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Norway leads the way in the transition to a 100% electric mobility model. The volume of energy that transportation needs constitutes a fourth of the country’s total consumption, which is the reason why they find their electrification absolutely feasible. In addition, its mobility goals are aligned with the rest of the sustainable goals: to reduce 40% of the emissions by the year 2030 and become neutral in carbon emissions by 2050.

There are many characteristics that make Norway ideal for transport electrification. Among them, the political consensus for implementing measures that incentivise the use of electric vehicles, their knowledge of the electric transportation sector, their experience in R&D, their search for sustainable solutions and the country’s natural resources that enable them to have an almost 100% electric system.

Current situation

Norway is the country with the highest number of electric vehicles per capita in the world. Only in 2017, 21% of the new vehicles were electric and adding the hybrid models, 52% of the cars sold in the country last year were electric or hybrid. Thus and for the first time, the Scandinavian country had a participation in the fossil fuel market below 50%.

One of the keys to their success has been the support plan to the citizens, which exempts new electric cars from almost all taxes, giving benefits such as free or subsidized parking, a system of recharge points and use of highways, ferries and tunnels.

Land, sea and air, the ambitious proposal of the Norwegian electrification

By land: the country’s target is that all new cars, city buses and light vans should be zero-emissions by 2025.
If we look at the railway transport, we will find that it is already electrified by 78%.

By sea: 40% of all ships in the local transport should use biofuels or be low or zero-emission by 2030.
The Ampère Ferry initiated the technological change in the sea. Since then, four additional electric ferries have come into operation and another 62 are on its way. Furthermore, by the year 2021 they expect a third of the Norwegian vessels to be electric.

By air: being aware that airplanes use big quantities of fossil fuel and generate high levels of emissions, they are planning that all national air traffic becomes electric by 2040.

To kick off the Global Wind Summit, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) will celebrate the topping-out ceremony of its electric thermal energy storage (ETES) facility in Hamburg-Altenwerder. With this innovative storage system, Siemens Gamesa is providing an answer to one of the central challenges facing the energy transition: how to make the supply and demand for electricity from renewable energy sources more flexible. The facility can store up to 30 MWh of energy and boasts maximum scalability at a low investment cost. The pilot facility is currently in the final construction phase, and all of the storage facility’s buildings and main components have already been completed.

The storage facility, able to hold the daily energy requirements of 1,500 German households, is set to be commissioned in 2019. Scientists from the Institute of Thermo-fluid Dynamics at the Technical University of Hamburg and the energy supplier Hamburg Energie have been involved in the development. Hamburg Energie will sell the stored power on the energy markets. Hamburg’s municipal energy supplier developed an IT platform to which the storage unit is connected. The platform guarantees that maximum possible proceeds are achieved by an optimized storage usage. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy is promoting storage development as part of the Future Energy Solutions project.

Renewable energies are available in large quantities when there is plenty of wind and sun – often more than the electricity grids can transport today. Storage facilities are used to buffer periods of low production, for example when there is a lull or it is dark. A lot of storage facilities have limited capacities or the storage technologies are too expensive, however. With ETES, Siemens Gamesa has developed a storage facility that reduces the construction and operating costs of larger storage capacities to a fraction of the usual level for battery storage. In commercial use, the technology can store energy at a cost of well below ten euro cents per kilowatt hour.

The simple thermal principle of the storage facility is based on known components which are used in a new combination. For example, fans and heating elements from series production are used to convert the electrical energy into a hot air flow. The same applies to reconversion: a highly dynamic Siemens steam boiler is used as standard in a steam turbine to produce electricity at the end of the storage chain. Siemens Gamesa invested the largest amount of research in the insulating container filled with a rockfill, the core of the innovation. In this research project, the Siemens Gamesa team investigated the thermo-fluid-dynamic principles of bulk material storage technology. Their findings enable scaling to the current scale.

A very interesting option of this technology is to convert decommissioned thermal power plants into high-performance storage facilities for renewable energies at a low cost. With this second-live option, the majority of components such as grid connection, turbines and generators can continue to be used.

After extensive tests, the new storage facility is to be incorporated into regular operations in partnership with Hamburg Energie GmbH.

Source: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE)

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The new MTU Onsite Energy 20V 4000 DS3600 genset was recently launched on the market. Based on enhanced MTU Series 4000 engines, the 20V 4000 DS3600 diesel genset significantly outperforms previous offerings with a 10% uplift to around 3,000 kW of electrical output (3,730 kVA) in standby operation, and some 2,700 kW of electrical output (3,390 kVA) when generating prime power. Earlier models of this Series 4000 engine have a proven track record with over 23,000 units sold for power generation applications.

More than 30 of these new units are already set for delivery in 2018. Most of the initial consignment, supplying 75 MW overall, is destined for a global internet group to generate standby power for its European data centre. MTU Onsite Energy has already announced further advancement to an even higher level in the form of the 20V 4000 DS4000 diesel genset delivering roughly 16% more output, amounting to as much as 3,200 kW of electrical output (4,000 kVA of standby power), compared with previous offerings. At around 20 m2 both units take up strikingly little space.

Optimized engine design boosts performance

Steadily increasing power demands in mission-critical applications, like those encountered in data centres, airports or hospitals, necessitate the use of ever more powerful engines – such as the enhanced Series 4000 from MTU – to allow the gensets to step in smoothly and cover demand should a contingency arise.

Performance has been boosted by optimizing engine design to allow for a higher BMEP (brake mean effective pressure ) in the cylinders, and fitting a redesigned turbocharger and modified peripheral equipment with some astutely matched components.

Genset beats the standard

In-house expertise in all the key technologies involved here, coupled with state-of-the-art simulation and analysis tools, have allowed to develop a generation of engines with which the new diesel genset can even beat the standard. One reason is the high engine load factor which allows the standby genset to be operated at 85% of its maximum power on average – a value which surpasses the requirements set out in ISO-8528-1 by 15%. What’s more, the generator can run for up to 500 hours a year in its vital standby power role. This value goes way beyond the 200 hours specified in the standard.

In case of a power outage, delivering a dependable power supply in a matter of seconds is key. Data centres with their sensitive IT facilities present the additional challenge of mitigating fluctuations in voltage and frequency. These gensets have therefore been developed to curb these variations by design. Receiving the first order for the new genset from a global player in the Silicon Valley is a great honour.

Certified to feed the public grid

Series 4000 gensets comply with VDE guidelines (the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies) and are certified for mains parallel operation. This allows users to feed power into the public grid at a profit as well as safeguarding supply in case of an emergency. In terms of energy efficiency, this is also a sensible approach to dealing with the increasingly common grid instabilities resulting from the use of renewables. Certified diesel gensets from MTU Onsite Energy tick all the boxes in meeting the technical criteria for doing just this.

Source: Rolls Royce

51-year-old Roberto San José Mendiluce, born in and resident of the city of Valladolid in Castilla-León, is Spain’s first 100% electric taxi driver – an honour he has held for the past six and a half years. With 12 years experience under his belt, his life changed completely in October 2011 when he unknowingly purchased the country’s first 100% electric taxi. Since then, his 100% electric Nissan LEAF has travelled over 323,000 km. In this article, Roberto shares his experience of the past six and a half years, which have been very encouraging in every sense, as we will see below.

To take the decision to buy a 100% electric taxi, I basically compared the fuel costs generated by my previous taxi, a Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI 140 CV DSG (with an estimated consumption of 8.5 l/100), knowing that in four and half years it would have travelled 320,000 km and have consumed some 27,200 litres of fuel. Taking an approximate fuel cost of 1.2 €/litre, the total cost of fuel would amount to €32,640. The purchase price of the Nissan LEAF was €30,650 (including a €6,000 discount resulting from a subsidy). Taking the consumption of the old taxi at 8.5 l/100 and the cost of fuel at €1.20, the investment in the purchase of an e-taxi would be paid back after 300,000 km (cost of diesel €30,600).

Of course, to the gross fuel saving must be added the savings made in maintenance costs and breakdowns. These are essentially brake pads (for example, I have still got the original set that are 50% worn), filters, fan belts, injectors, distributor, etc. Read more…

Roberto San José Mendiluce
Spain’s first 100% electric taxi driver, since October 2011

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2018

Acciona Energia has received the first ever prototype certificate for a grid-scale energy storage solution by DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body. The handover of the certificate took place at the American Wind Energy Association’s 2018 Windpower Conference in Chicago.

To explore the possibilities of grid-scale storage, Acciona Energia started up a hybrid plant for storing electricity in batteries as part of its grid-connected wind farm at Barasoain in Navarra, northern Spain.

The plant in Barásoain is equipped with a storage system that consists of two batteries located in separate containers: one fast-response battery of 1 MW/0.39 MWh (capable of maintaining 1 MW of power for 20 minutes) and another slower-response battery with greater autonomy (0.7 MW/0.7 MWh, maintaining 0.7 MW for 1 hour). Both have Samsung SDI Li-ion technology connected to a 3-MW AW116/3000 wind turbine of Acciona Windpower (Nordex Group) technology, from which they capture the energy to be stored. The wind turbine is one of five that make up the Experimental Wind Farm at Barásoain, operated by the company since 2013. The entire system is managed by control software developed in-house by Acciona Energia and is monitored in real time by the company’s Renewable Energies Control Center (CECOER).

The storage plant introduced by Acciona has now become the first in the world to undergo system-level certification. The certification process was carried out in line with the GRIDSTOR Recommended Practice, which is based on industry standards and considers safety, performance and reliability for grid-connected energy storage systems.

Key element

Energy storage is a key element in the transition to a more sustainable energy mix. It allows renewable sources such as wind and solar power to operate at full capacity during peak generation periods by storing excess energy until it is needed to meet later demand. While many energy storage technologies are well established at smaller scales, their application at grid-scale is still in its early days.
“The market for grid-scale energy storage systems is relatively unexplored, but we see rapid developments. Certifying new systems like Acciona’s grid-scale storage plant demonstrates that pioneering projects like this are meeting the required safety, performance and reliability standards and providing the industry with confidence in the quality of emerging new technologies,” said Kim Mørk, Executive Vice President, Renewables Certification at DNV GL.

Mørk added that “as part of our commitment to helping the industry transition to a low-carbon energy mix while maintaining safety and reliability of supply, we focus our efforts to develop industry guidelines on grid-scale energy storage to help designers, manufacturers, investors, insurers and authorities mitigate risks and control costs in energy storage projects”.

For his part, Rafael Esteban, CEO Acciona Energy USA Global LLC, said that “our company is at the forefront of the energy transition through our solutions to facilitate the integration of variable-generation renewables into the grid and manage the power produced. Adding the energy storage plant to our Barasoain Experimental Wind Farm will improve the quality of energy sent to the grid, allow us to explore other applications for balancing supply and demand and create a path for commercial storage solutions in our wind power projects.

With any emerging technology, technology qualification and certification is essential in understanding and managing risk”, added Esteban.“In the near future, the bodies involved in the approval and financing of storage systems worldwide will demand these certificates. Acciona also wants to be a pioneer in this area. By applying for certification from such a solvent entity as DNV GL, we can guarantee that our plant fulfils all the conditions to operate with full confidence.”

Source: Acciona

Cars equipped with electric engines or other alternative drives are making major inroads. Scientists at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) set out to develop a suitable filling station for these vehicles. Launched in mid-February 2018, this project goes to create a fuel ‘pump’ for the future. This dispenser is to deliver renewable electrical power, hydrogen and methane in the most efficient, cost-effective and purpose-driven way possible. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding this project with around €1.3 million. It will run for five years as part QUARREE 100, an initiative to test an urban quarter’s fully renewable power supply.

Vehicular mobility is sure to change markedly in the years ahead. Far more cars running on electricity sourced from wind and the sun will soon be out on the road. The same goes for fuel cell vehicles powered with renewable hydrogen and natural gas vehicles that run on methane, another climate-friendly fuel produced using solar power. The network of charging points and hydrogen filling stations is expanding on a massive scale. Some stations furnish both electricity and hydrogen, but none dispenses electrical power, hydrogen and methane. ZSW aims to change that with this project.

Tiered use of renewable energy

What the Stuttgart-based scientists have in mind is to develop a multi-energy dispenser. The idea is to use the grid to charge electric cars’ batteries with renewable electricity sourced from wind power plants and the like. A large stationary battery will store unused power when supply is greater than demand, and dispense it when demand is greater than supply. “If the battery is full and recharging electric cars cannot deplete it, this green electricity will be converted into hydrogen in a second step,” says ZSW’s Dr. Ulrich Zuberbühler by way of explanation. Fuel cell vehicles run on this type of energy. And if hydrogen production exceeds demand, the surplus gas goes into a storage tank.

Tomorrow’s filling station will include third stage to produce methane when the hydrogen storage tank is full and demand from fuel cell cars is low. Carbon dioxide will then be added to the hydrogen to convert into methane. Both gases react to a catalyst to form methane. This fuel is the main component of natural gas, so natural gas cars can readily use it. If refueling cars do not deplete the methane supply, the surplus gas is stored and then piped into the natural gas grid when the storage tank fills up.

With our project, the coupling of the electrical grid with mobility will not be limited to electric cars,” explains Zuberbühler. “The other alternative drives will also benefit from it.”

ZSW’s researchers are talking about tiered use of renewable energy. Their priority is to make the most of resources by minimizing energy losses. Stage one is the first choice and remains so until its potential is exhausted. The most efficient use of regenerative electricity is to power electric motors. None of the energy is lost in translation, and battery storage loss amounts to no more than ten percent. Stages two and three—conversion to hydrogen and then methanation—are only an option once demand for electrical power has been met. Electrical power can be converted to hydrogen at around 75 percent efficiency; the figure for methane is roughly 60 percent. These gases are long-term, zero-loss stores of energy. Efficiency increases by a few percentage points when the waste heat generated during the conversion process is put to use.

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Efforts to enhance components

With this project, ZSW aims to improve the efficiency, service life and cost-effectiveness of the two main components, a high-pressure alkaline electrolyzer and a plate methanation reactor. Scientists want to advance the state of the art for both on a 100-kilowatt scale. Electrolysis and methane synthesis will have to take place separately, which requires some form of hydrogen buffer or intermediate storage facility. The institute will develop a concept for this and assess its safety.

The researchers have three years to develop the technology, work out a safety concept and clarify all the details for approval. The results will be tested at an on-site demo facility starting in 2020.

Stepping up ‘sector coupling’

Green electricity accounts for around a third of the power in Germany’ grid, and its share is growing. This figure expected to rise to 65 percent by 2030. Off-grid use—for example, in electric cars and as an alternative fuel—would help make the transportation sector more climate-friendly. Little progress has been made on this front. The alternative fuels hydrogen and methane also have great advantages. They can serve as chemical media for long-term, loss-free energy storage. On top of that, they can be fed into Germany’s natural gas grid and used to heat buildings without leaving a carbon footprint. The term coined to describe this convergence of electricity, fuel and heating across industries is sector coupling.

The funding for this project is part of a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs to promote solar in building projects and energy-efficient urban development.

The Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg, ZSW) is one of the leading institutes for applied research in the areas of photovoltaics, renewable fuels, battery technology, fuel cells and energy system analysis. There are currently around 235 scientists, engineers and technicians employed at ZSW’s three locations in Stuttgart, Ulm and Widderstall. In addition, there are 90 research and student assistants.

With its commitment to address emissions and noise regulations in Europe, EMOSS Mobile Systems has developed an Allison transmission-equipped electric semi-truck that has a range exceeding 300 miles.

The EMOSS Electric Vehicle with Extender Range (E.V.E.R.) semi-truck utilizes a 120 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack and a liquefied petroleum gas electricity generator to recharge the battery and achieve maximum range. It is further equipped with an Allison 4500 fully automatic transmission and rated for a gross combination weight of up to 50 metric tons.

“For us, the Allison gearbox is the only combination that gets us the right performance,” said Martijn Noordam, chief technology officer at EMOSS. “Customers who have driven the Allison-equipped EMOSS trucks are 100-percent happy with them. They never thought a start-stop duty-cycle on a 30 percent grade was realistic, yet the truck has executed perfectly.”

Calibrated to use six forward gears when fully-laden, the Allison transmission is critical for hauling heavier payloads and navigating challenging topographies, in countries such as Switzerland and Austria, where mountains and steep slopes are frequent.

“Allison remains committed to the evolution and optimization of the drive train and all forms of commercial vehicle propulsion,” said Randy Kirk, senior vice president of product engineering at Allison. “The Allison automatic provides a proven, immediate and well-integrated solution that enables electrification across a broad range of commercial applications.”

The Allison automatic transmission is key to the driveline. The transmission provides torque multiplication to reduce demand on the electric motor and the battery pack. It also enables the electric motor to operate within the optimal efficiency range for a larger portion of the drive cycle, reducing energy consumption, extending the vehicle’s range and facilitating the use of less-expensive, lighter and smaller components.

EMOSS unveiled the Allison-equipped E.V.E.R. truck, based on a DAF chassis, in November at the eCarTec exhibition in Munich, Germany and plans to commence testing with pilot customers later this year. In addition to the E.V.E.R. truck, EMOSS is currently developing Allison transmission-equipped electric trucks for use in construction, delivery and refuse applications.  These applications include dump trucks, medium-duty straight trucks, refuse collection vehicles and additional semi-truck configurations.

With over a decade of experience in electric mobility, and its full electric powertrain development and integration expertise, EMOSS is a partner for bus and truck manufacturers. Under its own brand, EMOSS is an OEM for electric trucks, buses and vans, as well as auxiliary/battery systems.

 

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The Nordex Group is benefiting increasingly from the renaissance of the Spanish wind power market: utility Gas Natural Fenosa Renovables (GNFR) has now ordered 58 AW132/3300 from the company in December. The contract covers the installation of six wind farms as well as multi-year services for the turbines.

Construction of the first turbines will commence in the summer of 2018. All projects are located in regions of Spain where the Nordex Group has manufacturing facilities. In addition, the towers will be produced locally using the process developed by the Nordex Group. The awards for the projects were gained by GNFR under a tendering process in 2017, in which the company was among the most successful participants.

“The Spanish market is regaining momentum after a protracted lull, with international key accounts such as Gas Natural Fenosa holding key strategic significance for us,” says Patxi Landa, Chief Sales Officer of Nordex SE.

Last 15 November, the bid assessment and preliminary results of the Third Long-Term Power Auction 2017 in Mexico were announced.

As with the two previous auctions, the Basic Service Supplier (CFE Suministro Básico) will purchase three electricity products: energy, capacity and clean energy certificates (CELs in their Spanish acronym) from the successful generation companies. Thanks to the Compensation Chamber set up by CENACE, Mexico’s system and market operator, this latest auction offered a major innovation, in that it was open to buyers other than the Basic Service Supplier. Bids were submitted by Iberdrola Clientes and Menkent (CEMEX), thus opening up new possibilities for large energy consumers to acquire clean electricity through competitive processes, with the opportunity of achieving better prices.

With a high level of participation, 46 bidders submitted tenders from which 16 were finally pre-selected. The auction was historic due to the low price achieved, closing at an average energy price of 20.57 $/MWh, one of the lowest ever recorded at international level.

The preliminary results of 15 November were validated by CENACE soon after, with the official winning bids and final decision announced on 22 November.

The selected bids account for an annual total of: 5.49 million MWh of energy, 5.95 million in CELs and 593 MW of capacity. This has covered 90.2% of the energy purchase bid, 97.8% of the CELs bid and 41.9% of the capacity bid.

The winning projects represent a total capacity of 2,562 MW, distributed between 15 new clean energy plants in eight states around the country, specifically nine solar, five wind power and one gas. As regards the output (definitive capacity) that will be sold as a result of the auction, gas technology predominated, with 84.36% of the output sold. Solar PV and wind power technologies also took part in the sale of capacity with 1.69% and 13.95% respectively.

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As regards the sale of energy and CELs, solar PV technology dominated, with 55.35% of the power sales and 58.31% of the CELs. Wind power was awarded 44.65% of power sales and 41.69% of CELs.

The clean energy purchased through this auction equals around 1.78% of the country’s annual power generation. This result represents a significant contribution to meet the target of generating 35% of Mexico’s electricity from clean sources by 2024.

The commissioning of these new infrastructures represents an estimated investment of US$2.369bn over the next 3 years.

Prices

The results showed highly competitive prices compared to the previous auction. The average prices corresponding to the successful bids were as follows:

• Clean energy (energy + CEL): 20.57 $/MWh + CEL (38.54% lower than the previous auction) and among the lowest achieved at international level.
• Capacity: 36,253 $/MW-year.

These prices represent savings of 65.7% for clean energy and 34.33% for the capacity compared to the maximum purchase offer prices of 60 $/MWh and 55.2 $/MW-year respectively.

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7,451 MW of new clean generation capacity, thanks to the auctions

Following the conclusion of the three Power Auctions, 7,451 MW of new clean generation capacity will be added, with some $9bn of resources, allowing Mexico to move closer to the national objective of 35% of generation from green energy sources by 2024. At the start of the administration, solar and wind power accounted for just 4% of the country’s total power generation. With these new projects, this percentage will increase to 11%.

At the event that took place on 22 November, Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, took the opportunity to announce the launch of the Fourth Long-Term Power Auction, to be presented by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) during the first half of 2018, along with the first Medium-Term Auction to be undertaken by SENER together with CENACE.

He also commented that work is already underway on the bidding procedures for the project to connect Baja California to the National Interconnected System through the state of Sonora. With an investment of $1.109bn and almost 2,000 kilometres long, this interconnection will improve the reliability of the power grid and the energy integration with North America, enabling the NE of the country to incorporate around 2,000 MW of solar and wind power over the coming 15 years.

Last 2 November the Chilean government officially announced the Award of the National and International Public Tender to Supply Electrical Power and Capacity 2017/01, which offered 2,200 GWh/year of energy and will cover the electricity needs of regulated clients (homes and SMEs) of the National Electrical System over 20 years as from 2024.

The planning of this “National and International Public Tender to Supply Electrical Power and Capacity to cover the consumption of clients subject to price regulation (Supply Bid 2017/01)” started in December last year with the issue of the preliminary bidding terms to electricity distribution companies and continued with the publication of the definitive terms of the tender process in January this year.

24 national and foreign power companies submitted tenders under this auction, mainly for renewable energy. According to the CNE, around 20,700 GWh of energy was bid under this auction, almost 9 times the energy demand. Companies presented prices that started at 21.48 US$/MWh, with an average price of 32.5 US$/MWh finally awarded, incorporating new players into the electricity market most of which come from the renewable energy sector.

This supply bid is the third carried out by the government via its Tenders Law No. 20.805 and comprises seven supply blocks amounting to 1,700 GWh, with quarterly blocks totalling 500 GWh of energy, all effective as of 1 January, 2024 until 31 December, 2043.

This time around, 100% of the energy awarded was renewable, equivalent to some 600 MW of installed capacity in new renewables projects and which, in line with government sources, could attract around US$1 billion in investment in new infrastructure for the country.

Two auctions have already taken place under the current government. The first auction took place in October 2015 for 1,200 GWh/year, in which 30 tenders were submitted, all for renewable energy. This auction reached an average price of 79.3 US$/MWh, 40% lower than the 2013 auction that achieved 129 US$/MWh. In the second auction for 12,430 GWh/year, held in 2016, 84 tenders were received and an average price of 47.6 US$/MWh was awarded.

The price of the energy achieved in this tender is a landmark for the sector, given that it is the lowest price ever awarded in Chile. Thanks to these auctions, the price of energy for Chilean households has dropped by 75% in the last three years. The price of energy currently being paid by homes is 90 US$/MWh, the result of contracts entered into up until 2014. With this latest tender, it is hoped that new contracts will gradually bring down prices to around 50 US$/MWh, directly benefitting households.

The winners

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