Ed’s note: And it’s a wrap… #Enlit
It’s been three busy days, with many kilometres walked by the Smart Energy International team, many cups of coffee consumed and many, many hours of interviews undertaken. And it’s been amazing!
We have been able to engage with leaders from across the globe who have shared their perspectives on developments within the energy sector.
Impressions and trends across the course of the past three days include:
- A focus on utilising data to gain insightful information which will impact on operations.
- Reiteration of the message that decarbonisation cannot be achieved in isolation - this is not an effort which can be undertaken by any one company, country, region or even continent.
- Consumers are still important, but this is no longer a new development and is becoming part of the normal business landscape - although there is room for improvement.
- There is a desire to gain deeper understanding from the data which the proliferation of sensors on the network is providing.
- Speaking of data - discussions are still underway in terms of who owns what, who can use which data and how best to protect consumers and provide the level of detail that service providers need.
- The electrification of everything is on the cards - focus is shifting from the electrification of transport to encompass heating and cooling.
- Renewable energy technology is becoming more cost-effective and alternative forms of generation, such as tidal power, are gaining traction and becoming more commercially viable.
- Storage is still a focal point and will continue to be so as the efforts to decarbonise the energy sector increase.
These are just some initial impressions from what has been a truly enlightening event. I guess you can now say we are ‘Enlit’.
Until next time!
Claire Volkwyn, Smart Energy International
Enlit is Here!
The new unifying brand for European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe.
What if ...the entire sector could connect to shape the world’s energy future?
Through Enlit, we can.
Tidal energy is predicable, cheap and has great global potential
In a session called “Emerging Renewable Energy Technologies,” at POWERGEN Europe, three different tidal energy solution providers delivered the message that tidal energy has a place in the energy mix of tomorrow.
Drew Braxland, Director with Atlantis Turbines and Engineering Services gave the audience a glimpse at the Raz Blanchard pilot array in Normandy, France. It’s a 4-turbine project with installed capacity of 1.5 MW. The four turbines are each connected to one hub and connected to the grid by a single cable.
Blaxland emphasized that servicing the turbines, despite that fact that they are underwater, is not an issue. He said his company has proved that it can connect a turbine to the grid in 30 minutes and when performing O&M, the turbine can be lifted from the sea, serviced on the deck of a boat and returned to the ocean in under 24 hours.
Blaxland said the market potential for tidal energy is near 100 GW.
Chris Milne, CFO of Orbital Marine, then presented his company’s solution for floating tidal energy. He began by saying that the tidal energy industry had overpromised and underdelivered in the past and that he and his fellow presenters were here to say that tidal energy has improved.
“We are doing our bit now to prove that this is commercial technology that is deployable at scale,” he said.
Orbital marine’s device sits on top of the water and its turbines, which begin as wings, are lowered into it. These capture energy from the movement of the water. The technology is similar to propulsion on a boat, but works in reverse, with the movement of the water turning stationary turbines instead of vice versa.
Milne said that the installed cost of tidal energy from Orbital’s solution is in line with that of offshore wind and that O&M for the device, since it is floating, is in line with that of onshore wind. Special boats are not required to maintain the device as any service boat can be commissioned to bring technicians to the site, who then walk right onto it and situate themselves within it to work on it.
Here's a video of the project:
Milne said that levelized cost of energy, LCOE, will be less than 100 pounds per megawatt-hour. He added that the public is in favor of tidal energy, but said that policymaker support is still needed.
Terji Nielsen, Head of R&D with SEV, a utility on the Faroe Islands, presented next. He explained how subsea kites are helping the islands achieve their 100% renewable energy goal. Nielsen explained that the Faroe islands get a lot of wind and rain in the winter, so wind power and hydropower are important. In the summer, he said, they get a lot of sun, making solar important. Neilsen said that there are three straits in the islands and if they deploy tidal energy devices in all three, the energy becomes almost baseload.
Martin Edlund, CEO with Minestro AB, then gave an overview of the technology and costs associated with deploying it. Deep Green, the name of the technology, uses underwater kites to produce energy. Here's a video of the technology:
Edlund explained that the technology is publicly funded via various grants from the Swedish government. For now, the company is targeting the Faroe islands. Edlund explained that as a smaller community, decisions can be made quickly and the entire community is focused on the 100% renewable goal, which makes it an easy community to work with. He said it has been interesting to compare the cost of getting to 100% renewable energy with and without tidal energy.
Rounding out the Emerging Renewable Energy Technologies session was a look at the global offshore wind market from Alberto Toril from the International Energy Agency and a glimpse at self-consumption of PV in France, given by Enedis’ Marc Gratton.
Initiate! Panel: Women in Energy
The New Innovation Paradigm
The “Women in Energy” panel, co-organised by EUW and ENEDIS, focused on the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in a mostly populated by men sector.
Issues like mentoring, the importance of the woman’s perspective, as well as equal opportunities for men and women in energy, were addressed and commented upon by both the ladies in the panel and those at the audience.
The ladies of the panel were also representing various Countries, from Sweden and France to the US and India, so the audience had the opportunity to hear first hand the issues women in the energy sector are facing in various countries and how they tackle them.
Norway homes poised for IoT heating and water solution
Norwegian households will soon for the first time have access to a heating and hot water control solution that embraces the Internet of Energy for the smart home. It comes as the result of a partnership between Norwegian energy provider Istad Kraft and UK smart energy solutions firm geo.
The two companies have spent three years developing, designing and testing the solution, based on geo’s Cosy heating, and unveiled their partnership today at European Utility Week in Paris.
The roll-out to customers will start in December in the Møre og Romsdal region and will mean that they can easily manage the energy they are using and cut down on unnecessary heating and hot water by using a smart phone app that provides insight of all heat sources in one place.
The launch is a culmination of extensive trials to ensure Cosy meets the demands of extreme temperature changes, long, cold winters and the flexible needs of Norwegian families.
geo and Istad Kraft have collaborated to test the solution in home and cabin systems where multiple home heat sources range from electric panels, underfloor heating through to heat pumps and hot water systems.
“This is the first time that householders in Norway have been able to get access to a multi-zone heating and hot water system that allows them to manage energy from their mobiles in such a way that they can reduce consumption and save money, also by the linking of Nordpool prices by the hour, without any compromise to their comfort,”
said Rune Humlung, Managing Director at Istad Kraft. “Bringing a solution like geo’s Cosy to the Norwegian market enables consumers to realise their socio-economic and sustainable goals and enjoy the Internet of energy for the smart home.”
Chief executive of Cambridge-headquartered geo, Patrick Caiger-Smith, said: “We have worked very closely with Istad Kraft to meet the sustainable and very specific design requirements of Norwegian homes. Cosy Nordics compliments clean design lines and can be installed quickly as a retrofit to existing homes as well as new build properties. It will work with smart meters, and unlike other smart home systems, Cosy will continue to work even if the home Internet connection goes down.”
He added: “The intelligence in our Internet Of Energy solution is founded in our unique machine learning data science algorithms developed by our own Cambridge Data Scientists. This intelligence ensures that our systems continue to learn, grow and add value to our solutions as they seamlessly optimise and balance the heating, comfort and cost benefits in the home by the sophisticated linking of hourly Nordpool tariff prices.”
Siemens opens ‘treasure trove of data’ for distribution grids
Siemens today unveiled its new Grid Diagnostic Suite at European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe in Paris.
The Grid Diagnostic Suite initially includes four cloud-based applications which collect data from new or existing field devices for protection, distribution automation and power quality. This data is stored and analyzed in the cloud and Siemens says requires almost no additional engineering effort.
At a press conference today, Siemens’ chief executive of Smart Infrastructure, Cedrik Neike, said that by unlocking the data in distribution grids, Siemens was “opening up a treasure trove that already exists and has never been tapped before”.
Siemens said that distribution grid operators and operators of electricity grids in industrial parks will now be able to quickly tap into useful information from devices installed anywhere in the smart grid. This will enable grid faults, for example, to be detected at an early stage and quickly rectified.
After information is collected, vulnerabilities can be identified, and necessary measures can be implemented before any damage occurs. In this way, Siemens says that Internet of Things applications in the suite enhance the availability of power grids while enabling them to be operated cost-efficiently.
“With our new IoT-based offering for energy automation, we are helping to manage the increasing complexity of power grids and prepare for future challenges,” said Robert Klaffus, chief executive of the Digital Grid business unit at Siemens Smart Infrastructure.
|Robert Klaffus, chief executive of the Digital Grid business unit at Siemens Smart Infrastructure||Sabine Erlinghagen, Siemens Digital Grid|
“Data can now be accessed quickly and easily via existing communication channels. In the central MindSphere Cloud, users can then smoothly consolidate, visualize and evaluate data and, if necessary, react quickly. We are paving the way for truly smart grids.”
Siemens Digital Grid Sabine Erlinghagen told journalists: “We are ushering in a new era when grid operations get more complex and there is a fundamental shift in planning and operating the grid.
“Grids are changing fast. Utilities and grid operators need to accelerate their processes to keep up with these changes.”
Meet Siemens’ experts this week at European Utility Week!
Collaboration and partnership key to energy transition
At the kickoff keynote session during European Utility Week & POWERGEN Europe 2019, speaker after speaker urged industry collaboration and partnerships as the only way that the world will meet its decarbonisation goals.
Indeed, this conference is the first time that European Utility Week & POWERGEN Europe have been housed under the same roof as co-located events. The move is part of the Clarion Energy goal of being an end-to-end power event, serving the industry from the energy end-user to the power generator itself.
The keynote began with a look at the growth of renewable energy in a speech given by the IRENA director general, Francesco La Camera. He showed via a series of slides the great momentum that renewables are gaining all over the world, but said there is still a long way to go.
IRENA estimates $110 trillion will be needed to meet Europe’s 2050 decarbonisation goals, an amount that is equivalent to investing about 2% of global GDP per year. However, Le Camera said he believes that every dollar invested will result in a return of $3-$7 per dollar invested.
“Join us,” said Le Camera in closing. He urged the industry to collaborate by joining IRENA through which it can share ideas and meet potential new partners.
Enedis CEO, Philippe Monloubou, was next to take the stage. He spoke of the industrialisation of the energy sector and said he believes it is already underway. He predicted that by 2030 France will have more than 100 GW of renewables and 8 GW of that will be self-consumption. In addition, he said that EU territories will need to be more interconnected in order to enable more energy trading and that the consumer will be the center of the energy transition.
“Everyone must be able to become a player in the energy transition,” he said.
Next, the CEO of Smart Infrastructure at Siemens, Cedrik Neike, spoke of the urgency of climate change, asking the audience if they felt we are doing enough to combat it. (The majority did not.)
Neike emphasized the importance of tearing down silos between different energy sectors (transportation, heating/cooling, and electricity) in order to foster collaboration.
“No single company will be able to solve all of those elements,” he said.
He also hinted at a collaboration between Siemens and the government of Canada that will explore using heat as an energy storage medium for large-scale storage.
Start-up consultant Noortje van Heijst was next on the stage. She asked the audience to consider the role that young talent and startups can play in the energy transition.
“I believe that startups are the driving force,” she said, adding that investors and leaders of energy companies should pay attention to them. Van Heijst will also be speaking at the Initiate! hub this week.
Echoing van Heijst’s comments was the director of Enel’s Global Infrastructure and Networks Division. He spoke of Enel’s commitment to innovation through its Open Innovability platform, which allows startups to submit ideas to Enel for consideration.
To conclude the speaker presentation portion of the keynote, Mark Gainsborough with Shell New Energies took the stage. Shell New Energies was formed in 2016 and has been investing in and outright purchasing startups for the past few years. Gainsborough mentioned the company’s investments in Sonnen and Limejump as good examples of Shell betting on the future of the clean energy sector.
“For the energy transition, it will take partnerships on a huge scale,” he said, adding that the startups it purchases can take advantage of Shell’s “scale, footprint, and brand.”
He said the partnerships are what bring new opportunities around the world and added that Shell has no intention of slowing down.
“Watch this space,” he said.
Nuclear a viable part of global energy transition, says S&P report
Nuclear power generation should remain a part of the global energy mix despite challenges related to tightening regulations, safety concerns, aging asset bases, and increasingly volatile energy markets.
That’s the conclusion of two new reports from S&P Global Ratings, which is taking part this week in European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe in Paris.
"We see little economic rationale for new nuclear builds in the US or Western Europe, owing to massive cost escalations and renewables cost-competitiveness, which should lead to a material decline in nuclear generation in those countries by 2040," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Elena Anankina.
But she added that “developing countries such as China and Russia continue to build new nuclear capacities to supply growing energy demand, supported by funding from the government or from state-related banks and significantly lower construction costs."
Nuclear currently accounts for 10% of global power generation. Carbon-free generation that existing nuclear assets provide, combined with steady growth in renewables, will be important at least over the next few decades to meet climate goals and to support stable electricity supply given intermittent nature of renewables, says the reports, ‘The Energy Transition: Nuclear Dead and Alive’ and 'The Energy Transition: Different Nuclear Energy Policies, Diverging Global Credit Trends’.
S&P states that “nuclear emits no CO2, is a reliable energy source, and promotes grid stability. The post-2040 outlook for the nuclear industry will depend on development of broad-scale energy storage solutions--through batteries or hydrogen--and smart grids, as well as on government support.”
Anankina explained: "We expect the credit trajectories of nuclear companies worldwide to differ depending on national energy policies and the degree of state support for nuclear.”
Other important credit drivers S&P highlights include merchant exposure, asset efficiency, construction risk, waste, and end-of-life management, as well as availability of long-term offtake contracts, subsidies, or funding from government-related entities.
In most countries, the cost of nuclear construction has dramatically increased in the past decade to meet more drastic security and safety requirements.
Meet S&P Global at Stand P41.
Geo launches intelligent charging pact with Wallbox
At European Utility Week this morning, UK smart energy products geo announced a partnership with Wallbox, a developer of intelligent charging solutions for electric and hybrid cars.
The two companies will work together to install Wallbox chargers alongside geo’s home energy management and home battery systems, with the aim of allowing customers to benefit from tariff optimisation, solar and grid signals.
The partnership has been enabled by geo’s Core4Grid initiative, a project funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which integrates Core, the user-friendly smart energy manager at the heart of geo’s Hybrid Home system, with third-party products such as the Wallbox electric vehicle chargers.
Geo says householders will be able to optimise how and when they use energy, improve energy management, and make energy requirements in the home more flexible.
Following a recent testing phase, the first combined systems will be installed between now and the end of the year with geo integrating and coordinating the charge points and Wallbox using its connection with geo to respond to grid signals and deliver grid flexibility services.
Cambridge-headquartered Geo says the deal is “a significant development in the Core4Grid project, recognising the high proportion of home energy use that is increasingly required from the charging of electric vehicles, and optimising EV integration at the heart of the Hybrid Home”.
Geo says the collaboration with Wallbox has allowed it to introduce a first in UK energy management - linking electric vehicles with solar, home battery and demand side response and supporting the growth in smart electrification of vehicles.
“We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Wallbox,” said geo chief executive Patrick Caiger-Smith. “It’s great for us to be able to bring EV charging into our suite of smart controls, but even more importantly, in Wallbox we have found a like-minded partner that shares our passion for user-friendly smart energy management. Wallbox’s design-led technology and sophisticated API cloud platform have been crucial to the successful integration into our Hybrid Home architecture.”
Wallbox chief executive Enric Asuncion said: “Being at the forefront of grid-responsive EV charging is very exciting for us,” said. “Our involvement in the Core4Grid project puts our electric vehicle charging roadmap in line with geo’s DSR energy abilities and this will lead to a unique home energy experience for customers.”
Plastocor unveils power sector anti-fouling alliance
Power sector anti-corrosion specialist plastocor-international is to perform new research into anti-fouling solutions for the energy market in collaboration with The Chemours Company, a leader in non-stick coatings which owns the Teflon brand.
The two companies unveiled their alliance this morning at European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe in Paris.
The inspiration for the collaboration arose from the intuitive assumption that non-stick surface characteristics can play an important role in the reduction of fouling in the targeted applications.
The research takes an ambient curing, non-VOC epoxy coating system made with plastocor technology as the base and looks to enhance that system by adding the typical low friction, nonstick surface properties that Teflon coatings bring.
“By joining forces with Chemours’ expertise in non-stick technology, we aim to bring an enhanced solution to our customers,” said says Felicia Kreiselmaier, chief executive of plastocor-international, which provides solutions for condensers, heat exchangers and cooling water cycle equipment.
“Our prevailing excellent abrasion resistance and corrosion protection combined with outstanding non-stick properties will tackle the biofouling problem specifically. This will result in further reduction of unscheduled downtime and significant cost savings.”
Wilbert Broeksmit, Global Product Manager Coatings at The Chemours Company, added: “It is always exciting when two companies like ours find each other and are able to merge the best of both technologies. There is no doubt in my mind that we will come up with a solution that will significantly improve anti-fouling in the targeted applications.”
Smart Energy International launches The Global Power & Energy Elites
Launched today at the Oracle booth, this annual journal gives readers a glimpse into the personal leadership styles of influencers at the forefront of innovation and transition in the power and energy sector.
The publication’s cornerstone content recognises industry-specific projects and leaders that are shaping the modern power and energy markets. Projects featured in the publication are those setting the benchmarks in their regions and/or globally spanning across generation, transmission and distribution.
The final selection of projects and leaders are made by an external advisory board composed of highly experienced and knowledgeable industry figures from around the world.
This year’s advisory board includes:
- Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, Editor of ESI Africa
- Akarin Suwannarat, Chief Technical Officer, Energy Absolute PCL
- Ben Gardner, President of Northeast Group
- Bobbi Harris, Founder of Smart City
- Mohamed Rali Badissy, Senior advisor for the US Department of Commerce
- Roberto Zangrandi, Secretary-general, EDSO
Mike Ballard, Vice President Utilities Industry Strategy at Oracle Utilities, and Ross Hastie, Group Director of Media at Clarion Energy, toasted to this year’s nominees for their hard work and efforts in transforming the power and energy sector.
Click here for more information: www.global-energy-elites.com
Pitching day for Initiate! startups
Today Initiate! hosted the corporate-startup matchmaking programme A2I, where:
- VARTA selected othermo
- Agile:E.On selected Prisma Photonics
- Iberdrola Ventures selected Enline Transmission
- and Infoware selected Blink Energy.
A big congratulations to all and make sure you come by the Initiate! Hub to meet them!