March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “How we can turn railroads into a climate solution” • Railroads could drive the growth of clean energy. That is the aim of a new proposal to electrify railroads, run them on renewable energy, and use rail corridors as electricity superhighways to carry power from remote solar and wind installations to population centers. [Grist]

Cover illustration of the book, Solutionary Rail

¶ “Bringing Fresh Air to Biogas” • Swapping the predominant use of fossil fuels with bioenergy has benefits that extend far beyond meeting climate treaty obligations. Projects can be used to promote local economies and help create new job opportunities, as well as saving money and promoting social responsibility. [INSEAD Knowledge]

World:

¶ The South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill will reveal a New energy policy tomorrow at 11 am. The announcement comes on the back of conversations with Tesla Founder Elon Musk about how the company could assist the state (and the country) in storing energy made from their high volume of renewable energy generation. [techAU]

Hallett Wind Farm (Ian Sutton, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ On Sunday afternoon, a private conversation between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Tesla boss Elon Musk caught Australia’s attention. The two spoke on the phone for almost an hour about energy from renewable resources and battery storage. Musk had offered to stop South Australia’s electricity outages. [BBC News]

¶ In 2014, SolaRoad started its pilot project in the town of Krommenie near Amsterdam by replacing a stretch of 70 meters of a tarmac bike path with solar modules it developed. The project was quickly found to outperform expectations, and now it is expanding, both locally in Amsterdam, and as it is being copied in California. [CleanTechnica]

SolaRoad bike path in Amsterdam

¶ Barcelona will begin banning cars older than 20 years in 2019, and Munich was ordered by Bavaria’s highest administrative court that the state and city to develop “clean air” plans that will include diesel car bans when necessary, by the end of 2017. Bans are regarded as an option of last resort, but car companies are not acting. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Algerian government is set to launch a tender for the construction of large-scale PV projects totaling 4 GW. The tender will be held in three 1,350 MW phases and will select projects with an average capacity of 100 MW, starting in April of this year. Algeria aims to get 27% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. [pv magazine]

Hautes Plaines region, where development will happen

¶ The African Development Bank board of directors have approved a senior concessional loan of $25 million for Mali’s first utility-scale solar PV power plant. According to the multilateral bank, the Segou Solar PV Project is one of the first in sub-Saharan Africa that will consist of the design, construction and operations of a 33-MW power plant. [ESI Africa]

¶ Carnegie Clean Energy says it’s in talks with South Australia to build a battery solution for the state’s electric grid. Carnegie says its subsidiary, Energy Made Clean, is the largest provider of utility scale battery storage solutions in Australia. Elon Musk’s promise to fix the state’s blackout problem in 100 days has stirred action. [Business Insider Australia]

Storm damage caused outages in South Australia.
(Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images)

¶ The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has signed off on Australia’s largest single large-scale solar financing deal to date, tipping another $70 million into a total of 165 MW of big solar capacity in Queensland and Victoria and heralding a new level of investor confidence in the nation’s large-scale renewable energy market. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The change of government in Western Australia over the weekend has been welcomed by one of the state’s most successful renewable energy companies, in a political shift that perhaps heralds a new era clean energy investment in the state. Carnegie Clean Energy expects the Albany Wave Energy Project to benefit from the election. [RenewEconomy]

Wave energy

¶ The Tunisian government said it is expected to invest about $1 billion dollars to produce 1,000 MW of power from renewable energy in 2017. Wind power will produce 350 MW, 650 MW will be provided by PVs, according to sources at the Tunisian Ministry of Energy and Mines. The private sector plans to invest $600 million. [News Ghana]

US:

¶ Electrical power used by SamTrans and Caltrain in San Mateo County, California, will soon come from 100% renewable sources. The boards of directors for the transportation agencies voted recently to switch from PG&E power to 100% renewable electrical energy through a joint powers authority, Peninsula Clean Energy. [The Almanac Online]

Burlingame Caltrain Station, San Mateo, California
(Kglavin, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Egged on by the auto industry, President Trump is expected to start unraveling strong mileage and emissions rules that protect US energy security, consumers, the environment and even automakers’ healthy profits. Current standards would phase in a new fleet of vehicles that would average more than 50 mpg in 2025. [CNN]

¶ Generation mPower, an early leader in the development of small modular reactors, has decided to terminate the Bechtel and BWXT partnership and put the design material that was developed onto a corporate shelf. This illustrates nuclear energy’s development hurdles, which it shares with other fields of technology development. [Forbes]

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