Last week was full of interesting news in the world energy industry. Therefore, in the new edition of Ukrenergo Review, you can read why in the capital of the UK high fee for entrance to the center is taken, if a car doesn’t meet recent eco-standards, how Belgian inventors suggest turning the solar energy into hydrogen, how much USA invest in energy projects with artificial intelligence, as well as the world-famous American company Westinghouse and the Chinese government are building new safe micro nuclear reactors.
1.Access to the center of London by vehicles without eco-standards is now worth £ 12.5
From now, all vehicles driving to central London must meet new, more stringent exhaust emission standards, otherwise you will have to pay an additional fee, according to Energy Live News.
In addition to the already existing tax against overloading on roads, vehicles which do not meet the established requirements will have to pay 12.50 pounds sterling (which is approximately equal to 430 UAH) for entry into the so-called “ultra-low emission zone”.
Vehicles obliged to pay a fee are: motorcycles that do not meet Euro 3 standards, gasoline cars and minibuses that do not meet Euro 4 standards, diesel cars and minibuses that do not meet Euro 6 standards. In case of non-payment of the levy, the owner of the car will be fined £ 160 (about 5,600 UAH). After the first violation, only a warning is provided.
According to preliminary estimates, the new tax will affect about 40,000 vehicles that enter the central part of London every day. The Small Business Federation has already stated that many small companies have expressed concerns about the future of their business through additional taxes.
The “Ultra-Low Emission Zone” is part of the package of measures introduced by Mayor Sadiq Khan to combat air pollution in London. It is expected that the new levy will help reduce the amount of harmful emissions, which will contribute to the protection of the respiratory system of children and reduce the risk of heart disease of adults.
In 2021, it is planned to expand fees to cover all territory between the northern and southern ring roads.
2.US will invest $ 20 million for using digital intelligence in the design of energy technologies
The US government will provide about $ 20 million to accelerate the implementation of digital intelligence and machine learning in the engineering design systems of energy technologies. Energy Live News reports.
For this, the DIFFERENTIATE program of US Department of Energy identified six common problems of mathematical optimization (selection according to a certain criterion of the best option from all available alternatives) that are common to many energy technology design processes.
The program’s experts have developed a concept that should help engineers to select the most suitable options at the design stage and thus accelerate the pace of innovation in the energy sector.
Thus, digital intelligence and machine learning will be used to identify the problem, find a solution, select a data collection strategy, identify the main risks of development, and identify the entry into a market for the end product or software.
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has said: “Digital intelligence and machine learning have the potential, in the direct sense, to transform every aspect of our lives, and the rapid implementation of this technology is crucial for strengthening economic and national security.”
An initiative by the Department of Energy, a digital intelligence project is used to strengthen cyber and national security, enhance energy efficiency, optimize the security and resilience of the network, and develop innovative decisions in healthcare.
3.New rules of Spain for electricity self-consumption come into force
Spanish Council of Ministers approved the Royal Decree, which regulates the administrative, technical and economic conditions for energy self-consumption. The new provisions touched on their electricity self-consumption, administrative procedures and the mechanism for compensation for excess electricity, according to a statement from PV Magazine.
So, from now different types of self-consumption are determined. If prior only individual users generating electricity for their own needs were connected to the internal network, according to the new rules, several users can be connected to the one generation source.
New rules are also designed to simplify the mechanism of compensation for excess energy that returns to the network. Previously, prosumers received compensation only if they were legally authorized energy producers. Improvements, in turn, allow to receive compensation on a monthly basis, regardless of the legal status of the prosumer, in the event that the generation capacity of the RES does not exceed 100 kW. Also introduced is the concept of “common self-consumption”, which allows households to consume not only their own but also excess electricity produced in the neighborhood.
The new provisions also significantly reduce the administrative procedures for all prosumers. Owners of generation sources with a capacity of up to 15 kW or up to 100 kW for self-consumption without surplus are obliged to report on the equipment for the production of electricity to their regional authorities, which will pass the relevant information to the national registry.
4.Belgian scientists develop solar hydrogen panel
A team of scientists from the University of Leuven (Belgium) claims to have created a hydrogen panel that can convert sunlight to hydrogen gas. Despite the fact that the panel looks similar to the solar panel, scientists insist that it be called the hydrogen panel. This is reported by PV-magazine.com.
The design of the device allows simultaneous combining technologies of absorption of solar energy and generation of hydrogen. Due to this, the panel is capable of generating up to 250 liters of hydrogen gas from the moisture contained in the air every day. “And since even desert air has enough water vapor, this technology can be applied anywhere,” the researchers emphasize.
Scientists also argue that hydrogen production with the invention is more efficient than conventional gas production. Approximately 20 panels of this type can provide a heat-insulated house with heat and electricity throughout the winter, according to researchers.
According to scientists, such a panel can deal with temperatures up to 50-70 ℃, and works in heavy rain and low humidity.
However, it’s too early to talk about the production of hydrogen panels on an industrial scale. Over the next two years, innovation will work in a testing mode to identify and fix possible shortcomings and “turn it into a mature commercial product.”
5.US, UK and China are creating safe nuclear micromodular reactors
The United States, Great Britain and China are working on the creation of nuclear micromodular reactors that are simple in design, easy to construct and relatively cheap. All this makes it possible to build similar reactors in remote locations. So, the American company Westinghouse promises to launch the micro-reactor “eVinci” by 2022. Its power will reach 25 MW. Energypost.eu reports.
During the development of the project, the experience of space reactors is taken into account. The term of commissioning, after delivery to the site, is less than a week. Among the technical challenges that need to be addressed to create “eVinci” is the selection of materials for work at temperatures around 600 ℃. However, the company believes that they will be able to cope with this task.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has announced the launch of a 125 MW micromodular reactor ACP100. The construction will begin in December 2019 and, according to preliminary estimates, will last 65 months. The reactor will be installed underground.
The ACP100 reactor is designed for electricity generation, heat supply, steam generation or seawater desalination, and is also suitable for remote areas with limited power capabilities or industrial infrastructure.
At the same time, in the UK, it is planned to launch a 30 MW micromodular reactor by 2030. According to a government report, micromodular reactors can bring significant economic benefits to the UK.