Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a nuclear fusion reactor?  See the video here.

The US is now supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to South Korea. One of the largest buyers of LNG in the world, the Korea Gas Corp. has entered into a 20-year sales and purchase agreement with Cheniere Energy Inc., which operates the only facility in the US with the permission to export LNG. The agreement amounts to about 10% of South Korea’s LNG demand.

Electricity rattled South Australia is about to overtake Denmark has having the world’s highest electricity costs. The Australian state is raising electricity rates 18% this week and adding hundreds of dollars to consumer’s annual bills. The cost comparison is based on national and international energy market data, and papers published by the Council of European Energy Regulators and the OECD. This week a plastic recycling business in the city of Adelaide announced it was forced into liquidation partly due to exorbitant power prices. The company has seen its monthly electricity bills increase from $80,000 to $180,000 over the past 18 months. Over the past year South Australia’s heavy reliance on wind farms without reliable power storage backup led to two severe power outages that affected the entire state and cost $100 million plus of lost business for companies operating in the state.  In March of this year the Australian Energy Market Operator found the wind farms responsible for an incident in September 2016 that caused a statewide power blackout. Immediately before that statewide blackout, wind was producing 48% of South Australia’s electricity. In response to this repeating energy shortage problem, the government of South Australia announced it would spend $150 million to add 100 megawatts (MW) of battery storage as well as construct a natural gas plant to provide up to 250 MW of power for emergency use.

The world’s largest wind turbine will be taller than the Empire State Building in New York. Researchers at the University of Virginia in the US are designing an offshore wind turbine that will stand 500 meters in height. That’s taller than the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. A typical wind turbine stands around 70 meters tall with blades about 50 meters long. But this turbine will dwarf all others with rotor blades that are 200 meters long, or as long as two football fields. The blades will also be adjustable, meaning they can fan out during peak wind conditions and contract if weather conditions are damaging. The idea behind these giant turbines is that will be more cost-effective because wind blows stronger and more steadily at greater altitudes, allowing the capture of more energy. Furthermore, the long blades will catch the wind more efficiently. The prototype has yet to be tested. The researchers are currently designing the turbine’s structure and control system and will build a mini-model this summer that stands about two meters in diameter. They plan to test a larger turbine with 20-meter-long blades in the state of Colorado next summer.

Bent Christensen, Head of Cost of Energy and Head of Offshore Engineering for German engineering company Siemens, said that Europe’s offshore wind industry has reached a milestone three to four years ahead of schedule: achieving wind energy at €100 ($113) per megawatt-hour.  This means that offshore wind farms are competitive with other fuels and can be built without government subsidies.

Electric vehicle sales in Denmark, which include plug-in hybrids, plunged 61% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the first three months of 2016, according to latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. The reason? Removal of government subsidies. Until this year electric car dealers in Denmark were exempt from the import tax of 180% that Denmark applies on vehicles fueled by petrol. In the fall of 2015 the government announced that budget constraints were forcing it to withdraw tax breaks to EV buyers. The tax breaks will progressively be eliminated by 2019, and will also include higher registration fees for EVs. Laerke Flader, head of the Danish Electric Car Alliance, said: “Price really matters. The new tax regime completely killed the market for electric cars.”

 

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