February 12 Energy News

February 12, 2018


¶ “The New Age of Renewable Energy” • Renewable energy is moving from niche to mainstream markets. One of the clearest signs yet: the Middle East is embracing it. Renewable energy is undergoing a revolution. It is surging in scale and plummeting in price, and in the process it is reshaping global energy markets. [The Cairo Review of Global Affairs]

Solar park in Dubai (Ashraf Alamra | Reuters)

¶ “Fight Climate Change, While Earning Up To 7.5% Annually?” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that the solar energy market through 2040 will be worth about $2.8 trillion. Governments and institutions are supporting small systems and large, but Wunder Capital supports a middle market they have failed to see. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How a Tasmanian community is taking the power back” • A proposed project would see $150,000 worth of solar panels and battery storage installed across six residential aged-care units in Nubeena, Tasmania. The reason is pretty straight forward: to deliver more reliable electricity in a way that will benefit the whole community. [One Step Off The Grid]

Nubeena, Tasmania


¶ After successfully completing bidding to source 500 MW solar power last year, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited has floated another tender to procure 500 MW from grid-connected solar PV power projects through competitive bidding. There is also a greenshoe option for the purchase of an additional 500 MW of solar power. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ Five major pumped hydro energy storage projects and another big battery have received government support in South Australia as the state moves to advance its position as a global renewable energy leader. The projects, mainly in the state’s Mid North, would provide more than 1 GW of generating capacity to the South Australian grid. [PACE Today]

Australian windpower (Photo: Tony Lewis | InDaily)

¶ South Australian energy storage company 1414 Degrees spent almost a decade developing its Thermal Energy Storage System technology to store electricity as thermal energy by heating and melting containers full of silicon at a cost estimated to be up to 10 times cheaper than lithium batteries. It is now building a plant near Adelaide. [Climate Control News]

¶ Greenpeace’s Unearthed website reported on a confidential Cabinet Office report that suggests the medium term prospects for fracking in the UK could be far less bullish than previously admitted. The report suggests that the government expects just 17 shale gas and oil sites to be up and running by the end of the decade. [www.businessgreen.com]

Pumping jacks

¶ With massive amounts of electricity needed to run the computers that create bitcoins, large virtual currency mining companies have established a base in Iceland, which blessed with abundant renewable energy. Iceland is expected to use more energy mining bitcoins and other virtual currencies this year than it uses to power its homes. [Independent.ie]

¶ AGL will spend about A$900 million ($705 million) to buy wind farms to replace some of the power lost when it closes the Liddell coal-fired power plant. The company is to announce an expression of interest to replace the 8,000 GWh hours of power from its plant every year. It is also bringing more renewable energy on board. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Liddell Power Station (Photo: Janie Barrett)

¶ South Australia’s first green hydrogen plant, one of the biggest of its kind worldwide, will be built near Port Lincoln. The plant will use solar and wind energy from Eyre Peninsula to create hydrogen to be used for fuel for electricity. Proponents say the industry could eventually surpass the value of Australia’s multi-billion-dollar gas exports. [InDaily]

¶ State-run South Korean energy firm Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has today signed a memorandum of understanding with local renewable energy company Hwaseong Solar Energy to develop a 100-MW floating solar PV plant near the western coastline of the country. It would be nation’s largest floating solar farm. [pv magazine International]

South Korean floating solar PV plants (Image: Ciel & Terre)

¶ More grid-aches plagued Australia’s National Electricity Market over the weekend – none of them anything to do with renewables – as extreme weather flattened power lines in Queensland, faults in the poles and wires caused blackouts in Victoria, and ageing Latrobe Valley coal power generators proved once again that they are unreliable. [RenewEconomy]


¶ Solar power prices have been dropping faster than people expected, even faster than experts expected, and even faster than bullish experts expected. A leading expert at Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that their expectations have dropped to about 37¢/watt. At this price, the cost of electricity from new solar PVs can be disruptive. [CleanTechnica]

Alaskan outhouse (Nick Bonzey, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ As expected, half of the power output from the proposed Burrillville, Rhode Island, fossil-fuel power plant was excluded from the recent power-purchase auction held by the operator of the New England power grid, ISO New England. The exclusion from the bidding was ultimately because of construction and permit delays. [ecoRI news]

¶ Spirits and wine producer Brown-Forman signed a 15-year deal with energy developer Infinity Renewables for 30 MW of power from a wind project that is now under construction in Kansas. The firm expects the power from the 474-MW Solomon Forks wind farm will provide for more than 90% of its US electricity needs. [www.businessgreen.com]

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