May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Leapfrogging Tech Is Changing Millions of Lives. Here’s How.” • In developing countries, particularly in Africa, millions of people are skipping the technological evolution process, leapfrogging over now-obsolete technologies and going straight to modern fixes. These often happen to be green, sustainable, and relatively inexpensive. [Singularity Hub]

Renewable energy (Credit: ingehogenbijl | Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Tony Seba Charts Out The Disruptive Path Forward To EVs & Out Of The I.C.E. Age” • At the rEVolution 2018 Conference in Amsterdam, Tony Seba took the stage to share a tale of two technological disruptions in cleantech we are currently living through and show us the adoption curves that he believes map out their next few years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuke closures have impacted local economies, changed community character” • On some of America’s most idyllic shorelines between Vermont and California lie several defunct behemoths. They are shuttered nuclear power plants. They closed prematurely because they could no longer compete in electricity markets. [Toledo Blade]

Kewaunee nuclear plant, which closed in 2013

World:

¶ Uncertainty in the renewable energy sector continues to drive a “relentless focus on cost” to soften the impact of protectionism, subsidy cuts, and rising interest rates, EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index report said. EY’s Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader said, “The renewable energy sector is at risk.” [pv magazine India]

¶ During 2017, the International Renewable Energy Agency collected data to determine estimates of off-grid capacity. IRENA looked at data on 180,000 off-grid solar systems, 40,000 off-grid hydropower plants, and bio-digesters supplying electric power to about 300,000 people. In addition, 115 million people use solar lights. [Modern Diplomacy]

Off-grid renewable energy

¶ The Japanese government is exploring the possibility of promoting wind power generation in four prefectures, sources close to the government said. The government is considering designating areas off Aomori, Akita, Saga, and Nagasaki for offshore wind power development projects to operate for up to 30 years. [The Mainichi]

¶ The government of the UK failed to consider the climate or the economic costs of a policy change that led to a 94% drop in applications for onshore wind developments. Documents that were obtained under Freedom of Information rules show the government did not conduct relevant impact assessments before implementing the changes. [The Independent]

Wind farm near Sheffield (Photo: AFP | Getty)

¶ Japan will soon launch a new market to promote the use of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. Officials at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry say market players will be able to buy and sell certificates representing the amount of electricity produced through renewables. The market is due to open on May 14th. [NHK World]

¶ GeoSea has kicked off turbine installation at the Otary’s 309-MW Rentel wind farm in the Belgian North Sea. Jack-up Sea Installer started work over the weekend from load-out port Ostend. The vessel is installing 42 Siemens Gamesa 7.3-MW turbines. First power is due before end-summer, according to Otary. [reNews]

Sea Installer setting out (Photo: van der Kloet | Rentel)

¶ Buyers of new-build houses and apartments at a development in Perth’s northern suburbs are being offered an innovative solar power purchase agreement that promises to cut their daytime power costs by 40%. Home buyers who opt into the program get a rooftop solar system of about 3.8 kW to 4.8 kW installed at no upfront cost. [One Step Off The Grid]

US:

¶ A renewable energy bonanza may be blowing in the winds off the coast of California. But the Navy released a map that shows large areas from San Diego up to the Central Coast off limits to future offshore wind farms. Government and corporate officials are working with the Defense Department to develop a more flexible plan. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Floating offshore wind turbines (Statoil image)

¶ In what seems to be an about-face from his stance two years ago, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill calling for a ban on single-use plastic carrier bags by 2019. The governor, who will stand for re-election in November 2018, said the proposed statewide ban is part of an effort to fight the “blight of plastic bags.” [Plasteurope]

¶ A working paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond concludes that global warming could significantly slow economic growth in the US. Hardest hit will be Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Arizona, states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. [The Guardian]

Texas lake bed (Photo: Tony Gutierrez | AP)

¶ A bill that adds woody biomass to the list of renewable-energy generators, such as wind and solar, was quickly passed by the Rhode Island Senate. It has woody biomass, including wood and wood waste, qualify for net metering. There is considerable disagreement about the pollution and carbon emissions from these sources. [ecoRI news]

¶ Fortune 500 corporations like Chevron and Kinder Morgan are facing renewed pressure from climate-focused activist investors. This year some of the most powerful shareholders, including giant mutual funds, are supporting the push for businesses to respond to climate change. And the prodding has had more effect than ever before. [Salon]

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