August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Electric power sector reduces emissions with shift from coal” • While the President of the US has repeatedly signaled an interest in propping up the coal industry, the market has spoken to the contrary. Coal is being displaced by natural gas and renewable energy resources, this has led to a reduction in air pollutant from electricity generation. [Energy News Network]

Solar panels and a wind turbine

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Hothouse Earth’ risks even if CO2 emissions slashed” • We could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come, researchers believe. Even if countries succeed in meeting their CO2 targets, we could still set off  irreversible changes. Their study shows this could happen if global warming is only 2° C. [BBC]

¶ “Climate change driven by humans made heat wave ‘twice as likely'” • Climate change caused by human activities made the current European heat wave more than twice as likely to occur, say scientists. Their preliminary report found that the “signal of climate change is unambiguous,” in this summer’s heat. The heat wave in the Arctic is unprecedented. [BBC]

Reservoir in the UK (Getty Image)

World:

¶ “Pope urges action on clean energy” • Pope Francis has said climate change is a challenge of “epochal proportions” and that the world must convert to clean fuel. “Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation,” he said. He was speaking to a group of oil company executives at the end of a two-day conference in the Vatican. [BBC]

¶ “China Installs 24.3 Gigawatts In First Half Of 2018” • China’s National Energy Administration announced last week that the country installed a total of 24.3 GW worth of new solar capacity throughout the first half of the year, made up of only 12.6 GW worth of utility-scale solar but an impressive 12.24 GW worth of distributed solar. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array over water

¶ “Senvion signs 205 MW wind energy project in Chile” • Senvion signed a conditional contract with GPG and Grupo Ibereólica Renovables to supply 89 wind turbines with a total wind power capacity of 204.7 MW for the Cabo Leones II wind farm in the Atacama region in Chile. It is Senvion’s largest project in the country. Installation will start in 2020. [REVE]

¶ “Scots bed down at Riffgrund 2” • Attollo Offshore, a Scottish outfit, deployed an accommodation vessel at Orsted’s 450-MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The vessel will provide accommodation and construction support for connecting and commissioning the project’s high voltage substation, Attollo said. [reNews]

Jack-up vessel (Image: Attollo Offshore)

¶ “Enel signs deal to build €1.2 billion wind farms in South Africa” • Enel has reached financial close on a fleet of new South African wind farms. The wind farms will provide South Africa with 700 MW of renewable energy capacity. Enel put up €230 million of its own money and secured €950 million in financing in a deal with Absa and Nedbank. [Climate Action Programme]

¶ “Germany Bulldozes Old Villages For Coal Despite Lower Emissions Goals” • Germany enjoys a reputation as a pioneer of clean energy. But centuries-old villages across the country are being bulldozed to make way to mine brown coal. Protestors are trying to save the 800-year-old village of Pödelwitz, with its medieval timber-framed buildings. [NPR]

Bulldozing medieval villages for this (Martin Meissner | AP)

US:

¶ “GTM Research Predicts More Battery Storage, Lower Prices For Residential Solar” • A study from GTM Research predicts that in five years, 90% of residential solar systems will include battery storage. In its most recent industry analysis, it goes on to predict the cost of residential solar will continue to drop from $2.95 per watt to $2.00 per watt by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California wildfire declared ‘largest in state’s history'” • The Mendocino Complex Fire has grown to become the largest active wildfire in the history of California, officials said. The fires have spread rapidly in recent days to burn 283,800 acres. Governor Jerry Brown has spoken of devastating wildfires fuelled by climate change as “the new normal.” [BBC]

California firefighters (Reuters image)

¶ “Kona Brewing Company Signs PPA for Solar-Plus-Battery Storage” • Kona Brewing Co signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with EnSync, Inc and a subsidiary to build a solar-plus-battery system for a new brewery being built in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The system is expected to meet a quarter of the brewery’s electricity needs. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “How Wyoming Wind Farms Help Idaho Replace Coal” • Idaho is in a bit of a pickle when it comes to energy security, but a new development hints at a way out. State regulators approved a $2 billion, 1,150-MW group of four new wind farms that can take Idaho out of its wind energy doldrums and help stabilize weaknesses in its electricity plan. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “Maui Electric Establishes Local Partnerships to Stabilize Grid” • Maui Electric Company, along with commercial and industrial customers, filled the current capacity of its expanded Fast Demand Response program this month. The program is set up to help businesses save on their electric bills and maintain grid stability with renewable resources. [Maui Now]

¶ “SC electric rates to drop Tuesday after judge denies SCE&G bid to block 15-percent cut” • A federal judge allowed a temporary rate cut opposed by utility SCE&G to take effect in South Carolina. The legal issue started when SCE&G abandoned construction of two new nuclear reactors after collecting ratepayer money to build the reactors. [The State]

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