December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2016

Opinion:

¶ “Energy Efficiency Is Growing Jobs & Fueling The Economy” 2016 marks another year in a long string of significant gains for energy efficiency, making efficiency not only the most cost-effective way to meet our energy needs, avoid use of dirty power plants, and cut utility bills, but also to grow our economy and create jobs. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image for a larger view.

¶ “From Climate Change to Coal Mining, Donald Trump’s Reality Is Pure Science Fiction” • President-elect Donald Trump has been twisting the facts in ways beyond what even George Orwell envisioned in his dystopian novel 1984. PolitiFact has analyzed over 300 of his assertions and found that only 15% were completely true. [AlterNet]

¶ “Why China is Dominating the Solar Industry” • Between 2008 and 2013, China’s fledgling solar-electric panel industry dropped world prices by 80%, which is a stunning achievement in a fiercely competitive high-tech market. China had leapfrogged from nursing a tiny solar program in the 1990s to become the globe’s leader. [Scientific American]

Rooftop solar (Credit: Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rooftop solar (Credit: Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ India has released a new power plan promoting a dramatic increase in renewable energy. Among other things, it raises doubts about the Indian-owned Adani Group’s massive coal mine in Queensland. The new national electricity plan says India will not need any additional coal-fired energy capacity in the next decade. [info-europa]

¶ A dangerous gray haze descended on Northeast China over the weekend, choking off schools, flights, and industry. China saw the smog coming and last week issued its first red alert of the year for 23 cities. The smog covered an area of 10.1 million square kilometers (3.9 million square miles), roughly the size of the United States. [CNN]

Smoke from a Tianjin factory

Smoke rising from a factory in Tianjin

¶ Shell Energy Europe entered into an agreement for 100% of the power generated from Offshore Wind Farm Egmond aan Zee in the Netherlands. The company will supply the power from the wind farm to European industrial and commercial customers seeking to meet their business needs with renewable energy. [CleanTechnology News, …]

¶ Aruba has pledged to transition to 100% renewable electricity within the next four years. The island is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels, with more than 80% of its electricity generated using heavy fuel oil. The Government of Aruba is emphasizing variable wind and solar for renewable energy. [Climate Action Programme]

Aruba's Palm Beach

Aruba’s Palm Beach

¶ The largest Central American microgrid is now operational in Costa Rica. Establishment Labs, SA has commissioned a solar-plus-storage microgrid at their medical manufacturing plant. The heart of the project is a 500-kW / 1 MWh lithium-ion battery system by Demand Energy, powered by a 276-KW solar PV system. [Microgrid Media]

¶ Japan’s government has urged Fukushima operator TEPCO to integrate its transmission and nuclear operations with peers to cut costs and generate higher income to pay the costs from the 2011 nuclear disaster. A government panel said that the next six months will be a “make or break” period for TEPCO’s reform efforts. [Reuters]

US:

(New installed capacity 2016)

Please click on the image for a larger view.

¶ We all knew that 2016 was going to be a very good year for the US solar market; however no one could say exactly how good. Now, the DOE’s Energy Information Administration posted some of the first concrete numbers for the year. EIA estimates that the US will have installed 9.5 GW of utility-scale solar installed in 2016. [pv magazine USA]

¶ With Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker describing climate change as a “serious threat,” the state’s clean air agency unveiled draft regulations aimed at securing greenhouse gas emission reductions from the natural gas, transportation and electricity generation industries. The regulations will be vetted in a series of public hearings. [Worcester Telegram]

Salem Harbor Power Station (File photo / The Associated Press)

Salem Harbor Power Station (File photo / The Associated Press)

¶ Norway’s state-owned Statoil oil and gas company won the right to develop an offshore wind farm in US waters last week, practically within hours of selling off its tar sands oil assets in Canada. The new wind area is off the coast near New York City, which makes it a high status, high visibility site for the global energy giant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ 8minutenergy Renewables LLC and DE Shaw Renewable Investments LLC have just commissioned the 191-MW DC Springbok 2 solar farm in Kern County, California. Springbok 2 joins the 137-MW DC Springbok 1 solar farm, which went online earlier this year. They are located 70 miles north of Los Angeles. [Solar Industry]

Springbok solar array

Springbok solar array

¶ Enel Green Power commissioned two wind farms with a combined 173 MW in Oklahoma. The company connected the 108-MW Drift Sand wind farm in Rush Springs and the 65-MW Chisholm View II facility in Grant and Garfield counties to the grid. Enel’s installed wind capacity in the US state is now more than 1.1 GW. [reNews]

¶ The EPA released a rule limiting sulphur dioxide pollutions from power plants as part of the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Sulphur dioxide in the air can cause asthma and even death. Ironically, the rule was proposed partly because Texas successfully fought back another emission rule saying it would raise electric bills. [KERA News]

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