April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The EPA Declared That Burning Wood Is Carbon Neutral. It’s Actually a Lot More Complicated” • Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, announced that it would begin to count the burning of “forest biomass” as carbon neutral. But according to many researchers, burning forest biomass will only make climate change much worse. [Smithsonian]

Forest (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Secret of the Great American Fracking Bubble” • In 2008, Aubrey McClendon was the highest paid Fortune 500 CEO in the US, earning $112 million per year running a fracking company, Chesapeake Energy. But the company did not make money by selling gas. Its real income was from buying and selling drilling rights. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶ China’s National Energy Administration announced that the country installed an impressive 9.65 GW of new solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2018, up 22% on the same period a year earlier and up on analysts’ projections. Last year, China installed a massive 52.83 GW worth of solar capacity in its own territory. [CleanTechnica]

Apple solar farm in China (Image via Apple)

¶ According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, India overtook the entire continents of North America and Europe in terms of solar power capacity added during 2017, and is only behind China. India added 9.63 GW of solar power capacity in 2017. The US added 8.2 GW last year, down from 11.3 GW in 2016.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ Acciona Energia is planning to build two wind farms and two solar projects in Chile. The projects will have a combined capacity of 400 MW. Construction is already underway of the 183-MW San Gabriel wind farm in the municipality of Renaico. The $300 million project is expected to come online in late 2019 or early 2020. [reNews]

Punta Palmeras wind farm in Chile (Credit Acciona)

¶ With the sharp decline in tariff bids of solar and wind energy projects in India, the country’s largest power generation company is now looking to replace some coal-based power supply with potentially cheaper renewable energy. NTPC Limited will call for bids to auction 2 GW of solar and wind energy capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ GE Renewable Energy and the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult signed a five-year research and development agreement which will see GE’s mammoth 12 MW Haliade-X wind turbine head to UK shores for the first time for extensive testing. The project is part of a larger R&D agreement between the organizations. [CleanTechnica]

GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X wind turbine

¶ Global wind energy capacity could increase by more than half over the next five years as costs continue to fall, a report by the Global Wind Energy Council shows. The market is expected to return to growth at the end of this decade. The GWEC said cumulative wind energy capacity stood at 539 GW at the end of last year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Ørsted is to build and operate a 20-MW energy storage project near Liverpool. The Carnegie Road battery will be the Danish company’s first venture into large-scale storage and is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year. A grid connection agreement and permits are already in place and construction is expected to start in May. [reNews]

Energy storage (Ørsted image)

¶ A Japanese company, Itochu, decided to leave the French-Japanese consortium building a nuclear power plant in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Sinop, Turkish online paper artıgerçek reported, citing the Japanese stock exchange Nikkei. The decision was made after a feasibility study that showed the cost of the plant almost doubled. [Ahval]

US:

¶ Washington DC’s Circulator transportation system has now deployed 14 new all-electric Proterra Catalyst E2 buses. The deployment makes the Washington DC Circulator System the operator of the largest all-electric bus fleet on the East Coast. It is not exactly Shenzhen, which has over 16,000 electric buses, but hey. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra Catalyst E2 electric bus

¶ The Trump administration said it would delay implementing fines on car makers that fail to meet the current standards on fuel economy. The National Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club sued, saying the delay was illegal. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the administration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A total of 1,568 MW of large-scale wind and 565 MW of large-scale solar power capacity became operational in the US in January and February 2018, according to a report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The only other source that added some capacity in the period was natural gas, which added 40 MW. [Renewables Now]

Iowa wind farm (Photo: Carl Wycoff, CC BY SA 2.0 Generic)

¶ Siemens Gamesa is to supply turbines with a combined capacity of 225 MW for an unnamed client and wind farm in Kansas. The order is for 98 2.3-108 SWT machines, which will be installed across 16,187 hectares of land. The blades will be made at a Siemens Gamesa facility in Iowa, and the nacelles and hubs will be made in Kansas. [reNews]

¶ The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is joining with the City of San Diego, non-profit Clean Coalition, and San Diego Gas & Electric to determine a city-wide plan for distributed power generation. They are planning on solar plus energy storage to increase the city’s electricity grid affordability, reliability, and resilience. [pv magazine USA]

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