Have you ever come across the butterfly effect? Every day lots of events happen all around the world and we are convinced there will be one extremely important. The one having a strong impact on the global future. Actually, it is not that easy to predict however, we are always there with our Ukrenergo Review and its latest energy events.
1. E-aircrafts. We are already used to the electric cars, electric bikes, electric buses and electric trains. But… How about the electric planes? Well, it sounds at least extraordinary, but a BBC report says that Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are partneringon a hybrid electric aircraft partnering on a hybrid e-aircraft prototype, the E-Fan X, that will prove how the blending of conventional and electric engines could work. The E-Fan X demonstrator will a use modified four-engine BAe 146 by replacing one of its gas turbine engines with a 2MW electric motor, followed by a second engine as the program progresses. By 2020, the group hopes to have a demonstrator flying. Why is that stuff provoking that much interest? At first, the emissions. A jet turbine running at a constant steady state is expected to be more fuel efficient and emit less Nox and CO2 than conventional jet engines, which are ramped up and down in power output frequently during a flight. There is the hope it will also be more fuel efficient, jet fuel makes up a large proportion of a typical aircraft’s running cost (17-36%, depending on the price of fuel). Secondly, noise. Airports are desperate to reduce noise levels, despite the huge gains that have already been made in recent years. Airbus’s A380, the article states, emits only half as much noise as an older 747 on departure, and three to four times less on landing. Some aircraft are even beginning to limit 90 decibel emissions on departure. Let`s follow the outcome together.
2. Cost optimization within energy sector. General Electric said on Thursday that it would cut 12,000 jobs from its power division, as the conglomerate attempts to cut costs and scale back on struggling business units. The layoffs, which amount to roughly a fifth of the division’s workforce, will include both professional and production workers around the world. They are part of GE’s targeted $3.5 billion in cost cuts in 2017 and 2018. The industrial conglomerate said its power business has suffered as sustainable energy sources gain popularity and demand for traditional sources of fuel, like coal and gas, weakens. The layoffs are expected to help “right-size” the business. “This decision was painful but necessary for GE Power to respond to the disruption in the power market, which is driving significantly lower volumes in products and services,” said Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power. Revenue from GE’s power business declined 4% in the latest quarter, while operating profits dropped a whopping 51%. GE’s new CEO John Flannery has taken a number of big steps to turn the ailing conglomerate around since he took the helm. Last month, GE cut its prized dividend in half. The company has also slashed its outlook and said it wants to shed another $20 billion in assets. The following tendency is getting more and more important all over the world.
3. Polish Parliament approved the new energy bill. Poland’s lower chamber of parliament approved a power capacity market scheme on Wednesday. So what? According to it the energy companies will be paid not only for the electricity they generate but also for keeping power plants online to produce electricity when needed. The government has said such a scheme is indispensable for Polish utilities to build and operate more coal-fuelled power stations at a time of rising carbon emission costs and as international banks are reluctant to finance coal-related projects. It would help state-run utilities to run and finance the construction of coal-fuelled power stations as Poland, which is reluctant to switch to cleaner sources of energy, may face power shortages in the future. “Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski has been negotiating the bill with Brussels and there is an agreement for it because without it there will be no electricity in the power sockets in two years’ time,” Deputy Energy Minister Grzegorz Tobiszowski told parliament. Capacity mechanisms can make power supply more secure but the Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is worried that if not designed properly such a system could hinder competition and electricity flows across borders. It could also lead to higher electricity prices for users. Poland is the only EU state that is still building new coal-fuelled power plants, analysts say. Well, it`s quite early to draw conclusions as the bill has to be approved by the upper chamber and the President to come into force.
4. 100% carbon-neutral electricity by 2050. Such a prediction was presented in Eurelectric, the Union of the Electricity Industry for Europe. Its president is Francesco Starace, the CEO of the Italian energy giant Enel. Its mandate is to represent the interests of 3,500 electric companies all across the European continent on major issues from electricity generation and markets, to distribution networks, to environmental and sustainability. Its members create more than €200 billion in revenue each year, so when it issues a call for carbon-neutral electricity all across Europe, its words carry a lot of weight with policymakers and government officials. The members of Eurelectrichave unanimously agreed to a Vision Declaration that commits them to an ambitious program of making all electricity generated in Europe carbon neutral by 2050. “Our industry sees a great opportunity on the path towards a progressively decarbonized and fully sustainable European energy future”, – says Francesco Starace. Part of Eurelectric’s mission is to provide clean electricity to power the industries that are largely responsible for carbon emissions today using green electricity in the future. Decentralizing the electrical grid and incorporating digital technology will play a large role in meeting Eurelectric’s goals.
5. Let`s think about building energy efficiency. It`s high time to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings all around the world , to reach the climate change goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement. More than half of new buildings expected to come up by 2060 will be constructed in the next 20 years — two-thirds of them in countries that do not have mandatory building energy codes in place. “Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build 230 billion square metres in new construction — adding the equivalent of Paris to the planet every single week”, commented Fatih Birol, Executive Director. This rapid growth is not without consequences. While the energy intensity of the buildings sector has improved, this has not been enough to offset rising energy demand. Ambitious action is needed without delay to avoid locking in long-lived, inefficient buildings assets for decades to come. The report — prepared by the International Energy Agency and coordinated by UN Environment — highlights many opportunities to deploy energy-efficient and low-carbon solutions. The report points to many examples of buildings that work, such as the zero-energy Edge building in Amsterdam. The building maximizes the intake of natural light, runs on solar-generated electricity and uses smart technologies such as intelligent ventilation systems that are responsive to sensor data or user commands.