Renewable Energy

Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid

Green Transportation and Energy Storage

Climate Change

Government Policy

Australia’s Province of Queensland and Papua New Guinea (PNG) have agreed to set up a 1800 MW Hydro Plant in PNG which would supply 1200 MW of Electricity to Queensland through an Undersea Cable.The Project.Origin Energy which is Australia’s 2nd Biggest Energy Producer will submit a feasibility document by 2012.This Electricity Project is one of the most ambitious International Cooperation Agreement in Energy as it will involve the laying down of a  250 KM Undersea Cable.PNG is a very poor isolated country with 40% of the population living below Poverty Line.Cheap Electricity might spur prosperity in this poor nation as 600 MW of the plant would be used locally.Origin Energy has some Renewable Assets with Wind Farms in South Australia and is building a large Geothermal Plant in Indonesia in partnership with India’s Tata Power.

The Project seems Extremely Costly and would need Massive Subsidies

Note this Hydro Plant will cost around $31 Billion which is quite costly at $15/watt if the the $31 Billion is used for the 1800 MW capacity.This is is almost 15x the cost of a typical Hydro Capacity and  would need massive subsidies.Papua New Guinea is a poor country and might receive aid from Australia but the $31 Billion would make even the richest country balk at this price.Australia is not exactly energy deficient with massive resources of coal,wind and solar energy.In Renewable Energy the country has been quite slow with provinces like NSW and South Australia promoting renewable energy through regional subsidies.Hydro Power is the main source of Clean Power accounting for 90% of the Clean Energy Mix.The Project will take 10 years to build and their remains an outside chance that Oil Prices become so high that 24 hr Hydro Power at that time might make sense at $15/watt.

Origin Studies PNG Hydro Project to Supply Queensland – Bloomberg

Origin Energy Ltd., Australia’s second-biggest electricity and gas retailer, agreed to study the development of a hydro project in Papua New Guinea that would supply power to northern Queensland.

The venture at Wabo, 350 kilometers (217 miles) north-west of the capital Port Moresby, would have continuous-power generation capacity of about 1,800 megawatts, Origin said in a statement today. An engineering and environmental study is expected to be completed by 2012, the Sydney-based company said.

Talks about supplying power to resource projects in far north Queensland will start “very soon,” Origin spokesman Tim Scott said by telephone today. While it’s premature to project the development costs or the timing of construction, the hydropower project would be Origin’s second-biggest investment after the proposed Australia Pacific LNG venture with ConocoPhillips at Gladstone in Queensland, he said. Analysts have estimated that project may cost $31 billion.

The Papua New Guinea project would also supply power to local villages and rural communities in a country where about 40 percent of the population lives on less that $1 a day, according to estimates from AusAID, the Australian government agency responsible for managing overseas aid. The venture may help “open up significant industrial development” in the Pacific nation, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said in the statement.

Tokyo Electric Power is Asia’s Largest Utility and the 4th Largest in the World responsible for generating almost 1/3rd of Japan’s Electricity Requirements.The Company operates around 200 Plants mostly in Japan consisting of a mix of Nuclear,Gas,Hydro and Thermal.It also has an estimated 8 GW of Pumped Hydro Storage Capacity making it one of the Largest Energy Storage Companies as well.TEPCO as the Company is popularly took a loss  for the first time in 28  Years when it was forced to shut down a Nuclear Plant in North Japan after an Earthquake.The Company has been a huge laggard in the field of Green Energy with only 1 Wind Farm of 0.5 MW size compared to its total portfolio size of 62 GW.The company has 17 GW of Nuclear Energy out of which 8 GW is currently shut down.The company’s low presence in Wind and Solar Assets is quite strange given Japan’s strong commitment to reduce emission of GHGs.The Company proposes to increase it shares of Green Energy Sources to 50% from current 30% by 2020.Most of its international expansion would take place in the fast growing economies of India and China.$30 Billion would be invested by the company according to its new long term plan out of which around 40% would be invested outside Japan

Tokyo Electric is planning to increase purchase Uranium and LNG Assets as Asian Countries hungrily gobble up Energy Assets.China,India and South Korea have been leading the charge buying up Oil and Gas Assets at an incredible clip around the world.TEPCO plans to buy upto 50% of its Uranium needs from internal purchases as well raising LNG purchases.Japan lost out to South Korea in Economic Diplomacy when it lost out on Lucrative Nuclear Power Plant Contracts in UAE.It is now jostling with USA and China for building Nuclear Power in Vietnam.TEPCO is a leading member of Japanese Consortiums in international bidding

TEPCO to boost renewable energy, overseas business – Reuters

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) (9501.T: Quote), Asia’s biggest utility, is gearing up for clean energy business and power operations in Asia, faced with rising pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions and shrinking demand at home.

Under a business plan unveiled on Monday, TEPCO said it will generate more than half of its power from non-fossil fuel sources in 10 years, up from one-third now, with investment of 2.5 trillion yen ($30 billion) on low-carbon projects such as nuclear power plants, liquid natural gas plants and on development of smart grid.

It will also invest up to 1 trillion yen mainly on overseas operations, such as in China, India.

Renewable Energy

  1. JA Solar wins more than 500MW in cell supply contracts – Recharge News
  2. Solaria Raises $65M for CPV Development – RenewableEnergyWorld
  3. Vestas in Eye of a Storm as 6 metre part of V112 Wind Turbine Falls Off – Should You Invest Now
  4. After Solar and Wind,Canadian Energy Behemoth Enbridge Dips its Feet into Geothermal Energy as well
  5. Can Oerlikon Turnaround its ailing Solar Thin Film Equipment Business
  6. Steel Giant Posco Decides to make a Surprise Solar Entry through Orkla Silicon Subsidiary Elkem Acquisition
  7. India’s Tata Power looks to become a Geothermal Energy Leader,Targets 25% from Renewable Sources by 2017
  8. Masdar gains second contract for PV Modules in India – PV Tech
  9. Power-One to build 1GW inverter production plant in Phoenix – PV Tech

Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid

  1. Project to Harness Energy from Braking Trains – RenewableEnergyWorld

Green Transportation and Energy Storage

  1. Sakti3 Scores $4.2M From GM Ventures, Itochu – GigaOm

Climate Change

  1. HSBC predicts low-carbon energy market will treble to $2.2tn by 2020 – BusinessGreen

Government Policy

  1. US Union can only Complain Against Chinese Green Protectionism even as China overtakes USA in all Aspects of Cleantech Investment
  2. How will Germany’s Nuclear Plants Extension Affect Green Energy Growth
  3. Department of Energy Awards $37 Million for Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Technology Development – DOE
  4. ADB to Finance its Ambitious Multi-Billion Clean Energy Fund by smartly selling Multi-Currency Bonds to yield hungry Japanese
  5. Wind Energy Boom has Estonia thinking of sharply Cutting Support Tariffs

Finland is proposing to build a Billion Dollar Highway from its Capital Helsinki to a City near the Russian Border.This Highway will be the first Zero Carbon Highway in the World using an innovative mix of Biofuels,Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure and Renewable Energy.This Highway will use EV Charging Points which will get their energy from Solar and Wind Power.The Towns along the highway will be involved in the project generating biofuels and biomass energy.The Project is still under the feasibility stage and is slated to be completed by 2016 if passed.This route is one of the major arteries to EU-Russian Trade and will serve as an important Green Symbol for Future Transportation Needs.Finland will also tap EU’s subsidies on Clean Transportation to help build this Green Highway.Note Scandinavian Countries have been the leaders in the Green Movement with Denmark  one of the pioneers in Wind Energy and Norway’s Sovereign Fund committed to SRI principles.

Finland to Build First Ever Green Highway – IndustryWeek

With service stations offering charging points for electric cars and pumps filled with local biofuels,  Finland wants to build the world’s first “green highway”, the project manager said on August 19.The project concerns the remaining eastern 130-kilometer (81-mile) stretch yet to be built on a highway linking Turku on Finland’s southwestern coast with Vaalimaa near the Russian border. The town of Loviisa, located east of Helsinki and near the beginning of where the last leg of the highway will be built, proposed making the final stretch of road “green” and has taken charge of the project.

The plan involves using waste and other resources from the region that the new road will pass through to produce ethanol, other biofuels and electricity to keep the most environmentally-friendly cars on the green highway running.Pumps with fossil fuels will also be available for “normal” cars.Other proposals include installing geothermal heat pumps and providing information to users on their emission levels and the impact they are having on the environment.

The Indian Electricity Regulator has reduced the Renewable Energy Plant Size for Grid Connection to 50 MW.This has been done after State Electricity Boards were not connecting Green Plants to the Grid due to the CERC rules.However even at 50 MW the rule does not make much sense.All the countries in the world are promoting Renewable Energy Sources by giving priority access to Green Power.However in India despite all the top level promotion of Green Energy through the JNNUSM for Solar Energy,the actual ground level implementation is facing teething problems

Banks are reluctant to lend to Solar Projects because of the Financial Condition of the State Electricity Boards (SEBs) which are known to frequently default.Now Grid Connection  has also become a problem.Only well connected companies can manage grid connections easily as there is no mandate in India’s Green Energy Policy to make the priority access to the grid.While the 500 MW Solve PV tender has received a huge response,it remains to be seen how much success the Phase 1 of the JNNUSM gets given the ground level hurdles.

CERC relaxes grid connectivity norms for renewable power plants – FE

In a move that is aimed at promoting green sources of power, the central electricity regulatory commission (CERC) has reduced the threshold capacity for hydro and other renewable sources-based generating plants to qualify for grid connectivity.

While the minimum capacity required for thermal plants to seek grid access will be 250 mw, hydro and other renewable fuel-based power plants with 50 mw capacity will be eligible for grid connectivity. Plants with less than 50 mw individual capacity can also seek grid connectivity provided their aggregated capacity is 50 mw and they agree to undertake operational and commercial responsibilities through a mechanism of lead generator.