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The Energy Division of Acciona has developed a pioneering solution at global level in the field of hybridization between wind and photovoltaic power. It consists of covering a wind turbine tower with flexible organic panels to produce energy for the internal electricity consumption of the turbine. The innovative project will allow the study of the performance of the organic panels -an emerging photovoltaic technology- and their application to improve wind turbine efficiency.

The system has been installed in one of the turbines of the Breña Wind Farm (Albacete, Spain), which ACCIONA owns and operates. The turbine is an AW77/1500 of Nordex-Acciona Windpower technology, mounted on an 80-metre-high steel tower (hub height).

Installed on the tower are 120 solar panels facing southeast-southwest to capture the maximum of the sun’s rays throughout the day. They are distributed at eight different heights, occupying around 50 metres of the tower’s surface area. The photovoltaic modules, with an overall capacity of 9.36 kWp, are of Heliatek technology (HeliaSol 308-5986 model). They are only 1 mm thick, and each one has a surface area of 5,986 x 308 mm.

In contrast to the conventional technology used in the manufacture of photovoltaic models based on silicon, these organic panels use carbon as raw material and are characterized by their structural flexibility, which makes them adaptable to very different surfaces. Other key features are lower maintenance costs, less energy consumption during manufacture, easier logistics and the complete recycling of the materials used, although their efficiency is still below that of silicon modules.

The hybridization project in Breña means the optimization of the use of space for renewable energy production and it will enable us to test the efficiency of organic photovoltaics, a technology that we believe has one of the best improvement curves in terms of technological efficiency. That is why we have decided to pilot it”, says Belén Linares, Energy Innovation Director in Acciona.

Optimizing generation

The immediate application of the Breña project is to produce part of the energy that the internal systems of the wind turbine need. When the turbine is running, some of the energy generated is used to power the auxiliary systems. In shutdown mode, certain systems need to continue functioning so they are fed from the grid, which means that the wind turbine is registering a net consumption of energy.

The new photovoltaic system with panels on the tower will be able to cover, completely or partially, the energy demand related to the operation of the wind turbine when there is solar radiation, or even -in a possible later phase of the project- when the sun is not shining. This would be done through a battery storage system, leading to an improvement in the net production sent to the grid.

The organic panels are connected to two inverters that convert DC into AC for later connection to the grid which supplies the electrical equipment of the wind turbine.

The entire system is monitored with a view to evaluating it under real conditions, both from the point of view of energy production and degradation of the solar modules. Conceptually, it is a very innovative design in relation to previous experiences in wind power-photovoltaic hybridization, based on panels installed on the ground.

The idea is part of a wide-ranging innovation project driven by Acciona to study a number of emerging photovoltaic technologies, with the aim of pioneering the adoption of more efficient solutions in each case and consolidating its leadership as a PV developer. The company currently has over 1,200 MWp in operation or under construction in different parts of the world.

Source: Acciona

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.

grafica

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

Despite significant progress in recent years, the world is falling short of meeting the global energy targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030. Ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 remains possible but will require more sustained efforts, particularly to reach some of the world’s poorest populations and to improve energy sustainability, according to a new report produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Notable progress has been made on energy access in recent years, with the number of people living without electricity dropping to roughly 840 million from 1 billion in 2016 and 1.2 billion in 2010. India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Myanmar are among countries that made the most progress since 2010. However, without more sustained and stepped-up actions, 650 million people will still be left without access to electricity in 2030. Nine out of 10 of them will be living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report also shows that great efforts have been made to deploy renewable energy technology for electricity generation and to improve energy efficiency across the world. Nonetheless, access to clean cooking solutions and the use of renewable energy in heat generation and transport are still lagging far behind the goals. Maintaining and extending the pace of progress in all regions and sectors will require stronger political commitment, long-term energy planning, increased private financing and adequate policy and fiscal incentives to spur faster deployment of new technologies.

The report tracks global, regional and country progress on the three targets of SDG7: access to energy and clean cooking, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It identifies priorities for action and best practices that have proven successful in helping policymakers and development partners understand what is needed to overcome challenges.

Here are the key highlights for each target. Findings are based on official national-level data and measure global progress through 2017.

Access to electricity: Following a decade of steady progress, the global electrification rate reached 89 percent and 153 million people gained access to electricity each year. However, the biggest challenge remains in the most remote areas globally and in sub-Saharan Africa where 573 million people still live in the dark. To connect the poorest and hardest to reach households, off-grid solutions, including solar lighting, solar home systems, and increasingly mini grids, will be crucial. Globally, at least 34 million people in 2017 gained access to basic electricity services through off-grid technologies. The report also reinforces the importance of reliability and affordability for sustainable energy access.

Clean cooking: Almost three billion people remain without access to clean cooking in 2017, residing mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This lack of clean cooking access continues to pose serious health and socioeconomic concerns. Under current and planned policies, the number of people without access would be 2.2 billion in 2030, with significant impact on health, environment, and gender equality.

Renewables accounted for 17.5% of global total energy consumption in 2016 versus 16.6% in 2010. Renewables have been increasing rapidly in electricity generation but have made less headway into energy consumption for heat and transport. A substantial further increase of renewable energy is needed for energy systems to become affordable, reliable and sustainable, focusing on modern uses. As renewables become mainstream, policies need to cover the integration of renewables into the broader energy system and take into account the socio-economic impacts affecting the sustainability and pace of the transition.

Energy efficiency improvements have been more sustained in recent years, thanks to concerted policy efforts in large economies. However, the global rate of primary energy intensity improvement still lags behind, and estimates suggest there has been a significant slowdown in 2017 and 2018. Strengthening mandatory energy efficiency policies, providing targeted fiscal or financial incentives, leveraging market-based mechanisms, and providing high-quality information about energy efficiency will be central to meet the goal.

Source: IEA, IRENA, UNSD,World Bank, WHO

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Saft has extended its range of containerized lithium-ion (Li-ion) Energy Storage Systems (ESS) with the Intensium Max 20 High Energy (HE) that offers 2.5 MWh storage capacity in a standard 20-foot container. With the new fully integrated container, Saft can address the majority of grid, renewables, commercial and industrial applications that require large-scale ESS solutions able to sustain multiple daily cycles with typical discharge times of 2 to 4 hours.

The main applications for the Intensium Max 20 HE will be energy time-shifting for large solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind farms, as well as enabling utilities to defer grid investment through virtual power lines, and ‘behind the meter’ for large industrial and commercial premises.

In developing the Intensium Max 20 HE, Saft has focused on achieving high levels of safety, reliability and ease of maintenance in a design that is ‘best in class’ across energy density, energy efficiency, lifetime and performance with 1.2 MW power and 2.5 MWh energy storage. The container integrates all the essential control, thermal management and safety functions in a flexible, scalable architecture that provides the building block for the creation of large-scale installations up to 100 MW.

Hervé Amossé, Saft Executive Vice President Transportation, Telecom and Grid said: “Saft has generations of experience in the design, manufacture and delivery of containerized Li-ion systems that have established an outstanding track record in applications requiring high power for short durations, such as frequency support and ancillary services. We have put this wealth of experience into this fourth-generation container that enables us to address a much broader range of applications that require high energy delivered over long durations.” “We anticipate that the Intensium Max 20 HE will be a vital element in Saft’s new strategy to offer integrated turnkey ESS in which the battery forms part of a complete system that includes every element up to the grid connection.

The Intensium Max 20 HE is based around a new unmanned approach to the container design, with no need for an internal access corridor for maintenance, as the Li-ion modules and control systems can be accessed externally. Together with new larger modules and advanced cell designs, this has enabled a significant increase in energy density within the standard 20-foot container that offers ease of transportation and handling on site.

A further advantage of Saft’s containerized design is that the systems are fully fitted out and tested under factory-controlled conditions. This ensures that they arrive on site ready to ‘plug and play’ for fast, easy installation and commissioning. Saft takes responsibility for every aspect of their design and integration and provides long term warranties – an important point for customers who want to maximize reliability and availability.

Saft is able to serve customers worldwide by making the Intensium Max 20 HE available through three manufacturing hubs located in North America, Europe and the Far East, with the first shipments scheduled in September 2019 for a European wind and storage project.

Source: Saft

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Following the launch of the EnVentus platform in January, including the V162-5.6 MW and V150-5.6 MW turbines, Vestas today introduced the V138-3.0 MW turbine at AWEA WINDPOWER in Houston, Texas. Based on the scalable EnVentus platform architecture, the V138-3.0 MW’s 138m rotor provides a large rotor-size-to-generator-rating ratio, strengthening Vestas’ portfolio of turbines through superior park level energy production, higher certainty in performance, and reduced levelised cost of energy.

The V138-3.0 MW is globally applicable but purposely designed to maximise performance under market specific constraint conditions. By combining the V138-3.0 MW turbine’s 138m rotor with an 83m tower, the new turbine offers the industry’s largest swept area under 152.4 m (500ft), a relevant height constraint in the United States. At the same time, the turbine’s leading sound power levels makes it highly suitable for low wind sites in sound sensitive markets such as France.

Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada says: “The V138-3.0 MW underlines Vestas ability to continuously innovate and lead the industry in developing customisable and sustainable energy solutions that meet our customers’ needs. This turbine is a perfect match for the North American market where higher certainty in Annual Energy Production at park level will become increasingly important for our customers to secure project financing and ensure profitability in a post-PTC market”.

As wind energy continues to expand globally and increase its share of the energy mix, the energy market is transforming. EnVentus is designed to meet the challenges our customers are facing in this environment, including changing energy policy and grid requirements. Through increased standardisation of components while ensuring turbine optimisation, the EnVentus variants thus help efficiently ensure our customers’ competitiveness in a wide range of market conditions, including markets driven by auction and forward-selling.

Anders Vedel, Vestas Chief Technology Officer, says “With the introduction of the V138-3.0 MW, we take another step forward in versatility and scalability of functional systems, demonstrating modular product development’s huge potential and how it supports our vision to become the global leader in sustainable energy solutions. I’m proud that, by utilising many of the same components as the first two turbines, we can introduce the V138-3.0 MW to meet customer requirements while lowering the levelised cost of energy and optimising the value chain”.

With the introduction of the V138-3.0 MW, EnVentus now covers an unprecedented wide spectrum of turbine generator ratings and rotor sizes, underlining the scalability of EnVentus’ platform architecture. Prototype installation is expected by the second half of 2020, while serial production is scheduled for the first half of 2021.

Source: Vestas

In partnership with the RE-Source Platform, BayWa r.e. has published its Energy Report 2019 which analyses the attitudes of 1,200 European corporations towards renewable energy. While 89% of all those surveyed agreed on the leading role corporations must play in driving the energy transition, 76% identified bureaucracy and complex regulations as major barriers that are hindering further investment in renewables.

 

For the majority of corporations, the benefits were clear – almost 90% felt the use of renewables resulted in a better public image, while 80% felt it gave them a business advantage. And when deciding to invest in renewables, 92% did so to reduce energy costs.

However, a perception of long payback periods (44%) and high investment costs (38%) were identified as barriers by corporations across all surveyed countries. At just under 50%, the perception of investment costs as a barrier was highest in Poland and the UK.

While companies in Germany, the UK and France mainly focus on greenhouse gas emission targets, companies in Poland, Italy and Spain aim to increase the overall use of renewable energy.

Over half of all surveyed corporations were planning to use renewable energy or install their own renewable energy facilities within the next five years. Spanish corporations were particularly ambitious with 76% planning to increase their use of renewables, while Italian corporates recorded 70%.

Source: BayWa r.e.

European electricity markets

Since April 1, prices in Europe have had certain stability. The rise in the CO2 emission price was offset by lower gas and coal prices and also by the slight decrease in electricity demand due to the better weather conditions in spring, with somewhat higher temperatures and more hours of sunshine in this 40-day period. The price fluctuations in this period are mainly due to variations in wind energy production, especially in Germany and Spain, which are the European leaders generating energy with this technology. In the case of Germany, prices could have been stable at 40 €/MWh but when there was a lot of wind they fell below this value, even reaching negative values on April 22 at 14 €/MWh. In the Spanish electricity market, fluctuations in wind energy production caused prices in the band between 40 €/MWh and 60 €/MWh. Also in this period of 40 days there were fluctuations in temperature and in solar energy production.


Electricity futures

The prices of European electricity futures for the third quarter of 2019 increased in most markets between 0.3% and 1.6% on Friday, May 10, compared to Friday of previous week. In the case of the OMIP market of Spain and Portugal, as well as the MTE market operated by GME, they remain unchanged, while the UK futures decreased in both the ICE and EEX markets.
In the case of futures for 2020, the increase was more widespread between 0.5% and 1.4%. Only the MTE market operated by GME remained unchanged and the UK’s ICE and EEX markets declined, as did the future for the third quarter of this year.

Wind and solar energy production

In the second week of May, the wind energy production had an increase in the main European markets except in Germany with a drop of 3.3%. The increase in France was 58%, in Portugal 99%, in Spain 36%, and in Italy 37%.
For the current week, the third of May, a decline in wind energy production is forecasted after the rise of the previous week. The most pronounced fall is expected in Italy and Portugal, somewhat less in Spain and France, and even a slight increase in Germany.

As for solar energy production, which includes photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies, during the second week of May fell by 4.3% in Germany, while in Spain the fall reached 20% with respect to the previous week. For its part, in Italy the previous week registered an increase of 5.3% in the solar energy production.
For the current week it is expected a decrease in solar energy production in Italy of about 20%, while in Germany and Spain the trend is expected to be bullish between 15% and 20%.

 

Source: AleaSoft

CSP with thermal storage will bridge dispatchable energy gap according to GlobalData. The company’s latest report ‘Energy Storage – A Key Determinant for the Future of Concentrated Solar Power Market’ reveals that retirements of coal based plants and increase in influx of intermittent renewable power sources in order to achieve climate goals provide potential market opportunity for CSP with thermal storage.

The influx of renewable power sources such as wind and solar backed by ambitious targets and plans to phase out coal- or decommission coal fleet to reduce carbon footprint by various countries will lead to an energy gap for dispatchable generation. CSP with energy storage has the ability to bridge the demand and supply gap for dispatchable electricity.

Global installed capacity for CSP was around 5.6 GW at the end of 2018, of which only 2.6 GW is with energy storage. In contrast, of the total CSP projects under various stages of development, 95.8% of the upcoming capacity has storage. Majority of the active CSP projects with storage are with a thermal storage capacity in the range of 6-10 hours. In case of the under-development CSP capacity, 62.8% is with storage of 10-13 hours and 14% has over 13 hour storage. This shows the increased importance given to long hours of storage by project developers and owners to not only provide stable and reliable power 24/7, but also reduce the cost of electricity generation from CSP by using longer duration of thermal energy storage.

Auction results over last few years indicated declining cost of generation for CSP projects with storage. The years 2017 and 2018 have been breakthrough years for CSP in terms of cost reduction with prices for projects expected to be commissioned from 2020 onwards to be in the range of $0.06/kWh to $0.12/kWh.

Source: GlobalData

For most people, their personal energy revolution begins with the installation of a PV system on the roof of their home. This allows them not only to cover their domestic energy needs, but also to make use of the entire spectrum of options offered by energy sector integration thanks to the intelligent solutions from Fronius Solar Energy. The ultimate goal is to power an entire household exclusively from self-generated solar energy, which can also be used to heat water and for e-mobility. This helps to increase the rate of self-sufficiency and to more efficiently utilise the PV system. When it comes to e-mobility in particular, it is important to have a suitable overall concept comprising a PV system, energy storage system, hot water generation and a wallbox – in other words, a domestic charging station for electric cars, bringing a new level of meaning to ‘solar power’.

A personal energy revolution involves exploiting the entire spectrum of energy sector integration. Optimum energy management enables the highest possible rate of self-sufficiency to be achieved with self-generated solar energy. This increases profitability and the rate of self-consumption while simultaneously reducing costs. Alongside electricity and heat, mobility is the third major sector that can be powered with electricity from a user’s own roof using solutions from Fronius.

If you own an electric car, you’ll want to power it with solar energy,” explains Martin Hackl, Global Director Solar Energy at Fronius. “But you’re often not at home when the electricity from your domestic PV system is available.” This is where Fronius comes in: the solar energy experts are taking e-mobility to the next level and are making it possible to charge an electric car in the afternoon or evening with the electricity stored throughout the day. “It’s about having an energy solution that guarantees an electric car really is fuelled with green electricity,” adds Hackl. “To achieve this, you need to get the entire package right.

Fuelling a car with green electricity

Owners of electric cars essentially have three ways of charging their vehicles. The easiest, yet most ineffective method, is to simply plug the car into the socket or wallbox when power is required and use the energy available at that moment. This often only enables the user to achieve a slight increase in self-consumption, as a large proportion of the electricity needed is drawn from the public grid.

To charge the electric car’s battery intelligently, a Fronius inverter with an integrated energy management function and a compatible wallbox (charging station for the home) is required alongside the PV system on the roof. The inverter informs the wallbox when there is surplus electricity available, which then charges the electric car. Self-consumption can typically be increased by a further 20% in this way.

Dynamic charge control (the car is charged with precisely the amount of surplus electricity that is available at the given time) and an additional Fronius battery raise the rate of self-consumption up to almost 100%, depending on the system size and consumption behaviour. With this method, the energy management system sends the surplus electricity that has been produced throughout the day to a Fronius Solar Battery for temporary storage until it is later needed to fuel the car with solar power.

This ingenious method enables users to really get the most out of e-mobility,” says Hackl. “If you also upgrade your system with a Fronius Ohmpilot, which draws on surplus electricity to generate hot water, you will have a solution that makes the most economic sense and achieves the highest level of self-sufficiency.

Source: Fronius

Buildings account for about a third of total final energy consumption and energy-related emissions globally. They also have very long lifetimes that can impact energy and emissions for decades. But while they are often overlooked, they must play a critical role in the energy transitions. A recent report from the IEA, “Perspectives for the Clean Energy Transitions: The critical role of buildings“, finds there is a risk of a serious lock-in of inefficient buildings as countries without mandatory codes are expected to see an explosion of building construction, half of which by the early 2030s.

The pace and scale of the global clean energy transition is not in line with climate targets. Energy-related CO2 emissions rose again in 2018 by 1.7%. The buildings sector represented 28% of those emissions, two-thirds from rapidly growing electricity use. In fact, since 2000, the rate of electricity demand in buildings increased five-times faster than improvements in the carbon intensity of the power sector.

CO2 emissions need to peak around 2020 and enter a steep decline thereafter. In the Faster Transition Scenario, energy-related emissions drop 75% by 2050. The carbon intensity of the power sector falls by more than 90% and the end-use sectors see a 65% drop, thanks to energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and shifts to low-carbon electricity. The buildings sector sees the fastest CO2 reduction, falling by an average of 6% per year to one-eighth of current levels by 2050.

Technology can reduce CO2 emissions from buildings while improving comfort and services. In the Faster Transition Scenario, near-zero energy construction and deep energy renovations reduce the sector’s energy needs by nearly 30% to 2050, despite a doubling of global floor area. Energy use is cut further by a doubling in air conditioner efficiency, even as 1.5 billion households gain access to cooling comfort. Heat pumps cut typical energy use for heating by a factor of four or more, while solar thermal delivers carbon-free heat to nearly 3 billion people.

A surge in clean energy investment will ultimately bring savings across the global economy and cut in half the proportion of household income spent on energy. Realising sustainable buildings requires annual capital flows to increase by an average of USD 27 billion over the next decade – a relatively small addition to the USD 4.9 trillion dollars already invested each year in buildings globally. Yet, cumulative household energy spending to 2050 is around USD 5 trillion lower in the Faster Transition Scenario, leading to net savings for consumers, with the average share of household income spent on energy falling from 5% today to around 2.5% by 2050.

Government effort is critical to make sustainable buildings a reality. Immediate action is needed to expand and strengthen mandatory energy policies everywhere, and governments can work together to transfer knowledge and share best practices. Clear policy support for innovation will enable economies of scale and learning rates for industry to deliver solutions with little increase in cost. Policy intervention can also improve access to finance, de-risk clean energy investment and enable market-based instruments that lower the cost of the clean energy transition.

Delaying assertive policy action has major economic implications. Globally, the scale of new buildings likely to be built by 2050 under inadequate energy policies is equivalent to 2.5-times the current building stock in the People’s Republic of China (“China”). Waiting another ten years to act on high-performance buildings construction and renovations would result in more than 2 gigatonnes of additional CO2 emissions from 3.500 million tonnes of oil equivalent of unnecessary energy demand to 2050, increasing global spending on heating and cooling by USD 2.5 trillion.

Source: International Energy Agency (IEA)

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