January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Energy Soared in the US in 2017 Due to Economics, Policy, and Technology” • President Trump rolled out the antiquated arguments that clean energy cost too much and threatened the grid. But markets and policies mostly ignored him. All he did was to abandon the race for global leadership in slowing global warming. [InsideClimate News]

Solar panels in Los Angeles (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

¶ “We are in trouble” • From an environment point of view, we are in serious trouble. Most people are entirely unaware of how bad things are. We cannot continue things as they are – nature will prevent that. We will have to provide for carbon-free power in the near future, including utility-scale solar and wind power. [Green Energy Times]

¶ “Waking up to clean energy in 2018” • Ten years ago, Canada was asleep, if not intentionally tranquilized, when it comes to energy. Then Ontario was jolted awake by a failing and massively over-budget nuclear industry and one of dirtiest coal power plants in North America. Now, Canada is is investing in renewable energy. [Alaska Highway News]

Bear Mountain Wind Park

World:

¶ The Greek government’s plans for an auction-based scheme for renewables and high-efficiency cogeneration is getting support from the European Commission. The EC said the scheme will be instrumental in helping the country reach its 2020 climate goals. Greece has set a target of producing 18% of its energy from renewables by 2020. [Renewables Now]

¶ Offshore and onshore wind turbines provided 43.6% of Denmark’s total energy requirement for 2017. The new data on Danish renewable energy consumption in 2017 showed that wind turbines provided a record amount of energy to the grid last year. Danish wind turbines reached a total output of 14,700 GWh in 2017. [Energy Voice]

Offshore wind power

¶ A subsidiary of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc plans to buy Westinghouse, the bankrupt nuclear services company, from Toshiba Corp, for $4.6 billion. Brookfield Business Partners LP and institutional partners plan to use $1 billion of equity and $3 billion of long-term debt financing to buy Westinghouse. [The Japan News]

¶ EnBW has generated first power to the grid from its 19.8-MW Freckenfeld wind farm in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Two Nordex N131 3.3-MW machines are expected to enter full commercial operations this month, and four more turbines, will be erected and commissioned during the next few weeks, EnBW said. [reNews]

Wind turbines stand above fog (Image: EnBW)

US:

¶ The Trump administration announced plans to end a ban on new offshore drilling off the coasts of Florida and California and is considering over 40 sites for leases. Interior had just issued a stop-work order on a National Academy of Sciences study reviewing the offshore oil and gas operations inspection program to enhance safety. [CNN]

¶ Assemblyman Phil Ting, who represents the city of San Francisco in the California legislature, has filed a bill that would allow only zero-emissions cars to be sold in the Golden State beginning in 2040. Though the bill may seem radical, several countries have similar initiatives in the works, including China, France, the UK, and India. [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles

¶ Two wind farms in Texas totalling 352 MW have kicked off commercial operations, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners announced on Thursday. The Danish fund manager is an equity owner in the 196.7-MW Bearkat I and 155.4-MW Fluvanna I projects. Both facilities were constructed on time and on budget, CIP said. [Renewables Now]

¶ The latest Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is packed full of good news for natural gas and renewables, but not for coal. FERC anticipates 20,650 MW of retirements of coal-fired power plants, with only 1,927 MW of new units planned. But natural gas and renewables are still growing fast. [CleanTechnica]

Crescent Dunes CSP (Image: US DOE)

¶ After months of construction, one of Alabama’s largest solar energy facilities, built in partnership with utility Alabama Power, is up and running in Chambers County. The 72 MW Alabama Solar A project sits on 1,400 rolling acres, just south of LaFayette. The new solar farm has a long-term contract with Walmart for most of the power. [Solar Industry]

¶ Enel Green Power North America, Inc, a subsidiary of Enel SpA, started operations of two new wind farms in Oklahoma: the Thunder Ranch wind farm, which has a capacity of around 298 MW, and of the Red Dirt wind facility, which has a capacity of around 300 MW. They are Oklahoma’s first incentive-free wind farms. [Windpower Engineering]

Red Dirt wind farm

¶ Consumers Energy announced that Cross Winds Energy Park II in Tuscola County began serving customers and contributing 44 MW of renewable energy in Michigan. The $90 million Cross Winds Phase II employed 250 workers during construction phase. Its 44-MW capacity is enough to serve about 17,000 residents. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ As the New Hampshire legislature gears up for the 2018 session, over 50 New Hampshire businesses are calling for lawmakers to support clean energy policies. Dartmouth Hitchcock, Hannaford Supermarkets, Hypertherm, Velcro Cos., Timberland, Worthen Industries, and Wire Belt Co of America are among them. [North American Windpower]

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