Renewables – tidal

GFG Alliance is to buy a significant stake in Atlantis Resources, a tidal power developer, with a view to building a larger renewable power group that would help to fuel its factories. GFG, the industrial conglomerate controlled by the billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, is folding its power station in Uskmouth, south Wales, into Atlantis. In return GFG is taking a 49.99 per cent holding in the Aim-quoted company, which is to be renamed Simec Atlantis Energy. Atlantis Resources was formed to develop tidal energy projects in 2005. It employs 65 people, with the bulk at its headquarters in Edinburgh. Its Meygen scheme in the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Scotland is one of the most advanced tidal power projects in the world and has been generating electricity since last year. Tim Corneliu s, chief executive of Atlantis, said Meygen was one of the reasons GFG was attracted to the business. GFG, a £7.5 billion turnover consortium with interests around the world in steel, commodities and energy, has been investing heavily in the UK in recent years by acquiring steel plants from Tata, industrial sites and renewables assets in England, Scotland and Wales. It believes much of its industrial activity in the UK can be powered from renewable sources, ushering in a more environmentally friendly era of heavy manufacturing.

Times 15th Dec 2017 read more »

FT 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Herald 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Energy Voice 15th Dec 2017 read more »

BBC 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Simec Atlantis Energy aims to build a highly diversified, global green power enterprise, driving forward the £200 million conversion to renewable energy of Uskmouth power station in South Wales, in addition to the development of the trailblazing Meygen tidal stream project in Scotland and the Wyre Estuary tidal barrage project in Lancashire.

The National 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Billionaire industrialist Sanjeev Gupta plans to create a new listed renewable energy giant by breathing life into tidal power company Atlantis Resources. Aim-listed Atlantis will buy the aging Uskmouth coal plant in South Wales from Simec Energy, a subsidiary of Mr Gupta’s $10bn turnaround group GFG Alliance. In return Simec will take a 49.9pc stake in Atlantis, which will be renamed Simec Atlantis Energy. The £200m plan will see Uskmouth converted from coal to burning renewable biomass pellets. The deal creates a “highly-diversified, global green power enterprise”, which is expected to grow further through a string of similar deals with Simec Energy in the future. Simec is also behind plans for a string of remote Scottish tidal power turbines.

Telegraph 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Renewables – offshore wind

A massive floating crane has arrived in Peterhead ahead of work on the construction of wind turbines off Aberdeen. The 11 turbines will make up the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off Aberdeen. Energy firm Vattenfall is behind the project. The 25,000-tonne Asian Hercules III arrived ahead of work involving suction bucket foundations involved in the construction.

BBC 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Biomass

Letter: The European Union is moving to enact a directive to double Europe’s current renewable energy by 2030. This is admirable, but a critical flaw in the present version would accelerate climate change, allowing countries, power plants and factories to claim that cutting down trees and burning them for energy fully qualifies as renewable energy. Even a small part of Europe’s energy requires a large quantity of trees and to avoid profound harm to the climate and forests worldwide the European council and parliament must fix this flaw. European producers of wood products have for decades generated electricity and heat as beneficial by-products, using wood wastes and limited forest residues. Most of this material would decompose and release carbon dioxide in a few years anyway, so using them to displace fossil fuels can reduce the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere in a few years too. Unfortunately, the directive moving through parliament would go beyond wastes and residues and credit countries and companies for cutting down additional trees simply to burn them for energy. To do so has fundamentally different consequences because the carbon released into the air would otherwise stay locked up in forests. The reasoning seems to be that so long as forests re-grow, they will eventually reabsorb the carbon released. Yet even then, the net effect – as many studies have shown – will typically be to increase global warming for decades to centuries, even when wood replaces coal, oil or natural gas. The reasons begin with the inherent inefficiencies in harvesting wood. Typically, around one third or more of each tree is contained in roots and small branches that are properly left in the forest to protect soils, and most of which decompose, emitting carbon. The wood that is burned releases even more carbon than coal per unit of energy generated, and burns at a lower temperature, producing less electricity – turning wood into compressed pellets increases efficiency but uses energy and creates large additional emissions.

Guardian 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Renewables – solar

Oil major BP said today that it will invest £150million over three years in a solar power company. In return, BP will get a 43% share in London-headquartered Lightsource, which will be renamed Lightsource BP. BP will have two seats on the board of directors at the new venture. The partnership will develop Lightsource’s 6 gigawatt project pipeline, which is largely focused on the US, India, Europe and the Middle East. BP will pay Lightsource an initial £37million when the deal goes through at the start of next year. BP has high hopes for solar power. A recent study by the company showed solar capacity more than tripled over the past four years worldwide. The company believes solar is likely to supply about a third of the world’s total renewable power and up to 10% of total global power by 2035.

Energy Voice 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Renewables

Building and running new renewable energy is now cheaper than just running old coal and nuclear plants. The lowest price for solar power last year is the highestprice now. Battery prices were cut in half just since 2014. And who could have imagined — just a few years after Tesla put a defibrillator to the flat-lined electric vehicle market — that China would announce plans to join the rapidly expanding list of countries planning to phase out fossil fuel-burning cars in the next decade or two, a list that by year’s end included the UK, France, Norway, and India? It must always be repeated that the clean energy revolution can’t prevent catastrophic climate change without far more aggressive government policies to speed the transition off fossil fuels. And President Donald Trump can at least temporarily slow the revolution in the U.S. with his pro-polluter policies. But the revolution is now unstoppable at a global level. That means the super-cheap solution to climate change is at hand — and in 2017, these individual technologies started to team up, joining their powers like the Marvel superheroes in the Avengers movies. Solar remains the most amazing story. Solar panel prices plunged by a shocking 26 percent in the last year — despite having already dropped 80 percent in price in the previous 10 years and 99 percent since the late 1970s.

Renew Economy 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Energy Storage

An investment company has revealed plans to develop three pumped hydro storage companies in Scotland with an estimated total capacity of around 1,200MW. ILI pumped storage is looking for £3.4m of investment.

Utility Week 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 December 2017

Renewables – Solar

Last week, my 10:10 colleague Leo Murray co-authored a new report on solar-powered trains with Nathaniel Bottrell, an electrical engineer at Imperial College. It’s exciting stuff. We think solar could power 20% of the Merseyrail network in Liverpool, as well as 15% of commuter routes in Kent, Sussex and Wessex. There’s scope for solar trams in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham, London and Manchester too, and there’s no reason it should just be a British thing either. We’re especially excited about possibilities in San Francisco, Mexico City, India and Spain, but trains and trams all over the world could be running on sun in a few years time. Sign up for Lab notes – the Guardian’s weekly science update. It’s also a genuine world first. There are a few solar stations – Blackfriars Bridge being by far the coolest – and some trains in India even have solar panels on their roofs, but that’s just to power equipment like lights and fans. No one’s moving the trains themselves with solar. Yet. What’s especially interesting is how our new innovation came about – in particular the role community energy groups have played in its development (often despite policy support, not because of it, or in response to policy constraints). Looking ahead, there are also important questions to be asked about what role these community groups might play in its deployment. The idea came from a community solar group in Balcombe, West Sussex, formed in response to the first anti-fracking protests in the UK, in the summer of 2013. After the drillers, the activists, the press and various other hangers-on had left, the villagers were left with a question our current energy system lets most of us ignore: how should we power ourselves? They decided they wanted local, community-owned energy, and also that they wanted to go solar.

Guardian 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 December 2017

China – solar

China is to build the world’s biggest floating solar power plant to reduce the country’s consumption of fossil fuels and improve air quality as part of its war on pollution. The £113 million project has been funded by China Three Gorges Corporation, and is scheduled to be operational in eastern Anhui province from May. The company claimed that it would produce 150 megawatts, enough to power more than 50,000 homes, as the country makes a big drive towards floating solar farms, which can be installed without using up valuable agricultural land. The panels also help to prevent the evaporation of surface water. Following shutdowns and the relocation of coal-fired plants in recent years, the giant solar farm is the latest measure in the country’s efforts to move away from its reliance on polluting coal power. According to state media about 72 per cent of China’s energy comes from coal. China Three Gorges Corporation, one of 400 solar power companies in the country, said that the power generated by the new plant would save almost 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. It added that the plant would be located in a lake that formed after a coal mine collapsed. Anhui is already home to a 40-megawatt solar panel farm run by Sungrow Power Supply which was previously the country’s largest of its kind. The news was hailed by state media as another demonstration of China’s green credentials and as an element of a war on pollution declared in 2014, to tackle the country’s environmental problems, including chronic air pollution in cities and toxic rivers.

Times 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 December 2017

Renewables – solar

Energy minister Richard Harrington has admitted that the government’s evidence base for arguing solar can be deployed without subsidy consists of just one solar farm. Furthermore, Harrington has also stated that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) does not hold any information regarding that particular solar farm’s – Anesco’s Clay Hill project – revenue sources. The admissions occurred within parliament’s written questions and answers process, with Harrington responding to a number of questions from Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith.

Solar Power Portal 12th Dec 2017 read more »

Rooftop solar installations on new build housing will be driven mostly by Scotland and London for the foreseeable future, with opportunities for PV limited to certain geographies. That is the view of Stuart Elmes, chief executive at Viridian Solar, who blogs for Solar Power Portal this morning on the opportunities that lie for solar in the new build housing market. Since the reduction of the feed-in tariff significantly dampening average solar deployment figures, installers still active in the UK market have looked to broaden their horizons and the new build housing market has been a particular area of interest.

Solar Power Portal 12th Dec 2017 read more »

Solar Power Portal 12th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 December 2017

Energy Storage

Government policy and regulation offer the biggest barriers to the deployment of battery energy storage in the UK according to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Energy Storage, which claims 12GW of batteries could be deployed by 2021 under the right circumstances. Working with the Renewable Energy Association (REA), the APPG released a report on Thursday night at its Winter Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons that analysed the impact of policy change on the roll-out of batteries in the UK.

Solar Power Portal 12th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 December 2017