Archive for March 5th, 2017

March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2017

World:

¶ With the Irish Government in a race against time to avoid a potential €360 million fine from the EU for failing to hit renewables targets, 2017 looks set to be a defining year for the country’s energy sector. The EU’ s fine is €120 million for each 1% the country is below target, and the clock is ticking down on a 2020 deadline. [Irish Independent]

Irish wind power

Irish wind power

¶ Starting this summer, Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan would provide households with this 25% break in their electric bills. ‎People with low incomes would receive even greater reductions to their electricity bills. As part of this plan, rate increases over the next four years would be held to the rate of inflation for everyone. [Cambridge Now!]

¶ Canadian company Northland Power has agreed to acquire the 252-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. Construction is due to start before the end of the year with full operations in 2019. Headline contractors have already been lined up with MHI Vestas supplying and installing V164 turbines. [reNews]

Vestas V164 wind turbine (image: MHI Vestas)

Vestas V164 wind turbine (image: MHI Vestas)

¶ Armed factions are fighting for control of oil terminals in the east of Libya. Four oil terminals in the area provide much of the country’s export income. Libya remains regionally split, with two opposing centers of power, but there are also numerous rival armed groups that neither of the country’s rival governments controls. [BBC]

¶ India’s Central Electricity Authority expects coal-fired power generation to grow 4.05% in 2017-2018. The authority advised, however, that all coal-based thermal power plants need to brace for drastic fall in capacity utilization, to as low as 48% by 2022, as additional non-thermal electricity generation capacities come on stream. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Transmission lines

Transmission lines

¶ More than 4.5 million solar home systems have been installed in the rural areas of Bangladesh, bringing energy to the homes of 20 million people who live in the off-grid areas of the country. Since 2009, the access to electricity have been increased from 47% to 80%, and per capita power generation has increased by 85%. [Dhaka Tribune]

¶ Russia began the commercial operation of the world’s first third generation plus nuclear power reactor. It is the same one that would be installed in Bangladesh’s Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in the near future. After being tied to the grid last August, the plant has been tested, and commercial operation begin on February 27. [The Daily Star]

Westinghouse AP1000 generation 3+ nuclear plant

Westinghouse AP1000 generation 3+ nuclear plant

US:

¶ The seemingly insatiable appetite for natural gas at the nation’s power plants could be on the verge of an abrupt hiatus. Energy analysts are forecasting gas demand from the US power sector will at best flat-line and possibly fall off significantly over the next five years as federal energy policies and market dynamics collide. [Longview News-Journal]

¶ Ta’u, one of the five main islands in the South Pacific that make up American Samoa, is very isolated, boasting just under 600 residents. The island has historically shipped in everything they can’t grow, including the diesel fuel that powers the generators for their electric system. But now, SolarCity and Tesla are setting it free. [Collective Evolution]

Solar power in American Samoa

Solar power in American Samoa

¶ Environmentally conscious investors are protesting President Donald Trump’s plans to slash environmental regulations by using their pocketbooks. This is fueling a rally in funds that only invest in companies meeting sustainability criteria. Funds without environmental or social mandates have seen outflows of $133 billion. [The Gazette]

¶ The Trump administration is seeking major cuts to NOAA, one of the government’s climate science agencies, reducing its budget by 17% overall, with a 26% reduction for its research budget. Proposed cuts include reducing the climate protection budget by almost 70% and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 97%. [Normangee Star]

Maybe Sandy would have gone away if NOAA's GOES-13  satellite had not taken a photo. (NASA image, public domain)

Maybe Sandy would have gone away if NOAA’s GOES-13
satellite had not taken this photo. (NASA image, public domain)

¶ The Catholic Church has been a surprising player in a local effort to create what could become the largest independent energy consortium in California. The church’s idea would be to purchase power from Pacific Gas & Electric Co and use the profits to develop renewable sources of energy. [Monterey County Herald]

¶ The Village of Glen Carbon, Illinois, and the Madison County Sustainability Program have partnered to introduce a bulk solar group purchase program for residents and businesses in Madison County. Organizers say the program will reduce carbon emissions while providing opportunities to invest in solar power. [The Edwardsville Intelligencer]

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