Beijing is drawing up plans for a new “safeguard mechanism” to guarantee minimum levels of regional renewable energy consumption, in a bid to stop so much of the country’s solar, wind and hydropower from going to waste.
Anglo-American Platinum, the world’s biggest producer of platinum, said South Africa needs to open up its renewable energy market to allow companies to generate their own power rather than impose a blanket carbon tax on the industry.
The subsidiary of Anglo American, whose mines rely on power from the country’s struggling state utility Eskom, said the tax would impose millions of dollars of extra costs without helping it to move away from coal-based power. “We don’t have an ability to increase our renewables. There’s no policy that allows us to do that, there’s actually laws preventing us from doing that,” Chris Griffith, chief executive of the company known as Amplats, told the FT. Continue reading “FT: Amplats chief calls for South Africa to open up renewable energy market”→
The renewable energy sector is projected to generate more electricity than coal during the month of April, according to a recent report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. That’s never happened before.
Coal, long the king of the power sector, has already been dethroned by natural gas, a much cleaner burning fossil fuel. Now, coal is facing intensifying pressure from wind and solar power.
“Five years ago this never would have been close to happening,” Dennis Wamstead, research analyst at IEEFA, said in an interview. “The transition that’s going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal.”
Even a decade ago, America’s renewable energy had little presence other than hydro power. But a wave of investment — first into wind, and then solar — has made these new technologies far cheaper.
The first numbers on last year’s energy trends are in and there are two pieces of great news and one that should worry us: Solar and wind energy are thriving, coal-fired generation sunk to a four-decade low — but natural gas infrastructure is expanding.
The key 2018 energy trends, detailed in the Energy Information Administration’s preliminary 2018 energy figures, build upon the energy transition already underway, highlighting both emerging opportunities and challenges. Thankfully, this year promises to be a good one for solar and, especially, wind energy, but we still face the threat that we are locking in reliance on natural gas that doesn’t fit with our need to slash carbon pollution.
A year ago, Germany set itself a target of securing 65 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030 – one of the more ambitious renewable energy targets anywhere in the world, but one that is still well short of the 100 per cent many experts believe is not only necessary, but possible in Germany.
Possible may be underselling it, however, if the last few weeks of electricity generation in Germany are anything to go by.
A week ago, RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson reported that Germany had sourced nearly 65 per cent of its electricity generation from renewables for the week finishing March 3 – “week 10”, according to the parlance of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), from whom the data has been sourced. Continue reading “Germany renewables share jumped to to 72.4% last week”→
Better Energy, Denmark’s leading provider of large-scale megawatt solar parks, has begun a long-term collaboration with the Danish energy storage consulting firm Hybrid Greentech. This partnership will develop new technical concepts to stabilize electricity supplies from solar cell parks. By improving energy storage, energy producers can improve the quality and stability of the electricity supply, earn higher prices on the electricity markets, and improve the overall profitability of the facilities.
“The people at Hybrid Greentech have technical competencies that contribute to our development of energy storage in interaction with our energy technologies. Hybrid Greentech fits in well, and we are sure they will be a strong a strong partner,” said Mikkel Dau Jacobsen, Executive Vice President, Technology and Solutions, Better Energy.
The Netherlands is trailing the rest of Europe when it comes to reaching sustainable energy targets, according to new figures from the European statistics agency Eurostat. In 2017, just 6.6% of the energy used in the Netherlands came from sustainable sources, but the target is 14% by 2020, Eurostat says.
MGP, a leading U.S. supplier of premium distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches, has embarked on a major renewable energy initiative, committing to sourcing 100 percent of their electricity needs from renewable wind power.
Through a three-year agreement that took effect April 1, the company has made a commitment to renewable energy through Westar Wind, a Green-e certified program offered by Westar Energy.
As a result, total electric usage at MGP’s facilities in Atchison, Kan., and Lawrenceburg, will be offset by green energy provided by Westar’s wind resources in Kansas.
“We are proud and excited to enter into this agreement which represents a significant step in our efforts to realize both the direct and overarching benefits of renewable energy technologies,” MGP President and CEO Gus Griffin said. “Among these is our ability to take on a more prominent and proactive role in further supporting environmental sustainability through greater use of clean energy. This initiative is consistent with the long-term view we take for our business, and reflects our enduring commitment to our communities and social responsibility.” Continue reading “MGP makes major commitment to renewable energy”→
The first quarter (Q1) of 2018 saw clean energy investment decrease to USD 61.1 billion (EUR 49.4bn) as solar investments dipped, but was marked by prominent outgrowth in development markets, with several “eye-catching projects” reaching financial close there.
The January-March total was 10% lower in annual terms, show figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released on Wednesday. “The first quarter figures are the lowest for any quarter since 3Q 2016, but it’s too early to predict a fall in annual investment this year,” said BNEF analyst Abraham Louw.
The weaker Q1 figures included a 19% year-on-year drop in solar investment to USD 37.4 billion due to decreased activity in some markets and lower prices of photovoltaic (PV) systems. According to BNEF, the benchmark dollar capital costs per MW for utility-scale solar slipped by 7% in the past year and also contributed to the overall decline.
The quarter saw a rebound in investment in developing countries as several renewable energy projects in Morocco, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico reached financial close. The biggest one was the 800-MW Noor Midelt solar project in Morocco, estimated at around USD 2.4 billion.
U.S. demand for renewable energy is forecast to reach 12.6 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2021, according to Renewable Energy: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Demand for solar energy is forecast to rise 20 per cent per year, the fastest among the resource segments. Government incentives and renewable portfolio mandates will propel rapid expansion in solar energy production capacity and demand. In addition, falling component prices and suppliers’ improving installation experience are deflating project costs.