The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has announced it will expand Phase IV of the 5 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum Solar Park by another 250 MW. The power utility has also revealed that the PPA with the project developer, local energy giant ACWA Power has been amended, and that the new PV portion of Phase IV, which originally included only a 700 MW CSP power plant planned to sell power at $0.073/kWh, will sell power at a tariff of $0.024/kWh. This price equals that of a 1.17 GW solar project currently under construction in Abu Dhabi.
NASA is working on a nuclear fission system that could help humans reach Mars. Today, the idea of sending humans to Mars is not such a far-fetched proposition. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for example, says it has an "aspirational goal" to send a cargo mission to the Red Planet in 2022. A second mission, carrying both cargo and crew, is being targeted for 2024. For its part NASA, together with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, has been working on a nuclear reactor power system that it says could "enable long-duration crewed missions to the Moon, Mars and destinations beyond."
Colombia’s national mining and energy planning unit UPME has announced in a circular it will postpone the final bidding rules for the country’s first auction for large-scale renewable energy projects. The authority said that it will provide an updated schedule of the auction in an upcoming circular, without providing further details. Meanwhile, local newspaper La República has reported that UPME’s director, Ricardo Ramírez, and the vice-minister of energy and mines, Diego Mesa, said during a conference that the auction will not be held on January 2, as initially planned, and that it may be held at a later date in the first quarter of 2019.
Russian energy producer Gazprom will deliver more gas to its Austrian partner OMV. Deliveries to Austria will be increased by 1 billion cubic metres per year, they added. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said:
"The signing of a document on additional exports beyond the contractual amounts serves as yet another proof of the high demand for Russian gas on the part of our European consumers."
- The ozone layer that shields life from cancer-causing solar rays is recovering at a rate of one to three percent per decade, reversing years of dangerous depletion caused by the release of harmful chemicals, a UN study said. UN Environment and the World Meteorological Organization said in a statement:
"Evidence presented by the authors shows that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 percent per decade since 2000."
- Canadian Solar has rejected an offer from its Chief Executive Officer Shawn Qu to take the solar module maker private.
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