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Despite significant progress in recent years, the world is falling short of meeting the global energy targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030. Ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 remains possible but will require more sustained efforts, particularly to reach some of the world’s poorest populations and to improve energy sustainability, according to a new report produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Notable progress has been made on energy access in recent years, with the number of people living without electricity dropping to roughly 840 million from 1 billion in 2016 and 1.2 billion in 2010. India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Myanmar are among countries that made the most progress since 2010. However, without more sustained and stepped-up actions, 650 million people will still be left without access to electricity in 2030. Nine out of 10 of them will be living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report also shows that great efforts have been made to deploy renewable energy technology for electricity generation and to improve energy efficiency across the world. Nonetheless, access to clean cooking solutions and the use of renewable energy in heat generation and transport are still lagging far behind the goals. Maintaining and extending the pace of progress in all regions and sectors will require stronger political commitment, long-term energy planning, increased private financing and adequate policy and fiscal incentives to spur faster deployment of new technologies.

The report tracks global, regional and country progress on the three targets of SDG7: access to energy and clean cooking, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It identifies priorities for action and best practices that have proven successful in helping policymakers and development partners understand what is needed to overcome challenges.

Here are the key highlights for each target. Findings are based on official national-level data and measure global progress through 2017.

Access to electricity: Following a decade of steady progress, the global electrification rate reached 89 percent and 153 million people gained access to electricity each year. However, the biggest challenge remains in the most remote areas globally and in sub-Saharan Africa where 573 million people still live in the dark. To connect the poorest and hardest to reach households, off-grid solutions, including solar lighting, solar home systems, and increasingly mini grids, will be crucial. Globally, at least 34 million people in 2017 gained access to basic electricity services through off-grid technologies. The report also reinforces the importance of reliability and affordability for sustainable energy access.

Clean cooking: Almost three billion people remain without access to clean cooking in 2017, residing mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This lack of clean cooking access continues to pose serious health and socioeconomic concerns. Under current and planned policies, the number of people without access would be 2.2 billion in 2030, with significant impact on health, environment, and gender equality.

Renewables accounted for 17.5% of global total energy consumption in 2016 versus 16.6% in 2010. Renewables have been increasing rapidly in electricity generation but have made less headway into energy consumption for heat and transport. A substantial further increase of renewable energy is needed for energy systems to become affordable, reliable and sustainable, focusing on modern uses. As renewables become mainstream, policies need to cover the integration of renewables into the broader energy system and take into account the socio-economic impacts affecting the sustainability and pace of the transition.

Energy efficiency improvements have been more sustained in recent years, thanks to concerted policy efforts in large economies. However, the global rate of primary energy intensity improvement still lags behind, and estimates suggest there has been a significant slowdown in 2017 and 2018. Strengthening mandatory energy efficiency policies, providing targeted fiscal or financial incentives, leveraging market-based mechanisms, and providing high-quality information about energy efficiency will be central to meet the goal.

Source: IEA, IRENA, UNSD,World Bank, WHO

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Rolls-Royce has signed a contract with EPC contractor TTS Martin, s.r.o. for the supply of a 28 MWe power plant for state-owned utility Martinska teplarenska, a.s. in Slovakia. The plant will be equipped with three Rolls-Royce Bergen B35:40V20AG2 natural gas engines and four hot-water boilers, replacing their entire existing coal operation. As well as electricity, the engines and boilers will supply over 28 MW of heat to most of the 60,000 population of the cities of Martin and Vrutky.

Martinska teplarenska heating plant is currently using mainly low-quality lignite for heat production – which is both low-output and non-ecological. Especially in the conditions prevalent in the Martin region – which is surrounded by mountains and unable to dispel pollution – it is crucial to look for the most effective, most ecological solutions for heat and power production.

The upgrade of the district heating plant is part of Martinska teplarenska’s strategy towards green, sustainable power supplies and the winding-down of their coal operations. They made a strategic decision to invest in gas-fuelled reciprocating engines and gas boilers as a more long-term solution than exhaust gas aftertreatment systems to reduce the emissions given off by coal-fired power plants. The B35:40 gas series meets the increasingly stringent emissions requirements, with exceptionally low emissions of NOx, CO and UHC combined.

The new Martinska teplarenska plant is planned to go into commercial operation at the beginning of 2020, and will be Rolls-Royce’s second power plant using B35:40 Bergen gas engines in Slovakia. The first will under commissioning in May 2019, generating a total of 37 MWe of heat and power for district heating company Teplaren Kosice, a. s.

Rolls-Royce medium-speed engines are designed flexibly for different operating modes, and can be used to generate base-load, peak power or operate in combined cycles. By utilizing hot water from the engines, the plant will be used for district heating in the surrounding area. Heat from the engines can also be used to produce steam in the heat recovery steam generators in order to supply industrial customers if required.

ABB’s Power Grids business has been awarded an order from the Aibel/Keppel FELS consortium, which will design, construct, and build the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission system for the offshore wind connection project DolWin5. ABB is the HVDC technology provider. This project will deliver 900 megawatts of zero-carbon electricity – enough to power around 1 million homes – from three wind farms some 100 km off the German coast. It is scheduled for completion in 2024.

The order includes the converter platform in the North Sea, as well as an on-shore converter station located in Emden, in the Lower Saxony region of Ger-many. TenneT, a leading European electricity transmission system operator, with activities in the Netherlands and in Germany, is responsible for providing power links to the offshore wind farms in this cluster.

ABB’s HVDC solution is used to transport the power generated by offshore wind farms very efficiently by converting the alternate current (AC) to direct current (DC) on the converter platform. That makes it possible to transmit the power through a 130-kilometer-long DC cable system with very low losses to the mainland. In the onshore converter station, the power is converted back to AC and then integrated into the transmission grid. ABB HVDC’s offshore wind connection solutions are compact and modular to specifically address the challenges of the offshore wind industry and support a substantial improvement in LCOE (Levelized Cost Of Electricity), as well as carbon foot-print.

With the use of ABB’s voltage source converter technology, commercialized under the name HVDC Light®, it is possible to keep the conversion losses very low. Additionally, the order will also include the ABB Ability™ Modular Advanced Control for HVDC (MACHTM), which is instrumental in controlling the complex connection between wind farms and the on-shore AC grid.

As part of its energy transition (“Energiewende”), Germany’s plans to generate 65 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030. A rapidly growing pro-portion of this clean energy is generated in huge offshore wind farms in the North Sea. In just 10 years, Germany’s offshore wind production has grown from zero to 6,382 MW, making it the world’s second largest offshore wind pro-ducer after the UK.

Source: ABB

European electricity markets

Since April 1, prices in Europe have had certain stability. The rise in the CO2 emission price was offset by lower gas and coal prices and also by the slight decrease in electricity demand due to the better weather conditions in spring, with somewhat higher temperatures and more hours of sunshine in this 40-day period. The price fluctuations in this period are mainly due to variations in wind energy production, especially in Germany and Spain, which are the European leaders generating energy with this technology. In the case of Germany, prices could have been stable at 40 €/MWh but when there was a lot of wind they fell below this value, even reaching negative values on April 22 at 14 €/MWh. In the Spanish electricity market, fluctuations in wind energy production caused prices in the band between 40 €/MWh and 60 €/MWh. Also in this period of 40 days there were fluctuations in temperature and in solar energy production.


Electricity futures

The prices of European electricity futures for the third quarter of 2019 increased in most markets between 0.3% and 1.6% on Friday, May 10, compared to Friday of previous week. In the case of the OMIP market of Spain and Portugal, as well as the MTE market operated by GME, they remain unchanged, while the UK futures decreased in both the ICE and EEX markets.
In the case of futures for 2020, the increase was more widespread between 0.5% and 1.4%. Only the MTE market operated by GME remained unchanged and the UK’s ICE and EEX markets declined, as did the future for the third quarter of this year.

Wind and solar energy production

In the second week of May, the wind energy production had an increase in the main European markets except in Germany with a drop of 3.3%. The increase in France was 58%, in Portugal 99%, in Spain 36%, and in Italy 37%.
For the current week, the third of May, a decline in wind energy production is forecasted after the rise of the previous week. The most pronounced fall is expected in Italy and Portugal, somewhat less in Spain and France, and even a slight increase in Germany.

As for solar energy production, which includes photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies, during the second week of May fell by 4.3% in Germany, while in Spain the fall reached 20% with respect to the previous week. For its part, in Italy the previous week registered an increase of 5.3% in the solar energy production.
For the current week it is expected a decrease in solar energy production in Italy of about 20%, while in Germany and Spain the trend is expected to be bullish between 15% and 20%.

 

Source: AleaSoft

The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in Mexico and the SENER-OHL consortium have signed the Provisional Acceptance Report for the Empalme I combined cycle plant, located in the municipality of Empalme, in the State of Sonora (Mexico).

The turnkey or EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) project consisted of building a combined-cycle plant with a guaranteed net capacity of 770 MW, and includes a cooling water intake facility for the Empalme I and II plants.

The plant has the following components:
• Two gas turbines.
• Two heat recovery steam generators.
• One steam turbine.
• Cooling water intake facility with dual 1,000 m long, 3.2 m diameter ducts and a 3.2 m diameter, 1,200 m long discharge duct.

The 445 million euro (477 million dollar) contract, awarded in 2015, was defrayed using the PIDIREGAS (Spanish acronym for Production Infrastructure Investment Project with Deferred Registration of the Expense) private financing model.

This facility features cutting-edge technology that makes it one of the most efficient in CFE’s portfolio. It uses an innovative system to produce electricity in a way that is more environmentally friendly, which will no doubt improve the quality of life in surrounding communities, and in the northwest of Mexico as a whole. It is estimated that 7.5 million man-hours of work were generated thanks to this project, much of that done by the local workforce.

Source: SENER

For most people, their personal energy revolution begins with the installation of a PV system on the roof of their home. This allows them not only to cover their domestic energy needs, but also to make use of the entire spectrum of options offered by energy sector integration thanks to the intelligent solutions from Fronius Solar Energy. The ultimate goal is to power an entire household exclusively from self-generated solar energy, which can also be used to heat water and for e-mobility. This helps to increase the rate of self-sufficiency and to more efficiently utilise the PV system. When it comes to e-mobility in particular, it is important to have a suitable overall concept comprising a PV system, energy storage system, hot water generation and a wallbox – in other words, a domestic charging station for electric cars, bringing a new level of meaning to ‘solar power’.

A personal energy revolution involves exploiting the entire spectrum of energy sector integration. Optimum energy management enables the highest possible rate of self-sufficiency to be achieved with self-generated solar energy. This increases profitability and the rate of self-consumption while simultaneously reducing costs. Alongside electricity and heat, mobility is the third major sector that can be powered with electricity from a user’s own roof using solutions from Fronius.

If you own an electric car, you’ll want to power it with solar energy,” explains Martin Hackl, Global Director Solar Energy at Fronius. “But you’re often not at home when the electricity from your domestic PV system is available.” This is where Fronius comes in: the solar energy experts are taking e-mobility to the next level and are making it possible to charge an electric car in the afternoon or evening with the electricity stored throughout the day. “It’s about having an energy solution that guarantees an electric car really is fuelled with green electricity,” adds Hackl. “To achieve this, you need to get the entire package right.

Fuelling a car with green electricity

Owners of electric cars essentially have three ways of charging their vehicles. The easiest, yet most ineffective method, is to simply plug the car into the socket or wallbox when power is required and use the energy available at that moment. This often only enables the user to achieve a slight increase in self-consumption, as a large proportion of the electricity needed is drawn from the public grid.

To charge the electric car’s battery intelligently, a Fronius inverter with an integrated energy management function and a compatible wallbox (charging station for the home) is required alongside the PV system on the roof. The inverter informs the wallbox when there is surplus electricity available, which then charges the electric car. Self-consumption can typically be increased by a further 20% in this way.

Dynamic charge control (the car is charged with precisely the amount of surplus electricity that is available at the given time) and an additional Fronius battery raise the rate of self-consumption up to almost 100%, depending on the system size and consumption behaviour. With this method, the energy management system sends the surplus electricity that has been produced throughout the day to a Fronius Solar Battery for temporary storage until it is later needed to fuel the car with solar power.

This ingenious method enables users to really get the most out of e-mobility,” says Hackl. “If you also upgrade your system with a Fronius Ohmpilot, which draws on surplus electricity to generate hot water, you will have a solution that makes the most economic sense and achieves the highest level of self-sufficiency.

Source: Fronius

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As the cheapest source of electricity in several parts of the world, wind energy has taken a key role in the global energy transition, unlocking growth opportunities in new markets and customer segments for Vestas. To grasp these opportunities, Vestas is executing our strategy to invest in technology and commercial capabilities beyond wind energy technology, enabling us to develop sustainable energy solutions that meet current and future customer demand.

To support Vestas’ strategy and increase our capability to partner with our customers in project development in selective markets, Vestas today announces the acquisition of a 25.1 percent minority stake in SOWITEC with an option to acquire the entire company within three years. Headquartered in Germany, SOWITEC is a leading sustainable energy developer with around 60 wind and solar projects totalling more than 2,600 MW across the globe. By investing in SOWITEC, Vestas enhances our ability to offer full-scope sustainable energy solutions by tapping into SOWITEC’s proven offering within development services.

Juan Araluce, Vestas’ Chief Sales Officer, says “With the acquisition of a minority stake in Sowitec, Vestas gains access to an independent development entity that strengthens our co-development portfolio and improves our solutions and capabilities in strategic markets in Latin America. Vestas is continuing to invest in solutions and capabilities that increase our ability to meet our customers’ evolving needs and to partner with them through the energy transition”.

Frank Hummel, SOWITEC Chief Executive Officer, says “We are proud to have Vestas as a strategic partner that further strengthens our equity and helps us to go further in the value chain. Together with our strong track record in emerging markets and our vast experience in developing utility-scale renewable energy projects, this partnership will help SOWITEC grow faster and give us the chance to profit from Vestas’ worldwide experience and presence”.

Based on SOWITEC’s proven track record within solar PV project development, the acquisition also strengthens Vestas’ offering within hybrid power plant solutions. With sustainable energy’s share of the energy mix set to grow from around 10 percent today to more than 30 percent by 2035, hybrids are a key part of Vestas’ objective to develop sustainable energy solutions with wind at their core. As such, hybrids are emerging as a grid-friendly and cost-effective solution that can store and release renewable energy into the grid when needed, and hereby increase the penetration of onshore wind.

On a stand-alone basis, SOWITEC is expected to report 2018 consolidated revenues of approximately EUR 30 million. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be finalised during the second quarter of 2019 and will have no significant impact on Vestas earnings.

Source: Vestas

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American countries are adopting several strategies to ensure an intense shift towards renewable energy and this has already led to significant development in the renewable energy market, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Countries in North and South America are implementing strong policies to comply with renewable energy targets designated by their government. For instance, Chile has publicly announced its targets for renewable energy in the electricity mix: 20% by 2025, 60% by 2035 and 70% by 2050. There are a few states in the US aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy including Washington D.C. by 2032, Hawaii by 2045, Colorado by 2040, and Connecticut and Maine by 2050.

GlobalData’s latest report: ‘North and South America Renewable Energy Policy Report 2019’ reveals that net metering is one of the key driving factors for renewable energy in the residential and commercial segment whereas auction-based competitive bidding is promoting renewable energy in the utility-scale based segment.

Net metering is also a key support mechanism behind renewable energy development in the Americas. In North America, all the three major markets: US, Canada, and Mexico have net metering in place, Mexico being the most recent country to adopt the scheme; whereas in Latin America Brazil, Chile and Peru have already implemented net metering to support renewable energy development. In 2018, Colombia’s Energy and Gas Regulatory Commission announced the resolution (net metering) to regulate the distributed solar generation (up to 100 kW) and distributed generation from renewable sources (between 100 kW and 1 MW).

Eight out of nine countries covered in the report: US, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, and Peru have auction mechanism for various renewable energy technologies. In 2018, Brazil held five auctions; three of them included capacities of solar, wind, bio power and hydropower and the other two were technology neutral. These auctions awarded a total of 2.93 GW capacity in the year.

Source: GlobalData

As the urgency to take bold climate action grows, new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds that scaling-up renewable energy combined with electrification could deliver more than three quarters of the energy-related emission reductions needed to meet global climate goals. According to the latest edition of IRENA’s Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, launched at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, pathways to meet 86 per cent of global power demand with renewable energy exist. Electricity would cover half of the global final energy mix. Global power supply would more than double over this period, with the bulk of it generated from renewable energy, mostly solar PV and wind.

The race to secure a climate safe future has entered a decisive phase,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Renewable energy is the most effective and readily-available solution for reversing the trend of rising CO2 emissions. A combination of renewable energy with a deeper electrification can achieve 75 per cent of the energy-related emissions reduction needed.

An accelerated energy transition in line with the Roadmap 2050 would also save the global economy up to USD 160 trillion cumulatively over the next 30 years in avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages. Every dollar spent on energy transition would pay off up to seven times. The global economy would grow by 2.5 per cent in 2050. However, climate damages can lead to significant socio-economic losses.

The shift towards renewables makes economic sense,” added Mr. La Camera. “By mid-century, the global economy would be larger, and jobs created in the energy sector would boost global employment by 0.2 per cent. Policies to promote a just, fair and inclusive transition could maximise the benefits for different countries, regions and communities. This would also accelerate the achievement of affordable and universal energy access. The global energy transformation goes beyond a transformation of the energy sector. It is a transformation of our economies and societies.

But action is lagging, the report warns. While energy-related CO2 emissions continued to grow by over 1 per cent annually on average in the last five years, emissions would need to decline by 70 per cent below their current level by 2050 to meet global climate goals. This calls for a significant increase in national ambition and more aggressive renewable energy and climate targets.

IRENA’s roadmap recommends that national policy should focus on zero-carbon long-term strategies. It also highlights the need to boost and harness systemic innovation. This includes fostering smarter energy systems through digitalisation as well as the coupling of end-use sectors, particularly transport, and heating and cooling, via greater electrification, promoting decentralisation and designing flexible power grids.

The energy transformation is gaining momentum, but it must accelerate even faster,” concluded Mr. La Camera. “The UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the review of national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement are milestones for raising the level of ambition. Urgent action on the ground at all levels is vital, in particular unlocking the investments needed to further strengthen the momentum of this energy transformation. Speed and forward-looking leadership will be critical – the world in 2050 depends on the energy decisions we take today.

Source: IRENA

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GE Renewable Energy has announced that the prototype for its Cypress platform, the largest onshore wind turbine for GE in the field, has been successfully installed and is fully operational, producing power at a rated level of 5.3 MW in Wieringermeer, The Netherlands. Company officials hail the milestone as a key step in commercializing a unit able to both lower the cost of electricity and offer additional flexibility in terms of where wind turbines can be located.

The first turbine in the platform, the 4.8-158 turbine was introduced in September, 2017. The 5.3 MW turbine and Cypress Platform name were introduced in September, 2018.

The Cypress 5.3 MW prototype was installed in late 2018 and produced its first kilowatt in February 2019. GE Renewable Energy will continue to operate the prototype during the months to come in order to validate the performance of the Cypress platform. This testing will also support the process of obtaining the Type Certificate, a key step in commercializing the product.

The platform is offered with multiple ratings and varying hub heights. It will enable a lower cost of electricity by matching each wind turbine solution to specific site needs, which is critical as wind power increasingly competes on price with other sources of power generation.

The Cypress platform will be powered by a revolutionary two-piece blade design that makes it possible to use larger rotors and site the turbines in a wider variety of locations. The AEP improvements from the longer rotors help to drive down Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), and the proprietary blade design allows these larger turbines to be installed in locations that were previously inaccessible.

Source: GE Renewable Energy

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