October 16 Energy News

October 16, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The war on coal is over. Coal lost.” • According to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, many old American coal power plants are being retired or converted to natural gas, and new coal power plants aren’t being built because they’ve become more expensive than natural gas, wind, and solar energy. [The Guardian]

Fish ponds in China with floating solar and wind
turbines (Photo: VCG | VCG via Getty Images)

¶ “Wild is the wind: the resource that could power the world” • The UK’s wind energy industry is celebrating. Last month, the cost of wind power dropped dramatically to undercut by almost half the government’s projections for 2025. At £57.50/MWh, it is far cheaper than the £92.50 awarded in 2016 to Hinkley nuclear power station. [The Guardian]

¶ “Forget Abbott’s wishful thinking, climate change is here” • As Prime Minister, Tony Abbot was proud of his strong interest in rural Australia, but his recent claims in London about climate change can only be viewed as a betrayal of the bush by someone who has always seen themselves as a champion of our farming communities. [Queensland Country Life]

Aussie farmer, feeling the brunt of climate change

¶ “The Texas town where all the energy is green” • Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, Texas, is “a good little Republican.” Ever since his city weaned itself off fossil fuels, he has also become an environmental hero. But his decision to run Georgetown on 100% renewable energy was based on cold-eyed pragmatism. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ Australia’s competition watchdog said the country’s residential electricity price rise, 63% over inflation during the past decade, was mainly due to higher network costs. Transmission “poles and wires” took up 48% of a household bill, 22% was wholesale costs, 16% was retail and other costs, 8% was retail margins, and 7% was Green schemes. [The Guardian]

Poles and wires, 48% of the bill (Photo: Joe Castro | AAP)

¶ The France-based energy giant Total, along with partner energy group Erg, is now looking to expedite the sale of its Italian gas/petrol station network, TotalErg, due to investor worries about the impact of the growing electric vehicle market. TotalErg operates around 2,600 gas/petrol service stations throughout Italy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Orange Renewable, a 100% subsidiary of Singapore-based AT Holdings Pte Ltd, has secured a 200-MW Wind Power project in the state of Tamil Nadu under an intensely competitive global bid floated by Solar Energy Corporation of India. The company’s bid of a highly competitive rate of ₹2.64/unit (4.1¢/kWh) is the lowest tariff in India. [EnergyInfraPost]

Wind farm

¶ Royal Dutch Shell announced that it has acquired NewMotion, which specializes in converting parking spots into electric charging stations and operates one of Western Europe’s largest EV charging networks, with more than 30,000 EV charging points. Shell has been introducing fast charging points at its gasoline and diesel stations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ China expects to solve the problem of renewable energy going to waste by 2020, according to an official at the National Energy Administration, as the government takes aim at one of the biggest challenges in its efforts to promote clean energy. He also said that the agency expects the wind sector to wean itself off government subsidies by 2022. [Nasdaq]

Renewable energy (Reuters)

¶ In partnership with the noted medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturer Shaanxi Automotive, Efficient Drivetrains Inc has unveiled a zero emissions capable, plug-in hybrid electric cement mixer truck. It’s the world’s first, reportedly. The company reportedly expects field deployment of the new offerings in Quarter 4 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Building Energy announced that Tororo Solar Plant has been commissioned. It is the company’s first PV system in Uganda. With a capacity of 10 MW, this plant is among the largest in Eastern Africa. It will generate around 16 GWh of electricity annually, providing the electric power needs of over 35,000 people. [PR Newswire UK]

Tororo solar plant (PRNewsfoto | Building Energy)

US:

¶ The news of Luminant closing coal-burning power plants in Texas boosts the expected capacity of 2018 power plant closures to over 13,600 MW, or a whopping 79% more than the known closures for this year. It is not a record high (nearly 18,000 MW went offline in 2015), but it is clear that Trump administration claims that it will save coal are foundering. [Engadget]

¶ Wind technician is the fastest growing occupation in the US. As utilities rapidly increase the amount of power they get from wind farms, workers who climb hundreds of feet to keep turbines running smoothly are in high demand. Students in Minnesota’s wind power training programs sometimes get jobs before they graduate. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Inside the nacelle of a Vestas turbine (Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune)

¶ If adopted, a bill now before New Jersey’s Senate would require 100% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2050. Another bill would set a target of having 3,500 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. The third measure would require power suppliers to achieve aggressive goals for storing energy. [NJ Spotlight]

¶ DE Shaw Renewable Investments LLC and its development partner, Torch Clean Energy LLC, announced the closing of construction financing and start of construction on the Gray Hawk Solar Project, near the town of Kingman, Arizona. The 46 MW-AC project is expected to reach commercial operation in the second quarter of 2018. [Solar Industry]

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