May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Russia Will Use Floating Nuclear Plant To Power Arctic Oil Exploration. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” • Thanks to global warming, much of the Arctic ice has melted, making it easier to drill for more oil. But exploring for oil is energy intensive. What to do? Use a floating nuclear plant to power the oil explorations, of course! [CleanTechnica]

Floating nuclear plant (Anton Vaganov | TASS via Getty Images)

World:

¶ Almost half of Australia’s large businesses are actively moving to cheaper renewable energy, including many going off the grid by building their own generators and battery storage, as power bills threaten their bottom line. Businesses of all sizes, including 46% of large operations, have responded to high bills by seeking green alternatives. [The Guardian]

¶ Researchers at the University of Sydney have spent 18 months looking at emissions from the entire tourism value chain, from the airplanes to the hotel, food preparations, and even souvenirs. The total is equivalent to 4.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. This is about 8% of all emissions and possibly four times earlier estimates. [CleanTechnica]

Aircraft emissions

¶ The Tunisian Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies launched two tenders, one for 500 MW of solar PV power plants and one for 500 MW of wind farms. The solar tender is for five projects ranging in size from 50 MW to 200 MW. The wind tender covers three projects, one of 100 MW and two of 200 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ A consortium in Sweden is working on an experimental program that could slash carbon emissions from manufacturing steel. The CEO of Hybrit, a joint venture between Swedish steel maker SSAB, power utility Vattenfall, and LKAB, Europe’s largest iron ore producer, said, “Our pilot plant will only emit water vapor.” [CleanTechnica]

Zero emissions steel (Credit: Onni Wiljami Kinnunen | SSAB)

¶ The 100-MW Clare solar farm, the largest PV system to date in Queensland, has begun exporting to the grid. Clare is the twice the size of the state’s current biggest operating solar farm, the 50-MW Kinston project. But that will not last; 1400-MW of large scale solar projects in the state are expected to begin production this year. [RenewEconomy]

¶ EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, Portugal’s biggest energy company, is set to reject a €9.1 billion ($10.9 billion) takeover offer from China Three Gorges Corp on the grounds that it undervalues the company, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Investors seem to expect the Chinese utility to sweeten the offer. [Bloomberg]

Three Gorges Dam (Photo: VCG | VCG via Getty Images)

¶ Renewables, storage, and more flexible technology will provide enough electricity to keep the UK’s grid stable as coal is wound down, according to a report released by the climate change think tank Sandbag and the WWF. A number of large-scale gas projects planned for the UK “aren’t required,” according to the “Coal to Clean” study. [www.impact4all.org]

¶ Kyocera Corp and Tokyo Century Corp have completed a 29.2-MW solar farm in Japan. The project, which is located at Yonago City in Tottori prefecture, covers 1.2 square kilometres of land. It has 108,504 Kyocera 270 watt solar modules, and it is expected to generate 36,080 MWh per year for the local utility, Chugoku Electric Power. [reNews]

Solar farm (Image: Kyocera Corp)

¶ Australia’s biggest solar farm, the 220-MW Bungala solar project, has begun production. It is in South Australia near Port Augusta, a former coal city, and it marks the important first stage of the transforming the city into a major renewable energy hub. Three stages are planned, and it could have a 300-MW capacity in the end. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ The recent decision by the California Energy Commission to mandate solar on all new residential buildings starting from 2020 has had a noticeable impact on GTM Research’s solar forecast for the state. The market researcher’s projection for the four years was been increased by a total of approximately 650 MW. This bumps it up by 14%. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installer

¶ The Kennett Township, Pennsylvania, board of supervisors adopted a resolution to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy, according to an announcement by the Sierra Club. Kennett Township has become the first township and fourth municipality in the state to make this commitment, the Sierra Club said. [Solar Industry]

¶ When Earther last checked in on Americans’ views on climate change, it found that conservative climate denial is a uniquely American trait. However, a new Pew Research survey says there is also something that should give you hope: majorities of both Democrats and Republicans want to see more renewable energy installed. [Earther]

Sunset on a wind farm in Iowa (Photo: Brian Abeling | Flickr)

¶ Cypress Creek Renewables, the nation’s fifth-largest solar developer and last year’s top utility-scale installer, says it will take a $1.5 billion hit due to the Trump administration’s solar tariffs. Greentech Media confirmed that the company stopped investing in 1.5 GW of projects, roughly 20% of its pipeline, because of the tariffs. [Greentech Media]

¶ Eight Republican senators from five states with big solar farms are asking the Trump administration to exempt a workhorse of industrial solar panels from tariffs imposed earlier this year. They urged the administration to waive duties on 72-cell, 1,500-volt panels that are ideal for large ground-mounted “utility-scale” projects. [Bloomberg]

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