Renewable Energy Technologies

This category contains information about different renewable energy technologies. You can also find here news about innovative new ways of utilising renewable sources of energy and newly developed green technologies. Topics include tidal power projects, smart grid meter development and electricity storage.

£12.3 Million Initiative Launched to Develop Algae as a Source of Sustainable Energy

September 22, 2011


Several leading European organisations – including the NNFCC have joined forces on a £12.3 million, four and a half year project called Energetic Algae (EnAlgae).

EnAlgae will establish a series of pilot scale seaweed farms and microalgae growth facilities in the region to provide the crucial information needed to assess the productivity of algae production in North West Europe.

Date Posted 06 Sep 2011
Story Source Dr Matthew Aylott, NNFCC

Read: £12.3 Million Initiative Launched to Develop Algae as a Source of Sustainable Energy

Workhorse Tidal Turbine Built

August 23, 2010


The largest and most power tidal turbine ever has been unveiled by Austrailian company Atlantis.

The AK1000 was developed by Atlantis Resources Corporation in Iverngordon, Scotland. It is programmed for installation at the European Marine Energy Centre off Orkney later this year.

The turbine is rated at 1 Megawatt and is expected to produce enough electricity for the annual needs of 1000 homes. It has been specifically designed for the hostile north sea waters and is 22.5 metres high with an 18 metre rotor diameter. The low rotor speed has been designed to reduce marine life impacts.

Read: Workhorse Tidal Turbine Built

Solar PV ‘Feed in Tariff’ Outlook

August 11, 2010

solar PV

Market research company iSuppli predicts that the global PV market will expand next year despite reduced government incentives in some European countries.

Overall, reduced solar PV prices are expected to boost the industry with global installations predicted to total 20.2 Gigawatts in 2011. Even in Germany and Italy where incentives via feed in tariffs have been significantly cut, return on investment is predicted to be in the 8-10% range.

iSuppli’s de Haan said “iSuppli believes 2012 will be the year when the PV industry weans itself from the generosity of German subsidies …The German market will cool off and expand by only 4 to 5GW per year for the next several years. We believe the government aims to keep an orderly progression in order to achieve an ultimate goal of around 80GW of installed PV capacity.”

Although cuts in government feed in tariffs have had an impact in some countries, new incentives have appeared in others such as the UK.

Read: Solar PV ‘Feed in Tariff’ Outlook

Scotland on Road to Fighting Climate Change

September 10, 2009

Power station

Scotland has slashed its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a fifth since 1990, according to new figures published by the Scottish Government.

The figures show that emission levels stood at 56.9 million tonnes in 2007, but have been reduced 19% on 1990 levels. The carbon cuts are credited to greener energy production through increased use of renewable energy, business and industry, the public sector, waste management, international shipping, housing and agriculture. The bad news is that emissions from international aviation and shipping have increased.

Power generation accounted for 36% of emissions, 22% from transport, 14% from agriculture and 13% from business and domestic fossil fuel use. The Scottish Government has committed to a 42% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels, by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Read: Scotland on Road to Fighting Climate Change

South West England Pushes Wave Energy

July 17, 2009

Wave Hub

Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, named the South West as the UK’s first Low Carbon Economic Area at the launch of the Government’s Low Carbon Industrial Strategy in London earlier this week. The news comes despite the South West having the poorest record of renewable energy delivery against targets.

Stephen Peacock, Director at the South West Regional Development Agency said: “This is about a new industry and new jobs, and the South West’s critical role in building a greener global economy. Being identified as the UK’s first Low Carbon Economic Area is a tremendous accolade and recognition of our commitment to develop this unprecedented economic opportunity. We want to forge a new industry from the seas around our shores and today’s announcements cement our position as a global leader in wave and tidal technologies”.

The South West Regional Development Agency’s (RDA) renewable baby is The Wave Hub. The South West RDA wants the hub to be the UK’s first offshore facility with the ability to demonstrate the operation of wave energy generation devices.

Read: South West England Pushes Wave Energy

Wave Energy Technology

July 13, 2009

Wave energy technology is an immature but promising renewable energy technology. This video gives a clear explanation as to how some wave energy devices work. Pelamis and Anaconda are two wave energy devices that work using the same principles.

Pelamis was the world’s first commercial scale machine to produce offshore, grid connected, wave generated electricity. A new commercial wave energy machine is now being built for utility giant E.on in Scotland.

Anaconda is a 200 metre rubber tube with a hydraulic turbine driving a 1MW capacity electric generator. Anaconda’s developer – Checkmate Seaenergy say the wave energy device has the potential to generate renewable electricity off any coast with wave strength over 25 kW/m. Checkmate Seaenergy has a vision of the snakes being grouped in farms with 20 or more machines producing over 20 MW.

Read: Wave Energy Technology

Dragon’s Den for Marine Energy

May 4, 2009

Anaconda wave energy

Marine renewable energy technologies are young but show much promise for the future. Although unlikely to be as commercially successful as wind energy in the short term, the profile of wave and tidal energy is likely to be much greater over the next few years.

The Carbon Trust told us several years ago that 20% of UK’s current electricity demands could be met by wave and tidal energy. The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition says 252 million megawatt hours a year could be generated off the coast of the US and the World Energy Council has said 1 million gigawatt hours of wave energy hits Australian shores annually.

Read: Dragon’s Den for Marine Energy

Vestas Outlook Bright Despite Financing and Competition Changes

March 16, 2009

CEO of Vestas wind turbine manufacturing company talks to Forbes in the video below about the outlook for wind energy in the US and recent changes to the wind turbine manufacturing market.

Vestas is the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer although its market share fell last year due to the entry of 35 new Chinese wind turbine manufacturers. In this video Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel talks about why the US is important when it comes to wind energy and its plans for increasing green collar jobs in its manufacturing plant from the current figure of 1300 to 4000.

Read: Vestas Outlook Bright Despite Financing and Competition Changes

10 Megawatt Superconductor Turbines on Their Way

February 14, 2009

Alternative technology company AMSC announced this week that it has signed a contract with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to investigate and assess the economics of a 10 MW “high temperature superconductor” wind turbine.

The company’s website says that it is already developing full 10MW wind turbine component and system designs. The contract for the research will allow the full cost of the turbines to be established and is expected to speed up commercial viability.

Read: 10 Megawatt Superconductor Turbines on Their Way

Campaign Group Says Yorkshire People Want Renewable Energy, Not Coal

February 13, 2009

A new 800 MW coal fired power station is being considered for Ferrybridge C, West Yorks to replace the existing 2000 MW plant.

Original proposals were to fit Flue Gas Desulphurisation technology to reduce emissions from the power station before the new EU regulations come into force in 2015 making it unfeasible to continue operation. However proposals for a new power station “potentially” with carbon capture technology came to light several years ago.

Read: Campaign Group Says Yorkshire People Want Renewable Energy, Not Coal

Multi – Tasking Wind Turbines

February 9, 2009

One company has realised that because wind turbines are usually prominent and visible there is a potentially huge market selling advertising space on the structures. When I first looked at WePOWER’s web-site I was horrified – how dare they contaminate the pureness of renewable energy with corporate slogans. Having given the idea some further thought however, it is not such a bad idea – in the right place.

Read: Multi – Tasking Wind Turbines

Tidal Power One Step Further towards Reality in the UK?

January 27, 2009

5 tidal barrage and lagoon projects for the UK Severn Estuary were chosen for a government shortlist today.

The huge 10 mile long Cardiff Weston Barrage proposal from Weston Super Mare to Cardiff could generate as much as 5% of UK electricity requirements, whereas the smaller Bridgwater Bay Lagoon project between Hinkley Point and Weston Super Mare has the potential to generate just under 1%.

Read: Tidal Power One Step Further towards Reality in the UK?

Wind Energy Overtakes Hydro as Leading Renewable Technology

January 16, 2009

Published statistics from the UK government’s restats website show rapid growth in the contribution of the wind energy sector to UK electricity generation.

Total electricity generation from renewables rose to 4.98% in 2007. The main contributors to this substantial increase were 917 GWh from onshore wind (+26%) and 439 GWh from large scale hydro (+ 11%). Electricity output from wind energy overtook hydro to become the most significant and leading technology for renewable generation.

Read: Wind Energy Overtakes Hydro as Leading Renewable Technology

The Best Renewable Energy Generation Solutions

January 13, 2009

New ideas for renewable energy generation have enjoyed prominence in the press over the last year. A wind energy collection turbine was one student’s idea which captured peoples imagination, with a structure supporting two wind turbines arching over the full width of a highway. The idea is that the turbine collects energy from the moving cars and converts this energy into electricity.

Read: The Best Renewable Energy Generation Solutions

China’s Giant Solar Energy Project

January 5, 2009

China is set to host one of the largest solar energy parks in the world. The first phase of the project in the Qaidam Basin, North West China comprises 30MW of capacity but ambitions for expansion to 1GW are outlined by solar energy provider China Technology Development Group Corporation and Qinghai New Energy Co. who signed a deal with the local government of Qinghai Haixi Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Region last week.

Read: China’s Giant Solar Energy Project

Smart Electricity Meters

December 31, 2008

I first saw an electricity display device at the sustainable housing development Bedzed in Sutton, England around 5 years ago. The display meters monitor electricity consumption in real time. The benefit is that the consumer can see precisely what their electricity consumption is.

A more advanced smart meter is currently being developed which would monitor both consumption and production.

Read: Smart Electricity Meters

Renewable Energy Myth Busting

November 28, 2008

Guardian writer Chris Goodall set out yesterday to clarify 10 of the classic myths often cited against renewable energy. Many people believe solar power is too expensive to use, wind is not effective and marine energy cannot work.

Chris provides some interesting information, however some of the myths stem from an element of truth about the technologies which have in the past held them back. What is important is that people and companies are being financially driven to overcome the barriers and take these technologies to the next level where they are affordable.

Read: Renewable Energy Myth Busting