February 10 Energy News

February 10, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ A research team at the University of Maryland has developed a wood-based material that can compete with steel in the strength category. The secret is compressing the wood after removing the lignin (the tough part that “glues” wood cells together). The remaining material is packed in so closely that it forms strong hydrogen bonds. [CleanTechnica]

Researchers Liangbing Hu and Teng Li (University of Maryland)

¶ Ionic Materials is focused on making a polymer it says will replace the liquid electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries. Ionic raised $65 million in investment, which it will use to create a polymer production facility at its headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts. Rather than making batteries itself, it will sell the polymer to battery manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Thailand’s largest solar energy company, Superblock Pcl, plans to invest 56 billion baht ($1.76 billion) to install 700 MW of wind farms in Vietnam, the company’s Chairman Jormsup Lochaya told Reuters. The first phase of the investment will consist of three near-shore wind farms with a combined capacity of 330 MW in southern Vietnam. [DealStreetAsia]

Wind energy (Pixabay image)

¶ The Solar Energy Corporation of India floated a tender for the allocation of 2 GW of solar PV capacity. Prospective project developers are free to chose the location for the development of the projects. The maximum tariff allowed for bids is ₹2.93/kWh (¢4.6/kWh). The lowest current solar power tariff in India is ₹2.44/kWh (3.8¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ørsted received environmental approval from the Taiwanese authorities for four offshore wind farms totalling 2.4 GW off the Asian island’s Changhua coast. With Environmental Protection Administration approval, the Danish company has secured exclusivity over the development of the four sites between 35 km and 60 km from shore. [reNews]

Ørsted offshore turbine (Ørsted image)

¶ According to Allied Market Research, the Global Renewable Energy Market was valued at $ 1,405,646 million in 2016, and is projected to reach at $2,152,903 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 4.9% from 2017 to 2025. The report indicates that in recent years, the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix is on a continuous rise. [Broadway World]

¶ India-headquartered solar EPC company Sterling and Wilson is to build a 54.3-MW solar PV plant in Zambia under the International Finance Corporation’s Scaling Solar program. The project will be the first utility-scale solar farm in Zambia, and the first under the Scaling Solar program to be built exclusively for grid connection. [pv magazine India]

Zambia’s Kafue District (Image: Dz217 | Wikipedia)

¶ New electricity cables across the Channel to France and Belgium will be a key part of keeping Britain’s lights on during winter in the early 2020s, after their owners won backup power subsidies in a government auction this week. Three new interconnectors are currently being built to Europe, almost doubling existing capacity. [The Guardian]

¶ At the Intercontinental Hotel in Zambian capital Lusaka, the GET FiT Zambian program today hosted its official launch. The program is to implement a renewables feed in tariff strategy, REFiT, in Zambia. REFiT provides an allocation of 200 MW to small and medium renewable energy projects up to a maximum size of 20 MW. [pv magazine International]

More Zambian landscape (Image: Harvey Barrison | Flickr)

US:

¶ The budget bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in the early hours of February 9 extends a host of tax credits for energy technologies, including provisions to help the Vogtle nuclear expansion in Georgia as well as US carbon-capture projects. The legislation also provides support for renewable energy. [POWER magazine]

¶ The makeup of the future electric generation mix will depend largely on the price of natural gas, according to new findings from the Energy Information Administration. The mix of fuels used to generate electricity changes in response to differences in the relative costs of electricity-generating technologies, including the cost of fuel. [Solar Industry]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ Dartmouth College is engaging consultants at the investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore ways in which a private firm might finance, and even build, a new power plant to help meet the school’s renewable energy goals. Dartmouth College is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. [Valley News]

¶ Hawaiian Electric Cos said it will ask state regulators for approval to issue requests for proposals for development and construction of new renewable energy projects across its service territory. The utility seeks to procure 220 MW of renewable generation on Oahu, 60 MW on Maui, and 20 MW on the Big Island. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

Renewable energy in Hawaii (YangPhoto)

¶ Overall US energy consumption decreased slightly to 97.4 quadrillion BTU in 2016, a 0.3% decline from 2015. Compared to 2015, energy consumption increased in 2016 for renewables (+7.3%), natural gas (+3.8%), nuclear (+1.0%), and petroleum (+1.2%). Consumption from coal continued to decline, dropping by 8.5%. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ The latest software release from Sunverge Energy makes it easier for electric utilities to use real-time data to better enable more comprehensive demand management while offering and co-optimizing both consumer and grid services. The additional features and enhancements to the company’s Virtual Power Plant platform. [AltEnergyMag]

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