January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2017


¶ Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solis announced at the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that his country was aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2021. He said one of the greatest challenges for the goal was the transportation sector. The country’s electricity is already 98% renewably generated. [Climate Action Programme]

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

¶ Under a long-term contract with Acciona Energia, Internet giant Google is powering its operations in Chile with renewable energy from a new solar project. Acciona Energia, which is based in Spain, says a portion of the output from its El Romero Solar plant now covers all of the electricity used at Google’s Chilean installations. [Solar Industry]

¶ Australian utility AGL Energy has reached financial close on a 200-MW wind farm in New South Wales. The Silverton wind farm is expected to be completed by GE and Catcon by mid-2018. It will be the first new clean energy project developed for the $1-billion PARF fund, which is targeting about 1 GW of renewables. [reNews]

Wind farm credit MorgueFile

Wind farm (Credit: MorgueFile)

¶ Gigawatt Global, an American-owned Dutch developer, held
a ground-breaking ceremony this week for a 7.5-MW solar field in Burundi. According to the announcement, the $14-million (€13.2-million) project will add 15% to the generation capacity of the East African country, one of the world’s least developed nations. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Algeria’s council of government adopted a decree regarding the conditions to a planned call for tenders targeting 4 GW of new solar capacity. As part of a previously announced program, Algeria aims to have 22 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2035. This includes about 13.6 GW of solar PV and 5 GW of wind power. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar power in Algeria (Source: russavia on  flickr.com, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Solar power in Algeria (Source: russavia on
flickr.com, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Wirsol Solar AG, part of German renewables developer Wircon GmbH, commisioned a 30-MW solar park, which it says is the largest in the Netherlands. The Sunport Delfzijl plant required investments totaling about €40 million ($42.3 million). It has had almost 120,000 solar modules installed and will provide enough power for over 7,000 homes. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Companies from Cuba and China signed 10 agreements to strengthen cooperation in renewable energy and industry after
a three-day forum. Chinese companies presented solutions for equipment manufacturing, developing, building, operating, and administering solar, wind, and hydro-powered electric projects. [Xinhua]

Three Gorges Dam (Xinhua / Xiao Yijiu)

Three Gorges Dam (Xinhua / Xiao Yijiu)


¶ In his Senate confirmation hearings to be head of the DOE, Rick Perry has rolled back his opinion of the Department, climate change, and renewable energy. Meanwhile, Donald Trump appears to be preparing deep cuts to the Department, severely restricting America’s ability to meet its own climate
and energy goals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Hawaii has the most aggressive renewable energy targets in the nation, aiming for its utilities to get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Now advocates want to extend that goal to the transportation sector to urge all forms of ground transportation to fuel up using renewable sources by 2045. [Electric Light & Power]



¶ “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” kicked off the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, bringing a strongly positive response from an audience of 1,200 according to Variety. Many stood at the end of the film to applaud Gore, who compared the cause of slowing climate change to some of the great moral causes of the modern era. [Mirage News]

¶ Nebraska legislators introduced a deluge of energy-related bills at the Capitol this week, including one that threatens to challenge public power’s primacy in the state, and two others that would drastically change the industry. LB 660 would permit private energy developers to market and sell electricity to Nebraskans. [Omaha World-Herald]

Nebraska wind turbine (Photo: Blamfoto, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Nebraska (Photo: Blamfoto, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Gains in the renewable energy sector helped boost fourth quarter GE’s profits substantially. GE said its earnings during the fourth quarter increased to about $3.5 billion, against the $2.6 billion reported during the same period last year. The company’s renewable energy sector saw total revenues increase 29% to $2.5 billion. [Gephardt Daily]

¶ In a time of premature nuclear plant closures, lawmakers in Connecticut once again say they are willing to bring nuclear power into the mix along with renewable power sources in bidding for contracts. In question is the fate of the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Waterford. [Nuclear Street – Nuclear Power Plant News, Jobs, and Careers]

Milford nuclear plant

Milford nuclear plant

¶ While President Donald Trump has termed climate change and global warming as a fake issue created by China, lawmakers in California have different opinion about the issue. California has set an ambitious target of 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by year 2030 aiming at doing its bit for saving the climate. [PerfScience]

¶ Scientists, environmentalists and concerned citizens were quick to notice that there is no longer any mention of climate change on the new White House website. It is a significant departure from how the site looked Friday morning. The site says the new president will “embrace the shale oil and gas revolution.” [Los Angeles Times]

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