Archive for March 29th, 2017

March 29 Energy News

March 29, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The 150-Year-Old Energy Giant Ready To Disrupt The World (#CleanTechnica Original)” • Engie has been acquiring top startups in the various arenas it considers to be the biggest playing fields of the future. In energy, there are 5 “tsunamis” or 5 disruptive trends they see occurring all at approximately the same time. [CleanTechnica]

Thierry Lepercq, Engie’s Executive Vice President
of Research, Technology and Innovation

World:

¶ A summer of record high temperatures, heat waves, and unplanned electricity outages appears to have bolstered the Australian rooftop solar market in 2017. Installations at end of February are up nearly 50% on the same time last year. Growth in rooftop solar installs has not been limited to South Australia, but in all of the major states. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A new $3.9 million project led by a company in South Canterbury, New Zealand, aims to have 95% of the Cook Islands running on renewable energy by the end of year. Infratec general manager Luke van Zeller said the project was the latest in a series of upgrades to overhaul the country’s dated power grids which relied on expensive fossil fuels. [Timaru Herald]

Solar farm at Rarotonga Airport (Supplied)

¶ Just three of Japan’s 42 usable reactors are running at present, according to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum. That number is to rise after the Osaka high court backed a restart of reactors 3 and 4 at the Takahama power plant north of Kyoto. In doing so, it overturned the first ruling ordering an operating nuclear reactor to shut down. [The Guardian]

¶ Australia’s wind farms could soon become “core providers” of crucial grid stability services, assuming a role now dominated by fossil fuel generators. Australian Energy Market Operator principal Jenny Riesz said the growing need for frequency control and ancillary services presents an emerging opportunity for wind power. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ The UK’s nuclear regulator has granted its first consent for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant’s construction. The French utility’s £18 billion project will be the first nuclear plant to be built in Britain in a generation. The consent covers the placement of the structural concrete for the first nuclear safety-related structure at the site. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶ President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing climate change. He said this would put an end to the “war on coal” and “job-killing regulations.” The Energy Independence Executive Order suspends more than half a dozen measures enacted by his predecessor, and boosts fossil fuels. [BBC News]

Donald Trump, possibly lobbying for a new job (AFP)

¶ Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest beer maker, plans to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, shifting 6 TWh of electricity away from fossil-fuel plants. The company’s announcement comes the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order undoing the Clean Power Plan. [Salt Lake Tribune]

¶ A coalition of 23 US states and local governments has vowed to challenge in court President Trump’s latest Executive Order reversing a raft of President Obama’s climate change regulations. The coalition includes states such as California, Massachusetts and Virginia, as well as cities including Chicago, Philadelphia and Boulder, Colorado. [RTE.ie]

Stop

¶ Just last week, the California Air Resources Board voted to protect the environment even if the federal government refuses to. Now the governors of California and New York released a joint statement condemning the federal government’s move to harm the health of Americans and kill jobs by reversing Clean Power Plan. [Electrek]

¶ President Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back clean power standards will probably have a minimal effect on Minnesota, since the combination of state policy with changing energy economics, has already been leading utilities away from coal. Trump can sign orders, but it is too late. They are already on a clean-power path. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Fenton Wind Farm (Windtech, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Frustrated by bloated power bills and frequent shutoffs, citizens of Pueblo, Colorado, have lobbied the city council to abandon natural gas and switch to more affordable renewable energy. Based on cost of electricity from utility-scale wind farms in the region, ratepayers could save money by switching to clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Westinghouse, Toshiba’s US nuclear unit, has filed for US bankruptcy protection. The US firm has struggled with hefty losses that have thrown its Japanese parent into a crisis, putting the conglomerate’s future at risk.Westinghouse has suffered huge cost overruns at two US projects in Georgia and South Carolina. [BBC News]

Westinghouse plant in Waynesboro (Reuters)

¶ The US wind industry already supports more than 100,000 jobs, but Navigant Consulting believes that number will increase to 248,000 total jobs by 2020, helping to deliver 35,000 MW of new wind power capacity through 2020. Navigant said the state of Iowa could support more than 17,000 wind-related jobs by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Utility company National Grid says it wants to build a new transmission line that would bring 1,200 MW of renewable power from Canada into New England. The major new project would take a different route than the controversial Northern Pass proposal put forward by Eversource. Most of it would be in New Hampshire. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

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