Saturday, October 21, 2017

Is Malaysia ready for the renewable energy era?

Western European countries are working towards phasing out internal combustion engine vehicles, with Sweden and Netherland being the pioneers. Germany is expected to do so by 2030 and China by 2040.

These major markets would decide the forms of renewable energy, and fossil fuels prices would likely remain stagnant even though they would not be totally phased out within the next few decades.

So, where is Malaysia headed? While it is an oil and gas-rich tropical country, it should view agro-based green energy, hydrogen fuels, solar energy and wind energy as our next economic frontier.

Read the rest of the story here

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Renewables still shining bright

If there is one area which is not slowing down, despite the policies at the top - that is corporates purchasing and investing in renewable energy. I did a post earlier on Apple's new HQ which derives 100% of its energy from renewables.

Apex Clean Energy and GreenBiz have conducted an in-depth study of the state of direct renewable energy purchasing, with insights on why and how corporates buy renewables, and strategies to increase renewable energy project development. The intent of this report is to help corporate sustainability, energy and finance executives from Fortune 500 companies – and beyond – to plan and access renewable energy at an increased pace and scale.

Here are some highlights as reported by Guardian (link)
  • 43% of corporations intend to be more aggressive in their pursuit of renewable energy in the next 2 years
  • 87% of those actively pursuing renewable energy are not deterred by policy changes at the top
  • Majority of these companies have renewable targets
Link available here for the full report if you want to dig deeper.

One shining example is Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in California. The plant has a gross capacity of 392MW and is world's largest solar thermal power station. NRG energy and Google were the largest investors contributing almost $500M of this $2.2B investment. This is also a plant which is not fully carbon emission free. It burns natural gas each morning to commence its operation but the beauty is that the same amount of natural gas used in a combined cycle gas turbine would generate 124MW energy which is about 4 times lower than the installed capacity here.  (read here if you want to learn more about this solar plant)

Image result for solar mirror panels google

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Apple's New HQ

Did you see the new headquarters Apple is making. The highlight for me is that it's a completely green building with 100% energy supplied from renewables and will include 17MW of rooftop solar. Apple park will become one of the world's largest onsite solar panel installations.

The building will also be the world's largest naturally ventilated building, projected to require no heating or air condition for nine months of the year. Now, that's really smart!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

India to have 155 GW non-hydro renewable capacity by 2026

A Fitch Group Company BMI Research today revised upward the non-hydro renewable energy capacity in India to 155 GW from 130 GW by 2026 on the back of higher than expected solar installation and successful wind auctions.

"Higher than expected solar installation rates and the successful implementation of wind energy auctions in the country have led us to upwardly revise our renewable energy capacity forecasts for India," a BMI Research statement said.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Solar cheaper than coal in India

India’s solar power prices may be set to fall below those of thermal (coal) energy.
This is based on an expected cost of around Rs2.90 per unit for the solar power projects at Bhadla in Rajasthan that have received 51 bids. This price is less than the average rate of power generated by the coal-fuelled projects of India’s largest power generation utility, NTPC Ltd, at Rs3.20 per unit.

Read the article on livemint here

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Nuclear Fusion?

So, I wrote about the case of nuclear energy in my last post. Right after posting that, I came across this article on Forbes which makes the case for Nuclear Fusion as the future of energy. There are some compelling arguments made:

1) Fossil fuels are pretty abundant as of today but they will not last forever. Based on which report you believe, there is a definite end date to those. We can not generate more coal, oil or natural gas. Once it is over, the party is over and we better have an alternative ready by then.

2) While the fossil fuels are not over and we are using them, they REALLY pollute the environment. And we are not just talking about global warming. There are other concerns too - like polluting the water table and other hazards to people by the dangerous nature of their processing.

3) That brings us to the alternative sources of energy like sun, wind etc. They are inconsistent at best. Imagine days when wind is not blowing enough to power the turbines and sun is shy as well. How do you get continuous energy to run your cities? Battery technology is not portable enough and the sheer size of the battery power required to run cities on these downtime (when alternative energy is playing hide and seek with you) is unimaginable. The infrastructure support to get a wind farm or a solar farm ready doesn't come without its own side effect as well.

4) We covered nuclear in the context of nuclear fission but there are NIMBY concerns with that (not in my backyard). Nuclear fission involves taking heavy and unstable radioactive material and splitting them into smaller (also radioactive) elements and the process release energy. However, nuclear fusion (that's what happens inside sun) doesn't involve any radioactive material at all. We are talking about light and stable elements like Hydrogen and Helium here.

5) It's not exactly been done before to have nuclear fusion in a controlled environment but some possibilities have emerged and we need to invest more in this field to make major advances which can make this a candidate for our future source of energy. 

Read the article for more details (LINK)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Coal Free in 10 Years

Friday (21 April, 2017) was the first ever working day without coal in UK since the industrial revolution. Now, that's an amazing feat! Who would have thought of that?

That has been the main driver of reduction in CO2 emissions in UK.

They are targeting to be totally coal free by 2025...

Catch the full report here: