February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2016

World:

¶ The International Energy Agency is warning consumers not to let cheap oil lull them into a false sense of security. In a report, the IEA said it expects prices to start recovering in 2017. But it forecasts a subsequent sharp jump in price as supply shrinks following under-investment by struggling producers. [BBC]

Consumers should expect oil prices to recover

Consumers should expect oil prices to recover

¶ The operator of South Australia’s vast network says it has no concern about the growing penetration of renewable energy on its grid, and is encouraging remote towns to look at renewable micro-grids to cut costs. South Australia is likely to get over 50% of its electricity needs from wind and solar power this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ At the recently concluded Invest Karnataka summit, two different entities pledged to add a total of 3 GW of solar power capacity in the southern Indian state. Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation stated its plans to set up 2 GW, while Adani Group announced plans to set up 1 GW solar capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A newly published decree will help bring down by six to eight months delays in the French green tenders system, Ecology Minister Segolene Royal announced. The decree modifies the procedure for holding tenders for electricity from renewable sources. It issued on February 21 and applies immediately. [SeeNews Renewables]

Urbasolar concentration solar power plant in France, Source: Urbasolar.

Urbasolar concentration solar power plant in France, Source: Urbasolar.

¶ Chinese manufacturer, Goldwind, became the world’s largest supplier of wind turbines in 2015 for the first time, displacing long-term number one supplier Vestas, according to preliminary findings from FTI Intelligence. According to the findings, Vestas is placed second, while US supplier GE is in third place. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ The capacity of wind power generation worldwide reached 432.42 GW at the end of 2015, up 17% from a year earlier and surpassing nuclear energy for the first time, according to data released by global industry bodies. The generation capacity of wind farms newly built in 2015 was a record 63.01 GW. [The Japan Times]

¶ UK-based Renewable Energy Systems Ltd last week announced the start of operations of two green power plants in France, lifting its portfolio in the country to 538 MW. Both installations, a 22-MW wind farm, with 11 Senvion wind turbines, and a 12-MWp solar park, are located in the Aude department. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in France. Author: Connie Ma. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in France. Author: Connie Ma. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

¶ German onshore wind power generation capacity is likely to increase by around 3 GW to 4 GW this year driven by subsidy reform, the country’s wind industry association BWE said on Monday. The German economic affairs ministry plans to shift many renewable power subsidies to tenders, for which projects compete. [ICIS]

US:

¶ By summer’s end, sunny forecasts will translate into brightly lit rooms on the Ithaca College campus when a planned 2.9-MW solar electric project is completed, accounting for 10% of the campus’ electric needs. The Town of Seneca plans to sell the college, an estimated 3.55 million kWh electricity per year. [Ithaca Journal]

A photo of the new solar facility for Ithaca College, in Seneca, NY. (Photo: NYSERDA)

A photo of the new solar facility for Ithaca College, in Seneca, NY. (Photo: NYSERDA)

¶ New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Friday announced that 900 solar projects are underway through 26 community “Solarize” campaigns across New York state. Thirty-two of these come from the Solarize Canton effort. The solar systems in Canton total 228 kW, exceeding campaign expectations. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

¶ A new Pennsylvania state regulatory decision will allow farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to continue selling electricity from manure-based digesters to utilities at retail rates. The digesters have been pushed as one way for agriculture to reduce nutrients that pollute the Chesapeake Bay. [LancasterOnline]

¶ A new analysis of a recent 12-vehicle Proterra electric bus demonstration (put on by Foothill Transit in California) by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found that these buses possess an average fuel economy roughly 4 times higher than that of baseline compressed natural gas buses. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra electric bus

Proterra electric bus

¶ Oregon lawmakers changed a controversial proposal aimed at scrubbing coal from the state’s electricity supply, sending the plan to the Senate floor after approving a measure to give state regulators more oversight. The bill would see ratepayers stop paying for power produced at out-of-state coal-fired power plants by 2030. [OregonLive.com]

¶ A study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that if the United States reduces emissions from the transportation and electricity sectors in order to meet those targets, 295,000 American lives could be saved by 2030. The study also estimated the near-term economic benefits could be over three times the cost. [IEEE Spectrum]

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