June 16 Energy News

June 16, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “100% renewable energy, no net metering caps and more in Massachusetts Senate bill” • A bill passed last night in the Massachusetts Senate removes the state’s caps on net metering, sets a 100% renewable energy mandate, boosts the state’s energy storage procurement target to 2 GW and more. But can it pass the House? [pv magazine USA]

Massachusetts State House
(Marco Almbauer, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Despite Tariffs, Solar Energy Is Cheaper Than Ever” • The cost of solar power continues to fall to new lows in the US, even as tariffs are imposed in favor of keeping the coal and natural gas industries afloat. One expert pointed out that it is cheaper to build a new PV plant than just to operate an existing coal or natural gas plant. [The Weather Channel]

Science and Technology:

¶ A special issue of the journal Nature is dedicated to Antarctica. In it, scientists said that if the Paris Accord fails to reverse emission trends, we will see “economic losses from the flooding of coastal cities exceeding $1 trillion per year” within decades. There is enough ice at risk in the Antarctic to raise sea levels more than 100 feet. [ThinkProgress]

Iceberg the size of Delaware (Mario Tama | Getty Images)

World:

¶ In India, excessive demand, mismanaged water resources, erratic weather patterns, and climate change have led to a water shortage that is only getting worse. According to a report by NITI Aayog, India is facing its worst water crisis and about two lakh (200,000) people die every year due to inadequate access to potable water. [India Times]

¶ Milan is getting set for a progressive ban on diesel cars, which is due to start as early as January 2019. The bold move came as a surprise when Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala announced it a few days ago at the annual Energy Festival in Rome. Diesel emissions became a focus for government action because of the VW diesel scandal. [CleanTechnica]

Milan

¶ Japan’s SoftBank is planning to invest between $60 billion to $100 billion in a solar power project in India, a Japanese report said. The report by broadcaster NHK comes after SoftBank announced in March it would partner Saudi Arabia on a multi-billion dollar solar project that the company’s founder called the largest in the world. [Daily Times]

¶ The Overseas Private Investment Corporation will extend $225 million (€194.2 million) to back the construction of a 252-MW wind park in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The funds will be allocated to Mytrah Vayu Sabarmati Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Indian renewable power producer Mytrah Energy Ltd, OPIC announced. [Renewables Now]

Indian wind park (Image: Regien Paassen | Shutterstock.com)

¶ Jiangsu Seraphim Solar System Co, Ltd announced that it won the supply agreement for a monumental 246-MW Ukraine solar project, developed by Ukraine’s largest energy group, DTEK. This installation will be Ukraine’s largest renewable energy power plant to date. Seraphim is the sole module supplier for the project. [pv magazine International]

¶ In its drive to become a 100% renewable energy driven city, the French city of Strasbourg is betting on geothermal energy for heating and power generation. Through Electricité de Strasbourg and its geothermal subsidiary ES Geothermie, there is a lot happening on research and development. But concrete projects are also under way. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Quai Saint-Nicolas (Valentin R | Flickr, creative commons)

¶ Unit 1 of the Wolsong nuclear power plant will be retired prior to the expiration of its operating licence in 2022, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power announced. The company also said it has cancelled plans for four new nuclear reactors. The move is in line with the South Korean government’s policy to phase out the use of nuclear energy. [World Nuclear News]

US:

¶ Massachusetts moved closer to embracing an economy-wide price on carbon, as the Senate approved an energy bill with a “market-based compliance mechanism.” One of New England’s largest utilities backed the move, saying a carbon price is needed for the region to have a chance of meeting its greenhouse gas emission targets. [CommonWealth magazine]

Electric vehicle charging

¶ The Boring Company announced a project with the Chicago Transit Authority to develop a set of tunnels connecting Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and downtown Chicago. The new route, the Chicago Express Loop, would get passengers from O’Hare to downtown in just 12 minutes for around $20–25. That’s half the price of a cab. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Though renewable energy has been a Democrat point in the past, more Republicans in Wisconsin say they’re getting excited about it. Over the weekend, Republican State Sen Patrick Testin told people attending the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair that he is looking at solar and wind installation companies as job creators. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

Wind turbines in Fond du Lac County (Dave, CC-BY-NC-ND)

¶ The Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission met with the Hawaiian Electric Companies and Hawaiʻi Energy, at the request of Gov David Ige, to develop a series of rapid response actions to address the loss of renewable generation from the Puna Geothermal Venture power plant. The loss was due to the ongoing lava flow on Hawaiʻi Island. [Big Island Now]

¶ AT&T, the Dallas telecommunications giant, is buying 820 MW of electricity generated by wind power from NextEra Energy Resources, a Florida utility. The power will come from four NextEra-owned wind farms that are under construction in Texas and Oklahoma. Three of them are expected to be operational in December. [Laredo Morning Times]

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