Archive for December 14th, 2018

December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2018


¶ “Two US Electric Utilities Have Promised to Go 100% Carbon-Free – and They Admit It Is Cheaper” • Two US electric utilities recently declared something remarkable: It’s cheaper to tear down their coal plants and build renewable-energy plants than to keep the old boilers running. Get ready for more, as economics and politics come to a consensus. [Quartz]

Renewable energy (Christian Hartmann | Reuters)


¶ “COP24 Draws to an Ignominious Close Amidst Multiple ‘Calls to Action'” • COP24 is drawing to an ignominious close in Katowice, Poland. And despite the attempts of the European Union and other major nations, the fortnight of negotiations is likely to be remembered more for its controversies than for any lasting impact. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World Bank Calls on Poland to Scale Up Renewable Energy Sources” • Scaling up renewable energy sources in Poland would benefit the economy, reduce serious environmental problems, and improve people’s health, says a new World Bank report. It suggests Poland could have renewable energy provide 50% of its power generation by 2030. [Emerging Europe]

Coal-fired power plant (bigstock)

¶ “German Renewables Share Hits 38%” • Renewable energy is expected to have accounted for 38% of all electricity consumed in Germany in 2018, up two percentage points on-year, according to the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry. The country is still set to miss its 65% by 2030 renewables goal unless it increases construction. [reNEWS]


¶ “Sydney and Melbourne Vow to Ditch Coal Power” • Australia’s two largest cities committed to phasing out coal in a move at odds with the aggressively pro-coal national government. The cities of Sydney and Melbourne joined an international coalition of states, regions, cities, and businesses committed to ending coal power generation. [Climate Home]

Sydney (Photo: Pavel)

¶ “Enbala to Enable World’s Biggest Residential Solar-Plus-Storage Virtual Power Plant” • Enbala, a start-up based in Denver, Colorado, announced it will provide the “cloud-based control and optimization platform” for AGL’s virtual power plant in South Australia. The 5-MW/12-MWh VPP will have 1,000 home storage systems. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Coalition Tells CEFC to Focus Funding on ‘More Reliable 24/7’ Power” • Australia’s federal government made what may be the most significant change to the investment mandate for the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation to date, instructing it to focus on “more reliable 24/7 power” rather than just wind and solar farms. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm with a Tesla battery system


¶ “US CO2 Emissions Increase by 3% in 2018, Says Trump’s Own Administration” • The Energy Information Administration published new numbers this week showing energy-related CO2 emissions for 2018 will increase by 3%, undermining its own fragile attempts to highlight the drop in CO2 emissions that happened in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bidding Underway for Massachusetts Offshore Prize” • After 24 rounds of bidding by eleven companies for three new Massachusetts offshore windpower lease areas currently priced at a combined $285 million, just four companies are still in the bidding. The offshore wind areas could supply up to 4 GW of power to the grid. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “US Q3 Solar Installations Hit by Tariffs as Utility-Scale Falls Below 1 GW” • Quarterly US utility-scale solar PV installations fell below 1 GW in the third quarter for the first time since 2015 due to the impact of the Section 201 tariffs imposed at the beginning of the year and the uncertainty which surrounded their potential introduction. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Bringing Good Jobs to the Midwest. Is Anyone in Washington Paying Attention?” • A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council lays out how clean jobs are more numerous than those of fossil fuels just about everywhere in the Midwest. Renewable energy jobs are growing while fossil fuel jobs fall. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy on the farm

¶ “Climate Change Comes to America’s Heartland, Putting Farmers at Risk” • Farmers see climate change happening. Climate change is having an impact on farming areas all across America and its effects are threatening to disrupt the way farmers earn their living, according to a research study by scientists at Cornell University. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Congress Passes Farm Bill with Renewables Funding Intact” • The House and Senate have passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, keeping intact funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in agriculture. The legislation has maintained the Rural Energy for America Program at $50 million per year. [North American Windpower]

Texas farmland

¶ “35 Members of Congress Support 100% Renewable Energy, Green New Deal” • The idea of a Green New Deal, a massive program to reduce emissions, is taking hold since a sit-in at the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). In early December, 18 house members supported for the movement. That number is now 35. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Sticker Shock at Santee Cooper as Legal Bills Hit $9 Million” • Lawsuits and investigations tied to the failed VC Summer nuclear project fueled a spike in legal bills at Santee Cooper this year, forcing the utility to cover the shortfall to shore up its budget. A call for contingency funds was made at the board meeting this week. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have an ecstatically joyful day.

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