April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “States And Cities Are Fighting Climate Change, With Or Without Nations” • The Under2 Coalition counts more than 150 local and regional governments as members, including huge cities like Beijing and small, rural, developing counties like Laikipia, Kenya. It is just one of several such organizations fighting climate change. [Capital Public Radio News]

Emissions (United Nations Photo | Flickr)

¶ “Power prices are at record highs – but there’s a pleasant solution to fix that” • Tony Abbott promised that Australia would become a low cost energy superpower, so the carbon price was abolished and the renewable energy target was cut. Now, wholesale electricity prices have doubled, and prices for solar and wind power keep dropping. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ February 2017 was the second warmest February in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Last month was 1.1° C warmer than the mean February temperature from 1951-1980. Only February 2016 was warmer. [CleanTechnica]

February 2017 land-ocean temperature index

World:

¶ Hartek Power, based in the Indian city of Chandigarh, said its solar grid EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) orders increased to 1,025 MW in 2016-17, compared to 123 MW in the previous fiscal year. Among the orders, the company won 30 substation projects of up to 220 KV spread in 10 Indian states, the company said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ The world’s biggest solar and battery storage plant could begin construction this year, after the project was formally launched in Adelaide. The plant will include 330 MW of solar PV and a 100-MW/400-MWh battery storage system. Lyon Group, developer of the $1 billion project, said the plant should be operational this year. [CleanTechnica]

Lyon Group’s solar plus storage

¶ In February 2017, India’s solar power capacity generated a total of 1,355 billion kWh of electricity, according to the Central Electricity Authority of India. It is the first time that monthly solar power generation exceeded the 1 billion kWh mark. The new figure represents an 80% increase from February of 2016. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ China’s wind and solar sectors could attract as much as ¥5.4 trillion ($782 billion) in investment between 2016 and 2030 as the country tries to meet its renewable energy targets, according to a report published by Greenpeace. China has pledged to increase non-fossil fuel energy to at least 20% of its total by the end of the next decade. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar and wind power in China

¶ The Japanese Prime Minister ordered ministers to formulate a strategy to transform Japan into an emissions-free “hydrogen society,” and called for more efforts on renewable energy. The Environment Minister separately said his ministry will begin drawing up a long-term strategy for increasing renewable energy use. [Japan Today]

¶ Toshiba Corp, whose US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co filed for bankruptcy protection, raised doubts about its ability to survive as a company. In an unaudited financial report, Toshiba projected a $9.2 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended in March of 2017, largely because of the troubles at Westinghouse. [Albany Times Union]

Construction at the Vogtle Nuclear Plant, 2011
(Charles C Watson Jr, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ The Salt Lake City Council and Mayor jointly published a plan to tackle climate change and carbon pollution after both made a promise last year on sustainability. The city promises 100% renewable energy sources for electricity by 2032 and an 80% reduction in energy and transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. [KUTV 2News]

¶ This winter and spring, the large and growing amount of solar generation has sometimes driven power prices on the California Independent System Operator’s exchange to very low prices, and even negative prices. But California’s consumers continue to pay average retail electricity prices that are among the highest in the nation. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science has signed an agreement with Standard Solar, Inc to install solar field on approximately 10 acres of its Horn Point Laboratory campus in Cambridge, Maryland. The system will have a capacity of 2 MW and generate approximately 3.5 MWh of electricity each year. [Solar Novus Today]

¶ Americans used more renewable energy in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Overall, energy consumption in the US was nearly flat. Americans used 0.1 quads (quadrillion BTU), more in 2016 than in 2015. [Patch.com]

Wind turbine (image via Pixabay)

¶ Last month coal got a break in Kansas, where the state Supreme Court ruled against Earthjustice and the Sierra Club, granting a permit to the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation to build an expansion to its coal-fired power plant in Holcomb. Interestingly, Sunflower did not celebrate. Instead, it said it would continue to assess the project. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Nevada’s monopoly utility NV Energy exceeded the state’s energy mandate for 2016. It is the seventh year in a row that it has done so. The utility achieved a 26.6% renewable energy credit level in northern Nevada, and 22.2% in southern Nevada. The state’s mandate for 2016 is that utilities get 20% of their power from renewable sources. [PV-Tech]

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