August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2015

World:

¶ Egypt has invited bids for the development of 500 MW of renewable energy projects, including one solar PV, one concentrating solar power (CSP), and one wind power project. The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and the New and Renewable Energy Authority announced separate tenders for 250 MW of wind, 200 MW of PV and 50 MW of CSP capacity. [SeeNews Renewables]

Kuraymat solar-natural gas power plant in Egypt. Author: Kuraymat. License: Creative Commons.

Kuraymat solar-natural gas power plant in Egypt. Author: Kuraymat. License: Creative Commons.

¶ Solar energy generation surged by around 153% over the last year in the UK, according to analyst company EnAppSys. The new report also notes that, while solar PV generation currently accounts for only 4% of the UK’s electricity supply, that growth in the industry was already causing “oversupply” to the grid, thus contributing to negative market prices during some periods. [CleanTechnica]

¶ French utility Engie, formerly GDF Suez, has started construction work on the 10-MW Cairnborrow wind farm in Scotland. Completion is expected by late 2016. The five-turbine facility is located near Huntly in Aberdeenshire. Once up and running, it is expected to generate enough electricity to supply power for about 6,300 homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Indian Railways is planning to set up a renewable energy capacity of 1,200 MW and a transmission system to carry the power generated in an attempt to cut its power costs. The national carrier is also conducting an energy audit to estimate the amount of savings that can be made. Railways consumption is growing at about 5% a year. [Livemint]

¶ The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations has approved TEPCO’s plan to release water into the ocean after it has been decontaminated. Under the plan, TEPCO will pump up water from subdrains around reactor buildings at the plant. This water will then be treated and discharged into the sea. [The Japan News]

US:

¶ The average price of adding solar to a home or business has dropped by more than 50% over the past years, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s eighth-annual “Tracking the Sun” report. Solar prices are falling across America, largely due to industry efforts to reduce solar soft costs (non-module project costs) as government incentives taper off. [CleanTechnica]

US solar PV prices 1998-2014 graph via LBNL/SunShot.

US solar PV prices 1998-2014 graph via LBNL/SunShot.

¶ First Solar has already sold out of solar photovoltaic (PV) module capacity for 2015, and for most of 2016, according to the most recent figures. Overall, the company beat analyst predictions pretty handily, coming in with net sales of $896 million for the second quarter, accompanied by a 1:1 book-to-bill ratio. This amounts to a rise from the first quarter of nearly $427 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ After a very successful debut in Northern California, in March of this year, Neste’s NEXBTL renewable diesel is now also available to drivers in Southern California at retail stations. Propel Fuels is the first retailer in the world to sell essentially neat NEXBTL renewable diesel to consumers under the brand name Diesel HPR. [IT Business Net]

¶ New York and Connecticut recently joined at least 13 other states, including Hawai’i and Maryland, in establishing measures that could significantly expand access to renewable energy generation in those states through community-based renewable energy programs. Community solar projects expand access through virtual net metering [JD Supra]

¶ It’s the first, and likely won’t be the last member-owned solar farm in Maine. The Edgecomb Community Solar Farm Association began providing electricity to the grid on July 31 and held a ceremony Aug. 6 celebrating its beginning. The association is using electricity produced from 182 solar panels attached to a farm in Edgecomb. [Boothbay Register]

¶ Tucked inside the Obama administration’s groundbreaking greenhouse gas reduction scheme are some even more significant opportunities for smart grid technologies, not just to indirectly boost the grid’s green power capacity, but to actively serve as a compliance tool for states’ carbon-cutting and carbon-trading plans. [Greentech Media]

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