June 5 Energy News

June 5, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Carbon ‘bubble’ could cost global economy trillions” • A rapid reduction in demand for fossil fuels could see global economic losses of $1 trillion to $4 trillion by 2035 according to a report. Energy efficiency and low carbon technology could cause the downturn, even if governments fail to take new steps to meet the Paris climate goals. [BBC]

Offshore oil rig (Photo: SPL)

¶ “Bailing Out the Coal Industry Will Hurt Consumers” • Donald Trump’s plan to subsidize money-losing coal and nuclear plants makes no economic sense and runs counter to the free market ideology of his party. It might make some plant operators very happy, but consumers will foot what could be an extraordinarily expensive bill. [New York Times]

World:

¶ Ireland saw a fall in carbon emissions last year “despite strong economic growth.” Analysis from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland reveals carbon dioxide emissions from power production fell by nearly 10%. The power generation fuel mix had seen a 21% reduction in coal and an 18% increase in renewable energy. [Energy Live News]

Harvested peat bog (Amos from Tel Aviv, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Royal Bank of Scotland announced a new suite of energy financing policies at the end of last month. They are designed to reduce the bank’s exposure to investments in fossil fuels substantially. That includes halting project-specific financing for new coal-fired power stations, coal mines, and oil sands, and Arctic oil projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The 396-MW Merkur offshore wind farm in the German North Sea has produced its first power. The first test on the MO40 turbine generated power to the mini-grid, project company Merkur Offshore said. The project will feature 66 GE Haliade 6-MW turbines. Jack-up vessel Seafox 5 has installed more than one-third of the machines. [reNews]

GE wind turbine (SPS image)

¶ In a coordinated move, three administrative agencies of the Chinese government issued a notice imposing caps and reducing feed-in tariffs, while setting rules at the central government level for utility-scale projects. The aim of the “2018 Solar PV Power Generation Notice” is to prevent excessive solar PV generation capacity from being installed. [PV-Tech]

¶ Finance deals were signed for a 51-MW solar farm in Jamaica. The Paradise Park project is majority owned by the French renewable power producer Neoen. France’s development bank Proparco and Dutch development bank FMO will provide the senior debt for the project. The total investment amounts to $64 million. [Power Engineering International]

Neoen solar farm

¶ One result of the Indian government’s focus on growing the country’s renewable energy sector has been a 76% growth in job searches in the solar energy sector since 2014, according to a report. The government has set a target to produce 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, out of which 100 GW has to come from solar power. [BW Businessworld]

¶ The UK government confirmed it is considering using taxpayer money for building a nuclear power station at Wylfa in North Wales. That decision would mark a significant U-turn in the government’s approach to new nuclear power. In 2010, it was adamant that its taxpayers should never be exposed to nuclear power’s typical costly overruns. [BBC]

Rendering of the Wylfa nuclear plant (Horizon)

Australia:

¶ The latest national emissions audit from The Australia Institute includes an update on key electricity trends in Australia’s electric power market. It notes some interesting developments over the last three months. One of these is that renewables-rich South Australia, which had imported 30% of its electricity in 2000, is now a net exporter. [The Guardian]

¶ The Pilbara region of Western Australia is set to be the home of the country’s largest microgrid, with awards of major contracts focused on renewables. Horizon Power has State Government approval for the next phase of a distributed energy project, which will provide the town of Onslow with renewable energy to meet its electricity needs. [PACE Today]

Pilbara sunset (Calistemon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The Queensland government approved the country’s largest windfarm, a $1 billion project with almost 200 turbines. The 800-MW Clarke Creek project has received planning approval. Developer Lacour Energy says it will create about 350 jobs for three years of construction and has the capacity to provide 3% of the state’s electricity. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Data from California’s grid operator shows that in May solar generation in the area managed by the California ISO rose to a new record, providing nearly 17% of in-state generation. With gas falling to only around 15%, this means that solar provided more electricity for Californians than gas, for the first time ever, on a monthly basis. [pv magazine Australia]

California solar array (NRG image)

¶ San Diego Gas & Electric announced it will double its backup battery capacity to support the growth of renewable energy in its service area. The utility plans to build five more lithium-ion battery backup facilities, including one of the biggest in the US, over the next three years. The new plants will add nearly 100 MW of capacity. [Times of San Diego]

¶ Duke Energy Carolinas has reached an agreement that would reduce its 10-year grid modernization plan from $7.8 billion to $2.5 billion. The agreement would also increase renewable and energy storage development. Energy storage initiatives have grown to 300-MW by 2026, according to a Greentech Media report. [Power Engineering Magazine]

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