20 February 2017 2017 03:45 PM GMT

Renewables Provide 23% Of US Electrical Generation, As Wind, Solar Grow Rapidly

According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly” report (with data through December 31, 2016), renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) continued their rapid growth and accounted for 15.34% of domestic electrical generation in 2016 — compared to 13.65% in 2015. Moreover, the growth in renewables once again handily surpassed EIA’s earlier forecasts for the sector.

In its “Short-Term Energy Outlook” (STEO) released on January 12, 2016, EIA said it “expect[ed] total renewables used in the electric power sector to increase by 9.5% in 2016.” In fact, in 2016, electrical output by renewables (including hydropower) increased by 12.56% while non-hydro renewables grew by 17.26%. EIA also forecast wind capacity “to increase by 14% in 2016.” In actuality, generation expanded by 18.75 % and provided 5.53% of domestic electrical output last year. Similarly, EIA “forecast hydropower generation in the electric power sector [to] increase by 4.8% in 2016.” In reality, hydro’s electrical production rose by 6.72%.

EIA’s January 2016 STEO did not offer a projection for solar in 2016 but its December 2015 STEO forecast “utility-scale solar power [to] average 0.8% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2016.” Utility-scale solar generation in 2016 actually exceeded 0.90% while utility-scale and distributed solar combined accounted for 1.37% of total electrical output. In fact, electrical output by utility-scale plus distributed solar grew by 44.04% in 2016 compared to 2015.

By comparison, electrical generation by coal dropped by 8.30% and that from petroleum liquids & coke plummeted by 15.37%. (Solar-generated electricity is now more than double that from petroleum sources.) Electrical output attributable to natural gas and other gases increased by just 3.47% while growth in the nuclear power sector was an anaemic 1.02%.

Beyond the growth experienced by solar, wind, and hydropower, geothermal also charted a 9.41% expansion in 2016. Among renewable sources, only wood and other forms of biomass experienced a decline last year – down by 1.67%.

Taken together, non-hydro renewables (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) accounted for 8.85% of electrical generation in 2016. Nonetheless, in its latest STEO (issued February 7, 2017), EIA inexplicably states: “Non-hydropower renewables are forecast to provide 9% of electricity generation in 2017.” That is, EIA apparently anticipates no significant increase by non-hydro renewables in 2017 notwithstanding the sustained strong growth by these technologies in 2016 and during the several years prior.

“Given the trends of recent years, it is probably no great surprise that solar, wind, and other renewable sources once again surpassed EIA’s expectations,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Yet, EIA continues to low-ball its latest forecasts for renewables thereby doing a serious disservice to the cross-section of rapidly growing clean energy technologies.”

October 16th 2017
Nordex Adds To Successes In Argentina, Winning 100 MW Pomona Wind Farm Order

The Nordex Group has added a further chapter to its success story in Argentina with an order for 26 N131/3900 turbines for the “Pomona” wind farm. The contract will be executed on a full EPC basis, including civil and electrical engineering, procurement, construction and manufacturing, delivery and installation of the wind turbines. Preparations for construction will be commencing in 2017, after which the wind power systems will be installed at the beginning of 2019. In addition, a ten-year full operation and maintenance contract has also been signed. 

September 15th 2017
Ministerial Meeting Gathers in Italy To Scale-Up Geothermal Energy Worldwide 

Leaders and ministers from more than 25 governments will meet in Florence, Italy on 11 September, to accelerate the global adoption of geothermal energy. The Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA) meeting is the largest such ministerial gathering dedicated to geothermal energy development. Geothermal energy today accounts for just 0.3 percent of globally installed renewable energy capacity. However – once start-up costs are met – it is one of the lowest-cost and most reliable renewable energy sources available. The global potential for geothermal is estimated to be in the region of 200 GW.

October 16th 2017
Uganda Inaugurates Breakthrough Tororo PV Plant. A Future Model For Africa?

Production has commenced at the Tororo PV power plant; which, with 16 GWh of renewable energy generated annually, will cater for the energy requirements of 35,838 people and help reduce CO2 emissions by 7,200 tons. Overall, $19.6 million was invested to build the 10 MWp plant, with the engagement of several major organisations including KfW and FMO Development Banks, the World Bank and the EU. Attilio Pacifici, EU Ambassador said, “One of the key objectives of this plan is to encourage private sector participation in higher risk investments and we’re happy to demonstrate that Uganda is well positioned to be successful and a good model for replication.”

October 11th 2017
Engie Wins 832 MW Hydropower Plant Orders In Brazil, Strengthens Market Lead

During the auction held recently by the Brazilian Federal Government, ENGIE won concession contracts for two hydropower plants (HPP) for a total amount of around €950m (BRL3.531bn). The Jaguara HPP, located in Rio Grande (between the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo), with a 424 MW installed capacity and the Miranda HPP, located in Rio Aragui, in Indianápolis (Minas Gerais State), with a 408 MW installed capacity. The concession contracts are signed for a 30-year period. They raise the installed capacity of ENGIE from 10,290 MW to 11,122 MW and reinforce ENGIE’s position as the largest private energy producer in Brazil.

October 17th 2017
Grids Integration, Energy Networks Boosted By Distributed Generation Growth

Renewable energy has continued to develop at ever increasing rates, with remarkable growth seen since the start of this decade. The pace of the energy transition is driving innovation and growth in related sectors. For energy networks and grids integrating small gas turbines, micro-turbines, fuel cells, biomass, small hydropower, wind and solar energy; distributed generation installation provides significant solutions in the restructured electricity regime. This is particularly so, where there is a larger uncertainty in demand and supply.



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