The alternative energy resources are becoming more and more valuable as all major European countries are trying to switch to renewable sources of energy. Of course, they want to switch at least partly before the age of renewable energy steps in and wipes out the traditional energy production model. Due to the high level of pollution, more and more countries are switching to green projects that save the environment and produce less pollution. That is why is important to talk about such projects — to raise awareness even more!
This time, I will present you with some of the most potential projects that are worth attention. As someone who is watching closely what’s going on in the field of alternative energy, I have decided to craft this article so the readers could see which projects have/had the largest support from the European Union. I will list 5 of these green projects that you should know about so feel free to comment if you have any additional information on the following projects!
1. Floating Power Plant
The power of water can be used wisely, especially when you have a huge river that can be used for the production of energy using the turbines. One of those rivers, which is also one of the most important rivers in entire Europe, is Rhone that starts in the Alps and flows to the Mediterranean. While it is a huge touristic attraction, it recently became one of the biggest European Green Projects — the scientists came with the concept of an artificial lake that is used for electricity production. The professionals calculated that they could use a part of the river and create a lake that will serve as a location for installing the solar power plant.
The scientists converted a part of the river flow to an artificial lake, where they installed solar power panels on the rivers. The panels use water as the energy for the production of electricity, which is used in more than 4,700 homes in nearby locations. This area has a lot of sunny days throughout the year, which means that it is a suitable location for making the solar power plant. In addition, the local citizens who live nearby and use the electricity from this plant are encouraged to invest in the plant and therefore become the stakeholders in future times.
The Floating Power Plant is placed in the Rhone Alley, Pionec in France — in the same location where some of the best world wines are produced, which confirms that there are a lot of sunny days in this area. This 17 MW plant is one of a kind and the main reason why it has been placed on the water was avoiding conflicts over the land use. If it had not been installed on a lake, it would have been installed somewhere near the water reservoirs or mountain lakes, which could ruin the ecosystem and the environment of that area.
2. Community Wind Farm
Denmark is well-known for the use of alternative energy sources and one of the best examples is Community Wind Farm Middelgrunden that is placed just 3.5 km outside of Copenhagen. The farm has 20 wind turbines, with a total capacity of 40 MW, which supplies around 4% of the overall electricity power in Copenhagen. The project was initiated back in 1996, but it was stopped until 2000. It was built in 2000 after the team formed again and started a partnership with Copenhagen Energy, a local electric utility.
Danish Society for Nature Conservation wanted to change the location of the farm, but they ultimately decided to leave it there and the concrete gravity base was built. The farm is owned 50% by the municipal utility company while the other 50% is in hands of investors who gave money and supported the project. It is 5 km from the coast, which leaves the option for converting for use of the water as the main asset for energy production. The farm is also a unique concept that did not exist before it was made in 2000.
This wind farm was made on the natural reef with 3 to 8 meters water depth, where it contains 20 separate 2 MW wind turbines and all turbines use Siemens systems for powering and work. As it is the first such farm in Europe, it became one of the most significant symbols of Copenhagen, especially due to the high electricity production that powers around one-quarter of the entire Copenhagen’s power grid. Again, the developers and experts wanted to avoid possible disputes over land use, so they made it in water. It turned out to be a unique design that will make this city memorable and futuristic!
3. European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre
European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is also known as Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm that has 11 turbines, each 8.8 MW power, which started operating in 2018. The total capacity of the plant is 96.8 MW, but the more important data is that this farm displaces cca 134,000 tons of CO2. This amount of CO2 is equivalent of removing cca 35,000 cars from the UK roads. So, it is not only a technological marvel but also an environmental-friendly plant that does not ruin our eco system and the environment!
It takes around 150,000 GBPs of annual maintenance, but it powers 80,000 homes within Aberdeen, Scotland, which is a decent number! Like the previous one in Copenhagen, Denmark, this one is also placed cca 3 km from the shore, in the North Sea of Scotland. The entire cost for the construction of this project is estimated at 335 million GBP. While it was a lot of money, it is a long-term project that brought a lot of energy savings but also a huge level of environmental protection.
The initial blueprint did consist of 20 2 MW turbines that would be placed in 8 km long row, but the blueprint was changed after Vattenfall and Technip companies started working on it. Vattenfall is a Swedish company, owned fully by the Swedish Government, while Technip is a French company that is specialized in project management, engineering and energy production. It is one of the most important and biggest projects in the UK, especially in Scotland. The plant is highly visible from the Bridge of Don, so it is also a tourist location and interesting point of view.
4. Chernobyl Solar
A company from Ukraine, called Rodina, has made a huge step after Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster that had shaken the entire country, especially the industry. This joint project of the Consortium of companies Rodina and Enerparc AG is an homage to the Chernobyl — the companies decided to build the green energy project within Chernobyl’s nuclear zone! Instead of letting this area to devastate, even more, it was used for making one of the greatest Ukrainian projects. The idea was born in 2013, while the cooperation with Chernobyl’s Nuclear Power Plant started in 2015.
After a suitable site was found for the plant, the preparation for the project started in 2016. The financial scheme, blueprints, and concepts were designed and the installation of technological equipment started in 2017. In the first quarter of 2018, the developers started the plant and the first kilowatts of energy was produced and added to the Ukrainian Energy System. Since 2018, the plant has been using a “green tariff” policy and it is one of the best things that this country has made so far!
It takes around 1.6 hectares and since it started working, the plant produced more than 1.8 GW of electricity! The plant supplies not only Ukraine but also some of the surrounding countries like Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Turkey! It is also one of the biggest and most prolific projects within the Euro-Asia region.
5. Danube Ingrid
While this project has not been completed yet, it is one of the most significant projects for Eastern Europe as it will connect the network grid within a couple of countries, with the goal of providing green energy resources. This is a smart electricity grid project that started in Hungary and the Slovak Republic but will be expanded to a couple of more countries as well. The DSO and TSO Smart technologies will use transformer stations that will send energy to all nearby smart micro stations and therefore ease-up the countries’ electricity production. The smart management will allow the micro stations to request energy from the nearby and similar stations so the network wouldn’t be “empty”.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a large project where the key emphasis is one the power grid connectivity through the use of green energy and Danube Ingrid is one grater part of this project. After this project, as well as a few others throughout Europe, is completed, we can expect to see the next level of green energy as it will change completely the system we know today. It is a huge and super expensive project that will make Europe a much greener place!