Posts Tagged ‘wind power’

May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “This Clean Energy Champion Is Out To Break Vietnam’s Coal Habit” • The Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots advocacy was awarded to its first Vietnamese recipient, 42-year-old clean energy champion, Nguy Thi Khanh, who hopes to end Vietnam’s reliance on coal and persuade the country to take a greener approach. [Forbes]

Vietnamese woman making cakes of dried coal dust to
fuel a kiln (Photo: Eye Ubiquitous | UIG via Getty Images)

World:

¶ Sales of BMW electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are up more than 49% year over year in 2018. BMW’s EV sales are up nicely so far this year, 73% in the US and 25% in the UK. But EV sales have surged far more in China, where sales are up 646%, thanks largely to a new, locally produced plug-in hybrid electric version of the 5 Series sedan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Energiekontor, based in Germany, reached financial close on the 8.2-MW Withernwick 2 wind farm in Yorkshire. The project will feature four 2.05-MW turbines. Energiekontor said it will be the first wind farm in the UK to be built without subsidies. The facility is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2019, the company said. [reNews]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ South Africa is set to commission its first solar-powered desalination plant at the end of October 2018 in the Western Cape. The project is to be co-funded, partly by the Western Cape Government through the drought relief fund, and partly by the French Treasury, through a fund for implementing innovative green technologies. [ESI Africa]

¶ Enel Green Power Espana unveiled plans to build over 320 MW of wind and solar parks in Spain next year. The company, which is a subsidiary of Spanish energy company Endesa SA, will invest €280 million ($329.6 million) in the plan. It foresees deployment of 64 MW of wind and 260 MW of PV capacity in Andalusia and Extremadura. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Spain (petter palander, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ Drax Group will lead a £400,000 trial to capture and store carbon at its north Yorkshire power station. The technology has repeatedly failed to get off the ground in the UK. The company was part of earlier efforts to build a £1 billion prototype carbon capture coal plant, but pulled out in 2015 after it missed out on renewable energy subsidies. [The Guardian]

Australia:

¶ After months of pressure from the Australian government either to keep the old coal-fired plant open longer than planned or to sell it to somebody who will, the AGL board has decided to proceed with its original plan to close it. AGL said that an offer it got was in its best interests of neither the company nor its shareholders. [The Singleton Argus]

Liddell power station

¶ Renewable energy developer RES Australia plans to build a 176-MW solar farm with battery storage in South Australia. The company said the solar farm would supply enough electricity to the National Electricity Market to meet the needs of 82,000 homes, and it would store dispatchable energy for later use in lithium-ion battery banks. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Neoen, based in France, secured development approval by the state of Queensland for a $300 million (US$225.4 million, €191.5 million) wind-plus-battery project at Kaban. Planning minister Cameron Dick said the 29 turbines at the wind farm would have a capacity of 5.5 MW each, which would produce a total capacity of close to 160 MW. [Renewables Now]

Windy Hill Wind Farm (Leonard Low, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Tasmania’s renewable energy surge continues, with an early works construction agreement signed for a $300 million wind farm in the Central Highlands. Goldwind Australia’s Cattle Hill wind farm is expected to generate enough power for over 60,000 homes. It will create up to 150 jobs for construction and about 10 permanent jobs. [The Advocate]

¶ French renewable energy developer Neoen has received the council planning approval it needed for the Western Downs green power hub, a solar farm of up to 500 MW with battery storage, in south-west Queensland. It consists of up to 1,500 hectares of ground mounted solar panels and 2 hectares of battery energy storage. [RenewEconomy]

Site for solar farm and battery storage facility

US:

¶ Utilities are welcoming a historic rooftop solar building code in California, but urging caution with its implementation to protect non-solar customers. Utilities and solar developers are calling at the same time for a dialogue among stakeholders to effectively integrate additional rooftop solar into the grid. The new code is to be effective in 2020. [Utility Dive]

¶ Qualcomm Inc has been developing motor vehicle static charging technology with major carmakers for the past seven years. The company announced that its system is expected to be commercially available on EVs within two years, based on the fact that the cost of static wireless charging is now comparable with conductive charging. [Solar Magazine]

Solar Roadway project (Source: Designboom)

¶ The new era of big batteries has already drawn scrutiny after fiery electric-car crashes in both America and Europe. US city planners worry about a similar risk of hard-to-control blazes, if power-storage units make their way into basements and onto rooftops. So far, deployment of large batteries within buildings has been limited. [The Seattle Times]

¶ The abandonment of two nuclear reactors at the VC Summer Nuclear Station generated headlines and riled South Carolina lawmakers, but a similar scenario played out at the Savannah River Site near Aiken. The weapons-to-fuel project is decades behind schedule and its final cost increase the initial estimates by 12 times. [Charleston Post Courier]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “A ‘hostile environment’ for renewables: Why has UK clean energy investment plummeted?” • Headlines suggest renewable energy in Britain is booming. Windpower has overtaken nuclear. More days pass without using coal. But the reality is government indifference leading to “dramatic and worrying collapse” in green investment. [The Independent]

Wind turbine in the UK (Nigel Cox, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ The alternative energy revolution, based on such renewable energy sources as wind, solar, and geothermal being fed into the overall electrical grid, is reviving an argument Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla had well over a century ago. The grid supplies AC power, but renewable energy sources such as solar and batteries are DC. [RTInsights]

¶ Global warming is on track to cause a major wipeout of insects, compounding already severe losses, according to a new analysis. Insects are vital to most ecosystems and a widespread collapse would cause extremely far-reaching disruption to life on Earth, and scientists warn that much more carbon needs to be cut than nations have promised. [theindependentbd.com]

Monarch butterflies (Joel Sartore | NG | Getty Images)

World:

¶ Hybrid power plants, microgrids, and energy storage systems are set to transform the power sector in the Indian state of Kerala, as it seeks to enlarge the share of renewable energy in its power supply. An example is a 25-kW grid-connected hybrid system with rooftop solar panels and diesel generators to provide power to 25 families. [The Hindu]

¶ A broadly consensus view among financiers, business owners, and energy experts at the African Utility Week conference in Cape Town this week is that Eskom, the debt-laden South African generator and distributor of electricity, is the biggest stumbling block to developing affordable, clean power in the country. They say it should be unbundled. [Fin24]

Coal power plant (Gerhard Roux, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Construction has started on the A$240 million ($180 million) Yarranlea solar farm west of Toowoomba, Queensland. The 121-MW project will create 200 jobs and generate enough electricity to power about 32,000 homes. Once completed, about 400,000 solar panels, each 1×2 meters, will dot the sprawling 250 hectares at Yarranlea. [Chronicle]

¶ Husband and wife Reverend Canon John and Elizabeth Sheen have had a wind turbine in their back garden on the Isle of Man for years. Elizabeth said, “The windmill is a joy and helps the pension very much. It generates electricity straight to the MUA, which counts out how many units have been produced. You then get a bill.” [Isle of Man Today]

The Sheens and their turbine

¶ The number of storage tanks for contaminated water and other materials is still increasing at Fukushima Daiichi, and space for still more tanks is approaching the limit. It is seven years since an earthquake and tsunami overwhelmed Fukushima and a way to get rid of treated water, or tritium water, has still not been decided. [New Zealand Herald]

US:

¶ Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation has entered into a power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc, of Broomfield, Colorado, to purchase up to 100 MW of electric power. The solar power will be produced by an 800-acre solar farm near Crossett, Arkansas, to be completed in 2021. [Texarkana Gazette]

Solar power in Dawson County, Texas. (Submitted photo)

¶ Jonathan Naughton, director of the University of Wyoming’s Wind Energy Research Center, expects that in the next five to seven years up to 5,000 MW of wind power could be built in the state. That is three times the capacity of Wyoming’s current fleet of wind projects. The local utilities want wind power because it is inexpensive. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ When a New Mexico electric cooperative anxious to lower its rates and pursue greater use of renewable energy learned that doing so would cost it a net $37 million exit fee from its contract with its wholesale power provider, it did what once might have been unthinkable. Now co-op other members are weighing their options. [The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel]

Wind turbines (Photo: Willie Petersen)

¶ Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs said the world’s ways of producing and using energy need to change “much faster, much more dramatically” than political leaders looking to tap hydrocarbon reserves understand. Sachs, a prominent American economist, was speaking at a conference in Cyprus about climate challenges. [El Paso Inc]

¶ Denver International Airport first installed solar power for sustainability reasons in 2008. Now, it has 11.6 MW of solar capacity, with most of the electricity being sold back to the grid. A 2015 survey indicated that the nation’s airports had 70 solar projects. Now more are coming, as the airports consider what to do with open land. [Longview News-Journal]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Solar and wind are coming. And the power sector isn’t ready.” • The US electricity system is at an extremely uncertain juncture. Increasingly, indicators point toward a future in which wind and solar power play a large role. Things will look different when we have lots of variable renewable energy, a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab says. [Vox]

Times change (USFWS Mountain-Prairie, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ Research into the decline in carbon dioxide emissions in the US between 2007 and 2013 shows that it is actually more complex than thought. Most experts attributed the decline to a drop in energy demand and increasing use of natural gas in the energy mix. But they have failed to understand the importance of renewables. [Science Trends]

¶ Could renewable sources meet 100 percent of our energy demand? Yes, according to new research which scrutinises the arguments against. “There are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future,” the research states, while pointing out that existing research already holds the answers to the common objections raised. [New Atlas]

Crescent Dunes (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Mysterious, ghostlike “whistler waves” that are normally created by lightning could protect nuclear fusion reactors from runaway electrons, new research suggests. These whistler waves are naturally found high above ground in the ionosphere, a layer of Earth’s atmosphere at altitudes of about 50 to 600 miles (80 to 1000 km). [Live Science]

¶ In the last 15 years, polar bear hunters in eastern Greenland have had to adapt their hunting practices because of climate change, according to a new survey published this week in the journal Frontiers in Maritime Science. Hunters said that since 2006, the region has had increasing numbers of polar bears coming into towns. [CBC.ca]

Polar bear with cub (Elisha Dacey | CBC)

World:

¶ Moldova, a small country in eastern Europe, imports three-quarters of its energy and has seen its energy prices rise by more than half in the past five years. But that could soon change, the UN Development Program said. It plans to launch an innovative effort to power a Moldovan university with cryptocurrency-funded solar energy. [Saudi Gazette]

¶ The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is organizing a loan together with the Clean Technology Fund and the Asian Development Bank to fund construction of a 50-MW solar power plant in central Kazakhstan. It is to be the first joint internationally financed project for Kazakhstan’s renewable energy. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar array construction in Kazakhstan (EBRD image)

¶ Renewable energy costs are falling worldwide, but there are few signs that the Philippines are moving away from coal, despite its ratifying the Paris Agreement to curb climate change and passing laws pushing for a shift to renewable energy. A 400% tax hike on imported coal may signal a shift in the government’s attitude towards the fossil fuel. [Reuters]

¶ After the evacuation of 2,000 residents at risk from floodwaters in northwestern Colombia, tens of thousands more were put on alert as engineers struggled to contain the damage at a giant hydroelectric dam project that its owners admitted is in danger of collapse. The dam is under construction, and is threatened by premature water rise. [Toronto Star]

Landslide at dam (Joaquin Sarmiento | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ India’s renewable energy sector, including the solar and wind power generation segments, could create between 2 million and 4.5 million new job opportunities over the next 25 years, according to a new detailed study of the country’s energy sector. Green energy sectors are clearly better investment opportunities than fossil fuels. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ The city of San Francisco and its Municipal Transportation Agency announced that all public buses operating in the city will be electric no later than 2035. To achieve that goal, new buses purchased in 2025 and thereafter will be battery operated. Reaching that goal will require a significant expansion of SFMTA’s charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

San Francisco (Lili Popper, unsplash.com)

¶ The National Park Service released a report showing risks to national parks from sea level rise and storms. Report drafts obtained earlier by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting showed officials had deleted every mention of humans causing climate change. But after a long delay, the report was published with the references restored. [Reveal]

¶ Consumers Energy and DTE Energy announced new goals in Michigan of 50% clean energy by 2030. The aim is to achieve this target through a combination of renewable investments (of at least 25%) and energy efficiency. They will be retiring coal-burning power plants, replacing them with of wind and solar generating facilities. [Windpower Engineering]

Lake Michigan lighthouse

¶ CleanChoice Energy, a renewable energy company providing 100% clean electricity to customers, has been chosen by the City of Takoma Park, Maryland, to supply residents and businesses with renewable energy on an opt-in basis. The new partnership reflects Takoma Park’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ A report from Microsoft Corp shows significant energy and carbon emissions reduction potential from use of the Microsoft Cloud, compared with on-premises datacenters. These gains can be as much as 93% for energy efficiency and 98% for carbon efficiency. They are partly due to Microsoft’s use of renewable energy. [Global Banking And Finance Review]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ For 400 consecutive months, which is over 33 years, the earth’s temperature has been above average, and climatologists are not mincing words as to why. The dubious milestone was reported in NOAA’s monthly global climate report. It also says this April had the third-warmest of any April since NOAA began collecting such records in 1880. [CNN]

Warming planet

¶ A report in The Atlantic said that NASA’s Trump-appointed new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, told a town hall meeting, “Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.” [Newsmax]

¶ The naval architecture firm Robert Allan, based in British Columbia, unveiled an electric pilot boat design, the RAlly 1600-E. The all-electric aluminum pilot boat is designed to meet a demand for applications where runs are under 5 nautical miles in distance or so. Its electric twin screw drivetrain gives it a top speed of 20 knots. [CleanTechnica]

RAlly 1600-E

¶ A study by the British Antarctic Survey, the University of Oxford, and the University of Bristol looked at what effect a warmer world would have on winds, specifically across the UK and Northern Europe. In a world that is on average 1.5° C warmer, winds would be stronger, with greater potential for wind power to produce electricity. [Treehugger]

World:

¶ The 353-MW Blakliden/Fäbodberget wind farm in central Sweden is under construction and, upon completion, will be one of the country’s largest onshore wind farms.The project is jointly owned by Vattenfall, Vestas, and Danish pension fund PKA. It is expected to be completed and commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas windfarm in Sweden

¶ Vattenfall has started commercial operations at a 22-MW energy storage scheme co-located with the 228-MW Pen y Cymoedd wind farm in Wales. The 22-MW battery@pyc project, which shares electrical infrastructure with Pen y Cymoedd, will help the UK National Grid maintain frequency levels and reliability of electricity supply. [reNews]

¶ India’s diesel-guzzling railways now have an entire station that runs on renewable energy. The Guwahati railway station in the capital city of Assam is the first railway station in the country to be fully solar-powered. A major railway hub in the northeastern regions of India, the station handles around 20,000 passengers every day. [Quartz]

Guwahati railway station

¶ Africa is sometimes better known for its vulnerability to climate change than its action on the problem, but a set of African cities intend to change that. Eight cities, from Accra to Dar es Salaam, pledged this week to deliver their share of emissions cuts needed to meet Paris Agreement targets to limit climate change. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ South Korea will raise incentives for offshore wind farm operators and cut back subsidies on biomass producers to promote more eco-friendly energy sources, the energy ministry said. The ministry will reduce subsidies on solid recovered fuel, a fuel produced by shredding and dehydrating biodegradable waste and recycled materials. [Yonhap News]

Turbines (Korea South-East Power Co via Yonhap News)

US:

¶ A year after it was proposed, a $150 million solar PV project on Bent Mountain in Pike County, in the heart of Kentucky’s eastern coalfield, is still just a vision. Time may be running out for the venture, and this is thanks to foot-dragging by Kentucky Fuel, a coal company that is years behind in a nearby cleanup that must come first. [InsideClimate News]

¶ Rocky Mountain Power and partners are rolling out another rebate for electric vehicles. The utility, along with UCAIR and Utah Clean Energy, announced the second year of its Live Electric EV Discount program. It offers a $3,000 discount for a 2018 Nissan Leaf to all Rocky Mountain customers and all state employees. [Daily Herald]

Nissan LEAF (Nissan image)

¶ The US solar sector employs more workers than the coal and nuclear industries combined. A report from a think tank headed by former US Energy Secretary Moniz shows that some solar jobs are typically uncounted, and 100,000 jobs have a part-time solar component. The report hints at the political powerhouse that solar is becoming. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ The Interior Department said it plans to approve the Palen solar farm, which would be built in open desert on public lands just south of Joshua Tree National Park. The 3,100-acre, 500-MW power plant would be one of the country’s largest solar projects, but some environmentalists are unhappy about impacts to natural ecosystems. [The Desert Sun]

Solar farm (Photo: Jay Calderon | The Desert Sun)

¶ New York state officials issued a proposed rule that is expected to help the state meet Gov Andrew Cuomo’s goal of cutting carbon emissions 40% by 2030. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation plan would put strict emissions standards on the state’s coal power plants, effectively phasing them out by 2020. [ThinkProgress]

¶ A GOP lawmaker said this week that the rise in sea levels around the globe was not caused by climate change, but by rocks tumbling into the world’s oceans and silt flowing from rivers to the sea. Alabama Rep Mo Brooks also suggested at a Science, Space and Technology Committee meeting on climate change that erosion played a major role. [New York Post]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ Climate change may complicate fishing. Warming seas will force many of North America’s most valuable fish and shellfish stocks north in coming decades, a major new modeling study finds, potentially creating headaches for the fishing industry and government regulators. Some species that do not move could see their ranges shrink by half. [Science Magazine]

Fishing for Atlantic cod (Robert F. Bukaty | AP Photo)

¶ A 14-year NASA mission confirmed that massive redistribution of freshwater is occurring across the Earth. Middle latitudes are drying while the tropics and higher latitudes gain water supplies. The changes are probably effects of a combination of climate change, vast human withdrawals of groundwater, and simple natural changes. [Chicago Tribune]

World:

¶ A network of 20 of ABB’s high-speed 50-kW DC fast chargers for electric vehicles has been installed across Iceland as the island nation looks to electric vehicles to cut petrol imports and reduce emissions. The chargers are on Route 1, which circles the island and is 1,300 km long. The chargers in the network are powered by 100% renewable sources. [CleanTechnica]

Iceland’s Route 1 (Photo: Ab5602, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary all plan to build new nuclear power plants. But according to a new study by Energy Brainpool, commissioned by Greenpeace Energy, they could also opt for controllable renewable power plants. These are cost-competitive with nuclear, at least as reliable, and also allow for energy independence. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Solar Energy Corporation of India announced plans to issue a tender for 2 GW of solar and wind energy capacity. SECI will auction 1 GW of solar and 1 GW of wind energy capacity at a location likely to be disclosed once the actual tender documents are released. Combining solar and windpower will optimize the transmission system. [CleanTechnica]

Solar and wind (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Bermuda General Agency Ltd has signed an agreement with Seabased AB, a Swedish wave energy designer and installer, to purchase two 20-MW wave energy parks in the Caribbean. Feasibility studies of the Caribbean project will begin on several islands this summer, and phase one is expected to be operational by the fall of 2019. [PR Web]

¶ The explosive development of the Taiwanese offshore wind market continued as MHI Vestas signed its fifth memorandum of understanding in Taiwan, solidifying its readiness for the first round of Taiwan’s offshore wind projects. The company, a leader in offshore windpower, confirmed that its 9-MW wind turbines will be typhoon-ready by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

MHI Vestas wind turbine

¶ The Japanese government is standing firm by its goal of expanding nuclear energy into 20% to 22% of the country’s energy mix by 2030, but it still lacks a clear strategy for promoting nuclear power in the aftermath of the Fukushima Disaster. A new outline for energy strategy could win cabinet approval this summer. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ Queensland’s state-owned transmission company Powerlink says it has received enquiries about 30 GW of new generation projects, almost all of them renewables. Powerlink said it signed a connection agreement for up to 500 MW with Pacific Hydro for the first stage of the Haughton solar farm. But it is just one of 150 potential projects. [RenewEconomy]

Workers at completion of the Clare solar farm

¶ The European Investment Bank announced an agreement with Export-Import Bank of China to support the country’s move to a low-carbon economy. The EIB said it will provide China with a €300 million framework loan to fund energy, water, transport, and industry programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience. [The European Scientist]

¶ The agency responsible for public transport in and around Oslo, PTA Ruter, announced its intention to transition the entire public transit bus fleet to electric vehicles over the next 10 years to drive meaningful improvements in the quality of life for city residents. Unibuss is starting with 30 Citeas SLFA-180 and 10 Citeas SLF-120 Electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

VDL Citeas SLFA Electric

US:

¶ Illinois does not need the Dynegy-Vistra coal plants in its central and southern regions to keep the lights on, analysis commissioned by NRDC and Sierra Club sats. It concludes that replacing the plants with renewables and gas can lower utility bills and improve public health. This argues against subsidies for coal plants. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ With tariffs from the Trump administration and an energy market in flux, the solar economy faces a degree of uncertainty. But in Minnesota the sector is stronger than it is in most states. Last year solar jobs dropped 4% nationwide, while in Minnesota they rose 48.2% to a total of 4,256, according to the Solar Jobs Census. [Twin Cities Business Magazine]

Minnesota solar installation (Photo: Tony Nelson)

¶ Granite Air Center, Inc announced that it and partner Norwich Solar Technologies of White River Junction, Vermont, installed a 218.1-kW net-metered PV System on the main hangar rooftop at their facility in Lebanon, New Hampshire. With the new solar system, Granite Air will be able to see long-term energy cost reduction and stability. [AviationPros.com]

¶ NextEra Energy Resources and Salt River Project announced the opening of Pinal Central Solar Energy Center, an integrated solar plant equipped with a battery system that will store energy and enable SRP to provide clean energy to customers when demand is at its highest. The 20-MW facility is Arizona’s largest pairing solar with batteries. [Solar Power World]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “This Is How Germany Perfected the Free-Electricity Model” • On some days, especially holidays, the supply of electricity in Germany outstrips the nation’s demand. The result in the market is a price below zero. It is a time when factories have a chance to earn money for taking surplus electric power off the hands of producers. [Bloomberg]

German wind farm (Photo: Martin Leissl | Bloomberg)

¶ “Renewables Investment Nudges Out Fossil Fuel And Nuclear” • In 2017 the clean energy industry reached a critical turning point. Growth and cost reductions have both far outperformed expectations based on policy frameworks alone. Improvements in cost, scale, and technology fundamentally have changed market dynamics. [Forbes]

¶ “Elon Musk Harpooned Baseload Power” • In its first four months of operations the “big battery,” the Hornsdale Power Reserve, frequency control ancillary services prices went down by 90% in South Australia. The 100-MW battery has received over 55% of the FCAS revenues. This cuts into opportunities for fossil fuels deeply. [CleanTechnica]

Hornsdale Power Reserve

World:

¶ A new study from researchers at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford has warned that a fifth of current global power plant capacity is at risk of becoming stranded assets. This would be under a scenario in which the planet reaches its climate goals of halting warming at 1.5° C to 2° C above pre-industrial levels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Morocco is close to completing the largest concentrated solar power farm in the world. The site near the city of Ouarzazate aims to produce enough energy to power more than a million homes by the end of the year and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760,000 tons per year. The first phase was officially turned on in 2016. [CNN]

Noor Complex solar power plant in Morocco

¶ A tender for 1 GW of floating solar power capacity in the state of Maharashtra had six winning bids. The bids were at ₹2.71 and ₹2.72 ($0.04,  €0.034) per kWh, according to the Press Trust of India, which cited informed sources. The PV capacity will be installed at the Ujjani Dam and provided under power purchase agreements. [Renewables Now]

¶ Over 300,000 workers will be employed in the solar and wind energy sectors in India to meet the country’s target of generating 175 GW of electric power from renewable sources by 2022, the International Labour Organisation has estimated. The UN labor agency expects 24 million green economy posts to be created globally by 2030. [BW Businessworld]

Small solar system (Shutterstock image)

¶ Turkey produced 2.86 million MWh of power from solar PV plants in 2017, an increase of 177% from 2016. Turkey’s installed solar PV capacity grew from 0.95 GW to 3 GW in 2016, according to energy statistics by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority. But wind remains Turkey’s top non-hydro renewable energy source. [Renewables Now]

¶ The Indian government has given a boost to the country’s booming renewable energy sector. On May 14, the ministry of new and renewable energy released a draft policy for setting up wind-solar-hybrid plants, where both windmills and solar panels are put up on the same piece of land, increasing the power from a given site. [Quartz]

Hybrid plant (Photo: Stringer | Reuters)

¶ Britain’s windfarms provided more electricity than its eight nuclear power stations in the first three months of 2018, marking the first time wind has overtaken nuclear across a quarter. During the first quarter, wind power produced 18.8% of electricity, second only to gas, said a report by researchers at Imperial College London. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ BYD continues to make inroads into the North American bus market. It has made a new deal for 20 of its fully electric buses, which are destined for the Los Angeles International Airport. The new buses will provide airfield passenger transportation, replacing the existing fleet of diesel-powered buses and adding capacity to the system. [CleanTechnica]

BYD articulated bus

¶ A fleet of Teslas is headed to Squaw Valley, California, but it is not just going to the parking lot. As part of its ongoing renewable energy efforts, the resort is partnering with Liberty Utilities and the electric car (and rocket) company on a proposal to install battery units for storing power generated by solar and other sources. [Comstock’s Magazine]

¶ The Florida Municipal Power Agency announced an agreement to purchase power from utility-scale solar projects to be built in central Florida’s Orange and Osceola Counties. Three projects totaling 223.5 MW will be developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, NextEra Florida Renewables. The purchasers will be 12 municipal utilities. [pv magazine USA]

Utility-scale solar power in Florida (SunPower)

¶ Pacificorp, a Berkshire Hathaway electric utility in six Western states, projects new resources of 2.7 GW of wind, 1.86 GW of solar, 1.877 MW of incremental energy efficiency, and 268 MW of demand response. Pacificorp also expects to repower 999 MW of wind. But it foresees no new fossil fuel resources in the decades to come. [pv magazine USA]

¶ The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is the largest power producer in the US. It provides about 35% of Arizona’s electric power. An initiative that could be on the ballot in November would require that 50% of Arizona’s electrical energy come from renewable sources by 2030. And that could shut Palo Verde down. [AZFamily]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Russia Will Use Floating Nuclear Plant To Power Arctic Oil Exploration. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” • Thanks to global warming, much of the Arctic ice has melted, making it easier to drill for more oil. But exploring for oil is energy intensive. What to do? Use a floating nuclear plant to power the oil explorations, of course! [CleanTechnica]

Floating nuclear plant (Anton Vaganov | TASS via Getty Images)

World:

¶ Almost half of Australia’s large businesses are actively moving to cheaper renewable energy, including many going off the grid by building their own generators and battery storage, as power bills threaten their bottom line. Businesses of all sizes, including 46% of large operations, have responded to high bills by seeking green alternatives. [The Guardian]

¶ Researchers at the University of Sydney have spent 18 months looking at emissions from the entire tourism value chain, from the airplanes to the hotel, food preparations, and even souvenirs. The total is equivalent to 4.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. This is about 8% of all emissions and possibly four times earlier estimates. [CleanTechnica]

Aircraft emissions

¶ The Tunisian Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies launched two tenders, one for 500 MW of solar PV power plants and one for 500 MW of wind farms. The solar tender is for five projects ranging in size from 50 MW to 200 MW. The wind tender covers three projects, one of 100 MW and two of 200 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ A consortium in Sweden is working on an experimental program that could slash carbon emissions from manufacturing steel. The CEO of Hybrit, a joint venture between Swedish steel maker SSAB, power utility Vattenfall, and LKAB, Europe’s largest iron ore producer, said, “Our pilot plant will only emit water vapor.” [CleanTechnica]

Zero emissions steel (Credit: Onni Wiljami Kinnunen | SSAB)

¶ The 100-MW Clare solar farm, the largest PV system to date in Queensland, has begun exporting to the grid. Clare is the twice the size of the state’s current biggest operating solar farm, the 50-MW Kinston project. But that will not last; 1400-MW of large scale solar projects in the state are expected to begin production this year. [RenewEconomy]

¶ EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, Portugal’s biggest energy company, is set to reject a €9.1 billion ($10.9 billion) takeover offer from China Three Gorges Corp on the grounds that it undervalues the company, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Investors seem to expect the Chinese utility to sweeten the offer. [Bloomberg]

Three Gorges Dam (Photo: VCG | VCG via Getty Images)

¶ Renewables, storage, and more flexible technology will provide enough electricity to keep the UK’s grid stable as coal is wound down, according to a report released by the climate change think tank Sandbag and the WWF. A number of large-scale gas projects planned for the UK “aren’t required,” according to the “Coal to Clean” study. [www.impact4all.org]

¶ Kyocera Corp and Tokyo Century Corp have completed a 29.2-MW solar farm in Japan. The project, which is located at Yonago City in Tottori prefecture, covers 1.2 square kilometres of land. It has 108,504 Kyocera 270 watt solar modules, and it is expected to generate 36,080 MWh per year for the local utility, Chugoku Electric Power. [reNews]

Solar farm (Image: Kyocera Corp)

¶ Australia’s biggest solar farm, the 220-MW Bungala solar project, has begun production. It is in South Australia near Port Augusta, a former coal city, and it marks the important first stage of the transforming the city into a major renewable energy hub. Three stages are planned, and it could have a 300-MW capacity in the end. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ The recent decision by the California Energy Commission to mandate solar on all new residential buildings starting from 2020 has had a noticeable impact on GTM Research’s solar forecast for the state. The market researcher’s projection for the four years was been increased by a total of approximately 650 MW. This bumps it up by 14%. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installer

¶ The Kennett Township, Pennsylvania, board of supervisors adopted a resolution to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy, according to an announcement by the Sierra Club. Kennett Township has become the first township and fourth municipality in the state to make this commitment, the Sierra Club said. [Solar Industry]

¶ When Earther last checked in on Americans’ views on climate change, it found that conservative climate denial is a uniquely American trait. However, a new Pew Research survey says there is also something that should give you hope: majorities of both Democrats and Republicans want to see more renewable energy installed. [Earther]

Sunset on a wind farm in Iowa (Photo: Brian Abeling | Flickr)

¶ Cypress Creek Renewables, the nation’s fifth-largest solar developer and last year’s top utility-scale installer, says it will take a $1.5 billion hit due to the Trump administration’s solar tariffs. Greentech Media confirmed that the company stopped investing in 1.5 GW of projects, roughly 20% of its pipeline, because of the tariffs. [Greentech Media]

¶ Eight Republican senators from five states with big solar farms are asking the Trump administration to exempt a workhorse of industrial solar panels from tariffs imposed earlier this year. They urged the administration to waive duties on 72-cell, 1,500-volt panels that are ideal for large ground-mounted “utility-scale” projects. [Bloomberg]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Costa Rica: 1st Country To Achieve Independence From Fossil Fuels?” • Costa Rica has made impressive strides, getting to rely 100% on renewable energy. In 2017, it had 300 days in which renewables met its entire demand for electricity. Costa Rica’s new president wants the nation to be 100% free of fossil fuels. But it has cars. [CleanTechnica]

San Jose, Costa Rica (Costa Rica Day Trips)

¶ “The future of Africa is powered by the sun” • Critics of green energy claim many countries cannot afford to invest in it. But the notion that low carbon technologies are never low cost is simply not true. Solar PV generation costs are decreasing, and in most countries the cost of PV power is already lower than new coal and gas. [Business Day]

World:

¶ China Power and General Electric have launched a joint bid for a contract to construct the 2,400-MW Batoka Gorge hydropower project being co-developed by Zimbabwe and Zambia. Energy and Power Development Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said they paid him a visit at his offices and expressed strong interest in the undertaking. [Chronicle]

Batoka Gorge

¶ Tata Power Co, one of India’s largest private power utilities, is planning to invest as much as $5 billion to ramp up its renewable capacity fourfold, according to its CEO. The 103-year-old power utility plans to increase its clean-energy capacity to 12,000 MW by 2028, with an investment of up to ₹40 million ($594,000) per megawatt. [ThePrint]

¶ During a debate at the Scottish Parliament, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced funding of £3.5 million to help social housing landlords make their properties more energy efficient. The decarbonization fund will support councils and housing associations to install measures such as solar panels or air source heat pumps. [Energy Voice]

Clyde Arc in Glasgow (Macieklew, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Scottish Power introduced its first tariff to enable customers to charge EVs at home. The two-year fixed price “Smart Green Electric Vehicle June 2020” tariff will provide 100% renewable energy. The company also introduced a charge point finder in its “Your Energy” app to help customers locate the nearest charging point away from home. [Utility Week]

¶ According to the recently published Energy Atlas of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, European countries are distributing €110 billion in subsidies and free CO2 certificates to producers of fossil fuel energy. This means coal and gas power plants receive three times as much in subsidies as the renewable energy sources do. [Devdiscourse]

Geothermal power plant

¶ Australia is a water-stressed nation, but shifting to more renewable energy could reduce the nation’s water problems considerably. A report by the World Resources Industry said Australia is one of the countries where cheap renewable energy, solar and wind as opposed to fossil fuels, could reduce water consumption. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Milan Vihar Apartments in east Delhi’s IP Extension became the first group housing society in the capital to get its own rooftop solar power plants. Inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the 140-kW plant will generate electricity at ₹2.50 per unit (3.7¢/kWh) for 1,600 residents living in approximately 400 flats. [The Indian Express]

Milan Vihar Apartments (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

¶ Russia is offering to put up floating nuclear power plants in the Philippines as the country explores the possibility of nuclear power generation. Russian state-owned Rosatom and the Philippine Department of Energy agreed in November of 2017 to cooperate on a possible Philippine foray into nuclear power generation. [GMA News]

US:

¶ After the successful installation of both solar and hydropower systems, the Yoder Farm, in Danby, Vermont, is one step closer to its grand goal of producing more carbon-free electricity than the farm consumes. The farm’s owners, Ryan and Rachel Yoder, hope ultimately to produce all of the energy needed for the farm on site. [The Manchester Journal]

Farm hydropower (Cherise Madigan, Journal Correspondent)

¶ Power generation in West Virginia is changing, though some do not want to embrace the shifting priorities and others say it is a mistake to bet the bank on one horse. China Energy is interested in investing up to $84 billion in shale gas and petrochemical projects in the state. That would create some jobs, but it would cost others. [WV News]

¶ Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, during a commencement speech at Rice University this weekend, took a thinly veiled swipe at “deceitful politicians” in Washington. And he left little question about exactly who he was referring to. Bloomberg says that citizens should not settle for politicians who reject science. [ThinkProgress]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Cities, Villages as Fulcrum of Germany’s Energy Transition” • One feature of the German energy sector that is hardly likely to be ignored by visitors to the country is the localization of the electricity supply system. It focuses on bringing together people, villages, and municipalities to invest and own their power systems. [THISDAY Newspapers]

Windpark Wildpoldsried (Richard Mayer, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Crumbling of nuclear deal boosts Iran hard-liners” • Across Iran, the hopefulness that followed the 2015 nuclear deal has been replaced by a rising hard-line fever with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull America from the accord. That is not to say Iran wants the deal to end. The Islamic Republic is still trying to salvage it. [Japan Today]

¶ “Withdrawing from Paris carbon emissions deal was a mistake” • Americans have long enjoyed a position of privilege as a global leader, from technology and agriculture to diplomacy and defense. But recent trends indicate a retreat from the position of world leadership as America increasingly takes on an isolationist role. [Hattiesburg American]

Pollution

¶ “Revenge of the dinosaurs: Administration seeks technology to revive coal” • The Trump administration is clearly serious about bolstering the declining and uncompetitive coal industry. In a sign of this, the federal Department of Energy is requesting designs for smaller, theoretically more efficient “modular” coal plants. But no funding is offered. [Yahoo News]

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists researched sea level rise in five Florida communities and the flooding can cause. Three of the communities already find themselves partially submerged regularly, unrelated to storm events. The scientists forecast that all will have greater problems within 17 years, and the areas that are flooding now could double in size in that time. [Ocala]

Sunny day flooding (Photo: Lynne Sladky | AP)

World:

Nikkei Asian Review reports that Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd, or CATL, has signed an agreement with Nissan to supply it with batteries for the new Nissan Sylphy sedan that will be introduced in the Chinese market later this year. CATL, the largest Chinese battery manufacturer, has been focusing on batteries for buses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction said that it has secured several orders for energy storage projects from home and abroad as it expands its footprint in the growing business sector. The South Korean company announced that it won a deal for an energy storage system from clean energy and solution provider SK E&S. [Yonhap News]

Doosan Heavy’s learning center in Changwon, South Korea

¶ China’s major power plants generated 528.34 billion kWh in March, up 2.1% year on year, data showed. Thermal power production was up 1.4% in March. Electricity generated by wind and solar farms in March saw strong year-on-year growth of 30.6% and 27.9%, generating 30.57 billion kWh and 7.8 billion kWh, respectively. [Xinhua]

¶ Tesla’s giant Powerpack battery in South Australia has been in operation for about 6 months now and we are just starting to discover the magnitude of its impact on the local energy market. A report now shows that it reduced the cost of the grid service that it performs by 90% and it has already taken a majority share of the market. [Electrek]

Tesla battery system in South Australia

US:

¶ According to Catherine Von Burg, CEO of battery maker Simpliphi Power, 2017 was a blockbuster year for the company, with sales more than tripling from 2016. The spike in sales has Simpliphi Power bursting out of its Ojai, California headquarters and scrambling around the surrounding area looking for more manufacturing space. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has made a preliminary decision to allocate about $5.5 million in incentives per year, for the years 2019 through 2022, to the renewable energy programs within  the Focus on Energy program. The decisions came as part of the program’s four-year planning process. [The Milwaukee Independent]

Solar array in Wisconsin

¶ Representatives of environmental groups gathered near the site of a proposed natural gas power plant in the township of North Bergen, New Jersey. They protested that the plant will increase carbon emissions, which pose a danger to the earth’s atmosphere and climate. They called on Gov Phil Murphy to act against the plant. [The Hudson Reporter]

¶ The Yale Program on Climate Change Communications carried out a study that reveals a jump in the number of Republicans who agree that climate change is caused by carbon emissions from human activities. The results showed a 9-point uptick in GOP voters who said they believed climate change was fueled by emissions. [Earth.com]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2018

World:

¶ Armenia gave a green light to the first large-scale solar power plant in the history of the country. The government has issued the letter of award to a consortium of Fotowatio Renewable Venture BV and FSL Solar of the Masrik-1 55-MW solar power plant, Armenia’s first competitively tendered independent power project. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar array in China

¶ The Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board said that the country’s renewable energy production had reached its highest level at 1568 MW, excluding hydro-power. Stressing wind power, he said that renewable energy production in Pakistan would increase to 1870 MW by the end of current year. [Pakistan Observer]

¶ China’s state-owned utility China Three Gorges launched a bid to take control of the biggest company in Portugal, Energias de Portugal, offering a premium of just under 5% on the power firm’s closing stock price. The total value of the proposed deal is €9.07 billion ($10.83 billion), excluding a 23% stake already owned by CTG. [South China Morning Post]

Water flow at the Three Gorges Dam

¶ Representatives of the German and Ugandan renewable energy sector successfully tested their jointly developed solutions for electricity and biogas supply in Uganda. Micro biogas plants have been in operation in Uganda for many years, but they typically cost around €1,000 ($1,200), and this is too high for much of the rural population. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The Latin America and Caribbean geothermal market is heating up, though somewhat slowly. With only one operating plant each in the Caribbean and South America, and a handful in Central America and Mexico, this region of the world still holds enormous, largely untapped potential for geothermal market growth. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal plant (ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)

¶ Renewable energy company Ecotricity has presented the government of the UK with two proposals for alternative tidal lagoons, ahead of a joint select committee review of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project. They are both in the Solway Firth, one on the English side of the border and the other on the Scottish side. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Global wind turbine manufacturer Senvion has been awarded a 300-MW project by Alfanar to deliver the Bhuj Wind Project in Gujarat, India. The project includes supply and installation of 131 Senvion 2.3M120 turbines, which have a height of 120 metres. The project is expected to be commissioned within the next 18 months. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind farm (NREL photo)

¶ Iceland is pursuing further adoption of renewable energy, with incentives to promote electric vehicles and the installation of over 20 new ABB fast charging stations. A realization that Iceland was too dependent on fossil fuel imports led to corrective efforts. Today, 80% of the energy for the country comes from renewable sources. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ According to the NI Water, a solar plant with 24,000 solar panels will provide 4.99 MW, enough to meet the demand of the Dunore Water Treatment Works in South Antrim, one of Northern Ireland’s largest treatment plants. DWTW is the third largest energy consumer among water treatment plants in the country. [pv magazine International]

South Antrim solar plant (Image: NI Water)

US:

¶ Sunrun is expanding, with a new office in Nevada during a resurgence in home solar in the state. Applications for home solar in Nevada are on a rapid rise; there were 287 in 2016 and 3,308 in 2017. The growth is the direct result of the federal solar investment tax credit combined with net metering policies for solar households. [Nasdaq]

¶ Elon Musk made some bold claims in tweets about the Boring Company. He said the tunnel under Los Angeles is nearly done and will soon be in use. He said work on a tunnel linking New York City and Washington, DC, has already begun. And he said a Hyperloop connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco would begin next year. [CleanTechnica]

Boring Company Los Angeles Pod Concept

¶ E.ON completed its North American Renewables Operation Center in Austin, Texas. This boosts its ability to manage its own 3.6-GW capacity portfolio, along with 2.9 GW of capacity for other owners. Some services to be provided by the center are scheduling and dispatching power, and remote power and voltage management. [Solar Power World]

¶ In Michigan, following a commitment from Traverse City commissioners to power all city facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2020, Traverse City Light & Power board members will consider establishing a similar community-wide goal for their entire customer base. The state requirement is that utilities be at 15% by 2021. [Traverse City Ticker]

Wind turbines at a farm

¶ Democrats joined Republicans to pass a bill looking for a place to deposit the growing stockpile of nuclear waste generated by power plants across the country. This includes, for example, the 3.55 million pounds of spent fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, sitting just yards from the Pacific Ocean. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ Exelon Generation reduced output Thursday night and Friday morning at four of its nuclear units in Illinois. At least three of the plants ramped down because of low power prices in the PJM Interconnection market and transmission grid congestion, the company said. Two of those units have since returned to full power, Exelon said. [Platts]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How Relying on Oil Makes Us More Vulnerable to Cyberattacks” • What’s the difference between a major American city and a war-torn country? One difference is unobstructed access to resources. An American city could become like a war zone quicker than you might imagine. All it would take is a successfully hacked electrical grid. [Fortune]

Transmission lines (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “We Will Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change!!” • Of late, I feel increasingly confident that environmentalists will be able to make that claim soon. A few experts, like Tony Seba and Ramez Naam, are starting to make the claim. I had been wary of the idea, but increasingly I think they are right because of the exponential growth of renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can Slime Help The Self-Driving Electric Car Industry?” • A characteristic of slime mold could help facilitate the design of our future electric mobility. It adapts to its environment with a non-centralized system. Though it has no brain, it can even learn and be trained. Researchers are studying slime to improve the algorithms of self-driving vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Slime mold

World:

¶ Gas and electricity supplier Npower is raising energy bills by an average of £64 a year for a million customers. The average 5.3% dual fuel price hike comes into effect on 17 June and follows earlier rises announced last month by its “Big Six” rivals. British Gas is increasing prices by 5.5% from 29 May, while EDF is raising electricity prices by 2.7%. [BBC]

¶ Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator said 8 GW of renewable capacity has been built since January 2016, is being built now, or has power purchase agreements and is expected to be under construction by year’s end. That is 1,600 MW more than what is needed to meet the Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 GW by 2020. [The Australian Financial Review]

Wind farm in New South Wales (Photo: Andrew Taylor)

¶ GE Renewable Energy has announced its first wind energy project in Chile under a partnership with Arroyo Energy Compañía de Energías Renovables Limitada. GE will supply six 3.6-MW turbines with 137-meter rotors, to be installed at the El Maitén and El Nogal wind sites in the south of the country, for a total of 21.8 MW. [North American Windpower]

¶ Carlos Alvarado, the new president of Costa Rica, announced the country’s “titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies.” He made the remarks at his inauguration speech in front of a crowd of thousands, according to a report in the Independent. [EcoWatch]

Costa Rica

¶ The British government has proposed to arrange all ¥2 trillion ($18.2 billion) in lending that Hitachi says is needed to build a nuclear power plant in Wales, as the Japanese side seeks to reduce its risk and encourage UK investment. The plan also calls for a total investment of ¥900 billion, with guarantees for corporate loans. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ UPS is serious about reducing its carbon footprint, and if this also reduces operating costs, so much the better. Since 2009, it has invested $750 million into high-tech and alternative-fuel vehicles. Soon, in London and Paris, UPS will begin testing a fleet of electric delivery vans from Arrival, a UK-based specialist in lightweight electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

UPS electric vans

US:

¶ President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly axed the monitoring system NASA runs to keep track of greenhouse gas levels, the US journal Science revealed. The Carbon Monitoring System, a project costing $10 million (£7 million) per year, which remotely tracks the world’s flow of carbon dioxide, is to lose funding. [BBC]

¶ Since FirstEnergy Solutions asked the DOE for bailout of nuclear and coal plants, opposition has submitted concerns to the DOE that this would mean subsidizing uneconomic old power plants that would otherwise retire. The opposition is an unlikely coalition of renewable energy, natural gas, energy efficiency, and oil industry associations. [CleanTechnica]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ Voters in Newport, New Hampshire, approved a 2.2-MW solar energy project capable of providing the entire annual energy needs for Newport town and school facilities. The vote was 652 to 235. The solar installation will be the largest municipal project in New Hampshire and one of the state’s largest solar projects overall. [Green Energy Times]

¶ The Arkansas Public Service Commission found that the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project is in the public interest. The $4.5 billion project includes a 2,000-MW wind farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle, and construction of a dedicated power line about 350 miles long that will carry the wind energy to the Tulsa area. [Transmission and Distribution World]

Transmission lines under wind turbines

¶ Pacific Gas and Electric Co and ForeFront Power signed the first community solar project agreement under PG&E’s Regional Renewable Choice program. It allows all customers, including renters and those who cannot install solar, to use solar power for up to 100% of their electricity without having to install private rooftop solar panels. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ EDP Renewables North America has secured two power purchase agreements to sell 150 MW of electricity from the Broadlands wind farm in Illinois. One deal will see the Wabash Valley Power Association buy 100 MW from EDPR under a 20-year deal, with Commercial & Industrial securing 50 MW over 15 years for the other contract. [reNews]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “China reaps benefits of U.S. solar innovation while American workers are left behind” • IRENA reported over 500,000 new jobs in renewables in 2017 bringing the total to well over 10 million. Two thirds of solar jobs are in China. But in the US, where the technology was developed, solar jobs are on the decline. [ThinkProgress]

Installing PVs in China (Credit: Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump withdraws from Iran deal: What’s next?” • President Trump announced that the US intends not to participate in Iran nuclear deal and will re-impose sanctions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded that Iran may be willing to remain a part of the deal, subject to negotiations with the remaining international partners. [CBS News]

Science and Technology:

¶ Research demonstrates that private electric vehicles in China can have a positive effect on CO2 reduction if they are charged slowly during off-peak hours when renewable energy from renewables like wind turbines is available. By contrast, fast charging during peak demand periods increases output from coal-fired generation. [CleanTechnica]

Jiangsu Nantong power plant (Kristoferb, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Shanghai-based solar manufacturer JA Solar reported long-delayed Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Results late last month. It reported record shipments of 7,143.1 MW for the full year, an increase of over 55%, while revenues increased by over 25%. Total shipments for the fourth quarter alone amounted to 2,205.9 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Solar developer SkyPower announced that it will invest $1.3 billion into Uzbekistan. The Canadian company will build 1 GW of solar capacity and sell the power to Uzbekistan’s government through the country’s first Power Purchase Agreement. This will make SkyPower Uzbekistan’s first independent electric power producer. [CleanTechnica]

Shir Dor Mosque, Uzbekistan (Credit: Robert Wilson, via Flickr)

¶ With construction of a 50-MW plant, Zambia will have its first large-scale solar facility in September, a state-owned agency said. Zambia is dealing with a power deficit that threatens industrial output, as an electricity shortfall has forced Africa’s second-largest copper producer to ration power supply to the mines, the biggest consumers. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Seajacks won a contract in Taiwan, its first order outside of Europe. The 10,000-tonne jack-up vessel Zaratan will install 20 6-MW wind turbines in the Taiwan Strait in water around 30 meters deep, up to six kilometres off the north-west coast of Taiwan. The work is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2019. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Seajacks Zaratan (Courtesy of Seajacks)

¶ EBRD, along with Triodos Investment Management and FMO Dutch Development Bank, will provide a $30.7 million loan to finance the construction and operation of Mongolia’s largest utility-scale solar plant. It is a 30-MW project to be located in the Gobi Desert region, around 450 km south-east of Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. [pv magazine International]

¶ Plans for a 1500-MW PV park have been submitted to the Somerset Regional Council in Queensland. The proposed plant would spread over a 2,055 hectare site east of Harlin, northwest of Brisbane. The largest solar plant currently under construction in Australia is the 250-MW Sunraysia solar farm in New South Wales. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Large solar array

¶ A report from IMechE report called on the government and industry of the UK to introduce pro-hydrogen policies, including updating pipes and materials in the gas distribution network to handle concentrations of up to 20% by 2023. Hydrogen could be a green and efficient alternative to lithium-ion batteries, the report claimed. [Professional Engineering]

¶ Italian energy major Enel SpA will invest $97 million (€81.7 million) to expand by 10% the capacity of three renewable energy plants under construction in Mexico, the company said. Enel Green Power Mexico will increase the capacities of the 754-MW Villanueva and 238-MW Don Jose PV farms, and of the 93-MW Salitrillos wind park. [Renewables Now]

Mexican solar park (Credit: Presidencia de
la República Mexicana, CC-BY-2.0 Generic)

US:

¶ Puerto Rico is considering large-scale solar as a part of its reconstruction of its energy infrastructure, which was seriously damaged by the hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. This comes alongside a number of mini-grids and rooftop solar projects all targeting future power resiliency. Project sizes range upwards to 100 MW. [pv magazine International]

¶ The renewables arm of GE announced that it will supply 190 wind turbines totalling 470 MW for two projects in Iowa owned by Alliant Energy Corp. GE Renewable Energy will deliver the turbines for the 300-MW Upland Prairie Wind Farm in Clay and Dickinson counties, and the 170-MW English Farms Wind Farm in Poweshiek County. [Renewables Now]

GE 2.75-120 wind turbines (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ Eight Democratic attorneys general are pushing EPA head Scott Pruitt to rescind a proposed regulation that would restrict the science it could use to write and enforce regulations. The group might sue the EPA if it moves forward with the rule, which critics say is an attempt to stop the EPA from using some important scientific findings. [The Hill]

¶ Virginia regulators have rejected a proposal from Dominion Energy to offer 100% renewable energy plans to large electricity customers in the state. The decision was praised by clean energy groups and retail suppliers that argued that approving the utility program would effectively eliminate competition from third-party vendors. [Greentech Media]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Aviation Is The Next Big Thing” • Greg Bowles, vice president of global innovation and policy at the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, explained the current situation of combustion aircraft engines as yesteryear’s dial-up, wired telephones, as battery technology has improved about 3% to 5% every year for 20 years. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace’s electric two-seat Sun Flyer

¶ “NRC Cherry-Picking in the Post-Fukushima Era: A Case Study” • In the late 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission, the forerunner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, paid General Electric and Westinghouse, the very companies that designed nuclear reactors, to test the efficacy of their own emergency cooling systems. [All Things Nuclear]

Science and Technology:

¶ Global tourism accounts for 8% of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, four times more than previously had been believed, according to new research. The increasing carbon footprint of global tourism between 2009 and 2013 represents a 3% annual growth in emissions, according to researchers at the University of Sydney. [CNN]

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo (Photo: Carl Court | Getty Images)

World:

¶ Australian rooftop solar hit a new record in April by achieving sevens month in a row of over 100 MW of new solar installed. Installations in April reached 109 MW, which was down from the 127 MW installed in March, but this is enough energy to power more than 36,700 homes, according to data from Green Energy Markets. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Off the coast of Western Australia, a battle between mega-giants is unfolding. The combatants involve the world’s biggest semi-submersible platform, the longest subsea pipeline in the southern hemisphere, and the largest floating facility ever built. They are all there for natural gas, and they are hoping to start drawing it up this month. [BBC]

Prelude, the largest sea-faring vessel ever (Shell image)

¶ The Japanese government has created a new research entity to develop lithium-ion battery technology. It is working in the research together with major Japanese manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, Panasonic, and Yuasa, on a mission is to push forward with research into solid state batteries that will cost less and have extended range. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The renewable energy industry created over 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3% rise on the previous year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA’s latest edition of “Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review” says there are 10.3 million people employed in renewables worldwide, the first time the figure was over 10 million. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ At the 2018 ACT Expo green transport conference in Long Beach, California, representatives from UPS, Navistar, and Cummins joined with speakers from Honda and the California Air Resources Board to express support for the fuel economy standards put in place by the Obama administration. Much of the reason was economic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Professional actors were paid to support Entergy’s proposal of a gas plant at New Orleans City Council meetings, according to some participants. “They paid us to sit through the meeting and clap every time someone said something against wind and solar power,” said one actor, who heard about the opportunity through a friend. [The Lens]

Entergy supporters in orange shirts (Michael Stein | The Lens)

¶ Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds signed a bill that critics say could largely evaporate utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs in the state. The law caps program spending at substantially lower levels than utilities now maintain. It also allows municipal utilities to discriminate against customers who generate their own power. [Energy News Network]

¶ Texas electric utility Luminant has signed a 300-MW power purchase agreement for electricity from the Foard City wind farm, developer Innergex Renewable Energy Inc said. A full notice to proceed with construction is expected for the final quarter of this year, with commercial operation to start in the third quarter of 2019. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (Author: Jaime Rey)

¶ Iowa-based Ideal Energy is constructing a 1.1-MW power plant at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, using the NEXTracker NX Flow integrated solar-plus-storage system. The project will be built on University land and is projected to be one of the largest solar-plus-storage power plants in the state. [Solar Builder]

¶ Kenyon Energy, in partnership with Maui Electric Co, flipped the switch on a new 2.87-MW solar farm. The 11.3-acre project, which is located on land owned and managed by Haleakala Ranch Co, is producing electricity for MECO’s nearly 70,000 customers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai at 11.06¢/kWh, according to a news release. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

South Maui renewable power (Maui Electric Company image)

¶ After months of acrimonious wrangling over a new energy policy already delayed by more than a year, the Connecticut Senate overwhelming passed a plan that will fundamentally reimagine how the state values the solar energy people generate on their roofs. Environmental and solar groups opposed the bill to no avail. [The CT Mirror]

¶ Environmental groups are pushing back against a bill that outlaws building solar facilities and other renewable-energy projects on forestland. It was introduced to address cutting trees to build large solar-energy projects. The bill prohibits the building of renewable-energy systems in, or connected to, a wooded area of 250 acres or larger. [ecoRI news]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Leapfrogging Tech Is Changing Millions of Lives. Here’s How.” • In developing countries, particularly in Africa, millions of people are skipping the technological evolution process, leapfrogging over now-obsolete technologies and going straight to modern fixes. These often happen to be green, sustainable, and relatively inexpensive. [Singularity Hub]

Renewable energy (Credit: ingehogenbijl | Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Tony Seba Charts Out The Disruptive Path Forward To EVs & Out Of The I.C.E. Age” • At the rEVolution 2018 Conference in Amsterdam, Tony Seba took the stage to share a tale of two technological disruptions in cleantech we are currently living through and show us the adoption curves that he believes map out their next few years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuke closures have impacted local economies, changed community character” • On some of America’s most idyllic shorelines between Vermont and California lie several defunct behemoths. They are shuttered nuclear power plants. They closed prematurely because they could no longer compete in electricity markets. [Toledo Blade]

Kewaunee nuclear plant, which closed in 2013

World:

¶ Uncertainty in the renewable energy sector continues to drive a “relentless focus on cost” to soften the impact of protectionism, subsidy cuts, and rising interest rates, EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index report said. EY’s Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader said, “The renewable energy sector is at risk.” [pv magazine India]

¶ During 2017, the International Renewable Energy Agency collected data to determine estimates of off-grid capacity. IRENA looked at data on 180,000 off-grid solar systems, 40,000 off-grid hydropower plants, and bio-digesters supplying electric power to about 300,000 people. In addition, 115 million people use solar lights. [Modern Diplomacy]

Off-grid renewable energy

¶ The Japanese government is exploring the possibility of promoting wind power generation in four prefectures, sources close to the government said. The government is considering designating areas off Aomori, Akita, Saga, and Nagasaki for offshore wind power development projects to operate for up to 30 years. [The Mainichi]

¶ The government of the UK failed to consider the climate or the economic costs of a policy change that led to a 94% drop in applications for onshore wind developments. Documents that were obtained under Freedom of Information rules show the government did not conduct relevant impact assessments before implementing the changes. [The Independent]

Wind farm near Sheffield (Photo: AFP | Getty)

¶ Japan will soon launch a new market to promote the use of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. Officials at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry say market players will be able to buy and sell certificates representing the amount of electricity produced through renewables. The market is due to open on May 14th. [NHK World]

¶ GeoSea has kicked off turbine installation at the Otary’s 309-MW Rentel wind farm in the Belgian North Sea. Jack-up Sea Installer started work over the weekend from load-out port Ostend. The vessel is installing 42 Siemens Gamesa 7.3-MW turbines. First power is due before end-summer, according to Otary. [reNews]

Sea Installer setting out (Photo: van der Kloet | Rentel)

¶ Buyers of new-build houses and apartments at a development in Perth’s northern suburbs are being offered an innovative solar power purchase agreement that promises to cut their daytime power costs by 40%. Home buyers who opt into the program get a rooftop solar system of about 3.8 kW to 4.8 kW installed at no upfront cost. [One Step Off The Grid]

US:

¶ A renewable energy bonanza may be blowing in the winds off the coast of California. But the Navy released a map that shows large areas from San Diego up to the Central Coast off limits to future offshore wind farms. Government and corporate officials are working with the Defense Department to develop a more flexible plan. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Floating offshore wind turbines (Statoil image)

¶ In what seems to be an about-face from his stance two years ago, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill calling for a ban on single-use plastic carrier bags by 2019. The governor, who will stand for re-election in November 2018, said the proposed statewide ban is part of an effort to fight the “blight of plastic bags.” [Plasteurope]

¶ A working paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond concludes that global warming could significantly slow economic growth in the US. Hardest hit will be Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Arizona, states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. [The Guardian]

Texas lake bed (Photo: Tony Gutierrez | AP)

¶ A bill that adds woody biomass to the list of renewable-energy generators, such as wind and solar, was quickly passed by the Rhode Island Senate. It has woody biomass, including wood and wood waste, qualify for net metering. There is considerable disagreement about the pollution and carbon emissions from these sources. [ecoRI news]

¶ Fortune 500 corporations like Chevron and Kinder Morgan are facing renewed pressure from climate-focused activist investors. This year some of the most powerful shareholders, including giant mutual funds, are supporting the push for businesses to respond to climate change. And the prodding has had more effect than ever before. [Salon]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Plugging in” • Hard though this might be to believe for those who live in Alaska, where the single-engine Super Cub aircraft of the last century remains a cherished form of transportation, the world of aviation appears on the cusp of an electric revolution. Battery-powered aircraft, already certified and flying in Australia, are coming. [craigmedred.news]

Eviation’s nine-seat commuter (Eviation photo)

¶ “As Winter Warms, Bears Can’t Sleep. Plus They Truly Are Getting Into Trouble.” • As climate change leads to warmer winters, American black bears are changing their hibernation routines. In some cases, bears are not hibernating at all, staying awake all winter. But with droughts, they might not find enough food in the wild. [Independent Recorder]

¶ “In India’s last electrified village: ‘Around 5-6 pm, bulb came on… That night, not one of us slept…'” • Villagers in Leisang in Manipur hope the fame brought by a tweet from the PM means it won’t fall off the map again. They are getting ready for changes in how their children study and with such technology as satellite TV and computers. [The Indian Express]

Leisang in Manipur (Express photo by Jimmy Leivon)

Science and Technology:

¶ Extreme weather appears to be disrupting the life cycle of Europe’s bats. Scientists were alarmed to find that some bats in Portugal skipped winter hibernation altogether this year while others gave birth early. The findings add to growing fears that rising temperatures are having unpredictable effects on bats, birds and other wildlife. [BBC]

World:

¶ Taiwan will install an offshore wind project along its western coast that will begin an energy transformation in the country and highlight Taiwan’s commitment to renewable energy. Speaking at a ceremony, President Tsai Ing-Wen said the project will not only provide a new source of power but will also help generate 20,000 jobs. [Devdiscourse]

Offshore wind project (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

¶ The Haryana government is making it mandatory for all public buildings, like schools, health centers, and offices, to have rooftop solar panels as part of a state-wide project. The program will be first implemented in Gurugram and Faridabad. Gurugram is the 11th most polluted city in the world, partly because of backup diesel gensets. [Times of India]

¶ HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, commissioned the 200-MW first stage of the 800-MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The electric energy will be generated for a cost of 2.99¢/kWh using PV solar panels. [Business Wire]

Dubai’s solar system (Photo: AETOSWire)

¶ India has achieved the ambitious target of setting up solar power plants of 20,000 MW capacity four years in ahead of schedule. The United Progressive Alliance government, at the launch of National Solar Mission in 2010, had set a target for deploying 20 GW of grid connected solar power by 2022. Now that goal has been met. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ With a brand-new factory and a cluster of specialised firms, the Basque city of Bilbao is the focus of Spain’s wind power industry, which is fighting to hold its own in the face of fierce competition from China and northern Europe. Iberdrola and Gamesa, two of the most important players in the sector, have their headquarters in the city. [The Local Spain]

Wind turbine blades in Bilboa (Photo: Ander Gillenea | AFP)

¶ North Korean authorities have ordered the inspection of two nuclear reactors abandoned before completion more than a decade ago, apparently to study if they can produce electricity to help jump-start the country’s stagnant economy. Experts are skeptical about the wisdom of allowing Pyongyang to use light-water reactors. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ An action to develop cheaper and environmentally friendly power supply for Thai national parks is being drafted in a joint venture of the Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation and King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. Diesel gensets are already being replaced with solar hybrids with diesel backup. [ThaiVisa News]

National park in Thailand

US:

¶ BYD has teamed with US Hybrid Corporation, a company with 20 years’ experience, to develop a hydrogen fuel cell battery-electric bus. This bus, the first of its kind, will serve Honolulu’s Daniel K Inouye International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the US, with more than 21 million passengers going through it each year. [MassTransitMag.com]

¶ California’s Energy Commission is due to vote next week on new energy standards that would require virtually all new homes to be constructed with solar panels from 2020. Currently, around 20% of single-family homes being built have solar capacity. The new requirement would apply to all homes over three stories tall. [The Independent]

Workers installing solar panels (Getty Images)

¶ The state of California plans to build a 1,349-kW solar plant in Chino just 300 feet to the southwest of the California Institution for Women. The solar plant is part of the state’s effort to build solar facilities on prison property. A Chino spokesperson said the city was not provided with a notice or any information on the project. [Chino Champion]

¶ When the Tennessee Valley Authority settled with the EPA and environmental groups in 2011 to clean up its power generation, coal industry advocates warned about rate increases and lost jobs. But TVA managed instead to phase out over half of its 59 coal-fired units and add pollution controls on others while reducing the rates. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ According to a study recently published in Nature Energy by researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the transition to a low-carbon energy society will require more renewable energy sources than previously thought, if current levels of energy consumption per capita and lifestyles are to be maintained. [R & D Magazine]

Wind turbines at sunrise

World:

¶ Just six weeks ago, VW boss Matthias Müller stunned the automotive world when he revealed the company had placed orders for EV batteries and components worth a total of $25 billion. Now, VW has a new head man, Herbert Diess, who told investors at the annual meeting that VW has signed orders for almost double that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India added more new capacity of renewable energy than it did traditional power, such as coal, over the time from April 2017 through March 2018. During that time, 11,788 MW of clean power was added to India. Thermal and hydropower sources were responsible for contributing 5,400 MW of power capacity to the grid. [Energy Digital]

Solar panels in India (Getty Images)

Solar panels in India (Getty Images)

¶ Germany’s zero-cent bid for offshore wind power, down from €0.145/kWh in 2012, heralded what appears to be a cascade of cost degression in offshore wind power. The Netherlands is pressing ahead with a full zero-support tender, and France and Denmark are also making plans to adapt their auction systems accordingly. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ With an estimated population of over 198 million, oil-rich Nigeria’s carbon emissions are soaring as its power systems strain. Now, however, Nigeria is turning to renewable energy. The shift to renewables will strengthen the grid infrastructure to support the country’s strong push towards rural electrification in the country. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

Wind turbines

Wind turbines

¶ German insurer Allianz SE said it will stop providing insurance to single coal-fired power plants or coal mines with immediate effect to help drive the decarbonization of the economy. Those companies that generate electricity from a mix of sources will continue to be insured. Allianz has plans to phase out all coal-based risks. [Renewables Now]

¶ Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said we need to invest trillions protecting ourselves from the impacts of climate change. She said, “Trying to address climate change at current financing levels is like walking into a Category 5 Hurricane protected only by an umbrella.” [Rappler]

Child in typhoon floodwaters (File photo by IFRC)

¶ In its industry trend analysis this week on the outlook for the sector, BMI Research projected that gas-fired generation would account for 52% of power by 2027 in the UK, up from last year’s figure of 45%. The prediction is based on delays to new nuclear capacity, the closure of ageing coal plants and a rebound in gas power plant economics. [Utility Week]

US:

¶ The demand for wind energy surged through the first quarter of 2018, pushing the country’s wind development pipeline to over 33 GW, the American Wind Energy Association said. The AWEA has tracked new announcements of over 5,500 MW. This represents a 40% year-over-year increase over the same quarter last year. [CleanTechnica]

MidAmerican Energy wind farm

¶ Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn has been charged by the US Justice Department with conspiracy in relation to the coverup at Volkswagen relating to the diesel vehicle emissions cheating scandal. He is unlikely to ever face justice in the US, as Germany generally does not extradite its citizens to face charges in foreign countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Winnebago, a recreational vehicle manufacturer, launched an all-electric/zero-emission commercial vehicle platform through the company’s Specialty Vehicles Division. The company formed a strategic partnership with Motiv Power Systems, in which it has invested, for the development and supply of electric-powered chassis. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Winnebago all-electric RV shell (Courtesy of Winnebago)

¶ Salt River Project, a community-based not-for-profit water and energy company in Arizona, started a program for installation and use of battery storage systems by its residential customers. The Battery Storage Incentive Program will provide up to $1,800 for those customers who purchase and install qualifying batteries. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a ban against offshore drilling and exploration. The Governor’s action to protect New York’s waters from oil and gas exploration was prompted by the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling in American waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. [White Plains Daily Voice]

Offshore drilling platform (Mirafiori, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ The New York Independent System Operator released a new report that indicated energy usage is set to decline over the next decade at a rate of 0.14% per year over the next decade, with peak demand falling 0.13% during the same time. The decline would result from use of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency efforts. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ Vermont regulators are reducing the financial incentives for electric customers who install renewable energy systems and get a credit on their electric bills for the power they provide power to the grid. The Vermont Public Utility Commission said the reduction was needed to balance the program’s impact on electric rates. [Valley News]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ Carbon dioxide, the No 1 greenhouse gas leading to man-made global warming, has reached a dubious new milestone. The level of the gas in the atmosphere, as measured by instruments on top of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory, topped 410 parts per million for the month of April. Scientists say this is the highest level in 800,000 years. [CNN]

Sunset from above the clouds, Mauna Loa Observatory
(LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ NASA officials announced the results of the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) experiment. They said it demonstrated that the system can create electricity with fission power and is also stable and safe regardless of the environment. The demonstration took place after NASA conducted extensive tests. [R & D Magazine]

¶ Electric motors are the beating heart of any electric vehicle, and thanks to a startup in Belgium, your next EV’s motor could be stronger, smaller, and more efficient. Magnax is hard at work developing new axial flux motors for use in EVs, even including aircraft, and a number of other applications that require powerful yet lightweight motors. [Electrek]

New axial flux electric motor

New axial flux electric motor

World:

¶ The Plan to Repower Australia, released by environmental activist Bill McKibben, provides a blueprint for the country to reach an entirely fossil fuel free power system by 2030. The plan attempts to transform Australia’s electricity system in a rapid and ambitious way; it envisions achieving that goal in just over ten years. [Climate Action]

¶ UK-based water company, Northumbrian Water has entered into a partnership with Lightsource BP for the development of 10 new solar farms at its sites. They are expected to generate 10 GWh of clean electricity each year to help power its operations. The electricity would be enough to power more than 3,000 homes. [pv magazine International]

Lightsource BP solar farm (Photo: Lightsource BP)

¶ A pilot-scale geothermal plant with a capacity of 1.2 MW is being blamed for setting off the worst earthquake in South Korea since seismic records began over 100 years ago. A report by Scientists at Korea and Busan universities said there was a strong link between the quake last November and the operations of the Pohang plant. [Your Renewable News]

¶ French utility EDF Renewables has bought the 450-MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm from Mainstream Renewable Power following a competitive bidding process. The project, which will be located in the Firth of Forth, is expected to require an investment of £1.8 billion. Commissioning is planned for 2023, EDF said. [reNews]

Teesside offshore wind farm (Credit: EDF)

¶ The consortium behind a plan to create an Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has unveiled plans to add another 3 GW of wind and solar to the project to help meet domestic as well as international needs. Their plan envisages exporting renewable electricity to Asia via subsea cables. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere will be built about 130 km west of Melbourne, powering an estimated half a million homes a year by 2025, if the government of Victoria gives the project the green light. The proposed wind farm would have 228 wind turbines, each 230 meters tall at their highest point. [The Age]

Wind Farm in Victoria (Changyang1230, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ Energy Secretary Rick Perry was in Kodiak, Alaska, recently to learn more about how the island manages its renewable energy microgrid, according to KTUU News in Anchorage. The visit was arranged by Senator Lisa Murkowski. Kodiak Island gets 98% of its electricity from renewables. It has diesel backup generators, but rarely uses them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Buried down toward the bottom of Tesla’s Q1 earnings letter, the company reiterated its goal of tripling its energy storage business in 2018. The first use of the 129-MWh South Australia battery project came when a coal plant suddenly went offline; the response time was 140 milliseconds. Utilities value that kind of performance highly. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerpack and solar on Kauai

¶ A new study from the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that the “market value” of offshore wind varies significantly along the US East Coast and generally exceeds that of land-based wind in the region. The study considered the values of energy, capacity, and renewable energy certificates, by location. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Iowa energy provider MidAmerican Energy has announced plans this week to build two new wind farms with a combined capacity of 550 MW in Adair County. They will be a part of the company’s previously-announced 2 GW Wind XI project. The Wind XI project is the largest economic development venture in Iowa’s history. [CleanTechnica]

Beaver Creek Wind Farm (Image: Mortenson Construction)

¶ Wind, solar, and other renewable sources accounted for almost 95% of all new US electrical generation placed into service in the first quarter of 2018, data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shows. 3,149 MW of solar and wind power came online, compared to 79 MW of natural gas and 4 MW from a nuclear power uprate. [Solar Power World]

¶ Hydrogen-powered semi truck startup Nikola Motor Company announced that Anheuser-Busch has placed an order for “up to” 800 of its zero-emission big rigs. Nikola says it will start delivering the trucks to the beer distributor in 2020, and that it will show off a final production version of the truck at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. [The Verge]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Concrete is a disaster for our planet: can the building industry break its addiction?” • There are myriad proposed solutions to the problems posed by concrete, such as changing the way we make concrete, creating sustainable alternatives, or doing away with it altogether. But we use so much of it that it is hard even to imagine life without it. [CNN]

High-rise buildings (CNN image)

¶ “Is Offshore Wind About To Hit Cost-Competitiveness In New York And New England?” • Offshore wind may seem pricey, but it is actually extremely valuable. Analysis from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that the market value of electricity generated by offshore wind will soon exceed its cost in the Northeast. [Forbes]

¶ “Are public objections to wind farms overblown?” • Renewable energy researchers wanted to see how much local opposition there is to existing wind farms across the US. With funding from the DOE , they teamed up to undertake the largest scientific study to date on how people who live near US wind farms perceive them. [Phys.Org]

Wind turbines and hay bales (Photo: MattJP, CC BY-SA)

Science and Technology:

¶ Ticks are making us sicker. Illnesses spread by ticks more than doubled between 2004 and 2016, a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Mosquito-borne illnesses are also on the rise. The lead author, declining to address the “politically fraught issue of climate change,” blames warmer weather. [Grist]

World:

¶ Official data from Germany’s Federal Network Agency has suggested that renewable energy provided more than 100% of the country’s power on May 1 for about two and a half hours. Renewable output, bolstered by a bright and blustery public holiday, reached 53,987 MWh of power; consumption was at 53,768 MWh. [Climate Action Programme]

Solar array

¶ This year, India had its highest-ever solar power capacity addition for any quarter, government data shows. India managed to add 4.6 GW of new utility-scale solar power capacity between January and March 2018. The previous highest solar power capacity addition in a quarter was in Q1 2017 with the addition of 3.3 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to a tracking report from five international agencies, the world is lagging behind its sustainable development goals for the period 2015-2030. The report underlines the fact that progress in electricity, where rapidly falling costs of wind and solar have driven the uptake, is not yet matched by heating and transportation. [pv magazine International]

Off-grid renewable energy (Image: Trine)

¶ Wave Energy Scotland has commissioned consultancy Arup to study opportunities for wave energy generation over 10 MW. The review, which will also involve Cruz Atcheson Consulting Engineers and the University of Plymouth, will consider manufacturing limits and how to de-risk future large-scale wave energy converters. [reNews]

¶ Swedish wave energy company, Seabased, is teaming up with UAEs’ Infocom Connect to provide wave energy for commercial projects in the Canary Islands. The partnership will begin with a project for a pilot 5 MW installation to provide energy for a desalination plant, but could expand to address other energy needs. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Canaries (© David Marquina Reyes | Flickr Creative Commons)

¶ A total shift to renewable energy would pay for itself within two decades, and ultimately save Australians A$20 billion ($15 billion) a year in combined fuel and power costs, a report says. It shows a path to powering homes and businesses from renewable sources by 2030 and says by 2035, 40% of transport could be emissions free. [The Guardian]

¶ Electricity output from the Hunterston B nuclear power station could fall by 40% this year after dozens of cracks were discovered in one of the reactors. The North Ayrshire power plant’s director said it would be necessary to reduce generation. But he insisted that Hunterston B, which is scheduled to operate until 2023, was still safe. [BBC News]

Hunterston nuclear power station (Reuters image)

US:

¶ The California Independent System Operator reported that the state had record-breaking amounts of solar power generated, at 10,539 MW on April 29. California also hit a new record for the instantaneous portion of demand met by renewable energy at 73%, just 15 minutes before the solar record, with solar and wind alone meeting 64% of demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Dominion Energy Virginia could expand its solar capacity by over 4.7 GW over the next 15 years, plans submitted to state regulators say. The expansion, which was included in a long-range Integrated Resource Plan filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, is higher than the 3.2 GW increase the company forecast last year. [reNews]

Solar system (Pixabay image)

¶ Research studies have found that chemicals present in some popular sunscreen products are harmful to ocean ecosystems. For example, they contribute to coral bleaching. And now, after state lawmakers passed a bill, Hawaii is set to become the first state in the US to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. [CNN]

¶ Federal subsidies for renewable energy dropped to $6.7 billion in FY 2016, a 56% decline from FY 2013. Renewable subsidies in FY 2010 and FY 2013 were about $15 billion. The decline came with decreasing support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Renewable energy accounted for 46% of the FY 2016 total. [Biomass Magazine]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “If we walk away from the Clean Power Plan, we’re walking away from the future” • Of all the damage that the Trump administration has wreaked on America, from tearing apart our social fabric to trampling all over the rule of law, none is more dangerous than walking away from the Clean Power Plan. It is an attempt to save the future. [PennLive.com]

Power lines

Science and Technology:

¶ A team from the University of Exeter in the UK developed a new technique to make hydrogen from sunlight to create a clean, cheap, and widely available fuel. The research centers on use of a photo-electrode made from nanoparticles of lanthanum, iron, and oxygen, which the researchers believe will be inexpensive to produce. [gasworld]

¶ Researchers at Stanford have developed a new battery that may better harness the intermittent power of renewable energy. In a study reported in Nature Energy, the small prototype water-based battery, which generates about as much energy as an LED flashlight, has the potential to be built to an industrial scale and last for a decade. [Innovators Magazine]

Wind turbines (Unsplash image)

World:

¶ Siemens launched an energy storage system called BlueVault for offshore and marine deployment. The system is based on lithium-ion batteries and Siemens plans to manufacture it in a robotized factory in Norway. Siemens has already signed several contracts for the storage system and expects to deliver the first one in the summer. [reNews]

¶ Nearly 7,000 independent renewable energy projects across the UK are now generating enough clean power to supply 8.4 million homes, according to SmartestEnergy’s latest annual report. It says that more than £227 million ($309 million) was invested in 400 independent renewable energy projects in the UK last year alone. [Energy Live News]

Renewable energy in the countryside (Shutterstock image)

¶ AT&T Inc and Walmart Inc are just two of the 36 businesses, government agencies, and universities that have agreed to buy 3.3 GW of wind and solar power so far this year. That amount is on track to shatter the previous high of 4.8 GW of the deals disclosed last year, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Bloomberg]

¶ Cambodia has been proactive in transforming their electricity supply, reducing their diesel and heavy fuel oil use from 89% to just 9% in the past five years. As technologies like solar generators and lithium-ion batteries become more easily available, the choice to go green is a practical alternative to traditional energy sources. [Innovation & Tech Today]

Cambodia

¶ Neoen says coal is “technically and economically dead,” with falling renewable energy costs. According to Franck Woitiez, the managing director of Neoen’s Australian arm, the company is aiming to increase its clean energy capacity in the country from 1 GW built or approved for construction to as much as 3 GW by 2022. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Construction has begun on the Thalkirchen geothermal heating project in the German city of Munich. With a planned 50 MW of thermal generation, when the plant is ready it will not be only the largest geothermal heating plant in Munich, but also in all Germany. It is planned to supply up to 80,000 Munich residents with geothermal heat. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Munich (Photo: flickr | Achim Lammerts, creative commons)

¶ The Australian Capital Territory announced that the Sapphire wind farm in northern New South Wales has 28 turbines in place and operating. The territory’s minister for climate change and sustainability said the ACT-supported part of the wind farm will provide 12% of the ACT’s renewable electricity target and power about 48,000 of its homes. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ The National Weather Service reported nearly 50 inches of rain fell in 24 hours on Kauai, the oldest and northernmost island in Hawaii. It is the most severe rain event in the history of the state. People should get used to it, says Chip Fletcher, a leading expert on the impact of climate change on the Pacific’s island communities. [CleanTechnica]

Flood on Kauai (Image: USCG Officer 3rd Class Brandon)

¶ It is not easy for most Minnesota homeowners to throw solar panels onto their roof, nor can renters easily convince their landlords to do it. Community solar may be an alternative. CleanChoice Energy and Cypress Choice Renewals announced they were adding 42 MW of community solar capacity, accessible in over 35 Minnesota counties. [City Pages]

¶ Air temperature increases from climate change will make New Hampshire’s streams warmer, according to Dartmouth-led research published in Freshwater Biology. The study examined the warming of stream waters, which has implications for freshwater ecosystems, in which many species depend on cold water to survive. [Science Daily]

Stream in New Hampshire (Photo: Lauren Culler)

¶ The Iowa Senate approved legislation making energy-policy changes that will alter energy efficiency programs and reshape the Iowa Utility Board’s regulatory role and sent it to the governor. Sponsors say the move will save consumers money, and critics warn it will kill jobs and “gut” programs that make Iowa a “green” energy leader. [Quad City Times]

¶ NuScale Power, based in Oregon, aims to build the country’s first house-sized nuclear reactor to provide grid power. It cleared a hurdle with the federal government, passing part of a safety review by the NRC. Small modular reactors are basically scaled-down nuclear plants that can be combined to provide a plant of whatever size is needed. [OPB News]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “How Long Will PV Prices Continue To Fall?” • Prices of solar PV systems follow economic laws just like other things, such as computers and cars. That does not mean that the precipitous drop in prices will slow, however. Wright’s Law works with the intuitively obvious fact that the more you do something, the better you get at it. [CleanTechnica]

1913 Ford Model T Roadster, a car for the ordinary family
(Photo: order_242 from Chile, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ Swedish energy group and burgeoning renewable energy leader Vattenfall has announced that it intends to offer British businesses the opportunity to secure corporate Power Purchase Agreements direct from its 165-MW South Kyle Wind Farm from as little as 1 MW in a move that could revolutionize the idea of corporate PPAs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Chief Minister of Gujarat has told media outlets that his government will set up a 5-GW solar power park in the state. The solar power park, which will be the largest in India, will come up along the coast of Gulf of Khambat, on state-owned land. A 200-MW wind energy park is also planned along with the solar power park. [CleanTechnica]

Charanka Solar Park, Gujarat

¶ China has maintained its leadership position in Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index for the third year in a row. The US was in second place, despite solar tariffs. The third position was secured by Germany, with India dropping to the fourth place. The other country in the top five was Australia. [Renewables Now]

¶ Germany is aiming to reduce heavy-vehicle emissions with a new plan introduced that waives truck tolls for electric trucks. The policy would start next year, with net savings of around €5,000 per vehicle, depending on the routes used. Up until last year, the only company with extensive electric truck offerings was BYD, based in China. [CleanTechnica]

German highway

¶ Wind farms produced more than a quarter of Spain’s power in the first four months of 2018, and overall, renewables’ share stood at 47.1%. Wind turbines were the number-one electricity source in the period, followed by nuclear power plants with a share of 21.1%, according to provisional statistics from the grid operator. [Renewables Now]

¶ The government of Honduras has commissioned a 35-MW geothermal power plant in the community of Platanares. The Geoplatanares plant was developed by the US-Israeli geothermal company Ormat Technologies Inc. It cost of $126.7 million (€105 million) to develop and build. ​It is the first geothermal facility in Honduras. [Renewables Now]

Geoplatanares plant

¶ Following from the recent decision by the government of China to ban the import of most foreign waste materials, Australia’s environment minister announced that the country will invest significantly in the creation of new trash incineration facilities, and also aim for all packaging materials to be 100% recycled by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australia can be the first 100% renewables-powered continent, but it needs the political will to do so, according to renewable energy entrepreneur and the chief executive of energy investor Energiya Global Capital, Yosef Abramowitz. He said the country is being blocked, as it is “up against the older, entrenched fossil fuel industry.” [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Australia has the world’s best solar resources. (Justin McManus)

US:

¶ General Motors’ Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, one of the automaker’s environmental leaders, will get a lot greener later this year by adding wind energy as the major source of its electrical power. GM officials announced that GM will buy power from the 100-MW Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, which is now under construction. [News Sentinel]

¶ The DOE launched a $23 million funding call for marine energy technology aimed to reduce capital costs and shorten deployment timelines. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy support targets in three areas: early stage device design; power take-off and control system testing; and environmental data dissemination. [reNews]

Wave (Pexels image)

¶ The Mortenson company recently added three new Illinois wind-farm projects to its construction list. They will contribute an additional 289 MW of electricity to the state by the end of 2018 and follow that with 194 MW in 2019. The company is also building transmission lines and  interconnect facilities to link to the grid. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ The US has overtaken India in EY’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index, despite the US imposition of a 30% tariff on imports of cells and modules earlier this year. The American solar tariffs are mostly absorbed and wind projects are not subject to subsidy cuts under the recently passed US tax reform bill, said EY. [PV-Tech]

Solar farm in California (Credit: 8minutenergy)

¶ Canadian energy company Capital Power is almost set to go ahead with the 150-MW Cardinal Point wind farm in Illinois. The developer said construction will start once all of the regulatory approvals needed are received. The Cardinal Point wind farm is scheduled to come online in March 2020 and already has a contract for 85% of its output. [reNews]

¶ The largest US grid operator issued a report that could serve to undermine a Ohio utility’s bid for the Trump administration to save its fleet of ailing nuclear and coal power plants. PJM Interconnection said closing several FirstEnergy nuclear reactors in its territory would pose little harm to its reliability and the energy market. [Washington Examiner]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Energy costs: Renewables close in on fossil fuels, challenging on price” • Coal has been getting the squeeze for years now, but the plunging cost of renewable energy is starting to give natural gas a run for its money. The implications for the fossil fuel industry are dire. And batteries are making renewable power dispatchable. [Farmington Daily Times]

Golden Hills wind farm (Photo: Google)

¶ “No Need To Wait: Electric Buses Are Cost-Competitive Transit Buses Today” • Electric buses have proven savings and efficiencies. These are even more attractive when the extreme pricing fluctuations of diesel and CNG are taken into account. By contrast, electricity prices are extremely stable and can be supplied renewably. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Australia has pledged more than A$500 million ($379 million) to help preserve the Great Barrier Reef, in an attempt to help better protect the world heritage site from the effects of climate change. Aerial surveys conducted in April last year showed more than two-thirds of the coral in the Barrier Reef had experienced “shocking” amounts of bleaching. [CNN]

Great Barrier Reef

¶ Chinese-owned Alinta Energy offered A$250 million ($189 million) for Australia’s ageing Liddell coal-fired power plant, creating a headache for owner AGL Energy amid a national debate over energy security and government pressure to keep the plant open. AGL wants to shut the plant down and use the site for a battery installation. [Nasdaq]

¶ Ideas have a power to transform lives. At Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazon 4 school in rural San Juan, Bolivia, the ideas of a handful of dedicated educators are transforming not just their school, but their community and even their country through sustainable living practices, which range from solar power to rainwater capture. [CleanTechnica]

Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazon 4 school

¶ Ireland faces fines of €600m a year from the EU for failing to meet renewable energy targets and cutting carbon emissions by 2020. New, more ambitious targets for 2030 do not let Ireland off the hook. A report for the Dáil Public Accounts Committee said they will be a matter for the European Court of Justice to impose. [Independent.ie]

¶ US technology that can harvest drinking water from “thin air” using the power of the sun is set to be tested in Australia, with backing from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. ARENA is providing $420,000 in funding to Arizona-based Zero Mass Water to test 150 of its solar-powered SOURCE drinking water systems in the country. [RenewEconomy]

SOURCE drinking water systems

¶ Authorities in Taiwan have announced the winners of the country’s first 3-GW-plus offshore wind auction. The Bureau of Energy made awards to 12 projects totaling 3836 MW. Confirmed winners include Orsted, WPD, Swancor and Macquarie, Yushan and Northland Power, Taipower, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and China Steel. [reNews]

¶ Australia’s ineluctable switch to solar power is gathering speed. In New South Wales, the 55-MW Parkes solar farm and the 30-MW Griffith solar farm started production at full capacity in the last couple of weeks. Another dozen due to connect in NSW and Queensland in coming months. The 25-MW Dubbo solar farm is already connected. [RenewEconomy]

Parkes solar farm

¶ Hitachi wants to sell more than half its stake in its Horizon Nuclear Power subsidiary, which is slated to build 5.4 GW of installed capacity at sites in Anglesey and Gloucestershire. If no agreement that would reduce Hitachi’s share to below 50% can be found, Hitachi plans to withdraw from both of the nuclear plant projects. [GCR]

¶ Falling prices and government policy are driving solar power. In 2016, solar power was the fastest growing source of new energy globally, accounting for up to two thirds of new power capacity added, the International Energy Agency said. This was partly due to China embracing the technology, installing half of all new solar panels. [Power Technology]

Crescent Dunes solar thermal power plant

US:

¶ An American Jobs Project report found that solar jobs in New Mexico could more than double by 2030. Projected growth of the state’s solar industry over the next 12 years could increase solar jobs to 6,800 from the current figure of about 2,500. A side benefit of solar power for New Mexico is that unlike coal or gas it needs no water. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Duke Energy’s annual sustainability report says it expanded renewable energy generation by about 19% in 2017. According to the report, Duke added 1,000 MW of renewable energy last year. That included not only solar and wind farms, but also biomass, a relatively new source of energy produced from natural sources like animal waste. [WFAE]

Duke Energy solar farm (David Boraks | WFAE)

¶ A new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates the rooftops of low-to-moderate income households could potentially accommodate 320 GW of PV installations. The report determined that single-family, owner-occupied rooftops collectively held the greatest opportunities for PV installations. [National Mortgage Professional Magazine]

¶ Climate change is set to intensify summer droughts and increase forest fire frequency, with drastic consequences for unique bioregions of northern California and southwestern Oregon. These sort of forests are well-adapted to wildfire but even the most resilient species may find it difficult to recover in the face of abrupt climate change. [ZME Science]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ With increased long-distance shipping of fresh food has come the long-distance shipping of dangerous insect pests and plant pathogens. Now climate change has allowed some of these to proliferate rapidly in regions where they either previously were not present or were unable to maintain more than the barest population levels. [CleanTechnica]

World fruits

¶ As the ice sheets of the world melt, an enormous amount of pressure will be lifted off of the continental crusts that play host to them, as well as the surrounding oceanic basins. Something similar is broadly true, but to a much lesser degree, of the world’s remaining large glaciers. With changes in pressure, there will be seismic activity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A great number of technologies related to renewable energy and passive building design have been in use historically in many parts of the world. Some are not well known in the modern western world, but are nevertheless worth examining. Here is an article that focuses on Yakhchāls, Āb Anbārs, and wind catchers of various kinds. [CleanTechnica]

Āb Anbārs, “water reservoirs” (Image: Zereshk, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ Solar walls, glazed solar collectors, and Trombe walls are different passive solar heating technologies based around the use of materials to absorb solar radiation and store it in thermal mass. The end goal is to provide space heating, and often ventilation as well. With them, we can provide thermal control for buildings passively. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ The Green School in Bali is aimed to transform education through several significant deviations from traditional brick and mortar schools. It has an unconventional, progressive educational curriculum. Sustainable construction materials and techniques were used prolifically for construction. And it is powered with renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

The Green School in Bali

¶ Saudi Arabia’s first solar-powered gas station has just been opened in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The inauguration comes on the heels of the Kingdom’s switching on its drive towards solar power, kicked of in February with the Ministry of Energy’s announcement of a solar power plant in the city of Sakaka in the country’s north. [ZAWYA]

¶ All villages in India have been electrified, data on a government website shows. Three years ago, 18,452 villages had no access to power. Apart from those classified as grazing reserves, all that are inhabited now have power. A village is said to be electrified if at least 10% of its households, as well as public places, have access to power. [Scroll.in]

Electrification in India

¶ The Japanese government plans to set a target of making renewable energy, including solar and wind power, the country’s main power source, when it updates its basic energy plan as early as this summer. The government will continue restarting some nuclear power reactors but will reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear energy. [The Japan News]

¶ Russia launched a floating nuclear power plant from a shipyard in St Petersburg. The Akademik Lomonsov was towed out to sea for the start of a long journey from the port in the former capital, where it had been constructed. Environmentalists slammed the mobile maritime reactors as dangerous, calling it the “floating Chernobyl.” [Deutsche Welle]

Akademik Lomonsov

US:

¶ Minneapolis officials announced new targets moving the city to 100% renewable electricity. The goal is for municipal facilities and operations to reach that level by 2022, with the rest of the city fully complying by 2030. The effort will be reflected by a shift to electricity sources such as wind and solar, instead of fossil fuels. [Twin Cities Business Magazine]

¶ More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands are at risk of becoming “uninhabitable” before the middle of the century because of rising sea levels, according to startling new research. As seas rise, increasingly large waves that crash farther onto the shore will contaminate water supplies. This endangers key US military assets. [The Guam Daily Post]

Roi-Namur Atoll (Peter Swarzenski, US Geological Survey)

¶ As part of a decision that sets rates for customers of American Electric Power in Ohio, the state’s public utilities commission approved a 50¢ per month surcharge to put $10 million toward EV charging infrastructure over the next 4 years. The plan calls for 300 Level 2 public chargers and 75 Level 3 fast chargers in the AEP service area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Five environmental organizations have sued to challenge the Interior Department’s leases on more than 45,000 acres of land for natural gas production by fracking in Mesa County, Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management had rejected the organizations’ protests. They contend that no adequate environmental analysis has been done. [Craig Daily Press]

Natural gas processing plant (Brian Ray)

¶ The threat by the owner of a huge gas-fired power plant near Boston to shut down unless it can make more money selling its power has added more urgency to a long debate about how to maintain the stability of the region’s power grid during winter, and how to get the six New England states to share in that expense. [Valley News]

¶ Nuclear power plants typically run either at full capacity or not at all, though they have the technical ability to adjust to the changing demand for power. Researchers from the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been exploring the benefits of doing just that. [pvbuzz media]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Earth to Pruitt: Americans Say Keep Clean Power Plan – Again” • One thing echoing through the halls of Capitol Hill is that Scott Pruitt is far out of touch with both the public he is supposed to protect and the mission of the EPA. That is clear in his remorseless defense of efforts to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Clean power (Photo: Karsten Wurth)

World:

¶ Swedish wave energy company Seabased and Infocom Connect are working to develop renewables projects in Sri Lanka. The first system the partners will work on is a 1-MW to 5-MW wave project that will power a fish farm. Infocom Connect’s managing director pointed out that many countries have little land to site renewables projects. [reNews]

¶ A study from researchers at MIT found that if China follows through on its climate policies targeting the reduction of CO2 emissions, the monetary savings stemming from air quality and human health will greatly exceed the cost of meeting those goals in the first place. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution in China

¶ Sunseap International, a unit of Singaporean clean energy company Sunseap Group, said it has been given the green light for a 168-MW solar farm in Vietnam, with construction expected to start in mid-2018. The solar project, which is described as the country’s largest so far, has received Decision on Land Handover (Phase 1). [Renewables Now]

¶ Toyota has built a prototype hydrogen fuel cell truck using most of the hydrogen fuel cell components from two of its Mirai passenger vehicles. The design of the truck arose out of a need for improved air quality in seaport facilities, where large numbers of traditional diesel trucks were making a bad problem much worse. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota hydrogen-powered truck

¶ Canadian Solar Inc announced a partnership with Turkey’s Global Investment Holdings to develop and operate up to 300 MW of solar power projects. The solar company will provide engineering, procurement and construction for the projects, and after completion will continue with operations and maintenance services. [Renewables Now]

¶ ABB has inaugurated a microgrid solution at its Vadodora manufacturing facility in Gujarat, India. The microgrid is said to be the first of its kind to be installed at a manufacturing campus in India using both solar PV and battery energy storage. The facility makes transformers, generators, and other technology products. [Energy Storage News]

ABB manufacturing facility (Credit: ABB)

¶ Iberdrola Renewables Offshore will invest €1 billion ($1.21 billion) to develop two offshore wind farm projects in the Baltic Sea after it recently won 486 MW of capacity in an auction, its managing director said. The 476-MW Baltic Eagle wind project received a minimum guaranteed power price of €64/MWh from the German regulator. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Rural communities in Pakistan have high expenses when using generators or aren’t even connected to the national grid. Karachi, the capital city is dealing with blackout issues so bad that the power is often out eight hours per day, forcing businesses to lay off workers. These are reasons why people are increasingly turning to solar energy. [Green Matters]

Small rural solar array

¶ North Korea has hailed its summit with the South as “new milestone” in the history of the two countries after the two leaders pledged to pursue a permanent peace and rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons. The official KCNA news agency said the meeting opened the way “for national reconciliation and unity, peace and prosperity.” [The Guardian]

US:

¶ MGM Resorts International announced that it plans to power a significant portion of its 13 Las Vegas casinos with a dedicated solar panel array, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The resort and casino giant has partnered with generation and storage developer Invenergy to create a 100-MW PV array 25 miles northeast of Las Vegas. [TravelPulse]

Mandalay Bay Convention Center’s 8.3-MW rooftop
solar array (photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)

¶ Five Winter Olympians are urging Congress to take action on climate change. Snowboarder Arielle Gold, biathlete Maddie Phaneufalong, and skiers David Wise, Jessie Diggins, and Stacey Cook traveled to Capitol Hill this week to brief lawmakers on how climate change is a growing threat to winter sports and outdoor recreation. [CNN]

¶ Michigan utility regulators approved DTE Energy Co’s plan to build a 1,100-MW natural-gas-fired power plant in St Clair County to replace aging coal plants. The Michigan Public Service Commission authorized DTE to recoup up to $951.8 million for the construction of the plant through future rates charged to customers. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Natural gas plant

¶ With the dust settling from President Trump’s PV tariff, it looks like we have a winner: First Solar hopes to open a 1.2-GW factory in Ohio to make thin-film solar PVs. “Roll” is the key word here. The film PV can be made with low cost, fully automated, high output roll-to-roll systems. In other words, most jobs go to robots. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind farm in Lake Erie, a project of Fred Olsen Renewables and LEEDCo, is back in action after the US Fish and Wildlife Service said the project poses little threat to wildlife. The Ohio Power Siting Board re-commenced its review of the project’s application ahead of a public hearing on 19 July. [reNews]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “China Leading The Way To Electric Car Future: BYD, BMW Highlight Beijing Auto Show” • There was a time when the world flocked to Detroit every January for what is grandly known as the North American International Auto Show, but today, if you want to know what’s hot in the world of automobiles, you go to Beijing to find out. [CleanTechnica]

GM’s dog in the fight, Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV

¶ “California’s legislative session could be huge for state economy and world climate” • California’s clean energy policy may be coming of age, as leaders and significant players put programs together and answer policy questions. This progress can have a major impact on both California and the world well beyond it. [Environmental Defense Fund]

¶ “FirstEnergy’s 202(c) request is a bigger deal than you think” • Over the last decade, FirstEnergy made numerous bad business decisions and tried to force taxpayers or ratepayers to bail them out. Its current plea, however, is more dangerous than those it has made in the past. It would go beyond taxing consumers and trivialize national security. [pv magazine USA]

Sherco Generating Station (Image: Tony Webster
from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The True Cost of the Chernobyl Disaster Has Been Greater Than It Seems” • The Chernobyl Disaster happened on April 26, 1986. While the immediate destruction was downplayed, the long-term effects have become clearer with time. The world has already been overwhelmed by one Chernobyl and one exclusion zone. It cannot afford any more. [Yahoo News]

¶ “The value of offshore wind energy: What the US is missing out on” • The only offshore wind farm in the US is small, with five turbines. It is a 30-MW installation off the coast of Rhode Island switched on in 2016. By comparison, Europe now has 15,780 MW of offshore wind, according to Wind Europe, 526 times the US capacity. [Ars Technica]

Block Island wind farm (Photo: David L.
Ryan | The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

World:

¶ Company execs of the German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd announced plans aiming for a 20% carbon dioxide emissions reduction by 2020, compared to 2016. This move is reportedly part of broader company plans to participate in the reduction of global shipping industry emissions, as well as to switch to more efficient ships. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The EU’s Member states have voted in favor of an almost complete ban on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides across the region. Scientific studies have long linked their use to the decline of honeybees, wild bees and other pollinators. The move represents a major extension of existing restrictions, in place since 2013. [BBC]

Honey bees (Getty Images)

¶ Only weeks after Germans started talking seriously about bans on diesel vehicles, Bosch announced it has a new diesel emissions control system that may reduce emissions enough to extend the life of diesel. The company says the system will have emission levels 90% below the stringent new standards set to go into effect in Europe in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate released a new energy policy. Among other things, it envisages phasing out of all of the country’s coal power plants and covering 50% of its energy needs with renewables by 2030. The ministry intends to reduce average support levels for renewables to DKK0.10/kWh (1.6¢/kWh). [pv magazine International]

Danish solar farm (Image: Wirsol)

¶ Siemens Gamesa announced that it had received its largest ever wind turbine order in India. It sealed a 300-MW supply contract with Sembcorp Energy India Limited for a wind farm in the state of Gujarat. Earlier in April, Siemens Gamesa announced that it had installed 5,000 MW of wind capacity in India since it started operations there in 2009. [CleanTechnica]

¶ As the United States works to revitalize coal and other fossil fuel industries, China is reaffirming its efforts towards renewable energy. China’s National Energy Administration announced that the country would “ease the burden” on renewable power generators, ordering local governments to give them priority access. [RenewEconomy]

Floating solar array (Photo: VCG | VCG via Getty Images)

¶ The bottom of the inside of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s crippled No 2 reactor has been revealed in a much clearer and wider range in footage released by plant operator TEPCO. The film shows the clearest pictures yet inside the containment vessel just below the pressure vessel of the nuclear reactor, which melted down in 2011. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ Anthropogenic climate weirding will drive increasing volatility in the climate of California, with severe drought-to-flood events becoming more common as time goes by, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The events could potentially be debilitating for the state’s agriculture and industry. [CleanTechnica]

After the drought, not a relief

¶ In a bid to help more New Mexican residents, businesses, power providers, and municipalities turn to solar power, US Senator Martin Heinrich has launched an online solar toolkit that offers resources for those considering solar power, along with solar success stories and information on potential funding sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Massachusetts offshore wind development could be worth $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion to the US state over the next 10 years, a report from Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy said. It said deployment of 1.6 GW of offshore wind capacity could create between 2270 and 3170 jobs. [reNews]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Low Production Cost of Renewable Energy Will Drive Coal Production out of Business” • In last eight years, utility-scale solar costs have plummeted by 86% and wind energy prices have declined by 67%. Industry leaders expect significant decline in coal-fired and oil-fired generation, as solar power and storage grow. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

Wind power

¶ “Falling Grid-Scale Storage Prices Create ‘Watershed Moment'” • Energy storage has grown to the point where it can be used in place of new generating plants powered by new natural gas. Even some existing gas facilities may be replaced by renewables coupled with energy storage. We are on the brink of a watershed moment. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ More than 95% of the world’s population in 2016 (+7 billion) lived in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution, according to the annual report from the Health Effects Institute. Over 95% live in areas where WHO organization guidelines for air quality (which are themselves likely an underestimate) were exceeded. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution in China

¶ German manufacturer Nordex unveiled a 4.8-MW turbine designed for strong wind sites such as north-west Europe, the UK, and Norway. The N133/4.8 is an expansion of the Delta4000 series introduced last year and includes component elements from the N131 and N149 machines. Production is expected to begin in 2019. [reNews]

World:

¶ There are now almost 400,000 electric buses in the world, according to BNEF. Every week, China adds 1,900 more. All those electric buses are beginning to have an impact on the demand for diesel fuel. According to Bloomberg, by the end of this year, electric buses will be displacing 279,000 barrels of diesel fuel every day. [CleanTechnica]

Daily EV oil displacement (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ Just days after setting a record of 55 hours without using coal, Great Britain has smashed it with a new record by going a total of 76 hours without any coal generation. The UK electricity grid’s new record was set by going a total of 76 hours and 10 minutes, from April 21 through April 24, without burning any coal to generate electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ MHI Vestas announced that it will provide its 9.5 MW wind turbines to the 224-MW Northwester 2 offshore wind farm set to be developed in Belgian waters. This installation will be the first in which the record-setting 9.5 MW wind turbine will be installed and operational anywhere in the world. The design was unveiled last June. [CleanTechnica]

MHI Vestas offshore wind turbine

¶ A partnership between a local developer and South Korea’s Hanwha Group could bring two 100-MW battery energy storage projects to the Midlands of Ireland, the developer, Lumcloon Energy, has confirmed. Lumcloon, a locally headquartered company, said the projects would be built in Lumcloon itself and Shannonbridge. [Energy Storage News]

US:

¶ Americans used more solar and wind energy in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Overall, energy consumption by the residential and commercial sectors dropped a bit. Energy from both natural gas and coal declined. [Tech Xplore]

US energy flow in 2017 (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ Nearly 60% of American voters oppose tariffs recently imposed on imported solar cells and modules by US President Trump according to a new survey. This includes majorities in districts classified as “very red,” despite nearly 60% of Republicans favoring the tariffs. The survey had 1,999 registered US voters participating. [CleanTechnica]

¶ American University has achieved carbon neutrality, reaching its goal of having a net zero carbon footprint two years early, according to an announcement by University President Sylvia Burwell. She said AU was the “first carbon neutral university in the nation” and the first urban campus and research university to earn the distinction. [The Eagle]

Kogod School of Business at the American University
(Public domain photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a second renewable electricity solicitation for up to 20 large-scale projects. The call is expected to spur up to $1.5 billion in private investment. It is the second round run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority under the state’s Clean Energy Standard. [reNews]

¶ Google filed a public comment today criticizing the EPA’s proposal to roll back the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era policy that aims to cut power plant pollution. Google is joining Apple in arguing that keeping the policy is a good deal for the US. Google says that sticking with the plan will encourage investment in renewable energy. [The Verge]

Coal-fired plant (Photo: Mark Wilson | Getty Images)

¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA will repower 572 wind turbines in Texas under two separate agreements with a unit of NextEra Energy Resources. Siemens Gamesa will deliver hardware and control upgrades so the output of each unit will be increased from 660 kW to 710 kW and their life will be extended for 10 years. [Renewables Now]

¶ The South Carolina House insisted a utility cut its rate by 18% to eliminate a fee customers are paying for two nuclear plants that were abandoned before generating a watt of power. The vote was 104 to 7. The state Senate had earlier passed a 13% cut for South Carolina Electric & Gas customers, and the bills have to be reconciled. [Standard-Examiner]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The EPA Declared That Burning Wood Is Carbon Neutral. It’s Actually a Lot More Complicated” • Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, announced that it would begin to count the burning of “forest biomass” as carbon neutral. But according to many researchers, burning forest biomass will only make climate change much worse. [Smithsonian]

Forest (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Secret of the Great American Fracking Bubble” • In 2008, Aubrey McClendon was the highest paid Fortune 500 CEO in the US, earning $112 million per year running a fracking company, Chesapeake Energy. But the company did not make money by selling gas. Its real income was from buying and selling drilling rights. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶ China’s National Energy Administration announced that the country installed an impressive 9.65 GW of new solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2018, up 22% on the same period a year earlier and up on analysts’ projections. Last year, China installed a massive 52.83 GW worth of solar capacity in its own territory. [CleanTechnica]

Apple solar farm in China (Image via Apple)

¶ According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, India overtook the entire continents of North America and Europe in terms of solar power capacity added during 2017, and is only behind China. India added 9.63 GW of solar power capacity in 2017. The US added 8.2 GW last year, down from 11.3 GW in 2016.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ Acciona Energia is planning to build two wind farms and two solar projects in Chile. The projects will have a combined capacity of 400 MW. Construction is already underway of the 183-MW San Gabriel wind farm in the municipality of Renaico. The $300 million project is expected to come online in late 2019 or early 2020. [reNews]

Punta Palmeras wind farm in Chile (Credit Acciona)

¶ With the sharp decline in tariff bids of solar and wind energy projects in India, the country’s largest power generation company is now looking to replace some coal-based power supply with potentially cheaper renewable energy. NTPC Limited will call for bids to auction 2 GW of solar and wind energy capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ GE Renewable Energy and the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult signed a five-year research and development agreement which will see GE’s mammoth 12 MW Haliade-X wind turbine head to UK shores for the first time for extensive testing. The project is part of a larger R&D agreement between the organizations. [CleanTechnica]

GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X wind turbine

¶ Global wind energy capacity could increase by more than half over the next five years as costs continue to fall, a report by the Global Wind Energy Council shows. The market is expected to return to growth at the end of this decade. The GWEC said cumulative wind energy capacity stood at 539 GW at the end of last year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Ørsted is to build and operate a 20-MW energy storage project near Liverpool. The Carnegie Road battery will be the Danish company’s first venture into large-scale storage and is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year. A grid connection agreement and permits are already in place and construction is expected to start in May. [reNews]

Energy storage (Ørsted image)

¶ A Japanese company, Itochu, decided to leave the French-Japanese consortium building a nuclear power plant in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Sinop, Turkish online paper artıgerçek reported, citing the Japanese stock exchange Nikkei. The decision was made after a feasibility study that showed the cost of the plant almost doubled. [Ahval]

US:

¶ Washington DC’s Circulator transportation system has now deployed 14 new all-electric Proterra Catalyst E2 buses. The deployment makes the Washington DC Circulator System the operator of the largest all-electric bus fleet on the East Coast. It is not exactly Shenzhen, which has over 16,000 electric buses, but hey. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra Catalyst E2 electric bus

¶ The Trump administration said it would delay implementing fines on car makers that fail to meet the current standards on fuel economy. The National Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club sued, saying the delay was illegal. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the administration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A total of 1,568 MW of large-scale wind and 565 MW of large-scale solar power capacity became operational in the US in January and February 2018, according to a report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The only other source that added some capacity in the period was natural gas, which added 40 MW. [Renewables Now]

Iowa wind farm (Photo: Carl Wycoff, CC BY SA 2.0 Generic)

¶ Siemens Gamesa is to supply turbines with a combined capacity of 225 MW for an unnamed client and wind farm in Kansas. The order is for 98 2.3-108 SWT machines, which will be installed across 16,187 hectares of land. The blades will be made at a Siemens Gamesa facility in Iowa, and the nacelles and hubs will be made in Kansas. [reNews]

¶ The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is joining with the City of San Diego, non-profit Clean Coalition, and San Diego Gas & Electric to determine a city-wide plan for distributed power generation. They are planning on solar plus energy storage to increase the city’s electricity grid affordability, reliability, and resilience. [pv magazine USA]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables, Not Natural Gas, Should Replace Shuttered Nuclear Plants” • US utilities continue to announce the planned shutdown of nuclear power plants. Early retirement of these crumbling, outrageously expensive and dangerous plants is long overdue. But will they be replaced by polluting natural gas plants? [Environmental Working Group]

Davis-Besse nuclear plant (NRC photo, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ SoCalGas and Opus 12 announced a successful demonstration of a new process to convert unwanted carbon dioxide in raw biogas into methane via a single electrochemical step, Kallanish Energy reports. This represents a simpler method of converting excess renewable electricity into storable natural gas, according to the companies. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ The novel “supermaterial” graphene could hold the key to making one of the oldest building materials greener, scientific research suggests. Graphene has been incorporated into traditional concrete production by scientists at the University of Exeter to develop a composite stronger and more water-resistant than existing concrete. [The Guardian]

Graphene lattice (Image: nobeastsofierce | Alamy | Alamy)

World:

¶ Paris is fighting back against smog by restricting motor vehicle access in the center of the city and requiring all new buildings to have roofs that are covered with solar panels or vegetation. Now the two largest public transportation companies in the Paris area have decided they will have only zero emissions buses in their fleets by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ France is sitting on a tidal energy “goldmine” that could see as much as 2 GW of projects at Le Raz Blanchard off the Normandy coast by 2027, according to developer Atlantis. The company has submitted a strategic plan to the French government outlining how 1 GW of tidal power could be delivered by 2025 and 2 GW by 2027. [reNews]

Atlantis tidal turbine (Atlantis image)

¶ In a major relief to solar power project developers in India, the government exempted solar panels from customs duty. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has reclassified imported solar modules in order to provide the customs duty exemption. The CBITC had made them subject to a 7.5% customs duty in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Diu Smart City became the first city in India that runs on 100% renewable energy during daytime, setting a new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green. Diu, which is a town in the district by the same name in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu, had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until 2017. [Zee News]

Installing solar panels

¶ For the first time in history, the production cost of renewables is lower than that of fossil fuels, according to Kaiserwetter, a renewable energy asset manager. Fossil fuels presented costs between US $49 and $174 per MWh in the G20 countries during 2017, while renewable energy projects were between $35 and $54. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Costa Rica’s Electricity Institute signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, better known as Masdar, on a plan to exchange technical knowledge and experience in renewable energy projects. Under the MOU, the state company and Masdar will collaborate in numerous areas of technology. [Renewables Now]

Costa Rica (Richie Diesterheft, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ Sunrun, a leading solar company, has won the right to take its practically zero-down rooftop solar leasing program to Florida, under a ruling by the state’s Public Service Commission. The issue is that in Florida, it is illegal to sell electricity to somebody unless you are a utility. The Florida PSC ruling clarified that Sunrun is not a utility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Walt Disney World Resort has announced that it is partnering with developer Origis Energy USA to develop a new 50-MW solar project that will power two of its four theme parks in central Florida. The Walt Disney Company’s target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020 and already has a 5-MW system in operation. [CleanTechnica]

Disney’s 5-MW solar project near Epcot

¶ To win over big tech buyers (and the 20-year contracts they often promise), many energy companies are changing their policies to help tech companies hit their renewable energy targets. Focusing on renewable energy is often used as a way for companies to get an edge in the marketplace. Many see it as a competitive advantage. [ConsumerAffairs]

¶ New York State has announced a new energy efficiency target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and tackle climate change. The scheme aims to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion British thermal units below the energy use forecast for 2025. This is equivalent to the energy consumed by 1.8 million New York homes. [Energy Live News]

New York City (Shutterstock image)

¶ Hawaii’s public utilities commission is considering how to amend the traditional utility rules to support the state’s 100% renewable energy goals without being unfair to utility companies that have invested in traditional generation systems. Its latest proposal would encourage electric utilities to increase renewable energy investments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Lockheed Martin Corp hopes to launch a new flow battery made of inexpensive, nontoxic materials that can help utilities save money and use more renewable energy, company officials said. An earlier report said Lockheed hoped to introduce a flow battery by the end of 2018, but there are no details on what materials would be used. [ETEnergyworld.com]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “NEG will block renewables, favour hydro and big retailers” • Australian energy industry experts have thrown their weight behind a campaign to oppose the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee, describing it as a “woeful” outcome, both for Australia’s renewables sector, and for its emissions reduction and climate effort. [RenewEconomy]

Transmission lines

¶ “America’s Smart Grid Dreams Fading Without Congressional Support” • The US Congress has not allocated funding explicitly for the Smart Grid since the Obama stimulus package in 2009. Without Congressional support, the grid could develop in slow and piecemeal fashion, putting it at increased risk of being made up of  incompatible parts. [Forbes]

¶ “How to unlock renewables? Cheaper, cleaner, better batteries” • Advances in energy storage technology have propelled an explosion in portable electronics and radically changed the way people live, work and communicate. Batteries can help to make clean energy-based power plants a viable alternative to thermal power stations.  [eco-business.com]

Albany Wind Farm (Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Renewables Are Booming In Oil Country” • The rapid growth of the renewable energy sector has been astonishing. Both solar and wind continue to decline in operating costs, while increasing in energy efficiency. The combination is making it difficult for coal to recover and poses a challenge in what had been oil-dominant areas. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Hilo partnered with faculty at Duke and Cornell University to study algae production with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage technology. They created a model that uses carbon dioxide emissions from burning wood to grow algae, which can then be used for fuel or food. [Duke Chronicle]

Algae (Special to the Chronicle)

World:

¶ Debate is raging around Australia’s National Energy Guarantee and the requirements to meet its proposed emissions and reliability obligations. As this goes on, corporates are expected to account for the bulk of new wind and solar projects that are developed. Some are installing microgrids, others are building solar or wind projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ In the first quarter of 2018, sales of electric cars in China doubled compared to the same period last year, to over 122,000 units. In March electric car sales surged to 59,000 units, up 85% year over year. Last month, the Chinese OEMs represented roughly 40% of all PEVs registered globally. Last year, China had 46% for the year. [CleanTechnica]

BAIC EC-Series, China’s best-selling electric car

¶ An Irish company, Lumcloon Energy, is to invest €150 million in two battery storage centers that will boost use of renewable energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuel-fired power plants. The firm has partnered with Korean firms Hanwha Energy Corporation and LSIS to develop two 100-MW sustainable energy projects. [Independent.ie]

¶ India’s Hero Future Energies Pvt Ltd has commissioned a hybrid renewable power plant combining 50 MW of wind and 28.8 MW of solar power capacity in the state of Karnataka. As part of the project, the Indian firm installed PV panels in the spaces between turbines powering an existing 50-MW wind farm the company owns. [Renewables Now]

Solar plus wind hybrid

¶ Four of Nigeria’s federal universities and university teaching hospitals in the country have signed engineering, procurement, and construction contracts to develop mini-grid solutions. A total of 9.3 MW of PV and 5,760 battery cells will be deployed to power the facilities, which will be disconnected from the electric grid. [pv magazine International]

¶ Sunsure Energy finished FY18 with commissioning of their largest turnkey solar plant project, a 20-MW solar power plant. Situated in the Davangeri district, this project is spread over 75 acres of land and will generate enough clean energy to power more than 8,000 urban households in Karnataka through the next 25 years. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

¶ Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis over the North’s nuclear program will be put to their first test Friday when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the heavily fortified border area. That meeting may be a precursor to a summit by Kim with President Donald Trump in May or June. [Stars and Stripes]

US:

¶ When Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office next year, California will lose a climate advocate who has carried the nation’s fight against global warming as Washington has stood down. Many of the Democratic candidates seeking to replace Brown say they will stick to his climate agenda. Some of them want to step up the effort. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Wind turbines (Photo: Michael Macor | The Chronicle)

¶ Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he is giving $4.5 million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat to cover a US failure to help fund the international Paris climate accord. Bloomberg’s charitable foundation said the money will support work by developing countries to achieve emissions targets. [Voice of America]

¶ Drivers of electric cars in Oklahoma will soon be able to charge their vehicles much more easily. The Oklahoman reports that vehicle charging stations will soon be set up at Walmart stores in the Sooner State. For now, four or five Walmarts in Oklahoma will receive the charging stations, with the possibility of more to come in the future. [HPPR]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “‘Greening’ project could end use of fossil fuel for Centennial Flame” • Natural gas piped from the West has been bubbling through the fountain in the Centennial Flame monument for 50 years, but the federal government is studying options to make it more eco-friendly. Will the Centennial Flame become the Centennial LED? [CBC.ca]

The Centennial Flame (Philippe Turgeon | CBC)

¶ “We can fix this: Don’t be dispirited by Big Oil’s power in the age of Trump – real climate change solutions are in reach” • How much time do we have? The scientists have long warned us that warming by 2° (3.6° F) would be reckless. We are far more than halfway there, but with clear and ambitious targets, we can limit warming. [New York Daily News]

World:

¶ Electric vehicle fever has definitely caught on in Germany, with March coming in as a record month and echoing France’s record electric car sales month. Diesel-powered car sales sank by a quarter, regular gasoline-powered cars are up 9%, CNG cars are up 519% (to 1,046 units), plug-in hybrids are up 32%, and fully electric cars are up 73%. [CleanTechnica]

VW e-Golf 2

¶ Average used plug-in electric vehicle resale prices rose by 41% in the UK during the first quarter of the year, according to a report at Autorola. The overall used car resale price rose 5.3% during the first quarter, an increase that is presumably comes with lower discretionary income among much of the population in recent times. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The  nonprofit Kopernik runs its Wonder Women program in Eastern Indonesia to empower local women with the resources needed to start their own cleantech businesses. Kopernik trains local women on a variety of clean tech solutions including solar lanterns, water filters, and biomass stoves needing half the fuel of traditional fires. [CleanTechnica]

Kopernik

¶ State Bank of India announced that it has saved ₹125 crore ($18.8 million) in the last eight years by putting up 10 wind turbines, and it expects to save ₹30 crore ($4.5 million) annually through its renewable energy investments. The bank installed 10 windmills having a capacity of 1.5 MW each and also invested in solar power. [Greater Kashmir]

¶ The world’s most powerful wind turbine, which was installed in the sea off the coast of Aberdeen, is the first of eleven such beasts that will make up the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. The wind farm will cost £300 million to build. A single propeller rotation can reportedly power an average home for a whole day. [Wired.co.uk]

Wind turbine off Aberdeen (TVP Film and Multimedia Ltd)

US:

¶ In California, the Straus Family Creamery announced several ongoing sustainability initiatives leading up to Earth Day. The creamery has long practiced sustainable organic farming. Straus’ newer innovative programs range from resilient packaging and water conservation to carbon-free energy and electric vehicle usage. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ Virginia has been slow to realize the benefits of clean energy technologies. This session, however, legislators have passed bills that will take meaningful steps toward increasing utility investment in renewable energy and modernizing Virginia’s framework for evaluating and approving utility efficiency programs. [Richmond.com]

Solar panels in Louisa County (2016, Times-Dispatch)

¶ The Sierra Club held its second annual Arkansas March for Science rally today at Little Rock, the state capitol. The Sierra Club has a message for local elected officials: science matters to everyone. It is demanding that the elected officials both support and rely on science when making important public policy decisions. [THV11.com KTHV]

¶ A DOE website says the US and Russia each have 34 metric tons of plutonium designated for destruction under a treaty signed in 2010. That is enough to make 17,000 nuclear weapons. But the United States has no permanent plan for what to do with its share. Scientists say solving the problem of plutonium storage is urgent. [The Japan Times]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Market forces are driving a clean energy revolution in the US” • Transforming US energy systems away from coal and toward clean energy was once a vision touted mainly by environmentalists. Now it is shared by market purists. Today, affordable renewable energy is driving coal production and coal-fired generation out of business. [Source]

Block Island Wind (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA)

¶ “What steps can the UK take to reach net zero emissions by 2050?” • UK Government plans announced this week seek a zero-carbon economy in the next 30 years. This means more wind farms, solar power, and electric cars. Less obvious changes could include smart houses, smart roads, and widespread changes in forestry and farming. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced that it has secured an order for 100 MW of wind turbines in Mexico, as part of the most recent renewable energy auction held in the country in November of 2017. Mexico’s third Long-term Auction for renewables awarded 2.5 GW of new projects at an average price of $20.57/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in New Mexico (Photo: Lars Schmidt)

¶ London-based financial services giant HSBC, the biggest bank in Europe, published an update to its energy policy. It announced a new decision to cease financing new coal-fired power plants around the world, with the exceptions of Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam. It is effectively ceasing support in 78 developed countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency, and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century sheds new light on the policy barriers to increased deployment of renewables. The report also provides a range of options for policymakers to scale-up their ambitions. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar farm

¶ A report released recently by the Australian Wind Alliance has provided some fascinating insights about the economic benefits produced by Australian wind farms. Their construction has resulted in an almost $4 billion contribution to the Australia economy. Over half of this value was generated in the last 5 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UAE was the second-largest investor in the renewable energy sector in the Middle East and Africa last year, investing $2.2 billion, up 2,815% over the previous year. The UAE recorded the second highest growth after Rwanda’s 8,665% as the African country invested $400 million in the renewable energy sector in 2017. [ZAWYA]

Shams 1 (Masdar | Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya)

US:

¶ The Defense Production Act of 1950 gives the president power to implement subsidies for domestically produced materials in the name of national defense, including energy supplies. The Trump administration is reportedly considering this law as a way the president could fulfill his promises to help out uncompetitive nuclear and coal plants. [Greentech Media]

¶ Five New England liberal arts colleges have joined together to create a solar power facility that will offset 46,000 MWh of the total amount of electricity they use. The participating colleges are Bowdoin, Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, and Williams. The facility will be built in Farmington, Maine, and is expected to open in 2019. [MassLive.com]

Hampshire College PV array (Republican file, Diane Lederman)

¶ Ride-hailing service Lyft has announced a plan to purchase enough carbon credits to make all its global operations carbon neutral. Lyft will also fund “emission mitigation efforts, including the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, forestry projects, and the capture of emissions from landfills.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Together, the US Geological Survey and the Department of Energy, in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the American Wind Energy Association, have published the most complete online database and interactive map of wind turbines in the United States. It has data on 57,000 turbines. [CleanTechnica]

USWTDB image

¶ A report released by the Elemental Excelerator, which is based in Honolulu, said Hawaii can achieve 84% of its clean energy goal by 2030, more than double the state’s target for that year, and that it would be cheaper than not doing anything. The report said reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045 could save the state $7 billion. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

¶ GE Renewable Energy announced orders totalling $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2018, up 15% on the same quarter last year. The company has secured commitments for 2.9 GW of onshore wind in North America following the introduction of the variably rated 2.2-MW to 2.5-MW turbine with 127-metre rotor, first quarter results show. [reNews]

GE wind turbine (GE image)

¶ A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to repeal tariffs on imported solar products. “Under this legislation, duties and tariffs would default back to previous rates and would allow companies that imported any affected solar products under this new tariff to receive retroactive reimbursement,” a press release said. [Greentech Media]

¶ Two solar development companies are complaining to state regulators that Detroit-based DTE Energy Co is throwing up roadblocks to their plans to build solar power arrays with total capacity of up to 800 MW in Southeast Michigan. The complaints say DTE is obliged under state and federal law to purchase their electricity. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Cost, Schmost! Energy Dept Touts Coal-Killing Atlantic Offshore Wind” • The US offshore wind industry ran into some mighty stiff headwinds under the Obama Administration. Now, the logjam is breaking up, and the Trump Administration is overseeing a burst of activity along the Atlantic Coast. Does that sound a bit weird? [CleanTechnica]

Erecting an offshore wind turbine

¶ “OH & PA Will Transition From Nuclear Energy – But How?” • Bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions is seeking customer-funded bailouts or, it says, it will close three nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The debate over uneconomical plants is heating up, including the prospect of replacing them with shale-gas-fired plants. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

World:

¶ Element Power has taken over the development of the up-to-750-MW North Irish Sea Array offshore wind site off the coast of Ireland from Gaelectric. The move marks Element Power’s entry into the offshore wind sector. The company said it has been assessing the market to determine the best entry point for its capabilities. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm (reNews image)

¶ The Canada Green Building Council has announced the first building certified under their new Zero Carbon standard, an office building in Waterloo, Ontario. The building was built by the Cora Group and designed by Stantec. Waterloo is a hotbed of technology startups (it is where the Blackberry came from) and continues to thrive.  [Treehugger]

¶ How can you create public transport in the jungle without polluting it? The isolated Achuar peoples of Ecuador have come up with an ingenious solution. Since April 2017, a canoe powered solely by solar energy travels back and forth along the 67-km (42-mile) stretch of the Capahuari and Pastaza rivers that connect their settlements. [BBC]

Commuting to school

¶ After an agreement for further work to be done on the national energy guarantee, Lily D’Ambrosio, the energy minister for Victoria, wrote to the Energy Security Board, asking for detailed analysis of it. The stand-off between the Turnbull government and the Australian states over energy policy seems to be shifting into its decisive phase. [The Guardian]

¶ No coal was used for power generation by stations in the UK during the 55 hours from 10:25 pm in London on Monday, April 16, until 5:10 am on Thursday, April 19, according to grid data compiled by Bloomberg. During the same time, wind turbines produced more power. Coal is increasingly losing out to power sources that are renewable. [Bloomberg]

Boat in a wind farm (Photo: Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg)

¶ National Thermal Power Corporation, India’s largest coal-based power generator, will back down thermal power at some of its units to blend with renewable energy and sell the two together. The company has placed a tender to procure 2,000 MW of solar and wind power which will be bundled with the non-pithead units. [Business Standard]

US:

¶ Sun Flyer’s Sun Flyer 2 electric airplane has completed its successful maiden test flight at the Centennial Airport near Denver, Colorado. Though the company has not decided on a final system, it used LG Chem’s MJ1 lithium-ion battery cells in the test. The battery pack will push out 260 Wh/kg, enough for a 3.5-hour flight. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Sun Flyer 2

¶ Two years ahead of schedule, Bowdoin College has achieved carbon neutrality. Onsite carbon emissions were reduced by 29%, with remaining emissions offset with renewable energy credits from wind farms. Bowdoin also announced a renewable energy project partnership that will result in the largest solar array in the state of Maine. [Bowdoin]

¶ Wells Fargo plans to put $200 billion into investments and financing for new renewable energy and clean technology from now through 2030, according to Tim Sloan, the bank’s Chief Executive. The bank is making a company-wide effort to support and be part of the transition to a low-carbon economy, he said in a call. [GreenBiz]

Solar farm (Shutterstock | Roschetzky Photography)

¶ With Earth Day only days off, Democratic and Republican legislators from from both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are introducing legislation to make the state a leader in efforts to solve climate change. Newly introduced legislation would transition Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy by 2050. [Bucks Local News]

¶ We have never seen change in the energy space like we’re seeing right now, and “from here, things will only pick up.” So said Greg Scheu, president of ABB’s America’s Region, delivering the a keynote address at a conference. Swiss-based ABB is a pioneer in electrification products, robotics, power grids, and industrial automation. [WRAL Tech Wire]

Solar Impulse 2

¶ Invenergy is to supply electricity to MGM Resorts International from a 100-MW solar project located 40 km (24 miles) north of Las Vegas.  The MGM-Invenergy solar project, which is expected to  be operational by the end of 2020, will help power thirteen properties on the Las Vegas strip belonging to MGM Resorts International. [reNews]

¶ The Senate narrowly confirmed Rep Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla), a former Navy pilot with no scientific credentials and who doesn’t believe humans are primarily to blame for the global climate crisis, to lead NASA. He joins a Cabinet already loaded with deniers of the near-universal scientific consensus on climate change. [Huffington Post]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.

April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ A study published in the journal Nature examined coral reefs suffering from warming waters. Die-offs since 2014 have hit every part of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine heat waves causing bleaching struck three-quarters of the world’s coral reefs, and the heat waves that cause corals to die struck almost a third of them, the researchers said. [CNN]

Coral bleaching

World:

¶ The Chinese government announced that it will eliminate the 50-50 rule, which requires foreign manufacturers to be equal partners with local companies, for makers of battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars. For companies making commercial vehicles, the rule will expire in 2020 and will disappear completely by 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Saudi Arabia has received four offers from local and European bidders in a 400-MW wind tender and, according to sources cited by The National, the award is expected in June. Saudi Arabia recently awarded a 300-MW contract, and its wind and solar tenders support the country’s goal to have 9.5 GW of renewables in 2023. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (Ville-Matti Kaartinen, CC-BY-SA)

Wind turbines (Ville-Matti Kaartinen, CC-BY-SA)

¶ The UK confirmed its membership in Indian-led International Solar Alliance, which was created to provide affordable and sustainable energy to more than one billion poor people worldwide. ISA aims to raise $1 trillion of private and public finance to provide access to cheap, clean and renewable energy to all by 2030. [Power Technology]

¶ ICRA Ratings said Indian wind power capacity addition will improve to 3 GW over this fiscal year, backed by project awards by Solar Energy Corporation of India and state utilities. The SECI and the distribution utilities in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu have issued bids for wind capacity of 7.5 GW over the past 14 months. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind turbines reflected in the water

¶ Italian oil company, Eni has presented its Strategic Plan for the period of 2018 to 2021. The plan includes the construction of 220 MW of solar power plants at several of the group’s industrial sites in Italy. The projects are expected to start commercial operations in 2021. Eni has already identified 25 industrial sites for the power plants. [pv magazine International]

US:

¶ On Monday, the Puerto Rican power utility boasted that it had restored electricity to 97% in the nearly seven months since Hurricane Maria. Two days later, the precarious electric grid collapsed as a result of a minor accident, plunging the entire island into a blackout. According to officials, the power should be restored in 24 to 36 hours. [The Guardian]

Living without power (Getty Images)

¶ Many Puerto Rican families staying on the mainland since Hurricane Maria were relying on FEMA to extend vouchers they depend on for housing until May 14. But on April 16, FEMA told evacuees the aid would be cut off by April 20. The fact that the FEMA has not restored utilities at their homes does not qualify them for help. [Orlando Weekly]

¶ Wind power generated a record 6.3% share of all US electricity last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s newly released US Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2017. Last year, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota generated over 30% of their electricity from wind energy, data in the the report showed. [OilPrice.com]

Wind power on the farm

¶ Walmart announced that suppliers have reported reducing more than 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the global value chain, as part of Walmart’s Project Gigaton initiative. Project Gigaton seeks to work with suppliers to reduce emissions from the company’s value chain by a billion metric tons, by 2030. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Michigan utility regulators will soon decide on DTE Energy’s proposal to replace an old coal plant with a $1 billion natural gas plant. The plan has drawn fierce opposition. Both sides have increasingly focused on a simpler question: Must DTE comply with new state guidelines for proving power plants meet the public’s interest? [Bridge Michigan]

St Clair coal-fired plant (Bridge photo by Jim Malewitz)

¶ Alliant Energy Corp received approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to add 1,000 MW of wind energy in Iowa by 2020. The company is planning to invest $1.8 billion to boost renewable energy. The wind energy can provide power for  approximately 430,000 homes. Alliant Energy currently owns and operates four wind firms in the state. [Nasdaq]

¶ In a walk-the-talk move, California Gov Brown now has a solar plus storage microgrid serving his new home, a ranch north of Sacramento. Like 1.4 billion others in the world, the isolated home had no access to an electric grid. The Brown Ranch microgrid has 48 solar panels and 10 SimpliPhi PHI 3.4 kWh, 48-V batteries. [Microgrid Knowledge]

System at Gov Brown’s ranch (PRNewsfoto | SimpliPhi Power)

¶ The city of Boulder, Colorado, along with Boulder County and San Miguel County, filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor in state court. They are seeking to recover some of the costs associated with climate change impacts. The case is just the latest of many lawsuits to try to hold the major carbon polluters accountable. [Sierra Magazine]

¶ South Carolina lawmakers agree that they want to slash SCANA Corp’s electricity rates in the wake of the company’s failed nuclear project. The state Senate has moved to make SCANA and its subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas, absorb more of the cost of its effort to expand the VC Summer nuclear plant, at least temporarily. [Charleston Post Courier]

geoharvey is free and without ads.
Donate with PayPal
geoharvey is not tax-deductible.