Good news on renewable energy

There have been several good-news stories on renewable energy in the last couple of weeks. I haven’t had time to follow them up and write about them, but here they are:

Japan to phase out nuclear power by 2040

Japan has announced it will phase out nuclear power over the next three decades, in the wake of mounting resistance to the energy source after last year’s Fukushima disaster.

Tokyo plans to permanently shut down its reactors by 2040, bringing the country in line with Italy, Switzerland and Germany, which has said it will wean itself off nuclear power by 2022 …

The full story is here.

Gales send turbines into overdrive

While gale-force winds kept emergency services busy across South Australia this week, they also fired up turbines on the state’s wind farms. Figures from the Australian Energy Market Operator show while the winds were howling, more than half the state’s power came from wind farms.

Roughly a quarter of South Australia’s power came from wind farms last year. But the Clean Energy Council’s policy director, Russell Marsh, says when winds topped 90 kilometres per hour earlier this week, that figure was much higher.

“What we’ve seen is over the last couple of days the amount of energy generated from wind power in South Australia has gone through between 55 and 85 per cent since Monday as a result of the very strong winds we’re having at the moment,” he said.

And for a few brief moments in the early hours of Wednesday morning, wind was generating so much power some of it was being exported to Victoria …

The full story is here.

Spanish firm to build ACT solar farm

The ACT Government has announced Australia’s largest solar farm supported by a feed-in tariff will be built in the Territory’s south.

Spanish-based company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) will build the facility on 50 hectares near Royalla just off the Monaro Highway in Tuggeranong. The 20 megawatt facility will be made up of 83,000 photovoltaic panels and produce enough renewable electricity to power 4,400 Canberra homes.

The project will cost ACT households an extra 25 cents a week or $13 a year. That is expected to decrease to around $9.50 by 2020.

FRV chief executive officer Rafael Benjumea says the company has extensive experience in solar power farms. “We have built more than 350 megawatts all over the world, investing more than 2.5 billion Euros ($AUS 3 billion) in solar panels,” he said.

Construction is due to begin next year and is expected to be finished in 2014 …

The full story is here.

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