February 18 Energy News

February 18, 2016

Opinion:

Why the U.S. is cutting carbon emissions no matter what happens with the Supreme Court • The power sector in the US is transforming to a much less carbon-intensive future, the precise thing that the Clean Power Plan aims for. This is neither a legal development, nor political. It is largely a business decision. [Washington Post]

Scaled Wind Farm Technology in Lubbock, Texas. Photo by Mark Rumsey, Energy.gov photo. Wikimedia Commons.

Scaled Wind Farm Technology in Lubbock, Texas. Photo by Mark Rumsey, Energy.gov photo. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ Venezuela is raising petrol prices for the first time in 20 years, although the president claims it will still be the world’s cheapest. President Nicolas Maduro said pump prices of premium fuel would rise from the equivalent of $0.01 a litre to about $0.60. The cost of lower grade petrol would rise to about $0.10 a litre. [BBC]

¶ Telstra Corporation, an Australian telecommunications concern, plans to speed up the roll-out of solar and battery storage options to customers, according to RenewEconomy. The plan to offer home energy services indicates it will compete with electricity utilities, a growing international trend. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Dong Energy has exported first power from its 252-MW Gode Wind 2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. Sea Challenger, owned by A2SEA, has erected all 42 Siemens turbines at the project. The remaining machines at the 97-turbine 582-MW Gode Wind 1 & 2 complex are to be up this summer. [reNews]

Dong Energy's Gode wind project (Dong photo)

Dong Energy’s Gode wind project (Dong photo)

¶ According to Solar Power Portal, the UK solar industry has reached a cumulative capacity of more than 10 GW. The news comes just weeks after the European solar industry trade body, SolarPower Europe, released a projection that the UK would remain the region’s largest solar market in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Chile’s renewable power generation rose 18.7% year-on-year to 671 GWh last month, representing a bit over 10.85% of total electric output, a government report shows. Solar power produced 26.6% of the total green power, biomass had a 26.25% share, wind power had 23.93%, mini hydro plants had 20.63% [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Gamesa got an order from a German renewable energy company to replace 11 1-MW wind turbines at a wind farm with three G128-4.5 MW turbines. Operational since 1998, the Debstedt wind farm in Lower Saxony will be upgraded with new technology, and its annual output will be doubled. [Windpower Engineering]

Three of Gamesa’s G128-4.5 MW turbines will be installed, producing more energy.

The wind turbines will be replaced by three of Gamesa’s G128-4.5 MW turbines, producing more energy.

¶ Peru awarded 185 MW of solar PV projects at an average price of $48/MWh in a renewable energy solicitation. Bloomberg New Energy Finance Head of Solar Analysis Jenny Chase says that she has never seen a contract for power from solar PV this cheap in any nation that does not offer tax breaks. [pv magazine]

¶ About a third of the world’s publicly traded oil companies are at high risk of going bankrupt this year, according to a report from consulting and audit firm Deloitte. The firm put out its findings after closely examining 500 publicly traded oil and natural gas exploration and production companies worldwide. [Greentech Media]

US:

¶ The effort by San Francisco to launch a community choice aggregation renewable energy program was politically stymied for over a decade. But city leaders have now come together around CleanPowerSF. Notices were sent out to the first batch of customers San Francisco will automatically sign up. [San Francisco Examiner]

CleanPowerSF, San Francisco’s renewable energy program, is expected to begin in May. (Mike Koozmin/2014 S.F. Examiner)

CleanPowerSF, San Francisco’s renewable energy program, is expected to begin in May. (Mike Koozmin/2014 S.F. Examiner)

¶ The future of the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant could be shorter than expected. In a recent filing, Xcel Energy told the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission it would like to do an economic study about the possibility of shutting down the nuclear facility prior to its official 2034 expiration date. [Post-Bulletin]

¶ Deepwater Wind’s 30-MW Block Island offshore wind project was selected in a 34-GW New England capacity auction. The wind farm committed to supply 6.8 MW. The auction was to cover projected demand starting in 2019-20. It closed at $7.03/kW after four rounds of competitive bidding. [reNews]

Construction at Block Island (Deepwater Wind photo)

Construction at Block Island (Deepwater Wind photo)

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority said Wednesday that it is considering whether to sell its unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, started in 1974 in northeast Alabama and mothballed for the past 28 years without ever producing any electricity. No potential price was mentioned, but TVA said it has spent about $5 billion at Bellefonte. [FederalNewsRadio.com]

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