May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Soaring growth of solar power demonstrated in one chart” • Auke Hoekstra at the Technical University of Eindhoven, in The Netherlands, looked at successive revisions of predictions by the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook for solar adoption, measured in GW of capacity added per year. It seems they always get it wrong. [Green Car Reports]

IEA WEO predictions versus reality

¶ “Trump’s Paris accord call will be anticlimactic” • Donald Trump’s looming decision about whether to keep the United States in the Paris climate agreement will be, let’s say, anticlimactic. He could pull out, and that would be no surprise. But if he does, the actual impact on the climate and on global efforts to limit warming will be limited. [Reuters]

World:

¶ Woodstock, Ontario, which calls itself the “Dairy Capital of Canada”, and surrounding Oxford County, are taking a lead on sustainability. They’re among the first wave of North American jurisdictions to move aggressively toward a goal of using 100% renewable energy for electricity, transportation and heating. The goal is to get there by 2050. [Citiscope]

Woodstock, Ontario (Balcer | Wikimedia Commons | cc)

¶ World leaders at the G7 Summit engaged in a heated argument over climate change, a major point of dispute between other G7 heads of state and President Donald Trump. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the climate debate was “controversial,” with leaders of all other G7 nations urging Trump to remain in the 2015 agreement. [CNN]

¶ Portuguese renewable energy association Apren has called on Portugal’s government to launch an auction for large-scale solar and wind power projects on the model of the 3-GW auction held recently by the Spanish government. That auction was won with a bid of €43/MWh, which is below the price of power from coal and nuclear. [pv magazine]

PV plant in Portugal (Hugo Cadavez)

¶ May 26 was a beautiful late spring day in the UK. All that sunshine led to breaking a solar power record for the second time this month. Total solar power generation amounted to 8.7 GW or 24.3% of demand for a period of time (midday). The previous solar power record for the UK was 8.48 GW set earlier this month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ At least 75% of UK homes will be powered by renewable energy by 2030, according to a report by Friends of the Earth. Falling renewable energy costs and decreasing costs for electricity storage mean that at least three quarters of homes will be reliably supplied with clean and affordable electricity from renewable sources by then. [Money High Street]

Wind turbines generating renewable electricity

¶ Analysis of electricity price surges during the February heat wave in New South Wales suggests that rooftop solar greatly reduced the market price of wholesale electricity over three days. Rooftop solar PV supplied only about 2% of the state’s total power needs over that time, but its impact was to cut the price of electricity by 60%. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Innergex Renewable Energy has started commercial operations at the 25.3-MW Boulder Creek run-of-river hydro plant in British Columbia. The company owns a 66.7% interest in the facility, with Ledcor Power Group owning the rest. The plant is part of a two-project scheme that also includes the 81.4-MW Upper Lillooet River facility. [reNews]

Innergex power facility (Innergex image)

¶ The Greenough River solar farm in Western Australia, around 50 km south-east of Geraldton, the first large-scale solar farm in the country, plans to quadruple in size from 10 MW to 40 MW. The plans were unveiled in a submission to WA’s Economic Regulation Authority. Two new 15-MW arrays will be built, one on each side of the existing facility. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ A vice president with Sempra Energy, one of the nation’s largest utilities, made a stunning admission to a roomful of gas and oil executives this week: there is no technical impediment to California getting all of its energy from renewables – now. All power could come from sources like wind, solar and hydro without reliance on fossil fuels. [KPBS]

Cross-border wind project in Baja California
(Credit: Martin Lemus, Fotografia Lemus)

¶ GE Renewable Energy has been selected to provide wind turbines to a 300-MW wind farm being developed in Texas by Invenergy, North America’s leading independent clean energy provider. GE Renewable Energy will provide 120 of its GE2.5-116.90-meter wind turbines for the Santa Rita wind farm in Reagan County. [CleanTechnica]

¶ President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal perhaps eliminate a decade-old program that sees Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi paid large sums of money from Gulf of Mexico oil and gas extraction. In 2018, for example, about $275 million would be paid out to the states in question that year if Trump’s budget proposal fails to pass. [CleanTechnica]

Oil project in the Gulf of Mexico
(Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

¶ The City of Portland, Oregon, and Multnomah County have locked in a commitment to obtaining 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035 as the latest #CommitTo100 city to join the pledge. The City of Portland was the first US city to adopt a carbon reduction strategy way back before it was cool in 1993. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The pressure to shift more of the country’s electric supply to renewable sources is not just a rallying cry for environmentalists. Some of the power industry’s biggest customers, like GM and Microsoft, have made a commitment to clean energy. And to help them meet it, utilities are changing their ways. West Virginia is no exception. [NRToday.com]

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