Groundbreaking Ceremony of Turkey’s First Nuclear Power Plant

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attended the groundbreaking ceremony of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant via a video conference call from the Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara on Tuesday. Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, Erdogan welcomed Putin with an official ceremony in the capital.

"We are witnessing a historic moment in terms of the development of our country and the cooperation with Russia on energy," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey is determined to boost cooperation with Russia on regional issues.

Erdogan said that Turkish energy sector -- which is still predominantly based on petroleum, natural gas and coal-- would be healthier along with the Akkuyu NPP.

The Akkuyu plant, comprising four reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, will be built by the Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency, Rosatom. It will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10 percent of Turkey's electricity needs.

On Turkey-Russia bilateral issues, the Turkish president said both countries have come a long way in bilateral relations, especially in the last 15 years. "The High-Level Cooperation Council, of which we will hold its seventh meeting today [Tuesday], is a symbol of the level of our relations."

The power plant “will be safe and environment-friendly," he said and added that the first reactor will be operational in 2023. "This innovative project is highly valuable and important. Today, we are not only commencing building Turkey's first nuclear power plant but we are also establishing Turkey's nuclear business sector," Putin said. "This is completely a new step, a new step towards the development of Turkey's economy," the Russian president said.

Potential in science and technology
He pointed out that the nuclear power plant would enhance Turkey's potential in science and technology and provide Turkish consumers with clean and low-cost electricity. Putin asserted that Russian partners would encourage Turkey's small- and medium-scale companies to participate in this project.

Recalling that more than 200 Turkish students were studying in the nuclear energy field in Russian universities, Putin said the graduates were offered employment in the Akkuyu plant. He highlighted that Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant would be a symbol of the Turkish-Russian friendship.

Following speeches delivered by the two leaders, Turkish Development Minister Lutfi Elvan pressed the button to lay the foundation of the Akkuyu NPP in Turkey's southern Mersin province and implemented the agreement signed between Turkish and Russian governments back in 2010.

The Akkuyu NPP project started with an intergovernmental agreement signed between Turkey and Russia on May 12, 2010. At present, there are 450 nuclear power plants in 31 countries, while 55 plants are under construction around the world. The number of power plants under construction will be 56 with the Akkuyu NPP.

Source: AA

Turkey's energy import bill up 15.7% in February

Turkey's energy import bill increased by 15.7 percent to nearly $3.35 billion in February from nearly $2.89 billion for the same month of 2017, according to Turkish Statistical Institute's (Turkstat) data.

The data shows that Turkey's import bill in February reached $18.93 billion, out of which energy accounted for 17.7 percent.

Additionally, the country's crude oil imports showed a 23.8 percent decrease in February compared to the same period of 2017.

Turkey imported approximately 1.31 million tons of crude oil in February, down from 1.72 million tons for the same period in 2017.

Source: AA

Digitalization in Energy discussed in MUSIAD event

MUSIAD (Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association) Energy Council organized a panel named “Digitalization in Energy” on March 30, in Istanbul. ELDER (Association of Distribution System Operators) Chairman Serhat Çeçen, GAZBIR (Natural Gas Distribution Companies Association) Chairman Yaşar Arslan and GUNDER (International Solar Energy Society – Turkey) Chairman Kutay Kaleli participated to the panel, which was modareted by Ministry of Energy Deputy Undersecretary Alparslan Bayraktar.

Ministry of Energy Deputy Undersecretary Alparslan Bayraktar said that major transformations in global energy sector are emerging and Turkey is shaping its national energy policies according to those transformations. Underlining the importance of investment in renewables, he stated that countries relying on external energy sources like Turkey should try to focus on generating energy from their own resources by using advanced technology, minimizing environmental impacts and reducing carbon emmission.

ELDER Chairman Serhat Çeçen mentioned on the importance that they attach to digitalization as power distribution sector and their technology investments. Çeçen: “As power distribution sector, our technology investments in last two years are TL 500 million. Our technology investments are mainly consisting of the investments in the areas like SCADA, Geographical Information System, Outage Management System, Asset Management and Customer Relationship Management. All processes of distribution services will be digitalized with the completion of our investment in technology. Investment in human resources is as important as technology investments for us. We are working to improve our human resource profile so that they can use the latest technology tools easily.”

Making a presentation titled “Digitalization in Energy Sector”, GAZBIR Chairman Yaşar Arslan emphasized that fast and secure digital systems are vital in the whole chain from generation to distribution of energy. Stating the advantages that digitalization will bring to distribution sector, he explained the improvements gained in customer relationship processes due to digitalization through real-life examples. Arslan: “Our sector will start to take advantage of the technologies like IoT and Blockchain.

GUNDER Chairman Kutay Kaleli talked about contribution of energy storage systems to digitalization process and said: “In my opinion, the most crucial part of distribution networks is storage part. This has to be integrated to distribution sector. Turkey’s installed solar capacity increased to 3400 megawatt as of 2017, up from 40 magewatt in 2014. Now, our goal is to increase it to 10000 megawatt until 2023.”

Smart grids to present $17.6bn opportunity in MENA region

Smart infrastructure market intelligence firm Northeast Group forecasts smart grid investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to reach $17.6 billion from 2018 to 2027. Driving increases in smart grid investments during the forecasted period are efforts by MENA countries to modernise grid networks to address unsustainable tariff subsidies, high per-capita electricity consumption and high non-technical losses.

Smart grid development in the region is still its early stages, according to a study conducted by Northeast Group. However, many countries have announced smart grid rollout plans. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are expected to lead other countries in smart grid investments and adoption over the next decade.

Wealthy countries in the Gulf region are expected to invest in smart grids to improve consumer energy consumption. Growth of the renewable energy market in the Gulf will act as a driver towards adoption of smart grid technologies. Northeast Group predicts trends within the renewable energy market in the Gulf region will also help cultivate the region’s nascent battery storage market.

Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group, said:  “The MENA region has been characterised by false starts and long-planned tenders that over the years failed to materialise. "But in the last year, this has finally changed and large-scale rollouts are ready to begin moving forward. We’re already seeing activity take place, most notably in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two of MENA’s largest markets.”

Major international smart grid vendors including Itron, Honeywell, Landis+Gyr and ABB have completed projects in the region. Chinese vendors including Hexing, Holley Metering, Huawei, and ZTE are also making a strong push to expand their MENA presence.

Source: Metering & Smart Energy

Smart metering shows the way forwards for IoT adoption

A paradox exists within the electric utility industry - vendors and utilities are uncertain about making clear decision for their ‘IoT strategy’, yet almost 900 million smart electricity meters will ship from 2016 to 2023, writes David Green, Research Manager of Wireless Power and Smart Utilities at Markit Insight.

In reality, smart meters are IoT devices and electric utilities worldwide are some of the leading adopters of IoT technology in any industry.

Getting large scale adoption of smart electricity meters has been a decades-long process across the world, but the recent development of new product offerings from vendors on software and particularly managed services is helping to win new revenue from clients for hardware and beyond.

IHS Markit research forecasts over $1.2 billion will be spent on just meter-to-cash focused AMI managed services during 2016-2023, as utilities take advantage of these new vendor propositions to better achieve their ROIs.

The network problem

The central part of this movement towards Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) focuses on the communication network and which particular technology is chosen. Out of the different types of managed services that a utility can purchase (from vendors) around their meter-to-cash process, 58% will be spent on “Network as a Service” (NaaS) – a clear indication of how importantly this part of the solution is viewed.

One of the greatest challenges in winning utility adoption of AMI has been getting the ‘right’ choice of communication technology.  Vendors, utilities and even semiconductor or telecommunications companies are each waiting for a strong direction from the other; waiting for a single solution to ‘win out’.

However, IHS Markit does not expect one single winner to emerge, but a more regional picture and mix of best-suited technologies for each individual utility to be adopted. For example, considering all smart electricity meter shipments to North America from 2016 to 2023, traditional cellular, Point-to-multipoint fixed networks and PLC-Narrowband technologies each hold around a 10% market share in total, and only RF Mesh achieves higher.

A mixture of solutions will be adopted across the market, allowing utilities to adopt the one best suited to them. The rise of alternative business models, in particular “Network as a Service” with minimum-performance based contracts is also helping the adoption during these times of uncertainty.

It lowers the risk of investment for some utilities, allows utilities with little/no in-house capability to adopt new technology, plus lowers the initial cost for those where initial spend can be difficult (e.g. for municipal type utilities).

This move towards NaaS is one of the major parts behind the forecast $548 million spend on AMI managed services in Europe and $410 million spend in North America from 2016-2023. As utilities begin to realise that there is not a single, one-size-fits-all communication technology, and vendors continue to bolster their NaaS offerings, overall adoption of smart metering and related spend can only increase.

IoT is not a connection only issue

The second aspect to managed services spend is the ability to better focus on the use (and monetisation or return) on the data created. The right IoT strategy is not just an issue of which connectivity technology to use, but how to analyse and use the data too.

Whilst the electric utilities may not realise this, their focus on optimising the end-to-end ROI of a meter-to-cash focused AMI system is a perfect example of an overall IoT strategy; combining the meter hardware, communication network, software and analytics into a coherent solution, even if not from a single provider.

However, the messaging from vendors and the increasing adoption from utilities paints the same overall picture. An IoT strategy for utilities is emerging, but starts with the optimisation of the meter-to-cash AMI process. The good news follows that the benefits to utilities and spend with vendors then looks set to increase with every new application and re-use of data that can be developed in the future.

Source: Metering & Smart Energy

New York City wants to turn streetlights into high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots

The city wants to turn streetlights into high-speed public Wi-Fi hotspots as part of a plan to boost Internet access across all five boroughs, sources told The Post. The concept is similar to LinkNYC — the free Wi-Fi and phone-charging kiosks that replaced phone booths around the city.

It’s unclear if service from the poles would be free. It’s also too early to say how much — if anything — the plan might cost taxpayers. The idea is still in the pre-planning stages and officials are trying to determine if the idea is feasible. But the service would be part of Mayor de Blasio’s push for every city resident and business to have “affordable, reliable, high-speed” Internet service by 2025.

If it moves forward, the plan would use one of city government’s most extensive — and untapped — resources.

“The humble light pole is actually one of the city’s most crucial pieces of public infrastructure,” city spokeswoman Kate Blumm said. “We’re continuing to explore how this basic street furniture will be part of our 21st-century city.”

The city has more than 250,000 streetlights across the five boroughs. It has already allowed private companies to use or reserve about 6,400 poles for telecom equipment that enhances or creates new cellular and Web service.

Some light poles in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn already have free city Wi-Fi. But the city said those are one-offs, independently developed on a small scale. Streetlights could also be a big moneymaker for the city. Communications companies eagerly put up a few hundred bucks a month to use a single pole already.

But proposed federal regulation might hinder the city’s scheme. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed measures that would limit how much control the city has over the streetlights, including the price companies pay to use them. Still, the city believes streetlight Wi-Fi could provide competition for traditional cable and internet providers like Spectrum and Optimum.

Ultramodern high-speed 5G service might also be offered from the poles, bypassing companies like AT&T and Verizon. The city particularly hopes to compete with Verizon, said a well-placed source familiar with the project.

When de Blasio was public advocate in 2013, he accused Verizon of excluding low-income communities from its fiber-optic FiOS service.

Last year, the city sued Verizon for breaking its promise to offer FiOS to all households. Verizon maintained it met its contract with the city by passing fiber cables by every residence, but that it doesn’t have to connect them to each individual house and apartment. The litigation is ongoing.

Source: NY Post

At this rate, it’s going to take nearly 400 years to transform the energy system

Fifteen years ago, Ken Caldeira, a senior scientist at the Carnegie Institution, calculated that the world would need to add about a nuclear power plant’s worth of clean-energy capacity every day between 2000 and 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Recently, he did a quick calculation to see how we’re doing.

Not well. Instead of the roughly 1,100 megawatts of carbon-free energy per day likely needed to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 ˚C, as the 2003 Science paper by Caldeira and his colleagues found, we are adding around 151 megawatts. That’s only enough to power roughly 125,000 homes.

At that rate, substantially transforming the energy system would take, not the next three decades, but nearly the next four centuries. In the meantime, temperatures would soar, melting ice caps, sinking cities, and unleashing devastating heat waves around the globe (see “The year climate change began to spin out of control”).

Caldeira stresses that other factors are likely to significantly shorten that time frame (in particular, electrifying heat production, which accounts for a more than half of global energy consumption, will significantly alter demand). But he says it’s clear we’re overhauling the energy system about an order of magnitude too slowly, underscoring a point that few truly appreciate: It’s not that we aren’t building clean energy fast enough to address the challenge of climate change. It’s that—even after decades of warnings, policy debates, and clean-energy campaigns—the world has barely even begun to confront the problem.

The UN’s climate change body asserts that the world needs to cut as much as 70 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions by midcentury to have any chance of avoiding 2 ˚C of warming. But carbon pollution has continued to rise, ticking up 2 percent last year.

So what’s the holdup?

Beyond the vexing combination of economic, political, and technical challenges is the basic problem of overwhelming scale. There is a massive amount that needs to be built, which will suck up an immense quantity of manpower, money, and materials.

For starters, global energy consumption is likely to soar by around 30 percent in the next few decades as developing economies expand. (China alone needs to add the equivalent of the entire US power sector by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency.) To cut emissions fast enough and keep up with growth, the world will need to develop 10 to 30 terawatts of clean-energy capacity by 2050. On the high end that would mean constructing the equivalent of around 30,000 nuclear power plants—or producing and installing 120 billion 250-watt solar panels.

There’s simply little financial incentive for the energy industry to build at that scale and speed while it has tens of trillions of dollars of sunk costs in the existing system.

“If you pay a billion dollars for a gigawatt of coal, you’re not going to be happy if you have to retire it in 10 years,” says Steven Davis, an associate professor in the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.

It’s somewhere between difficult and impossible to see how any of that will change until there are strong enough government policies or big enough technology breakthroughs to override the economics.

Source: MIT Technology Review


Smart Energy Outlook

Smart Energy GB today publishes Smart energy outlook, the largest independent survey of national public opinion on energy and smart meters. The biannual nationwide poll into the opinions of almost 10,000 people in Great Britain, carried out by Populus, provides clear evidence that the overwhelming majority of customers who have smart meters installed in their homes are happy with them.

It comes as new official figures published by the government today show that over 11 million smart meters have now been installed in homes across Great Britain. Smart meters replace the traditional analogue meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use and greater control over the way we buy and use energy.

Please click here to read the full report.