March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2018


¶ “Offshore wind firms up the ante in Europe” • Offshore wind used to be portrayed as the costly renewable energy option that only got developed if onshore wind was too difficult to build or sell to the public. But, with the industry sinking money into ever more efficient technology, the sector is starting to stand on its own two feet. [Petroleum Economist]

Towing a floating wind turbine

Science and Technology:

¶ Software Motor Company claims its switched reluctance motors will cut energy use by 20–50% compared to Nema Premium motors in the 1-5 hp (0.75-3.7 kW) range, and will typically pay for themselves within 6 to 36 months. SMC and the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Labs are presenting a webinar on March 12 2018. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The city of Katowice in Poland has begun using drones outfitted with various air quality sensors to locate illegal emissions sources and otherwise hard-to-find offenders. Poland reportedly has something of a problem with regard to the burning of illegal fuel materials in households and buildings, leading to air pollution problems. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The companies currently committed to the RE100 campaign will need to procure an estimated 172 TWh (172,000 GWh) more clean energy generation by 2030 to meet their renewable energy targets, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, “RE100 Signatories to Spur $94 billion Investment Opportunity.” [Windpower Engineering]

¶ The right-wing Polish government seems to be making a 180-degree turnaround on sustainable energy in the country, and investors look eagerly forward to new renewable energy auctions later this year. The winners of the 2017 renewable capacity sell-off are set to erect the first PV plants under the scheme as early as this summer. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Poland (Author: Karolina Kabat)


¶ Fracking will make the US the largest supplier of oil and gas in the world by 2023, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency told the press at the CERAWeek energy conference. At the event, which was hosted by IHS Markit in Houston last week, he said, “About 80% of the global oil production growth comes from the US.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US will supply much of the world’s additional oil for the next few years, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. Over the next three years, the US will cover 80% of the world’s demand growth, the IEA says. Canada, Brazil, and Norway will cover the remainder, leaving no room for more OPEC supply. [CleanTechnica]

California pumpjacks (Arne Hückelheim, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank has become the first Fortune 500 company, the first bank, and the first RE100 member to achieve its goal of securing 100% of its power with renewables in a single Power Purchase Agreement from a single project. The project is an 80-MW solar project in North Carolina being developed by SunEnergy1. [CleanTechnica]

¶ While California and other solar-heavy states are leading on energy storage targets, experts say Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, with political support, could quickly close the gap. A senior Union of Concerned Scientists analyst said we are “going there” because costs of storage and renewable technology are falling. [Energy News Network]

A 2-MW battery near Sterling, Massachusetts

¶ General Motors is powering its operations in Flint, Michigan, with clean energy from Consumer Energy’s 44-MW Cross Winds 2 wind farm. Electricity from the project located in Tuscola County is being supplied to GM’s metal center and engine operations in Flint. The wind farm has been operational since coming on line in January. [reNews]

¶ Last year, the Trump administration announced it would withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement and repeal the Clean Power Plan. But a study from a group of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that the US can meet its commitment to the international climate agreement without the Clean Power Plan. [Michigan Radio]

Wind turbine (cwwycoff1 | Flickr)

¶ David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, Inc, announced that the proposed Kidder Hill Community Wind installation in Lowell, Vermont has been suspended. Citing a turbulent climate for renewable wind energy in Vermont and the urgent need for renewables to be built, he said resources will go elsewhere. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ A report by Synapse Energy Economics and Food & Water Watch shows that with new wind and solar sources, investments in storage, energy efficiency, and smart grid management, the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water can achieve a 100% clean energy system by the 2030 without raising costs for its ratepayers. [Windpower Engineering]

Los Angeles

¶ Oklahoma Gas & Electric and SunPower Corp have completed a 10-MW solar PV power plant in Covington, Oklahoma. The Covington solar plant is expected to generate enough electricity to serve the needs of over 1,000 average Oklahoma homes. OG&E owns the renewable energy credits associated with the system. [Solar Industry]

¶ By a 107-1 vote, South Carolina lawmakers advanced a measure addressing utility bills in the wake of failure of the VC Summer nuclear plant construction. Now the state’s Senate will consider the measure. That chamber has yet to agree to previous House measures that included cutting customers’ payments for the shuttered project. [Utility Products]

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