Solar Power Plants for North Africa

After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa

An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity . . . . .

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After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa
An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity.

Wind capacity bids will be accepted in two batches. The first batch will seek bids with a total capacity of up to 60 MW and up to 30 MW per project. The second batch will seek smaller bids of up to 10 MW in capacity (up to 5 per project).

Wind bids for up to 70 MW will be tendered by November and another 70 MW will be tendered by August 15, 2018.

In photovoltaics, bids split into two batches as well. Both with a deadline on November 15, 2017. Again, the first batch will gather bids for up to 60 MW in capacity with 10 MW max capacity per project. The second batch will tender up to 10 MW with a 1 MW cap per project.

More information about the tender can be obtained via e-mail to ipper.autorisation@energy-mines.gov.tn .

A couple of months ago, Reuters reported that Algeria as per its Minister of Energy will invite bids to build three solar power plants.

It plans indeed to invite bids for the construction of three photo-voltaic solar power plants with a total capacity of about 4,000 MW.  The bids have yet to be made public; knowing that a new government has just been sworn into office and that any action would presumably take longer than first planned.  The former government said in a statement days before its unpredicted departure that the ministry would issue tenders for the three projects, without giving a specific timeline.

The three plants would help meet Algeria’s domestic demand for power and allow for exports of power to neighbouring countries, a source at the Energy Ministry told Reuters.

Several financial institutions, including the French Agency for Development and the African Bank for Development, have shown interest in funding the project, according to the Energy Ministry, calling it a “multi-billion dollar” project.

Sonatrach, Algeria’s giant state oil and gas firm, would fund about 50 percent of the cost of the three plants, a Sonatrach official said.

Last year, Italy’s ENI signed a deal with SONATRACH to develop renewable projects in Algeria.

U.S. firm General Electric had also shown interest in the solar plants with planned capacity of 4,000 MW, the Energy Ministry sources said.

Hit by a crash in revenues due to lower global oil prices, Algeria has been doubling efforts to increase gas exports after several years of stagnant production. Several new gas fields have come on stream in the past year.

According to Clean Technica, Algeria has set a long-term target to have 13,500 megawatts of solar PV power capacity by 2030. Thus, additional solar power tenders can be expected in the future. The North African country also plans to set up 5,000 megawatts of wind energy and 2,000 megawatts of concentrated solar power capacity by 2030.

Meanwhile, Dutch trains now run entirely on renewable energy these last days whilst Germany broke renewables record with coal and nuclear power responsible for only 15% of its total energy requirements.  And a plan to power Europe via massive solar arrays in the North African desert is more than a mirage but less than a reality reported by Lisa Friedman, ClimateWire on June 20, 2011 on Scientific American .

 

 

Meet Youssef Chraïbi, MOM at ENGIE

ENGIE is a global energy player and an expert operator in the three businesses of electricity, natural gas and energy services. The Group develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take on the major challenges of energy’s transition to a low-carbon economy: access to sustainable energy, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, security of supply and the rational use of resources. ENGIE today invites us to Meet Youssef Chraïbi, MOM at ENGIE.  We would like to believe that Youssef is a very representative member of the MENA originated youth that are emerging in numbers these days.

Here is below extract of this interesting article and in case of its appreciation, let us wish this young man all the best in his present and forthcoming endeavours.

ENGIE is a global energy player and an expert operator in the three businesses of electricity, natural gas and energy services. The Group develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take on the major challenges of energy’s transition to a low-carbon economy: access to sustainable energy, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, security of supply and the rational use of resources. ENGIE today invites us to Meet Youssef Chraïbi, MOM at ENGIE.  We would like to believe that Youssef is a very representative member of the MENA originated youth that are emerging in numbers these days.

Here is below extract of this interesting article and in case of its appreciation, let us wish this young man all the best in his present and forthcoming endeavours.

Meet Youssef Chraïbi, Market Operations Manager at ENGIE

An IT and technology enthusiast ever since he was a boy, Youssef Chraïbi has followed his passion through his studies and then in his varied professional experiences. He has proved himself to be highly versatile, taking on posts in a number of different divisions and departments, with responsibilities on both a national and international level. Currently he is meeting a new challenge, running the ENGIE Group start-up, NextFlex. Read about his career to date.

When you are open-minded, change is always an opportunity

Trained in electrical engineering, Youssef began his career in computing before becoming an energy contract specialist and then into a start-up intrapreneur. To put it another way, he’s multi-talented!

Youssef describes himself as a “greedy learner”. Insatiably inquisitive, he was interested in everything, especially if it was related to his main passion: energy. His appetite for knowledge took him to the National Institute for Applied Sciences in Lyon, and then briefly to Alstom. Youssef then took advantage of an academic exchange with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, to complete his studies, specializing in renewable energies. But to understand how his career then developed, you have to go back a few years.

A born analyst

By age 11, Youssef, already a confirmed geek, was developing his first app. “I designed a program to calculate the sale price of a slice of cake based on the cost of the ingredients. This allowed us to show enough profit to buy prizes for participants in games.” The ease with which Youssef could cope with software issues explains why he chose to join Gaz de France’s Major Infrastructures division once he had completed his doctorate. He took charge of the management of a portfolio of customer applications and coordinated a team of ten tech specialists. He found out all about the many facets of the energy industry, particularly the gas sector, through the prism of information technology. Among the fifteen or so customer applications for which he was responsible, he maintained the application monitoring the levels of LNG terminals which governs the movements of methane tankers. “It was a job I really liked, particularly because there was a very rich human component, with many different people involved.” After working in applications for two years, Youssef was given the chance to go below the surface to explore the lower depths. For a long time he had wanted to get up close and personal with servers and data centers. The Infrastructures and Production department gave him the chance. It was at a time when a new logistical organization was being implemented. Youssef was given a free hand to physically determine the servers needing to be deployed and the resources required to manage them. He specified the infrastructures that were indispensable for the operation of Group applications, not only for specialist operations but also for the software systems used for office applications, HR, payroll, etc. “It did take me away from energy as such, but as I knew the industry I could determine the critical points more easily.” He started out alone, but within twelve months he was heading a team of fifteen.

Return to energy

By 2010, Youssef had built up a solid reputation as a project manager in information systems, but he had a radical change of business and of entity. No more IT! He was now in charge of the Supply Management team for France, as part of the Energy Management business unit. “What I really love is change and learning a new business! It’s like opening a new book!” His role consisted in operational management of framework contracts for energy supply, and monitoring them on a day-to-day basis. And when Energy France became Energy Europe, Youssef was on the front line! Three entities merged and he took charge of a department spread over France and Belgium. There were more team-members; management took on an international dimension; the stakes were on a different scale. Youssef implemented a new organization and new systems.

New markets

Now part of NextFlex, Youssef is facing a new challenge. This in-house start-up is one of the first four projects in the incubation program launched by the ENGIE Group to explore new energy markets. The offer consists in promoting flexibility on the electricity market. “Unlike gas, which can be stored, the electricity market is always balanced. Production must precisely match consumption at a given moment. NextFlex supplies solutions, offering flexibility to heavy consumers.” Users such as manufacturers, hospitals and shopping centers, who are paid a fee in compensation, sign contracts undertaking to reduce part of their electricity consumption when necessary, generally for a period of several hours. NextFlex attaches a value to this flexibility in dealings with such players as RTE (the French power grid operator). Youssef and his two colleagues do everything. “We have to identify customers, perform tests, define tailored contractual agreements, run the system on a day-to-day basis, maintain relations with RTE and with our technology partners in the United Kingdom, and so on. I also handle customer service and support.” To develop this new business he is able to call upon Group resources, particularly those of ENGIE Ineo and ENGIE Cofely, which both operate throughout France.

Team-work

Youssef is very much a people person. “I used to manage a department of 40 people. It was my role to drive them always to do better, to ensure that each person could progress at his or her level.” His team-playing spirit owes a lot to playing volleyball. “In football and basketball, there’s room for individual brilliance, but in volleyball it’s all team-work.” In Grenoble, where he is now based, Youssef has discovered a new hobby: capoeira. His many professional and personal projects include developing NextFlex, of course, but also expressing himself through his photographs, having a rich family life and investing himself in education programs. “Education is the key to the development of a society.” He also teaches junior high students about energy through the ENGIE internal network, and he is working on an educational project with a school in Grenoble.

“I like the start-up mode very much. It encourages autonomy, accountability and a search for different modes of management.”

 

How human error could have created the Sahara desert

After reading this interesting article of the World Economic Forum on How human error could have created the Sahara desert, one wonders if with the advent of Solar Power and its ineluctable progress throughout the world, the incriminated human beings in the proposed article of today would not take this opportunity to redress that millennia negligence tort.  We are assuming that the vastness of the Sahara would be put to good use in a scheme as already started in some parts of the MENA region.  With reference to our previous article on Solar Power plants from Morocco to Oman http://www.mena-forum.com/23067-2/ , it is clear that countries bordering the Sahara jumped on the gravy band wagon and started to develop schemes on their own.  There was however some attempts of the like of DESERTEC of Germany http://www.mena-forum.com/desertecs-difficult-path-production/ which tried to coordinate a giant development of solar power and route it back to the close by Europe.
In any case, we reproduce with our thanks, this recent article of the WEF that is recommended to be best read in conjunction with the referenced articles of MENA-Forum for a fuller picture of the on-going striving towards this form of renewable energy.  This article written by David Wright, Managing Partner, Trilateral Research & Consulting is published in collaboration with The Conversation on 16 March 2017.

Humans may have transformed the Sahara from lush paradise to barren desert.

The Image above is of REUTERS/David Rouge

Once upon a time, the Sahara was green. There were vast lakes. Hippos and giraffe lived there, and large human populations of fishers foraged for food alongside the lakeshores.

The “African Humid Period” or “Green Sahara” was a time between 11,000 and 4,000 years ago when significantly more rain fell across the northern two-thirds of Africa than it does today.

The vegetation of the Sahara was highly diverse and included species commonly found on the margins of today’s rainforests along with desert-adapted plants. It was a highly productive and predictable ecosystem in which hunter-gatherers appear to have flourished.

These conditions stand in marked contrast to the current climate of northern Africa. Today, the Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world. It lies in the subtropical latitudes dominated by high-pressure ridges, where the atmospheric pressure at the Earth’s surface is greater than the surrounding environment. These ridges inhibit the flow of moist air inland.

How the Sahara became a desert

The stark difference between 10,000 years ago and now largely exists due to changing orbital conditions of the earth – the wobble of the earth on its axis and within its orbit relative to the sun.

But this period ended erratically. In some areas of northern Africa, the transition from wet to dry conditions occurred slowly; in others it seems to have happened abruptly. This pattern does not conform to expectations of changing orbital conditions, since such changes are slow and linear.

The most commonly accepted theory about this shift holds that devegetation of the landscape meant that more light reflected off the ground surface (a process known as albedo), helping to create the high-pressure ridge that dominates today’s Sahara.

But what caused the initial devegetation? That’s uncertain, in part because the area involved with studying the effects is so vast. But my recent paper presents evidence that areas where the Sahara dried out quickly happen to be the same areas where domesticated animals first appeared. At this time, where there is evidence to show it, we can see that the vegetation changes from grasslands into scrublands.

Scrub vegetation dominates the modern Saharan and Mediterranean ecosystems today and has significantly more albedo effects than grasslands.

If my hypothesis is correct, the initial agents of change were humans, who initiated a process that cascaded across the landscape until the region crossed an ecological threshold. This worked in tandem with orbital changes, which pushed ecosystems to the brink.

Historical precedent

There’s a problem with testing my hypothesis: datasets are scarce. Combined ecological and archaeological research across northern Africa is rarely undertaken.

But well-tested comparisons abound in prehistoric and historic records from across the world. Early Neolithic farmers of northern EuropeChina and southwestern Asia are documented as significantly deforesting their environments.

In the case of East Asia, nomadic herders are believed to have intensively grazed the landscape 6,000 years ago to the point of reducing evapo-transpiration – the process which allows clouds to form – from the grasslands, which weakened monsoon rainfall.

Their burning and land-clearance practices were so unprecedented that they triggered significant alterations to the relationship between the land and the atmosphere that were measurable within hundreds of years of their introduction.

Similar dynamics occurred when domesticated animals were introduced to New Zealand and North America upon initial settlement by Europeans in the 1800s – only in these instances they were documented and quantified by historical ecologists.

Ecology of fear

Landscape burning has been occurring for millions of years. Old World landscapes have hosted humans for more than a million years and wild grazing animals for more than 20 million years. Orbitally induced changes in the climate are as old as the earth’s climate systems themselves.

So what made the difference in the Sahara? A theory called the “ecology of fear” may contribute something to this discussion. Ecologists recognise that the behaviour of predatory animals toward their prey has a significant impact on landscape processes. For example, deer will avoid spending significant time in open landscapes because it makes them easy targets for predators (including humans).

If you remove the threat of predation, the prey behave differently. In Yellowstone National Park, the absence of predators is argued to have changed grazers’ habits. Prey felt more comfortable grazing alongside the exposed riverbanks, which increased the erosion in those areas. The re-introduction of wolves into the ecosystem completely shifted this dynamic and forests regenerated within several years. By altering the “fear-based ecology”, significant changes in landscape processes are known to follow.

The introduction of livestock to the Sahara may have had a similar effect. Landscape burning has a deep history in the few places in which it has been tested in the Sahara. But the primary difference between pre-Neolithic and post-Neolithic burning is that the ecology of fear was altered.

Most grazing animals will avoid landscapes that have been burned, not only because the food resources there are relatively low, but also because of exposure to predators. Scorched landscapes present high risks and low rewards.

But with humans guiding them, domesticated animals are not subject to the same dynamics between predator and prey. They can be led into recently burned areas where the grasses will be preferentially selected to eat and the shrubs will be left alone. Over the succeeding period of landscape regeneration, the less palatable scrubland will grow faster than succulent grasslands – and, thus, the landscape has crossed a threshold.

It can be argued that early Saharan pastoralists changed the ecology of fear in the area, which in turn enhanced scrubland at the expense of grasslands in some places, which in turn enhanced albedo and dust production and accelerated the termination of the African Humid Period.

I tested this hypothesis by correlating the occurrences and effects of early livestock introduction across the region, but more detailed paleoecological research is needed. If proven, the theory would explain the patchy nature of the transition from wet to dry conditions across northern Africa.

Lessons for today

Although more work remains, the potential of humans to profoundly alter ecosystems should send a powerful message to modern societies.

More than 35% of the world’s population lives in dryland ecosystems, and these landscapes must be carefully managed if they are to sustain human life. The end of the African Humid Period is a lesson for modern societies living on drylands: if you strip the vegetation, you alter the land-atmosphere dynamics, and rainfall is likely to diminish.

This is precisely what the historic records of rainfall and vegetation in the south-western desert of the United States demonstrates, though the precise causes remain speculative.

In the meantime, we must balance economic development against environmental stewardship. Historical ecology teaches us that when an ecological threshold is crossed, we cannot go back. There are no second chances, so the long-term viability of 35% of humanity rests on maintaining the landscapes where they live. Otherwise we may be creating more Sahara Deserts, all around the world.

 

 

Solar Power production and storage

In our article A Clean Energy Revolution is Underway  we tried to elaborate on Solar Power production and storage that is getting preponderant in our life literally by the day.  We are increasingly seeing how Energy is more and more appreciated but from as clean a source as it can be mustered by the available technology and like for anything else, it is no more a matter of generation but rather of storing or stock piling what has been produced.  In this particular case it is about batteries and / or different types of batteries. Here are some of the most noteworthy ones to date.
“To smooth out the production of a solar plant on a 24 hours basis, store a day production of electricity at night. For this batteries are a Classic solution.”  said André Gennesseaux of Energiestro, specialist in the field for 15 years explaining in an article in French of EDF’s Electrek  post.  This is Voss, rewarded by EDF Pulse 2015 priced invention.
Alternatives abound such as for instance the beautiful promises of the hydrogen to address the Intermittency of renewable energy, hydrogen could be the ideal solution to store excess production of wind turbines or solar power stations. EDF has also committed on this topic via its Electranova program.
More recently, Tesla TESLA TESLA BATTERY  commissioned researchers hit good results with a revolutionary battery system.  This is elaborated in this proposed article of electrek posted on May 9, 2017 written by Fred Lambert .  Here it is reproduced for its obvious interests, etc.

Tesla battery researcher says they doubled lifetime of batteries in Tesla’s products 4 years ahead of time [Updated]

@FredericLambert

Almost a year into his new research partnership with Tesla, battery researcher Jeff Dahn has been hitting the talk circuit presenting some of his team’s recent progress. We reported last week on his talk at the International Battery Seminar from March and now we have a talk from him at MIT this week.

He went into details about why Tesla decided to work with his team and hire one of his graduate students, but he also announced that they have developed cells that can double the lifetime of the batteries in Tesla’s products – 4 years ahead of schedule.

Update: Dahn reached out to clarify that the cells in question were tested in the lab and they are not in Tesla’s products yet.

During the talk titled “Why would Tesla Motors partner with some Canadian?” – embedded below, Dahn explained how they invented a way to test battery cells in order to accurately monitor them during charging and discharging to identify causes for degradation.

Like he admitted in his talk at the International Battery Seminar in March, Dahn doesn’t claim that he understands perfectly the chemistry behind the degradation, but the machines that they developed enabled them to test new chemistries more accurately and much faster – resulting in significant discoveries for the longevity of the cells.

One of his students working on the project went on to work for Tesla’s in-house battery cell research group and another started a company to commercialize the battery cell testing machines that they developed. Their client list includes Tesla, but also Apple, GM, 24M, and plenty of other large battery manufacturers and consumers.

In the second half of the talk, he explained how their new testing methods led them to discover that a certain aluminum coating outperformed any other material. The cells tested showed barely any degradation under high numbers of cycles at moderate temperature and only little degradation even in difficult conditions.

When it was time to talk about how those discoveries are impacting Tesla’s products, Dahn asked to stop recording the talk in order to go into the details.

While we couldn’t get that valuable information, when they started recording again, it was for a Q&A session and the first question was about his team’s ultimate goal for the lifetime of li-ion batteries.

He hesitated to answer, but then he said:

“In the description of the [Tesla] project that we sent to NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) to get matching funds from the government for the project, I wrote down the goal of doubling the lifetime of the cells used in the Tesla products at the same upper cutoff voltage. We exceeded that in round one. OK? So that was the goal of the project and it has already been exceeded. We are not going to stop – obviously – we have another four years to go. We are going to go as far as we can.”

This is impressive, especially since their research partnership started only in June 2016 and in February 2017, Dahn said that his team’s research is already “going into the company’s products“ – just a month after Tesla and Panasonic started production of their new ‘2170’ battery cell at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

It’s not necessarily related, but the timing is certainly interesting. It can take some time for products successfully tested in the lab to make it to production products.

It’s also important to note that Dahn’s research was focusing on Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) battery cells, which Tesla uses for its stationary storage products (Powerwall and Powerpack), and the first cell production at Gigafactory 1 was for those products.

Dahn explained that by increasing the lifetime of those batteries, Tesla is reducing the cost of delivered kWh for its residential and utility-scale projects. He gave examples of the costs at $0.23 per kWh for residential solar with storage and $0.139 per kWh for utility-scale, based on Tesla’s current projects:

For the batteries in its vehicles, Tesla uses Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) and Dahn said that they are also working on this chemistry. Tesla and Panasonic are planning to start production of battery cells for vehicles, starting with the Model 3, at Gigafactory 1 by June 2017.

He added that considering Tesla’s use of aluminum in its chassis, there’s no reason why both the cars and the batteries couldn’t last 20 years.

Here’s the talk in full (update: MIT made the video private after we published our article):

Further reading :

How clean is solar power? The Economist wondered in an article dated December 10, 2016 http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21711301-new-paper-may-have-answer-how-clean-solar-power where all production parameters were critically reviewed in the light of their impacting Climate Change in the process of manufacturing of the necessary hardware.

Solar Power production and storage

In our article A Clean Energy Revolution is Underway  we tried to elaborate on Solar Power production and storage that is getting preponderant in our life literally by the day.  We are increasingly seeing how Energy is more and more appreciated but from as clean a source as it can be mustered by the available technology and like for anything else, it is no more a matter of generation but rather of storing or stock piling what has been produced.  In this particular case it is about batteries and / or different types of batteries. Here are some of the most noteworthy ones to date.
“To smooth out the production of a solar plant on a 24 hours basis, store a day production of electricity at night. For this batteries are a Classic solution.”  said André Gennesseaux of Energiestro, specialist in the field for 15 years explaining in an article in French of EDF’s Electrek  post.  This is Voss, rewarded by EDF Pulse 2015 priced invention.
Alternatives abound such as for instance the beautiful promises of the hydrogen to address the Intermittency of renewable energy, hydrogen could be the ideal solution to store excess production of wind turbines or solar power stations. EDF has also committed on this topic via its Electranova program.
More recently, Tesla TESLA TESLA BATTERY  commissioned researchers hit good results with a revolutionary battery system.  This is elaborated in this proposed article of electrek posted on May 9, 2017 written by Fred Lambert .  Here it is reproduced for its obvious interests, etc.

Tesla battery researcher says they doubled lifetime of batteries in Tesla’s products 4 years ahead of time [Updated]

@FredericLambert

Almost a year into his new research partnership with Tesla, battery researcher Jeff Dahn has been hitting the talk circuit presenting some of his team’s recent progress. We reported last week on his talk at the International Battery Seminar from March and now we have a talk from him at MIT this week.

He went into details about why Tesla decided to work with his team and hire one of his graduate students, but he also announced that they have developed cells that can double the lifetime of the batteries in Tesla’s products – 4 years ahead of schedule.

Update: Dahn reached out to clarify that the cells in question were tested in the lab and they are not in Tesla’s products yet.

During the talk titled “Why would Tesla Motors partner with some Canadian?” – embedded below, Dahn explained how they invented a way to test battery cells in order to accurately monitor them during charging and discharging to identify causes for degradation.

Like he admitted in his talk at the International Battery Seminar in March, Dahn doesn’t claim that he understands perfectly the chemistry behind the degradation, but the machines that they developed enabled them to test new chemistries more accurately and much faster – resulting in significant discoveries for the longevity of the cells.

One of his students working on the project went on to work for Tesla’s in-house battery cell research group and another started a company to commercialize the battery cell testing machines that they developed. Their client list includes Tesla, but also Apple, GM, 24M, and plenty of other large battery manufacturers and consumers.

In the second half of the talk, he explained how their new testing methods led them to discover that a certain aluminum coating outperformed any other material. The cells tested showed barely any degradation under high numbers of cycles at moderate temperature and only little degradation even in difficult conditions.

When it was time to talk about how those discoveries are impacting Tesla’s products, Dahn asked to stop recording the talk in order to go into the details.

While we couldn’t get that valuable information, when they started recording again, it was for a Q&A session and the first question was about his team’s ultimate goal for the lifetime of li-ion batteries.

He hesitated to answer, but then he said:

“In the description of the [Tesla] project that we sent to NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) to get matching funds from the government for the project, I wrote down the goal of doubling the lifetime of the cells used in the Tesla products at the same upper cutoff voltage. We exceeded that in round one. OK? So that was the goal of the project and it has already been exceeded. We are not going to stop – obviously – we have another four years to go. We are going to go as far as we can.”

This is impressive, especially since their research partnership started only in June 2016 and in February 2017, Dahn said that his team’s research is already “going into the company’s products“ – just a month after Tesla and Panasonic started production of their new ‘2170’ battery cell at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

It’s not necessarily related, but the timing is certainly interesting. It can take some time for products successfully tested in the lab to make it to production products.

It’s also important to note that Dahn’s research was focusing on Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) battery cells, which Tesla uses for its stationary storage products (Powerwall and Powerpack), and the first cell production at Gigafactory 1 was for those products.

Dahn explained that by increasing the lifetime of those batteries, Tesla is reducing the cost of delivered kWh for its residential and utility-scale projects. He gave examples of the costs at $0.23 per kWh for residential solar with storage and $0.139 per kWh for utility-scale, based on Tesla’s current projects:

For the batteries in its vehicles, Tesla uses Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) and Dahn said that they are also working on this chemistry. Tesla and Panasonic are planning to start production of battery cells for vehicles, starting with the Model 3, at Gigafactory 1 by June 2017.

He added that considering Tesla’s use of aluminum in its chassis, there’s no reason why both the cars and the batteries couldn’t last 20 years.

Here’s the talk in full (update: MIT made the video private after we published our article):

 

Further reading :

How clean is solar power? The Economist wondered in an article dated December 10, 2016 http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21711301-new-paper-may-have-answer-how-clean-solar-power where all production parameters were critically reviewed in the light of their impacting Climate Change in the process of manufacturing of the necessary hardware.

 

 

A Clean Energy Revolution is Underway

A clean energy revolution is underway all over the world. As an example amongst many, and according to Algerian media, solar-generated electricity in private habitations or business premises is now feasible in technical and financial terms.  “Installation of a solar system to supply electrical power is now affordable, even for middle-income families”, explains the Director of the Center for development of renewable energies (CDER) to the Algerian Press Service.

Sadiq Khan to kick start a ‘clean energy revolution’ after London mayoral win was the title of SOLAR POWER PORTAL back in May 9, 2016.  Excerpts of this article are noted below as:

London was recently ranked the worst city in England and Wales for its use of renewable energy in a study by think tank Green Alliance, which found that just 0.05% of electricity consumption in the capital was met by renewables.

It also found that less than one per cent of its households were equipped with PV panels, which is the worst proportion of solar roofs in the 20 largest cities in England and Wales by population.

report published before the election by a coalition of environmental groups called for the new mayor to increase London’s solar capacity tenfold by 2025, rolling out solar across an area equivalent to around 200,000 London rooftops.

Meanwhile, a clean energy revolution is underway per the World Economic Forum announcement in its article published in collaboration with The Conversation on May 4, 2017.

The authors are Andrzej Ancygier, Climate Policy Analyst, Lecturer, New York University and Markus Hagemann, Researcher Energy and Climate policy, Utrecht University.

We reproduce here the said article for its quality and comprehensiveness make a must read for all concerned.

The image above is titled The most progressive field in the power sector is renewable energy and is f REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissie.

A clean energy revolution is underway. This is why

In 2016, more renewable energy was added to the global grid than ever before, and at a lower cost. A global energy revolution is clearly underway.

What catalysed this transformation?

In our latest study, Faster and Cleaner 2: Kick-Starting Decarbonization, we looked at the trends driving decarbonisation in three key sectors of the global energy system – power, transportation and buildings.

By following the emission commitments and actions of countries, we examined what forces can drive rapid transition through our Climate Action Tracker analysis.

It turns out that, in these fields, it has taken only a few players to set in motion the kind of transformations that will be necessary to meet the Paris Agreement’s target of keeping the global temperature increase to well below 2˚C, ideally to 1.5˚C, over its pre-industrial level.

Renewable energy on its way

The most progressive field in the power sector is renewable energy. Here, just three countries – Denmark, Germany and Spain – were able to show the way and start an international shift.

All three introduced strong policy packages for wind and solar that provided clear signals to investors and developers to invest in these new technologies. Renewable energy targets and financial support schemes, such as feed-in tariffs, were central to them.

By 2015, 146 countries had implemented such support schemes.

Next, we established that the United Kingdom, Italy and China, along with the US states of Texas and California, pushed bulk manufacturing of solar technology even further and provided the kinds of economies of scale that led to this massive increase in renewable capacity globally.

Between 2006 and 2015, global wind power capacity increased by 600%, and solar energy capacity increased by 3,500%.

Image :  Climate Action Tracke

Solar is projected to become the cheapest energy generation source by 2030 in most countries. In some regions, renewables are already competitive with fossil fuels.

Information released this month by the United Nations Environmental Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance confirms that, in 2016, the rate of renewable take-up rose yet again, with clean energy providing 55% of all new electricity generation capacity added globally. This is the first time there was more new renewable capacity than coal.

Investment in renewables doubled that of investment in fossil fuels. Yet clean power investment dropped 23% from 2015, largely because of falling prices.

To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, we need to fully decarbonise the global energy system by mid-century. That means the historic trends in the energy sector – 25% to 30% annual growth in renewables – must continue for the next five to ten years.

This will require additional policies and incentives, from increased flexibility in the energy system to new regulatory and market approaches.

Electric vehicles poised to take off

A similar trend is beginning to transform the transportation sector. In 2016, more than one million electric vehicles were sold, and new sales continue to exceed projections.

Again, our research tells us that it took only a few players to kick off this trend: Norway, the Netherlands, California and, more recently, China.

Their policies focused on targets for increasing the share of electric vehicles for sale and on the road, campaigns to promote behavioural change, infrastructure investment, and research and development.

The European Union saw sales of electric vehicles pick up in 2013. And in the US, their market segment grew between 2011 and 2013, slowed down slightly in 2014 and 2015, and bounced back again in 2016.

China’s market took off a little later, in 2014, but sales there have already surpassed both the US and the EU.

Though, to date, it lags behind the renewable power sector, the electric vehicle market is poised to see a similar boom. Current sales numbers are impressive, but we are still far from seeing a transportation transformation that would allow us to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

For the world to meet the upper limit of 2°C set in Paris, half of all light-duty vehicles on the road would need to be electric by 2050. To reach the 1.5°C target, nearly all vehicles on the road need to be electric drive – and no cars with internal-combustion engines should be sold after roughly 2035.

To get us going down that path, more governments around the world would need to introduce the same strict policies as those adopted by Norway and The Netherlands.

Buildings come in last

The third sector we examined is buildings. Though higher energy efficiency standards in appliances are really starting to curb emissions, emissions from heating and cooling buildings have been much more difficult to phase out.

There are proven technological solutions that can result in new, zero-carbon buildings. If designed correctly, these constructions are cost-effective over their lifetime and can improve quality of life.

In Europe and elsewhere, there are some good initial policies on new building standards that make new constructions more environmentally friendly, and some EU states – the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands among them – are also beginning to mandate that older buildings be retrofitted.

Still, the rate of retrofitting falls well short of what is required to substantially drop building emissions.

Innovative financial mechanisms to increase the rate of retrofitting buildings, along with good examples of building codes for new constructions, would go a long way to drive adoption of these technologies.

And, as our study showed, only a handful of governments (or regions) would need to make a move to kick-start a transformation. It worked for energy and transport – why not buildings, too?

The more governments work together sharing policy successes, the bigger the global transformation. With collaboration, we can meet that 1.5°C goal.

 

 

Development of Renewable Energy in Algeria

Energy transition and national security

All over the world, the combination of volatility of prices in the fossil oil & gas markets and the protection imperative of the environment and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions would require us to review and revise all our energy procurement strategies. Development of Renewable Energy in Algeria would, like elsewhere, mean going on to urgently review on the one hand all current mode of energy consumption and on the other, try and optimally exploit all forms of energy and in particular those under the label of renewable energy, that at the end of the day would remain an essential alternative for meeting at least all domestic energy needs.   

The world will know an energy transfer in 2017/2030

The weight of fossil (coal, oil & gas would remain at a crushing weight (78.3%), while nuclear power would play only a marginal role on a global scale (2.5%). The renewables share is growing in electricity production (23.7% by end of 2015 against 22.8% end of 2014), but it remains minor in transportation, heating and cooling facilities.

This high proportion of fossil fuels is basically due to imbalances between States subsidies of these as compared to those allocated to all renewable energy: e.g.: $490 billion for the first in 2015, compared to $135 billion, or nearly four times less, for the seconds. This situation did not however prevent the sector now to total 8.1 million direct and indirect jobs worldwide (+5% in one year), including 2.8 million in the photovoltaic industry: 59 Gigawatts in 2005, 198 in 2010, 279 in 2011, 283 in 2012, 318 in 2013, 370 in 2014 and 433 in 2015 including solar Gigawatts with 227 against 73 in 2005.

Investment in billions of Dollars is increased from 73 in 2005, to 239 in 2010, 279 in 2011, 257 in 2012, 234 in 2013, 273 in 2014 and 286 in 2015. Subject to long-term investments, the fact that currently the development of the technology costs and investments in production equipment (turbines wind turbines, solar modules, biomass boilers, etc.) that determinably weigh on the cost of renewables, the future renewables would presumably become source of cheaper energy and at stable prices.

Regarding cost reduction, the IEA notes that the price of PV systems got divided by two and sometimes more in five years (2008-2012). Today, joining hydroelectricity production costs, as some renewable energy technologies have practically reached parity with conventional costs of electricity from other energy sources taking into account subsidies allocated to the latter.

Renewable energy has essential assets to enable it to take an important place in the energy mixes of all countries, these bring the production sites closer to the centers of consumption, reduce the dependence of these countries on fossil fuels, contribute to the security of supply and energy independence, allow long-term control over energy prices, constitute the most appropriate vectors of development of decentralized energy production by offering considerable potential for industrial development resulting in new growth and contribute to limit the impact of energy on the environment: thus reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, reduction of effects on air, water and soil, no production of waste, the production of renewable energy facilities very little affect the environment, biodiversity and the climate.

According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), it will be a matter of investing approximately $2,100 billion by 2040 to cover world energy demand in fossil fuels, as opposed to $7,800 billion invested in renewables. Thus, renewable energy could provide by then a quarter of the world’s electricity against 20% today. And, in order to ensure a perennial energy transition, significant investment will be needed for their adaptation and integration into the grid systems in order to absorb and redistribute a larger proportion of power produced by renewables. As for energy storage and management of flexible electricity production units would be centred on the importance of decentralizing energy production in order to bring them closer to “communication points”.

So the world is moving towards a major energy shift based on a certain Mix and investments are already pouring into the visible alternative energy production units.   According to the above mentioned Bloomberg report, it is expected a reversal of energy consumption by 2025: a fall in the demand for fossil fuels and a significant increase in the demand for alternative energy. This trend should be analysed whilst taking into account the exponential advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the Internet of Things (IoT) that will be more and more electric power dependent, whether in the case of the developed economies, as well as in that of the no less important world still living without lighting, ITC nor IoTs.

The conclusions of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in January 2015 and the report by Rachel Kyte, Vice President of the World Bank for sustainable development shows an increase that is more and more visible around the world of extreme climatic events (droughts, heat waves, torrential rain, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, etc…), with heavy human losses (2 and a half million people over the last 30 years), the number of climate refugees (more than 20 million according to the Norwegian Council for refugees) and the financial costs of natural disasters rising (up to $200 billion a year over the last decade, or 4 times more than in the 1980s.

Energy transition and national security

Algeria in this month of April 2017 is not going through a financial crisis but rather through a governance one. The risk would be if no alternatives to the current political, economic and particularly industrial policies are found, is to go straight to the IMF at horizon 2018/2019 at which time financial and governance would then be coexisting. So the main challenge of Algeria between 2017/2020/2030 will be the control of time. It is within this framework that the national program of development of renewable energy in Algeria must be implemented. This is based on a production by 2030 of 22,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from renewable sources, for the domestic market, in addition to 10,000 MW to export.

Hassi R’Mel Solar power plant / 150 MW by Siemens

The goal is to reduce more than 9% of consumption of fossil energy by 2030 and save 240 billion m³ of natural gas, or $63 billion over 20 years. But to date about 400 MW are renewable through the hybrid power plant in Hassi R’mel (100 MW) and the solar pilot of Ghardaia (1.1 MW), in addition to 22 solar power stations with a capacity of 343 MW through 14 governorates, including 270 MW, which are already in service. A national and international tender is planned for the production of 4,000 MW (4GW) of electricity from renewable sources with a specification requiring investors to produce and ensure local assembly of industrial equipment for production and distribution of energy, including photovoltaic panels.

In the immediate future, SONATRACH, the Algerian State owned and controlled oil & gas company will launch a notice of tender where thirty-four companies will be invited to price for the realization of a Solar Park of 10 MW in Bir Rebaa North, Algeria. However, it is necessary in order to carry out this program that will generate 300,000 direct jobs, to make investments of more of $100 billion by 2030. And because of SONATRACH’s new policy on prices, it will probably not be able to sustain such an important investment on its own, it is therefore necessary to set up a national industry as based on a public partnership/private of national/international concerns.

This must include all elements of the renewable value chain, including engineering, equipment and construction in order to increase the implementation pace, studies on the connection of these sites to power grids must be undertaken. These are strategic choices to ensure energy security of the country and the energy transition, which will be gradually carried out because there is no doubt that the fossiliferous deposits of the country beginning to dry up coupled with that national energy consumption is significant growth and will continue to be.

Indeed, Algeria through its widespread and poorly targeted subsidy system has one of the most the more fuel-inefficient models in Africa and the Mediterranean basin, with a growth rate that has reached or even exceeded the 14% per year for electricity. The CREG, the Algerian Electricity and Gas Regulation Commission, a public service organisation, forecasted domestic needs of between 42 (minimum) and 55 (maximum) billion m³ of natural gas in 2019 and SONELGAZ plans, on the other hand, for 75 billion m³ by 2030. As per to the energy balance in 2015, published by the sector, the distribution of consumption of primary energy is as follows, total production: 155 million ton of equivalent of oil, including 63% exported and 37% consumed on the domestic market (including for electric generation).

As for the consumption of households, etc. it would have reached 16.5%; whereas for consumption of transport, 13% and the consumption of the industry & construction is 7.5%. In Algeria, residential consumption (rich and poor) paradoxically pay the same rate; Ditto for fuel and water that represents 60% against 30% in Europe and the consumption of the industrial sector, 10% against 45% in Europe showing the decline of the industrial fabric, or less than 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. Coordinated action should also be implemented as part of a strategic vision of development taking into account the new global changes.

At the same time, it will be to improve energy efficiency by a new policy of pricing instead of the present sale price of gas on the domestic market that at about a tenth of the world price that were temporarily frozen for social reasons causing wastage. This is the largest reserve for Algeria involving review policies of habitat, transport and an awareness of the population to review the pricing policy would be recommended. A transitional period must be used not to penalise the poorest, politics of the Algerian Waters, the public water utility organisation, would be interesting to review. For this purpose, thought needs to be committed to the creation of a national compensation, that any grants must have the endorsement of the Parliament for greater transparency; leaving room to achieve a system of equalization, both at socio-professional, inter-regional, segmenting activities to encourage the structuring sectors and taking into account the income by social strata, hence involving a new wage policy.

In summary, like for the passing from the era of coal to the era of hydrocarbons, it was not because there was no more coal, and tomorrow other energy sources, it is due to technology change that brought greater economies of scale, thus influencing the reshaping of global economic at a local and global levels. For Algeria, the issue of energy security is raised together with the urgency of a reasonable and controlled energy transition within the overall framework of a passage from a rentier economy to an economy off oil.

This would require a broad national debate on the future model of energy consumption and together with the lifting of all bureaucratic blockages that hamper any expansion of the value added creation enterprise and its foundation that is the knowledge economy.