Desertec abandons Sahara solar energy export dream

small-desertec-mapThe Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) have been been the subject of many articles here. The huge project was due to generate large amounts of renewable energy from solar and wind farms in Northern Africa and bring it to Europe.

Criticism had been important as the feasability of generating up to 100 gigawatts of electricity in the Sahara to a cost of 400 billion euros (around $530 billion) was questioned.

A lethal blow to the project might have been the withdrawal in November 2012 of one of the main stakeholder, Siemens.

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EPR costs : a blow to the nuclear renaissance

EPR nuclear reactor being built in Flamanville, FranceI have to say that I now have mixed feelings about nuclear. Since I wrote and published my 10 reasons to support nuclear – by far my most popular post on this blog – the catastrophe at Fukushima took place.

Now the main French utility – Electricité de France, aka EDF – announced that its EPR reactor in Flamanville, France, will cost a massive two billion euros more than previously forecasted, now totally 8.5 billion euros.

Until Fukushima many were forecasting a nuclear renaissance. I guess these additional costs will be another severe blow to their hopes and to EDF’s business model.

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Singapore is the greenest city in Asia.

I admit I have a strange fascination for Singapore, a hub for Asia as well as a world leader in water treatment. The city -state achieved last year a whooping 15 percent economic growth, ie. ten times more than my home country.

Almost despite this, it is according to Siemens’ Asian Green City Index, the continent’s greenest city. As with its European counterpart, the study focused on CO2 emissions, energy and air quality as well as other parameters.

21 other cities were studied, including Tokyo, Shanghai and Hanoi. Out of them, six are Chinese, four are Indian and three are Japanese. For more on the study, please download it (126 pages).

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Siemens and GE are going full speed on cleantech

According to Bloomberg : ” Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, aims to grow its sales from so-called green products designed to save energy to 40 billion euros ($55 billion) by 2014. “ But the competition is fierce and Siemens, not alone : ” Siemens’ competitor General Electric Co. said it will invest about $10 … Read more

Siemens’ European Green City Index

Europe is often considered at the forefront of the environmental scene as the EU keeps working on energy efficiency, renewables, biodiversity and other related issues. However not all countries are equal and so are their capital cities.

Siemens published a study – the European Green City Index – which “measures and rates the environmental performance of 30 leading cities from 30 European countries, as well as their commitment to reducing their environmental impact.”

The study evaluates the 30 cities in eight categories: CO2 emissions, energy, buildings, transportation, water and air quality, waste and land use and finally environmental governance.

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Floating wind turbine may be a game changer

floating-wind-turbine-hywind-norwayOffshore wind energy may soon change thanks to a new kind of turbines that literally floats on water. The first 2.3 MW prototype was installed 10 kilometers off the Norwegian coasts on June 8th.

Developed jointly by Siemens and StatoilHydro the Hywind windmill can be located where seas depths reach from 120 to 700 meters, compared to 30-50 meters nowadays.

This technology enables the turbines to harness more wind than a traditional model. Another advantage of that is the liberty of installation as the limits depths are more important.

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