France delays reduction of nuclear power

French minister Nicolas Hulot

The French environment minister Nicolas Hulot says the government is postponing its move to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the country’s power generation mix.

According to Reuters, Hulot says the grid operator RTE warned it risked supply shortages after 2020 and could miss a goal to curb carbon emissions, if it went ahead with the cull of nuclear right away, reducing the share from 75 per cent to 50 per cent.

“It will be difficult to maintain the target of reducing the share of nuclear to 50 percent by 2025,” Hulot told reporters following a cabinet meeting. He …read more

Spanish project to launch drone-based PV maintenance system

A Spanish research project is aiming to optimize solar PV plant performance through the use of drones.

The €650,000 project, called SCARAB, is a collaboration between power and control electronics outfit Ingeteam and the University of Castilla La Mancha.

According to Ingeteam, the project aims to develop more efficient sensors to monitor and process the signals received during inspection as well as automatic PV panel fault detection. It also aims to develop advanced fault classification algorithms that can estimate a PV plant’s status and optimize maintenance strategies.

Launch of a drone-based PV plant inspection service is planned for 2018.

The drone will feature …read more

EU plays catch up on battery storage

Francesco Gattiglio

Europe is trailing China and the US when it comes to the development of battery storage, but Brussels is keen to close the gap. Francesco Gattiglio, EU affairs manager of EUROBAT, the trade organisation representing European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, told Power Engineering International why he’s enthusiastic about the bloc’s chances.

The proposal for the EU new energy market design, published by the European Commission on 30th November 2016, is seen as a clear step forward for battery energy storage, however some work remained in terms of more coherent approach to facilitating sector success.

Earlier this …read more

World Energy Council Ranks Sustainability Leaders, Does your Country Rank?

Which country is leading the way in sustainable energy

he World Energy Council has released its Energy Trilemma Index.

The tool ,produced in partnership with Oliver Wyman, ranks countries on their ability to provide sustainable energy through 3 dimensions: Energy security, Energy equity (accessibility and affordability), Environmental sustainability.

The ranking measures overall performance in achieving a sustainable mix of policies and the balance score highlights how well a country manages the trade-offs of the Trilemma with “A” being the best.

Balancing the three goals constitutes a ‘dilemma’ and is the basis for a secure, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy system.

The latest findings shows a …read more

Solar is most-installed power technology worldwide says report

Solar PV has emerged as the most-installed power generation technology globally, according to a report released this week.

Analysis firm GlobalData’s Power Attractiveness Index showed 72 GW of solar PV capacity installed worldwide in 2016, followed by 53 GW of wind power, 52 GW of coal-fired power, 41 GW of gas-fired power and 31 GW of hydropower.

China and India occupy the top two spots in the Index as the most lucrative power markets in the short term, GlobalData said, followed by the US, Turkey, Germany and Brazil.

According to China’s latest five-year energy development …read more

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