Monthly Archives: octubre 2016

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Germany’s power grid outage averaged 12.7 minutes last year, 41% less than in 2006, even though renewables have grown to account for as much as a third of power generation in the country, according to data released by the federal regulator recently. This put to rest concerns about intermittent sources of power threatening grid stability. The country is weaning itself away from nuclear power and embracing renewables generation, providing a working model of transformation of the energy sector for many other countries.

In contrast, the 28 September black-out following a storm in South Australia was blamed on the high penetration of renewable energy by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He said some state governments have set renewable energy targets “that are extremely aggressive, extremely unrealistic, and have paid little or no attention to energy security.” The storm should be treated as “a real wake-up call,” he added.

A report released last week by the Australian Energy Market Operator, however, found that “five transmission line faults, resulting in six voltage disturbances on the network” – which caused an expected reduction of 445MW of wind generation as the turbines entered fault-mode – led to the outage. The operator was not aware of the wind farms’ fault-mode settings, and did not plan for it. There were also three fossil-fuelled generators that failed.

Meanwhile, there are countries that are still stretching their clean energy targets. Morocco wants to increase the proportion of energy consumption from renewables to 42% by 2020 and up to 52% by 2030, by when it aims to have 10.1GW of renewables – 4.6GW of solar, 4.2GW of wind and 1.3GW of hydro power.

Taiwan’s cabinet approved a plan last week to introduce competition into its energy market, push renewables and exit from nuclear power. The draft bill stipulates that all nuclear power plants will be shut down by 2025.

Israel is planning new solar tenders for about 1.3GW, which will be awarded through a competitive process. The first tender is expected to be floated in January.

Turkey unveiled plans to elevate renewable energy in its power mix with a tender that could be worth $1.3bn. The government is inviting bidders to construct a 1GW solar plant and photovoltaic panel factory in Turkey’s central Konya province, energy minister Berat Albayrak said in a televised press conference on Thursday. The winner will be announced in December.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was planning an INR 210bn ($3.1bn) package of state aid for India’s solar panel manufacturing industry, Bloomberg News reported citing two unnamed officials. The so-called ‘Prayas’ programme is intended to create 5GW of photovoltaic manufacturing capacity from 2019. Modi’s government is also planning to classify all hydro projects as renewable. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will be presenting a report to the Cabinet requesting the classification change. Currently, only smaller hydropower projects of up to 25MW are considered renewable.

Climate change could spark the world’s next financial crisis, according to Paul Fisher, who retired this year as deputy head of the Bank of England body which supervises the country’s banks. A sudden repricing of assets as a result of climate change “could be the trigger for the next financial crisis,” he added. Fisher said there’s a possibility of unexpected moves in financial markets as a result of climate change. He warned of the chance of a “system-wide repricing of assets happening quite suddenly.

This article is an extract from the BNEF Week in Review published the 25th of October

Source: BNEF

A Lego model of an Australian city is helping to illustrate the potential of smart technology

A miniature adaptation of South Australia’s capital Adelaide is stocked with functioning smart lighting and parking applications to help demonstrate its effectiveness to local residents. It was built by the state’s largest Lego club Southern Bricks Lego User Group and includes a scaled version of Adelaide’s iconic biomedical precinct, state-of-the-art sports stadium and government buildings.

Adelaide City Council’s innovation and entrepreneurship advisor Paul Daly said the project was used as a way of initiating community consultation.“It’s a way of bringing these concepts to life and capturing people’s attention,” he said. “I have been blown away by the amount of interaction and engagement. It highlights the kinds of technology we are already working on in a way that gives us the ability to figure out what the Adelaide community wants the city to look like as a smart city.


The working model was made using more than 30,000 Lego pieces and took more than 300 hours to put together. It includes built-in interactive technology by US-based company Buddy Platform and students from the University of Adelaide. The Lego city features parking lots with sensors that would direct commuters to vacant spaces, smart street lighting with built-in CCTV and Wi-Fi hotspots and resource management technology to monitor water quality in the nearby river Torrens. It also includes wayfinding stations to help visitors navigate their way through the city and charge their mobile devices.

Adelaide has publicly declared its ambition to become Australia’s first smart city and has already trialled different smart initiatives to bring itself one step closer to its goal. The Adelaide City Council would begin rolling out smart lighting and smart parking early next year with project completion expected for 2019.

Source: The Lead South Australia

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The projects are slated for commissioning in March 2017

Gamesa has entered into an agreement with Indian developer Atria Power for the EPC construction of 130 MW of solar power at two developments located in the regions of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in southern India. It is the largest solar order received by Gamesa since it entered this sector in India last year.

Under the terms of this EPC contract, Gamesa will develop two solar power plants, with capacity of 90 MW and 40 MW. The company will be responsible for the design and engineering of the facilities and the procurement of 96 E1.37 MW photovoltaic inverters. These will be the most powerful inverters installed in India to date. Gamesa has also been mandated to handle operations and maintenance at the facilities.


Gamesa in the Indian solar segment

This focus on the photovoltaic sector in India fits with the strategic goal enshrined in Gamesa’s 2015-2017 business plan of exploring opportunities in businesses that complement the wind industry, such as solar power. India’s solar potential has been sized at 750 GW. The government’s goal is to lift installed capacity to 100 GW by 2022, compared to 3.8 GW today.

Source: Gamesa

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Fotowatio Renewable Ventures has been awarded a 300 MW solar project in the second electricity market auction, conducted by the National Energy Control Center (CENACE) of Mexico. With this agreement, FRV extends its global footprint into the Mexican market at very a competitive rate of US$ 26.99/MWh.

The construction of the plant will begin in mid-2018 and will become operational in mid-2019, and will create approximately 250 local jobs as part of the construction phase and a further 20 jobs during operations. The plant will also generate enough green electricity to supply approximately 76,100 homes, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 97.7 million tons of CO2.


Mexico has set a target to generate 35% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2024, making it a strategic market for FRV and attracting a number of international investors. Through this round of auctions, México plans to build more than 15,000 MW of new installed capacity of renewable energy.

FRV has had presence in Latin America since 2013. In July 2015, FRV´s ‘La Jacinta’ solar plant commenced operations, making Uruguay home to one of the largest solar photovoltaics (PV) projects in Latin America.

Mexico’s wide-ranging energy reform, which began in 2013, is expected to reverse the country’s declining oil production, increase the share of renewables in the power sector, and slow the growth in carbon emissions, providing a solid foundation for robust economic growth in the coming decades, according to the International Energy Agency.

Mexico’s energy sector is being completely recast by the Reforma Energética. The reform ends the longstanding dominance of Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) in oil and gas, and of the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) in the electricity sector, opening up key parts of the energy sector to new players, investment and technology.

As a result of this major effort, Mexico’s total oil production, which has been on a sharp decline in recent years, is projected to turn a corner around 2020 and then rise to 3.4 mb/d by 2040, up almost 1 mb/d from today. The increase comes in large part from new offshore developments, including deepwater drilling, and helps restore Mexico’s position as a major global oil producer and exporter.

These findings are in the Mexico Energy Outlook, part of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook (WEO) series, which examines the long-term impact of the Reforma Energética on the energy sector as well as its economic and environmental consequences.

The report also finds that Mexico’s innovative auction system provides a substantial boost to Mexico’s clean energy efforts in the power sector. More than half of the country’s new power generation capacity installed between now and 2040 is renewables-based, tapping Mexico’s large wind and solar resources. New investment in electricity is essential to meet rapid growth in electricity demand, and allows Mexico to reach its target of producing 35% of electricity from clean sources by 2024.

The report comes a year after Mexico took the first steps in November 2015 to join the IEA. The accession of Mexico would be a major step forward for the IEA’s new “open door” policy and allows deeper cooperation in coming years.

The Mexico Energy Outlook motivates us to continue in the path traced by the Energy Reform and to double our efforts,” said Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico’s Secretary of Energy. “The challenge for Mexico is to turn into reality the positive predictions presented by the IEA. The report includes some very convincing findings on what Mexico would have faced if the reform had never been enacted.

Without these energy reforms, the report finds that oil production would be 1 mb/d lower in 2040, electricity costs would be higher, and household spending would be hit. Also, the cost to the economy would be substantial, reducing the size of Mexico’s GDP by 4% in 2040, resulting in a total economic loss of $1 trillion over the period of the outlook.

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Exergy continues its growth in the Turkish market. The Italian company, market specialist in the design and manufacturing of Organic Rankine Cycle systems, known for its pioneering Radial Outflow Turbine technology, has signed a new contract with repeat customer Bestepeler Enerji Üretim Ticaret A.s for the supply of a 24 MWe geothermal ORC power plant for a geothermal field located in Aydin region – Germencik area.

Exergy will provide the client with a two pressure level ORC system equipped with 2x Radial Outflow Turbines, one for each pressure level, to produce totally 24 MWe of electricity from a medium enthalpy geothermal fluid. These large turbines continue to show the suitability of the Radial Outflow configuration in all sizes. The ORC cycle will employ an air cooled condensing system, thus avoiding the use of water.

Equipment for the ORC unit will be manufactured in the Exergy Turkish workshop in Izmir, allowing the client to take advantage of an increased feed-in-tariff that the Turkish Ministry assigns to Made in Turkey technologies. The factory, which has been open for 2 years, has already produced 20 turbines suitable for the increased feed-in-tariff. The signing of this new contract raises the EXERGY portfolio to 360 MWe, with 336 MWe representing geothermal applications.

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Some 500,000 people already work in the bioenergy generation sector in the EU28, 44% of jobs in renewables, positioning biomass as the renewable energy that creates the most employment, according to the 2016 Statistical Report published by the AEBIOM, the European Biomass Association, that will be presented in Madrid on 4 November, as part of the programme of activities organised to mark the arrival in the Spanish capital of the mobile informative exhibition Biomass in your Home, organised by AVEBIOM, the Spanish Biomass Association and IDAE, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving.

The 2016 Statistical Report reveals that Europe possesses the necessary natural resources for the sustainable development of bioenergy. Contrary to popular belief, Europe’s woodlands are growing at a constant pace of 322,800 hectares per year (almost the equivalent to one football pitch every minute).


However, the use of the biomass remains modest compared to the consumption of fossil fuels. While the energy dependence of China and the USA is under 20%, the EU imports 53% of its energy; and Spain, 73%.

According to the president of AEBIOM, Gustav Melin, it is often overlooked that the heating and cooling sector accounts for half of the EU-28’s energy consumption, which is currently dominated by fossil fuels (82%). The installation of new wood pellet stoves as a fuel in the home plus efficient wood chip boilers in schools, hotels and shops, could substantially reduce the level of energy independence of the EU-28.

Almost 7,300 MWt installed in Spain

In Spain, primary energy production from biomass for thermal and electric use was 4,954 ktoe in 2014 (latest official figures available). Currently, Spain has over 160,000 thermal biomass installations in operation, amounting to around 7,275 MWt installed which represents an annual reduction of 3,224,000 tonnes of CO2.

According to the president of AVEBIOM, Javier Díaz González, “with an annual growth of 1,000 MWt installed, by 2020, there would be a reduction of 5.5 million tonnes of CO2, representing a contribution to the national targets for CO2 emissions reduction in the diffuse sectors of 2.5%”.

According to AVEBIOM figures, Spain makes use of 35% of the annual growth in the woodland, while the European average increases that percentage to 61%. “An increase in consumption of 12 million cubic metres a year would mean: 12,000 direct jobs in the forestry sector, the reduction in the purchase of 15 million of barrels of petroleum and the emission of nine million of tonnes of CO2.


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This past year has been extraordinary for renewable energy; the Ren21 Renewables 2016 Global Status Report shows the largest global capacity additions seen to date. As investment in solar, wind and hydro continues to increase and new technologies come to market, the industry’s service needs are rapidly changing. And, in an industry where the life cycle of a solution is critical, service is becoming an increasingly important part of operations.

Investors are looking more into service agreements to ensure a project’s bankability. If a problem arises on a wind turbine deep at sea or in the middle of a solar farm in the desert, the speed at which the issue is resolved is crucial, and that’s why operators from all sectors are looking for a team of qualified, experienced engineers and technical personnel to provide them with worldwide field support at all times. It comes with no surprise that service is now an important piece in the whole package provided to customers during the bidding process.


Alex Michel, Renewables Service Leader, GE’s Power Conversion business discuss the key trends driving change in the renewables services sector:

1 The requirement for a one-stop shop for services

Owners are looking more and more towards one-stop service providers that have the ability to service components from any manufacturer. This trend is rising as operators see the cost- and time-saving benefits it can bring. Take solar farms for example, owners and operators don’t want to have to pay for one team to take care of the inverters and another to service the substation. Simplified service interface and management, lower cost and streamlined responsibility make them look only for one quote for their overall portfolio.

It’s not only operators that are seeing the benefits, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are acknowledging the opportunities that come with providing a full life cycle service. This has been demonstrated by the recent acquisitions of independent service providers by large OEMs.

Both owners and operators recognize that, given the already existing infrastructure, it is the actual OEMs that can provide a better level of service, as they ultimately have the complete capabilities available from basic maintenance up to obsolescence management and complex fleet engineering. Taking this into consideration, working with companies such as GE, who have experience across the entire value chain and can provide and service the complete electrical equipment, presents a distinct advantage to operators.

Fast industry growth has also meant the renewables sector has seen the rise and fall of many startups. It’s not unusual for operations to include components manufactured by a company which no longer exists. And while this can be challenging for many, it’s leading OEMs with capable service teams that have an enduring presence in the industry, specialist expertise and flexible capabilities to be preferred in the market.

2 The challenge of maintaining operational know-how

The service industry is facing a global skills gap. With the demand for service engineers continuing to increase as installed renewable capacity rises, maintaining operational know-how is critical. While many firms are able to recruit graduates, provide them with field experience and develop them into valuable resources, staff retention is more difficult; particularly as engineers are in such high demand and are regularly headhunted. This retention of knowledge is becoming even more crucial as multi-brand service becomes the norm, as it is leading the level of knowledge needed by service engineers to be greater than ever before.

Service providers must find smart ways to maintain know-how within the operational team. It’s also a new challenge for companies to ensure that their engineers have the necessary training on competitor products. To counter this, the ability of service providers to manage sub-contractors or to be able to immediately form a core team who has the competence is essential.

While it may not seem immediately obvious, software can be used to retain knowledge and experience. For example, by building up a comprehensive database—keeping a better record of service work and customer feedback, and embedding service processes into software tools, expertise can be retained, repeated and scaled across similar renewables sites after the personnel leaves. Engineers are problem fixers after all, and having access to historical data and information can help to inform future decisions and solve current problems.

While we cannot solve the global skills gap overnight, the good news is that the perception of service is changing, and it has become an attractive sector for young talented recruits who are ready to take on a challenge.

3 The increasing involvement of service engineers in the product development process

This change in perception has allowed service to advance its position in the value chain. Whereas previously, engineers would be trained once products were ready for market, they’re increasingly being involved much earlier in the development process.

This is due to the fact that companies focus on metrics such as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) or Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) when driving growth. And, it is widely known that to achieve the lowest TCO, OEMs must look not only at the upfront cost of equipment, but also the continued running costs. It is the optimized combination of the two that would yield the lowest TCO. And in order to achieve this optimum point and reduce continued service costs, service field experience and data is necessary.

In GE’s Berlin factory for example, service engineers are already involved from the early design phase. Leveraging from their valuable field experience, they are able to define requirements on new products’ serviceability and participate in the prototype commissioning. Not only does this ensure the best form of product development, but it also allows engineers to build knowledge and expertise from the offset and allows those involved in the product’s creation to train others once the product is released.

4 The rise of digital technologies

With a lack of engineers in the global market, using remote monitoring technology can allow a core engineering team to monitor plant performance and make decisions remotely, reducing the number of engineers needed on any given site. This is particularly important for offshore wind farms and certain solar plants, where qualified engineers are very hard to find and the locations are extremely remote.

Digital software analytics can also help reduce maintenance costs. For example, by building a “digital twin”—a mathematical model of any piece of equipment—OEMs can subject the model to the same operational conditions as the real equipment, allowing them to estimate the remaining lifetime of the components in the process. This allows OEMs to spot anomalies and therefore potential issue before they even arise, helping to reduce unplanned downtime.

This use of remote monitoring and software analytics enables moderators to move to a process of predictive maintenance and prognostics, whereby they carry out maintenance only when it is required, reducing a plant’s operational risk and saving the industry significant maintenance costs.

Understanding the vast benefits that come with predictive maintenance, GE created the Predix platform, which allows service engineers to analyze data and deliver real-time insights to optimize industrial infrastructure and operations. This remote monitoring offers GE’s customers access to the best expert in any given field, no matter where in the world they are based.

While the industry may be changing, the importance of service will only continue to grow. Through working with a global partner to deliver engineering and service capabilities, firms can invest their money and employees’ time towards innovating and identifying new products, solutions and services to bring to market, safe in the knowledge that if a problem arises upon a wind turbine or solar farm, it will be fixed by a trusted partner in the field, quickly.

Source: GE

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Wynnertech has signed a contract with the cell and module company Talesun to supply 40MW of ALBA 4x type photovoltaic inverters. The 20 units of gas cooled ALBA 4x, with a unit capacity of 2MW, will be installed in the new PV plant of Talesun in Kaifeng, Henan province (China), presently under construction, and will be connected to the grid before new year.

ALBA 4x is the new design of Wynnertech in very high capacity inverters, a compact plug-and-play outdoors solution with no air filters and other construction and control innovations that minimize O&M costs. Wynnertech has been supplying since 2014 high yield cost-efficient inverters for large production units of up to 3.2 MW per block, allowing for a reduction of up to 10% in the total plant’s cost of utility scale projects due to economies of scale. ALBA completes Wynnertech’s PV inverters range, together with the water cooled ZENIT, that has shown seamless operation even in the harsh conditions of the Gobi desert, in the Chinese northeastern provinces of Xinjiang and Gansu.


After the initial technology development and successful penetration of the Chinese market, Wynnertech is currently launching its next phase of international growth, and expects to make more positive announcements in the near future.

Source: Wynnertech

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Electric introduced Continuous Efficiency, a suite of managed services and software that combines the knowledge of Schneider Electric experts across the globe with sophisticated tools and technology. The mix of onsite and remote support, as well as software, allows companies to uncover savings opportunities, implement changes at both the site and enterprise level, and constantly refine performance.

Continuous Efficiency blends utility, facility and operations management to reduce energy use and spend — 15 to 30 percent on average. It also goes beyond basic energy efficiency to help commercial and industrial firms develop proactive management and maintenance programs to help extend equipment life, reduce downtime and fine-tune systems for ongoing performance.


Key components of Continuous Efficiency include:

  • Data Acquisition & Quality – Best-in-class integration services collect and organize facility, energy and interval data along with utility invoices to provide a single, structured view of the most critical information to enable effective decision making.
  • Remote Analytics & Optimization – Energy specialists paired with advanced technology monitor facilities, identify energy conservation opportunities and the root cause of comfort and maintenance concerns, as well as ensure continual performance and verified savings.
  • Software Visualization – A single, cloud-based view of energy procurement, consumption and sustainability data allows energy managers to identify non-optimized facilities, equipment and behaviors, and prioritize energy efficiency projects based on the anticipated return on investment.
  • Onsite Consulting – A variety of collaborative, onsite engagements with Schneider Electric experts help identify energy improvement opportunities, train operations and facility managers, build internal support with executives, and design best practices to support certifications such as ISO 50001.

Continuous Efficiency is scalable to meet the needs of organizations as their energy and sustainability strategies, and facilities footprint grow and evolve. Managers can choose the support and technology most relevant to their current business and easily pilot new programs.

Source: Schneider Electric

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