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Embracing Renewables on the Energy Management Journey
IAN BOWMAN | March 5, 2018
RAW Energy is a specialist company that owns, consults on and develops renewable energy assets in the UK and abroad helping to meet national energy demands and assisting in the transition to a fossil free energy network.
Article | February 17, 2020
The quest for the next source of renewable energy is well underway, with no natural phenomenon overlooked. We have already harnessed the power of flowing water, wind, and sunlight, and the search for the next clean source of energy is far from over. The latest potential breakthrough in renewable energy comes in the form of rain. The rain has not been getting a lot of attention in renewable energy circles perhaps because it would be challenging to harness its electricity-producing potential. Yet attempts are being made, and in the latest breakthrough, U.S. and Hong Kong researchers have managed to produce 140 volts of power from one single raindrop. That’s enough to light 100 LED lights for a short while.
We are certain that everyone involved in renewable energy projects are thinking about the impact Covid-19 will have on your projects being planned, built or operated. The following blog is not to be used as a full guideline, but rather an overview of our perspective on the situation. With the global Covid-19 escalation, it is likely that both the developers and the OEM’s are thinking “what impact will Covid-19 have on the completion of my project” and “can I still meet my PPA deadline?’ The first question to consider is whether a delay caused by a Force Majeure event insurable? The short answer is that no, a delay in this scenario would not be covered. Insurance is about Physical Damage to the subject matter insured, which is the Works. An outbreak of Covid-19 is not a Physical Damage event.
In the longer term it is obvious that having significant manufacturing capacity in coastal US states makes more sense than making components elsewhere and sending them on long sea journeys to their installation site. However, in the short term the sector will require a great deal of imported machinery and skills. International free trade has been instrumental in creating a positive marketplace for offshore wind, by driving down costs and accelerating growth. Unfortunately, this has had contrary effects on local prosperity, where areas do not receive the benefits of investment. Public and political support for offshore wind developments can therefore be undermined.
The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large scale are wind and solar power. But despite improvements over the last few years to both their performance and cost, a significant problem remains: the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. A power grid that relies on these fluctuating sources struggles to constantly match supply and demand, and so renewable energy sometimes goes to waste because it's not produced when needed.
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