Dams be damned: read this and more in the new Future Power

17 July 2019 (Last Updated June 17th, 2020 15:41)

In this issue: going 100% renewable, the last coal power stations left in the UK, filling the energy skills gap, and more.

Dams be damned: read this and more in the new Future Power

Future Power Technology is back for another issue packed with industry news and analysis. You can read the magazine for free online on any desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. If you’d like to be notified by email when a new issue is available, simply sign up here.

Many targets have been set, and many predictions made, but what really needs to be done for the world to transition to an entirely renewable energy system? We take a look at the technologies that will pave the way for a cleaner energy future.

As the UK increasingly embraces renewables, it is moving away from coal for good. We profile the seven remaining coal plants in the country.

Solar panels are one of the most popular and successful forms of renewables, yet they remain hugely inefficient. How can you balance increases in efficiency with cost

Hydropower has come under criticism following a report produced by the World Bank showing that the technology can hold back nations. Should countries steer clear of the power source? New, alternative technologies and solutions are constantly being developed, and the Start-Up Energy Transition (SET) initiative has produced a list of the top 100.

Finally, we look at the nuclear renationalisation debate in France, the UK’s failing power companies and what can be done about them, and how the energy recruitment sector is powering up.

In this issue

Politics not technology: what must change for the world to go 100% renewable by 2050 

Researchers from the energy watch group and the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology in Finland have released a report, with the ambitious claim that the world can be entirely reliant on renewable energy sources by 2050, without significant technological advances. JP Casey takes a look at the report, and asks what needs to be done to reach that lofty target.

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Facing its demons: inside the UK’s broken energy market 

With a number of sensational business collapses in recent months, the UK energy sector is enduring a difficult time. Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with Warwick business school global energy research network’s David Elmes about the challenge smaller companies face and how regulators are moving to stabilise the sector.

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Bright futures: efficiency versus cost in solar cell production

While the use of solar cells is become increasingly widespread, the silicon technology used in many types is becoming obsolete. JP Casey looks at concentrated solar power, micro-trackers and perovskite compounds as innovations that could potentially improve solar efficiency.

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Dams be damned: is hydropower holding countries back? 

A 2000 report by the world commission on dams showed a huge fall in popularity, leading some to declare the era of the dam was over. Almost two decades on and they are enjoying something of a renaissance. Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with professor Benjamin Sovacool about the impact dams have on the socioeconomics of a country and why corruption is often rife.

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Seven up: the last operating coal plants in the UK

Once the heartbeat of the UK, from the industrial revolution to the early 1980s, coal is going through a terminal decline. Coal-fired power stations will officially be assigned to the dustbin of history by 2025 when they are fully decommissioned. Jack Unwin takes a look at the final seven powering the country.

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Nuclear renationalisation: the debate

As EDF and the French government consider the possibility of renationalising the firm’s nuclear business to shelter its capital-intensive operations from the pressures of the market, what would be the benefits and drawbacks of renationalising nuclear power in France or elsewhere? Our editors Chris Lo and Molly Lempriere put forward the case for and against.

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Get up, start up: the top start-up companies in the energy industry

Who are the leading start-ups in the energy industry? Jack Unwin takes a look at some of the most innovative companies competing in the sector worldwide.

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Filling the energy skills gap: a conversation with Jonathan Lee recruitment

As the UK’s energy generation increasingly moves towards renewables, how has the job market changed? Lee Elwell and Les Hines of Jonathan Lee recruitment sat down with Jack Unwin to explain how everything from data analytics, to contract work and Brexit are affecting recruitment.

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Preview – Future Power

Investment is key for the success of the renewable transition, but what makes a country more attractive than others to investors? We take a look at the latest EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index and find out where is the best place for renewables investment.

The Asian Development Bank funds a staggering number of energy projects; we ask about the principles behind the organisation’s investment decisions. In the UK, companies are looking for new ways to allow anyone to own a bit of a renewable project. Ripple Energy presents consumers with the option of co-owning a wind farm, but could this model really bring about household savings and will people be interested?

Utility scale wind power is one of the most successful types of renewable energy in the world, but now distributed turbines are becoming increasingly popular too. We ask whether these smaller turbines could ever catch up with their large scale counterparts. A team in Texas A&M University have developed a technology, based on the sonar system of a bat that could help the creatures avoid the spinning blades.

Finally, we speak to Greenpeace about their stance on nuclear power, take a look at the difficulties of choosing a hydropower site and look at the history of Three Mile Island ahead of its upcoming closure.