January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2018

World:

¶ Vestas Wind Systems announced that it has secured its first wind turbine order in Kazakhstan, for the 52-MW Astana wind project. The order is from CAPEC Green Energy, a leading renewable energy developer in the country. Vestas will provide turbine installation and commissioning. Delivery is expected in the third quarter of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas turbines (Vestas image)

¶ The world’s oldest insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, is the latest member of the European insurance industry to divest from coal. The Unfriend Coal campaign said that as of November 2017, leading insurance companies had pulled $20 billion out of investments in coal, and a growing number refuse to underwrite new coal projects. [OilPrice.com]

¶ China’s National Energy Administration published its official solar statistics for 2017, revealing that the country had installed a total of 52.83 GW worth of new solar capacity in 2017. This represents a 54% increase from the 34.2 GW of new solar PV capacity China installed in 2016, a figure that had been thought enormous. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar plant in China (Sungrow image)

¶ The World Bank is planning a “Scaling Solar and Storage” program as an extension on its aim to foster solar energy development. The bank had been focused on large-scale solar tendering, predominantly in Africa. The new program would work on utility-scale tenders that pair solar PV with battery storage. [Power Engineering International]

¶ The number of public charging points for plug-in electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in China grew by around 51% during 2017, according to Miao Wei, the country’s Industry and Information Technology Minister. That said, however, public charging infrastructure development is still lagging behind demand. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Image by Epattloamer, some rights reserved)

¶ One of the largest solar power parks globally will have solar trackers supplied by NEXTracker. In a press release, NEXTracker announced that it will supply trackers for 325 MW of solar power projects in the Benban solar power park in Egypt. The trackers will be supplied to Sterling & Wilson, a global EPC company. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In Hungary, the Prime Minister’s Office and other parties are discussing a scheme aimed at supporting the country’s farmers in installing medium-size solar power facilities. The scheme envisages deployment 600 of solar power facilities, each with a capacity of 0.5 MW. It will have a budget of 8 billion HUF ($31.7 million). [pv magazine International]

Hungarian solar plant (Photo: CivertanS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator announced that the 2020 renewable energy target has effectively been met, three years ahead of schedule. The earlier 42,000 GWh target had been cut to 33,000 GWh by the Abbott government under the pretext that it would cause prices to rise and the lights to go out, a prediction that proved absurd. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ President Donald Trump has announced steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, giving a boost to Whirlpool Corp and dealing a setback to the renewable energy industry in the first of several potential trade restrictions. The tariff on solar panels is intended to protect two foreign-owned manufacturers. [The Guardian]

Installing solar panels

¶ Puerto Rico Gov Ricardo Rosselló announced that he will privatize the island’s crippled, broke, and decrepit electric energy authority, which he said has become a heavy burden to residents and has been hampering economic recovery. The bankrupt company has outdated, inefficient, and polluting generating and transmission systems. [NBCNews.com]

¶ California dairies and agricultural companies have new opportunities to address methane emissions under a program encouraging the development of dairy biogas in the state. Four utilities recently announced they will start accepting proposals for pilot projects that successfully capture and process biogas from dairy cows. [Energy Manager Today]

Dairy cows (Credit: Henrik Hjortshøj)

¶ Tech companies, led by such giants as Apple and Facebook, are snapping up more clean energy than ever, setting a record in 2017, worldwide. The Trump administration’s rollback of US environmental policies may actually have emboldened some companies to buy more clean power to fight climate change in the absence of federal policy. [BloombergQuint]

¶ The San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego, are assessing the potential to develop the 500-MW San Vicente Energy Storage Facility to increase the availability of renewable energy for the region. They hired Black & Veatch to help evaluate proposals, select the service team, and negotiate agreements. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

San Vicente Reservoir

¶ Bipartisan proposals introduced in Virginia’s House and Senate would undo a Dominion rate freeze and return some funds to ratepayers, the result of a lower corporate tax rate. Dominion supports the bill and was consulted in its drafting, according to The Washington Post. Bills would drop 6% immediately, if the proposal passes. [Utility Dive]

¶ The Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Connecticut, won a victory as it moves to secure long-term contracts to sell electric power to Connecticut’s utilities. State utility regulators said in a draft report that they would move forward with a controversial procurement process that could benefit in the 2,200-MW nuclear plant. [Hartford Business]

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