May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How Long Will PV Prices Continue To Fall?” • Prices of solar PV systems follow economic laws just like other things, such as computers and cars. That does not mean that the precipitous drop in prices will slow, however. Wright’s Law works with the intuitively obvious fact that the more you do something, the better you get at it. [CleanTechnica]

1913 Ford Model T Roadster, a car for the ordinary family
(Photo: order_242 from Chile, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Swedish energy group and burgeoning renewable energy leader Vattenfall has announced that it intends to offer British businesses the opportunity to secure corporate Power Purchase Agreements direct from its 165-MW South Kyle Wind Farm from as little as 1 MW in a move that could revolutionize the idea of corporate PPAs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Chief Minister of Gujarat has told media outlets that his government will set up a 5-GW solar power park in the state. The solar power park, which will be the largest in India, will come up along the coast of Gulf of Khambat, on state-owned land. A 200-MW wind energy park is also planned along with the solar power park. [CleanTechnica]

Charanka Solar Park, Gujarat

¶ China has maintained its leadership position in Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index for the third year in a row. The US was in second place, despite solar tariffs. The third position was secured by Germany, with India dropping to the fourth place. The other country in the top five was Australia. [Renewables Now]

¶ Germany is aiming to reduce heavy-vehicle emissions with a new plan introduced that waives truck tolls for electric trucks. The policy would start next year, with net savings of around €5,000 per vehicle, depending on the routes used. Up until last year, the only company with extensive electric truck offerings was BYD, based in China. [CleanTechnica]

German highway

¶ Wind farms produced more than a quarter of Spain’s power in the first four months of 2018, and overall, renewables’ share stood at 47.1%. Wind turbines were the number-one electricity source in the period, followed by nuclear power plants with a share of 21.1%, according to provisional statistics from the grid operator. [Renewables Now]

¶ The government of Honduras has commissioned a 35-MW geothermal power plant in the community of Platanares. The Geoplatanares plant was developed by the US-Israeli geothermal company Ormat Technologies Inc. It cost of $126.7 million (€105 million) to develop and build. ​It is the first geothermal facility in Honduras. [Renewables Now]

Geoplatanares plant

¶ Following from the recent decision by the government of China to ban the import of most foreign waste materials, Australia’s environment minister announced that the country will invest significantly in the creation of new trash incineration facilities, and also aim for all packaging materials to be 100% recycled by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australia can be the first 100% renewables-powered continent, but it needs the political will to do so, according to renewable energy entrepreneur and the chief executive of energy investor Energiya Global Capital, Yosef Abramowitz. He said the country is being blocked, as it is “up against the older, entrenched fossil fuel industry.” [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Australia has the world’s best solar resources. (Justin McManus)

US:

¶ General Motors’ Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, one of the automaker’s environmental leaders, will get a lot greener later this year by adding wind energy as the major source of its electrical power. GM officials announced that GM will buy power from the 100-MW Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, which is now under construction. [News Sentinel]

¶ The DOE launched a $23 million funding call for marine energy technology aimed to reduce capital costs and shorten deployment timelines. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy support targets in three areas: early stage device design; power take-off and control system testing; and environmental data dissemination. [reNews]

Wave (Pexels image)

¶ The Mortenson company recently added three new Illinois wind-farm projects to its construction list. They will contribute an additional 289 MW of electricity to the state by the end of 2018 and follow that with 194 MW in 2019. The company is also building transmission lines and  interconnect facilities to link to the grid. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ The US has overtaken India in EY’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index, despite the US imposition of a 30% tariff on imports of cells and modules earlier this year. The American solar tariffs are mostly absorbed and wind projects are not subject to subsidy cuts under the recently passed US tax reform bill, said EY. [PV-Tech]

Solar farm in California (Credit: 8minutenergy)

¶ Canadian energy company Capital Power is almost set to go ahead with the 150-MW Cardinal Point wind farm in Illinois. The developer said construction will start once all of the regulatory approvals needed are received. The Cardinal Point wind farm is scheduled to come online in March 2020 and already has a contract for 85% of its output. [reNews]

¶ The largest US grid operator issued a report that could serve to undermine a Ohio utility’s bid for the Trump administration to save its fleet of ailing nuclear and coal power plants. PJM Interconnection said closing several FirstEnergy nuclear reactors in its territory would pose little harm to its reliability and the energy market. [Washington Examiner]

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