Long spring weekend turns out to be a great opportunity to open new horizons especially having the last edition of the Ukrenergo review at hand. Festive top 5 energy news are already here for its reader. Thus, let`s spice the day with the latest world energy news right now.
1. 40 cities have totally transferred to the renewables. Up to 40 cities all around the world have totally transferred to the renewables whereas over 100 cities now get at least 70% of their electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar and wind. Since the signing of the Paris climate accord in 2015, it has seen the number of cities reporting their climate impacts shoot from 308 to 572. U.S. cities already over 70% include Seattle; Eugene, Oregon; and Aspen, Colorado. Atlanta and San-Diego follow the same target. The role of cities is crucial for fighting climate change, as they account the most of the emissions, that`s why the course towards renewables may drastically influence the climate change. Cities can also mandate that municipal buildings use renewables, or pass clean energy mandates on fresh construction. San Francisco has an ordinance saying that 15%-30% of new roof-space has to incorporate solar panels or green roofs. It should be mentioned as well the licenses on CO2 emissions in Europe in 2030 will cost 31 euro per ton which is three times more than now. According to new environmental standards, closing coal-fired power plants will be more profitable than their rehabilitation. Therefore, it is planned that all coal-fired power plants in the European Union and the UK will be unprofitable in the next ten years. However, the state will continue to subsidize such objects as an insurance option in case when solar and wind power plants will not cope in peak demand periods. Absolutely clean cities are becoming more realistic.
2. Americans keep using less electricity. Economic growth picked up a little in the US in 2017.But electricity use fell, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration. Measured on a per-capita basis, electricity use is in clear decline, and is already back to the levels of the mid-1990s. The overall level of electricity use in the United States used to increase until the mid-1990s, afterwards it stopped and is still at a nearly constant level. What is the secret of such a sustainable consumption? Bloomberg experts point to a general increase in the energy efficiency (largely due to the use of LED lamps), as well as the continuation of the “migration” of the American industrial production abroad. The Donald Trump administration has made saving coal-fired electric plants a big priority; the struggles of nuclear power plants have sparked concern from multiple quarters. Meanwhile, U.S. natural gas production has grown by more than 40 percent since 2007, thanks to hydraulic fracturing and other new drilling techniques, while wind and solar keep making big gains in cost and market share. What happens next? For power generators, the best bet for breaking out of the current no-growth pattern is to electrify more of the U.S. economy, especially transportation. A big part of the attraction of electric cars and trucks for policy-makers and others is their potential to be emissions-free.
3. New battaries for mini-grids. New investments from companies such as Shell, Engie, Mitsui, Total, and Caterpillar will boost the energy storage market in the rural electrification segment to up to 50 MWh annually – in the long-term, 1 GWh per year will be possible. THEnergy releases new analysis based on 22 expert interviews with decision-makers from mini-grid developers and energy storage providers mainly covering markets in Africa and Asia. In rural electrification applications, lead-acid batteries were traditionally used. The objective was to build first mini-grids at the lowest total cost to demonstrate the viability of the business model to potential investors. The decreases in cost of lithium-ion batteries are changing the situation. The difference regarding the total cost of ownership is tightening. The gap is often sufficiently small to swap to superior lithium-ion technology. It can also be observed that many developing target countries of rural electrification have, so far, no experience with lithium-ion batteries. This could lead to unexpected costs regarding export or transport. These batteries are still quite expensive. The Fluidic and Henri Fraise companies, the affiliates of the Caterpillar company may use these batteries for the mini-grids at Madagascar. THEnergy proves that Amongst the main markets for energy storage solutions in the mini-grid segment are India, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Ghana, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Haiti.
4. European clocks slowed. Millions of Europeans who arrived late to work or school have a good excuse – an unprecedented slowing of the frequency of the continent’s electricity grid. ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, announced the problem began mid-January and affects 25 countries, from Portugal to Poland and Greece to Germany. It says the deviation from Europe’s standard 50 Hz frequency is caused by a loss of energy in the area of Kosovo and Serbia because of a political dispute between the two countries.
Electric clocks keeping time by the power system’s frequency, rather than built-in quartz crystals, have fallen behind by about 6 minutes.
ENTSO-E said it’s working on a technical solution that could bring the system back to normal within “a few weeks.” It should be mentioned that the ENTSO-E mission is to ensure reliable operation, optimal management and development of the European power transmission system in order to ensure energy security and meet the needs of the domestic energy market. 43 transmission system operators from 36 countries are participants of ENTSO-E.
5. A fleet of all-electric ferries. Several recent projects seem to indicate that maritime transport is well on its way to go electric and ferries are at the forefront. The Havyard shipyard announced that it received a contract to build seven battery-powered ferries for Fjord1, Norwegian transport conglomerate. Five of the purchased ferries with a total value of 83 million euros will have a capacity of 50 cars each. They will be created by the Havyard shipyard company in Norway. Two more ferries costing 21 million euro each will be bigger – to transport 80 vehicles. They will be built by Cemre Shipyard in Turkey (on request from Havyard shipyard). Vessels must be built before the fall of 2019. They will carry out local transportation by Norway starting on January 1, 2020. It is noteworthy that, taking into account the new contract, the portfolio of orders for the Havyard shipyard for the production of electric ferries reached 13 units, the company said. It should be noted as well that this is not about re-equipment of ordinary ships, but the creation of electric ferries from scratch. The Norwegian government requires environmentally friendly clean water solutions owners to provide zero emissions for the ferry fleet. As you are already aware, since 2005, the Ampere steam boiler is already operating in Norway. The experience of its operation is assessed as extremely positive – CO2 emissions decreased by 95%, and operating costs by 80%. As a result, the shipbuilding company Fjellstrand received an order for the production of another 53 units of the same ferry. The beginning of a genuine electric revolution in Norwegian waters can spread to the whole world in future.