Tag: Geothermal

Renewable Energy Is Beginning To Power Africa

According to the International Energy Agency, sub-Saharan Africa will require more than $300 billion in investment to achieve universal electricity access by 2030.

Committing more than $7 billion in U.S. government support and attracting nearly three-times that in private sector funding, Power Africa, which launched in October 2013, marks a milestone for President Obama with regard to action on climate change and clean energy, not to mention foreign relations and international development. The initiative gives the U.S. a leadership role in addressing a range of critical regional and global issues – eradicating poverty, improving health and gender equality, opening up economic opportunity and conserving ecosystems and natural resources as well as promoting clean, renewable energy. In this regard the program dovetails nicely with the U.N.’s expiring Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and its new strategic Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. 

First Anniversary of The Balkan Floods Highlights Renewable Energy Market Opportunities

One year ago this month, severe flooding in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia killed 79 people, displaced about half a million and caused economic paralysis of the region. In the wake of these the catastrophic events, a renewed focus has emerged on how to repair infrastructure sustainably and harmonize the region’s energy sector with the environment.

The Balkan Region has enormous renewable energy potential but to date progress has been hindered by financing, weak legislation and poor grid infrastructure.

Canada Announces Weak Climate Target

Last week, Canada has announced its contribution to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gases by announcing its post-2020 target. The target announced today is off-track to the 80 percent cut by 2050 they committed to in 2009 and significantly higher than the U.S. target. They also announced a series of new measures, but failed to address their largest source of growing emissions — tar sands.

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that have the ability to disconnect from the main, centralized grid to operate independently when the main power grid experiences disturbances. 

Germany’s Powerhouse Feels Pinch of Merkel’s Shift to Renewables

North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state that’s home to utilities RWE AG and EON SE, is losing its standing as the country’s powerhouse as wind and solar energy begin to displace conventional sources.

Electricity consumers in the western state, which has one-third of Germany’s installed conventional power capacity, last year paid 3.1 billion euros ($3.5 billion) more to subsidize clean energy generation than producers there were awarded, the BDEW utility lobby said in a report Tuesday. The biggest recipient was Brandenburg in the east with a positive balance of 838 million euros.

 

 

Geothermal Piping Systems Get into the Groove

How do you design outdoor piping to account for changing elevation, uneven terrain, seismic and thermal movement, and the reroutes required of a drilling fluid system? This was the challenge faced by engineers and contractors for Indonesia’s largest geothermal power plant, Wayang Windu. The pipe-joining method would need to offer flexibility and superior maintainability, and project personnel sought a method that would not be susceptible to inclement weather or pose undue safety hazards. Welding and flanging couldn’t meet those parameters, but a solution was found in grooved mechanical piping.

Harnessing Indonesia’s Geothermal Potential

Located on the Ring of Fire and home to more than 200 volcanoes, Indonesia is estimated to have about 28 GW of geothermal potential for power generation, which is about 40 percent of the geothermal potential for the entire world. 41 volcanoes are found on the island of Java alone, providing abundant geothermal resources and holding the highest potential for energy production. Fittingly, this reflects the locale’s demand for energy. Home to 135 million inhabitants — about 60 percent of Indonesia’s population — Java is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. To meet energy demand, geothermal plants have been expanding to increase output.

The New Normal? Renewables, Efficiency, And “Too Much Electricity”

Just over a decade ago, the state of California faced serious concerns about whether its utilities could generate and/or buy enough power to assure that the world’s seventh-largest economy could keep the lights on. The infamous California energy crisis, which affected several other western states as well, was a complex tangle of poorly structured deregulation, significant market manipulation (remember Enron?), and other causes. Along with rolling blackouts, California endured an official state of emergency that lasted 34 months, led to the recall and replacement of Gov. Gray Davis, and cost the state and its ratepayers billions of dollars — a cautionary tale for all states of electricity supply unable to meet demand.

Summers’ Law Strikes Again

Lawrence Summers famously wrote, “there are idiots, look around” in an attack on the theory that markets are rational. What some have called “Summers’ Law” certainly applies to the markets’ response to the slide in the price of oil as it relates to stocks of renewable energy companies.

Why Fracking May Support Renewables

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shunned by the environmentalists that laud renewable energy sources. However, by not supporting both initiatives, they may be working at cross purposes. Natural gas, booming largely because of fracking, complements…