December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest smartphone maker, joined on Thursday a growing list of companies that are promising to increase their use of solar and other renewable energy to help curb global warming. Samsung, part of South Korea’s biggest corporate group, is the first Asian electronics manufacturer to join a movement spearheaded by Apple Inc. and other Silicon Valley companies.The South Korean tech giant said it would use more renewable energy at factories and other operations in the United States, Europe and China but still would rely on local power grids that use fossil fuels and, to compensate for that, would buy credits from outside renewable energy suppliers. The company said it had not determined which providers it might use.Other companies that have joined the renewable energy pledge, dubbed RE 100, include automakers General Motors Co. and BMW AG and a handful of other manufacturers. Most are in less energy-intensive technology and service industries.The maker of Galaxy smartphones faces bigger challenges due to its vast factory network in more than 30 countries, while many of the Silicon Valley names on the list rely on outside contractors for manufacturing.The company faced growing pressure from clients for its manufacturing services, some of whom had called on their suppliers to make a similar commitment. Apple, a major customer for Samsung’s chips and display panels, said in April it would push its supply chain to switch to renewable energy.Samsung gave no renewable energy target for facilities in its home country of South Korea, where about three quarters of the energy comes from coal and nuclear power. It also declined to give a target for Vietnam, which has become its largest manufacturing base for smartphones.More: Samsung joins global pledge to increase renewable energy use Samsung joins corporate renewable energy pushlast_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:It was 1997, and stakeholders were working hard to help craft the first renewable energy standard in the State of Massachusetts, which ultimately passed as part of an electric utility restructuring act. At that time, the notion that Massachusetts would be one of the top solar states in the country was almost laughable, recalls Rob Sargent, who currently leads the energy program at Environment America. Today, renewable energy is taking off in virtually every state in the nation.A new report and interactive map released this week by Environment America takes stock of U.S. clean energy progress to date. It finds that leadership is no longer concentrated in select parts of the country, but that it is distributed across states with varying economic and democratic makeups.The Renewables on the Rise report highlights how much has changed in a relatively short period of time, which can be easy to forget. Today, the U.S. produces nearly six times as much renewable electricity from the sun and the wind as it did in 2008, and nine states now get more than 20 percent of their electricity from renewables.Last year, the U.S. produced a record amount of solar power, generating 39 times more solar power than a decade ago. In 2008, solar produced 0.05 percent of electricity in the U.S. But by the end of 2017, solar generation reached more than 2 percent of the electricity mix — enough to power 7 million average American homes.Wind has also seen dramatic growth over the last decade. From 2008 through 2017, American wind energy generation grew nearly fivefold. Last year, wind turbines produced 6.9 percent of America’s electricity, enough to power nearly 24 million homes. And the forecast shows even more growth as America’s offshore wind industry begins to take off.Meanwhile, the average American uses nearly 8 percent less energy today than a decade ago, thanks in large part to energy efficiency improvements.More: No Longer a Novelty, Clean Energy Technologies Boom All Across the U.S. Report highlights spread of renewable energy across U.S.last_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgSecond subsidy-free solar-plus-storage facility opens in U.K. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:German battery manufacturer Tesvolt today announced the completion of a 7.4 MW PV power plant and 4.4 MW battery installation. The system was commissioned by West Sussex County Council in mid-October; and has now successfully completed its testing phase.As with the first subsidy free solar project in the UK, developed by Anesco, additional income brought in by the co-located battery is key to the business model: “Thanks to the high-voltage storage system, the local government earns additional money with grid services,” explains German manufacturer Tesvolt, which supplied the battery system. “Power generated at the solar farm will be sold on the electricity wholesale market. The batteries will generate additional income from price arbitrage, frequency services and triad management/ capacity market income.”Westhampnett Solar Farm is built on a disused landfill site, and is expected to provide enough power for more than 2,000 homes for the next 25 years. “it makes absolute sense for us to use our natural resources and to generate clean energy that can be fed in to the local electricity grid,” said County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith. “As one of the first solar farms to be built with battery storage and free from government subsidy, we are blazing a trail among local authorities and demonstrating that councils have a role to play as local leaders on energy.”While solar installations in the UK have largely ground to a halt since the government ended subsidies, a few business models have shown the ability to go subsidy free – particularly by leveraging the additional grid services a battery can provide.More: More subsidy free solar + storage for the U.K.last_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:In an arid, lunar-like landscape in the sunny highlands of northern Argentina, South America’s largest solar farm is rising, powered by funding and technology from China.Local officials said they had sought help at home, the United States and Europe without success. Potential lenders and partners, they said, were spooked by the project’s size and the fiscal woes of Jujuy province, one of the poorest in the country.The Import-Export Bank of China saw it differently. The state-funded institution financed 85 percent of the project’s nearly $400-million price tag. At 3 percent annual interest over 15 years, it is “cheap money” for Jujuy, a person familiar with the terms said. The catch: the province had to purchase nearly 80 percent of the materials from Chinese suppliers.The project, known as Cauchari, is a testament to the rising clout of Beijing as a backer of big projects in cash-strapped emerging markets. And it is helping China cement its standing as the world’s leader in clean-energy technology.At a time when [U.S. President Donald] Trump is doubling down on fossil fuels and withdrawing the United States from global partnerships, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s sprawling “Belt and Road” initiative aims to put Chinese companies and innovation at the center of infrastructure development worldwide, including next-generation power sources.“It is a way of expanding China’s growing global presence and dominant economic force, and it progressively reorients the world from the U.S. and European-centric view of the last fifty years,” said Tim Buckley, director for the U.S-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.More: On South America’s largest solar farm, Chinese power radiates China funding South America’s largest solar development project in Argentinalast_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:If Florida Power and Light (FPL) had already been off and running with the handful of projects related to the “30 by 30” plan, then the utility has now entered a dead sprint. Today the utility announced that it is beginning construction on 10 projects across Florida, all clocking in at that magical “30 by 30” capacity of 74.5 MW.Usually when we talk about unprecedented development, it’s in the terms of one large, singular project. However, regardless of the separate locations, what is impressive about this is the total scale: 745 MW.The plants are set to be located in Charlotte, Hendry, DeSoto, Suwannee, Palm Beach, Baker, Okeechobee, Manatee, Martin and Putnam counties. FPL expects all of the projects to be completed by early 2020, however firm timelines will become clear later in the construction process. Even without a hard date, getting 745 MW operational in close to one year is no easy feat.Once completed, these projects will increase FPL’s installed capacity by 60%, which is impressive, because usually when a figure like that is stated it’s referencing a 100 MW project in a state with just over 100 MW installed, it’s made only more monumental when that number is 60% of a utility that has already installed over 1.25 GW of solar. All in all, these projects will generate enough electricity to power roughly 150,000 homes.Following the completion of these plants, FPL will have 28 plants in operation. And, of these 10 projects, six of them will support SolarTogether, the utility’s flagship community solar program, one which will be the largest in the country if and when it is approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.More: FPL opens the floodgates on a tidal wave of solar Florida utility begins construction on 745MW of new solar generationlast_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:North Dakota oil drillers are falling far short of the state’s goals to limit the burning of excess natural gas at well heads, five years after the state adopted the rules to reduce the wasteful and environmentally harmful practice.The industry has spent billions of dollars on infrastructure but is at least two years from catching up, and regulators are projecting that the state’s increasing gas production will still outstrip that new capacity.Environmentalists and even a key Republican say the problem will persist as long as the state doesn’t take a tougher approach with the industry, which has largely avoided financial penalties.Flaring is the practice of burning off natural gas that is produced as a byproduct of oil drilling. It’s a picturesque feature of the oil patch, especially at night, but it means wasted money and unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions that worsen global warming.In 2014, when more than one-third of that gas was being burned off, North Dakota began requiring oil companies to limit flaring to no more than 15 percent by 2016, and to 10 percent by 2020. The national average for flaring is less than 1 percent.In March, drillers produced a record 2.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, but about 20 percent of it went up in flames. That was well above the current limit of 12 percent — and was enough to heat all North Dakota homes for a month 10 times over, according to an analysis by the Legislature’s research agency. March also was the 13th month in a row that drillers missed the target.More: As North Dakota oil soars, so does waste of natural gas North Dakota drillers flaring up to 20% of monthly natural gas productionlast_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:The company that operates a coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana said Tuesday it will close two of the plant’s four units about 30 months ahead of schedule because of the high cost of running them and the unwillingness of its coal supplier to lower prices.Talen Montana said in a statement the older units of the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, whose combined 614-megawatt capacity is co-owned by Talen and Puget Sound Energy, will be permanently retired on Dec. 31. The newer Colstrip units, which generate the bulk of the 2,100-megawatt plant’s output and are owned by six companies, will continue operating although those whose livelihoods depend on the plant worry it also may be shuttered early.The partial closure would be the latest among coal-fired plants that are going offline across the nation as demand for coal drops, the market turns to cheap natural gas and renewable energy, environmental regulations increase coal power costs and states worried about the effects of climate change seek to divest of their power supply that’s generated by coal.The older units had been slated for closure by mid-2022 as part of a settlement in an environmental lawsuit. The decision to retire the units early came after an extensive review and exhaustive efforts to make the units economically viable, Talen Montana President Dale Lebsack said.“Fuel constitutes the bulk of our operating cost, and our repeated efforts to negotiate lower fuel prices with Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, the plant’s sole and only historically permitted fuel supplier, have been rebuffed.” Lebsack said in the statement. “Rather than working with us to keep Units 1 and 2 open, Westmoreland is proposing to increase the units’ fuel cost going forward.”Republican state Sen. Duane Ankney, whose district includes Colstrip, said Tuesday’s announcement doesn’t appear to be a negotiating ploy. “They’re bleeding several million dollars,” Ankney said. “I might be wrong, but if I had to make a bet, I’d say this isn’t a tactic, this is what’s going to happen.”More: Operator: 2 units of Montana coal plant to close this year Talen to close two units at Colstrip by end of 2019last_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Power plant owners with plans to retire the most coal-fired capacity in the next several years said they would not change course based on the Trump administration’s scaled-back replacement of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.The Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE, rule was finalized June 19 and uses a narrower interpretation of the agency’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Still, several plant operators with scheduled retirements of their coal-fired facilities have either publicly indicated or told S&P Global Market Intelligence those plans have not changed.Despite President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to revive the U.S. coal sector, domestic power producers have retired coal capacity at a fairly steady pace since 2014, even as the Clean Power Plan was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court and later replaced completely. Moody’s said despite the rule requiring minimal investment from coal plant operators to comply, ACE would “not materially slow the nationwide transition away from coal due to the current low natural gas price environment,” an assessment that was shared by Fitch Ratings.“The new rule may result in a slower decline in coal-fired generation; however, it will not change the dynamics that have driven dramatic increases in both natural-gas fired and renewable generation,” Fitch Ratings wrote in a June email.While the largest amount of retirements in the last few years occurred in 2015 when 15.1 GW of coal-fired capacity came offline, the second-highest year for coal plant retirements was last year, when 13.5 GW was taken offline. Another 9.7 GW is scheduled to retire in 2019.While the economics of natural gas and renewable energy compared to coal are driving much of the shift, Duke Energy Corp. spells out that part of the issue is growing public concern about climate change. Duke Energy Indiana LLC’s integrated resource plan moves up the planned retirement of more than 4,100 MW of coal capacity by shutting down its Cayuga and Gibson plants by 2038.More ($): Coal plant operators stick to closure plans despite Trump’s changes to CO2 rules Utilities say new emission rules won’t change their coal plant retirement planslast_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:President Donald Trump tried to stop it from happening. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, did too.Despite their best efforts to make good on Trump’s campaign promise to save the beleaguered coal industry, including an eleventh-hour pressure campaign, the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant at Paradise burned its last load of coal last month.The plant’s closure — in a county that once mined more coal than any other in the nation — is emblematic of the industry’s decades long decline due to tougher environmental regulations, a major push toward renewable energy and a rise in the extraction of natural gas. The shuttering of businesses nationwide and a reduced need for energy amid the global coronavirus pandemic threatens to deal coal yet another devastating blow.When coal-burning plants close, coal mining loses its best customer. Since 2010, 500 coal-burning units, or boilers, at power plants have been shut down and nearly half the nation’s coal mines have closed. No U.S. energy company, big or small, is building a new coal-burning plant.Electric utilities are telling investors and customers that coal costs too much, mostly because of the money it costs to offset environmental effects, such as the release of carbon dioxide. Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, informed its clients in January that it would no longer invest in companies that get more than 25% of their revenue from burning coal.When the TVA announced it was shutting down the Paradise plant last year, Trump ally and then-Gov. Matt Bevin held a rally in the county, while Senate Majority Leader McConnell publicly urged the board to keep the unit open in his home state. Seemingly working in their favor was that four of the seven board members had been appointed by Trump. But even that wasn’t enough. The Paradise plant’s last coal-burning unit was closed by the Trump-majority board, because of a TVA staff recommendation that keeping the plant open didn’t make economic sense.[Dylan Lovan]More: Iconic plant’s end spells doom for struggling coal industry TVA burns last coal at 1,150MW Paradise plantlast_img read more

December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgAGL to build 250MW/1,000MWh battery in South Australia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:AGL, the country’s biggest coal generator and biggest polluter, on Saturday a announced that it is to build a massive 250MW big battery in South Australia, with four hours of storage, making it the longest duration big battery to be built in Australia.Importantly, the 250MW, 1000MWh battery will be built at the site of the ageing Torrens Island gas generator, which is to due to close within a few years once a new transmission link in built from South Australia to NSW, and as more renewables and grid-scale batteries displace gas generation in the supply of bulk energy and key grid services.The significance of this battery is the four hours of storage, the first in Australia, which suggests that AGL now sees batteries as competitive with gas generators to meet peak demand periods, and to operate primarily to shift the supply of wind and solar to when it is needed most.Other batteries – such as the original Tesla big battery at Hornsdale, and the newly unveiled Victorian big battery near Geelong – have focused on providing grid services, so only require a short duration in storage.AGL plans to roll out 850MW of energy storage across the National Electricity Market by 2023/24, which includes its previously announced 200MW of big battery installations with two hours storage with Maoneng, a 100MW/150MWh battery at Wandoan in Queensland, and a big battery – possibly as big as 500MW – at the soon to be closed Liddell coal fired power station AGL already operates the smaller 30MW/8MWh Dalrymple North big battery in South Australia, which has a specific task of providing grid services and back-up power and an “islanding” capability on the Yorke Peninsula.[AGL CEO Brett] Redman, who has previously hailed the “dawn of the battery age”, said it was clear that batteries would make a significant contribution to a renewables dominated grid. “We know in order to achieve this target, investment in large scale energy storage like grid-scale batteries is critical,” Redman said. “We also know this is a future South Australians are also committed to achieving and we believe batteries will play a leading role in this transition.”[Giles Parkinson]More: AGL sets new storage benchmark with 1,000MWh big battery in South Australialast_img read more