EDF-Areva has confirmed that it will bear the cost of any over runs associated with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. In the context of the other three European pressure reactor projects currently ongoing in Finland, China and France, it represents a big risk for the newly merged French state-owned company as all three of those projects have experienced costly delays. A spokesperson for EDF Energy told Power Engineering International that this aspect of the nuclear power project will not affect the British taxpayer. “From the outset of the new nuclear programme, the Government has made its view clear that it should be energy companies and their investors, not UK taxpayers, who take the construction and operational risk in nuclear projects. This fundamental principle has remained constant since the 2008 Nuclear White Paper. That is what will happen at Hinkley Point C and in future projects.”
Power Engineering 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Predicting future energy prices can be tricky, as anyone foxed by sub-$50 oil might testify – ie just about everyone. So, how nice to come across a bunch of people who know exactly where prices will be for the next 45 years. Who they? None other than the British government, an institution itching for October when it can give away billions of pounds we don’t have to France and China. That’s when David Cameron plans to sign up to Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear power station for a generation, and yours for a snip at £24.5 billion. True, there’s something to be said for 3,200MW of energy security. But it’s quite a price. For the cost of the new nuke being built by France’s state-backed EDF Energy and its Chinese partners, Jefferies analyst Peter Atherton reckons Britain could build 50,000MW of gas-fired capacity, so replacing the UK’s “entire thermal generation fleet with bran d new, highly efficient, low carbon, gas generation”. And that assumes no nuclear cost overruns: a heroic assumption to judge by the two reactors being built in France and Finland using the same untried European Pressurised Reactor technology. Years late and plagued by technical problems, they are billions of euros over budget, a key reason that the company behind them, France’s Areva, has just had to be rescued by EDF. Atherton shows that, at current prices, EDF would be making £1.6 billion profits a year out of Hinkley: a third more than the Big Six energy suppliers produce from their UK generating businesses. Index-link that for 35 years and you reach £80 billion.
Times 21st Aug 2015 read more »
A popular playground put-down states that “first is worst”. That notion travels well. The first of China’s big power producers to announce interim results, $19bn China Guangdong Nuclear Power, delivered an underwhelming report after the close on Wednesday. The stock dropped more than a tenth on Thursday – down more than half from the June peak and drifting back towards its December listing price. After such a sell off, it may be tempting to step back in. The long-term story looks as bright as it did at the listing. Nuclear power generation capacity in China is set to grow strongly as authorities push for cleaner skies. In 2014, nuclear sources provided less than 3 per cent of nationwide electricity according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. With 26 plants under construction, the aim is to treble nuclear capacity by 2020. CGN Power, which generates more than half of China’s output, is integral to this strategy. Yet risks related to nuclear generation are coming back to the fore. Earlier this year, France’s nuclear safety authority (ASN) said it was investigating a fault in equipment Paris-listed Areva installed in a power plant in Normandy. CGN’s Taishan plant, equivalent to one-fifth of CGN’s current capacity, relies on the same part. Safety concerns have delayed Taishan’s opening until ASN rules on the Areva part in the first half of 2016
FT 21st Aug 2015 read more »
A new series of community information events will enable the public to scrutinise plans to connect a new nuclear power site in Cumbria to the grid. The National Grid have already revealed plans to erect a series of pylons throughout Cumbria to connect the new power station being built at Moorside near Sellafield. Proposals show that the route will run overland from Moorside through north Cumbria to Harker near Carlisle with another running down the west coast of Cumbria, through before crossing Morecambe Bay through a tunnel.
In Cumbria 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Sizewell – Dry Store
The UK regulator has given approval for the inactive commissioning process to begin at a dry nuclear fuel store at Sizewell B, the country’s first such nuclear fuel storage facility. Construction of the store began in early 2013. Holtec International, which is supplying the storage facility, said the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) had given plant owner EDF Energy permission to begin inactive commissioning of the HI-STORM MPC facility to test the dry storage implementation steps.
World Nuclear News 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Fuel from the first reactor of a disused nuclear power plant in Gloucestershire has been emptied. The Oldbury plant stopped generating electricity in 2012. Its first reactor began producing power in 1968 and operated for more than 44 years. At the start of defuelling, the reactor held nearly 26,000 fuel elements, each measuring more than a metre in length which, if placed end to end, would stretch 17.5 miles, site owner Magnox claims.
Energy Live News 20th Aug 2015 read more »
HUNDREDS of angry Sellafield staff will stage a mass march to the site next week as part of a three-day protest over pay.
Whitehaven News 20th Aug 2015 read more »
The Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) will be making recommendations for the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) which is expected soon. Whilst officials have advised that a timetable has not been set for the CSR submission process, NIRAB will continue to work up recommendations through the various subgroups in preparation for a post election submission. Recommendations will include prioritisation of programme options to meet a number of scenarios to help fulfil the level of ambition established by new Ministers.
NIRAB (Minutes) 5th March 2015 read more »
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has expressed her concern over moves to dump nuclear waste underground. Ritchie said that such a decision would have serious environmental and health implications and called on the British Government to distance itself from such a strategy. Speaking to Newry Times, she said, “This is a precedent that must be resisted by all the people of Britain and Ireland. With sites already earmarked in Cumbria it is particularly important that those living in the area make their voices heard.
Newry Times 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Nuclear power station police guards compared to ‘The Simpsons’ after officers caught sleeping and mishandling firearms while on duty
Hartlepool Mail 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn is the one candidate for the Labour leadership who is serious about the environment and social justice. Only he can re-energise the Party, turn it into a political force capable of defeating neo-liberalism, and lead the progressive government that Britain so desperately needs. He’s the only candidate to publish a substantial, detailed manifesto purely on green issues. And we like what he says. He’s for all for renewable energy, against nuclear power and nuclear weapons, against fracking and the TTIP, and he wants to bring the Big Six power monopolists to heel. Along with the water companies and the railways. As for coal, mischief has been made over his suggestion of restarting coal mining in South Wales. In fact, he’s clear that he wants any new coal power stations to be equipped with ‘clean coal’ technology to pump the CO2 emissions safely underground. Moreover he’s after high quality anthracite from deep mines, not landscape destroying open cast pits. He’s been widely slagged off as a ‘yesterday’s man’ with ‘old solutions for old problems’, like nationalising energy companies. But his mission is not to recreate the old monopolies of the CEGB and the Gas Board. It’s to devolve energy to communities, cooperatives and local authorities to create real freedom of choice and democratic accountability, not to mention lower energy bills. That’s a modern approach to a problem of today.
Ecologist 20th Aug 2015 read more »
The failure of Labour to point out that in the same way you take out a mortgage so you can end up with an asset to pass on to your grandchildren, it makes sense to take out a loan, at a much lower rate of interest than a mortgage, to fund the low carbon infrastructure our grandchildren will desperately need remains one of the mysteries of the age. It is a strategic mistake Corbyn is exploiting to the full – fair play to him. Consequently, there is much in the Corbyn prospectus for environmentalists to approve of. And yet… Corbyn’s brand of environmentalism feels weaker than the sum of its parts. It is compromised by a host of issues his supporters appear all too willing to gloss over. Green QE made a lot of sense five years ago, but now, with the economy growing again it would be much bigger gamble. Nationalising the energy companies may make for a useful socialist rallying cry, but it would cost billions, obliterate investor confidence, and create years of uncertainty at a time when we need energy companies to be focused 100 per cent on decarbonisation – far better to promise much stronger regulation and a genuine challenge to the Big Six in the form of community energy. Corbyn’s vacillating on the EU and anti-business rhetoric threatens to make it harder still to mobilise much needed clean tech investment. And what of Corbyn’s bizarre comments on coal? Re-opening pits in the hope carbon capture and storage (CCS) proves a functioning reality is an even more irresponsible idea than Cameron’s reckless strategy of orchestrating a fracking boom before a single working CCS plant is operational in the UK. Cooper and Burnham, actually offer the more viable green prospectus. They may not get the blood pumping, but they offer a vision that looks more credible and coherent (worrying silence on airport expansion and North Sea oil and gas aside). If I were a Labour member faced with a field that has largely failed to inspire, I’d vote for Cooper (with Burnham a close second) on the grounds she would push the government to up its green ambition and has the political nous to at the very least challenge the government in 2020. I’d then hope she had the vision to embed her commitment to decarbonisation in every aspect of her economic strategy and make a compelling, perhaps even Corbyn-inspired, pitch to step up low carbon investment.
Business Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Doug Parr: Deep in the bowels of the UK Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are probably some very stressed civil servants. Those who aren’t currently seeking alternative employment face what may be an even harder task; making the government’s energy sums add up in the face of changes to just about everything from the gas price to the UK’s willingness to build any more wind turbines. The gas price has fallen – which makes subsidising nuclear (and offshore wind) much more expensive. Cheaper options for cutting emissions – like onshore wind and efficiency measures have, for various reasons, been parked. The spreadsheet must be all over the shop. When we asked to see the modelling so far for the UK’s flagship Hinkley point C nuclear project we were told we could – but only after the deal was done and dusted. Previous versions of the UK’s energy modelling have at times strained credulity on the speed of phaseout of coal power, or the construction of new nuclear power , but nonetheless they serve as a possible baseline for what might happen in future. Now those modellers have some fresh, even tougher challenges. One is to demonstrate how thevarious policy changes and roll-backs recently announced – such as the end in support for onshore wind and solar power – can be squared withPrime Minister Cameron’s commitment to deliver on carbon budgets and Climate Change Act. We don’t know what DECC is estimating for the price of gas in 2020s. In fact, we don’t know a lot about how DECC justifies its actions because a lot of it is kept secret. Especially around another one of those policies which DECC thinks will happen but most people don’t – the 35% of power to be met by proposed nuclear new build programme by 2030, including the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. A lot of modelling was seemingly done by DECC to justify why it was a good deal for the consumer, apparently saving households £75 a year and to justify to EU why it should be getting so much support from bill payers. Unfortunately our civil servant friends are keeping it all secret, and the Freedom of Information request we submitted to see what modelling justified the investment has been rejected, so the data is being kept secret until the contract is signed. It is not reassuring to know that when a 35 year contract involving payments of around £80 billion from UK consumers is irrevocably signed, we’ll be able to see the justification. It could be brilliant, of course, or it could be delusional. The high cost of the new nuclear programme is justified on by Secretary of State Amber Rudd on the basis that itprovides reliable supply unlike that from renewables: this is undoubtedly an important additional value provided by nuclear, but because policy appears to be being made up as they go along, there is no underpinning justification to it. So how valuable is that reliability, and what would the alternatives be to nuclear baseload? The International Renewable Energy Agencyhave already looked at this (see Fig 2.10 p42) for 30-40% power provided by wind and concluded that, even including all the extra costs of ensuring you can keep the lights on when the wind doesn’t blow, onshore wind is still cheaper than Hinkley. And note thatbig stations like Hinkley also impose costs on the grid which all consumers have to bear (and are generally much less talked about).
Energy Desk 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Alan Whitehead MP: I want to think about briefly is what is to happen when we all return, and specifically, whether this autumn will see what is increasingly a success story for Britain, the deployment of renewable energy of all shapes and sizes halted in its tracks, or whether it can continue on a path to ensure that climate change targets are met and that clean energy continues to supply larger portions of the UK’s energy needs over the next decade. What will happen in the autumn will, I am becoming increasing convinced, make that difference, and the signs right now are that on present trajectories, deployment will come to a halt. Or rather it will appear to spin out for a while as the remainder of the momentum that has built up in the system passes through, but essentially it will be moribund for the longer term future, and will take considerable new effort and new policy initiative to revive. All of which could be very bad news for longer term targets, and certainly for the discharge of whatever obligations the UK will be taking upon itself as part of the – hopefully successful – Paris climate change talks in December. The big deal here boils down to one central question: does the government want to fix the problems now being encountered by the operation of the Levy Control Framework (LCF) which governs much of renewable deployment, or does it intend to see it just fade away and take the renewables industry with it? The Chancellor could without and effect on his overall spending plans, change the way the LCF functions and create the room within it to ‘fund’ new deployment. Or he could, with at most a notional effect on bills (offset by energy price differences anyway) raise the ceiling on the cap and create headroom for new projects immediately. I will be trying to persuade the Chancellor over the next two months to take one of these two routes in the autumn: because I know that the do-nothing option, is not in reality that. It is a do something route, that something being the smothering of the next stage of vital renewable energy deployment and, ironically, the inflicting of longer term fatal damage to the ability of the clean energy industry to use the support to, eventually, stand on its own feet.
Business Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Energy Supplies – Scotland
The SNP has slammed the UK Government’s management of the energy market after an expert described the system as “rigged” against Scotland. With Longannet power station due to close in March 2016, the SNP have jumped on comments from the University of Glasgow’s Professor Paul Younger, who described the UK Grid System as “a real dog’s breakfast”. Attributing the closure to problems brought by privatisation, Younger told the National: “They rigged the market in such a way that the only big conurbation they recognise as being worth servicing is London.” Reacting, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie said: “It is clear that the decision to close Longannet early was a direct result of the UK Government’s deeply unfair transmission charging system which favours the South of England to the detriment of Scotland’s energy sector.
Holyrood 20th Aug 2015 read more »
The argument is that “baseload” power–large power plants that tend to run 24/7–are necessary to ensure reliable electricity and that the variable nature of some renewables–solar and wind–can’t provide that reliability. Then there’s the notion that the electrical grid can only accommodate a certain level of renewables, around 30-40%. Above that and the grid pretty much breaks down. These arguments are actually related and solved in the same way. Fortunately, as is being proven daily in Europe, a grid based on smaller, distributed variable power sources can be just as reliable, and even more resilient and secure, than a grid reliant on baseload power. Variable does not mean unreliable: as long as it can be reliably projected with sufficient advance time what the wind will do and thus how much wind power will be available where, and the same for the sun, then a variable grid can be highly reliable. And those can be and are, in fact, reliably projected. The ability to integrate a moderately large amount (say 30-35% or so) of renewables into a baseload-dominated grid is a given. It is happening daily. Not so much in the U.S., although even here states like Iowa are getting more than 20% of their power from renewables, and the percentage of renewables is set to rise rapidly–both on their own for sound economic reasons and due to encouragement of them in the Clean Power Plan. But at some point above 35-40% renewables or so, a conflict arises. If more renewables are to be brought into the grid, the large baseload plants have to begin closing–even if they theoretically remain useful. That’s because the kind of grid that works for the variable renewables–a fast, nimble grid where power from different sources scattered in different locations can be ramped up and down quickly depending on where it is being generated and where it is needed–doesn’t work well for baseload plants, especially nuclear reactors, which cannot ramp up and down quickly. Those kinds of plants were designed to run 24/7 and that’s what they do–they’re not designed to fit in with a grid that doesn’t want them to run 24/7, that instead wants them to run when their power is needed. And the higher the penetration of renewables, the less the baseload plants’ power is needed.
Green World 20th Aug 2015 read more »
US – Plutonium
A new, yet-to-be-released Energy Department-commissioned study concludes that it would be cheaper and far less risky to dispose of 34 metric tons of U.S. surplus plutonium at a federal nuclear waste repository in New Mexico than convert it into mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for commercial nuclear power plants at the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility in South Carolina. The Energy Department study, obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), was produced by a team of experts from U.S. nuclear laboratories, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the commercial nuclear power industry. The team’s analysis is consistent with the conclusion of a January 2015 UCS report, which recommended that the Energy Department shut down the MOX facility — whose estimated life-cycle cost has ballooned from $1.6 billion to more than $30 billion — and ship the surplus plutonium to the New Mexico facility.
Union of Concerned Scientists 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Japan – Sendai
Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power has halted the ramp-up of power output from its Sendai No. 1 nuclear reactor due to a problem with a pump in the plant’s secondary cooling system, a spokesman said on Friday. Kyushu Electric last week began the restart of the Sendai plant, the first of Japan’s reactors to begin operation under new safety standards introduced in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Engineers and regulators have warned that the utility may encounter equipment problems and failures as the Sendai No. 1 reactor has been idled for more than four years. The utility suspects that seawater has entered one of the pumps in the secondary cooling system, where steam that turns the turbines to produce electricity is cooled, according to the spokesman.
Channel News Asia 21st Aug 2015 read more »
After being nuclear free for two years, Japan is restarting its reactors. But there’s a problem – they’re old, unsafe, and oh, did we tell you there’s an active volcano nearby? Having only been reopened on August 11 this year, the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant already poses a threat. Mount Sakurajima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes situated 50 km near the Plant, is showing signs of an imminent large eruption. Residents have been warned to evacuate and the Meteorological Agency has raised the warning level from level 3 to 4. The highest is 5, which means necessary evacuation.
Greenpeace 20th Aug 2015 read more »
After spending about $100 million, Sendai nuclear reactors 1 and 2 have both cleared Japan’s NRA safety examinations and met new post-Fukushima regulatory standards. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority recently approved the restart of Shikoku Electric Power Company’s Ikata 3 reactor, the fifth to receive approval to restart. Kansai Electric Power Company’s Takahama 3 just submitted its 45,000-page revised engineering work document to the NRA, a major step in the restart path. Twenty reactors are in various stages of restart and Japan’s government plans to restart about a fifth of their previous nuclear generation by 2030. But I think that number will be much higher, and much faster, if these first restarts go well. Japan has to import almost 90% of its energy and, like South Korea, its economic stability requires significant amounts of nuclear power. If all goes well with the Sendai restart, and more restarts follow, Japan can begin ratcheting down its fossil fuel imports, ratcheting up its economy, and getting back to being the economic powerhouse we all remember.
Forbes 11th Aug 2015 read more »
Japan – TEPCO
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has announced a restructuring of the company which will see its nuclear and decommissioning operations remaining under a new holding company, while its non-nuclear businesses will be spun off into three subsidiaries. Tepco announced yesterday that, as from 1 April 2016, the company would be structured under a holding company to be known as Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings. Meanwhile, its fuel and thermal generation operations will be placed in a subsidiary called Tepco Fuel and Power Incorporated; its power transmission and distribution business will become Tepco Power Grid Incorporated; and, its electricity retail operations become Tepco Energy Partner Incorporated.
World Nuclear News 19th Aug 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
The Japanese government is still in denial and refuses to recognize the disastrous consequences of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, London-based independent consultant on radioactivity Dr. Ian Fairlie states, adding that while thousands of victims have already died, thousands more will soon pass away.
Sputnik News 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Greenpeace said on Thursday it had launched legal action to demand that Switzerland shut down Beznau, the world’s oldest commercial nuclear plant, for security reasons. The plant, located in the northern Swiss canton of Aargau, near the German border, has been running for 46 years. “The Beznau nuclear plant would not resist a powerful earthquake,” the environmental protection group said in a statement. The organization said it, along with the Swiss Energy Foundation and the Tri-national Nuclear Protection Association, had filed the suit on Wednesday demanding “the definitive closure of the installation.”
The Local 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Subsidy-free UK renewable energy remains a mirage – despite cuts to green levies. The UK renewables sector has suffered from a lack of clarity over whether subsidies are to support innovation, new industries, decarbonisation or to correct for market failure. As a result, the removal of a scheme can be justified because it has achieved one of these aims, while the other objectives will not be achieved if support is withdrawn.
Scottish Energy News 21st Aug 2015 read more »
Renewables – tidal
ATLANTIS Resources is in talks with ScottishPower Renewables about combining their tidal power projects in Scotland. AIM-listed Atlantis is the developer of the MeyGen scheme in the Pentland Firth, which has a potential capacity to generate 398 megawatts through an array of turbines on the seabed. ScottishPower Renewables is working on schemes at the Sound of Islay and Ness of Duncansby. The proposed transaction would see Tidal Power Scotland Holdings, the holding company for MeyGen, acquire both of the ScottishPower Renewables projects. ScottishPower Renewables would then become a minority shareholder in Tidal Power Scotland Holdings, alongside Atlantis and Scottish Enterprise. Sound of Islay, sited between Islay and Jura, is said to have a generating capacity of 10MW and be at an advanced stage of development. Ness of Duncansby, in the Pentland Firth and with a planned 100MW capacity, is at a much earlier stage.
Herald 21st Aug 2015 read more »
Renewables – Feed-in Tariff
The UK’s leading renewable energy trade bodies have formally complained to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), accusing it of trying to rush through “damaging” changes to the popular feed-in tariff subsidy scheme. Renewable UK, the Renewable Energy Association (REA), British Hydropower Association, and Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ABDA), have all accused DECC of failing to comply with Whitehall best practices, when the department launched a four-week consultation during summer recess without publishing an impact assessment alongside it. In the consultation, which officially closed yesterday, DECC proposed removing a key element of the feed-in tariff policy, known as pre-accreditation, which sets the level of subsidy a project can expect to receive before it is built. The measure gives certainty that a project will be protected from any cuts to the subsidy rate for 12 months of the construction phase. The government wants to remove pre-accreditation as an emergency measure to reduce the attractiveness of small-scale renewable energy technologies, ahead of a full-scale review of the feed-in tariff scheme later this year.
Business Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Community renewables and anaerobic digestion (AD) are most at risk from the proposed changes in the Government’s feed-in tariff (FIT) review, the renewable energy industry has warned.
Edie 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Investment in the burgeoning biogas sector would be brought to an “immediate halt” if the government scraps the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), campaigners have warned.
Utility Week 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Renewable – solar
EvoEnergy has been selected to install a 3.8MW solar array at the Telford distribution centre of workplace supplies provider Lyreco, the solar installer announced yesterday. The 23,000 square metre installation, which will comprise almost 14,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, is billed as one of the largest rooftop installations in the country and is set to become one of just five projects to exceed 3.2MWh output each year. The company anticipates the array will deliver energy bill savings of £50,000 a year and reduce emissions by 1,700 tonnes annually, mitigating the environmental impact of the distribution centre and Lyreco’s delivery vehicle fleet. EvoEnergy also claims the rooftop installation will be the first to utilise two central inverters, which are more commonly used for solar farms. It is expected to benefit from the Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme for the next 20 years.
Business Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »
A Sussex village has taken the next step towards its dream of relying solely on community-owned clean energy, as it this week began the installation of two solar arrays. Balcombe, which shot to prominence in 2013 as the site of a summer of protests against a controversial fracking project pursued by shale gas developer Cuadrilla, will see 26KW of solar energy installed at two schools by the end of the week. The project is being pursued after more than 50 investors came together to fund the developments. The REPOWERBalcombe campaign, which has a long-term aim of powering the entire village using only renewable energy, will add 10kW and 16kW installations at Balcombe Primary School and Turner’s Hill Primary School, respectively.
Business Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »
A college in Hampshire has teamed up with green energy supplier Ecotricity to build an anaerobic digestion (AD) mill on campus, it was announced yesterday. Sparsholt College has announced its intention to build a Green Gas Mill after receiving support from clean energy company Ecotricity and a grant from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. Ecotricity said the 6MW plant will convert locally harvested grass into carbon neutral green gas, providing enough energy to supply renewable heat to almost 5,000 homes each year. The gas created will be used to supply both the college and local residents. The AD plant would be the latest in a series of green developments from the college, which has already installed a rooftop solar array and last year submitted plans to build a 500KW wind turbine at its site. Tim Jackson, college principal, said the development would put the college at “the centre of what is the future of gas generation in Britain”.
Business Green 21st Aug 2015 read more »
Utility Week 20th Aug 2015 read more »
A pioneering power-to-gas plant that can efficiently store excess renewable energy has been switched on in Ibbenbüren in Germany, utility giant RWE announced this week. The €2m pilot plant, which the company states is the first of its type anywhere in the world, uses a giant electrolyser to convert surplus power from wind turbines into hydrogen, which is then stored so it can later be recalled to generate electricity when renewable energy supply dips. The energy firm claims the 150KW facility has an 86 per cent utilisation rate and has been integrated with the local natural gas network and district heating system, offering the ability to add methane to hydrogen using the waste heat of the electrolyser. A spokesman for RWE told BusinessGreen the technology can be adapted for use with any renewable energy source and that the company anticipates it could be made viable for wider implementation within a few years depending on the results of the testing phase. Additionally, the company hopes the technology will help Germany reduce reliance on fossil fuels by meeting electricity demand when output from renewable sources is low.
Business Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Edie 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Construction has officially begun on the world’s first modular large-scale battery storage system, which energy giant E.ON is building in partnership with RWTH Aachen University in Germany. The project will investigate the potential of combining multiple battery storage technologies into one modular design, creating a more flexible and stable system of energy storage.
Business Green 19th Aug 2015 read more »
Tackling climate change is expensive. But not as expensive as doing nothing, according to new research published last week by global banking giant Citigroup. The analysis, released late last week, is the latest in a series of high-profile research papers which outline the high economic cost of failing to tackle escalating climate risks. In July a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit warned the “tail risks” of climate change could cause $43tr worth of global assets to be wiped out, while the Grantham Institute released a paper demonstrating how nations will financially benefit from tackling climate change. Meanwhile, Lord Stern, the UK economist who first argued that the economic benefits of tackling climate change outweighed the costs, recently released an update to his famous 2006 report reiterating how his analysis still stands. Citigroup estimates global inaction will result in a global energy spend of $192tr over the next 25 years. In comparison, the action scenario will actually cost slightly less, coming in at $190.2tr. This is due to the rapidly falling cost of renewables, alongside lower fuel usage as a result of energy-efficiency improvements, the report says.
Business Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »