July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Rooftop solar could save utilities $100 to $120 per installed kilowatt” • Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory calculated that reduced demand in California because of solar panels installed between 2013 and 2015 saved utilities up to $730 million on purchases of electricity. There is a downside, however. [Ars Technica]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Is coal making a comeback? No, it’s just ‘dead cat bounce’” • At first glance, the latest figures make for uncomfortable reading. Overall energy demand is up. Coal consumption is also up, for the first time in four years. And, perhaps most shockingly of all, greenhouse gas carbon emissions are rising again. Does it mean we are in reverse? [Irish Times]

World:

¶ The President of Peru Martin Vizcarra Cornejo officially opened Enel Green Power’s 132-MW Wayra 1 wind farm in the Ica region of the country. Wayra 1 consists of 42 3-MW turbines and will generate 600 GWh of electricity a year. The $165 million project is backed by a 20-year energy supply contract with Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines. [reNews]

Wayra 1 (Enel Green Power)

¶ China General Nuclear Power Corp has taken a 75% interest in the 650-MW Markbygden Ett wind farm in Sweden, Reuters reports, citing China’s state news agency Xinhua as the story’s source. No details on the value of the deal was given in the news report. The first of 179 GE 3.6-137 turbines was installed at the project earlier this week. [reNews]

¶ Statkraft, a Norwegian company, is planning to ramp up wind and solar power developments as part of an updated strategy in response to technological developments. The company said in its results for the first half of 2018 that optimisation of hydropower is also part of the new strategy, as are new business opportunities in renewables and decarbonisation. [reNews]

Wind farm (Photo: Statkraft)

¶ Carbon Brief reports the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are already 38% below 1990 levels and are now equal to emissions not seen in that country since Queen Victoria sat on the throne. It says the decrease is attributable to a sharp drop in the amount of coal used in the UK to generate electricity, along with an increase in renewables. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ Victoria’s second large-scale solar PV farm, the 19-MW Swan Hill project in Victoria’s north-west, has been officially opened. The A$36 million ($26.44 million) project, which is owned and funded by Impact Investment Group’s second Solar Asset Fund, is expected to provide enough electricity for about 6,050 Australian homes. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm

US:

¶ As one of his first major acts as acting director of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler signed and finalized new standards overseeing coal ash, the leftover waste created by power plants that burn coal. The new rules are a revision of 2015 regulations that were put into place by the Obama administration after two significant industrial coal ash spills. [CNN]

¶ A report and interactive map from Environment America takes stock of US clean energy progress to date. Renewables are taking off in nearly every state. Today, the US produces nearly six times as much renewable electricity from the sun and the wind as it did in 2008, and nine states now get more than 20% of their electricity from renewables. [Greentech Media]

Renewable energy (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

¶ Denver’s Mayor, now seeking a third term, pledged that the city will source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In doing so, Denver became the 73rd city in the US to commit to a 100% renewable electricity target. Nine other Colorado cities have made a 100% renewable electricity commitment, but Denver is the largest. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Arizona Public Service spent nearly $11 million to combat a renewable energy ballot proposal, a liberal watchdog group’s report says. The measure sets a goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. APS shelled out $6.4 million in three months to prevent it from reaching the ballot. Local reports say it even paid petition collectors to stop signing up voters. [Utility Dive]

Solar array at sunrise

¶ Facebook will finance construction of six large solar projects to offset power use at its campus in Prineville, Oregon. The company says they will generate enough clean electricity to run all of the data centers there. The solar projects will generate 437 MW of power, an enormous amount of electricity needed to run the site’s power-hungry computers. [OregonLive.com]

¶ The Massachusetts House and Senate have passed different energy bills on the percentage of renewable energy in the Renewable Portfolio Standard. The Senate wants increases of 3% a year, but the House wants a lower rate. The Senate version could make the Commonwealth a leader in renewable power, attracting businesses in that field. [Public News Service]

Renewable energy in Massachusetts (Pixabay image)

¶ FuelCell Energy, Inc announced that it will add over 100 highly skilled manufacturing jobs at its Torrington, Connecticut facility to support a 120% increase in the rate of production. FuelCell Energy is expanding annual production rate from the current 25 MW to 55 MW. The jobs will be added over a period of about 12 months. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ The Trump administration began an investigation into whether uranium imports threaten national security, a move that may lead to tariffs on the nuclear power plant fuel. US uranium miners supply less than 5% of domestic consumption for the metal and say it’s increasingly difficult to compete with state-subsidized companies abroad. [Yahoo Finance]

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