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Renewable Energy - What's Happening..

by Steven Randall

From time to time we read in different places the comments (and sometimes near demands) from some groups about the need to shift from conventional fossil fuels such as oil and coal, to renewable energy sources such as wins and solar power.    Sometimes the articles give the impression that very little progress is being made, or that few people are interested in this issue.

There is no doubt that we NEED to more environmentally cleaner fuels...

and be doing all we can to clean up our environment we live in.

Well - there is a great deal of good news on this front.     In researching the global fuel industry for Business Maps Australia's new Asia Pacific LNG Terminals map ( coming to market February 25th ),  I came across a LOT of examples of successful large projects right across the world, with multiple types of energy generation from Wind / Solar / Hydro / Geothermal and Wavepower - just to mention some of them...

Over the next few weeks I am going to post some articles about some of these projects, and give you an idea of the big steps and advances being made in this field.

The LNG industry, and LNG as a fuel, is seen by many people as the mid way product to transition from coal / oil to renewables.      But even if this does occur, there is a very HUMAN face I wish to show you for just a few moments, regarding the fossil fuels.

A few figures on the coal industry might be useful, to demonstrate the huge transition we will need to make in terms of relocating PEOPLE from this industry...Below are the top 7  producing countries, and the people employed..

China -                  6.5 million people.                       United States -               200,000                                                                                         India -                               5.5 million.                                                                                    Indonesia -                     500,000                                                                                          Australia -                       200,000                                                                                          Russia -                           550,000                                                                                                            South Africa  --              250,000                                                                                                 

As we transition out of coal and other fossils, these people have to have meaningful lives to continue, and as can be seen, countries like China and India will take many years to shift their populations away from conventional sources.    While we don't have the technology to enable just dumping fossil fuels in a short period, The social effects of wholesale dumping of fossil fuels would be catastrophic on whole nations, and not only can this not happen - it does not have to happen.

Following is the first of numerous examples of several  successful Renewable Energy projects I will share over the near future, to demonstrate the  progress and give us an idea of how far along we REALLY are in this task...

Cabeólica is the owner and operator of four wind farms in Cape Verde, located on the islands of Santiago (9.35 MW), São Vicente (5.95 MW), Sal (7.65 MW) and Boa Vista (2.55 MW), totaling 25.5 MW of installed capacity. The project aims to maximize co-benefits, such as energy security, economic growth and climate change mitigation.

With the completion of the Cabeólica Project in mid-2012, Cape Verde went from roughly 2% installed wind energy capacity to 20% resulting in one of the highest wind energy penetration rates in the world. As of October 2013 the Cabeólica wind farms had generated a total of 138,000 MWh which translates to roughly 20% of the total electricity supply in Cape Verde. On two of the islands, Cabeólica’s average wind energy penetration rate exceeds 30% with one of the islands frequently exceeding 50% daily wind energy penetration.       ( Imagery and data courtesy THEnergy.net).

 Strong efforts are being made globally to move us towards sustainable energy generation, and we will visit more such sites and projects in the coming weeks.


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