03/07/2018 - Sector Round Up

Major hydro project planned for Loch Ness

Intelligent Land Investments (ILI) has unveiled plans for a 400MW pumped-storage hydro-electricity project near Loch Ness.

The Red John facility would provide 2.4GWh of storage capacity for the national grid over a six-hour period.

Mark Wilson, Chief Executive of ILI, said: “Pumped storage hydro is the largest and cleanest form of energy storage that currently exists – and a key enabler in helping Scotland meet its green energy ambitions.”

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Falling battery costs to lead to surge in renewables

Falling battery costs are expected to lead to a surge in investment in renewables according to a new report.

A total of $11.5 trillion (£8.7tn) is forecast to be invested in generating power between now and 2050, with $9.9tn of that pumped into zero-carbon options, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

It predicts $8.4tn will be invested in wind and solar, with a further $1.5bn spent on hydro and nuclear.

Seb Henbest, Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa at BNEF, said: ...

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Rising emissions highlighted by BP report

Growing demand in China and India led to global coal consumption increasing for the first time in four years, according to oil and gas giant BP’s latest Statistical Review of World Energy.

Global energy demand rose by 2.2% – above its 10-year average of 1.7% – driven by economic growth.

Bob Dudley, BP’s Chief Executive, said: “2017 was a year where structural forces in the energy market continued to push forward the transition to a lower carbon economy, but where cyclical factors have reversed...

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UK remains leading offshore wind market in world

Record-breaking growth means the UK has retained its status as the world’s largest offshore wind market, new figures have revealed.

Trade body RenewableUK’s Offshore Wind Project Intelligence report found that the capacity of global offshore wind projects in operation, under construction or in development grew by more than 10% during the past year from 95GW to 104GW.

The UK remains the biggest market, with a capacity of 35.2GW, followed by Germany with 23.4GW, Taiwan with 8.3GW, China with...

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30% of UK’s gas could be replaced by hydrogen say academics

Nearly one-third of the natural gas used for heating and cooking in the UK could be replaced by hydrogen without the need to change boilers or ovens, researchers have suggested.

Adding 30% hydrogen to the gas grid could cut the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by 18%, according to a paper by Swansea University.

Hydrogen-enriched natural gas is already being used in parts of Germany and the Netherlands.

The UK Government is backing a £600 million trial this year.

Achieving Paris goals

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Politicians urged to minimise energy disruption from Brexit

Trade body Eurelectric has called on politicians to “minimise any possible disruption resulting from Brexit on the energy and climate agenda”.

The organisation wants a specific chapter on energy and climate change to be written into the document governing the European Union’s (EU’s) relationship with the UK.

Eurelectric wants to see a focus on the following areas: the Internal Electricity Market (IEM), including the trading and transmission framework created via the Network Codes and...

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UK solar growth halves for second year

The UK added only 950MW of solar capacity during 2017, down from 1.97GW in 2016 and 4.1GW in 2015.

The figures were revealed by trade body SolarPower Europe, which blamed the cuts to subsidies made by the Conservative government in 2015.

James Watson, Chief Executive of SolarPowerEurope, said: “Solar power has been voted the most popular energy source in the UK, it is therefore sad to see the UK Government not take advantage of the huge potential of solar.”

The UK had the slowest growth among...

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26/06/2018 - Sector Round Up

UK’s first ‘energy positive’ office opens

Wales Secretary Alun Cairns has officially opened the UK’s first “energy positive” office, which can generate, store and release solar energy in one integrated system.

The Active Office building was designed by SPECIFIC, a UK Innovation & Knowledge Centre led by Swansea University.

The site next door to the first Active Classroom and the two buildings will be able to share energy with each other and with electric vehicles.

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UK decarbonisation possible without new nuclear says report

Rapid decarbonisation of the UK’s power grid is possible by 2030 without relying on “expensive and controversial” nuclear, biomass or carbon capture and storage (CCS), according to a new report.

The paper – which was commissioned by the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and compiled by Vivid Economics – concluded that wind and solar can provide more than 60% of total electricity by 2030.

Already planned or existing nuclear and natural gas capacity could provide the remainder, it ...

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Plan to link European grid networks explored

Renewable energy developer Innogy and transmission line operator Tennet are to investigate the potential of linking Europe’s power grids using offshore wind farms.

The companies are exploring whether interconnectors could be used to form a “North Sea Wind Power Hub”.

Mel Kroon, Tennet’s chief executive, said: “Given WindEurope’s forecasts of the planned deployment of up to 70GW offshore wind by 2030, new approaches must be investigated to connect large scale offshore wind to the onshore grids.

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