March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2015

World:

¶ Global solar PV capacity is expected to increase by 177% from 2014 levels to reach 498 GW by 2019, according to new research from IHS. Alongside increasing capacity, IHS notes that “the large number of discrete country markets at the gigawatt-level will help reduce demand volatility.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ UAE-based Masdar and Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable signed a partnership to provide 17,670 solar home systems across 940 villages in the North African country. This and other initiatives will result in 99% of rural Morocco having access to electric power by the end of 2017. [ArabianBusiness.com]

¶ The UK is transforming the way its energy is generated as thousands of homes and businesses across England are powered by locally-owned renewable projects. According to DECC, 62 renewable projects have been supported in the last 12 months as a result of the £25 million urban and community energy funds. [Energy Live News]

¶ ABB has won orders worth around $900 million to supply on-shore high-voltage direct current converter stations and the cable system in the German sector for the first ever interconnection between the Norwegian and German power grids. The 623-km link, will be the longest HVDC connection in Europe. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ While clear weather made for some excellent eclipse viewing, the electric grid story was uneventful. Despite warnings of grid problems when power solar panels suddenly went off and then came back on, Europe’s interconnected power grid delivered rock-solid stability throughout the 2.5-hour eclipse. [IEEE Spectrum]

¶ Enel energy is planning to invest almost €18 billion in renewable energy and smart grid markets in coming five years. Nearly €5.4 billion of this is for emerging markets, digital meters and smart grids. Enel aims to increase its renewable capacity by 50% to 7.1 GW mostly in the Americas and Africa. [Greentech Lead]

¶ National Australia Bank has raised AUD 205 million ($160 million) from a private funding round in US for developing a 71.4 MW wind project in South Australia. The HH2 wind farm will be powered by 34 turbines, which are expected to produce 262 GWh of electricity per year, once operational. [Greentech Lead]

¶ APG, the second-largest pension fund manager in the Netherlands, has decided to invest in an offshore wind power project in the North Sea, valued at €2.1 billion ($2.24 billion). Previously, APG’s position was that offshore wind is too risky, but after doing a new assessment study, it decided to invest. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Turkish government plans to place four nuclear reactors into service by 2028 under a commercial agreement with Japanese companies concluded in 2013, details of which were recently revealed. A company will be established to build and operate a nuclear plant in the Black Sea city of Sinop. [Nikkei Asian Review]

US:

¶ Two Maine conservation organizations marked spring’s arrival by unveiling solar power systems, reflecting growing adoption of the renewable energy technology in the state. Maine Audubon unveiled a 42-kW solar system, and Wells Reserve at Laudholm is Maine’s first nonprofit to be 100% solar powered. [Press Herald]

An array of solar panels will help provide electricity at Wells Reserve at Laudholm, which expects to derive all its electricity needs from the sun. Courtesy Photo by Bill Lord

An array of solar panels will help provide electricity at Wells Reserve at Laudholm, which expects to derive all its electricity needs from the sun. Courtesy Photo by Bill Lord

¶ American Electric Power will close six power plants, including three plants in West Virginia, by May 31, 2015. AEP announced in 2011 that significant amounts of coal-fueled generation would be retired to comply with new EPA regulations, primarily the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard rule, an AEP spokeswoman said. [WOWK]

¶ Alpha Wind Energy, a Danish company, is planning to develop a major offshore wind energy project, which would include more than 100 turbines, in federal waters in Hawaii off Oahu’s northwest and southern coasts. The development is the first floating offshore wind farm project in the United States. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

¶ Propel Fuels has starting selling Diesel HPR (high performance renewable) diesel fuel at locations in Northern California. According to the company, Diesel HPR uses Neste Oil’s NEXBTL renewable diesel, a low-carbon renewable fuel that meets petroleum diesel specifications for use in diesel engines. [Fleet Owner]

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