April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “NEG will block renewables, favour hydro and big retailers” • Australian energy industry experts have thrown their weight behind a campaign to oppose the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee, describing it as a “woeful” outcome, both for Australia’s renewables sector, and for its emissions reduction and climate effort. [RenewEconomy]

Transmission lines

¶ “America’s Smart Grid Dreams Fading Without Congressional Support” • The US Congress has not allocated funding explicitly for the Smart Grid since the Obama stimulus package in 2009. Without Congressional support, the grid could develop in slow and piecemeal fashion, putting it at increased risk of being made up of  incompatible parts. [Forbes]

¶ “How to unlock renewables? Cheaper, cleaner, better batteries” • Advances in energy storage technology have propelled an explosion in portable electronics and radically changed the way people live, work and communicate. Batteries can help to make clean energy-based power plants a viable alternative to thermal power stations.  [eco-business.com]

Albany Wind Farm (Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Renewables Are Booming In Oil Country” • The rapid growth of the renewable energy sector has been astonishing. Both solar and wind continue to decline in operating costs, while increasing in energy efficiency. The combination is making it difficult for coal to recover and poses a challenge in what had been oil-dominant areas. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Hilo partnered with faculty at Duke and Cornell University to study algae production with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage technology. They created a model that uses carbon dioxide emissions from burning wood to grow algae, which can then be used for fuel or food. [Duke Chronicle]

Algae (Special to the Chronicle)

World:

¶ Debate is raging around Australia’s National Energy Guarantee and the requirements to meet its proposed emissions and reliability obligations. As this goes on, corporates are expected to account for the bulk of new wind and solar projects that are developed. Some are installing microgrids, others are building solar or wind projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ In the first quarter of 2018, sales of electric cars in China doubled compared to the same period last year, to over 122,000 units. In March electric car sales surged to 59,000 units, up 85% year over year. Last month, the Chinese OEMs represented roughly 40% of all PEVs registered globally. Last year, China had 46% for the year. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC EC-Series, China’s best-selling electric car

¶ An Irish company, Lumcloon Energy, is to invest €150 million in two battery storage centers that will boost use of renewable energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuel-fired power plants. The firm has partnered with Korean firms Hanwha Energy Corporation and LSIS to develop two 100-MW sustainable energy projects. [Independent.ie]

¶ India’s Hero Future Energies Pvt Ltd has commissioned a hybrid renewable power plant combining 50 MW of wind and 28.8 MW of solar power capacity in the state of Karnataka. As part of the project, the Indian firm installed PV panels in the spaces between turbines powering an existing 50-MW wind farm the company owns. [Renewables Now]

Solar plus wind hybrid

¶ Four of Nigeria’s federal universities and university teaching hospitals in the country have signed engineering, procurement, and construction contracts to develop mini-grid solutions. A total of 9.3 MW of PV and 5,760 battery cells will be deployed to power the facilities, which will be disconnected from the electric grid. [pv magazine International]

¶ Sunsure Energy finished FY18 with commissioning of their largest turnkey solar plant project, a 20-MW solar power plant. Situated in the Davangeri district, this project is spread over 75 acres of land and will generate enough clean energy to power more than 8,000 urban households in Karnataka through the next 25 years. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis over the North’s nuclear program will be put to their first test Friday when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the heavily fortified border area. That meeting may be a precursor to a summit by Kim with President Donald Trump in May or June. [Stars and Stripes]

US:

¶ When Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office next year, California will lose a climate advocate who has carried the nation’s fight against global warming as Washington has stood down. Many of the Democratic candidates seeking to replace Brown say they will stick to his climate agenda. Some of them want to step up the effort. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Wind turbines (Photo: Michael Macor | The Chronicle)

¶ Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he is giving $4.5 million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat to cover a US failure to help fund the international Paris climate accord. Bloomberg’s charitable foundation said the money will support work by developing countries to achieve emissions targets. [Voice of America]

¶ Drivers of electric cars in Oklahoma will soon be able to charge their vehicles much more easily. The Oklahoman reports that vehicle charging stations will soon be set up at Walmart stores in the Sooner State. For now, four or five Walmarts in Oklahoma will receive the charging stations, with the possibility of more to come in the future. [HPPR]

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