Green CAES Patent Granted in USA
Until now, we’ve been describing our patent application for Green CAES as “patent pending”. It has now been granted in America, and we expect other countries to follow soon-ish. This complements our granted patent for electrolysis using the heat of compression. Other applications have been filed.
Enabling Renewables to Power the World
Mark spoke at the Institute of Power Engineers annual conference about how Storelectric enables renewables to power the world affordably, reliably and resiliently. That includes both the electricity and the hydrogen systems, industry and infrastructure. 35 minute video.
Powering Up Britain
The Bitish Government has just issued its policy report Powering Up Britain which offer, among many other good things, an appropriate policy framework by 2024 with the aim of enabling investment in large scale long duration electricity storage (LLES)
Hydrogen Champion Report
Jane Toogood, UK Hydrogen Champion, has issued an excellent report with many good actions needed to accelerate the development of the hydrogen economy. It could be improved by:
- Improving the regulatory environment for integrated projects with renewables and electricity storage;
- Focusing on hydrogen’s missing links;
- Advocating the step-up of hydrogen in grids from 15% straight to 100%; and
- Building a hydrogen grid, like the Dutch Hydrogen Backbone.
And the continued focus on hydrogen for heating homes seems strange, given that even hydrogen advocates admit that it uses six times the amount of energy as heat pumps.
IPCC Synthesis Report 2023
The IPCC’s report on the current state of climate change and its expected trajectory is very challenging, emphasising the urgency of very large-scale changes to our economies and energy systems. Among the key findings:
- Global surface temperature was 1.09°C [0.95°C–1.20°C] higher in 2011–2020 than 1850–1900 the human-changed element being 0.8°C–1.3°C, with a best estimate of 1.07°C.
- Observed increases in greenhouse gas emissions since around 1750 are unequivocally caused by human activities.
- Widespread and rapid human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe, with widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people (high confidence). Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected (high confidence).
- It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Global mean sea level increased by 0.20 [0.15–0.25] m between 1901 and 2018.
- And so it goes on, in relation to food and water security, widespread damage, failing fisheries, increased diseases, impacts on ecosystems economies and migration, etc.
National Audit Office: A Step Change is Needed
Considering power decarbonisation, Net Zero and energy security, the NAO said “This will require substantial investment in new capacity, alongside system-wide modernisation, and needs a joined-up approach to ensure changes happen in sequence and with coherence.” We couldn’t agree more.
UK Gov’t LDES Policy Expected Next Year
Excellent news: supporting the UK government’s intention to bring in a policy on Long Duration Energy Storage by the end of next year, Storelectric have been invited for further discussions with the ministry (DESNZ, formerly BEIS). Our own caveat is that it should be much quicker: both network and operational costs are rocketing, all LDES technologies have long lead times (especially in relation to new grid connections), and so the government should show much greater urgency. Our CAES and hydrogen technologies are head-and-shoulders better than all others, e.g. cheaper, more efficient, more flexible, more configurable – and ready to be built now. And the budget had nothing more than a statement that “the government will set out further action later this month to ensure energy security in the UK and meet our net zero commitments.”
The Ukraine War has Advanced Energy Transition by 5-10 years
Happily, The Economist’s analysis has established that, despite firing up coal-fired power stations and investments into LNG, other actions taken since Russia’s wanton invasion of Ukraine mean that, in aggregate, the energy transition has advanced by 5-10 years and the limitation of global warming to 2oC by 2100 is achievable. This is largely due to accelerated renewables investment and advanced promises to shut down coal later. However it is jeopardised by political and regulatory issues that reduce the viability of renewables.
Greenhouse Gas Protocol Update
The world’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol is being updated. As well as claimed performance, there should be a requirement to deliver and keep delivering the claimed emissions. For example, Canada’s Boundary Dam project shows that the target 90% capture rate delivers an irregular and sharply decreasing 80=>40% capture in practice.
The Protocol should be updated with actuals and, where there are none, or where major modification works have just been completed, should cite previous achieved performance. And that applies not only to capture rates, but also to other aspects such as leakage (a critical health-and-safety issue), costs, load on the plant (i.e. effects on the efficiency of the plant onto which is bolted the CCS), input energy and chemicals consumption, non-CO2 emissions etc.
Much better to use zero-carbon technology throughout the process, as Storelectric does.
This month Mark writes about how the energy transition, as currently planned in the UK and world-wide, is costing unnecessary trillions (worldwide, hundreds of trillions) and leading to an energy system that is unnecessarily insecure, fragile and unreliable, with an outline of how to avoid those pitfalls.