October 20 Energy News

October 20, 2015

World:

¶ China is urging its top wind and solar power production provinces to prioritize transmission of renewable energy over conventional energy sources as it seeks to get more clean power onto the grid. More than 15% of energy generated by wind power in the first half of this year suffered from curtailment, according to official data. [Reuters]

A security guard stands in front of windmills used to generate energy in Shanghai November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Aly Song

A security guard stands in front of windmills used to generate energy in Shanghai November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Aly Song

¶ In Canada, the Liberal party, under the leadership of 43-year old Justin Trudeau, swept to victory in the Canadian federal elections. The Liberals have won at least 184 seats, 14 seats more than needed to form a majority government. The Trudeau government is pledged to “Make critical investments” in the clean energy industry. [Biobased Digest]

¶ Australian electricity retailers continue to sit on their hands, refusing to sign power purchase agreements for new large scale renewable energy projects. Some 3,800 MW of capacity will need to be committed within the next twelve months if a shortfall in the renewable energy target is to be avoided, but current penalties appear ineffectual. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewables are reducing the wholesale price of energy and as a result offsetting a large part of the impact of subsidies on bill payers, according to a report by UK power supplier Good Energy Group. The report responds to government announcements in recent months that it will cut renewables support control costs for consumers. [SeeNews Renewables]

An Impressive Bank of Solar Panels St Marks Close, Bramley Green. Photo by Sebastian Ballard. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons. 

An Impressive Bank of Solar Panels St Marks Close, Bramley Green. Photo by Sebastian Ballard. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ One of India’s largest private power generation companies, Reliance Power, has decided to make a major transition to solar generation. Work on a 3,960-MW power plant has now stopped as the company expressed its inability to low-priced power from it. With India’s push to solar power, the company is looking to make a switch.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ French renewables firm Vergnet will add 13 MW of PV capacity in Nigeria’s southwestern Osun state for a total cost of €35 million ($39.6 million). Apart from the facility itself, the deal also covers certain training activities aimed at paving the way for future technology transfers between the two countries. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ German industrial group Siemens AG unveiled a new DC solution for connecting offshore wind turbines to the grid which can lower costs by as much as 30%. The platform involves a DC cable that can connect several of these platforms sequentially in a wind farm and then route them to an onshore transformer substation. [SeeNews Renewables]

Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm. Source: Siemens AG. www.siemens.com/press

Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm. Source: Siemens AG.

¶ Assuming a return of between 3% and 7% for financing the construction of reactors, and fossil-fuel generators will have to pay $30 per ton for their carbon emissions, nuclear power is cheaper than coal and natural gas, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report. The agency’s mission is to promote the use of atomic energy. [Bloomberg]

¶ The first UK nuclear power plant in a generation will be 33.5% owned by China, with EDF set to announce a landmark deal on Hinkley Point on Wednesday. Bosses at the French energy giant, which is building the £24.5 billion station in Somerset, reportedly have sealed an agreement with executives from China’s state-owned CGN. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶ Japan has acknowledged a possible first casualty from radiation at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, a worker who was diagnosed with cancer after the crisis broke out in 2011. [NBCNews.com] (The Fukushima plant manager died of cancer after the meltdowns, but those in charge decided that it had nothing to do with radiation.)

US:

¶ A ten-year review of the Renewable Fuel Standard by researchers at the University of Tennessee found that the RFS is “too reliant” on corn ethanol and is not a “bridge” to renewables. It says that the production of this biofuel is resulting in additional water and soil problems, as well as “hampering advancements” in other biofuels. [CleanTechnica]

Archer Daniels Midland corn-processing plant near Columbus, Nebraska. Photo by Ammodramus. Placed in the public domain by author. Wikimedia Commons.

Archer Daniels Midland corn-processing plant near Columbus, Nebraska. Photo by Ammodramus. Placed in the public domain by author. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A report from Navigant Consulting finds significant economic benefits take place in Illinois and Massachusetts while curbing energy use during peak demand periods. By using demand response systems to compensate customers for curbing their electricity use during times of peak demand, significant economic savings are achieved. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Canadian firm Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp said it will jointly build the 150-MW Deerfield wind project in Michigan with its developer, Renewable Energy Systems Americas. The $303 million project has a power purchase agreement in place with Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative and has already started construction. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Vermont Public Service Board held a public hearing to allow area residents to comment or ask questions about a proposed Green Mountain Power solar array in Hartford. The company would buy 47-acres just west of the Quechee Gorge off of Quechee-Hartland Road to build a 4.99-MW solar array. There was no reported opposition. [Valley News]

¶ San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy will build a 123-MW wind farm north of Dallas to power Procter & Gamble plants, P&G announced at the White House. P&G was one of eighty companies signing the “American Business Act on Climate Pledge” to achieve 30% renewable energy power to its plants globally by 2020. [Chron.com]

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