February 6 Energy News

February 6, 2018


¶ Cape Town officials pushed back their projections for the day the South African city’s taps are expected to run dry from April 16 to May 11, citing a decline in agricultural water use. The farming sector, which uses the same supply system the city draws its water from, has already used its allotment, so there will be a drop over the coming weeks. [CNN]

Cape Town residents queue for water (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

¶ In a push to become one of China’s top auto makers, Nissan will pump 60 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) into its operations there over the next 5 years, company execs have revealed. The plan will reportedly focus on plug-in electric vehicles with the intention being to boost local sales volume to 2.6 million vehicles a year by 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Official statistics report that grid-connected PV capacity in Chile reached 1.82 GW by the end of 2017, but the completion of two large-scale projects totaling 215 MW in early January raised Chile’s total installed power to around 2.04 GW. There are 281 MW of solar PV power plants currently under construction in Chile. [pv magazine International]

Javiera PV plant in northern Chile (Image: NEXTracker)

¶ Speaking to parliament, the French foreign affairs minister made his country’s stand on the US decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement quite clear: “One of our main demands is that any country who signs a trade agreement with EU should implement the Paris Agreement on the ground. No Paris Agreement, no trade agreement.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ The renewables arm of General Electric Co announced that it signed a deal to supply turbines for a 360-MW portion of Engie SA’s Umburanas wind project in Brazil. Under the terms of the contract, GE Renewable Energy will deliver 144 units of its 2.5-116 turbines for the project, which is in the northeastern part of the country. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm

¶ Google announced plans to build a data center in Belgium that will have an on-site solar farm for energy generation. Google expects the data center to come online in mid-2019. The solar farm’s construction began in March of 2017, and it is already in operation. Its 10,665 solar panels can generate 2.9 GWh of energy per year. [Decentralized Energy]

¶ Installed offshore wind capacity in Europe grew 25% last year to 15.8 GW, an increase of 3.1 GW on 2016, according to figures released by WindEurope. The UK installed 1.7 GW, and Germany installed 1.3 GW. There are now more than 4000 offshore wind turbines operating in waters of 11 countries in Europe, the wind industry body added. [reNews]

Offshore windpower (reNews image)

¶ Vietnam is accelerating the construction of solar power plants to make up for an anticipated power shortfall due to the recent cancellation of several nuclear power projects. A conglomerate, Thien Tan Group, plans to build five large solar power plants in the southern province of Ninh Thuan at a cost of $2 billion by 2020. [VnExpress International]

¶ Innogy, owner and developer of the planned £2 billion ($2.8 billion) Triton Knoll wind farm off the coast of eastern England, is looking for partners to get it off the ground. The 860-MW  project has drawn interest from a number of infrastructure and pension funds. Though fewer offshore projects are being built, investor interest is growing. [ETEnergyworld.com]

European offshore windpower (Getty Images)


¶ Wind power is forecast to surpass hydroelectricity for the first time as the nation’s top source of renewable electricity sometime in the next year, the Energy Information Administration said. The sector is expected to produce 6.4% of utility-scale electricity in 2018, and 6.9% in 2019, propelled by a construction boom of new turbines. [TCT]

¶ New York State has seen 1,000% growth in solar power since 2011, Governor Cuomo announced. Between December 2011 and December 2017, the growth was possible because of more than $2.8 billion in private investment into the state’s clean energy economy. According to Cuomo, the growth also fueled 12,000 jobs across New York. [WGRZ-TV]

Rooftop PV construction (Lucas Braun, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ GM appears to have adopted a new market strategy, which would be to split itself into two components. One would manufacture electric and autonomous cars in China for world markets, and the other would continue to double down on huge fossil-fueled trucks and SUVs for the domestic market, with new offerings to arrive in 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A bipartisan group of New Hampshire lawmakers wants Gov Chris Sununu to support another big power line in the state, now that the future of the Northern Pass project is in doubt. They support National Grid’s Granite State Power Link, a competitor to Northern Pass that is still in the early stages of development. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

New Hampshire power line (NHPR photo)

¶ A number of Fortune 500 companies are driving the demand for renewable energy, and they are calling for a major upgrade to the country’s energy transmission lines. A report by the Wind Energy Foundation details renewable energy commitments by large corporations willing to purchase 60 GW of renewable energy by 2025. [KGWN]

¶ Squaw Valley is teaming up with Liberty Utilities and Tesla, with a plan for the ski resort to go off the grid and use 100% renewable energy. The Olympic Valley Microgrid Project would use state-of-the-art battery storage technology to create a new way to store surplus energy and deliver that stored energy to the utility’s grid. [KTVN]

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