Sungrow Floating Power Plant
The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.
Floating solar plants are advantageous because they put otherwise useless water and land to good use, and the water naturally cools the system and the ambient temperatures, improving generation and limiting long-term damage from heat.
Though oil and gas companies have known about global climate change for decades, they’ve deferred reducing crude and gas production until the second half of this century. But with global weather patterns in flux, activists have been demanding that energy companies set and commit to more rapid action on curbing oil and gas production in line with the Paris climate agreement.
New calls for action come amidst forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that, by 2014, demand for oil and gas could fall by almost 50 percent – but only if carbon emissions reduction targets are met. With this threat to profits, many ask if big oil companies are serious about addressing global climate change.
Facing an eventual drop in demand, energy companies delay caps on the production of carbon-emitting products.
Oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell has acknowledged that climate change will be a major challenge for years to come, but Total and others are still expecting strong demand for fossil fuels over the next few decades – and Exxon Mobil is under investigation over financial disclosures for climate change.
Anthony Hobley, CEO for the financial think-tank Carbon Tracker, told Counting the Cost that when it comes to profits and compliance with international carbon reduction agreements, big energy companies are sending mixed messages:
“I think they’ve been a bit schizophrenic. They are looking at climate risk and we’re now being deluged with disclosure and scenario analysis from the companies that are, effectively, stress testing their business models against a Paris compliant two degrees pathway. But then when they talk to investors they’re still talking up demand.” Read More
Caribbean economies suffer from some of the highest electricity prices in the world.
Despite their abundance of renewable energy sources, Cayman has a relatively low level of renewable energy penetration; the economy continues to spend a large proportion of its GDP on imported fossil fuels and residents and businesses continue to pay some of the highest electricity bills in the region. This is a common situation among island nations.
There is a clear opportunity for Cayman to emerge as a regional leader in developing solutions to address climate change through the adoption of renewable energy which will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and provide key environmental, social and economic benefits.
With the Cayman Islands National Energy Policy now in place, a framework for transition is complete and seizing upon that vision will be critical to affecting positive change for the Cayman Islands and all those who follow.
The recent achievements for islands at COP21 provide a strong driver for action focused on carbon reduction goals. Given that Cayman ranks highly among islands as carbon emitters, it is critical that we position ourselves as leaders in carbon reduction and meet the goals set out in the National Energy Policy and the Paris agreement.
Cayman seeks to stand with other islands in the region and across the world to embrace a low carbon future and to stand on the front line of demonstrating solutions to climate change while delivering cheaper, secure, reliable and economically feasible energy solutions.
Who should attend?
Be part of Cayman’s low carbon future by joining an event which seeks to set out our vision, renewable road-map and opportunities.
The event will bring together delegates from public, private and non-profit sectors, underlining our collaborative approach to a sustainable future- government officials, project developers, manufacturers, investors and key players across the non-profit landscape.
Join government official and industry leads and participate in interactive panel discussions that seek to establish what the journey ahead looks like and how we address the challenges and maximise the opportunities.
WHY CAYMAN? WHY NOW?
Caribbean economies suffer from some of the highest electricity prices in the world. Despite their abundance of renewable energy sources, Cayman has a relatively low level of renewable energy penetration; the economy continues to spend a large proportion of its GDP on imported fossil fuels.
The Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference (CTEC) is about building our resilience as a small nation, about diversifying our energy sector and the way that we do business.
It is about ensuring sustainable social and economic growth through strong leadership, recognising the threat of climate change and the vulnerability of islands across the world and voicing our commitment to take the measures that we can take now. For more Information and Registration
As part of its mandate to promote resilient energy matrices region-wide, CARICOM has identified the promotion of investment into energy efficiency programs and projects as a priority action item.
On April 5th at 10.00am EST, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and New Energy Events will co-host a webinar focused on new approaches to the commercialization of energy efficiency programs and projects in the Caribbean.
Jacob Corvidae, Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute
Kelly Tomblin, President & CEO, Jamaica Public Service Co.
Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager, Energy, CARICOM
Joseph Williams, Sustainable Energy Advisor, Caribbean Development Bank
Despite the obvious potential for investment in energy efficiency across the Caribbean, the markets are yet to take off in any meaningful way. The unavailability of sustainable and affordable financing is widely recognized as the most significant hurdle to commercialization. The webinar will explore an emerging alignment of stakeholders around energy efficiency investments, and examine a number of innovative approaches to financing.
Topics will include:
• How do we introduce investment in energy efficiency into the mainstream?
• How do regional utilities look at investment in EE initiatives from a long-term ROI perspective? How can we align economic incentives to motivate utilities to invest in EE?
• What can we learn from the experience of other markets and other utilities? Hawaii, for example?
• What is the Integrated Utility Service (IUS) model? What can we learn from the initial experience in Fort Collins?
• How might utility-centric EE programs align with public sector and multilateral objectives and with what implication for the financing of EE programs?
• How do we de-risk EE investment?
• What are the opportunity costs associated with the inability of the current “market will deliver” philosophy to tap the regional EE potential?
• What are the key stakeholders – utilities, utility regulators, governments, multilaterals and private investors – prepared to do in order to deliver clean, efficient, reliable and cost-effective energy services to end-users? More
A study of the information security measures at civilian nuclear energy facilities around the world found a wide range of problems at many facilities that could leave them vulnerable to attacks on industrial control systems—potentially causing interruptions in electrical power or even damage to the reactors themselves.
The study, undertaken by Caroline Baylon, David Livingstone, and Roger Brunt of the UK international affairs think tank Chatham House, found that many nuclear power plants’ systems were “insecure by design” and vulnerable to attacks that could have wide-ranging impacts in the physical world—including the disruption of the electrical power grid and the release of “significant quantities of ionizing radiation.” It would not require an attack with the sophistication of Stuxnet to do significant damage, the researchers suggested, based on the poor security present at many plants and the track record of incidents already caused by software.
The researchers found that many nuclear power plant systems were not “air gapped” from the Internet and that they had virtual private network access that operators were “sometimes unaware of.” And in facilities that did have physical partitioning from the Internet, those measures could be circumvented with a flash drive or other portable media introduced into their onsite network—something that would be entirely too simple given the security posture of many civilian nuclear operators. The use of personal devices on plant networks and other gaps in security could easily introduce malware into nuclear plants’ networks, the researchers warned.
The security strategies of many operators examined in the report were “reactive rather than proactive,” the Chatham House researchers noted, meaning that there was little in the way of monitoring of systems for anomalies that might warn of a cyber-attack on a facility. An attack could be well underway before it was detected. And because of poor training around information security, the people responsible for operating the plants would likely not know what to do.
That problem is heightened by what the researchers characterized as a “communication breakdown” between IT security professionals and the plant operations staff, and a simple lack of awareness among plant operations people about the potential dangers of cyber-attacks. Cultural differences between IT and nuclear engineering culture cause friction at some facilities, in fact—making it difficult for IT and security staff to get across the problem with the poor security practices in the plants.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how bad the problem really is, because the nuclear industry doesn’t talk about breaches.
“The infrequency of cyber security incident disclosure at nuclear facilities makes it difficult to assess the true extent of the problem and may lead nuclear industry personnel to believe that there are few incidents,” the researchers wrote in their summary. ”Moreover, limited collaboration with other industries or information-sharing means that the nuclear industry tends not to learn from other industries that are more advanced in this field.”
These issues, combined with a lack of regulation, may lead to an underestimation of risk by nuclear operators and result in a lack of budgeting or planning for reducing the risk of attack. More