IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: Progress Toward Integrating Renewable Energy Into the Grid

first_imgIEEFA Energy Finance 2016: Progress Toward Integrating Renewable Energy Into the Grid FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewable energy advocates everywhere are grappling with the challenge of how to integrate energy generated from wind and solar into existing power grids.As moderator Suzanne Mattei, an IEEFA board member, put it in a morning panel at Energy Finance 2016 today, “You can make all the energy you want, but if you can’t get it into the infrastructure of the society you’re targeting, then you’re not going to reach your goal.”Richard Sedano, of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), a group of former government officials that advises governments in the U.S. and abroad on energy issues, explained some of the challenges posed by integration and highlighted progress that has been made. The U.S. is past the point of “entry panic,” or irrational fear of allowing wind and solar integration, Sedano said.“It’s not about whether we can do it anymore, it’s about maintaining reliability.”Sedano said that target breaks down into two main components:adequacy, or ensuring there is enough power to meet demand, andstability, meaning keeping operations smooth across different times of day and varying demand levelsHe said additional storage capacity is one potential solution of many.Christoph Podewils of Agora Energiewende offer perspective from Europe, detailing how Germany has increased its share of power generation from renewables from 5% in 1990 to 30% in 2015, with an eventual goal of 80% in 2050. Thus far into the transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear, Germany has found that wind and solar are already cost competitive to all other newly built power plants, and integration doesn’t dent that cost advantage.Podewils said governments across Europe are collaborating on renewable energy to cover each country’s demand and mitigate flexibility needs. These actions underline a recommendation by Sedano made based on his organization’s work on integration: “If you’re small, get big. Try to connect to neighboring systems as much as you can.”last_img read more

TVA Transitions From Coal Without Cost Increases, Supply Worries

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Times Free Press (Chattanooga):America’s biggest public utility has completed the closing and cleanup of its aging fleet of coal plants to comply with clean air requirements and has done so while keeping power rate increases below the rate of inflation.When the Tennessee Valley Authority reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups in 2011 to clean up its power generation, coal industry advocates warned closing fossil plants would push up power rates and cut jobs in TVA’s seven-state region.But over the past seven years, TVA managed instead to phase out more than half of the 59 coal-fired units it once operated—and install scrubbers and other pollution controls on some of its biggest remaining coal plants—without any major rate increase. In fact, TVA has cut rates in the past five years while attracting a record volume of investment in its seven-state region.TVA shuttered 33 coal-fired units in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky and spent $2 billion to install scrubbers or selective catalytic control devices at the Gallatin and Shawnee coal plants in the past decade. In their place, the agency has built combined-cycle, natural- gas-powered plants, added another nuclear reactor and purchased more renewable power.At the time of TVA’s settlement with the EPA, the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy and other pro-coal advocacy groups warned that TVA’s plans to shutter 7,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generation would boost electric rates in the Tennessee Valley by more than 20 percent and cut 65,000 jobs and $900 million of manufacturing output in Tennessee.“The doom-and-gloom forecasts about the costs of moving away from dirty coal were clearly exaggerated, and we now have cleaner air to breathe and a more energy efficient system,” said Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.More: Pollution Controls Don’t Prove As Costly As Critics Forecast TVA Transitions From Coal Without Cost Increases, Supply Worrieslast_img read more

Blockchain energy trading pilot planned in Thailand

first_imgBlockchain energy trading pilot planned in Thailand FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Perth-based blockchain developer Power Ledger has come together with Thai renewable energy business BCPG to launch a peer-to-peer (P2P) renewable energy trading trial at the T77 urban precinct in Bangkok, Thailand.The trial is realized in partnership with Thai utility Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), which is allowing access to its network for the physical transaction of energy between participants.According BCPG, the P2P platform will rely on rooftop solar systems with a total capacity of 635 kW deployed across four participating entities and co-located battery storage, which are expected to cover 20% of the community’s overall electricity needs.BCPG is in charge of designing and installing the connections, meters and solar PV, while Power Ledger is providing its blockchain technology as the transactive layer across 18 meter points to monitor energy transactions between participants, enable P2P trading, generate invoicing, and evaluate the trading position of individual participants.The trading transaction will be settled through Power Ledger’s Sparkz token, which is not affected by rates in cryptocurrency exchanges, unlike its POWR tokens that were generated as part of the company’s Initial Coin Offering. Meanwhile, Thai utility MEA will allow access to their network for the physical transaction of energy and leverage metering data from Power Ledger’s platform for customer billing.“Having a utility allow the physical transaction of energy inside the T77 precinct is an important step towards our aim of providing individuals with the ability to sell their excess renewable energy,” said Power Ledger Managing Director David Martin, adding that Thailand is a regional showcase for the integration of distributed renewable energy technologies.More: Power Ledger launches P2P solar trading trial in Bangkoklast_img read more

Storage the ‘tipping point’ for renewable energy

first_imgStorage the ‘tipping point’ for renewable energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The emergence of lithium-ion batteries and other new energy storage technologies represents a “third tipping point” for wind and solar energy that is needed to transform renewables into the world’s largest source of power, a veteran energy venture investor and technology entrepreneur said.“Storage is really everything. It will change everything if we dramatically ramp up the amount of storage that we have,” Bill Gross, founder and chairman of Idealab, a Pasadena, Calif., venture capital firm and startup incubator, said Oct. 17 at a sustainability conference in Oakland, Calif.The “first tipping point” for renewable energy came in recent years, “when building wind and solar became cheaper than building new anything else,” Gross said. The second tipping point is occurring now, because “building new wind and solar are cheaper than existing power plants.”Until energy storage advances, however, the variability of wind and solar power will limit renewables’ further ascent, Gross said. “It can’t replace baseload. It can’t replace a gas power plant yet.”Barbara Lockwood, vice president of regulation for Pinnacle West Capital Corp. subsidiary Arizona Public Service Co., agreed. “As a utility, we look at tried-and-true technology, and that’s what we deploy for reliability purposes. Having said that, batteries just are an amazing technology … They very much are going to be part of the future.”In addition to contracting with First Solar Inc. for a 65-MW solar array coupled with 50 MW of batteries that is expected online in 2021, Arizona Public Service is considering energy storage offers to two requests issued this year, one for new installations and one to add storage at existing solar facilities. “We are amazed at how the prices are coming down,” Lockwood said.More ($): Energy storage seen as ‘third tipping point’ for renewableslast_img read more

Facebook makes first direct investment in renewable energy project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Facebook announced Thursday it has finalized an agreement to provide tax-equity financing for a 379-megawatt solar project developed by Longroad Energy Partners in West Texas. It’s the first time the social media company, which last year committed to reaching 100 percent renewables by 2020, has directly invested in a wind or solar project.Shell Energy North America, another corporation that’s shown increasing interest in renewables, signed a 12-year power-purchase agreement for the project’s power. Both Facebook and Shell will use the renewable energy credits from the project, though Facebook told Greentech Media it would receive the majority of those credits.Facebook will be the sole tax-equity investor for the Prospero project, saying its investment could provide a new model for corporations investigating renewables procurement.“We hope such investments can be a new avenue of meaningfully engaging with projects, which might be easier for some companies than a long-term power-purchase agreement, thereby unlocking new options for more organizations to meet their goals and grow the market,” said Peter Freed, Facebook’s energy strategy manager, in a statement.Separately on Thursday, First Solar announced a deal that will see it supplying Facebook with solar power from its Cove Mountain 2 project in Utah, through a PPA with utility Rocky Mountain Power. Due for completion in 2020, the 122-megawatt (AC) plant will expand on the 58-megawatt Cove Mountain array that’s already planned to supply power to a Facebook data center in Utah.The Texas project adds a new dimension to Facebook’s attempts to reach its sustainability targets. While the deal may be novel, analysts say it shouldn’t shock those watching the corporate renewables market. Tracking by the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance shows that companies procured 6.63 gigawatts of renewables in the United States in 2018 and so far in 2019 have contracted for 1.49 gigawatts. Facebook led the pack in 2018 and has already signed the most deals in 2019.More: A Facebook first: Tech giant invests directly in a renewable project Facebook makes first direct investment in renewable energy projectlast_img read more

India’s Azure Power wins contract for 2GW of solar from SECI

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Azure Power has lined up the latest solar contract of a string this year, securing the government’s backing for a major interstate transmission (ISTS) project. On Thursday, the developer said it has been picked by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to deploy 2GW of solar across the country, backed by a power purchase agreement (PPA).The scheme, supported by the SECI’s new letter of award, will seek to deploy annual 500MW PV batches at yet-to-be decided locations all across India, Azure said in a statement.The firm expects all plants to be commissioned between 2022 and 2025. Their output has been contracted via a 25-year PPA with SECI, featuring tariffs of INR2.92/kWh (US$0.041/kWh). The tariff, said Azure CEO Ranjit Gupta, is 8% higher than the “last discovered” figure from SECI for ISTS projects. “This opportunity is attractive to us for many reasons,” Gupta remarked.The PPA with SECI will offer Azure protection against curtailment, a long-running issue for Indian renewables. The deal allows the developer to override ISTS transmission fees.In return for the long-term state backing to its 2GW push, Azure is required to support 500MW in domestic PV cell and module manufacturing capacity. The firm explained it has already signed a tentative deal with a “leading” Indian panel maker to take over a majority stake of the 500MW component. [José Rojo Martín]More: India’s Azure gets green light for 2GW ISTS solar project India’s Azure Power wins contract for 2GW of solar from SECIlast_img read more

Tata Power CEO: Older coal plants in India should be closed, replaced with renewables

first_imgTata Power CEO: Older coal plants in India should be closed, replaced with renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ETEnergyWorld.com:Closing old coal plants which have been in operation for 25-30 years can create space for setting up 60 gigawatts of renewable energy, according to Praveer Sinha, Managing Director (MD) & CEO, Tata Power. He was speaking at a report launch webinar organized by Climate Trends where he talked about how closing old coal-based power plants is important from both economic and environment point of view.“If we look at more statutory requirements, more in terms of environmental requirements, there is definitely a business case that one can say that plants which have been 25 years old or 30 years old and which are not meeting the pollution norms, they need to close down,” Sinha said.He said plants which are 25 years old or more need to be closed instead of renewing them because these plants will have to go for Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD), and other additional costs will be incurred.He said there are 270-280 plants which are more than 25 years old and their total power generating capacity is around 35 GW. Also, there are around 200-odd old coal plants which had a 15-year loan repayment schedule.“If 60 GW comes out of the system, it will first of all reduce the burden on fixed costs, which many of these discoms continue to pay in spite of the fact that they are not using these plants totally. They are using it for picking requirements of a few hours in a year,” he said.“The third aspect is whatever capacity is created after accounting for the stranded assets, in the range of 40-50 GW, can be taken up by renewables,” he said. Sinha also added that this could be enabled by policy measures at the state level.More: Phasing out old coal plants can free space for 60 GW renewable power: Praveer Sinha, TATA powerlast_img read more

American Electric Power to take 1,633MW of coal capacity in Texas offline by 2028

first_imgAmerican Electric Power to take 1,633MW of coal capacity in Texas offline by 2028 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:Two major power plants in East Texas will stop using coal within the coming decade, American Electric Power Co. said yesterday.AEP’s Southwestern Electric Power Co. announced the Pirkey plant is slated to retire in 2023, while the company will stop coal operations at the Welsh plant in 2028. AEP owns 1,633 megawatts of capacity from those plants combined.The moves continue a shift at Ohio-based AEP and the power sector in general, as aging coal plants are being sidelined over costs and emissions concerns. But the company indicated that a number of other coal-fueled plants will continue operating, and it suggested that Welsh could find new life beyond coal. AEP said compliance with environmental regulations, including EPA’s coal combustion residuals (CCR) rule, factored into its decision.At the same time, the company said it plans to upgrade the ash pond system and operate the 1,310-MW Unit 1 at the Rockport plant in Indiana until a previously outlined 2028 retirement. The company said it won’t renew a lease for the 1,310-MW Unit 2 at Rockport once it expires in 2022.As for the Welsh plant, the company will monitor market conditions and evaluate other factors to determine the best path for the plant, said Carey Sullivan, a SWEPCO spokeswoman. And it will analyze “a possible conversion to natural gas” at the site, she said. SWEPCO could use purchased power to fill any short-term capacity needs related to the retirement of Pirkey, according to Sullivan, while longer-term needs would be part of an ongoing resource planning process.The Pirkey and Welsh plants that are slated to stop using coal in the coming decade are located in the region managed by the Southwest Power Pool. A sign of changing times was apparent elsewhere in Texas yesterday, as the state’s main power grid operator said its region is on track to install record amounts of wind, batteries and utility-scale solar in 2020.[Edward Klump]More: 2 major Texas power plants to exit coallast_img read more

Anglo American to exit thermal coal sector by mid-2023

first_imgAnglo American to exit thermal coal sector by mid-2023 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Anglo American will divest from its South African and Colombian thermal coal operations by mid-2023, the miner said on Friday as it sought to demonstrate to investors its commitment to a shift towards clean energy sources.The global miner said a de-merger and listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange was the most likely route for its South African thermal coal assets.Anglo American, which produces platinum, copper, diamonds, iron ore, and thermal and metallurgical coal, highlighted its green credentials as the mining industry faces increasing scrutiny over its carbon footprint.“With the bulk of (growth) options in copper, PGMs, and now also crop nutrients, we are increasingly positioned to supply those metals and minerals that enable a cleaner, greener, more sustainable world,” Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said on Friday in an annual update to investors.Cutifani said the company planned to exit its Cerrejon thermal coal mine in Colombia within 1 1/2 to 2 years, while the South African thermal coal exit will happen within 2 1/2 years.[Helen Reid]More: Anglo American maps out thermal coal exit, sees higher outputlast_img read more

Rehab

first_imgNow that the kids are back in school, the routine returns, including some self-care to balance out all of the self-abuse that summer can inspire.It’s time to amp up the cardio with days of running, especially now that the mornings stay cool through noon, offering a delightful prance through the neighborhood, complete with cool breezes. Not only can I suddenly climb every hill, but I have enough energy to smile and say good morning to others out on the street. Plus, it no longer takes a gallon of water throughout the day to replenish fluids and stave off cramps from one run.It’s time to do a dietary cleanse of some sort to wash away all of the salt and processed meats found on most summer cookout grills. A good week of juicing should do the trick, complete with vitamins, Emergen-C, and ginger tea rather than hot dogs and lemonade washed down with copious amounts of beer.It’s time to return to yoga, to stretch out those injuries from the late-night rides after a long day working, from the epic Sundays, the races followed, not by stretching and water, but beer and little sleep. Yoga will do wonders for that aching lower back, crippled from pushing strollers and fitful nights of sleep in a tent on a Therm-a-Rest only to be woken at 5:30 a.m. by eager campers under the age of 8. I’ve been back to yoga for two weeks and can already tell the difference. The first class made me laugh out loud while everybody was concentrating on their yujaya breath whilst balancing on their heads. I, a gymnast, had no balance whatsoever, never mind funny breathing. I was thankful I’d remembered to first spit out my gum. The class brought me through my body of misery and the realization of how much I’d slipped in three months. I’m thankful for a new set of issues to unravel between now and November when the self-care flies back out the window in lieu of holiday preparations.It’s time to eat some steroids to clear up the nasty poison-ivy, which leaves its scars for months. Prednisone might make you crazy, but it also really makes the sloppy joints feel miraculously healed while pounding them across the pavement. The first shot the nurse wanted to give me in the bum, I knocked to the floor by squeezing my buns of riding steel and shot it directly into my ankle joint while she got another. Only in my rendition of it later, of course.It’s time to bring the bike into the shop to replace the seat, which now has an entire chunk missing from the left cheek side, causing me to use my right leg more. The chain is stretched and now holds more dirt than lube. The derailleur slips, no matter how many twists of the tension screws. The brake pads have been squealing down the steep hills, which have admittedly been a good bear repellent. The paint is chipped and worn. The new Pivot I rode won’t leave the back of my head no matter how much the wallet complains.So as the season comes to a rallying end, and the final races are won, remember that none of it is possible, or nearly as fun, without self-care.last_img read more