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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing the innovation and development strategy that Velatia will drive forward in the electrical energy sector. EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Velatia’s CEO, Javier Ormazabal, today signed a EUR 32.5 million finance agreement that will enable the firm to incorporate new digital technologies into the products that it develops for electricity networks. The EU bank is providing this loan under the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan.

Velatia is an industrial group that operates in two main areas: electricity distribution networks, via the firm Ormazabal, and telecommunications, headed by Ikusi. The EIB loan will enable the company, which is headquartered in Bilbao and has a presence in 19 countries, to improve its competitiveness in the face of the changes taking place in the energy sector. Ormazabal will drive forward projects in the areas of the automisation and digitisation of power grids, as well as the development of patents and products that enable it to enter new markets and gain new customers.

This EIB support for Ormazabal’s RDI programme will also have environmental benefits, helping to achieve the EU’s goal of decarbonising the energy system. Specifically, the project will make it possible to adapt the electricity distribution networks to a renewable and well-distributed energy mix and the electrification of transport. These aims will be achieved by developing technologies incorporating new electromechanical equipment and electronic hardware, communications systems provided with new cyber-security solutions and innovative power grid management software.

This agreement will help to safeguard quality employment and create new jobs in the firm’s RDI division. The loan is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, which enables the EIB to finance projects that have particular value added and a higher risk profile owing to their structure or nature.

This loan makes clear the EIB’s firm commitment to supporting innovation by firms operating in highly competitive sectors that consequently need heavy investment to secure their future” said EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro at the signing ceremony. “We are therefore delighted to be signing an agreement that will benefit both the Spanish and the European economy by facilitating the development of new power sector products that will boost competitiveness and contribute to climate action”.

Our commitment to RDI is part of Velatia and of course Ormazabal’s DNA. We are facing different challenges that at the same time represent opportunities, and this is why we are committed to digitisation and sustainability as marks of our identity. The working areas in which Ormazabal is engaged are therefore energy efficiency and the development of technologies that enable achievement of the decarbonisation objectives set for Europe”, said Javier Ormazabal, Velatia’s CEO.

RDI financing

Innovation and skills development are fundamental ingredients for ensuring sustainable growth and quality job creation. Both play a key role in achieving long-term competitiveness. Financing innovation is therefore one of the EIB’s top priorities. In 2017, the EU bank provided EUR 13.8 billion for financing different RDI projects.

In Spain alone, last year the EIB supported the innovation projects of Spanish businesses with loans worth EUR 1.446 billion. This figure represents a 67% increase on its lending in this sector the previous year. Overall, the EIB Group dedicated 13% of its financing in Spain to promoting corporate RDI.

Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)

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.

zsw-2

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.

Schneider Electric has committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity and is throwing light on the doubling of its energy productivity. The company strongly believes it cannot go renewable without ensuring optimization of its energy system first. This commitments are yet another step-in Schneider Electric’s journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Aligned with these commitments, Schneider Electric decided to join two global, collaborative initiatives, led by The Climate Group and bringing together influential businesses committed to accelerating climate action:

RE100: to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030 with an intermediary objective of 80% by 2020
EP100: to double energy productivity by 2030, against a 2005 baseline, setting an ambitious target to doubling the economic output from every unit of energy consumed

Schneider Electric strives to answer the world’s new energy challenge by boosting energy efficiency
everywhere: in homes, buildings and cities, industry, the grid, and throughout remote community. In a world more decarbonized, more digitized, more decentralized, energy use needs to be more productive. In order to deliver on its new promises and its sustained energy efficiency efforts, Schneider Electric will leverage its own technical solutions (EcoStruxure Power, EcoStruxure Grid). Using these solutions, the Group has been able to reduce its energy consumption by 10% every 3 years for the past 10 years. More specifically, Schneider Electric has reduced consumption by 6 between 2008 and 2017 at its headquarters in France, The Hive. These commitments will cover more than 1,000 electricity consuming sites around the globe, including 200 factories. Schneider Electric will leverage a broad range of renewable energy sources, including but not limited to solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.

Schneider Electric will drive its transition to 100% renewable electricity through three levers, with an interim goal of achieving 80% renewable electricity use by 2020 to 100% in 2030:

On-site projects at Schneider Electric facilities around the world: with renewable energy initiatives, already in place at some Schneider Electric locations, such as a solar rooftop at its sites in Vadodara (India), Bangpoo (Thailand), or geothermal energy and a solar rooftop at its flagship office “The Hive”, France, among multiple others. Schneider Electric will install on-site renewable energy projects to help achieve its 2030 target. While on-site projects are expected to deliver a portion of Schneider Electric’s renewable electricity needs only, they will add to the company’s renewable energy capabilities, and act as a showcase for other organizations contemplating such options, together with energy efficiency enabling technologies.
Offsite long-term procurement through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs): a PPA is a longterm (12-20 year) contract between a renewable energy developer and a dedicated, creditworthy
buyer. PPAs enable developers to secure financing for new wind, solar or other renewable electricity
projects and allow buyers to enjoy predictable pricing from clean energy sources.
Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) and green tariffs: an EAC is a free market instrument which verifies that one megawatt hour of renewable electricity was generated and added to the grid from a green power source. Schneider Electric will use EACs as a flexible and fast way to acquire and track renewable electricity.

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President at Schneider Electric said: “We are in a new world of energy that is becoming more electric, more decarbonized, more decentralized, and more digital. Our mission at Schneider Electric is to supply the technologies that permit, drive and catalyze the transition to a new world of energy. The commitments we have made today in joining RE100 and EP100 to source 100% renewable electricity and reflect on the doubling of our energy productivity are a demonstration of how consumers and business can be empowered to ensure the affordability, resilience, sustainability, and security of the energy that they consume.

Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer at The Climate Group said: “Already a leader in the energy space, joining RE100 and EP100 represents a smart business decision for Schneider Electric. These commitments will help the company to deliver on its wider climate ambitionto become carbon neutral by 2030. Doubling energy productivity will help it to use energy as economically as possible while making the transition to renewables, which are themselves cost-competitive in many markets. I welcome the powerful signal Schneider Electric is sending to peers, investors and governments, to accelerate the transition to a zero-emissions economy.

At COP21 in Paris in 2015, Schneider Electric announced 10 Commitments for Sustainability. The
commitments were aligned with the Planet & Society Barometer, Schneider Electric’s sustainability scorecard to measure its ambitious commitment to sustainable development on a quarterly basis and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These commitments support the company’s objectives to make its plants and sites carbon neutral by 2030, in a coherent industry ecosystem encompassing both suppliers and clients.

In addition, to become a carbon neutral company by 2030, recent initiatives from Schneider Electric include:

Climate Leadership Council: at the beginning of 2017, Schneider Electric became a founding
member of the Climate Leadership Council in the U.S., to support a new market-based climate solution
that is both pro-growth and pro-environment.
Global Footprint Network: in summer 2017, Schneider Electric signed a partnership with the Global
Footprint Network, an international non-profit organization, to enable a sustainable future where all
people have the opportunity to thrive within the means of one planet.
Launch of EcoStruxure™: 12 months ago, in November 2016, Schneider Electric launched the next generation of EcoStruxure, its IoT-enabled, plug-and-pay, open architecture that delivers end-to-end solutions in six domains of expertise – Power, IT, Building, Machine, Plant and Grid – for four end markets: Building, Data Center, Industry and Infrastructure.
Livelihoods Carbon Fund: Together with Crédit Agricole, Danone, Firmenich, Hermès, Michelin, SAP, and Voyageurs du Monde, Schneider Electric has launched a new impact investment fund, with a target of 100 million euros. The fund aims to improve the lives of 2 million people and avoid the emission of up to 25 million tons of CO2 over a 20-year span.

Source: Schneider Electric

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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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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MAN Diesel & Turbo is to deliver and install four MAN 18V32/40 gensets for a power plant of the Indonesian energy company PT Sumberdaya Sewatama (Sewatama). The power plant will supply one of the world’s largest gold mines, Martabe, with up to 24 MW of electric power. The four-stroke engines will eliminate an acute energy bottleneck and ensure a stable supply to cover the requirements of the mine in Batang Toru province in the north of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Sewatama is one of the leading energy service providers in Indonesia. The Martabe Gold Mine is managed and operated by Singapore based PT Agincourt Resources. With an area of 2,500 km², Martabe is roughly double the size of Los Angeles and has an annual extraction capacity of approximately 4.5 million tonnes of gold and silver ore.

 

The energy-intensive processes in extracting and treating the valuable raw materials require a reliable and permanent power supply. The state electricity supplier Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) cannot guarantee this supply on account of the remote location in the Indonesian mountains and a patchy transport grid. The company is therefore setting store by an independent solution in the immediate vicinity of the location.

Indonesia has over 250 million inhabitants and is the largest economic region in south-east Asia. With an annual growth in gross domestic product of four to five per cent, power requirements are also rising. In 2014, the government therefore announced a comprehensive expansion programme of the national electricity network. The available power is planned to increase by 35 GW.

Source: MAN Diesel & Turbo

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Ingeteam has supplied nine INGEDRIVETM MV700 medium-voltage speed converters for this CSP plant. It is hoped that in April it will reach the goal of generating power under rated operating conditions.

Xina Solar One is a CSP power plant with an installed capacity of 100 MW. It uses cylindrical-parabolic collector technology and a thermal storage system which makes it possible to better utilise the solar energy available. This plant forms part of the largest solar complex in Sub-Saharan Africa and is expected to start operating commercially in 2017.

The speed converters play a vital role in regulating the plant’s main pumps. Ingeteam has supplied the equipment responsible for controlling the thermal medium pumps and the water supply pumps towards the steam generator. The converters are installed in prefabricated electrical rooms prepared for outdoor assembly. These are modular solutions assembled and tested at source, which drastically reduce work on site, consequently saving time and money.

The converter tests and commissioning started last autumn as part of the CSP plant’s commissioning work.

Source: Ingeteam

Acciona Energía has started construction work on the fifth wind farm under its ownership in Mexico: El Cortijo, a 168 MW facility located in the State of Tamaulipas, which will represent an investment of 221 million dollars. It is the first renewable energy project resulting from the electric power auctions organized in Mexico within the framework of the country’s Energy Reform.

Acciona won the first tender a total of 585.5 GWh of electric power and the corresponding clean energy certificates, which will be supplied by this wind farm.

 

El Cortijo, located 40 kilometers south of Reynosa, will have fifty-six AW 125/3000 turbines of Nordex/ACCIONA Windpower technology, each one with rated power of 3 MW, a rotor diameter of 125 meters and a 120-meter-high concrete tower.

The installation is expected to enter service in August 2018 and will generate the equivalent of the electricity consumption of around 350,000 Mexican homes, avoiding the emission of over 366,000 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere per year.

The construction and operation of El Cortijo and its associated activities will represent a contribution to Mexico’s GDP of around 232 million US dollars during its working life, according to figures from the socioeconomic impact study made for the company by the consultancy EY and presented last May.

In the next few months Acciona will begin construction work on the 339-MWp Puerto Libertad photovoltaic complex in Sonora. A part of it is related to the second wholesale electricity market auction held last September in which the company was awarded 478.3 GWh, and the rest corresponds to the PPA signed with a subsidiary of the Tuto Energy Group, a partner of ACCIONA in this solar project.
With this plant, which is expected to be completed in the second semester of 2018, Acciona Energía will reach 1,063 MW of total installed capacity under its ownership in Mexico – 68% in wind power and 32% in photovoltaic – and will produce electricity of renewable origin equivalent to the consumption of almost 2 million Mexican homes.

Source: Acciona Energía

According to the European Energy Efficiency Directive, 1.7 million Spanish homes with central heating systems should have installed water and heating meters or individual meters before 1 January 2017. A study carried out by the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares for AERCCA concludes that the installation of heat cost allocators and thermostatic valves could save the equivalent of eight months of electricity consumption in a typical home, in addition to reducing CO2 by an average of 61 tonnes per year.

The installation of heat cost allocators and thermostatic valves can save an average 24.7% on heating consumption in homes in multi-apartment buildings with central heating, according to the “Study on savings arising from individual heating metering in Spain”, undertaken by the Universidad de Alcalá for AERCCA, the Spanish Association of Heat Cost Allocators.

 

The average energy savings of the 1,349 homes analysed in Spain with collective or centralised heating installations, measured in absolute terms, amount to 7 GWh, the equivalent to 8 months electricity consumption by a typical home. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2017

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Four CHP plants from MTU Onsite Energy recently went into operation supplying electricity and cooling power for two new data centers belonging to South African telecommunications company Mobile Telephone Networks Limited (MTN) near Johannesburg. MTU Onsite Energy supplied a total of four plants generating cooling, heating and electric power for the project: one plant for a data center in Doornfontein and three others at a different location in Newlands.

At the heart of the plants is one 12V 4000 genset with 1,169 kWe capacity and three 16V 4000 gensets capable of 1,712 kWe each. This is the first time Series 4000 gas engines have gone into service in South Africa and so far, the units have been operated in limited service mode. Final completion is scheduled before the end of 2016. The plants will be maintained and serviced by personnel from MTU South Africa (Pty) Ltd, the local representatives of MTU Onsite Energy, Augsburg.

The distributed gas gensets will supply reliable, long-term power for MTN’s high-performance servers. Demand for electricity in South Africa regularly exceeds the available capacity. Supply reliability and economic efficiency are therefore major factors together with the ability of these plants to deliver ecologically sound energy, particularly in comparison to hard coal which is the country’s primary source of energy.

The plants also convert exhaust heat from the engines into cooling power to maintain proper working temperatures for the servers in South Africa’s hot climate. The compression performance of the turbochargers on the gas engines is also specially adapted to match the location of the data centers at an altitude of 1,700 meters. Gas is an extremely cost-effective alternative to diesel-powered gensets and, as a rule, distributed power generation provides a cheaper solution than energy available from public sources in South Africa. The gensets in this project operate on natural gas. Plans are also underway to utilize low-methane gas from coalmines and a genset with a specially adapted engine is likewise available for this application.

Source: MTU

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