April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Low Production Cost of Renewable Energy Will Drive Coal Production out of Business” • In last eight years, utility-scale solar costs have plummeted by 86% and wind energy prices have declined by 67%. Industry leaders expect significant decline in coal-fired and oil-fired generation, as solar power and storage grow. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

Wind power

¶ “Falling Grid-Scale Storage Prices Create ‘Watershed Moment'” • Energy storage has grown to the point where it can be used in place of new generating plants powered by new natural gas. Even some existing gas facilities may be replaced by renewables coupled with energy storage. We are on the brink of a watershed moment. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ More than 95% of the world’s population in 2016 (+7 billion) lived in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution, according to the annual report from the Health Effects Institute. Over 95% live in areas where WHO organization guidelines for air quality (which are themselves likely an underestimate) were exceeded. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution in China

¶ German manufacturer Nordex unveiled a 4.8-MW turbine designed for strong wind sites such as north-west Europe, the UK, and Norway. The N133/4.8 is an expansion of the Delta4000 series introduced last year and includes component elements from the N131 and N149 machines. Production is expected to begin in 2019. [reNews]

World:

¶ There are now almost 400,000 electric buses in the world, according to BNEF. Every week, China adds 1,900 more. All those electric buses are beginning to have an impact on the demand for diesel fuel. According to Bloomberg, by the end of this year, electric buses will be displacing 279,000 barrels of diesel fuel every day. [CleanTechnica]

Daily EV oil displacement (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ Just days after setting a record of 55 hours without using coal, Great Britain has smashed it with a new record by going a total of 76 hours without any coal generation. The UK electricity grid’s new record was set by going a total of 76 hours and 10 minutes, from April 21 through April 24, without burning any coal to generate electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ MHI Vestas announced that it will provide its 9.5 MW wind turbines to the 224-MW Northwester 2 offshore wind farm set to be developed in Belgian waters. This installation will be the first in which the record-setting 9.5 MW wind turbine will be installed and operational anywhere in the world. The design was unveiled last June. [CleanTechnica]

MHI Vestas offshore wind turbine

¶ A partnership between a local developer and South Korea’s Hanwha Group could bring two 100-MW battery energy storage projects to the Midlands of Ireland, the developer, Lumcloon Energy, has confirmed. Lumcloon, a locally headquartered company, said the projects would be built in Lumcloon itself and Shannonbridge. [Energy Storage News]

US:

¶ Americans used more solar and wind energy in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Overall, energy consumption by the residential and commercial sectors dropped a bit. Energy from both natural gas and coal declined. [Tech Xplore]

US energy flow in 2017 (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ Nearly 60% of American voters oppose tariffs recently imposed on imported solar cells and modules by US President Trump according to a new survey. This includes majorities in districts classified as “very red,” despite nearly 60% of Republicans favoring the tariffs. The survey had 1,999 registered US voters participating. [CleanTechnica]

¶ American University has achieved carbon neutrality, reaching its goal of having a net zero carbon footprint two years early, according to an announcement by University President Sylvia Burwell. She said AU was the “first carbon neutral university in the nation” and the first urban campus and research university to earn the distinction. [The Eagle]

Kogod School of Business at the American University
(Public domain photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a second renewable electricity solicitation for up to 20 large-scale projects. The call is expected to spur up to $1.5 billion in private investment. It is the second round run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority under the state’s Clean Energy Standard. [reNews]

¶ Google filed a public comment today criticizing the EPA’s proposal to roll back the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era policy that aims to cut power plant pollution. Google is joining Apple in arguing that keeping the policy is a good deal for the US. Google says that sticking with the plan will encourage investment in renewable energy. [The Verge]

Coal-fired plant (Photo: Mark Wilson | Getty Images)

¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA will repower 572 wind turbines in Texas under two separate agreements with a unit of NextEra Energy Resources. Siemens Gamesa will deliver hardware and control upgrades so the output of each unit will be increased from 660 kW to 710 kW and their life will be extended for 10 years. [Renewables Now]

¶ The South Carolina House insisted a utility cut its rate by 18% to eliminate a fee customers are paying for two nuclear plants that were abandoned before generating a watt of power. The vote was 104 to 7. The state Senate had earlier passed a 13% cut for South Carolina Electric & Gas customers, and the bills have to be reconciled. [Standard-Examiner]

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