Tuesday, 19 December 2017

A solar farm comes to Chernobyl

The Chinese are of course leading the building at Hinkley C:
Futures Forum: Keeping Hinkley off the Treasury's balance sheet
Futures Forum: Building Hinkley >>> the response from the South-West
Futures Forum: Energy infrastructure @ Hinkely C >>> losing control and paying tithes to Direct Foreign Investors

Meanwhile, they are also leading the building at the most famous/notorious former nuclear power station:
Solar power to rise from Chernobyl's nuclear ashes | Environment | The Guardian
China is building a huge solar park inside the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone | World Economic Forum

Although now it's not clear who will be building 'green energy' at the site: here's an update from earlier this month:

Chernobyl is Slated to Become a $1.2 Million Solar Farm

Ukrainian firm Rodina Energy Group and German clean energy group Enerparc Ag are leading development on a new solar farm that will be built in the abandoned site of Chernobyl. Construction on the 1 megawatt site will begin in December.


In 1986, a failing nuclear reactor released enough radioactive energy that to cause hundreds to evacuate the city of Chernobyl. The nuclear reactor site and the surrounding area has been abandoned ever since, but there are plans in place to give Chernobyl a new start: one engineering firm wants to turn it into a solar farm. In the future, Chernobyl could be known for providing clean solar energy instead of radiation.

As reported by Bloomberg, Ukrainian engineering firm Rodina Energy Group Ltd. and German clean-energy company Enerparc AG have announced a joint project that will see a 1-megawatt solar farm built on the site. The Chernobyl solar farm is expected to cost $1.2 million, with construction to begin in December.


“Bit by bit we want to optimize the Chernobyl zone,” Evgeny Variagin, chief executive officer of Rodina, told Bloomberg. “It shouldn’t be a black hole in the middle of Ukraine. Our project is 100 meters from the reactor.”


The Chernobyl solar farm project is the latest step in both companies’ — as well as the Ukrainian government’s — plans to use the abandoned site to produce renewable energy, which includes plans to develop up to 99 more megawatts of solar. The companies secured a contract in 2016 that will require the Ukrainian government to pay 15 euro cents ($0.18) per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated from the site until 2030, a price Bloomberg estimates is almost 40 percent higher than the standard cost of solar in Europe.

In the ongoing shift to clean energy, the Ukraine’s decision to utilize the 1,000 square miles Chernobyl has to offer is smart, though no less ambitious than the efforts of other countries like China, Wales, and the United Kingdom. It’ll still take much more work to completely move away from fossil fuels, but if aforementioned developments are anything to go by, it’s only a matter of time before most of our energy comes from renewables.

A Chernobyl Solar Farm Could Bring Clean Energy to Ukraine

As a commentator has said about what's being currently built in Somerset: "Could this happen at Hinkley Point?"

To finish: an interesting documentary available on the BBC i-player:

Inside Chernobyl's Mega Tomb

Documentary which follows the construction of a trailblazing 36,000-tonne steel structure to entomb the ruins of the nuclear power plant destroyed in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. It films close up with the team of international engineers as they race to build the new structure before Chernobyl's original concrete sarcophagus - the hastily built structure that covers the reactor - collapses.

Built to last just 30 years, the temporary sarcophagus is now crumbling, putting the world at risk of another release of radioactive dust. Radiation levels make it impossible for workers to build the new shelter directly over the old reactor, so engineers are erecting the new megastructure - taller than the tower of Big Ben and three times heavier than the Eiffel Tower - to one side and will then face the challenge of sliding the largest object ever moved on land into place over the old reactor.

BBC iPlayer - Inside Chernobyl's Mega Tomb

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