The Anonymous Widower

The Power Of Battery Storage

This article on Fastmarkets is entitled Neoen To Expand Li-ion Battery Capacity at Hornsdale Plant.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Australia’s Hornsdale Power Reserve, the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery plant, is set to expand capacity by 50% to 150 megawatts, according to Neoen SA, the French power producer that owns and operates the site.

If you read the article and the Wikipedia entry for Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR), you’ll see why it is being expanded.

This paragraph is from Wikipedia.

After six months of operation, the Hornsdale Power Reserve was responsible for 55% of frequency control and ancillary services in South Australia.[11] By the end of 2018, it was estimated that the Power Reserved had saved A$40 million in costs, most in eliminating the need for a 35 MW Frequency Control Ancillary Service.

Somewhat surprisingly, the power is mainly generated by the associated Hornsdale Wind Farm.

These are some statistics and facts of the installation at Hornsale.

  • There are 99 wind turbines with a total generation capacity of 315 megawatts.
  • HPR is promoted as the largest lithium-ion battery in the world.
  • HPR can store 129 MWh of electricity.
  • HPR can discharge 100 MW into the grid.
  • The main use of HPR is to provide stability to the grid.

HPR also has a nice little earner, in storing energy, when the spot price is low and selling it when it is higher.

It certainly explains why investors are putting their money in energy storage.

Wikipedia lists four energy storage projects using batteries in the UK, mainly of an experimental nature in Lilroot, Kirkwall, Leighton Buzzard and six related sites in Northern |England.  One site of the six  has a capacity of 5 MWh, making it one of the largest in Europe.

But then we have the massive Dinorwig power station or Electric Mountain, which  can supply ,1,728-MW and has a total storage capacity of 9.1 GWh

Coinsider.

  • Electric Mountain has seventy times the capacity of Hornsdale Power Reserve.
  • Electric Mountain cost £425 million in 1984, which would be a cost of £13.5 billion today.
  • Another Electric Mountain would cost about £1.6 billion per GWh of energy storage.
  • Hornsdale Power Reserve cost $ 50 million or about £26 million.
  • Hornsdale Power Reserve would cost about £0.2 billion per GWh of energy storage.

So it would appear that large batteries are better value for money than large pumped storage systems like Electric Mountain.

But it’s not as simple as that!

  • There aren’t many places, as suitable as North Wales for large pumped storage systems.
  • Omce built, it appears pumped storage system can have a long life. Electric Mountain is thirty-five years old and with updating, I wouldsn’t be surprised to see Electric Mountain in operation at the end of this century.
  • Battery sites can be relatively small, so can be placed perhaps in corners of industrial premises or housing developments.
  • Battery sites can be built close to where power is needed, but pumped storage can only be built where geography allows.
  • Pumped strage systems can need long and expensive connections to the grid.
  • I think that the UK will not build another Electric Mountain, but will build several gigawatt-sized energy storage facilities.
  • Is there enough lithium and other elements for all these batteries?
  • Electric Mountain is well-placed in Snowdonia for some wind farms, but many are in the North Sea on the other side of the country.

In my view what is needed is a series of half-gigawatt storage facilities, spread all over the country.

Highview Power looks to be promising and I wrote about it in British Start-Up Beats World To Holy Grail Of Cheap Energy Storage For Wind And Solar.

But there will be lots of other good ideas!

 

November 20, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renewable Energy Outperforms Fossil Fuels For A Whole Quarter

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s copy of The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Wind and solar farms and other sources of renewable power have produced more electricity than fossil fuels for the first time in a three-month period.

This is a good figure, but how do we compare with the rest of the world.

This Wikipedia entry  is entitled List Of Countries By Electricity Production Prom Renewable Sources.

These are some example percentages of renewable energy production.

  • Albania – 100 %
  • Australia – 14.5 %
  • Belgium – 16.6 %
  • Brazil – 80.4 %
  • Canada 65.0 %
  • China – 24.5 %
  • Denmark – 60.5 %
  • Egypt – 8.2 %
  • Ethiopia 93.6 %
  • France – 17.5 %
  • Germany – 29 %
  • Hungary – 10.1 %
  • Iceland – 100.0 %
  • India – 16.88 %
  • Indonesia – 15.9 %
  • Iran – 5.8 %
  • Iraq – 6.4 %
  • Ireland – 24.7 %
  • Israel – 2.5 %
  • Italy – 37.3 %
  • Japan – 15.0 %
  • Kuwait – 0.1 %
  • Libya – 0.0 %
  • Malaysia – 13.7 %
  • Netherlands – 12.1 %
  • New Zealand – 83.9 %
  • Norway – 97.2 %
  • Poland – 13.7 %
  • Qatar – 0.3 %
  • Pakistan – 32.7 %
  • Russia – 16.9 %
  • Saudi Arabia – 0.0 %
  • South Africa – 3.2 %
  • South Korea – 2.8 %
  • Spain – 38.1 %
  • \sweden – 57.1 %
  • Switzerland – 59.8 %
  • Taiwan – 4.2 %
  • Turkey – 32.9 %
  • UAE – 0.3 %
  • United Kingdom – 27.9 %
  • United States – 14.7 %

Figures are for 2016

October 14, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

New Windfarms Will Not Cost Billpayers After Subsidies Hit Record Low

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Guardian.

This is the first paragraph.

The UK’s next wave of offshore wind farms will generate clean electricity at no extra cost to consumers after record low-subsidy deals fell below the market price for the first time.

I have deliberately chosen to print this report from the Guardian, as they generally research carefully what they print and wouldn’t print anything that was parroting government PR.

Until they or another trusted source says otherwise, I’ll believe that we’ll be getting cheap wind-generated electricity.

There is another fact about this announcement; the timing!

Did the government deliberately time, something that even The Guardian would feel is good news to appear on the day when everyone is travelling to the Labour Conference in Brighton?

September 21, 2019 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments

North Sea Wind Power Hub

I have just found the web site for the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

The Aim

This introductory paragraph details the aim of the project.

A coordinated roll-out of North Sea Wind Power Hubs facilitates an accelerated deployment of large scale offshore wind in the North Sea required to support realizing the Paris Agreements target in time, with minimum environmental impact and at the lowest cost for society (urgency & cost savings), while maintaining security of supply.

There is a lot to read on the site, however this article on the Daily Mail gives a good summary with lots of drsawings.

This is the sub-headline.

The world’s biggest wind farm? ‘Crazy’ artificial power island in the North Sea that could supply renewable energy to 80 million people in Europe is set to open in 2027.

Crazy comes from this paragraph of the article.

In an interview at the time, Torben Glar Nielsen, Energinet’s technical director, told the Independent: ‘Maybe it sounds a bit crazy and science fiction-like but an island on Dogger Bank could make the wind power of the future a lot cheaper and more effective.’

Another quote sums up the engineering problems as the Dutch sea it.

Addressing the engineering challenge ahead, Mr Van der Hage said: ‘Is it difficult? In the Netherlands, when we see a piece of water we want to build islands or land. We’ve been doing that for centuries. That is not the biggest challenge.’

Having spoken to one of the engineers, who planned and developed the Dutch sea defences after the floods of the 1950s, I’ll agree with that statement.

September 21, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear Option Has Been Blown Away

The title of this post is the main title of Alistair Osborne’s Business Commentary of today’s copy of The Times.

He is referring to the government’s announcement about new wind farms, that I discussed in Climate change: Offshore Wind Expands At Record Low Price.

I particularly liked his final paragraph.

And nuclear’s not even green: it comes with a vast clean-up bill. True, it brings baseload energy that wind can’t yet match. But storage technology is advancing all the time. So why’s the government persisting with last century tech that comes at a radioactive price? Yes, offshore wind might endanger a seabird that’s forgotten its specs. But, luckily, it’s a bigger threat to another species: nuclear white elephants.

Climate change is so serious, people won’t believe it’s happening and take action unless the medicine is delivered with a spoonful of humour.

September 21, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Climate change: Offshore Wind Expands At Record Low Price

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on BBC News.

These are the first paragraphs.

A record amount of new offshore wind power has been announced in the UK – at record low prices.

The new projects will power more than seven million homes for as little as £39.65 per megawatt hour.

Compare this price with the £92.50 per MWh for the nuclear Hinckley Point C.

Note that all prices are in 2012 prices.

I have no argument with the engineering of nuclear power stations, but they do have issues that must be addressed.

  • They shouldn’t be built in possible earthquake zones.
  • They have a very high cost.
  • They can be an eyesore in parts of the UK.

But they do provide a good power zero-carbon baseload, once they are constructed.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm would appear to be the centrepiece of the energy developments South of the Scottish Border.

It will be three separate 1.2 gigawatt wind farms developed on the relatively shallow seas around the Dogger Bank.

  • Creyke Beck A
  • Creyke Beck B
  • Teesside A

Wikipedia says this about the first two wind farms.

They would connect to the existing Creyke Beck substation near Cottingham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.[6] The two sites lie 131 kilometres (81 mi) from the East Yorkshire coast.

Both have an area of around two hundred square miles.

Teeside A is further North and would be connected to a substation near Redcar.

North Sea Wind Power Hub

The three fields I’ve listed are all in UK waters and according to Wikipedia will or could be joined by more wind farms in the same area.

But just across the maritime border between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands have plans to develop the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

Wikipedia introduces the project like this.

North Sea Wind Power Hub is a proposed energy island complex to be built in the middle of the North Sea as part of a European system for sustainable electricity. One or more “Power Link” artificial islands will be created at the northeast end of the Dogger Bank, a relatively shallow area in the North Sea, just outside the continental shelf of the United Kingdom and near the point where the borders between the territorial waters of Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark come together. Dutch, German, and Danish electrical grid operators are cooperating in this project to help develop a cluster of offshore wind parks with a capacity of several gigawatts, with interconnections to the North Sea countries. Undersea cables will make international trade in electricity possible.

These points are also made.

  • Six square mile islands will be built surrounded by thousands of wind turbines.
  • The Dutch have estimated that 110 gigawatts of wind power could be produced at the Dogger Bank location.
  • We are not a member of the consortium, but it is hoped that Norway, Belgium and the UK will join.
  • The Dutch have suggested converting some of the electricity produced to hydrogen.
  • Completion date is set for 2050.

I am excited by this project.

We may not be part of the North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium and in a month or so, we may or may not be part of the European Union, but today’s announcement of new wind power projects in our section of the Dogger Bank  is effectively a substantial marker, that compliments the European plan.

Consider.

  • We are putting 3.6 GW of wind turbines on the Dogger Bank.
  • We are connecting it to the UK electricity grid. at Creyke Beck.
  • It would be easy to create another bi-directional electricity interconnector between the UK’s planned and the EU’s possible wind farms.

This is the sort of project that works, whether Brexit happens or doesn’t!

Six Scottish Wind Farms

.There is also a second article on the BBC, which is entitled Six Scottish Wind Farms Awarded Contracts.

These are the first paragraphs.

Six Scottish wind farm projects are set to go ahead after being awarded UK government contracts to sell the electricity they would produce.

The schemes include Forthwind and SSE Renewables’ Seagreen Phase 1, which are both proposed for the Firth of Forth.

Four onshore wind farms – Muaitheabhal and Druim Leathann in Lewis and Hesta Head and Costa Head in Orkney – have also secured contracts.

All farms are expected to be built by 2025 and provide enough energy for 265,000 homes.

Price Summary For Offshore Wind

This page on Offshore Wind gives the strike prices for the six offshore wind farms.

Creyke Bank A – £39.65 per MWh – 1200 MW

Creyke Bank B – £41.61 per MWh – 1200 MW

Teeside A – £41.61 per MWh – 1200 MW

Teeside B (Sophia) – £41.65 per MWh – 1400 MW

Forthwind – £39.65 per MWh – 12 MW

Seagreen Phase 1 – £41.61 per MWh – 454 MW

The size of each farm is also given.

Conclusion

The lights will stay on and we will need to develop more energy storage.

September 20, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

From Green Gin To Sustainable Steel, Government Fires Up £140m Hydrogen Push

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Green.

The projects are wide ranging.

Green Gin

This is said about gin production by Orkney Distilling Ltd.

The successful projects feature a number of eye-catching initiatives, including the HySpirits project which has been awarded just under £200,000 to explore how the European Marine Energy Centre could work with local gin producer Orkney Distilling Ltd to convert its distillery from using liquid petroleum gas to hydrogen produced using renewable power.

I have been told that making whisky produces carbon dioxide. Does gin?

My source, also said carbon dioxide frpm Scotch whisky production has been used in the growing of soft fruit.

I found this article on The Courier, which is entitled Time To Cut Back On Whisky’s CO2 Emissions and this article on Scottish Capture and Storage, which is entitled Carbon Capture In The Heart Of The City.

Both are worth reading.

This is a paragraph from the second article.

The carbon capture process at this site is relatively simple, because the off gas from fermentation is already very pure in CO2. The process is not about enhancing CO2 concentration, but more about removing impurities. That involves a number of washing stages to remove water and impurities from the gas given off during fermentation, before it is compressed, stored, and eventually transported by road.

The article also says that the distillery produces four tonnes of carbon dioxide per day, which compared to the emissions of Chinese, Indian and United States coal-fired power stations is small beer, but it does show how in some industrial processes capturing the carbon dioxide can be relatively easy in some industrial processes and of a high quality for perhaps using in food and medical products.

But I can’t find a article connecting carbon dioxide from whisky to food production.

The Dolphyn Project

This is said about the Dolphyn Project.

A further £427,000 has been awarded to the Dolphyn project, which plans to mount electrolysers onto floating wind turbine platforms to produce hydrogen. One wind turbine alone has the potential to produce enough low carbon hydrogen to heat around 2,500 homes, fuel over 120-240 buses, or run eight to 12 trains,” the government said

I can’t find much on the Internet about this project, except this extract from this document on the Institution of Engineering and Technology web site, which is called Transitioning To Hydrogen.

The Deepwater Offshore Local Production of Hydrogen
(Dolphyn) project will consider large-scale retrofit
hydrogen production from offshore floating wind
turbines in deep water locations (Figure 19).

This is a partnership project led by ERM with Engie,
Tractebel Engie and ODE. The project looks to
utilise the vast UK offshore wind potential to power
electrolysers to produce hydrogen from the water the
turbines float on. Large 10MW turbines consisting of
desalinisation technology and PEM electrolysers will
feed hydrogen at pressure via a single flexible riser to
a sub-sea manifold with other turbines’ lines. The gas
is then exported back to shore via a single trunkline.
A 20-by-20 array array would have a 4GW capacity,
producing sufficient hydrogen to heat more then 1.5
million homes.

This project may include the offshore wind supply
of hydrogen supported with hydrogen from steam
methane reformation with carbon capture technology.
This project is well aligned to work the ACORN75
project at St Fergus.

Note that the project is talking about gigawatts of energy and providing enough hydrogen to heat millions of homes.

I think that the Dolphyn Project is badly named, as Google thinks you’re looking for projects about aquatic animals.

Gigastack

This is said about Gigastack.

Meanwhile, a consortium featuring Ørsted, ITM Power, and Element Energy is celebrating after securing just shy of £500,000 to help move forward with its Gigastack feasibility study, a six-month project to investigate the potential for delivering bulk, low-cost, and zero-carbon hydrogen.

There’s more here on this page on the ITM Power web site, where this is the first paragraph.

Project to demonstrate delivery of bulk, low-cost and zero-carbon hydrogen through gigawatt scale PEM electrolysis, manufactured in the UK.

As you’d expect from the name, they are looking at creating gigawatts of hydrogen.

Steel

This is said about steel.

The funding awards came as the government also launched a new call for evidence seeking views on how the government should structure and manage a planned £250m Clean Steel Fund. The government said the proposed fund would help the industry embrace clean technologies and move on to “a pathway that is consistent with the UK Climate Change Act” and its new net zero emission goal.

So what has hydrogen got to do with steel?

Search for hydrogen steelmaking on Google and you get lots of articles including this article from the Stockholm Environmental Institute, which is entitled Hydrogen Steelmaking For A Low-Carbon Economy.

This is a paragraph.

In the spring of 2016, three Swedish companies – LKAB (iron ore mining), SSAB (steel manufacturer) and Vattenfall (power utility) – announced their ambition to develop and implement a novel process for fossil-free steel production in Sweden. This process would use hydrogen (instead of coal) for the direct reduction of iron oxide/ore (H-DR), combined with an electric arc furnace (EAF). It would be almost completely fossil-free when the hydrogen is produced from electrolysis of water by use of renewable electricity. The concept is called Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology, or HYBRIT for short.

My knowledge of process engineering, tells me, that even if the Swedes don’t succeed, someone will and here in the UK, we’re ideally placed to take advantage, as we have the wind power to produce the hydrogen.

Conclusion

The future’s bright, the future’s green hydrogen!

, The North Sea can provide us with more than enough hydrogen, so long as the wind blows and there’s water to electrolyse..

August 30, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

British Start-Up Beats World To Holy Grail Of Cheap Energy Storage For Wind And Solar

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Daily Telegraph.

If you think it sounds too good to be true, then watch this video from the company behind the technology; Highview Power.

The basic principle is very simple.

  • Electricity is used to turn air into liquefied air using refrigeration technology, that has been around for donkeys years.
  • This is stored in tanks under pressure.
  • To retrieve the energy, the liquid air is allowed to evaporate and creates electricity through a turbine and generator.

These engineers have taken several pieces of readily available industrial equipment, put it together in a novel way. to create an energy storage system.

I believe that this could be the Holy Grail of energy storage!

Why?

In World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant, I discussed how Aviva have invested a billion pounds in wind farms, as it gives them the sort of long-term return they need to provide pensions and pay out insurance claims.

But if you own a Gigawatt-sized wind farm in the North Sea, one thing is missing; the ability to store that energy in an affordable way.

So by investing in this type of energy storage and coupling it with their own wind farms, Aviva can control the output of the wind farms to what the National Grid needs.

All it needs is some more money, that needs a home. And Aviva have lots of that!

It’s also an investment with an ethical and green profile.

  • No polluting technology.
  • Proven technology.
  • Zero-carbon technology.
  • Non-toxic technology.
  • No use of exotic and scant resources.
  • No expensive or dangerous fuel
  • Affordable technology

Systems can also be distributed to where they are needed or where there is surplus electricity.

If you want to know more, watch the video and then look at other videos for Highview Power.

How Much Energy Can Highview Power’s Systems Store?

The biggest energy storage system in the UK is Electric Mountain, which has a power output of 1,728 MW and an energy storage capacity of 9.1 GWh.

That is some battey and it was built in the 1970s for a cost of £425 million, which would be £1.3billion today.

In a video it is claimed that Highview Power are designing a storage system, which has a power output of 200 MW and an energy storage capacity of 1.2 GWh.

You would only need to build nine and you’ve got another Electric Mountain!

Perhaps to maximise security of supply and obtain a fast response, the systems could be placed in Cumbria, Essex, Humberside, Kent, Merseyside, Norfolk, Suffolk, Thurso and Yorkshire.

Would We Need Nuclear Power?

Probably not!

For the same amount of money as a large nuclear power station, you’d get an awful lot of offshore wind farms and the storage thrown in.

Conclusion

This technology could solve the world’s energy problems.

 

 

I

 

August 26, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Donald Trump: ‘Make Plastic Straws Great Again’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Live.News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

US President Donald Trump has raised nearly $500,000 (£411,000) for his re-election campaign by selling plastic straws.

The branded straws, released in Republican Party-red, were launched on the 19th of July, selling out in a matter of hours before being restocked.

The site also links to another post, which is entitled. President Trump: ‘Wind turbines cause cancer’.

I am a reasonably knowledgeable engineer and scientist and know a Compleat Wanker, when I see one

How can so many Americans take this idiot seriously?

August 9, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Engie Partners Innovate UK For £4 Million Energy Transition Competition

The title of this post is the same as this article on Current News.

  • This is an interesting link-up between the UK Government Agency; Innovate UK and the French energy giant; Engie.
  • Wikipedia defines energy transition as a long-term structural change in energy systems.
  • It is the first time Innovate UK has secured overseas private funding.
  • It aims to fund the very best of \british innovation in clean growth innovation.
  • Grants of between £100,000 and £1.2 million will be awarded.
  • There appears to be no mention of Brexit!

It looks to me, like a very strong endorsement of British innovation and the British energy industry by the French.

I also think, that if there is one industry where the British and the French should be linked, it is energy.

The UK has the following energy sources and resources.

  • Offshore and onshore oil and gas.
  • Redundant gas fields for carbon capture and storage.
  • Offshore and onshore wind.
  • Large areas of sea for offshore wind.
  • We have 8,183 MW of installed offshore wind capacity, which is the largest in the world.
  • The possibilities of tidal and wave power from a long Western coast.
  • Vast experience in building off-shore structures in some of the worst weather on the planet.
  • Interconnectors to Norway and Iceland to import their surplus geothermal and hydroelectric energy.

Could we become a renewable-energy powerhouse?

The French have the following.

  • Nuclear power, some of which will need replacing.
  • Only 500 MW of offshore wind.
  • More solar power than we have.
  • Easy connection to North Africa for solar power.

But in some ways, most important is the several interconnectors between the UK and France, with more planned.

Conclusion

Between the UK and France, with help from Ireland, Spain and Portugal, can develop a massive Western European renewable energy powerhouse, backed  by the following, non-renewable or external sources.

  • French nuclear power.
  • North African solar.
  • Icelandic geothermal power
  • Icelandic hydro-electric power
  • Norwegian hydro-electric power

It should be noted that in a few years, the UK will have joined Iceland, Norway and North Africa outside of the European Union.

I believe that Sovereign Wealth Funds, Hedge Funds, Pension Funds, Insurance Companies and other individuals, groups and organisations will increasingly see renewable energy as good places for long-term investment of their funds.

The two big problems are as follows.

  • What happens when all these renewable energy sources are producing more energy than we can use?
  • What happens when there is an energy deficit?

Energy storage is the solution, but the amount needed is massive.

In Airport Plans World’s Biggest Car Parks For 50,000 Cars, I looked at the mathematics in using car parks for electric cars for energy storage.

These are a few figures.

  • Electric Mountain is the UK’s largest electricity storage scheme with a capacity of 9.1 GWh.
  • The largest battery in the world is the Bath County Pumped Storage Station with a capacity of 24 GWh, which works on similar principles to Electric Mountain.
  • Building another Electric Mountain would cost £1350 million, if we could find somewhere to put it.

But supposing half the 35.5 million cars and light goods vehicles in the UK were replaced by new electric vehicles containing a battery of around 20 kWh, that would be a total storage of 355 GWh or nearly forty Electric Mountains.

Conclusion

Harnessing all of these batteries will be an enormous challenge, but it will be ideas like this, that will enable the world to go carbon neutral by 2050.

But I don’t think we’ll ever see Trump or Xi Jinping in an electric limousine..

 

June 21, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment