Energy Storage

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions (EES) has started to relocate its hydrogen production site from Yokohama to Kawasaki city in order to increase capacity and output. At the new facility, due completed in autumn 2020, Toshiba will produce fuel cell stacks based on its H2One energy supply system and its H2Rex hydrogen fuel cell.

Highview Power has received £10 million from the British government to build a 50 MW liquid air, or cryogenic energy storage with 250 MWh minimum output in Greater Manchester. The CRYOBattery project is implemented together with Carlton Power, backed by £35 million from Sumitomo Heavy Industries.

Austrom is developping a utility-scale green hydrogen project near the Port of Gladstone in Queensland, Australia. Named ‘Pacific Solar Hydrogen,’ it includes a 3.6 Gigawatt solar PV park and large battery storage to power the huge electrolyser that may turn Queensland into a hydrogen exporter.

The world’s largest green hydrogen plant is being developed by SGH2 Energy in Lancaster, a city situated some 70 miles north of Los Angeles. Scheduled to start operations in 2021, the facility will transform plastic waste into hydrogen for use as a fuel for transport and power generation.

Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK could soon largely depend on variable renewable energy (VRE), as an additional 169 GW of wind and 172 GW of solar power is planned to be grid-connected by 2040. Purpose-built flexibility assets, like gas generators and energy storage, are indispensible for this transition.

Large U.S. technology companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are investing  in powering data centres with renewable energy. Bloomberg New Energy Finance data shows a record take-up of 13.6 gigawatts (GW) capacity, contracted by U.S. companies under either corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) or green tariffs.

Demand response specialist Flexitricity has signed a deal with Gresham House Energy Storage Fund to optimise revenue for the 50-MW/75-MWh Thurcroft energy storage in South Yorkshire. National Grid called the project a milestone towards reaching the UK’s net-zero 2050 emission target.

U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has instated Order 841, removing market barriers for energy storage to allow it compete on an equal footing with fossil fuel generators. Analysts say the order could push up storage deployment to 50 GW as capital costs fall up to 15% per year.

Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the state’s major investor-owned utilities, has been awarded contracts for 770 MW battery energy storage capacity. The seven new units will help mitigate intermittency issues when 3 GW of ageing gas peaking plants are due to retire before year-end.

Falling technology costs for battery storage systems, down half over the last two years, have made batteries the cheapest new-build technology for peaking purposes in gas-importing regions, like China or Japan. Pairing renewables with battery storage is cost competitive with open-cycle gas peaking units, Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds.

The Finish manufacturer Wärtsilä will supply a 2 MW / 5.4 MWh energy storage system to Alectra Energy Solution for installation at the Georgian College in Ontario, Canada. The unit, due operational this autumn, will lower the college’s energy costs by reducing peakload power consumption.

Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen electrolysers have rendered both technologies ready for mass commercialization. The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects the cost of 4-hour battery systems to fall to $220/kWh by 2040, so utility-scale battery deployment could reach nearly 220 GW by 2040.

Roll-out of smart grids to help integrate decentralized power sources and energy storage is accelerating across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ResearchAndMarkets anticipates the market will grow at a rate of 18.76% to reach $2,950 million by 2024.

Texas-based Vistra is stepping up the size of its battery energy storage unit at its Oakland Power Plant. The capacity of the battery will be boosted to 36 MW/145 MWh, up from initially 20 MW/80 MWh, and it is due to enter commercial operation by January 2022.

Large tech players – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft – are migrating hyperscale data centres to renewable energy. Some 10% of new solar and wind power projects in the U.S. are now underpinned by corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and often backed up by onsite energy storage units.

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News in Brief

Barclays may help fund Rolls-Royce

Sept 30 – UK’s prime engine maker Rolls-Royce is understood to be close to getting fresh financing from Barclays Bank. The Derby-based company, however, insists no final decision has been taken on the precise amount that may be raised or any allotment of shares to any investor.

Petronas to truck LNG to off-grid users

Sept 29 – Petronas Dagangan Group is gearing up to build a LNG truck delivery service for off-grid customers in Peninsular Malaysia. Trucks fitted with cryogenic tanks will bring the super-chilled fuel to remote industries and small-scale power generators with no access to the natural gas grid. Malaysia’s Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline is only 2,500 kilometers in length and was initially built to export gas to Singapore.

Siemens to reduce emissions at NLNG

Sept 28 – Nigeria LNG has contracted Siemens Energy to provide a cryogenic boil-off gas (BOG) compression train for its liquefaction plant on Bonny Island. The new BOG train will be driven by an high-efficiency electric motor and includes two compressors. Manufactured in Duisburg, Germany, the equipment will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Supercapcitors to replace batteries

Sept 25 – The global market for supercapacitors was valued at over $487 million last year and is forecast to top $1,570 millio by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 21.8%. Supercapacitor, an emerging technology for energy storage systems, can offer higher power density than batteries was may soon replace the latter.

Atos, Siemens expand digital partnership

Sept 24 – Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has expanded its strategic partnership with Siemens AG for five years, helping the latter with data driven digital, cloud transformation and cybersecurity. The extension comes in the context of 5-year total €3 billion agreements which were separately signed with Siemens AG, Siemens Energy and Siemens Healthineers.

Rotterdam Port to store CO2 beneath the North Sea

Sept 23 – The Porthos project, a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Gasunie and EBN, seeks to transport CO2 from industry in the port to empty gas fields beneath the North Sea. In its early years, the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) will be able to store approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year with plans to be operational by 2024.

German power sector to reach net zero in 2040s

Sept 22 – Revisions to Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) stipulate the power sector should become greenhouse-gas neutral in the early 2040s. Despite the gradual electrification of heating and transport, the German energy ministry is so far sticking to its estimate of 580 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power consumption in 2030 – close to current levels.

B&W to supply superheaters to Lumiant

Sept 21 – Babcock & Wilcox’s thermal segment has been contracted to design, manufacture and supply new superheater components for a high-efficiency boiler at Luminant’s Oak Grove Power Plant near Franklin, Texas. Material delivery to Oak Grove is scheduled for February 2021.

EC targets 55% emission cut by 2030

Sept 17 – The European Commission’s latest 2030 Target Plan stipulates a 55% cut in emissions by 2030, compared to 1990-levels. The lobby group COGEN Europe stressed the importance of combined heat and power generation (CHP) to reach that goal, calling for more stable policies and supportive regulation.

Rolls-Royce may sell ITP Areo

Sept 17 – Britain’s prime manufacturer Rolls-Royce confirmed it is looking to strengthen its balance sheet, possibly by disposing of ITP Aero which his hoped to generate proceeds of more than £2bn over the next 18 months. Further cost cutting is meant to deliver £1 billion and revamping of the company’s Civil Areospace business should save another £1.3 billion.

China’s GDP may grow 1.8%

Sept 16 – China’s GDP is forecast to grow 1.8% this year as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government slashed electricity tariffs to support manufacturing but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns of mounting credit risk for banks. Fiscal revenue pressure also intensifies as 1.5% of China’s GDP growth in the first half of 2020 was based on bond-funded investment by local governments.

Zeebrugge goes for green hydrogen

Sept 15 – Colruyt Group (Eoly), Parkwind and Fluxys aim to spend up to 35 million Euros to develop a green hydrogen plant in Zeebrugge, Belgium, by 2023. The plan is to convert off-shore wind energy into green hydrogen which can then be injected in the high-pressure natural gas transmission grid.

Shale gas market to top $41bn

Sept 14 – Global markets for unconventional gas, mostly developed by shale fracking, is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 7% to reach $ 41.76 billion by 2024. According to Technavio, the Americas region will remain dominant with an 87% market share as hydraulic fracturing technologies evolve. Top players in the market are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, Gazprom, Shell, Santos, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and YPF.

SNAM, Saipem join forces on hydrogen

Sept 11 – Two Italian energy companies, SNAM and Saipem, have agreed to develop initiatives for green hydrogen production and transport, as well as for carbon dioxide capture, transport and reuse or storage (CCRS). The move supports the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

MAN, Wasco to drive Power-to-Gas Tech in Asia

Sept 10 – MAN Energy Solutions and Wasco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote and commercialize Power-to-X (PtX) projects in South-East Asia. The technology in question converts electricity into carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, gas or liquid, for use as a clean, carbon-neutral energy source.

Romgaz, GSP to realise 200 MW gas and solar project

Sept 9 – Romania’s state gas company Romgaz has agreed to build 200 MW power generation capacity with the privately-owned Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) which is controlled by the local businessman Gabriel Comanescu. The project entails a 150 MW gas-fired power plant and a 50 MW solar photovoltaic park, to be built on the site of a disused coal power plant in southern Romania.

Alaska uses twice as much energy for transport as NY

Sept 8 – More energy is used per person for transportation in U.S. states with low population density. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA), people in geographically large states with small populations, such as Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota, are useing twice as much energy for transportation than the U.S. average on a per capita basis. That’s in stark contrast to states with higher population density, such as Rhode Island and New York.