April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2018

World:

¶ China is placing a 25% tariff on cars made by Tesla. This is a problem Tesla must solve to move beyond being a niche player there. Not only are new Chinese car manufacturers cropping up at a record pace, the quality of the cars they build is getting better all the time. Given a choice, many Chinese would prefer to buy a Chinese car. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in China (Credit: EPA | Wu Hong via Quartz)

¶ Germany’s Federal Network Agency reports that in a 200-MW joint auction for solar and wind power, no bid for a wind project was successful and solar projects won 32 contracts. Heads of industry associations for both technologies said they considered the joint auction experiment unsuccessful because it was so one-sided. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A new joint industry initiative, which will run until mid-2020, has been established with the aim of reducing power cable failures in the offshore wind industry. The initiative aims to develop a continuous monitoring system for cables using optical fibre sensors. Such a system may enable early identification of possible failures. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm (Image: DNV GL)

¶ Tunisia is about to launch an international tender for the procurement of 1,000 MW of wind and solar power, a project that is estimated to be worth about $1.04 billion. To support its renewable energy goals, Tunisia has made a pledge to invest $1.78 billion to develop renewable energy projects over the course of next two years. [African Review]

¶ Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said it received 16 bids in a 200-MW solar tender. The tender was for four projects of around 50 MW each. A separate tender for 100 MW of wind farms in southern parts of Jordan is to take place in November. Jordan aims to have more than 2.4 GW of renewable power by 2021. [Renewables Now]

Petra Sunset (Author: Rob)

¶ Australian utility Evoenergy is carrying out comprehensive demand management trials ever in Australia, using a combination of batteries and traditional demand response. One virtual power plant used to avoid a substation upgrade could save Evoenergy around A$2 million ($1.6 million). Other utilities are conducting similar trials. [Greentech Media]

¶ Wind power helped renewable energy sources generate a record 25 TWh of electricity in the UK in the first quarter of 2018, according to analysts EnAppSys. Wind generated 15.8 TWh during the quarter. Renewables overall accounted for 29% of UK electricity generation in the period, behind natural gas with a 37.3% share. [reNews]

Offshore wind power (reNews image)

¶ Spanish renewables giant Acciona Energy won a tender to build one of Australia’s largest solar farms in the heart of Queensland coal country, the state government has announced. Acciona will develop, finance, construct and operate the $500 million 300-MW Aldoga solar farm, through a 30-year lease with the state government. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ Bay State Wind, the joint venture between two offshore wind farms in the northeastern US, has announced that it will commit to providing over $2 million in grants for research and programs aimed at protecting the region’s fisheries and whale populations. The two wind farms are to have a combined capacity of 1,000 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Humpback whales

¶ Utilities would be required to first consider renewable energy whenever replacing fossil fuel generation under legislation proposed by a prominent Republican Minnesota legislator. The “motivational bill” is not expected to pass, but its author hopes it will spur discussion about how Minnesota replaces retiring power plant capacity. [Energy News Network]

¶ Corporate procurement of solar power is on the rise for both distributed generation and offsite utility PV. Apple and Google have met goals, and Microsoft set a new solar procurement record. And there are many smaller companies also choosing to put solar power at the centers of their corporate sustainability strategies. [Greentech Media]

Urban rooftop solar installation

¶ A lot of good data is to be found in public reports from national labs and government research papers. But it has not always been easy to find or easy to parse, and it has been nearly eliminated by the Trump Administration. The Natural Resources Defense Council has stepped into the breach with a new tool to track green progress. [Green Car Reports]

¶ Ithaca College, a private liberal arts college in Upstate New York, has switched to 100% wind energy as part of its goal of becoming carbon-neutral. The college has followed its Climate Action Plan Reassessment Team’s recommendation that it purchase 100% wind energy through its current electricity supplier. [North American Windpower]

Wind turbines

¶ The New Jersey Assembly and Senate have passed two bills that set ambitious goals for expanding renewable power and curtailing greenhouse gases in the state. The bills require power companies in New Jersey to generate 50% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. They also subsidize existing nuclear power plants. [New York Times]

¶ Due to their high cost relative to other generating options, no new nuclear power units will be built in the US, William Von Hoene, Exelon’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, told the US Energy Association’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. He said, “They are too expensive to construct, relative to the world in which we now live.” [Platts]

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