September 26 Energy News

September 26, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Wholesale market crisis” • Sustained low wholesale power prices are driving coal, nuclear and even gas plant retirements, pushing independent power producers into the red, and spurring reforms of wholesale market structures. But even PV is not immune to these trends. pv magazine looks at the implications for the solar industry. [pv magazine USA]

Natural gas and electric power

¶ “How Renewable Energy Can Accelerate the Microgrid Revolution” • Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas the US Energy Department has been flooding the media with news about its work on grid resiliency. Much of the message is about the importance of the microgrids that integrate distributed renewable energy resources. [Triple Pundit]

World:

¶ BYD, an auto and battery manufacturer based in China, is expecting that China’s shift to “new energy vehicles” – battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, etc – will be completed by the year 2030, according to recent reports. It will take slightly more than a decade to end reliance on internal combustion engines. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric car

¶ A new major report from The Australia Institute’s newly-formed Climate & Energy Program concluded that Australia needs between 66% and 75% renewable energy by 2030 to meet its Paris Climate Agreement commitments. Otherwise, it will face delaying a necessary transition and increasing the eventual cost to the national economy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Only around 10% of the UK’s original offshore recoverable oil and gas reserves remain, according to a new study from the University of Edinburgh. At current rates of extraction, the UK’s reserves will last another decade or so. Once they run out, it will be necessary for the UK to import essentially all of the fossil fuels it uses. [CleanTechnica]

North Sea oil rig

¶ Enel’s subsidiary Enel Green Power Brasil Participações has begun operation of a total of 546 MW of solar capacity in Brazil. Ituverava, with a capacity of 254 MW, is located in Bahia, and Nova Olinda, with 292 MW capacity, is in Piauí state. They are expected to produce over 1,150 GWh per year once they are fully operational. [pv magazine International]

¶ Algerian renewable energy project developer Soliwind announced that it has started construction of a 1.39-MW rooftop PV system at Oran’s new airport. The system will be located on the airport’s roof and will use 5,362 solar modules. The company expects that the installation cover about 30% of the facility’s power needs. [pv magazine International]

Rooftop PV project at Oran’s new airport (Image: Soliwind)

¶ Europe’s wind power industry may attract €351 billion ($417 billion) of investment by 2030 if countries adopt reforms and targets for their energy systems in the next year, according to trade association WindEurope. The EU may create 716,000 jobs with a target for member states to produce 35% of their energy from renewables within 12 years. [Bloomberg]

¶ More than half of the UK’s electricity came from low carbon sources this summer, according to the National Grid. This makes it the “greenest” summer on record. Between late June and September, 52% percent of the UK’s electricity generation was met by low carbon sources, compared with about 35% four years ago. [BBC News]

Solar system in the UK (Getty Images)

¶ Popular Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike has announced a new national party, Kibo no To, or “Party of Hope.” Later, she met with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and the two discussed such issues as using an exit from nuclear power to promote renewable energy. Gov Koike said Koizumi offered words of encouragement. [Nikkei Asian Review]

US:

¶ Using a state policy called community choice aggregation, small and mid-sized communities can take greater control over their energy futures by choosing their electricity suppliers or generating their own power. It is an especially compelling prospect in New York, as it dovetails with a wider effort to reorient state energy policy. [CleanTechnica]

White Plains (Photo: Steve Carrea, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has ruled that the country’s Bureau of Land Management must reassess its analysis of the climate impacts of expanding two huge coal mines in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. It found that the existing analysis, which led to approval for expansion, was “glaringly insufficient.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ameren Missouri has unveiled plans to add at least 700 MW of new wind power by 2020 and 100 MW of solar over the next 10 years, with the projects to be in Missouri and neighboring states. The new capacity will require an investment of about $1 billion. The company also said that the turbines will be manufactured in the US. [reNews]

Wind turbine in the Midwest (Pixabay image)

¶ The US nuclear power industry could be out of business by the middle of the century. The entire existing fleet of reactors may disappear by 2055 when the last operating license expires, S&P Global Ratings said in a report. That’s assuming there will be no license extensions. Half of the country’s 99 nuclear units may be retired in 17 years. [Bloomberg]

¶ A lawsuit alleges that SCANA violated a federal racketeering statute when it charged customers for the cost of an abandoned nuclear project. The federal lawsuit says SCANA and Santee Cooper knew the nuclear project was running off the tracks, but it continued to provide an optimistic view even as customers were billed for the work. [The State]

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