Category Archives: Renewable Energy

Costa Rica’s Young President-elect Promises a Clean Energy Future


It is important to note that the new president-elect of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada has come out with a promise to phase out the use of diesel and petrol in the country’s transport system by replacing them with clean sources of energy with a comparison of the task to that of abolishing the army.

The new president-elect in his younger days sang as a member of a college band known as Dramatika. After college, he got his first job working at a gambling centre where he staked mainly on American teams so as to earn enough money to purchase his first guitar.

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Giving the speech while addressing his supporters just after being elected president, the 38-year-old made a vow to get the economy of the little Central American nation de-carbonized while also upholding the green tradition of the nation.

Alvarado Quesada who is a former centre-left minister from the ruling party came out to make a promise of a future where the nation can bask in the euphoria of being liberated from diesel and petrol dependency in its transport system, thus replacing them with sources of clean energy.

This transformation in the words of the president-elect would be the “abolition of the army’ of our generation”, making reference to the dissolution of the country’s armed forces back in the year 1948 which still stands as a point of pride for many a Costa Ricans.

By his election, he will be the youngest among the presidents of Latin America, thus joining the exclusive league of leaders in the world who were elected at an age below 40 and also with a commitment to a future that is based on clean and renewable energy, in addition to leaders such as the Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand as well as Emmanuel Macron of France.

According to an economist, Monica Arya who is a leader in the advocacy for mobility of electricity in Costa Rica, this is simply a very young president who is sending a very clear message to the nation, with emphasis on the younger generation.

Araya made a call for the new leadership of the country to adopt the promotion of electric vehicles via the purchases of public institutions and also to form a synergy with citizens who are engaged in order to come up with greater coalitions.

The country which has a population of about 5 million people also has an electricity generation system which is almost about hundred percent low-carbon and last year (2017), the country was able to go for about 300 days without making use of fossil fuels for the purpose of electricity generation.

As against the system and policy of other countries seeking to do away with diesel and gas cars using a certain date in mind, the new Costa Rican government would instead focus on the improvement of its metrics after which it would set its own targets according to Paola Vega who was responsible for the coordination of the manifesto which the winning party made use of.

During the campaign period, Alvarado Quesada made a promise to lead the modernization and electrification of an old diesel train with a view to leading the promotion of research and development of biofuels and hydrogen by leading the transformation of the government-owned petroleum refinery and also in signing a law which would ban the exploration and exploitation of gas and oil in the country.

As far as the ban on exploration is concerned, it should be a pretty straightforward affair as there is basically no oil industry established in the country, however, the transport sector will definitely pose to be a greater challenge. The transport sector of Costa Rica is reputed to be responsible for over half of the total CO2 emission of the country; this makes the sector paradoxically quite profitable for this ecotourism purpose.

A certain analysis recently carried out has also indicated that about twenty percent of the income of the state is derived from this sector of the economy, and most of the time from taxes gotten from fuel as well as the taxes derived from the sales of brand new cars as well as property tributes.

A recent statement by Vega who won an election to Congress indicated that there was a great need to effect a change in the institutional framework. According to him, the climate change issue requires policies that emanate from the presidential palace and not just from one ministry alone.

The previous year, the Congress of Costa Rica created and passed a certain incentive package with a view to promote the electric mobility. It is necessary to keep in mind that these incentives include decreased taxes for EV’s as well as more charging stations as well as a renewed commitment to ensure that some parts of public institutions ‘fleets to be free from oil.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Deadly Oil Spill in Indonesia Caused By a Crack in the Undersea Pipeline


An undersea pipeline which is owned by the Indonesian government-owned natural gas and oil company Pertamina has burst and lead to a rather deadly spill which caused the Balikpapan Bay in Borneo looking more or less like a gas station.

The company had initially come out to say that the event had absolutely nothing to do with its refinery facility close-by or even the undersea pipes which cut across the bay; it indicated that the tests it carried out on oil spill samples showed marine fuel which was made use of for ships and not crude oil.

Crude Oil Spill Covers Greek Bay

However, on Wednesday, the company came out to accept responsibility for the catastrophe by accepting full responsibility for the spill saying that the spill was indeed their fault. One of the company managers made it clear that the distribution line was shut down as soon as divers identified the leak on Tuesday. Test carried out on a certain spill sample went ahead to indicate that it was indeed crude oil. The company is now making efforts to quantify the degree of spillage into the bay.

The government has, however, come out to declare that the said incident was not the fault of Pertamina. An official in the energy ministry has put the blame squarely upon a certain foreign coal carrying vessel which anchored in the area of the bay and went to drag the pipeline for about 120 meters from where it initially was thereby leading to a crack.

A statement by the energy and mineral resource ministry’s gas and oil Director General Djoko Siswanato made it clear that the pipe was supposedly dragged along by an anchor which was dropped down by the vessel although not one single vessel was allowed to drop an anchor or even go through the said bay based on a report by the Jakarta Post.

One thing the minister, however, failed to do was to identify which of the ships was responsible, however, the police officers who are carrying out investigations on the spill have gone on to question the crew members of the Panamanian MV Ever Judger.

According to Djoko, it was really the fault of the said vessel. And owing to the fact that there some casualties in the said incident, the vessel owner could face charges for the crime, however, it still all is dependent upon the result of the investigations which are ongoing.

According to Greenpeace Indonesia, Pertamina was obviously responsible for the ecological disaster. The group has, however, come out to condemn the state-owned and run the company on social media for the said catastrophe and has gone on to charge it with the restoration of the ecosystem of the Balikpapan Bay.

Greenpeace Indonesia has gone on to say that this is the major reason why the world needs to begin looking towards renewable energy and as such look away from the limited fossil resources which have done nothing but cause destruction to our very own planetary environment as well as the future of the human race as we know it.

A state of emergency was quickly declared by Indonesia on Monday soon after the ignition of the spill which leads to the death of about five individuals in the city of Balikpapan the past weekend. A large number of locals came out to indicate that they had health-related issues which include among others; nausea, breathing difficulties, as well as vomiting which is as a result of the smell coming from the fuel as well as the black smoke which originated from the inferno.

The warning has been issued to the residents by the local authorities that cigarettes should not be lighted in the area and has even gone on to distribute facial masks.

The ministry of the environment came out to say that the oil slick has succeeded in spreading over a 13,000 hectares (about 50 square miles of the Balikpapan waters and has succeeded in polluting about thirty-seven miles of the coastal ecosystem which includes the marine mammal habitats as well as the mangrove wetlands.

The sludge originating from the spill is said to have covered about seven square miles of water along with black bobs which cover the beaches. It certainly may take at least some weeks before there can be any real estimate of the degree of damage which has been caused to the fishing and wildlife.

An official from the fishery and marine ministry Zulficar Mochtar has come out to say that the spill indeed poses a threat to the ecosystem, the livelihood of the indigenous fishermen as well as to the economy in general.

Balikpapan is an Indonesian city which has a population of about 700,000 people and it is located on the strait of Makassar, which is a straight that runs all through the eastern coast of Borneo thus making this tragedy all the more alarming.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Microsoft Endorses the Biggest Solar Agreement in the United States


One of the biggest technology companies in the world, Microsoft, has declared its plans to purchase the biggest corporate solar technology in the United States. The tech company has agreed to endorse this move in conjunction with sPower to add 315 MegaWatts of electricity through the use of the solar project in Virginia.

It is important to take note that Microsoft has been running its activities on 100% renewable energy since 2014. However, one year later, the tech company amalgamated with RE100, which is a corporate leadership initiative that was formed by The Climate Group in conjunction with CDP. This initiative brings together about 130 companies that want to be fully involved in promoting and enhancing renewable energy across the globe.

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Microsoft made further plans in 2016 to offer renewable energy for its various center points from local sources of energy. Right now, the tech company is making other plans and measures to increase the percentage of renewable energy in its center point by in 2018 and also in 2020.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s plan in conjunction with sPower will increase its renewable collection by 1.2 GigaWatts; this puts the tech company in the right path to achieve its goals within a short period of time and will also concurrently assist the increase of the renewable energy sector in Virginia.

The CEO of RE100, Sam Kimmins said, “Big congrats to Microsoft for their achievements so far. This is a powerful leadership from an RE100 pioneer, thus, bringing new solar capacity into the grid will surely benefit their business strategy and accelerate a market shift to renewables.”

Kimmins also stated that “The project is a clear illustration of how supportive policy environment enable corporate renewable electricity off-takers to invest at scale, driving competitiveness and increasing the change to a zero emissions economy.”

All About Exploiting the Energy Gotten From the Sun

When Pleinmont 1 and 2 is totally active and launched, more than 700,000 solar panels will be involved, which will cover 2,000 acres, thus, creating about 715,000 MWh annually. These projects are part of an enormous 500MW solar project in Virginia.

The CEO of Microsoft, Brad Smith, said, “ These projects don’t just involve producing gigawatts alone, this is due to the fact that our commitments are bigger than transforming our own activities; it also involves assisting other people to have quick access to renewable energy.”

It important to note that the solar and wind power are now cost-effective; with this in mind, lots of companies and business are beginning to see the advantages of delving into renewable energy to source their own energy needs and enhance more clean power into their machines.

A latest RE100 progress report shows the growth of business Power Purchase Agreements as a way of obtaining renewable energy. The report also states the use of Power Purchase Agreements and its growth among RE100 members in a year.

This model enlarges the capability for businesses and governments to participate in this type of project, and yet take the amount megawatts that they need for their business activities. With this, the CEO RE100 expressed joy working with Microsoft on a project of this kind.

The Collaboration of Governments and Businesses

With the recent study made by the RE100 initiative, the immense growth in PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) in places where government laws and policies are encouraging, like the United States, Mexico, UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands has been shown.

However, due to the fact that Virginia is the cosigner of the Under2 Coalition, which is a global network of sub-national governments that are devoted to decreasing climate change, which The Climate Group acts as the secretariat, the state has lengthened its substantial exertions to decrease emissions and enhance clean energy investments. In conjunction with Microsoft to increase the growth of solar capacity entering to the grid is part of the process.

Due to this, Gov, Ralph Northam said, “When reputable companies like Microsoft invest in Virginia solar power, they opt for clean and reliable energy as well as news in the energy economy that we are working to build.”

Gov. Northam also made this clear, “I am proud that Microsoft is expanding its commitment to solar energy in Virginia, and I look forward to building upon this victory for clean energy and the jobs that come with it.”

Lots of business are finding carbon-saving alternatives necessary in order to maintain a clean environment; these businesses and companies are now investing in carbon-reducing initiatives. The project in addition to the initiative Microsoft has to sustain a clean environment in another part of its business model has led to the company receiving an EPA Climate Leadership Award and to receive a worldwide recognition by the United Nations and World Economic Forum for its carbon fee model.

It is also essential to note that Microsoft has been ranked by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as the second largest user of green power in the United States.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

BP: The Need for Oil Is Expected To Increase by 2040 with Five Times Growth in Renewables


The demand for oil is expected to peak by 2040 and then decrease, this was stated by BP. This occurrence is due to the increase in renewable energy, electric vehicles, and increasing regulations on plastics.

However, on Tuesday, an energy viewpoint was stated by BP (which is one of the biggest oil companies in Britain) thus, forecasting that the demand for oil will reach a high point at 110 million barrels per day between 2035 and 2040 before gradually slowing and leveling down. Although, the current demand for oil is about 97 million barrels per day.

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The viewpoint from the British oil giant solely relies on forecasts and estimates from its “Energy Transition” setting which redirects to government plans, technological and also social happenings.

It is also important to know that BP also forecasts that lots of consumers will shift their attention to electric cars in the near future. Right now, it has been estimated that about 2 million people now use electric cars, but this is likely to increase to about 300 million by 2040.

Nevertheless, the 300 million figure that estimated the expected usage of EV ( Electric Vehicles), only signifies 15% of the amount of the predicted 2 billion passage cars that will be used in 2040, this means that there is still a long way to go before the use of crude oil diminishes, BP executives stated.

Also, there have been lots of speculations that the increase in the production of EV will drive away the use of oil among consumers, but BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale said to the Telegraph that, “the suggestion that the increased growth of EV will cause a decline in oil demand has not really been supported by basic numbers- even though there has been a rapid growth”.

“We have seen the situation on the ban of ICE (Internal Combustion Engines). Even with the ban on the ICE, oil demand will still increase in 2040 than it is presently”.

In addition to these, the reports that stated the Evolving Transition have not predicted that carbon emission will also rise.

However, under the Evolving Translation situation, which accepts that vital rules and technology will continue to evolve at a faster state similar to that seen in the past, oil demand will slow and eventually plateau in the late 2030s.

Also in the ET scenario, there are nearly about 190 million electric cars by 2035 which doubles the estimated 90 million EV’s forecasts. This scenario has also stated that the number of electric cars is expected to increase by extra 130 million in the next years, thus, reaching a total of 320 million cars by 2040.

Other energy research groups have increased their level of EV forecast in recent years. Although, BP’s latest prediction is more predominant.

However, it is necessary to know that the Chief Executive Officer of BP, Bob Dudley, also declared that even though there have been adequate policies ( technological and political) to decrease the rise of carbon emissions, “these measures fall short of the sharp drop in carbon emissions aimed to achieve the Paris climate goals.”

From the viewpoint of BBC  which also pointed out from the outlook of BP, it has been said that BP expects the emissions of carbon to increase by 10% in 2040 – this would shun and collapse the promises made in Paris.

It is important to know also that this BP had suggested that decreasing the demand for oil at 85 million barrels per day would gratify the Paris climate goals.

On a lighter mode, BP has acknowledged the fact that renewable energy is the fastest-growing fuel source and will increase 5 times more by 2040 to attain about 14% of the level of energy consumption of the world. This is more reason why BP is putting all of its stakes in this sector.

However, Bloomberg conveyed that BP currently bought stakes worth $200 million in British solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd.  The British oil giant is not stopping at this joint and it has also considered bidding for an Italian company called Terra Firma’s Rete Rinnovabile Srl.

Furthermore, other policies and measures that are available are indenting the level of oil demand across the world today. Dale made it known to the Guardian that if policies are increased on plastics and plastic bags, it will reduce the growth of oil demand per day to about 2 million barrels by 2040.

Dale also told the Guardian that “all over the world, you will see lots of awareness of environmental damages that are associated with plastics.”

Nevertheless, by the end of BP’s forecast period, the growth of electric vehicles would have increased by 15%. Although, the number of EV’s can’t give a total story. When it has to do with knowing the future energy, it all relies on how vehicles are exploited.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Paris Make Plans to Sue the Fossil Fuel Industry


The effects of climate change in most parts of the world are becoming drastic and thus, affecting lives and properties. Due to the present change in the climate, Paris has been experiencing its detrimental effects and on Tuesday, the city has said it is making out plans to sue the fossil industry. As a result of damages from climate change, Paris has also responded to these destructions, including immense recent floods, and it has decided to take this action to follow suit in the footsteps of New York and other cities in the United States.

It is necessary to know that 3 years ago, Paris had made plans to dissociate itself from assisting the fossil industry in the build-up to COP21, where the city itself agreed to sign the Paris Agreement. However, the Paris council has aims to use its power, together with the authority of President Anne Hidalgo within the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to persuade other big cities to join in the campaign.

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Earlier this month, Paris was a victim of a major disaster pertaining to floods, which according to Anne Hidalgo, poses “a clear question of the city’s adaptation to climate change”. With the advent of the downpours that flooded Paris in May 2016, various research has indicated that climate change doubled the advent of the floods. However, it is important to know that during the course of these floods in 2016, various lives and properties were lost.

Following the announcement on Tuesday by the city, it was also indicated that other cities that have been affected by climate change are following the same action as Paris. However, Clemence Dubois, of 350.org France stated: “it is a welcomed news that other cities such as New York and Paris are mobilizing to shield their residents from climate change and hold various fossil fuel industries accountable for their actions. This major action for the movement against fossil fuel companies and the support of thousands of people all over the world against climate change is a good one in order to protect the planet from being destroyed completely”.

We need to know that big fossil fuel companies like Total, Shell, BP, and Exxon are imposing a big threat to the world by causing floods and increasing the number of heat waves which are intensifying not only in Paris but other areas of the planet. Other detrimental effects caused by these big fossil fuel companies include droughts, forest fires, rising sea levels, etc. The movement will not only help France but other areas of the world.

In addition, on Jan. 10, the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, declared that New York would dissociate from investing on the fossil fuel pension funds of $ 191 billion and he also stepped further to state that the city is making plans to sue BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips.

Bill de Blasio has also made this known: “We want to commence the fight against climate change by tackling big fossil fuel companies that know how dangerous their activities are but go ahead to mislead the public to protect their personal interests. As climate change tends to aggravate, it is left for these fossil fuel companies whose interest in their profits puts us in this situation to take it upon themselves to make New York a safer place to be”.

Various court documents have stated that New York has also suffered from flooding and erosion as a result of climate changes. As a result of future threats, it has also sought to protect its residents from the effects of climate change back on the companies that have done lots of activities in creating changes on our climate – the fossil fuel companies.

Paris and New York are collaborating in the fight against fossil fuel giants due to Tuesday’s statement. Other major cities like Sydney, Cape Town, Berlin, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm are not left out in their support and they have also stated their commitment to the divestment of fossil fuels. Could this be the beginning of the movement against big fossil fuel giants by major cities in the world?

Nevertheless, 33 major local authorities in France have stated their support in the divestment; such authorities include, Bordeaux, Lille, La Rochelle, and Dijon.

Clemence Dubois said: “we will persuade our local authorities to ask other cities to follow our movement. We all know that our local communities have more authority in the resistance against these big fossil fuel companies, comprising through their links with the “Caisse des Depots et Consignation” who manages the pension of the employees. We also request that this public financial institution joins this movement that is happening all over the country.”

With all of these actions, the pressure on the fossil fuel industry is increasing every day. Right now, over 800 institutions including religious and medical groups have given their support to this movements. In order to increase the chances of victory, the Fossil Fuel movement is also making out plans for local action all over the world to increase the change to renewable energy. To be part of this movement- find out how you can take action anywhere you are.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

White House Has Made Plans to Decrease Renewable Energy Programs By 72%, Report says


It is necessary to note that the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, stated on Tuesday that his government has ended the unreal “battle on clean coal”. The president has also made it known that he wants to make fossil fuel the main trend of the world.

However, the American government have set out plans to instruct the Congress to decrease the Department of Energy’s renewable energy and other agendas that are associated with efficient energy by 72% in 2019, this was stated by a draft budget that was revealed by Washington Post.

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The draft document says that the White House will also ask the congress to stop the weatherization program which has trained lots of people and has helped alleviate bills on different house owners across the country. Also, the budget proposal will obliterate state energy grants and eliminate the study of fuel efficient vehicles.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to note that the level of recent expenditures of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is about $2.04 billion but Trump’s administration is ready to decrease this amount by $575.5 million in 2019, this was also reported by the Post.

In 2018, it was known that Trump wanted $636.1 million to be spent on EERE department, but it was later rejected by the Congress; this was due to the fact that they were in support for an increase in the amount stated by Trump.

The draft budget by the American government decreed a number of cuts and they are aimed to decrease the growth of renewable energy across the country.  Moreover, the draft document stated the reduction of 680 staff in passed budget in 2017 to 450 in 2019. One of the EERE said that, “it is evident that we have made no success in trying to convince the recent government of our value, and if anything, this has also indicated that our value has dropped”

In a statement in response to the Post, the American government said it would not say anything “on any seeped or pre-decisional draft prior to the release of the official document”

We all know that the need for the environment to sustain renewable energy is very important and this is what the EERE supports. The office of the EERE has always been devoted to support the growth of ecological transportation, renewable power, efficient homes and structures across the world and not just the United States alone. It is also vital to know that the EERE program called “SunShot” has drastically decreased the total costs of solar energy in the United States and its environs.

Much of the findings of the EERE is mostly deployed on research and most times at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co. Also, much of the laboratory’s $293 million budget in 2017 came from the EERE. Sadly, the cut of the budget would be so drastic.

Additionally, the draft has also called for the decrease in the research of fuel efficient vehicles by 82%. This also means that the document has made plans to cut the budget for the production of electric cars from $307 million (which is largest program right now) to $56 million in 2019.

Funds made specifically for bioenergy technologies have been channeled to study renewable fuels from sources which are not from food. Also, this plan will decrease the amount of funds being spent on more efficient building technologies and research into geothermal, hydro, and wind power.

The EERE programs on renewable energy takes about 7% of the Department’s overall budget, majority of the budget is channeled to maintain the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile and take care of different areas that have been adulterated by the country’s nuclear activities.

Trump’s decree on the cuts comes at the same time when he made the decision to enact tariffs on important solar panels and other equipment that are correlated to it. In addition to this, most people have stated that this move will not only suppress the present solar growth, but it will also have bad effect on one of the increasing job sectors of the economy and decrease clean energy innovations.

Although, it is more likely that the draft document might change before the government’s budget is due this month, but as it stands now, the Post has made it clear that the White House will set a preliminary point for certain negotiation to take place; it will also give a statement of resolved and other policy urgencies.

However, the cut under the leadership of President Donald Trump has shown to the world that it is uninterested in fostering renewable energy and producing environmental friendly products. The cut will also lower the funding of research and findings when it comes to knowing more on alternative energy sources like wind, and hydrothermal power. Nevertheless, Trump’s budget will be disclosed later this month, of which everyone is anticipating to see.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

The U.S. Imposes 30 Percent Duty on Chinese Solar Panels


The US president, Donald Trump, made an announcement concerning his imposed tariff on Chinese solar panels (this was imposed alongside imported washing machines), thereby giving a boost to Whirlpool Corp and consequently dealing a setback to the renewable energy industry.

A statement by the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, said that the two imported products: solar panels and washing machines “are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers.” The restrictions by the US president were to help domestic producers of solar power thrive, or probably to enhance the use of coals, which ostensibly is something he’s fighting for.

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A 30 percent duty will be imposed on imported solar cells and modules in the first year. This with the tariffs duty would have declined to 15 percent by the fourth year. Whirlpool chairman, Jeff Fettig, said, “By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American workers will compete on a level playingfield with their foreign counterparts. The duty would help to slow a shift to renewable energy in the United States”.

Renewables was already becoming a source thriving as much as the use of coals was thriving. MJ Shiao, head of renewable energy research for Wood Mackenzie, said that the duty would likely reduce the projected US solar installations by 10-15 percent over the next five years. He also said that, “It is a significant impact, but certainly not destructive to the end market.”

These Chinese solar panel industries play a vital role in the economy of the US. From providing solar power at a very cheap price, to making jobs available for over 23,000 people in the US. Chinese solar industries ought to be embraced by the US president, Donald Trump. However, his decision seemed to favour a number of domestic solar industries who were complaining about Chinese competition. Some include bankrupt Suniva (majority owned by the Chinese), and bankrupt SolarWorld, owned by the Germans.

The 30 percent surcharge imposed on the solar panel importing Chinese industries, would definitely leave a negative effect on the industries; and consequently affect employment and also the affordability of solar power. The Solar industry, SEIA, on the 22nd of January said on Twitter, “Today’s decision by President Trump is disappointing and will cause immediate & severe job losses across the country. The solar industry is too strong not to emerge from this, but the near-term impacts are unfortunate and avoidable.”

SEIA also said that, “This decision will cause roughly 23,000 American jobs to be lost this year, including many in manufacturing, and will cancel billions of dollars in investments in the U.S. economy. #SaveSolarJobs.”

The bulk of the cost of solar installations is not just the solar panels. About two third of the installation costs is from the commissions, the labor used, the wiring, and so on. The 30 percent imposed duty is estimated to increase the installation cost by 10 percent. An expert, Ramez Naam, said on his post on Twitter, “A 10% cost increase puts the total cost of utility-scale silicon solar in the US back to where it was in late 2015 or early 2016. At current pace of cost reduction, in another 1.5 years, costs will be back down to where they were in past years.”

Ramez who concluded that the industry would definitely be damaged said that, “None of this is to voice even the tiniest bit of support for Trump’s move on tariffs. It’s stupid, job destroying, bad for the planet, etc. We need to be moving faster, not slower. It will cause real damage to the solar industry for a couple years. But it won’t stop solar.”

There’s so much money that can be realized from the use of fossil fuels in America on a regular basis. The government as well as other agencies realize much gain. This is one thing the use of renewables does not offer America. You spend money upon installation; but after then you are left with no reason to keep paying money because all the energy used for such a system is free and cannot be monetized.

Many groups and industries in the US campaigned against the tariffs because they believe it will result in a “crisis” for the burgeoning industry and result in the loss of jobs for thousands of Americans. However, Suniva, a solar panel industry, majority-owned by Hong Kong, applauded the decision, saying that “Trump is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight.” Considering comments from Mike Bloomberg on Twitter, some have come to conclude that it is all a plan to promote the production and use of fossil fuels in the U.S.

Reference: treehugger

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Sun, Wind and Water: Africa’s Renewable Energy Set to Soar by 2022


There has been a loud cry for clean, more efficient, less carbon sources of energy all over the world. About 22 percent of electricity on the world is produced by renewable energy, while the remaining 78 percent is by the use of fossil fuels — gas, coal, etc. This accounts for the massive global warming worldwide; and also the desertification, gully erosion and flooding experienced in some parts of Africa.

Africa too is having a shift towards the use of renewable energy. Countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and few other countries are making headway in the use of renewables. Energy officials have said that the strong demand for power in Africa would give rise to the use of renewables in the next 5 years.

solar-farm

So many communities in African nations (especially Sub-saharan Africa) just have access to electricity by the advent of the use of renewable energy in those places. Much more people now have access to power.

In Nigeria, the Energy commission have forecast that by 2030, Nigeria would need about 200,000MW of power to be able to effectively distribute electricity to it’s citizens. This can’t be achieved by the use of gas alone; but more of the renewables — sun, wind, and water; and even biomass; because of the current rate of production (which is about 5,500MW).

In some places in Nigeria, power has become affordable and easy to access. For example, in Ofetebe community in Edo State, Nigeria, a solar mini-grid produces 4kW of electricity to power a community borehole, a clinic, 30 households, a barber shop and relaxation spots like a video parlour. The cost of installation was about N4.8m, the mini grid will last for 30 years: an investment of N500 per month for each household. The community would therefore enjoy electricity every day, 365 days per year.

Ghana is currently building what is to be Africa’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant with $400m, which will consequently produce 155MW (the Nzema Solar Project). Kenya is also planning for sufficient solar power to provide more than half of the country’s electricity by 2016. Construction of the plants that would help achieve such is expected to cost $1.2bn. (For the same amount, Nigeria could build about 1,000km of gas pipelines – but this would constitute only 10% of what she needs).

The use of renewable energy in Africa is really growing. Paolo Frankl, head of the renewable division at the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) had this to say, “A big chunk of this (growth) is hydro because of Ethiopia, but then you have solar sources in South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia and wind in South Africa and Ethiopia as well.”

He forecast that the installed capacity of renewable energy in the Sub-Sahara region would almost double the current 35 gigawatts to above 60 gigawatts under the right conditions. Ethiopia has a set of hydro-power projects that are being constructed, this includes the $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River that will produce about 6,000 megawatts when it is completed.

This is sufficient for an averagely populated city for a year. “Africa has one of the best potential resources of renewables anywhere in the world, but it depends very much on the enabling framework, on the governance and the right rules,” Frankl told Reuters on the sidelines of a wind energy conference. The advocacy for a low-carbon energy source to reduce harmful greenhouse gases is a form of threat to industries who use fossil fuels, as well as beneficiaries of such.

In Africa, South Africa’s state-owned electricity company, Eskom, best illustrates the effect of the shift from fossil energy to renewable energy. The company has shown reluctance to sign new deals with independent power producers, according to analysts.

In May 2017, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) said that the energy regulator agreed to probe into Eskom’s refusal to sign the agreements that delayed almost 3,000 megawatts

in new solar and wind projects. Mark Pickering, chairman of SAWEA, said on Wednesday, “Our government does not appear to appreciate the forces of nature.”

Eskom’s reluctance to sign the new power purchase agreements for two years has delayed investment of $4.03 billion, and affected investors’ confidence with the record of at least one wind turbine being closed down. “The continent has a lot of potential, but the problem is financial and political issues, so all of our projects are being delayed for quite a long time, like with Eskom,” said Mason Qin, business development manager for southern and eastern Africa.

Hence, the strong demand for less carbon energy, and the prospective plans of African nations regarding electricity, and the demands to achieve such plans, has projected that, only by the use of renewable energy can these be achieved. 5 years would be sufficient to make this shift in Africa much clearer.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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India to be Mainstay in Global Energy Scene by 2040, Says IEA Report


Analysts have deduced that the energy demand rate in India may rise by 1,005 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), and between a period of 2016 to 2040. This accounts for about 30 percent of the world’s energy demand within the same period of years (i.e., 2016-2040). This implies that, India’s demand alone will surpass the increase in energy demand of places like China (790 Mtoe), West Asia (480 Mtoe); and Africa (485 Mtoe), during the above period.

It is very predictable that India would likely lead the global energy demand growth by 2040, as reported by the International Energy Agency in its annual World Energy Outlook report, 2017, on Tuesday. In comparison with places of high energy demands as estimated by the agency such as China, West Asia, Africa, etc, the Indian energy demand would surpass.

renewable-energy-environment-wind

However, US, Japan and Europe may reduce their energy demand by 30 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), 50 Mtoe, and 200 Mtoe, respectively, by. 2040. It is very clear from the analysis, that there would be much more energy demand in India than in any other place by 2040.

Considering the current state of the nation, India, as it booms in manufacturing and a bigger, richer, more-urbanized population set the nation on the path of quick and steady expansion, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The country’s oil demand is expected to attain a whooping quantity of about 10 million barrels per day in the next quarter of a century, marking, most probably, the IEA forecast fastest growth in the world.

The statement was by the Paris-based agency, said in a report released on Tuesday, Last month. The use of coal which is the mainstay of the country’s power generation, will also increase due to cities, adding about 315 million people, the international energy agency said in its report. India, home to a sixth of the world’s population, currently accounts for only 6 percent of global energy use at present, which implies that one out of every five Indians are yet to gain access to electricity.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to bridge that abyss, promising to light up every house by 2019. In order to achieve an effective national electricity supply, the nation plans a record increase in coal production as it builds new cities and as it has taken on an unprecedented $200 billion plan to generate renewable energy.

Environmental concerns have been raised, particularly air pollution resulting from India’s expanding industrialization and urbanization, with several of its cities reporting an alarming decline in air quality. Rapid growth in energy use, especially the use of fossil fuels like coal, may exacerbate the situation, the IEA said.

India has vowed to increase power-generation capacity using non-fossil fuels to 40% by 2030. They would cut an alternative path of relying on solar, wind and other renewable energy projects, to meet its clean-energy goals, in view of the slow progress in constructing large dams and nuclear plants, according to the agency. A policy framework will be critical to meeting India’s energy demand, the IEA said, pointing to losses from local electricity distribution.

A policy overhaul will help attract necessary investments of an estimated amount of $2.8 trillion in energy supplies. While India looks all ready to have the fastest growth in energy demand, the structural shifts in China’s economy may likely result in an 85% reduction in energy use for every unit of growth there, according to the report.

The IEA report says that traditional disparities between energy producers and consumers are not clear, and that a new set of major developing countries, led by India, is moving towards centre stage. “There is a fourfold shift towards the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean energy technologies, the growing electrification of energy, to a more service-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China, and the resilience of shale gas and tight oil in the United States,” the Paris based agency said in its report.

Rapid deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV), led by India and China, will help solar energy become the most prominent source of low carbon capacity by 2040, the report said. The energy agency has also deduced that electricity demand in India would double by 2040. It would be 2,504 billion units, in juxtaposition with the 1,154 billion units in 2016 and 2017.

Thus, from the IEA forecast, the large population of India, the current consumption and demand for energy in India; and the abounding industrialization and urbanization ongoing in India. It is safe to conclude that between 2016 and 2040, India would be the mainstay of global energy demand.

Source: IEA

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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Why is an Oil Company Leading California’s Biggest Solar Power Project?


The quest for sustainable energy, especially solar energy, has been one fraught with difficulty, with one of the main obstacles being the power of the oil and gas juggernaut.

This is why the news that Aera Energy, owned jointly by ExxonMobil and Shell, would be partnering with GlassPoint Solar to create the largest solar energy project in California came as such a surprise to the world when plans were announced on the 29th of November 2017.

solar-panels-installation-workers

The site of this ambitious project is located in Belridge oilfield, one of the largest in the country, which is just west of Bakersfield. It will be the first of its kind in the world – a project that will begin to use solar power instead of other sources of energy to provide energy to oilfields. The project is set to take up 770 acres and will rise to build an 850 MW solar thermal facility to power the oilfield and a 26.5 MW photovoltaic facility to provide electricity to the location.

The project’s purpose is simple: to generate steam that can be used to assist in the oil extraction process when it is injected into the ground. Heavy oil is created through this process, as the steam heats oil in reservoirs so it can be pumped up to surface level. Belridge’s oil production is at 76,000 barrels a day today. By using thermal energy from the sun instead of traditional gas, this project will do wonders for the environment.

The aim is to be able to create a whopping 12 million barrels of steam annually, which will serve as a replacement for the 4.9 billion cubit feet of natural gas that would have been needed to create the same amount of steam. This will save an estimated over 376,000 metric tons in carbon emissions – roughly as many as 80,000 cars would produce annually.

But was has led a traditional energy corporation like Aera Energy to make the leap into assisting in the production of renewable, sustainable energy? There are a multitude of reasons beyond the simple desire to help better the environment.

The biggest factor that could have led to this decision is the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy. With solar power, large investments are necessary, but following that, you receive more than your money’s worth back as fuel production is essentially free aside from any necessary maintenance costs. As mentioned, without solar power, 4.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas would be needed to produce 12 million barrels of steam per year – and the price of that is $3 per cubic feet, which adds up to $15 million savings annually. In terms of carbon credits, the estimated savings are about $5 million annually.

On top of all that, participating on solar and renewable energy projects could be good for any company in the long run – especially in California, where the costs of running a business can be high enough to demand a better performance and social acceptance.

The project is even more doable due to California’s extension of its cap-and-trade system on carbon dioxide emissions, which now goes on till 2030. Without this extension providing legislative support as well as regulatory stability, funding the project, which is ahead of its time and may not become economically profitable as a whole for a few more decades, may not have been possible.

Aera Energy won’t be working with an inexperienced company, either. Glasspoint has built glass houses for Berry Petroleum and has worked to make similar solar powered generators for steam with Petroleum Development Oman that involved a $600 million contract, in the Middle East where natural gases aren’t quite as evenly distributed. It has also made the top 100 list by Global Cleantech that features up and coming, innovative and promising companies in solar power.

Is this sort of partnership set to be a new global trend? Perhaps. A total of five other similar plants have been built around the planet using similar technology, though with some differences, of which three have had GlassPoint’s involvement. Meanwhile, in Norway, Statoil – one of the biggest oil corporations in the country – is working on a similar project in Brazil, and oil giant Shell is working on exploring the possibilities for one in Australia. Statoil has also been making strides in wind energy.

Many environmental groups feel that this project is step in the right direction, though some enthusiasts may feel more ambiguous about its goals. GlassPoint’s Senior Vice President, Sanjeev Jumar, stated during the project’s press release that his company’s partnership with Aera Energy indicates how energy is working hand-in-hand globally, demonstrating how both renewable and non-renewable energy companies can converge. Aera Energy is estimated to wind up spending around $250 million on the mutually beneficial project, and it’s estimated that the Belridge Solar project will begin functioning by the year 2020, when it will start to produce the highest energy output of any power plant of its kind in California.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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