Juggling growth goals and lifting its people out of poverty, India walks a tight rope between fuelling its needs with cheaper but harmful sources versus becoming a clean energy leader.
The world’s boldest and most efficient solar power plants
The use of renewable energy sources is increasing globally. 2014 recorded the highest number of wind and solar power plant installations.
Without the sun we just couldn’t exist and the planet would be an icy, sterile land. Alongside having allowed the development of life, the sun represents a perfect renewable energy source. All over the world, always more sophisticated technologies are being developed in order to exploit sunlight to produce clean energy. Here are some of the most audacious and successful solar projects.
Solar plant in Gobi desert, China
China is building the country’s largest solar park. The plant will be in Gobi desert, in Golmud, with an area of some 2,550 hectares. The plant will be able to fulfil the energy needs of 1 million households. According to a recent survey of Greenpeace East Asia, thanks to the increasing use of renewable energies, China’s air pollution levels have improved despite they still remain insufficient according to global standards.
PS20 solar power plant, Spain
In 2009, in Andalusia, southern Spain, the PS20 solar power plant became operational. The plant, 165 metres high, is second for its dimensions only to the Californian plant Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. The tower boasts 1,255 panels and can generate 20 Megawatts of clean electricity.
Solar systems on hospital in Bihar, India
In India, over 300 million people lack access to the electricity grid and fossil fuels dependence is deeply rooted. Yet there are realities trying to reverse this trend by investing in renewable energies. The Tripolia Hospital, for example, has installed systems to exploit the concentrated solar energy. Such systems produce vapour used to sterilise medical tools. Moreover, photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roof to produce electricity.
Solar panel and straw in Aeroe island, Denmark
The island of Aeroe, southern Denmark, boasts one of the world’s largest solar energy plants. The island’s objective is to reach energy self-sufficiency. For heating, citizens exploit also straw, which powers district heating systems combined with photovoltaic panels.
Solar photovoltaic power plant in Tangtse, India
The Indian city of Tangste, near Himalaya, where light dispersion in the atmosphere is lower, has installed a photovoltaic plant that provides electricity to a clinic, a school and over 300 households for 5 hours per day.
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Brazil continues diversifying its energy matrix and remains one of the most interesting countries in terms of investment in renewables, deforestation goals and emissions reduction targets.
Energy in the United States has been dominated by three major fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas and coal) for over 100 years but the clean energy revolution has started in one of the world’s top carbon emitters too.
Mizoram, one of India’s least populous states, has been losing its forest cover due to the age-old slash-and-burn farming method known as Jhum cultivation.
Despite environmental warnings, the Tanzanian government is set to build a dam in the heart of the Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A group of more than 120 leading lawyers have pledged not to work for new fossil fuel projects or prosecute the members of environmental organizations.
Illegal logging in Uganda has caused massive forest cover loss. Activist Mourine Asiimwe is fighting back against this deforestation by planting trees.
Deep-sea mining (DSM) could lead to irreversible damage to marine biodiversity and exacerbate the climate crisis, a new report has revealed.
The Paris Agreement sets out a game plan to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees. The world must now follow through, including shaping the course of energy after COP21.