from January up to March, 23% of the target of $1.37 billion in the year. The greatest investment went into bioenergy, followed by geothermal. [Jakarta Post]

President Joko Widodo (center) inspects a solar power plant. (Antara/Yudhi Mahatma)

President Joko Widodo (center) inspects a solar power plant. (Antara/Yudhi Mahatma)

¶ The government of Nepal has plans to generate 1,846 MW of electricity within two years. A total of 628 MW would be run-of-the-river projects and 106 MW would be reservoir-based. Also, 200 MW of electricity would be generated from other renewable energy sources. [Himalayan Times]

¶ The island of Guernsey could achieve greater energy security and independence through locally-generated renewable energy, an environmental specialist said. He believes it could realistically begin in years rather than decades. The island imports the majority of its electricity from France. [BBC News]

US:

¶ One casualty of Alaska’s budget crisis this year is the Renewable Energy Fund. Since 2008, it has supported scores of projects, with most of them aimed at replacing expensive diesel fuel with everything from wind to hydro to biomass. The Senate passed a bill to replace some of that funding. [KTOO]

Kwigillingok has five wind turbines, four of which are currently working. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz/APRN)

Kwigillingok has five wind turbines, four of which are currently working. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz/APRN)

¶ Clearwater Energy is laying the groundwork for a wind farm near Forsyth, Montana, big enough to power 300,000 homes. The project has been quietly in the works since 2012, but Montanans talk about it as they consider a future when Washington and Oregon abandon coal. [Billings Gazette]

¶ Cheap electricity rates from burning coal, even cheaper natural gas, and state energy policy still make it hard in states like Kentucky and Indiana for solar to compete. But that seems to be changing as the cost of solar falls and is expected to decline up to 12% per year through 2020. [The Courier-Journal]

A group from Solar Over Louisville toured the Berea community solar array. (Photo: Mark Mahan, Special to The CJ)

A group from Solar Over Louisville toured the Berea community solar array. (Photo: Mark Mahan, Special to The CJ)

¶ The National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report on electric vehicle awareness showing some barriers to wider adoption. While 20% of people said their next vehicle could be a pure EV and 24% said so about plug-in hybrids, only 48% could name a specific model. [CleanTechnica]


April 16 Energy News

April 16, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Greenland’s massive ice sheet has started its annual summer melt earlier than ever before, according to stunned scientists who said they had to recheck their calculations before releasing the results. The previous earliest dates were all later by weeks, in May. [CNN]

Franz Josef Fjord, glacier, Greenland. Jerzy Strzelecki. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons

Franz Josef Fjord, glacier, Greenland. Jerzy Strzelecki.
CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons 

World:

¶ The latest figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency show that Poland is on course to increase the proportion of power it generates from renewable energy from 7% in 2010 to nearly 38% by 2030. Poland benefits from a very favorable natural wind resources. [Maritime Journal]

¶ Germany’s economic affairs ministry proposed a 2.5 GW annual gap on new subsidized onshore wind power capacity, which is likely to slow down wind power expansion. Germany has a target to increase onshore wind capacity 2.4 Gw to 2.6 GW annually, but growth was 3.5 GW last year. [ICIS]

Windpark Sintfeld Sauerland Ost. Photo by Teta. CC-BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Windpark Sintfeld Sauerland Ost. Photo by Teta. CC-BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Most families should come out slightly ahead next year under Alberta’s proposed carbon tax, more if they cut back on their fossil fuel use. The tax starts at $20 per tonne of greenhouse gas produced in 2017 and rises to $30 in 2018, and applies to both consumers and big industry. [St. Albert Gazette]

¶ Ghana has recently added to its solar plant portfolio with a new 20-MW plant developed by Beijing Xiaocheng Company. This is the first large-scale project of its kind in Ghana, and aligns itself with government incentives to increase the renewable energy output to 10% by 2020. [PV-Tech]

The PV plant will feed 20 MW of clean energy into the national grid. Source: Flickr - Magahrebia

The PV plant will feed 20 MW of clean energy into the national grid. Source: Flickr – Magahrebia

¶ Rising production of the dry fuel may lead India to completely stop thermal coal imports in the coming 2-3 years, resulting in annual savings of ₹40,000 crore ($6012 million), Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said on Friday. [indiatvnews.com]

¶ Japan is working out what to do with the tons and tons of water being used to cool the melted-down nuclear reactors. The water still has tritium in it after other substances such as cesium and strontium are removed. Japan says it will begin dumping the tanks this year. [Digital Journal]

US:

¶ With the development of fracking, the former backwater of Williston, North Dakota was transformed into the unofficial capital of the energy renaissance. Its economic growth was staggering. Now, many workers have packed their bags and gone home. Williston has become a ghost town. [BBC]

Many of those who came here to work in North Dakota's oil industry have now gone home.

Many of those who came here to work in North Dakota’s oil industry have now gone home.

¶ According to pv-magazine, a study by EuPD Research shows only 34% of US PV installers offer storage solutions to customers. The report said that about 26% of these installers who are not offering storage right now hope to offer storage options in their portfolios this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Ohio Supreme Court confirmed a site permit granted to EverPower Wind Holdings for the Buckeye 2 wind project. A 5-2 decision upholds approval granted in 2013 by the Ohio Power Siting Board. The permit is for building up to 56 turbines on 13,500 acres in Champagne County. [reNews]

EverPower's Mustang Hills wind farm (EverPower)

EverPower’s Mustang Hills wind farm (EverPower)

¶ Fifteen years after blackouts swept the state, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge has found that a division of Shell Oil engaged in fraud and market manipulation during California’s energy crisis. The tentative decision holds Shell and Iberdrola liable for $1.1 billion. [SFGate]

¶ The renewable portfolio standards that many states have enacted are responsible for 60 percent of the growth in non-hydro renewable energy generation, according to a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Most has come from wind, but solar energy is gaining traction. [Greentech Media]


April 15 Energy News

April 15, 2016

Opinion:

Even Walker Can’t Stop Wisconsin Wind Energy • Amidst all the great news for windpower, Wisconsin has been notoriously late to the US wind energy party, despite its prime location in the wind-rich Upper Midwest. However, it looks like Wisconsin is on the cusp of a great change. [CleanTechnica]

US wind energy employment. MISO Energy image

US wind energy employment. MISO Energy image

World:

¶ Panama’s president inaugurated the 215-MW Laudato Si wind farm in the city of Penonome. A local subsidiary of power generation company InterEnergy Holdings, was responsible for the project. The 86-turbine park could supply energy to over 125,000 households. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In March, 2016, around 60% of all automotive registrations in Norway were for electric or hybrid vehicles, the most recent figures from Dinside Motor say. There were 13,875 registrations in all. Of these, 2595 were EVs, 2042 were plug-in hybrids, and 3396 were conventional hybrids. [CleanTechnica]

Norwegian EVs. Image by ChrisHamby (some rights reserved)

Norwegian EVs. Image by ChrisHamby (some rights reserved)

¶ Australia should gradually shut down all coal-fired power plants by 2035 and put a “realistic” price on carbon to avoid severe economic shocks, a new report says. The Climate Institute report found delaying a move to clean energy would cause sudden job loss and drive up electricity costs. [9news.com.au]

¶ Plans for a 472-mile (760 km) electricity cable between the UK and Denmark have gone out to public consultation. If approved, the €2-billion ($2.25-billion) “Viking Link,” from Bicker Fen, Lincolnshire to Revsing, would enable import and export of power with mainland Europe. [BBC News]

The project would see a converter station built at Bicker in Lincolnshire. Geograph / Richard Humphrey

The project would see a converter station built at Bicker in Lincolnshire. Geograph / Richard Humphrey

¶ Solar equipment producer JinkoSolar has won rights to develop and build three solar PV projects totaling 188 MW in Mexico, under the country’s first electricity auction. The Mexican Government plans to invest $14 billion to add renewable power capacity of 6 GW between 2015 and 2018. [Power Technology]

¶ Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3.1% to three-year lows in the fiscal year ending March 2015, due to reduced demand and growing use of renewables, revised government figures show. It is first decline since the Fukushima Disaster closed nuclear power plants. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

Solar panels near Nakai town, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan, March 1, 2016. Reuters / Issei Kato

Solar panels in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. Reuters / Issei Kato

US:

¶ MidAmerican Energy Company, based in Des Moines, announced plans to spend $3.6 billion on a wind turbine operation that would generate enough energy to power about 800,000 Iowa homes. Officials called the effort the largest economic development project in state history. [The Daily Nonpareil]

¶ New zoning proposed by the Planning and Development Department in South Portland, Maine, could encourage the use of solar power across the city. Systems that generate 20 kW or less, and meet other standards outlined in the ordinance, would be “permitted anywhere.” [The Forecaster]

¶ FirstEnergy officials announced today that the utility company will offer a limited number of its customers the option to buy 100% wind energy-generated power at the same price as its standard power. The program highlights FirstEnergy’s environmental achievements. [cleveland.com]

Wind turbines in Kansas. (AP file photo)

Wind turbines in Kansas. (AP file photo)

¶ Entergy will refuel its 728-MW Pilgrim nuclear reactor in 2017 and shut it down on May 31, 2019. Entergy had been considering shutting the unit as early as the spring of 2017, because the unit is losing about $40 million annually, but it has power contracts through May 31, 2019. [Platts]

¶ Local officials have given the go ahead for NextEra Energy Resources’ 150-MW Brady 2 wind project in North Dakota, where GE turbines will be the star of the show. NextEra proposes to install 174 GE turbines in total. with 80-meter hub heights. The estimated cost of Brady 2 is $243 million. [reNews]


April 14 Energy News

April 14, 2016

World:

¶ According to RenewEconomy, the Greens want to have “… South Australia source 100% of its electricity needs from clean energy by 2030.” Such a clean energy achievement will generate 1,000 jobs and include a SolarReserve 100-MW solar tower and storage plant near Port Augusta. [CleanTechnica]

South Australian windpower. Image via Shutterstock

South Australian windpower. Image via Shutterstock

¶ Quebec has a plan to increase the overall output of renewable energy 25%, pushing the total amount to 60.9% by 2030 from its current 46.6%. The plan is meant to significantly alter Quebec’s energy profile. Hydro-Quebec is looking at opportunities to provide power to New York and New England. [Platts]

¶ A wine production plant in the South Africa’s Western Cape has commissioned a rooftop solar plant that will provide up to half the energy needed to make 3-million liters of wine a month. The 2‚600 solar panels cover four roofs at Douglas Green Bellingham in Wellington. [Times LIVE]

The company won the 2011 UK Drinks Business Green Award for supply chain and logistics. Image by Terra Firma Solutions

The company won the 2011 UK Drinks Business Green Award for supply chain and logistics. Image by Terra Firma Solutions

¶ The UK’s solar panels have generated more electricity than coal in a full day for the first time ever, Carbon Brief analysis shows. On Saturday 9 April, solar generated 29 GWh of electricity, 4% of the total used that day. Coal generated 21 GWh, which was 3% of demand. [Carbon Brief]

¶ The Australian Renewable Energy Agency said a 1.1-MWh residential battery storage trial it supported is now up and running in Western Australia. The system, which was installed in two shipping containers in a suburb, will store power from over 100 rooftop solar PV systems. [SeeNews Renewables]

Rooftop solar array. Featured Image: Ralf Gosch/Shutterstock.com

Rooftop solar array. Featured Image: Ralf Gosch/Shutterstock.com

¶ Five years after the Fukushima Disaster began, the Japanese nuclear industry and government are struggling to revive the country’s nuclear power plants. Much of the public remains wary, and only a handful of the 43 operable reactors have implemented the new safety regulations. [The Straits Times]

US:

¶ One of America’s largest owners and operators of renewable energy projects, ConEdison Development, has jointed CPS Energy in dedicating the Alamo 5 dual-axis solar farm in Texas. Alamo 5 is a 95 MW-AC, dual-axis solar installation that will deliver power to San Antonio. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

ConEdison Development joins CPS to dedicate Alamo 5 solar farm in Texas

ConEdison Development joins CPS to dedicate
Alamo 5 solar farm in Texas

¶ Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal miner, announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Its entire industry is reeling from low production and demand, and facing an upsurge in both gas and renewable energy electricity generation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The University of Guam and University of Alaska Fairbanks announced a broad partnership for climate change and energy generation. This took place at a collaborative energy workshop at the 7th Regional Island Sustainability Conference at the Lotte Hotel Guam in Tumon. [The Guam Daily Post]

Wind turbine in Toksook Bay, Alaska. Photo by energy.gov. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbine in Toksook Bay, Alaska.
Photo by energy.gov. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The clean energy sector in Rhode Island is supporting nearly 14,000 jobs this year, a 40% increase over 2015 levels, according to a state report. About 84% of clean energy jobs are in energy efficiency, while about 14% of jobs are in renewable energy. Transportation has about 1.8%. [The Providence Journal]

¶ US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said that the Navy expects its major vendors to report on greenhouse gas emissions and work to lower them. The US Military is the world’s single largest user of fossil fuels, and the Navy is responsible for about a third of its use of fossil fuel. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ The small modular nuclear reactors being evaluated for the Clinch River Site in west Oak Ridge, Tennessee, could provide an emissions-free fuel source, but it could be a decade or so before they start operating. And that’s assuming all goes according to plan, officials said Tuesday. [Oak Ridge Today]


April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2016

Opinion:

Powerhive is delivering prepaid solar microgrids to rural
villages
• The next clean energy step for the developing world might be solar-powered microgrids, such as those Powerhive is developing. These systems can deliver clean energy to remote villages of as few as 200 people. [Treehugger]

Microgrid construction © Powerhive

Microgrid construction © Powerhive

Obama says wind power cheaper in Texas than power from ‘dirty fossil fuels’ • Rallying Texas Democrats, President Obama said that wind is a better bargain in Texas than traditional oil and gas. Come again? Wind power sure has sizzle, but is this true? The answer is “mostly yes.” [Houston Chronicle]

World:

¶ In a recent piece published on its website, consultancy firm Bridge to India posited that the question of whether the India solar market is “running on fumes.” The firm believes that “many developers seem to be bidding for project first and planning to raise capital later.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Energy storage manufacturer for solar, Sunvault Energy, is involved in a project to construct and maintain Canada’s first “self-sustainable community”, with technologies including solar, energy storage and biomass, alongside what will be British Columbia’s largest PV park. [PV-Tech]

SDC has already started work on the 200-home community in Kelowna, BC. Image: stantoncady / Flickr

SDC has already started work on the 200-home community in Kelowna, BC. Image: stantoncady / Flickr

¶ Argentina aims for $5 billion in investments in renewable energy by 2018 to reduce its energy deficit, as hopes for near-term increased output from the Vaca Muerta shale field fade. A new law mandates an increased share of renewable energy from its current 1.8% to 8% of consumption. [agprofessional.com]

¶ The project of the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant is dead, says the author of the project, Lithuania’s former energy minister Arvydas Sekmokas. He said it would not be an economically beneficial project at the moment. The future situation on the electricity market is not clear. [The Baltic Course]

¶ The UK is to get a network of hydrogen stations that can produce fuel on site, following a partnership between industrial gas supplier BOC and clean fuel company ITM Power. ITM’s technology uses surplus renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water via electrolysis. [Fleet World]

ITM Power has technology which can produce hydrogen on site, using renewable energy and water

ITM Power has technology which can produce hydrogen on site, using renewable energy and water

US:

¶ Wondering how prepared your state is for upcoming changes in climate? If you’re in Texas, you might be in for trouble. This week, Climate Central unveiled the first-ever national analysis of state-level preparedness for climate change-driven, weather-related threats. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to a new ‘Data Bite’ from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, production of US coal is currently running 30% below the same period a year earlier, reflecting “an historic shift in both the coal industry and the electric power sector it serves.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Colorado wind power is rising with 1,880 huge turbines erected across the prairie. It has reached the point where the wind turbines generated 67% of Xcel Energy’s Colorado-made electricity one morning in November and 54% for two 24-hour periods in October, feats that are unmatched. [The Denver Post]

Giant Vestas wind turbine blades are loaded on a train awaiting delivery at the plant on Tuesday. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Giant Vestas wind turbine blades take a train ride. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

¶ Duke Energy joined with Walt Disney World Resort and Reedy Creek Improvement District to develop a 5-MW solar facility on 22 acres near Epcot, across from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. The facility will be made of 48,000 solar panels and operated by Duke Energy. [Fox 35 Orlando]

¶ The Town Board of North Salem, New York, has opted to make the renewable energy option the default plan for residents and small business. The customers will have a fixed-rate of $0.07085/kWh for 100% renewable power, or can opt-out and go with a variable rate for utility power. [TAPinto.net]

¶ A noteworthy trend of the past year was growing demand for wind energy from major corporations. The trend goes beyond high-tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon Web Services, to such traditional companies as Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart. [Midland Reporter-Telegram]

Wind turbines in West Texas.

Wind turbines in West Texas.

¶ American wind power supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016, an increase of 20% in a year, according to a US Wind Industry Annual Market Report. Strong job growth coincided with wind ranking number one as America’s leading source of new generating capacity. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ The unicameral Nebraska legislature moved LB 824 to its third and final debate and vote by passing it as amended in a 32 to 8 vote and preventing a filibuster by its opponents. The bill will allow developers to more easily build in the wind-rich state and export the electricity to other states. [Utility Dive]


April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar energy panels that can also generate power from raindrops have been designed, offering a possible solution for homeowners in the UK to invest in renewable energy. The all-weather solar panels that can create electricity from light on sunny days and rain on cloudy days. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Solar panels can save up to £135 a year in energy bills.

Solar panels can save up to £135 a year in energy bills.

¶ January 2016 was the most anomalously hot month on record, going by NASA’s temperature figures. Now it appears that February 2016 already beat the record, with an anomaly (over the pre-industrial average) of somewhere between 1.15° C and 1.4° C during the month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Solar power has the potential to generate about 40% of America’s energy, yet the technology still has limitations. One is weather. Clouds and rain diminish solar cell efficiency, a problem for places that are more overcast than sunny. But new research could change that. [Inhabitat]

Clouds and solar panels. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Clouds and solar panels. Image via Wikimedia Commons

World:

¶ Despite the strong bias that most Germans have for German-made cars, it appears that the Tesla Model 3 unveiling has made quite an impact. A new poll from the German car magazine Autobild found that 66% of those queried said that they would consider buying a Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Origin Energy, one of country’s big three utilities, says Australia could be a market leader in solar-powered electric vehicles, given the right incentives and policies that could encourage the uptake of renewable energy and force the closure of the most polluting brown coal power stations. [CleanTechnica]

Solar car port

Solar car port

¶ Technology giant Google announced it will help renewables grow in Asia. It will provide seed funding to the Center for Resource Solutions to start rolling out renewable energy certification programs across the continent. The program will begin work in Taiwan. [Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy]

¶ Expect some sparks to fly in Australia’s electricity market. Australia has 7000 MW of oversupply in the wholesale electricity market and needs another 5500 MW of new renewable energy generation to achieve its 2020 renewable energy target. This is going to cause enormous oversupply. [The Australian]

¶ Project partners Atkins and Pilot Offshore have filed to build a 48-MW floating wind demonstrator off the coast of Aberdeenshire. The project will feature eight 6-MW turbines semi-submersible floating foundations. Kincardine will be built in waters between 60 and 80 meters deep. [reNews]

Principle Power's Windfloat design (Principle Power)

Principle Power’s Windfloat design (Principle Power)

¶ A TEPCO senior official admitted to knowing the criteria to assess reactor meltdowns at onset of the Fukushima nuclear accident. It took the company two months to make the declaration and another five years to “discover” the operational manual that told it when to declare a meltdown. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a new estimate of rooftop solar potential, updating the 2008 energy atlas, Energy Self-Reliant States. New maps show much more potential to get our electricity from solar on nearby buildings than we thought. [CleanTechnica]

Changes attributable to more accurate roof surveys

Changes attributable to more accurate roof surveys

¶ A report released by the White House warns that climate change is a growing threat to public health, and extreme heat will kill around 27,000 US residents per year by 2100. A science adviser commenting on it said extreme heat waves will make outdoor work periodically “impossible.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Lawmakers will soon get a report on whether Vermont should purchase a series of hydroelectric dams along the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. In the meantime, they’re discovering that the next owners of the dams will be under heavy pressure to address a range of environmental concerns. [Valley News]

 


April 11 Energy News

April 11, 2016

Opinion:

The Mystery of Wind Energy in Texas • Texas politicians fiercely deny the scientific validity of climate change and the state is home to the headquarters of such companies as Exxon Mobile and ConocoPhillips. But Texas leads the US in installed wind capacity. How did this paradox occur? [Law Street Media]

Wind turbines on prairie, courtesy of Theodore Scott, via Flickr

Wind turbines on prairie, courtesy of Theodore Scott, via Flickr

10 things you probably didn’t know about the renewables revolution • With new figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency revealing that renewables grew at record pace in 2015, edie digs deep into the data to bring you 10 surprising statistics about green energy. [edie.net]

World:

¶ UK electricity customers are coming together to take control of how they use and pay for power. Energy Local clubs, set up as community benefit societies or community interest companies, aim to reduce bills for consumers and connect them with locally owned renewable generators. [Co-operative News]

Whalley Community Hydro, in Lancashire

Whalley Community Hydro, in Lancashire

¶ The Israeli government has unanimously approved a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency. The plan is part of the effort to meet the commitment Israel made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. [Globes]

¶ Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon won an order for 50 wind turbines totaling 105 MW from Indian clean power producer Greenko Group Plc. The contract is the first between the two companies. The turbines are for a wind park in Andhra Pradesh. [SeeNews Renewables]

Suzlon turbines. Author: Janusz Sobolewski. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Suzlon turbines. Author: Janusz Sobolewski. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ A climate change policy that could be both effective, and potentially supported by both major Australian political parties, has been proposed by the Grattan Institute. It appears in a report that tries to find a pragmatic solution to the decade of toxic political debates on the issue. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ US Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, ruled Friday against the motion to dismiss brought by the fossil fuel industry and federal government. Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call the case the “most important lawsuit on the planet right now.” [EcoWatch]

The youth plaintiffs after the hearing on March 9 in Eugene, Oregon. Photo credit: Our Children’s Trust

The youth plaintiffs after the hearing on March 9 in Eugene, Oregon. Photo credit: Our Children’s Trust

¶ The German renewable energy firm Juwi is now working to build three utility-scale solar energy projects in Colorado, according to recent reports. They are being developed through a US-based subsidiary. The three solar PV projects will have a total capacity of around 90 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Consumers Energy is closing seven old coal-burning plants with widespread approval. A Michigan Environmental Council report said the nine oldest coal plants in Michigan resulted in health care costs and damages of over $1.5 billion annually for Michigan residents. [The Daily Telegram]

Consumers Energy's JR Whiting Generating Plant. Tom Hawley / The Monroe News via AP

Consumers Energy’s JR Whiting Generating Plant. Tom Hawley / The Monroe News via AP

¶ Scientists have detected that radiation from the 2011 Japan nuclear disaster has spread to shores off of North America. According to the study, cesium-134 was identified off the Oregon, Washington and California coasts, as well as offshore from Canada’s Vancouver Island. [Daily Star Gazette]


April 10 Energy News

April 10, 2016

Opinion:

The “Careful, Thoughtful” Approach to Indian Point Is to Close
It
• Given the facts, the careful, thoughtful approach to Indian Point is to close it. Last month, 227 of the 832 bolts holding the inner walls of the reactor core together were found to be missing or damaged. But a list of problems goes on. [AlterNet]

Indian Point. Photo Credit: mandritoiu / Shutterstock

Indian Point nuclear plant. Photo by mandritoiu / Shutterstock

Science and Technology:

¶ University of Washington researchers have developed technology that enables sensors and small electronics to be entirely powered wirelessly from TV, radio, cell phone, and Wi-Fi signals. The miniature devices don’t require a battery or any wiring because energy in the signals. [OilPrice.com]

World:

¶ Many African countries are facing energy crises. Since the mid-1990s, external finance to Africa’s power sector has averaged only around $600 million per year. But countries are increasingly able to supply power in an environmentally and economically sound fashion. [The Worldfolio]

African dam

The unfinished Tokwe Mukosi dam in Zimbabwe

¶ The Philippines has 18 biomass power plants on grids, with a combined capacity of 241 MW, enough to energize more than 300,000 homes. They are fueled mainly by bagasse and rice husk. This capacity does not include 166 MW from private firms for their own consumption. [InterAksyon]

¶ Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar has installed 9,000 solar systems out of 17,670 planned across 940 villages in rural Morocco. Each solar home system has a capacity of 290 watts. This and other initiatives will bring power to 99% of rural Morocco by the end of 2017. [Utilities-ME.com]

¶ Australia agreed to join with the rest of the world to limit global warming to 2° C. Since signing the agreement, Australia has re-approved one of the world’s largest coal mines, opened a new research center for the fossil fuel industry, and cut funding for renewable energy. [New Matilda]

Australian protestors. Image: Flickr, James Ennis.

Australian protestors. Image: Flickr, James Ennis.

¶ The Carbon Disclosure Project ranked the Australian capital city of Canberra as a global climate change leader. It placed the city among the top ten in the world for quality and completeness of environmental risk reporting, showing it’s commitment on climate change. [The Marshalltown]

¶ Saudi developer ACWA Power plans to invest $10 billion to $12 billion in Egypt in the next five years, its chairman said. The company will invest in the Egyptian power generation sector at both renewable and traditional levels, adding approximately 10,000 MW. [Zawya]

US:

¶ Southern California’s reliance on natural gas has grown much more clear. Utilities are warning of possible blackouts this summer after the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak took the region’s largest gas storage field offline. Blackouts underscore the true meaning of fossil fuel dependence. [OCRegister]

Crews working to stop the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon in December. file photoMusgrove/Los Angeles Daily News via AP, Pool, File) ORG XMIT: LA106

Crews working to stop the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon in December. Musgrove / AP

¶ The Vermont Public Service Board is currently revising the net metering program. The PSB must design a revised program with input from impacted parties and the public. But the proposed revisions may make net metering much more difficult in Vermont. [Green Energy Times]

¶ A report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says states with renewable portfolio standards have been highly successful at meeting their targets, with a handful of states setting higher targets within the past year while adding an average of 1.3% to customer bills. [Midwest Energy News]

Wind turbines in Minnesota

Wind turbines in Minnesota

¶ New renewable energy standards in Massachusetts are adding to the problems of Maine’s logging industry, which is already threatened by the collapse of the biomass market and recent closure of pulp and paper mills. Maine Governor Paul LePage is asking Massachusetts to reconsider. [Valley News]


April 9 Energy News

April 9, 2016

Opinion:

‘There’s no more land’ • A football field sized amount of land, on average, falls into the Gulf each hour. Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, was once about the size of Manhattan. Now, it’s about a third of Central Park. The coastal island has lost 98% of its land since 1955. [CNN]

Ghost trees have fallen victim to salt water intrusion. Photo by William Widmer / Redux for CNN

Ghost trees have fallen victim to salt water intrusion. Photo by William Widmer / Redux for CNN

Counting food miles can trim emissions • It is important for consumers to remember the food they choose will have an impact on the environment. Food consumption makes up 41% of a person’s eco-footprint. It can be reduced by well-informed eco-friendly decisions. [Central Western Daily]

Can ‘pay as you glow’ solve Malawi’s power crisis? • In Nigeria, according to the Afrobarometer survey, 96% of the population are connected to the electrical grid, but only 18% can expect the service to work most of the time. Further south in the continent the picture is often worse. [BBC]

This canal feeds a small-scale hydro scheme in the village of Bondo, Malawi that powers 250 homes.

This canal feeds a small-scale hydro scheme in the village of Bondo, Malawi that powers 250 homes.

World:

¶ Data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency shows global renewable energy generation capacity increased by 152 GW in 2015, up 8.3%. The agency says global renewable energy capacity reached 1,985 GW. The figure includes hydro greater than 10 MW in size. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Prince Harry teamed up with a Bristol-based renewables company to help rebuild and provide power to a school in Nepal, which had been destroyed in an earthquake. Teams from Bristol-based Your Group and Bath Science Park joined Team Rubicon on the mission. [South West Business]

Prince Harry working in Nepal

Prince Harry working in Nepal

¶ French energy minister Ségolène Royal said postponing the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project is still a possibility. She said the project must not be allowed to drain funds away from planned investments in renewable energy to bring France towards its 40% green power target. [The Ecologist]

¶ An announcement by CECEP Wind Power Corporation and Goldwind that White Rock Wind Farm in New South Wales is proceeding is a cause for optimism, the Clean Energy Council says. It is evidence of returning stability in Australia’s renewable energy industry. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

White Rock wind farm construction encourages optimism in Australian wind sector says CEC

White Rock wind farm construction encourages optimism in Australian wind sector says CEC

US:

¶ The Army will help the Air Force reach its goals for renewable energy. The two signed an agreement that will enable the Air Force to accelerate toward its goal of 25% clean energy by 2025 by tapping into the Army’s experience with private sector financing for onsite solar installations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Analysis by Vote Solar and the US Solar Energy Industries Association shows that inaction on net metering caps and the Solar Renewable Energy Credit program in Massachusetts has halted construction on more than 500 separate solar projects valued at a total of $617 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ This month, San Diego will release the first outline on how it will switch entirely to clean electricity by 2035. Backers include Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who said the aim is “ambitious” but “achievable.” Others say it’s impossible to accomplish by 2035. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

Can San Diego go green by 2035? The jury is still out. Photo courtesy of the General Services Administration.

Can San Diego go green by 2035? The jury is still out. Photo courtesy of the General Services Administration.

¶ It could cost New York state over $3.6 billion through 2030 to reach ambitious clean energy goals Governor Andrew Cuomo backs, but reductions in greenhouse gases would create benefits worth more than $8 billion, according to a Public Service Commission study. [Albany Times Union]

¶ Enel Green Power North America and Tradewind Energy of Lenexa announced the $613 million Cimarron Bend project, to be built in Kansas. At 400 MW, it will be the largest wind farm Enel has built, and it will be the second largest wind farm in Kansas. [Lawrence Journal World]

¶ Texas’ lead in cheap wind power, near historically low natural gas prices, mild weather, and slow growth in electricity demand, can work to the detriment of power companies. The combination weighed down wholesale power prices, spells trouble for Texas’ coal and nuclear plants. [Houston Chronicle]

Carbon dioxide from the WA Parish power plant will be captured and used to enhance production in oil fields. (NRG Energy photo)

Carbon dioxide from the WA Parish power plant will be captured and used to enhance production in oil fields. (NRG Energy photo)

¶ The North Carolina Pork Council asked the state’s Court of Appeals to reverse a ruling that biogas created from swine waste in Missouri and Oklahoma can count as North Carolina-based renewable energy credits. The ruling leaves NC less able to deal with its own waste. [Charlotte Business Journal]

¶ Work has started in earnest on six solar farms in Malheur County, Oregon, which are expected to generate a combined 50 MW. The project contractor is Swinerton Renewable Energy, based in San Diego, which already has four of the sites in various early stages of construction. [Ontario Argus Observer]


April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2016

World:

¶ Britain will have too much electricity this summer due to the growth in wind and solar farms, National Grid has forecast. It could be forced to issue orders to power plants to switch off. Businesses will also be paid to shift their power demand to times when there is surplus electricity. [Telegraph.co.uk]

National Grid said it was likely to have to pay wind farms to switch off at times of low power demand. Credit: Charlotte Graham/Rex

National Grid said it was likely to have to pay wind farms to switch off at times of low power demand. Credit: Charlotte Graham/Rex

¶ Mercom Capital Group reported that corporate funding for the global solar sector has dropped to $2.8 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $6.9 billion in the previous quarter. Residential and commercial solar funds for lease and Power Purchase Agreements remained strong. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Uruguay reduced power generation costs by 52% between 2013 and this year, saving $500 million at a time when demand for electricity continued to grow. According to figures released last month, 56% of Uruguay’s electricity now comes from renewable sources. [Latin American Herald Tribune]

¶ From January to date Brazil has put online 1,873 MW of new power capacity on the National Interconnected System, all of which was from renewable energy sources. In a little over one month the country’s capacity has grown by 410.22 MW, of which 190.93 MW were wind plants. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Brazil. Author: Otávio Nogueira. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Wind farm in Brazil. Author: Otávio Nogueira. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ E.ON is the latest energy company to release a home electricity storage device into the German market. The product launch has come at a good time for stationary battery storage systems connected to solar arrays in Germany, as the market took off in 2015. [pv magazine]

¶ With plants idled all over the continent, now more than a quarter of European Union nations have quit coal, with shutdowns in Belgium and Scotland bringing them in line with other countries that have no coal-fired power, including Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. [TakePart]

¶ The World Bank has made a “fundamental shift” in its role of alleviating global poverty, by refocusing its financing towards tackling climate change. It will spend 28% of its investments on climate change projects, and all of its future spending will take account of global warming. [Business Green]

The world’s biggest provider of public finance to developing countries will refocus its financing efforts towards tackling climate change.

The biggest provider of public finance to developing countries will refocus its financing efforts towards tackling climate change.

¶ Quebec wants to cut oil consumption by 40 percent over the next 15 years and eliminate thermal-coal usage as Canada’s second most populous province strives to reduce carbon emissions. The province is earmarking C$4 billion ($3 billion) for investments over 15 years. [Bloomberg]

¶ According to MAKE’s latest wind power outlook for North America, unprecedented long-term policy certainty in the US, along with a new climate-conscious government in Canada, will enable nearly 75 GW of total wind power growth in the region from 2016 to 2025. [Your Renewable News]

US:

¶ Kansas City Power & Light will buy 500 MW of electricity, enough energy to power 170,000 homes, from two new wind facilities in Northwest Missouri. Osborn Wind Energy Center, a 200-MW wind farm expected to reach commercial operation at the end of 2016, will provide power. [News-Press Now]

Kansas City Power and Light will tap into regional wind sources. Image from thinkstock.com.

Kansas City Power and Light will tap into regional wind sources. Image from thinkstock.com.

¶ TransCanada now says the Keystone pipeline has leaked about 16,800 gallons in South Dakota, a dramatic increase from initial estimates of about 187 gallons of oil. TransCanada told CNNMoney that it is still trying to find the source of the leak, but with valves closed, the leak has stopped. [CNN]

¶ The 328-MW coal-fired JR Whiting power plant on Lake Erie shoreline is closing after a 64-year run. Tighter federal rules on coal-fired power plants because of mercury, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and other major pollutants is causing shifts toward clean, renewable energy. [Toledo Blade]

¶ The New Hampshire Senate agreed to double the amount of electricity solar panel owners may sell to utilities while telling regulators to develop a system that stops cost-shifting to other electric customers. The bill increases a net metering cap from 50 to 100 MW. [The Union Leader]

15 kW Solar array at Canterbury Municipal Building Canterbury New Hampshire. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikimedia Commons.

15 kW Solar array in New Hampshire. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ San Diego Gas and Electric has signed a contract with Hecate Energy Bancroft for a 20 MW/4 MWh energy storage system. This will be enough electricity to power 28,000 households for four hours. The lithium-ion battery system will be the largest in the San Diego area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewable energy and new technologies that are making low-carbon power more reliable are growing rapidly in the US. Renewables are so cheap in some parts of the country that they’re undercutting the price of older sources of electricity such as nuclear power. [New England Public Radio]


April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2016

Opinion:

Wind and solar are crushing fossil fuels • Recent auctions in Mexico and Morocco ended with winning bids that show solar and wind will soon be least expensive sources, worldwide, said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Investment in renewables is outpacing fossil fuel investment by a significant margin. Photo: Supplied

Investment in renewables is outpacing fossil fuel investment by a significant margin. Photo: Supplied

World:

¶ Since 2000, more than 20 countries have successfully curbed greenhouse gas emissions while boosting their gross domestic product, according to World Resources Institute analyst Nate Aden. No single trend has driven GDP-GHG decoupling across all countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ After a seven-year delay, the New South Wales Government approved a wind farm project for the southern part of the state. Epuron Project’s $670 million project across the Harden and Yass Valley shires it will be around one-third of the size originally proposed in 2009. [ABC Local]

Wind turbine on a hill near Collector in NSW. ABC News photo.

Wind turbine on a hill near Collector in NSW. ABC News photo.

¶ After several solar power plants were inaugurated in the northern areas of the Philippine island of Negros, the first solar farm in southern areas was unveiled by Negros Island Solar Power Inc. The 32-MW solar power plant can supply sufficient power for over 19,000 homes. [Sun.Star]

¶ In a drive to power its Irish facilities with 100% renewables, US social networking major Facebook has inked a deal with Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners for the supply of 150 MW of wind power. The newly-signed renewable energy supply agreement has a term of at least 10 years. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Ireland. Author: Harry Pears. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in Ireland. Author: Harry Pears. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

¶ In the five days ending on the 4th of April, Vestas announced four separate orders for a total of 447 MW in wind turbines, set for four separate countries and continents. The orders include 48 MW of turbines for China, 27 MW for Spain, 200 for the United States, and 172 MW for Brazil. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ireland must add up to 300 MW of onshore wind capacity every year until 2020 in order to meet its renewable electricity targets. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has said that significant renewables deployment is needed to avoid stringent EU fines for missing the 40% electricity target. [reNews]

Acres wind farm in Donegal (Element Power)

Acres wind farm in Donegal (Element Power)

¶ Tesla has “no current plans to open a factory in Europe,” a spokesperson said. But French Energy and Environment Minister Ségolène Royal said her best idea for an old nuclear power plant in northeastern France is to try to convince Tesla to build a car factory there. [Ars Technica UK]

US:

¶ Rural electric cooperatives are spreading the word on how local clean power can save money, support communities, and diversify energy supplies. Community-scale solar is becoming an important tool as they move from centralized systems based on fossil fuels to distributed renewable power. [CleanTechnica]

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Map

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Map

¶ In a 31-14 vote, the Maryland Senate passed a bill expanding the state’s renewable portfolio standard. The bill aims to increase Maryland’s current RPS from 20% by 2022 to 25% to 2020. The state House of Delegates passed a similar bill by a 92-43 margin last month. [North American Windpower]

¶ Sixty-four major American cities are now home to almost as much solar capacity as the entire country had at the end of 2010, according to analysis that ranks America’s major cities for their solar power. Los Angeles, San Diego, and Phoenix topped the list for most solar power. [Environment America]

Solar panels on the roof of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Headquarters, San Diego. US Navy photo by Rick Naystatt. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar panels on the roof of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Headquarters, San Diego. US Navy photo by Rick Naystatt. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Thousands of Michigan jobs in the clean energy industry could be created in coming years, according to a recent report. The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and Clean Energy Trust report that more than 87,000 Michigan residents already work in that industry. [Great Lakes Echo]

¶ Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was sentenced to a year in federal prison and fined $250,000 for conspiracy. Massey had a history of “systematic, intentional and aggressive efforts” to evade safety regulations, resulting in a 2009 explosion that killed 29 coal miners. [CNN]


April 6 Energy News

April 6, 2016

Opinion:

Hey, Bill Gates, our ‘energy miracles’ are already here • The transformation from a fossil fuel-based global economy, to one that is powered by a decentralized mix of renewables is happening far faster than anyone anticipated, according to Michael Liebreich of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Mashable]

Photo by Chen Yibao - Imaginechina

Photo by Chen Yibao – Imaginechina

Science and Technology:

¶ A new study from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and the Smith School for Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford shows “we are uncomfortably close to the point where the world’s energy system commits the planet to exceeding 2°C.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ A new alliance of renewable energy, natural gas, and energy intensive industry trade bodies published a declaration warning without reforming planned EU Internal Energy Market the bloc will struggle to deploy smart grid technologies that promise to cut costs and carbon emissions. [Business Green]

More flexible grid management capabilities are needed.

More flexible grid management capabilities are needed.

¶ Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power said today that all 35 turbines have been installed at the 80-MW Noupoort wind farm in South Africa, with the project on track for a July 2016 start of commercial operations. Erection of the turbines started in December, 2015. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Ontario plans a Request for Qualifications process for 930 MW of renewable energy under its Large Renewable Procurement by August 1. The province will seek up to 600 MW of wind, up to 250 MW of PV, up to 50 MW of hydropower and up to 30 MW of bioenergy. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind and sun. Author: Gerry Machen. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Wind and sun. Author: Gerry Machen. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

¶ The Miyazaki branch of the Fukuoka High Court ruled that the reactors at the Sendai power plant should be allowed to stay online. The verdict represents a victory for an industry struggling to restore atomic power five years after a series of meltdowns at the Fukushima plant. [ABC Online]

US:

¶ Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and the leaders of the House and Senate agreed Tuesday that the state should consider purchasing the hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. Their owner, TransCanada, has announced it wants to sell 13 dams. [Seven Days]

Gov. Peter Shumlin speaks, flanked by (l-r) House Speaker Shap Smith, Senate Pro Tem John Campbell, and Secretary of Administration Justin Johnson. Nancy Remsen

Governor Peter Shumlin speaks, flanked by (l-r) House Speaker Shap Smith, Senate Pro Tem John Campbell, and Secretary of Administration Justin Johnson. Nancy Remsen

¶ Utility regulators announced that Southern California could face 14 days of rolling blackouts if the Southern California Gas Co’s Aliso Canyon energy facility above Porter Ranch remains depleted. The warning is the latest reverberation from the largest natural gas leak in US history. [Press-Enterprise]

¶ The Co-op Power renewable energy cooperative awaiting startup of its Northeast Biodiesel plant at the Greenfield Industrial Park has received a long-delayed interconnection agreement for another project at the same site, a 595-kW community-shared solar project. [The Recorder]

¶ New York State’s first community choice aggregation under Governor Cuomo’s watch, is now expected to start supplying customers with electricity on May 1, 2016. Of the 20 participating Sustainable Westchester communities, 14 opted for 100% green energy as a default. [CleanTechnica]

Mamaroneck, New York by WalkingGeek via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Mamaroneck, New York by WalkingGeek via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0)

¶ Even as construction of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle remain behind schedule and over budget, Georgia Power is seeking permission from regulators to look at constructing a new reactor. Nuclear plants take much longer to build than those fueled by natural gas or renewables. [The Augusta Chronicle]

¶ US regulators have given the green light for the 287-MW Soda Mountain solar project in California. The decision was based on a revised project design by BLM and project developer Soda Mountain Solar. The project is located six miles southwest of Baker in southern California. [reNews]

¶ The Alevo Group agreed with Ormat Technologies to construct a 10-MW energy storage project at the Rabbit Hill substation in Georgetown, Texas. A comparison with a similar installation suggests this may have a capacity of 5 MWh. It will be owned and operated by the two companies. [CleanTechnica]

Rendering of storage facility. Alevo image

Rendering of storage facility. Alevo image

¶ A legislative committee has reached a deal on a bill designed to help shape the future of solar energy use in Massachusetts by making it easier to get credit for generating extra power from solar panels. A six-member House and Senate committee agreed on the bill’s final language. [Concord Monitor]

¶ The Vermont Public Service Board approved Green Mountain Power’s plans for using over $300,000 from a Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited fund to support renewable energy projects. The periodic fund allocation stems from GMP’s former ownership stake in Vermont Yankee. [vtdigger.org]


April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2016

World:

¶ Dutch shipping company Wagenborg has set sail with the topside for the Horns Rev 3 offshore wind substation ahead of installation off Denmark. A pair of vessels left Schiedam with the HSM-built structure, which will export power from Vattenfall’s 400-MW offshore wind farm. [reNews]

Image: Wagenborg

Image: Wagenborg

¶ The US, China, and India, largest projected emitters into the next several decades, have each agreed to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change on April 22, the first day they can do so. More than 190 countries agreed in principle in Paris last December. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Panasonic recently hit the 50,000 mark in its quest to distribute more than 100,000 solar lanterns throughout the world’s poor, in rural communities that don’t have reliable access to electric light. The “100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project” is now half-way to completion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Solar deployment in Japan is on track to meet the country’s target. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering reducing the incentives for solar systems by between ¥2.00 ($0.018) and ¥3.00 per kWh each year through fiscal 2019, regardless of their capacity. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar panel installation in Yokohama, Japan. Author: CoCreatr. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Solar panel installation in Yokohama, Japan. Author: CoCreatr. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

¶ A report by the UK’s Intergenerational Foundation forecast that the country could save £39.9 billion ($56.7 billion) over the next 35 years if government steered the estimated £24 billion ($34 billion) required to build and run the Hinkley Point nuclear plant towards solar PV investment instead. [pv magazine]

¶ Spanish wind power group Gamesa said it has won contracts to build two wind farms along the Red Sea coastline in Egypt with a combined capacity of 160 MW. Gamesa expects to start delivering the turbines for both in the third quarter of 2016, with completion in 2017. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Egypt. Author: Gigi Ibrahim. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in Egypt. Author: Gigi Ibrahim. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ The £16.8 million Monnaboy wind farm, Gaelectric’s third to operate in Northern Ireland, is being opened. The company is progressing through a program to commission a near term portfolio of about 100 MW on consented wind energy projects on the island of Ireland by 2017. [U.TV]

¶ Equitix will allocate more than £100 million to Scottish tidal power, after entering into a partnership agreement with leading developer Atlantis to aid the development of the world’s largest tidal stream project. The pair will collaborate to develop tidal power projects in Scotland. [edie.net]

Equitix plans to acquire at least 25% of each “project vehicle” Atlantis develops for tidal power initiatives in Scotland

Equitix plans to acquire at least 25% of each “project vehicle” Atlantis develops for tidal power initiatives in Scotland

¶ European nations have set aside just over half of the €253 billion ($389.67 billion) needed to dismantle old nuclear plants and manage waste, although the shortfall could shrink as the lifetime of some reactors is extended, EU regulators said on Monday. [THE BUSINESS TIMES]

US:

¶ Hawaii’s main utility, HECO, says smart grid, demand response, and storage technologies will help Hawaii reach 100% renewables by 2045. A plan submitted to the regulator shows how the state can continue to steer a course to meet its ambitious “100% renewable energy-powered” target. [PV-Tech]

Hawaii. Image: Renewable Energy Services Facebook page

Solar PVs in Hawaii. Image: Renewable Energy Services Facebook page

¶ The US community solar energy project market could be worth up to $2.5 billion in revenue by the year 2020, according to a report from Navigant Research. The report notes that achieving such a figure would require changes as far as common utility company business strategies go. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Dominion Power filed an amicus brief in the national lawsuit against the federal Clean Power Plan, pushing back against arguments plan critics have made in an effort to derail new carbon rules. Nevertheless, the brief puts the weight of Virginia’s energy giant behind key aspects of the plan. [Daily Press]

¶ A key section of the Keystone pipeline has been shut down due to an oil spill in South Dakota, TransCanada said on Monday. TransCanada, which operates the pipeline, reported a spill of about 187 gallons of crude oil to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center on Saturday afternoon. [CNN]

Keystone pipeline infrastructure

Keystone pipeline infrastructure

¶ As the price of electricity in the eastern US fell by half over the last decade, utilities raised monthly bills for residential customers by 26%, government data says. Utilities say that it’s payback for billions of dollars worth of government-mandated improvements to long-neglected infrastructure. [Bloomberg]

¶ Continued operation of the “decaying” 40-year-old Indian Point nuclear power plant up the Hudson River from New York City “makes no sense,” according to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The plant is within 50 miles of the homes of 20 million residents. [RT]


April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2016

Opinion:

Ontario’s challenge is to have enough power for all the new electric cars • When Ontario’s power planners look down the road, they see electric vehicles coming at them. They just might be coming a little faster now than even the forecasters imagined.
[London Free Press]

Plug'n Drive, Ontario. CC BY-SA 2.o. Wikimedia Commons

Plug’n Drive, Ontario. CC BY-SA 2.o. Wikimedia Commons

The $2.6 billion buying binge that pushed SunEdison to the
brink
• Just nine months ago, SunEdison was Wall Street’s favorite clean-energy company. It put every dollar it could find into a buying binge of wind and solar farms, and now, it is at the brink of bankruptcy protection. [Chicago Tribune]

World:

¶ Danish energy company Dong Energy awarded a $250 million contract to ABB for a 220-kV high-voltage cable system for the 1.2-GW Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The cable connecting the wind farm with the UK mainland grid will be 120 km long. [Energy Business Review]

ABB's high-voltage cable manufactured in Karlskrona factory, Sweden. Photo: courtesy of ABB.

ABB’s high-voltage cable manufactured in Karlskrona factory, Sweden. Photo: courtesy of ABB.

¶ Canadian oil sands workers who felt “guilty about developing the infrastructure that is creating climate change” have been building an oil and gas worker-led nonprofit called “Iron & Earth,” to help those who were laid off diversify their skill sets and transition to renewable energy sector. [Truth-Out]

¶ A rising share of renewables in India’s power sector will pose a serious challenge to conventional power generators, said a report released by rating firm Moody’s Investors Service. It also said that achieving the government renewable power target of 175-GW by 2022 will be challenging. [Livemint]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased India’s target for solar power from 20,000 MW to 100,000 MW by year 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased India’s target for solar power from 20,000 MW to 100,000 MW by year 2022.

¶ Energía was awarded a contract for 585.7 GWh of renewable electricity in the first long-term power auction in the wholesale electric power market organized by the National Energy Control Center of Mexico. A 168-MW wind farm will enter service in the State of Tamaulipas in 2018. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ In the UK, g2 Energy completed work on 47 large scale solar farms totalling 356.4 MW in the six months leading up to closure of the Renewables Obligation on 31 March. The year is the fifth running that it has connected 100% of its contracted renewable energy projects on time. [Solar Power Portal]

g2 Energy completed work on 356.4MW worth of solar farms in the six months before the 31 March deadline for the RO. Image: OPDE.

g2 Energy completed work on 356.4MW worth of solar farms in the six months before the 31 March deadline for the RO. Image: OPDE.

¶ The UK’s first “dry store” for spent nuclear fuel has officially been opened in Suffolk. The facility will store spent fuel from EDF Energy’s Sizewell B nuclear power plant from autumn this year until a Geological Disposal Facility is available for the longer term storage. [Energy Live News]

¶ More than 300 doctors and other medical professionals have signed an open letter demanding the government of the Australian state of Victoria develop a plan to retire the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal power plants because of the health damage they cause in the local community. [The Age]

A giant dredging machine at work in the brown coal mine at Loy Yang in the Latrobe Valley. Photo: John Woudstra

A giant dredging machine at work in the brown coal mine at Loy Yang in the Latrobe Valley. Photo: John Woudstra

US:

¶ Solar companies have recently blanketed rural areas of New York, seeking leases on farmland for solar arrays of 20 acres or more. Some farmers welcome the opportunity to earn up to $2,000 an acre annually for the next 20 years or so, but some advisers are urging caution. [The Baytown Sun]

¶ A 62-MW solar project in southwestern Minnesota by NextEra Energy Inc has been unanimously approved by the state Public Utilities Commission, Minnesota Public Radio reported last week. The solar farm, on 500 acres near Marshall, is expected to supply 15,000 homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar PV park. Author: mdreyno. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Solar PV park. Author: mdreyno. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ Consumers Energy, Michigan’s second-largest electric utility, says it is developing a program to meet the needs of large energy users who want more of their electricity to come from renewable sources. Business customers are driving the push for alternative energy even more than state policy. [MiBiz]


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