“Make the most of yourself…for that is all there is of you”, once said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Traditionally, on Friday, we offer you to go beyond the limits and get acquainted with the trending world energy news. Today`s portion of the breakthroughs is already here for you:
Ambitious plans vs innovations. Householders and businesses in the UK could sell their own energy within a local power network under new smart grid plans unveiled today. That will become possible owing to the Energy Networks Association’s long-term plans as regards to the Smart Grid – ‘Open Networks Project’. Hence, the electricity network operators from England, Scotland and Wales have committed to deliver £17 billion of benefits by 2050 within major overhaul of the networks. Just a minute, the sum equals the annual budget of Ukraine. The British may show off not only the great funding plans but the creation of the brand new electricity markets as well. The following process is to adjust the electricity use when it is least needed , to use smart energy efficient technology to adjust consumption remotely as well as to buy power from battery storage (the construction is already previewed within the grid development plan). One more striking fact. They will use the block chain technology. Yes-yes, the one already used within cryptocurrency. How about block chain within smart grid development? Meanwhile, the following projects are being successfully implemented in Japan and are to be implemented in Korea. Nevertheless, it is a brand new experience for Europe. This decision of the British operators is justified as the energy market is changing extremely fast.
2.The energy sector in…Africa. Nigeria will generate up to 3 000 MW off-grid electricity by 2020. And what`s more, it`ll be absolutely legally as the The federal government yesterday hinted of its target to have 10 000 mini-grids by which it will generate 3 000 MW of electricity to energise underserved off-grid communities across Nigeria. The government claims that 50% of the Nigeria’s 180m population are not connected to the grid. As of now they generate electricity by all means possible: diesel generators, coal and wood combustion. Nigerian businesses spend $40 billion every year to generate unstained electricity. Too much, isn’t it? Thus, the Government decided to legitimize the following methods and to create small generation facilities and grids to distribute the generated electricity. Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is securing $350 million from the World Bank for the purpose of rural electrification out of which $150m will go into funding the mini grid projects. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently signed the mini grid regulation to accelerate the electrification of rural areas that are far from grid using renewable energy sources. The project will be fully approved in April 2018. If the financing increases the mini-grids coverage will spread. Key mini grid projects are expected to serve 200,000 households and 50,000 local enterprises across Niger, Plateau, Kaduna and Rivers states. The World Bank presumes the implementation of the following projects will allow for costs saving in Nigeria up to $9 bln per year.
3. Electricity out of amino acids. Scientists at UL’s Bernal Institute have discovered that the biomolecule glycine, when tapped or squeezed, can generate enough electricity to power electrical devices in an economically sustainable way. And, not to forget about the ecological way. The research was published on December 4, 2017 in leading international journal Nature Materials. Glycine is the simplest amino acid. It occurs in practically all agro and forestry residues. It can be produced at less than one per cent of the cost of currently used piezoelectric materials. It means it may generate electricity in response to pressure and vice versa. Scientists used computer models to predict the electrical response of a wide range of crystals and the glycine number was off the charts. Afterwards, the crystals of glycine grew in long and narrow crystals of alcohol, transforming into electricity just by tapping them. The piezoelectric materials like these are widely used in cars, phones and remote controls. However, unlike glycine these materials are synthetic and may consist of the toxic elements like lead or lithium. The current finding extends the technology towards pragmatic, low-cost, renewable sources for electricity generation. “It is unbelievable how the tiny molecule like this may generate such a great amount of electricity”, mentioned Sarah Guerin, cience Foundation Ireland funded post-graduate researcher at the Bernal Institute, UL. And it is true. More and more innovative technologies and breaktroughs are being widely used in the energy sphere. Clean and effective energy will break the record one day, sure.
4. The cheapest electricity. Who provides it? According to the electricity price statistics, the cheapest electricity for the households is registered in Bulgaria. As of now the Bulgariuan households pay 8.2 €/kW∙h. The following facts occurs due the electricity price cut by 5% in August 2013 approved by the Satae Committee on energy and water supply regulation, DKEVR. Moreover, the lowest electricity price for the household consumers is as well registered in Bulgaria – 0,096 €/kW∙h. The average electricity prices for the households amount to 9,6 €/kW∙h. Just to compare: the average electricity price in the EU amounts to 19,7 €/kW∙h. According to the payback possibility standards (PPS), the prices in Bulgaria are 8,2% lower that the average indices in the EU. For your information, the highest prices were registered in Denmark and Germany (0,305 €/kW∙h) and Belgium (0,280 €/kW∙h). Meanwhile, the electricity prives in Ukraine are still the lowest across the Europe.
5. Google is 100% renewables powered. Google is officially 100% sun and wind powered. Recently the company has signed contracts on three wind power plants in recent days to bring them over 3GW of production capacity in order to total the energy infrastructure up to 3 GW. Google’s energy infrastructure investments have totaled over $3.5 billion globally, with about two-thirds being in the US. The generation stations are located all over the US, however the biggest ones are in South Dakota, Iowa and Oklahoma. Citing a cost decrease of 60%-80% in wind and solar as the driving factor, Google has been investing heavily in renewables. They first signed an agreement in 2010 to purchase all of the production per year from a 114MW wind farm in Iowa. As of December 2017, they increased the consumption out of renewables up to 60%. Google participated in about 20 projects on renewables. Thus, the company has become the largest corporate buyer of electricity out of renewables in the world. Google almost doubled its main competitor – Amazon, which uses as well wind and sun generation, 1,5 GW in total. The other corporate renewable energy purchasers are US Department of Defense, Facebook, Apple, Ikea and others. It is absolutely a right modus operandi regarding renewables development.