Authors Posts by FuturENERGY




ACCIONA Energía has started construction work on the San Gabriel wind farm in the region of La Araucanía (Chile). The company will own and operate the 183-megawatt (MW) facility which will produce emission-free electricity equivalent to the consumption of over 270,000 Chilean homes.

ACCIONA’s production from what will be its second wind farm in Chile will be mainly used to cover the 506 GWh of electric power awarded in a public tender called by the Chilean National Energy Commission (CNE) in August 2016.

“It is with great satisfaction that we announce the start of building work on a new renewables facility in Chile, demonstrating ACCIONA’s commitment to the country through concrete actions and our solvency and reliability when it comes to materializing projects that help to create an ever more sustainable energy system in our country” says ACCIONA Energía Chile General Manager José Ignacio Escobar.

More than 500 jobs created in the construction phase

Located 5 kilometers east of the municipality of Renaico, around 550 km south of Santiago de Chile, the San Gabriel wind farm will be equipped with sixty-one AW132/3000 wind turbines of Nordex Acciona Windpower technology. This model is designed to optimize energy capture on sites with low wind speeds. With rated power of 3 MW, each turbine will be powered by a 132-meter-diameter rotor on a concrete tower with a hub height 120 meters, reinforced with anti-earthquake technology.

San Gabriel will be the first wind farm in Chile to incorporate concrete tower technology, a field in which ACCIONA has extensive international experience. It is suitable for sites where it is important to reach greater tower heights to capture the wind resource and increase energy production.

The towers will be manufactured in a provisional plant built near the site, a model that increases the level of local outsourcing of components, the creation of jobs locally and, basically, a greater impact on the economy of the area where the wind power project is implemented. It also requires less transport, which reduces costs and the associated environmental impacts.

The installation of San Gabriel will mean the creation of around 510 jobs on average during the construction period, and another 15 permanent jobs for the operation and maintenance of the wind farm, plus the knock-on effect on the economic development of the region.

Contact with communities

In line with its philosophy of cooperation with communities that live in the areas directly affected by its projects, ACCIONA has maintained frequent contacts with regional stakeholders since the start of the project, informing them about the progress made and laying the groundwork for long-term cooperation. A number of cooperation agreements have been reached in this process of dialogue with different social organizations, the aim being to improve the quality of life of residents in aspects such as productive development, basic sanitation and street lighting, among other community promotion initiatives.

From the environmental point of view, after the wind farm enters service (planned for September 2019) it will avoid the emission to the atmosphere of around 632,000 tonnes of C02 per annum from coal-fired power plants, with a cleaning effect on the air equivalent to the presence of 31 million trees.

A growing presence in Chile

The start-up of San Gabriel will take ACCIONA’s renewables capacity in Chile to 474 MW, joining the Punta Palmeras (45 MW) wind farm in Coquimbo (grid connected in 2014) and the El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant (246 MWp) in Atacama, in service since November 2016. ACCIONA has other wind and photovoltaic projects in the pipeline at different stages of development.

Prior to the 2016 tender, the company was awarded capacity in the first auction for renewable and conventional energy generators organized by the CNE. In December 2014 it was allocated up to 600 GWh/year for the 2018-2032 period.

Additionally, the company has signed several PPA contracts with corporate clients in Chile. Two that stand out are the one signed with Google to cover the electricity consumption of its data center and other facilities in the country, and another with the distribution chain Falabella to supply around one hundred of its retail stores in Chile.


The Al-Zaatari refugee camp is located in Jordan, just 10 kilometers away from the Syrian border. It has gradually evolved into a permanent settlement and in 2015 the camp population was estimated at 83,000 refugees.

Opened by the Jordanian government and UNHCR -the UN refugee agency- on July 28, 2012 to host Syrians fleeing the war, the camp has become one of Jordan’s biggest cities, with residents having developed their own economy by starting more than 3,000 businesses.

The 12.9 MWp photovoltaic plant, the world’s largest solar farm of its kind, is already supplying energy to the Al-Zaatari refugee camp, mainly powering lighting systems, refrigerators, heaters and power outlets.

The PV plant has been constructed by Belectric. Ingeteam has supplied five of its 2.33 MW power stations in order to inject the energy coming from the PV array into the camp’s internal grid. Every power station comprises two central inverters housed in a 20-foot-long container, in addition to a power transformer, low voltage switchgear, medium voltage switchgear and auxiliary services panel. This is all supplied on a turnkey basis in order to ensure immediate, simple installation and field commissioning.

Scope of supply

For this project, Ingeteam has supplied:

-Five power stations fitted with all the necessary equipment to inject medium voltage power: PV inverters, LV/MV transformer, medium voltage switchgear, ancillary services transformer and low voltage switchgear.

-Ten 1,000 Vdc photovoltaic inverters, each with a rated power output of 1,165 kW, pertaining to the INGECON® SUN PowerMax B Series family.


Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has achieved a new milestone in its positioning in Asia Pacific having secured its largest-ever contract in Thailand, a market in which it is the leading OEM, responsible for more than 50% of the country’s total installed capacity.

Specifically, Siemens Gamesa has reached an agreement with local developer for the supply of 103 of its G126-2.5 MW turbines (260 MW) at the Hanuman wind complex, being built in the province of Chaiyaphum, in northeast Thailand.

This order also marks a new technical feat as it will entail the installation of Asia’s highest wind turbines: with a tower height of 153 metres and a blade length of 62 metres, the turbines will stretch 215 metres tall. This marks a new record for Siemens Gamesa, which last summer completed the installation of 33 210-metre tall turbines, the previous record holders.

“We are very proud to have secured this order which highlights our commercial strength and positions us as the leading OEM in Thailand”, said Álvaro Bilbao, Siemens Gamesa’s CEO in the Asia-Pacific region, before going on to add that “it also endorses the versatility of our wind turbines and the company’s R&D capabilities”.

The turbines will be delivered in May 2018 and commissioned towards the end of that year. The company will also operate and maintain the facility.

This agreement marks the company’s fourth order in Thailand, where it has already installed 310 MW. In addition to Thailand, Siemens Gamesa’s Asian footprint extends to China, South Korea, the Philippines, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam, having installed nearly 6.5 GW in these markets.


Acciona Microenergy Foundation has launched a new programme which consists of providing electricity to isolated communities in the Amazon through home photovoltaic systems, which provide basic energy services to the residents of these settlements without endangering the valuable environmental balance of the Amazon or disrupting their way of life. In the first stage, the Foundation will provide electricity for the first time to approximately 1.000 households in the Peruvian basin of the Napo river, a tributary of the Amazon; the model will subsequently be replicated in other river basins in the region.

Acciona Microenergy Foundation, supported by Peru’s National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development and Technology Innovation (FONDECYT), has installed the first 61 home photovoltaic systems, providing electricity to 325 people in 4 settlements; this enables them to use 3 electric lights and a 12-volt charger for mobile phones, rechargeable flashlights, radios, etc.

The pilot project validated the technical and economic viability of the solution developed by Acciona Microenergy Foundation. This led to the design of a replicable model for providing electricity to settlements that cannot be connected to the electricity grid due to geographical dispersion, relief or the environmental impact that an electricity network would have on sensitive ecosystems, such as the Amazon.

The solution is based on state-of-the-art home photovoltaic systems that are easy to install and maintain (plug&play), based on a pre-pay model designed to ensure the economic sustainability of the programme, as users make a small payment to cover equipment maintenance which is 50% less than their former expenditure on other lighting solutions such as candles and oil lamps.

Acciona Microenergy Foundation engages in awareness-raising and training in the communities where its electric systems are implemented, so that local residents are able to perform basic maintenance and use the equipment efficiently.

 Acciona Microenergy Foundation has begun to expand the project to an additional 350 households in the Napo river basin, in cooperation with the Technical University of Madrid’s Innovation and Technology for Development Centre, the ICAI Engineers Foundation for Development, and the Institute for Research in Technology at the School of Engineering (ICAI) of Comillas Pontifical University of Madrid. The project is co-financed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Positive impacts: improvements in sanitation, education and the environment.

The households use the electricity fundamentally to extend study hours (67%) and production activities (43%) and for cooking (21%).

Also, abandoning other lighting sources, such as battery-operated flashlights, oil lamps and candles (which produce a dim light and harmful smoke), reduces the likelihood of developing eye and lung diseases.

There is also the positive environmental impact in such valuable ecosystems, by eliminating the use and uncontrolled disposal of batteries and the emission of polluting gases emissions by replacing diesel-fuelled generators with photovoltaic panels.

Amazonia and electrification: the challenge of respecting the environment and improving living standards

 The Amazon region is an area of high ecological value, covering more than 6.7 million km2 across 9 different countries. The Amazonian communities, mostly indigenous people from different ethnic groups, live in remote and dispersed locations which are accessible only by river, with extreme temperature and rainfall conditions. These circumstances, together with the cost and impact of building and maintaining power distribution networks, make widespread conventional power grids inviable; consequently, there is an indeterminate number of people in Amazonia, estimated at several million, who do not have access to electricity.

Many villages generate electricity with fossil-fuelled generators that pollute the environment and provide no more than 3 hours of electricity per day, as well as being prone to blackouts when funds run out. Others use alternative energy devices such as candles, oil lamps and battery-powered flashlights, radios, etc.

Acciona Microenergy Foundation’s challenge was to develop an electricity supply model based on renewables that could be sustainable in technical and economic terms while also being affordable.


The United Nations Organization for Industrial Development (UNIDO) has commissioned CENER (Spain´s National Renewable Energy Centre) to carry out the accreditation and development of capabilities of a new solar thermal components laboratory in Egypt. This contract is a new international recognition for CENER, in this case in the field of solar thermal energy.

Last October, at NREA (New and Renewable Energy Authority) headquarters’ in Cairo was held the project kick-off meeting. In addition to two CENER researchers, Alberto García of Jalón and Xabier Olano, representatives of different entities, such as UNIDO, ENCPC (Egypt National Cleaner Production Center), EGAC (Egyptian Accreditation Council) and EOS (Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality) participated.

In particular, specialists from the Solar Thermal Energy Department of CENER will provide advice to achieve the accreditation of a solar thermal component testing laboratory, with the aim of subsequently being able to verify both the quality of the components manufactured in Egypt and of those from other countries. In addition, the CENER researchers will also be responsible for the technical training and capacity building of the personnel that will work in the aforementioned testing laboratory.

This contract is part of a global project called “Utilization of solar energy in industrial processes in the Egyptian industry”, which is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNIDO. Its main objective is to develop the market context for the promotion and local manufacture of solar thermal systems. The contract awarded to CENER focuses on one of the expected results of the project: the improvement of the manufacture, supply and distribution of the solar components and systems market. Ensuring that quality standards are met to guarantee the performance of solar systems over time

The international experience of Solar Thermal Energy Department is wide and varied. Evidence of this is the R & D projects in which it is currently working, six of which are financed by the European Commission. In addition, during this year almost 60 innovation contracts have been made with companies and private institutions. More than half have been signed with foreign companies, from countries such as China, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, or France, among other. This important international presence is proof of the excellent research work carried out by the members of the solar thermal team of CENER over the last years.


Engineering and technology group SENER has signed a contract with ENCE Energía y Celulosa to build a new low-emission biomass electricity generation plant in its energy complex in Huelva (Spain). The contract signed is a turnkey arrangement whereby SENER will design, supply, build and commission the plant, as well as operate and maintain it during the first years of operation.

The new facility will consist of an electricity generation plant using biomass from the forestry and farming industries. With a 40 MW gross nominal electricity output it will be one of the largest high-efficiency low-emission biomass renewable energy plants in Spain. The plant is projected to enter into operation in the third quarter of 2019.

The Huelva plant will be equipped with the best available technologies, similar to the Mérida biomass plant that SENER also developed successful as a turnkey project for ENCE.

Due to the variety of types of biomass to be used, the plant will be equipped with an advanced fuel handing system, both for incoming biomass and for its preparation and storage. The plant will also boast one of the best gas combustion and treatment systems, guaranteeing compliance with the demanding requirements of the new European standard, BREF (Best Available Techniques Reference), which establishes the best practices for the industry’s Large Combustion Plants in Europe.

Hence, for this type of plant, SENER has designed a high-efficiency regenerative thermodynamic cycle with a built-in reheater in its furnace and a double-body turbine (high and low pressure), as well as multiple extractions. Also, the plant will be refrigerated using cooling towers. All of this will contribute to bringing the plant’s gross output to over 35 %. SENER already applied this system at the Mérida biomass plant, which in its first year of commercial operation reached an equivalent availability of 8,025 hours of operation, exceeding the client’s expectations.

Thanks to its innovative design, which brings together high efficiency and low emissions, ENCE’s new 40 MW Huelva plant will become a benchmark among biomass electricity generation plants.


Research experts of the Biomass Department of CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain) have coordinated the project commissioned by the European Commission to gather comprehensive information on, and to provide systematic analysis of the latest available scientific research and the latest available scientific evidence on indirect land use change (ILUC) greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with production of biofuels and bioliquids.

The European Commission, by its Directorate-General for Energy commissioned CENER the coordination of this study, which has been jointly elaborated with researchers of Wageningen Economic Research, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Wageningen Environmental Research.

The study describes the selection and review of ILUC related literature, especially highlighting the development and progress in understanding and quantifying ILUC in the recent years. The main methods used to quantify ILUC are described, and the most relevant ILUC related studies, which provide detailed qualitative and quantitative results, are outlined. Besides, ILUC factors found in the literature are presented and related to the quantification methodology applied. The report also provides an in-depth analysis of key assumptions in ILUC research and related uncertainties. Finally, it also analyses the main mitigation options for ILUC, including low ILUC-risk biofuels.

Among the main conclusions of the study coordinated by CENER, it is underlined that ILUC factors identified in the literature vary significantly across biofuel pathways, studies, or even within studies depending on the hypothesis used. Besides, studies that have investigated parametric uncertainty conclude that this fact has a significant effect on the outcomes. As a consequence of all the uncertainties in the components of ILUC emissions, it is very difficult to narrow them down.

EC policies requiring the study

The EU mandatory sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids do not allow the raw material for biofuel production to be obtained from land with high carbon stock or high biodiversity value. However, this does not guarantee that as a consequence of the demand of raw material for biofuels production, such land is not used for production of raw materials for other purposes. Therefore, if land for biofuels is taken from cropland formerly used for other purposes, or by conversion of grassland in arable land for biofuel production, the former agricultural production on this land has to be grown somewhere else. In such cases, if there is no regulation that this must happen sustainably, conversion of land may happen, which is not allowed to be used under the EU sustainability criteria for biofuels. This conversion may take place in other countries than where the biofuel is produced. This is called indirect land use change (ILUC).

According to Article 3 of the European Union’s Directive (EU) 2015/1513 of 9 September 2015, the European Commission has to provide information on, and analysis of the available and the best available scientific research results, scientific evidence regarding ILUC emissions associated to the production of biofuels, and in relation to all production pathways.

Besides, according to Article 23 of the revised European Union’s Directive 2009/28/EC (RES Directive), the Commission also has to provide the latest available information with regard to key assumptions influencing the results from modelling ILUC GHG emissions, as well as an assessment of whether the range of uncertainty identified in the analysis underlying the estimations of ILUC emissions can be narrowed down, and if the possible impact of the EU policies, such as environment, climate and agricultural policies, can be factored in. An assessment of a possibility of setting out criteria for the identification and certification of low ILUC-risk biofuels that are produced in accordance with the EU sustainability criteria is also required.

DACHSER Iberia and Mercedes-Benz Trucks continue to invest in a more innovative and sustainable logistics industry, with the launch of the first 7.5 ton hybrid truck that has already started to circulate in Madrid. The FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid 7C15 non-plug hybrid vehicle, distinguished by the Spanish Traffic Institution with the ECO category, is already operational under DACHSER, in a first route that covers the heart of the center of the capital: Calle Alcalá, Carrera de San Jerónimo , Sol, Calle Mayor, Cuesta de Santo Domingo and Gran Vía.

Ecological, social and economic sustainability is deeply anchored in DACHSER’s corporate values. The company supports various initiatives aimed at discovering new solutions to optimize distribution services. One of the projects is the implementation of this hybrid vehicle within the Euro 6 standards, combining a combustion and an electric engine; a combination that will significantly reduce the CO2 emission count and guarantee fuel savings of up to 23% compared to conventional trucks. The technological participation of Mercedes-Benz Trucks has been crucial in the project, designed to validate the application of sustainable vehicles for City Distribution.

Sustainability as a future strategy

Both companies are fully aligned when it comes to environmental awareness and consider it to be an indispensable part of their long-term business vision. Regarding DACHSER, the multinational has different lines of action within its Corporate Solutions, Research & Development unit, which develops more innovative and sustainable business models to deliver to inner cities within the framework of the project ‘City Distribution’. As all cities have their own individual and special requirements, the toolbox will serve as a practical method for providing a variety of solutions to the General Managers running the operational business on a local level. They will be able to choose between the relevant concepts and apply them regionally in their metropolitan areas, flexibly and according to their needs.

For example, Munich has had a hybrid truck exactly like the one implemented in Madrid since 2014, and other cities such as Paris already have their own trucks powered by electricity and liquefied natural gas (LNG). On the other hand, city distribution in Stuttgart, Copenhagen and Amsterdam has more alternative programs aimed at optimizing logistics in the city by involving different means of transport such as electric bicycles or barges on the cities’ canals. At the beginning of the year, DACHSER announced a total investment of 177 million euros for 2017 for the extension and improvement of its network. This also includes R&D projects concerning the optimization of transport efficiency and further investments in DACHSER´s advanced IT systems.

DACHSER Iberia has not only introduced the first hybrid truck in Madrid, but has also welcomed the first long truck (25,25m) in the DACHSER Iberia fleet, that connects Madrid with Barcelona and Arteixo with Lleida with two daily routes. Juan Quintana, Managing Director European Logistics Iberia, states that “DACHSER is committed to the progressive implementation of process and customer value-orientated innovation in its network, in line with the company’s long-term strategy in Europe and with the present environmental situation, which requires an adaptation of new energies and technologies”.

Circontrol presented its new DC quick charging station Raption 50 in the last EVS30 exhibition celebrated last month in Stuttgart. This new Raption 50 series includes modular technology, which allows higher uptime and increases flexibility, without sacrificing a stylish and modern design.

Meeting market demands

Circontrol’s third-generation quick charger has broken into the market to address the main problems identified by charge point owners or operators regarding fast charging and to make EV driver’s daily live easier. High speed and uptime, cool design and user-friendliness are its key attributes.

Higher uptime, availability and flexibility thanks to modular power technology

Unlike other quick charge units, Raption 50 series increases its uptime and the availability for users thanks to its functioning in state-of-the-art modular power technology with four individual power packs delivering 12.5kW each. Traditionally, rapid chargers operate via a single power pack, rendering a charger out of use if the power unit fails but the Raption 50 continues charging EVs at a lower output by drawing power from the functioning packs. Furthermore, due to its modular technology, Raption series also offers flexibility through scalable power so if a local power network does not support rapid charging or if a user only needs to draw 25kW of power it may adjust the supply. On the contrary, taking into account the future EV growing battery demands, Raption 50 is able to scale the chargers back up to deliver more power.

High performance without renouncing design

Designed specially to be placed where vehicles need to be ready to continue their journey in less than half an hour, such as fuel stations, road-side rest areas or airports, among others, the new unit completes an 80% charge in 30 minutes with simultaneous charging for two EVs at 50kW DC and 43kW AC. Despite its high performance, Raption 50 Series is smaller and slimmer than its predecessors.
In fact, its external appearance is one of its strengths. It has a sophisticated and slim enclosure but at the same time it is robust and ensures high durability. For this reason, this new series is ideal for any type of site, from the most stylish urban areas to industrial sites.

User and operator friendly

Another key attribute of the new Raption 50 is its usability. It has been developed with inputs from customers so it meets all their needs. For example, it includes a user friendly and ultra-fast 8” touchscreen daily readable with multiple language options; an inbuilt courtesy light for better visibility at night and/or secure charging connector holsters that can only be unlocked from the charging station with a verified RFID card or with the backend authenticate protocol, reducing damage to the equipment through improper use or vandalism. In addition, the Raption 50 emits no audible high frequency noise and the height of connectors/display has been adapted for handicapped. Due to all these reasons, user satisfaction increases considerably as well as operator’s.


Exergy took part today at the inauguration ceremony of the Pico Alto 4 MWe geothermal power plant held in the stunning scenery of the Terceira Island, in the Azores. The plant designed and built by Exergy and the Portuguese company CME for EDA Renováveis, owned by EDA.

The 4 MWe binary plant utilizes a geothermal high enthalpy resource, exploiting the heat available both in steam flow and geothermal brine. For this challenging project located in a remote site, in the center of Terceira Island, 1500 Km off Portugal mainland, the Consortium Exergy-CME supplied a turnkey solution, including the engineering and construction of the gathering systems, the air cooled ORC unit equipped with EXERGY Radial Outflow Turbine and all balance of plant equipment.

Thanks to a tailored and efficient cycle design and the Exergy’s proven Radial Outflow Turbine technology, the plant has reached the highest possible conversion efficiency producing up to 4.9 MW of electricity, with an average of 4.5 MW, thus overperforming on the values guaranteed to the client.

By means of Pico Alto geothermal plant, EDA Renováveis is now providing a sustainable and reliable source of electricity to more than 56,000 inhabitants of Terceira, meeting up to 10% of the island electricity needs.

Participating at the inauguration ceremony, chaired by the President of the Regional Government of the Azores Mr. Vasco Cordeiro, Marco Bonvini COO of Exergy commented: “We are very proud of the successful completion of this challenging project. Pico Alto represents for us a great example of how innovation in greentech can provide sustainable solutions to satisfy people energy needs and contribute in improving the energy economics in remote and isolated site of the planet. We see many opportunities to apply our technology in remote environments and Pico Alto is a good starting point and an excellent reference. We thank EDA Renováveis for the trust they placed in us and we put our know how at their service to continue developing efficient and reliable technology to boost their plant productivity”.

Carlos Alberto Raposo Bicudo Ponte, member of EDA Renováveis Board of Directors declared: “The Pico Alto Geothermal Power Plant inauguration is the first milestone for the commercial geothermal exploitation start up in Terceira Island, increasing the diversification of the power generation mix and boosting the contribution from renewables“.

For the first 2-months of operation, the Pico Alto power plant have been providing a stable and reliable supply of 4 MW of electricity to the grid. Maintaining this high performance in 2018, the annual production of Pico Alto power plant will likely surpass the estimative made before the construction of the power plant. Thus, geothermal contribution will probably exceed 10% of the electricity needs of Terceira, relieving this part of the power production from thermal groups, where fossil fuels are consumed, hence ensuring savings to the economy of the Azores, as well as environmental benefits, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.