December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2017


¶ “Rebuilding Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands: Better energy infrastructure is key” • For two members of congress, the main takeaway from the trip to US territories in the Caribbean is that the federal government’s effort to help fellow Americans who live there needs to be sustained for months, or even years, to come. [The Hill]

Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (Getty Images)

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

¶ “One Trump Buzzword to Seal Fate of $700 Billion Power Trade” • The Trump administration has a plan to achieve what it calls “resiliency”: Keep money-losing coal and nuclear plants running. But almost every other corner of the energy industry, including the $700 billion utility sector, is heading in another direction. [Bloomberg]


¶ The Italian region of Tuscany gets about 40% of its electricity from geothermal power plants with expected further increase in the coming years. The region consumes just under 21,000 GWh of electricity, about 16,000 GWh of which are produced within Tuscany. About 53% of the region’s electricity is coming from renewable sources. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Florence (Photo: flickr | Maëlick, creative commons)

¶ The Moray Council has backed a development that could transform an abandoned airfield in northern Scotland into one of Europe’s biggest solar farms. Elgin Energy wants to cover the Milltown Airfield with about 200,000 solar panels. Moray’s attraction is due to its long summer days, the result of its being so far north. [Energy Voice]

¶ Iran’s Industrial Development & Renovation Organization  agreed with the Chinese Sunshine company and Hong Kong-based Konda Industry Co Ltd, to invest in a fully automated solar panel production project. Iran will have a 30% share in the company, while the rest will be equally divided between the other two companies. [Caspian News]

Large solar array

¶ West Australia’s Horizon Power has become the first major Australian utility to embrace the idea of “base-cost renewables.” The idea is to build the grid up from the base with installations of inexpensive renewables, then add storage and other smart technologies such as demand response and energy efficiency to fill in the gaps. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Thai company Wind Energy Holdings has borrowed $1.14 billion from Siam Commercial Bank to fund five onshore wind farms in the country. This huge financing will see the projects come online by the first quarter of 2019 and will significantly increase the 270 MW of energy the company is currently generating in Thailand. [Global Trade Review]

Wind turbines at sunrise

¶ General Electric Co is planning to cut 12,000 jobs in its power business, with most of the cuts happening outside the US, a person familiar with the matter said. The manufacturer has been hit hard by flagging demand for electricity generated with natural gas, in part due to a shift toward power from renewable sources. [BloombergQuint]


¶ In 2015, the Missouri Auto Dealers Association sued to prevent the Missouri Department of Revenue allowing Tesla to sell its automobiles directly to consumers. The most recent ruling came an appeals court, which rebuked MADA, saying it looked more like a competitor seeking to avoid competition than a defender of the public interest. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla store in Texas

¶ The Energy Information Administration’s “Electric Power Monthly” report of December 1 had good news for renewable energy sources. Renewable electricity production increased by 14.69% in the first three quarters of 2017 as compared to a year previously. Electricity generation from fossil fuels and nuclear power declined by 5.41%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Cincinnati has entered a contract with Dynegy to purchase 100% renewable electricity for most of its municipal facilities, starting next month and running through at least 2021. The green electricity will power police and fire stations, health clinics, recreations centers and most administrative buildings including city hall. [Smart Cities Dive]


¶ For the past 40 years, the electricity sector of the US economy has been the biggest source of carbon emissions. But according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, that distinction now belongs to transportation. It is not that emissions from transportation are rising; they are not. It is that emissions from the electricity sector are falling. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Pacific Gas & Electric submitted six energy storage contracts, totaling 165 MW, to the California Public Utilities Commission for approval as part of its efforts to meet the state-mandated goal of adding 580 MW of storage by 2020. If these contracts are approved, PG&E will have already reached 42% of its energy-storage goal. [pv magazine International]

Storage at the Imperial Irrigation District

¶ Vermont Gas has announced that it is now generating its own renewable energy, thanks to nearly 100 solar panels it installed on its South Burlington Offices. The project, which is part of the Company’s commitment to sustainability, will allow the natural gas provider to produce clean energy and help contribute to a clean energy future. []

¶ Massachusetts House Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Chairman Thomas A Golden Jr took a tour of Greenfield. At the town hall, Energy and Sustainability Director Carole Collins and Mayor William Martin outlined the success of the town’s aggregation program, which is green and saved $208,000 in the first half of this year. [The Recorder]

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