July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The European summer heat wave of 2003 has been a focal point for scientists studying whether and how human-caused climate change influences extreme weather events. It was the first weather event to be the subject of an attribution study. A new study examines the numbers of fatalities attributable to climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Rhein at Dettenheim during 2003 heat wave. Photo by BlueBreezeWiki. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

The River Rhine at Dettenheim during the 2003 heat wave.
Photo by BlueBreezeWiki. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ China has installed 22 GW of grid-connected solar PV in the first half of 2016. According to PV-Tech, China’s National Energy Administration announced at an industry event in Beijing that the country had logged 22 GW of grid-connected solar PV in the first half of the year, with 11.3 GW in June alone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Over the past few days, three separate announcements have been made about Australian wind projects moving forward with development. This is welcome news for a country which has for so long seen renewable energy be the primary focus of disinformation and propaganda at the highest political levels. [CleanTechnica]

Gullen Wind Farm

Gullen Wind Farm

¶ Chinese company TBEA SunOasis Co is to build a two-stage 1-GW solar power plant in Egypt under a memorandum of understanding. The deal also envisages the establishment of PV cell manufacturing capacity in Egypt. The Ministry of International Cooperation will back the feasibility study and construction stages. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The European Commission said it considers France’s decision to support a pilot tidal energy plant in the English Channel with state aid to be in line with the bloc’s rules. France plans to support the construction of the Normandie Energie PiloTe HYDrolien tidal energy pilot farm in a current called the Raz Blanchard. [Sputnik International]

Submarine turbine awaiting installation. © AFP 2016 / Fred Tanneau

Submarine turbine awaiting installation. © AFP 2016 / Fred Tanneau

¶ Energy giant EDF will make its long-awaited final investment decision on the planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, ending doubts over the £18 billion project. The French firm’s board is meeting in Paris and is expected to give the go-ahead for the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for a generation. [The Guardian]

¶ A general trend has been observed in energy markets, and this is especially noteworthy in the UK and US. It is the downslide of coal energy and the rise of renewables. Of particular note, solar PV electricity generation surpassed coal-based electricity production for the first time in the UK during May 2016. [CleanTechnica]

New Rooftop solar in the UK. Photo by Tom Chance (some rights reserved)

New Rooftop solar in the UK. Photo by Tom Chance (some rights reserved)

¶ TEPCO, operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said first-quarter operating profit plummeted 37% as sales declined amid faltering demand and new entrants into Japan’s power market. Japan liberalized its retail power market in April, allowing consumers to choose their electricity providers for the first time. [Bloomberg]

¶ The Rockefeller Brothers fund has emerged as an investor in an African project of Eddie O’Connor’s Mainstream Renewable Power. The fund, set up by the sons of John D Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, was part of a $117.5 million investment in a Mainstream joint venture with private equity firm Actis in Africa. [Irish Independent]

Mainstream wants to build wind farms in Africa

Mainstream wants to build wind farms in Africa

US:

¶ The Democrats adopted their party platform at their national convention. The energy and environment section is titled “Combat Climate Change, Build a Clean Energy Economy, and Secure Environmental Justice.” It begins with this statement: “Climate change is an urgent threat and the defining challenge of our time.” [Global Warming]

¶ The team that evaluates responses to New England’s Clean Energy Request for Proposals, targeting 5,000 GWh, will need more time to conclude the process due to the complexity of the analysis and the volume of bids. The evaluation phase was issued in November, 2015, and was initially scheduled to end on July 26. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm. Author: Samir Luther. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Wind farm. Photo by Samir Luther.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

¶ Amid a blistering heat wave and some strong weather, electricity prices in New York soared this past week. According to Platts, New York ISO real-time prices went above $800/MWh (80¢/kWh) on Monday afternoon, and Zone A West real-time prices soared in to more than $1,500/MWh ($1.50/kWh). [Utility Dive]

¶ The Energy Information Administration now provides hourly electricity operating data, including actual and forecast demand, net generation, and the power flowing between electric systems. EIA’s US Electric System Operating Data tool provides nearly real-time demand data, plus analysis and visualizations for the US electric grid. [US EIA]

US EIA demand and supply tool.

US EIA demand and supply tool.

¶ Minnesota Power, a division of US energy company Allete Inc, intends to add roughly 600 MW of wind and solar power capacity to its fleet following a request by state regulators. The company has released a Request for Proposals targeting up to 300 MW of new wind power capacity. Proposals are due by September 7, 2016. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Alliant Energy Corp, based in Madison, Wisconsin, says it will invest $1 billion into building more wind power in Iowa over the next five years. Alliant is seeking approval to expand its Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County, in north-central Iowa, and it may develop wind farms in other parts of Iowa, as well. [Madison.com]

 

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