Intention to suspend this blog

Anyone looking at this blog will notice there has not been any activity recently. The group that was looking after energy coordination at UHI has been disbanded so the few staff left have not prioritized this blog as a means of communication, and for the foreseeable future this will not change.

It is not our intention to update this blog during 2014, but we will be leaving it in it’s current state until we can resurrect it. We will concentrate our announcements (albeit of a shorter and more general research nature) on the UHI Research Twitter feed – please visit us at:

UHI Research Twitter-logo-011-web

UKERC analysis – relative energy costs

Data from Robert Gross at Imperial College London – graph from The Guardian

The following caught my eye in a series run last week by The Guardian, a interesting adjuct to the previous article.

Key to plots:

GAS – Rising wholesale gas prices have driven the UK’s rising energy bills in recent years. Forecasts show a wide range of cost scenarios, reflecting uncertainty over a fuel which is increasingly imported

OFFSHORE WIND – The cost of offshore wind rose dramatically in the last decade, due in part to steel prices and supply chain shortages. Authoritative forecasts suggest costs will come down 25% by 2025

ONSHORE WIND – Onshore turbines are likely to stabilise in cost, according to a range of forecasts, which have a relatively narrow spread of outcomes. Expected to become cheaper than gas this decade

FULL DETAILS OF ARTICLES AND STATS FROM UKERC

EVENT UPDATES…

Marine Energy Industry Liaison Day

Friday 16th March 2012, 9am-4pm

The ETP Marine Energy Liaison Day is a free event taking place in the heart of Edinburgh to promote and encourage interaction between Scottish Universities and the marine energy industry sector. Speaking at the event will be representatives from Edinburgh, Heriot Watt, Strathclyde, Robert Gordon Universities and UHI covering a range of important industrially targeted themes including:

Device Hydrodynamics
Resource assessment
Numerical Modelling and CFD
Economic Models
Environmental Issues
Array and Deployment Testing
Full Scale Demonstration

There will be opportunities to have 1-1 meeting with academics throughout the day. The event will take place at 15 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA.

FULL ANNOUNCEMENT AND REGISTRATION HERE

EVENT FLYER HERE (pdf)

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Renewable Energy Spring Mini-Conference

22nd March 2012 12.30pm to 5.00pm, Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, IV2 3LP

In this unique free event, leading Inverness renewable energy solicitors Wright, Johnston and Mackenzie LLP (WJM) are bringing together the experts you need to help you get your renewable energy project off the ground. Whether it’s community, micro or large-scale renewables, the challenges are still the same. At this afternoon mini-conference, you’ll hear from those who have done it and those who can help you achieve your aims. The event is aimed at landowners, land & estate agents, developers and communities.

Three workshops will cover respectively hydro generation, community renewables and planning. Workshops will be short, sharp and intensive. Attendance is free. A light buffet lunch will be served at 12.30pm with drinks and canapés at the informal networking session afterwards

Places are limited and must be booked through invernessevents@wjm.co.uk

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Other event dates already confirmed: see our UHI WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS

Renewable UK, Wave & Tidal Event 2012

Mar 15, 2012

Sustainable Energy conference and partnering event

Mar 20, 2012

Sustainable Energy: Challenges and Opportunities for the supply chain

Mar 20, 2012

All Energy – Aberdeen

Mar 23, 2012

Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference

Apr 26, 2012

EIMR International Conference – Orkney

May 01, 2012

Wave Hub, Hayle fills second test berth

February 8, Cornwall

Wave Hub, off Hayle on the north coast of Cornwall have announced that the second of their 4 test berths has now been reserved (Ocean Power Technologies has already signed a commitment agreement to deploy its PowerBuoy device). Ireland’s Ocean Energy Limited is working with Wave Hub, the grid-connected offshore marine energy test site, expects to deploy a full-scale device at the site later this year having tested a quarter scale prototype of its OE Buoy in Galway Bay for three years.

Ocean Energy’s OE Buoy uses the oscillating water column principle and they are working in partnership with Dresser-Rand. As waves enter a subsea chamber they force air through a turbine on the surface, generating electricity. As the waves recede they cause a vacuum, drawing air back through the turbine. Ocean Energy’s technology means the turbine rotates continuously regardless of the direction of the airflow. This improves efficiency and means it only has one moving part, minimising maintenance costs.

Dresser-Rand and Ocean Energy Limited already have a memorandum of understanding to develop a full range of full-scale devices to produce commercial electricity. Dresser-Rand developed and patented the HydroAir™ turbine – a variable radius turbine that uses a combination of stainless steel, aluminium and reinforced composites to resist corrosion. The turbine is constructed to withstand the rigors of a marine environment, and demonstrates higher levels of efficiency when compared to existing impulse designs across a wide range of incident flows.

FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

Sustainable energy supply chain conference

20-21st March 2012, Craighouse Campus, Edinburgh Napier University

This event will look at both the challenges and the opportunities emerging for companies interested in the supply chain for the rapidly growing sustainable energy industry. By taking part, you will:

  • Gain new trading opportunities in the sustainable energy sector
  • Find out how other companies are working in the supply chain
  • Make valuable links with organisations in the North Sea and Baltic regions
  • Enterprise Europe Network Scotland business partnering offers a valuable targeted networking opportunity, enabling prearranged half-hour, one-to-one meetings with companies of your choice. Around 50 sustainable energy companies from across the North Sea and Baltic regions are expected to register for the partnering event and use it to increase their trading opportunities.

    The conference will highlight how companies from various regions are working in the supply chain, as well as showing the benefits of joining the European Business Support Network. This is a collection of online and offline service providers which offers a self assessment tool, training programmes, tendering platform and contractual guidance. It links with the Enterprise Europe Network to increase innovative business across the European supply chain.

    Speakers include:

  • Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action
  • Catrinus Jepma, Scientific Director of the Energy Delta Research Centre
  • To find out more, please contact Jane Watters, Knowledge Transfer Executive:

    Email: jane.watters@scotent.co.uk
    Tel: +44 (0) 141 228 2792

    Conference registration link
    Partnering event registration link

    UK Wind Power Passes the 6 Gigawatt Threshold

    Although quite widely reported I felt it was important to recognise this milestone in the development of wind generation in the UK.

    RenewableUK, the trade association representing the renewable energy industries, has announced that the country’s wind sector has reached a landmark 6 gigawatts of installed capacity – enough to supply electricity to 3,354,893 homes.

    The 6GW threshold was reached following recent installation work at the Ormonde offshore wind farm, off the coast of Cumbria, which now has 120 megawatts (MW) operational.

    RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery said:

    “This is a landmark achievement. There’s a great feeling of pride throughout the industry that we’ve reached a record high of 6 gigawatts, and there’s a further 19.5GW of capacity under construction, consented, or in planning.

    The Government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap is calling for 31GW of onshore and offshore wind combined by 2020, and we’re confident that we can deliver this if we continue to get the right level of Government support”.

    The Chairman of Scottish Renewables, Jeremy Sainsbury said:

    “We obviously join the renewables industry in celebrating reaching the 6GW mark and congratulate the Scottish sector in contributing almost 50 per cent towards this important milestone.

    “It is clear that with Scotland’s 2020 target of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables that we will continue to play a significant part in delivering capacity across the UK”.

    FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

    ETP call for proposals for Doctoral Studentship programme

    The Energy technology Partnership (ETP) have announced they are able to offer up to 20 studentships in 2012, specifically related to the areas of:

    • Wind energy;
    • Marine energy;
    • Bio-energy;
    • Solar energy;
    • Energy conversion and storage;
    • Energy materials;
    • Grid and networks;
    • Energy utilisation in buildings;
    • Carbon Capture and Storage.

    Download GUIDANCE NOTES to learn more about the programme, deadline for submission and application requirements.

    More details at ETP WEBSITE.

    SuperGen project launches their new information website

    The SuperGen Marine Energy Research Consortium has entered it’s third phase and has launched it’s NEW WEBSITE and the UK Centre for Marine Energy Research.
    Their stated aim is “To conduct world-class fundamental and applied research that assists the marine energy sector in the UK to reliably and dependably accelerate deployment rates and ensure sustained growth in generating capacity to meet the 2020 targets.”

    The site is full of useful current information on the developments within marine generation research and technologies. In particular, they have a very useful REPORTS PAGE, titles include:

    SuperGen Phase Two Monograph
    SuperGen Phase One Monograph
    OES International Vision for Ocean Energy
    ORECCA European Offshore Renewable Energy Roadmap
    UKERC Marine Roadmap
    ETI Marine Energy Technology Roadmap
    Guidance for Numerical Modelling in Wave and Tidal Energy
    Guidance for the Experimental Tank Testing of Wave Energy Converters
    An Appraisal of a Range of Fluid Modelling Software

    There is also a fully SEARCHABLE DATABASE which contains all 341
    abstracts of the SuperGen Marine Phase 1 and 2 research outputs:
    Searches can be made by Title/Author/Year, Phase and Workstream.

    E.ON to convert wind power into hydrogen for storage


    E.ON has announced it is developing a pilot plant in Falkenhagen in the north east of Germany to convert power from wind energy into hydrogen which can then be stored in the country’s gas grid. The company is investing over EUR5 million on the pilot plant and further research into this innovative technology.

    Using power from renewable energy sources, they estimate the plant could produce about 360 m³ of hydrogen per hour from 2013 onwards through electrolysis. The hydrogen will be fed into the Ontras gas pipeline system and be used like normal natural gas. This makes the gas grid a storage system for power from weather-dependent renewables.

    “We need new storage capacities so that we can further increase the share of weather-dependent wind power in our generation portfolio in coming years. Using the existing gas infrastructure to store hydrogen is a promising approach in the long run, enabling us to combine our strengths as a power and gas company,” said Professor Klaus-Dieter Maubach, member of the E.ON AG Board of Management responsible for Technology & Development. At present, up to 5 percent hydrogen can be added to the natural gas grid without any problems, and in the medium term experts expect up to 15 percent. This means that today’s entire renewable power output could be stored in the German gas grid.

    FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

    EIMR international conference 2012 – Orkney

    May 1-3 2012, Kirkwall.

    Next year, UHI will host a ground-breaking, international science conference in Orkney, together with Heriot-Watt University’s Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) and the University of Aberdeen.

    The International Conference on the Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies (EIMR) 2012, will bring together leading international specialists with the aim to review leading research from around the world and come to an understanding on whether and how emerging technologies might affect coastlines and the seabed, as well as marine animals and seabirds and the human communities living in the areas where development is expected to take place. The core conference programme will take place May 1–3, 2012, but it is expected that, with planned field trips and fringe meetings, the delegates will be in Orkney for around a week.

    Organisers are requesting abstracts, which should consist of a one-paragraph summary (ca. 100 words), a list of 3-5 key words, the contact details of all the authors, and a correspondence address. This should be submitted by email to the conference organiser for consideration by the Scientific Steering Committee at contact@eimr.org The closing date for submissions is 30 November 2011. It is intended that the programme will be finalised by the end of January 2012. Informal enquiries about the conference may also be sent to the same address.

    The relevant subjects include:

      Energy Resources, for example wave, tidal, and meteorological measurements.
      Physical and Biophysical Modelling.
      Environmental Interactions – for example observations of devices in relation to currents, sediments, benthic and pelagic species, migratory birds and marine mammals.
      Studies into disturbance and contamination in ecosystems.
      Ecological methodologies and study design.
      Marine Acoustics.
      Engineering and Technical Challenges – for example concerning moorings, seabed survey, navigation and positioning.
      The sustainability of the marine renewables industry, and shaping of national and international policy and regulation.
      Socio-economic investigations: for example, regarding community, stakeholder, heritage, archaeological and cultural considerations.

    Confirmation of the detailed programme will be available at the end of Jan 2012. Informal enquiries about the conference should be directed to contact@eimr.org

    See all details at the EIMR conference website.