June 8 Energy News

June 8, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Can wind and solar make us rich?” • With low-cost electricity storage, Jamaica could cut electric costs by 60%, while cutting of costs for imported fossil fuels by $100 million each month. Finally, free at last! Economic independence attained after 50 years of political independence. [Jamaica Observer]

Jamaican wind farm.

Jamaican wind farm.

¶ “Renewables versus climate change – the battle heats up!” • The renewable energy revolution is in full swing, but global warming is also accelerating, with global temperature records broken every month for a year. Will the energy transition happen in time to avert catastrophe? [The Ecologist]

World:

¶ Japanese renewables firm SB Energy Corp will start on June 10 commercial operations at the 48.43-MW Hamada Wind Farm, in Shimane prefecture, Japan. The company expects the new wind power plant to generate some 85 million kWh per year, sufficient for 23,600 local homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbine in Japan. Author: Seiichi Ariga. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Wind turbine in Japan. Author: Seiichi Ariga.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

¶ The leaders of India and the United States on Tuesday vowed to ratify the Paris climate accord this year. They also set a one-year deadline for concluding a deal for six commercial nuclear power plants. But the two sides provided few specifics about how they would achieve those goals. [NDTV]

¶ A Lagos-based renewable energy company, Arnergy, announced a pay-as-you-go service for users in communities without a stable power supply, which is pretty much all those in Nigeria. The service lets consumers install affordable solar panels and pay for power as they consume it. [TechCabal]

Solar technology for people who never had power.

Solar technology for people who never had power.

¶ Shell has changed its mind about renewables and how it will make money in future, in a world after the Paris COP 21 climate change deal. The company’s chief executive concedes that the previous team may have got it wrong when it stopped investing in renewables, especially wind power. [ITV News]

¶ So far this year, 98% of Uruguay’s electricity has come from sources of renewable energy, according to the president of the state-run electric company UTE. The announcement came at a meeting of business owners, executives and investors in the energy sector. [Latin American Herald Tribune]

"El

El murallon del dique compensador. Photo by Starbock1948.
CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ UK solar developer Hive Energy has won a contract to install a 50-MW PV park for Union Electrica de Cuba in the Caribbean island republic. Under its terms, Hive Energy will build the solar park in the Mariel Free zone. The facility is expected to produce up to 93 GWh per year. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Solar power in the UK produced more electricity than coal across the whole of May, the first ever month to pass the milestone, according to research by analysts at Carbon Brief. Solar generated an estimated 1,336 GWh of electricity in May, compared to 893 GWh output from coal. [The Guardian]

The new floating solar farm on Godley reservoir in Hyde, Manchester, UK. Photo: Ashley Cooper/Alamy

The new floating solar farm on Godley reservoir in Hyde, Manchester, UK. Photo: Ashley Cooper/Alamy

¶ As plans emerge for a new “baseload” solar thermal and storage plant to replace coal in South Australia, a new report from WWF Australia questions the very concept of “baseload,” arguing that this model of power generation is made redundant by a 100% renewable energy grid. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Another 30 children in Fukushima have been hit by thyroid cancer, up from 16 in February following the threat of radiation exposure after its nuclear plant exploded in 2011. This brings the total number of Fukushima children diagnosed with thyroid cancer to 131. [AsiaOne]

Checking a child for radiation.

Checking a child for radiation.

¶ Scottish homes fitted with solar panels would have seen enough sunshine last month to meet their entire electricity consumption, according to the WWF Scotland. A report they issued said wind turbines also produced enough electricity to meet the needs of around 76% of homes in May. [The National]

US:

¶ Hawaiian Electric Company is preparing to issue a Request for Proposals for renewable energy projects on Oahu island that can start power generation by the end of 2020. The utility operates under a state requirement to achieve sourcing from 100% renewables by 2045. [SeeNews Renewables]

Hawaii wind farm. Author: David J Laporte. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Hawaii wind farm. Author: David J Laporte.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ Two New York State agencies are working with the Electric Power Research Institute and Central Hudson Gas and Electric to install a hybrid solar PV generation and battery storage system at the State University of New York at New Paltz, about 85 miles north of midtown Manhattan. [Solar Industry]

¶ Energy forecaster GTM Research predicted that the price of building big solar-power farms will drop below $1 a watt by 2020. That is a big deal, as it is both a competitive goal for the solar industry and is the target set in 2011 by the US DOE’s SunShot Initiative. [Next Big Future]

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