Newsflashes

From Denmark

World's largest thermal solar heating system is expanded
The world's largest thermal solar heating plant at Marstal in Denmark has been expanded from 8,064 m2 to 9,043 m2 of solar panels. The enlargement is due to an extension of the district heating network to new consumers in the town of Marstal. Further expansion might follow, if a thermal storage pilot project proves successful in storing solar heat from summer to winter efficiently and economically. In 1998, the solar heating panels produced 3,227 MWh, which is in accordance with expectations and corresponds to the heat demand of 1,150 consumers during the summer months. Over 7,600 visitors from all over the world have visited the solar heating plant since its inauguration in 1996.

For more information contact the CADDET Danish National Team in Tølløse.

From the IEA

Wind energy reaches new milestone
In April this year, worldwide wind energy capacity reached 10,000 MW ­ an all-time high and another demonstration that wind is the fastest growing of all renewable energy technologies. The landmark figure was announced at a meeting in Madrid of the Executive Committee of the IEA Implementing Agreement for Co-operation in the Research and Development of Wind Turbine Systems (IEA R&D Wind). According to IEA R&D Wind, the world's installed wind energy capacity generates over twice the yearly electricity consumption of Madrid. Five countries account for more than 80% of world wind energy capacity: Germany, the USA, Denmark, India and Spain. In 1998, wind was the fastest-growing renewable energy source for the fourth year in a row, with 2,100 MW of new capacity installed. Equipment sales topped $2 billion (where $ is the US dollar) worldwide. Around the world, wind energy growth has been driven by improved technology and supportive government policies. The European Union estimates that more than 40,000 MW could be installed in EU member countries by 2010, partly in offshore installations planned by Denmark and the Netherlands. The USA is expected to reach 10,000 MW of installed capacity by the same year.

For more information visit the IEA web site at: www.iea.org/impagr/imporg/ieadesc/windpress.htm

From the Netherlands

Dutch utility buys "green labels" from the UK
The Dutch utility ENW has announced that it will buy "green labels" ­ certificates for renewable energy supplied to the grid ­ from the UK wind developer National Wind Power. According to ENW, renewable energy supply is short of demand in the Netherlands, which has an obligation to provide 3.2% of all electricity from renewables by 2000. Producers of renewable electricity obtain a green label for every 10,000 kWh generated. The value of a green label is about NLG 500 (where NLG is the Dutch guilder). By buying green labels, Dutch utilities can meet their obligation to derive part of the electricity they sell from renewable sources.

For more information contact the CADDET Dutch National Team in Sittard.

From Norway

Pyroarc gasification technology for waste treatment
The Pyroarc concept developed by Kværner ASA and ScanArc is a waste treatment process based on a two-stage gasification process for waste materials and solid fuels. The organic fraction in the feedstock is converted to a clean-burning gas and the inorganic components are vitrified into a glassy, non-leaching slag. Valuable metals are recovered as alloys by the process. The process consists of a shaft gasifer and a plasma decomposition reactor. In the gasifier, the feedstock is simultaneously pyrolysed and partially combusted, the inorganic constituents melting for recovery (metals) or vitrification. The organic fraction, now converted to gas, is mixed with liquid and injected into the plasma reactor by a jet. Proper mixing ensures an even temperature in the reactor and total decomposition of the gases, resulting in a combustible gas that can be used directly as syngas or, with a gas engine, to produce electricity. The plant itself uses about 10% of the energy produced.

For more information contact the CADDET Norwegian National Team in Rud.

From the United Kingdom

Major new wood-fuelled power plant to be built in the UK
UK company Border Biofuels is to develop a £35 million (where £ is the UK pound) wood fuel processing and renewable energy plant near Carlisle in the north of England. Once in operation, the scheme will require 450,000 tonnes/year of wood from local forestry operations, energy crops and primary wood processing activities. It will generate about 20 MW of electricity, equivalent to the annual average consumption of 40,000 local households, and will also produce charcoal and bio-oil for distribution and sale. The scheme has a contract under the UK government's Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation, which aims to promote the commercial deployment of renewable energy technologies. It is anticipated that the Border Biofuels scheme will save the production of over 250,000 tonnes/year of CO2. It will generate about 110 new jobs and help to fund strategic road improvements to reduce the environmental effects of existing traffic movements in the locality. The plant will become operational in April 2001.

For more information contact: John M Seed, Border Biofuels Ltd. Tel: +44 1835 823043;
Fax +44 1835 822997; e-mail:
jms@bblnorth.demon.co.uk

BP Amoco goes solar at service stations around the world
BP Amoco has announced that around 200 of its service stations worldwide are to incorporate solar power ­ the largest single project of its kind ever undertaken. Solar electricity will help meet the power needs of all new service stations to be built in the UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, Portugal and Spain. Solar installations will also be incorporated into prototype sites in France and the USA as part of an extended pilot programme. The first phase of the two-year programme will see up to 400 solar panels installed on each canopy at some 200 service stations. This is a 3.5 MW project, which will save around 3,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year and will cost $50 million (where $ is the US dollar). As a result of this project, BP Amoco will become one of the world's largest users of solar power. The amount of electricity generated will vary from site to site, but on average, each solar installation will provide the equivalent of enough power to run 55 television sets for five hours a day, every day of the year. The announcement follows a successful pilot programme at 19 sites in Europe, Australia, Malaysia and the USA.

For more information visit the "Plug In The Sun" web site at www.bpamoco.com/pluginthesun or contact: Clare Bebbington, BP Solar. Tel: +44 1932 779543; Fax: +44 1932 762533; e-mail: Bebbinc@bp.com

Renewables on-line

This is a new item in which we feature a web site that we think you will find interesting. This time, the web site in the spotlight is:

www.oceanor.no/wave_energy

which is a new site that gives details of various wave energy resource studies and features a full-colour map showing the overall wave energy levels along all coastlines worldwide. This site belongs to OCEANOR in Norway.

The CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter is a quarterly magazine published by the CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy at ETSU, UK.

The articles published in the Newsletter reflect the opinions of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official view of CADDET.

Enquiries concerning the Newsletter should be addressed to Pauline Toole, Editor, CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy, ETSU, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1235 432968, Fax: +44 1235 433595.