December 18 Energy News

December 18, 2015


Where in the world have we achieved 100% renewable power? • In a few places around the world, humans have achieved a feat that seemed impossible just a few years ago, and still seems inconceivable nearly everywhere else: They’ve stopped burning fossil fuels for electricity. There are even entire countries. [Quartz]

Bright forecast. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Bright forecast. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

¶ Can we really generate most of our power from renewables in a few decades? In a word, yes. But to understand further, we must understand how we produce and distribute power today. Part of the difficulty lies in the concepts we use to understand the electrical power system. A simple model is insufficient. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The Department of Energy and Climate Change, Government of the UK, decided to cut solar domestic tariff by 64% to 4.39p/kWh instead of the original proposal of cuts of up to 87% to 1.63p/kWh. The rate cut is not as severe as the government proposed, but is still bound to result in significant job losses. [Greentech Lead]

Kencot Hill Solar Power Plant

Kencot Hill Solar Power Plant

¶ The historic developments in Paris have highlighted green alliances such as RE100, which was formed by 53 companies (to date) with a target of using 100% of renewable electricity in their day-to-day operations. The RE100 alliance includes corporate giants such as Google, Nike, Microsoft and Coca Cola. []

¶ German wind power is at record levels. Its production tied with lignite-burning power plants in the month of November. Both were reported to have generated 11.4 TWh, though the final official stats won’t be published until 2016. For the month, wind generated about 23% of Germany’s electricity. [CleanTechnica]

German wind farm via Shutterstock

German wind farm via Shutterstock

¶ The government of the Australian Capital Territory will subsidize battery storage for 5000 Canberra homes over five years in its latest push towards a target of 90% renewable energy by 2020. The $20 million program will subsidize 36 MW of battery storage, and will allow them also to sell power back into the grid. [The Canberra Times]

¶ A Welsh tidal stream technology company has installed the country’s first tidal energy generator in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire. Developed by Tidal Energy Ltd, the DeltaStream device will become one of the first grid-connected demonstration devices of its type to generate green tidal power. [Renewable Energy Focus]

The DeltaStream is the first tidal energy generator to be deployed in Wales. Tidal Energy photo.

The DeltaStream is the first tidal energy generator to be deployed in Wales. Tidal Energy photo.

¶ Tokyo Electric Power Co, operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, expects to post a profit next year even if unable to restart any reactors, according to a plan given to its creditor banks. TEPCO will likely turn a profit for the fourth straight year due to cost-cutting efforts and reduced fuel costs. [The Japan Times]


¶ After many long months of deliberations and lobbying, the US Congress has approved five-year extensions to the hugely successful Investment Tax Credit, which has given incentives for solar power projects, and to the Production Tax Credit, which has similarly supported for the country’s wind energy industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ US renewables developer Sustainable Power Group (sPower) is on track to start commercial operation on 31 December at a 62.1-MW wind project in Utah. GE supplied 27 2.3-MW turbines and will handle operations and maintenance for the first five years. The project employed up 100 workers for construction. [reNews]

Latigo wind farm (sPower)

Latigo wind farm (sPower)

¶ New York state regulators approved upgrades to 156 miles of high-voltage transmission lines running from Utica to New York City via the Capital Region, part of the governor’s Energy Highway program. Bidding for contracts will be overseen by the New York Independent System Operator. [Albany Times Union]

¶ Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have requirements that utilities get a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources. Nine additional states have goals for renewable energy, while a dozen others have no targets. Here is a state-by-state look at renewable energy policies. []

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