May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The Casual Gardener: Adapt your garden for a changing climate” • According to the RHS’s “Gardening in a Changing Climate” report, the lush, green, “quintessentially British” lawn could become a thing of the past. It also warns that pests and diseases not yet established in some areas could become commonplace. [the Irish News]

Needing to adapt to climate change

Science and Technology:

¶ When it comes to making predictions, Stanford economist Tony Seba has a pretty good track record. His latest report predicts two things. First, he says that by 2030, 95% of people won’t own a private car, killing off the auto industry. Second, he predicts electric vehicles will devastate the global oil industry by the same date. [CleanTechnica]

¶ An Australian company, Wave Swell Energy, is developing a new renewable energy system that harvests wave energy. The system, called an “artificial blow-hole,” consists of a giant hollow chamber that sits partially submerged on the seabed, funneling waves in and out of an underwater opening and generating electricity via a turbine. [Daily Mail]

Prototype artificial blow-hole in use

World:

¶ Indian solar power tariffs dropped to a new low of ₹2.44 per unit (3.8¢/kWh) in an auction for the 500-MW Bhadla solar power park in Rajasthan. ACME Solar Holdings won the bid at ₹2.44 per unit for 200 MW, and SoftBank Energy, quoting ₹2.45 per unit, won the remaining 300 MW. Two days ago, the lowest bid was at ₹2.62 per unit. [Scroll.in]

¶ Australia installed another 71 MW of small scale (under 100 kW) rooftop solar in April, extending its record start to the year as households and business respond to high electricity prices and falling costs for solar modules and batteries. According to Sunwiz, installations from the first four months have totaled 301 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Australian solar installations by month

¶ China will suspend approvals for new coal-fired power plants in 29 provinces to reduce overcapacity, the official China Securities Journal reported. The National Energy Administration put as many as 25 provinces on “red alert”, meaning that new projects would create severe overcapacity or environmental risks. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ Scotland’s Atlantis Resources Ltd signed a strategic partnership agreement with Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co, Ltd, to collaborate on global development of marine energy projects. The move continues Atlantis’ push into Asia. It had announced signing a deal to supply equipment for a 150-MW project in Indonesia in March. [HydroWorld]

Atlantis tidal turbine

US:

¶ Portland General Electric has suspended efforts to permit two new natural gas plants at a site in Boardman, Oregon, about 150 miles east of Portland, saying it is in negotiations to potentially acquire existing resources instead. Environmental groups objected to a plan to replace a coal-fired plant set to close in 2020 with the two plants. [OregonLive.com]

The Palm Beach Post reported that a bill to implement the constitutional amendment designed to expand the use of solar and other renewable energy is ready to go to Governor Rick Scott. The bill, now off to a governor who is ecologically deaf, blind, and unaware, was passed unanimously by both of the Florida legislative chambers. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar in Florida

¶ Missouri General Assembly adjourned without passing House Bill 340, a tax on solar energy users that would have devastated one of the state’s fastest growing industries. HB 340 passed the Missouri House on April 3 but was not taken up in the Senate after thousands of Missourians signed petitions opposing the measure. [The Missouri Times]

¶ Tesla has begun accepting deposits for its new solar roof system, offering an “infinity” warranty for tiles that integrate solar power into roof coverings. The sales have begun and are open to consumers worldwide through the Tesla solar roof website. Installations will begin next month in the US, starting with California. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Tesla solar roof

¶ Southern Co has agreed to take the lead on building two nuclear reactors at its Vogtle power plant in Georgia from the bankrupt Westinghouse Electric Co as soon as next month. Westinghouse’s bankruptcy threw into question the fate of four US nuclear reactors, two at Southern’s Vogtle plant and two more in South Carolina. [Bloomberg]

¶ In 2016, nuclear power accounted for about 20% of US power generation, but that share is expected to fall to just 11% in 2050, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s 2017 Annual Energy Outlook. It says 25% of the nation’s nuclear capacity that is not yet announced to be retired is likely to be taken offline by 2050. [POWER magazine]

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