Archive for March 14th, 2017

March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Can California Go 100 Percent Green?” • California’s Senate leader wants the state to shift to 100% renewable electricity by 2045, pushing it to lead the country in grabbing that green power goal. The nation’s most populous state switching to fully renewable electricity sounds idealistic. But several experts said it can be done. [Scientific American]

Installing a heliostat at the Ivanpah CSP plant
(Credit: California Energy Commission)

¶ “The SA Deal Is A Missed Opportunity For Cheaper, Cleaner And More Reliable Energy” • The South Australian Government announced an energy plan that would wed South Australians to struggling through huge electricity bills that won’t come down with an over-reliance on gas-fired generation ruled by the world market. [Huffington Post Australia]

Science and Technology:

¶ As the world’s soils continue warming over the coming decades and centuries, they could release much higher levels of CO2 than was previously thought, according to new research from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. There is about three times as much CO2 in the soil as in the atmosphere. [CleanTechnica]

Soil research (Image by Berkeley Lab)

¶ A project headed up by the University of Manchester is investigating the role that advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, could have on reducing the costs for operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. The value of the service could be £2 billion ($2.4 billion) annually by 2025 in the UK alone. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ In Chile’s last power auction, SolarReserve bid a world-record low price at just 6.3¢/kWh for dispatchable 24-hour solar. The bid is for Concentrated Solar Power, a form of solar using heat from the sun that can be stored thermally. It was made in an open auction for both fossil energy and renewables, without any subsidy. [CleanTechnica]

Storage for solar

¶ The race to develop battery storage as a solution to the key problem of reliability appears to be on for Australian state governments. Victorian premier Daniel Andrews just announced an extra $20 million to roll out energy storage in the state. The government wants to boost energy storage capacity up to 100 MW. [Business Insider Australia]

¶ Short and medium term projections indicate that the development of wind power is likely to take an increasingly important position in Mexico’s energy landscape, particularly in light of growing uncertainty in future natural gas imports from the United States. Gas had a 54% stake in the country’s electricity production in 2015. [Global Risk Insights]

Mexican wind farm

¶ South Australia will build Australia’s largest battery to store renewable energy along with a new 250-MW gas-fired power plant. South Australia’s premier announced the government’s plan to build, own and operate the plant. He said it was part of a plan to spend $550 million to take control of the state energy market. [Yahoo7 News]

¶ Irish wave developer Sea Power is to retrieve its 1:5 scale device after winter testing at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. The company said it has successfully concluded winter survivability testing of its prototype Seapower Platform device. The attenuator wave energy converter was deployed last October. [reNews]

Sea Power wave device (Sea Power image)

¶ Shares in Japanese conglomerate Toshiba have fallen more than 7% as the firm asked to postpone reporting its earnings for a second time. Last month, the firm announced a ¥712.5 billion ($6.3 billion) write-down due to some US nuclear assets being worth far less than estimated. Some analysts warn the company’s future is at risk. [BBC News]

¶ PPC SA, the largest power generation company in Greece, announced that geothermal energy will be a crucial element in its plans for renewable energy project deployment. Through its renewable energy subsidiary Public Power Company Renewables SA, the company is increasingly active with renewable energy sources. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Thermopylae derives its name from its hot sulphur springs.
(Ronny Siegel, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ Electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, in partnership with Daylight Transport, the California Air Resources Board and the San Bernardino Council of Governments, has brought the largest deployment of all-electric heavy-duty trucks ever in the US to Southern California. The project will deliver 27 battery-electric trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says it has received unsolicited lease requests from two companies looking to develop wind projects offshore New York and Massachusetts. The requests, which are for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf, are not in response to a formal call for interest. [North American Windpower]

Offshore windpower (iStock image)

¶ A proposal to ramp up renewable energy requirements at New Mexico’s investor owned utilities and cooperatives through 2040 was voted down by a Senate committee. The Senate Corporation Committee voted 5-3 against a plan to gradually increase the share of electricity generated from renewable sources to 80%. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ An arbitration panel awarded California utilities $125 million in a lawsuit claiming that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries supplied faulty steam generators that helped lead to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant. It is a hollow victory that was a tiny fraction of the $7.6 billion sought by Southern California Edison and its partners. [LancasterOnline]

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