October 30 Energy News

October 30, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “A sustainable energy future is within our grasp … if we take action now” • The world is in a major energy transition, underpinned by renewable energy. A new study from the International Renewable Energy Agency finds that an energy transition in line with Paris Agreement is both technically feasible and economically attractive. [The National]

Shams 1 power station (Christopher Pike | The National)

¶ “Productivity Commission pulls no punches on ‘appalling’ energy crisis, calls for carbon price” • The Productivity Commission report contains some blunt assessments on the nature of Australia’s energy problems and how to fix them. Dealing a blow to the Coalition, the primary recommendation is to adopt a carbon price. [ABC Online]

Science and Technology:

¶ With the tale the Three Little Pigs embedded in our psyches since childhood, we can’t help but think of a straw house as a flimsy thing, just waiting to be blown away by a big, bad wolf. But straw dwellers know better, and given that there are no wolves at our doors, there are many good reasons to build with straw. Here are a few. [New Atlas]

Straw-bale house (Photo: Six B Design)

World:

¶ International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, said it completed a $653 million debt package to finance building 13 solar power plants near Aswan in Egypt, planned to be part of the largest solar park in the world. The Nubian Suns Feed-in-Tariff Financing Program is to generate up to 752 MW of solar power. [Reuters Africa]

¶ Research by UK renewable energy company Pure Planet shows that 50% of people currently with the biggest energy suppliers say they want out after a year of price hikes. The news comes after all six of the UK energy giants, British Gas, SSE, NPower, Scottish Power, E.On, and EDF, raised prices in the past year despite falling production costs. [The Sun]

Transmission lines (PA image)

¶ Elon Musk said he cannot believe the mess Australia finds itself, in regard to its power supply problems. He is building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to secure South Australia’s power supply. But he had no idea of the firestorm of how to power Australia, he had walked into. He warned that the choice is to move to renewables or collapse. [Gatton Star]

¶ Because of the energy crisis, record numbers of Australian families are on hardship plans or deferred payments, and the rate of disconnections in most states is up sharply. Many people tailor their lives around trying to afford their next electricity bill. Elon Musk has pointed out the cost advantages of renewable energy in Australia. [9news.com.au]

Wind farm in Queensland (Leonard Low, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta is leveraging an investment in Australian renewable energy and storage company Zen Energy. It is planning 1 GW of dispatchable renewable capacity in South Australia. This will be based around up to 680 MW of solar capacity, a 100-MW/100-MWh battery at Port Augusta, and other resources. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Vattenfall is to invest more than €200 million ($2.33 million) in an onshore wind project in the Netherlands. The firm plans to repower and expand the Wieringermeer wind farm, replacing older wind turbines with the latest technology, to a capacity of 180 MW and combine it with an adjacent 115-MW wind farm extension. [Energy Live News]

Vattenfall wind project (Vattenfall image)

¶ EDF’s departing UK chief executive indicated that first power from the Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk should come by 2031. It is a sister project to Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which is due to start producing electricity by the end of 2025, although EDF has warned that the £20 billion project could be delayed until early 2027. [The Times]

US:

¶ OhmConnect aggregates a network of residential subscribers across the territories of California’s three major utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric. When demand is high and peaking plants could come online, a text message is sent, and subscribers who cut their loads earn money. [InsideClimate News]

California power plant (Photo: David Monniaux | CC-BY-SA-2.0)

¶ Lancaster, California, had a 17% jobless rate and a housing market dominated by foreclosures when its Republican mayor met with a tech innovator planning a solar thermal plant. The mayor, seeing a way to bring jobs to town, read everything he could about renewable energy. What he learned about climate change terrified him. [HuffPost]

¶ French renewable power producer Akuo Energy said it has completed construction of the 150-MW Rocksprings wind farm in Texas. The works took nine months, in line with the project’s schedule. The plant in Val Verde County uses 53 units of 2.3-MW wind turbines and 16 units of 1.72-MW machines supplied by General Electric. [Renewables Now]

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

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