April 15 Energy News

April 15, 2015

World:

¶ Analysis presented at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit says the world is now adding capacity for renewable power faster than for coal, natural gas, and oil combined. This has been going on since 2013, when 143 GW of renewable capacity were added, compared with 141 GW for fossil fuels. [Bloomberg]
… Renewables, mainly including hydropower, solar and wind, reached 28% of the total electric power supply in Germany in 2014, 19% in the UK, 22% in China, 76% in Brazil and 13% in the US, as investments in renewables increased more than 15% globally last year, BNEF Chairman Michael Liebreich said Tuesday. [Climate Central]

French nuclear power plant.

French nuclear power plant.

¶ A recently released report says France could be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050 (note that this is for electricity, not all energy). If the report is accurate, it is a huge wakeup call about the potential of renewable energy there. France currently gets most of its electricity from nuclear power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Acciona Windpower won a deal to supply turbines at a 129-MW wind project in Mexico. The contract with an unnamed client covers 43 of the Spanish manufacturer’s AW125/3000 machines. The model is optimised for medium-speed wind sites and the company said the turbines will be mounted on steel towers. [reNews]

¶ Samoa’s Electric Power Company is on track to meet the government’s aim of being 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2017. The company signed agreements for a second wind farm of 25 MW and a number of small hydro-electric dams. Peak energy demand in Samoa is about 20 MW. [Radio New Zealand]

¶ China’s strategic shift toward alternative fuels in order to cut its reliance on foreign oil is creating huge opportunities, notably in natural gas vehicles and in the conversion of coal to ethanol, according to Lux Research. China intends to reduce foreign oil imports from the current 50% of domestic demand. [Power Engineering International]

¶ The power and water utility serving the iconic city of Dubai will invest $3 billion to boost the generation capacity of the country’s largest solar power plant from 1 GW to 3 GW. The initial installed capacity target for the solar park was 1 GW by 2019. The new plan is for an installed capacity to 3 GW by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Cross section of a submarine cable. Photo by Z22. Wikimedia Commons.

Cross section of a submarine cable. Photo by Z22. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Italy has linked to Malta via a new electricity interconnector inaugurated last week. The new 120 kilometer-long subsea line has a cable rated at 250 MVA, and onshore cables and terminals both at Pembroke in Malta and at Marina di Ragusa in Sicily, and can transmit up to 200 MW in either direction. [pv magazine]

¶ Plans to build Poland’s first nuclear power plant will be delayed by at least another two years, after the decision late last year by state-run utility PGE to take on site research itself and cancel a consultancy contract. The project, expected to cost between $10 billion and $15 billion, has been delayed before. [Daily Times]

US:

¶ The Gallup pollsters have reported two surveys on energy and the environment in the past week. What they have to say about American attitudes may surprise some people. Americans believe the government is not doing enough to protect the environment, and is overly emphasizes energy production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US witnessed an 82% surge in wind energy project financing following the release of guidance last year that clarified the qualifying criteria for the wind energy Production Tax Credit, according to a new report.Wind energy project finance shot up to $7.1 billion, an 82% increase on the $3.9 billion the first half. [The Engineer]

¶ Legislation strengthening Illinois’s renewable electricity and energy efficiency standards would drive billions in new clean energy investments and save consumers $12 billion by 2030, reducing the typical household electricity bill by 23%, or $22 per month, in 2030, according to new analysis. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ The Texas Senate approved legislation to close the book on two programs that fueled the state’s surge in wind energy production. Environmentalists and renewable energy industry groups were angered, but Texas has surpassed its renewable energy goal and nearly completed upgrades of power lines. [Fort Worth Star Telegram]

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