Friday, December 31, 2010

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Ghana Clean Energy Development Project

Posted: 31 Dec 2010 07:00 AM PST

I normally don’t post project descriptions and requests for investment on here, but I’m making a special exception for this project. It is for a district solid and liquid waste-to-energy facility in the the Central Region of Ghana. We’re big fans of waste-to-energy projects, of course. And the following project seemed like something worth sharing.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE: The objective of the project is to establish an inter-district scale waste-to-energy facility at Edina Essaman in the Central Region of Ghana, West Africa, to combat environmental degradation, global warming and climate change while providing energy to needy communities

CURRENT PROBLEM DESCRIPTION: At present solid waste and sewage collected from the communities, towns and other settlements in the catchment districts are deposited at a site at Edina Essaman without treatment. The situation causes environmental pollution including the emission of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change while simultaneously creating sources of disease vectors that periodically lead to the outbreak of cholera epidemics and other sanitation-related diseases in the communities.

TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM: The problem described above is to be tackled by establishing a waste treatment facility that employs biomethanation ("biogas") technology to treat the organic fraction of incoming waste. The end products of the treatment process will consist of biogas which will be used for electricity production as well as direct fuel supply and digested residues which will be processed into good quality organic fertilizer. The fertilizer will be used in part to rehabilitate the degraded land on which the waste is deposited.

PROJECT EXPECTED OUTPUTS: The facility to be established to serve a catchment population of 200,000 will consist of:

  1. 100 metric tons per day capacity Modern Pollution-free Biomethanation Sewage Treatment Plant;
  2. 200 metric tons per day capacity Modern Biomethanation Solid Waste Recycling Plant;
  3. 7.95 Megawatts Bio-electric Power Station and Bio-fuel Gas Plant;
  4. Greenhouse gases reduction: 58,200 metric tons per annum of CO2 equivalent.

PROJECT COST: The cost of the project is estimated at US$12,574,250


  1. The project will result in the derivation of clean energy for needy communities.
  2. The project will result in the provision of both short and long-term sustainable employment for more than 1,200 persons.
  3. The project will be self sustaining by the use of the energy and fertilizer derivatives for socio-economic applications.
  4. The project will assist in environmental improvement and ecological restoration of the degraded land on which waste is deposited.
  5. Considerable amounts of greenhouse gases emissions will be saved, thus mitigating global warming and climate change.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The project proponents are looking for investors for this project on a Build Own Operate basis. Interested investors may kindly contact the project proponents at the address below:

Global Works Ltd
P. O. Box DC 549
Dansoman, Accra
TEL: +233 244 449614; +233 277 579481

Geothermal Energy Gathers Steam in India

Posted: 31 Dec 2010 06:09 AM PST

Geothermal energy is getting popular among the Indian energy companies and government policymakers. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had commissioned a research, development and demonstration program involving geothermal energy. The program aimed at locating the potential geothermal energy exploration sites in several states across the country.

The program covered states like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Many of these states have confirmed the identification of geothermal potential sites. Some of the most active geothermal sites are believed to be located in Jammu & Kashmir with significant resources potentially present in Himachal Pradesh and in central India.

Thermax, a capital goods manufacturer based in Pune, has entered an agreement with Icelandic firm Reykjavík Geothermal. Thermax is planning to set up a 3 MW pilot project in Puga Valley, Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir). Reykjavík Geothermal will assist Thermax in exploration and drilling of the site.

Ladakh is one of the remotest locations in India. With almost no availability of basic amenities such as food, ration and electricity the inhabitants are almost completely dependent on goods imported from other states and power generated from diesel generators. The villages in this mountainous region are so far apart that connecting them all through transmission lines is practically and economically unfeasible.

Therefore, a local resource which is available around the year seems to be the only solution for the power woes of this region.

India’s first fully-operational commercial geothermal power plant is likely to come up in 2012 in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The plant will be set up by GeoSyndicate Power Private Limited, a company backed by the Indian Institue of Technology (Bombay). The company has already entered in a Power Purchase Agreement with a local power distribution company through the Non-conventional Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh.

India’s largest industrial group, Tata Sons, is also planning to foray into geothermal energy-based power generation. Tata Power is planning to invest in geothermal power plants in the state of Gujarat. Tata Power has elaborate plans to invest in various renewable energy options like solar energy and wind energy. Since the government of Gujarat has a favorable policy towards investments in renewable energy-based power generation sector, Gujarat has a special place in Tata Power’s green energy expansion.

Significantly, Tata Power bought 10 percent stake in Australian enhanced geothermal systems firm Geodynamics for $37 million.

Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that his government would soon announce geothermal energy-centered power generation policy to attract investments from Indian as well as foreign companies.

According to the research conducted by D. Chandrasekharam, Professor and Head — Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay, the estimated power generation capacity of geothermal resources in India is about 10,600 MW. Geothermal energy has not been taken seriously by the Indian government.

However, with the announcement of National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008, which contained broad policy directives for promotion of renewable energy infrastructure, several Indian and foreign companies have showed increased interest in green technologies. The investors are expecting that the government would offer financial incentives to geothermal energy-based power plants as well and therefore several companies are getting attracted to this sector which seems to have a promising future.

Image: Stuck in Customs/CC

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Cleantech Link Drop

Posted: 31 Dec 2010 03:52 AM PST

As I did in the middle of the month, sharing some stories with you that I never had the opportunity to get to but think you might like to check out. Hope you enjoy them…

Clean Transport

Can Streetcars Save America’s Cities?

In a down economy, pursuing the American dream can be challenging, but restaurant owner Todd Steele was willing to take a chance.

For nearly 20 years, Steele worked all levels of the restaurant game, from dishwasher to general manager, before partnering with his mom and opening his own eatery called Metrovino on Portland, Oregon’s, 11th Avenue streetcar line.

“I would not have picked this spot if it weren’t for the streetcar, and my business has certainly benefited from our location,” Steele said. “Streetcars are also a romantic way to travel, and they are fun to watch from inside Metrovino.”…

Light Rail & Streetcars Becoming More Popular, Transforming Cities

In my graduate studies in city and regional planning, one thing became very obvious to me: cities, by definition and at their best, are densely-populated places. However, with the rapid rise of automobile use, North American cities have been on a low-density trend. Think about it, big vehicles for every individual require tons of big roads, big parking spaces, etc.

One key way to increase density is to provide good mass transit that people will use instead of cars. Attractive, modern mass transit that follows a specific, dedicated line (e.g. streetcars and light rail) is actually as much of a development tool as a transportation option. Building such transit lines results in high-density development, especially near the transit stations, which, for many, means a better city and a better quality of life. (Of course, it is also important to coordinate such transportation planning with with land use planning, but that is a subject for another day.)…

UK Government to Unveil New High-Speed Rail Route

The preferred route for the government’s £17bn high-speed rail line, which promises to whisk passengers from London to Birmingham in just over half an hour, is to be revealed later today….

Wisconsinites Rally Against Governor’s Rejection of Rail Funds

It has become pretty clear by now that the Republican party has become the “party of No.” Can you think of anything the Republican party is actually for, other than tax cuts for the rich?

A few newly-elected Republicans even ran on an anti-high-speed-rail agenda this year. Seriously, what political leader opposes better transportation that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, improves the economy, and aims to keep the U.S. from being the last country in the developed world without high-speed rail?

Governor-elects Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio carried their anti-rail torches to the finish line this election season, vowing to send over one billion dollars of federal stimulus funds back to Washington. Wisconsin had been awarded $810 million for a 110-mph line connecting Milwaukee and Madison, and Ohio had been awarded $400 million to build a Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland route….

Paris to Introduce Self-Service Electric Car Scheme

First Parisians were urged to get on their bikes with an innovative self-service cycle scheme. Now residents of the French capital and tourists who embraced the Vélib bicycle hire scheme will soon be able to zip around town in environmentally friendly electric cars for less than the price of the average bottle of vin de table….

States Ignoring Link Between Transportation and Climate

Report suggests current transportation policy in most U.S. states will likely worsen greenhouse gas emission trends.

With federal policy action on climate and energy appearing unlikely for at least the next couple years, public policy and financial analysts are increasingly turning to state-level analyses to inform policymakers, business leaders about the policy and business landscapes for clean energyenergy efficiency, and in the case of a report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the link between transportation and greenhouse gas emissions….

Clean Energy

UK Renewables Smash Output Records as Wind Capacity Soars

Government figures show renewable energy supplied 8.6 per cent of total electricity during the third quarter of the year….

'Tis the season to manufacture: Why “Made in America” is the gift that keeps on giving

Clean energy technology represents a promising area for innovation-led investment where the United States has historically led in dramatic growth and technology-led productivity gains, in turn creating new, well-paying jobs….

San Francisco Pledges Astounding 100% Green Energy by 2020

While some U.S. cities have made substantial gains in clean energy, it'll be hard to compete with San Francisco's recently announced goal. Believe it or not, the City by the Bay plans to be 100% green-energy-powered by 2020….

One Person’s Cost, Another’s Opportunity

Transitioning into a new, low-carbon energy future costs money. No doubt about it. Yet the flip-side of cost is opportunity.

Pew just released a new study on Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity. Is this just a smart attempt at rebranding the inevitable, or is there more behind this?

Solar Energy

US Army Evaluating Solar Powered Tents

Advances in photovoltaic technology have led to the development of thin, flexible solar cells. It's possible to build a tent out of them, and the US Army is considering acquiring and using such portable structures….

Solar Power to Cut Colossal Cruise Ship Emissions

Good news out of Los Angeles, where the completion of a 1-megawatt (MW) solar power system covering 71,500 square feet will now allow ships docked between cruises to access some 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable solar power instead of using their diesel generators for shore-side energy needs….

Solar company to hire 100-plus next year in recession ravaged Florida

Mustang Vacuum Systems of Bradenton, which has plans to expand operations over the next few years, will create and fill 125 jobs next year. The manufacturer of machines for solar cell equipment intends to hire about 10 employees by the end of March. After that, Mustang will created jobs for welders, fabricators, assemblers and mechanical engineers….

Cost of Solar Dips to All-Time Low in US, Texas Tops List as Cheapest

A complex mix of market forces and policy incentives contributed to a historic low for the average cost of installing solar panels in the U.S. in 2009, according to a new study by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Perhaps the most important finding of the study, however, is that decreases in the cost of producing solar modules, which traditionally lag behind a few years before they are passed on to the consumer, are contributing to a “significant decline in average installed costs” for 2010….

NRG Energy to Buy Rights to World’s Largest Solar Project

A power company with headquarters in New Jersey agreed to acquire rights to the world’s largest operational solar project for $800 million, according to published reports.

When construction is completed in 2014, Agua Caliente of Yuma County, Arizona will be a 290-megawatt generator that will encompass 2,400 acres of land. The purchaser, NRG Energy of Princeton, New Jersey, is buying from First Solar, a Tempe, Arizona photovoltaic developer and manufacturer….

Wind Energy

Vestas confirms Fallago Rig deal

Vestas reveals it has won contract to supply 48 turbines to controversial borders wind farm….

Geothermal Energy

And if you’re interested in geothermal:

GEA Geothermal Energy Finance Forum 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
8:30am-5:00pm Finance Forum
5:00pm-6:00pm Networking Reception
The Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park, New York, NY

Photo: Michael | Ruiz; US Army; Port of San Diego

Iberdrola Opens First US Co-Generation Biomass Plant in Oregon

Posted: 30 Dec 2010 04:43 PM PST

Iberdrola Renovables has begun to build its first US forestry biomass co-generation power plant in the United States, in Oregon, in response to new renewable energy standards requiring Oregon utilities get 25% renewable energy by 2025.

Its 27 MW Lakeview co-generation plant will be producing energy from forest waste, a renewable resource in Oregon, by the end of 2012, according to a report at Ordons Energy.

As a co-generation plant it essentially doubles its output, making both heat in btus, and power by the kWh.

The plant is sited in rural Lake County, where it is not only ideally positioned to utilize biomass from forestry waste, but it is also strategically located just 20 miles from the California border – and close to major transmission lines.

Oregon’s rural south eastern Lake County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the US. This project brings 200 jobs to get it built and going, and another 50 ongoing jobs operating the plant, and transporting and storing biomass to fuel it.

Iberdrola’s first forestry biomass co-generation plant in Guadalajara, Spain will serve as a benchmark for the construction, commissioning and gathering of biomass in this project. Like it, the Oregon plant will be entirely air-cooled, reducing water use by more than 80%.

Biomass co-generation represents a departure for global wind leader Iberdrola. In the US, it is the second biggest wind company, with 47 wind farms in 23 states totaling 4,314 MW.

Although Iberdrola Renovables was born in Europe as a result of the progressive legislation there since the EU signed the Kyoto Accord in 1997, requiring carbon emissions reductions; it is now beginning to expand in the US, as more states pass clean energy policy that is as progressive as that in EU nations, and consequently add more renewable energy.

With total global wind capacity totaling 12,006 MW, Iberdrola is the world leader in wind power, but its US wind farms now represent a quarter of its global wind business. It now has 800 US employees and has generated over 14,200 other indirect jobs here since 2006. Over the last three years, it made purchases from US companies worth $5.5 billion.

Image: Michael McCullough

Susan Kraemer@Twitter


Foreign Windpower Giant Iberdrola Taps Saudi Arabia of Wind Because We Can’t
US would Gain $342 Billion From a National Renewable Energy Policy, Pew Report
Make electric Power in Your Basement?
Volkswagen to Make Electric Power in Your Basement

Indian State of Gujarat Unveils Plan to Build $2.3 Billion Solar Park

Posted: 30 Dec 2010 04:38 PM PST

I know, Mridul normally covers our India stories, but I like to cover one from time to time myself as well. Gujarat, an Indian state, announced plans earlier today to invest over 105 billion rupees ($2.3 billion) in a 500-MW solar park. No small news.

“The proposed park will be located on 2,000 hectares of land at Charanka village and will be connected to the grid by the state-owned electricity utility,” Tom Young of Business Green reports. Never heard of Charanka? Nevermind. The point is that at this location, the park is expected to get sunlight 330 days a year, and studies show the expected average intensity to be six kilowatts per square meter.

The state government is taking care of most of the work, already completing geotechnical and topographic surveys and intending to provide the necessary electricity, water, drainage, and transportation infrastructure.

“Plots will be leased on 30-year contracts to companies and the Gujarat government has already agreed to purchase nearly 933MW of power generated by the solar farms to help encourage further investors,” Young reports.

The state government is looking at this solar park as an economic stimulus project. And it is reported that 80 solar power project investors have already contacted the government.

“The park will have a need for assembling, civil works, electrical wiring, solar panel cleaning and thus will give employment to large number of local people,” it says.

The government intends for there to be research and development projects on the site and want the necessary machinery to be manufactured locally.

In 2009, Gujarat introduced solar power legislation and announced its plan to create 1,000 MW of solar power by 2012 and 3,000 MW by 2015. Some of the tools it is looking to use are feed-in tariffs and tax cuts for solar power generators. Sounds like a good plan.

Related Stories:
1. Tata Power Planning India’s Largest Solar PV Power Plant with 50 MW Capacity
2. India’s Renewable Energy Generation Capacity Could Reach 48 GW by 2015
3. Europe to Invest in Massive Solar Power Plants in India

Photo Credit: Sunset in rural Gujarat by jkairvar

Look at a Picture, Make a Windmill [VIDEOS]

Posted: 30 Dec 2010 02:12 PM PST

I know, we normally focus on the most efficient or biggest windmills or other clean energy technologies here on Cleantechnica, but this is a story I couldn’t pass up.

I think it’s better just to watch these videos to learn more, but for a brief intro, here’s the story:

William Kamkwamba dropped out of high school when much of his village (Malawi) was facing famine and starvation. Not satisfied to live such a simple life, he thought it made sense to take advantage of the great wind resources of the village. He went to the library and found a some physics books he liked as well as a book called “Using Energy” that included pictures of windmills. Unfortunately, it didn’t give clear instructions on how to build one and he didn’t know English that well at the time anyway. (Note: he had never used the internet at that time either and didn’t have access to it there.) William found materials at a scrap yard to build the windmill with and built it. Oh yeah, William was 14 years old at this time.

Anyway, watch the videos for more.

The Story:

William’s first time at TED (from his first trip away from his village):

William’s second time at TED:

h/t Climate Crocks

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