Japan Affirms 19 GW of Commercial Solar in 2012 After Stimulus
Japan approved almost 19,000 megawatts of non-residential solar applications by the end of the 2012 fiscal year, as part of the nation’s incentive program for clean energy. Japan is projected to add the most solar capacity in the world this year, boosted by above-market rates for clean energy. The country is trying to diversify its energy sources after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Japan may add between 6,900 and 9,400 megawatts of solar capacity this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Using Quantum Dots for Making Renewable Fuel
The Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation made a $2 million grant to researchers led by Lehigh chemical in a project that aims to make methanol using only carbon dioxide, sunlight and water. The project utilizes a new low-cost technology to produce quantum dots from bacteria. A quantum dot is a miniscule crystal that produces an excited electron when hit by sunlight. The Lehigh team has theorized that these excited electrons catalyze the removal of hydrogen from water and carbon from CO2, and produce methanol in a continuous flow process. That theory is what is being tested under the EFRI grant.
Fukushima Springs Another Leak
Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported that it has found another leak from another storage tank in Fukushima nuclear plant. Fukushima has more than 1,000 tanks on its grounds, with capacity for storing 390,000 tons of water. The leak was discovered after crews found a drop in the water level of the 1,000-ton capacity tank. In the latest incident, the company said contaminated water probably leaked into the soil due to an open valve in a containment barrier surrounding the storage vessel. Extremely high radiation levels of 100 millisieverts were detected near the said tank.
European Wind to Wane for 2 Years
The wind-turbine market in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will dwindle this year and next after economic growth slowed and governments scaled back subsidies, says Make Consulting. Governments in some of Europe’s biggest wind markets have suppressed support for renewables in recent years as economies dawdled. Spain halted assistance for new wind projects while the U.K. reduced subsidies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also urges reform to slow down the expansion of onshore wind to keep costs in check. Make expects the regional market to rebound later in the decade, reaching 19 GW of installations in 2020.