Research institutes in Germany and Chile are investigating the potential of extracting lithium and other minerals, as well as drinking water, from brines used in geothermal energy. The concept could greatly reduce the environmental impacts of mining in northern Chile. The project has set up a demonstration of the technology at a geothermal power plant in western Germany, and is working to identify optimal sites in Chile for further development.
Electricity bill payers in nations as diverse as Germany, Greece, India and China should be aware new solar projects can now generate electricity cheaper for them than legacy coal and gas-fired plants.
A Spanish renewable energy company has installed its first, pilot mobile PV unit at a new detention center in Chile.
The sheer volume of new power lines which will be required to accommodate the rising tide of solar installations ensures copper has been included by the International Energy Agency on its list of minerals which must keep flowing if the energy transition is to stay on course. And it’s not production that’s the potential bottleneck.
A Carbon Tracker report estimates 60% of the world’s technical solar potential – enough to produce 3.5 exawatt-hours of clean electricity per year – would already be cheaper than fossil fuel if installed. Of the remainder, most would be in sub-Saharan Africa, a region which has the potential to be a global solar and wind powerhouse.
The $18bn worth of sustainable finance instruments floated in the nation last year marked a retreat from previous highs but, with most of the bonds issued from July onwards, the recovery is under way, according to the IFC, which is anticipating a more-than-$100 billion sector in emerging markets over the next three years.