April 6 Energy News

April 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Solar PV and wind are on track to replace all coal, oil and gas within two decades” • Solar PV and wind power are getting cheaper and more abundant so rapidly that they are on track to entirely supplant fossil fuels worldwide within two decades. The political voices saying Australia needs new coal stations sound rather quaint. [The Conversation AU]

Trends, extrapolated to 2032 – please click on the image to enlarge it. (Andrew Blakers | Matthew Stocks, Author provided)

¶ “We’re fighting the wrong trade battle with China. The future is clean energy” • President Trump believes he can create jobs by engaging in a trade war with China. A major report, however, makes clear that the Chinese understand the way to create the jobs of the future is by betting big on the strategic industries of the future. [ThinkProgress]

Science and Technology:

¶ Siemens kicked off a new pilot in partnership with Chicago-based ComEd and the Illinois Institute of Technology that aims to redefine the microgrid as an integrated operating unit within the grid. The dual-pronged pilot is focused on developing a next-generation microgrid, based on solar PVs, storage, and even smaller microgrids. [CleanTechnica]

Microgrid

World:

¶ Since a ruling by a German court that cities there have the right to ban diesel cars to improve air quality, the share of the total auto market held by diesel cars has been falling sharply in the country. The market share held by diesel cars appears to have been down 17.6% in January, 19.5% in February, and 25% in March from last years figures. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A report drafted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre shows that global solar energy investments overshadowed all other forms of electricity generation in 2017. China is the leading renewables investors, worldwide. [pv magazine International]

Renewable or not (Image: Fotolia | Reinhard Tiburzy)

¶ Friends of the Earth Netherlands has announced that it will take British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company Shell to court if it does not immediately act on demands “to stop its destruction of the climate.” A ruling in the case, if they win it, could significantly limit the company’s investments in oil and gas around the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SSE and Fluor are seeking permission to boost top power to more than 1050-MW at the consented but unbuilt Seagreen Alpha and Bravo offshore wind farms in Scotland. The partners have applied for a variation that would remove the 525-MW capacity limit at each of the projects in the outer Firth of Tay off Angus. [reNews]

SSE’s Greater Gabbard wind farm (Innogy image)

¶ A multi-million euro contract called the “largest long-term solar power purchase agreement in the world” is to be supplied by farms in Spain and Portugal producing enough power for about 400,000 homes. This news comes after Portugal’s renewable power production exceeded overall demand for the month of March. [The Portugal News]

US:

¶ A report from NV Energy shows almost 24% of Nevada’s electricity was generated from renewable sources or related credits last year, beating the state’s 20% goal. The utility says it hopes to double that percentage within five years. But the Sierra Club’s Toiyabe Chapter thinks the state’s renewable-energy targets are far too low. [Public News Service]

Nevada solar array (BlackRockSolar | Flickr)

¶ President Donald Trump said his administration is considering taking extraordinary steps to keep some money-losing power plants alive. FirstEnergy Solutions asked DOE head Rick Perry to exercise his Section 202 authority to declare a grid emergency and guarantee the profits of nuclear and coal-fired power plants in the eastern US. [Bloomberg]

¶ The latest report by the Power Sector Carbon Index highlights how far carbon emissions from the power generation sector of the US economy have fallen. In 2005, generating a MWh of US electricity released 1,321 pounds of CO2. Today, the number is down to 967 pounds per MWh, down over 25%, according to the report. [CleanTechnica]

Solar thermal power plant (DOE image)

¶ More than 30 businesses want to take on Platte River Power Authority’s latest solar power project. That is about triple the offers received for the similar Rawhide Flats Solar project in 2015. Leaders of the electricity provider for Fort Collins, Loveland, Estes Park and Longmont say the avalanche of offers was no surprise. [The Coloradoan]

¶ Ohio’s largest solar power project is underway on a landfill in Brooklyn, a neighborhood in Cleveland. The project is expected to generate 5% of the electricity supply for 16 Cuyahoga county buildings. The site will have 35,520 solar panels for a capacity of 4 MW. The county will pay almost $8 million of the $10 million total cost. [WOSU Public Media]

Solar array (Thomas R Machnitzki)

¶ Arizona state senators voted to put a measure crafted by the state’s largest electric utility on the November ballot to compete with a far more stringent initiative on renewable energy. The party-line vote came over objections from Democrats who said the measure is designed to be confused with the environment-friendly one. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ EDF RE has entered into a preliminary agreement with Fishermen’s Energy to acquire its 24-MW Atlantic City offshore wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City. The move comes as part of EDF’s response to New Jersey governor Phil Murphy’s goal of promoting the development of 3.5 GW of offshore windpower in the state’s waters. [reNews]
Offshore wind turbines (reNews image)

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