Where will investment in a future European grid come from?
Utilities face dramatic upheaval as change sweeps across the European power industry and the integration of renewables gains pace. Members of POWER-GEN Europe’s Advisory Board address some of the key questions ahead of POWER-GEN Europe 2014, being held in Cologne on June 3-5.
The Roundtable participants are: Philippe Paelinck, VP portfolio and strategic positioning, Alstom; Risto Paldanius, director, business development, Wärtsilä; Dr. Franco Rosatelli, CTO, Ansaldo Energia; Dr. Tamer Turna, CEO, Yildirim Energy Holding Inc.
Where does the investment in the future European grid need to come from (for example, pension funds)?
Tamer Turna: I believe funding a ‘market central grid’ is the only solution to overcome the challenge of integrating intermittent (non time & capacity reliable) renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. We already see this in some of the liberal power markets, such as Turkey, where the transmission grid is not privatised and remains under governmental control and funding.
In more liberalised markets, the transmission system would be a solid investment for investors such as pension funds, due to the fact that technically, it is a monopolistic mode of operation and therefore a relatively secure investment that could be set on a fair long-term return.
Philippe Paelinck: The Europe power market is being held back by a number of recurring questions around regulation, scalability and replicability. Investment in the new grid will require new business models, and these will emerge from the demonstrators and pilot projects around Demand Response, storage, and distribution control currently underway.
Risto Paldanius: A well-developed grid is required to transport electricity to the areas where it is valued the most i.e. developing the grid alone is not enough to deal with the challenges of flexibility and capacity adequacy. In addition, electricity markets that signal the value of electricity across different timescales (short term balancing markets, spot markets, forward markets) will provide the incentives for investment in capacity and in the grid. If the incentives are there, investment will come forward.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
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.