February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How General Electric gambled on fossil fuel power, and lost” • Last March, executives at GE’s power-plant business gave Wall Street a surprisingly bullish forecast for the year. Despite flat demand for new natural gas power plants, they said, GE Power’s revenue and profit would rise. But GE’s forecast turned out to be a mirage. [Daily Times]

Nodding donkey

¶ “The new power generation” • The way nations power themselves is changing, and Britain is no exception. Advances in technology and the continued fall in the cost of renewable power mean that the potential for new, green power systems in Britain is much greater than even a decade ago. And now, batteries open a whole new potential. [Prospect]

Science and Technology:

¶ Conservationists say two iconic New Hampshire animals, moose and loons, show how climate change will reshape the region. On the same day they talked about their research at the Audubon Society in Concord, New Hampshire set new records for winter warmth. It was 48° on the snowless Mount Washington summit. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Loons (Credit: AcrylicArtist | Morguefile)

¶ Siberia’s permafrost is melting, with huge holes appearing in it. One of the biggest craters, known by the local Yakutian people as the “doorway to the underworld,” is growing so rapidly that it’s uncovering long-buried forests, carcasses, and 200,000 years of historical climate records. The Batagaika crater is what is termed a megaslump or thermokarst. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ Solar storage batteries are projected to grow at a rate of up to 300%. The news is that a battery manufacturing plant will be built in South Australia, and a residential battery power rebate will also kick off in that state. German battery maker Sonnen will have its new manufacturing plant near Adelaide, creating hundreds of jobs. [Tech Guide]

House with rooftop solar power

¶ Aiming to reduce the dependence on coal and gas for power generation, the government of Gujarat will begun working on a new hybrid energy policy. Under the new policy it will provide greater focus on solar and wind-based power, and promote wind and solar power based units that share the same land and transmission grid. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ Southeast Asian countries are on course to meet their aspirational renewable energy target of a 23% share of total primary energy supply by 2025, according to analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency. Achieving this target would also significantly improve the access to affordable clean energy in the region. [Modern Diplomacy]

Wind turbines along the shore

¶ Coal power plants are likely to end up as underutilized or stranded assets in 10 years or less, given the rapid pace of renewables, a top official of First Philippine Holdings said. As more renewables come onto the grid, the shape of demand changes, and renewable-energy technology, though intermittent, can adapt better than coal. [Business Mirror]

US:

¶ UPS been evaluating 50 Workhorse vans. They are up to four times more efficient than the diesel-powered vehicles they replace and have far lower tailpipe emissions. Importantly, those 50 trucks have acquisition costs comparable to conventional vehicles without subsidies, according to a joint press release from Workhorse and UPS. [CleanTechnica]

Workhorse UPS prototype

¶ Numerous organizations have filed lawsuits against Exxon in recent times in relation to anthropogenic climate change. Now, the oil giant has filed lawsuits against a large collection of people associated with these suits, alleging conspiracy. Among those being sued are the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Grape grower Sun World International, LLC, published its first corporate social responsibility report. It details the goals that The Better Future Project, Sun World’s CSR program, aims to achieve by 2022 and progress made to date. Sun World’s environmental initiatives focus on renewable energy, water conservation and soil and bee health. [FreshPlaza]

Sun World CEO Merrill Dibble

¶ Altus Power America, Inc and Reservoir Road Holdings LLC completed two 648 kW DC solar systems in Highgate, Vermont. Converting unusable land into renewable energy, the two arrays are built over old gravel pits. Altus funded the construction and development of the projects and will serve as the long-term owner and operator. [Solar Industry]

¶ The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and AES Distributed Energy held a groundbreaking for the Lawai solar and energy storage project on the Garden Isle’s south shore. The project will consist of a 28-MW solar system and a 100 MWh energy storage component, which will be able to deliver peak power for up to five hours. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

Preparing for site blessing and dedication (Courtesy of KIUC)

¶ In a win for solar power in New York, the state’s Public Service Commission released an order expected to encourage more communities to pursue shared solar projects. It increases the maximum size of community solar projects eligible for credits from 2 MW to 5 MW. This is expected to reduce soft costs of solar power. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ A plan to subsidize now-profitable New Jersey nuclear plants with higher rates for customers moved forward and is now part of a larger piece of legislation that includes additional ratepayer-funded incentives for renewable power and energy efficiency. Democratic leaders in both houses wanted renewable energy subsidies in a separate bill. [NorthJersey.com]

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