May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ In an article in Science, researchers from Princeton University and the Union of Concerned Scientists found that a reliance on “faulty analysis” by US nuclear experts could result in a catastrophic fire that has the potential to force some 8 million people to relocate, and result in a staggering $2 trillion (£1.5 trillion) in damages. [Wired.co.uk]

Possible contamination pattern from a hypothetical fire in a spent-fuel pool at the Peach Bottom nuclear plant. Red and orange areas would require evacuation. (Image: Michael Schoeppner, Princeton University, Program on Science and Global Security)

World:

¶ Pope Francis put climate change on the agenda of his first meeting with President Trump, and the subject is likely to come up again and again in the president’s encounters with other world leaders in the coming days. Mr Trump told his Vatican hosts that he would make a final decision after he returned to the United States. [The New York Times]

¶ At a meeting in Vienna, energy ministers from both OPEC and non-OPEC countries agreed to maintain output curbs, which had been due to expire next month, until March 2018. Nevertheless, the price of oil has fallen by about 5%. Brent crude fell $2.60 to $51.36 a barrel on Thursday, and was trading at $51.47 on Friday morning. [BBC]

Oil worker (Photo: Reuters)

¶ New low solar tariffs in India are being compared with those for coal and gas. Solar tariffs ranged from ₹2.44/kWh (3.8¢/kWh) to ₹2.62/kWh (4.1¢/kWh). By comparison, NTPC Ltd’s 42.7 GW of fossil fuel capacity has an average tariff of ₹3.20/kWh (5.6¢/kWh), about 24% higher than the lowest solar power tariffs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The City of St Albert took delivery on the first three electric buses BYD has delivered to Canada. They are the first installment of an order for seven electric buses for the city. With the order, 10% of the city’s bus fleet will be electric. This will be fulfilled by the end of the year and shows the city’s commitment to next-generation transit. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus

¶ The transformation of India’s electricity market continues to deliver, as shown this month by the cancellation of 13.7 GW of proposed coal-fired power plants, an admission that 8.6 GW of operating coal is already non-viable, and the parallel move of ever-decreasing solar costs helped along by the country’s record low solar tariffs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A 40-MW solar farm in the South Anhui province of China is finally online and generating renewable energy. Larger than floating farms in Australia and India, the mass of solar panels is the largest in the world and can produce enough clean energy to power homes in the area. The solar panels have increased efficiency because the water cools them. [Inhabitat]

Floating solar farm (Sungrow image)

¶ Vietnam expects to grant investment licences for three coal-fired power plants worth a combined $7.5 billion, the country’s investment minister said. Although Vietnam wants to boost renewable energy output, it has been mostly reliant on coal-fired and hydro power plants to meet its annual electricity demand growth of around 11%. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Australia’s leading renewable energy organisation launched a $20 million fund to support development of solar technologies that can provide cheaper and more efficient power. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has invested more than a $100 million in solar PV projects since 2012, as it bids to build a clean energy future. [Innovators Magazine]

Australia (Credit: Unsplash)

¶ Abu Dhabi will become the home of the world’s largest solar power plant, highlighting the region’s commitment to sustainable building and utilizing renewable energy sources, under the UAE Energy Plan 2050. Costing approximately $8700 million, the 1.17-GW plant will provide enough power for about 200,000 homes. [Construction Global]

¶ Along with project partner Parkwind, MHI Vestas has inaugurated the Nobelwind offshore wind farm, a 165-MW project off the coast of Belgium. The turbines, positioned 47 km off the coast, will provide enough renewable energy to power more than 188,000 Belgian homes, according to the company. [North American Windpower]

Vestas wind turbine

US:

¶ One of the nation’s leading utilities integrating wind energy onto its system reaffirmed on the second day of WINDPOWER 2017 that wind helps sustain grid reliability while saving its consumers money. Addressing over 7,000 attendees, Xcel Energy’s CEO Ben Fowke recommitted the utility’s investment in wind energy. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ Caldwell, New Jersey is pushing introduction of renewable energy resources in the borough. The Mayor and Council have reached one goal in the push by completing a solar panel installation at the Caldwell Wastewater Treatment plant earlier this year, according to an email by Councilman Kris Brown. [New Jersey Hills]

Solar array at the Caldwell Wastewater Treatment Plant

¶ Nevada became somewhat infamous in clean energy news in 2015, when state regulators eliminated retail rate net metering for all solar customers. But lawmakers appear eager to reverse that image, and have advanced a slate of proposals to boost the state’s green profile, including raising the state’s renewable energy mandate. [Utility Dive]

¶ The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s board approved construction of rooftop solar systems on several sprawling maintenance centers in Philadelphia. The overall system constitutes a 3.1-MW project the agency says would be the city’s second largest after the Eagles’ solar installation at Lincoln Financial Field. [Philly.com]

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