April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Future of Westinghouse may hinge on fate of its new Shanghai reactor” • The start-up of a nuclear power plant south of Shanghai later this year has a lot riding on it. It will be the first to use an AP1000 reactor, the model that has been disastrous for Westinghouse, leading to bankruptcy and doubts over the future of its owner Toshiba Corp. [The Japan Times]

Rendering of the Westinghouse AP1000 (Westinghouse)

World:

¶ China’s installed wind energy capacity grew 13% in the first quarter over the same time last year, bringing the country’s capacity to 151 GW. Wind energy generated 68,700 GWh of electricity in the first quarter, an increase of 26% over the same quarter a year earlier. Curtailments fell from 13,500 GWh last year to 5,700 GWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Previously known as Turanor Planetsolar, the 31-meter electric trimaran Race For Water has been relaunched in Lorient, where its latest round-the-world mission will begin. The four-year trip will be powered by a 160-hp hybrid solar-hydrogen propulsion system, with a 40 square meter skysail kite providing additional wind power. [Boat International]

The boat, Race For Water

¶ India is making a big push for solar energy, with power capacity expected to double this year. But some of the gains could be lost to air pollution. A study, the first of its kind in India and one of a handful globally, has found that dust and particulate matter may be reducing the energy yield of solar power systems in north India by 17-25% annually. [Times of India]

¶ London’s largest electric vehicle charging network, Source London, will only use renewably-sourced electricity in the future. Source London is working with energy supplier SSE Energy to see its electricity come entirely from wind and hydro. Source London plans to reach 1,000 charger points by the end of this year. [Clean Energy News]

Source London charger station

¶ Apple is building a new data center in Denmark, and it has some interesting ideas on how to power the data center with renewable energy, while also giving back to the community. Excess heat generated by the data center will be captured and returned to the local district’s heating system, which will warm up homes in the community. [Networks Asia]

¶ Solar power now makes up 11% of Australian generating capacity. South Australia has the highest penetration among dwellings at 32%, with Aberfoyle Park the state’s “solar rooftop hotspot.” The market is driven by increased knowledge, high electricity prices, and fear the Federal Government will cut incentives in the future. [The Advertiser]

Installing solar panels

¶ Bord na Mona and the ESB are joining forces to develop four solar farms in Ireland that are likely to cost about €500 million and generate enough power for 150,000 homes. The four solar farms will have a total capacity of 570 MW of electricity. All Ireland’s commercial renewable power generation is currently sourced from wind. [Irish Independent]

¶ Green energy company Energia has started supplying energy from five new windfarms to power homes and businesses across Ireland. Two windfarms are in County Antrim and three in county Tyrone. The new facilities will have a total of 73 MW of capacity. They should produce enough electricity for about 36,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Energia wind power (Energia image)

¶ At the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York on April 25, chief economist for oil giant Total, predicted that sales of electric cars will surge from about 1% globally in today’s new car market to up to 30% of the market by 2030. If that happens, he says, demand for petroleum-based fuels “will flatten out, maybe even decline.” [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ An energy startup, LO3 Energy, is developing and running the Brooklyn Microgrid, an effort to create a localized, sustainable energy market in the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Gowanus. It is a test run in small-scale energy trading, which has already recruited and linked up dozens of consumers and residents with solar panels. [Curbed]

Solar panel installation in Brooklyn (LO3 image)

¶ The US electricity sector faces many uncertainties in the spring of 2017, but the resurgence of coal-fired generation is not among them – it will not happen. Those were points made by speakers at S&P Global Platts’ 32nd annual Global Power Markets Conference in Las Vegas. Coal-burning plants are just not economical. [Platts]

¶ There is a strong renewable energy target set by almost 50% of the major companies of the US. A report from the World Wildlife Fund, Ceres, Calvert Research and Management shows that increasing numbers of investors are promising to rely on clean energy. In the process, they are already saving $3.7 billion per year. [Insider Tradings]

Solar farm

¶ The Great America amusement park in Santa Clara will cover 100% of its electricity use with renewable energy through Silicon Valley Power’s Green Power program. The 100-acre amusement park, which features roller coasters, family rides, Boomerang Bay Water Park, and shows, uses 12,810 MWh of electricity annually. [InterPark]

¶ As industries go, agriculture is one of the worst environmental offenders, research by the United Nations Environment Programme says. Now a major US agricultural player, Taylor Farms, is making an effort to shrink its environmental footprint. A facility in Gonzales, California, now employs: solar, wind and co-generation systems. [TechCrunch]

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