July 18 Energy News

July 18, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “How China Floated to the Top in Solar” • After years of growth and pollution, China is changing tact and embracing sustainability – no longer beholden to the singular tenet of growth at any cost. China is now the world’s largest renewable energy investor. And the US has relinquished its leadership role, following the policies of Donald Trump. [Time]

Fisherman and solar panels (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “Big oil’s electric fight against coal and nuclear” • The powerful American Petroleum Institute is fighting nuclear power subsidies, opposed to any efforts to expand renewable electricity, and telling the Trump administration that its study on the power grid better not hurt natural gas in an effort to help coal and nuclear energy. [Axios]

¶ “Big oil sees salvation in gas, but what if it’s wrong?” • Oil executives are pitching natural gas, but with the sharply falling costs of renewable technologies, some experts are warning that the outlook may not be so rosy. Forecasters are beginning to talk about peak gas demand, spurred by the growth of alternative power supplies. [Energy Voice]

Oil refinery valves (Photo: Shawn Baldwin | Bloomberg)

¶ “Rise of energy storage set to drive down energy prices, McKinsey says” • Grid and power operators face the potential of disruption much sooner than many anticipate, according to a McKinsey & Company study. It explores the rapid rise of battery storage systems, and their potential impact on consumers’ behavior and power operators. [Consultancy.uk]

World:

¶ A Scottish renewable energy leader teamed up with a Welsh organisation, YnNi Llyn, to develop a tidal energy project off the Llyn Peninsula in north Wales. Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation has been awarded an Agreement for Lease for the initiative. This enables the company to start site surveys and feasibility studies. [The National]

Work at Bardsey Sound in north Wales

¶ El Salvador’s energy watchdog Siget announced that the tariff of electricity will be reduced by 3.09% in the quarter from July 15 to October 15. Siget explained that the price drop was mainly due to an increase of 22.9% of power production from hydro sources and the connection to the grid of a 60-MW solar power plant. [pv magazine]

¶ A 40-MW park will be built at Woodington Farm, near Romsey, Hampshire, on land surrounding Hive Energy’s head office. Permission was granted for the park for 25 years subject to a number of conditions, including the restoration of the site to its original state. The project is expected to supply energy to about 9,100 homes. [BBC]

Woodington Farm (Hive Energy photo)

¶ Despite its polar climate and its proximity with the North Pole, the Canadian province of Nunavut has decided to support the installation of small-sized PV and wind power generators through net metering. The program will be open to residential and municipal customers’ renewable energy power stations not exceeding 10 kW. [pv magazine]

US:

¶ Long Island businesses, unions, environmental groups, and elected officials joined with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to support New York state’s offshore wind plans. The coalition came together at a news conference at the Long Island Association offices in advance of a public meeting hosted NYSERDA. [reNews]

Long Island (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Green Mountain Power, the largest utility in Vermont, is promoting another aggressive clean energy offer to its customers. Now through September 30, GMP customers can visit Freedom Nissan in South Burlington and claim a $10,000 rebate on the purchase of a new 2017 Nissan LEAF, by presenting a special code supplied by GMP. [CleanTechnica]

¶ It has been more than a month since President Trump announced a withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement. Part of that agreement included a goal of replacing coal-fired plants with natural gas and renewable energy. But in Idaho, there is a move away from coal energy, and this is largely driven by the economy. [Boise State Public Radio]

Boardman Coal plant close in 2020 (Nigel Duara | AP Images)

¶ By early 2018, Florida Power & Light Company will have almost doubled its use of clean solar energy through the construction of eight new solar parks. With each station producing 74.5 MW, 120,000 Floridian homes will be powered statewide. The new power stations resulted from the lower solar power costs. [The Independent Florida Alligator]

Western energy imbalance market

¶ Seven electricity providers in the western US and Canada plan to join the California Independent System Operator’s western energy imbalance market. CAISO dispatches generating units every five minutes to balance supply and demand. The rapid response allows for better integration of wind and solar resources. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ ThinkProgress obtained a copy of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s grid study, and it has many surprises  for those who are not energy experts. They may be unpleasant surprises to Perry and the White House. For instance, a large fraction of America’s aging fleet of coal and nuclear plants are simply not economic to operate anymore. [RenewEconomy]

¶ States’ authority to enact clean energy policy was significantly bolstered last week in an important federal district court decision. The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a challenge from fossil fuel companies that objected to an Illinois program to support nuclear generation because it hurt their bottom line. [Solar Industry]

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