September 14 Energy News

September 14, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Consider the benefits of a sustainable business” • Sustainable businesses are no longer just a fad. Time has now shown that beyond the obvious contribution toward a more sustainable environment there are real business benefits for companies of all sizes that infuse sustainable strategies into business operations. [BayStateBanner]

There are many ways companies can improve use of renewable energy. (Photo courtesy of Siemens)

There are many ways companies can improve use
of renewable energy. (Photo courtesy of Siemens)

¶ “Will Climate Change Lead To Far Northern Agriculture Bonuses? No.” • Skeptics who are pushed off denialist positions by ugly empirical facts often resort to promoting supposed benefits of climate change. The “more CO2 is good for plants” and “warmer is better for Arctic agriculture” are simplistic and mostly wrong. [CleanTechnica]

Market Analysis:

¶ “Seven charts show new renewables outpacing rising demand for first time” • For the first time ever, investment in new renewables was more than enough to cover rising global electricity demand in 2015. While fossil fuels still dominate energy supplies, investment data point towards a “reorientation of the energy system”. [eco-business.com]

Upstream oil and gas investment in 2015, by region. Source: World Energy Investment 2016, IEA.

Upstream oil and gas investment in 2015, by region.
(Source: World Energy Investment 2016, IEA.)

¶ “Renewable push may hit thermal power plants” • Various power sector experts, including those at Central Electricity Authority, have warned that the unprecedented surge in renewable energy capacity in the next few years will severely stress thermal power plants, already operating at an all-time low of just over 50% of their capacities. [ETEnergyworld.com]

World:

¶ Scottish Renewables’ director of policy pointed out that wave and tidal projects will not qualify for contracts if they have to compete directly against other, more mature renewable technologies. Progress on the technology’s development in the UK is in jeopardy without clarity on support to provide a viable route to market. [reNews]

Waves (sxc image)

A source of power (sxc image)

¶ Public support for plans to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant has fallen to an all-time low, a new poll has shown, ahead of Whitehall’s widely anticipated decision on the project. The survey of 2,000 people, by Populus on behalf of Greenpeace, showed a quarter are in favour of Hinkley, while 44% oppose it. [City A.M.]

¶ India has complained to the World Trade Organization about support given to the renewable energy industry in eight US states, the WTO said in a statement on Monday. The complaint alleges the states prop up their renewables sector with illegal subsidies and domestic content requirements for local goods rather than imports. [Reuters]

Headquarters of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland (Reuters / Denis Balibouse)

Headquarters of the World Trade Organization
in Geneva, Switzerland (Reuters / Denis Balibouse)

¶ The world’s largest second-use battery storage, a 13-MWh project, is now nearing completion after construction time of just under a year: 1,000 battery systems from second generation Daimler Smart Fortwo electric cars are being grouped in Lünen, Westphalia. The first power units are already in the grid. [just-auto.com]

¶ Mines globally have installed 352 MW of solar PV, 39 MW of solar thermal, and 551 MW of wind power capacity, a report by Energy and Mines says, identifying the top 21 mining companies using wind and solar power. The projects, ranging from 10 kW to 180 MW, are in Chile, Australia, Canada, Europe and other markets. [SeeNews Renewables]

Hybrid plant in South Africa (Source: CRONIMET Mining Power Solutions GmbH)

Hybrid plant in South Africa
(Source: CRONIMET Mining Power Solutions GmbH)

¶ According to the International Energy Agency, which gave details in a detailed analysis of investment across the global energy system, global energy investment fell by 8% in 2015, with a drop in oil and gas upstream spending outweighing continued robust investment in renewable, electricity networks and energy efficiency. [Business Standard]

¶ A Western Australian farm, which has installed solar and battery storage to avoid paying for a new connection to the grid, has chosen a vanadium redox flow battery for the project, in what is believed to be a first for Australia. The battery, a 100-kWh CellCube, will store the energy from a 15-kW solar PV system. [RenewEconomy]

AVL managing director, Vincent Algar, next to the CellCube vanadium redox flow battery.

AVL managing director, Vincent Algar,
next to the CellCube vanadium redox flow battery.

US:

¶ In the US Solar Market Insight report, by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the most recent figures from the solar industry show that the second quarter solar PV capacity expansion figures grew 43% compared to the same quarter a year earlier, reaching 2,051 MW installed for the quarter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Hawaii’s electric rates made rooftop solar an attractive option to many residents looking to trim power bills. As the resource proliferated over the past few years, regulators and utilities were confronted with a new challenge: how to integrate more renewables while setting up a proper rate design for distributed generation. [Utility Dive]

(Credit: Flickr user davidd)

Hawaii (Credit: Flickr user davidd)

¶ Southern California Edison signed contracts for 125 MW of power from battery storage, demand response, and solar-plus-storage as part of a pilot project. The goal is to study whether the combination of clean energy resources can supply electricity in an urban area as reliably as a traditional power plant. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Energy leaders from across Vermont met in Vernon this week to help the town plan for life after Vermont Yankee. Entergy Corporation closed VY in December, 2014, leaving behind an enormous switchyard that can handle hundreds of megawatts of electricity from a power plant. The town wants to use that for its tax base. [Vermont Public Radio]

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