Chart(s) of the Day: China’s Share of Wind-Generated Electricity Is More Than Half the Global Total

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From Carbon Brief:The 31GW added in China in 2015 was around half the global total of 63GW, which was a record for a single year. China now spends more on renewables than the US and EU combined. It’s worth noting there was a lull in Chinese clean energy investment in the first quarter of 2016, however.China’s wind capacity of 145GW now exceeds the EU’s and is three times that in Germany. Other notable features of the data are that India has a higher wind capacity, with 25GW, than the UK (14GW) and France (10GW) combined. Poland’s 5.10GW marginally exceeds Denmark’s 5.06GW.Most of the world’s 433GW of wind capacity is onshore. Europe leads the way on offshore wind, with 11GW, of which 5GW is in the UK. China is the only other significant offshore wind market in the world, with 1GW. However, countries including Japan, South Korea, the US and India are starting to develop the technology.Mapped: How China dominates the global wind energy market Chart(s) of the Day: China’s Share of Wind-Generated Electricity Is More Than Half the Global Totallast_img read more

Editorial: Federal Coal-Lease Policy Should Reflect Marketplace Changes

first_imgEditorial: Federal Coal-Lease Policy Should Reflect Marketplace Changes FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the (Salt Lake City) Deseret News:A public hearing on the Bureau of Land Management’s plan to put a three-year moratorium on new coal leases as it considers adjustments to leasing policies drew several hundred coal industry workers, many of whom condemn the plan as a campaign to appease powerful environmental interests. But the government would be negligent if it failed to recalibrate its policies in light of the trends toward lower coal demand.That trend is clearly influenced by the upsurge of both supply and demand for solar power, which in Utah has resulted in significant increases in industrial generating capacity, as well as in the use of household rooftop systems. The state anticipates new solar generation systems will add 850 megawatts of additional capacity next year. In the last six years, the number of tax credits processed for household rooftop solar installations increased from about 150 to more than 3,000.It should be noted that the solar industry in Utah now employs about 2,700 workers, compared to the 1,600 who work in coal mines. Those numbers should not be viewed as a metric of victory or defeat for either side of the issue, which is not a contest of coal versus solar. Coal will remain a significant contributor to the energy grid for a substantial period of time, but we are clearly seeing a surge in solar power and other renewable energy sources that will continue to relegate coal to a lesser place in the energy pantheon.Government policy should reflect marketplace changes and allow them to evolve without unnecessary obstruction. The government’s actions to adjust mining lease policies are more of a reaction to market forces than an effort to control them. Those forces will, by nature, wreak havoc on parts of the market while elevating others, which we now see happening in Utah with increasing speed and impact.Full item: Transitioning from coal to solar — Utah in the crosshairslast_img read more

Credit Analysts Cite Climate Risk

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Bond Buyer:As hurricane-stricken states on the Gulf of Mexico face prolonged recovery from this year’s massive storm damage and California douses the remnants of lethal wildfires, affected governments must also consider ways to protect their tax bases from the long-term threat of global warming, credit analysts say.“S&P Global Ratings believes that what previously were viewed as the credit implications associated with transitory storms must now increasingly be viewed through the lens of climate change risk,” analysts wrote in an Oct. 17 report.Long term, analysts will take note of property exposed to sea level rise, “which exacerbates coastal flooding and increases high tides, which can reduce the property tax base many public finance entities rely on,” the S&P team of analysts led by Kurt Forsgren wrote.The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was described by climate researchers as “hyperactive,” and September marked the highest month ever recorded for accumulated cyclone energy, which measures the combined strength and duration of tropical storms and hurricanes, according to the National Hurricane Center. This year saw the highest number of major hurricanes since 2005.Hurricanes Harvey and Irma did the most damage to Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but coastal areas also had to make costly preparations in the event the storms’ paths came their way. A satellite photo by NASA on Sept. 8 showed three hurricanes, Katia, Irma and Jose, headed toward the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.S&P analysts also pointed out climate change’s threats to credits far from shore.“The higher average and extreme temperatures associated with climate change can have many effects: increase electricity loads in many regions; cause or contribute to droughts and desertification; affect crop production, soften pavement and make roadways more susceptible to wear and tear; make rail tracks buckle; and prevent aircraft from taking off under some conditions,” analysts wrote.“The costs of mitigating and adapting to climate change could strain the debt metrics of entities responsible for financing the adaptation costs, potentially leading to downgrades,” the report said. “Alternatively, the potential rating impact of higher leverage might be neutral, if sufficiently offset by the quantifiable benefits of mitigating long-term risks associated with climate change such as long-term cost savings.”“Planning for climate change and mitigating risks is one component to our credit analysis and our opinion regarding the adequacy of management’s plan is one of many factors that determine ratings,” S&P said.According to global insurer Swiss Re, the financial cost of natural disasters has increased and various studies have identified climate change as a key factor for that is the growth in exposure in high- risk affected areas.More ($): Why one rating agency calls climate change a growing credit factor Credit Analysts Cite Climate Risklast_img read more

Hawaiian Electric Plans $150 Million Battery Storage Investment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Pacific Business News:Hawaiian Electric Company will invest close to $150 million in two new energy storage projects on Oahu. The Honolulu-based utility on Wednesday announced plans for two gird-scale projects on the island’s west side. They include a 20 megawatt system to support the 20 MW West Loch solar system, which is currently under construction at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s West Loch Annex, and a 100 MW system at Hawaiian Electric’s Campbell Industrial Park generating station.“These projects will improve resilience and reliability while helping stabilize costs for our customers,” Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for operations, said in a statement. “As Hawaiian Electric progresses toward 100 percent renewable energy, these storage projects will reduce our fossil fuel use by enabling more solar and wind integration into the grid.”At West Loch, the utility plans to own and operate a 20 MW battery capable of storing 80 megawatt-hour of energy at a cost of $43.5 million. The solar-plus-battery project is being built on land leased from the U.S. Navy. The company said it hopes to start construction by October 2019 with the system in service by February 2020. Due to the storage component, the project will be eligible for the federal Investment Tax Credit that will save customers 30 percent of the cost.The Campbell Industrial Park project is also expected to start construction in October 2019 with the battery set to enter service by October 2020 at an estimated cost of $104 million.The two battery storage projects will reduce the need for conventional, oil-fired generation during the evening peak and at night, reducing fossil fuel use and lowering carbon emissions, according to the utility.More: Hawaiian Electric Company Will Invest Close To $150 Million In Two New Energy Storage Projects On Oahu Hawaiian Electric Plans $150 Million Battery Storage Investmentlast_img read more

Owensboro, Ky., utility to close its aging coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WFPL:Coal-fired power plants in Kentucky continue closing even as the Trump administration works through details on how to bail out the industry.Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday he wasn’t ready to provide details of the plan, but even if it was implemented tomorrow, that wouldn’t stop Owensboro, Kentucky from shutting down its coal-fired power plant in 2020.The city of Owensboro has generated much of its own electricity for more than 100 years, but that will change when the city closes Elmer Smith Station—a coal-fired power plant operating since 1964. The decision came Friday when the Owensboro Municipal Utility Commission approved a contract with Big Rivers Electric.Owensboro was already planning to shut down the station—one unit in 2019 and a second in 2023—but has now set a firm deadline for retirement when the agreement takes effect. The plant is one of two in the region that will likely close in the coming years as market forces drive older, less efficient coal-fired power plants into retirement.The utility has trouble competing with natural gas prices when selling excess capacity on the open market, said Owensboro Municipal Utility Spokeswoman Sonya Dixon. Maintenance is also driving up costs. “It’s just as in when your car gets older, or any other piece of mechanical equipment, it becomes harder and harder and more expensive to maintain it,” Dixon said.Thirty miles to the west, the city of Henderson also owns a coal-fired power plant and is considering closing its station, said Chris Heimgartner, the utility manager for Henderson Municipal Power and Light. “Forget about coal for the moment, if you have an industry that has a fleet of production units that are of uniform age,” Heimgartner said. “You would expect overtime to retire the older plants and bring new sources online.”More: Market forces drive another Kentucky coal power plant to retire Owensboro, Ky., utility to close its aging coal plantlast_img read more

Biggest Scottish offshore wind farm begins producing power

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm has started to produce power. Following the installation of its first seven megawatt turbine, the £2.6 billion ($3.41 billion) Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm sent power to the National Grid for the first time towards the end of last week.Located around eight miles (13 kilometers) off the Caithness coast, the facility will have 84 turbines and be able to generate enough power to supply the equivalent of 450,000 homes. The whole project is set to be completed by spring 2019.“We often talk about key milestones along a project’s journey, and Beatrice has had quite a few to date, but to see the first turbine turning in the Moray Firth and to have reached first power safely, ahead of programme and on budget is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected to the project,” John Hill, Beatrice’s project director, said in a statement last Thursday.According to the Scottish government, Scotland is home to 25 percent of Europe’s offshore wind resources. More broadly, there are more than 58,000 jobs in Scotland’s low carbon and renewable energy economy.Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited is a joint venture partnership between SSE, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Red Rock Power Limited.More: Milestone for offshore wind as $3.4 billion facility starts producing power Biggest Scottish offshore wind farm begins producing powerlast_img read more

Legislation aims to develop Southern California geothermal resources and pumped-storage hydro plants

first_imgLegislation aims to develop Southern California geothermal resources and pumped-storage hydro plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Palm Springs Desert Sun:California could dramatically reshape its energy future in the next few weeks.Two bills are of particular interest to the desert. One of them, from Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, would require utilities to purchase thousands of megawatts of geothermal power, potentially jump-starting development of geothermal power plants at the southern end of the Salton Sea. The other bill, from Assembly member Bill Quirk, would require utilities to buy electricity from “pumped storage” hydropower plants. The bill’s sponsor is NextEra Energy Resources, which is working with Eagle Crest Energy Company to develop a pumped storage project on land just outside Joshua Tree National Park, in the open desert about an hour east of Palm Springs.Several other bills could have similarly long-term impacts on where Californians get their power, how much they pay, and the environmental consequences.One of those bills is SB 100, which would require California to get 100 percent of its electricity from climate-friendly sources by 2045, and 60 percent specifically from renewable resources like solar, wind and geothermal by 2030. The bill was approved by the Assembly’s energy committee in a party-line vote and could now move to the Assembly floor.Then there’s Assembly Bill 813, which would lay the groundwork for an interstate energy market that could eventually cover much of the western United States. It’s a priority for Gov. Brown, who sees a valuable opportunity for California to export its excess solar power to neighboring states, and to import low-cost, climate-friendly energy sources, such as wind power from Wyoming and hydropower from the Pacific Northwest.More: California’s energy future is up for grabs. Here are the bills that could pass in the next 3 weeks.last_img read more

Major questions linger over profitability of oil, gas fracking in Permian basin

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 oil majors are scrambling to scale up their shale operations, and they are quickly becoming the most dominant producers in the shale sector, despite having arrived late to the party.The early days of shale drilling was done by small and medium-size drillers. Over the last few years, the oil majors like ExxonMobil and Chevron are taking on a much greater role in U.S. shale, particularly in the Permian basin. Chevron’s Permian production shot up to 377,000 bpd in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 172,000 bpd from a year earlier. The company’s production was up 70 percent on an annual basis.But even as Chevron boasted of achieving production growth in the Permian as well as transferring the lessons learned to other basins, there are still questions about the profitability of the company’s assets in West Texas. “In the Permian, we remain focused on returns. We’re not chasing our production target, nor are we altering our plans based on the price of the day,” Chevron’s CEO Michael Wirth told analysts on an earnings call.Chevron maintains that it will be cash flow positive in the Permian by 2020 and that the company would allocate much of additional cash flow to shareholder distributions. The company appears confident about the path that it is on in West Texas.But the health of the industry is in the eye of the beholder, in many ways. In response to Chevron’s financial results, some market analysts were not as impressed. “The Real Story is that the Fracking Sector has been and Continues to be a Financial Bust,” Kathy Hipple, Tom Sanzillo and Clark Williams-Derry wrote in a joint commentary for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the Sightline Institute. The analysts said that the industry continues to utter the same refrain that it has been for a long time: “Wait ‘til next year.” They are referring to Chevron’s promise to be cash flow positive in the Permian by 2020. “The oil and gas giant is now admitting that its enormous bets on the Permian Basin will continue to bleed red ink for the rest of 2019. Investors will have to wait for yet another year — at least — until Chevron’s Permian assets start to pay off,” they wrote.More: The Permian is a double-edged sword for oil majors Major questions linger over profitability of oil, gas fracking in Permian basinlast_img read more

Engie begins construction of two solar projects in Burkina Faso

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Energy has announced the start of construction of two solar power plants with a combined generation capacity of 30 MW.The solar parks, with capacities of 20 MW and 10 MW, are planned for Koudougou, in Boulkiemdé province, and Kaya, in Sanmatenga, respectively.The Burkinabe government will finance the XOF41 billion ($73.5 million) project cost with a World Bank loan under the nation’s Electricity Sector Support Project.French energy company Engie will construct the parks and the transmission lines and substations will be installed by Engie subsidiary Ineo Energy and Systems plus five other companies: India’s Mohan Energy Corporation and Unitech Power Transmission, Chinese entities TBEA and Shandong Taïkai Power Engineering and the IMPSDI consortium formed by China’s Inner Mongolia Electric Power Survey & Design Institute and Kenyan engineer Kesec. “These companies have between 12 and 14 months to complete the work,” said Burkinabe minister of energy Bachir Ismaël Ouédraogo.The solar parks and new infrastructure will inject 48.86 GWh into the electricity network – around 2.5% of the nation’s demand – and help stabilize the grid, according to Sonabel, which opened a tender for four PV plants last month.[Joël Spaes]More: Construction begins on 30 MW of solar in Burkina Faso Engie begins construction of two solar projects in Burkina Fasolast_img read more

Judge rejects Peabody, Arch plan for coal mining joint venture in Powder River Basin

first_imgJudge rejects Peabody, Arch plan for coal mining joint venture in Powder River Basin FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wyoming Public Media:A federal judge has ruled against a proposed joint venture between the two largest coal producers in the nation. District Judge Sarah Pitlyk found that consolidating seven of Arch Resources Inc. and Peabody Energy Corp’s mines in the Powder River Basin and Colorado wouldn’t bode well for the region’s market.The move leaves questions for future consolidation in the Powder River Basin, and Arch Resources which has taken steps to move away from thermal markets.The court decision comes in support of a previous complaint made by the Federal Trade Commission last February. “The FTC has shown that there is a reasonable probability that the proposed joint venture will substantially impair competition in the market for Southern Powder River Basin coal and that the equities weigh in favor of injunctive relief,” Pitlyk wrote.The companies won’t appeal the federal court’s decision given the significant investment required.In June of 2019, Peabody and Arch announced their intent of joining forces in hopes of saving $820 million over the course of a decade. The goal was to adjust as coal markets continued to struggle against increasingly competitive natural gas and renewables. Under the plan, Peabody would have become the majority of the economic interest. In a presentation, Arch said it would use its thermal revenue to fund its metallurgical investments. The company officially changed their name from Arch Coal to Arch Resources in May.Benjamin Nelson, VP Senior Credit Officer and lead coal analyst at Moody’s Investors Service said, “We expect the Powder River Basin coal production region will remain under significant pressure in 2021 and at least a few coal mines in the region could close in the early 2020s.”[Cooper McKim]More: Cost-cutting coal venture rejected, leaves questions for PRB competitionlast_img read more