Archive for March 9th, 2017

March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2017


¶ “The business benefits of using renewable electricity” • The business sector is the largest consumer of power in the UK, buying around 56% of the electricity. Even a modest switch to renewable power could take a big step towards the government’s 2020 renewable target, and the switch can produce savings that outweigh the cost. []

Eon solar farm

Science and Technology:

¶ According to the energy market analysis firm RepuTex, “clean” coal technologies will not be commercially viable before 2030 without government subsidy. In Australia, the rising price of gas, coupled with the falling cost of energy storage, has made renewable energy the least expensive source of reliable power generation. [The Guardian]


¶ Just months after launching its residential battery storage offering in Australia, Germany battery maker Sonnen has introduced a household solar and storage deal that threatens to disrupt the traditional retail electricity model. The deal offers free power to households using the company’s integrated solar and storage system. [CleanTechnica]

Sonnen battery (Sonnen image)

¶ The Australian energy market is set for a major shake-up with the launch of a major new government-backed initiative to create an open marketplace, the Decentralised Energy Exchange, for locally generated and stored rooftop solar power to be traded between households, businesses, communities and network utilities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Apple announced that supplier Ibiden has committed to using 100% renewable energy to manufacture Apple components, the first partner to do so in Japan. To meet the renewable energy promise, Ibiden will invest in over 20 new facilities, including a floating “island” solar photovoltaic system at a converted lumber yard. [ZDNet]

Floating solar array (Apple image)

¶ With lower costs for solar power, the Nigerian government is considering a $30 million allocation for off-grid solar projects. According to a report in Bloomberg solar panels are an “economic option” for cutting fuel costs in Nigeria, compared to the small diesel generators that currently form the backbone of off grid power generation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ TenneT TSO BV (Netherlands), (Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) will sign a trilateral agreement that will press ahead on developing a large renewable European electricity system in the North Sea. Central to the plan is the construction of one or more islands in the middle of the North Sea at Dogger Bank. [Windtech International]

Power link island

¶ Work could start next year on a £160 million hydro power plant in Llanberis, Gwynedd, Wales, its developers have said. The Snowdonia Pumped Hydro project received consent from the UK Planning Inspectorate. Abandoned slate quarries, Glyn Rhonwy and Chwarel Fawr, will be turned into pumped storage reservoirs. [BBC News]

¶ Globally, solar power capacity has reached 305 GW spurred largely by increasing demand in China and the US. In 2016, installations of new solar PV capacity increased 50%, from 51.2 GW in 2015 to over 76 GW. The 305 GW of installed solar capacity worldwide represents a great increase from just 50 GW in 2010. [Climate Action Programme]

Solar panels at Nellis air force base

¶ A growing crisis in the Australian electricity market led to wholesale power prices more than doubling in a year, to at least twice what they were under the much-maligned carbon price. Analysis by the University of Melbourne’s Climate and Energy College said it nearly tripled in coal-reliant Queensland and New South Wales. [Daily Advertiser]

¶ Across Europe, the price of building an offshore wind farm has fallen 46% in the last five years, 22% percent last year alone. Costs now average $126/MWh, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s below the $155/MWh price for new nuclear developments in Europe and closing in on the $88/MWh price tag on new coal plants. [Bloomberg]

Block Island wind turbine (Photo: Eric Thayer / Bloomberg)


¶ In Hawaii, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is now drawing energy from 272 Tesla power packs to provide electricity after dark. The Tesla’s power packs are expected to save KIUC 1.6 million gallons of diesel fuel annually, cutting costs from 15.5¢/kWh to a price fixed at 13.9¢/kWh for the next 20 years. [South China Morning Post]

¶ Georgetown, Texas, is now one of the first cities in the US to run on 100% renewable energy. The milestone is met after the city ended a long-term power contract in 2012, and found new options from power suppliers in West Texas and the Panhandle that would provide renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. [Austin American-Statesman]

Georgetown (Photo: Georgetown CVB)

¶ A new report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center says US colleges and universities can be leaders for a transition to 100% renewable energy. The report, “Renewable Energy 100: The Course to a Carbon-Free Campus,” cites a number of factors that make educational institutions suited to lead the country’s efforts. [Solar Industry]

¶ Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, the US nuclear power plant developer owned by troubled Japanese electronics giant Toshiba Corp, has brought in bankruptcy attorneys from law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, people familiar with the matter said. The move comes after a $6.3 billion write-down at Westinghouse. [The New Indian Express]

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