electricity

 

The Israeli government approved Noble’s proposed development plan for the giant offshore Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean.

The Panama Canal’s new set of expanded locks are working at full capacity and ready to receive their first large oil tankers this week.

US banks saw their earnings drop 2% in the first quarter of this year as low crude oil prices turned into unpaid corporate energy loans.  This quarter saw the largest increase in delinquent loans—up 65.1 %—since 1987.

Many major fossil-fuel projects across the US, from pipelines to export terminals, have been shelved or significantly delayed because of a confluence of new regulations, political opposition and then sharp drop in energy prices. Overall, more than a dozen projects, worth about $33 billion, have been either rejected by regulators or withdrawn by companies since 2012, with billions more tied up in projects still in before regulatory bodies.

Construction of the world’s largest dam is set to commence operation within months along the Congo river in Africa.  The seven phase Grand Inga project, mired in social, funding and environmental controversy, will span one channel of the Congo River at Inga Falls and feature a 4.8 gigawatt (GW) hydro-electric plant. Once complete, the dam will be the largest in the world and could begin generating electricity within the next five years. It will produce up to 40 GW of electricity more than a third of the total electricity currently being produced in Africa. Some believe the dam could supply over 40% of Africa’s electricity needs. Two of China’s largest dam builders are handling the construction. The Congo has entered into an agreement to supply South Africa with 2.5 GW of electricity by 2021.

The number of South African households connected to that country’s electric grid rose from 77% in 2002 to 85,5% in 2015, according to Eskom, the South African power utility.  Eskom is the largest producer of electricity in Africa. Statistics South Africa said the percentage of households that used electricity for cooking increased from 58% in 2002 to 78% in 2015.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission has mandated electric grid companies to purchase electricity from wind and solar power projects so as to let them function a set minimum hours in a year. The Commission wants enough power from wind energy projects to be procured so as to allow them to function for at least 1,800 hours in a year. The figure for solar power projects is at least 1,300 hours. The order applies to 11 provinces including Xianjing and Gansu. Lack of electricity transmission lines in the remote provinces that are rich in wind and solar power resources has been a long-standing issue in China. Last year, about 15% of the wind energy turbines in the country sat idle due to lack of access to the national grid.

The Indian navy says it will spend 1.5% of its budget towards renewable energy generation and is looking at harnessing energy sources from the ocean. The Navy will be putting solar panels on the rooftops of many of its buildings and has set a target of 21 megawatts of solar PV installation.

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