July 12 Energy News

July 12, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A 2,000-page report from the UK Climate Change Committee foresees a domino effect on key infrastructure. Bridges lost to flooding means loss of electricity, gas and IT connections. Poor farming means the fertile soils become badly degraded by mid-century. And that is if Paris climate change goals are met, a pledge that is in doubt. [BBC]

Flooding in the UK. PA image.

Flooding in the UK. PA image.

World:

¶ China will ban the construction of new coal-based chemical facilities and coal-fired power plants until 2018 and continue to shed overcapacity in coal mining and oil refining, according to the state news agency, Xinhua. The ban on projects should cut coal’s share of the overall mix to 58% from the 64% it currently has. [Web India 123]

¶ Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power said today the 80-MW Noupoort wind farm in South Africa has achieved commercial operation. The wind plant satisfied all the requirements of power utility Eskom on July 11, thus achieving its commercial operations date on schedule and on budget. The site has 35 turbines. [SeeNews Renewables]

Noupoort Wind Farm. Source: www.noupoortwind.co.za. License: All Rights Reserved.

Noupoort Wind Farm. Source: noupoortwind.co.za.
License: All Rights Reserved.

¶ Wind farms supplied more than two thirds of South Australia’s electricity over the weekend, with an even bigger contribution on Monday, when it provided 83% of the state’s power needs for 24 hours, Australia’s Clean Energy Council said. The state got more than 40% of its electricity from renewable energy last year. [Bloomberg]

¶ Shortly after taking off from Seville, Spain en route to Cairo, Egypt, Solar Impulse 2 flew directly over the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant. The 20-MW plant is the world’s first utility-scale solar power plant to combine a central tower receiver system and molten salt storage for a reliable solar energy supply 24 hours a day. [Gulf Today]

Solar Impulse 2 in flight over the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant.

Solar Impulse 2 in flight over the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant.

¶ Britain has generated more electricity from the sun than coal-fired power plants for the first time on a monthly basis, new research has shown. Solar panels in homes and businesses across the UK produced 1.38 TWh in May. The Times reported that was much more than coal-fired power stations, which added 0.89 TWh. [City A.M.]

¶ The Otsu District Court ruled against Kansai Electric Power Co for the third time in five months, in a decision that will keep its Takahama No 3 and 4 reactors in Fukui Prefecture shut down indefinitely. Both sides are now gearing up for an appeal by Kepco to the Osaka High Court, where a decision could come next year. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ Hawaii is a national leader in rooftop solar power, but despite the state’s ambitious goal of using only renewable energy by 2045, people are being shut out of solar incentive programs because of limits set by the state. On Maui, a program that reimburses customers who supply energy to the grid reached its maximum in June. [Fairfield Citizen]

New solar installation in Hawaii. Photo: Cathy Bussewitz, AP

New solar installation in Hawaii. Photo: Cathy Bussewitz, AP

¶ The US Department of Agriculture is providing nearly $55 million in grants and loan guarantees to help 821 small businesses in rural areas save on energy costs. The latest round of grants awarded under the Rural Energy for America Program total about $11.6 million; loan guarantees add up to approximately $43.2 million. [Agri-Pulse]

¶ GE Renewable Energy on Monday said its offshore wind turbine plant in Saint-Nazaire, France, will ship its first commercial series Haliade offshore wind turbine nacelle to the US within days. Installation of five 370-tonne turbines at the Block Island wind project off the coast of Rhode Island will start in August. [SeeNews Renewables]

Haliade wind turbine at Belwind, Belgium, Source: GE, All Rights Reserved.

Haliade wind turbine at Belwind, Belgium, Source: GE, All Rights Reserved.

¶ The installation of Gamesa G114 turbines at the 208-MW Amazon US East wind farm in North Carolina has kicked off. The project features 104 2-MW turbines, each with a 93 meter tower and 114 meter rotor diameter. It will be the first wind farm in North Carolina. It is sited on about 22,000 acres leased from over 60 landowners. [reNews]

¶ The US unit of Solar Frontier KK, a Japanese module manufacturer, started construction on two projects it has been developing, totalling 107 MW. The 67-MW Midway I and 40-MW Midway II solar parks are located in California’s Imperial County. Both will sell power to utilities through power purchase agreements. [SeeNews Renewables]

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