July 9 Energy News

July 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The World’s ‘New Oil’ – Batteries” • Could batteries become the world’s new oil? According to Bloomberg, “the rise of electric vehicles and renewable-energy sources may mean that some crude may stay in the ground. BP last year said battery-powered vehicles could flatten projected oil-demand growth from cars in the next 20 years.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s Model S (Image: Tesla)

World:

¶ The Garissa Solar Plant will bring down the cost of electricity in Kenya to 5.4¢/kWh. The plant consists of about 210,210 PV panels of 260 watts each, sitting on 85 hectares, and will be able to generate power capable of lighting around 625,000 homes. Originally, it was to be completed in December, but the date has been revised to September. [Daily Nation]

¶ Pakistan overcame a crippling power crisis, and over 95% of its population have access to electricity, the Spectator Index reported, citing World Bank Data. Earlier this year, a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency said that Pakistan needs to fully exploit indigenous renewable energy resources to improve energy security. [Daily Pakistan]

Electric transmission lines

¶ Sinosteel Corp, a Chinese company, signed a memorandum of understanding with Denikon, based in Italy, to jointly build a solar park in Iran with a capacity of up to 1,000 MW, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports. The agreement envisages the construction of a solar park, 20,000 residential PV systems, and a PV manufacturing facility. [Renewables Now]

¶ The solar industry has developed rapidly in recent years, with global capacity increasing from just 1.5 GW in 2005 to 98 GW in 2017. GTM Research’s recent report, Top 15 Global Utility Solar PV Developers, details the world’s largest solar PV developers. Together, they account for 20% of installed utility-scale solar capacity worldwide. [Power Technology]

Solar array (First Solar image)

¶ China’s State Council released the full text of a three-year action plan to curb air pollution by 2020. Air pollution in China is now affecting 37% of China’s population, and measures taken so far are falling short of government goals and public expectations. The new plan offers tougher limits and proposes a quicker shift to cleaner energy. [The Maritime Executive]

Australia:

¶ The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Victoria government are leading a new program to establish standards for household and commercial battery storage to make it easier for residential and business customers to compare different storage options. Over 2 million Australian homes and businesses that already have rooftop solar. [RenewEconomy]

Battery

¶ Australian rooftop solar panel installations soared by almost half in the first six months of 2018 as businesses eclipse residential take-up for the first time. In the January-June half, rooftop PV installations reached 701.9 MW, up 48.1% from the same time a year earlier, according to Green Energy Markets, a consultancy. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ The Australian Capital Territory has declared any coal deal to placate conservative Liberals and Nationals would be “entirely unhelpful” to a successful resolution of the national energy guarantee in early August. The territory’s climate change minister, Shane Rattenbury, has warned the commonwealth a side deal on coal could kill the NEG. [The Guardian]

Coal (Greg Wood | AFP | Getty Images)

US:

¶ Western states are running into critical water issues because of climate change. Desalination plants can address the issue, but they are expensive and use a lot of power. So the US DOE is putting $21 million toward fourteen projects aimed at developing technology to cut the cost of using solar energy to power thermal desalination. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A US judge ordered Chinese wind turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group to pay a $1.5 million fine after the company was convicted of stealing key technology from the Massachusetts-based AMSC. The US Justice Department said Sinovel has already paid AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Corp, $32.5 million. [The Epoch Times]

Wind turbines in China (STR | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ City officials in St Paul, Minnesota, have set a goal to get the city’s carbon footprint to net zero by 2050. “The high-level goal is we want city buildings operating as carbon neutral by 2030, and all buildings by 2050,” said Russ Stark, a former president of the St Paul City Council who is now the city’s chief resilience officer. [TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press]

¶ Researchers at University of California at San Diego, Harvard, and Carnegie Mellon published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing the nuclear industry is on the verge of collapse just when we need to limit carbon emissions. Some advocacy groups would rather focus on supporting renewable sources. [South China Morning Post]

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