Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Entries sought for 2009 awardsEuropean and global companies in the renewable energy sector are being asked for submissions to the second annual Rosenblatt New Energy Awards.The Awards are being staged at London's Natural History Museum on Wednesday 25th February 2009 to recognise the achievements of management teams, companies and projects that have made a significant contribution to the renewable energy sector during the past 12 months. {pagebreak}Nominations can be made by contenders to win themselves or others who wish to propose them as long as the nomination is received by 12th December 2008.2008 winners were: IPO of the Year: PSV - Chrystalox; Adviser of the Year: Numis; New Energy Rising Star Award: TMO Renewables; Company of the Year: ReneSola; Project of the Year: Mayor of Paris; Investor of the Year: Blackrock Merill Lynch; Entrepreneur of the Year: Moixa - Simon Daniels; Developer of the Year: Peabody Trust; Retail of the Year: M&S; University Spin Out: ChromogenixThe award categories are as follows:IPO of the Year This will reward the business that the judges deem to have planned and executed the best IPO.Adviser of the Year The judges will be assessing the brokers and advisers that floated the most new energy

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Radical solutions call to reverse carbon levelsA call for governments to adopt a ‘global energy technology revolution' has been made in a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).The report, entitled ‘Energy Technology Perspectives 2008' indicates that if countries continue with their existing policies, global carbon emissions will rise by 130 per cent while oil demand will increase by 70 per cent by 2050. {pagebreak}While countries have recently been more receptive to recognising that there is a problem with sustainable development, they are still far from initiating any action to reverse this trend, the report says. It proposes radical changes to the way the world is using its energy supplies, including a ‘virtual decarbonisation of the power sector'. While the IEA is in favour of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, it stresses that no single form of energy or technology is capable of providing a final solution. Instead, it highlights a mix of alternatives including renewables, nuclear energy, carbon-free transport and improved energy efficiency. IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka warned that a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 will pose a "formidable challenge" to countries. "It will essentially require a new global energy revolution which would

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'Green' energy spending on riseGlobal investment in green energy surged ahead in 2007 and has continued to grow this year despite turmoil in financial markets, a report says. Spending on green power last year hit $148bn (£75bn), up 60% from 2006, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said.{pagebreak} Rising oil prices, concerns over energy security, climate change worries and growing government support were behind the rise, it said. Wind energy got the most investment but solar power grew fastest as a sector.Just as thousands were drawn to California and the Klondike in the late 1800s, the green energy gold rush is attracting legions of modern day prospectors. However, higher crop prices in the US meant that the appetite to invest in ethanol and other biofuels fell by almost a third.In its Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2008 report, UNEP forecasts that by 2012 about $450bn will be spent each year on green energy projects, climbing to more than $600bn from 2020. "Investment in the sustainable energy sectors must continue to grow strongly if targets for greenhouse gas reductions and renewables and efficiency increases are to be met," it said.The majority of investment in 2007 went to Europe, the report said, followed

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Ireland and Scotland unite in green energy planThe Irish and Scottish governments and the Northern Ireland executive are co-operating on a plan for a wind electricity grid linking all three jurisdictions. Energy ministers recently launched the plan to make the case for an offshore wind-power grid operated by all three administrations.{pagebreak} "This is the first step on the road towards building a shared wind-power grid between western Scotland, Ireland and the North," one Irish official said. "That will enable us to link into a Europe-wide supergrid for wind energy at a later date, which would make renewable energy a more reliable, flexible resource."Eamon Ryan, the energy minister, and his Scottish counterpart Jim Mather will launch the feasibility study in Edinburgh. "Interconnection is the way forward," said Ryan.Officials say the resources in coastal areas off the three jurisdictions are significant. Around Scotland, the potential for renewable energy is estimated to amount to several times the current peak demand. Critics of wind power say it is an unreliable source of energy . But Eddie O'Connor, the Airtricity founder, counters that the solution is to build a wind energy supergrid extending across the land mass of Europe.The study is being funded under the EU

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Hydro power for city tram systemA collaboration to provide hydroelectricity for the tram system in Manchester, UK, comes hot on the heels of an announcement that the UK city will be the second place in Britain to introduce congestion charging.Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) {pagebreak}have teamed up in order to provide greener travel for Manchester's inhabitants, providing a low-carbon alternative to traditional means of transport.Philip Purdy, Metrolink director at GMPTE, claimed that the trams already run without polluting at street level, meaning that the use of hydroelectricity will further reduce their environmental impact."Anyone who travels on Metrolink instead of using their car is already helping to fight climate change as trams are nearly four times better for the environment," he commented. "Using hydropower will make them even more environmentally-friendly."According to a survey, nearly one-fifth of people in Manchester state that they have changed their travel habits as a result of climate change concerns.

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European utilities acquire Shell's stake in world's largest offshore wind farmThe world's biggest offshore wind farm has been put back on track after the UK energy minister boasted that the technology could attract £3bn investment to the north-east of England alone. A host of wind schemes have been hit by planning delays, cost-inflation fears and opposition from the Ministry of Defence over concerns that turbines damage the efficiency of local radar.{pagebreak}However, the German-based energy group E.ON and the Danish utility Dong Energy have agreed to acquire Shell's 33% stake in the 1,000-megawatt London Array scheme for an undisclosed sum. The firms, which each own a one-third stake, are to become 50-50 partners in the wind farm, which could supply electricity to more than 750,000 homes in the south east of England.Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said: "We hope to be able to keep the project on track and we should be able to complete the first phase by the end of 2012, subject to securing a number of contracts, such as those for the wind turbines."The purchase is a major relief for the government and came on the day the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe - planned

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China is at the cutting edge of photovoltaic manufacturing and Solarfun is one of Asia’s leading companies in the sector. The upswing in PV interest mirrors the company’s rapid growth rate of the last few years and there is confidence this curve can be maintained. We talk to new CEO Harold Hoskens, who has joined the company after extensive experience with Philips, and has great insight into the East-West working environment, and the measures Solarfun is taking to succeed in 2009-10.{pagebreak}PES: Solarfun is using its reputation as one of the leading manufacturing platforms for PV products in Asia to expand its base in Europe. How is this working, and can you tell us about any new developments?Harold Hoskens: Solarfun has been ranked as one of Asia’s largest PV manufacturers for the past four years and our capacity has reached 360MW for this year. We have been distributing in Europe since our earliest days and our success is exponential. From Q1 2007 to Q1 2008 our shipments have grown by more than 500 per cent. It is true that our European clients feel comfortable working with us, in part for our size and strong reputation in electronics production.

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With oil prices reaching record levels and natural gas doubling in price over the last two years, the main beneficiaries are wind power and the environment. Manel Romeu Belles, of Danish turbine company Vestas, looks at how the harnessing of the wind is becoming a complement to oil and gas. {pagebreak}Over the last few months, oil prices have reached their highest level, in real terms, since the end of the seventies. The price of oil is changing the economics of the energy market, making wind power not only valued for its environmental merits, but also competitive in cost with fossil fuels.From 2003 the price of oil increased steadily, followed by an abrupt rise in 2007–a trend that has continued until today. This change is largely due to a structural shift in global oil supply and demand, which has its roots in the ever-increasing demand for oil, especially in China and India. Global energy consumption is expected to increase by 50 per cent by 2030. Other temporary factors such as the weakening of the dollar, market speculation and the political instability of the Middle East have simply worsened the situation.

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Wind as a modern energy source: The Vestas View.Wind is an energy source which can help the world's largest and fastest growing economies to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and on imported energy.{pagebreak}Over the past couple of years, Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, has experienced tremendous growth, and the company vision of wind alongside oil and gas is gaining momentum. Wind power has developed from being an alternative form of energy to its status as a large-scale reliable source of energy integrated in the energy mix along with oil and gas. It's fair to say: wind energy has become an important player in the world's energy markets. 

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By ramping up production capacity while driving down unit cost through new mass-production technologies and strategies, solar power is poised to reach a much wider market.KUKA Systems' goal is to pioneer automated manufacturing solutions, including robotized cells and integrated production lines that can be adapted to any type of solar-cell technology, so that a labour-intensive industry with niche appeal can take a much larger place in the broader electricity marketplace.{pagebreak}Solar power (photovoltaics/PV) is about to fulfil its promise as the most viable commercial energy source. As capture efficiency improves and installation costs decline, every house, office and institution worldwide will have the opportunity to be energy self-sufficient with a much faster payback on investment than the industry has been able to offer to date. Germany has the world's largest and fastest growing PV market, gaining a further 1.5 GW of PV capacity in 2007. Now, German-based international supplier KUKA S-Tec, a business unit of KUKA Systems GmbH, plans to become a key enabler in driving the proliferation of solar power.

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