Chernobyl nuclear zone to receive solar panels
Rodina Energy Group Ltd., a Ukrainian engineering company, has partnered with Germany-based clean-energy firm Enerparc AG to bring solar to Chernobyl.
The solar project is anticipated to be commissioned in December, with a 1MW capacity costing €1mn (US$1.2mn), according to Bloomberg.
The developers are aiming to invest €100mn ($119mn) into the Ukrainian project all together.
“Bit by bit we want to optimize the Chernobyl zone,” commented Evgeny Variagin, CEO of Rodina.
“It shouldn’t be a black hole in the middle of Ukraine. Our project is 100 meters from the reactor.”
In July last year, 30 years after the event, the nation’s Minister of Ecology revealed a plan to revive the 1,000 miles of land surrounding the site that hosted the nuclear disaster in 1986.
Due to the nature of radiation it is still unsafe to farm on the land, but it would not harm solar power technology.
The land is also well connected to major cities in Ukraine because of the placement of transmission lines that were originally intended for electrons transportation.
The government is offering the land for a low price which has allowed Rodina and Enerparc to sign contracts for €15 ($17.81) per kilowatt-hour until 2030.
“The higher price is because it’s a risky market, simple as that,” said Pietro Radoia, Solar Analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Fianance.
“I would guess investors are after higher returns there.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.