Occupational Health and Safety is put on the table in Antalya, Turkey

"2nd Occupational Health and Safety Congress in Electricity Distribution Sector" organized by the Association of Electricity Distribution System Operators (ELDER) has started today.  The congress, which takes place in Antalya on February 15-17, has been inaugurated by Deputy Undersecretary of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Abdullah Tancan, General Director of Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation (TEDAŞ) Halil İbrahim Leventoğlu, Deputy General Director of Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation (TEİAŞ) Orhan Kaldırım, President of Turkish Energy, Water and Gas Workers Union (TES-İŞ) Mustafa Şahin and ELDER Vice Chairman Yaşar Arslan. 

While occupational accidents occurring in Turkey and all over the world were put on the table, developments and measures which could be taken were discussed in detail.

At 2nd Occupational Health and Safety Congress the theme of which is organized with "Prevention Culture" and under the sponsorship of SFE International, Hefe Enerji and Kermel; fundamental principles and applications of grounding, working at height in distribution sector, and the concept of "OHS culture", and the subject of 'How to create OHS culture?' were discussed.

Making the inaugural speech of the congress, Deputy Undersecretary of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Abdullah Tancan said: "If we figure out the reasons behind the occupational accidents, we can take the necessary measures.  Today, two primary rates are used in occupational accident statistics in almost every country: accident incidence rate and accident severity rate... Accident incidence rate refers to the number of accidents occurring per million man/hours worked in a certain period and resulting in incapacity of employees for a period exceeding one day. Accident severity rate refers to the number of man-days lost due to occupational accidents per million man-hours worked in a certain period. Research conducted on occupational accidents reveal two primary reasons behind them. The first one is human-related reasons and the second one is physical and mechanical environment-related reasons... When we look at these reasons, we see that nearly 90% of them are human-related reasons and nearly 10% of them are physical and mechanical environment-related reasons. At this point, it is better to focus on human-related reasons. Each employee has her/his own personal, physiological and psychological characteristics, and each one of them is among the factors playing a role in accidents. When we look at the personal characteristics; we can group them as age, sex, marital status, status, seniority and educational level. Age remains one of the most critical factors taking into consideration the frequency of occupational accidents... According to Social Security Institution (SSI) data, the rate of occupational accidents among young employees is higher than those among older employees... The highest frequency rate is among employees aged 25–29, followed by employees aged 18-24.   However, occupational accident rate among those aged 30-34 and above shows a notable falling tendency. Another subject to be discussed is sex... It is one of the most important factors playing a role in occupational accidents... The occupational accident rate among men is higher than those among women... Marital status remains another critical factor... According to data, the rate of occupational accidents among single employees is higher. On the other hand; the higher the status is, the less occupational accidents occur. Research conducted indicates that accident rate is the highest among employees who acquire from a day to a year of seniority. This rate is lower among employees who acquire from a year to two years of seniority. We see that accident rate is the lowest among those who have seniority of 5 years and more. Likewise, the higher the educational level is, the less occupational accidents happen. When we look at the physiological properties, we see that vision loss, hearing loss, physical incompatibility, incompatible body structure, sleep deprivation and fatigue are among these reasons. Last but not least psychological features: minimum mental incompetence, emotional structure, clumsiness, dissatisfaction, overconfidence, stress, lack of concentration on her/his work and environment, and negligence of employee with regard to her/his working area... When hiring employees, employers should subject them to psychological tests just like they subject them to physical tests. The reason is that the above-stated reasons are among the factors contributing to occupational accidents..."

"Electric power has an indisputable priority for people"

General Director of TEDAŞ Halil İbrahim Leventoğlu stated that, as distribution companies, they bear tremendous responsibilities for high quality service provision in electricity distribution sector, and added that "The most significant responsibilities are providing a safe environment where employees can work without worrying about their lives, identifying risk factors and taking the necessary actions, and realizing works which can protect physical and mental health against occupational accidents and occupational diseases. It is an obligation to act primarily with a human, health and occupational safety understanding and to create awareness among employees and employers in this direction." Mr. Leventoğlu touched on the significance of electricity in human life and added that: "High quality and continuous electricity is of high importance for quality living. I'd like to state that, as TEDAŞ, we begin works so as to change this picture. It is crucial to show a maximum effort so as to seek compliance with technical specifications prepared by our institution and with the relevant standards with a view to enhancing the quality of equipment used on the grounds that power failures cause occupational accidents.

Deputy General Director of TEİAŞ Orhan Kaldırım referred to the significance of adopting a proactive approach in occupational health and safety and said that: "Adopting a proactive approach in occupational health and safety means having a safety culture. Acquiring a safety culture means a superordinate goal which we always wish to achieve. We designated 2018 as education and occupational health and safety year in line with opinions of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Mr. Berat Albayrak. Within this scope, we put various projects into effect such as R&D works for virtual reality, theatrical education, OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) videos and uniform insulated fireproof suit. I am of the opinion that this congress will enrich us in terms of occupational health and safety."

In his speech, President of TES-İŞ Mustafa Şahin reminded a finding of International Labor Organization (ILO) on occupational accidents and added that: "ILO states that all occupational diseases and 98% of occupational accidents are preventable. As labor unions, we stand behind the underlying understanding of ILO's statement. We believe that, first of all, all segments in business life should adopt and promote this understanding of ILO so as to create a 'prevention and safety culture' in our country. The failure to create this culture and to develop preventive solutions at the desired level in Turkey is the most crucial reason behind our losses. We, all together, have to find a way to raise social consciousness and awareness, identify risks beforehand, establish a data collection and record system functioning smoothly, and, eventually, prevent accidents and diseases at source.  

Hosting the congress on behalf of ELDER, ELDER Vice Chairman Yaşar Aslan stated that: "As ELDER, we undertake to create a sound occupational health and safety culture in all electricity distribution companies and to raise OHS consciousness in the sector so as to ensure that all employees making efforts for our sector work under the highest occupational safety measures. We, as ELDER, are organizing 2nd Occupational Health and Safety Congress in Electricity Distribution Sector within this scope."

Mr. Arslan pointed out the significance of occupational health and safety, touched on striking figures and added that: "Occupational health and safety subject is handled at United Nations level, and it is deemed as one of the most critical subjects and as an issue which is open for improvement in business life no matter which country you go to. According to data obtained from International Labor Organization (ILO); there are, on average, 300 million occupational accidents and 160 million work-related diseases all over the world every year while 3 million employees lose their lives due to occupational accidents or work-related diseases. 141 employees lost their lives only in January 2018 in Turkey. Despite all these casualties, 'Safety Culture Report' prepared by the International Labor Organizations shows that all occupational diseases and 98% of occupational accidents are preventable. Nearly 4-5% of this rate occur in electricity sector. We lose nearly 4% of world population every year due to accidents which can be prevented if we take the necessary actions and carry out the required works. According to the latest statistics from Social Security Institution; 286,000 insured employees had occupational accidents and, unfortunately, 2000 of them lost their lives in these accidents in Turkey in 2016.

Arslan: "It is possible to prevent occupational accidents in electricity distribution sector to a large extent"

Arslan emphasized that works on occupational health and safety in electricity distribution sector prevent occupational accidents to a large extent. Arslan added: "As you know, there are certain quality management systems which should be abided by. As per these quality management systems, all working groups were defined through work instructions and work directives and field works were standardized. Thus, occupational accidents can be prevented to a large extent. I'd like to express that ongoing professional competence personnel certification processes also contribute to prevention of these accidents."

Nearly 300 participants attended the congress which aims to improve management systems in terms of occupational health and safety in business world and in institutions and contribute to the development of safety standards for electric power of workplaces. 

Turkey is leading Europe’s solar market

European countries installed at least 8.61 GW of solar power systems in 2017 - that is a 28% increase in comparison to the 6.72 GW added in 2016, according to a first estimate from SolarPower Europe, the association of the solar power sector in Europe. EU member states grew by around 6% to 6.03 GW in 2017 from 5.69 GW in 2016.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said, "Solar in Europe is growing, this is good news for the energy transition. Now we need the right policies in place to make sure the EU can fully benefit from our clean energy technology. If the trade measures on imported solar panels were removed, according to a DG Justice and Consumers study we could see an increase in solar self-consumption in the EU of around 20-30%. Likewise, if the EU adopted a 35% renewable energy target, instead of today's 27%, no less than 120,000 new solar jobs could be created."

According to a first estimate, the largest European solar market in 2017 was Turkey, which grid connected 1.79 GW last year, followed closely by Germany, which added 1.75 GW*. Turkey saw an end-of-year rush with around 800 MW of solar systems either under construction or installed, but which were not fully up and running in 2017. The total market share of Turkey and Germany was around 41% in Europe in 2017.

While Turkey grew by 213% year-on-year and Germany by 23%, the UK, once a solar star, lost its position as the leading European solar market. After axing solar incentive programs, new installations dropped by 54% to around 912 MW in the UK, from 1.97 GW in 2016, less than half of the 4.1 GW that was installed in 2015. France and the Netherlands, backed by strong government support, showed two-digit growth in solar capacity additions - France adding 887 MW and the Netherlands adding 853 MW (see graph 3). Spain is also showing signs of progress, with 135 MW of new solar systems installed in 2017, a 145% increase from 55 MW installed in 2016.

"We are expecting strong growth in the coming years as several EU member states are choosing solar to meet their national binding 2020 renewables targets. This makes perfect sense as solar is the most popular energy source among EU citizens, due to its low-cost, versatility and reliability," said Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe.

Source: SolarPower Europe

Turkey's wind energy capacity reaches almost 7GW

Turkish wind energy installed capacity reached 6,872 megawatts (MW) with a 766 MW additional increase in 2017, Turkish Wind Energy Association (TWEA) head said.

During a news briefing, TUREB President Mustafa Serdar Ataseven said that Turkey's wind energy installed capacity was boosted last year and still has potential to increase further.

He stated that 80 percent of total wind power plants are located in the Aegean and Marmara regions of the country.

With the newly awarded pre-licenses, he explained that Turkey will be able to use areas where wind potential is not as high as previously awarded tenders, known as "secondary wind potential areas."

In late December 2017, wind energy pre-licenses of 2,130 megawatts were finalized over a five-day period starting on Dec. 25. The pre-license tenders were issued to 32 different projects in four regions throughout Turkey.

Previously in late June 2017, pre-license tenders for wind energy were finalized over a three-day period. In June's tender, over 200 renewable energy firms participated for a total of 710 MW of wind capacity throughout the country.

Based on the success of Turkey's first Renewable Energy Resource Zone Project (YEKA), which launched the wind energy tenders in Turkey, Ataseven disclosed the possibility of constructing a turbine factory in the Aegean region to meet the growing domestic and international demand.

A Siemens Gamesa - Turkerler - Kalyon consortium won the first 1,000-megawatt wind tender offered by Turkey's Renewable Energy Resources Zone Project.

Source: AA

£30 million investment to revolutionize Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G)

The UK government has invested £30 million ($41 million) to unlock the potential of new electric vehicle technologies to power people’s homes.

The funding has been awarded to 21 Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) projects, to pay for research and development, piloting and commercialization of the technology.

Through the Industrial Strategy the government is committed to becoming a world leader in shaping the future of mobility and in the design and development of the clean technologies of the future.

V2G Case study

Schemes including EDF Energy’s V2GO initiative, will use the funding to demonstrate how energy stored in electric vehicle batteries can be used to stabilize main grid networks during peak hours.

EDF Energy has partnered with the University of Oxford, Oxfordshire County Council, Arrival, EO Charging, Upside Energy, and Fleet Innovation to implement the pilot.

V2GO is a large-scale demonstration of V2G charging in Oxford comprising 100 electric fleet vehicles (cars and vans) from delivery and taxi companies.

Using electric vehicles in dense urban areas like Oxford will significantly reduce local emissions and improve air quality, boosting the quality of life for residents and benefiting businesses.

The project will develop, trial and evaluate potential business models for fleet operators’ use of electric vehicles and their suitability for V2G charging.

“As the number of electric vehicles grows and their battery capabilities increase, there is a huge opportunity for them to make a significant contribution to a smart grid,” according to Transport Minister, Jesse Norman.
“These projects are at the cutting edge of their field. Just like the visionary designs of Brunel and Stephenson in transport, they could revolutionize the ways in which we store and manage electricity, both now and in the future”.

Innovate UK recently concluded the assessment process, with OLEV and BEIS providing almost £30 million to grant fund industry led collaborative R&D in electric ‘vehicle to grid’ technology for up to 70% of project costs.

Source: Metering & Smart Energy

Wastewater treatment plants could generate electricity

Researchers of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania are working on improving the efficiency of microbial fuel cells (MFC) by using modified graphite felt. Primary results show that the new MFC can generate 20 percent higher voltage than usual cells.

Over the past 20 years, nearly three-fourths of human-caused emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels. Increasing pollution and decreasing fossil energy resources encourage scientists to look for new clean and sustainable alternative energy resources. Microbial fuel cells, which are also being researched at KTU laboratories have broad usage possibilities and are one of the cleanest known energy sources. MFCs are powered by living microorganisms with clean and sustainable features; they can generate electricity from broad range of organic substrates under natural conditions.

"Microbial fuel production is probably the only technology, in which the electricity is being generated from oxidation of organic compounds in room temperature. In other words, there is no need to burn anything, and the process is not depending on sunlight," says Dr Kristina Kantmnien researcher at KTU Faculty of Chemical Technology.

According to KTU researchers, MFC technology is unique because of its multifunctional application: for example, wastewater and slime, collected in wastewater treatment plants can be also used as food for bacteria. Integration of MFC into wastewater treatment system would significantly reduce the usage of electrical energy for its exploitation and would turn the plant into the closed ecosystem. The energy surplus produced by MFC might be integrated into the electricity grid and used elsewhere.

Although the idea that microorganisms can generate electricity was introduced in 1911, it became more actively investigated in the 2000s. Groups of researchers around the world are working with the MFC technology, attempting to improve the efficiency of the cells.

KTU researchers are testing the qualities and biocompatibility of MFC anodes, as the efficiency of microbial fuel cells by large part depend on them. In the framework of interdisciplinary research project "Innovative microbial fuel cells for sustainable production of bioelectricity" (MicrobElas) KTU researchers have developed a MFC prototype, which uses modified graphite felt as an anode.

"The modification of the anode allowed to increase the cell voltage; it is 20 percent higher than that of the control MFC with the usual anode. Although we are researching this technology only for a year, the first results are really inspiring," says Kantimien.

The researchers predict that although MFC technology will not displace other sources of renewable energy, it could be beneficial in the small wastewater treatment plants or in remote regions where electrical energy supply is limited.

In May, the results of the research will be introduced in the Topical Meeting of International Society of Electrochemistry in Vilnius.

Source: Science Daily

Tesla Plans to Triple Battery Deployments in 2018

While Tesla is struggling to ramp up production of its Model 3 car in the coming months, it’s got another aggressive growth target in front of it: a big production ramp-up for its energy storage products.

In Tesla’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 earnings report released last week, the company said that it plans to at least triple the amount of energy storage capacity it deploys in 2018 compared to 2017.

“The production ramp of our storage products is just as steep as with Model 3,” the company wrote in its letter to shareholders.

Tesla sells large-scale battery packs, called Powerpacks, that can be plugged into the electric grid and provide services for utilities and companies or be paired with solar and wind farms. The company also sells the smaller Powerwall unit that provides services, such as backup power, to homes and small businesses.

Tesla has long maintained that it sees big growth potential in its energy storage division, but it has prioritized its automotive business, including the Model 3. By setting aggressive growth targets for its energy storage division for the year, Tesla is showing it’s finally taking the prospect of growth in the sector more seriously.
However, the Model 3 and Tesla’s massive battery factory, the Gigafactory, will still get the bulk of the company’s capital spend for this year -- as they did last year. The automotive business also brings in much of the revenue.

Musk threw down the gauntlet last summer for the company's energy storage group and made a bet via Twitter that Tesla could install 100 megawatts of energy storage in South Australia in 100 days' time. Tesla achieved that goal and built the world’s biggest battery farm next to a wind farm near Jamestown in South Australia.

Tesla said in its shareholders' letter that the success of the South Australia project has led to “an increase in demand” for the Powerpack. “It’s clear that there is a huge opportunity for us in large-scale energy storage,” wrote Tesla.

In addition to the South Australia project, Tesla has also built large battery farms on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, on the island of American Samoa, in Connecticut, and on multiple sites in California.

This week Tesla said it managed to score another deal with South Australia to install up to 50,000 Powerwall batteries in homes, paired with rooftop solar panels. Tesla is also building kiosks at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores that would show off and sell the Powerwall, combined with solar panels.

The energy storage business is valuable for Tesla in a variety of ways. It’s a way for Tesla to diversify outside of the consumer-driven business of selling cars, which can be a fickle market. It’s also a major growth market in its own right as utilities look to add more clean energy and reduce their reliability on coal and nuclear.

While Tesla’s energy storage products are seeing significant growth, they appear to have relatively low margins for the time being. The combined gross margin for the division that comprises both solar and energy storage was 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. That’s compared to a 25.3 percent gross margin for the division in the third quarter of 2017.

Tesla’s solar division continues to decline quarter-over-quarter, though it was supposed to right-side this quarter, according to the company. However, that prediction did not come to pass. Tesla reported that in the fourth quarter of 2017 it deployed just 87 megawatts of solar, which was 20 percent less than the amount deployed in Q3 2017.

"Solar deployment declined as volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better margins," Tesla stated. "In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be impacted by these factors over the near term, we expect growth to resume later this year."

Tesla said it expects that the gross margin of the combined energy storage and solar unit will improve as it makes more Powerpacks and Powerwalls and gets better at manufacturing them at a lower cost. That’s usually the way it works: ramp up production and cut costs.

Right now Tesla’s energy storage division is still in a fairly nascent phase. And scaling it up could be hampered by all the other efforts that Tesla is currently working on.

With so many balls in the air, Tesla’s ramp of its energy storage division could face growing pains. For instance, in order to build the South Australian battery farm so quickly, Tesla turned to Samsung to supply the batteries instead of making them itself at the Gigafactory. The company continues to risk spreading itself too thin.

Source: Greentech Media

China nuclear reactor delayed again on 'safety concerns'

Fuel loading at the world's first Westinghouse-designed AP1000 nuclear reactor on China's east coast has been delayed due to "safety concerns" — the latest in a long line of setbacks for the project, the China Daily reported on Tuesday.

The third-generation reactor, located in Sanmen in Zhejiang province, was originally expected to make its debut in 2014. Officials with U.S.-based Westinghouse had expected fuel loading to start last year, and it would have been followed by around six months of performance tests before the reactor could go into full operation in 2018.

But fuel loading has now been suspended as China tries to ensure the project meets the highest possible safety standards, the China Daily said, citing a spokesman with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Westinghouse was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday.

Westinghouse, owned by Japan's Toshiba, signed an agreement in 2007 to build four AP1000 reactor units at two sites in China, hoping the projects would serve as a shop window for the firm. But the company filed for bankruptcy last March, hit by billions of dollars of cost overruns at four nuclear reactors under construction in the United States.

China was originally seen as the lifeline for the global nuclear sector, with the country keen to approve dozens of new reactor projects to ease its dependence on polluting coal-fired electricity. China is currently targeting total installed nuclear capacity of 58 gigawatts by the end of 2020, up from 35.8 gigawatts by the end of last year. It also said it would aim to have another 30 gigawatts under construction by the end of the decade.

But the pace of planned nuclear construction in the country was scaled back in 2011 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Delays to the Sanmen and Haiyang AP1000 projects, as well as the French-designed European Pressurised Reactor units at Taishan in Guangdong province, have held back the sector, and no new nuclear project has been approved in China in two years.

China's nuclear firms are currently building their own homegrown third-generation reactor design known as the Hualong One.

Source: CNBC


2018 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040

The Outlook for Energy is ExxonMobil’s view of energy demand and supply through 2040. We use the Outlook to help inform our long-term strategies and investments.

A significant energy transition is underway, and many factors will shape the world’s energy future. These include government ambitions and policies that seek to promote prosperity while also addressing the risks of climate change. The recent Paris Agreement1 on climate change provided significant insights on governments’ intentions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the inclusion in the agreement of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Policies adopted to support NDCs will likely affect supply and use of energy across society.

To support economic progress and make substantial progress on the climate goals identified in the Paris Agreement, well-designed and transparent policy approaches that carefully weigh costs and benefits are needed. Such policies are likely to help manage the risks of climate change while also enabling societies to pursue other high-priority goals – including clean air and water, access to reliable, affordable energy and economic progress for all people.

Technology will also be vital to improve living standards while addressing climate risks. Advances continue to reshape the energy playing field. Many technologies not prevalent five to 10 years ago have a more significant role today, and their impacts will continue to expand. Examples include wind and solar power, unconventional oil and gas development, and electric cars. Meeting the dual challenge of mitigating the risks of climate change while boosting standards of living will require additional technology advances.

While policies and technologies help shape living standards and the evolution of energy, they also disrupt the status quo and can cause uncertainty and unexpected consequences. Accordingly, as part of the Outlook development process, we develop and use sensitivities to help our understanding of possible energy outcomes.

This year’s Outlook includes several sensitivities on specific areas of interest to provide greater perspective on how changes to our base Outlook assumptions could affect the energy landscape.

This year’s Outlook also includes a new section, “Pursuing a 2oC Pathway.” This section utilizes work coordinated by the Energy Modeling Forum at Stanford University.2 It provides a view of potential pathways toward a 2oC climate goal, and the implications such pathways might have in terms of global energy intensity, carbon intensity of the world’s energy mix and global demand for various energy sources. The section concludes with a discussion of the need to pursue practical, cost-effective solutions to address multiple goals simultaneously. The Outlook anticipates significant changes through 2040 across the world to boost living standards, reshape the use of energy, broaden access to abundant energy supplies, and accelerate decarbonization of the world’s energy system to address the risk of climate change.

Please click here to read the full report.