Archive for October 24th, 2017

October 24 Energy News

October 24, 2017


¶ “The importance of grid resilience during severe storm conditions” • With increasingly powerful storms, the Dominican Republic set a surprising example during September’s storms. It used battery-based energy storage to keep its grid operating, despite damage to power lines and 40% of its generating assets being forced offline. [pv magazine USA]

Flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey (Public domain
photo: Staff Sgt Daniel J Martinez, US Air National Guard)

¶ “What’s Resilience? DOE Should Say Before Spending Your Money” • The US DOE proposed that consumers further subsidize certain power plants that can store fuel onsite, because it will somehow provide the electric grid with “resilience.” But it never explained what resilience is or how it relates to piles of coal. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “Small nuclear reactors are a 1950s mirage come back to haunt us” • The UK’s government is due to announce a £250 million support package for “small modular reactors” this week, just as the price renewable energy contracts push wholesale prices down. It looks like a camouflaged subsidy to the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system. [The Ecologist]

Nuclear submarine HMS Ambush (© Defence Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ Massive insect population declines indicate we are “currently on course for ecological Armageddon,” one scientist said. The causes are unknown, but one likely culprit is widespread use of pesticides. A recent UN report has denounced using pesticides on such a massive scale and claims they kill 200,000 people annually. [CleanTechnica]


¶ According to the Wall Street Journal, Tesla will build its first factory outside the US in the free trade zone outside Shanghai. Under new foreign ownership policy, Tesla will be the sole owner of the factory. If the market for electric cars continues to soar, as Chinese officials hope they will, Tesla could open more factories in China in the future. [Gas 2.0]

Tesla in China

¶ Media reports say four Indian companies agreed to supply 300 MW of solar modules to the Energy Efficiency Services Limited. They will be used in rooftop solar power systems and at rural sub-stations for agricultural purposes. Adani Green Energy is said to have quoted the lowest price of modules at 30¢/watt, beating Chinese prices. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Enel SpA said its renewables subsidiary is partnering in the project with Ethiopian infrastructure firm Orchid Business Group to build a 100-MW solar power plant in Metehara, Ethiopia. The consortium will invest about $120 million (€102 million) to build the solar PV park. It is planned to start power generation in 2019. [Renewables Now]

Sunset in Ethiopia (Photo: Rod Waddington)

¶ India will put 4.5 GW of windpower capacity on the block by February 2018. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has announced that auctions of 1.5 GW of capacity each will take place in October, December 2017 and February 2018. So far two auctions have been organized at the central level with 1 GW capacity each. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Brazilian financial services provider Banco do Nordeste, partly owned by the Brazilian Federal Government, announced it has granted loans for the construction of PV power plants with a combined capacity of 482 MW in Brazil. Enel Green Power will build systems totaling 350 MW, and Scatec Solar will install 132 MW. [pv magazine International]

Enel’s 254-MW Ituverava solar plant in Brazil (Enerray)

¶ Germany calls its plan to transition to a low or zero carbon economy Energiewende. It says it is moving ahead with the plan, which will allow it to honor the commitments it made to the world community in Paris in 2015, and is on schedule. But critics charge that it is stalled and stands in need of an immediate jump start. [CleanTechnica]


¶ Puerto Rico is looking to rebuild its electric grid long-term and is considering Tesla’s suggestion about scaling its microgrid technology using batteries and solar power, and so transforming the island’s energy infrastructure to make it resilient. A month after Hurricane Maria, 80% of the people on the island have no electric power. [Digital Journal]

Repairing power lines in Loiza (Ricardo Arduengo | AFP)

How can I help the people of Puerto Rico? One way is
to donate at [Sunnyside Solar’s crowdfunding website].

¶ A government report is sounding an alarm over the threat of costs of climate change. The US government has spent more than $350 billion over the past decade in response to extreme weather and fire events, and the GAO report estimated the US would incur far higher costs as the years progress if global emission rates don’t go down. [CNN]

¶ In Maine, a legislative committee will consider a Democratic lawmaker’s bill to allow municipalities to create microgrids. The lawmaker says the goal of his conceptual bill is to create a legal framework within which municipalities can create electricity distribution systems that can be operated while independent of the main power network. [Electric Light & Power]

Floating wind turbine undergoing testing at Castine,
Maine (Photo: Jplourde umaine, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ A national solar energy company is betting nearly $1 billion on an Oregon development spree, including five new solar farms. Cypress Creek Renewables, a developer that sells electricity to utility companies and already operates seven PV sites in the state, is building farms near Salem, Silverton, Gervais, Turner, and Grand Ronde. [Bend Bulletin]

¶ The independent company that manages competitive wholesale power markets in Ohio and 12 other states believes a federal proposal to subsidize the owners of old nuclear and coal plants is unworkable and would not even be legal. PJM intends to file formal comments later today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. []

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