Energy World - December 2012
Not yesterday’s fuel – coal use grows around the world
A golden age for gas?
Global energy map is changing; EC biofuels proposal pleases no-one; Fall in onshore wind O&M costs; Hydropower can double by 2050; Quick-charging EV standard; EU emissions fell in 2011
Hitachi takes up Horizon nuclear options; Four projects short-listed for CCS competition; Ofgem proposes simpler energy tariffs; Scotland aims for 50% renewables by 2015; Cash back offer for early Green Deal participants
Clean coal – new global challenges and potential opportunities
As well as being the world’s largest user of coal, China is also making considerable efforts to improve coal-fired power plant efficiencies – and may also become a dominant manufacturer and provider of clean coal technology and, perhaps, CCS equipment. So the audience at the 2012 Coal Science Lecture, in London in October, heard from Dr Andrew Minchener OBE.
Oil and gas
Global oil market growth slows; shale gas ‘no silver bullet’ for UK energy security
Emissions controls close UK coal-fired power stations
Recent issues of Energy World have included news stories of planned closures for several of our older coal-fired power stations. Here, Robert Stokes looks at the background behind the closure programme, caused by tightening European emissions controls.
Will king coal retain its crown in India?
Coal is the key ingredient for powering the growth of the economy of India, which has ambitious plans to build more, and larger, coal-fired power stations – the so-called ‘ultra mega power projects’.
The country also holds enormous reserves of coal, most of which is currently surface-mined. Here, fossil fuels specialist Dr Andrew W Cox surveys the current scene and looks to the future for coal in India.
Getting the most out of waste and biomass
New technologies, using fuels such as biomass and waste, can help to keep coal-fired plants running for longer. Marc Height reports from Finland.
London Array begins to export power
As the world’s largest offshore wind farm nears completion, Marc Height went to have a look at the project to view the turbine commissioning process, and the first spinning turbine sending electricity to the UK’s grid.
Biomass boilers in Warwick; wind power at Bristol sewage works; solar PV and the future of Europe’s electricity network
The prospects for community energy
Community energy schemes are increasing in popularity. Here, Giles Bristow describes what can be done to make the most of this enthusiasm.
A new transmission system to bring down costs for offshore renewables
Moving from a system where every offshore wind farm is connected to the grid on an individual basis, to one where larger projects are connected in a coordinated manner offshore, will be vital in reducing costs for offshore renewables. Martin Simpson gives the view from The Crown Estate.
The global solar industry continues to experience phenomenal growth, but trade disputes with China, the Eurozone crisis and consolidation are all clouding the industry. James Woollard takes a look at the global politics and offers one way forward for solar in Europe.
Why solar is still an attractive investment in the UK
Paul Gribben explains how solar panels continue to offer significant returns on investment for UK businesses.
Will the Green Deal cause ‘a revolution in British property’?
The government’s Green Deal mechanism, aimed at increasing the uptake of energy efficiency measures in UK homes, is almost upon us. But will the initiative have the intended positive effect?
Jan Rosenow and Nick Eyre do the sums.