July 29 Energy News

July 29, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Port Augusta is at centre of our renewable transition – now isn’t the time to turn back” • Much of the recent commentary around renewable energy in South Australia has suggested we need to slam the brakes on new renewable projects, especially wind farms. For many reasons, this is the wrong response. [RenewEconomy]

Port Augusta. Source: Wikipedia

Port Augusta. Source: Wikipedia.

¶ “Nuclear Power Advocates Claim Cheap Renewable Energy Is A Bad Thing” • In the real world, the unexpectedly rapid drop in the price of renewable power and batteries is a doubly miraculous game-changer that is already cutting greenhouse gas emissions globally. But nuclear power advocates say it is too cheap. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “NY’s historic bailout of nuke plants explained: Why ratepayers could pony up $7 billion” • New York energy regulators are poised to approve the nation’s first clean-air subsidies for nuclear plants, a controversial move that would guarantee about $7 billion in new revenue to three Upstate nukes threatening to close. [Syracuse.com]

The Nine Mile Point plant in Oswego County. Constellation Energy photo.

The Nine Mile Point plant in Oswego County. Constellation Energy photo.

World:

¶ Plans to build the first new UK nuclear plant in 20 years were unexpectedly delayed when the UK’s government put a final decision off until the early autumn. EDF, which is financing most of the £18-billion Hinkley Point project, approved the funding. But the UK’s government said it needed to review the project. [BBC]

¶ The International Energy Agency estimates that 625-million sub-Saharan Africans are without power. The World Bank says 25 of their countries are in energy crisis with poor reliability and high costs. But in just five years, 92 independent power producers got contracts with a combined nameplate capacity of 6,327 MW in South Africa. [BDlive]

Wind turbines in Africa. Picture: Sunday Times.

Wind turbines in Africa. Picture: Sunday Times.

¶ The world’s 47 largest investor-owned fossil fuel and cement producers have been formally accused of human rights abuses. This week, the fossil fuel and cement producers named in the complaint were sent their copies of it by the Philippines Commission on Human Rights. They have 45 days to respond. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australian renewables advocates spent much of the last week defending wind and solar from the attacks of power industry bodies and media reports blaming intermittent renewables on South Australian electricity prices. Now, however, now federal government’s minister agrees that the problems were not caused by wind and solar. [PV-Tech]

Rooftop solar system in Australia. Flickr: Michael Coghlan

Rooftop solar system in Australia. Flickr: Michael Coghlan.

¶ According to the latest figures from a new report published by information and analysis company IHS Markit, the global energy storage market is expected to double in 2016, growing from 1.4 GWh to 2.9 GWh by the end of the year. After that, the storage market will continue its rapid growth, reaching 21 GWh by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ US independent power producer Sonnedix has reached commercial operation on an 86-MW solar PV plant in South Africa, after only 17 months of construction. The plant was developed in collaboration with Mulilo Renewable Energy and Ixowave Women in Power. Construction was assumed by juwi Renewable Energies. [PV-Tech]

The 125 hectare Prieska Solar Plant. Image: Sonnedix

The 125 hectare Prieska Solar Plant. Image: Sonnedix.

¶ Most of the nuclear fuel inside the No 2 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi apparently did not melt through the pressure vessel as previously believed, research using muon tomography has revealed. The assessment was made based on a study that used muons, elementary particles that travel from outer space, for imaging. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ NV Energy yesterday is asking for the blessing of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission’s to grandfather net metering for solar customers in the state for 20 years. The Nevada Supreme Court will decide soon on placing a referendum to return to the far more favorable net metering on the ballot in November. [SeeNews Renewables]

Rooftop solar system in Nevada. Author: Pacific Southwest Region. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Rooftop solar system in Nevada. Author: Pacific Southwest Region. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, drawing from cash paid to the state by Yankee owner Entergy, has given $400,000 to the Windham Regional Commission to develop the program over the next several months. Officials say grants will be geared toward small-scale renewable projects in the county. [vtdigger.org]

¶ The Georgia Public Service Commission okayed Georgia Power’s long-range Integrated Resource Plan, under which it would add 1,600 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2021. As part of the plan, the Atlanta-based utility will procure 1,200 MW of renewables, with a limit for wind power to be procured is set at 300 MW. [SeeNews Renewables]

Onshore wind farm. Featured Image: TuTheLens/ Shutterstock.com

Onshore wind farm. Featured Image: TuTheLens/ Shutterstock.com.

¶ A report published by the DOE found that with continued technological advances, innovative market mechanisms, and a focus on environmental stability, the country’s hydropower capacity could grow from its current 101 GW to nearly 150 GW of combined electricity generation and storage capacity by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Vermont Public Service Board issued interim noise standards for commercial and small-scale wind projects, in accord with legislation that directed the Public Service Board to issue interim rules. For commercial wind projects the board set a limit of 45 decibels outside of a building and 30 decibels on the inside. [Vermont Public Radio]

 

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