Congo Open to Adding Investors to Its 4.8 Inga Hydropower Project
The Democratic Republic of Congo is open to more investors joining three groups of companies vying to build the $12 billion Inga 3 hydropower project, says Energy Minister Bruno Kapandji. The bid groups are currently made up of China Three Gorges Corp. and Sinohydro Corp.; Posco and Daewoo Corp. of South Korea; and Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA in partnership with Eurofinsa Group. Inga 3 is slated to have the capacity to produce more than 40,000 megawatts of electricity, making it the largest source of hydropower in the world. Congo will choose a developer in June or July of next year.
First Solar Closes New-But-Unused Arizona Plant , SolarWorld Shuffles
First Solar announced the closure of its new-but-unused thin-film solar PV module manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona. What was promised as a $300 million investment in 250-MW of new module-making capacity now will up for sale netting an anticipated $100 million. Meanwhile, US solar manufacturing flag-bearer SolarWorld reportedly is retrenching further, moving what’s left of its California operations to its main operation in Oregon as the company’s restructuring efforts approach its final stage. The company also reportedly has shuffled its management, replacing top exec Gordon Brinser and CFO Brent Jensen.
European Winter May Create Energy Crisis Says Cap Gemini
A cold winter may drag Europe into an energy crisis because of the shutting of natural gas-fired generators and over-reliance on renewable energy, says Cap Gemini SA. Gas-fired generators are running at utilization rates that are too low to meet their fixed costs as utility grids favor subsidized renewable power. About 130,000 megawatts or 60 percent of Europe’s gas-generation capacity is at risk of closing by 2016 adds Cap Gemini citing IHS Inc. estimates.
HydroPower Plants to Produce Power …and More Salmon
CEDREN research centre, a Norwegian research facility, has recently put the final touches to a unique environmental handbook that provides new knowledge on how to combine the ecological needs of salmon while maintaining high hydropower generation, without the need for major investments. According to CEDREN director Atle Harby, one way of doing this is by concentrating releases of water down the river during periods that are important for the salmon’s living conditions. Salmon is an important indicator species in rivers. If salmon is thriving, then other aspects of the river’s ecological system are also functioning well.