June 7 Energy News

June 7, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “French nuclear under pressure – from German renewables” • In late May, strikes reduced nuclear power production in France. Yet even more plants were offline a few weeks earlier without any strikes at all. This was partly because of renewable electricity from Germany. [RenewEconomy]

Nuclear plant Paluel 2 “just barely escaped catastrophe,” as Le Parisien put it, on March 31. (Photo by Bodoklecksel, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Nuclear plant Paluel 2 “just barely escaped catastrophe,” Le Parisien said, on March 31. (Photo by Bodoklecksel, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ A 20% increase in wind and solar energy generation in 2015 has combined to deliver another annual increase in the amount of Australia’s electricity sourced from renewables, more than compensating for a drop in hydro production, a new report has found. [CleanTechnica]

¶ More detail has come on Solastor’s proposal for a “baseload” solar thermal and storage power plant in Port Augusta, South Australia. The ambitious 170-MW, $1.2 billion project could produce the lowest-price 24/7 solar power in the world, according to the company’s chairman. [RenewEconomy]

Solastor system for 24/7 solar power.

Solastor system for 24/7 solar power.

¶ Last year was a huge 12 months for renewable energy, with a new global status report on clean energy highlighting how 2015 was a record year for the industry – including the revelation that renewable energy can now satisfy nearly a quarter of the world’s power demands. [ScienceAlert]

¶ Disappointed by hydroelectric power reduced by drought, Zambia is turning to the sun. The landlocked country plans to build two solar projects that will charge the lowest tariffs in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Zambian Industrial Development Corporation. [Quartz]

Lake Kariba is drying up, and so is Zambia's electricity supply. (Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo)

Lake Kariba is drying up, and so is Zambia’s electricity supply. (Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo)

¶ Norway’s four major political parties agreed last week to ban the sale of cars powered by gas or diesel by 2025, according to Electrek, citing a story in Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv. There is, however, some question about how much all parties actually support the proposal. [Huffington Post]

¶ A group of Norwegian companies has sent the government proposals for an offshore wind demonstration project off the coast of Norway to help boost the country’s export potential in the sector. The Offshore 2025 proposals have been put together by Norwea, which has 130 members. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm. Credit: reNews.

Offshore wind farm. Credit: reNews.

¶ Origin Energy’s managing director says it is unlikely any more coal-fired power stations will be built in Australia, as the renewable energy target helps force coal power out of the market. But there still may be the need for more gas-fired power stations if coal-fired power comes off quickly. [The Australian]

US:

¶ The governor of Vermont vetoed a bill supporters hoped would give communities more say over siting renewable energy projects and bring new sound limits on wind turbines. He said last-minute amendments to the bill would unacceptably slow or halt renewable energy development. [vtdigger.org]

A wind energy project in Vermont. File photo by Roger Crowley / VTDigger

Wind energy in Vermont. File photo by Roger Crowley / VTDigger

¶ A microgrid at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in California helps show the potential of net-zero green projects to aid military installations reduce reliance on fossil fuels and expand the use of green energy. Net-zero systems generate as much energy as is used. [SEAPOWER Magazine Online]

¶ In the next 15 years, Texas expects to add somewhere between 14 GW and 27 GW of solar capacity, according to a new long-term system assessment from the state’s grid operator, ERCOT. Meanwhile, over 5 GW of coal are expected to go offline in the next five years. [Breaking Energy]

¶ Minnesota Power’s first community solar garden got the go-ahead from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. It will be constructed in two locations in Duluth, one being a 40-kW array and the other a 1-MW array. Both locations will be available for subscribers. [Mesabi Daily News]

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