grid

The year coal collapsed: 2016 was a turning point for Britain’s electricity

Scotland's last coal power station Longannet closed in 2016-slider

Socially and politically, 2016 was a momentous year for Britain. It was also a record breaking year for energy and the environment, but thankfully for all the right reasons, write Grant Wilson of the University of Sheffield and Iain Staffell of Imperial College London. Britain’s electricity was the cleanest it had been in 60 years, as coal collapsed and renewables rose to record levels. Courtesy of the Conversation. … [Read more...]

Despite the hype, batteries aren’t the cheapest way to store energy on the grid

Tesla Powerwall installed in garage

There are many different kinds of energy storage technologies, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Lithium ion batteries are the most popular form of storage at the moment, but according to Roger Dargaville, Deputy Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute, they are not always the cheapest option. Nevertheless, lithium ion will probably be the dominant option, not because of economics, but because of human behavior. Courtesy of The … [Read more...]

Energy may be ripe for the sharing economy, thanks to Bitcoin’s blockchain technology

lexie briggs article-slider

The marriage of blockchain technology with microgrid applications could transform the way communities and organisations use renewable energy, writes Lexie Briggs of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), an association of businesses in the US that includes companies such as Vestas, Siemens, Microsoft, GE and Schneider Electric. Siemens has just launched a project in Brooklyn, New York, that allows neighbours to purchase solar power from each other’s … [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...]

Why the future belongs to decentralised renewables, not centralised hydrogen and giga-scale nuclear

IIASA building in Austria

What the future of our energy system will look like continues to be a subject of heated debate. According to one well-established tradition, writes Professor John Mathews of Macquarie University in Australia, the route to decarbonisation will run via massive nuclear power systems to the hydrogen economy. But China and to some extent India are emerging as the principal practitioners of an alternative vision of energy growth, underpinning their … [Read more...]

Lumenaza creates regional electricity markets: “We want to connect up all 1.4 million solar PV producers in Germany with consumers locally”

Christian Chudoba

A new software platform in Germany lets utilities buy and sell “regional electricity” by connecting up small producers with consumers. Start-up Lumenaza, founded three years ago, meets a growing demand for transparency, explains CEO and founder Christian Chudoba in an exclusive interview with Energy Post. Unlike a typical virtual power plant, Lumenaza targets tiny producers such as owners of rooftop solar. Its goal is to connect up all of … [Read more...]