July 10 Energy News

July 10, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “25 Fossil Fuel Producers Responsible for Half Global Emissions in Past 3 Decades” • A handful of big fossil fuel producers have been responsible for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions in the years since climate change seized the world’s attention as a looming crisis, according to a report issued by CDP. [InsideClimate News]

Petroleum production (Cole Burston | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Everything you need to know about Tesla’s battery in South Australia” • Billionaire Elon Musk has put his money where his mouth is and has promised to solve South Australia’s energy issues by building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery. His promise: If he fails to deliver on the battery within 100 days, it will be free. [NEWS.com.au]

¶ “Global Meltdown? Nuclear Power’s Annus Horribilis” • Two of the industry’s worst-ever years have been in the past decade and there will be many more bad years ahead as the trickle of closures of ageing reactors becomes a flood ‒ the International Energy Agency expects almost 200 reactor closures between 2014 and 2040. [New Matilda]

Old nuclear and new wind (Image: Jeanne Menjoulet, Flickr)

World:

¶ Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to spend up to $1 billion a year on its New Energies division as the transition toward renewable power and electric cars accelerates. Shell sees opportunities in hydrogen fuel-cells; liquefied natural gas; and next-generation biofuels for air travel, shipping and heavy freight, for which batteries are not adequate. [Bloomberg]

¶ The world might be heading for an oil supply shortage following a steep drop in investments and a lack of fresh conventional discoveries, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser told a conference in Istanbul. He said we should not assume that shale oil and alternative energy can be developed quickly enough to replace oil and gas. [CNBC]

Oil site in Saudi Arabia (Reza | Getty Images)

¶ For the second time, South Africa’s power utility Eskom refused to sign power purchase agreements with renewable energy project developers. The problem is that poor government planning has lead to an oversupply. With its decision not to sign contracts with planned projects, investments worth $4.45 billion are now stranded. [CleanTechnica]

¶ As high energy price rise across Australia, more households look toward renewable energy solutions. Closure of cheap coal-fired power stations and a high price of gas have been a key driver in the rising cost of electricity. One company put up five times as many solar installations in the first six months of 2017 as it did for the whole of 2016. [NEWS.com.au]

Sonnen home battery system

¶ Apple Inc said Monday it will spend 6 billion Danish crowns ($921 million) on a new data center in southern Denmark near the German border, its second in the country to run entirely on renewable energy. Facebook Inc in January also announced plans to build a data center in Denmark, only its third outside of the United States. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ The 100-MW/129-MWh battery bank Tesla will build in South Australia will smooth out power fluctuations from the Hornsdale Wind Farm and provide power during peak demand hours, a welcome relief for hot summers. The batteries are the same type of Li-ion cells that have logged more than a billion miles in Tesla vehicles. [ENGINEERING.com]

Tesla Battery system to be built in Australia (Courtesy of Tesla)

¶ France is to close up to 17 nuclear power stations to reach the government’s target of 50% nuclear power by 2025, the Ecology Minister said on Monday. He presented a “climate plan,” though it was short on details on reaching the commitment to reduce the amount of electricity produced in nuclear reactors from the current 75% to 50%. [RFI]

¶ Australia has recorded a significant “bounce-back” in renewable energy investment in the second quarter of 2017, with $1.5 billion poured into big solar and wind projects from April to June, a 77% year-on-year increase. The Australian up-tick in investment is one of a number worldwide highlighted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [RenewEconomy]

Australian wind farm

US:

¶ Last year nearly 40% of US wind contracts were signed by corporate power users, along with university and military customers. That’s up from just 5% in 2013, according to the American Wind Energy Association. These users also accounted for 10% of the market for large scale solar projects in 2016, up from 0% two years earlier. [Yahoo7 News]

¶ US Energy Information Administration said that in March, and April, US monthly electricity generation from utility-scale renewable sources exceeded nuclear generation for the first time since July 1984. What contributed to the rise? The report said it was “record generation from both wind and solar.” This resulted from new installations. [Tech Xplore]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (Credit: EIA)

¶ As part of an awareness campaign to end human trafficking, the two friends have broken the record for the fastest coast-to-coast drive in an electric car. They set out from Los Angeles on July 1st and arrived in New York City 51 hours and 47 minutes later, beating the previous best (race driver Alex Roy’s 55 hours) by a comfortable margin. [Engadget]

¶ The goal of Appalachian Power Company is to rely 50% on coal and 50% on renewable energy, according to the company’s president. Businesses that wish to set up in West Virginia often have their own goals for greenhouse gas emissions. They will go elsewhere if Appalachian Power cannot offer ways to reduce emissions. [West Virginia MetroNews]

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