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Saarc region hydro power potential is 250,000MW

Experts and environmental scientists have called for cooperative and effective management at regional level to address the issues relating to water resources, energy and climate change.

They were addressing “International consultative workshop on energy cooperation, climate change and water management: initiatives for regional integration”, which was organised by SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SAARC CCI) in collaboration with Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) at Kathmandu, Nepal. Umakant Jha, Minister for Energy, Nepal in his inaugural address urged for the need of prudent planning for mega projects at regional level, which could be technically feasible, socio-culturally acceptable, environmentally benign and economically viable to share cost and benefits, required for exploring the huge untapped hydro power potential of more than 250,000 MW in SAARC region. He regarded hydro power as the most productive, competitive and environment friendly source of energy. He was of the opinion that comparative advantage could be gained if water and hydropower of Nepal and Bhutan, gas from Bangladesh, coal/thermal energy from India and Pakistan is optimally utilized to attain proper energy mix, cost competitiveness and to make SAARC Energy grid functional.

Ahmed Saleem, Secretary General of SAARC, conveyed that at the political level, successive SAARC Summits convened over the years have given specific directives in promoting energy cooperation. As a follow up to such directives a number of initiatives have been undertaken including establishment of SAARC Energy Centre, finalization of SAARC Energy Trade Study, holding of South Asian Energy dialogue, energy ring concept and inter-Governmental mechanism etc; which establish energy as priority agenda of regional integration process.

Rajiv Kumar Mishra, Executive Director PTC, India in his presentation at inaugural session asserted for need of shift in energy mix from fossil fuels to renewable resources while highlighting the potential and scope of cooperation in energy trade, as one of the effective means for deepening regional cooperation. In his welcome remarks, Muhammad Iqbal Tabish, Secretary General SAARC CCI, emphasised for flexible regulatory regime, infrastructure development and demonstration of greater political will to encourage and promote energy cooperation at regional level. Gyanendra Lal Pradhan, Chairman SAARC CCI council on water, energy and climate change necessitated for water resource management in effective manner to reap maximum benefits of water sharing and its conservation to make South Asia a greener and cleaner region.

3TIER releases global solar dataset

A US-based provider of renewable energy assessment and power forecasting tools has completed a tool to identify and map the world’s wind and solar resources using a globally-consistent methodology.

3TIER® says its REmapping the World™ initiative was launched in March 2008 to address the lack of reliable information regarding renewable resource potential and availability, which it called the largest barrier to global renewable energy adoption.

The new solar map and dataset is based on 10-13 years of half-hourly, high-resolution visible satellite imagery collected from 9 different satellites, dispersed across the globe and covering the entire surface of the earth. Satellite imagery was processed using a uniform methodology based on a combination of in-house and peer-reviewed research documents supported by the global atmospheric science community.

“3TIER’s aim in developing these maps is to help accelerate the adoption of renewable energy around the world by providing a blueprint for development,” explains Kenneth Westrick, Founder of 3TIER. “The creation of these maps is part of a larger effort to build a renewable energy information services platform which will provide customers with on-demand access to 3TIER’s massive datasets for wind and solar resources.”

“Access to these critical data will enable global decision-makers and organisations to look at wind and solar potential on a regional scale and help maximise the value of renewable resources while mitigating the risks of their inherent variability,” he adds.

Dataset provides information on wind and solar

At a resolution which is up to 30 times higher than any other publicly-available data source, the solar map and dataset leverage several in-house improvements to provide:

  • Global coverage between 50°S and 60°N;
  • Spatial resolution of 2 arc-minutes (3 km);
  • Hourly values of GHI, DNI, and DIF extending back 13 years.

“To provide the most accurate solar data available, we produced a satellite observation-based dataset because the traditional numerical weather prediction methods used for wind climatology do a poor job of modeling cloud cover, a major factor for determining solar radiation,” says Bart Nijssen of 3TIER.

Initiative includes 5 km resolution wind map

As part of its REmapping the World initiative, 3TIER also produced a 5 km resolution global wind map and dataset, based upon proven techniques and the application of advanced numerical weather prediction models, which consistently diagram wind spatial and temporal variability.

“This dataset provides the in-depth solar irradiance information essential to developers, financiers, and governments for targeting the best regions in the world for development,” explains Westrick. “Our solar resource technology provides the critical data to make renewable power a viable alternative and will be increasingly important in areas where solar data only exists at coarse resolution and inferior quality or is simply unavailable.”

Earlier this month, 3TIER released a new suite of global wind and solar prospecting tools which provide instant and unlimited access to seasonal variability data around the world. That tool enables renewable energy developers, financiers, and manufacturers to access information about any location and compare sites.

3TIER makes wind and solar data open access

Renewable energy forecaster 3TIER has made its wind and solar annual averages available via the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s Global Renewable Energy Atlas, an open-access online platform.

3TIER plans the data to be used to aid the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative, an effort to ensure universal access to modern, sustainable energy, double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by the year 2030.

“Reliable access to energy is a key driver of economic, political, and social stability,” said Gauri Singh, director of country support and partnerships at IRENA. “Globally over 1.3 billion people are without access to electricity. More than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia and 84% are in rural areas. Updated, high resolution datasets, like 3TIER’s, allow countries to do advanced analysis of resource assessment and help guide policy frameworks that promote renewables.”

“IRENA provides a wide variety of renewable energy information to support countries in their transition to more sustainable energy sources,” said Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of IRENA. “With the addition of 3TIER’s cohesive and consistent global dataset of wind and solar resources, we now have a much more complete offering that will help move policy and infrastructure planning forward.”

3TIER’s global datasets were originally developed to enable country to continent-scale wind and solar analysis for aggregate research studies looking at the global energy picture and evaluating strategies for a smarter and more sustainable power grid. The annual average maps and underlying datasets make it possible to analyse renewable energy potential, impediments to grid integration, and the pros and cons of various energy policies and incentive programmes. Each dataset offers annual average values derived from weather models of 10 or more years at high spatial resolutions.

Fraunhofer and Wind Energy to develop new turbine

Researchers from the Fraunhofer IWES and the FITT wind energy research team are collaborating on developing a new direct drive 3 MW wind turbine design concept.

A simplified was on show at the EWEA 2013 in Vienna, Austria. The exhibit shows a generator to a scale of 1:5.

If a central component fails through damage, long lasting turbine downtimes can occur – which in turn lead to wind power production losses. Gearless or direct drive turbines are equipped with fewer components and are therefore potentially less susceptible to damage.

Fraunhofer IWES and the FITT research team plan to develop a new gearless drive concept for drive trains. “Material and cost savings are to be achieved through a modular and compact construction, along with increased turbine robustness and less damage susceptibility,” said Patrick Tober, Fraunhofer IWES component and production project leader.

The core component of the new concept is its integrated generator construction. The rotor blades are attached directly to the generator and not as previously connected with the hub in front of the nacelle. It also has a lightweight construction.

The research project will also examine other aspects such as fully enclosed or open generator design, reduced component numbers and the cooling system with regards to cost reductions and increased performance. It will also look into how reductions in the mass of the tower head and an integrated lightweight design can be achieved. Another focus of the project is the standardization of components and interfaces, as well as series production possibilities. The hub generator is intended be used on direct drive turbines in the output range of 3MW upwards. The project has a total budget of €155 million and will run until December 31st, 2015.

A simplified hub generator model was presented at the EWEA 2013 in Vienna, Austria. The exhibit shows a generator to a scale of 1:5.

POPUP: Novel Organic Solar Cells

Future solar cells will be light and mechanically flexible.

 

Integration of an organic solar module on a curved surface.

They will be produced at low costs with the help of printing processes. POPUP, the new BMBF-funded research project, aims at developing more efficient materials and new architectures for organic photovoltaic devices. An interdisciplinary team headed by Dr. Alexander Colsmann of the KIT Light Technology Institute (LTI) works on improving the basic understanding and developing new architectures for semitransparent and non-transparent solar cells and modules.

Ten leading universities, research institutions, and companies in various areas are involved in the project “Development of New Materials and Device Structures for Competitive Mass Production Methods and Applications of Organic Photovoltaics” (POPUP). The project is coordinated by the pharmaceutical and chemical company of Merck. The total budget of the three year project is EUR 16 million. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funds EUR 8.2 million, the remainder is borne by the companies involved in the project. For its contribution to the research project, KIT is granted funding in the amount of EUR 1 million.

POPUP is to leverage organic photovoltaics. For this purpose, the consortium intends to develop more efficient and more stable materials for low-cost, industrially applicable printing and coating methods as well as new architectures for flexible and rigid, semitransparent and non-transparent solar modules. The tasks of KIT in this project comprise developing in-depth understanding and studying new component architectures for semi-transparent and non-transparent solar cells and modules in close collaboration with the industry partners.

Depending on the application, solar cells are manufactured on flexible plastic foils or rigid glass carriers. In the area of organic photovoltaics, KIT scientists work on two objectives, namely, full printability of solar cells and replacing indium tin oxide (ITO) as the electrode material. Instead, the scientists use conductive and transparent foils for flexible carriers. For glass carriers, they study the deposition of transparent electrodes from metallic microstructures and conductive buffer layers. In addition, the KIT team studies highly efficient semi-transparent solar cells in mini-modules made of organic semiconductors. Hence, KIT research concentrates on one of the key technologies of organic photovoltaics.

In the medium and long term, the industry partners plan to manufacture organic solar modules by competitive mass production methods. Later on, the solar modules are planned to be integrated into vehicles for electricity supply to onboard electronics, in buildings and glass facades, for energy supply of free-standing buildings and devices, emergency systems, transport and navigation aids. The novel technologies will also be used for off-grid electricity supply in the leisure activity sector or for charging mobile consumer devices. The results obtained by the KIT researchers will have direct impact on various applications.

The POPUP consortium comprises ten partners who have many years of experience in the organic photovoltaics field and are technology leaders in their respective areas of work: Merck, Darmstadt; Center for Applied Energy Systems, Erlangen; PolyIC GmbH & Co. KG, Fürth; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe; Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG, Fürth; Belectric OPV GmbH, Nuremberg; Webasto Group, Stockdorf; Siemens AG, Erlangen; Centrosolar Glas GmbH & Co. KG, Fürth; Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, Stuttgart. The companies, universities and institutes are cooperating along a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary value chain characterized by the division of labor.

The research topics of the BMBF POPUP project are thematically linked to the BMBF funding program known as “Basic Research Energy 2020+.” POPUP specifically supports the implementation of the high-tech strategy of the German federal government.

Siemens awarded largest onshore wind power order to date

Siemens has received an order from the U.S. energy company MidAmerican Energy for the supply of 448 wind turbines. With a total capacity of 1,050 megawatts (MW), this represents not only the largest order for onshore wind turbines for Siemens, but also the largest single order for onshore wind power awarded globally to date. The wind turbines, each with a nominal rating of 2.3 MW and a rotor diameter of 108 meters, are to be installed in five different projects in Iowa. Siemens will also be responsible for service and maintenance of the wind turbines.

“Siemens not only leads the way for offshore wind power worldwide, we are also a very successful player in the onshore wind industry. In Europe and Africa alone, we successfully installed more than 1 gigawatt in the last fiscal year. This new order from MidAmerican Energy once again highlights that we are one of the leading suppliers in the U.S. wind power market,” said Markus Tacke, CEO of the Wind Power Division of Siemens Energy.

Iowa is one of the leading U.S. states in wind energy generation. In 2012, around 24 percent of total power generation in the state was provided by wind power. Siemens has already installed 1.2 GW of wind power capacity for MidAmerican Energy to date. Including this new order, these wind projects will provide around 660,000 American households with eco-friendly power when they are completed in 2015.

The nacelles and hubs for the wind turbines of this major order will be assembled at the Siemens plant in Hutchinson, Kansas, and the rotor blades will be produced by Siemens in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Wind power and associated service activities are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. Around 43 percent of its total revenue stems from green products and solutions. That makes Siemens one of the world’s leading providers of eco-friendly technology.

Fraunhofer and Wind Energy to develop new turbine

Researchers from the Fraunhofer IWES and the FITT wind energy research team are collaborating on developing a new direct drive 3 MW wind turbine design concept.

If a central component fails through damage, long lasting turbine downtimes can occur – which in turn lead to wind power production losses. Gearless or direct drive turbines are equipped with fewer components and are therefore potentially less susceptible to damage.

Fraunhofer IWES and the FITT research team plan to develop a new gearless drive concept for drive trains. “Material and cost savings are to be achieved through a modular and compact construction, along with increased turbine robustness and less damage susceptibility,” said Patrick Tober, Fraunhofer IWES component and production project leader.

The core component of the new concept is its integrated generator construction. The rotor blades are attached directly to the generator and not as previously connected with the hub in front of the nacelle. It also has a lightweight construction.

The research project will also examine other aspects such as fully enclosed or open generator design, reduced component numbers and the cooling system with regards to cost reductions and increased performance. It will also look into how reductions in the mass of the tower head and an integrated lightweight design can be achieved. Another focus of the project is the standardization of components and interfaces, as well as series production possibilities. The hub generator is intended be used on direct drive turbines in the output range of 3MW upwards. The project has a total budget of €155 million and will run until December 31st, 2015.

A simplified hub generator model was presented at the EWEA 2013 in Vienna, Austria. The exhibit shows a generator to a scale of 1:5.

DP Cleantech to build Thai coconut-to-energy power plant

Biomass and waste-to-energy provider DP Cleantech has developed an advanced biomass combustion technology to convert coconut waste into clean energy.

DP Cleantech plans to use the technology in the Mahachai Green Power project in Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand.

The 9.5MWe high pressure, high temperature plant will run on coconut waste residues such as husk, shell, frond and leaves. The design has been adapted for coconut waste to ensure minimal fuel consumption, flexibility to mix several kinds of fuels in various sizes, high power yields and will include flue gas cleaning systems to lower emissions below regulatory standards.

The project is expected to be grid-connected within 18 months after the kickoff date. The power generated by the plant will be fed into the public PEA grid. Any remaining ashes will be used as fertilizer for farming or filler material for construction.

“We are very excited to work on this industry-leading project which gives us the opportunity to showcase the flexibility and efficiency of our new multi-fuel solution, as well as demonstrate the full scope of our capabilities in delivering a project end to end,” said DP CleanTech CEO Simon Parker. “We believe that the energy market in Thailand is ready to be at the forefront of the new generation of solutions for biomass to power, using higher efficiency, multifuel and low emissions solutions.”

Siemens’ wind turbine rotor blade wins renewable energy award

Clean Technology Business Review has declared Siemens’ wind turbine rotor blade the winner of the ‘Innovation in Renewable Energy’ Award.

The award recognises what is claimed to be the world’s longest wind turbine rotor blade. The blade is almost as big as the wingspan of an Airbus A380.

The blade is manufactured from glass fibre-reinforced epoxy resin and balsa wood using a patented integral blade process. It has no seams or glued joints and no adhesive, all of which saves weight.

The rotor covers 18,600 m2 and the tips of the blades move at up to 80 m per second, or 290 km/h.

The huge rotor was made possible by special technologies that enable Siemens to make strong yet lightweight structures; the blade weighs 20% lighter than the conventional ones.

The rotor swept area is essential for the annual energy yield of the turbine. One SWT-6.0-154 wind turbine can generate about 25 million kWh annually at a typical offshore site having 8.5 m/s mean wind speed.

The rotor, which measures 154 m, has been designed to withstand huge air masses, as it would be hit by the energy of 200 tonnes of air per second when the wind blows at a speed of 10 m per second.

300 MW solar collaboration for the UK

Low Carbon, the renewable energy investment company, and Macquarie Capital are collaborating to invest in 300 MW of solar energy in the UK.

They plan to construct a portfolio of solar projects that could power up to 100,000 homes per year, supporting Low Carbon and Macquarie Capital’s joint aim to accelerate and deliver renewable energy sources in the UK.

Through the collaboration, Macquarie intends to provide construction funding to developed, investment-ready renewable energy projects.

The first phase of the collaboration will total 25.7 MWp with an investment of up to £29 million to fund the construction of three ground mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar projects, two based in Cornwall and one in Wales.

“This transaction highlights the continued and rapid growth of Low Carbon’s business, following on from the successful development, construction and operation of over 160 MW of solar parks we have invested in so far,” said John Cole, chief investment officer at Low Carbon. “Low Carbon aim to direct investment into projects that not only provide returns to investors, but also offer a sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuels. We have a pipeline of future projects under development and look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with Macquarie Capital with the aim of making an impact on climate change.”