The EU Finally admits natural gas and nuclear are key To decarbonization

At-a-Glance: 

The European Commission recently acknowledged that natural gas and nuclear are key in transitioning to a renewable-based future. In this opinion piece, the author believes if decarbonization is the goal, natural gas and nuclear energy must be a big part of the continent’s energy mix. In this article, the author compares and contrasts the current narratives discerning the incorporation of natural gas and nuclear energy towards decarbonization. To learn more read, The EU Finally Admits Natural Gas And Nuclear Are Key To Decarbonization.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The European Commission released a statement which said “There is a role for natural gas and nuclear as a means to facilitate the transition towards a predominantly renewable-based future.
  • The New York Times proposes gas and nuclear could be considered transitional sources to be used to bridge countries’ moves away from coal and carbon-emitting power toward clean energy technologies like wind and solar.
  • The International Energy Agency states that in Germany, “Connections to carry wind power from the north to the south are insufficient,” Public opposition remains an impediment to the siting of necessary infrastructure.
  • The author claims that natural gas and nuclear are not bridge fuels or transition fuels, but that they are the fuels of the future for their low or no-carbon, small footprints, affordability, and scalability.

Path to 100% Perspective:

While two thirds of the world’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels today, by 2050 two-thirds of electricity will be generated from zero-carbon sources, with almost half coming from renewables and the rest from hydroelectric and nuclear power. 

Whether gas and nuclear are a bridge or transition fuel, it is evident that we must decrease our reliance on fossil fuels as soon as possible in order to initiate the final 100% renewable system featuring carbon neutral or non-carbon emitting fuels in order to maintain a reliable, clean, affordable power system. Once 80% to 90% of electricity in a system is generated with renewable resources, utilities can convert flexible generation plants from burning natural gas to running on synthetic carbon-neutral or carbon-free fuels produced with excess renewable power. Sustainable fuels can be stored indefinitely and used on demand for long periods of time to produce power and provide balancing services to the grid. These sustainable fuels can help us reach our decarbonization goals.

Photo by Lukáš Lehotský on Unsplash

Tantalus seeks to end utility frustrations in digitizing the grid

At-a-Glance: 

Tantalus Systems Holding intends to bring electric, water and gas utilities into the digital age. The technology company relieves the frustration of public power and rural electric cooperative utilities by deploying a digital network of connected devices to assist utilities in receiving data to make informed, proactive decisions that improve the efficiency, reliability, and resilience of the distribution grid. Their innovative approach to strengthening the electric grid stems from installing a meter device to elicit data communication from a power generation source to a utility. To learn more read, “Tantalus Seeks To End Utility Frustrations In Digitizing The Grid.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Tantalus uses a 220 MHz band, the narrow band set aside by the Federal Communications Commission, to access meter data in remote locations through  wireless communication. Removing the need for expensive, time-consuming manual processes.
  • Their proprietary technology includes a small device which fits under the glass of a meter, enabling it to analyze, send and receive vital data via the radio network.
  • The technology grants a utility a total operating picture in near real time – providing prompt data to where there is low voltage or high voltage, whether a tree limb is chafing a line, or what is causing the blink.

Path to 100% Perspective:

A system imbalance can cause electrical equipment and industrial processes to malfunction, lights to flicker, and sensitive electrical equipment to be damaged; if the imbalance is significant enough, the entire electric grid can fail, causing a blackout. The transition towards a 100% renewable power system must be a phased transformation – leveraging different mixes of technologies and fuels at different steps along the path. As more communities and organizations come to rely on smart grids and renewable fuels for their electricity needs, the future of power generation will depend on the collaborative efforts between innovative technology and public utility cooperation. 

 

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash