February 27 Energy News

February 27, 2015

World:

¶ The second Global Sustainable Investment Review report confirms that global sustainable investment reached $21.4 trillion by 2014, up from $13.3 trillion at the same time two years earlier. Sustainable investment now accounts for 30.2% of the professionally managed assets in the regions covered. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India’s renewable energy industry is likely to generate business opportunities worth $160 billion in the next five years, the Economic Survey said the day before a budget that is set to boost clean energy funding. The Prime Minister set clean-energy targets that include raising solar capacity to 100 GW by 2022. [Reuters India]

¶ BMW South Africa is considering wind and solar power options to make a production plant near Pretoria energy self-sufficient, hoping the factory will provide between 25% and 30% of its own energy needs by the middle of this year. Wind and solar power are two options for self-sufficiency. [Independent Online]

¶ Irish wind and solar energy company, Mainstream Renewable Power is set to develop a €2 billion windfarm off the Scottish coast. The company secured a 15-year contract for its 450-MW Neart na Gaoithe facility in the North Sea. The windfarm is expected to be commissioned and generating electricity by 2020. [Irish Examiner]

¶ Swift global action is needed to avoid the worst threats from a rapidly changing climate, the disasters brought by storms, floods, extreme temperatures, and their impacts on people and biodiversity, French President Francois Hollande warned during a climate change forum in the Philippines on Thursday. [InterAksyon]

¶ Three wind farms in Wales won financial support from the Government as part of the first auction for contracts for difference under the reform of the electricity market. The three are Clocaenog Forest and Mynydd y Gwair, both being developed by RWE Innogy, and Windpower Wales’ Brenig wind farm. [WalesOnline]

US:

¶ A bill in the Illinois legislature, to make changes to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, might create 32,000 clean energy jobs, its backers say. The bill would support more solar power and improve energy efficiency. It would also increase the renewable energy standard from 25% by 2025 to 35% by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Energy storage capacity totalling over 1,500 kWh is be installed in intelligent energy storage/electric vehicle charging systems in five California school districts, colleges, and universities. Balancing their electricity supply will save up to $1 million over the life of their projects – with no upfront costs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ California-based Swinerton Renewable Energy is teaming with tracking solutions specialist Array Technologies to build a 104-MW solar park in Utah for Norwegian developer Scatec Solar. Power will be fed into the grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement with PacifiCorp’s Rocky Mountain Power. [pv magazine]

¶ If you haven’t installed solar panels on your roof because it’s too expensive, Google really wants to help. Google is once again boosting its investment in SolarCity’s residential solar power model by $300 million. SolarCity combined this with a new financing structure to produce a new fund worth $750 million. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Two farms, a real-estate office, a jewelry maker and an animal hospital are among the latest recipients of Rhode Island state grants for new solar projects. The funds are awarded by the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund and were approved. Eight solar projects have received $1,137,000 in recent awards. [ecoRI news]

¶ Hints are emerging about how California’s investor-owned utilities might meet the governor’s goal of providing 50% renewable power by 2030. The CEO of California’s second largest electric utility says they want to claim rooftop solar, energy efficiencies, and electric vehicle charging stations in their portfolios. [U-T San Diego]

¶ Electricity users would have to pay a little extra to help cover costs of Exelon’s nuclear power plants under Illinois legislation. Exelon maintains the bill would save jobs and keep service steady and reliable. It would also have residential customers pay about $2 more each month to keep the nuclear plants running. [Chicago Tribune]

¶ A $3 billion deal will unite Iberdrola USA with UIL Holdings Co to create a massive power and utility company serving 3.1 million customers in New York, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts. Iberdrola USA will pay $52.75 per share of UIL in a deal announced after the close of business Wednesday. [Portland Business Journal]

¶ Hawaiian Electric Co was generating about 21% of its power from renewable energy at the end of 2014. The utility said that it was generating about 39% of its power from a combination of renewable energy and efficiency measures when the year ended, up about 4 percentage points from a year earlier. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

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