All-Energy 2019, The UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference, takes place at Glasgow’s SEC on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 May 2019. Meet Powersystems UK Team exhibiting this year on stand F51.
All-Energy 2018 was a fantastic success. The two-day conference and exhibition was attended by over 7,000 from the UK and overseas. Coming together to forge business relationships and share knowledge that will ultimately chart the future direction of the UK’s clean energy success story.
In 2019 representatives from Powersystems 70-strong specialist renewable energy team, will be there in force over the two days to provide commercial updates on; renewable energy technology, (Solar, Wind, Bio Mass and Anaerobic Digestion plants), Energy Storage, STOR, electric vehicle infrastructure and grid connections. We will meet clients and new contacts and share our 44 year, market-leading renewable power expertise for all your project needs.
Onshore Wind and Offshore Wind
The announcement of a new Offshore Wind Sector Deal on 7 March which will not only deliver at least 30GW by 2030, but also seek to employ more than 33% women by the same date, more than double the current figure, it’s great news for our industry. And all this whilst helping pave the way to a cleaner, sustainable energy model at a time when the effects of climate change are in the headlines on a daily basis putting the sector centre stage in the UK Government’s wider Industrial Strategy – the new deal is a huge boost for developers, existing and prospective supply chain and for the UK economy at large. Speak with Powersystems about your Infrastructure and connection solution for your onshore needs and offshore projects.
Emerging Solar Energy Technologies
Research and development continue to improve existing solar energy technologies while identifying emerging innovations such as photosynthetic-based solar energy technologies and solar enhanced fuels. Innovations and developments in solar energy technology and enhanced fuels will benefit everyone by making affordable and reliable energy more accessible to more UK businesses and households.
There has been a large uptake in the number of solar parks being granted planning consent in the UK. Powersystems has been involved with many of these providing grid connection schemes at 11kV & 33kV. Each scheme is designed by our team of engineers and covers the requirements of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) substation, site wide earthing and cabling to the point of connection. The whole process is managed, from initial connection application to final energisation and adoption. In the South West alonePowersystems has connected in excess of 100MW of solar farms Photovoltaic ElectricityGenerating Facilities, Solar Photovoltaic Panels and associated electrical infrastructure.
Energy Storage Growth
Energy Storage is poised for significant growth in the UK. This is due to a resurgence in confidence for renewable energy, making it the cheapest most sustainable power available. Opportunities in energy storage are aplenty. Storage is overcoming the limiting issue of intermittent renewable energy and is widely understood as the missing piece in the puzzle. According to experts the many opportunities presented require careful consideration. There generally isn’t one revenue stream that storage can use to create a viable business model – it’s more about tapping into multiple revenue streams and being creative about how you make the most of your asset.
Energy Storage Insights Discuss with Powersystems on Stand 51
Discuss you STOR project
Hybrid storage getting the best of both worlds
On the grid understanding the regulations, capacity and infrastructure
Applying battery systems to existing renewable energy schemes
The integration of batteries for EV charging points and other smart systems
Grid Connection – From Application to Energisation
As an Independent Connection Provider (ICP), Powersystems have been providing grid connections across all of the distribution areas of the UK. We have carried out a large number of grid connections for a varied clientele, ranging from Data Centres, Industrial Customers, Formula One Racing Teams, Health Trusts, Water Industry, Major Film Studio/Visitor Attraction and the Renewable Energy Sector. Under our full scope of National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) accreditation we are able to undertake connection design work, cable installation, cable jointing, substation design and construction, switchgear and transformer installation and testing and commissioning services.
We have civil construction capability which enables us to offer clients a ‘turnkey’ connection service to include trenching works, directional drilling, substation building, construction and design from small 11kV substations up to 132kV primary substations. We also offer a grid connection ENA application and feasibility study service through our engineering administration department, where Powersystems will deal with all aspects of your application and liaise with the DNO on your behalf.
All associated civil engineering works including excavation, cable laying and back-filling.
Powersystems Anaerobic Digestion (AD) – Turning Waste Into Renewable Energy
Anaerobic Digestion can play an important role as a means of dealing with organic waste and avoiding, by more efficient capture and treatment, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are associated with its disposal to landfill. AD also offers other benefits, such as recovering energy and producing valuable biofertilisers. The biogas can be used to generate heat and electricity, converted into biofuels or cleaned and injected into the gas grid.
Anaerobic Digestion a Renewable Energy Technology
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is one of a number of renewable energy technologies that have become commercially available to agriculture and industrial sectors. A key attribute of AD is that it offers multiple environmental and economic benefits, particularly for UK dairy and livestock farms. Alongside their potential to deliver low carbon energy, on-farm AD plants also appear to be the most promising mitigation measure for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from manures and slurries. Take a look at a Powersystems Anaerobic Digestion Plant Case Study
Electric Vehicles (EV), grid technology and battery storage
The global market opportunity in electric vehicles is predicted to top over $500 billion between now and 2025. This potential for transformative change creates huge opportunities for both new and existing players in the automotive sector. Speak with Powersystems EV Infrastructure team to identify how local grid technologies, battery storage and V2G systems can come together to make this happen.
The Future Is Renewable Energy
There are some fantastic opportunities for industries wanting to future-proof and to drive change. The Powersystems renewable energy team see their role to educate and share information on how this is likely to be applied practically over the next five years and beyond.
Are you developing a grid connected generation project rated at 0.8kW or above? Engineering Recommendation (EREC) G99 applies to you!
Powersystems are making preparations for the new ENA G99 Engineering Recommendation. Which is coming into effect at the end of April. This will have a significant impact on all new solar, wind, battery, CHP, and diesel generation schemes connecting to the distribution network.
Energy Networks Association (ENA)
Is the voice of the networks. Representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.
ENA EREC G99
Was issued in July 2018, by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), following the assimilation of the EU Commission Regulation on harmonising network standards, known as Requirements for Generators (RfG), into GB Distribution and Grid Codes. It has been written to comply fully with RfG as well as including other requirements for connecting into the GB Power System.
It encompasses and replaces the long serving EREC G59 with changes to the application process, compliance requirements and commissioning requirements. G99 generators will need to be aware of the new process and requirements.
Powersystems Staff Training on G99
Powersystems lead Electrical Design Engineer, Ross Falconer, carried out in-house training session with staff this week on G99. G99 replaces Engineering Recommendation G59 and details the requirements for generation equipment connecting to distribution networks.
The new G99 standard has more onerous operating requirements compared to the previous G59 standard, especially for generation schemes that are 1MW or larger. Generators are now required to provide; frequency response, fault ride through, fast fault current injection, voltage control, and variable reactive power; capabilities that were previously handled by large grid code compliant power stations. These new requirements for distribution connected generation schemes will give DNO’s much greater control to actively manage generation within their networks.
Frequency Response Requirements
Generators must now control their active power output in response to frequency changes on the grid. The frequency response requirements are divided into two modes: Limited Frequency Sensitive Mode (LFSM) and Frequency Sensitive Mode (FSM). Limited Frequency Sensitive Mode requires that generators decrease their active power output (MW) if the frequency rises over 50.4Hz, and increase their active power output if the frequency falls below 49.5Hz. Whereas Frequency Sensitive Mode (FSM) is a more onerous requirement for larger generators that requires the installation of a fast acting proportional frequency control device that can respond to frequency changes and can quickly ramp up or ramp down active power by 10%.
Generators over 1MW must now remain connected to the grid when there are significant voltage depressions due to faults on the grid. This is known as fault ride through capability, and helps avoid blackouts occurring on the grid by ensuring that if one generation site trips out due to a fault it does not take out other generation sites along with it. The depth of the voltage depression that a generator must remain stable for varies depending of the generator size, with the largest generators needing to ride through a complete loss of voltage for 140ms.
Fast Fault Current Injection Requirements
Generators over 1MW also need to support the system during a fault by quickly injecting reactive current in order to keep the grid voltage from dropping too low. Again, this capability helps avoid losing further consumers and generation sites during faults by ensuring the grid voltage is kept as high as possible.
Voltage Control Requirements
G99 requires that generators have a voltage control system that can inject or absorb reactive power into the grid to control voltage. The DNO will instruct the generator to operate in one of three modes: Voltage Control; Reactive Power Control; or Power Factor Control.
Reactive Power Capability
The reactive power capability requirements for generators have also been enhanced. For Power Generating Modules between 1MW and 10MW when operating at registered capacity they must be capable of continuous operation between 0.95 lagging to 0.95 leading power factor at the connection point. Generators larger than this have specific reactive power capability windows that they must be able to operate (at all points) within.
Testing Procedures Conform to the latest G99 Protection Settings
The G99 Engineering Recommendation also details revised protection settings for the automatic disconnection of generation in the event of voltage or frequency disturbances on the grid. Our commissioning engineers are updating their G99 testing procedures to ensure all our generation schemes commissioned from May 2019 onwards are tested to the latest G99 protection settings.
Developers and generation equipment suppliers
Developers and generation equipment suppliers need to be aware of the new G99 regulations in order to ensure their products have the capability to meet these higher performance requirements.
Powersystems can assist by designing a site electrical system with appropriate measuring points to allow generator controllers to perform to G99. In some cases, the generating unit will be incapable of meeting the G99 requirements on its own, and it will be necessary to install additional compensation equipment such as reactors, capacitors, or STATCOMs.
Powersystems can identify where this is the case, and design and build electrical infrastructure that works in harmony with generation equipment to fulfil your G99 obligations.
This Engineering Recommendation (EREC) The Purpose
This Engineering Recommendation (EREC) is published by the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and comes into effect on 27 April 2019 for Power Generating Modules first installed on or after that date.
It has been prepared and approved for publication under the authority of the Great Britain Distribution Code Review Panel. Power Generating Modules that fully comply with this EREC G99 can be connected in advance of 27 April 2019 as they also comply with the pre-existing EREC G59 requirements.
The purpose of the Engineering Recommendation (EREC) is to provide requirements for the connection of Power Generating Facilities to the Distribution Networks of licensed Distribution Network Operators (DNOs).
It is intended to address all aspects of the connection process from standards of functionality to site commissioning, such that Customers, Manufacturers and Generators are aware of the requirements that will be made by the local DNO before the Power Generating Facility will be accepted for connection to the Distribution Network.
The guidance given is designed to facilitate the connection of Power Generating Module(s) whilst maintaining the integrity of the Distribution Network, both in terms of safety and supply quality. It applies to all Power Generating Module(s) within the scope of Section 2, irrespective of the type of electrical machine and equipment used to convert any primary energy source into electrical energy.
It is produced using natural resources that are constantly replaced and never run out
Just as there are many natural sources of energy, there are many renewable energy technologies. Solar is one of the most well-known, wind power is one of the most widespread, and hydropower is one of the oldest. Other renewable technologies harness geothermal energy, bioenergy or ocean energy to produce heat or electricity.
Equally exciting are new enabling technologies that help to manage renewable energy so it can be produced day and night while strengthening the electricity grid. These enabling technologies include battery-storage, supply prediction and smart grid technologies.
There are many different forms
Most of these renewable energies depend in one way or another on sunlight
Wind and hydroelectric power are the direct result of differential heating of the Earth’s surface which leads to air moving about (wind) and precipitation forming as the air is lifted
Solar energy is the direct conversion of sunlight using panels or collectors
Biomass energy is stored sunlight contained in plants
Other renewable energies that do not depend on sunlight are geothermal energy, which is a result of radioactive decay in the crust combined with the original heat of accreting the Earth, and tidal energy, which is a conversion of gravitational energy
Powersystems remains at the forefront of the Renewable and the Power Generation Industry
With so many projects successfully constructed and exporting power to the grid, whether requiring a turnkey installation, electrical infrastructure or grid connection, Powersystems are an experienced partner in all forms of renewable energy generation project. Growing environmental awareness has heightened interest in all forms of renewable energy.
Powersystems remain at the forefront Renewable Energy Industries with expertise in Solar Energy, Solar Parks, Solar Farms, Photovoltaic Electricity Generating Facilities, Solar Photovoltaic Panels and associated electrical infrastructure
Powersystems Solar Energy Project
Solar energy is energy generated from the sun’s heat or sunlight. Solar power is energy captured from the sun which is converted into electricity, or used to heat air, water, or other fluids.
This form of energy relies on the nuclear fusion power from the core of the Sun. This energy can be collected and converted in a few different ways.
Powersystems have connected in excess of 100MW of solar farms across the South West
This technology converts sunlight directly into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) cells. The solar PV cells are combined in panels. They can be put on rooftops, integrated into building designs and vehicles, or installed by the thousands across fields to create large-scale solar power plants.
Concentrating solar PV uses fields of sun-tracking mirrors called heliostats to concentrate sunlight onto highly efficient PV cells located inside a receiver at the top of a mast or tower.
This technology converts sunlight into thermal energy (or heat), which in the past has been used mainly for space heating or to heat water (such as in a solar hot water system).
This heat energy can be used to drive a refrigeration cycle to provide solar-based cooling, or to make steam that can be used to generate electricity using a steam turbine. Solar thermal energy can also be used in some industrial processes that currently use gas to produce heat.
Concentrating solar thermal technology harvests the sun’s heat to produce efficient, large-scale power generation. It uses a field of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a thermal receiver, which transfers the heat to a thermal energy storage system. Energy can then be released from storage as required, day and night.
Powersystems Solar Energy
Emerging solar technologies
Research and development continue to improve existing solar energy technologies while identifying emerging innovations such as photosynthetic-based solar energy technologies and solar enhanced fuels.
Innovations and developments in solar energy technology and enhanced fuels will benefit everyone by making affordable and reliable energy more accessible to more UK businesses and households.
Powersystems and your Solar / Solar Park Project
There has been a large uptake in the number of solar parks being granted planning consent in the UK. Powersystems has been involved with many of these providing grid connection schemes at 11kV & 33kV. Each scheme is designed by our team of engineers and covers the requirements of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) substation, site wide earthing and cabling to the point of connection. The whole process is managed, from initial connection application to final energisation and adoption.
Powersystems can perform much of the onsite work as well
Installation of HV cabling and terminations
Design and Build of Intake Substation
Incorporation of G59 protection
Specification and supply of Inverter Transformers
Final Test and Commissioning
Take a look at Powersystems Solar Park Case Study Projects
Powersystems remain at the forefront Renewable Energy Industries with expertise in Wind Farms, Wind Turbines and associated electrical infrastructure
The movement of the atmosphere is driven by differences of temperature at the Earth’s surface due to varying temperatures of the Earth’s surface when lit by sunlight.
Wind energy can be used to pump water or generate electricity, but requires extensive areal coverage to produce significant amounts of energy.
Wind power is generated by converting the kinetic energy of the atmosphere into useable electricity with wind turbines.
Powersystems UK projects help connect 24% of all U.K. Land Based Wind Farm generation
Wind is generated by complex mechanisms involving the rotation of the Earth, the heat of the sun, the cooling effect of the oceans and polar ice caps, temperature gradients between land and sea, and the physical effects of mountains and other obstacles.
Wind turbines convert the force of the wind into a torque (rotational force), which is then used to propel an electric generator to create electricity.
Wind energy power stations (known as wind farms) commonly draw on the output of multiple wind turbines through a central connection point to the electricity grid. Across the world there are both on-shore (on land) and offshore (out to sea) wind energy projects.
Wind Turbine installation
How is wind energy used in UK?
The United Kingdom is one of the best locations for wind power in the world and is considered to be the best in Europe.
In 2017 Wind power contributed 15% of UK electricity generation and 18.5% in the final quarter of 2017.
Onshore wind power has the lowest levelized cost per MWh of electricity generation technologies in the United Kingdom when a carbon cost is applied to generating technologies. In 2016, the UK generated more electricity from wind power than from coal.
Wind power delivers a growing percentage of the electricity of the United Kingdom
By mid-March 2019, it consisted of 9,685 wind turbines (Powersystems has completed 25% of these projects) with a total installed capacity of over 20.7 gigawatts and 12,848 megawatts of onshore capacity and 7,895 megawatts of offshore capacity.
This placed the United Kingdom at this time as the world’s fourth largest producer of wind power.
Polling of public opinion consistently shows strong support for wind power in the UK, with nearly three quarters of the population agreeing with its use, even for people living near onshore wind turbines.
Through the Renewables Obligation, British electricity suppliers are now required by law to provide a proportion of their sales from renewable sources such as wind power or pay a penalty fee.
The supplier then receives a Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) for each MW·h of electricity they have purchased. Within the United Kingdom wind power is the largest source of renewable electricity and the second largest source of renewable energy after biomass.
Overall, wind power raises costs of electricity slightly. In 2015, it was estimated that the use of wind power in the UK had added £18 to the average yearly electricity bill. This was the additional cost to consumers of using wind to generate about 9.3% of the annual total about £2 for each 1%
Offshore wind power has been significantly more expensive than onshore, which raised costs. Offshore wind projects completed in 2012–14 had a levelised cost of electricity of £131/MWh compared to a wholesale price of £40–50/MWh
In 2017 the Financial Times reported that new offshore wind costs had fallen by nearly a third over four years, to an average of £97/MWh, meeting the government’s £100/MWh target four years early.
Later in 2017 two offshore wind farm bids were made at a cost of £57.50/MWh for construction by 2022–23, nearly half the cost of a recent new nuclear power contract
Powersystems and your Wind Farm / Wind Turbine Project
Experience in the design and installation of high voltage electrical infrastructure has placed Powersystems in a position ideally suited to carryout wind farm electrical balance of plant contracts.
Since our first wind farm installation at Goonhilly Downs in 1992 we have been actively involved with wind farm projects ranging from single turbines to 60 plus turbine sites.
Powersystems engineers are experienced in Wind Farms and Wind Turbine Projects
Design, specification, installation and commissioning of wind farm switchgear, transformers, cable infrastructure, earth systems and SCADA cabling, enabling the complete installation to be carried out.
On each wind farm site Powersystems carry out grid connection compliance studies, ensuring that the requirements of the connection or grid code are met.
In addition to the on site electrical balance of plant works Powersystems can provide grid connections to wind farm sites, and have done so in some extremely remote and challenging locations.
Powersystems remain at the forefront Renewable Energy Industries with expertise in Hydropower Electricity Generating Stations, Hydro Electric Schemes, Hydropower schemes, Run-Of-River Hydro Scheme, Hydroelectric Generating Station, Pumped Hydro, Storage Hydro and associated electrical infrastructure
Hydropower uses the force or energy of moving water to generate power. This power is also called ‘hydroelectricity’.
Hydro Electric Scheme
Hydroelectricity is electricity produced from hydropower. In 2015, hydropower generated 16.6% of the world’s total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity and was expected to increase about 3.1% each year for the next 25 years.
Hydropower is produced in 150 countries, with the Asia-Pacific region generating 33 percent of global hydropower in 2013. China is the largest hydroelectricity producer, with 920 TWh of production in 2013, representing 16.9 percent of domestic electricity use.
The cost of hydroelectricity is relatively low, making it a competitive source of renewable electricity. The hydro station consumes no water, unlike coal or gas plants. The average cost of electricity from a hydro station larger than 10 megawatts is 3 to 5 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour.
With a dam and reservoir it is also a flexible source of electricity since the amount produced by the station can be varied up or down very rapidly (as little as a few seconds) to adapt to changing energy demands.
Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct waste, and in many cases, has a considerably lower output level of greenhouse gases than fossil fuel powered energy plants.
There are four broad hydropower typologies
Run-of-river hydropower: a facility that channels flowing water from a river through a canal or penstock to spin a turbine. Typically a run-of-river project will have little or no storage facility. Run-of-river provides a continuous supply of electricity (base load), with some flexibility of operation for daily fluctuations in demand through water flow that is regulated by the facility.
Storage hydropower: typically a large system that uses a dam to store water in a reservoir. Electricity is produced by releasing water from the reservoir through a turbine, which activates a generator. Storage hydropower provides base load as well as the ability to be shut down and started up at short notice according the demands of the system (peak load). It can offer enough storage capacity to operate independently of the hydrological inflow for many weeks or even months.
Pumped-storage hydropower: provides peak-load supply, harnessing water which is cycled between a lower and upper reservoir by pumps which use surplus energy from the system at times of low demand. When electricity demand is high, water is released back to the lower reservoir through turbines to produce electricity.
Offshore hydropower: a less established but growing group of technologies that use tidal currents or the power of waves to generate electricity from seawater
How does Hydropower Work?
Hydropower is generated when falling water is channelled through water turbines. The pressure of the flowing water on turbine blades rotates a shaft and drives an electrical generator, converting the motion into electrical energy.
Hydropower is the most advanced and mature renewable energy technology, and provides some level of electricity generation in more than 160 countries worldwide.
Hydropower plants range from very small to very large individual plants and vast integrated schemes involving multiple large hydropower plants.
This form uses the gravitational potential of elevated water that was lifted from the oceans by sunlight. It is not strictly speaking renewable since all reservoirs eventually fill up and require very expensive excavation to become useful again. At this time, most of the available locations for hydroelectric dams are already used in the developed world.
Powersystems and your Hydroelectric / Hydropower Scheme Project
Hydropower is the oldest form of renewable energy and Powersystems have been involved in constructing the electrical infrastructure on small scale hydro schemes since the late 80’s. Projects completed include 500kW “Run of the river” schemes and multiple turbine dam storage schemes. In both types of projects Powersystems have completed the full electrical installation package for sites including
Main LV Switchboards
Power and Control Cabling
Turbine Control Panels
PLC SCADA Systems
Head Pond Level Sensors
Test and Commissioning
Take a look at Powersystems Hydroelectric and Hydropower Scheme Case Study Projects
Biomass and Bio Fuel
Bioenergy is derived from biomass to generate electricity and heat, or to produce liquid fuels for transport. Biomass is any organic matter of recently living plant or animal origin. It is available in many forms such as agricultural products, forestry products, municipal and other waste.
Traditionally, woody biomass has been used for bioenergy, however more recent technologies have expanded the potential resources to include agricultural residues, oil seeds and algae
These advanced bioenergy technologies allow for the sustainable development of the bioenergy industry, without competing with the traditional agricultural industry for land and resources
Biomassis plant or animal material used for energy production, heat production, or in various industrial processes as raw material for a range of products. It can be purposely grown energy crops (e.g. miscanthus, switchgrass), wood or forest residues, waste from food crops (wheat straw, bagasse), horticulture (yard waste), food processing (corn cobs), animal farming (manure, rich in nitrogen and phosphorus), or human waste from sewage plants
Burning plant-derived biomass releases CO2, but it has still been classified as a renewable energy source in the EU and UN legal frameworks because photosynthesis cycles the CO2 back into new crops. In some cases, this recycling of CO2 from plants to atmosphere and back into plants can even be CO2 negative, as a relatively large portion of the CO2 is moved to the soil during each cycle.
Cofiring with biomass has increased in coal power plants, because it makes it possible to release less CO2 without the cost associated with building new infrastructure. Co-firing is not without issues however, often an upgrade of the biomass is beneficiary. Upgrading to higher grade fuels can be achieved by different methods, broadly classified as thermal, chemical, or biochemical.
Biomass is the term for energy from plants. Energy in this form is very commonly used throughout the world. Unfortunately, the most popular is the burning of trees for cooking and warmth. This process releases copious amounts of carbon dioxide gases into the atmosphere and is a major contributor to unhealthy air in many areas. Some of the more modern forms of biomass energy are methane generation and production of alcohol for automobile fuel and fueling electric power plants.
Powersystems Generation Plant Powered by your Bio-Fuels
In an ever-increasing bid to fulfill the UK’s requirements for new renewable energy fuel sources, Powersystems have assisted customers in the design and construction of generation plants powered by Bio-Fuels.
Typically, the generation of these schemes are via reciprocating prime movers, therefore the years of experience gained in Landfill and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Generation sectors gives Powersystems a lead when advising customers on all aspects, from site layout to electrical infrastructure, ensuring both best design practice and cost-effective solutions.
Take a look at Powersystems Bio-Fuels Case Study Projects
Powersystems remain at the forefront Renewable Energy Industries with expertise in Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and associated electrical infrastructure
Is a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels.
Anaerobic Digestion Plant
Anaerobic digestion is used as part of the process to treat biodegradable waste and sewage sludge. As part of an integrated waste management system, anaerobic digestion reduces the emission of landfill gas into the atmosphere. Anaerobic digesters can also be fed with purpose-grown energy crops.
Anaerobic digestion is widely used as a source of renewable. The process produces a biogas, consisting of methane, carbon dioxide, and traces of other ‘contaminant’ gases. This biogas can be used directly as fuel, in combined heat and power gas enginesor upgraded to natural gas-quality biomethane. The nutrient-rich digestate also produced can be used as fertilizer.
With the re-use of waste as a resource and new technological approaches that have lowered capital costs, anaerobic digestion has in recent years received increased attention among governments in a number of countries, among these the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark
Although currently an infant market with approx.650 AD plants at March 2019 we see this as a sector that will grow and plan to be at the head of any expansion, as Bio-Fuel technologies develop.
Powersystems and your Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Project
Powersystems have connected Anaerobic Digestion (AD) generation plants powered from commercial food waste, energy crops, dairy, pig & poultry waste in the farm-based sectors.
We have worked alongside the major technology providers in delivering both grid connections and onsite customer works. Typically these schemes will be cable connected to the local distribution high voltage network and electrically metered onsite, from there a bespoke site distribution system is designed and installed to meet the AD Plants requirements.
This system would usually be comprised of a generation transformer and main Low Voltage (LV) distribution board, providing electrical circuits to the site generation and AD Plant controls.
Powersystems as part of the installation can specify and install the necessary Feed In Tariff (FIT) meters and auxiliary supply meters to enable generation and auxiliary loads to be appropriately allocated.
To date Powersytems have connected over 30 Anaerobic Digestion sites throughout the UK with many more coming online in the near future.
A hybrid technology is one that integrates a renewable energy generation technology with other energy generation systems
Hybrid technologies can reduce the risk for investors and ensure immediate reliability and affordability. They can also support a smoother transition to more renewable energy generation in the future.
What are hybrid technologies?
An example of a hybrid technology would be a power plant which combines and manages electricity generation from at least two technologies.
For example, a plant that integrates solar energy technology with energy from gas, or another renewable source, to provide a combined energy flow that drives the plant’s power generation.
What are enabling (or related) technologies?
Enabling and related technologies are those which use, or more easily allow, one renewable energy source to be used with another.
These technologies are especially prevalent in the fields of energy storage, grid management and connection, information and communication, mapping and resource identification, forecasting and modelling.
Take a look at Powersystems Hybrid/Enabling Renewable Energy Technologies Case Study Projects
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
These are also not strictly renewable energy resources but are very abundant in availability and are very low in pollution when utilized. Hydrogen can be burned as a fuel, typically in a vehicle, with only water as the combustion product.
This clean burning fuel can mean a significant reduction of pollution in cities. Or the hydrogen can be used in fuel cells, which are similar to batteries, to power an electric motor. In either case significant production of hydrogen requires abundant power.
Due to the need for energy to produce the initial hydrogen gas, the result is the relocation of pollution from the cities to the power plants. There are several promising methods to produce hydrogen, such as solar power, that may alter this picture drastically.
Geothermal energy is stored as heat in the earth
The heat is generated by the natural decay over millions of years of radiogenic elements including uranium, thorium and potassium.
Geothermal energy can be drawn from the hot water circulating among rocks below the earth’s surface, or by pumping cold water into the hot rocks and returning the heated water to the surface. This can drive steam turbines to produce electricity.
Geothermal energy holds the promise of being a renewable energy source that could operate 24 hours a day, providing baseload power for homes and industries. Geothermal energy can be used for heating and cooling purposes. There are a number of buildings, residential homes and swimming pools that currently use geothermal for these purposes.
Energy left over from the original accretion of the planet and augmented by heat from radioactive decay seeps out slowly everywhere, everyday. In certain areas the geothermal gradient (increase in temperature with depth) is high enough to exploit to generate electricity.
This possibility is limited to a few locations on Earth and many technical problems exist that limit its utility. Another form of geothermal energy is Earth energy, a result of the heat storage in the Earth’s surface.
Soil everywhere tends to stay at a relatively constant temperature, the yearly average, and can be used with heat pumps to heat a building in winter and cool a building in summer. This form of energy can lessen the need for other power to maintain comfortable temperatures in buildings, but cannot be used to produce electricity.
Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW)
Powersystems remain at the forefront Renewable Energy Industries with expertise in Waste-to-Energy Projects and associated electrical infrastructure
Waste-to-energy (WtE)or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricty and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. WtE is a form of energy recovery. Most WtE processes generate electricity and/or heat directly through combustion, or produce a combustible fuel commodity, such as methane, methanol, ethanol or synthetic fuels.
With an ever-changing waste management industry, government regulations have forced the market to look at new ways of managing the UK’s waste. A result of which has been the design and construction of cleaner more efficient Energy From Waste (EFW) plants.
Such plants can generate electrical power via steam driven turbines or develop a ‘Syngas’ for turbine or reciprocating generation. In either form Powersystems have assisted customers in cost effective grid connections and onsite electrical infrastructure.
Ocean and Tidal
Powersystems remain at the forefront Renewable Energy Industries with expertise in Ocean and Tidal Energy Projects and associated electrical infrastructure
Ocean or marine energy technologies refer to all forms of renewable energy derived from the sea. There are two broad types of ocean energy: mechanical energy from the tides and waves, and thermal energy from the sun’s heat. Ocean / Tidal energy is classified as
Wave energy: This is generated by converting the energy within ocean waves (swells) into other forms of energy (currently only electricity). There are many different wave energy technologies being developed and trialled to convert wave energy into electricity
Tidal energy: This is generated by harnessing the movement of tides. Tides contain both potential energy, related to the vertical fluctuations in sea level, as well as kinetic energy, related to the horizontal motion of the water.
Ocean thermal energy: This is generated by converting the temperature difference between the ocean’s surface water and deeper water into useful energy. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plants may be land-based as well as floating or grazing.
Powersystems and your Tidal / Ocean Project
The UK has one of the largest marine energy resources in the world, estimated to be more than 10GW. This along with the predictability of tidal power makes it a form of Renewable Energy that is highly attractive to grid operators as fossil fuel back-up plants are not required. To support this emerging technology, tidal projects will be eligible for five Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) from the UK Government for projects installed and operational by 2017.
Powersystems are actively involved with the construction of the electricity infrastructure to connect marine turbines to the onshore grid. Recent project successes include the 400kW Delta Stream demonstration device in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire, a demonstration device due to be in service for 12 months.
Take a look at Powersystems Ocean /Tidal Renewable Energy Technologies Case Study Projects
Powersystems Asks Can A Country Achieve 100%?
If you think 100% renewable energy will never happen, think again. Several countries have adopted ambitious plan to obtain their power from renewable energy. These countries are not only accelerating Renewable Energy installations but are also integrating Renewable Energy into their existing infrastructure to reach a 100% Renewable Energy mix.
Energy and Clean Growth launch of the new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal.
Industry to invest £250 million including new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to develop the UK supply chain as global exports are set to increase fivefold to £2.6 billion by 2030
a third of British electricity set to be produced by offshore wind power by 2030
part of the government’s ambition to make the UK a global leader in renewables with more investment potential than any other country in the world as part of the modern Industrial Strategy
Clean, green offshore wind is set to power more than 30% of British electricity by 2030, with the launch of the new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal.
This deal will mean for the first time in UK history there will be more electricity from renewables than fossil fuels, with 70% of British electricity predicted to be from low carbon sources by 2030 and over £40 billion of infrastructure investment in the UK. This is the tenth Sector Deal from the modern Industrial Strategy signed by Business Secretary Greg Clark. It is backed by UK renewables companies and marks a revolution in the offshore wind industry, which 20 years ago was only in its infancy. It could see the number of jobs triple to 27,000 by 2030.
increase the sector target for the amount of UK content in homegrown offshore wind projects to 60%, making sure that the £557 million pledged by the government in July 2018 for further clean power auctions over the next ten years will directly benefit local communities from Wick to the Isle of Wight
spearhead a new £250 million Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to make sure UK companies in areas like the North East, East Anglia, Humber and the Solent and continue to be competitive and are leaders internationally in the next generation of offshore wind innovations in areas such as robotics, advanced manufacturing, new materials, floating wind and larger turbines
boost global exports to areas like Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States fivefold to £2.6 billion per year by 2030 through partnership between the Department of Trade and industry to support smaller supply chain companies to export for the first time
reduce the cost of projects in the 2020s and overall system costs, so projects commissioning in 2030 will cost consumers less as we move towards a subsidy free world
see Crown Estate & Crown Estate Scotland release new seabed land from 2019 for new offshore wind developments
UK government alongside the deal will provide over £4 million pounds for British business to share expertise globally and open new markets for UK industry through a technical assistance programme to help countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines skip dirty coal power and develop their own offshore wind projects
Claire Perry, Energy & Clean Growth Minister said: This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector. By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.
The Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore, Benj Sykes, said: Now that we’ve sealed this transformative deal with our partners in government, as a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, offshore wind is set to take its place at the heart of our low-carbon, affordable and reliable electricity system of the future. This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country which have never seen opportunities like this for years, especially coastal communities from Wick in the northern Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber. Companies are burgeoning in clusters, creating new centres of excellence in this clean growth boom. The Sector Deal will ensure that even more of these companies win work not only on here, but around the world in a global offshore wind market set to be worth £30 billion a year by 2030.
Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Executive, said: ScottishPower is proof that offshore wind works, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring down costs and, having transitioned to 100% renewable energy, will be building more windfarms to help the UK shift to a clearer electric economy. Two of our offshore windfarms in the East Anglia will replace all of the old thermal generation we’ve sold and we are ready to invest more by actively pursuing future offshore projects both north and south of the border. We have a fantastic supply chain already in place in the UK, from businesses in and around East Anglia to across England, across Scotland as well as Northern Ireland. The Sector Deal will attract even more businesses in the UK to join the offshore wind supply chain and we are excited to see the transformative impact this will have on our projects.
challenge the sector to more than double the number of women entering the industry to at least 33% by 2030, with the ambition of reaching 40% – up from 16% today
create an Offshore Energy Passport, recognised outside of the UK, will be developed for offshore wind workers to transfer their skills and expertise to other offshore renewable and oil and gas industries – allowing employees to work seamlessly across different offshore sectors
see further work with further education institutions to develop a sector-wide curriculum to deliver a skilled and diverse workforce across the country and facilitate skills transfer within the industry
prompt new targets for increasing the number of apprentices in the sector later this year
The cost of new offshore wind contracts has already outstripped projections and fallen by over 50% over the last two years, and today’s further investment will boost this trajectory, with offshore wind projects expected to be cheaper to build than fossil fuel plants by 2020. The Deal will see UK continuing as the largest European market for offshore wind, with 30GW of clean wind power being built by 2030 – the UK making up a fifth of global wind capacity.
The UK is already home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Walney Extension off the Cumbrian Coast, and construction is well underway on projects nearly double the size. Around 7,200 jobs have been created in this growing industry over the last 20 years, with a welcome surge in opportunities in everything from sea bedrock testing to expert blade production.
The Deal will look to seize on the opportunities presented by the UK’s 7,000 miles of coastline, as the industry continues to be a coastal catalyst for many of the UK’s former fishing villages and ports. Increased exports and strengthened supply chain networks will secure economic security for towns and cities across the UK.
The government has already invested in growing the offshore wind sector by:
confirming that clean electricity auctions will be held in 2019 and every two years from then into the 2020s, signalling support worth up to £557 million for industry
supporting Local Enterprise Partnerships such as the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership to invest in skills and business support to maximise opportunities in the offshore wind sector
supporting local communities to create new regional clusters and build on their science and innovation strengths with the £115 million Strength in Places Fund to develop stronger local networks
Key themes of the deal:
This Sector Deal is built on the foundations of the Industrial Strategy – Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places, and supports the vision to upgrade the UK’s infrastructure, creating better, high-paying jobs in communities right across the UK.
The UK’s technical assistance programme will allow British business to share expertise globally and open new markets for UK industry. The $5 million program is being initiated thanks to a £20 million grant to the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management and Assistance Program (ESMAP) from the UK, to help low- and middle-income countries implement environmentally sustainable energy solutions and transition away from fossil fuels.
Between 2015 and 2017 the price of offshore wind projects securing a contract for difference halved.
The deal represents a huge opportunity for the UK industry to benefit from this worldwide shift. The world market for offshore wind is predicted to grow by 17% each year up to 2030, from 22GW in 2018 to 154GW installed by 2030.
This Sector Deal is the tenth sector deal established under the modern Industrial Strategy with sector deals already established with the Life Sciences, Automotive, Construction and Nuclear sectors.
This Sector Deal follows 9 other partnerships between the government and industry on sector-specific issues can create significant opportunities to boost productivity, employment, innovation and skills.
The Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Grand Challenge maximises the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth – by supporting UK businesses to lead the world in the development, manufacture and use of low carbon technologies, systems and services that cost less than high carbon alternatives.
The Contracts for Difference allocation round for less established technologies such as offshore wind will open by May 2019. The government will hold another allocation round in 2021 and auctions around every 2 years. Depending on the price achieved, these auctions will deliver between 1 to 2 gigawatts of offshore wind each year in the 2020s. The government will look at ways to manage the auctions to ensure smooth delivery of low carbon generation.
Offshore wind projects expected to be cheaper to build than fossil fuel plants by 2020. The International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) says all renewable energy technologies should be competitive on price with fossil fuels by 2020. (Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017).
The offshore wind industry has predicted 27,000 jobs by 2030.
Electricity produced from low carbon sources includes renewable energy such as offshore and onshore wind, solar, biomass and low carbon electricity produced from Nuclear Power.
In a dramatic shift of national energy policy, the 2008-2009 Renewable Energy Strategy November 2008 proposed a massive increase in the contribution of renewables from 2% in 2009 to 15% by 2020. Powersystems asks the question – Where are we now with renewable energy, climate change and policy?
Climate Change Act 2008
Renewable energy is needed to meet decarbonisation and climate change targets. The Climate Change Act 2008 set in legislation the UK’s approach to tackling and responding to climate change. It introduced the UK’s long-term legally binding 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990 levels. It also introduced ‘carbon budgets’ which cap emissions over successive 5-year periods and must be set 12 years in advance.
Clean Growth Strategy October 2017
In October 2017, the UK Government published its Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) setting out ambitious policies and proposals, through to 2032 and beyond, to reduce emissions across the economy and promote clean growth. Clean growth means growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving clean growth, while ensuring an affordable energy supply for businesses and consumers, is at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. It will increase our productivity, create good jobs, boost earning power for people right across the country, and help protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend.
Modern Industrial Strategy November 2017
In November 2017 the UK published its modern Industrial Strategy, which includes a Clean Growth Grand Challenge. The Grand Challenge aims to put the UK at the forefront of industries of the future, by maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to low carbon.
25 Year Environment Plan
Building on the proposals set out in the CGS, the UK outlined its plans to improve the environment in the 25 Year Environment Plan. The 25 Year Environment Plan was published in January 2018 and sets out the UK’s approach to deliver on our ambition to leave our environment in a better state than we inherited, and to fully seize the opportunities of clean growth.
Climate Change Driving Policy
Climate change is driving policy and regulations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at international, national and regional level. Challenging European targets have also been set for renewable energy, and a number of policy measures implemented in the UK for renewable electricity, heat and transport fuels.
Powersystems Aikengall II Windfarm
Strategies and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Energy policy is mainly devolved to Northern Ireland and partly devolved to Wales and Scotland. Climate change policy is devolved to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, although the UK Government retains control over many energy policy areas and also some other important policy areas which deliver emissions reductions.
In Northern Ireland energy policy and the independent regulation of energy companies are devolved matters. Northern Ireland’s current energy strategy is set out in the Strategic Energy Framework (SEF) for the period 2010-2020. Northern Ireland’s future energy strategy is likely to concentrate on a more consumer-led decentralised energy system and decarbonisation in areas such as electricity, heat and transport. The Department for Economy NI is currently preparing a public engagement exercise to help shape proposals for a new energy strategy.
The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR)
Is responsible for regulating the electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has operated a single wholesale electricity market called the Single Electricity Market (SEM) with the Republic of Ireland since November 2007. The SEM has been undergoing extensive redesign to comply with the EU Target Model for the harmonisation of arrangements for trading electricity across Member States. The new arrangements are being progressed under the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) programme. Reforms to the SEM went live on 1 October 2018. They are designed to introduce efficiencies of interconnector flows, encourage new investment in the market, apply downward pressure on prices, and create enhanced trading opportunities and options through the introduction of continuous trading in the intra-day, day-ahead, forwards, and balancing timeframes. The first auction took place at the end of 2017; further auctions are taking place later this year and in March 2019.
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires Scottish Ministers to reduce emissions in Scotland by at least 80% by 2050, with an interim target of 42% by 2020 and annual targets for each year to 2050.
A new Climate Change Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2018, with increased targets in response to the UN Paris Agreement. The Bill increases Scotland’s 2050 target to a 90% reduction in emissions of all greenhouse gases, which means net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide. In other words, the Bill means that Scotland would be carbon neutral by 2050.
The Climate Change Plan published in February 2018 sets out the Scottish Government’s comprehensive package of policies and proposals for meeting emissions reduction targets over the period to 2018 – 2032.
Scotland Energy Strategy December 2017
The Scottish Government also published an Energy Strategy in December 2017 which sets out a vision for the future of energy in Scotland to 2050. The Energy Strategy is fully consistent with the aims of the Climate Change Plan, taking a wider view of the long-term transformational change which will be required in the energy sector. Together the Energy Strategy and the Climate Change Plan provide the strategic framework for Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy – reducing greenhouse gas emissions whilst maximising the social and economic opportunities. The framework covers reserved areas as well as devolved, focusing action on those areas which the Scottish Government can directly affect.
The Environment (Wales) Act 201610 requires Welsh Ministers to reduce emissions in Wales by at least 80% by 2050. This Act also requires Welsh Ministers to set interim emissions reduction targets for the years 2020, 2030 and 2040, and establish a system of carbon budgeting that together create an emissions reduction pathway to the 2050 target.
Since the Environment (Wales) Act was passed, the Welsh Government has focused on establishing a regulatory and policy framework to meet the statutory commitment, based on significant stakeholder engagement and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. Following consultation, the Welsh Government has publish its plan for achieving the first carbon budget in March 2019. Prosperity for all: A Low Carbon Wales
Five dimensions of the Energy Union
The UK’s ambitious energy and climate legislation and strategies support the five dimensions of the Energy Union.
The UK is committed to ensuring there are secure supplies for consumers, regardless of the energy mix, and the CGS sets out actions to enhance energy security by delivering a more diverse and reliable energy mix. The UK is supporting smarter, flexible networks thereby enabling the integration of clean generation.
To meet the UK’s 2050 climate change target (to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels), emissions from buildings will need to be near zero, coupled with action on industrial processes. This requires improving energy efficiency and energy management, and decarbonising nearly all heating and cooling of buildings. To achieve this, the UK is taking a range of actions including addressing barriers to energy efficiency and low carbon investment, such as supporting organisations to access finance.
The CGS provides a framework for driving UK policy on energy efficiency. Some recent policies and measures on energy efficiency that have already been implemented include commitments to fund energy efficiency improvements in the public sector, industry, business and homes – for example, through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
Northern Ireland contributes to the UK’s energy efficiency targets with the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) delivering up to 200GWh per year of energy savings as required by Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Northern Ireland is currently developing a Northern Ireland energy efficiency action plan as part of a wider Energy Strategy, which aims to ensure co-ordinated and effective delivery of energy efficiency policies and programmes across Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, the Energy Efficient Scotland Routemap and Transition Programme was launched in May 2018. This ambitious 20-year programme contains a set of actions to make Scotland’s buildings near zero carbon wherever feasible by 2040 and to do so in a way that is socially and economically sustainable. The Programme will see around £10-12 billion of public and private sector investment in energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation over the 20-year period generating economic opportunity across the whole of Scotland. Energy Efficient Scotland has two main objectives: to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through more energy efficient buildings and decarbonising Scotland’s heat supply.
In Wales, the Welsh Government has invested more than £240 million since 2011 to improve the energy efficiency of more than 45,000 homes of those on low incomes or living in the most disadvantaged areas of Wales. The Welsh Government is investing a further £104 million in the Warm Homes programme for the period 2017-2021, improving up to 25,000 homes and leveraging up to £24 million of EU funding.
Through the Climate Change Act, the UK has established in law the first five carbon budgets covering the period from 2008-2032, with the sixth carbon budget due to be set in 2021. The UK has outperformed the target emissions reduction of its first carbon budget (2008 to 2012) and is projected to outperform against the second and third budgets (2013 to 2022). The CGS sets out ambitious policies across all sectors of the economy to deliver the fourth and fifth carbon budgets (covering the periods 2023-2027 and 2028-2032).
Scotland has met its annual emissions reduction targets for each of the three years (2014, 2015 and 2016). Actual emissions from Scotland have been reduced by almost half (49%) between the 1990 baseline and 2016. Emissions in Wales have been reduced by 14% in the same period, with fluctuation throughout the time series.
Internal energy market
The UK Government recognises a range of benefits that interconnection can provide and strongly supports greater electricity trading with our European partners. The electricity system in Great Britain is currently connected to north-west Europe via 3GW of interconnector capacity. 1GW of interconnection also links GB with the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland. Further interconnection projects are currently under construction (4.4GW) or seeking regulatory approval (4GW) and, as set out in our CGS, project assessments indicate the potential for a further 9.5GW interconnection beyond this in the early to mid-2020s. This is expected to increase our level of interconnection by 2030.
Powersystems Hill of Glaschyle-Windfarm
The UK continues to be a lead actor in the transformation of energy markets and has strongly supported the EU’s direction in this area, most recently during the Clean Energy Package negotiations, to deliver open, transparent and competitive markets. We continue to support developing liberalised markets and successfully using competition to drive down energy prices. We are embracing the opportunity to increase renewable generation, decarbonise the economy and maintain affordability. We are implementing rules for a well-functioning internal energy market and our recent Electricity Market Reform introduced measures on, for example, Contracts for Difference and wholesale market liquidity. The CGS outlines the UK’s commitment to move towards a more dynamic market, empowering the consumer and realising the potential of renewables, small scale generation, greater flexibility, smart metering and the digital revolution.
Research, innovation and competitiveness
The UK’s early action on clean growth means that it has nurtured a broad range of low carbon industries, including some sectors in which we have world leading positions. This success is built upon wider strengths – the UK’s scientific research base, expertise in high-value service and financial industries, and a regulatory framework that provides long-term direction and support for innovation and excellence in the design and manufacturing of leading-edge technology.
This progress has been aided by the falling costs of many low carbon technologies: renewable power sources like solar and wind are comparable in cost to coal and gas in many countries; energy efficient light bulbs are over 80% cheaper today than in 2010; and the cost of electric vehicle battery packs has tumbled by over 70% in this time. As a result of this technological innovation, new high value jobs, industries and companies have been created. This is driving a new, technologically innovative, high growth and high value ‘low carbon’ sector of the UK economy.
Due to the UK’s world leading expertise in technologies such as offshore wind, power electronics for low carbon vehicles and electric motors, and global leadership in green finance, we are successfully exporting goods and services around the world. For example, in 2017, 1 in every 8 battery electric cars driven in Europe was built in the UK This progress means there are nearly 400,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, employing people in locations across the country.
Capturing part of the global opportunity while continuing to drive down carbon emissions from our own activities provides a huge economic opportunity for the UK. By one estimate, the UK low carbon economy could grow by an estimated 11% per year between 2015 and 2030 – 4 times faster than the rest of the economy – and could deliver between £60 billion and £170 billion of export sales of goods and services by 203. This means that clean growth can play a central part in our Industrial Strategy – building on our strengths to drive economic growth and boost earning power across the country.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Holds the responsibility for strategic oversight of climate and energy science and innovation across UK Government, promoting and protecting the UK Government’s policy interests. Its Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy Directorate (SICE) provides the science and engineering evidence and data to support, constructively challenge and enable development and delivery of national energy policy.
Wider prioritisation of activity, research and innovation spending on energy is co-ordinated through the UK Government’s Energy Innovation Board (EIB), with SICE providing the secretariat for this. There is currently no separate energy research and innovation strategy, prioritisation decisions are informed by the Industrial Strategy and the CGS.
Environment, Transportation and the Electric Vehicle Revolution
To understand the electric vehicle revolution, it helps to look at the key elements driving it today.
Consumer tastes and preferences are changing. The driver to these behavioural changes can almost be linked to technological innovation.
Technology is one part of a three-pronged phenomenon that’s behind the electric vehicle revolution. The other two key drivers are environmental awareness and political policy changes.
Awakening environmental consciousness
Air pollution – reducing emissions
Air pollution, particularly in cities is not a new problem. In the Middle Ages the use of coal in cities such as London began to escalate. The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th century was centred around the use of coal. Burning coal for domestic and industrial uses, meant that air pollution reached very high levels.
Following the clean air act of 1956 and 1968, air quality improvements continued through the 1970s. Further regulations were introduced through the 1974 Control of Air Pollution Act. This included the regulations for the composition of motor fuel and limits for the sulphur content of industrial fuel.
Today, the UK is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. For this to happen, the UK economy needs to transform while ensuring secure, low-carbon energy supplies to 2050.
Growth in cars, trucks and buses
During the early 1980s, the number of motor vehicles became more prevalent. The early focus was on the effect of lead pollution on human health. By the early 1990s, the effects of other vehicle pollutants became a major concern.
Today, cars, trucks and buses powered by fossil fuels are major contributors to air pollution. As well as being a leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The transport sector is responsible for a large proportion of urban air pollution.
The automotive sector contributes somewhere between 12 and 70 percent of particulate air pollution. Another transport-related air pollutant that harms health includes ground level ozone (O3) a key factor in chronic respiratory disease such as asthma. Some of the precursors of O3 include nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO).
Automotive sector is responsible for a large amount of polluting emissions
Cars, trucks and buses produce air pollution throughout their lifecycle. This includes pollution emitted during vehicle operation and fuel production. Extra emissions are associated with refining and distribution of fuels and to a lesser extent, manufacturing and disposal of the vehicle.
Air pollution from cars, trucks and buses splits into primary and secondary pollution. Primary pollution emits into the atmosphere. Secondary pollution results from chemical reactions between pollutants in the atmosphere. These pollutants, now concentrated at their highest levels in the Earth’s atmosphere in the last 650,000 years, are now linked to climate change.
Environmental studies around the impact of climate change suggest, that the Earth’s temperature will rise far more than two degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Unless significant changes are made to global manufacturing, energy supply, and consumer practices. At the same time, these pollutants have created smog and local pollution, creating health problems and choking major cities.
Key observers of the UK diesel-fuelled air pollution crisis, advised that the government decision to incentivise diesel vehicles, which produced less climate-warming dioxide, sparked the initial problems. The heart of the disaster a giant broken promise: the motor industry said it would clean up diesel but instead bypassed the rules for years. What of course actually happened was that diesel emissions limits were not met on the road. Motor manufactures could not manage the problem.
Bordering the edge of sharp practice
Since 2000 The European Union set tough emissions standards for Nitrogen dioxide, which could have kept levels down. But rather than deliver cars that met these limits in everyday driving, manufacturers created vehicles that could pass the tests. Yet these vehicles emitted pollutants at higher levels once out of the test centre.
This sharp practice motivated by the opportunity to shave costs and avoid the inconvenience of drivers needing to top up pollution-busting chemicals more than once a year. By the mid-2000s, it was clear to air-pollution experts that something was very wrong. Nitrogen dioxide levels were rising in cities not falling. And on-the-road testing was starting to show that diesel vehicles were producing more pollution then they were supposed to.
Following the VW ‘dieselgate’ scandal, and glimpses at backroom dealing done by national governments to protect car makers from greener regulations. It was no accident, as large-scale public outcry in response to this trend was starting to build. Auto manufacturers began marketing alternative-powered vehicles that produced lower emissions. They did this by augmenting internal combustion engines with electric motors.
It may be the replacement of diesel, not cleaning them up, that finally clears the air.
Electric vehicles early history
The invention of the first model electric vehicle is attributed to various people.
1828 a Hungarian, Anyos Jedlik invented an early type of electric motor, he then created a small model car powered by this motor
1834, Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport, built a contraption which operated on a short, circular electrified track
1834, Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen, the Netherlands and his assistant Christopher Becker created a small-scale electric car, powered by non-rechargeable primary cells
1859 Rechargeable batteries for storing electricity on board a vehicle with the invention of the lead acid battery by French physicist Gaston Plante
1881 Camille Alphonse Faure, French Scientist improved the design of the battery increasing the capacity which led to their manufacture on an industrial scale
1884 Thomas Parker an English electrical engineer, inventor and industrialist. Was responsible for innovations such as electrifying the London Underground, overhead tramways in Liverpool and Birmingham. Thomas Parker built the first production electric car in London using his own speciality designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries. His interest with the construction of motor fuel-efficient vehicles led him to experiment with electric vehicles
Thomas Parker built the first production electric car in London using his own speciality designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries.
1888 Electric Construction Corporation was formed and had the monopoly on the British electric car markets.
1899 Electric vehicles also held may speed and distance records. Among the most notable of these records was the breaking of the 100/km/h (62mph) speed barrier by Camille Jenatzy, a Belgian race car driver with his rocket shaped electric vehicle 29 April
Electric vehicles the golden age
In the late 1890s and early 1900s interest in motor vehicles increased. Electric battery-powered taxis became available at the end of the 19th century.
In London, Walter C. Bersey designed a fleet of such cabs and introduced them to the streets of London in 1897. Nicknamed ‘Hummingbirds’ due to the humming noise they made.
Electric vehicles had many advantages over their early-1900s competitors. They did not have the vibrations, smell and noise associated with gasoline cars. They also did not need gear changes. The electric vehicles were also preferred because they did not need a manual effort to start, as did gasoline cars which featured a hand crank to start the engine.
Electric city cars
Used as city cars, electric cars found popularity among well-heeled customers who used them where their limited range proved to be even less of a disadvantage. Electric cars were often marketed as suitable vehicles for women drivers due to their ease of operation; in fact, early electric cars were stigmatised by the perception that they were “women’s cars”, leading some companies to affix radiators to the front to disguise the car’s propulsion system.
Acceptance of electric cars was hampered by a lack of power infrastructure.
By 1912, many homes were wired for electricity, enabling a surge in the popularity of the cars.
A total of 33,842 electric cars were registered in the United States. And the U.S. became the country where electric cars had gained the most acceptance.
Most early electric vehicles were massive, ornate carriages. Designed for the upper-class customers that made them popular. They featured luxurious interiors and were replete with expensive materials.
Sales of electric cars peaked in the early 1910s.
In order to overcome the limited operating range of electric vehicles, and the lack of recharging infrastructure, an exchangeable battery service was first proposed as early as 1896.
The concept was first put into practice by Hartford Electric Light Company and the GeVeCo battery service and available for electric trucks.
The vehicle owner purchased the vehicle from General Vehicle Company (GVC, a subsidiary of the General Electric Company) without a battery and the electricity was purchased from Hartford Electric through an exchangeable battery.
The owner paid a variable per-mile charge and a monthly service fee to cover maintenance and storage of the truck.
Both vehicles and batteries were modified to ease a fast battery exchange.
The service was provided between 1910 and 1924 and during that period covered more than 6 million miles.
Beginning in 1917 a similar successful service was operated in Chicago for owners of Milburn Wagon Company cars who also could buy the vehicle without the batteries.
The decline of the electric vehicle
By the 1920s an improved road infrastructure required a vehicle with a greater range than offered by electric cars.
With the affordability of fuel as well as; cars becoming even easier to operate, coupled with the invention of the electric starter and finally the initiation of mass production vehicles from Henry Ford, the electric car began to lose its position in the automobile market.
By 1912, an electric car sold for almost double the prices of a fuel car. Most electric car makers stopped production in the 1910s. Electric vehicles-maintained popularity for certain applications where their limited range did not pose major problems.
Fork lift trucks were electrically powered. For most of the 20th century the majority of the world’s battery electric road vehicles were British milk floats. Electric golf carts were produced as early as 1954.
Years passed without a major revival in the use of electric cars. Electric vehicle technology stagnated.
In the late 1950s, Henney Coachworks and the National Union Electric Company, makers of Exide batteries, formed a joint venture to produce a new electric car, the Henney Kilowatt, based on the French Renault Dauphine.
The car was produced in 36- volt and 72-volt configurations; the 72-volt models had a top speed approaching 96 km/h (60 mph) and could travel for an hour on a single charge.
Despite the Kilowatt’s improved performance with respect to previous electric cars, consumers found it too expensive compared to fuel cars of the time, and production ended in 1961.
Electric vehicles revival of interest
In 1959, American Motors Corporation (AMC) and Sonotone Corporation announced a joint research effort to consider producing an electric car powered by a “self-charging” battery. That same year, Nu-Way Industries showed an experimental electric car with a one-piece plastic body that was to begin production in early 1960
In 1967, AMC partnered with Gulton Industries to develop a new battery based on lithium and a speed controller designed by Victor Wouk
1971, 31 July an electric car received the unique distinction of becoming the first manned vehicle to drive on the Moon; that car was the Lunar Roving Vehicle, which was first deployed during the Apollo 15 mission. The “Moon buggy” was developed by Boeing and GM subsidiary Delco Electronics (co-founded by Kettering) featured a DC drive motor in each wheel, and a pair of 36-volt silver-zinc potassium hydroxide non-rechargeable batteries
• 1971, 31 July an electric car received the unique distinction of becoming the first manned vehicle to drive on the Moon; that car was the Lunar Roving Vehicle, which was first deployed during the Apollo 15 mission.
1970s and 1980s energy crisis brought about renewed interest in the perceived independence electric cars had from the fluctuations of the hydrocarbon energy market. General Motors created a concept car of another of their gasoline cars, the Electrovette (1976)
1990 Los Angeles Auto Show, General Motors president Roger Smith unveiled the GM Impact electric concept car, along with the announcement that GM would build electric cars for sale to the public
Throughout the 1990s, interest in fuel-efficient or environment friendly cars declined among consumers in the United States. Instead they favoured sport utility vehicles, which were affordable to operate despite their poor fuel efficiency thanks to lower fuel prices. Domestic U.S. automakers chose to focus their product lines around the truck-based vehicles, which enjoyed larger profit margins than the smaller cars which were preferred in places like Europe or Japan
2004 California electric car maker Tesla Motors began development on the Tesla Roadster. The Roadster was the first road legal serial production all electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production all electric car to travel more than 320 km (200 miles) per charge
2010 The Nissan Leaf introduced in Japan and the United States became the first modern all-electric, zero tailpipe emission five door family hatchback to be produced for the mass market from a major manufacturer. As of January 2013, the Leaf is also available in Australia, Canada and 17 European countries
2014, there were over 500,000 plug-in electric passenger cars and utility vans in the world. The U.S leading plug-in electric car sales with 45% share of global sales. The world’s top selling all-electric cars in 2014 were the Nissan Leaf (61,507), Tesla Model S (31,655), BMW i3 (16,052), and the Renault Zoe (11,323). Accounting for plug-in hybrids, the Leaf and the Model S also ranked first and second among the world’s top 10 selling plug-in electric cars
2016, Norway became the first country where 5% of all registered cars was a plug-in electric vehicle
2018, December the global stock of plug-in electric cars reached 5.1 million units, consisting of 3.3 million all-electric cars (65%) and 1.8 million plug-in hybrid cars (35%). Despite the rapid growth experienced, the plug-in electric car segment represents about 1 out of every 250 motor vehicles on the world’s roads at the end of 2018
Source: Reuters Graphics and U.S. Department of Energy
Types of electric vehicles
Conventional vehicles – Use internal combustion engines. Fuel is injected into the engine, mixing with air before being ignited to start the engine.
Hybrid electric vehicles – Powered by both engine and electric motor. The battery is charged internally throughout the engine.
Plug-In Hybrid – Battery can be charged both internally and externally through outlets. Run on electric power before using the engine.
All-electric vehicles – Powered only by electric motor with no engine. Have large traction battery and must be plugged externally to charge.
Electric vehicle technology rises to the occasion
As consumer awareness continues to grow and governments around the world set rigorous new fuel economy standards, automotive technology has also upped its game. The electric Tesla Model S, introduced in 2012, has now sold more than 250,000 electric cars has set an entirely new standard of what was possible in an alternative-powered vehicle. Able to hurtle from 0-to-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, the four-door luxury sedan is the third fastest accelerating production car ever.
Suddenly environmentalists and enthusiasts alike can find something to get excited about in the burgeoning EV movement. Still, despite the rapid-fire growth coming from several different directions, just six countries – China, the U.S., Japan, Canada, Norway, and the UK – currently have EV market shares that are above one percent of total vehicle sales. That number is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years, though.
The key to that growth has been technological improvement in lithium-ion batteries. Technology improvements in this space are causing energy storage prices to drop precipitously.
Lithium batteries have seen an 89% reduction in price and a 73% increase in energy density.
Due to economies of scale, the price for the lithium-ion battery pack is dropping steadily by 15 percent every year and the energy density is increasing. This results in a longer range for the same price. When the range increases more, consumers will accept EVs and the adoption moves along a classic technology adoption curve: from early adopters to laggards. This market is no different from other tech markets.
With this development, EVs will sooner or later reach the price/quality ratios that make them competitive with fossil-fuel alternatives. When this happens, the market will tip into a new direction quickly.