Electrical Energy Storage: applications, markets and technologies

The energy storage industry is assured of a successful future.  There will be setbacks in these difficult times, of course, in a sector that has many vulnerable pre-commercial technology developers.  However, storage has all the attributes of a cornerstone technology, enabling real progress in areas that are certain to be of huge significance: the effective use of […]

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"Green Grid" – Excellent article in New Scientist by David Strahan (The Last Oil Shock) on HVDC supergrids

Articles “Green grid” A version of this article was published in New Scientist on 12 March 2009. Original is here (This article was in part stimulated by the last Claverton conference held at Wessex Water, Bath where Dr Czisch spoke, and various discussions, (various discussions2),   (various discussions3)  (varous discusions4) on this website.  Graeme Bathhurst is […]

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BBC newsitem: Rapid-charge/discharge modified lithium-ion batteries

   Interesting item claims scientists have developed “affordable”, rapid-charge / discharge modified lithium-ion batteries. This improvement might make a significant difference to the prospects for practical EVs / PHEVs, by extension to G2V for smoothing wind energy outputs.   http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7938001.stm

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"UK Energy Risks – Uncertain but not Unimaginable" – Global Energy Advisory

On the 23rd of February it was reported that one of the large six utility companies in the UK lost £172.5mn, in just three months, by trading a gas position. This loss could have been against a background of relatively low gas price volatility; presumably this “increase in wholesale cost” will now be passed on to end consumers? Who trades and who pays? Who invests and who pays?
The new Energy & Climate Change Committee is today taking oral evidence from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Edward Miliband MP, in the House of Commons in London. The independent Global Energy Advisory White Paper entitled: Investment Failure, Fails Customers, was circulated to the Committee earlier this week.

The paper discusses the potential risks to UK energy security which are well known within the Industry. It also asks pertinent questions regarding the costs and consequences of the energy investment/trading decisions being taken at the current time.

This discussion will be continued at the Global Energy/Advisory Super Derivatives Seminar in London on March 5th – see below for full details.

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Little known (or conveniently forgotten) reason for 1926 miners strike recalled – Dr Fred Starr

If no one has anything better, here is a slightly incomplete table for coal production. This has been compiled from various sources over the past few years.

Peak was 1913 when we were exporting 100 million tons at a price of around £1 per ton. This might be equivalent to £50 per ton today (or higher?).

UK coal exports began to get uncompetitive after WWI, and was one of the main reasons for the 1926 General Strike, when the coal owners wanted to reduce wages.

Coal output was insufficient in WWII (and afterwards) and was one reason for sending one in every ten

conscripted men down the mines

UK coal reserves are now given as somewhere between 400-800 million tonnes. Not the billions that everyone supposes.

If the UK energy system was totally dependent on coal, as it used to be, these would last 2-4 years.

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(IGCC) Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle for Carbon Capture & Storage


This paper endeavours to give an objective account of the background to gasification based processes for power generation with carbon capture. Such processes are a development of IGCC plant designs in which coal or heavy fuel oil is first gasified and to produce a fuel gas for a CCGT unit. Although the IGCC concept does lend itself, very well, to high levels of carbon capture, and could lead the way to the hydrogen economy, it does create some important technical challenges. In particular, it restricts the type of gasifier that can be used to the high temperature entrained flow type. Furthermore, because the fuel gas that is produced in an IGCC consists of over 90% hydrogen, this will reduce the efficiency of the plant. Given that the hydrogen economy is some decades away, a more reasonable gasification-type option would be to produce natural gas from coal. This substitute natural gas could be used as a fuel gas in standard gas turbines (with no efficiency penalty) and can be used to supplement the UK and EU fast declining reserves of natural gas. The main drawback is that only about half as much carbon would be captured as in the IGCC “clean coal” systems currently being envisaged.

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BBC talks about Dynamic Demand (smart fridges) and Smart Metering.

BBC programme “You and Yours” discussed the issues in a pretty comprehensive and well researched manner..  A representative from David Hirst’s (A Claverton Member)  RLTek company described how the frequency sensitive device, fitted to fridges, which are now being sold in UK can help the grid. Also talked to the Opposition spokesman on energy about Smart […]

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