Blue hydrogen is created from fossil sources, where the carbon emissions are captured and stored. Green hydrogen is made from non-fossil sources and favoured by policy makers who are wary of keeping the fossil economy going, even with CCS. As more regions commit to hydrogen, finding the right cost-optimal mix is crucial to its success. Schalk Cloete summarises his paper that models the whole system based on Germany. Integrating hydrogen will … [Read more...]
Europe has enough Gas infrastructure. Why build more?
In early November a first vote is expected in the European Parliament on the Recovery & Resilience Facility’s €672.5bn budget. Esther Bollendorff at CAN Europe runs through the arguments against providing any funding for new gas infrastructure. She presents evidence to show that the EU is already oversupplied with gas import capacity, and all new fossil gas transmission projects have been rejected by the market since 2017. Solar and wind … [Read more...]
Why promote Rooftop Solar when the Grid is so much cheaper?
Is rooftop solar in the U.S. getting more support than it deserves? One main argument from its advocates is that it will cut grid transmission and distribution costs that total hundreds of millions. Severin Borenstein at the Energy Institute at Haas crunches some numbers to try to uncover the true “avoided costs”. He shows that any savings won’t come even close to making up for the higher cost of rooftop electricity. It’s no match for the grid’s … [Read more...]
Norway’s power markets, storage and CCS plans can make it a decarbonisation hub for Europe
Though still heavily reliant on oil and gas, Norway can claim to be a central piece in Europe’s decarbonisation puzzle, explains Tshin Ilya Chardayre writing for the IFRI Centre for Energy & Climate. Norway’s substantial hydropower infrastructure gives it a reservoir storage capacity that could account for 10% of EU-wide energy storage needs by 2050. That would require international transmission cables and power markets, the development of … [Read more...]
The new era of electricity needs modern ways to charge customers
Today’s technologies – wind, solar, storage - have widely differing cost and operating characteristics to fossil fuels. So the way customers are made to cover those costs – assigning different rates to different customer classes – should change. Jim Lazar and Mark LeBel at RAP explain why and how, referencing their comprehensive manual “Electric Cost Allocation for a New Era”. They describe how the full range of technologies now establishing … [Read more...]
Floating Solar: can it help ASEAN reverse coal’s continued rise?
Floating solar farms may be gaining traction in Asia. Capacity is still small: by 2019 the big players Japan and China had a combined floating photovoltaic (FPV) installed capacity of 1.3GW. But the ASEAN countries that had virtually nothing before 2019 now have over 51MW and have planned in another 858MW. A report by Sara Jane Ahmed and Elrika Hamdi at IEEFA explains why FPV is looking better and cheaper at balancing out peaks and troughs than … [Read more...]
Ukraine’s integration into the EU gas market is a positive lesson for the region
Ukraine is shaping its gas infrastructure and regulations to integrate into the EU market. On the infrastructure front, its interconnectors with neighbours, extensive pipeline network and storage facilities are making it an increasingly important European player, explains Aura Sabadus writing for the Atlantic Council. The gradual opening up to EU free market rules are evidenced by its gas prices following those of the EU. Ukraine's attractive … [Read more...]
Negative electricity prices: lockdown’s demand slump exposes inflexibility of German power
The lockdown has unexpectedly allowed us to model certain aspects of the energy sector’s possible future. One is the oversupply of variable renewables into the grid. In Germany, a slump in demand plus an exceptionally sunny and windy few months sent wholesale electricity prices negative and to record lows. Fossil generators calculated that paying buyers to take electricity was cheaper than performing a shut-down re-start sequence, so they did … [Read more...]
U.S.: Counting Renewables jobs and projects under threat, what can be done and why
All sectors across all economies are trying to add up their potential job losses and projects in jeopardy, then telling their governments to prioritise them for Covid lockdown support. Mike Jacobs at the Union of Concerned Scientists looks at renewables in the U.S. He quotes news reports that over 100,000 workers in this fast-growing industry filed for unemployment in March 2020. On top of that, the already planned expiry and phase-down of … [Read more...]
Regulatory challenges to foster cross-border trade in electricity systems with increasing shares of renewables
The share of renewable generation in Europe’s power system is rising fast, but interconnection is not keeping up. Join us on May 19, 2020 to discuss this and related issues. More wind and solar makes the supply of electricity much more dependent on the weather. Nobody wants to build capacity only to switch it off when there’s too much heading onto the local grid. This could put an extra strain on delivering the Green Deal. One solution is to … [Read more...]
Better grid integration beats coal plant ramping to reduce wind, solar curtailment
Wind and solar curtailment is worst where these renewables are poorly integrated into the grid. The further their energy can reach the more regions they can service, thus minimising curtailment. If they don’t reach far, local coal plants must ramp down - but only if they’ve been retrofitted to be able to do so. It’s a problem faced by many countries: spend money on the retrofits or the integration? Writing for the Regulatory Assistance Project … [Read more...]
California fires and blackouts: would non-profit utilities be more reliable, safer, cheaper?
The wildfires in California ignited by poorly maintained transmission lines have themselves ignited a debate about whether the guilty - and now bankrupt - energy utility PG&E (the largest in the state) should now become publicly owned. That in turn has led Severin Borenstein at the Energy Institute at Haas to consider the pros and cons of public v private in this vital activity. The first thing to note is that electricity transmission and … [Read more...]
Midwest U.S. grid operator MISO: modelling for a clean energy future
Planning can’t be easy for a grid operator. Take MISO which operates one of the world’s largest energy markets. They’re responsible for integration and bulk transmission across the central U.S., but decisions on the actual future energy mix and demand are being made elsewhere: by state governments, utilities and consumers big and small. Given the amounts invested in infrastructure and the lead times involved, no one will thank MISO if their … [Read more...]
China plans UHV transmission lines that span continents
China’s Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) project aims to create a worldwide network of UHV transmission lines that can deliver electricity between continents. If successful, generating electricity in the most remote areas – think deserts and the Arctic – becomes viable, as does China’s ability to sell electricity directly to Europe. First, two main technological challenges have to be overcome: energy loss along transmission lines spanning … [Read more...]
Fieldfisher Interconnectors Forum – Brussels, 21 March 2019
The Fieldfisher Interconnector Forum will take a highly topical look at Interconnectors across Europe and the UK. This free half day event will cover significant legal developments and hot topics, including: The Outlook for Interconnectors - Future Opportunities Brexit and Future Energy Trading Scenarios Energy Market and Regulation Updates Environmental and Planning Perspectives Attendees will hear from Will Bridges, … [Read more...]