April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Tariff War Roils Markets, May Cause Massive Job Losses. Tesla Hit Hardest” • Donald Trump loves to play the part of a wounded rhinoceros, stomping around and breaking things. “Hopefully the president is just blowing off steam again but, if he’s even half-serious, this is nuts,” said Senator Ben Sasse (R) of Nebraska. [CleanTechnica]

Rhinoceros, by Albrecht Dürer

 

¶ “ExxonMobil & Shell: What Did They Know, & When Did They Know It?” • On April 2, ThinkProgress reported that it had access to a 1998 video in which the head of Mobil told a group of employees that the greenhouse gas emissions was not primarily their fault for making oil products; it was their customer’s for using them. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ UK utility Northumbrian Water Ltd will power all of its facilities with renewable electricity under a deal with Danish supplier Ørsted A/S. The two companies have signed a four-year contract calling for Ørsted to deliver power from Ørsted’s offshore wind farms for Northumbrian Water’s 1,858 sites, the UK utility said. [Renewables Now]

Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm (Source: Ørsted A/S)

¶ Diesel car sales in the UK fell by over a third in March on the back of continuing talk of possible selective diesel car bans as well as fallout from the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal, figures from the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders say. The number may even be inflated a bit due to an impending tax increase. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Solar Trade Association Scotland lobbied the Distribution Network Operator with clear evidence on the modest network impact of most rooftop solar projects, thereby securing easier access to the grid. In response to STA Scotland’s presentation, the DNO agreed to relax restrictions on installations up to 200 kW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar farm (NREL image)

¶ Kolkata-based mining and minerals group Atha will invest ₹3,100 crore ($466 million) for expanding its renewable energy capacity to 1,000 MW by 2022, from the present 200 MW. The 60-year-old group has a goal of adding about 500 MW of the new capacity in India and the rest elsewhere. It hopes to fund additions from abroad. [Business Today]

¶ South Africa’s five largest renewable energy projects, measured in terms of investment, are all wind farms. They contribute, in combination, 645.71 MW to the grid. The government has now signed contracts to add 2,300 MW of electricity to the national grid over the coming five years, with 27 independent power producers. [Business Insider South Africa]

Wind Farm (Photo: Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm)

¶ Developing countries, with China at the forefront of the group, are leading in global investment in renewable power generation, according to a new report on global trends in renewable energy investment. China now holds more than half of the world’s solar energy capacity, following a 58% investment increase it made last year. [Devex]

¶ The world invested more in solar power than coal, gas, and nuclear combined last year. China was by far the world’s largest investor in renewable energy, accounting for nearly half of the new capacity, according to the report from the UN Environment Program. Renewables, excluding large hydro, made up three-fifths of new capacity. [pvbuzz media]

Rooftop solar

US:

¶ With fewer power plants burning the fossil fuel, competition from cheap natural gas, and rising wind and solar energy, coal’s contribution to the nation’s electricity production has dropped to 30%, down from 52%, 20 years ago. The fossil fuel is not going to bounce back in the United States, panelists said at a conference in Billings, Montana. [Sidney Herald Leader]

¶ A cooperative serving four Western states could lose customers because of its dependence on coal. Colorado-based Tri-State Generation & Transmission boasts of having the most solar generation of any generation and transmission company in the US. But its coal-heavy portfolio is and issue with several of the 43 member cooperatives. [Energy News Network]

Craig Station in northwest Colorado

¶ Apple said it filed a statement objecting to the EPA’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Apple has invested heavily in renewable energy, which puts it, and the US, in a better position to compete with China in clean energy. The iPhone maker also pointed out that clean energy can help stabilize otherwise fluctuating fuel prices. [CNET]

¶ The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill to eliminate a cap that solar industry advocates say threatens future growth of the renewable sector. The vote in the House was 64-33. The measure now moves to the Senate. The law also guaranteed favorable electric rates for homeowners once the panels were installed. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Maintaining solar panels

¶ The Trump administration said it wants to sell leases for two large parcels off the Massachusetts coast for commercial wind energy projects. The proposed lease sale is “for commercial leasing for wind power on the outer continental shelf offshore Massachusetts.” The leases will be for an area covering nearly 390,000 acres. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Riverkeeper plans to challenge a Maryland company’s efforts to operate a natural gas plant in New York, based on its ties to a former top Cuomo Administration aide convicted of bribery, The Journal News/lohud.com has learned. The natural gas plant would replace some capacity lost as the Indian Point nuclear plant closes. [The Journal News]

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