Author Archives: olivianelson076

Run-of-the-River versus Hydropower Dams

ice-harbor-dam-credit-David-G-Rigg-usace-Many of us are familiar with the towering earth and concrete structures holding back large reservoirs of water, and this is the association that we have with hydroelectric power. Large dams with heavy water flows driving the turbines. Harnessing electricity from the flow of water, though, may not require this infrastructure.

When a dam is built it can serve many purposes, but a feature of the dam is that it holds back a large amount of water. This usually creates a reservoir and will flood large portions of land which may or may not be inhabited. The abandoned towns and villages may lie largely intact underwater and have become part of the marine environment.

Of course, with a structure holding back so much water, you have to be careful and certain to make sure that it can withstand the forces. A failure can mean the catastrophic release of water from the reservoir and give the population living downstream from the dam very little warning about the impending flood.

Though there are risks as described above, dams continue to be built and there is very little to worry about when it comes to their safety. However, because of these drawbacks, when looking at a way to use the flow of water to generate electricity, a run-of-the-river plant design may be more acceptable and feasible.

Using minimal invasive infrastructure, a run-of-the-river plant literally uses the existing flow of the river to drive the turbines. A drawback here is that the plant is dependent on how fast the river is flowing, which can vary by season. A dam with reservoir can more precisely control the flow of water through the dam, therefore it may have a higher capacity factor.

Another major consideration in determining how to harness the river’s power is whether or not the river needs to remain navigable. A dam is literally a wall built to block the river, so when a river is vital for transportation of goods and persons, a large dam may not be feasible.

As technology develops so to do we adapt to our own capabilities, but also draw inspiration for new designs because of our limitations. Run-of-the-river plants are an excellent example of engineering ingenuity.


Utility Automation


Parallel to the development of new grid technology, research and development of maximising the current grid infrastructure has also taken priority. To maintain the reliability of the grid as individual components wear down, operators need to utilise better management techniques of the grid. The largest component of this is utility automation and this sector of T&D has taken off in recent years.

Utility Automation primarily uses systems and IT engineering expertise to automate the monitoring, and management of T&D networks, instrumentation and control. In the ten years between 2010, when the global market for utility automation products came in at nearly US$11 billion, and 2020 the market is set to grow by nearly 40%.

The growth in this industry has its roots primarily in the under-investment that has taken place in infrastructure in the last 10-20 years. With many new technologies being implemented not only in grid management, and smart-grid technologies; but also microgrids and distributed generation technologies, the grid infrastructure is limited in its capacity to adapt.

Utility automation takes a lot of the human element out of the grid management and allows for more tasks to be performed at a higher level. This has taken away some of the tasks of engineers and grid technicians, freeing up the human capital as a resource to allow for the adoption of new technologies.

With automation come new vulnerabilities, and the risks of cyber-attack on the grid are real. Securing the grid requires yet more technology, and a new IT-branch has developed on the coattails of grid modernization.

Of course, utility automation technology also comes at a price. Therefore, it is focused on increasing grid efficiency of the existing grid as budgets and resources are allocated for replacement of outdated technology; while also being future-proof. New infrastructure can easily be built integrating the newest systems, and utility automation also allows for this backward-compatibility.

The New 2017 T&D Report and Database

NRG Expert has just released its 7th edition of its annual Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Report and Database. For those who are unsure of the significance of these documents, the report and database are essential resources for businesses on the brink of making important decisions in the electricity T&D market. A huge wealth of information is contained within the report and database – information that has been meticulously gathered by the analysts at NRG Expert from a vast range of reliable and credible sources.


The industry analysis that NRG Expert has compiled in the report and database forecasts data all the way up until 2021. This works to give companies an accurate idea of how certain key sectors of the industry will develop over the next four years. The valuable information is contained within the database, which is the main focus of the product on offer.


Contained within the database is a Global Data Summary that consists of three tabs: Annual Demand, Line Lengths and Capex. Briefly, the Annual Demand tab gives an overview of actual demand in 2016 by region and by country and forecasts from 2017-2021. Line Lengths offers a global overview of the total line length that was installed in both the transmission and distribution categories. Once again it shows actual figures for 2016 and a forecast from 2017-2021. Finally, Capex is the same as the previous tabs but shows capital expenditure in the T&D industry.


Moving on in the database and we have the Regional Files. NRG Expert has compiled information on 180 different countries, which are grouped into nine regions. Each region file has a tab for company listings within the T&D sector in that region and a breakdown of the Annual Demand and Capex figures for each of the countries within the region. These are then followed by an individual tab for each of the countries in the region, which contain detailed information about its national T&D industry.


There are 180 different country profiles in total and they all contain seven different sections of data. These are as follows:


  • Transmission2 and Distribution line-length (installed KMs) data:
  • Capex (2016 actuals forecast to 2021 in 2016USD) data:
  • Annual Demand (2016 actuals forecast to 2021 in 2016 USD) data:
  • Generation Capacity (Installed MW Capacity) data:
  • Voltage Breakdown and Overhead Underground Analysis
  • Network Maps
  • Listings of Grid Interconnections


All of the figures are in US dollars and are crucial to understand the Electricity T&D market, which consequently aids businesses to form strategies and improve the standing of their company.


The database is where the facts and figures can be found and this document works in tandem with the report. The report serves the purpose of giving a background and historical overview of the Electrical Supply Industry. It examines the present state of the industry and casts its gaze to the future to form an idea of what will happen within the market in the next few years. The report also includes explanations of the different sectors covered in the database. Finally, the report includes a full breakdown of the NRG Expert methodology for acquiring the data that can be found in the Transmission and Distribution Database and Report.


To conclude on a practical note, NRG Expert’s Transmission and Distribution Database and Report is a sound investment as an energy resource. It can take a business to the next level and help to increase profits through better developed strategies. The price of the product is £4,995 but can also be purchased in Euros or US Dollars (please enquire with NRG Expert for the prices in these currencies). The report and database can be purchased in electronic format, or can be bought as a hard copy. If you opt for a hard copy then please be aware that a delivery charge will apply.

NRG Expert OneSource

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When people want to get serious about energy they come to NRG Expert. Known as one of the leaders in the field of energy market research, the company compiles millions of lines of data from hundreds of different sources. This data is then put into reports, which can be purchased by companies looking to delve deeper in the energy world. But, NRG Expert offers its customers a lot more than just the option of buying individual reports. NRG Expert OneSource takes your energy data acquisition to a whole new level.


If you are serious about using energy market research to influence your business decisions and strategies then you are going to want as much information as possible. NRG Expert OneSource gives you access to the entire portfolio of NRG Expert reports. This allows you to peruse information from current and historic databases, giving you as broad a spectrum as possible. The information is constantly being refreshed by NRG Expert’s intelligence unit, so you never need to feel like you’re out of the loop.


Obtaining this much data and having it all in one place makes your life much easier when it comes to analysing and interpreting it all en masse for the good of your company. Of course, NRG Expert has made it even easier for you by offering a simple browsing system to navigate the data. Instead of trawling through analytics and charts, customers can simply pull up exactly what they want, saving both time and stress.


So, what make NRG Expert OneSource worth investing in? Well aside from the obvious benefits of having reliable industry intelligence at your disposal, this system can bring a lot more to the table. The entire almanac of data will be instantly available after purchase and you won’t need to download any software to access it. Furthermore, you will be able to examine data that has otherwise remained unpublished – a valuable feature in today’s competitive marketplace.


Need some more convincing? NR Expert OneSource also allows its users to download and print anything they need from the reports and databases. It also offers the ability of downloading from our system directly into your own spreadsheet so you don’t waste valuable time and money on data inputting. It will also save you a considerable amount of money when compared to buying numerous individual reports from NRG Expert.


All in all, it is safe to say that becoming a member of NRG Expert OneSource is a good investment and a smart business decision. If you’re ready to get involved then check out the website for information on how to purchase:

3 Types of Renewable Energy


For decades, and even today the vast majority of energy is produced using non-renewable sources. Generally, to generate electricity fossil fuels are burned. These sources such as coal, oil, and gas are considered non-renewable because there is a finite amount of these commodities. Once they are burned or consumed, the fuels cannot be reclaimed. One feature of many non-renewable sources of energy is that they are also highly polluting. The burning of the fuels releases gasses into the atmosphere. Nuclear, too, is a non-renewable source, though it does not emit any gasses into the atmosphere and is, in essence, carbon-neutral. Though nuclear has its own set of risks and concerns.

So what sources are renewable and what is actually the definition of renewable energy? Renewable energy is energy that is generated from a source that is not depleted, or naturally replenished on a human timescale.


Wind is perhaps one of the most commonly known renewable energy sources. Wind turbines are installed in locations where they can harness power generated by the wind as it flows over the specially engineered blades. Best located in areas with near constant winds, many wind farms are close to coastlines and even located offshore, though inland locations are also highly suitable for development for wind.


Along with wind, solar is perhaps also the best-known renewable energy source. A common misconception is that it always needs to be sunny for solar panels to generate energy. And while bright, direct sunlight certainly increases the output, and has panels operating at their most efficient, even on cloudy days solar installations are productive.


One of the most reliable sources of renewable energy and one of the most prevalent, hydroelectricity uses the flow of water stemmed by dams through turbines to generate electricity. Hydroelectric plants cannot be built just anywhere and require specific geographical features. Though once built, there are few external factors that influence the production of electricity, which is why this renewable source has been a staple of renewable energy production for many years and in many countries.


Oil Reserves and Production


The shortage between oil production and consumption worldwide has been increasing since the late 1990s. Generally a lack of supply does not appear to be due to a current acute lack of refining capacity; although refining capacity is more stretched than it was in the 1980s. Refining throughput accounted for 82% of total global refining capacity and actual crude production accounted for 89% of refinery capacity. Therefore, although new refinery capacity will need to come online in the near term to meet future demand, it is not a cause of current shortage concerns.

Most countries have oil reserves that can be mobilised to meet demand if supplies of oil are insufficient. Members of the European Union must have 90 day of reserves for the three main petroleum energy product categories and they must establish contingency plans, bodies and mandates to release the reserves in response to crisis market conditions through the Oil Supply Group. The US has the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Other countries have their own contingency reserves of oil. All OECD countries are obliged to hold a minimum of oil reserves to cover 90 days of net oil imports in public and private storage.

All of these countries don’t hold refined supplies of oil. Therefore, refining capacity is needed to utilise these supplies in a short period of time, which may be constrained especially if a disaster has occurred e.g. Hurricane Katrina or the last earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Furthermore, these countries are reluctant to use these stored reserves because they make the country extremely vulnerable to supply volatility and oil prices could rise further. Therefore to minimise the impact of oil supply shocks and ensure supply, make domestic production of unconventional oil more attractive, especially if oil prices are high.

The US mobilised its reserves in the first Iraq Gulf War (30 million barrels) and Hurricane Katrina (around 22 million barrels).


About NRG Expert

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Simply put, NRG Expert is a company that provides energy market research and intelligence. It compiles reports containing thousands of lines of energy data, which are then sold to leading companies around the world. But, what do these businesses do with this information? The research and information provided by NRG Expert helps these companies make important but difficult decisions about their energy infrastructure and projects and assists them in developing business strategies. With this high quality, reliable data and analysis at their disposal, much of which cannot be found elsewhere, companies are at an advantage over their competitors. This information, in brief, moves businesses up a rung on the ladder to success.


Melany Krangle, formerly of ABS Energy Research, heads the company. After ABS closed down, Krangle used her decade of experience in the energy research sector to start up NRG Expert. Her expertise in providing customers with energy consulting, market forecasts and general energy market research put her in good stead to create a brand new company that could carry on what ABS started.


Among the numerous reports and databases that have been compiled at NRG Expert, customers will find information on gas & oil, renewable energy, water & waste and electricity to name but a few. All of the information has been expertly acquired from our trusted sources by our team of analysts. Our energy market database has intelligence and research on over 210 countries and can be easily accessed through our online browser.


Occasionally, providing businesses with data is not enough. Sometimes companies need our help to understand what this research can do for them. In this case, NRG Expert can step in as a consultant. Our experts can carry out bespoke energy projects for our clients in order to help them make the best choices for their business.


In addition to providing reports and data, NRG Expert goes the extra mile to help its clients. One important part of our practice is our expert witness service. If you have an energy related legal dispute and you need someone to provide expert testimony, NRG Expert is well equipped to do so. Many of our team members have legal backgrounds which, when combined with their energy knowledge, makes them quite a formidable force.


NRG Expert is an approachable company with an array of services dedicated to helping you make the right choices for your business. Our team of analysts can provide research reports, act as expert witnesses and guide your company through the complex maze that is the energy market.