Newsflashes

From Denmark

Pilot project to increase seasonal thermal hot water storage

As part of the Danish Energy Agency's action plan for seasonal hot water storage, a pilot project which uses a 3,700 m3 underground pipe storage system has been established on a Danish island. The aim of the action plan is to develop cost-effective and energy efficient technologies for storing solar heat in the summer for use in winter. At present, storage problems are a major barrier to the increased use of solar energy in Denmark.

The objectives of the pilot project are to clarify if underground pipe storage is feasible, and to calculate the cost of a larger plant. The project will enable possible users such as district heating plants, waste incineration plants, CHP and power plants to judge if it is a serious alternative to steel or pond storage. The pilot storage system consists of an 8 m deep pit lined with polypropylene and bentonite. It is filled with sand and 6,000 m of plastic pipes. The sand is saturated with 800 m3 of water to ensure the best storage efficiency. The pilot project will lead to design optimisation prior to the construction of a demonstration project of at least 100,000 m3.

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

From Finland

Cost calculation model for fuelwood

The TTS-Institute's Forestry Department has developed a computer-based cost-calculation model, TTS-Polttopuu, for calculating unit costs and resource needs in relation to the harvesting systems for wood chips and split firewood. The model breaks the harvesting chain down into several working stages.  It then analyses the effect, on both productivity and cost, of making changes to one or more of the stages.  The harvesting chain includes: cutting of delimbed and non-delimbed fuelwood, forest haulage, road transportation, and chipping and chopping of longwood for storage.

The software was originally developed for research purposes, but it also serves the needs of educators and students of forestry and agriculture, as well as individual firewood producers. The system requires at least a 486-level processor with Windows 95/98 operating system, 16 MB of memory (RAM) and 5 MB of available hard-disk. The development work was carried out in conjunction with the Finnish BIOENERGY research programme. At present, the model is only in Finnish, but it can be translated if required.

For more information contact Tyštehoseurary, Tel: +358 9 2904 1200, Fax: +358 9 290 1092, E-mail: tts@tts.fi, Web site: http://www.tts.fi

From Norway

Definite goals for Norwegian energy policy

The Norwegian government is, for the first time, proposing clear political goals for renewable energy in its White Paper No. 29 (1998-1999). The first goal is to use an additional 4 TWh/year of water-borne heat, which will reduce the dominance of electricity for household heating. By 2010, this heat will be produced from new renewable energy sources, heat pumps or waste heat. A second goal is to construct wind farms that will produce at least 2 TWh/year of electricity by 2010. These goals will be achieved by increasing taxes on electricity and granting investment subsidies of up to a total of NOK 5 billion (where NOK is the Norwegian kroner) over 10 years. Any adverse social effects of the new taxes will be compensated for. The proposition will be considered by parliament later this year.

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

From Sweden

Nordic co-operation for new waste incineration plants

Norwegian company Energos AS and the Swedish firm Vattenfall AB have started co-operating on sales and management of waste treatment plants in Sweden. The plants are constructed with new technology that incinerates the waste in an environmentally sensitive way.

Vattenfall AB believes that increasing waste taxes will lead to more waste incineration plants being built in Sweden, where there are already large-scale incineration plants and significant energy production based on biomass. Market development of smaller and local energy plants should lead to positive environmental effects and increased cost-effectiveness, both for the owners of the waste and for energy consumers. Several interesting projects have been identified.

The new technology incinerates all types of waste and gives emissions much lower than the EU's environmental requirements. The plants have an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes of waste, and supply energy in form of process heat for industrial uses and hot water for district heating. The technology to generate electricity in these plants is also available.

For more information contact the CADDET Swedish National Team in Stockholm.

From the United Kingdom

New R&D gasifier exported

A Northern Ireland company, B9 Energy Biomass Ltd, which successfully adapted Swedish gasification technology into a fully automated combined heat and power unit, has now manufactured and exported a new R&D unit to Sweden. The core gasification technology was originally developed by Swedish company SMP for powering road vehicles. B9 Energy Biomass automated the gasification technology and expanded it into a CHP unit. This technology is currently under demonstration at a museum in Northern Ireland. It uses wood chips to provide heating for the museum and electricity for around 400 homes.

The R&D project is receiving support and backing from the European Commission under its agro-industrial FAIR programme.

For more information contact B9 Energy Biomass, Debra Jenkins, Tel: +44 28 7127 1520, or B9 Energy Services Ltd, Sacha Workman, Tel: +44 (0) 28 2826 3900.

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.