Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Marine Current Turbines, ESBI to Develop Tidal Energy Project

ESB International announced it has entered an agreement with tidal energy company Marine Current Turbines to develop the initial phase of a 100-MW tidal energy hydropower project off the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland.

ESBI and MCT will work together to submit a proposal to the forthcoming Marine Leasing Round in Northern Ireland to secure an Agreement for Lease from The Crown Estate to commence formal consenting of the project. If successful, and subject to the achievement of consent, the initial phase of the project, which will use the MCT SeaGen device, could be in operation by 2018. The ESBI/MCT project will assist Northern Ireland in achieving its marine renewable energy targets as outlined in the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment’s Strategic Action Plan, which calls for 300 MW of tidal energy by 2020.

SeaGen is the largest and most powerful tidal stream turbine in the world and the only one that is regularly generating electrcitiy for customers, having been accredited by OFGEM, the UK industry regulator, as an “official” power station, a press release states.

The 1.2-MW turbine has been operating in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough since April 2008 and recently achieved another operational milestone by delivering its 2 millionth kWh of power to the grid. Thanks to Strangford being an exceptionally energetic location, SeaGen regularly produces as much electricity as an average off-shore wind turbine of double the rated power. This power is already being sold by ESB’s retail electricity supply business, ESB Independent Energy, to customers in Northern Ireland.

ESBI is preparing an environmental scoping report on the project as an initial step in undertaking a full environmental impact assessment. In order to gain a thorough understanding of the tidal potential, ESBI has also undertaken tidal resource measurements off the Antrim coast over the summer months. This data is currently being analyzed, and it is planned to undertake further surveys in the coming months.

ESB Chief Executive Padraig McManus said ESB’s strategy to 2020 involves focusing on sustainable and renewable energies.

“We look forward to working with MCT on this exciting new project,” McManus said. “Our aim is to use our experience and technical strength to support the development of a viable ocean energy industry in Ireland, and this project is an important step in realizing that goal.”


Mining Investment Opportunities: Zambia

Zambia is the world’s 7th largest producer of copper (3.3%) and 2nd largest producer of cobalt (19.7%). Its economy heavily relies on these two minerals, despite serious attempts to diversify the economy. Zambia also has zinc and lead. “Mining contributes $822m to total export.”Resource nationalism” of the 1970s, however, resulted in Zambia not opening any new mines in 25 years and 50% decline in copper production. Zambia thus typifies African mining: a vast array of mineral resources with potential wealth of opportunity for investors, mining organizations and Africans. How do you unlock this mineral wealth given inadequate infrastructure, perceptions of corruption and unfair licensing practices, & high capital costs of establishing or expanding a mining presence in a country with mounting development needs?

      Recent new ventures show the state’s policies are fostering change. Since 2008 crisis, Zambia’s “mining revival” has netted $5bn annually. All the mines under care and maintenance during the crisis have resumed operations. Mineral exploration companies include First Quantum Minerals (copper, uranium & nickel), BHP Billion (copper & gold); Era Power Infrastructure Ltd. (coal); Zambezi Resources (copper & gold); Konkola Deep Mining, a joint venture project by African Rainbow Minerals of South Africa and Vale of Brazil plus Vedanta Resources. Opportunities now exist in exploration activities for oil and gas.

     The main challenge in Zambia today is whether the industry can contribute to the socio-economic development of the country, to head-off “wind fall tax” and possible future changes in mining regulation. The recent surge in commodity prices places a particular burden on them to improve state revenue and uplift Zambians socially. The state’s promise (per the Mines and Minerals Act of 1995): secure title to mining rights, stability of the fiscal regime, foreign exchange retention, right to market mine products, right to assign, stability in environmental management, international arbitration, and freedom of commercial operation remains credible. FDI must transparently engage the state & host-communities to blunt support for these changes. Zambia’s EITI status should ensure disclosure of payments & received within the industry, improve collections, and enable the public to hold government accountable for the sharing of revenues.

Harvesting Bioenergy

Despite the economic, political, and other forces aligned against it, alternative energy development is proceeding in dozens of different sectors and regions. Scientists, private companies and investors cling to the vision that someday the world will fulfill its energy needs in ways that are less destructive and more sustainable than the current oil-based energy systems.

What has emerged is recognition that there will not be one large method to create this change. Instead, hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations are making smaller changes that they hope will total a major change in the world’s energy use.

In California and other rural areas of the U.S., for example, farmers are increasingly using farm waste to generate their own energy needs. Onfarms and ranches, innovative agriculturalists are developing renewable energy sources like natural gas, electricity and diesel fuel from their leftovers. Using everything from cow manure to onion juice to walnut shells, many of the state’s forward-thinking farmers are turning what had once been considered waste into a renewable energy solution for use on the farm and beyond.

California dairy producers are among those leading the charge in developing renewable energy on the farm. They’re doing this by installing methane digesters, a technology that allows them to capture the naturally occurring methane gas from their cows’ manure before it escapes into the atmosphere and convert that gas into usable energy such as electricity.

Meanwhile, many cities are using their collective power to convert the mountains of waste they process each year into useable energy. For example, the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta, has launched an innovative project to convert municipal waste into bio fuels.

The Edmonton Waste-to-Biofuels project will provide Edmonton the opportunity to reduce GHG emissions, create an environmentally responsible and competitive alternative to land filling, and produce clean biofuels. The project will enable the city to increase its residential waste diversion rate to 90%. It includes three facilities: a waste-to-biofuels production facility; an advanced energy research facility; a municipal waste processing facility.

In Britain, scientists say that much of the nation’s energy needs could be served by biofuels made from human waste such as wood, plastic and sewage. “Next generation” biofuels could be produced from agricultural wastes such as straw, as well as farmed energy crops such as willow. A network of waste converters across the country could produce a third of the diesel required by UK motorists while slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, some scientists continue to work on game-changing methods to create biofuel. At the University of Minnesota, research teams have created an alternative fuel that uses two types of bacteria to create hydrocarbons from sunlight and CO2. Those hydrocarbons can be made into renewable petroleum.

Huge opportunity in China’s clean energy market: experts

Chinese market for clean energy offers enormous business opportunities, say experts from Harvard China Forum on Saturday.

In a roundtable discussion on clean energy, Experts who have kept a watchful eye on the renewable energy sectors in China valued its market size, level of development and current challenges.

“Whether it’s wind, solar or any other form of capacity market for clean energy in China is enormous,” Peter Evans, GE Energy’s overall strategy and planning director said.

Evans said he believed China is the need to develop all types of energy to meet the growing desire for energy, especially in the context of high oil prices, which only grew by nearly $ 113 a barrel.

He also said that China is now the capital necessary to develop clean energy, but had no technique, although it would not be a problem because “not all energy-related clean, China wants to go get something.”

Gong Li, president of Accenture Greater China, said that for better development of renewable energy sectors in China, sustained political commitment is needed.

At present challenges, Li said a big problem is the lack of network to transform the raw energy into electricity. “Renewable energy like solar and wind are intermediate to be forwarded to the grid, otherwise it will waste energy, said Li.