November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2017


¶ “Life After Coal” • At one time, 500,000 miners worked in Germany’s Ruhr Valley, producing as much as 124 million tons of coal every year. Next year, that era will come to an end when the last mine closes. Wind turbines have sprung up among old shaft towers and coking plants, as Germany strives to hit its renewable energy goals. [Grist]

Coal mines in the Ruhr Valley (Photo: Amelia Urry)

¶ “Senate bill threatens US renewable energy tax equity market” The Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax provisions in the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would hurt wind and solar investments in the US and damage tax equity markets, renewable energy groups warn. The BEAT provisions apply retroactively to existing plants. [Renewables Now]

Science and Technology:

¶ ABC News in Australia is reporting that rising sea levels are threatening a nuclear waste dump left behind by the US on Runit Island, part of the Eniwetak Atoll. The dump is now leaking radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean, threatening every man, woman, and child living on the edge of the world’s largest body of water. [CleanTechnic]

Nuclear test at Eniwetak Atoll (Photo courtesy of National
Nuclear Security Administration, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ The International Energy Agency said coal use would double in India by 2040, but research by the US-based Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis sees India’s peak thermal coal demand coming within a decade. The transition is fueled by renewables, whose costs are now below the average of coal-fired power. [Business Standard]

¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA won an order to supply 200 MW of low-wind turbines to a project in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It will supply 100 G114-2.0 MW T-106 turbines to the Poovani wind park, according to an announcement. Orange Renewable Power Private Ltd, a unit of AT Capital Pte Singapore, will develop the project. [Livemint]

Indian wind turbines (Mint photo)

¶ Argentina expects between $2.5 billion and $3 billion in investment in renewable energy projects after its government awarded projects to generate 1,408 MW of power. The energy ministry said 665.8 MW would come from wind plants, 556.8 MW from solar, 117.2 MW from biomass and 48.1 MW from biogas. []

¶ BMW AG is in talks with a number of auto manufacturers and parts providers around the world about potential small electric vehicle production partnerships, a key management figure at the company disclosed. The aim of the talks, and any partnerships that may result, is to lower the cost of electrifying the company’s Mini brand. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Mini Cooper concept car

¶ GE Renewable Energy is to provide 38 turbines for Enlight Renewable Energy’s 105-MW Blacksmith wind farm in Serbia. The deal is for 2.75-120 machines with 110-metre hub heights. The turbines will be produced at GE’s Salzbergen facility in Germany, with blades manufactured by LM Wind Power in Spain and Poland. [reNews]

¶ The Industry Committee of the European Parliament backed a binding target of at least 35% renewable energy for 2030 and stricter renewable energy laws. Members of the European Parliament voted on the committee’s position on the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive, steered by Spanish MEP José Blanco López. [Offshore Wind Journal]

Offshore wind turbines

¶ The planned restart of four reactors in southwestern and central Japan will be delayed as nuclear operators need time to confirm whether peripheral equipment used parts affected by Kobe Steel’s data fabrication, the operators said. The reactors, two in Fukui Prefecture and two in Saga Prefecture, were set to go online early next year. [The Japan Times]

¶ The government of Wales and several Welsh energy and environmental organisations called on the UK government to support development of onshore wind and solar in the country. They urged the UK government to allow both technologies to compete with other renewables in Contracts for Difference auction rounds. [reNews]

Pen y Cymoedd wind farm in Wales (Vattenfall)


¶ Sales demand for sedans in the US could fall by more than half by 2030 due to the influence of self-driving taxis on the market, going on the findings of a new study from the consulting firm KPMG. The study predicts a “precipitous decline” in the US from the current 5.4 million sedan sales each year to 2.1 million by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Nearly 5,500 K-12 US schools, about 5% of them, are now powered by the sun, and their solar capacity has almost doubled in the last three years, according to a study by the Solar Energy Industries Association, The Solar Foundation, and Generation 180. Their total generating capacity is 910 MW, enough to power 190,000 homes. [InsideClimate News]

Students in Arlington, Virginia (Credit: Lincoln Barbour)

¶ We Energies announced that it will close its coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, during the second quarter of 2018. The utility said it decided to close the plant due to “the economy of energy and market and customer demand.” The low price of natural gas and the decreasing cost of renewable energy were contributing factors. [Journal Times]

¶ The Truckee, California, Town Council adopted a resolution to move to 100% clean electricity town-wide by 2030, as well as all energy sources by 2050. A total of 50 cities and towns across the US have now committed to transition to 100% clean, renewable sources of energy like wind and solar, according to the Sierra Club. [North American Windpower]

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Sunnyside Solar’s crowdfunding website].

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