June 30 Energy News

June 30, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Humanity must put carbon dioxide emissions on a downward slope by 2020 to have a realistic shot at capping global warming at well under two degrees Celsius, the bedrock goal of the Paris climate accord, experts warned in a commentary published in the science journal Nature. A world that heats up beyond that threshold will face devastating impacts. [NEWS.com.au]

Devastation (Picture: Kevin Frayer)

World:

¶ Renewable energy analysts MAKE Consulting published its China Wind Power Outlook 2017 report this week. Over the next ten years, China is expected to install an annual average of more than 25 GW of new wind capacity, resulting in a cumulative growth across the decade of about 403 GW, according to the report’s figures. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In 2016, China’s State Council released guidelines forbidding the construction of “bizarre” and “odd-shaped” buildings lacking character or cultural heritage. They want a focus on “economic, green and beautiful.” Newly unveiled plans for Liuzhou Forest City, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti for southern China, seem to fit the bill. [CNN]

Liuzhou forest city (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ In line with government plans to make India energy self-sufficient, the energy minister released a study on integrating 175 GW of renewable energy the grid by 2022. The study, developed under the US-India bilateral program ‘Greening the Grid’, confirms that goal as viable and identifies a course of actions that would favor it. [Indiainfoline]

¶ In Austria, new law will provide €30 million in incentives for solar-plus-storage installations for the period 2018-2019. This means that for the first time Austria will provide incentives for PV storage at a national level. The new regulation also will make it possible to build community solar plants in multi-occupied buildings. [pv magazine]

Rooftop PV system in Austria (Photo: Mea Solar)

¶ Output from onshore wind power in the UK stood at 7.7 TWh in the first quarter of 2017, according to government figures. This was up 20% in the first quarter of 2017. Onshore wind was boosted by a capacity increase of 23% or 2.2 GW on the first three months of last year. Increased onshore output came, despite lower wind speeds. [reNews]

¶ Global research institute McKinsey & Company analyzed current energy storage prices and concluded that commercial customers are already feeling the economic benefits of cheaper batteries and falling prices for lithium-ion technology. Battery-pack costs now down to less than $230/kWh, compared to about $1,000/kWh in 2010. [RenewEconomy]

Battery storage

¶ Australian demand for power from the grid is expected to be roughly flat over the next 20 years even with a 30% rise in population, thanks to rooftop solar and energy efficiency, the Australian Energy Market Operator said. Power demand from the grid is expected to inch up to about 190,000 GWh by 2037 from 185,000 GWh in 2016. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ GE Energy Financial Services has so far raised ¥46.3 billion (€360 million, $414 million) for a solar energy fund in Japan to invest in local solar power projects. Development Bank of Japan has committed one third of the investment, with additional backing by a group of Japanese institutional investors. The fund has already invested in solar assets. [reNews]

Kumenan solar array (GE image)

¶ The Visayan Electric Company is sourcing over half of its power supply from renewable energy sources, making Metro Cebu as one of the “most sustainable” local government units in the Philippines. Most of its power comes from geothermal installations. About 32% of the Philippine electricity comes from renewable sources. [Philippine Star]

US:

¶ Rocky Mountain Power is making regulatory filings in Utah and two other states seeking approval to expand the its wind power generation by 2020. The expansion project is part of a $3.5 billion spending package that includes building new wind turbines, improving the existing wind fleet, and building 140 miles of transmission lines. [KSL.com]

Wyoming wind farm (Photo: Alan Rogers, Casper Star-Tribune)

¶ Legislation designed to encourage more solar energy in North Carolina is in jeopardy after the state House and Senate passed different versions of the bill. A key sticking point is a provision the Senate added that would halt new wind power projects in the state until the end of 2020. The House bill was an example of rare compromise. [WFAE]

¶ NextEra Energy Resources plans to install GE turbines at the 90-MW Cottonwood wind farm now under construction in southern Nebraska. The project, located in Webster County, will comprise 40 2.3-MW and 1.7-MW machines. Work on the ground has already begun, and turbine erection is slated to start in September. [reNews]

GE 1.75-MW wind turbine (GE image)

¶ President Donald Trump on Thursday touted a list of actions that he said will allow the United States to achieve “new era of American energy dominance,” largely by promoting fossil fuels. He did not mention renewable power, and environmental groups decried the actions as gifts to corporate polluters that will harm the climate. [RenewEconomy]

¶ President Donald Trump frequently used the word “wealth” on Wednesday when describing natural resources like coal, natural gas, and heavy crude oil, before laying out six ways American businesses could sell off those resources for profit. Trump wants to “revitalize the nuclear energy sector,” but aside from that, he is just promoting fossil fuels. [Inverse]

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