March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2015

World:

¶ Spain’s renewable energy plants produced 48% of the country’s power in February. Wind power generation produced 27.6% of the total Spanish electricity production for the month. Hydroelectric produced 15.7%. Solar PV and concentrated solar power accounted for 2.2% and 0.9%, respectively. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ National Bank of Abu Dhabi, one of the biggest banks in the oil-rich Gulf countries, says fossil fuels can no longer compete with solar technologies on price. The NBAD report says the most recent solar tender showed even at $10/barrel for oil, and $5/mmbtu for gas, solar is still a cheaper option. [RenewEconomy]

¶ According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new funds invested into clean energy gained 16% in 2014 to reach $310 billion. The record is still $318 billion, set in 2011, but there was a significant upward trend last year. Overall, the world added about 100 gigawatts of solar- and wind-power capacity in 2014. [Investing.com]

¶ In Australia, talks between the government and Labor toward a compromise on the renewable energy target appear to have again broken down, with the Opposition rejecting a new offer on Monday. The rejected proposal would have set the target at 31,000 GWh of baseline power from renewables by 2020. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Plans for a vast tidal lagoon power plant which could power every home in Wales have been launched. The lagoon, between Cardiff and Newport, would include 90 turbines set in a 14-mile breakwater and could provide enough electricity for 1.5 million homes, 8% of the UK’s electricity, for 120 years. [Sky News]

¶ French power producer Neoen plans to construct a 30-MW solar park in Mexico’s northeastern state of Nuevo Leon. The project calls for an investment of $60 million. The PV facility is to be installed on 227 acres in the town of Galeana and is slated to become the biggest of its kind in Nuevo Leon. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ A report from the African Development Bank shows that its support to Africa through the Climate Investment Funds increased exponentially in 2014 to include one regional and 25 national investment plans, with an additional nine poor countries being funded for renewable energy solutions. [solarserver.com]

¶ A draft law to reform the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, by cutting the surplus of carbon credits available for trading, has won approval from the European Parliment’s Environment Committee. Emissions Trading System is a cornerstone of EU policy to combat climate change. [Environment News Service]

¶ A sea of glass panels, to be located on Queensland’s Darling Downs, could be capable of cranking out two GW of power within eight years. That is equivalent to one fifth of the current total renewable energy target for the entire country in a single power station, and it is more than any coal station in the state. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Policy squabbles and a fight over rebates may have clouded Missouri’s once blossoming solar industry, according to new data that shows the state lost 300 solar jobs last year. The latest analysis now ranks the state 16th in the nation for solar industry employment, down from 12th in 2013. [Public News Service]

¶ In Michigan, the Holland Board of Public Works, is replacing a coal-fired plant with a new fuel-efficient modern power plant. The CO2 emissions at the site will be reduced by approximately 50%. The plant’s surplus heat from in the circulating water system will go to expanding a downtown snowmelt system. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ New reports show Michigan’s 2008 renewable energy mandate has worked as intended, but lawmakers must now decide what to do next when the policy sunsets at the end of this year. One option is a new “clean-energy standard” that would credit sources like natural gas for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. [MiBiz]

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