Ontario Converting Coal Plant to Solar Farm

A few years ago Ontario stopped all of its coal powered plants because, you know, climate change and all that. Other jurisdictions around the world are similarly halting the use of coal for energy production. In Ontario, an old coal plant with a lot of land around it will reopen, but be emissions free.

The former coal plant is being converted into a solar farm!

“This project is a great example of how countries are retiring coal plants and replacing them with clean, renewable power plants,” she added.

And while the new 44 MW solar plant will produce a fraction of the enormous output of the former coal plant, the emissions-free energy will contribute to Ontario’s commitment to building a clean economy.

Prior to being idled, the Nanticoke Generating Station was Canada’s top polluter. Coal generation in Ontario is also widely regarded as one of the main culprits behind the province’s smog. Ontario completed its coal phase-out in 2014, and the number of smog days in the province declined from 53 in 2005 to zero in 2015.

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India’s Solar Energy Plan a Shining Success

India consumes a lot energy and consumption keeps growing as their economy expands. They also rely heavily on coal. The government knows that their current form of energy production causes harm and it will only get worse. As a result they have made a huge push towards solar.

Their efforts are working with coal prices being comparable to solar and now India has a burgeoning solar industry. This will continue unless the WTO gets in the way. With luck the oppressive behaviour of the WTO will lessen when they see how profitable non-destructive energy polices can be.

Solar prices are now within 15% of coal, according to KPMG. If current trends hold, the consultancy predicts electricity from solar will actually be 10% cheaper than domestic coal by 2020.
And that could turn out to be a conservative forecast. At a recent government auction, the winning bidder offered to sell electricity generated by a project in sunny Rajasthan for 4.34 rupees (6 cents) per kilowatt hour, roughly the same price as some recent coal projects.
“Solar is very competitive,” said Vinay Rustagi of renewable energy consultancy Bridge to India. “It’s a huge relief for countries like India which want to get more and more solar power.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made access to electricity a top priority, and has set the goal of making 24-hour power available to all 1.3 billion Indians. Currently, even India’s biggest cities suffer from frequent power outages.

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France Installing 100km of Solar Roads

France has announced that they are going to try a mass installation of solar-panelled roads to provide electricity. It’s an attempt to see if they technology can be scalable and durable enough to survive under so much wear and tear. These solar roads aren’t made by the company that turned to crowdfunding a few years ago. Hopefully this test run of solar roadways will prove that it’s feasible.

The French government has just announced that it will pave 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of road with durable, photovoltaic panels, which will provide solar energy to 5 million people across the republic, according to Global Construction Review.

This will be the very first time solar panels will be installed on public roads to this extent, and it will aim to supply renewable energy to eight percent of France’s total population.

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Solar and Wind Continue to Succeed, Coal Keeps Failing

Coal continues its downward trend to obsolescence thanks to the rise of installed solar and wind capacity. In many places around the world coal is more expensive than renewable energy and as a result it has driven costs down elsewhere.

The future is clearly one that won’t use coal as an energy resource. We need to keep the carbon in the ground, and we’re slowly starting to leave coal alone.

For the first time, widespread adoption of renewables is effectively lowering the capacity factor for fossil fuels. That’s because once a solar or wind project is built, the marginal cost of the electricity it produces is pretty much zero—free electricity—while coal and gas plants require more fuel for every new watt produced. If you’re a power company with a choice, you choose the free stuff every time.
It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. As more renewables are installed, coal and natural gas plants are used less. As coal and gas are used less, the cost of using them to generate electricity goes up. As the cost of coal and gas power rises, more renewables will be installed.

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In Japan, Abandoned Golf Courses Become Solar Farms

Golf courses have a well deserved reputation of being absolutely horrible for the environment. Golf courses are responsible for deforestation and damaging local ecological systems all while consuming an absurd amount of water.

In Japan, where many golf courses have gone out of business, they are converting the massive chunks of land into something useful: solar farms. The open fields are located near where electricity needs to go and thus are in a prime location.

Last week, Kyocera and its partners announced they had started construction on a 23-megawatt solar plant project located on an old golf course in the Kyoto prefecture. Scheduled to go operational in September 2017, it will generate a little over 26,000 megawatt hours per year, or enough electricity to power approximately 8,100 typical local households. The electricity will be sold to a local utility.

http://qz.com/445330/japan-is-building-solar-energy-plants-on-abandoned-golf-courses-and-the-idea-is-spreading/

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