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Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “Kazakhstan”

Greenhouse Technology in Kazakhstan

Greenhouses could one day be used to grow crops on the Moon or Mars. Until that moment arrives, humans can practice a little with industrial scale greenhouses that enable growing of crops in otherwise hostile environments on Earth, be it the Australian desert or the cold land climate of Kazakhstan.

BRBAPK-Kazakhstan already produced in green houses in the summer, now they can grow vegetables in the very cold winter as well and deliver the produce to their northern Siberian neighbors. The 4000 MW coal-fired power plant probably isn’t a neighbor by accident, providing the power, required to produce light and heat in the winter. The company currently has 20 hectares and aims to grow to 100 hectares in 2025.

The great advantage of greenhouses is that crops can be grown all year around. And of growing importance in the light of climate change is that you need far less water, as most water is kept inside and only leaves the greenhouse as marketable produce. Vegetables inside a greenhouse are largely exempt from the Darwinian struggle for survival, like they would have to endure outside, have little to fear from insects, snails, birds and other predators. On top of that greenhouses can be air-fertilized with industrial CO2, speeding up growth. As a consequence growth of plants can best be described as lush.

The Netherlands could face a third drought year in succession. Expanding its already huge greenhouse base (ca. 0.25% of Dutch territory) could provide the answer.

[hoogendoorn.nl] – Kazakh greenhouse works with Dutch knowledge and technology
[deepresource] – Growing Crops in the Australian Desert with Seawater
[Google Maps] – Location green house Kazakhstan
[wikipedia.org] – Greenhouse
[space.com] – Greenhouse Could Grow Food on Moon
[designboom.com] – NASA designs inflatable greenhouse for farming on mars

Read more…

$43 Billion is not Enough

caspian

You have almost certainly seen the Bond movie “The world is not enough“. The film responded to the emerging oil boom in the Caspian basin, where reserves of up to 200 billion barrel are expected.

PierceBMW99

That was 1999. One year later the world’s largest oil discovery in three decades was made in Kashagan (not to be pronounced as ‘cash all gone’), on the Kazahk side of the Caspian Sea. According to projections at the time the field should produce 1.2 million barrels per day by now, enough to cover Spain. Fourteen years and $43 billion later, still almost nothing has been produced. The new horizon for production to start is 2016. Main problems are:

corrosive and poisonous hydrogen sulphide gas, pumped up from the seabed along with the oil, has eaten through pipes bringing it onshore.

Another Kazakh cash burner has been the Tengiz field ($40 billion), but that field at least produces ca. 500,000 barrel per day. Both fields combined contain reserves worth 22 billion barrels.

[businessinsider.com] – One Of The World’s Biggest Oil Projects Is A Total Fiasco
[the-american-interest.com] – The Great Kazakh Oil Fail

caspian_routes_map[source]
Overview of all major oil & gas pipelines in the Caspian basin, as well as exploitation right per country.

oil-pipelines-east-and-west[source]
Planned pipelines Caspian basin. The planned pipeline through Afghanistan (red line, bottom right) is the main reason why the US are still in that country. The bin Laden story is for newspaper readers.

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