Archive for April 21st, 2018

April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2018


¶ “Market forces are driving a clean energy revolution in the US” • Transforming US energy systems away from coal and toward clean energy was once a vision touted mainly by environmentalists. Now it is shared by market purists. Today, affordable renewable energy is driving coal production and coal-fired generation out of business. [Source]

Block Island Wind (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA)

¶ “What steps can the UK take to reach net zero emissions by 2050?” • UK Government plans announced this week seek a zero-carbon economy in the next 30 years. This means more wind farms, solar power, and electric cars. Less obvious changes could include smart houses, smart roads, and widespread changes in forestry and farming. [The Guardian]


¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced that it has secured an order for 100 MW of wind turbines in Mexico, as part of the most recent renewable energy auction held in the country in November of 2017. Mexico’s third Long-term Auction for renewables awarded 2.5 GW of new projects at an average price of $20.57/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in New Mexico (Photo: Lars Schmidt)

¶ London-based financial services giant HSBC, the biggest bank in Europe, published an update to its energy policy. It announced a new decision to cease financing new coal-fired power plants around the world, with the exceptions of Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam. It is effectively ceasing support in 78 developed countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency, and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century sheds new light on the policy barriers to increased deployment of renewables. The report also provides a range of options for policymakers to scale-up their ambitions. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar farm

¶ A report released recently by the Australian Wind Alliance has provided some fascinating insights about the economic benefits produced by Australian wind farms. Their construction has resulted in an almost $4 billion contribution to the Australia economy. Over half of this value was generated in the last 5 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UAE was the second-largest investor in the renewable energy sector in the Middle East and Africa last year, investing $2.2 billion, up 2,815% over the previous year. The UAE recorded the second highest growth after Rwanda’s 8,665% as the African country invested $400 million in the renewable energy sector in 2017. [ZAWYA]

Shams 1 (Masdar | Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya)


¶ The Defense Production Act of 1950 gives the president power to implement subsidies for domestically produced materials in the name of national defense, including energy supplies. The Trump administration is reportedly considering this law as a way the president could fulfill his promises to help out uncompetitive nuclear and coal plants. [Greentech Media]

¶ Five New England liberal arts colleges have joined together to create a solar power facility that will offset 46,000 MWh of the total amount of electricity they use. The participating colleges are Bowdoin, Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, and Williams. The facility will be built in Farmington, Maine, and is expected to open in 2019. []

Hampshire College PV array (Republican file, Diane Lederman)

¶ Ride-hailing service Lyft has announced a plan to purchase enough carbon credits to make all its global operations carbon neutral. Lyft will also fund “emission mitigation efforts, including the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, forestry projects, and the capture of emissions from landfills.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Together, the US Geological Survey and the Department of Energy, in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the American Wind Energy Association, have published the most complete online database and interactive map of wind turbines in the United States. It has data on 57,000 turbines. [CleanTechnica]

USWTDB image

¶ A report released by the Elemental Excelerator, which is based in Honolulu, said Hawaii can achieve 84% of its clean energy goal by 2030, more than double the state’s target for that year, and that it would be cheaper than not doing anything. The report said reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045 could save the state $7 billion. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

¶ GE Renewable Energy announced orders totalling $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2018, up 15% on the same quarter last year. The company has secured commitments for 2.9 GW of onshore wind in North America following the introduction of the variably rated 2.2-MW to 2.5-MW turbine with 127-metre rotor, first quarter results show. [reNews]

GE wind turbine (GE image)

¶ A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to repeal tariffs on imported solar products. “Under this legislation, duties and tariffs would default back to previous rates and would allow companies that imported any affected solar products under this new tariff to receive retroactive reimbursement,” a press release said. [Greentech Media]

¶ Two solar development companies are complaining to state regulators that Detroit-based DTE Energy Co is throwing up roadblocks to their plans to build solar power arrays with total capacity of up to 800 MW in Southeast Michigan. The complaints say DTE is obliged under state and federal law to purchase their electricity. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

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