Top 5 Largest Renewable Energy Projects in the World
Once seen as a niche, renewable energy has grown into a potential large-scale replacement for fossil fuels around the world. Solar prices alone have dropped 62% since 2009 making them a more affordable solution. Offshore wind power costs have also been cut in half in the last decade.
Renewable energy projects continue to pop up all over the world as countries continue to phase out fossil fuel burning plants. Most of these projects are smaller in scale and are built to power communities and/or businesses. However, some projects are large enough to power millions of homes and provide thousands of jobs.
Here are the top 5 renewable energy projects in the world:
The TuNur Project
This 4.5 GW solar park in Tunisia is planned to pipe electricity to Italy and France through submarine cables. The solar park in Tunisia will harness the Saharan sun with several towers that are over 600ft tall and a solar panel field 3 times the size of Manhattan. They will then lay underground cables to Italy and France to pipe in the electricity.
The project is said to be large enough to power over 2 million homes in Europe and provide over 20,000 jobs. If all goes to plan, the developer group is targeting 2021 for delivering power to Italy and 2024 for connecting France.
The Asian Renewable Energy Hub
After 3 years of working on different proposals, CWP Energy Asia, InterContinental Energy and Vestas have developed a plan for a 6 GW wind and solar power plant to provide renewable energy to Indonesia. The plant will be placed in Western Australia’s East Pilbara region and would export electricity to Indonesia via under-water pipelines.
While the electricity would be generated in Australia, the wind and solar equipment will be manufactured in Indonesia, creating thousands of jobs for the Asian country. The project will consist of over 1,000 wind turbines and 10 million solar panels and is capable of producing enough electricity to power 7 million homes. They hope to complete the project by 2025.
The Grand Inga Project
The Grand Inga is the world’s largest hydroelectric planned project. The proposed damn would be the 4th and largest dam built on the lower Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The dam will generate over 40,000 MW of electricity, which will more than double the capacity of the world’s largest dam in China.
The cost is an estimated $80 billion US which will include transmission lines to different parts of Africa and, potentially, Europe. The project was introduced as a way to provide cheaper and sustainable electricity to African countries to help boost the economy. The plan is in the environmental impact study phase currently.
Cardiff Tidal Lagoon Project
Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) claims the new project would power every home in Wales and generate cheap electricity by harnessing the powerful tides off the west coast of the UK. The project is proposed to have over 100 tidal lagoon turbines capable of capturing wave energy from the sea.
The project estimates over 3,000 construction jobs and 8,000 manufacturing jobs for Welsh and UK workers. The project is proposed to cost around £8 billion and is estimated to contribute £500 million in Gross Value Added in each of the project’s 120 years of operation.
The Gansu Wind Farm
The Gansu Wind Farm Project is currently under construction in the desert near Jiuquan, China. The planned total capacity for the wind farm is 8 GW which it will achieve in phases. Currently, at 6,000 MW, the Gansu Wind Farm is already the largest wind farm in the world and is almost equal to the United Kingdom’s total wind power capacity.
The project has almost 7,000 wind turbines in operation with 36 new wind turbines being erected each day. However, due to local government favoring coal and poor long-distance transmission capacity, The Gansu Project is one of the most underutilized wind projects in the world with nearly 40% of capacity wasted.