April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2016

World:

¶ Britain will have too much electricity this summer due to the growth in wind and solar farms, National Grid has forecast. It could be forced to issue orders to power plants to switch off. Businesses will also be paid to shift their power demand to times when there is surplus electricity. [Telegraph.co.uk]

National Grid said it was likely to have to pay wind farms to switch off at times of low power demand. Credit: Charlotte Graham/Rex

National Grid said it was likely to have to pay wind farms to switch off at times of low power demand. Credit: Charlotte Graham/Rex

¶ Mercom Capital Group reported that corporate funding for the global solar sector has dropped to $2.8 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $6.9 billion in the previous quarter. Residential and commercial solar funds for lease and Power Purchase Agreements remained strong. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Uruguay reduced power generation costs by 52% between 2013 and this year, saving $500 million at a time when demand for electricity continued to grow. According to figures released last month, 56% of Uruguay’s electricity now comes from renewable sources. [Latin American Herald Tribune]

¶ From January to date Brazil has put online 1,873 MW of new power capacity on the National Interconnected System, all of which was from renewable energy sources. In a little over one month the country’s capacity has grown by 410.22 MW, of which 190.93 MW were wind plants. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Brazil. Author: Otávio Nogueira. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Wind farm in Brazil. Author: Otávio Nogueira. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ E.ON is the latest energy company to release a home electricity storage device into the German market. The product launch has come at a good time for stationary battery storage systems connected to solar arrays in Germany, as the market took off in 2015. [pv magazine]

¶ With plants idled all over the continent, now more than a quarter of European Union nations have quit coal, with shutdowns in Belgium and Scotland bringing them in line with other countries that have no coal-fired power, including Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. [TakePart]

¶ The World Bank has made a “fundamental shift” in its role of alleviating global poverty, by refocusing its financing towards tackling climate change. It will spend 28% of its investments on climate change projects, and all of its future spending will take account of global warming. [Business Green]

The world’s biggest provider of public finance to developing countries will refocus its financing efforts towards tackling climate change.

The biggest provider of public finance to developing countries will refocus its financing efforts towards tackling climate change.

¶ Quebec wants to cut oil consumption by 40 percent over the next 15 years and eliminate thermal-coal usage as Canada’s second most populous province strives to reduce carbon emissions. The province is earmarking C$4 billion ($3 billion) for investments over 15 years. [Bloomberg]

¶ According to MAKE’s latest wind power outlook for North America, unprecedented long-term policy certainty in the US, along with a new climate-conscious government in Canada, will enable nearly 75 GW of total wind power growth in the region from 2016 to 2025. [Your Renewable News]

US:

¶ Kansas City Power & Light will buy 500 MW of electricity, enough energy to power 170,000 homes, from two new wind facilities in Northwest Missouri. Osborn Wind Energy Center, a 200-MW wind farm expected to reach commercial operation at the end of 2016, will provide power. [News-Press Now]

Kansas City Power and Light will tap into regional wind sources. Image from thinkstock.com.

Kansas City Power and Light will tap into regional wind sources. Image from thinkstock.com.

¶ TransCanada now says the Keystone pipeline has leaked about 16,800 gallons in South Dakota, a dramatic increase from initial estimates of about 187 gallons of oil. TransCanada told CNNMoney that it is still trying to find the source of the leak, but with valves closed, the leak has stopped. [CNN]

¶ The 328-MW coal-fired JR Whiting power plant on Lake Erie shoreline is closing after a 64-year run. Tighter federal rules on coal-fired power plants because of mercury, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and other major pollutants is causing shifts toward clean, renewable energy. [Toledo Blade]

¶ The New Hampshire Senate agreed to double the amount of electricity solar panel owners may sell to utilities while telling regulators to develop a system that stops cost-shifting to other electric customers. The bill increases a net metering cap from 50 to 100 MW. [The Union Leader]

15 kW Solar array at Canterbury Municipal Building Canterbury New Hampshire. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikimedia Commons.

15 kW Solar array in New Hampshire. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ San Diego Gas and Electric has signed a contract with Hecate Energy Bancroft for a 20 MW/4 MWh energy storage system. This will be enough electricity to power 28,000 households for four hours. The lithium-ion battery system will be the largest in the San Diego area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Renewable energy and new technologies that are making low-carbon power more reliable are growing rapidly in the US. Renewables are so cheap in some parts of the country that they’re undercutting the price of older sources of electricity such as nuclear power. [New England Public Radio]

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