Green Energy & Heat Pump News Roundup
What happened in January 2018?
At Smart Renewable Heat, it is part of the mission to keep customers and industry professionals educated on the latest heating solutions and renewable energy trends. Thus, we have collected some of the top trending news from the web so you can stay in-the-know.
To start off 2018, these are some of the stories that we think matter.
1. The 2018 – 2023 world outlook for geothermal heat pumps
By Jerzy Dziedziczak for MilTech
In this press release written by Jerzy Dziedziczak, he provides details of the Energy & Natural Resources Market Reports for 2018. This report was published on January 16, 2018 and provides analysis of the current state of the energy & natural resources industry.
This robust report provides an insight into the global outlook for the geothermal heat pumps industry for over 190 countries. The report provides statistics annually on the potential industry earnings for each country, as well as their share percentage within the region. Econometric models are used in the report to provide comparative analysis.
2. District heating warms cities without fossil fuels
In this article by Paul Brown for EcoWatch, he discusses the plan for many European cities to switch to re-imagined district heating to stay warm during winter months. The focus is to use heating solutions that minimise environmental damage. A district heating scheme is a network of insulated pipes that are retrofitted into homes or apartment buildings to deliver heat into each property.
The use of district heating is nothing new; it has been used in Russia and some parts of Eastern Europe. The system is capable of providing warmth to homes and multi-storey apartment buildings, and is also able to utilise alternative sources of heat to reduce carbon emissions.
One example used by Brown in this article is Sweden, particularly the capital city of Stockholm. There are currently over 2,800 square kilometers of underground pipes built within the city connecting over 10,000 buildings. This system employs wood pellets, bio-oil, and biofuel wood chips (along with recovered heat and household waste) to produce heat.
The case for southern Spain is slightly different than Stockholm in terms of how this system is welcomed. Engineers in Spain claim that not all homeowners have fully embraced it; after all, it isn’t like Sweden that requires heating 9 months in a year. Local officials in Spain are hoping that citizen involvement will launch new initiatives for smart cities in that region.
3. China is the new world leader in renewable energy
In this article by Patrick Caughill for Futurism, he details a report recently published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysts (IEEFA). This report identifies China as the new emerging world leader on renewable energy investment. According to the IEEFA report, China has invested $44 Billion on clean energy projects in 2017. This was a significant growth from China’s investment in 2016, which was at $32 Billion.
This move by China is laying the foundation for renewable energy generation in the industry, according to the report. Tim Buckley, the lead author of the report and Director of IEEFA’s Energy Finance Studies, says that the new leadership position by China could be partly due to US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
Whilst China still has severe pollution problems, the country is taking a proactive step towards embracing a variety of renewable resources. Aside from fossil fuels, they are looking at hydro, bioenergy, solar, and wind, among other renewable sources of energy. The government also promises to shut down factories that fail to meet the emissions regulations.
4. EU lawmakers agree “flexible” renewable energy targets for 2030
Frederic Simon writes this report for Euractiv, detailing how EU lawmakers agreed to a flexible term on meeting renewable energy targets for 2030. The vote was sealed on January 16 for the proposed Energy Union governance bill. The new agreement outlined new conditions for EU countries to meet which would bring them closer to 2030 objectives. The new bill complements the original directive on renewable energies. It is designed to provide intermediary targets which facilitate meeting the bloc’s long-term renewable target objective.
Parliament negotiators wanted a trade-off, though they approved three milestones instead of four leading up to 2030. The first milestone will be in 2022. By 2022, the 20% renewable energy target should be met. The 2025 middle target requires all members to reach 45% of the target. Finally, the last milestone is in 2027, which is 70% of the target. Despite this good news, an unfortunate outcome came through the rejection of the “carbon budget”. Lawmaker Claude Turmes believes that this rejection will curtail the EU bloc’s projection of a net-zero carbon economy by the year 2050.
5. INTERVIEW – Renewables need sector coupling to further advance energy decarbonisation
Featuring Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning for Renewables Now
In this interview article for Renewables Now, Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, was interviewed about the subject of sector coupling in the industry. According to him, sector coupling is a critical factor in renewables penetrating the energy sector, but not without hurdles.
Sector coupling is the process of transferring energy from renewable sources to other sectors in order to reduce the fossil energy required. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning does not deny that the economic hurdles are present, especially since there is lack of incentive for buildings and businesses to switch to a renewable energy source. The solution that he proposes is through regulation; this will provide an even playing field for all energy carriers. He also hopes that this new move will spawn innovative business models that are capable of adapting to the aim towards the use of renewable energy.
6. From wave power to smart buildings, this is the future of sustainable energy
Stephen Armstrong discusses the future of sustainable energy in this piece. 2017 was an historic year for the energy industry as it saw use of fossil fuels decline. In fact, the first ever coal-free day was celebrated in UK in April. Other forms of renewable energy, such as wind power, are also making inroads. The outlook was therefore positive at the gathering of scientists, investors, and policymakers at WIRED Energy.
One key recommendation is to build local grids. This will allow sharing and the efficient use of renewable energy in order for more people (and homes) to use it, causing a drastic reductions in carbon emissions. It is also believed to significantly lower the consumption of energy itself.
Another point of discussion involves the rise of smart buildings. Ron Bakker of PLP Architecture claims he has designed the “smartest building” in the world that would showcase the possibility to run an entire building from sunlight alone. The idea is to use one part of the wall as solar panel, to provide huge surface area from which to harvest energy from the sun. Other recommendations on boosting the use of renewable energy concern the installation of hydrogen petrol stations, wave-energy hardware, and more.
Thank you for reading our roundup of green energy and heat pump news for January 2018.
Keep an eye out for next month’s collection of articles, and if you spot some news that needs to be included, email it over to email@example.com.