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Siemens Gamesa begins test of thermal storage technology

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewable Energy Magazine:Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has launched an electric thermal energy storage system (ETES) which makes it possible to store large quantities of energy cost-effectively.The heat storage facility utilises around 1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium and is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air by means of a resistance heater and blower. When demand peaks, the facility uses a steam turbine for the reelectrification of the stored energy. The pilot plant can thus store up to 130 MWh of thermal energy for a week, the capacity remaining constant throughout the charging cycles.The aim of the pilot plant is to demonstrate the system on the grid and to test the heat storage facility extensively. Siemens Gamesa is planning to use the storage technology in commercial projects and to scale up the capacity and power. The goal is to store energy in the range of several gigawatt hours (GWh) in the near future.Markus Tacke, CEO Siemens Gamesa, added that with the commissioning of the ETES pilot plant, the company has reached an important milestone on the way to introducing high-performance energy storage systems. The technology makes it possible to store electricity for a great many households at low cost, reducing costs for larger storage capacities to a fraction of the usual level for battery storage.The Institute for Engineering Thermodynamics at Hamburg University of Technology and the local utility company Hamburg Energy are partners in the Future Energy Solutions project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. Hamburg University is carrying out research into the thermodynamic fundamentals of the technology. By using standard components, it is possible to convert decommissioned conventional power plants into green storage facilities. Hamburg Energy is marketing the stored energy on the electricity market and is developing highly flexible digital control system platforms for virtual power plants.More: Siemens Gamesa inaugurates innovative electro thermal energy storage system Siemens Gamesa begins test of thermal storage technologylast_img read more

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West Midlands: Birmingham only council refusing to make top-up

first_imgA spokesman for Clancy said he was not refusing to pay but had stated that Birmingham could not find an additional £65m on top of £42m already paid this year towards the pension fund deficit.Clancy said: “The hard-pressed citizens and taxpayers in Birmingham should not be asked to find £65m a year to bail out investment fund managers.”He has published a book on the topic of what he argues are excessive fees paid to investment fund managers, particularly by public bodies.The WMPF said it was now in talks with all participating employers as part of the 2016 actuarial valuation, which reviews and resets employer contributions from April 2017.“As has been widely reported, the vast majority of pension funds are in deficit and face a challenge in generating sufficient investment return and contribution income to pay pensions,” it said.The WMPF said it had flagged up the potential increase in employer contribution rates three years ago, as well as earlier this year, giving employers time to work these into their financial plans.Clancy said the pension fund needed to “stop cosseting the investment fund managers who got us all into this mess in the first place”.He said the pension fund lived in another world, adding: “It needs to get real.”WMPF defended itself, saying it was recognised within the industry as a front runner in promoting transparency in the reporting of investment management costs.The fund said it was “voluntarily embracing and disclosing deeper layers of costs and working with CIPFA and the National LGPS Scheme Advisory Board to develop a code of transparency for asset managers”.Over the last three years, it said it has cut its own ongoing investment management costs by £35m a year, achieved by re-shaping the portfolio to focus on value-added, but without compromising risk and return opportunities.Over the same period, the WMPF said its assets had outperformed, adding more than £2bn in value and reducing the funding deficit by more than £280m. A spat between Birmingham City Council’s leader and the West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF) over the top-up fee sponsors are due to pay to the scheme and external investment management fees has prompted the fund to defend its management costs.John Clancy, who leads Birmingham City Council – one of several UK local authority sponsors of the scheme – has been reported in the media as refusing to pay next year’s top up into the WMPF, saying he would use the £65m (€73m) to protect services from government funding cuts due next year.Ian Brookfield, councillor and chair of the pensions committee governing the WMPF, said on behalf of the administering authority: “We note the comments by the leader of Birmingham City Council, but his views do not represent the wider political leadership of the West Midlands. No other employer is refusing to pay employer contributions.”One newspaper reported that several Labour councillor trustees of the pension fund were “poised” to reject the £100m top-up fee requested by the fund’s professional advisers.last_img read more

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