June 9 Energy News

June 9, 2015

World:

¶ A record 40 GW of new solar power was connected in 2014 according to a new report from SolarPower Europe, formerly the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. The group said that 2014 was a “tipping point.” Its executive advisor pointed out that in 2014, renewables produced more power than nuclear. [reNews]

Photo by Rama. Wikimedia Commons. 

Photo by Rama. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Essel Group and the state government of Rajasthan announced that the two have entered into an agreement to set up a joint venture company that will oversee development of 5 GW of solar power capacity over the next few years. They will build at least two separate solar parks, at Bikaner and Jaisalmer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The top seven industrialized countries (G7), whose carbon dioxide emissions total 25% of the world’s output, decided at a meeting in Germany today to phase out their use of fossil fuels by the end of this century. It’s a breakthrough move on climate change and a strong signal to the rest of the countries in the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The wind power segment of Gestamp Renewables has won a 20-year contract for the 102-MW Copperton wind project in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Gestamp plans to start construction by the first quarter of 2016. The $169.7 million project is expected to start commercial operations in late 2017. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ SunEdison has been awarded five solar more photovoltaic projects in South Africa, totaling 371 MW DC. The five solar power plants will be located in the Northern Cape and North West Provinces and are expected to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 200,000 South African homes. [AZoCleantech]

¶ Irish renewable energy company Mainstream Renewable Power expects construction to be completed on two large-scale wind farms in South Africa by the end of 2017. The wind farms, which will have a with a total generation capacity of 250 MW, represent an investment of about €420 million. [Irish Independent]

¶ The 270-MW K2 Wind Power Facility in Ontario has started commercial operations. Having 140 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines, K2 Wind is currently the largest such facility in Ontario in terms of capacity. It is expected to generate adequate electricity to power 100,000 average households in Ontario. [Greentech Lead]

¶ American Capital Energy & Infrastructure is investing in a 151.8-MW wind power project in Senegal in west Africa. The total cost of the facility, which will be the largest in West Africa, is estimated at €305 million, with ACEI expecting to provide an estimated €76 million of equity, with the rest from other investors. [reNews]

¶ Norway’s Parliament voted Friday to ratify a decision made by the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund’s finance committee to divest of coal industry holdings. The fund will sell stakes in mining and power companies that directly, or indirectly, base 30% or more of their revenue on coal. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

US:

¶ Hawai’i is now the first state in the nation to adopt a 100% renewable energy requirement for electricity generation, as Governor David Ige signed the measure into law. That goal is to be achieved by 2045. Representative Chris Lee introduced the measure partly as a step to reduce electricity costs. [Hawaii Public Radio-HPR2]

A Mitsubishi 250 kW wind turbine of the Kama'oa Wind Farm in Ka Lae. Photo by Harvey McDaniel from Naalehu, HI. Wikimedia Commons

A Mitsubishi 250 kW wind turbine of the Kama’oa Wind Farm in Ka Lae. Photo by Harvey McDaniel from Naalehu, HI. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission is working to replace the current four-tier structure, in which greater users of electricity pay higher rates, with a two-tier or a three-tier structure. They are also shifting to time-of-use rates, which would charge more for electricity at high demand times, by 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A Republican entrepreneur is putting a whopping $175 million behind a campaign whose message will have some party stalwarts seeing red: The GOP needs to deal with climate change. Among Republican presidential candidates, only Lindsey Graham admits to believing human activity causes climate change. [Politico]

¶ An Oklahoma electric cooperative will offer its members stakes in a community solar project with help from an Arkansas co-op that designs and develops solar arrays. Tri-County Electric Cooperative plans to deploy a 1-MW solar array and give members the option to purchase individual panels. [Electric Co-op Today]

¶ Researchers at Stanford University and UC Berkeley have outlined how each state can achieve a complete transition to renewable power by 2050. The plans call for aggressive changes to both infrastructure and energy consumption habits, but also show conversions that are economically possible. [Stanford University News]

¶ The state of California has already set 14 solar records this year, including the latest high of 6,078 MW of simultaneous solar generation, but don’t expect that high mark to be the record long. Experts expect a steady clip of new records over the next few months, as sunny summer weather kicks into full gear. [The Desert Sun]

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