World’s first tidal-powered hydrogen

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) on Orkney has produced the first hydrogen from tidal energy.

Electricity generated by Scotrenewables’ SR2000 and Tocardo’s TFS and T2 turbines was fed into an electrolyser at EMEC’s onshore station near its test site at the Fall of Warness, Eday.

Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC, said: “Whilst the initial driver behind buying an electrolyser was to provide a storage solution to circumvent local grid constraints, the purchase has sparked off other pioneering projects around Orkney looking to use hydrogen in various means.”

> Read EMEC's announcement


Drax plans battery storage

Drax has unveiled plans to build up to 200MW of battery storage.

The company also confirmed plans to apply for permission to convert two coal-fired boilers to run on gas, having already altered three of its coal-powered units to burn biomass.

Andy Koss, Chief Executive of Drax Power, said: “We are at the start of the planning process but if developed these options for gas and battery storage show how Drax could upgrade our existing infrastructure to provide capacity, stability and essential grid services, as we do with biomass.”

> View Drax's announcement


BT ups carbon saving target

Telecommunications giant BT has unveiled plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 87% by 2030 compared to 2016-17 levels.

Last year, the company achieved its 2020 target of reducing its carbon intensity by more than 80% compared with a 1996-97 baseline.

Niall Dunne, BT’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “The role that technology can play in creating a more resource efficient world is both profound and exciting.”

> See BT's statement


Artificial intelligence boosts utility sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) is creating jobs and boosting profits in the utilities sector, according to a report from consultancy firm Capgemini.

Some 86% of utilities companies surveyed said that using AI was leading to jobs being created.

Capgemini said its research countered fears that AI will lead to job losses in the short term.

> Download the report


First stage of UK-Belgium power link installed

Nemo Link, a joint venture between National Grid and Belgium’s transmission system operator Elia, has begun laying the first cables for the electricity interconnector between the UK and Belgium.

The laying of the first 59km of cables for the 140km link has begun at Pegwell Bay in Kent.

The 1GW interconnector is due to begin operating in early 2019.

> Find out more about Nemo