Hydrogen

The use of clean hydrogen technologies by transport and industry present “big opportunities” for the UK economy, but coordinated leadership from government and industry is needed to rapidly get the ball rolling on development. That is the key conclusion from a new analysis by think tank Policy Exchange to be released later today, which will argues investment in cost-effective hydrogen production technologies such as electrolysis would open up export opportunities for the UK, while also supporting the government’s Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth agenda. Hydrogen is “the most abundant element in the universe”, can be produced sustainably and only produces water vapour when burned, the report emphasises. As a fuel, it is 40 per cent more efficient than diesel, while it also has the potential to store energy or replace natural gas for heating. But today’s report, which assesses the potential of hydrogen to be used as a future energy source across a number of industries and processes, warns the UK risks missing out on H2’s green economy potential unless development and investment efforts are rapidly stepped up. It calls for increased investment to be focused on research and development (R&D) efforts to lower the cost of hydrogen production via clean methods such as electrolysis – which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using clean power sources and has the potential to provide energy flexibility and storage services to help balance intermittent renewable electricity sources. But the analysis is sceptical of the use of hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas in heating In particular, it points to Scotland and North East England as opportunities for hydrogen production hubs, offering potential to produce H2 using renewable electricity sources such as wind power, or through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

Business Green 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Birmingham University has signed a deal with Porterbrook, a privatised train leasing company, to begin testing Hydroflex – the country’s first hydrogen train, which could be ready for dummy runs next year. The university’s Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, which employs 130 academics, researchers and professional staff, says that it can produce a train that runs on hydrogen fuel cells without any need for a back-up diesel engine. It also would be able to hook up on electrified lines. Helen Simpson, of Porterbrook, said that there was interest in hydrogen because of its potential as a means of energy storage, addi ng that hydrogen power could smooth demand for electricity. The project has the backing of Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, who has struggled to deliver mainline electrification projects while promising to decarbonise the network and remove diesel trains by 2040.

Times 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Island Energy

Crofters in Lewis have had development applications for wind farms on their common grazings rejected this week by the Crofting Commission. The news was revealed in a statement by the Stornoway Trust, who welcomed the long awaited decision from the Crofting Commission, not to consent the Section 50B application submitted by the Grazing Committees of Melbost and Branahuie, Sandwick East Street, and Sandwick North Street. In the judgment issued to each applicant, who had sought consent to establish wind turbines on the site of the already consented Stornoway Wind Farm proposed development, the Commission explained that the proposed use would be detrimental to the interest of the Stornoway Trust as set out in Section 50B (2) of the 1993 Crofting Act. Crofters had hoped that approval for the go-ahead of their own wind farm project would realise much greater community benefits.

Stornoway Gazette 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Renewables – offshore wind

Orsted has cashed in on a lucratively subsidised contract to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm in British waters, selling half of the project to an infrastructure fund for £4.5 billion. The “bumper” price paid by Global Infrastructure Partners for the stake in Hornsea One, 75 miles off the coast of Grimsby, was a third more than expected, RBC Capital Markets said. Orsted, formerly known as Dong Energy, has already started building the 174-turbine project capable of powering more than a million homes. It should be completed by 2020.

Times 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Telegraph 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Hydrogen

Germany has rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology. Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV-maker Alstom, on Monday began running a 62 mile (100km) route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany – a stretch normally plied by diesel trains. “The world’s first hydrogen train is entering into commercial service and is ready for serial production,” Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said at an unveiling ceremony in Bremervoerde, the station where the trains will be refuelled with hydrogen. Alstom has said it plans to deliver another 14 of the zero-emissions trains to Lower Saxony state by 2021, while other German states have also expressed an interest. Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions. Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.

Guardian 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Renewables

Wind and solar energy could deliver more than just renewable, low-carbon electricity: they could green the desert, increasing the Sahara’s rainfall and helping it to bloom. A sufficiently large network of wind turbines and solar panels arrayed across the dusty wastes of North Africa could change the local climate in ways that could double rainfall, stimulate vegetation growth and set up a feedback loop that could go on increasing moisture in the world’s greatest desert region.

Climate News Network 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Good Energy founder and chief executive Juliet Davenport has been elected to the Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) board of directors. Nina Skorupska, chief executive at the REA, described Davenport as “one of the most influential voices in the UK for advancing renewables” and said she would bring with her “extraordinary levels” of policy knowledge and business acumen. “We are entering a new, more challenging, period as an industry, and having Juliet with us will be crucial to our members and the association’s goal of growing the renewable and clean tech economy,” Skorupska added. It’s the latest in an increasing line of board appointments for Davenport, having served on the board of the Natural Environment Research Council since June 2015 and more recently the board at Innovate UK.

Solar Power Portal 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Renewables – solar

Solar-plus-storage installs and virtual power plant roll-outs are providing a route to market for installers even in the absence of feed-in tariffs. That is the verdict of ex-Tesla and Trina Solar stalwart Ben Hill, who has recently joined virtual power plant (VPP) specialist Solo Energy as commercial and technical advisor to assist in the company’s VPP development.

Solar Power Portal 18th Sept 2018 read more »

“Across Europe, records came tumbling down,” said James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe. “In the UK, solar broke the record for weekly output between 21 and 28 June, producing 533 GWh of power, which led solar to take over from gas as the number one energy source in the country during that period.”

Renew Economy 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Renewables – tidal

SIMEC Atlantis Energy has unveiled plans to develop 2MW tidal power turbines, which it claims would be the “largest and most powerful” in the world. The UK-based tidal energy developer revealed late last week that its next generation single axis rotor turbine would be capable of accommodating rotor diameters of between 20-24 metres, depending on the site, while only reducing rotor speed by less than one metre per second.

Business Green 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 September 2018

Renewables – wind

The UK’s onshore and offshore wind energy industry has just reached a historic milestone. We’ve now installed more than 20 gigawatts of capacity.

Business Green 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Edie 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Energy Voice 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 September 2018

Grid Connections

Tomorrow SP Energy Networks will convene Edinburgh councillors, public transport operators and business leaders to lay out the issues around preparing Scotland’s capital city for the electric revolution ahead. The electricity network operator – which transmits and distributes electricity across central and southern Scotland as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire – is leading the way in preparing urban and rural areas for the advent of electric cars and low carbon district heating schemes. At “Empowering Smart Cities” SP Energy Networks chief executive Frank Mitchell will lay out the challenges ahead to the electric grid which delivers the safe and secure supply of people’s electricity. It is predicted that the growth in electric vehicles will accelerate, but if investment is not made in local electricity grids ahead of this growth, the Scottish Government’s low carbon ambitions could grind to a halt. The meeting follows similar events held by SP Energy Networks in Glasgow and Liverpool earlier this year.

Edinburgh Reporter 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 September 2018

100% Renewables

A group of 11 businesses including Tesco, Siemens, Landsec and Sky have pledged to source 100% renewable power for their London facilities by 2020 in support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s recently announced plans to make the capital the “greenest” city in the world by 2050.

Edie 14th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 September 2018