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energy consumption

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

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

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Renewables avoid € 87 billion of energy costs

On 15 May 2017, EurObserv’ER released the report “State of Renewable energies in Europe 2016”. Main findings of this report include: gross final energy consumption in the EU-28 increased by 2.2% between 2014 and 2015 (from 1,097.7 to 1,121.4 Mtoe), after suffering an exceptional 4.2% drop over the previous twelve-month period.

The actual share of renewable energies in EU’s total electricity generation rose from 28.2% in 2014 to 28.9% in 2015 (+0.7%) while overall output rose from 3,190.8 TWh in 2014 to 3,234.3 TWh in 2015.

 

Increased renewable energy work force in 2015

EurObserv’ER assumes a growing renewable energy work force of 1.139 million persons employed throughout the EU for ten monitored RES technologies, a growth of 10,000 jobs compared to 2014. The combined turnover of 10 renewable energy sectors in all 28 EU member states reached € 153 billion in 2015 and thus slightly grew compared to 2014 (€ 148.7 billion).

Solid biomass least expensive renewable energy technology for electricity production in the EU

Based on aggregated results for the EU the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) for solid biomass seem the least expensive, and even in the same range as the reference electricity price. Commercial large scale PV and wind energy show a wide LCoE range, which is due to Member countries’ preconditions for PV and wind energy generation.

Renewables replace substantial amounts of imported energy and avoid costly imports

The increased use of renewable sources of energy in power, heat and transport fuel sector led to the reduction of €87 billion in the EU-28 member states. In addition 302 Mtoe of fossil fuels (gasoline, oil, coal, gas) were substituted by renewable sources of energy in 2015.

R&D expenditures in renewable energy technologies reveal strong position of EU

In 2014 total public R&D investment in renewable energies technologies amounted to 781.6 M€ in the EU28. The GDP shares hereby display a very strong position of Sweden, France and Belgium. In a global context the EU 28 was followed by the US with 671.5 M€ of R&D expenditures taking the lead in 2015 with 755.4 M€.

Key data for European Union (EU) in 2015

  • 28.8 % Renewable electricity share in total EU generation in 2015 (27.5% in 2014)
  • 18.6% Renewable heat share in total EU generation (18.1% in 2014)
  • 94.2 Mtoe Renewable heat (and cooling) consumption in 2015 (89.2 Mtoe in 2014)
  • 935.8 TWh Electricity production from renewables in the EU in 2015 (899 TWh in 2014)
  • 1.14 million jobs in the European renewable energy sector
  • €153 bn turnover generated by renewable energy sources in EU-28 in 2015
  • €87 bn avoided expenses in EU-28 through renewables in 2015 (€104 bn in 2014)
  • 302 Mtoe EU-28 substituted fossil fuels in 2015 (292 Mtoe in 2014)

Source: EurObserv’ER

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