De waterstofauto als rijdende energiecentrale

Dit artikel verscheen oorspronkelijk op Duurzaam Nieuws

Hyundai i35 waterstofautoOnderzoekers van de TU Delft hebben een stopcontact als elektriciteitsuitgang gemonteerd op de Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, een elektrische auto die rijdt op waterstof. Dat maakt van de emissieloze Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell een energiecentrale op wielen. Dit is een Europese primeur.

De onderzoeksgroep Future Energy Systems van de TU Delft doet onderzoek naar verschillende geïntegreerde systeemtoepassingen van brandstofcellen. Bij voorbeeld in het programma Car as Power Plant. Ad van Wijk is de leider van de groep.

‘De installatie van het stopcontact als elektriciteitsuitgang is een grote stap voorwaarts in een toekomst waarin waterstofauto ’s een bijdrage leveren aan schone mobiliteit en duurzame energievoorziening’, zegt Frank Meijer, hoofd van de afdeling Waterstof Elektrische Mobiliteit van Hyundai. Waterstofauto ’s produceren elektriciteit, warmte en schoon water. Die kunnen worden gebruikt in huizen, scholen en kantoren.

 

Elektriciteit voor tien huizen

De Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell kan 10 kW vermogen leveren. Dat is genoeg om gemiddeld tien huizen te voorzien in hun elektriciteitsgebruik. De auto is in staat elektriciteit te leveren aan het elektriciteitsnet of direct aan een woning, bijvoorbeeld als aanvulling op zonne- en windenergie. Deze toepassingen worden in de volgende fase onderzocht en getest.

De Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is de eerste commercieel inzetbare waterstofauto ter wereld. Momenteel rijden er meer dan 250 Hyundai-waterstofauto’s in Europa, verdeeld over dertien landen. Dat is meer dan alle waterstofauto’s van alle andere fabrikanten bij elkaar.

 

Hyundai wil de groenste worden

Hyundai wil in de voorhoede gaan opereren als het om milieuvriendelijkheid gaat. Daarom komt het merk met een hele serie modellen met alternatieve aandrijving. Volgens het plan ‘2020.22.2’ wil Hyundai in 2020 wereldwijd 22 modellen met alternatieve aandrijflijn in het gamma hebben. Naast twee auto’s op waterstof gaat het om twaalf reguliere hybrides, zes plug-inhybrides en twee volledig elektrische auto’s.

 

Ionic in drie varianten

Met de recente introductie van de Ioniq wordt een eerste flinke stap gezet. De auto is met drie verschillende aandrijflijnen verkrijgbaar: gewoon hybride, plug-in hybride en ten slotte volledig elektrisch. Het uitgangspunt dat een schone auto voor iedereen bereikbaar moet zijn maakt Hyundai waar met een vanaf prijs van onder €23.000,-

hyundai inoniq

Hyundai geeft de Ioniq Electric een extra impuls door een samenwerking aan te gaan met energiebedrijf Eneco en met Fastned, de leverancier van snellaadstations voor elektrische auto’s. Bij het laadpakket is 5 jaar hosting, garantie, service en onderhoud van het laadpunt inbegrepen. Daarbij hoort ook een universele oplaadpas waarmee de Hyundai Ioniq Electric bij openbare laadpunten is op te laden.

 

De belofte van waterstof

Hoewel waterstof nog een flinke achterstand heeft op elektrische auto’s op batterijen, kan die wel eens snel worden ingehaald als het gaat om de systeemtoepassing van de waterstofauto. De belangrijkste stap is het bouwen van voldoende tankstations. Over 3 jaar moeten dat er 20 zijn. Daar is in Nederland nu een begin mee gemaakt. Andere Europese landen, zoals Duitsland en de Scandinavische landen, zijn daar al eerder mee begonnen en liggen ruim op ons voor. Maar we komen er aan.

Using clean cars as power plants: it can be done in the UAE

Note: This post previously appeared on Energy Post

The combined engine capacity of the new cars we build in just one year is more than the entire electricity generation capacity in the world. If we power our cars with fuel cells, we can use them as clean power plants the 96% of the time we are not driving in them, generating all the electricity we need, at competitive costs, with zero emissions. Frank Wouters, Director of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, and Ad van Wijk, Professor Future Energy Systems at Delft University of Technology, show how this could be done in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

We are not using our cars very much in the UAE, nor elsewhere by the way. A quick scan on Dubizzle, the leading internet platform for used cars in the UAE, shows that we drive some 20,000 km per year. At an average speed of 60km/h, this means that we use our car less than 1 hour per day. The remaining 23 hours, or 96% of the time, our cars sit idle. In another context we would call that stranded assets.

Let’s assume that an average vehicle has an engine capacity of 100kW. More than 80 million cars are sold each year, which represents a capacity of 8,000GW. The combined capacity of all power plants in the world producing electricity amounts to 5,000GW, so each year we are adding more capacity in our car engines than we have installed to produce electricity. And we only use those cars 4% of the time, whilst power plants are used thousands of hours per year. Of course a car engine, as we have them now, doesn’t produce electricity, it only moves the car; but let’s look at fuel cell cars.

With an annual addition of 8,000GW of car engine capacity, it would take less than a year to replace the entire existing stock of power plants in the world

A fuel cell is a device that produces electricity from hydrogen, with pure water coming out of the exhaust. If we put a fuel cell in a car, the electricity is used to power electric motors that move the car, just like other electric vehicles. The difference is that pure electric vehicles, or EVs, require batteries, which add weight to the car and require a long time to charge. A fuel cell car can drive 100km on one kg of hydrogen and tanks that take 7kg of hydrogen can be refilled in 3 minutes. Several manufacturers are now offering hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, or HFCVs, among which are Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Ford and General Motors.

At Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the team of Dr. Ad van Wijk, Professor Future Energy Systems, has developed a concept[1]around fuel cell vehicles, that are not only used as cars, but could ultimately replace our power plants. The idea is to use the fuel cell in the car to produce electricity also when it is not driving, which is 96% of the time. To make that possible, the car would need to be hooked up to a supply of hydrogen when it is parked and it needs to be connected to the electricity grid, either at home, at work or in a parking garage.  The exhaust water can also be used as drinking water and in colder climates the waste heat could be used for heating.

how a fuel cell works

Source: http://profadvanwijk.com/books/car-power-plant/

With an annual addition of 8,000GW of car engine capacity, it would take less than a year to replace the entire existing stock of power plants in the world. It is possible to turn our stranded assets into the energy supply of the future, especially if we can find a cost-effective and clean way to produce the hydrogen.

This article describes such a system for the United Arab Emirates, where the entire value chain is clean, i.e. without using fossil fuels.

Hydrogen economy

The term hydrogen economy, first coined by John Bockris at General Motors in 1970, describes an energy system that uses hydrogen as the primary energy carrier. Hydrogen can be produced from water, using clean energy, and when hydrogen is converted into useful energy such as electricity or motion, it only produces water as a by-product.

Due to the lack of carbon or nitrogen, no other harmful exhaust gases are produced, hence burning hydrogen does not contribute to climate change. It should be noted that it is also possible to produce hydrogen from natural gas, or use electricity from fossil fuels to produce hydrogen, so hydrogen is not always “clean”. In fact, 95% of hydrogen is produced from methane today.

The system described here is completely clean, feasible and cost effective and opens an avenue for the UAE or other GCC countries to remain global energy players in the new low-carbon energy paradigm

We modeled such a clean hydrogen system on the UAE, which is a major exporter of oil and gas, but has a strong forward looking vision on energy. The system described here is completely clean, feasible and cost effective and opens an avenue for the UAE or other GCC countries to remain global energy players in the new low-carbon energy paradigm. The main reason being the availability of low-cost solar energy in the region.

The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates, with oil production of more than 3 million barrels per day, is in the top five for global oil export. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has the vast majority of the country’s oil and gas reserves, and is considered a low-cost producer.

More recently, the UAE has also led the global race towards ever lower costs for solar power, with a recent bid for ADWEA’s Sweihan solar PV plant coming in sub 3 $ct/kWh, following DEWA’s previous world record low price of 2.99 $ct/kWh for a solar PV plant. In the near future solar electricity will cost around 2 $ct/kWh.

The UAE has among the highest car ownership rates in the world. In Dubai there are more than 540 cars per 1000 inhabitants, so there are an estimated 5 million cars in the country

So the UAE is blessed with low-cost fossil fuels, which has helped build the nation, but the country is equally blessed with low-cost solar energy, which can help sustain its global energy leadership position in a low-carbon future. For that to happen, the hydrogen route could be very interesting.

Cars in the UAE

Let us focus on the cars first. The UAE has among the highest car ownership rates in the world. In Dubai there are more than 540 cars per 1000 inhabitants, so there are an estimated 5 million cars in the country. With each car driving 20,000km per year, this adds up to 100 billion km in total. If all cars were fuel cell cars, and knowing that a fuel cell car can drive 100km on 1 kg of hydrogen, we need 1 billion kg of hydrogen per year.

We want to produce the hydrogen using locally available solar energy, which is the cheapest in the world and which is cheaper than conventional energy. Hydrogen can be made from water using electricity in an electrolyser; present day electrolysers require 50kWh/kg H2, including the electricity required to demineralize sea water and compress the hydrogen. So we need 50,000 GWh of electricity to produce 1 billion kg of hydrogen. With the high number of sunshine hours in the UAE, we would need 23.5GW of solar PV to produce enough H2 for all cars.

Although hydrogen fuel cell cars are still more expensive than standard cars, there is no reason why they should be more expensive in the future, if we manufacture them at similar scale

With an average capacity of 100kW per car, we would have 500GW of fuel cell capacity available to drive, but also to generate electricity for the grid. Remember that most of the times our cars are not used. Given that we have a little more than 27GW of grid connected capacity in the country, this would be more than enough to replace conventional power plants.

Electricity

The UAE electricity consumption in 2014 was 100TWh. Using the fuel cells in the cars when they are not driving and assuming a consumption of 0.05kg H2/kWh, this would require an additional 5 billion kg of H2, on top of the 1 billion kg H2 required to drive the cars. Using the same formula, this requires an additional 117.5 GW of solar PV capacity for the electrolysers producing the hydrogen.

Land requirement

Do we have enough space for that? Per hectare of land, approximately 2.5MW of modern solar PV systems can be accommodated, depending on the efficiency of the solar cells. To cater for the car transportation and electricity production we need 23.5GW plus 117.5GW, which is 141GW. At 2.5MW per hectare, this represents roughly 350,000 hectare or 3,500km2, which is slightly more than the farming area in Abu Dhabi, which presently occupies 200,000 hectares.

The surface area of the UAE is 83,600km2, the majority of which is desert, so we only need 4% of the surface area of the country covered in solar panels to produce enough hydrogen for transportation and electricity production.

Water

Fuel cells not only produce electricity but also water. Every kg of H2 that is converted to electricity produces 9kg of water. Since we will convert 6 billion kg of H2 each year, we will produce 54 million m3 of drinking water.

Since solar PV is the cheapest form of electricity but not dispatchable, it makes sense to work towards a combination of solar PV and electricity from the fuel cells

Each person in the UAE consumes 550 liters water per day, and 56% of that is for residential use. With a population of 9.5 million, the residential water consumption amounts to approximately 1,000 million m3 per year. So apart from transport and electricity, the fuel cells also produce 5% of the drinking water.

Cost

So all of this is technically feasible with present day technology and sounds promising, but what about the cost?  Although hydrogen fuel cell cars are still more expensive than standard cars, there is no reason why they should be more expensive in the future, if we manufacture them at similar scale. So the main difference lies in the cost for the fuel. It requires 50kWh to produce 1 kg of hydrogen and since solar energy costs 2ct/kWh in the UAE, the energy cost to produce hydrogen is 1$/kg.

An electrolyser costs approximately $600 per kW nowadays. If we implement large scale projects such as proposed here, it is safe to assume an electrolyser of 1MW will cost $400,000 in a few years from now. The UAE has more than 2000 annual sun-hours, hence such an electrolyser coupled to a solar PV system would produce 40,000 kg of H2. Assuming a ten-year life and linear depreciation, this would add 1$ to the cost of the hydrogen. The overall cost of hydrogen in such a scheme in the UAE would hence amount to 2$/kg.

In the near future, cars will be able to drive autonomously, so at night the cars can drive to such a car park nearby to earn some money while the owners are asleep

Given the spectacular decline in the cost of solar PV electricity in just a few years, and given that fuel cells, electrolysers and related equipment are not deployed on a mass scale yet, it is safe to assume that this cost estimation is conservative and that the cost will be (much) lower over time. One should always bear in mind that the cost dynamics of hydrogen made like this, since it is made from plentiful sunshine and water, is only related to the cost of the technology, which has a fundamentally different dynamic than e.g. fossil fuels.

A fuel cell car can drive 100km on 1 kg of hydrogen. At 2$/kg for the hydrogen, the fuel costs are 2ct/km. The present cost for unsubsidized petrol in the UAE is 1.81 AED or 50ct per liter. A modern and fuel efficient car that drives 17km per liter therefore has fuel cost of 3ct/km, so a fuel cell car that drives on hydrogen made by solar energy in the UAE is 50% cheaper per km than a conventional car.

Goodbye stranded assets

The interesting part is yet to come. Since we are not using our car much, we can use the fuel cell to produce electricity for the grid when we are not using the car. Per kWh, approximately 50g of H2 is required, which amounts to 10ct/kWh. Since we already have the fuel cells, no or little additional capital costs are required. The present cost of generation in the UAE is approximately 5-7ct/kWh, depending on the Emirate, mainly due to the low cost of natural gas in the UAE. However, there is shortage of natural gas and future supply will increasingly come from LNG, which is more expensive.

The electricity from the nuclear power plants that are currently being constructed in Abu Dhabi will also increase the cost, which are only partly offset by the lower cost of solar energy. It should be noted that, although solar power is the cheapest form of power in the region, increasing shares of solar will introduce additional costs for storage or spinning reserves since the sun doesn’t always shine. Having our fuel cell cars fill the gap and eventually replace gas-fired power plants would be a great proposition.

The UAE has more than 50 years of experience with commercial oil and gas operations, and the hydrogen economy can greatly benefit from this intellectual and physical infrastructure

Since solar PV is the cheapest form of electricity but not dispatchable, it makes sense to work towards a combination of solar PV and electricity from the fuel cells. The maximum share of solar PV in the UAE electricity system without major additional balancing or storage costs is about one third. If we complement that with electricity from the fuel cells, we have mixed electricity costs of 7 ct/kWh, which is in line with the present mix in Dubai. On average, each car would only need to be used approximately 20 minutes every day to produce electricity in this scheme. The hydrogen case can hence compete with the present and planned set-up, which is a combination of gas, nuclear and solar energy, and will improve in the future.

If we convert our cars to fuel cell cars, we clean up the air in the cities, replace conventional power plants by using what we already have a little more, and produce pure drinking water as a by-product. How cool is that?

 

cars take over power plants

Towards a new paradigm

We have described a system, where hydrogen is produced from seawater and low-cost solar energy in the UAE, at a cost of $2/kg. With increasing efficiencies of the technologies involved, as well as scale effects, these costs could well be reduced by another 30-50% in the next decade or so. Half of those costs are the cost for (solar) energy, which is among the lowest in the world. Given the availability of ample land in the UAE, the potential to make hydrogen for the world market is massive and hydrogen made in the UAE could well compete on the global market for clean energy.

If we would dedicate 20% of the UAE land area for the hydrogen economy, we could have 665GW of solar PV capacity to produce hydrogen. This solar capacity would produce 28 billion kg of H2, representing value of $56 billion per year. The UAE now produces a little more than 1 billion barrels of oil every year, which, at $50 per barrel, represents revenue of $55 billion.

Such a scheme would of course require massive investments in infrastructure and would require several decades. The infrastructure would include the solar power plants, the water desalination stations, electrolysers, gas processing equipment, compressor stations and of course hydrogen storage and distribution infrastructure. At the work place, cars could park in a car park building with a supply of hydrogen, and a hook-up to the power grid and water network, plus equipment to measure the hydrogen consumed and electricity and water produced, so the car owner can get paid for the use of the fuel cell in the car. In the near future, cars will be able to drive autonomously, so at night the cars can drive to such a car park nearby to earn some money while the owners are asleep.

The UAE has more than 50 years of experience with commercial oil and gas operations, and the hydrogen economy can greatly benefit from this intellectual and physical infrastructure. Over time, the nation can construct the building blocks for the hydrogen economy, slowly replacing the fossil fuel infrastructure, including export terminals for hydrogen, to continue supplying the world with energy.

The difference is that water and sunshine will always be available.

Editor’s Note

Frank Wouters (frank@frank-wouters.com) is Director of the EU GCC Clean Energy Network, which fosters clean energy partnerships between the EU and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. He is former Deputy Director-General at IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) and former Director of Masdar Clean Energy.

Ad van Wijk (a.j.m.vanwijk@tudelft.nl) is Professor Future Energy Systems at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He is the author of many books and articles, including Our Car as Power Plant, which can be downloaded for free here.

[1] http://profadvanwijk.com/books/car-power-plant/

Car as Power Plant in the news

After reaching a milestone earlier this month (dutch only) for the car as power plant project, media both within The Netherlands and far beyond picked it up as an alternative way to power society at large. The project itself involves a Hyundai IX35 that has been converted into a mobile power plant using hydrogen as a fuel and fuel cells as the generation technology. 1920-Hyundai_ix35_Fuel_Cell_vehicles

Check out some of the articles below:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3508057/Power-home-CAR-Engineers-turn-electric-SUV-power-plant-wheels-let-homeowners-grid.html

http://www.automotiveworld.com/news-releases/dutch-university-transforms-hyundai-suv-power-plant/

http://www.inautonews.com/fuel-cell-cars-could-become-clean-power-plants-researchers-say

http://www.autocasion.com/actualidad/noticias/222102/el-hyundai-ix35-fuel-cell-se-convierte-en-una-planta-de-energia/

http://news.okezone.com/read/2016/03/26/15/1346169/mobil-hidrogen-hyundai-ix35-bisa-hasilkan-listrik-untuk-10-rumah

http://www.engineersonline.nl/nieuws/id26552-volgende-stap-naar-brandstofcelauto-als-energiecentrale.html

http://auto.blog.nl/autonieuws/2016/03/23/hyundais-ix35-als-energiecentrale

http://www.autozine.nl/nieuws/nieuws_archief.php?nk=14602

http://groenecourant.nl/elektrischeauto/waterstofauto-levert-stroom-aan-energienet/

https://www.deingenieur.nl/artikel/tu-delft-test-waterstofauto-als-stroombron

http://autovisie.nl/2016/03/nieuws/tu-delft-maakt-stopcontact-aan-waterstofauto/

https://www.bright.nl/nieuws/tu-delft-maakt-van-waterstofauto-een-rijdende-energiecentrale

http://www.groen7.nl/deze-hyundai-is-een-energiecentrale-op-wielen/

http://numrush.nl/2016/03/23/tu-delft-ontwikkelt-auto-die-elektriciteit-produceert-als-hij-stilstaat/

http://www.duurzaambedrijfsleven.nl/future-transportmobility/13435/tesla-en-toyota-bedreigen-business-essent-en-nuon

http://www.automobielmanagement.nl/nieuws/auto-technologie/nid23741-tu-delft-zet-hyundai-suv-om-in-rijdende-energiecentrale.html

http://www.tudelft.nl/nl/onderzoek/thematische-samenwerking/delft-research-based-initiatives/delft-energy-initiative/nieuws/artikel/detail/volgende-stap-naar-brandstofcelauto-als-energiecentrale/

 

 

A powerful project wins the Q-Park Thesis Award

​Developing reliable alternative sources of energy has become a huge concern in recent years. Making use of electricity produced by parked cars could one day help fix the problem.

/uploads/delta.tudelft.nl/delta_articles/31276/image/parked5.JPG

This concept, dubbed “The Car Park Power Plant” (CPPP), was explored by former Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management student Jurriaan Coomans in his 2015 MSc project. It won the Ward Vleugels Q-Park Thesis Award on February 26, 2016.

The concept was originally conceived by Dr. A.J.M. van Wijk (Department of Radiation, Science & Technology) and it’s currently in development at TU Delft’s Green Village. CPPPs are definitely futuristic and most current cars, which are still fueled by gasoline, couldn’t be used. Instead, power would be harnessed from hydrogen vehicles.

These vehicles generate electricity from engines that create only water as waste. This means that they could be left running while parked. According to one report, 25 hydrogen passenger cars could generate as much energy as a single modern wind turbine. They would be capable of creating electricity in addition to heat when it isn’t even breezy outside. This technology could help store energy during off peak hours and also be used by hydrogen vehicle owners to power their homes. “Current estimations are that one car can power a hundred households,” Coomans explained. “This number is impressive, but it also shows us the hard truth about the inefficiencies of our current system.”

Unfortunately, it could take engineers several more years to develop CPPPs. The hurdles they’re facing include everything from industry economics to the efficiency of fuel cells. “Last but not least, this concept relies on the widespread usage of hydrogen cars,” Coomans said. “It will definitely take quite some time before we have solved the chicken-egg problem with the hydrogen fleet/hydrogen refueling infrastructure.”

You can learn more about the inner workings of CPPPs in Our Car as Power Plant, a free downloadable book written by Dr. Van Wijk and Leendert Verhoef, The Green Village’s Science and Innovations Manager.

Coomans, Jurriaan, Exploring the Operation of a Car Park Power Plant: Formalising the Operation of a System Innovation With the Actor-Option Framework, SupervisorsLukszo, Z., Warnier, M.E., Chappin, E.J.L., Park Lee, E.H., Defence: June 5, 2015.

This article originally appeared on Delta

Car as Power Plant: nieuwe mijlpaal bereikt!

CaPP_socket_plugEuropese primeur voor Delftse onderzoekers: brandstofcelauto die stroom levert

Onderzoekers van de TU Delft zijn erin geslaagd om een stopcontact als elektriciteitsuitgang te ontwerpen en te installeren op een brandstofcelauto. In samenwerking met innovatieve marktpartijen als Accenda, Stedin, Hyundai, RDW en GasTerra en studenten van de TU Delft, de Haagse Hogeschool en het ROC Mondriaan hebben ze gezorgd dat de zero-emission Hyundai IX35 FCEV nu een energiecentrale op wielen is; een Europese primeur.

Car as Power Plant
De onderzoeksgroep Future Energy Systems van professor Ad van Wijk binnen de vakgroep Process & Energy, faculteit 3mE, doet onderzoek naar verschillende geïntegreerde systeemtoepassingen van brandstofcellen, zoals in het programma Car as Power plant. Brandstofcelauto’s produceren elektriciteit, warmte en schoon water uit waterstof. Dat kan worden gebruikt in huizen, scholen en kantoren. De omgebouwde Hyundai brandstofcelauto kan nu 10 kW vermogen leveren. Dat is genoeg om gemiddeld tien huizen te voorzien in hun elektriciteitsgebruik. Met het stopcontact zijn de innovatoren in staat om de auto elektriciteit geprogrammeerd te laten leveren aan het elektriciteitsnet of direct aan een woning, bijvoorbeeld als aanvulling op zonne- en windenergie. Deze toepassingen worden in de volgende fase onderzocht en getest.

Omdenken in het systeem
Deze innovatie brengt meerdere technologische innovatievraagstukken met zich mee: hoe kan deze auto zijn elektriciteit zodanig leveren dat het elektriciteitsnet met een wisselend aanbod aan zonne- en windenergie stabiel wordt. En hoe kan lokaal en op een duurzame manier de benodigde waterstof worden geproduceerd uit bijvoorbeeld zonne-energie, worden opgeslagen en worden gedistribueerd? Ook ontstaan er vragen op andere, niet technologische domeinen, bijvoorbeeld als het gaat om het verdienmodel van energiebedrijven, de acceptatie door automobilisten, de bestaande wet- en regelgeving omtrent energieproductie en distributie of de training en opleiding van de installatiebranche en automobielindustrie. Om dit soort innovaties uiteindelijk in de praktijk te laten slagen, is het belangrijk te innoveren en om te denken op systeemniveau.

Systeeminnovaties op The Green Village, TU Delft.
Op de campus van de TU Delft werken vele marktpartijen samen aan innovaties op systeemniveau. The Green Village, het ‘levende systeemlab’ van en voor de TU Delft, dat momenteel in ontwikkeling is, brengt alle benodigde stakeholders bij elkaar. Wetenschappers en studenten, bedrijfsleven en overheden participeren in verschillende innovatieprogramma’s, waaronder Car as Power Plant. Al deze partijen werken gelijktijdig, ieder vanuit zijn eigen discipline en expertise, samen aan duurzame innovaties. Zo versnellen we de ontwikkeling ervan en werken we gezamenlijk aan een duurzame toekomst.

CaPP_socket

CaPP_interior

World Energy Summit

Very honored to be attending the World Energy Summit in Bangalore, India, from February 14-16 2016. logo-world-utility-summit-siteMoreover, I have been asked to hold a speech during the Gala Dinner! The World Energy Summit is one of the foremost conferences on the future of energy, and the role of renewable energy.

For those interessed: WES’ program can be found here.

Update: several pictures from the conference:

360A3099

360A3103

360A3107

“DC in plaats van AC/DC is innovatie 2015”

“DC in plaats van AC/DC is innovatie 2015”

groenebreinbreker500Dit artikel verscheen eerder op P-Plus

Kiezen voor gelijkstroom (DC) in plaats van wisselstroom (AC) kan onvoorstelbare hoeveelheden energieverlies besparen. Dat besef begint nu door te dringen en moet volgens hoogleraar Ad van Wijk als de belangrijkste systeeminnovatie van 2015 worden beschouwd.

Van Wijk maakt deel uit van het Groene Brein, het netwerk van duurzame wetenschappers in Nederland. Dit jaar begon hij aan de realisatie van ‘The Green Village’ bij de TU in Delft, waar geen energieverlies meer is omdat de wisselstroom (AC) uit grote energiecentrales eerst moet worden omgezet in gelijkstroom (DC), zodat alle elektrische apparaten kunnen werken. The Green Village wekt de eigen stroom op en dat is gelijkstroom.

Groene Breinbreker: Wat is de meest duurzame innovatie op energiegebied in 2015?

Antwoord prof. dr. Ad van Wijk (1956): Van Wijk zit als hoogleraar Future Energy Systems aan de TU in Delft bovenop alle innovaties die zijn vakgebied raken. Als oud-CEO van Econcern is hij bovendien niet alleen natuurkundige, maar ook nog eens ondernemer.

Van Wijk komt niet zomaar tot zijn antwoord, maar neemt eerst een ruime bocht, ietwat verontschuldigend. Wanneer hij uiteindelijk bij zijn antwoord aankomt, verwijst hij naar de Wikipedia, voor wie niet weet dat AC/DC niet alleen de naam van een rockband is met wereldhits als ‘Highway to Hell’ en ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’. DC staat voor Direct Current, oftewel gelijkstroom. AC betekent Alternate Current, in het Nederlands wisselstroom. Gelijkstroom is wat alle elektrische apparaten in huis gebruiken, wisselstroom is wat er in de meterkast in huis binnenkomt, aangeleverd door energieleveranciers.

Maar Van Wijk wil eerst uitleggen hoe hij erbij komt om dit onderwerp dat ruim een eeuw geleden al leidde tot ‘The Battle of the Currents’ tot innovatie van 2015 uit te roepen.

Van Wijk: “Ik was de afgelopen dagen in Berlijn bij de bijeenkomst van een Europees energieprogramma. Ik hield er een verhaal en 150 start-ups presenteerden zich. Met deze Groene Breinbreker in het achterhoofd heb ik gekeken of ik hier een keuze uit zou kunnen maken. Ik zag heel veel interessante vindingen. Een Nederlands team presenteerde een nieuw type ontwerp wasdroger die niet langer droogt met verwarmde lucht, maar met de temperatuur die de lucht heeft. Door niet meer te verwarmen, maar de was droog te blazen, bespaart deze technologie 80 procent op de energievraag. En die is heel hoog van wasdrogers, dat weet iedereen: het zijn stroomvreters. Je hoopt dat zo’n bedrijfje Eco-Dryer Systems in Apeldoorn die technologie weet weg te zetten bij fabrikanten als Bosch.

Ook hartstikke leuke technologie is die van het bedrijfje Prodrone. Dit bedrijfje ontwikkelde een technologie om met drones de bladen van windturbines heel nauwkeurig te kunnen inspecteren op scheurtjes of metaalmoeheid. Normaal doe je dat met een camera vanaf de grond. Dat is minder zorgvuldig, want door de drone te programmeren kun je steeds op dezelfde afstand controleren. Ook offshore op 250 meter hoogte, met sterke wind. Dat is heel bruikbaar.

Maar ja, als je me nu vraagt: is dit de innovatie van het jaar, dan zeg ik toch nee. Het zijn eerder allemaal puzzelstukjes, allemaal nodig om die grote puzzel van duurzame energie te kunnen leggen. Maar het zijn niet de baanbrekende innovaties van het jaar 2015. Dan moet je toch meer naar systeeminnovaties zoeken, maar daar geldt weer voor: zo’n doorbraak is lastig aan een enkel jaar vast te plakken. Dat zijn processen die jaren duren, zoals de opkomst van 3D-printen. Daardoor kan de hele maakindustrie veranderen, productie uit verre landen kan terugkomen naar Europa. Je kunt enorm gaan besparen op transportkilometers, op het voorkomen van productie-afval, op het voorkomen van overtollige voorraden. Je maakt elk product zonder afval en zonder er meer van te maken dan je nodig hebt. Dat soort veranderingen krijgen een grotere impact op het energielandschap dan de meeste mensen verwachten. Het Internet of Things is ook geen uitvinding van een jaar, maar ook een systeemverandering, omdat het ons energiegebruik veel beter kan controleren, besturen en behandelen.

Dit jaar is wel de fundamentele vraag omhoog gekomen of we ons elektriciteitsnet moeten omschakelen van wisselstroom (AC) naar gelijkstroom (DC). De situatie is nu zo dat alle elektrische apparaten de aangeleverde wisselstroom moeten omzetten naar gelijkstroom. In elk apparaat zit een omvormer die dat doet, bij het opladen van batterijen worden ze soms zelfs erg heet.

Met de opkomst van zonnepanelen vragen steeds meer mensen zich af waarom de gelijkstroom die de PV-panelen leveren door een dure omvormer moet worden omgezet naar wisselstroom die vervolgens door alle apparatuur weer wordt teruggezet naar gelijkstroom. Eigenlijk kun je die gelijkstroom gelijk gebruiken voor het apparaat. Als je de batterij van een elektrische auto gebruikt als accu heb je nog eens een extra omzetting. En bij elke omzetting is er 3 tot 5 procent verlies.

Grote energiegebruikers beseffen wat die besparingen kunnen opleveren. Ik zie dit jaar een doorbraak op schepen en bij datacenters. De omzetting van AC naar DC levert enorme warmte op en dus ook kosten om te koelen, de omvormers vragen ook heel wat bedrijfsruimte.

In Delft is aan de bouw van The Green Village begonnen, volledig op gelijkstroom.

Het is een correctie op de geschiedenis. Thomas Edison, de uitvinder van de gloeilamp, wilde al meteen gelijkstroom. Maar Tesla, die bij energieproducent Westinghouse werkte, kreeg het voor elkaar om het netwerk met wisselstroom te voeden, omdat hij de spanning naar een hoger niveau kon brengen. Nu, 115 jaar later, is de situatie totaal anders en kun je energiesystemen lokaal opbouwen, met PV-panelen en windmolens, die door de interne omzetting ook energie verliezen. Het argument van Tesla vervalt daarmee. De hoogspanningskabel van Noorwegen naar Nederland wordt al gevoed door gelijkstroom, op land wordt dat weer op wisselstroom omgezet en in de huizen en kantoren dus weer in gelijkstroom. Zelfs met gelijkstroom van 350 volt kun je al je apparaten nog gebruiken.

Ik zie tal van geïnteresseerde partijen, van ABB tot Siemens tot mensen als Harry Stokman van Direct Current die al jaren ijveren voor gelijkstroom en steeds meer gehoord worden.

De drempel is nu nog de grote onbekendheid van dit onderwerp. En het probleem is dat leveren van gelijkstroom niet mag volgens de huidige wet- en regelgeving. Omdat wetgeving per definitie altijd achter loopt op ontwikkelingen, lijkt mij het beste om van onderaf het nieuwe gelijkstroomsysteem op te gaan bouwen. Dan kan dat begeleidt worden door de ervaringen via Green Deal-achtige constructies, waar de overheid aan tafel zit.”

Stel gratis uw eigen vraag

Dit is de negende aflevering van de serie Groene Breinbrekers. Elke week zal op de website van P+ een praktijkvraag worden gesteld aan een van de 80 wetenschappers die aan het netwerk Het Groene Brein zijn verbonden. P+ roept het bedrijfsleven op eigen vragen te mailen. Beantwoording hiervan is gratis. Over een uitvoeriger onderzoek kan altijd gepraat worden. Vraag mailen naar: editor@p-plus.nl

Opening EnTranCe door Koning Willem Alexander

Dinsdagochtend opende Zijne Majesteit de Koning het nieuwe Energy Transition Centre (EnTranCe) in Groningen. Op EnTranCe – de proeftuin voor energietransitie van de Hanzehogeschool Groningen en Energy Academy Europe –bouwen studenten, onderzoekers, bedrijfsleven en publiek gezamenlijk aan de energievoorziening van morgen.

De Koning verrichtte in aanwezigheid van ruim 250 gasten de opening, waarna hij een rondleiding kreeg over het terrein. Studenten van mbo-, hbo- en wo-instellingen uit de regio lieten samen met docenten en ondernemers de nieuwste ontwikkelingen op energiegebied zien. Namens de TU Delft was ik vertegenwoordigd, met de waterstofauto en het Car as Power Plant concept.

Meer informatie over EnTranCe is te vinden op en-tran-ce.org.

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“The energy sector has nothing to do with energy companies anymore”

-This interview was originally posted on Energy Post
Recap in Dutch at newspaper Trouw

There are many developments in the world today that have far more influence on the energy sector than the energy sector itself, says technology visionary Ad van Wijk in this exclusive interview with Energy Post. The Professor in “Future Energy Systems” at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands explains how LED lighting, a DC grid, fuel cell cars, the Internet of Things and 3D printing are upending our energy system as we know it. “The potential electricity production capacity of our cars – if they became fuel cell cars – is ten times that of our power plants worldwide.”

“The energy sector will develop outside of energy companies,” predicts Ad van Wijk, Professor for Future Energy Systems at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Academic, sustainable energy entrepreneur and innovator, one of Europe’s most influential thinkers describes the paradigm shifts he sees: a switch to LED lighting, a DC grid, and fuel cell cars, plus the emergence of the Internet of Things and 3D printing.

advanwijkOriginally a physicist, with a PhD in wind energy and electricity production, Van Wijk went on to found consultancy Ecofys in 1984. It later became part of Econcern, a company founded by Van Wijk, which he wanted to turn into “the Shell of renewable energy”. In its heyday it owned a wide range of activities and assets, including an offshore wind  farm, several multi-MW solar farms, a bio-methanol plant, energy-producing greenhouses, and a production company making electric vehicles. It also launched a tool to visualise energy consumption in buildings. Thanks to Econcern, Van Wijk was elected Entrepreneur of the Year in the Netherlands in 2007 and Top Executive of the year in 2008. The company turned out to be too ambitious, however, and went bankrupt the next year when the economic crisis hit. Ecofys and several other parts of the business were bought by Dutch utility Eneco.

Today, Van Wijk remains involved in initiatives such as the “Green Village”, a testing ground for new technologies at Delft University of Technology. In this interview, he explains why the positioning of LED lights is as important for energy efficiency as the LED-technology itself. He argues that without changing from an AC to a DC grid, we will never be able to have an energy system based on renewables. He wants us to replace our power plants with cars. And he enthuses about how the Internet of Things and robots with batteries will make demand more flexible than ever before. Van Wijk believes these changes will start to transform the energy system in the next 5-10 years. The biggest problem? Energy companies don’t see it.

Q: What is your vision for the future of our energy system?

A: I am interested in the effect of new technologies on our energy system. Today, I am working on three main paradigm-changing concepts in the energy sector.

The first one is what we call the LED revolution. We are already changing light bulbs to LED light bulbs. Yet a lot of the energy that is wasted in a lighting system is not because a light bulb is inefficient but because you are producing light at the ceiling and consuming it near your eyes. The distance between the production and consumption of light has a lot of energy losses.

Now the interesting thing is that LED is very small – you could integrate it near to your eyes, in a table, chair or even in your clothes or glasses. Then you can save energy from a better technology and a reduced distance for the light to travel. We are only starting to do this.

A lot of the energy that is wasted in a lighting system is not because a light bulb is inefficient but because you are producing light at the ceiling and consuming it near your eyes

Q: What is the size of the efficiency improvement from LED lighting?

A: LED as a technology is 4-5 times more efficient than a regular light bulb and we guess you can have the same improvement again with the distance reduction.

The next step is that LED is a diode – it is also in your TV screen for example – so you can develop new functions for the LEDs integrated into your tables, the floor etc. A company like Desso, which makes carpets, and Philips, which makes LED lighting, have partnered up to integrate LEDs into carpets that can guide you through a building, for example. If you arrive at an office looking for a Mr Petersen, your phone and the LEDs could guide you there. This can also be done in streets or parking lots. So it is a route to new, more integrated products that make your environment smarter.

Q: Apart from LED, what are the other two paradigm shifts you see coming?

A: Second, is the grid. Today the electricity grid is AC (alternating current). But all of our appliances – fridges, LED lighting etc – work on DC (direct current). And all renewable energy production is DC.

So our system today is that if we have a solar cell, we have to convert the electricity [it produces] from DC to AC, put it in the grid at home, and then convert it back from AC to DC in every appliance. If you want to use your car battery to store electricity, you have to convert the power from AC to DC to store it and back again to release it into your house. Every conversion step is a loss in energy. So, we need to change the entire electricity grid into DC.

Today the high-voltage grid across seas and oceans is already DC, it’s called HVDC. We want to do the same at the medium- and low-voltage level. The interesting thing is that you can easily have the 350-400V DC grid in your house – you don’t have to change your wires and you don’t have to change your appliances.

The only thing you have to do is that at this moment all your appliances have an AC-DC converter, but in future you can leave that out. The same is true for a solar system – today you need a DC-AC converter but with a DC grid, you can leave it out. This means you can save 5-10% on investments in a solar system. So it’s not only that you save on energy, you also save on cost.

If you want to develop a totally renewable energy system, you need to do that on DC, in my view it is simply not possible with an AC grid

Q: Why is the grid all AC so far?

A: It’s because of a past battle between Mr Edison and Mr Tesla. Edison, who invented the light bulb, was already working on DC at the time. Tesla was connected to Westinghouse and they made large power plants (initially hydro). The electricity produced somewhere in the Great Lakes had to be transported to Washington DC over a large distance. At the time, Tesla could increase the voltage to a higher level on AC and reduce the loss through cables over a large distance.

So he won that battle you could say. At the time we didn’t have the chips and motors working on DC like today.  Today, because of the introduction of chips, every appliance works on DC. Today, power electronics have developed and we can transport long distance over DC also. All the equipment for a DC grid is there. The only thing we have to do is change the system, which is of course a big change, a paradigm shift.

But you can do it gradually, in parts, even at house level. You could install an AC-DC converter at your doorstep for example. Then you distribute on DC in your house. You save on energy but also on the inverters that you otherwise need.

An example of an energy system of the future

“We do a test in a greenhouse in the Netherlands where we grow tomatoes. Normally you have a lighting system on the ceiling to help the plants grow faster. What we’re doing now is changing to LED lighting. And we want to put the LED lights in between the plants. But it turns out that we cannot do that because every string of LED lights has an AC-DC converter at the end, which has energy losses, which means it becomes hot. If you put this converter in between the plants, they are burned. So what we do is we put the converter outside the greenhouse and a DC grid inside, so that we don’t produce that heat anymore, can put LEDs in between the plants and reduce the energy use by a factor of 10. But we also save 1000 kg of copper per hectare because every AC-DC converter has copper wiring. And now we need only one, not one for every string of LED lights. So this is not only saving on energy, but also on materials.

In the end, if you want to develop a totally renewable energy system, you need to do that on DC because you need so much copper if you have to convert DC to AC and AC to DC again, in my view it is simply not possible with an AC grid. You need to change the system. It’s nothing to do with production, but everything to do with the distribution and use of your electricity.

Q: Who is the driving force for this makeover?

A: For HVDC it’s really the industry – companies like Siemens, GE etc. At the low-voltage level, you see that it is especially smaller, specialised companies. For example there is a company called Nextek in the US that is delivering this kind of systems for your home.

Every fuel cell engine can provide the electricity for 100 houses, not just one. So we can replace our power plants by cars

Energy companies are, sometimes reluctantly, studying the subject. Public authorities are getting more and more interested. But when you look at the electricity laws or codes for the public grid or grids in buildings, you’re not allowed to do something on DC. This is true at EU and also national level. Nobody ever thought you could do it on DC. Therefore the regulations and codes are written in such a way that you can do it in AC but not DC. So you also need innovation in regulation in this case.

Q: What about the grid operators, are they involved in this?

A: No, normally they are so heavily regulated they say ‘oh it’s not allowed’.  Also the advantage is at the customer level, it’s there that you have your energy saving, your renewable energy by solar, your copper saving. For the grid operator it’s more or less the same whether the grid is on AC or DC. They don’t see their advantage.

Q: And what about your final big paradigm shift?

A: Third, is the fuel cell car. Many car manufacturers are now working on this and it is being introduced in California, Germany, South Korea and Japan. The fuel cell car can produce electricity – it is an electric car with an electric motor – but the power comes not from the car’s batteries but is produced on board by a fuel cell converting hydrogen to electricity. The efficiency of this fuel cell is high, 60%.

The idea is that when this car is parked somewhere, it can also produce the electricity for your house, the grid, your office etc. Indeed every fuel cell engine, with about 100kW, can provide the electricity for 100 houses, not just one. The potential electricity production capacity of our cars – if they became fuel cell cars – is ten times that of our power plants worldwide. In Europe, we buy as much electricity production capacity in cars every year, as twice our power plants.

So we can replace our power plants by cars. You could build a parking lot for example, where you connect cars to a hydrogen production facility and to the electricity grid. When there is a surplus of electricity production from wind or solar, you produce hydrogen and store it in the tank of the car. When there is less electricity production, the car can produce the electricity that is needed.

Q: The car becomes both a store and producer of electricity?

A: Yes. And if you think about the development of autonomous driving, you could actually transport the car to where it is needed to produce electricity. Your car will drop you off downtown, drive to a car park to produce electricity and pick you up when you “whistle” for it. The car park can be on the city outskirts so this will also make a city cleaner and carless. We will have a totally different electricity-and-transport system.

Tesla dominates the public debate at the moment, but that’s not the main direction the car manufacturers are going

Q: But all the talk seems to be about battery-driven electric cars?

A: The car manufacturers are all talking about the fuel cell car. Tesla dominates the public debate at the moment, but that’s not the main direction the car manufacturers are going.

Hydrogen also lets you drive long distances: with 20kg of hydrogen in your car you can drive 2000km. And you can fuel your tank – that’s also a difference with a battery-powered car – in 1-2 minutes.

 

cover-green-villageQ: Your speciality is technological developments. Do you see any recognition among policymakers of these changes? In Brussels, the European Commission is talking about a redesign of the electricity market and a “new deal” for consumers, but this is all about smart meters, better information on electricity bills etc. The debate doesn’t seem to stretch to this level of system change. And how to decarbonise transport is a separate discussion all together.

A: These technological developments are happening but you don’t see them in the public debate about how a transition to a new energy system can be done. The public debate and policymakers don’t recognise these developments. It’s going much faster than they think.

Q: Is this a problem, does it risk slowing things down or even blocking them?

A: No. Of course regulation is a part of it, but the main problem is that a lot of these elements are not recognised by the energy sector itself. They don’t see the developments because they are not looking outside their sector. For example, the DC technology is very much driven by companies like Cisco and Apple because they are developing USB standards, for example. And they use DC in their data centres. USB becomes a standard not only for data transport but also for energy transport. Outside the energy sector there are developments that influence it a lot but they are not on the radar of either energy companies or energy policymakers.

These developments will happen, will come and will affect energy companies because it is the customer that is buying these things or using them. You see already Toyota and soon also Hyundai offering a fuel cell car with a plug that can provide electricity for the home.

The energy sector will develop outside of energy companies. For example, the smart meter will be surpassed by the Internet of Things

Q: Are there still energy companies in future? What do they look like?

A: I always say the energy company of the future will be a car leasing company for example. But you can also think that Google will do this together with the car companies. The energy companies of today need to change otherwise they will be out of business. I don’t see them thinking like this today. Traditional energy companies are already puzzled by the developments in renewables.

The energy sector will develop outside of energy companies. For example, the smart meter you mentioned, such a development will be surpassed by the Internet of Things. Every appliance will be able to measure its own energy consumption. Let’s take a fridge company – it will lease a fridge to you, including the electricity for it. The company then has a million fridges all over Europe and goes to trade on the electricity market. When there is an excess of electricity it turns the fridges up – so they cool a bit more – and when there is less, it turns them down and consumes less (then the price is also high). It’s nothing to do with energy companies anymore.

Q: As we move to a much more distributed energy system, what role is left for big, centralised infrastructure such as offshore wind farms and a high-voltage grid?

A: You can produce electricity from wind, solar etc. on a large scale. But it’s not necessarily an electricity network that will collect this energy. For example, I’m working with some of the world’s biggest companies to put wind turbines in the middle of the ocean where there are much higher wind speeds than in the North Sea. You cannot connect these floating wind turbines to land with a cable – that would be well above 1000 km and very pricey – so what we do is use the electricity to produce hydrogen, put it in a ship and bring it onshore. From there, it can go to fuelling stations for cars or to industry for products because hydrogen is also a chemical component for fertilizers for example.

I’m working with some of the world’s biggest companies to put wind turbines in the middle of the ocean where there are much higher wind speeds than in the North Sea

There will [still] be a high-voltage network but there is a decreasing need for it – you can do a lot on a local scale and you can do a lot of energy transport via ships and roads too.

Q: To what extent is energy policy shaping our future energy system?

A: You need energy policy. You need it to implement hydrogen fuelling stations in Europe for example. There is a need for a carbon price or something similar to stimulate the production of clean energy. On the other hand, some of these things will happen simply because companies and consumers produce and buy them. Without regulations. It’s not forbidden to connect your car to your house to produce electricity.

Q: How do oil and gas companies view these developments? Offshore production, hydrogen etc are not a million miles away from their expertise.

A: A lot of these companies are busy with their normal oil and gas reserves but you see for example Shell not opposed to hydrogen. First, it is also a fuel. Second, you can produce hydrogen from normal natural gas (and in the future through electrolysis driven by wind and solar power). In Germany, a coalition that is building 400 hydrogen fuelling stations consists of Shell, Total and car manufacturers.

Q: Are there are any other paradigm shifts you see coming?

A: I already mentioned the Internet of Things and the fridge example. Today we think we need batteries for flexibility but it can be done through demand too, and robotising. Today you plug in a vacuum cleaner and you need 1000 W at that time. In future, it will be a robot crawling around on the floor with a battery. The battery will be charged when the electricity price is low and you can still clean whenever you want.

Robotising and the Internet of Things will make all devices clever and demand much more flexibility. Every appliance, from your fridge to your car, will have chips, an internet connection and a battery.

And what does 3D printing mean for energy demand? You will use more electricity at home but less energy in the total system because of avoided transport and logistics. You need to transport your raw material of course, but that doesn’t cost as much energy as shipping all your finished goods from China for example. You will be able to produce personalised products at the location where you need them, on time. You will cut waste by only producing what you need.

 

20150907-green-villageQ: Does this mean Europe will de-industrialise?

A: Industry will develop these printers and designs [for printing] but if you want to make chairs or kitchen appliances etc. you will be able to do that at home.

I think there are many developments in the world today that have much more influence on the energy sector than the energy sector itself and also policymakers around energy.

Q: What is the timescale for all these system changes?

A: All these developments will happen, the only question is when. I think the fuel cell car will take at least another 10 years before it produces any major changes in the energy sector. But the LED revolution and Internet of Things will go much faster – I see them coming in 5-10 years already. The DC grid, I don’t know, I think you will see it develop very fast in certain areas – new towns in China for example – but in Europe I’m not sure. On the low-voltage level you will see some developments in buildings in the next 5-10 years but I’m not sure whether the grid itself will change that fast.

However, well before 2050, you will see large impacts of all these developments on the energy system.

Editor’s Note

This is the first in a series of interviews with leading energy thinkers who will be speaking at KIC InnoEnergy’s Business Booster event in Berlin on 21-22 October. Energy Post will be hosting a panel debate at the event on “the innovations that will transform European energy”. You can register for this event here.