RES generation has created millions of jobs, and their number will only grow. A company in Germany has learned to save energy in the volcanic rock, and Britain is building a giant battery to balance its power system. Read about this and much more in the latest release of the Ukrenergo review.
RES generation creates more than 11 million jobs
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in 2018, RES generation employed 11 million people, against 10.3 million in 2017.
For the third consecutive year, PV solar energy is the largest employer across RES sector with 3.6 million people, although 61% of these jobs are concentrated in China.
Bioenergy, which comprises liquid biofuels, solid biomass and biogas, historically has been the largest sector, and now ranks second by the number of employees.
Wind power gives a job to 1.2 million people. For the most part, these jobs are concentrated on the continents. China accounts for 44% of global employment in the field of wind energy, followed by Germany and the United States.
Hydropower has the highest installed capacity among all renewables, but is currently developing slowly. This sector employs 2.1 million people, three quarters of which are engaged in operation and maintenance.
The diversification of the RES supply chain of changes the industry’s geography. So far, renewable energy has remained concentrated in several major markets – China, the US and the EU.
However, more and more countries in Eastern and Southeast Asia are emerging alongside China as key exporters of solar photovoltaic panels. Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam provided a larger share of renewable energy growth last year. This allowed Asia to maintain a 60% share in RES worldwide.
Fully electric Alice Eviation to carry out commercial flights by 2022
Eviation Aircraft, manufacturer of fully electric planes has announced the conclusion of an agreement with the first commercial client – a local airline Cape Air (Mass., USA).
Currently, the Alice plane is under development, and Eviation Aircraft unveiled the first fully operational prototype of an electric plane at the Paris Air Show.
Alice will start test flights later this year. Eviation expects to receive certification in 2021, and claims to start supplying airplanes for commercial use by 2022.
Eviation claims that Alice is capable of flying with nine passengers aboard at a distance of up to 650 miles per charge. The aircraft will use MagniX electric motors.
Britain plans to build a giant battery to balance its power grid
Norwegian power company Statkraft AS and Britain’s Statera Energy Ltd. together are building a 1GW storage. In this way, the company will contribute to balancing the power grid.
If the pilot is successful, Statera will construct several storage sites over three to four years at a number of U.K. locations as well as an array of gas reciprocating engines. Reciprocating engines can be ramped up quicker than traditional gas turbines. Such combined systems will generate eleectricity at peak load or other periods when the network does not receive enough electricity.
While static batteries are becoming a mainstay of the power balancing market, Statkraft and Statera hope their combined model can occupy a niche between stand-alone storage and baseload-providing gas plants.
Siemens Gamesa launches a volcanic rocks energy storage site
The firm’s new pilot facility in Hamburg-Altenwerder, Germany, can store 130MWh of energy for up to one week.
The plant accumulates energy in 1000 tons of volcanic rock and is powered by electricity that has been converted into hot air by resistance, heating the stones to 750°C. When load reaches its peak, the steam turbine kicks in, and the accumulated energy enters the grid.
Siemens Gamesa argues that the capacity of the installation is equivalent to daily electricity consumption of roughly 50 000 households.
The company also notes that the storage capacity is constant throughout all charging cycles, which increases the reliability and predictability of the system.
International Energy Agency outlines future of hydrogen
The G20 meeting of environment and energy ministers on the weekend in Karuizawa, Japan focused on the development of green hydrogen.
An International Energy Agency report “The Future of Hydrogen” was released at the G20 Ministerial Meeting, offering a positive outlook for the development of green hydrogen using renewable energy sources such as solar.
According to the IEA report on The Future of Hydrogen, fossil-fuelled production of hydrogen is currently responsible for “annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”. Therefore, the report urges an intensive transition of clean electricity to produce hydrogen.
Unfortunately, today the production of green hydrogen is rather costly. However, the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable electricity could fall around 30% by 2030 as a result of declining costs of renewables.