China is building the world’s largest waste-to-energy facility. To be built in the mountains around China’s southeastern city of Shenzen, the proposed 267,000-square-meter facility plant is expected to burn one-third’s of the city’s waste generated by its 20 million residents. Scheduled to begin operation in 2020, the facility will burn 5000 tons of trash daily to generate electricity. In addition, two-thirds of the plant’s roof will be covered in solar panels which will also produce electricity for the city.

In Brazil, biofuels account for about 19% of transportation energy, up from about 14% in 2000, according to World Energy Council figures. In Sweden, biofuels have a 12% share of transport energy.

The United Arab Emirates are exploring camel manure as a potential for biofuel (biomethane) production. The UAE has almost 400,000 camels, which collectively generate vast quantities of waste that could be converted to transportation fuel.

Cochin International Airport in southern India, the first airport in the world to be powered 100% by solar energy, is now also providing electricity to the local grid. The airport uses 48,000-50,000 kilowatts of electricity every day.

The islands of Tasmania (off Australia) and El Hierro (off Spain) tried to power their economies with 100% renewable energy, but both islands eventually went back to diesel generators after suffering reliability problems and soaring electricity costs. In the case of Tasmania, a number of events, including extra­ordinary weather, mismanagement, a catastrophic technical failure and a carbon tax forced the island to being in 20 portable diesel generators to keep the lights on. Even with the generators, businesses on the island have been forced to ration power. El Hierro, the most westerly of the Canary Islands, tried to run on hydro and wind. However, the hybrid wind-hydro system has proven to be very costly and requires diesel back up to keep the lights on. For more see the analysis by the Institute of Energy Research.

China’s latest 5 year plan (the country’s 13th) sets a limit on energy consumption — 5 billion tons of standard coal equivalent for 2020.

The Daily Mail has an article (and video) describing the workings of the tokomak currently under construction in southern France by ITER (the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor). ITER will be the world’s largest tokamak nuclear fusion reactor when it is complete in 2019. Testing will being in the early 2020 to determine the feasibility of producing unlimited power using nuclear fusion.


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