May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ According to a study recently published in Nature Energy by researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the transition to a low-carbon energy society will require more renewable energy sources than previously thought, if current levels of energy consumption per capita and lifestyles are to be maintained. [R & D Magazine]

Wind turbines at sunrise

World:

¶ Just six weeks ago, VW boss Matthias Müller stunned the automotive world when he revealed the company had placed orders for EV batteries and components worth a total of $25 billion. Now, VW has a new head man, Herbert Diess, who told investors at the annual meeting that VW has signed orders for almost double that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India added more new capacity of renewable energy than it did traditional power, such as coal, over the time from April 2017 through March 2018. During that time, 11,788 MW of clean power was added to India. Thermal and hydropower sources were responsible for contributing 5,400 MW of power capacity to the grid. [Energy Digital]

Solar panels in India (Getty Images)

Solar panels in India (Getty Images)

¶ Germany’s zero-cent bid for offshore wind power, down from €0.145/kWh in 2012, heralded what appears to be a cascade of cost degression in offshore wind power. The Netherlands is pressing ahead with a full zero-support tender, and France and Denmark are also making plans to adapt their auction systems accordingly. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ With an estimated population of over 198 million, oil-rich Nigeria’s carbon emissions are soaring as its power systems strain. Now, however, Nigeria is turning to renewable energy. The shift to renewables will strengthen the grid infrastructure to support the country’s strong push towards rural electrification in the country. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

Wind turbines

Wind turbines

¶ German insurer Allianz SE said it will stop providing insurance to single coal-fired power plants or coal mines with immediate effect to help drive the decarbonization of the economy. Those companies that generate electricity from a mix of sources will continue to be insured. Allianz has plans to phase out all coal-based risks. [Renewables Now]

¶ Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said we need to invest trillions protecting ourselves from the impacts of climate change. She said, “Trying to address climate change at current financing levels is like walking into a Category 5 Hurricane protected only by an umbrella.” [Rappler]

Child in typhoon floodwaters (File photo by IFRC)

¶ In its industry trend analysis this week on the outlook for the sector, BMI Research projected that gas-fired generation would account for 52% of power by 2027 in the UK, up from last year’s figure of 45%. The prediction is based on delays to new nuclear capacity, the closure of ageing coal plants and a rebound in gas power plant economics. [Utility Week]

US:

¶ The demand for wind energy surged through the first quarter of 2018, pushing the country’s wind development pipeline to over 33 GW, the American Wind Energy Association said. The AWEA has tracked new announcements of over 5,500 MW. This represents a 40% year-over-year increase over the same quarter last year. [CleanTechnica]

MidAmerican Energy wind farm

¶ Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn has been charged by the US Justice Department with conspiracy in relation to the coverup at Volkswagen relating to the diesel vehicle emissions cheating scandal. He is unlikely to ever face justice in the US, as Germany generally does not extradite its citizens to face charges in foreign countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Winnebago, a recreational vehicle manufacturer, launched an all-electric/zero-emission commercial vehicle platform through the company’s Specialty Vehicles Division. The company formed a strategic partnership with Motiv Power Systems, in which it has invested, for the development and supply of electric-powered chassis. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Winnebago all-electric RV shell (Courtesy of Winnebago)

¶ Salt River Project, a community-based not-for-profit water and energy company in Arizona, started a program for installation and use of battery storage systems by its residential customers. The Battery Storage Incentive Program will provide up to $1,800 for those customers who purchase and install qualifying batteries. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a ban against offshore drilling and exploration. The Governor’s action to protect New York’s waters from oil and gas exploration was prompted by the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling in American waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. [White Plains Daily Voice]

Offshore drilling platform (Mirafiori, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The New York Independent System Operator released a new report that indicated energy usage is set to decline over the next decade at a rate of 0.14% per year over the next decade, with peak demand falling 0.13% during the same time. The decline would result from use of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency efforts. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ Vermont regulators are reducing the financial incentives for electric customers who install renewable energy systems and get a credit on their electric bills for the power they provide power to the grid. The Vermont Public Utility Commission said the reduction was needed to balance the program’s impact on electric rates. [Valley News]

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