Mar 30, 2020

Eastern renewable energy projects gather momentum

Solar
Renewable Energy
Wind
Nuclear Energy
William Girling
2 min
New wind and solar projects in Hungary and Turkey are beginning to turn the tide of national reliance on fossil fuels
New wind and solar projects in Hungary and Turkey are beginning to turn the tide of national reliance on fossil fuels. 

New wind and solar projects in Hungary and Turkey are beginning to turn the tide of national reliance on fossil fuels. 

A 131.4 MW allocation of solar PV capacity was recently auctioned by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (HEPURA), which has been organised into 60 individual projects as part of the country’s innovative renewables programme.

Similarly, a 25 MW wind farm is scheduled to be constructed in the Black Sea town of Ordu, Turkey. The Mayor of Ordu, Mehmet Hilmi Güler, has reportedly stated that further wind and solar projects will be forthcoming.

Adopting renewable energy

It had been speculated that countries in Eastern Europe and Western Asia would be slower to adopt renewable energy, owing to the convenient proximity and economic importance of fossil fuels, particularly coal.

This theory is seemingly valid in Turkey, which generates an overwhelming 85% of its electricity from coal, natural gas and oil. 

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However, it is less true in Hungary, a nation with strong nuclear power capabilities (49% of total electricity output) and, whilst still a fossil fuel, a predilection for natural gas, which is one of the ‘cleanest’ non-renewable energy sources available. 

Uptake of nuclear is, in fact, relatively strong on the continent generally, with several Western and Eastern European countries appearing in the World Nuclear Association’s list of top adopters in the world.

Earlier in March, a 2.4 GW nuclear power plant in Belarus was reported to be in an almost operational state. 

Dubbed Ostrovets Unit 1, the 1.2 GW reactor will form the first half of a two-part project, with plans for Ostrovets Unit 2 (a near-identical reactor) to be started shortly afterwards. 

Despite some concern over the safety measures implemented for the country’s maiden nuclear project, Mikhail Mikhadvuk, deputy energy minister, assured the media that Ostrovets would conform to the latest security standards.

“Belarus demonstrated its transparency and genuine interest to receive an objective professional assessment of the readiness of its nuclear power infrastructure for the commissioning of the country’s first nuclear power plant,” he said.    

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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