Renewables, Demand Management & Storage

A list of renewables, demand management & storage articles I have written for various energy magazines worldwide.

Why it pays to feed into anaerobic digestion

Green gas production doubled in 2016 and, despite government cuts to financial support, more than 100 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants were installed last year. The ADBA Market Report December 2016 recorded that 540 AD plants generated 708 megawatts (MW) – enough to power 850,000 homes – and at least 90 AD plants injected biomethane into the natural gas grid, amounting to 2.2% of the UK’s gas consumption.

Optimise your bio-gas production

Improve yield and boost efficiency with the latest research, technology and innovation for anaerobic digestion plants. Given the high capital and associated costs of setting up an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, it’s essential to produce the maximum biogas output for its capacity, as well as satisfying the heat and power needs of your farm’s buildings and operations.

How British NIMBYS are sabotaging renewables

Across the land, we have seen protests at planning meetings against new hydro, wind and solar schemes and the construction of new power lines to link such projects to the customer. The British Nimbys (Not in my back yard) have used every trick in the book to slow down renewable development. They use a variety of arguments including, that is has a negative impact on the landscape. Unfortunately, for all those involved in the renewables business in Britain, recently the government, because of the lobbying efforts of anti-renewables British Nimby’s, have dramatically cut back funding for renewables…

Renewables: Lessons from Morocco

The only country in North Africa without commercial scale reserves of oil or gas is Morocco, which depends on imports of variable priced (but usually expensive) fossil fuels to satisfy domestic demand. Currently, annual electricity and fuel imports costing $3 billion supply 96 percent of Morocco’s energy needs.

Energy revolution for Latin America

Latin America already leads the world in clean energy. For almost seven months in 2016, Costa Rica was powered entirely by renewable power, and Uruguay came close to achieving that goal.

Muck is money

Re-processing and trading waste is a valued business in mainland Europe. As Anna-Carin Gripwell, Swedish Director of Waste Management Communications, explains, “waste today is a commodity in a different way than it has been. It is not only waste, it’s a business.” All kinds of waste is traded for profit. For instance, plastic waste containing (laundry detergent and shampoo bottles) can earn a processor a profit of $250 per metric ton, while processing used aluminum generates profits of around $1,325 per metric ton.

The business benefits of using renewable electricity

The business sector is the largest consumer of power in the country, buying around 56 per cent of all the UK’s electricity. At this level it is clear that even a modest switch to renewable power could take a big step towards the government’s target of securing 3pc of the UK’s electricity supply from renewables by 20201. And doing so could be very good for business.

Where there is waste there is energy

In a consumer society, most people do not view trash and human waste as a problem, except perhaps when they struggle to close the lid on their bin or their toilet is blocked. Typically, each UK household produces an average of over 1 metric ton of rubbish a year, which amounts to about 31 million metric tons for the UK as a whole, an amount which is reduced by a 44.6 percent recycling rate. Sweden performs marginally better achieving a recycling rate of 49.8 percent.

How your business can benefit from producing its own energy

One way to lower energy costs is to produce your own energy. However, until recently, doing so has been expensive. Now, as the latest generation of solar, wind and digester technologies combine with power storage, is on-site energy generation within reach of every business?

Islands of Energy Potential

There are thousands of islands located on Africa’s many lakes and surrounding its coasts. It has been estimated by the African Development Bank, that there are some 30 million people inhabiting Africa’s islands, paying some of the highest power prices in the world. At around US$0.52 kWh for electricity, nearly four times the average price mainland US consumers pay, reports the Carbon War Rooms July 2015.

Nicholas Newman interviewed on That’s Oxford TV

Energy specialist Nicholas Newman, speaks with Alex Iszatt @alexontv about the government’s energy policy impact on renewable projects in Oxfordshire.

Mekong river dilemma

There are plans to construct along the Mekong River and its tributaries, some 12 hydroelectric dams along the upper section of the river between Laos and Thailand.

Renewables on track

In London, there is a station covered in solar panels that helps power the trains that use it. Elsewhere, trains are using the power to brake to be stored in a battery for use to help the train move off again. Elsewhere, engineers are looking at powering trains using LNG, hydrogen or even on board nuclear power. However, one thing is certain, the train you see running past your office will have an interesting story to tell about how it is powered and the energy sourced… – See more at:

Shedding light on South African Renewables

In South African cities, urban dwellers face regular power cuts. This is despite the country being rich in coal resources for its power stations. Demand for electricity exceeds supply and the much delayed mega coal power stations of Medupi and Kusile, when they come online, should cover electricity needs until 2020. Forecasts of South Africa’s rising population, increased living standards and industrialisation, together with the closure of 6 to 10 GW of life- expired coal plants, indicate a power gap of between 10 to 15 GW by 2025 in the country.

Turning a Swiss power plant smart

Nicholas Newman + Update October 2015.

Landis+Gyr has won repeat business from an old established customer Kraftwerke Birsfelden AG. Kraftwerke Birsfelden AG, since the 1950’s has operated a combined hydro barrage power plant and locks for shipping on the River Rhine in Switzerland at Birsfelden, between the city of Basel and Lake Constance.

Could you cut your business electricity bills with DECC’s Electricity Demand Reduction Pilot

DECC’s Electricity Demand Reduction Pilot opens a new avenue towards cutting business electricity bills.

National Grid Demand Side Balancing Reserve

The National Grid is introducing new schemes which encourages businesses to switch off electricity to save money.

Japan’s Renewable Energy Surge

Following the Fukushima disaster in April 2011, Japan the world’s third largest economy, closed down all but two of its 50 main nuclear reactors responsible for providing around 30% of Japan’s electricity (World Nuclear Association, May 2013). In September 2013, Japan’s last operating nuclear reactor was idled for maintenance and Japan became nuclear free.  see page 41

Storing the spark!

There is increasing concern about how to integrate renewable energy into the grid. One technology being examined is power storage as a method to overcome the intermittency issues of renewable power. The search for a solution is vital as worldwide, governments are setting evermore ambitious targets for sourcing of electricity from renewables.!-An-overview-of-the-current-state-of-energy-storage.html

Energy storage technologies on the way

Wind and solar power present two major problems to electricity grid operators – intermittent operation and an inability to be dispatched. That’s where energy storage technologies may come in. Nicholas Newman reviews the technologies.

Great Expectations: India’s hopes for solar power growth

India is looking to solar power as part of its plans to mend its chronically dysfunctional power sector. Solar power is seen by both the federal government in Delhi and state governments as an essential contributor to help meet increasing demands for power.

A question of how much energy storage does the UK need?

Many promoters of large-scale energy storage argue that the main case for it is to store excess renewable electricity for use during times of undersupply; for instance, when the wind does not blow or the sun fails to shine. The $64 thousand question lies in determining how much actual energy storage capacity is necessary to ensure secure back-up energy supplies.

Australian power politics

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces stiff opposition from the public, business and politicians to her radical carbon tax policies. Her newly announced policies that will see the nation’s top 500 greenhouse-gas polluters, hit by a crippling new carbon tax. Australian-power-politics.html

Britain’s Renewable Energy Policy Questioned

Growing scepticism has led in recent months to a House of Lords inquiry into the economics of renewable energy, and into the practicability of achieving the government’s ambitions to dramatically increase the share that renewables plays in the UK energy mix, especially the usage of wind power in electricity generation.’s-Renewable-Energy-Policy-Questioned.html

Cuba’s Energy Future:

Cuba’s Energy Future is written by a team of policy makers, scholars and analysts at Washington’s Brookings Institute, led by Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado. This book, poses the challenging question what steps can Cuba take to achieve both short term and long-term energy sustainability and self-sufficiency.’s-Energy-Future.html