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]

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