Monday, February 25, 2013
Saudi Arabia has published a roadmap for its renewable energy programme, aimed at reducing the amount of oil it burns in power stations, and targets issuing final bids for the first plants within three months.
The world's top oil exporter aims to install 23.9 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power capacity by 2020 and 54.1 GW by 2032, it said in the roadmap, which would make Saudi Arabia one of the world's main producers of renewable electricity.
In 2011 global installed capacity for photovoltaic (PV) solar power, the most common solar technology, was 69.4 GW, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012 said.
The kingdom says it has crude output capacity of 12.5m barrels a day, but domestic oil consumption is rising quickly and may start to cut into the amount of energy available for export.
The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), the government department responsible for the programme, last year published its vision for a long-term energy mix that relied on big contributions from solar and nuclear energy.
KACARE said in its roadmap, a white paper published on Wednesday, that it aims to issue a request for prequalification for the first rewewable plants within two months, a final tender within three months and to award contracts within a year.
It said the initial contracts would be part of an "introductory" procurement round of 500-800 megawatts, but that it would launch two more tenders within three years for 7 GW of installed capacity. It said 5.1 GW would be installed in the first five years.
Saudi Arabia wants most of the new renewable energy capacity to come from two solar power technologies, but is also seeking to generate electricity from wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy projects.
KACARE specified that in the first two bidding rounds after the introductory procurement round, it wanted 2.4 GW of PV solar energy capacity and 2.1 GW of solar thermal capacity.
Renewable power developers will have 20-year contracts to sell electricity to a new government body that will in turn sell it on to the national grid. More
IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol's strong messages at EWEA2013:
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013
The Hongyanhe nuclear power station, the first nuclear power plant and largest energy project in northeast China, started operation on Sunday afternoon.
The plant's first unit went into operation at 3:09 p.m., said Yang Xiaofeng, general manager of Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.
Construction on the first phase of the project, which features four power generation units to be built at a cost of 50 billion yuan (7.96 billion U.S. dollars), began in 2007 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, said Yang.
The four units will generate 30 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity annually by then, accounting for 16 percent of the total electricity consumption in 2012 in Liaoning Province, Yang said.
Construction on the second phase of the project, which features two power generation units to be built with an investment of 25 billion yuan, started in May 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, he said.
The power plant will generate 45 billion kwh of electricity after it is fully completed in 2016, he said.
The plant's construction is highly localized, with more than 80 percent of the parts and components it features being produced locally, Yang said.
It is also the first Chinese nuclear power plant to use seawater desalination technology to provide cooling water, he said.
The plant is located near the county-level city of Wafangdian, which is 110 km away from Dalian Port. More
Sunday, February 10, 2013
The shale gas industry-commissioned white pape, The Global Anti-Fracking Movement: What it Wants, How it Operates and What’s Next, makes for some very interesting reading.
It was produced late last year by Control Risks, an “independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments”.
The white paper focuses on shale gas, but it also discusses coal seam gas. Shale gas is what features in the film Gasland by Josh Fox, which details the destructive effects of “fracking” on communities in the US.
A global movement has emerged to combat the risks to water and air quality, health and farmland that shale gas mining poses. Australia has both shale and coal seam gas reserves.
The white paper begins with an image of what the world looks like through the eyes of the industry. Big blue splodges mark the shale gas reserves on a global map.
The splodges cover the whole of Latvia and Hungary, almost all of Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Paraguay and South Africa, half of Poland, a third of Libya and Argentina. It includes significant stretches of the US, Canada, Australia, the British Isles, Mexico, India, Bolivia, Colombia and China.
The opening sentence reveals how the shale gas industry sees itself: “Unconventional natural gas is often described as game-changing and transformative, a revolution heralding a golden age of cheap, plentiful energy for a resource-constrained world. But only if it makes it out of the ground.”
This is the story the industry likes to tell itself. Corporations, seeking only to make the world a better place, are unfairly victimised by the masses who are too uninformed to know what’s best for them.
The ruthless quest for profit and the irreversible destruction of the environment and people’s livelihoods are things they prefer to leave out of the story. More
(Reuters) - Japan has offered to help Saudi Arabia build nuclear power stations to free up more oil for exports, Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday, but a visiting Japanese minister said he was not seeking a supply increase now.
Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi's visit at the weekend was aimed at securing extra oil from the world's biggest exporter in case of instability in world supply, Japanese officials had said.
Japan's reliance on oil imports has risen after its own shift from nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, but any deal to give Japanpriority access to Saudi crude in the event of supply shortages would worry other oil importers.
"It was not that we have asked for any specific request for increase of production or supply. It was just the confirmation of the relationship we have," Motegi told journalists when asked whether he had sought assurances Japan could get more oil in a crisis.
Motegi had offered help building nuclear plants to free more crude for export and to meet rising Saudi demand for electricity, Kyodo news agency said. A Saudi official told Motegi he was hopeful Japanese technology could be used.
Saudi Arabia's plan to build up to 17 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity over the next two decades has offered a possible lifeline to plant builders hit by a lack of demand since the Fukushima disaster.
Motegi met Saudi Deputy Oil Minister Abdul Aziz Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Crude imports from OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia, Japan's biggest supplier, accounted for 31 percent of Japan's total in 2012, rising five percent from the year before to offset a cut to Iranian imports due to sanctions. More