The Daily Beast tells us How Nikola Tesla Sparked the Electric Age.

Although many say Tesla invented the twentieth century, it is more fitting to say he invented the twenty-first century, Kenny Breuer, Professor of Engineering at Brown University says most of Tesla’s inventions became “winners” later, “so for years no one really appreciated his achievements. Electric motors, wireless communication, wireless powering, those are all Tesla’s ideas that didn’t really dominate until the rest of technology could catch up with his brilliance.”

The world’s first hydro/solar plant is now in operation in Portugal. The station uses floating photovoltaic (PV) panels to collect sunlight during the day and makes use of hydroelectric power at night and during peak hours. The Alto Rabagão dam has a total capacity of 68 megawatt-hours. Within its first year, the station should generate 332 MWh, enough to power 100 homes for a year.  The panels collect sunlight during daylight hours, and hydropower can be used during peak demand times and after dark. Portugal enjoys annual sunshine duration of 2500 hours.

South Korea may not need all the nuclear plants it was planning on constructing. A new report for the government shows that after a period of rapid industrialization the country will soon be entering a slow growth era and electricity demand will reach a peak in 2030 and then decline. As a result, some 7 to 10 nuclear facilities will not be required. Energy experts expect the government will increase renewable energy to 20% of the total energy supply by 2030, to stop extending the lifespan of current nuclear reactors, and to halt the construction of new nuclear reactors.

A boat that fuels itself is setting off around the world from Paris on a six-year journey.  Energy Observer will use solar panels, wind turbines and a hydrogen fuel cell system to power its trip. The 30.5-meter (100-foot) boat will rely on sun or wind during the day and its hydrogen reservoirs at night. It produces its own hydrogen through electrolysis of sea water.

The US state of California is considering legislation that would require the state to get 50% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. In addition, if passed, the law would require all new homes and all homes sold must have solar panels. All apartment buildings with more than four units must install solar panels by 2025, and all commercial and office buildings must do the same.  Meanwhile, all farms must commit 25% of their acreage to wind turbines.

Volkswagen says the world will need the equivalent of 40 Gigafactories by 2025 to meet the demand for electric car batteries. The German company expects 25% of Volkswagens will be powered by batteries as soon as 2025.

Natural gas accounts for one-quarter of the European Union’s energy consumption and last year, Russia’s Gazprom supplied a third of that gas. The Russian presence looks to increase as the EU is pressuring the Balkan states to shut down their coal-fired electric power stations. Croatia is already an EU member, but other Balkan countries — Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia — are all at different stages on the path to joining the EU. So a race of the gas pipelines is looming between Russia and the EU to build the infrastructure to keep these countries in their fold. This battle of the pipelines highlights the geostrategic importance of this region. Both sides believe that controlling the gas market means controlling the region. Currently 4 pipelines projects are under construction or under consideration (3 EU backed and 1 Russian backed).

Southeast Europe lies at the crossroads of energy corridors linking East and the West,” said Albania’s former foreign minister. “The region does not interest them as an economic resource, but it is becoming more important as a transit territory for other strategic markets in Europe and for gas storage. The West feels it must respond to Moscow’s use of energy as leverage for control in the region.”

Nicolas Mazzucchi, a researcher at the IRIS French think tank, commented: “The West is pushing for a way to reach the Caucasus, and one day perhaps even tap into Caspian or Middle Eastern gas, while circumventing Russian territory.”

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