February 2 Energy News

February 2, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Surge in electric cars may blindside big oil” • Oil companies are underestimating the global market for electric vehicles and could be caught unaware by weakened demand for petrol within a decade, according to a report, jointly issued by financial think tank Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute, both based in London. [Guardian]

Faraday Future’s FF 91 prototype (Photo: AFP / Reuters)

Faraday Future’s FF 91 prototype (Photo: AFP / Reuters)

¶ “Moving Backward On Fuel Economy Standards Is A Bad Deal For America” • Automaker CEOs apparently lobbied President Trump to weaken strong fuel economy standards during a White House summit. Moving backward on fuel economy standards, however, would threaten our health, energy security, jobs, and investments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New coal plants wouldn’t be clean, and would cost billions in taxpayer subsidies” • Major Australian energy companies have ruled out building coal plants. The Australian Energy Council sees them as “uninvestable.” Banks and investment funds avoid them. But the Turnbull government wants new coal-burning plants. [The Conversation AU]

Coal plant (image: www.shutterstock.com)

Coal plant (image: http://www.shutterstock.com)

¶ “The dream of cheap, clean nuclear power is over” • The biggest problem with nuclear isn’t safety; it’s cost. And the main risk is rapid advances in competing technologies, including solar power and storage. The economics of nuclear are almost certain to keep it a marginal part of the energy mix, especially in the US. [Tulsa World]

World:

¶ At the end of last year, the Ukraine had 568 MW of operational solar capacity, with 107 MW of fresh addition in 2016. According to a recent report, 54 solar projects are set to be commissioned this year, with a cumulative capacity of 460 MW, thus taking the total operational capacity in the country to more than 1,000 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in the Ukraine  (Photo: Lujkin8, Wikimedia Commons)

Solar array in the Ukraine
(Photo: Lujkin8, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Iraqi government is warning that a pair of pending deals with GE could be at risk from President Donald Trump’s travel ban, according to internal State Department documents. GE has sizable interests in Iraq, including power contracts worth more than a billion dollars and hundreds of employees in the country. [POLITICO.eu]

¶ Asian developer Equis Energy has expanded into the Australian PV market with two large-scale projects, each of 100 MW. One will be at Collinsville, Queensland. The other is the Tailem Bend project in South Australia, which is expected to be one of the lowest cost solar projects on the continent, at around 40% less than current market prices. [PV-Tech]

Australian desert sunset (Source: Flickr / FreeAussieStock)

Australian desert sunset (Source: Flickr / FreeAussieStock)

¶ Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s leading financial services providers, has finished January by announcing plans to halt investment of all new coal financing, and to scale back existing exposure to the thermal coal mining sector. Not including this, global divestment reported by 350.org stands at about $5.44 trillion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Today, Mexico ranks number 4 for geothermal resources, according to a US State Department report, “Overseas Business Insights.” The reports says Mexican resources are behind the US, the Philippines and Indonesia. The country is the sixth largest geothermal operator, with an installed geothermal capacity of 926 MW. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal power plant in Mexico  (source: ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)

Geothermal power plant in Mexico
(source: ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)

¶ A study that examines seven World Bank policy operations from 2007 to 2016 totaling $5 billion in four countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Mozambique, and Peru, reveals that funds intended to boost low-carbon growth are instead supporting investment incentives for projects that put the climate, forests and people at risk. [Huffington Post]

¶ Enel Green Power installed a record 2018 MW of renewable capacity in 2016, more than doubling installations of the year previous. The Italian company, which installed about 900 MW
in 2015, completed large-scale projects in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and the US last year. This year, it will focus on Brazil and the US. [reNews]

Enel wind energy (Enel image)

Enel wind energy (Enel image)

US:

¶ 8minutenergy Renewables announced it has received approval on a Power Purchase Agreement to develop the over 90 MW-ac Springbok 3 Solar Farm, in Kern County, California. The project is the third installation in the Springbok cluster, joining two other 8minutenergy projects, 105 MW-ac Springbok 1, and 155 MW-ac Springbok 2. [SYS-CON Media]

¶ Swiss-based ABB is providing microgrid technology to help find ways to integrate more renewables in Alaska, including the 17-MW Fire Island wind farm, 4 km off the coast at Anchorage. ABB said the microgrid project combines battery and flywheel-based energy storage. It was initiated by the Chugach Electric Association. [reNews]

Alaskan landscape (ABB image)

Alaskan landscape (ABB image)

¶ Latest issue of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update,” tells us that newly installed capacity from renewable sources totaled 16,124 MW, or 61.5% of the total, surpassing combined installations for natural gas (8,689 MW), nuclear power (1,270 MW), oil (58 MW), and coal (45 MW). [Sun & Wind Energy]

¶ Invenergy has signed a power purchase agreement with the city of Denton in Texas for its 300-MW Santa Rita wind farm. The Chicago utility is developing the wind project in Reagan and Irion Counties in Texas using GE turbines. It will start delivering power to local supplier Denton Municipal Electric by 1 January 2019, Invenergy said. [reNews]

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