September 30 Energy News

September 30, 2015

World:

¶ The UK’s South West is self-sufficient and even able to export electricity on sunny summer days, the region’s renewable industry body has revealed. The potential of Solar power in Devon and Cornwall is highlighted as new official figures showed that more than a quarter of the UK’s electricity came from renewables this spring. [Western Morning News]

Cold Northcott wind farm in Cornwall. Photo by Jon Coupland. CC BY-SA 2.0

Cold Northcott wind farm in Cornwall. Photo by Jon Coupland. CC BY-SA 2.0

¶ Speaking in a radio interview on Tuesday morning, Australia’s Energy Minister confirmed that the Liberal Party, under the new leadership of Malcolm Turnbull, its new leader and subsequently Australia’s new Prime Minister, will be supporting the renewable energy sector and opening up support for emerging technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Like the US, China has been slow to adopt fuel cell electric vehicles, but it looks like things are stepping up in a big way. The cities of Foshan and Yunfu are jumping into the lead with a $17 million order for 300 fuel cell electric buses, just announced by the Canadian company Ballard Power Systems through its Chinese licensee. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Western Power, the state-owned company that operates the grid in the south-west corner of Western Australia, may take some communities completely off grid so that it can save money on costly network upgrades and extensions. They are considering up to ten stand-alone systems, using solar, batteries, and back-up diesel. [One Step Off The Grid]

Margaret River, Western Australia. Photo by Rob & Jules. CC BY 2.0.

Margaret River, Western Australia, is one of the communities that may go off-grid. Photo by Rob & Jules. CC BY 2.0.

¶ BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, did an analysis of climate change, and issued the findings in a report. The company says it believes climate change is real and that action will be taken. In fact, the introduction calls for an agreement to restrict global warming to 2 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. [Business Insider Australia]

¶ Despite getting 55% of its energy from coal-fired plants, the Alberta premier says the province will drop coal. She said the government is looking for a strategy to phase out the use of coal as quickly as possible, switching to renewables and efficiency without imposing unnecessary price shocks or unnecessarily stranding capital. [MINING.com]

¶ Rosatom initially pledged to have the first of the four reactors in the southern Turkish town of Akkuyu ready by 2019 but regulatory hurdles and Russia’s financial woes have slowed the $20 billion project’s progress. In March, there was talk that it would be delayed until at 2022, at earliest. Now, more delay is expected. [Today’s Zaman]

US:

¶ A newly expanded Nevada plant is providing 16.2 MW of renewable energy, enough for 22,500 Los Angeles households, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 14,600 cars off the road, officials announced Tuesday. The plant, built as an expansion of an existing facility and completed months ahead of schedule. [MyNewsLA.com]

Don Campbell I geothermal plant in Nevada. Photo courtesy of the Nevada Department of Energy

Don Campbell I geothermal plant in Nevada. Photo courtesy of the Nevada Department of Energy

¶ International credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service expects battery storage to be economical within 3 to 5 years in the US. The biggest losers will be coal-powered generators and peaking gas plants. Moody’s says battery storage costs have fallen 50% in recent years, and their rapid fall is likely to continue in the next few. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US House passed the RAPID Act, prohibiting federal agencies from following draft guidance from the White House Council on Environmental Quality for “consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change” in environmental reviews. Citibank puts the worldwide cost of the emissions at $44 trillion annually. [CleanTechnica]

The Deep Water Wind project will create five turbines off the coast of Block Island. Photo courtesy of Hans Hilewaert

The Deep Water Wind project will create five turbines off the coast of Block Island. Photo by Hans Hilewaert. 

¶ Three miles off the coast of Block Island, Deep Water Wind is overseeing construction of the first offshore wind farm in the United States and is expecting the controversial turbines to begin producing electricity by fall 2016. The project will consist of five turbines connected to the mainland by an underwater cable. [The Brown Daily Herald]

¶ Solar energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Driven by lower installed costs, improved project performance, and a race to build projects ahead of a reduction in a key federal incentive, utility-scale solar PV power sales agreements are averaging just 5¢/kWh. [solarserver.com]

¶ North Carolina has surpassed 1 GW of installed solar capacity, the fourth US state to do so, according to the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association. The state reached 1.04 GW of installed capacity as of September 24. California, Arizona, and New Jersey had already reached the 1-GW milestone. [CleanTechnica]

 

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