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Number 5 (February 2013)

Gas without Frontiers

The conference Gas without Frontiers: EDGaR-DVGW First Joint Conference has been held in Arnhem on 7–8 February. It contributed to strengthen the links between the Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches (DVGW) and the Energy Delta Gas Research (EDGaR).

More than 60 participants from the Netherlands and Germany discussed themes such as making new gases, infrastructure systems, system analysis and the effects of new gases. Key-note speeches had been delivered by Martin Scheepers (ECN), Gerard Linke (E.ON New Built & Technology), Frank Graf (Engler-Bunte-Institut) and Rob de Wolf (Gasunie). (Most of the presentations are available from EDGaR’s website.)

Several ideas have been putted forward for further research between both organizations. DVGW and EDGaR have agreed to continue the cooperation at the level of the existing projects and to prepare a joint European research project on gas. The event will have a sequel in Brussels in November 2013.

Fifth Research Day

The Fifth Research Day of the Energy Delta Gas Research will be held at the Villa Vennendal in Nunspeet, the Netherlands, on 25 April 2013. This event will showcase the results obtained so far per project during a poster session. It will represent a great opportunity to make a synthetic overview of the program.

The Program Steering Committee has invited outstanding key-note speakers. Prof. Dr. Gert Brunekreeft, director of the Bremer Energie Institut, at Jacobs University, Germany, has confirmed his venue. Sessions will be dedicated to gas quality, the integration of gas and electricity and the changing gas markets. The Board of Governors will hold a parallel event on knowledge valorization.

Integrating local and regional energy systems for enhancing sustainability

How to contribute to the development of an efficient and effective low-carbon energy system in the Netherlands by a further integration of the energy infrastructure at the local and regional level, both from a technical and socio-economic perspective? This question lies at the core of a new project titled ‘Integrating local and regional energy systems for enhancing sustainability.'

Under the leadership of Rolf Künneke (Delft University of Technology), it includes Kiwa, Enexis, Liander, Stedin, ECN and TNO. Together they will analyze how the sustainability of the energy sector can be increased by stronger integrating electricity, gas and possibly heat systems at a local and regional level. Hence, the focus is on the integration of energy systems close to the end user.

They will specifically focus their attention towards energy distribution companies, their roles and responsibilities under different technical conditions of systems integration. The research approach includes scenario analyses, institutional design, technical assessments and agent based modeling. With a budget of 1.2 million euros, the project is expected to be finished in December 2014.

Specifications for silicon-containing compounds in biogas

A first project has been successfully completed. ‘Specifications for silicon-containing compounds in biogas,’ under the leadership of Howard Levinsky (DVN KEMA and University of Groningen), has closed in December 2012, after two years of investigations. What are the effects of silicon-containing compounds in biogas on the performance and safety of domestic appliances? The partners Gasunie (research performed by DNV KEMA), Enexis, Liander and Stedin were interested in this project for which €300 000 has been awarded.

The research team has obtained interesting results pertaining to silica growth processes in natural gas flames and the effects of silica deposition on the performance of domestic equipment. Moreover, the team has developed a model to estimate the growth of silica fractal aggregates in flames and a physically relevant unit for the specification of siloxane. Finally, it has elucidated the mechanism of particle deposition in domestic appliances. Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is the product from the combustion of silicon-containing compounds, such as siloxanes, which can be found in biogas. It poses risks to the proper performance of domestic appliances.

The research team has published and presented results in various forums (part of which will be available to download on the project page). The results can be used by the project partners in the process of establishing limits for siloxane content in biogas to be admitted in the Dutch gas network. From a scientific point of view, the research team contributed to theoretical advances in particle growth and deposition, supported by analyses obtained with the aid of transmission electron microscope, in partnership with the University of Groningen.

Energy Summer School 2013

The Energy Summer School 2013 for PhD students will take place at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, from 17 to 28 June 2013. By bringing together and combining a broad range of disciplines, this summer school will offer a unique opportunity to doctoral students to become aware of new and different aspects of the energy transition, to develop novel insights and to create synergy in approaches to energy transition.

It will be the opportunity to develop new networks, to learn from experts in the field including practitioners, and to discuss one’s own work. Students will work on a practical case, energy in Russia, throughout the week.

The Summer School is jointly organized by the Groningen Energy and Sustainability Programme (GESP), the department of International Relations and International Organisations and the Energy Delta Gas Research (EDGaR), the Energy Delta Institute (EDI) and the Stichting Noord-Nederland Rusland 2013. Please visit the website of the summer school for further information and registration.

Short news

Midterm review of the program

The Program Steering Committee continues the mid-term review of the research program. Is has reviewed the progresses and the results made so far in clustered discussions with the research leaders and the project participants. Project leaders have identified the most important results per project. A report will detail and synthesize these results. It will be submitted to the International Advisory Committee, which will make a quality assessment of the program and make recommendations for the future.

Cluster meetings

The Clusters Day will be held in Amersfoort on 11 September 2013. The members of the Program Steering Committee will meet the research leaders and participants to their project. In clustered groups, they will review the results obtained thus far and share their common scientific and technical problems. The formal reports on the progresses will serve as a basis for the discussion. Further information about the schedule of this event will be communicated later to participants.

Master class on gas and sustainability

During the Energy Convention in Groningen, on 20 November 2013, a master class on gas and sustainability will take place with experts from the EDGaR program. Students will be invited to attend this event during which they can listen to specialists in their domain and exchange with them about their own research concerns. Further information about the program and registration will be available from EDGaR’s website as well as on the Energy Convention 2013's website.

About people

To Aberdeen. Olivia Wooley, who was working at the University of Groningen, has been hired as university lecturer at the University of Aberdeen. She will give lecture and do research on law and energy. Up until January 2013 she was contribuing to the project The use of new energy resources: the role of law and the impact on networks.

Up stream down stream. Andriaan van der Welle, researcher on electricity market and network issues at the Policy Unit of ECN, has joined the research project Up stream down stream.

Energy regulation. Martijn Groenleer, assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, has joined the project Operating the gas transmission system: institutional design challenges and solutions. He will conduct research on energy regulation, amongst others comparing the development of regulatory institutions for natural gas transportation in the United States and the European Union.

Data User Group. Thijs Jong, doctoral candidate at the University of Groningen, has been invited to participate to the Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL) Data Users Group. This working group aims at developping a common CITL database to facilitate research on EU ETS allowance usage. It is coordinated by Prof. Denny Ellerman from the Climate Policy Research Unit, European University Institute, Italy. Jong participates to the project Understanding gas sector intra-market and inter-market interactions.

Energy supply. Nick van Beest, postdoctoral student at the University of Groningen, joined the project Embedding decentralized energy supply in the infrastructure. He analyses the business processes in energy demand and supply. He is responsible for the design the information and communication technology reference architecture for decentralized control of the grid. The viability of this architecture will be tested using simulation.