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Green Energy
1 MW waste-to-energy power plant in 30 months
State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid has said a 1 MW capacity waste-to-energy power project will be implemented in Keraniganj upazila within the next 30 months to generate electricity from garbage. He mentioned that if Keraniganj waste-to-energy project becomes successful, more projects will be undertaken to generate electricity from garbage in different upazilas across the country. He made the announcement while inaugurating a 33/11 kV substation and multi-storied office building of Dhaka Palli Bidyut Samity-4 at Jheelmil-1 Housing Project in Keraniganj on October 13. Rural Electrification Board (REB) has installed the substation through its Dhaka Palli Bidyut Samity-4. The State Minister also laid the foundation of different substations with similar capacity at Jheelmil-2 project, Konakhola, Chargalgalia and Washpur. Being an MP from Keraniganj, Nasrul Hamid noted that a master plan is being adopted to develop the suburb as a modern locality.        He said it will reduce population pressure on Dhaka city if all modern amenities are ensured for people of the Keraniganj upazila. With senior general manager of Palli Bidyut Samity-4 Rabiul Islam in the chair, the function was also addressed by REB Chairman Major General Moin Uddin and Keraniganj upazila chairman Shahin Ahmed.
Trade panel: Cheap imports hurt US solar industry
September 24, 2017 Sunday 11:07 AM By AP/UNB
Low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers, a U.S. trade commission ruled Friday, raising the possibility of the Trump administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from abroad. The 4-0 vote by the International Trade Commission sets up a two-month review period in which the panel must recommend a remedy to President Donald Trump, with a final decision on tariffs expected in January. White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said Trump "will examine the facts and make a determination that reflects the best interests of the United States. The U.S. solar manufacturing sector contributes to our energy security and economic prosperity." Georgia-based Suniva Inc. and Oregon-based SolarWorld Americas brought the case, saying a flood of imports have pushed them to the brink of extinction. Suniva declared bankruptcy, while SolarWorld had to lay off three-quarters of its workforce. Cheap imports have led to a boom in the U.S. solar industry, where rooftop and other installations have surged tenfold since 2011. The main trade group for the solar industry and many governors oppose tariffs, saying they could cause a sharp price hike that would lead to a drop in solar installations by more than 50 percent in two years. Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, called the trade commission`s vote disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ. "Foreign-owned companies that brought business failures on themselves are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments," Hopper said, warning that potential tariffs could double the price of solar installations, lowering U.S. demand and risking billions of dollars in investment. Suniva`s U.S. operations are based in Georgia, but the company`s majority owner is in China. SolarWorld Americas is a subsidiary of German solar giant SolarWorld, which declared insolvency last month. Suniva hailed the ruling.     "It will be in President Trump`s hands to decide whether America will continue to have the capability to manufacture this energy source," the company said in a statement. "President Trump can remedy this injury with relief that ensures U.S. energy dominance that includes a healthy U.S. solar ecosystem and prevents China and its proxies from owning the sun." Trump has not cozied up to the solar industry, as he has for coal and other fossil fuels, but he is considered sympathetic to imposing tariffs on solar imports as part of his "America first" agenda. Governors of four solar-friendly states — Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts and North Carolina — oppose the tariff, warning it could jeopardize the industry. They cited a study showing that a global tariff could cause solar installations to drop by more than 50 percent in two years, a crushing blow as states push for renewable energy that does not contribute to climate change. "The requested tariff could inflict a devastating blow on our states` solar industries and lead to unprecedented job loss, at steep cost to our states` economies," the two Republicans and two Democrats wrote in a letter Thursday to the trade commission. A group of former U.S. military officials also urged the Trump administration to reject solar tariffs, noting that the Defense Department is the nation`s largest energy consumer and follows a federal law calling for the Pentagon to procure 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Suniva called the case a matter of fairness. Even with better manufacturing methods, lower costs and "dramatically improved efficiency," the company has "suffered substantial losses due to global imports," Suniva said in its petition. The company declared bankruptcy this spring after laying off 190 employees and closing production sites in Georgia and Michigan. SolarWorld Americas, meanwhile, has trimmed its workforce from 1,300 to 300, with more cuts likely. "After nearly 30 factories have shut down in the wake of surging imports, the legacy of this pioneering American industry hangs in the balance," said Juergen Stein, CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas. "We believe that the promise of solar - energy sustainability and independence - can be realized only with healthy American manufacturing to supply growing U.S. demand," Stein said in a statement to The Associated Press. Hopper countered that a tariff would likely decrease the number of U.S. manufacturers, because of reduced demand. While the U.S. solar industry employs about 260,000 people, fewer than 2,000 are involved in making solar panels like those made by Suniva and SolarWorld. More than half of solar jobs are in installation, with another 66,000 in sales, distribution and development. About 38,000 jobs involve manufacture of inverters, racks and other products related to solar panels. Hopper told reporters she was optimistic that Trump would not impose tariffs on solar imports. The president wants to create jobs and increase energy security and economic prosperity, and that is the story of the solar industry," she said. "I think that is entirely resonant with his rhetoric and his concern."
Category: Renewable
BPDB signs deal with Intraco to buy 30MW solar electricity
August 27, 2017 Sunday 11:42 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) on Sunday with local privately owned Intraco Solar Power Limited to buy electricity from its 30 MW grid-tied solar power plant. Secretary of BPDB Mina Masud-uz-Zaman and Managing Director of Intraco Solar Power Limited Mohammed Riyadh Ali signed the PPA on behalf of their respective sides. The company would supply electricity to the national grid within 13 months from the date of signing the agreement and start commercial operation of the plant in September 2018. The plant Rangpur Gangachara 30-MW (AC) Grid Tied Solar Power Plant will be set up about 17-km away from Rangpur city. Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) will fund the project and the tariff of per kilowatt electricity of the project was fixed at 16 US cents which is equivalent to Tk 12.80. However, the government will buy electricity from the plant on ‘No electricity, No Payment’ basis meaning that the company will only get payment once it sells electricity. Intraco also signed an implementation agreement (IA) with the Power Division for the project as part of government`s move to increase the ratio of renewable energy in the country. Speaking at the contract signing ceremony at Biduyt Bhaban in Dhaka, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said incentives to promote renewable energy would continue, as the government is trying to increase production and use of the green and clean energy comparatively at higher prices. The state minister expressed his frustration over the delay in implementation of some other solar power projects. Intraco managing director Riyadh Ali said his company has purchased 143.3 acres of land in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur for the project.          The function was addressed, among others, by Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and BPDB chairman Khaled Mahmood.  
Category: Renewable
IDCOL and Ricardo jointly organized conference on unblocking solar IPP investments in Bangladesh
July 30, 2017 Sunday 12:09 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) and Ricardo Energy & Environment (Ricardo) jointly organized a conference on unblocking solar IPP investments on 26 July, 2017 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka. The program was organised to bring in different stakeholders to identify possible challenges in developing and financing solar IPP projects in Bangladesh as well as suggest suitable mitigation measures to overcome such challenges, based on global best practices. More than 70 participants from different bank, sponsors and government organisations participated in the captioned conference, said a press release from IDCOL. The IDCOL and Ricardo led conference discussed what constitutes a successful IPP structure and explored how to develop effective power purchase agreements for solar parks. Speakers and panel experts also offered  practical  guidance  on  selecting  the  most appropriate  site,  technology and  capital  structure  for  a  project.  Throughout the conference, attendees had the chance to network and discuss their specific solar power plans. Among others Ashish Kulkarni, Principal Consultant of Ricardo Energy & Environment, Siddique Zobair, Member of Energy Efficiency of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, Arvind Mayaram, Former Finance Secretary of Government of India, Mohammad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bangladesh, Mohammad Alauddin, Joint Secretary of Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bangladesh, Shahriar Ahmed Chowdhury, Director of Centre for Energy Research of United International University, Munawar Misbah Moin, Managing Director of  Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Limited, S.M. Habibur Rahman, CFO of Maisha Group of Companies, Mohammad Arbaaz Nayeem, Business Area Manager for Overseas Projects of Ricardo Energy & Environment, Nazmul Haque, Director (Investment) & Head of Advisory of IDCOL, Bidyut Kumar Saha, Senior Financial Sector Specialist of Asian Development Bank, Ershad Hossain, Managing Director & CEO of City Bank Capital Resources Limited, Mesbah Uddin Ahmed, General Manager & Head of Corporate of IDLC Finance Limited, Mate Antosik, Principal Consultant of Ricardo Energy & Environment and Md. Maroof ur Rahman Mazumder, Executive Director and Head of Capital Markets of Standard Chartered Bank were present at the seminar. “We are privileged to be joined by representatives from Bangladesh’s government and financial sector to discuss how to unlock investment for solar power,” said Ashish Kulkarni, Ricardo Energy & Environment Principal Consultant. “I hope that the conference will provide valuable insight on how to structure a profitable solar power project which contributes positively to the government’s ambitious renewable energy plans,” said the Executive Director and CEO of IDCOL, Mahmood Malik in his closing remarks of the ceremony. IDCOL is the largest government owned, local development financial institution in Bangladesh with primary focus on financing private sector energy and infrastructure projects. Since its inception in 1997, IDCOL has been playing a major role in financing medium and large-scale infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficient projects in Bangladesh. In addition to its financing activities, IDCOL arranges various seminars, conference, workshops, and training programs and provides advisory services for capacity development of its stakeholders. Ricardo’s energy teams provide power sector planning support to governments, public sector organizations and utility companies throughout the world. They offer independent and unbiased market, technical and environmental advice to support clients implement bankable and sustainable power systems.  
Category: Renewable
World`s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland
July 26, 2017 Wednesday 10:54 PM By BBC News
The world`s first full-scale floating wind farm has started to take shape off the north-east coast of Scotland. The revolutionary technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines. The Peterhead wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial which will bring power to 20,000 homes. Manufacturer Statoil says output from the turbines is expected to equal or surpass generation from current ones. It hopes to cash in on a boom in the technology, especially in Japan and the west coast of the US, where waters are deep. "This is a tech development project to ensure it`s working in open sea conditions. It`s a game-changer for floating wind power and we are sure it will help bring costs down," said Leif Delp, project director for Hywind. So far, one giant turbine has already been moved into place, while four more wait in readiness in a Norwegian fjord. By the end of the month they`ll all have been towed to 15 miles (25km) off Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, where they`ll float upright like giant fishing floats. While the turbines are currently very expensive to make, Statoil believes that in the future it will be able to dramatically reduce costs in the same way that manufacturers already have for conventional offshore turbines. "I think eventually we will see floating wind farms compete without subsidy - but to do that we need to get building at scale," said Mr Delp. The tower, including the blades, stretches to 175m (575ft), dwarfing Big Ben Each tower weighs 11,500 tonnes The box behind the blades - the nacelle - could hold two double-decker buses Each blade is 75m - almost the wing span of an Airbus The turbines can operate in water up to a kilometre deep The blades on the towers have been a particular focus for innovation. Statoil says the blades harness breakthrough software - which holds the tower upright by twisting the blades to dampen motions from wind, waves and currents.  The operation to begin shifting the first of the 11,500 tonne giants happened dramatically in the half-light of a Norwegian summer night. Crews secured thick cables to tug boats and used remote-controlled submarines to check for obstacles. Finally the giant was on the move, floating on a sealed vase-like tube 78m deep, its bottom filled with iron ore to weight the base and keep it upright in the water. Price drop The price of energy from bottom-standing offshore wind farms has plummeted 32% since 2012 - far faster that anyone predicted. The price is now four years ahead of the government`s expected target, and another big price drop is expected, taking offshore wind to a much lower price than new nuclear power. The Hywind project is being run in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi firm Masdar. The £190m cost was subsidised by bill-payers under the UK government`s Renewable Obligation Certificates. The bird charity RSPB Scotland opposed the project - not because it dislikes the technology but because it believes too many offshore turbines in the area have already been approved. It fears thousands of sea birds may be killed by the offshore wind farms, although it admits that estimates are hugely uncertain because it is impossible to count bird corpses at sea. The RSPB`s Aidan Smith told BBC News: "Generally we are very enthusiastic about floating wind technology because it allows turbines to be placed far offshore - away from seabird nesting sites, and it helps us tackle climate change. "We oppose the Hywind project because it adds to a situation we already believe is a problem." Floating turbines may create a new frontier for energy - but scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn far more investment in additional new technologies is urgently needed for governments to keep promises on reducing emissions.
Category: Renewable
BPDB signs deal with Chinese firm to build grid-connected solar power plant
July 9, 2017 Sunday 10:31 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on Sunday signed deal with a Chinese engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to set up a 7.4 MWp grid connected solar power plant in Kaptai hydropower station area. Addressing the contract signing ceremony at Biduyt Bhaban State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said the government has taken initiative to increase solar power generation in line with Power System Master Plan which says 20 percent of power will come from renewable energy by 2020. He said many advanced countries in the world are taking new environment-friendly renewable energy projects as this will dominate future energy source. Power Division secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus and BPDB chairman Khaled Mahmood also spoke at the function. The EPC contractor ZTE Corporation of China won the contract to set up the plant within a year at a contract value to Tk 73.80 crore. The plant will generate solar power for next 25 year where per unit cost of power generation will be about Tk 5.48 per kilowatt hour (6.79 US Cents). The Asian Development Board is financing part of the project cost.                    The cost of total project is Tk 10,955.39 lakh out of which the government will provide Tk 1,755.28 lakh, Asian Development Bank would provide Tk 8,455 lakh and PDB Tk 744.21 lakh. The ADB has provided loan with interest rate of sum of LIBOR AND 0.60%. The loan repayment period is 20 years with a grace period of five years. The lifetime of the plant is 25 years. PDB secretary Mina Masud Uzzaman and ZTE Corporation project implementation director Liu Wei signed the contract on behalf of their respective sides.      
Category: Renewable
GMR, Bangladesh to sign deal to evacuate power
July 7, 2017 Friday 5:24 PM By The Kathmandupost
GMR Upper Karnali Hydropower, the developer of the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydroelectric Project, is preparing to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Bangladeshi government to evacuate energy produced by the scheme to Bangladesh via India, GMR officials said. A team from the Bangladeshi government is scheduled to visit the project site in western Nepal and start PPA negotiations with the developer. “The team from Bangladesh will visit Nepal soon to expedite negotiations,” said Harvinder Manocha, chief operating officer of GMR Energy. “We are planning to export 300 to 500 MW of energy generated by the hydropower project in Nepal via India.”   Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India’s NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) to import electricity from Upper Karnali via India during Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in April 2017. According to GMR, as Indian laws don’t allow private developers to export electricity produced in third countries over Indian transmission lines, Bangladesh signed an MoU with the state-owned cross-border electricity trading agency while GMR was the witness. “It is clearly written in the MoU that the energy that NVVN will supply to Bangladesh will come from Upper Karnali,” said the GMR source. “The tariff rate will be mutually finalized by GMR and Bangladesh after negotiations.”   Bangladesh has repeatedly shown interest in importing electricity from Nepal via India, and has raised the issue at meetings of the sub-regional BBIN (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal) Initiative which was signed by the four countries to facilitate regional trade and business. Bangladeshis have also shown interest in investing in Nepal’s hydropower sector under the same framework agreement. Bangladesh first expressed interest in putting money in hydropower during the ninth South Asia Economic Summit it hosted in Dhaka last October. On the sidelines of the event, the then commerce minister Romi Gauchan Thakali and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tofail Ahmed signed an agreement to build two hydroelectric plants capable of generating over 1,600 MW of electricity in Nepal. The proposed projects are the 1,110 MW Sunkoshi II and 536 MW Sunkoshi III on the Sunkoshi River in central Nepal. Both countries have agreed to develop the projects under the BBIN Initiative. As per the agreement, the electricity produced by the Sunkoshi projects will be evacuated to Bangladesh via India through the BBIN economic corridor. However, no headway was made on this front as the Commerce Ministry failed to communicate with the Energy Ministry on the issue. Later, when the then energy minister Janardan Sharma visited Bangladesh, he held talks with Bangladeshi State Minister of Power Nasrul Hamid on making joint investments for the development of hydroelectricity. He also invited Hamid to Nepal to sign an MoU to this end.  
Category: Renewable
‘No proposal to be taken without tender for solar power plant project’
June 10, 2017 Saturday 12:34 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
Power Division has decided not to accept any new proposal from Independent Power Producers (IPP) of private sector for the construction of the solar power plant. The decision was taken at a meeting on the process of processing unsolicited project proposals on April 13, as no satisfactory development was seen in this regard despite giving permission to many non-government entrepreneurs to produce electricity from renewable energy. Speaking at the meeting, Joint Secretary of Power Division Mohammad Alauddin said so far, the progress of electricity generation from solar power related IPP is not satisfactory. However, every time an unsolicited proposal is being submitted. Mohamad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell, said out of total power generation by 2020 in the country, the government has set target to produce 10 percent or 2,000 MW of electricity from renewable energy. Generally, a large part of this electricity will be produced from the solar power stations of the country. In the meeting, it was also taken decision that the government will encourage private entrepreneurs and they will be provided incentives to produce this electricity. As part of this, the Power Division, under the speedy supply of power and energy (Special Provision) Act 2010, accepted the proposal of renewable energy-based unsolicited project. Generally, the project proposal committee headed by the power division secretary decided to undertake a new project after interested entrepreneurs applied to the power division to set up a solar power plant. Seeking anonymity, a Power Division official said, so far 69 projects have been submitted to the power office. In the meantime, some 18 proposals received Prime Minister’s approval in principle till April 18, this year. If these 18 projects are implemented, 1,050 megawatt electricity will be generated. The power purchase agreement (PPA) of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has been signed with the sponsor of four projects, with a total capacity of 302 MW. But there is no progress in the project so far. No solar power plant could even start electricity production. However, after signing the contract, a 100-megawatt electricity power plant is required for one year. And they are not responding even though the letter of intent (LoI) is issued in different times for the sponsorship of nine projects of 528 MW capacity. The remaining five projects are under consideration of the processing committee. Apart from this, some 17 plants of 2,147 MW capacity are under consideration of the land inspection committee to consider the projects under special act. The remaining 34 proposals will not be taken into consideration, according to sources. In the meeting, the decision was also taken that the sponsor must compulsorily sign the electricity purchase agreement within two months after issuance of the validation of LoI. Otherwise, the LoI will be canceled. Besides, the projects which are already moved through the special provision act and are now under consideration of the technical committee and land inspection committee will be completed. The decision was also made in the meeting that the government will appoint a sponsor by floating tender from the private power producers if necessary.
Category: Renewable
HELE coal technology key to growth in South East Asia
May 19, 2017 Friday 8:50 PM By worldcoal.com
High-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) coal-fired electricity generation technology will play a critical role in South-East Asia’s future economic prosperity and climate policies, according to a new report from ASEAN Centre for Energy and the World Coal Association (WCA). The new report confirms that HELE coal technology will provide affordable and reliable electricity to more than 600 million people in the region while dramatically reducing emissions. The report conducts a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of climate, energy and sustainable development policies in ASEAN nations, which are set to increase their electricity demand significantly in coming years. It finds that if ASEAN shifts its coal-fired power generation capacity to a modern, low emissions fleet by 2035, the region would reduce its cumulative emissions by 1.3 billion tonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of the US, China and the European Union combined. The new report is consistent with other projections by leading energy analysts. A recent report from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies concluded that based on current national power plans, South East Asia’s coal capacity will reach 148 GW by 2025, a 139% increase on 2015. Coal will pass gas as South East Asia’s number one energy source before 2025, the OIES report concluded. ASEAN is one of the fastest growing regions in the world with economic growth forecast to increase by over 6% per year.  Growth has already lifted millions from poverty and seen the number of people in the region without access to electricity halved over the past 20 years. The International Energy Agency predicts ASEAN’s energy demand will increase by 80 per cent over the period to 2040. To meet this demand, secure reliable electricity is required and the report confirms that low emission coal will be the generation of choice.  With the IEA forecasting coal to provide 50% of electricity generation by 2040, ASEAN nations are looking to utilise low-emission coal technology to deliver growth while also reducing emissions. The report confirms that all forms of coal generation will be the lowest cost option for ASEAN nations in 2020 and 2035.  The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) figures show that even ultra-supercritical coal generation will cost less than all renewable options and gas-fired power generation options. The report notes that “HELE reconciles international commitments to reduce carbon with the economic priorities of generating affordable and reliable electricity.”
Category: Technology
Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with renewable drive to diversify energy mix
April 23, 2017 Sunday 11:41 PM By Reuters
Saudi Arabia aims to produce 10 percent of its power from renewable sources in the next six years as it pushes ahead with a multi-billion-dollar plan to diversify its energy mix and free up more crude oil for export. The drive by the world’s top oil exporter will see the kingdom developing 30 solar and wind projects by 2023 to boost its electricity generation and reduce crude oil burning. Saudi Arabia is targeting 9.5 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy by 2023. The renewables initiative involves investment estimated between $30 billion and $50 billion. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih kicked off the massive renewable programme in Riyadh on Monday by announcing the beginning of the bidding process for a 300 megawatt (MW) solar power project, which is expected to come online by 2018-2019. “The energy mix to produce electricity will change, today the kingdom uses large quantities of oil liquids, including crude, fuel oil and diesel,” Falih said. “So the percentage of renewable energy by 2023 (will be) 10 percent of total installed capacity in the kingdom.” Under an economic reform programme launched last year, known as Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is seeking to use non-oil means to generate much of its additional future energy needs to avoid running down oil resources and diversify its economy. ENERGY REFORM PUSH The kingdom is restructuring its energy sector as part of Vision 2030 and a focus on renewable projects is a pillar of this transformation as it would help develop the private sector and create thousands of jobs. “Since the restructuring of the energy sector... one of our key priorities is to engage with the private sector,” Falih said, adding he was confident the programme would be delivered. Saudi Arabia has short-listed 27 companies for its solar power project and 24 firms for its wind project, the energy ministry said last week. France`s EDF Energies Nouvelles, Japanese companies Marubeni Corp and Mitsui & Co and Saudi Acwa Power are among the firms which have qualified to bid for the 300 MW solar PV project in Sakaka, the al-Jouf Province in the north of the kingdom. Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), GE, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsui & Co., JGC Corp, SNC Lavalin Arabia and Iberdrola Renovables Energia are among those qualified to bid for the 400 MW wind farm project in Midyan in the northwest. The kingdom also plans to launch a second bidding round for 400 MW of wind power at a project in Domat al-Jandal in al-Jouf Province by the fourth quarter of this year, which will be followed by 620 MW of solar power, Turki Shehri, head of the renewable energy project development office at the energy ministry told reporters on Monday. “This will come in stages. It (wind power project) will come in the fourth quarter of this year with Domat al-Jandal, and then the 620 MW (solar) will come immediately after that in phases,” he said. The projects will be tendered on a build, operate and own basis, meaning the companies which win the projects will retain ownership for 20 years for the solar plants and 25 years for the wind, Shehri said. State oil giant Saudi Aramco would be interested in investing in the second bidding round for renewable projects as it aims to play a major role in the sector, Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, senior vice-president for downstream at Aramco said. Aramco, which is preparing to list up to 5 percent of its shares by next year, has created a department for renewables within the company to develop wind and solar projects. The kingdom has a long-term goal of increasing the use of gas for domestic power generation, thus reducing oil burning at home and freeing up more crude for export. This could help increase Aramco`s valuation as it generates more revenue from exports than selling oil at lower domestic prices - Saudi Arabia is the world`s fifth-biggest oil consumer despite being only the 20th biggest economy. The OPEC heavyweight burned an average of 700,000 bpd of oil for electricity to keep the population cool in the hottest months from May to August. The expansion into renewables will help the kingdom to save 18 million barrels of oil equivalent being consumed for electricity generation by 2020, Shehri said.
Category: Renewable
Wind power records set in Scotland and India
April 4, 2017 Tuesday 9:23 AM By cnbc.com
Scottish wind turbines sent more than 1.2 million megawatt hours of electricity to the national grid in March, according to new analysis of data from WeatherEnergy by WWF Scotland. In a news release on Monday the environmental group said that turbines produced enough electricity to meet, on average, the electrical needs of 136 percent of Scottish households, equivalent to 3.3 million homes. This represented an increase of 81 percent compared to March 2016. "Given this March wasn`t as windy as it has been in some previous years, this year`s record output shows the importance of continuing (to) increase capacity by building new wind farms," Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said in a statement. "As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power supports thousands of jobs and continues to play an important role in Scotland`s efforts to address global climate change by avoiding millions of tonnes of carbon emissions every year." The Scottish government says that Scotland is home to 25 percent of Europe`s offshore wind resources and  that, overall, renewables are Scotland`s "single largest contributor to electricity generation." Globally, the International Energy Agency has described wind energy as "developing towards a mainstream, competitive and reliable power technology." Commenting on today`s analysis, WeatherEnergy`s Karen Robinson said that it was "massively impressive" how Scotland had "steadily grown its wind power output." In other wind power news, this weekend saw India`s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy state that over 5,400 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity was added in India in 2016-17, smashing a 4,000 MW target. The state of Andhra Pradesh led the way with 2,190 MW of capacity added, with Gujarat adding 1,275 MW.
Category: Renewable
Record-breaking solar panel converts 26% of sunlight into energy
March 22, 2017 Wednesday 2:19 PM By Independent
A record-breaking solar panel that can convert more than a quarter of the sunlight it receives into electricity has been developed by researchers in Japan. The silicon solar cell is so efficient that it turns 26.3 per cent of the energy from the sun into renewable power. In contrast, nature’s ‘solar panels’ – leaves – have a “photosynthetic efficiency” of between three and six per cent. The scientists behind the new panel also said they believed they had found a way to create a one with the maximum level of efficiency considered to be theoretically possible – 29.1 per cent. Writing in the journal Nature Energy, the team from the Kaneka Corporation in Osaka, said: “Improving the photo-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells is crucial to further the deployment of renewable electricity. “Essential device properties such as lifetime, series resistance and optical properties must be improved simultaneously to reduce recombination, resistive and optical losses. “Here, we use industrially compatible processes to fabricate large-area silicon solar cells … the photo-conversion efficiency is over 26 per cent.” The previous record for solar cell efficiency was 25.6 per cent. Further analysis, the researchers, said “pinpoints a path to approach the theoretical conversion efficiency limit of Si solar cells, 29.1 per cent.” However a statement on the Nature website said the panels were not yet ready to be sold commercially. “Although the study represents a record-breaking efficiency for a silicon solar cell, further work is required before the individual cells can be assembled into a commercially available solar panel,” it said.
Category: Efficiency & Conservation
ABB launches world’s first digital distribution transformer
March 21, 2017 Tuesday 7:52 AM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
ABB has recently announced the launch of the world’s first digital distribution transformer at its ABB customer world event in Houston, Texas. Integrated sensing and monitoring technology in ABB’s new TXpert™ transformer will provide intelligence to maximize reliability, optimize operating and maintenance costs and manage the asset more efficiently, according to a press release. This latest innovation builds on the ABB Ability™ digital offering that uses cloud computing and connected devices to generate actionable data for a broad range of customers. The performance data collected from the sensors is stored and analyzed within the transformer, offering insights on how it is operating. This will provide utilities, industries and installations like data centers with vital information to make key decisions on the operation and maintenance of their transformers and support the management of the asset throughout its lifecycle. This includes activities like scheduling of maintenance, optimizing system performance and planned asset replacement. Power grids are undergoing an unprecedented transformation both on the supply and demand side. Many new and distributed sources of energy including the influx of renewables and new demand loads like datacenters and electric vehicles, call for a more flexible grid, driving the need for greater digitalization and automation. Intelligent products that can communicate are an essential component in the convergence of information and operational technologies. “Distribution transformers are vital components in the electrical value chain. This latest innovation extends our digital portfolio and ABB Ability based offering, and reinforces our positon as the world’s leading transformer manufacturer” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids Division. ”It also reiterates our Next Level strategic focus on enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.” TXpert™ is part of ABB’s Transformer Intelligence™ portfolio that includes state-of-the-art sensors, monitoring platforms and software tools built upon ABB’s deep domain knowledge and expertise. It will be a catalyst for enhancing distribution transformer performance, improving predictability and increasing reliability.  
Category: Technology
RU installs solar plant for uninterrupted power supply
March 21, 2017 Tuesday 7:16 AM By BSS
Rajshahi University (RU) administration has started installing solar power panels for uninterrupted power supply to its campus. It has already installed solar plants on rooftops of two administrative buildings and VC’s resident building in grade type system at a cost of around Taka 29.28 lakh having capacity of generating 43 kilowatt power. “Now, we are operating the newly installed plant on trial basis. It has capacity to generate power upto 20 years,” said SM Obaidul Islam, Additional Chief Engineer of RU. He said the government has given allocation of Taka 80 lakh for installing solar plants in the university. RU authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with Electronic Solar Power Company Limited in January last to implement the project. Under the project, solar panels will be installed on rooftops of all other buildings in phases. Engineer Obaidul Islam said the power produced through fossil fuel is carbon contaminated and that always pollute environment. Besides, its production cost is high. Pro-VC Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan said modernization process is being progressed in every fields of the university. As part of it, the classrooms are being replaced with digital multimedia ones. New more time-fitting ICT laboratories are being set up. But, best uses of those aren’t ensured due to load shedding. To overcome the problem, we are implementing the solar power project, he added. Within near future, teachers and students will get benefits of the project. In addition to benefiting the varsity authority economically, the plants will contribute to reduce the gradually increasing pressure on power supply. Prof Sarwar Jahan mentioned instead of depending on only the fossil fuel emphasis should be given on enriching the renewable energy sources to face the energy challenges. Availability of energy from many different sources is vital for the present life to face the challenge of the ever-increasing demand for energy. He emphasized the need for wide-ranging use of energy efficient products to reduce the existing pressure on power demands. He laid stress on using energy efficient electrical appliances to reduce electricity cost coupled with energy conservation which is essential for addressing the energy crises.
Category: Renewable
Tawfiq Elahi urges young generation for developing a greener Bangladesh
March 15, 2017 Wednesday 11:20 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Prime Minister’s Advisor on Power and Energy affairs Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Wednesday urged young generation to enroll themselves in green activities for developing a greener Bangladesh. “As we know the energy resources are limited under the surface. We should move to use the alternative or renewable energy that will help us to develop a sustainable environment. The guardians and educational institutes should be inspired the young generation about the renewable energy as well as enroll them in green campaign,” Chowdhury said while addressing the inaugural session of a four-day conference on renewable energy at Dhaka University. Institute of Energy, DU and Bangladesh Solar Energy Society (BSES) organised the conference titled “National Renewable Energy & Green Expo -2017” at central playground. SREDA Chairman Md Helal Uddin, BIFFL Executive Director Formanul Islam and Institute of Engineers Bangladesh President Md Kabir Ahmed Bhuiyan, GreenTech Foundation Bangladesh Chairman Muhammad Abdul Mazid, Energy  Revolution Germany Founder Matthias Gelber were, among others, present while DU Vice Chancellor Prof  A A M S Arefin Siddique presided over the inaugural session. DU Institute of Energy Director Prof Saiful Huque said the conference this year will focus on developing a long term planning for renewable energy in Bangladesh. BSES President Muhammad Ibrahim said the National Campaign on Creating Young Energy Ambassadors in educational institutes from the conference will engage young generation in the green activities as they can prepare themselves as environment-friendly. At the afternoon, Commerce Minister Tofayel Ahmed and Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayed Khokon attended two different sessions as chief guest. Pointing out the government achievement in energy sector, Tofayel Ahmed said the government, under leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has covered 68 per cent city dwellers with electricity form national grid and determines to reach cent per population with uninterrupted electricity by 2021. Dhaka South City Mayor Sayeed Khokon said there are produced around 200 metric ton waste beign produced daily from the city area which can be converted to energy as it can add a large scale unites of electricity in national grid. There will be developed a ‘waste-based power plant in Keraniganj, an outskirt of the capital which is now at feasibility study stage.
Category: Renewable
Solar power will fail to have serious impact on development without innovation
February 28, 2017 Tuesday 11:18 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
Urging the entrepreneurs in the solar energy sector to come up with innovative plans, Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on Tuesday said that without doing so, the solar energy will not be able to put serious impact on the country’s development. Nasrul said that at the introductory meeting of a new organisation titled ‘Solar Module Manufacturers Association of Bangladesh (SMMAB) at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka. The State Minister said that in the last two years, he has personally signed a total of 52 solar power projects; none of those have been implemented so far. “There are still several problems with solar power in Bangladesh. The main problem is that people think it is expensive.” He said that the price of solar electricity is on the downward trend in many countries across the world. “This is happening because of innovation their creating business model. You should start doing that,” Nasrul told the members of the newly formed organization. Giving example, he said that the roof tops in Dhaka city could be an excellent place for solar power generation. “Just think that all the roofs of Dhaka have solar panels and they produce electricity. The government will buy electricity from them. As module manufactures you can offer them attractive packages so that they would get motivated in installing solar panel“ He said that recently an Indian company had approached the ministry with a plan to change all the streetlights of Dhaka with solar powered streetlight. “They gave us the proposal to do so at free of cost. They will charge us money after five years and that money will be given from the savings that the city corporations are going to make by not paying hefty bills for the electricity for the streetlight.” he also said. Nasrul said that renewable energy is the key to achieving the government`s goal of power sector. United effort is a must for ensuring production and uses of green and clean energy. “Our government will give every possible support to the investors. Facilities are already being provided to develop and expand the solar power sector.” Speaking on the occasion, Md  Anwarul Islam Sikder, Chairman of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) said, "We want to help renewable energy entrepreneurs with technical knowledge and financial assistance. But investors have to make government realize why tax exemption is necessary for the growth of this industry." Mizanur Rahman Joddar, Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank said, “There is no alternative of renewable energy to ensure clean and sustainable energy. Solar power is the best option to expand electricity services in rural and off grid area,” “There is immense scope to use of solar energy in agriculture, home and trade. But, we have not been able to capitalize that opportunity till now. On the one hand, we need more technological development to ensure maximum use of solar energy,” he said. “Besides, there is a need to ensure different kind of financial incentives. Bangladesh Bank has already undertaken various programs to increase the use of environment friendly fuel. We are interested in providing the necessary support for the development of this sector,” he also said. Munawar Misbah Moin, President of SMMAB said, according to the adopted plan of government some of 30 lakh family will get solar power by the end of 2017. The import of solar panel might be stopped to establish the ongoing plan of the government otherwise Tk 11 billion will be gone outside from the country.  He said, at present the country’s demand of solar power is 60 MW. In contrast, nine companies of the country have the ability to produce 100 MW solar power that means producer has the ability to meet the demand of the country. The local company cannot survive with the competition of imported panels for the unbalanced price of product. The imported panel might be ascribed high tariff to keep alive this potential sector. He proposed 30% to 40% tariff for imported panel with 70% to 80% supplementary tariff. SMMAB General Secretary Golam Baki Masud, Senior vice president Mosiur Rahman, Vice president Engineer Ansar Uddin, Managing Director of Anthony Hamid Mridha and Muzibur Rahman were also present among others.
Category: Renewable
Shetland Islands eye big renewable energy future
February 20, 2017 Monday 11:21 PM By AFP
Strong winds and stormy seas have helped turn the Shetland Islands in the North Atlantic into a European renewable energy giant, producing more power than it knows what to do with. The tidal power underwater turbines that were completed last month are only the latest green energy project for an archipelago that has been reliant for decades on the North Sea offshore industry. Even homeowners are getting in on the act with small wind turbines in their gardens and solar panels on their roofs -- somewhat optimistically in an area where winter daylight lasts just six hours. "We`re not 100 percent self sufficient but we`re quite a long way towards it," Jim Dickson, 69, told AFP at his home in the windswept village of Brae, referring to electricity generation for his own house. Dickson, who lives near the Sullom Voe oil terminal, can power the building and an electric powered Nissan Leaf car from a turbine in his garden with enough left over to feed into the island`s grid when conditions are favourable. "What I make from the government for producing per kilowatt hour more than pays for what I buy from the grid, so effectively there is no power bill." The former harbour master knows about the dangers of fossil fuels. He was winched aboard the out of control oil tanker MV Braer in 1993 during the worst cyclone on record in the North Atlantic, in an ill-fated attempt to prevent it running aground. His efforts to attach a tow rope failed and the ship crashed into the rocks at Quendale Bay, spilling 84,700 tonnes of crude oil into the sea. The nation was aghast at images of Shetland`s famous seabirds drowning in black ooze. Harnessing the sea The oil industry in Shetland began in the 1970s with the development of the North Sea fields. The Brent field east of the archipelago became an emblem of the industry, with "Brent Crude" becoming a benchmark for oil trading around the world. Oil giant Shell has announced plans to decommission the field but new discoveries west of Shetland could give a boost to the industry. French energy firm Total has invested £3.5 billion (4.1 billion euros, $4.4 billion) in a new gas plant near Sullom Voe that opened last year to extract gas from its fields west of Shetland, Laggan and Tormore. "Producing gas and oil from the west of Shetland basin is very, very challenging," field operations manager Simon Hare told AFP on a hill overlooking the plant, a sprawling development which stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the islands` natural beauty. The gas plant is designed for a lifetime of 30 years. But environmentalists are pinning their hopes on another energy asset under the waters around Shetland. "In tidal, we`re very fortunate in Scotland," said Patrick Ross-Smith, Shetland development officer at Nova Innovation, which has installed three 100 Kilowatt turbines in the Bluemull Sound. Scotland has 24 percent of Europe`s entire marine energy potential because of its powerful tides. "It`s great to harness some of that in Shetland," he said. The turbines` success has had the odd effect of creating too much power. "The Shetland grid is itself constrained now. It cannot take any more renewables," he said. Around 10 percent of the islands` electricity is generated from renewables and wind and tidal generators are only licenced to produce up to that limit. There is no connecting cable between Shetland and mainland Britain and as the renewable energy cannot easily be stored to ensure stable supply, the turbines have to be switched off from time to time. The proposal for a connector line to link Shetland to the mainland 200 miles (322 kilometres) away remains uncertain. For Dickson, the more renewables the better. "You will always need hydrocarbons to power your jumbo jet, for example, but you shouldn`t be making electricity with hydrocarbons," he said. "It`s wrong, it`s nonsense".
Category: Renewable
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