June 20 Energy News

June 20, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Lifesaving Benefits of Offshore Wind Power” • As an environmental health and climate researcher, I’m intrigued by how offshore wind power may improve public health. Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar energy, research shows, can reduce risks of asthma, hospitalizations and heart attacks. In turn, that can save lives. [US News & World Report]

Offshore wind farm (Sean Gallup | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ A nuclear experiment that borrows elements from existing designs to create a stable fusion reactor could make never-ending energy a reality within decades. A Washington startup, Agni Energym, says its ‘beam-target’ reactor focuses and controls the elements needed to achieve nuclear fusion more efficiently than other designs. [Infosurhoy]

¶ Cost reductions of up to 30% have been realised on elements of the 28-MW Nissum Bredning offshore wind farm demonstration project off the coast of Jutland in Denmark, according to Siemens Gamesa. The project showcases a several different engineering innovations that reduce costs of installation and the efficiency of electricity transmission. [reNews]

Turbine at Nissum Bredning (Siemens Gamesa image)

World:

¶ Finnish technology company Wärtsilä has unveiled a solar and energy storage hybrid system that it says will enable companies to deliver renewable electricity as “baseload” power. The system includes a software and control platform, which optimizes performance as it monitors changes in market conditions and rate structures. [reNews]

¶ Canada’s Magna builds cars for other companies, most notably BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. It builds the new Jaguar I-PACE at its Magna Steyer facility in Austria. It announced it has formed a joint venture with Beijing Electric Vehicle Company, a BAIC subsidiary, to engineer and build two new premium electric cars for the Chinese market. [CleanTechnica]

Zhenjiang car factory

¶ The number of offshore wind farms in operation, under construction, or in development has grown 10% in the last 12 months to 104 GW from 95 GW, RenewableUK data shows. The UK leads the list with 35.2 GW, followed by Germany with 23.4 GW, then Taiwan with 8.3 GW, China with 7.7 GW, and the US at 7.5 GW. [reNews]

¶ New solar power installations halved in the UK last year for the second year in a row, as fallout from government subsidy cuts continues. They declined from 4.1 GW in 2015 to 1.97 GW in 2016, and 0.95 GW last year. Labour said the figures showed the government’s commitment to green energy was “nothing but an empty PR move.” [The Guardian]

Solar installer (Ashley Cooper | Global Warming Images | Alamy)

Australia:

¶ Australia’s coal-fired generation could provide as little as 8% of its power as early as 2050, as it is replaced by cheap renewables and battery storage, along with household energy investments. The latest National Energy Outlook from Bloomberg New Energy sees technology and economics as more important than government policies. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance energy outlook forecasts renewable power investment in Australia will reach more than A$186 billion ($138 billion) by 2050 as the rate of new wind and solar entering the market increases to account for 92% of all generation. BNEF projected further declines in the costs of renewable power. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Rooftop solar panels in Australia (Photo: Jason South)

¶ Genex Power’s Queensland-based Kidston pumped hydro storage and solar project received more than $500 million from a government infrastructure fund that has previously drawn flak as a facility to prop up coal projects. The project is the first funded by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility fund since it was overhauled. [The Sidney Morning Herald]

¶ The 2018 Lowy Institute’s annual poll on Australian attitudes found massive support for renewables. Asked if the government should focus on renewables “even if this means we may need to invest more” or traditional energy “even if this means the environment may suffer to some extent,” 84% of respondents chose renewables. [The Sidney Morning Herald]

Liddell power station (Photo: Janie Barrett)

US:

¶ The American Council on Renewable Energy, a national business group made up of companies that finance, develop, manufacture, and use all forms of renewable energy, announced the launch of a new campaign that aims to reach $1 trillion in new US private sector investment in renewable energy and enabling grid technologies by 2030. [Business Wire]

¶ Hydro-Québec and Central Maine Power Company have successfully concluded contract negotiations with the electric distribution companies in Massachusetts for the New England Clean Energy Connect, 100% hydropower project. Now, the agreement will go to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Hydropower (Courtesy of Hydro-Québec)

¶ Nashville-based solar developer and operator Silicon Ranch Corp will build another 194 MW of solar capacity as part of a partnership with Georgia renewable energy provider Green Power EMC, the two said in separate statements. The capacity will come from four single-axis tracking solar parks in middle and south Georgia. [Renewables Now]

¶ New Hampshire Republican Gov Chris Sununu vetoed two energy-related bills that he says would have cost ratepayers about $110 million over three years. But key members of his party are bristling at the move, calling one bill a vital lifeline for the biomass and timber industry. And they say they have the votes to override a veto. [Concord Monitor]

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