April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Energy costs: Renewables close in on fossil fuels, challenging on price” • Coal has been getting the squeeze for years now, but the plunging cost of renewable energy is already starting to give natural gas a run for its money. For the incumbent fossil fuel industry, the implications are dire. And batteries are a new part of the mix. [The Coloradoan]

Golden Hills wind farm (Photo: Google)

World:

¶ Australia’s boom in rooftop solar is accelerating, with a record 351 MW of installations in the first quarter of 2018. Industry statistician SunWiz said this total for the first three months of the year is 56% of last year, 33% ahead of the record first quarter in 2013, and more than double the “miserable” performance of 2016. [RenewEconomy]

¶ March of 2018 was a good month for clean transportation in Norway. There were 14,401 new cars registered in the country last month. As a group, their average carbon dioxide emissions were 63 grams per kilometer. Want to put that into perspective? Check this out. That is 22 grams per kilometer lower than in March of 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan Leaf in Norway

¶ Genex Power is exploring the option of building a new 150-MW wind farm alongside its Kidston pumped hydro and solar project in North Queensland. The $1 billion Kidston renewable hub will be the first pumped hydro/solar/wind project in the world with the potential to run 24 hours a day, if it goes ahead. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ French utility company EDF has a goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2050. Energy storage will be a big part of achieving that goal. The company already has 5 GW of installed grid-scale storage, but plans to increase that to 15 GW by 2035. The extra 10 GW of storage called for by its new Energy Storage Plan will cost about $10 billion. [CleanTechnica]

EDF battery storage units (EDF image)

¶ The New South Wales state government has given planning approval for the Liverpool Range wind farm, which at more than 1,000 MW could be the biggest in the country. The wind project is being developed Australian renewable energy company Epuron, and the planning permission allows for 267 turbines on 25 different properties. [SteelGuru]

¶ Internet giant Google Inc announced it has achieved its goal of purchasing enough renewable energy electricity to “match” its entire consumption in 2017. The company purchased an amount of electricity from wind and solar parks that even exceeded the demand of its global operations, including offices and data centers. [Renewables Now]

Google data center in the Netherlands (Source: Google)

¶ Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took part in a ceremony marking the start of construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. The Akkuyu power plant in the province of Mersin is a Turkish-Russian venture expected to cost $20 billion and meet 10% of Turkey’s energy needs. [Daily Pakistan]

¶ Solar and wind power were responsible for generating more energy than nuclear power in the UK in the fourth quarter of last year. Wind and solar combined created 18.33 TWh of power, while nuclear only produced 16.69 TWh. However, gas produced 36.12 TWh of power, and remains the UK’s highest source of electricity. [Energy Digital]

Wind turbine (Getty Images)

US:

¶ The EPA is pursuing a rollback of earlier plans (implemented under Obama’s presidency) to raise the new-vehicle fuel-efficiency standard to nearly 50 miles per gallon by 2025 (that would be a fleet-level requirement, not model level). In response to that, 11 US states have now revealed an intention to oppose the rollback. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A local government collaboration that is aimed at developing renewable energy in northern California has selected a consortium of five companies to construct a 100-MW to 150-MW floating wind farm off the coast of the city of Eureka. The project is being led by Spain’s EDP Renewables and Houston-based Principle Energy Inc. [Utility Dive]

Offshore wind farm

¶ Bay State Wind, the joint venture between global offshore wind leader Ørsted and New England’s foremost transmission builder Eversource, has signed a new agreement with EEW, which is an international leader in steel pipe manufacturing, to create a Massachusetts manufacturing facility to make offshore wind components. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Multinational baking company Grupo Bimbo signed a virtual power purchase agreement to receive 100 MW of energy from Invenergy’s Santa Rita East wind farm in Texas. This agreement comes as part of the bakery’s wider initiative to become the first baking company in the US to use 100% renewable energy for its operations by 2020. [reNews]

Miami wind farm in Texas (Credit: Invenergy)

¶ The Illinois Commerce Commission approved the Illinois Power Agency’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, stimulating significant investments in renewable energy and strengthening Illinois’ leadership in energy policy. Experts estimate that there are 300 projects with a total of 130 MW under development. [KWQC-TV6]

¶ A report from Environment America said that Honolulu leads the nation with an installed solar PV capacity of 606.4 watts per person. The report, “Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America,” said the next leading city, was San Diego, with a PV capacity of 204.1 watts per person. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

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