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Renewable Energy - page 3

France: Floating wind turbines soon in the Mediterranean Sea

in Renewable Energy by
source: consostatic.com

France will soon install floating wind turbines in the Mediterranean Sea. In a press release dated 3 November 2016, Ségolène Royal, Minister of Environment, stated that the services of the enterprises EDF Energies Nouvelles (EN) and the coalition of Engie / EDPR / CDC were selected for this project.

source: france-energies-marines.org
source: france-energies-marines.org

This call for project forms part of the Investment for the future (Investissements de l’avenir), aiming at deploying floating wind farms as pilot projects in four favorable areas in the Mediterranean Sea and Britanny. The Faraman zone in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Leucate in the Aude department have been earmarked for the setup of these farms. At Faraman, the project “Provence Grand Large” is to be monitored by EDF EN. Three floating wind turbines will be supplied by the Siemens company while the floating structures will be provided by SBM and the IFP IN Institute.

At Leucate, the project to be realized is ‘The floating wind turbines of the Lion Gulf”. It is the consortium of Engie, the Caisse des dépôts and the Portuguese EDP Renewables that will ensure implementation of the project. Four floating wind turbines will be supplied by General Electric while the semi-submersible floating structures will be from Eiffage Metal. Both projects are expected to provide a unitary capacity of 5 megawatts (MW) minimum.

Last July, two other companies – the Eolmed- Quadran consortium, and Eolfi and CGN Europe Energy- were selected as part of the same project. Both candidates will carry out the setup of the floating wind farms in Gruissan in the Mediterranean area and in the area of Groix in Brittany. These turbines will generate 6 to12 MW.

The technology “WindFloat“, developed by Principle Power in Aix-en-Provence, will be adopted for the projects. Installed off the coast of Portugal five years ago, the “WindFloat” prototype has already won its spurs. Hence, the prototype “WindFloat” is now going through the construction stage. According to the holding that has tested it, the prototype has exceeded expectations:

WindFloat has faced waves of over 17 meters high and winds exceeding 60 knots (110 km / h) while providing 17 GWh LAN

Off the coast of Leucate. Source: grandsgites.com
Off the coast of Leucate. Source: grandsgites.com

Unlike conventional wind turbines mounted in the sea, floating wind turbines- otherwise known as ‘offshore wind turbines’- can be installed in deeper waters than usual. While a traditional wind turbine is erected over a fixed foundation, the innovative floating foundation, on its side, is stabilized by cables to the seabed.

The installation of floating wind turbines is also much easier. They can be assembled directly in port areas, limiting the offshore work that are very costly. Ditto for maintenance and disassembling.

Far off the coast, wind turbines also have less visual impact unlike their conventional counterparts which are often criticized as being visual monstrosities. Another advantage is that these wind turbines- than can be installed at a depth of up to 200 meters – will be able to capture even more powerful winds to produce more green electricity.

Football: When the energy of players light up pitches

in Renewable Energy by
Source: 37.188.110.186

Environmental awareness is permeating football. During a match, an attacker may run between 10 to 11 km while a defender may race between 10 to 12.5 km. Certain countries, such as Brazil and Nigeria, have embraced this fact as an opportunity to use the energy of football players to lighten up football pitches in a completely ecological manner.

Credit: Telegraph
Credit: Telegraph

The first country to adopt this innovative technology is Brazil. Two years ago, Mineira, a favela in Rio de Janeiro, gifted itself a unique football pitch-one of its kind. Designed with artificial turf by the British startup Pavegen, the football ground can convert energy generated by the movement of players into electricity. Subsequently, the electricity is used to illuminate the football pitch after dark. The inauguration of this revolutionary football ground even earned the presence of the king of football himself- Pele.

Pavegen, that qualifies itself as a pioneer in clean technology, designed the artificial turf with about 200 plates. The latter are made up from 80% of recycled materials, derived mainly from old tires from trucks. The kinetic energy produced by the movements of the players is then transformed into electricity. This energy can subsequently power up to six flood lights placed around the football field.

In 2015, it was in Lagos in Nigeria that the oil group Shell inaugurated the first football ground of Africa whose lightening system is similar to that of the stadium of Rio de Janeiro. Lagos, which is the most populous of Africa, is unfortunately home to many neglected public infrastructures. This project was launched as part of the Shell #makethefuture program to bring about innovative ideas pertaining to energy while taking care to supply communities in need with electricity at the same time. The oil company has partnered with Pavegen for this project.

To convert the football pitch in Lagos, the placement of 90 electric slabs underneath the lawn were required. These slabs can transform the kinetic energy of moving players into electricity that may be used immediately or stored in batteries for future use.

Each step on a single slab generates between 4 to 7 watts of electricity

In Lagos, the system can power six LED floodlights in the stadium. To become even greener, the stadium furthermore installed solar panels to generate electricity that is used for other purposes in the premises.

Credit: posibl.com
Credit: posibl.com

Pavegen, meanwhile, is already making additional long term plans. Presently, only 25% of the African continent has direct access to electricity. Electricity supply based on piezoelectric energy may eventually provide electricity to remote and forsaken residential areas. Already, several cities have adopted the green energy of Pavegen. One can find them in nightclubs or on the floor at Terminal 3 in the airport of Heathrow.

The London Olympic Games as well as the Paris Marathon held in 2013 have allowed the testing of this ingenious technology. To make it more accessible, Pavegen is deepening its researches in view of lowering costs implications.

France becomes the first country to build a photovoltaic road

in Renewable Energy by
Credit: © Joachim Bertrand / COLAS

This is the road of the future. Photovoltaic and smart, it can capture solar energy and produce electricity directly. This road can furthermore provide information on traffic conditions and on the state of road itself. And it is France which has become the world pioneer by launching the site for the construction of the very first photovoltaic road in Orne in the department of Normandy.

 Credit: Joachim Bertrand/ Colas
Credit: Joachim Bertrand/ Colas

The construction works began on 25 October 2016 and the first section will extend over one kilometer. These works are expected to be completed in December. The sum of €5 million has been earmarked for this purpose. The French government plans to overlay various roads- measuring 1,000 kilometers in total– with solar panels. Once completed, they are estimated to provide electricity to 5 million French or in other words, to 8% of the French population.

The project, totally Made in France, is being accomplished following extensive research carried out for five years by l’Institut national de l’énergie solaire (National Institute of Solar Energy) (INES) and Colas- a subsidiary company of  Bouygues. Tests were conducted in Chambéry and Grenoble with a steady stream of one million vehicles to measure the functionality and sustainability of these panels. According Colas, not a single plate was moved or was damaged. At the inauguration ceremony, Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, spoke with great pride and enthusiasm:

It’s utopia becoming reality

The solar road project is based on WattWay technology developed by Colas-one of the world leaders in transport infrastructure. The panels were manufactured in a local company in Orne. This first section of the road that will be 2m wide is expected to generate some 17,963 kWh of energy on a daily basis. This can provide an entire town of 5,000 inhabitants with public lighting. WattWay confirms that panels spreading over an area of 20m2 may supply a complete household with green energy easily.

Credit: ecowatch
Credit: ecowatch

The WattWay innovative technology is simple and requires no heavy work. Existing roads merely need to be covered with the solar panels– which are in fact slabs- without the need for any additional engineering work. These slabs were created so that vehicles, including trucks, can pass along without causing any damage.

The panels are made up of photovoltaic cells carefully wrapped in several layers to make the slabs exceptionally resistant. Thin sheets of polycrystalline silicon, on their side, help to capture solar energy which is then converted into electricity. According to Colas, these slabs can last up to 20 years and are adaptable to any kind of road worldwide.

The photovoltaic road is a clever means to generate clean and renewable energy in the long term. The idea of transforming the existing roads in this way is ingenious because, according to studies, roads are occupied by vehicles for only 10% of time and they are constantly facing the sky and the sun.

In designing the photovoltaic slabs, Colas also judged important not to create a product that requires the destruction of an existing infrastructure. The policy is to rebuild without destroying.

This photovoltaic road is not only green but also intelligent. As soon as it will produce electricity, it will send data about the traffic and the state of the road itself through a massive network of integrated sensors. The company is already considering designing an induction system allowing the photovoltaic roads to recharge electric vehicles.

Renewable energy is world’s biggest source of electricity

in Renewable Energy by
babcock-ranch

An encouraging milestone has been reached in terms of renewable energy worldwide. According to the Medium-Term Market Report 2016 from the International Energy Agency (IEA), for the first time, renewable energy production capacity has exceeded that of coal in 2015. Read more

France launches 100% conventional electric helicopter

in Renewable Energy/Transportation by

The National Civil Aviation School and Aquinea, the two main partners in this project can jubilate. The maiden flight of the first 100% conventional electric helicopter, named Volta, was a success. Read more

Global Bioenergies promotes renewable fuel in France

in Renewable Energy by
E-Fuel

It’s a first in Europe and a big step towards mobility with zero CO2 emissions. French company Global Bioenergies produce of isobutene, a flammable colorless gas that can be converted into fuels. Read more

Renewable energy is booming in Canada

in Renewable Energy by
Canada EN

Canada is experiencing a boom in renewable energy. According to the National Energy Board (NEB), in a report entitled “Panorama of renewable electricity in Canada,” the country is fourth in the world. Read more

Norway: Reviving the aesthetic pleasures of green energy

in Renewable Energy by
Source: fremtidensbygg.no

Renewable energy has long been associated with ugliness. Colossal noisy wind turbines, visually unpleasant solar panels…certain installations are downright considered as imposing eyesores across the world. Norway, which is already a heavy producer of clean energy, is innovating and breaking this stereotype by blending green energy with an exquisite touch of aesthetics.  

Source: swecomoment.no
Source: swecomoment.no

Deep into the mountains of Helgeland and bordering the Arctic Circle in Norway lies a hiker’s paradise. And amidst this spectacular landscape of unique mountain ranges and forests stands an unimaginably beautiful hydroelectric power station- ØvreForsland. It stands out in complete contrast to the usual notion of a typical hulking power station and blends seamlessly into the mountainous scenery. Instead of being an eyesore, ØvreForsland enhances the natural beauty of the location with its exceptional design, sitting on the riverbed.

Designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Stein Hamre Arkitektkontor, the power plant has been inspired by the Northern Lights. Kebony wood, which is wood developed through the Kebony technology in Norway, has been used as the main cladding for several reasons. First of all, its hardwearing qualities make it resistant and sustainable too. This soft wood is treated ecologically to give it high durability and a minimal need for maintenance. At ØvreForsland, one can admire the intricate engines from outside through transparent glass panels making one with the wooden structure.

By using the Norwegian Kebony wood, the architecture firm has equally wished to increase its value in regards to other trees that are much sought after for buildings. In this vein, the objective is to prevent an unnecessary exploitation of already imperiled species. The power plant is backed up by Helgelands Kraft, a large producer of hydraulic electricity in the north of Norway.

ØvreForsland is capable of supplying 1,600 homes with hydropower and equally makes provision for a surge in demand.

Source: assets.inhabitat.com
Source: assets.inhabitat.com

Apart from this, the power station wants to win over people by its innovative aesthetics. It is considered as an added value to the existing landscape, especially by drawing attention to hydropower in a larger sense. The majestic power station aims at attracting more hikers and travelers in the area, educating them about hydropower as a renewable energy in the country and explaining how it can blend harmoniously with nature, as states Ove Brattbakk, the CEO of Helgeland Kraft:

It has been important for us to show that it is possible to build hydropower plants that are both beautiful and adapt to the surrounding nature

The company has fruitfully obtained loans for the construction of more visually attractive plants designed not only to generate renewable energy but to complement the natural beauty of their respective locations. The other station designed with the same ambitious environmental and aesthetic goals is the Bjørnstokk power station equally located in the north of Norway. This power station merges mysteriously with its background made of huge rocks left by the glaciers of the last Ice Age.  Similarly to ØvreForsland, it is capable of producing 1,600 homes.

Other countries are correspondingly aiming at celebrating clean energy change through design. Designers are embracing this transition as an opportunity to express their art in an environmentally-friendly manner. In France, the Wind Tree has been designed based on biomimicry while in BMW has done the extra mile to create a solar garage allowing an electric car to be charged directly from the grids of the garage.

Source: www.autosaur.com
Source: www.autosaur.com

Even Walt Disney World is planning to rally in by setting up a solar plant in the shape of Mickey Mouse in Florida. In Australia as well as in Germany, artists are being solicited to paint existing wind turbines to transform them into gigantic artworks.

UK’s first solar bus to brighten your trip in Brighton

in Renewable Energy/Transportation by

After a successful experience in running buses on waste cooking oil from local restaurants, The Big Lemon has decided to launch United Kingdom’s first solar-powered bus fleet in Brighton. Read more

Wind Trees: The wind turbines that are flourishing in the cities of France

in Renewable Energy by
Source: 2.bp.blogspot

Inspired by Mother Nature, the Wind Tree is an innovative wind turbine worthy to be referred to as a sculpture. Aesthetically impressive, surprisingly quiet and not really cumbersome, it is a wind turbine Made in France that can collect even simple wisps of air to produce electricity.

Source: www.souslatonnelle.com
Source: www.souslatonnelle.com

The idea of creating the Wind Tree sprung in the mind of Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, founder of the Parisian start-up NewWind, when he “saw the leaves shiver in the absence of the slightest puff of wind.” In fact, the young company feeds the ambition to reconcile technology and nature in its projects. Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, who is a former cinematographic writer, thought that it would be wise to try recover this unsuspected energy.

Go-getter, he launched himself ambitiously with his engineers in researches aimed at developing a vertical wind turbine, similar to a tree, which could capture the air 360 degrees through biomimicry.

After three years of research the Aeroleaf was born. Designed with small blades, it represents the “leaves” of the Wind Tree that generate electricity by capturing the slightest breath of air by swiveling on itself.

The Wind Tree contains on average 63 Aeroleafs that spin like micro turbines to generate approximately 2,400 kWh in total.

This amount of electricity generated can easily feed 83% of the electricity consumption of a French household (excluding heating), an electric car on 16,364 km a year, lighting of 71 seats on a parking lot or 15 lamps of 50W each

The Wind Tree thereby avoids 3.2 tons of CO2 that would be emitted by burning fossil fuels to produce the same amount of electricity. Designed to brave the elements, the turbine’s life can be extended up to 25 years.

Source: disruptions.fr
Source: disruptions.fr

This new generation of wind turbines goes further than its traditional counterparts by hardly emitting any noise. Before the creation of the Wind Tree, the noisy turbines were always being placed far from residential areas. The gigantic traditional models were even considered as eyesores.

The Wind Tree comes to break this stereotype. Even if it looms with its 10m height and 8m width, with a weight of 3 tons, it integrates easily and seamlessly with any landscape, be it urban or rural. The Aeroleafs are mounted on white branches which, on their turn, emerge from a steel core. Elegant, the Wind Tree can easily beautify a city landscape.

The region of Paris, Britanny or even Germany have not delayed to acquire this innovative wind turbine. The first Wind Tree was “planted” at the Parc du RadômePleumeur Bodou.

The startup NewWind which was presented at COP21 in 2015, receives many requests from large companies as well as local authorities wishing to supply electricity to municipal buildings and shopping centers, as is the case in Germany.

Ecological wind energy is already taking root in several cities. The cost of the tree remains quite high though. The industrialization phase was made possible by a fundraising campaign on Wiseed platform.

NewWind does not plan to stop here. Research is under way to improve the look of the wind turbine, make it less costly and more durable. Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, on his side, is already imagining a wooden trunk to replace the steel trunk and natural fibers to make the leaves.

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