Plans to build a new interconnector between the UK and Norway that would provide the ability to import, export, and store clean power took a leap forward today with the award of €1.5bn of contracts relating to the ambitious project.
The project, which is the latest in a series of interconnector investments National Grid is considering, will provide a major boost to the renewable energy sectors of both countries. It is designed to allow the UK and Norway to import and export renewable power based on respective supply and demand in each country and crucially would allow excess renewable power generated by UK wind and solar farms to be exported to Norway's pumped hydro-storage sites, effectively enabling the storage of intermittent clean power.
Designers at Cardiff University say they have constructed the sort of house George Osborne once described as impossible.
The chancellor scrapped a requirement for new homes to be zero carbon by 2016 because he said it would prove too expensive.
But Cardiff University say they have built a house that exports more power to the grid than it uses.
And crucially they say the cost fell within the normal budget for social housing.
A government spokesman said house builders needed to be given more time to develop low energy homes.
The house took just 16 weeks to construct and cost £1,000 per sq m - that's within the range for social housing of £800 to £1,000 per sq m, the designers said.
In future, they say its owners will make money from selling excess energy.
The property, near Bridgend, has insulated render on the outside and air heating systems that rely on the sun.
The designers say it will need to import energy in the winter, but the imports will be trumped by energy exports during summer months.
Energy company Genesis Energy said yesterday it will close New Zealand's two remaining coal-fired electricity generation units by 2018, effectively ending the country's use of coal to generate electricity.
The remaining two generators are both located at the Huntly Power Station in Waikato on New Zealand's North Island. The plant's two other generators, which are gas-fired, will continue to operate.
Albert Brantley, chief executive of Genesis Energy, said the falling cost of renewable technology was a major factor in the decision to retire the generators.
"The development of lower cost renewable generation, principally wind and geothermal, investment in the HVDC link, and relatively flat growth in consumer and industrial demand for electricity have combined to reinforce the decision to retire the remaining Rankine units, which will deliver further operational efficiencies to Genesis Energy," he said in a statement.
On Sunday midday, close to 100% of the electricity demand in Germany was covered by renewable sources. A lot of sun and wind made this possible.
Martyn1981 wrote: »
Renewables cover almost 100% of German demand ..... briefly.
Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS), a division within Citbank (America’s third-largest bank), recently published a report looking at the economic costs and benefits of a low-carbon future. The report considered two scenarios: “Inaction,” which involves continuing on a business-as-usual path, and Action scenario which involves transitioning to a low-carbon energy mix.
One of the most interesting findings in the report is that the investment costs for the two scenarios are almost identical. In fact, because of savings due to reduced fuel costs and increased energy efficiency, the Action scenario is actually a bit cheaper than the Inaction scenario.
This conclusion soundly refutes the main argument against climate action – that it’s too expensive, with some contrarians even having gone so far as to claim that cutting carbon pollution will create an economic catastrophe. To the contrary, the Citi report finds that these investments will save money, before even accounting for the tremendous savings from avoiding climate damage costs.
There’s a trick to extend them
We want to hear from you
This week's MSE Forum highlights