Chile Tests Floating Solar Power Island

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A floating island of solar panels is being tested in Chile as a way to generate clean energy and reduce water loss at mine operations, a cornerstone of the Andean country’s economy that uses huge amounts of electricity and water.

The experimental “Las Tortolas” power-generating island is being run by the giant Anglo American mining company at its Los Bronces mine, and the initiative comes as the government pushes to put Chile at the forefront of renewable energy use in Latin America and the world.

The 12,917-square-foot array of solar panels was inaugurated Thursday by Chilean Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica. Officials said that if the test is successful, the $250,000 plant could be expanded to cover nearly 100 acres. Continue reading “Chile Tests Floating Solar Power Island”

Firms, researchers at odds over whether Finland’s forests can handle Chinese-driven growth

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There are currently five major forestry-related projects underway in Finland driven, at least in part, by Chinese investment.

That’s good news to the CEO of a Finnish company involved in one of them. Heikki Nivala is the head of Boreal Bioref, a planned billion-euro biorefinery project in Lapland’s Kemijärvi. A quarter of the funding for the project, about 250 million euros, will come from Chinese investors.

Nivala, a nationally-recognised champion of the forestry industry, said he doesn’t agree with researchers who’ve issued warnings about Chinese advancements and investments in the country’s forests.

“We have plenty of forest here. The growing stock is young, the forests are growing quickly and need to be thinned,” he said.

“We are just about ready,” he said of the project. “The only things we need now are environmental and building permits, the plant will be built in 30 months,” Nivala explained. Continue reading “Firms, researchers at odds over whether Finland’s forests can handle Chinese-driven growth”

Germany renewables share jumped to to 72.4% last week

A year ago, Germany set itself a target of securing 65 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030 – one of the more ambitious renewable energy targets anywhere in the world, but one that is still well short of the 100 per cent many experts believe is not only necessary, but possible in Germany.

Possible may be underselling it, however, if the last few weeks of electricity generation in Germany are anything to go by.

A week ago, RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson reported that Germany had sourced nearly 65 per cent of its electricity generation from renewables for the week finishing March 3 – “week 10”, according to the parlance of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), from whom the data has been sourced. Continue reading “Germany renewables share jumped to to 72.4% last week”

Florida announces largest community solar programme in the US

If Florida Power & Light Company’s proposal is approved, the programme will more than double the amount of community solar currently in the US.

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is proposing a new community solar programme that would offer FPL customers the opportunity to directly participate in Florida’s transformation to a world leader in solar energy. Continue reading “Florida announces largest community solar programme in the US”

Could HS2 provide green energy to homes?

Engineers developing the HS2 super-hub at Old Oak Common in London are proposing plans to tap heat from the brakes of trains to heat water and power central heating.

Engineers developing the £1.3bn HS2 rail super-hub in the UK are proposing plans that could provide green energy to several hundred new homes.

The plans involve recycling heat generated by the engines and brakes of trains approaching and departing Old Oak Common in north west London to heat water and power central heating of up to 500 new homes that could be built nearby. Continue reading “Could HS2 provide green energy to homes?”

Wales’ 100% renewable energy challenge

Wales could meet 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2035, under an “ambitious” new plan set out by policy experts.

It urges Welsh Government to allocate more of its budget to green energy.

The Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) predicts 20,150 jobs could be supported annually if the target is achieved.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales was making good progress and the IWA provided a “welcome insight” into what the future could look like.

The 10-point plan is the culmination of three years of research by IWA, and will be presented to an audience of politicians and industry figures in Cardiff. Continue reading “Wales’ 100% renewable energy challenge”

How sustainable forestry can help the legacy of African American Landowners

For over 150 years, forest stewardship and farming have been an important part of African American history. Following the Civil War, many African American families took to the land to seek their future. By 1910, black landowners had accumulated 15 million acres across the US South and by the 1920s, 14% of all farms in the US, nearly one million properties, were owned by black families.

However, due to lack of legal resources, many landowners either never prepared a will or prepared a will naming all of their children as heirs. As these properties were passed down through the generations, the land became “heirs’ property,” and lacked clear title of ownership. Unable to unlock the equity in the land, the property became a financial burden as opposed to an asset. Frequently, this resulted in heirs selling off their interest in properties for a fraction of the real value. Even forestlands that are retained as heirs’ property frequently lack appropriate management, and thus fail to reach their potential for recreation, timber production, or wildlife habitat. Continue reading “How sustainable forestry can help the legacy of African American Landowners”

Southwest States Make Large Strides on Renewable Energy Targets

The Southwest became the center of U.S. climate action yesterday, as New Mexico lawmakers voted to decarbonize their state’s electric grid and Nevada’s governor announced his support for bills to expand renewable energy and enshrine carbon reduction targets in law.

The developments represented a striking shift for American climate efforts. Climate policy, long dominated at the state level by California and a handful of Northeastern states, had stagnated in Nevada and New Mexico until recently.

Now the pair of Southwestern states are poised to take far-reaching efforts to curb emissions, delivering climate hawks one of their most significant wins since President Trump took office two years ago. Continue reading “Southwest States Make Large Strides on Renewable Energy Targets”

San Francisco Municipal Utility To Focus On 100% Renewable Energy & Job Creation

Creative destruction is one of the fundamental principals of capitalism. In theory, when a business no longer serves the needs of the marketplace, it will be destroyed and replaced by one that does. That’s pretty much what officials in San Francisco have in mind as they contemplate what will replace Pacific Gas & Electric after it filed for bankruptcy in January.

“We need to take advantage of this opportunity because the crisis of climate change is a crisis,” San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen said during a recent hearing. “We really need to take it to the next level, and that next level is a complete build out so that we are providing 100 percent renewable energy to all of our customers.” Continue reading “San Francisco Municipal Utility To Focus On 100% Renewable Energy & Job Creation”

Joint Effort on Solar Power and Storage Aims at 100% Renewable Electricity in Denmark

Image: Better Energy

Better Energy, Denmark’s leading provider of large-scale megawatt solar parks, has begun a long-term collaboration with the Danish energy storage consulting firm Hybrid Greentech. This partnership will develop new technical concepts to stabilize electricity supplies from solar cell parks. By improving energy storage, energy producers can improve the quality and stability of the electricity supply, earn higher prices on the electricity markets, and improve the overall profitability of the facilities.

“The people at Hybrid Greentech have technical competencies that contribute to our development of energy storage in interaction with our energy technologies. Hybrid Greentech fits in well, and we are sure they will be a strong a strong partner,” said Mikkel Dau Jacobsen, Executive Vice President, Technology and Solutions, Better Energy.

Better Energy has solar power projects in Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Poland and Ukraine, with a total capacity of 229 MWp / 380GWh. Continue reading “Joint Effort on Solar Power and Storage Aims at 100% Renewable Electricity in Denmark”