February 10 Energy News

February 10, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “An Unlikely Union With The Power To Transform The Energy Economy” • Legacy utility companies are increasingly finding themselves eclipsed by startups that are quick to experiment with new and more effective technologies. Energy leaders who gathered in Dubai are determined to turn those adversaries into allies instead. [Huffington Post]

The sun is rising

The sun is rising

World:

¶ India has reached another major milestone in its renewable energy sector. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has announced that the country’s operational grid-connected clean power capacity surpassed 50 GW. More than half of this capacity comes from wind power, with solar energy coming in second. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ Greenhouse gas emissions fell 38% in the UK from 1990 to 2015, the National Statistics authority said. The decline of emissions is one of the fastest by any developed country, almost surpassing the European Union target of 40% carbon pollution cuts. Widespread closure of coal power plants was a key for the reduction. [Climate Action Programme]

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

¶ Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has said it is “very unlikely” it would invest in new coal-fired generators and poured cold water on a federal government push to support “clean coal.” This means the government will have to change the CEFC’s investment rules or directly subsidize new coal plants if it wants to support them. [The Guardian]

¶ Energy efficiency in the Western Balkans, Albania and five countries formerly in Yugoslavia, is to get a €30 million ($31.9 million) boost. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the EU are stepping up joint efforts for the next phase of the Regional Energy Efficiency Program. [Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy]

Town in Albania (Shutterstock image)

Town in Albania (Shutterstock image)

¶ This week as India was crossing the 50-GW threshold for cumulative installed renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro), the initial bids for its first major solar auction of 2017 were announced, and came in as low as ₹3.59/kWh (5.37¢/kWh). That’s down 16% year on year against the previous record low bid. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The UK’s government was accused of trying to kill off the solar energy industry just as it is about to become one of the cheapest suppliers of electricity. The Government’s own projections say that soon only onshore windfarms would provide less costly power, but the Conservatives pledged in their election manifesto to “halt their spread.” [Belfast Telegraph]

UK solar array

UK solar array

¶ A fire led to a blast in the machine room of a nuclear power plant on France’s northwest coast on Thursday morning but there was no radiation leak or casualties, operator EDF said. The Flamanville plant in Normandy immediately brought the fire under control. The cause of the fire, in a reactor building, was not immediately clear. [CBS News]

US:

¶ The first wind farm in North Carolina is now 100% operational even though the state’s top politicians wanted President Donald Trump to nix the $400 million project because they said it’s a national security threat. Avangrid Renewables today announced the wind farm is now generating power, enough to provide for 61,000 homes. [CIO]

North Carolina wind farm (Avangrid Renewables image)

Tower base in North Carolina (Avangrid Renewables image)

¶ The troops are mobilizing for a second “deployment.” The Veterans Stand group is once again raising funds for protesters who oppose construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The funds will go toward supplies for the North Dakota protest camp and transportation of veterans to and from Standing Rock Indian Reservation and operations. [CNN]

¶ New figures from the American Wind Energy Association show that the United States installed a total of 8,203 MW in 2016. As a result, wind energy has now surpassed hydropower to become the largest source of renewable electric capacity in the United States, and the fourth largest source overall, with a total of 82,183 MW. [CleanTechnica]

US Annual and Cumulative Wind Power Capacity Growth

US Annual and Cumulative Wind Power Capacity Growth

¶ The Climate Reality Project will hold a Climate & Health Meeting on February 16 in Atlanta, Georgia, in partnership with the American Public Health Association and the Harvard Global Health Institute. The event will provide a crucial platform for stakeholders in the public health and climate communities to seek solutions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A pair of proposals from a Nebraska state senator aim to help those who want renewable power but who do not have a good site for it. One would establish guidelines for shared community solar programs, and another would create a process for counties to be designated as “wind-friendly” by state agencies. [Omaha World-Herald]

GE wind turbines in Nebraska (Matt Dixon / The World-Herald)

GE wind turbines in Nebraska (Matt Dixon / The World-Herald)

¶ In an auction, Invenergy failed to sell the second half of the power output of its proposed power plant in Rhode Island. This is a blow to the controversial power plant, which would burn primarily natural gas, and undermines Invenergy’s claim that the region needs the facility of up to 1,000 MW as older generators retire. [The Providence Journal]

¶ Duke Energy Renewables completed its large-scale wind power plant in Oklahoma. The 200-MW Frontier Wind-power Project increases Duke Energy’s US wind capacity to 2,300 MW. Vestas supplied 61 turbines, each of 3.3 MW. Wanzek Construction was the contractor, and Amshore US Wind provided development support. [Windpower Engineering]

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