Scotland to build the world’s largest floating windfarm

Scotland will begin building the world’s largest floating wind farm. The construction of the wind farm will start this year after its developers were granted a seabed lease on Monday. The wind turbines will operate around 12 to 18 miles off the coast of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. The Norwegian energy company, Statoil who is building this project plans to build five 6 MW turbines. The Hywind project expects to have a total capacity of 30 Megawatts.

Unlike other wind turbines which use the seabed as a foundation, this project will apply floating steel tube tethered to the sea floor as the foundation for the turbines.

“We are very pleased to develop this project in Scotland, in a region with a huge wind resource and an experienced supply chain from oil and gas,” said Leif Delp, project director for the Hywind Scotland project. “Through the hard work of industry and supportive government policies, the UK and Scotland is taking a position at the forefront of developing offshore wind as a competitive new energy source.”

The project expects to power 20,000 homes once completed. The process of erecting wind turbines will begin at 2017 and electricity production will commence at the end of next year.

Scotland is making use of renewable energy to the full extent. Last year, 50% of Scotland’s electricity came from renewables and just this year, they shut down their last coal plant. 

Scientist have created a solar panel that converts raindrops into electricity

Usually, solar energy is generated by the light coming from the sun. However, a team of Chinese scientist has tried an unconventional way to harvest solar energy from raindrops.

The team of scientist from the Ocean University of China in Qingdao used a Graphene-coated solar panel to carry out the test. Graphene which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms can produce electricity when exposed to salt water. Using this effect, the scientist were able to successfully carry out the test.

The test panel was able to generate hundreds of microvolts which is quite low in comparison to standard AA battery.

The short comings of this technology are that it converts only 6.5 percent of the energy it gets while conventional solar panels which use sunlight have an efficiency rate of 20%-30%.

“All-weather solar cells are promising in solving the energy crisis,” the team says.

“A flexible solar cell is presented that is triggered by combining an electron-enriched graphene electrode with a dye-sensitised solar cell.

“The new solar cell can be excited by incident light on sunny days and raindrops on rainy days.” 

Renewable Energy provided 50% of Scotland’s Electricity in 2015

The Scottish government target of achieving 50 per cent of gross consumption of electricity from renewables by 2015 has come to reality. According to a new data published last week, renewable provided 49.7 percent of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2014 which means that the 50 percent target was achieved almost a year earlier.

Renewable energy have gone past both nuclear (33 per cent) and fossil fuels (28 per cent) in generating electricity for Scotland.

In a press release Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

  “Today’s figures show that Scotland’s renewables sector is stronger than ever and our early adoption of clean, green energy technology and infrastructure was the right thing to do. It is fantastic news that renewables are now Scotland’s biggest electricity generator, and that nearly half of gross electricity consumption comes from renewables.

Scotland has always been renewable friendly. When the UK government proposed of building a nuclear plant in 2006, the Scottish National party openly apposed it.

According to The Scottish Government Website, the government plans to get 100% electricity and 11% heat demand from renewables by 2020.

Renewable energy has almost become a hot trend for countries to embrace because of its mass benefits. The countries who have ran effective clean energy policies quiet early are already reaping its fruitful results. Recently, Costa Rica announced that 99% of its electricitycame from renewables while Uruguay’s 95% electricity also came from clean energy sources in 2015. 

Peru to Provide Free solar power to million of its poorest residents who still use oil lamps.

“The National photovoltaic Household Electrification Project” is one of Peru’s most talked projects which aims to provide free electricity to 2 million of its poorest residents who still use oil lamps.

At a cost of $200 million, the project aims to power up 500,000 households with 12,500 solar panels and provide 95% of Peru with electricity by 2016. Altogether 1,601 solar panels has been installed already in 126 impoverished communities in the districts of Cupisnique, San Benito, Tantarica, Chilete, Yonan, San Luis, and Contai.

“This program is aimed at the poorest people, those who lack access to electric lighting and still use oil lamps, spending their own resources to pay for fuels that harm their health,”  said Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino. 

Panasonic has set a module efficiency world record of 23.8%

Panasonic has set a new solar photovoltaic (PV) module conversion efficiency record of 23.8% at a research level. National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has verified this latest research.Sun Power’s previous world record of 22.8% conversion efficiency of PV module was broken by Panasonic with a full percentage point. Panasonic also holds another record for highest conversion efficiency of its crystalline-based solar cells at 25.6%.

Panasonic’s press release states: “Panasonic developed a unique silicon heterojunction structure composed of crystalline silicon substrate and amorphous silicon layers, and has continuously improved its photovoltaic module HIT using silicon heterojunction since the start of commercial production. This new record was achieved by further development of Panasonic‘s proprietary heterojunction technology for high-efficiency solar cells and modules adopting a back-contact solar cell structure.” 

100% emissions-free electric double decker bus to run on the busy streets of London.

100% emissions-free electric Double Decker bus will soon run on the streets of London. The electric bus developed by Chinese car manufacturing company ‘BYD’ is 10.2m long with 81 passenger seats. The bus has also standing spaces. It is specially designed to run on urban streets and can travel 190 miles with a single charge. According to pv magazine, the bus takes 4 hours to fully recharge and its batteries can generate 345 kWh of power.

“The Mayor of London challenged us saying that he did not believe an electric Double Decker was technically feasible but we took up the challenge and in less than two years created the bus Londoners can see today,” said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe. “This is not a hybrid bus but a totally emissions-free product that will give London a world leading position in its efforts to improve air quality.”

BYD is one of the most reputed Auto companies in Asia and is also the largest selling Chinese car brand. The company sold 506,189 passenger cars in China in 2013.

BYD electric buses called K9s already run on the streets of major cities in China and as of 2015, the company has sold about 6,000 of electric buses worldwide. 

All 6000 Mosques to go 100% solar in Jordan

 Solar Industry is experiencing a boom right now. Governments and Companies are desperate to make the best use of renewables. Even Mosques are not leaving behind the race to harness clean energy.

The Jordan Government is planning to power all the Mosques around the country with solar panels. A joint collaboration between Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and its Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs will initially power 120 mosques with solar roof top panels. The project aims to power all of 6000 Mosques in Jordan.

Generally, all mosques have 5 regulars prayers a day. So the energy consumption goes up, lighting up the mosques.  Moreover air-condition are also provided inside the rooms with bills running up to $1400 on electricity bills per month in Jordan to power up a Mosque.  The country’s shift to renewable energy will definitely decrease the mass consumption of electricity by Mosques.

Jordon imports 96% of its energy from its fossil fuel rich neighbouring countries.  This five-year project is just one of Jordon’s effort to decrease its crude imports. Jordon’s ministry of energy has set a target of obtaining 10% of the country’s energy needs from renewables by 2020.  

Jordan is not alone in powering up its Mosques from renewables, a village called Büyükeceli in Turkey was the first one to install solar panels in its mosques. 


NATO: Soldiers lives can be saved by renewable energy

NATO wants to reduce the risk of its soldiers in war-torn zones by increasing its investment on renewable energy.  The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) released an annual report on the role of clean energy in risky environment. “Climate change affects not only the natural environment but the security environment as well. NATO is working to improve the energy efficiency of its forces and increase the use of renewable energy in the military.” 

 “Smart Energy solutions can not only save money when less fuel is used, but can also save soldiers’ lives, and help improve the mobility, as well as the resilience and endurance of military forces.” 

Transporting fuel to war zones is extremely risky, often leading to casualties. Around 3000 American soldiers were either killed/wounded in Afghanistan while protecting fuels and water supplying convoys between 2003 and 2007. Fossil fuel dependency is a major problem for NATO. In fact, more than 50% of the military fund spent for its deployed forces are on fossil fuels. The worst thing about fuel truck is that once it is attacked, it explodes and keeps on burning but incase of solar cells, the fatality is quite less. NATO is approaching more towards green energy lately. In June 2015, more than 1000 NATO soldiers joined together for a Green war game, testing solar panels, wind turbines and self powered grid. 

The World Could Go 100% Renewable by 2050, A New Study From Stanford University Says

A new study from Stanford University has emerged out which says that the world can reach 100% renewable by 2050.

The study led by Stanford’s Atmosphere/Energy program made a new detailed analysis on energy road-maps of 139 countries. Basically, the road-map calculated the energy requirements of countries by 2050 for agriculture, transportation, electricity,  heating, cooking and forestry purposes.

Atmosphere/Energy program director Mark Z. Jacobson who published the study, stressed upon “WWS”- Wind, Water and Sunlight. According to the study, WWS can fully meet the energy requirements of each country by 2050 and 80% by 2030.

 “People who are trying to prevent this change would argue that it’s too expensive, or there’s just not enough power, or they try to say that it’s unreliable, that it will take too much land area or resources,”  Jacobson said in an interview to the website Co.Exist

The study also provided the technologies to be used under a 100% WWS scenario.

With 100% WWS, ground transportation will be completely electrified with Battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles acting as a means of transportation. Electric heat pumps will serve the purpose of air heating and cooling.

The energy road-map lays out a profitable analysis with $5 trillion savings from an environment, climate damage and fuel cost.

Interestingly, Stanford has also published a separate research paper on 100% renewable possibility in the US by 2050. The study laid out a separate detailed plan for each of the 50 states to fully turn renewable by 2050 . 

Denmark Sets New World Record. 42.1% Of Its Overall Electricity Came From Wind Energy in 2015

Denmark has set yet another record. 42.1% of its overall electricity came from wind energy in 2015, an improvement from 2014 record of 39.1%. The government wants to produce 50% of its energy from wind by 2020 and 84% by 2035.

It was more windier during 2015 than an average year, leading to this record production of energy from wind turbines. 42.1% is a new world record because its the highest ratio of wind energy produced anywhere else in the world. This is not the first time that Denmark have set record of this sort, danish windmills generated 140% of the country’s electricity in a single day this year.

Denmark’s wind turbines energy production has been quite steady. 18% of the country’s electricity needs were fulfilled by wind energy in 2005, it raised to 22% in 2010 and then 39.1% in 2014. Though Denmark sells its wind power to Germany, Sweden and Normay, it buys solar power, hydro power , nuclear power from this countries.

2015 has been a year for renewables.  99% of Costa Rica’s electricity came from renewable energy this year while Uruguay also produced 95% of its electricity from clean energy.