August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “What should be India’s priority: Energy security or ‘America first’?” • Speculation is rife that oil imports from Iran could slow down from August when some US sanctions against Tehran take effect. However, for now, there is reason to cheer for those who want to see India stand its ground and refuse to buckle under the US pressure. [Modern Diplomacy]

Oil pump jacks

¶ “Sub-zero power prices: traditional power plants battle a problem South Africans will envy” • Wind and solar farms are sprouting up in more areas, pushing power prices to zero or even below more often in more places. That is adding to headaches for generators from NRG Energy in California to RWE in Germany and Origin Energy in Australia. [Business Day]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fusion start-ups hope to revolutionize energy in the coming decades” • A group of start-up companies hopes to capitalize on nuclear fusion to turn abundant fuels into carbon-neutral energy. They want to commercialize fusion by the 2030s to sell energy and address climate change. [Chemical & Engineering News] (Half of the fuel is tritium, a synthetic isotope. GHH)

General Fusion’s main reactor (General Fusion image)

World:

¶ “LGUs going green, rejecting coal projects” • More Philippine local government units (LGUs) are likely to turn their backs on coal with environmental and climate-justice advocates predicting a shift toward renewable energy and sustainable development. Over P1 trillion ($19 billion) of coal plants in the pipeline could become stranded assets. [Business Mirror]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa, Van Oord awarded €500 million Dutch wind farm contract” • Spanish wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa was awarded a €500 million contract in the Netherlands, in partnership with Dutch marine contractor Van Oord. The 380-MW wind farm is to be built on Ijselmeer lake. It is expected to power around 30,000 households. [Energy Digital]

Offshore wind at sunset

¶ “World’s first thermal battery plant to be unveiled in Andhra Pradesh today” • The world’s first-ever facility to create thermal batteries is being inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh, ANI reported. The thermal batteries will be manufactured by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited. They are expected to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. [The Indian Express]

¶ “World now has 1 TW of wind and solar capacity, 2 TW expected in 2023” • The global wind and solar power capacity has reached 1 TW at the end of June and is expected to double in five years, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said. The 1,013 GW of currently installed capacity is almost equally divided between wind and solar. [Renewables Now]

Wind and solar together (Photo: Gerry Machen)

¶ “Clean power surges recast energy mix” • State Grid, China’s main power supplier that runs the majority of the nation’s electricity distribution networks, saw its new-energy power generation reach 187.1 billion kWh during the first five months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 41%. This comes as China is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [China.org.cn]

Australia:

¶ “Australia’s Turnbull: ‘Now we are the land of droughts'” • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned that Australia has become a “land of drought.” It is still winter, but 99% of New South Wales, which is Australia’s most populous state and provides around a quarter of the country’s agricultural output, is currently going through a drought. [BBC]

New South Wales (Reuters)

¶ “Energy stalemate deepens as governments dig in over climate action” • The Australian government says the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) will cut both costs and emissions. Critics say it will drive up power prices, stymie investment in renewables, and do little for the climate. The energy ministers must be unanimous to adopt it. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Global wind energy giants blast weak emissions target in national plan” • Two of the world’s biggest wind turbine makers, GE and Goldwind, have weighed in against the NEG. They are calling for a more ambitious target because it may leave the electricity sector contributing only a tiny portion of Australia’s Paris climate goal. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Australian wind turbine (Ben Cordia, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Most Australians want more renewables to help lower power prices – poll” • Over 70% of Australians want the government to set a high renewable energy target to put downward pressure on power prices, a ReachTel poll said. The poll was released as environmentalists are pressuring state governments to reject the NEG. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Facebook data center in Oregon to be supported by renewable energy” • A Facebook data center in Oregon is to be supported by 100% solar power under a new partnership with Pacific Power. The collaboration will see 437 MW of new solar power developments, including two projects in the Prineville area, Pacific Power said in a statement. [Parker City News]

Prineville (Ryoga-2003, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Facebook likes clean energy as corporate purchasing sets record” • Still trying to recover from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy for 2018. BNEF figures show the company has already secured 1.1 GW of green power this year, leading record corporate purchases. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Renewable Jobs Goal in Doubt as Solar Jobs Decline” • Rhode Island’s green-energy industry is slowing down. Jobs grew 3.6% in 2017, after an increase of 11% in 2016 and 40% in 2015. The 561-job increase casts doubt on Gov Gina Raimondo’s goal of achieving 20,000 “clean-tech” jobs by 2020. As of the end of 2017, the sector had 15,866 jobs. [ecoRI news]

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