Storage Technologies are Gaining Power in Europe

Clean and sustainable energy solutions will dominate this year’s POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conference in Amsterdam. Several ways to innovate the European power market will be discussed in detail, one of which will be energy storage – could it be the ‘missing piece of the jigsaw’ for renewable energy generation?  

An energy storage system, both practical and cost effective, would help manage the peaks and troughs of demand – a potential game changer in the integration of renewables. Yes, storage technologies are developing fast and a number of technologies exists at a sufficient level of technical and industrial maturity for deployment but are not competitive yet, but innovation is highly needed in order to unlock the significant potential inherent to the services that storage technologies can provide to the system. So what’s the best way to store energy?

Reflecting technical need various solutions are possible depending on whether a larger number of small, local storage facilities or a smaller number of large, central facilities are to be used. Storing energy in the form of heat could well be one of several viable options. This involves storing surplus electricity on a sunny or windy day by heating up water, and either keeping it in that form or using it to heat or chill buildings. The latter can be achieved using thermally activated absorption chillers, adsorption chillers, or desiccant dehumidification systems.

Let’s get technical. Absorption chillers, for example, produce chilled water by separating two different substances that are in thermal equilibrium using heat, then reuniting them through heat removal. Two substances that may be used for this process are water (acting as the refrigerant) and lithium bromide (the absorbent).

So how exactly does this process work? It is driven by heat from natural gas combustion or a waste-heat source. Absorption chillers can be used in conjunction with combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration projects to provide tri-generation or combined heat power and cooling (CHPC) schemes that are typically embedded close to the end user. They help to reduce transportation and distribution losses and, in theory, improve the overall performance of the grid.

So why not put this into practice? The ability to store enough electricity generated from renewable energy – at commercially viable cost – would open the door to an even greater supply of renewable energy sourced power.

However it is not yet quite technically feasible. But a great deal more research is being undertaken in a variety of storage systems, such as chemical (e. g. hydrogen), electrical (e. g. capacitors) electrochemical, (e. g. lithium-ion batteries), mechanical (e. g. compressed air systems), and thermal (e. g. molten salt). There is some way to go before these technologies become widely used. But sure enough, exciting projects incorporating large-scale storage but also decentralised small-scale storage are starting to emerge.

This year’s event will be led by some of the most influential people committed to the development and transition of power generation in Europe, and will highlight views on existing and future EU energy and climate policies. POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe will involve exhibitors, at-show events and detailed discussion of several key areas, including storage technologies; the session chaired by Patrick Clerens will be held on the 9th June at 2pm. For the opportunity to learn from industry specialists register now to attend this year’s event: www.powergeneurope.com/register

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Waste to Energy – Using CO2 as a CO-Tool

At this year’s POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conference in Amsterdam, one of the innovative solutions being used by the European power market that will be discussed at length is Waste to Energy (WtE). With European power being generated through an amalgamation of both renewable and traditional power sources, WtE represents a meeting of both approaches, with by-products of industrial, commercial and domestic consumption being used as fuel, offsetting the carbon emissions of the original power generation or usage.

Biomass is derived from living or recently living organisms. It takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing and returns it as it is burned, thus maintaining a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels. It is because of this closed loop that the use of WtE and biogas techniques are rapidly becoming more popular, as waste being used as fuel negates the need to find an outside power source. Another vital benefit of WtE, which separates it from other ‘clean’ energies such as wind and solar radiation, is its baseload power capabilities. WtE has a steady and controllable output, meaning it can be relied upon for a constant energy supply, where other alternative means of generation can fluctuate.

Due to the obvious benefits of WtE, both for carbon levels and energy generation, it is now seen as an important part of waste management and the energy supply network. Currently, there are more than 450 WtE plants operating across Europe, in particular within France, Germany and Italy. Another reason for WtE’s popularity is because it is helping countries to reduce carbon emissions and hit renewable energy targets.

Furthermore, its popularity is also driving the technology to be refined in different ways. Solutions such as pyrolysis and gasification are enabling biogas to be heated with little or no oxygen to form ‘syngas’, a more efficient fuel than the original fuel it was taken from, and has the ability to be converted into ethanol or hydrogen. With these advancements in the process of converting WtE, and the widespread use of the system in European plants, it is little wonder that analysts have predicted that global revenues in WtE plants will reach $29 billion by 2016.

This year POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe has conference sessions, exhibitors and at-show events dedicated to Waste to Energy. Delegates will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most important people in these dedicated fields, with a conference session entitled “Biomass & waste to energy developments” occurring on Tuesday 9th June at 2pm, to be chaired by Ronald Meijer of DNV GL Energy Netherlands. Register now to attend: www.powergeneurope.com/register

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First keynote speaker unveiled for POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conferences in 2015 in Amsterdam

Keynote address to be headlined by executive director of the International Energy Agency

Maria van der Hoeven has been confirmed as the first speaker for the highly anticipated keynote address at this year’s POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conferences.

Ms van der Hoeven is widely respected for her leadership in the power sector. Since being appointed executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2011, she has implemented a new Global Engagement Strategy to deepen institutional links with the major emerging energy players of the twenty-first century. Another focus of her work has been to provide both the advocacy and analytical foundation needed to expand modern energy services to the billions of people worldwide who currently lack them.

“This conference highlights the importance of sharing research, innovative ideas, and new product designs in order to integrate cleaner solutions with existing fuel resources,” says Ms van der Hoeven. Electricity’s rise to dominance is dramatically and permanently changing the power sector, she says, but “shifting towards electricity is not a free ride, and we must actively manage the growth of electrification if we are to meet our goals for an economic, secure and low-carbon future.

In addition to directing the IEA, Ms van der Hoeven serves on the Advisory Board to the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative. She also is involved with other major international energy institutions, contributing to the global energy dialogue at major events such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the WEF (World Economic Forum), the Clean Energy Ministerial, the EU and the G20, amongst other organisations.

Ms van der Hoeven is the first of many notable speakers to be announced for the conference. “We are thrilled that the IEA’s executive director has agreed to speak at POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe 2015,” says Nigel Blackaby, Director of Conferences, PennWell International UK. “Her previous governmental positions as Minister of Education, Culture, and Science and Minister of Economic Affairs, as well as her experience in leading economic policy at a regional, national, and global level, make her the ideal authority to address the conference on the energy transition that is currently changing Europe.”

With the opportunity to hear Ms van der Hoeven, along with other industry leaders to be announced, professionals will not want to miss this year’s event.

Register here to attend and learn new ways to foster a sustainable energy economy.

http://www.powergeneurope.com/register/pge-reg.html

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Europe’s Energy Transition: Revising new policies for a smarter city

Renewable and traditional power will cross paths at this year’s POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe events. With the global trend of urbanisation prompting environmental concerns and an industry now wired for technology, revision of new policies for a smarter city is hot topic in the European power sector.

The majority of us live in cities and numbers are still increasing. It is estimated that by 2025 60 per cent of the population will live in urban areas, posing a threat to city planners who will have to modernise the way they deliver basic city services. However, action is already underway, as aging energy systems across Europe are being updated with new alternatives in an activity known as ‘urban energy integration’. In Genoa and Copenhagen  for example they are already rolling out integrated systems which manage the supply of electricity, heat, water, and waste water.

A brighter future?

By 2025, it is possible that there will be 26 smart cities and 90 sustainable cities offering market opportunities worth $1.5 trillion in domains such as infrastructure development, technology integration, and energy security services. Smart cities are laid upon smart foundations and encourage implementation of other smart parameters: buildings, citizens, energy, mobility, healthcare, transport, infrastructure, technology, education and governance.

With smart energy the popular subset, major cities such as Hamburg, Vienna and Amsterdam are developing smart grids, introducing smart meters and improving the overall efficiency of services to customers. Also, in time a more efficient grid operation is likely to involve electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage infrastructure. Successful operation of EVs depends on a responsive ‘smart grid’ to enable charging facilities, and to avoid stress on the grid. What’s more, the integration is cyclic: utilities manage waste collection which is then used to generate electricity, heating or chilling in combination with energy storage solutions.

Proactivity and innovation in the energy technology sector is helping to overcome challenges posed by Europe’s trending urbanisation and unsustainable environment. The POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe exhibition in Amsterdam, 9th-11th June 2015 will give energy experts an opportunity to come together, revise new policies, products and skills. The conference will cover nine major themes, one of which is titled ‘Smarter Cities’ which will unveil Europe’s plans for a brighter city and greener future. To register for the event please visit: http://www.powergeneurope.com/register.html.

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Europe’s Energy Transition – Carbon Capturing Our Imagination

The crossroads of renewable and traditional power will play a major part in this years’ POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe events. With the power sector under pressure to reduce emissions and the European Commission breathing down its neck with new policies, inventive and alternative technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) are coming to the fore.

Despite early negative press, it seems CCS will remain a necessity for coal- and gas-fired plants, given that both need to provide base-load or instant power for the foreseeable future. The European Commission views CCS as an important tool. The UK has two pilot projects being undertaken, while in Holland, home to POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe this year, the ROAD project is waiting for finances to be agreed upon.

While significant investment has gone into the operation and management of renewable assets it is important to not neglect the strides conventional power generators are taking to improve and advance their industries. Gas turbine manufacturers, for example, are working closely alongside the grid to ensure they can respond to variations in demand as quickly as possible. CCS will allow these traditional generators the flexibility in delivery that they need, allowing them to store a source of instant power for times when it is needed.

The energy technology sector has a strong track record in responding to new challenges with inventive solutions. So even though the new policies surrounding Europe’s climate and energy are challenging, bold new approaches such as CCS look set to lead the way in solving issues surrounding emissions and delivering a greener energy future. However, if radical new approaches to power generation are to work, discussion and knowledge sharing needs to take place in order to develop ideas and solve implementation problems. The POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conference and exhibition in Amsterdam, 9th-11th June will bring industry professionals together and give them the platform to explore new approaches, products and skills. One of nine major themes for the conference this year is entitled ‘The Big Carbon Question’, which will look at the area in depth over two major sessions. To register for the event please visit: http://www.powergeneurope.com/register.html

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Industry experts reveal steps towards a sustainable energy economy

New approaches, new products, and new skills are necessary to unite the European renewable and general power industry

POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe, the continent’s largest gathering of power industry professionals has unveiled its conference programme for this year’s event, which will focus on how to secure integrated power for a sustainable energy economy. Taking place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 9-11 June 2015, the conference will examine how technological and commercial innovation is accelerating as the European power market reaches the vital nexus between renewable and traditional power.

Europe’s power sector is currently experiencing some radical and permanent changes. To note, the conventional supply chain model of delivering energy from power plants to consumers is shifting to accommodate renewable energy, and significant efforts are being made across Europe to reduce both the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the reliance on energy from fossil fuels. Part of this strategy is to develop innovative business models, new technologies, and a new range of services. Indeed, the pace of change is likely to increase as the new package of climate and energy policies unveiled by the European Commission in early 2014 drives a fresh wave of clean tech investment.

So what exactly will the power industry professionals reveal? First and foremost, the conference programme will address the new approaches, new products, and new skills that the current changes in the power sector demand. As the industry moves towards a decarbonised energy sector and a green society, the delivery of ambitious energy policies and targets will depend on the successful integration of traditional fossil fuels and the fast-growing renewable generation sectors. An integrated approach needs to be applied to electricity supply and also the energy required for heating, chilling and transportation. Finally strategic technological solutions at a local level will help to overcome the current and future challenges of the energy sector and consumers.

Ultimately, the event will illustrate how technological advances can be implemented to assure a viable transition from a fossil fuel-based energy sector to one with significant renewable energy content that is both commercially secure and sustainable.

Attend this year’s event to learn from the world’s foremost technology providers, and leading-industry professionals.

Register here and take steps towards a sustainable energy economy.

http://www.powergeneurope.com/register/pge-reg.html

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Third keynote announced at POWER-GEN and Renewable Energy World Europe 2014

T1S1P1 Martin GiesenPOWER-GEN Europe and its co-located event Renewable Energy World Europe, the leading conference and exhibition for the international power and renewable industries, has confirmed Dr Martin Giesen, Executive Chairman of the Board of Advanced Power AG as the third speaker for the highly anticipated keynote address is. Dr Giesen will be joining Dipl. Ing Matthias Hartung, Chief Executive Officer, RWE Generation SE & RWE Power AG, Germany; and Mr Vesa Riihimaki, President, Power Plants & Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä Corporation, Finland.

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