April 18 Energy News

April 18, 2015

World:

Wind Lift I, a special crane ship for installing offshore wind turbines. Photo by kaʁstn, Wikimedia Commons.

Wind Lift I, a special crane ship for installing offshore wind turbines. Photo by kaʁstn, Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The European Commission announced approval for Germany to invest nearly €30 billion in the development of 20 offshore wind farms. Germany notified the EU of its plans to invest in 17 wind farms set to be located in the North Sea, and another 3 in the Baltic Sea, amounting in total to 7 GW of new capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ As many as eight financial institutions in India are to raise funds for expansion of renewable energy capacity through green bonds. India is looking to increase its renewable energy capacity from 35 GW at present to 175 GW by 2022. The country intends to increase its solar energy capacity alone by another 97 GW. [Greentech Lead]

¶ In a report from Climate Policy Initiative and the Indian School of Business, CPI found that, in absence of any subsidies, wind power is already cheaper than the total cost of power from a new built imported coal plant, at 9¢/kWh for electricity from wind power and 11¢/kWh for electricity from imported coal. [Business Standard]

¶ New Brunswick Power says part of its goal to generate 40% of its in-province sales from renewable sources by 2020 will be locally owned, small-scale green energy. The plan involves co-operatives and First Nations communities having wind farms, solar panels, small hydro projects, biomass or biogas facilities. [CBC.ca]

¶ Innergex Renewable Energy and the Saik’uz First Nation announced signing an agreement to develop a prospective wind energy project at Nulki Hills near Vanderhoof, British Columbia. A 50-50 partnership will develop the proposed Nulki Hills wind project to produce up to 210 MW of clean renewable power. [Stockhouse]

¶ OpenHydro Technology Canada is receiving $6.35 million from the Canadian federal government for the Bay of Fundy tidal stream project. The project, which is situated in the Bay of Fundy, has an array of turbines that will simulate the cost and performance of a commercial tidal farm in harsh conditions. [Daily Business Buzz – Nova Scotia]

¶ The Australian government found $4 million for the climate contrarian Bjørn Lomborg to establish his “consensus centre” at an Australian university, even as it struggled to impose deep spending cuts on the higher education sector. The center will be at the University of Western Australia’s business school. [The Guardian]

¶ Australian utility company AGL called on regional and local government to “set both binding and aspirational medium and long-term emission reduction targets”, while outlining its own commitments to carbon reduction. AGL says it has “a key role to play in gradually reducing greenhouse gas emissions …” [PV-Tech]

¶ ET Solar has executed an agreement to build a 70-MWp solar power project in the Philippines, along with local partner Gate Solar Philippines Corp, a renewable energy developer. Construction is expected to begin in the last quarter of this year and the commercial operation is expected to be achieved in March 2016. [PennEnergy]

Celtic Explorer

Research vessel Celtic Explorer

¶ Work has been completed on a 4-km subsea cable connecting the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site to the shore in the west of Ireland. Research vessel Celtic Explorer handled the work. The line will supply power to the test site and facilitate data transfer for researchers who work on tidal and wave test devices. [reNews]

US:

¶ Solar energy is booming in the United States and the industry wants everyone to know it. But winning an extension of a key solar tax break won’t be easy. The industry’s lobbying arm, the Solar Energy Industries Association, is working overtime to keep the investment tax credit on the books past 2016. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶ Nebraska Public Power District, the state’s largest utility, announced plans to replace a coal-fired power plant unit with one that runs on hydrogen, cutting its carbon emissions by over 1 million tons per year, even as the state battles proposed new federal rules on coal plants. It will generate 125 MW with the unit. [Reuters Africa]

¶ Electricity producers in several states are asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in financial support to keep costly nuclear power plants in business—a move that is likely to boost customers’ power bills. The nuclear reactors in question include some located in New York, Ohio, and Illinois. [Wall Street Journal]

¶ US wind power saved 68 billion gallons of water in the US in 2014, according to a report by the AWEA. This is an increasingly valuable benefit in droughts. In California, wind energy saved 2.5 billion gallons of freshwater in 2014, while Texas led the nation with savings of 13 billion gallons of water. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

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