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Possible Zaporizhzhia counter-offensive heighten fears of disaster
28 March, 2023
Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, met on Monday 27 March with president Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to discuss what he described, prior to his first visit to the plant in almost seven months, as ‘increasingly dire fears about a battle-scarred nuclear plant on the front line of the war’. His visit was to assess first-hand the serious nuclear safety and security situation at the facility and underline the urgent need to protect it during the continuing military conflict in the country.

Renewables overtake coal and nuclear in the USA
28 March, 2023
In 2022, the US electric power sector produced 4090 million MWh of electric energy, and generation from renewable sources – wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and geothermal – overtook coal-fired generation in the sector for the first time. Renewable generation overtook nuclear for the first time in 2021 and continued to provide more electricity than nuclear generation last year.

Italy's largest islands connected to the mainland
28 March, 2023
To claim the maximum benefit from renewable energy in the future, the islands of Sardinia, Sicily and the Italian mainland must be able to flexibly exchange electricity. To help make this possible Siemens Energy has been contracted to provide the high-voltage direct current transmission technology for a 970 km long power link that connects the islands to the mainland. The interconnectors will each be an HVDC bipole of capacity 1 GW, at ±500 kV.

LG to invest in US battery production
28 March, 2023
LG Energy Solution is to invest approximately KRW 7.2 trillion (USD 5.5 billion) in the construction of a battery manufacturing complex in Queen Creek, Arizona, USA. The complex will consist of two manufacturing facilities – one for cylindrical batteries for electric vehicles and the other for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries for energy storage systems.

EIA projects reduction in US energy-related CO2 emissions
28 March, 2023
US energy-related CO2 emissions will by 2030 fall by 25% to 38% below what they were in 2005, according to projections from the US Energy Information Administration’s report ‘Annual Energy Outlook 2023’ (AEO2023). By end of the projection period, in 2050, the country’s energy-related CO2 emissions are 17% lower in this year’s Reference case compared with last year, after EIA accounted for the effects of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), energy technology costs and performance updates, a changed macroeconomic outlook, and other factors.

Solid sorbent carbon capture for power generation
28 March, 2023
GE Gas Power, part of GE Vernova, and CCS specialist Svante have entered into a joint development agreement to develop and evaluate solid sorbent-based carbon capture technology for natural gas power generation applications. It is to be based on Svante’s existing metal-organic technology.

Gravity energy storage ‘could form part of virtual power plants'
28 March, 2023
Underground energy storage specialists Gravitricity has signed a collaboration agreement with Czech electricity flexibility aggregator Nano Energies to develop commercial routes to market for their gravity storage technology.

Largest engine ever to run on H2 blend
28 March, 2023
The technology group Wärtsilä and WEC Energy Group have successfully tested the capabilities of a Wärtsilä engine running on 25 vol% hydrogen-blended fuel. The tests, which were completed in October 2022, were conducted at WEC Energy Group’s 55 MW A.J. Mihm power plant in Michigan, USA using an unmodified Wärtsilä 50SG engine. Throughout the testing period, the Wärtsilä engine continued to supply power to the grid. This is the largest commercially operated flexible balancing engine ever to run on a hydrogen fuel blend.

Commission plan to reform the EU electricity market
21 March, 2023
On 4 March the European Commission published its proposals to reform the EU's electricity market design to accelerate a surge in renewables and the phase-out of gas, to ‘make consumer bills less dependent on volatile fossil fuel prices, to better protect consumers from future price spikes and potential market manipulation, and make the EU's industry clean and more competitive.’

EC Net-Zero Industry Act proposed
21 March, 2023
On 16 March the European Commission proposed its Net-Zero Industry Act to scale up manufacturing of clean technologies in the EU and ensure that the Union is well-equipped for the clean-energy transition. This initiative was announced by president von der Leyen, and is part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan.

Electricity production falling, but total has risen compared to 2021
21 March, 2023
The latest International Energy Agency Monthly Electricity Statistics report, which includes December 2022 data, shows that for OECD members combined, total net electricity production amounted to 939.7 TWh in December 2022, down by 0.3% y-o-y compared to December 2021. However, over the course of 2022, total electricity production increased by 0.8% or 89.5 TWh compared to 2021, totalling 10 799.5 TWh.

National Grid energises world’s first T-pylons
21 March, 2023
National Grid has successfully energised 36 of the world’s first pylons in the new T-design between Bridgwater and Loxton in Somerset, SW England. The new pylons have been constructed as part of the £900 million Hinkley Connection Project, a 57 km 400 kV line to connect the new nuclear power plant to the grid.

ACWA signs up to new green projects in Uzbekistan
21 March, 2023
ACWA Power has signed three Power Purchase Agreements and Investment Agreements with Uzbekistan’s Joint-Stock Company (JSC) National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan (NEGU) and Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade.

Significant renewable power expansion in Louisiana
21 March, 2023
Entergy Louisiana has made the largest renewable power expansion request in state history. On 13 March the company filed a request with its regulator, the Louisiana Public Service Commission, for approval to add an additional 3GW of solar power to its generation portfolio. This is on top of the nearly 225 MW of solar power the company requested earlier this month.

Trial of drone-mounted field sensors for pylon inspections
21 March, 2023
The UK’s National Grid and The University of Manchester are working together to develop a new drone-mountable system that will allow live inspections of overhead transmission line insulators using electric field (e-field) sensor technology.

UK Space Agency backs R-R nuclear power
21 March, 2023
Rolls-Royce has secured funding from UK Space Agency, which is backing research by R-R into how nuclear power could be used to support a future Moon base for astronauts.

Cost of capital threatens UK renewable energy projects
21 March, 2023
The rising cost of capital faced by developers of renewable energy projects such as onshore wind and solar PV may reduce the number of new projects and cause some already commissioned projects to become financially non-viable.

Where things stand in the global energy crisis one year on
16 March, 2023
On 23 February Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, published this commentary on the global energy crisis with particular reference to the situation in Ukraine. The following is the text of his commentary in full.

Rigged tenders?
15 March, 2023
RWE Renewables UK is pursuing a damages claim of £9.24 million against two Prysmian Group member companies under the Appeal Tribunal Rules 2015 of the UK’s Competition Act 1998. The Act is the current major source of competition law in the United Kingdom.

Supercritical CO2 conditions achieved in San Antonio pilot
14 March, 2023
GTI Energy and its partners, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and GE Research, have announced that the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power (STEP) Demo project, sponsored by the US Dept of Energy, has successfully achieved supercritical carbon dioxide fluid conditions at its 10 MW sCO2 pilot plant facility in San Antonio, Texas.

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