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clean energy

The in-depth study, which analyses hydrogen’s current state of play and offers guidance on its future development, is being launched by Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, alongside Mr Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, on the occasion of the meeting of G20 energy and environment ministers in Karuizawa, Japan.

Hydrogen can help to tackle various critical energy challenges, including helping to store the variable output from renewables like solar PV and wind to better match demand. It offers ways to decarbonise a range of sectors (including long-haul transport, chemicals, and iron and steel) where it is proving difficult to meaningfully reduce emissions. It can also help to improve air quality and strengthen energy security.

A wide variety of fuels are able to produce hydrogen, including renewables, nuclear, natural gas, coal and oil. Hydrogen can be transported as a gas by pipelines or in liquid form by ships, much like liquefied natural gas (LNG). It can also be transformed into electricity and methane to power homes and feed industry, and into fuels for cars, trucks, ships and planes.

To build on this momentum, the IEA report offers seven key recommendations to help governments, companies and other stakeholders to scale up hydrogen projects around the world. These include four areas:

  • Making industrial ports the nerve centres for scaling up the use of clean hydrogen;
  • Building on existing infrastructure, such as natural gas pipelines;
  • Expanding the use of hydrogen in transport by using it to power cars, trucks and buses that run on key routes;
  • Launching the hydrogen trade’s first international shipping routes.

 

The report notes that hydrogen still faces significant challenges. Producing hydrogen from low-carbon energy is costly at the moment, the development of hydrogen infrastructure is slow and holding back widespread adoption, and some regulations currently limit the development of a clean hydrogen industry.

Today, hydrogen is already being used on an industrial scale, but it is almost entirely supplied from natural gas and coal. Its production, mainly for the chemicals and refining industries, is responsible for 830 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions of the United Kingdom and Indonesia combined.

Reducing emissions from existing hydrogen production is a challenge but also represents an opportunity to increase the scale of clean hydrogen worldwide. One approach is to capture and store or utilise the CO2 from hydrogen production from fossil fuels. There are currently several industrial facilities around the world that use this process, and more are in the pipeline, but a much greater number is required to make a significant impact.

Another approach is for industries to secure greater supplies of hydrogen from clean electricity. In the past two decades, more than 200 projects have started operation to convert electricity and water into hydrogen to reduce emissions.

Expanding the use of clean hydrogen in other sectors – such as cars, trucks, steel and heating buildings – is another important challenge. There are currently around 11,200 hydrogen-powered cars on the road worldwide. Existing government targets call for that number to increase dramatically to 2.5M by 2030.

Policy makers need to make sure market conditions are well adapted for reaching such ambitious goals. The recent successes of solar PV, wind, batteries and electric vehicles have shown that policy and technology innovation have the power to build global clean energy industries.

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Global clean energy investment, 2004 to 1H 2019, $ billion

The first half of 2019 saw a 39% slowdown in renewable energy investment in the world’s biggest market, China, to $28.800 M$, the lowest figure for any half-year period since 2013, according to the latest figures from BloombergNEF (BNEF).

 

The other highlight of global clean energy investment in 1H 2019 was the financing of multibillion-dollar projects in two relatively new markets – a solar thermal and photovoltaic complex in Dubai, at 950MW and 4.200 M$, and two offshore wind arrays in the sea off Taiwan, at 640MW and 900MW and an estimated combined cost of 5.700 M$.

The Dubai deal in late March, for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum IV project, is the biggest financing ever seen in the solar sector. It involves 2.600 M$ of debt from 10 Chinese, Gulf and Western banks, plus 1.600 M$ of equity from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Saudi-based developer ACWA Power and equity partner Silk Road Fund of China.

The two Taiwanese offshore wind projects, Wpd Yunlin Yunneng and Ørsted Greater Changhua, involve European developers, investors and banks, as well as local players. Offshore wind activity is broadening its geographical focus, from Europe’s North Sea and China’s coastline, toward new markets such as Taiwan, the U.S. East Coast, India and Vietnam.

BNEF’s figures for clean energy investment in the first half of 2019 show mixed fortunes for the world’s major markets. The “big three” of China, the U.S. and Europe all showed falls, but with the U.S. down a modest 6% at 23.600 M$ and Europe down 4% at 22.200 M$ compared to 1H 2018, far less than China’s 39% setback.

Breaking global clean energy investment down by type of transaction, asset finance of utility-scale generation projects such as wind farms and solar parks was down 24% at 85.6 M$, due in large part to the China factor. Financing of small-scale solar systems of less than 1MW was up 32% at 23.7 M$ in the first half of this year.

Investment in specialist clean energy companies via public markets was 37% higher at 5.600 M$, helped by two big equity raisings for electric vehicle makers – an $863 M$ secondary issue for Tesla, and a 650 M$ convertible issue for China-based NIO.

Venture capital and private equity funding of clean energy companies in 1H 2019 was down 2% at 4.700 M$. There were three exceptionally large deals, however: $1 billion each for Swedish battery company Northvolt and U.S. electric vehicle battery charging specialist Lucid Motors, and 700 M$ for another U.S. EV player, Rivian Automotive.

Source: BNEF

The International Energy Agency’s latest and most comprehensive assessment of clean energy transition finds that the vast majority of technologies and sectors are failing to keep pace with long-term goals. Of the 45 energy technologies and sectors assessed in the IEA’s latest Tracking Clean Energy Progress (TCEP), only 7 are on track with the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS). The SDS represents a pathway to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, deliver universal energy access and significantly reduce air pollution.

These latest findings follow an IEA assessment published in March showing that energy-related CO2 emissions worldwide rose by 1.7% in 2018 to a historic high of 33 billion tonnes.

Some clean energy technologies showed major progress last year, according to the new TCEP analysis. Energy storage is now “on track” as new installations doubled, led by Korea, China, the United States and Germany. Electric vehicles had another record year, with global sales hitting 2 million in 2018. China accounted for more than half of total sales.

Solar PV remains on track with a 31% increase in generation – representing the largest absolute growth in generation among renewable sources. But annual capacity additions of solar PV and renewable power as a whole levelled off in 2018, raising concerns about meeting long-term climate goals.

This year’s analysis expands coverage to include flaring and methane emissions from oil and gas operations, which are responsible for around 7% of the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Despite some positive developments over the past year, current technology deployment rates, policy ambition and industry efforts are still falling well short.

The buildings sector also remains off track, with emissions rising again in 2018 to an all-time high. This was the result of several factors, including extreme weather that raised energy demand for heating and cooling. Another concerning development was the slowdown in fuel economy improvements around the world as car buyers continued to purchase bigger vehicles.

Given the urgency and scale of actions needed for clean energy transitions around the world, this year’s TCEP features much greater emphasis on recommended actions for governments, industry and other key actors in the global energy system. The analysis also includes in-depth analysis on how to address more than 100 key innovation gaps across all sectors and technologies.

TCEP provides a comprehensive, rigorous and up-to-date expert analysis of clean energy transitions across a full range of technologies and sectors. It draws on the IEA’s unique understanding of markets, modelling and energy statistics to track and assess progress on technology deployment and performance, investment, policy, and innovation. It also draws on the IEA’s extensive global technology network, totalling 6,000 researchers across nearly 40 Technology Collaboration Programmes.

TCEP is part of the IEA’s broader efforts on tracking energy transitions and key indicators to help inform decision makers on where to focus innovation, investment and policy attention to achieve climate and sustainable development goals.

Source: IEA

MIREC WEEK 2019, Mexico’s leading clean energy congress and exhibition, will take place alongside a period of changes and new business opportunities within the country’s renewable energy sector as a result of a new administration coming to power at the end of 2018. After the cancellation of the 4th Long-Term Auction and large transmission projects, the government is expected to announce alternative plans to keep Mexico’s renewable energy goals on track, as well as the continued development of transmission infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the industry is currently waiting on the details of the government’s strategy for the development of renewable energy in the country. The AMLO administration has recently reasserted its commitment to the development of renewables, and some of their mentioned plans include the enhancing of Distributed Generation, the installation of EV solar charging stations, the modernization of CFE’s hydroelectric power plants and the development of research, technology and human resources in the sector.

All these changes represent challenges and will bring new opportunities for the renewable energy market. During a recent breakfast briefing hosted by the MIREC WEEK team in Mexico City, the latest updates in the Mexican renewable energy industry were addressed and discussed. The discussion mainly covered the alternatives that the new administration has to meet the growing demand in the country, the continuity of the development of the Wholesale Electricity Market and the crucial role that the private sector must perform in order to achieve its ambitious clean energy goals.

Against this backdrop, MIREC WEEK 2019 will celebrate its 9th anniversary in Mexico City at the World Trade Center from 20-22 May. The award winning event is firmly established as the leading platform for dialogue, knowledge and discussion about the challenges and opportunities in Mexico’s renewable energy market. This year the congress will address a broad range of topics including financing and investment, corporate energy use, distributed generation, energy storage, asset management and O&M and clean energy business strategies under the new AMLO administration.
The event will feature more than 300 high-level speakers from Mexico and across the globe providing 50 hours of expert analysis and content, providing business intelligence for decision-making in a shifting market.
An expected audience of 3,000 participants will attend the exhibition and congress, comprised of energy professionals, national and international investors, technology suppliers and project developers.

MIREC WEEK 2019 is sponsored by global leaders in renewable energy, including Huawei, CPS America, GCL, Longi Solar, Sungrow, Talesun, Alion Energy, Arctech Solar, BayWa r.e. Renewable Energy, Gamesa, Iusasol, Jema, Phono Solar, Soltec, Trunsun Solar, Nextracker, Cesime Solar, Pöyry and Solarig, among others.

Source: MIREC WEEK

Nearly 3.3 million Americans now work in clean energy in every state in the country, according to a new analysis of energy jobs data by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Across the country, nearly every state saw an increase in clean energy jobs in 2018, combining to add about 110,000 net new jobs for a growth rate of 3.6 percent.

Overall, clean energy jobs totaled more than 3.26 million at the end of 2018, growing despite the impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar panels and market uncertainty from the administration’s inaction and planned rollbacks of energy efficiency and clean vehicles policies. Clean jobs outnumber fossil fuels jobs nearly three to one (3.26 M to 1.17 M) and clean energy employers said they anticipate 6 percent job growth for 2019.

Two sectors in particular – clean energy storage and clean vehicles – saw job totals increase sharply from last year (14 and 15 percent respectively), driven by growing consumer EV adoption, state expansions of charging infrastructure, falling battery prices and increased solar-storage installations. Clean storage’s 75,000 jobs are its highest ever, while clean vehicles added 34,000 jobs.

The analysis expands on data from the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) released by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and Energy Futures Initiative (EFI). E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fourth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016 and subsequently abandoned under the Trump administration. Clean energy jobs have grown every year since the first report was released in 2016.

According to E2’s 2019 Clean Jobs America analysis, energy efficiency added the most new jobs in 2018 of any energy industry, accounting for half (76,000) of the sector’s total job increase (151,700). Energy efficiency’s dominance in clean energy employment continues to be driven by construction (1.3 million) and manufacturing (321,000). Energy efficiency-related jobs make up more than one out of every six US construction jobs.

Solar jobs decreased for the second year in a row, falling by nearly 15,000 in 2018, while wind energy jobs grew by 3.5 percent. About 90 percent of solar job losses occurred in California and Massachusetts, while 18 other states saw growth. Solar remains the top U.S. job provider in electric power generation—leading natural gas by more than 200,000 jobs —while wind is third, trailing natural gas by fewer than 1,500 jobs.

Traditionally strong clean energy states dominated the job rankings again in 2018, with nine states now topping the 110,000-job mark for clean energy employment. States outside the top 10, including Kansas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, saw growth rates above 5 percent while Nevada experienced a meteoric 32.43 percent growth in jobs in large part because of growth in battery-storage jobs related to Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Other key findings:

• Solar alone employs more than twice the number of coal workers.
• Wind and solar account for nearly 2 out of every 5 construction jobs in the electric generation sector.
• Not included in the clean vehicles sector are 486,000 employees in the motor vehicle industry who work with parts making vehicles more fuel efficient.
• Jobs in grid modernization grew 3.3 percent in 2018, adding more than 2,000 jobs.
• More Americans work in energy efficiency (2.3 million) than there are waiters and waitresses in America’s bars and restaurants (2.25 million).
• All but two of America’s 3,007 counties are home to jobs in clean energy.
• More than one out of every three employees working in the energy sector (from traditional energy to motor vehicles) are involved in energy efficiency.
• After two years of losses, solar energy employers predict 8 percent job growth for 2019.
• Two-thirds of U.S. clean energy jobs (67%) are involved in construction and manufacturing.
• There are now more Americans working in clean energy than there are school teachers.

Source: Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)

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    PV

    Growatt is one of the world’s top PV inverter brands. Established in 2010, Growatt started with a vision to lead in the PV inverter sector and contribute to clean energy. Growatt provides a broad range of solar energy solutions, including solar inverters from 750 W to 2.52 MW, energy storage solutions for on-grid and off-grid applications, smart energy solutions etc. Driven by the expertise of over 200 professional R&D engineers and continuous investment, Growatt has grown into a global leader with presence in over 100 countries. By 2017 Growatt has become one of the global TOP 10 PV inverter brands according to IHS Markit.

    www.ginverter.com

    Corporations bought a record amount of clean energy through power purchase agreements, or PPAs, in 2018, shattering the previous record set in 2017. Highlights included a wave of smaller corporate energy buyers aggregating their purchases, and the first corporate clean energy power purchase agreements in markets such as Poland.

    BloombergNEF (BNEF) finds in its 1H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook, that some 13.4 GW of clean energy contracts were signed by 121 corporations in 21 different countries in 2018. This was up from 6.1 GW in 2017, and positions companies alongside utilities as the biggest buyers of clean energy globally.

    Corporations have signed contracts to purchase over 32 GW of clean power since 2008, an amount comparable to the generation capacity of the Netherlands, with 86% of this activity coming since 2015 and more than 40% in 2018 alone.

    More than 60% of the global activity in 2018 occurred in the U.S., where companies signed PPAs to purchase 8.5 GW of clean energy, nearly triple the amount signed in 2017. Mexico and Brazil also saw growth in corporate procurement, rounding out the 9.1 GW of clean energy purchased by companies in the Americas region in 2018.

    Facebook spearheaded a contingent of experienced U.S. corporate energy buyers, purchasing over 2.6 GW of renewables globally in 2018, primarily with utilities in regulated U.S. markets through programs known as green tariffs. This was three times that of the next biggest corporate energy buyer, AT&T. ExxonMobil became the first oil major to sign a clean energy PPA for its own operations, purchasing 575 MW of solar and wind in Texas.

    bnef_ppas
    Global corporate PPA volumes. Source: BloombergNEF.

    In the U.S. a major feature was the emergence of smaller, first-time corporate clean energy buyers. In 2018, some 34 new companies signed their first clean energy PPAs, making up 31% of total activity in the U.S. These firms are aggregating their electricity demand to reap the economies of scale from larger solar and wind projects. In many cases, they benefit from partnering with a bigger, more experienced buyer, who can offer a stronger balance sheet and expertise on accounting and legal nuances when signing a PPA.

    The aggregation model has heralded in a new generation of corporate clean energy buyers. These companies no longer need to tackle the complexities of clean energy procurement alone. They can share risks associated with credit and energy market volatility with their peers.

    In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, corporations also purchased record volumes of clean energy, inking deals for 2.3 GW and doubling the 1.1 GW signed in 2017. The Nordics were once again the hot spot for activity, with companies attracted to strong wind resources and credit support from government bodies. Aluminium producers Norsk Hydro and Alcoa Corp purchased the most clean energy in Europe in 2018, but the region also saw activity from multinational technology companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet subsidiary Google.

    Several European countries that saw little or no corporate procurement activity in 2017 enjoyed a rise in interest in 2018. Companies signed PPAs for the first time in Poland, and just the second time in Denmark and Finland. There were also new deals signed in the U.K., following a lull after the expiration of a national subsidy program. Several requests for proposals and changes in policy suggest burgeoning new markets in Germany and France as well.

    In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, still a nascent market for corporate procurement, companies signed a record 2 GW of clean energy PPAs, more than the previous two years combined. Nearly all of this activity occurred in India and Australia, with roughly 1.3 GW and 0.7 GW of clean energy purchased, respectively. Both markets allow companies to buy clean energy at a large scale through offsite PPAs, making them rarities for the region.

    Demand still far outstrips supply in the rest of APAC, although recent changes in several markets suggests a major spike in activity is on the horizon. Offsite corporate PPA mechanisms are now available in nine provinces in China, and the imminent passing of a renewable portfolio standard will give over 30,000 large commercial and industrial companies renewable electricity targets. In Japan, the country’s third non-fossil certificate auction saw corporations purchase 21 TWh, tripling the combined activity in the first two auctions. Thirteen companies in Japan have also established 100 renewable electricity targets, more than the rest of APAC combined.

    The healthiest signal of continued growth in the global corporate procurement space is the growing alliance of companies establishing clean energy and sustainability commitments. One such campaign, known as the RE100 – consisting of nearly 160 signatories at the end of 2018 that have established 100% renewable electricity targets – has companies domiciled in 23 different markets. Cumulatively, these companies consumed an estimated 189TWh of electricity in 2017, equivalent to Egypt’s electricity consumption.

    BNEF estimates these companies will need to purchase an additional 190 TWh of clean electricity in 2030 to meet their RE100 targets. Should this shortfall be met with offsite solar and wind PPAs, it would catalyse an estimated 102 GW of new solar and wind build globally, greater than the size of the U.K.’s power generation fleet in 2017.

    Global clean energy investment, investment in renewable energy excluding large hydro-electric projects, but including equity-raising by companies in smart grid, digital energy, energy storage and electric vehicles, totaled $332.1 billion in 2018, down 8% on 2017. Last year was the fifth in a row in which investment exceeded the $300 billion mark, according to authoritative figures from BloombergNEF (BNEF).

    There were sharp contrasts between clean energy sectors in terms of the change in dollar investment last year. Wind investment rose 3% to $128.6 billion, with offshore wind having its second-highest year. Money committed to smart meter rollouts and electric vehicle company financings also increased.

    However, the most striking shifts were in solar. Overall investment in that sector dropped 24% in dollar terms to $130.8 billion, even though there was record new photovoltaic capacity added, breaking 100 GW barrier for the first time. Part of this reduction was due to sharply declining capital costs. BNEF’s global benchmark for the cost of installing a megawatt of photovoltaic capacity fell 12% in 2018 as manufacturers slashed selling prices in the face of a glut of PV modules on the world market.

    That surplus was aggravated by a sharp change in policy in China in mid-year. The government acted to cool that country’s solar boom by restricting access for new projects to its feed-in tariff. The result of this, combined with lower unit costs, was that Chinese solar investment plunged 53% to $40.4 billion in 2018.

    The biggest solar projects financed included the 800 MW NOORm Midelt PV and solar thermal portfolio in Morocco, at an estimated $2.4 billion, and the 709 MW NLC Tangedco PV plant in India, at a cost of about $500 million. India is one of the countries with the lowest capital costs per megawatt for photovoltaic plants.

    Offshore wind was a major recipient of clean energy investment last year, attracting $25.7 billion, up 14% on the previous year. The balance of activity in offshore is tilting. Countries such as the U.K. and Germany pioneered this industry and will remain important, but China is taking over as the biggest market and new locations such as Taiwan and the U.S. East Coast are seeing strong interest from developers. Some of the projects financed were in Europe, led by the 950 MW Moray Firth East array in the North Sea, at an estimated $3.3 billion, but there were also 13 Chinese offshore wind farms starting construction, for a total of some $11.4 billion.

    Onshore wind saw $100.8 billion of new asset finance globally last year, up 2%, with the biggest projects reaching go-ahead including the 706 MW Enel Green Power South Africa portfolio, at an estimated $1.4 billion, and the Xcel Rush Creek installation in the U.S., at $1 billion for 600 MW.

    Among other renewable energy sectors, investment in biomass and waste-to-energy rose 18% to $6.3 billion, while that in biofuels rallied 47% to $3 billion. Geothermal was up 10% at $1.8 billion, small hydro down 50% at $1.7 billion and marine up 16% at $180 million. Total investment in utility-scale renewable energy projects and small-scale solar systems worldwide was down 13% year-on-year at $256.5 billion, although the gigawatt capacity added increased.

    Other categories of investment showed mixed trends in 2018. Corporate research and development spending slipped 6% to $20.9 billion, while government R&D rose 4% to $15 billion. There was a 20% increase in public markets investment in specialist clean energy companies, to $10.5 billion, with the biggest initial public offerings including $1.2 billion for Chinese electric vehicle company NIO, $852 million for Chinese electric car battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology, and $808 million for French solar developer Neoen.

    Global venture capital and private equity investment jumped 127% to $9.2 billion, the highest since 2010. The biggest deals were $1.1 billion of expansion capital for U.S. smart window maker View, and $795 million for Chinese electric vehicle firm Youxia Motors. In fact, there were no fewer than eight VC/PE financings of Chinese EV specialist companies in 2018, totaling some $3.3 billion.

    Looking at the 2018 clean energy investment numbers by country, China was again the clear leader, but its total of $100.1 billion was down 32% on 2017’s record figure because of the plunge in the value of solar commitments. Once again, the actions of China are playing a major role in the dynamics of the energy transition, helping to drive down solar costs, grow the offshore wind and EV markets and lift venture capital and private equity investment.”

    The U.S. was the second-biggest investing country, at $64.2 billion, up 12%. Developers have been rushing to finance wind and solar projects in order to take advantage of tax credit incentives, before these expire early next decade. There has also been a boom, in both the U.S. and Europe, in the construction of projects benefitting from power purchase agreements signed by big corporations such as Facebook and Google.

    Europe saw clean energy investment leap 27% to $74.5 billion, helped by the financing of five offshore wind projects in the billion-dollar-plus category. There was also a sharp recovery in the Spanish solar market, helped by heavily reduced costs, and a continuation of the build-out of large wind farms in Sweden and Norway offering low-cost electricity to industrial consumers.

    Other countries and territories investing in excess of $2 billion in clean energy in 2018 were:

    • Japan at $27.2 billion, down 16%
    • India at $11.1 billion, down 21%
    • Germany at $10.5 billion, down 32%
    • The U.K. at $10.4 billion, up 1%
    • Australia at $9.5 billion, up 6%
    • Spain at $7.8 billion, up sevenfold
    • Netherlands at $5.6 billion, up 60%
    • Sweden at $5.5 billion, up 37%
    • France at $5.3 billion, up 7%
    • South Korea at $5 billion, up 74%
    • South Africa at $4.2 billion, up 40-fold
    • Mexico at $3.8 billion, down 38%
    • Vietnam at $3.3 billion, up 18-fold
    • Denmark at $3.2 billion, up fivefold
    • Belgium at $2.9 billion, up fourfold
    • Italy at $2.8 billion, up 11%
    • Morocco at $2.8 billion, up 13-fold
    • Taiwan at $2.4 billion, up 134%
    • Ukraine at $2.4 billion, up 15-fold
    • Canada at $2.2 billion, down 34%
    • Turkey at $2.2 billion, down 5%
    • Norway at $2 billion, no change

    Source: BloombergNEF

    FuturENERGY Dec. 18 - Jan. 2019

    At a recent seminar on renewable energy, I was asked if, with the entry of the capacity awarded under the 2016 and 2017 auctions, the electricity market price would reduce. Now that we are in a period of change, with a new year preceded by a change in Government and a change in energy model, a look back at the past would help answer this question…By José María González Moya, Managing Director of APPA Renovables.

     

     

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    Acciona Energía has begun a project to generally implement the traceability of the renewable nature of its electricity generation worldwide through blockchain technology, meaning that its clients who require it can check –in real time and from any location in the world- that 100% of the electricity supplied is clean.

    For the development in the initial phases of the project, called GREENCHAIN, Acciona Energía has reached agreement with FlexiDAO, a company that specializes in offering software tools to electric power companies for digital energy services. FlexiDAO was one of the start-ups selected by Acciona in the second edition of its open innovation programme I’MNOVATION last June, in which 231 companies from 16 countries were assessed.

    Since then, FlexiDAO has worked with Acciona Energía on the creation of a commercial demonstrator to ensure the traceability of the renewable generation from five wind and hydro facilities in Spain to its supply to four corporate clients in Portugal. Acciona Energía has thus become the first entity to trace renewable energy through blockchain in Spain and Portugal. A specialized blockchain platform for the electric power sector called Energy Web Blockchain has been used for this demonstrator.

    The next step is to continue implementation in new areas, starting with the most suitable markets for this kind of service, i.e. those that do not have consolidated renewable energy certification systems, as is the case in several Latin American countries where Acciona Energía has a strong presence, such as Mexico and Chile.

    “Tracing the renewable origin of energy is an ever-increasing demand, associated with the growth of the corporate contracting market for green energy, and blockchain technology can facilitate this service considerably to clients in any part of the world. We are very pleased to take this first step along a route that will surely set the trend over the next few years”, says Belén Linares, Director of Innovation of Acciona Energía.

    FlexiDAO co-founder and CEO Simone Accornero adds that “we are demonstrating that the traceability of renewable energy is now a viable proposition that generates real value for the consumer. Together with Acciona we want to be pioneers in showing that this blockchain-based system is commercially viable on a large scale”.

    The advantages of the system lie in the simplicity of its integration with data systems, both of Acciona and the end client: ease of access, scalability and the complete security and privacy of data that blockchain ensures.

    Acciona has also pioneered the application of traceability through blockchain in its two renewable plants with energy storage in batteries in Spain: at Barásoain (with wind power) and Tudela (with PV), both located in Navarra, under the STORECHAIN project.

    COMEVAL