In today’s EGEB:

  • Saudi Arabia intrigued by concentrated solar power.
  • Solar street lighting shows clear benefits in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Yankees become the first American sports team to join UN’s Sports for Climate Action Framework.
  • Rhode Island introduces specific solar initiatives.

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Saudi Arabia has shown an increased interest in concentrated solar power after the country’s involvement in Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, Al Bawaba reports. Once completed, it will be the world’s largest CSP/PV project.

The Dubai solar park involves both 250 MW of PV solar power and 700 MW of CSP, the latter of which has drawn interest from Saudi Arabia for its ability to store heat without batteries. There’s another factor for the nation’s newfound interest, too — price.

Most renewable Saudi Arabian projects have been in wind or conventional PV. But Abdulhameed Al-Muhaidib, director of asset management at Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, said the dropping tariff price of CSP technology has piqued curiosity.
Al-Muhaidib said “for the first time, the price for the new CSP technology has gone under double digits, reaching 7.3 cents per kilowatt hour.” Saudi Arabia is interested enough, making plans for its own PV/CSP hybrid project in the city of Waad Al-Shamat. That project will include 50 MW of CSP.

Solar Streets

New research from New Climate Economy’s Coalition for Urban Transitions examines “Sustainable urban infrastructure for all: Lessons on solar-powered street lights from Kampala and Jinja, Uganda.”
In these two Ugandan cities, solar street lights have been both cheaper to build and operate than conventional street lights. Researchers concluded that:

“Based on this case study, installing and maintaining solar-powered LED street lights across sub-Saharan Africa rather than conventional grid-based options could reduce upfront installation costs by at least 25 percent, electricity consumption from street lighting by 40 percent and maintenance costs of new roads by up to 60 percent.”

Solar street lighting could generate 96-160 GW of energy across sub-Saharan Africa, researchers estimate. The lights also brought a “range of economic and social benefits, including lower crime rates, better road safety, a more vibrant night-time economy and higher property values.”

While researchers recommend installing the lights across sub-Saharan Africa, such solar lights should have benefits in similar urban areas with grid connectivity issues. We’ve also recently seen some self-powered street lights in the U.S.

Yankee Climate

Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees have become the first major North American pro sports team to join the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Framework. The framework aims to bring greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, and inspire others to take ambitious climate action as well.

Upon signing to the framework, the Yankees agree to:

  • Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Reduce overall climate impact
  • Educate for climate action
  • Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
  • Advocate for climate action through communication

Last month, Spain’s Real Betis soccer club became the first top-level soccer team to join the UN’s Climate Neutral Now initiative. That initiative, which seems quite similar, apparently goes a little further, asking organizations to “measure their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce them as much as possible, and compensate those which cannot be avoided by using UN certified emission reductions (CERs).”

Little Rhody Solar

Rhode Island introduced new solar initiatives last week that specifically concentrate on expanding solar energy on brownfields and carports in the state.

The state has earmarked $1 million each for installing solar PV projects on brownfields and installing solar arrays on carports. Perhaps the state recognized the numerous solar carport projects in neighboring Massachusetts and wanted in on the action. State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant said:

“We are pleased to announce the availability of funds for these special projects so that Rhode Island may continue adding new sources of renewable energy while preserving our forests and natural habitats.”


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