A big thank you to Aurora Energy Researh for their excellent Summer Renewables Summit. A privelege to hear the formidable Doyne Farmer (mathematics professor at Oxford) explain how mere mortal forecasters such as the IEA just don’t understand the concept of exponential growth. Under his model solar energy fits the 35% annual growth model, which should lead to 40% of electricity generated by renewables by 2027. A happy thought for the weekend.

It will also make solar power much cheaper than forecast. I suggest Philip Hammond should have a word with Doyne

Company news

Jaguar Land Rover teams up with BMW to produce electric cars

Jaguar Land Rover is teaming up with BMW in a partnership designed to lower costs and try to get ahead in the race to produce electric cars for the mass market.

The UK’s largest car manufacturer and Germany’s BMW said they would work together to develop electric motors, transmissions and power electronics in the latest industry alliance formed to address the challenges posed by electric and driverless cars. The two companies would jointly invest in research and development, engineering and procurement to support volume production of electric cars. (guardian)

Foresight takes on advisory for £764 million of new assets

Foresight is to acquire the advisory mandate for 28 operational assets across a wide range of renewable generation, wastewater and waste management activities located in the UK and Europe from John Laing Capital Management. The JLEN assets have a gross asset value of £764 million and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2014.   for JLEN from .

The transaction, which will complete at the end of June, will bring Foresight’s assets under management to £4 billion and increase the group’s total assets under management by 26%. The co-heads of JLEN, Chris Holmes and Chris Tanner, will become partners of Foresight Group LLP on completion and their 12 strong investment, portfolio and finance team, which will continue to manage the Fund, will  relocate to Foresight’s London base in the Shard from the beginning of July 2019. (newpower)

UK news

Government extends deadline for RHI applications

The deadline, which was previously set for 31 January 2020, will be postponed by a year to 31 January 2021. In a letter to stakeholders, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the government would bring forward legislation later this year to enact the extension. It said projects that have already been awarded a tariff guarantee will be able to reapply so they can be commissioned at a later date. The announcement was welcomed by both the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Energy Networks Association (ENA). (utilityweek)

Home solar panel installations fall by 94% as subsidies cut

The end of the solar feed-in tariffs, which encouraged more than 800,000 homes to fit panels to their roofs, was widely expected after a series of cuts to subsidy levels in recent years. Renewable energy developers and green groups had hoped ministers would replace the scheme with another incentive system to avoid dashing the sector’s momentum and accelerating job losses in the industry. Instead, officials confirmed that new solar installations would be expected to give their unused clean power to energy companies for free.

The opposition said data showed the scrapping of home panel subsidies from April caused new solar capacity to fall from 79MW in March to just 5MW last month. (guardian)

Switching to smart charging electric vehicles could save the UK over £1bn

Introducing smart charging infrastructure for electric vehicles could reduce the need to build extra storage into the National Grid – saving the UK power network £1.16bn a year, new research claims.

According to a study from energy consultancy Element Energy, the continued uptake of electrical vehicles – combined with smart or overnight charging – could save four EU countries more than €4bn (£3.56bn) a year.
Under Element Energy’s current calculations for electric vehicle uptake in Europe and analysis of the power systems of four European countries, it predicted the UK could make the largest annual savings of €1.3bn by 2040 through a switch from passive to smart charging. Similarly, Italy could save €1.26bn, France €1.21bn and Spain €560m. (compelo)

Dowload the report HERE

Cory looks to use heat from Riverside EfW plant

Cory Riverside Energy is seeking to establish a district heating network to utilise heat from its Riverside energy from waste plant to heat homes in the nearby

The measure was outlined in the company’s Sustainability Report, which revealed that the company has partnered with the London borough of Bexley and Peabody Homes to explore the options for heat offtake form the plant. This could see heat generated from the company’s 750,000 tonne Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in Belvedere, south east London, used to “heat to the local community from the waste it generates”. (letsrecycle)

EV of the week

VW triplets to give us affordable urban EV’s?

Seat have announced the launch in late 2019 of the electric Mii. It will be powered by a 36.8kWh battery, which should be good for 160 miles of range. This is pretty much the same offering as that announced by Skoda for the electric Citigo and will be followed by VW with an upgraded VW e-UP! all of these are effectively the same car. Seat haven’t mentioned a price so far, but Skoda are talking of less than £20,000, which makes for a compelling entry level EV. (motor1)


Germany goes 47% renewable so far this year

That’s the verdict from the Fraunhofer Institute’s Head of Department New Devices and Technologies, Dr Bruno Burger, who notes this is significantly above clean energy’s share of the power mix over the same period last year, when it totalled 40.6% of generation.

Figures in May alone were even more impressive, with 20.2TWh of renewable power being produced, against 19.6TWh of non-renewable electricity – this puts the renewable share for the month at 50.7%.
Net generation from wind power from January to May, compared to the same time the year before, rose by 18.7% with 9.45TWh of extra energy produced. (energylivenews)

Can a derivative turn Europe’s green energy dream into virtual reality?

Italy’s Ferrero is famous for its red-and-white Kinder chocolate eggs. But soon it may hope to be able to slap more green on the wrapper. Like other companies in Europe, Ferrero is under growing pressure from investors and authorities to shift toward greener energy. But without enough wind or sunshine on its doorstep to provide a renewable alternative, it’s looking to a new financial derivative known as a virtual power-purchase agreement.

These complex contracts are effectively insurance policies for renewable project developers against the risk of falling power prices, with the premiums paid by companies like Ferrero to support sustainable energy even though they remain plugged into fossil fuels.
Virtual PPAs are slowly beginning to gain traction in Europe, and other companies considering the option include French luxury group Kering and Telecom Italia. (reuters)

Focus on: SDG7 (affordable clean energy for all)

We’re falling short on SDG7, but we can fix it

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are nearly four years old, and 10.5 years remain before the 2030 target for eradicating poverty via sustainable development. Of the 17 SDGs, SDG7 – affordable and clean energy for all by 2030 – ought to be one of the easiest to hit. But a recent summary of progress involving the pooled efforts of the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the World Bank and the World Health Organisation shows that we are already well behind the pace.

There are the four sub-targets in SDG7:
1. Universal access to electricity
A recent report by the Global Off Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) and Lighting Global shows the steepness of the hill that must be climbed. GOGLA’s member companies, which include almost all enterprises that sell quality-accredited products, sold 3.9 million solar lighting products globally in the second half of 2018. All told, the solar lighting industry has sold just 42 million of these products, anywhere, ever. If we were to envisage one light per household, and assume five people per household, we would need to sell 840 million divided by five = 168 million more lights. (see also SolarAid story below)

2. Universal access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking
Efforts to date have increased the proportion of the global population with access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking from 57 per cent in 2010 to 61 per cent in 2017. But with population growth outpacing annual growth in access to the solutions, almost three billion people remain without.

3. Substantial increase in the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
New net capacity from renewables increased by about 180 gigawatts (GW) in 2018: some 60 per cent of the net additions needed each year to meet Paris climate goals. To achieve those goals would require capacity expansion of 300GW a year through 2030, according to the IEA. Despite gloomy predictions from the IEA, this is doable.

4. A doubling of energy efficiency
Efforts to date have seen global primary energy intensity (defined as the percentage drop in global total primary energy supply per unit of gross domestic product) fall by 10 per cent between 2010 and 2016. The annual rate of improvement to 2030 needed for SDG7 exceeds 2.7 per cent. The rate of improvement stood at a mere 1.3 per cent in 2018. (Taken from an article by Jeremy Leggett for Businessgreen)

Bordeaux eco-cabin of the week

Bordeaux eco-cabins clad in charred timber

Bordeaux-based firm A6A has unveiled beautiful minimalist cabins designed to be almost completely self-sufficient thanks to solar power and a micro wastewater treatment system. Additionally, the 236-square-foot H-Eva Cabins are prefabricated offsite to reduce construction and impact on the environment. Lightweight, but sturdy, the tiny cabins are clad in locally sourced timber that has been charred through the ancient Japanese technique Shou Sugi Ban. (inhabitat)


Jakarta to trial e-busses

Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, is piloting a program to transition from public buses to electric vehicles. Jakarta’s bus system is the largest in the world with over 200 million riders and new routes added every year. The addition of cleaner vehicles promises to have a significant impact on the city’s toxic levels of air pollution.

Starting in April, the city began testing electric buses produced by Chinese and Indonesian manufacturers. After the pilot trials, the city will test the buses with passengers. The city’s governor, Anies Baswedan is determined to make Jakarta one of the greenest cities in the world and cleaner transportation is a big step towards that goal. (inhabitat)

Students in the Philippines must plant 10 trees to graduate

Students in the Philippines now have a final requirement in order to graduate from school: they must plant 10 trees. The new law, which came into effect on May 15, 2019, will apply to graduates from elementary and high schools, and college or university. Called the “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act,” it is seen as a valuable opportunity for young people to take action against climate change.

Congressman Gary Alejano, who introduced the bill, said, “While we recognize the right of the youth to a balanced and healthy ecology… there is no reason why they cannot be made to contribute in order to ensure that this will be an actual reality.”

With 12 million kids graduating from elementary school, 5 million from high school, and 500 thousand from university every year, that means 175 million trees will be planted annually. Over the course of a generation, that will mean 525 billion trees, although Alejano has said that even if only 10 percent of the trees survived, that’s still an impressive 525 million in a generation.

The Philippines, a tropical island nation, desperately needs those trees. The country has been severely deforested over the past century. (treehugger)

Solar Aid illuminates Africa with two million light sales

The charity confirmed its Africa-based social enterprise, SunnyMoney, passed the two million sales mark last month. SunnyMoney has been selling solar-powered lights in Africa since 2008, using a community distribution model to encourage local people to sell the lights in their rural communities.

Reaching the two million sales mark means SunnyMoney’s solar lights have now averted an estimated 21 millions tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, and saved some of the world’s poorest families more than £318m in fuel costs, SolarAid said. (businessgreen)

Techie corner

HomeBiogas brings AD into your home

Engie’s HomeBiogas has built up a solution that lets people generate methane wherever they are using just food scraps. At its core, the HomeBiogas solution takes organic waste and, as it breaks down via anaerobic digestion, captures the resulting methane gas. The gas is then filtered and piped directly into a gas burner where it can be used for cooking. Engie invested in HomeBiogas in the middle of last year and is now working with the team to scale the solution up. HomeBiogas sells its products directly to consumers, so Engie’s global reach and significant capital represent huge opportunities to get the solution into the hands of more consumers. (cleantechnica)


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