Tamil Nadu plans 4 more gigawatts of solar, battery storage projects.

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is planning to develop 4GW of additional solar projects as well as new battery energy storage systems, according to local media.

State Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji said that utility Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) will set up the solar projects with battery storage in all state districts, news agency IANS reports, with the renewables expansion forming part of efforts to meet growing energy demand.

Tangedco is expected to develop a 1MW solar installation with a 3MW battery energy storage system as an initial pilot project.

Senthilbalaji also revealed plans for a feasibility study into the development of 11 hydropower projects in the state with a combined capacity of 7.5GW.

Last week, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency signed a memorandum of understanding with Tangedco that will see the former provide support for the development of renewables projects.

On the back of an expected increase in energy demand, Tamil Nadu set an ambition back in 2019 to reach 9GW of installed solar by 2023, with the state government aiming to promote the manufacture of solar cells, inverters, mounting structures and batteries.

[Jules Scully]




13 September 2021


1600 Oils and Gas Wells Could Close as LA County Votes to End Drilling

Some 1,600 oil and gas drilling sites, many of them still active, may be on track to close after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Wednesday to end new fossil drilling.

“The motion specifically cites community health problems associated with proximity to oil drill sites,” drawing on a study published in June that found major lung problems in people living near active or inactive wells, The Hill reports. “Of those residents living in close proximity to an active or dormant oil well in the county, 73% are people of colour.”

The 1,600 active and idle wells in LA County territory include the Inglewood Oil Field, the biggest urban oilfield in the United States, where the population is nearly three-quarters Black. The news story draws its data from the motion by Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl and analysis by The Los Angeles Times.

“In addition to this equity issue, which should concern all of us, oil and gas drilling is contributing to the climate crisis, which we are collectively bearing witness to every single day,” said Mitchell, whose district includes the Inglewood Field.

Campaigners at STAND-L.A. praised the unanimous vote in a tweet and urged Los Angeles City Council to follow the county’s good example.

In February, 2020, a months-long, joint investigation by the Times and the U.S. Center for Public Integrity flagged the “toxic legacy” of California’s oil wells as a multi-billion-dollar problem. “From Kern County to Los Angeles, companies haven’t set aside anywhere near enough money to ensure these drilling sites are cleaned up and made safe for future generations,” the two publishing partners wrote. “Of particular concern are about 35,000 wells sitting idle, with production suspended, half of them for more than a decade.”

While the state had recently introduced tougher rules to fund cleanup operations at abandoned well sites, a follow-up report concluded the dollars would fall short.

“California’s oil industry is in decline, which increases the chances that companies will go out of business,” the news investigation stated. “That in turn could leave the state with the costs for cleaning up their drilling sites, which if left unremediated can contaminate water supplies and waft fumes into people’s homes.”



16 September 2021

The Energy Mix

Biden unveils plan for solar power to produce 45% of US electricity by 2050

Solar power could reach 40 per cent by 2035 by doubling the installation of solar energy annually, according to new study.

The Biden administration has issued a plan to increase the country’s reliance on solar power from 3 per cent to more than 10 times that amount in under 30 years.

The Department of Energy published a blueprint on Wednesday on how to provide 45 per cent of US electricity from solar by 2050, which would involve ramping up production of solar panels and modernising energy infrastructure across the country.

President Joe Biden has touted clean energy as the way for America, the world’s second largest polluter, to reduce emissions and help in tackling the global climate crisis but also provide thousands of jobs.

The Solar Futures study found that to achieve 40 per cent solar in the next 15 years, the US must double capacity per year between now and 2025, and then double it again from 2025 to 2030.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm noted that solar is the country’s “cheapest and fastest-growing source of clean energy”, producing enough power to run all American homes by 2035 while employing 1.5 million people.

In 2020, the US installed a record amount of solar — 15 gigawatts — to total 76 GW, the government report stated, making up 3 per cent of the current electricity supply.

As he toured neighbourhoods in New York and New Jersey ravaged by Storm Ida on Tuesday, President Biden underlined the role that the climate crisis played in the disaster.

“We’re all in this,” Mr Biden noted while on a walkabout in Queens with New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“I think what people are seeing across this country, from the wildfires in California and the west … all the way down to Louisiana … people are beginning to realise, this is much, much bigger than anyone was willing to believe,” he added.

Environmental activists cautiously welcomed the announcement. Jean Su, Center for Biological Diversity’s energy justice program director, said: “An ambitious solar target shows real promise in addressing the climate emergency, but it has to include careful considerations of scale and design.

“By prioritising rooftop and community solar and storage, Biden’s team could boost energy affordability and resilience in extreme weather events like Hurricane Ida. Because private utilities are fighting distributed energy, the Biden administration should make utility reform a key part of this important climate and justice transformation.”



8 September 2021


Kenya emissions trading plan at advanced stage, says finance minister.

Carbon credits system to be managed through national carbon credits and green assets registry

Nairobi  — Kenya aims to set up an emissions trading system that will allow companies and other bodies to buy emissions allowances, the finance minister said on Tuesday, as the country strives to limit the release of greenhouse gases.

Emissions trading is a pollution control mechanism where a central authority issues a limited number of permits for the release of specific greenhouse gases. Companies can then buy these permits and also trade them.

Many countries are using a price on carbon to meet climate goals, in the form of a tax or under an emissions trading or cap-and-trade plan where companies or countries face a carbon limit.

“The government is at an advanced stage in establishing the Kenya Emissions Trading System allowing companies and organisations to buy an emission allowance and thereby enable Kenya to meet her commitments in limiting greenhouse emissions,” Ukur Yatani Kanacho told an online conference of Kenyan and European officials.

Kanacho said the system would be managed through a national carbon credits and green assets registry, also soon to be established.

Africa as a whole produces little of the greenhouse gases, such as emissions from coal-fired plants, that most scientists link to rapid climate change.

But it is the continent widely seen as most vulnerable to a changing climate as much of its population is poor, rural and often dependent on rain-fed agriculture.

Kenya loses about 2%—2.4% of its GDP annually due to the effects of climate change, such as drought and floods, according to a 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics study. The study also showed droughts cost Kenya 8% of GDP every five years.

Last June, the finance ministry said Kenya planned to issue its first sovereign green bond.

Kanacho told the conference the bond will be launched “soon”, and that Kenya also planned to speed up the formation of the Kenya Green Investment Bank to allow easier access to finance for government and private projects in areas such in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green transport and wastewater treatment.

Kenya says it aims to achieve a net-zero carbon neutral economy by 2050.




11 May 2021