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A report on the outcomes of the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030, convened by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative and held in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on 5-9 June 2011

E q u i n o x B lu e p r i n t e n e r g y

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A technological roadmap for a low-carbon, electrified future

February 2012 Lead Authors: Jatin Nathwani and Jason Blackstock Chapter Authors: Esther Adedeji,Will Catton, Zhewen Chen, Kerry Cheung, Felipe De Leon, Aaron A. Leopold, Marc McArthur, Nigel Moore, Jakob Nygard, Lauren Riga,Vagish Sharma,Ted Sherk, Gita Syahrani, Miles Avery Ten Brinke, José Maria Valenzuela, Arthur Yip Contributors: Jay Apt, Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Robin Batterham, Barry Brook, Jillian Buriak, Zoë Caron, Lia Helena Demange, Jian hua Ding, Craig Dunn, Cathy Foley,Yacine Kadi,Velma McColl, Greg Naterer, Linda Nazar, Nicholas Parker,Walt Patterson,Tom Rand, Marlo Raynolds, William D. Rosehart, David Runnalls,Ted Sargent, Maria Skyllas-Kazacos,Wei Wei Lead Writer and Editor: Stephen Pincock Editor-in-Chief: Wilson da Silva


Equinox

Blueprint:

energy 2030

contents

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CONTENTS Foreword

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Introduction

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Blueprint structure

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PART ONE: The Exemplar Pathways

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Chapter 1: Large-Scale Storage for Renewable Energy

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Chapter 2: Enhanced Geothermal

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Chapter 3: Advanced Nuclear

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Chapter 4: Off-grid Electricity Access

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Chapter 5: Smart Urbanisation

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PART TWO: The Scientific & Technical Context

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Applying the scientific perspective

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Chapter 6: Large-Scale Storage for Renewable Energy

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Chapter 7: Enhanced Geothermal

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Chapter 8: Advanced Nuclear

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Chapter 9: Off-grid Electricity Access

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Chapter 10: Smart Urbanisation

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Conclusion

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Appendix: Biographies of Participants

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Blueprint:

energy 2030

page

A technological roadmap for a low-carbon, electr ified future

Publisher: Waterloo Global Science Initiative Editor-in-Chief: Wilson da Silva Lead Writer and Editor: Stephen Pincock Lead Authors: Jatin Nathwani, Jason Blackstock Chapter Authors: Esther Adedeji,Will Catton, Zhewen Chen, Kerry Cheung, Felipe De Leon, Aaron A. Leopold, Marc McArthur, Nigel Moore, Jakob Nygard, Lauren Riga,Vagish Sharma,Ted Sherk, Gita Syahrani, Miles Avery Ten Brinke, José Maria Valenzuela, Arthur Yip Contributors: Jay Apt, Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Robin Batterham, Barry Brook, Jillian Buriak, Zoë Caron, Lia Helena Demange, Jian hua Ding, Craig Dunn, Cathy Foley,Yacine Kadi,Velma McColl, Nigel Moore, Greg Naterer, Linda Nazar, Nicholas Parker,Walt Patterson,Tom Rand, Marlo Raynolds, William D. Rosehart, David Runnalls,Ted Sargent, Maria Skyllas-Kazacos,Wei Wei Art Director: Lucy Glover Deputy Editor: Kate Arneman Copy Editor: Dominic Cadden Illustrator: Fern Bale Picture Editor: Tara Francis Research Assistants: Zhewen Chen, Ganesh Doluweera, Miriel Ko Proofreaders: Heather Catchpole, Renae Soppe, Becky Crew, Fiona MacDonald EQUINOX SUMMIT: ENERGY 2030 PATRON His Excellency The Right Honourable David Lloyd Johnston, CC, CMM, COM, CD, FRSC (Hon) Summit Moderator and Content Team Leader: Wilson da Silva Content Team: Ivan Semeniuk, Lee Smolin Scientific Advisor: Jatin Nathwani Forum Peer Advisor: Jason Blackstock Facilitator: Dan Normandeau Rapporteur: Stephen Pincock Strategic Advisors: Jason Blackstock, Blair Feltmate,Thomas Homer-Dixon, David Keith, David Layzell, Kevin Lynch, Jatin Nathwani Event Producers: Sean Kiely and Frank Taylor, Title Entertainment Inc. Presenting Media Partner: TVO WATERLOO GLOBAL SCIENCE INITIATIVE BOARD Dr Neil Turok (Chair) Director, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Dr Feridun Hamdullahpur (Vice-Chair) President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo Dr Arthur Carty (Secretary & Treasurer) Executive Director,Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology

Dr Tom Brzustowski, RBC Professor,Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa; and Chair, Institute of Quantum Computing (IQC), University of Waterloo

MANAGEMENT TEAM John Matlock Director, External Relations and Public Affairs, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Michael Duschenes, Chief Operating Officer, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Tim Jackson Vice-President, External Relations, University of Waterloo

ADVISORY COUNCIL Mike Lazaridis (Chair) Founder & Chair of the Board, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics; and Founder and Vice Chair of the Board, Research In Motion Dr Tom Brzustowski (Vice-Chair) RBC Professor,Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa; and Chair, Institute of Quantum Computing (IQC), University of Waterloo Dr David Dodge Chancellor, Queen’s University; and Sr. Advisory, Bennett Jones Dr Suzanne Fortier President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Peter Harder Senior Policy Advisor, Fraser Milner Casgrain Dr Chaviva Hošek President & CEO, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Dr Huguette Labelle Chancellor Emeritus, University of Ottawa John Pollock CEO, Electrohome; and Chancellor Emeritus, Wilfrid Laurier University Dr Cal Stiller Chair, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and Former Chair, Ontario Innovation Trust and Genome Canada John M. Thompson Chancellor, University of Western Ontario; and Chairman of the Board,TD Bank Financial Group The Hon. Pamela Wallin Senator, Government of Canada; and Chancellor Emeritus, University of Guelph Lynton Ronald (Red) Wilson Chancellor, McMaster University; former CEO, Redpath; Chairman of the Board of BCE; and Former Deputy Minister

Ellen Réthoré Associate Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo Martin Van Nierop Senior Director of Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives, University of Waterloo Stefan Pregelj Senior Analyst, Financial Operations, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics STAFF WGSI Coordinator: Julie Wright WGSI Communications Liaison: RJ Taylor Operations Support: Jake Berkowitz, Lisa Lambert, Mike Leffering, Peter McMahon, Cassandra Sheppard, Graeme Stemp-Morlock, and the staff of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

February 2012 Waterloo Global Science Initiative.This work is published under a Creative Commons license requiring Attribution and Noncommercial usage. Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works based only for noncommercial purposes, and only where the source is credited as follows: “produced by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative, a partnership between Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo”. Waterloo Global Science Initiative 31 Caroline Street North Waterloo, ON, N2L 2Y5, Canada Tel: +1 (519) 569 7600 Ext. 5170 Fax: +1 (519) 569 7611 Email: info@wgsi.org URL: www.wgsi.org

Produced for the Waterloo Global Science Initiative by Cosmos Media Pty Ltd, a publishing company in Sydney, Australia. PO Box 302, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012, Sydney, Australia. Tel: +61 2 9310 8500, Fax: +61 2 9698 4899. Email: info@cosmosmedia.com.au URL: www.cosmosmedia.com.au


Equinox

Blueprint:

energy 2030

foreword

Foreword

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cientific discoveries have been the greatest single factor leading to health, prosperity and the advancement of our civilisation. To unlock new opportunities and successfully navigate the future, we need new breakthroughs in our understanding of nature and in our ability to employ that understanding to solve real-world problems. Science, technology and their wise application are likely to be critical factors determining our future into the next century. This potential inspired the Waterloo Global Science Initiative to explore how cutting-edge science and technology can contribute to a more sustainable energy future. WGSI’s inaugural Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 brought together a multi-national, multi-disciplinary and inter-generational group of scientists, policy experts, entrepreneurs and young leaders to help invigorate the global dialogue with new perspectives. This document shares much of the thinking that emerged among participants during and after the Summit. Summit participants recognised that, due to the complexity of our existing systems, it will take several decades to develop more sustainable ways of generating, distributing and storing electricity, in order to meet the growing demand for energy. Instead of focusing on a single ‘silver bullet’ technological fix, they: n Developed an ‘ecosystem’ point-of-view – providing a fresh way to think about and approach possible lower carbon technologies n Identified potential pathways to help advance research, development and implementation of long-term energy solutions, and

n Explored technical details that reveal the complexities, challenges and opportunities posed by a few transitional technologies and systems. As Vice-Chair and Chair of WGSI’s Board of Directors, we are pleased to share the ideas generated by the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 participants and contribute their findings to the evolving, global conversation. We invite you to explore and enjoy this document and follow continuing activities at WGSI.org. Feridun Hamdullahpur and Neil Turok About WGSI A partnership between Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo, WGSI is an example of how two organisations can combine their strengths to work towards a better future. The University of Waterloo provides leading energy expertise through its research centres on sustainable energy and nanotechnology. Perimeter Institute, in addition to its sharp focus on basic research, fosters multi-disciplinary collaborations and world-class educational outreach.

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Blueprint:

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INTRODUCTION

The challenge: a globally sustainable and electrified future

Elizabeth Goheen

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Robin Batterham, President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, former Chief Scientist of Australia and former Chief Scientist of Rio Tinto; he served as an Advisor to the Summit.

ver the past century, the electrification of our homes, factories, cities and industries has transformed societies and improved the lives of billions of people. Where reliable electric energy is available, it has fostered education, improved personal and public health, become a cornerstone of modern economies, and enabled a flourishing of the arts. However, our journey towards harnessing the full potential of electricity for the benefit of all humanity is far from complete. Today some 1.4 billion people – one-fifth of the world’s population – live without electrical access, and over the next 40 years, population growth is expected to add another 2 billion people to some of the most energy impoverished parts of our world.1 By 2050, global primary energy demand is expected to almost double from 16.5 to 30 terawatts.2 Meanwhile, global trends in technology development, information access, personal mobility and urbanisation are placing unprecedented demand on our electrical infrastructure. The challenge of meeting future demand is made far more difficult by the scientific reality that the dominant way we produce electricity today is altering our planet’s climate. More than 68% of our global electricity supply in 2008 was produced by burning fossil fuels, primarily coal and natural gas, releasing 11.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.3 Most of this carbon dioxide will stay in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, acting as a greenhouse gas that warms the Earth and potentially disrupts the climate patterns to which our civilisation has been accustomed for several thousand years.4 Already, the rhythms of Sun and rain, calm and storms, heatwaves and cold snaps that societies have taken for granted in the 20th century have begun to change5, and the long-term climatic impacts of unchecked fossil fuel burning could be severely negative. Warnings to this effect are now coming from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of

1International Energy Agency 2010. 2 One terawatt is equal to one trillion watts (or 1012 watts). 3 International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2010. In 2008, coal accounted for 41% of global electricity generation, natural gas for 21%, and oil for ~1%. 4 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007. 5 ibid.


Equinox

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energy 2030

INTRODUCTION the United Nations (FAO), as well as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Increasing our global electricity supply to meet this growing demand, while reducing carbon emissions, is a monumental undertaking. The importance of achieving both goals has been recognised at the highest policy levels, including the International Energy Agency, the United Nations Development Programme and the U.N. Industrial Development Organisation in 2010 as well as, most prominently, by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2009. Yet current national commitments to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide fall far short of those needed to limit climatic risks.6 Furthermore, over the past decade, coal – the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel – has been the fastest-growing global energy source, meeting close to half of new electricity demand.7 Our contribution: strategic Pathways for transformative change The imperative to build a globally sustainable and electrified future means we need to rethink, and then refashion, the ways we produce and use electrical energy. In this essential endeavour, emerging science and new technologies have the potential to unlock previously unimagined pathways for the evolution of today’s electricity systems. Realising the full potential of science and technology requires more than just expanding technical knowledge and tools. It also requires us to creatively integrate our technical prowess with a vision of the future world we hope to create, and the social and economic innovations that can enable rapid diffusion of transformative technologies. In June 2011, an international meeting – Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 – brought together leading innovators from science, policy, civil society and business to focus their diverse knowledge and creativity on developing strategies that could help redirect the global electricity system toward a more sustainable trajectory. Convened by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (a partnership between Canada’s Perimeter Institute and the University of Waterloo in Ontario), the meeting inaugurated a new collaborative process – the Equinox Process – to catalyse the positive societal impacts of science and technology and, in so doing, generate a set of Exemplar Pathways to help accelerate our global energy transformation. The goal of the Summit was not to produce a thorough technical assessment of any individual technology, nor to produce a detailed list of policy prescriptions for governments or corporations. Rather, the Summit sought to merge the collective talents and knowledge of its participants to stimulate long-term creative thinking about how science and technology might most effectively be harnessed to help address one of most complex challenges for the century ahead.

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Quorum scientific experts

Advisors policy and investment

Forum future leaders

WGSI Blueprint recommendations

Policy and funding decisions

Implementation

Transformative technologies

Figure 1: An overview of the Equinox Summit approach, which mixes the scientific expertise of the Quorum and the industry and government experience of Advisors, with the policy experience, drive and enthusiasm of a new generation of future leaders.

The Equinox Process The Equinox Process is built around four core ideas: n A long-term vision is needed. Neither technological development nor societal change occurs quickly. The aim was to begin with an end in mind – a vision of shared goals for where we want the global energy system to 6 “Copenhagen Accord pledges are paltry”, Joeri Rogelj et. al., Nature 22 April 2010. 7 BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011; International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2010.


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INTRODUCTION help take the world in the decades ahead. We hoped that, in so doing, we could resist the temptation to follow only where immediate pressures and easiest short-term opportunities might lead.

Jonathan Baltrusaitis

n Transforming our societies towards this long-term vision requires mobilising talented innovators from different countries, generations and disciplines. By bringing together individuals who reflect the diversity of our world in as many ways as possible, we hoped to propose transformative ideas that drew on the rich knowledge of our global society. The intergenerational dimension of the participants was particularly important to ensure that the shared knowledge and ideas generated take root in the generation who will be the world’s custodians in decades to come.

Members of the Forum in discussion during a break in proceedings.

Quorum A group of leading research scientists asked to attend the Summit as exponents of particular technologies that could contribute to our electrified future; they provided the scientific foundations for the process.

Forum Among the innovations of the Equinox Summit was the involvement of young men and women in their twenties, carefully selected from emerging leaders in public policy, industry and civil society.The year 2030 is their world, and during the Summit their role was to develop proposals, referred to in this document as Exemplar Pathways, for accelerating and maximising the impact of the technologies described by the Quorum.

Advisers This group included veteran entrepreneurs, policymakers and scientific leaders who contributed their experience to the discussions and Pathway development, ensuring the ideas considered real-world practicalities and implementation challenges.

n Transformative processes require a ‘living blueprint’ for action. The ‘blueprint’ that emerged from the Summit and is captured in current form in this report, is designed to be the beginning of a process of development and engagement for the participants – not simply a static document, but the start of an evolving conversation. Our goal was to go beyond making recommendations and to prompt further creative thinking and exploratory action. The Summit itself was a launching point for a series of activities that allow participants to further develop their ideas in the years ahead. n Robust scientific knowledge must provide a foundation upon which lasting transformation is achieved. Though social, economic and policy innovations are essential to maximising the potential of emerging science and new technologies, without rigorous scientific grounding, effective transformation of our energy system will not be possible. In this report, we focus on the contributions science and technology can make to a major transformation of the global energy economy. The five-day Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 held in June 2011 was the beginning of a wider process and brought together 40 participants (see biographies in the Appendix) for intense discussions around six key questions: n How can the transformative powers of science best be nurtured and applied in the coming decades to advance our capabilities in electricity? n What are some of the most promising ideas (or combinations of ideas) to further investigate and which are the most promising or transformative technologies that need advancement? n What key implementation steps are required to, one day, realise these transformative solutions? n How can we ensure the right investments in science and technology are made and utilised effectively to support the research and move toward testing in the decades to come? n How can societies expand our capacity, increase resilience and security, and improve efficiency in our energy systems?


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INTRODUCTION

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Figure 2: As the Equinox Summit began, a model of the global electricity landscape – based on the generation, distribution and storage of electrical energy – was developed, and helped guide the discussions.

generation

Distribution

Storage

Rural remote

Urban/industrial

Electrified/ Transportation

Solar

Geothermal

Nuclear

Superconductors

Smart grids

Industrial

Consumer

Discussions also took place during lunch, when members of the Quorum, Forum and Advisors were able to interact. L to R:Tom Brzustowski (WGSI Board Member), Velma McColl (Advisor) and Jatin Nathwani (Advisor). Jonathan Baltrusaitis

Exemplar Pathways The technological Pathways developed by Summit participants focus on areas they identified as offering the greatest potential for transformative impact over the coming decades. The plans we describe here are not prescriptive, nor are they meant to be predictive. They are best viewed as snapshots of an early stage in the development of these transformative Pathways, where they might go, and how they might fit into a Low Carbon Electricity Ecosystem. We do not expect any of these Pathways to unfold exactly as written here. As Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.” We offer these Pathways as seeds from which momentum and refined plans can grow. They incorporate insights for guiding investment and societal efforts, and proposals for the coordination of scientific and engineering research. Only through the continuous growth and evolution of these ideas will practical, real-world solutions emerge. Thus, testing and refining these ideas over the coming months and years is an essential part of the Equinox Process. We hope these Pathways will be stimuli both for the young leaders in our Forum and for global decision-makers.

Velma Jatin

n What supporting strategies can be implemented within the next 20 years to advance an electrified future? With a focus on the generation, transport and storage of electricity the participants comprised three distinct groups, bringing to bear diverse perspectives on the questions. The first major output of the Summit is this report, which will serve as an important input to the next stage – a year of collaborative activities through which Summit participants will engage a broader community of thought-leaders and innovators in refining and taking action on the ideas herein. We invite you, as a reader, to engage and follow the progress of our work at: www.wgsi.org.

L to R: Jason Blackstock (Advisor) looks on as Jatin Nathwani (Advisor) leads the discussion.


Distribution

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• Superconductors • Smart grids

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INTRODUCTION Storage

• Industrial • Consumer

Figure 3: As discussions progressed, a new model for the global electricity landscape emerged: the Low-Carbon Electricity Ecosystem. It allowed participants to better conceptualise the enormous changes required, and how they could be integrated. Baseload • Large-scale storage for renewable energy • Geothermal • Advanced nuclear

Off-grid • Flexible solar and storage • Micro-grids

INNOVATION AND WEALTH CREATION

Smart urbanisation • Enhanced grid • Flexible solar • Superconductors

Electrified transport

Natasha Waxman

• Storage

Quorum members during the working sessions. In the foreground, Cathy Foley, Chief of the Division of Materials Science and Engineering at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

A Low Carbon Electricity Ecosystem During Equinox Summit: Energy 2030, participants evolved their discussions of technologies for generation, transport and storage of electricity into a detailed exploration of the societal contexts into which such technologies must be integrated. From this emerged the concept of a Low Carbon Electricity Ecosystem. It highlights how a series of technological, economic and social innovations in different contexts can contribute to transforming how we, as individuals and societies, think about and use energy. It also allows us to more clearly consider how we might alter the future direction of our varied electricity systems in a more sustainable direction. Three of the Pathways focus on technologies that could help replace our reliance on the burning of fossil fuels for the generation of constant, reliable ‘baseload’ power in long-established electrical systems: the deployment of grid-scale battery storage to support renewable energy expansion; the development of Enhanced Geothermal power potential; and the accelerated development of Advanced Nuclear Power technologies. A fourth Pathway focusses on opportunities for innovation in rapidly expanding urban environments, which are already among the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Taking advantage of everimproving information and communication technologies, coupled with emerging battery technologies, could allow the simultaneous improvement of urban transport systems and our cities’ electric grids. In addition, emerging superconductor technology may allow a substantial increase in the efficiency of electricity provision, allowing more energy to be delivered per square metre of densely packed, power-hungry city cores. These together are described as elements that could contribute to green urbanisation. Finally, an important Exemplar Pathway developed by participants focusses on the billions of people who currently live without adequate access to electricity. This Pathway proposes routes for encouraging the development of affordable, ‘off-grid’ power solutions for energy-poor regions.


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INTRODUCTION

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blueprint structure The Equinox Blueprint contains two parts: Part One details the Exemplar Pathways developed by participants of the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030, and incorporates specific proposals for addressing important aspects of the global energy problem. Each of these Exemplar Pathways identifies specific opportunities for action – aspects of the energy problem that are amenable to improvement with science or technology.They describe existing barriers to that improvement, and describe a series of steps to overcoming those barriers. Each Pathway includes interventions and action points for generating change, as proposed by participants. Part Two is a more detailed discussion of the scientific and technical context of each of these Exemplar Pathways. It describes the science, technology and societal underpinnings of each proposed Pathway.The focus in this section is on clarifying the scale and nature of specific facets of the energy problem, and on identifying the technological or societal developments needed to address those problems. Part One is aimed at policy makers, the media and the general public, and provides a detailed discussion of the proposals. Part Two delves deeper into the technical and scientific challenges and opportunities of each proposal, and is aimed at the scientific, engineering and academic community. Within each of these two major sections, chapters have a similar structure: they each detail the Opportunities and Challenges of each proposal, and the suggested Pathway to Innovation.These are followed by proposed Actions, or other suggested initiatives to help make the recommendations a reality. The chapters are built around the five Exemplar Pathways, which are the core pillars of the proposals contained herein. In Part One, they are: REPLACING COAL FOR BASELOAD POWER Chapter 1: Large-scale Storage with Renewables Chapter 2: Enhanced Geothermal Chapter 3: Advanced Nuclear

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REENGINEERING ELECTRICITY USE Chapter 4: Off-grid Electricity Access Chapter 5: Smart Urbanisation

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In Part Two, which focuses on the scientific and technical discussion of each of the five Exemplar Pathways, the chapters follow a similar structure: REPLACING COAL FOR BASELOAD POWER Chapter 6: Large-scale Storage with Renewables Chapter 7: Enhanced Geothermal Chapter 8: Advanced Nuclear

54 64 72

REENGINEERING ELECTRICITY USE Chapter 9: Off-grid Electricity Access Chapter 10: Smart Urbanisation

80 90


E q uEi q nu o ixn o B lxu B e lp u r ien pt r :i netn: eern geyr 2 g0y3 0 2030

Jonathan Baltrusaitis

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E q uEi q nu o ixn o B lxu Be lp u r ien pt r :i netn: eern geyr 2 g0y3 0 2030

INTRODUCTION

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Pa r t o n e

Th e E x e mp l ar Pathways THREE APPROACHES TO BASELOAD Baseload power is the minimum amount of electric power delivered or required over a given period of time at a steady rate. Baseload power plants are the production facilities used to meet a part of the continuous energy demand of a region and they produce electricity at a constant rate and usually at a low cost relative to other facilities available to the system.They are the backbone of any large-scale electricity system. Access to reliable baseload power and on-demand dispatchable electricity drives the global economy, and has become an indispensable part of the lives of billions of people in many parts of the world. However, burning the coal and gas that provide the majority of this baseload power emits tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere daily, leading to harmful climate change. Reducing the carbon-intensity of baseload power is a complex challenge.Three promising options include renewables enabled by large-scale storage, Enhanced Geothermal energy and Advanced Nuclear Power that would close the fuel cycle. For each of these options, a large-scale implementation on a terawatt (TW) scale of installed capacity over the next four decades would be necessary to meet the challenge. n Large scale storage with renewables

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n Enhanced geothermal

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n advanced nuclear

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Members of the Quorum facing the Forum (foreground) on the first day of working sessions at the Perimeter Institute in June 2011. In the Quorum, L to R: Jillian Buriak, Craig Dunn, Cathy Foley,Yacine Kadi, Maria Skyllas-Kazacos, Greg Naterer. Bill Rosehart and Linda Nazar.


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Chapter

Blueprint:

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1 : large-scale storage for renewable energy

Wind farm for electric power production and an electrical substation.

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large-scale storage for Renewable energy


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1 : large-scale storage for renewable energy

T

he first Exemplar Pathway is the one with the shortest time-frame for implementation: the development of large-scale storage facilities coupled to renewable energy facilities such as wind or solar. It relies on existing storage technologies currently deployed at the small scale or in pilot plants at various sites. The goal would be to upscale, de-risk and commercialise the technologies for widespread deployment.

Opportunities n The enormous potential of renewable energy sources is limited by their intermittency and variability of supply. Large-scale storage technologies will be critical to facilitate the integration of variable and dispersed sources of renewable energy into the grid. n Among innovations in storage technologies, electrochemical batteries offer several advantages. They can be sited anywhere, they are modular, their rapid response times may be used concurrently with advanced energy management applications and they can be placed near residential areas due to their low environmental impact. n Within electrochemical batteries, flow batteries are among the most advanced. Of these, the Vanadium Redox Battery — a type of rechargeable, large-scale battery that employs vanadium ions in different oxidation states to store chemical potential energy — has seen important advances in development. Over the past 25 years, a design based on vanadium and utilising sulfuric acid electrolytes has been under investigation with testing and evaluations at several institutions in Australia, Europe, Japan and North America. n The main advantages of the Vanadium Redox Battery are that it can offer almost unlimited capacity simply by using larger and larger storage tanks; it can be left completely discharged for long periods with no ill effects; it can be recharged simply by replacing the electrolyte if no power source is available to charge it; and, if the electrolytes are accidentally mixed, the battery suffers no permanent damage. Challenges n There a number of barriers to full commercialisation of flow batteries. One priority is the reduction of manufacturing costs per kilowatt (kW) by achieving higher electric current density and increasing stack module sizes. n Another important research and development priority is to evolve inexpensive, chemically stable ion exchange membranes not subject to fouling by impurities in the electrolyte medium, thereby allowing lower purity vanadium sources to be used for further cost reduction.

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1 : large-scale storage for renewable energy n There are also issues that need to be investigated around scale-up, capital and cycle-life costs and optimisation; the volatility in the price of vanadium pentoxide itself; and the low energy density of the electrolyte presents a limiting factor on system portability. n In electric bus applications of Vanadium Redox Batteries, safety and environmental concerns need to be addressed, particularly with regard to electrolyte refuelling at public refuelling stations and potential electrolyte spills in accidents. n Renewable energy spilling — where energy that is generated but not used is discarded — is a problem that loses large amounts of current renewable capacity because there is no adequate storage capacity. This challenge must be overcome to bring renewable energies into baseload calculations and developed at scale. Pathway to innovation n Research efforts and grid-scale battery demonstration projects should be expanded and prioritised to profile the reliability and scope of renewable energy combined with storage. n Larger-scale demonstration projects to establish the economic viability of storage technologies specifically targeting promising options such as flow batteries are needed. n Effective partnerships between existing utilities and technology developers are one path towards commercialisation and wider implementation. n Incentives for storage implemented on a large scale would be effective for better utilisation of renewable energy resources to prevent the poor practices of ‘spilling’ the resource. Storage: the missing ingredient Energy from the wind and sunlight has great potential to provide us with low-emissions electricity. Storage technologies that account for the variability and intermittency of these energy sources could allow them to be integrated into our power systems. In the near future, large-scale batteries installed close to the source of electricity generation, or close to the end user, can also play a part in turning clean and abundant, yet intermittent, energy sources into reliable, steady forms of baseload power for our cities and industry. To make this a reality, the Pathway to this goal developed by the Equinox Process includes four key priorities: n A focus on reliability requirements, in concert with renewable energy deployment, to ensure the effective and efficient integration of new, cleaner sources of energy into the grid which maximally replace existing fossil fuel production. n A series of demonstration projects for grid-scale storage techniques, with an emphasis on battery storage in general and flow batteries in particular.


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n Dynamic pricing and other demand management mechanisms that act to alter energy consumption patterns in order to better balance the demand and supply of electricity. n Penalising renewable energy ‘spilling’ through legislative action, with promotion of battery storage as an incentivised alternative to spilling.

Potential players in demonstration projects Changing the global energy system to the degree envisioned herein requires political action, which could be encouraged by cooperation between coalitions of stakeholder groups. The involvement of electrical utilities – whose function is to provide reliable, low-cost electricity to consumers – is also important. Renewable electricity generation provides an important opportunity for enhancing supply and greening the electricity sector. Utilities are at the functional core of the deployment of large-scale storage and understand the necessary coupling of renewable energy production with supply and demand management techniques of which energy storage is an important part. If utilities are to make good on their responsibilities for providing reliable electricity to consumers at an appropriate cost – while also accommodating the larger and larger supply of intermittent production – they will need to invest heavily in these techniques, effectively building the energy delivery infrastructure of tomorrow. This in some cases departs significantly from the state of affairs today. However, utilities cannot be expected to deliver on all of their responsibilities without the support of other stakeholders. With the appropriate policy and legislative settings, the expertise and capital resources available to private enterprise could help accelerate progress on technologies such as flow batteries. If the private sector is encouraged to recognise the market opportunities within this new energy system, they could be of enormous help in the upscaling and commercialisation of storage.

High voltage equipment at an electricity generating station.

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Demonstration projects Demonstration projects of the grid-scale use of flow batteries (i.e. Vanadium Redox) are best located in jurisdictions with a regulatory environment that includes some of the policy actions outlined above, and where there is already a high level of penetration of renewable energy within the overall supply mix. Markets with limited capacity to sell excess power are also excellent locations for energy storage demonstration projects. The overall strategy for developing storage technologies to the point of rapid commercialisation would require the innovation timeline to mirror overall renewable penetration into global energy markets, so that production and storage are deployed in tandem, especially in greenfield sites. Domestically and internationally supported research efforts and small grid-scale battery demonstration projects exist today, but these need to be expanded geographically and given a higher priority. Bringing larger-scale demonstration projects that specifically target flow batteries – and are supported by an enabling regulatory environment – will be needed to ensure widespread adoption. Examples include Japan’s experience with Vanadium Redox Battery demonstration projects such as the JPower unit at Tomamae, where such demonstration projects could be expanded in the near term.


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Large-scale storage that accounts for variability and intermittency of wind and solar energy will enable better integration into power systems.

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A public awareness campaign is needed so that electricity consumers and civil society groups can become more engaged. Such a campaign would enable these players to more assertively make the case for investment in energy storage as a critical enabler of intelligent renewable energy production that will deliver reliable, cleaner energy, and provide domestic employment opportunities. Ultimately all of these groups must support policy changes and public investments required to lay the foundations for the kind of smart energy infrastructure this proposal envisages. Certain regions exist where these partnerships and coalitions are especially important in the near term. One obvious example is areas with already high intermittent energy penetration (about 10-20% of total electricity production). Utilities and energy policymakers in these areas are beginning to face the challenge of intermittency head-on. However, it is also in these areas that intermittency is often resolved by contracting suppliers of natural gas and coal to supplement supply, because these same utilities often need more rapid solutions to increasingly problematic supply variability. Rather than pursue inefficient short-term solutions such as these (known as ‘firming agreements’) or allow renewable energy spilling without penalty, these regions should be encouraged to forge partnerships that utilise the necessary public and private resources to build a sustainable renewable energy infrastructure that includes large-scale storage and demand management. In other words, future development of the capacity for generating electricity from renewable and intermittent sources must go hand-in-hand with the development of adequate storage capacity. Fast-growth cities are another opportunity for constructive partnerships in large-scale storage. These regions are building their energy infrastructure regardless, and are increasingly looking to bring on renewable supply while making good on commitments to source supply close to home. If resources are spent effectively to nudge their emerging energy infrastructure toward long-term sustainability, the investment of human and financial resources will be much less costly when compared with regions that have long-established energy infrastructure, which may or may not be slated for reinvestment. Fast-growth cities are ideal sites for large-scale energy storage demonstration projects immediately. End-of-line and remote areas are also good locations for energy storage to provide large benefits to the reliability of supply. Large-scale storage could be a very attractive option for increasing energy security in such regions, and can bring wealth creation through storing and selling energy produced rather than spilling it. Since they stand to gain so much from the development of storage technologies, they too are ideal sites for the next wave of demonstration projects that accelerates technological and policy progress in energy supply and demand management.


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Actions Timeline

Actions

Participants

2012-2020

n Expand large-scale storage demonstration projects, especially battery storage n Penalise renewable energy spilling through legislative action and offer storage (through demonstration projects, etc.) as an incentivised alternative to wasting renewable energy n Further deployment of smart-grid technology. n Implement dynamic pricing initiatives to balance demand and supply of electricity.

n Coalitions of stakeholders in regions with already high (or mandated) increases in intermittent renewable energy penetration.

2020-2030

n Establish a thriving market in energy storage through deployment of large-scale energy storage technologies on a global scale n Increase penalties for energy spilling and discourage firming agreements with fossil fuel power plants (alternative energy storage methods must be available at reasonable cost in these circumstances).

n Policymakers and electrical utilities in regions with expanding intermittent renewable energy penetration, where energy spilling is commonplace, or where supply and demand for energy is difficult or expensive to balance n Private groups involved in building the energy storage infrastructure.

2030-2050

n Encourage and make ubiquitous large-scale energy storage and intelligent supply and demand management as integral parts of domestic, as well as global energy systems n Accelerate intermittent renewable energy deployment enabled by large-scale storage to the point of outpacing fossil energy production.

n Energy policymakers in all regions, particularly in global energy governance forums n Private groups involved in building renewable energy production capacities at an accelerated rate in all regions.


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Enhanced geothermal power

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o date, geothermal power facilities have been deployed only where naturally occurring heat, water and rock permeability allow easy energy extraction. Enhanced Geothermal is a new approach. It does not require natural convective hydrothermal resources, but seeks to enhance or create geothermal power from hot, dry rock sites through ‘hydraulic stimulation’, pumping high-pressure cold water down an injection well into the rock. This increases fluid pressure in the naturally fractured rock, mobilising shear events that enhance permeability, a process known as hydro-shearing, which is very different from hydraulic tensile fracturing used in the oil and gas industries. When natural cracks and pores in a site do not allow economic flow rates, permeability can thus be enhanced, allowing geothermal power to be extracted in a larger number of locations and to function as a baseload station producing power 24 hours a day, much like a fossil fuel plant.


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Krafla Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland.

Opportunities If it could be tapped for electricity production, the heat of the Earth offers an essentially inexhaustible supply of energy with negligible emissions. For example, the estimated Enhanced Geothermal resource base in the United States is some 13 000 times the current annual consumption of primary energy in the country. Using reasonable assumptions regarding how heat would be mined from stimulated Enhanced Geothermal reservoirs, the extractable portion still amounts to 2 000 times that of annual consumption.1 Geothermal power is an attractive source of abundant baseload electricity with almost no CO2 emissions. With deep enough drilling, every country could potentially have access to a large amount of this renewable energy resource. Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) aim to use the Earth’s heat in a wider range of locations than existing geothermal resources, where there is insufficient naturally occurring steam or hot water and where the permeability of the Earth’s crust is low. 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) on the United States in the 21st Century, 2006.


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2 : Enhanced geothermal power It has been estimated that geothermal generation could reach 1 400 TWh per year – representing as much as 3.5% of worldwide electricity supply – within four decades, avoiding almost 800 Mt of CO2 emissions.2 Challenges Recent efforts to harness conventional geothermal resources have not yet translated into large-scale commercial development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems. Major barriers to this expansion have been the high front-end capital costs of geothermal projects, and the lack of investor confidence due to the paucity of available drilling data – only a small number of wells have been drilled worldwide to date. Until the technology is sufficiently de-risked to overcome the natural conservatism of private capital, exploration of the resource will be limited to isolated, government-supported development. Engagement by major financial and energy players will also be needed to make the cost projections attractive to investors. There is also a large degree of inherent resource uncertainty associated with drilling geothermal projects. With current understanding, the size and characteristics of individual resources is difficult to assess accurately before drilling begins. As with oil and gas drilling, scores of exploration wells need to be drilled to ascertain the size and profile of any geothermal resource beneath the ground. The local environmental impacts of engineered geothermal systems also need to be studied and better understood, to assess actual risk as well as address potential negative public perceptions of risk. There are technical issues to overcome, such as the ability to create a closed water circuit, avoidance of mineralisation and channelling (leading to localised cooling), and integrity of rock fracturing. Pathway to innovation Large-scale demonstration projects are a potentially powerful means of building confidence and improving technological understanding to encourage the uptake of the technology. These would not only establish whether the projects are technically feasible, but also de-risk the construction and operation of ‘commercial-scale’ facilities. Ten collaborative, deep-drill demonstration projects in a variety of locations around the world could reduce uncertainty, facilitate transfer of drilling expertise and lower costs. Geologic resource mapping and programs to review drilling and geotechnical mechanisms and processes should also be launched. The promise of geothermal The vast amount of heat energy stored within our planet’s crust could – if tapped – potentially replace a large proportion of the fossil fuels we currently burn to generate baseload power within a few decades. Enhanced Geothermal Systems are a technology that aims to use the heat of the Earth in a much wider range of locations than are currently suitable for geothermal generation. It has been estimated that geothermal generation could reach 1 400 TWh per year – representing as much as 3.5% of worldwide electricity – within four decades, avoiding almost 800 Mt of CO2 emissions.3 For these technologies to be widely implemented, the high upfront costs of

2 International Energy Agency, Geothermal Road Map 2011. 3 Ibid.


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Enhanced Geothermal power will need to be addressed, geothermal resources more accurately mapped, and legal and regulatory frameworks put in place. Geothermal power development faces a range of risks, including technology, scheduling, financing, politics and exchange rates. Private investors distance themselves from taking on such risks independently. Effective measures to reduce these risks and cost uncertainties are needed to increase geothermal energy development within the energy sector. Demonstration projects In order to reduce the risks of large-scale engineered geothermal technology Figure 1: Learning curve influence on drilling cost. – both technically and financially – the Equinox Summit proposes the Figure 2: Drilling-cost learning curve illustrating establishment of a public-private partnership to roll out 10 commercial-scale, the learning process that occurs within each well 50 MW demonstration projects in various sites around the world. field. Base case includes a 20% contingency factor These projects would be internationally collaborative efforts, marrying to account for non-rotating costs. industry leaders and government partners, and gathering international stakeholders for information sharing, assessment of the opportunities and the de-risking of the geothermal technologies and techniques. LEARNING CURVE INFLUENCE ON DRILLING COST 1.05

These projects would serve multiple purposes: Fraction of base case cost

1.00 0.95 0.90 0.85 0.80 0.75 0.70 0

2

n Contribute to existing records of well-drilling.

n Facilitate transfer of drilling technologies and expertise internationally, and building confidence between the government and private investors.

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10

Individual well cost 1.1

Average well cost

1.0

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

4 MIT 2006.

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1.2 Normalised drilling and completion costs

n Lower prospecting and surveying costs by information sharing, with all data derived from the projects to be made publicly available.

4

Number of wells drilled in formation

Well field 1

Well field 2

Well field 3

ADAPTED FROM: MIT, 2006

n Help reduce risks and uncertainties for drilling by bringing down the learning curve. Accessing proportionally larger amounts of the geothermal resource base is expected to result in greater economies of scale for delivered power. This will translate into lower average costs per well, as a function not only of wells drilled per field, but wells drilled regionally. This learning curve concept has been assessed and applied successfully in the oil and gas drilling technologies.4


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2 : Enhanced geothermal power Resource mapping Within the same timeline, geologic resource mapping and programs to review drilling and geotechnical mechanisms and processes should be launched. Information sharing is vital to the development and scaling up of Enhanced Geothermal Systems. Accurate exploration of geothermal reservoirs and gathering of information on the reservoir properties are also vital before drilling commences. As drilling of deep geothermal wells is an expensive proposition, most developers will not drill their first borehole before there is some degree of certainty that geothermal resources with a specific flow rate will be found at a specific depth. Publicly available databases, protocols and tools could be developed to assess, access and exploit geothermal resources and thereby accelerate its development. Drilling technology As a part of this model, the drilling experience and expertise of the oil and gas industries would be tapped to help accelerate Enhanced Geothermal drilling technique development. Financial incentive structures such as tax exemption regimes and alternatives for accelerated depreciation on capital expenditure can be put in place to co-opt the oil and gas industries, which already possess vast expertise and experience in deep-well drilling and extraction. Environmental and social concerns Reducing risk profile also means addressing environmental and social concerns. Geothermal plants seem, on the face of it, to be the most environmentally benign means of generating baseload electricity. However, there have been instances of ‘induced seismicity’ associated with geothermal drilling hence, any large-scale deployment of the technology will require this phenomena to be better understood. ‘Induced seismicity’ are earthquakes and tremors – typically of an extremely low magnitude – caused by drilling activity which may alter the stresses and strains on the Earth’s crust. They are not unique to geothermal drilling, but have also been noted in oil and gas exploration and CO2 sequestration projects. It is believed that induced seismicity can be mitigated, if not overcome, using modern geoscientific methods to thoroughly characterise potential reservoir target areas before drilling and stimulation begin.5 There are also other technical criteria that carry environmental and social implications, such as compatible land use, drinking water and aquatic life protection, air quality and noise standards, which will need to be addressed. Yet these impacts are not unmanageable. Geothermal power plant facilities can be designed and operated to minimise them, and those currently in operation are already much more benign than those associated with fossil fuel power generation. There are necessary prerequisites to secure agreement of local inhabitants, such as the prevention of adverse effects on people’s health, minimisation of environment impacts and creation of direct and ongoing benefits for the resident communities.6

5 MIT 2006. 6 International Panel on Climate Change. Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation 2011.


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Actions The Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) has a unique opportunity to act as a catalyst in instigating and guiding a conversation around collaborative, global efforts required to accelerate large-scale development and adoption of geothermal through the instigation of 10 commercial-scale geothermal projects, to be developed by public and private stakeholders. To this end, it is proposed that WGSI host a small, focussed and private meeting of relevant public and private stakeholders from a number of potential partners from around the world. The outcome of the meeting would be three-fold:

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A geothermal power station harnessing heat energy in Earth’s crust.

n To validate the central hypothesis that ‘10 Enhanced Geothermal Projects’ is timely and relevant n To motivate initial funding and collaborative, global working structure n To establish an association to take ownership of project development and fund-raising.

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Note that the role of WGSI is limited to acting as a catalyst, serving to host the meeting, guide the discussion, and perhaps to motivate the formation of an association or network to which ownership of the project is passed. A potential list of participants could include: pension fund managers, government decision-makers, captains of industry who indicate a first-mover interest, large engineering/technology firms, utility executives, existing geothermal project developers, government scientists and senior geological engineers.


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Advanced nuclear power

The Cruas nuclear power plant in Ardeche, near the town of MontĂŠlimar, France, operated by Electricite de France.

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he scale of the shift to low-carbon energy sources, coupled with the substantially lower power density of renewable energy extraction (even if intermittency is addressed with large-scale storage) and the uneven distribution of renewable and geothermal energy resources, means that a third low-carbon baseload option is required. This will need planning, as well as research and development, in the lead-up to 2030. In 2010, nuclear energy constituted 12.8% of global electricity use.1 The 439 power reactors now operating in 31 countries provide reliable baseload supplies with almost zero emissions during operation. However, there are public concerns about the long-term radioactive wastes created and the fact reactor cores need be maintained at a high pressure in order to keep their coolant, water, liquid at high temperatures. New reactor designs, such as that for the Integral Fast Reactor, allow the nuclear fuel cycle to be closed, rather than open as in traditional reactors. This means they can ‘burn’ most nuclear waste components – such as reactor-grade plutonium and minor actinides – allowing the reuse of radioactive waste from earlier generation plants. Significantly, this turns nuclear waste from a liability into an asset. Another benefit is that such reactors, often called breeder or Generation IV reactors, use liquid metal as a coolant, allowing the radioactive core to operate at close to ambient pressure; this dramatically reduces the likelihood and impact of a loss-of-coolant accident, such as occurred at Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. A small amount of non-reprocessable waste would still be generated, although this waste would stabilise within a few centuries, rather than tens of thousands of years as with traditional reactors. To address this, the Summit also reviewed ideas for Generation V reactors such as Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems. These may allow the generation of energy while ‘burning’ or destroying longer-lived waste. In addition, the reactor remains sub-critical, or unable to sustain a chain reaction without a proton beam activated; were an accident to occur, the beam could be turned off and the reactor’s core would cease operating immediately. Both designs use metal coolants, which can disperse heat via natural convection; allow the nuclear fuel cycle to be closed and waste recycled; and rely on resources – thorium and uranium – which have a high energy density and are abundant in the Earth’s crust. Among the other ancillary benefits of these two technologies is that they are unsuitable for the development of the fissile materials needed to establish a nuclear weapons program, addressing the weapons proliferation concerns of nuclear power.

1 Energy Policy, November 2011. Brook, B.W., “Could nuclear fission energy, etc., solve the greenhouse problem? The affirmative case.”

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Opportunities Nuclear energy has proven capacity to deliver, on a large scale, low-carbon baseload power, but there are still concerns regarding safety and radioactive waste. Accelerating the development of forms of nuclear power that close the nuclear fuel cycle, including an effective solution for managing long-lived nuclear waste, and a widely available fuel supply, would be transformative. Although Integral Fast Reactors and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems have enormous potential and projects are moving ahead to further demonstrate some components of these technologies, there is a need to accelerate progress, pursue whole-of-system technological demonstrations, and move more rapidly to commercial deployment. Challenges Although the potential of Generation IV nuclear power seems indisputable, a high degree of public scepticism towards nuclear power has existed for many years. The tragic events at Fukushima have exacerbated these fears. Communicating the inherent safety and sustainability of Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems (TADS) is a challenge, but not one considered insurmountable. Public scepticism transforms into political scepticism. Political elites are wary of any public show of support for nuclear technology in the postFukushima world. Regulation of nuclear industries is exceedingly strict – and rightly so – for safety and security reasons. Strict regulation, however, has the unintended consequence of fostering a very conservative industry, ill-disposed to innovation – even where such innovation has the promise to do away with long-standing problems and concerns about the industry as a whole. Pathway to innovation A large-scale international collaboration on development and demonstration of IFR and TADS technologies is required to demonstrate the benefits of both. Mobilising the level of funding for such a project requires tackling the public and political scepticism about the nuclear industry. The potential of IFR and TADS technologies must be communicated effectively. Creating public awareness about their ability to contribute to climate change mitigation, to eliminate currently accumulated stockpiles of nuclear waste, and to deal with existing safety and sustainability issues in the nuclear industry are paramount to success. To leverage the innovation capacity of the nuclear industry, nuclear regulations should be reviewed in order to provide the industry with incentives for innovation while maintaining strict safety and security standards. Closing the nuclear fuel cycle If we can overcome the societal and technical challenges, advanced nuclear technologies offer sources of energy without the perceived risks and pitfalls of existing reactors. This opens the door for nuclear power to provide much greater proportion of our energy requirements into the future, especially over the long term. Today the world’s total nuclear electrical energy generation capacity is approximately 375 GW.2 In 2010 nuclear power constituted 12.8% of global electricity use,3 5.6% of global primary energy and 38.8% of non-fossil fuel 2 International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear Technology Review 2011. 3 Energy Policy, November 2011. Brook, B.W., “Could nuclear fission energy, etc., solve the greenhouse problem? The affirmative case.”


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electricity. Construction is currently underway of a number of Generation III reactor designs that include improvements such as better fuel technology, enhanced thermal efficiency and passive safety. However, Integral Fast Reactors and other Generation IV technologies – despite offering many attractive features over existing Generation III designs and having already been demonstrated at the engineering scale – are not yet commercial. Meanwhile, Accelerator-Driven Systems using thorium fuel are at the concept stage. The current development trajectory suggests that, by 2030, Generation IV technologies will be in pre-commercial development,4 while Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems will likely be at the experimental stage. However, if the development trajectory for these promising technologies were accelerated, we could envisage a very different future: by 2050, Generation IV reactor designs and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems could be generating in the order of 5 TW of nuclear electricity average capacity. This would complement the 2 TW coming from Generation III systems. In this vision for the future, all new commercial orders for nuclear power from 2030 or so would be for Generation IV and/or Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems. To achieve this, technical hurdles will clearly need to be overcome and the largely negative societal attitude toward nuclear technology will need to be addressed.

International collaboration International participation could be valuable for accelerating the development of an Integral Fast Reactor. For a Thorium Accelerator-Driven System, such an approach would be essential. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) – an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project funded and run by the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States – could be a collaborative model to be emulated by this initiative. The total price of constructing the ITER experiment is currently expected to be around €12.8 billion. An initiative of similar size for the Integral Fast Reactors and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems has the potential to yield commercial power facilities sooner than for nuclear fusion. Additional research into the modularity of these reactors would be included as part of the project, with the objective of designing and demonstrating factory-made reactors that can be exported as sealed units in order to unlock the long-term potential of nuclear power to the developing world.

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What is required to accelerate development? Equinox Summit participants focused on Pathways to accelerate the development of two technologies – Integral Fast Reactors (IFR) and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems (TADS). Although projects are moving ahead to demonstrate some components of these technologies, there is a need to accelerate progress and move more rapidly to commercial deployment. International, collaborative initiatives to demonstrate the viability of these technologies could help achieve this aim. The right level of commitment could see a demonstration Integral Fast Reactor be built by 2020 and a demonstration Thorium Accelerator-Driven System by 2030.

Unit 2 of the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station on Lake Erie, Michigan.

4 Nuclear Energy Agency, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD 2008). Available at the Generation IV International Forum: http://www. gen-4.org/Technology/evolution.htm

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Fuel rods being loaded into the B1 reactor core of the Chooz nuclear power station in the Ardennes region of France.

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Who could be involved? Potentially important collaborators for a collaboration on an Integral Fast Reactor would include Russia, which has expertise in metal-cooled nuclear systems (sodium and lead); the United States, because of their Integral Fast Reactor experience (EBR-II at Argonne National Laboratory), including development of the metal-fuel and pyroprocessing technologies (recycling of spent fuel through a heat-intensive extractive metallurgical process); as well as nuclear research leaders such as France, South Korea and others, who have also expressed interest in closing the fuel cycle and have practical experience with fast reactors or pyroprocessing methods. For a project to advance the Thorium Accelerator-Driven System, Europe and Canada would be ideal participants, considering their experience with particle accelerators, and India because of their interest and growing expertise in thorium. At present, many of these nations have small-scale technology projects of their own, but due to lack of information-sharing and differentiated expertise many lessons have to be re-learned, with significant time and


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financial resources wasted and effort potentially duplicated. Private sector involvement, to harness the technical talent within the nuclear industry, would also be important. Industry buy-in is also important for driving down costs in the long term and contributing to technological innovation in the short term. Actions Public funding, and public acceptance, will be essential to undertake this kind of multi-billion dollar international collaboration. Equinox Summit participants see two primary ways of doing this. One is to create awareness of the potential benefits of Integral Fast Reactors and Thorium AcceleratorDriven Systems. The other is to create legislation that provides incentives for innovation in the nuclear industry. To this end, Summit participants envisaged that activities to break down the societal barriers to implementation of these advanced nuclear technologies include a group focused on societal implementation, plus others targeting research and development goals. Timeline for implementation Timeline

Actions

2011- 2015: Research Demonstration

n Identify champion countries – potential leaders include Korea, Belgium and India n Mobilise investment and plan investment scenarios within each country.

2012

n A series of public talks to communicate the potential of the Integral Fast Reactor and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems n Possible forums include TEDx, World Economic Summit in Davos, AAAS Annual Meetings, World Future Energy Summit, Euroscience Open Forum, etc.

2015 - 2020: Commercialisation

n Build necessary support systems – develop sustainability standards, plans for capacity building n Build 300 MW modular IFR system ~ $10 billion/yr for large-scale deployment, including the commercial-scale demonstration of pyroprocessing of metal fuel.

2020 - 2030

n Generation IV: first commercial units n Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems reach experimental demonstration n Full demonstration of closed fuel cycle (Uranium plutonium/Thorium-uranium).

Beyond 2030

n Generation IV represents one-third of new commercial orders n Thorium Accelerator-Driven System = first commercial demonstration + use of thorium fuel n Fuel cycle fully closed.

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Off-grid electricity access

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‘Energy poverty’ can often limit access to safe drinking water.

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n estimated 2 billion people worldwide lack adequate access to electrical power or heat; 1.5 billion lack access to electricity and 85% of these live in rural areas.1 Without additional dedicated policies, by 2030 the number of people in this situation is only estimated to drop to 1.2 billion, with the majority of them living in sub-Saharan Africa. This situation, referred to as ‘energy poverty’, usually means a complete lack of access to electrical power, although the term can be applied to individuals who do not have access to a minimum of 100-120 kWh of electricity per capita per year2 for lighting, drinking water, communication, improved health services, education and other fundamental needs. The energy poor are forced to use dirtier and/or more expensive forms of energy – such as wood, charcoal, animal dung, or kerosene – to attend to basic needs such as cooking, lighting and heating. Lack of access to energy has extremely negative consequences for human rights, health, education, and economic development, and has been recognised as a significant barrier to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, a set of international targets aiming at eradicating extreme poverty by 2015. Because of this, energy poverty has become a major focus of efforts to address poverty generally through initiatives such as the World Bank’s Lighting Africa program, the Asian Development Bank’s Energy for All initiative, the United Nations naming 2012 the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, as well as smaller global efforts such as the Energy Poverty Action initiative formed by the World Economic Forum, and the European Union’s Alliance for Rural Electrification. Opportunities n A large proportion of the world’s population lives without reliable access to electricity, to the detriment of their health, education and livelihood. Some 85% of the 1.5 billion who lack access to electricity live in rural areas, the majority of them living in sub-Saharan Africa.3

1 International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook, 2010. 2 120 kWh as a threshold for basic electricity access was first proposed in Sanchez, T. The Hidden Energy Crisis: How Policies are Failing the World’s Poor, Practical Action Publishing, Rugby, UK. The International Energy Agency, however, puts the figure at 100 kWh. Source: the U.N Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), Energy for a Sustainable Future, April 2010. 3 International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook, 2010.


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n Although labelled ‘poor,’ these 1.5 billion people represent an enormous proven market for products that improve livelihood and productivity. Populations inhabiting the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ are recognised by many entrepreneurs as the untapped market of the 21st century. n Inexpensive, portable and durable technologies for generating even limited amounts of electricity could help spur a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for billions. By providing electricity for basic lighting, cooking and refrigeration, such technologies would lay the foundations for expanded education and economic development. n Organic Photovoltaic technologies, currently in development, are part of a suite of electricity-generating technologies that have the potential to make notable contributions to this effort – if applied research and early-stage uptake by niche markets can help drive down costs to affordable levels. Challenges n Many energy-poor regions, while rich in solar energy potential, currently lack the political and physical infrastructure to deliver technologies to energy-impoverished communities. Public policy and political support will be essential for opening access to these large potential markets, and subsequently harnessing the power of decentralised electrification into improved economic and social development. n Early demonstration units for Organic Photovoltaic technologies will have price points much too high for subsistence individuals and communities currently living in energy poverty without proper financing mechanisms. Driving down costs will also require identification of niche markets in developed contexts, whose uptake of early generation technologies can help drive the price point down. n Development challenges for Organic Photovoltaic technologies include demonstrating materials with greater than 10% efficiency, and increasing the lifetime of the organic material to greater than 10 years.4 n A lack of awareness by the energy poor of the political possibilities for enabling the reduction of energy poverty, as well as a lack of awareness by decision-makers and businesses that energy poverty can be better addressed with new technologies. n The energy poor are rarely considered viable customers of high technology.

n Improving affordability for end-users through microfinance services targeting the energy poor – as well as financing for importers, producers, and small-businesses – could speed the adoption of these technologies.

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Pathway to innovation n Improved coordination between governments, donor agencies and the private sector is needed to raise awareness of the massive untapped market represented by the energy poor, and to make businesses more secure in the knowledge that the opportunity is a viable one.

Inexpensive, portable and durable technologies for generating even limited amounts of electricity could help spur a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for billions. .

4 U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2010.“Best research-cell efficiencies.” Available at: nrel.gov/ncpv/images/efficiency_chart.jpg


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4 : Off-grid electricity access n Pilot programs involving niche application of Organic Photovoltaic technology by non-governmental organisations and international aid organisations could provide a springboard for development of the technology.

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George Disario

n An accelerated research and development Pathway for Organic Photovoltaic technology should aim to demonstrate greater than 10% efficiency of materials, increase the lifetime of the materials and manufacturing approaches for high throughput production among other goals.

Figure 1: Employees inspecting Konarka Power Plastic® (top) and organic photovoltaic applications in an off-grid context (above).

Bringing electricity to millions By 2030, the health, education, livelihoods and quality of life of many now living without access to electricity could be dramatically improved, if technologies such as Organic Photovoltaics could be made affordable and widely accessible. Durability, portability and flexibility will be essential characteristics for such technologies in order to enable their use in currently energy-poor settings. Organic Photovoltaic technologies – discussed in more detail in this chapter and in Part Two – in development today embody key characteristics that make them obvious choices for deploying them in poor, remote areas. For example, in contrast to other plate-based, rigid technologies, Organic Photovoltaics are flexible and extremely lightweight, meaning they can be installed in locations where other technologies are not feasible. They are also resilient and easy to maintain, making the logistics of transportation, installation and upkeep in both urban and remote locations more feasible without on-site technical expertise. Crucially, they are also very affordable compared to other options. Although Organic Photovoltaic cells will cost more per watt than energy produced by large-scale, centralised generation, because the energy poor often live far from electrical grids, they often are already paying prices many times higher than grid users for the energy that is made available to them. Additionally, for the energy poor, initial electricity access is not an issue of quantity, but quality, and access to even a small amount of reliable, selfgenerated electricity can dramatically improve quality of life. Renewable off-grid technologies offer delivery of usable electricity to the energy poor that is more reliable, affordable and cleaner than their current options. Currently however, Organic Photovoltaic technologies remain a number of years from commercialisation, and are still searching for markets. Summit participants believe it’s important for the energy poor to be identified as a significant viable market for these emerging technologies. Unlocking the energy poverty market Any Pathway aiming to radically improve energy access by 2030 must be broad in scope and multi-tiered. National and regional governments, international agencies, private investors and civil society all have their parts to play.5 One of the most fundamental issues in the political sphere is a lack of full awareness and appreciation of possibilities for overcoming energy poverty by politicians in many developing countries. Efforts need to be made to inform and train policymakers to better understand the root causes of energy poverty, as well as the economic, environmental and social benefits to be had by embracing the uptake of renewable energy technologies. Many energy-poor countries and regions are rich in renewable energy sources but lack the appropriate political and physical infrastructure to

5 U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2010.“Best research-cell efficiencies.” Available at: nrel.gov/ncpv/images/efficiency_chart.jpg


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THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

Policy planning

Policy content

Policy alliances

n Integrating energy poverty and energy into national development strategies n Incorporating broader stakeholder involvement in the policymaking process n Mainstreaming gender into energy policies n Adopting local needs-based energy planning, to promote the incorporation of off-grid energy into overall energy planning n Promoting deployment of renewable technologies through subsidies and incentives n Applying disincentives (such as taxes) to fossil fuels and energy n Setting national renewable energy targets n Funding research and development n Providing loan guarantees for energy access/energy poverty endeavours n Working closely with non-government organisations experienced in energy poverty issues n Improving dialogue with the private sector and encouraging public-private partnerships n Integrating the energy-related policies to other policies and programs, especially on poverty alleviation and rural productive investment

n Applying or creating South-South, and South-South-North knowledge networks (between developing nations and industrialised nations).

THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY

n Communicate the socio-economic value of businesses and governments understanding, and adapting, programs and technologies to local needs Communication

n Boost social acceptance of new but important technologies where their arrival may be initially unwanted or not understood

n Provide required training on basic technical and management skills n Provide participatory planning processes around the opportunities provided by the technology, the policy and the business models Facilitation & mediation

n Ensure the sustainability over time of newly introduced technologies or projects by engaging with communities. n Provide key information to policy-business networks on the most viable communities to undertake the initiatives n Ensure that non-economic community values are respected.

THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR

n Form partnerships with NGOs and social enterprises experienced with energy poverty issues to develop financial mechanisms that effectively link both large and small scale project developers with financiers (public and private) Business innovation

n Better address operational and technical dimensions of renewable energy projects to develop credible financial products

n Strengthen capacities to design and implement business models for renewable and energy poverty projects n Carry out more comprehensive market research in energy poor regions to better understand local needs and social Managerial resources

acceptance expectations of energy poverty reduction technologies.

Figure 2: The roles of government, civil society and the private sector in making this Pathway a reality.


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4 : Off-grid electricity access attract investments from the renewables sector. Fostering an enabling environment for the take-up and diffusion of multiple energy technologies via a mixture of centralised and distributed energy systems needs to be encouraged. For energy policies generally, this would broadly include establishing a transparent and predictable policy environment to attract investment, removing regulatory and administrative barriers to doing business, and actively working with the private sector more generally to better understand their needs. (See Figure 2 on previous page.) One of the main aims of a Pathway must be for businesses, governments and civil society to work together in building relationships based around better understanding one another’s needs, capabilities, roles and expectations, and, of course, those of the energy poor themselves. NGOs act as important ‘bridging organisations’ among different stakeholders in public–private partnerships. They reduce non-monetary transactional costs of stakeholder collaboration by incentivising investments in trust building, the identification of mutual interests and conflict resolution.6 Their collective experience working with communities on the ground makes them vital to understanding the needs, capabilities and expectations of the energy poor. As such, NGOs can play key roles in establishing and improving interactions between diverse groups involved in alleviating energy poverty – which in turn enhances the capacity of all parties to provide innovative solutions to the problem at hand.7 Accelerated ReseaRch and Development Pathway for Organic Photovoltaics Several research goals remain for those working to develop Organic Photovoltaic technology. These include: n Demonstrating materials with greater than 10% efficiency. Currently, Organic Photovoltaic cells are at 9% efficiency. Can we come up with a set of candidate compounds that go beyond this barrier? Low-bandgap polymers and next-generation PCBM-like acceptors could be explored. n Increasing the lifetime of the material to more than 10 years. We might explore photo-degradation and chemical degradation Pathways of families of Organic Photovoltaic candidate materials to explore which ones last longer. Additives such as photo-protection compounds may be valuable. Issues related to interfacial materials and electron transfer and hole blocking layers (e.g. PEDOT/PSS). n Exploring alternative electrode materials to supplant indium tin oxide. n Exploring organic tandem architectures. These can lead to much higher efficiencies. Is it possible to develop a coupled tandem device at a low price? n Developing manufacturing approaches for high through-put production.

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An African boy in Ouidah, Benin. Some 85% of the 1.5 billion who lack access to electricity are in rural areas, the majority of them living in sub-Saharan Africa.

n Understanding and predicting morphology and the long-term stability of morphology. Probably the least predictable and most ‘trial and error’ part of the process. How can we systematically understand and engineer morphology on demand?

6 Annual Review of Environment and Resources, November 2005. Folke, C. et al. “Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems”. 7 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Integrating Science & Technology into Development Policies: An International Perspective, May 2007.


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Introduction in niche settings Successful implementation of Organic Photovoltaic technologies by aid agencies, the military or in other similar settings could be used as a springboard to expand services into local rural communities and remote habitations. Military application of Organic Photovoltaic systems is possible. Currently, the defence departments and ministries and related institutions of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada (among others) are working to shift military energy use away from fossil fuels, particularly in the areas of rapid deployment and forward operating bases. Portable and flexible photovoltaic modules are already in use, and with further R&D on next generation solar technologies (coupled with energy storage), a feasible pathway exists. For example, aid organisations are often unable to meet the subsistence energy needs of displaced peoples.8 Flexible solar technology such as Organic Photovoltaics could provide this energy in refugee or internally displaced person camps, leading to increased health and security of displaced peoples in the short term and long-term mitigation of natural resource/ environmental strain and improved relations with local populations. Organic Photovoltaics is one of the many technologies that hold the potential to deliver a level of energy access that begins to break the back of the energy poverty issue. Whether the 100-120 kWh goal can be achieved is a matter of leveraging diversified local renewables resources with various available technologies, whatever they might be, in a sensible and sustainable fashion. actions Timeline

Actions

Within 1 year

n Identify possible partners (national governments, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Red Cross, women’s groups, microfinance firms, etc) and build relationships with those partners n Politics and civil society: energy poverty awareness-raising; financial dialogue (microfinance, adaptation) n Business: intellectual property rights and funding; financial dialogue n Academia, R&D: efficiency increases in Organic Photovoltaics; extend distributed computing programme for identifying novel molecules.

Within 5 years

n Comprehensive financial initiatives and options, and development of business models n Politics: targeted incentives for consumption or direct provision n Civil society: growing acceptance of technology n Business: scale-up of the production of printing equipment and film of Organic Photovoltaics.

Within 20 years

n Business: expansion of market n Academia, R&D: next-generation Organic Photovoltaics.

8 New Issues in Refugee Research, May 2009. Lyytinen, Eveliina. “Household energy in refugee and IDP camps: challenges and solutions for UNHCR�.

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Passive solar designs are a growing consideration in new constructions in modern cities, helping to minimise energy consumption for heating and cooling.

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Smart urbanisation


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he world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lived in urban centres. By 2030, the global population is expected to swell to almost 8 billion, with 60% living in cities, and urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. While mega-cities will account for a substantial part of this, most of the new growth will take place in smaller towns and cities, which have fewer resources with which to respond to the magnitude of such change. Fortunately, the coming expansion of cities provides an unparalleled opportunity - since they have yet to be built – to address a number of social and environmental problems, including the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. With good planning and enlightened governance, cities can deliver education, health care and other services more efficiently and with fewer emissions than less densely settled regions – such as rural areas – simply because of their advantages of scale and proximity. Improvements in how urbanisation unfolds are easier to manage, and can have a significant positive impact on energy use and consumption. The global movement of people into urban centres is a positive development: cities generate jobs and income, and present opportunities for social mobilisation and women’s empowerment, helping to address the energy poverty issues outlined earlier. In addition, the density of urban areas can help relieve population pressure on natural habitats and biodiversity. Building them sustainably from the outset is an opportunity to avoid a new future source of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as develop more liveable and efficient urban centres for future generations. Opportunities Cities represented two-thirds of global energy consumption in 2006 and this proportion is expected to grow to almost three-quarters by the year 2030.1 Transport is an important contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions of cities. In those with high densities that favour public transport, total transport energy consumption is four to seven times less than in cities with low densities. Summit participants proposed a high level of integration of existing technologies to deliver a Smart Energy Network that is information-rich, intelligently operated through a Smart Grid design, utilises superconductors for enhanced capacity of electricity transmission, and allows transportation needs to be met by multiple approaches not reliant on private ownership of vehicles which, coupled together, could be transformative. Improvements in how urbanisation unfolds will be easier to manage through widespread adoption of such technologies, and can have significant positive impact on energy use and consumption. These approaches include: n The widespread electrification of transport has the potential to make a substantial contribution to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use. n A shifting away from personal ownership of vehicles towards ubiquitous access to mobility through vehicle-sharing and mass transit could reduce 1 World Energy Council, Energy and Urban Innovation 2010.

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emissions, and have a significant positive impact on several aspects of urban life, such as pollution, traffic congestion and health. n New information and communication technologies, integrated and enabled through the development of Smart Electricity Grids can help reduce demand for electricity, manage loads and help make public mass transit more efficient and convenient. n The electricity needs of dense urban environments that incorporate electric vehicles and other innovations can be efficiently met through superconducting transmission and distribution infrastructure. Challenges n The electrification of cars and similar light-duty vehicles faces challenges that stem from limitations in storage technology. These barriers include higher capital costs, the range anxiety of users and integration issues. n The electricity supply infrastructure will need to be expanded, likely by an order of magnitude, if electricity becomes a primary source of power for transportation. n Behaviour change will be vital, both for reducing demand overall and, in particular, for vehicle use. Currently, ownership is a status symbol in many societies, meaning the shift to different models will require a change in attitudes. n The communications protocols and techniques for organising the data produced by information technology networks must be standardised; current communication systems that utilities are developing for smart meters will not be adequate to support full Smart Grid development.2 n Electric vehicles and the smart grid are closely linked. With Smart Technology, the grid can be an enabler for electric vehicles by maximising charging flexibility; without it, the grid may be a barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles. n Superconducting technology has not matured technologically and economically to be instantly deployed in dense urban areas, and requires more limited testing in the near term.

Amsterdam has the biggest electric car share project in the world, with 300 cars. The number of charging points in the city will grow to around 1000 in 2012.

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The most constructive way to support low-carbon urbanisation is through two Pathways to innovation: Smart Transport and Smart Cities. A description and timetables for action are outlined for each Pathway on the following pages.

2 Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario, Canada. Enabling Tomorrow’s Electricity System: Report of the Ontario Smart Grid Forum, 2009.


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Pathways to innovation Smart Transport n Extension of bicycle lanes in densely populated urban regions to encourage greater use of bicycles for daily commuting. Electric bicycles allow greater access to this mode of transport for less fit members of society. Improved bicycle lane safety features and bike lane awnings for protection against the elements would further enhance take-up and the move away from cars. Secure, weather- protected bicycle parking stations with recharging facilities for electric bicycles close to city centres would also offer range extension and peace of mind to those choosing this transport mode for their daily commute to work. Lithium ion batteries are expected to continue to be the dominant technology for electric bicycles, but further improvements in cycle life management will help to reduce replacement and operating costs. n To facilitate a greater shift to electric cars, urban planners also need to provide recharging stations at central locations and at all major shopping centres to reduce consumer range anxiety. Also, access to transit lanes by electric cars during peak driving times and discounts for free parking in the central business districts (adjacent to recharging stations) will further encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the shorter term. Further improvements in the energy density of lithium ion and lithium air batteries (expected to continue to be the dominant technology for electric cars in the short term) will help to remove range anxiety and lower capital costs; while improved cycle life management of batteries themselves will reduce replacement and operating costs. n Mass transit needs to be clean and zero emitting. Extension of electrified railway and tram lines will enhance access to these modes of public transport to a greater number of commuters encouraging a shift away from private cars. n The use of electric buses in urban areas will further reduce urban emissions while allowing a shift away from conventional carbon-based transport fuels. Unlike private car usage, however, buses need to be on the road for up to 20 hours a day, making conventional battery technologies – with their limited range and long charging times – unsuitable for mass transport applications. An alternative approach would involve the use of a mechanically rechargeable battery or fuel cell that allows rapid refuelling and unlimited range extension. Flow batteries, being a cross between a fuel cell and a regular battery, are unique in being both electrically and mechanically rechargeable, providing the greatest versatility in operation. Recent enhancements in the energy density of the Vanadium Redox Battery – by using mixed acid electrolytes – put the energy density into the range needed for implementation in electric buses and, with regular refuelling, will allow buses to stay on the road for up to 24 hours a day. The ability to recharge the spent solutions during off-peak electricity tariff times, or during periods of excess wind power generation, will also provide load levelling capabilities to the recharging infrastructure and eliminate the need to build additional power stations to meet the increased electricity demand from electric vehicle recharging.

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Pathways to innovation Smart Cities n Energy efficiency and integration of renewable energy should be enabled by information science and communication technologies.

A mobile phone base station. By 2030, urban residents could have access to modes of mass transit made fast, efficient and easy by smartphones.

n Existing buildings would need to be retrofitted and new buildings would need to be constructed with attention to passive solar and other efficient building designs. n Demand-management should utilise participatory incentive-based schemes and information networks to foster smarter energy choices by end-users. n The Smart City of the future will comprise energy-efficient building designs that not only incorporate low-energy intensive materials and appliances, but passive solar designs that minimise energy consumption for heating and cooling. n Greater integration of photovoltaic power systems in residential, commercial and industrial buildings will provide a wider distributed energy network that will reduce the need for additional transmission lines to meet the increased demand for power with increasing population numbers. n Integration of energy storage units close to the load – both at the substation and neighbourhood level – will provide greater electricity security and reduce the incidence of power outages caused by bad weather and insufficient generation and distribution capacity during very hot or very cold days.

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n Batteries are ideally suited for use in urban and residential areas since they are modular, are not site specific, are quiet and non-polluting and can be scaled from kW to MW sizes to meet the specific needs of the user. Smart transport In the cities of 2030, citizens could have access to modes of mass transit made fast, efficient and easy by smartphones, WiFi and other modes of information and communication technology. If they need a car, motorbike or truck, they could use an electric vehicle with low carbon emissions, perhaps as part of a car-sharing scheme. The core strategy in such a city would be to replace the idea of ownership with the principle of access. The technology to make much of this vision a reality is either available now, or within easy reach. Infrastructure such as smart grids – allowing information and communication technology to be interwoven with the electrical grid systems, along with other enabling elements – are emerging. Together they produce a net energy system that is flexible, responsive and efficient, compatible with electric transportation and a bi-directional flow of electricity. However, city authorities, planners and, crucially, individual citizens, need to be shown how each of these elements can work together to help them move around the urban environment quickly, easily and efficiently – in a way that meets their needs while reducing their impact on the environment. Crucially, as existing electricity supply infrastructure is put under stresses by electrification of transportation and the expansion of information and


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Pilot projects We propose the establishment of pilot projects in a small sample of cities around the world. The main objective of these is to create a ‘first version’ of the proposed model, with the opportunity to identify the key issues and challenges as well as to evaluate the triggered impacts based on the set out objectives.3 We propose to mostly focus on developing countries, which face the increasing detrimental effects of poor transportation systems, and where rapid growth means such changes may have the greatest immediate benefit. Potential pilot sites include the Lembang district of West Java, Indonesia. For the purpose of having a ‘down-to-earth’ understanding of the implementation level, we have structured our Pathways using a case study approach.

Case Study: Jakarta, Indonesia The population of Jakarta reached 9.5 million in 2010. As the centre of business, millions of people also commute to Jakarta from surrounding areas, and the number of vehicles on the roads is increasing substantially,4 leaving the city gasping as a result of chronic congestion, poor air quality and dangerous traffic.

Study of existing conditions To set out a feasible and sustainable strategy, an early stage in the process of developing a pilot site is to understand the existing needs of the transportation sector in Jakarta and liaising with authorities about existing regulations. In January 2010, the executive chair of the National Council on Climate Change of Indonesia submitted its voluntary national mitigation actions plan to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Indonesia is aiming for a 26% emission reduction by 2020 against the projection of its business-as-usual scenario.5 Shifting to a low-emissions transportation system was chosen as one of the actions to achieve this goal. Potential sources of funding for such a project include the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia), the United Nations Economic

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communication technology, transmission and distribution systems will become significantly undersized to meet these needs. As 85% of primary energy currently comes from fossil fuels, and considering that this number is even higher for transportation, the electricity supply infrastructure will need to be expanded dramatically – especially if electricity becomes a primary source of power for transportation – in addition to the demand requirements of a dense urban population for high quality energy. Participants in the Equinox Summit believe that demonstrations in pilot cities would serve as testing grounds for potential solutions. They could show the way to an urban future where getting around does not rely on burning oil and degrading air quality or contributing to climate change.

Every week 4 million people use Hong Kong’s subway, which has over 150 stations.

and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Centre for Regional Development, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit or German Agency for International Cooperation) and Veolia Transport (the international transport services division of the French-based multinational,Veolia Environnement). We believe Jakarta would be an ideal pilot city; Indonesia currently has 30 million Internet users and 3 million Blackberry users.6 The involvement of the private sector can also be attracted through the proposed vehicle-sharing and electric transportation concepts.

Encouraging a behaviour switch The proposed Pathway involves shifting end-users toward sustainable modes of urban transport. Initiatives to address institutional issues include campaigns for public acceptance and to promote the brand in collaboration with media. We propose to engage civil society and NGOs operating in Indonesia. Grassroots movements and lifestyle groups with members all across Indonesia can also be strategic partners in promoting sustainable urban transport. Another possible initiative is workshop-style policy engagement bringing together government, civil society, investors and businesses to develop business models and financing options.

3 Workplace Competence International Limited, Ontario, Canada. “Managing Pilot Projects: Some Guidelines Derived from Experience”, 2001. 4 Setiawati, I. “Jakarta’s population surpasses 15-year forecast”, Jakarta Post. 5 National Council on Climate Change, Jakarta, Indonesia. Witoelar, R. Indonesia Voluntary Mitigation Actions, January 2010. 6 BBC News, 15 June 2011. Safitri, D. “Why is Indonesia so in love with the Blackberry?”


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Actions Develop a flow battery powered electric bus and refuelling station demonstration project. Smart cities If the energy systems of the 20th century were built on the premise of cheap and abundant fossil fuels being available, then the energy systems of the 21st century are likely to be characterised by cheap and abundant use of information science and communication technology. This will enable more efficient energy use and integration of renewable energy through an integrated energy network. In coming decades, our cities could incorporate intelligent infrastructure that can accommodate renewable energy solutions to allow, for example, load to be matched to the availability of renewable energy, and for transport to be electrified. The truly paradigm-shifting potential of information and telecommunications-enabled distributed energy systems comes from opening up the energy sector to greater human-machine interaction. Energy is more than a technical problem. Energy supply and consumption are influenced by the behaviour of individuals and the ways incentives and prices determine the evolution of the overall energy system. Technology and behaviour co-evolve with each other over time. Fostering a Smart Culture Retrofitting existing buildings and incorporating passive and other efficient building designs will be vital early steps in the roll-out of smart grids. There also exists today a severe knowledge gap between developed and developing economies, one which will expand with the growth of population and urban centres. Creating a global grassroots ‘green urbanisation knowledge consortium’ will be one way to bridge that gap. Furthermore, to some extent the largest obstacle to sustainable development is culture – the way in which those of us currently connected to a large-scale grid, consume (and waste) energy. Some of the greatest value in demand-management, participatory programs and information networks is their impact on the global and localised cultures of consumption. Our Exemplar Pathway is to select a number of cities to host high-profile demonstrations of the transformational opportunities of technology, integrated with enabling policy platforms. The demonstration projects are organised into two categories: n ‘Low-hanging fruit’/emerging opportunities

A rack of rental bikes in a Paris street..

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n Carbon-neutral communities. Low-hanging fruit: within one to two years and ongoing The purpose of these demonstration projects is to illustrate the scale of overlooked opportunities, which are already cost-effective today for the reduction of climate-forcing emissions and land use changes (such as the destruction of carbon sinks). The concepts discussed at the Equinox Summit envisage the wide-scale deployment of the most cost-effective CO2-mitigation measures available to the market today. These include energy-efficient building retrofits, distributed cogeneration, distributed renewables combined with storage,


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heat pumps, solar hot water and space heating and smart metering. The key emphasis of this demonstration project is to harness economies of scale so the costs of building retrofits can be lowered, demonstrating the scale of CO2-mitigation that is possible without increasing housing costs. The deployment of these technologies should be accompanied and driven by policy actions such as: n Smart Grid standards, ‘decoupling’ schemes to incentivise adoption of energy-efficient measures by utilities n Energy-efficiency standards for buildings n Implementing incentives for demand management and demand response. Carbon-neutral communities: within 5 years and beyond In the ‘carbon-neutral communities’ demonstration project, the aim is to showcase the possibility of achieving genuine carbon-neutrality in an urban context, by way of a series of neighbourhood showcases. They would incorporate the ‘low-hanging fruit’ opportunities mentioned earlier, as well as higher cost measures. Such measures could include high penetrations of renewable energy generation with local storage, disincentives to the use of climate-forcing fuels, the encouragement of electric vehicle use, and a greater emphasis on energy efficiency and the displacement of fossil fuels. Piloting demonstrations in carefully selected neighbourhoods that combine these technologies could provide the knowledge needed for the developing world to leap-frog over the inefficient and unsustainable designs of the past. This initiative would involve: n Identifying neigbourhoods where low-carbon energy designs and technologies are being used n Identifying new land areas released for urban expansion and negotiating with governments and local planning authorities to provide incentives to developers to implement energy-efficiency and ‘energy self-sufficiency’ philosophies in new urban areas n Creating knowledge products and services, such as reports or smartphone applications, to communicate best practices between neighbourhoods n Implementing innovative policies such as a city-scale ‘tax and dividend’ scheme, increasing the cost of household electricity, and incentivising improvements in energy efficiency, while equitably redistributing the proceeds within the community, pro rata, to all householders n Using mass-marketing to increase the uptake of technologies that are being limited primarily by lack of awareness.

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In order to traffic congestion, many cities are developing light rail infrastructure, such as the Light-Rail LYNX system in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

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Realising the potential of superconductors: within 20 years and beyond The stresses on existing electricity distribution and supply infrastructure will be exacerbated by the growth of the electrification of transportation, and the information and communication technology expansion to meet broadband applications such as video conferencing, telepresence and telecommuting. Superconductivity – the ability for materials to exhibit zero resistance against the flow of electricity – has a role to play in all of this. In dense urban settings or locations with severe geographic limitations, superconductors can dramatically increase both the capacity and efficiency of power transmission by allowing much more current to pass through much narrower wires. Second generation high-temperature superconducting transmission wires have been deployed on a commercial scale in Japan, South Korea and the United States. To date, applications have been mainly linked to public-private partnership funding, or some niche markets. The main barrier to greater market penetration for superconductors is price performance – costs remain high. Consequently, some combination of sales volume and better wire performance will be needed for more widespread application.


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Actions Timeline

Actions

Within 1-2 years

n ‘Low-hanging fruit’/emerging opportunities n Summit participants (See Appendix for biographies of Summit participants): 1-3 months, identify appropriate partners (rewards program operator, target market); 4-12 months, negotiate strategic alliances with partners towards project implementation n Multi-stakeholder: wide-scale deployment of energy-efficient building retrofits, heat pumps, innovative metering n Politics and civil society: legislated energy-efficiency standards for buildings (ongoing periodic review) n Business: development of incentives for demand management and demand response n Business and government: mass-marketing technologies that are being limited primarily by lack of awareness n Academia, R&D: applied research to validate energy-related business and policy efforts aimed at climate change mitigation.

Within 5 years

n Multi-stakeholder actions: pilot demonstrations of carbon-neutral communities in carefully selected neighbourhoods n Continued uptake of ‘low hanging fruit’ opportunities, as well as urban co-generation, district heating, solar hot water and space heating, solar electricity generation n Waterloo Global Science Initiative: manage implementation and promotion of smart cities actions ‘embedded’ within value-aligned organisations n Politics: policies to advance smart grid applications at the utility scale, improved energy-efficiency standards for buildings (ongoing periodic review) • Policy support for niche military/defence applications of superconductors n Civil society: transformed social norms reflecting congruent economic and ecological sustainability, accelerated continuous and step-wise behaviour change n Business: technological and business model innovation Expand niche applications of superconductors with PPP funding and support. •

Within 20 years

n Business: sales volume increases needed for commercialisation of superconductors. n Academia and business: R&D efforts to increase superconducting wire performance and reduce costs.

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The first outcome of deliberations was the Equinox CommuniquĂŠ, a five-page summary of the visionary proposals for transformative action. Here, Summit participants brief visiting policy makers on 9 June 2011 before the public announcement.

Elizabeth Goheen

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introduction Summit participants present their proposals to invited guests and to a live TV audience on TVO on 9 June 2011. L to R: Jason Blackstock, Wilson da Silva and Jatin Nathwani chair the public session as Cathy Foley (Quorum) and Aaron Leopold (Forum) speak.

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applying the scientific perspective

P

art one of this document has focussed on the potentially transformative concepts and suggested pathways developed during the Equinox Summit. These ideas can be considered as catalysts for the massive change needed to make the global transition from a carbon-dependent energy system to one with a much lower carbon footprint. Our approach is to consider these technological pathways which help illustrate the kind of changes that could be made to create a more sustainable ‘electricity ecosystem’ that is less reliant on fossil fuels. This ecosystem, at different levels, comprises components that have to be integrated into a fully functional energy system. The goal is to deliver adequate amounts of high-quality energy services that meets the requirements of affordability, reliability, security and long-term sustainability to a growing population. Part Two of this document describes the scientific and technological underpinnings of each Exemplar Pathway, and the challenges and opportunities inherent in achieving a transition on a large scale over multiple decades through to the end of the 21st century. In the following chapters, Summit participants describe the essential scientific foundations proposed and the situational context that provides confidence in their evolution and potential. The topics covered include:

Members of the audience, including journalists and the public, listen to the presentations on 9 June 2011.

n Large-scale Storage for Renewable Energy n Geothermal Energy n Advanced Nuclear Power n Off-grid Electricity Access

The descriptions of the scientific and technical considerations in this section highlight the essential features of each of the technologies, their scientific context and the existing knowledge base that supports a rich ecosystem. Part Two also seeks to provide a link to the Pathways needed for a credible transition to a future where global energy use is much less reliant on fossil fuels. We highlight a select number of technologies that we believe offer the potential for transformative change. We have tried to go beyond the

Carrie Warner

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conventional thinking embedded in many of the current scenario-based assessments of energy futures. We believe that bold thinking is a necessary prerequisite if we are to create the confidence that will enable the necessary investments to be made in the scientific and technological infrastructure to deliver what we call a Low-carbon Electricity Ecosystem.

Feridun Hamdullahpur, WGSI Vice-Chair and President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Waterloo, speaking at the closing session of the Equinox Summit.

Jens Langen

challenges To address the global energy problem, we must confront several factors: the forecast exponential growth in global energy demand during the 21st century; the uneven distribution of population growth; the continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-based energy consumption; and the consequential deterioration of the global environment coupled with stress on the climate system. It is estimated that over the next four decades, global energy demand is expected to almost double from 16.5 TW to 30 TW.1 By 2030, world population is projected to rise by another 1.4 billion, with an associated increase in world energy consumption of 39%.2 If no action is taken, continued expansion and operation of fossil fuel infrastructure would lead to global warming of 2.4˚C to 4.6˚C by 21003 due to high levels of atmospheric CO2 concentration. The environmental stress resulting from this will create ripple effects that will undermine the economic livelihood, food supply and security of millions of people. Even though the need for action is clear and universally recognised, the large scale of change required for the deployment of low-carbon energy technologies has not been fully appreciated. Existing carbon-based energy infrastructure has a long, useful life, and its replacement will need to be synchronised with the requirements of growing demand, the daunting challenges of energy poverty and the need to limit or reduce carbon emissions. opportunities The Low-carbon Electricity Ecosystem we propose is one way of thinking through the reality of our existing high-energy civilisation and how its transition can be achieved with select transformative technologies. For example, de-carbonising the generation (or upstream) of an electricity system requires that generation technologies for ‘baseload’ power utilise scalable clean resources. However, not all energy forms are scalable, and not all energy technologies are suitable for baseload. Among the technologies considered at the Equinox Summit, three of them – Enhanced Geot hermal, Advanced Nuclear and Large-scale Storage for Renewables – have features and characteristics we believe are more amenable for centralised grid integration; while solar cells, particularly promising new technologies such as Organic Photovoltaics, are more suitable for localised and micro-grid level application. The four core elements of our Low-carbon Electricity Ecosystem comprise baseload power, smart urbanisation, electrified transport and off-grid electrification. It is not a scenario design, nor does it attempt to provide quantification on the economics of each component. It presents a logical approach to the challenges we now face in light of the global energy transition and what a vision for solutions might look like – and one that has the potential to break away from political stalemate.

1 One terawatt is equal to one trillion watts (or 1012 watts). 2 BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011; International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2010. 3 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007


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Rural/ introduction

Urban/ industrial

remote

Electrified/ page 51 transportation

Figure 1: As the Equinox Summit began, a model of the global electricity landscape (based on the generation, distribution and storage of electrical energy) was developed. As discussions progressed, a new model emerged – the Low-Carbon Electricity Ecosystem – which participants found to be better at helping conceptualise the enormous changes required.

Generation

generation

Distribution Distribution

Storage Storage

• Solar wind • Geothermal • Nuclear

Rural remote

Urban/industrial

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Nuclear

Superconductors

Smart grids

Solar

• Superconductors Geothermal • Smart grids

• Industrial Industrial • Consumer Consumer

Baseload • Large-scale storage for renewable energy • Geothermal • Advanced nuclear

Off-grid • Flexible solar and storage • Micro-grids

INNOVATION AND WEALTH CREATION Electrified transport • Storage

Smart urbanisation • Enhanced grid • Flexible solar • Superconductors


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Thanks to a partnership between TVO and Perimeter Institute, The Agenda with Steve Paikin – the network’s premier public affairs show – broadcast from the Equinox Summit nightly, and edited highlights of Equinox presentations also went to air. L to R: David Keith, Aaron Leopold, Maria Skyllas-Kazacos, Greg Naterer and Jeff Casello, with host Steve Paikin in the foreground.

energy 2030

introduction Within each element, we illustrate technologies that have the potential to bring about transformative change. We note and emphasise that each technology is an integral part of an ecosystem linked closely to its constituent parts, and its future evolution is subject to forces and stresses from the outside. For example, the Advanced Nuclear Technologies described in Chapter Three are Generation IV concepts with enormous potential. They are a logical technological evolution from the current generation nuclear technologies, utilising novel design concepts to close the nuclear fuel cycle by eliminating high-level nuclear wastes, reducing the threat of proliferation and providing an inexhaustible source of energy. If we are to think about a long-term energy transition, the Integral Fast Reactor design is an excellent example of a technology that can be scaled up to displace greenhouse emissions, with consequential positive impacts on the climate. Similarly, Enhanced Geothermal Systems are situated in a wider technological landscape of geothermal energy developments with great potential. Enhanced Geothermal Systems stands out within the spectrum of geothermal energy resources because it can provide baseload power that is renewable and produces no CO2 emissions. Large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar is critically dependent on storage. There are a number of storage technologies available (for example, compressed air energy systems, pumped hydro, flywheels, electrochemical batteries, superconducting magnetic

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energy storage, etc.), but their ability to be deployed on a large scale and at a capacity to meet the requirements of an operational power grid are a barrier to implementation. We describe one approach – using flow batteries – and how it can enhance and amplify the value of intermittent and variable generation resources. Flow batteries would be part of an ecosystem; they would compete with electrochemical batteries and establish their niche within the suite of storage technologies that also extends to superconducting magnetic energy storage, for example. We also propose superconducting technologies as a choice for transmission in dense urban environments, seeking to enhance the point that transmission requirements, such as the physical footprint of wires, are non-negligible issues if we are really going to make cities ‘smart’. Superconducting technologies fill this niche, but are less suited to long-distance transmission, in which high-voltage direct current (HVDC) is a more economical alternative. The Organic Photovoltaic technology described in Chapter Four is, again, very much a promising example from a spectrum of technologies that extends from silicon-based photovoltaics and thin-film solar technologies to the emerging next-generation nanotechnologies. The solar technologies can subsequently become part of a larger energy ecosystem that draws on additional energy resources to complement and enhance the level of energy service to those who have very little. The technologies we describe are illustrative examples of a promising series of transformational pathways. When they become part of an integrated energy system on a large scale, they can offer true value. The future evolution of any of the individual technologies may be uncertain, but we have chosen to focus on them because each holds great promise.

Breakout meetings during the working sessions were essential to developing the transformative ideas of the Equinox Summit. L to R: Forum members Wei Wei, Jakob Nygard, Zhewen Chen, Kerry Cheung and Vagish Sharma.


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Opportunities A range of options exists for managing the variability of renewable resources, each with strengths and weaknesses that differ across scale and situation. These include the use of natural gas generation as a complement to wind output generation, demand management or storage. Here, we focus particularly on renewables coupled with large-scale storage, because it has the potential to turn renewables into a serious contender for providing energy on large-scale with characteristics that nearly match those of baseload power. Increased storage in concert with the development of Smart Grids could also reduce transmission costs and decrease transmission system load. Ancillary services such as regulation, spinning reserve, supplemental reserve, replacement reserve, voltage control and black start services are also needed to intelligently smooth the integration of storage into the system. 1 InterAcademy Council. Lighting the Way:Towards a Sustainable Energy Future 2007.

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enewable energy sources offer a great potential for producing energy on a large scale with low greenhouse gas emissions. The resource adequacy of renewables is generally not an issue, although some parts of the world have more geographical limitations than others. Even when practical limitations are factored in, the remaining resource base remains enormous. The challenges are how to capture these dilute, low energy-density, intermittent, variable and geographically dispersed energy resources where they are needed and when they are needed, at reasonable cost. The variable and intermittent nature of renewable sources such as solar power or wind means that they are currently only partially dispatchable – making it difficult to integrate them into electricity supply grids. Largescale storage is therefore the critical technology required to enable solar and wind to ‘mimic’ the characteristics of baseload generation, and subsequently assume a greater role within the global energy supply mix. Modern electrical grid systems have been designed primarily to accommodate constant, baseload energy from sources such as natural gas and coal-fired power plants, hydroelectric dams and nuclear power. At current levels of penetration, the intermittency of renewables such as wind and solar is generally manageable. As renewables penetration expands in the long-term to significantly higher levels, however, the intermittency issue may become more salient and may require some combination of innovative grid management techniques, improved grid integration, dispatchable back-up resources, and cost-effective energy storage technologies.1 Over the next 30-70 years, sustained efforts will be needed to realise the potential of renewable energy as part of a comprehensive strategy that supports a diversity of resources options for energy over the next century.


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UPS POWER QUALITY

T & D GRID SUPPORT LOAD SHIFTING

BULK POWER MANAGEMENT

Compressed air energy storage

Flow batteries: Zn-Cl, Zn-Br Vanadium redox New chemistries NaS battery Advanced lead-acid battery

High-energy supercapacitors

Figure 1: Comparison of discharge time and power rating for various EES technologies. The comparisons are of a general nature because several of the technologies have broader power ratings and longer discharge times than illustrated.2

Li-ion battery Lead-acid battery NiCd NiMH

Seconds

High-power flywheels

High-power supercapacitors 1 kW

10 kW

100 kW

1 MW

10 MW

100 MW

1 GW

SOURCE: Maria Skyllas-Kazacos

System power ratings, module size

Figure 2: A 1-10 kWh VRB installed by UNSW in a Solar Demonstration House in Thailand in the mid1990s (top) and 5kWh VRB lab test battery (bottom).

Flow batteries and electrochemical storage systems Four main types of energy storage technology for large-scale grid applications are available: mechanical, electrical, chemical and electrochemical (see Figure 1 for a comparison of discharge time and power ratings). In the ecosystem of energy storage technologies, discussions at the Equinox Summit focused on electrochemical batteries and flow batteries in particular – a storage technology that has the potential to address the intermittency and variability characteristics of renewables. Flow batteries have been receiving significant attention of late, and several concepts are at advanced stages of research and development. Since the 1970s, numerous types of flow battery systems have been investigated, including iron/chromium, vanadium/bromine, bromine/ polysulfide, zinc-cerium, zinc/bromine and all-vanadium. The all-vanadium (1.26 V) and zinc/bromine (1.85 V) systems are the most advanced, and have reached the demonstration stage for stationary energy storage. Interest in the all-vanadium system is based on having a single cationic element so that the crossover of vanadium ions through the membrane upon long-term cycling is less deleterious than with other chemistries.3 Flow batteries work by storing energy as charged ions in two separate tanks

2 Science 18 November 2011. Dunn, Bruce et al.“Electrical Energy Storage for the Grid: A Battery of Choices”. Derived from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Electrical Energy Storage Technology Options 2010, Palo Alto, California, USA. 3 Journal of Power Sources, September 1989: Bartolozzi, M. “Development of Redox Flow Batteries: A Historical Bibliography”. Science 18 November 2011: Dunn, Bruce. “Electrical Energy Storage for the Grid: A Battery of Choices”. Journal of the Electrochemical Society 1986. Skyllas-Kazacos, Maria et al. “New All-Vanadium Redox Flow Cell”.

ADAPTED FROM: Electric Power Research Institute, 2010

NaNiCl2 battery

Minutes

Discharge time at rated power

Hours

Pumped hydro


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of solutions, one to store the electrolyte for the positive electrode reaction and the other to store electrolyte for negative electrode reaction – all using one common electrolyte. To discharge, the electrolyte flows to a redox cell where the electron transfer reactions take place at inert electrodes, producing electric current; and all this with only two moving parts.5 The simplicity of the electrode reactions contrasts with those of many conventional batteries that involve, for example, phase transformations, electrolyte degradation, or electrode morphology changes. Perhaps their most attractive feature is that power and energy are uncoupled, a characteristic that many other electrochemical energy storage approaches do not have. This gives considerable design flexibility for stationary energy storage applications. The capacity can be increased by simply increasing either the size of the reservoirs holding the reactants or increasing the concentration of the electrolyte. In addition, the power of the system can be tuned by either: 1) modifying the numbers of cells in the stacks; 2) using bipolar electrodes, or 3) connecting stacks in either parallel or series configurations. This provides modularity and flexible operation to the system.6

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Figure 3: Schematic of the various components for a redox-flow battery. The cell consists of two electrolyte flow compartments separated by an ion-selective membrane.The electrolyte solutions, which are pumped continuously from external tanks, contain soluble redox couples. The energy in redox-flow batteries is stored in the electrolyte, which is charged or discharged accordingly. In practice, individual cells are arranged in stacks by using bipolar electrodes. The power of the system is determined by the number of cells in the stack, whereas the energy is determined by the concentration and volume of electrolyte. In the vanadium redox-flow battery shown here, the V(II)/V(III) redox couple circulates through the negative compartment (anolyte), whereas the V(IV)/V(V) redox couple circulates through the positive compartment (catholyte).7

Moreover, since the electrodes themselves do not undergo any reaction, they do not suffer from any changes that can lead to deterioration. This is important because it means that these batteries could have significantly longer cycle lives than conventional batteries such as lead-acid and lithium.

Ion-selective membrane

Electrode

Electrolyte tank

page

O2+

Electrolyte tank

V4+ V3+

4+

O2+V

+ Catholyte V4+/V5+

H+ H+ O2+

O2+

H+

– Anolyte V2+/V3+

H+

2+

V5+ O

e

e V2+

H+

V2+

e Pump

e

Pump

Power source-load

4 Electric Power Research Institute 2003. EPRI-DOE Handbook of Energy Storage for Transmission & Distribution Applications. 5 Electric Power Research Institute 2010, “Energy Storage Technology Options” white paper. 6 The Electrochemical Society Interface 2010: Doughty, D. H. et al. “Batteries for Large-scale Stationary Electrical Energy Storage”. Science 18 November 2011. Dunn, Bruce et al. “Electrical Energy Storage for the Grid: A Battery of Choices” The Electrochemical Society Interface Fall 2010: Nguyen,T et al. “Flow Batteries”.

Adapted from: Electrochemical Energy Storage for Green Grid, 4 March 2011

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The use of solutions to store energy also makes the batteries relatively easy to recharge by conventional charging methods, or even by replacing the electrolytes in use, like refilling a fuel tank – discharged electrolyte can just be replaced with freshly charged electrolyte. In the case of Vanadium Redox Batteries, not only can the vanadium electrolyte be recycled (it may be used semi-permanently) but it can operate at room temperature, significantly increasing life cycle.8 Uniquely, simply raising the volume of electrolytes in the external storage tanks can increase the storage capacity of flow batteries – allowing very low incremental costs for increased storage capacity. Capital costs per kWh of installed capacity therefore drop significantly as a function of storage time, while the long cycle life means replacement costs are also very low compared with other types of batteries. Vanadium Redox Batteries produce very little waste, particularly Figure 4: 200 kW/800 kWh Vanadium Redox Battery when compared to other technologies. Additionally, the most acidic component installation at the Kashima-Kita Electric Power station in of a Vanadium Redox Battery is the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte, meaning Japan (installed in the mid-1990s). these batteries contain one-third the acidity of a lead–acid battery.9 An important consideration – considering recent controversies over rare earth minerals supplies on which many technologies rely (including wind turbines and other advanced battery technologies) – is the global supply of a resource such as vanadium. It’s worth noting that the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated the world’s vanadium supply is far more than what would be necessary to supply storage for total global electricity production.10 Over the past two decades, demonstration projects using Vanadium Redox Batteries have been developed around the world. In Denmark there is a 15 kW/120 kWh unit operating in a Smart Grid configuration. Australia’s Hydro Tasmania has developed a 200 kW/800 kWh unit on King Island, and JPower is operating a 4 MW/6 MWh unit in Tomamae, Hokkaido in Japan.11 Figure 5: Commercial characteristics of By far the largest projects are concentrated in the USA, Japan, Europe, China different battery technologies. and Australia. It is valuable to note the range of applications for Vanadium Redox Batteries, from smaller 10 000 scale off-grid applications to High power the potential of megawattE.C. capacitors scale integration into the grid. High power fly wheels To date there are more than Long duration Li-ion 20 multi-kW to MW scale fly wheels demonstration projects in Ni-Cd 1 000 place around the world.12 Better for Capital cost per unit energy ($/kWh-output) Cost/capacity/efficiency

adapted from: electricity storage association

SOURCE: Maria Skyllas-Kazacos

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Lead-acid batteries

NaS battery

Zinc-air battery Rechargeable

Long duration E.C. capacitors

100

Flow batteries Pumped hydro CAES Metal-air batteries

Better for UPS and power quality applications

10 100

300

1 000 Capital cost per unit power ($/kW)

3 000

10 000

Electrochemical batteries and other energy storage systems Besides flow batteries, various electrochemical storage technologies abound. In general, they possess a number of desirable features, including pollution-free operation, high round-trip efficiency, flexible power and energy characteristics to

7 Science 18 November 2011. Dunn, Bruce et al.“Electrical Energy Storage for the Grid: A Battery of Choices”. Chemical Reviews 2011:Yang, Z. et al “Electrochemical Energy Storage for Green Grid”. 8 SEI Technical Review, June 2000:Tokuda, N. et al. “Development of a Redox Flow Battery System”. 9 Environmental Health Perspective 2007: Holzman, D.C. “The Vanadium Advantage: Flow Batteries Put Wind Energy in the Bank”. 10 Ibid. 11 EPRI 2003 - see 4. 12 See 3.


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meet different grid functions, long cycle life, and low maintenance. Batteries represent an excellent energy storage technology for the integration of renewable resources. Their compact size makes them well-suited to use at distributed locations, and they can provide frequency control to reduce variations in local solar output and to mitigate output fluctuations at wind farms. Although high cost limits market penetration, the modularity and scalability of different battery systems provide the promise of a drop in costs in the coming years.13 See Figure 5 for commercial characteristics of different battery technologies.14 Electrochemical battery technologies provide direct conversion between chemical and electrical energy, allowing for storage of any source of electricity. While they promise considerable commercial value and an effective mitigation of intermittency they are, however, less commercially advanced than other storage systems such as lead-acid batteries or pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

Flywheels

Current

Current Batteries

Figure 6: Characteristic times for energy storage and cost benefit data.15 1 hr

100 hrs 1 000 hrs

Advanced

$3 000/kW–$5 000/kW

$1 500/kW–$3 000/kW Lead acid $1 750–2 500/kW Sodium sulphur $1 850–2 100/kW Flow battery $1 545–3 100/kW

10 hrs

Advanced

Advanced

CAES Pumped hydro

$600

Current

$750/kW

$1 000

Current

$4 000/kW

Load levelling Peak reduction Spinning reserve Power quality applications $400–1 000/kW

$800–2 000/kW

$400/kW

Stability applications

$600–1 000/kW Benefit breakeven $/kW

Seasonal storage

Enhanced load following Reliability, investment, deferral, renewable energy

$400–700/kW

$400–1 100/kW

13 See 2. 14 Electricity Storage Association, USA. See http://www.electricitystorage.org/technology/storage_technologies/technology_comparison 15 Developed by the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, 2011. Data from The Electricity Journal 2010: Culver, W. J. “High-Value Energy Storage for the Grid: A Multi-Dimensional Look”.

adapted from: Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, 2011

Energy storage for grid applications Figure 6 captures the commercial viability requirements and cost effective aspects of different storage solutions for grid applications. Besides electrochemical batteries, there are many different types of energy storage, each suited to specific types of application. Historically, however, they have all shared a common trait: a very high price due to the low production volumes of each technology. This is beginning to change. Advances in battery, flywheel, compressed-air and fuel cell technologies, as well as new and creative approaches to pumped storage, are lowering the cost of energy storage. More importantly, thanks to renewables, a market for storage has now emerged and this is attracting investment that is allowing more widespread field-testing and a scale-up in production that will lead to significant cost reductions. ENERGY STORAGE FOR GRID APPLICATIONS Innovation around Time scale 3.6 ms ‘process’ storage – a way of intelligently managing Cost $/kW 1 cycle 1 sec 1 min loads in the commercial Super capacitors Current $250–350/kW and industrial sectors to mimic the functions of SMES $350 Current $500/kW storage – presents another


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10 h

T&D facility deferral

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T voltage regulation

Customer energy management

Rapid reserve

1h

Storage time (min)

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0.1 Power quality and reliability Transmission system stability

0.01

0.001 10 kW

1s

100 ms 100 kW

1 MW

10 MW

100 MW

Storage power requirements for electric power utility applications

Figure 7: Storage power requirements for electricity power utility applications.16

promising option. At the same time, forecast higher electricity prices will improve the economics of these technologies and approaches.17 Not all storage systems can be applied to electric power utility that integrates scalable renewables generation. When considering baseload integration, there are several critical storage metrics that need to be considered. A comparison of how capable each storage system is for grid application is shown in Figure 8. Vanadium Redox Battery technology, as described earlier, favours applications with a high energy to power ratio (kWh/KW), namely applications requiring several hours of storage. They are capable of discharging at maximum design power for a period of 4-10 hr. In terms of footprint and space requirements, they scale with system ratings with relatively large footprint. For typical grid applications, the Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) systems are best suited to load-shifting applications involving shifting 10 hours of stored energy from periods of low value to periods of high value. They are generally not suited to applications such as grid angular stability, grid voltage stability, grid frequency excursion suppression, and regulation control. As shown in Figure 7, no single energy storage system can match the multiple device requirements for large-scale grid applications. We describe briefly an alternative storage system, the Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES), to illustrate how its capabilities complement those of the VRB system.

16 Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario, Canada, 2011: Modernizing Ontario’s Electricity System: Next Steps: Second Report of the Ontario Smart Grid Forum. 17 Electricity Storage Association, at: http://www.electricitystorage.org/technology/storage_technologies/technology_comparison


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Storage Technologies

Main Advantages (relative)

Disadvantages (relative)

Power Application

page

Energy Application

Pumped Storage

High capacity, low cost

Special site requirement

CAES

High capacity, low cost

Special site requirement, need gas fuel

Flow batteries: PSB,VRB, ZnBr

High capacity, independent power and energy ratings

Low energy density

Metal-Air

Very high energy density

Electrical charging is difficult

NaS

High power and energy densities, high efficiency

Production cost, safety concerns (addressed in design)

Li-ion

High power and energy densities, high efficiency

High production cost, requires special charging circuit

Ni-Cd

High power and energy densities, high efficiency

●◗

Other Advanced Batteries

High power and energy densities, high efficiency

High production cost

Lead-Acid

Low capital cost

Limited cycle life when deeply discharged

Flywheels

High power

Low energy density

SMES, DSMES

High power

Low energy density, high production cost

E.C. Capacitors

Long cycle life, high efficiency

Low energy density

Figure 8: Storage power requirements for electricity power utility applications.18

18 Ibid.

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● ● ●◗

● ●

● ●

●◗

Legend: ● Fully capable and reasonable ◗ reasonable for the application feasible but not practicable or economic not feasible

adapted from: Electricity Storage Association

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6 : large-scale storage for renewable energy SMES Systems Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) systems store energy in the magnetic field created by the flow of direct current in a superconducting coil which has been cryogenically cooled to a temperature below its superconducting critical temperature. Since energy is stored as circulating current, energy can be drawn from an SMES unit with almost instantaneous response, with energy stored or delivered over periods ranging from a fraction of a second to several hours.19 SMES was originally envisaged for large-scale load levelling. However, its rapid discharge capabilities allowed its implementation in electric power systems for pulsed-power and system-stability applications. SMES systems have attracted the attention of both electric utilities and the military due to their fast response and high efficiency (a charge-discharge efficiency in excess of 95%).20 This fast response makes SMES suitable to provide benefits to many potential utility applications. Some of the core applications include energy storage of up to 5 000 MWh, instantaneous load following, stabilisation of system oscillations, spinning reserve capacity and so on. As with VRB, the power utility integration characteristics of SMES denote constraints and limitations if they are deployed as stand-alone solutions; yet the combination of VRB with SMES has the potential to complement the comparative disadvantage of each technology.

Wind turbines can produce energy on a large scale with low greenhouse gas emissions.

Challenges There a number of barriers to full commercialisation of flow batteries like VRB systems, particularly in scale-up, capital and cycle-life costs and optimisation. Despite the apparent advantages for redox-flow batteries, application of this technology to stationary energy storage is still uncertain. One principal reason is that redox-flow systems have been limited to relatively few field trials. In contrast, other battery technologies have benefitted from extensive experience in the development of products for portable electronics and automotive applications. A related disadvantage of flow batteries is the system requirements of pumps, sensors, reservoirs and flow management.21 A priority for the expansion of like VRB systems is the reduction of manufacturing costs per kW by using low-cost materials or by achieving a higher electric current density (current or power output per unit area of electrode in the cell stack).22 Increasing current density means more power can be generated per unit area of membrane and electrode material, so the cost per kW can be reduced. This requires the development of low-cost membranes, and electrodes with lower electrical resistance and good electrochemical performance –research areas already receiving considerable attention around the world. Manufacturing costs can, however, also be reduced by automation and increased production volume, but this can only happen when the energy storage market is fully developed. Another important research and development priority is in the ionic exchange membrane, which is the most expensive component of the entire apparatus. Developing inexpensive, chemically stable membranes not subject to fouling by impurities in the electrolyte medium will not only lower the cost of the batteries, but also allow for lower purity – and less expensive –vanadium oxide materials to be used in producing the electrolyte.23

19 IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy 2010: Ali, M. H. et al “An Overview of SMES Applications in Power and Energy Systems”. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 22 See 6. 23 See 8.


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A further challenge is volatility in the price of vanadium pentoxide. While historical prices have been acceptable, fluctuations in recent years have created uncertainty for prospective investors and customers. Current vanadium production is linked to demand from the steel industry, and any spikes in this demand have impacted global vanadium supply and prices. Recent investment in new vanadium mines in Canada, the USA, Australia and elsewhere is expected to stabilise both the supply and price of vanadium globally. For full-vanadium systems, the low energy density of the electrolyte presents a limiting factor on system portability. Without significant advances, applications in transportation are minimal. Though this is not the only type of flow battery – vanadium-halide and mixed acid systems for instance have been proposed for use in buses or vans.24

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Workers set up an electrical substation in Santiago, Chile.

Concluding remarks Flow batteries are among many storage solutions that can enhance and amplify the value of intermittent and variable renewable resources for baseload integration. They are illustrative examples of what niche they can fulfil in terms of power and energy requirements for grid applications. Electricity energy storage alone does not solve all the problems associated with the grid integration characteristics of renewables. Transmission and distribution systems, and ancillary services, are responsible for managing the flow of electricity. However, storage provides a well-established time dimension solution, critically strengthening power quality and reliability from renewable generation.

24 Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 27 June 2011: Skyllas-Kazacos, Maria et al.“Progress in flow battery research and development�.

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Enhanced geothermal power

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eothermal power is an attractive source of clean, abundant baseload electricity. With deep enough drilling (more than 4 km), every country in the world could potentially have access to a large amount of this renewable energy resource. Geothermal power currently represents only 0.3% of the world’s electricity supply, although it has enormous potential. Some of the benefits for developing geothermal power include energy security, the reduction of pollution, its low ecological footprint and job creation. One critical challenge facing geothermal power includes the large upfront capital cost for geothermal projects. Costs for geothermal electricity generation can be a competitive resource if deployed on a large scale. Closely linked to the economic constraints is a widespread perception that commercially exploitable sites are too limited in their distribution. In addition to this is a public concern that drilling for geothermal power increases the potential for induced seismic risks. This chapter identifies the various forms and current status of geopower, as well as the future potential of Enhanced Geothermal Systems.

SOURCE: WIKIMEDIA

The Krafla geothermal power plant in Iceland produces 60 MW of energy. Iceland’s five major geothermal power plants produced approximately 26.2% of the nation’s energy in 2010.


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Crust

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Mantle Not to scale

km

Earth crust 6, 37 0

Opportunities Geothermal energy is a large resource capable of providing a significant proportion of the global energy demand. It makes use of the immense heat content of the Earth, either directly in applications such as heating or as a means of generating electricity. Geothermal energy has been used to generate electricity since 1904. It currently provides around 10.7 GW of power in 26 countries.1 Most of that existing capacity comes from geothermal sources in regions where geological conditions permit water or steam to ‘transfer’ the heat from deep hot zones to near the surface, thus giving rise to geothermal resources. In order for geothermal energy to be economically exploited, however, special geologic conditions are required. These conditions range from shallow rock and sediments saturated with groundwater, to hot water and hot rocks several kilometres below the Earth’s surface.2 It has been estimated that we have not accessed all of those conventional geothermal resources, and that a global minimum of 190 GW – equivalent to roughly 250 nuclear power plants – remains to be exploited, even using current technology.3 Conventional geothermal systems are derived predominantly from resources with high enthalpy related to hydrothermal systems (enthalpy is a measure of the total energy in a thermodynamic system; in this instance, higher than 150°C/300°F). Hydrothermal systems may be either waterdominated, vapour-dominated, or a mixture of the two. Waterdominated fields can be recognised at the surface at temperatures near boiling point or in the presence of thermal springs or geysers. In exploiting this resource, hot water is withdrawn from the reservoir through a production well and ‘flashed’ (or vaporised) in a flash steam plant. Some water-dominated hydrothermal systems that have already been exploited include those of the Pannonian basin (Hungary), the Paris basin (France), the Aquitanian basin (France), the Po River valley (Italy), Klamath Falls (Oregon, USA), and in Tianjin (China).4 In addition to these conventional resources, there are several emerging technologies in the geothermal arena for generating electricity. They include:

Asthenosphere Lithosphere

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Mantle Outer core Inner core

2,900 km

Figure 1: With deep enough drilling, almost any country could access geothermal energy.

n Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) designed to enable costeffective production of electricity at sites that lack sufficient rock permeability and/or water for conventional geothermal technologies n Co-produced systems that use hot water extracted during the oil and gas recovery process to produce electricity; these systems are innovative in their use of water but can use either conventional or emerging generating technologies to produce electricity n Advanced binary-cycle plants that use organic fluids with even lower boiling points than traditional binary-cycle plants, enabling more efficient power conversion at low temperatures or from fluids extracted using EGS.5 1 International Energy Agency, Geothermal Road Map 2011. 2 Geological Survey of Canada 2011: Grasby, S.E. et al. Geothermal Energy Resource Potential of Canada. 3 Pike Research 2011: Renewable Energy Generation from Conventional, Enhanced Geothermal Systems, and Co-Produced Resources: Market Analysis and Forecasts. 4 Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2002: Barbier, Enrico. “Geothermal energy technology and current status: an overview”. 5 U.S. Department of Energy 2009:

Cross, J. et al. Geothermal Technologies Market Report. U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2011: Salmon, J.P. et al Guidebook to Geothermal Power Finance. GE Global Research 2010: High-Potential Working Fluids for Next Generation Binary Cycle Geothermal Power Plants. U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program Projects Database – see http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/projects/projects.cfm/ProjectID=177

adapted from: barbier, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2002

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7 : Enhanced geothermal power Enhanced Geothermal Systems Within the ecosystem of geothermal energy applications and technologies, the Equinox Summit identified Enhanced Geothermal Systems as one of the more promising options for meeting the requirement of baseload generation on a large scale. Enhanced Geothermal Systems aim to use the heat of the Earth in a much wider range of locations – where there is insufficient steam or hot water, and where permeability is low. (See Figure 2 below) Enhanced Geothermal Systems involves enhancing the permeability of the Earth’s crust by opening pre-existing fractures and/or creating new fractures deep into the ground, typically more than 1.5 km below the surface. Heat is extracted by pumping a transfer medium, typically water, down a borehole into the hot fractured rock and then pumping the heated fluid up another borehole to a power plant, from where it is cooled and recirculated to repeat the cycle. While conventional geothermal power plants are limited to the few areas where suitable hydrothermal resources exist, Enhanced Geothermal Systems can be implemented over vast areas of the globe where hot dry rocks are found. With established capacity for drilling up to depths of approximately 4 km, every country in the world could have access to this renewable energy resource.

HOT SEDIMENTARY AQUIFER

ENHANCED GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM

Power

Power

Insulating sediments

Insulating sediments

ADAPTED FROM: AGEA, 2010

Underground water reservoir

Closed system

Sandstone or carbonates Heat source

Hot fractured granite

Figure 2: Enhanced Geothermal Systems compared to Hot Sedimentary Aquifer. 6 The second image at left shows that one well is drilled and pressurised to create fractures, while a second well is drilled into the far side of the fracture zone. Cold water is then pumped down one well and steam is extracted from the other. 7

6 Sustainable Energy – Without The Hot Air 2008: Mackay, David J.C., UIT Cambridge. ISBN 978-0-9544529-3-3 7 Australian Geothermal Energy Association 2010: Geothermal Energy for Victoria, Presiding Officer’s Science Series Note No. 2. http://www.agea.org.au/news/.


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Electricity

Max

Min 5 Depth (km)

3

3 km

Direct uses

Figure 3: Geothermal technical potentials for electricity and direct uses (heat). Direct uses usually do not require development to depths greater than about 3 km.9

Figure 4: Geothermal technical potentials on continents for the IEA regions.13

Electric technical potential (EJ/yr) at depths to: region

5 km

Technical potentials (EJ/yr) for direct uses

10 km

Lower

Upper

Lower

Upper

Lower

Upper

Lower

Upper

OECD North America

25.6

31.8

38.0

91.9

69.3

241.9

2.1

68.1

Latin America

15.5

19.3

23.0

55.7

42.0

146.5

1.3

41.3

OECD Europe

6.0

7.5

8.9

21.6

16.3

56.8

0.5

16.0

Africa

16.8

20.8

24.8

60.0

45.3

158.0

1.4

44.5

Transition economies

19.5

24.3

29.0

70.0

52.8

184.4

1.6

51.9

Middle East

3.7

4.6

5.5

13.4

10.1

35.2

0.3

9.9

Developing Asia

22.9

28.5

34.2

82.4

62.1

216.9

1.8

61.0

OECD Pacific

7.3

9.1

10.8

26.2

19.7

68.9

0.6

19.4

117.5

145.9

174.3

421.0

317.5

1 108.6

9.5

312.2

Total

67

Thermal

Electric or thermal (EJ per yr)

Based on stored heat estimates, it has been estimated that 118-146 EJ/year of geothermal 1 200 energy could be generated at 3 km depth, and 318-1 109 EJ/year at 10 km.8 (See Figure 3) Geothermal generation could reach 1 400 1 000 TWh per year – as much as 3.5% of worldwide electricity – within four decades, up from 0.3% 800 today, avoiding almost 800 Mt of CO2 emissions.10 As a source of energy, geothermal is independent 600 of weather conditions – in contrast to solar, wind, or hydroelectric applications. It has an inherent storage capability and can be used both for baseload 400 and peak power plant.11 Geothermal energy has the virtue of even distribution around the globe and is 200 thereby accessible to almost every nation. Even a landlocked state such as Rwanda, without a rich endowment of natural resources, 0 10 has prospective areas for geothermal energy exploitation. Developments currently underway will enable Rwanda to produce 310 MW of power by 2017 with the possibility of an increase to 700 MW.12 Figure 4 shows the geothermal potential for various regions. Demonstration phase Enhanced Geothermal Systems projects are underway, with one small plant operating in France and another pilot project in Germany. Considerable investment has been made in Enhanced Geothermal Systems exploration and development in Australia in recent years, while the U.S. has revived a national geothermal program for Enhanced Geothermal Systems research, development and demonstration.14 Geothermal energy has been identified by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) as one of the most important energy resources, and one that is likely to be of strategic interest to Australia over the next few decades. There appear to be some issues with the maturity of the technology that will require further research, development and demonstration activities to reduce the risk of

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8 EJ denotes exajoules; 1 EJ is equal to 1018 joules. 9 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2011: Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. 10 International Energy Agency 2011, Geothermal Road Map. 11 World Energy Council 2007: Survey of Energy Resources 2007. http://www.worldenergy.org/publications/survey_of_energy_resources_2007/geothermal_energy/default.asp. 12 Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, 2011: King, D. National Strategy on Climate Change and Low Carbon Development for Rwanda: Baseline Report. 13 See 9. 14 Ibid.

adapted from: ipcc, 2011

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7 : Enhanced geothermal power the technology for commercial applications on a large scale. If successfully implemented at scale, geothermal offers significant economic benefits and will have a positive impact on Australia’s stationary energy emissions.15 Geothermal reservoirs in areas that were previously considered non-commercial for conventional hydrothermal power generation have now been given renewed research attention. They include sites such Rosemanowes in the United Kingdom, Hijiori and Ogachi in Japan, and Basel and Geneva in Switzerland.16 Other uses of geothermal energy Besides electricity production, geothermal energy can be used for commercial, industrial and residential direct heating purposes, and for efficient home heating and cooling through geothermal heat pumps. n Heating uses: Geothermal heat is used directly, without involving a power plant or a heat pump, for a variety of applications such as space heating and cooling, food preparation, hot spring bathing and spas, agriculture, aquaculture, greenhouses, and industrial processes. n Geothermal Heat Pump: Geothermal Heat Pumps take advantage of the Earth’s relatively constant temperature at depths of about 3-90 m. Geothermal Heat Pumps can be used almost everywhere in the world, as they do not require fractured rock and water as do conventional geothermal reservoirs. Geothermal Heat Pumps circulate water or other liquids through pipes buried in a continuous loop, either horizontally or vertically, under a landscaped area, parking lot or any number of areas around a building.17

Figure 5: Capital shortfall for geothermal energy investment.19

CAPITAL SHORTFALL Additional capital required

Required capital investment

Risk

adapted from: Allen Consulting Group, 2011

Private sector capital

Preliminary Two wells work

Pilot plant 25MWe

More wells

Scale-up to 100MWe

Challenges to overcome Recent efforts to harness conventional geothermal resources have not yet translated into large-scale commercial development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems. An important challenge would be to prove that EGS can be deployed economically, sustainably and widely. The barriers fall within three broad categories: access to private sector capital to undertake high-risk capital intensive projects, without longer term investment incentives, such as a price on carbon; lack of proof of resource for many geothermal prospects, and; a lack of technically and commercially proven projects.18 The opportunities for expansion of geothermal electricity generation beyond rift zones or volcanically active regions on a global scale will be reliant on technology from the oil and gas sectors. If the experience of the oil and gas sectors gained over a century can be exploited for extraction of geothermal energy, there is good potential for a reduction of risk, cost and complexity. A major barrier to this expansion has been the large upfront cost of geothermal projects, a result of the need to drill wells and construct power plants. For lower-grade Enhanced Geothermal Systems, the cost of the well

15 Allen Consulting Group 2011: Australia’s Geothermal Industry: Pathways for Development, prepared for the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy. Geothermal Expert Group 2011: Batterham, R. Australia’s Geothermal Industry: Pathways for Development. 16 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2006. The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) on the United States in the 21st Century. 17 Geothermal Energy Association 2009: Blodgett, L. et. al. Geothermal 101: Basics of Geothermal Energy Production and Use. 18 See 15. 19 See 16.


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100

3. Ultra deep well data points for depths greater than 6 km are either individual wells or averages from a small number of wells listed in JAS (1994–2000).

20 See 15. 21 See 12. 22 See 9. 4. “Other Hydrothermal actual” data include some non-US wells (Source: Mansure 2004).

JAS oil and JAS oil and JAS ultra de JAS ultra de The geysers The geysers Imperial Val Imperial Val Other Hydro Other Hydro Hydrotherm Hydrotherm HDR/EGS a HDR/EGS a HDR/EGS p HDR/EGS p Soultz/Coop Soultz/Coop Wellcost lite Wellcost lite Wellcost lite Wellcost lite Wellcost lite Wellcost lite

adapted from: mit, 2006

Completed well costs (millions per year 2004 US$)

Completed Completed well well costs costs (millions (millions perper year year 2004 2004 US$) US$)

field can account for 60% or more of the total 100 capital investment. Estimates of drilling and Geothermal Geothermal well model completion costs to depths of at least 5 000 m well model predictions are needed for all grades of Enhanced Geothermal predictions 30 Systems resources in order to make economic 30 projections. The scant number of wells drilled worldwide thus far, however, has contributed to the insufficient quantity of drilling records for 10 10 making such projections.20 Due to the similarity between oil and gas wells and geothermal wells, it is possible, however, to gain insight into geothermal well costs by borrowing from 3 3 experience in the established industries and developing a cost index that can be used to normalised geothermal well costs. In the beginning of the learning process, 1 1 additional capital is critical to instil confidence and Oil and gas certainty, and it cannot only be matched solely by Oilaverage and gas private sector capital. See Figure 6 at right, which average shows gaps in the required capital investment. 0.3 0.3 Additional information on the costs and risks 100 (ft) associated with different stages of Enhanced (ft) 5 000 10 000 15 000 20 000 25 000 30 000 Geothermal Systems development as they relate Geothermal 5 000 10 000 15 000 20 000 25 000 30 000 well model to geologic assessment and permits; exploration 0.1 0.1 predictions and drilling; production and reservoir simulation, 2 000 4 000 6 000 8 000 10 000 0 30 2 000 4 000 6 000 8 000 10 000 0 and; power production and market performance Depth (metres) Depth (metres) have been categorised and described in MIT’s 1. JAS = Joint Association Survey on drilling costs The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of 1. Well JAS =costs Jointupdated Association Survey drilling costs 2. to US$ (yearon 2004) using index mede from 3-year moving average Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) on the United 2. Well US$in(year using index mede from 3-year moving average for eachcosts depthupdated intervaltolisted JAS 2004) (1976–2004) for onshore, completed US oil and gas 10 for each depth intervalrate listed in assumed JAS (1976–2004) onshore, completed US oil and gas States in the 21st Century.21 wells. A 17% inflation was for yearsfor pre-1976. wells. A deep 17% inflation wasfor assumed for years pre-1976. 3. Ultra well datarate points depths greater than 6 km are either individual wells or From the perspective of integration into the 3. Ultra deep data number points for greater than(1994–2000). 6 km are either individual wells or averages fromwell a small ofdepths wells listed in JAS grid, the investment costs of a geothermal-electric averages from a small number wells listedsome in JAS (1994–2000). 4. “Other Hydrothermal actual” of data include non-US wells (Source: Mansure 2004). 4. “Other Hydrothermal actual” data include some non-US wells (Source: Mansure 2004). project comprise the following components: 3 JAS oil and gas average (a) exploration and resource confirmation JAS ultra deep oil and gas (b) drilling of production and injection wells The geysers actual (c) surface facilities and infrastructure Imperial Valley actual (d) the power plant. 1 Other Hydrothermal actual The first component includes lease acquisition, permitting, prospecting Hydrothermal predicted Oil and gasrepresents between 10 and and drilling of exploration and test wells, and HDR/EGS actual average 15% of the total investment cost (but may be 1–3% for expansion projects). HDR/EGS predicted The second component – drilling of production and injection wells – has a 0.3 Soultz/Cooper Basin success rate of 60–90%, representing 20 to 35% of the total investment. The Wellcost lite model (ft) third component can account for 10 to 20%, while the fourth component varies Wellcost lite base case 22 000 10 000 20 000degree 25 of 000 30 000 There15is000 also a large between 40% and 81% of the 5investment. Wellcost lite specific wells inherent resource0.1 risk and cost uncertainty associated with drilling. Sources of uncertainty include0injection optimisation, scaling/corrosion and 2 000 4 000 6 000inhibition, 8 000 10 000 reservoir simulation modelling, energy recoveryDepth and sustainable generation. Figure 6: Complete oil, gas, and geothermal well costs (metres) as function of depth (in 2004 US dollars), including The remoteness of some geothermal resources means that a significant 1. JAS = Joint Association Survey on drilling costs estimated costs from the Well Cost model.The investment will be necessary to provide and augment transmission lines 2. Well costs updated to US$ (year 2004) using index mede from 3-year moving average red line provides average well costs for the base required to supply electricity to the market. Because of this constraint, some for each depth interval listed in JAS (1976–2004) for onshore, completed US oil and gas case used in the assessment. companies have sought tenements and resources that are closer to the grid. wells. A 17% inflation rate was assumed for years pre-1976.


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Figure 7: Summary of the graded co-investment model for geothermal power.28

Large-scale geothermal power generation

Specific market mechanisms, e.g. a feed-in tariff for first 3 500 GWh

Government provides 10% to fund first 50 MW of power plant adapted from: geothermal expert group, 2011

energy 2030

In some cases this may come at the expense of resource quality.23 Technology improvement and innovation could reduce some of these costs. For example, advanced geophysical surveys using tools such as satellite- and airbornebased hyper-spectral, thermal infrared, high-resolution panchromatic and radar sensors could make exploration efforts more effective and reduce resource risks.24 Improvements in drilling, power conversion, and reservoir technology can also enable access to more economically acceptable formations and higher reservoir performance and efficiency. As the geothermal power industry is still in the early stages of development, and significant investment by governments is required to facilitate further development, the industry requires a broad and open approach to the dissemination of information. It is important that information is fully utilised and shared by the sector, including the research community. The proprietary interest of companies can be protected through the information being shared with appropriate confidentiality agreements through government.25 For the longer term, using CO2 as a reservoir heat-transfer fluid for EGS could also offer the additional benefit of providing an alternative means to sequester larger amounts of carbon in stable formations.26 These developments are within reach; insight can be drawn quickly from the oil and gas well-drilling industries, which employ very similar extraction technologies. Furthermore, experience from the oil and gas sector tells us that investments made in research to develop extractive technology for EGS would follow a natural learning curve that lowers development costs and leads to higher energy recovery. Technical problems or limitations exist for Enhanced Geothermal Systems. Key issues – such as flow short-circuiting, a need for high injection pressures, water losses, geochemical impacts and induced seismicity – can be managed with proper monitoring and operational changes.27 Local environmental impacts can arise from geothermal development, including gas and liquid emissions during operation, potential hazards of seismicity, as well as land use issues. A rigorous siting and permit approval processes for specific projects will be necessary to prevent and minimise these impacts to obtain social acceptance.

$30 million for up to two pilot plants of around 5 MW

Government funds 50% towards drilling 2nd well based on meeting success criteria Up to $50 million available Funding for drilling first geothermal wells Selection of projects encompassing different geological settings Government funds 75% of well costs Approximately $140 million for eight wells

Large-scale implementation Given the high requirements for capital and the current low level of contribution of geothermal energy to the global energy supply mix, a significant policy commitment with the right combination of financial and tax mechanisms will be necessary for it to play an important role to de-carbonise the energy system. Mechanisms such as feed-in tariffs, a carbon price, or other financing and tax incentives, and direct co-investment by government and the oil and gas sector (with its drilling and exploration expertise) will increase the appetite of the private

23 See 15. 24 See 9. 25 See 15. 26 See 16. 27 Ibid. 28 Geothermal Expert Group 2011: Batterham, R. Australia’s Geothermal Industry: Pathways for Development.


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sector. Similar national strategic programs have been recommended by experts groups such as MIT and ATSE in the U.S. and Australia respectively. An example of a co-investment model is captured in Figure 7. Within a national framework, a number of mechanisms are available to assist with or accelerate the development of geothermal. Their different characteristic are summarised below: EGS

HSA

Direct use

Geothermal feed-in tariffs

✓✓

✓✓

✓✓✓

Flexible price adjustment mechanism

✓✓

✓✓

N/A

Targeted venture capital

N/A

N/A

✓✓

Extended REC scheme and RET

✓✓

✓✓

✓✓✓

✓✓✓

N/A

✓✓

N/A

Increased subsidies

✓✓✓

Loans and loan guarantees

N/A

Tax incentives

N/A

Mechanism

Demonstration Full scale demonstration projects Cost subsidies Drilling rig

adapted from: Allen Consulting Group, 2011

Market-based incentives

Figure 8: Support mechanisms for addressing key barriers.29

Concluding remarks

Enhanced geothermal power 29 See 15.

The Enhanced Geothermal Systems technologies we describe in this report stand out within the spectrum of geothermal energy resources because they can provide near-inexhaustible decarbonised baseload power. The usage of geothermal energy is, however, not limited to electricity generation; we have listed other applications and technologies within the geothermal arena. For the large-scale commercial deployment of EGS, some economic certainty needs to be established. The barriers to geothermal development are not insurmountable, but there needs to be a basket of risk-diversifying approaches in place, as well as adequate development framework and strategy.

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The Isar-1 and Isar-2 nuclear power plants in Germany..

wikimedia

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A

broad portfolio of low-carbon energy sources will be required to confront the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that will flow with what is expected to be a near doubling of energy demand by 2050. Advanced Nuclear Energy is one option. Over the past 50 years, nuclear energy has proven its capacity to deliver reliable low-cost, low-carbon baseload power on a large scale. Currently, nuclear power provides roughly one-seventh of the world’s electricity generation.1 A significant build-out of the existing technological base (namely, Generator III+ reactor systems) – and a widespread adoption of Generation IV technologies that comprise fast neutron reactors with closed fuel cycles to reduce nuclear waste – offers the possibility of providing energy on a terawatt scale, making nuclear fission sustainable over a thousand years. Among the low-carbon options that are currently available for energy generation, nuclear power is unique in that it harnesses an energy source that is more highly concentrated than fossil fuels. This occurs despite the fact that reactors currently deployed almost exclusively use ‘thermal’ neutrons, which extract less than 1% of the fuel’s energy content. Public concerns about nuclear power potentially stand in the way of its wider use. Concerns tend to focus on the difficulty of dealing with long-lived radioactive waste, the potential for weapons proliferation, safety and cost. It has been observed by some that global uranium reserves may become a constraint later this century if we rely strictly on current reactor technology with a once-through open fuel cycle and no recycling of the nuclear fuel wastes. There is strong evidence of uranium availability for at least a few hundred years to supply the world’s existing fleet of reactors, including an expansion that will double the installed capacity from the current base (an increase from 440 reactors in operation with a 370 GW capacity, to a level of 1 000 GW installed capacity).2 The challenge is to make provision for a large-scale increase on a terawatt scale to address the challenge of climate change while still meeting a good proportion of the additional 15 TW (or 450 EJ of energy demand3 per year). If the world is to move away from reliance on greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels in electricity generation, it is difficult to imagine how this can be achieved without a transition to Advanced Nuclear Technologies. Opportunities The utilisation of a new, much more efficient nuclear fuel cycle – one based on fast-neutron reactors and the recycling of spent fuel through a heat-intensive extractive metallurgical process known as pyrometallurgical processing – would allow vastly more of the energy in the Earth’s readily available uranium ore to be used to produce electricity. Such a cycle would greatly reduce the creation of long-lived radioactive waste and could support nuclear power generation indefinitely. Several new nuclear power generation designs, collectively described as ‘Generation IV nuclear technology’, are currently in development and have the capacity to alleviate some of these concerns.4 The Equinox Summit process focussed on two of those technologies that are not currently ready for widespread adoption, but have the technical merit for consideration: Integral Fast Reactors and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems.

1 International Energy Agency 2010: World Energy Outlook 2010. 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2009: Update of the MIT 2003 Future of Nuclear Power Study. 3 EJ denotes an exajoules; 1 EJ is equal to 1 018 joules. 4 OECD 2011 (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development): Generation IV International Forum,

Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD.


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8 : Advanced nuclear power Integral Fast Reactors are differentiated from traditional (thermal) reactors by their use of fast neutrons, which are capable of converting – or ‘transmuting’ – into a wider range of lower-level isotopes; and by the fact that they do not employ a neutron moderator such as water to reduce the speed of fast neutrons, addressing a number of safety concerns about traditional reactor designs. By using fuel that is more enriched (to 20% compared to 3.5-5% in thermal reactors), fast reactors in general are able to both burn and breed nuclear fuel. If set up as burner reactors, they can consume more nuclear fuel than they produce, including long-lived actinides such as plutonium. If used as breeder reactors, they can transmute non-fissile fuel nuclei in the fuel mix into fissile isotopes, in greater quantities than the fissile nuclei that they consume, in principle allowing the nuclear fuel cycle to be ‘closed’ and allowing – after multiple recycles – for greater than 99% of the energy content of the nuclear fuel to be consumed, compared to less than 1% in today’s thermal reactor open fuel cycles (even when mixed oxide fuel reprocessing is deployed).5 Advanced fast-neutron reactor technology, however, permits an alternative recycling strategy that does not involve pure plutonium at any stage. Fast reactors can thus minimise the risk that spent fuel from energy production would be used for weapons production, while providing a unique ability to squeeze the maximum energy out of nuclear fuel. See the Figure 2, below,6 which shows several options for a better utilisation of the existing uranium resources that includes incorporation of thorium-based fuels as part of the advanced nuclear fuel cycle concepts.7 The chart below is an illustration that compares wastes associated with the fuel cycles incorporating different nuclear technologies. There are a number of fast reactor demonstration projects planned and ongoing at present. Particularly noteworthy is the Russian BN-600 reactor,

Figure 2: Advanced nuclear fuel cycle concepts which allow for better utilisation of uranium and thorium-based fuels.

Depleted uranium

Recovered uranium Storage Enriched uranium

Spent fuel

Low enriched uranium

Thorium mine and fissile

LWR

Plutonium

Natural uranium

NUE

Thorium cycle

Recovered uranium Reprocessing

Depleted uranium Uranium mine

Actinides

CANDU

Enrichment

adapted from: De Vuono, 2010

energy 2030

Storage

MOX

Natural uranium

U-233 + heavy element Reprocessing

5 Second Conference on Weather, Climate, and the New Energy Economy, 91st American Meteorology Society Annual Meeting. Seattle, WA, USA. 23-27 January 2011.

Blees, T. et al “Advanced Nuclear Power Systems to Mitigate Climate Change” and Archambeau, C. et al “The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR): An Optimized Source for Global Energy Needs”. 6 Scientific American, December 2005: Hannum, W. H. et al.,“Smart Use of Nuclear Waste: Fast-neutron reactors could extract much more energy from recycled nuclear fuel, minimize the risks of weapons proliferation and markedly reduce the time nuclear waste must be isolated.”. 7 De Vuono, T. 2010. “CANDU Fuel Cycles-A Pathway to a Secure Fuel Supply and Reduced Waste.”


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COMPARING THREE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLES Three major approaches to burning nuclear fuel and handling its wastes can be employed; some of their features are noted below. Fuel is burned in thermal reactors, after which plutonium is extracted using what is called PUREX processing; occurs in other developed nations

5% used

6% used

95% wasted

ONCETHROUGH ROUTE

Recycled fuel prepared by pyrometallurgical processing would be burned in advanced fastneutron reactors; prototype technology Less than 1% wasted

5% used in thermal reactor

94% wasted

PLUTONIUM RECYCLING

FULL RECYCLING

More than 94% used in fast reactor

Fuel utilisation Uses about 5% of energy in thermalreactor fuel and less than 1% of energy in uranium ore (the original source of fuel) Cannot burn depleted uranium (that part removed when the ore is enriched) or uranium in spent fuel

Uses about 6% of energy in original reactor fuel and less than 1% of energy in uranium ore Cannot burn depleted uranium or uranium in spent fuel

which has been in commercial operation since 1980. India, China, Russia and Japan have all stated that they intend, sooner rather than later, to switch their fast reactor projects to fuel recycling with pyro-processing; all have active development programs underway to accomplish this improvement.9 Integral Fast Reactors in particular are designed such that the fuel reprocessing facility is an integral part of the plant. This closes the entire fuel system, with actinides such as plutonium never leaving the site after arrival. Such a design is proliferation-resistant and ultimately produces only minimal amounts of shortlived waste (lasting hundreds – rather than hundreds of thousands – of years). The need for new uranium mines would also be eliminated for centuries, since currently stockpiled nuclear waste would effectively become significant fuel reserves. Furthermore, enhanced efficiency would vastly increase the ultimately recoverable uranium reserves by improving the energy return on energy invested from currently marginal ores. Fuel supply constraints could then be forestalled for many millennia.10 The Integral Fast Reactor concept originated at Argonne National Laboratory in the U.S., where a project to develop such a reactor was carried out in the 1980s and 1990s. The reactor was stable in several simulated breakdowns of the type that crippled the reactors at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, validating its passive safety design features. However, although the concept’s feasibility and safety was successfully demonstrated, the U.S. government closed the project in 1994. Future research will need to focus in large part on the fuel processing system and demonstrate that on-site ‘pyro-processing’, at a commercial rather than engineering scale, is feasible.11

Can recover more than 99% of energy in spent thermal-reactor fuel After spent thermal-reactor fuel runs out, can burn depleted uranium to recover more than 99% of the rest of the energy in uranium ore

Figure 3: A comparison of three nuclear fuel cycles.8

8 Ibid. 9 Author’s note – Brook, B. 2011: China is looking seriously at a range of nuclear options, including gas-cooled pebble-bed modular reactors, a thorium-focused research initiative based on the molten-salt reactor, and an ambitious fast spectrum reactor research, demonstration and deployment plan. 10 See 5. 11 The scale-cost

relationship of the pyroprocessing was the final step in the IFR program, but was left incomplete after the project’s 1994 cancellation. See Charles Archambeau et al in 5 previously.

adapted from: scientific american, 26 January 2009

Fuel is burned in thermal reactors and is not reprocessed; occurs in the U.S.


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8 : Advanced nuclear power The Thorium Accelerator-Driven System is a proposed reactor design that would achieve sub-critical fission through the constant introduction of fast neutrons into the reactor core.12 It has been dubbed the ‘energy amplifier’ by Nobel Laureate Carlo Rubbia.13 In this design, a particle accelerator is used to direct a proton beam at lead or similarly heavy nuclei material, creating neutrons that cause fission in the surrounding core of fissile materials.If the external neutron source were removed, the nuclear fuel would not be able to maintain a chain reaction, eliminating the possibility of a Chernobyl-type disaster. Like the Integral Fast Reactor, such a system could also be used to either burn or breed fissile material, and would thus be useful for both power generation and waste transmutation.14 A key attraction of thorium as a fuel is its very low rate of production of plutonium, which means that an energy system based on thorium would be less prone to proliferation.15 Thorium is also a much more plentiful resource than uranium, as it is not water-soluble and so has not been taken into the oceans. It has been estimated that ultimately recoverable thorium reserves globally may be 300 times greater than the 6 million tonnes that have already been mined.16 If used in accelerator-driven reactors, this quantity of thorium could provide the energy needs of the present world population – at present, Western per-capita rates of energy consumption – for over 60,000 years.17 Notable accelerator-driven system research projects include MYRRHA in Belgium. The system under assembly there will be used to prove the technology at the experimental scale and to study transmutation of long-lived actinides in nuclear waste.18 There is also a great deal of interest in thorium-fuelled nuclear power in India, in part due to the country’s large thorium reserves.19 In summary, Integral Fast Reactors and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems hold the potential to address the four core issues of public concern with nuclear technology, through their incorporation of the transmutation of waste into fuel, passive safety designs, by using fuel more efficiently and allowing thorium to be used as a fuel, and by burning, rather than producing, plutonium. The advanced reactor concepts outlined above can effectively recycle high-level nuclear wastes and significantly extend the resource base for non-carbon forms of electricity generation on a large scale and, for all practical purposes, be considered an inexhaustible energy resource. Figure 4 on the next page depicts a development cycle and an evolution of Advanced Nuclear Technologies that can begin to make a substantial contribution to meeting the energy needs of the future. Challenges Before the promise of the Integral Fast Reactor and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems can be achieved, the necessary funding has to be committed. For this to happen, societal and political barriers to the implementation of Advanced Nuclear Technology must be addressed. Proliferation and safety The future development of nuclear technology will necessarily be entwined with geopolitics, among other factors. Both of the fuel cycles under consideration in this chapter require reprocessing, which carries some proliferation risk. Both reactor technologies can act as generators or incinerators of plutonium, depending on the initial fuel mix. As fuel is consumed, the plutonium and minor actinides tend toward their equilibrium abundances. Thorium fuels offer low equilibrium concentration of actinides, including plutonium, in waste products.

12 SCK CEN (Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie/Centre d’Étude de l’énergie Nucléaire), Belgium 2011: MYRRHA: Science Towards Sustainability. 13 Rubbia, C., 1995. ”A high gain energy amplifier operated with fast neutrons”. International Conference on Accelerator-Driven Transmutation Technologies and Application, AIP Conference Proceedings, 30 November 1995. Edited by Edward D. et al. 14 Rubbia, C. et al, ”Conceptual Design of a Fast Neutron-operated High Power Energy Amplifier”, CERN/ AT/95-44 (ET), 29th September 1995. 15 This does not mean that thorium systems are completely immune from proliferation concerns. For instance, protactinium-233 has a 27-day half-life: in several thorium-fueled designs, the fuel could, in theory, be removed in this time period, the Pa-233 could be extracted and set aside until it decays into pure U-233, wich can hen be used as a weapons-usable fissile isotope. 16 See 14 17 Sustainable Energy – Without The Hot Air 2008: Mackay, David J.C., UIT Cambridge. ISBN 978-0-9544529-3-3. 18 See 12. 19 International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna 2005: “Thorium Fuel Cycle – Potential Benefits and Challenges”.


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Generation I Generation II Early prototype reactors

Generation III Commercial power reactors

Generation III+ Advanced LWRs

Generation IV

Evolutionary designs offering improved economics for near-term deployment

• Shipping port • Dresden, Fermi I • Magnox

• LWR-PWR, BWR • CANDU • AGR

• ABWR • System 80+ Gen III

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

• Highly economical • Enhanced safety • Minimal waste • Proliferation resistant

Gen III+

2010

The accelerator-driven system fuel cycle mainly produces uranium 233, which is difficult to use in a bomb. Integral Fast Reactors provide a credible pathway and a solution to nuclear weapon proliferation since they consume plutonium. In the IFR fuel cycle, weapon-capable plutonium is never separated (nor can it be) from other actinides and fission products. In addition, the whole process is ‘closed’ inside a multi-barrier building, so that any diversion of plutonium outside this boundary can be easily detected.

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Figure 4: A technology roadmap for nuclear energy systems.20

Scepticism The history of nuclear energy provides reasons for scepticism. There are widespread concerns about the safety, sustainability and proliferation risks associated with nuclear energy among the public as well as policymakers. There is also a tendency to treat these risks differently to other risks that society accepts. Recent evidence of this includes the German government’s decision, following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan, to phase out nuclear power by 2022. Against this background, the current extensive investments in new coal power plants in Germany seem surprising, considering coal’s known intensity as a generator of greenhouse gases and the known health risks from particulate emissions. As of 2009, at least 10 plants with a total capacity of 11.3 GW are under construction, and if planned projects are included, this number extends to around 30 GW and more, which equals approximately 40% of the peak electricity demand in 2007.21 Part of the public concerns reserved for nuclear incidents stems from the long timescale of their consequences, and to the perception of the difficulty of safely ‘cleaning up the mess’ after a nuclear accident. So far, only two countries with active reactors have committed to leaving the nuclear power club – and a good number of countries are still eager to join.22 Complexity Another barrier to acceptance is the complexity of nuclear technology, which makes it difficult for the public to assess the trade-offs between benefits and risks. The Equinox Summit took the view that the key to appropriately addressing these concerns is to effectively communicate the technological 20 Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Energy; and the Generation IV International Forum, 2002: A Technology Roadmap for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems. 21 Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen – an die Europa ï sche Kommission, 2008; and Energy Policy July 2010: Pahle, M. “Germany’s Dash For Coal: Exploring Drivers And Factors”. 22 IEEE Spectrum 11 June 2007: King, R. S. “The Post-Fukushima World: The meltdowns have provoked policy changes around the planet.”


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Figure 5: Mapping nuclear energy policy changes in the postFuskushima world. 23

17

Germany

6 3

Czech Republic Netherlands Belgium

United Kingdom

4 1 2

Finland

10

Sweden

1 1

6

Poland

7

1

Lithuania

4

Belarus

18 13

15 22

Ukraine

France

Switzerland Spain

4 2 1

Slovakia

58 1 2 5

8 Slovenia

Romania

2 3

Bulgaria

2 2

1 1

Hungary

Turkey

4 2

Armenia

4

Kazakhstan

Canada

17 3 6

United States

104 1 34

Mexico

Iran

Egypt

2 2 2 1 4

Chile

1

4 2 1 2

Reactors in use

Countries conducting wider appraisals or reactors and nuclear safety standards

2

Reactors under construction

Countries that are ending their nuclear power programs

2

Reactors planned/proposed

23 See 22.

2 6

3 1 3

India

Thailand

Japan

54 2 15

21 5 6

20 6 57 Bangladesh

1

North Korea

South Korea

2

Countries with their first reactors in planning or proposal stages; some of these countries have not yet declared whether they’ll follow through with their nuclear plans

14

South Africa

Pakistan

Countries that are reviewing their existing reactors

1 3

United Arab Emirates

Countries with operational reactors that have announced no safety reviews or policy changes

32 10 44

Russia

1

Jordan

Argentina

1 1

2 Israel

Brazil

8

2

China

14 26 172

Taiwan

6 2 1

5 Vietnam

14

Malaysia

1

Indonesia

6

adapted from: spectrum.ieee.org/static/the-postfukushima-world

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potential inherent in the new reactor designs of the Integral Fast Reactor and Thorium Accelerator-Driven Systems. This particularly applies to their ability to not only remove concerns over waste, but actually allow a safe process for the disposal of existing waste while also producing energy – and contrast this with the costs of a fossil-fuelled, business-as-usual trajectory.

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THE VISION FOR FUTURE NUCLEAR ENERGY Large development “renaissance”

Generation-III reactors with best available technologies for recycling

Nuclear fission energy for the 21st century

Industry inertia The nuclear industry is extremely conservative. The risks associated with nuclear accidents and general public scepticism about the technology have resulted in heavy regulatory oversight. This level of oversight means that the approval process faced by developers for new reactor designs becomes more complex, prolonged and likely to discourage innovation. Our aim is to promote new types of nuclear technology and as such, it will be crucial to harness the innovative capacity of the industry. Taken together, public scepticism and industry inertia create a political stalemate. If policy-makers have no constituency to address, the potential for political action is severally limited. Equinox Summit participants believe that such a constituency can be built, based on the soundness of the solutions proposed, their ability to address the problem of long-term nuclear waste, coupled with the world’s energy needs beyond 2050 and the need to ensure that this is not met with fossil fuels.

Long-term sustainability

DEU R T FP U Pu MA

Generation-IV fast reactors with advanced technologies for recycling

Figure 6: A vision for future nuclear energy.24

Concluding remarks

Advanced nuclear power

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Advanced nuclear technologies hold enormous potential to become a significant part of the future baseload picture. The Integral Fast Reactor and Thorium Accelerator Driven System technologies outlined herein are part of a technological evolution from the current generation of nuclear technologies. These novel design concepts aim to close the nuclear fuel cycle by eliminating high-level nuclear wastes, reducing the threat of proliferation and providing an inexhaustible source of energy for humanity. While these Generation IV design concepts are an excellent example of the scalability and potential of nuclear energy, they need to be understood within the array of nuclear technologies available. From the perspective of a long-term energy transition, an expansion of the existing base of established Generation III reactor technologies in the near-term provides a credible pathway for a phased transition to the Generation IV technologies. A good indication of nuclear energy’s future from a policy standpoint is that emerging powers such as China and India are actively pursuing the nuclear energy path – regions where world energy demand growth is concentrated. However, there are significant societal and political barriers that will need to be addressed before large-scale implementation of Generation IV nuclear systems can be realised.

24 European Commission 2007: 1st General Assembly, Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform.

adapted from: European Commission, 2007; wikimedia

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us army africa

Figure 1: 2 kW of power can be supplied from flexible solar panels daily.

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large and growing proportion of humanity has either no access or limited access to modern energy services. Some 2.8 billion people lack access to clean and reliable fuel sources for cooking and heating.1 Of these, approximately 1.5 billion live without a reliable supply of electricity. These people represent the world’s energy poor, living primarily in rural areas, distant from the existing energy infrastructure. Energy poverty directly harms people’s health, education and quality of life. In remote locations, inadequate access to energy makes it difficult for a community to filter unsanitary water, or pump clean water from a well, to refrigerate food, medicines or vaccines or to power medical clinics or hospitals. Indoor air pollution released through burning dirty fuels and using improperly ventilated heating or cooking systems is blamed for 1.5 million premature deaths each year.2 The physically exhausting activity of carrying biomass over long distances also denies women, children and men the opportunity for education or to use the time more productively to generate income.3 Additionally, using biomass for heating and cooking is an important contributor to environmental harm. In rural and urban areas, the gathering of fuel wood has played a significant role in deforestation and desertification.4 Providing an adequate level of energy services to the energy poor is a critical determinant of social and economic development on the path to achieving the lofty United Nations Millennium Development Goals. If the energy needs of this disadvantaged population were to be met over the next few decades with the burning of fossil fuels, however, the impact on the global climate would exacerbate an already precarious situation. Providing low-carbon sources of energy to the world’s billions of energy-poor individuals is an important goal to avoid these consequences. New technologies, especially those making use of renewable sources of energy, will be key ingredients in providing access to electricity to those

1 International Energy Agency, 2010.World Energy Outlook. 2 Ibid. 3 Financing Development, April 2007: Bunzenthal, Roland “Battling against poverty”. 4 Land

Degradation & Development, November/December 2008: Bensel,T. 2008. “Fuelwood, deforestation, and land degradation: 10 years of evidence from Cebu Province, the Philippines”.


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5 United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 65/151, 20 December 2010.

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PRODUCTION: COST EFFICIENCY OF TECHNOLOGIES Low efficiency technologies Small scale production

High efficiency technologies

Large scale production

Efficiency

CONSUMPTION: THE VALUE OF USING ELECTRICTY Highly valued watt

Off-grid supplied electricity

Low valued watt

On-grid supplied electricity

Quantity of watts supplied

Figure 2: Consumption and production: value and cost of electricity.

Production cost

Opportunities In approaching the question of energy poverty, it is important to recognise that many regions with energy-poor individuals are endowed with renewable sources of energy such as sunlight, wind, biomass or waterways for generating hydroelectricity. It is also important to recognise that the amount of electricity needed to address many of the problems of energy poverty is not great. For people living with no access to electricity, the first few hundred watts can power life-changing tasks: turning on lights for reading and working at night, charging mobile phones to communicate with family or running small refrigerators. Figure 2 at right illustrates the different circumstances facing the energy poor (blue), versus those in wealthier, energy-intensive areas (green). It is a powerful depiction of the idea that a level of energy service at different price points has a different value to the end consumer depending on their situation. Recognising this will allow innovation to flourish.

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Production cost

Consumer benefit per watt

distant from the existing grid. For example, portable but durable solar power, based on thin-film solar technologies (for example, CONSUMPTION: Organic Photovoltaics) hold enormous promise to provide a THE VALUE OF USINGpower. ELECTRICTY basic level of energy service for personal A smart, selfsustaining micro-grid that delivers an adequate level of power for Highly valued watt communities utilising solar, wind, biomass and hydropower is another example. These combined – personal power and community power – can Off-grid the quality of life. have dramatic effects for improving supplied Eradicating energy poverty has now been recognised as a Low valued electricity watt major international issue. Its prominence as a core component of achieving progress on poverty alleviation generally has been signalled time and again, culminating in December 2010 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2012 as the International Year for On-grid Sustainable Energy for All, aimed at creating “an enabling environment for the supplied electricity promotion and use of new and renewable energy technologies, including measures to improve access to such technologies.” 5 This was followed by the creation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the only global organisation dedicated completely to renewable energy, with a particular focus Quantity watts supplied on ending energy poverty. There areofseveral technical hurdles to be overcome before Organic Photovoltaic technology can be used to help address the global challenge of energy poverty – meeting energy needs affordably through a non-carbon source of energy. For photovoltaic technology in general, current module efficiency is low; breakthrough research in materials and device technology is necessary for practical realisation of high-performance devices. Other international organisations have also taken up energy poverty as a priority, for example, the Asian Development Bank’s Energy for All initiative works with business, finance, government, and NGOs to address energy access as well as energy poverty.

Consumer benefit per watt

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9 : Off-grid electricity access Figure 3: The increasing energy intensity of energy demand for various tasks, and technologies that match requirements.

USE OF SELECTED TECHNOLOGIES Energy need

Photovoltaics with batteries

Solar termal

Biogas/ biomass

Wind with batteries

Solar with hydrogen

Mini hydro

Energy intensity

An example is portable but durable solar power, such as Organic Photovoltaic technology. Compared to burning kerosene at US$1 per week, the savings inherent in using solar energy over the medium term – even where the solar technologies deployed are initially more costly than in those used in a first-world setting – makes a great deal of sense. To help unleash the economic productivity of those with very low incomes, provision of even a basic level of energy services could well be the tipping point for a range of positive economic, social and cultural developments, helping to prime the pump for radical leaps in education, health and economic productivity.

Communications

Refrigeration

Water-pump

Cooking

Water heating

Figure 4: Solar cell technology roadmap for efficiency enhancement and cost reduction.6

Thin-film solar for personal power There are a plethora of photovoltaic technologies in development. These technologies form an ecosystem that extends from silicon-based photovoltaics to thin films and emerging next-generation nanotechnology concepts. These various solar technologies can, in turn, be viewed as a part of a larger energy ecosystem with the potential to be integrated within smart micro-grids, alongside other local renewable resources that complement and

20

1.0 Crystalline silicon (including EFG, RGS)

Cz and mc crystalline silicon

Si-film

Efficiency (%)

15 Thin-film technologies

CIS, CdTe

EFG silicon-ribbon RGS

Thin-film technologies

0.5

10 a-Si

5

0

New concepts

New concepts • Dye cells, plastic cells • Scientific high eta approaches (eta 30–60%) Today and tomorrow

Mid-term

Long-term

Cost (relative)

adapted from: Hoffmann, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2006

Source: Equinox Summit, 2011

Lighting

Today and tomorrow

Mid-term

Long-term

0

6 Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 19 September 2005: Hoffmann, W. “PV solar electricity industry: Market growth and perspective”.


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enhance the level of energy access to those who CulnSe2 CdTe have very little. Metal The schematic at right shows the scope and MxTey range of materials used for thin film solar cells ZnO that include: amorphous silicon, copper indium CdS CdTe gallium diselenide (CIGS), cadmium telluride CIGS (CdTe), organic thin films and dye-sensitised CdS integrated photovoltaic. ITO/SnO2 Mo Among the different photovoltaic technologies Glass Glass in development, a variety of thin-film approaches offer advantages including cheap deposition technology, low material consumption, low material costs, low energy payback and capital investment, and low balance of system cost. Organic Photovoltaics are a rapidly emerging solar technology with improving cell efficiency (currently more than 8%), encouraging initial lifetime (more than 5 000 hours unencapsulated), and potential for roll-toroll manufacturing processes. Figure 8 illustrates recent efficiency gains of plastic solar cells by leading Organic Photovoltaics manufacturers. The great strength of Organic Photovoltaics lies in the diversity of materials that can be designed and synthesised for the absorber, acceptor and interfaces. Research to further improve efficiency and lifespan is currently underway to enhance understanding of the fundamentals of device operation, including charge-separation processes, device physics and interfacial effects that will allow design of more efficient and stable devices. For example, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the U.S. is developing Organic Photovoltaic devices which include advances in transparent conducting oxide (TCO) materials, and the means to deposit and process materials and fabricate devices under ambient temperature and pressure conditions. See Figure 7 below.

a-Si:H

Dye

Organic

Electrolyte

Metal

a-Si:H

Organic

TiO2

ZnO/SnO2

ITO

SnO2

Glass

Glass

Glass

Figure 5:The range of materials for thin-film solar cells.7

Glass ITO

Polymer blend

Antireflection coating Grid contact Transparent conducting oxide Junction former

83

SnO2 Ag

Figure 7: Organic Photovoltaics concept developed by U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.9

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Aluminium

Figure 6:The picture above further illustrates the organic photovoltaic block in Figure 5.

Company

Date

Efficiency

Solarmer Energy Inc

July 2010

8.13%

Heliatek

Oct 2010

8.30%

Konarka

Nov 2010

8.30%

Mitsubishi Chemical

April 2011

9.2%*

Figure 8: Recent efficiency gains of Organic Photovoltaic technologies.8

Absorber

External load

Electronhole pair

Rear contact

+

7 Jaegermann,W. 2011.“Semiconductor Surfaces and Interfaces in Energy Converting Devices: Specific Examples of Thin Film Solar Cells and Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Devices.” 8 Science 15 April 2011: Service, R. F. “Outlook brightens for plastic solar cells”. 9 See U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): http://www. nrel.gov/pv/advanced_concepts.html

adapted from: Jaegermann, 2011

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US$0.10/W

100

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US$0.50/W Thermodynamic limit at 46,200 Suns

min BOS

Efficiency (%)

adapted from: Lewis, N., Science, 2007

80 Ultimate thermodynamic limit at 1 Sun

60 III

US$1.00/W

40 ShockleyQueisser limit 20

US$3.50/W

I II 0

100

200

300

400

Cost (US$/m2)

Figure 9: Solar electricity costs as function of module efficiency and cost. The theoretical efficiencies are shown for three cases: the Shockley-Queisser limit for a quantum conversion device with a single band gap, in which carriers of lower energy are not absorbed and carriers of energy higher than the band gap thermalise to the band gap; the second-law thermodynamic limit on Earth for one Sun of concentration; and the second-law thermodynamic limit for any Earth-based solar conversion system. Current solar cell modules lie in zone I. The dashed lines are equi-cost lines on a cost per peak watt (Wp) basis. An estimate for the minimum balance-of-systems cost given current manufacturing methods is also indicated. A convenient conversion factor is that $1/Wp amortizes out to ~$0.05/kWh over a 30-year lifetime of the PV module in the field. See: Lewis, N. S. 2007. $0.05/kWh over a 30-year lifetime of the PV, Science 315.

9 See NREL: http://www.nrel.gov/pv/advanced_concepts.html

Within the array of distributed energy technologies in development, Organic (also known as plastic) Photovoltaics are an option with great potential to address energy poverty. They have the potential to become one of the lowestcost thin-film alternatives to the currently dominant silicon photovoltaic technology, due to their potential for low-cost, high-speed processing. Organic Photovoltaics also have several characteristics that offer potential advantages for addressing off-grid energy needs. Their plastic nature makes them easy to transport, use and install. They are light and can be installed into or onto irregular surfaces due to their extreme flexibility. They can be installed in a piece of cloth, rolled up and carried to the installation point, and laid across a roof. Installation requires no specialist equipment or skills. In addition, these photovoltaic cells can be printed with a modified inkjet printer, allowing production facilities to be located anywhere. The technology is therefore very conducive to the creation of a new branch of small-scale, local producers of photovoltaic cells. Organic Photovoltaics require none of the expensive, heavy housing of current silicon solar panels. It is expected that once this technology reaches maturity – expected within 4-6 years – it will cost a fraction of even the cheapest silicon based cells. Challenges There are several technical hurdles to be overcome before Organic Photovoltaic technology can be used to help address the global challenge of energy poverty – meeting energy needs affordably through a non-carbon source of energy. For photovoltaic technology in general, current module efficiency is low; breakthrough research in materials and device technology is necessary for practical realisation of high-performance devices. Conversion efficiencies of commercial photovoltaic cells are in the 15-20% range. It should also be noted that, due to material-specific and thermodynamic constraints, today’s commercial silicon solar cells have a theoretical maximum efficiency of about 30%.


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Similar hurdles remain for Organic Photovoltaics. The product life of Organic Photovoltaic cells remains under 10 years, which is still substantially shorter than currently available alternatives. Additionally, the Organic Photovoltaics currently in production are only about 5-6% efficient, although 8% efficiency has been attained in the laboratory. In comparison, current silicon cells have reached 25% efficiency.10 Technology developers at the Equinox Summit reported that Organic Photovoltaic technology could reach true commercial viability only at 10% efficiency, which is expected, if research pressure is kept up, by 2013. Cost For grid-scale application, breakthrough changes in performance, reduced material cost and increased stability are required before existing commercial photovoltaic technologies can reach cost parity with the conventional grid. The cost of photovoltaic modules, for example, is currently in the range of US$3 500 to US$5 000 per kilowatt-peak (a measure of the peak output of a photovoltaic system). This roughly translates into 18-30 cents/kWh. With the U.S. Department of Energy setting its cost goal at 5-6 cents/ kWh for utility scale production, current photovoltaic technology faces a

Figure 10: Best research solar cell efficiencies (NREL 2010)

BEST RESEARCH-CELL EFFICIENCIES 50 48 44 40 36

Single-junction GaAs Single crystal Concentrator Thin film crystal Crystalline Si cells Single crystal Multicrystalline Thick Si film Silicon Heterostructures (HIT)

Thin-film technologies Cu(In,Ga)Se2 CdTe Amorphous Si:H (stabilized) Nano-, micro-, poly-Si Multijunction polycrystalline Emerging PV Dye-sensitized cells Organic cells (various types) Organic tandem cells Inorganic cells Quantum dot cells

28 24 20 16 12 8 4 0 1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

10 According to the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) numbers published in October 2010: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PVeff(rev100921).jpg

WIKIMEDIA

Efficiency (%)

32

Multijunction cells (2-terminal, monolithic) Three-junction (concentrator) Three-junction (non-concentrator) Two-junction (concentrator)


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konarka

significant challenge to achieve cost-competitiveness. For large-scale grids, fundamentally different research and development approaches will be necessary to bring about sharp cost reductions and make photovoltaics an affordable energy source. However, the situation is very different in remote and rural settings, where the focus is on the provision of the first few watts to those currently lacking any access to electricity. Marketed in this niche application, photovoltaics in general – and Organic Photovoltaics in particular – can be commercially viable. When combined with advanced battery systems, even existing Organic Photovoltaic technologies available today would allow the remotest of locations to deliver, install and use their own power systems. Employees inspecting Konarka Power Plastic® (above) and Organic Photovoltaic applications in an off-grid context (below).

Economic and social considerations Among the most fundamental barriers to addressing energy poverty is an inadequate understanding by: decision-makers of their role in providing an enabling environment for doing so; by financiers of the appropriate financial tools to do so; and by technology developers and manufacturers of the energy poor’s potential as a viable customer base. Serious efforts to inform policymakers on the root causes of energy poverty need to be made, together with raising awareness of other sectors and the public more generally on the broad-based economic, environmental and social benefits to be had from fostering the uptake of renewable energy technologies. Also, while many energy-poor areas are rich in renewable energy sources such as sunlight, wind, water and biomass, they lack the political and physical infrastructure to attract investment from the renewables sector. Establishing transparent and predictable policy environments, and removing regulatory and administrative barriers to business, would help attract such investment.


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istock

Bringing cutting-edge renewable technologies such as Organic Photovoltaics to market is a capital-intensive, time-consuming process often laden with trial and error. It is therefore understandable that investors putting money into renewables look for ways to share the risk, such as loan guarantees from government. It is also understandable that businesses developing such technologies are targeting markets to which they can reliably and profitably sell their products. The energy poor, however, are rarely considered viable customers – they are seen as ‘too poor’ by many potential investors and operators. Experience has shown, however, that this could not be further from the truth. Many international agencies, national governments, development agencies, civil society groups and the private sector have focused attention on addressing energy poverty. Their work has begun to bring companies big and small, local and multinational, to see the energy poor as a group of billions of eager customers rather than the destitute group that had been ignored for decades. Companies such as Tata BP Solar, Grameen Shakti and Barefoot Power illustrate the business rationale behind investing in alleviating poverty. Despite this, further business innovation is needed, as is a massive scaling-up of the models that have proven effective in connecting global producers and remote, small energy-poor consumers. Currently renewable energy projects and endeavours focused on energy poverty often cannot access available funds because investors view them as too small, with initial rates of return too low, and with repayments too slow. This has led to a widespread recognition that, in addition to new business models, a modernisation of thinking and of parameters for investment is needed in the banking sector, particularly when it comes to renewables, to enable truly explosive growth in commercialisation for technologies and businesses targeting energy poverty to move from being novelties and exceptions, to the rule in energy poor regions.

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Cheap and simple technology could benefit the ‘energy poor’: such as these African women at Debre Libanos, Ethiopa.

Concluding remarks Access to affordable energy is a critical requirement for improving the quality and longevity of life for a significant portion of humanity. Emerging solar technologies and renewables-based, self-sustaining energy options for communities have the potential to break the cycle of energy poverty, by evolving the energy economy away from fossil fuels.


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Beyond Organic Photovoltaics: the advent of micro-grids By Jatin Nathwani and Zhewen Chen

Smart micro-grids In contrast to centralised approaches, a modular system can provide sensible solutions to answer these needs – and was an

Improved access to electricity aids education and lifestyle quality.

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n addition to their potential for delivering life-changing watts of electricity to the world’s energy poor, flexible and durable Organic Photovoltaics could also play a part in smart, self-sustaining micro-grids that deliver power for communities of varying sizes, becoming the basis for larger scale economic development and improved quality of life. The modern electricity production system has been developed to meet the high level of energy demand from industrial, commercial and residential customers congregated in large urban or sub-urban centres.The resulting system of centralised generation, high voltage transmission and distribution has been optimised for cost and reliability of operation. In the past, policies and experience have focussed on centralised electrification projects to address the problems of energy poverty. However, this ‘grid mentality’ has not always been appropriate to every setting: the costs of extending grid services to remote and rural areas are often too high for local economies. Extending the centralised model for rural electrification schemes has failed partly because it requires expensive infrastructure, and does not take account of the local conditions, or the unique characteristics or needs of rural and remote populations. Expensive traditional grid infrastructure renders energy services unaffordable for smaller communities with a low level of demand. The economic rationale for the traditional infrastructure to distant, dispersed communities with low income and low level of demand is weak. Furthermore, centralised energy production and delivery systems cannot easily utilise local energy sources that may well be abundant, clean and available close to the community.

approach discussed at the Equinox Summit. More specifically, the challenges can be resolved by modular system designs that range anywhere from 5 kW to 10 MW and are simple to install and maintain, tailored to community needs, and operated intelligently and effectively through optimised delivery systems. Such designs that embrace an integrated model of electrification are often called Smart Micro-Grids. Smart Micro-Grids use local renewable energy resources for generation. Solar photovoltaics, micro-hydro power plants, wind turbines, biomass, small conventional generators and storage offer credible potential technological solutions to utilise distributed energy resources. Installation of a Smart Micro-Grid that integrates these resources more effectively and intelligently into an enhanced, or ‘smart’ electricity distribution network would further enhance the economic development potential of the community. For distributed energy technologies such as Organic Photovoltaics to be effectively leveraged, a modular system design that is tailored to community needs is needed. Smart


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Renewable energy resources Size of resource

Figure 11: Challenges of renewable resource integration.11

Size of community

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Size of community

Micro-grids Micro-Grids are a design approach Next step in evolution of technology that embraces an integrated model of electrification and can obviate the need for an extension of the high-cost transmission Bioenergy and distribution facilities. waste Solar We describe below an approach that Size of Hydro community fits the circumstance of local and regional Wind development and relies on modular installation of infrastructure at a rapid pace, relatively low cost and enhances the Size of community socio-economic development capacity to Size of community build, own, operate and maintain the energy Geothermal system infrastructure. In other words, making the most of the locally availably renewable energy resources is vital for addressing energy poverty at a community level. The essential nature of challenge is simplified and shown in Figure 11 at right. can – in a remote or rural setting – dramatically reduce energy The size, quality and availability of renewable energy resources will vary widely depending on location and geography.The demand poverty at much lower cost than extending a centralised grid to the same location.The technology embedded in such system or the needs of a community will also vary with size and the would be quite sophisticated, but it would be robust and rugged historical context of development in a specific region or continent for successful operation in any country. (Africa, Asia, Latin America, etc.). The technology challenge is A Smart Micro-Grid would be an intelligent electricity to establish the feasibility of delivering a tailored decentralised distribution network, operating at or below 11 KV, where the ‘plug-and-play’ solution to remote and rural communities that energy demand is effectively and intelligently managed by a are off-grid or have no access to the grid, but can still provide a diverse range of distributed energy resources in combination meaningful amount of energy needed for development. with each other through smart control techniques. It also has the In contrast to centralised approaches, a modular system is a potential to reduce costs, attain a level of reliability comparable critical innovation that can provide sensible solutions to answer to the grid system, manage the variable nature of renewables this need. Such a modular system, robust and simple to install and promote deployment and integration of energy-efficient and and maintain, tailored to community needs, and operated environmentally friendly technologies. intelligently and effectively through optimised delivery systems,

11 Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, 2011.

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he world is becoming increasingly urbanised. It has been predicted that by 2030, nearly 60% of the world’s population will live in cities, and that 29 megacities will be home to 10 million inhabitants or more.1 Environmentally, this rapid transition creates both challenges and opportunities. Urban densification and a focus on ‘smart’ planning of the urban environment has significant potential to improve quality of life and to reduce the carbon footprint of cities; the per capita emissions from dense urban areas tend to be less than those of suburban or rural regions due to the conglomeration of buildings, which facilitates design-level efficiencies.2 The global trend towards urbanisation and growth of medium-sized and megacities is clear. Making our cities more energy-smart, through renewal of ageing infrastructure and reinventing the urban landscape by design and good planning, offers a powerful incentive to incorporate innovations in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Substantial reduction of energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions is achievable by adopting strategies that focus on Smart Urbanisation and electric transport. Beyond the built environment, urban centres offer another major opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: personal transportation. Desire for personal mobility and its link to economic development has been a key determinant of how the transport system has evolved to enable increased productivity, competition and consumption. However, personal transportation is currently dominated by the internal combustion engine, with its attendant

1 World Energy Council, September 2010: Energy and Urban Innovation. 2 For example, district heating and reduced intra-urban travel distances. Also see 1.


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environmental impacts. These vehicles produce 13% of total greenhouse gas emissions,3 consume more than half of liquid fossil fuels globally and generate more than 80% of air pollution within some cities in developing countries.4 Population growth and economic development will amplify these concerns if the trends towards urban sprawl are not arrested. Since urban centres and megacities are expected to host much of the forecasted population growth in coming decades, rising car ownership will create significant problems of congestion. Many urban centres in developing countries lack adequate transportation infrastructure to cope with the immense growth in automobile use, leading to traffic congestion, reduced quality of life and more greenhouse gas emissions. Smart urbanisation reinforced by electric mobility and enabled by creative ownership models for personal transport and improved mass transit are the critical developments required to meet the challenge. Opportunities Here we focus on five interrelated opportunities for matching energy supply and demand for cities and sustainable urban transportation with a lower carbon footprint: n Efficient energy use enabled by Smart Grid technologies and an integrated energy network supported by information science and technology n Promotion of public and self-powered transport n Advanced information and communication technologies for transport n Electrification of transport n Advanced technologies such as superconductors for the provision of a higher level of electricity use in dense urban centres with strict geographic limitations. Smart Grids to improve energy use If the energy systems of the 20th century were premised on the availability of cheap and abundant fossil fuels, the energy systems of the 21st century are likely to be characterised by cheap and abundant use of information and communication technology (ICT), enabling more efficient energy use and integration of renewable energy through an integrated energy network. The paradigm-shifting potential of ICT-enabled energy systems comes from the way they can open up the energy sector to unprecedented levels of human-machine interaction. Energy supply and consumption are influenced by the behaviour of individuals, and by the way incentives and prices can determine the evolution of the overall energy system. Technical and physical improvements to building design, although a necessary requirement, are not enough to guarantee reduced energy consumption. The role of human behaviour is critical. Evidence shows even in identical homes designed to be low-energy dwellings, energy consumption can easily differ by a factor of two or more depending on the behaviour of the inhabitants.5 Attempts to modify the energy supply infrastructure without a clear understanding of the role of individual behaviour or social constraints may lead to unintended consequences or less than desirable outcomes. Empowering consumers 3 Gesellschaft für. Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ): Bongardt, Daniel et al “Beyond the fossil city: towards low carbon transport and green growth”. 4 United Nations Development Program, 2011: Dalkmann, Holger et al,“Transport: Investing in energy and resource efficiency”, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development. 5 Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, 2006: Darby, Sarah “The effectiveness of feedback on energy consumption: A review for DEFRA of the literature on metering, billing and direct displays”.


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through real-time feedback of energy consumption is a positive approach that can only be enabled through ICT to the fullest extent in an integrated energy network. Beyond real-time feedback, the role of ICT through automation that enables remote decision-making and control of multiple devices in homes and business is key to optimisation and reduced energy use. Figure 1: Hybrid cars and consumer electricity production will enable a grid with two-way electricity flow incorporating end-user as well as primary generation systems.

adapted from: Ontario Smart Grid Forum

Utility communications

Internet Consumer portal and building EMS Advanced metering

Dynamic systems control

Distributed operations

Data management

Plug-in Hybrids Distributed generation and storage

Figure 2:The Smart Grid compared with the existing grid.7

Smart grids Today, electricity grid systems are primarily a vehicle for moving electricity from generators to consumers. In the near future, the grid will enable two-way flows of electricity and of information, as new technologies make possible new forms of electricity Efficeint building production, delivery and use. The Smart Grid is the systems name given to the new electricity system that will Renewables emerge from this paradigm shift. A Smart Grid is a modernised electric system PV that uses sensors, monitoring, communications, distribution system automation, advanced data analytics and algorithmics for anomaly detection Control to improve the flexibility, security, reliability, interface efficiency, and safety of the electricity system. It increases consumer choice by allowing them to better control their electricity use in response to prices or other parameters. A Smart Grid includes Smart end-use diverse and distributed energy resources and devices accommodates electric vehicle charging. In short, it brings all elements of the electricity system – production, delivery and consumption – closer together to improve overall system operation for the
benefit of consumers and the environment.6 Contrasted with today’s existing electricity grid, a Smart Grid has different characteristics as outlined in Figure 2 at left. These characteristics mean that new or increased information exchange is needed to enable effective Smart Grid operation, through increased coordination among the divisions of the system. The information exchanged may include:8

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n Power flow: voltage, frequency, phase, load flow, losses, outages status, power quality n Operational information: protection, control, system state, supply and demand, weather, spare capacity, short circuit levels, planned outages, islanding control, time-to-restoration n Dispatch: control signals for dispatch generation and load n Market information: generation mix, reserve capacity n Price: price of electricity, rates, connection costs, tariffs n Metering: interval metering, meter data management

6 Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario, Canada, 2009: Enabling Tomorrow’s Electricity System: Report of the Ontario Smart Grid Forum. 7 IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, January-February 2010: Farhangi, H. “The path of the smart grid”. 8 See 6.


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n Customer: billing, home device control, carbon footprint, choices/ overrides, consumption history, call centre, utility programs/offers, demand response, behind-the-meter generation control Figure 3: How the ‘Smart Energy Network’ will work.7

n Transportation plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) control, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) control, and managing intermittent demand.

Electricity Natural gas District heating/cooling

Consumers (residential, commercial and industrial) CHP H2

Model: Consumer

Model: Community

EV ESS FC

Combined heat and power Hydrogen station Electric vehicle charging station Electricity storage system Fuel cell system

CHP FC

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Natural gas transmission

adapted from: Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, 2011

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Personali sed access to mobility Enabling behaviour change is one way that Smart Grids can improve the energy and greenhouse gas emissions profile of towns and cities. In the realm of transportation, a similar paradigm shift toward personalised access to mobility could also have a profound impact. In cities around the world, a number of approaches and technologies have demonstrated success in supporting sustainable urban transportation that exploit a broad range of models moving away from strict private ownership to sharing and leasing. The key opportunity is to foster a comprehensive set of solutions to amplify the positive impacts of specific components. A transportation system that integrates public and self-powered transportation, information

Electric cars and bicycles

Figure 4: Personalised access to mobility means not having to own transport vehicles.

Figure 5: A graph showing the correlation between sustainable urban transport and obesity.10

MODE SPLIT VERSUS NATIONAL OBESITY RATES 70% 60%

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adapted from: bassett, d., jounal of physical activity and health, 2008.

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Smart Energy Networks A smarter energy system that builds upon the smart grid concept is illustrated below. Smart urbanisation is predicated on good urban planning and building design concepts that are supplied by a Smart Grid, natural gas network, distributed generation, and district heating/cooling networks to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Integrating all components in the system with information and communication technology that can differentiate and meet the needs of consumers, communities, municipalities and regions is essential. (See Figure 3)9 The development of cost-effective energy storage technologies integrated with a network of transmission and distribution that provides flexibility for new energy carriers such as hydrogen and bioethanol from distributed sources can reduce overall costs to the consumer and expand the contributions of a variety of Destination energy supply options. For example, hydrogen can be used through direct combination or used to power a fuel cell and it has potential for additional applications. A Smart Energy Network therefore provides a comprehensive picture of how the cost and Personal contributions of infrastructure development can be optimised for vehicles meeting the needs of a model consumer, a community, or a region.

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9 Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy 2011. 10 Journal of Physical Activity and Health 2008: Bassett, D. et al.“Walking, cycling, and obesity rates in Europe, North America, and Australia�.


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and communication technology, and transportation electrification could provide essential speed, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and reliability while reducing energy use, limiting fossil fuel burning and improving health. Other benefits include local economic growth. Money saved by not purchasing vehicles can be spent on other goods and services within the city. Mass transport also exposes passengers to stores that they may not notice when originally focused on operating a vehicle. There has been evidence of increased sales in areas where public transit routes are established. Decreased physical and mental stress from reduced congestion and increased biking and walking leads to healthier lifestyles. Obesity rates tend to be lower in countries where usage of mass transit, bicycles and walking are higher. (See Figure 5 on p94) Greater use of public and self-powered transport can also make a significant impact on reducing minimi sing traffic congestion as can be illustrated above. Megacities such as Tokyo, Japan, London and New York City have excellent public transportation systems that are quick, reliable and cost-effective, encouraging high ridership. These cities have a combination of trains, buses, sidewalks and bike lanes that help residents transport themselves where they want to go in an accessible and convenient manner.

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Advanced information and communication technologies for transport Advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) offer great opportunities to encourage a shift toward greater use of mass transport or vehicle-sharing schemes and away from private ownership. The digitisation of information such as reservations and payment is already being used for car share and bike share businesses internationally. These businesses use ICT, smartphones, wireless and mobile access to the Internet, global positioning systems, and other technologies to conduct transactions and manage accounts. The success of these businesses is a reflection of a generational shift towards increased access through sharing and less ownership. Elements of this shift are visible in other sectors such as computing and digital entertainment, where services such as cloud computing allow access to services without requiring ownership. Tracking of public transportation with ICT has also been a new application that is being adopted in many cities. Having knowledge of schedules, routes, and real-time status updates for traffic and accidents will make the use of public transportation much more efficient and convenient. Increased convenience helps increase ridership, amplifying the benefits associated with the public transport model of sustainable urban transport.

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Figure 6: Comparison of space required for different modes of transport

London's new bicycle hire scheme reflects a shift towards sustainable urban transport.

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Figure 7: Solar charging stations of different scales for electric vehicles:11

Advanced lithium ion

Cars, bicycles

Flow battery

Bus, fleets

ICT (smart phones, GPS)

Integrating information access

Figure 8: How different technologies can assist in creating a Smart Energy Network.

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Electrification of transport Recent efforts to reduce dependence on liquid fossil fuels for transportation have resulted in a significant push toward electrification. While other approaches such as biofuels, hydrogen, natural gas, light-weighting and nextgeneration internal-combustion engines have been pursued with limited success, electrification has presented itself as the option with the highest potential for impact on reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage. It is also an option that can effectively make use of existing infrastructure. The advent of several commercial vehicle models demonstrates the readiness of electric vehicles. Electric transport in the form of trains, subways, trams and streetcars is also already in use, with widespread acceptance and success. Advances in battery technologies have helped improve the performance and lowered the cost of other forms of electric mobility such as electric bicycles. Electric bicycles have a significant role to play in emerging economies in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, allowing the reduction of air emissions and vehicles occupying road space. Another interesting battery development is the application of flow batteries to transport.12 Flow batteries are unique in that a flowingelectrolyte battery stores the chemical energy in an external electrolyte tank, sized in accordance with application requirements. Recharging this battery can be accomplished by simply swapping over the depleted liquid electrolyte with charged electrolyte, thereby allowing ‘instant’ refuelling. This concept is under development with an initial demonstration of a bus powered by a Vanadium Redox Battery. Superconductors for dense urban requirements The stresses on existing electricity distribution and supply infrastructure will be exacerbated by the growth of the electrification of transportation, and the information and communication technology expansion to meet broadband applications such as video conferencing, telepresence, and telecommuting. The existing transmission and distribution system is ageing and its replacement along traditional technologies will not be adequate to meet the needs of a growing urban population and a much higher level of demand for electricity services. The electricity supply infrastructure will need to be expanded by some magnitude if electricity becomes a primary source of power for transportation in addition to the demand requirements of a dense urban population for high-quality energy. (See Figure 9) Conventional infrastructure for existing transmission lines such as poles, towers and cross-arms are limited in their ability to support the weight of the extra wires required to increase capacity. Although Smart Grids can alleviate the need for increased demand to some degree, superconductors offer an

11 Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy 2011. Adapted from Heckerooth S. at http://renewables.com/ 12 See also the role of flow batteries for large-scale storage and as an enabler of renewable energy generation (Chapter 6, Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030).


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Chapter Figure 9: Set of challenges in electricity transmission and distribution.13

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CAPACITY

RELIABILITY POWER QUALITY

Electric power concentrated in cities and suburbs 33% of power used in top 22 metro areas urban power bottleneck

Average power loss/customer (min/year) US France Japan

$26.3 billion Sustained interruptions 33%

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214 53 6 $52.3 billion Momentary interruptions 66%

US $79 BILLION ECONOMIC LOSS 2030 Long distance electricity transmission 50% demand growth (US) 100% demand growth (world) storing electrical energy Supercables could transport energy in both electrical and chemical form. Electricity would travel nearly resistance-free through pipes (dark blue) made of a superconducting material. Chilled hydrogen flowing as liquid (lightcould blue)transport inside theenergy conductors keepand theirchemical temperature absolute zero. A Supercable Supercables in bothwould electrical form.near Electricity would travel nearly with two conduits, each pipes about (dark a meter in diameter, simultaneously transmit five gigawatts resistance-free through blue) made of acould superconducting material. Chilled hydrogenof flowing opportunity to dramatically increase electricity and blue) 10transport gigawatts of thermal power (table). as liquid (light insideenergy the conductors would keep temperature near absolute Supercable Supercables could in both electrical and their chemical form. Electricity would zero. travelAnearly with two conduits, each about a meter in diameter, could simultaneously transmit gigawatts of resistance-free through pipes (dark blue) made of a superconducting material. Chilledfive hydrogen flowing both the capacity and efficiency of electricity 10inside gigawatts ofenergy thermal (table). Supercables could transport in power both and chemical form. wouldAtravel nearly as liquid (lightand blue) the conductors wouldelectrical keep their temperature nearElectricity absolute zero. Supercable power transmission. They achieve this through pipes (dark in blue) made of a superconducting Chilled hydrogen withresistance-free two conduits, each about a meter diameter, could simultaneously material. transmit five gigawatts of flowing by allowing much more current to pass as liquid (light blue) inside the conductors would keep their temperature near absolute zero. A Supercable electricity and 10 gigawatts of75 thermal cm power (table). with two conduits, each about a meter in diameter, could simultaneously transmit five gigawatts of through much narrower wires and this 40ofcm electricity and 10 gigawatts thermal power (table). 75 cm feature would be a premium in a highly 3.8 cm 40 cm dense urban environment with severe 75 cm 3 cm 3.8 cm geographic limitations. 40 cm 75cm cm 3 To overcome the challenges of 3.8 cm 40 cm transmitting electricity on a large scale High-voltage 3 cm 3.8 cm insulation

+ + +

– – –

3 cm High-voltage insulation Thermal High-voltage insulation insulation Thermal High-voltage insulationinsulation Thermal Superconductor insulation Thermal insulation Superconductor Hydrogen Superconductor Hydrogen Superconductor Hydrogen

from distant resources, the development of a continent-wide ‘SuperGrid’ has merit. The vision is consistent with the Equinox Blueprint of a Low-carbon Electricity Ecosystem predicated on baseload generation from renewables coupled with large-scale storage, Enhanced Geothermal and Advanced Nuclear Technologies. Super cables that would transmit extraordinarily high electricity current nearly resistance-free through superconductivity are capable of delivering the energy for the urban population in emerging megacities. Distant generators in different climatic regions can be integrated to optimi se management of peak demand and it allows construction of facilities away from population centres. Study conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has shown that

+

SUPERCABLES SUPERCABLES SUPERCABLES SUPERCABLES

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Hydrogen Voltage/temperature

Flow rate

Power delivered

Voltage/temperature Flow rate Power delivered +50 000 volts and 5 000 megawatts 50 000 amperes –50 000 volts electric Voltage/temperature Flow rate Power delivered +50 000 volts and 5 000 megawatts DC circuit 50 amperes 0.6000 cubic metre/ 10 000 megawatts –50 000 volts electric Liquid hydrogen 20 kelvins Voltage/temperature Flow rate pipe 5 000 Power delivered second in each thermal +50 000 volts and megawatts DC circuit 50 000 amperes 0.6 cubic metre/ 10electric 000 megawatts volts Liquid hydrogen –50 000 20 kelvins second in each pipe +50 000 volts and 5 000thermal megawatts DC circuit 50 000 amperes Figure 10:The special chracteristics of supercables. 0.6 cubic metre/ 10 000 megawatts –50 000 volts electric Liquid hydrogen 20 kelvins second in each pipe thermal 0.6 cubic metre/ 10 000 megawatts Liquid hydrogen 20 kelvins second in each pipe thermal DC circuit

13 Energy 2006: LaCommare, K. et al.“Cost of power interruptions to electricity consumers in the United States”.

adapted from: Scientific American, 26 June 2006

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Figure 11: Superconducting wires (right) compared to copper wires (left).

Fast limiting of fault currents • avoid damage to grid and equipment • avoid power interruptions

Current (kA)

adapted from: Crabtree, G. 2008

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15 25 35 45 55 65 75 85 95 Time (ms)

Figure 12: Characteristics of superconductivity that offer quality and reliability in urban electricity provision.

adapted from: Ausubel, J., The Industrial Physicist, 2004

Figure 13: Cryogenic superconducting cable.19

Inner cryostat wall Liquid nitrogen coolant Copper shield wire HTS shield tape High voltage dielectric HTS tape Copper core

Thermal superinsulation Outer cryostat wall

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SuperGrid connections to these new power plants would provide both a source of hydrogen and a way to distribute it widely, through pipes that surround and cool the superconducting wires. A hydrogen-filled SuperGrid would serve not only as a conduit but also as a vast repository of energy, establishing the buffer needed to enable much more extensive use of wind, solar and other renewable power sources. Figure 10 on the page 97 illustrates this concept.14 High-temperature superconducting cables have been touted as a promising alternative to copper cables for electric power transmission in urban settings and compact spaces. That’s because just one superconducting cable could replace more than 10 copper cables, cutting weight by over 95% and eliminating heating loss.15 Superconductive wiring carries about 10 times as much power as the same volume of conventional copper wiring. Although some of that power is lost and liquid nitrogen must be used to keep the superconducting cables cool, such cables are still more efficient than copper wiring, which loses 7-10% of the power it carries as heat. South Korean demonstration projects currently under development for their electricity networks indicates the potential for a more efficient and robust Smart Grids.16 Superconductors are also Fast, smart, promising solutions for reliability self-healing and quality in urban electricity switch provision, due to the characteristics of smart, self-healing power control. Superconductivity offers fast 0 limiting of fault current, avoiding Ic damage to grid and equipment and Current power interruptions. This feature is illustrated at left.17 Superconductivity is the ability for certain materials to exhibit very low resistance against the flow of electricity. The efficiency of superconductivity can be as low as zero resistance in superconducting DC current and 100 times lower than copper in superconducting AC current. However, to obtain such low levels of electrical resistance, superconducting materials must be kept extremely cold. The fundamental design of superconducting electricity cables involves wrapping the cable around a pipe filled with liquid hydrogen to provide the cold temperature needed to maintain superconductivity (See Figure 13 at left). These wrapping ‘tapes’ are thin strips of metal coated with a micrometer-thick layer of superconductor and films of ceramic insulators. Due to their higher transmission capacity relative to standard conductors such as copper and aluminum, superconductors could be particularly useful for dense urban settings where they can replace cables running over space-intensive Outer protective covering transmission towers. For safety, security and aesthetics, superconducting pipes are generally located underground. Although costly, building

Voltage across HTS (V)

Superconductors: smart, self-healing control 40 30 20 10 0 –10 –20 –30 –40

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14 Scientific American, July 2006: Grant, P.M. et al.“A Power Grid for the Hydrogen Economy: Cryogenic, superconducting conduits could be connected into a ‘SuperGrid’ that would simultaneously deliver electrical power and hydrogen fuel”. 15 MIT Technology Review, February 2011: Patel, Prachi. “Super-thin superconducting cables: New compact cables show promise for power transmission and high-field magnets”. 16 Nature, 8 October 2010: Milton, J. “Superconductors come of age”. 17 The Centre for Emergent Superconductivity 2008 (an Energy Frontier Research Centre under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences). 18 Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, a joint institute of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University: Lee, M. 2011. “High-temperature superconductor spills secret: a new phase of matter”. 19 The Industrial Physicist, October-November 2004: Ausubel, Jesse H. “Big green energy machines: How are we going to generate more power and decrease its impact on the environment”. .


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underground reduces vulnerability to sabotage or natural disaster, accidents, right of-way disputes, and surface congestion. It has been argued that by 2030, there could be many commercialised applications of superconductors, including power electronics, and especially in dense urban centres. Today cables are seen as the most promising high-temperature superconducting application with their commercialisation already underway. Current developers and manufacturers include GE, InnoPower, Furukawa Electric, LS Cable, Changtong, Sumitomo, Ultera, Nexans, Condumex, VNKIP, Southwire, American Superconductor, SuperPower and Metox. An additional example of emerging application of superconductivity is small motors wound with high-temperature superconducting wire are also already on the market, which are half the size and weight of a conventional motor built with copper coils and with half the electrical losses. Tokyo Electric Power has also calculated that a zero-emissions power plant using such technology could reach efficiencies close to 70%, well above the 55% peak of gas turbines today.21 Another example is wind turbines based on superconducting technology enabled direct-drive generators. Because superconducting wires have essentially zero electrical resistance, they allows for greater electricity flow, and thus reduce the weight, eliminate moving parts and decrease maintenance costs of generators. See Figure 15 at right.22 Challenges Smart Grid technologies While new grid infrastructure will be necessary to connect generation resources, replace ageing assets and address growth, simply adding wires and equipment without intelligence is not a viable option. Although promising, Smart Grid technologies are not risk-free. Many of these technologies are in the early stages of development. Not all of them will advance to commercialisation and, for some, the cost of implementation on a commercial scale may prove prohibitive. Finally, the challenge of interoperability, enabling new and existing technologies to exchange information for effective functionality, is substantial. Overcoming these challenges will require innovation, investment, creativity and clearly defining the roles and opportunities for all the potential stakeholders.23 Promotion of public and self-powered transport Behaviour change will be vital, both for reducing demand overall and in particular for vehicle use. Currently ownership is a status symbol in many societies, meaning the shift to different models will require changing attitudes. In addition to the mindset that vehicle ownership is a sign of status, the main reason for high levels of

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Figure 14: Superconducting wire in application.20

CONVENTIONAL GEARBOX

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Figure 15: Wind turbines based on superconding technology enabled direct-drive generators. .

20 Alternative Energy Magazine, August/September 2009: McCall, Jack. “Superconductor electricity pipelines: an optimal long-haul transmission solution�. 21 See19. 22 See 17. 23 See 6.

adapted from: Matthews, J., Physics Today, April 2009

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personal ownership is the convenience factor. If mass transport is overcrowded, unreliable, and not easily accessible, passengers will opt out of using it. The promotion of public and self-powered transport in dense urban centres also requires substantial infrastructure such as bus lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks, underground subways, or above ground rail. Investment in this transportation system will take a large amount of financial capital so it is critical to ensure that ridership and utilisation is maximised to recover costs.

Traffic jam in Beijing’s Central Business District at night.

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Advanced ICT for transport Appropriate communications choices need to be made in light of available options, geography, customer mix and equipment being served. These choices will rely on a variety of technologies including cellular spectrum, fibre optics, power line carrier (including broadband over power line), WiMax, WiFi and others. Thus, open standards are critical to the employment of the widest possible range of devices; translation between proprietary and open standards in also necessary. By the same token, the communications protocols will also need to be standardised. Given the uncertain pace at which transport infrastructure would be reinvented, communications systems will also need to be scalable to allow for the addition of new devices. It is worth noting, too, that the similar concerns of standardisation, bandwidth and security in ICT integration are also barriers to Smart Grid development. Electrification of transport The electrification of light duty vehicles currently faces challenges. The main barriers are: (1) higher capital costs (2) range anxiety (3) integration issues. These three issues stem from the storage technology needed to hold the energy to fuel the vehicle. Lithium-ion batteries are currently the preferred storage option due to high energy densities and the relative maturity of the technology, building on experience from consumer electronics powered by lithium-ion batteries. The electric vehicle battery significantly increases the capital cost of a vehicle, due to the advanced materials and technologies required. The limited energy capacity of the battery results in the ‘range anxiety’ phenomenon for drivers who fear they will become stranded during their commute. Charging infrastructure may help mitigate some fears but requires significant investment and also may not be compatible with frequent usage such as car-sharing. Fast charging infrastructure face integration issues as the local grid may not be able to support this feature. Plug-in hybrid options or alternative fuel options are the likely suitable stop-gap measures. Technological barriers to be addressed by research and development include driving down the cost of batteries through new materials, new chemistries, and new designs. For example, advanced lithium battery technology such as lithium sulfur has great potential. Substantial research dollars are also used to improve the performance of current batteries such as higher energy capacities, faster charge and discharge rates, and wider operating temperatures. Attention is also given to developing grid technologies and power electronics to facilitate the deployment and integration of the charging infrastructure needed to support electric cars.


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The electricity supply infrastructure will also need to be expanded by some magnitude if electricity becomes a primary source of power for transportation. Other than technology R&D, there are also innovative financing and business models that can be used to address some of the challenges of electric vehicle adoption. Some auto-dealers have decided to lease the car batteries to consumers, deferring the initial up-front capital costs associated with ownership. An unconventional business model is to decouple the battery from the vehicle and generates revenue from the distance travelled. This would include provision of a supply of batteries and a network of swap stations where depleted batteries can be swapped for fresh ones.24 Such a model has the potential to lower the capital costs to consumers, address range anxiety, and limit the location of necessary grid upgrades. Superconductor for dense urban requirements Some of the barriers to superconductor deployment include: n Superconductors lose their remarkable properties when current above a critical value is passed through them, so the search for a commercially viable superconductor has focussed on materials that operate at a high temperature relative to low temperature superconductors and can carry large currents. At the moment, the ceramic compound yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) is the most promising material available.25 n Capital costs remaining high for some time, while infrastructure spending is at an all-time low. n Deployment is limited to developed countries with advanced electrical grid infrastructure, since the cost of building a centralised grid energy system from the ground up is exorbitantly high.

n Room temperature superconductors will be developed, but will have significant challenges.

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n It takes at least 10 years (mainly for permit reasons) to build a transmission line within a country.

Concluding remarks

Smart urbanisation

We have described promising technologies to support strategies for Smart Urbanisation that also includes electrification of transport. The convergence of Smart Grid technologies as part of an integrated energy network with superconductors, ICT and electrification of transport leads to a promising set of solutions of delivering electricity and enabling electric mobility in dense urban environment. Whereas Smart Grids, ICT and electric mobility are well-established concepts, superconducting technologies fill the niche of providing reliable transmission in dense urban environment with a small physical footprint. The challenges of reinventing an urban space along these lines critically depends on replacing ageing infrastructure and old paradigms associated with urban energy consumption.

24 Better Place is a venture-backed American-Israeli company based in Palo Alto, California that aims to develop and sell transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles. For an overview of their business model, see http://www.betterplace.com/the-solution 25 See 16.


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Conclusion

A

s the outcomes of the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 make clear, it will take many decades to develop more sustainable ways of meeting growing energy demand all around the world. But as Summit organisers and participants appreciate, the historical track record of scientific and technological achievements in advancing civilisation provides us with the strong motivation to look ahead and leverage science-first thinking in our approach to a lower carbon, electrified future. In doing so, this first summit from the Waterloo Global Science Initiative not only helped benchmark the current state of electricity production, transmission and storage around the world, but the ensuing discussions and culmination of findings by summit participants has provided this Equinox Blueprint with: n An energy ‘ecosystem’ point-of-view to approaching possible, lower carbon technologies

n Potential pathways to help advance research, development and implementation of long-term energy solutions n Technical details that help convey the complexities, challenges and opportunities posed by a few transitional technologies and systems. As science, technology and their wise application are critical factors to shaping the next century, it is expected that the many observations and ideas shared in this Equinox Blueprint can help stimulate the global energy dialogue as we navigate the future.

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QUORUM Alán Aspuru-Guzik Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, USA Dr Aspuru-Guzik is a pioneering chemist working on next generation solar technology. Blending quantum mechanics with theoretical chemistry, he aims to better understand how plants absorb energy from the Sun, and also how we can develop cheaper and more efficient photovoltaics. In 2008, in collaboration with IBM, he led the creation of the Clean Energy Project at Harvard University to simulate chemistry on computers across a global grid to discover the best molecules for organic photovoltaics. After studying chemistry in Mexico, he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 and, for the past five years, has been a professor at Harvard. Recently, MIT’s Technology Review named him one of the 35 Top Innovators Under 35 for his outstanding career accomplishments. He received several awards recognising his academic potential and early successes, including the Hewlett-Packard Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, the Everett Mendelsohnn Excellence in Mentoring Award at Harvard, and the Young Faculty Award from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Jillian Buriak Canada Research Chair in Nanomaterials and Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Canada Prof. Buriak is manipulating nanomaterials in a whole new way to create next-generation photovoltaic technology. Through an innovative multidisciplinary approach with university and government collaborators from various fields, as well as industry partners, she is improving the efficiency of our existing solar cells and finding cheaper and better materials to make them. Named a Canada Research Chair in 2004, her research into the smallest matter is having an enormous impact on multiple fields, including renewable energy, oil sands extraction and the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In addition to her role at the University of Alberta, she is also the Senior Research Officer at the National Institute for Nanotechnology and, in 2007, she was appointed to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She received her PhD in 1995 from the Université Louis Pasteur in France and has won numerous awards for her distinguished career and numerous breakthroughs. These include the Rutherford Medal

of the Royal Society of Canada in 2005, the American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award in 2003 and in 2004 she was named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40. Craig Dunn Chief Operating Officer, Borealis GeoPower, Canada Dunn is a strong advocate for ‘Big G’ geothermal – tapping into high-temperature geothermal resources deep within the Earth for clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible sources of energy. His company, Borealis GeoPower is breaking new ground in Canada by exploring the potential for large-scale geothermal development in Alberta, British Columbia and remote northern communities. He believes Canada’s fledgling geothermal industry can reach new heights through public awareness, policy changes and investor education. A passionate outdoorsman, Dunn began his career in the energy industry providing environmental audits and remediation services. Through his work with various mining and energy companies, he quickly became a leader in geological exploration across Western Canada. In 2003, he established WellDunn Consulting, a geological consulting firm for the oil and gas industry and multiple geothermal exploration projects in the U.S. and Canada. Dunn was one of the key players involved in the resurgence of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA), where he co-authored the Geothermal Policy Best Practices in 2009. He continues to work with CanGEA to establish education programs and a national study for geothermal potential in Canada. Dunn lives in Calgary, Alberta. Cathy Foley Chief – Science, Material Science and Engineering Division, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia Dr Foley is an Australian physicist whose work in superconductivity could lead to technological leaps in how we produce and distribute electricity. Along with practical applications for mineral exploration and electricity transmission, her research is bringing us closer to the development of fusion as a groundbreaking future energy source. She is head of the Material Science and Engineering Division at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, where she sets research strategies and works tirelessly to promote science. She was the first female head of the Australian Institute of Physics, which she led from 2007 to 2009, and won a Nokia Business Innovation Award in 2009. She is the current president of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, which represents the interests


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biographies of participants of some 68,000 Australian scientists within public policy. She received her PhD from Macquarie University in 1985, as well a Diploma in Education. She has a global reputation in her field and has received numerous awards for her support of scientific progress, science education and promotion of women in science, including a Public Service Medal in the 2003 Australia Day Honours and a Eureka Prize. Yacine Kadi Project Leader, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and Professor, Department of Energy Science, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea Dr Kadi is leading efforts to build nextgeneration nuclear reactors that use new types of fuel and eat their own waste. He is an applied physicist at CERN, where he investigates how we can use thorium to create safe, abundant sources of energy for a fraction the size and cost of traditional nuclear reactors. He served on a Thorium Report Committee for the Research Council of Norway from 2007 to 2008 that studied the potential for accelerator-driven systems based on thorium. He continues his work both at CERN and at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, where he holds a professorship. A strong proponent of thorium-based progress in energy generation, he has advised the South Korean government on the possibility of developing reactors for the United Arab Emirates. In the late 1990s, working with Carlo Rubbia, the 1984 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, he explored the link between energy research and application in the Emerging Energy Technologies Group at CERN. Dr Kadi received his PhD in Nuclear Reactor Physics from the Université de Provence in France in 1995. Greg Naterer Canada Research Chair in Advanced Energy Systems and Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Much of Dr Naterer’s work lies within the realm of thermodynamics, where he believes tools can be created to overcome the tremendous energy waste that exists in today’s technologies. He uses leading edge science to improve energy efficiency in power generation and distribution systems, from fluid systems to heat exchangers. As a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Advanced Energy Systems, he is collaborating with Atomic Energy of Canada and other partners to find better ways to produce hydrogen from water, which can later be coupled with solar or nuclear methods for cheaper, large-scale production of hydrogen. His team also uses nanotechnology to develop new ways to replace or extend the lives of batteries

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in applications such as bio sensors and exhaust heat recovery systems in hybrid vehicles. In 2010, he received a major grant to further his work on heat transfer and energy efficiency through NSERC’s Discovery Grant competition in Mechanical Engineering. Dr Naterer is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME) and Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1995. Linda Nazar Canada Research Chair in Solid State Materials and Professor, Department of Chemistry/Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo Dr Nazar is passionate about shifting how we look at energy to deal with our global climate change crisis. She investigates new nanomaterials that could fundamentally change the efficiency of how we store electricity, and the rate at which it can be stored and discharged. As a world leader in inorganic materials research, her work focuses on overcoming the large-scale implementation challenges posed by current lithium-ion solutions. She is developing energy storage devices to better store the intermittent power from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, and for various electric car power enhancements. Dr Nazar received her PhD from the University of Toronto and since 2004, she has held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Solid State Materials. She also teaches chemistry and electrical engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr Nazar received the Electrochemical Society International Battery Division Award in 2009, was the 2010 Moore Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology and was recently named the 2011 Rio Tinto Alcan award-winner for her research in inorganic electrochemistry. Maria Skyllas-Kazacos Professor Emeritus, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Australia Prof. Skyllas-Kazacos is a chemical engineer whose invention of the Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) in the late 1980s may well revolutionise how we store energy. The VRB is a unique type of flow battery that can repeatedly absorb and release huge amounts of electricity, making them possibly the best partner for renewable energy. Over the past 25 years, Prof. Skyllas-Kazacos has been improving the technology and finding commercial applications in various markets to reduce the cost and make the VRB a feasible solution to our energy storage challenges. Prof. Skyllas-Kazacos’ VRB technology can already be found


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in action in Japan, USA, Europe and Australia for storing wind and solar energy and balancing peak electricity demand. Prof. Skyllas-Kazacos recently joined the Advisory Board for Apella Resources Inc. to help grow their presence in the vanadium markets. She is Professor Emeritus for the University of New South Wales in Australia, where she received her PhD in 1978. As a distinguished academic, Prof. Skyllas-Kazacos has won several awards for her research, including the R.K. Murphy Medal from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute in 2000 and the Order of Australia in 1999. Ted Sargent Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology and Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada A Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology, Sargent’s investigations on the nanometre frontier are leading to a new era of inexpensive and efficient solar cells. His paint-on solar cells are transforming how we harvest the Sun’s energy by tapping into invisible infrared rays to produce electricity on cloudy days. Prof. Sargent is also Founder and CTO at InVisage Technologies, a company that is working toward bringing QuantumFilm – an advanced image sensor technology – to market. He serves as Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he received his PhD in 1998. He was named one of the world’s top innovators by MIT’s Technology Review in 2003 and a research leader in the Scientific American 50 in 2005. More recently, he was named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an Investigator for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and authored The Dance of Molecules: How Technology is Changing Our Lives (2005).

FORUM Esther Olubukola Adedeji Project Officer with Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development, Nigeria Adedeji has a Master of Environmental Management from the University of Lagos in Akoka, Nigeria and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Sciences from the University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Nigeria. She recently completed a certificate in climate change adaptation in agriculture and natural resource management at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Currently among other

projects, Adedeji is engaged in a project to improve the health and socioeconomic status of people working in sawmills. Zoë Caron Climate Policy and Advocacy Specialist for World Wildlife Fund Canada Toronto, Canada Caron has been captivated by energy since seeing the tremendous power of nature harnessed at a hydroelectric dam when she was eight years old. She co-authored Global Warming for Dummies with Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May. Her passion and expertise in renewable energies has garnered her recognition from ELLE magazine, Alternatives Journal, Vanity Fair and Green Living Magazine. Will Catton Recent Physics PhD graduate, University of Otago and Research Scientist, Energy and Automated Prediction Service, MetService, New Zealand Catton did his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in physics at the University of Cambridge, before returning to New Zealand to study energy efficiency issues. He now works as a Research Scientist in the Energy and Automated Prediction Service team at MetService NZ. His article “Progress, Laughter, Sex (but not in that order)” describes the importance of humour in human evolution and won the 2008 NZ Royal Society Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing in non-fiction. And he can juggle five balls. Kerry Cheung Science and Technology Policy Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Washington, D.C., USA Cheung was awarded both a Master’s and PhD in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his Bachelor’s in Applied Engineering Physics from Cornell University. His research in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, nanofabrication techniques, and instrument miniaturisation resulted in six publications and two U.S. patents. Currently, he is spending his AAAS fellowship working at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, where he supports strategic planning efforts and interoffice collaborations for grid modernisation and systems integration with an emphasis on power electronics, energy storage and Smart Grid technologies. His policy interests are in sustainability, clean energy, urban redevelopment and rural electrification.


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biographies of participants Felipe De Leon Managing Partner at Insight Green Services based in Latin America Escazú, Costa Rica De Leon has over six years experience as a consultant with a strong emphasis on clean energy projects in the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. He specialises in climate finance, carbon markets and low-carbon development, having worked throughout Latin America in wind power projects, hydropower projects, and the development of the Colombian carbon market, among others. He studied industrial engineering at Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and Sustainable Management at the Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas. Lia Helena Demange Lawyer and Project Manager, Brazil Environmental Institute Demange is currently obtaining her Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law at Pace University in New York State, where she defended the thesis “The Principle of Resilience”, thereby proposing the acknowledgement of a new principle of law. She received her law degree from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. A passionate advocate for the environment, Demange served as Advisor to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) through the United Nations in 2011. She also practices law in São Paulo and serves as project manager to Instituto Brasil Ambiente (Brazil Environment Institute). Jian hua Ding Researcher for China Urban Construction Design & Research Institute (CUCD), Beijing As part of her current position, Ding authored a paper on waste management and greenhouse gas emission for “China Low-carbon Eco-city Development Report 2011”, and drafted the waste management chapter for “Low-carbon Eco-city Development Guidelines” that will be used by China’s Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Development as national policy. She studied Chinese Language and Literature at the Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China before receiving a MA in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California. Marc McArthur Manager, Ottawa Cleantech Initiative, Canada McArthur studied Mechanical Engineering at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and

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works at the intersection of business, research and policy. He organised and co-chaired the first Canadian Cleantech Summit in April 2010 in Ottawa with 250 national and international attendees. Plus, he co-created Impact Magazine, a biannual, bilingual magazine that covers the cleantech sector in Canada. In addition to cleantech, he has a keen interest in martial arts and taught high school physics, chemistry and math at age 19. Aaron Leopold Director, Environment and Sustainable Development, Global Governance Institute, and Energy Content Editor and Team Leader, International Institute for Sustainable Development, New York, USA Leopold is Director of Environment and Sustainable Development at the Global Governance Institute, which he co-founded. He is also the Energy Content Editor and a Team Leader at the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s (IISD). His expertise falls in the fields of renewable energy governance as well as energy access and energy poverty. Leopold holds an MA in Global Political Economy from the University of Kassel in Germany and is completing his PhD at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and University of Kassel on the political economy of biofuels. Jakob Nygard Working toward MSc in Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark Nygard is studying political science, global energy governance, and environmental law at the University of Copenhagen, with time spent studying at the University of California, Berkeley. Since September 2011, Nygard has done policy research and analysis for the S&D group in the European Parliament with particular emphasis on the Energy Efficiency Directive, The Low-Carbon Roadmap 2050 and the Energy Roadmap 2050. Nygard has authored several papers including a peer-reviewed article on the politics of energy. Nygard is an avid sailor and spent six weeks as a crewmember sailing the two-masted yawl, Nordkaperen around Borneo. Lauren Riga Director, Environmental Affairs & Green Urbanism, City of Gary, Indiana Lecturer, School of Business, Valparaiso University, USA Riga takes an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability by connecting areas of science, policy and business. In addition to directing sustainability for the City of Gary, Indiana and teaching at Valparaiso University’s


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School of Business, she serves on several government committees and has been a delegate at United Nations conferences related to water, energy, sustainable development and climate change. She is a contributing analyst for several media outlets and engages the public with her radio show, Sustainability 101. Lauren has an honors MS with an emphasis on global energy markets from Valparaiso University and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Affairs from Indiana University Northwest. Vagish Sharma Senior Executive for Energy Operations and Management, Jagurih Group New Delhi, India Sharma’s position with Jagurih Group has him responsible for strategic planning on renewable energy development, climate change mitigation, emissions trading, financial structuring and generation of additional revenue streams in India. He received a Master’s of Technology in Biotechnology with specialisation in Energy Business Management from Amity University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. His research on microbial fuel cells won him a Young Entrepreneur selection in 2009 and 2010 by the Indian Department of Biotechnology. Ted Sherk Project Coordinator for Sustainable Technologies at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Canada Sherk received a Master’s of Environmental Studies as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His thesis examined energy-related attitudes and behaviours of homeowners who adopt solar energy projects versus non-adopters. He financed much of his university expenses as a gigging jazz and classical bassist. Gita Syahrani Senior Associate for DNC Advocates at Work, Jakarta, Indonesia Syahrani has studied international, energy, and climate-change law and policy at the University of Padjadjaran, Indonesia and the University of Dundee, United Kingdom. Through DNC she advised the Indonesian government on a national low carbon and clean energy investment strategy. In addition to law, she is active in several NGOs and has produced, announced and written a variety of TV and radio shows.

José Maria Valenzuela Deputy Director, General Direction for Energy Studies, Secretariat of Energy, Mexico As an observer at the UNFCC COP16, Valenzuela was chosen to deliver the final message on behalf of the Research and Independent NGO constituency. He has worked with several research institutions, including the Climate Policy InitiativeBeijing as a Visiting Fellow. Valenzuela recently joined the Mexican federal government and works on sustainability and technology policy. He received his undergraduate degree from El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City and a Master’s of International Development at Tsinghua University, Beijing.   Wei Wei MPA Candidate, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University New York, USA Wei studied economics and business at Beijing’s Capital University of Economics and Business, where one of his projects investigated heavy polluters and how the government should levy environmental taxes. Wei was also a Project Manager for the China Youth Climate Action Network in Beijing, China. He represented Greenpeace China at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Arthur Yip Technical Business Analyst Assistant for the National Research Council and Industrial Research Assistance Program, Canada As an intern at NRC-IRAP, Yip assists in providing advisory services to the clean energy technology and innovation cluster in Vancouver, Canada. He also had stints at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources Canada. He studies chemical engineering and has led local Engineers Without Borders Canada initiatives at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


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ADVISORS Jay Apt Professor of Technology, Tepper School of Business & Engineering and Public Policy, and Executive Director, Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Centre, Carnegie Mellon University As Executive Director and Professor of Technology at the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Centre, Prof. Apt works to improve public policy surrounding electrical advancements and the economics of technical innovation. He has extensive experience researching and teaching in engineering systems design and risk management policy, and assists Carnegie Mellon with important investigations into the electricity industry that influence policy makers and the energy industry decision-makers. From 1976 to 1980, he was a staff member of the Centre for Earth and Planetary Physics at Harvard University, which led him to a long and eventful career with NASA; first as a researcher, then Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the Table Mountain Observatory, and later as an astronaut. Between 1985 and 1997, he took part in four space shuttle missions – involving two spacewalks – and has orbited Earth 562 times. In 1997, he received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. More recent awards include the 2002 Metcalf Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to engineering and a Fellowship from The Explorers Club in 2008. Prof. Apt is an avid pilot, and has logged thousands of hours flying in approximately 25 different types of aeroplanes, seaplanes, sailplanes and human-powered aircrafts. Robin Batterham President, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineers; Former Chief Scientist of Australia and Former Group Chief Scientist, Rio Tinto Dr Batterham combines chemical engineering, sustainability practices and a fascination with minerals to guide government and industry in how they act on and carry out basic research. From 1999 to 2006, he was Chief Scientist of Australia and advised major governmental bodies on a broad range of scientific programs, and produced a widely accepted blueprint for how the Australian government could support research in the early years of the 21st century. During this time, he also served as Chief Technologist for the multinational mining company Rio Tinto, where he greatly improved and further developed their industrial technology processes and equipment. Throughout his career, he has worked closely with minerals, developing a

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number of novel processes, which are still used today in the mineral sector across the world. Today, Dr Batterham is Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne and the President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). He received his PhD from the University of Melbourne and he is also an accomplished organist who has performed in major cities around the world. Jason Blackstock Strategic Advisor and CIGI Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation and Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Dr Blackstock investigates the intersection of science and international affairs as it applies to global climate, energy systems and nanotechnology. His research in geoengineering focuses on better understanding the risks and scientific, political and global governance of emerging technologies. His recent publications include “Towards a people-centered framework for geoengineering governance: a humanitarian perspective” in Geoengineering Quarterly (March 2010), “The politics of geoengineering” in Science (January 2010) and “Climate Engineering Responses to Climate Emergencies” in Novim (July 2009). He splits his time between the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. He is also an Associate Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Science, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Social Innovation Generation, University of Waterloo. From 2003 to 2007, he was a Research Associate with the Quantum Science Research group of Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Silicon Valley, where he developed nanoscale electronic and sensor technologies. He earned his PhD in physics from the University of Alberta in 2005, as well as a Graduate Certificate in International Security from Stanford and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. Barry Brook Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change, and Director, The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide, Australia Dr Brook is a leading environmental and energy expert who believes in the power of effective communication for a sustainable future. He looks at how we’re treating the planet today, and what it means for our tomorrow. His research focuses on ecological systems, conservation biology, climate change impacts and prospective energy systems, with a preference for employing an energy mix of nuclear and renewable sources. He has published three books that seek to bring technical


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science to policymakers, industry leaders and society alike, along with many scientific papers. He also regularly writes popular articles for the media. Dr Brook has received a number of accolades for his research and public outreach work, including the 2010 Community Science Educator of the Year at the South Australian Science Excellence Awards, the 2007 H.G. Andrewartha Medal from the Royal Society of South Australia for outstanding research by a scientist under 40, and the Australian Academy of Science’s Fenner Medal in 2006 for distinguished research in biology by a scientist under 40. He received his PhD from Macquarie University in 1999, and is known for his lively blog, Brave New Climate. Velma McColl Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group and Steering Committee Member, Sustainable Prosperity With a rich history in all aspects of public policy, Velma McColl focuses on strategically enhancing Canada’s global competitiveness in clean technology, energy and sustainable development. She studied at the University of British Columbia and the Banff School of Management and has worked with a variety of organisations across Canada, including academia, think tanks, not-for-profit organisations and the public sector. She worked as the climate change policy advisor to Canada’s Environment Minister and as a strategic coordinator at Fisheries and Oceans. McColl is also a frequent writer and commentator on international and national energy and climate change issues, bringing a strong economic and political understanding. As a Principal at the Earnscliffe Strategy Group in Ottawa, she works on a range of economic and social issues and specialises in energy, environment and green technologies. She is co-founder of the Canadian Clean Technology Coalition, and Women in Government Relations, and plays a leadership role with several organisations, including Sustainable Prosperity and the Ryan’s Well Foundation. Jatin Nathwani Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy and Sustainable Energy Management, and Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Canada Dr Nathwani is at the forefront of the global green revolution, pushing for sustainable electricity development for billions worldwide. Working closely with the Ontario government as an advisor, he is leading initiatives for energy conservation and demand management in the province, Canada’s most populous. With a focus on developing tangible solutions for both industry and public policy, he is investigating micro-grid combinations of wind and hydrogen fuel cells

for electricity in Ontario’s rural northern communities. He has extensive experience in the energy sector in long-term corporate and policy strategy, regulatory affairs, and the timely integration of R&D into business practice and success. He is a member of Ontario’s Smart Grid Forum and a Board Member for the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Energy. Dr Nathwani developed The Life Quality Index, an effective tool that enables national policy decisions by assessing the lives of people in the midst of scarce resources, and received his PhD in Engineering and Environment from the University of Toronto. Nicholas Parker Executive Chairman and Founder, The Cleantech Group and Chairman, Parker Venture Management Inc. Building on a rich background in finance and venture capitalism, Nicholas Parker focuses on accelerating the adoption of clean energy technologies around the world. Parker coined the term “cleantech” as he was co-founding Cleantech Group, which provides Fortune 1000 global corporations, investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers with the latest industry market intelligence through subscription-based research, global industry networking events, and world-class custom research services. Prior to his involvement with Cleantech Group, Parker was a venture capitalist for the world’s second solar company and also backed sustainable energy technology developed at MIT. In the 1990s, he founded, built and sold a leading transatlantic environmental finance strategy firm. Parker has also served as an advisor to multilateral agencies such as the World Business Council on Sustainability and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. He earned a BA Hons. in Technology Studies from Carleton University and an MBA from City University in London, U.K., and has contributed to numerous publications related to technology, finance and international business. He also served as Chairman of E+Co, a public purpose investment company for clean energy enterprises in developing countries, has interests in property development and is a member of several academic and think tank advisory boards. Parker has recently turned his attention toward helping Canadian cleantech companies. Walt Patterson Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Development Program, Chatham House and Visiting Fellow, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, England A nuclear physicist by training, Walt Patterson has been actively involved in energy and environmental issues for over four decades. Through his teaching, writing and advocacy,


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biographies of participants he strives to provide independent and polemic insight and advice on the current and future state of energy systems, and his areas of expertise include electricity generation, performance and infrastructure, with a strong emphasis on the nuclear and coal industries. He is a frequent commentator on nuclear issues and has made many appearances on radio and television broadcasts as an industry expert. He has published 13 books and hundreds of papers, articles and reviews on nuclear power, coal technology, renewable energy, energy systems, energy policy and electricity. His most recent book, Keeping the Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity (2009) provides practical road maps for electricity production, supply and use. He was series advisor to the awardwinning BBC drama series Edge of Darkness, and assisted in the development of a documentary series called The Energy Alternative, based on his book of the same name. Patterson was awarded the Energy Institute Melchett Medal in 2000 and in 2004 he was named an energy policy leader in the Scientific American 50 for his advocacy of decentralised electricity. Tom Rand Venture Capitalist, Cleantech Lead at MaRS Discovery District and author of Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit: 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World An active leader in the cleantech sector as a venture capitalist and policy expert, Tom Rand understands the ups and downs of the private energy industry. After selling his own successful global software company in 2005, Rand joined the MaRS Discovery District, an innovation and incubation hub in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to work with new ventures based on low-carbon technologies. His activities at MaRS focus on carbon mitigation and Cleantech venture capital, technology incubation and commercialisation, and public advocacy. He also sits on the board of a number of clean energy companies and organisations, including Morgan Solar. In 2010, he published Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit: 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World, which outlines his belief that the technologies we need for a lowcarbon future already exist in some form or another. He regularly speaks publicly about climate change issues and the economic opportunities afforded by the global transformation to a low-carbon economy. Rand holds a BSc in electrical engineering from University of Waterloo, an MSc in Philosophy of Science from University of London and London School of Economics, and an MA and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. Marlo Raynolds Senior Advisor, The Pembina Institute Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Development, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Canada Dr Marlo Raynolds has been at the forefront

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of energy advocacy and policy research in Canada for over 15 years through his work with The Pembina Institute. Dr Raynolds consults large energy companies on strategies for developing decision-making tools that consider the impacts on people, planet and profit. He also consults on energy systems and sustainability practices, while conducting research and advocacy work for the Canadian government at the provincial and federal levels. Dr Raynolds served as Executive Director of The Pembina Institute from 2004 to January 2011 before transitioning to his current position as Senior Advisor. For his extensive efforts on lowering carbon emissions and climate change, Dr Raynolds was recognised as one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” by The Globe and Mail in 2008. He credits his younger sister for sparking his interest in environmental issues, which was further nurtured by a stint in Germany working for a wildlife society. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta in 1999, a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership for the Voluntary Sector at McGill University, and a BSc in System’s Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo. David Runnalls Distinguished Fellow and Acting Director, Environment and Energy Program, Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI), Canada David Runnalls is one of Canada’s most distinguished leaders and visionaries in the sustainability sector and a determined advocate for international cooperation. As Distinguished Fellow and Acting Director of the Environment and Energy Program at CIGI, he provides strategic advice and support for Jim Balsillie’s role at the United Nations’ High-level Panel on Global Sustainability and also for CIGI’s environment and energy work program. He currently serves on the Royal Dutch Shell Sustainability Report External Review Committee and is a member of the CCICED Task Force on Trade and Investment. Runnalls is also a member of the Steering Committee for Sustainable Prosperity and Visiting Professor of Geography at the University of Ottawa. For the last 11 years, he was President of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Council for Export Development Canada, the Council for Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the Ivey Business School Sustainable Business Network, the federal External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation, as well as Co-Chair of the China Council Task Force on World Trade Organisation and Environment. An occasional writer and broadcaster, he has served as environment columnist for the CBC radio program As it Happens and for CTV’s Canada am. He was a member of the Discovery Channel’s regular environment panel and political columnist for the Earth Times, the paper of record for the United Nations Earth Summit.


Equinox

112 page

Blueprint:

energy 2030

biographies of participants

FACILITATORS Wilson da Silva Summit Moderator, Head of the WGSI Content Team and Editor-in-Chief, Cosmos magazine in Sydney, Australia The Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Cosmos, Australia’s #1 science magazine, da Silva has a long history as a science journalist and editor, including as a reporter/producer on Australia’s national public broadcaster, ABC TV; a foreign correspondent for Reuters; a staff journalist for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers; and the Sydney correspondent for New Scientist. A past president of the World Federation of Science Journalists, he’s the winner of 31 awards, including twice Australia’s Editor of the Year accolade for his work on Cosmos, and the coveted Australian Film Institute Award for Best Documentary. He led the WGSI Content Team, which conceived the Equinox Process and its innovative approach to bringing science and policy together.

Zhewen Chen Forum Support Team, Equinox Summit; Lead Integration, Equinox Blueprint Research Assistant, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy in Waterloo, Canada Chen has extensive research experience in global energy governance and energy transitions, global climate governance and the political economy of emerging countries. Recently, he held a Junior Fellow and Research Assistant position on the Energy and Environment Program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He holds a M.A. in Global Governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo and an M.A in Communication from Georgetown University. He has co-authored or contributed to academic publications related to energy and climate policies, and is continuingly doing academic research in those realms.

Daniel Normandeau Summit Facilitator and Senior Executive, ConversArt Consulting, Ottawa, Canada Normandeau is an experienced management consultant who provides professional and strategic development support to senior levels of government, industry associations and the private sector. He has been involved in the design and facilitation of workshops, large and small, helping engage employees, managers and senior leaders to work effectively together to envision, plan, implement and shape the future of their organisations. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from Carleton University, a Diploma in Education from McGill University and a Bachelor of Science from Concordia University’s Loyola College.

Miles Avery Ten Brinke Forum Support Team, Equinox Summit; Chapter Author, Equinox Blueprint Undergraduate student at University of California, Berkeley, USA Ten Brinke, a fourth-year BSc student in Society and Environment (focused on energy policy) at the University of California, Berkeley, has worked in various capacities in the field of energy over the past five years. Most recently he was a Research Assistant at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Canada, as part of the inaugural Cal Energy Corps program. He hopes to continue pursuing his academic and professional interests in global energy governance and politics, especially in working out ways of applying the theoretical and methodological tools and principles of Global Environmental Governance, Science & Technology Studies and Political Ecology to energy.

Stephen Pincock Summit Rapporteur, Lead Writer and Editor of the Equinox Blueprint, science journalist and editor, Sydney, Australia Pincock is a highly regarded science journalist and former London bureau chief of Reuters Health. The author of Codebreaker (2007) and The Intelligence Equation (2009), he writes for The Financial Times, Nature and The Scientist, and was the lead writer of The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers, an Australian Academy of Science publication explaining the current state of knowledge of climate science. He attended the Equinox Summit as Rapporteur, summing up its conclusions in the Equinox Communiqué, and acted as Lead Writer and Editor of this document, working closely with Equinox Summit participants.

Nigel Moore Forum Support Team, Equinox Summit; Contributor, Equinox Blueprint Undergraduate student at University of Waterloo, Canada Moore is a candidate for the Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. Most recently he joined the Oxford Geoengineering Program as Governance Project Manager. Prior to that, he was a co-op student at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Canada. He has also worked at Environment Canada on air pollution and climate policy research. He hopes to continue pursuing his academic and professional interests in environmental studies and climatechange related governance issues.


Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Elizabeth Goheen

The Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) seeks to catalyse long-range thinking that can advance scientific and technological ideas and strategies for the future. At the same time, WGSI founders were keen to ensure public engagement with as many Equinox Summit activities as possible, in order to share the ideas and scientific considerations more widely. To this end, the general public enjoyed onsite and online access to many of the Summit’s plenaries, panel discussions and lectures – all of which were streamed live. Although this is unusual for a science and technologyconference involving highly detailed content, a strong science communication partnership between Perimeter Institute and TVO, Ontario’s public educational media organization, made it possible. TVO’s involvement became a key feature of the Equinox Summit, extending to nightly, live broadcasts of TVO’s flagship current affairs program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin. In addition, a select number of specialist science and environment journalists also covered the Summit, in both open and closed sessions,operating under Chatham House Rules. Among them were reporters from Nature, The New York Times, Scientific American, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and other outlets. The WGSI website continues to share on-demand playbacks from all of the publically accessible events, as well as “Benchmark Videos” and other content that from the Summit. Please visit WGSI.org for more details.

Natasha Waxman

PUBLIC OUTREACH AND THE EQUINOX SUMMIT


Energy 2030 Blueprint  

A technological roadmap for a low-carbon electrified future developed at WGSI's Energy 2030 Summit. Learn more at wgsi.org/energy2030