April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Solar and wind plus storage to increasingly replace gas plants” • For some years it has been obvious that increasing deployment of solar and wind is cutting into the market share of coal and nuclear power plants in the US and Europe. One industry pundit went so far as to call anyone who might build a combined cycle gas plant “crazy.” [pv magazine USA]

California gas plant (California Energy Commission)

Science and Technology:

¶ The Atlantic Ocean circulation that carries warmth into the Northern Hemisphere’s high latitudes is slowing down because of climate change, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Nature. This suggests that one of the most feared consequences of climate change, affecting the Gulf Stream, is already coming to pass. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ The global average cost of shipping fuels will rise by around 25% in 2020, due to the new sulfur limits set to go into effect then, according to a new report from the consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The rules are intended to move ships to switch over to marine gasoil and ultra-low-sulfur fuel oil from the highly polluting fuel they use. [CleanTechnica]

Ship at port

¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has commissioned 46 SWT-3.2-113 wind turbines at the Mont Sainte-Marguerite project in Québec. This 147-MW project, developed and owned by Pattern Energy Group LP, is the first in Québec for both companies. The companies have partnered for nearly 1.1 GW of installations in Canada. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Shell vowed to invest up to $2 billion every year to 2020 in its new energies division, which is tasked with growing the energy giant’s renewables business. Much of the cash will be spent on renewable power generation, Shell said. It is targeting markets in North America, Europe, and countries with “fast-growing” renewables sectors. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm (reNews image)

¶ The Queensland and Victorian governments are hedging their bets about the Turnbull government’s national energy guarantee ahead of the circulation of key design. The states say they are still considering whether or not to support the national energy guarantee and remain committed to their renewable energy targets. [The Guardian]

¶ The government of New Zealand is taking “an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speach in Wellington. It will limit the 2018 offer of exploration permits to onshore acreage in the oil-rich province of Taranaki. [Energy Voice]

Auckland

¶ In Portugal, the wholesale prices of energy declined in March from the previous year, as renewable energies covered 103.6% of the total power consumption of the country, a performance which was mainly driven by wind and hydropower. On average, daily market power prices dropped from €43.94/MWh to €39.75/MWh. [pv magazine International]

¶ The expanding network of giant windmills in the North Sea, the largest such collection in the world, is turning into a windfall for some bankers helping institutional investors acquire a piece of Europe’s renewable-energy market. Offshore wind farms account for just 2% of Europe’s electricity, but more are being built. [Energy Voice]

Offshore wind turbines (Photo: Simon Dawson | Bloomberg)

¶ EDF Energy warned that a flagship nuclear power station it is building in France could run further behind schedule and over budget, after it detected faults at the €10.5 billion (£9.2 billion, $12.96 billion) plant. Flamanville’s reactor design is the same as the one being used at a delayed plant in Finland and at Hinkley Point in Somerset. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ ACCIONA Energia announced that it will build its ninth wind farm in the US with the development of the 145-MW Palmas Atlas wind farm in Texas, its second wind farm in the state. The Palmas Atlas wind farm will need an investment of around $200 million and will be built using 46 Nordex AW125/3150 wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

ACCIONA wind farm in Texas

¶ Green Development, a renewable energy company based in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, has proposed a 40-MW solar array in North Smithfield.  The proposed project is thought to be the largest being considered for the state. It would generate approximately $20 million in lease payments to landowners over a period of 25 years. [Valley Breeze]

¶ EDP-Energias de Portugal is optimistic about renewable power investments in the US, despite President Donald Trump’s push to support coal and nuclear power plants and the tariff he has slapped on imported solar panels. Its chief executive said in an interview, “US renewables represent the growth engine of our company.” [ETEnergyworld.com]

Hybrid renewable energy plant

¶ US federal officials say they expect to have a plan by June on how to strengthen Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. Assistant Energy Secretary Bruce Walker says officials are looking at integrating renewable energy sources and building micro grids. More than 50,000 power customers remain in the dark nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria. [WEAU]

¶ The biggest coal-burning power plant in the West is fighting for survival. Despite support from the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, it appears likely to close next year. The Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona is facing difficulty as local utilities that use its power turn to cheaper renewable energy. [NBCNews.com]

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