October 4 Energy News

October 4, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The Energy Department Is Making Up Reasons Why You Need To Pay More For Dirty Energy” • A new proposal from the Trump administration would require regional electric grids to keep coal and nuclear plants running, even if they are too expensive. They say it is because they’re needed to keep the power on during natural disasters. [Fast Company]

Is this piece of our past worth saving? (Photo: rozpedowski | iStock)

Science and Technology:

¶ Australia’s largest cities need to prepare for temperatures reaching 50° C (122° F) in “just a few decades,” researchers say. A new study led by the Australian National University warned that Sydney and Melbourne need to be prepared to deal with the crippling level of heat as climate change impels rising local temperatures. [The Sunshine Coast Daily]

World:

¶ On October 2, European windfarms set a production record. According to data from WindEurope, offshore windfarms generated 265 GWh, and onshore windfarm provided 1235 GWh. The combined 1499 GWh covered 18.2% of electricity demand. It was enough electricity to provide for 151 million homes or 51% of average industrial demand. [reNews]

Offshore wind power (reNews image)

¶ Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced a flurry of wind turbine orders to mark the end of the third quarter last week, with orders from the United States, India, Europe, and Latin America totaling 463 MW. The largest order was the 174-MW order for the MidAmerican Energy Wind XI project being developed in Iowa. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Australian Greens unveiled a new policy that aims for 20 GW of energy storage to be installed by 2030, providing incentives for storage at household and grid level, and try to move the energy debate beyond baseload vs renewables. They say their proposal is sufficient back-up for a 100% renewable energy grid. [RenewEconomy]

Tesla storage, South Australia

¶  The Scottish Energy Minister confirmed that the government will ban fracking in Scotland, adding that the government must make decisions in the best interests of Scotland as a whole. The decision follows extensive consultation and consideration of its potential impact. Scotland has had a moratorium on fracking since January 2015. [Aberdeen Evening Express]

¶ Horizon Power, the power utility in regional areas of Western Australia, has taken the golf club in the resort town of Exmouth off the grid as part of a drive to cut costs and focus on renewable energy solutions. Horizon is planning to roll out a series of stand-alone power systems across its grid to reduce the cost of grid upkeep. [One Step Off The Grid]

Solar panels in Exmouth

¶ The International Energy Agency has raised its forecasts for renewable energy over the next five years following a record 2016, mainly driven by a surge in solar PV capacity in China, India, and the US. In its medium-term renewables market report, the IEA expects global renewable electric capacity to rise by over 920 GW, or 43%, by 2022. [Business Day]

¶ India is set to overtake the European Union in expansion of new renewable energy generation capacity, according to the International Energy Agency in its latest report, Renewables 2017. India’s renewable capacity is expected to double by 2022, as PVs and wind together represent 90% of the country’s capacity growth. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Realigning a PV system in India  (Photo: Kiran Jonnalagadda, Wikimedia Commons) Please click on the image to see her smile.

¶ Saudi Arabia has received offers to supply solar electricity for the cheapest prices ever recorded. The energy ministry said Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and Électricité de France bid to supply power from a 300 MW PV plant for as little as 6.69736 halalas per kWh, or 1.79¢/kWh, according to a webcast. Some analysts are skeptical about the terms. [Business Day]

¶ Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority endorsed a draft document that serves as certification that TEPCO’s No 6 and No 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station. It is the first time TEPCO reactors have passed the screening review since the Fukushima Disaster. However, the actual restart of the reactors may still take years. [The Japan Times]

Anti-nuclear activists in Japan (Photo: KYODO)

US:

¶ The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given an October 23 deadline for testimony under a rule intended to subsidize nuclear and coal plants, a schedule which the solar and wind industries are joined by oil, gas and other public power groups in opposing. This could be the beginning of a long fight. [pv magazine International]

¶ Just when it looked like concentrated solar power could not get cheaper, a startup says it found a way of cutting heliostat costs by a third. Skysun, based in Ohio, is aiming to achieve the cost reduction by tying multiple heliostats onto a single motor and support structure. Heliostats are the mirrors that reflect sunlight onto CSP receivers. [solarpaces.org]

Skysun solar collector

¶ Metropolis Farms has constructed a 500-kW solar array made up of 2003 solar panels on the roof of a building in Philadelphia. On the fourth floor, it is constructing a vertical farm that will be powered entirely by electricity from the roof. It plans to grow the equivalent of 660 outdoor acres worth of crops in less than 100,000 sq feet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ At the Renewable Energy Vermont Conference, state officials described how they see Vermont, like the US, as standing at a critical crossroads in terms of both climate change and politics. The state’s renewable sector created 13,000 jobs since 2000 and represent 6% of the state’s workforce, REV Executive Director Olivia Campbell Andersen said. [RTO Insider]

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