October 19 Energy News

October 19, 2015

World:

¶ Small and medium-sized hydro projects are being abandoned across Scotland following controversial changes in subsidy arrangements made by the government at Whitehall since the General Election. It will mean many millions of pounds of investment being lost and the potential for much-needed jobs in rural communities. [Herald Scotland]

A small hydro turbine building in a Scottish wilderness.

A small hydro turbine building in a Scottish wilderness.

¶ Dutch company Seawind is developing an offshore wind system integrating a 6.2-MW wind turbine with self-installing support structures for water depths over ten meters. The aim of the system is to reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy from its current level of up to €0.20 per kWh to below €0.09 within five years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Xinhua News Agency says China’s solar PV power capacity will hit 150 GW by 2020. The agency referenced information from the National Energy Administration, which said country’s total solar PV power capacity standing at 35.8 GW at the end of June, and that China will attempt to increase PV capacity by 20 GW each year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Envision Energy, a Chinese manufacturer of low-speed wind energy turbines, has acquired a majority stake in a portfolio of Mexican wind energy projects with total capacity of 600 MW. The construction of the projects is yet to start, and is expected for 2016, with operations scheduled to begin by the end of the same year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Protesters opposing Hinkley C have set up camp on a roundabout at the gates of the UK’s proposed nuclear site. They erected a compound in the early hours of Monday, October 19. They have written banners in Chinese telling the visiting Chinese President that EDF’s Hinkley C would be “a bad investment” for the Chinese state. [Western Gazette]

Artist's rendering of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant

Artist’s rendering of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant

¶ The UN’s chief environment scientist has attacked the UK government over its stance on renewable energy subsidies. She told the BBC the UK was sending “a very serious signal – a very perverse signal” by cutting support for renewable energy while appearing to continue heavily subsidising fossil fuels. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ The UK Government says is necessary to stop spiralling renewables support costs. The Solar Trade Association, warning the move could cost up to 27,000 jobs, has launched a £1 solar rescue plan, which it says would add just £1 to consumer bills by 2019, on top of the £9 a year that clean technology currently cost ratepayers. [Energy Voice]

¶ Wind and solar farms brought down the wholesale cost of electricity by £1.55 billion in 2014, a study shows. The research comes as 30 community energy groups across the South West united to warn that subsidy cuts will cost jobs. The collective is calling on MPs as 3,000 of the 3,800 solar jobs in the region could be at risk. [Western Morning News]

¶ Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell, told a Canberra tech conference that the country needs an ‘orderly exit plan’ from a dependency on coal-fired energy. He said that the solution for Australia’s electricity needs is a responsible policy that encourages long-term investment in emerging microgrid technologies. [OmniChannel Media]

Wind turbines in an Australian desert.

Wind turbines in an Australian desert.

US:

¶ New York’s Westchester County will soon procure clean energy for around 75,000 residents. Over 15 municipalities are banding together to aggregate their demand for cleaner power sources and lower their energy bills through competitive bidding. The project is New York’s first implementation of community choice aggregation. [GreenBiz]

¶ The city of Bakersfield, California, has passed a resolution urging Congress to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit for solar energy. Bakersfield may be the first city in America to officially pass such a resolution supporting the solar tax credit. One reason is that solar power contributes billions to the California economy. [CleanTechnica]

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