March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Don’t Bet On A Decline In Chinese Solar PV Production” • China’s the “One Belt One Road” initiative is promising $1.2 trillion for struggling economies worldwide. One of the goals of the program is to marginalize American world influence. The solar panels and other goods the US has subjected to a tariff are tools for the program. [CleanTechnica]

Chinese destroyer Qingdao visiting Pearl Harbor
(Photo: US Navy, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Solar Surprise: Small-Scale Solar A Better Deal Than Big” • For a Public Utilities Commission eyeing the least cost solar energy, the greatest benefit will be at a scale of less than about 10 MW to 20 MW. For a city or community looking to maximize the value of the citizens’ solar investment, smaller systems are best. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The unholy alliance that explains why renewables are trouncing nuclear” • If recent trends continue, the global share of electricity from renewables excluding hydropower will overtake nuclear in two years. This is only partly because the costs of solar and wind have plunged while nuclear has become almost astoundingly expensive. [RenewEconomy]

Solar power

Science and Technology:

¶ XEV, a company few have ever heard of, is showing off its LSEV 3D-printed electric car at the China 3D Printing Cultural Museum in Shanghai this week. It will be featured next month at the Beijing auto show, according to a China Daily report. The diminutive two-seater could be the world’s first mass-produced 3D-printed EV. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ The Danish municipality of Roskilde is stepping into the future. The city council voted that all 20 of the buses serving all of its municipal bus lines will be electric starting in April 2019, it was announced. Achieving this milestone, the Roskilde Municipality is becoming the first in Denmark to convert its fleet to fully electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

Yutong Super Limousine

¶ Australia’s Energy Minister needs unanimous support from the states and territories to implement the federal government’s energy plan. Labor’s defeat in the South Australian state election left only one strong objector, but the Australian Capital Territory insists that the electricity sector cut greenhouse gas pollution. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Scottish renewables firm Natural Power announced that it has completed the construction of a 10-MW wind park in Ireland for UK-based renewable power producer Element Power. The four-turbine Meenwaun wind farm started generating electricity in December 2017, and this month it is expected to kick off its commercial operations. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (Photo: Element Power)

¶ European wind-turbine manufacturers, hungry for growth, have set their sights on Argentina’s booming renewable-energy market. The latest example is Nordex SE, a German turbine supplier that is planning its first assembly plant in Argentina. It is the second time in the past week the country has attracted a European manufacturer. [Bloomberg]

¶ A Victorian border town wants 100% renewable energy by 2022, and the federal Coalition is offering surprise support. Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg described the plan for the Yackandandah minigrid as an “exciting” example of Australia’s transformed energy landscape when he dropped in this month. [Energy Matters]

Yackandandah (Image: Chamber of Commerce)

¶ The Dutch government has begun to follow through on its renewable energy pledges by awarding Swedish firm Vattenfall two contracts for what will be the world’s first wind farms to be built entirely without public money. The Dutch government announced that its call for tender for zero-subsidy offshore wind bids had paid off. [EURACTIV]

US:

¶ The first fatality in the US involving a collision between a pedestrian and a self-driving car happened in Tempe, Arizona. A 49-year-old woman who stepped off a sidewalk to cross the street was struck by an oncoming Uber self-driving car operating in autonomous mode with a human driver on board. Police are investigating. [CleanTechnica]

Uber self driving car, a Volvo XC90

¶ In New York City, St Patrick’s Cathedral is undergoing a $200 million renovation. A geothermal heating and cooling system to replace the steam boiler and air conditioning system, installed nearly 60 years ago, is part of that upgrade. The geothermal system will have 10 wells, 8″ in diameter, drilled into the bedrock beneath the cathedral. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Bay State Wind signed a letter of intent to work with NEC Energy Solutions to develop energy storage system for its 800-MW offshore wind farm. Massachusetts-based NEC Energy Solutions will develop a 55-MW/111-MWh storage system to support the proposed offshore wind farm off the coast near Martha’s Vineyard. [CleanTechnology News]

Offshore windpower

¶ With fracking, the US poised to become the world’s largest oil exporter, and rail shipments will soon increase dramatically. Considering the dangers, the Baltimore city council voted to ban more oil storage facilities and export terminals. All that remains is for the mayor to approve the city council’s action for the ban to go into effect. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Enel Green Power North America Inc has signed new power purchase agreements with Facebook and Adobe for the sale of the energy produced by the 320-MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska. Rattlesnake Creek is currently under construction and is expected to start operations by the end of this year. [North American Windpower]

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