Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sonatrach Plans Closer Ties with Total on Energy Projects

Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach and Total are planning to work more closely together on offshore, petrochemical, solar energy and shale exploration projects, Sonatrach's CEO said on Wednesday. The CEO's comments signal a new chapter for the companies' efforts to cooperate on energy projects and show they have put behind them past disputes, including one in the mid-2000s over profit-sharing on oil and gas contracts. "Our relation with Total is good now. We will do a lot together including in shale, solar and offshore.

EDF Wants to Take Part in Saudi Nuclear Plans - CEO

French state-controlled utility EDF wants to take part in Saudi Arabia's plans to build nuclear power reactors, its chief executive told Reuters on Monday. Saudi Arabia, which wants to reduce oil consumption at home, is considering building 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear-powered electricity generating capacity by 2032 and has sent a request for information to international suppliers to build two reactors. Sources familiar with the situation said…

France Awards Climate Grants to U.S.-Based Scientists

Emmanuel Macron plans to award multi-year grants for several U.S.-based scientists to relocate to France, his office said on Monday on the eve of a climate summit hosted by the president to raise finances to counter global warming. Macron unveiled the "Make our Planet Great Again" grants after President Donald Trump in June said he was pulling the United States out of an international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that was brokered in Paris in 2015. Macron repeatedly tried to persuade the U.S. leader to reverse his decision.

China's Giant Floating Solar Plant Goes Live

© tantawat / Adobe Stock

China's Three Gorges Group started producing power from a 150-megawatt floating solar plant in east China, the largest of its kind in the world, official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. The solar power project in Huainan in Anhui province, developed by the new energy unit of state-run Three Gorges Group, is expected to be in full operation in May next year, the report said. The one-billion-yuan Huainan project is a new experiment aimed at cutting the cost of constructing and operating solar power plants…

FERC Seeks Delay of Coal, Nuclear Rule

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) carolyn franks)

The new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late on Thursday requested a 30-day delay on a decision on a plan promoted by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize aging nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Kevin McIntyre, a Republican, wrote a letter to Perry proposing to extend the deadline for a decision on the so-called Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. Perry in September had issued FERC a directive to consider the rule and decide on it by Dec. 11.

Engie Plans to Go Green

French utility Engie plans to switch all of its gas operations to biogas and renewable hydrogen by 2050, making it 100 percent green, its chief executive said on Monday. The power and gas group has some 70 biogas projects worldwide, including 40 in France, and says that if all its projects get approval its annual investment in biogas could soar tenfold to hundreds of millions of euros per year. Engie, which has sold its fossil gas activities as part of a broader restructuring…

Pressured for Profit, Oil Majors Bet Big on Shale Technology

(File photo: ConocoPhillips)

Shale oil engineer Oscar Portillo spends his days drilling as many as five wells at once - without ever setting foot on a rig. Part of a team working to cut the cost of drilling a new shale well by a third, Portillo works from a Royal Dutch Shell Plc office in suburban Houston, his eyes darting among 13 monitors flashing data on speed, temperature and other metrics as he helps control rigs more than 500 miles (805 km) away in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. oilfield.

J.v.G. Thoma Introduces the Automatic Robot-LayUp 2020

Photo: J.v.G. Thoma

Solar power specialists J.v.G. Thoma GmbH have completed a further automatic robot lay-up, the result of years of research and development by J.v.G. Thoma into the most efficient ways of harnessing renewable energy from the sun. The company is renowned in the field of photovoltaic energy production for their innovative DESERT+ technology solutions, with solar panels designed for use in extreme climatic conditions. Now, with the introduction of the 120 MW…

Norway's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Constitution, Lawsuit Says

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Norway's plan for Arctic oil exploration is unconstitutional because it violates the right to a healthy environment, a lawyer for Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth environmental group told an Oslo court on Tuesday. The case is the first of its kind in Norway and says a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil , Chevron and others violates the constitution. Norway signed the 2016 Paris accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century.

Coal's Future Remains Uncertain

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

A year after Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to revive the ailing U.S. coal industry, the sector’s long-term prospects for growth and hiring remain as bleak as ever. A Reuters review of mining data shows an industry that has seen only modest gains in jobs and production this year - much of it from a temporary uptick in foreign demand for U.S. coal rather than presidential policy changes. U.S. utilities are shutting coal-fired power plants at a rapid pace and shifting to cheap natural gas, along with wind and solar power.

Record Low Bid for 24/7 Block Mixing Wind and Solar at Chile Tender

Project Render (Photo: Verano Capital)

Verano Capital, an American project developer headquartered in Santiago, has announced that the 47 MW solar project they initially developed was selected in Chile’s latest energy tender with a winning bid at $25.38/MWh, the lowest 24/7 block price combining solar and wind ever recorded in the history of energy tenders. The winning bid was offered by a solar project which will be coupled with wind projects to offer a 24/7 supply over a 20-year period.

Coal to Become a Scarce Commodity?

file Image: An Asian coal berth (CREDIT: BMT)

The idea of coal as a scarce commodity seems somewhat preposterous given it remains one of the most abundant mineral resources on the planet, but the coming years may see a deficit in seaborne markets for the polluting fuel. The current debate surrounding coal is generally one of how long it will continue to play a role in the world's energy mix before it is replaced by cleaner alternatives, mainly renewables such as wind and solar. While various analysts will disagree on how quickly this process will occur…

TransCanada to Sell Ontario Solar Assets

Canadian pipeline operator TransCanada Corp said on Wednesday it would sell its Ontario-based solar energy portfolio to Axium Infinity Solar LP for about C$540 million ($426 million). The portfolio comprises eight facilities with a generating capacity of 76 megawatts. TransCanada, which operates the Keystone XL pipeline, said proceeds from the sale would help fund its C$24 billion near-term capital program.   Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru

Plan to Support Coal, Nuclear Divides U.S. Energy Industry

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

U.S. industries that rarely agree - gas drillers and renewable energy producers - urged a federal agency on Monday to dump a government directive to prop up ageing nuclear and coal plants, saying the electricity grid was already reliable. The split in the energy industry showed that a Trump administration push to make the country energy "dominant" by boosting output from every part of the sector may face hurdles. A group of 20 organizations…

BP Eyes Smaller Renewable Investments

BP is targeting smaller and wider-ranging investments in renewable energy to avoid large losses in the sector like those it suffered earlier in the decade, Chief Executive Bob Dudley said on Wednesday. BP and peers including Royal Dutch Shell and Total have recognised the need to reduce carbon emissions in the fight against global warming, but their investment in renewables remains tiny compared to oil and gas. "We're making smarter, in many cases…

World’s First Floating Wind Farm Starts Production

The Hywind Scotland floating wind farm. (Photo: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Statoil ASA)

The world's first offshore floating wind farm has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid, providing power to approximately 20,000 households. The 30MW Hywind Scotland wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was officially opened today by First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” First Minister Sturgeon said.

Where's the Money? Oil Traders Ask as Peak Demand Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Gear STD)

Traders still see opportunities in oil trading as Mercuria bets on power markets in U.S., China. For major trading houses that ship millions of barrels of oil every day, the prospect of diminishing fuel demand and a shift to renewable power poses a brain-racking challenge with few obvious solutions. "It is a very fair question - what the hell are we going to do?" said Ian Taylor, chief executive of the world's top oil trader Vitol, which trades seven percent of the world's oil. "It's not obvious.

US Solar Industry's Growth Region: Trump Country

Solar Panel AdobeStock / (c) 孤飞的鹤

President Donald Trump's administration has vowed to revive the coal industry, challenged climate-change science and blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies. And yet the solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and those same subsidies, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support. Data provided to Reuters by GTM Research, a clean energy market information firm, shows that eight of the 10 fastest-growing U.S.

Statoil Takes First Bite of Solar Market

(Photo: Scatec Solar)

Norway's Statoil is taking its first step into the solar sector on Wednesday, partnering up with Oslo-listed renewable energy firm Scatec Solar in a joint venture aiming to build several large-scale solar plants in Brazil. Bruised by pressure on oil prices over the last two years, European oil companies have been intensifying their expansion into renewable energy to seek new sources of revenue. With a 40-percent share in Scatec's construction-ready 162 megawatt Apodi farm and a 50-percent share in the project execution company…

Solar PV Grew Faster Than Any Other Fuel in 2016

New solar PV capacity grew by 50% last year, with China accounting for almost half of the global expansion, according to the International Energy Agency's latest renewables market analysis and forecast. For the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal. Boosted by a strong solar PV market, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world last year…

Perry's Proposed Grid Rule Scrambles Energy Alliances

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's attempt to save the coal and nuclear industries by proposing a new grid resiliency rule is making for some odd bedfellows across the energy sector. The proposed grid resiliency rule threatens to turn two of the Trump administration's most loyal groups of supporters against one another, as the gas and coal industries square off for a fight over market share. The White House has celebrated the growth in domestic…

Amarenco Acquires Renewable Energy Developer Groupe Carré

Olivier Carré  (Photo: Groupe Carré)

Amarenco, an independent power producer based in Ireland, has announced its acquisition of Groupe Carré, a renewable energy project developers active in France. This acquisition supports Amarenco’s strategic objectives and strengthens its position in France’s promising wind and solar energy markets. Operating under the brand name Amarenco France, the new entity has the depth of skills, experience and financial girth to quickly become one of the main vertically integrated IPPs active in the country.

France Wins EU Nod for Renewable Energy Schemes

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

EU state aid regulators approved on Friday four French schemes that will allow the country to produce more than 7.5 gigawatts in energy from onshore wind and solar, saying the projects were in line with EU competition rules. France aims to produce 23 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The European Commission said France will evaluate the schemes and brief regulators on the impact with an interim report in 2018 and a final one in 2022.

Statkraft Divests Renewable Energy Assets in Four Markets

Norway's Statkraft swapped its hydropower units in Panama, Laos, Philippines and Zambia with other renewable energy assets in South America and Asia previously co-owned by a Norwegian development fund, the two organisations said on Wednesday. Statkraft acquired full ownership of hydropower, solar and wind assets in Peru, Brazil, Chile, India and Nepal from Norfund, part of its strategy to operate in fewer places but increase its ownership in different renewables.

EthosEnergy Bags $13 Mln Plant Service Contract

EthosEnergy has been awarded a $13 million contract by Zhaikmunai LLP for a refurbishment, upgrade of a Frame 5 package and Long Term Service Agreement (LTSA) at their plant in Kazakhstan. Andreas Bork from Zhaikmunai LLP said, “Our previous work and LTSA contracts with EthosEnergy on our Solar gas turbine fleet meant that we knew they would deliver the best solution for our needs. Their ability to supply, install and commission the Frame…

SolarCity to Pay $29.5 Mln to Resolve US Gov't Allegations

SolarCity will pay $29.5 million to settle a long-running investigation into allegations it violated federal law by submitting inflated claims to the government through a popular stimulus program set up during the Obama administration, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday. The department said there was no determination of liability as part of the settlement with SolarCity, now owned by Tesla Inc , and that the company would also drop related litigation against the government.

Japan Fires Up Biomass Energy as Fuel Shortage Looms

© Mikael Damkier / Adobe Stock

As the sun sets on Japan's solar energy boom, companies and investors are rushing into wood-burning biomass projects to lock in still-high government subsidies. More than 800 projects have already won government approval, offering 12.4 gigawatts (GW) of capacity -- equal to 12 nuclear power stations and nearly double Japan's 2030 target for biomass in its basic energy policy. The sheer number of projects has raised questions about how they will all find sufficient fuel…

US Natural Gas Prices Rise as Winter Stocks Look Tight: Kemp

U.S. natural gas stocks look somewhat tight after low prices this summer worked off the excess stocks that built up in the first half of the year. Current stocks are in line with the five-year seasonal average but that may not be enough given the increase in exports and the number of additional combined-cycle power plants that have become operational in 2017. The last two winters have been exceptionally mild; if this winter proves colder, which is likely simply on the basis of probabilities, inventories could come under pressure.

Total Ups Renewables Stake With Two Deals

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

Total buying 23.5 pct stake in EREN RE. Oil major Total has stepped up its expansion into renewables with investments in solar and wind energy producer EREN RE and energy efficiency firm GreenFlex. Bruised by pressure on oil prices over the last two years, Europe's biggest oil companies have been intensifying their push into renewable energy to seek new sources of future revenue. Total said it was buying a 23 percent stake in renewables company EREN RE for 237.5 million euros ($285 million), and could later acquire full control of the business.

Coal's Problem is Not Climate Change: Kemp

© EyeMark / Adobe Stock

U.S. coal companies blame climate campaigners and the Obama administration for waging a war on coal that has cost thousands of jobs and threatened struggling mining communities. But coal’s long-term problems stem not from politics but from physical properties that make it an inferior source of energy compared with oil, gas and (arguably) renewables. Coal has been losing the “war” for market share since the middle of the 20th century as other sources of energy have become cheaper and more abundant.

India Searches for Clean Coal Funding

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Snap Happy)

Coal to meet over half of India's power needs by 2040; its dependence on imported coal to continue. India needs to partner with other countries to tap cheaper funds for cleaner coal technologies as the South Asian nation is expected to use the fuel to produce over half of its power in the next two decades, the World Coal Association chief said on Thursday. India, the world's second-largest coal importer, relies on the fuel for about 78 percent of its electricity generation.

South Africa Energy Minister Gives Deadline for Signing IPP Contracts

South Africa's energy minister has given state-run power utility Eskom until the end of October to sign renewable energy agreements with independent power producers (IPPs), the energy department said on Friday. South Africa, which was hit by supply shortages in 2015 that led to rolling power cuts, is diversifying its energy mix away from an over-reliance on coal-power plants to include greener wind and solar projects. Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi…

Exxon Mobil Vietnam Gas Project Could Start in November

Exxon Mobil Corp's Blue Whale gas project, Vietnam's biggest, could start in November, Vietnam Television (VTV) reported on Tuesday. The Blue Whale field has an estimated 150 billion cubic metres of reserves. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told Exxon Mobil on Tuesday he hoped to have the project starting officially at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November when U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. government officials are expected to attend, state-run VTV reported.

Saudi Arabia Aims to Exceed Renewable Energy Target

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Saudi Arabia aims to exceed its target to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy annually, to highlight its long-term commitment to green energy, a senior government official said. "We plan to exceed 9.5 gigawatts," Turki al-Shehri, head of the energy ministry's Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) told the Sino-Saudi investment forum in Jeddah on Thursday. "The whole idea of this is to give investors a sense of comfort that the Kingdom has a long-term vision for renewable energy," he later told Reuters.

Coal Price Surge Justified by China's Dynamics: Russell

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

How much of the current surge in thermal coal prices in Asia is because of a fundamental shift in the supply-demand balance, and how much is down to speculative froth? This is a question often asked when a commodity experiences a strong gain - or drop - in price, especially when the fundamentals don't appear to have shifted that much, at least on a casual view. Virtually everybody in the coal industry can agree that the strong performance in seaborne thermal coal this year is being driven by market dynamics in top importer China.

Sierra Club sues US Energy Department

Environmental group the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Energy Department on Monday in hopes of forcing it to reveal the groups it has consulted in conducting an eagerly awaited study on the electricity grid. It was the latest push-back on the department’s study from backers of renewable energy such as wind and solar power who fear it could be used by the Trump administration to form policies that could slow growth in the industry. Energy Secretary Rick Perry…

GMG Completes Cable Burial Work off the Netherlands

CS Recorder (Photo: Global Marine Group)

Global Marine Group (GMG), a provider of offshore engineering services to the renewables, telecommunications and oil and gas industries, said it has completed a remedial cable burial project for Prinses Amaliawindpark (PAWP), a wind farm off the Netherlands’ West Coast. PAWP covers an area of around 14km2 and comprises of 60 wind turbines that are connected by eight in-field cable strings that converge at the central offshore high voltage station.

Germany's Long Goodbye to Coal Despite Merkel's Green Push

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Snap Happy)

Coal needed for power supply security for decades. Burning coal for power looks set to remain the backbone of Germany's energy supply for decades yet, an apparent contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel's ambitions for Europe's biggest economy to be a role model in tackling climate change. Merkel is avoiding the sensitive subject of phasing out coal, which could hit tens of thousands of jobs, in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election, in which she hopes to win a fourth term.

European Oil Majors Enter U.S. Offshore Wind Markets

File Image: CREDIT CWind

Statoil, Shell, DONG Energy turn to U.S. offshore wind; oil firms bring big budgets, offshore tech and risk experience. Some European oil majors have made inroads into the emerging U.S. offshore wind energy market, aiming to leverage their experience of deepwater development and the crowded offshore wind arena at home. Late entrants to the offshore wind game in Europe, which began with a project off Denmark 25 years ago and is now approaching maturity…

The Energy Patch: where rights offerings are "sexy" again

Energy businesses that are trying to exit bankruptcy are finding a saviour in some of their own creditors, which have been scooping up newly issued stock from the companies at hefty discounts. More than a dozen so-called rights offerings have raised billions of dollars over the past 18 months, according to data compiled by Reuters, to help revitalize these energy companies in return for large fees and juicy investment returns. But those benefits have not been equally shared among all the creditors providing the cash.

Shell Plans 400 Job Cuts in the Netherlands

Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to cut more than 400 jobs in the Netherlands, mainly at its major projects and energy technology operations, as the oil giant shifts its business model in response to lower oil prices, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. The world's second-largest oil company by market capitalisation said in a statement responding to questions from Reuters that "approximately 400 (staff) are potentially at risk of redundancy during the last quarter of 2017/first half of 2018".

EMP Aquarius MRE Prepares for Sea Trials

Aquarius MRE Technologies and Project Partners. Image: Eco Marine Power

Eco Marine Power (EMP) has begun preparing for sea trials of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) solution in co-operation with strategic partners and ship owner Hisafuku Kisen K.K. of Onomichi, Japan. This preparatory work will lead to the world’s first installation of an integrated rigid sail and solar power system for ships using EMP’s patented technologies including the EnergySail. This is a major step forward towards a more sustainable…

Blackrock, Lightsource Target UK Solar Power Portfolio

Asset manager Blackrock and solar energy firm Lightsource have agreed to jointly create a 1 billion pound ($1.3 billion) portfolio of solar power assets in Britain over the next three years, the two companies said on Tuesday. The partnership, called Kingfisher, will initially include 25 of Lightsource's British solar assets with a combined capacity of 156 megawatts (MW), which have already secured government subsidies for their power production.

Wind, Solar Do Not Harm Power Grid Reliability -Draft US Study

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The growth of renewable power, including wind and solar, has not harmed the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid, according to a draft U.S. Department of Energy study, echoing the findings of grid operators across the country. The conclusion of the draft, dated July and viewed by Reuters, could ease fears in the renewable energy industry that the widely anticipated study would be used by President Donald Trump's administration to form policies supporting coal plants at the expense of wind and solar.

Saudi Aramco to Set up Companies for Energy Industrial City

Saudi Aramco received the approval of the Saudi government to set up two new companies that will develop and operate a new Energy Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom seeks to expand its industrial base, state news agency SPA reported on Monday. The city will be developed over 50-square km of land in the oil producing region, SPA said quoting a cabinet statement. An earlier report said the city will be close to Abqaiq and will develop energy-related industries.

Vattenfall to Save $356 Mln a Year after Sweden Tax Phase Out

Swedish state-owned power utility Vattenfall will save about 3 billion Swedish crowns ($356 million) a year after the country's nuclear tax has been phased out and will use the savings to extend the life of its reactors, its CEO told Reuters. On July 1, in a long expected move, Sweden started a two-year phasing out of its tax on nuclear power production, which many nuclear energy producers, including Vattenfall , said had created losses and halted investments. "The tax reduction will be 3 billion crowns per year ...

French Wind Power Sector to Consolidate Further -EDF

France's wind power generation sector will consolidate further, the head EDF's renewables unit Antoine Cahuzac said on Wednesday as the company moves to complete the takeover of wind energy developer Futuren . The renewables subsidiary of the French state-controlled utility has acquired 67.2 percent of Futuren, and will on Thursday launch a public offer for the remaining shares in a deal worth 320 million euros ($363 million). "The consolidation will not end here," Cahuzac, Chief Executive of EDF Energies Nouvelles, told reporters.

Indian Renewable Firms Plan $2.5 Bln in Offshore Dollar Bond Issues

© Sergiy Serdyuk / Adobe Stock

Four Indian renewable power producers are planning to raise up to $2.5 billion via dollar bonds offshore because of caution among domestic lenders, banking sources said. In addition to the four solar and wind power firms, a fifth company that invests in renewable projects, Adani Group, has raised $250 million via a loan but has yet to publicly announce the borrowing, the sources told Reuters. A source working with one of the bond issues…

Europe to be Natural Gas Kingmaker

File Image: CREDIT MISC

It's probably not quite here yet, but the trend is unmistakeable; the world is moving to a globally-linked natural gas market and the rise of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the key driver. Much of the increase in LNG capacity is because of the rapid boost to plants in Australia and the United States, as both countries take advantage of abundant local reserves of natural gas to muscle in on a market that until recently had been dominated by a few established producers and buyers.

'Bring On More Renewables,' US Regulator Says

© Jonathan Weiss / Adobe Stock

Wind and solar power does not make the U.S. electricity grid less stable, an outgoing federal regulator said on Tuesday, as the Trump administration readies a study that will examine whether renewable energy has had a harmful effect. Colette Honorable, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said at a conference that renewables have different attributes than base load power, which includes coal and nuclear energy, and that those difference need to be overcome.

China Cash Boosts African FLNG Projects

File Image: A typical FLNG vessel (Credit: Trelleborg)

China aims to become lowest-cost seller of FLNG plants; its shipyards to build floating plants for African projects. China plans to pour almost $7 billion into floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) projects in Africa, betting on a largely untested technology in the hope that energy markets will recover by the time they start production in the early 2020s. Western banks are wary due to the depressed state of the shipping and gas markets, as well as the technical difficulties of pumping gas extracted from below the ocean floor…

Coal Isn't Dead (Yet): Russell

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

Here's a question for the anti-coal lobby. If coal is dying, how come there is an increasingly heated bidding war going on for Rio Tinto's coal mines in Australia? Here's another question, this time for the pro-coal lobby. If coal still has a viable long-term future as an energy source, how come the world's biggest planned new mine is now hostage to whether the Australian government decides to loan it money? Reconciling these two questions…

Rapid Nuclear Decommissioning Threatens Climate Targets, says IEA

Decommissioning nuclear plants in Europe and North America from 2020 threatens global plans to cut carbon emissions unless governments build new nuclear plants or expand the use of renewables, a top International Energy Agency official said. Nuclear is now the largest low-carbon power source in Europe and the United States, about three times bigger than wind and solar combined, according to IEA data. But most reactors were built in the 1970s and early 80s, and will reach the end of their life around 2020.

Wind, Solar Energy No Threat to Grid: Industry Study

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

With the Trump administration expected to publish an analysis that could undermine the U.S. wind and solar industries, two renewable energy lobbying groups on Tuesday released their own study saying new energy sources pose no threat to the country's power grid. Wind and solar advocates have said the government study's outcome appeared to be pre-determined to favor fossil fuel industries. The new report, commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association and Advanced Energy Economy…

IEA Welcomes Hungary's Efforts in Energy Sector

Hungary took a major step in the right direction with its National Energy Strategy to 2030, which was published in 2011. The country must now make greater use of market-based mechanisms in the energy sector to meet its goals, according to the International Energy Agency's latest assessment of Hungary's energy policies. The main objective of Hungary's energy strategy is to ensure a sustainable and secure energy sector while supporting the competitiveness of the economy.

F2i buys Seven Wind Farms in Green Drive

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

F2i, the largest infrastructure fund operating in Italy, said on Tuesday it will strengthen its position in green energy by buying seven wind farms in the south of the country. The fund, which is around 14 percent owned by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, said it had bought the wind plants on the island of Sicily and in Calabria from Italy's Veronagest. It did not disclose the price for the 282 megawatt wind power portfolio, but in a joint statement with Veronagest it said the deal is expected to be wrapped up by the end of June.

Boosting Renewable Energy Requires Gas Too -ConEd

Shifting more U.S. energy production to renewable sources such as wind and solar power is doable but will require greater use of natural gas and overcoming opposition to building pipelines, a senior executive of a U.S. utility said on Thursday. Consolidated Edison Inc no longer defaults to the traditional utility solution of building more infrastructure to meet growing demand for power, said Craig Ivey, president of the company unit serving New York City and nearby suburbs.

French Installed Wind Capacity Soared in Q1

© PlanetEarthPictures / Adobe Stock

France installed 330 megawatt (MW) of renewable wind power capacity in the first quarter of 2017, the biggest increase in any first quarter, taking total French wind power capacity to over 12 gigawatts (GW), the Ecology Ministry said in a report. The increase in capacity was boosted by new projects which were connected to the grid during the quarter, boosting French electricity output from wind turbines to about 6.9 terawatt-hour (TWh) in the quarter, or about 4.8 percent of French demand.

QOS Energy sets up Indian Office

QOS Energy project Engineers Navdej SINGH and Shankar KUMAR. (Photo: QOS Energy)

QOS Energy, a renewable O&M analytics software provider, opened a new office in India to better serve the booming Indian market. “QOS Energy provides turnkey O&M analytics services to unleash the value of data from thousands of renewable energy plants across the world. With its target to ramp up solar power generation to 100 GW by 2022, India is poised to become one of the largest PV market in the world. Our customers’ business needs reflect this trend.

Solarworld Files for Insolvency

Photo: Solarworld

Germany's Solarworld has filed for insolvency proceedings, defeated by Chinese competition which has flooded the market with cheap solar panels. "Due to the ongoing price erosion and the development of the business, the company no longer has a positive going concern prognosis, is therefore over-indebted and thus obliged to file for insolvency proceedings," Solarworld said in a statement on Wednesday. It added that it was assessing if affiliated companies would also have to file for insolvency.