July 23 Energy News

July 23, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Almost As Good As Solar, Says Report Prepared For Nuclear Group” Nuclear power helps lower the selling price of electricity, according to a recent report prepared for a nuclear advocacy organization, but it seems to fall short of renewables on the same score. The report is an economic analysis on nuclear power prepared by the Brattle Group for Nuclear Matters. [Forbes]

World:

¶ A 50% renewable energy share in Australia by 2030 is “entirely achievable”, the head of the Clean Energy Council said in response to media reports that the Australian Labor Party would adopt such a target. He said meeting the target would require an energy and climate change policy that would facilitate shutting down old coal-fired plants. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind Farm in West Australia. Author: Lawrence Murray. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind Farm in West Australia. Author: Lawrence Murray. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ Given the availability of solar power at 4¢ per kWh, a price with which crude oil could only compete if offered below $7 per barrel, the ‘carbon bubble’ is expected to burst, Wermuth Asset Management has warned. According to the company, this will have profound implications for the Middle East’s oil producing countries, global financial markets and the world. [Trade Arabia]

¶ China will develop a renewable energy micro-power grid policy, to promote sustainable development of energy resources, according to the National Energy Administration. Micro-power, a paradigm that is the opposite of large, centralized power stations, has electricity sources that are small, mass producible, quick to deploy, cost competitive and rapidly scalable. [eco-business.com]

¶ Deutsche Bank has painted a sunny picture for solar in India, stating annual investments in the clean power technology could surpass investment in coal by 2019. In its India 2020: Utilities & Renewables report, the bank says that by 2020, renewables could account for 20% of the nation’s power generation capacity – and the electricity will be cheaper than coal. [Energy Matters]

¶ Environment Victoria’s new report, Six Steps to Climate Leadership: The Path to a Cleaner, Healthier and More Prosperous Victoria, outlines changes the state could make to transform into a “renewable energy heavyweight on the global stage”. A seven-star housing standard, low-income retrofits, a vision for reaching zero net emission, are just parts of the vision. [The Fifth Estate]

¶ Scottish Power reported a 24% drop in its coal-powered electricity generation in the first half of this year. The Spanish-owned energy giant, which is based in Glasgow, is preparing for the likely shut-down of the massive Longannet station in Fife next year. Renewable energy generation was up 27%, to reach half of the coal-powered figure of more than 4 GWh. [BBC News]

Longannet is one of the biggest coal-fired power stations in Europe.

Longannet is one of the biggest coal-fired power stations in Europe.

¶ Renewable energy company SunEdison announced that it has signed a power purchase agreement with Tata Power Delhi Distribution. The agreement was signed for supplying electricity from a 180 MW solar plant that it would build in Madhya Pradesh. SunEdison will sell electricity to Tata Power for 20 years. It is said to be the largest such agreement ever signed. [PrepSure]

US:

¶ According to the recently-released BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014, the US was the world’s largest and most diverse energy producer in 2014. But things are not as simple as BP’s calculations. Different grades of oil and gas are not the same. BP may have been correct, according to their methods of evaluation, but based on the energy content of the fuel, it is not. [Energy Collective]

¶ SunEdison Inc completed a 4.1-MW solar power plant for the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The solar power plant, located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, will supply the municipality and Cape Cod Community College under a 20-year power purchase agreement. SunEdison and partner BlueWave Capital have installed 16 MW of solar for New Bedford. [Solar Industry]

¶ With 1,661 MW of newly installed wind turbines coming online during the second quarter of 2015 and more than 13,600 MW under construction, American wind power continues to grow. Florida’s first purchase of wind energy, from a wind farm in Oklahoma, shows a growing trend in the Southeast, as does a new utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina. [Windpower Engineering]

There are now 67,870 MW of installed wind capacity in the US and over 49,000 wind turbines online.

There are now 67,870 MW of installed wind capacity in the US and over 49,000 wind turbines online.

¶ Renewable energy sources accounted for nearly 70% of new electrical generation placed in service in the US during the first six months this year. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Energy Infrastructure Update, wind alone accounted for nearly 2 GW of new generating capacity – or 50.64% of all new capacity year-to-date. [North American Windpower]

¶ US developer Swaggart Wind Power has unveiled plans for a 500-MW wind farm in northern Oregon. The company anticipates constructing the project in phases, a site certificate application says. The project will consist of up to 292 turbines divided into two areas, Wheatridge West and Wheatridge East, linked via a 230 kV transmission line up to 35 miles long. [reNews]

¶ Scituate is the first community in Massachusetts to generate 100% of its power for public buildings from green energy sources. The town installed the solar farm at the former landfill 2 years ago and the wind turbine was erected 3 years ago on the Driftway. The vice-chair of the Scituate Board of Selectmen said each project has earned the town over $250,000 annually. [95.9 WATD-FM]

¶ A proposal by Kansas’ largest electric utility to raise its rates by $152 million a year is drawing strong criticism, particularly as parts of it could discourage consumers from installing solar panels or increasing efficiency. Westar says it needs rate increases to cover costs to meet a federal air pollution standard and for upgrades at the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant. [Salina.com]

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