On Friday, March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes in the recorded history of the world occurred on the east coast of northern Japan. This earthquake also generated a major tsunami, causing nearly 20,000 deaths. Electricity, gas and water supplies, telecommunications, and railway service were all severely disrupted and in many cases completely shut down. These disruptions severely affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing a loss of all on-site and off-site power and a release of radioactive materials from the reactors. The leadership of the American Nuclear Society commissioned the American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima to provide a clear and concise explanation of what happened during the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and offer recommendations based on lessons learned from their study of the event. The American Nuclear Society, a professional organization of 11,600 nuclear science and technology professionals, has a strong tradition of advancing nuclear safety, and the Special Committee on Fukushima was organized to further its members' interests in this important professional obligation.
By Enu Afolayan King Mohammed VI switches on Morocco’s first solar power plant that is set to provide over a million homes with power. The edge of the Sahara desert, just 12 miles outside of the city Ouarzazate is now home to a glittering spectacle that is set to be the world’s largest solar power plant. After beginning construction on May 10th, 2013 the project has succeeded in completing stage one of its epic operations. Covering a spans the size of 35 football fields, the 800 rows of 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors make up Noor I. This is the first of a complex of four linked solar power plants that once completed in 2018, will finally occupy a site larger than the country’s capital, Rabat, which is home to 1.4 million people. Instead of utilizing the more familiar photovoltaic panels that are now a common sight on rooftops around the world, ‘the door of the desert’ site uses mirror technology which despite being less common and more expensive, has the advantage of continuously producing power even after the sun has gone down.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in Vladivostok on the eve of the second Eastern Economic Forum. The interview covered whether he would run in the next 2018 elections, his opinions on the US General Election, Syria, OPEC, the Rosneft sale, and Japan. With regard to the subject of oil – which occurs around half way through the full Bloomberg transcript of the interview – Putin said that Russian oil and gas companies, but mainly the oil companies, have invested 1.5 trillion rubles, and with the state’s investment in the pipeline network and electricity sector included the overall investment in energy added up to 3.5 trillion rubles in the past year. A quite significant figure considered Putin. He noted that Russia is the world’s leader in terms of natural gas exports with a global share of about 20 percent. Micklethwait asked him if Russia would be happy in a world where the Russian state had less than 50 percent ownership of certain big companies. Putin answered that Russia did not see anything horrible in this saying that when foreign shareholders – investors – took 50 percent of a certain company the contributions to the federal budget, tax payments, increased several times immediately and the company’s efficiency didn’t deteriorate at all. So from the viewpoint of the state’s interests, Putin considered that Russia had had a more positive than negative experience with regard to this. Putin added that the year before last oil and gas revenue accounted for 53 percent of budget revenue but this year it will be about 36 percent. Structural changes are also taking place, he said, not only in terms of price, but also about distribution, economic growth, and about the expansion of certain industries. He gave the example that whereas industrial production growth across the country is at 0.3 percent, in the Far East where the Economic Forum is being held, industrial production growth is 5.4 percent.
India’s push for solar power is gaining steam. At the end of November, the country turned on the world’s largest solar power plant spanning 10 km sq in Kamuthi in the state of Tamil Nadu. It packs 648 megawatts of power—nearly 100 more than California’s Topaz Solar Farm, which was previously the largest solar plant at a single location. At full capacity, the Kamuthi plant can provide enough electricity to power around 150,000 homes. The Rs45.5 billion ($679 million) solar project consists of 380,000 foundations, 2.5 million solar modules, 576 inverters, and 154 transformers, according to the Deccan Chronicle. Each day, the plant is cleaned by a robotic system that is charged by its own solar panels, Al Jazeera reported. The Kamuthi solar plant, backed by the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate Adani Group, was constructed in an impressive eight months. In comparison, Topaz took over two years and cost nearly $2.5 billion to build. On the south Indian site, 8,500 men installed an average of 11 megawatts-worth of equipment each day to complete the project in time.
Donald Trump’s energy plan: *Make America energy independent. *Conserve our natural habitats, reserves and resources. *Declare American energy dominance a strategic economic and foreign policy goal. *Unleash American untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves. *Become totally independent of any need to import energy from OPEC or any nations hostile to our interests. *Open onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands, eliminate moratorium on coal leasing, and open shale energy deposits. *Encourage the use of natural gas and other energy resources that will reduce emissions, reduce the price of energy, and increase our economic output. *Rescind all job-destroying Obama executive actions. *Reduce and eliminate all barriers to responsible energy production.
Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are a promising new way to produce electric energy directly from heat. But there is one remaining problem: the low efficiency. Today, TEGs can have efficiencies of up to 10%. The biggest challenge here is that we want the TEGs to have high electrical conductivity but low thermal conductivity. As you can see in the screenshot of the NakedScientists' video on TEGs, the used materials conduct charge carriers like electrons - which is what we need to get an electrical voltage at the ends of the material. But the materials also conduct heat - and that's not so good, because this thermal conductivity leads to a decrease of the temperature difference between the two ends and therefore decreases the efficiency of the TEG.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the "vast majority" of US-owned northern waters. Mr Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as "indefinitely off limits" to future leasing. The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr Obama leaves office in January. Supporters of president-elect Donald Trump could find it difficult to reverse the decision. Canada also committed to a similar measure in its own Arctic waters, in a joint announcement with Washington. The White House said the decision was for "a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem." It cited native cultural needs, wildlife concerns, and the "vulnerability" of the region to oil spills as some of the reasons for the ban. But while Canada will review the move every five years, the White House insists Mr Obama's declaration is permanent. The decision relies on a 1953 law which allows the president to ban leasing of offshore resources indefinitely.
IT´S NO LONGER SURPRISING TO encounter 100-foot pinwheels spinning in the breeze as you drive down the highway. But don´t get too comfortable with that view. A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless is proposing a radical new way to generate wind en
OCT-2016. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) the oil glut in global oil markets will last for longer than previously thought, persisting into late 2017 as demand growth slumps and supply proves resilient. “Demand growth is slowing and supply is rising,” adds the IEA, “Consequently, stocks of oil in OECD countries (members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) are swelling to levels never seen before.” The combination of faltering demand and increased OPEC output pushed oil inventories in developed nations to a record in July, at 3.1 billion barrels. Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets at BNP Paribas in London, considers that “OPEC’s long game got a little longer, implying the need for oil prices to remain lower for longer to spur the necessary adjustments in supply”. Also with regard to OPEC Olivier Jacob, managing director of the consulting company Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland, says that the organization is “trapped” since “Non-OPEC supply has been able to adjust better than expected to the lower oil prices.”
In this article Hilary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, brings up a very important question for both US employment policy as well as for US energy policy, that of clean coal. The United States sits on massive reserves of coal which, rather than being left to go to waste, could be gasified and thus turned into clean energy for power generation. During the Republican Party primaries, prior to Hilary Clinton´s recent statement, Oil Economy Focus reported that Donald Trump made it clear that his policy would be to revitalize the US coal industry, so it appears that the subject of clean coal could be well worth following.