Archive for the 'Energy' Category

Fossil fuel asset exposure poses clear risk to investment portfolios

September 25th, 2015 by European Climate Foundation

German coal fired power station with steam coming from the cooling towers (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

German coal fired power station with steam coming from the cooling towers (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

According to the Arabella Advisors report published on 22 September 2015, the movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy and climate solutions has grown 50-fold in the last year to reach $2.6 trillion.

More than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals have pledged to divest from fossil fuel investments.

Recent pledges have come from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Norway Pension Fund, the Canadian Medical Association, the World Council of Churches, and the University of California system.

These commitments include governments and investors from 43 countries and multiple sectors, including pension funds, health, education, philanthropy, faith, entertainment, climate justice and municipalities. Continue reading

Tidal energy realisation takes a big step with installation of tidal turbine array in the Netherlands

September 25th, 2015 by Tocardo International BV

The realisation of electricity generation from tidal energy has taken another big step forward with the installation of five Tocardo tidal turbines to generate renewable energy in the Eastern Scheldt (Oosterschelde) storm surge barrier, in Zeeland in the Netherlands.

Five Tocardo tidal turbines suspended from (image courtesy of Tocardo Tidal Turbine (click image to expand)

Five Tocardo tidal turbines successfully installed in the Oosterschelde barrier in Zeeland in the Netherlands (click image to expand – image courtesy of Tocardo International BV)

This installation is the largest tidal energy project in the Netherlands as well as the world’s largest commercial tidal installation of five turbines in an array.

The five Tocardo Tidal Turbines are suspended from a steel structure designed and built by Huisman.

The Tidal Power Plant was engineered and produced in only nine months, and the 50 metre long and 20 metre wide tidal power plant structure was successfully installed in under two hours between the pillars under the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier. Continue reading

Bicycle generator to charge mobile phones at Sark Folk Festival

June 28th, 2015 by Richard Lord

The Eleanor Foundation will erect a tent at the Sark Folk Festival where people will be able to charge their mobile phones in return for a voluntary donation towards the charity’s water and solar lamp projects in the Kagera region of Tanzania.

Allister Cary of The Eleanor Foundation charging up mobile phones with his bicycle (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Allister Cary of The Eleanor Foundation charging up mobile phones with his bicycle (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Allister Carey, who founded The Eleanor Foundation in memory of his daughter who was a keen cyclist and a passionate supporter of Water Aid, has bought an Electric Pedals generator, which is powered by the back wheel of a bicycle to provide charging for up to eight mobile phones at a time. Continue reading

OpenHydro transitioning from R&D to grid-connected tidal arrays

May 6th, 2015 by DCNS

Open Hydro has been in business ten years (please click image to expand - image courtesy of OpenHydro)

OpenHydro has been in business ten years. Company employees stand in front of a test turbine that was deployed at EMEC in Orkney, Scotland (please click image to expand – image courtesy of OpenHydro)

OpenHydro, a tidal energy company owned by DCNS, celebrates a decade in business this week.

The Irish headquartered business is planning delivery of two of the world’s first grid connected tidal arrays in France and Canada in 2015.

OpenHydro is working with Emera in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia to deploy and grid connect two 16 metre turbines (2 MW each), tapping into one of the most powerful tidal environments on Earth.

OpenHydro will also install two grid-connected, 16 metre turbines at EDF’s Paimpol–Bréhat site off the Brittany coast.

The company has almost one gigawatt of projects under development – equivalent to 25% of Ireland’s electricity demand.

OpenHydro’s commercial portfolio comprises projects in Scotland, the Channel Islands, Canada, Northern Ireland and France, with utility partners including SSE Renewables, Alderney Renewable Energy (ARE), Emera, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group and EDF. Continue reading

Boost production and market for renewable energy technologies to build energy security

September 10th, 2014 by Nature

A field of photovoltaic panels with wind turbines in the distance near Goch, Germany on 4 January 2012 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A field of photovoltaic panels with wind turbines in the distance near Goch, Germany on 4 January 2012 (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

In a comment piece in this week’s Nature, Professor John Mathews and Dr Hao Tan write that countries should follow China’s lead and boost markets for water, wind and solar power technologies to drive down costs.

The authors argue that by placing the emphasis on production scale and market growth, China is driving down costs and thereby “contributing more than any other country to a climate-change solution.”

As the scale of Chinese manufacturing has grown — production of solar cells has expanded about 100-fold since 2005 — the costs of renewable-energy devices have plummeted.

Countries such as Germany and South Korea, like China, are boosting their national renewable-energy industries and markets.

But others, including the USA and the UK, seem yet to notice this shift and are pursuing ineffective energy policies, including considering alternative fossil-fuels sources, putting trade tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels, and importing energy technologies.

Professor Mathews and Dr Tan call for a new narrative in climate and energy discussions.

“As in China, renewables must be seen as a source of energy security, not just of reduced carbon emissions,” the authors wrote in their comment piece.

The authors also highlight the need for international climate and energy discussions to address the role of markets and financial drivers in delivering renewable technologies and energy to everyone.

Renewables industry unifies around key tests for next UK Government

September 7th, 2014 by RenewableUK

The photovoltaic panels on Blackfriars bridge had produced 1.35 GWh of electricity in 2014 up to 22 June 2014. (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The photovoltaic panels on Blackfriars bridge across the Thames in London had produced 1.35 GWh of electricity in 2014 up to 22 June 2014. (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Leading UK renewable energy trade bodies have come together to launch “key tests” for the UK political parties ahead of the next UK general election.

The grouping, which includes ADBA (Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association), the British Photovoltaic Association, the Renewable Energy Association, RenewableUK, Scottish Renewables, and the Solar Trade Association, has launched a renewables manifesto statement and campaign hosted on the Action for Renewables website.

Action for Renewables encourages public support for more renewable energy and is chaired by leading environmentalist Dr Tony Juniper.

Renewable energy provides 15% of Britain’s power today and is set to provide nearly a third by 2020. Continue reading

Wind energy’s growing importance for UK electricity generation

September 4th, 2014 by RenewableUK

RenewableUK said that August 2014 was an exceptional month for wind energy, with new records set and electricity generation levels exceeding both nuclear and coal generation, according to official National Grid statistics.

On five separate occasions, wind energy overtook coal-fired plants for electricity generation over a single day, which is the first time this has ever happened in the UK.

Electricity produced by UK wind energy exceeded the electricity generated from coal on the 3, 9, 11, 12 and 17 August 2014.

This strong performance continued towards the end of the month when onshore and offshore wind generated more than Continue reading

Highview Power Storage liquid air energy storage will be commercial scale in 2015

March 21st, 2014 by Highview Power Storage

Highviews 350kW liquid a

Highview’s 350kW/2.5 MWh Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) pilot plant located at SSE’s 80MW Biomass Plant on the Slough Industrial Estate. It has been operational on the grid since 2011. (click image to expand – image courtesy of Highview Power Storage)

GE Oil & Gas has signed a global licensing and technology collaboration agreement with Highview Power Storage, a U.K supplier of large-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) systems.

The companies will explore opportunities to integrate Highview’s LAES technology in peaker power plants where GE gas turbines and gas engines are currently or will be installed to increase power plant efficiency, grid reliability and the distribution of renewable energy.

Highview’s LAES technology uses liquid air or nitrogen as the storage medium to provide long-duration energy storage without the geographical restrictions found with other energy storage methods.

The technology also can convert low-grade waste heat into power, increasing the overall efficiency of a host power plant. Continue reading

Ipsos MORI UK poll shows young people strongly support offshore wind farm developments

March 19th, 2014 by RenewableUK

A poll by Ipsos MORI shows that young people from the UK are among the strongest supporters of offshore wind, and the majority aren’t in favour of fracking.

According to the survey, commissioned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Economic and Social Research Council, 85% of 16 to 24 year olds support the development of offshore wind farms, 47% within this age group are in favour of carbon capture and storage, and 42% support fracking.

The survey shows that younger people are generally more supportive of offshore wind than adults of all ages. 76% of all adults support offshore wind, and 51% were in favour of carbon capture and storage. Continue reading

Cut Europe’s reliance on imported gas with a higher 2030 renewable energy target

March 19th, 2014 by The European Wind Energy Association

Wind turbines in the Thames Estuary photographed from Blue Islands flight from Amsterdam to Jersey on 7 January 2014 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Wind turbines in the Thames Estuary photographed from a Blue Islands flight from Amsterdam to Jersey on 7 January 2014 (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

The European Commission‘s own figures show that a 30% EU renewable energy target for 2030 would cut Europe’s reliance on gas imports by almost three times as much as the European Commission’s proposal for a 27% target.

In a letter to EU foreign ministers, The European Wind Energy Association‘s chief executive Thomas Becker said that a renewable energy target of “at least 30%” would allow Europe to significantly scale back its fossil fuel imports, including from Russia.

Whereas the European Commission’s proposal would reduce gas imports by only 9%, a more ambitious, yet achievable target would cut the same imports by 26%, almost three times as much. Continue reading