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News from the UK Power Industry 9th April 2019

Posted by: James Turner
Industry News

£700 million gas-fired power station gets the green light

The government has given the go-ahead for a £700m gas-fired power station in Middlesbrough. 

Plans have been put together by Sembcorp Utilities who will utilise existing gas and national grid connections on the site of the former Teesside Power Station which was demolished six years ago.

The 1.7GW TEES Combined Cycle Power Plant will be built over the next three years and will employ up to 1,000 technical specialists during the construction phase.
The project involves building two main gas generating modules, two steam turbines, and two electrical generators. It would generate enough electricity for up to 1.5 million households and businesses in the UK and use existing grid connections on the site of the former Teesside Power Station. 

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Sarah Richards said: “The Planning Inspectorate has again demonstrated its ability to examine nationally significant infrastructure projects within timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth.”

The combined cycle power plant is the third major project to be approved this year following the development of Tilbury 2 and Millbrook Power. Full story.

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UK to home world's first tidal energy test centre

The world’s first test centre aimed at pursuing the development of materials and structures for tidal energy is to be established in Fife, Scotland. 

The £2.4m engineering research facility will be named Fastblade and will be the first in the world designed to carry out large-scale accelerated testing of tidal blades. Testing will use complex forces that simulate real environments, limiting the risks for product developers.

Engineering researchers will use an efficient hydraulic technology which enables structures to be tested significantly faster and using less energy compared with existing technologies.

The project is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Babcock. Neil Young, Technology Director at Babcock, said: “For us, this really is a great industrial partnership. Our engineers working alongside the University’s renowned academics has shown what the art of the possible is, in engineering and in working together. Whilst we are still at the early stages of development I know we are creating something that isn’t just a great opportunity for us, it will have real benefit for all the companies using the facility in years to come”. Full story.

Renewables make up one third of global power

A new report from IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) has revealed that renewable energy sources now account for a third of global power capacity. The news follows international additions of 171 gigawatts in 2018.

The annual increase of 7.9% increase was led predominantly by new additions from PV solar and wind, although other sources of renewable energy generation have contributed to the overall capacity figures.

Commenting on the continued growth of renewable energy, IRENA’s Director-General Adnan Amin said: “Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity. The strong growth in 2018 continues the remarkable trend of the last five years, which reflects an ongoing shift towards renewable power as the drive of global energy transformation.”

Globally, total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2,351 GW at the end of last year, around a third of total installed electricity capacity. 

Amin continued: “Renewable energy deployment needs to grow even faster to ensure that we can achieve the global climate objectives and Sustainable Development Goals. Countries taking full advantage of their renewables potential will benefit from a host of socioeconomic benefits in addition to decarbonising their economies”. Full story.

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