The last couple of years we have seen the momentum of renewable energy rise with no signs of slowing down. The surge in renewable energy projects has seen the solar price drop since 2010, making them affordable. Moreover, the costs associated with offshore wind power have reduced in the last years. As green projects continue to grow, countries are now phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Renewables are mostly produced on small scale projects to power business or communities. However, there are big projects that offer thousands of jobs and serve millions of businesses and homes. Here are top biggest green projects in the world.
Tengger Desert Solar Park
This green project is located in China, the country with the highest energy capacity worldwide. After depending on other energy sources for decades, China has altered this policy. They have pledged to achieve The Paris Climate Change Accord objectives and promised to spend around $360 billion on green projects by 2020. This project is expected to create more than 13 million job opportunities.
By 2020, China’s government hopes that it will be sourcing 20% of its energy from green projects which exceed the current 1% by far. To accomplish this, a lot of large-scale projects are being launched in China, one of them being the Tengger Desert Solar Park.
The TuNur project
TuNur project is located in the newly based solar complex found in Southwest Tunisia, and it aims at utilizing the competitive advantage that the country enjoys in the available space and solar radiation so that it can power Europe. TurNur is expected to use CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) technology, which will deploy parabolic mirrors interconnected to molten salt energy storage. This project covers more than 5000 hectares. Submarine cables will then transmit electricity to Europe through three different routes that represent the phases of the TuNur project.
Kamuthi Solar-Powered Project
Kamuthi Solar-Powered project is found in India, and it’s the world’s largest green project constructed in a single location. Adani Group commissioned this solar project with an investment of INR 45.5 billion. Surprising, it was complicated with eight months only despite carrying power of 648 MW. Kamuthi covers an area of 2,500 acres and consists of 154 transformer, 576 inverters, and 6000km of cables, 30000 tons of structure, 380,000 foundations, and 2.5 million solar modules.
The Asian Renewable Energy Hub
Vestas, International Energy Asia, developed a project for 6GW solar and wind power plant to offer renewable energy to Indonesia after three years of working on several proposals. This plant is set to be placed in the East Pibara region in Western Australia and is expected to export energy in the form of electricity to Indonesia through under-water pipelines.
The energy will be produced in Australia, while solar and wind equipment will be manufactured in Indonesia. The Asian Renewable Energy Hub is expected to create thousands of jobs in Indonesia, and it will comprise of 10 million solar panels and more than 1,000 wind turbines, and it has the ability to produced adequate electricity to power 7 million households. This project is set to be fully completed by 2025.
Grand Inga is a proposed hydroelectric project in DR Congo. Once it is completed, it will be two times larger than the largest dam operating anywhere worldwide. The hydroelectric project has a power of 40,000 MW and it will be constructed on the lower Congo River.
The cost of this dam is estimated to be more $80 billion, including the transmission lines to different areas of Africa. This project will offer sustainable and cheaper energy to African countries to help boost economic activities.
Walney Wind Farm UK
The farm is a group of offshore wind farms 9 miles west of Walney Island off the coast of Cumbria, in the Irish Sea, England. Walney Offshore Wind farms Limited is a partnership between Dong Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy. The group which was formerly operated by Dong Energy consists of Walney Extension, the Walney Phase 1 and phase 2. The extension is the largest offshore wind farm. Walney Wind Farm generates clean electricity for nearly 600,000 homes. The maximum generating capacity of the extension is said to be 750 MW although Dong energy is talked of proceeding with the project.
Tidal Lagoon Cardiff (TLP)
TLP is developing a project that is located in the UK between Newport and Cardiff. Once finished, it will have the ability to offer electricity to all households in Wales, which translates to more than 3 million individuals, by using the UK west coast’s powerful tides.
The development process was commissioned in 2013, and the project was approved for the grid in late 2017. The great thing about this project is that it scales up a relatively advanced technology. If accomplished, it will overtake the second largest tidal range globally and will change the landscape of tidal renewable energy.
The tidal project will consist of over 100 tidal lagoon turbines. Moreover, it will cost approximately £8 billion for the project to be completed.
Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC)
The AWEC project is located in California, USA, and it is the largest wind farm in that country. It is found in a 3200 acres-land in Tehachapi Pass in Kern County. AWEC comprises of 600 turbines that supply 1,547MW of energy. This project was finished in 2014, and its goal is to produce 3000MW power in two decades. Its operations are controlled by Terra-Gen Power, which is an affiliate of Global Infrastructure Partners and Arc light Capital Partners.
Ivanpah Solar Facility
This facility has three solar power plants that cover 14.2km2 of the Nevada/California Border in the Mojave Desert. Ivanpah Solar Facility uses a power-tower concentrated solar system by Bright Source. The project features rings of mirrors controlled by software, which reflects sunlight to a 459-foot power found at the center. The sunlight, in turn, heats water stored on the tower to emit steam.
The steam is then processed from the boiler to turn a turbine to generate electricity. Transmission lines usually carry power to approximately 140,000 yearly throughout California. 300,000 mirrors are stationed between the units. Each mirror measures 7ft tall and 10ft wide. They are perfectly placed to maximize energy concentration. The construction of Ivanpah Solar Facility took three years, starting in 2010 to 2013, and it involved 2,636 workers and support staff during its peak.
The three mirrors can generate power with a capacity of 392MW. This capacity is equivalent to a fossil-fueled power plant that is emitting around 400,000 metric tons of CO2 annually. It incorporates a dry-cooling process that uses air to condense steam instead of steam, in a closed system, letting it use 95 percent less water when compared to other solar systems.
This project will be located in California, USA. Geysers will comprise of 22 geothermal power plant with a capacity of 1517 MW, and generating steam from more than 350 wells. 19 power plants are operated and owned by Calpine Corporation located 72 miles from north of San Francisco with the other two under Silicon Valley Power and Northern California Power Agency.
The plants depend on each other, and this makes them beneficial in enabling the power plants to function cooperatively instead in their own interests. Currently, Geysers produce adequate energy for 1.1 million individuals, but practices developed from advanced geothermal systems are expected to boost future production.
Belo Monte Hydroelectric Project
This project is situated at Xingu River in Brazil, and it has a capacity of 11,233 MW. The construction started in 2011, but it is expected to be finished late 2019. Belo Monte plans started way back in 1975 but it temporarily stalled because of opposition from the public that affected the nearby population. Though the project is in the construction phase, it faces a lot of controversies. The Belo Monte hydropower plant has two powerhouses; the Pimental which has a total of 233MW, and the other one with 18 Francis turbine-generator units with a total capacity of 11,000 MW.
Silhwa Lake Tidal Power Station
Silhwa Lake Tidal Power Station is located in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It is the largest tidal power with a total power output capacity of 254 MW. It’s operated by the Korea Water Resources. The power station is more superior to the 240 MW Rance Tidal Power Station. The Silhwa power station was built in 2011 and started to operate in 2012. It generates one-way power twice a day at high tide.
Three Gorges Dam
Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam built across the Yangtze River in Yiling District, Hubei province, China. It has been the world’s largest power station with a capacity of 22,500 MW. The dam has produced a massive deep water reservoir letting the oceangoing freighters to navigate 2,250 km from inland city of Chongging to the inland of Shanghai on the East China Sea. The dam increases the shipping volume of the Yangtze River allowing the usage of barges instead of trucks. It provides an average of 1.7% of electricity demand in China.