Networks

Can UK power market reform replace the capacity market?

National Grid helicopter inspecting power lines

The UK has just completed another auction for a large amount of backup power capacity. The country’s capacity market scheme will cost ratepayers many billions of pounds. Independent consultant Gerard Wynn wonders if they are really necessary. … [Read more...]

New President, new electric grid?

electric wires in San Francisco (photo Jon Pekelnicky)

As the new Trump administration considers measures to enhance roads and bridges, they should also focus on America’s ageing electricity infrastructure, writes Dick Munson of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The U.S. electricity system is shockingly unreliable compared to every other developed nation, notes Munson, and the regulation of the industry is “byzantine”. By focusing on investment, efficiency, and markets, the U.S. could have a … [Read more...]

France can’t meet its own power demand

photo EPA

France was heavily dependent on power imports from Germany during the first cold spell of this winter, despite the fact that most of the country’s nuclear reactors are back online, writes Craig Morris from the Energy Transition blog. As the US is now also investigating 17 nuclear reactors with parts from reactor producer Areva, just rescued by the French state, it shows the perilous state the French power sector is in. Courtesy Energy Transition. … [Read more...]

DNV GL on risks of renewables: “We need new tests and standards to prevent major failures”

The largest man-made system on earth (photo DNV GL)

The transition to renewable energy is accompanied by the widespread use of power electronics, such as inverters, which require a whole new way of testing smart equipment, says Theo Bosma, Program Director Power Systems & Electrification at DNV GL, one of the largest technical consultancies in the world. According to Bosma, the new power electronics are not adequately tested at the moment. “New technologies such as solar, wind, batteries and … [Read more...]

Why sharing solar is the next big thing in energy

Brooklyn microgrid with person-slider

The disruption and the opportunities being offered by solar PV and battery storage are likely to be accelerated massively by the introduction of new software such as the “blockchain” system that has already taken root in financial systems, writes Giles Parkinson of the leading Australian energy website Reneweconomy. Courtesy: Reneweconomy.com. … [Read more...]

Can the smart grid survive a cyberattack?

(photo: Green Mamba)

Technological advances in grid operation have made the power grid increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks, writes Michael McElfresh, Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at Santa Clara University.  The growth of the smart grid has created many more access points for penetrating grid computer systems – the “internet of things” will only make this worse. … [Read more...]

Dimitri Pescia, Agora Energiewende: “No more baseload in 2030, no case for new nuclear in Europe”

There will be no more baseload power in Germany in 2030 and possibly not anywhere in Europe. There is no business case for new nuclear power in Europe. Renewables, not thermal power, should get capacity payments - and be responsible for balancing. These are some of the explosive messages from a new report from the influential German think tank Agora Energiewende, which represents government, industry and NGO's. In an exclusive interview with … [Read more...]