January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2017


¶ “Global warning: live from the climate-change frontline as Trump becomes president” • If global warming has a canary in the mine, perhaps it’s the insurance industry. After all, they are the people who have to pay out when extreme weather events hit. And in Europe, they’ve been paying out more and more in recent years. [The Guardian]

Havoc (Photo: Laurent Dard / AFP / Getty Images)

Storm havoc (Photo: Laurent Dard / AFP / Getty Images)


¶ Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, China’s President and chief climate change negotiator both spoke of their country’s readiness to take the lead role in combating global climate change. The negotiator said that China is willing to work with all countries to achieve economic restructuring. [CleanTechnica]

¶ AGL Energy Ltd, Australia’s No 2 energy retailer, said it will build a A$450 million ($338 million) wind farm as the first construction project for a new renewable energy-focused fund, backed by the government. The move marks a small step in the Australian energy industry’s push to expand in renewables. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm

Wind farm

¶ According to several reports translating an announcement from the Chinese National Energy Administration, China connected 34.24 GW of new solar PV capacity to the country’s grid in 2016, an increase of 126% on the installations of the previous year. This brings China’s cumulative solar capacity up to 77.42 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The French power utility EDF plans to boost its activities in Morocco with a view to support the kingdom’s energy transition and economic development, its CEO said. Renewables arm EDF Energies Nouvelles is currently working on a 150-MW wind power project, alongside partner Japanese trader Mitsui & Co. [SeeNews Renewables]

The 301-MW Tarfaya wind farm

The 301-MW Tarfaya wind farm

¶ Queensland’s Western Downs Regional Council has approved the largest solar energy project in the region to date, one that will create 400 local jobs during the construction phase. Covering 540 hectares, the 300-MW solar farm will generate an estimated 640,000 MWh of electricity per annum, enough to power about 110,000 homes. [Energy Matters]

¶ The city of Melbourne wants to use solar energy to power its tram network. Its government wants to build a 75-MW plant in regional Victoria. The state’s minister for energy, environment and climate change said the government plans to open tenders for a large scale solar plant to be completed by the end of 2018. [Business Insider Australia]

Melbourne (Photo: Scott Barbour / Getty Images)

Melbourne (Photo: Scott Barbour / Getty Images)

¶ No new nuclear power projects were approved by China in 2016. Just one nuclear power unit launched operations in 2016. As of September 2016, 33 operating nuclear power units had generated little more than 3% of the country’s total electricity production, well below the global average of 10%, a Chinese website reports. [gbtimes]

¶ Ukraine has received 39 applications for land in Chernobyl from local and international companies interested in building solar parks there, according to Bloomberg, which citied the natural resources minister. Since the nuclear disaster there, land is cheap, the solar resource is good and the transmission capacity is ready for reuse. [SeeNews Renewables]

Chernobyl, Ukraine (Author: Stefan Krasowski)

Chernobyl, Ukraine (Author: Stefan Krasowski)


¶ Swedish furniture giant Ikea announced that they finished installing solar panels at their new Renton, Washington location, creating the largest rooftop solar installation in the state. The solar array has 3,268 panels covering 244,000 square-feet and will produce roughly 1.3 million kWh of electricity every year. [Seattle Globalist]

¶ The US Interior Department and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are planning to offer 122,405 acres off Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in a commercial wind lease sale in March 2017. Nine companies have been qualified to bid in the lease sale for development of approximately 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity. [Energy Business Review]

Kitty Hawk (Photo: US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Kitty Hawk (Photo: US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

¶ The path has been cleared for Amtrak’s renovation plans for the New York City rail lines to get federal funding. The Gateway Program Development Corporation board reportedly voted to put the first phase of the project “onto the federal emerging projects roster,” so it can apply for around $6 billion in low-interest loans. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Federal Bureau of Land Management has given the green light to the Power Company of Wyoming’s 1.5-GW Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm, the first of the 3-GW project’s two phases. The bureau has issued environmental approval for the construction of 500 turbines and associated facilities in Carbon County, Wyoming. [reNews]

Wind turbine in Wyoming (Image: Power Company of Wyoming)

Wind turbine in Wyoming (Image: Power Company of Wyoming)

¶ A New York State utility has concluded negotiations on a power purchase agreement for Deepwater Wind’s 90-MW South Fork offshore wind project. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged the Long Island Power Authority board to approve the 15-turbine project, which is to be located 30 miles southeast of Montauk. [reNews]

¶ Renewable Energy Systems has announced the “substantial completion” of the 198-MW Bluestem Wind Project in Beaver County, Oklahoma. The project has 60 Vestas V117-3.3 MW turbines, which are expected to generate approximately 845,000 MWh per year – enough electricity to power 77,000 US homes. [North American Windpower]

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