September 6 Energy News

September 6, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World” • At their height in the 1950s, mines in the Ruhr Valley employed about 600,000 workers, entwining the region’s identity with coal. Today, only two hard coal mines remain, and in 2018 they’ll both be shut down. But the miners have new jobs. [Scientific American]

Power plant (Credit: Krisztian Bocsi | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ In a paper published in July, James Hansen said that because of continued inaction since the Paris agreement was reached, limiting carbon emissions will no longer be enough. Now, he says, active measures to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will be required. And those measures will impose staggering expenses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Two recent reports indicate that the cost of wind power will continue to decrease, making it one of the most affordable green alternatives on the market. The US DOE’s Wind Technologies Market Report and a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory both say wind technology and efficiency continues to improve. [Interesting Engineering]

Offshore wind farm (Source: Rob Faulkner | Wikipedia)

World:

¶ Germany would have to shut 25 GW of coal-fired power capacity, about half its current total, by 2030 to meet carbon-cutting targets agreed under the Paris climate deal, the Deputy Economy Minister said. He told an energy conference that the measures would have to be worked out by the new government after this month’s general election. [Reuters Africa]

¶ The annual report from trade body Oil & Gas UK said 60,000 direct and indirect jobs were lost across the industry in 2016, more than the 40,000 it had predicted. The report said the sector could lose another 13,000 jobs in 2017. The oil and gas industry still supports more than 300,000 jobs in the UK, but that is 150,000 fewer than the peak in 2014. [BBC]

Oil platform (PA)

¶ In South Korea, hybrid plants with solar and storage are in high demand. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction announced that is has constructed a solar energy & storage hybrid power plant by integrating a 300-kW solar generation system with a 1-MWh energy storage system on the rooftop of its Changwon head office. [pv magazine International]

¶ Australia’s energy market operator warned that the country faces more blackouts over the coming southern hemisphere summer with the closure of a major coal-fired power station, even with the world’s biggest battery in place. The report will be key to the federal government’s decision on how to set a clean energy target beyond 2020. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Transmission tower

¶ In anticipation of auctions that may be held in Portugal over the next years, several projects for solar parks have been submitted to authorities recently. The latest is a 20-MW PV plant planned for Vidigueira, in southern Portugal. The town council said the plant is expected to generate around 35 GWh per year. [pv magazine International]

¶ The Norwegian municipality of Arendal pledged to become 100% climate neutral. It is the world’s first municipality to join the UN’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, which means it will measure and reduce emissions “to the greatest extent possible” and offset other emissions. Municipal operations have been climate neutral since 2008. [Energy Live News]

Arendal (Image: Shutterstock)

US:

¶ E.ON has started constructing its Texas Waves power storage project. The 20-MW, 5-MWh storage facility is being built on the sites of the pre-existing E.ON wind farms Pyron and Inadale in West Texas. As an integral part of the wind farms, Texas Waves will be able to react quickly for the network operator as supply changes are needed. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Greenwood Energy has closed on $52.8 million of tax equity and debt financing for a 26-MW portfolio of solar PV projects. US Bancorp Community Development Corporation is providing tax equity financing, as Santander Bank provides debt financing. Greenwood Energy has an 84-MW solar portfolio with projects in Florida, Vermont and New York. [PV-Tech]

Solar project in Vermont (Credit: Greenwood Energy)

¶ A major Wyoming wind project designed to deliver energy to California faces growing competition from solar power. Solar development alone could succeed in meeting California’s renewable energy standard, which will require half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, Wyoming legislators were told. [Redwood Times]

¶ The Illinois Department of Natural Resources granted Kansas-based Woolsey Companies a permit to begin fracking at a site in White County, despite opposition from environmental groups saying the plan was faulty. They are taking the agency to task, saying demanding so little transparency in the permitting process is a gift to potential polluters. [WSIU]

Pyramid State Park, Illinois

¶ A partnership between the city of Washington, DC, and nonprofit GRID Alternatives is looking to give residents from underserved areas the skills they need to build careers while providing low-income families with the benefits of solar panels. After training, area residents will install solar panels on 300 low-income homes. [Atlanta Black Star]

¶ Dominion Energy has paused development activities on a fifth reactor at the North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia, according to a company spokesperson. The move comes amid ever-growing scrutiny now that construction on two reactors in South Carolina has stopped and plans for others in the region have been scrapped. [Southeast Energy News]

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