March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Start-up Wright Electric intends to offer an electric-powered commercial flight from London to Paris in 10 years. Its plane would carry 150 people on journeys of less than 300 miles. By removing the need for jet fuel, the price of travel could drop dramatically. British low-cost airline Easyjet has expressed its interest in the technology. [BBC News]

Wright One (Wright Electric image)

World:

¶ A study says 2016 saw a “dramatic” decline in the number of coal-fired power stations in pre-construction, with a 48% fall in planned coal units, with a 62% drop in construction starts. The report, from several green campaign groups, says changing policies and economic conditions in China and India were behind the decline. [BBC News]

¶ A £300 million taxi manufacturing plant that created 1,000 new jobs is to be officially opened in Coventry. The London Taxi Company’s Ansty Park site is the home of its new electric taxi, the TX5. The first electric taxis will go on sale in London in the final quarter of the year, before being sold around the world early in 2018. [BBC News]

New London Taxi Company plant (London Taxi Company image)

¶ New research makes a projection that mining exploration for industrially important minerals is not keeping track with future demand and recycling on its own could not possibly meet the expected future demand. Because of this, the authors argue that some sort of global resource governance is needed for the mining industries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Increased renewable capacity since the Fukushima nuclear disaster will see Japanese thermal power generation decline to 40% below 2015 levels by 2030, a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said. It says many of the 45 coal-fired power stations currently in the pipeline will not get built. [EnergyInfraPost]

Japanese thermal plant

¶ GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy developer dedicated to African renewables, will invest $280 million to build 200 MW of solar PV plants in Nigeria. GreenWish has already signed a long-term PPA with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading company to sell power produced from the plants into the national grid. [PV-Tech]

¶ The Philippines had 903 MW of installed solar PV capacity under its Renewable Energy Law at the end of 2016, according to Department of Energy figures. Most of this was grid-tied, with 3.2 MW in the self-consumption category. The figures do not include 55 renewable energy-based projects installed under different laws. [PV-Tech]

Philippine solar system (Credit: Conergy)

¶ Early action in transitioning to a low-carbon energy sector is critical not only for keeping global warming to under 2° C, but also for minimizing the risks of additional stranded fossil fuel assets, which could be as much as an additional $10 trillion in assets by 2050. The report envisions coal use dropping by 65% and oil use by 50%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Plans for a second solar farm for County Kildare have been given the thumbs up by the Council. Renewable Energy Systems Ltd will be putting up temporary (27 year) ground-mounted solar panels on a 29 acre site near Milltown. The solar farm is one of a number of large solar installations going up in Ireland. [Leinster Leader]

Solar farm in Ireland (file photo)

US:

¶ AES subsidiary Dayton Power & Light confirmed that it will close two of its coal-fired plants by 2018 because they have become uneconomical. The Ohio utility announced its intent to close the two plants in January. DP&L will shift its power mix toward more renewable energy. Its announcement makes the move official. [POWER magazine]

¶ Allete Clean Energy recently announced its plan to build, own and operate a 100-MW wind farm north of Glen Ullin, North Dakota. It will provide power to Xcel Energy under a power purchase agreement. The Clean Energy One project has been under development since 2011. Construction is expected be completed in 2019. [Daily Energy Insider]

Wind farm in the Midwest (Shutterstock image)

¶ Salka LLC announced the execution of a purchase and sale agreement for the Summit Wind Project, an in-development wind farm in the east San Francisco Bay Area. The project will re-power a former Altamont Pass wind farm, replacing its 569 wind turbines with 27 modern turbines. The project is 45 miles from San Francisco. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ In Marion, New York, Marion Central School District and Monolith Solar commissioned a 253-kW solar array to power the district’s high school and bus garage. The system, adjacent to the Marion Jr-Sr High School, is projected to satisfy nearly 80% of the district’s usage, saving almost $13,000 in energy costs in just the first year. [Wayne Post]

Marion solar array (photo provided)

¶ Xcel Energy projects it can save Texas-New Mexico customers $2.8 billion over a 30-year period by displacing higher-cost energy with an additional 1,230 MW of wind energy. That is enough electricity to power more than 440,000 typical homes. Most of the new power would be generated at two facilities in New Mexico and Texas. [KCBD-TV]

¶ Legislation that would help the owner of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford compete in a state renewable energy procurement program easily passed the Connecticut legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee. The vote allows the bill to be heard by the full state House of Representatives and Senate. [New Haven Register]

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