February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2018


¶ “Stalling Clean Energy – American Silence in the Green Revolution” • “You’re all going to be a part of this exciting new future,” Donald Trump told us. As China reconfirmed its $367 billion investment in renewable energy, the US has been content to promote the 1,200 coal mining jobs it’s scrapped back together. [Intelligencer Post]

Panda Solar Power Plant in Shanxi province, China
(Photo: Roman Pilipey | EPA | REX | Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published preliminary analyses from a three-year study using survey data from 1,705 randomly selected individuals within five miles of modern wind turbines, reflecting distance and attitudes. The findings highlight a generally positive attitude, regardless of how closely they live to a wind turbine. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The government of Germany is currently mulling the idea of making public transportation system use in heavily polluted cities free as a means of reducing emissions and thus improving air quality, Reuters has reported. Several cities in Germany are persistently home to levels of air pollution that exceed legal limits in the European Union. [CleanTechnica]

Interior of a German bus

¶ InfraCo Asia Development Private Limited, a developer of infrastructure is Southeast Asia, and Sunseap International have reportedly entered a deal to build a 168 MWp solar power project in the Ninh Thuan province of Vietnam. The power generated will help fill the demand for electricity of nearly 200,000 homes in the country. [AlgosOnline]

¶ Petroleum Development Oman and GlassPoint Solar this week inaugurated and officially opened the 1-GW Miraah solar plant. It is located atop the Amal oilfield in the south of Oman. The first four of 36 blocks have been completed, and they are currently delivering 100 MWt of steam, which is used to extract heavy oil from the oilfield. [CleanTechnica]

Miraah solar power

¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has been awarded exclusivity by Danish energy group Ørsted for supply and service of wind turbines for the Hornsea Project Two offshore wind power project, which is being developed in British waters. SGRE will install its SG 8.0-167 DD turbines with total capacity of 1,386 MW. [PennEnergy]

¶ Renewables firm Equis Energy has achieved financial close on the 127-MW Tailem Bend Solar Project in South Australia, which has a reserved area to hold a battery storage installation of up to 100 MWh in the future. Construction of the $200 million (US) project is due to start in February 2018, with completion due in early 2019. [PV-Tech]

Solar power plant (Credit: Equis Energy)

¶ Australians are in love with batteries and the bond of storage is only expected to grow stronger over coming years. A report from the Climate Council finds the market for household batteries tripled in 2017, with more than 20,000 installations. The year before, there were just 6,750 households that put in battery systems. [Echonetdaily]

¶ NUI Galway has officially launched the SEAFUEL project. It aims to use hydrogen as a renewable resource across the Atlantic area to power the local transport fleet of cars and support the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The project will be piloted in the Canary Islands, Madeira in Portugal and the Aran Islands, off western Ireland. [Irish Tech News]

Offshore wind power


¶ The Rocky Mountain Institute released a report on the demand flexibility equation, modeled on the grid in Texas, America’s version of an islanded energy market. The results indicate that the investment in demand flexibility would more than pay for itself in reduced curtailment, flattened peaks, and power plants never built. [Greentech Media]

¶ The board of county commissioners of Summit County, Colorado, unanimously approved a resolution committing the county to shift away from fossil fuels and to transition to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2035. According to the Sierra Club, 58 cities and towns have committed to 100% renewable energy. [North American Windpower]


¶ In a case of strange political bedfellows, a conservative lawmaker from San Juan County and the leader of a Santa Fe environmental group not known for compromising came together to back a bill aimed at easing the economic woes of New Mexico communities hit by the closing of large coal-burning power plants. [Los Alamos Monitor]

¶ Coal once dominated Michigan. But in 2016, coal-fired plants provided just 36% of the state’s electricity, down from about 50% two years before. Since 2010, Michigan utilities have retired 26 coal generators at 15 power plants. At least 17 generators at six plants are set to retire there by 2025, and no new coal-burning plants are being built. [Bridge Michigan]

The 1,429-MW St Clair coal-fired power plant,
built in 1953 (Bridge photo by Jim Malewitz)

¶ A Kansas-based solar company officially announced it is going to build its second 75-MW solar farm in Orangeburg County. Tradewind Energy said that it will build an $89 million solar production facility on about 1,000 acres south of the town of Bowman. The solar farm will generate enough power for 15,000 homes. [TheTandD.com]

¶ While US clean energy installations lagged in 2017, they did increase the amount of renewably generated electricity to its highest level ever, at 18% of the overall energy mix. Rachel Luo, senior analyst for US utilities and market reform at BNEF, said 18% brings clean energy “within striking distance” of nuclear’s 20% generation contribution. [Greentech Media]

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