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energy cost

The average costs for electricity generated by solar and wind technologies could decrease by between 26 and 59 per cent by 2025, according to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report, The Power to Change: Solar and Wind Cost Reduction Potential to 2025, finds that with the right regulatory and policy frameworks in place, solar and wind technologies can continue to realise cost reductions to 2025 and beyond.

It estimates that by 2025, average electricity costs could decrease 59 per cent for solar photovoltaics (PV), 35 per cent for offshore wind, and 26 per cent for onshore wind compared to 2015. Electricity prices for concentrated solar power could also decrease as much as 43 per cent, depending on the technology used. By 2025, the global average cost of electricity from solar PV and onshore wind will be roughly 5 to 6 US cents per kilowatt hour.

“We have already seen dramatic cost decreases in solar and wind in recent years and this report shows that prices will continue to drop, thanks to different technology and market drivers,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Given that solar and wind are already the cheapest source of new generation capacity in many markets around the world, this further cost reduction will broaden that trend and strengthen the compelling business case to switch from fossil fuels to renewables.”

Since 2009, prices for solar PV modules and wind turbines have fallen roughly 80 per cent and 30 to 40 per cent respectively. With every doubling of cumulative installed capacity, solar PV module prices drop 20 per cent and the cost of electricity from wind farms drops 12 per cent, due to economies of scale and technology improvements.

Importantly for policy makers, cost reductions to 2025 will depend increasingly on balance of system costs (e.g. inverters, racking and mounting systems, civil works, etc.), technology innovations, operations and maintenance costs and quality project management. The focus in many countries must therefore shift to adopting policies that can reduce costs in these areas.

“Historically, cost has been cited as one of the primary barriers to switching from fossil-based energy sources to renewable energy sources, but the narrative has now changed,” said Mr. Amin. “To continue driving the energy transition, we must now shift policy focus to support areas that will result in even greater cost declines and thus maximise the tremendous economic opportunity at hand.”


Source: Irena

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Ereda has undertaken a project that aims to analyse the possibility of limiting the cost of the energy supply to a medium-sized industrial plant, with an installed capacity of over 26 MW, located in the south-west of Kazakhstan. The cost of electricity for its processes accounts for an important part of its production cost, achieving values in excess of 40%. The price of electricity in the country is
expected to rise over the coming years. In addition, the plant is now required to reduce CO2 emissions from its industrial activity, which is why a further cost arising from the acquisition of emissions rights is expected in future. The sequence and activities undertaken were as follows:

Estimate of the wind and solar resource by means of a numerical simulation. Ereda has its own computational cluster and uses the WRF model, one of the most widely-used in the scientific community and by meteorological services worldwide. These tools are used to carry out an estimate of the expected wind and solar resource at the site with a longterm projection. Its main characteristics are illustrated in the following graphs.

Energy pattern analysis of the industrial plant. One of the features of the plant’s production processes is that they are uninterrupted meaning that there is a significant level of consumption both day and night. One part of that load can be moved as appropriate and in fact, this has been taking place to make use of the best hourly electricity tariffs offered by the utility company to clients with
differentiated hourly tariffs. Seasonally the variation is not very significant, despite the existence of a high and a low consumption season. Read more…

Cristóbal López

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2016

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Today, Gamesa unveiled its new 2.5-MW turbine, specially designed for less windy conditions, at the international trade fair China Wind Power 2015 (Beijing, 14-16 October): the Gamesa G126-2.5 MW, designed to maximise output, efficiency and profitability.

This new turbine combines a longer rotor (126 metres in diameter), nominal capacity of 2.5 MW and a range of tower heights to choose from 84, 102 and 129 metres (among other customisable features depending on site conditions).

Thanks to its extremely low power density, an outstanding capacity factor and a lower cost of energy, this turbine will boost energy production with respect to the G114-2.0 MW by up to 25%.

Underpinned by technology which has been exhaustively proven and validated in Gamesa’s 2.0-2.5 MW platform, with installation of over 20,000 MW in 34 countries worldwide to its name, the G126-2.5 MW is fitted with the same electric system as the rest of the company’s 2.5 MW products (the Gamesa G106-2.5 MW and Gamesa G114-2.5 MW). In addition, the blades, 62 metres long, are equipped with the technology already validated in the G114’s 56-metre blades. The first prototype will be installed during the third quarter of 2016 and its serial production is due to begin by 2017.

With this new model, Gamesa’s 2.0-2.5 MW platform cements its position as one of the most versatile platforms in the market: seven choices of rotor (80, 87, 90, 97, 106, 114 and 126 metres), tower heights ranging from 55 to 129 metres and customisable options which enable installation in the most complex sites.

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    Wind turbine installation at Noblesfontein wind farm (74 MW, South Africa) , constructed by Iberdrola Ingeniería and Grupo Five. Photo courtesy of Iberdrola Ingeniería

    KIC InnoEnergy, developer of innovative programmes in sustainable energy together with BVG Associates, have recently published the studies “Future renewable energy costs: offshore wind power”, “Future renewable energy costs: onshore wind power”. These analyse the impact of the technological innovations that will be developed over the next 10 years and are geared towards reduced energy costs for both onshore and offshore wind power.

    The findings of these reports identify opportunities and technological challenges in onshore and offshore wind power generation.

    These reports are the first in a series focusing on renewable energy and aim to develop credible cost models for these technologies based on a comprehensive analysis of the principal technological innovations that are expected to be applied in the medium term, using a consistent and robust methodology.

    Article published in: FuturENERGY September 2014

    SAJ Electric