June 5 Energy News

June 5, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “China steps up clean energy generation efforts” • China already has the world’s largest clean energy capacity, and in 2015, the country’s investment in clean energy exceeded $100 billion, accounting for one-third of the world’s total, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. And more investment is pouring in. [Global Times]

Fish farming and solar power (Photo: CFP)

¶ “On Climate, China Should Think Small” • If China truly is to lead the world in promoting renewables, it’s going to have to think small as well as big. The real opportunity is to push innovative greentech, especially the type that fits on a rooftop. Tens of millions of Chinese households already have rooftop solar installations. [Bloomberg]

¶ “2 GW of ‘strong, consistent’ wind power close at hand: Offshore Energy chief” • Offshore Energy managing director Andy Evans gives EcoGeneration a quick profile of what he hopes will be Australia’s first offshore wind farm. One of the key reasons for Australian interest in offshore wind power is its high capacity factor. [EcoGeneration]

Offshore wind (shutterstock image)

¶ “ITC ruling is a clear and present threat to US renewables” • The US government recently made two announcements that are threats to the country’s solar industry. One was that the US would withdraw from the Paris agreement. But an investigation by the US International Trade Commission of imports of solar panels is a more serious threat. [Financial Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ An unprecedented number of solar fuels have been identified thanks to the combined efforts of researchers from Caltech and Berkeley Lab. Solar fuels are chemical fuels produced using the sun. Researcher John Gregoire explained, “Solar fuels technology will provide us clean fuels just as solar cells provide clean electricity.” [Power Technology]

Solar fuel researcher John Gregoire

Scientific American asked Eric Rignot, professor of earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, and Andrea Dutton, assistant professor of geology at the University of Florida, how changes in the Arctic are driving the oceans to dangerous heights. The answer goes beyond land-based glaciers melting. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ Some of India’s biggest solar equipment makers are facing financial collapse, priced out by Chinese competitors as Prime Minister Modi’s government prioritizes cheap power over local manufacturing despite his ‘Make in India’ push. India’s huge renewable energy program created a multi-billion-dollar market for Chinese solar product makers. [Livemint]

Solar array in India

¶ Indian solar power developers are bullish on the clean energy and hopeful of tariff coming down to as low as ₹1.5 per unit (2¢/kWh) on falling equipment cost and cheaper credit with assured purchase pacts. The solar power tariff has already hit a low of ₹2.44 per unit, already mainly due to lower equipment and borrowing costs. [Business Standard]

¶ WWF Scotland’s analysis of renewables found wind turbines alone provided 863,495 MWh of electricity to the National Grid during May. The figure, environmentalists say, is enough to supply the average electrical needs of 95% of Scottish households. It is also an increase of almost 20% compared with May 2016. [The Scotsman]

Whitelee Windfarm (Photo: John Devlin)

¶ The Queensland Labor government unveiled a $1.6 billion plan to unlock thousands of megawatts of large-scale wind, solar, and pumped-hydro energy projects in the state, including a reverse auction for up to 400 MW of renewables and 100 MW of energy storage. Queensland is committed to 50% renewable electricity by 2030. [Renew Economy]

¶ Going green, Indian Railways is stepping up efforts to reduce emission by 33% in the next ten to twelve years through energy efficiency measures and maximum use of clean fuel. Indian Railways is twelve times more energy efficient in freight traffic and three times more efficient in passenger traffic, compared to roadways. [Livemint]

Indian Railways (Ramesh Pathania | Mint)

¶ A proposed energy U-turn by South Korea’s new government would put the environment at the center of energy policy, shifting one of the world’s staunchest supporters of coal and nuclear power towards natural gas and renewables. If put in place, the ambitious plans will have a big impact on coal and gas producers. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

US:

¶ There’s too much momentum in the nation’s clean-energy economy for President Trump to shut it down, energy experts say. The Republican-dominated city of Carmel, Indiana, has committed to 100% renewable energy in 20 years, Mayor Jim Brainard said in a conference call. Work on the plan began long before the Paris Accord. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Bus exhaust distorting a flag (Photo: David McNew, Getty Images)

¶ In Nevada, the push toward renewable energy that has gained steam in recent years is unlikely to be slowed by President Donald Trump’s announcement this past week to pull the United States from the Paris climate accords. In fact, all indications are the growth in wind, solar and hydro energy production is likely to accelerate. [News3LV]

¶ US Energy Secretary Rick Perry reassured Japan that America is committed to tackling environmental issues and promoting clean energy even though it is leaving the Paris climate accord. Perry told Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko in Tokyo that the US commitment to environmental issues remains unchanged. [The Japan Times]

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