July 14 Energy News

July 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clean energy is catching up to natural gas” • The natural gas “bridge” to sustainability may be shorter than expected. Around 2015, just five years into gas’s rise to power, complications for the bridge narrative began to appear. Wind and solar costs fell so far, so fast that gas is increasingly unable to compete with them, and then batteries came along. [Vox]

Dead end for the bridge (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Lawmaker inaction leaves SC home solar industry endangered” • South Carolina has a cap on net metering of 2%. It is especially disappointing that state lawmakers could not take even modest steps to help electric ratepayers by raising it. Instead, the year was dominated by discussion over the failed construction of two nuclear reactors. [Charleston Post Courier]

Science and Technology:

¶ High temperature records have been set across much of the world this week as an unusually prolonged heat wave intensifies concerns about climate change. The World Meteorological Organization said the rising temperatures were at odds with a global cyclical climate phenomena known as La Niña, which is usually associated with cooling. [The Guardian]

Dried up river in England (Photo: Matt Cardy | Getty Images)

World:

¶ Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government said it is cancelling 758 renewable energy contracts, making good on a campaign promise. The energy minister said the move is an effort to save ratepayers in the province $790 million. Industry officials dispute the figure and say the move will just mean job losses for small business. [CBC.ca]

¶ Apple will partner with 10 initial Chinese suppliers to invest $300 million over the next four years, as part of the company’s commitment to address climate change and increase the use of renewable energy in its supply chain. The fund will invest in and help to develop clean energy projects worth more than 1 GW of renewable energy in China. [CleanTechnica]

Solar PVs in Sichuan province

¶ Corvus Energy, based in Vancouver, is expanding its battery manufacturing capability in Canada and at a new factory in Norway. The company leads in providing electric propulsion for ships and ferries. Its CEO said, “There is an electric revolution going on in the maritime sector, and we want to deliver the best solutions in the industry.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Saudi renewables developer Acwa Power signed an agreement with South Africa’s Central Energy Fund to co-invest in a 100-MW concentrated solar power project in North Cape province. The Redstone project is expected to dispatch around 480,000 MWh per year, enough to power 210,000 homes during peak demand times, Acwa Power said. [The National]

Concentrated solar power project in Tunisia (Courtesy TuNur)

¶ A Navigant Research report looks at the global market for corporate procurement of renewable energy from utility-scale, offsite renewable energy projects through 2027. For the Asia Pacific region, they are forecast to reach 9.2 GW and $7.9 billion annually by 2027. In North America, they are expected to reach 2.7 GW and $3.1 billion. [Windpower Engineering]

US:

¶ Bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Inc, Proterra, and Southern California’s Foothill Transit announced the first electric double-deck bus order for a public transit agency in North America. Proterra will provide the electric batteries and powertrain for ADI’s next-generation double-deck Enviro500 platform for the North American market. [CleanTechnica]

Enviro500 bus

¶ Climate activists are lashing out at leaders of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, saying a clean energy bill they just passed does not go far enough in support of clean energy. Mass Power Forward, a coalition of 150 groups, said the “paltry increase” represents an “utter abdication of progressive leadership on renewable energy.” [MassLive.com]

¶ Montana’s sparsely populated upper Musselshell River Valley looks almost empty from the top of Gordon Butte. But if the plans of renewable-power developers pan out, the butte and the valley will be sites of a large wind farm, or two, and a $1 billion hydro project that serves as a “battery” storage to complement intermittent wind power. [KTVH]

Musselshell River Valley (USDA photo)

¶ Atop the new 290,000-square-foot Ikea store in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, are 4,716 solar panels, part of Ikea’s worldwide effort at conservation. Those panels collect sunlight to generate electricity, providing the store with 20% to 50% of the power it consumes. At least for now, Ikea has the largest rooftop solar power project in Wisconsin. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶ As the global transition from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewable energy progresses, even those states that have shown less ambition to date are beginning to make bold moves. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection published a draft report that plans to provide 10% of the state’s electricity with solar power. [pv magazine International]

Solar installers (Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo)

¶ New York’s utility leadership ordered the first procurements toward a goal of 2,400 MW of offshore wind power generation by 2030, the governor’s office announced. The New York Energy Research & Development Authority will procure about 800 MW of offshore wind through a solicitation in the fourth quarter this year. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ In the last week of June, broad areas of the the US were hit by a powerful heat wave stretching across the country, breaking 227 US records in its first week alone. A new and distressing report from Media Matters reveals that most major broadcast TV networks are completely ignoring the link between unprecedented heat waves and climate change. [ScienceAlert]

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