September 7 Energy News

September 7, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Biggest threat to Australia’s energy supply – fossil fuel ideologues” • Australia’s Energy Market Operator might count the failure of large fossil fuel generators in heatwaves as one of the biggest threats to Australia’s electricity supply in coming years, but what about the threat from fossil fuel ideologues who control the generating assets? [RenewEconomy]

Transmission lines in a heat wave

¶ “Our Hurricane Risk Models Are Dangerously Out-of-Date” • More than half of the deluge associated with Tropical Storm Harvey happened “outside of any mapped flood zone,” even including 500-year events, in areas with only “minimal flood hazard.” The Houston area suffered from something more than random bad luck. [MIT Technology Review]

Science and Technology:

¶ The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has paired up with the University of Toronto to develop technology to convert carbon dioxide and water into hydrogen-rich syngas, a basic building block for high value chemicals and fuels, including synthetic gasoline. The process can be fueled with renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Improving synthetic carbon-neutral fuel technology

World:

¶ France plans to pass legislation by the end of 2017 to phase out all oil and gas exploration and production on its mainland and overseas territories by 2040, according to a draft bill. It will no longer issue exploration permits and the extension of current concessions will be gradually limited until they are phased out by 2040. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ Every new Jaguar Land Rover vehicle line launched from 2020 will be electric or hybrid, the company has announced. The carmaker said that the first of the new models would be a fully electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-Pace, to go on sale in 2018. In July, Chinese-owned firm Volvo said all its new models would have electric motors from 2019. [BBC]

Jaguar I-Pace (Nick Dimbleby | Jaguar Land Rover)

¶ One of Birmingham’s biggest office blocks is enhancing its environmental credentials after deciding to switch to 100% renewable energy sources. The move follows a £66 million refinancing deal under a Green Lending Initiative. The 160,000 sq ft scheme was taken on by Nurton Developments in a dilapidated state and transformed. [Insider Media]

¶ Zorlu Energy has commissioned the first unit of Kizildere III plant, Turkey’s fourth geothermal power project. Installation of the plant in Denizli Province was begun last year, and the plant has now been commissioned by Ministry of Energy. The first unit has a capacity of 99.5 MW. The plant will eventually generate 165 MW. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Kizildere geothermal power plant (source: Zorlu Enerji)

¶ Equis Energy, Asia-Pacific’s largest renewable energy IPP, has been awarded a contract by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy to develop a 70.2-MW solar project in Chiayi County’s Yizhu Township. The project will be Taiwan’s largest solar project, with a capacity of 70.2 MW. It sits on 79.5 hectares of land. [AsiaOne]

¶ A recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis warns that Indonesia’s coal-based electricity strategy risks wasting $76 billion over the next 25 years. New generating technology and changing energy markets are making it easier and cheaper to supply electricity with small distributed power stations. [eco-business.com]

Indonesian power plant (Image: peggydavis66, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ The Irish state-owned electric company, ESB, is planning a major drive into offshore wind farm construction that is likely to run into billions of euros. It says it is planning to develop or acquire the wind farms from next year, ranging from 200 MW to 500 MW, though some could be bigger. The plan is to locate the wind farms in the Irish Sea. [Belfast Telegraph]

US:

¶ Under court order to overhaul its plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, San Diego County released a new proposal for cutting them in August. Among other things, the document would commit the county to using at least 90% renewable energy by 2030. It will hold a series of public workshops on the subject this week. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Alpine Library (Chadd Cady | San Diego Union-Tribune)

¶ GRID Alternatives announced that it received a massive donation from Tesla Energy of a mix of 569 kW of solar panels that will be installed on the rooftops of low-income homes. The donation adds Tesla to an impressive list of donors to GRID Alternatives including Enphase, SunPower, IronRidge, Jinko Solar, and Schneider Electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ohio voters, even including those in coal-producing areas, overwhelmingly support policies encouraging greater renewable energy production and increasing energy efficiency. This includes revising wind turbine set-back rules to accommodate wind farm siting better, according to the statewide poll. [North American Windpower]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ Thanks to community-based energy efficiency programs, Duke Energy has delayed plans to build a natural gas-fired peaker plant in North Carolina. The plant, will now be built in 2027 instead of 2023, as planned, the Citizen-Times reported. Duke said the transition to renewable energy could even eliminate its need entirely. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ Energy firm Florida Power & Light said on Wednesday it could shut its four nuclear reactors in the path of Hurricane Irma before Saturday if the storm stayed on its current path. Irma, which the US National Hurricane Center said was the strongest Atlantic storm on record, is on a somewhat uncertain path toward Florida. [Yahoo7 News]

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