May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Think windfarms are ugly? It’s not only a matter of perception, but policy too” • The Australian landscape is changed by words on paper. The renewable energy target as a mechanism for building zero-carbon technologies has worked brilliantly. It incentivizes mainly windfarms, as they’re the cheapest, most readily deployable technology. [The Guardian]

Capital windfarm (Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Coal And Nuke Investors Think Trump Just Saved Their Bacon. They’re Naïve.” • Once again, the Trump administration is being hailed by investors in coal and nuclear power. But a skeptical message may be more appropriate. If you’re an energy investor, be afraid. You may be picking up pennies in front of Trump’s regulatory steamroller. [Forbes]

¶ “Important Year For Microgrids In Remote Countries” • This year could be big for microgrid developments in remote and non-electrified regions and countries. Storage companies and technology behemoths are leading the way on installing and investing in storage microgrids and solar for regional and island countries and communities. [CleanTechnica]

New island microgrid projects, Q4 2016 and Q1 2017

World:

¶ The renewable energy sector in the UK has experienced its best ever quarter with wind, solar, biomass and hydro all registering record levels of energy generation. According to the latest Electric Insights report, which covered January to March, output from coal generation fell by 30% compared to the same quarter in 2016. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ BayWa’s earnings before interest and tax from renewable energy jumped 77.5% in the first three months of 2017 to €21.3 million ($23.16 million), compared with €12.0 million in the period last year. Revenue from clean power also soared to €251.8 million, up 57% on the €160.4 million posted in the first quarter of 2016. [reNews]

Wind turbines in Germany (Eclipse.sx, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Indonesian government appears to be backtracking on its aggressive 35,000-MW, coal-centric energy development plan. The ambitious 35,000 MW of new electricity generation projects were to be completed by 2019, according to a plan announced by President Joko Widodo in 2014. However, only 15,000 MW will be required by then. [Mongabay.com]

¶ Wärtsilä has launched hybrid and standalone energy storage systems, targeting areas where it sees “high market potential”, including remote microgrids and solar PV integration. The Finnish company, known as a supplier of engines to the maritime industry, will also make standalone energy storage solutions available. [Energy Storage News]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

US:

¶ President Donald Trump’s efforts to dilute US climate policies put Tillerson in an awkward position at a meeting of Arctic nations in Fairbanks. Tillerson signed an agreement recognizing the Paris climate accord, but he said Trump was not rushing to decide whether to leave or weaken US commitments to the pact. [Financial Express]

¶ Each year the US intelligence community puts together a “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report. This year’s report makes for particularly disquieting reading. While it focuses on the increasing danger that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program poses as well as cyberterrorism threats, one environmental concern stands out: climate change. [Yahoo News]

Wave

¶ The Dakota Access pipeline has already spilled crude oil into the environment and it is not even in operation yet. On April 6, 84 gallons of the liquid crud was dumped into a containment pit in South Dakota. That may be small, but it drives home an essential truth. Of the systems mankind has devised to transport oil, all leak. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Maryland regulators approved plans for the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind projects. The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded renewable energy credits for two projects off Maryland’s Eastern Shore near Ocean City. The PSC says the decision allows US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy to build 368 MW of capacity. [PennEnergy]

Offshore Wind in Denmark

¶ Two years after NextEra Energy Resources and Entergy Arkansas received approval for an 81-MW solar project in Stuttgart, Arkansas, the companies have finally broken ground on the project. The Stuttgart Solar Energy Center is not expected to be finished until January 2018. They say time moves slower in the South. [pv magazine USA]

¶ A committee of Maine legislators today voted unanimously against a bill that would have blocked the 12-MW Aqua Ventus floating offshore wind demo. The decision by the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee effectively kills the bill. Republican senator Dana Dow proposed the law to protect local scenic beauty and tourism. [reNews]

Aqua Ventus prototype (UMaine)

¶ Akamai Technologies, one of the largest Cloud-delivery platforms, invested in a wind farm as part of its commitment to source renewable energy for 50% of its global network operations by 2020. Akamai intends to source enough energy from the 80-MW Seymour Hills Wind Farm to offset its Texas data center operations. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ In a sometimes testy hearing that opened the latest biannual review of project costs by the Georgia Public Service Commission, Georgia Power executives said they’re considering all options for the fate of a planned nuclear plant. The project’s completion date and cost are in flux as its main contractor has filed for bankruptcy. [Thegardenisland.com]

 

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