November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Owls Roost at Scottish Wind Farm” • Planning conditions attached to the Crystal Rig wind farm’s consent required an ornithological monitoring plan, which specified the requirement for artificial nesting baskets for long-eared owls. Three pairs of nesting barn owls have successfully bred at the wind farm in the Scottish Borders, producing 12 hatchlings. [reNEWS]

Barn owl, still too young to fly (Natural Power image)

¶ “Kia Niro Electric Crossover Debuts in Los Angeles – 239 Mile Range” • A new, fully electric version of the Kia Niro is coming to North America early in 2019. The Niro EV will come with a 64-kWh lithium polymer battery and an EPA range rated at 239 miles. Just so you can see what is coming, here is a list of its basic specifications. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Australia On Track for 50% Renewables by 2030” • Australia would reach 50% renewable energy by 2030 even if installations were cut two-thirds, Green Energy Markets estimates. At current installation rates for windpower, solar farms, and rooftop solar, about 78% of Australia’s power will be from renewable energy by 2030. [The Australian Financial Review]

Wind farm

¶ “Australian School Children Defy Prime Minister with Climate Strike” • Thousands of Australian children skipped school in defiance of the prime minister to protest for greater action on climate change. Organizers estimated around 15,000 left their classrooms in 30 locations across the country, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. [CNN]

¶ “Taiwan Ponders Offshore FIT Cut” • Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs proposed a 13% cut to its offshore wind feed-in tariff. FIT rates set by the government are used to determine power purchase agreements between state utility Taipower and the developers of the 3,836 MW of projects awarded capacity in April in the FIT tender. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind power (Formosa image)

¶ “Ivory Coast Aims to Generate 150 MW of Solar Power by 2020” • Ivory Coast plans to generate 150 MW of solar power by 2020, a senior official said, to integrate more renewable energy into the power sector. Ivory Coast has West Africa’s largest economy, and it produces most of its 2,200 MW of power from oil and gas. []

¶ “Belgian Nuclear Plant May Breach EU Law, Says Top Judge” • A European Court of Justice advocate-general has cast doubt on Belgium’s decision to extend the life of one of its ageing nuclear power plants, suggesting that environmental impact assessments may not have been carried out properly and that  EU rules “have been infringed.” [EURACTIV]

Doel nuclear power plant (RockerStocker | Shutterstock)

¶ “More than 40% of World Coal Plants Are Unprofitable” • Over 40% of coal plants are operating at a loss due to high fuel costs, and that could to rise to nearly 75% by 2040, according to a report by environmental think-tank Carbon Tracker. The risk of stranded assets has institutional investors increasingly divesting from fossil fuel companies. [Reuters]


¶ “Nissan Using Vehicle-to-Grid Technology to Power US Operations” • Nissan is a major supporter of V2G technology. It recently won approval from German regulators to trial its V2G system in that country. Now it says it will use V2G to partially power its factory in Franklin, Tennessee and its design center in San Diego. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan V2G system

¶ “Panasonic Solar Builds Out National Residential Installer Network” • Panasonic Eco Solutions, home of the HIT solar panel, is aggressively building out its residential solar installer network on a national basis in the US, seeking to compete more evenly with the likes of Tesla, SunRun, SunPower, Vivint and others. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Hampshire Democrats Look to Override Governor on Clean Energy” • With election wins, New Hampshire Democrats are getting set to push a clean energy agenda. Proposals are coming on solar net metering, a renewable electricity standard of 50% by 2040, and bolstering small hydro, offshore wind and energy efficiency. [Energy News Network]

New Hampshire Statehouse

¶ “US Energy Industry Urges Congress to Fix ITC Eligibility for Energy Storage” • A broad coalition combining energy trade and advocacy organizations filed a letter to the US Senate and House leaderships this week, urging them to modify the tax code to include energy storage as an eligible technology for the country’s Investment Tax Credit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maui’s First Two Large Scale Energy Projects Blessed” • Two large scale solar farms were blessed in separate ceremonies on Maui. The Ku’ia solar farm in Lahaina can offer up to 2.87 MW to Maui Electric’s grid at 11.06¢/kWh. The project on Haleakalā Ranch pasture land in South Maui also offer up to 2.87 MW at the same price. [Maui Now]

Ku’ia solar farm (Kamehameha Schools and Kenyon Energy)

¶ “US Solar Generation up by Over 30% in First Three-Quarters of 2018” • The Energy Information Administration’s “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through September 30, 2018) reveals that solar and wind both had strong growth with utility-scale solar expanding by 30.3% and wind by 14.5% compared to the first nine months of 2017. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Fight Brewing over Prospect of Nuclear Power Plant Shutdowns” • Pennsylvania lawmakers sympathetic to nuclear power plants are making a push for state action to rescue plants at risk of being shut down by their energy company owners. This is spurring a debate over why Pennsylvania ratepayers should foot the cost of rescuing nuclear plants. [Associated Press]

And Please Don’t forget about the VECAN Conference:

Kia Niro EV

¶ “At the VECAN Conference: an Afternoon Workshop” • “Transportation Efficiency & Electrification – New Tools, Programs and Funds” There is much buzz about leveraging the state’s VW settlement funds to expand EV use. Learn how to support and expand transportation choices. Here is more information and a link to register. [Green Energy Times]

Have a conspicuously gorgeous day.

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