July 18 Energy News

July 18, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Investment in renewable energy drops as fossil fuel use rises” • Global investment in renewable energy is on the decline, the International Energy Agency said. Governments are failing to keep Paris Climate Accord promises. Investment fell by 7% to $318 billion last year, but fossil fuels’ share of energy investment rose for the first time since 2014. [Engadget]

Coal-burning power plant (Getty Images)

¶ “White nuclear elephants move onto the endangered list” • The UK has long been a welcoming habitat for a number of white elephants. Normally, these rare and massive beasts roam freely, grazing on political expediency. However, now and again their existence is threatened by outbreaks of political honesty and economic necessity. [The Ecologist]

¶ “Climate Change Scenarios: An Updated Summary Of Climate Change, Seal Level Rise, & Carbon Bubble Predictions” • If we do not change, we’re headed down a dark path. The Global Carbon Budget 2017 says that in order to avoid 2°C of warming, “global CO2 emissions need to decline rapidly and cross zero emissions after 2050.” [CleanTechnica]

Melting Arctic ice

 

World:

¶ Google is putting its considerable resources behind a new partnership with the UN, national governments, and NGOs that will chart changes in the Earth’s various ecosystems in real time. Google will use “massive parallel cloud computing technology” to make it possible to monitor changes in the Earth’s ecosystem in real time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Indian renewables developer Azure Power has over 3 GW in its project portfolio, after securing the rights to develop a 300-MW PV scheme in a recent auction by Solar Energy Corporation of India. The latest project is part of the Interstate Transmission System scheme and so can be developed anywhere in India, the company said. [reNews]

Azure Power solar array (Azure Power image)

¶ Global energy investment fell for the third consecutive year in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency. Investment in nuclear power declined by nearly 45% last year to $17 billion. Although spending on new nuclear reactors reached the lowest level in five years, investment on upgrades of existing units increased. [World Nuclear News]

¶ Over the next year and a half, the Pacific island nation of Palau will shift to 100% renewable energy, at no cost to the government, in what is likely to be the fastest national transition to renewable energy ever to occur. In a new program, the partners behind the work in Palau plan to now help other small island nations do the same thing. [Fast Company]

A few of Palau’s many islands (Dr James P McVey | NOAA)

Australia:

¶ New figures from the Australian PV Institute show that Australia impressively installed 1.3 GW of solar PV in 2017, a record for the country. But it may be just a prelude to 2018, which looks to be set to eclipse all previous years. The figures say 1.9 GW of solar currently under construction in Australia and a further 35 GW at various stages of development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Queensland will have 2164 MW of renewable energy ready by mid-2019, equivalent to 21% of its total energy production, its Energy Minister said. The Clean Energy Council said that level of renewable energy would power more than 800,000 Queensland homes. Queensland’s largest coal-burning power plant will close in about 10 years. [Brisbane Times]

Gladstone Power Station, Queensland (Photo: Glenn Hunt)

¶ In February, Tesla and the government of South Australia announced a plan to create the largest virtual power plant in the world, 50,000 home systems with a total system output of 250 MW and 625 MWh of storage. So far, installations have been completed on 100 homes, and the results are everything Tesla expected them to be. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ The developer of the first offshore wind farm in the US is ramping up work on projects to supply energy to several states. Deepwater Wind’s CEO said they are beginning new phases of development for three wind farms. One is for Rhode Island and Connecticut, another for Long Island, New York, and a third for Maryland’s Eastern Shore. [Fairfield Citizen]

Block Island wind farm (Photo: Michael Dwyer | AP)

¶ The Molson Coors Brewing Company published its annual sustainability report, which detailed the company’s progress towards its sustainability targets and announced that it has committed to a science-based greenhouse gas emissions target intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperature increase below 2°C. [CleanTechnica]

¶ With soybean prices falling to their lowest levels in years, farming the sun instead of the land is becoming an increasingly attractive, and sometimes more profitable, use of property for some landowners. One Illinois farmer finally found the type of development she feels is right for forty acres of her land south of Belleville, Illinois. [Belleville News-Democrat]

Solar development (Innovative Power Systems)

¶ US home energy storage systems installations hit a record high in the first quarter of 2018. 36 MWh of grid-connected home energy storage systems were installed during this period. US energy storage market growth was 26% from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018. Nearly three quarters of the Q1 installations were in California and Hawaii. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A proposal for a high-voltage power line carrying wind energy across the Midwest received new life as the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the state regulators had wrongly rejected it. The $2.3 billion project would carry power harnessed from western Kansas to Illinois and an electric grid in Indiana that serves the eastern US. [Arkansas Online]

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