In India, the world’s largest solar farm is now connected to the grid, and in Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale tidal energy plant will soon begin producing energy.
One of many breathtakingly large solar plants to come in India, the 648-megawatt (MW) solar farm consists of 2.5 million panels and was built in just eight months … an average of an incredible 11 MW a day, even through historic monsoons. The government is buying all the electricity at a fixed price of $0.10 per kilowatt-hour for 25 years.
The World Bank and German development bank KFW have each pledged to lend India over $1 billion in low-interest loans to meet its goal of 100 gigawatts of solar by 2020.
In Scotland, the first of four huge turbines is built for the MeyGen Tidal Stream Project off the north coast. Each turbine, at 49-feet tall and weighing close to 200 tons, generates 1.5 MW of electricity. Developer Atlantis Resources says at full capacity there will be 269 turbines producing 398 MW, enough to power 175,000 homes.
The site, called Pentland Firth, is considered one of the most promising locations for wave and tidal energy in Europe, dubbed the “Saudi Arabia of tidal power.”
Scotland views addressing climate change as good for business and jobs – the more it cuts emissions and generates renewable energy, the greater strength it has in the low-carbon marketplace, says its Parliament. To that end, a proposal expected to be adopted this month increases its emissions-cutting target to 66% below 1990 levels by 2032, after achieving its previous 2020 goal of 40% cuts six years early.
But while Scotland has a moratorium on fracking and approved a ban in June, it accepted the first delivery of fracked gas from the US last week. Eventually, the plan is to deliver 40,000 barrels a day for the next 15 years.
A “Plea from Pennsylvania,” where much of the gas comes from, says: “Please don’t accept these shipments of Fracked Liquid Gas from Pennsylvania. Americans are being sacrificed by having this production near their homes, schools and farms. Thousands of violations have been uncovered, showing that our air and water has been polluted by the process of extraction and gas production.
Driller Range Resources was fined $4.15 million in 2014 for polluting soil and groundwater.
Meanwhile, the UK approved a permit to begin fracking in a county that opposes it, opening the door to widescale drilling.
Who does Donald Trump have in mind for his Secretary of Energy? The CEO of one of the biggest fracking companies in the US.
At his keynote speech at Pittsburgh’s Shale Insight conference last month, Trump said:”America is sitting on a treasure trove of untapped energy – some $50 trillion in shale energy, oil reserves and natural gas on federal lands, in addition to hundreds of years of coal energy reserves … it’s all upside.”
Under Trump’s “America-First energy plan,” he would open all federal lands and waters to oil and gas production, and repeal regulations that impede this.