November 28 Energy News

November 28, 2016


¶ The government of Bolivia, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, has had to declare a state of emergency as it faces its worst drought for at least 25 years. Much of the water supply to La Paz and El Alto comes from the glaciers in the surrounding Andean mountains. The glaciers, however, are disappearing. [Truthdig]

A once-thriving ski resort in the Bolivian Andes (Ville Miettinen via Wikimedia Commons)

No snow at a once-thriving ski resort in the Bolivian Andes
(Ville Miettinen via Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Abu Dhabi’s Masdar has completed its second solar power project in Mauritania, doubling the amount of power the UAE provides to the African nation, the clean company said. Masdar, working with the national utility provider, will meet up to 30% of the demand for rural communities with eight individual solar PV plants. [The National]

¶ Southwestern England’s Gloucester Cathedral is now home to
a 38-kW solar PV system. It is expected to reduce the facility’s costs for energy by around 25%. The Church of England has a goal of cutting carbon emissions 80% by 2050. English churches are oriented east-west by tradition, so many have south-facing roofs. [CleanTechnica]

Blessing the PVs (Photo via GloucestershireLive)

Blessing the PVs (Photo via GloucestershireLive)

¶ The Lego Group has inaugurated a new factory in Jiaxing, China. The factory, as large as 20 football fields, currently employs more than 1,200 people and is expected to produce up to 80% of all Lego products sold in Asia. Lego has placed a special focus on sustainability at the factory, and it will be powered by the sun. [Energy Matters]

¶ A $10 million renewable energy-powered microgrid, possibly the largest in the country, will be developed in Western Australia. The coastal town of Kalbarri currently gets power through a 140-km transmission line, which can be unreliable. The microgrid will combine wind and solar power with a large-scale battery. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Wind, solar, and battery system (Photo: Luke Sharrett)

Wind to combine with solar and battery (Photo: Luke Sharrett)

¶ Singapore will commission the world’s largest floating solar panel testbed by end of 2016 as part of its plan to harness clean or renewable energy. The one-hectare testbed at a reservoir at Tengah is slated to produce 1 MW of energy. If its efficacy is proven, it will supplement land-based solar panels as land is at
a premium. [Blasting News]

¶ Nepal should be energy rich. It has 2% of the world’s water resources and more than 300 days of sunshine in a year. But more than 30% of Nepalese have never used electricity, and the rest live with blackouts that can extend up to 16 hours a day during the winter. The government hopes to be able to power the country renewably. [Online Khabar]

Studying in winter in Nepal (Photo: Nabin Baral)

Studying in winter in Nepal (Photo: Nabin Baral)

¶ People in Switzerland voting in a referendum have rejected a proposal to introduce a strict timetable for phasing out nuclear power, with the last nuclear plant closing in 2029. A projection for SRF public television showed the initiative failing by 55% to 45%. A majority of cantons (Swiss states) voted against the initiative. [Energy Bangla]

¶ Taiwan is set to kick-start the promotion of renewable energy as part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s denuclearization policy. The government aims to raise the percentage of renewable energy in the island’s power supply to 20%, or five times the current level, by 2025. It estimates the total investment at $56.6 billion. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Wind power facility in Taiwan's Penghu Islands (Courtesy of Taiwan Power)

Wind power facility in Taiwan’s Penghu Islands
(Courtesy of Taiwan Power)

¶ Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry now expects the total cost of dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to total more than ¥20 trillion (US$178.8 billion), nearly double the previous estimate, sources familiar with the matter said. The previous estimate was ¥11 trillion. [South China Morning Post]


¶ Water isn’t a commodity that most southerners usually worry about. But lately, the drought has become a hot topic as more and more communities begin dealing with declining water resources. The drought, already exceptionally severe, continues to deepen. Even worse, these conditions may become the new norm. [Digital Journal]

Lake Hartwell, near Anderson, South Carolina  (Photo: Alan Raflo, Virginia Water Resources Research Center)

Lake Hartwell, near Anderson, South Carolina, in drought
(Photo: Alan Raflo, Virginia Water Resources Research Center)

¶ Energized by a $500,000 grant from the US DOE, Plug In America will partner with the University of Rhode Island to promote the electric car revolution in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Funds from the award will be used for public, workplace, and fleet events starting next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ President-elect Donald Trump is set on stripping off funding from NASA’s Earth Science division. He wants the agency to concentrate more on deep space exploration. Trump would eliminate all climate change research conducted by NASA, according to the Guardian, shifting the focus to exploring the solar system. [Science World Report]


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