The Green Optimistic called Japan’s hydrogen infrastructure the most advanced in the world. Last month the first hydrogen fuel station opened in Kanagawa Prefecture. This is the first of 40 hydrogen stations planned in the Tokyo area on the Hydrogen Highway. This is just the start andby 2015, Japan expects to have a total of 100 hydrogen fueling stations in the country.
HYDROGEN FUEL NEWS said hydrogen fuel is showing strong progress in the Caribbean and Latin America. Ballard Power Systems, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, revealed that more than 270 of its fuel cell systems are now being used in 16 telecommunication networks located in the Caribbean and Latin America. The systems are being used as backup power for these telecommunications networks and help protect them from the frequent power outages that they must contend with. Balllard now has 138 fuel cell systems in the Caribbean region including 114 in Mexico.
Executive Intelligence Review argued that only nuclear energy can solve the world’s energy demands.
From Deutsche Welle we learned that Turkey is investing heavily in nuclear power. While European countries are increasingly investing in renewables, Turkey is planning three new nuclear power stations. The country’s aim is to turn from being a net importer to a net exporter of energy. Turkey’s electricity consumption has almost doubled in the past decade – from 130 billion kilowatt hours to 240 billion, meaning the rate of change in demand for natural gas and electricity is topped only by China. The International Energy Agency says Turkey has to find another 45 GW of capacity for its electricity grid – more than any other country in Europe.
“Our energy demand will double in the next decade again,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently. “We currently import 72 percent of our energy, but once our nuclear power stations are ready, we’ll need less than a third of our current natural gas imports. That will reduce our gas bill by $7.2 billion (5.6 billion euros). That will open the potential to export energy.”
See also Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey hopes $7.2 billion gas bill cut with nukes.
inhabitat wrote about the world’s largest hydro power plant. Work on the world’s largest hydropower plant is expected to start in October, 2015 on the Congo River in Africa. South Africa has agreed to buy more than half of the electricity that would be generated at the 4.8 GW Inga 3 plant at Inga Falls on the Congo River. The plan is to eventually generate 40,000 MW—enough to power 40 percent of Africa. Social groups have expressed concern that the energy will not be used to better the lives of the people living in the area but instead will be shipped to mining firms in South Africa. See also AVATAR, World biggest hydroelectric dam planned for Africa (wtih video).
Despite the plans and hopes of Desertec, Deutsche Welle said Europe will not benefit from North African solar power. For the time being the Desertec Industry Initiative (Dii) to ship electricity from solar power stations in North Africa and the Middle East to Europe has been shelved as Morocco has decided not to enter into an agreement with Dii. Instead, Morocco’s king, Mohammed VI, has just announced the start of the construction of a solar thermal power station in Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara desert, for the purpose of satisfying his country’s energy needs. Morocco currently imports 20% of its electricity needs. The longer the Desertec vision is sidelined, the more likely the European demand will be met by domestic renewable energy projects. For more on Desertec see here and EurActiv, Desertec abandons Sahara solar power export dream.
Bloomberg described South Korea’s new emission trading scheme. While still to be finalized, South Korea will be introducing an emissions trading scheme in the next 18 months or so. Bloomberg assessed how the various design options will affect the price of carbon and the efficiency of the market. The site finds that deregulation of the electricity sector is required to enable the power utilities to pass through the cost of carbon to consumers, and gain maximum benefit from the scheme. In a related post, Climate Spectator said South Korea will have the world’s highest carbon price. The price could reach $90 per tonne of CO2 depending upon how the scheme is finalized. Currently Australia’s carbon prices is A$23 while Europe’s price is 3.52 euros or $4.57 and the California price is $14.
The Asahi Shimbun told us Malaysia has ambitious plans for its energy sector. Malaysia is a bridge between the markets of Europe and those of China and the rest of Asia. Now in cooperation with Singapore, with its strong financial and IT sectors, Malaysia (a key exporter of oil and gas to Japan) wants to become a global center of the energy industry. As the fossil fuel supply from Southeast Asia dries up, China and other Asian markets will look to Africa, South America and the Middle East to cover the shortfall. In the future, the region will need an intermediary hub capable of refining and stockpiling oil and other energy sources. This is the role that Malaysia wants to play.
Energy Global posted about Russian energy and its significance to that country’s economy.