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With its dependence on imported fuels and electricity demand growth topping 7 percent per year, Turkey is increasingly turning to development of its domestic resources to meet demand. Coupled with its favorable geography, these factors have seen a swathe of hydropower development.
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At 3.79 million square miles, the United States is the fourth largest country in the world by total area. Scattered throughout that vast landscape are some 80,000 non-powered dams that, if harnessed, could hold as much as 12.1GW (or 12,100MW) of renewable energy capacity. The U.S. Department of Energy recognizes this, and recently announced its intention to provide billions of dollars in loans to hydroelectric power technology developers to convert all that standing water into power.
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The Kapuskasing River Waterpower Project is a 22-MW development of four hydroelectric sites along the Kapuskasing River in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Construction on the project began in 2005. What is unique about this project, is how it successfully demonstrates a new business model for hydropower, perhaps the first of its kind, through the collective partnerships of the five owners, which include three First Nation communities (Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation and Chapleau Cree First Nation), the municipality of Kapuskasing and the private developer, Hydromega Services Inc.
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Tidal power remains one of the great engineering challenges yet to be fully exploited in the modern world and yet it was first mooted more than a century ago. The oceans hold enormous quantities of potential energy that can be developed with very low greenhouse gas emissions.
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For countless centuries the power of the tides has been known and understood. It is perhaps remarkable that this prodigious energy been used to generate electricity only within the last half a century. In a bid to rectify this apparent omission, over recent years significant research and development dollars have been ploughed into the development of numerous novel marine hydrokinetic technologies, such as tidal current turbines, which are only now emerging commercially.
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For decades large-scale hydropower developments have been viewed as something of a pariah within the renewable energy sector. Indeed, despite an acknowledged contribution to sustainable energy development — hydropower’s global kWh contribution dwarfs all other renewable technologies — it has largely been excluded from considerations that benefit other forms of renewable power generation and has weathered widespread criticism over projects deemed unsustainable.
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According to the World Energy Council’s latest World Energy Resources (WER) report, hydropower already provides a substantial proportion of energy worldwide, contributing approximately 15 percent of global electricity production. Indeed in several countries, for example Iceland, Nepal and Mozambique, hydropower accounts for over half of all electricity generation.
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The ocean energy sector has been steadily creeping towards commercial reality year after year, with technology test deployments taking place worldwide. After all, the ocean energy market is not an easy place to do business, just building a technology prototype can cost up to $30 million. This year, however, some major project announcements indicate that the industry could be moving to the next level - much faster than anyone had previously predicted.
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India's scope for hydropower development is vast. Close to 150 GW of theoretical potential exists in the country today, with an estimated 84 GW of economically exploitable capacity, according to figures from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). Simultaneously, there is a large population of rural poor with no access to grid electricity, an existing peak load deficit estimate at around 10 percent and a rapidly growing economy — and with it an associated increase in power demand.
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José da Costa Carvalho Neto has been tapped by Brazil's president Dilma Vana Rousseff to run Eletrobras, one of the top 10 publicly-traded electric companies in the world. His task is to make Eletrobras the largest clean energy company system in the world by 2020. Marla Barnes and Michael Grossman recently sat down with Carvalho Neto in his office in Rio de Janeiro to learn more about this company and its ambitions for the future.