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In a historic move, EU ministers approved last Friday the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union. The decision was reached at an extraordinary meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels. This decision brings the Paris Agreement very close to entering into force.

Once approved by the European Parliament next week, the EU will be able to deposit its ratification instrument before national ratification processes are completed in each Member State.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today’s decision shows that the European Union delivers on promises made. It demonstrates that the Member States can find common ground when it is clear that acting together, as part of the European Union, their impact is bigger than the mere sum of its parts. I am happy to see that today the Member States decided to make history together and bring closer the entry into force of the first ever universally binding climate change agreement. We must and we can hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. This is not a dream. This is a reality and it is within our reach. Today we are closer to it.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “They said Europe is too complicated to agree quickly. They said we had too many hoops to jump through. Today’s decision shows what Europe is all about: unity and solidarity as Member States take a European approach, just as we did in Paris. We are reaching a critical period for decisive climate action. And when the going gets tough, Europe gets going.

So far, 61 countries, accounting for almost 48% of global emissions have ratified the deal. The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.

The EU, which played a decisive role in the adoption of the Paris Agreement last December, is a global leader on climate action. The European Commission has already brought forward the main legislative proposals to deliver on the EU’s commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40% by 2030.

Next steps

Today’s approval will be forwarded to the European Parliament for its formal consent next week. Once Parliament has consented, the Council can formally adopt the Decision.

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The aviation industry is backing a proposal for a single worldwide standard to offset emissions from international flights, which currently account for about 2% of global greenhouse gases and are forecast to triple by 2050. The proposed measure could end up costing companies as much as $24bn annually, but has not deterred trade groups representing Boeing and United Continental Holdings from encouraging nations to join the agreement. Airlines would prefer to adhere to one single standard, through which they would compensate for any emissions growth after 2020 by buying credits that support renewable energy or forest preservation, rather than following a patchwork of local programmes.

So far the deal has backing from at least 60 nations, although discrepancies between large airlines and smaller carriers from developing nations are yet to be resolved. The agreement is expected to be finalized during talks hosted by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal. If the initial voluntary phase were to proceed – covering 80-90% of emissions – it would be the first global climate pact to target a single industry.

A possible ratification of the Paris agreement will be considered when European Union environment ministers gather in Brussels on 30 September. Maros Sefcovic, EU energy chief, is among those hoping for an accelerated approval of the global climate accord by the bloc, which would in turn allow the agreement to be enacted in full, seeing as countries representing at least 55% of global emissions will have ratified it. However, certain national interests such as those of Poland, which relies on coal for about 90% of its electricity production, will have to be tackled if the Union-level accord is to prove a success.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney advocated for environmentally-responsible investment last week during a speech in Berlin. “Green investment represents a major opportunity for both long-term investors and macroeconomic policymakers seeking to jump-start growth,” Carney said. He made reference to International Energy Agency estimates that as much as EUR 45 trillion ($50 trillion) of investment in power networks and energy efficiency may be needed to hold off global warming to any more than 2 degrees Celsius.

In other news, the coming to market of RWE’s green energy business, Innogy, is set to be the biggest initial public offering in Europe since 2011, according to Bloomberg data. The decision by Germany’s largest power producer to list Innogy shares at EUR 32 to EUR 36 apiece could mean that the new renewables, retail and grid company is valued as high as EUR 20bn ($22.5bn) when it floats on public markets on 7 October. There is demand for all Innogy shares, according to an update from sale advisors yesterday. RWE is spinning off its grid, retail and renewables units into a separate business in order to maintain profitability in the face of Germany’s transition away from coal, nuclear and natural gas towards wind and solar generation.

Senegal got the promise of a 24% increase in its power generation capacity last week when Overseas Private Investment Corporation announced it would lend $250m to finance the 158 MW Taiba N’Diaye wind farm. The US government’s development finance institution has partnered with Lekela Power to build the project in the energy-starved West African country.

Meanwhile, Iran’s wind industry is taking off following an agreement between Switzerland’s MECI Group and the nation’s government to build a 270 MW wind farm. MECI has signed a 5-year power purchase agreement with the country’s energy ministry for the EUR 750m ($839m) wind project.

This article is an extract from the BNEF Week in Review published the 27th of September

Source: BNEF

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A report by the Industrial Innovation for Competitiveness Initiative (i24c) and Capgemini Consultinghas found that while there have been notable Research and Development (R&D) successes in low-carbon technologies, Europe is struggling to industrialize promising energy related innovations and risks losing its position as a world leader. The report analyzed and evaluated Europe’s performance on energy innovation, examining the barriers and the key success factors in the transition to a competitive, low-carbon economy. It makes five key recommendations for both the public and private sector ahead of the close of the European Commission’s Consultation1 on its forthcoming integrated Research, Innovation and Competitiveness strategy for the European Energy Union.

The EU’s long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95%, as set out in its Energy Roadmap 2050, is designed to protect the environment and support Europe’s transition to a competitive, low-carbon economy. With its more ambitious temperature stabilization goals and ‘net zero’ emissions target for mid-century, there is now even greater impetus behind this agenda and Europe’s role as a leader will be scrutinized and challenged as never before. Renewed action and a focus on innovation and competitiveness will be crucial to its success in this endeavour. The i24c report found that Europe has made significant strides in reaching this goal through considerable investment in R&D, with the region investing over $4.3bn, making it the biggest investor in green technology globally. The report also recognized Europe as a world leader in energy innovation, noting the continent is home to almost a fifth of climate change innovations and over 1.2 million jobs related to renewable energy.
Region wide strategy needed to deploy energy innovation

The i24c report notes that while these efforts provide Europe with a strong platform, the region has struggled to successfully deploy these innovations due to an insufficiently cohesive industrial, economic and regulatory strategy. A region-wide strategy should focus not only on the energy sector but on encouraging collaboration across related sectors such as transport, agriculture, infrastructure, digital, and the manufacturing and services industries in general. It should further set in place a framework to enable cross-border collaboration to scale innovation and provide economic growth, prosperity and competitive advantage to all EU member states.

The deployment deficit experienced across Europe is partly the result of outdated or inconsistent regulation and the perception among the investment community that projects are too risky, particularly given the high upfront investments required in energy initiatives.

With a European Commission Consultation on its forthcoming integrated Research, Innovation and Competitiveness strategy for the European Energy Union currently under way, the i24c reports notes that a European energy strategy must not only enable Europe’s vibrant start-up community access to much-needed capital, but also drive new regulation to transform a fragmented market and support the uptake of new technologies.

Pascal Lamy, a member of the i24c High Level Group, said: “This study confirms the need for an integrated and systemic approach to energy research, innovation and competitiveness, so the Commission’s initiative is the right one at the right time. It underlines that successes to date cannot be taken for granted in the future, as other economies seek to develop their energy-related industries to exploit the massive opportunities from the transition to a new climate economy. But with the right enabling framework, putting the consumer center-stage and smart strategic choices, Europe can demonstrate leadership through industrial success as well as achieving a clean energy revolution.”

Nicolas Clinckx, Vice President Energy and Utilities, Capgemini Consulting, said: “Europe’s leadership position in low-carbon technology R&D can provide the foundation for meeting the ambitious climate change goals set out both at COP21 and in its Energy Roadmap 2050, but only if more is done to address our deployment challenges. This isn’t just an energy issue, Europe needs a cohesive strategy for energy innovation and deployment that encompasses all related sectors and works across borders to pull promising developments across the valley of death and into production. The European Union can play a key role by ensuring that regulation not only encourages investment but also deployment too.”

Region-wide changes are needed following a significant shake-up in the innovation eco-system in recent years caused by the growth of four fast-emerging and inter-related mega-trends: sustainability, digitalization, integrated services and local empowerment. These trends have caused significant disruption in the energy industry shifting consumer expectation and demands as well as business pressure and priorities. These mega-trends have underpinned the key recommendations made in the i24c report.

The report offers five key principles to help tackle the deployment deficit and spark Europe’s transition to clean energy:

  1. Provide clarity on long-term direction
    Companies and entities at a local and national level need a vision and framework that they can work to. Only by having an overarching Europe-wide industrial innovation strategy is this possible.
  2. Create the right market conditions to better pull energy innovations across the ‘valley of death’ and to scale
    Innovation in the energy sector requires mass investment and this is only possible if investors can see clear paths from research to deployment. Europe needs to create the right market conditions and regulation to make this a reality
  3. Accelerate the empowerment of local and regional authorities 
    The power of data is fuelling the growth of IoT and smart cities in particular. Cities such as Singapore are demonstrating how a holistic view can empower an entire region
  4. Empower customers and citizens yet further
    Citizen engagement is key in order to create desire and buy-in for change. Governments need to help private organizations to mobilize individuals at a grass-roots level in order to move Europe forward
  5. Be more results-orientated and selective in nurturing energy innovation
    With finite budgets, innovation should not be supported if it does not lead to concrete action. The focus for all R&D projects should be the efficiency of investment.

The i24c report is the result of a four month study conducted by the Industrial Innovation for Competitiveness Initiative (i24c) and Capgemini Consulting involving more than 30 interviews, two in-depth workshops with 25 key stakeholders from the private and public sector, a deep review of 11 energy related innovations and a survey of 80 European leaders. The main authors are: Julia Reinaud (i24c), Nicolas Clinckx, Katia Ronzeau and Paul Faraggi (Capgemini Consulting).

 

Source: Capgemini Consulting

For more than six months, the SCHERM Group has been using a 100-percent electric Terberg YT202-EV terminal tractor with an Allison 3000 Series™ fully automatic transmission for the BMW Group’s material transports. As compared to a diesel truck, the YT202-EV saves nearly 12 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment annually.

According to Rainer Zoellner, e-truck project manager at the SCHERM Group, if the electric truck continues to prove itself through the end of its one-year pilot program, project expansion is likely. The BMW and SCHERM groups have a six-figure investment in the pilot project. Thanks to the electric drive, the vehicle generates almost no fine particle pollution and operates very quietly. In addition, the Allison-equipped truck delivers advantages as drivers negotiate Munich’s dense traffic and narrow streets. The 40-ton automatic truck shuttles between SCHERMS’s logistics center and BMW’s plant about 3 km (1.86 miles) away eight times daily during the work week.

The YT202-EV transports components for BMW automobiles, such as shock absorbers, springs and steering systems in two shifts, from 6 a.m. to midnight. The short, repetitive duty cycles are well-suited to the electric truck. With a range of up to 100 km when the battery is fully charged, it can complete the 48 km route per day without pausing to be charged. At night, the batteries are charged for three to four hours with 100-percent green electricity at SCHERM’s own charging station.Allison-3000-Series

Electric motor and Allison – an ideal combination

The heart of the fully-electric YT202-EV terminal tractor is the Siemens liquid-cooled, three-phase synchronous motor (614 V) with a maximum power rating of 138 kilowatts (188 hp). According to Erik-Wim Vos, electric vehicle manager at Terberg Benschop in the Netherlands, the Allison 3000 Series fully automatic transmission is the key to this driveline. “The electric truck should launch with a gross combination weight of up to 65 tons and must achieve maximum speed as quickly as possible,” he said. “In this circumstance, the Allison fully automatic transmission with torque multiplication and full power shifts makes the difference. Moreover we use the live Power Take-Off (PTO) provision to drive the hydraulic pump, which saves an additional electric generator.”

In other words, without an Allison transmission, a direct drive with a larger and significantly more expensive engine would have been required for the YT202-EV. The Allison 3000 Series is also the exclusive transmission solution used in conventional YT towing tractors.Terberg-Electric-Truck_1

Electric truck spreads in Europe

To date, twenty YT202-EV terminal tractors are in operation throughout Europe, including Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, with additional vehicles due for delivery this year. Since July 2014, logistics service provider Berliner Hafen- und Lagergesellschaft mbH (BEHALA) has used a YT202-EV to transport containers from Berlin’s Westhafen (Western Harbor) to destinations across the city. However, the electric trucks in other countries are used primarily by food companies, including Migros, Ferrero and Bakker Barendrecht (Univeg).

Erik-Wim Vos estimates future interest in the electric terminal tractor will be very high.

 

Source: Allison Transmission

Motorised traffic is responsible for up to 80% of the air pollution caused in cities and urban zones where the traffic flow of diesel and petrol vehicles is intensive and continuous. In addition to the serious environmental impact and its contribution to climate change, as recognised at the Paris Summit, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) this phenomenon causes severe health problems for its residents. In the metropolitan area of Barcelona it results in over 3,500 premature deaths every year and a high number of lung diseases and allergies.

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB), as the administrative body responsible for the design and management of mobility in this densely populated territory, in which over 3.2 million inhabitants live, is working hard to adopt structural measures and far reaching actions to fight against this phenomenon and its toxic consequences. An impact that can only be mitigated by drastically reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and ultra fine particles (PM10) that are at the root of the air pollution problem. The aim is to achieve green and sustainable mobility that helps create a metropolis with clean air and, consequently, a better quality of life for all its residents.

Achieving this target necessarily requires the firm undertaking of the public administrations, as is the case of the AMB, to make progress towards establishing low emission zones, to promote the use of vehicles powered by alternative energy sources and to give priority to the pedestrian and to the use of the bicycle in public areas. All this has been recently contained in Barcelona’s Metropolitan Commitment to Clean Mobility. Its proposals include a 50% reduction in the level of air pollution caused by traffic and a substantial improvement to air quality by 2020. Read more…

Antoni Poveda
Vice-president for Mobility and Transport at AMB.

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2016

Acciona Infraestructuras, Zaragoza Vivienda and CIRCE are taking part in a project funded by the European Commission that will develop a new package of retrofit solutions to achieve an 80% energy reduction. According to the European Commission, the construction sector represents around 40% of total consumption in the European Union and is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 36% of the total CO2 emissions from all Member States.

Apart from the potential that energy efficiency applied to the design of new buildings offers, the operation of the buildings during their useful life cycle also provides exceptional opportunities to decarbonise Europe’s economy, particularly in terms of consumption for heating and cooling. However, the replacement rate of the installations in the existing building stock with new systems is very low (1-1.5% per year), which despite representing an excellent environmental and economic opportunity, proves that there is a need for stimulus and promotion via research measures accompanied by administrative and economic support.

Moreover the sector is extremely fragmented, with over 50% of residential buildings being owned by private individuals. It is also a sector in which SMEs predominate (more than 95%). This is the context against which the BuildHeat project has emerged, an initiative financed by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme that aims to address all these challenges to achieve the refurbishment of residential buildings in Europe.Leer más…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

The CITyFiED Project, coordinated by the CARTIF Technology Centre and which brings together a further 20 partners with a shared objective, enjoys a provision of €46m of which €26m is funded by the European Commission.Two years after starting work in the district of Torrelago (Laguna de Duero, Valladolid) as part of Europe’s CITyFiED Project (RepliCable and InnovaTive Future Efficient Districts and cities), the implementation of its selected energy efficiency measures is already clear to see. Financed by the VII Framework Programme, its main objective is two-fold: (i) to deliver a replicable, systemic and integrated strategy that transforms European cities into smart cities, focusing on actions to reduce energy demand and GHG emissions as well as the increased use of renewable energy sources; (ii) to address the definition of new business models to implement such strategies in other parts of Europe and thereby accelerate the creation of near zero energy districts.

The district of Torrelago in Laguna de Duero (Valladolid) is undergoing a radical change as regards urban sustainability. Of the three demo sites involved in the CITyFiED project, Torrelago is the largest with 1,488 dwellings and 140,000 m2 of retrofitting area.

With an initial energy demand of 140 kWh m2/yr, the district aims to reduce this figure to around 86 kWh m2/yr, with a contribution from renewable energy sources of around 57%. This is expected to achieve an energy saving of some 39%. Read more…

Susana Gutiérrez y Ali Vasallo
Project coordinators at CARTIF

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

On 16 February, the European Commission presented its first strategy to optimise heating and cooling in buildings and industries. The EU Heating and Cooling Strategy is the first EU initiative to address the energy used for heating and cooling in buildings and industry, which accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption. By making the sector smarter, more efficient and sustainable, energy imports and dependency will fall, costs will be cut and emissions reduced. The Strategy is a key action of the Energy Union and will contribute to improving EU’s energy security and to addressing the post-COP 21 climate agenda.

Heating and cooling refers to the energy needed for warming and cooling buildings, whether residential or in the services sector (for example schools, hospitals, office buildings). It also includes the energy required by almost all industrial processes as well as cooling and refrigeration in the service sector, such as the retail sector (for example to preserve food across the supply chain, from production to supermarket and on to the customer). Currently, the sector accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption, accounting for 13% of total oil consumption and 59% of total gas consumption (direct use only) in the EU. The latter equates to 68% of all gas imports. This is mainly because European buildings are old, which implies various problems, including:

• Almost half of the EU’s buildings have boilers installed prior to 1992, with an efficiency rate of below 60%.
• 22% of gas boilers, 34% of electric heaters, 47% of oil boilers and 58% of coal boilers are older than their technical lifetime. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

The European Union’s Directive 2012/27/EU has established the 20/20/20 target that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%; obtain 20% of energy from renewable sources; and increase energy efficiency by 20%. One of the recommended actions to collaborate in achieving this triple objective would be the gradual introduction of the electric vehicle into the automotive stock, for the reasons set out below:

• Equivalent emissions per km travelled by an electric vehicle are lower than those of conventional vehicles.
• The electricity obtained from the grid gradually includes an increased contribution from renewable sources.
• Electric motors are more efficient than internal combustion engines.

Almost half the energy consumed worldwide comes from fossil fuels and these are the most widely-used source in transportation. The electric vehicle can reduce dependency on these fuels that are often located in areas of geopolitical conflict and that suffer from frequent sales price fluctuations. Moreover, the use of electricity in the transport sector would also make better use of local resources, such as sources of renewable energy that are available all over the globe. Read more…

Iñigo Pacheco, Gabriel García, Sindia Casado & Raquel Garde
Renewable Energy Grid Integration Department at CENER

Article published in: FuturENERGY September 2015

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Renewable energy targets and other support policies, now in place in 164 countries, powered the growth of solar, wind and other renewable technologies to a record-breaking energy generation capacity last year: about 135 GW of added renewable energy power increasing total installed capacity to 1,712 GW, up 8.5% from the year before.

Despite the world’s average annual 1.5% increase in energy consumption in recent years and average 3% growth in Gross Domestic Product, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2014 were unchanged from 2013 levels. For the first time in four decades, the world economy grew without a parallel rise in CO2 emissions.

The landmark “decoupling” of economic and CO2 growth is due in large measure to China’s increased use of renewable resources, and efforts by countries in the OECD to promote more sustainable growth including increased use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“Renewable energy and improved energy efficiency are key to limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius and avoiding dangerous climate change,” says REN21 Chair Arthouros Zervos, who released the new report at the Vienna Energy Forum.

Thanks to supportive policies now in place in at least 145 countries (up from 138 countries reported last year), worldwide power generation capacity from wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), and hydro sources alone were up 128 GW from 2013. As of end-2014, renewables comprised an estimated 27.7% of the world’s power generating capacity, enough to supply an estimated 22.8% of global electricity demand.

Solar PV capacity has grown at the most phenomenal rate —up 48-fold from 2004 (3.7 GW) to 2014 (177 GW)—with strong growth also in wind power capacity (up nearly 8-fold over this period, from 48 GW in 2004 to 370 GW in 2014).

Global new investment in renewable power and fuels (not including hydropower >50 MW) increased 17% over 2013, to USD 270.2 billion. Including large-scale hydropower, new investment in renewable power and fuels reach at least USD 301 billion. Global new investment in renewable power capacity was more than twice that of investment in net fossil fuel power capacity, continuing the trend of renewables outpacing fossil fuels in net investment for the fifth year running.
Investment in developing countries was up 36% from the previous year to USD 131.3 billion. Developing country investment came the closest ever to surpassing the investment total for developed economies, which reached USD 138.9 billion in 2014, up only 3% from 2013. China accounted for 63% of developing country investment, while Chile, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey each invested more than USD 1 billion in renewable energy.

By dollars spent, the leading countries for investment were China, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. Leading countries for investments relative to per capita GDP were Burundi, Kenya, Honduras, Jordan, and Uruguay.

The sector’s growth could be even greater if the more than USD 550 billion in annual subsidies for fossil fuel and nuclear energy were removed. Subsidies perpetuate artificially low energy prices from those sources, encouraging waste and impeding competition from renewables.

Says Christine Lins, Executive Secretary, REN21: “Creating a level playing field would strengthen the development and use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Removing fossil-fuel and nuclear subsidies globally would make it evident that renewables are the cheapest energy option”.

Employment in the renewable energy sector is growing rapidly as well. In 2014, an estimated 7.7 million people worldwide worked directly or indirectly in the sector.

Despite spectacular growth of renewable energy capacity in 2014, more than one billion people, or 15% of humanity, still lack access to electricity. Moreover, approximately 2.9 billion people lack access to clean forms of cooking. With installed capacity of roughly 147 GW, all of Africa has less power generation capacity than Germany. Further attention needs to be paid to the role that distributed renewable energy technologies can play in reducing these numbers by providing essential and productive energy services in remote and rural areas.

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