The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Solar power -China, Tesla news, India’s push for renewables

World’s largest floating solar PV plant connected to grid in China
The world’s largest floating PV power plant, with the capacity of 40 MW is now connected to the grid.

How Tesla became the world’s top owner of solar assets
After a record-breaking year for the solar market, the total global installed base of operational PV systems surpassed 300 gigawatts.

India launches massive push for clean power, lighting, and cars.
While President Trump wants to revive America’s coal industry, India is embracing renewables, LED lighting, electric cars, and more.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

News on ever cheaper renewable energy

Small-scale renewables cheapest for rural Africa, says Dutch report.
Africa’s quest for full access to electricity needs governments to support small, off-grid projects that are typically disregarded by investors.
Solar cells more efficient thanks to new material standing on edge
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and from Fudan University in China have successfully designed a new structural organization using the promising solar cell material perovskite. The study shows that solar cells increase in efficiency thanks to the material’s ability to self-organise by standing on edge.

Off-the-shelf, power-generating clothes are almost here
UMass Amherst scientists introduce coating that turns fabrics into circuits

EU energy auctions yield record low onshore wind prices
Two recent EU renewable energy auctions in Germany and Spain have yielded not only significant interest in onshore wind power, but record low prices.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

India’s fast growth in renewable energy

FT 23rd May 2017, Until recently, the answer was overwhelmingly coal, which accounts for about 60 per cent of Indian power generation. Coal capacity has almost tripled in the past decade to 192GW and a further 65GW is under construction.

The fastest growth, however, is coming from renewables. Significant amounts of hydro and wind generation have already pushed the share of green energy to about 30 per cent. This is now being supplemented by rapid expansion in solar power. A landmark was reached this May when an auction to supply 500MW of new solar capacity at a 10,000 hectare facility on the edge of the Thar desert secured a record low price of Rs2.44 ($0.04) per kilowatt-hour — down two-thirds from three years ago and, for the first time, cheaper than coal-fired generation.

Plummeting costs have spurred forecasts that Indian solar capacity could double this year to 18GW, which would be more than six times greater than when Mr Modi’s government took power three years ago…..

May 24, 2017 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Offshore wind energy booming in Britain

Telegraph 21st May 2017, The sound made by 100 tonnes of steel and carbon fibre rotating 400 feet overhead is surprisingly understated. Each whoosh of the 260 foot blades spans an area the size of the London Eye and generates enough electricity to power the average British home for 24 hours.

There are 32 of these 8MW turbines in the second phase of Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank wind farm spinning off the Merseyside coast. They are the most powerful ever, dotting an area the size of almost 6,000 football pitches within the Irish Sea, each one a beacon of Britain’s global dominance in the booming offshore wind industry.

Jersey Evening Post 22nd May 2017, A FLOATING offshore wind farm that would cost £108 million to install is currently the frontrunner in work to develop renewable energy in Guernsey. A preliminary feasibility study was released this week and now more equipment will be installed at Mont Cuet, in the north of Guernsey, to help move the project forward.

The study by Xodus Group concluded that a 30MW offshore wind project could be viable. It shortlisted three preferred sites for five turbines. One option is 5km off Guernsey’s north coast and another is 15km away, west of Schole Bank, between Guernsey and Alderney. The third – the only floating option – is 25km north-west of the island. The offshore floating option is the most costly, but is seen as preferable because of the visual impact of the other two which have estimated capital costs of £68.23m and £80.98m respectively.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

British solar power surge. Batteries becoming cheaper

FT 23rd May 2017 On May 10, the UK reached a fresh high for the amount of electricity generated by solar. Early on that Wednesday afternoon, solar output hit 8.5 gigawatts, according to Electric Insights, a website that tracks
Britain’s power.

At its peak, the green energy source was supplying more than 22 per cent of the 38GW being handled by the national grid, as solar for some hours exceeded the steady output from the UK’s fleet of nuclear power stations. The growing contribution of green energy to grids — particularly wind and solar — brings with it the problem of managing the
unpredictability and intermittency of these supplies.

Storage is still a very small part of the energy industry but it is developing quickly both at the domestic level — where homeowners can use batteries in tandem with solar panels on their roofs — and on a much larger scale, with the development of battery parks aimed at smoothing supplies to the grid. The popularity of storage systems to capture the electricity generated by domestic solar panels is helped by a generous subsidy in Germany that helps homeowners meet the initial costs of buying a battery, which is also true of other countries.

While costs of batteries are coming down, Mr Wilkinson acknowledges that in most cases “incentives are required” to expand the market for battery storage to help balance the grid. “Costs have come down dramatically but there is still a long way to go before they are going to be truly embedded everywhere in the grid and we’ll see huge volumes of them,” Mr Wilkinson says. Meanwhile, growth in the electric vehicle market has helped lower costs and improve the design of lithium-ion batteries. A battery pack that can be used in an electric vehicle has fallen from $1,000 per kilowatt hour in 2010 to $273 per kWh last year, according to BNEF, which is forecasting a further 73 per cent fall in costs by 2030.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

British charity SolarAid works with Chinese solar giant to provide cheap, clean power in Africa

FT 22nd May 2017, A British start-up has helped a Chinese solar power giant provide cheap, clean power across Africa with a $5 light.The SM100, which claims to be the cheapest solar light in the world, was designed by Manchester-based Inventid, formed by two graduates in 2012.

Some 600m people in African countries without electricity rely on kerosene storm lamps, which are expensive to run and produce smoke that is linked to respiratory diseases, cataracts and house fires. The hand-sized SM100 can run for eight hours when fully charged and is twice as bright as kerosene.

SolarAid, a charity, developed it in collaboration with Yingli, the solar panel manufacturer. SolarAid’s trading subsidiary SunnyMoney has sold 1.9m other solar lights in Africa over the past decade but they retail for up to twice the price of the new light. After trialling 9,000 of the lights in three countries, the new light is now on sale. The SM100 is an exemplar product for the new £83m Design Museum’s Design Ventura education programme. In March, the SM100 light won silver in the 2017 Design for So ciety and Design for Sustainability categories at the European Product Design Awards.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | AFRICA, decentralised | Leave a comment

China cancelling many coal mines, going all out for solar power

In September 2016, China’s cancelled more than 103 under-construction and planned coal-fired power plants, a total of 120 gigawatt hours (GWh) of capacity. In March this year, premier Li Keqiang announced that an additional 50GWh would be shut down or postponed. The coal power stopped in China so far is equivalent to the combined coal power capacity of the UK and Spain. China’s era of one coal-fired station a week is over.

China’s covering a Football field with Solar Panels Every Hour in Quest to End Coal,  | May. 10, 2017 By Janet Xuanli Liao | (The Conversation) | – –

China’s remarkable growth over the past three decades has elevated it to global superpower status. But its economic miracle has also attracted attention for the wrong reasons: the country is now the world’s largest energy consumer, oil importer, and CO₂ emitter. It led to the line that China builds a new coal-fired power station each week being faithfully and unquestioningly repeated. However, this is no longer a fair reflection of the country’s energy situation.The Conversation

It’s true that China consumes around a quarter of the world’s total primary energy and more than half its coal. This was once a necessity. The “open door” policy to foreign investment that began in the late 1970s led to rapid economic growth and, in turn, a spectacular rise in energy demand. Electricity consumption in China rose from just 232 kilowatt hours (KWh) in 1978 to nearly 6,000 terawatt hours (TWh) today – that is, six thousand billion kilowatt hours – and to keep up with demand, China needed coal.

However, coal as a proportion of China’s energy mix peaked at 75% in the late 1980s and by 2016 it had fallen to 62%, the lowest since the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949. This was a result of Beijing taking serious measures in recent years to cut coal, in order to reduce domestic pollution and to tackle climate change.

One of these measures was the Top-1,000 Enterprises Energy-Saving Programme. Launched in 2006, the programme targeted the country’s largest energy-consuming firms in sectors like steel, petrochemicals, cement, and textiles. Together, these 1,000 enterprises accounted for a third of the nation’s energy consumption. The programme was quite effective and contributed towards China’s efforts to reduce its energy consumption per unit of GDP.

The government has also taken action to slow the country’s economic growth and set lower annual rate of GDP growth at 6.5% in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), against 9-10% in the previous three decades.

Pollution protests

With economic growth slowing and the heaviest polluters being forced to use less energy, coal generation was a natural choice to cut back. By this point, people in China were well aware of the problem with coal. And from the mid-2000s the pollution problem was becoming too serious to ignore, and civil society groups began to protest. Local authorities initially resisted the government’s “war on pollution” but last year brought about some of the worst smog ever recorded in China and the strongest response yet from the central authorities.

In September 2016, China’s cancelled more than 103 under-construction and planned coal-fired power plants, a total of 120 gigawatt hours (GWh) of capacity. In March this year, premier Li Keqiang announced that an additional 50GWh would be shut down or postponed. The coal power stopped in China so far is equivalent to the combined coal power capacity of the UK and Spain. China’s era of one coal-fired station a week is over.

A commitment to cutting emissions

Beijing’s long-standing opposition to international climate change obligations is well-known, at least prior to the 2015 UN conference in Paris. But things are changing. Though China’s coal capacity may yet increase slightly over the next few years, any growth will be dwarfed by planned investment in solar, wind and nuclear.

China is now the world’s largest backer of green energy, accounting for 17% of global investment in the sector. According to Greenpeace, it installed an average of more than one wind turbine every hour of every day in 2015. It also covered the equivalent of one soccer field with solar panels every hour, action that may allow China to meet its 2020 goals for solar installation two years ahead of schedule. By 2030 it is hoped that cleaner energy will help reduce China’s CO₂ emissions by 54% from 2010 levels.

This is good news because the inescapable fact is that efforts to mitigate climate change are doomed to fail if the Chinese do not get on board. Compared with other countries, China still has a long way to go. Britain, for instance, recently managed a day without coal for the first time in more than 130 years, while other countries have drastically cut their carbon footprint.

However, energy policy is, as with most aspects of Chinese life, more complicated and more susceptible to internal and external pressures than many observers believe. The reaction of the Chinese leadership to these pressures gives us hope that the country can free itself of dirty coal, and that this day may come sooner rather than later.

Janet Xuanli Liao, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Energy Security Studies, University of Dundee

May 24, 2017 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

France’s new Prime Minister says France needs ‘massive’ renewables growth

France needs ‘massive’ renewables growth, nuclear not only energy solution, says PM May 18 France needs “massive and rapid” growth in renewable energy capacity and nuclear power is not the country’s only energy solution, new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday.

Philippe, who was appointed by newly inaugurated President Emmanuel Macron, used to work as head of public affairs for state nuclear energy group Areva, parts of which are set to be absorbed by EDF, the state power utility which operates the nation’s ageing nuclear power station fleet.

On Wednesday, Macron appointed environmentalist Nicolas Hulot as his environment minister with responsibility for energy matters – a move that hit EDF’s share price.

Nuclear power accounts for about three-quarters of French power generation at present.

France needs “to reach the objectives set out by the President,” Philippe said on France Inter radio. “That means an approach founded on the secure base of nuclear and a rapid, massive and visible development of renewables,” he added.

Philippe also said the government would take a “pragmatic” approach regarding France’s future energy and power supplies. (Reporting by Andrew Callus and Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

May 19, 2017 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

LEGO goes 100% renewables, UK goes for off-shore wind

Business Green 17th May 2017 LEGO Group has today become the latest global brand to announce it has met a 100 per cent renewables goal, confirming that the opening of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm means it has ‘balanced’ its annual power demand with electricity from renewable sources. The toy manufacturing giant confirmed the inauguration of the 258MW offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay means the company’s annual power use is now matched by output from projects it has invested in.

It added that the goal had been met three years ahead of schedule. LEGO Group’s parent company KIRKBI A/S holds a 25 per cent stake in the Burbo Bank Extension project, alongside a 25 per cent stake held by Danish pension fund PKA and a 50 per cent stake held by developer DONG Energy. The company said the project meant LEGO has invested DKK6bn
($895m) in delivering two offshore wind farms over the past four years and has supported the development of more than 160MW of renewables capacity since 2012.

Bloomberg 16th May 2017 Scottish judges paved the way for as much as 10 billion pounds ($13 billion) to be invested in offshore wind power by overturning a ruling that said projects may kill too many birds. Planning permission should move
forward at four wind farms being developed by SSE Plc, Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd., Fluor Corp. and SDIC Power Holdings Co., according to the ruling by three judges at the Inner House at the Court of Session in
Edinburgh on Tuesday.

They said a judge in the Outer Court was wrong to revoke consent in July for the wind farms, that may create as much as 2.3 gigawatts of new capacity off Scotland’s east coast. The earlier ruling asserted that Scottish ministers didn’t properly assess how the projects would threaten migratory seabirds such as the puffin.

Mainstream said it would now seek to develop the 2 billion pound Neart Na Goithe offshore wind farm as quickly as possible, according to a separate statement. The project has a contract with the U.K. government for a subsidy of 114 pounds a megawatt hour.

Edie 17th May 2017 The planet’s biggest and most powerful wind turbines have begun generating electricity off the Liverpool coast, cementing Britain’s reputation as a world leader in the technology. Danish company Dong Energy has just finished installing 32 turbines in Liverpool Bay that are taller than the Gherkin skyscraper, with blades longer than nine London buses.

Dong Energy, the windfarm’s developer, believes these machines herald the future for offshore wind power: bigger, better and, most importantly, cheaper. Each of the 195m-tall turbines in the Burbo Bank extension has more than twice the power capacity of those in the neighbouring Burbo Bank windfarm completed a decade ago. “That shows you something about the scale-up of the industry, the scale-up of the technology,” said Benjamin Sykes, the country manager
for Dong Energy UK.

The project is the first time the 8MW turbines have been commercially used anywhere in the world, which Sykes hailed as a “very important milestone” for the sector.–world-s-biggest-wind-turbines-go-online-near-Liverpool/

Bloomberg 16th May 2017 Scotland was so bullish about becoming Europe’s wind energy hub its politicians fell out with a brash real-estate developer and reality TV star called Donald Trump. Five years on, Trump’s ambitions have taken him to the White House.

But instead of the 950 offshore turbines Scotland envisioned by the end of 2017, it has only 63 because of legal battles, geographical challenges and caps on government aid. The swooshing blades out at sea were a pivotal part of the nationalist-led Scottish government’s goal to get 100 percent of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020. It was supposed to be a growth area in what would be Europe’s newest state, along with turning Scotland into the Saudi Arabia of marine energy.

Despite four offshore wind projects getting the go-ahead this week, more targets have been missed than met and U.K. subsidies have been cut. With Scottish independence back in the political mix ahead of the June 8 election and the
economy in pain, the plans are under scrutiny again. “People overestimated the likely scale of deployment,” said Niall Stuart, chief executive of the Glasgow-based trade association Scottish Renewables. The whole of the U.K. was over-confident about the prospects for offshore wind, he said. “Clearly it’s nothing like the most optimistic scenario.”

May 19, 2017 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

World’s biggest wind turbines now generating power off UK coast

Thirty-two of the world’s largest wind turbines are up and generating power in new offshore wind project off the UK coast.

May 19, 2017 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Wales moves towards energy self-sufficiency with renewables

Utility Week 17th May 2017, Plaid Cymru has pledged to cut the energy bills of customers in Wales by establishing a Welsh energy company. In its manifesto for the general election, published today (17 May), the nationalist party said the proposed energy company would channel the profits from Wales’ abundant renewable energy into cutting the cost of Welsh consumers bills.

Plaid proposes that the energy company would also support a shift in Wales to decentralised and distributed energy networks. The manifesto also pledges that Plaid would increase energy generation from renewable sources, including the delivery of tidal lagoons in Swansea Bay, Cardiff and Colwyn Bay.

The Welsh nationalists would transfer responsibility over Welsh energy generation to the National Assembly in Cardiff with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency in electricity generation from renewables.

May 19, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

France Gets EU Approval For 3 Schemes To Develop 17 Gigawatts Of Renewable Energy.

Clean Tech 12th May 2017 The European Commission has approved France’s request to develop three separate schemes that are intended to support the development of more
than 17 gigawatts worth of new renewable energy capacity. The European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union, on May 5 approved three separate schemes for the development of small-scale onshore wind, solar, and sewage gas installations in France, which would allow France to develop more than 17 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.

The onshore wind scheme will have a provisional budget of €1 billion per year, and will grant support for 15 GW of new capacity over the next 10 years. The projects are intended to be small projects, taking the form of what is called a premium on top of the market price, or in French, complement de remunération, providing support to operators of small-scale onshore installations of less than 6 wind turbines that themselves are no more than 3 megawatts (MW) in capacity….

May 17, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, France | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear company EDF buys majority stake in wind power developer

Energy Live News 15th May 2017, EDF’s renewable arm has confirmed plans to buy a majority stake in an onshore wind power developer. EDF Energies Nouvelles said it has reached a full and final agreement with the shareholders of FUTUREN to buy a 67.2% interest in the company. FUTUREN has operations in France, Germany, Italy and Morocco and currently operates around 745MW of assets in those countries…..

May 17, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

100% Renewables for Britain’s Tesco

FT 14th May 2017 Tesco seeks to secure all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Tesco is to turn its back on fossil fuels and ramp up its use of solar panels as the UK supermarket makes an ambitious pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the toughest goals of the Paris climate accord.

Tesco says it will cut its emissions in line with the more ambitious 1.5C target, partly by securing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources such as solar panels by 2030 and by pushing its
suppliers to become greener. Tesco’s goals will require big investments in renewable power because about 65 per cent of its emissions come from electricity needed for its distribution centres and 6,500 stores around the world.

Refrigeration gases account for 15 per cent of the company’s emissions, according to Kené Umeasiegbu, Tesco’s head of climate change. Another 12 per cent comes from its delivery vehicles; 7.5 per cent from heating and 0.5 per cent from business travel….

May 17, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Wind power providing jobs and energy in America’s Heartland

Wind Is The New Power In America’s Heartland, Forbes, Chris Brown, 14 May 17, U.S. wind energy recently achieved a major milestone, which underscores a new reality that is generating power and jobs across America’s heartland. In February, low-cost clean electricity from wind turbines on the Great Plains supplied more than half (52.1%) of all power on the grid serving Americans in a 14-state swath of the central U.S., stretching from Texas to Montana.

This was the first time a North American grid operator supplied a majority of its electricity from wind, powering millions of households. “Now we have the ability to reliably manage greater than 50%,” said Bruce Rew, vice president of operations, Southwest Power Pool (SPP). “It’s not even our ceiling.”

SPP understands the power of wind. They aren’t alone.

The CEO of Great River Energy Inc., which supplies 28 electric co-ops in Minnesota, recently said that “wind is quickly becoming the new base load, and to be viable going forward, all other sources must be flexible enough to be supplemental to the wind.”

ndeed, in 2016 wind topped hydroelectric as the #1 U.S. renewable energy in total capacity, enough to power 24 million homes. Wind capped a second straight year installing more than 8,000 megawatts and exceeded both natural gas and solar in new U.S. utility-scale capacity for 2015-2016 combined, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reported.

Wind is winning in energy markets because of its proven reliability and market-beating cost, which fell 66% since 2009. It’s now the cheapest source of new electric-generating capacity across much of the nation, attracting utilities such as Xcel Energy and MidAmerican Energy, and corporate buyers including Amazon, Google, Home Depot and GM.

Wind isn’t just becoming a major contributor to U.S. power – it’s a rapidly expanding base for U.S. jobs. Every year, the wind industry as a whole now supports more than 30 U.S. jobs for every new wind turbine, according to analysis of new economic impact data by Navigant Consulting. A modern wind turbine takes 18 full-time U.S. jobs to develop, manufacture, transport and construct, and creates 44 years of full-time employment, including long-term operations and maintenance, over its lifetime.

Nationwide, wind powers 102,500 jobs, driving economic development in the rural Midwest, Rust Belt and all 50 states. By 2020, projected wind-related jobs will rise to a quarter million, including jobs in communities surrounding wind farms and factories. Today, U.S. wind counts more than 1,000 utility-scale projects, 52,000 wind turbines and 500 factories.

That’s good news for America’s heartland, where wind power has arrived in a big way. Wind has bipartisan backing from large majorities because it’s delivering for Americans – in their wallets, workplace and homes:……

May 15, 2017 Posted by | employment, renewable, USA | Leave a comment