July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “An industrial strategy for energy” • Even the UK’s National Audit Office acknowledges that the only remaining argument in favor of the ‘cathedral within a cathedral’ at Hinkley is that nuclear power gives the UK what is known as baseload power. Britain should abandon Hinkley Point and invest in storage. [Open Democracy]

Hinkley Point nuclear power station. By Di Richard Baker.

Hinkley Point nuclear power station. By Di Richard Baker.

¶ “South Australia’s ‘absurd’ electricity prices: renewables are not to
blame” • Reading many newspapers over the past few weeks you’d think South Australia had become a horrible case study in the dangers of too much renewable energy. Those articles missed the fact that SA power prices doubled as gas prices doubled. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ A new study suggests that the increasing acidification of the oceans is likely to interfere with the ability of fish to reproduce. Researchers found that elevated levels of CO2, which make the waters more acidic, saw significantly lower levels of spawning. The scientists say the changes are “subtle but ecologically important.” [BBC]

Researchers say that the Ocellated Wrasse is likely to be impacted by the increasing acidity of the oceans. Natascia Tamburello.

Researchers say that the Ocellated Wrasse is likely to be
impacted by the increasing acidity of the oceans. Natascia Tamburello.

¶ If anthropogenic global warming is to be limited to under 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) then technology will need to be developed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, in addition to completely ceasing greenhouse gas emissions by 2085, according to a study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Stadtwerke Muenchen, Germany’s biggest municipal utility, plans to expand its presence in the booming offshore wind sector, its CEO said, in a bid to replace loss-making gas and power plants it says will cease to exist at some point. Despite its small size, SWM has already spent about €3 billion ($3.3 billion) on renewables. [Reuters]

A ship sails past the 90-MW Barrow offshore wind farm. Reuters / David Moir

A ship sails past the 90-MW Barrow offshore wind farm. Reuters / David Moir

¶ The City of Cape Town is blasting Eskom’s move to stop signing power purchase agreements with private producers after the current round is finalized. The mayor of Cape Town says the city demands that the energy minister allow the city to procure renewable energy from independent power producers. [ITWeb]

¶ Senvion has signed a deal to supply two MM92 turbines to developer EDL for an offgrid project in the Australian outback. The German outfit said the Coober Pedy hybrid micro-grid project in the south of the country will feature 2-MW turbines, along with a combination of solar and battery storage to reduce reliance on diesel fuel. [reNews]

MM92 turbines (Senvion)

MM92 turbines (Senvion)

¶ According to the UN’s 2016 New and Renewable Energy Investment Trend Report on July 25, the installed capacity of new and renewable energy-powered power plants newly built in the world last year grew 25.5% to 118 GW from the previous year. This volume accounted for 53.6% of all new power generation. [BusinessKorea]

¶ Ukraine’s looking toward the sun to put a radioactive wasteland back into business. Thirty years after atomic fallout from the Chernobyl meltdown rendered an area the size of Luxembourg uninhabitable for centuries, Ukraine is seeking investors to develop solar power near the defunct Soviet reactors. [Livemint]

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant seen from Ukraine’s abandoned town of Pripyat. Photo: Reuters

Containment structures on the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant,
seen from Ukraine’s abandoned town of Pripyat. Photo: Reuters

¶ South Australia’s state government has announced plans for a new clean energy auction, saying it intends to target “dispatchable” renewable energy sources, including battery storage, for around 25% of the government’s electricity needs. There is still no word on how the government will source the other 75%. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Southeast Asia’s leading wind energy developer, The Blue Circle, has received an Investment Certificate from the Vietnamese authorities for its 40-MW Dam Nai project, in Ninh Thuan province, South Vietnam. The site of 933 hectares has a potential for a total capacity installed of 70 to 100 MW. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

Vietnamese countryside.

Vietnamese countryside.

¶ Electricite de France SA approved plans for a €4 billion ($4.4 billion) share sale, two days before its board meets to make a final investment decision on its British nuclear-power plant project. The decision may hinge on the votes of independent board members as three of the EDF’s labor unions call to delay development. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ Nearly 15,000 solar panels soaking up the sun in Osceola County are now providing clean, renewable energy to Duke Energy customers in Florida. The new Duke Energy owned and operated Osceola Solar Facility is about the size of 13 football fields and produces nearly 4 MW of carbon-free energy. [Florida Trend]

Osceola Solar Facility. Duke Energy Photo.

Osceola Solar Facility. Duke Energy Photo.

¶ A new lawsuit filed against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by a coalition of four environmental groups alleges that the new rules for capacity resources approved last year are going to raise utility costs for consumers and are “unduly” burdensome to renewable energy, according to recent reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US reached 74,821 MW installed wind power capacity by mid-2016 and there are now more than 18,200 MW of wind farms under construction or in advanced stages of development. The American Wind Energy Association said activity approached record levels in the second quarter with record low wind costs. [SeeNews Renewables]

 

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