May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “China reaps benefits of U.S. solar innovation while American workers are left behind” • IRENA reported over 500,000 new jobs in renewables in 2017 bringing the total to well over 10 million. Two thirds of solar jobs are in China. But in the US, where the technology was developed, solar jobs are on the decline. [ThinkProgress]

Installing PVs in China (Credit: Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump withdraws from Iran deal: What’s next?” • President Trump announced that the US intends not to participate in Iran nuclear deal and will re-impose sanctions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded that Iran may be willing to remain a part of the deal, subject to negotiations with the remaining international partners. [CBS News]

Science and Technology:

¶ Research demonstrates that private electric vehicles in China can have a positive effect on CO2 reduction if they are charged slowly during off-peak hours when renewable energy from renewables like wind turbines is available. By contrast, fast charging during peak demand periods increases output from coal-fired generation. [CleanTechnica]

Jiangsu Nantong power plant (Kristoferb, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Shanghai-based solar manufacturer JA Solar reported long-delayed Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Results late last month. It reported record shipments of 7,143.1 MW for the full year, an increase of over 55%, while revenues increased by over 25%. Total shipments for the fourth quarter alone amounted to 2,205.9 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Solar developer SkyPower announced that it will invest $1.3 billion into Uzbekistan. The Canadian company will build 1 GW of solar capacity and sell the power to Uzbekistan’s government through the country’s first Power Purchase Agreement. This will make SkyPower Uzbekistan’s first independent electric power producer. [CleanTechnica]

Shir Dor Mosque, Uzbekistan (Credit: Robert Wilson, via Flickr)

¶ With construction of a 50-MW plant, Zambia will have its first large-scale solar facility in September, a state-owned agency said. Zambia is dealing with a power deficit that threatens industrial output, as an electricity shortfall has forced Africa’s second-largest copper producer to ration power supply to the mines, the biggest consumers. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Seajacks won a contract in Taiwan, its first order outside of Europe. The 10,000-tonne jack-up vessel Zaratan will install 20 6-MW wind turbines in the Taiwan Strait in water around 30 meters deep, up to six kilometres off the north-west coast of Taiwan. The work is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2019. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Seajacks Zaratan (Courtesy of Seajacks)

¶ EBRD, along with Triodos Investment Management and FMO Dutch Development Bank, will provide a $30.7 million loan to finance the construction and operation of Mongolia’s largest utility-scale solar plant. It is a 30-MW project to be located in the Gobi Desert region, around 450 km south-east of Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. [pv magazine International]

¶ Plans for a 1500-MW PV park have been submitted to the Somerset Regional Council in Queensland. The proposed plant would spread over a 2,055 hectare site east of Harlin, northwest of Brisbane. The largest solar plant currently under construction in Australia is the 250-MW Sunraysia solar farm in New South Wales. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Large solar array

¶ A report from IMechE report called on the government and industry of the UK to introduce pro-hydrogen policies, including updating pipes and materials in the gas distribution network to handle concentrations of up to 20% by 2023. Hydrogen could be a green and efficient alternative to lithium-ion batteries, the report claimed. [Professional Engineering]

¶ Italian energy major Enel SpA will invest $97 million (€81.7 million) to expand by 10% the capacity of three renewable energy plants under construction in Mexico, the company said. Enel Green Power Mexico will increase the capacities of the 754-MW Villanueva and 238-MW Don Jose PV farms, and of the 93-MW Salitrillos wind park. [Renewables Now]

Mexican solar park (Credit: Presidencia de
la República Mexicana, CC-BY-2.0 Generic)

US:

¶ Puerto Rico is considering large-scale solar as a part of its reconstruction of its energy infrastructure, which was seriously damaged by the hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. This comes alongside a number of mini-grids and rooftop solar projects all targeting future power resiliency. Project sizes range upwards to 100 MW. [pv magazine International]

¶ The renewables arm of GE announced that it will supply 190 wind turbines totalling 470 MW for two projects in Iowa owned by Alliant Energy Corp. GE Renewable Energy will deliver the turbines for the 300-MW Upland Prairie Wind Farm in Clay and Dickinson counties, and the 170-MW English Farms Wind Farm in Poweshiek County. [Renewables Now]

GE 2.75-120 wind turbines (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ Eight Democratic attorneys general are pushing EPA head Scott Pruitt to rescind a proposed regulation that would restrict the science it could use to write and enforce regulations. The group might sue the EPA if it moves forward with the rule, which critics say is an attempt to stop the EPA from using some important scientific findings. [The Hill]

¶ Virginia regulators have rejected a proposal from Dominion Energy to offer 100% renewable energy plans to large electricity customers in the state. The decision was praised by clean energy groups and retail suppliers that argued that approving the utility program would effectively eliminate competition from third-party vendors. [Greentech Media]

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