To immerse yourself in the world of energy innovations and trends is much simpler and more enjoyable with Ukrenergo Review. Let us charge with energy before the warm spring weekend together.Today, you will learn about the following.
1. Air conditioning becomes the main driver of global demand for electricity. The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that the increasing use of air conditioners in offices and homes would be the main factor in the growth of global demand for electricity in the next 30 years. According to the IEA’s “The Future of Cooling”, the world’s demand for electricity fueled by air conditioners will triple by 2050. In order to meet this demand, huge volumes of new power generation are required, which are approximately equivalent to the total power capacity of the US, Japan and the European Union today. By 2050, the number of air conditioners in buildings will reach 5.6 billion compared to today’s 1.6 billion.
The impact of using air conditioners and electric fans is already significant. According to the IEA, they account for about one-fifth of the electricity used in buildings around the world. “The growing power demand for air conditioners is one of the biggest blind spots in today’s energy debates,” said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA.
The number of air conditioners will skyrocket together with rising incomes, especially in developing countries. Although it adds extra comfort and improves everyday life, it is also important that the energy efficiency remains a priority.
The report proposes a number of measures, in particular setting stringent minimum energy performance standards, which is one of the easiest ways to reduce the need for new power plants and, at the same time, to cut emissions and electricity costs, said the IEA source. So, let us pay more attention to air conditioners, because in Ukraine the peak loads on the IPS also occur during summer.
2. China want to buy Portuguese energy giant EDP. A Chinese state-owned company “China Three Gorges” (CTG) has expressed a desire to control the largest power company in Portugal called EDP, which is a producer and supplier of electricity in the country. EDE also operates in Brazil, Spain and the USA. The company serves nearly 10 million customers in the field of energy supply and 1.6 million natural gas consumers.
Chinese CTG is already the largest shareholder of Portuguese EDP. Thus, it owns a share of 23 percent. However, according to company’s representatives, this does not stop their ambitions to expand the investment portfolio. The total cost of a possible acquisition agreement amounts to 9.07 billion euros.
Reports that EDP can be purchased by European foreign companies have been circulating for over a year. It is worth noting that in its previous statements, CTG has already indicated that it wanted to obtain at least 50 percent of the Portuguese company. The Chinese power giant also offered 7.33 euros per share of EDP Renovaveis, EDP’s wind power unit, which was slightly below the current price of 7.84 euros. EDP representatives have not yet commented on the offer. However, Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters that the Government of Portugal did not object to that proposal. Interestingly, Chinese investors have been actively buying Portuguese assets since 2011, from infrastructure to insurance and banking. The reason for such an “expansion” was the debt crisis in Portugal in 2010-2013.
The World Wide Fund for Nature calls on the United Kingdom not to build new large-scale gas-fired plants aimed to replace coal generation. Earlier, the British government promised to close coal power plants by 2025.
As reported in Sandbag’s non-profit climate laboratory, new gas-fired power plants can be replaced by renewable energy sources, power storage systems and other technologies.
Previously it was reported that large power companies, in particular, Drax and RWE, were planning to build large gas-fired stations on the sites of former power plants in Yorkshire and Essex. However, Gareth Redmond-King, the head of climate and energy at WWF, urged the UK government to review their plans regarding the development of gas-fired power plants and stated that it would not be possible to substitute one “dirty” power source for another.
The last large natural gas plant in the UK was built in 2016 in Carrington. At the same time, based on official government forecasts, the WWF found that an increase in electricity generation from renewable energy sources might well replace the decommissioned coal generation. The situation looks even better in view of the British government’s promise to allocate 557 million pounds to finance additional renewable energy subsidies by 2025.
Disputes about hydrogen energy are on everyone’s lips all around the world. During his inauguration speech, Carlos Alvarado, a new Costa Rican president, said he was about to ban all fossil fuels in the country and eventually transfer it to renewable energy sources. Symbolically, the new president arrived at a ceremony in San Jose on a hydrogen-fueled bus.
Last month, Alvarado also said that Costa Rica would strive for overcoming the use of fossil fuels by transport by 2021, which would perfectly mark the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence.
Costa Rica already produces 99 percent of electricity from renewable sources. However, according to Jose Daniel Lara, an energy researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, it will be very difficult to eliminate all carbon dioxide emissions even in such a “green” country. He states that it is impossible to abandon fossil fuels completely in just several years, although such a plan will definitely contribute to the quick implementation of this goal.
In turn, Oscar Echeverria, President of Vehicle and Machinery Importers Association, said that the transition from the use of fossil fuels in transport would be impossible since the market of “clean” transport had not been developed yet. Therefore, we will follow the implementation of such ambitious plans for Costa Rica will try not to lag behind in developing our “green” future.
5. Japan refuses to abandon nuclear power. The draft of an updated basic energy policy for Japan by 2030 indicates the same share of nuclear power in the country at the level of 20-22 percent. In general, the document is based on a combination of different sources of energy. However, despite criticism, it makes too much emphasis on the nuclear power, so unpopular after the accident at the Fukushima power plant.
At the same time, the industry ministry’s draft notes that renewable energy generation should reach the level of 22-24 percent in 2030, in accordance with the goals set in 2015 by the trade ministry. Fossil fuels such as coal and gas, in turn, should cover the rest of the country’s energy demand.
It is to be recalled that since 2011, Japan has increased its dependence on imported coal and natural gas, while the costs of enterprises and consumers have increased. For reference, in the financial year through March 2017, fossil fuels accounted for 83 percent of Japan’s electricity, renewable energy sources account for 15 percent, while nuclear power generation covers only 2 percent. Currently, only five of 40 nuclear reactors operate in Japan. The new energy policy draft also opens the door for the construction of new nuclear power plants in order to reduce dirty emissions and combat climate change. The document triggered an active public debate among the public, while the Japanese government is planning to approve the updated basic energy plan already in July this year. Thus, the question of the energy future of Japan remains open, although it has a chance to “become nuclear again”.