Archive for May 26th, 2018

May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2018


¶ Uniti, the Swedish startup planning to build an all new electric car, claims pre-orders have now reached $60 million. To all those auto industry executives who whine about people not wanting to buy EVs, Uniti is the wakeup call you have been dreading. People want to buy electric cars, and if you decide not to provide them, someone else will. [CleanTechnica]

Uniti prototype

¶ A partnership between Honda Motor and Chinese battery conglomerate Contemporary Amperex Technology to develop a next-generation electric vehicle for the motor company with at least 300 km (186 miles) of range.  Based on the Honda Fit, the car would have a price of just over $18,000, and it is expected to be available in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The International Finance Corporation, which is a member of the World Bank Group, signed a mandate with the government of Uzbekistan to increase its renewable power capacity and encourage private sector investment in the country’s renewable energy sector. IFC will advise on construction and operation of a 100-MW solar PV project. [Mercom India]

Wind and sun (Flickr image)

¶ Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis Global Power Industry Outlook, 2018, posits that solar will surpass wind in global energy capacity starting in 2020, making it the fourth largest source of energy generation behind coal, gas and hydro. The report also predicts that about $2.2 trillion will be invested in new energy capacity through 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ With its centuries-old timber-framed houses and cobblestone lanes, Wolfhagen could easily illustrate a Grimm Brothers’ fable. But for all of its medieval charm and pastoral feel, this town of 14,000 near Frankfurt has taken a big step into the future over the past few years. Its power needs are met 106% by renewable power sources. [PRI]

Wolfhagen marketplace (Dirk Schmidt, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Finnish developer TuuliWatti is building a 21-MW subsidy-free wind farm in the Nordic country’s municipality of Ii on the Bay of Bothnia. The Viinamaki project, due for completion next year, will feature five Vestas 4.2-MW turbines. TuuliWatti calculates that the wind farm’s specifications will push production costs below €30/MWh (3.5¢/kWh). [reNews]

¶ The Electricity Supply Board and Bord na Móna announced the €160 million ($186.5 million) Oweninny wind project in Ireland has reached financial close. The 89-MW wind farm will be located in North County Mayo, between Crossmolina and Bangor Erris, on a site where peat was formerly harvested and burned for power. [Energy Live News]

County Mayo in Ireland (Shutterstock image)

¶ UK utility SSE Plc said it plans to invest £6 billion ($8 billion, €6.9 billion) over the next five years in the UK and Ireland, with 70% of that in regulated electricity networks and renewable energy. The plans include £350 million for a natural gas plant. In the first year of the five, SSE’s capital spending is expected to be about £1.7 billion. [Renewables Now]

¶ Britain’s hopes for a number of new nuclear power stations could collapse if the government and Hitachi fail to make a breakthrough on talks for a plant in Wales, a top nuclear lobbyist warned. The deal would work if the government offered a guaranteed price of power of almost twice the wholesale cost of electricity. [The Guardian]

Construction at Hinkley Point C (Toby Melville | Reuters)


¶ Two utilities, Vistra Energy Corp and Dominion Energy Inc, which serve about 5.5 million electricity customers in more than a dozen US states, both say they are done building combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plants. Instead, they are building large solar plants, which offer them plentiful and inexpensive electricity. [Reuters]

¶ General Electric’s shares plunged 7% on May 23, their worst one-day decline since an 8.4% slide in April 2009. The economic health of GE and other the large power equipment makers may hinge on how utilities handle the expected wave of power plant retirements. Mitsubishi said it expects orders for steam and gas turbines to run dry by 2020. [Utility Dive]

Jenbacher J620 gas generator

¶ Widespread adoption of solar and wind power could lower the wholesale price of electricity dramatically and change electric power systems profoundly, according to a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Nuclear and fossil fuel power plants would struggle to compete. The change will complicate grid management. [Wyoming Business Report]

¶ GTM Research projects 24¢/W solar panels and utility scale fixed-tilt systems costing 70¢/W by 2022. This would open up new possibilities for ultra-cheap power. The cost of electricity from such systems could fall to 1.5¢/kWh or lower. Trump’s solar panel tariffs may delay that goal, but they are set to phase out by 2022. [pv magazine International]

Solar array (Soltec image)

¶ The New Orleans City Council signed off on an investigation into the use of paid actors to support an Entergy plan for a new power plant in New Orleans East. The council vote to release a request for proposals for a third-party consultant to look into the matter was unanimous. The council also plans to look into earlier similar incidents. [The Advocate]

¶ The Sierra Club and others are accusing US regulators of violating clean water rules by repeatedly delaying action on a discharge permit for the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant, which provides power to customers in three states. They filed papers in federal court over exposure to pollutants that wind up in the San Juan River. [Electric Light and Power]

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