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]

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