June 26 Energy News

June 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Microgrids are the future of U.S. energy security” • Puerto Rico serves as an alarming reminder of the increasing threat of disasters capable causing grid failure anywhere in the country. US Army Corps of Engineers officials are exploring the use of microgrids to reduce the risk of regional, state, or nation-wide power outages. [United States Army]

Puerto Rico (Photo: US Army photo by Preston Chasteen)

Science and Technology:

¶ A Danish company, Ecobotix, is developing solutions that may eliminate the use of chemical pesticides. It uses drones to deliver biological predators that can attack and eliminate agricultural pests. The drones also provide farmers with visual and infrared imagery recorded at fixed intervals so the farmer can see how crops are developing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Polymetalic nodules containing cobalt, manganese, nickel, and copper can be found lying exposed on the ocean floor in some parts of the Earth. DeepGreen and Nauru Ocean Resources, Inc are developing technology to collect the polymetallic nodules, bring them to the surface, and process them with the objective of producing zero waste. [CleanTechnica]

DeepGreen nodule harvesting

¶ Perovskite solar panels cost much less than silicon-based solar panels, but they are easily damaged by moisture and are harder to manufacture commercially. Researchers at the New York University School of Engineering, working with colleagues at other universities in China and the US, think they have an answer for easier manufacturing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ On June 24, a purpose-built Volkswagen electric race car took its turn racing in the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb. When it finished, not only had it beat the existing electric car record, it had set the fastest time ever recorded for the event. Its time was just a tick over 7 minutes, 57 seconds, beating the old record by almost 17 seconds. [CleanTechnica]

VW racer on Pikes Peak

World:

¶ The UK government has pulled support for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project. MP Gregory Clark, who is also the Britain’s secretary of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said in the end, the £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) project was not a value for the money. Ocean Energy Europe was among those that panned the decision. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Investment in low-carbon energy sources must be at least double the current level to ensure temperature targets are attained, according to a paper published last week in Nature Times. The paper showed that, globally, an extra $460 billion investment into clean energy is needed each year over the next 12 years to meet the 1.5°C limit. [Power Technology]

Wind farm (Wikimedia image)

¶ Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy said it will inaugurate one of the largest wind power farms in the world, a state-run newspaper said. The wind farm, in Egypt’s Red Sea governorate, has 300 wind turbines and a capacity of 580 MW. Construction started in 2015 and cost 12 billion Egyptian pounds (about $625 million). [Arab News]

¶ According to Polish industry bodies, the nation’s government is creating a bill to enable development of offshore wind projects. The news was announced in the Offshore Wind Journal. Polish MP Zbigniew Gryglas confirmed that the country is targeting 6 GW of new offshore capacity by 2030, with the potential of reaching 10 GW by 2040. [Energy Digital]

Offshore wind farm (Getty Images)

¶ The government of South Australia has approved the first phase of a huge renewable energy project that eventually will add 400 MW of PV capacity and 270 MWh of battery storage. The approval was for Solar River Project Stage 1, which will include a 200-MW solar park and a 120-MWh lithium-ion energy storage facility. [Renewables Now]

¶ BYD, known for electric buses and SkyRail, has been working to develope stationary energy storage solutions. BYD brought its two new energy storage offerings to Intersolar Europe in Munich this week as falling battery prices continue to make stationary energy storage a cost-effective option for both businesses and homeowners around the world. [CleanTechnica]

BYD energy storage

US:

¶ The Senate passed a $145 billion spending bill 86-5, with provisions to fund the DOE for 2019. It keeps spending level or slightly increases funds for programs offered through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as well as the Energy Information Agency. It includes $1.2 billion for nuclear energy research and development. [Greentech Media]

¶ Michigan’s CMS Energy announced the addition of two new planned wind farms to its portfolio. They will have a combined capacity of 250 MW. CMS Energy subsidiary Consumers Energy has entered into an agreement to own, construct and operate the Gratiot Farms Wind Project now being developed by Tradewind Energy. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ The Hawaiian island of Kauai will become home to a 19.3-MW solar park with a 70-MWh energy storage system, which will help it move closer to reaching a 70% renewables generation target earlier than planned. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative announced that the project had been approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission. [Renewables Now]

¶ Santee Cooper asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to rule that twenty electric co-ops – and their almost two million customers – must continue to pay the costs of the state-owned utility’s failed effort to build two nuclear reactors. The petition was a reaction to lawsuits filed against Santee Cooper by some of the co-ops. [The State]

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