July 20 Energy News

July 20, 2016

World:

¶ The UK imports millions of tons of American wood pellets every year to be burned in power stations for ‘climate friendly’ electricity. But the practice is devastating forests, and the UK government’s own research shows that it’s worse for the climate than the coal it replaces, as forests that offset carbon emissions are being destroyed. [The Ecologist]

Clear-cut forest in Oregon. Photo by Calibas. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Clear-cut forest. Photo by Calibas. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Scottish courts have quashed planning consent for 2.3 GW of offshore wind farms off the country’s east coast. In doing so, it sided with claims by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which was acting to protect birds and other wildlife. The Scottish Government said it remains committed to offshore wind. [reNews]

¶ Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp signed a pact with Korea Electric Power Corp and Mongolian investment company Newcom LLC to co-develop and co-invest in Mongolian renewable energy projects. The memorandum of understanding calls for work on wind and solar PV projects at the city of Ulaanbaatar. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Japan. Author: cotaro70s. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Wind farm in Japan. Author: cotaro70s.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

¶ A newly elected local governor will ask Kyushu Electric Power Co for a temporary shutdown of Sendai nuclear plant, Japan’s only operating facility, as early as August. He has said he wants the shutdown for checks on the impact of a series of strong quakes that struck neighbouring Kumamoto earlier this year. [Himalayan Times]

¶ Nigus Greenergy and Volt Renewables have signed a memorandum of understanding relating to 300 MW of solar PV plants to be developed and commissioned in Nigeria next year. The project will comprise three, 100 MW solar plants located in northern Nigeria and will be 10% of Nigeria’s generating capacity. [pv magazine]

Nigerian countryside.

Nigerian countryside.

US:

¶ As it is coming together, the Democratic National Convention platform takes on climate change as one of the most urgent issues of our day. The platform supports a price on carbon and methane emissions. It takes a tough stance on fossil fuel companies, calling for eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for these firms. [Triple Pundit]

¶ The final Republican platform would pull the United States out of the international climate accord, open national forests for logging, and declare coal a “clean energy resource.” It would also end limits to CO2 emissions, pull the US out of the United Nations climate process, and end all subsidies to renewable energy. [Deutsche Welle]

Republicans would reclassify coal as a "clean energy resource."

Republicans would reclassify coal as a “clean energy resource.”

¶ Discount Power, a licensed retail energy supplier, announced they have launched green energy products for their customers to support clean energy production and reduce use of fossil fuels. They are offering 100% wind energy for homes and businesses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland. [Power Online]

¶ The Obama Administration announced it has partnered with six federal agencies to pursue a new catalytic goal to deploy 1 GW of solar power systems for low-to-moderate-income families by 2020. The new objective is a tenfold increase of the president’s initial target of 100 MW set in his Climate Action Plan. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar array. US Dept of Agriculture photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Department of Agriculture photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Vermont Public Service Board issued an order scaling back support for solar, bringing loud complaints from environmentalists and industry officials. The changes include a sharp reduction in the amount of power utilities will be required to buy from customers who generate their own power for net metering. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

¶ The Montana Public Service Commission voted to establish contract terms and conditions between Greycliff Wind Prime and NorthWestern Energy, for a 25-MW wind farm. Under federal law, Northwestern Energy must purchase the power at the utility’s “avoided cost,” the cost if would have incurred buying elsewhere. [kmmsam]

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