Drax plans world’s largest battery storage facility

Drax logo

power giant Drax has submitted planning permission for what would be the world’s
largest battery storage facility, and an equally ambitious gas-fired power plant facility,
as it continues its retreat from coal-fired power.

The company wants has already converted three of its six coal-fired units in
North Yorkshire to biomass, in its attempts to adapt to the UK’s phase out of
coal by 2025.

It said on Wednesday that it was considering building up to 200 MW of battery
storage at the site, double the size of the current largest, the
under-construction 100 MW Tesla facility in Australia.

In addition, …read more

Schneider Electric announces key appointments in Europe

In a move aimed at preparing for a changing energy landscape, Schneider Electric has announced two key appointments.

Mike Hughes (pictured, left), former executive vice-president of segments and strategic customers and head of Schneider Electric Taiwan, will take up the post of zone president for the UK and Ireland.

Hughes has worked for Schneider for 15 years and will report to Leonid Mukhamedov, executive vice-president of European operations, who said the UK and Ireland was a “key market” for the company.

Hughes said he was “very excited to be taking this role at such an important time for both the region …read more

RWE posts positive result

Rolf Martin Schmitz

RWE’s earnings were up 7 per cent year on year, according to its latest half year results announcement, thanks in part to compensation granted to the utility for an illegal nuclear tax imposed by the German government, and solid gas power generation performance.

Both RWE and E.ON got a huge boost earlier this year when Germany’s highest court ruled that a nuclear fuel tax imposed on the utilities was unconstitutional.

RWE’s chief financial officer Markus Krebber said the company would pay an ordinary dividend of €0.50 per share for 2017 as well as a special dividend of …read more

Concern for EU wind sector despite strong installation performance

WindEurope logo

WindEurope has released its latest update on the health of the European wind energy sector and expressed concern at issues that may negatively impact on long term progress.

At first glance, the statistics are positive, with 6.1 GW of wind power added to the European grid in the first half of 2017. A total of 4.8 GW of onshore wind capacity was installed in the first half of 2017, although it was heavily concentrated in Germany (2.2 GW), UK (1.2 GW) and France (492 MW).

The European wind representative body found that a total of 1.3 GW of offshore …read more

ETI invests $6m in waste gasification test project

A new report by the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has concluded that using waste and biomass for gasification can produce low carbon power efficiently, particularly at the town scale.

The report sets out why it believes the technology could be so important to a future low carbon UK energy system.

“Our analysis work has shown that gasification projects with integrated syngas clean-up have the potential to be competitive with other sources of renewable power, but support will be required to enable their early deployment,” said Geraint Evans, ETI Bioenergy Programme Manager.

ETI analysis of the UK …read more

Canada biomass and coal plant trials oxy-PFBC process

Commissioning has been completed on a new thermal pilot plant in Ottowa, Canada, to advance the development of an oxygen-fired pressurized fluidized bed combustion (Oxy-PFBC) process.

The partners behind the project say that the Oxy-PFBC process generates electricity and heat with “near-zero emissions by economically capturing greenhouse gases created by biomass and coal combustion”.

US-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is partnering with the US Department of Energy, Natural Resources Canada and CanmetENERGY-Ottawa to validate the process, mature the technologies, and address technology gaps.

The collaboration between the US and Canada aims to advance …read more

Asia tops renewables investment ranking

An influential poll has named China and India as the best destinations for clean energy investment. Kelvin Ross examines the results and also hears how the integration of battery storage is the next big challenge for the energy industry

China and India have overtaken the US as the top destinations for renewable energy investment in an influential annual report.

The Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) from analysts at EY ranks 40 countries in terms of their allure for clean energy investors.

The US has been top since 2015 but the latest report released in May sees it fall to third behind the …read more

Coal mine to be transformed into 200 MW pumped hydro plant


The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine in Bottrop into a 200 MW pumped-storage hydroelectric plant.

The facility will act like a battery and will have enough capacity to power more than 400,000 homes, according to state governor Hannelore Kraft.

Other mines may also be converted after Prosper-Haniel because the state needs more industrial-scale storage as it seeks to double the share of renewables in its power mix to 30 per cent by 2025, she said.

North-Rhine Westphalia generates a third of Germany’s power.

The consortium running the Prosper-Haniel project, which …read more

Innogy chief Terium enjoying challenge ‘out of the comfort zone’

Peter Terium, CEO of Innogy with Jon Medved, Founder and CEO of OurCrowd

RWE-owned Innogy has joined forces with leading global equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd in a bid to discover new start-ups that can provide innovative products and services in the energy market. Power Engineering International caught up with Innogy CEO Peter Terium as he headed for the launch in Tel Aviv, Israel on Tuesday.

The partnership will combine the strength of OurCrowd’s network and ability to scout investment opportunities in Israeli start-ups and match the business objectives of Innogy to provide innovative products and services beyond the energy market.

OurCrowd, a platform that connects investors and start-ups around the …read more

Appetite for renewables in Middle East ‘stronger than ever’

Squeezed budgets from lower oil prices and rising energy demand will significantly heighten the demand and use of renewables and energy efficiency technologies in the Middle East.

That’s the key finding of a new white paper from Lloyd’s Register, based on an industry executive briefing at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, where participants debated the challenge that regional economies face in establishing a cost-efficient low carbon future while not jeopardizing their energy economics and security.

Most participants were of the view that the growth of the low carbon market is not a threat to the prominence of …read more