June 7 Energy News

June 7, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Renewable Energy Push Is Strongest in the Reddest States” • Two years ago, Kansas repealed a law requiring that 20% of the state’s electric power come from renewable sources by 2020. But by the time the law was scrapped, that target had already been met. Last year, Kansas generated more than 30% of its power from wind. [New York Times]

The Smoky Hills Wind Farm outside Lincoln, Kansas
(Credit: Christopher Smith for The New York Times)

¶ “Energy security is possible without nuclear power or fracked gas” • Here’s a fact you won’t have heard from the main parties during the UK’s election campaign: the nation doesn’t need a new generation of expensive nuclear reactors or a dash for shale gas to keep the lights on. An all-renewable electricity supply can provide energy security. [New Scientist]

World:

¶ The governments of Belgium, Denmark and Germany and several industry leaders have signed a joint statement to further the development of offshore wind in Europe, including a call for at least 4 GW a year of new deployment after 2020. The governments made their commitment at the Offshore Wind Energy 2017 event in London. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm (Image: Pixabay)

¶ High winds have boosted power output and caused electricity prices in the day-ahead auction to plummet to new lows on May 7, according to energy market specialists EnAppSys. It said prices would go down to £1.60/MWh (0.2¢/kWh), which is a tenth of the usual cost overnight and represents a new record in the day-ahead auction. [reNews]

¶ Most Australians want governments to favor renewable energy over fossil fuels, and concerns about climate change are increasing, a new poll finds. The Lowy Institute survey found 81% of 1202 respondents wanted policymakers to focus on clean energy sources even if it costs more to ensure grid reliability. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Australian fossil fuels (AP photo)

¶ Emera Inc says it has submitted a competitive bid to deliver 900 MW of wind energy and hydro power from Atlantic Canada to Massachusetts by 2022. If successful, the main source of that power would likely be wind farms yet to be built in New Brunswick. Hydro power will be included to be certain of constant supply. [CBC.ca]

¶ A record 161 GW of renewable energy was added last year worldwide at a cost about £187 billion ($242 billion), but at a price 23% cheaper than it would have cost in the previous year. Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico, Peru and the United Arab Emirates are all now receiving supplies at less than 5¢/kWh, “well below” fossil fuels and nuclear. [The Independent]

Wind turbines near Brueck, Germany (Getty Images)

¶ With President Donald Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord, China and California have signed an agreement to work together on reducing emissions, as the state’s governor warned that “disaster still looms” without urgent action. Governor Jerry Brown said Trump’s decision will ultimately prove only a temporary setback. [Reading Eagle]

US:

¶ We Are Still In is a group of 125 mayors, nine governors, 183 university presidents, and 902 businesses, including Apple, Google, Ikea, and Target. The group issued a declaration that they continue to support climate action. Many leaders believe that it will be possible to meet the US’s original pledge to reduce emissions, despite Trump. [Fast Company]

The withdrawal was a galvanizing moment.
(Photo: PatrickZiegler | iStock)

¶ The 2017 Annual Tesla Shareholder’s Meeting on June 6th produced news on Model 3, Model Y, and Tesla Semi, but also on more mundane business matters. One massive update was about the number of Gigafactories Tesla is planning. CEO Elon Musk shared that it is planning for at least 10 Gigafactories, but could build as many as 20. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US is falling behind other countries in advanced energy technologies, threatening national security and undermining its global influence, former generals and admirals in the US military warn. The military officers’ conclusions follow warnings from businesses about the decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement. [Financial Times]

Chinese workers checking PV modules (© AFP)

¶ Columbia, Missouri, is continuing to diversify its renewable energy sources by approving the cheapest wind power purchase the city has made so far, with an estimate initial cost of about $21/MWh. The Columbia City Council unanimously approved the contract to purchase up to 35 MW of wind energy beginning in 2021. [Columbia Missourian]

¶ Since President Trump took office, at least six coal-plant closures have been announced, totaling more than 6,200 MW in capacity. As he announced withdrawal from the Paris agreement, he hailed a new mine opening in Pennsylvania, but that mine’s output will not be burned for power. It will be coking coal, for producing of steel. [Ars Technica]

Coking coal (Photo: Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ President Trump convened Republican leaders at the White House for a conversation about their legislative agenda, largely on health care and the debt ceiling. But during the meeting Trump also suggested his border wall could be built with solar panels as a way to pay for it, according to sources familiar with the conversation. [CNN]

¶ As the first state to implement subsidies to support struggling nuclear power plants through zero-emission credits, New York has caught the attention of other states confronting similar challenges. New York’s strategy to save its dying nuclear power industry is now spreading to other states, alarming opponents of the plan. [City & State]

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