On May 27 and 29, at a two-day colloquium at Moscow Power Engineering Institute, the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee members Adnan Amin, William Byun and Rodney John Allam discussed important trends in renewable energy development.
On May 27, Adnan Amin, Honorary Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), spoke about stimulating the transport sector transformation. According to him, in 2018, the sales of electric vehicles exceeded 2 million units, which is 58% more than the sales volume of the previous year. In particular, last year in Norway, the electric vehicle sales increased by 40%. This transition involved not only cars, but also buses. Some cities in China have turned their bus fleets into electric bus fleets. For instance, Shenzhen runs more than 16,000 electric buses. The electrification of transport indicates an upward trend in the renewable energy sources implementation process. The expert noted that the number of electric vehicles could increase from 6 million in today’s world to almost 1.2 billion by 2050.
Expanding on his idea of the increasing importance of renewable energy sources, William Il Byun, Managing Director of Asia Renewables, Head of Greenpower Fuels, Director of Conchubar Infrastructure Fund, spoke about the energy-related issues facing Tropical Asia and the Arctic, as well as about the potential of this region. The expert noted that for over 50 years, the GDP growth rates of Asian emerging markets had been steady, and their period of consistent rate growth had been the longest in the world. At present, Asia adheres to a long-term policy focused on economic development and, in particular, on development of energy industry as one of the most important areas. The scientist also emphasized the fact that the energy demand growth in developing countries was expected to be sustainable until 2035 and to increase by 30%. “In this regard, a rapid increase in renewable energy sources stock is required. State and corporate investments in R&D can contribute to this process,” the expert noted.
During the second day of the colloquium, Rodney John Allam, 2012 Global Energy Prize laureate, International Award Committee member, 8 Rivers Capital LLC partner, IPCC member awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, told the students about his invention, the Allam cycle. The Allam cycle is based on the following processes: Natural gas and pure oxygen are burned under high pressure in a combustion chamber, and the generated CO2 goes to a closed loop to pass through a special turbine, and then it is returned to the process. Energy conversion efficiency of the system is 58.9%, and it has a high carbon capture rate almost equal to 100%. Therefore, this technology makes it possible to obtain low-priced energy from hydrocarbon fuels, with no harmful atmospheric emissions produced. Its additional advantage is the low cost of electricity generation, comparable to that of other modern gas turbines: about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. The first power plant in the world that uses the Allam cycle for power generation has recently been launched in the city of La Porta (Texas). This 50 MWt demonstration thermal power plant was built by NET Power, an American company, in cooperation with Exelon Generation, CB & I, and 8 Rivers Capital.
We would like to remind that the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee members selected this year’s laureates during the meeting held on May 28. Their names will be announced at the official press conference at TASS on May 30.