October 8 Energy News

October 8, 2015

World:

¶ Scotland has reached and surpassed its target of generating 500 MW of locally and community owned renewable energy five years early. Scotland’s Energy Minister announced that Scotland has already installed an estimated 508 MW of community and locally owned renewable energy capacity, well in advance of its target of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Whitelee's wind farm with Arran in the background. Photo by Bjmullan. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Whitelee’s wind farm with Arran in the background. Photo by Bjmullan. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Scotland’s onshore wind industry is pulling ahead of England’s, but England is focusing a lot of its attention on its offshore industry. These are the key findings from a new report from the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, RenewableUK, which published its annual Wind Energy in the UK report this week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Sterling and Wilson is planning to construct 300 MW of solar plants in Egypt. The company already won two solar PV Projects of 50 MW each and is looking forward to another 200 MW in Egypt. Worldwide, Sterling and Wilson has over 400 MW of solar projects operational, 498 MW under-construction and a 251 MW order book. [Greentech Lead]

¶ A pioneer of the United Kingdom’s renewable energy industry says the British government is distorting the market in an attempt to support fossil fuels and nuclear power. His accusation comes just as RenewableUK announced that in the second quarter of this year renewable energy outproduced both nuclear power and coal. [eco-business.com]

Offshore wind farm near in Merseyside county of North West England in the United Kingdom. In the second quarter of 2015, renewable energy produced 25.3 per cent of the country’s electricity. Image: Shutterstock

Offshore wind farm near in Merseyside county of North West England in the United Kingdom. Image: Shutterstock

¶ United States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is staging a new round of a legal fight against an offshore wind farm near his Scottish golf resort, taking the case to the Supreme Court in London. Scottish Government ministers approved the 11-turbine scheme off the Aberdeenshire coast in 2013. [Bradford Telegraph and Argus]

¶ Solar PVs became Australia’s largest source of renewable energy in 2014, with a cumulative installed capacity of 4 GW, overtaking wind power, which totaled 3.8 GW, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. This report was built using information from proprietary databases, research, and in-house analysis. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶ A study of the information security measures at civilian nuclear energy facilities around the world found a wide range of problems at many facilities that could leave them vulnerable to attacks on industrial control systems—potentially causing interruptions in electrical power or even damage to the reactors themselves. [Ars Technica]

US:

¶ Spot shortages in solar panel equipment are lengthening delivery schedules and threatening to stall utility-scale projects for electric cooperatives. Some vendors and manufacturers project lead times for large orders of up to six months, beginning in 2016, and saying their delivery capacity could be completely booked by year’s end. [Electric Co-op Today]

Manufacturers are warning that increased demand to meet the need of large solar installations could lead to spot shortages of some components. (Photo By: Suniva)

Manufacturers are warning that increased demand to meet the need of large solar installations could lead to spot shortages of some components. (Photo By: Suniva)

¶ Work on the interior of the Tesla Gigafactory, and also an onsite data center, is apparently well under way at this point, based on permit records for the project recently uncovered by a local news outlet. Tesla is currently planning for the pilot facility, a fourth of the factory, to begin producing cells in the early part of 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Volkswagen’s US boss has admitted he was aware early last year of the emissions cheating affecting millions of the company’s vehicles. He said he was told about a “possible emissions non-compliance” in the spring of 2014. The revelation is in testimony due to be presented to a committee of the US House of Representatives. [BBC]

¶ California Governor Jerry Brown signed an ambitious climate change bill, aiming to increase the state’s use of renewable electricity to 50% and make existing buildings twice as energy-efficient by 2030. Brown had also tried to cut petroleum use by half in the next 15 years, but oil interests defeated that part of the package. [St. Augustine Record]

¶ The federal permit for the Texas facility that is supposed to take most low-level radioactive waste from the demolition of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will expire 20 years before Yankee is expected to be decommissioned, according to commissioners of the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. [The Recorder]

BirdsEyeViews photo - The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant in Vernon, Vt.

BirdsEyeViews photo – The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant in Vernon, Vt.

¶ While the production of fossil fuels drops in the United States, solar and wind power is skyrocketing as technology and cheaper financing drive down the costs. The federal government expects a surge in renewable energy in the coming year, just as America’s fracking boom is starting to falter and crude oil production declines. [Sacramento Bee]

¶ A trio of analysts on a supply/demand panel at the LDC Gas Forum Rockies & the West in Los Angeles threw a wet blanket on the chances of growth in natural gas-fired generation in the West, particularly California, blaming the sun and the wind. The analysts were unenthusiastic about both export projects and storage. [Natural Gas Intelligence]

¶ The monthly natural gas share of total US electricity generation surpassed the coal share in July for the second time, with natural gas fueling 35.0% of total generation to coal’s 34.9% share. Compared to the previous July, coal-fired generation fell in every region of the country, while natural gas-fired generation rose in every region. [Your Renewable News]

 

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