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Latest figures on geothermal energy show that world capacity will double by 2030 as developing countries including Indonesia take advantage of their natural resources. In 2012 the USA was the largest geothermal market with output of 3GW. Indonesia alone is expected to add nearly 6GW in the next twenty years.
Tunisian wind energy startup Saphon Energy’s is understood to be in talks with a number of major industrial players as it looks to move its bladeless wind towers to a commercial scale.
The sail inspired towers wobble in the wind, with pistons converting kinetic energy to electricity. Initial estimates suggest that bladeless wind devices could be more than twice as efficient as three-blade turbines.
Investors in the UK pledged £100K ($152K) in just four days to support a community hydroelectric plant. The small turbine will generate enough electricity to power 50 homes.
IBM announced plans to develop a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that that could harness the energy of 2,000 suns. The system could provide fresh water and air conditioning in remote locations and would be completely renewable.
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid. In adequate storage is currently a major barrier to the viability of renewable energy.
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Here’s this weeks greentech round up
First solar shares gained 46% after announcing that 2013 sales would exceed previous estimates.
Solar financing startup Clean Power Finance announced that it had raised $37 million in equity from investors including Google Ventures.
The last turbine in the London array came online making it the world’s largest wind farm.
Thames water in London announced plans to use fatty accumulations from it’s sewer network to power a fat-fuelled power station.
Your weekly round up of greentech news…
Fridlington Farms in the UK have installed a 190kWp ground-mounted solar system consisting of 790 solar panels. Owners say that the array will substantialy cut the farm’s carbon footprint and lower costs.
Rapid expansion in the solar energy sector has led to dramatic falls in the price of panels.
BP the company that once promoted it’s self as “Beyond Petrolium” has announced the sale of it’s remaining US wind farms. The embattled energy company said that it would be turning it’s back on the renewables sector in order to focus on oil and gas.
The 84MW New Bong Escape Hydroelectric power plant in Pakistan commenced operation. The project is the countrie’s first hydroelectric Independent Power Project.
A little late, but here’s the greentech news round up for the week of 17 March
Japanese Environment minister Nobuteru Ishihara announced plants to promote the development of offshore windfarms as part of his countries renewable energy strategy.
The development bank of Ethiopia announced that it would be making available $20m to develop geothermal energy projects. East Africa has considerable potential to develop geothermal energy and Ethiopia is hoping to follow the example of Kenya.
The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change announced that 1,803 homeowners had their properties assessed for the Green Deal loan scheme in it’s first month of operation.
The worlds largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant was launched. The 100MW Shams 1 plant located in Abu Dhabi will power thousands of homes in the UAE.
This weeks round-up of greentech news
Energy giant Shell released modelling that projected that solar would become the largest source of energy by 2070.
UK solar energy generator Lightsource Renewable Energy purchased two solar parks totalling 9.6MW from Germany-based project developer Wirsol.
China reported that the Xiluodu Hydropower Plant will enter into operation in June. The plant operated by China Three Gorges Corp will be China’s second largest hydropower plant by the end of 2014.
The Scotish government provided £3m to the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney to install an extra test site for wave-power generation.
Honda announced a $65m partnership with SolarCity to provide cheaper solar power
Finally according to reports in The Register a “Top Harvard physicist” has warned that the wind could run out in the future as giant wind farms cause it to run out. We’ll put that one in the drawer labelled “things not to worry about”
Sceptics who claim that there is no need to invest in renewable energy sources because the link between human activity and Global Warming is disputed weren’t paying attention in Economics 101. Whether or not you believe that CO2 emissions have a part to play in the warming of the Earth there is sound economic rationale for making the investment. (For the record we think that there is a link between greenhouse gases and Global Warming but that is another post…)
Not even the most ardent supporter of fossil fuels can dispute the fact that oil, coal and gas are all subject to a finite supply. It is true that improvements in engine efficiency can extend the length of time that our reserves will last. New oil and gas fields continue to be discovered and new extraction techniques are being developed that can tap previously uneconomic supplies. However there is no getting away from the fact that the supply of fossil fuels is limited and one day they are going to run out. At the same time the demand side of the equation continues to increase due to population growth and industrialisation in developing countries. Any high school economics student can tell you that increasing demand coupled with a restricted supply will lead to higher prices.
Renewable energy sources are as the name suggests unlimited in their supply. Sunlight, wind and tidal energy will be a feature of life on Earth for longer than humans are likely to be. Technological advances continue to improve the amount of energy that can be derived from solar, wind and hydropower. Improved efficiency and an unlimited supply will result in lower prices.
With the price of carbon based fuel climbing ever higher at the same time that the cost of producing energy from renewable sources is falling there will inevitably come a time that energy from fossil fuels is more expensive to produce than that from renewable sources. That day may not be too far away. Already in Australia the cost of producing electricity from solar power has fallen bellow new oil and gas based production. It is only a matter of time before this trend is replicated on a global scale.
We have a choice. We can battle rising prices and continue to invest old fossil fuel based technology or we can make the leap and reap the potential benefits offered by renewable energy. It is a similar choice to that faced by the automotive industry. Those carmakers that invested in new production techniques saw costs fall and productivity increase and they became leaders in their field. Those manufactures that remained wedded to old outdated production methods found that they could not compete and they failed.
Nepal – The 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydro power station appointed (CIT) to float shares within the current fiscal year.
The UK government approved a large onshore windfarm for Lincolnshire.
Electricity production from Spanish wind mills topped that of nuclear, coal and solar for the first time.
Unsubsidised renewable energy in Australia passed a significant milestone to become cheaper than electricity from new-build coal and gas power stations.
This weeks round-up of greentech news
The UK govenment launched the Green Deal scheme which will provide loans to homeowners to help make their homes more energy efficient
The French government introduced a new law that will require businesses to turn off lights at night
Two wind turbines in the UK collapsed in strong winds raising concerns about safety
Saudi Arabia completed a 3.5 MW photovoltaic plant as part of it’s goal of sourcing one third of it’s energy requirements from the sun by 2032
And NASA announced plans to launch a giant solar sail next year to demonstrate propellantless propulsion
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The UK is the largest producer of offshore wind power. The Greater Gabbard wind farm off the Suffolk coast is the world’s largest offshore wind farm
The 5 largest operational wind farms in the UK are:
||Number of Turbines
||Scottish and Southern,
RWE Npower Renewables
||Scottish and Southern
||Scottish and Southern
||Statoil and Statkraft
A number of much larger wind farms are currently under construction including the 1GW London Array and the 576MW Gwynt y Môr. By 2020 the UK is forecast to have in excess of 28GW of wind power capacity.