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6 Countries With Untapped Wind Energy Potential

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Whilst it is relatively well known that there are countries with a large installed wind capacity, countries such as China, United States, India or Germany come to mind. However more interestingly, there are a selection of nations with high potential for wind energy yet have little to none installed wind capacity.

This article includes 6 of these countries which have vast wind potential but are yet to harness it. The countries included are Russia, Oman, Somalia, Iceland, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.

Russia:

Russia is the largest county by land in the world. It is made up of 17 million square kilometres and has 38000 kilometres of coastline. This makes Russia a country which has great potential to utilise wind power, and if utilised properly would lead to it being the largest producer of wind energy in the world. However, Russia currently only has an installed capacity of between 11-16 megawatts of wind power, and unless the Russian government encourages more investment into the wind energy sector it could be left an unused resource.

Oman:

Oman has a great potential for wind energy as average wind speeds of 8.3 metres per second in the windiest parts of the country and a wind energy density of 684 watts per metre cubed put it on par with the high wind levels witnessed in countries in northern Europe which already utilise wind energy. For example, the Netherlands have an average speed of 7.7 metre per second and wind energy density of 518 watts per metre squared. The whole country however only has one installed wind farm at this moment in time, leaving a lot of potential energy to go to waste.

Somalia:

Geographically, Somalia is relatively close to Oman and therefore also has higher than average wind speeds which could be utilised to create energy. The wind in Somalia has a power density of 849 watts per metre squared and an average wind speed of 9 metres per second, which is comparable to that of the UK. However, due to problems within the country such as civil war, economic instability and piracy the government does not prioritise taking up renewable energy as much as they should.

Iceland:

Compared to other countries in this list, Iceland has a very different reason for not making the most of their wind potential. Iceland already has an electricity supply which is 100% renewable thanks to the geothermal and hydraulic stations on the island. Therefore, Iceland does not feel the need to make use of its wind to supply the electricity demand. However, Iceland have some of the highest wind speeds on average and could generate plenty of electricity if they made use of it. The island does have 4 installed turbines however they are mainly for testing in extreme weather conditions.

Kazakhstan:

Kazakhstan is a nation that is constantly looking to increase its investments into renewable energy due to its consistently growing economy. Kazakhstan has some vast open landscape, such as in Steppe, which have high wind speeds which could be exploited. The country does currently have some wind power developments underway however more could be done to make the most of its potential.

Vietnam:

Out of all the countries in this list, Vietnam already has the highest installed wind farm capacity, predicted to be 140-180 megawatts. However, Vietnam has 3200 kilometres of coastline which have near perfect conditions for offshore and onshore wind power. Even though Vietnam already has some installed capacity, it only makes up for around 0.4% of the island’s total electricity generation. Therefore more developments need to take place along the coast to exploit the country’s predicted 24-28 gigawatts of potential wind energy.

The National Grid Backs New PowerPaired Scheme

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The UK national grid has backed the new PowerPaired community energy platform.

Forum for the future, a sustainability charity, has started up a new online matchmaking platform which plans to pair up community energy groups with public sector organisations or businesses that own sites or buildings which could be at the middle of a community owned scheme to provide renewable energy.

The website for the scheme, called PowerPaired, was launched earlier this week. The site has over 100 assets which are on offer to community energy groups and is backed by the national grid, housing associations, local authorities and charities.

The aim of the scheme is to increase the amount of community owned renewable energy projects across the United Kingdom, such as wind turbines, photovoltaic systems and battery storage sites.

Some of the sites on offer include libraries, schools, industrial estates, offices, churches and a homeless shelter in London which is exploring the opportunity of having rooftop solar power.

The charity hopes to see more energy assets come under community ownership and in turn this would generate funding for local causes and have a positive effect on climate change as it is promoting renewable energy and reducing the amount of fossil fuel used in generating electricity.

The project lead for PowerPaired, Rebecca Lawson, has recently explained that the charity was acting upon feedback it had received from community energy groups and that the main issue is trying to find a suitable site with an owner who is willing to take part.

Finding a site that is technically feasible with a willing owner who does not mind hosting an energy asset can be a struggle she said. This then can demotivate volunteers working for the charity as they feel like they are not getting anywhere with the project.

Forum for the future has a wide network of asset owners who are willing to engage with communities to help improve them and also cut down their own carbon footprint. Therefore bringing the two groups together has massive potential.

Rebecca Lawson also thinks that community energy along with community engagement is a step in the right direction for the UK to become net zero.

Increasing the amount of community owned energy assets ties in members of the general public to get behind the change.

PowerPaired has had support from the Friends Provident Foundation and the Peoples Postcode Lottery.

The project follows on from a change in policy from the government towards community energy projects, mainly the closure of the governments Feed In Tariff scheme.

However, community groups are now planning out business models which will be able to operate without the Feed in Tariff subsidies and hopefully project numbers should return to the numbers they were at in 2016 and 2017.

The National Grid have made a number of their substations listed for potential to be used to host a community owned renewable energy project. Other asset owners that have listed their buildings/sites up for availability include St Mungo’s Charity, Suffolk County Council, Oldham Council and Aster Homes.

Forum for the Future and PowerPaired encourage other owners of land or buildings that could be used for the project, along with the community energy groups themselves, to register as soon as possible.

Other than just matchmaking, PowerPaired will be used to show users a wide variety of support tools and agencies where they can go to receive any help.

Pure Leapfrog will be providing legal template documents which can be used if help is required. Pure Leapfrog are a charity that offer technical and practical support to community energy projects and they are a partner of PowerPaired.

Consistent Rise In Use Of Renewable Energy In Turkey

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Renewable power generation in Turkey has been on the rise since the nation brought in the ‘Renewable Energy Law’ back in 2005. Progress was steady in the earlier years however recently it has increased, especially after renewable energy zones were introduced in the latter part of 2016. This allowed for structural investments into renewable energy projects and has been further supported by an incentive scheme for programs which use clean energy.

Now in 2019 the laws and policies introduced by the Turkish Government seem to be paying off. The country’s minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Donmez, said in early November of this year that Turkey now produces up to 46 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources each month and that the majority of this is made up of hydroelectricity. At the 8th Turkish wind energy congress, he went on to say that the combined renewable energy resources and local resources made up a, record, total share of 64 percent of electricity generated in the first 10 months of 2019.

This showed that turkey had, almost, met their target of generating two thirds of their own electricity in the short term from renewable energy resources and local resources. The country now aims to increase this share even higher. Donmez also stated that this wasn’t a volatile rate but steady progress is what has made Turkey obtain such promising figures and therefore they will continue on in that direction.

In 2017, the Turkish Government set a target to generated two thirds of its electricity from renewable energy sources within the next 10 years. The renewable energy sources include geothermal, solar, hydropower and wind. Turley have recently been increasing their solar power and wind outputs making the renewable energy sources account for a 48% share of the total installed capacity.

Hydropower is the largest contributor to this share. It makes up around 20 percent of the total installed capacity in Turkey and has a capacity itself of about 23 gigawatts, which is then followed by wind farms. Turkey has a total of 262 wind farms which have a net total capacity of 7.6 gigawatts, and then solar power which accounts for around 5 gigawatts. The Turkish solar energy association, Gunder, expects installation of solar photovoltaic panels to increase the capacity to 14 gigawatts by 2023 and the total solar and wind capacity to be 30 gigawatts by 2030. From October 2018 to October 2019 the generated electricity from wind power increased by 14.6% and increased an estimated 70% in the past 5 years. This makes Turkey the 6th ranked in Europe and 12th in the whole world for total installed wind energy capacity.

Turkey plans to install a further 10 gigawatts of wind power in the time period from 2017 to 2027. So far, they have installed 1.5 gigawatts of this. Turkey plan on further increasing their total renewable capacity through the introduction of the new 40-50 megawatt mini renewable energy resource zones, solar plants and wind farms. The president of the TWEA, Hakan Yildirum, has said that his group plan on supporting the intended growth in the wind energy sector so that it has at least 25 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030.

Electricity production from the hydroelectric plants in Turkey hit record levels in the first 10 months of 2019. 67.2 billion kWh was the record amount produced in a whole year back in 2016, however from January to October of this year 79.3 billion kWh has already been generated and therefore exceeding the original record.

Nuclear Power Needed In UK To Meet Carbon Emission Targets

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For the United Kingdom to meet its carbon targets the use of nuclear power will be needed.

A new fleet of nuclear power plants will be needed by the UK if it wants to meet its carbon emission targets, says the Nuclear Industry Association during their annual conference.

The Nuclear Industry Association, who represent the UK companies within the industry, stated that the UK needs a reliable and proven source of electricity which is low carbon emitting and can work alongside the ‘weather dependant’ solar and wind power in generating electricity.

They went on to state that without the use of nuclear power the UK runs the high risk of relying on gas fired power stations for many years to come.

In the past month the two leading political parties in the UK, the Labour and Conservative parties, both committed to bringing in new nuclear power stations if either of them gets into power.

Currently Hinkley Point is the only new nuclear power station which is under construction in the UK. The project has already gone over budget by £3 billion and it is not expected to be generating electricity for the national grid to use until 2025. Moreover, the cost of electricity from this plant is predicted to be significantly greater than the alternative forms of energy production.

A report from 2016 discovered that the construction of more gas fired power stations and wind farms, along with improved measures put in place to manage electricity demand, could potentially save £1 billion each year and put the UK on track to meet climate targets.

In a recent survey of 2000 adults around 75% of them agreed with the Nuclear Industry Association in that the UK government needs to take more action in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, however not so many believe that nuclear power is the correct way about it.

A YouGov poll from august showed mixed public attitudes towards nuclear power. Of those polled, 33% of adults were favourable to the idea, 49% were against it and 18% did not know.

The chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, Tom Greatrex, believes that the nuclear industry needs to grow so that it can contribute to a low carbon economy. With nuclear power being such a proven, reliable technology, which also has lower lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions than solar energy and the equivalent of offshore wind farms it should not be ignored. Nuclear power also brings benefits to the wider economy as it creates high level direct and indirect employment of about 155000 people.

At this moment in time, nuclear power provides 20% of all the UKs electricity. However, over the next decade all current nuclear power plants apart from one will be closed and electricity demand will more than likely keep rising as heating and cars turn to being electric.

On the other hand, Dr Doug Parr, the chief scientist for Greenpeace UK disagrees with the Nuclear Industry Association. He believes that the government has done more than enough for the nuclear industry as they have been promised double the amount of money for the power they generate compared to other renewable power plants. He also states that nuclear plants have been left behind by other renewable energy options and is no longer a competitive option.

Improved storage and smart grids mean that the nuclear powers unique trait of being an extremely dependable source is no longer such an advantage. Nuclear energy is also seen as being a slow, expenisve, dangerous and all round unnecessary form of generating electricity.

Over 100 Scientists Call On Israel Government To Change Energy Policy

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Over 11 leading Israeli scientists have signed a letter to their nation’s energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, to go against the countries decision to construct a new network of natural gas power plants instead of putting a greater emphasis on using more renewable energy.

Recent reports suggest that natural gas is similar to coal with respect to the effect it has on global warming, the letter stated which was signed by 112 experts in the topic.

The scientists believe that creating more new gas fired power plants locks the technology in for decades and that the old views on gas power plants are not necessarily true and it is not as clean as once thought. This means that if the gas plants get the go ahead, Israel will potentially have a new fleet of power plants which are equally as bad as coal fired plants.

The letter came in response to the Energy Ministry announcing that the end of the coal era for Israel was being brought forward from 2030 to 2025.

A recent discovery of vast natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea has made using natural gas plants more appealing for Israel. The energy ministry plans that by the year 2030 about 80% of the nation’s energy demand will be provided by natural gas power plants and 17% being generated from renewable sources. At this moment in time, only around 6% of the nation’s electricity is generated from renewable sources, mainly solar power.

Back in 2017, the Israeli government approved for the construction of 16 new gas fired power plants.

The letter to the energy minister included signatures from Israel Prize winners Dan Yakir of the Weizmann Institute and Tel Aviv University’s Gedeon Dagan, chair of Tel Aviv University’s Public Policy Department, Nobel laureate Robert Aumann of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and a veteran environmental activist.

The letter begins with appreciating that natural gas is a cleaner fuel than the currently used coal and that the scientists welcome reducing the amount of coal, oil and kerosene being used. However, it then goes on to say that it would be a better transition if the government planned on going directly to renewable options and not using gas fired power plants. It states that gas is still a fossil fuel and that burning it does release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In addition, recent research papers have reported back that considerable emissions are a result of using natural gas.

When methane is released into the atmosphere it has a short term effect which is 84 times greater than the equivalent mass of carbon dioxide. This statistic is 4 times greater than previous predictions.

Another problem with methane is that during the production, refining and delivering of the gas, much greater volumes of it are released into the atmosphere due to poor techniques and leaks in the system.

Therefore, the fact that methane is more damaging than initially thought and that more of it escapes into the atmosphere than what was originally thought shows how damaging this gas can be to the planet. The effect can be comparable of using a coal power plant.

The letter put into context the effect of a natural gas plant, saying that it is comparable to a diesel bus which is on a 20 million km drive.

The letter also warns of the wider economic effects in investing in natural gas power plants as prices for renewable energy forms are currently rapidly falling and look like they will continue to do so.

The scientists are adamant that the Israeli government needs to reconsider their decision to introduce more natural gas power plants and use renewable options due to the environmental, economic and social benefits of it. The scientists fear that the government has not undertaken an in-depth analysis of its new policy and will cause damaging long term climate effects.

Capital Of Central African Republic To Be Powered By Diesel Generator Sets

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Diesel generator sets are to be used to power Bangui, in the Central African Republic. Tunisian based EPC are set to try and fix the power problems that the city of Bangui has been facing.

Bangui is the capital city and also the largest city in the Central African Republic and has a population of 734,350 back in 2012. However, the capital city faces many issues relating to a reliable and secure electricity generation.

The project taken in by EPC is set to be funded by the Saudi Development Fund which comes under the Central African Republic, ministry of economy, planning and cooperation. Which has been contracted to TRAGADEL in Tunisia. The project will include the buying and installing of diesel generator sets and photovoltaic street lighting.

Clarke Energy are to provide four generator sets from Kohler-SDMO to TRAGEDEL. The KD3500-F generators will be used to power the national grid for the Central African Republic.

This will be the first time that Clarke Energy have worked in the Central African Republic and therefore will be an important milestone for the company. It will also be the largest diesel power plant in the whole of Africa apart from the many units of Jenbacher power generation sets which are already installed across Africa which run on gas power.

The addition of the diesel generator sets plans to add a predicted 10 megawatts of power to the country’s capital city electricity grid. This will therefore improve the living and working conditions of those who live in Bangui as they currently suffer many hours of black outs and interruptions to their power sully every day.

The power plant will be set to run at baseload or at peaking power. The electricity produced from the plant will then be transferred to the public utility grid which is managed and owned by ENERCA.

The new diesel generator sets will be a robust improvement on the current outdated hydroelectric generating plant which is currently used in the capital. The new units also offer the needed flexibility so that the heavy overhaul maintenance can be done on the hydroelectric plant.

The diesel generator sets will come in 40 feet weatherproof canopies. Meaning that they meet the strict criteria on soundproofing, ease of maintenance, performance and robustness. The containers have a base which has been specifically designed to have internal retention, therefore if a fuel, coolant or oil leak were to take place, the base of the container would stop it leaking any further.

The generator sets that are to be installed come from the ‘contenergy’ range from Kohler-SDMO. This range are easy to move around and have a simple installation method which is onto an external concrete slab taking up a relatively small amount of space.

The KD3500-F produce 2.5 megawatts of electricity, therefore four of these units will be used to reach the 10 megawatt target. The units run smoothly due to the engine’s conception and the integral vibrator isolation which is mounted between the components and skid. The engines also have a relatively low fuel consumption which is down to the high common rail injection technology used for the fuel injection and the power to weight ratio of the engine.

Clarke energy decided to choose TRAGEDEL due to their ability to manage the project well but also meeting the project specifications such as a low footprint were very important.

The SDMO package was also chosen due to the best compromise in the installation constraints, longer maintenance intervals, reliability, ease of maintenance, competitive pricing and best lead time.

Offshore Wind Farms Lagging Behind Their Onshore Counterparts

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By the end of 2018, offshore wind energy produced just 23 gigawatts of power, compared to 540 gigawatts which was produced from onshore wind energy projects. Given that wind speeds offshore are much better than on land, offshore wind energy production should have been more than the onshore production.

Offshore wind energy stems from the onshore wind energy farms. Increased wind speeds offshore are the main reason for this, however it produced more than 23 times electricity than its onshore counterpart. Offshore wind energy is a sector which has improved massively over the past 10 years; however, it is still a relatively new technology and has only had about 20 years of proper development and serious research put into it.

The increased offshore wind speeds mean that there is an underlying reason for production of offshore wind energy farms being so much less.

In recent years countries have increased their efforts and investment into offshore wind energy generation. Countries have brought in supportive policies and there have been great technological advancements made in the sector. Mainly the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and China have contributed the most to the sector and have made it an attractive prospect for investors.

Other countries such as Denmark and Norway have also made improvements to the sector. For example, they have removed penalties for project failure therefore giving companies a chance to try new things and learn from them. Other countries have made grants or subsidies to investors who are willing to make offshore wind farms happen, the UK have provided grants of around £10 million per plant to early offshore developers.

One country which has great potential to use offshore wind energy is India with its 7,000 km long coastline. Even though India has made some effort in using offshore wind power, more could still be done. In the last two years India have only added an additional 3.3 gigawatts of offshore power, representing a drop off in investment to the industry and as the world starts focussing more on using offshore wind technology India may start falling behind in the sector. This should be a wakeup call so that they make the most of their massive potential as soon as possible.

Another reason India is falling behind in the offshore wind energy sector is due to the tax burdens placed on the sector. Currently the burden is predicted to be around the 30% mark meaning developers have requested to the Indian government that they get rid of custom duties and impose only a 5% goods and services tax. This would make wind power in line with the oil and gas industries for taxation. This would be a major step in the right direction especially as most wind farm technology comes from overseas.

One of the main constraints with offshore wind projects is that they cost about 5 to 7 times as much as an onshore wind project. The capital cost of the wind turbine in an onshore project makes up around 60-80% of the total costs, however for an offshore project the wind turbine only accounts for 30-50% of the total cost. For offshore projects the cost in connecting to the grid is around 15-30% higher as cables have to laid below sea level to connect everything up. Governments must work on reducing these constraints by offering incentives or subsidies to investors so that more offshore wind farms or made.

If governments around the world take the correct steps then offshore wind power will be able to produce as much or even more electricity than onshore wind farms.

China Has Power To Send The Philippines Into A Blackout

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China potentially have the power to be able to turn off the Philippines national grid, officials have said. Chinese engineers could send the Philippines into darkness via a remote operating system which is situated in Nanjing, China. Senators are wanting an investigation into this due to the implications it could have on national security of the Philippines. Moreover, china also has similar agreements in Kenya, Thailand and Indonesia.

The Philippine senators are demanding an investigation into the power China has by having a part ownership of the grid and therefore having the authority to put the nation into a blackout with the switch of a button.

Melvin Matibag, the president of the National Transmission Corporation, did confirm that these is a ‘possibility’ of such events taking place during conversations with the Senate over the government’s budget for next year.

The Chinese grid has a 40% share of the national grid in the Philippines which is ran by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines who are privately ran and have ran the power lines since 2009.

The national transmission corporation previously ran the power lines but now overwatches the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines but has limited access to what they can do.

The senator of the opposition liberal party in the Philippines, Risa Hontiveros, first raised concerns over the extent of the control China could have over the grid after the continuing territorial disagreements between the two nations over the South China Sea. She stated that the Chinese engineers hold an ‘enormous power’ as they are able to control and manage the Philippines electricity. She also questioned what the consequences would be if someone in Beijing were to turn off the power.

The reply to such question came from the chair of the Senate committee, Sherwin Gatchalian, who is in charge of defending the energy department of the government budget. He said that TransCo have looked into the possibility of this happening and even if a takeover from Beijing happened, Transco have the technical ability to manually take them over.

Gatchalian went on to state that there is a clause in the franchise agreement of the national grid which means that the president of the Philippines has the power to reclaim all the energy assets in the event if any ‘public peril’. He also went on to say that national security will be 100% protected but the clause will only apply if the Philippines are not being invaded, therefore it does become an issue if the Philippines are being invade and are then blacked out.

It would take TransCo from 24 to 48 hours to override a shutdown, depending on the size of the shutdown, which is enough time to cause large scale problems for businesses

However, recent media reports have claimed that only foreign engineers would be able to fix a black out due to the remote location of the monitoring and control system. Other reports have also claimed that the instruction manuals for the system are in Chinese and therefore the native Filipino engineers are not able to operate the system as they are not able to read the instructions.

The group that have control of the Philippines national grid, also have similar systems in place for Thailand, Indonesia and Kenya. The situation in the Philippines may show assurance or caution to these nations depending on how it escalates over time.

Australias National Grid Has Over Half Of Its Electricity Generated From Renewable Sources For The First Time

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For the first time ever, renewable energy has provided for 50% of the demand for Australia’s power grid. Even though it was just for a brief moment in time, wind, hydro and solar power all combined to generate over half the electricity into the national grid.

At the start of this month the main electricity grid was powered by over 50% renewable energy. This is a new milestone in Australia’s aim to become a greener nation and experts say that it will be something that starts occurring more often than not in the near future.

On 6 November at 11:50am, data on sources of the power provided to the national electricity market showed that renewable energy was providing for 50.2% of all power used by the grid in the 5 states that it operates in, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

The 50.2% was broken down into 23.7% being provided from rooftop solar power, 15.7% generated by wind power, 8.8% produced from large scale solar projects and 1.9% supplied from hydropower.

Even though all the renewable energy power options made up the majority of the supply, coal fired power plants still were the largest single provider of energy to the national grid, with black coal producing 35.7% of the power and brown coal generating 13.5%.

The milestone was first noticed by an online tool, OpenNEM. The tool monitors Australia’s national grid using real time data which is retrieves from the Australian Energy Market Operator.

One of the researchers from the University of Melbourne’s Climate and Energy College, Dylan McConnel, who also helped develop and create the online tool is confident that this milestone represents an underlying trend where renewable energy is being used more often in Australia. Mr McConnel further said that usually it’s the spring months which get these higher levels of renewable output due to households not needing electricity to heat or cool their homes like in the other seasons.

One of the main contributors which helped achieve this milestone was the large roll out of rooftop solar electricity to households and businesses.

Achieving the 50% landmark reflects the increased growth of renewable energy in Australia which has come from large scale investment which has reached record levels in recent years.

A report in 2018 showed that over 2 million small scale solar power systems were installed along with 3.5 gigawatts of larger scale renewable energy projects.

This means that Australia as a nation is ahead of its schedule to meet its large scale project target of 33000 gigawatts of electricity generated from renewable energy sources by the year 2020.

Other experts have said that renewable energy could produce on average 35% of Australia’s electricity by the end of 2021.

The chief executive of the Clean Energy Council, Kate Thornton has said that the milestone is worth celebrating and that it is a fantastic achievement.

In 10 year’s time it is expected that these milestones are to be a completely normal occurrence. Renewable energy power plants will start replacing the old coal fired power stations. For example, South Australia ran on over 50% wind and solar for the first time 10 years ago but now it is completely normal for the state to be running on 50% renewable energy.

The future is bright as renewable sources and improved storage plants are able to do everything that coal power plants can do, but they are better for the environment, cheaper and more reliable.

Electricity Produced From Coal Power Plants On Track For Record Decrease

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The total use of coal fired electricity around the world is on track for a record fall in use this year. The past 40 years have seen a pretty much uninterrupted growth in the use of coal fired electricity which has massively contributed to the climate crisis.

It is expected that coal fired electricity will fall by about 3% this year, which is more than the equivalent combined coal fired electricity production from the UK, Spain and Germany in 2018. It is hoped that this fall will help slowdown the rising carbon emissions the world has been seeing.

The fall in use of coal fired electricity is thought to emerge this year as India has a decreasing reliance on coal power for the first time in at least 30 years and the demand in coal power in China is starting to plateau. Both these countries are reducing their use of coal powered electricity as their economies are slowing down in growth. The increase in renewable power options is also reducing the need for coal power plants.

It is also expected that there will be a decreased coal fired power usage in the European Union and the United States as the developed economies start using more renewable forms of energy.

Only 2 times in the past 4 decades has the world’s annual coal fired electricity production decreased. In 2009 it fell after the global financial crisis and again in 2015 as China had a slowdown in their coal fired power plants due to deadly air pollution levels rising.

The researchers found that the coal fired power generation in China was plateauing as the coal power plants have been running at record low rates, even though the amount of coal power plants in china has been increasing. The equivalent of 1 large new coal fired power plant is constructed in China every two weeks, however the coal power plants in China are running only 48.6% of the time, states the report. This compares with a world average of 54%.

This record fall in coal fired power electricity comes after another recent report stated that China are building coal power plants five times faster than what the rest of the world are decreasing their coal fired capacity.

Coal fired power capacity well by about 8 gigawatts from the start of 2018 until June of 2019, however in the same period of time China increased its installed coal fired power capacity by 42.9 gigawatts.

Even though the record coal fired electricity generation reduction looks good, researchers have warned that coal usage is still way too high to meet the Paris climate agreements and more needs to be done to reduce how much coal is used.

The United States have made the biggest reduction of any developed nation in cutting out coal power. They have achieved this by closing down coal power plants in favour of renewable energy and gas power plants. By the end of August in 2019, the US had cut down its coal energy usage by 14 %, compared with the same time period in 2018.

The European Union also recorded a record reduction in coal powered electricity in the first 6 months of 2019. The trend is expected to continue for the latter half of the year, leading to an average of a 23 % reduction in the whole of 2019. The EU is using less coal power plants in favour of gas plants and renewable energy, much like the US.