Hydropower, Solar, Wind Power

Briefly Noted ….

News tidbits of trends in renewable energies from around the world.

Short snippets of trends in renewable energies … – China’s first polycrystalline silicon solar cell production line has gone into operation in the NingBo Free Trade Zone. Able to produce two million solar cells a year, it is ranked as a key project of the country’s ninth Five Year Plan, tallying with strategic demands for sustainable development. – Despite the share price of Spanish aeronautics and wind energy group Gamesa falling by 5.78 percent in early September, the company expects its full-year profit to grow by 37.3 percent. Observers say some investors have decided to cash in, with Gamesa’s share price 78 percent higher than when the company was floated in October. Windfarms established in Spain appear to offer a sufficient guarantee of the continuation of the growth rate of its business and Gamesa says it has won 517 MW of connection rights to Italian and Greek electricity networks for the facilities it plans to build in those countries. – In Brazil, the state of Ceara will develop 100 MW of wind generation, up from the current 17.4 MW. The government has signed a contract for Wobben, a subsidiary of Enercom of Germany, to install the facility with a R$24 million investment. Agreements were also signed with SIIF, from EDF (France), Fuhrlander, Eletrobras, and Eletrowind, the arm of CS Participacoes in wind power generation. – In Turkey, a draft law on geothermal energy will go before Parliament because the country ranks among the top 14 countries in geothermal resources, but the government admits that it does not make efficient use of the energy. If a wastewater re-injection problem can be overcome in the Denizli-Aydin-Afyon triangle, energy for Turkey could be available for 50 years from geothermal resources. – A wind plant in Andermatt, at an altitude of 2,350 metres, will be the world’s highest wind energy plant, generating 1.5 million kWh of electricity, equivalent to the annual consumption of 400 households, according to the constructing company, ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. – A boost to the use of renewable energies in Germany may result from Eon, the German power group, launching a product called Eon MixPower which lets customers choose a price and package of electricity from nuclear, coal, water, wind, solar and biogas sources over the internet. – An international effort to promote the conservation of Mount Kilimanjaro as a World Natural Heritage Site will involve local communities in a range of sustainable acitivities such as renewable energy technologies and cultural tourism. – Gamesa Eolica of Spain, the world’s second-largest wind turbine manufacturer, has begun work on the La Bobia-San Isidro windfarm with 58 turbines and combined output of 49.3 MW, the first such facility to be developed in the autonomous region of Asturias. – The German bank, WestLB Panmure, says windfarm operators listed on the Neuer Markt have little potential for share price increases because risk profiles and strategic directions of the companies vary widely, and it claims bad news in the industry in 2002 and 2003 is possible. – As part of Shell oil’s global plans to invest US$1 billion in renewable energy projects, it will join with the El Salvadorian state company Gesal in a geothermal project to apply advanced technology to produce electricity from steam. – Pakistan will launch the country’s first wind energy project in the Makran coastal area of Balochistan province in collaboration with a United Nations organisation (UNOPS), to promote commercialised wind energy in Pakistan through the establishment and demonstration of the viability of harnessing wind energy in remote areas. – The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development has started funding the restoration of small hydroelectric stations in an area of Kyrgyzstan that is predominantly populated by ethnic Germans. EBRD, together with a German firm which will deliver equipment to Kyrgyzstan, have bought shares in projects and the bank says efforts are just beginning because 165 small hydro stations are at a standstill in the central Chuy valley alone. – Brazil’s 112 MW Porto Estrela hydroelectric power plant on Santo Antonio river in southeast Minas Gerais state, has started production. In Peru, Hydro Tamboraque, owned by Minera Casapalca, plans to invest US$122 million over three years to build a hydroelectric complex 90 km from Lima. It involves the construction of three plants with total generating capacity of 105 MW at a cost of US$1,163 per kW. – Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze has opened the first 2 MW capacity of an eventual 24 MW to be generated by the Khodori hydro power plant being built in eastern Georgia to meet half of the electricity demand in Kakhetia. At present, residents have electricity three hours a day in winter, and eight hours in summer. – The Andean Hydro Company has completed an environmental impact study for the 26.5 MW Mapocho y Molina hydroelectric project that it intends to develop in the Andean foothills on the outskirts of Chile’s capital city, Santiago, at a cost of US$28 million. – Friends of the Earth in Britain reacted with surprise and dismay to a Department of Trade & Industry announcement of an ‘Energy Security of Supply Working Group,’ that will look at risks to the country’s future gas and electricity supplies. The new group will repeat much of the work already underway in the Cabinet Office’s Performance & Innovation Unit announced by the Prime Minister last month. “A second energy review makes no sense at all,” says spokesman Mark Johnston. “Why repeat the work the Cabinet Office is already doing very well? It looks very much like the old guard at the DTI has been panicked by the fresh thinking at the Cabinet Office and are now worried there will be no come back for nuclear power.” – Renewable energy will be one of the four focus sectors at a United States-Africa Business Summit organized by the Corporate Council on Africa. The September summit will address start-up or expanding business and investment in Africa and will broaden business opportunities in Africa and raise awareness of Africa within the U.S. business community. – The province of Ontario has finalized a new schedule for opening a competitive power market in 2002, after twice delaying its opening from the original date of November 2000. The uncertainty of opening day had restrained investment in generation plants, but the Independent Electricity Market Operator and the Ontario Energy Board say live operational testing (the last market readiness test) will start in February.