April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Is America’s Vaunted Electricity Supply System on Course for Rocks and Shoals?” • Several recent announcements show a slowly developing crisis in the American electricity supply system. Operators of a number of coal-burning, nuclear, and even gas-powered generating plants said they are planning to retire them. [Energy Collective]

Birds on wires (Photo: B W via Flickr)

¶ “The pro-coal ‘Monash Forum’ may do little but blacken the name of a revered Australian” • The coal industry has a new voice in parliament, in the form of the so-called Monash Forum. In seeking to deliver new coal-fired power stations, the Monash Forum is attempting to mine a seam that has already been extensively excavated. [EcoGeneration]

Science and Technology:

¶ So far, the Antarctic was seen as relatively stable. But a study shows that climate change is affecting the polar region much more than previously believed, with possibly devastating results. With warmer waters melting the ice from below, Antarctica could soon overtake Greenland to become the biggest source of sea-level rise. [Deutsche Welle]

Iceberg broken off Antarctica (Getty Images | E Abramovich)

World:

¶ Toyota opened sales for its first hydrogen fuel cell bus in Japan, according to a new press release. This new model represents the first hydrogen fuel cell bus to receive vehicle type certification in the country. The company aims to have at least 100 hydrogen fuel cell buses running in Tokyo by the time of the 2020 Summer Olympics. [CleanTechnica]

¶ France’s famously beautiful capital is not a place you’d expect to find chickens, beehives, and rows of neatly planted cabbages, but urban farming is flourishing in Paris. The city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, wanted to make Paris a greener city with green spaces. The plan is to cover a third of those green spaces with urban farms. [CNN]

Hydroponic system on a rooftop

¶ German solar power capacity growth is expected to reach the 2.5-GW annual expansion target either this year or next. According to a recent study by Fraunhofer ISE, new German solar and onshore wind plants in good locations are by now cheaper than new fossil fuel fired plants as renewable energy technologies are developing. [ICIS]

¶ Siemens Gamesa, one of the world’s leading wind energy companies, has been awarded the contract for the 120-MW expansion of Taiwan’s landmark Formosa 1 offshore wind project. Siemens Gamesa will supply 20 of its SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines beginning in 2019, and will also provide a 15-year service agreement. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind project (Credit: Swancor Renewable Energy)

¶ After years of dilly-dallying during former president Jacob Zuma’s era and court action by the metalworkers union, NUMSA, South Africa’s Department of Energy will finally sign the R55.92 billion ($4.69 billion) Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme projects and power purchase agreements with Eskom. [Business Day]

¶ Portugal has produced so much renewable electricity that it has outstripped the entire country’s consumption for the month of March. The national grid operator, REN, has announced that renewables generated 4,812 GWh over the course of the month, compared to a demand from mainland Portugal that reached 4,647 GWh. [Climate Action Programme]

Wind turbines

¶ Australia’s biggest energy producer, AGL Energy Ltd, came under pressure from the country’s Prime Minister to sell or keep running its coal-fired Liddell Power Station, after Alinta Energy expressed interest in a purchase. AGL had planned to shut the plant, which started operations in 1971, in 2022 as part of a phased exit from coal. [Reuters]

US:

¶ Tesla built more cars in the first quarter of 2018 than in any quarter before. Total production was 34,494, a 40% increase from the fourth quarter of last year. “This is the fastest growth of any automotive company in the modern era. If this rate of growth continues, it will exceed even that of Ford and the Model T,” press release said. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Photo: Kyle Field)

¶ In Connecticut, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials received a total of 27 bids after a request for renewable energy proposals, according to agency spokesman Chris Collibee. Twenty involved fuel cells, four were anaerobic digestion projects, and three proposals were for offshore wind farms. [Thehour.com]

¶ Environmentalists are kicking off a new campaign for clean energy development in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The League of Conservation Voters’ “Clean Energy for All” project spans 30 states, including NH. Portsmouth has goals to zero out greenhouse gas emissions and use only renewable power sources. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Wind turbine (Credit: WPS Geography)

¶ Thousands of jobs for veterans and laid-off coal miners are coming to the old Hobet mountain top removal site in West Virginia. Green Line Energy signed a land agreement to buy part of the Rock Creek Industrial Site. The company, which works with a variety of renewable energy sources, plans to create a renewable energy plant. [WVNS-TV]

¶ As of March 20, more than 120,000 Puerto Ricans still didn’t have electricity as a result of Hurricane Maria, according to Vox. Battery manufacturer sonnen saw it as its mission to help however it could, and has fostered dependable electricity in the form of microgrids to some crucial Puerto Rican community centers. [Solar Power World]

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