Bristol University in England has been enlisted in an attempt to stop jellyfish interrupting the performance of coastal power plants. Notable recent incidents halted the operations of EDF’s Torness nuclear power plant in Scotland, as well as other occurrences in Sweden, the Philippines, Japan and the US. Researchers at the university are developing a supercomputer early warning tool that can predict the movement of masses of jellyfish, which could be headed for nuclear and coal-fired power plant cooling water intakes, hindering operations.Torness shut for a week in 2011 as a result of blockage while the Philippines suffered a massive blackout in 1999 after 50 truckloads of jellyfish had to be removed.
Power Engineering 15th Oct 2016 read more »
The Government has been accused of subsidising “dirty diesel” at the expense of the new wave of “clean tech” energy projects as the MPs’ Energy and Climate Change Committee issued its last report before disbanding. The current revolution in energy generation – which has seen levels of wind and solar power generation surge across the world – was “a huge economic opportunity for the UK”, the MPs said. Battery technology and other forms of electricity storage have also been developing rapidly, solving the problem of renewables’ intermittent supplies. But, launching the report, the chair of the ECC Committee, Angus MacNeil, said the Government “must get a move on” and encourage the energy market to embrace “smart technological solutions” like storage. Diesel generators are often used to produce electricity during periods of high demand because they are easy to switch on and off, with firms receiving millions of pounds just to remain on standby under the Government’s Capacity Market system. But Mr MacNeil said energy storage was a “vital keystone” in creating a clean electricity system as it would be as easy to use.
Independent 15th Oct 2016 read more »
he way Britain’s electricity pylons and wires are paid for must be reformed in order to adapt to the UK’s changing power mix, the energy industry lobby has warned. Energy UK is urging the regulator, Ofgem, to conduct a major review of the charges paid by power plants and consumers to fund the electricity networks, as big old power plants shut and there is a boom in smaller plants. The group says the current charging model is unfit for purpose and needs an overhaul “to allow for efficient investment and fair charging for customers”. Failure to do so could saddle consumers with even higher energy bills. Ofgem has acknowledged that small power plants may be “over-rewarded” and is considering cutting the benefits that they enjoy. However, it is so far resisting Energy UK’s call for a thorough review of the entire system.
Telegraph 15th Oct 2016 read more »
In the early hours of Tuesday May 10, Britain’s energy system passed a milestone. Between midnight and 4am, for the first time since centralised power generation began in 1882, no electricity was produced by coal. It was not a one-off, but a sign of the dramatic decline of coal in the UK. As recently as 2013, coal was the dominant fuel in the UK electricity mix, generating more than 40pc of its needs. By 2015, that had dropped to just 22pc; between April and June 2016, coal power fell to its lowest on record, at just 6pc. While some old coal plants have been shut under EU rules, those that remain are struggling – due, in large part, to one of the UK’s most divisive energy policies: the carbon tax. With Britain’s spare power capacity this winter running low and its remaining coal plants teetering on the brink of closure, the controversial levy is now at the centre of a furious battle as the Chancellor decides on its future. One the one side are industrial groups like manufacturers’ lobby EEF and petrochemicals giant Ineos, who believe the tax should be scrapped – while on the other are energy giants like SSE and EDF that argue it must be maintained or even increased.
Telegraph 15th Oct 2016 read more »