March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “14 Experts Share Their 2018 Electric Vehicle Predictions & Developments” • 2017 was the year the question around the future of EVs went from “If?” to “When?” And so far, 2018 sees continuing momentum. Not a week goes by without some announcement about a new EV, fast charging networks, and battery technology. [CleanTechnica]

2017 electric vehicle news headlines

Science and Technology:

¶ Utilities can increase their efficiency by using more artificial intelligence technology, such as software to predict demand swings in the power grid or control home appliances, according to consultancy Roland Berger. European utilities could achieve efficiency gains of up to a fifth over the next five years using such technology, it said. [Reuters]

¶ In a shocking melting event, half of the ice in the Bering Sea disappeared during a two-week period in February, according to Rick Thoman, a climate scientist with the National Weather Service in Alaska. Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist based in Alaska, posted “overall sea ice extent on February 20 was the lowest on record.” [DesMoinesRegister.com]

Bering Sea bearded seal (Photo: NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Heads of the states from 23 nations hailed the efforts of the International Solar Alliance at its founding summit for providing a common platform to work for clean energy. They underlined the importance of clean energy, particularly for developing countries who want to save huge fuel costs and give the planet a cleaner future. [Economic Times]

¶ German energy giant EON plans to take over Innogy, the renewables subsidiary of competitor RWE, in a €20 billion deal, the companies said. The in-principle agreement involving asset swaps is part of a major restructuring of Germany’s energy market, as Europe’s top economy switches from conventional to renewable power. [The Local Germany]

German house with solar PVs (Photo: Andre Laaks | innogy SE)

¶ Forty years after the last streetlight was turned off at Kiritimati Island, a renewable energy company based in South Canterbury, New Zealand, is turning them on again. The 66 lights have been installed as part of the Kiritimati Renewable Energy Project, which includes a 150-kW solar PV plant, reducing dependence on diesel. [Timaru Herald]

¶ Italy’s Ministry of Development submitted to the country’s State-Regions Conference and the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment a draft decree for the introduction of a new incentive scheme. It includes a mixed wind-solar auction mechanism for about 4.8 GW of projects over 1 MW. [pv magazine International]

Italian solar array (Image: Meeco)

¶ Carnegie Clean Energy has revealed plans to develop a 10-MW solar farm, with up to 10 MWh of battery storage, in an industrial area of Western Australia. The developer said it had secured in-principle approval to negotiate a lease to build, own, and operate a battery equipped solar farm at  a heavy industry hub north-east of Bunbury. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is unlikely to be ready in 2023, as planned. Rosatom is looking for Turkish partners for 49% of the power plant, but has had difficulties in finding partners at a local level. Rosatom is negotiating with four Turkish companies the join financing of the project, but little progress has been made so far. [Finance Appraise]

Nuclear power plant

¶ After seven years, most of the nuclear refugees from Futaba, where the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown took place, have resigned themselves to the fact that they must build new lives elsewhere and will never be able to return home. They cling to memories of the past, while officials maintain optimism about a future for the town. [Kyodo News Plus]

US:

¶ For the Winnebago Tribe and people, the battle for sovereignty is taking place in a field and on roofs across their reservation. It is a battle for energy independence that can best be seen in the black solar panels that the tribe has installed on rooftops and at its solar farm. Since 2008, the tribe has installed nearly 1,000 of the panels. [Sioux City Journal]

Solar array of the Winnebago Tribe (Photo: Ho-Chunk Inc)

¶ Cherryland Electric Cooperative, a utility in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, is taking part in a pilot program to help low-income customers cut their power bills through renewable energy and energy waste reduction efforts. Officials say the coop expects to help lower energy bills for 50 low-income households. [Petoskey News-Review]

¶ SCANA Corp knew its contractors were mismanaging millions of dollars in construction materials soon after work at the VC Summer Nuclear Station began in 2013, but the company was unable to stop the waste before it had to abandon the $9 billion project. Records suggest SCANA never got its contractors to correct the problems. [Charleston Post Courier]

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