July 3 Energy News

July 3, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Wind Power Cost vs Fossil Fuels: Who Just Won?” • Over the last three years the cost of wind power generation has dropped by more than 20%. Today it is as cheap as coal and does not need subsidies to be competitive. And that does not consider the fact that wind power does not create any pollution as it captures power. [The Green Optimistic]

Offshore wind construction

Science and Technology:

¶ Stephen Hawking is not mincing words: President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris Accord could cause irreversible harm to the planet. “Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid.” [HuffPost]

¶ Using surplus electricity from renewables to make hydrogen fuel is starting a new era for all forms of heavy transport. Trucks, trains and ships using hydrogen fuel cells for propulsion are no longer just theoretically possible: they have reached the trial stage. And using hydrogen for fuel has come to make economic sense. [eco-business.com]

An Electric train could be converted to use hydrogen
and fuel cells. (David Gubler, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Iran says French energy giant Total is to sign a contract worth close to $5 billion (£3.8 billion) to develop an offshore gas field in the Gulf. Oil ministry officials said Total would get a 50.1% stake in the deal, China’s CNPC would hold a 30% stake and Iran’s Petropars 19.9%. The deal will be signed in Tehran on July 3. [BBC]

¶ In Nigeria a 25-year-old woman developed a mini-grid powered by biogas made from organic waste, and the power it generates benefits 550 local people. The Rije biogas station produces the 20 kW of electricity and uses 1.2 tonnes of organic waste daily. Agricultural, kitchen, and human waste are all used to generate electricity. [Cleanleap]

Building a bio-digester

¶ Victoria looks set to get another wind farm, after New Zealand-based outfit Tilt Renewables confirmed it would proceed with plans to develop a 54-MW project in the state’s west. Tilt says the company has decided that the $105 million Salt Creek wind farm, near Mortlake, would go ahead without a power purchase agreement. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Germany raised the proportion of its power produced by renewable energy to 35% in the first half of 2017 from 33% the previous year, according to a renewable energy association. Germany has got up to 85% of its electricity from renewable sources on certain sunny or windy days, as it aims to phase out nuclear power by 2022. [Business Insider]

Wind turbines in the North sea (Photo: Thomson Reuters)

¶ Alberta’s NDP government has not wasted time on climate change policies. In the past six months, Albertans now pay a carbon tax and they are eligible for subsidies on efficiency improvements and solar panels. The coal phase-out has been negotiated, and an auction is underway to bring more renewable power to the province. [CBC.ca]

¶ Some 134 million people in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region do not have access to electricity, and for many of those who have electricity, the supply is unstable. Off-grid distributed energy systems using renewable energy could be a solution to this problem, thanks to the increasing availability of renewable energy technologies. [BRINK]

Green School, Indonesia (Photo: Putu Sayoga | Getty Images)

¶ The estimated completion cost for the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactors is now £19.6 billion, up from £18 billion pounds last September. EDF now says, however, that the final bill could come to more than £20 billion pounds ($26 billion). There are also risks of further delays for the two reactors. The nuclear plant is on the coast of Somerset. [BloombergQuint]

¶ Jan De Nul jack-up vessel Vole au Vent has completed turbine installation at Suomen Hyötytuuli’s 42-MW Tahkoluoto offshore wind farm off the coast of Finland. The vessel successfully lifted the project’s 10th Siemens 4.2-MW turbine onto its foundations slightly ahead of schedule. First power is expected on the grid this week. [reNews]

Turbine installation (Photo: Suomen Hyötytuuli)

US:

¶ Offshore wind power could provide 15 million homes in New York state with energy, according to a local authority body. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said wind farms in the Atlantic could transform the renewable energy landscape. It is working on a roadmap for offshore wind development. [Innovators Magazine]

¶ One of South Dakota’s most populated counties is deciding the future of wind power within its borders, and the outcome could provide direction for the future of wind generation in the entire state. Voters in Lincoln County will decide whether to keep the strict setback rules for wind projects county commissioners had adopted. [Sioux City Journal]

Wind turbines at sunset (Photo: USGS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ With the country seemingly paralyzed by polarization, two separate announcements in California and Washington, DC last week heralded strange bedfellows coming together to advocate for climate dividends. They include environmentalists in California and big business – including some of the largest oil and gas companies. [HuffPost]

¶ In New York, capital markets this year are more willing than ever to finance green energy projects, according to a panel at the Renewable Energy Conference. The Business Council of New York State and the Hudson Renewable Energy Institute hosted the event at Marist College. Panelists spoke of pent-up demand pushing a new market. [RTO Insider]

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