Wins for solar-plus-storage in tender ‘prove energy storage is integral to greener Germany’

German storage system maker Tesvolt said international activities, including integrating batteries with this Australian gold mine’s solar array, now accounts for about 40% of its business, but Germany remains important, too. Image: Tesvolt.

Success for project proposals combining solar PV with battery storage in Germany’s latest multiple technology tenders for renewable energy are proof of the importance of energy storage, the managing director of German energy storage association BVES has said.

The German Federal Network Agency ( Bundesneztagentur ) published the results of its third round of ‘Innovation Tenders’ on 18 August. Bidders had to put forward projects that combine at least two different eligible technology types per site that will share a grid connection point. Winners get a “fixed market premium” paid for their energy as well as market revenues they can earn.

A total of 250MW was auctioned for. The Bundesneztagentur said however that the auction was slightly undersubscribed, with 23 bids that didn’t quite add up to the 250MW cap. Due to this undersubscription, the regulator applied a statutory volume control mechanism, which meant bids were awarded until 80% of bid volumes of accepted bids was reached or exceeded. Six bids had been disqualified due to errors made in their bid proposals.

Read the full article here.

Ørsted seeks local views on plans for new energy storage project

Ørsted, a world leading renewable energy developer, is inviting local residents to give feedback on plans to develop a new energy storage project near Swardeston, in Norfork. The company is launching a local consultation on September 6th to gather knowledge and views on the proposed project, before plans are submitted to South Norfolk District Council.

The way the UK produces and uses electricity is changing at an increasingly accelerated rate, and so traditional methods used to operate our electricity networks also need to change. Energy balancing equipment, such as energy storage, is therefore becoming more widespread as a way of effectively and cost efficiently balancing the supply and demand of electricity within the electrical transmission network.

The proposed Ørsted energy storage project would be a stand-alone facility, providing valuable services to the whole energy system and playing an integral role in supporting the UK’s transition to NetZero.  The storage technology is likely to be Lithium-Ion batteries which would import, store, export or convert energy to improve the stability and reliability of the electricity grid.

No new land would be used for the project as it will be co-located with already planned permitted infrastructure, off the B1113, at Swardeston. Housed in either modular buildings or containers designed to minimise noise and maximise safety, all of the proposed technology is tried and tested, with approximately 1000 MW in operation and a range of suppliers providing grid services in the UK. Once at the end of its life, all infrastructure would be removed and the batteries recycled.

Ørsted is keen to hear views from the local community and a “virtual platform” will be available for the community to learn about the proposed development and provide opportunity to seek further information, raise queries and submit feedback.

Read the full article here.

National Grid and SSE to use electricity transformers to heat homes by The Guardian

Exclusive by The Guardian: plan is to harness ‘waste heat’ and cut carbon emissions for households connected to district networks

Part of transformer substation
if the trial succeeds, about 1,300 National Grid substations could soon act as neighbourhood ‘boilers’ by piping water heated by the substations into nearby heating networks. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

Thousands of homes could soon be warmed by the heat from giant electricity grid transformers for the first time as part of new plans to harness “waste heat” and cut carbon emissions from home heating.

Trials are due to begin on how to capture the heat generated by transmission network transformers, owned by National Grid, to provide home heating for households connected to district heating networks operated by SSE.

Currently, hot air is vented from the giant substations to help cool the transformers that help to control the electricity running through National Grid’s high-voltage transmission lines.

However, if the trial succeeds, about 1,300 National Grid substations could soon act as neighbourhood “boilers”, piping water heated by the substations into nearby heating networks, and on into the thousands of homes that use SSE’s services.

Read the full article here.

UK government launches plan for a world-leading hydrogen economy

First-ever vision to kick start world-leading hydrogen economy set to support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4 billion investment by 2030.

  • First-ever vision to kick start world-leading hydrogen economy set to support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4 billion investment by 2030;
  • Consultation also launched to look at ways to overcome cost gap between low carbon hydrogen and fossil fuels;
  • £105 million in UK government funding provided to support polluting industries to significantly slash their emissions

The UK’s first-ever Hydrogen Strategy drives forward the commitments laid out in the Prime Minister’s ambitious 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution. Read the full announcement here.

Creating next generation batteries for electric vehicles

Man Holding Power Charging Cable For Electric Car In Outdoor Car Park. And he’s going to connect the car to the charging station in the parking lot near the shopping center

Seventeen projects making electric vehicle (EV) batteries safer, more powerful, cheaper, faster-charging and easier to recycle have been announced.

£10 million of Faraday Battery Challenge funding is being used to help build a better British battery industry for the future of zero-emission travel.

This latest round of Faraday Battery Challenge funding will be shared across 17 projects being undertaken by businesses and research institutions across the country.

The projects include a consortium led by LiNa Energy that will develop a new sodium nickel chloride battery system, leading to improved cell performance, and manufacturing optimised for scale-up, decarbonisation and recycling. Another, led by Anaphite Ltd, aims to develop faster charging batteries by incorporating graphene into the battery cathode.

Investment and industrialisation

This funding comes shortly after the official opening of UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) on 15 July by the Prime Minister. Based in Coventry and part-funded through the Faraday Battery Challenge, UKBIC is a is battery manufacturing development facility, which provides a link between battery technology and mass production.

Read the full article here.

Thermal storage project in Finland could begin construction next year

Schematic of the VECTES project. Image: Vantaa Energy.

A seasonal heat storage plant which will have a capacity of about 90GWh looks set to begin construction next year in Vantaa, Finland, with water stored in underground caverns heated to 140°C using renewable energy and waste heat.

City energy company Vantaa Energy said at the beginning of this month that it has selected engineering, design and advisory group AFRY and Finnish urban development and construction company YIT as project partners. Project development begins this summer and construction in autumn next year, with the massive system expected to be online during 2026.

The project, called Vantaa Energy Cavern Thermal Energy Storage (VECTES), will involve caverns around 60 metres underground in bedrock. According to project overview documents produced by Vantaa, situating the water storage that far down means the ground water’s natural pressure will prevent it from evaporating, even at temperatures above its boiling point.

Read the full article here.

Researchers probe electricity grid resilience using advanced batteries

A new research partnership will show how advanced lead batteries can support electricity grid energy storage and plug-in to more renewable and other storage requirements for low carbon energy systems.

The project is being led by Loughborough University and the University of Warwick, supported by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI).

Demand for batteries as a storage technology is steadily growing across the globe in order to support greater levels of grid flexibility, reliability and decarbonization as more renewables are integrated into the grid and in the face of extreme weather events.

By developing more advanced levels of modelling and prediction of lead battery behaviour for utility grid storage, the research is geared towards facilitating higher uptake of lead batteries to support the energy grid.

Professor Dani Strickland, of Loughborough’s School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, said: “The availability of low-cost powerful microprocessors is fuelling an explosion in our capability to monitor, understand and impact battery degradation in real world situations at low cost.

Read the full article here.

Looking ahead: The marine industry in 2030 by Siemens

What will the marine industry look like in 2030?

Siemens asked Monica Schnitger, naval architect and principal analyst at Schnitger Corporation, to answer this question. The result is a series of six briefs, each covering a different angle of shipping, from design and engineering to production and operations.

Learn how the marine industry can meet today’s sustainability challenges, transition from the design spiral to a V-model, get to Shipyard 4.0, build smarter ships, digitalize the marine workforce and navigate a digital fleet.

Please find the six briefs here.

Will charging electric cars ever be as fast as pumping gas? – National Geografic

electric vehicles at charging stations at an all-electric auto service station in Britain
Electric vehicles charge at a new station in Braintree, U.K., on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Researchers are closing in on an electric car battery that can recharge in 10 minutes or less. Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg/Getty Images


Electric vehicles are gaining popularity fast, but some prospective buyers remain hesitant. One big reason is that charging EVs is slow. While drivers today are accustomed to filling their gas tank in less than five minutes, EVs, depending on the size and specifications of the battery, typically take at least 30 minutes to get 80 percent charged at the fastest charging stations out there.

In five to 10 years, though, far faster charging might be possible. Companies are developing new lithium-ion battery materials, as well as new “solid state” batteries, which are more stable at faster charging speeds. They could place recharge rates of 20 minute or less within reach.

Meanwhile, a team of scientists recently designed a lithium battery prototype that, under laboratory conditions, can recharge more than 50 percent of its capacity in just three minutes—and do so thousands of times without significantly degrading. This, the researchers say, could pave a path toward batteries that can recharge fully in as little as 10 minutes.

Read the full article here.


Brexit Implications for UK Decarbonisation Objectives – UKERC


Authors: Caroline Kuzemko1 and Antony Froggatt2 

  1. University of Warwick, 2. Chatham House

The last five years in UK politics have been tumultuous: Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have had, and will continue to have, huge impacts on the country’s economy and society as a whole. The Government also introduced new targets and associated legislation on climate change in June 2019, which, if successfully implemented will lead to a net zero carbon economy by 2050.

This policy brief highlights the impact that Brexit could have on the ability for the UK to meet its net zero targets.  Focusing on key areas of climate change, UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS), trade, energy and interconnectors the paper highlights areas that require urgent attention.

Key recommendations

The Trade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provisions on the UK’s climate and energy policy are significantly less binding or specific than the rules that applied when in the EU. While the TCA creates a ‘policy floor’ for the UK, its enforcement internationally is questionable. The UK Government must ensure the rigor and scope of domestic agencies balance this.

Establishment of the UK emissions trading scheme (ETS) has highlighted problems associated with protracted TCA negotiations. The current system is temporary, so the eventual establishment of a link to the EU ETS remains a possibility. In its first auctions in May 2021, prices in the UK‘s Emissions Trading System reached £50 per tonne, but questions remain about the efficacy of this interim system. The Government needs to more clearly defined the scope of the system if it is to support the whole economy ‘net zero’ objective.

It is impossible to unplug the UK from the EU’s energy market. The UK government and the EU have until 30 June 2026 to decide the new terms and conditions of their energy relationship. In the meantime trading has reverted to ‘explicit’ rules with potential implications for electricity pricing, system balancing and interconnection.

Being outside of ENTSO-E and ENTSO-G, the Agency for the Co-operation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), is to the detriment of UK energy actors. Relevant organisations and government departments will need to spend considerable time and effort trying to influence future EU choices that affect them now they are outside of the EU.

The UK civil service has had to dedicate much capacity to ‘doing’ Brexit. There may be opportunity costs of doing so at this important time for climate change.
Access the briefing paper in full here