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thermal energy

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The renewable power sector will be the fastest growing sector in India, driven by solar and wind energy, though thermal power will continue to dominate, according to GlobalData’s latest report, India Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2018 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape.

The report reveals that though installed non-hydro renewable power capacity and generation levels are expected to race ahead at high compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 12% and 13.2%, respectively during the forecast period (2018–2030), this will not be enough to dislodge thermal power’s dominance which is still expected to account for nearly half of the capacity mix in 2030.

During the forecast period, the cumulative installed capacity is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5%. Nuclear power installed capacity is expected to show a greater growth rate than the historical period, at 9.7%, closely preceded by renewable power capacity at 12%. Thermal and hydropower capacities are expected to show growth rates of 2.1% and 3.4% respectively, during this period.

Non-hydro renewables are expected to contribute to nearly 40% of the installed capacity and a little over 14% of generation in 2030.

Thermal power will still be expected to contribute to around 48% of the installed capacity in 2030, with coal contributing to nearly 85% of the installed thermal capacity – similar to the scenario in 2017.

However, coal’s contribution to the total installed capacity is expected to decline from 57.9% in 2017 to around 40% in 2030, primarily due to an increase in contributions from wind, which is expected to increase from 8.6% to 14.9%, and solar PV whose share is expected to increase from 5.6% to 20.8% during the same period.

The high projections for wind and solar power particularly are attributed to the high potential for these energy sources in India, as well as the declining prices of raw materials, which are in turn leading to a dramatic fall in tariffs for these energy sources.

In 2016, the lowest tariff discovered in solar PV auctions was $0.065/kWh, which fell to as low as $0.038/kWh in 2017. In wind auctions, the first of which was held in February 2017, the lowest tariff value recorded was $0.051/kWh and this declined to $0.038/kWh in an auction held in September 2018.

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Italy derived most of its electricity from thermal power in 2017, contributing with a 50.7% of its installed capacity, and with natural gas alone accounting for 41%, according to GlobalData. The company’s latest report ‘Italy Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2018 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’ reveals that, government policy is oriented towards scrapping coal based capacity between 2025 and 2030, while renewable energy auctions, to be started by 2020, will help to compensate for this loss.

Renewable power is Italy’s fastest-growing energy source, owing to the 2011 referendum that closed any option for the government to restart nuclear power generation and a rising need to ensure energy security. Solar PV and wind power are the leading renewable sources.

Installed non-hydro renewable capacity increased from 1.7 GW in 2000 to 34.5 GW in 2017. Italy recorded notable progress with respect to the development of installed solar capacity, which grew from 19 MW in 2000 to around 19.7 GW in 2017. The onshore wind market also grew exponentially, from 364 MW to 9.8 GW, owing to strong policy support from the government in the form of FiTs. From 2018 to 2030, renewable installed capacity is expected to grow to 63.4 GW in 2030.

Continuous modifications to the support schemes deter long-term investment planning and hinder access to financing and unclear taxation rules are also a significant barrier, especially for biofuels.

GlobalData’s report also finds that gas and oil-based capacities are expected to remain stable in the country with some of its oil-based capacity expected to be converted to gas. Coal based capacity is expected to cease beyond 2024 due to the decommissioning of the existing coal based power plants.

Installed thermal capacity grew from 53.5 GW in 2000 to 58.8 GW in 2017 at a CAGR of 0.6%. Thermal capacity accounted for 50.7% of installed capacity in 2017, of which gas contributed 41%, while coal and oil contributed respective shares of 7.5% and 2.2%. From 2018 to 2030, installed thermal capacity is expected to decrease to 51.1 GW, at a negative CAGR of 1.1%.

Italy imports more than 90% of its coal requirement from South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Colombia, and the US. It possesses small deposits of coal reserves, most of which are in South Sardinia. It also imports gas, primarily from Algeria and Russia. Although it possesses economically accessible gas reserves, a declining trend in gas production has been observed since the mid-1990s, caused by national energy policies formulated by the government that do not support gas production. However, the government is increasing the share of renewable energy sources over concerns over energy security.

Thermal power’s share is expected to be overshadowed by non-hydro renewable power, with its share in installed capacity declining to 36.9%. The share of non-hydro renewable capacity is expected to increase to 45.8% by 2030.

Source: GlobalData

Among innovative technology providers developing a thermal energy storage system, Norway-based cleantech company EnergyNest is currently one of the partners selected by multinational energy provider Enel for the analysis of the benefits and impacts of the integration of its technology in one of Enel’s numerous power generation assets. According to EnergyNest, impressive economic and climate-relevant figures could be achieved by the company’s latest thermal energy storage technology when integrated in full-scale: annual CO2 reduction of up to 45,000 tons, 14 million liters of fuel oil saved per year and project payback in less than three years.

The collaboration launched with EnergyNest gives Enel the chance to evaluate EnergyNest’s Thermal Energy Battery solution in real-life conditions and identify full-scale business-applications for the technology integrated into thermal power plants. The objective of the innovative project is to demonstrate how waste heat recovery in Thermal Energy Storage can increase flexibility and sustainability of thermal power plants. This activity will allow Enel to assess technology robustness, its potential contribution to increasing efficiency, and its positive environmental impact.

EnergyNest has unveiled its first Thermal Battery Module produced in its new manufacturing hub in Europoort, Rotterdam. Manufacturing for two commercial projects is now expected to start at the end of the year. EnergyNest’s innovative battery modules consist of locally-sourced, recyclable materials – framed steel pipes set with Heatcrete, a high-performance thermal-energy-storing concrete developed in partnership with HeidelbergCement, Germany’s multinational buildings material company.

Source: EnergyNest

To kick off the Global Wind Summit, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) will celebrate the topping-out ceremony of its electric thermal energy storage (ETES) facility in Hamburg-Altenwerder. With this innovative storage system, Siemens Gamesa is providing an answer to one of the central challenges facing the energy transition: how to make the supply and demand for electricity from renewable energy sources more flexible. The facility can store up to 30 MWh of energy and boasts maximum scalability at a low investment cost. The pilot facility is currently in the final construction phase, and all of the storage facility’s buildings and main components have already been completed.

The storage facility, able to hold the daily energy requirements of 1,500 German households, is set to be commissioned in 2019. Scientists from the Institute of Thermo-fluid Dynamics at the Technical University of Hamburg and the energy supplier Hamburg Energie have been involved in the development. Hamburg Energie will sell the stored power on the energy markets. Hamburg’s municipal energy supplier developed an IT platform to which the storage unit is connected. The platform guarantees that maximum possible proceeds are achieved by an optimized storage usage. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy is promoting storage development as part of the Future Energy Solutions project.

Renewable energies are available in large quantities when there is plenty of wind and sun – often more than the electricity grids can transport today. Storage facilities are used to buffer periods of low production, for example when there is a lull or it is dark. A lot of storage facilities have limited capacities or the storage technologies are too expensive, however. With ETES, Siemens Gamesa has developed a storage facility that reduces the construction and operating costs of larger storage capacities to a fraction of the usual level for battery storage. In commercial use, the technology can store energy at a cost of well below ten euro cents per kilowatt hour.

The simple thermal principle of the storage facility is based on known components which are used in a new combination. For example, fans and heating elements from series production are used to convert the electrical energy into a hot air flow. The same applies to reconversion: a highly dynamic Siemens steam boiler is used as standard in a steam turbine to produce electricity at the end of the storage chain. Siemens Gamesa invested the largest amount of research in the insulating container filled with a rockfill, the core of the innovation. In this research project, the Siemens Gamesa team investigated the thermo-fluid-dynamic principles of bulk material storage technology. Their findings enable scaling to the current scale.

A very interesting option of this technology is to convert decommissioned thermal power plants into high-performance storage facilities for renewable energies at a low cost. With this second-live option, the majority of components such as grid connection, turbines and generators can continue to be used.

After extensive tests, the new storage facility is to be incorporated into regular operations in partnership with Hamburg Energie GmbH.

Source: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE)

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E.ON is helping to make mineral water and soft drinks from Italy more climate friendly: Aqua Minerale San Benedetto, one of the world’s top producers of alcohol-free beverages, has put into service an innovative combined heat-and-power plant. With an output of 13.2 MW, the trigeneration plant located in Scorzè near Venice was planned, built, financed and operated by E.ON and will reduce energy costs by 15 percent and cut CO2 emissions by 17,300 tons.



E.ON’s partnership with Acqua Minerale San Benedetto, whose portfolio includes brands like Schweppes or Energade, began in 2014 with a comprehensive energy audit of existing production and planning for a new power plant.

The aim was to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact. As a result, the partners signed a long-term agreement to supply 100 GWh of electricity and 70 GWh of thermal energy, including steam and cooling water.

Source: E.ON

Many property owners’ associations have obsolete diesel-fired thermal power generation plants. Such installations are fairly inefficient, generating a high level of contamination with no system in place to share out costs between neighbours. One such property owners’ association, comprising 11 blocks of dwellings situated in Mondragón (Guipúzcoa), will save over €500,000 by replacing diesel with biomass and has commissioned Grupo Aresol to undertake the installation of a district heating network that will supply hot water and heating to every home under the format of an energy services contract.

This property owners’ association of 82 dwellings used to have a diesel-fired boiler room that consumed 93,500 litres per year, and took the decision to go for renewable energy. This shift towards clean energy would also represent a significant economic saving for the property owners’ association. During the first year, it would save 14%, with an estimated 33% saving expected by the end of the energy services contract.

The new thermal installation consists of two Herz brand multifuel boilers. One is a Biomatic 500 model with a nominal capacity of 500 kW and the other is a Firematic 201 model with 201 kW of nominal
capacity. During the season both boilers run simultaneously, but during low consumption periods, only one is in operation. They are equipped with automatic ignition, continuous modulation burners and are equipped to adapt to the energy demand at all times in addition to guaranteeing a high level of efficiency and saving. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2016

Three power plants to supply an area of more than 15,000,000 m2

Barcelona, a cosmopolitan and dynamic city, is also the precursor in Spain of a still emerging market: DHC networks. In 2006, an amendment to the Metropolitan General Plan was approved for urban conversion in the neighbourhood of La Marina through a DHC network, intended to reconcile residential use with businesses.

At that time, the L’Hospitalet and Barcelona town councils agreed to extend the service to Plaza Europa, the Gran Vía de L’Hospitalet, the port and the free zone. This agreement has resulted in the construction of a DHC network which, through three plants and a network of pipes, supply heat to customers in the residential, industrial and tertiary sector (hospitals, offices, sports centres, shopping centres, schools etc.).