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Germany a leading solar power producer, despite its low hours of sunshine

Germany Works (accessed) 9th Dec 2018, Germany has belied its status as a country with the fewest hours of sunshine in the world to become one of the planet’s largest solar power producers.
In 2017, Germany ranked fourth globally and accounted for about 10 per cent of the global installed capacity, according to the International Energy Agency. In 2017, Germany ranked fourth globally and accounted for about 10 per cent of the global installed capacity, according to the International Energy Agency.
This has been achieved by 1.7 million small-scale solar panel operators rather than by big, centralised power producers. These operators produced 9.6 per cent of Germany’s net energy production in the first nine months of 2018, according to research institute Fraunhofer ISE. Further, solar power has become the cheapest mode of power generation in Germany, according to Fraunhofer ISE, which says that equipment and installation costs fell by 75 per cent between 2006 and 2017.
https://germanyworks.ft.com/energy/german-solar-power-is-a-sunrise-market/

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December 11, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, Germany | 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

‘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

Smart householders don’t just switch energy providers, they go solar

Guardian 5th July 2018 , Emeritus Professor Sue Roaf: You should talk to people in the solar
industry about the future for domestic solar power rather than just relying
on “predictions”. As a non-executive director of AES Solar Ltd in Forres,
Scotland, I can tell you that our order books are healthy, despite the
government’s solarcoaster tariffs.

We are seeing real, steady growth
because, for instance, where better to spend a small part of a pension pot
than to put in a solar water heater, PV electrics and a battery system,
thus decoupling the household budget from soaring energy prices from the
grid.

Smart householders don’t just switch energy providers, they go solar,
not least those looking for a financially safer old age. That is the sort
of compelling reason why solar has a brilliant future in the UK, not a dark
one.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/05/tidal-power-to-the-people

July 7, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Community Energy could bring a revolutionary change to Europe’s clean energy package

Unearthed 26th June 2018 ,This week national governments will meet in Brussels to vote on a deal –
part of the EU’s clean energy package – that would recognise the right
of people and communities to produce their own energy. It could represent
possibly the biggest systematic change to Europe’s electricity market in
a generation. Unearthed has got hold of the final text of the renewable
energy directive, which could boost the take-up of renewable energy from
households and small producers in the EU. The UK appears unsure as to
whether it will integrate the policies into national law after Brexit.
https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/06/26/eu-makes-it-a-right-for-people-to-sell-renewable-energy-here-are-5-things-you-need-to-know/

June 29, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, EUROPE | Leave a comment

California to make solar panels mandatory on new houses?

Independent 5th May 2018 , California is set to become the first US state to make solar panels
mandatory on most newly built homes. The state’s Energy Commission is due
to vote next week on new energy standards that would require virtually all
new homes to be constructed with solar panels from 2020. Currently around
20 per cent of single-family homes are constructed with solar capacity
built in, but if the new standards are approved as expected this proportion
will rise sharply.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/california-solar-power-panels-homes-renewable-green-energy-climate-change-a8337626.html

May 7, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Australia claims world first: fully solar-powered train

World-first solar train now leaving the platform in Byron Bay with zero emissions, ABC North Coast , By Bruce Mackenzie, 17  Dec 17,  What is claimed to be the world’s first fully solar-powered train is operating on the New South Wales North Coast.

A refurbished 70-year-old ‘red rattler’ is running on a three-kilometre stretch of disused rail line at the popular tourist destination of Byron Bay.

It made its maiden trip yesterday with almost 100 passengers on board.

Electric bus solar system

The $4-million project is the brainchild of multi-millionaire businessman Brian Flannery, who owns a resort in the area.

“Hopefully it attracts people to Byron Bay,” Mr Flannery said.

“I think international tourists will come here to have a look at this world’s first solar train.

“So let’s see, in five years’ time they’ll probably still say I’m mad, but it’s a bit of fun.”

Tim Elderton, from the Lithgow Railway Workshop, was tasked with building curved solar panels and a battery system to power the train.

“Of course the major difference is it’s got solar panels on the roof so it can recharge itself.

“For those cloudy days we’ve also got 30 kilowatts of solar panels in this [station’s] roof here so we can also plug it in.

“On a sunny day like today we can do about four or five trips before we have to plug it in.”……..

Tram infrastructure a possibility

Longer trips than this one — 10 minutes to cover three kilometres or so — would require regular recharging stations along the route, but Mr Flannery said the technology might be suited to inner-city trams.

A lot of the tram networks of course have overhead wires and they’re electric but they’re powered off the grid from overhead,” he said.

“But in a case where you want to build a tramline without that infrastructure, I think you could.

“At various stations you could top the train [or tram] up.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-16/world-first-solar-train-the-brainchild-of-byron-bay-millionaire/9265522

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes, decentralised, energy storage | Leave a comment

Up and running in 3 weeks – solar power for Puerto Rico’s children’s hospital

Struggling Puerto Rico children’s hospital gets solar power from Tesla, http://abcnews.go.com/US/struggling-puerto-rico-childrens-hospital-solar-power-tesla/story?id=50721869 By J.J. GALLAGHER Oct 25, 2017,A children’s hospital in Puerto Rico that was forced to run off generators and ration diesel fuel in the wake of Hurricane Maria now has a solar power system that will supply all of its electricity needs. Tesla and Puerto Rico’s governor touted the project yesterday, sending out multiple official tweets and Facebook posts, and officials said today that the system is already providing solar-generated electricity to the hospital.

The Hospital del Nino is located in the capital San Juan and serves about 3,000 children across the island. The hospital also houses some 30 children with serious medical needs that require round-the-clock care.

A hospital spokesperson told Primera Hora last month that they were forced to ration diesel fuel and take other measures to ensure a constant flow of electricity.

Hurricane Maria also knocked down all of the trees surrounding the hospital, resulting in heat from the withering tropical sun beating down on the building and its surroundings.

Tesla’s system works with solar panels that generate electricity during the day and batteries that store the power and distribute it when the sun isn’t shining. Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his company could bring solar power to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello replied “let’s talk” and later said the two had a “great initial conversation.”

Less than three weeks later, officials say the hospital is up and running with a solar system that supplies all of its electricity needs.

“I’ve never seen a team arrive so fast and work so fast. They built this in a week,” Rafael Pagán, the hospital’s chairman of the board, told Telemundo.

Just 25 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents have electricity, according to the latest figures, and some 3,758 people are still in shelters nearly two months after Maria ravaged the island, causing widespread damages and killing 51 people.

Rossello has promised to fully restore electricity to the island by Christmas, a goal that analysts have cast doubt upon.

Repairing Puerto Rico’s badly damaged electrical grid could take months and cost billions of dollars. Musk has put forth his so-called solar microgrids, that produce energy locally through solar energy, as an alternative.

ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

October 27, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s solar powered smart communities

The Sun Rises on Japan’s Solar-Powered Smart Communities, Solar Magazine, By Andrew Burger – 16 Oct 17 

Smart communities fueled by solar energy and the latest in advanced energy storage and smart microgrid technologies are taking root and beginning to expand in Japan, part and parcel of a national drive to enhance energy resilience and independence. Strong political and “grass roots” public support for “green energy,” greater consumer choice and renewable energy self-generation has emerged in Japan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which all but leveled Tokyo Electric Power’s Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, Japan | Leave a comment

Futuristic solar powered car feeds energy back into the grid

Guardian 15th Oct 2017, A futuristic family car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies
energy back to the grid has been hailed as “the future” as the annual
World Solar Challenge wrapped up in Australia. The innovative bi-annual
contest, first run in 1987, began in Darwin a week ago with 41 vehicles
setting off on a 3,000km (1,860-mile) trip through the heart of Australia
to Adelaide. A Dutch car, Nuna 9, won the race for the third-straight time,
crossing the finish line on Thursday after travelling at an average speed
of 81.2kmh (55.5 mph).
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/15/this-is-the-future-solar-powered-family-car-hailed-by-experts

October 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, decentralised | Leave a comment