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Soltec, a leading manufacturer of solar trackers, is launching the Solteach Pro training program, aimed at solar industry companies and workers specifically regarding PV tracker application in large projects. Solteach Pro is imparted by Soltec’s highly experienced engineers and project managers to train and certify individuals or companies in the optimal application of the unique SF7 Single-Axis Tracker, from plant design to commissioning. Specifically, the Solteach Pro program is aimed at companies (subcontractors or customers) as well as workers, whether they are engineers, supervisors or assemblers.

SF7 is the ideal solar tracker for large-scale PV tracking projects with its features of high yield-gain performance and agile application. SF7 has incorporated a screwless and tool-free module installation which requires zero maintenance. SF7 reduces the number of parts, resulting in faster, easier and more efficient installation. Those features combined with extreme supply and service performance have driven Soltec and SF7 to the top-tier globally.

The Solteach Pro one-day program is structured with general content and two specific parts: Solteach Professional and Solteach Projects. Solteach Professional is designed to impart supply and installation skills with factory hands-on or online training where participants will learn best-practices in project supply and tracker installation to best leverage the Soltec offer. The contents of this training include factory service packages, construction planning, installation steps and commissioning of the plant.

On the other hand, Solteach Projects is focused on engineering application with Soltec’s dynamic PV plant design training and the objective to leverage SF7 Single-Axis Tracker features of yield-density and agile application. The contents of this training are: characteristics and advantages of the SF7, SF7 configurations, subfield design and plant design with AutoCAD.

Soltec CEO Raul Morales said, “Solteach Pro helps customers get the most out Soltec’s complete offer of a remarkable product and team dedication to finding success amongst challenges.

Solteach Pro complements Soltec’s Onsite Services. Those services include advisory, logistics, commissioning, and regionally available installation and O&M contracting.

The Onsite Advisory Plan service is cost-effective for many of Soltec’s customers. Onsite Soltec staff guide customers’ team through the details of logistics, site-work, and equipment installation in construction, leaving field team the additional scope of supervision, execution, and management. Onsite Advisory services combine strengths between project partners to reduce costs.
Soltec is prepared to take additional supervisory and task-scope across the range of Soltec Service Plans that standardize customer experience options.

Soltec’s Pull Testing Service is not common amongst tracker suppliers but has become the usual choice of Soltec customers to most simply reduce investment risk and conform with due diligence criteria in the pre-construction phase.

Soltec’s global operations and workforce of over 750 people blend experience with innovation. The company has manufacturing facilities in Argentina, Brazil, China, and Spain, as well as offices in Australia, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. With a strong commitment to renewable energy and the environment, the company is dedicated to innovation, product standardization, and customer success.

Source: Soltec

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Following its first roadshow in Madrid last year, Gastech 2018 is preparing to hit the road once again, this time gathering regional and international business leaders, government representatives and renowned influencers at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, April 24, to discuss the continued evolution of the growing gas and LNG market.

The one-day free to attend event, to be held at the same venue as the upcoming Gastech Exhibition and Conference, will allow global delegates to hear insights from major Spanish energy company Repsol, leading energy industry consultancy Wood Mackenzie, as well as key stakeholders and supporters KBR, Baker Botts LLP, Gaztransport & Technigaz -GTT Pte Ltd and Macquarie Bank.

This second roadshow event will also be held in conjunction with the Gastech Governing Body’s conference programme voting meeting, at which it is expected that the full conference programme for Gastech 2018 will be confirmed and released.

The roadshow will attract 150 attendees ahead of the Gastech Exhibition and Conference, which will be held in September 2018. The industry leading conference, which this year will share the same location with GPEX (Global Power & Energy Exhibition), the new hub for the international power and energy community, will see more than 1,200 ministers, government officials, presidents, CEOs, chairmen and managing directors among 3,500 global conference delegates.

Gastech governing body and programme director Gavin Sutcliffe explained: “The Gastech roadshow in Madrid was a fantastic introduction to the key issues, topics and trends that we will be discussing at Gastech in September, and our Barcelona roadshow on April 24 will build on that success.”

“We’re especially excited that this second roadshow will be in the same venue where Gastech 2018 will be held in September. It will enable delegates, exhibitors and speakers to become familiar with the site and give them a real buzz for what is to come. The roadshow will also allow them to network in a focussed and productive environment while benefitting from expert insight into growth opportunities”.

“Not only that, but we are delighted to be announcing the full Gastech conference programme and share the presentations that will be featured at the conference next September.”

Presenters at Gastech 2018 will discuss topics at the forefront of the evolving gas industry, including new market opportunities for traditional and non-traditional gas market players, the largest consumers of gas and LNG by 2040, and the impact of energy landscape fragments and new ‘disruptors’ (in the form of renewables and innovative technologies) on the future of gas and LNG.

The Gastech 2018 conference will include four days of panel discussions and presentations from the industry’s key global leaders, which will address the key challenges facing the industry and discuss the most important topics that will shape the future of the world’s gas, LNG and energy industries for decades to come.

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Fabricación de inversores en una fábrica de SMA/Inverter manufacturing at a SMA factory ©SMA

In 2016, the PV sector in the EU28 represented more than 81,000 full-time Equivalents (FTEs) and more than €4,600 m GVA (Gross Value Aded) created. Despite recent reductions in job and added value creation by the PV industry in Europe, this trend is set to be reversed, with increased job creation and GVA in the coming years. According to a new EY report solar jobs and wealth creation in Europe are set to increase to nearly 175,000 full time jobs and €9,500 m value added by 2021.

The EY report also shows that an increase in ambition for the European Union 2030 renewable energy target from 27% to 35% will result in more than 120,000 new solar jobs alone.

Additionally the removal of the anti-dumping measures that are currently in place would have a positive effect on employment throughout the value chain in Europe. In such a scenario, 45,500 additional (direct and indirect) jobs would be created in the EU28.

This surge is only possible if countries increase their solar deployment rate in line with policy requirements to 2020. With the right policies in place this growth could be even greater by 2030. Member States should have the necessary flexibility to boost renewable energy that is available on their territory. With this approach Member states could develop incentives to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and to create new jobs in the most efficient way.

Calculations show that Spain will have the highest number of new jobs, with an expected growth of 471% from 2016 to 2021, followed by Greece (+403%), and Poland (+381%).

Yearly installed capacities in the European countries have a significant impact on job and GVA creation, as there is a direct impact on manufacturing and services needed. In 2016, rooftop PV installations support almost 3 times as many jobs and GVA than ground-mounted installations. This can be explained by their installed capacities and labor needs for installation, maintenance and operations. Respectively 75 and 73% of the share of jobs and GVA in 2016 is linked to the downstream activities of the PV value chain. Downstream activities (PV application) of the PV value chain are more labor intensive than upstream activities (PV materials & Equipment).

Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe said: “The more solar installed the more jobs and economic growth we will see in Europe. We need to remove all barriers to solar starting with withdrawing the trade measures currently in place on solar panels and cells accompanied by a predictable regulatory environment for PV in Europe. EY found that the average PV system price in Europe has decreased by 23% in 2016, compared to 2014, but we know that the price could be even lower if we ended the artificially high tariffs on solar products, which would boost jobs and economic activity in the countries of the EU.

Source: SolarPower Europe

On the occasion of the World Small Wind Conference held during Intersolar Europe in Munich (Germany), WWEA has released the global small wind statistics. The Summary of the 2017 Small Wind World Report indicates that 2015 was one of the most challenging years for the small wind industry in the recent years.

As of the end of 2015, a cumulative total of at least 990’000 small wind turbines were installed all over the world. This is an increase of 5 % (8,3 % in 2014) compared with the previous year, when 945’000 units were registered. It means that worldwide, several million families are getting power from small wind turbines. However, only in Italy, the number of new installations increased during 2015.

 

The recorded small wind capacity installed worldwide has reached more than 945 MW as of the end of 2015. This is a growth of 14 % compared with 2014, when 830 MW were registered. In 2012, 678 MW were installed. China accounts for 43 % of the global capacity, the USA for 25 %, UK for 15 % and Italy for 6,3%.

A downward trend in supporting policies for small wind in the three biggest markets has decreased the number of new installations although the installed capacity was bigger than in the previous year. Smaller markets like Italy or Japan, with more favorable policies, have attracted the industry and became a lifesaver for the sector. Markets like Japan or Australia will become more and more important for small wind manufacturers in the next years.

China continues to be clearly the market leader in terms of installed units: at least 43’000 units were added in 2015, reaching 732’000 units installed by the end of 2015 and accounting for 93 % of the new units installed worldwide.

Stefan Gsänger, WWEA Secretary General: “Small wind can contribute substantially to the power supply in many countries of the world. In particular in hybrid systems and in combination with solar and other renewable technologies, small wind turbines can enable citizens, communities and businesses to produce power at affordable cost, without harming the environment. However, the manufacturing sector requires policies which provide predictable and sizable markets in order to invest and scale up production facilities. If this is given, prices for small wind turbines will decrease further. The small wind sector itself will continue working on improving quality of its products by aiming at harmonizing and simplifying international standards and certification schemes.

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The governments of leading offshore wind markets, Germany, Belgium and Denmark came together with industry captains in signing a Joint Statement to further the deployment of offshore wind energy in Europe. The signing ceremony took place at the opening of Offshore Wind Energy 2017, the industry event co-organised by WindEurope and RenewableUK in London.

The signatory governments represented by Marie-Christine Marghem, Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, Belgium, Rainer Baake State Secretary for Energy, Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, Germany and Kristoffer Böttzauw, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Denmark, reaffirmed their commitment of deploying a significant volume of offshore wind power in Europe between 2020 and 2030.

 

Signatory governments welcomed the cost reductions in offshore wind achieved to date and the intention of the industry that offshore wind keeps reducing its costs so Europe remains the global leader in the sector.

The industry has been on a steep cost reduction curve and has met its self-imposed target of €100/MWh by 2020 ahead of time. Winning bids of auctions in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark delivered up to 48% cost reduction compared to projects just 2 years ago.

Delivering further cost reductions will require the deployment of significant volumes of new offshore wind. But most Governments in Europe have still to define clear plans for how much new offshore they intend to deploy, notably beyond 2023. The industry therefore calls on European governments to collectively ensure there is 60 GW, or at least 4 GW per year of new deployment in the decade after 2020. Going beyond 4 GW per year would enable the industry to become fully competitive with new conventional generation ahead of 2030.

To deliver on these volumes, government and industry signatories committed to build on public-private cooperation to facilitate investments in projects and associated infrastructure. Crucially, they pledged to work towards the necessary European framework supporting Europe’s common renewable energy trajectories in part by calling on the European Commission to mobilise dedicated funding for strategic joint projects for offshore wind energy.

60 GW, which the industry intends to deploy between 2020 and 2030, represents only a fraction of the potential of offshore wind energy in Europe. According to a new resource assessment by BVG Associates and WindEurope, offshore wind could in theory generate between 2,600 TWh and 6,000 TWh per year at a competitive cost – €65/MWh or below, including grid connection and using the technologies that will have developed by 2030. This economically attractive resource potential would represent between 80% and 180% of the EU’s total electricity demand.

This joint initiative serves as a strong reminder that leading European businesses and Governments are united in their determination to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy, to reap the economic benefits that will come from that – and in the process to uphold the non-negotiable letter and spirit of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Source: WindEurope

Oct 26th-28th, the Green EXPO 2016 was held in Mexico City. As the global leader in the PV industry, Huawei took part in the exhibition with the FusionSolar Smart PV Solution. In addition, the solution was demonstrated from multiple dimensions and scenarios, like ground and rooftop plant, presenting Huawei’s high technologies to participating customers.

During the exhibition, Huawei showed the most advanced 1500V Solution and products, global success cases and company development. The 1500V Solution is much more safe, reliable and higher efficiency. Huawei has already constructed high generation power plants in England, Germany, Japan, and China. And in 2015, Huawei ranked the global No.1 shipment, according to the latest reports of IHS and GTM Research.

Mexico is an essential inverter market to Huawei. There were many prominent guests come to Huawei booth. Huawei had deep discussions on the development prospect of renewable energy and the intelligent O&M of PV plants with these senior leaders. Both sides look forward to the cooperation in the future.

In this exhibition, Huawei promoted the SUN2000-36/42KTL smart PV inverter for the Latin American market. The inverter European efficiency is 98.6%, and the maximum efficiency is 98.8%. Four maximum power point tracks (MPPTs) can minimize energy yield loss due to PV array mismatch and improve the energy yield of the power plant by more than 2%. High-precision sensors can accurately detect information about each string and the states of key components to remotely manage PV power plants. IP65 protection, no-fuse, and natural cooling design enable smart PV power plants versatile for all the hostile outdoor environment like high temperature, high dampness, high altitude, extreme cold, sandy, salt and mist areas and ensure secure and reliable running of inverters in the power plant lifecycle.

Huawei smart PV inverters adopt Hisilicon chipsets and operating system, use fewer copper devices, changes the traditional power converter to a smart controller that can “think” as the “brain” of a power plant to improve inverter efficiency and performance. In addition, the PLC technology substitutes for RS485 communications cables, ensuring secure and reliable power plant communication. Inverters can supply power to tracking supports and provide high-speed communication channels to simply the system networking and reduce costs. With higher reliability, the inverter uptime can reach to 99.996%, which is certified by TÜV, if sufficient the spare parts are maintained on site. Equivalent CAPEX as central inverter, higher yield up 2%, simple O&M saving maintenance cost, and safe and reliable system are the key reasons for the company’s rapid growth, that continuously upgrade and innovate its product offering as per the market need.

According to the new act legislated by Mexican Government, the power ratio generated by clean energy should be 35% in 2024. Huawei will continue to increase the investment especially in Mexico, Brazil and Chile, to assist the rapid growth of the renewable energy market in Latin American market.

Source: Huawei

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The Commission recognises the contribution by CHP to energy efficiency

Europe’s CHP sector and its associated industries have positively valued the response of the Commission, both due to the information included as well as due to its policy action directives.
MEPs have highlighted the key role of CHP in achieving the target of saving 20% energy by 2020, as established under the Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency, and showed interest in its evolution in the EU, also mentioning the situation in Spain where 350 of the existing 1,000 installations are currently stopped

The response has been to bring to light the importance of primary energy savings and CHP, as well as the monitoring being undertaken by the European Commission which has identified a decline of 1% per year in CHP in the EU for the period 2005-2013. The Commission urges that this backwards trend must be reversed given the contribution by cogeneration to industrial efficiency and productivity.
Similarly, the Commission confirms that it is analysing the studies on High Efficiency CHP Potential required by regulation and that have been submitted to the Member States.

Acogen, together with COGEN EUROPE, indicated their satisfaction and interest in intensifying contacts with the Commission and in transferring updated information regards the advances made and potential among different Member States to reverse the situation and thereby stimulate CHP and with it, energy efficiency and industrial productivity in accordance with EU objectives.

The European Parliament calls for an improved regulatory framework for cogeneration companies

The plenary session of the European Parliament has adopted a resolution regarding the “EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling” in which, in addition to backing-up the strategy already published by the Commission, requires Member States to adopt specific measures.

Heating and cooling is the largest energy sector in the EU, representing 50% of Europe’s energy consumption, while electricity accounts for 22% and transport 28%. It is hoped that this situation will be maintained in future.

Cogeneration companies, via their sector association Acogen, are satisfied with the European Parliament decision, particularly as regards CHP, requesting that “specific sustainable strategies are developed at national scale as regards heating and cooling, with special attention to CHP and also to district heating and cooling systems, preferably renewable, in line with the Energy Efficiency Directive”.
MEPs are calling for the European Commission to immediately reinforce its policies to support CHP and establish “a common European framework that promotes and gives legal certainty to self-generation”. The report stresses the need “to be able to rely on a favourable framework for the residents and tenants of residential buildings, with the aim of allowing them to benefit from self-generation and the consumption of renewable heating and cooling, as well as energy efficiency measures, thereby overcoming the challenges posed by sharing gains and property laws that are at times restrictive”.

The European Parliament has, as a result, clearly positioned itself in favour of improving the policies that support energy efficiency and CHP, as well as renewable technologies. However, this position has to be reflected in the proposals that are expected to be published shortly by the European Commission, in particular the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the energy market design, a key factor in successfully completing the transition towards a new energy system.

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PV plant Sishen (Acciona, Sudáfrica)

The Spain Renewable Energy Consortium, a body that brings together the main Spanish companies in the sector with the aim of promoting Brand Spain in the field, will extend the scope of its operations to the global level as the result of a new vision, which aims to expand to all markets.

In May the General Assembly of the Consortium approved a change of name in line with the extension of the range of its operations. Since it was set up in 2011 it has driven the development of the Spanish renewable industry in Africa and the Middle East, helping to improve communications with governments and public bodies and fostering relations between Spanish companies in those regions.

The Consortium currently consists of 18 companies, among them Abengoa, Acciona, ACS Cobra, FRV Fotowatio, Grupo TSK and Elecnor. This has contributed to its positioning as a point of reference in the Spanish renewables sector in countries such as South Africa, Morocco, Jordan, Senegal, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Uganda.

In the words of Consortium Chairman Miguel Arrarás, “the renewable market is increasingly global and competitive, so cooperation between Spanish companies to promote our common interests is essential so as not to lose our position as key players in the one of the few sectors in which our country is among the world leaders”.

A new Governing Board was also elected for the next 12 months, with the re-election of Miguel Arrarás (ACCIONA) as Chairman and the appointment of representatives from Grupo TSK, Grupo Cobra, FRV Fotowatio, Elecnor, Qatro and STI Norland to different posts.

The results obtained by member companies of the Consortium are highlighted in the development of such emblematic projects as the first phase of the solar power complex of Ouarzazate in Morocoo, the Xhi Solar One plant in South Africa, the construction of a 50 MW plant in Jordan as part of the General Strategy for the Energy Sector, or participation in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum project in Dubai. At the same time, the Consortium has provided technical support to authorities in more than 10 countries in Africa and the Middle East through study tours or visits to reference facilities built by Spanish companies.

Support for manufacturers of goods and equipment

The companies in the Consortium have undertaken – in an agreement in its latest General Assembly – to support Spanish manufacturers of goods and equipment to help them improve their positioning within the group and contribute a new dynamism.

To do this, the Consortium will begin to organise the work of manufacturers and contractors in a programmed manner, with the aim of reflecting and dealing with problems that are common to these companies in their international activity.

The Assembly welcomed two new companies – STI Norland and Grandsolar – and reiterated that it is open to any Spanish companies that wish to participate as a way of facilitating their penetration into international markets.

 

Source: Consorcio de Promoción de la Industria Española de Energías Renovables

On 16 February, the European Commission presented its first strategy to optimise heating and cooling in buildings and industries. The EU Heating and Cooling Strategy is the first EU initiative to address the energy used for heating and cooling in buildings and industry, which accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption. By making the sector smarter, more efficient and sustainable, energy imports and dependency will fall, costs will be cut and emissions reduced. The Strategy is a key action of the Energy Union and will contribute to improving EU’s energy security and to addressing the post-COP 21 climate agenda.

Heating and cooling refers to the energy needed for warming and cooling buildings, whether residential or in the services sector (for example schools, hospitals, office buildings). It also includes the energy required by almost all industrial processes as well as cooling and refrigeration in the service sector, such as the retail sector (for example to preserve food across the supply chain, from production to supermarket and on to the customer). Currently, the sector accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption, accounting for 13% of total oil consumption and 59% of total gas consumption (direct use only) in the EU. The latter equates to 68% of all gas imports. This is mainly because European buildings are old, which implies various problems, including:

• Almost half of the EU’s buildings have boilers installed prior to 1992, with an efficiency rate of below 60%.
• 22% of gas boilers, 34% of electric heaters, 47% of oil boilers and 58% of coal boilers are older than their technical lifetime. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

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The U.S. solar market is set to grow a staggering 119 percent this year, says GTM Research in its U.S. Solar Market Insight 2015 Year in Review, published in conjunction with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Led by the utility-scale segment, GTM Research forecasts 16 gigawatts of solar will be installed in the U.S. in 2016, more than doubling the record-breaking 7.3 gigawatts installed in 2015.

While utility-scale installations will represent 74 percent of the installations for the year, the residential and commercial markets will also experience strong growth in 2016. In fact, the U.S. is on the verge of its millionth solar installation.

“This is a new energy paradigm, and the solar industry officially has a seat at the table with the largest energy producers,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. “Because of the strong demand for solar energy nationwide, and smart public policies like the Investment Tax Credit and net energy metering, hundreds of thousands of well-paying solar jobs will be added in the next few years, benefiting both America’s economy and the environment.”

With the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) initially set to expire at the end of this year, developers and EPCs filled their pipelines with projects that would come on-line in 2016. In December, however, an extension of the ITC provided long-term market certainty. Now, in 2016, state-level drivers and risks will move to the forefront and play even larger roles in the growth of both distributed and utility-scale solar.

According to the report, the rollout of new community solar programs, new utility-led efforts to enable corporate procurement of offsite solar, and ongoing debate over the value of rooftop solar are three key trends that will drive U.S. solar demand throughout the year.

“In 2016, the rooftop solar economic outlook will depend not only on favorable outcomes to net energy metering debates, but also on customer-wide and solar-specific rate structure reforms that can impact savings from solar,” said GTM Research Senior Analyst Cory Honeyman.
eeuu-grafica-solar
On the non-residential side, PV demand will be supported by a triple-digit-megawatt pipeline of community solar projects. Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota will collectively install more than 100 megawatts of community solar this year.

Looking ahead to 2017, the residential and non-residential PV markets are both expected to grow year-over-year, but the report cautions that U.S. solar is still expected to drop on an annual basis due to the pull-in of utility PV demand in 2016.

“As the double-digit-gigawatt utility PV pipeline is built out in 2016, utility solar is expected to experience a reset in 2017,” said Honeyman, noting that the market will shrink to a still-impressive 10 gigawatts. “But between 2018 and 2020, the extension of the ITC will reboot market growth for utility PV and support continued growth in distributed solar as a growing number of states reach grid parity.”

The federal ITC provides a 30 percent tax incentive on all solar projects. In December 2015, Congress extended the credit out to 2019 with a step-down through 2022 and project completion deadline of 2023 for some projects.

By 2021, GTM Research expects the U.S. solar market to surpass 100 cumulative gigawatts, with an annual install rate of 20 gigawatts or more.
Image Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight report

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