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]

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