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Renewable Energy Update
December 7, 2018
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Global carbon dioxide emissions rise even as coal wanes and renewables boom

STANFORD UNIVERSITY NEWS - Dec 5 Global fossil fuel emissions are on track to rise for a second year in a row, primarily due to growing energy use, according to new estimates from the Global Carbon Project, an initiative led by Stanford University scientist Rob Jackson. In the United States, emissions of carbon dioxide are projected to increase 2.5 percent in 2018 after a decade of declines. Culprits for the increase include unusual weather – a cold winter in Eastern states and a warm summer across much of the nation ramped up energy needs for seasonal heating and cooling – as well as a growing appetite for oil in the face of low gas prices. Yet the study shows renewables around the world are largely coming online as add-ons to fossil fuel energy sources – particularly natural gas – rather than replacements. “It isn’t enough for renewables to grow,” Jackson said. “They need to displace fossil fuels. So far, that’s happening for coal but not for oil or natural gas.”


California’s new residential solar policy is now official

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - Dec 6 On Wednesday, the California Building Standards Commission unanimously confirmed the new standards requiring solar on most new homes in California starting in 2020. According to the California Solar & Storage Association, this final regulatory vote confirms that the California Energy Commission followed the correct process in developing the new rules established in May, making California the first state in the country with the requirement. The new rules also include a solar-plus-storage option to give consumers more clean energy choices. The standards will require solar PV panels to be installed on new low-rise residential buildings starting January 1, 2020.

Xcel Energy commits to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050

GREENTECH MEDIA - Dec 4 On Tuesday, Xcel Energy announced a new commitment to achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity across its service territory by 2050. The investor-owned utility has already succeeded in reducing carbon emissions 35 percent below 2005 levels, in an effort to shrink its carbon footprint 60 percent by 2030. Xcel earlier this year announced a plan to retire two of its coal-fired power units in Colorado and replace them with a $2.5 billion investment in renewables and battery storage, which was approved by regulators in August. With today's announcement, Xcel said it plans to cut its carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030, and be entirely carbon-free two decades later across the eight Western and Midwestern states where it operates. According to the utility, this target represents a first for the electric power industry.

Projects

Shell Energy signs PPA for repowered Palm Springs wind farm

NORTH AMERICAN WINDPOWER - Dec 6 Shell Energy North America and Coachella Hills Wind recently signed a long-term power purchase agreement to procure up to 100 megawatts of energy from the Coachella Hills Wind project. Under development by Terra-Gen LLC, the wind project, located in Palm Springs, represents a repowering of the existing Coachella Flats and Painted Hills wind projects. It is expected to come online by December 1, 2020.

Recurrent Energy signs PPA for 63-MW California solar project

PV-TECH - Dec 4 Recurrent Energy has signed off on a 25-year power purchase agreement for the 63-megawatt Stanford Solar Generating Station #2. Located in Kings County, the Stanford Solar Generating Station #2 will power the equivalent of 15,750 homes with clean electricity. Once completed, the project, together with Stanford University's existing 67-megawatt solar PPA and its 5-megawatt rooftop installation, will generate enough clean energy annually to equal the university's yearly electricity consumption.

Culver City considers microgrid following move to community aggregation

MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE - Dec 6 Culver City is setting the stage to host a microgrid, with a feasibility study underway by Willdan Group. The microgrid would provide back-up power during emergencies for facilities like the city’s senior center and its veterans center, as well as for critical services such as police and fire. The system could also help the city save on its energy bill, especially if the battery system could be used for peak shaving. Clean energy goals prompted the city’s move one year ago to join the Los Angeles Community Choice Energy Authority, later renamed the Clean Power Alliance of Southern California, a community choice aggregator of 29 cities and two counties in Southern California.

Solar plus geothermal under review in Nevada

PV MAGAZINE - Dec 6 The Bureau of Land Management is reviewing whether to approve the Tungsten Mountain Solar Project to complement an already existing geothermal plant in Nevada. The plan is to develop up to two 9-megawatt plants and a short transmission line connecting the solar facility to the geothermal component. The purpose of the solar project is to allow project owner Ormat to maximize the energy produced by the Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Unit. The geothermal plant has a power purchase agreement signed with the Southern California Public Power Authority.

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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
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