Global Insight 14 – 25th July 2017

Home » Global Insight » Global Insight 14 – 25th July 2017

on Jul 25, 17 • posted by

Global Insight 14 – 25th July 2017


TransGrid see a 100% renewable future

TransGrid, the transmission network operator for New South Wales, spoke about how it sees the future for renewables at a recent Clean Energy Summit. Tony Meehan, Executive Manager, Regulation for TransGrid highlighted the role transmission will play as new renewable zones will need to be exploited.  TransGrid feels that in order to move to a 100% renewable future then there is a need to commit to large growth in new large renewables, in combination with the growth in DER.  Tony Meehan commented that by exploiting these renewable resources and providing the transmission operators with a coherent policy goal then 100% renewables can be met in an affordable way for consumers.

States to implement their own Clean Energy Target

Following last week’s meeting of the COAG Energy Council who agreed to implement 49 out of the 50 recommendations of the Finkel Review, the exception being the new Clean Energy Target (CET), four of the Australian states have decided to implement their own.  South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have agreed to establish their own targets without federal approval.  The mechanism is too replace the current Renewable Energy Target which is due to finish in 2020.  The states believe that industry needs stable policy to encourage investment and reduce energy prices, as was shown in the recent review.  AGL boss Andy Vessey has also added in a recent interview that to leave the CET out of the recommendation was akin to ‘driving a car without wheels’.

AEMC publishes its first report for the annual monitoring of electricity network regulation

Recognizing the changing role of the distribution network, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has published the first of its annual reports for network regulation. It calls for reform in network pricing to allow for better price signals for DER providers, including domestic prosumers, who operate on the distribution network.  It also recognizes that the role of the DNO will need to change to incorporate a distribution market.  The AEMC recognize that this will involve an evolution of the economic regulatory framework.


Europe’s proposal for a ‘smart readiness indicator’ for buildings

The European Commission is proposing a new voluntary scheme for rating buildings for ‘smart readiness’. This ‘smart readiness indicator’ (SRI) may include traditional areas such as how efficient the building is with new areas such as renewable energy uptake, dynamic and self-learning control systems. It would fall under the latest revision of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD). The Commission’s Energy Directorate has set up a consortium that includes Ecofys, German ICT research institute OFFIS and Belgian cleantech research organisation VITO to develop the SRI. Given that the SRI is being developed for the end of 2019, well after the end of the two-year Article 50 Brexit process, is how far it will also be on board.

New solar PV import price control proposal from the European Commission

The EC has proposed a new approach to controlling the price of imported solar panels and cells from China, after the minimum import price (MIP) approach has been acknowledged as a failure. The new approach is a variable duty MIP, distinguishing between technology types, and on current rates of will effectively create an 18-month lag between the current global price and the price available in Europe. SolarPower Europe has criticised the plans, which are out for consultation until 2nd August.

Damage at German plant shows nuclear not part of the flexible future

Attempts at net load following at a nuclear plant in northern Germany has caused damage to the fuel rods. Boosting power at short notice from 1,440 MW to 1,480 MW contributed to the oxidation of parts of the plants’ fuel rods. State Minister for Energy Robert Habeck (Greens) added that the power plant’s output should not be increased or decreased at short notice to adapt to the supply of renewable energies on the electricity grid. The minister warned that “atomic energy is not a bridging technology”.


Utility scale solar+storage for 4¢/kWh

Amid the continuing cost falls for storage and solar PV, flow battery developer ViZn is offering a combined package of a 100MW solar PV plant and a 30MW 4 hour duration zinc-iron battery that it claims can be competitive with a power purchase agreement at 4¢/kWh. This is around the level of current US wholesale prices.

Big energy suppliers pulling out of rooftop solar installation in the US

Centrica subsidiary Direct Energy has become the latest and the last of the major energy retail suppliers in America to close down its operations in installing rooftop solar in residential buildings. It will focus on commercial scale solar in future. This move follows similar moves by other major suppliers. The main driver appears to be that the cost of acquiring new customers for this service, which makes up an increasing share of cost as panels and modules get cheaper, is higher for large suppliers than it is for smaller local firms.

Solar Resilience

Solar comes through the problems of excessive heat, unlike nuclear and fossil fuels. According to the CAISO, more than 6,400 MW of natural gas and nuclear power —enough to power 7 million homes — was unavailable for service the week of the summer solstice On the other hand, 11% of peak and 15% of electricity needs were provided by solar thereby reducing central capacity need by 6 GW.

US Energy Funding

American energy funding, so far, is not seeing the levels of cuts discussed in the earlier days of the Trump administration. The U.S. Senate is considering funding the Department of Energy at $38.4 billion — more than $4 billion ahead of the White House proposal, and with record levels of spending on agencies where President Trump wanted cuts. The FY2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill includes $5.55 billion for the Office of Science, and $11.1 billion on energy programs. Also, according to Sen, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the budget would provide “record levels of funding” for the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which the White House had proposed shutting down. One dimension of this was that the progressive nature of the US Military in terms of procurement and implementation of renewables and smart grids could be undermined.

100% Renewable Energy

The California Assembly’s Utilities and Energy Committee last week approved SB 100, moving the state one step closer to its 100% renewable energy goal. SB 100 would increase California’s current renewable portfolio standard to 60% by 2030 and establish a goal of meeting 100% renewable energy by 2045.If the bill becomes law, California would be the second state, after Hawaii to strive for 100% renewables. But unlike Hawaii, California’s 100% renewable energy goal is not a mandate.


The Hawaii PUC has finally agreed at the 3rd attempt the Hawaii (HECO) 100% RE plan. The Regulators still have concerns about the public service implementation plan (PSIP) in relation to impacts of 100% RE on consumer bills.

Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems

Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) are still not up to the job according to Greentechnica’s new report. They argue the ideas are all there for an integrated, flexible and efficient energy system but the software to enable it is letting that vision down.

Paying for Cleanup of the old system

A Supreme Court of Ohio’s June 29 court decision, has said that Cincinnati-area utility customers must pay $55.5 million to Duke Energy for cleanup of contamination from plants that haven’t run in more than 50 years. Critics say this decision underscores the urgency of a pending bill to address unfairness under current law, while opening the door to more efforts by utilities to shift the economic burdens for past pollution to today’s customers.


This is our last global insight for a few weeks – we will be back in September.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

« Previous Next »

Scroll to top