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Alstom teams up with GDF Suez to equip the raz Blanchard tidal power pilot farm

September 30, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Ocean / Tidal Energy

Ocean Tidal turbine installation in Orkney, Scotland Photo courtesy of Alstom

Ocean Tidal turbine installation in Orkney, Scotland
Photo courtesy of Alstom

Alstom and GDF Suez will prepare a common project to respond to the call for expressions of interest for pilot tidal farms announced today by the French President, François Hollande in Cherbourg. Jérôme Pécresse, Alstom’s Renewable Power President and Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of GDF Suez, signed a cooperation agreement concerning this, in the Lower Normandy Region in France.

As part of this cooperation, Alstom and GDF Suez will establish the various technical parameters to harness effectively the marine currents at the raz Blanchard site, where the pilot farms will be installed, near the port of Cherbourg coast. The partners will also propose an operation and maintenance strategy for the pilot farm, as well as a roadmap to maximise the positive socio-economic benefits of this new activity throughout the region and the country. This is an important step to support the development of larger commercial farms.

Alstom is successfully testing its 1 MW tidal turbine under EMEC[1] waters, off Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The turbine has reached the full nominal power of 1 MW, generating over 10 MWh of electricity on the grid. Trials performed in pilot farms will test the performance of the turbine under real operating conditions.

Alstom will also sign an agreement today with Ports Normands Associés (PNA) which could allow the Group to perform the final assembly of the turbines, the erection of the foundations and all maintenance operations from Cherbourg, if it is awarded the raz Blanchard pilot farms. The port offers many benefits, including, in particular, a development plan covering 40 hectares for infrastructure devoted to tidal power, as well as the proximity of the raz Blanchard site and the British coastline, which represents a substantial potential market.

Signing this agreement will bolster the port’s’ development strategy in marine energy” said Laurent Beauvais, Chairman of the Lower Normandy Region, and of the Council of the Mixed Ports Association of Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg (PNA).

We are pleased to team up with GDF Suez for the development of  the raz Blanchard tidal power pilot farm. We will provide a reliable, environmentally-friendly and efficient technology which will help to deliver power at an optimal cost. Moreover, signing today  an agreement with PNA to reserve spaces on the port of Cherbourg, we could thus be in a position to develop synergies with our two future offshore wind plants ” declared Jérôme Pécresse, Alstom’s Renewable Power President.

This article is a repost, credit: Alstom.

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World Solar Challenge: One Week to Go – Stage Set for Scorching Competition

September 30, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, Solar

Solar team Twente, solar car Red Engine Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Solar team Twente, solar car Red Engine
Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

The largest ever field for this year’s 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Darwin to Adelaide is converging on Darwin from all corners of the globe. The 3,000 kilometre event will be flagged off from the State Square in Darwin on Sunday 6 October at 8.15 am and will be contested by 40 teams from 23 countries.

UNSW solar racing team Sunswift Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

UNSW solar racing team Sunswift, solar car eVe
Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Australia’s hopes rest with five teams: University NSW Solar Team Sunswift and their solar sports car ‘eVe’ and TAFE SA’s Solar Spirit 111 are both contesting the inaugural Cruiser Class; in the elite Challenger Class University of Western Sydney in their car ‘Solace’ and Queensland’s Team Arrow in Arrow 1 will be flying the Aussie flags; and in the Adventure Class Aurora’s ‘Evolution’ from Melbourne is confident their experience will prevail.

But the Australian’s face hot competition. An unprecedented amount of preparation and testing has been taking place over the past month. The American Solar Champions, from the University of Michigan are due in Darwin later this afternoon. They have been putting their car, Generation, through its paces on the way to Darwin, staging a ‘mock race’ to simulate the challenges they will encounter crossing the desert. From the Netherlands, Nuon Solar team, winners of four past events in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007, have been based in Darwin at Nightcliffe Primary School for the past month taking their solar car Nuna7 through its final paces. They believe this year they have the car to take back the title they lost to the Japanese in 2009 and again in 2011. But winning it back from the impressive team from Tokai University in their sleek Tokai Challenger will be no easy feat.

Stanford University solar car Luminos Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Stanford University, solar car Luminos
Photo courtesy of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Others to watch include Team Twente with their car, Red Engine; Belgium’s Punch Powertrain Solar team and Stanford University, who hope their shining star ‘Luminos’ will be leading the way. Event Director Chris Selwood said the only certainty is the unpredictability of this epic journey. With 33 new cars purpose built for this event the winners could come from anywhere and in the case of the new Cruisers, technology edges closer to the mainstream.

During the event week millions worth of technology and countless hours of effort will be seen making their way along the Stuart Highway travelling through control check points at Katherine, Dunmarra, Tennant Creek, Ti Tree, Alice Springs, Kulgera, Coober Pedy, Glendambo and Port Augusta. The lead cars are expected to reach the Finish of Timing point in Angle Vale possibly as early as Wednesday afternoon before heading to the official finish line in Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Square.

This article is a repost, credit: World Solar Challenge.

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Alstom Shares Lessons in Offshore Wind with Southeastern States

September 29, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Wind

Offshore wind turbine Haliade 150 6MW, photo courtesy of Alstom

Offshore wind turbine Haliade 150 6MW, photo courtesy of Alstom

(9-25-13)  Alstom

Last week, the head of Alstom’s global offshore wind technology platform joined representatives from the American wind power industry to discuss the latest technologies, policies and developments related to offshore and onshore wind projects in the Southeastern United States. The two day Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference held on 11-12 September focused on the potential wind energy development throughout the region, with particular emphasis on offshore wind opportunities along the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Florida.

Alstom's Offshore Wind Platform Director, Daniel Castell Photo courtesy of Alstom

Alstom’s Offshore Wind Platform Director, Daniel Castell
Photo courtesy of Alstom

Key themes showcased during the event included:

  • Permitting and regulatory issues
  • Existing supply chain and infrastructure in the region
  • Environmental policies
  • Lessons from European projects
  • Manufacturing and job creation

Alstom’s Global Perspective

While the conference highlighted the wind industry in the southeastern U.S., speakers also talked about European projects, such as France’s current effort to build 1.4GW of offshore wind generation,  the French wind tender, as for a model for offshore wind development. Alstom Wind’s very own Daniel Castell, Offshore Platform Director, was a featured keynote speaker who cited the key elements and best practices from European projects that are crucial to developing the offshore wind industry in the U.S. “There are many factors that must be taken into consideration”, said Mr. Castell.  “Obviously you need the equipment and transmission infrastructure but other factors such as industrial setup, supply chain, port infrastructure, and a strong deployment roadmap are critical to ensuring projects are economically sustainable”.  Daniel went on to discuss how the long-term collaboration between partners is essential to overcoming the economic and environmental hurdles that are inherent to offshore wind development.

Offshore wind in the U.S……. Moving forward

Superior wind resources, easy access to load centers and shallow waters make the southeastern coast a prime location for the development of wind farms. That’s why Alstom and partners like Dominion Virginia Power, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), are completing the Front End Feasibility and Design (FEED) stages for an offshore wind demonstration project in the state of Virginia, the first of its kind in the U.S. This project, which would feature two Alstom Haliade 150 6MW offshore turbines, was a major topic of discussion during the conference. Representatives from Dominion Power highlighted the importance of Alstom’s role in the project, citing the company’s global expertise and the intellectual capital brought to the project. Speakers from EDF referenced close industry partnerships, like the French Tender, as vital in bringing the U.S. closer to the reality of offshore wind. During a panel session on the potential for offshore wind in the southeast, representatives from AWS Truepower, LLC. once again cited the company’s advanced Haliade 150 wind turbine and that it’s high yield capability make it an ideal turbine for use along America’s eastern coast.

Learn more about the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition

This article is a repost, credit: Alstom. Video courtesy of Alstom

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Ethiopian Government and Reykjavik Geothermal Announce 1,000 MW Geothermal Power Agreement

September 29, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Geothermal, Greentech

The Hellisheidi power plant in Iceland Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Geothermal

The Hellisheidi power plant in Iceland
Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Geothermal

In a landmark announcement, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Reykjavik Geothermal have revealed plans to develop one of the world’s largest geothermal power projects in the Corbetti area in Ethiopia. The Corbetti Geothermal Project will be Ethiopia’s first independent power project, and one of the largest in Africa.

The Government of Ethiopia and Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) today announced an agreement to build and operate up to 1,000 MW of geothermal power in two 500 MW phases. Reykjavik Geothermal, a US-Icelandic development company, has been working with the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) and various government ministries for the past two years to finalize the power purchase agreement. The first 500 MW plant will be built inside the Corbetti Caldera, which is considered one of the top geothermal resources in the world by the team of Icelandic and Ethiopian geoscientists that have studied the area. The first 10 MW of power will be online in 2015, with an additional 100 MW in 2016 and the full 500 MW to be operational by 2018.

“Africa needs to transform, and energy is at the center of that transformation,“ said His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, at this morning’s announcement in New York. “My vision is that over the next 30 years we will need to harness as much as 80,000 MW of hydro, geothermal, wind and solar power, not just for Ethiopia, but for our neighboring countries as well. This cannot be done by public investment alone; we will need to partner with the private sector to bring in significant private investment going forward. From that perspective, this 1,000 MW project with RG is not that large – but it‘s a great start. What Africa needs now is not just aid, but trade and investment.“

“We are very pleased to announce this historic agreement with Reykjavik Geothermal. This will be a significant step for EEPCO in realizing our strategic vision of being the regional leader for power generation and export in East Africa,” said Deputy Prime Minister and EEPCO Chairman, H.E. Dr. Michael Debretsion. “We believe Ethiopia has over 10,000 MW of geothermal potential which provides base load power and is a perfect complement to our over 50,000 MW of hydropower potential.”

“Our agreement with EEPCO and the Government of Ethiopia is a ground-breaking achievement. Reykjavik Geothermal will be the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Ethiopia and the Corbetti Project will be the largest single geothermal power plant ever built in Africa,” said RG Chairman, Michael Philipp. “The agreement for 1,000 MW of geothermal power, an investment of $4 billion over an 8-10 year period, confirms the confidence of international investors in the growth and stability of the Ethiopian Economy. This project is being led by US private investors and has generated significant interest from the development agencies involved with the Power Africa initiative announced by President Obama.”

“The Corbetti Project is a new model for developing large scale power projects in Africa,” said EEPCO CEO, Miheret Debebe. “The project combines the considerable expertise for electrical power generation of Ethiopia, with the geothermal technical knowledge of Iceland and the financial and structuring expertise of the United States. This project will set a new benchmark for large scale projects financed by the private sector and will help Ethiopia unleash its full energy potential.”

“The Corbetti Geothermal Project will establish Ethiopia as a leader in the global geothermal industry,” said Gudmundur Thoroddsson, CEO of Reykjavik Geothermal. “Ethiopia has some of the best high temperature geothermal resources anywhere, and the Corbetti Project will be one of the lowest cost and most technologically advanced geothermal facilities in the world. Our goal is to transfer geothermal knowledge and expertise from Iceland to build a long term geothermal industry in Ethiopia.”

“This historic agreement for Ethiopia is a fitting tribute on the first anniversary of the passing of visionary leader H.E. Meles Zenawi,” said Nejib Abba Biya, Chairman of Rift Valley Geothermal, the Ethiopian partner of Reykjavik Geothermal. “The late Prime Minister was Africa’s spokesman at Global Climate Change conferences and an unflinching advocate for clean and renewable energy.”

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in the north-eastern part of Africa commonly known as the Horn of Africa. It is strategically proximate to the Middle East and Europe, together with its easy access to the major ports of the region, enhances its international trade. It is bordered by the Sudan in the west, Somalia and Djibouti in the east, Eritrea in the north and Kenya in the south. The country covers 1,112,000 square kilometers (472,000 sq. miles) making it roughly as large as France and Spain combined. With over 91 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa. The World Bank estimates GDP growth of approximately 8% over the next five years, after almost a decade of double digit GDP growth.

Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation

The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) as public utility enterprise was established in 1948 for indefinite duration by regulation No. 18/1997, and conferred with the powers and duties of the previous Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority. The purpose of the corporation is to engage in the business of producing, transmitting, distributing and selling electrical energy in accordance with economic and social development policies and priorities of the government and to carry out any other related activities that would enable it achieve its purpose.

Reykjavik Geothermal

Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) is a geothermal development company founded in 2008. The Company is focused on the development of high enthalpy geothermal resources for utility scale power production. RG specifically identifies and targets locations where quality geothermal resources can be efficiently harnessed to meet the local demand for power and clean dependable energy. RG was founded in Iceland by a proven team of experienced geothermal experts. RG management has been involved in geothermal exploration and development in over 30 countries including spearheading the development of one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi, Iceland.

This article is a repost, credit: Reykjavik Geothermal.

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UN urges global response to scientific evidence that climate change is human-induced

September 29, 2013 in Climate Change, Environment, EV News, Politics

(24 September 2013) Secretary-General Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) and Barack Obama, President of the United States, are seen walking through the Security Council Chamber en route to their meeting.  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas  Courtesy of United Nations

(24 September 2013) Secretary-General Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) and Barack Obama, President of the United States, are seen walking through the Security Council Chamber en route to their meeting.
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Courtesy of United Nations

27 September 2013 – United Nations officials today called for a global response to combat climate change, following new findings by a scientific panel stating it is “extremely likely” that humans have been the dominant cause of unprecedented global warming since 1950.

“The heat is on. Now we must act,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a video message to the launch of the report of the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“This new report will be essential for Governments as they work to finalize an ambitious, legal agreement on climate change in 2015,” Mr. Ban said. “The goal is to generate the political commitment to keep global temperature rise below the agreed 2-degree Celsius threshold.”

The IPCC report, released today in Stockholm, Sweden, calls global warming “unequivocal,” and confirms that there is a 95 per cent probability that most of the warming since 1950 has been caused by human influence.

The report stresses that evidence for this has grown “thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.”

“The IPCC report demonstrates that we must greatly reduce global emissions in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” said the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud. “It also contains important new scientific knowledge that can be used to produce actionable climate information and services for assisting society to adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

In its report, the IPCC notes that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. It adds that limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change is a long-term challenge but one that requires urgent action, not tomorrow but today and right now, given the pace and the scale by which greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere and the rising risks of a more than 2-degree Celsius temperature rise,” said the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner.

To add momentum to the global response, Mr. Ban intends to convene a Climate Summit in September 2014 for leaders at the highest level – from government, business, finance, civil society and academia.

“As the results from the latest and best available science become clearer, the challenge becomes more daunting, but simultaneously the solutions become more apparent. These opportunities need to be grasped across society in mutually reinforcing ways by governments at all levels, by corporations, by civil society and by individuals,” said the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres.

Under the UNFCCC, governments have agreed to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. They have also agreed to assess the adequacy of this limit and progress towards this goal using the best science, including the IPCC report.

“Thankfully, momentum to fight climate change is building. We know that success is possible. We have the technology, funding and ability to respond. The many successes at domestic, international and private sector levels to build a low-carbon society shine light on the way forward, but we do need to quickly go to scale,” Ms. Figueres added.

It has been six years since the IPCC, which brings together the world’s leading climate scientists and experts, released its previous report. Back then, scientists stated it was “very likely” that humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases have caused most of the global temperature rise observed since the mid-20th century.

This article is a repost, (release 9-27-13), Credit: United Nations.