April 2 Energy News

April 2, 2015

World:

Windfarm at daybreak.

Windfarm at daybreak.

¶ The global wind market can expect continued growth for the rest of the decade, according the Global Wind Energy Council. They suggest the market will top 50 GW again in 2015 and reach 60 GW per year by 2018. China will lead growth, the body said, and seems on track to hit 200 GW ahead of its 2020 target. [reNews]

¶ Some of the world’s leading solar power project developers have signed memoranda of understanding to set up 40 GW of solar power projects in the Indian state of Rajasthan over the next 5 years. The state government, which came to power about a year ago, has set a target to add 25 GW over the next 5 years.[CleanTechnica]

¶ In a major new report, global investment bank Citigroup has defined the current battle between cheap oil, and renewables like wind and solar, to be so fundamental it will define the future of energy. But it says renewables will win out because of basic economics, energy security, and environment and issues. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Thirty-three countries, which together produce 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, submitted their emission reduction targets to the UN climate body, which could boost efforts to reach a new global agreement later this year to combat climate change. Two of the 33 countries are the US and Russia. [The Japan Times]

¶ European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič said smart grids are crucial for EU single energy market plans as they could integrate more renewables, boost security of the energy supply and help lower prices for consumers. He said they can reduce the infrastructure capacity needed by up to 30%. [EurActiv]

¶ The UK Green Investment Bank raised £463 million for its offshore wind fund, with support from pension funds and a sovereign wealth fund. The bank aims to raise £1 billion through the fund, which it says is the world’s first to be dedicated to offshore wind power and is expected to last 25 years. [Clean Technology Business Review]

¶ The renewable energy industry of southwestern England has been dealt a major blow after the company responsible for the electricity network said it had reached capacity for “green” schemes. The grid is being temporarily closed to new, large-scale renewable energy projects for the next three to six years. [Western Morning News]

¶ Some UK coal-fed power stations are at risk of halting for the summer after the doubling of a carbon emissions levy hurt the profitability of plants run by utilities. The UK carbon price support, designed to help fight global warming, increased by 88% on April 1, causing one measure of profitability to drop 53%. [Bloomberg]

¶ Around 400 workers set to be out of work after EDF said it was not prepared to carry on spending millions of pounds every month on the new Hinkley nuclear power station, until it knew for certain the deal to go ahead with the entire project had been sealed. EDF said it hoped it would be a temporary lay-off. [Gloucestershire Echo]

Construction at the Hinkley C nuclear plant.

Construction at the Hinkley C nuclear plant.

US:

¶ Texas is once again undergoing a surge of wind generation installations at a time when wholesale power prices are already on the floor, and zero pricing due to existing wind generation is prevalent. This brings up a question: Are big baseload power providers in Texas facing troubled times like those in Germany? [Platts]

¶ The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power can significantly expand its use of solar energy to replace the coal-fired generation the utility is dropping from its supply mix, according to a study. The department, which provides power to 3.8 million customers, gets about 42% of its electricity from coal. [Argus Media]

¶ SunEdison and TerraForm Power have announced the interconnection of four solar power stations in North Carolina. TerraForm will sell the electricity generated by the solar facilities, which have a collective capacity of 26 MW, to Duke Energy Progress via 15-year Power Purchase Agreements. [Energy Matters]

¶ US developer NextEra Energy Resources proposes to install up to 87 GE turbines at the 150-MW Dickinson wind project in North Dakota. The Stark County scheme would feature 80 1.1715-MW and 7 1.79-MW turbines. The project area covers some 39,000 acres about 75 miles west of Bismarck. [reNews]

¶ The East Coast’s solar irradiance was below average by as much as 5% in 2014, negatively impacting performance of its solar sites. The West Coast’s irradiance levels were up to 10% higher than average. This can be seen in maps released by Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. [Renewable Energy Focus]

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