Monthly Archives: septiembre 2017

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The European Commission has approved an investment package of €222 million from the EU budget to support Europe’s transition to more sustainable and low-carbon future under the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action. The EU funding will mobilise additional investments leading to a total of €379 million going towards 139 new projects in 20 Member States.

Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “In its 25th year, the LIFE programme continues to invest in innovative projects with high added value for people, businesses and nature. I am delighted to see that the programme transforms close-to-market technologies into new, green business.”


Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete added: “The historic Paris Agreement on climate change has added wind to the sails of already accelerating climate-smart investments. With these projects, we use limited public finance in a catalytic way: we unlock private finance to protect the environment, fight climate change and provide cleaner energy to our citizens. These kinds of investments are of critical importance if we are to move from aspirations to action.”

Financing a circular and low-carbon future

€181.9 million will go to projects in the field of environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity, and environmental governance and information.

UEIn line with the European Commission’s circular economy package, projects will help Member States in their transition to a more circular economy. Project examples include: testing an Italian prototype that could cost-effectively convert petrol cars into hybrid vehicles, creating bio-based products from wastewater sludge in the Netherlands, and applying a new biological treatment to remove pesticides and nitrates from water in southern Spain. Other projects will support the implementation of the Action Plan for Nature, in particular the management of Nature 2000 sites. Species protection is another focus, such as in the Slovenian cross-border project to help the survival of a highly endangered Alpine lynx species.

In the area of climate action, the EU will invest €40.2 million to support climate change adaptation, mitigation and governance and information projects. Selected projects support the EU’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. LIFE funding will also help improve the resilience of one of Europe’s busiest waterways, the Scheldt Estuary in Belgium, develop tools to forecast desert dust storms, and counteract the heat island effect in cities.

  • 59 LIFE Environment & Resource Efficiency projects will mobilise €134.6 million, of which the EU will provide €73.0 million. These projects cover actions in five thematic areas: air, environment and health, resource efficiency, waste, and water. The 15 resource efficiency projects alone will mobilise €37.9 million to help in Europe’s transition to a more circular economy.
  • 39 LIFE Nature & Biodiversity projects support the implementation of the Action Plan for Nature, the Birds and Habitats Directives and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. They have a total budget of €135.5 million, of which the EU will contribute €90.9 million.
  • 14 LIFE Environmental Governance and Information projects will raise awareness on environmental matters. They have a total budget of €30.2 million, of which the EU will contribute €18 million.
  • 12 LIFE Climate Change Adaptation projects will mobilise €42.6 million, of which the EU will provide €20.6 million. These action grants are awarded to projects in six thematic areas: ecosystem-based adaptation, health and wellbeing, mountain/island areas adaptation focusing on the agriculture sector, urban adaptation/planning, vulnerability assessments/adaptation strategies, and water (including flood management, coastal areas and desertification).
  • 9 LIFE Climate Change Mitigation projects have a total budget of €25.7 million, of which the EU will contribute €13.6 million. These action grants are awarded to best practice, pilot and demonstration projects in three thematic areas: industry, greenhouse gas accounting/reporting, and land use/forestry/agriculture.
  • 6 LIFE Climate Governance and Information projects will improve governance and raise awareness of climate change. They have a total budget of €10.4 million, of which the EU will contribute €6 million.

Source:  European Commission

The European Commission has launched the pilot phase of ‘Level(s)’, a new EU- framework for sustainable buildings, which will help transform the building sector. It is the first tool of this kind that has been developed for use across the whole of Europe.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: “Level(s) can help us develop an environment built sustainably across Europe and support our transition to the circular economy. We are releasing this framework for the sector during World Green Building Week demonstrating Europe’s global leadership. It marks an important step towards a more resource-efficient and competitive construction sector in Europe.


Level(s) is the result of a broad consultation with industry and the public sector, and focuses on performance indicators across areas such as greenhouse gas emissions, resource and water efficiency as well as health and comfort. It aims to establish a ‘common language’ around what sustainable building means in practice – shifting the debate beyond energy performance.

The test phase for Level(s) is now being launched and will run until 2019. All building projects are invited to learn more about it and pilot the new tool. The European Commission will provide technical assistance to those applying all or parts of Level(s).

A common green language

James Drinkwater, Director of the World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network said: “This is a clear signal to the market that sustainable building practice is shifting from niche to norm. Having a common goal to deliver nearly zero-energy buildings across Europe galvanised industry-wide action, and now having a common language around ‘sustainable’ building helps us begin to really transform mainstream practice.

Level(s) is an open source assessment framework, developed by the European Commission in close collaboration with key players like Skanska, Saint-Gobain, Sustainable Building Alliance and Green Building Councils.

Two technical guidance reports have been released to support the pilot phase. The first technical report provides an introduction to Level(s) and how it works. The second technical report provides detailed guidance on how to make performance assessments using Level(s). The Commission will host a pilot workshop for organisations interested in testing Level(s) in Brussels on 4 December 2017.


Level(s) focuses on the main aspects of a building’s performance, providing a simple entry point for those looking to build more sustainably. These aspects include: greenhouse gas emissions throughout the building’s life cycle, material life cycles which are resource efficient and circular, efficient use of water resources, healthy and comfortable spaces, adaptation and resilience to climate change, and whole building life cycle cost and value. Each indicator in Level(s) is designed to link a building’s impact with EU priorities for circular economy, and the framework effectively broadens the building agenda to deliver more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: European Commission

The buildings in which Europeans sleep, eat, shop, learn and work, house a great opportunity for energy saving and emissions reduction, particularly in the so-called technical systems: heating, DHW, cooling, ventilation and lighting. A recent study by energy consultancy Ecofys, sponsored by Danfoss, shows the energy saving that can be achieved by improving energy management in Europe’s buildings. This hitherto under-exploited potential is calculated to save €67bn on the annual energy bill of European citizens by 2030, while reducing CO2 emissions by 156 Mt. Documents have been published as part of the study that focus on different types of buildings. This article sets out the main conclusions of the study in the case of supermarkets, along with some of the more recent success stories from Danfoss in this sector on the Iberian Peninsula.

Buildings allocated to supermarkets in Europe occupy an approximate surface area of 115 million square metres. Part of the study included an assessment of the energy saving potential of a sample supermarket with a surface area of 1,025 m2 and a total energy consumption of 181 kWh/m2a. This sample building is equipped with a gas condensing boiler for heating (with energy recovery for the refrigeration system); mechanical ventilation systems with no heat recovery; a refrigeration and air conditioning system by means of compression chillers; and a direct and indirect lighting system via fluorescent tubes.


Improvements to the technical systems in this sample supermarket reveal the possibility of achieving a 45% saving in energy, which translates into just over 8,000 €/year, with an investment of some €36,000 that would be amortised in around 4.5 years. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

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PV energy worldwide has once again set a new record for installed capacity in 2016, connecting 76.8 GW and representing a growth of 50% on the amount installed the previous year. The PV market has experienced an important change in recent years, going from being an essentially European market, motivated by environmental issues, to undertaking most projects in emerging markets where the motivation is price competitiveness and guaranteed supply.

Even though only 55 MW were installed in Spain last year, the sector has started to breathe winds of change. After five years of moratorium, the sector feels stronger and ready to change political risk for market risk. The lack of trust in government policies, the high competitive level achieved by the technology, the huge natural resource available in Spain, the liquidity existing in the financial markets and the possibility of obtaining additional revenue by taking part in auxiliary services are all reasons that encourage PV developers to test the possibility of going directly to the market.


However, this path is not without its obstacles. The first and most significant is the inadequacy of the marginal system of setting prices in the electricity markets. A system designed in the 1980s, based on costs variables, could not be more inappropriate for establishing the price of technologies that do not have such variables and that are enjoying an increasingly greater presence in the energy mix.
Read more…

José Donoso
Managing Director, UNEF, the Spanish Solar Association

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

The Brazilian energy agency, EPE and the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) have published the long-awaited 10-year Energy Expansion Plan, known as the PDE 2026 (Plano Decenal de Energia), with a provision of $430bn to help the country’s energy sector. According to PDE 2026, the domestic energy offer needed to drive the Brazilian economy to 2026 will be 351 Mtep. As a result, EPE forecasts that the installed capacity in the National Interconnected System (SIN) over the next decade will rise by 64 GW from 148 GW to 212 GW. Around 50% of this growth will come from non-conventional renewable sources. EPE forecasts that renewables, excluding hydropower, will achieve a 48% share of the energy mix by 2026.

Every year, Brazil publishes a 10-year proposal, the Energy Expansion Plan, which examines the estimated development of the country’s energy sector and offers a forecast of what will be achieved over the course of the decade. Due to changes in both the government and at EPE, there was no proposal last year, which is why publication of the current plan has been so eagerly anticipated.


Under the new reference scenario, the new PDE targets utility-scale solar to achieve 9,660 MW by 2026, rising from 21 MW in 2016. Combining these 9,660 MW with the deployment of 3.5 MW in distributed PV generation, total solar installations would exceed 13 GW by 2026. Read more...

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

The Energy Reform has introduced a series of mechanisms that have provided business models in different fields of the energy sector with legal certainty and transparency. As a result of these efforts and the actions undertaken to comply with the world’s commitment to the environment, clean and renewable energies have grown exponentially in recent years, thanks to their capacity to supply power to both small and large areas of the country with a high degree of profitability.

Solar PV power has shown the highest level of growth and competitiveness in the clean power generation portfolio. This is in part due to a significant reduction in technology costs that have dropped 73% since 2010, and partly arising from the two power auctions, resulting from the Energy Reform, in which solar PV enjoyed a predominant share, achieving 74% and 54% of the total power projects awarded in the first and second auctions respectively.

In the first auction alone, the 12 projects awarded to the solar sector represent an investment of $2 billion that will generate a potential impact on the national GDP of 12 billion pesos, due to the development of 1,500 MW of solar power. This, in turn, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 2 million tonnes of CO2 per annum.Read more…

The Mexican Solar PV Association

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

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The Clayhill Solar Farm constitutes a 10 MW solar PV plant in Bedfordshire along with 6 MW of battery storage, developed by the UK-based developer Anesco. The company developed the project in partnership with asset management company Alcentra, without relying in any form of government scheme, like Contracts for Difference or Feed-in Tariffs, to subsidise the cost and increase the profitability of the plant. Planning permission for the 10 MW solar PV plant, along with the five battery storage units, was granted by Central Bedfordshire Council in 2015. The construction and installation of the project was completed in 12 weeks.

The solar panels and the battery storage units were supplied by the Chinese manufacturer BYD, while Huawei supplied its ‘ground-breaking’ 1,500 V inventers, marking the first time the ground-breaking 1,500 V inverters have been deployed in Europe.


The 10 MW solar PV plant will generate enough electricity for around 2,500 homes and save 4,452 tonnes of carbon.

One success element is said to be the fact that the new power project was built next to an existing solar project, near the town of Flitwick. Analysts argue that locating new projects next to ones that already benefit from subsidy schemes is a crucial factor to drive down costs. That makes a big difference because obviously a lot of the common infrastructure you need is already in place.

Another success element that drove the viability of the project up is that the solar panels are connected to giant batteries, which will store power and release it during peak demand, where electricity will be sold in a higher price.

Steve Shine OBE, Anesco’s Executive Chairman said: “For the solar industry, Clayhill is a landmark development and paves the way for a sustainable future, where subsidies are no longer needed or relied upon”. “Importantly, it proves that the Government’s decision to withdraw subsidies doesn’t have to signal the end of solar as a commercially viable technology”.

Anesco plans on using the Clayhill scheme to provide services to the National Grid, which pays private electricity generators to help stabilise the grid by absorbing excess power when needed.

Claire Perry MP, the UK Minister for Climate Change & Industry, today officially opened Anesco’s Clayhill solar PV plant and energy storage facility, he said: “The cost of solar PV panels and batteries has fallen dramatically over the past few years, and this first subsidy-free development at Clayhill is a significant moment for clean energy in the UK. Solar panels already provide enough electricity to power 2.7 million homes with 99% of that capacity installed since 2010. The Government is determined to build on this success and our ambitious Clean Growth Strategy will ensure we continue to lead the world on the transition to a low carbon economy.

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Isotrol adds a new wind farm to its portfolio and participates in one of the first repowering projects in Spain. This is the Malpica wind farm, located in Costa da Morte in A Coruña.

Malpica is currently experiencing a project of repowering, with the removal of the 69 wind turbines that make up the park and the substitution by seven more modern ones, of 2,3 MW each, which will maintain the current power of the plant by doubling the energy generated.


Within the modernization process, Isotrol will be responsible for the new wind farm’s connection and its substation to the delegated office and the control center. This activity will be developed through the CER Operation Manager solution, designed for the management and the centralized exploitation of renewable portfolios.

This contract means for Isotrol a consolidation of the activity developed with Enerfin, the company that manages the wind farm in Malpica, and that has relied, since 2010, on Isotrol and its CER system for the centralized management of more than 920 Eolic MW located in Spain, Brazil and Canada.
The Malpica wind farm, with a total installed power of 16,6 MW and an approximate production of 66 yearly GWh, will produce enough energy to supply more than 15.000 houses.

Source: Isotrol

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Kaiserwetter Energy Asset Management GmbH, the Hamburg-based independent and international service provider for the management of renewable energy assets, has opened an office in New York, USA, to set up a digital data mining hub for North and South America.

American institutional investors are very interested in moving into renewable energy assets worldwide. Furthermore, the North and South American markets for renewable energies are growing strongly because these facilities produce energy at competitive prices compared to conventional power stations. Kaiserwetter’s digital portfolio management platform has been specifically developed to support this type of ROI-driven investment approach. After all, such investment decisions – which can amount to billions of dollars and be on a global scale – are designed to maximize returns and minimize risks in order to ensure the highest possible degree of investment security. Focusing on these economic foundations is the only way to sustainably drive the necessary investments in renewable energies around the world so that the shared goals of the Paris Climate Accord can be met.


Digital portfolio management platforms – a prerequisite for internationally active investors

For Kaiserwetter’s clients such as investment houses, family offices and banks, having a digital platform that makes it possible to actively steer and remotely monitor their global investments is key to achieving their investment goals. Kaiserwetter’s ARISTOTELES platform provides the necessary technical and economic KPIs automatically, up-to-the-minute and free of any type of manipulation. Executive-level dashboards tailored to clients’ individual needs show the results of the system’s data analysis, which makes controlling and reporting processes much more efficient.

By using the Internet of Things, smart data analytics and predictive data simulations, ARISTOTELES helps to substantially maximize the performance of the renewable energies portfolio while at the same time minimizing its risks. This ensures maximum transparency for investments in renewable energy assets on a global level – no matter whether investors are based in Buenos Aires or New York.

Transparency leads to trust which leads to investment security – that’s the triple promise of the ARISTOTELES digital platform,” Schoklitsch emphasizes. “This way Kaiserwetter contributes to encouraging investors and banks to use their capital streams and financial resources to invest in renewable energies around the world – including America.

Source: Kaiserwetter Energy Asset Management GmbH

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Wind energy has the potential to provide up to 30% of Europe’s power by 2030 according to figures released today by WindEurope in its Outlook to 2020 and Scenarios for 2030 reports.

According to WindEurope’s projections, Europe could be on course for an average installation rate of 12.6 GW per year in the years up to 2020, offshore will represent a quarter of installations. This would take Europe to a total of 204 GW by 2020. By this date wind would be Europe’s largest renewable energy source, surpassing hydro and providing 16.5% of Europe’s electricity demand.


With a quarter of the global market in the next four-year period, the EU could attract more installations than the US and India, but significantly less than China. This growth is likely to be concentrated in just six countries (Germany, UK, France, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium), that could represent over 3/4 installations in the next four years. Central and Eastern Europe lagging well behind.

The Scenarios for 2030 report illustrates that wind energy still has enormous growth potential. The Central Scenario shows that wind could reach a total of 323 GW, 253 GW onshore and 70 GW offshore. This would also include the repowering or life-extension of the roughly half of the EU’s existing wind capacity that is going to reach the end of its operational life before 2030. That would be more than double the capacity installed at the end of 2016 (160 GW). With this capacity, wind energy would produce 888 TWh of electricity, equivalent to 30% of the EU’s power demand.

Reaching this milestone will be possible if the right policies are in place and significant changes to the energy system are made. This includes greater certainty on long-term revenue stability; significant progress on the system integration of variable renewables including build-out of the grid and interconnectors; and clear policy commitments on electrification.

WindEurope’s High Scenario assumes favourable market and policy conditions including the achievement of a 35% EU renewable energy target. In this scenario, 397 GW of wind energy capacity would be installed in the EU by 2030, 298.5 GW onshore and 99 GW offshore. This would be 23% more capacity than in the Central Scenario and two and a half times more capacity than currently installed in the EU.

In the Low Scenario, however, there would be 256.4 GW of wind capacity in 2030, 207 GW onshore and 49 GW offshore, producing 21.6% of the EU’s power demand in 2030. That is 20% less capacity than in the Central Scenario.

Germany, France and the UK would have the most installed capacity, with 85 GW, 43 GW and 38 GW respectively. France would leapfrog the UK and Spain to second place thanks to the policies being put in place by the new government. Meanwhile Denmark, Ireland, Estonia and the Netherlands would form an exclusive club of countries sourcing more than 50% of their electricity from wind by 2030.

This growth would mean 382 tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions annually and unlock €239bn in investment from 2017-2030, enabling the wind industry to support 569,000 European jobs by 2030. It would also avoid the import of €13.2bn worth of fossil fuels per annum.

WindEurope CEO, Giles Dickson, said: “Wind energy is now firmly established as the cheapest form of new power generation. But the outlook from 2020 is uncertain. The industry needs binding and ambitious National Energy & Climate Action Plans that provide clarity on post-2020 volumes, which will allow cost reductions to continue. This requires a good outcome on the EU Clean Energy Package. With an ambitious European renewables target of at least 35% by 2030, the wind industry could deliver even bigger volumes at competitive cost.

Source: WindEurope

SAJ Electric