May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2016


¶ 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]


¶ 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. []

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. []

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]

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