Portugal hits 60 per cent renewables
Portugal is the newest country to make the list of over 60% renewable electricity. According to this report by the network operator REN, it got 70 per cent in quarter one of this year. The largest part (37 per cent) comes from hydro, which had excellent weather conditions, leading to a 312 per cent increase over last year’s figures. But wind also contributed 27 per cent, with a 60 per cent increase, also primarily due to favorable weather conditions. As expected, generation from coal was down by 29 per cent, and from gas was down by 44 per cent. (reprinted from Cleantechnica).
Hydro pursues new wind developments with Shenhua
Hydro Tasmania this week signed a strategic co-operation agreement with Chinese energy company Shenhua that will seek the two companies develop, build and operate a further 700 MW of wind farms in Australia by 2020, with a total estimated investment of $1.6 billion. The agreement follows Shenhua’s purchase of 75 per cent stakes in the Musselroe Wind Farm, which is being built in north-east Tasmania, and the Woolnorth wind farms at Bluff Point and Studland Bay in north-west Tasmania. The company’s also partnered in the Roaring 40s joint venture from 2007 to 2009 where several wind farms were jointly constructed and managed in China.
Tasmania Hydro CEO Roy Adair said the relationship between Shenhua and Hydro Tasmania is significant because it is the first investment by a Chinese company in renewable energy generation in Australia. “The company is one of the world’s largest wind developers and brings a wealth of expertise in the renewable energy sector and a strong interest in working with us on other renewable energy projects,” he said.
Japan to emerge as 2nd biggest solar market
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has more than doubled its forecast for solar PV installations in Japan – lifting its range from 3.2-4.0 gigawatts to 6.0-9.4GW. This would see it overtaking the US as the second largest solar PV market in the world, and could move it ahead of China. BNEF said the upward revision reflects the rapid increase in shipments seen last quarter as well as the fact that the pipeline of projects is even stronger than previously expected, and comes despite a 10 per cent, stepped reduction in its feed in tariffs, which remain at 37.8 yen/kWh ($US0.42/kWh).
BNEF says China does not appear ready to cede its place in the global renewable energy market any time soon, and has allocated 14.8 billion yuan ($2.4bn) for renewable energy subsidies, as the country pursues a target to cut carbon emissions by 17 per cent per unit of gross domestic product by 2015. The government will provide 9.3 billion yuan for wind power, 3.1 billion yuan for biomass projects an 2.4 billion for solar PV plants, with the rest subsidising other technologies, the ministry said in a statement on its website.