October 21 Energy News

October 21, 2015

World:

¶ Australia has not just reached socket parity, it has smashed it, according to a report from Beyond Zero Emissions. In most cities in Australia, the cost of rooftop solar is now less than half the price of grid-based power. Indeed, even some utilities offer to install rooftop solar on your roof for free, and charge only 11¢/kWh for the output. [One Step Off The Grid]

Australia at grid parity.

Australia at grid parity.

¶ An unprecedented alliance of heads of state, city, and state leaders, has called for countries around the world to put a price on carbon. The call comes by way of the Carbon Pricing Panel, a group of world leaders convened by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. [CleanTechnica]

¶ China’s leader is expected to put the seal later on its contribution to what will be the first UK nuclear power plant built in a generation. The Hinkley C plant could be opened by 2025, with China likely to cover about 30% of the cost. President Xi Jinping is meeting Prime Minister David Cameron on the second day of his UK state visit. [BBC]

¶ The Solar Trade Association claims solar could provide as much power as Hinkley Point C at half the cost. The plant was ridiculed as a white elephant in the House of Lords. Criticism of an expected nuclear deal with China is still growing. At current price estimates of £24.5 billion, it will be the world’s most expensive power plant. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ Eight months after becoming the first capital city to divest from coal, Oslo has announced it intends to divest its pension fund from all fossil fuels. According to Fossil Free Europe, which reported the news Monday, the City of Oslo announced that it intends to divest its $9 billion pension fund from coal, oil, and gas companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Cars remained in the news over the past week, with VW facing further consequences of the diesel emissions scandal – while other car manufacturers are considering the effects of the scandal for each of them. The new emphasis on EVs by Volvo and Toyota is being mirrored by such car makers as Aston Martin Lagonda. [Business Spectator]

¶ China added 9.9 GW of PV power-generation capacity in the first nine months of 2015, the National Energy Administration said. The amount includes 8.32 GW from PV power stations and 1.58 GW from distributed PV power projects, according to NEA figures. China’s cumulative-installed capacity for solar PV power hit 37.95 GW. [China Daily]

¶ Google will buy out Vestas’ 12.5% stake in the Lake Turkana Wind Project in Kenya after it is up and running. Vestas said Google would purchase the stake for an undisclosed amount once the project was completed in 2017. The Lake Turkana wind project will have a capacity of 310 MW and will cost about $700 million. [TV Newsroom]

Google will invest in the Lake Turkana Wind Project

Google will invest in the Lake Turkana Wind Project

US:

¶ The Eastern Navajo Nation Agency is exploring the possibility of building a solar farm as part of efforts to chart a “new path,” according to a tribal official. The proposed project would deliver 2,100 MW of PV power at the Paragon-Bisti Energy Renewable Ranch, a 22,000-acre parcel south of Farmington, New Mexico. [Farmington Daily Times]

¶ Yuba County, California, supervisors authorized the sale of bonds for installation of a $5.8 million solar project at the county airport. Combined with projects that power the County Government Center in Marysville and Health and Human Services in Linda, the new array will result in all 13 county facilities being solar powered. [Appeal-Democrat]

¶ Microgrids work for utilities. During California’s Butte Fire, PG&E asked Jackson Rancheria’s microgrid to stay off-grid for two days. Then it turned out to be a week. And then things didn’t work out for them, so the rancheria stayed off the grid for 10 days. It marked the 14th time this year the rancheria was asked to go off grid. [Government Technology]

The Butte fire killed two people, burned 475 homes and charred nearly 71,000 acres, mainly in California's Calaveras County. Flickr/Eileen McFall

In September, the Butte fire killed two people, burned 475 homes and charred nearly 71,000 acres, mainly in California’s Calaveras County. Flickr/Eileen McFall

¶ As the fate of a nuclear plant in New York’s Oswego County hangs in the balance, tensions are rising between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the plant’s operators. On Monday, Cuomo released a statement accusing Entergy of using its employees as pawns in an attempt to win financial incentives for the FitzPatrick nuclear. [Capital New York]

¶ The EPA has announced its annual Green Power Leadership Awards recognizing 22 Green Power Partners and three renewable energy suppliers across the country. All three winners in the onsite generation category use of landfill gas or biogas. The awards were presented at the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ Last week, Lander-Grinspoon Academy, in Northampton, Massachusetts, turned on 147 solar panels that were installed on its roof over the summer. The panels were installed by Greenfield-based Pioneer Valley Photovoltaics, or PV Squared, over the course of two weeks, and are now providing power for the whole building. [GazetteNET]

¶ Two representatives in the Michigan legislature from different political points of view are uniting on renewable energy. Jeff Irwin is a proud progressive, and Gary Glenn is widely considered one of the most conservative Republicans. But they’re working together on an energy package to encourage renewable energy in Michigan. [MLive.com]

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