US wind power surpasses 90GW for Q2 2018
The US has reached a significant milestone in terms of renewable energy, as figures show that installed wind energy surpassed 90GW in the second quarter of this year.
This has been reported by the American Wind Energy Association, which puts the largest-ever figure down to the addition of 626MW worth of new projects in the country.
The AWEA has also pointed out that demand has been strong for low-cost wind power not just from utilities but major corporations, namely the likes of Walmart, AT&T, Grupo Bimbo and Merck & Co.
Such corporations accounted for around 56% of contracted capacity in Q2 2018, with companies favouring wind due to the stability of pricing possible through power purchase agreements (PPAs) and direct ownership of wind farms.
According to the AWEA’s press release, the low cost of wind power makes it a competitive source in the energy sector. There are currently an additional 19GW worth of new wind farms being constructed across the US.
Tom Kiernan, Chief Executive of the AWEA commented on the figures: “Wind power’s job creating energy just kicked into higher gear… All Americans will benefit as the record number of wind farms under construction begin delivering new revenue to rural communities and affordable homegrown energy to consumers.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.