World's tallest solar tower to be built in Israel
Renewable energy has rarely been a focus within the Middle East, but Israel is making history by building the world’s tallest solar tower.
The nation is aiming for 10 percent of its needs to be fulfilled by renewables by 2020. The solar tower will be built in the Negev desert as part of The Ashalim Project, which has three plots with a fourth under construction. The tower itself, when finished, will be 250 metres tall with 50,000 heliostat mirror panels.
The sun’s heat will be directed to a boiler, which creates steam to spin a turbine and produce electricity. The technology for this was created by BrightSource Energy, which has previously enjoyed success with the Ivanpah Project, the largest global solar thermal plant located in California.
The combination of the technologies working across all four plots of the Ashalim Project will produce a significant and reliable source of energy. The tower alone is expected to generate electricity for 130,000 local households, which accounts for five percent of Israel’s population.
CEO of Megalim Solar Power Ltd. (a company which involved in one section of the project), Eran Gartner, commented: “It’s the most significant single building block in Israel’s commitment to CO2 reduction and renewable energy.”
Read the January 2017 issue of Energy Digital magazine
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.