February 16 Energy News

February 16, 2021

World:

¶ “Autonomous Bus Trial A Success At Tokyo’s Haneda Airport” • BYD has completed a 10-day trial operation of an autonomous driving bus at Tokyo Haneda Airport. BYD partnered with All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline, to complete the trial. The bus, which is BYD’s first autonomous-driving bus, will next be put into daily operation. [CleanTechnica]

BYD autonomous bus (BYD image)

¶ “Volkswagen Tries To Catch Up On Autonomy With Microsoft” • Volkswagen has announced that it is teaming up with Microsoft to “advance its self-driving vehicle technologies.” Microsoft will collaborate with Volkswagen’s Car.Software arm on a cloud-based automated driving platform. Volkswagen said that this will allow for faster fleet integration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You Can Now Get The Ora R1 In Ghana” • One of the highly competitive EVs is Great Wall Motors’ Ora R1, also known as the Black Cat. It has a 33-kWh battery pack and a 35-kW motor for a 220 km (137 mile) range, as measured by the WLTP. The good news is that these small city EVs are starting to find their way to Africa very quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Great Wall R1 EV (Courtesy of Great Wall Motors)

¶ “BP And Chevron Just Invested In Technology That Could Transform Renewable Energy” • BP and Chevron have expanded into geothermal energy, betting on a technology that could make plants using the natural heat of the Earth scalable for the first time. They put $40 million into Eavor, a geothermal energy firm based in Calgary. [MarketWatch]

¶ “GE Bags 753-MW Swedish Turbine Order” • GE Renewable Energy has secured a 753-MW turbine order for the Onusberget wind project in Sweden, which is being developed by Luxcara. Onusberget will be equipped with 137 of GE’s Cypress onshore wind turbines, each with a capacity of 5.5 MW and a 158 meter rotor. Installation will start this year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Engie Inks Renewables Deal With Orange France” • Engie and Orange have signed a corporate power purchase agreement that will see the communication provider’s electricity supply met by wind and solar capacity in France. During the PPA’s 15-year period, it will also include two new solar projects totaling 51 MW in France. [reNEWS]

¶ “Winch Energy Raises Funds For PV Mini-Grids Rollout” • The off-grid utilities provider Winch Energy completed the funding for solar mini-grid projects in 49 villages in Uganda and Sierra Leone with a new PV mini-grid design. Portable batteries will also be provided so people outside of the mini-grid catchment area will have access to clean electricity. [reNEWS]

Winch Energy PV and battery system (Winch Energy image)

¶ “Nuclear faces ‘a lot of uncertainty’ as EU green evaluation looms” • The nuclear industry is growing increasingly nervous about European Commission plans to evaluate the safety of radioactive waste handling as an expert report is expected next month on how to classify nuclear energy under the EU’s green finance taxonomy. [EURACTIV]

US:

¶ “US Oil Rises Above $60 As Texas Gets Pummeled With Ice And Snow” • A rare bout of winter weather in Texas helped move US oil above $60 a barrel for the first time since January 2020. Weather knocked power out in much of Texas, and oil refiner Motiva shut down its Port Arthur Manufacturing Complex, the largest American oil refinery. [CNN]

Palm trees and snow in 2004 (Quietpeoplerock, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Rolling Blackouts In Texas Are Due To Economics, Not Renewables” •  Some people are claiming on social media that rolling blackouts in Texas are caused by wind turbines failing in the cold, and that’s proof that renewables are too unreliable. Actually, its proof that Texas utilities don’t pay for cold-adapted wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Provide 23% Of US Electricity In November 2020” • While renewable energy has been dominating the new power capacity additions in the United States, it takes a long time to shift the giant electricity grid. Even so, month after month, the share of electricity generated by renewables in the US has been constantly increasing. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Pradeep Ghildiyal, Unsplash)

¶ “77% To 80% Of New US Power Capacity Came From Solar And Wind In 2020” • According to new data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, solar power and wind power accounted for 77.1% of new utility-scale power capacity in the US in 2020. Adding in what CleanTechnica estimates for rooftop solar power capacity, that rises to 80.1%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Longroad To Acquire 900 MW Of Arizona Solar” • Longroad Energy has agreed to acquire solar projects totaling 900 MW (DC) in Arizona. The Sun Streams 2, 4, and 5 projects have the potential for 1-2 GWh of battery storage. Sun Streams 2 is being constructed by McCarthy Building Companies and is expected to be operational in June 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Longroad Energy image)

¶ “Virginia Utility Seeks 300 MW Of Renewables Capacity” • Appalachian Power has issued a request for proposals for up to 300 MW of solar and wind generation resources. It is seeking facilities that are at least 50 MW in size and will be commercially operational by mid-December 2023. More RFPs are expected from Appalachian Power this year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Oklahoma Sees Large Increase In Production Of Renewable Energy Over The Past Decade” • A research study used Energy Information Administration data to calculate the change in renewable energy production in Oklahoma. In 2010, renewables generated only about 10% of the state’s electricity, it found, but that rose to about 40% in 2019. [KGOU]

Have an abundantly admirable day.

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