Tag Archives: POWER-GEN Europe 2012

POWER-GEN Europe Technical Tours 2012: Explore Germany’s energy industry firsthand

This year’s technical tours offer visitors to POWER-GEN Europe 2012 and Renewable Energy World Europe 2012 exclusive access to the BoA 1 Power Plant & Coal Innovation Centre in Bergheim Niederaußem and Windtest Grevenbroich Gmbh’s test field for wind energy systems, just outside Neuss.

In keeping with the theme of this year’s show, ‘integrating the power sector,’ the technical tours give an insight into power-generation in Germany today and show the variety of energy resources Germany relies on. Technical tourists will be given the opportunity to see firsthand how traditional fossil fueled power-stations operate and innovate in the face of carbon reduction laws at BoA1, but also get a glimpse of the future of sustainable power generation, through wind power, courtesy of Windtest Grevenbroich.

The BoA 1 Power Plant & Coal Innovation Centre

The BoA 1 Power Plant was the world’s most modern lignite-fired power-station unit when it went on stream in 2003.

Today it also serves as a ‘Coal innovation centre,’ a base for RWE to carry out research and development into CO2 and how it can be used more safely. Participants will visit the interactive exhibition in RWE’s information centre as well as the power plant itself, gaining valuable insights which can be applied to other projects or plants.

Date: Monday, 11 June, 2012

Meeting Point: North Entrance Foyer, Koelnmesse

Meeting Time: 12:00pm

Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours (5.5 including travelling time)

Cost: €90

 Windtest Grevenbroich

Windtest Grevenbroich Gmbh’s wind turbine test field is the largest of its kind in the world. Cutting edge prototypes are currently tested and measured here as engineers strive to develop

more productive and cost effective turbines. The aim of this tour is to demonstrate how collected data from various measurements, such as stresses, performance curves or electrical characteristics can be used by companies to optimise their wind systems.

Date: Monday, 11 June, 2012

Meeting Time: 08:30am

Meeting Point: North Entrance Foyer, Koelnmesse

Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours (5 hours including travelling time)

Cost: €90

For more information on this year’s Technical Tours please take a look at the pre-show guide for POWER-GEN Europe 2012


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Renewables represent the future, but for now integration is the only option

In the final guest blog in our series, we invited Dr. Eberhard Schreiber, Consultant at Schreiber Consulting, and member of thePOWER-GEN Europe advisory board, to consider what the previous twenty years in the power industry have taught us and what options are available to the power generators of the future.

In this post, Eberhard explores the energy issues and events that have defined the previous two decades, the measures that must to be taken to meet current energy targets and what the technologies of the future can offer.

The past 20 years

The last twenty years were defined by liberalisation and privatisation, but stagnation in power consumption in the late ‘80s and overcapacity saw utilities invest in competitors rather than infrastructure. The Kyoto Agreement also had a major impact on the industry, and the climate debate added to the uncertainty, with utilities unsure of which technologies to invest in.

The power industry’s major suppliers have already accepted that they have to build power plants on the basis of clean power, while utilities recognise renewables, especially wind and solar, as being the way forward.

The next 20 years

Improved energy management – i.e. controlling the consumption (time and quantity) of energy – will be essential in making Europe more energy efficient and reducing peak loads. Storage technologies including water, hydrogen and electric vehicle batteries, will all be crucial moving forward.

Offshore wind will be the biggest area of development and I also expect there to be major investment in high voltage grids over the next 10-15 years as European nations move towards a single system that is much better connected and enables cross-border transmission of electricity. Innovative concepts such as converting solar energy into hydrogen in the Sahara desert and transporting it via pipeline to Europe could also attract a lot of investment.

A carbon-free Europe?

A carbon free Europe in the short term is nearly impossible to achieve and even long-term targets are ambitious. I believe that CCS is not a realistic option going forward, due to its inherent efficiency losses, while storage will not be achievable in most countries. Integration is the best solution for the immediate future and we will continue to rely on a mix of technologies including gas-turbines and combined cycle, renewables of all types and a fleet of modern coal-fired power plants for the base load.

Do you think that CCS has a future? The role of carbon in the energy mix will be a major issue at this year’s POWER-GEN conference. Please take a look at this year’s conference programme for more details.


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A glimpse into the future of the European power industry

In the third our series of guest blogs, Jim Cronin, Principal Consultant , Cronin Energy Consulting and member of the POWER-GEN Europe advisory board, considers the trends that have shaped the energy industry over the past 20 years, and what the future has in store

The past two decades have seen the power industry in flux, and we will likely see the reverberations long into the future.

Over the next ten years in particular, nations will be looking to meet their EU 20-20-20 targets. There will be the challenge of integrating an increasing amount of wind and solar energy into the electricity system, which are of a non-synchronous nature and create operational issues in the form of frequency stability, voltage stability and provision of reserve. There is also the issue of expanding the grid and deploying new transmission lines to accommodate renewables, especially offshore renewables that are located quite some distance from the grid load sites.

The financial crisis has also had consequences in that there has been a slowdown in electricity demand, significant withdrawal of funds and reduced appetite for investment. This will no doubt continue to affect the industry; the long-term future for renewables is good, but a lot depends on availability of finance.

Nuclear, gas- and coal-fired plant technologies will continue to evolve and increase in efficiency. In particular, development of CCS for coal-fired plants will need to advance because there are such large reserves of coal. There will also be parallel development of wind, solar and wave, as well as geothermal and storage. Another key development is smart grid, which is currently undergoing a tremendous amount of work and will be extremely important to the operation of electricity systems in the future.

The carbon free challenge

To enable a carbon-free or carbon-neutral power industry you have to get nuclear back on track. Of course, the big challenge is to gain public acceptance. Indeed, industry and government need to reevaluate the challenge of better communicating the need for technology development in general – including nuclear, shale gas, CCS, coal and renewables – as these technologies are key to sustaining our way of life and preserving the planet. We also have to develop smart grids and realize the single European market for electricity.

I’m really looking forward to POWER-GEN in Cologne this year and hearing how the industry plans to address these issues.

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POWER- GEN Europe Conference programme details

As in previous years, POWER-GEN Europe 2012 will also feature a conference running alongside the exhibition floor, with in-depth sessions covering a range of topics related to the European power sector. There will be several topics ‘tracks’, with each one including several sessions around a common theme. The latest track will look at the issue of integration, and was decided at the Advisory Board earlier in November. The session programme for this will be announced in the first quarter of next year, and you can expect to see sessions presented on flexible generation, electricity storage, smart grids and infrastructure management and grid development

Alongside this new track with be six parallel tracks covering strategy and business issues facing power producers and carbon reduction technologies, including several session focusing on the technology options for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and its cost implications. Optimisation and flexibility are two of the main themes that will be covered in the gas fired generation track and biomass will be a central topic in the track dealing with other combustion technologies.

The remaining tracks will present a full programme of presentations in the areas of power plant control and automation as well as operations and maintenance. Delegates can expect to hear from all the major equipment supplies as well as a host of specialist engineering supply and service experts.

For those wanting to learn more about renewable technologies there will be sessions devoted to specific technologies as well as the finance and investment issues. A special session looking at how the municipal power companies are approaching renewables in Germany will be one of the highlights. The nuclear programme will include an examination of the results and implications of the European stress tests on nuclear plants, the opportunities for integration, and the issue of decommissioning – an increasingly relevant subject for Germany.

Delegates to all three conferences can attend any sessions including those covering renewable energy and the sessions devoted to nuclear power.

With POWER-GEN Europe having served the information and networking needs of the power sector for 20 years and now co-located with Renewable Energy World Europe, this combined conference and exhibition is perfectly placed to provide a platform for market integration of these complementary sectors. To register your attendance to the show, please visit our website.


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