In New Mexico, Diversification Through Solar

first_imgIn New Mexico, Diversification Through Solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Hannah Grover of the Farmington Daily Times:Solar energy is slowly gaining a foothold in San Juan County as local cities engage in renewable energy projects. From Bloomfield’s electric performance contract to Aztec’s solar field and Farmington’s community solar project, local governments are embracing renewable energy.The electric performance contract involved upgrading lighting on city of Bloomfield buildings such as the senior center and the municipal operations center. Solar panels also were installed on the Bloomfield parks department building, the municipal operations building, a fire station and the senior center.Teresa Brevik, the projects manager, said electricity is one of the larger recurring expenses for the city, and the lighting upgrades and solar panels are expected to save Bloomfield approximately $40,000 a year.Rodney Romero, the Farmington Electric Utility System director, said an increased portfolio of renewable energy is something customers have been demanding.In addition to local cities, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority also has been investing in solar. On Saturday, members of the Navajo Nation Council attended a groundbreaking for the Kayenta solar facility, located on about 300 acres of land west of Kayenta, Ariz.The solar facility is the first large-scale solar farm in the Navajo Nation, according to a press release from Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker. It is expected to provide the utility with about 27.5 megawatts of energy after construction is completed by the end of the year.Solar projects add to energy diversitylast_img read more

Spanish government looks to reform energy sector

first_imgSpanish government looks to reform energy sector FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:The Spanish government is exploring ways to persuade investors to finance a 100 billion-euro ($116 billion) transformation of its energy system as it tries to move beyond past policy mistakes that led to widespread losses and lawsuits.The Socialist administration is drawing up plans to expand renewable power generation, modernize its transport system and refit buildings to make them more energy efficient through 2030. But the effort to mobilize private investment is hampered by ongoing legal disputes from the party’s last green energy push a decade ago, which saw over-generous solar power subsidies cut retroactively.“We have to craft carefully a proposal that is adequate, credible and sound in terms of new investments, both for national and foreign investors, and also providing some recognition about what happened,” Teresa Ribera, minister for the ecological transition, said in an interview at her office in Madrid. “It can be through regulatory means or it can be via fiscal means.”Ribera has limited room for maneuver because the government is still fighting legal claims from investors over cuts in subsidies for photovoltaic power plants. Spain became the world’s biggest installer of PV panels in 2008 after the government misjudged the amount of subsidy required to stimulate investment. The payments were gradually reduced over successive years — leaving some plants struggling to cover their financing costs — as they began to jeopardize the public finances.A second problem for the minority administration is its lack of support in parliament, where the governing party has just 84 of 350 lawmakers. Ribera said she is aiming to win cross-party support for her plans but can also use administrative levers to push through some measures if she is blocked by opposition parties.Among her first moves, Ribera aims to remove a levy on Spaniards who installed solar panels on their homes by the end of November. She said both the left-wingers of Podemos and the liberals of Ciudadanos have in the past signaled they would support the decision, but the government can also push through the change by decree if necessary.More: Spain Aims to Win Investors for $116 Billion Energy Refitlast_img read more

S&P: Another 8GW of coal capacity due to go offline in 2019

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):More than 49,000 MW of new power generation capacity is expected to be added to the U.S. grid in 2019, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Accounting for capacity set to be retired, the U.S. should see a net gain of 40,823 MW.Specifically, 49,420 MW are expected to come into service, and 8,597 MW that have received approval from needed regulatory authorities are expected to be retired. Another 2,216 MW of operating capacity is to be converted to another fuel source.Coal-fired capacity accounts for 68% of the scheduled retirements, at 5,834 MW. This figure only includes retirements that have already received approval from regulatory bodies. Coal retirements in 2018 totaled about 11,800 MW. Another 2,216 MW of coal-fired capacity is expected to be converted to natural gas or other nonrenewable operations. This includes one of two 1,100-MW units at Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary Duke Energy Carolinas LLC’s Belews Creek plant in Stokes County, N.C. The unit is expected to start burning natural gas in place of coal in September. The second Belews Creek unit is due for conversion to gas in 2020.Renewable and gas-fired capacity combine for the vast majority of scheduled capacity additions, though the largest single source of fuel for new capacity additions in 2019 is wind, with 22,447 MW, or 45% of all capacity additions. The largest wind facility under construction is the 500-MW Goodnight Wind Energy plant in Armstrong County, Texas. The plant, which is owned by FGE Power, is scheduled to become operational in two phases. Phase 1 totals 252 MW of capacity and is slated to go online in June, followed by the 248-MW Phase 2 in October.Solar accounts for 22% of scheduled 2019 additions, totaling 11,050 MW. The largest solar project under construction is the 250-MW Phoebe Energy Project owned by Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. The plant is being built in Winkler County, Texas. The majority of the plant’s output is under contract with Shell Energy North America (US) LP, a power marketing subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC.More ($): US grid expected to add a net 40,800 MW of generating capacity in 2019 S&P: Another 8GW of coal capacity due to go offline in 2019last_img read more

Developer Invenergy proposes large solar-plus-storage project in Wisconsin

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wisconsin State Journal:The developer of a proposed solar farm in Iowa County is planning a second solar farm in Kenosha County that could feature the first utility-scale battery storage in Wisconsin. Chicago-based Invenergy last week submitted an engineering plan for a 200-megawatt solar farm with a 50-megawatt battery component.That’s larger than any battery currently deployed on the nation’s power grid and the first in the state of Wisconsin, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Invenergy has installed 31.5-megawatt batteries in Illinois and West Virginia, which account for most of the capacity in the company’s advanced storage portfolio.Batteries enable renewable energy sources like wind and solar to deliver power on demand, similar to traditional fossil fuel generators. They can also contribute to grid stability and provide reserve capacity to meet peaks in demand.“With batteries, it can compete in the marketplace in multiple ways,” said Andy Olsen, a senior policy advocate with the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Madison. “Not only on the power but when we get the power, which matters quite a bit.”Invenergy says it plans to submit a permit application to the Public Service Commission in April. Company spokeswoman Beth Conley said the Paris solar farm is being proposed as a developer-owned project but the company is in talks with potential utility buyers.As of December, there were 119 utility-scale batteries with a combined capacity of 845 megawatts deployed nationwide, according to the EIA. Only two dozen of those are larger than 10 megawatts.More: Proposed Kenosha County solar farm could feature Wisconsin’s first utility-scale battery Developer Invenergy proposes large solar-plus-storage project in Wisconsinlast_img read more

Nuclear-industry bill in Ohio aims to curb uptake of renewables

first_imgNuclear-industry bill in Ohio aims to curb uptake of renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy News Network:A second version of legislation in Ohio designed to subsidize the operation of two nuclear power plants appears to have the same limitations on renewable energy development as the first version.Meanwhile, Democrats have announced an alternative plan, which would increase the state’s renewable energy standard to 50% by 2050.Substitute House Bill 6, introduced to members of the Ohio House Energy Generation subcommittee minutes before a scheduled fourth hearing late Thursday, keeps language that would allow utilities and independent retail power suppliers to ignore previously enacted renewable energy benchmarks which top out at 12.5% by 2027.Without those benchmarks, wind and solar developers worry that the utility market for their power would weaken.For consumers and Ohio businesses, the future would definitely be more expensive under HB 6, though the amended version encourages state regulators to develop “reasonable arrangements” for industry.The bill as now written would eliminate the minor fees associated with acquiring renewable energy, 10 cents to 69 cents a month on residential bills, but would require customers to continue paying for energy efficiency programs mandated since 2009. Those programs would now disappear after 2020 but could be resurrected by utilities if approved by regulators.The revisions leave unscathed the bill’s most expensive feature — new customer fees amounting to more than $300 million annually to create a Clean Air Fund. About half of that money would go to the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants operated by FirstEnergy Solutions on Lake Erie.More: As Ohio nuclear bill advances, Democrats seek to raise renewable standardlast_img read more

IEA: India now the world’s fastest growing energy market

first_imgIEA: India now the world’s fastest growing energy market FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energyworld.com:India has finally acquired the long-awaited tag of the fastest growing energy market in the world. The country’s investment in the energy sector grew at a rate of 12 per cent in 2018 – the highest growth rate as compared to any other country, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).“Among major areas, energy investment has risen most rapidly in India the past three years, up 12 per cent,” The IEA said in its latest World Energy Investment (WEI) 2019 report. “In 2018, renewable spending continued to exceed that of fossil fuel-based power, supported by tendering for solar PV, and from 2017 wind, amid uncertain financial attractiveness of new coal power, though spending in coal supply rose somewhat. While transmission spending is expanding, investment in distribution has not grown.”The report said that the lower-middle and low-income countries accounted for less than 15 per cent of the energy investment in 2018 despite containing well over 40 per cent of the world’s population. “In recent years, the fastest investment growth within this group has come from India with rising power sector spending, while spending in sub-Saharan Africa has declined, mostly due to less investment in fuel supply,” the report said.The IEA’s WEI report – among the most credible publications in the energy space globally – also said that India is an emerging source of industrial energy efficiency investment in the Asia and Pacific region, which grew by nearly 5 per cent (in 2018). Modernisation of industrial facilities coupled with strong mandatory government policy, through the Perform, Achieve, Trade (PAT) Scheme, are important factors driving greater levels of investment.“In India, solar PV spending exceeded that of coal power for the first time, supported by government auctions. Total renewable power investment topped fossil fuel-based power for the third year in a row, supported by tendering and uncertain financial prospects for new coal power. Grid investment rose by 4 per cent, with one-fifth increase in transmission, but spending in distribution remained flat,” the report said.The IEA also said that India was the largest market for coal-fired power (based on Final Investment Decision) in 2018, which is now largely oriented towards super-critical technology, but levels were 80 per cent lower than in 2010.More: India becomes fastest-growing energy market in the worldlast_img read more

Coal bearing the brunt of global decline in electricity demand

first_imgCoal bearing the brunt of global decline in electricity demand FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:As silent factories and deserted offices hobble demand for electricity worldwide, the biggest loser is coal.In the U.S., coal’s share of power generation has dropped more than 5 percentage points since February on the nation’s biggest grid while output from natural gas plants and wind farms held steady. In Europe, it’s down 2 points. Even in China and India, where coal still dominates, it’s losing market share during the pandemic.It comes down to cost. Coal power is more expensive than gas and renewables in many places and, hence, is the first fuel priced out of the market when demand falls. Its plunging use amid the lockdowns is a boon for efforts to fight climate change, hastening a shift that was already underway to weed out the dirtiest fossil fuel.In the U.S., coal is now supplying just 14% of power on the grid serving 65 million people from Illinois to New Jersey. That’s down from almost 20% in February, according to a Bloomberg analysis of data from the grid operator, PJM Interconnection LLC. It’s the only major fuel to slump.In Europe, coal’s share of power generation has dipped to 12%, from 14% a year ago, according to data from Wartsila Oyj, the Finnish energy technology company. The decline is particularly sharp in Germany, where electricity from hard coal and lignite, sometimes called brown coal, plunged to 18% of net generation in the first two weeks April. One year ago, they accounted for 35%.In India, coal’s share of the power mix slipped to 65% from 71% in the month since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced lockdowns to contain the outbreak. The country’s coal imports for power plants in March fell 28% from a year earlier. The share from renewables, nuclear and hydropower rose. And in China, thermal power output, which is mostly from coal, slumped 8.2% in the first quarter while solar and wind gained.[Will Wade, Chris Martin and Mathew Carr]More: In global electricity slump, coal is the big loserlast_img read more

Financing for global LNG projects becoming hard to find—report

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Prospects for nearly half of the world’s projects to build infrastructure for exporting liquefied natural gas have faltered in recent months, amid rising concerns about climate change, public protests and delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report published Tuesday.Out of 45 major LNG export projects in pre-construction development globally, at least 20 – representing a capital outlay of some $292 billion – are now facing delays to their financing, researchers at Global Energy Monitor found.That marks a stark shift by investors away from what many had considered a promising fuel market, already buffeted by slower growth in demand, rising competition from renewable energy technologies and opposition over the industry’s climate-warming emissions.The vice president of the European Investment Bank said the report underlined the unacceptable risk of investing in LNG assets. “Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure like liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals is increasingly an economically unsound decision,” Andrew McDowell told Reuters in an email.The bank had announced in November that it would stop financing fossil fuel projects at the end of 2021.In total, companies had announced plans to build $758 billion of projects that are as yet in the pre-construction phase. But with 20 projects now in jeopardy, including nine in the United States, that planned capital outlay could be reduced by $292 billion, or 38%, if the delays persist indefinitely, the researchers told Reuters. As for future projects, 12 companies had said at the start of this year that they planned to make final investment decisions in 2020 to build new LNG export plants in North America, according to a Reuters survey. That total is now down to four, and analysts only expect one project to move forward this year.[Matthew Green and Scott DiSavino]More: Global LNG projects jeopardized by climate concerns, pandemic delays – report Financing for global LNG projects becoming hard to find—reportlast_img read more

Scotland’s SSE looking to join ranks of world’s largest wind power developers

first_imgScotland’s SSE looking to join ranks of world’s largest wind power developers FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Scottish utility SSE Plc is planning an expansion of its renewable power business to compete globally for the growing market for massive wind farms. “I’d like to see us become a global supermajor,” Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables, said by phone. “Who wouldn’t if they were running our business?”While it’s become one of the biggest developers in the U.K., the largest market for offshore wind farms, SSE has been slow to branch out of its home territory. With construction set to begin on a number of developments, the company is eyeing growth in a space where seasoned competitors like Denmark’s Orsted A/S and Spain’s Iberdrola SA are already duking it out for market share.SSE plans to expand its wind business into two more markets within the next five years, Smith said. It’s looking at opportunities in northern Europe, the U.S. and Japan, he said. With a record-low bid last year to build a giant wind farm off the coast of England, the company has shown that it knows how to win competitive government auctions to build the green power plants at sea.For offshore wind, SSE would look to partner with a local developer in whatever market they move into to work on a project at an early stage. For wind farms onshore, the company is looking to acquire a developer with a pipeline of projects at various stages of progress and about 1 to 2 gigawatts of capacity, Smith said.For now, the company is focused on delivering on a huge pipeline of projects. Last year, SSE and Norwegian energy company Equinor ASA won a joint bid to build the world’s biggest wind farm at sea, the 3.6-gigawatt Dogger Bank. The company also recently made final investment decisions on two other massive wind projects: a 443-megawatt wind farm on the Shetland Islands in Scotland and the 1.1-gigawatt Seagreen installation off the Scottish coast.All told, SSE plans to invest 7.5 billion pounds ($9.4 billion) by 2025 in projects that will cut greenhouse gas emissions. The utility has said that its balance sheet and divestments can support this growth, and that capital and investment spending on less strategic or less advanced projects will be deprioritized or deferred.[Will Mathis]More: Scottish utility seeks to become a green `supermajor’last_img

Mountain Mama: Charleston Marathon Recap

first_img“This sucks,” says a female with disgust. I glance around, trying to identify the body associated with the voice. I spot her over my left shoulder – a tall, lean runner, her blonde hair pulled back in a high ponytail.I study her, wondering what could possibly be wrong. The sun shines in a cloudless sky after a malaise of rainless grey-skied days, visibly buoying the spirits of the thousands of runners at the start of the Charleston Marathon (and the half, which is what I’m running).Her elbow digs into my rib as she darts ahead. I stare as she pushes and weaves her way through the pack of runners. She doesn’t apologize or glance backwards. She either doesn’t realize she’d bumped me. Or she doesn’t care.She’s too weighted down by expectations, glued to the device around her wrist telling her pace and heart rate, reminding her that she’s alive. She’s so determined to reach her goals that she’s missing out on what’s right in front of her – the race itself.I know because I’ve been that runner. I’ve pushed my way toward a PR so aggressively that I don’t recall many details of various races.Not today. I have no race plan, trusting myself that it will all work out. For once I run without music, wanting to hear the runners around me and participate. Without music there’s no barrier between my ears and complainers, like the woman who elbowed her way past me.It also means hearing all the kind words exchanged between runners, and all the encouragement from bystanders. The crowd tells us how great we look, making me pin my shoulders back and run a little taller. Turns out I’m quite a vain runner.Without music to distract me or a time goal taking all my focus, I spend a lot of time soaking up the views. We run by vistas of the bay, sunlight dancing on the water as paddle boarders glide by and leave a wake of glittering water-diamonds. Then we pass columned houses in salmon and mint green, flanked by rows of palm trees.The course veers around a corner and we’re running through a crowd of supporters, some holding signs. A cute twenty-something brunette holds a sign, “Why do the cute ones always run away?”Her friend holds one with fluorescent lettering, “Worst parade ever.”A nerdy looking male holds up a whiteboard that says, “Only inches to go.” Below he’s calculated exactly how many inches remain for the marathoners, who still have 18 miles ahead of them.The course turns down another road, spilling us out into an industrial wasteland, dilapidated warehouses and mounds of dirt. I run by mile marker eight and for the first time my legs feel heavy. My thoughts turn to anticipating the miles ahead and I’m nattering doubt to myself. Then I remind myself about joy. My body unclenches a little.The half marathon is made up of moments, and I am trying to pay attention to each one that comes my way. While forcing fun is an oxymoron, bounding ourselves with unpleasant thoughts guarantees we won’t experience joy. Engaging in the present allows us to be open and spontaneous and seize all the happy moments that come our way.Half8A man flies by me. A spectator calls out, “Top ten marathoner.” The half and full courses overlap for the next mile of the course. I gape at the speed at which his legs turn over, the pure grace of his body propelling him forward. I can’t see his face, he sped by so quickly, but he is beautiful and my heart flutters from witnessing his raw energy. Then another marathoner speeds past me. My own running feels light and effortless.The marathon course takes a turn and the half marathon continues the last couple miles toward the finish past a waterfront park. I drink up the scenery, the gradations of blue and green a relief on my eyes after the bleak miles behind me. I run with my eyes glued to the horizon. Some say staring at the horizon releases endorphins. Others swear that salt in the air cures ailments. Whatever it is, I’m feeling great.The crowds get thicker. Someone yells, “nice pace,” which gets me to wondering if there can be a “mean” pace. Thinking about the woman elbowing past me in oblivion, I decide there can be, it’s the pace that pushes us so hard that we stop noticing and caring about the world around us. I high-five everyone with a hand extended and thank them for coming out to support us, trying to exemplify what running a nice pace is all about.A friend sent me a text before the half, reminding me to smile at the finish, but he didn’t need to. A drummer beats loudly and the crowd cheers. It’s impossible to do anything else but smile. I stretch my arms out in victory.last_img read more