May 28 Energy News

May 28, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “China’s Green Shift Positions It to Overtake US in Energy, Security” • China’s air has been badly polluted. Recently, it has improved, as concentrations of PM2.5, the particulate matter that can lodge in the lungs, were down about 40% compared with 2012, in the Beijing area. But the implications of China’s move away from coal go beyond health. [Truthdig]

Great Hall of the People (Juan Cole | Informed Content)

Science and Technology:

¶ Most EVs use valuable battery power to operate climate control systems, but that can cause the range to drop by over 50%. Two methods for addressing this issue were recently presented at the Society of Automotive Engineers WCX conference. One involves increasing thermal storage and the other reducing load imposed by heating systems. [FutureCar]

World:

¶ After the usual off-season (January and February), the Chinese plug-in vehicle market is back at full charge, with 71,000 units registered in April, up 129% year over year. Overall, 2018 sales have more than doubled compared to the same period last year. Last month, the Chinese OEMs represented roughly 50% of all PEVs registered globally. [CleanTechnica]

Zhidou D2 EVs

¶ Four of the UK’s Big Six energy firms will raise prices this summer, affecting 7.4 million households, experts warned. EDF, British Gas, Scottish Power, and npower are all hiking prices in early June. Figures show an eye-watering £393.8 million will be paid in extra gas and electricity bills. Experts urged Britons to switch energy suppliers. [Express.co.uk]

¶ Scotland is set to become home to Europe’s most northerly solar farm. Despite the country often lacking in the warm, yellow stuff, an abandoned airfield in the Highlands has been earmarked for a 50 MW project that could power 15,000 homes or 19,000 electric cars for a year. Ministers have given approval for the farm in Elgin, Moray. [HeraldScotland]

Solar farm

¶ The SoftBank Group is tying up with IL&FS to develop over 20 GW of solar capacity in India by 2025 to support Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious renewable energy road map for the country. The SoftBank Group had only recently teamed up with China’s GCL System Integration Technology for a $930 million (₹6,350 crore) PV venture in India. [Economic Times]

¶ Enel Green Power Mexico inaugurated the 238-MW Don José PV plant located in San Luis de la Paz, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. The Don José solar farm is the fifth renewable energy plant commissioned by Enel Green Power worldwide in 2018, bringing the company’s total capacity commissioned in the year to around 1 GW. [SteelGuru]

Don José solar project

¶ The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has started laying the groundwork to retrieve fuel from one of the nuclear plant’s reactor buildings. It is a crucial step toward scrapping the complex. TEPCO began work to move 615 fuel rods from a storage pool on the top floor of the No 2 reactor to a more secure location. [NHK WORLD]

¶ Vattenfall has completed turbine installation at the 93.2-MW Aberdeen Bay wind farm off Scotland. Swire Blue Ocean jack-up Pacific Orca tackled the work from the Danish port of Esbjerg. The wind farm features eleven turbines made by MHI Vestas. Nine of these have capacities of 8.4 MW each, and two are 8.8-MW models. [reNews]

Wind turbines at Aberdeen Bay (Vattenfall image)

Australia:

¶ In Western Australia, PVs are disrupting the status quo. The Australian Energy Market Operator said it had to invoke extraordinary powers designed for emergencies such as major power-plant failures or bushfires to protect the grid from soaring levels of solar output. PV output sometimes drives demand to negligible levels. [The West Australian]

¶ Renewable energy developer CWP Renewables joined forces with global private markets investment manager Partners Group to build a total of 1,300 MW of wind, solar and battery projects they say will beat coal power on price and reliability. They will begin with the 135-MW Crudine Ridge project, soon to be under construction. [RenewEconomy]

Sapphire wind farm and snow

¶ The timing of Australia’s carbon tax was “unfortunate” because it coincided with soaring electricity network costs that have underpinned increases to household bills, the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told a forum in Brisbane. The ACCC is due to produce its final report on the electricity market next month. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Community choice aggregation has spread across California. It now serves 12% of the state’s electricity demand, and it is growing fast. Local governments have embraced it as a way exert more control over their electricity supply and set their own rates while increasing their use of renewable power. But some worry about possible difficulties. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Wildflowers and PV panels (Photo: Paul Chinn | The Chronicle)

¶ The Western Energy Imbalance Market is a wholesale energy trading market that allows participating utilities around the West to buy and sell energy among one another. If one market is generating too much energy, it can sell its energy to the market next door. The market started in Oregon and California, and it is making its way to other states. [AZ Big Media]

¶ Senior EPA officials have been working closely with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming. Recently released emails show they also recruited help to counter negative news coverage and tout Administrator Scott Pruitt’s agency stewardship. [New York Daily News]

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