Essen, Germany
Essen, Germany

RWE AG , is a German electric utilities company based in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia. Through its various subsidiaries, the energy company supplies electricity and gas to more than 20 million electricity customers and 10 million gas customers, principally in Europe. RWE is the second largest electricity producer in Germany. RWE previously owned American Water, the United States' largest investor-owned water utility, but this was divested in 2008. Subsidiary RWE Dea produces some of the oil and gas its parent sells and 3 billion m3 of natural gas . It is the largest German investor in Egypt . Also RWE has begun building more wind farms, a renewable energy business. Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 7, 2017

Uniper and Engie have made further write-downs on their still very new Dutch coal power plants, writes independent consultant Gerard Wynn, confirming the bleak prospects for coal power production in Europe. Yet Uniper is pressing on with plans to build another new coal plant in Germany. Courtesy IEEFA. In “The Dutch Coal Mistake” report we published late last year we warned of further write-downs to come from the extraordinary commissioning of three brand-new coal power plants in the Netherlands in 2015. That report spoke directly to the Dutch gaffe but raised broader questions about investing in new coal-powered generation anywhere in Europe. The policy backdrop here: A recent Dutch court ruling that the Netherlands will have to increase the ambition of its 2020 emissions target. The energy market backdrop: Falling electricity demand and power prices, and a massive rise in renewable energy capacity in neighboring Germany. Our report went into the scale of investment risk clouding new coal power plants in Western Europe and showed how, by mid-2016, three major European utilities—Engie, RWE, and Uniper—had already written down up to half the value of the new plants in the Netherlands. The takeaway was clear: the utilities had no chance of meeting their target investment returns on those plants. Indeed they had written down the value of the coal plants to as little as €1 million per megawatt (MW), compared with a construction cost and implied book value of about €1.9 million per MW. The discounted cash flow model we detailed in our report found that, under generous assumptions of load factor and power price, those plants may be worth around half that again. So we anticipated further write-downs, and those have come to pass now at two of the power plants. In its year-end results in early March, Uniper reported that it had made further impairments to its new Maasvlakte 3 power plant in the Netherlands, by €100 million, at the end of last year. It reported a “recoverable amount” (i.e. book value) of €700 million, or €0.7 million per MW, at the end of 2016. That was less than half the book value of €1.5 billion just 12 months earlier, at the end of 2015, and an original construction cost of about €1.7 billion. Uniper did not mention Maasvlakte 3 explicitly by name, but some basic detective work seems conclusive. We know at the end of 2015, Uniper had written down the value of “one conventional power plant in the Netherlands,” to €1.5 billion. Maasvlakte 3 is the only Uniper power plant with a value nearing that in the Netherlands. Uniper then stated that in 2016 it further impaired a “conventional power plant outside Germany” by €0.8 billion, to a recoverable value of €0.7 billion. Since it also stated that the Netherlands was a major target of its 2016 impairments, alongside Germany and France, it’s safe to say that this power plant and  Maasvlakte 3 are one and the same. Meanwhile, Engie noted in its 2016 year-end results a €168 million impairment on its thermal power plants in the Netherlands. Given that its new Rotterdam coal power plant is the company’s only substantial asset not yet largely or fully depreciated, we can assume that much of this impairment applies to the Rotterdam plant. These impairments on new coal plants in the Netherlands make it all the more surprising that Uniper is now pressing on with plans to complete the construction of a new coal plant in Germany, Datteln 4. While this plant may be more efficient because it is supposed to supply district heating as well as power, Uniper may well still be gambling either on a capacity market in Germany, which pays for flexible back-up to variable renewables, or a big surge in power prices as a nuclear phase-out continues. It may find, however, that it is caught out, as it was in the Netherlands, by rapidly evolving market trends, which include the falling cost of renewables and lower than expected demand. Gerard Wynn is a London-based independent energy consultant. He writes a regular blog,, with Berlin-based energy expert Gerard Reid. Wynn regularly works for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). This article was first published on the website of IEEFA and on the EnergyandCarbon blog and is republished here with permission.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: NMP.2012.2.2-3 | Award Amount: 3.60M | Year: 2013

The aim is to develop a heat resistant steel with a 100000 hour creep strength of 100 MPa at 650C. This allows increasing the thermal efficiency of fossil power plants to over 50%, which is 30% higher than the present standard in most existing power plants. The CO2 emissions are reduced accordingly. The consortium combines the expertise of a steelmaker, two utility companies, an engineering consultant company from Ukraine and eight research organizations and universities from EU and Eastern Partnership countries. The idea is to exploit the Z phase as a thermodynamically stable strengthening agent in martensitic creep resistant steels. Previously the Z phase has been considered as detrimental, since the coarse Z-phase particles that develop during long time service in high-chromium steels hardly contribute to the strength while growing at the expense of the fine, strengthening nitride particles. However, high chromium contents around 12% are needed, since the current 9% chromium steels do not provide sufficient oxidation resistance at 650C. Hence the challenge is to control the precipitation of the Z phase in 12% Cr steels such that fine Z particles are formed, which are stable for long times. An important aspect is that the beneficial microstructure should be established also by the post-weld heat treatment. To achieve the goal, test melts containing different alloying elements are prepared and subjected to different heat treatments. Welding consumables and processes are also tested. Since a purely empirical alloy development is time consuming and costly, the process is supported by microstructural investigations on an atomic scale. Similarly, multiscale modelling methods are developed and applied to Z-phase strengthened steels. Modelling not only enhances the fundamental understanding of the strengthening and degradation mechanisms, but also provides design tools and lifetime estimation methods for the safe and reliable operation of future power plants.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2013.5.1.1 | Award Amount: 7.34M | Year: 2014

Calcium Carbonate Looping (CCL) is a promising long-term technology for low-cost post combustion CO2 capture for fossil fuels using limestone based solid sorbents. It combines the advantages of a small efficiency penalty of 5 to 7 % points and a low CO2 capture cost compared to competing technologies currently under development. First tests performed on the 1 MWth scale have confirmed the feasibility of the technology. Construction of a pilot plant in the order of 20 MWth is a logical next step in the development of this technology. One major goal of the proposed project is to perform long-term tests with different fuels in an upgraded 1 MWth pilot plant, aiming mainly at optimization of operating conditions and operational reliability. The successful operation of the upgraded pilot will provide the important validation step between the 1 MWth scale and a future 20 MWth scale pilot plant. Process and CFD models will be developed and comprehensively validated against experimatal data from 1 MWth testing. These models will be applied to support the engineering for a 20 MWth scale pilot plant. The project will provide a techno-economic as well as an environmental assessment of this high-potential technology for CO2 capture from power plants as well cement and steel production plants, and provide the fundamental expertise needed for the scale-up and further technology development and integration.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2010.5.2-3 | Award Amount: 5.31M | Year: 2011

CO2CARE aims to support the large scale demonstration of CCS technology by addressing the research requirements of CO2 storage site abandonment. It will deliver technologies and procedures for abandonment and post-closure safety, satisfying the regulatory requirements for transfer of responsibility. The project will focus on three key areas: well abandonment and long-term integrity; reservoir management and prediction from closure to the long-term; risk management methodologies for long-term safety. Objectives will be achieved via integrated laboratory research, field experiments and state-of-the-art numerical modelling, supported by literature review and data from a rich portfolio of real storage sites, covering a wide range of geological and geographical settings. CO2CARE will develop plugging techniques to ensure long-term well integrity; study the factors critical to long-term site safety; develop monitoring methods for leakage detection; investigate and develop remediation technologies. Predictive modelling approaches will be assessed for their ability to help define acceptance criteria. Risk management procedures and tools to assess post-closure system performance will be developed. Integrating these, the technical criteria necessary to assess whether a site meets the high level requirements for transfer of responsibility defined by the EU Directive will be established. The technologies developed will be implemented at the Ketzin site and dry-run applications for site abandonment will be developed for hypothetical closure scenarios at Sleipner and K12-B. Participation of partners from the US, Canada, Japan and Australia and data obtained from current and closed sites will add to the field monitoring database and place the results of CO2CARE in a world-wide perspective. Research findings will be presented as best-practice guidelines. Dissemination strategy will deliver results to a wide range of international stakeholders and the general public.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2009.6.1.1 | Award Amount: 18.20M | Year: 2011

The intelligent and cost effective use of CCS technologies requires new strategies to increase the net efficiency of coal fired power plants. Among them, the most promising are summarised as below: - Increase working steam temperature and pressure in new USC power plants (350-370 bar, 700/720C minimum), and hence increase the severity of fireside operating conditions, - Promote clean coal technologies based (for example) on oxy-combustion \ co-firing technologies (by a continuous increase of biomass % in mixture with coal), in order to reduce CO2 capture losses and the amount of CO2 to be captured and stored. The project aims to increase the net efficiency of coal fired plants by increasing the performance and reliability of some critical components identified as follows: - refractory materials of the combustion chamber (especially for oxy-combustion application), up to 1800 C - headers and pipework (avoidance of weld Type IV cracking phenomena, working temperature increase), up to 650-660 C - super heaters (optimised performance in high temperature oxidation/hot corrosion environments), up to 720 C - coated pipes and boiler components able to withstand co-combustion conditions (high temperature oxidation/hot corrosion, erosion-adhesion and wear), - HP and IP steam turbine rotor components and turbine casing up to 750-780 C For each critical component, a full-scale prototype will be realised and installed into an industrial plant and/or in test loop(s) at known temperature, pressure and atmosphere conditions

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2013

In order to meet UK Government targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, rapid growth in electricity generation from intermittent renewable energy sources, in particular, wind, is required, together with increasing constraints on the operation and environmental performance of conventional coal and gas-fired plant. Unprecedented demands for operational plant flexibility (i.e. varing power output to reflect demand) will pose new challenges to component integrity in ageing conventional plant, which it is widely recognised will play a crucial role in maintaining security of supply. In parallel, demands on fuel flexibility to reduce emissions, i.e. firing gas turbine plant with low-carbon syngas or biogas and firing/cofiring steam plant with biomass, will create new challenges in plant engineering, monitoring and control, and materials performance. Improved plant efficiency is a key requirement to cut emissions and to make decarbonisation economically feasible. The continuous development of novel, stronger high temperature materials may also enable component replacement, rather than complete new build plant, to maintain the essential reserve of conventional generation capacity. Finally, the decarbonisation transition involves new and complex economic and environmental considerations, and it is therefore important that these issues of sustainability are addressed for the development of future conventional power plant. The research programme will consider the key issues of Plant Efficiency, Plant Flexibility, Fuel Flexibility and Sustainability and how these four intersecting themes impact upon plant operation and design, combustion processes in general and the structural integrity of conventional and advanced materials utilised in conventional power plants. Outcomes from the proposed Research Programme include: - Improved understanding of the complex relationship between plant efficiency, fuel flexibility, plant flexibility, component life and economic viability - Novel approaches for monitoring and control of future conventional power plants - Improved fuel combustion and monitoring processes to allow use of a wider range of fuels - Improved understanding of structural materials systems for use in components with higher operating temperatures and more aggressive environments - Improved coating systems to protect structural materials used in power plant components - New models for optimisation of operating conditions and strategies for future conventional power plants The consortium comprises six leading UK Universities with strengths and a proven track record in the area of conventional power generation - led by Loughborough University, working together with Cardiff and Cranfield Universities, Imperial College London and the Universities of Nottingham and Warwick. The Industrial Partners collaborating in this project include several major UK power generation operators, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Government laboratories and Small and Medium Sized (SMEs) companies in the supply chain for the power generation sector. The Energy Generation and Supply Knowledge Transfer Network will be a formal delivery partner of the consortium. The proposal has been developed following extensive engagement with the industrial partners and as a result they have made very significant commitment, both financial and as integrated partners in the research programme.

The invention relates to a method and to a system for gas scrubbing of aerosol-containing process gases using an amine-containing solvent as scrubbing agent, which is brought into contact with the process gas in an absorber column (9) and which is regenerated in a desorber column (13) and after cooling is delivered to the absorber column (9) again. The water vapour concentration of the process gas which is not saturated with water vapour is increased with water before the gas scrubbing in the absorber column (9), preferably to a degree of saturation of >0.8, such that water is condensed out of the gas phase on aerosol particles contained in the process gas, and in a following method step the aerosol particles which have grown in size are precipitated out of the process gas before the gas scrubbing.

The invention relates to a method for dynamically providing up-to-date information about charging stations for electric vehicles. Charging station information including at least one charging station identification assigned to a respective charging station and location information assigned to the respective charging station is stored for a plurality of charging stations. A charge request containing identification of the mobile station and geographical information for the mobile station is received from a mobile station. A tuple of charging station information from the plurality of items of stored charging station information dependent on at least the received charge request is selected such that the received geographical information is compared with the respective location information of the charging stations and when the result of a comparison is positive the corresponding charging station information is added to the tuple and the tuple is sent to the mobile station using the identification of the mobile station.

Rwe Ag | Date: 2015-09-23

Method for operating a charging station for electric vehicles in which a charging power is negotiated between a charge control device of the electric vehicle and the charging station, the charge control device controls a charging current which is transmitted from the charging station to the electric vehicle in accordance with the charging power negotiated, wherein a continuous power rating and a maximum power of the charging station which is greater than the continuous power rating are determined. In order to optimise the charging power and to accelerate a charging operation, it is proposed that a charging power which is above the continuous power rating and which at most corresponds to the maximum power is first negotiated, that the temperature in the charging station be monitored, and that, when a limit temperature is exceeded, a new charging power which at most corresponds to the continuous power be negotiated.

Method for securing a charging process of a vehicle (30) at a charging station (2), comprising outputting a random or pseudorandom first release code to a user on the charging-station side, releasing the charging current on the charging-station side, receiving a second release code that is input by a user on the charging-station side, comparing the first release code with the second release code on the charging station-side, and interrupting the charging current on the charging-station side in the event of a positive comparison result.

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