The emergence of floating solar technology is opening the way for private and public water bodies such as lakes and reservoirs to become a source of energy. The technology is still quite young – the largest project to date is a 1.2MW plant in Japan – but this is soon set to be superseded by Britain’s third floating PV system which should come in at 3MW by year end. The concept is likely to be particular interest to water utilities with their energy bill one of their biggest costs, but also to farmers and for example municipalities looking to increase their renewable energy. [Floating Solar Makes Energy On The Water] Let’s also not forget some additional benefits such as improved PV efficiency due to the cooling effect of the water and reduced algal growth and evaporation.
Energy losses are a constant challenge for utilities whether they are the equipment losses in transmission or from theft at the distribution level. In this guest editorial three loss reduction strategies are outlined – deployment of an advanced distribution management system, fine-tuning of voltage control and deployment of smart meters. [How Utilities Can Use IoT Technology To Save Energy In The Smart Grid Era] With these losses could be slashed by up to 30%.
Traditionally grid frequency control is performed by peaking power generation but with increasing renewables the frequency changes become more rapid and alternative sources of control are required. Tests on molten bitumen have demonstrated that demand side response technology could fit the bill for the UK power system, able to contribute to the grid frequency control in a manner similar to, and, crucially, faster than that provided by peaking power generation. [Internet Of Things Is Faster Than Power Stations]
In the last of our series of interviews from European Utility Week 2015, we talk to some startups about how they are innovating the customer transformation and the value they are gaining from it. From the UK Ovo Energy is bringing supplier competition to the market while Limejump is focusing on helping small-scale generators to participate in the energy market. From the Netherlands Vandeborn has developed a platform where sustainable producers can sell energy directly to consumers. [Supporting the Customer Transformation]
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