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Bosch is to be fully climate-neutral as early as next year. This will make Bosch the first major industrial enterprise to achieve this goal. In a bid to swiftly achieve carbon neutrality, Bosch will buy more green electricity in the near term and compensate for unavoidable CO2 emissions with carbon offsets. In the years to 2030, the company will gradually increase the share of renewable energy in the power that it generates and buys, and will invest a billion euros to boost its loca-tions’ energy efficiency.

Once Bosch achieves climate neutrality, it will no longer adversely affect carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The company is thus making an impor-tant contribution to the Paris climate agreement ratified in 2015, which calls for global warming to be kept well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

A selection of exemplary Bosch projects

The Feuerbach plant – energy efficient thanks to people and machinery
Established in 1909, it has steadily and systematically modernized its facilities to contribute to the company’s overall energy efficiency.
Thanks to sessions that train and raise awareness in their team, energy require-ments are down more than 50% compared with 2007; its carbon emissions – re-lative to value creation – are down 47%.

Crunching data to conserve energy at Homburg

The Bosch location at Homburg, in the German state of Saarland, is edging ever closer to the vision of an energy efficient, self-learning plant. It has spared the world around 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in the past two years and more than 23,000 tons since 2007.
Green roofs, photovoltaic systems, and carbon neutrality at Renningen
In Renningen, it has been carbon neutral since January 2019. Carbon offsets fully compensate for the carbon footprint of the natural gas burned by its heating system. The facility buys green electricity to cover its power needs.

Sustainable heating at Rodez

Reduce the site’s carbon footprint – that was what the team at Rodez in France set out to do when it started making plans as far back as 2009. The location now has a biomass heating plant, up and running since 2013. It burns wood chips ob-tained from local certified sustainable forestry resources.
Reducing the carbon footprint at Bidadi and Nashik, India, with power generated on site
Bosch India is pursuing carbon neutrality by tapping locally available, natural sources of energy. Spurred on by the idea of supplying the location with fully renewable power during daytime hours, the team at the Nashik location began installing its first photovoltaic systems in 2015.

Renewables as the main source of power for Bosch in Mexico

Mexico has revamped its energy policy. An energy reform launched there calls for the country to source 35 percent of the electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2024. With many hours of sunshine annually and high-wind regions, Mexico’s geography and climate would certainly support that goal, providing a solid foun-dation for change alongside committed support from government and business. Bosch Mexico was able to save 56,000 metric tons of CO2 in 2018 by switching to predominantly renewable energies.

Source: Bosch

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The Spanish Bioenergy Association (Avebiom) and the Fundación Circe are participating in the European AgroBioHeat project, which seeks to extend the use of agro-biomass (straw, agricultural prunings, olive pits, almond shells, energy crops, etc.) heating in the European Union.

Avebiom and Circe are addressing the challenge with a view to changing the current model, in which agro-biomass is very underused despite being a resource of great potential. The AgroBioHeat project seeks to promote initiatives in which biomass installers, boiler manufacturers, agro-industries, associations, municipal councils and other institutions can become involved. For this purpose, Avebiom and Circe will identify, accompany and advise companies and entities in the undertaking of two specific projects in Spain.

Identifying initiatives

“Avebiom has the responsibility of identifying initiatives of interest in Spain and trying to ensure that they are successful in order to promote the use of agro-biomass”, points out the association’s project leader, Pablo Rodero. “We will accompany these initiatives until the end of the project and help them to overcome barriers and solve any technical issues or doubts that might emerge”, he added.

Daniel García, a researcher at the Fundación Circe, explains that AgroBioHeat has multiple lines of action. “It is necessary to promote the technologies capable of using agro-biomass with guarantees at trade fairs and other events. We have to put potential developers into contact with facilities that are already up and running and we have to convince the general public that this biomass is as eco-friendly and can be used as safely as forest biomass”, he points out.

Both Rodero and García highlight the fact that the project seeks to address an imminent threat that could limit the use of biomass. They point out that the current Eco-design Regulation, which comes into force in January 2020, imposes very stringent limits on emissions from wood pellet and wood chip boilers of less than 500 kW. And it is expected that a review of the Eco-design Regulation in 2021 will extend these emission limits to other types of biomass.

Avebiom and Circe will undertake a process to select the technologies and facilities to be used for testing and measurement purposes, as well as the new agro-biomass initiatives they wish to promote.

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The support of electricity generated from solid biomass is the most important stimulation for the development of the biomass power plant market. Whereas biomass subsidisation schemes have recently also experienced positive amendments in Europe, Asian countries are currently reducing this kind of support for the first time. This is one of the results of a new ecoprog market analysis.

In 2018, the number of biomass power plants (BMPPs) increased again by about 300 facilities. Today, there are about 3,800 BMPPs with an installed capacity of around 60 GWel.

Subsidies for renewable energies (RE) are the most important factor driving the BMPP market, especially in Europe. The markets in South and North America as well as in many Asian countries are rather stimulated by fuel availability; however, RE subsidies are an important factor for the development of new capacities in these countries as well.

Some of the European biomass support schemes are more than 20 years old. Therefore, many such systems have been reduced and rather geared towards competitive mechanisms in the past years.

In the last year, this trend slowed down to some extent. Poland, for instance, organised BMPP auctions for the first time in 2018, after the introduction had been awaited for many years. However, these auctions showed very limited success – only one project was approved for subsidies. This is because only few project developers participated. In late 2018, Finland also introduced an auctioning system that could benefit electricity generation from biomass. Ireland passed an auctioning scheme, which should increase the establishment of renewable energies (including biomass) until 2025.

Outside of Europe, the number of countries cutting biomass subsidies increased for the first time in 2018. Thailand, for instance, drastically reduced the feed-in tariff for biomass electricity, from about 14.20 €ct/kWh to 6.30 €ct/kWh. Also, Japan lowered the subsidisation for biomass projects with capacities of over 10 MWel and introduced a cap of 200 MWel per year for additional constructions. Argentina reduced the tendering volume for RE in the annual auctions from 1,200 MWel in 2017 to 400 MWel in 2018.

Attractive subsidisation terms remain in place in China and India, the countries with the strongest growth potentials. In 2018, India additionally introduced a nationwide support scheme for building biomass CHP plants (based on grants for the plant construction).

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From a global perspective, biomass electricity subsidisation continues to promote the market development for the construction of BMPPs.

Until 2027, the worldwide market for BMPPs will thus remain on its dynamic development path. We expect the construction of about 1,900 additional biomass power plants with an installed capacity of around 25 GWel.

About 50% of this growth will be realised in Asia, especially in the two lead markets China and India. Also, North and South America will remain attractive markets for electricity generation from solid biomass, and particularly their lead markets Brazil, Canada and the USA.

In Europe, the overall level of support will continue to decline, in order to reduce high costs and improve ecological aspects. The positive changes of the subsidisation schemes, which were observed in 2018, will not be able to completely compensate this development. In sum, the European market will therefore lose some of its drive.

Source: ecoprog

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Clean energy investment was US$61.1bn in Q1 2018, down 10% year-on-year however there were pockets of strength. Developing countries were prominent in clean energy investment in the first three months of 2018, with China once again accounting for more than 40% of the world total, along with eye-catching projects reaching financial close in Morocco, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico.

The latest quarterly figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show global clean energy investment at US$61.1bn in Q1 2018, down 10% on the same period last year.

The quarter to the end of March saw solar investment slip 19% to US$37.4bn, affected both by weaker activity in some markets and by lower unit prices for PV systems. BNEF estimates that benchmark global dollar capital costs per MW for utility-scale solar PV have fallen 7% in the last year.

BNEF expects the world to install even more solar in 2018 than last year’s record of 98 GW. Two of the main drivers are the ongoing boom in China for both utility-scale and smaller, local PV systems, and the financing of very large solar parks in other developing countries as cost-competitiveness continues to improve.

The biggest solar project reaching financial close in the early months of 2018 was the 800 MW Noor Midelt complex in Morocco, made up of a mix of PV panels and solar thermal systems with storage. Development banks including KfW of Germany and the European Investment Bank have agreed to fund the complex, which is likely to cost around US$2.4bn.

The largest conventional PV installations financed in Q1 were the 709 MW NLC Tangedco solar project in India, at an estimated US$660m, and the 404 MW Acciona and Tuto Energy Puerto Libertad project in Mexico, at US$493m.

Wind investment showed a rise of 10% in Q1 to US$18.9bn, while biomass and waste-to-energy declined 29% to US$679m. Geothermal rose 39% to US$1bn and small hydro-electric projects of less than 50 MW attracted US$538m, down 32%. Companies specialising in energy-smart technologies such as smart meters, energy storage and electric vehicles attracted US$2bn, down 8%. Biofuels staged a recovery, with investment up 519% year-on-year to US$748m, thanks to the financing of two US ethanol plants.

Looking at the geographical split, China dominated yet again, investing US$26bn in clean energy in Q1, although this was down 27% from a hectic first quarter last year. The US saw investment of US$10.7bn, up 16%, while Europe suffered a 17% decline to US$6bn, reflecting an absence of German and UK offshore wind deals. India saw investment rise 9% year-on-year to US$3.6bn, while Japanese outlays fell 54% to US$1.4bn.

Country highlights included Vietnam, where the financing of wind projects helped its Q1 investment tally to US$1.1bn, a quarterly record; and Mexico, where continuing activity in both solar and wind pushed up its total by 3% year-on-year to US$1.3bn. The financial close on a 91 MW geothermal project in Indonesia helped that country’s total of US$757m in Q1 2018.

The global Q1 figures are the lowest for any quarter since Q3 2016 but, according to BNEF, it is too early to predict a fall in annual investment this year. For instance, BNEF expects to see the financing of a number of big-ticket offshore wind projects in UK, Belgian, Dutch and Danish waters during the months ahead.

Breaking investment down by type, Q1 saw a 16% fall in the asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects worldwide, to US$44.3bn, but there was a 16% rise to US$14.3bn in the funding of small solar systems of less than 1 MW.

Public markets investment in specialist clean energy companies plunged 75% to US$509m, the lowest in any quarter for two years. Venture capital and private equity investment was much more impressive, climbing 65% to US$2.4bn, its highest since Q3 2016.

VC/PE deals in the latest quarter were led by US$475m and US$348m Series B rounds for Chinese electric car companies Beijing CHJ Information Technology and Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors, and a US$224m private equity expansion capital round for Enerkem, the Canadian biofuel technology developer.

Instalación de procesamiento, almacenamiento de biomasa y planta de generación de energía eléctrica a partir de biomasa de 50 MW en Huelva (España). Foto cortesía de ENCE | Processing facilities, biomass storage and 50 MW biomass power plant in Huelva (Spain). Photo courtesy of ENCE

According to a new report from ecoprog, in early 2017, there were 3,510 operational biomass power plants worldwide, generating electricity and heat from solid biomass and with a total installed capacity of 52.8 GW. By the end of 2017, ecoprog estimates that there will be around 3,700 active power plants, with a capacity of some 56.2 GW. In just one year, 200 biomass power plants with a capacity of almost 3 GW were commissioned. While Europe showed a slight decrease in newly commissioned biomass power plants over the past year, Asia’s commissioning rate remains at a high level. In North America, low electricity prices have resulted in commissioning insecurities, with the commissioning rate slowing in 2016/2017. The attractive incentive scheme in Japan resulted in a growing commissioning rate in the Australia and Pacific region. At the same time, consolidation and globalisation continued among the technology providers in 2017.

The market for biomass power plants, the number of plants and their respective capacities, is a result of the subsidisation schemes and the availability of positive economic conditions at favourable locations, e.g. in the sugar or the paper industry. Regions with high political subsidies in the form of feed-in tariffs have comparatively young plant assets that are characterised by small-scale plants. This is the case in most European countries. Today, many systems primarily subsidise small-scale plants due to ecological sustainability. Europe’s plants are therefore on average smaller than in other regions such as North America. By contrast, fuel availability is the determining factor in North and South America as well as in many Asian markets, as subsidisation levels are often lower than in Europe.

North America and Europe mainly use wood to generate energy, while South American countries primarily incinerate bagasse, a waste product of the sugarcane industry. Agricultural residues such as straw, rice husks and empty fruit bunches from the palm oil industry represent the main fuels in Asia. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

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Fluctuations in the prices of fossil fuels, the need to address climate change and the growing energy demand, present the current energy model with major challenges. To address them at the same time as achieving high levels of efficiency, new hybrid energy models based on renewable energy are emerging that aim to make a better use of resources and facilitate an energy supply over a longer period. This is the case of CSP-biomass plants designed to produce power using ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) technology. Innergy is active throughout the entire value chain of an energy project with biomass, providing services that range from the development, production and sale of heat and automation generation equipment to O&M. The company enjoys extensive experience in all types of biomass, industrial biomass boilers and both ORC and steam technology, qualifying it to support biomass for this type of energy solutions.

This type of hybrid energy solution is so interesting because CSP plants need sunlight to shine directly onto their mirrors in order to produce electricity. On cloudy days these plants remain stopped, not generating power and requiring energy from other sources. On the other hand, there is energy generation equipment that uses biomass, a sustainable fuel source that is not subject to weather phenomena, but which, despite existing in large quantities, must be used in a controlled and sustainable manner.

By combining both types, solar power is used on clear days, with the cloudy days covered by energy originating from biomass. This ensures that the plant can operate 365 days a year as it is energy independent from monopolies and large corporations, as well achieving price stability. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

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Worldwide, there are over 3,500 operational biomass power plants. They generate electricity and heat from solid biomass, reaching an installed capacity of 52.8 GWel. Within a year, 200 biomass power plants with a capacity of almost 3 GWel were commissioned. Significant growth rates in Asia are compensating the less dynamic development in the European key markets. At the same time, consolidation and globalisation continued among the technology providers in 2017. These are two of the results of a current ecoprog market report, called Biomass to Power.

The market for biomass power plants is mainly stimulated by renewable energy subsidies, especially in Europe, where first support schemes for electricity generation from solid biomass were introduced in the 1990s already.

By contrast, fuel availability is the determining factor in North and South American as well as many Asian markets, as subsidisation levels are oftentimes lower than in Europe. North America and Europe mainly use wood to generate energy, while South American countries primarily incinerate bagasse, a residue of the sugarcane industry. Agricultural residues such as straw, rice husks and empty fruit bunches from the palm oil industry are the main fuels in Asia.

What all the plants have in common is their intense waste heat utilisation (combined heat and power, CHP). About 60% of the biomass power plants are located at industrial sites. Many of them are fuelled with local production residues (palm oil fruit bunches, bagasse, wood-processing residues) and in turn deliver heat to the production process. Around 30% of all facilities are connected to district heating grids; most of those are located in colder regions such as Central Europe and Scandinavia. About 10% of the biomass power plants generate power only and do not use their waste heat at all. Many of them are located in China, where waste heat utilisation is not a requirement for obtaining subsidies.

The market development depends on how profitable RE subsidies are, especially in Europe. Many markets are saturated after many years of subsidisation, which would make the construction of new capacities only worthwhile with granting further generous subsidies. Additionally, Europe has fewer agricultural residues that can be used for thermal recovery than other regions.

As the already existing plants run at high operating costs, many European countries are lowering RE subsidies. For instance, the UK decided to no longer organise allocation rounds for renewable energies after 2019. In September 2017, Poland postponed its much-anticipated biomass auction indefinitely. This auction was initially planned for October 2017. Romania does also not seem to consider reintroducing RE subsidies.

Other European countries, however, are strengthening RE support. The Netherlands decided an 8 billion EUR support scheme for 2018, which is as much as in 2017. Finland is to establish a new auctioning system in 2018/2019, which will also include biomass power plants.

Globally, subsidisation systems did not change significantly in the past year. Argentina has to be mentioned as a special case, however: In 2017, the country approved subsidies for 14 biomass power plants with a capacity of 117 MWel and also announced the next auction for 2018.

The worldwide market for BMPPs will continue to develop dynamically until 2026. Throughout the world, another 2,000 biomass power plants with an installed capacity of over 25 GWel will be constructed. About 50% of this increase will happen in Asia and especially in the Chinese and Indian key markets. North and South America are to remain attractive markets for solid biomass electricity generation as well, mainly Brazil, Canada and the USA. The overall subsidisation level in Europe, however, will continue to decrease in the light of high costs and ecological aspects (sustainability). Europe will therefore become a less dynamic market.

As a result of the trends described above, consolidation and globalisation among the technology providers continued in 2017. For instance, UK-based Amec Foster Wheeler Group (today Wood Group) sold its fluidised bed combustion business to Japanese technology provider Sumitomo. Danish technology provider Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor, part of Japanese Mitsui Group, took over financially troubled plant manufacturer Burmeister & Wain Energy. Danish technology provider Babcock & Wilcox Vølund was imposed a cost-cutting programme by US parent company Babcock & Wilcox, including the dismissal of 30% of staff.

Source: ecoprog

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Engineering and technology group SENER has signed a contract with ENCE Energía y Celulosa to build a new low-emission biomass electricity generation plant in its energy complex in Huelva (Spain). The contract signed is a turnkey arrangement whereby SENER will design, supply, build and commission the plant, as well as operate and maintain it during the first years of operation.

The new facility will consist of an electricity generation plant using biomass from the forestry and farming industries. With a 40 MW gross nominal electricity output it will be one of the largest high-efficiency low-emission biomass renewable energy plants in Spain. The plant is projected to enter into operation in the third quarter of 2019.

The Huelva plant will be equipped with the best available technologies, similar to the Mérida biomass plant that SENER also developed successful as a turnkey project for ENCE.

Due to the variety of types of biomass to be used, the plant will be equipped with an advanced fuel handing system, both for incoming biomass and for its preparation and storage. The plant will also boast one of the best gas combustion and treatment systems, guaranteeing compliance with the demanding requirements of the new European standard, BREF (Best Available Techniques Reference), which establishes the best practices for the industry’s Large Combustion Plants in Europe.

Hence, for this type of plant, SENER has designed a high-efficiency regenerative thermodynamic cycle with a built-in reheater in its furnace and a double-body turbine (high and low pressure), as well as multiple extractions. Also, the plant will be refrigerated using cooling towers. All of this will contribute to bringing the plant’s gross output to over 35 %. SENER already applied this system at the Mérida biomass plant, which in its first year of commercial operation reached an equivalent availability of 8,025 hours of operation, exceeding the client’s expectations.

Thanks to its innovative design, which brings together high efficiency and low emissions, ENCE’s new 40 MW Huelva plant will become a benchmark among biomass electricity generation plants.

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Research experts of the Biomass Department of CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain) have coordinated the project commissioned by the European Commission to gather comprehensive information on, and to provide systematic analysis of the latest available scientific research and the latest available scientific evidence on indirect land use change (ILUC) greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with production of biofuels and bioliquids.

The European Commission, by its Directorate-General for Energy commissioned CENER the coordination of this study, which has been jointly elaborated with researchers of Wageningen Economic Research, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Wageningen Environmental Research.

The study describes the selection and review of ILUC related literature, especially highlighting the development and progress in understanding and quantifying ILUC in the recent years. The main methods used to quantify ILUC are described, and the most relevant ILUC related studies, which provide detailed qualitative and quantitative results, are outlined. Besides, ILUC factors found in the literature are presented and related to the quantification methodology applied. The report also provides an in-depth analysis of key assumptions in ILUC research and related uncertainties. Finally, it also analyses the main mitigation options for ILUC, including low ILUC-risk biofuels.

Among the main conclusions of the study coordinated by CENER, it is underlined that ILUC factors identified in the literature vary significantly across biofuel pathways, studies, or even within studies depending on the hypothesis used. Besides, studies that have investigated parametric uncertainty conclude that this fact has a significant effect on the outcomes. As a consequence of all the uncertainties in the components of ILUC emissions, it is very difficult to narrow them down.

EC policies requiring the study

The EU mandatory sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids do not allow the raw material for biofuel production to be obtained from land with high carbon stock or high biodiversity value. However, this does not guarantee that as a consequence of the demand of raw material for biofuels production, such land is not used for production of raw materials for other purposes. Therefore, if land for biofuels is taken from cropland formerly used for other purposes, or by conversion of grassland in arable land for biofuel production, the former agricultural production on this land has to be grown somewhere else. In such cases, if there is no regulation that this must happen sustainably, conversion of land may happen, which is not allowed to be used under the EU sustainability criteria for biofuels. This conversion may take place in other countries than where the biofuel is produced. This is called indirect land use change (ILUC).

According to Article 3 of the European Union’s Directive (EU) 2015/1513 of 9 September 2015, the European Commission has to provide information on, and analysis of the available and the best available scientific research results, scientific evidence regarding ILUC emissions associated to the production of biofuels, and in relation to all production pathways.

Besides, according to Article 23 of the revised European Union’s Directive 2009/28/EC (RES Directive), the Commission also has to provide the latest available information with regard to key assumptions influencing the results from modelling ILUC GHG emissions, as well as an assessment of whether the range of uncertainty identified in the analysis underlying the estimations of ILUC emissions can be narrowed down, and if the possible impact of the EU policies, such as environment, climate and agricultural policies, can be factored in. An assessment of a possibility of setting out criteria for the identification and certification of low ILUC-risk biofuels that are produced in accordance with the EU sustainability criteria is also required.

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TSK has acquired Ingeteam’s power generation plant engineering and construction subsidiary. With this latest acquisition, TSK reinforces its current capacity to deliver electric power generation plants using both renewable and conventional sources, and acquires the expertise and references necessary to deliver turn-key generation plants using biomass.

Some examples of projects in which this company has participated are the solar thermal generation plants of Palma del Río I and II, both 50 MW of power and owned by Acciona. In addition, it is a leading company in the sector of electricity generation from biomass where it has participated in 11 projects.

 

The company is located in the Technological Park of Álava and has been owned by the Ingeteam Group since 2008, has a staff of more than 40 people with extensive experience and technical capacity. Currently it is involved in different bidding processes in Brazil, Belgium, France, UK and China for projects worth over 500 million euros.

Ingeteam and TSK have carried out projects jointly since 1985, mainly in electrical projects in steel plants of the ArcelorMittal company. Likewise Ingeteam regularly supplies TSK with different electrical equipment for solar photovoltaic plants.

Source: TSK

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