Energy Companies Turn To Animal Poo For Clean Power

Marianne Mayer, dog trainer, throws some trash in a bin with a sticker reading “Do you want to give poo a new life?” in Vantaa, Finland on October 7, 2019. Alessandro RAMPAZZO / AFP

 

In the search for clean electricity, power companies in Finland are going green by way of brown, and have set their sights on a previously untapped energy source: animal dung. 

During this month’s FEI World Cup showjumping qualifier at Helsinki International Horse Show, 100 tonnes of manure was loaded up and wheelbarrowed into two large containers before being carted away for incineration at the Järvenpää power plant.

The 150 megawatts of energy generated is enough to power the whole four-day show, with some left over to heat homes in the Finnish capital, according to energy company Fortum which launched its “Horse Power” initiative five years ago.

“There are so many horses in Finland and of course many more around the world, so it would be amazing if we could turn all that poo into energy,” Fortum’s Krista Hellgren told AFP.

The company claims that the manure produced daily by two horses can generate heat for a single family home for a year.

And just 200 millilitres’ worth is enough to charge a phone.

Meanwhile, another power company has called for the public to send them their pets’ doings.

Vantaan Energia’s sticker and online campaign implores dog owners to “give poo a new life” by simply throwing it in the bin, from where it follows everyday refuse to a huge waste-to-energy incineration plant.

“It’s not nice to step on it, it’s much nicer to burn it and use it as a fuel for electricity and heat,” the firm’s production director Kalle Patomeri told AFP.

Though dog poo is still a tiny fraction of the 1,000 tonnes of household rubbish burnt every day, Patomeri says it helps produce efficient energy with limited emissions and leftover waste products.

As a result, Vantaan Energia hopes to be coal-free within just over two years.

The dung-to-energy drive has been welcomed by dog trainer Marianne Mayer who actively supports the cause. She says the 50 dogs on her client list produce “quite a lot” of poo every week, which may otherwise have been left on the forest floor or thrown into bio waste.

“Finally someone’s doing something concrete about it, so you know it’s going to be energy,” she told AFP. “Since we need to have other energy than fossils, it’s going to be really positive.”

AFP

Trump Announces Departure Of Energy Secretary Rick Perry

 

Donald Trump said Thursday that Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has been caught up in the impeachment probe engulfing the US president, was standing down, marking the latest departure of a senior administration figure.

“Rick has done a fantastic job at Energy but it was time — three years is a long time,” Trump said, speaking in Texas. “We already have his replacement.”

The announcement came a day after the publication of an interview in which Perry said that — on Trump’s orders — he had communicated with the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani over alleged corruption in Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Trump Inaugurates New Louis Vuitton Production Site

Trump is threatened with impeachment for pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate his Democratic rivals ahead of the 2020 US elections.

House Democrats conducting the impeachment inquiry issued a subpoena to Perry last week, asking him to turn over documents related to his dealings with Ukraine by October 18.

Perry drove forward Trump’s “energy dominance” policy, which included boosting sales of US fossil fuels to Ukraine and other countries, and he oversaw a sharp rise in production of fossil fuels.

Trump said Perry had told him of his plans to resign months ago, and that he would leave office at the end of the year.

The New York Times reported that Trump had previously considered Perry for other senior positions, including chief of staff, due to his avoidance of personal scandals that had hit many of his colleagues.

Perry, who was nominated for the role in December 2016, was one of the longest-serving cabinet members in an administration marked by high turnover.

In a Republican presidential debate in 2001, he infamously forgot the name of the department he later came to head.

He declared he would to eliminate three government agencies, but could think of only two.

Saudi Oil Attacks An Iranian ‘Act Of War’, Says Pompeo

 

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced strikes on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure as an “act of war” on Wednesday, as Riyadh unveiled new evidence it said showed the assault was “unquestionably” sponsored by arch-foe Iran.

The comments raise the risk of a wider conflict in the tinderbox Gulf region after the weekend strikes on the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry knocked out half its production, rattling energy markets.

“This was an Iranian attack,” Pompeo told reporters on his plane before landing in the western city of Jeddah, calling it “an act of war”.

“This is an attack of a scale we’ve just not seen before.”

His comment came as Saudi Arabia displayed what it said were fragments of 25 drones and cruise missiles fired at two facilities in the country’s east, engulfing them in flames.

“The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran,” defence ministry spokesman Turki al-Maliki said.

READ ALSO: Two Killed As Spanish Military Plane Crashes

Tehran-linked Huthi rebels in the kingdom’s southern neighbour Yemen have claimed responsibility, but both Washington and Riyadh have ruled that out.

“We are working to know the exact launch point,” Maliki said.

But he would not be drawn on whether Saudi officials believed Iran would ultimately be found to be the culprit.

Pompeo said there was no evidence for media reports the attacks had been launched from Iraq — caught between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.

Diplomats at the United Nations said experts were expected in the kingdom to lead an international inquiry.

Pompeo met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah to discuss a response to the strike, which took out six percent of global supplies.

Meanwhile, the Huthis threatened to hit “dozens of targets” in the United Arab Emirates, part of a Saudi-led coalition against the rebels.

‘We don’t want war’

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP the administration has concluded the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran, and said evidence would be presented at the UN General Assembly next week.

Vice President Mike Pence reiterated President Donald Trump’s comments that “we don’t want war with anybody, but the United States is prepared.”

Trump, who has already re-imposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy, promised on Wednesday to “substantially increase” the measures, winning quick praise from Riyadh.

He said details would be given within 48 hours.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, himself under US sanctions since July 31, described the measures as “illegal” and “inhuman”.

Trump’s move was an “admission that (the) US is DELIBERATELY targeting ordinary citizens,” he said on Twitter.

The apparent hardening of the US position came as Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruled out negotiations with Washington “at any level”.

That appeared to nix hopes for a dramatic meeting between Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations next week.

Late Wednesday, the United States still had not issued Rouhani and his delegation with visas to attend the meeting in New York, Iranian state media said.

Maliki said Saturday’s attack did not originate from Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is locked in a prolonged conflict with the Huthis, “despite Iran’s efforts to make it appear so”.

He said the strike was beyond the capabilities of the militia — who have however mounted dozens of smaller attacks on Saudi territory.

“The precision impact of the cruise missile” indicated advanced capabilities beyond those of the Huthis, he added.

Oil prices rocked

Observers say the Saudi experience in Yemen, where despite their vast firepower they have failed to subdue the ragtag but highly motivated militia, has made Riyadh circumspect about wading into another conflict.

“I certainly hope we’re not” going to have a war, Riyadh’s ambassador to London Prince Khalid bin Bandar told the BBC.

“We are trying not to react too quickly because the last thing we need is more conflict in the region.”

Iran has backed Huthi claims of being behind the attack, and Rouhani said Wednesday it was a rebel “warning” about a possible wider war in response to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

State media said Tehran had written to Washington through the Swiss embassy on Monday, denying any role in attacks on Saudi installations and warning it would respond to any action against it.

Trump’s administration is considering responses including a cyber attack or a physical strike on Iranian oil infrastructure or its Revolutionary Guards, NBC News reported, citing unnamed US officials.

Oil prices have see-sawed since the attacks, with record gains Monday followed by a tumble Tuesday as the Saudi assurances on supplies soothed the markets.

Trump Condemns Drone Attacks In Call With Saudi Crown Prince

Trump To Hit China With $300bn Punitive Tariffs In Goods

 

US President Donald Trump on Saturday condemned drone attacks at two Saudi Aramco oil facilities that reportedly disrupted production and marked a new escalation in regional tensions with Iran.

“The United States strongly condemns today’s attack on critical energy infrastructure. Violent actions against civilian areas and infrastructure vital to the global economy only deepen conflict and mistrust,” the White House said in a statement following a phone call between Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

READ ALSO: Libya Airport Hit By Drone, Rocket Fire

Trump offered Prince Mohammed “his support for Saudi Arabia’s self-defense,” the White House said, following an earlier statement from Riyadh saying the crown prince told Trump the kingdom was “”willing and able” to respond to the attacks blamed on Yemeni rebels.

“The United States Government is monitoring the situation and remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well supplied,” the US statement said.

 

OPEC Kingpin Saudi Arabia Replaces Energy Minister

 

 

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman named his son as energy minister after veteran official Khalid al-Falih was sacked, state media said Sunday, in a major shakeup as the OPEC kingpin reels from low oil prices.

The appointment of Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, half brother to de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, comes as Saudi Arabia prepares for a much-anticipated stock listing of state-owned oil giant Aramco.

“Khalid al-Falih has been removed from his position,” the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing a royal decree.

“His royal highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman is appointed minister of energy.”

The kingdom also replaced the deputy energy minister, SPA added.

Since his appointment as oil minister in 2016, Falih has been the face of Saudi energy policy but the veteran technocrat had seen his portfolio shrink in recent weeks.

His ouster comes just days after he was removed as chairman of Aramco as the company prepares for a much-touted initial public offering (IPO).

He was replaced in that post by Yasir al-Rumayyan, governor of the kingdom’s vast Public Investment Fund.

Falih’s powers were diminished last month when the world’s top oil exporter announced the creation of a new ministry of industry and mineral resources, separating it from his energy ministry.

It was widely speculated there was dissatisfaction with Falih within the top levels of government over the low price of oil ahead of the Aramco IPO — even as the kingdom has continued to cut output to balance global demand.

‘Wealth of experience’

OPEC and its allies are scheduled to meet in Abu Dhabi on September 12 to review their strategy on limiting production to tackle a global supply glut and shore up prices.

It was unclear whether there would be a change in Saudi policy under Prince Abdulaziz, who joined the oil ministry in the 1980s and has served in a variety of senior positions.

“Prince Abdulaziz has been in the oil ministry for decades… He joined the oil ministry in the late 1980s and worked closely with the three previous oil ministers,” said Ali Shihabi, founder of the now-shuttered pro-Saudi think-tank Arabia Foundation.

“(He) has attended virtually every OPEC meeting since then so brings a wealth of institutional experience.”

His appointment further concentrates power within the family of King Salman. His other son Prince Mohammed controls all the major levers of power and is heir to the Arab world’s most powerful throne.

And his younger son, Prince Khalid bin Salman, serves as deputy defence minister.

Aramco is stepping up efforts to float around five percent of the company, in what could potentially be the world’s biggest stock sale.

It aims to raise up to $100 billion based on a $2 trillion valuation of the company, but amid low oil prices investors have debated whether Aramco is really worth that much.

Failure to reach a $2 trillion valuation as desired by Saudi rulers is widely considered the reason the IPO, earlier scheduled for 2018, has been delayed.

The planned IPO forms the cornerstone of a reform programme envisaged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to wean the Saudi economy off its reliance on oil.

Saudi Aramco has not announced where the listing will be held, but London, New York and Hong Kong have all vied for a slice of the much-touted IPO.

The oil giant is considering a two-stage IPO, with a domestic debut and a subsequent international listing possibly in Tokyo, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Kenya To Launch Africa’s Biggest Wind Farm

In this file photo taken on June 29, 2018 wind turbines of the Lake Turkana Wind Power project (LTWP), which have been standing idle for nearly a year, are seen in Loiyangalani district, Marsabit County, northern Kenya. YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP

 

Kenya will on Friday inaugurate Africa’s biggest wind power plant, a mammoth project in a gusty stretch of remote wilderness that now provides nearly a fifth of its energy needs.

The $680-million (600 million euro) project, a sprawling 365-turbine wind farm on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana, will deliver 310 megawatts of renewable power to the national grid of East Africa’s most dynamic economy.

The largest private investment in Kenya’s history, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project was beset with delays and took nearly a decade to rise from the arid landscape 600 kilometres (372 miles) north of Nairobi.

The Turkana project, lying in a natural corridor dubbed “the windiest place on earth”, is promised to harness this endless power at low cost, officials say.

“It has been an incredible journey. Clearly (this is) a very historic day,” Rizwan Fazal, the executive director of the Lake Turkana Power Project said ahead of a ceremony launching the project.

“It sends a very strong signal about Kenya being ripe for projects.”

The project, far more ambitious in scale than rivals elsewhere on the continent, has been closely watched as a case study of investing in renewables in Africa, where demand for energy is soaring as economies grow and populations swell.

In Kenya — which relies heavily on hydropower and geothermal — power is unreliable and costly, hindering business as energy-intensive sectors such as manufacturing look to take off.

READ ALSO: Two Killed, 12 Missing After Huge Blast Rocks China Gas Plant

President Uhuru Kenyatta has previously committed to 100 percent renewable energy for Kenya by 2020 — a pledge the government has been accused of betraying with plans to build a coal-fired power plant off the coast in Lamu.

That project — deemed unnecessary by experts — has been stalled by legal challenges.

The Turkana Corridor

The Lake Turkana wind plant, connected through a 428-kilometre power line to the national grid in Suswa, is now generating 15 percent of Kenya’s entire installed capacity.

The windmills, manufactured by Danish company Vestas, had to be brought one-by-one overland from the Kenyan port of Mombasa, some 1,200 kilometres away. More than 200 kilometres of road leading to the site had to be upgraded.

The nearly-50 metre turbines were engineered to handle the fierce gusts that tear through the “Turkana Corridor”, a wind tunnel that generates optimal conditions, year round.

The project involved years of planning and construction but the turbines went up quicker than one a day, with the last raised in March 2017, ahead of schedule.

But difficulties in financing the transmission line, being laid by state-owned power company Ketraco, and problems acquiring land, meant this landmark project didn’t connect to the grid for another 18 months — in September 2018.

The wind farm attracted a $200 million loan from the European Investment Bank, the EU’s lending facility, as well as finance from a consortium of European and African companies.

AFP

Erdogan Warns ‘Sea Bandits’ Over Cyprus Energy Exploration

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan/AFP

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday warned foreign oil companies over energy exploration off Cyprus, describing those who defy Ankara as “bandits of the sea” who would face a similar response as its foes in Syria.

Erdogan said in a speech marking the commissioning of a new Turkish warship that exploiting the resources of the eastern Mediterranean while excluding Ankara was unacceptable.

Drilling for hydrocarbon resources off EU member Cyprus is hugely sensitive as its northern third is occupied by Turkish forces who invaded in 1974 in response to a coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece.

The Turkish-populated northern part of the island then declared the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is recognised only by Ankara. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island have so far come to nothing.

“As we made the terrorists in Syria pay, we will not leave the scene to the bandits of the sea,” Erdogan said at the commissioning of the TCG Burgazada, the third home-built corvette combat ship launched by Turkey as part of its MILGEM project.

Turkey has in the last two years waged successful military campaigns in Syria against Kurdish militia and Islamic State jihadists which left parts of the country’s north under the control of pro-Ankara forces.

Foreign energy giants such as ExxonMobil of the US, Italy’s ENI and France’s Total have all said they are committed to energy drilling off Cyprus, in defiance of past warnings from Erdogan.

But Erdogan said: “Those who thought they could take steps in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Aegean in defiance of Turkey have now begun to understand what a big mistake they were making.

“It is absolutely unacceptable to usurp the natural resources of the eastern Mediterranean while excluding Turkey and the TRNC,” he added.

Analysts have warned that the situation is extremely combustible with the risk that one false move could lead to a major confrontation.

In February, a drillship contracted by ENI to explore off Cyprus abandoned its mission after Turkish warships blocked its path.

Cyprus last month invited Total, ENI and ExxonMobil to bid for unclaimed Block 7 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. Block 10 has already been licensed to ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum.

Texas-based Noble Energy in 2011 made the first discovery off Cyprus in the Aphrodite block estimated to contain around 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The discovery of nearby Egypt’s huge Zohr offshore reservoir in 2015 has stoked hopes that Cypriot waters hold further riches.

AFP

Efficient Management Of Energy Will Lead To Economic Growth – Commission

 

The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has said that Nigeria’s economy would improve if energy is well managed and not wasted.

Prof. Eli Bala, the Director General of the Commission, stated this in Osogbo, Osun, during a 2-day workshop organised by ECN in conjunction with Osun State University and Mwayi Investment Ltd.

Bala who was represented by the Commission’s Director, Energy Planning, Engr. Joseph Olayande, was speaking on the theme, “The Challenges of Energy Planning for Ensuring Enhanced National Energy Supply.

He said the best way to improve the economy of Nigeria is to ensure effective energy, noting that Nigeria is wasting many of what it has.

“The purpose of the workshop is to introduce and sensitize the state, local governments, and academia in Nigeria about energy planning activities to anticipate energy challenges.

“As the population is growing, our demand is increasing. The participants would learn how to introduce energy efficiency and observation in their planning so that we can use effectively and efficiently what we have without wasting energy.

“We discover that we usually complain that we don’t have enough, but we are wasting part of what we are producing.

“We are going to have a better energy system if we use what we have efficiently, and that will enhance the economy of the country.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of (UNIOSUN), Professor Labode Popoola, stated that technology is taking over the world as many developed countries are now leading with technology.

Popoola who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics of UNIOSUN, Prof. Clement Adebooye, spoke on the theme: Promotion of Energy Planning Tools (MAED, Message and NECAL 2050) for Capacity Building in Energy Planning in Osun State.

He said the university would be better off with collaboration and partnership with ECN, especially as the university now produces graduates in Electrical-Electronic Engineering and Physics with Electronic.

“Energy improves the livelihood of the people. The difference between the developed and developing countries is technology. Ability to transform knowledge into manifestation is the only thing that can promote the society.” he said

West African Ministers To Discuss Infrastructure Issues At Energy Summit

west African ministers at energy summitMinisters across West Africa are scheduled to provide perspectives to critical energy, finance and infrastructure issues at the Regional Energy Cooperation Summit 2017, holding in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, later in January.    

In continuation of the Africa Energy Forum held in London in May 2016, West Africa’s head of utilities, regulators and industry operators from Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and Mali, will showcase investment opportunities and project pipelines in the coming event.

The Abidjan summit will afford all parties in the public and private sector, the opportunity to explore ownership for network assets, and hear directly from governments on the scale of the opportunities within the region’s integration strategy.

Although energy cooperation in West Africa is in progress, not so much has been achieved with the West Africa power poll, with its headquarters in Ghana.

IFAD President Advocates Right Policies For Agric Development

IFAD President Advocates Right Policies For Agric DevelopmentThe President of International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr Kanayo Nwanze, has challenged the federal government to create the right policies for the development of Agriculture in Nigeria.

He said that the provision of the necessary infrastructure for seamless production and transportation would add great value to the sector.

He was speaking in Ogun state, southwest Nigeria, while visiting a private farm at Iboro in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state.

“I think the nation has awoken to the fact that oil does not feed people.

“We have not gotten better; some people have gotten richer but the population has gotten poorer.

“We have to go back to basics and the basics and fundamentals for Nigeria’s development is agriculture,” he said.

The IFAD President said it was a shame that Nigeria spends a lot of money on unnecessary food importation into the country.

He warned that government must avoid policy somersaults in order to fully tap into the agricultural value chains for national development.

“I think we make the mistake by thinking government would do all.

“Government has primary responsibility – the right policies and social investments.

“They must provide basic social requirements – good roads, energy, electricity, water and access to financial services.”

While expressing the resolve to partner with government in the production of maize, sorghum and rice, he called on Nigerians to take advantage of government policies.

“The population has a responsibility to take advantage of those opportunities.

“Government cannot provide jobs for Nigeria’s 175 million people. It is impossible.

“If a government employs more than 15% of its population , it will go bankrupt,” he said.

 

Fashola Inspects Gurara, Kashimbila Hydro Power Projects

Babtunde-FasholaNigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has promised the completion of the 30 megawatts Gurara Hydropower plant in Kaduna, in 2017.

Speaking to journalists during an inspection tour of the project, Mr Fashola stated that the additional power from the hydro-power plant would boost efforts to stabilize power supply in the country.

The Minister told the reporters, “all the lines are already built as you can see.

“We are waiting to complete the substation where energy passes through and can be redistributed from.”

Hinting that an approval came after a Federal Executive Council meeting, he said “we should finish early next year at the latest.”

“The place is supposed to evacuate power from here through to Kaduna and Mando substations and also to Kudenda substation, to connect this to the Kaduna Power Plant”, he said.

Furthermore, he praised the efforts of the Federal Government in increasing power generation, saying that with wind power being developed in Katsina as well as the Gurara, Shiroro and Kashimbila Hydro-power projects, the nation’s energy mix would “slowly come together”.

European Union To Expand Cooperation With Nigeria

European Union, Ogbonnaya Onu, Science and technology
Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu

The European Union has announced plans to expand its partnership with Nigeria beyond the traditional field of aids and donations to mutually beneficial cooperation.

The head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS Ambassador, Michel Arrion, told the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, that the EU is looking at new areas and sectors that will ensure relevant contribution to the partnership between the regional block and Nigeria.

The new areas include energy, transport, science and technology and climate change.

The Minister of Science and Technology welcomed the expanded ties and requested that the extended cooperation include training and research, to help Nigeria move away from a resource based and commodities dependent economy.

The Minister also hosted the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Teresa Ribeiro and her delegation whose interest also lies within the expansion of economic and cultural ties with Nigeria, as well as on a convention that will eliminate double taxation in the area of business and investment between both countries.

The visit to the Minster was the second time Ambassador Arrion would officially visit the ministry and the Minister considered it a welcome development especially as Nigeria diversifies its economy.