Briefly Noted …

Brief news tidbits from around the world.

– One of the world’s largest windfarms has opened in northwest Germany. The privately funded Sintfeld facility near Paderborn has 65 turbines generating 105 MW, enough for 70,000 homes. The windfarm cost DM 220 million (US$113 million) and took four years to construct. Germany generates 7,000 MW from wind, and Environment minister Juergen Trittin says the government will double the share from wind to 12.5 percent by 2010. He says wind power provides 30,000 jobs in Germany. – Brazil’s power regulator Aneel will invite bidding to evaluate the potential of nine hydrographic basins with an estimated capacity of 3,000 MW. The government will make introductory proposals for a big hydro facility to generate 11,000 MW at Belo Monte in Para state which will require an investment of US$6 billion. – Between 200 and 500 homes at Ivory Park in the Midrand area of South Africa will be involved in a solar power project conducted by the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs. The average family spends R170 a month for energy, which is up to one quarter of their income. – Solar manufacturer Solarworld AG, will invest Euro 250 million in Deutsche Solarworld GmbH, including a doubling of solar cell production capacity. It will increase its share capital to finance the expansion of its German subsidiary. – A private sector initiative to increase power supply through solar energy is being launched to accelerate Nigeria’s economic development. The first national workshop on solar energy will be held in Lagos and chairman of the organizing committee, Elder Adeogun, says solar is an untapped, unharnessed and grossly neglected energy source in Nigeria and the West African sub region. – The Basque government in Spain estimates that 12 percent of the region’s energy will be generated from wind by 2005, and plans to build five more windfarms in the provinces of Alava, Guipuzcoa and Vizcaya. The region currently has one wind facility located in Elgea, a mountain range between Alava and Guipuzcoa. The six windfarms will generate 175 MW. – The manufacturer of the WaterFurnace heat pump, WFI Industries Ltd., says sales and profits in the second quarter are “markedly ahead” due to the media attention to the California energy crisis, high costs of fossil fuels, and growing attention to renewable energy. Sales in the first six months of this year were US$20.5 million, compared with $15.8 million last year. – Canadian manufacturer, ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., reports higher revenue in Q1 although its solar subsidiary, Photowatt International, generated the same revenue as it did in Q1 last year. – Umweltkontor Renewable Energy of Germany will split its shares to double nominal share capital to Euro 17.5 million. The new shares will be fully entitled to a dividend for 2001. – In Madrid, Grupo Auxiliar Metalurgico SA reports a net profit of Euro 2.76 million, up from 2.43 million in Q1, while six months profit of its wind unit rose 2.2 percent to Euro 15.3 million from a year earlier, on sales of 188.5 million, up 1.0 percent. – Preparations are underway for the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa next year. Like the Rio Earth Summit of a decade ago, it is expected to have an impact on social, economic and environmental policy, including renewable energy. A taskforce of the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia/Pacific, UN Development Programme and UN Environment Programme has confirmed a preparatory schedule which includes meetings in the next few months in Samoa, Khazakhstan, Sir Lanka, and Manila. – A Russian consortium has signed a joint venture with VS2 of California to market power plants ranging from 2.5 to 110 MW in the U.S. VS2 says it will also work in the renewable energy sector, and will soon announce its marketing efforts in the photovoltaic and fuel cell areas. – The Fifth International Symposium on New Energy Resources was held in Shanghai last month, with 80 experts from Japan, the U.S. and Russia in attendance. The meeting was co-sponsored by the International Society of Hydrogen Energy, the International Society of Solar Energy, and the New Energy Resources Society of Japan, and focused on development of solar energy systems and related issues. – In the Czech Republic, Prazska Energetika is preparing to offer green power from solar, water and wind energy by 2002. – Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. reports major progress in both its wind and hydroelectric projects with the Cowley North windfarm in southern Alberta having seven of fifteen 1.3 MW turbines installed with the remainder to be completed by the end of September and the Sinnott project’s five turbines will be installed during October adding a total of 26 MW more in generating capacity. – The largest dam in Iran opened five months ago, but it is helping to break the country’s drought and allow for the export of water to Kuwait, as well as generating electricity. The Karkheh dam was inaugurated in April to increase domestic water reserves by 30 percent. It has a locally built power plant with three 133.3 MW generators to generate 934 GWh of electricity a year. – Technical studies have been completed for a 2,300 MW hydroelectric project on the Usumacinta river on the border of Guatemala and Mexico. The generation will be double Guatemala’s needs.
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