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energy consumption

The energy transition requires more than 10 times solar and 5 times wind power in combination with other technology measures to limit global warming to well below 2°C and meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, according to DNV GL’s latest Energy Transition Outlook: Power Supply and Use report. The report finds that the energy transition is gathering pace more quickly than previously thought but the rate is still too slow to limit global temperatures rising by well below 2°C as set out in the Paris Agreement.

At the projected pace, DNV GL’s forecast indicates a world that is most likely to be 2.4°C warmer at the end of this century than in the immediate pre-industrial period. The technology already exists to curb emissions enough to hit the climate target. What is needed to ensure this happens are far-reaching policy decisions.

DNV GL recommends that the following technology measures are put in place to help close the emissions gap, the difference between the forecasted rate at which our energy system is decarbonizing and the pace we need to reach, to limit global warming to well below 2°C as set out by the Paris Agreement.

This combination of measures includes:

  1. Grow solar power by more than ten times to 5 TW and wind by 5 times to 3TW by 2030, which would meet 50% of the global electricity use per year.
  2. 50-fold increase in production of batteries for the 50 M electric vehicles needed per year by 2030, alongside investments in new technology to store excess electric energy and solutions that allow our electricity grids to cope with the growing influx of solar and wind power.
  3. Create new infrastructure for charging electric vehicles on a large scale.
  4. More than 1.5 MM$ of annual investment needed for the expansion and reinforcement of power grids by 2030, including ultra-high-voltage transmission networks and extensive demand-response solutions to balance variable wind and solar power.
  5. Increase global energy efficiency improvements by 3.5% per year within the next decade.
  6. Green hydrogen to heat buildings and industry, fuel transport and make use of excess renewable energy in the power grid.
  7. For the heavy industry sector: increased electrification of manufacturing processes, including electrical heating. Onsite renewable sources combined with storage solutions.
  8. Heat-pump technologies and improved insulation.
  9. Massive rail expansion both for city commuting and long-distance passenger and cargo transport.
  10. Rapid and wide deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage installations.

The staggering pace of the energy transition continues. DNV GL’s report forecasts that by 2050 power generation from solar photovoltaic and wind energy will be 36,000 terawatt hours per year, more than 20 times today’s output. Greater China and India will have the largest share of solar energy by mid-century, with a 40% share of global installed PV capacity in China, followed by the Indian Subcontinent at 17%.

Globally, renewable energy will provide almost 80% of the world’s electricity by 2050 according to the report. The electrification will see increasing use of heat pumps, electric arc furnaces and an electric vehicle revolution, with 50% of all new cars sold in 2032 being electric vehicles.

Despite this rapid pace, the energy transition is not fast enough. DNV GL’s forecast indicates that, alarmingly, for a 1.5°C warming limit, the remaining carbon budget will be exhausted as early as 2028, with an overshoot of 770 Gt CO2 in 2050.

The report also demonstrates that the energy transition is affordable, the world will spend an ever-smaller share of GDP on energy. Global expenditure on energy is currently 3.6% of GDP but that will fall to 1.9% by 2050. This is due to the plunging costs of renewables and other efficiencies, allowing for greater investment to accelerate the transition.

DNV GL appeals to all 197 countries that signed the Paris Agreement to raise and realize increased ambitions for their updated Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020. In a snapshot of the first NDCs submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, 75% currently refer to renewable energy, and 58% to energy efficiency. DNV GL calls on political leaders that both these percentages need to be 100% in the second NDCs.

Atos unveils the Top 30 energy consumption of the world’s most popular mobile applications in a study conducted by startup Greenspector. Increasingly demanding in terms of technical resources (RAM, CPU, Data, etc.), mobile applications used by 5 billion mobile users worldwide have a booming impact on energy consumption and the environment.

Mobile applications consume as much energy as Ireland

While datacenters are often blamed for the greenhouse gas emissions of the digital sector (which will account for nearly 10% of global emissions by 2025), mobile applications are not to be outdone, as shown in the study conducted by Greenspector for Atos: the projected annual consumption of mobile applications (excluding the use of datacenters’ networks and servers) is equivalent to 20 terawatt hours, almost the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of a country like Ireland (5 million inhabitants).

Social network applications consume up to 4 times more energy

Mails, messages, social networks, browsers, etc., 7 categories each comprising 5 applications were measured under identical conditions. Among these categories, web browsing and social networks use on average more energy than games or multimedia applications. The ratio would even be 1 to 4 between the consumption of applications between the least and most energy-intensive.

Gain up to a third of autonomy on mobile phones

Making mobile applications simpler could quickly have very positive consequences on ecological impacts. If the average app was based on the best-ranking app in its category, energy consumption could be reduced by 6TWh, the equivalent of a nuclear unit. At the user level, better energy consumption of applications would increase the autonomy of smartphones by a third.

A unique partnership between Atos and Greenspector to reduce smartphone energy consumption
Working together on the eco-design of software solutions, Atos and Greenspector are partnering, with the publication of this report, to take into account the environmental impact from the very beginning of the creation process of mobile applications. Today they present the first tool accessible in the cloud to measure the energy consumption of applications, websites and soon IoT.

Source: Atos

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A little over a year ago, Google announced that it was on track to purchase enough renewable energy to match all the electricity it consumed over the next year. Once completed the accounting for Google’s 2017 energy use it’s official—Google mets its goal. Google’s total purchase of energy from sources like wind and solar exceeded the amount of electricity used by its operations around the world, including offices and data centers.

What do the company mean by “matching” renewable energy? Over the course of 2017, across the globe, for every kWh of electricity Google consumed, it purchased a kWh of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm that was built specifically for Google. This makes Google the first public Cloud, and company of this size, to have achieved this feat.

Today, Google has contracts to purchase 3 GW of output from renewable energy projects; no corporate purchaser buys more renewable energy than Google does. To date, its renewable energy contracts have led to over $3 billion in new capital investment around the world.

The road to 100 percent

Google has been working toward this goal for a long time. Every year, the company signs contracts for new renewable energy generation projects in markets where it has operations. From the time it signs a contract, it takes one to two years to build the wind farm or solar field before it begins producing energy. In 2016, its operational projects produced enough renewables to cover 57 percent of the energy it used. That same year, it signed a record number of new contracts for wind and solar developments that were still under construction. Those projects began operating in 2017—and that additional output of renewable energy was enough to cover more than 100 percent of what it used during the whole year.

Google says that it “matched” its energy usage because it’s not yet possible to “power” a company of its scale by 100 percent renewable energy. It’s true that for every kWh of energy it consumes, it adds a matching kWh of renewable energy to a power grid somewhere. But that renewable energy may be produced in a different place, or at a different time, from where it’s running they data centers and offices. What’s important is that it’s adding new clean energy sources to the electrical system, and that it’s buying that renewable energy in the same amount as what it’s consuming, globally and on an annual basis.

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Looking ahead

Google is building new data centers and offices, and as demand for Google products grows, so does its electricity load. Google needs to be constantly adding renewables to its portfolio to keep up. So the company will keep signing contracts to buy more renewable energy. And in those regions where it can’t yet buy renewables, Google will keep working on ways to help open the market. Googles is working with groups like the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and Re-Source Platform to facilitate greater access to renewably-sourced energy.

Source: Google

The hotel sector is one of the most intensive as regards energy consumption. The vast majority of hotels were constructed during an era in which energy did not represent a significant cost and as a result their design did not place much importance on efficiency and sustainability criteria. The increase in the cost of energy (both electricity and fossil fuels such as gas and diesel) has resulted in the gradual introduction of solutions to improve the energy efficiency of hotel installations. One such solution currently available is hybrid solar panel technology that simultaneously generates heat and electricity and whose features perfectly adapt to the needs of hotel installations.

There are three steps to achieving reduced operating costs. The first step consists of reducing the energy demand of the building; the second comprises the self-generation of energy by integrating renewable energy sources; and the third step is to ensure that the energy demanded (which is not covered by renewables), is supplied by the most efficient installations possible. These three steps must be applied in the above order, given that the lower the demand, the fewer the number of installations to be undertaken.

This article describes the case of a 4-star, 400-room hotel in the Balearics that has integrated this innovative solar technology: hybrid solar panels. This technology simultaneously generates electricity and hot water from a single panel, producing more energy from the same available space. Greater energy savings translate into an increased economic saving, which is the key to the cost-effective solution offered by this technology, as this case study shows. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

Research undertaken by Kaiserwetter reveals how renewable energy represents a better medium-term investment compared to digital currencies. Big investors and financial giants have already opposed cryptocurrencies such as the bitcoin on many occasions, while renewable energy continues to attract support around the world. This is clearly demonstrated by global annual investment in renewables, headed up by China, which amounts to almost US$3 billion and the fact that in the USA, 1 out of every 5 dollars invested goes into sustainable investments. The study has moreover found that cryptocurrencies use a significant amount of energy – 36 TWh/year, equivalent to the consumption of an intermediate country such as Colombia or Bulgaria.

Since the first cryptocurrency – the bitcoin – was launched in 2009, the number of digital currencies has multiplied, giving rise to a roller coaster of ups and downs in their value. Just from November to December, the bitcoin rose to 20,000 dollars from 6,000, from which it fell back to its lowest level on 6 February, recently returning to just above 10,000 dollars. According to an analysis by German company Kaiserwetter, an asset management specialist that integrates the technical and financial aspects of renewable energies by using the latest in digital technology and the Internet of Things, renewables are shown to be an investment with a better medium-term outlook compared to digital currencies.

Digital currencies are already facing a strong reaction from official regulators due to the fact they are a currency that does not enjoy government support; they have no intrinsic value unlike gold (algorithms can be changed but geology cannot) and, also, because of their environmental impact. This is possibly the reason why large investors, including Warren Buffett, recommend staying away from this investment: “I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending”, he stated, while coming out in favour of renewable energies. Buffett announced at the last general meeting of Berkshire Hathaway that if anyone were to step through the door with a solar project of US$1 or 3 billion, then he would be ready to invest in it. Buffett is very much involved in the investment for the world’s largest solar project, the 579 MW Antelope Valley Solar Project. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

Ingeteam has reached the milestone of 50 GW in the supply of power converters for renewable energy plants. To obtain the same amount of power from coal, it would have been necessary to burn 36 million tons of coal that would have emitted 110 million tons of carbon dioxide. In terms of energy, the 50 GW figure is the equivalent to the annual consumption of 28 million households and comes from the sum of the power converters delivered to the wind, solar and energy storage sectors.

In the wind power sector, Ingeteam holds the leadership position as the world’s largest manufacturer of wind power converters, with a global market share of 8%. This important figure consolidates the growth in the main markets, where the company has sold more than 10 GW in only two years. In the solar sector, the company has closed 2017 with 1.44 GW of PV and battery inverters, strengthening its position as one of the leading manufacturers in Latin America and EMEA.

Moreover, Ingeteam is the world leader in the provision of operation and maintenance services to energy generation plants, with a portfolio of more than 12 GW, while its automated solutions for power generation plants has grown to 3 GW.

Furthermore, to date, Indar, as part of the Ingeteam group, has supplied more than 30 GW in generators for the wind power and hydropower sectors.

This boom in renewable energy generation plants is not momentary, but is a growing global trend. The change in the energy model to green energies is now a reality. This is partly due to society’s growing awareness of the need to combat the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and the global warming of the planet. In this respect, the transition to a clean and sustainable energy generation model is as important as the change to a transport and mobility network that is also clean and sustainable. In this area, Ingeteam also manufactures e-vehicle charging points and has already supplied more than 3,000 units.

Breakdown of cumulative data

  • 50 GW in power converters (wind, solar PV and storage).
  • 12 GW in O&M services for RE plants.
  • 3 GW in automated equipment for RE plants.
  • 3,000 e-vehicle recharging points.
  • 30 GW in wind power and hydropower generators.

Source: Ingeteam

Capgemini’s World Energy Markets Observatory report 2017

Capgemini, has published the nineteenth edition of its annual study, which for the first time goes beyond Europe and becomes the World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) report, built in partnership with the I4CE, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and Vaasa ETT teams. The study reveals that progress in the sector’s generation technologies has caused an acceleration in the Energy Transition, while related renewables growth continues to destabilize the wholesale electricity markets and key players. The study also highlights a profound change in customer energy usage, behaviors and expectations, with, for example, self-consumption, smart homes, smart buildings, smart plants, smart cities and the creation of communities to purchase or manage energy differently.

As a result, the financial situation of established Utilities remains challenging. The report encourages utilities to accelerate their transformation efforts and to leverage increasingly the power of digital transformation.

The three main findings of the 2017 edition of the World Energy Markets Observatory report are:
 
Rapid evolution of generation technologies makes the renewables penetration unstoppable, thanks to their competitiveness gains, and despite the end of feed-in tariffs in Europe

During the past 12 months, the costs of renewable energies have continued to fall: onshore wind and utility scale photovoltaic (PV) costs are becoming competitive in some countries, compared to traditional electricity generation resources (nuclear, coal, gas). A recent auction for solar PV generation plants recorded a lower cost in sunny Saudi Arabia, with only 17 $/MWh. Battery storage costs decreased also by about 20%. The ingredients now gathered favor Energy Transition with limited political intervention.

According to Colette Lewiner, Energy and Utilities senior advisor at Capgemini, “Efforts in R&D and industrialization are boosting renewable energy development, even when considering extra network investments linked to intermittence and energy generation distribution. Today, their intermittency coupled with the absence of pricing reforms, mean the impact of renewable energy on the wholesale markets prices threatens electricity supply and impacts negatively utilities’ finances.
 
Empowered smart energy consumers are pushing Utilities to deliver new energy services.

All customers (residential, tertiary or industrial) now expect from their suppliers’ offerings better management of their energy (examples include self-consumption, smart home, smart building, smart plant, electric mobility). With the participation of the customer in energy communities, the way energy is purchased or managed collectively is also now evolving.

For Perry Stoneman, Head of the Energy and Utilities sector at Capgemini, “We observe many Utilities creating new customer divisions that are focused on chasing the Holy Grail: the differentiating services valued by the customer, allowing the development of new revenue streams with better margins. With variations from one country to another, the vast majority of players are moving in that direction, but very few, for the moment, have found the appropriate recipe. Innovation capabilities and agility for a rapid and successful go to market are generally missing.
 
Established Utilities, heavily hit by Energy Transition and customers’ evolving expectations, have started large transformations. It’s now time to accelerate by leveraging Digital Transformation.

Most of the big players have launched transformation plans that they are executing with a particular attention. This is also the case in North-America, where the Utilities’ finances are less challenged than in Europe, thanks to a lower pace of Energy Transition and different market rules. In addition to simplifying their internal processes, these transformation plans generally focus on the downstream business (networks, green energy and customers’ energy services), designing and managing new operations and business models. Gains could also be sought in the generation side of the value chain. Digital technologies are evolving continuously to provide new solutions (for example Robotic Processes Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, or Blockchain were not available a couple of years ago). The value of managed data – Analytics – remains also largely unexploited.
 
The World Energy Markets Observatory is an annual publication by Capgemini that monitors the main indicators of the electricity and gas markets in Europe, North America, Australia and South-east Asia, and reports on the developments and transformations in these sectors. This 19th edition, which is drafted mainly from public data combined with Capgemini’s expertise in the energy sector, refers to data from 2016 and winter 2016/2017. Special expertise on regulation, climate challenges and customer behavior is given respectively by De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, the I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics – and VaasaETT research teams.

Source: Capgemini

To date, building certification standards have not taken into account the energy saving potential of every aspect relating to the automation and control of buildings’ energy consumption. The eu.bac methodology, based on currently applicable standards (EN 15232, DIN V 18599) and scientifically validated by the Technical University of Dresden (Germany), aims to fill this void. This article describes the success story of the hotel Pago del Olivo, demonstrating the savings potential that can be achieved in a building designed for hotel use following the application of this methodology.

Opened in January 2011, the hotel Pago del Olivo is a three-star establishment located in Simancas (Valladolid), offering 36 rooms, a 70 m2 lounge as well as indoor and outdoor car parking. Sedical undertook the certification, for which end an authorised inspector visited the establishment. Using a standard questionnaire, filled out by the owner, the person responsible for the building or the systems integrator, the authorised inspector checked to see if the stated functions were available and active.

 

Following a study of the documentation and the site inspection to check on the existence and type of control equipment, as well as ensuring it was working properly, the audit produced a score of 22 points with an E rating under the eu.bac system. The calculation tool also indicated that the installation had a margin for improvement of 78 points. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY June 2017

The COP22 climate change conference that took place last year in Marrakech was the chosen scenario to announce the international winners of the fourth edition of the Green Building & City Solutions Awards 2016, in which seven buildings and three eco-districts were recognised for their innovative solutions. Spain was well represented with the Smart City Pamplona project receiving second prize in the Smart City category and the Edificio Zaramaga project in Vitoria winning the Sustainable Renovation Grand Prize category. The energy refurbishment of the Edificio Zaramaga building, a project from the studios Luz Espacio Arquitectos and IMV Arquitectos, is designed to reduce the energy consumption of this social housing block and guarantee the comfort of its inhabitants.

Situated at Cuadrilla de Laguardia nos. 2, 4 and 6 in the town of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the aim of the energy refurbishment project for this social housing block was to completely renovate its three buildings to achieve efficiency and provide them with the accessibility they lacked from street level to the upper floors. Action would only be taken on common elements and from the outside of the dwellings. For this, a thermal cladding was
installed on the entire building envelope, including the façades, roof and ground slab, to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, in addition to eliminating thermal bridges. These actions, accompanied by the correct level of ventilation, would avoid condensation.

 

Following renovation, the social housing block is furnished with the necessary insulation and inertia features, air permeability control, regulated exposure to solar radiation and heat recovery ventilation for each dwelling. It thereby achieves thermal comfort taking into account the climate, the expected usage and seasonal variations combined with reduced energy expenditure. In short, the building enjoys a high level of energy efficiency that has resulted in the achievement of an A energy rating. Read more…

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Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2017

Thanks to a cloud-based efficient energy management platform that uses big data to optimise consumption, Siemens has enabled Gestamp, a multinational company in metal autoparts manufacturing, to reduce energy consumption by up to 15 percent at 14 of its plants. The Spanish company specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing metal autoparts to make lighter and safer cars, and has chosen Siemens as global supplier to implement this system and thus manage to optimise its energy needs in an industry that is increasing its energy consumption. The initial phase was the implementation of Siemens’ efficient energy management platform at Gestamp’s production plants in Spain, Germany, the UK, France and Poland. There are plans to extend the project to 30 plants, including China and USA, before the end of 2017.

Siemens’ platform makes it possible to monitor real-time energy consumption needs at various factories and to connect their infrastructure to a cloud solution that can instantaneously assess electricity and gas consumption.  This tool allows to define algorithms based on the consumption patterns to identify and warn about the energy malfunctions of the equipment. The energy consumption data can be processed through data analytic techniques to define predictive maintenance, to manage production processes or to forecast energy consumption based on future production requirements.

gestamp-siemens-1

The final aim is to model the behaviour of the equipment so that it works as efficiently as possible and in a coordinated way, while also facilitating the reduction of CO2 emissions by 15% given the decreased energy consumption.

Siemens’ energy efficiency platform, managed from the company’s Smart Grids Control Centre in the Spanish city of Seville, has already been implemented in the Gestamp plants that consume the most energy. The aim is to extend use of the platform to other parts of the world where this automotive manufacturer has a significant presence, where results similar to those achieved in Europe are anticipated.

Accelerated amortisation

The plant consumption rationalization resulting from the data analysis and the solutions offered by this platform has enabled Gestamp to save almost 45 Gwh within the past 12 months. This sizeable figure results in a payback period for the investments less than three years.. It is a differential system due to its high resolution in collecting and processing information, in addition to its ability to cross energy consumption data with other variables, such as production. The aim is to extrapolate this information to understand the operation of the equipment, something that is helpful in decision-making. Alongside data collection and processing, the system makes it possible to define behaviour patterns using algorithms, in order to detect energy inefficiencies, to automate them and correct them.

Siemens and Gestamp are moving forward together to Smart Facilities and they are making real Industry 4.0 in the plants. Energy Efficiency project is one of the pillars of the partnership between Siemens and Gestamp within the framework of this initiative.

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