Areva the French Nuclear Giant which is known more for producing equipment for nuclear power plants is been awarded federal funding by the Australian Government to build a solar coal hybrid plant in Queensland.The 44 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plant will be built near a 750 Thermal Power Station.This will be the second solar coal hybrid plant in the world when its gets finished in 2013.Note Areva has huge plans in the Solar Thermal Technology Industry after buying startup Ausra sometimes ago.The company which is an expert in power plant equipment technology such as boilers,turbines will use its expertise to build a CSP plant adding to the power output of the Kogan Creek Thermal Station.Note the cost mentioned implies around $2.4/watt which does not seem expensive.The CSP Coal Hybrid will not require storage which will help in reducing the costs of the power plant.Note a number of Fossil Fuel Solar Hybrid Plants are being planned around the world.Almost all of these power plants use CSP Technology instead of the PV Technology.Its a valuable niche for Solar Thermal Companies to explore as they face huge competition from Solar PV which is drastically reducing its costs to reach retail electricity price equality.
The French President Sarkozy has become the first international leader to visit Japan after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Disaster which has simmered for more than 3 weeks.Japan and France do not have a strategic relationship like USA and Japan does nor do these countries have shown great friendship in the past.So it surprising why Sarkozy has gone to Japan on such a short notice to pledge all French help to the Japanese in the wake of the radioactivity leaking from the reactors in northern Japan.Note France has been the leader in the Libyan no fly zone as well calling for Western intervention in a mostly domestic civil war.France has not got too much involved in other civil wars raging in the Middle East.It has been selective over it choice for jumping up and down over human rights.The glaring Western and French silence over the Saudi invasion of Bahrain and violent suppression of its citizens by the Middle Eastern dictators tells of a hypocrisy.
Dangerous levels of radiation has been detected in the water around the reactors as the Japanese government says that a partial meltdown has occured.While there is no confirmation about cracks in the pressure and containment vessels around the reactors,the radiation in the water inside Unit 2 has tested at radiation levels some 100,000 times normal amounts.Workers also discovered radioactive water in the deep trenches outside three units, with the airborne radiation levels outside Unit 2 exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour _ more than four times the amount that the government considers safe for workers.TEPCO officials said Sunday that radiation in leaking water in Unit 2 was 10 million times above normal.TEPCO has been giving confusing figures for radiation making it all the more difficult in understanding the gravity of the nuclear crisis.Note this disaster is only second to Chernobyl in its scale of radiation destruction.Tokyo and other parts have reported intermittently about high radiation in water and air.A ship from Mitsui was recently turned back from a Chinese port because of high levels of radiation.
India’s Economy is being hampered in its growth trajectory by lack of infrastructure which is leading to supply side problems.India suffers woefully from a lack of roads,electricity,ports etc. and almost a trillion dollars is going to be spent in the next few years as demand outstrips supply.India’s Machinery and Capital Goods Industry is set to capitalize on this strong growth and is already seeing massive orders which are 2-3 years worth of their annual revenue.While the stock valuations of the capital goods equipment manufacturers has come down a bit from the heavy days of 2008,they are still quite high reflecting the strong growth potential.India’s Engineering Industry is also composed of a number of smaller manufacturers that export light engineering equipment worth several billion dollars mostly to developing countries.India’s Machinery Sector is composed of a mix of government owned and private companies as well as the giant capital goods MCN conglomerates like Areva and others.Here is a list of the major Indian equipment manufacturers.
The Tsunami Nuclear Energy Disaster which is unfolding in Japan highlights that Nuclear Energy can cause some very serious damage though the safety of the nuclear reactors are highly touted in the media by the Nuclear Energy Industry.These Nuclear Plants in Japan are quite old but so are most of the Nuclear Energy facilities in the West.Most of these Nuclear Plants are susceptible to serious natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.In case of a nuclear meltdown the radiation from the Nuclear Plants can not only cause more deaths and injuries from natural causes but also make the area around the Nuclear Plant uninhabitable for hundreds of years.India and China are on a major Nuclear Energy Building Spree even though their nuclear plants have faced minor accidents in recent years.With this Nuclear Disaster,the protests in the se countries are set to grow with NIMBY becoming the biggest hurdle.Already protests are being held in Jaitapur in Maharashtra over damage to the ecology,expect the Japan’s nuclear reactor incident to basically kill this Areva-NPCIL plant.Nuclear plants in the US and Europe are already facing huge cost and time overruns.This new problem should cause those projects to also die off.
Solar Thermal Technology has been facing tough competition from its sister Solar PV Technology in recent times.Despite strong government subsidies and support,numerous drawbacks have contributed to this Technology losing out to Solar PV in a number of projects in the US notably by Tessera.However a number of startups and big conglomerates continue to make huge investments in this technology.Spain and US are leaders in implementation of this Solar Technology type,however others like India and China are to building CSP plants as their energy needs continue to grow.Note like Solar PV,there are a number of different technology types for CSP like Power Tower,Parabolic Troughs,linear fresnel technology and Stirling Engines.Here is a list of the most important Solar Thermal Companies (Technology Providers cum Project Developers)