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June 7, 2018

Future Power Technology – Issue 99

In this issue: ABB’s remote digital operations centre, alternatives to lithium in batteries, smart grids, blockchain, GE’s new supersized turbine, US investments in renewables, cleaner gas power, and more.

By Ceri Jones

Digitisation of the energy sector is a matter of when not if, but with so many new technologies and solutions available where do you even start? ABB is launching its first digital operations centre in Genoa dedicated to power producers. We speak to ABB and explore how remote digital solutions can help plant managers reduce costs and better manage fundamental disruption to the sector.

Sticking with technology, we also speak to the company behind the Internet of Things-inspired smart grid which has connected 900,000 meters and rising to the national system; we ask if the upcoming, government-supported Origen Power could create cleaner gas plants, assess the power of new-age commodities and their potential to compete with lithium in the green battery market, and find out from GE the challenges of creating ever-larger wind turbines.

Also, we consider the political ramifications of the US Government’s $1.3tn omnibus spending package which ignores the Trump administration’s demands for deep cuts in the renewables sector.

Click here to read the latest energy industry news and analysis, and join the conversation on Twitter.

In this issue

Standing tall: GE’s supersized new wind turbine GE has announced the launch of its Haliade X wind turbine – the biggest ever, overtaking previous record-holder Vestas. There are plenty of advantages to upping the scale and height of wind turbines, but what are the challenges that come with ever-increasing size and altitude? Click to read

Is collaboration the key to digital agility? Digitisation of the energy sector is a matter of when, not if, but with so many new solutions available where do companies start? ABB is launching its first digital operations centre in Genoa dedicated to power producers. We explore how remote digital solutions can help plant managers reduce costs and maintenance efforts, as well as better manage fundamental disruption to the sector.  Furthermore, we ask how ABB’s new offering stacks up against its competitors. Click to read

Are sodium batteries worth their salt? The lithium-ion battery has become synonymous with the green energy revolution, but as the supply of lithium and the environmental impact of mining the mineral come into question the search for alternative battery technologies and materials is increasing. This has led to a number of breakthroughs, including the less expensive, more abundant and less toxic sodium-ion batteries and the world’s first formic acid based fuel cell. But do any of these alternatives stand a chance of challenging lithium? Click to read

The US fights on for clean energy The US Government’s new omnibus spending package essentially ignores the Trump administration’s demands for deep cuts to clean energy investment. Funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy was increased 14% rather than the 69% cut, while the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy got a boost of 16%, despite speculation that it would be shut down. What’s possible with this boosted funding, and what of the political ramifications? Click to read

Building a smarter grid in the Netherlands Netherlands-based Enexis Netbeheer is building an IoT inspired smart grid and already has 900,000 smart electricity meters connected to the system, with more planned. But deployment of connected devices on this scale needs sophisticated management, so how is it done? We spoke to the company to find out. Click to read

A natural gas plant to lower emissions The UK Government has awarded a grant of £1m to Origen Power, to allow it to build a 400kW prototype plant that will test its new gas plant. It claims the technology is capable of removing more carbon dioxide from the air than it creates, while generating power and remaining cost-effective. Could this technology mark the beginning of new, cleaner, gas power? Click to read

Blockchain boosting the solar industry Blockchain is growing in use and diversity and even the energy sector is keen to embrace what it has to offer. Here, Noel Shannon, COO of Hyperion Fund, explains how the firm is connecting the sector with the power of blockchain, to expedite solar projects and industry growth. Click to read 

Preview – Future Power July

Concrete has poured at what will be Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) is building the controversial plant, which critics fear will further the increasing the influence Russia holds over Turkey’s energy system. So what does this mean for Turkey’s energy supply and its relationship with Russia? And with Italian oil company Eni reportedly considering doubling its investment into nuclear fusion technology, having already invested $50m in an MIT-based fusion spinout, we ask, has the worm turned on nuclear fusion investment?

Google kicks off the race to map out solar potential with its Project Sunroof, pinpointing the areas with the best solar energy resources, we ask why Atlantis Resources’ MeyGen is being hailed as Scotland’s most significant tidal project to date,

We speak to tech startup Open Energy Market to ask if AI could one day remove the middle man from the provider-customer utility relationship, and find out if California’s net metering battery concept could serve both consumers and grid stability alike.

About Future Power

You can now read Future Power Technology for free across all devices, including mobile. It is still free to read and you can subscribe to get all the latest news, analysis and insight on the global energy industry delivered straight to your phone.

You can also browse our back issues in our archive, available on desktop and on iPad.

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