Engerati round-up: Brexit, grid access and North Sea energy

The impacts of Brexit from the European Union on the many aspects of life is under the spotlight, writes Jonathan Spencer Jones, content analyst at Engerati.

As far as the energy sector goes, Engerati doesn’t see any major shift in energy policy. [Brexit and Britain’s energy] As a signatory to COP21, the conditions dictate the general terms of policy in terms of decarbonisation and renewables. There will obviously be a change of relation with the Energy Union, but even this is unlikely to be too great: For example, interconnections are likely to continue for energy trading and security purposes. Potentially the biggest impact is likely to be on R&D and strong advocacy will be needed to ensure that funding levels are maintained.

Grid access in Africa

[quote] Over 600 million people in Africa currently have no access to a reliable source of grid electricity and many experts in the energy sector believe that the microgrid will be be able to change that. In an interview at African Utility Week, Tony Duarte, Microgrid Manager at ABB Microgrids, discusses how microgrids could be rapidly deployed to bring sources of generation together, balance them and supply rural areas. Putting its money where its mouth is, ABB has commissioned an integrated solar-diesel microgrid installation at its 96,000 square metre Longmeadow facility in Johannesburg, South Africa. The microgrid provides both grid connected and off-grid functionalities to maximize the use of renewable energy and ensure uninterrupted power supply in the case of outages on the main grid supply. [Innovative microgrid solutions help address a real-world challenge]

Energy mix in the North Sea

Traditionally oil and gas exploration operators and energy operators have little in common. But now in what is said to be a “unique collaboration”, the two sets of parties, along with others, have signed a manifesto to cooperate in the North Sea region. The two primary focuses for North Sea energy development are ‘smart combinations’, in which new technologies such as power-to-gas and hydrogen storage and carbon capture and storage are brought in using decommissioned oil and gas wells, platforms and pipelines that otherwise would have to be removed, and the development of an interconnected North Seas grid. [The North Sea – Gas and wind talk synergies]

Reliance on fossil fuels in Asia-Pacific

Fast growing energy demand in Asia-Pacific is raising concerns that the region could become unsustainably reliant on fossil fuels. A new report from the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Centre forecasts a 35% jump in energy consumption in the region by 2040, driven by continued poverty reduction and growth of the middle class in emerging APEC economies. However, 80% of demand will be met by fossil fuels, led by coal, based on current trends. Moreover, more than 10% of the energy reserves will need to be imported from outside the region. [Asia-Pacific’s growth will lead to unsustainable energy] APEC is putting in place actions to accelerate sustainable solutions, such as a new network for city executives to share intelligence on efficiency and renewable energy policy development and adoption, drawing on the APEC Low Carbon Model Towns initiative.


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