2014 News

Euro Commission

Euro Commission appoints Ricardo-AEA to vital CHP project

Global sustainability consultancy, Ricardo-AEA has been appointed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy to review and update the reference values that help to determine the efficiency of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants across the EU.

Vilnius old-town

Lithuania invites investment for major city CHP projects

The Lithuanian government, through state-controlled energy group Lietuvos Energija, is seeking to attract investment in the development of  new cogeneration power plant projects in Vilnius and Kaunas, as it looks to deliver affordable heat to residents of both cities.

Netherlands

Dutch village in novel seawater-based district heating scheme

The Dutch coastal town of Duindorp, near the Hague has opted for a fresh approach to the issue of heating its newest housing development. It’s using seawater from the North Sea for its heat network, and is experiencing the benefits of reduced costs in the process.

Danny Alexander

UK infrastructure guide launched in Glasgow

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, has launched a guide to investing in UK infrastructure at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow.

Mini hydropower for Indonesian villages

Royal HaskoningDHV is implementing four mini hydropower plants along the Merawu River in Central Java, Indonesia, to provide a sustainable source of energy for 11,000 households in several villages.

Military microgrids to reach 54.8 MW by 2018 says report

The growth potential for the US military microgrid market is anticipated to result in upwards of 54.8 MW in total capacity by 2018, according to a new analysis by Red Mountain Insights.

GE powers Mexican CHP project

A new combined heat and power plant in Mexico being developed for Enerkin SAPI de C.V. - the first independent power producer in Yucatan - will use GE Jenbacher gas engines.

NW Bicester

Britain’s first zero carbon town to make use of solar PV

North West Bicester, the UK’s first zero carbon town is to feature the country’s largest domestic solar panel array as part of its composition.

North London Waste Authority’s Edmonton energy-from-waste facility to Enfield

North London district heating project to serve 5,000 homes

The Lee Valley Heat Network was launched by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnston this week, with local politicians heralding its potential to transform the Lee Valley area.

LinkedIn

Announcement from Cogeneration and On-Site Power Production Linkedin

It’s that time of year again when we ask you, the members of Cogeneration and On-Site Power Production (COSPP) LinkedIn group, for your feedback. Your feedback is important to us, and will help us deliver the type of industry news and information you need, the way YOU want it.

Europe’s electricity industry looks to decentralize

Steve Hodgson

In a week in which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for the near decarbonization of electricity generation, Europe’s electricity industry is already clear about its job.

‘Europe today is facing the fundamental challenge of shifting from a system of large-scale, centralized, predictable power generation to a system in which generation capacity is becoming more decentralized and intermittent.’ Not the words of a campaigner for small-scale renewables, but those of Hans ten Berge, Secretary General of Eurelectric, the European trade association for the electricity industry, mainly electric utilities and network operators, as quoted in Intelligent Utility.

Ten Berge is talking mainly about solar and wind power – the share of renewables in Europe’s power system is projected to rise to 35% percent by 2020, largely driven by the EU’s own ambitions to tackle climate change. But he goes on to describe the changes needed within Europe’s electricity industry to accommodate this without adding unacceptable costs to consumers, and avoiding major electricity system disruption.

Accommodating more decentralized generation will require: ‘a fundamental rethink of today’s system and market design,’ says ten Berge: principally completion of Europe’s integral energy market, including the building of new interconnections across national borders, so that new generation capacity is built and used where it makes sense. Solar in southern Europe, wind further north and offshore. Some of this looks like more centralized, though renewables-based, plant with additional transmission capacity. However, Eurelectric also calls for changes to the downstream side of the business – smarter grid infrastructure and management, which would allow network operators to integrate more small-scale and local generation into the system.

There’s nothing very new here – at the highest level, Europe’s electricity industry understands the need for decentralization, so that local energy projects contribute a significant proportion of local energy needs, and how it might get there. And of course utilities themselves will be major developers of decentralized capacity.

The US, however, may be slightly behind the curve. The US Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched a study earlier this year on the transformation of electricity networks, noting that: ‘the rapid rise of distributed energy resources – such as rooftop solar panels and high tech microgrids – could change the structure of the electric grid.’ EPRI suggests that, even as these technologies rise rapidly, very few organizations have looked at how they could be integrated into power systems so that customers can enjoy the benefit of both the central power system and the distributed technologies in the most cost-effective way. Perhaps the Americans should look to Europe.

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