Vattenfall plans to install additional wind turbines near Aberdeenshire wind farm

Published 24 February 2017

Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company, has announced plans for additional wind turbines next to an operating wind farm in Aberdeenshire.

The developer is seeking opinions from technical specialists and the public on early ideas for 16 turbines next to Clashindarroch Wind Farm, which has been generating clean, green electricity since 2015.

Speaking ahead of March community information days in Rhynie, Haugh of Glass and Huntly, Vattenfall’s Project Manager

Andrew Bennett, said: “Vattenfall’s Clashindarroch Wind Farm has been successfully generating clean, green electricity for 18 months now. On the back of this success, we would like to build further wind turbines in the Clashindarroch Forest area.
“Clashindarroch II will provide the local community with the chance to own part of the wind farm in addition to having a community benefit fund to invest locally.”

Vattenfall has ambitious targets to significantly grow production from its wind business. This strategy is in line with Scottish aspirations, recently announced by the Scottish Government, to deliver 50% of all energy demand from renewables by 2030.

Guy Mortimer, Vattenfall’s UK Development Director for onshore wind, said: “Vattenfall wants to be carbon neutral by 2050 and wind power is going to drive our transition to a sustainable energy company. That is why Vattenfall wants to triple the size of its wind business by 2025, Clashindarroch II will be part of that transition. But we also think it can be part of Scotland’s transition to a low carbon energy system.”

Vattenfall will submit a request to the Scottish Government to identify the scope of environmental assessment needed to understand the impact of the early plans. This scoping request would be the basis of a discussion with the local community. The opinions of both technical specialists and the public would then help shape the project ahead of a planning application.

The existing Clashindarroch Community Fund receives £185,000 (index linked) every year from Vattenfall’s Clashindarroch Wind Farm.

Source: Company Press Release


UK Startup Squeaky Connects Small Businesses To “100% Renewable British Electricity”

Clean Power

Published on February 23rd, 2017 | by Derek Markham

February 23rd, 2017 by

Taking a page from the corporate renewable energy purchasing trend, Squeaky aims to help UK small businesses make the move from dirty electricity sources to ‘squeaky clean’ ones, at no additional cost.

The UK startup Squeaky sees the business energy market as “broken” and is on a mission to fix it, and to do so in a way that will continue the trend of businesses moving to cleaner electricity, but without any price premiums. That’s an audacious goal, especially when considering that the company’s focus isn’t big business, where high volumes may help corporations cut good deals, especially on long-term agreements. But the team believes it is well positioned to deliver on its promises, as the principals are experienced in corporate electricity purchasing, and are able to now bring that expertise to bear for “all businesses.”

“Squeaky clean energy, for the same price as dirty energy.”

The magic sauce, so to speak, of Squeaky is in cutting out the middleman, because although there are options for buying renewable energy through existing utility agreements, all too often that comes at a price premium. And for smaller businesses, choosing to make the switch to green electricity, but at a higher cost, is a bit of a hard sell, and one that doesn’t make a whole lot of financial sense. Switching to clean electricity can help UK businesses with their social responsibility goals and their environmental commitments, and perhaps help them in trying to communicate their sustainability efforts, but if it costs more and impacts their bottom line negatively, it’s also one of the first things to go in a financial crunch.

What Squeaky has done is created a platform that allows businesses to purchase directly from clean energy generators in their own local area, which not only helps the business by getting them powered by renewables at the same cost as conventional electricity, but it also helps support and grow local renewable energy generators as well.

“What Squeaky customers are actually doing is going straight to the source, cutting out the middleman. The Squeaky platform allows energy buyers to effectively buy at wholesale prices directly from generators rather than at retail prices from a big brand name energy company, often with the added cost of a broker. We just provide the framework to make the process safe and easy for everyone – buyers and generators alike.” – Squeaky

Allowing businesses to purchase directly from generators also helps the generator financially, by cutting out some of the margin that is lost to the middleman, as Squeaky founder Chris Bowden tells FastCoExist:

“The typical margin between a generator and customer might be 20% to 50% depending on the size of the transaction, and much of this margin is lost on intermediaries, credit costs, trading costs, and high-legacy industry costs, including inefficient systems and processes. Squeaky is able to cut this margin in half so both sides benefit.”

According to the company, Squeaky has “exclusive access to one of the largest portfolios of solar, wind, and biomass energy in the UK,” so there’s plenty of domestic renewable electricity available, with no need to import from overseas. In addition, the company claims that its electricity supply is backed by Europe’s largest renewable generator, “which has an A- credit rating – better than British Gas or Npower,” which may help alleviate any concerns about either financial risk or supply risk during periods of fluctuating renewables generation.


 

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!




UK’s CDC Group plans renewable energy platform for India, South Asian countries

New Delhi: CDC Group Plc, the UK government’s development finance institution, is planning to set up its own renewable energy platform focussed on east India and neighbouring countries.

This dedicated platform will focus on eastern states such as Bihar, Odisha and Assam, and also set up clean energy projects in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.

“We can confirm that in the coming months, we are planning to launch a new independent renewable energy company, that will be 100% funded by CDC,” said a CDC spokesperson in an emailed response. “The company will be focused on developing hundreds of MW (mega watts) of high-quality greenfield generational capacity for underserved Indian states and neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.”

The CDC Group has invested $1.3 billion in India since 1987, including in IDFC Alternatives-backed clean energy firm Green Infra Ltd.

ALSO READ | No such thing as a perfect renewable energy contract

The development finance institution plans to leverage its experience in running Globeleq Africa, a company in which it acquired a majority stake in 2015, for green energy investments in India and the region. Globeleq has a 1200MW power generation capacity spread across Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.

“CDC’s plans to set up its own renewable energy platform also stems from goals such as poverty alleviation and employment creation,” said a person aware of the development, requesting anonymity. India’s demand for green energy is expected to grow seven-fold by 2035, according to the latest BP Energy Outlook released last month. Accordingly, the share of renewable energy in the country’s fuel mix will rise to 8% in 2035 from the current 2%. Also, for the emerging Asian economies, the share of fossil fuel may decline from 92% of present demand to 87% in 2035. CDC is one of the largest investors in private equity funds in South Asia, supporting 37 funds investing across the region, according to its website.

ALSO READ | New solar auction lights the way to Modi’s green targets, dims coal outlook

In India, the biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China, renewable energy currently accounts for 15%, or 45,917MW, of the total installed capacity of 310,005MW. The Indian government has been working to promote green energy by exploring a change in the tariff structure for electricity from clean energy sources. The ministry of new and renewable energy is contemplating a fixed-cost component to the tariff for electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind. India plans to achieve 175GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as part of its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted by 195 countries in Paris in December 2015.

ALSO READ | India’s solar power sector turns a corner, thanks to Rewa record tariff bid

First Published: Thu, Feb 23 2017. 03 54 AM IST


UK couple behind revolutionary customer-owned energy firm call for support to take on the 'Big Fix'

 

UK couple behind revolutionary customer-owned energy firm call for support to take on the 'Big Fix'

A UK couple are a step closer to breaking British energy supply's "big fix" and have appealed for more public support in a successful online crowdfunding campaign that concludes this week.

Entrepreneurs David Pike and Karin Sode have already attracted more than �300,000 towards founding Our Energy, a revolutionary company set to stand in contrast to Britain's Big Six suppliers of gas and electricity by being completely transparent and customer-focused, giving 75 per cent of profits back to consumers and ensuring user representation on its board of directors.

Once up and running, Our Energy will reward with free energy those members of the public who have donated towards a crowdfunding campaign, which ends on Friday (February 24) at midnight. The company will become operational later this year and break new ground in national energy supply, providing two simple tariffs, 'lean' and 'green', respectively the cheapest and most environmentally-friendly supply the company can offer. Now, David and Karin are aiming to attract �450,000 in order to increase Our Energy's competitiveness on price with major UK suppliers.

David said: "We are delighted to have received backing from over 1400 supporters who have raised more than �300,000 to ensure that Our Energy will become operational later this year. By attracting further funding, more customers can reap the benefits of a democratic and transparent energy supplier."

Karin said: "We have been amazed by the positive response we have had from people, not just through their pledges, but also in the many positive comments we have had. There is an absolute desire to change how essential services are provided to people in our communities. People are expressing a hunger to be part of a business model that returns ownership of a natural resource to them and is built on sharing rather than grabbing."

Customers will be represented on the board, have voting rights on business decisions and be informed of all costs involved in running the energy business.

Consumers can secure their place as future owners of Our Energy by donating at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ourenergy. Shares cannot be bought and sold, instead remaining in the hands of customers.

For media interview please contact 07884 141152.

ABOUT OUR ENERGY

David Pike, director

David originally trained as an engineer and in recent years has provided leadership consultancy to the power generation and network sectors for EDF and Scottish Power. An experienced business leader, he has led multimillion pound organisations from loss to profit.

What is Our Energy?

In a radical new move, Our Energy will put profits and ownership in the hands of UK consumers of gas and electricity. People are fed up with being taken for a ride by large corporates, and they have lost trust in their energy suppliers (43% of consumers don't trust their supplier to be fair, according to ofgem). 75% of the profits will be returned to customers in an annual rebate!

How will customers own the business?

Customers receive free share ownership of the business within three years. When customers stay with Our Energy, they are given free shares which they can keep as long as they remain a customer. They can't sell the shares to someone else. Our Energy wants UK citizens to always own their own energy supply.

How will it be democratic?

Customers will vote and shape the direction of the company. When major decisions need to be made within Our Energy, customers will have a vote on the direction of the business.

How will it be transparent?

Our Energy's directors will share decisions, accounts, our salaries and wholesale energy costs openly. Together, the staff and customers will change the way that resources that naturally belong to the public are distributed among them. Power in consumers' hands - no less, no more.

Is it green?

Green energy is very important to the company and Our Energy will offer real renewable options to its customers. Over time, the company will also invest in local renewable energy generation.

Published in M2 PressWIRE on Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Copyright (C) 2017, M2 Communications Ltd.


Other Latest Headlines


Sam Gardner: It will be tough but heat is on to meet energy target plan for Scotland in just 15 years

Although you could be excused for missing it in today’s whirlwind news cycle, but last month the Scottish Government published a plan that could transform Scotland in just 15 short years – the country’s first-ever energy strategy. This draft strategy outlines a vision for our energy future that sets out the changes needed on how we power our society, heat our buildings and travel to work and school in the future.

It’s possible to see the draft strategy as a bold commitment to change, to the use of regulation to catalyse investment, the accelerated growth of renewable energy across our economy, the transformation of our homes, local energy planning and to an active role for government as an energy supplier. However, it can also be seen as holding onto old certainties and a reluctance to redirect the inertia in the patterns of today’s energy use. Its continued commitment to maximising recovery of oil and gas from the North Sea, the unnecessary pursuit of replacement thermal base-load generation and the primacy of the private (albeit electric) car are all features of yesterday’s energy world.

The draft strategy attempts to offer something for everyone yet the global energy transition will inevitably have winners and losers. That means the final strategy must move away from a cautious green and black energy vision and fully commit to the low-carbon transition if it is to effectively maximise the benefits. As the expert energy task force convened by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) recently concluded, the energy transition requires the Government to assert leadership and overall control: change will not happen without a concerted and integrated long-term plan.

The headline proposal in the draft strategy is to set a new all energy target to deliver the equivalent of 50 per cent of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2030. If it’s to be a truly meaningful policy instrument, and deliver the same benefits as the 2020 electricity target has done, it needs to be complemented by two things. Firstly, it must be promoted and championed from the very top of the Scottish Government and secondly it requires concrete new policy commitments. Although the Energy Strategy stops short of saying what the level of renewable energy use will be in heating our buildings or driving our cars its sister document; the Climate Change Plan, does paint a picture of the future. In the immediate future the deployment of low-carbon heat into Scotland’s homes is expected to double, yet there is no new policy to drive.

In the transport sector, sales of electric vehicles are expected to increase by more than 100 per cent in one year and yet there’s no new policy initiative to drive this acceleration. Stronger commitments to work place parking charging and low-emissions zones could both help power this change and deliver much needed public health benefits. Similarly, the trategy describes the significant improvement of the energy efficiency of all our buildings, but neither it nor the Climate Plan offer much confidence that this will be realised.

The challenge of tackling climate change has always been about the urgency of now. If we’re to be successful we must see the challenges it presents as the breath-taking opportunities they really are.

Dr Sam Gardner, Head of Policy at WWF Scotland.


PG&E deploys its first Tesla Powerpack battery storage station

Pacific Gas and Electric has gone live with its first utility-scale, lithium-ion battery storage system.

The storage substation, located about 50 miles north of Sacramento, is made of 22 Tesla Powerpacks, each the size of a refrigerator. In all, the 500-kilowatt (KW) substation can store up to 2000KW hours (KWh) of power, enough to power up to 380 typical homes. The batteries can discharge at full power for four hours.

Co-located with PG&E's Browns Valley, Calif. substation, the battery facility will be used to balance energy supply and demand, as well as improve power quality and reliability for customers, the company said.

The Powerpack systems will charge when demand is low, then send reserved power to the grid when demand grows, providing power to address potential overloading on the substation's transformers.

Tesla gigafactory announcement Tesla

Tesla's Gigafactory outside Reno, Nev. began full production of lithium-ion batteries last month.

"Browns Valley is a great example of PG&E's commitment to integrating new technologies and collaborating with leading companies to drive a clean energy future," Roy Kuga, vice president of PG&E's Grid Integration and Innovation division, said in a statement.

PG&E's energy storage project is the result of an order by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to solicit more utility-scale energy storage projects. Along with PG&E, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) were also ordered to open more battery substations.

In all, CPUC is requiring the utilities to meet a target of 1,325MW (1.3 gigawatts) of additional power storage by 2020.

battery energy storage growth chart IHS

The top 10 leading nations deploying energy storage systems.

Last month, SCE announced the world's largest battery storage substation, with 37.5MW of capacity that can supply up to 80MWh of electricity. This is enough energy to power more than 2,500 households for a day or charge 1,000 Tesla vehicles.

That storage substation, located at SCE's Mira Loma facility, will be used to ensure that electricity generated from photovoltaic solar and wind farms does not go to waste and can be used as a supplemental power source during peak hours of the day.

The global energy storage market is expected to double this year as homes, businesses and utilities adopt battery energy storage to supplement rooftop solar and other renewable energy systems and to more evenly distribute power during peak hours, according to a recent report by IHS.

According to IHS, over the next decade lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries will become the mainstream energy-storage technology, with more than 80% of global energy storage installations including it by 2025.

Last year alone, the global energy storage market was expected to double, from 1.4 gigawatt hours (GWh or billion watt hours) added in 2015 to 2.9GWh.

Over the next decade, energy storage capacity in developing countries is expected to skyrocket 40 fold -- from 2GW today to more than 80GW, according to a recent report by the World Bank Group.

"Energy storage will play a crucial role in helping to meet demand for low-carbon electricity in developing nations," the report said. "By 2020, these countries will need to double their electricity generation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), and by 2035 will account for 80% of the total growth in energy generation and consumption globally."

Tesla last month announced that its five-million-square-foot "Gigafactory" had begun manufacturing batteries and can produce up to 35GWh of capacity a year of lithium-ion cells. This is almost as much production as the rest of the world's manufacturing facilities combined. The batteries will be used in Tesla's all-electric vehicles as well as in products for consumers and businesses.

Tesla sells two forms of lithium-ion battery storage units, the Powerwall 2 for home use, and the Powerpack 2 for businesses and utilities like PG&E.

Powerpack units contain 16 replaceable lithium-ion battery "pods," each with its own DC converter. The Powerpacks, which can store 50KW of power, can be daisy-chained together to create an infinite amount of energy storage capacity, according to Tesla.

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Renewable Energy 'Taking Off' Globally

It sounds like renewable energy might be going from a pipe dream to an investment theme.

A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that renewables, primarily solar and wind, could jump from 4% of global power generation to as much as 36% by 2035, reshaping global electricity markets in the process.

So write two McKinsey executives in MarketWatch.com. “Renewable power is taking off around the world and fast approaching a tipping point in its development,” the pair write.

Consider that recent solar-power capacity auctions have come in at record low levels, underscoring how quickly the costs of renewable energy are falling. The price per kilowatt hour in the United States is down to just 3.9 cents. The fastest-growing job category in the U.S. these days is that of wind-turbine service engineer, with median pay around $51,050 a year.

And in January, China said it would shut 85 coal plants and instead invest $350 billion in renewable sources of energy. A global tipping point could be reached in 2025, when solar photo-voltaic and wind power could become competitive with the marginal cost of natural gas and coal production, accelerating the transition. Growth rates in renewable power deployment would likely accelerate after that.


SunPower to supply 64.4MW of solar panels in France

Published 16 February 2017

SunPower announced that it will supply 64.4MW of high efficiency E-Series solar panels for the construction of seven solar power plants in France by La Compagnie du Vent, a subsidiary of Engie.

A significant portion of the panels supplied under the agreement will be manufactured at SunPower's facilities in France.

"Since 2012, La Compagnie du Vent has been a valued SunPower partner, and we are pleased to supply an additional 64.4 megawatts of solar panels that will deliver emission-free power for homes and businesses in France," said SunPower Executive Vice President

Eduardo Medina. "Today more than 3,000 megawatts of solar plants around the world are powered using SunPower technology. With high performance SunPower® solar technology, power plant developers maximize power generation and generate reliable returns on investment for 25 years or more."

To date, SunPower has supplied a total of 45 megawatts of its technology to La Compagnie du Vent for the construction of five solar power plants currently operating in France.

SunPower's direct current E-Series solar panels, as well as its X-Series solar panels, are Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver. SunPower is the only solar panel manufacturer in the world to achieve this designation, which demonstrates a product's quality based on rankings in five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness.

Source: Company Press Release


Climate change could threaten entire financial system: APRA

Updated February 17, 2017 17:43:29

Climate change could threaten the stability of the entire financial system, the prudential regulator has warned, as it prepares to apply climate change "stress tests" to the nation's financial institutions.

In its first major speech on climate change, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chastised companies for a lack of action on the risks it poses.

"While climate risks have been broadly recognised, they have often been seen as a future problem or a non-financial problem," APRA executive board member Geoff Summerhayes told an Insurance Council conference in Sydney.

"Many of these risks are foreseeable, material and actionable now.

"Climate risks also have potential system-wide implications that APRA and other regulators here and abroad are paying much closer attention to."

The speech comes as the Government and the Opposition bicker about renewable energy targets amid dismay among industry leaders about a lack of certainty on climate change policy.

The Climate Institute's CEO John Connor described the speech as a "huge" development.

"APRA has never gone out there like this before," he said.

"It's an antidote to the hyper partisan political culture war on climate policy; our regulator's moved to the front foot in managing climate risks."

The Climate Institute and the Investor Group on Climate Change wrote jointly to the Council of Financial Regulators two years calling for regulatory action on the financial risks from climate change.

Lack of policy 'could greatly increase financial risks'

APRA warned in the speech that lack of policy and regulatory action could make the financial risks poses by climate change "greater and more abrupt".

"There could be either sharper, more significant policy changes and market adjustments down the track, or the physical impacts of climate change could become more severe, more likely and more unpredictable," Mr Summerhayes said.

"It's unsafe for entities or regulators to ignore risks just because there is uncertainty, or even controversy, about the policy outlook.

"Like all risks, it is better they are explicitly considered and managed as appropriate, rather than simply ignored or neglected.

"So what can you expect to see from us? A greater emphasis on stress testing for organisational and systemic resilience in the face of adverse shocks.

"Just as we would expect to see more sophisticated scenario-based analysis of climate risks at the firm level, we look at these risks as part of our system-wide stress testing."

APRA's intervention follows a similar though more pointed warning two years ago by the head of the Bank of England about the threats climate change posed to financial stability.

It comes in the wake of the Paris Climate Change Accord, which committed the world to taking steps to keep global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

APRA's speech addressed the risks identified by the Bank of England:

  • physical risk around the effects of climate change
  • transition risk from the shift towards a zero net emissions economy
  • liability risk for company directors, trustees, and insurer

Climate change is the "tragedy of the horizon", Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned in his landmark 2015 speech.

"We don't need an army of actuaries to tell us that the catastrophic impacts of climate change will be felt beyond the traditional horizons of most actors - imposing a cost on future generations that the current generation has no direct incentive to fix."

First posted February 17, 2017 17:26:48


Toshiba : H2One receives "New Energy Award 2016"

February 15, 2017
Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions CompanyTOKYO-Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that its H2One™ autonomous hydrogen energy supply system H2One™ has been awarded a 'New Energy Foundation Chairman Award'. The award recognizes products and services or public awareness activities that promote use of new energy.H2One™ is a CO2-free energy supply system. It consists of photovoltaic power generation system, a storage battery system, water-electrolysis hydrogen generator, hydrogen storage tank and fuel cell unit. The award recognizes that Toshiba is pioneering the development of a hydrogen energy supply system in Japan and demonstrating the way forward toward realizing a hydrogen economy.As a self-contained, autonomously operating power source, H2One™ can supply constant electricity throughout the year, powering itself with renewable energy, with no concerns of weathers and seasons. It can be utilized for both everyday energy needs and to provide emergency power.Hydrogen-based Autonomous Energy Supply System H2One™To TopToshiba Corporation published this content on 17 February 2017 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein.
Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 17 February 2017 05:21:11 UTC.Original documenthttp://www3.toshiba.co.jp/power/english/topics/20170215/index.htm