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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

The Siemens Division Building Technologies adds new functionalities to the Synco IC cloud platform for remote HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control. From July 2018 onwards, Synco IC includes remote meter reading for energy billing, remote monitoring of energy key performance indicators (KPIs) and remote intervention to reduce energy consumption. Synco IC, introduced to the market in 2015, is a cloud-based system for the cost-efficient operation and management of HVAC plants in small and medium size buildings.

With Synco IC Energy Monitoring, building operators can reduce energy consumption and collect billing data remotely at the same time. The system is scalable up to 2500 radio frequency meters or 250 wired meters. Collecting billing data from remote meter reading avoids walk-by or drive-by data collection, thus enhancing operational efficiency by saving travel and staff costs. Automatic data collection and validation minimizes human reading errors and prevents meter tampering and data falsification. Access to and use of customer data is controlled, customer data is kept secure.

Up to 100 sites can be connected free of charge, which makes Synco IC suitable for use in facility management companies that manage a large portfolio of smaller buildings. It is also the right choice for cities and municipalities that have a pool of distributed buildings, such as district offices, school buildings or retirement homes, or for companies that want to organize and maintain the building automation systems in their global branches and offices from a central location.

Commissioning of Synco IC Energy Monitoring is easy. Each site is connected within a few minutes in a plug&play mode by using QR-codes, whilst meters on site are automatically searched and detected.
Building operators and managers remain continuously under pressure to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission in the housing stock. Synco IC offers simple supervision of all the control and meter data of the HVAC plants by one intuitive user interface. The interface shows data trends and enables benchmarking of energy KPIs across multiple buildings or tenant areas, e.g. for consumption per square meter for various energy types like heating, cooling, hot water, cold water, electricity. Remote intervention by modifying plant settings on room or primary level enables operators to accomplish and maintain optimal energy efficiency.

Synco IC is already installed on more than 15,000 sites globally, which now have the option to implement remote meter reading for energy billing, remote monitoring of energy key performance indicators (KPIs) and remote intervention to reduce energy consumption, thus substantially reducing building operational costs.

Source: Siemens

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Photo credit: SBC Renewables Ltd

Ten of Europe’s major energy intensive companies urged European policy makers to set up the right framework for industrial and commercial self-consumption of energy, ahead of negotiations on the Renewable Energy Directive.

Signatories including ArcelorMittal, BayWa r.e., DSM, Dupont, ENI, Novozymes, Total, Shell, Voestalpine and Wacker Chemie have underlined the necessity for the Directive to encourage European businesses to become renewable self-consumers.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe commented “SolarPower Europe has been extremely active in promoting a wide approach to self-consumption, acknowledging both the benefits and potential of commercial and industrial self-consumption. This can drive the scaling up the development of solar installations in Europe and support the competitiveness of European based businesses. We support the signatories in this endeavour and call on EU Member States to allow commercial and industrial consumers of energy to self-consume without disproportionate charges.”

Industrial and commercial consumers accounts for around half of Europe’s electricity consumption today.

Renewable self-consumption enables large energy consumers in the refining, chemicals, steel, biotech and other EU energy intensive industry sectors to secure a supply of clean electricity. It also supports them to increase their competitiveness by reducing energy costs, while contributing towards the achievement of national climate and renewable energy targets.

Renewable self-consumption is an important tool supporting European industries to achieve their carbon reduction commitments, while supporting Member States to achieve their climate & renewable energy targets. The potential is huge, as alone 67 TWh of green electricity supply will have to be developed by 2030, only to satisfy the commitments of the RE100 companies (which are committed to 100% renewable electricity supply) based in Europe, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Self-consumption will thus bring forward billions of euros of investment and innovation in clean energy technologies in Europe to the benefit of European industry.

To ensure that these benefits occur in Europe, and in the frame of the current negotiations on Art 21 of the Renewable Energy Directive, signatories of this declaration urge policy makers to enable a stable and transparent framework for industrial and commercial self-consumption:
• All European industrial and commercial consumers should be enabled to become renewable energy self-consumers, by developing projects which have no negative impact due to indirect land use change. Barriers to the development of industrial and commercial self-consumption deprives European businesses from a strong competitive advantage.
• The Renewable Energy Directive should empower European businesses to self-consume by enabling the development of innovative business models such as leasing, third party ownership, collective self-consumption, renewable Power Purchase Agreements, or the installation of direct lines within industrial and commercial areas.
• Member States should address legitimate concerns on the financing of the system costs and surcharge mechanisms currently in place in some countries, without suffocating the potential of self-consumption in Europe. Also, they should be urged to implement measures that allow for a full realization of the benefits related to flexibility services that can be provided by intelligent self-consumption oriented renewable energy installations.

European industrial and commercial consumers are committed to supporting a clean energy future for Europe. They are also committed to a sustained financing of necessary system infrastructure. With the right self-consumption framework in place, they will support the European Union in bringing its energy transition to the next level and become a global leader in renewables.

Source: SolarPower Europe

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

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Mexico’s CEL market supply and demand. Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, PRODESEN, SENER

Mexico’s 2013 energy reform has changed the corporate power market dramatically. The introduction of a market in clean energy certificates (CEL) will lead to the generation of an additional 24 TWh of clean energy by 2022, Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds in its 1H 2018 Corporate Energy Market Outlook.

The CELs are the primary mechanism by which Mexico intends to achieve its goal of 35 percent clean-energy generation by 2024. The CEL market, which kicks off in 2018, will impose a 5 percent CEL mandate relative to power consumption for 2018. The mandate increases to 13.9 percent in 2022.

Large corporations can purchase certificates via bilateral contracts or through the wholesale market. HSBC Holdings Plc, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV and Deacero SA de CV have signed power-purchase agreements for 272 megawatts of clean energy, giving them a head start on meeting their sustainability goals in Mexico.

Though Mexico has an established track record of bilateral agreements predating the unbundling of its power market, with 3.4 gigawatts in renewable energy capacity installed with corporate PPAs from 2008 to 2017, under the new rules corporations can sign PPAs in a similar fashion to the U.S.

Mexico’s three clean-energy auctions to date have brokered the sale of 5.4 million CELs for delivery starting in 2018, 9.3 million for 2019 and 5.9 million for 2020. This indicates a sizable gap through the first three years and points to the potential for substantial further clean energy additions — a shortfall that may drive further corporate PPAs.

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The power sector will play a crucial role in attaining the European climate targets, which aim to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030, compared to 1990. Tracking progress in the power sector is hence of utmost importance. For the fourth year in a row, the second year in a row with Agora Energiewende, Sanbag has presented the state of the energy transition in the European power sector, to update what happened in 2017, with the report The EU Power Sector Review 2017, launched at the end of January in Brussels. Key topics include renewables growth, conventional power generation, power consumption, and CO2 emissions.

The report celebrates how the wind, sun and biomass overtook coal, in supplying electricity across Europe in 2017, but also highlights some of the failings of the current electricity transition, and gives a very mixed picture: EU renewables has been increasingly reliant on the success story of wind in Germany, UK and Denmark, which has been inspiring. But other countries need to do more. Solar deployment is surprisingly low, and needs to respond to the massive falls in costs. And with electricity consumption rising for the third year, countries need to reassess their efforts on energy efficiency.

But to make the biggest difference to emissions, countries need to retire coal plants. The study forecasts Europe’s 258 operational coal plants in 2017 emitted 38% of all EU ETS emissions, or 15% of total EU greenhouse gases. In 2017, Netherlands, Italy and Portugal added their names to the list of countries to phase-out coal, which is great. We need a fast and complete coal phase-out in Europe: the thought of charging electric cars in the 2030’s with coal just doesn’t compute. A 35% renewables target would make a 2030 coal phaseout possible.

Key findings include:

• New renewables generation sharply increased in 2017, with wind, solar and biomass overtaking coal for the first time. Since Europe‘s hydro potential is largely tapped, the increase in renewables comes from wind, solar and biomass generation. They rose by 12% in 2017 to 679 Terawatt hours, putting wind, solar and biomass above coal generation for the first time. This is incredible progress, considering just five years ago, coal generation was more than twice that of wind, solar and biomass.

• But renewables growth has become even more uneven. Germany and the UK alone contributed to 56% of the growth in renewables in the past three years. There is also a bias in favor of wind: a massive 19% increase in wind generation took place in 2017, due to good wind conditions and huge investment into wind plants. This is good news since the biomass boom is now over, but bad news in that solar was responsible for just 14% of the renewables growth in 2014 to 2017.

• Electricity consumption rose by 0.7% in 2017, marking a third consecutive year of increases. With Europe‘s economy being on a growth path again, power demand is rising as well. This suggests Europe‘s efficiency efforts are not sufficient and hence the EU‘s efficiency policy needs further strengthening.

• CO2 emissions in the power sector were unchanged in 2017, and rose economy-wide. Low hydro and nuclear generation coupled with increasing demand led to increasing fossil generation. So despite the large rise in wind generation, we estimate power sector CO2 emissions remained unchanged at 1019 million tonnes. However, overall stationary emissions in the EU emissions trading sectors rose slightly from 1750 to 1755 million tonnes because of stronger industrial production especially in rising steel production. Together with additional increases in non-ETS gas and oil demand, we estimate overall EU greenhouse gas emissions rose by around 1% in 2017.

• Western Europe is phasing out coal, but Eastern Europe is sticking to it. Three more Member States announced coal phase-outs in 2017 – Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. They join France and the UK in committing to phase-out coal, while Eastern European countries are sticking to coal. The debate in Germany, Europe’s largest coal and lignite consumer, is ongoing and will only be decided in 2019.

Source: Sandbag

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

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