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When the oil dries up there's still solar, says Algeria

15 08 07 - 14:51

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New York - Algeria looks to develop solar energy as an export resource, knowing that its reserves of oil and natural gas will one day dry up.

It was an idea being considered by Algerian planners for years but now work has begun on the construction of its first solar power plant at Hassi R'mel, 260 miles south of Algiers, the capital. The solar plant will be a hybrid, using both sun and natural gas to generate 150 megawatts. Of that, 25 megawatts will come from giant parabolic mirrors stretching over nearly 2 million square feet, which is roughly the size of 45 football fields.

The solar hybrid plant is the first of its kind and is expected to be online by 2010. In the future, Algeria hopes to generate enough solar power that it can export 6,000 megawatts to the European market by 2020, which would be equal to a tenth of current electricity consumption in Germany.

New York - Algeria looks to develop solar energy as an export resource, knowing that its reserves of oil and natural gas will one day dry up.

It was an idea being considered by Algerian planners for years but now work has begun on the construction of its first solar power plant at Hassi R'mel, 260 miles south of Algiers, the capital. The solar plant will be a hybrid, using both sun and natural gas to generate 150 megawatts. Of that, 25 megawatts will come from giant parabolic mirrors stretching over nearly 2 million square feet, which is roughly the size of 45 football fields.

The solar hybrid plant is the first of its kind and is expected to be online by 2010. In the future, Algeria hopes to generate enough solar power that it can export 6,000 megawatts to the European market by 2020, which would be equal to a tenth of current electricity consumption in Germany.

While the concept on a large scale is grand, critics are concerned that the huge number of mirrors will produce more heat which could reflect into the lower atmosphere and raise the global temperature, not unlike how cities with their massive amounts of concrete and asphalt absorb heat and return it to the atmosphere which raises the average temperature there. But Algerian representatives closer to the project say that's nonsense due to the location, which does not site directly by populated areas.

"Our potential in thermal solar power is four times the world's energy consumption so you can have all the ambitions you want with that," said Tewfik Hasni, managing director of New Energy Algeria, or NEAL, a company created by the Algerian government in 2002 to develop renewable energy.

Hasni says that it will take 10 years for it to become economically competitive, and while undersea cables to Sicily and Spain are planned for construction in 2010-2012, financing has not been worked out. But after the EU set lofty goals this year of producing 20% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, by the time the Alegerian solar project goes online, political difficulties could be set aside which would permit the next phase of construction to move forward - transmission to the European market.

Algeria's move to join the alternative energy camp is one other OPEC members have resisted, though they've all closely watched technology developments.

One of the supporters of Algeria's hybrid solar project is French President Nicolas Sarkozy who has said that it would "bind France and Algeria" in creating his vision of a "Mediteranian Union", giving rise to France's possible financing of the underseas transmission cable.

While OPEC nations have tried to curb talk of altnerative energy, with global concerns over limited oil supplies and the growing threat of global warming from fossil fuels, many OPEC members are now becoming more open to the idea.

Eduardo Zarza Moya, who works on solar power for Spain's public energy research center, CIEMAT, said at a June solar conference in Algeria, "The solar potential of Algeria is huge, enormous, because solar radiation is high and there is plenty of land for solar plants."

Also attending the conference was Wolfgang Palz, chairman of the independent World Council for Renewable Energy, who said that this was a big chance for OPEC member countries to "really do something instead of torpedoing alternative energy development."

The Hassi R'Mel plant is one of four planned for construction. Its use of abundent natural gas supplies are intended to suplement times of overcast skies, which could reduce solar power generation levels and for use at night when the sun Used tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

one comment

Energy transition is inevitable and should be given high priority. The key issue is the combination of energy transition with other energy related short term priorities to produce real synergy and the 1 + 1 = 4 effect.

"The Netherlands Gas-land" is, because of the Dutch position in European gas reserves and supplies a fact and a Dutch government policy issue. The last is the same for “The Netherlands Duurzaam (renewable)”. Furthermore natural gas is the cleanest and hence the best transition fuel. It is urgently needed for a long time to come. The Netherlands therefore should in Europe be one of the lead countries to combine increased utilization of natural gas in combination with the acceleration of energy transition.

The developing countries, led by China and India, must appease their hunger for energy and raw materials. China in particular approaches this problem strategically by forging links with energy supplying countries through comprehensive investment- and development programs.

Regarding natural gas Europe depends increasingly on Russia. This is hazardous in view of the current geopolitical situation. However North Africa also has large reserves of natural gas and therefore offers an excellent alternative source of supply.

Furthermore North Africa is eminently suitable for the deployment of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), a proven technology in which the sun's heat is concentrated with mirrors and used for the large scale production of electrical power. Using this techno-logy an area in North Africa smaller than the Benelux countries could supply the total European electricity demand - the Sahara Electricity option - and at the same time make the local electricity production renewable and generate local prosperity.

If The Netherlands/Europe were to import natural gas from North Africa in exchange for cooperation in the construction of CSP power stations the outcome would from many viewpoints be a win - win, a 1 + 1 = 4 situation (see also the attached graphical representation of the proposal). In following this thinking energy transition really can show its value.

With its advisory letter of March 3rd 2006 the Dutch General Energy Council (Algemene Energieraad, AER) has brought the potential of CSP to the attention of the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr Brinkhorst. The Council affirms, that by the year 2020 CSP in North Africa could be the most attractive source of large scale renewable electricity supply for Europe, even taking the cost of long distance transport into account.

Notwithstanding this advice CSP is still not included in Dutch renewable energy programs. Neither is this the case in Europe. This is strange and requires correction. We are proceeding accordingly, supported by a growing number of persons. The same should be done in the European environment and we are looking there for supporters as well.

A structurally sound political and business relationship between Europe and North Africa is obviously highly desirable for Europe. That structural relationship can:

1. Considerably enhance the security of gas supply and serve the strategic aims of The Netherlands Gas-land and can strongly support and be connected to the European renewable energy programs and policies;

2. Be strengthened by mutual (Europe-North African countries) investments in CSP which:
a. Will stimulate local industry, prosperity and well being. This is in line with the objectives of the North-South Dialogue;
b. Will accelerate energy transition in Europe and stimulate "Nederland Duurzaam" (Dutch objectives program for renewable energy). Kyoto objectives will in this way be properly served;
c. Will counterbalance the growing influence of China in Africa and neutralize potential conflicts in a politically sensitive and for Europe important region. This serves the objectives of security policies;
d. Can convert the growing interest and capabilities of Dutch/European companies into CSP related industrial activities and growth of GNP’s.

We hereby propose: to put CSP high on the Dutch/European/North African agenda for the energy transition by designating it as a key transition path within the Renewable Electricity theme/policies/programs through installation of CSP in North Africa. Such a program should be linked with increased strategic supplies of natural gas from the same region into Europe. The Netherlands should take the lead in Europe and search for support to forge appropriate political, economical and technical alliances, related to this way of thinking.

The Dutch foundation for the development of Large Scale Solar Energy (stichting ter bevordering van Grootschalige Zonne-Energie Nederland, GEZEN) recently submit-ted a proposal to the Task Force Energy transition, the leading body for energy transition in the Netherlands, to this effect. We support their initiative wholeheartedly, together with an increasing number of other organizations and look forward to forge alliances with parties within Europe, motivated to realize the same objectives.

Emil Möller, PhD researcher 'Decision making processes in a transition towards a sustainable energy regime', Maastricht, Netherlands
Emil Möller () (URL) - 18 08 07 - 14:24

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Alternative energy and related video search+watch+upload+share

Monday 28 January 2019 at 03:31 am Just in case anyone hasn't seen this yet, it is a great resource for everyone who is interested in alternative energy, green tech, diy and related how-to.
Search-watch 1000's of videos - Upload your own -Start your own channel and share-discuss your projects. Sign up now.

http://gp.alternate-energy.net/ more

Raging wildfires: Climate changes to blame for record season?

Saturday 16 July 2011 at 06:07 am Raging wildfires: Climate changes to blame for record season?

By Pete Spotts

The images are stark: soot-grimed firefighters steering bulldozers or wielding shovels to clear underbrush; curtains of orange flame tracing the contours of summits; aircraft dumping chemicals to slow a fire's progress.

Between Jan. 1 and early July of 2011, slightly more than 38,000 wildfires charred the landscape in the United States at a record pace. So far this year, wildfires have consumed just under 4.9 million acres of forest and grassland, a cumulative expanse the size of New Jersey.

That's 1 million more acres than fires consumed during the same period in 2006, which saw a record 9.9 million acres burned for the entire year.

Beyond the numbers, this year's fires may provide the first large-scale tests of the effectiveness of projects undertaken over the past decade to help forests survive wildfires, several specialists say.

The West's forests are adapted to deal with certain types of wildfires, researchers note. But since the mid-1980s, they add, some of these forests have experienced an increasing number of fires to which they are not well adapted.

Many researchers trace this shift in part to climate change. more

Hybrid Moves Into Housing

Sunday 22 May 2011 at 01:14 am Hybrid Moves Into Housing

By Brenda Krueger Huffman

(Chicago) – Recycling - Check. Conserving energy - Check. Hybrid car - Next car, check. Hybrid home system - What? Yes, it’s here. Hybrid has seamlessly, successfully moved into housing.

Safety Power, Inc. was initially started to provide homes with back up power. The company quickly grew to include renewable energy options and advising commercial and industrial clients with electrical conservation. Recently the company has come full circle and began marketing a new more capable type of renewable energy system for homes.

The award winning firm was voted one of the “Top 5 Sustainable Product Companies in Illinois” and continues to grow its residential client base in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Safety Power also serves larger firms on the national level.

Robert Brazzale, President of Safety Power, a master electrician turned entrepreneur, began Safety Power in 2007. An avid member of Local First Chicago, Rob believes in assisting sustaining local economies with green collar jobs and belongs to many green orientated groups in Chicago and around the country. more

Are electric car makers missing the trick?

Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 11:12 am Are electric car makers missing the trick?

by Martin Ott

I believe that electric car makers may be driving us all down the road that may result in the same sort of technology failures that we have seen in the past.
I'm not referring to the Sinclair scooter here but cast your mind back to the débâcle of Betamax v VHS home recording systems. The eventual winner was the technically inferior VHS but the battle was not resolved until innumerable consumers had paid out for worthless Betamax systems. Back in the 70's a similar conflict occurred over audio systems when America fell in love with the 8 track tape system that moved magnetic tape in a loop over the player head at a high speed resulting in a better sound. The world market finally dictated that the audio cassette was the way to go but not until millions of consumers had been lumbered with home and in-car systems that went down the technological cul de sac. more

Wind Turbine Manufacturer Acknowledges SGS´s Contribution towards Successful Project Completion

Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 10:57 am by Suresh Varma

The Theni Wind Farm project was developed by CLP India Pvt. Ltd., one of the major wind farm project developers in India. Located in the south western part of Tamilnadu, a southern state of the country, the facility consists of 60 Vestas V82 geared wind turbines. As recognition of its contribution towards the successful execution of this wind power project SGS received Vestas award.

Each turbine at the wind farm has a capacity of 1.65 MW IEC Class IIB machine with a blade diameter of 82 m. After a six-month long completion period, the Theni Wind Farm was officially opened in May, 2010.

Acting as contract engineer during project execution, SGS was responsible for ensuring that all activities were carried out at the site by the contractor in line with the final agreement. In doing so, SGS supervised the quality of construction works, the fulfillment of the technical parameters and kept the project within the scheduled time and contracted price. more

E.ON uses PPC's Broadband Powerline technology in smart grid project

Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 10:37 am E.ON uses PPC's Broadband Powerline technology in smart grid project

by Power Plus Communications

Mannheim - Power Plus Communications AG (PPC), the leading provider of Broadband Powerline Communication systems (BPL) for smart grids has taken on a key role within an E.ON smart grid project to facilitate an extension of Cisco's Connected Grid Solution.

E.ON Westfalen Weser AG is currently trialing smart grid technology within its network of 1.3 million inhabitants and PPC's proven medium voltage BPL solution has connected substations in the project using the existing power grid.

Using BPL technology, standard compliant and IP-based data transfer rates of 5-30 Mbit/s can easily be achieved via the medium voltage cable itself. Within E.ON’s smart grid project, PPC's medium voltage technology facilitated the extension of Cisco's Connected Grid Solution. The Cisco smart grid Router and Switches used in the project are highly compatible with BPL networks, providing a real cost advantage over fiber optic networks – which can be much more expensive where cables are not pre-existing.

By combining their technology at Westfalen Weser, PPC and Cisco have ensured the evolution of fast and efficient smart grids which are controlled on an IP basis. This increases the reliability of the power grid, fulfills regulations and drives down costs. At the same time this modern smart grids communications technology makes it possible to effectively integrate renewable energy into the grid. more

MIT Infrastructure "Life Cycle" Study is Progress Both Left & Right Can Embrace - Part 2, Fiscal Responsibility

Saturday 19 February 2011 at 09:02 am By Brenda Krueger Huffman

Chicago – Perhaps moving to the center is where we all need to be politically on the environment and effective spending compatibility. Not all green technology is crazy, and not all business profit or government expenditure is evil.

Even if you do not believe in man caused climate change, we can all agree leaving a cleaner planet and a more fiscally responsible government for the next generation is preferable to not doing so.

Perhaps green technology can be cost effective, and government fiscal responsibility may realistically include affordable green initiatives. Honest “life cycle analysis” and “life cycle cost analysis” study considerations should be a political compromise starting point both the left and the right can embrace. more

Global warming: Impact of receding snow and ice surprises scientists

Thursday 27 January 2011 at 11:05 am Global warming: Impact of receding snow and ice surprises scientists

By Pete Spotts

Washington - A long-term retreat in snow and ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere is weakening the ability of these seasonal cloaks of white to reflect sunlight back into space and cool global climate, according to a study published this week.

Indeed, over the past 30 years, the cooling effect from this so-called cryosphere – essentially areas covered by snow and ice at least part of the year – appears to have weakened at more than twice the pace projected by global climate models, the research team conducting the work estimates.

The study, which appeared online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience, represents a first cut at trying to calculate from direct measurements the impact of climate change on the Northern Hemisphere's cryosphere. The study was conducted by a team of federal and university scientists who examined data gathered between 1979 and 2008. more

EPA presents plan on greenhouse gases

Wednesday 05 January 2011 at 10:38 pm By Mark Clayton

Washington - Setting the stage for a New Year battle royal between Congress and the White House over greenhouse gas emissions, the US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday laid out a timetable for the nation's largest carbon emitters – power plants and refineries – to begin curbing those pollutants.

Republicans have said all year that they plan to pull out all the stops to keep the EPA from phasing in greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations beginning in 2011, saying they would damage the energy industry, raise prices, and cost jobs.

Rep. Fred Upton (R) of Michigan, the incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said he opposes the regulations on greenhouse gases and indicated he would lead efforts to revoke EPA regulations in the next Congress. The new regulations, he says, will likely lead to the shut down of coal-fired power plants.

"To protect jobs and fortify our energy security, we should be working to bring more power online, not shutting plants down," Mr. Upton said in a statement. "We are woefully unprepared to meet our nation's growing energy demands, yet this administration's 'none of the above' energy policy will do nothing but cost jobs, make energy more expensive, and increase our dependence on foreign sources of energy."

Environmentalists lauded the EPA's move. more

Supreme Court takes global warming case that targets power companies

Monday 13 December 2010 at 03:21 am By Warren Richey,

Washington - The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a major environmental lawsuit that seeks to force six electric power companies to cap and reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

The lawsuit - filed in 2004 by eight states, the City of New York, and three land trusts - targets what it claims are the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the United States and among the largest in the world.

It seeks a judicial order declaring that the fossil-fueled power plants are a "public nuisance." It also seeks a judicial order capping the plants' greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the plants to adopt a schedule of reduced emissions in future years. more