Are Virtual Power Plants the Next Generation in Electrical Utilities?

Germany’s energy giants are lumbering behind the rapid advance of renewable energy. They might stay afloat for a while, but they don’t seem flexible enough to achieve a turnaround, says DW’s Henrik Böhme.

Source: www.dw.de

>” […]  Decentralization is the buzzword. And the power required elsewhere, say, for street lights, electric motors, or the bakery nearby will be largely generated through renewables. Even large industrial compounds will be in a position to generate enough electricity for their own needs.

Nuclear power stations will all have been switched off by then, with only a few coal-fired or gas-fired plants still in operation. One way or another, Germany’s power landscape is bound to undergo dramatic changes.

That’s been obvious for a couple of years now. But the German utilities’ age-old business models don’t seem to be working anymore. All they know is big and heavy – they’re used to nuclear and coal power stations guaranteeing billions in profit, year-in year-out, and they seemed to secure their earnings without any trouble. And then they grew fat and began making mistakes.  […]

Then came the Fukushima nuclear disaster four years ago, leading to the German government’s decision to phase out nuclear energy completely by 2022. That dealt a severe blow to Eon, RWE and co. which hadn’t really understood the thrust of the country’s energy transition anyway.

The utilities in question are now frantically trying to rescue what they still can. They’re cutting away some of the fat. Costs are being cut, employees are being laid off and selected divisions are being jettisoned. The companies have rediscovered private clients by offering them networking technology.

But people don’t trust those giant, de facto monopolist firms anymore. Younger companies can do the same just as well, and often far more efficiently. Take “Next Kraftwerke”, a Cologne-based start-up. They run a virtual power station where power is collected from many smaller facilities and redistributed in the process. This is pretty close to what a future energy supply system will look like.

According to Silicon Valley researcher Peter Diamandis, 40 percent of the world’s current biggest companies will have ceased to play an important role some 10 years from now. On current performance, among those to fall will most likely be Eon, RWE and others.”<

 

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Morgan Stanley Installs Bloom Energy Fuel Cells At Purchase, NY Facility

Morgan Stanley Installs Bloom Energy Fuel Cells At Purchase, NY Facility

Source: www.bloomenergy.com

“The project will provide clean and uninterruptible power for the 750,000 Sq. Ft. Office Building

PURCHASE, NY, Nov. 14 — […] The fuel cell system, along with a solar panel field completed earlier this year, are the latest in a series of initiatives to improve the facility’s energy efficiency and resiliency.

The Bloom Energy fuel cell system produces electricity without burning fossil fuels, thus reducing emission of greenhouse gases. It will supply approximately 250 kilowatts (kW) of constant base load power to the facility, as well as grid-independent electricity to power portions of the building’s critical load during grid outages.  […]

The new solid oxide fuel cell system (SOFC) technology converts fuel into electricity through a highly efficient electrochemical process, resulting in on-site, clean and reliable power. Combined with the solar field, these new installations are expected to produce approximately 3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy a year. During peak energy consumption times, they can supply approximately one megawatt, or up to 30 percent of the building’s demand.

Support for this project was provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Founded in 1975, NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation that provides information, services, programs and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

About Bloom Energy

Bloom Energy is a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power from multiple fuel sources. The company was founded in 2001 with a mission to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world. Bloom Energy Servers are currently producing power for several Fortune 500 companies including Apple, Google, Walmart, AT&T, eBay, Staples, The Coca-Cola Company, as well as notable non-profit organizations such as Caltech and Kaiser Permanente. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit www.bloomenergy.com.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services.  […]”<

 

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Bloom Box: The Alternative Energy Fuel Cell Technology – 60 Minutes

“Derived from a common sand-like powder, and leveraging breakthrough advances in materials science, our technology is able to produce clean, reliable, affordable power,… practically anywhere,… from a wide range of renewable or traditional fuels.”

Source: www.youtube.com

Changing the Face of Energy

Bloom Energy is changing the way the world generates and consumes energy.

Our unique on-site power generation systems utilize an innovative new fuel cell technology with roots in NASA’s Mars program.  […]

Our Energy Servers® are among the most efficient energy generators on the planet; providing for significantly reduced electricity costs and dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions.

By generating power on-site, where it is consumed, Bloom Energy offers increased electrical reliability and improved energy security, providing a clear path to energy independence.

Founded in 2001, Bloom Energy is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.”
http://www.bloomenergy.com/about/&nbsp;

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Unclean at Any Speed – IEEE Spectrum

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Electric cars don’t solve the automobile’s environmental problems

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Two dozen governments around the world subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles. In Canada, for example, the governments of Ontario and Quebec pay drivers up to C $8500 to drive an electric car. The United Kingdom offers a £5000 Plug-in Car Grant. And the U.S. federal government provides up to $7500 in tax credits for people who buy plug-in electric vehicles, even though many of them are affluent enough not to need such help. (The average Chevy Volt owner, for example, has an income of $170 000 per year.)

Some states offer additional tax incentives. California brings the total credit up to $10 000, and Colorado to $13 500—more than the base price of a brand new Ford Fiesta. […]

There are other perks. Ten U.S. states open the high-occupancy lanes of their highways to electric cars, even if the car carries a lone driver. Numerous stores offer VIP parking for electric vehicles—and sometimes a free fill-up of electrons. Mayor Johnson even moved to relieve electric-car owners of the burden of London’s famed congestion fee.

Alas, these carrots can’t overcome the reality that the prices of electric cars are still very high—a reflection of the substantial material and fossil-fuel costs that accrue to the companies constructing them. And some taxpayers understandably feel cheated that these subsidies tend to go to the very rich. Amid all the hype and hyperbole, it’s time to look behind the curtain. Are electric cars really so green?

It’s worth noting that this investigation was commissioned by the U.S. Congress and therefore funded entirely with public, not corporate, money.  […]

Part of the impact arises from manufacturing. Because battery packs are heavy (the battery accounts for more than a third of the weight of the Tesla Roadster, for example), […] Electric motors and batteries add to the energy of electric-car manufacture.

In addition, the magnets in the motors of some electric vehicles contain rare earth metals. […]

The materials used in batteries are no less burdensome to the environment, the MIT study noted. Compounds such as lithium, copper, and nickel must be coaxed from the earth and processed in ways that demand energy and can release toxic wastes. […]

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