December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Why clean energy is the next big business opportunity” • The American political landscape shifted drastically on November 8, but the scientific facts of climate change remain steadfastly the same as ever. Transitioning to clean energy will not only reduce the economic risks of climate change but will create economic opportunities. [CNN]

Workers installing a turbine (Photo: Dennis Schroeder, National  Wind Technology Center, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Workers installing a turbine (Photo: Dennis Schroeder, National
Wind Technology Center, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Wholesale electricity prices in two of the most coal dependent grids in Australia, those in New South Wales and Queensland, have soared in recent weeks. According to official data, they were more than twice the price of wholesale electricity in renewable-rich South Australia. And they have also had prices spike as high as $13,000/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Air pollution in Paris has hit dangerous levels prompting city officials to curb car use and make public transport free of charge until Friday. The city’s Metro and bus services have been free since Tuesday and set days of travel have been allocated for cars with odd and even numbers, in an attempt to reduce levels of pollutants. [CNN]

Smog in Paris

Smog in Paris

¶ US technology giant Apple Inc has taken another step into China’s new energy sector, as it started a collaboration with Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology to develop wind power. Under the deal, a Goldwind subsidiary is expected to transfer a 30% stake in a total of four wind project companies
to Apple. [gbtimes]

¶ For the first time, the UK’s wind turbines have set a record by generating more than 10,000 MW of electricity. This has given RenewableUK cause for celebration. The record of 10,104 MW was set between 2:00 and 2:30 pm on December 7, during which time wind provided 23% of Britain’s total electricity demand. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

Wind turbines at sunrise

Wind turbines at sunrise

¶ According to the Japanese industry ministry, total costs to resolve the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster will reach ¥21.5 trillion (about $188 billion), nearly double the previous estimate. Much of the additional costs will be eventually covered by the public, as the government plans to raise electricity charges to that end. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ Xcel Energy’s Courtenay Wind Farm, in North Dakota, is fully operational. The 200-MW project is part of Xcel Energy’s plan to provide its Upper Midwest customers with reliable, cost-effective energy. The Courtenay Wind Farm delivers enough energy, on average, to power approximately 100,000 homes. [Transmission and Distribution World]

Xcel Energy's Courtenay Wind Farm

Xcel Energy’s Courtenay Wind Farm under construction

¶ A memo obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy outlining Donald Trump’s energy agenda for when he takes Office next January has revealed the full extent to which Donald Trump is going to lay waste to America’s climate record and clean energy industry. It lists 14 key energy and environment policies planned. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Duke Energy Renewables bought the 13-MW Victory Solar Power Project in Adams County, Colorado, from developer juwi Inc. Intermountain Rural Electric Association is purchasing the electricity generated by the project under a 25-year agreement. The solar site can power about 2,600 average homes. [Electric Light & Power]

Colorado solar project

Colorado solar project

¶ A new NRDC report finds that the transition from fossil fuels
to clean energy is irrevocably underway. Several major utilities interviewed by S&P Global Market Intelligence indicated that their fossil fuel retirement and clean energy investment plans have not changed because of the recent election results. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ Entergy Corp announced that it will close down its Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan on October 1, 2018. It has struck a deal for early termination of a power purchase agreement for the generation, which had been to end in 2022. Officials say ending the contract early could save ratepayers $172 million over four years. [Utility Dive]

Palisades nuclear plant (Entergy photo)

Palisades nuclear plant (Entergy photo)

¶ Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed SB2814, into law. The benefits of the bill had been touted as increasing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energy, providing zero-carbon incentives for nuclear power plants at-risk of closure, additional funding for low-income assistance, job training, and cap of electricity increases. [JURIST]

¶ In a document obtained by Bloomberg, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Energy Department how it can help keep nuclear reactors “operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure” and what it could do to prevent them from being forced out of the market by cheaper natural gas and renewable resources. [Bloomberg]

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