January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2018


¶ “Peak Post-Truth Has Arrived – President Trump Says Ice Caps Are ‘At A Record Level'” • Peak truth has probably arrived, or nearly so. Many cultural observers will note that almost any topic discussed nowadays seems to quickly devolve into an us/them, in/out sort of dynamic where the truth doesn’t actually matter much. [CleanTechnica]

Reign of Terror, a product of mob mentality


¶ King Coal’s reign in India is about to come crashing down. Coal supplied 80% of India’s total power mix in 2016-2017, but new wind and solar is now 20% cheaper than the average wholesale power price of existing coal-fired generation, and 65% of India’s coal power generation is being sold at higher rates than new renewable energy. [Forbes]

¶ Renewable technologies, covering wind, solar and biomass, beat coal generation for the first time in the EU, according to the latest figures for 2017. This is the conclusion of a new report compiled by the think tanks Sandbag and Agora Energiewende, which analysed data from the EU’s official statistics agency EUROSTAT. [Climate Action Programme]

Wind turbines at the ocean’s edge

¶ Companies in Scandinavia are pushing the development of electric construction equipment and medium-duty trucks forward. In Norway, two companies are working on electric earth moving equipment and in Sweden, Volvo Trucks has announced it will begin selling electric medium-duty delivery trucks in 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Like most small island developing states, the countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States spend a large part of their earnings on imported fossil fuels to meet energy needs, though they also boast high levels of solar radiation, good wind regimes. The area’s potential for geothermal is particularly impressive. [LSE Latin America and Caribbean]

St Lucia (Photo: Frank Kehren, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

¶ Enel’s new advanced energy services unit Enel X has been awarded contracts for 217 MW of demand response resources in Ireland’s capacity market auction. The recent tender, launched by the Republic and Northern Ireland transmission system operators Eirgrid and Soni, was the country’s first foray into capacity auctions. [reNews]

¶ Swiss outfit ABB has successfully tested the 500-MW HVDC Maritime Link enabling the exchange of electricity between Newfoundland and the North American grid in Nova Scotia. The project includes two 230-kV AC substations in Newfoundland, one 345-kV AC substation in Nova Scotia and two cable transition stations. [reNews]

Bay of Fundy (Photo: Province of Nova Scotia)

¶ The EU now gets over 30% of its electricity from renewable sources, up from 12% in 2000. At the current rate of growth, the European bloc can increase the proportion of renewables in its electricity mix to 50% by 2030, according to a report by Sandbag and Agora Energiewende. Much of the growth was in Germany and the UK. [Quartz]

¶ The Heinrich Böll Foundation conducted a poll on energy in France, and the trend it showed is very clear: 83% of French people think France should prioritize investments in renewable energy. Only 12% of the interviewees prefer that investments go towards the modernization and life extension of nuclear power plants. [Energy Collective]

Seine Musicale in Paris (Photo: Inhabitat)


¶ According to GTM Research, the 30% solar tariff that President Trump has agreed to impose on imported solar modules and cells will cause the US solar industry to constrict by 11% over the next 5 years, causing nearly a quarter million customers not to install solar. The tariff will hit the utility-scale solar sector the hardest. [CleanTechnica]Preview (opens in a new window)

¶ About half of the military’s infrastructure has been affected by climate-related risks, according to a Pentagon report obtained by a nonpartisan climate think tank. The report surveyed over 3,500 US bases worldwide. It found that about 50% of  them reported effects from events like storm surge flooding, wildfire, drought and wind. [Science Magazine]

US Naval Air Station in Italy (Michael Lavender, US Navy | Flickr)

¶ A member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, Andrew Tobin, has proposed a clean energy overhaul that would make the state a clean energy leader. The Energy Modernization Plan aims to produce one of the cleanest energy mixes in the nation, while lowering prices for consumers and improving grid reliability. [Greentech Media]

¶ An agreement has been signed between the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and Salt River Project to double the capacity of the Kayenta Solar Farm. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said the agreement is a step toward making the tribe energy self-sufficient and establishing the Navajo Nation as an energy producer. [Navajo-Hopi Observer]

Kayenta Solar Farm (Courtesy of Salt River Project)

¶ With the continued help of the production tax credit, US windpower developers installed 7,017 MW of new wind capacity in 2017, bringing the country’s total to 89,077 MW, the American Wind Energy Association reported. The new windpower capacity installed in 2017 reportedly represented $11 billion in private investment. [Platts]

¶ Plant owners and consumer attorneys struck a bargain in the long-running dispute over who pays for the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant. The agreement would save consumers $775 million through February 2022. The deal requires California Public Utilities Commission approval. It would end a federal lawsuit. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

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