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Ecosource is launching a new comprehensive Survey and Energy Audit service to ensure that your commercial properties meet the latest Minimum Energy Efficiency Survey (“MEES”) requirements.
Full on-site survey
Ecosource will carry out a full on-site survey of your premises and produce a detailed report in the form of a Commercial EPC highlighting any areas of concern, and critically, providing a detailed proposal to remedy any issues uncovered.
Pay as you save
Uniquely, Ecosource can then provide the full range of remedial works that may be requiredand all presented to minimise any effect on your cash-flow with the aim of paying for the works out of subsequent energy savings.
You can be confident that not only are your buildings MEES compliant, but they will also be more energy efficient, a more pleasant environment to work in and will send out a positive sustainability message to your staff and customers.
For major trading houses that ship millions of barrels of oil every day, the prospect of decreasing fuel demand and a turn to renewable power poses a brain-racking challenge with few definite solutions.
The world’s top oil trader Vitol trades seven percent of the world’s oil. They will still have a business, but it may well be a very different business. Vitol, and rivals Glencore and Gunvor, see many growth possibilities in the bread-and-butter business of oil trading since economies in Asia, Latin America and Africa grow, producing demand for oil. However, beyond that, ambivalence loom.
Major commodity traders and oil companies such as Shell and BP expect oil consumption to slow in the coming years as car engines become more efficient, sales of electric vehicles accelerate and wind and solar power become more dominant. Governments around the world are preparing to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel by the end of the century in order to combat global warming.
In all the scenarios you can have on energy, there is always going to be a need to have someone there to balance supply and demand. But other traders see few opportunities in power trading due to technical challenges of storage and transportation.
Similarly, while oil majors are also set to invest heavily in the petrochemical industry, betting on growing demand for plastics, traders see only limited opportunities there. Vitol earlier this year invested in a shared venture to develop energy storage plants in Britain to help manage supply fluctuations from renewable power such as wind and sun.
It also looked at offshore wind. But the ventures into renewables represents a fraction of Vitol’s business, with a turnover of $152 billion in 2016. Glencore, also a mining giant, is set to ride on the expected wave of electric vehicle growth thanks to increased demand for metals such as cobalt, copper and nickel used in batteries.
Gunvor, Vitol and more recently Glencore have all invested in refineries and petrol stations globally to secure markets for oil products, as demand is set to reach 100 million barrels per day by the end of the decade.The oil market is not broken in terms of opportunities for trading companies. There are 1 billion vehicles on the road today and the electric vehicle part of that is under 2 million vehicles globally.
Shell, BP and many of the world’s leading energy companies are increasingly diversifying into gas, the least polluting fossil fuel, as well as renewables and power trading in order to secure a foothold in the energy transition.
Trading houses are also growing their liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading operations to tap into the gas market that is set to expand rapidly to meet rising demand for power.
It isn’t the biggest or the largest who survive; it is the one who can adapt the best.
See-through solar materials represent a huge source of untapped energy and could store as much energy as bigger, heavier rooftop solar units.
See-through solar-harvesting applications, such as this module pioneered at Michigan State University, could potentially produce 40 percent of U.S. electricity demand. (Credit: Michigan State University). The authors argue that unrestricted use of such highly transparent solar applications, together with the rooftop units, could nearly meet U.S. electricity demand and drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Highly transparent solar cells represent the wave of the future for new solar applications. Their potential has been analysed and shows that by harvesting only invisible light, these devices can provide a similar electricity-generation potential as the bulky rooftop solar panels while providing supplementary functionality to improve the efficiency of buildings, automobiles and mobile electronics. Lunt and colleagues at MSU pioneered the development of a transparent luminescent solar concentrator that creates solar energy without disrupting the view. The thin, plastic-like material can be used on buildings, car windows, phones or other devices with a clear surface.
The solar harvesting system uses organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb invisible wavelengths of sunlight. The researchers can "tune" these materials to pick up just the ultraviolet and the near-infrared wavelengths that convert this energy into electricity. Moving global energy consumption away from fossil fuels will require this kind of innovative and cost-effective renewable energy technologies. Only about 1.5 percent of electricity demand in the United States and globally is produced by solar power.
But in terms of overall electricity potential, the authors note that there are an estimated 5 billion to 7 billion square metres of glass surface in the United States. And with that much glass to cover, transparent solar technologies have the potential of supplying some 40 percent of energy demand in the U.S. - about the same potential as rooftop solar units. The complimentary deployment of both technologies could get the US close to 100 percent of their demand if they also improve energy storage.
Highly transparent solar applications are recording efficiencies above 5 percent, while traditional solar panels typically are about 15 percent to 18 percent efficient. Although transparent solar technologies will never be more efficient at converting solar energy to electricity than their opaque counterparts, they can get close and offer the potential to be applied to a lot more additional surface areas. Right now, transparent solar technologies are only at about a third of their realistic overall potential.
While traditional solar applications have been actively researched for over five decades, we have only been working on these highly transparent solar cells for about five years. This technology offers a promising route to economical, widespread solar adoption on small and large surfaces that were previously inaccessible.
April 2017 marked the first time the UK went its first full day without the use of energy from coal since the Industrial Revolution. The UK was the first country to use coal for electricity. This was a watershed moment for the low carbon revolution.
There has been a notable increase in investment into renewable energy and phasing out of coal-based power stations in the UK - a direct result of rapidly declining costs of solar and wind power, and in response to meeting emissions reductions targets,
The National Grid reported that at lunchtime on the 7th June 2017, in excess of 50% of the UK’s electricity needs were met by power from wind, solar, hydro and wood pellets. At 2 pm, this reached 72.1% with the addition of nuclear.
The price of renewables continues to fall. This is due to improved technology and uptake. Solar and wind is now either the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries. However, the rapid adoption of these new technologies is causing concerns in some quarters.
One major argument used against renewables
Solution to this
Battery system costs are dropping quick. The power generated from the sun and wind can be stored for future use. This in turn dramatically reduces the need for base-load generation.
Improved battery technology and lower costs have been mainly driven by the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) market and seen the costs of Lithium Ion battery packs dropping by 90% in 10 years,
The benefits of a battery-based storage system
Another exciting development that storage enables is microgrids. Local, distributed power generation and storage can allow portions of the grid and critical facilities to operate independently of the larger national grid. This helps in reducing e the overall potential for unforeseen blackouts. These microgrids ensure resiliency and stability of supply and a reduction of CO2 emissions.
The EV car as energy provider
The UK government announced in June 2017 that it is poised to invest £246m in battery technology. What is now expected and needed is Now, more transparency is needed in the removal of barriers to allow small systems to participate in the ancillary services markets. In return, this will foster the growth of the local ecosystems that will help to achieve the transformation of the energy markets and modernise the grid. People with EV cars will eventually also let them provide power back to the grid and in doing so offset the cost of the cars.
The ongoing argument that renewables are unreliable is fading. With so many improvements within the renewable energy sector coming to head, the ‘sun not shining at night’ and “wind does not always blow” concerns are rapidly becoming outdated.
There is a huge opportunity for complete structural changes within the energy sector. The future is certainly bright for UK’s energy supply moving forward.
Wind is ambiguous. It can be devastating. It can be exciting. If just 2% of wind was captured, it would solve the planet’s energy needs in a heartbeat.
In the UK, the wind energy industry is celebrating. Last month, the cost of renewable energy dropped dramatically to undercut by almost half the government’s projections for 2025. At £57.50 per megawatt-hour (MWh), it is far cheaper than the state-backed price of £92.50 awarded in 2016 to Hinkley nuclear power station.
Since the government ruled out new onshore wind farms in England energy companies have been forced offshore. The wind turbines have grown steadily larger, as have the farms to which they belong.
Dong’s Hornsea Project Two will span 480 sq km
A large jagged blue diamond for Project Three
An even larger blue rocket shape for Four.
The reason for the falling cost of wind energy?
Over time, the diameter of the blades have enlarged. A turbine commissioned in
2002 swept 80 metres
2005 - 90 metres
2011 - 120 metres
2020 - 180 metres
Wind energy costs less, and will go on costing less, because the turbines are growing taller and the blades longer.
Two scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, California, published a study that suggested a wind farm the size of India, in the North Atlantic, could power the world.
And yet despite the size of its enormous machines, the offshore wind industry is still in its infancy. Wind turbines may look alike, but they're not. There are fixed turbines and floating turbines, which can access deeper seas, turbines with gears and turbines without. The sight of three blades harmoniously turning has become commonplace.
Ken Caldeira is one of the two Stanford climate scientists behind the idea of a North Atlantic wind farm the size of India. He says it is important to know that when wind turbines are arrayed in rows, the extraction of wind by the first row reduces the amount of wind available for the second row, and so on. Row by row, the wind’s potential diminishes.
To counter this effect, turbines need to extract energy from the wind that’s above them. What Caldeira found was that that is exactly what can happen in parts of the North Atlantic, where heat “pours out of the ocean”, causing greater “cyclonic activity”.
The hurdles facing the wind energy industry remain immense. Technical challenges include the difficulty of storing the energy captured. Batteries for this purpose are still developing and are crucial to securing the supply.
Caldeira reckons the total amount of power in winds globally is 50 times bigger than the total amount of power used by human civilisation, and that if we were to power civilisation by winds, we would need to capture about 2% of winds today.
Wind turbines on kites are in research and development. According to Caldeira, the jet stream is the largest, most intense renewable energy source on the planet, 20 times as potent in every square metre as direct sunlight in the middle of the day.
No one thinks that wind alone offers the answer to the world’s energy needs. But for now, at least, the possibilities are boundless.