Industrial-Scale Renewable Energy on the Rise

Christian Bruch (left), CEO of Siemens Energy, and Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA, signed a sustainable energy partnership agreement to drive the global energy transition based on renewable energy. May 25, 2021, Abu Dhabi, Dubai (Photo courtesy Siemens Energy) Posted for media use

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, May 25, 2021 ( News) – The transition to renewable energy in support of sustainable development goals and climate action is picking up speed around the world.

New analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council shows that 3.3 million new wind power jobs can be created globally over the next five years due to major industry expansion.

With new urgency, the International Energy Agency, IEA, is calling for an end to exploration for fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural  gas.

In a report

on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, the IEA says, “no exploration for new resources is required.” The influential agency set out a series of restrictive policies it says are necessary to get to net-zero emissions that include phasing out the sales of petrol-powered internal combustion engines and bans on new gas hookups in buildings.

As the world prepares for the United Nations’ climate conference COP26 in November in Glasgow to further the Paris Climate Accord, the IEA points out that the number of countries announcing pledges to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades continues to grow.

At the same time, some question whether net-zero emissions can be achieved globally by 2050 with a view to limiting global warming to 1.5,° or at least 2° Celsius, above pre-industrial levels as the Paris Accord aims to do, and what that would mean for the energy sector.

In response to an official request by the COP26 Presidency,  the IEA is developing a special report detailing the first comprehensive energy-sector pathway towards global net-zero emissions by 2050. It will provide a detailed sector-by-sector analysis of the changes that would be needed over the next 30 years to reach that net-zero emissions goal.

The IEA will set specific technology and policy milestones, and describe what it sees as the wider implications for economies and society. The COP26 report will assesses the policy requirements, the deployment and innovation needs, the necessary investments, the economic benefits and the wider implications for the world.

Meanwhile, many other entities are not waiting for reports, no matter how informative.

IRENA-Siemens Plan Renewables for Cement, Steel, Petrochemical Sectors

This week the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, and Siemens Energy have signed a partnership agreement to strengthen their collaboration on renewable technologies.

Working together, IRENA and Siemens aim to tackle decarbonizing hard-to-abate industries like cement, steel, and petrochemicals.

They will develop the business case for green hydrogen as a major contributor to deep decarbonization and focus on  joint efforts to promote renewable heat generation and industrial processes.

And, essential for success, they will facilitate private sector investment in the renewables sector.

“Partnerships are the cornerstone of global efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals and key to the rapid acceleration of the global energy transition,” said Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA at the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi. “This public-private initiative is representative of a shared a vision for a low-carbon energy future and of a joint commitment to meaningful action.”

With 163 member states plus the European Union, and 20 additional nations in the accession process, IRENA is the lead intergovernmental agency for the global energy transformation that supports countries transitioning to a sustainable energy future. It fosters international cooperation and excellence, and is a repository of policy, technology, resources, and financial knowledge on renewable energy.

Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy, said, “This partnership leverages and amplifies both of our organisations’ strengths to accelerate the energy transition. Action to tackle climate change is a global imperative. Our best chance of success is through strong partnerships with dedicated organisations.”

“We believe that innovative technologies are the key to combating climate change,” Bruch said.

In collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Expo 2020 Dubai, Siemens Energy inaugurated the first industrial scale, solar-driven green hydrogen facility in the Middle East and North Africa. Located at DEWA’s Outdoor Testing Facility of the Research and Development Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, this green hydrogen project marks a milestone in the advancement of the sustainable energy industry in the region.

Siemens Energy

offers products, solutions and services along the energy value chain from power generation and transmission to energy storage, using conventional and renewable energy technology, such as gas and steam turbines, hybrid power plants operated with hydrogen, power generators and transformers. More than half its portfolio has already been decarbonized, the company says.

Ukraine’s Energy-Storage Venture Not Without Risk

Big renewable projects are blooming elsewhere, too, this spring. In Ukraine on May 21, DTEK formally launched the country’s first industrial lithium-ion energy storage system with a capacity of 1 MW/2.25 MWh.

The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant four kilometers from the location of DTEK’s new lithium-ion battery storage facility in the city of Energodar, the power capital of Ukraine, October 2015 (Photo by EnergoAtom via IAEA) Posted for media use

It was installed at the coal and gas-fired Zaporizhzhya thermal power plant in the city of Energodar, a city of 53,500 on the bank of the Dnieper River. Known as the power capital of Ukraine, the city is home to people working at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – located just 4.3 kilometers (2.6 miles)away.

DTEK, a holding company of Ukrainian multi-billionaire businessman Rinat Akhmetov, was established in 2005. A conglomerate of various energy companies from coal mining to power generation, it aims “to become the leading entity in the decarbonization of Eastern Europe.”

“The installation of the energy storage system comes at a crucial time for DTEK and Ukraine as we tackle the challenge of climate change and seek to transform the energy sector, by introducing low-carbon energy solutions,” said DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko. “Thanks to our collaboration with the internationally renowned companies – Honeywell and SunGrid – we have been able to successfully complete this ambitious project.”

But the siting of this lithium-ion energy storage system near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is risky.

Lithium-ion batteries are associated with a risk of fire, and “thermal runaway is a typical fire scenario for Li-ion batteries and accumulators,” points out Leo Ronken, a property and casualty senior consulting underwriter with the re-insurance company Gen Re based in Cologne, Germany.

Siemens, which installs lithium-ion energy storage systems, calls the technology, “a manageable fire risk.”

“Lithium-ion storage facilities contain high-energy batteries combined with highly flammable electrolytes. In addition, they are prone to quick ignition and explosion in a worst-case scenario,” explains Siemens on its wbsite.

”Such fires can have a significant financial impact on organizations. Rapid detection of electrolyte gas particles and extinguishing are the key to a successful fire protection concept. Since December 2019, Siemens has been offering a VdS-certified fire protection concept for stationary Li-ion battery storage systems.”

The DTEK battery system at Energodar will store and dispatch electricity to the grid, as well as maintain the functioning of Ukraine’s power system. With this pilot project, DTEK intends to establish a key role for the use of energy storage systems in various segments of the country’s energy market, as well as drive the decarbonization of Eastern Europe in support of the EU Green Deal.

“This is particularly important ahead of the synchronization of the EU and Ukrainian power systems in 2023,” Timchenko said.

DTEK owner Akhmetov says, “Our modern energy industry must become the driving force behind the growth of the Ukrainian economy and welfare of Ukrainians. … This project effectively launches a new market for energy storage systems in Ukraine. Moreover, these storage solutions will be key to ensuring the energy security of our country, as well as a new point of development for the Ukrainian energy industry.”

By Sunny Lewis for Maximpact

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