July 11 Energy News

July 11, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “ACCC wants federal rooftop solar subsidy abolished by 2021” • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in a report on how electricity consumers have been ripped off by networks, generators, and retailers, targeted the technology with the least impact, and probably biggest benefit – rooftop solar – to have its subsidies abolished. [RenewEconomy]

Rooftop solar system on a School in Western Australia
(Photo: Orderinchaos, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Kavanaugh Could Usher In Even More Business-Friendly Era on Supreme Court” • Brett Kavanaugh could add a powerful new voice on the Supreme Court. His record on the US appeals court reveals views closely aligned with conservatives who seek to rein in agencies on issues from climate change to net neutrality and financial oversight. [BloombergQuint]

World:

¶ The Volkswagen Group signed the initial letters of intent with the FAW Group and the Connected Vehicles Research Institute during a visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Berlin. VW plans to invest €15 billion for new ventures in the lucrative country through 2022 for both local investments and new research and development efforts. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID

¶ With a string of new investments and acquisitions in the past year, Shell has quietly stepped up the pace of its transition from an oil and gas company into an energy company. “We are further along than people realize,” says Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice-President of Shell New Energies, in an exclusive interview with Energy Post. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Investment in clean technologies is closely tracking last year and has already hit $138.2 billion, analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows. This is just 1% lower than for the first half of 2017, though the direction of investment is changing. Both windpower and smart technologies (including batteries) have seen increased investment. [Climate Action Programme]

Wind farm

¶ German prime minister Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed an agreement that will bring a CATL battery factory to the German city of Erfurt. CATL is China’s largest battery manufacturer. BMW has already signed up to buy over $1.7 billion worth of CATL batteries for electric cars it builds for the European market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Scottish developer Sustainable Marine Energy’s Plat-I floating tidal device has departed the UK and is on its way to Canada for deployment off Nova Scotia. The trimaran platform left Liverpool on a container ship. SME is to deploy the device in the Grand Passage in the Bay of Fundy for a project at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy. [reNews]

Container ship Atlantic Sky carrying the floating
tidal device (UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency)

¶ The Indian state of Maharashtra has banned plastic packaging along with such other plastic items as drinking straws and cutlery. The goal is for all of India to do the same by 2022. Maharashtra’s ban is more far-reaching than those of other places. Even colorful plastic garlands that often adorn Hindu temples will no longer be legal. [WBHM]

¶ Irish renewables company DP Energy has been given the green light to expand a hybrid renewable energy park in South Australia to a total of 1.1 GW of wind, solar and storage. The company announced that it had won state government approval for the proposed second stage of its Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park in June. [RenewEconomy]

DP Energy hybrid power station

¶ According to data released by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, wind, solar, hydropower, and biogas met 36.3% of Germany’s electricity needs between January and June 2018, while coal provided just 35.1%. This is the first time coal has fallen behind renewable power over such a long period of time in Germany. [EURACTIV]

US:

¶ The city council of Concord, New Hampshire, voted to establish a goal of transitioning the city to 100% renewable energy, the Sierra Club announced. The vote was unanimous. The resolution adopts a goal of using 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2030 and for all sectors including heat and transportation by 2050. [North American Windpower]

Wind turbine

¶ BYD and Generate Capital announced a new electric bus leasing program. The new program is seeded with an initial $200 million investment that is geared towards lowering the barrier to adoption for electric vehicles for public and private-sector buses. The move allows customers to shift some upfront costs to a monthly expense. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Duke Energy introduced a solar rebate program for North Carolina and announced a request for proposals for adding 680 MW of renewable energy capacity in both North and South Carolina. The competitive selection is targeting new solar or other renewable energy facilities. Each project has to have a capacity of between 1 MW and 80 MW. [Renewables Now]

Worker at a Duke Energy solar park (Photo: Duke ENergy)

¶ As of April 2018, more than 99% of the hydro and fossil-fueled (petroleum, natural gas, and coal) power capacity in Puerto Rico was operating, an update from the DOE’s Energy Information Administration said. About a hundred power plants were still not operating as of April, but they are expected to return to service by the end of 2018. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ EVs could drive a 38% rise in US electricity demand, according to the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The NREL study indicates that rising electricity demand could lead to sustained absolute growth of 80,000 GWh per year over the next thirty years. This could add a growth of 1.6% per year over that period for utility companies. [Utility Dive]

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