Who Needs Oil

Last year saw 161 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power capacity installed, a new report from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) says.

According to the Renewables 2017 Global Status Report, released on Wednesday, solar photovoltaic represented roughly 47 percent of capacity added, followed by wind power and hydro, which accounted for 34 and 15.5 percent respectively. Global capacity grew by nearly 9 percent compared to 2015, hitting almost 2,017 GW.

While the investment of $241.6 billion in renewable power and fuels – excluding hydropower projects bigger than 50 megawatts – was a 23 percent reduction compared to 2015, this decline “accompanied a record installation of renewable power capacity worldwide,” REN21 said.

“The world is adding more renewable power capacity each year than it adds in new capacity from all fossil fuels combined,” Arthouros Zervos, REN21’s chair, said in a statement.

Zervos went on to add that as the share of renewables grew, investment in infrastructure would be needed in addition to tools such as integrated transmission and distribution networks; measures to balance supply and demand; sector coupling such as the integration of power and transport networks; and the deployment of “enabling technologies.”

When it comes to the environment, REN21 said that worldwide energy-related CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry were stable, despite the global economy growing three percent and greater demand for energy. This, it added, was primarily down to the decline of coal as well as improvements in energy efficiency and the growth of renewable capacity.

“The world is in a race against time. The single most important thing we could do to reduce CO2 emissions quickly and cost-effectively, is phase-out coal and speed up investments in energy efficiency and renewables,” Christine Lins, executive secretary of REN21, said.

“When China announced in January that it was cancelling more than 100 coal plants currently in development, they set an example for governments everywhere: change happens quickly when governments act – by establishing clear, long-term policy and financial signals and incentives.”

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The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd

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LNG

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a crucial part of Japan’s energy mix: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the country is the largest importer of LNG on the planet.

In Japan, one business is looking to harness the power of natural gas and make it an integral part of home life. The ENE-FARM is described by Tokyo Gas as being a residential-use fuel system which is able to “simultaneously produce electricity and hot water using city gas.”

The system produces electricity by “extracting hydrogen from city gas and inducing a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air,” with water and heat also produced.

“It can convert (the) chemical energy of natural gas directly to electrical power,” Hisataka Yakabe, general manager of R&D at Tokyo Gas, said yesterday. “About half of the chemical energy is converted to electrical energy, and using the heat generated during power generation, hot water is produced simultaneously,” Yakabe added.

The system can be used in both detached homes and condominiums, where it can be installed in pipe shafts or similar spaces.

“The concept is that you can lead your normal, comfortable life, you get plenty of power, you get plenty of hot water, but you’re still saving energy, you’re still helping… society save CO2,” Kentaro Horisaka, general manager of Tokyo Gas’ Fuel Cell Planning Group, said.

Horisaka went on to state that there were environmental benefits to the system. “In comparison to owning a normal electric and gas system this ENE-FARM will save 1.3 tonnes of CO2 each year,” he said.

“That is similar to owning two hybrid cars instead of two gasoline cars, and this is achieved through combined heat and power technology, meaning you generate power on site but you also recover the waste heat,” he added. “You can achieve energy efficiency in higher heating value as high as 95 percent.”

Cheerio

The Pinstripe and Bowler Club shares information with MF Solutions Ltd.