March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2016

World:

¶ Alberta plans to issue its first competition for renewable electricity projects in late 2016. The provincial government has asked the Alberta Electric System Operator to develop a renewable electricity incentive program. Engagement with interested parties will start immediately. [reNews]

The Oldman 2 wind farm in Alberta (Mainstream image)

The Oldman 2 wind farm in Alberta (Mainstream image)

¶ Germany demanded that France close down its oldest nuclear plant, Fessenheim, near the German and Swiss borders. It is just one of several ageing atomic plants that are unsettling France’s neighbours. Reports claimed a 2014 incident at Fessenheim was more serious than earlier reported. [The Daily Star]

¶ A parliamentary committee in Sweden proposed a way to bring the nation to carbon neutrality by 2045. It would achieve this huge goal by reducing domestic emissions by 85% from 1990 levels. The rest could be offset by investing in international projects that cut carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Image by Holgar Ellgard (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

Image by Holgar Ellgard (CC BY-SA 3.0 unported license)

¶ The Indian Railways has announced plans to install 150 MW of solar PVs. Of this, 50 MW would be in rooftop solar projects on railway stations. The remainder would be 100 MW of PVs in utility-scale arrays. The move is part of a goal to have 100 GW of solar in India by March 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Eon’s German networks were home to 32 GW of renewable capacity at the end of 2015, more than one-third of the country’s installed renewables. In total, Germany has 96 GW of installed renewables capacity, 34% of which is connected to Eon’s networks. Renewable installation varies by region. [reNews]

Eon image

Eon image

¶ China may miss its goal of 58 GW of nuclear capacity by 2020 because too few reactors are being built, the chairman of China General Nuclear Power Corp has said. The country may start seven new reactors this year and its domestically designed model will be ready for export in three years. [Daily News]

¶ British Columbia may have surplus renewable power to sell to Alberta, but the premier of Alberta said her government won’t be buying it unless it can get an oil pipeline to the coast. BC’s Energy Minister said he didn’t have a problem with linking a potential power deal to pipeline support. [Calgary Herald]

US:

¶ Actions by two separate state legislatures could lead to the future closure of all four coal-fired power plants at Colstrip, Montana. On Wednesday, Oregon’s legislature passed a bill to eliminate use of coal-fired electricity within 20 years. Washington state followed suit on Friday. [KTVQ Billings News]

Colstrip power plant.

Colstrip power plant.

¶ Supreme Court Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr rejected a request to stay the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards rule, which was adopted by the EPA three years ago to tighten restrictions on a class of harmful pollutants, that are byproducts of burning coal. [Washington Post]

¶ Critics insist the latest version of what is called the “Rocky Mountain Power” bill at the Utah Legislature would mean lights out for rooftop solar development in the state and pull the plug on existing solar power generation. The bill passed the Utah Senate and awaits action in the House. [Deseret News]

Brandy Smith, with Utah Clean Energy, speaks at
a solar advocates rally. Tom Smart, Deseret News

¶ Entergy customers in New Orleans will begin paying their share of the $948 million purchase of an Arkansas natural gas power plant starting this year. The typical New Orleans customer will see their monthly bill increase by about $5 when the new charge kicks in later this spring. [NOLA.com]

¶ The offshore wind industry has hopes for establishing itself in the US after years of disappointment. European offshore wind companies are increasingly committing to projects along the East Coast. That, industry leaders said, is evidence a US offshore wind industry is finally on its way. [Eagle-Tribune]

First foundation jacket installed at Deepwater Wind, near Block Island. (AP photo / Stephan Sevoia)

First foundation jacket installed at Deepwater Wind,
near Block Island. (AP photo / Stephan Sevoia)

¶ The New England Clean Power Link transmission line has got two of the three key permits needed to begin construction. TDI New England’s proposed $1.2 billion transmission line would carry 1,000 MW of Canadian hydro and wind power into Vermont. [Corporate Knights Magazine]

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