March 26 Energy News

March 26, 2016

Opinion:

Has US Nuclear Power’s Death Spiral Begun? • Crashing prices for natural gas and accelerating market penetration of renewable energy have both contributed to dramatic drops in wholesale power price levels, leaving nuclear power with few options other than surrender. [IEEE Spectrum]

The Quad Cities nuclear plant is getting help from a regional grid operator. Photo: Kevin Schmidt/Alamy

The Quad Cities nuclear plant is getting help from
a regional grid operator. Photo: Kevin Schmidt/Alamy

US Chamber of Commerce Forecasts No Growth in Renewable Energy. We Disagree. • The Chamber wants to belittle both the supply and demand for renewable energy, when Main Street and Fortune 500 companies continue to make investments greatly outpacing expectations. [The Equation]

World:

¶ Investment in renewable energy hit a record $286 billion (€256 billion) in 2015, a UN report says. For the first time, over half came from developing countries. New investment in cleaner energy has exceeded $2.3 trillion since 2004, when investments totaled less than $50 billion. [Daily Sabah]

Growth of clean energy in 2015 was dominated by solar PVs and wind.(AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco, FILE)

Growth of clean energy in 2015 was dominated by
solar PVs and wind. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco, FILE)

¶ The Indian government has a new goal. Come 2030, and every car user in India could have an electric vehicle. Under the plan, the vehicles will be given without an upfront payment and will be paid for by users over a period of time from the savings made on fuel, according to the energy minister. [Livemint]

¶ At the end of 2014, Europe had 17,240 biogas plants, with a total installed capacity of 8,293 MW. The electricity they produced stood at 63.3 TWh, enough for 14.6 million European households. The numbers are growing fast in such places as the UK, where they doubled in just one year. [Biomass Magazine]

Harvest Power’s energy garden in Orlando. Photo by Harvest Power.

Harvest Power’s energy garden in Orlando. Photo by Harvest Power.

¶ SSE, the UK’s second largest utility, could be forced to cut its dividend, experts warned. A currently healthy showing from SSE’s generation business results from a wet and windy winter boosting its renewables output, but low wholesale electricity prices of £35/MWh are straining it. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶ Siemens was awarded an order to supply a link between the Dutch and Danish grids. The order covers two 700-MW converter stations for a DC voltage of ±320 kV. One will be at Eemhaven in Holland, the other in Endrup in Denmark. The cable will be 325 km long. [Transmission and Distribution World]

Siemens Holland photo.

Siemens Holland photo.

¶ After terrorist attacks in Brussels, authorities have stepped up security at nuclear sites. Safety officials said there was nothing to suggest a specific threat against the country’s reactors or plants, but videos suggest a connection between terrorists and a senior nuclear official. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ The US DOE will participate in the Clean Line transmission project, to bring 4,000 MW of low-cost electricity from wind farms in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle to the Southeast. The project will bring enough affordable wind power for more than 1.5 million homes. [EcoWatch]

The US DOE will participate in the Clean Line transmission project.

The US DOE will participate in the Clean Line transmission project.

¶ Five years ago, Texas’ power grid operator offered up data on projected power demand and supply that convinced companies to build new power plants. Now those plants barely turn a profit. Dallas-based Panda Power Funds says the data was “seriously flawed or rigged” and is suing. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ NaturEner USA and San Diego Gas & Electric reached a settlement of a lawsuit involving Montana’s largest wind farm and protections for raptors. NaturEner USA had earlier shifted locations of some of the turbines due to concerns of Montana Audubon and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. [Great Falls Tribune]

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