July 11 Energy News

July 11, 2017

World:

¶ EDF has floated out the first of five gravity-base foundations for its 41.5-MW Blyth offshore wind demonstration project off the Northumberland coast. EDF said they will be installed using a “float and submerge” method – the first time this process has been used for offshore turbines. Each foundation weighs over 15,000 tonnes. [reNews]

Blyth foundation (Credit EDF)

¶ China’s electric power generation capacity from renewable sources now represents 20.5% of the world’s total while the US share is 20%. China is now the world’s leading producer of electricity from renewable sources. Of the world’s annual growth of renewable resources last year, China contributed 40%, and the US contributed 16.9%. [24/7 Wall St.]

¶ New data has confirmed the effects of a second rooftop solar boom taking place in Australia – driven by falling technology costs and increasingly volatile electricity prices – with nearly one quarter of all Australian households found to have invested in solar panels. Uptake is was strongest in South Australia, where it is at 32.8% [CleanTechnica]

Percentages of homes with solar installations

¶ Sonnen unveiled what it calls a major assault on the traditional energy utility business model. It introduced a battery offer modeled on what consumers get from a mobile phone company. An average house consuming around 10,000 kWh a year, or nearly 30 kWh a day, can cut its annual bill of around A$3,400 to just A$480 a year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A new UK company, UTM Consultants, will provide specialist staff to offshore sectors, including renewables. It aims to source and supply the staff required to deliver remote operated vehicles, survey, inspection, repair and maintenance projects to the oil and gas, renewable, hydrographic, marine, telecommunications, and power sectors. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm (reNews image)

¶ Power generation and electricity grid expansions took in $718 billion, 42% of the $1.7 trillion invested in energy last year, according to a report by the International Energy Agency. Oil, gas and coal supply by contrast brought in $708 billion, a drop from last year reflecting lower prices and profits by major oil companies. [Bloomberg]

¶ The Italian solar market has grown by 19% in the first five months of this year with around 204 MW of newly installed capacity, according to provisional numbers released by the Italian renewable energy association Anie Rinnovabili. It based its information on data provided by the country’s grid operator Terna. [pv magazine]

Solar park by Meeco in central Italy (Meeco image)

¶ The head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority told TEPCO’s top management he questions their attitude toward decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the company’s ability to resume operating its other reactors. “I feel a sense of danger,” NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said during a special meeting. [The Japan Times]

¶ The Polish government has contracted around 4.725 TWh of power in the renewable energy auction it held on June 29, a local PV analyst said. Bidding was open to PV, wind, and hydropower projects up to 1 MW, and solar is expected to have won the largest share of the 472 awarded projects. Bids ranged from $52.6/MWh to $107.6/MWh. [pv magazine]

Installing solar panels in Poland (Greenpeace Polska)

US:

¶ The US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord has been described as a major blow to the global carbon reduction effort. But a report from Morgan Stanley argues the move could cause barely a ripple, in the face of the “seismic shift” in renewable energy economics that is rapidly making wind and solar the cheapest new power sources. [RenewEconomy]

¶ In Massachusetts, Co-op Power has built up its credentials steadily over the past decade. In a significant milestone, it mounted a $4.3 million community-based fundraising campaign for a biodiesel plant set to go online early next year. It has supported hundreds of rooftop solar installations, and fueled the region’s green job growth. [ilsr.org]

New England countryside

¶ John Laing Group is acquiring a 90.5% interest in the 100.5-MW Buckthorn wind farm in Texas. The project will have 26 Vestas V126-3.45MW turbines with 87-meter hub heights and three V117 3.6MW machines with 91.5-meter hub heights. NRG Energy is developing the project and will operate it. It is set to be operational this year. [reNews]

¶ Dominion Energy Virginia has signed an agreement and strategic partnership with DONG Energy to build a 12-MW offshore wind demonstration project off the coast of Virginia Beach. The Coastal Virginia offshore development will consist of two 6-MW turbines. It will be built approximately 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. [reNews]

DONG Energy wind farm (DONG Energy image)

¶ This summer, members and employees of Washington Electric Coop, a 100% renewable, 100% member-owned electric utility serving communities in north-central Vermont, are eligible to receive incentives totaling $10,000 on the purchase of a new 2017 Nissan Leaf all electric vehicle from Freedom Nissan in South Burlington. [vtdigger.org]

¶ Invenergy has officially pushed back from 2019 to 2020 the opening of fossil fuel-burning power plant it has proposed to build in Burrillville, Rhode Island. The Chicago-based company did not give a reason for the delay, but observers have long suspected that Invenergy would not meet its 2019 target date because of opposition. [The Providence Journal]

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