January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2017

World:

¶ For Portugal, the cost of climate change has been staggering. According to a 424-page study by the European Environment Agency entitled “Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016,” cash-strapped Portugal has suffered monetary losses of €6.8 billion as a result of climate change between 1980 and 2013. [The Portugal News]

Wind farm in Portugal

Wind farm in Portugal

¶ Acciona Energia has announced that it has started to supply electricity to Google’s installations in Chile from the El Romero solar power project. The 246-MW project is the largest solar PV power plant in South America. It supplies 80 MW to Google’s data center in Quilicura through the Central Interconnected System. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to WindEurope, 1,558 MW of offshore wind power was installed in Europe in 2016, bringing its capacity to 12,631 MW. European offshore wind had a record investment in 2016 of €18.2 billion, a 39% increase on 2015’s finalized investments. This represents nearly 5,000 MW of new capacity for the near future. [Energy Live News]

Offshore wind power (Shutterstock image)

Offshore wind power (Shutterstock image)

¶ The chairman of the South African Renewable Energy Council has suggested that the country’s utility, Eskom, may soon face legal action for its decision not to sign fresh power purchase agreements with renewable energy projects. Eskom has refused to sign new power purchase agreements for renewables, while pursuing nuclear power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ MHI Vestas Offshore Wind unveiled a prototype wind turbine. It is the world’s most powerful and can reach 9 MW at specific site conditions. The prototype installed at Østerild broke the energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine, producing 216,000 kWh over a 24 hour period. [Oil and Gas Industry Latest News]

MHI Vestas V164 (Courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind)

MHI Vestas V164 (Courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind)

¶ India launched its first grid-scale battery storage system amid plans to integrate 175 GW of renewable energy into the power system by 2022. Commissioned and operated by Tata Power Delhi Distribution, the 10-MW Advancion energy storage array is a joint project by Mitsubishi and US energy storage company AES. [Greentech Media]

¶ IKEA Canada signed agreements to acquire an 88-MW wind farm in Alberta, about 130 km east of Calgary. The Wintering Hills wind farm will consist of 55 turbines. They will generate electricity equivalent to the consumption of 54 IKEA stores. This is IKEA Canada’s second such investment renewable energy in Alberta. [Windpower Engineering]

 IKEA - commitment renewable energy

IKEA – commitment renewable energy

¶ Thirty-four giant wind turbines are being proposed for the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, which would double the amount of power it produces, making it able to generate enough electricity to supply 430,000 homes. The wind farm’s new turbines would be located about 4.9 miles (8 km) from the shore at Margate. [BBC News]

¶ Nova Scotia energy company Emera Inc will spend $6.2 million on a research center for smart grid technologies at the University of New Brunswick, the company announced in a push to explore renewable energy sources. The center will research renewable sources like solar power and the best ways to integrate them. [National Observer]

Cape Sharp Tidal project turbine (Photo by CP)

Cape Sharp Tidal project turbine (Photo by CP)

¶ Brexit could be a big setback for nuclear energy in the UK. When the UK officially leaves the European Union, it might also be leaving the agency that oversees nuclear safety in EU member states, called Euratom, the Financial Times reports. This could have effects both on availability of nuclear fuel and waste management. [The Verge]

US:

¶ After successfully appealing on the campaign trail to military veterans, President Trump hasn’t exactly been doing them any favors in office. For example, the massive cuts planned for the Department of Energy could pull the rug out from under the agency’s popular SunShot Solar Ready Vets job training program. [CleanTechnica]

YouTube screenshot (via US Department of Energy)

YouTube screenshot (via US Department of Energy)

¶ After the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention abruptly canceled its climate conference, former Vice President Al Gore announced that he would host a similar conference focusing on climate change and its effects on public health. He will do this in partnership a former director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. [PerfScience]

¶ The Hawaiian Energy Companies commissioned the Island’s largest solar park, the 27.6-MW Waianae Solar project. It is the largest in operation in Hawaii to date, generating enough annual power needs of around 11,000 homes. The park will sell its energy to HECO at the rate of 14.5¢/kWh, a very low cost for the state. [PV-Tech]

Waianae Solar project is Hawaii's largest renewable effort. (Source: Hawaii Pacific Solar)

Waianae Solar project is Hawaii’s largest
renewable effort. (Source: Hawaii Pacific Solar)

¶ The owners of Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station northeast of the Grand Canyon announced early this month that low natural gas prices and the rising costs of generating electricity using coal make it too expensive to operate the plant, one of the biggest polluters in the US. A decision on the plant’s fate is expected this spring. [Grist]

¶ Following one of its worst years ever, the US coal industry is expected to continue to decline in 2017, though at a slower pace, says the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The energy and environmental financial research and analysis firm’s report on the US coal markets says, “the picture isn’t pretty.” [CleanTechnica]

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