November 1 Energy News

November 1, 2015

World:

¶ Turkana County, an underdeveloped, remote and impoverished part of Kenya has now become the centre of interest for multinational investors. East of Lake Turkana, the largest wind farm in Africa is under construction. On the other side of Lake Turkana, in the west, the area has attracted international oil companies. [Global Risk Insights]

Erecting a wind turbine in Kenya.

Erecting a wind turbine in Kenya.

¶ To reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy, the Visakhapatnam Port will set up a 10-MW solar system to become the first solar powered port in India. The first phase of the solar power plant with a capacity of 2 MW will be commissioned by Jan 15 and the second phase with 8 MW will be completed by March 20, 2016. [The New Indian Express]

¶ With the rains not having fallen as they normally do, water levels have dropped in a dam that supplies electricity to Zambia and Zimbabwe, causing power blackouts, business closures and consternation. Some traditional chiefs are blaming an angry river god, who may be upset over a failure to conduct traditional rites. [NBCNews.com]

¶ Speaking at a commissioning of a solar system, the Jamaican Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining talked about growth of renewable energy in his country. To date, the Ministry has issued over 366 net billing licenses. Of the total, just over 300 are already operational. [Jamaica Information Service]

¶ The Australian government insists it’s brought a new approach to climate change but the Greens say the new Prime Minister is still beholden to coalition “dinosaurs.” The Environment Minister points out that the government has a new office of climate change. But Australian Greens say it continues Tony Abbott’s policies. [Sky News Australia]

The government insists it's brought a new approach to climate change

The government insists it’s brought a new approach to climate change

¶ India’s renewable energy sector reported significant growth in cumulative renewable energy capacity during the first half of this fiscal, with addition of 1,629 MW in April-September 2015-16, a 49% increase compared with the addition of 1,094 MW in the same period of the previous year. Growth was short of the target, however. [domain-B]

¶ Deadly radiation levels of 9.4 Sieverts per hour have been recorded at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It is enough to kill a person in less than an hour if directly exposed. The reading was taken in a small room, using a remote-controlled robot, where a pipe leads to the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor. [RT]

US:

¶ Utah Red Hills Renewable Park is a solar power generating facility being developed by Scatec Solar in Parowan, Utah, with an estimated investment of $188 million. It will be Utah’s biggest power generating facility and will be one of the biggest solar power plants in the country. It should be completed in December of this year. [Power Technology]

Solar plant under construction in Utah.

Solar plant under construction in Utah.

¶ Battery prices are dropping, but utilities aren’t quite fully comfortable with them yet, as revealed by Southern California Edison’s recent proposal to buy electricity from a new natural gas-fired power plant in Stanton, California, rather than install additional battery capacity as ratepayer advocates and environmentalists want it to. [OCRegister]

¶ Thousands of acres of once-abandoned mines are now wildlife preserves or slowly reviving parklands, but can mined land be put to economic use? With the help of a relatively new and little-known EPA initiative, “RE-Powering America’s Land,” transitional assistance for taking brownfields to greenfields is now available. [POWER magazine]

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