Monthly Archives: febrero 2018

Seguidor solar Soltec/Soltec solar tracker

According to new data from GTM Research, global solar tracker shipments hit a record 14.5 GW in 2017. This represents growth of 32 percent year-over-year. The data comes from GTM Research’s new report, Global Solar PV Tracker Market Shares and Shipments 2018.

The report notes that NEXTracker maintained its spot at the top of the shipment rankings, accounting for a third of all solar PV trackers sold worldwide in 2017. Array Technologies Inc. also maintained its position, ranking second; while First Solar Inc. was usurped this year by Spain’s Soltec Renewable SL, which grew to become the third largest tracker supplier. Arctech Inc. and Convert Italia SpA, meanwhile, swapped positions, coming in fourth and fifth, respectively.



For the first time, Latin America was the largest market for solar trackers, followed closely by the United States. Mexico and Brazil are two of the fastest-growing solar markets in the world, each accounting for over 1.5 GW of tracker shipments in 2017. The U.S. utility-scale market was significantly stunted last year due to tariff uncertainty, so it took a back seat to Latin America.

In spite of strong growth, GTM Research expects to see continued consolidation in the industry. The report notes that vendor margins continue to compress as the market grows, making profitable growth a challenge. There has already been one significant acquisition in 2018, with steel giant ArcelorMittal acquiring Exosun in January.

However, analysts at GTM Research remain optimistic and expect 30 percent growth in 2018, with shipments approaching 20 GW.

Source: GTM Research

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The engineering and technology group SENER and ACCIONA Industrial have achieved the connection of the 100 Mw Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant to 132kV ESKOM Distribution line on 23 February 2018. Main and auxiliary transformers have been energized which represents a relevant milestone for power plant commissioning activities.

The Kathu Solar Park CSP Plant, which will supply clean energy to 179,000 homes (estimation of the South African Department of Energy DOE), is equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage to extend the operational capacity of the plant after sunset and uses SENERtrough®-2 collectors, a parabolic trough technology, specifically designed and patented by SENER, aimed at improving efficiency of the plant.

Siyabonga Mbanjwa, SENER Regional Managing Director in Southern Africa, commented: “With this key milestone for the Kathu project, we reassure our commitment to tackling the South Africa’s need for a reliable and sustained energy supply and the improvement of the grid stability, and therefore, we have focused on deploying our patented Concentrated Solar Power to support clean energy generation.”

Roberto Felipe, Chief Operating Officer of ACCIONA Industrial, said: “This project milestone has only been achieved in time and with high quality standards thanks to the Joint Venture’s ability to develop this project in the South African market. We have focused on working with local entities and communities in the region, which is why we are executing Concentrated Solar Power Kathu with excellence.”

Kathu Solar Park is one of the awarded projects in the third round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) led by the South African Department of Energy (DOE).

The joint venture between SENER and ACCIONA Industrial was appointed by the ENGIE led consortium to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Construction started on site in May 2016 and is due for completion in late 2018. Approximately 1,200 jobs are being created during the construction phase. It is estimated that the Kathu Solar Park will save six million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years and will further promote local economic development through the KSP trust and the Kelebogile Trust, which has invested significantly in the local community thus far thereby making a meaningful contribution to the community of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality situated in the Northern Cape.

Renault Pro+ is broadening its range of electric LCVs with the introduction of the Master Z.E. large electric van – the ideal workhorse for emissions-free access to city centers. Master Z.E. is ideally suited to last-mile deliveries. It’s designed for everyone who believes environmental issues are fundamental.

Master Z.E. benefits from the know-how of Renault: a new-generation battery and a high energy efficiency engine give it a 120-km real-world driving range and a charging time appropriate to its duties (fully charged in just 6 hours).

Master Z.E. offers all the tailor-made solutions available from Renault Pro+: a genuine workhorse, a large number of versions, a dedicated network and made-to-measure conversions.

As part of Renault EASY CONNECT solutions, Renault Pro+ introduces Renault EASY CONNECT for Fleet, an ecosystem of connected services for business users that simplifies managing vehicle fleets and reduces running costs.

Renault EASY CONNECT for Fleet provides secure, affordable connectivity to report fleet data. Renault Pro+ is working with the biggest names in fleet management to offer a broad range of services and meet business users’ widest range of needs. Renault EASY CONNECT for Fleet will be available on the entire range of Renault vehicles in Europe by mid-2018.

“Groupe Renault continues to implement its electric-vehicle growth strategy by strengthening its coverage of key market segments. The launch of Master Z.E. meets the needs of professionals to adapt to urban environmental issues. Master Z.E. is a further proof of the expertise of Renault, the European leader in electric vehicles”. Gilles Normand – SVP, Head of the Electric Vehicles Business Unit

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Developers commissioned just under 47 GW of onshore wind turbines globally in 2017, with four manufacturers accounting for 53% of the machines deployed. The four were Denmark’s Vestas, Spain’s Siemens Gamesa, China’s Goldwind and General Electric of the U.S.

The latest authoritative figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show that Vestas – number one in 2016 – maintained the top spot, with 7.7 GW of its onshore wind turbines commissioned, equivalent to a global market share of 16%. The statistics draw on BNEF’s global database of utility-scale wind projects and extensive information from the industry.

Siemens Gamesa, formed in 2016 from a merger of the wind business of German engineering giant Siemens and the Spanish turbine maker Gamesa, came second in onshore wind turbines, with 6.8 GW commissioned. It lifted its market share from the 11% that its two predecessor companies held in 2016, to 15% last year. Goldwind saw 5.4 GW commissioned and GE 4.9 GW, equivalent to market shares of 11% and 10%, respectively.

According to the the report, Global Wind Turbine Market Shares, in 2017, quite a bit of distance opened up between GE in fourth place and the fifth-placed manufacturer, Germany’s Enercon, with 3.1 GW. Six other turbine makers, from Europe and China, had between 1GW and 3 GW commissioned last year.”

In offshore wind, it was a very different story, with Siemens Gamesa continuing to be by far the biggest supplier globally, with 2.7 GW commissioned, and other players such as Sewind of China, MHI Vestas and Senvion of Germany back at around half a gigawatt each.

There are some stark differences between the big manufacturers in terms of their regional footprint. More than 90% of Goldwind’s commissioned wind turbines, for instance, were in projects in China in 2017, while almost all of Enercon’s went online in Europe. General Electric was much stronger in the Americas than elsewhere, while Vestas and Siemens Gamesa saw significant commissioning of their onshore wind turbines in all three regions, Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Asia-Oceania.

The capacity of onshore wind turbines commissioned in 2017 was 12% down from 2016’s total of 53.1 GW. Bloomberg New Energy Finance puts this down to a slowdown in China and predicts a rebound to 55 GW in 2018, as the Chinese market returns to growth and Latin America continues its expansion.

Albert Cheung, head of analysis at BNEF, commented: “We’ve seen a wave of mergers in the wind turbine manufacturing industry in the last few years, including the Siemens-Gamesa deal and Nordex’s takeover of Acciona Windpower. With a large number of small players outside the Big Four, it would be no surprise to see further consolidation.”

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Acciona has reached an agreement to sell its five solar thermal plants in Spain (with a combined capacity of 250 MW) to ContourGlobal plc. The transaction amounts to €1.09 billion, which could increase by €27 million, to €1.12 billion, if certain milestones are met.

Once completed, the deal will enable the Acciona group to reduce debt by €760 million this year.

The disposal of the Spanish solar thermal assets (Palma del Río I and II in Córdoba, Majadas in Cáceres, and Alvarado and Orellana in Badajoz) rebalances Acciona’s portfolio towards its international business, which will reach 50% of generation EBITDA.

The sale is subject to approval by Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) and by the General Meeting of Shareholders of ContourGlobal plc. The controlling shareholder of ContourGlobal plc, ContourGlobal L.P., with a 71% stake, has made an irrevocable commitment to vote in favour of the deal.

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More than 4 billion people are not connected to the internet today, representing a huge opportunity for both development and business. Bridging the ‘digital divide’ for these un-networked billions requires affordable and reliable access to electricity. Power is a crucial element at all stages of providing internet access: from running backhaul services to the core of the network and base stations to powering the devices that consumers use to get online. Yet, across much of the developing world, reliable electricity remains expensive and hard to get.

Achieving universal access to the internet will require expanding access to affordable and reliable electricity, especially for people living in the remote areas in emerging economies, finds a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in collaboration with Facebook.

The report Powering Last-Mile Connectivity outlines some of the challenges the developing world faces in giving more people access to the grid and the implications for the mobile industry if billions of people continue to lack that access.

Five key insights from the study are:

  1. Bridging the ‘digital divide’ for the four billion people without internet access, especially those in remote areas in emerging economies, requires affordable and reliable access to electricity.
  2. Electricity access is key for both provision and consumption of connectivity services. Power is needed across the value chain, from backhaul to access networks, to the devices that people use to get online.
  3. Globally, mobile network operators and cellular tower operators spend $3.8 billion on diesel fuel for remote sites annually. These costs make up a significant component of the operating budget.
  4. Solar and battery storage are now cheap enough to play a key role in expanding internet access.
  5. Partnerships between the telecommunications industry and the energy sector will enable both sectors to scale more rapidly towards universal access.

Powering the consumers of new connectivity

Without access to electricity in the home, connecting to internet services is a significant challenge, primarily due to the difficulty and cost of device charging. Even though people might live in communities covered by 3G networks, their smartphone use will be limited if they lack electricity at home. Off-grid consumers travel up to 15 km per week to charge their phones at small kiosks. Depending on the location, kiosk charging can constitute over a third of the total cost ($2-7 per month) of owning an internet-capable device, and a significant portion of household income. Such conditions make daily charging prohibitive and curb smartphone ownership and use.

Small-scale PV and storage have started to gain traction as primary energy sources for remote infrastructure and communities, particularly when innovative financing structures bring them to market. The critical components for such systems are rapidly becoming cheaper. Energy access companies are using these technologies to power connectivity with various business models, from small portable solar kits for individual households to village-scale micro-grids that can power local businesses and cellular infrastructure.

Powering connectivity infrastructure

Expanding a cellular network typically requires the construction of new towers for the base stations that connect mobile phones to the wider network. However, in remote areas, towers need expensive power and generate limited revenue due to low population density. A combination of cheaper, distributed solar-powered energy for conventional cellular infrastructure, and smaller, more efficient base stations designed to plug coverage gaps in the main network could reach more people at lower cost.

More than a million cellular towers in developing countries are off-grid or have at best extremely unreliable grid supply. These towers typically rely on diesel generators for primary power during large parts of the day to avoid interruptions to the mobile network.

Composed of a mix of solar, diesel generator, and batteries, hybrid power systems can save MNOs or tower operators up to 54% of the energy cost for an off-grid tower that a conventional diesel generator would incur.

Opportunities for partnerships abound

A combination of technological advances and innovative business models now provide alternative approaches to powering connectivity at the ‘last mile’. There are plenty of opportunities for both large companies and start-ups to make the most of them. Partnerships between telcos, energy companies and start-ups on innovative business models, alternative communication infrastructure and early stage venture capital can drive energy and network connectivity for billions of people.

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The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research & Energy (ITRE) has voted to modernise Europe’s electricity markets. The ITRE Committee gave its green light to the recast Electricity Directive & Regulation, two of the main files in the Clean Energy Package.

Priority dispatch -which guarantees renewables are injected first into the grid- will continue to apply to existing wind farms. For new assets priority dispatch will be phased out from 2020 onwards. In its place come better rules on curtailment. In the case of grid congestion, renewables will be curtailed last and properly compensated for it.

The Parliament voted to retroactively phase out balancing requirements, both for new and existing installations. It means that renewables assets will no longer be exempted from compensating Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for any deviations in their projected generation.

The Parliament also voted to introduce an Emission Performance Standard (EPS) from 2020 of 550 gr CO2/kWh for capacity payments. This would phase out capacity payments for Europe’s most inefficient and polluting power plants. This should leave more room in the market for renewables. And apply immediately for new installations instead of after five years as the European Council proposed.

Finally, the Parliament also gave its support to a European-level monitoring of the security of electricity supply. This is significant as any country seeking to apply a national capacity mechanism would need to justify this based on European – and not national – resource adequacy assessments.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “For consumers to take full advantage of wind energy, the rules governing Europe’s electricity market have to change. For Europe to move towards a higher share of renewables in the power mix, it needs properly functioning cross-border electricity markets with adequate grid infrastructure. That requires fair competition between energy sources and more flexibility.

It’s good the Parliament is keeping priority dispatch for existing wind installations. And to see clear rules on curtailment. This helps wind energy projects to reduce risk, lower their costs of capital, and thus minimise the cost of renewables support for consumers. But we are a bit worried about the new rules on balancing. It’s unclear what compensation will need to be paid to TSOs. And wind farms will need to delegate this to third parties with no guarantees it will be done at a fair price.

Source: WindEurope

Ingeteam has announced that it has been awarded a substantial contract by leading Mexican renewable energy developer Zuma Energía to provide a state-of-the-art control center for its operational wind farm in Oaxaca, PE Ingenio. The platform will collect all the relevant information on the infrastructure of the wind farms in real time, enabling the operator to effectively manage and optimize the operation and maintenance of its wind turbines.

The control center will be the cornerstone of Zuma’s asset performance management. It will allow them to gather and analyze a vast array of essential operating data, not only on the wind turbines and substations, but also on the electricity market and the variations of meteorological conditions. The control systems collect the continuous stream of information that each wind turbine generates every second. All key condition parameters, such as temperatures, vibrations, operating conditions and alarms are monitored and stored in “Big Data” databases optimized to work with large volumes of data in real time in a scalable way. The Control Center will be located in the offices of Zuma Energía in Mexico City.

Over 1 GW of installed wind power in Mexico is currently being managed through the Ingeteam control center platform. With its maintenance equipment covering almost half of the country’s total installed wind power capacity, Ingeteam has positioned itself as an undisputed leader in O&M services in this market. The Spanish company has more than 400 technicians servicing customers throughout the country. Together with Zuma, they aim to continue advancing the industry’s optimization of wind farms through innovative techniques, with the clear ambition of becoming benchmark companies not only in Mexico, but also in the rest of the world.

Source: Ingeteam

Aggressive innovations by energy solutions providers—in response to pressures such as corporate demand and policy changes including the Paris Climate Accord—has accelerated the development of new clean technologies. Corporate adopters across a wide variety of industries are championing these new energy opportunities, including wind and solar power, distributed generation, energy storage, and other disruptive technologies.

Schneider Electric’s white paper, New Energy Opportunities: Innovations That Shape How Companies Manage Energy, explores several of these cutting-edge technologies, uncover the benefits and challenges of each, and learn by example through case studies on organizations that are already embracing the promising future that these new energy technologies offer.

Renewable energy. Renewable energy is already shaping the way companies buy and sell energy today. C&I buyers are utilizing clean power more than ever before. Often referred to in the past as an alternative, renewable energy is becoming a centerpiece of many corporate energy management programs. More than 100 global companies have signed on to the RE100, committing to source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

In the U.S., C&I purchasers were responsible for 52% of the contracted capacity of new wind power in 2015, and, in total, have helped add more than 8,000 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar to the U.S. grid since 2010. Additionally, some of the most notable C&I Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) deals in 2016 occurred outside of North America. Google, Facebook, and Nestle are among the first corporations to venture into international renewable energy markets to provide clean power for facilities abroad. Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are increasingly available to meet the growing demand for green power of compliance and voluntary markets

Microgrids. Today’s market forces are leading to a departure from a highly centralized power system and a return to smaller scale, localized systems that optimize power demand, consumption, and management. Microgrids are emerging as one of these decentralizing technologies that companies are considering because they bring together a combination of clean technologies such as distributed generation, batteries, and renewable resources to help organizations operate autonomously from the traditional electrical grid. C&I energy buyers can realize substantial near-term cost savings by implementing technologies embedded within a microgrid that insulate their facilities from the risk and changing cost components of an ever-evolving energy market.

Energy storage. Batteries and other types of storage play a key role in enabling companies to embrace clean, low-cost, renewable energy at a higher level. By mitigating the intermittency issues that renewable power sources like wind and solar face, storage helps remove a significant barrier that has prevented greater adoption of wind and solar resources.

As the price for batteries and other storage solutions drops, corporate buyers will be well poised to maximize energy investments, while contributing to the clean energy transition. Additionally, with microgrid opportunities on the rise, energy storage in conjunction with other new energy opportunities, very well may become commonplace for companies in the not-so-distant future.

Fuel cells. Fuel cells electrochemically combine a fuel (ranging from pure hydrogen to natural gas or biogas) with oxygen and convert the resulting chemical energy into electricity without any form of combustion. Because they require a constant, steady source of fuel to produce electricity, fuel cells are able to provide a continuous, baseload source of clean electric power.

As a baseload resource, fuel cell technology helps bridge the gap where other renewable energy sources face challenges. The intermittency issues that wind and solar must overcome are not a concern for fuel cells. Partnered with other renewable technologies, fuel cells can balance the difference between demand and generation of intermittent resources. Though fuel cells are not without challenges, such as their high capital cost, embracing a clean energy transition relies on a diverse portfolio of cleantech solutions. As fuel cells overcome these challenges to adoption, in the same way other clean technologies have found success, they should become a vital technology to carefully consider within the active energy management landscape.

Blockchain. Blockchain technology is a distributed, digital ledger used to record and track transactions. It uses sophisticated algorithms to validate, encrypt, and instantaneously record transactions for virtually anything of value in a secure and decentralized manner. Energy is one area of interest for blockchain applications.

Currently, the only means to track renewable energy generation is through EACs, and information sharing among market participants is a manual process. With blockchain, EACs can be created instantaneously as renewable energy is put onto the grid—no matter the size or physical location of the producer. With the increased autonomy that blockchain introduces, corporate energy buyers may find it easier to accomplish these goals—and at a lower cost and time commitment.

Source: Schneider Electric

European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) voted on Wednesday February 21 to modernise the EU’s electricity market, striving to give consumers more choice and greater energy security. The ITRE amended four legislative proposals on the EU electricity market. They are part of the so-called Clean Energy package and a step closer to an Energy Union

According to the ITRE, more competition in the electricity market, better information to consumers and small energy producers and plans to tackle shortages during crises are addressed in this energy package. The measures would provide comparison tools on energy providers, transparent bills and contracts, as well as help consumers who produce their own electricity and enhance regional cooperation during electricity crises due to natural disasters or attacks.

MEPs also want member states to consider additional payments to capacity providers only as a last resort and under certain conditions.

Giving more power to consumers

• A comparison tool should be available in each EU country, displaying and ranking rates and tariffs from all suppliers, with an impartial algorithm and independent from suppliers;
• Consumers should be able to withdraw from a contract without facing penalties, and a summary of key conditions should be included on the first page;
• By January 2022, switching supplier should take no longer than 24 hours;
• Bills should display the actual amount of energy consumed, the payment due date, contact details of the company, as well as rules on switching provider and dispute settlement.

Active energy consumers

MEPs do not want consumers who generate, consume and sell energy to be discriminated against (also called “prosumers” – active energy consumers, because they both consume and produce electricity).

MEPs agreed in particular on clear conditions for creating and managing local energy communities, i.e. groups of people producing and consuming energy locally. These local networks should contribute to the costs of the electricity system they connect to and not distort competition, MEPs added.

Measures to tackle energy crisis

In the event of an electricity supply shortage, MEPs agreed on national and regional measures to be implemented before and during crises to ensure that supply is not stopped due to e.g. adverse weather conditions or malicious attacks, such as malware or hacking.

Regional coordination centres should help to draft crisis planning scenarios, while the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) should be able to ensure that they comply with their obligations.

Source: European Parliament