October 17 Energy News

October 17, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “Puerto Rico hurricane shows islands must have renewable energy” • The recent storms remind us of the many advantages of renewables and one particular solution stands out: microgrids. These localized electric grids allow communities to keep power even if centralized systems go down. And there is really no limit to their scalability. [Climate Home]

Solar array with interesting tracking system (Photo: Deposit Photos)

¶ “Turnbull dumps clean energy target for ‘national energy guarantee'” • The Turnbull government has formally abandoned the idea of a Clean Energy Target, proposed by chief scientist Alan Finkel and endorsed by nearly all Australians, in favor of a new policy that will protect fossil fuel generation and slow down the uptake of renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶ Zero energy buildings produce renewable power, sending it to the grid when they can and drawing it from the grid when they need to. They not only cut net energy use and net carbon emissions to zero, but also lower cost of ownership and enhance the quality of life of their occupants. The Zero Energy Project enumerates ways to achieve this. [R & D Magazine]

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Zero Energy Project)

¶ A Washington State University research team, Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, has found a way to replace ethanol-based energy sources with biofuels created from lumber mill waste. The long term goal behind the project was to replace ethanol based energy sources with an environmentally friendly approach. [The Daily Evergreen]

World:

¶ The UK National Infrastructure Commission will be looking into whether there are unnecessary barriers to onshore wind, which is one of the cheapest renewable technologies, it said in its draft assessment of UK infrastructure. Onshore wind farms have been once again excluded from a round of auctions for contracts for difference. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in the UK (Photo: Mycatkins, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ Swedish power company Vattenfall has announced it has begun moving forward on developing the mammoth 1,800-MW Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm, which is expected to be completed and operational sometime in the mid-2020s. The wind farm will supply sufficient power for about 1.3 million households in the UK. [CleanTechnica]

¶ For the third year now, the student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has taken first place in the Cruiser Class at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. The Cruiser Class is the division for solar cars that could be practical in the real world, owing to seating capacity, range, and so on. [CleanTechnica]

Cruiser Class car from Tu/e

¶ The UK will invest more than £2.5 billion ($3.31 billion) into research and development efforts aimed at helping achieve carbon dioxide emissions reductions targets, as outlined in plans unveiled by the UK’s government. The sectors impacted by the new funding include transport, agriculture, energy, and waste management. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ireland and Northern Ireland’s integrated electricity system could save €19 million a year from 2019-20 by using battery-based energy storage to stabilize the grid, according to a report by Queen’s University Belfast. It showed that 360 MW of battery storage could provide the same fast frequency response as 3 GW of conventional power. [reNews]

Battery storage (AES image)

¶ After months of internal controversy, the clean energy target favored by Australian chief scientist Alan Finkel was dumped by the government in favor of a new “national energy guarantee,” which will impose both reliability guarantees and emissions reduction guarantees on retailers and some large energy users. Opposition is fierce. [The Guardian]

¶ A coalition of Canadian municipal utilities has prepared and submitted joint proposals to develop two wind energy projects in New Brunswick. They propose to build the Charlotte County Community Wind Farm and Chapman Community Wind Farm. Each is a 20-MW project valued at about C$60 million ($47.8 million). [North American Windpower]

Flag of New Brunswick

US:

¶ The solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and the subsidies for solar and wind power, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support. With falling development costs, solar firms now see strong prospects in conservative states with no clean energy mandates. [Reuters]

¶ Increasing amounts of renewable energy has sparked worries in the federal government over grid reliability and resilience. But some grid operators are successfully demonstrating that large amounts of intermittent resources can be integrated and sustain system reliability as successfully as, for example, a natural gas plant. [Utility Dive]

Large solar array (Credit: Array Technologies Inc)

¶ Arizona had faced some of the nation’s steepest emissions cuts under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. But Arizona utilities and regulators said they plan to continue working toward the lower carbon emission goals that had been set in the plan, even though EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said this week that the agency is scrapping the program. [Arizona Daily Sun]

¶ Canada believes it may have the answer to replacing some US nuclear capacity with other forms of carbon-free energy. When New York state and Massachusetts retire three nuclear reactors between 2019 and 2021, the two states will lose a combined 2.7 GW of carbon-free power, but it can be replaced by Canadian hydro power. [OilPrice.com]

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