July 8 Energy News

July 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “For Effective Natural Disaster Recovery, Long-Term & Holistic Solutions Are Needed” • As areas of the world are ravaged by extreme events, many fueled by climate change, it is important that reconstruction policies   take into account the human factors of well-being and contentment. Acting to help people should not impair their lives. [CleanTechnica]

Port Arthur, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey

¶ “Clean energy has big economic impact on Colorado” • In two decades, I’ve seen wind energy costs plummet, municipalities cut power bills by building energy-efficient schools, and the solar market explode from a few renegades to a technology favored by America’s most profitable corporations. But the most dramatic shift I’ve seen? Jobs. [Pueblo Chieftain]

¶ “The roiled solar power market shows how Trump’s tariffs can disrupt an industry” • A 30% US tariff on imported solar panels should have caused prices here to jump. But when tariffs are unleashed, as businesses are learning, things don’t always go as expected. In the US, prices have not changed, but worldwide solar prices declined 35%. [Los Angeles Times]

Installing a solar system (Joe Raedle | Getty Images)

World:

¶ The UK has already decided to ban the sale of new cars and vans with internal combustion engines by 2040 but some are calling for that ban to happen sooner to improve air quality near many roads and highways. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, told The Guardian he supports the calls to move up the effective date of the ban. [CleanTechnica]

¶ China had 53% of the global new solar capacity in 2017, up from 45% in 2016. But its new solar policy reduces the amount of solar to be installed in China. Most forecasters project a downturn in PV production, but IHS Markit predicts that the global solar market will increase by around 11% to 105 GW in 2018 in spite of Chinese policy. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar array

¶ The benchmark seaborne thermal coal prices have jumped to $120.10 per tonne, its highest level since November 2012, thanks to tight supply in key Asian export regions. Measured from lows hit end-2015, the cost of coal used in power generation has gained 140%. China has continued to buy coal, despite actions to discourage its use. [OilPrice.com]

¶ Madagascar has announced plans to develop more solar power projects in a bid to reduce the cost of electricity. Its government will implement the Madagascar Electricity Sector Operations and Governance Improvement Project, which has been approved by the World Bank for a $40 million credit from the International Development Association. [Energy Digital]

Madagascar (Getty Images)

¶ Total’s main business today may be oil and gas, but it is making aggressive moves to become a leader in renewable energy also. CEO Patrick Pouyanne said Total was ready to build 10,000 MW of solar power plants in France, enough to power 1.64 million homes, over the next 10 years. The government of France has set goals for solar power. [Motley Fool]

US:

¶ In New Jersey, 25,000 homes – worth nearly $10 billion – will be at risk of chronic flooding by 2035. Those properties could flood 26 times or more annually, according to a recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, making New Jersey the state that will be hit the hardest in the contiguous US in terms of value of property at risk by 2035. [NJ.com]

Flooding in Sea Bright

¶ Incoming EPA chief Andrew Wheeler said in a new interview that he believes humans have played a role in climate change, but the EPA will likely not change much under his leadership. He said that he will continue to pursue alternatives to the Clean Power Plan, which he has criticized for going “outside the four corners of the Clean Air Act.” [The Hill]

¶ Duke Energy Carolinas plans to sell five small hydro power plants to Northbrook Energy at a $40 million loss and says the sale is in the best interest of customers. The companies asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission to approve the sale and also asked for a declaratory ruling to qualify the small plants as new renewable energy facilities. [WSOC Charlotte]

Hydro dam

¶ Arizona regulator Andy Tobin filed a set of proposed rules that would implement his Arizona Energy Modernization Plan to put utilities on a course to supply 80% renewable or nuclear power by 2050. Tobin’s proposal would require utilities to roll out 3 GW of energy storage by 2030 and to grow the use of energy efficiency and electric vehicles. [Utility Dive]

¶ The Bonneville Power Administration, which produces power in the Northwest, could save money and help fish by walking away from costly future upgrades to the four lower Snake River dams, according to some environmentalists. Cheap renewable electricity from solar and wind farms has made it uneconomical to operate the dams. [Lewiston Morning Tribune]

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