Archive for May, 2016

May 31 Energy News

May 31, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The currents of the Bay of Fundy would easily generate enough power for all of Atlantic Canada’s needs, but have been too monstrously strong to be tamed. Now, Cape Sharp Tidal is betting on two turbines it will start installing in June. Each 2-MW turbine weighs 1,000 tonnes. [Globalnews.ca]

A turbine being built for the Cape Sharp Tidal project. Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press.

A turbine being built for the Cape Sharp Tidal project. Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press.

¶ UK-based company Renovare Fuels Limited has co-invented technology which can convert landfill gas into high-quality clean energy in the form of liquid diesel and gasoline fuel suitable for all motor vehicles. This would allow landfill operators to sell the fuel for vehicles. [Renewable Energy Focus]

World:

¶ Battery storage technology has the potential to reshape not just the energy sector but also Australian elections. An Australia Institute report includes polling indicating that 71% of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party that supported distributed small-scale solar and storage. [The Guardian]

¶ Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd will set up a 20-MW solar project in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed to install about 50-MW of solar PVs on Attam Pahar, South Andaman and at Kishorie Nagar, North Andaman. [Business Standard]

Solar trackers, still in a nighttime position at sunrise.

Solar trackers, ready to turn to a daytime position at sunrise.

¶ An ambitious plan to ramp up Tasmanian renewable energy production is the centerpiece of the State Opposition’s budget reply delivered in State Parliament. In the wake of the energy crisis, Labor promised 500 MW more new wind and solar generating capacity over 10 years. [ABC Online]

¶ Falck has kicked off commercial operations at its 22.5-MW Kingsburn wind farm near Stirling in Scotland. The Italian developer said all nine Nordex N90/2500 turbines are now producing power, ahead of the original schedule. Kingsburn is an extension of the Earlsburn wind farm. [reNews]

¶ The electric bus market has been singled out as a potential game changer for battery development, due to growing e-bus demand and the need for sizeable batteries to power them. A report highlights the prospects of this industry and the significant role being played by China. [Power Technology]

Electric buses in China.

Electric buses in China.

¶ The EU parliament makes a series of recommendations in a report on how to move towards an energy market that benefits citizens, empowers them to take ownership of the energy transition, produce their own renewable energy and become energy-efficient. [Sun & Wind Energy]

¶ UK authorities are underestimating the risks of devastating terrorist attacks on nuclear plants and shipments of radioactive material, according to an expert report. Nuclear facilities are vulnerable to mass drone strikes, sophisticated cyber attacks, and terrorist infiltrators. [The Ferret]

US:

¶ Minnesota Power is planning community solar gardens, but critics say it is bending state guidelines to benefit its own bottom line and not necessarily to benefit community groups as the state legislature intended when it passed a community solar law in 2013. [Duluth News Tribune]

Minnesota Power plans to build two new "community solar garden" projects in Duluth. Minnesota Power photo.

Minnesota Power plans to build two new “community solar garden” projects in Duluth. Minnesota Power photo.

¶ Wind energy is growing faster than any other type of energy generation in the USA. The American Wind Energy Association is clearly proud of the results achieved over the last five years: The installed capacity more than doubled over five years, to almost 74 GW at the end of 2015. [Sun & Wind Energy]

May 30 Energy News

May 30, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “State Senate energy bills threaten many, starting with solar workers” • If you like clean energy, you won’t like the two energy bills the Michigan Senate Energy & Technology Committee sent to the floor last Wednesday, especially if you want your own solar energy. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

Power plant at Michigan State University. Photo by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Power plant at Michigan State University. Photo by Michael P
Kube-McDowell. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ Saudi Arabia’s planned privatizations represent the biggest investment banking opportunity in emerging markets, according to Citigroup. The shakeup of the biggest Arab economy has been unprecedented, as the country seeks to reduce its reliance on oil after prices went low in 2014. [Bloomberg]

¶ The Dlouhe Strane pumped storage plant in the Czech Republic was built to balance electricity demands between day and night, but as renewable sources of energy have taken an increasing share of electricity generation, it now contributes to the stabilization of the power grid. [The Columbian]

Czech pumped storage plant at Dlouhe Strane. AP Photo / Adam Pemble

Pumped storage plant at Dlouhe Strane. AP Photo / Adam Pemble

¶ Canada’s status as an “energy superpower” is under threat because the global dominance of fossil fuels could wane faster than previously believed, according to a draft report from a Canadian federal government think-tank. It sees fossil fuels becoming relegated to “minority status.” [CBC.ca]

¶ After several years of research, Power CSL has launched a high voltage cable jointing system that it says will reduce the cost of repairing subsea wires in the offshore wind sector. The UK company said the product takes between 48 and 60 hours to install on cables up to 170-kV. [reNews]

Power CSL photo.

Power CSL photo.

¶ The Oxford Business Group, a publishing, research and consultancy firm, released an economic update on the state of South Africa’s renewable energy sector, saying that the country is already the continent’s largest producer of renewable energy. Even so, the sector is still growing. [ESI Africa]

¶ After a start to the year it would no doubt rather forget, Hydro Tasmania has revealed that technologies the utility developed for the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project will be used to help transform the remote, off-grid South Australian township of Coober Pedy. [RenewEconomy]

Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences. Photo by Nachoman-au. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons. 

Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences. Photo
by Nachoman-au. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Beset by crippling power shortages for decades, North Koreans are turning to solar power in a major way. Though North Korea has not published any figures, the panels can be seen on the balconies of nearly every apartment building in the country’s capital, Pyongyang. [South China Morning Post]

US:

¶ New Hampshire’s utility siting regulators have extended their deadline for action on the Northern Pass transmission project to September 30, 2017, delaying plans for the $1.6 billion, 192-mile power line by months. Eversource Energy had hoped to get its permits this year. [MassLive.com]

Eversource has proposed to bury 60 miles of the infrastructure in the White Mountain National Forest. Photo placed in the public domain by its author, Ken Gallager. Wikimedia Commons.

Eversource has proposed to bury 60 miles of the infrastructure
in the White Mountain National Forest. Photo placed in the public domain by its author, Ken Gallager. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Solar power took off in Montana in 2015, when dropping prices for solar equipment finally made it profitable to build small installations and sell the power to utilities. Now, solar has shown it can grow, and NorthWestern Energy is petitioning to lower the price it pays for solar power. [The Missoulian] See also [The Missoulian].

¶ Many of the strongest statements about the US nuclear industry are no longer found in the hyperbole of anti-nuclear groups but in dire predictions from industry figures such as the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Marvin Fertel, who spoke of a “sense of urgency” over its economics. [Toledo Blade]

May 29 Energy News

May 29, 2016

A Tribute to Pioneers:

Carol Levin and her husband, the late Richard Gottlieb. Richard installed PVs on the first satellites powered by the sun. Courtesy photo.

Carol Levin and her husband, the late Richard Gottlieb. Courtesy photo.

¶ Carol Levin and her late husband Richard Gottlieb, who co-founded Sunnyside Solar in the 1980s, are among the 25 renewable-energy innovators honored in an exhibit at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury. They have been an inspiration to a generation of solar enthusiasts. [Commons]
(Richard Gottlieb installed PVs on the first space satellites powered by the sun.)

Science and Technology:

¶ A glitzy new process, under development at the National Energy Technology Laboratory, uses gold nanoparticles to convert CO2 into usable chemicals efficiently. The breakthrough is “carbon negative” and might lead to an effective industrial-scale way to reduce CO2 emissions. [Energy.gov]

¶ Aiming to help make electricity more available in rural parts of India, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have designed a wind turbine that could be mounted on existing cellular phone towers. It is an elegant vertical axis wind turbine with helical blades. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

UW-Madison students work on a wind turbine. Credit: James Runde / Wisconsin Energy Institute

UW-Madison students work on a wind turbine.
Credit: James Runde / Wisconsin Energy Institute

World:

¶ Saudi Arabia can meet its growing power needs solely through solar projects with energy storage, according to a deputy minister of the Ministry of Economy and Planning. He said at the MENASol 2016 conference, “We should actually put a hiatus on power plants using fossil fuels.” [Utilities-ME.com]

¶ The three 51-meter wind turbines and two sets of solar panels of a project on the Galapagos have supplied 30% of the electricity consumed on San Cristóbal, the second-largest island in size and population, since October 2007. Now, based on its success, the project may be expanded. [EurekAlert]

Frigate bird of the Galapagos. US Fish and Wildlife Photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Frigate bird of the Galapagos. US Fish and Wildlife Photo.
Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A statement from the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership on expansion of windpower on the Galapagos said the existing three turbines had only minimal negative effects on wildlife, while there has been increased reproductive and hatching success for the petrel population. [Examiner.com]

¶ Kuwait Oil Company said it was in discussions with solar companies to use the sun’s energy to extract oil, as the country looks for alternative methods to maximize production at a low cost. Tight oil can be loosened by injecting steam, and solar is seen as a cheap source of heat. [The National]

¶ Venice, Stonehenge, and the Statue of Liberty are among more than two dozen World Heritage sites threatened by climate change, according to a UNESCO report. Emissions from burning fossil fuels are causing the greatest environmental threat facing the sites. [Mashable]

Statues on Easter Island. Photo by Aupaelfary. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Statues on a beach on Easter Island are threatened by rising seas. Photo by Aupaelfary. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Wärtsilä will supply two smart power generation plants to Bangladesh, each producing 30 MW from three Wärtsilä 34SG engines running on natural gas. The equipment will be delivered in late 2016, and the plants are scheduled to be fully operational in early 2017. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ According to HIS Technology, a US-based economic and energy market research company, Africa’s total solar power capacity, estimated at 312 MW in 2013, grew to 1,315 MW in 2015, and is projected to reach 3,380 MW by 2017, a tenfold increase over a period of four years. [Sierra Express Media]

The world’s largest solar power plant in Morocco. Photo credit: World Bank/ Dana Smillie.

The world’s largest solar power plant in Morocco.
Photo credit: World Bank/ Dana Smillie.

¶ Japan will cut reliance on nuclear power in an updated energy plan as early as next year, reflecting public opposition and a recognition that current policy is unrealistic. The move is expected to boost the country’s use of renewable energy, but may also cement its dependence on coal. [Japan Today]

¶ Renewable energy will account for 40% of electricity output capacity by 2030, almost double today’s market share, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The agency’s director general said in an interview that the expansion will be due to lower technology costs. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ The US solar market is expected by year’s end to have grown 119% over 2015 numbers, with the number of panels installed providing a whopping 16 GW of power, more than doubling last year’s previous record-breaking 7.3 GW, according to Boston-based GTM Research. [Toledo Blade]

Solar panels in New Hampshire at Exeter High School. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar panels in New Hampshire at Exeter High School.
Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Dominion Virginia Power is assessing options for its proposed offshore wind demonstration project after the DOE said it is withdrawing $40 million in funding. The DOE’s decision came after Dominion could not guarantee the project would be in service before 2020. [Augusta Free Press]

¶ AARP South Carolina is raising concerns about the cost overruns that have resulted during the current SCE&G capital improvement projects. The VC Summer nuclear project has cost $1.5 billion more than originally estimated, and this will be charged to consumers. [Charleston Post Courier]

May 28 Energy News

May 28, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “All-in for Offshore Wind in Massachusetts” • These two words should guide Beacon Hill on offshore wind: Go big. On the surface, the new House energy bill is a miracle for offshore wind. But the case for renewables in Massachusetts is more urgent than ever. [The Equation]

Offshore windpower in the Netherlands.

Offshore windpower in the Netherlands.

Science and Technology:

¶ A recent decade-long study following the lives of over 6,000 US residents has shed some new light on the connection between air pollution and heart disease. It showed that people living in areas with more outdoor air pollution accumulate deposits in the arteries that supply the heart. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ The innovative Eco Wave Power wave energy station has been installed on the ammunition jetty in Gibraltar. It is a big moment for both Gibraltar and a company with big plans for a promising green energy tech, as it is Europe’s first grid-connected wave energy plant. [Gizmag]

The buoys are fixed to Gibraltar's World War II ammunition platform. Credit: Chris Wood / Gizmag.

The buoys are fixed to Gibraltar’s World War II ammunition platform. Credit: Chris Wood / Gizmag.

¶ New research highlights growing over-capacity for coal in Asian energy markets with rising competition from lower-cost renewable power. Together with massive write-downs for coal in Europe and US plans close more coal-fired plants, the findings warn: Coal power expansion is dicey. [ValueWalk]

¶ Senegal got a $40 million loan to build the largest solar plant in West Africa. Proparco, a French development agency, provided the loan, which is to be repaid over 18 years. A quarter of a million residents will benefit from the 30-MW plant. It is expected to be on line by early 2017. [Energy Digital]

A quarter of a million residents will benefit from the 30-MW plant.

A quarter of a million residents will benefit from the 30-MW plant.

¶ The main European electricity companies will invest nearly €85 billion over the next four years to speed up their strategic transformation to enable them to deal with the foreseeable drop in coal and gas prices. They plan to focus more on renewable energy and networks. [The Corner Economic]

US:

¶ According to SUN DAY Campaign analysis of data on the first quarter of 2016, electric generation by wind rose 32.8% from first quarter 2015 and set a new record of 6.23% of total generation. Similarly, electrical generation from utility-scale solar thermal and PVs grew by 31.4%. [North American Windpower]

Sun and wind.

Sun and wind.

¶ Dartmouth College has released a historic report recommending fossil fuel divestment. It provides a full assessment of the pros and cons of fossil fuel divestment, but goes further still by providing a more comprehensive decision analytic approach to divestment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Solar panels are sprouting amongst the corn fields and on the rooftops of Minnesota, and more can be expected soon. At the end of 2015, the state calculated that its solar electric capacity had reached 35 MW. By the end of this year, it projects the total will be 400 MW. [West Central Tribune]

Kandiyohi Power Cooperative Solar garden in Minnesota. Photo by Rand Middleton / Tribune.

Kandiyohi Power Cooperative solar garden in Minnesota.
Photo by Rand Middleton / Tribune.

¶ Many local environmentalists spoke against New York’s inclusion of nuclear power in the Department of Public Service’s new Clean Energy Standard policy. The comments came at a public hearing held at Kingston City Hall. Long-term policy goals on the issue will be set in June. [Mid-Hudson News]

¶ Constellation Energy joined the Baltimore Ravens to flip the switch on a new 400-kW solar generation project at the team’s headquarters and training facility in Owings Mills, Maryland. The project expands Constellation’s already extensive relationship with the team. [PennEnergy]

Baltimore Ravens solar system.

Baltimore Ravens solar system.

¶ The DOE is awarding $40 million to the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp to build a six-turbine pilot wind farm in Lake Erie by the end of 2018. The money will be delivered in three $13.3 million grants that depend on meeting engineering, permitting, and construction goals. [cleveland.com]

May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Cutting edge progress in flow battery technology is taking place in such areas as nanotechnology, membrane improvements and membrane-less systems. A more mundane energy storage breakthrough, from a research team at MIT, focuses on a way to eliminate the pumps. [CleanTechnica]

MIT gravity flow battery. Image courtesy of the research team.

MIT gravity flow battery. Image courtesy of the research team.

World:

¶ More than 10 diving sites in Thailand’s national marine parks have closed due to widespread coral bleaching, amid the country’s continued efforts to protect the environment. At its worst in over six years, coral bleach has spread widely between 40% to 80% of the Thai reefs. [CNN]

¶ All references to the impact of climate change on Australian World Heritage sites have been removed from a UN report. The country’s Department of the Environment requested they be removed because of an expected impact on tourism. They included a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef. [BBC]

Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory was also mentioned in the draft report. Getty Images.

Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory was
also mentioned in the draft report. Getty Images.

¶ India energy group Adani has identified 650 MW of large-scale Australian solar projects it wants to develop as it seeks to become one of the biggest renewable energy developers in the country. Even so, it insists it still wants to push ahead with the controversial Carmichael mega coal mine. [RenewEconomy]

¶ A Danish joint venture opened the Brigg Renewable Energy Plant, a 40-MW straw-fired biomass project in North Lincolnshire. The plant was delivered ahead of time and within budget. It has sufficient capacity to power about 70,000 households, and is fuel comes from local farmers. [SeeNews Renewables]

Straw storage. Source: PensionDanmark A/S. License: All Rights Reserved.

Straw storage. Source: PensionDanmark A/S. All Rights Reserved.

¶ According to the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, poor Asian and African households saved $3.4 billion because of solar lighting. This means off-grid lighting products impact approximately 71.6 million people, who previously depended on lamps fueled by kerosene or batteries. [PanetSave]

¶ Ikea plans to be a net exporter of renewable energy within four years. It already produces 53% of its energy from renewable sources. It is 100% renewable in some countries. It operates 314 wind turbines and has installed 700,000 solar panels on its stores and distribution centers. [The Guardian]

Ikea operates 314 wind turbines and produces 53% of its energy from renewable sources. Photograph: Keith Arkins/PR

Ikea operates 314 wind turbines and produces 53% of its
energy from renewable sources. Photograph: Keith Arkins/PR

¶ Opposition from French unions has cast fresh doubt over the future of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Key French workers’ unions continue to oppose the £18-billion project despite repeated attempts by EDF, which would build the reactors, to win their backing. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ A 40-acre cargo terminal at the Port of Los Angeles will begin moving to renewable energy sources this summer. It will be the first in the world to generate all of its own energy needs from renewables, and it will be able operate completely off the grid if necessary. [Long Beach Press Telegram]

Cargo ships wait off the coast of the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Chuck Bennett / Staff Photographer

Cargo ships wait off the coast of the Port of Los Angeles
and Long Beach. Chuck Bennett / Staff Photographer

¶ Donald Trump pledged to make the US energy independent by reducing dependence on foreign oil and rolling back environmental regulations restricting oil and natural gas exploration. He vowed to cancel the Paris climate agreement and cut off all US funding for UN climate change initiatives. [CNN]

¶ Wyoming is the only state with a generation tax. A proposal to raise the tax for wind-generation could disrupt plans to build the massive 3-GW Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project. The proposal would put the wind tax at $3.91/MWh, while coal and gas plants pay $1.77 to $3.49/MWh. [reNews]

Wyoming. Credit: sxc.

In Wyoming, the wind would be taxed more than coal. Credit: sxc.

¶ Exxon Mobil stockholders passed a proposal to nominate outside candidates to the board with 62% support. The move could affect the company’s decisions on climate change. The New York City Comptroller, fiduciary for five pension funds, filed the proxy access resolution. [Scientific American]

¶ Offshore Wind: Massachusetts, a broad coalition dedicated to the establishment of an offshore wind industry, says the recent House energy bill “marks the beginning of a new era for offshore wind.” Members range from manufacturers to environmental organizations. [Offshore Wind Journal]

Offshore Wind: Massachusetts hopes the state will become preeminent as a developed of offshore wind energy

Offshore Wind: Massachusetts hopes the state will become preeminent as a developed of offshore wind energy

¶ Solar Power now has more employees than either the Oil & Gas or Coal Extraction industries in the United States. The solar industry employed approximately 208,000 individuals at the end of 2015 versus more than 185,000 in oil and gas, or 190,000 in coal extraction. [Electrek]

¶ A dozen New York lawmakers have introduced a bill aimed at codifying Governor Cuomo’s climate change goals. Under the bill, the state would have to cut GHG emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2045, on the way to a complete phase-out by 2050. [Utility Dive]

May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2016

World:

¶ Queensland is likely to get its first large scale wind farm. Ergon Energy offered a 12.5 year power purchase agreement for the 170-MW Mt Emerald wind farm. The wind farm, to be located about 50 km south of Cairns, is one of seven renewable projects Ergon Energy is considering. [RenewEconomy]

Australian wind energy.

Australian wind energy.

¶ The price of oil has gone above $50 a barrel for the first time in 2016 as supply disruptions and increased global demand continue to fuel a recovery. The rise followed US data on Thursday showing that oil inventories had fallen, largely due to supply disruptions following fires in Canada. [BBC]

¶ Respondents among energy executives surveyed for KPMG’s 2016 Energy Business Outlook were much more bearish than last year on energy commodity prices. More than four out of ten expect distributed systems to cause big changes in utility business models. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Offshore oil rig.

Offshore oil rig.

¶ Japan is pushing forward with plans for 47 new coal power plants, setting itself at odds with its economic brethren in the G7. A report from Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment found that Japan’s future expanded-coal fleet could end up stranding $56 billion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Workers at French nuclear power stations are due to down tools amid growing industrial action over controversial labor reforms. The CGT union said staff at 16 of France’s 19 nuclear plants had voted for a one-day strike. Petrol is already in short supply after days of strikes. [BBC]

¶ Sweden has been gradually increasing its dependency on renewable energy since 2013. Now it has set a goal of going fossil fuel-free by the year 2020. The country is allocating an extra $546 million in the budget 2016 for renewable energy and climate change action. [Indiatimes.com]

Swedish solar tracker. sciencenordic photo.

Swedish solar tracker. sciencenordic photo.

¶ Solar energy could overtake nuc­lear ambitions in Saudi Arabia as the kingdom looks to shake up its power sector. At a conference in Dubai, the deputy economic minister said solar is significantly cheaper and also lacked the security risks that come with nuc­lear power. [The National]

¶ More than 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, a 5% increase from last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The report said that, while renewables jobs grew, thermal energy sector jobs fell. [reNews]

The wind industry employed 1.1 million workers globally last year (sxc)

The wind industry employed 1.1 million workers globally. (sxc)

¶ Taiwan is definitely going to abandon nuclear power in 2025, when the three currently operational nuclear power plants will reach then end of their service lives. ‘The Economics Minister said, “There is no room for discussion. When 2025 comes, nuclear power will be abandoned.” [China Post]

US:

¶ Despite still being under construction, the first community solar garden in the Commonwealth of Virginia is already fully subscribed and a waiting list has formed for future phases. BARC Electric Cooperative’s 550-kW facility will serve 203 homes and nine small businesses. [Legacy Newspaper]

BARC Electric Cooperative project.

BARC Electric Cooperative project.

¶ Echoing the Energy Department’s SunShot initiative goal of achieving grid parity for solar power, a new program from the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is aiming at making desalination as inexpensive as water from natural sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Northern Power Systems, based in Barre, Vermont, said following a strategic review that it would focus on distributed energy including the design, manufacture and sale of distributed wind turbines and integrated microgrid and distributed energy storage solutions. [reNews]

Norther Power Systems Photo

Norther Power Systems Photo

¶ A watchdog group filed an emergency petition with federal regulators calling for one of the reactors at the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York to remain closed and to shut the other reactor because of concerns about degraded bolts that are key to the facility’s safe operation. [NorthJersey.com]

¶ The United States is 70% on the way to achieving the country’s SunShot Initiative 2020 goals, according to analysts and researchers at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Eight reports provide a perspective on how far we have come and what more can be done. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Exelon Corp said two of its nuclear power plants failed to secure contracts after a recent round of bidding. The company reiterated its stance that it would shutter its Quad Cities nuclear power plant unless it gets what it wants from the Illinois legislative session, which ends May 31. [Nasdaq]

May 25 Energy News

May 25, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Dosing farm animals with antibiotics increases greenhouse gas emissions from cow dung, new research suggests. Scientists say the drugs boost methane production in cowpats, apparently by favoring antibiotic-resistant, methane-producing organisms found in the gut. [BBC]

Methane from cattle burps is a major contributor to carbon emissions. Science Photo Library.

Methane from cattle burps is a major contributor to carbon emissions. Science Photo Library.

¶ A PricewaterhouseCoopers report, Electricity beyond the grid: accelerating access to sustainable power for all, says rural electrification is best done by renewable off-grid technologies. It said current trends will leave two-thirds of the world’s population without electricity in 2030. [CPI Financial]

¶ The gulf between laboratory tests and real world air pollution from cars is hampering efforts to cut the toxic air that kills millions of people a year worldwide, an expert at the UN warned. The World Health Organisation said harmful airborne particulates had risen by 8% in cities. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ Home Energy Africa, which specializes in the development and sales of renewable energy products, got a $705,000 grant from the US Trade and Development Agency for a solar PV project in Ghana. The project is projected to generate 100 MW, powering about 80,000 homes. [Planetsave]

Ghanaian landscape. Image via Shutterstock.

Ghanaian landscape. Image via Shutterstock.

¶ Growth of the Chinese electrochemical energy storage market over the past 5 years has eclipsed the global average, a report says, with a CAGR (2010–2015) of 110%. That’s about 6 times the global figure. The lithium-ion battery market accounted for about 66% of that market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to new figures published by MAKE Consulting, the Asia Pacific excluding-China region is expected to install more than 63 GW of new wind power capacity in the next decade, with India, Australia, and Japan constituting approximately 72% of all new installations for the region. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in South India. Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel from Chennai, India. CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind farm in South India. Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel from Chennai, India. CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Renewable energy could provide as much as four times the UK’s current energy consumption, according to a report from The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The 2008 Climate Change Act has set the target of slashing emissions by 80 percent by 2050, compared to a 1990 baseline. [CNBC]

¶ Total and SunPower announced a power purchase agreement for the supply of 300 GWh per year of solar energy to Metro of Santiago. With this agreement, Metro of Santiago will become the first public transportation system in the world to run mostly on solar energy. [Sun & Wind Energy]

Santiago Metro train. Image placed in the public domain by its author, Fevarasv. Wikimedia Commons.

Santiago Metro train. Image placed in the public domain by its author, Fevarasv. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ After provoking fuel shortages, French trade unions now want to turn their attention to the country’s electricity supplies as they up the ante against the government and its labour reforms. The union is calling on workers at the country’s nuclear power stations to join the strikes. [The Local.fr]

¶ The operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant revealed that 600 tonnes of fuel melted during the disaster, and that the exact location of the highly radioactive blobs remains a mystery. He also admitted the technology needed to remove the fuel, once it is found, has to be invented. [ABC Online]

Fukushima Daiichi five years after the 2011 meltdown. ABC: Yumi Asada

Fukushima Daiichi five years after the meltdown. ABC: Yumi Asada

US:

¶ DTE Energy has installed the first of nearly 200,000 solar panels at its 45-MW Lapeer solar project in Michigan. The project will consist of two solar farms with capacity of 30 MW, on 150 acres, and 15 MW, on 100 acres. Both projects are expected to be complete by the end of the year. [reNews]

¶ By continuing to advance technology and lower costs, windpower will stay on pace to grow to supply 10% of U.S. electricity by 2020. The ongoing cost cuts have led zero-emission wind energy to become one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways to cut carbon pollution. [Windpower Engineering]

The wind could supply 10% of US electricity by 2020.

The wind could supply 10% of US electricity by 2020.

¶ US commercial PV inverter manufacturer Yaskawa – Solectria Solar has announced that Bombard Renewable Energy chose its US-made utility-scale inverters and monitoring systems for a 17.5-MW community solar project in the Mojave Desert town of Pahrump, Nevada. [PV-Tech]

¶ Duke Energy Corp is taking a second step into pig poop. The company announced a deal, similar to one in March, to collect methane from animal waste and convert it into fuel for two of its existing electricity plants. The plants will provide annual power needs for about 880 homes. [PennEnergy]

May 24 Energy News

May 24, 2016

World:

¶ The private sector is leapfrogging inefficient state-owned utilities in Africa to deliver electricity to rural people, according to a report by consulting firm PwC. An estimated 80% of those without electricity live in rural areas, where transmission are excessively expensive. [BDlive]

Renewable energy programs aim to bring power to remote locations. File picture: CIRCA

Renewable energy programs aim to bring power
to remote locations. File picture: CIRCA

¶ A strike over new labor laws has spread to all of France’s eight oil refineries, the CGT union says, in an escalating dispute with the government. An estimated 20% of gas stations have either run dry or are low on supplies. Clashes broke out at the refinery at Fos-sur-Mer in Marseille. [BBC]

¶ The owner of London Taxi Company, the manufacturer of London’s iconic black cabs, has reportedly raised $400 million in new funding through a green bonds sale. These new funds will reportedly be used to electrify the company’s fleet offerings, such as the recently revealed hybrid TX5. [CleanTechnica]

London electric taxi.

London electric taxi.

¶ Ecotricity announced it has gained planning permission to build two new solar farms at existing wind farm sites in Devon and Leicestershire. This follows approval of 5 MW of solar capacity at a wind farm in Lincolnshire, which is expected to be the first ‘hybrid energy park’ in Britain. [Business Green]

¶ Offshore contractor Subsea 7 SA said it has been awarded a contract worth over $1 billion for the 588-MW Beatrice wind project off Scotland. The company has been selected by Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd to supply the turbine foundations and array cables for the project. [SeeNews Renewables]

Offshore wind turbines. Featured Image: Eugene Suslo / Shutterstock.com

Offshore wind turbines. Eugene Suslo / Shutterstock.com

US:

¶ MGM Resorts International said it plans to leave NV Energy in the fall and pay an $87 million exit fee to do so, while Wynn Resorts is planning a similar move. The casino giants filed paperwork with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, after months talks on costs. [PennEnergy]

¶ An energy bill released by key lawmakers in the Massachusetts House would require the state’s utilities to enter into long-term contracts to buy more offshore wind and hydro-power. The bill would require solicitation of contracts of 15 to 20 years for 1,200 MW of offshore wind power by 2027. [MassLive.com]

Associated Press photo.

Associated Press photo.

¶ A solar array approximately 60 to 80 times more powerful than any currently in the state may be coming to hundreds of acres in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. Ranger Solar of Yarmouth, Maine, is proposing to install a solar array of 60 to 80 MW on privately held property. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ A trio of non-profits has come out with a report that makes a strong case for deploying energy storage plus on-site solar for low-income rental housing in California. The analysis says that under today’s market conditions, the combo would cut electricity bills practically nothing. [CleanTechnica]

Image (screenshot): via The Clean Energy Group.

Image (screenshot): via The Clean Energy Group.

¶ Online solar energy marketplace Geostellar has partnered with Etsy on a pilot program so members of the Etsy community can install solar PV systems at a discount, the companies say. Apparently they plan to use emissions reductions in aggregate to offset shipping emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor achieved initial criticality Monday, beginning its first sustained nuclear fission reaction. Meanwhile, the NRC is holding a public meeting today to discuss TVA’s response to a letter the NRC wrote over working conditions a the plant. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

May 23 Energy News

May 23, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Solar panels and battery systems power off-grid living as a lifestyle choice” • For some people, off-grid living is not a lifestyle choice, but a necessity due to his home’s isolated location. Others choose to live off-grid. In either case, no compromise on lifestyle is necessary. [Domain News]

Peter Long’s off-grid family home near Gunnedah, NSW. Photo: Supplied.

Off-grid family home near Gunnedah, NSW. Photo: Supplied.

World:

¶ Solar system owners in regional Queensland will start receiving a more generous rate for their solar electricity exports from July. The Queensland Competition Authority announced the new feed-in tariff for regional customers in 2016-17 is 7.448¢/kWh, 17.3% higher than 2015-16. [Energy Matters]

¶ A community hydropower scheme on the Thames at Teddington lock and weirs won planning permission and defeated a judicial review from the Lensbury club, but the club is now seeking to appeal against the judicial review decision. The Lensbury club is owned by oil giant Shell. [The Guardian]

A computer simulated model of the Teddington & Ham hydro project, which could produce electricity for 600 homes. Image courtesy of THH.

Computer simulation of the Teddington & Ham hydro project, which could produce electricity for 600 homes. Image courtesy of THH.

¶ Australia’s prime minister pledged to create a program offering grants to community groups for the installation solar and battery systems, if he is re-elected. The program would build on the Solar Towns program as part of the $30 million Coalition parks and environment policy. [Energy Matters]

¶ A consortium of developers have made a positive final investment decision for the 588-MW Beatrice offshore wind farm in Scotland. SSE, Copenhagen Investment Partners and SDIC Power of China have committed to the 84-turbine, £2.6-billion project. Turbines will be installed in 2018. [reNews]

588-MW offshore wind farm to go ahead after positive investment decision. Siemens image.

A Siemens offshore turbine. Siemens image.

¶ Britain is turning to a new way to make sure it doesn’t run out of power. So-called aggregator firms get commitments from businesses to reduce power usage. For example, supermarkets can turn down refrigerators by a few degrees for a short period without any impact. [euronews]

¶ Israel came one step closer to a clean-energy future on Sunday, when the country inaugurated a 50-MW solar in the northern Negev, through a partnership with a subsidiary of France’s national electric company. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attended the inauguration. [Jerusalem Post Israel News]

¶ Proton Power Systems has sealed a deal to work on the Orkney Islands “Surf and Turf” green energy project. The Newcastle-founded firm’s fuel cells are used in vehicles and buildings; now the group’ expertise has been called upon for the Scottish renewables scheme. [ChronicleLive]

The AK-1000 tidal energy turbine is prepared to be loaded onto a barge

The AK-1000 tidal energy turbine about to be loaded on a barge.

¶ A US-Japanese consortium has been established to build the £14-billion Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant in North Wales. Horizon Nuclear Power has appointed Menter Newydd, a Hitachi-Bechtel-JGC consortium, to help deliver the company’s lead nuclear build project on Anglesey. [WalesOnline]

¶ GE signed an agreement with Vietnam’s government to develop renewable energy, as US President Barack Obama and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quangaims watched. GE will provide 1,000 MW of wind-power capacity for Vietnam by 2025, enough to power 1.8 million households. [Nasdaq]

US:

¶ Energy prices are to remain low and fuel supplies high this summer, according to federal energy experts. More than 18 GW of generating capacity will be added to the grid this summer, mostly from new wind and solar projects, though the first nuclear plant in 20 years is expected. [Electric Co-op Today]

Wind turbines. Credit: D. O'Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbines. Credit: D. O’Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant.
 CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ California ranks among the lowest states in per-capita energy consumption and per-capita energy spending, according to a new report from Beacon Economics. Nevertheless, with its large population the state is the second-largest energy consumer in the US, behind only Texas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A Vermont solar facility developer is working with a Pittsfield, Vermont, property owner on a 1.9-MW power generating array, the second currently proposed in the town. Aegis Renewable Energy, of Waitsfield, Vt., proposes the facility on a 27.5-acre parcel off Cloverdale Street. [Berkshire Eagle]

May 22 Energy Week

May 22, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse has landed in Ohio following the 12th stage of its circumnavigation of the globe. The zero-fuel aircraft arrived in Dayton at 21:56 local time having flown from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 1,100-km journey took about 16 hours to complete, a relatively short hop for the plane. [BBC]

Solar Impulse's flight from Tulsa was fairly short, compared to some earlier stages. EPA.

Solar Impulse’s flight from Tulsa was fairly short, compared to some earlier stages. EPA.

World:

¶ Leaders of political parties in Sri Lankan parliament agreed to convert the Parliamentary complex from using grid power to solar power, the Government Information Department says. A Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy study found the conversion cost-effective. [Colombo Page]

¶ This fall, New Energy Corp Inc of Calgary will install a 25-kW EnviroGen hydrokinetic power system in the Winnipeg River for the Sagkeeng First Nation. The equipment does not require a dam and is anchored in the river. Sagkeeng also looks to install 50 kW of solar PVs. [Winnipeg Free Press]

The hydrokinetic turbine is ideal for isolated communities that rely on diesel generators. New Energy Corp Inc.

The hydrokinetic turbine is ideal for isolated communities that rely on diesel generators. New Energy Corp Inc.

¶ With major changes planned for Alberta’s electrical system as the government takes action on climate change, the Alberta Federation of Labour is fighting for thousands of workers impacted. At least 12 of the 18 coal-fired power plants are set to be closed by 2030. [Stony Plain Reporter]

¶ Doubling the world’s renewable energy capacity by 2030 could save the global economy between $1.2 and $4.2 trillion each year, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. By comparison, the entire US federal budget in 2015 was $3.8 trillion dollars. [Jefferson Public Radio]

Solar panels on Cape Cod, in Harwich, Massachusetts.

Solar panels on Cape Cod, in Harwich, Massachusetts.

¶ The sun will be contributing to the electricity in a number of homes as the Barbados Light & Power’s solar panel plant comes on line by the end of next month. The 42-acre, 44 000-panel site is projected to save the electricity company $10 million in fuel costs annually. [Nation News]

¶ Neighbouring countries also want to have their say about the situation regarding the Belgian nuclear plants near the borders. There will be a demonstration in Maastricht on Sunday, to protest against the continued use of the “cracked” Doel and Tihange centers. [The Brussels Times]

©Belga

Doel nuclear plant in Belgium. ©Belga.

US:

¶ Authorities say misaligned mirrors caused a small fire that shut down a generating tower at the world’s largest solar power plant. San Bernardino County fire Captain Mike McClintock says a malfunction focused sunbeams wrong, causing electrical cables to catch fire. [KTNV Las Vegas]

¶ Solar energy in the region of California’s Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties is about to cross a major threshold: 1 GW of solar power installed. This is enough electricity to power more than a quarter million homes in the area. Solar power has become mainstream. [Ventura County Star]

Parking lot of the Ventura County Government Center. Photo contributed by the Ventura Public Works Agency.

Parking lot of the Ventura County Government Center. Photo contributed by the Ventura Public Works Agency.

¶ Last week the EPA finalized rules to cut methane leaks. Missouri environmentalists say the new federal rules are a step in the right direction, but more needs to happen. The Sierra Club says the rules will save around $100 million worth of natural gas that would otherwise be wasted. [KMAland]

¶ The fate of a long-debated solar project proposed for a site on 30 acres in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, could be decided at a Planning Board meeting Monday. Some people say the site includes Native American burial grounds, The board has until June 5 to decide whether to grant the permit. [The Recorder]

May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2016

World:

¶ HeliosAltas Corp, of Roseville, California, and DA Green Power Consulting, of the Philippines, announced their partnership to deploy Helios PowerWheel™ riverine energy technology in the Philippines. Helios said the agreement during the first four years is for a minimum of $16.2 million. [HydroWorld]

Helios Powerwheel™

Helios Powerwheel™

¶ Norway’s foremost institute for interdisciplinary climate research has launched a new initiative pairing scientists with leading investors to better explain climate risk. The Climate Finance Initiative will provide “a meeting place for climate scientists and leading global investors.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Japanese companies Venti, Mitsubishi and C-Tech have agreed to develop a 66-MW wind farm in the north of the country. Construction on the 22-turbine plant is scheduled to start in September and finish in early 2019. It will supply electricity to Tohoku Electric Power Co. [reNews]

Mitsubishi image.

Mitsubishi image.

¶ According to GlobalData, the uptake of smart metering systems in the EU, where at least 80% of existing electricity meters are to be replaced by smart meters, could reduce EU emissions by up to 9%, and cutting annual household energy consumption by a similar amount. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Prince Edward Island’s legislative energy committee issued a report to the legislative assembly recommending a new energy strategy with an overarching goal of transitioning the province to 100% use of wind, solar and water power for all purposes by 2050. [The Guardian Charlottetown]

Committee says 100% renewable energy

Committee says 100% renewable energy

¶ Britain’s Rugeley coal power plant will close by the end of June because of worsening conditions for coal generation, its operator said. The 1-GW plant provides enough electricity to power a million homes, but with renewable energy and cheap gas it has become uncompetitive. [euronews]

¶ Poland’s parliament approved a bill that introduces extra requirements for building wind parks as the country aims to curb the booming industry. The bill is intended to help prop up its declining coal industry. The country now has 5.6 GW of installed wind capacity. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ Conservatives for Clean Energy commissioned a poll of 800 North Carolina voters on attitudes towards energy sources. It found deep support among both Democrats and Republicans for solar and wind energy, but less enthusiasm for nuclear power and offshore drilling. [Charlotte Observer]

Apple's solar farm near Newton, North Carolina. Mark Hames mhames @ charlotteobserver.com

Apple’s solar farm near Newton, North Carolina.
Mark Hames, mhames @ charlotteobserver.com.

¶ The Florida Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision, ruled that the Florida Public Service Commission did not have legal authority to approve a Florida Power & Light request to invest ratepayer’s money in a controversial Oklahoma natural-gas project. [Tampa Bay Business Journal]

¶ Exelon said it will shut down the Clinton nuclear plant next year unless it gets financial support from the Illinois legislative session, which is scheduled to end May 31. The chair of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee said it won’t get to the Senate floor for a vote anytime soon. [Herald & Review]

The Clinton nuclear plant in Illinois.

The Clinton nuclear plant in Illinois.

¶ New analysis of the Clean Power Plan shows average US electricity demand growth would decline from 0.61% to 0.31% annually, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corp. Combined wind and solar capacity would rise by an additional 10 to 20 GW over the next 15 years. [Utility Dive]

¶ Twenty New York state senators, led by Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman, are urging Governor Andrew M Cuomo, and Audrey Zibelman, chair of the state’s Public Service Commission, to include an offshore wind tier in the state’s clean energy standard. [North American Windpower]

May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2016

World:

¶ While Australian network operators are usually keen to underline the importance of the grid, a survey by Western Power of regional consumers has shown that an overwhelming majority, four out of five, are either very keen or are open to the idea of cutting the line altogether. [RenewEconomy]

Customers want to leave the grid.

Most customers want to leave the grid.

¶ The latest inventory of national greenhouse gas emissions, released by the government, indicates that Australian emissions increased 1% over the 2015 calendar year, growing to 3% above 2000 levels, and forecast to be above of Australia’s target of -5% on 2000 levels by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to a new report from GlobalData, China was responsible for nearly half of all new wind installations globally during 2015. Only a few weeks ago, GlobalData predicted China’s installed wind capacity would triple by 2030, reaching 495 GW, up from 149 GW in 2015. [CleanTechnica]

Windpower in Xinjiang China.

Windpower in Xinjiang China.

¶ South Australia Power Networks announced the biggest trial of rooftop solar and energy storage of its type in the country, in a bid to prove that the new “distributed generation” technologies can avoid the need to build additional network infrastructure, and so save customers money. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Ontario has enshrined its carbon-cutting targets in law, along with emissions trading and green investment plans. Canada’s most populous province, home to 14 million people, aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions 37% from 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050. [Climate Home]

Toronto. (Flickr/Rick Harris)

Toronto. (Flickr/Rick Harris)

¶ In Germany, windpower production is now expected to exceed that of nuclear. Research institute IWR expects total German wind power production to rise to 100 TWh this year from 88 TWh in 2015. With a plant closing, nuclear power production declined to around 87.1 TWh. [Argus Media]

¶ Australia’s Coalition government has commissioned a “technology neutral” roadmap for a “low emissions” future by the end of the year, but indicated it is still struggling with the idea of a high renewables-penetration grid. It has troubles with the idea of intermittent power. [RenewEconomy]

Australian solar and wind.

Australian solar and wind.

¶ Europe’s biggest oil companies, reeling from losing billions in the two-year oil market rout, are intensifying their push into renewable energy as they hunt for new sources of future revenue. Shell, Eni, Total and Statoil have announced green energy investments totaling $2.5 billion. [Daily Times]

US:

¶ The DOE is advancing another $3.7 million to the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp to continue engineering work on a proposed wind turbine project in Lake Erie about seven to 10 miles northwest of downtown Cleveland. DOE grants to LEEDCo now total $10.7 million. [cleveland.com]

LEEDCo wind turbine and barge. Howard Tucker, Grossi Public Relations.

LEEDCo wind turbine and barge.
Howard Tucker, Grossi Public Relations.

¶ New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that Fortune 500 retailers Best Buy and Nordstrom have agreed to the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s request that they increase the use of renewable energy in their operations and supply chain. [RealEstateRama]

¶ Hawaiian Electric signed an agreement with Fortis, operator of a liquified natural gas facility in British Columbia, to supply fuel, starting in 2021. The 20-year deal depends on approvals for Fortis to expand its facility and for Hawaiian Electric to merge with NextEra Energy Resources. [ithaca.com]

Tilbury LNG illustration (courtesy Fortis)

Tilbury LNG illustration (courtesy Fortis)

¶ Green energy advocates are aghast at the North Carolina legislature’s latest proposal to regulate wind farms and solar farms. It would impose financial and safety hurdles stricter, in some ways , than those for coal-burning power plants and nuclear power plants. [Asheboro Courier Tribune]

¶ Microsoft is kicking up its targets for environmentally sustainable cloud computing by pledging that half of the electricity to power its data centers will come from renewable sources by 2018. The announcement came at a summit of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. [GeekWire]

Dedicated wind farms are an increasingly important source of energy for data centers.

Dedicated wind farms are an increasingly
important source of energy for data centers.

¶ Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission unanimously rejected the state’s Public Utility Commission’s controversial rules that would have capped surplus sales to utilities through a net metering system at 200% of a customer’s annual consumption. [Tribune-Review]

¶ In separate hearings, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved two bills that would create a new licensing framework at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the review of advanced reactors. [Bloomberg BNA]

May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Europe keeps hitting clean energy milestones” • May has been a good month for clean energy in Europe. Coal plants have faltered and wind farms are thriving, and not just in Denmark, the continent’s shining example of renewable energy. We’re whizzing by milestones right and left! [Grist]

Solar power in Germany. Shutterstock image.

Solar power in Germany. Shutterstock image.

Science and Technology:

¶ A study undertaken by the Australian Marine Conservation Society found that coal dust released by the industrial expansion down Australia’s Reef coastline, including Abbot Point, threatens marine flora and fauna prompting the authors to urge a cap on coal port expansion. [Ship Technology]

World:

¶ About 15% of all Australian homes have rooftop solar PVs, but only 1% of the rentals do. That will change, as Australia’s 2 million rental homes are getting access to less costly solar energy under an innovative Digital Solar scheme, which makes money for landlords and saves it for tenants. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar in Australia.

Rooftop solar in Australia.

¶ Increasingly, German firms and communities are investing in power-to-heat (P2H) systems. Last year, there were negative prices for power on 25 days, up from 15 days in 2012. The P2H process is highly efficient, nearly 100% according to one report, making it inexpensive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The world’s biggest rooftop solar plant was officially inaugurated by Punjab’s Chief Minister about 45 km from Amritsar. The 11.5-MW rooftop solar energy plant is spread across an area of more than 82 acres and was built at a cost of ₹139 crore ($20.9 million). [newsgram.com]

¶ Tata Power Co Ltd said its renewable energy unit won two solar projects, each of 50-MW capacity, in the Indian state of Karnataka, at a tariff of ₹4.79/kWh (7¢/kWh). The company will sell power from the projects to a state-run system under a 25-year power purchase agreement. [Livemint]

Indian solar tariffs have been falling. Photo: Bloomberg

Indian solar tariffs have been falling. Photo: Bloomberg

¶ After nearly five months of electricity crisis, Tasmania’s major gas power generator, the 208-MW combined cycle gas turbine at the Tamar Valley Power Station, is back on standby. With recent rains, the state’s replenished dams are now supplying more power than is needed. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ Electric cooperatives in Indiana will soon have access to 100 MW of wind energy under a recently announced power purchase agreement. Wabash Valley Power Association and Hoosier Energy should get power from the Meadow Lake V wind farm in 2018. [Electric Co-op Today]

Meadow Lake wind. (Photo By: EDP Renewables)

Meadow Lake wind. (Photo By: EDP Renewables)

¶ Independent power producer sPower will commission three PV facilities, Bayshore A, B, and C, in Lancaster, California, over the course of 2017. Each solar facility will have a capacity of 20 MW, and PG&E has agreed to purchase the power produced at the plants on 20-year PPAs. [pv magazine]

¶ The Oregon Department of Energy has recommended regulators approve the 500-MW Wheatridge wind project in the northern part of the state. US developer Swaggart Wind Power plans to build up to 292 turbines divided into two areas linked together with a transmission line. [reNews]

The Oregon portfolio includes Shepherds Flat (Blattner)

The Oregon portfolio includes Shepherds Flat (Blattner)

¶ Vermont’s renewable energy sector exceeded growth projections in 2015 by 3%, meaning an additional 1,400 employees, for a total of 17,700 renewable energy-related jobs in the state, Governor Peter Shumlin said. Green energy employs about 6% of the state’s workforce. [vtdigger.org]

¶ Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits in the United States by 2050, according to a study from the US DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The study is part of the SunShot Initiative. [(e) Science News]

¶ New York State officials discussing the state’s proposed Clean Energy Standard. The proposed plan calls for the state to generate 80% of electricity from renewable power by 2050. Incredibly, however, the proposed plan includes subsidies for four nuclear power plants. [The River Reporter]

May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2016

World:

¶ UK building society Nationwide will buy the electricity generated at Baywa’s 45-MW Vine Farm solar park under a fixed-price power purchase agreement for 15 years. The Vine Farm facility, located south of Cambridge, generates enough power for about 11,500 households. [reNews]

BayWa solar park in England.

BayWa solar park in England.

¶ Mahachai Green Power Co, a Thai-German joint venture, and DPCleanTech Group, a biomass energy provider, have announced the completion of the first high temperature high-pressure biomass power plant, which converts all forms of coconut waste into energy. [Bioenergy Insight Magazine]

¶ Wind turbine markets, which had been at $32.2 billion in 2011, are anticipated to reach $96.7 billion by 2018. Growth is expected to be worldwide and a result of marked improvements in the technology. In places where wind turbines are installed, they can reduce transmission requirements. [NewsMaker]

Vestas wind turbines in Austria. Photo by Kwerdenker. CC BY-SA 3.o unported. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons.

Vestas wind turbines in Austria. Photo by Kwerdenker.
CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A record $330 billion has been invested in renewable energy after the crash of oil and gas prices, according to Bloomberg’s Michael Liebreich. Unsubsidized renewable energy prices now outcompete gas, with bids for wind and solar sometimes well below 4¢/kWh. [MyBroadband]

¶ The Canadian electric utility Hydro-Québec, which supplies about 22% of Vermont’s power, says the renewable energy it exported to the US in 2015 prevented 7.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions that otherwise would have come from fossil fuel plants. [vtdigger.org]

Hydro-Québec's Manic-cinq electric power plant. Photo by Bouchecl. CC BY-SA 3.o unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Hydro-Québec’s Manic-cinq electric power plant. Photo by Bouchecl. CC BY-SA 3.o unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The president of Bolivia said the country will have 549 MW of renewable power capacity by 2020. He presented four wind schemes with a combined capacity of 120 MW and a current investment of $96 million (€84.7 million). Some projects are still raising funds. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The fallout from Japan’s nuclear disaster hit home as a former Japanese prime minster and US sailors file a lawsuit against TEPCO. Over 5,000 sailors who were aboard the USS Ronald Reagan after the Fukushima Disaster. Many say they are suffering from radiation exposure. [AM 760 KFMB]

US:

¶ An estimated 143,023 workers are employed in the Texas advanced energy industry, and the expected growth rate this year is 7%. Currently, the number of advanced energy workers is twice that of airline workers in Texas. It is also almost the same as the number working in construction. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm. Image by Leaflet, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wind farm. Image by Leaflet, CC BY-SA 3.0.

¶ Kaiser Permanente unveiled an aggressive environmental plan to reduce water use, reduce waste, and eliminate or offset its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Kaiser also will buy its food from local sources or farms that follow sustainable practices and avoid overuse of antibiotics. [SFGate]

¶ Massive wind turbines could end up floating in deep ocean waters off Hawaii’s shores under two current proposals. Two companies have proposed offshore wind turbine projects for federal waters off Oahu as Hawaii pushes to meet its aggressive renewable energy goals. [Maui News]

A WindFloat Prototype near Setubal, Portugal. Principle Power via AP (Joshua Weinstein/Principle Power via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

WindFloat Prototype near Setubal, Portugal. Principle Power via AP.

¶ The declining use of coal last year sent Arkansas carbon emissions lower than would be required by the Clean Power Plan in the rule’s final year of implementation. Carbon emissions dropped last year to 30.1 million tons. The CPP would limit Arkansas emissions to 30.6 million tons in 2030. [Utility Dive] (Arkansas is one of the states suing the EPA over the Clean Power Plan.)

¶ Several Maine communities are reconsidering or shelving plans to build large-scale solar energy projects after a bid to reform Maine’s solar regulations failed. The cities and towns had been planning to install PV panels on top of capped landfills that otherwise have no use. [Press Herald]

¶ Dow Chemical Company will partner with NRG to reduce its carbon emissions by increasing its clean energy target from 400 MW to 750 MW by 2025. This increase aligns with Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals and was achieved within the first year of the launch of the goals. [POWER magazine]

May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Earth experienced the warmest April on record, keeping 2016 on track to be the hottest year yet and by the biggest margin ever. New data released by NASA put this April’s land and sea temperatures at 1.11 degrees Celsius warmer than average April temperatures between 1951 to 1980. [CNN]

Coral bleaching, Great Barrier Reef

Coral bleaching, Great Barrier Reef

¶ The Ford Motor Company announced that it will use foam and plastic parts sourced from reclaimed carbon dioxide. Ford plans to transition its seating and underhood foam and plastic parts to materials made with reclaimed carbon dioxide, following a test period. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Around 12,000 people have been urged to leave Canada’s oil sands camps near the fire-hit town of Fort McMurray as a resurgent wildfire heads towards them. The vast fire now covers 930 square miles. It had moved away from the city but recently started to threaten the area again. [BBC]

The wildfires have devastated parts of Fort McMurray.

The wildfires have devastated parts of Fort McMurray.

¶ The global anti-fossil fuel campaign Break Free wrapped up 12 days of protests on Monday, with more than 30,000 activists calling for a shift away from fossil fuels. Organizers said it was the “largest global civil disobedience in the history of the climate movement.” [eco-business.com]

¶ Plans by Japan to build dozens of coal-fired power stations will cause at least 10,000 premature deaths, according to a study, as the country struggles to fulfil its climate change obligations five years after the Fukushima disaster closed down almost all of its nuclear plants. [The Guardian]

¶ Altogether the UK’s electricity system was coal-free for almost a third of last week, the Financial Times reported. On May 12th and 13th, the UK went almost the entire day without drawing on coal-fired generators, with natural gas, wind and solar stepping in to fill the breach. [Business Green]

UK Electric supplies for May 12.

UK Electric supplies for May 12. Coal is at the bottom, almost invisible, below the gray area representing nuclear power.

¶ Wrapping up the G-7 environment ministers’ meeting, Tamayo Marukawa, as chairwoman of the talks, hailed the group’s “strong political will” to implement the Paris accord. But Japan is unclear on a plan for renewables, and she pointed out weaknesses in relying on nuclear power. [The Japan Times]

¶ The world’s largest floating windfarm is set to be erected off the coast of Scotland and could be operating by the end of 2017. Five floating 6-MW turbines will be tethered to the bottom of the seabed 16 miles (25 km) in deeper water than any other development in the UK. [Daily Mail]

¶ More than 1.5 million households in Australia have rooftop solar. And in a few months time, 40 Tasmanian homes will be acting as mini power stations, not just producing energy for their own consumption and to export back into the grid, but actively trading the power they generate. [The Guardian]

Bruny Island has huge spikes of power demand during the holiday season. Photo by Dave Hunt/AAP

Bruny Island has huge spikes of power demand
during the holiday season. Photo by Dave Hunt/AAP

¶ A new poll indicates 64% of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party with plans to source 100% of Australia’s energy from renewables. The Reachtel poll of 2,400 Australians also indicates 56.1% would be more likely to vote for a party with a policy to phase out coal power. [Energy Matters]

¶ Last week, Portugal hit a major milestone in its ongoing effort to move to renewable energy. The entire country ran for more than half a week without having to resort to fossil fuels. That’s thanks to a big push toward solar, wind, and hydro power and a little nudge from the EU. [Geek]

US:

¶ The Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to fix the problem of bird kills, but in a way that may seem counterintuitive. The agency released a proposed revision to their eagle management strategies on May 6. But instead of putting stricter rules in place, it’s doing the opposite. [High Country News]

NREL researcher Jason Roadman and veterinarian Seth Oster release a Bald Eagle. Photo by Dennis Schroeder and John de la Rosa / NREL

NREL scientists release a Bald Eagle. Photo by
Dennis Schroeder and John de la Rosa / NREL

¶ In the first three months of 2016, the US grid added 18 MW of new natural gas generating capacity. It added a whopping 1,291 MW of new renewables. The renewables were primarily wind (707 MW) and solar (522 MW). We also added some biomass (33 MW) and hydropower (29 MW). [ThinkProgress]

¶ Enel has begun construction of the 150-MW Lindahl wind project in North Dakota. The company expects to complete the $220-million (€194 million) project by 2017. It will be able to produce some 625 GWh per year, enough to power over 50,000 average US homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in USA. Author: Tripp. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in USA. Author: Tripp. License:
Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ The Power Company of Wyoming plans to start roadwork this summer for the two-phase 3-GW Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm in the southern part of the state. The developer proposes to kick off in August with work on a haul road linking up to a new 14-mile rail spur. [reNews]

May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ An Innovate UK-funded industry group is working on a new generation of transparent solar panel technology that matches the costs and performance of standard high-performance glazing while delivering clean, renewable energy to the buildings in which they are installed. [Power Technology]

Polysolar glass PVs.

Polysolar glass PVs.

Opinion:

¶ “US EIA Responds To CleanTechnica Letter/Criticism On Energy Forecasts” • Over 2 years ago, CleanTechnica readers wrote an open letter to the US Energy Information Administration regarding its incredibly far-off-mark energy forecasts. After two years, the EIA has responded. [CleanTechnica]

Twelve years without solar installations - EIAs improbable projection on the growth of solar PV

The EIA projected twelve years without solar installations starting
in 2017. Historically, EIA projections have always been wrong.

World:

¶ Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, established a new division to invest in renewable and low-carbon power. The move came days after experts at Chatham House warned international oil companies they must transform their business or face a “short, brutal” end within 10 years. [The Guardian]

¶ Wind farms in the UK produced more power than coal for a whole month for the first time in April, industry body RenewableUK pointed out. According to National Grid statistics, wind generated 2,290 GWh of electricity in April, while coal provided only 1,755 GWh. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in UK. Author: Mycatkins. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in UK. Author: Mycatkins. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ Nissan has revealed a new home energy storage product created from recycled batteries sourced from the company’s electric vehicle offerings. The move means that Nissan has now joined Tesla and Daimler in the offering of home energy storage systems in addition to electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Chinese companies Goldwind and CECEP Wind Power Corporation have started building the 175-MW White Rock wind farm in New South Wales. The $400-million project will be operational in the second half of 2017. Initially it will feature 70 Goldwind 2.5-MW turbines. [reNews]

Goldwind wind farm outside of Urumqi, China. Photo by Pzavislak at English Wikipedia. Placed in the public domain by the author. Wikimedia Commons.

Goldwind wind farm in China. Placed in the public domain by
its author, Pzavislak at English Wikipedia. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, plans legal action against VW over the firm’s emissions scandal. The fund’s lawyers said VW’s conduct gives rise to legal claims under German law. Volkswagen has admitted it installed secret software to cheat on emissions tests. [BBC]

¶ It has only been a week since South Australia’s last coal-fired generator closed, but already a new pattern is emerging that points the path away from “baseload” built around coal, gas or nuclear, to a new energy system built around wind and solar and other renewables. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ The US has signed an agreement with Denmark to strengthen cooperation on offshore wind energy. The memorandum of understanding recognizes both countries common interests in developing the technology as a clean and sustainable energy source, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy said. [reNews]

Photo by Lina Bertling.

Photo by Lina Bertling.

¶ Alliant Energy is partnering on a project in Walworth County, Wisconsin, with Korean solar energy firm Hanwha Q Cells USA. The rows of solar collecting panels, 7,740 in all, are geared to tilt in electronically controlled motion to track the sun across the sky. They will have 2.3 MW of capacity. [Gazettextra]

¶ Wind-turbine service technicians, who must work at extreme heights in all sorts of weather, occupy a job category projected to expand more than any other through 2024, outpacing health care and technology, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. [Northwest Arkansas News]

Climbing the ladder in a mast. Bloomberg News photo / Matthew Staver

Climbing the ladder in a mast.
Bloomberg News photo / Matthew Staver

¶ In the US, CO2 emissions from electricity generation totaled 1,925 million metric tons in 2015, the lowest since 1993 and 21% below their 2005 level. This was partly due to shifts in the electric generation mix, with natural gas and renewables displacing coal-fired power. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Renewables yes, nuclear no, that’s the message New York environmentalists want the state’s Public Service Commission to hear. In the public comment period on a proposed Clean Energy Standard, the environmentalists urge the state to close the state’s nuclear plants. [Public News Service]

May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Crisis looms as our coal-fired power stations start to break down” • Coal-fired power stations are likely to break down more often as the deadline for closure approaches, leaving the UK vulnerable to power shortages. Nine coal-fired power stations remain in the UK. [This is Money]

Shutting down: Coal supplied about 17% of the UK’s electricity at the end of 2015, down from over 30% in 2014.

Shutting down: Coal supplied about 17% of the UK’s
electricity at the end of 2015, down from over 30% in 2014.

¶ “Coal vs. renewables: Texas a leader in shift to wind and solar energy” • If there’s a War on Coal, it’s increasingly clear which side is winning. Analysis by the investment firm Lazard determined that wind energy is now the lowest-cost energy source, even without tax incentives. [Longview News-Journal]

World:

¶ Experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa suggested that leveraging investments into renewable, digital and energy-efficient technologies will spur Africa’s ambitions to a fully electrified continent. Countries are expected to need to add 292 GW of new capacity in the next 35 years. [AllAfrica.com]

Wind farm on the Tunisian coast. Photo by IssamBarhoumi. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind farm on the Tunisian coast. Photo by IssamBarhoumi.
CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The government of the Indian state of Karnataka is looking to increase the installed solar power capacity target from the current 2 GW to 6 GW by 2022. The new target is in line with the central government’s target of 8% share of solar power in national power consumption by 2022. [PlanetSave.com]

¶ Dubai Electricity and Water Authority said that solar PV panels have been installed on 30 buildings as part of the Shams Dubai initiative launched last year. The utility is working with 18 government organisations to connect 37 projects, with a total capacity of 279 kW. [The National]

Solar PVs have been installed on 30 buildings as part of the Shams Dubai initiative. Wam

Solar PVs have been installed on 30 buildings
as part of the Shams Dubai initiative. Wam

¶ To ensure power for all its people by 2025, Sierra Leone became the first country to sign an agreement in the UK’s Energy Africa campaign. It will eliminate tax on qualified internationally certified renewable energy products to ensure power to 1 million people by 2020. [Sierra Express Media]

¶ Dudgeon Offshore Wind said it has secured a £1.3 billion ($1.84 billion) financing for a 402-MW project being co-developed by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar along with Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil and state-owned electricity company Statkraft. [Al-Bawaba]

The project is already more than half-completed. (Shutterstock)

The project is already more than half-completed. (Shutterstock)

US:

¶ Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp are joining forces with environmental groups to promote the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. They hope to develop 60 GW of renewable energy by 2025, enough to replace all coal-fired power plants in the US over the next four years. [domain-B]

¶ Power-stingy homes are a must in California. State policies now include a law requiring California’s built environment, tens of millions of structures, to operate twice as efficiently by the year 2030, cutting consumption of electricity and natural gas to half their projected levels. [LA Daily News]

Solar collectors on dorm at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California. Photo by Robert Ashworth. CC BY-SA 2.o generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Dorm at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California. Photo by Robert Ashworth. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A Utah school district is getting ready to flip the switch on a unique alternative energy project. The 60-kW waste vegetable oil cogeneration plant at Grand County High School is the first of its kind for Rocky Mountain Power and one of a few biomass projects in the country. [KCSG]

¶ Wind turbine construction in the United States has rebounded to its highest level in three years in the aftermath of a long political fight over the future of federal tax credits that support renewable energy projects. More than 8,500 MW of wind power capacity was built last year. [Longview News-Journal]

Bliss Wind Farm near Eagle, New York. Photo from Windtech at English Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Bliss Wind Farm near Eagle, New York. Photo from Windtech at English Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside of a Florida Power & Light facility concerning leaks at the nuclear power plant at Turkey Point. The company announced that customers will shell out an estimated $50 million this year alone for the cleanup of hypersaline water coming from the plant. [Miami Herald]

May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ French scientist and yachtsman Raphael Dinelli is preparing to make the first carbon-free transatlantic flight a reality by June 2016. He will attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the Eraole, hybrid biplane powered by solar panels and biofuel. The trip will last 60 hours. [CleanTechnica]

Frenchman Raphael Dinelli hopes to fly the Eraole across the Atlantic Ocean.

Frenchman Raphael Dinelli hopes to fly the
Eraole across the Atlantic Ocean.

¶ A German startup, Lilium Aviation, is working on a 100% electric jet that may fulfill the promise of the flying car. It says the jet can land or take off from an area the size of a typical garden, can fly about 500 km (310 miles), and recharges overnight from a standard household outlet. [BBC]

World:

¶ China is expected to raise its power storage capacity ten-fold to 14.5 GW by 2020. China is the world largest wind and solar power producer, but some regions are estimated to be losing more than 40% of their power because of technical restraints and bottlenecks in the grid. [Reuters]

Wind turbines and solar panels in China. Reuters/Jason Lee

Wind turbines and solar panels in China. Reuters / Jason Lee.

¶ One of the world’s largest offshore wind farms achieved financial close today, after its developers Masdar, Statoil and Statkraft announced they have secured £1.3 billion in recourse financing for the project. The 402-MW farm is being built 32 km off the coast of Norfolk. [Business Green]

¶ The 295-MW Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm in the German North Sea generated 1 TWh of electricity in the first year since the formal opening ceremony. The 48 Senvion 6.2M126 turbines delivered enough power to supply some 320,000 households, owner RWE innogy said. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm. RWE image.

Offshore wind farm. RWE image.

¶ Việt Nam’s power needs could be fully met by renewable energy by 2050, according to a report by World Wide Fund for Nature – Việt Nam and Việt Nam Sustainable Energy Alliance. The report suggests various scenarios for the country’s energy sector development strategy. [Viet Nam News]

¶ On May 9, several old UK power stations broke down, leading to a growing deficit in the wholesale electricity market. National Grid issued an emergency request for more supplies. Prices spiked accordingly to £1,250 per MWh ($1.79/kWh, wholesale). The price in summer is usually £50. [FT Alphaville]

¶ The Chinese company helping EDF with plans to build new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point has flatly dismissed the idea it would go it alone if the French company dropped out. CGN issued a statement saying it has no independent plans to build reactors at Hinkley Point C. [The Guardian]

A view of the proposed site for Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Photograph: Geoff Pagotto / EDF

A view of the proposed site for Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Photograph: Geoff Pagotto / EDF

US:

¶ After Exelon, the company owning the Clinton nuclear power plant, threatened to shut it down because it is no longer profitable, Illinois lawmakers filed bill of over 300 pages that they say will save the plant. They estimate the bill will cost the state around $150 million. [FOX Illinois]

¶ Massachusetts’ omnibus House energy bill will likely come in below Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal for hydropower procurement and below what the offshore wind industry wants to produce and sell to ratepayers, according to a House chairman working on the bill. [wwlp.com]

Offshore wind farm. AP Photo/ Peter Dejong, File

Offshore wind farm. AP Photo/ Peter Dejong, File

¶ Invenergy announced it has signed a 225-MW wind power purchase agreement with Google to provide renewable energy for its data center operations. The agreement includes the sale of 965,000 MWh of wind energy from the Bethel Wind Energy Facility in Texas. [invenergyllc.com]

¶ An 80-acre solar farm on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is slated to be completed later this year and will be one of the largest solar installations on the East Coast. The Amazon Solar Farm is being built by Community Energy Solar. The farm is expected to have a capacity of 80 MW. [Lancaster Farming]

Solar array at Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, VA. USDA photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar array at Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, VA.
USDA photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ New York is partnering with several private companies to invest up to $220 million in new clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The move, announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is part of the state’s effort to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. [PennEnergy]

¶ The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced that it has become a partner in the DOE’s Better Buildings Combined Heat and Power Resiliency Accelerator, to help the nation seize opportunities to improve critical infrastructure in communities. [Long Island Exchange]

¶ Xcel Energy Inc filed a plan with Colorado state regulators to build, own and operate its $1 billion Rush Creek Wind Project, including a 600-MW wind farm and 90-mile power line in the eastern parts of the state. As proposed, it would be Colorado’s biggest wind farm. [Denver Business Journal]

May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ No need to wait very long for climate change to show up on the earth’s timeline. Climate scientist Ed Hawkins of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, UK posted this hypnotic moving image of climate change on Twitter this week. [CleanTechnica]

Spiralling global temperatures from 1850-2016.

Spiralling global temperatures from 1850-2016.

¶ Air pollution in cities worldwide is increasing at an “alarming rate” and killing millions each year, a report by the World Health Organization says. The report says more than 80% of people living in cities that monitor pollution are exposed to air quality levels that fail WHO standards. [The Epoch Times]

World:

¶ Over 850,000 renewable power plants have been set up across the Italian peninsula and it is starting to pay dividends for local communities, according to a report. Thirty-nine of Italy’s municipalities are now running on 100% renewable energy and utility bills are falling as a result. [EurActiv]

Solar energy in Rome. (UK in Italy / Flickr)

Solar energy in Rome. (UK in Italy / Flickr)

¶ The eStorage Project, a consortium of European stakeholders in the “electric power value chain,” has released a study identifying a massive 2291 GWh of development-ready sites having existing reservoirs that can be used as new pumped storage plants in the EU-15, Norway, and Switzerland. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Italian oil and gas major Eni SpA announced a plan to install over 420 MW of renewable energy capacity at home and abroad. The plan involves building renewable energy facilities in the vicinity of other company-owned plants, including on abandoned industrial areas. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar system in southern Italy. Author: Richard Allaway. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Solar system in southern Italy. Author: Richard Allaway. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ Leni Gas Cuba Limited entered into an agreement with solar specialists Commercial Funded Solar to assess the potential for installing and operating renewable energy and hybrid power solutions (solar power, energy storage and power management systems) in Cuba. [Proactive Investors USA & Canada]

¶ Scotrenewables Tidal Power launched its 2-MW SR2000 tidal turbine at Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries in Belfast. The 550-tonne machine is the first commercial-scale unit built by the company. It will undergo preliminary tow trials in Belfast Lough before being towed to Orkney. [reNews]

Scotrenewables SR2000 tidal turbine (Scotrenewables)

Scotrenewables SR2000 tidal turbine (Scotrenewables)

¶ India’s renewable power producer Mytrah Energy exceeded its capacity target. Mytrah has added 283 MW of wind capacity over the last 12 months, increasing the company’s operating wind portfolio to 826.4 MW at the start of the 2016 wind season, 83 MW ahead of the company’s target. [Energy Voice]

US:

¶ In California, the use of coal to generate electricity has dropped dramatically, essentially going from small to almost microscopic. Two recent reports from the US Energy Information Administration show the decline. California had the steepest fall by percentage of any state. [Los Angeles Times]

Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona. Photo by Daniel Schwen. CC BY-SA 2.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona. Photo by Daniel Schwen. CC BY-SA 2.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Invenergy will work with Empire State Connector to transport up to 600 MW of wind power in upstate New York to customers in the New York City area. Submarine cables will be buried in the Erie Canal and the Hudson River. The project is expected to cost $1.5 billion [reNews]

¶ The Obama administration issued a final rule to cut methane emissions from US oil and gas production. The EPA rule has a goal to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas drilling by up to 45% by 2025, compared to 2012 levels. It will require energy producers to find and repair leaks. [Phys.Org]

May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Fuveme is a coastal village in Ghana, one of a number of villages that are vanishing because of coastal erosion. What was once a thriving fishing community is now best reachable by boat because of rising sea levels due to climate change. Waves have washed away whole parts of the village. [BBC]

Fuveme is just a slither of land now

Fuveme is just a slither of land now.

World:

¶ South Africa will connect 7,000 MW of renewable power to its grid by the middle of this year, when the first 47 projects become fully operational, the energy minister said. Africa’s most industrialised country has turned to solar and wind power to plug electricity shortages. [Yahoo News]

¶ The UK Energy Bill, which provides for the closure of the Renewables Obligation support regime for new onshore wind in Great Britain, concluded its passage through Parliament. Industry body RenewableUK called for tapping into onshore wind as the cheapest power option. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in UK. Author: JAK SIE MASZ. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Wind farm in UK. Author: JAK SIE MASZ.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

¶ Japan’s government is in the process of building a new fleet of coal-fired power stations that could prove worthless in a few decades as a result of overcapacity and falling energy costs, potentially stranding ¥6,223 billion ($56 billion) of assets, according to a new study. [Business Green]

¶ China’s largest coal company, Shenhua Energy, has signed an agreement with SolarReserve to build the largest amount of completely dispatchable solar electricity in the world: 1 GW of concentrating solar power (CSP). Shenhua will be responsible for the power block side. [CleanTechnica]

The power block of a CSP plant is essentially the same as any other thermal plant, whether geothermal, nuclear, coal, or combined cycle natural gas.

The power block of a CSP plant is much the same as any other thermal plant, whether geothermal, nuclear, coal, or natural gas.

¶ Tasmania has returned to 100% renewable electricity, at least temporarily, as significant rainfalls replenished dam levels and the state was able to operate without gas-fired or diesel generation for the first time since the Basslink cable was cut, preventing power imports from Victoria. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Northland Power Inc said it has installed 50 turbines at the 600-MW Gemini offshore wind farm and reported results for the first quarter of 2016. Of these, 27 are already producing power, bringing pre-completion revenues. Completion is expected in the middle of next year. [SeeNews Renewables]

Installation of the first Gemini wind turbine. Author: Northland Power Inc. License: All Rights Reserved.

Installation of the first Gemini wind turbine.
Credit: Northland Power Inc. License: All Rights Reserved.

¶ Outdoor air pollution has grown 8% globally in the past five years, with billions of people around the world now exposed to dangerous air, according to new data from more than 3,000 cities compiled by the World Health Organisation. The problem extends worldwide. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Thousands of oil and gas industry wastewater spills in North Dakota have caused “widespread” contamination from radioactive materials, heavy metals and corrosive salts, putting the health of people and wildlife at risk, researchers from Duke University said in a peer-reviewed study. [DeSmogBlog]

North Dakota, Williston - Bakken - Oil and Gas - Missouri River. Photo Credit: EcoFlight.

North Dakota, Williston – Bakken – Oil and Gas – Missouri River. Photo Credit: EcoFlight.

¶ The coal industry has been counting on exports to fill the gap in its declining sales, but it looks like the US Army Corps of Engineers has put the damper on that, at least for now. USACE suspended the permitting process for a proposed new coal export terminal in Washington State. [CleanTechnica]

¶ New Jersey’s largest electric utility wants to dramatically step up the number of ratepayer-supported solar projects it installs on landfills and brownfields. Public Service Electric & Gas Co asked state regulators to allow it to spend $275 million to install 100 MW of solar panels. [Philly.com]

Electricians with Riggs Distler install solar panels for PSE&G. Tracie Van Auken.

Electricians with Riggs Distler install solar panels for PSE&G.
Tracie Van Auken.

¶ Nothing is changing the corporate climate more than climate change. And what state is putting the topic on the front burner? New York, which is motivated by a progressive governor and memories of a 2012 superstorm, and his program, Reforming Energy Vision (REV). [Environmental Leader]

¶ The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station survived a fire, a flood and the close scrutiny of federal regulators. But it may be no match for the market. Omaha Public Power District executives are making recommendations to the board, one of which is to close the plant, as it is too costly to run. [KETV Omaha]

The Fort Calhoun plant flooded in 2011. Army Corps of Engineers photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

The Fort Calhoun plant flooded in 2011. Army Corps of
Engineers photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Foes of a third nuclear reactor at Dominion Virginia Power’s North Anna Power Station, near Mineral, Virginia, have taken their case to the shareholders of parent company Dominion Resources, which is holding its annual shareholders meeting in Columbia, South Carolina. [Bacon’s Rebellion]

¶ This summer, if all goes according to plan, the second reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant, in Spring City, Tennessee, will begin supplying power to the US electrical grid. Construction on the reactor has proceeded with repeated delays since the project began. That was 43 years ago. [Quartz]

May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Almost Everything You Know About Climate Change Solutions Is Outdated, Part 1” • First, climate science and climate politics have been moving quickly to broad consensus. Second, technology for key climate solutions has become very affordable. Third, the media is largely clueless. [ThinkProgress]

Credit: Schalk Van Zuydam, AP

Credit: Schalk Van Zuydam, AP

¶ “It’s the economy: Maryland RPS debate illustrates national divide on clean energy policy” • States with renewable portfolio standard (RPS) laws are doubling down, while those without take little interest. Taking a look at changes in Maryland’s RPS could help explain why. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Is this the end of the centralised energy network?” • What will the death of centralised energy networks look like? Turns out, what’s going on in Western Australia right now paints a pretty good picture. Having a low customer density makes centralized power a big challenge. [RenewEconomy]

Sandfire Roadhouse, Western Australia. Increasingly, grid service to remote areas is being replaced with renewable power. Photo by Nachoman-au. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Sandfire Roadhouse, Western Australia. Increasingly, grid service to remote areas is being replaced with renewable power. Photo by Nachoman-au. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ Irish solar developer Solas Éireann and the UK’s Golden Square Energy have formed a joint venture to develop more than 250 MW of photovoltaic projects in Ireland. Solas Éireann said it will commit more than €100m to the development and construction of solar farms across the country. [reNews]

¶ The foundation has been installed for the offshore substation at Northland Power’s and RWE’s 332-MW Nordsee 1 offshore wind farm, in the German North Sea. The foundation, weighs more than 1400 tonnes. The 50-meter foundation was anchored with four 240-tonne piles on four pedestals. [reNews]

Nordsee 1 offshore substation foundation (RWE Innogy)

Nordsee 1 offshore substation foundation (RWE Innogy)

¶ Development company Mainstream Renewable Power has received environmental approval for a 264-MW windfarm near the town of Antofagasta, Chile. The project involves an investment of nearly $630 million and has been approved by the Service of Environmental Assessment. [Power Technology]

¶ Australia has bounced back up three spots into the top 10 rankings of EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices. The report notes that state-level tenders and corporate off-take potential is driving activity, as opposed to policies of the federal government. [Invest in Australia]

House in Noranda, Western Australia. Photo by Orderinchaos. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

House in Noranda, Western Australia. Photo by Orderinchaos. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ All the electricity consumed in Uruguay over a 24-hour period at the start of this week came from renewable sources. Over a 24-hour period on Monday, 70.53% of electricity came from hydro plants, 21.3% from wind, 7.96% from biomass, and 0.39% from solar. [Latin American Herald Tribune]

¶ Automotive manufacturer Nissan and power company Enel confirmed plans to launch the UK’s first major vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial. They will connect one hundred V2G units at locations agreed by private and fleet owners of the Nissan LEAF and
e-NV200 electric van. [Automotive World]

¶ Britain generated no electricity from coal on Tuesday for what is believed to be the first time since the 19th century, in a major milestone in the decline of the polluting power source. National Grid confirmed that none of Britain’s coal stations were running between midnight and 4 AM. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Coal plants are increasingly unprofitable to run Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters.

Coal plants are increasingly unprofitable to run Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters.

¶ Mars, Incorporated is producing enough renewable electricity to power 100% of its UK operations. The RE100 company partnered with Eneco UK on a new 20-turbine wind farm located in the Scottish Highlands, committing to buying its electricity via a power purchase agreement. [The Climate Group]

US:

¶ Vermont-based manufacturer AllEarth Renewables announced a new program for Vermont homeowners, small businesses, and non-profits to go solar for just $1,000, which can be applied to purchasing the solar system after 5 years. Customers will see immediate electric bill savings. [pv magazine]

¶ Duke Energy Renewables has commenced building a 25-MW solar power facility in New Mexico, its first such project in that particular US state. The plant will power about 5,000 homes with 103,000 PV panels. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar panels. Featured Image: Jackiso / Shutterstock.com

Solar panels. Featured Image: Jackiso / Shutterstock.com

¶ The first new nuclear plant in 20 years is about to be turned on in the US, in Tennessee. At the same time the Tennessee Valley Authority starts up the [1150-MW] Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (Unit 2), it is also looking to add 3.8 GW of solar power and 1.75 GW of wind by 2033. [SustainableBusiness.com]

¶ New Mexico’s wind-energy industry has reached a major milestone, having surpassed 1,000 MW of capacity. Analysts say the state is well-positioned to expand its renewable power capacity, as the state has excellent wind resources, and investors already have put almost $2 billion into developing it. [Public News Service]

May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Why Used Electric Car Batteries Could Be Crucial To A Clean Energy Future” • Major EV makers are examining the values of used EV batteries when they no longer meet the strict standards for powering cars. This potential second life for EV batteries is a clean energy game changer. [ThinkProgress]

Used Chevy Volt Batteries Help New GM IT Building Use Solar And Wind Power. Via GM

Used Chevy Volt batteries help a new GM IT building
use solar and wind power. Via GM

¶ “Physicist claims Hinkley Point deal means UK taxpayer could get £53 billion bill to supply cheap nuclear energy to France” • Professor Barnham, of Imperial College London, claims the Hinkley Point deal means UK taxpayer could get £53 billion bill to supply cheap power to France. [The Independent]

Science and Technology:

¶ A group of scientists led by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Colorado-Boulder has developed a new, eco-friendly method to produce ammonia, the main ingredient of fertilizers, using light. Their paper is in Science. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Other than large hydroelectric plants, all forms of renewable energy in Russia account for less than 1% of power generation capacity. This is according to Russia Direct, which reports that Russian wind, solar and geothermal energy is terrifyingly underdeveloped. [CleanTechnica]

Moscow. Image via Shutterstock.

Moscow. Image via Shutterstock.

¶ E-Force, based in Switzerland, has developed an 18-ton all-electric truck intended to compete to standard diesel-powered delivery vehicles in the region. E-Force says its range is 300 km (187.5 miles) per full charge, and it uses 0.80 to 1.10 kWh/km at highway speeds. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Developing countries’ renewable energy markets are becoming increasingly attractive for investors, and European markets less so, a report Ernst & Young said. The top 10 countries were the United States, China, India, Chile, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, France, Canada and Australia. [Business Today]

¶ The UK’s attractiveness as a destination for investment in renewable energy has reached an all-time low, due to a series of unexpected green policy U-turns and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the role of renewables in our energy mix, according to the Ernst & Young report. [edie.net]

The EY report warns that the current record levels of financial support could fall badly.

The EY report warns that the current record levels of financial support could fall badly.

¶ According to the calculations by Agora Energiewende, due to the weather conditions on Sunday, May 8, renewable energy generation in Germany reached a new high. At 11 AM local time, renewables covered a record 95 % of the country’s electricity consumption. [pv magazine]

¶ Extremely negative prices were seen on the German wholesale electricity market over the weekend. On the EPEX SPOT exchange, the German Sunday baseload price was minus €12.89/MWh (minus $14.66). For the 14:00-15:00 Berlin-time slot, it was minus €130.09/MWh (minus $147.94). [ICIS]

US:

¶ Carbon dioxide emissions from the US’s energy sector fell in 2015 and now stand at 12% below 2005 levels, a drop mainly driven by the continuing collapse of the coal industry. The 12% cut since 2005 has come during a period in which the US economy has, adjusting for inflation, grown by 15%. [The Guardian]

Steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in New Hampshire. Photograph: Jim Cole/AP

Steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in New Hampshire. Photograph: Jim Cole/AP

¶ A report says utility-scale solar surpassed wind for the first time in California. Public records from the California Independent Systems Operations show utility-scale solar energy in 2015 reached 6.7 % of California’s electricity generation, compared to wind’s 5.3%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Rocky Mountain Power’s commercial customers will soon have a new option to use solar power and commercial customers will be able to reserve solar blocks. Subscriber Solar allows commercial and residential customers to purchase solar power even if they do not have suitable roofs. [St George News]

Rocky Mountain Solar Farm

Rocky Mountain Solar Farm

¶ Anbaric Transmission and National Grid filed with the New York Public Service Commission for a permit for an extension of their Vermont Green Line. The project would connect 400 MW of New York wind generation to Vermont through lines under Lake Champlain. [RTO Insider]

¶ Developers of a $900 million upstate New York [gas-fired] power plant are at the center of a federal probe into allegations of improper lobbying and conflicts of interest. They had sought and received important state approvals to fast-track the plant. Now, progress could soon grind to a halt. [Newsday]

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission is re-evaluating an agreement that left ratepayers on the hook for $3.3 billion of the cost of closing the San Onofre nuclear plant. The issue is that representatives of the plant’s primary owner engaged in secret talks with regulators. [Los Angeles Times]

May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ “After the Pacific Ocean swallows villages and five Solomon Islands, a study blames climate change” • In a recent paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, scientists link destructive sea level rise to anthropogenic, meaning human-caused, climate change. [Washington Post]

Village in the Solomon Islands. Photo taken by Irene Scott for AusAID. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Village in the Solomon Islands. Photo taken by Irene Scott for AusAID. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Opinion:

¶ “Does nuclear help the integration of renewables?” • French nuclear power does not facilitate the integration of wind and solar in neighboring countries. Rather, it clogs the grid and reduces flexibility. By contrast, Germany typically exports power just as demand peaks. [Renewables International]

World:

¶ Wildfires raging through Alberta are set to move away from the main oil-sands facilities north of Fort McMurray after knocking out an estimated 1 million barrels of production. A cold front scheduled to pass through the area may bring light rain that would help fire fighters battle the inferno. [Bloomberg]

Wildfires burn in Alberta on May 7. Photo by Darryl Dyck / Bloomberg

Wildfire burning out of control in Alberta on May 7.
Photo by Darryl Dyck / Bloomberg

¶ Sadiq Khan’s decisive victory in the London Mayoral elections means a “clean energy revolution” will soon be underway in the capital following the Labor mayor’s election pledge to be “the greenest mayor London has ever had.” His plan would reduce both costs and emissions. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ DeepOcean 1 UK has contracted SMD to deliver a mechanical cutting boom and cable handling system for its T3200 tracked trenching vehicle. Combining simultaneous mechanical and jet trenching, it enables protection of submarine power cables in rock and other hard ground areas. [reNews]

T3200 trenching vehicle (DeepOcean)

T3200 trenching vehicle (DeepOcean)

¶ UK-based Sainsbury’s has entered a partnership with ReFood to power several of its supermarkets with sustainable green gas. Waste will be collected from two depots, and then converted into heat, gas, and fertilizer at ReFood’s latest anaerobic digestion processing facilities. [Power Technology]

¶ The coal era has ended in South Australia this morning with the closure of Alinta’s Northern power station in Port Augusta. The state treasurer said the “sad day” came because the Port Augusta plant was based on outdated technology. Renewable energy had made it unprofitable. [InDaily]

Port Augusta's northern power station shut down.

Port Augusta’s northern power station shut down.

¶ This summer, Ikea stores will have another section, the “Solar Shop,” despite UK’s amendments on solar subsidies. Ikea is determined to invest and expand sales of solar panels. Currently, there are three UK solar shops located in Glasgow, Birmingham and Lakeside. [Nature World News]

US:

¶ The top official at the US EPA said the ongoing legal fight over regulating carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants won’t delay the nation’s accelerating shift to cleaner sources of energy. She spoke at Climate Action 2016, a conference n Washington, DC. [Sioux City Journal]

The Kintigh Generating Station in Somerset, New York. Photo by Matthew D. Wilson. CC BY-SA 2.5 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

The Kintigh Generating Station in Somerset, New York. Photo by Matthew D. Wilson. CC BY-SA 2.5 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Caterpillar and First Solar, Inc announced a strategic alliance to develop integrated solar PV micro-grid applications. First Solar will design and manufacture a pre-engineered turnkey package for use in remote micro-grid applications, such as small communities and mining sites. [solarserver.com]

May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2016

World:

¶ The failure of monsoon last year led to declining water levels at dams across the river Kali in the Indian state of Karnataka. If there is no rain by June, the reservoirs are likely to dry up, with effects on power generation at both hydro-electric and nuclear power plants. [Times of India]

Kali River in Karnataka. Photo by solarisgirl from pune, india. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Kali River in Karnataka. Photo by solarisgirl from pune, india.
CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Saudi Arabia’s veteran oil minister has been removed in a broad government overhaul. He has been replaced by former a health minister. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest crude exporter, but the country has unveiled major economic reforms aimed at ending its dependence on oil. [BBC]

¶ Zambian President Edgar Lungu has commissioned construction works for the $1.2 billion first ever solar power station plants in Lusaka. The two solar plants, which will have a capacity of 100 MW, are expected to supplying power before the end of the year, under a World Bank program. [ZNBC]

Zambian long term development in the Energy sector.

Zambian long term development in the Energy sector.

¶ Former US Energy Secretary Steven Chu commented on energy auctions in Mexico, which are unsubsidized. Mexico’s state utility got bids on solar, wind, hydro, cogeneration, combined-cycle gas, and geothermal energy. Solar and wind cost about 4¢/kWh, far below the costs of fossil fuels. [Forbes]

US:

¶ Iowa’s two largest energy providers, Mid-American and Aliant have both recently launched “pilot plans” meant to get the discussion started about building large scale solar arrays. Meanwhile a small, municipal utility in Cedar Falls is already harnessing energy from the sun. [Iowa Public Radio]

Simple Solar project in Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls Utilities photo.

Simple Solar project in Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls Utilities photo.

¶ While Republican lawmakers in Washington have fought to protect coal-fired power plants, opposing President Obama’s efforts to cut carbon emissions, data show their home states are often the ones benefiting most from the nation’s accelerating shift to renewable energy. [Kokomo Tribune]

¶ Chad Pregracke may be known as “The Rivers’ Garbageman,” having cleaned up America’s waterways for almost 20 years, but he also loves planting trees. In 2007, his nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters, set a new goal, to plant 1 million oak trees, and now, it has reached that goal. [CNN]

Chad Pregracke and his nonprofit surprised students by planting the group's millionth tree at their school.

Chad Pregracke and his nonprofit surprised students by planting the group’s millionth tree at their school.

¶ Philadelphia will experience the largest transit agency investment in zero-emission buses in the US Northeast, according to the director of the Sierra Club’s electric vehicles initiative. Philadelphia is a walkable city already, but cleaning up the buses will make that even better. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Motorists passing by six domed tanks near LaSalle, Colorado, might dismiss them as just more oil facilities. They are, however, part of the county’s rapidly growing renewable energy portfolio, the Heartland Biogas Project, the largest anaerobic digester in North America. [Greeley Tribune]

Trucks sit outside A1 Organic's facilities on Weld County Road 49. Eliott Foust | The Greeley Tribune

Trucks sit outside A1 Organic’s facilities on Weld County Road 49. Eliott Foust | The Greeley Tribune

¶ Year two of the California legislative cycle usually yields some bold policy ideas, and this year it looks like rethinking the state’s relationship with natural gas is on that track. A number of bills before the legislature arise from the major methane pollution event at Aliso Canyon. [Energy Collective]

May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “The fire in Canada looks a lot like climate change – and that should scare you” • It’s impossible for scientists to say global warming caused this specific fire, of course, but polluting the atmosphere is creating conditions that make such disasters more likely, bigger and costlier. [CNN]

Traffic at a standstill as evacuees flee Fort McMurray, May 4.

Traffic at a standstill as evacuees flee Fort McMurray, May 4.

World:

¶ The only land convoy evacuating people trapped by a huge wildfire in the Canadian state of Alberta has been suspended after 200-ft (60-meter) flames flanked the road, officials say. There is also concern about oil facilities, particularly near Nexen’s Long Lake oil extraction site. [BBC]

¶ Installed wind power capacity in China will more than treble from about 149 GW in 2015 to over 495 GW by 2030, a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. China had a third of total world wind power capacity in 2015. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

Wind power in China

Wind power in China

¶ Large heat pumps are expected to play a key role in meeting carbon reduction targets, according to developers of the UK’s largest air source heat pump for residential use. The new heating technology is expected to become the pathway to zero carbon, cheap heating. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Last year two German federal states generated more renewable electricity than they consumed, according to the German clean energy publication Renewables International. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern reached net 130% renewable electricity. Schleswig-Holstein reached net 100%. [Inhabitat]

German wind farm. Image via Wikimedia.

German wind farm. Image via Wikimedia.

¶ Energy start-up Open Utility yesterday unveiled the results of its six‐month trial of Piclo, the UK’s first online peer‐to‐peer renewable energy marketplace. It showed advantages for local markets and decentralized energy that could lead to significant savings, said Good Energy. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ Two Florida mayors are unique positions for local leaders: they both believe that climate change is occurring, and that the consequences will hit Florida residents hard. That puts them at odds with the state government, which fervently denies that climate change is occurring. [ThinkProgress]

Florida cities are in danger of rising seas. Shutterstock image.

Florida cities are in danger of rising seas. Shutterstock image.

¶ BioStar Renewables announced they will add 5.1 MW of solar power installations to their portfolio as a result of contracts totaling over $31 million. The installations will benefit schools in Hawaii and a cold storage facility in New Jersey, saving money and decreasing carbon emissions. [PennEnergy]

¶ Indiana’s use of coal for generating power plunged nearly 40% from 2007 through 2015 as its utilities retired older coal-fired plants and increasingly embraced natural gas and renewable energy, a new federal report shows. Indiana was among three states with big declines in coal use. [WSBT-TV]

Coal use in Indiana.

Coal use in Indiana.

¶ Maui Electric Company requested permission from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to begin acquiring about 40 MW of dispatchable, firm power generation by 2022. About 20 MW would come from renewable resources and 20 MW from fuel-flexible resources. [Maui Now]

¶ ComEd and Exelon proposed wide-ranging state legislation in Illinois to save two financially ailing nuclear plants, “jumpstart” solar power development and reform the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The proposal would also make controversial adjustments to electric rates. [Progress Illinois]

Clinton power station, near Clinton, Illinois. Photo by Dual Freq. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Clinton power station, near Clinton, Illinois. Photo by
Dual Freq. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ SolarCity will now offer services to utility and grid operators, including installation, financing, and consulting services for utility-scale solar and energy storage development, advanced controls for demand response, distributed energy resources, and aggregated grid services. [CleanTechnica]

May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Who’s Killing Renewable Energy?” • Fifteen years the Cape Wind project began, bureaucratic obstacles, high costs, and wealthy Cape Cod residents hostile to a major renewable energy project near their homes plague the endeavor. But Cape Wind is no longer alone. [TakePart]

Offshore wind farm at Copenhagen. Photo by Martin Nikolaj Christensen from Sorø, Denmark. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind farm at Copenhagen.
Photo by Martin Nikolaj Christensen from Sorø, Denmark.
CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ Research has found that solar farms have a positive impact on biodiversity for a range of plant and animal species when used with appropriate land management. The report tested and confirmed a growing body of anecdotal evidence that solar farms can benefit local wildlife. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ Many researchers believe that El Niño was not the only factor increasing the risk of a major fire in Alberta. A number of research papers have highlighted the fact that warming is leading to increased wildfire risk. Studies also show that northern latitudes feel those impacts more strongly. [BBC]

Cars heading toward flames they must pass to leave Fort McMurray. Photo by DarrenRD. CC BY-SA International. Wikimedia Commons. 

Cars heading toward flames they must pass to leave Fort McMurray. Photo by DarrenRD. CC BY-SA International. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The fire at Fort McMurray in Canada’s energy heartland and forced a precautionary shutdown of some oil production, driving up global oil prices. When fire has blocked the only escape route south, thousands of evacuees fled north or were cut off. The fire has covered 210,000 acres. [The Quint]

Cars fleeing Fort McMurray

Cars fleeing Fort McMurray. This was stop-and-go traffic.

¶ The Science Based Targets initiative said 155 companies have committed to set emissions reduction targets in line with attempting to keep global warming well below 2° C. The companies include Coca-Cola, Dell, Kellogg, NRG Energy, Procter & Gamble, Owens Corning, Toyota. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is powering a number of its UK stores with energy generated from anaerobic digestion through a partnership with food waste processor ReFood. About 10% of its national gas consumption is now generated from food waste under the agreement. [letsrecycle.com]

¶ The US DOE, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the Caribbean Community have signed a pact to promote and support renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies across the Caribbean region. [SeeNews Renewables]

Caribbean wind energy. Author: Boris Kasimov. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Caribbean wind energy. Author: Boris Kasimov.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

The Times reports that plans for Hinkley Point C have been thrown into chaos after the admission that engineers have falsified vital safety tests on parts supplied to reactors in France and possibly the UK. Power Magazine says France’s nuclear sector has been rocked to its core. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

US:

¶ Tucson Electric Power has received approval from the state’s regulator to build two 10-MW energy storage systems, including one co-located with solar. The utility had originally sought bids for a single system, but the bids were so low that the two projects fit within its budget. [PV-Tech]

E.ON Climate & Renewables will build one of the two systems. E.ON image.

E.ON Climate & Renewables will build one of the two systems.
E.ON image.

¶ A first-in-the-nation partnership between an electric utility and Tesla, the automotive and energy storage company, has resulted in the installation of new battery units in some Vermont homes. Green Mountain Power is helping customers access the Tesla Powerwall batteries. [WPTZ]

¶ Solar panels will soon help power three communities in the Alaskan Arctic. The Department of Energy awarded federal funding to install panels in Kotzebue, Buckland and Deering. Energy costs are notoriously high in rural Alaskan areas dependent on diesel power. [Alaska Public Radio Network]

Solar panels in the Northwest Arctic village of Shugnak. (Photo courtesy of Ingemar Mathiasson/NWAB)

Solar panels in the Northwest Arctic village of Shugnak.
(Photo courtesy of Ingemar Mathiasson/NWAB)

¶ Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is positioning himself for the November election by vowing to bring coal-mining jobs back to states that he now sees as critical to his presidential hopes. Since 2008, coal has been in sharp decline in the US. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The New York State Department of Public Service, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, EnterSolar, and Clean Energy Collective announced that construction has begun on the first Shared Renewables community solar project in New York State. [CleanTechnica]

New York Capitol. Image via Shutterstock.

New York Capitol. Image via Shutterstock.

¶ Enel Green Power North America has started construction of the Aurora utility-scale distributed PV solar project in Minnesota. It will be the Enel Group’s largest solar power plant in North America. It will consist of 16 PV plants with a total installed capacity of 150 MW. [Your Renewable News]

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority board voted to declare the unfinished Bellefonte nuclear plant surplus. It includes two partially finished reactors, office buildings, warehouses, railroad spurs and a helicopter pad. It has cost $4 billion and has an appraised value of $36 million. [Myrtle Beach Sun News]

May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2016

World:

¶ A fire has forced evacuation of all 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The fire, which broke out on Sunday in the heart on the country’s oil sands region, has already gutted 1,600 buildings, including a new school. High temperatures and wind are driving the fire. [BBC]

Fort McMurray fire. AP photo. According to the Weather Channel, high temperatures were at 90° F, or 32° C, breaking the old record of 82° F.

Fort McMurray fire. AP photo. According to
The Weather Channel, high temperatures were at 90° F,
or 32° C, breaking the old record of 82° F.

¶ According to the fourth edition of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project’s Global Climate 500 Index, 246 of the world’s 500 biggest investors, with $14.3 trillion in funds, are ignoring climate risks completely, 97 are taking tangible action to mitigate the risk, and 147 are taking first steps. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Offshore wind can fill the low-carbon gap left by the potential non-delivery of the delayed Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, according to Scottish Power Renewables. They said the offshore wind supply chain, projects, developers and funding were in place to plug any shortfall. [reNews]

Scottish Power's West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm (Scottish Power)

Scottish Power’s West of Duddon Sands
offshore wind farm (Scottish Power)

¶ India has taken its first major step at probably one of the most ambitious rooftop solar power capacity addition targets in the world. The Solar Energy Corporation of India recently floated a tender for the implementation of 500 MW of rooftop solar power capacity across the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Independent renewable generators supply 7.6% of UK power demand. They have a capacity of almost 11 GW, or 40% of the country’s green power, a report from SmartestEnergy said. Over 5,400 renewable projects were developed last year. [Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy]

SmartestEnergy photo.

SmartestEnergy photo.

¶ Enel Green Power RSA has grid connected a 82.5-MW solar power plant in South Africa’s Western Cape province. It is Enel’s largest solar plant in South Africa and is supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with utility Eskom. Enel has 430 MW more under construction. [reNews]

US:

¶ Tesla just released its quarterly shareholder letter. The first item is a whopper: Tesla aims to move its 2020 target to produce 500,000 vehicles a year to 2018. This is clearly in response to the high demand for the Tesla Model 3, which topped 400,000 reservations weeks ago. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 @ Unveiling Event | Image Credit: Kyle Field, for CleanTechnica

Tesla Model 3 @ Unveiling Event
Image Credit: Kyle Field, for CleanTechnica

¶ A Superior Court judge in the state of Washington ruled in favor of 7 young plaintiffs who brought suit on climate change. He ordered the state’s Department of Ecology to promulgate an emissions reduction rule during 2016 and bring recommendations to the state legislature in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Vestas is to supply 54 of their V117 3.3MW turbines for Capital Power’s 178-MW Bloom wind farm in Kansas. Manufacturing and shipment of the units is expected this year, with commissioning scheduled for the first and second quarter of 2017. The deal includes a 5-year service agreement. [reNews]

Vestas 3MW v90 turbine wind. Photo by Davagh.

Vestas 3MW v90 turbine wind. Photo by Davagh.

¶ Dynegy Inc will shut down three coal-fired units at two Illinois power plants because they are no longer economical in the Midwestern power market, the Houston-based electric utility said. The three units together have over 1,800 MW of capacity, about 30% of southern Illinois’ total. [Reuters]

¶ Caterpillar Inc announced the launch of Cat® Microgrid technology, a suite of power systems that adds solar panels, state-of-the-art energy storage, and advanced monitoring and control systems to Caterpillar’s traditional line of power generation equipment. [POWER magazine]

May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2016

Opinion and Action:

¶ “Largest Civil Disobedience in History of the Environmental Movement Begins Today” • Starting today, a global wave of peaceful direct actions lasting for 12 days will take place across six continents targeting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, under the banner of Break Free. [EcoWatch]

World:

¶ While Tesla may have the lock on electric vehicles for personal use, BYD has its sights set on the commercial side of things. BYD is bringing a full array of electric trucks to market which are aimed directly at one of the key sources of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution in our cities – diesel trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In the UK, farmers and landowners built 209 new projects in 2015 with a combined capacity of 56 MW, providing valuable new revenue streams, often on low-quality land. Together they account for 28% of all independent renewable projects and 5% of the market by capacity. [FarmingUK]

Farmers and Landowners built 209 new projects in 2015.

Farmers and Landowners built 209 new projects in 2015.

¶ The UK wing of Danish-based energy supplier DONG Energy has announced offerings to UK businesses of renewable electricity at no additional premium to ‘brown energy’ sources. DONG Energy is already the leading developer and operator of offshore wind in the UK. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Kent’s independent renewable energy producers generate enough power to put pressure on the UK’s Big 6 energy companies to lower their prices, according to a new study. Kent has seen £70 million invested in 108 projects, for 351 MW of capacity, enough to power 179,000 homes last year. [Kent Online]

A green cottage in the UK. Photo by martin dawes. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

A green cottage in the UK. Photo by martin dawes. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ According to new information from IHS Inc of Englewood, Colorado, Europe recently reached an important solar energy milestone, installing 100 GW of grid-connected PV power. PV is one of the most competitive forms of energy generation in Europe today. [solarserver.com]

¶ Scottish wind power jumped 15% in April 2016 from April 2015, putting nearly 700,000 MWh onto the national grid. Figures highlighted by WWF Scotland showed that the country’s turbines generated enough to meet, on average, the electrical needs of 79% of Scottish households. [reNews]

The Farr wind farm in Scotland (Siemens photo)

The Farr wind farm in Scotland (Siemens photo)

¶ US solar investment and consulting firm GSSG Solar LLC has started construction of a 46.8-MW solar farm in Japan, to be completed by the end of 2017. GSSG Solar has assessed over 2.5 GW of potential projects in Japan, and has 170 MW under development. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ The Stone Edge Farm and winery in Sonoma, California has a 32 kW solar array, 14 of Aquion’s 25 kWh M-Line battery modules, and an Ideal Power 30 kW multi-port power conversion system. The solar PV array provides electricity to the primary residence, workshops, and offices. [CleanTechnica]

Stone Edge Farm photo

Stone Edge Farm photo

¶ Solar power in Minnesota is shining brightly. The state is poised to climb into the top 10 states for annual solar installations from its 25th rank in 2015, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which expects the state’s solar capacity to increase by more than 500 MW in 2016. [Osakis Review]

¶ The city of San Diego has enacted an initiative that will have it running on 100% renewable energy by 2035. According to the Climate Action Plan, not only will the city rely completely on renewable energy but it also hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 50% by 2035. [Digital Trends]

A solar-powered electric vehicle charging station. Photo by Joshua Rainey / 123RF

A solar-powered electric vehicle charging station in San Diego. Photo by Joshua Rainey / 123RF

¶ The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to start a nuclear chain reaction in its newest reactor this month as it moves toward adding the first new atomic unit to the US power grid in two decades by this summer. The Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant has a capacity of 1,411 MW. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse, the zero-fuel airplane, has flown the first leg across the continental US in its attempt to fly around the world. It left Mountain View, California, at dawn on Monday and landed 16 hours later in Goodyear, Arizona. It was the 10th leg of its round the world quest. [BBC]

A pre-dawn take-off for Solar Impulse from Moffett Airfield. Solar Impulse photo.

A pre-dawn take-off for Solar Impulse from Moffett Airfield.
Solar Impulse photo.

World:

¶ Manitoba Hydro is now helping customers go solar. The crown corporation announced the details of the new Power Smart Solar Energy PV Program. The plan allows goodies for businesses and home owners to go solar, while selling surplus solar energy back to Manitoba Hydro. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S has fully installed 31 turbines at the 310-MW Lake Turkana wind farm in Kenya. The Lake Turkana Wind Power project will use total of 365 pieces of V52-850 kW turbines, capable of generating over 1,400 GWh together. [SeeNews Renewables]

Lake Turkana wind system. Vestas photo.

Lake Turkana wind system. Vestas photo.

¶ An international consortium recently announced that it started building a 2-GW solar project in Egypt. The project is expected to require a total investment of $3.5 billion. The consortium includes Terra Sola Ventures, Terra Nex, RWE New Energy, and Hareon Solar Technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Mexico and Costa Rica aim to increase their capacities of geothermal power to help meet the challenges they face of curbing planet-warming emissions and making their energy supplies secure. Geothermal makes up only 5% of installed power capacity in Central America. [Reuters UK]

¶ Nestlé Waters, the world’s largest bottled water company, has today announced its UK operations are now powered by 100% renewable electricity. The firm, which produces San Pellegrino and other brands of water, said electricity for its Buxton factory is now entirely from renewable sources. [Business Green]

Nestlé Waters factory Buxton

Nestlé Waters factory Buxton

¶ Two Indian states have commissioned canal-top solar power projects, according to reports. Two projects with a total installed capacity of 5 MW were commissioned by the Punjab government. Andhra Pradesh commissioned a 400-kW project supplying power to five villages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Perhaps unsurprisingly, Denmark boasts the highest wind-produced electricity consumption in the world. And they announced last month another increase, with 42% of their total electricity use coming from wind turbines in 2015. That’s a highly significant rise of 3% from 2014. [The News Hub]

US:

¶ Oklahoma is the latest state to get into the game on community solar. Tri-County Electric Co-op, headquartered in Hooker, dedicated the first community solar project in the state on April 26. TCEC members pay a one-time subscription fee of $340 per share to buy into the project. [Electric Co-op Today]

Wind turbines in Oklahoma. Photo by the US Geological Survey. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbines in Oklahoma. Photo by the US Geological Survey. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Leadership from Georgia Power and the Navy, community leaders, and others gathered at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany to mark the start of construction at a 31-MW AC solar facility. It is Georgia Power’s fifth large-scale solar project on military bases. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

¶ Solar power in New Hampshire cleared a major hurdle Monday after Governor Maggie Hassan signed a bill into law that doubles the state cap for net metering from 50 MW to 100 MW. Net metering is an incentive that lets people sell their excess solar energy back into the grid. [Concord Monitor]

¶ Lawmakers in Massachusetts are drafting a bill that would jump-start the offshore wind industry. The energy bill is expected to require utilities to purchase power from offshore wind farms, according to Representative Thomas Golden, a Democrat, whose party controls the legislature. [Bloomberg]

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

¶ Solar energy is still a small part of Wisconsin’s overall energy mix, but it’s the fastest-growing component. The Solar Energy Industries Association reports Wisconsin ranks 30th overall among the 50 states in installed solar capacity, but investment in solar rose about 70% last year. [Kenosha News]

¶ Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Richard Shelby, and others are urging the Tennessee Valley Authority to sell its unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant. More than four decades of work hasn’t produced a watt of electricity. At least one potential buyer has been identified. [FederalNewsRadio.com]

May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is Changing Auto History” • In its first week alone, the Tesla had amassed, “about $14 billion in implied future sales, making this the single biggest one-week launch of any product ever.” And it’s growing. Last week, Tesla had almost 400,000 orders for the Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Stuck in Time – Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant to remain a threat for 3,000 years” • It is 30 years since Chernobyl came to mean more than just a little village in rural Ukraine. Now, 25 years after the country that built it ceased to exist, the full damage of that day is still argued. [The Keene Sentinel]

World:

¶ The price per barrel of global benchmark Brent Crude ended April just above $47. Since dipping briefly below $30 in January, it has risen by nearly two-thirds. That sounds a lot. And it is. But it’s worth remembering that the price is still down by 30% on this time last year, and 60% on June 2014. [BBC News]

Offshore oil. Nexen image.

Offshore oil. Nexen image.

¶ Palestinians will take a step toward greater power independence by announcing terms of a solar-energy auction intended to boost installed capacity by as much as 100 MW. The Palestinian Energy Authority said it plans to auction permits to build 10 solar plants generating 10 MW each. [gulfnews.com]

¶ The leading off-grid home solar energy system provider in Uganda, Fenix International, has now signed 60,000 leases for its ReadyPay Power offering (since January 2014), according to a new press release. An estimated 300,000 Ugandans now have reliable electricity for the first time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Danish marine energy developer Floating Power Plant teamed up with engineering outfit Ocean Power & Energy Services with a development agreement. FPP has been grid testing its combined wind and wave power solution off Denmark for a number of years and has three possibilities for sites. [reNews]

FPP wind and wave concept (FPP image)

FPP wind and wave concept (FPP image)

¶ Canadian company CMX Renewable Energy Inc has sought a license to build a 150-MW solar plant in the central Vietnamese province of Ninh Thuan at an estimated cost of $150 million, news website Dau Tu reported. Around 1% of the plant’s output would be provided free to locals. [Thanh Nien Daily]

¶ Spain’s power sector, which has been shaken financially in recent years owing to plunging power demand, posted its first electricity tariff surplus in 14 years at the end of 2015. The National Markets and Competition Commission said there was a 7% decrease from a year earlier. [POWER magazine]

Solar array in Spain. Photo by Certo Xornal. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons. 

Solar array in Spain. Photo by Certo Xornal. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Dubai’s tender for the right to build the 800-MW phase III of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar complex has attracted a bid of just $29.90 (€26) per MWh. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is now evaluating a total of five bids. The winner is to be announced in June. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ Growth in wind-power production slowed in 2015 to slightly over 5%, according to a DOE report. This was because of lower wind speeds in key regions, particularly in western states. Some states such as Colorado that put more turbines onto the grid held steady outputs. [Public News Service]

Wind farm in Colorado. (Makunin/Pixabay)

Wind farm in Colorado. (Makunin/Pixabay)

¶ After almost 12 years of political gridlock and stiff opposition from competitors, San Francisco’s green energy program, CleanPowerSF, began operating on Sunday. CleanPowerSF is now able to deliver electricity to more than 7,800 residences and businesses. [San Francisco Chronicle]

May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Running around the clock for two weeks, ACWA Power’s 50-MW Bokpoort project is an example of Concentrated Solar Power, the solar that can be called on day or night. Because when it has integrated thermal energy storage in molten salts, it is dispatchable solar. [CleanTechnica]

Image Credit: ACWA Power

Image Credit: ACWA Power

World:

¶ India will achieve the target of 10,500 MW new solar power capacity in the current fiscal, the New and Renewable Energy Minister said. He said, “The way things are progressing in solar energy sector, we will definitely achieve our target. Solar energy is economically viable.” [IndUS Business Journal]

¶ New plans from the ECOWAS Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency will see a “clean energy corridor” with 2 GW of combined capacity in West Africa. The corridor will feature numerous 10 to 15 MW solar PV systems, together with wind and hydro plants. [CleanTechnica]

Image by SEWA (some rights reserved)

West Africa. Image by SEWA (some rights reserved)

¶ Venezuelans lost half an hour of sleep on Sunday when their clocks moved forward to save power, as the country grapples with a deep economic crisis. The time change was ordered by President Nicolas Maduro as part of a package of measures to cope with a severe electricity shortage. [BBC]

¶ Global wind power installations are estimated to more than double in the next five years according to a new study, which also spotlights the record global wind growth in 2015, led by China and Germany. Prices continue to decrease and renewable energy is a priority for many countries. [The Climate Group]

Offshore wind

Offshore wind

¶ Belgium’s High Health Council decided to expand the radius of iodine pill distribution around the country’s nuclear sites from 20 km (12 miles) to 100 km (62 miles), focusing on people who are most susceptible to radiation illness, such as children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. [wtvr.com]

US:

¶ The Michigan utility company Consumers Energy recently finished shutting down 7 regional coal-fired power plants, and is beginning operations at a new community solar energy project in the area. The new 3-MW solar energy project is on a 17-acre site at Grand Valley State University. [CleanTechnica]

Image by Consumers Energy (some rights reserved)

Image by Consumers Energy (some rights reserved)

¶ Greentech Media notes that an average gross cost of a solar energy system in Texas is the lowest in the country, down to $3.21 per watt, while the national average cost is $3.69 per watt. This is based on data in EnergySage’s Second Solar Marketplace Intel Report. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Republican and Democratic presidential contests have been unusually competitive, with strong challengers and less dominant front-runners than years past. The presidential hopefuls all have made statements on coal. Some have put forward detailed policies. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ A Post and Courier analysis shows that South Carolina utility Santee Cooper has effectively deprived its more than 170,000 direct customers of the energy savings and environmental benefits that the state’s new renewable energy law made available to residents. [Charleston Post Courier]