February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2018


¶ “Why 2018 Is The Year That Divestment Is Finally Going Mainstream” • Counterintuitively, divestment need not harm portfolio performance. Multiple studies found that portfolios that divest from fossil fuels and utilities and invest in clean energy instead perform better than those with conventional investment strategies. [CleanTechnica]

Smoke stacks rising in the countryside

¶ “If Climate Change Wrecks Your City, Can It Sue Exxon?” • Though scientists still warn that it is inaccurate to speak of weather events being “caused” by climate change, better technologies now allow researchers to quantify the severity of climate change’s impacts on weather, drawing a link between emissions and damage costs. [The Verge]


¶ The amount of renewable power produced in 2017 could have powered Britain for the whole of 1958, a report shows. Britain’s output from wind, biomass, solar and hydro grew by more than a quarter to 96 TWh of power, according to the latest Electric Insights report, from researchers at Imperial College London in collaboration with Drax. [The Independent]

UK renewables (Getty image)

¶ Swedish furniture giant Ikea has partnered with the Big Clean Switch to encourage households to sign-up to a 100% renewable tariff. Big Clean Switch is a ‘profit for purpose’ firm that helps people move to renewable energy providers. The pair say that switching to a tariff with them could save households around £300 a year. [This is Money]

¶ The South Australian Premier has signalled to voters that Labor will continue its world-leading push into renewable energy, by committing his government to a 75% Renewable Energy Target by 2025 and, for the first time, a Renewable Storage Target. The state is already close to eclipsing its current 50% Renewable Energy Target, set in 2014. [ABC Online]

Wind and solar power (Photo: Tadgh Cullen | DP Energy)

¶ Globally, PV capacity will expand more over the next five years than any other renewable-energy technology, according to projections from accounting and financial services firm KPMG in its latest report, Great expectations: Deal making in the renewable energy sector. KPMG drew its findings from a survey of 200 renewable-energy investors. [pv magazine USA]

¶ South Australia is set to host its second hydrogen production and distribution facility, with the construction of a 1.25-MW Siemens electrolyser that will produce hydrogen using grid electricity potentially combined with on-site solar. The $11.4 million project will be built at the Tonsely Innovation District in Adelaide. [RenewEconomy]

Tonsely Innovation District

¶ In its benchmark annual Energy Outlook, BP forecast a 100-fold growth in electric vehicles by 2040. Its chief economist Spencer Dale painted a world in which we travel much more, but instead of using private cars, we increasingly share trips in autonomous vehicles. It is the first report in which BP forecast a peak in fossil fuel demand. [The Star Online]


¶ California-based Sunpin Holdings LLC said it was selected to develop a 5-MW solar power plant in Blandford, Massachusetts, as part of the state’s SMART program. Eversource Energy has awarded the company a 20-year feed-in-tariff incentive contract. The SMART program is designed to support 1.6 GW of new solar power. [Renewables Now]

Massachusetts community solar project (Photo: 38 Degrees North)

¶ Rocky Mountain Power selected four new wind projects to fulfill plans to expand the amount of wind energy it provides by 2020. The four projects will expand Rocky Mountain Power’s owned and contracted wind power by more than 60% and add enough new wind energy to power about 450,000 average homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ A bipartisan group of city leader known as the Climate Mayors released a joint letter today imploring the EPA not to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a move they warn would damage public health, clean air initiatives, and efforts to combat climate change. The group’s 233 mayors represent 51 million Americans in 46 states and territories. [Curbed]

Solar power on a green rooftop (Shutterstock image)

¶ The New Hampshire House narrowly voted last week to “tap the brakes” on the state’s policy to expand use of renewable energy, though critics might say it could bring the policy to a screeching halt. The action would be a major pullback from requiring utilities to get 25% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. [New Hampshire Business Review]

¶ The Maine Renewable Energy Association is asking the Kennebec County Superior Court to nullify an executive order by Governor LePage. The order, issued on January 24, halted the issuance of new wind power permits and created a secretive advisory commission to explore potential changes to the permitting process. [Press Herald]

Wind turbines in Dixfield (Staff file photo by Gabe Souza)

¶ Legislation filed in the California Legislature would make it easier for businesses, schools, nonprofits and municipalities to access solar energy. In turn, this will help generate thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars of investment in the state. The legislation expands access to offsite solar projects for non-residential customers. [YubaNet]

¶ A DOE official said the agency was conducting research and working with utilities seeking permission from the NRC to allow nuclear reactors built in the 1970s to keep operating to 2050 and beyond. The official asked not to be named to discuss its decision-making process. Some utilities are already planning to ask for 80-year licenses. [Bloomberg]

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