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According to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), Europe installed 308 new offshore wind turbines in 2010, a 51% increase in installed offshore capacity over the previous year. The 883 Mw of new capacity were installed at nine wind farms in five countries, bringing the continent's total offshore installed wind capacity to 2964 Mw. The UK, with 1,341 Mw, continues to lead the world in installed offshore capacity, followed by Denmark (854 Mw), The Netherlands (249 Mw), Belgium (195 Mw), Sweden (164 Mw), Germany (92 Mw), Ireland (25 Mw), Finland (26 Mw), and Norway (2.3 Mw). Between 1,000 and 1,500 Mw of new offshore capacity is expected to be added in 2011. Ten European wind farms are under construction, representing a total of 3000 Mw. These are expected to double the installed capacity of the 45 offshore wind farms already connected to the grid. In the US, only 5115 Mw of wind power were installed in 2010 - 50% of 2009's amount. As of January 2011, total US wind capacity stood at 40,180 Mw - the second-highest in the world, behind China for the first time. China has 41,800 Mw in operation and installed new wind capacity during 2010 that was 62% more than what it had at the end of 2009. Source

In January 2011, Brazil's environment agency, IBAMA, issued a partial installation license that allows for construction of the Belo Monte dam complex. The 11,233-Mw hydro project is estimated to cost about $11.7 billion, and will begin on the margins of the Amazon's Xingu River. The massive hydro project is expected to be the world's third largest in installed capacity when completed, putting it behind China's Three Gorges Dam (22,500 Mw) and the Itaipú Dam (14,000 Mw) on the border of Brazil and Paraguay. Completion is expected in 2015. Source

China's government plans to increase its nuclear capacity from 2 to 5% of its total power generation, for a total of 86 Gw by 2020, by spending 70 billion yuan/yr. The government is expected to approve another 10 nuclear power projects during its 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015). The bulk of the investments are to be made by the China National Nuclear Corp, which will spend 800 billion yuan by 2020. The localization rate - the amount of nuclear equipment that is domestically engineered - stands at an average of 50%. Source

One of the world's first osmotic power plants started operation at Tofte on the Oslo fjord in Norway last November 2009, producing 2-4 kw after more than a decade of collaborative research and development by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft. The plant operates on a process called pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO), which basically involves pumping seawater at 60% to 85% of the osmotic pressure against one side of semipermeable membranes whose other side is exposed freshwater. When freshwater, compelled by osmosis, flows across the membranes, it dilutes the saltwater and increases its volume - and consequently, the pressure within the saltwater chamber. A generator-driving turbine is spun as the pressure is compensated. PRO can be thought of as the reverse osmosis process running backward and producing power from the flow of freshwater. Statkraft expects its prototype to play a significant role in the testing and development of osmotic power during its 3-yr operational run. The next phase will be to build a 1-2-Mw pilot facility. The utility?s ultimate goal is to build a commercial osmotic power plant by 2015, a facility that will harvest a fraction of the 1600-1700 TWw-hr/yr global osmotic power potential. Source

On 1/14/2011, Alstom signed a €950 million contract with Narva Elektrijaamad AS, a subsidiary of Estonia's state-owned utility, Eesti Energia, to supply two 300-Mw units for a fossil-fueled power plant based on circulating fluidized bed boiler technology in Estonia. The power plant, located in Narva, will be fueled by local oil shale. The new power plant will supply an important part of the country's domestic electricity demand and ensure Estonia's compliance with the European Union's emissions directive. Source

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