May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2016


¶ “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]


¶ 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). []

¶ 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]


¶ 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. []

¶ 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]

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