Sunday, 8 September 2013

Energy Farming – Grow your own! By Chris Green

Today, in September 2013 the world stands on the brink of an outbreak of armed conflict on an international scale in the region of Asia Minor and the Middle East as the tension arising from the Civil War in Syria widens and escalates. The consequential humanitarian impact is already truly awful but what we have seen to date is nothing compared to what will unfold if the politicians fail to do their jobs properly. There can be little doubt that the underlying casus beli is nothing to do with inter-faith disputes but the control of energy supplies in the region. Without on this occasion, ‘drilling down’ into the deep well of energy-related politics, it could be argued that if country’s around the world were more energy self-sufficient, by definition they would reduce their reliance on the importation thereof and this could materially degrade the power of those who seek to control of all those pipelines.

Several previous essays and articles from this columnist have explained how energy can be converted from amongst other processes, waste plastics, bio-gas from human, animal and food waste and energy derived from municipal waste. The latter, Waste to Energy as a concept, was ‘rubbished’ by a columnist of a rival newspaper in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus some months ago, but nevertheless this process is entirely viable with some W2E plants able to consume in excess of 100,000 tonnes per annum and 1000 MWH or energy as a result. Every landfill site anywhere in the world could and arguably should, host a Waste to Energy facility; they are ‘clean’, self-sustaining, job creating ventures and full project funding is available in the majority of cases. Energy Farming too, is becoming a growth industry.

Solar energy, that Divine Creator source of that without which our planet would not exist, is all around us and whilst solar panels have been around in ever increasing numbers for several years now, as technological advances are made, so the amount of energy that can be converted into electrical energy in greater volumes and efficiency. Solar Power farms are silent, unobtrusive and they are clean. As this article is being penned, contracts are being negotiated in several African countries for the construction and operation of Solar Energy farms, some of which may produce in excess of 5000 MWH (Mega Watt Hours) of electrical energy. These contracts are entirely funded by the Solar Power Company themselves, who in turn have appointed strategic international partners with their own local associates in the countries concerned to operate the facility.

Wind power is also a natural source from which energy can be viably derived and converted and of course, we are seeing wind farms in ever increasing numbers around the world and the technology here is ever increasing; noise issues have been addressed and whilst it is understood that these are not universally popular especially in some parts of the United Kingdom where the ‘Nimby’ party in alliance with their newly found allies, the ‘flying-frackers’, (an allusion to protestors of convenience) will always find something to object to, whether it be energy or transport related projects, it is nevertheless the case that Wind Power generates significant levels of sustainable, green electrical power. 

The world has an insatiable demand for energy and cheap energy: For example, Turkey has installed 131 power plants during the first 8 months of this year which will provide around 4100 MWH and now has an installed capacity of over 61,000 MWH, an increase of 10% during the past year. To fulfil her ambitions to be net energy exporters by 2030 Turkey has someway to go but nevertheless, the creation of Energy Farms which could combine Solar, Wind, Waste to Energy and Bio-Gas is a wholly achievable goal and for which external funding of up to 100% of the project cost is available now, today in 2013 without recourse to the country concerned.

Energy Farming provides wonderful opportunities for almost every country in the world, especially those who are under- developed, to become assisted towards being self-sustaining communities in terms of energy and drinking water generation, without being reliant upon external sources or foreign powers having their hands upon the respective On and Off switches. And in an allusion to the opening paragraph, the writer has recently learned that Russia has a mantra which is as follows: “Where our energy flows, our armies follow…”


Chris Green 

 Beşparmak Media Services 

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