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energy efficiency

Energy efficiency has tremendous potential to boost economic growth and avoid greenhouse gas emissions, but the global rate of progress is slowing – a trend that has major implications for consumers, businesses and the environment, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

Global primary energy intensity – an important indicator of how heavily the world’s economic activity uses energy – improved by just 1.2% in 2018, the slowest rate since the start of this decade, according to Energy Efficiency 2019, the IEA’s annual report on energy efficiency.

The rate of improvement has now declined for three years in a row, leaving it well below the 3% minimum that IEA analysis shows is central to achieving global climate and energy goals. If the rate had reached 3% over that period, the world could have generated a further USD 2.6 trillion of economic output – close to the size of the entire French economy – for the same amount of energy.

The need for stronger action underpins the work of the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, which the IEA announced in July. Headed by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the commission’s members include national leaders, government ministers and top business executives. It will produce recommendations next summer on how to achieve major breakthroughs in energy efficiency policy.

The slowdown in energy efficiency is also the key reason the IEA has been the driving force behind the Three Percent Club, an initiative under which 15 countries have already signalled their commitment to help the world get on a path of 3% annual improvements in energy intensity.

Energy Efficiency 2019 examines in detail the reasons for the recent deceleration in efficiency progress. It finds that it results from a mixture of social and economic trends, combined with some specific factors such as extreme weather. At the same time, policy measures and investment are failing to keep pace with the rising energy demand. This means that new ways of policy thinking that move beyond traditional approaches are required, particularly to maximise the potential efficiency gains from the rapid spread of digital technologies throughout economies and energy systems.

The new report includes a special focus on the ways in which digitalisation is transforming energy efficiency and increasing its value. By multiplying the interconnections among buildings, appliances, equipment and transport systems, digitalisation is providing energy efficiency gains beyond what was possible when these areas remained largely disconnected. While efficiency in these areas has always had benefits for energy systems, digitalisation enables these benefits to be measured and valued more quickly and more accurately.

The report points out that while digital technologies could benefit all sectors and end uses of energy, uncertainty remains over the scale of those benefits. Much will depend on how policies are designed to respond to the huge opportunities – and to the emerging challenges, most notably the risk of increased energy demand from the mushrooming use of digital devices.
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Source: IEA

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.

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Today, 75% of Europeans live in urban areas and this is expected to rise. Already we are facing an increasing amount of challenges in our cities related to poor air quality, energy poverty, and highly inefficient buildings. The building stock accounts for 49% of Europe’s energy demand and 36% of CO2 emissions at EU level – we need to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and invest significantly in improving the energy efficiency of our buildings if Europe is to become carbon-neutral.

Against this backdrop, SolarPower Europe has launched the Solar4Buildings campaign –calling for solar on all new and renovated buildings in the EU to help limit climate change.

In the EU, more than 90% of roofs go unused, when they could help mitigate climate change by having solar installed on them. Installing solar on all new buildings and those undergoing renovations makes perfect sense as it could reduce buildings’ CO2 emissions significantly whilst producing clean electricity.

What’s more, Europe’s rooftops have huge solar potential. According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, rooftops in the EU can produce 680 TWh of solar power annually – which is equal to one quarter of the current electricity consumption in the EU.

Solar is one of the most affordable energy sources today. The price of solar panels has dropped by more than 96% since 2000 and is expected to fall even further. By installing solar, European households can also save money on their electricity bills and have access to reliable and clean energy – that makes for a greener future. In Germany, a typical four-person family household with an average annual electricity consumption of 3,600 kWh could save more than €500 each year, if equipped with an average size rooftop system.

Despite these facts, buildings are still regularly being constructed without solar. Now it is time to install solar on all these roofs – on residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings.

SolarPower Europe will present the Solar4Buildings campaign to the new European Commission starting in November and as part of its input to President-elect Ursula von der Leyen’s ‘Green Deal’.

Help support the campaign by signing the petition calling for EU legislation to have solar on all new and renovated buildings in the European Union!

Source: SolarPower Europe

Energy efficiency is the fastest-growing segment of U.S. energy sector employment, now employing more than 2.3 million Americans, according to a new analysis from E4TheFuture and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Energy efficiency workers now account for 28% of all U.S. energy jobs.

The new report, Energy Efficiency Jobs in America, finds energy efficiency jobs grew 3.4 percent in 2018 –more than double the rate of growth for overall jobs nationwide — with 7.8% growth projected for 2019. Among the states, California leads energy efficiency employment with 318,500 jobs, followed by Texas (162,800), New York (123,300), Florida (118,400), and Illinois (89,400). Thirteen states saw efficiency jobs increase by more than five percent in 2018, led by New Mexico (11.6%), Nevada (8.1%), Oklahoma (7.2%), Colorado (7.2%), and New Jersey (7.1%). Not a single state saw declines in energy efficiency employment in 2018.

Efficiency businesses added 76,000 net new jobs in 2018, accounting for half of all net jobs added by America’s energy sector (151,700). The sector also employed twice the number of workers in 2018 as all fossil fuel industries combined (1.18 million). There are now more than 360,000 energy efficiency businesses operating across the U.S.

Energy efficiency jobs include positions in manufacturing, such as building ENERGY STAR® appliances, efficient windows and doors and LED lighting systems. They include jobs in construction – retrofitting buildings, offices and schools to make them more efficient. Efficiency careers are found in high-tech design and software and professional services, as well as at the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies that upgrade outdated inefficient HVAC systems, boilers, ductwork and other equipment.

Energy efficiency jobs aren’t limited by geography, geology or political persuasion. There are workers in energy efficiency in every state and in virtually every U.S. county, the report shows. More than 317,000 energy efficiency jobs are located in rural areas, while 928,000 jobs are found in the nation’s top 25 metro areas. In 41 states and the District of Columbia, more Americans now work in energy efficiency than fossil fuels.

Other key findings:

• 10% of energy efficiency jobs are held by veterans — nearly double the national average of 6%.
• Construction and manufacturing make up more than 70% of U.S. energy efficiency jobs.
• More than one out of every six U.S. construction workers spend 50% or more of their time on energy efficiency (1.3 million workers).
• 321,000 energy efficiency jobs are in manufacturing.
• More than 1.1 million energy efficiency jobs are in heating, ventilation, and cooling technologies.
• Efficient lighting technologies employ 370,000 workers.
• ENERGY STAR appliances employ 167,000 workers.
• Energy efficiency employers are projecting 7.8% job growth in 2019
• Small businesses are driving America’s energy efficiency job boom, with 79% of energy efficiency businesses employing fewer than 20 workers.
• 17 states employ more than 50,000 workers, and 40 states are home to at least 10,000 energy efficiency workers.

Source: E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs)

Portada_Sep_CongresoIENER-Mayo19

Special report published as a separate issue to the May 2019 edition of FuturENERGY for special distribution at the II International Congress on Energy Engineering, iENER’19, an event celebrated from 26 to 27 June in Madrid, where FuturENERGY had an active presence as media partner. This special report includes various sections focused on: natural gas, renewable gases, energy storage, e-mobility, DHC networks and energy efficiency.

This special report includes the following:

COVER STORY
AESA – Energy assessment: CHP, bioenergy, zero emissions and energy efficiency

NATURAL GAS AND ITS APPLICATIONS
The new natural gas revolution
Gas engines a key actor in the new energy scenario
New range of gas engines. Up to 50% efficiency, with very low emissions

RENEWABLE GASES
The optimal role for renewable gas in a decarbonised energy system

ENERGY STORAGE
Unlocking PV capacity with energy storage
Global battery energy storage market to reach US$13.13bn by 2023

E-MOBILITY
The potential and impact of smart charging electric vehicles on the energy transition
Smart solutions for sustainable mobility
Taking e-mobility to the next level. Charging the electrci vehicle with solar energy

EFFICIENT HVAC
Txomin Enea district heating network: innovation and efficiency in urban planning

ENERGY EFFICIENCY. INDUSTRIAL SECTOR
What type of energy management does industry need? A key to sustainability, efficiency and cost effectiveness
Predictive maintenance technology for electric motors

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Global clean energy investment, 2004 to 1H 2019, $ billion

The first half of 2019 saw a 39% slowdown in renewable energy investment in the world’s biggest market, China, to $28.800 M$, the lowest figure for any half-year period since 2013, according to the latest figures from BloombergNEF (BNEF).

 

The other highlight of global clean energy investment in 1H 2019 was the financing of multibillion-dollar projects in two relatively new markets – a solar thermal and photovoltaic complex in Dubai, at 950MW and 4.200 M$, and two offshore wind arrays in the sea off Taiwan, at 640MW and 900MW and an estimated combined cost of 5.700 M$.

The Dubai deal in late March, for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum IV project, is the biggest financing ever seen in the solar sector. It involves 2.600 M$ of debt from 10 Chinese, Gulf and Western banks, plus 1.600 M$ of equity from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Saudi-based developer ACWA Power and equity partner Silk Road Fund of China.

The two Taiwanese offshore wind projects, Wpd Yunlin Yunneng and Ørsted Greater Changhua, involve European developers, investors and banks, as well as local players. Offshore wind activity is broadening its geographical focus, from Europe’s North Sea and China’s coastline, toward new markets such as Taiwan, the U.S. East Coast, India and Vietnam.

BNEF’s figures for clean energy investment in the first half of 2019 show mixed fortunes for the world’s major markets. The “big three” of China, the U.S. and Europe all showed falls, but with the U.S. down a modest 6% at 23.600 M$ and Europe down 4% at 22.200 M$ compared to 1H 2018, far less than China’s 39% setback.

Breaking global clean energy investment down by type of transaction, asset finance of utility-scale generation projects such as wind farms and solar parks was down 24% at 85.6 M$, due in large part to the China factor. Financing of small-scale solar systems of less than 1MW was up 32% at 23.7 M$ in the first half of this year.

Investment in specialist clean energy companies via public markets was 37% higher at 5.600 M$, helped by two big equity raisings for electric vehicle makers – an $863 M$ secondary issue for Tesla, and a 650 M$ convertible issue for China-based NIO.

Venture capital and private equity funding of clean energy companies in 1H 2019 was down 2% at 4.700 M$. There were three exceptionally large deals, however: $1 billion each for Swedish battery company Northvolt and U.S. electric vehicle battery charging specialist Lucid Motors, and 700 M$ for another U.S. EV player, Rivian Automotive.

Source: BNEF

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The International Energy Agency’s latest and most comprehensive assessment of clean energy transition finds that the vast majority of technologies and sectors are failing to keep pace with long-term goals. Of the 45 energy technologies and sectors assessed in the IEA’s latest Tracking Clean Energy Progress (TCEP), only 7 are on track with the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS). The SDS represents a pathway to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, deliver universal energy access and significantly reduce air pollution.

These latest findings follow an IEA assessment published in March showing that energy-related CO2 emissions worldwide rose by 1.7% in 2018 to a historic high of 33 billion tonnes.

Some clean energy technologies showed major progress last year, according to the new TCEP analysis. Energy storage is now “on track” as new installations doubled, led by Korea, China, the United States and Germany. Electric vehicles had another record year, with global sales hitting 2 million in 2018. China accounted for more than half of total sales.

Solar PV remains on track with a 31% increase in generation – representing the largest absolute growth in generation among renewable sources. But annual capacity additions of solar PV and renewable power as a whole levelled off in 2018, raising concerns about meeting long-term climate goals.

This year’s analysis expands coverage to include flaring and methane emissions from oil and gas operations, which are responsible for around 7% of the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Despite some positive developments over the past year, current technology deployment rates, policy ambition and industry efforts are still falling well short.

The buildings sector also remains off track, with emissions rising again in 2018 to an all-time high. This was the result of several factors, including extreme weather that raised energy demand for heating and cooling. Another concerning development was the slowdown in fuel economy improvements around the world as car buyers continued to purchase bigger vehicles.

Given the urgency and scale of actions needed for clean energy transitions around the world, this year’s TCEP features much greater emphasis on recommended actions for governments, industry and other key actors in the global energy system. The analysis also includes in-depth analysis on how to address more than 100 key innovation gaps across all sectors and technologies.

TCEP provides a comprehensive, rigorous and up-to-date expert analysis of clean energy transitions across a full range of technologies and sectors. It draws on the IEA’s unique understanding of markets, modelling and energy statistics to track and assess progress on technology deployment and performance, investment, policy, and innovation. It also draws on the IEA’s extensive global technology network, totalling 6,000 researchers across nearly 40 Technology Collaboration Programmes.

TCEP is part of the IEA’s broader efforts on tracking energy transitions and key indicators to help inform decision makers on where to focus innovation, investment and policy attention to achieve climate and sustainable development goals.

Source: IEA

Global energy investment stabilised in 2018, ending three consecutive years of decline, as capital spending on oil, gas and coal supply bounced back while investment stalled for energy efficiency and renewables, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest annual review.

The findings of the World Energy Investment 2019 report signal a growing mismatch between current trends and the paths to meeting the Paris Agreement and other sustainable development goals.

Global energy investment totalled more than USD 1.8 trillion in 2018, a level similar to 2017. For the third year in a row, the power sector attracted more investment than the oil and gas industry. The biggest jump in overall energy investment was in the United States, where it was boosted by higher spending in upstream supply, particularly shale, but also electricity networks. The increase narrowed the gap between the United States and China, which remained the world’s largest investment destination.

Still, even as investments stabilized, approvals for new conventional oil and gas projects fell short of what would be needed to meet continued robust growth in global energy demand. At the same time, there are few signs of the substantial reallocation of capital towards energy efficiency and cleaner supply sources that is needed to bring investments in line with the Paris Agreement and other sustainable development goals.

Renewables investment edged down, as net additions to capacity were flat and costs fell in some technologies, but was also supported by plants under development. Lower solar PV investment in China was partly offset by higher renewable spend in some areas (e.g. United States, developing Asia).

Energy efficiency spending was stable a second year in a row, with limited progress in expanding policy coverage. Despite soaring EV sales, transport efficiency has stagnated, while spending in buildings dipped.

Investment in renewable heat and transport edged down, but spending on new biofuels plants grew.

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The world is witnessing a shift in investments towards energy supply projects that have shorter lead times. In power generation and the upstream oil and gas sector, the industry is bringing capacity to market more than 20% faster than at the beginning of the decade. This reflects industry and investors seeking to better manage risks in a changing energy system, and also improved project management and lower costs for shorter-cycle assets such as solar PV, onshore wind and US shale.

Even though decisions to invest in coal-fired power plants declined to their lowest level this century and retirements rose, the global coal power fleet continued to expand, particularly in developing Asian countries.

The continuing investments in coal plants, which have a long lifecycle, appear to be aimed at filling a growing gap between soaring demand for power and a levelling off of expected generation from low-carbon investments (renewables and nuclear). Without carbon capture technology or incentives for earlier retirements, coal power and the high CO2 emissions it produces would remain part of the global energy system for many years to come. At the same time, to meet sustainability goals, investment in energy efficiency would need to accelerate while spending on renewable power doubles by 2030.

Among major countries and regions, India had the second largest jump in energy investment in 2018 after the United States. However, the poorest regions of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa, face persistent financing risks. They only received around 15% of investment in 2018 even though they account for 40% of the global population. Far more capital needs to flow to the least developed countries in order to meet sustainable development goals.

The report also found that public spending on energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) is far short of what is needed. While public energy RD&D spending rose modestly in 2018, led by the United States and China, its share of gross domestic product remained flat and most countries are not spending more of their economic output on energy research.

Source: IEA

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Santander España are providing businesses and the self-employed with a credit line – including EUR 50m of EIB funds – for professional projects improving energy efficiency. This is a pioneering project for the Spanish financial system, developed by Banco Santander in partnership with the EIB and the European Commission.

The agreement is part of the financing instrument implemented by the European Commission to promote investments contributing to better energy efficiency and climate action (Private Finance for Energy Efficiency) and falls under Banco Santander’s Responsible Banking strategy and its commitment to sustainability. Companies using this credit line will be able to benefit from the EIB’s favourable financing conditions in terms of both interest rates and maturities to perform the necessary upgrades to improve their energy efficiency. It also has a technical advisory component to support and strengthen Banco Santander’s capacity to assess energy efficiency projects and estimate their energy savings.

This new credit line, which will be implemented in the form of a loan or leasing, targets modernisation projects delivering energy efficiency improvements by tailoring energy use to actual real-time needs, for example by replacing inefficient lighting with LED equivalents, installing thermal insulation in roofs and facades, replacing air conditioning systems, installing thermal solar power, automating buildings and replacing conventional windows with double glazed alternatives with a thermal break. These improvements will help to cut polluting emissions and increase the use of renewable energy by facilitating the installation of solar panels, for example.

The investments will also enable companies and the self-employed to reduce their energy bills. Energy costs represent a considerable share of a company’s operating expenses, meaning that investment in measures enabling more rational energy use generates significant savings of between 10% and 30% on the final energy bill. These funds can then be directed to other investments to improve businesses’ quality and competitiveness.

Amounts of between EUR 10 000 and EUR 5m are eligible for financing with a maturity of between three and ten years, with the option of a one or two-year grace period depending on the financing period. The energy efficiency investment project cannot exceed EUR 10m in total.

The European Commission and EIB have developed a simulator for Banco Santander enabling customers to validate their project via the bank’s website. The simulator records key information about the company, the project cost, the type of eligible investment and the current energy use. The form can be filled out in less than ten minutes, with the simulator then validating the investment and the energy savings calculations (in euros and kilowatt-hours). The final contract for the product is signed at a bank branch.

Source: EIB

A la izquierda de la imagen, el consejero delegado de Endesa, José Bogas, junto a Emma Navarro, vicepresidenta del BEI.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted its first EIB Green Loan to Endesa. This financing aims to make it easier to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Although the EIB has financed a number of projects of this kind in its long history of combating climate change, this is the first time it has described a loan in this way, thereby helping promoters such as Endesa to develop their decarbonisation strategy.

The operation signed covers EUR 335m in financing to build 15 wind farms with a capacity of 446 MW and three solar photovoltaic plants with a capacity of 339 MW.

The EIB Green Loan will finance operations that are fully in line with the requirements set out in its Climate Awareness Bonds programme, and as a result is likely to be allocated to its portfolio of loan operations financed via the issuance of these bonds.

The EIB financing will also help achieve the objectives of the Spanish National Action Plan for Renewable Energies, which states that 20% of the energy used in Spain in 2020 must come from renewable sources.

Endesa was awarded 540 MW of wind energy and 339 MW of photovoltaic energy in the auctions for new renewable electricity generation facilities that took place in Spain in May and July 2017, which will involve an investment of over EUR 800m until 2020.

Endesa’s wind farms and solar power plants will be built in various areas across six autonomous communities: Aragón, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla-León, Extremadura, Galicia and Murcia. The project will also help to create jobs: the construction of the wind farms and photovoltaic plants is making it possible to employ 1 700 people to work on the project during the investment phase and up until implementation.

Source: EIB

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