March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2016

Opinion:

How Google Became to World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy • The Google approach to renewable energy is not unlike how many utilities purchase power. It often enters into power purchase agreements, and its projects range from California to Sweden. [Triple Pundit]

Wind turbines. Image Credit: Flickr/naql

Wind turbines. Image Credit: Flickr/naql

World:

¶ A report from the UK’s Offshore Wind Program Board outlined how investment in turbine technology has delivered significant cost benefits to the offshore wind industry. It says costs fell through 2015 and remain on track to fall to its target of £100/MWh by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Climate change efforts may be bearing fruit faster than expected. Energy-related carbon emissions stayed flat for the second consecutive year last year even though the global economy kept growing. Over 90% of new electricity generated last year was from renewables. [The Australian Financial Review]

More than 90% of new electricity generated last year came from renewables. Fairfax

More than 90% of new electricity generated
last year came from renewables. Fairfax

¶ Swedish energy firm Vattenfall announced this week that it has started development on the 3.6-GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm. Vanguard is 47 kilometers off the coast, and will generate the equivalent electricity necessary to supply more than 1.3 million UK households. [CleanTechnica]

BusinessGreen has been told a group of about 15 of the UK’s Conservative MPs wrote to George Osborne declaring their backing for continued support of renewable energy projects. They urged the Chancellor to use the budget to extend subsidies for clean energy projects through to 2025. [Business Green]

¶ Younicos announced that it is building the world’s first “100% renewable” grid on the Azorean island of Graciosa. Wind and solar power will provide electricity most of the time, with power storage from Leclanché lithium-ion batteries. There will be fossil fuel emergency backup power. [ECOreport]

Graciosa. Photo courtesy of Younicos

Graciosa. Photo courtesy of Younicos

¶ Germany’s highest court will hear two days of testimony on whether the government owes three utility giants, Vattenfall, EON and RWE, compensation for the 2011 decision to phase out the country’s nuclear power plants. It could take months for Constitutional Court to render a decision. [Nuclear Street]

US:

¶ The Obama administration is reversing course on opening Atlantic waters to a new generation of oil and gas drilling, after a revolt by environmentalists and coastal communities that said the activity threatened marine life, fishing and tourism along the East Coast. [Times Record]

Offshore oil rig. Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net). CC-BY-SA-4.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore oil rig. Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net).
CC-BY-SA-4.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Imperial Irrigation District’s board of directors approved a lease agreement with Controlled Thermal Resources, which proposed a 250-MW geothermal plant on 1,600 acres on the Salton Sea’s southern shore, in California. Hopes are raised for supporters of Salton Sea restoration. [The Desert Sun]

¶ Legislators in Tompkins County, New York, voted unanimously to allow purchase of hydroelectric power to meet the government’s power needs through remote net metering. It will purchase power from a renewable energy facility and receive a deduction on its electric bill for that power. [The Ithaca Voice]

¶ Republican lawmakers in the New York State Senate are pushing a $100 million bailout of the state’s nuclear power industry using funds from a climate change program meant to cut greenhouse gases from power plants. Nuclear plants currently provide about 30% of the state’s total electricity. [Albany Times Union]

Constellation Energy Group Inc's Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station. (Constellation Energy Group Inc)

Constellation Energy Group Inc’s Nine Mile Point
Nuclear Station. (Constellation Energy Group Inc)

¶ A group of 100 Massachusetts state representatives broke ranks with House leadership, urging that reconciliation of House and Senate bills on a net metering bill hew more closely to the Senate approach. Nearly two-thirds of the House members signed the letter. [CommonWealth magazine]

¶ A University of Delaware initiative analysed Massachusetts’ electricity costs would look like in 2020-2030 with 2 GW of wind-power off the coast. The study says the costs for the first project in a 2-GW build-out could be as low as $0.162/kWh, with costs declining so an LCOE of $0.108/kWh. [SeeNews Renewables]

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