October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2016


¶ “The lights go out in SA and Turnbull flicks the switch to peak stupid” • Malcolm Turnbull has encouraged using the South Australian blackout to slow the shift to clean energy. But the evidence says the state targets are exactly what Australia needs to meet the promises he made at COP21 last year to reduce carbon emissions. [The Guardian]

Australian wind farm (Photo: Angela Harper / AAP)

Australian wind farm (Photo: Angela Harper / AAP)

¶ “Nuclear power in the US: Not what it once was” • Nuclear plants are large and expensive assets facing closures for reasons expected to remain indefinitely: nuclear energy’s high fixed production costs, competitive gas prices, and heightened aims of renewables usage. The future of nuclear energy will remain uncertain. [Energy Voice]

Science and Technology:

¶ Siemens unveiled a new raft of wind turbine designs this week at the WindEnergy Hamburg trade show, including a low-noise wind turbine which the company explains was inspired by the silent flight of the owl. The new SWT-3.3-130LN wind turbine operates at a reduced rotor speed and has addons for reduced noise. [CleanTechnica]

Owl (Photo by Shutter Stock/Matt Gibson)

Owl (Photo by Shutter Stock/Matt Gibson)

¶ Aircraft engineers in Germany have successfully tested the world’s first four-seater plane that uses emission-free hybrid fuel cells to fly. The twin-cabin plane, HY4, uses hydrogen to generate electricity in-flight, giving it a cruising speed of 165 km per hour (102.5 mph) and a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles).


¶ Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have achieved Germany’s renewable target for 2025. They already get 40% of their energy from renewables on an annual basis. Though it will require some new technology, this region of 4.5 million people expects to get 70% of its energy from renewables by 2025, and to reach 100% by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Container terminal and wind turbines at Hamburg (photo by Christian Spahrbier courtesy www.mediaserver.hamburg.de)

Container terminal and wind turbines at Hamburg
(photo by Christian Spahrbier courtesy mediaserver.hamburg.de)

¶ European Union ministers approved the ratification of the landmark Paris Agreement climate change deal Friday, bringing the treaty closer to coming into force. The European Parliament must record a vote on the decision next week – a formality – for the treaty to be formally ratified by the 28-member bloc, the European Commission said. [CNN]

¶ A quarter of hard coal-fired generation capacity in Germany may shut ahead of schedule if plant operators forgo spending on upgrades, according to Norwegian consulting firm Nena AS. Steag GmbH, the fifth-biggest power producer in Germany, is considering shuttering at least five of its 13 German coal stations. [Bloomberg]

German coal-burning plant  (photo by Harald Lordick, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

German coal-burning plant
(photo by Harald Lordick, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Danish Foreign Ministry announced that Apple will
“fund and boost” biogas research at Aarhus University. Apple
will provide funding for the university research into how to using fuel cells with biogas. The university will use agricultural waste including straw and manure provided by local farmers. [The Local Denmark]

¶ Iberdrola has secured permits from the Mexican government to build two wind and two solar facilities totalling nearly 600 MW in Mexico. The wind farms total 305 MW in Guanajuato and Puebla, and the solar farms come to 285 MW, in Sonora and San Luis de Potosí. All are expected to be operational by the end of 2019. [reNews]

Wind farm in Mexico (Iberdrola image)

Wind farm in Mexico (Iberdrola image)

¶ The French and Chinese companies that are to build the £18-billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will have to pay up to £7.2 billion to dismantle and clean it up. Documents published yesterday reveal for the first time how much the developers will have to pay to decommission the plant, beginning in 2083. [The Guardian]


¶ Duke Energy Florida’s newest solar power plant, located on
22 acres in Taylor County, is the size of 17 football fields and is producing 5 MW of carbon-free energy from its 22,000 panels. One MW of universal solar is equivalent to about 200 typical residential rooftop systems. The number varies by state and conditions. [WTSP.com]

Duke Energy solar farm in Florida

Duke Energy solar farm in Florida

¶ An Xcel Energy proposal for a massive, $1.1 billion 600-MW Rush Creek wind farm and 90-mile transmission line in eastern Colorado was approved Friday by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The Rush Creek wind farm will generate enough power to meet the needs of about average 180,000 homes in Colorado. [9NEWS.com]

¶ The future of Montana’s energy industry remains uncertain
in the face of federal regulations and the advancement of green energy such as the wind and solar. After seeing coal-burning plants close, the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association is working to figure out how they will meet the future needs of their customers. [KTVH]

Montana coal-burning plant

Montana coal-burning plant

¶ Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, and several other municipalities in California’s San Mateo County, have signed up as customers of the new Peninsula Clean Energy program to buy municipal electricity that is 100% sourced from renewable sources. The Peninsula Clean Energy program starts October 1. [The Almanac Online]

¶ Apex Clean Energy has acquired the Novus IV wind energy project from Novus Windpower, LLC. The project, in Hansford County and Sherman County, in the Texas Panhandle, has the potential to bring 360 MW of wind energy into the Southwest Power Pool market. It is expected to begin construction in 2017. [Windpower Engineering]

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