Las islas, de dependencia energética…

…a independencia o interdependencia?

El 5 de Noviembre en Lanzarote, tuvo lugar el Foro 2nd Clean Energy for EU Islands, sobre incrementar las energías limpias en las islas.

Uno de los objetivos de muchas islas, especialment en las estrategias compartidas por las regiones ultraperiféricas es la «independencia energética».

Es verdad que el objetivo 100% renovable puede ser más “fácil” en islas. Pero es la independencia energética el mejor escenario?

Arrecife desde el Charco de San Ginés, iluminado sobre todo por combustibles fósiles… pronto más por renovables con la interconexión con Fuerteventura

Veamos algún ejemplo:

 

…sería más efectivo para la isla de Mallorca ser independiente energéticamente, que tener la interconexión eléctrica con la península?

O tendrían un futuro más próspero las islas Cíclades intentando ser energéticamente independientes que interconectadas con el Peloponeso?

No. Es obvio que las interconexiones eléctricas (cuando son técnicamente viables), combinadas con generación renovable local, elecrificación del transporte y electrificación de la economía en general, puede ser el acelerador más eficiente hacia la descarbonización.

La interdependencia energética mediante interconexiones es en muchos casos más sostenible, económica, social y medioambientalmente.

Por qué? La penetración renovable se maximiza, la fiabilidad puede aumentar y los precios energéticos pueden ser menores.

La interdependencia tiene que ver con las sinergias, con la colaboración. En el caso de las islas, ser capaz de sobrevivir solos, pero prosperar conjuntamente.

Si quieres ir rápido, ve sólo. Si quieres llegar lejos, ve acompañado. (Proverbio africano)

En conclusión, las islas deberian apuntar a la interdendencia energética sostenible.

Si no es posible con interconexiones eléctricas, mediante el comercio de otros vectores energéticos neutrales en carbono, o mediante sea energy harvesting por ejemplo

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Alquilando eléctrico en Palma

Este verano he dado el salto a alquilar coche eléctrico (un BMW i3) para las vacaciones, y aquí cuento el resultado;

Cuánto más me ha costado?

100 € más de precio de alquiler para una semana. De entrada cuesta pagarlo, pero bueno… (especialmente cuando tienes una tarifa buena como la que tiene negociada mi empresa y puedo disfrutar para viajes personales…)

Ha valido la pena?

Sí, por la experiencia de conducción, la sensación de sostenibilidad, pero también económicamente;

Estos 100€ me habrían permitido rodar aprox 1000 km con la alternativa de combustible (Renault Captur).

No he rodado tanto, pero casi, porque el trayecto Aeropuerto de Palma-Costa de los Pinos lo he hecho 3 veces, además de unos 30 km diarios. La electricidad de carga me ha salido gratis porque estaba incluida en la casa de alquiler y en la carga rápida que hice 2 veces.

WP_20170819_20_38_07_Pro

Cargando en Cas Tresorer donde sólo funcionaba el molino multipala reconvertido, por lo que cargaba eólica 😉 –> (como proponen desde Amics dels Molins)

Ansiedad por quedarme sin batería? Sigue leyendo

Publication: Charging island homes

Do you think islands can benefit from the use of Electric Vehicles?

It’s quite reasonable to agree on the benefits.

Because of the limited distances, because of the availability of renewables, lack of local fuels and high energy dependence, and because of the environmental impact, electric mobility apparently fits there like a glove.

Besides, resiliency to face weather events by storing energy in the vehicle, and reducing peak electrical demand on normal conditions seem to be economically beneficial.

kreta-1364084 car island

Image taken in Crete by Repsaj on freeimages

The research we recently got published in Energy, focuses on the effect of using the vehicle’s energy to charge the home at peak load and charge the vehicle* during valley.

This is what we found out…

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7 Terms to avoid if you need to discuss renewables

Do you find yourself discussing about Renewable Generation Technologies often?

This post can help you avoid incorrect expressions!

You might well agree that renewables are changing rapidly. Technology has not only become more competitive, but has also solved many issues or challenges that simply are not applicable today.

So, the language we use for evolving technology has to evolve too, right?

Image by Daino_16 on freeimages

Image by Daino_16 on freeimages

1. Expensive

There certainly are some expensive renewable technologies, and certainly expensive renewable projects.

But in general, Sigue leyendo

NZEB + EV: The decarb combo

Are you aware of these stats?

  1. Buildings account for 40 % of energy consumption and 36 % of energy emissions (EU data)
  2. Road transport accounts for 25 % of energy consumption and 20 % of energy emissions (EU data and EU stats)

Then, what happens when we combine NZEB buildings (net Zero Energy Buildings) with local renewable generation and EVs (Electric Vehicles) charging in these NZEB?

NZEB & EV.png

It’s obvious… -> We can decarbonize 65 % of the energy system!* Sigue leyendo

The battery gap

I explained to a friend this week my concept of “battery gap”.

He thinks batteries will not “be enough”, are “too far away” and “too expensive” for grid energy storage… Well, we’ve heard that old story before.

We heard that old belief that solar energy would never be competitive or only represent a small portion of energy generation, right? Or the one that grids had an inherent limit for absorbing renewable power (yes, some people once said it was 15%) Or that to reach a high degree of renewable penetration, the land use would not leave space to grow food… And such.

Well, the DOE has published an update on the accelerated escalation of LEDs, wind, solar, EVs and batteries. The graphs and the facts are impressive.

The difference in price for renewable energy Vs conventional grows quickly. So there is growing “space” to pay for energy storage. We could represent as follows: Sigue leyendo

How to crowdfund unsubsidized solar

This solar power plant is an important milestone in Spain!

Since April this year, the new 2 MW crowdfunded solar park in Spain from Som Energía has been producing power. It is unique because it has no subsidies and because the energy is sold to the retail cooperative, so the price is supplied at cost* to the investors.

Image Share by Som Energía from Alcolea plan

Image Shared by Som Energía from Alcolea plan

I’m proud of having participated in this project. It’s sustainable, doesn’t need subsidies and also a good investment. The funding will be returned with no interest, but the benefit is through the reduced energy costs in the retail monthly invoice.

Living in a flat with little space for solar panels, I find it very difficult and inefficient to install one or a couple of self-consumption solar panels. So this is a natural option, to team-up with other people to own together renewable power generation. And it avoids facing the so-called tax on the sun (discussed some time ago here).

Of course there are other investment options like Yieldcos (I have shares from Saeta Yield myself). Or simply buying 100% renewable electricity from the retailer. But helping build this small project with a cooperative feels closer to owning the plant. And power generation not only owned by big corporations is also positive, as has been the case in Germany. We can say it’s a good example of the sharing economy, too…

What other options do you see to participate as an individual in the energy transition?

*Actual calculation is 36 €/MWh, which means 6 €/MWh below the market before taxes and network charges.

“Baseload” is an obsolete pre-energy-transition concept?

“Baseload” is so much twentieth century… It is a concept widely used when demand was not flexible. When there was an uncontrollable consumption and industries were not adapting their production to availability of abundant energy. When the goal was to have nuclear and other conventional power plants running 24/7.

In the twenty-first century, the demand curve is not going to be flat, but is going to be variable and smartly adapted to supply of renewable energy.

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The “base load” game. Image from Maria Yan (Yanovski-55776) on freeimages.com

Let’s look at the energy demand to challenge this concept…

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If nuclear was cheaper…

If nuclear power was cheaper,

we could obviate the fact that it leads to a centralized power generation model instead of a more valuable democratized power generation.

If nuclear power was cheaper,

we could neglect the fact that it leads to an unflexible power generation model instead of a flexible, adaptive and future-proof system.

If nuclear power was cheaper,

we could try to neglect the risks that this source of energy entails.

If nuclear power was cheaper now,

we could try to neglect the fact that it takes very long to build and that cost overruns and delays are very common (just read about the Olkiluoto story).

If nuclear power was cheaper now,

we could try to neglect the fact that the energy situation changes faster every day so it would no longer be cheap compared to other sources when it sells it’s first kWh after a decade (if you are lucky) of construction…

nuclear-power-plant-1314782 stop

No need to ban them, really. (Image by Nathaniel Dodson on freeimages.com)

However… Sigue leyendo

Capacity first?

…then Reliability, then Efficiency?

Developing an electrical network is a question of priorities. As is developing anything I guess… Which priorities do you think are most important?

You probably agree that the first step in building an electrical system is bringing access to electricity to most of the population, right?

Capacity to efficiency

This might seem solved, but in reality, access to electricity is still far from being universal. Still 1,2 billion people don’t have access to electricity. It’s in fact part of sustainable development goal 7, and, actually, the road to SDG7 is the road to Energythaca.

While building additional lines and power generation units to solve access to electricity, the values of reliability and efficiency are normally not on the top of mind for system planning. What if access to electricity is provided by renewable microgrids, would values like reliability and energy efficiency be achieved at the same time? Sigue leyendo