HyDeploy project to add hydrogen to a UK gas network

HyDeploy will see hydrogen added to a UK gas network following approval from the Health and Safety Executive

HyDeployHyDeploy will take place at Keele University

In the first trial of its kind in the UK, the HyDeploy project will inject hydrogen into an existing natural gas network.

Backed by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, the £7m project is being led by Cadent in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), ITM Power, and Progressive Energy. It is supported by KIWA Gastec and engineering consultancy Otto Simon.

In 2019 HyDeploy will blend up to 20 per cent of hydrogen (by volume) with the normal gas supply in part of Keele University’s gas network.

Simon Fairman, director of Safety and Network Strategy, Cadent, said: “Hydrogen has the potential to address one of the most difficult sources of carbon emissions – heat. This trial could pave the way for a wider roll out of hydrogen blending, enabling us to begin cutting carbon emissions from heat as early as the mid-2020s, without customers needing to change their gas appliances or behaviour.

“HyDeploy could also prove to be the launchpad for a wider hydrogen economy, fuelling industry and transport and bringing with it new jobs.

The trial will take place on part of Keele University’s private gas network that serves 17 faculty buildings and 100 domestic properties.

The hydrogen will be produced by an electrolyser supplied by ITM Power that will be powered by renewable energy sources. Construction is due to start at the end of this year.

C2I 2018: Balanced Energy Network (BEN) decarbonises heating

The HSE granted HyDeploy an exemption to the current limit of 0.1 per cent hydrogen in the UK gas network after the project showed that the hydrogen blend would be ‘as safe as natural gas’.

Gas safety checks were carried out in the homes and buildings in the trial area, and lab tests were carried out on gas appliances as well as extensive research on the effect of hydrogen on the different materials found in the gas network.

Keele University owns and operates its own private gas network and is working with businesses, academics and graduates to create Europe’s first ‘at scale’ multi-energy-vector smart energy network demonstrator where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, developed and tested.

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‘Standing still’ is not an option, farmers warned


100% green energy to power electric vehicles in new package

DRIVERS are being encouraged to buy electric cars with a new package which guarantees they will be powered by 100 per cent green electricity.

Scottish Power, which announced last month it was selling the last of its gas-fired power stations to generate all its electricity from wind power, has linked up with car dealers Arnold Clark to offer motorists a special renewable energy tariff along with the UK’s smallest home fast-charging point when they buy an electric vehicle.

Only two per cent of British adults currently own an electric car. But a survey commissioned to coincide with the launch of the new tariff found one in five said they would consider buying an electric car within the next three years.

Scottish Power said the fast charging point could power up a Nissan Leaf with a 40kWh battery in seven hours compared with 15 hours if a standard plug socket was used.

And the package will include an app which will allow vehicle charging to be remotely scheduled via a smart phone so owners can take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates.

ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson said: “We have moved on from fossil fuels to concentrate on clean renewables and now we are announcing the UK’s first end to end electric vehicle package that is 100 per cent green. After removing carbon from how we generate electricity we believe the decarbonisation of the UK’s transport system has to be 
next.

“This means industry and government working together to build the infrastructure so we can charge electric vehicles as well as building clean and cheap renewables to bring down the cost of motoring.

“The UK needs to decarbonise transport faster and we have to make the switch to electric vehicles simpler.”

Drivers buying or leasing an electric vehicle from Arnold Clark will now be able to book a home charging point installation and sign up to the 100 per cent renewable electricity tariff as part of one package.

The poll found a third of those who do not currently own an electric vehicle would be more likely to consider one if there was a guarantee the power would come from 100 per cent renewable sources.

Mr Anderson said: “We’re accelerating the switch to electric vehicles by giving customers everything they need to make the change hassle-free.

“People are telling us they want electric vehicles faster than expected, and that means the decarbonisation of our transport system and improved air quality can be delivered faster too.”

The home charging point is priced at £899, but Scottish Power said grants were available which could reduce the cost to as little as £99.

Scottish Power said the annual cost of electricity to charge a Nissan Leaf for 6,000 miles of motoring would be an estimated £194 compared with £627 a year for petrol for a similar sized hatchback, a Vauxhall Astra 1.4i turbo or a yearly fuel bill for a diesel Vauxhall Astra 1.6CDTi doing the same mileage. A motorist with a Tesla Model S could expect to pay £467 a year for electricity to cover 12,000 miles, while someone with a BMW 540i x-Drive would face a petrol bill of £1,506 and diesel for a BMW 530d x-Drive would cost £1,161.

The city council agreed last month to press ahead with a £3.3 million investment in over 200 new electric vehicle charging points at strategic hubs across the Capital.


World's first home with launch pad for a FLYING car will be built in UK

The first landing pad for a flying car is being constructed in a new-build £10 million home near Nottingham.

The pad is being built at the home in the village of Edwalton by property developer, Guy Phoenix in partnership with VRCO, a Derby-based company working on a flying car design.

The electric powered NeoXcraft two-seat vehicle will be able to zip to London in half an hour and VRCO expects to have a prototype in the air next year.

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house 

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house 

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house

The pad is six metres in diameter and has a renewable energy source to recharge the aircraft which will be included in the asking price for the home, called Hermitage,  when it is put up for sale after being completed early next year.

Mr Phoenix said: 'My interest in the craft is of course is to bring bigger cities including the capital within commuting distance of Edwalton. Currently a commute to London, as I often do myself, can take anything from two-and-a-half to five hours depending on traffic. This vehicle would enable the user to travel short and medium distances  - in the very beginning until range can be extended - in a fraction of the time it takes to travel by road.

'I appreciate helicopters currently fill this void, however, this craft will undoubtedly improve on what they can offer. Not only are they a nuisance in the noise pollution, there are numerous restrictions as to take off and landing. It has been suggested to me that the NeoXcraft will sound more like a leaf blower than a helicopter and therefore disruption to local residents will be kept to a minimum.

'With a number of the most expensive homes ever sold in the area being mine, my intentions are to offer a craft with Hermitage in early spring next year. The house itself has been built to a level rarely seen in construction in both design, finish and technology applied.

'Fairmont, its immediate neighbour, is now on the market but with four offers already refused this house will not be sold for less than the asking price. The investment into Fairmont eclipses the asking price and whoever ultimately acquires the property will be buying one of the most amazing homes on the market. So together the Guy Phoenix brand delivering luxury homes and the VRCO brand soon to deliver the future in transport I am sure will work well together.'

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

HOW IT WORKS

When the vehicle is safely on the ground, the pilot can transform it from flight to road mode with the push of a button, according to Mike Smith, chairman and co-founder of the project.

The propeller housings, which feature wheel structures on the outside, will then tilt downwards, allowing the vehicle to drive.

The car is computer controlled, and the pilot 'will follow a series of voice commands to drive it in the air and on the road', Mr Smith said.

The flying car is a short-range driving vehicle but a medium-range flying vehicle, he said.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

The futuristic 'NeoXCraft' is expected to sell for £1.5 million and will use four high-powered fans to reach speeds of up to 210mph (320kph).

 Mr Phoenix is in talks with planners and the Civil Aviation Authority about how the craft will land and take-off.

He added: 'Helicopters currently can land 28 times a year without planning, we hope this to be extended once noise pollution calculated. As this is a worlds' first I have no prior application to refer to.'

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car

Orders are already being placed for the car which the company hopes to be selling by 2020.

The NeoXCraft, which will be controlled via a computer programme, is the joint vision of Nottingham-based aviation company VRCO and the University of Derby.

Upon release, only a few people will be qualified to pilot it in the air and along Britain's roads.

It's hoped future models will feature autonomous software that will allow them to fly passengers around the country with no driver.

The craft, which has parachutes installed in case of an emergency and carries no solid fuel,  is undergoing multiple safety tests over the coming months.

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car 

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car 

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

The University of Derby's Institute of Innovation has been involved with the project.

When on the ground the pilot is able go into flight with the push of a button.

The propeller housings, which feature wheel structures on the outside, will then tilt downwards, allowing the vehicle to drive.

The car is computer controlled and the pilot will follow a series of voice commands to drive it in the air and on the road.


UK Renewable Energy Industry Urges Government To Allow Onshore Wind Auctions

Clean Power

Published on October 26th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill

October 26th, 2018 by


14 major renewable energy companies have penned a joint letter to the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, urging him to drop the current restrictions on onshore wind which prevent it from competing in the Government’s power auctions.

Currently, the UK awards power through its Contracts for Difference auction scheme. However, the auctions are currently only being offered to one of two “pots” of renewable energy technologies — the pot which includes “less established technologies” such as offshore wind and onshore wind on remote islands. The other pot, however, includes “established technologies” such as solar and onshore wind, and auctions have not been offered under this pot for some time.

Thus, 14 major renewable energy companies, made up of project developers and supply chain companies, have sought to convince the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, to resume pot 1 Contract for Difference auctions between 2019 and 2025. Specifically, the authors of the letter claim that re-opening pot 1 auctions “would provide a payback to consumers of £1.6 billion.”

“In addition to being the cheapest form of new power generation, an analysis from the BVG has found that onshore wind has the potential to deliver 18,000 skilled construction jobs, 8,500 longterm skilled jobs, and stimulate supply chain investment, resulting in 70% UK content in projects, in those areas where there are no objections to its development,” the authors of the letter wrote.

The letter was signed by project developers ScottishPower Renewables, SSE, innogy, Statkraft, and Vattenfall, along with supply chain companies Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Vestas, CS Wind, RJ McLeod, Farrans Construction , AE Yates, REG Power Management, Athena PTS, and RSK.

“Thanks to a rapid fall in costs, new onshore wind power can be secured at a subsidy-free price. However, the considerable upfront investments and lack of investor certainty associated with a merchant approach to onshore wind development means that there is a risk this low-cost, lowcarbon power source, and its potential, will not be sufficiently utilised without contracts to procure new capacity.

“In order not to miss the opportunities for growth in supply chain companies and consumer benefit, it is crucial that a decision on procurement through CfD auctions is made now.”

There is an irony in preventing onshore wind from competing for power in the UK, considering that it is the cheapest way of generating new power. In addition, as a poll in July highlighted, a clear majority of UK residents not only support onshore wind but are actively in favor of putting an end to the Government’s effective ban on onshore wind.

”We trust the Secretary of State will take account of the views of these major UK employers who are offering to build subsidy-free projects as part of the clean energy system of the future,” said Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK’s Executive Director. “His department’s opinion polls consistently highlight the overwhelming level of public support for onshore wind. New onshore wind would be a triple win for consumers, the environment and UK businesses.”


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UK RHI proposal would limit installations of biomass boilers

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The U.K. government recently opened a public consultation on a proposal that would alter the Renewable Heat Incentive to exclude further support for biomass installations in urban areas on the gas grid. The U.K. Renewable Energy Association has spoken out against the proposal, calling it too restrictive and stressing that policy should be focused on improving standards.

The U.K. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy opened the consultation on Oct. 16. It closes on Nov. 27.

Information released by the BEIS explains that Defra’s Clean Air Strategy, published in May 2018, proposed that further support under the RHI should not be available for biomass installations in urban areas with access to the gas grid. The consultation published by the BEIS contains details of the proposed restrictions and asked for input on the scope and nature of those changes to RHI eligibility.

Within the 21-page consultation document, the BEIS explains the change would apply to new RHI applications starting when the new regulations come into force, including domestic and non-domestic biomass boiler installations of all sizes, along with biomass combined-heat-and-power installations. The restrictions, however, would not apply to existing RHI biomass boiler installations or to biogas RHI installations. The document cites the production of fine smoke particles and other air pollutants as the reasoning behind the action.

The REA said the proposal would limit options for decarbonizing heat. If enacted, the group said the proposal will stop the installation of highly efficient and clean biomass boiler technologies from benefitting those in urban areas. According to the REA, modern biomass boilers are already strictly regulated, ensuring their emissions are tightly controlled, with more than 75 percent of boiler models emitting less than one-third of their legal limits.

"The latest proposed reforms to the RHI risks being a knee-jerk policy reaction to the air quality crisis,” said Neil Harrison, chair of the Wood Heat Association. “The industry has lobbied for many years for actions to ensure the very safest levels of emissions from biomass boilers in all parts of the U.K., not just urban areas. Modern biomass boilers, fitted with high-performance filters, achieve particulate emissions equivalent to that of conventional fossil fuelled boilers, while making significant carbon savings.

“The government should be promoting and enforcing quality standards, rather than applying a blanket ban. Such a ban would cut off one of the key options for the decarbonization of heat in larger public and private sector buildings, and would ignore experience from every other developed country which has seen the successful deployment of biomass heating across their economy,” Harrison continued.

Urban air quality can be best minimized by addressing the much more significant emissions coming from transport and properly enforcing controls provided by Smoke Control Zones and other existing legislation,” he said.

Additional information on the consultation is available on the BEIS website.


Scottish Power to develop ‘sizeable’ UK solar portfolio following fossil fuel divestment

Published: 22 Oct 2018, 17:54

By:

David Pratt's photo

Scottish Power will look to add to its wind assets following the same of CCGTs and hydro generators to Drax.

Scottish Power has confirmed that solar will feature in its future generation plans following the sale of over 2.5GW of gas and hydro assets to Drax, becoming the first 'Big Six' energy company to go fully renewable.

Speaking to the Guardian late last week, chief executive Keith Anderson said the company was looking at solar as “a good opportunity” for investment due to its falling technology costs and its ability to complement the generation output of wind assets throughout the year.

This reasoning was behind Vattenfall’s efforts to co-locate solar with a wind farm in Wales last year as according to senior vice president for the wind business division, Gunnar Groebler: “It matches very well because usually when you have a sunny day you have less wind and vice versa.”

The need to address interseasonal generation profiles was pointed to this summer in the UK, when periods of hot, still weather saw the UK’s wind fleet produce lower than expected output. While some moments saw high output send the grid’s carbon intensity and power prices tumbling, Scottish Power intends to protect against future periods of low wind generation.

Details of the energy giant’s plans remain unclear, having only recently completed the Drax sale and jettisoning its fossil fuel assets. However, the company told Solar Power Portal that it is seeking to add significant levels of generation to its portfolio.

A ScottishPower Renewables spokesperson said: “Solar has seen major cost reductions, and we are actively seeking opportunities for solar in the UK. We are working on our initial plans, but we have ambitions to develop a sizeable portfolio of projects.”

The company has a pipeline of renewable energy projects worth £5.2 billion to be spent over the next four years, adding to its 2.7GW of wind projects either operating or under construction. This will add more than 3GW of new generation, and while 2.9GW is set to be offshore wind – adding to the UK’s leading position globally – Scottish Power is expected to outline its deployment strategy for solar in the coming months.


UK’s plastic waste is a burning issue

In August, exchequer secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Tackling the scandal of plastic pollution is one of our top priorities.” But it’s now confirmed what many have long suspected, that the UK recycling industry is riven with corruption (Report, 19 October) and only now is government dimly aware of the problem. Taxing coffee mugs and plastic straws, and placing a charge on plastic bags are commendable actions, but in the face of ever-increasing plastic production, single-use or not, are minuscule and potentially token. In addition to stamping out the illegal export of waste and reducing single use plastic at source, a radical upheaval of domestic recycling is required. Local authorities pay waste management companies to collect, sort and, hopefully, recycle domestic plastic waste. Yet they only recycle a proportion of it and ship the rest abroad. Much ends in landfill or in the oceans. The council tax we pay for these destructive processes could be better deployed.

With rapid progress now being made on carbon capture, home and industrial-based pyrolysis (waste to energy), and other plastic-to-fuel processes, there is a strong case to stockpile plastic that is difficult to recycle or contaminated. In compacted or granulated form at 10% of its previous volume, it can be stored for future use as feedstock for negative emission energy production and other innovative uses. We used to have grain mountains and wine lakes. Why not temporary plastic mountains?
Patrick Cosgrove
Chapel Lawn, Shropshire

As your report (Ban on plastic waste imports costs councils in England up to £500,000, 20 October) says, we export more than two-thirds of the plastic waste we create, while countries such as China are banning the import of these wastes because they cannot deal with them any more than we can. So is it not time for a rethink? Many plastics cannot be recycled, and, once mixed, the problem becomes near-impossible, so a more sensible approach would be simply to burn these “unrecyclables”, making sure we recover energy from the borrowed oil they represent.

This can be done well in properly designed furnaces, perhaps even with carbon dioxide removal, while the heat created can be used for generating electricity. Better still, we should stop pretending that we can recycle these mixed materials, and simply collect all household rubbish and burn the lot.
David Reed
London

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