July 13 Energy News

July 13, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ Australia boasts a renewable energy potential of 25,000 GW, one of the highest in the world and about four times the installed electricity production capacity of the entire planet. A chemist at Monash University says that energy can be captured and stored for later use by making ammonia, which can be used as a carbon-free fuel. [Science Magazine]

Australian energy (Coast Protection Board, South Australia)

¶ Researchers at Norway’s Department of Energy Technology in Kjeller say they have perfected a way to substitute silicon for the graphite commonly used in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. The discovery will lead to batteries that can power an electric car for 600 miles or more, the researchers claim. Pure silicon has ten times the capacity of graphite. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Recent research conducted by Theodore Endreny, Dr David Nowak of the USDA Forest Service, and Scott Maco from the Davey Institute generated some insights about the value of urban trees. In addition to the shade and beauty they provide to cityscapes, they also provide value, which can be measured in economic terms. [CleanTechnica]

Heckscher Playground in Central Park

World:

¶ A combination of good meteorological conditions in the first half of 2018 has led Spain to cover 45.8% of the electricity demand on its grid from renewable energy sources. Wind energy systems were the peninsula’s primary source of electricity, covering 22.6% of its electricity demand, followed by hydro power, with a 16.9% share. [pv magazine International]

¶ In 2016, the UK ran for a total of 210 hours without using coal to generate electricity. In 2017, the figure rose to 624 hours. For 2018, the figure is already above 1,000 hours, and the switch to renewable power is accelerating, as two of the UK’s eight coal-burning plants are to close this year. Over the past four weeks, PVs provided 7.4% of the UK’s electricity. [The Guardian]

Smoke from coal (Photo: John Giles | PA)

¶ A little over a year since President Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Vatican hosted a conference to commemorate the third anniversary of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical. He encouraged citizens to take matters into their own hands. [Crux: Covering all things Catholic]

The Guardian reports that the Irish fossil fuel divestment bill has now passed the lower house of parliament, and it is expected to pass the upper house rapidly. That means it could be law before the end of the year, and the government will be obligated by law to sell all investments in coal, oil, gas, and peat as soon as it is practicable to do so. [Treehugger]

Wind farm (Harrygep, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ The UK has mapped plans for a “broad energy cooperation” with the EU after Brexit. London has suggested a series of options for electricity trading in a white paper it published, including leaving the Internal Energy Market. But the white paper also proposes continued participation in the internal market, under a new set of common rules. [reNews]

¶ Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd won a contract to develop 250 MW of solar projects in the Indian state of Karnataka.The projects will be set up at the Pavagada Solar Park and will supply energy to the state distribution companies under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Tata Power won the bid at a ₹2.85/kWh (4.2¢/kWh) tariff rate. [pv magazine India]

Tata Power Solar project (Image: Tata Power Solar)

¶ A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to support EDF’s 5-MW Aramon solar PV project in France. The campaign, on digital investment platform WiSeed, aims to raise €200,000 for the solar farm’s construction. Aramon, in the Gard region of southern France, was awarded to EDF in March 2017 by CRE, the French regulator. [reNews]

¶ India can add about 3 million new jobs by 2030, provided 40% of the country’s electricity is generated through renewables, according to a report by IndiaSpend. The report quotes a study from the International Labour Organisation, an arm of the UN, which examines the implications of climate change mitigation for employment. [EnergyInfraPost]

Indian wind farm

¶ Three shareholders filed a temporary injunction request with the Tokyo District Court to stop TEPCO from providing funding to restart the Tokai No 2 nuclear plant. They claim that any financial support violates provisions in the Companies Law that call for careful management decisions that do not clash with the interests of shareholders. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ 8minutenergy, the largest independent solar power developer in the US, announced that it successfully energized Phases 1 and 2 of the 328-MW Mount Signal 3 Solar Farm in the city of Calexico in California’s Imperial Valley. American solar PV manufacturer First Solar provided 2.8 million Series 4 thin-film solar panels for the mammoth project. [CleanTechnica]

Mount Signal 3 Solar Farm

¶ A Tesla spokesperson officially confirmed to CleanTechnica that the company had sold and delivered 200,000 EVs in the US. The phaseout period of the federal EV tax credit is set into motion when a manufacturer sells its 200,000th EV in this country. The amount of the tax credit will be cut 50% on January 1, 2019, with two further to follow. [CleanTechnica]

¶ ElectraTherm commissioned its first Power+ waste heat to power unit in California. Low-temperature organic Rankine cycle heat recovery systems are able to generate power from waste heat ranging from 170-252°F. Captured heat is then used to produce a high pressure vapor that drives a generator to produce emission-free power. [CleanTechnica]

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