April 9 Energy News

April 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Investing in rural America would lift nation’s economy” • Rural America grows most of the food, generates much of the power, and manufactures many of the goods we use. When the modern economy threatens to leave much of the country on the wrong side of the ledger, that’s bad news regardless of where you live and work. [The Hill]

Rural America (© Getty Images)

¶ “AGL’s plan to replace Liddell is cheaper and cleaner than keeping it open” • The Australian government called for AGL Energy to consider selling the coal-burning Liddell power station to rival Alinta instead of shutting it down. AGL is confident this can be replaced by a mix of improved efficiency, renewables, and demand response. [The Conversation AU]

¶ “Offshore oil industry suppliers fight to be fit for frugal future” • Rising more than 20 meters above the sea, Statoil’s Aasta Hansteen platform towers over the Stord shipyard in western Norway, representing the height of engineering in the offshore oil sector. But despite recent high oil industry profits, the writing is on the wall globally. [The Business Times]

Aasta Hansteen oil platform (Reuters image)

World:

¶ What are the risks climate change poses to the stability of financial institutions? What role should supervisors play to mitigate the risks? These questions were topics of discussion when 200 central bankers and financial supervisors from over 30 countries gathered for the first ever International Climate Risk Conference in Amsterdam. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Eon has installed the topside for the offshore substation at its 385-MW Arkona wind farm in the German Baltic Sea. The jacket foundation for the platform was put in place last week. The substation, which is located at the project site some 35 km north-east of the island of Rugen, will be used by the Arkona wind farm and transmission operator 50Hertz. [reNews]

Oleg Strashnov (Eon image)

¶ Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources will present documents to the Cabinet of Ministers to attract private investments in the construction of wind power plants in the country, the Agency’s Deputy Head told Trend. The goal is to have 350 MW of windpower capacity under construction by 2020. [Trend News Agency]

¶ The Munich city utility, Stadtwerke München has signed contracts for a geothermal plant to produce approximately 50 MW of environmentally friendly district heating for around 80,000 households in the city. Six wells have been contracted. They will be drilled to a depth of 4,000 metres to extract heat from deep in the Earth. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Munich (Praxisforum Geohtermie.Bayern | Enerchange)

¶ Nissan recently came up with the idea of using spent batteries from Leaf cars to power streetlights in Japan. It is now offering LEAF owners in Japan a chance to trade in old Leaf batteries for refabricated ones under a fee-based program. Nissan set up a joint venture company with Sumitomo Corp to refurbish the batteries. [Tires & Parts News]

¶ Wind turbines in Scotland provided a 44% increase in power to the National Grid during the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017, environmental groups say. In January alone, renewable wind from onshore turbines over 5,353,997 MWh, enough power for the equivalent of more than five million homes. [STV News]

Wind turbine (© STV)

US:

¶ A new lawsuit was filed against the EPA by 14 states over the agency’s slow action issuing federal methane emissions standards, reports say. The new legal challenge comes about 9 months after a federal appeals court ruled the EPA is not legally able to freeze enforcement of its methane leak rules relating to oil and gas operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington state provide about 4% of the region’s electricity, but they have been responsible for declining salmon populations. The energy they produce could be replaced by a mix of other clean energy sources, such as a mix of wind and solar power, according to a recent study. [The Spokesman-Review]

Lower Granite Dam (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

¶ A North Carolina company plans to install 81,000 solar panels about 75 miles west of Spokane, starting in May. Strata Solar will build and own the 170-acre project. Avista Corp will buy the electricity and sell it to 40 to 80 large commercial and industrial customers. The solar farm could be generating power by mid-December. [The Spokesman-Review]

¶ Voters in Decorah, Iowa, will decide whether to divorce their current electricity provider and create a city-owned utility on May 1. Interestingly, the current provider said in an email, “We’re delivering on commitments to reliability and renewable energy that outpace anything a startup city-owned utility can promise to provide.” [Energy News Network]

Decorah, Iowa

¶ Lower prices for the natural gas Xcel Energy uses to produce electricity at area generating plants are leading the company to reduce the monthly fuel charges Texas customers pay, a move that will result in 6.3% lower bills on average. The adjustment must still be approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. [EverythingLubbock.com]

¶ The NRC gave a key approval to a Florida Power & Light project that could lead to adding two nuclear reactors in Miami-Dade County. The commission announced that it had authorized staff members to issue “combined licenses” for reactors at FPL’s Turkey Point site. FPL has not finally committed to building the reactors. [Florida Politics]

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