October 15 Energy News

October 15, 2015

World:

¶ Ormat Technologies Inc and Toshiba Corp have signed a strategic collaboration agreement that will bring together the companies’ expertise in different geothermal technologies. The two will explore ways to provide a more competitive offering for comprehensive geothermal development to capture a larger market share. [SeeNews Renewables]

Geothermal power plant. Featured Image: cate_89/Shutterstock.com

Geothermal power plant. Featured Image: cate_89/Shutterstock.com

¶ Australian developers hope to tap into the voracious demand for clean energy from the big north Asian economies, and create a “solar fuels” export industry at a scale many would find unimaginable. Proponents are talking of developing massive solar arrays in the Australian outback at a scale of “multiple tens” of gigawatts. [RenewEconomy]

¶ On October 15 Japan restarted a second nuclear reactor after a shutdown triggered by the 2011 Fukushima crisis, as the government pushes to return to a cheaper energy source. The development is despite widespread public opposition. Engineers will now spend several days bringing the newly restarted reactor up to operational level. [Channel News Asia]

¶ Navigant Research has concluded that revenue from the global market for solar PV combined with energy storage nanogrids will expand rapidly through 2024. Navigant Research says the market for nanogrids based on PVs and energy storage nanogrids is likely to reach $23.1 billion, up from its current $1.2 billion in 2015. [CleanTechnica]

Total Solar PV plus Energy Storage Nanogrid Capacity and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2015-2024. Source: Navigant Research

Total Solar PV plus Energy Storage Nanogrid Capacity and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2015-2024. Source: Navigant Research

¶ The 21 member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation seek to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, double renewable energy use, and promote nuclear energy. Their goals include global energy security, sustainable development, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel subsides are estimated at $5.3 billion annually. [InterAksyon]

¶ German energy giant E.ON said it would sell its Norwegian oil and gas exploration business to Deutsche Erdoel DEA for $1.6 billion (€1.4 billion) as it shifts focus to renewable energy. E.ON, hit by Germany’s green energy transition, said last year it would spin off its conventional power activities to focus on renewable energy. [Daily Sabah]

¶ The government of the UK is facing growing pressure to ease off on its plans to cut subsidies for renewable energy that have helped hundreds and thousands of people install rooftop solar panels, just days before a consultation on the feed-in tariff review closes. The government’s feed-in tariff review, proposes cuts of up to 87%. [Business Green]

¶ Two ageing nuclear reactors at the Oskarshamn plant in Sweden will be decommissioned, according to the owner and operator, OKG. The Oskarshamn 1 reactor will be closed between 2017 and 2019; no date was provided for the closure of the Oskarshamn 2 reactor. Sweden gets 38% of its power from nuclear plants. [Gulf Times]

 

AFP/Stockholm

AFP/Stockholm

¶ Taking forward an announcement made by the Indian Prime Minister on August 15, the Union ministry of power has readied a plan to electrify 18,500 villages in seventeen states over the course of three years. Of these villages, around 3,500 would get their electricity through off-grid or renewable energy solutions. [Business Standard]

¶ Net retail sales of ethical and socially responsible investment funds in the UK have more than doubled from £206 million in 2013 to £460 million in 2014. However the UK has some catching up to do. Funds under management in this area have grown from $13.3 trillion at the start of 2012 to $21.4 trillion at the start of 2014. [FT Adviser]

US:

¶ New figures from EnergySage show solar installation costs in the US for the first half of 2015 averaged around $3.79 per watt. This is one of the primary conclusions of EnergySage’s new 2H 2014-1H 2015 EnergySage Solar Marketplace Intel Report, which focused on the residential and small-scale commercial solar market. [CleanTechnica]

Two workers installing a tilt-up photovoltaic array on a roof near Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo by Lucas Braun. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons. 

Two workers installing a tilt-up photovoltaic array on a roof near Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo by Lucas Braun. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Florida’s electric utilities have been fighting a battle over a proposed constitutional amendment intended to lift major obstacles to rooftop solar development. The issue is before the Florida Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on whether the proposed amendment can appear on the state’s November 2016 election ballot. [energybiz]

¶ The looming shutdown of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth is quickly changing the debate about energy on Beacon Hill, moving it out of the policy-wonk arena and into the political realm. The four big energy variables on the table are natural gas pipelines, Canadian hydropower, solar, and offshore wind. [CommonWealth magazine]

¶ The Democratic hopefuls for president vowed to embrace forceful measures to combat climate change in their curtain-raising debate last night. They did not explain how they would get help of Republican lawmakers needed to enact their plans. Four of the five candidates raised the climate issue in their opening statements. [Scientific American]

¶ The Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission has decided to do away with net energy metering, cutting the credit new Oahu PV customers get for sending excess energy to the grid from the current 26.8 cents per kWh to about 15 cents under a new grid supply program. Residents of the other islands will get different rates. [Hawaii News Now]

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