September 8 Energy News

September 8, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ In the past, Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen has had some pithy things to say about the global petroleum industry. Mr. Nielsen has some even more pithier things to say regarding the opportunities for growth in the biofuel industry when a major global climate action milestone, COP21, comes up in Paris later this year. [CleanTechnica]

Image (screenshot): via Novozymes.

Image (screenshot): via Novozymes.

¶ Nuclear power advocates cling like limpets to the idea of ‘baseload’ power. No surprise there – it’s the only selling point they’ve got. It’s just too bad the idea is obsolete. Variable renewables combined with stronger grids, energy storage and responsive demand can do a better job for a good deal less money. [The Ecologist]

World:

¶ Danish wind energy giant Vestas has announced seven newly awarded wind turbine contracts to provide a total of 332 MW in five different countries. Between August 24th and the 4th of September, Vestas announced seven different contracts to supply wind turbines to projects all over the world, totaling 332 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In southern Europe, the cost of solar PV could be as low as €20 to €25/MWh ($22.40 to $27.90/MWh) by 2030, a report says. Even in London, the cost of large-scale solar PV will be around €50/MWh, way below the cost of nuclear, the Tory government’s clean technology of choice. There are clear implications for fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to 93% of Germans the further expansion of the country’s renewable energy capacity is important or very important, according to a poll. About 68% of those polled consider having renewable energy systems near their home a good thing. For example, 77% would like having a solar park in the neighbourhood. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Germany. Author: Clément Belleudy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in Germany. Author: Clément Belleudy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

¶ The renewable energy arm of French utility EDF says its Operations & Maintenance business has reached 13.6 GW in capacity under management during the first half of 2015. This marks a 16% rise from December 31, 2014. Of the total, wind farms account for 12 GW and solar power stations total 1.4 GW. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ APR Energy announced final signature and government approval of the extension of its 250-MW power generation project through the end of 2015 with Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas, the Uruguayan state power company. The contract terms and conditions are unchanged from the agreement announced on 1 July. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Brazil has the highest share of renewables in its power mix, reaching 73% in 2014, within the BRICS bloc which also includes Russia, India, China and South Africa. The renewables percentage in the other countries from the group ranges from just 2%, as is the case in South Africa, to 22% in China. The figures exclude imports. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ Five solar projects along the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 3 are not the largest in the state, but they are among the most visible and striking examples of a solar industry that has grown more rapidly than most policy makers and energy specialists ever imagined. They will produce a combined 2,500 kW, enough for 500 homes. [Boston Globe]

Two solar farms alongside the Mass. Pike contain 2,100 panels each. Photo by Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff

Two solar farms alongside the Mass. Pike contain 2,100 panels each. Photo by Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff

¶ Luminant, one of Texas’ largest coal power generators, is joining the rush to build utility-scale solar farms in West Texas in another sign of the technology’s rapidly declining costs. It is expected to announce a 116-MW complex on 800 acres near Midland, Texas. Luminant started developing wind power over ten years ago. [Dallas Morning News]

¶ In Arizona, the Marana Unified School District will install solar panels at all of its schools as part of its larger goal for energy efficiency to cut costs. Eight schools now have solar power with the help of Tucson Electric Power’s renewable energy credit. The other nine will have solar power installed by the end of the year. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ Imagine a solar city in a leading coal state. Increasingly, advocates and some public officials are doing just that in Louisville, as the price of using the sun to keep the lights on continues to fall. More people are calculating a solar bottom line in the black, for their household or business finances, as well as for Mother Nature. [Lexington Herald Leader]

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