Renewables

As clean energy emerges into its bright post-subsidy future, many within the industry were eagerly anticipating announcements within the Chancellor’s Budget designed to boost the sector into its next growth phase. In the event however, the topic was not mentioned, ceding further ground to other priorities. Whilst understandable that some issues must be prioritised, most notably Brexit, many will view this as a lost opportunity (and perhaps symptomatic of a growing trend). Consequently, the industry will be looking to the Government to demonstrate its commitment to the sector and prove that it has not become a secondary concern. Given the climate change imperative and the latest warnings from the IPCC, pressure to accelerate the UK’s transition into a clean energy economy is certainly mounting rapidly. To a large extent, the industry has so far risen to this challenge and delivered independently, although this has led many to speculate whether much more could have been achieved.

Energy Voice 12th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 12 November 2018

Renewables – wind

Britain must take advantage of Brexit to spur a renaissance in its industrial heartlands by setting tougher standards for renewable energy projects, according to a major Conservative party donor. Ukraine-born businessman Alexander Temerko has urged Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, to insist that new wind power projects contain at least 60pc British-made components. Mr Temerko, who is deputy chair of offshore engineering group OGN, warned that the engineering yards of the North East risk losing out to companies in Spain and Germany for lucrative contracts building the parts which will be used to construct giant offshore wind turbines in the early 2020s. He told The Daily Telegraph that the cheaper sterling currency following the Brexit referendum should be seized as an opportunity to insist that wind farm developers choose British suppliers.

Telegraph 11th Oct 2018 read more »

Posted: 12 November 2018

Energy Storage

Global investment into energy storage technologies including batteries is set to reach $1.2trn by 2040 as technology costs fall, according to new research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Released on Tuesday (6 November), BNEF’s latest long-term energy storage outlook predicts that the global energy storage will grow to reach a cumulative 942GW/2 or 857GWh by 2040, with research, development and project installation being backed with more than $1.2trn from the investment community over the next 22 years. The analysis attributes this prediction to an anticipated fall in the cost of battery technologies, with such devices expected to cost 52% less in 2030 than they do now, according to BNEF.

Edie 9th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 12 November 2018

Renewables – marine energy

The ambition of the wave and tidal industry is not being matched by the UK Government, a former Scottish secretary has warned. Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael claims slow progress on a policy framework is preventing the sector from becoming commercially viable. He made the comments to the chancellor and ministers at Treasury questions in the Commons. Lib Dem Mr Carmichael told MPs renewable energy developers had proposed Innovation Power Purchase Agreements, a mechanism to help with commercial deployment. And he asked whether Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss would work with the business secretary to develop this plan as part of the government’s industrial strategy. She said the spending review would look at the most efficient way of achieving carbon targets, adding: “I am working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in that regard.” Orkney is home to the European Marine Energy Centre, one of the largest wave and tidal testing beds in the world. Full commercialisation could be transformative and bring more investment into the Northern Isles.

Energy Voice 8th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 10 November 2018

Renewables – offshore wind

The UK’s growing number of offshore windfarms have avoided greenhouse gas emissions of over 43M tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent to date, according to figures published by Green Investment Group. Green Investment Group (GIG) estimates that UK offshore windfarms are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around 9M tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) every year, equivalent to the emissions of nearly 4M cars. The figures are contained in Green Investment Group’s (GIG’s) recent UK Offshore Wind Green Impact Report, prepared by its green investment ratings team. GIC said this is the first time an estimation of this range of environmental benefits from the UK’s entire offshore wind fleet has been published. The report assesses various environmental benefits that UK offshore wind has delivered to date and provides a forecast of future benefits which could be delivered by the current pipeline of consented projects. The Report forecasts more than 743M tonnes of CO2e lifetime avoided emissions if all existing consented projects are built out in line with their consented capacity; an annual emissions avoidance of over 32M tonnes CO2e at the height of deployment; and the avoidance of almost 14M tonnes oil equivalent consumption.

Offshore Wind Journal 9th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 10 November 2018

Renewables – floating wind

Cornwall and the south west of England could become a centre of excellence for developing floating offshore wind, advocates of the technology have argued, and consent is being sought for the Wave Hub there to test floating wind technology. That is the ambition of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has developed a strategy to promote the region as an ideal location for floating windfarms that could generate energy miles offshore and not be visible from land. LEP marine and energy lead Steve Jermy, who is also chairman of the Marine Offshore Renewables Group in the south west, said “The emerging floating offshore wind industry could do for the south west what fixed offshore wind has done for the east of the country, transforming communities, creating hundreds of jobs and making a vital contribution to the UK’s low carbon energy mix.”

Offshore Wind Journal 9th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 10 November 2018

Renewables – solar

The green technologies installed as part of a £500m redevelopment of Kings Cross Station in London are delivering cheaper bills and lower carbon emissions, Network Rail has confirmed. In an update this week the company said the station’s 2,300 square metre solar panel installation has cut carbon emissions at the station by more than 40 tonnes

Business Green 9th Nov 2018 read more »

Public support for solar PV remains high, but the government has seemingly failed with its clean growth awareness campaigns. Those are the findings from the most recent Public Attitudes Tracker survey, published today, which demonstrate that 83% of the 4,258 surveyed support the use of solar PV. While public support has dwindled slightly from its high of 87% recorded in March, solar remains the most popular renewable energy generation technology in the country, beating offshore wind by four percentage points. Support for renewables in general also remains high at 80%, but has too slipped slightly from the 83% figure recorded in March’s survey.

Solar power Portal 8th Nov 2018 read more »

Amazon has received planning approval for its latest solar and storage project, which will see a ~3.6MW array installed on the roof of Coalville site in Leicestershire alongside a battery storage system. Approval was granted by North West Leicestershire District Council last month for the installations at the recently built large distribution centre. The solar PV system is predicted to generate 3,073,000 kWh/annum, contributing almost a third of the total site demand. The size of the Tesla battery system to be used was not clear from the planning documents, however proposed building elevations suggest a system comprised of 15 Powerpack units, just over half the size of the 3.77MW battery proposed for Amazon’s Tilbury fulfilment centre.

Solar Power Portal 8th Nov 2018 read more »

With the price of photovoltaics having plunged dramatically, solar is likely to become a major contributor to the electrical generating mix in many countries. But the intermittent nature of photovoltaics could put a limit on how much they contribute to future grids or force us to develop massive storage capabilities. But photovoltaics aren’t the only solar technology out there. Concentrated solar power uses mirrors to focus the Sun’s light, providing heat that can be used to drive turbines. Advances in heat storage mean that the technology can now generate power around the clock, essentially integrating storage into the process of producing energy. Unfortunately, the price of concentrated solar hasn’t budged much, and photovoltaics have left it in the dust. But some materials scientists may have figured out a way to boost concentrated solar’s efficiency considerably, clawing back some of photovoltaics’ advantage.

Ars Technica 19th Oct 2018 read more »

Posted: 10 November 2018

Energy Storage

Investors have sunk £100 million into a new listed company that aims to use shipping containers packed with lithium-ion batteries to buy, store and sell electricity. Gresham House Energy Storage Fund claims that it will make a return of 15 per cent a year by providing electricity when surges in demand coincide with periods when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. Its capital-raising round scraped home after it extended the timetable, reduced the minimum amount it sought to raise and persuaded the sellers of battery assets it is buying to accept shares instead of cash. It had hoped to raise £200 million.

Times 10th Nov 2018 read more »

Solar Power Portal 9th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 10 November 2018

Renewables

Juliet Davenport, Good Energy: A Big Six supplier ‘going green’ is our chance to clear up confusion on clean energy. Good Energy’s Juliet Davenport wants more clarity over green energy tariffs. Whenever I tell the story of the Good Energy’s inception, I start with an anecdote about the entire renewables industry meeting in a room above a pub.

Business Green 8th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 9 November 2018

Biomass

The Northern Ireland story is that an open-ended Renewable Heat Initiative invited businesses to convert from heating their premises with oil to fuelling boilers with wood pellets. Those in the know cottoned onto the fact that the subsidy was worth more than the price of the electricity generated. The result was that a bill of somewhere between half a billion and a billion pounds, stretching far into the future, was run up before a halt was called. Meanwhile, empty barns and warehouses were heated day and night on the simple premise that the more you burned, the more you were paid. This fiasco points to wider questions of whether wood burning should be subsidised and, if so, what is society getting in return? The general assumption has been that replacing oil or coal with wood burning is, by definition, a cleaner option. There are now many who would challenge that. For example, Professor John Beddington, a former UK government chief scientific adviser, has warned that burning wood for heat “may even lead to a situation where global emissions accelerate”.

Energy Voice 9th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 9 November 2018