Tag Archives: carbon emissions

ADI for the development of next generation virtual power plants

The Technology Strategy Board, the UK Government’s innovation agency, awarded their match-funded grant to a consortium set up by technology innovation firm the Advanced Digital Institute (ADI). This consortium included industry partners  such as ENER-G, Flexitricity, Smarter Grid Solutions and UK Power Networks. ADI is based in Saltaire, employs 12 staff, and has a customer range from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to corporates. They aim to help digital technology companies innovate.

The £100,000-worth of funding has been won by a project led by ADI to explore the development of “the next generation of virtual power plants”. These centrally-controlled plants will use clusters of combined heat and power (CHP) systems, small-scale generating capabilities at locations such as hospital and business parks, to bolster supply when they are not operating at capacity. The big idea behind this is that they want to help meet peaks in energy demand.

John Eaglesham, chief executive of ADI and managing the initiative, said that ADI s very excited to work together with some of the UK’s key smart grid industry players in addressing the challenge of future energy supply. The project will shore up electricity supply and they will also examine new solutions for low carbon and low cost heat distribution. This could incentivize the UK CHP industry to provide more CHPs in areas where current UK Government incentives have fallen short.

Dave Harson, programme manager at ADI, added to this that this is a completely new business area for ADI. So it’s also quite exciting for them to work in this area where they haven’t previously done any research in.

The feasibility study of ADI will try to find new ways of increasing overall security and efficiency of the electricity system, and decarbonising energy supplies across the UK as demand increases.  The study is scheduled for completion in May 2013.

Mr Harson also said that these assets are already around, they already exist anyway. So we need to tap into those and use them, use that capacity, so we don’t have to invest in other carbon-generating capacities to meet the demand. ADI will also include a large number smaller-scale CHP generators into a virtual power plant because they want to achieve “improves flexibility and greater load-balancing potential to improve resilience of supply and potentially reduce the need to large utility projects”.

Up until 2010, ADI used to receive public sector funding from Yorkshire Forward. But Harson said that business is good for the moment and ADI is now operating independently of any of that type of grant money. The grant they receive from their key partner the Technology Strategy Board is one to fund specific projects, as well as doing commercial work with other customers.

Chris Marsland, technical director at ENER-G, said that the project will investigate the feasibility of using networks of CHP generators to complement and reduce the need for reinforcement of the electricity network. The benefits of this could include greater use of clean electricity supplies, reduced domestic heating costs and less need for electricity infrastructure investments. So the project will benefit the industry and the consumers alike, while reducing carbon emissions.

The project will perform business and technical modeling based on data from UK Power Networks’s London electricity network. They use ENER-G CHP generator and software and a central control system provided by Smarter Grid Solutions. UK Power Network is also leading Low carbon London, a £30m programme that’s largely funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund, to help develop smart electricity networks in Britain.

Malaysia- A green public transport system

With the increasing number of vehicles on the roads in Malaysia, the pollution they will create is sparking a great deal of discussion about the future of Malaysia’s transport, both public and private. On the one hand, the option of creating an improved network of connections- particularly for the capital city- is a potential solution. On the other hand, green transportation may be the way forward.

The Acting CEO, Ahmad Zairin Ismail, of the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) believes that green transportation is extremely important to Malaysia’s economy. It stands to reason that, given that the transportation sector is second only to the energy section sector in the production of CO2, and that the transportation sector is closely linked to the subsidy of fuel, that improvements made in fuel efficiency will reduce the economic burden of the fuel subsidy in the future.

A green alternative may be the only realistic and long-term solution to tackle the current problems in the system. While the government endeavours to improve public transportation systems, its clear that the issue of carbon emissions and climate change cannot be ignored.

Ahmad has indicated that a number of parties are looking to improve the public transport system, both in terms of improving the system’s convenience, and a reduction in energy consumption, stating as well that the public bus system has been looking into more advanced concepts and technologies, and that with a greener public transport system, a more green-conscious society will begin to emerge.

It starts with the buses. By introducing electric buses, which do not contribute directly to the carbon emission total as with diesel buses, they will also reduce noise pollution as well.

This is being taken even further. Malaysia’s Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water has appointed GreenTech Malaysia to coordinate the development of an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Roadmap. The idea is to replace the internal combustion engine with non-emission vehicles, which brings with it additional opportunities in the area of energy production- such as solar and biomass. GreenTech has consulted with various players with experience in the industry, and studied best-practices from developed nations with more mature electric vehicle policies while developing their own.

Their goal is for 10% of vehicles to be electric by 2020 (100,000 vehicles in the country), and plan to take full advantage of Malaysia’s own car manufacturer, and vibrant automotive, electronics & ICT industries in helping their electric vehicle industry mature.

Pilot demonstration projects are already well underway, and the completion of the roadmap is slated for next year, with the implementation of the roadmap scheduled to follow thereafter.
The regulatory framework that will allow electric cars to be driven on Malaysian roads is already in place. Pilot tests on the electric buses are underway, and the framework that will enable them to operate in Malaysia is being developed.

One of their focuses is the infrastructure for charging the buses when the system is in full effect. A mix of standard charging equipment, fast charging & battery swapping will be used, but must be set up and used in a highly visible way so as to alleviate any fears or anxieties about electric vehicles and their range. A number of internationally accepted standards are being considered for adoption.

Breaking Out of the Silo

There has been talk of changing the way we live in order to benefit both the planet and each other for many years. Countless schemes have been created to reduce carbon emissions, increase solar energy, encourage the use of public transportation, increase child safety and boost quality of life for all. But these schemes have all been run independent of each other, the so-called silo structure. However, it’s fast becoming clear that this method simply does not work. The Smart Cities venture combines all of these aspects, with the overall aim of using technology to improve life. However, ICT analyst Ovum suggests that the move to smarter, ICT literate cities is slower than we would have hoped.

“While most of us live in cities, moves to integrate the technologies that link us all, to create a better standard of living, are being stymied by a lack of resources and poor planning.”

While suppliers have been able to develop technology to aid with almost any aspect of life, from crime to traffic, the implementation stage may be what causes the most difficulty. While the physical aspect of putting into place the hardware, such as sensors, that is needed may be a time consuming process, it is the changing of people’s minds and behavior patterns that is set to cause the most difficulty.

The Smart City initiative needs to find a way to foster collective action to improve social interactions. This is just one of the topics to be discussed during the Smart Cities Europe conference due to be hosted early this week.