Monthly Archives: julio 2017

SolarReserve has received an environmental approval from the Chilean government to build a 390 MW CSP power station with 5,100 MWh of energy storage. This important milestone marks SolarReserve’s third approval of a solar thermal project that will provide Chile with a non-intermittent, 24-hour supply of energy, at a price competitive with fossil fuel based generation.

Utilizing SolarReserve’s proprietary CSP energy storage technology, the Likana Solar Energy Project in the Antofagasta region of Chile, will be comprised of three 130 MW solar thermal towers, each with 13 hours of full load energy storage. With 5.1 GWh of total energy storage capacity, the facility will deliver 390 MW of continuous output, resulting in over 2,800 GWh generated annually. It will operate at a capacity factor and availability percentage equal to that of a fossil fired power plant, while providing a highly competitive price of power – and with zero emissions.

 

The Chilean transmission system will have difficulty accommodating large amounts of intermittent power. The distribution companies and mining sector require a firm, secure, and stable supply of electricity 24 hours a day. The Likana project will help lower electricity costs for Chilean families and businesses, while safeguarding grid stability.

Highly competitive price of power with no fuel price volatility

SolarReserve will be bidding energy and associated capacity, from Likana and the company’s other Chilean projects, into the upcoming auction for firm energy supply issued annually by Chile’s power distribution companies.

What’s happening in Chile is a preview of the future of CSP with energy storage around the world. Even more remarkable than baseload solar, SolarReserve set a new benchmark for CSP pricing by bidding 6.4 c$/kWh, without subsidies, in Chile’s last auction for energy supply,” said Kevin Smith, SolarReserve’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’ve proven that solar with thermal energy storage can compete head-to-head with conventional energy on both functionality and cost.

This achievement will have far-reaching global impacts, as grids will be able to cost-effectively incorporate solar energy that can:

• Deliver non-intermittent baseload power that is more easily integrated into existing grids, and
• Provide firm capacity to reliably meet demand during peak hours, generating when energy is most valuable, reducing cost and risk for electricity customers.

Minimal environmental impact

As part of SolarReserve’s project development and permitting process for the Likana Solar Project, the company collaborates with stakeholders and local communities to ensure minimal environmental impact. This process includes careful site selection, low water use systems, and extensive environmental studies prior to starting construction. The Likana Solar Project underwent comprehensive environmental assessment under the Chilean Impact Assessment System (Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental – SEIA) administered by the Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA), and as a result was successfully awarded an environmental qualification resolution (Resolución de Calificación Ambiental) (RCA), which is the name for the Chilean environmental permit.

Source: SolarReserve

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According to the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE), the installation of the projects accorded to wind this year (and in 2016) will translate into investments in excess of €4.5bn and the creation of 25,000-30,000 jobs during construction. “It is a positive signal for the wind industry, notably the Spanish supply chain,” said WindEurope Chief Policy Officer, Pierre Tardieu.

However, due to the four-year market standstill, we’re playing catch-up,” Tardieu added. “The Spanish government is trying to deploy in the next three years what should have been done in seven. These types of stop-and-go policies are extremely disruptive for the wind supply chain which needs a stable calendar of tenders to thrive”.

 

WindEurope strongly supports the European Commission’s proposal for three-year visibility for renewables auctions scheduling, as opposed to the three months given in this case. This would allow not just the wind supply chain but also government bodies and system operators to plan ahead and ensure the smooth deployment of volumes. Regular technology-specific auctions would be the most effective way to plan the Energy Transition and meet the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy targets.

Finally, WindEurope calls on the Spanish government to sustain investor confidence by maintaining the current level of ‘reasonable profitability’ for existing projects post-2020. Any retroactive changes to the reasonable profitability of projects, as made possible by the Energy Reform, would undermine the standing of the Spanish market and have a lasting and damaging effect on the wind supply chain.

Source: WindEurope

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Wind power has been awarded 1,128 MW of the total of 5,037 MW in the Spanish tender held yesterday. This gives continuity to the industry’s activity in order to achieve compliance with European targets. The sector is confident that all players involved – developers, manufacturers, financial institutions, local and state public entities, etc. – will work hand in hand so that all projects awarded in the last three tenders are fully functioning by the end of December 2019. It will be then when the effectiveness of the tenders will be proved. The Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) estimates that the installation of these projects will translate into investments in excess of 4.5 billion Euros and the creation of between 25,000 to 30,000 jobs during construction.

 

The results of these auctions show that wind power is currently the technology that can bring more energy at a lower cost to meet 2020 targets. Even so, the industry believes, more than ever, that Energy Planning for the coming years is needed and it must take into account Spain´s energy and decarbonization needs in the long term and guarantee a balanced mix among technologies. This implies including a calendar of tenders to give visibility to the renewable sector beyond 2020, taking into account international commitments on environmental matters (the Paris Agreement and the 2030 EU Target) as the necessary milestones for an orderly Energy Transition.

AEE insists that the 23,000 MW of wind power that have been installed in Spain since the 1990s did so at a time of lower technological maturity with different financial conditions and, therefore, at a higher cost, so incentives must be respected until the end of their Regulatory life. This necessarily means not changing the reasonable profitability of the projects every six years during their regulatory life, a power granted to the Government by the Energy Reform that could be exercised for the first time in 2020.

Source: AEE

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6.1 GW of extra wind energy capacity was installed in Europe in the first half of 2017, according to figures released by WindEurope. The figure puts Europe on course for a bumper year for installations, although hides some worrying trends.

A total of 4.8 GW of onshore wind capacity was installed in the first half of 2017, although it was heavily concentrated in Germany (2.2 GW), UK (1.2 GW) and France (492 MW). There has also been a flurry of activity in offshore wind: 18 projects in four EU Member States (Germany, UK, Belgium and Finland), which saw a total of 1.3 GW installed.

 

In investments, €8.3bn on new asset financing was made in the first half of the year: €5.4bn in onshore and €2.9bn in offshore, the latter down from a record high of €14bn in the same period in 2016. Again, the trend for market concentration is visible, with 53% of total investments (onshore and offshore) made in Germany and no offshore investments made in the UK.

Europe is on track for a good year in wind capacity installations but growth is driven by a handful of markets. At least ten EU countries have yet to install a single MW so far this year. On onshore wind, the end of UK Renewable Obligation scheme will lead to even greater market concentration in Germany, Spain and France. On offshore, the level of finance activity is a concern. Although this won’t translate into lower installations for another few years, the industry needs clarity on volumes for the post-2020 period to maintain the current cost reduction trend”

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*For Sweden, figures are based on orders

Source: WindEurope

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In the first half of 2017, 108 offshore wind turbines with a combined capacity of 626 MW fed power into Germany’s national grid for the first time. Therefore as of 30 June 2017 a total of 1,055 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity to 4,749 MW are on the grid. These are encouraging half-year figures, according to Arbeitsgemeinschaft Offshore-Windenergie (AGOW), Bundesverband WindEnergie (BWE), Stiftung OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE, VDMA Power Systems and WAB e.V.

The industry expects a total increase of approximately 900 MW for 2017 as a whole. In the first half of 2017, offshore wind energy produced 8,480 GWh of electricity, already roughly 70% of last year’s total output.

 

Seize potential cost reductions, in Germany and Europe

The tendering results in Germany underscore the potential for innovative advancements and cost reductions in the offshore wind industry. For the first time, renewable energy projects were proposed that are expected to operate without EEG subsidies by the mid-2020s and can be refinanced through the electricity market. Electricity production costs have fallen considerably due to new, reliable, more powerful wind turbines with larger rotor diameters, a general increase in the scale of wind farm projects, innovations in foundation structures, better operating and maintenance programmes and more favourable financing conditions.

As a result of this paradigm shift, the next federal government will have new opportunities to exploit the potential benefits of offshore wind energy for industrial policy and the energy sector, specifically by raising minimum capacity targets to 20 GW by 2030 and 30 GW by 2035. The political and techno-logical conditions to promote the necessary grid expansion still exist. Capping offshore wind energy expansion at 15 GW (old target: 25GW) under the EEG 2014 is primarily intended to reduce the costs of the energy transition.

At European level, the offshore wind industry issued in June 2017 a ‘Joint Statement‘ calling for more ambitious expansion by 2030. The statement reaffirmed the industry’s commitment to boost Europe’s offshore wind capacity by 6 GW each year until 2030. An annual expansion of at least 4 GW would be required to cut costs. In the statement, Belgian, Danish and German government representatives acknowledged the cost reductions that have already been achieved and advocated a significant expansion by 2030. They also announced their intention to improve conditions for European invest-ment in offshore projects, networks and infrastructure.

Strengthen Germany’s position as a technology leader

The federal government’s current expansion targets, which call for annual capacity increases of 500 – 840 MW during the 2020s, would slow the growth of the offshore wind industry in Germany. A strong domestic market, stable policy framework and significant expansion are necessary if the German offshore wind industry is to maintain its technological leadership and exploit economies of scale to reduce costs. The industry, which currently employs 20,000 people, can create new jobs only if Ger-man companies continue to participate in the international expansion of offshore wind energy and compete successfully in export markets. In the short term, additional facilities must be provided for testing prototypes and innovative components in offshore projects in German waters. Regulations must be adapted to support these new developments. Only by investing in research and develop-ment and aggressively expanding its market volume can Germany strengthen its position as a techno-logy leader.

Grid expansion and sector coupling: achieving a successful energy transition

The success of the German energy transition depends, besides an increased usage of renewable energies, on expansion of the grid system and promotion of sector coupling. This means a completely transformation of our entire energy system by establishing rapidly new grid infrastructure and redu-cing carbon-intensive fossil fuels in the heating and mobility sectors.

Various technological approaches should be implemented to temporarily or permanently overcome bottlenecks in the land grid. These should include measures to improve network utilisation. In additi-on, the necessary must-run capacities should be reviewed. An increase in transparency and the int-roduction of greater competition in offshore grid connections (for example, through cost-cutting tenders) should also be considered.

Source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Offshore-Windenergie (AGOW), Bundesverband WindEnergie (BWE), Stiftung OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE, VDMA Power Systems and WAB e.V.

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The European Commission has set out a proposal for a new mechanism for controlling the price of solar panels and cells imported to the European Union from China. The products’ prices had previously been governed by a minimum import price (MIP) system that the European Commission acknowledges had failed. The new system was intended to address that failure.

Commenting on the new proposal, Dr Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe, stated “This proposal from DG Trade looks to divorce the price of solar panels from reality. The European Commission clearly states that market prices recorded in Q1 2017 will only be reached in the EU in September 2018. This implies a full time lag of 1,5 years for European companies to benefit from the true market price of solar. What is even worse, is that the MIP level proposed for July 2018 is still well above today’s world market prices in $/W. This is not the way to bring the energy transition in a cost effective manner to the citizens of Europe.

 

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe added “The European Commission is trying to miss another opportunity to bring solar prices in Europe closer to global market prices with this proposal. It is positive that they recognise a difference in price between multi-and mono crystalline panels and cells in the new proposal, but this progress is entirely undone by keeping the prices of these products artificially high by not basing the new system on an active market index.

The new proposal includes a price schedule that will control the prices of panels and cells on the European market over the next 14 months or so, describing by how much and when prices will drop. Dr Christian Westermeier commented “This does not help the solar sector in Europe. Companies might wait a month or two for the new lower price to come into effect before realising a project. The Commission proposal could really slow all investment in solar in Europe, as companies could be tempted to keep waiting until the end of the measures before making an investment. It is difficult to understand the Commission’s decision to disregard market prices.

Parties with an interest in the case have until 2nd August to make their comments on the proposed new system to the European Commission.

Source: SolarPower Europe

MAN Diesel & Turbo successfully commissioned eight type 18V48/60 engines in the new “Planta MAN 140” power plant in Los Brasiles, Nicaragua and handed them over to the operator, Alba Generación. The company was also responsible for engineering and delivery of the engines and equipment, steel structure, piping and electrics. With a generation capacity of 140 MW, Planta MAN 140 is the largest and most cutting-edge thermal power plant in Nicaragua and has a share of around 12% of the total capacity nationwide.

In close proximity to the capital city, Managua, Planta MAN 140 replaces older and less efficient diesel power plants and balances fluctuations in the generation of electricity from renewable sources. The engines run on heavy fuel oil (HFO).

 

Nicaragua has ambitious plans with regard to power generation. It is aiming to produce 90% of electrical power from renewable sources by 2020. Renewable sources, primarily wind power and hydropower, already account for 57% of the country’s electricity demand. Wind levels, however, are subject to considerable fluctuations.

Engine power plants are ideal as a back-up for renewable energies,” explains Thorsten Dradrach, Head of Sales for Power Plants on the American continent at MAN Diesel & Turbo. “Not only can the engines be started up and reach full load in 3-5 minutes, they also operate efficiently at partial load. In the event of low wind levels or even no wind at all, the MAN48/60 engines generate energy reliably and in a highly flexible manner in order to compensate for fluctuations in the power network.”

Transporting the engines 156 kilometres from the port of Corinto to Los Brasiles was a highly logistical challenge. At temperatures of up to 40 °C and under increased volcanic activity, each of the eight 320-ton engines had to cross more than 60 bridges, many of which first had to be bridged with fly-over ramps.

Alba Generacion is a subsidiary of Alba Nicaragua, which is owned by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America. Alba is an economic and political alliance of nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Nicaragua. Alba’s aim is to achieve greater independence from the USA and Europe by means of economic cooperation between the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The energy sector has a particularly important part to play in this mission.

Source: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Acciona Energía has signed an alliance with SACI Falabella to supply almost 100 centers of its brands Sodimac, Falabella, Tottus and Open Plaza in Chile with renewable energy over the next few years. Through the alliance, the company is strengthening its line of business of supplies to large customers in the country, following a previous agreement with Google. The energy under the agreement will come from ACCIONA Energía renewables installations in the country.

Acciona has already started supplying renewable-based electricity to the first stores and six shopping malls of the Falabella group. In 2018, it will add the remaining centers that can feasibly be connected, including the two main distribution centers of Falabella and Sodimac.

 

The alliance will avoid the emission of around 225,000 metric tons of CO2 every year from conventional coal-fired power stations, besides, this agreement not only means a major saving in costs, it also ties in with the company efforts in the area of sustainability to reduce the impact of its operation on the environment.

Vestas has received a firm and unconditional order for 14 V117-3.45 MW wind turbines for the 48 MW Larimar II wind park, located in Enriquillo region of the Dominican Republic. The order was placed by Elecnor S.A.

The Larimar wind park is key to the country’s goal to increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix and hereby reduce green-house gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030 compared to 2010.

 

The order comprises supply and installation of the 14 wind turbines for Larimar II, following the 49 MW Larimar I project, which Vestas installed two years ago. Wind turbines delivery is planned for the first quarter of 2018 whilst commissioning is expected for the third quarter of 2018.

With Larimar II fully operational, the Dominican Republic will host 131 MW of Vestas wind turbines, including Los Cocos wind park (25 MW, 2011), Quilvio Cabrera (8 MW, 2011) and Larimar I and II (98 MW in total, 2016 and 2018, expected).

Source: Vestas

Google, Norsk Hydro and Facebook are leading the growing trend of major companies looking to secure reliable and competitive power from renewable energy and reduce the risks associated with fossil fuel-based power supply. 100 top companies including leading industrial players are already committing to procure 100% renewable power in the short term through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

The chemicals industry has also emerged as an actor in renewable energy PPAs. Earlier this year, AkzoNobel led a consortium to procure power from the Bouwdokken Wind Park in the Netherlands as part of a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050.

PPAs are currently concentrated in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland. Expanding this potential will require clarifying the legal framework for PPAs and empowering renewable electricity generators to make use of Guarantees of Origin. This should be tackled head on as part of the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive.

WindEurope and SolarPower Europe will lead this effort, in collaboration with RE100 and supported by CEFIC, by hosting the first in a series of annual renewable energy PPA events, RE-Source 2017 on 11 October 2017 in Brussels. Large energy consumers including chemical companies, Google and renewable energy players Engie, EDF Energies Nouvelles, ENEL Green Power, Envision and Vestas will come together with policymakers to ensure Europe can fully reap the benefits of a competitive and reliable renewable energy supply to power its economy.

Marco Mensink, Director General of CEFIC, said: “Corporate PPAs are a win-win: whilst enabling long-term contracts, they provide financial certainty for utilities and developers and they allow the chemical industry to contribute to sustainability goals. Corporate PPAs show that renewables are maturing into market based solutions.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson added: “Wind energy producers can supply cheap power today thanks to a significant reduction in technology and operating costs in recent years. But they need stable revenues to sustain their investments. Corporate PPAs will play an increasing role in supplying corporates with power below the industrial retail price, while ensuring a stable revenue for wind energy generators. The new Renewable Energy Directive should help unlock this potential.

Dr James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, explains: “Renewable energy capacity covered by PPAs tripled in 2016 compared to 2015 confirming the rising appetite of corporates to procure green power. Last year, 1.5 GW of renewable energy capacity in Europe supplied power to corporates under PPAs – up from 74 MW just 4 years ago.

Source: WindEurope

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