All things green and renewable

Jason Ford

News Editor

The 7th European Conference on Green Power Marketing 2011 takes place this week in Zurich, Switzerland.

The conference is designed to give market participants a forum for debating strategies towards expansion of renewable energy.

The organiser says that the supply and demand of green power is no longer simply down to consumer and supplier decisions, but are laid down at the political level.

The organiser adds that fundamental decisions are being made on restructuring the energy supply, heralding drastic changes in the political framework and areas such as the transport and distribution grids.

Another key factor driving the market are the cost reductions already achieved, with grid parity at end-consumer level already claimed to be in sight.

Discussions will query the policies and conditions that will shape the market and the development of renewable energy. Similarly, attendees will be able to discuss how energy prices will develop, and ask what grid parity and the market penetration of renewables means for the market. They will focus also on the barriers in terms of creating and delivering renewable energy products.

A quick glance at Siemens’ Q3 earnings show the company enjoying relatively buoyant business from renewables with new orders totalling €1,543. Whilst markedly down from the €2,271 of orders in the same period in 2010, Siemens’ renewable energy business still accounted for just under a fifth of orders by business division.

Still with all things green and news that the Low Carbon Best Practice Exchange convenes in Edinburgh this week.

Designed for businesses and public sector bodies wishing to improve energy efficiency or invest in renewable energy projects the event will host a programme of roundtable discussion groups and pre-arranged meetings for attendees.

Two areas on the agenda include the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which can give organisations the means to claim payments for the electricity and heat they generate.

Anyone wanting an idea on how to spend their green profits should read on as the first British passenger to buy a ticket to ride Space Expedition Curacao’s Lynx sub-orbital spacecraft will be unveiled this week. According to yesterday’s Sunday Times the passenger will pay £60,000 for the flight in Lynx, which will be fitted with a reusable engine and is due to be revealed next year.

Space is very much on the agenda in London this week where the IET is hosting a talk entitled ‘Electric Propulsion from Earth orbit to Mercury’.

Young engineering professionals are being encouraged to take part in the event that will look at the basics of space propulsion, classification (acceleration/thrust production mechanisms), conventional chemical thrusters, and a comparison of electric and chemical propulsion. Click here to learn how commercial space exploration technology could enable low-cost access to space for both tourists and scientists

The talk – delivered by electric propulsion engineer Neil Wallace and Southampton University’s Prof Steve Gabriel – is based around Qinetiq’s ion engine, which the organiser says converts electrical energy into ions by bombarding xenon propellant with electrons.

The resulting ionised xenon is accelerated through two concave grids to over 40km/s, which is sufficient to provide thrust to a spacecraft. This system requires only a tenth of the propellant that a chemical rocket would require, mean more science payload can be flown.

Finally, The Offshore Decommissioning Conference 2011 organised by Oil & Gas UK and Decom North Sea takes place this week in Dunblane, Scotland on 4-6 October.

This year’s event, sponsored by Aker Solutions and Wood Group PSN, will focus specifically on the role and requirements of the oil and gas industry’s offshore decommissioning supply chain.

Members of Oil & Gas UK’s and industry experts will share their knowledge of decommissioning and encourage delegates to participate in a range of interactive discussions on topical issues including technology, contracting strategies, market opportunities in the southern North Sea and the environment.

The theme of the 2011 conference is ‘Where demand meets supply –The North Sea decommissioning market’. The key objective is to facilitate dialogue across the oil and gas industry including small supply chain companies, contractors and many of the major operators.