Hydrogen

Power-to-gas (P2G)—the conversion of electrical power into gaseous energy carriers—is a quickly improving and potentially disruptive energy conversion technology. It offers many of the same services of other energy storage technologies and has the added ability to be stored for long periods in the form of a useful commodity fuel product, hydrogen. The hydrogen economy has had false starts before thanks in part to high costs and infrastructure challenges. P2G is primed for significant growth in coming years as demand for clean hydrogen grows, electrolyzer capital costs fall, and cheap renewable energy bathes the grid. P2G provides a variety of services to the electric grid for renewables integration. While these services can also be provided by most grid-tied storage technologies, P2G has unique attributes that can give it an edge. Seasonal energy storage—of interest in places like California where a record 80 GWh of renewable power was curtailed in the windy and sunny month of March—is an application well-suited for P2G, since long-term storage capacity can be scaled up by adding low tech tanks. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine’s Advanced Power and Energy Program found that hydrogen energy storage systems can have lower capital costs than lithium-ion batteries for discharge durations of more than about 20 hours—a duration easily exceeded in the months-long seasonal storage arena. Electrolyzers can also ramp production up or down on command and maintain that new state for a nearly indefinite period, functioning as a demand response (DR) resource. For example, within seconds, a 10-MW electrolyzer operating at a steady 5 MW can look like a load (by ramping to 10 MW) or a generator (by dropping to 0 MW). ITM Power, an electrolyzer vendor, identifies three value streams in the example of electrolyzers operating on the UK’s National Grid: Electric utilities are gradually beginning to recognize the value P2G can bring to their grid; Navigant Research sees European utilities leading deployment, with Asia Pacific and North American counterparts following. Gas utilities, which are beginning to recognize hydrogen as a potentially significant fuel of the low carbon future, should direct renewable gas research and programs accordingly. A longer-term vision of companies like Engie and others is to generate hydrogen where cheap renewables exist, and export it to demand centers. Ultimately, though, hydrogen end-users could play the most important role in driving P2G in the coming decade. From consumer FCVs to oil refineries, end-users are starting to recognize that generating hydrogen from renewables can be a win-win for markets across the globe.

Renewable Energy World 13th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Local Energy

Islington Council launches local energy supplier: Angelic Energy is London’s first new municipal energy supplier for more than a century. The not-for-profit supplier has been created by the local authority to aid its efforts to combat fuel poverty and inequality within the borough. One of the main groups Angelic Energy will seek to help is residents using prepayment meters. Angelic Energy has been set up as a white label company in partnership with Robin Hood Energy – joining Liverpool, Leeds and Derby, and soon Lancaster Council’s Great North Energy.

Utility Week 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Renewables – floating turbines

The world’s first floating wind farm has started delivering electricity to the Scottish power grid, and will utilise an innovative battery storage system to provide power for around 20,000 households. Statoil announced that a 1MWh lithium battery – named Batwind – will be installed as part of the five-turbine floating wind farm project, to mitigate intermittency, lower costs and optimise the energy output from the wind park to the grid.

Edie 18th Oct 2017 read more »

BBC 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Scotsman 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Daily Mail 18th Oct 2017 read more »

The i news 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Times 19th Oct 2017 read more »

The National 19th Oct 2017 read more »

Daily Record 19th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Energy Storage

Electricity and heat generator and retailer Vattenfall is developing a third party model for energy storage deployment which will see the Swedish firm deploy batteries alongside UK solar farms. As the company prepares to deliver its first battery storage project in the UK at the Pen y Cymoedd wind farm in Wales early next year, Vattenfall recently revealed that it is already in talks with a number of solar farm owners.

Solar Power Portal 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Renewables – floating turbines

Nicola Sturgeon will formally open the world’s first floating wind farm later. Five giant turbines have been installed about 15 miles from Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. The floating approach allows turbines to be installed in much deeper waters than conventional offshore wind farms. The first minister said the project, which will generate enough electricity for about 20,000 homes, was testament to Scotland’s “international reputation” for renewable energy. World’s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland. The 172-metre turbines are almost four times the height of the Forth Bridge. Norwegian energy firm Statoil has been working on developing the project, known as Hywind, for more than 15 years.

BBC 18th Oct 2017 read more »

The National 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Herald 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017

Renewables – onshore wind

A Canadian renewables firm has teamed up with UK based Infinergy to develop £6.6million worth of onshore wind projects across Scotland. The pair have a pipeline of 10 wind projects lined up varying from 6 to 80MW. Patrick Lemaire, president and chief executive officer of Boralex, said that the Scottish Government’s stance renewables had provided the backdrop to the deal. He said: “With Scotland’s strong political will to support the growth of all its renewable energy sources, we are excited to start working with our new partners Infinergy.

Energy Voice 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017

Renewables

Last year was another record breaker for renewables, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).Almost two thirds of net new power capacity worldwide came from green sources. Solar power accounted for a large part of the growth, with a 50% increase in capacity.

Energy Voice 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 17 October 2017

Renewables – solar

The UK solar industry currently has 8.3GW of ground-mounted large-scale (>250kW) solar farms installed, across almost 1,200 sites, the majority of which are over 5MW in size. Until now, module selection has been seen by many as a commodity affair, often driven by minimising project capex, and less focused on the quality and reliability that ultimately underpin returns for long-term asset holders and investors. This article explains how the next phase of UK solar growth will see changes in module supply and energy-yield capability, owing to the rapid changes in the module supply landscape and the new technologies now coming through in mass production, and how this will impact the design of solar farms and the module suppliers that will be driving this.

Solar Portal 16th Oct 2017 read more »

All low carbon technologies should be able to access the same markets and compete on an equal basis for contracts according to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), whose latest policy consultation flies in the face of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy (CGS). Last week the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released its long-overdue policy paper for how the UK will meet its commitments under the Climate Change Act to 2032. In a move that has since been heavily criticised, it left solar as the only renewable energy technology not able to access large scale government support after onshore wind was let back into the Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism in island locations. The day after the CGS was published the NIC released its national infrastructure priorities consultation which places carbon among the top three biggest threats to the country’s prosperity and quality of life over the coming decades. It points to ‘the imperative for a clear policy framework’ in low carbon energy and calls for the ‘successful exploitation of the falling costs of low carbon technologies’. As both the NIC’s document and the CGS state, solar technology costs have fallen by 80% since 2008/09 and yet the benefit of this to consumers has continued to be left absent from government policy. The Commission has therefore said it will consider how technology neutrality can be applied to government contracts “as far as possible” and promote fair market access across all technologies on the basis of how they compete on price. The document, released on Friday (13 October) has been supported by the Solar Trade Association (STA), which last week accused government of“artificially holding back” solar PV in its plans.

Solar Power Portal; 16th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 17 October 2017

Renewables – onshore wind

A WIND farm developed by a housing association to fund new homes is in the running for a raft of awards. The new community wind farm in Berwickshire is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK. It is hoped it will generate revenue of £20 million over the next 25 years – enough to allow Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) to build 500 new homes. It should also produce enough energy to power about 5900 households. The wind farm, which has been named The Fisherman Three, has been shortlisted in the Best Community Project category of the Scottish Green Energy Awards, run by Scottish Renewables. Welcoming the new nominations, BHA’s chief executive Helen Forsyth said the wind farm would not only allow the association to build new homes but would also provide an initial community benefit payment of £37,500 per year.

The National 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 17 October 2017

Renewables

In the UK, the wind energy industry is celebrating. Last month, the cost of renewable energy dropped dramatically to undercut by almost half the government’s projections for 2025. At £57.50 per megawatt-hour (MWh), it is far cheaper than the state-backed price of £92.50 awarded in 2016 to Hinkley nuclear power station. The speed of wind’s progress is extreme and inarguable. Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of RenewableUK, and a former climate change activist, can’t keep the happiness from her voice. But she is happy for new reasons. What’s really exciting, she says, is the fact that she “is not having to talk to officials about decarbonisation any more as a starting point. Windfarms are low carbon. But that’s not why we want to build them. We want to build them because they’re bloody cheap!”

Guardian 15th Oct 2017 read more »

The disruptive power of renewables: After years of hope and promise, renewables are beginning to establish a presence in the energy market free of the requirement for heavy subsidies.

FT 16th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 16 October 2017