Monthly Archives: mayo 2018

Yesterday, May 22nd, Gransolar Group obtained the MIREC Award for “Breakthrough Company of 2018” in Mexico City, a category in which Neoen and Energía Libre were the other nominees. The awards ceremony is part of MIREC Week, the largest renewable energy congress in Mexico, which is attended by 1,800 professionals.

Francisco García, Country Manager of Gransolar Group in Mexico, received the award. “I would like to thank the organization and everyone who is here”, he said in his speech. “We want to dedicate this award to all the people who are part of the group in more than 17 countries, and especially to the ones who are working in Spain, who are far away but have made this real”.

The visitors of the MIREC Awards website decided this outcome with their votes. Gransolar Group would like to thank everyone who voted for its “Breakthrough Company” nomination and made it possible. It is a very valuable recognition in Mexico, a market in which Gransolar Group has been a pioneer and has experienced an enormous growth. After only four years of operations in this country, the projects by Gransolar Group in Mexico already add up to almost 200 MW, and it is among the leaders in solar energy.

An even bigger growth is expected for Gransolar Group in Mexico, and that is why they moved to bigger and better located headquarters in the capital city.

 

Siemens and Northvolt today announced a partnership for the development of best-in-class technology to produce high-quality, green lithium-ion batteries. The partnership, which will be supported by Siemens through an investment of EUR 10 million, also includes the supply of lithium-ion batteries.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, Europe is accelerating its transition to renewable energies. Electrification and an increased use of batteries is one of the cornerstones of this transition, enabling the large-scale conversion to sustainable transportation as well as a deep integration of renewable sources in the energy mix. With limited current and planned capacity in place, Europe is now facing a major battery deficit of within the next few years.

“We are happy to support Northvolt in building the battery factory of the future. With our Digital Enterprise portfolio, we contribute to a competitive battery cell production in Europe that fully exploits the benefits of software and automation: greater flexibility, efficiency and quality with shorter time to market”, said Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens Digital Factory Division.

“Northvolt is driving the battery production to build a battery with very low CO2 footprint. Our Digital Enterprise portfolio will support Northvolt in building a state-of-the-art battery plant. We are excited to go in as a partner in this project”, said Ulf Troedsson, President and CEO of Siemens Nordics.

Once completed in 2020, Siemens intends to purchase batteries from the factory, making Northvolt a preferred supplier. Siemens will support the partnership through an investment of EUR 10 million.

Siemens sees the Northvolt initiative as a reference project for the battery production of the future, which will rely on the integration and digitization of the entire value chain: from the design of the battery cell through production planning, engineering and production to services.

The technology partnership is set up around two main areas of collaboration:

  • Cutting edge technology. Use of the Siemens’ Digital Enterprise portfolio, encompassing everything from manufacturing planning and design software to automation, including industrial communications networks and cloud solutions, will allow Northvolt to optimize its battery production and sharpen its competitive edge.
  • Supply of lithium-ion batteries. Siemens intends to purchase batteries from Northvolt once its large-scale production facility is up and running. The companies are also exploring potential areas for joint development programs.

“The European industry is moving rapidly towards electrification. With its world-class expertise within electrification, automation and digitalization, Siemens will become an important technology partner, supplier and customer to Northvolt in this coming transition. Once we begin large-scale production, our aim is to supply the greenest lithium-ion batteries in the world”, said Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO, Northvolt.

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Organisations from all 28 EU Member States have called on the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to honour his promise of February 2017 and phase out the trade measures (minimum import price, anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties) on PV modules and cells imported to the EU from China and other Asian countries. With the deadline for a request for the extension of the measures looming, concern is mounting once again in the EU solar sector that the European Commission will not honour its promise to phase out the deeply unpopular trade barriers on PV modules and cells this year.

Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe said ‘Last year, the Commission made a promise to phase-out the trade measures, and they must stick to this deal. Irrespective of any request to extend the measures, the Commission must take the responsibility to stand firm and deliver on their promise. The measures are costing European manufacturing jobs, installation jobs and stifling consumer demand for solar in Europe. This trade policy is counter intuitive to what the European Commission are trying to achieve in the Clean Energy Package they brought forward just 18 months ago.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe added ‘This year solar companies and associations from every Member State have been joined by over 1 million electrical installers and 1 million energy citizens from cooperatives in opposition to the trade measures on solar panels. 18 Member States opposed the measures extension in 2017, and so it is very hard to understand why the measures are still in place. The Commission must heed the findings of the study its own DG Justice and Consumers produced, which urges the removal of the measures as they stifle demand for household solar by up to 30% in EU Member States.

The EU-China solar trade case represents the largest ever trade dispute between the EU and China and has added over 10 billion to the cost of solar in Europe since the inception of the measures in 2012. On 8 February 2017, the College of Commissioners stated that the measures would be phased out by September 3rd 2018.

Source: SolarPower Europe

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From 25-28 September 2018 the world´s largest wind industry event, the Global Wind Summit, will take place at the Hamburg Messe fair site. Comprising the world’s leading wind industry expo WindEnergy Hamburg and the WindEurope global on and offshore conference, the event shows the highlights of one of the most innovation-driven sectors.

The great importance of wind energy for the energy needs of the world is an uncontested fact. The industry is making giant strides in overcoming its core challenge: to further reduce the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) while opening up new markets. New technologies, products and applications have enabled wind energy to be competitive with fossil energy sources even today. Now the challenge is to further drive the energy turnaround towards achieving a decarbonised energy supply infrastructure. The new preference for public invitations to tender for onshore and offshore wind projects represents a global paradigm shift that encourages the industry to accelerate the speed of innovation. The Global Wind Summit will offer answers to the question what technologies are the best response to this paradigm shift. Exhibitors, visitors and conference participants from roughly 100 countries are expected to attend.

Together with WindEurope and its top-flight conference programme the world´s leading expo Wind Energy Hamburg will highlight the industry’s global core topics,” stressed Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress, at the advanced press conference in Hamburg. “This makes the Global Wind Summit the international hotspot of wind energy.” Pierre Tardieu, Chief Policy Officer of WindEurope, agreed: “Wind will be at the heart of any successful electrification strategy, it is doubling down on technology development and digitalisation, it is actively preparing to move towards a merchant environment and it is entering new markets. Standing still is not an option if we want to maintain this excellence, so wind is breaking new ground. The WindEurope global on- and offshore conference at the Global Wind Summit will be a unique opportunity to exchange with captains of industry, leading policymakers and wind energy experts on how the industry gears up for these challenges”.

Tardieu emphasised the importance of the European wind industry: “Wind energy is a key part of Europe’s industrial base. The business of producing, installing and operating wind turbines supports over 260,000 quality high-skilled jobs. It generates € 60bn in turnover. The European wind industry has a 40% share of all the turbines sold globally and exports €8bn in technology and services every year. The WindEurope global on and offshore conference will continue to support this platform at the global level.” A view shared by Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council. “For both onshore and offshore wind, the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg is the place to learn about key policy and market developments, best practice from around the world, and to have a look at the latest technologies and how they are being deployed.

Cost efficiency, dynamic markets, smart energy

With 1,400 exhibitors from roughly 40 countries, WindEnergy Hamburg is the only global industry expo for the onshore and offshore segments. It covers the entire value chain, “in a breadth and depth no other event anywhere in the world can offer,” said Aufderheide. “WindEnergy Hamburg 2018 focuses on three key topics: Dynamic Markets, Cost Efficiency, and Smart Energy. This is how we explicitly address the key challenges facing the industry.” Dr. Gernot Blanke, CEO of the international project developer wpd, stressed: “Increasingly we see public invitations to tender for onshore and offshore wind energy projects aiming to reduce the levelised cost of electricity. Bringing this paradigm shift in line with specific site requirements is one of the key challenges for project developers operating internationally.”

Both in the national and the international competitive environment, achieving further improvements of the cost and energy efficiency of wind turbines play a major role. Henrik Stiesdal, one of the pioneers of wind energy and the owner of close to 650 patents in the field of wind energy use, said: “The increase in efficiency of existing turbines means that we could already generate nearly 50 percent more power just through higher towers and bigger rotors alone. Nevertheless there is still potential for optimisation: for onshore I see a realistic limit of 50 % and for offshore of 65 % in capacity factor.” In addition, Stiesdal sees further potential in digital energy solutions. “Normally we have a proportion of 25 % for maintenance and service in the overall costs. Digital solutions could give us the possibility to cut these costs by half. Today we have wind turbines as stand alone units: Digitization may open the opportunity to build intelligent wind parks and thereby reduce the wake effect. Overall I see an optimisation potential of 50 % for the next years”.

All in all about 35,000 industry visitors from around the world are expected to attend the Global Wind Summit. The nine halls of the world’s leading wind industry expo are nearly fully booked. The exhibiting companies hail from approximately 40 different countries, with 22 nations represented by regional and national pavilions. There will be a number of new countries this year, including South Africa, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania. The WindEurope global on and offshore conference which will take place in parallel at the fair complex will offer a highly qualified programme including more than 500 expert presentations, speakers and workshops covering current or future wind industry topics.

Source: WindEurope

Soltec is opening a new research and evaluation center in the city of Livermore, California, where the company has its U. S. headquarters. Soltec is leveraging its expertise and standard product compatibility with bifacial tracking that stems from the 2015 landmark test-bed success of utility-scale bifacial tracking at La Silla, high in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

The mission of Soltec’s Bifacial Tracking Evaluation Center (BiTEC) is to perform rigorous assessment of installation and control parameter influences on bifacial tracking performance compared to other bifacial PV applications. Soltec is investigating some specific factors that are known to influence production, such as module mounting height above grade, rear-side obstructions that cause shading and losses, and varying inter-row spacing distances to measure the effect on albedo.

Some variables, such as diffuse irradiance or module mounting height, which are often considered of minor importance in standard module applications, can have a much more significant influence in bifacial applications in order to maximize yield,” says Javier Guerrero Ph.D., Soltec’s R&D Manager USA, who oversees the BiTEC project. “With BiTEC, we aim to quantify bifacial yield-gain opportunities that our standard product enables uniquely, and furthermore optimize a bifacial tracking algorithm via comprehensive tracker positioning control to make the most of those opportunities.

Soltec and BiTEC count on the collaboration of the U. S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to assist primarily in the application of simulation models. Soltec is also collaborating with Engineering powerhouse Black & Veatch and world renown Certification and Bankability Laboratory, The Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC), to utilize the BiTEC resources in their joint Bifacial Characterization and Ranking Initiative in order to assess the performance gains and validate the performance models on bifacial modules from global module manufacturers.

We endorse collaborative learning and knowledge sharing with the goal of increasing the success of our customers with our agile and yield-dense tracker application. Soltec is receptive to partnering with PV industry entities to take advantage of the BiTEC installation whereby those entities will not need to set up their own bifacial testbeds,” announced Soltec CEO Raúl Morales.

Source: Soltec

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The role of corporations is central to the renewable energy transition and helping to address climate change. But faced with many options and considerations, from multiple providers, the ‘opportunity’ quickly becomes seen as a ‘challenge’ and progress slowed.

act renewable, an independent specialist renewable energy consultant, has been launched with the express aim of helping corporations to cut through market complexity and the multiple options available to them, to help drive forward their renewable energy ambitions.

Rasmus Nedergaard, Managing Director of act renewable, explains: “While many corporations recognise the moral and business case for renewable energy, a lack of internal expertise makes the transition process seem particularly complex. This is compounded by the numerous options available. The net result is that progress is slowed and the benefits from a transition to renewable energy go unrealised.”

The starting point is to recognize that all corporations are different and have different values, business models and priorities.

Rasmus continues: “Independent advisory firms do not start with a shortlist of options. We start with the corporation and what it wants to achieve. We then progress along a logical path that considers Business Case, Renewable Technologies and Financing. And, at each step, can consider whole-market options to arrive at the best possible solution. We form a crucial bridge between the corporation and the renewable energy market. The potential for corporations to be the main global driving force in the renewable energy transition is well recognised, but for this to happen it is crucial they have access to advice and guidance that can cut through the complexity and multiple options available to them.”

act renewable is an independent advisory firm on a mission to help companies achieve their full renewable energy potential. act renewable is a joint venture between renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. and renewable energy and environmental consulting firm RESET Carbon. By combining BayWa r.e.’s technical expertise with RESET Carbon’s corporate consulting insights, act renewable is able o to offer business solutions for every stage of the corporate renewable energy transition.

70% renewables by 2050 target is achievable if regulations adequately reflect contribution of solar and wind power says IRENA

Upgrades to Panama’s regulatory environment and power system management are critical to achieving the renewable energy goals set out in the country’s National Energy Plan, per a Renewables Readiness Assessment Panama report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report has been launched at high-level event in Panama City and presented to the country’s Secretary of Energy, Dr. Victor Urrutia.

A central recommendation of the report calls for amendments to the country’s regulation of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for variable renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. Currently, these renewable energy technologies are attributed a value of zero ‘firm capacity’ – the actual amount of energy that a power plant can guarantee to make available under maximum operating conditions – while thermal power plants and hydropower facilities are rewarded with far higher firm capacity values. This makes solar and wind less competitive in Panama’s wholesale electricity market, and can disincentivise investment.

Enabling policies and attractive regulatory frameworks can drive renewable energy deployment, which in turn can boost low-carbon economic growth and enhance energy security,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Panama’s abundant renewable energy resource potential offers the country an opportunity to cost-effectively meet its long-term energy needs and underpin its transition to sustainable energy future.

Panama’s National Energy Plan is a roadmap that seeks to increase the share of renewables in the power system to 70 per cent by 2050. By the end of 2016, wind and solar power capacity had reached 270 MW and 90 MW respectively.

Panama can set a strong example for the Central American region by utilising our potential to generate 70 per cent of our electricity from hydropower, wind and solar resources,” said Dr. Victor Urrutia, Secretary for Energy for Panama. “IRENA’s support will facilitate the realisation of our long-term ambition. “In addition to the moral and ideological imperative, we also have an enormous interest and commitment to renewable energy,” continued Secretary Urrutia, “renewables are no longer an alternative option but instead offer a clear path to the future.”

Increased shares of solar and wind will also require significant flexibility mechanisms in Panama’s evolving electricity network. Combined with updated power system planning and operational practices, these measures can help ensure the reliable integration of variable renewable energy in a cost-effective manner, the report suggests.

The development of a domestic renewable energy workforce is also key to the success of Panama’s renewable energy programme and can bolster the growing solar PV and wind energy markets in the country. The report recommends an examination of the current national workforce in the field of renewables, compared with projected future needs in order to help inform modifications to domestic education and training programmes.

Source: IRENA

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide is growing rapidly and BP is working across the supply chain to support the development of the technologies and infrastructure required to support that growth. BP believes that ultra-fast charging will be key in accelerating the adoption of EVs worldwide.

Ultra-fast charging is at the heart of BP’s electrification strategy. StoreDot’s technology shows real potential for car batteries that can charge in the same time it takes to fill a gas tank.

StoreDot has developed a lithium ion-based battery technology which enables ultra-fast charging for the mobile and industrial markets. Using this technology, StoreDot is also developing a new type of electric car battery that will aim to achieve a charging experience that is comparable to the time spent to refuel a traditional car. StoreDot currently expects first sales of its flash batteries for mobile devices as early as 2019.

BP is committed to a lower carbon future, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations, improve its products and services to help customers lower their emissions, and create new low carbon businesses. BP’s work on advanced mobility and developing fast and convenient EV charging networks, including venturing investments in both StoreDot and Freewire Technologies, supports customers who aim to reduce their emissions through EVs.

Source: BP

Cerro Dominador, a Chilean company owned by investment funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners (“EIG”), announced today the signing of the financing for its Concentrated Solar Power plant (CSP) located in the Atacama desert, in Chile. This milestone will allow the company to finalize the construction of the first combined CSP and photovoltaic project in Latin America, with a total of 210 MW of capacity. The plant will supply clean, reliable energy to the national interconnected system in Chile, selling most of its power under 15-year power purchase agreements awarded at the end of 2014.

The $758 million financing has been subscribed by a group of international financial institutions and the contribution of local banks. Among the financial entities involved are: Natixis, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, ABN AMRO, Santander, Commerzbank and BTG Pactual as well as other institutional investors in a tranche parallel to the bank financing. Other participants are expected to join the banking group in the coming weeks.

The Cerro Dominador project is located in Maria Elena, near Calama, in the Antofagasta Region, an area with one of the highest solar radiation in the world. The new plant will produce clean energy, replacing the expected emissions of 640,000 tons of CO2 per year, reaching -as an integrated project- a total of 870,000 tons of CO2 reduction per year.

The new construction phase will have an important contribution in terms of employment for the region, generating more than 1,000 jobs at the peak during the next two years.

Panorámica del campo solar de 330 ha. de la planta fotovoltaica, 2015
Panorámica del campo solar de 330 ha. de la planta fotovoltaica, 2015

The company has been advised throughout the financing process by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy (International Counsel), Morales y Besa (Local Counsel), and Astris Finance (Financial Advisor). The completion of the plant construction will be carried out by a consortium formed world leading companies in solar technology. Cerro Dominador is a proud contributor of the Chile Energy Agenda, which has pursued to diversify the country’s matrix by increasing the use of renewable energy.

EIG took its control position and management oversight of the solar project at the end 2016. The first part of the Solar Project, with 62 MW of photovoltaic power started in October 2017, reaching the full 100 MW in February 2018.

Source: Cerro Dominador

JA Solar one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance solar power products, has announced that it will supply 8.1 MW of its high-efficiency mono PERC modules to the first solar power plant utilizing PERC modules in Brazil.

Located in Minas Gerais, this project marks the country’s first ground-mounted utility-scale solar power plant to adopt PERC technology. The solar plant was acquired by Sindustrial, a leading construction and electrical panel manufacture company, and Solatio Energia, the largest solar project developer in Brazil. The solar power plant, which is situated in a semi-desert area, will be powered by JA Solar’s high-efficiency mono PERC modules. These high-performance solar modules can ensure high power and stable output under extreme environmental conditions including high temperature and drought, optimizing profits generated from the solar plant for our customers.

Separately, JA Solar’s high-efficiency mono PERC modules are also well received by the distribution channels in Brazil. WEG, one of the leading Brazilian electric power companies, recently ordered 7.8 MW of JA Solar’s mono PERC modules for distribution to maintain its competitive position in the marketplace.

Mr. Cao Bo, Vice President of JA Solar, commented: “Brazil has abundant solar energy resources and represents a promising market for solar energy. JA Solar entered the Brazilian market in 2015, and provided a total of 254MW of solar modules for the country’s biggest solar plant in 2016. Additionally, we established our Brazilian subsidiary last year, expanding our presence and further supporting our customers and partners in the region. JA Solar is committed to our R&D efforts to develop high-performance solar modules. As a PERC patent holder, JA Solar is capable of providing our Brazilian customers with more reliable products and services.

Source: JA Solar

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