Briefly Noted … Hydro and Biomass Energy

Worldwide News Briefs and Information on Renewable Energy

– A draft viability report will be released soon on a new dam in western Mozambique that will cost an estimated US$1.25 billion. The government plans to build the dam and power station at Mepanda Uncua on the Zambesi river, with a capacity of 1,200 MW. France and Germany have funded $7 million for the feasibility study, and a preliminary environmental and social assessment says the facility will drown a relatively small area of forest and almost no arable land in its 100 km2 lake. The dam is not expected to be completed before 2010. – Shell Renewables will not proceed with development of a biomass-to-power business in Germany. The company reviewed its options and decided to drop biomass because new regulations in Europe has created a “biomass boom” and a sharp increase in demand for feedstock. The higher prices and lower security of feedstock supply will make it “extremely difficult” to establish a business capable of delivering an acceptable level of return. Rather than compete with established players with a presence in biomass, Shell Renewables decided to concentrate on solar PV, wind, geothermal and hydrogen. – Britain’s first dung-fired power station is set to begin operation by early next year, as part of a renewable energy project in Devon County, southwest England. It will generate 2 MW of electricity from gas given off by liquid waste collected from area farms, while producing hot water and liquid manure and handling up to 450 tons of slurry a day.

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