June 30 Energy News

June 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “3 Oil Companies Getting Serious About Renewable Energy – and 2 That Aren’t” • The good news is that some of the world’s largest oil and gas producers are investing billions in renewable energy assets, from offshore wind farms to solar energy to next-generation batteries. Unfortunately, other oil majors are all talk with no action. [Motley Fool]

Wind turbines

¶ “‘We’ve turned a corner’: farmers shift on climate change and want a say on energy” • Out in the Australian bush, far from the political jousting in Canberra, attitudes are changing. National Farmers’ Federation head Fiona Simson says people on the land cannot ignore what is right before their eyes. They have turned a corner on climate change. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ Levels of air pollution well below what is considered safe by the US EPA and the World Health Organization are causing an increased risk of diabetes worldwide, a study published in Lancet Planetary Health said. In 2016, air pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases, worldwide. It is linked to 150,000 new cases per year in the US. [CNN]

Salt Lake City (Eltiempo10, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Offshore wind turbine manufacturer and developer MHI Vestas announced that its flagship V164 9.5-MW offshore wind turbine, the world’s most powerful wind turbine, was awarded an S class type certificate, paving the way for installations to begin in late 2019. MHI Vestas also held the previous record, which was 8.8 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Following an agreement with Danish energy group Ørsted in February, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy confirmed that it will provide 165 of its SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbines to the 1,386 MW Hornsea Project Two offshore wind farm. The project is set to be built in the Hornsea Offshore Wind Zone off the west coast of England. [CleanTechnica]

Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD turbine

¶ Poland’s upper house of parliament approved an amendment to the renewable sources of energy law to remove obstacles to green energy investment and help meet EU renewable energy targets. Poland’s conservative Law and Justice party won the 2015 election partly with promises to sustain the coal industry, but its direction has changed. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ New figures published by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy showed that renewable energy accounted for 30.1% of the country’s total electricity generation in the first quarter, up 3% from last year. There was record wind generation that accounted for over half of the total renewable energy generation. [CleanTechnica]

Hywind offshore wind farm in Scotland

¶ Three utilities announced a collaboration aimed to advance the research and development of renewable natural gas, including such technologies as power-to-gas, which uses renewable power to synthesize fuel. One of the utilities, Énergir (formerly Gaz Metro), is the parent company of Vermont Gas Systems and Green Mountain Power. [Vermont Biz]

¶ Denmark will build three new offshore wind farms with a total capacity of at least 2,400 MW by 2030, a unanimous Danish parliament agreed. In 2017, 43% of Denmark’s total electricity consumption was supplied by wind turbines, one of the largest shares in the world. Denmark has also increased its renewable energy goals. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind energy

US:

¶ According to a report produced by the National Association of State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Initiative, there are more than twice as many solar power jobs in the US as jobs in the coal industry. Solar was also the fastest growing sector in US employment, before the Trump administration’s policies started to go into effect. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US Energy Information Administration summarized the true coal power trends very concisely, saying, “At least 25 GW of coal-fired capacity will retire within the next three years (2018–2020), according to planned retirements reported to the EIA.” It also pointed out that natural gas now produces more power than coal. [CleanTechnica]

Coal-fired power plant

¶ A PacifiCorp study concluded that coal plants owned by Wyoming’s largest utility are not always the cheapest power source for customers, particularly compared to renewables. That finding runs counter to assumptions that proximity to coal mines always drives down the cost of coal power, compared with other options. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ Chinese company GCL New Energy completed construction of the first phase of its 50-MW GCL Oregon solar project, and the facility is already selling power to local utilities. GCL Oregon, located in Jefferson County, consists of four single sub-projects. Two additional sub-projects will reach commercial operation in July and November. [reNews]

GCL solar project (GCL image)

¶ Land O’Lakes, Inc and California Bioenergy have launched a collaboration to support financing, installation, and management of on-farm methane digesters to generate compressed natural gas fuel from renewable resources in California. State law requires that farms reduce methane emissions 40% from 2013 levels by 2030. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The 11th Circuit shot down a novel request for NextEra Energy to get a tax refund on the $97 million it paid to dispose of nuclear waste. Citing the net operating losses from fees it had paid pursuant to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, NextEra had sought a refund in from tax payments made between 1969 and 1995. [Courthouse News Service]

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