January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Free Markets Are Embracing Renewable Energy” • Instead of offering subsidies or incentives for renewable energy, Chile amended its laws to allow wind and solar technologies to compete in electricity capacity auctions. It let the market work, the cost of renewable power fell sharply, and fossil fuels could no longer compete. [Reaction]

Wind turbines in Chile (AdobeStock image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “No Alternative To 100% Renewables” • Transition to a world run entirely on clean energy, combined with implementing natural climate solutions, is the only way to halt climate change and keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C, according to yet another significant study. It is based on “most detailed energy model to date.” [pv magazine International]

¶ “Agrivoltaics: Solar Panels On Farms Could Be A Win-Win” • A dual-use solar installation is sometimes called agrivoltaics. The system uses a PV array raised far enough off the ground and spaced in such a way that some crops can still grow around and beneath the panels. It enables farmers diversify their income by generating renewable energy. [Civil Eats]

Agrivoltaic system (Photo courtesy of Hyperion Systems)

World:

¶ “Blockchain Goes Big: 55,000 Rooftops Eyeballed For Peer-To-Peer Solar Trading” • Japan has been restarting its nuclear fleet again after the Fukushima Disaster, but that might not last for long. A blockchain-enabled pilot project to link 100 solar rooftops in the country is planned to grow to include 55,000 rooftops within two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brazil’s Wind Generation Rises 30% In Early January” • Brazil’s wind power output in the first half of January has increased by 29.9% year-on-year to 5,826 MW average, show preliminary figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power’s share of electricity generation went up to 8.5%, from 7% in the previous year. [Renewables Now]

Osorio wind farm in Brazil (Photo: Elecnor)

¶ “China Becomes Major Backer Of Coal Power Plants In Overseas Markets” • China is a significant financial supporter of coal-fired power plants around the world, funding over 25% of all new facilities elsewhere despite its reducing use of polluting fuel at home, a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [Power Technology]

¶ “Provinces Swap Coal For Renewable Energy” • Two of China’s most coal-rich provinces, Shanxi and Heilongjiang, are stepping up their development of new energy in a bid to reduce coal consumption and curb air pollution. The two provinces have enacted a series of measures to increase installed wind and solar power generating capacities. [ecns]

Solar plant workers (Feng Yongbin | China Daily)

¶ “German Minister Sketches Out Energy Transition Without Nuclear And Coal” • Germany is the only industrial country in the world that has decided to phase out of “both nuclear as well as coal power in parallel,” while increasing the share of renewable energy’s contribution, economy minister Peter Altmaier said at the Handelsblatt energy summit. [Xinhua]

¶ “Australian Energy Milestone: Renewable Energy Sources Displacing Black Coal” • Sources of renewable energy are displacing black coal power in Australia’s National Electricity Market, according to an emissions audit by the Australia Institute. It reports that the share of renewable electricity supplied to consumers rose to 21.4%. [Energy Matters]

Australian wind farm (Pacific Hydro image)

US:

¶ “8minutenergy Boasts Solar + Storage Pipeline In Excess Of 10 GW” • The largest US private solar and storage developer, 8minutenergy, announced last week that it has entered into a joint venture with JP Morgan Asset Management to support 8minutenergy’s current 10.7 GW pipeline of solar + storage projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Record Number Of Americans ‘Very Worried’ About Climate Change, Report Finds” • More Americans now say that climate change is a real threat to themselves and others. According to a climate report by researchers at Yale University and George Mason University, 29% are very worried, and 73% say they believe global warming is happening. [CNN]

Ghost forest created in Louisiana by salt intrusion
from rising sea levels (John Rubenstahl | CNN AIR)

¶ “Arizona Unlocks Solar Rooftop Regulations” • Arizona has finally begun loosening regulatory shackles from solar hopefuls, proposing new rules for installing solar, energy storage, and other clean energy systems. The Arizona Corporate Commission filed a draft rulemaking, after studying interconnection standards for 13 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Power Companies Bet Big On Net-Zero Emissions As State Debates 100% Renewable Energy Future” • Colorado Gov Jared Polis has a goal of 100% renewable energy on the grid by 2040. The utilities have opted for a net-zero carbon emissions goal instead. Platt River would achieve it by 2030, and Xcel Energy by 2050. [The Colorado Sun]

156-MW Comanche solar array, with the coal-burning Comanche electric plant behind (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

156-MW Comanche solar array and coal-burning Comanche electric plant (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

¶ “‘Science Is back’: New Governor Aims For Renewable Boom” • For eight years, renewable and environmental advocates in Wisconsin wrangled with Gov Scott Walker (R) in their efforts to accelerate the state’s energy transition and tackle climate change. Now there is a new governor, Tony Evers, who says, “Science is back in Wisconsin.” [E&E News]

¶ “New England Tries A New Way To Help The Grid Survive Winter” • This year, grid operator ISO New England is using a new method to ensure the system can work reliably through cold, snow and ice. “Pay for Performance” is a market system that rewards power generators for efficiency, and punishes them for poor execution. [Vermont Public Radio]

Have a surpassingly glad day.

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