ponedjeljak, 22. srpnja 2019.

Energy Consumption 2050

Energy Consumption 2050

Nearly half the world’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2050 as costs of wind, solar and battery storage continue to plummet. That titanic shift over the next three decades will come as electricity demand increases 62% and investors pump $13.3 trillion into new projects. 

The move away from fossil fuel has sweeping implications for energy markets and the fight to stave off climate change. Wind, solar and batteries are poised to enable the power sector to meet its share of emission cuts required under the Paris climate agreement, at least until 2030.
But after that, nations will need other technologies to make deeper cuts at a reasonable cost.
By 2050, solar and wind will supply almost 50% of the world’s electricity, with hydro, nuclear and other renewable energy resources providing another 21%. Coal will be the biggest loser in the power sector, with its share of global generation plunging from 37% today to 12% in 2050. Many nations can cut power-sector emissions through 2030 in line with goals set in Paris to limit the increase in world temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). And they can do that without additional subsidies for solar and wind. Since 2010, the cost of wind power has dropped by 49%, and solar has plummeted 85%. That makes them cheaper than new coal or gas plants in two-thirds of the world. Battery storage costs, meanwhile, have dropped 85% since 2010. If the world is to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector, technologies including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen power and solar thermal plants will compete to provide about 13,000 terawatt hours of generation by 2050. That’s equivalent to about half of all electricity produced today. And even if every nation scrubs emissions from the power sector, there are still ample greenhouse gases from cars, trucks, ships, airplanes, heating systems and agriculture.

The rise in energy demand is essentially a story of economic and population growth. Primary energy consumption—which encompasses virtually all demand, right down to the losses of energy as it travels across transmission and distribution lines—has boomed in developing parts of the world, even as it leveled off, or even fell, in industrialized countries.

As a result, the global balance of energy demand has shifted dramatically since 1980. Back then, the U.S. consumed over a quarter of the world’s energy—more than any other country. Today, it’s China that uses the most. The U.S. is still a close second. Other large, emerging economies like India and Indonesia are consuming four, five, and in some cases, even six times the primary energy they did in 1980—most of it coming from fossil fuels spewing the carbon-dioxide emissions now threatening the earth’s climate. In other parts of the world, clean energy sources are taking off. Renewable, nuclear and other non-fossil-fuel sources made up more than 14% of the globe’s primary energy consumption in 2016. They make up an even larger share of its “final” energy use—demand after transformation and distribution losses—because fossil fuels lose more. The rise of cheap solar and wind power is helping slow the growth of carbon emissions globally—so is the decline in overall energy demand in developed nations. A recent McKinsey report projected that energy demand would plateau around 2030—thanks in large part to wealthy nations such as the U.S., Germany and Japan. Meanwhile, the number of countries that solely consume fossil fuels including coal and oil has dropped by about half to 17 since 1980, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

The shift away from fossil fuels, however, has faced setbacks. Nuclear power plants, despite the zero-emissions electricity they produce, have fallen out of favor in some parts because of Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011. And while the use of renewables is growing, their adoption may not prove quick enough to ward off the worst effects of global warming. Even if the nearly 200 countries that signed the Paris climate accord were on track to meet their own emission goals, global temperatures would still climb more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—a rise that scientists expect will be catastrophic to life on earth.

Every country has a different energy story: While energy consumption in most advanced economies has either stabilized or fallen in the past couple of decades, demand in many emerging markets has soared. The U.S. and China, the world’s two largest consumers of energy, are a case in point. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest energy consumer a decade ago. Cheap and dirty coal plants proliferated there, spewing so much soot that the sun was clouded out and cities were choking by the early 1990s. Within the past decade, the country has been working on a plan to curb its fossil-fuel pollution. One major part of that plan, the $36 billion Three Gorges dam, was completed in 2012, becoming the largest hydroelectric plant in the world at 22.5 gigawatts. The U.S., meanwhile, has seen its energy demand plateau. That’s even as its reliance on natural gas has grown rapidly thanks to a domestic fracking boom. U.S. monthly electricity generation from renewables surpassed coal for the first time in April 2019, according to the EIA.

In Europe, the U.K. and France are actually decreasing energy consumption. France became one of the smallest users of fossil fuels after the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s led to a rapid expansion of nuclear power. French utility EDF gets more of its electricity from emissions-free nuclear power than any other source and has committed to extending the life for most of its reactors even as others pull back in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. The consumption of once-dominant coal in the U.K. shrank to nearly zero in 2016, as the country plans to close all coal plants by 2025. The U.K. closed its last three deep mines in 2015, which led to a sharp drop in coal consumption for the country that launched the Industrial Revolution on the fossil fuel. The country has instead invested heavily in offshore wind farms. 
Japan’s consumption began falling around the turn of the century as efficiency gains and a shrinking population reduced the country’s needs, while Germany’s decline has been slower. Both countries were early proponents of nuclear power but are dismantling reactors because of safety concerns after a tsunami overwhelmed Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011. Germany, an early investor in clean energy, turned to renewables. Unlike Japan, Germany hasn’t seen a major increase in its share of fossil fuels as it shuts down its nuclear fleet ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2022 deadline. But phasing out nuclear energy means that Germany’s carbon emissions have stayed steady, even as the country rapidly turns to renewables. 

Like China, India has seen breakneck development since 1980 and the accompanying surge in energy consumption that comes as tens of millions of its citizens join the country’s middle class. But unlike China, India has not invested as much in renewable energy as it’s developed. While a greater share of India’s total energy consumption came from non-fossil fuel sources in 1980 than its larger neighbor did, that share has actually dropped since 1980. Meanwhile, China’s share coming from nuclear and renewables has nearly quadrupled.
South Korea’s energy use also has grown rapidly. Because it must import most of its fuel supplies and has little land available for giant wind or solar farms, South Korea has embraced hydrogen fuel cell technologies to become the largest producer of fuel cell equipment. Energy mix and carbon footprint reveal a lot about a country’s natural resources. Take Iceland, which takes heat from the volcanoes that built the island nation and gets the rest of its electricity from hydroelectric dams. 
Others like Brazil, Paraguay, Bhutan, Croatia and Norway are also geographically blessed with enormous hydroelectric and renewable energy potential. That’s not so for arid regions such as the Middle East—Saudi Arabia generates most of its electricity from oil. 

The shift toward renewables has proven easier for some countries than others, but the economics of wind and solar are tipping the scales globally. The two resources are now the cheapest forms of energy in two-thirds of the world. The cost of solar has declined by 85% since 2010. As clean power sources get even cheaper, countries will have a greater incentive to transition and cut carbon emissions. Whether that comes in time to to prevent the worst effects of climate change remains to be seen.

nedjelja, 7. srpnja 2019.

Renewable Energy Africa

 Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in energy resources.
Making reliable and afordable energy widely available is critcal to the development of a region that accounts for 13% of the world’s populaton, but only 4% of its energy demand. Since 2000, sub-Saharan Africa has seen rapid economic growth and energy use has risen by 45%. Many governments are now intensifying their eforts to tackle the numerous regulatory and politcal barriers that are holding back investment in domestc energy supply, but inadequate energy infrastructure risks putng a brake on urgently needed improvements in living standards. The picture varies widely across the region, but, in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, only 290 million out of 915 million people have access to electricity and the total number without access is rising. Eforts to promote electrifcaton are gaining momentum, but are outpaced by populaton growth. Although investment in new energy supply is on the rise, two out of every three dollars put into the sub-Saharan energy sector since 2000 have been commited to the development of resources for export.

A severe shortage of essental electricity infrastructure is undermining eforts to achieve more rapid social and economic development. For the minority that has a grid connecton today, supply is ofen unreliable, necessitatng widespread and costly private use of back-up generators running on diesel or gasoline. Electricity tarifs are, in many cases, among the highest in the world and, outside South Africa, losses in poorly maintained transmission and distributon networks are double the world average. Reform programmes are startng to improve efciency and to bring in new capital, including from private investors, and grid-based generaton capacity quadruples in our main scenario to 2040, albeit from a very low base of 90 GW today (half of which is in South Africa). Urban areas experience the largest improvement in the coverage and reliability of centralised electricity supply. Elsewhere, mini-grid and of-grid systems provide electricity to 70% of those gaining access in rural areas. Building on successful examples of electrifcaton programmes, such as those in Ghana and Rwanda, the total number without access starts to decline in the 2020s and 950 million people gain access to electricity by 2040 – a major step forward, but not enough. More than half a billion people, mainly in rural areas, remain without electricity in 2040.

Sub-Saharan Africa starts to unlock its vast renewable energy resources, with almost half of the growth in electricity generaton to 2040 coming from renewables. Hydropower accounts for one-ffh of today’s power supply, but less than 10% of the estmated technical potental has been utlised. The Democratc Republic of Congo, where only 9% of the populaton has access to electricity, is an example of the co-existence of huge hydropower potental with extreme energy poverty. Politcal instability, limited access to fnance, small market size and weak transmission connectons with neighbouring countries have all held back exploitaton of hydro resources. These constraints are gradually being lifed, not least because of greater regional co-operaton and the emergence of China, alongside the traditonal lenders, as a major funder of large infrastructure projects. New hydropower capacity in the Democratc Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Guinea, among others, plays a major role in bringing down the region’s average costs of power supply, reducing the share of oil-fred power. Other renewables, led by solar technologies, make a growing contributon to supply, with a successful aucton-based procurement programme in South Africa showing how this can be achieved cost efectvely. Geothermal becomes the second-largest source of power supply in East Africa, mainly in Kenya and Ethiopia. Two-thirds of the mini-grid and of-grid systems in rural areas in 2040 are powered by solar photovoltaics, small hydropower or wind. As technology costs come down, the atracton of renewable systems versus diesel generators grows (although they are ofen used in combinaton), especially where fnancing is available to cover the higher upfront expense.

Bioenergy use – mainly fuelwood and charcoal – outweighs demand for all other forms of energy combined, a picture that changes only gradually even as incomes rise. Four out of fve people in sub-Saharan Africa rely on the traditonal use of solid biomass, mainly fuelwood, for cooking. A 40% rise in demand for bioenergy to 2040 exacerbates strains on the forestry stock, with eforts to promote more sustainable wood producton hindered by the operaton of much of the fuelwood and charcoal supply chain outside the formal economy. Scarcity, along with eforts to make alternatve fuels like liquefed petroleum gas available, results in some switching away from wood use, especially in towns. Promoton of more efcient biomass cookstoves reduces the health efects of polluton from indoor smoke. Nonetheless, 650 million people – more than one-third of an expanding populaton – stll cook with biomass in an inefcient and hazardous way in 2040.
The rise of the African energy consumer brings a new balance to oil and gas
Almost 30% of global oil and gas discoveries made over the last fve years have been in sub-Saharan Africa, refectng growing global appette for African resources. Nigeria is the richest resource centre of the oil sector, but regulatory uncertainty, militant actvity and oil thef in the Niger Delta are deterring investment and producton, so much so that Angola is set to overtake Nigeria as the region’s largest producer of crude oil at least untl the early 2020s. The value of the estmated 150 thousand barrels lost to oil thef each day – amountng to more than $5 billion per year – would be sufcient to fund universal access to electricity for all Nigerians by 2030. A host of smaller producers such as South Sudan, Niger, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya see rising output; but, by the late 2020s, producton in most countries – with the excepton of Nigeria – is in decline. Additons and upgrades to refning capacity mean that more of the region’s crude supply is processed locally. With regional producton falling back from above 6 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2020 to 5.3 mb/d in 2040, but demand for oil products doubling to 4 mb/d – an upward trend amplifed in some countries by subsidised prices – the result is to squeeze the region’s net contributon to the global oil balance.

Natural gas resource-holders can power domestc economic development and boost export revenues, but only if the right regulaton, prices and infrastructure are in place. The incentves to use gas within sub-Saharan Africa are expected to grow as power sector reforms and gas infrastructure projects move ahead but, for the moment, as much gas is fared as is consumed within the region. More than 1 trillion cubic metres of gas has been wasted through faring over the years, a volume that – if used to provide power – would be enough to meet current sub-Saharan electricity needs for more than a decade. In our main scenario, natural gas nearly triples its share in the energy mix to 11% by 2040. Nigeria remains the region’s largest gas consumer and producer, but the focus for new gas projects also shifs to the east coast and to the huge ofshore discoveries in Mozambique and Tanzania. The size of these developments and remoteness of their locaton raises questons about how quickly producton can begin, but they provide a 75 billion cubic metre (bcm) boost to annual regional output (which reaches 230 bcm in total) by 2040, with projects in Mozambique larger in scale and earlier in realisaton. East coast LNG export is helped by relatve proximity to the importng markets of Asia, but – alongside the benefts from an estmated $150 billion in fscal revenue to 2040 – both countries are determined to promote domestc markets for gas, which will need to be built from a very low base.

Coal producton and use gradually spreads beyond South Africa, but coal is overtaken by oil as the second-largest fuel in the sub-Saharan energy mix. Development of new coal resources is hindered in many cases by their remoteness and the lack of suitable railway and port infrastructure, consideratons that also afect the outlook for South Africa as the existng mining areas close to Johannesburg start to deplete. Much of the 50% increase in regional output is used locally, ofen for power generaton, with coking coal from Mozambique the only major new internatonal export fow. Prospects for coal are also limited by policy: South Africa, the dominant player in African coal, is seeking to diversify its power mix with renewables, regional hydropower projects, gas and eventually additonal nuclear capacity all playing a role in bringing the share of coal in power output down from more than 90% today to less than two-thirds by 2040. But coal’s relatvely low cost remains an asset in societes concerned about the afordability of electricity.

The sub-Saharan economy quadruples in size and energy demand grows by 80%, but energy could do much more to act as an engine of inclusive economic and social growth. The internatonal arena brings capital and technology, but mixed blessings in other areas. An oil price above $100 per barrel produces a contnued windfall for resource-rich countries – the cumulatve $3.5 trillion in fscal revenue is higher than the $3 trillion that is invested in all parts of the region’s energy supply to 2040 – but few guarantees that this revenue will be re-invested efciently, while the region’s oil product import bills grow, along with vulnerability to supply interruptons. Sub-Saharan Africa is also in the front line when it comes to the impacts of a changing climate, even though it contnues to make only a small contributon to global energy-related CO2 emissions; its share of global emissions rises to 3% in 2040. But the main challenges arise within the region, including not only the needs of a fast-growing populaton but also the impact of weak insttutons, a difcult climate for investment, and technical and politcal barriers to regional trade. Overall, our main scenario outlines an energy system that expands rapidly, but one that stll struggles to keep pace with the demands placed on it. And, for the poorest, while access to modern energy services grows, hundreds of millions – partcularly in rural communites – are lef without.

Beter management of resources and revenues, adoptng robust and transparent processes that allow for more efectve use of oil and gas revenues.
Broad improvements in governance, both inside and outside the energy sector, underpin the achievements of an African Century Case, involving, among many other things, heavy investment in the capacity to formulate and implement sound energy policies, as well as the consultaton and accountability that is essental to win public consent. Although stll not achieving universal access to electricity for all of the region’s citzens by 2040, the outcome is an energy system in which uninterrupted energy supply becomes the expectaton, rather than the excepton. Unreliable power supply has been identfed by African enterprises as the most pressing obstacle to the growth of their businesses, ahead of access to fnance, red tape or corrupton. Relieving this uncertainty helps every dollar of additonal power sector investment in the African Century Case to boost GDP by an estmated $15.
A modernising and more integrated energy system allows for more efcient use of resources and brings energy to a greater share of the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa. A reducton in the risks facing investors, as assumed in the African Century Case, makes oil and gas projects more compettve with producton in other parts of the world, allowing more of them to go ahead; and a higher share of the resultng fscal revenue is used productvely to reverse defciencies in essental infrastructure. Electricity trade more than triples as more regional projects advance: 30% of the extra investment in the power sector goes to Central Africa, helping to unlock more of the huge remaining hydropower capacity and connect it to the rest of the contnent. The additon of relatvely low-cost electricity keeps the average costs of supply down, even as power demand rises by almost one-third. Of the extra 230 million people that gain access to electricity in this Case by 2040, 70% are in rural areas, the supply coming primarily from mini-grid and of-grid systems. This investment is instrumental in helping to close the gap in energy provision and economic opportunity between sub-Saharan Africa’s rural communites and the people in its cites. Concerted acton to improve the functoning of the sub-Saharan energy sector is essental if the 21st is to become an African century.

srijeda, 26. lipnja 2019.

Renewable Energy Ukraine

Ukraine is carrying out reforms in an attempt to become more closely aligned with the European Union – but developing the country is almost impossible without sustainable economic growth and investments. Recent and upcoming changes will make Ukraine more attractive for investing.
Aссording to the data provided by the Ukraine's energy regulator, the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC), as of January 1, 2018, the cumulative installed capacity of renewables under the FIT (without those plants located in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) totaled 1,374.7 MW, of which solar power plants accounted for ca. 55% (741.9 MW), and wind power plants, ca. 33.8% (465.1 MW).
In 2017 alone, 257 MW of the installed capacity of renewables under the FIT were operational, which is more than double the capacity put into operation in 2016 (ca. 127 MW), and eight times the capacity in 2015 (ca. 30 MW). The solar power plants put into operation in 2017 accounted for ca. 82% of the cumulative capacity of renewables under the FIT, while wind power plants accounted for ca. 10.6% of such cumulative capacity.

Year by year, the country is improving its position in the World Banks’ Doing Business ranking. Ukraine’s capital Kiev is on the top ten list of the cost-effective locations published by fDi Intelligence Magazine. So, investing in Ukraine’s economy is becoming increasingly appealing. Energy is among the most attractive options to invest in Ukraine. Until now, the only type of energy that saw foreign investments in Ukraine was renewable energy. Relatively high feed-in tariffs, calculated in euros and correspondingly protected from the risk deflation was the main reason for this. Other types of energy were not interesting for investors because of the absence of a developed energy market and because of strict government control and regulation. For instance, the government and the energy-regulating commission defined gas and electricity prices for final consumers. Obviously, energy prices, together with transparency and the predictability of the energy market’s environment define how profitable energy assets are, which include generating capacities and transmission lines. Correspondingly, all these determine investors’ interest. And these prices were not enough in Ukraine to justify investments towards upgrading the deteriorating energy infrastructure. Since Ukraine became independent, almost no new power plants were constructed, except for renewables. Given the absence of market pricing and the strength of government regulations, there is always a risk that that energy prices for the consumer will decrease to a level that will seriously affect how profitable investments are.
Since energy reforms started in Ukraine, after the 2014 revolution, some populist politicians have called to change electricity and gas pricing approaches in order to reduce prices. Clearly, this has not contributed to investors’ interest  No one wants to invest, knowing that some governmental body may change the pricing method and affect the profitability of investment. Hence, it is not surprising that no foreign investors have attempted to buy energy enterprises over the past few years. However, Ukraine’s energy sector is about to become significantly more attractive. On July 1, a new electricity market model will come in force. Two years ago, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the law that stipulated a new electricity market model similar to the one EU member states employ. It will finally enable integrating the Ukrainian power grid to the ENTSO-E.

There is still a debate if the country made all the necessary preparations to launch this new electricity market. But most experts, market actors and officials agree that it is more than possible to launch the market on time.Electricity market reform will help boost investment in the sector. According to an assessment by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF), published in a report on the outcomes of the electricity market reform, electricity-generating companies will be able to attract 11,5 times more investment compared to a no-reform scenario. There will be similar effects on electricity-distributing companies. On average, the reform will create demand for $3.66 billion of investments annually in electricity generation and distribution. The reform will give a boost to Ukraine’s economy more generally.

Change of the structure of the total final energy consumption and impact of energy efficiency according to the revolutionary scenario.
The gas market is another good opportunity for investment. According to BP Review, Ukraine holds the second-largest gas reserves in Europe.  And recent legislative changes to the start of the auctioning process for exploration and extraction have liberalised gas production regulation and will make the process more transparent. The gas market law was adopted in 2015. But there is still no fully liberalised gas market in Ukraine because of public service obligations (PSO) to provide affordable energy to households. These PSOs restrict the number of companies involved in selling gas to households. The PSOs will be eliminated after 2020. But that is not a restriction for investing in gas extraction in Ukraine. Importantly, investing in Ukraine’s energy is not only about Ukraine’s internal market, but also about huge opportunities for exports. Being close to the European Union opens opportunities to export energy to EU member states. These are deeply energy-dependent, in need of more energy and a more diverse energy supply. Conducting energy reforms and investments will boost Ukrainian energy exports to the EU. Estimates show the reform will result in boosting electricity exports to 25 billion kWh in 2030, compared to current 5 billion kWh. In the case of natural gas, developing of Ukraine’s gas production and trading may become a part of a geopolitical gamble. Several pieces of US legislation are aimed at protecting Ukrainian energy security. US support in the development of Ukraine’s energy exports will result in deepening interdependency with neighboring states and will contribute to regional stability. Finishing energy reforms with political and economic support from its main allies, primarily the USA, will strengthen Ukraine’s economics and boost energy exports. 
In Ukraine, there are already proposals to consider new approaches to selling electricity produced from RES, such as power sale auctions, which are increasingly coming into focus, or feed-in premiums. It can be foreseen that incentives for power production from RES will become more diversified in Ukraine in the years to come, and will not be solely limited to a FIT.

Expected greenhouse gas emissions in Ukraine under revolutionary scenario

The general consensus is that auctions or other novel structures – notwithstanding their being progressive, and matching objective global trends in the development of the renewable energy industry, or corresponding to technology maturity and cost – should be introduced gradually, so as not to undermine the stability, consistency and continuity of the regulatory framework in the country, and prevent any adverse effects on ongoing projects.

ponedjeljak, 24. lipnja 2019.

Waves to Water Prize

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officially opened the first stage of the Waves to Water Prize, which seeks to accelerate the development of wave energy powered desalination systems and launch novel technologies to address critical water security challenges. The prize is divided into four stages, and the first concept stage is now open for applications through September 11, 2019.  
“The start of the Waves to Water Prize marks an important step toward driving growth and progress in the marine energy sector as well as spurring innovation to develop desalinization technologies that will have a global impact,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Supplying potable drinking water is a significant challenge in many parts of the world, and we have the opportunity to use the power of competition to find lasting solutions through the development of these two industries.”
The Waves to Water prize will offer competitors up to $2.5 million in prizes for winners to advance their solutions from concept, to technical design, to the building of a prototype, and culminate in an open water testing competition, where the systems will produce clean water using only waves as power sources. The initial concept stage has $200,000 in prizes, with up to $10,000 in funding for up to 20 winners. DOE is seeking interdisciplinary solutions that are modular and easily transportable, and ultimately can serve the clean water needs of remote communities or aid in disaster relief scenarios. More information on specific guidelines for submissions and rules of the competition can be found here.
The prize is the first to be launched by DOE under the White House-initiated Water Security Grand Challenge – a DOE-led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water.
The Waves to Water Prize is led by the EERE Water Power Technologies Office and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the American Made Challenges platform. This prize builds on the success of DOE’s Wave Energy Prize, which catalyzed the development of technologies that doubled the energy captured from ocean waves.
The Water Security Grand Challenge is a White House initiated, U.S. Department of Energy led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. Using a coordinated suite of prizes, competitions, early-stage research and development, and other programs, the Grand Challenge has set the following goals for the United States to reach by 2030:
Goal 1: Launch desalinaton technologies that deliver cost-competitive clean water
BACKGROUND – Over the next 10 years, 40 states expect water shortages in some areas. Cost-competitive desalination technologies can address water security and alleviate water stress by expanding alternative water resources, such as seawater, estuaries, brackish groundwater, and other sources.
CHALLENGE – Current technologies are energy intensive, with energy costs up to 10 times that of treating freshwater. Environmental issues, such as brine disposal, also pose a challenge.
OBJECTIVE – The Water Security Grand Challenge aims to address these barriers by accelerating research, development and deployment to decrease the cost of processed water, increase water supply resilience, and increase the access to low-cost water.  
Current and Recent Opportunities:
An illustration of a wave of water filling a glass with ocean waves in the background.
US Department of Energy
Goal 2: Transform the energy sector’s produced water from a waste to a resource
BACKGROUND – Produced water is a byproduct of oil and natural gas extraction, uranium mining, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. In 2012, an estimated 21.2 billion barrels of produced water from oil and gas were generated in the United States.
CHALLENGE – The high cost of removing constituents specific to produced water can make it cheaper to dispose produced water than treat it. Even so, current disposal practices in oil and gas cost about $40 billion annually.
OBJECTIVE – The Water Security Grand Challenge aims to accelerate research, development and deployment of cost-effective treatment of produced water that can address water scarcity in water-stressed regions by creating alternative water sources for agricultural use, mineral extraction and processing, and other industrial operations, while creating new revenue for the extraction industry through water sales. 
Current and Recent Opportunities:
Fracking equipment in a field at daytime.
Goal 3: Achieve near-zero water impact for new thermoelectric power plants, and significantly lower freshwater use intensity within the existing fleet
BACKGROUND – Thermoelectric power plants utilize large volumes of freshwater for cooling operations. This water use accounts for about 40% of water withdrawals in the United States. Effluent water from thermoelectric power plants that is returned to its source can affect aquatic ecosystems if altering natural water temperatures and flows. Water that evaporates and is not returned to its source is considered consumed; this accounts for about 3% of U.S. water consumption.
CHALLENGE – The thermoelectric power sector’s reliance on water poses a risk in light of anticipated warming ambient temperatures, increased water stress, and more frequent extreme events like droughts. If improperly managed, the water demand of the thermoelectric power sector may limit water available to other uses, limiting economic growth of surrounding communities.
OBJECTIVE – The Water Security Grand Challenge aims to accelerate research, development and deployment of new technologies that lead to near-zero water impacts for newly built thermoelectric power plants along with significantly lower freshwater use intensity for existing thermoelectric power plants. 
Current and Recent Opportunities:
Steam emerges from three powerplant stacks.
Goal 4: Double resource recovery from municipal wastewater
BACKGROUND – Wastewater treatment plants purchase about $2 billion of electricity each year and face more than $200 billion in future capital investment needs to meet water quality objectives. This can constrain municipal budgets. For example, energy consumption at wastewater treatment plants can account for a third or more of municipal energy bills. Wastewater treatment plants can address these challenges by recovering critical resources and turning them into marketable products. This can create new revenue streams for upgrading water treatment infrastructure, particularly in rural communities, prevent nutrient pollution, and provide new sources of alternative water supplies. Recovered resources include energy that can be used on-site or sold, nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen that can be used as fertilizer, and clean water that can be reused for agricultural, industrial, and potable purposes.
CHALLENGE – Energy costs are expected to increase over time and affect affordability of water for businesses and consumers. Disposal of residual biosolids from water treatment is another significant cost for municipalities.
OBJECTIVE – The Water Security Grand Challenge aims to pursue research, development, deployment and other opportunities to increase resource recovery. 
Current and Recent Opportunities:
U.S. map showing dots that indicate spatial and influent ranges of catalogued treatment plants.
Goal 5: Develop small, modular energy-water systems for urban, rural, tribal, national security, and disaster response settings
BACKGROUND – Small, modular energy and water systems have the potential to cost-effectively serve areas where energy and clean water are expensive and challenging to produce. Small, decentralized energy-water systems can also play an important role in serving the more than one billion people worldwide that currently lack access to reliable sources of electricity and water.
CHALLENGE – The ability to cost-effectively produce clean water for urban settings where population growth is occurring but central energy or water systems are nearing maximum capacity; for rural communities, including tribal regions where population levels cannot accommodate the economies of scale needed to make large systems viable; for military sites in remote areas without access to central electricity and water systems; and in areas impacted by disaster when storms and other events have knocked existing energy and water systems offline.
OBJECTIVE – The Water Security Grand Challenge aims to spur innovation needed to improve the cost-effectiveness of small, modular linked energy-water systems and test their performance for a range of applications.
Current and Recent Opportunities:

nedjelja, 9. lipnja 2019.

CCRES hazelnut trees

Corylus avellana and potatoes from Lika region

Providing shade, which is helpful in cutting cooling costs, increasing property value and, of course, they yielding edible nuts. Many nut trees also continue to bear for decades, so the fruits of your labor can be enjoyed for generations.
However, one of the most common reasons people give for not considering nut trees as part of their edible landscape is time. Many nut trees bear within a few years after planting, but some do take longer.

Zeljko Serdar, CCRES TEAM

Because of their smaller size, Hazelnut trees are ideal nut trees for growers. These trees can be grown naturally as large shrubs with many trunks, or grown as small trees through selective pruning. Leaves of the hazelnut tree are a valued food source for wildlife, including several species of butterfly. Once mature, nuts will drop to the ground for harvest and require a drying period before consuming. Hazelnut kernels are eaten raw, roasted, or ground into paste. Hazelnuts contain significant amounts of protein, B-vitamins, and other minerals.

CCRES Growers of delicious and easy to grow fruiting plants, nuts, tubers, roots, seeds and perennial vegetables. 

An ongoing dialog among growers and the CCRES hazelnut research team has indicated that even as hazelnut trees are increasing in the numbers planted, the number of commercially viable cultivars is too narrow to sustain optimal production.

The hazelnut industry planted trees based on the commercially available cultivars, and the trees have grown well in Lika region. As these trees mature, the failure of some known pollinators has caused the CCRES research team and the industry to look more carefully at having diverse pollinator trees in the orchard from a strictly pragmatic point of view. However, the more important research need is to identify the pollination vector and method of pollination so that a more efficient methodology can be developed.

CCRES hazelnut trees in rows with potatoes

Ongoing research with the hazelnuts peeler has identified many issues with regard to post harvest handling and storage of hazelnuts that were previously unknown in the Croatia. Subsequent work with the microbiologists on the CCRES hazelnut research team have identified an entire area of research that must be undertaken to be able to deliver a safe, and very high quality peeled hazelnut product. The research results must be backed up to both cultivation and post harvest handling and storage. Thanks to previous work in this area, the CCRES team has made significant progress in this area.

utorak, 28. svibnja 2019.

Clean energy for all

Clean energy for all Europeans package completed: good for consumers, good for growth and jobs, and good for the planet

The Council of ministers of the EU formally adopted four new pieces of EU legislation that redesign the EU electricity market to make it fit for the future. This concludes the remaining elements of the Clean energy for all Europeans package and represents a major step towards completing the Energy Union, delivering on the priorities of the Juncker Commission.
The gradual transition towards clean energy and a carbon-neutral economy is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The EU, in 2016, decided to tackle it by rewriting the EU’s energy policy framework to facilitate this clean and fair energy transition. By providing a modern, stable legal environment and setting a clear and common sense of direction, the EU can stimulate the necessary public and private investment and bring European added value by addressing these challenges together. As a package, the new rules will reinforce consumer rights, putting them at the heart of the energy transition; they will create growth and green jobs in a modern economy leaving no region and no citizen behind. They will enable the EU to show leadership in the fight against climate change following the Paris Agreement.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:

This is the most ambitious set of energy proposals ever presented by the European Commission. It has been adopted in record time with impressive support from the European Parliament and Council. With its completion, we have made the EU's Energy Union - one of the ten political priorities of the Juncker Commission – a reality. I truly believe it will accelerate the clean energy transition and give all Europeans access to secure, competitive and sustainable energy.
The Clean energy for all Europeans package sets the right balance between making decisions at EU, national, and local level. Member States will continue to choose their own energy mix, but must meet new commitments to improve energy efficiency and the take-up of renewables in that mix by 2030. For example, the new rules on the electricity market, which have been adopted today, will make it easier for renewable energy to be integrated into the grid, encourage more inter-connections and cross-border trade, and ensure that the market provides reliable signals for future investment. Today’s rules also require Member State to draft plans to prevent, prepare for and manage possible crisis situations in the supply of electricity in coordination with neighbouring Member States, and to enhance the role of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).
The EU was an early mover on clean energy: it was the first major power in the world to set, in 2009, ambitious energy and climate targets for 2020 (20% greenhouse gas emission reduction, 20% in renewable energy and 20% energy efficiency). Ten years later, the EU is broadly on track to achieve theses 2020 objectives, proving it is possible to reduce emissions and achieve GDP growth at the same time. In the meantime, renewable energy has become much cheaper. Moreover, with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the EU pledged to move further ahead and achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least 40% by 2030. In order to respond to this challenge and continue to lead the global energy transition, the Commission proposed in 2016 a set of ambitious new rules called the “Clean Energy Package for all Europeans”. With this package the Commission addressed all 5 dimensions of the Energy Union (1) energy security; 2) the internal energy market; 3) energy efficiency; 4) decarbonisation of the economy; and 5) research, innovation and competitiveness.). It is composed primarily of the following elements:
  1. Energy efficiency first: the revamped directive on energy efficiency sets a new, higher target of energy use for 2030 of 32.5%, and the new Energy performance of buildings directive maximizes the energy saving potential of smarter and greener buildings.
  2. More renewables: an ambitious new target of at least 32% in renewable energy by 2030 has been fixed, with specific provisions to foster public and private investment, in order for the EU to maintain its global leadership on renewables.
  3. A better governance of the Energy Union: A new energy rulebook under which each Member State drafts National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) for 2021-2030 setting out how to achieve their energy union targets, and in particular the 2030 targets on energy efficiency and renewable energy. These draft NECPs are currently being analysed by the Commission, with country-specific recommendations to be issued before the end of June.
  4. More rights for consumers: the new rules make it easier for individuals to produce, store or sell their own energy, and strengthen consumer rights with more transparency on bills, and greater choice flexibility.
  5. A smarter and more efficient electricity market: the new laws will increase security of supply by helping integrate renewables into the grid and manage risks, and by improving cross-border cooperation.
In addition to the legislative acts of the package, the Commission also proposed a number of non-legislative initiatives, in particular to ensure a fair and just transition where nobody and no region is left behind:
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