The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

China’s very rapid renewable energy growth- IRENA reports

logo-IRENAflag-ChinaIRENA Says China Can Nearly Quadruple Renewable Energy By 2030 Clean Technica,  November 25th, 2014 by  A new report published Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has shown that China can increase its use of renewable energy from 13% to 26% by 2030, representing a nearly fourfold increase if the economic powerhouse is able to pull it off.

“As the largest energy consumer in the world, China must play a pivotal role in the global transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, at a launch event in Beijing. “China’s energy use is expected to increase 60 per cent by 2030. How China meets that need will determine whether or not the world can curb climate change.”

The report, Renewable Energy Prospects: China, was compiled by IRENA in association with the China National Renewable Energy Centre, and is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap,REmap 2030, which aims to provide a plan to double the global share of the renewable energy mix by 2030.

Following the recent announcement made between China and the US, this report (and others like it) acquire even more significance, as China looks to be actively seeking ways to increase its renewable energy share……..

Economic Growth and Renewable Energy

Fears that economic growth must be stifled in favour of cleaner, more renewable sources of energy have recently been laid to rest, thanks partially to another report published recently that focused on China. The study, China and the New Climate Economy, showed that “China can achieve economic development, energy security and reduce pollution at the same time.”…….

November 26, 2014 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Farming sunlight and wind in the California desert

solar-farm1Renewable Energy Farms Spread Through California Deserts NewsWeek, BY  / NOVEMBER 24, 2014  “…….. , part of the interconnected swatches of desert land in California that, combined, make up the largest wilderness area in the Lower 48. It’s also about to become host to the biggest renewable-energy projects in the world.

Already, 13 of them are built or on the way. There’s the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, under construction just east of Joshua Tree National Park; its solar photovoltaic cells will cover over 4,000 acres of public land administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). When completed in 2015 (assuming things go as planned), it is expected to peak at a nominal power of 550 megawatts—making it the most powerful solar farm on the planet. There’s also the McCoy Solar Energy Project, in the middle of the Mojave. When it’s done, it will be even bigger and more powerful than Desert Sunlight, covering 7,700 acres of BLM land and 470 acres of private land, and with an electrical production capacity of 750 megawatts.

Then there are the wind farms. These produce less power than their solar brethren and take up much more space. The Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, for example, covers 12,436 acres at the edge of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, near the border with Mexico, and produces 315 megawatts of power……..

And these new wind and solar farms—cities, call them, since they aren’t like any farm you’ve seen—are only going to multiply in the coming years. The need for clean energy is expected to increase dramatically in the next decade, particularly after the U.S. and China recently announced a historic agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions in their respective countries. At the core of the pact are two sets of commitments: The U.S. will lower emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025 from the initial 2005 baselines, while China has agreed to set an emissions peak for 2030 and then commit to lowering emissions……….

It’s cheaper to have a big mass—having power all come from one source,” says Elkin. “But the advantages of having a more distributed rooftop-type solar is that you can provide the power generation really close to being used. It’s more efficient.” He says we are probably headed toward a mix, with “microgrids” providing neighborhoods with access to small, local solar farms.

Until then, though, achieving emissions reductions at the scale of what has been agreed to between the U.S. and China “is not going to happen without some level of large-scale renewable-energy development,” says Helen O’Shea, director of the National Resources Defense Council’s Western Renewable Energy Project.

And Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, says that if conservationists keep fighting that, they will be missing the forest for the trees. “We are facing a mass extinction,” he says. “The only pathway to solve that problem involves a massive increase in renewable energy. Unfortunately, many new renewable-energy facilities have been slowed down or stopped because of their adverse effects on certain species. I think we can no longer have the luxury of doing that.”ttp://

November 26, 2014 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Google shows its ignorance about renewable energy

Why Google gave up on renewables (hint, they don’t understand energy), REneweconomy By  on 25 November 2014 The two scientists responsible for Google’s failed attempt to launch a renewable energy revolution have written an article explaining what, according to them, went wrong with their project. They have come to the conclusion that fighting climate change with today’s renewable energy technologies won’t work – but they present no evidence for it, writes Energy Post editor Karel Beckman.

Critics of renewable energy are having a field day in the blogosphere. It has now been proven beyond doubt, they cry, that “renewables simply won’t work”. Why not? Well, because Google says so.

Some years ago, in 2007, to be exact, Google embarked on an ambitious project to develop reneweable energy sources that would generate electricity more cheaply than coal-fired power. Google’s hope was that in this way the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere could be halted and reversed. However, in 2011, after four years of trying, the company gave up the project, known as RE<C.

The two engineers who were responsbile for Google’s venture into renewables, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, have now written an article in which they try to explain what went wrong – and what lessons can be drawn from it……..they argue that renewables “won’t work” to effectively tackle climate change. They don’t say renewables won’t work, period. But even this first claim appears doubtful on the basis of the evidence offered in the article………

by 2011, they note, “it was clear that RE<C would not be able to deliver a technology that could compete economically with coal.”

Unfortunately, the reader has to take this assertion at face value. The authors do not cite any figures or published research. Nor do they make it clear whether these were all the “innovative technologies” they investigated or what they mean in the first place by “investigated”………..

They add this notable remark: “Let’s face it, businesses won’t make sacrifices and pay more for clean energy based on altruism alone. Instead, we need solutions that appeal to their profit motives.” Well, yes – unless of course we introduce regulations or put a price on carbon, for example, but such possibilities appear to lie outside the authors’ frame of reference.

The two Google-men have also come to the surprising – to them – discovery that in the electricity market “the value of generated electricity varies … depending on how easily it can be supplied to reliably meet local dmeand.” Thus, they write, dispatchable power can have added value to cover peak demand. Indeed. Distributed power, on the other hand, “can also be worth more as it avoids the costs and losses associated with transmission and distribution”.

These amazing insights into the nature of the electricity market have led them to a positive conclusion. Here, they write, “we see an apportunity for change. A distributed, dispatchable power source could prompt a switchover if it could undercut …end-user prices.” But, they add, “unfortunately, most of today’s clean generation sources can’t provide power that is both distributed and dispatchable. Solar panels, for example, can be put on every rooftop but can’t provide power if the sun isn’t shining.”

So what about solar PV-with-storage? Koningstein and Fork appear not to be aware that such a solution may be possible. Nor do they seem to have heard of microgrids or to have thought of a combination of solar and electric cars. They merely sigh that “if we invented a distributed, dispatchable power technology, it coud transform the energy marketplace and the roles by utilities and their customers”. They can’t think of any possible solution, though: we “don’t have the answers”. The technologies required to reverse climate change “haven’t been invented yet”, they write……..

what do Koningstein and Fork think that researchers in the energy sector are doing right now? Did they try to find out how much is being spent on cleantech research worldwide? Or what technologies are actually being developed? If so, they show no signs of it. Indeed, they seem to know very little about what’s going on in the energy sector. Perhaps it is too much expect Google to solve the world’s energy problems – they could search the internet a bit better.

November 26, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Portugal now gets almost 60% of its energy from renewable sources

Portugal switching to greener energy with more than 50 per cent from renewable sources By Emily Stewart Portugal has a population of just 11 million people but it is punching above its weight in renewable energy industries.

Almost 60 per cent of its energy needs came from renewable sources last year, a 20 per cent increase from 2012.

Carlos Pimenta is considered the country’s renewable guru.  The former Portuguese and European Parliament member was a negotiator for the Kyoto protocol and with Al Gore a founder of the GLOBE organisation.

He said the energy market has changed dramatically since its liberalisation. “If you go back 10 years you have centralised gas, oil and electricity with big utilities on top and consumers on bottom paying the bill,” he said.”Nowadays you have thousands of families that produce part of their own electricity… hundreds of small wind farms, solar farms, small biomass that feed-in to the grid.”

Official Portuguese figures show the annual fossil fuel bill has been slashed by 800 million euros through the rise of renewables.

Former state energy company triples renewable energy output Continue reading

November 23, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

How the South African government shafts renewables, in its policy fixated on nuclear power

flag-S.AfricaNuclear fixation shafts renewables, Mail &Guardian, Africa 21 NOV 2014 00:00 SIPHO KINGS The third window is waiting to be signed off but the energy department is preoccupied elsewhere Within two years, South Africa could have a further 1 200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy entering the grid. The bidders have been selected and the companies are waiting for financial sign-off so they can start building.

But policy uncertainty and a new focus on nuclear energy are responsible for a nearly 18-month delay in the government giving them the go-ahead, industry insiders say.

In the wake of the 2009 energy crisis, the energy department set out an ambitious renewable energy programme: independent power producers (IPPs) would build the capacity to produce 3 725MW of electricity. This was split into three bidding opportunities, or windows, with companies bidding for a certain allocation in each.

The first two were hailed as great successes and, for the past three years, South Africa has been listed as one of the top five destinations for investment in renewable energy. Wind energy is already producing 660MW. Updated plans envision 9?800MW of solar, 3 300MW of concentrated solar and 4 400MW of wind energy by 2030.

But the third window has been delayed repeatedly. Several concerned individuals, working for renewable companies and unwilling to disclose their names for fear of jeopardising their relationship with the government, said political considerations were to blame.

“We have been told that the new minister’s [Tina Joemat-Pettersson] mandate is strongly towards nuclear energy,” said one………..

The renewable energy companies, the majority of which provide wind and photovoltaic power, are incurring costs all the time. These include leasing the land on which the power stations will be built, which is spread out across the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape.

If the delays continued, the sources said, there would be a point beyond which companies would be unable to recoup their costs, even if they started producing power soon. “We are not far from that point,” warned one renewable company employee. ………

A chance to reindustrialise
Groups such as Cosatu have hailed renewable energy as a chance to “reindustrialise” the country and companies are required to spend up to 70% of their budgets locally. Hundreds of millions of rands have been spent building factories to produce parts locally, such as the R300-million wind tower factory in Atlantis outside Cape Town. Solar panel factories alone have created 500 jobs.

This week the South Africa Renewable Energy Council said delaying the third window would have “extremely adverse consequences” for the industry and could also jeopardise the planned fourth renewable window.

Unlike South Africa’s centralised and state-owned power plants, renewables are financed by the private sector. The government, through Eskom, signs an agreement to buy their electricity at the rate presented in their bid. But they carry the risk.

The owner of one solar company said: “The worst thing for investors is uncertainty. The first two windows attracted so much investment and goodwill because the government was decisive. That is being thrown out of the window.”

If the third window was delayed, and there was another window to come, companies would hesitate to gamble with their money, they said………

Policy uncertainty
Twenty-six renewable energy projects have already been connected to the grid. The more than 60 projects have brought in R120-billion in foreign direct investment. Many of these are ahead of schedule, such as the 96MW Jasper solar plant near Upington in the Northern Cape.

It is the continent’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant. It has been built in the time that costs of the coal-fired Medupi and Kusile power stations, which are currently five years behind schedule, have nearly tripled.

But industry insiders are adamant that, if the policy uncertainty is not cleared up, the initial promise shown by the renewable programme will falter.

The department of energy was not available to respond to questions.

November 22, 2014 Posted by | politics, renewable, South Africa | Leave a comment

World’s largest renewable energy developer? SunEdison on track for this title

renewable-energy-pictureSunEdison To Be World’s Largest Renewable Energy Developer November 19, 2014 SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) and TerraForm Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP) have announced the signing of a USD $2.4 billion agreement to acquire First Wind, one of the USA’s  leading developers, owners and operators of wind farms.

SunEdison says it will purchase over 1.6 GW of First Wind pipeline and backlog projects for Terraform Power, which are expected to be operational in 2016-2017. Also included in the transaction is an additional 6.4 GW of project development opportunities.

SunEdison’s portion of the total transaction is $1.5 billion, with Terraform Power acquiring First Wind’s operating portfolio for an enterprise value of $862 million. TerraForm Power is a yieldco* that is  majority owned by SunEdison.

“The acquisition of First Wind transforms both SunEdison and TerraForm Power into diversified renewable energy companies and will make SunEdison the leading renewable power plant developer in the world,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunEdison.

First Wind is understandably quite chuffed about the acquisition as well.

“We are excited to become part of the SunEdison team,” said Paul Gaynor, Chief Executive Officer of First Wind. “This new strategic organization will allow us to join with SunEdison to develop and invest in new, long-term-contracted, well-sited and well-run renewable energy projects that deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across the country and internationally.”

Announcements of major milestones, projects, deals and technology advancements from SunEdison have rapidly flowed in 2014. Just since the beginning of October this year, SunEdison has announced:

SunEdison has solar installations, manufacturing plants, and 39 offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia

* A yieldco is a publicly traded company  formed to own operating assets that produce a predictable cash flow.

Source: SunEdison

November 19, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Brazil becoming world’s top market for biopower

Brazil To Overtake US As Leading Market In Renewable Energy Metric By @DionRabouin IBT, on November 16 2014  Brazil will surpass the United States as the world’s top market for biopower, research firm GlobalDatareported. The U.S. remains the world’s global biopower leader for now, but Brazil is expected to increase its countrywide biopower installed capacity from 11.51 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to an estimated 17.1 GW by 2018, to become the world’s premier market.

Biopower, also known as biomass power or bioenergy, is the use of any organic material to generate electricity. The U.S. has long been the global leader, but the report suggests outdated infrastructure and a bloated existing capacity that has saturated the market will lead to Americans being overtaken in four years’ time……

November 17, 2014 Posted by | Brazil, renewable | Leave a comment

Denmark’s challenge: aiming for 100% reneweable energy by 2050

Denmark Aims for 100 Percent Renewable Energy, Justin Gillis, NYT, NOV. 10, 2014 COPENHAGEN — Denmark, a tiny country on the northern fringe of Europe, is pursuing the world’s most ambitious policy against climate change. It aims to end the burning of fossil fuels in any form by 2050 — not just in electricity production, as some other countries hope to do, but in transportation as well.

Now a question is coming into focus: Can Denmark keep the lights on as it chases that lofty goal?

Lest anyone consider such a sweeping transition to be impossible in principle, the Danes beg to differ. They essentially invented the modern wind-power industry, and have pursued it more avidly than any country. They are above 40 percent renewable power on their electric grid, aiming toward 50 percent by 2020. The political consensus here to keep pushing is all but unanimous……….

The trouble, if it can be called that, is that renewable power sources like wind and solar cost nothing to run, once installed. That is potentially a huge benefit in the long run………

Throughout Europe, governments have come to the realization that electricity markets are going to have to be redesigned for the new age, but they are not pursuing this task with urgency. ……..

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Denmark, renewable | Leave a comment

India to invest $100 billion in renewable energy

flag-indiaIndia Eyes $100 Billion Investment In Renewable Energy Clean Technica, November 9th, 2014 by  The new Indian government is taking serious initiatives to boost the power sector, which is in dire need of financial and structural reforms. A large number of these reforms will be implemented in the renewable energy sector.

India’s minister for coal, power, and renewable energy last week announced that his government would push for an unprecedented $100 billion investment in the renewable energy sector over the next few years. With this plan, he also announced seemingly impossible solar energy capacity addition targets for the next five years………

November 10, 2014 Posted by | India, renewable | 1 Comment

Renewable energy threatened as US Republicans take over in the Senate

exclamation-Flag-USARepublican wins in the US Senate bode ill for renewable energy, PV Magazine 05. NOVEMBER 2014 |  BY:  CHRISTIAN ROSELUNDRepublican control of both houses of the U.S. legislature is expected to lead to renewed attacks on clean energy policies and environmental law in general. However, this may not effect the course of key policies by U.S. President Barak Obama. In Tuesday’s election, the Republican Party gained at least seven seats in the U.S. Senate to bring it to a majority position. The party also increased its majority in the U.S. House of Representative, giving it control of both houses of the U.S. legislature.

While this new political landscape will have an impact on energy legislation, environmental groups have pointed out that it may not have as large an impact on clean energy policies, many of which are being pursued directly by the Obama Administration without congress.

A key area of concern for the solar industry has been the 30% solar investment tax credit (ITC), which is set to reduce at the end of 2016. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced an effort to extend the ITC at the Solar Power International trade show in Las Vegas in October, and Friends of the Earth (FOE) says that this changing landscape complicates that task.

“Obviously formerly Majority Leader (Harry) Reed was very supportive of tax credits for renewable energy,” FOE Climate and Energy Program Director Benjamin Schreiber told pv magazine. “I don’t think this is a death knell for the ITC, but it makes it more difficult for sure.”

Schreiber notes that past extensions of renewable energy tax credits were part of bundled changes to the tax code, which makes it harder to read any individual politician’s support for specific policies. However, he also notes that many House Republicans have been vocal in their opposition to renewable energy subsidies………

Republicans have also targeted President Obama’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases through the Environmental Protection Agency, but here the Obama Administration remains in control.

“Anything that Congress is going to do to undermine that rule from moving forward is going to have to be signed off on by the president,” explains Schreiber. He describes past efforts to derail the policy as “political theater”.

Additionally, a Republican majority in the Senate gives the party greater control over budget issues, and Schreiber expects them to use this to reduce funding for clean energy programs both at the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.

Perhaps the greatest concern is that a Republican majority will further tilt the playing field against renewables by increasing support for fossil fuel production. …….

In particular, the expected incoming chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has been a strong supporter of the coal and oil industries.:

November 8, 2014 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

USA MidWest can get 40% or more of its electricity from wind and solar energy

renewable-energy-picture40% Renewable Energy Integration No Trouble For Midwest Clean Technica November 7th, 2014 by   A new study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce in coordination with the Midwest regional independent grid operator Mid-continent Independent System Operator (MISO) has found that the state of Minnesota could obtain 40% or more of its electricity from wind and solar energy without suffering any grid reliability issues.

The report, which builds on real-world situations like the states of Iowa and South Dakota generating more than 25% of their energy from wind during 2013, is another splash of cold water in the faces of those who attempt to dismiss renewable energy as being somehow impractical.

Minnesota currently derives 16% of its electricity from wind and solar energy, which means an increase to 40% would not only be a boost to the renewable energy industry, but would push the state towards 70% of its emissions reductions required from existing power plants under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The primary finding from the report (PDF) is that “the addition of wind and solar (variable renewable) generation to supply 40 percent of Minnesota’s annual electric retail sales can be reliably accommodated by the electric power system.”

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) made the following statement in the wake of the report:…….

November 8, 2014 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Developments towards India’s first offshore wind project

MOU signed for the first ever Indian offshore wind project, Renewable Energy Magazine Robin WhitlockThursday, 06 November 2014 A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed to establish a Joint Venture Company for India’s first demonstration offshore wind power project along the Gujarat coast…….Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s message in the US was loud and clear that renewable energy is the way to go, it dovetails world’s concerns about climate change and it clearly enhances India’s energy security. Considering the country’s 7600 km long coastal line , Shri Goyal added that the opportunities for scaling up are humongous. The Minister also suggested for building partnership with Defence, Coast guard and Shipping to ensure seamless and time bound approval process…….Onshore wind power development is the fastest growing renewable energy option in India and has now reached a commercial stage with more than 22 GW of installed cap acity supported by funding from private investment. The country has around 7,600 kilometres of coastline, offering a huge potential for offshore wind power development. To this end, the Ministry has now taken the initiative by announcing a Draft National Offshore Wind Energy Policy as well as preparing a Draft Cabinet note on National Offshore Wind Energy Policy which will be circulated for inter-ministerial comments.

November 8, 2014 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia to learn from Canadian renewable energy success story

flag-canadarenewable sources generate up to 65 percent of Canada’s electricity. Solar and wind are the country’s two fastest growing sources.According to him, Solar photovoltaic capacity reached 1,210 megawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 2013. The Canadian Solar Industry Association forecasts that annual capacity will increase three folds by 2025. By then, the Canadian solar industry will support more than 35,000 jobs, displacing 15 to 31 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Canada has two of the largest solar farms in the world

Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar  29 Oct 14, A Canadian trade delegation, headed by Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Trade Simon Kennedy arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday to meet several Saudi officials and major firms with a special focus on renewable energy in Saudi Arabia.
Canadian Ambassador Thomas MacDonald said Canada’s first renewable energy mission, which is focused on solar technology, will visit the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), ACWA Power and other industry leaders.  Continue reading

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Canada, renewable, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Nanyang Technological University Singapore leads te way with a hybrid micro grid for renewable energy

NTU to build region’s first renewable energy integration demonstration micro-grid Phys Org 29 Oct 14 Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU Singapore) will be building a hybrid micro-grid which will integrate multiple large-scale renewable energy sources. The first in the region, the hybrid micro-grid will test and demonstrate the integration of solar, wind, tidal-current, diesel, storage and power-to-gas technologies, and ensure these energy sources operate well together.


To be built under the new Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator- Singapore (REIDS) initiative, the hybrid micro-grid will be located offshore at Semakau Landfill and is expected to produce power in the megawatt (MW) range, which will be suitable for small islands, isolated villages, and emergency power supplies. This will be able to power around 250 HDB 4-room apartments, which together consume a peak of 1 MW.

This initiative is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and the National Environment Agency (NEA). The S$8 million initial micro-grid infrastructure will also facilitate the development and commercialisation of energy technologies suited for tropical conditions to be developed by NTU Singapore together with 10 world leading companies…….

October 29, 2014 Posted by | ASIA, renewable | Leave a comment

European Union heading to meet its 2020 renewable energy targets

EU on track to meet 2020 renewable energy targets, Hydroworld, BRUSSELS 10/28/2014   Online Editor Greenhouse gas emissions within the European Union fell by almost 2% between 2012 and 2013, putting the EU close to its 2020 reduction target, according to data released this week by the European Environment Agency.

“According to latest estimates, EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 fell by 1.8% compared to 2012 and reached the lowest levels since 1990,” an EU statement said. “So not only is the EU well on track to reach the 2020 target, it is also well on track to overachieve it.”

Hydroelectric power has been an integral component of the EU’s efforts in cutting its greenhouse gas emissions and producing 20% of its power with renewable sources.

The EEA’s analysis of member states’ own projections show the EU is likely to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 21% of 1990 levels by 2020, surpassing its 20% target. Meanwhile, the report shows 14% of the EU’s energy was generated by renewable sources in 2012, which is ahead of its projections to hit the 20% mark by the end of the decade.

“Our analysis shows that Europe is on track towards its 2020 targets,” EEA executive director Hans Bruyinickx said. “Even against the backdrop of economic recession in recent years, we can see that policies and measures are working and have played a key role in reaching this interim result.”…….The EU has said that it’s longer-term objectives include decarbonizing Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions by between 80% and 95% by 2050.

October 29, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment


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