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Washington DC pushes 100% renewable energy bill

 https://reneweconomy.com.au/washington-dc-pushes-100-renewable-energy-bill-48151/

Joshua S Hill 

Like the Australian Capital Territory in Canberra, which has its own 100 per cent renewable energy target that will be met by 2020 – it is a strong and not-so-subtle reprimand to the occupant of the capital district’s most famous house.

The CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 was introduced to the Council of the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) in July and has been working its way through procedures before the first of two public hearings was held last week.

In addition to increasing the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 100% – which would mandate utilities operating in the District source all their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2032 – the omnibus bill also seeks to establish a solar energy standard and require utilities to procure at least 5 per cent of their power from solar by 2032.

In a move obviously intended to increase solar development in the area, the bill includes an interesting wrinkle which proposes to increase the mandated share of solar, up until a limit of 1.68GW.

“The fight to reduce the impacts of climate change is the most important environmental issue of our time,” said council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) in July, who drafted the bill.

“The District has been a leader in this fight, but we need to do much more if we wish to achieve the greenhouse gas reduction goals in the Sustainable DC Plan and in our commitment to the Paris Accords on Climate Change.

By changing the way we approach energy consumption and building emissions, we will have a clear path forward in the fight against the devastating effects of climate change.”

The first of two hearings comes at an opportune time for the successful passing if the omnibus bill, coming as it did only a day after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a Special Report on global warming, which outlined “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

“If passed, this will be the strongest clean energy and climate protection law in the nation,” said Mark Rodeffer, chair Sierra Club DC Chapter. “To meet DC’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2032 and 80 percent by 2050 and to protect our communities from the catastrophic effects of climate change, this kind of resolute action is needed.”

In addition to the aforementioned provisions in the omnibus bill, it also includes new building emissions standards, funding for local sustainability initiatives, and the promise of new rules on transportation emissions.

“This bill provides the bold action needed to match the urgency of the climate crisis,” added Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of the Institute for Market Transformation. “It builds on the Clean Energy DC plan and the District’s 12-year legacy of clean energy and green building policy achievement, again blazing a path for other cities to follow.

It will stimulate investments to cut energy costs, reduce the flow of money from the District for energy imports, and create jobs for DC residents advancing renewables and energy efficiency.

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October 16, 2018 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Cheap flexibility from storage, demand-side response and distributed renewable energy generation poses a “huge threat” to the nuclear industry

‘Cheap as chips’ flexibility poses ‘huge threat’ to nuclear,  https://utilityweek.co.uk/cheap-chips-flexibility-poses-huge-threat-nuclear/ 12/10/2018  Cheap flexibility from storage, demand-side response and distributed generation poses a “huge threat” to the nuclear industry, according to former energy secretary Ed Davey.

 Tom Grimwood  Speaking at a conference held by Aurora Energy Research in London yesterday (11 October), Davey said the falling costs of such technologies raise “serious questions” about the government’s pursuit of new nuclear plants.“There’s no doubt storage and flexibility pose a huge threat to nuclear industry,” he told the audience.  “Nukes are expensive; take a hell of a long time to build. In ten years, where are we going to be with storage and flexibility?

“I think it’s going to be cheap as chips and have variations we don’t even know about today, because so much is evolving. The energy revolution is going apace.”

“That has to ask serious questions of the nuclear strategy which the government is pursuing”.

Davey hailed the government and Ofgem’s smart systems and flexibility plan as the “best thing” he’d seen in terms of policy since leaving office in 2015.

However, he added: “I don’t see much movement. And I’m not saying it’s because it’s easy… But we really need to be moving forward on that to give people better markets and contracts that are more investible… I think we could do a lot better.”

He continued: “If you had better policy you might be able to answer this question of do we keep a big centralised system, investing in lots of big centralised assets, or do we have more of a hybrid system.

“And we’ve gone to a hybrid system a little bit without thinking it all through but for good reasons. Solar took off much quicker than people thought, for example, and the capacity brought on peakers which weren’t really in the picture.

“We’ve now got that hybrid system and my worry is no one’s really thinking that through strategically.”

Davey also raised concerns over the influence of large generators on policy and regulatory decisions: “My worry is that the lobbying power of the big centralised generators… is a bit bigger than those of us who think a lot of the future is in the decentralised sector.

“If I have political message to people, it’s to really think that through because I think we’ve seen in some of the network code debates and elsewhere a politics which is very much in favour of centralised generators.”

Speaking to Utility Week in early 2017, the chief executive of UK Power Reserve, Tim Emrich, accused the Connection and Use of System panel of being unduly influenced by incumbents after the industry body recommended drastic cuts to the triad avoidance payments available to small-scale distributed generators.

The changes were approved by Ofgem later in the yearhttps://utilityweek.co.uk/cheap-chips-flexibility-poses-huge-threat-nuclear/

October 13, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised, energy storage | Leave a comment

France’s push for solar rooftops

Reuters 27th Sept 2018,  French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy has approved 392 rooftop solar
power projects with a total capacity of 230 megawatts (MW) under a plan
launched in 2016 to develop 1,450 MW of solar capacity within three years.
France wants to develop more wind, solar and other low-carbon energy
sources to cut its dependence on nuclear energy power, which currently
counts for over 75 percent of its needs.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-solarpower/france-approves-230-mw-of-rooftop-solar-projects-idUKKCN1M71KO?rpc=401&

September 29, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, France | Leave a comment

UK Labour government would aim to to treble the UK’s current solar capacity

Solar Power Portal 26th Sept 2018 A Labour government would look to treble the UK’s current solar capacity
and create more than 400,000 green jobs by 2030. Those were the key facts
from this week’s Labour Party conference which comprised speeches from
some of the opposition party’s central figures. Yesterday the party’s
shadow business, energy and industrial energy secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey
said that Labour had been working with an “expert team” of energy
professionals, engineers and academics to assess how the country could meet
such a target. A near trebling of the UK’s solar capacity would equate to
around 39GW of operational solar in the UK, enough, according to
Long-Bailey, to power seven million homes. Leonie Greene, director of
advocacy at the Solar Trade Association, stressed that expanding wind and
solar capacity should be an economically-driven decision that crosses party
political lines. “The government estimates that around £180 billion
needs to be invested in the electricity sector alone to 2030, so enabling
the lowest cost technologies which do not need public subsidy and which do
not contribute to climate change – namely solar and onshore wind – would be
very good news for consumers.”
https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/corbyns_labour_government_would_treble_uk_solar_capacity_create_400000_gree

September 28, 2018 Posted by | politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Leading businesses join London’s Climate Action Week, pledging 100% renewable enegy

Business Green 14th Sept 2018 Companies have pledged to power their London-premises with 100 per cent
renewable energy,as Sadiq Khan announces first London Climate Action Week
Eleven leading businesses, including Tesco, Sky, and Siemens, have
partnered with London Mayor Sadiq Khan in support of plans to make the
capital a zero carbon city by 2050. The companies announced yesterday they
will work with the Mayor’s Office to cut levels of pollution and emissions
beyond current government targets, while also committing to power their
London premises with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and supporting
the transition towards zero-emission vehicles.
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3062752/zero-carbon-capital-businesses-team-up-with-london-mayor-in-decarbonisation-drive

September 14, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Never mind Trump’s energy policies; California is going for 100% renewable energy

BBC 10th Sept 2018 , California has passed a law committing to exclusively carbon-free
electricity sources by 2045, setting it against US President Donald Trump’s
energy policy. “There is no understating the importance of this measure,”
Governor Jerry Brown said, and vowed to honour the 2015 Paris climate deal.
Last year Mr Trump said he would pull the US out of the deal and negotiate
a new “fair” deal for US businesses. California is the second US state
after Hawaii to commit to carbon-free energy. Were it to be an independent
country, California would have the fifth largest economy in the world, trailing

only Germany, Japan, China and the US. At a signing ceremony in
the state capital Sacramento, Mr Brown vowed to meet the terms of the Paris
agreement and to “continue down that path to transition our economy to zero
carbon emissions”. Under the terms of the legislation, all utility c
ompanies must get 60% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. By
2045, all Californian electricity must come from carbon-free or renewable
energy.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45476865

Time 10th Sept 2018 Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that puts California – the
world’s fifth largest economy if it was an independent country – on an
ambitious path: using 100% clean electricity by 2045.
,http://time.com/5391881/brown-signs-bill-100-percent-clean-energy-california/

 

September 12, 2018 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Power balance is changing, with the flexibility of renewable energy systems

By 2040 Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that more than half of global energy capacity will come from renewables and flexible sources, such as battery storage and demand side response

 NuClear News Sept 18   Tom Greatrex of the Nuclear Industry Association (1) says we should ignore the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC’s) recommendation that we only order one more nuclear station on top of Hinkley Point C before 2025 (2), because cutting carbon without the help of nuclear is a “risky business”. He says the Government understands the inherent value of a baseload low carbon source of generation.

The NIC says: “It is now possible to conceive of a low-cost electricity system that is principally powered by renewable energy sources.” It says at least 50% and up to 65% of electricity in 2030 should come from renewables. (3)

Australia is having similar debates where the fossil fuel lobby argues that because “coal” is “baseload”, it must therefore be “reliable”, but wind and solar are intermittent, so they cannot be relied upon to keep the lights on. It’s political rhetoric that belies the reality of the electricity system. Australia’s grid has challenges, but they are not necessarily ones that can be solved just by having more “baseload”. What is really needed – as the Australian Energy Market Operator, chief scientist Alan Finkel, and any number of other independent experts point out – is dispatchable and reliable generation, one that the grid operator can count on, at times of peak demand and heat stress. And the answer does not lie in traditional “baseload” generation – the more than 100 trips of big fossil fuel plants since December, often at times of soaring heat, underline that point.

The energy debate is usually dominated by simple political rhetoric – based around emissions or no emissions, cheap prices or expensive ones, baseload versus intermittency. That just skims over the surface. Behind the scenes, as the clean energy transition continues, debates are raging about good engineering practices and the design of markets. One of Australia’s leading electrical engineers, Kate Summers says large diverse renewable resources are far more stable in output than singular sources. She uses a series of graphs to illustrate that at moments when stability can be won or lost it has been wind and solar that have held firm, and acted as what one might consider to be “baseload”. And it has been coal and gas that has proved “intermittent” at the very minutes that stability is needed. (4)

It’s the Flexibility Stupid

A new report from Chatham House says evidence is growing that highly flexible electricity systems could deliver lower whole-system costs, especially given the dramatic projected falls in solar and wind power costs by 2030.

While the renewables rollout is a key part of global climate policy, the challenge is that the costs associated with managing the system start to escalate once renewables exceed a 30% share of generated electricity. Unless properly planned for, the growth in electric vehicle use and electric heating could further amplify these ‘system integration costs’. They include the cost of holding fossil fuel power plants in reserve for periods of low renewable supply, grid upgrades and the dumping of power from renewables when system constraints are reached. Governments can ensure electricity is affordable by promoting ‘flexibility’. Grid operators and power companies should pursue a diverse range of flexible, decentralized, modular technologies.

New technologies that enhance system flexibility, including smart electric vehicle (EV) charging, battery storage, digitalization with intelligent control and demand-side management, are unleashing a new phase of transformations in the power sector, for which existing companies are ill prepared. Companies providing these solutions may come to dominate the power sector in the coming decades. The accelerating deployment of this array of ‘flexibility enablers’ means the spectre of cost escalation – resulting from the expense of managing intermittent wind and solar power at huge volumes – may never materialize.

Smart, staggered EV charging could enable significant advances in system flexibility. By 2030, smart EV charging in the UK could be equivalent to 18% of the country’s current generating capacity. Rapid cost reductions in battery manufacturing, driven by increased deployment of EVs, are enabling affordable static, grid-level storage, in turn enhancing power system flexibility.

Digitalization of the electricity sector will lead to significant advances in system efficiency and flexibility. Residential demand will become flexible and networks functionally ‘smarter’. Machine-learning algorithms could be a game-changer, helping to manage the increasing complexity of electricity systems and identify new system-level efficiencies.

Enhanced system flexibility and a growing role for these technologies will provide new entry points for highly disruptive market actors, many of them not traditionally associated with the power sector. These actors include powerful technology companies and automotive manufacturers such as Google, Tesla and BMW. More widespread electrification of transport, and eventually of heating, will change the political and regulatory landscape of the electricity sector.

The transformations which have happened so far, with the rapid introduction of renewable technologies and falling demand due to greater energy efficiency, have undermined the business models of traditional power utilities. Now they face the prospect that renewables will achieve ever higher penetrations within the electricity market, aided by greater system flexibility. This will continue to erode the role of large power stations in ‘system balancing’ – balancing supply and demand – and will put further pressure on existing business models.

Evidence is growing that highly flexible electricity systems could deliver lower whole-system costs, especially given the dramatic projected falls in solar and wind power costs by 2030. But new regulatory approaches are needed to encourage market actors to deliver flexibility. Regulatory frameworks need to prioritize and incentivize investment in these areas, and encourage alternative business models. And in this future, our reliance on large fossil fuel power plants would fade, along with the utility business models that have long been based on a centralized power system.

New business models are emerging to aggregate and manage behind-the-meter investments. One example: storage-as-a-service. The innovative US utility, Green Mountain Power (GMP), in Vermont offers customers a Tesla Powerwall 2.0 battery for $15 a month so long as the customer allows GMP to manage when and how the battery is charged and discharged. Alternatively, customers can buy one for $1,500 – which is roughly a fifth of the actual cost of the battery. In either case, substantial subsidies, approved by the Vermont’s Public Utilities Commission, are offered. The regulator has been convinced that the scheme will more than pay for itself in the sense that all customers, not just those participating, will benefit from the program. The distributed storage paid off handsomely during a heat wave in early July 2018. The company was able to discharge stored energy out of about 500 Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in the homes of some 400 customers and feed it into the grid when it was sorely needed. It saved roughly half a million dollars by avoiding the need to buy expensive power from suppliers at the time of peak demand. GMP, which serves roughly a quarter-million customers in VT uses the batteries in customers’ premises as a virtual power plant (VPP). Customers like the batteries because they typically replace an emergency generator when power fails – which is not uncommon during storms in rural areas. (6)

 UK Power Networks

The UK’s largest electricity distributor has proposed adopting a “flexibility first” approach to the delivery of extra grid capacity, in a move that could bring renewable energy onto the network at a lower cost. UK Power Networks has revealed plans to “supercharge” local markets for flexibility services, which rely on customers changing their energy consumption or generation to balance network demand, possibly by creating them itself.

The company claims that if flexibility services were made available to the 8.2 million buildings it serves, new markets for distributed renewable generation would open across London, the South East and the East of England. It speculates that such increased competition would result in a higher proportion of renewable power being bought onto the network, but at a lower cost. The Flexibility Roadmap proposes a radical rethink to the way we do business, moving away from automatically building new assets and instead giving the distributed energy resources market the opportunity to offer their services. If the market can provide the capacity we need at a more cost-effective rate than building new infrastructure, that’s exactly what we should do.

Specifically, UK Power Networks believes that the actions outlined in the roadmap will lower costs for consumers by delaying or avoiding expensive grid reinforcements, increase the resilience of the network and provide new sources of revenue for flexibility providers. To ascertain how it should best meet demand for flexibility, the company has launched a consultation on its Flexibility Roadmap. The consultation will run from August to 8 October. If accepted the proposals will come into effect from 2019.

Earlier this summer, UK Power Networks unveiled its plan to create the nation’s first “virtual” solar power station by the end of the year, using PV panels on the rooftops of its London customers’ homes. (7)

Demand-Side Response

By 2040 Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that more than half of global energy capacity will come from renewables and flexible sources, such as battery storage and demand side response. At 7% of global capacity, flexible sources such as batteries and demand side response – where homes and businesses automatically cut energy usage a peak times – will account for the same level of global energy capacity as oil-fired power plants today. And more than half of this energy storage capacity will come from small-scale batteries installed by households and businesses alongside rooftop solar panels. This trend away from larger power plants and towards smaller, decentralised energy systems is happening already in both developed and developing nations.

Energy, like every other sector, is going digital. From smart home products such as Hive that allow home owners to control their energy use from their smartphone, through to companies like REstore employing artificial intelligence to calculate just how much energy capacity a factory can offer as a virtual power plant. Centrica’s CEO Iain Conn says he expects demand side response to become one of the fastest growing elements of the energy market over the next few years. Europe’s largest demand side response aggregator, REstore, was acquired by Centrica in 2017.

In the same way as demand side response aggregators are emerging as a new type of energy company for the decentralised era, a new breed of companies is providing a route to market services for small generators. Centrica acquired one of Europe’s leading route to market companies, the Denmark-based Neas Energy, in 2016. Neas is able to take all of the Big Data coming from smart meters and Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices to build an accurate real-time picture of energy demand, as well as demand trends. Neas also uses software that combines this data with smart algorithms that judge weather patterns, so that it knows how much any given wind turbine or solar panel is likely to generate, and when. This helps balance the grid by matching supply and demand more accurately. And for the smaller energy producer, it helps them sell their energy at the most accurate market price. The growth in services supplied by companies like Neas is being driven by the rapid improvement and increasing availability of smart digital technology to both energy companies and their customers.

Greater insight through digital technology is just the start of the shift of power away from energy companies and towards the customer. Centrica is currently piloting a project in the south west of England that will allow local residents and businesses to buy and sell energy between themselves without the intervention of their energy supplier. The £19 million Local Energy Market in Cornwall is enabling 200 homes and businesses to do this using a digital record known as Blockchain. It is used to create a secure electronic ledger of transactions between participants. Iain Conn says he believes such local networks will become the norm in a new decentralised energy market.

Home owners using Blockchain to become their own micro-energy companies may seem like something for the distant future, but Microsoft’s Michael Wignall says that digital technology is accelerating at such a pace that these kinds of radical changes will be delivered over a short period of time. The Fourth Industrial Revolution we are currently experiencing will make energy systems of the future completely unrecognisable from what they are today. (8)

“Energy storage is all the rage”, says Dave Elliott, Emeritus Professor of Technology Policy at the Open University. But while the field is full of innovation at present, pumped hydro storage continues to dominate. And while storage offers one way to respond to the variability of some renewables, there are other options, including smart grid demand management (to time-shift demand peaks) and super-grid imports and exports (to balance local supply and demand variations across wide areas). (9) “There is nothing that storage can do that something else can’t do,” according to Professor Mark O’Malley of Canada’s McGill University and University College Dublin. (10)

Batteries, capacitors, and flywheels, along with smart-grid demand adjustments, may all be fine for brief periods, dealing with short-term variations in renewable inputs, but are not much use for longer-term lulls in renewable availability. Pumped hydro projects may be able to deliver power for perhaps a day or so, depending on their scale, but for longer term storage that’s when big hydrogen gas or compressed air underground storage facilities may come into their ownlinked to back-up generators. The stores can be charged using green energy already produced, when there was surplus, locally or on a wider basis, with super-grid links for transfers. http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/NuClearNewsNo110.pdf

 

September 10, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Solar power industry gives opportunity for retraining coal workers for good alternative employment

An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar, The Conversation,Joshua M. Pearce, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, August 23, 2018The Trump administration announced new pollution rules for coal-fired power plants designed to keep existing coal power plants operating more and save American coal mining jobs.

Profitability for U.S. coal power plants has plummeted, and one major coal company after another has filed for bankruptcy, including the world’s largest private-sector coal company, Peabody Energy.

The main reason coal is in decline is less expensive natural gas and renewable energy like solar. Coal employment has dropped so low there are fewer than 53,000 coal miners in total in the U.S. (for comparison, the failing retailer J.C. Penny has about twice as many workers).

The EPA estimates the new rules will cause about 1,400 more premature deaths a year from coal-related air pollution by 2030. The Trump administration could avoid the premature American deaths from coal pollution – which amount to about 52,000 per year in total – and still help the coal miners themselves by retraining them for a more profitable industry, such as the solar industry.

study I co-authored analyzed the question of retraining current coal workers for employment in the solar industry. We found that this transition is feasible in most cases and would even result in better pay for nearly all of the current coal workers.

How to make the jump?

What is left of the coal mining industry represents a unique demographic compared to the rest of America. It is white (96.4 percent); male (96.2 percent); aging, with an average age of 43.8 years old; and relatively uneducated, with 76.7 percent having earned only a high school degree or equivalent. Many are highly skilled, however, with the largest sector of jobs being equipment operators at 27 percent. Many of these skills can be transferred directly into the solar industry.

In the study, we evaluated the skill sets of current coal workers and tabulated salaries. For each type of coal position, we determined the closest equivalent solar position and tried to match current coal salaries. We then quantified the time and investment required to retrain each worker.

Our results show there is a wide variety of employment opportunities in solar – the industry overall already employs more than five times more people than in coal mining, at over 250,000 by one industry group estimate. We also found the annual pay is generally better at all levels of education, even with the lowest-skilled jobs. For example, janitors in the coal industry could increase their salaries by 7 percent by becoming low-skilled mechanical assemblers in the solar industry.

Overall, we found that after retraining, technical workers (the vast majority) would make more money in the solar industry than they do in coal. Also note this study was about careers and was done before an uptick in the practice of hiring temporary coal workers. The only downside on salaries we found are that managers and particularly executives would make less in solar than coal. This represents only about 3.2 percent of coal workers that are professional administrators.

Retraining needs

How would coal workers make this transition? There are over 40 types of solar jobs which the DOE has mapped out. They range from entry-level jobs, such as installers, to more advanced positions in engineering and technical design. Most coal workers could not simply walk into a solar job; they would need some retraining. But certain positions require less training…………https://theconversation.com/an-alternative-to-propping-up-coal-power-plants-retrain-workers-for-solar-101961

September 8, 2018 Posted by | employment, renewable | Leave a comment

‘Spinning’O-Wind Turbine captures wind from any direction

O-Wind Turbine: James Dyson Award National UK Winner

Groundbreaking ‘spinning’ wind turbine wins UK Dyson award, Guardian, Rebecca Smithers, Consumer affairs correspondent, 5 Sep 2018 

The O-Wind Turbine captures wind from any direction and, unlike traditional turbines, could be effective in cities A ‘spinning’ turbine which can capture wind travelling in any direction and could transform how consumers generate electricity has won its two student designers a prestigious James Dyson award.

Nicolas Orellana, 36, and Yaseen Noorani, 24, both MSc students at Lancaster University, have created the O-Wind Turbine which – in a technological first – takes advantage of both horizontal and vertical winds without requiring steering.

Conventional wind turbines only capture wind travelling in one direction, and are notoriously inefficient in cities where wind trapped between buildings becomes unpredictable, making the turbines unusable…….

A ‘spinning’ turbine which can capture wind travelling in any direction and could transform how consumers generate electricity has won its two student designers a prestigious James Dyson award.

Nicolas Orellana, 36, and Yaseen Noorani, 24, both MSc students at Lancaster University, have created the O-Wind Turbine which – in a technological first – takes advantage of both horizontal and vertical winds without requiring steering.

Conventional wind turbines only capture wind travelling in one direction, and are notoriously inefficient in cities where wind trapped between buildings becomes unpredictable, making the turbines unusable…….


Wind power
 currently generates just 4% of the world’s electricity but it could produce up to 40 times the amount of electricity consumed, Noorani said.

The duo’s invention will now be entered into the international running for the final leg of the James Dyson award in November, which will give the overall worldwide winner a further £30,000 in prize money.

The award operates in 27 countries, and is open to university level students and recent graduates studying product design, industrial design and engineering. It recognises and rewards imaginative design solutions to global problems with the environment in mind. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/05/groundbreaking-spinning-wind-turbine-wins-uk-dyson-award

September 5, 2018 Posted by | decentralised | Leave a comment

Renewable energy systems set to go ahead with new technology enhancing flexibility

Chatham House 22nd Aug 2018  Electricity Markets**  As renewables become a large share of the global energy mix, greater  electricity system flexibility will be critical and will originate from the
small scale, write Daniel Quiggin and Antony Froggatt.
The International Energy Agency forecasts that ‘solar PV and onshore wind together
represent 75 per cent of global renewable electricity capacity growth over
the medium-term’. Bloomberg New Energy Finance also estimates that by
2040, nearly three-quarters of the $10.2 trillion invested in new
power-generating capacity will be in renewables.
While this renewables rollout is a key part of global climate policy, the challenge is that the
costs associated with managing the system start to escalate once renewables
exceed a 30 per cent share of generated electricity. Unless properly
planned for, the growth in electric vehicle use and electric heating could
further amplify these ‘system integration costs’. They include the cost
of holding fossil fuel power plants in reserve for periods of low renewable
supply, grid upgrades and the dumping of power from renewables when system
constraints are reached.
So, as renewable energy pushes beyond 30 per cent,
and as a growing number of cars and domestic-heating systems begin to add
to power usage, how can governments ensure electricity is affordable? The
answer is ‘flexibility’. A raft of technologies already entering the
market, promise to radically enhance the flexibility of electricity
systems, helping contain system integration costs while accelerating the
low-carbon transition.
https://hoffmanncentre.chathamhouse.org/article/decentralised-flexibility/

August 26, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised | Leave a comment

Flexible localised renewable energy networks in UK

Centrica (accessed) 24th Aug 2018 , By 2040 Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that more than half of global
energy capacity will come from renewables and flexible sources, such as
battery storage and demand side response. At 7% of global capacity,
flexible sources such as batteries and demand side response – where homes
and businesses automatically cut energy usage a peak times – will account
for the same level of global energy capacity as oil-fired power plants
today.

And more than half of this energy storage capacity will come from
small-scale batteries installed by households and businesses alongside
rooftop solar panels.

This trend away from larger power plants and towards
smaller, decentralised energy systems is happening in both developed and
developing nations. The decarbonisation trend is being accelerated by the
falling price of renewable energy technology, and the availability of
technology such as batteries that makes it easier to store electricity.
This in turn accelerates decentralisation, as renewables are by their
nature smaller and more spread out than the equivalent capacity provided by
a traditional power plant.

The rate of decarbonisation and decentralisation
is being accelerated by digital technology, giving people the power to
save, or even make, money by being more flexible with their energy use,
while helping electricity grid operators to balance supply and demand.

Europe’s largest demand side response aggregator, REstore, was acquired
by Centrica in 2017. Centrica CEO Iain Conn says he expects demand side
response to become one of the fastest growing elements of the energy market
over the next few years. From smart home products such as Hive that allow
home owners to control their energy use from their smartphone, through to
companies like REstore employing artificial intelligence to calculate just
how much energy capacity a factory can offer as a virtual power plant.
Energy, like every other sector, is going digital.

Greater insight through
digital technology is just the start of the shift of power away from energy
companies and towards the customer. Centrica is currently piloting a
project in the south west of England that will allow local residents and
businesses to buy and sell energy between themselves without the
intervention of their energy supplier. The £19 million Local Energy Market
in Cornwall is enabling 200 homes and businesses to do this using a digital
record known as Blockchain. It is used to create a secure electronic ledger
of transactions between participants. Iain Conn says he believes such local
networks will become the norm in a new decentralised energy market.
https://www.centrica.com/platform/three-tech-trends

August 26, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

U.S. army increasing its investment and use of solar power

FT 24th Aug 2018 The US Army has increased its investments in solar power and is eyeing
further opportunities to work with the private sector to develop projects,
despite the Trump administration’s scepticism about renewable energy.
Michael McGhee, who leads the US Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives, told
the Financial Times that installing solar panels at army bases could
improve resilience against attacks or natural disasters, and provide
cost-effective electricity supplies.
https://www.ft.com/content/7c23057e-a3cc-11e8-8ecf-a7ae1beff35b

August 25, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Success of London’s community renewable energy projects: mayor Sadiq Khan launches second round

Solar Power Portal 23rd Aug 2018 London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has today launched a second round of funding for community energy projects following the success of the first, which
funded the initial stages of 11 solar projects set to be installed by the end of the year.
First mooted a year ago when deputy mayor Shirley  Rodrigues sat down with Solar Power Portal in City Hall, the first round of the London Community Energy Fund (LCEF) awarded £150,000 to fund a range
of solar project feasibility and scoping activities.
Phase two will bringforward an additional £150,000 that as last time will offer grants of up
to £15,000 per project to support the development stages of community
energy projects.
https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/sadiq_khan_launches_second_phase_of_community_energy_funding_as_solar_push

August 25, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

US Government’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) says renewable energy is surging while nuclear is declining

EIA Data Undermines Trump’s Love Affair With Coal & Nuclear https://cleantechnica.com/2018/08/13/eia-data-undermines-trumps-love-affair-with-coal-nuclear/  August 13th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill


A handful of reports published over recent weeks by the US Government’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) have revealed that coal and nuclear continue their decline across the country, while renewable energy continues to surge with longevity which will quickly take it out beyond the reach of the United States’ traditional generators.

So far this month, the EIA has published its “Electric Power Monthly” report and its “Short-Term Energy Outlook” for August, while FERC published its “Energy Infrastructure Update.” When taken together, and excluding an expected decline in utility-scale solar capacity additions, it is good news for the renewable energy industry and bad news for the United States’ coal and nuclear sectors.

Specifically, the United States’ renewable energy sources — consisting of biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind — now provide more electricity than nuclear power in over half the states across the country, and more electricity than coal in a third of the states. Further, according to data compiled from the reports by Ken Bossong of the Sun Day Campaign, over the next three years of capacity additions and retirements, the US coal industry will experience a net-loss of 15,898 megawatts (MW) and the nuclear industry will only see a net-increase of 756 MW.

Conversely, utility-scale renewable energy capacity is expected to skyrocket by 156,981 MW over the same time period, led primarily by wind energy with nearly 91 gigawatts (GW) and solar with just over 52 GW.

“EIA and FERC data underscore that the renewable energy train has left the station,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Trying to reverse that situation with costly subsidies for environmentally-polluting nuclear power and coal defies common sense.”

“Nuclear and coal simply can’t compete with renewable energy,” said Tim Judson, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “Renewables will be generating more power than nuclear by 2020, and nuclear is poised for the same precipitous decline as coal in the coming years.”

It’s worth noting that “capacity” is not the same as “generation” — because, as Ken Bossong explains, “nuclear and coal typically have higher capacity factors than most renewable sources” — but one need only look at the figures to see that renewable energy is catching quickly here as well. Specifically, renewable energy generation over the first five months of 2018 accounted for 20.17% of the United States’ electrical generation, while nuclear only provided 20.14%. Further, while coal still maintains a healthy lead over both renewables and nuclear with 26.6% over the first five months of 2018, this is down from 39% five years ago when renewables only accounted for 14.3%.

The only substantial negative takeaway from this bundle of official US Governmental reports is that the EIA has downgraded its forecast utility-scale solar capacity additions for 2019 from 11.4 GW to 6.3 GW “As a result of incoming data reported in the Annual Electric Generator survey.” This will be combined with an estimated 3.94 GW worth of residential, commercial, and industrial solar, bringing the total 2019 expected solar capacity additions up to 10.3 GW — a 7% growth on the 9.58 GW expected to come online this year.

August 15, 2018 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s energy transition from nuclear to wind and solar power

Nuclear Ghost Town Reveals Power Risk for Taiwan’s Energy Shift, Bloomberg, By Dan Murtaugh,  Miaojung Lin, and Samson Ellis   August 7, 2018, 

  • Plan to shut reactors sparks race to develop wind, solar power
  • Goal is 70% of electricity from gas, renewable sources by 2025

A map at the guard-house of the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan shows what might have been: Classrooms, dormitories, a grocery store, a police station. It was supposed to be a self-contained city on the island’s northeast coast designed to meet growing demand for electricity in Asia’s seventh-largest economy.

Instead, the complex stands empty — unfinished and never used — a $10 billion casualty of growing public opposition to nuclear power. Since a disastrous 2011 reactor meltdown in Japan, more than 1,400 miles (2,250 kilometers) away, Taiwan has rewritten its energy plans. President Tsai Ing-wen ordered all of the country’s nuclear reactors to shut by 2025.

Taiwan’s Transition

Taichung gears up for wind power as Lungmen’s reactors are mothballed

That’s set off a high-risk gamble to find alternatives to nuclear, which supplies 12 percent of the island’s electricity, while limiting an increase in carbon emissions. The island’s sprint reflects a drive across the region toward cleaner energy sources such as sunlight, wind and natural gas. Nations from Australia to South Korea and mainland Chinato India are seeking to meet rising demand without belching more emissions blamed for climate change and smog.

Taiwan’s solution: Wind turbines are planned in the blustery Taiwan Strait, solar panels are popping up on coastal salt flats, and terminals are being planned to import more liquefied natural gas. But new sources could take years to develop, making power rationing and blackouts a possibility as the gap narrows between demand and generating capacity.

“There are going to be concerns over the next few years about reserve margins and power supply reliability,” said Zhouwei Diao, an IHS Markit analyst in Beijing.

The government’s plan has several parts. First, all nuclear and most oil-fueled generators will be shut. Together, they supplied 16 percent of Taiwan’s electricity in 2016. The country will still have about the same amount of coal capacity by 2025 as now, but its share of total power generation will drop to 30 percent from about half as sources of alternative energy expand. Natural gas will see the biggest usage gain, accounting for half of supply by 2025, while renewables like wind and solar will more than triple to 20 percent.

As electricity demand grows over the next seven years, the government says it will boost generating capacity while limiting carbon emissions and ridding itself of a political headache.

Taiwan’s state-run nuclear industry already was unpopular after it built a controversial waste-storage site on Orchid Island, home to one of the country’s indigenous peoples. But sentiment turned even more negative after the disaster in Japan, which occurred after a giant earthquake and tsunami. The disaster prompted countries including Germany and South Korea to ditch their nuclear programs.

Taiwan Power Co. operates three nuclear plants and was building the fourth in Lungmen when the Fukushima meltdown occurred. In 2014, the government halted construction that was nearly complete, with uranium-fuel rods in place. In 2016, the Democratic Progressive Party won election on an anti-nuclear platform. Last month, workers removed the unused fuel rods and sold them to a buyer in the U.S.

…….. The government has held firm to its plan. Part of the optimism comes from the plunging cost of building wind and solar projects around the world. There’s also expanding supplies of cheap liquefied natural gas available from the Middle East, Australia and the U.S…….. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-05/nuclear-ghost-town-reveals-power-risk-for-taiwan-s-energy-shift

August 13, 2018 Posted by | renewable, Taiwan | Leave a comment