Finning calls for integration of renewable energy sources08 January 2024

?Finning energy sources

Finning UK & Ireland is calling for the wide-scale integration of renewable energy sources to meet targets laid out at COP28.

At the summit, more than 100 countries pledged to more than double global renewable energy capacity from 3,400 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 up to 11,000 GW by 2030 – so a significant boost is needed.

The UK Government continues to show its support for renewable energy, recently committing to invest £960 million into the UK’s power network – an investment set to boost the country’s electric power industry. However, the scaling up of renewable energy sources must be integrated effectively to ensure the industry can maximise energy efficiency, according to Kelly Cole, general manager for electric power at Finning UK & Ireland.

“Sustainability is now a primary consideration in the selection and specification of electric power systems and is significantly influencing decision-making processes,” Cole said. “Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydropower, must be integrated effectively to drive the availability of clean fuels, to meet net-zero demands and the expectations of COP28. Power systems are increasingly designed to incorporate these clean and sustainable sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

“Power systems that also prioritise low-emission technologies play a crucial role in reducing the environmental impact of energy generation. This includes the adoption of cleaner-burning fuels, advanced combustion, and energy-efficient technologies – such as combined heat and power units – as well as the implementation of advanced emission monitoring and control systems. Microgrid technology is another route for efficient energy distribution and the integration of distributed energy sources.”

The UK Government’s investment is set to speed up connections and increase grid capacity to boost energy security.

Cole continued: “This will help address the lack of availability of electro fuels – otherwise known as e-fuels – which are synthetic fuels produced through the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide and hydrogen – often via renewable energy sources.

“The COP28 summit’s demand for more clean fuels highlights a trending industry challenge around the availability of e-fuels, such as e-diesel, which has the potential to address environmental and energy security concerns. E-diesel, however, does have its own associated challenges, including energy efficiency as its production involves multiple energy conversion steps, including the production of hydrogen and the synthesis of hydrocarbons.

“E-diesel production is also an expensive process due to the costs associated with renewable energy sources. As technology advances and economies of scale are achieved, costs may decrease, but initially, it can be a barrier to widespread adoption. Despite the challenges, ongoing research and development in the field of synthetic fuels aims to overcome these obstacles and improve the viability and sustainability of alternative fuels.”

Finning supports its customers with microgrid solutions that enable companies to capture and store renewable energy, which can be utilised when there are low periods of energy produced through renewable energy.

Cole concluded: “The integration of renewable energy sources – and prioritising low-emission technologies and fuels of the future – are both sustainable and financially prudent business approaches. Investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low-emission technologies can lead to long-term cost savings, making them attractive from both an environmental and economic perspective and should be integral to modern power system decision-making.”

Operations Engineer

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