As I write this post, negotiators in Lima at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are meeting past the scheduled conference end in the hopes of preparing a draft agreement for consideration in the next meeting in Paris in 2015. Just before the Lima meeting began, the World Meteorological Organization announced a new record high in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, and at the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set to cross the 400 parts per million threshold in 2015 or 2016. The world’s CO2 concentrations in atmosphere have not been this consistently high since approximately 800,000 to 15 million years ago.
I recently participated in a panel at European Energy 2014 on the subject of Securing Europe’s Energy Future. While several of the speakers at the event emphasized the advantages of a single European energy market, my focus was on how to achieve that single market through a European super grid. Currently more than 10% of Europe’s electricity crosses a border.
Creating a European super-grid would provide increased access to new supplies and help bring down costs. It would unlock solar and wind assets of the Iberian Peninsula and make Northwest Europe’s world-class wind resources available across Europe. And it would also better connect us to Norway, the ‘Battery of Europe’, with its pumped hydro resources.
In today’s blog I will look into the concept of an all DC electric power system, compared to the present day AC system. For more background information, please view my previous blog post: Technological initiatives in superconductivity – Taking “a step backwards to move forward.”
In recent years, the electric power transmission system has undergone significant development through the implementation of new HVDC systems. These systems have enhanced the bulk power transmission capability, enabled more effective transmission over long distances (including long submarine cables), enabled interconnection of regions with different grid frequencies via back to back systems, boosted the integration of large-scale renewable energy sources, improved the flexibility and controllability of AC systems, and in some cases minimized environmental impacts.
100 senior executives from well-known electric power sector companies participated in DNV GL’s invitation-only Bonner Energiegespräche, now in its 11th year on 20 November 2014 in Bonn, Germany.
As its 2014 theme, DNV GL posed the provocative question: “German Energy Transition – termination or awakening?” Taking this cue, participants discussed possible future scenarios for the German and European energy market in the context of the energy transition. Key speakers included recognized industry leaders such as Dr Dirk Biermann (50 Hertz Transmission), Dr Frank Schmidt (T-Systems International), Claus Wattendrup (Vattenfall Europe), Achim Zerres (Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunication, Post and Railway), and Christian Hewicker and Peter Frohböse (DNV GL).
Using geographic information systems to assess potential of targeted demand side management programs
Predictive analytics using geographic information systems (GIS) is a tool that can identify potential customers for utility demand side management (DSM) programs. The insights from this class of analytics come from developing statistical relationships between customer attributes and geographical information. In a previous blog post we highlighted how this can work for energy efficiency programs. In this post we discuss how geospatial analytics for a targeted DSM approach can inform a customer program recruiting strategy to meet overall goals for the program while focusing on areas of distribution systems with capacity constraints.
In the second of two blogs on the future of wave & tidal energy, Fliss Jones argues that we should focus on market demand – rather than supply chain initiatives – to unlock UK marine energy jobs.
There’s been a lot of strategizing about the future of wave and tidal energy in both Westminster and Holyrood recently. Deployment projections made just a few years ago look wildly optimistic and the private sector has suffered high profile setbacks. Although its long-term potential remains promising, wave and tidal’s contribution to UK 2020 renewables targets will be almost negligible.
Within the last decade a multi-billion Euro industry has been stemmed out of the European and UK waters to find itself confronted with the challenge today that it has to cut its cost down to nearly half to survive without subsidies in future. “Offshore wind is too expensive;” “Rueing the waves;” “Offshore Wind costs twice as much as coal and gas generated electricity”—are just a few headlines recently seen in western newspapers.
Wave and tidal stream energy in the UK: funding for early arrays, not market reform, explain recent setbacks
In the first of two blogs on the future of wave & tidal energy, Fliss Jones argues that, given recent setbacks, the fate of the sector rests in its ability to deliver near-term wins on the first arrays.
It’s been a tumultuous few days for wave and tidal, with high profile wave developer Pelamis going into administration, and Siemens announcing plans to exit the tidal stream business.
What is Intelligent Efficiency? Basically, IE connects the dots of all things energy using information and communication technology (ICT) to reduce energy consumption. IE can be very localized—a single system or household—or expand to include a set of households in a neighborhood, a portfolio of buildings, a city, or even the whole utility grid.
IE was the subject of a recent American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) conference. ACEEE defines IE as “a systems-based holistic approach to energy savings, enabled by ICT and user access to real-time information. Intelligent efficiency differs from component energy efficiency in that it is adaptive, anticipatory, and networked.”