July 17 Energy News

July 17, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Heritage at Risk: How Rising Seas Threaten Ancient Coastal Ruins” • The shores of Scotland’s Orkney Islands are dotted with ruins that date to the Stone Age. But after enduring for millennia, these archaeological sites, along with many others from Easter Island to Jamestown, are facing an existential threat from climate change. [Yale Environment 360]

Ruins on Scotland’s Rousay Island coast (Adam Markham)

World:

¶ Saudi Arabia has plans for a 400-MW wind farm and for further tenders to kick off this year as part of a $50 billion spending program on renewables within six years. The program is intended to help meet the Saudi target of producing enough electricity from renewables to power 3 million homes within six years. [The National]

¶ More than half of India’s gas-based capacity of about 25,139 MW remains stranded due to unavailability of natural gas. To bring respite to 26,000-MW gas and hydro power plants that are stranded, the government is planning to introduce what is called “peaking power policy,” giving distribution companies better ability to manage power. [EnergyInfraPost]

Indian thermal power plant

¶ Commercial vehicles wing of Tata Motors showcased the first Bio-CNG or bio-methane bus at the Urja Utsav event in Pune, Maharashtra. Along with the new alternative fuel bus, Tata Motors also showcased three engines compatible with bio-methane fuel for light, intermediate, and medium commercial vehicles. [Financial Express]

¶ A pioneering project to produce power from hot rocks several kilometers under the ground in Cornwall will begin drilling early next year, if a multimillion-pound fundraising drive succeeds. Abundance, a crowdfunding platform, is launching a bond to raise £5 million for the UK’s first commercial geothermal power station. [The Guardian]

The Earth is hot below the granite boulders of Bodmin Moor
(Nature Picture Library | Getty Images | Nature Picture Library)

¶ The US-based masterminds behind a microgrid in Brooklyn unveiled their first Australian project in South Australia. They say it could herald the start of an industry-changing, renewable energy sharing revolution. The project will see up to 6 MW of distributed solar generation made available on a local peer-to-peer trading platform. [RenewEconomy]

¶ TSO TenneT has awarded Siemens a contract to build and install the 900-MW DolWin6 grid hub in the German North Sea. The grid hub is slated to go online in 2023 and will cost less than €1 billion, TenneT said. Siemens will deploy its direct current compact switchgear technology for DolWin6, greatly reducing its weight and size. [reNews]

DolWin Gamma grid hub (reNews image)

US:

¶ It might sound counterintuitive that the Trump administration is contemplating a “replacement” version of former President Barack Obama’s climate change rules, but that’s what miners and major labor groups are pushing in meetings with the EPA and the White House. They want a Trump Clean Power Plan based on “clean coal.” [Washington Examiner]

¶ Florida generates less solar energy than some cloudier states, including Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. Four electric utilities, which  supply power to around 75% of Florida ratepayers, effectively, control Florida’s power market, dictating how and at what price residents get their energy, and they see rooftop solar as a threat to their bottom line. [CleanTechnica]

Groups funding Consumers for Smart Solar (Source: Energy
and Policy Institute) Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ Last month, the Missouri Supreme Court decided not to review a Western District Court of Appeals opinion that overturned the Public Service Commission’s approval for the Grain Belt Express transmission line. Nevertheless, the PSC could still give the developers a right to take land under eminent domain. [Columbia Daily Tribune]

¶ PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric pitched plans to regulators that include major investments in renewable energy. PacifiCorp would build 1,100 MW of new wind farms in Wyoming and upgrade another 1,000 MW. PGE touted a 525-MW wind farm in the Columbia River Gorge. But there is disagreement on the issue. [OregonLive.com]

PGE’s Tucannon River Wind Farm (Courtesy PGE)

¶ Renewable energy stakeholders have been deeply concerned that the Trump administration will slow or even halt progress on decarbonizing the US economy. However, the DOE continues to roll out new federal investments supporting renewable energy. A new round of $46.2 million has come to fund advanced solar power technology. [Triple Pundit]

¶ Federal regulators signed off on a plan for a nuclear plant proposal in Florida to pump wastewater underground despite concerns the facility could contaminate drinking water. The decision by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board means Florida Power & Light is a “step closer” to obtaining a license for adding two new reactors. [Water Online]

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