October 2 Energy News

October 2, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “What the Trump administration doesn’t understand about wildfires” • The major fires erupting across the West this year have burned through over 8 million acres and $2 billion. It seems the right time to carefully assess wildland fire, its climate drivers and forest-health consequences. But the administration blames “radical environmentalists.” [Los Angeles Times]

Fire in Corona, California (Watchara Phomicinda | Associated Press)

¶ “Puerto Rico needs a new energy grid (not just repairs to the old one)” • Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico. As has been widely reported, the US territory’s essential infrastructure is down. A week after María, 60% of our homes lacked running water, and 100% lacked electricity. What is needed now is a stronger and “smarter” grid. [The Hill]

¶ “What civilians can learn from military investments in solar” • Without electricity from civilian power plants, the US military could be crippled. In January, the US DOE begged for new authority to defend against weaknesses in the grid in a nearly 500-page study warning that it’s only a matter of time before a massive grid failure. [GreenBiz]

Solar PVs at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada (SunPower image)

Science and Technology:

¶ The Rapid Roll system allows flexible solar panels to be unrolled from a trailer in two minutes. The technology is being used to meet demands from greater tourism and environmental and logistical challenges on the island of Flat Holm. The hope is for the technology to offer a solution in areas hit by natural disasters like hurricanes in the future. [BBC News]

World:

¶ The World Bank’s private sector lending branch of the International Finance Cooperation announced plans to triple its funding to Egypt from approximately $300 million, in the past year, to $1 billion during the current financial year, the National reports. Around $700 million of the total will be dedicated to renewable energy initiatives. [Egyptian Streets]

Transmission lines

¶ Last week, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and the Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, marked a milestone as the wind farms officially connected to the Eskom grid. The wind farms have been synchronised through Eskom’s Helios Substation and commissioning of wind turbines is reported to have commenced. [ESI Africa]

¶ Wind power tariff may drop marginally to ₹3.2 per unit (4.9¢/kWh) in the second auction for 1 GW capacities scheduled on Wednesday as against ₹3.46 per unit discovered in the first competitive bidding held earlier this year, an industry source said. A free fall below this price is not expected, as has been the case with solar power. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm in India

¶ A new company called Forsa Energy has been set up to develop renewables and natural gas projects combined with energy storage across Europe. It will start with a portfolio of 150 MW of consented and 225 MW of advanced development onshore wind and a fully-consented 400-MW pumped storage scheme under development. [reNews]

¶ DONG Energy, an oil and gas operator that shed its assets to focus on green projects, said its name does not “fit the company anymore.” The name stands for Danish Oil and Natural Gas. The new name, Ørsted, references the innovative Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted, who discovered electromagnetism in 1820. [Energy Voice]

Offshore wind turbine (DONG photo)

¶ The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is gearing up for a radical change in its energy formula, but it is not the only Gulf nation doing so. The United Arab Emirates is setting its sights on nuclear power to ensure the small nation can meet demand in the coming years, energy minister Suhail Al Mazroui told reporters this week. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ Xcel Energy has a proposal, called the Colorado Energy Plan, that could lead to $2.5 billion in clean energy investments in rural Colorado. It would secure low-cost power for customers, stimulate economic-development opportunities in rural communities, and grow the state’s use of renewable and clean-energy resources. [Boulder Daily Camera]

Installing a solar system (Xcel Energy photo)

¶ In a humanitarian effort to help Puerto Rico’s devastated population, one of the companies stepping in to help is Tesla. Tesla is sending hundreds of its Powerwall battery systems to be paired with solar panels, Bloomberg reports. The joint systems will help the battered island territory restore electric power. Some systems are already there. [CleanTechnica]

¶ President Donald Trump and his daughter-adviser have been going all out to tout the administration’s commitment to “high-quality STEM and computer science education” as a means of boosting the US economy. But Trump has yet to choose a top science adviser, who would play a crucial role in turning the horn-tooting into reality. [Newsweek]

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