After decades of research and billions of dollars of funding, it seems time could be running out for ‘clean coal’. With the future of the US Department of Energy-backed Texas Clean Energy Project uncertain in the absence of firm private finance, and the former flagship Kemper County Energy Facility beset by legal actions, Dr Gareth Evans hears from the rising number of voices proclaiming clean coal to be a lost cause.
Sixty-one years on from giving the world its first-ever nuclear power plant, Russia is once again at the forefront of atomic energy. Dr Gareth Evans finds out how the country is shaping up to be the new titan in world nuclear technology.
As the call to abandon fossils fuels grows, the future for coal power has never been so uncertain. Integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology, however, might be the best shot at achieving the holy grail of ‘clean coal’, but will it ever be financially viable? Dr Gareth Evans reports.
Britain’s ability to generate green electricity is growing, but with utility-scale solar farms typically covering up to 100 acres of land or more – usually in rural areas – is it good news for wildlife?
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Germany is turning to virtual power plants (VPPs) to tackle the problem of intermittent renewable energy supply and gradually overhaul its energy mix. With the ability to properly integrate renewables into the grid and account for fluctuating supply and demand, could VPPs be the key to a renewable future?
The complex challenge of turbine maintenance in the hostile underwater environment is an obstacle to wider tidal energy adoption. Researchers in the UK and elsewhere are modelling turbine behaviour and unstable loads, to improve marine turbine life expectancy and drive innovative new designs.
With the acquisition of turbine manufacturer Tidal Generation Limited from Rolls-Royce in January 2013, Alstom has consolidated its position in the marine energy market. Dr Gareth Evans spoke to Alstom to find out more about the company’s ambitions, and how they have bolstered an already large portfolio of cutting-edge renewable technologies.
With a new generation of power plants waiting in the wings, decommissioning the UK’s ageing nuclear facilities represents a critical long-term challenge to the industry – and not a cheap one. Dr Gareth Evans reports on the scale of current decommissioning work and finds out what new technologies are likely to be enlisted for this mammoth undertaking.