June 14 Energy News

June 14, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ Sea levels will rise and all coastal countries could be seriously threatened by flooding if nothing is done to stop the massive melt of sea ice in Antarctica, according to nine award-winning scientists who have studied the continent for many years. In the journal Nature, they outline two scenarios, one promising, one bleak, for what could happen by 2070. [CNN]

Penguin selfie

¶ Antarctica is shedding ice at an accelerating rate, according to a report in the journal Nature. Satellites monitoring the state of the White Continent indicate some 200 billion tonnes a year are now being lost to the ocean as a result of melting. This is pushing up global sea levels by 0.6 mm annually, three times as fast as it was in 2012. [BBC]

World:

¶ Scotland’s Climate Change Secretary announced that the country had met its statutory annual greenhouse gas emissions target for the third year in a row in 2016, and this resulted in emissions being down 49% on a 1990 baseline. Of European countries, only Sweden, with a drop of 51%, reduced emissions faster than Scotland. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Scotland

¶ Swytch, blockchain-based clean energy incentive, and the Energy2market, a German company aggregating energy trading in Europe, announced a blockchain renewable energy trial that could power over 500,000 homes. The pilot program, which is in Germany, includes approximately 3.5 GW of solar, wind, hydro, and biogas energy capacity. [SmartCitiesWorld]

¶ Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, said that a subsidiary has won a 150-MW Solar PV project in Maharashtra. Tata Power Renewable Energy, Ltd, received the Letter of Award to develop the project. It will sign a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co, Ltd. [Indiainfoline]

Transmission lines

¶ Tata Power Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of Indian utility Tata Power, said that it signed a power purchase agreement with the US-based conglomerate GE. The Indian renewables company will provide solar installations for six manufacturing and services sites across the country. They will generate over 1,000 MWh per year. [Energy Digital]

¶ A milestone was reached towards the UK becoming a low carbon economy as a new wind farm capable of powering over 500,000 homes opened off the East Coast. The Humber is playing an increasingly significant role with four other huge projects in the pipeline, which will set records as the world’s largest as they come on line. [Yorkshire Post]

Turbine at the new Race Bank wind farm

¶ Swiss group ABB said the 500-MW Maritime Link connection between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia is finished. The high-voltage direct current link will transmit renewable energy from Newfoundland and Labrador to the North American grid, linking to it in Nova Scotia. It will enable Nova Scotia to integrate more renewable power. [Renewables Now]

¶ Lightsource BP, based in the UK, plans offer residential customers in Australia an option to go solar at no upfront cost. Lightsource will supply, install, operate, and maintain a solar PV array, a battery, and a smart metering system. The customers will buy renewable power at a fixed price under terms of a power purchase agreement. [Renewables Now]

Rooftop solar array (Image: Ralf Gosch | Shutterstock.com)

¶ Samsung, the Korean electronics behemoth, announced plans to transition its existing facilities, offices, and factories across US, Europe, and China to 100% renewable energy sources within two years. It plans to install 42,000 square metres of PV panels at its Digital City site in Korea, along with other solar arrays and geothermal plants. [CNET]

¶ The president of TEPCO said the utility is considering the future of the Fukushima No 2 nuclear plant. Fukushima No 2 is about 12 kilometers south of the Fukushima No 1 plant, which was crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He said the company is leaning toward scrapping all four nuclear reactors at the plant. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima No 2 nuclear plant (KYODO image)

US:

¶ Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, said it will stop using coal to generate electricity by 2040. The utility company has said it will increase its use of renewable resources, especially solar, and begin closing its remaining five coal-fired units in 2023. The plan is being filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission. [The Detroit News]

¶ State regulators are seeking more information on the 12-MW Aqua Ventus floating offshore wind demonstration project, led by the University of Maine, before deciding on a power purchase agreement. The Maine Public Utilities Commission will make requests for additional information in the coming weeks, the University of Maine said. [reNews]

VolturnUS prototype (Photo: UMaine)

¶ E.ON entered into a long-term power purchase agreement for 50 MW from its West of the Pecos solar project with a unit of SK E&S Co, Ltd, based in South Korea. West of the Pecos is a 100-MW PV solar project, located in Reeves County, Texas, about 75 miles southwest of Midland-Odessa. It is expected to come online in 2020. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ The US added more solar electric capacity than any other type in the first quarter of 2018. A report from the nonprofit Solar Energy Industries Association said the US solar market added 2.5 GW of new capacity in the first quarter, up 13% from the first quarter of 2017. That accounts for 55% of all new US electric capacity for the quarter. [Business Insider]

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