May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Costa Rica: 1st Country To Achieve Independence From Fossil Fuels?” • Costa Rica has made impressive strides, getting to rely 100% on renewable energy. In 2017, it had 300 days in which renewables met its entire demand for electricity. Costa Rica’s new president wants the nation to be 100% free of fossil fuels. But it has cars. [CleanTechnica]

San Jose, Costa Rica (Costa Rica Day Trips)

¶ “The future of Africa is powered by the sun” • Critics of green energy claim many countries cannot afford to invest in it. But the notion that low carbon technologies are never low cost is simply not true. Solar PV generation costs are decreasing, and in most countries the cost of PV power is already lower than new coal and gas. [Business Day]

World:

¶ China Power and General Electric have launched a joint bid for a contract to construct the 2,400-MW Batoka Gorge hydropower project being co-developed by Zimbabwe and Zambia. Energy and Power Development Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said they paid him a visit at his offices and expressed strong interest in the undertaking. [Chronicle]

Batoka Gorge

¶ Tata Power Co, one of India’s largest private power utilities, is planning to invest as much as $5 billion to ramp up its renewable capacity fourfold, according to its CEO. The 103-year-old power utility plans to increase its clean-energy capacity to 12,000 MW by 2028, with an investment of up to ₹40 million ($594,000) per megawatt. [ThePrint]

¶ During a debate at the Scottish Parliament, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced funding of £3.5 million to help social housing landlords make their properties more energy efficient. The decarbonization fund will support councils and housing associations to install measures such as solar panels or air source heat pumps. [Energy Voice]

Clyde Arc in Glasgow (Macieklew, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Scottish Power introduced its first tariff to enable customers to charge EVs at home. The two-year fixed price “Smart Green Electric Vehicle June 2020” tariff will provide 100% renewable energy. The company also introduced a charge point finder in its “Your Energy” app to help customers locate the nearest charging point away from home. [Utility Week]

¶ According to the recently published Energy Atlas of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, European countries are distributing €110 billion in subsidies and free CO2 certificates to producers of fossil fuel energy. This means coal and gas power plants receive three times as much in subsidies as the renewable energy sources do. [Devdiscourse]

Geothermal power plant

¶ Australia is a water-stressed nation, but shifting to more renewable energy could reduce the nation’s water problems considerably. A report by the World Resources Industry said Australia is one of the countries where cheap renewable energy, solar and wind as opposed to fossil fuels, could reduce water consumption. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Milan Vihar Apartments in east Delhi’s IP Extension became the first group housing society in the capital to get its own rooftop solar power plants. Inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the 140-kW plant will generate electricity at ₹2.50 per unit (3.7¢/kWh) for 1,600 residents living in approximately 400 flats. [The Indian Express]

Milan Vihar Apartments (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

¶ Russia is offering to put up floating nuclear power plants in the Philippines as the country explores the possibility of nuclear power generation. Russian state-owned Rosatom and the Philippine Department of Energy agreed in November of 2017 to cooperate on a possible Philippine foray into nuclear power generation. [GMA News]

US:

¶ After the successful installation of both solar and hydropower systems, the Yoder Farm, in Danby, Vermont, is one step closer to its grand goal of producing more carbon-free electricity than the farm consumes. The farm’s owners, Ryan and Rachel Yoder, hope ultimately to produce all of the energy needed for the farm on site. [The Manchester Journal]

Farm hydropower (Cherise Madigan, Journal Correspondent)

¶ Power generation in West Virginia is changing, though some do not want to embrace the shifting priorities and others say it is a mistake to bet the bank on one horse. China Energy is interested in investing up to $84 billion in shale gas and petrochemical projects in the state. That would create some jobs, but it would cost others. [WV News]

¶ Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, during a commencement speech at Rice University this weekend, took a thinly veiled swipe at “deceitful politicians” in Washington. And he left little question about exactly who he was referring to. Bloomberg says that citizens should not settle for politicians who reject science. [ThinkProgress]

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