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  • UKRENERGO REVIEW JUNE 28 – JULY 5

    Airplanes and seagoing vessels adopt electric motors, thus allowing not only to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also to save on fuel. At the same time, TSOs in Germany and the United States are worried about the possible hacker attacks, although approaches to protection against cybercrime on the two continents are fundamentally different. That and more in the latest Ukrenergo Review.

    Elon Musk considering the production of an electric airplane

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking into the prospects for building an electric plane. This idea can be implemented within 5 years, according to him. Today there are already companies developing an electric plane, such as Pipistrel Alpha Electro, eFusion Siemens and Magnus. However, in order to come up with a profitable aircraft, battery technology still needs to be further improved. Several years ago, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX even mentioned that he had a project for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) of electric aircraft, although he never went into detail about his plans for the commercial production of aircraft. He estimated that lithium-ion batteries should reach 400 W/kg capacity so that the batteries could get around time and the electric aircraft was competitive.  As of today, the storage capacity of a large number of cycles reaches approximately 300 W/kg.

    Marine transport switches to hybrid and electric motors

    The shipbuilding industry is turning to hybrid and electric motors. Roald Amundsen, a hybrid cruise ship seating 500 passengers, is departing from northern Norway this week in its maiden voyage to the Arctic. Daniel Skeldam, the CEO of the cruise ship operator in charge of the expedition, in an interview with Reuters, mentioned that the ship runs mainly on marine oil fuel, but is also equipped with a battery pack capable of moving the ship by electric power alone for 45-60 minutes. The battery can charge from external charging stations, as well as from excessive energy from engines. 

    According to Skeldam, using this type of engine can significanty reduce emissions. According to preliminary estimates, rechargeable batteries will reduce fuel consumption and, as a result, carbon dioxide emissions by about 20%. Fully electric vessels are already used on short voyages. The operators of Ampere, the first fully electric ferry in Norway, reported impressive statistics after two years of operation. They argue that this ferry reduces emissions by 95% and costs by 80%. Electric ferries are becoming popular in other places as well. Next year, New York is getting its first electric ferry, other two new large electric ferries are coming to Canada.

    Europe is actively developing technology alternative to short flights

    The InnoEnergy European Innovation and Sustainable Development Company has developed a new method that allows cars to change their lane while maintaining high speed. The company, with the support of the European Innovation and Technology (EIT) Institute, successfully completed its two-year testing, and reported that it has made a significant step forward in the creation of the Hyperloop Lane Switch (HLS) technology that allows quick change of the lane in the road without losing speed.

    Another pilot project implemented by the European Hyperloop Center, is developing the technology, which, according to experts, can provide a quick and reliable alternative to short flights. The completed testing phase evaluated the Hyperloop technology, such as magnetic levitation, low-pressure environment, driving systems, and weight distribution.

    TSOs enhance cybersecurity 

    Innogy, a German energy company,  has created a new training center called CyberRange-e , where professional hackers and experts from other TSOs create realistic attacks for Ignogy’s IT professionals. In this way, the company hopes to strengthen its protection against hacker attacks. Digitalisation is considered as the most important component of this stage of energy transition, offering huge potential for accelerating the decarbonisation of the fourth largest economy in the world. But this transformation will affect many existing business models and causes concerns about data privacy and cyberattacks. Meanwhile, the US government has gone a different way in protecting its critical infrastructure and announced it would be securing its power grid by using “retro” technologies. Rather than bringing in new technology and skills, it will use analog and manual technology to isolate the grid’s most important control systems. This, the government says, will aim to eliminate, even the most thought-out cyber attacks.

    The problem of recycling wind turbines in Europe to be solved on an inter-sectoral level 

    The WindEurope Association, the European Chemical Industry Council, Cefic (European Chemical Industry Council) and the European Composites Industry Association (EUCIA) have developed a cross-sectoral platform to advance novel approaches to recycle wind turbine blades

    Today, 2.5 million tons of composite materials are used in the wind energy industry, which is recycled on an industrial scale in the process of cement production, when the cement raw material is partially replaced by glass fibers and composite fillers, and the organic fraction replaces coal as a fuel. Wind turbines of the first generation are starting to be decommissioned and replaced by modern turbines. 130,000 wind turbines are currently installed In the EU, and their number will increase. Over the next five years, more than 12,000 wind turbines, made of composite material difficult to recycle, are expected to be decommissioned.

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