Will the real Kwasi Karteng please stand up: this week our Energy Secretary has bemoaned the use of imported biomass at Drax saying that it is not sustainable and “makes no sense to me”. The next day he announces a new consultation from the govenment to encourage Bioenergy with carbon capture (see below). His stance makes no sense to me.

Sorry, but no titbits next week.


Orsted delivers mixed results
This sounds a bit unfair for a company powering ahead with the delivery of new offshore wind assets, but 45% like for like earnings growth translated into flat EBITDA at this weeks H1 results.
There were many moving parts to this effect, from rising costs and debt charges to a poorly executed hedge and lower ROC’s recycling prices
The company could point to the new offshore projects coming on stream at Hornsea 2, New Jersey and onshore in Spain and Germany. Also bioenergy earnings look buoyant which helped the company to raise guidance for the full year.

Network Rail signs PPA with EDF Renewables
Network Rail has signed an agreement for solar power with EDF Renewables UK as part of its drive towards more sustainable railways.
The contract incorporates 49.9MW of renewable energy capacity, which will cover around 15% of Network Rail’s annual consumption of non-traction energy.
That’s enough clean energy to power 20,000 homes, which will be used in the railway network’s offices, depots and railway stations across the country.
Green electricity will be provided by EDF Renewable UK’s Bloy’s Grove solar farm in Norfolk, which received planning consent in June this year.
The agreement supports Network Rail’s commitment to source 100% of non-traction energy from renewables by 2030. (futurenetzero)


UK’s largest private wire will be online soon
The project, hailed as the largest of its kind in the UK, is poised for completion following a £10.6m investment deal last week
Nissan’s planned 20MW solar project at its UK plant in Sunderland is expected to come online soon, following the completion of a £10.6m investment deal with Atrato Onsite Energy last week.
The new installation, located within Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Sunderland, will create enough renewable electricity to meet 20 per cent of the plant’s needs, further reducing the carbon footprint of the electric Nissan LEAFs produced at the site.
The giant solar array is set to come online after UK fund Atrato Onsite Energy acquired the project in a £10.6m deal. The fund purchased the project from the Engenera Renewables Group-owned development company Hylton Plantation Solar Farm – a special purpose vehicle formed to deliver the project.
Energera said the 20MW solar project, which comprises more than 36,000 solar panels and is thought to be the largest private wire project in England, represents an important milestone on Nissan’s EV36Zero project which aims to ensure the auto giant becomes carbon neutral across the life cycle of its products by 2050. (businessgreen)

photo: creative commons

BP and Equinor low carbon projects among those shortlisted for govt funding
Westminster has unveiled the shortlisted bidders in ‘Phase 2’ of its carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing process.
It follows the selection of Hynet and East Coast Cluster as Track 1 clusters in November last year.
The Phase 2 competition is for carbon capture projects that wish to connect to the carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure that will be developed through the clusters.
It has been billed by trade body the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) as a “crucial step” in the delivery of the government’s net zero strategy.
The industrial carbon capture (ICC), waste and CCUS-enabled hydrogen schemes selected are spread across the UK, in the north-east and north-west of England, Humber and North Wales.
Those picked will now proceed to the due diligence stage of the process before benefitting from government funding.
A total of 41 schemes entered the race, and that figure has now been whittled down to 20 that have the potential to accelerate decarbonisation, deliver financial benefits in industrial areas and “kick start” the UK’s hydrogen economy.
Among those projects in the running for funding are BP’s (LON:BP) bpH2Teesside and Equinor’s (OSLO:EQNR) Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Saltend.
Westminster stressed that the shortlist does not “imply availability of funding” for any or all of the shortlisted projects, but is purely the “outcome of assessment against the Phase 2 criteria”.
They will receive cash once it has been established they represent a ‘value for money’ investment for the taxpayer. (energyvoice)

Infracapital invest £200m into Gridserve
Gridserve have secured an initial £200m equity stake from investment giant M&G’s infrastructure equity participant Infracapital.
For the five-year old e-charging and EV leasing innovators, the investment accelerates plans to advance their pioneering Sun-to-Wheel model, based on making clean power on battery-equipped solar PV farms, and distributing it over a national charging network of Electric Forecourts® and Electric Hubs.
After 2020’s first Electric Forecourt in Braintree, Essex, Gridserve now boasts a second in Norwich.   In December the Bucks-based firm announced plans to open twenty Electric Hubs this year at existing service stations; six 350kW chargers at Thurrock on the M25 were opened this spring, in collaboration with station operators Moto.
Bought from Ecotricity in June last year, Gridserve’s Electric Highway is positioned as a leading public charging network, covering 85% of UK motorway service areas, and some of the UK’s busiest retail destinations.  It sparks up over 100,000 EVs every month.
Infracapital’s initial investment this week frees Gridserve to pursue its target of 5,000 High Power Chargers installed by 2025, across both Electric Super Hubs and Electric Forecourts®. (theenergyst)

photo: Gridserve

New consultation aims to boost BECCS investment
A new consultation that seeks views on measures that could attract more private investment into the development of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) has been launched by the government.
The consultation follows £37 million in government funding announced awarded earlier this month to biomass projects across the UK.
In response to the government’s announcement, Will Gardiner, Chief Executive of Drax Group which had previously promised to invest £2 billion in carbon capture technology at its North Yorkshire power station, said: “BECCS is vital to energy security and net zero because it can produce reliable renewable power whilst also permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – no other technology does both.” (energylivenews)

Canadian investor acquires UK battery developer
Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) and investment manager Railpen have jointly acquired a 94% stake in UK battery storage company, Constantine Energy Storage (CES).
CES develops grid-scale batteries and is planning to invest more than £400 million  to build out a pipeline of projects in the UK.
These projects are currently under development by Constantine Group subsidiary Pelagic Energy Developments. (energystoragenews)


Myers Manx revives its iconic beach buggy
As far as beach buggies go, Myers Manx has always been the most iconic. The legendary brand has returned to the modern age by revealing the Myers Manx 2.0, which is an all-electric version.
Sporting the same style as the original Volkswagen Beetle-based buggies, the 2.0 not only looks fantastic, but can back up this handsome aesthetic with impressive numbers.
Two versions of the Myers Manx 2.0 will be offered, an entry-level model with a 20kWh battery, and another model with a 40kWh battery. Up to 480km of range will be offered with the bigger battery.
In terms of performance, the 40kWh model will get 150kW and 325Nm and will be able to hit 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, which will be rather rapid for a vehicle of this size.
Staying true to its roots, the 2.0 will be exclusively rear-wheel drive, with both powertrain options coming with electric motors fitted to the rear axle. The retro vibe continues inside with a digital dash in the same style as the original VW>
Instead of a fibreglass body like the original, this EV version uses an aluminum body to help with rigidity. It only weighs an extra 180kg over the original Beetle-based buggy. (thedriven)

photos: Meyers Manx


Dutch research points finger at landfills for methane emissions
Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Space Research used data from satellites monitoring four major cities, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Delhi and Mumbai in India and Lahore in Pakistan and found that landfill sites emit tens of tonnes of methane per hour.
The study, published in Science Advances, suggests a landfill in Buenos Aires emits nearly 28 tonnes of methane per hour.
The scientific team says this is equivalent to the climate footprint of one and a half million vehicles.
They stress that three other landfills are responsible for respectively three, six and ten tonnes of methane per hour.
This amount adds up to the impact of up to 500,000 vehicles, according to the report. (energylivenews)

photo: creative commons

Forto and Hapag-Lloyd Partner to Deliver Biofuel Alternative for Customers
Through a new partnership with Hapag-Lloyd, a leading global liner shipping company, Forto has launched a biofuel program for ocean shipping customers who seek to reduce their transport emissions. Customers booking full container load (FCL) sea freight shipments with Forto can now add the use of advanced biofuel to their bookings, effectively reducing 100% of their transport’s greenhouse gas emissions. As Hapag-Lloyd has extended their biofuel strategy to work with selected key partners, Forto has delivered the first customer in Hapag-Lloyd’s biofuel program. (renewableenergymagazine)

FOCUS ON: Nuclear Fusion      

You can tell it is summer holidays time when I revert to checking up on this “in 30 years time it will save the world” technology. I am not going deep into the science except to remind you that the first objective of fusion research is to achieve “scientific breakeven” which is creating more energy that that needed to heat the plasma. The next is to achieve “wallplug breakeven” where the fusion becomes net energy positive. Here are some recent updates from the front line:
ITER continues to build

35 countries are involved in building ITER (the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) which is sited in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France. It is the most expensive scientific experiment ever, but the site is taking shape. Despite the usual issues with such a collaborative project, progress is being made. South Korea delivered the 485 tonne vacuum vessel in April and the US will ship the 59-foot-tall central solenoid electromagnet before the end of next year. All in it is three quarters built, and, importantly, the technology choices are being validated by smaller private experiments. (nationalgeographic)

JET achieves 59 megajoules
In 2021, the Joint European Torus (JET) in Culham, England, set a single-run record for the total energy released by a fusion reactor’s plasma: 59 megajoules in a five-second test. That’s less energy than the average domestic residential electricity customer goes through in a minute—but JET worked using the same deuterium-tritium fuel that will power ITER and the same materials for the reactor vessel’s inner lining. ITER is expected to generate thousands of times more energy per run than JET. (nationalgeographic)

NIF achieves ignition, but then struggles to repeat the achievement
It has been confirmed that an experiment conducted in 2021 created a fusion reaction energetic enough to be self-sustaining, which brings it one step closer to being useful as a source of energy.
The fusion ignition took place on 8 August 2021 at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California, but NIF researchers haven’t been able to reproduce this landmark achievement since. (newscientist)

photo: NIF

TAE continues on it’s Boron track
TAE Technologies of California are about to start building their fifth prototype, called Copernicus. They have taken a different route to others. No Tokamak for them, they spin the atoms within super-powerful magnets, which is smaller and simpler, and in theory generates even higher tempertures.
Their fourth prototype outperformed spectacularly such that they believe that the fifth will get close to a positive Q factor. Big investors such as Goldman Sachs seem happy to back TAE in their efforts. (newatlas)

photo: TAE

UK contenders limber up
First Light Fusion a spin-out from Oxford University has demonstrated a projectile approach to fusion, which is claims is simpler than using magnetic fields. The company is now looking to raise £400m
A Canadian start up called General Fusion is relocating to the UK to demonstrate its liquid metal based approach


‘Green’ Poultry Farming Heats up With Geothermal + Solar Innovation
A new hybrid geothermal and solar energy system is set to dramatically reduce emissions and energy costs for many Australian poultry farms. The University of Melbourne has teamed up with geothermal companies Ground Source Systems and Fourth Element Energy to create a hybrid geothermal and solar heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system specifically for the poultry industry.
The project is funded through a $318,000 grant from the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which supports the global transition to net zero emissions by accelerating pre-commercial innovation.
The project will demonstrate how the energy demands of sheds can be coordinated with on-site renewable energy production, showing both economic and environmental benefits to farmers to further support the uptake of the technology across the industry.
The system includes a ground-source (geothermal) heat pump system and full-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) system with gas back-up, which can supply the HVAC needs of poultry farms.
The first stage of the project will see a demonstration, full-scale hybrid system installed and optimised for efficiency at the commercial poultry farm Bargo in Yanderra, NSW, this year. (renewableenergymagazine)

Tesla Berlin to supply Model Y with BYD “Blade” batteries
BYD is supplying iron LFP blade batteries for Tesla Model Y’s made in Tesla’s Berlin factory. It is reported that the batteries are already being supplied and the first Model Ys with those batteries will be produced this month.
There were earlier reports that BYD would supply about 10 GWh per year. This would be enough for about 12000 Model Ys per month. 3000 Model Ys per week is about the level of production that Tesla Berlin should reach in September or October of this year. (nextbigfuture)

photo: BYD

The Arctic is heating up four times faster than the rest of the planet
The new research, conducted by scientists at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, indicates that climate models have consistently underestimated what is known as “Arctic amplification,” where warming happens faster in the Arctic compared to the planet on average.
The scientists at the Finnish Meteorological Institute looked at the most recent warming data from the past 42 years, from 1979 to 2021. They found that across major portions of the Arctic Ocean, warming happened at least four times faster than the global average rate. In some parts of the Arctic Ocean, such as in the Barents Sea, the rate of warming was up to seven times faster.
Comparing their observed rates of warming to past simulations, the researchers found that the four-fold Arctic warming outcome was extremely rare in the state-of-the-art climate models, which systematically underestimated actual Arctic warming.
In the Arctic, as temperatures rise and ice cover recedes, more heat is absorbed by the ocean, which in turn melts more ice and releases more heat into the atmosphere. This increases the speed of warming in an ongoing feedback loop, which models might not have accurately accounted for. The warming effect of lost ice is strongest in late autumn and early winter, when the air is cooler than the ocean. (grist)

photo: creative commons


MIT Unveils Method to Boost Wind Farms’ Energy Output
Engineers at MIT and elsewhere have found that, with no need for any new investment in equipment, the energy output of major wind farm installations can be increased by modeling the wind flow of the entire collection of turbines and optimizing the control of individual units accordingly.
The increase in energy output from a given installation may seem modest — it’s about 1.2 percent overall, and 3 percent for optimal wind speeds. But the algorithm can be deployed at any wind farm, and the number of wind farms is rapidly growing to meet accelerated climate goals. If that 1.2 percent energy increase were applied to all the world’s existing wind farms, it would be the equivalent of adding more than 3,600 new wind turbines, or enough to power about 3 million homes, and a total gain to power producers of almost a billion dollars per year, the researchers say. And all of this for essentially no cost. (renewableenergymagazine)