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installed capacity

Bloomberg NEF data indicate that the world has attained the landmark figure of 1 TW of wind and solar generation capacity installed, and indicates that the second terawatt of wind and solar will arrive by mid-2023 and cost 46% less than the first.

New output from the BNEF database shows that there were 1,013 GW of wind and solar PV generating capacity installed worldwide as of June 30, 2018. The 1 TW milestone would have been passed sometime just before this date. The total is finely balanced between wind (54%) and solar (46%).

Looking back on the first terawatt of wind and solar reveals just how far these two sectors have come. Total installed capacity has grown 65-fold since the year 2000, and more than quadrupled since 2010.

Even more striking is the growth of solar PV alone. As recently as 2007, there was just 8GW of PV capacity installed, compared with 89 GW of wind. Since then, PV has grown from just 8% of total installed wind and solar capacity, to 46%. In the process, PV installations grew 57-fold, with utility-scale PV overtaking small-scale PV in 2014. Wind still represents the majority of the installed base at 54%, but is likely to relinquish this lead soon.


Bloomberg NEF estimates that the first 1 TW of wind and solar required approximately $2.3 trillion of capital expenditure to deploy. The second terawatt will cost significantly less than the first. Based on estimates from New Energy Outlook 2018, capital expenditures on wind and solar generation will total about $1.23 trillion from 2018 to 2022 inclusive.

What about other renewables?

Bloomberg NEF has singled out wind and solar in this piece because they are the fastest-growing sources of power generation and have just recently achieved the 1 TW mark. If we were to include all other renewables, including hydropower, the total would already exceed 2 TW, with the 1 TW mark attained about a decade ago. Most of the growth in the intervening period can be attributed to wind and solar.

Source: Bloomberg NEF

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Ingeteam Power Technology has been awarded the supply contract for the world’s largest PV plant, being built by Sterling and Wilson, one of the leading global solar EPC companies. The Sweihan PV project, which is to be constructed in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), is to have an installed power of 1,177.36 MW. Once inaugurated, this will be the largest PV project in the world to be constructed in a single generating power plant.

The energy produced is to be purchased by ADWEC (Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company), the Emirate’s electricity company, a subsidiary of ADWEA (Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority), for subsequent transmission, distribution and trading. The consortium of companies responsible for the development and operation of the Sweihan PV project, awarded the engineering and construction work to the Indian company Sterling & Wilson, which then selected Ingeteam’s technology for this project.


Therefore, in early 2018, Ingeteam will start to supply its new 1,000 Vdc INGECON® SUN PowerMax B series central inverters, capable of delivering a power output of up to 2,330 kW. These units are known as dual inverters due to the fact that they combine two power blocks with a common AC busbar, facilitating the direct connection with the medium voltage transformer. The solution provided in power station format comprises two dual inverters together with the other devices required for low to medium voltage conversion. Namely the LV/MV transformer together with an enclosure housing the medium voltage cells, auxiliary services transformer, low voltage switchgear, UPS and a cooling system with air conditioning.

The solution developed by Ingeteam, known as the Inverter Station, incorporates two 2.33 MW PV inverters for the supply of 4.66 MW. These new dual inverters are suitable for outdoor installation, being specifically designed to withstand extreme climate conditions, such as those present at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi.

Moreover, Ingeteam has purchased a chamber to conduct dust and sand tests in accordance with the IEC 60068-2-68 international standard. This chamber makes it possible to conduct additional tests, such as the inverter response to sandstorms, which are extremely common at sites of this type. It has been used to check the correct operation of the inverter, as well as the efficiency of its “sand trap” system to prevent the ingress of particles into the inverter, while collecting the grains of sand and facilitating their subsequent removal. Thanks to this system, Ingeteam’s PV inverters have been certified by an external body as able to withstand sandstorms, as described in standard IEC 60068-2-68.

The Management of Ingeteam Power Technology expressed its satisfaction with the contract award, emphasising the fact that “the signing of this contract is the fruit of all the hard work put in right from the outset, marking yet another success in the company’s bid to enter the Middle East market”.  Furthermore, the Management highlighted the fact that “this contract is yet another example of Ingeteam’s ability to develop ambitious large-scale projects.

The commissioning of the PV plant, for which Ingeteam is also responsible, is set to take place at the end of 2018. Once commissioned, the PV plant will save around 7 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Scope of supply

For this project, Ingeteam is to supply:

  • 201 power stations with a power output of 4,660 kWac. Each fitted with all the necessary equipment to inject medium voltage power: dual PV inverters, LV/MV transformer, medium voltage switchgear, auxiliary services transformer, UPS and low voltage switchgear.
  • 402 dual PV inverters, each with a rated power output of 2,330 kW, pertaining to the 1,000 Vdc INGECON® SUN PowerMax B Series family.
  • Commissioning of the system.
  • Service level agreement, guaranteeing a 99% operational availability of the equipment supplied by Ingeteam during the first two years of the PV plant operation.

Source: Ingeteam

In 2014 the top 3 countries by installed wind power capacity were China, the USA and Germany, ranked first to third in that order with cumulative installed capacities of 114,763 MW, 65,879 MW and 40,468 MW respectively. The three wind power employers’ associations of each country have already published preliminary data on installed capacity in 2015, revealing that China has maintained its leadership in terms of both added and cumulative capacity with an additional 30.5 GW over the year. The USA closed 2015 with almost 8.6 GW installed over the course of the year. Germany, with separate figures published for onshore and offshore wind power, has closed with a total of 5.8 GW of newly installed wind power of which 3.5 GW corresponds to onshore and 2.3 GW to offshore.

China continues to be the world’s largest wind power market in terms of both new and cumulative installed capacity. The country achieved a new installed wind power capacity of 30.5 GW in 2015, representing a significant growth of 31.5% on 2014 with 23.3 GW installed, according to statistics released by the Chinese Wind Energy Association. This increase was mainly due to a policy lowering the country’s feed-in tariff for wind power in 2016.

The country’s wind power market is dominated by domestic players, with 23 Chinese wind power companies accounting for a combined market share of 97%. For the fifth year running, Goldwind Science & Technology was the leading operator by installed capacity with over 7 GW, followed by Envision Energy, Mingyang Wind Power, United Power and CSIC (Chongqing) Haizhuang Windpower Equipment. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2016

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According to statistics of CSPPLAZA research center, the global CSP installed capacity achieves steady growth in 2015, increasing 421.1 MWe than 2014. Total installed capacity is about 4940.1 MWe, increasing 9.3%.

The largest new increasing installed capacity is in Morocco with new increasing capacity 160 MW, thanks to its Noor 1 parabolic trough plant built in the latter half of 2015. However, it should be noted here that the project developer scheduled the operation ceremony on December 27, but it is temporarily suspended now. The official did not give any explanations. The possible reason is that the project failed to get the full acceptance of owner. Nonetheless, it has also been listed in this statistics of new installed capacity of 2015.

South Africa followed by. South Africa market makes great progress in 2015. KaXu Solar One with installed capacity 100 MW is operated on March 2, 2015. And Bokpoort with installed capacity 50 MW is officially put into operation in December, 2015. Meantime, the bidding project in the first round, Khi Solar One with capacity 50 MW in South Africa REIPPPP is expected to be put into operation in the first half year of 2016; the bidding projects in the third round, Xina Solar One and Ilanga CSP 1 with respectively capacity 100MW in South Africa REIPPPP are under construction; the bidding projects in section B of third round, Kathu CSP and Redstone with respectively capacity 100MW in South Africa REIPPPP also have optimistic conditions.

The high-profile construction in America market is crescent dune molten salt tower plant. Although it is said this plant was in grid and operation in the fourth quarter of 2015, it has not been officially announced. And it is also included in this statistics of new installed capacity of 2015.

In China, new increasing installed capacity of 2015 is 300kWth from Jiangsu Xin Chen, secondary reflection demonstration project. There is no other larger project in operation.


For Chinese market in 2015, the most notable is completion of declaration and audit of CSP   demonstration projects. It is estimated that new increasing installed capacity in China is expected to grow rapidly in 2016 ~ 2017 with an explosive growth by 2018.

The following plants are expected to be completed in 2016: Dunhuang molten salt tower plant with capacity 10 MW from SUNCAN Co., Ltd., Delingha molten salt tower reconstruction project with capacity 10 MW from SUPCON Co., Ltd, Zhangjiakou Fresnel demonstration projects with 15MWe (now upgrade to 20MWe) from Shenzhen Huaqiang Zhaoyang Co. Ltd., Dunhuang Fresnel molten salt plant with capacity 10 MW from Lanzhou Dacheng Technology Co., Ltd. In 2017, Delingha parabolic trough projects of China General Nuclear Power Group with capacity 50 MW and other large scale commercial CSP plants are expected to be put into operation. In 2018, most CSP demonstration projects about 1 GW are expected to be completed. At that time, China will become the hottest emerging market in global CSP market.

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Wind power can meet a quarter of Europe’s electricity demand by 2030 if Member States deliver on climate and energy pledges, according to the latest forecasts by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Over the next 15 years, EWEA expects wind power installations in Europe to reach 320GW of capacity, which could serve 24.4% of electricity demand across the region.

Today, Europe’s 128.8GW can meet over 10% of European power consumption in a normal wind year.

Recent regulatory and economic developments in the EU have significantly changed the wind energy perspective for the next 15 years. In light of uncertain governance towards achieving EU climate and energy binding targets, EWEA updated the European wind energy industry’s vision to 2030: Wind Energy Scenarios for 2030.

With 254GW from onshore wind and 66GW coming from offshore installations, the European wind industry will provide up to 334,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030 in the most feasible scenario.

However, the forecasts are contingent on a number of factors on the political and regulatory front including a clear governance structure for the EU-wide 27% renewables target for 2030, which was agreed last year.

Clear direction is needed from the European Commission to ensure that Member States propose robust national action plans for renewable energy and remain on track to meet the common target.

“Three key challenges must be tackled. A renewable energy directive with a strong legal foundation for renewables in the post-2020 space; a reformed power market tailored to renewable energy integration and, finally, a revitalised Emissions Trading System that provides a clear signal to investors by putting a meaningful price on carbon pollution.” said Kristian Ruby, Chief Policy Officer of the European Wind Energy Association.

In the last few decades wind power has been consolidated as a key driver in the changing energy model the world is going through. Good evidence of this can be seen in the spectacular growth of the wind sector, both in Europe and worldwide. According to European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) figures, installed wind capacity in Europe grew from 4.8 to 94 GW between 1997 and 2011, which accounts for 6.3% of Europe’s entire current energy demand.

This growing trend will undoubtedly continue over the next few years, with forecasts indicating 230 GW by 2020 and 400 GW by 2030, which would mean between 15 and 30% of Europe’s electricity production and in economic terms represent 1% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product. In this context it is easy to understand the industry’s increasing interest in improving its analysis, operations and management of the wind resource, both in offshore environments and onshore.

At on-shore farms the wind resource can vary substantially from one point to another depending on local orographic effects and land features. On the other hand, wind turbines disturb the wind field, generating a wake which affects the performance of other wind turbines located downwind and which, in off-shore surroundings, can take on considerable sizes.

Article published in: FuturENERGY December 2013