November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “After the storms, it’s microgrid season in the Caribbean” • The destructive winds of Hurricanes Irma and Maria exposed the vulnerabilities of the islands. They also showed how renewable energy sources, such as solar panels backed  up by batteries and microgrid technology, can bring resilience to islands where they have been installed. [GreenBiz]

Solar farm powering the microgrid on St Eustatius (Stuco image)

¶ “3 ways Dynegy is trying to make Illinoisans bail out its aging coal fleet” • Dynegy, a Texas-based energy giant, is pulling out all the stops in Illinois to keep uneconomic and dirty coal plants running. After a nearly successful attempt to get subsidies from the state legislature last year, it is still trying to maintain profits. [Environmental Defense Fund]

¶ “Low-Priced Renewables Driving Change At US Utility Companies” • Renewables are finally getting the attention they deserve from US utility companies. The utility giants are still committed to preserving their monopoly status and locking out any upstart competitors, but they are trying to do it with renewable power sources. [CleanTechnica]

Asbury coal-fired plant in Missouri (via District Energy)

World:

¶ The joint venture led by Danish wind company, Vestas, and Japanese engineering company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd has created the most powerful turbine in the world. MHI Vestas’ new wind turbine generator has a 9.5-MW capacity. The nacelle is 20 meters long and 8 meters wide, and it weighs a total of 390 tonnes. [Energy Digital]

¶ In 1992, 1,700 independent scientists signed the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.” The letter warned that if environmental damage was not stopped, our future was at risk. Over 16,000 scientists from 184 countries published a second warning. It says things are alarmingly worse and we must act quickly. [CNN]

Sunny day flooding in Miami Beach, caused by rising seas

¶ BMW AG’s plan to switch exclusively to green electricity uses some rather unusual power sources, including a South African biomass plant that runs on cow dung and chicken droppings. The arrangement is part of the carmaker’s bid to shift all its external power purchases to renewables by 2020, up from 63% last year. [Bloomberg]

¶ Wind power will be the EU’s leading source of electricity soon after 2030, boosted by strong growth both onshore and offshore wind plants, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. The “World Energy Outlook 2017” report also said that solar PVs will be the largest source of clean power globally by 2040. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ Over 450,000 Rwandan households are expected to get power in the next five years following the launch of Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund project. Financing for the $50 million project was done by the World Bank. The fund is intended to increase off-grid solar energy access for those who do not have power, mostly in rural areas. [News Ghana]

¶ As Australia’s federal Coalition continues to fudge and delay on a national energy and climate policy, the state Labor government in Victoria has pressed “go” on what will be the largest renewable energy tender held in Australia – 650 MW of mostly wind and solar. The tender will require completion of the solar and wind farms by 2020. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in Victoria

¶ Zurich has become the latest insurance giant to cut ties with coal-intensive businesses, bringing the amount insurers have pulled from these companies to about $20 billion (£15.2 billion) in just two years. Zurich is pulling investments and stopping offering insurance to companies that depend on coal for more than half of their turnover. [Telegraph.co.uk]

US:

¶ Maine is seeing neat technology developed for capturing energy at sea, from both wind and water. The University of Maine has been testing floating platform technology for wind turbines. And Ocean Renewable Power Company, based in Portland, developed their TideGen device, which was tested in the Bay of Fundy. [The Coastal Journal]

TideGen device (Ocean Renewable Power Company image)

¶ International energy markets are set for “major upheaval” as the US cements its status as the world’s largest oil and gas producer and China becomes the biggest oil consumer, the International Energy Agency says in its annual energy forecast. It expects 80% of the increase in global oil supply to 2025 to be in the US, driven by shale oil production. [BBC]

¶ Enel Green Power North America has started commercial operations at the 300-MW Rock Creek wind farm in Missouri, almost two months ahead of schedule. Electricity from Rock Creek  will be sold to Kansas City Power & Light and the Greater Missouri Operations Company under two separate power purchase agreements. [reNews]

Rock Creek wind farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ With help from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, UPS plans to convert many of its diesel-powered delivery vans into battery electric trucks beginning as soon as next spring. UPS currently has more than 2,200 trucks plying the streets of New York City. It expects 1,500 of them be electric by 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The largest solar farm in Missouri was dedicated in a ceremony at its 72-acre site in Nixa. It has 33,280 solar panels and a capacity of 7.92 MW AC, to provide over 15 million kWh per year. Nixa Solar Farm has a 25-year power purchase agreement with its owner, Gardner Capital, covering 100% of the power it generates. [Christian County Headliner News]

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

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