November 29 Energy News

November 29, 2017

Science and Technology:

¶ Three of the top aviation engine engineering firms in the world, Airbus, Siemens, and Rolls-Royce, are now collaborating on the development of a hybrid electric aircraft engine, the companies have jointly revealed. The new collaboration aims to fly a demonstrator aircraft in 2020 after ground tests have concluded. [CleanTechnica]

Airbus prototype electric aircraft

¶ There is a new backpack on the market that is made of fabric sourced from 33 recycled PET bottles. It has a rigid body, 25 liters of storage, a padded sleeve for a 15-inch laptop, a 12,000-mAh USB Battery Pack with 2 USB Charging Ports, and a 10-watt solar panel. It is sold by Energizer Solar, and the retail price is $190. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The head of EY Global’s power and utility section told the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia may be one of the first nations to achieve grid parity between renewable energy and electricity generated by fossil fuels. He said he expected grid parity to be reached globally as early as 2021, but for Australia it would come in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla storage, South Australia

¶ The European wind energy industry contributed €36 billion to the EU’s GDP in 2016, supported 263,000 jobs, and generated €8 billion worth of exports outside of Europe, according to findings from European wind energy industry group WindEurope. This is despite the fact that over half of the EU states gave the industry no support. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Northern Powergrid, which distributes electricity in northern England, aims to create a new energy market in which customers can make money from solar panels, electric vehicles, and home batteries. It wants to put its eight million customers at the heart of the smart grid and is working to identify the best technologies to use. [Network]

Rooftop solar system

¶ Swedish power company Vattenfall has announced it has placed a near-1 GW wind turbine order with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for three new offshore wind farms in Denmark, making the order the world’s largest offshore wind turbine order in 2017. Two wind farms will be in the North Sea and one in the Baltic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Climatescope report, which assesses 71 countries in emerging markets, the total solar PV capacity built in them scaled up from 3 GW in 2011, to 22 GW in 2015, and 34 GW in 2016. Last year’s 34 GW would meet the total annual electricity demands of 45 million homes in India. [pv magazine International]

Microgrid in Kenya (Image: TFE Consulting)

¶ Oil major Shell is to “continue to target opportunities” in the power sector and will increase the capital allocated to its new energies division, which includes offshore wind, to $1 billion to $2 billion a year until 2020, UK-Dutch company announced. The company also announced plans to cut the net carbon footprint of its energy products. [reNews]

¶ In Queensland, the Townsville City Council has approved construction of a 400-MW solar farm to be built at Woodstock. The solar farm was given the green light after it was found to meet environmental regulations. The facility will generate enough clean electricity to meet the power needs equivalent to 50,000 households. [Energy Matters]

Australian solar farm (Image: Pixabay)


¶ Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren proposed a bill earmarking $146 billion for reconstruction of the hurricane-hit US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Sanders told journalists that the situation in the US Caribbean territories was “not acceptable” two months after the islands were hit by two hurricanes. [Daily Mail]

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

¶ As the recent fires in Northern California blazed through wine country, workers at Stone Edge Farm had to evacuate. The farm had no grid power for nearly a week, but workers controlled its microgrid over the internet. They maintained heavy irrigation, counteracting the extreme heat from the fires and minimizing the potential for fire to spread. [CleanTechnica]

Olive trees at Stone Edge Farm

¶ Two of the world’s biggest coal producers, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, are headquartered in St Louis, and the city’s utility, Ameren, uses coal as its primary fuel for power generation. Nevertheless, St Louis lawmakers are working on a plan to get the city off of coal-fired power and switch to 100% clean energy by 2035. [GreenBiz]

¶ Windpower is overtaking coal in Texas. When a 155-MW wind farm in West Texas recently became operational, it pushed the state’s windpower capacity to over 20,000 MW. This surpassed the 19,800 MW of coal-fired power plant capacity, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees 90% of the state’s grid. []

Wind turbines (Photo: Michael Paulsen)

¶ The EPA scheduled a single hearing on reversing the Clean Power Plan. It was in Charleston, West Virginia, capital of a state heavily dependent on coal mining. Bob Murray, head of Murray Energy Corp, gave three minutes of testimony, as did many miners. But many who spoke, including some miners, supported the CPP. []

¶ Members of the agency that regulates California’s utility companies held a final public hearing on San Luis Obispo County’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Four Public Utilities Commissioners joined an administrative law judge to hear final oral arguments in Pacific Gas and Electric’s request to retire California’s last nuclear power plant. [KCBX]

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