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EGEB: UK record wind power in 2018, LEGO’s US solar power acquisition, and more

In today’s EGEB:

  • Wind power and renewables generated a record amount of U.K. electricity in 2018.
  • LEGO’s holding company announces the acquisition of a solar developer.
  • Connecticut’s governor meets with offshore wind developer Ørsted.

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

In 2018, renewables and wind power hit record highs for U.K. electricity share, according to government statistics shared by RenewablesUK. Wind provided 17.1 percent of electricity last year in the U.K., with 8 percent coming from offshore wind. Overall, renewables accounted for a third of electricity generation. Coal generation also hit a new annual low of 5 percent.

In 2017, wind had a 14.8 percent share of U.K. electricity generation, and renewables overall provided 29.3 percent. RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Emma Pinchbeck said,

“Wind power in the UK is driving a transformation in energy, to clean, affordable and flexible power that works hand in hand with exciting technologies of the future like storage and EVs.”

During a recent week in March, wind power generated 35.6 percent of U.K. electricity. The U.K. is aiming for wind alone to generate a third of its electricity overall by 2030.

LEGO Solar

KIRKBI, the LEGO holding company and investment fund, announced that it has acquired the U.S. arm of solar developer Enerparc. The fund will have a majority stake in the developer.

Enerparc currently has more than 100 MW of power generating capacity in the U.S., and has installed more than 2 GW of solar power worldwide. LEGO announced it was running on 100 percent renewable energy in 2017.

KIRKBI Chief Investment Officer Thomas Lau Schleicher said,

“The significant majority stake in Enerparc Inc. gives KIRKBI a unique opportunity to take ownership in a company that has established an operational, commercial and scalable platform to bring solar power to many more Americans. We look forward to working closely with the Enerparc Inc. team and supporting the company’s future growth in U.S. solar power generation, for which the demand remains strong.”

The transaction price was undisclosed.

Connecticut Wind

Connecticut officials have expressed concerns about falling behind neighboring states in offshore wind development, and they’ve set a goal for “at least” 2 GW of electricity from offshore wind in the next decade.

Last week, state governor Ned Lamont met with Danish offshore wind developer Ørsted, the Connecticut Post reports. Ørsted’s 200 MW Revolution Wind offshore wind farm will supply Connecticut with energy.

The Post reports Lamont was the only governor to attend the National Governor’s Association Global Energy Solutions Summit. Lamont said the Revolution Wind project, and expanded offshore wind, will be best for the state’s future energy needs. He said,

“We have to think about world 10-to-12 years out, where nuclear is not a part of it. How do we backfill? Wind, solar and energy efficiency is what we’ve been talking about.”

Meet The Mowers

Offshore Drilling Ban

While many states are looking at offshore wind as an answer, an Alaskan federal judge last week restored offshore drilling bans in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason threw out a 2017 executive order from President Donald Trump which overturned a number of Obama-era restrictions, USA Today reports.

The president can’t reverse such bans under federal law, Gleason ruled. Only an act of Congress can do so.

The American Petroleum Institute was a defendant in the case, and naturally, the group disagreed with the judge’s decision.

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