September 12 Energy News

September 12, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Liddell power station: The true cost of keeping the coal-fired plant open” • Australian governments have long believed the private sector should run the electricity sector. Now, the government is trying to find a way to keep the ageing Liddell plant open, just as AGL’s chief executive said the company could find the best solution by closing it. [ABC Online]

Liddell power plant (Photo: AAP, Dean Sewell | Greenpeace)

¶ “Hurricane Irma: Climate change deniers’ chickens come home to roost” • Recently, US right-wing media personality Rush Limbaugh was still enthusiastically pushing the climate change denial barrow. Two days later, he was evacuated from his Palm Beach residence along with his neighbours at Mar-a-Lago. He has not been heard from since. [Independent Australia]

¶ “Hinkley nuclear power is being priced out by renewables” • Hinkley Point C nuclear power station was conceived in the days when offshore wind cost £150 per MWh and a few misguided souls, some of them government ministers, thought a barrel of oil was heading towards $200. Now, the obscenity of its costs is plainer than ever. [The Guardian]

Hinkley Point C (Photo: Stefan Wermuth | Reuters)

Human Stupidity:

¶ Climate change denials amid catastrophic hurricanes are a reminder that humans are not a particularly smart species, Pope Francis said while flying over areas in the Caribbean decimated by Hurricane Irma. “Man is stupid,” he said, referencing a passage in the Old Testament. “When you don’t want to see, you don’t see.” [HuffPost UK]

World:

¶ Finnish developer Suomen Hyötytuuli announced that it had completed the 42-MW Tahkoluoto wind farm in the Baltic Sea, Finland’s first offshore wind farm. Finland has a relatively small amount of renewable energy capacity, with around 3 GW of large-scale hydropower, 2 GW of bioenergy, and 1.6 GW of onshore wind energy. [CleanTechnica]

Tahkoluoto wind farm construction

¶ Japanese company Pacifico Energy has started construction of the 42-MW Iwaki solar plant in Japan. The project will be built on 50 hectares of land in Fukushima prefecture and will generate approximately 48,000 MWh a year of electricity for Tohoku Electric Power Company. The Iwaki project is expected to come online in August 2019. [reNews]

¶ China’s first commercial concentrated solar power plant is doing a test run, its operator said. It is to send power to the grid by the end of this year. The Delingha solar thermal power station, operated by the China General Nuclear Power Group in northwestern province of Qinghai, made its first test run with all equipment running normally. [solarpaces.org]

Delingha concentrating solar project

¶ Danish offshore wind firm DONG Energy was awarded a contract to build 1.4 GW of capacity at its Hornsea 2 wind power project during a British auction for renewables, creating the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The guaranteed price for the power was set 50% lower than the allocations at auction just two years ago. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Australia’s biggest utility AGL, which has committed to phasing out coal by 2050, has said it is likely to replace the capacity provided by one ageing power station with batteries, peaking plants, demand response and pumped hydro. The utility said it will spend US$2 billion across networks to “build new energy supply.” [Energy Storage News]

Panels at an AGL solar plant in New South Wales (Image: AGL)

¶ Work began on the $10 million first phase of a solar power plant in Cambodia in a joint venture of Cambodian, Thai and Lao investors. They plan to invest $400 million in solar power projects producing about 225 MW for businesses, factories, and industrial zones. Cambodia aims to provide power to all 14,168 villages by 2020. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

US:

¶ The ongoing natural disasters ravaging the western and gulf coasts of the US should serve as a dire warning about climate change, according to Washington Gov Jay Inslee. He said the damage of hurricanes wildfires show that “we are seeing, in real time, a slow-motion disaster movie that we are now living through that is not hypothetical.” [CNN]

Damage done by Hurricane Irma

¶ The Turkey Point nuclear plant in Homestead, along the southeast Florida coast, was in the midst of a region with 5 million power outages –”unprecedented,” according to Florida Power and Light CEO Eric Silagy – yet kept operating even though the risk of a serious accident rises significantly in a power outage, according to the NRC. [Newsweek]

¶ About 6.5 million homes in Florida, two-thirds of the total, are without power after Hurricane Irma cut a deadly path through the state, officials say. Relief operations are under way and engineers are working to restore power, but many areas remain stranded. The Keys and western parts of the state bore the brunt of the category-four hurricane. [BBC]

Accident linked to Hurricane Irma

¶ A Lawrence Berkeley National Lab study published in Nature Energy finds that wind power in the United States is responsible for saving tens of billions to hundreds of billions of dollars from prevented health care costs and saved lives from 2007–2015. The savings come from reduced pollution that causes asthma attacks and other diseases. [CleanTechnica]

¶ GE Renewable Energy has unveiled a new 4.8-MW turbine with an 158-meter rotor diameter for the onshore wind market. The 4.8-158 model is GE’s first onshore machine in the 4-MW space and is available with tips heights up to 240 meters. The turbine is suited to those regions that have low to medium wind speed. [reNews]

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