New project re-ignites European interest in thorium

Last month, Dutch research institute, NRG, re-ignited interest in thorium nuclear projects by announcing a new investigation into the use of thorium reactors in collaboration with the EU. The Salt Irradiation Experiment (“Salient”), based at the High Flux Reactor in Petten, will begin with experiments to melt thorium fuel and then bombard it with neutrons to…

Read More

Twisting electricity generation with nanotube technology

Today I came across a fascinating piece of research which has the potential to be a real game-changer – an international research team led by scientists at The University of Texas and Hanyang University in South Korea has developed high-tech yarns that generate electricity when they are stretched or twisted. In their study, published in…

Read More

Will new BIPV technologies finally see the concept go mainstream?

The recent entry of Tesla into the PV market has generated renewed interest in building-integrated solar PV – a technology which allows the structure of buildings, walls and windows as well as roofs – to generate electricity thereby reducing the net load of the building. New developments go well beyond simple installation of rooftop solar…

Read More

Future Energy Scenarios: interrogating the crystal ball

National Grid has published its latest future energy scenarios going out to 2050. The scenarios are based on the (in)famous energy trilemma: security of supply, de-carbonisation and affordability, and provide what National Grid says are “credible pathways for the future of energy for Great Britain”. In this post I will explore what these scenarios mean…

Read More

Inductive charging: can it deliver a world without wires?

One of the downsides of the proliferation of smart devices is the seemingly greater proliferation of charging devices. Go on holiday, and one of the first questions is whether sufficient chargers (and adaptors) have been packed for all the phones, tablets, cameras, laptops, e-readers, gaming devices and so on, so it’s not surprising that wireless…

Read More

Big Data in Energy: big opportunities and big risks

Explosion of data in the energy industry Big data is everywhere in today’s energy industry and it’s getting bigger. To most people, energy data is about consumption metrics, however data is changing the market in all parts of the value chain. Generators use market data to optimise their dispatch, ramping flexible assets up and down…

Read More

Smart street lighting: a case study in integrated thinking

A significant energy innovation in recent years has been the emergence of electric vehicles (“EVs”), however one of the challenges inhibiting their mass deployment relates to the lack of charging points – 33% of households in outer London have no access to off-street parking to charge an EV, rising to 46% in inner London. Innovations in smart…

Read More