December 19 Energy News

December 19, 2017

(This post was prepared on a Raspberry Pi computer. It draws 2 watts.)


¶ “Why Tax Overhaul Can’t Kill The Renewable Energy Surge” • The tax credits renewable energy advocates worried over were restored in the reconciliation version of the bill now in front of Congress. Could this president kill off renewable energy by pulling the plug on tax rules that favor renewables down the road? Think batteries. [Forbes]

Wind turbine (Photo: Patrik Stollarz | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ Solid Power, a developer of solid-state rechargeable batteries, announced that the BMW Group is partnering with it to develop its solid-state batteries for use in BMW’s future electric vehicle models. BMW will assist Solid Power to advance its technology to achieve performance levels demanded by its customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Researchers at the University of York in the UK are putting forward an idea they say could capture almost a billion tons of carbon dioxide a year at relatively low cost and turn it into the mineral Dawsonite, which is chemically sodium aluminium carbonate hydroxide. Unfortunately, Dawsonite has no known practical uses. [CleanTechnica]

Dawsonite (Photo: Modris Baum, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ Seemingly in anticipation of surging demand for electric light-duty commercial vehicles as stricter regulations go into effect, Renault has formed a new joint venture in China with the firm Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. The plan is for the new joint venture to sell 150,000 vehicles a year by 2022, according to reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ One of the top mining firms in the world, Rio Tinto, has been operating a fleet of autonomous trucks in various parts of Australia. Building on these earlier and current deployments, the company is now planning a large increase of the size of the autonomous truck fleet in Australia’s Pilbara iron-ore region, as part of a cost-cutting program. [CleanTechnica]

Rio Tinto autonomous trucks

¶ The EEA report, “Renewable energy in Europe – 2017 update,” provides an overview of progress in renewable energy in Europe, based on official statistics until 2015 and preliminary estimates for 2016. An updated report confirms that the EU and most Member States remain on track to reach their renewable energy targets. [MilTech]

¶ Brazil has awarded more than 674.5 MW of renewable power supply contracts, the Power Trading Chamber announced. Solar power was the biggest seller with 574 MW contracted across 20 projects. Wind and hydropower each won contracts for two projects, representing a total capacity of 64 MW and 11.5 MW, respectively. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels (Image: pornvit_v |

¶ BP will put $200 million into solar energy firm Lightsource, thereby acquiring a 43% stake in it, the company has revealed. Lightsource is the largest solar energy project developer in Europe. It aims to quadruple its project capacity to around 8 GW over the coming years in Europe, the US, the Middle Ease, and India. [CleanTechnica]

¶ European Union environment and energy ministers agreed on renewable energy targets for 2030. This is ahead of negotiations next year with the European Parliament, which has called for more ambitious green energy goals. Ministers said they would aim to source at least 27% of the bloc’s energy from renewables by 2030. []

Solar and windpower

¶ The South Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has announced its 8th long-term plan for electricity supply and demand. The plan’s target is to generate 20% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The aim for natural gas’ share is 18.8%, with coal’s expected to be at 36.1% and nuclear power’s at 23.9%. [PV-Tech]


¶ Plans for Alliant Energy’s latest wind project would add another 170-MW wind farm to Iowa’s growing population of turbines. This is on the back of Alliant’s 2016 pledge to spend $1 billion on 500 MW of wind power. The Poweshiek County project is expected to receive final approval this week and be completed in 2020. [The Gazette]

MidAmerican wind project (MidAmerican Energy photo)

¶ The Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum was unveiled last week. Its director said its sole purpose is to educate Republicans that “renewable” and “clean” are not dirty words that should make right-thinking people recoil in horror. The chairman of the group is Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin’s longest serving governor. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A solar company plans to invest $115 million in construction of a 75-MW solar farm in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Cypress Creek Renewables’ facility will be located on 550 acres near Bowman. No new jobs are promised with the investment, but there will be employment related to the ongoing operation of the facility. [The Tand]

Solar power (see article for rights)

¶ Susquehanna University entered into an agreement with WGL Energy Systems to develop a 3.9-MW DC ground-mounted solar array that will supply 30% of the university’s electricity needs. Construction has already begun on the 12,000-panel, 14-acre project. It will be the largest university-sponsored solar array in Pennsylvania. [Newsroom]

¶ Puerto Rico’s electric utility company has appointed two Hawaii energy leaders to the newly created advisory council Transformation Advisory Council. The council is set to assist in rebuilding and strengthening the island’s power grid following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, according to a press release. [Pacific Business News]

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

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