February 3 Energy News

February 3, 2018


¶ “The end of energy scarcity” • Suddenly, the internet has brought the end of information scarcity. Similarly, the switch to renewable energy will, I believe, bring us to the quick and final end of energy scarcity. Once fully implemented over the next decade or two, or three, it will spell the end of energy scarcity. [Alaska Highway News]

Solar arrays in Hudson’s Hope, northeastern British Columbia


¶ Numbers for Australia’s renewable energy installations in 2017 were outstanding, and PV installations produced what were called “eye watering charts.” The latest tally from PV market analysts SunWiz has revealed a record smashing total so far of 1.25 GW of solar PV installed across the year, eclipsing the former record set in 2012. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Delivery drones are proving their worth in the developing world. To have a drone infrastructure work in real life, electricity supply must be stable, and wireless communication must be very reliable. But that is becoming the norm many places on Earth earlier classified as off-grid. Drones can often deliver vital goods very efficiently. [CleanTechnica]

Vertical take-off and landing drone (Pexels image)

¶ The Indian Budget includes a ₹1,40,000 crore (sic, $21 billion) scheme to solarize agricultural pumps and encourage use of barren land for solar plants, according to the power and renewable energy minister. The scheme envisions setting up 10,000 MW of solar plants on barren lands and distributing 1.75 million solar pumps. [Economic Times]

¶ A major coal power station in Yorkshire will close at the end of September after it failed to secure a government subsidy to provide backup power next winter. Losing out on a capacity market contract sounded the death knell for Eggborough coal-burning plant, which supplies 1.96-GW, enough power for about 2 million homes. [The Guardian]

A major coal plant

¶ Indian Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said his country should strive for 50% of its power generation capacity from renewable sources by 2030 on the back of technological advancements in solar and wind energy. He also said the country is set to exceed the target of 175 GW in renewable energy and touch 200 GW by 2022. [The Hindu]

¶ Lynne Brown, South African Public Enterprises Minister has announced her approval of Eskom’s application to purchase increased amounts of renewable energy from Independent Power Producers. Minister Brown says South Africans ought to feel proud about progress made in adding renewable energy to the energy mix. [BizNis Africa]

Wind turbines

¶ Cuba is feeling the effects of both reduced deliveries of oil from Venezuela and climate change, with rising seas and more severe storms. Havana just hosted its first Renewable Energy Business Forum, attracting companies from 16 countries. Cuba’s goal is to increase its output of renewable energy from just over 4% today to 24% by 2030. [CGTN America]


¶ A New York-based energy project built on blockchain, a distributed ledger or database, is currently attempting to create peer-to-peer marketplaces for distributed energy. As the global energy market is still trapped in a previous era and needs an urgent and thorough redesign, the Brooklyn Microgrid could be a game changer. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system in Brooklyn

¶ In Washington state, a version of Gov Jay Inslee’s carbon-tax proposal took a key step forward as lawmakers approved the legislation in a vote of the state Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. It passed out of committee on a 6-to-4 vote. The bill must go through other committees before it reaches the full legislature. [Seattle Times]

¶ Thompson Elementary School in Highland Park, Michigan, has been vacant for 20 years. It is a shell of a building, reflecting the economic troubles of the city overall. But now, there is a plan for it. The proposed Parker Village project will convert the school into a community center surrounded by energy efficient, net-zero homes. [Michigan Radio]

Parker Village community center (Rendering: Parker Village HP)

¶ Reduced state incentives and new US trade tariffs are likely to speed the decline of small and medium-sized solar power installations, trade group Renewable Energy Vermont said. The number of new net-metered PV panels declined by 50% last year, REV reported, citing data from the Vermont Public Utilities Commission. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

¶ Exxon Mobil Corp has reported that it expects global oil demand to drop sharply by 2040 if regulations aimed at limiting the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on climate are fully implemented. Under this scenario, Exxon projected world oil consumption will drop 0.4% annually to 2040 to 25% below current levels. [The Star Online]

Exxon Desert Tanker (Image: azrainman, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ One of the oldest nuclear power plants in the country will be shutting down more than a year ahead of schedule. Exelon, the country’s largest nuclear utility, said that it would shut down the Oyster Creek power station in New Jersey in October of 2018, more than a year ahead of schedule. The plant is licensed to run until 2029. [Washington Examiner]

¶ In a report to Connecticut legislators, the state’s energy officials recommended that the Millstone nuclear power station be allowed to offer further evidence of financial distress. The plant’s owners hope that a new procurement process could enhance its profitability. Millstone is the state’s biggest source of zero-carbon electricity. [Hartford Business]

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