Tag Archives: Co2

Two Chinese companies are planning to build a giant solar plant in Chernobyl

23 Nov

Two Chinese solar companies have plans to build a huge solar farm in one of the scariest places on earth, the Chernobyl exclusion zone. On the 26th April 1986, one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power station exploded. As a result, the disaster released at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Much of the fallout was deposited close to Chernobyl, in parts of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. More than 350,000 people resettled away from these areas, but about 5.5 million remain. Scandinavia was badly affected and there are still areas of the UK where farms face post-Chernobyl controls.

After the nuclear plant’s meltdown, Soviet officials set up a restricted area around the site called the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Even though it’s been 30 years since the accident, this restricted area is still exceptionally large. A 1,000 square mile exclusion zone of forests and marshland surrounds the former Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Ukraine and has been largely off-limits since the 1986 disaster. However the site is an excellent choice for the location of a large solar farm. Not only is the land cheap and unused, but there is already substantial electrical infrastructure in place left over from the nuclear plant.

Shu Hua, the chairman of GCL System Integration Technology said “There will be remarkable social benefits and economic ones as we try to renovate the once damaged area with green and renewable energy,” Making the best of a bad situation could prove motivating to others as the global community begins the hard work of implementing the Paris Agreement.

Ukraine has been trying to find an investor to build a large solar farm in the exclusion zone for several months and now the two companies, GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-SI) and state-owned China National Complete Engineering Corp (CCEC), announced their plans to start building a 1-gigawatt solar power plant in an unspecified region of the Exclusion Zone. Comments made by a GCL-SI manager suggested that the plant would be built in an area where the radiation is under control. The site itself has already gone through several rounds of inspections by the company’s technicians. GCL will build and install the solar components, while CCEC will manage and supervise the entire project. Neither company disclosed where exactly the solar farm would be built, or how much the project will cost.

Prior to the Chernobyl project, the Chinese have successfully reformatted contaminated land into renewable energy generators and therefore are the perfect candidate for the construction. Radiation levels around the remains of damaged reactor building still remain dangerously high and are likely to remain so for thousands of years. In the 30 years since the meltdown, scientists have already seen some evidence of the radiation causing harm to local animals.

To discourage urban expansion from absorbing more farmland, China has implemented policies that encourage solar and wind power plants on damaged land. China is currently the world’s top solar power generator with 43 gigawatts of generating capacity expected by the end of the year,

Though they have become the number one manufacturer in solar power, China has been encouraged to slash their carbon footprint since they reportedly derive 66% of their energy from coal use, according to the Energy Information Administration. The nation has since announced plans to eliminate all CO2 emissions by 2030 by expanding their international solar power presence and tripling their generated wind power.

Image result for Chernobyl


Housing Association Combats Fuel Poverty

3 May

A major project to regenerate a deprived housing estate in Wales into an eco-friendly hub and slash domestic fuel bills has been unveiled.

As part of the £4m initiative, Housing Association Cartrefi Conwy will be renovating more than 250 homes on the Peulwys estate in Colwyn by fitting external wall and loft insulation, more energy efficient boiler systems and draft proofing. It is anticipated the work will reduce tenants’ fuel bills by 40%, as well as reduce carbon emissions by about 52,000 tonnes over a 25 year period. Funding for the project was provided by Scottish and Southern Energy, which invested £2m, and the Government’s Community Energy Savings Programme. Planning permission for the project was granted by Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC) and follows the success of a similar smaller scheme in Rhos On Sea.

Work is set to start immediately and is expected to be completed by October. If this more major project is successful Cartrefi Conwy chief executive Andrew Bowden, said that it plans to replicate the initiative across all of its housing stock. He said: “We have been successful in delivering our £30m housing improvement programme to bring all our properties up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard before the end of 2012. “Now we are mirroring that success with our programme of environmental improvements and this £4m scheme on the Peulwys estate is a demonstration of how, together with our partners, we intend to make a real difference to our communities across Conwy.” Cartrefi Conwy asset and sustainability manager Adrian Johnson said: “The Peulwys estate is in the top 15% of most deprived estates in Wales. Our aim is to totally transform the estate’s fortunes and eliminate fuel poverty.”

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