September 18 Energy News

September 18, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Scientific models saved lives from Harvey and Irma. They can from climate change too.” • The impacts of hurricanes Harvey and Irma were blunted because weather models accurately predicted the hurricane paths days in advance. Scientific models for climate change use the same core physics as those for weather prediction. [The Guardian]

Evacuation ahead of Irma (Photo: Stephen M. Dowell | AP)

¶ “The transformational power of corporate clean energy purchasing” • This summer, over 1,500 businesses with annual revenues of $1.6 trillion signed the “We Are Still In” declaration, pledging to help the US deliver on its Paris Agreement targets. Their unprecedented coalition shows the importance of non-state actors for climate action. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Accountants are the real renewable energy heroes” • Engineers may have cut the cost of solar modules and new wind generation by more than half in five years, but the true heroes of the renewables revolution may be a group that is rarely recognized: accountants. Consider the growth of corporate power-purchase agreements to see why. [The National]

Renewable generation (Ken James | Bloomberg)

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists have learned that urban trees  –  or even just a single tree  –  can help homes and office buildings save energy by blunting the wind’s chilling power. Trees keep pedestrians more comfortable as they walk down the street, and they help lower building heating costs by cutting the wind. Even trees without leaves can slow the wind down. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Despite the Central Pollution Control Board directive to all state pollution boards saying that hydropower projects of less than 25 MW are exempt from having to go through lengthy application processes, the Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board continues to put projects of independent power producers on hold for years, developers say. [The Tribune]

Small hydro project in India

¶ Ho Chi Minh City has strong solar radiation, ranging from 4.3 kWh/m2 per day to 6.6 kWh/m2 per day, according to statistics from city authorities. The HCM City Power Corporation has installed four solar power plants with total installed capacity of 226 kW. Now it is looking to install about 800 kW more by year’s end. [VietNamNet Bridge]

¶ The Indian government has decided to postpone the second wind power auction for 1 GW capacity, which was scheduled for 19 September, 2017, to 4 October, 2017 instead. The government is waiting for clarification on inter-state power transmission connectivity from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. [Energy Sector News in India]

Wind turbines in India

¶ Robinsons Land Corp has unveiled plans to install solar farms on the roof decks of more of its shopping malls, making it the dominant renewable energy generator among Philippine property developers. RLC is now in the process of installing 10,000 solar panels, sufficient to generate almost 4 million kWh, in four of its shopping malls. [Inquirer.net]

¶ Siemens Gamesa has won a 300-MW turbine order for the Xilinhot wind complex in Inner Mongolia, China. The turbine manufacturer will deliver 150 of its G114-2MW machines starting in the second quarter of next year. Full operations are expected at the end of 2018. The deal is “one of its largest ever in this market”, said Siemens Gamesa. [reNews]

G114 turbine (Siemens Gamesa)

¶ The new CDU/FDP coalition government in North-Rhine Westphalia has issued an amended decree with new setback distance rules for wind farms. Developers would need to consider a minimum distance of 1.5 km from municipalities and would no longer be allowed to install wind farms in forests. A comment period lasts until October 20. [reNews]

¶ The National Aluminium Company has commissioned wind power plants with over 100 MW total capacity in Rajasthan and Maharastra, at a cost of Rs 669 crore ($100.56 million). The company is considering sites for another windpower plant of 50 MW capacity and plans to set up a 20-MW solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm on a beach

¶ Renewable energy sources will exceed the level of fossil sources in Finland next year thanks to current investments, according to an official at a Finnish center for business and environment. Progress is much faster than expected. The current government had set the target of getting half of Finnish energy production from renewable sources by 2030. [Xinhua]

US:

¶ Last week, the US Energy Department was gushing about its latest report on solar costs, with a record-breaking 29% decline in utility-scale solar leading the charge. Enjoy it while you can. A big tariff decision is coming down the pike as early as next week, and that could throw a Hoover Dam’s worth of cold water on the US solar industry. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Photo vial NREL)

¶ Virginia regulators rejected Appalachian Power’s bid to offer electricity from 100% renewable sources at an undetermined rate, as APCo failed to prove the tariff “is in the public interest and that its costs and associated rate are reasonable, just, and not likely to unreasonably prejudice or disadvantage renewable energy customers.” [Southeast Energy News]

¶ An attorney for a legislative panel investigating the failure of the VC Summer nuclear power project in South Carolina said a report on the reactors was “designed to never see the light of day.” He said it shows that the owners intended to keep the report secret, while they knew for two years that the reactors could not be completed as planned. [WBTW]

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