Autumn has been an exciting time for us, filled with various events organized by EUROSOLAR. In September we have chosen the winners of the German Solar Prizes. On November, 17 we are going to award entrepreneurs and activists with our European Solar Prizes. We also held two symposiums – the Europe Symposium on the occasion of EUROSOLAR’s 30th anniversary in September and the 5th IRES Symposium in November, both with numerous experts and politicians participating in the events in Berlin. You can read about these and other events in this newsletter or at our website – as well as about what else is happening at EUROSOLAR and in the world of energy.
The European Solar Prize holders have been announced!
The past week was very important for us – thus we have released a list of winners in eight categories of our European Solar Prize. The list with short justifications why the particular projects were awarded and descriptions of these projects can be found on our website.
All the winners will be officially awarded during the European Solar Prize Award ceremony which will take place on Saturday, 17 November 2018, at Kunstmuseum Bonn.
The ceremony is being held in the EUROSOLAR’s hometown on the occasion of 30th anniversary of its foundation. Thus, besides the awarding part of the event, the Mayor of Bonn – Ashok Sridharan will pitch his keynote “Local energy transition: mandates for a renewable world, expanding the scope for action” during the ceremony. Moreover, a discussion panel with finest experts regarding local and regional engagement for a 100% renewable Europe is planned for the evening.
If interested in participation in the event, it is still possible to register here.
IRES Symposium in Berlin
EUROSOLAR and the EnergyAgency.NRW organized the 5th IRES Symposium in Berlin on 8 November 2018. This year, everything revolved around the question of what role storage and flexibility options play in infrastructure planning for energy system transformation. Exciting lectures and panel discussions by experts from politics, science and society helped to find answers to the overarching question from various perspectives. For example, Dominic Nailis from the BET Büro für Energiewirtschaft spoke about current measures for the grid-synchronous expansion of renewable energies. Under the direction of Prof. Dirk-Uwe Sauer, representatives of the ministry, grid operators and renewables discussed grid expansion and optimization in the transmission and distribution grid. Parliamentarians discussed the expansion of renewable energies before various renowned experts such as Prof. Dr. Sterner from the OTH Regensburg spoke about the economic and legal framework conditions for energy storage. The day ended in a relaxed atmosphere and with interesting expert discussions.
We would like to thank all speakers and visitors, as well as the EnergyAgency.NRW and the VKU Forum, where we had the pleasure of being guests this year.
Your commitment to our work
30 years of EUROSOLAR – thanks to your support in the last three decades we have already been able to move towards our goal of a decentralized and citizen-oriented energy turnaround based on 100 percent renewable energies. As the latest findings on climate change show, time is becoming increasingly short to switch to a sustainable and future-proof energy supply. This change does not have to be based on renunciation. On the contrary, it even offers socio-economic opportunities for society as a whole. But still we can observe a huge resistance from those who benefit from outdated structures of coal & co.
In the context of our political and educational work, we are therefore more dependent than ever on the support of members and donors. It is due to a fact that our critical and independent voice as a non-profit association is not financed by third parties. Therefore, we would like to kindly ask you for your donation, which will help us to continue our actions. Of course, donations to EUROSOLAR can be taxed deductible. Thanks a lot for your help!
The 24th Conference of the Parties (COP) organized by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place next month (December, 3-14) in Katowice, Poland. Already now we have some insights about the main goals of the summit and the most important issues that are going to be raised there.
First of all, the Parties aim to set a deadline to finalize and adopt the so-called “Paris Rulebook” regarding the Paris Agreement’s arrangements from COP21 in 2015. Furthermore, during the event there is a plan to discuss how employment opportunities should be accelerating the energy transition.
Nowadays in some countries, e.g. in Poland, the transition towards renewable sources is very hard to be pushed through due to the fact that a lot of people are employed in the conventional energy sector. Thus, it is vital for a successful energy turnaround to find a way to transfer these human resources, by enabling them to get additional education to change their trade.
A new report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stating the need to cut the temperature growth down to 1.5 oC has been released at the beginning of October. One could claim that the aforementioned study and consequences of the unexpectedly increasing pace of global temperature levels described in it should be a serious warning for big energy companies. There is nothing more deceptive.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, Shell boss Ben van Beurden remarked that facing such progressive climate change indications requires a quick action. Therefore, he suggests that reforestation should be one of the main solutions in doing so. However, even though he is aware that conventional energy sources and their extraction have harmful effects on environment, he states that the core of Shell will stay focused around the oil sector. What can be read further, Shell is not an exception. Other companies also decide to stick to their previous conventional focus.
Low temperature district heating for a sector coupling
4th Generation District Heating (4GDH) is an innovative way to utilize energy coming from renewable sources in order to provide heating service for neighbouring dwellings. The old third-generation district heating concept requires a source of high temperature in order to produce any heat, which therefore excludes sources of energy such as wind turbines. In contrary, the new intelligent 4H idea enables for using low temperature (10-40 degrees Celsius) sources, which makes it easier to use the energy coming from renewable energy sources.
There are several projects working on developing the 4GDH idea. For example, project of LIFE4HeatRecovery is currently testing the solution in four different European urban areas: Ospitaletto close to Brescia (Italy), Wüstenrot (Germany) as well as cities of Heerlen and Rotterdam (the Netherlands). Moreover, researchers from Aalborg University in Denmark are intensively investigating the concept. Therefore, in November they organized a conference which aims to build up a unique collaboration between industry, universities and the public sector to investigate the potential for and develop 4GDH.
A new marketplace based on Blockchain technology has been currently launched in Singapore. The company is a player on the electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses either in Singapore and Australia. The platform enables thus to trade Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which then accelerates local and regional movements towards development of sustainability targets.
In general, the concept of trading RECs on a Blockchain-based platform is getting more and more popular because it gives an opportunity for every owner of a renewable energy installation, meaningless the size of this installation, to participate in REC markets based on the peer-to-peer trading model. It is a tempting idea though, especially when observing a strongly growing trend in a direction of decentralized, citizen-owned and prosument-based energy supply.
SP Group’s project is not the only one in its kind. There are several other projects being developed all around the world which aim to implement Blockchain technology into the energy sector. For example, a similar platform, which gives a possibility to track and trade the RECs, has been developed in the U.S., as a result of partnership between the Energy Web Foundation and PJM Environmental Information Services.
German Federal Minister for the Environment Svenja Schulze has presented the first cycle line to be equipped with robust photovoltaic modules and thus powered with solar energy. The generated electricity will be used in order to operate the monitor stations and lines in themselves.
As described by Svenja Schulze, with the solar cycle path, we are relying on an innovative technology that simultaneously generates electricity and defrosts the ice in the winter to enable safe cycling. Furthermore, such actions aim to ensure that bikes become an attractive and healthy alternative to cars.
The aim of the project is to contribute not only to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also to improve the quality of life on the ground and to encourage the exemplary character of the projects nationwide to be emulated. So far 39 individual and 18 collaborative projects were funded throughout Germany with a total of a funding volume of around EUR 87 million.
Find out more about the German solar bike path here.
Being dedicated to the cause of completely substituting for nuclear and fossil energy through renewable energy, EUROSOLAR acts to change conventional political priorities and common infrastructures in favor of renewable energy, from the local to the international level.
For different (international) conferences, political symposia as well as the award ceremony for the German and European Solar Prize and many more activities EUROSOLAR brings together expertise from the fields of politics, economy, science and culture to promote the deployment of solar energy (including wind, water, waves, biomass and geothermal sources!) and to develop and encourage political and economic action plans and concepts for the fast and decentralised transition to a 100 % renewable supply with energy, heat and mobility.