Tags Posts tagged with "offshore wind power"

offshore wind power

0 0

Mayflower Wind Energy LLC (Mayflower) is the provisional winner of block 0521 in today’s offshore wind auction hosted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Mayflower bid $135M for the exclusive rights to develop the federal commercial wind energy.

Mayflower is a 50:50 joint venture between EDPR Offshore North America LLC and Shell New Energies US LLC (Shell). Once constructed, the lease area could accommodate a total generation capacity of approximately 1.6 gigawatts (GW), enough to power more than 680,000 average Massachusetts homes with clean electricity each year.

A growing population and rising living standards alongside the need for reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions will require changes to the energy system. Given this changing energy landscape, Shell is seeking commercial opportunities to expand its existing electricity generation from renewable power, including offshore wind, with the aim of providing customers with more and cleaner energy.

This announcement enables EDPR to increase its growth options in the attractive offshore wind market, thereby enhancing and diversifying the company’s long-term profitable growth options while maintaining a balanced risk profile.

Mayflower will begin working to complete a site assessment plan and initiate formal development efforts on the site, and subject to a positive final investment decision, could bring the wind farm into operation by the mid-2020s.

Source: EDP Renewables

0 0

Global clean energy investment was $67.8 billion in the third quarter of 2018, down 6% from the same period last year, according to the latest authoritative figures from Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). The slip in the July-September quarter leaves investment for the year so far running a modest 2% below that in the first nine months of 2017 – leaving open the possibility that 2018 as a whole will end up matching last year’s total, particularly if a few more multibillion-dollar offshore wind deals are concluded before Christmas.

BNEF includes equity raising by specialist electric vehicle companies in its clean energy investment totals, and this element was a conspicuous bright spot in the latest quarter. There was a $1 billion initial public offering by NIO, a $585 million Series C venture capital round by Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors and a $294 million pre-IPO round by Zhejiang Dianka Automobile.

Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport analysis at BNEF, said that there is a growing amount of money chasing China’s electric vehicle boom. “We’re seeing more companies raising funds as they look to make the jump from concept cars to high-volume manufacturing. But the market looks increasingly crowded and consolidation is likely,” he added.

Looking at the third-quarter global investment figures by type, asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects came to $49.3 billion, down 15% on 3Q 2017, while the purchase of small-scale solar systems of less than 1 MW totaled $13.5 billion, up 9% on a year earlier.

Public markets investment in clean energy jumped 120% to $3.1 billion, helped by the NIO flotation mentioned above but also by a $1.3 billion convertible issue from waste-to-energy specialist China Everbright International and a $311 million IPO by U.S. fuel cell developer Bloom Energy.

Venture capital and private equity investment increased even more sharply, by 378% to $2.4 billion. VC/PE fundings of specialist clean energy companies have reached $7.5 billion in the first nine months of 2018, making this year certain to be the strongest since at least 2011. The largest six VC/PE new equity deals of 2018 so far have all involved Chinese electric vehicle firms, including the two mentioned above during 3Q.

The three biggest renewable energy asset financings in the quarter were the 860 MW Triton Knoll project in U.K. waters at an investment cost of $2.6 billion, the Enel Green Power South Africa portfolio, at $1.4 billion for 706 MW, and the Guohua Dongtai offshore wind farm phase four in Chinese waters, at an estimated $1.2 billion for 300 MW.

A country split of the overall numbers shows China as yet again the largest investor in clean energy in 3Q at $26.7 billion, marginally above the numbers for the same period of 2017. However, there were further signs of one important, expected change: a cooling-off in the country’s solar installation surge, in the face of deliberate action by policy-makers. In 3Q, Chinese solar investment was $14.2 billion, down 23% on a year earlier.

Other countries and trading blocs investing in clean energy in excess of $1 billion in 3Q 2018 were:

  • Europe at $13.4 billion, up 1%
  • Germany at $1.3 billion, down 49%
  • India at $1.5 billion, up 14%
  • Japan at $4 billion, down 21%
  • Netherlands at $1.1 billion, up nearly fourfold
  • South Africa at $2.6 billion, up 90-fold, making investment in 2018 the highest for five years
  • Spain at $1.9 billion, up 11-fold, making investment in 2018 the highest since 2011
  • Turkey at $1.2 billion, up 25%
  • The U.K. at $2.9 billion, down 46%
  • The U.S. at $11.4 billion, down 20% compared to 3Q 2017

0 0

The offshore sector of the wind industry has made headlines in recent months. It has progressed rapidly, both in technical innovation and in the competitiveness of offshore energy in the electricity market. Many of the companies active in the offshore wind market are presenting their portfolios at WindEnergy Hamburg, the world’s leading expo for onshore and offshore wind energy, from 25 to 28 September. The expo will be held in parallel with the global conference of WindEurope at the Hamburg Messe site – together they comprise the Global Wind Summit, the biggest and most important meeting of the wind industry worldwide. WindEnergy Hamburg is expecting more than 1,400 exhibitors from all parts of the world, with about 40% of them showcasing products or services for offshore wind farms. The range covers the whole of the value chain, from turbines, towers and foundations to gearboxes, generators, bearings, shafts and lubes to O&M solutions and installation vessels.

Global world market growth

Besides main offshore wind market Europe, other geographical regions of the world might start experiencing quick growth too in the next years says GWEC in its 2017 Global Wind Report. The organization points at emerging markets with huge interest in the technology and substantial growth potential including Taiwan, South Korea, the US (east-coast), Japan, India, Brazil, and Australia. China is already the largest offshore market outside Europe, with according Wikipedia ‘Liste der Offshore-Windparks’ statistics close to 2 GW operation at the end of 2017. Among Chinese offshore wind exhibitors in Hamburg are turbine OEM’s Envison Energy and Ming Yang.

Offshore according GWEC represented last year about 8% of the global market, and represents 3.5% of the cumulative installed capacity but growing fast. Global offshore installations in 2017 were 4,334 MW, of which around 27% installed in markets outside Europe. Overall, there are now 18,814 MW of installed offshore capacity around the world.

According WindEurope’s report Offshore Wind in Europe; Key trends and statistics 2017, Europe’s net installed capacity, spread over 560 new turbines across 17 wind farms, increased last year by 3,148 MW. The average offshore turbine capacity more than doubled to 5.9 MW over the past decade, and 23% higher set against 2016. Project size for offshore windfarms under construction during 2017 grew to 493 MW from a 79.6 MW average in 2007. Current windfarm size record holder is the 1.2 GW Hornsea One project (UK) with construction start this year. A 2017 floating wind milestone was the commissioning of the world’s first windfarm, Scotland’s 30 MW Hywind II consisting of five 6 MW Siemens Gamesa direct drive turbines.

Internationally, new innovative technology and fresh solutions for ‘traditional’ fixed-bottom and floating wind generate huge interest. A number of Belgian exhibitors all active in offshore wind jointly represent themselves in Hamburg as the BOC VZW Belgian Offshore Cluster in a national pavilion. BOC is an association of offshore wind industry co-suppliers with around 60 members. “At the Belgian pavilion at WindEnergy Hamburg our partners will highlight their specific know-how and experiences to international wind industry visitors”, said BOC chairman Christophe Dehaene.

A main overall theme for all international contenders is how to successfully enter new and emerging markets. The Global Wind Summit in Hamburg offers therefore an excellent platform opportunity. A second main theme is achieving optimized cost-effectiveness through the deployment of next-generation large-scale turbines.

Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas dominate Europe’s largest offshore wind market with direct drive and medium-speed geared turbine solutions respectively, in ratings up to 9.5 MW. They and other exhibitors like GE Renewable Energy and Senvion all explore next-generation 10-15MW+ future platforms. German engineering consultancy aerodyn-engineering develops a fully integrated 15 MW floating system incorporating twin 7.5MW two-bladed counter-rotating downwind turbines with 150-metre rotor diameters.

107-metre rotor blades

GE’s 12MW Haliade X direct drive turbine in development features a record 220-metre rotor composed of 107-metre blades developed by LM Wind Power of Denmark. The turbine with first deliveries planned in 2021 features only 316W/m2 specific power rating, a configuration showing future direction for other large-scale turbine developments. Such supersize rotor offers higher yields especially during periods with little wind. When this in specific offshore wind markets coincides with high wind power penetration levels under liberalized market conditions, it could contribute to better electricity prices. A related positive impact is enhanced grid stability. All these aspects form integral part of many different smart energy solutions including intermediate storage technologies being developed by Hamburg WindEnergy exhibitors from across the world. They will explain international visitors too on the latest technology advancements regarding industrialization, with increased use of ‘big data.’ This offers for offshore wind farms combined benefits like higher operating reliability through better longer-term failure prediction and smarter cost-reducing O&M solutions. This long-time turbine tracking could result in more advanced windfarm upkeep strategies primarily aimed at further driving down offshore LCOE.

Substructures

Monopiles remained according WindEurope with 87% of all new installed foundations the most popular substructure solution in 2017, with Jackets taking second position with 9.4%. WindEnergy Hamburg exhibitors EEW Group and SIF Netherlands led Europe’s total offshore substructure market with shares of 53% and 24.1% respectively. “EEW SPC manufactures monopiles currently up to 10-m diameter. Our daughter company EEW OSB produces TP’s in the UK and EEW Group also manufactures pre-fabricated components for jackets. This range of products made by EEW offers flexibility to our existing clients and will enable a necessary leap forward in emerging main offshore markets like the US and Asia”, said Michael Hof, COO/Managing Director of EEW SPC.

 

The largest Monopiles available weigh around 1,500 around tonnes, which puts additional pressure to continuously upgrade vessel, foundation handling and hoisting gear capacities and performance. Multiple windfarm installation specialists will show their combined in-house capabilities to Hamburg WindEnergy visitors. Exhibitor Van Oord Offshore recently took delivery of a new 1600-tonne main crane re-fitted at its self-propelled Aeolus jack-up, initially commissioned in 2014 with 900-tonne crane. Damen Shipyards will inform visitors about its novel ‘walk-to-work’ Service Operations Vessel (SOV) for offshore windfarm upkeep.

Floating solutions

Several international floater developers will highlight their dedicated floating concepts to WindEnergy Hamburg visitors, like aerodyn-engineering and GustoMSC (semi-submersible) and Gicon (tension-leg, TLP), while spar-type solutions are characterized by their operational stability. Gicon Founder Prof. Jochen Grossmann: “WindEnergy Hamburg 2018 is for us an important international platform. Last year Gicon teamed up with US-based Glosten, developer of the Pelastar TLP. We in-house developed Gicon-SOF TLP technology during the past decade. Individual strengths of both commercially-ready products will be combined into a new hybrid solution for the global floating wind market, and we will show international visitors all features and benefits.” Floating offshore wind in general enjoys growing wind industry interest, reflected by the increasing number of projects and the larger turbines sizes selected for these platforms.

ABB has won orders worth over $150 million from Danish energy company, Ørsted (previously Dong Energy), to supply a range of technologies that will help integrate and transmit renewable wind energy from Hornsea Project Two, slated to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The orders were booked in the second quarter of 2018 and are the first tranche of a global five year frame agreement for the supply of electrical and automation equipment for offshore and onshore wind power connection and integration to the grid.

Hornsea Two is a 1,400 MW project to develop wind resources in the North Sea about 100 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast. Upon completion, it will be able to deliver enough clean electrical power to meet the needs of more than 1.3 million homes annually. The additional power supply will support economic growth in the UK’s Humber region, and help the UK meet its target of generating 15 percent of energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

abb_svcABB will supply its state-of-the-art Static Var Compensation (SVC) Light technology with advanced ABB Ability™ MACH control systems, High Voltage gas-insulated switchgear (GIS), transformers, reactors and harmonic filters. ABB will also be responsible for the engineering, supply, project management and commissioning of the digital control and protection systems for the onshore substation and the two offshore platform substations.

The electrical power flow from Hornsea Two farm will be protected and controlled by the largest Static Compensation (STATCOM) system ever built for an offshore wind application. STATCOMs help offshore wind generating turbines to increase power transfer capability, improve power quality and enhance grid stability, delivering energy efficient and reliable power supply. The brain of the STATCOM is the ABB Ability MACH control, protection and monitoring system, managing this sophisticated technology by overseeing thousands of operations in real time to ensure power reliability and efficiency.

As part of the project scope, the ABB Ability™ enabled MicroSCADA system will be used for monitoring of the electricity network and gather data from Relion® Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) and Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) to ensure safe and reliable grid integration system operations. Advanced mission critical technology will also be used for communication between the offshore platforms and the onshore substation.

Source: ABB

0 0

Germany has announced the results of its latest offshore wind auction. Six projects won. They’ve a total capacity between them of 1.6 GW and are split evenly between the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

The lowest winning bid was 0 €/MWh premium above the wholesale power price and the highest was 98.30 €/MWh (total price including premium and wholesale price). The prices do not include the costs of the grid connection. The German state pays for that. The mathematical average of the six winning prices was 46.6 €/MWh.

Ørsted bid at 0 €/MWh to develop the 420 MW Borkum Riffgrund West 1 wind farm in the North Sea. Innogy won with the 325 MW Kaskasi wind farm. And Iberdrola won two projects in the Baltic Sea.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “These results show that zero-subsidy bids are possible for some developers in some markets under certain conditions but that they are not the norm. But they also show that offshore wind is sustaining the low costs it’s achieved over the last two years.”

Germany is aiming for 15 GW offshore wind by 2030. But to meet their 2030 target of 65% renewable electricity, they’ll need more offshore wind than that. And these results show they can afford to go for 20 GW. They’ll need to deliver on their grid expansion plans to accommodate these higher long-term volumes. But the six wind farms that won this latest auction can be accommodated within the existing grid.”

It’s good to see further build-out of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic has strong and stable winds, low waves, shallow waters and close distances to shore.”, concludes Dickson.

0 3

Iberdrola shall implement the ROMEO project at its Wikinger offshore wind farm, one of the most ambitious R&D initiatives at this time for improving efficiency in the offshore wind energy sector.
Wikinger will be the test scenario for one of the three pilot projects being undertaken within the framework of this initiative, which is being financed by the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union and led by Iberdrola.

The Wikinger wind farm, with a total of 350 MW of installed power, will be capable of supplying renewable energy to 350,000 homes, with consumption equivalent to more than 20% of the energy demand of the state of Meckleemburg and Western Pomerania, where the wind farm is located.
With an investment of around 1.4 billion euros, Wikinger will avoid the emission of almost 600,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. During the wind farm’s erection, 280 piles, constructed by the Asturian company Windar, were fixed to the seabed. Furthermore, 70 jackets (foundations) were manufactured by the Spanish company Navantia, at Fene’s shipyards in A Coruña, and by the Danish company Bladt, at Lindo, Denmark. Regarding the turbines, 5 MW unit capacity model AD 5-135, were developed by Siemens Gamesa at its Bremerhaven and Stade plants in Germany.

A commitment to offshore wind energy

The ROMEO project, launched in June 2017, aims to reduce the operation and maintenance costs at offshore wind farms through the use of advanced monitoring strategies and systems, as well as to analyse the performance of the wind farm turbines in real time.

The consortium of the project, made up of European companies and entities covering the entire value chain of the sector, is working on the development of an analytical and management platform enabling the decision-making process to be improved and facilitating the development of current Operation and Maintenance (O&M) strategies based on corrective measures to innovative strategies in real time, and on the degradation of the components of the main wind farm structures.

Furthermore, Romeo will develop an Internet of Things and cloud-based platform which will accommodate models for diagnosing and predicting faults in the systems. This platform will promote better understanding of the real-time performance of the main wind turbine components in operation and their current status. With this system, their useful life may be extended and their operation and maintenance costs reduced.

The innovations of the project will also be tested at the Teeside wind farms already in operation in East Anglia 1, the latter also owned by Iberdrola.

The ROMEO project, due for completion in 2022, consists of a consortium made up of 12 entities from 6 EU member states and one associated country. In addition to Iberdrola Renovables Energía, which will lead the project, the consortium will include major companies (Electricité De France, ADWEN, Siemens Gamesa, RAMBOLL, IBM Research Zurich, INDRA, BACHMANN Monitoring), SMEs (LAULAGUN Bearings, UPTIME Engineering, ZABALA Innovation Consulting), and the Cranfield University.

Source: Zabala Innovation Consulting

0 0

2017 was a record year for offshore wind in Europe according to statistics released by WindEurope. Europe installed 3.1 GW of new offshore wind, setting a new record: twice as much as 2016 and 4% up on the previous record in 2015. Europe now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 15,780 MW. This corresponds to 4,149 grid-connected wind turbines across 11 countries.

Europe added (net) 560 new offshore wind turbines across 17 different offshore wind farms. 14 new offshore wind farms were completed, including the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland. The UK and Germany accounted for most of them, installing 1.7 GW and 1.3 GW respectively and work is ongoing on a further 11 projects in these countries.

The average size of the new turbines installed was 5.9 MW, up 23% on 2016. And the average size of the new offshore wind farms was 493 MW, a 34% increase in 2016. The average water depth of the wind farms completed or partially completed in 2017 was 27.5 metres with an average distance to shore of 41 km.

Capacity factors are also increasing: the annual load factors of all the offshore wind farms in Europe vary between 29% and 48%. There are projects in Europe already operating at capacity factors of 54% (Anholt 1, Denmark) or even 65% (Dudgeon, the UK).

Monopiles are the dominant substructure with 87% of the market share. Jackets and gravity base respectively account for 9% and 2% of the total installed substructures. 2017 saw the installation of the first floating wind farm, allowing floating spar buoy substructures to make their entry to the market.

A further 11 offshore wind farms are currently under construction, adding another 2.9 GW. The project pipeline should contribute a total of 25 GW by 2020. But offshore wind in Europe remains heavily concentrated in a small number of countries: 98% is in the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium.

2017 also saw final investment decisions (FIDs) on 6 new offshore wind projects to be installed in the coming years, representing a further 2.5 GW of new capacity. These investments are worth a total €7.5bn, which is down on 2016. This reflects falling costs in addition to the fact that new investments could still benefit from feed-in-tariffs in 2016. The transition to market-based support (auctions) has slowed down new investments, added to which there is a time lag between winning an auction and confirming an investment. Auctions held in 2016 and 2017 should translate to FIDs worth €9bn in 2018.

Beyond 2020, things are less clear. Much depends what new offshore wind volumes governments commit to in the National Energy and Climate Action Plans for 2030 (NECAPs).

Tackling corrosion issues and developing new materials in the wave, tidal and offshore wind sectors across Europe could save up to €84,000 million for developers and create up to € 82,000 million of supply chain opportunities by 2050, according to two new reports.

Commissioned by the NeSSIE project, the reports investigated the economic potential of anticorrosion solutions and the development of new materials in the offshore renewables market.

Corrosion is an important concern for offshore energy developers. All marine structures face corrosion problems impacting on the operations and maintenance (O&M) costs along the global lifecycle. In the case of offshore wind farms, the O&M costs are typically around 15 – 30 per cent of the total lifecycle, with corrosion issues a significant factor in these costs.

The reports found that based on offshore renewable deployment estimations, anti-corrosion solutions and new materials could see potential developers saving over €16,000 million for wave and tidal energy projects in the EU by 2050 and potentially over €68,000 million of savings for offshore wind projects. For the anti-corrosion supply chain, the wave and tidal energy markets could potentially lead to over €25,000 million of projects in the wider EU by 2050 and over €57,000 million for offshore wind projects.

Jan Reid, team leader in the energy and clean technologies team within Scottish Enterprise, said: “This early work is really encouraging. We can see there is a tremendous economic prize for the EU offshore supply chain in tackling this challenge and supporting the EU to decarbonise the energy sector. The key to unlocking this opportunity is developing investable demonstration projects that will prove the technological solutions. Working together with Stakeholders, we at NeSSIE are excited to be involved in the development of anti-corrosion solution demonstration projects.”

The reports contribute to NeSSIE’s overall objective of developing three investable demonstration projects in offshore renewables focused on corrosion and materials. The projects will utilise the existing EU subsea supply chain and their knowledge to develop commercial solutions.

0 0

With a total output capacity of more than 5.3 GW, offshore wind turbines make an increasing contribution to the security of Germany’s energy supply. They deliver clean power almost around the clock, every day of the year; industry representatives from AGOW, the BWE, the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, VDMA Power Systems and the WAB explained in Berlin during the presentation of the latest expansion figures for offshore wind energy.

According to an analysis of Deutsche WindGuard, a total of 1,169 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 5,387 MW were connected to the grid on 31 December 2017. Following the figures from AG Energiebilanzen, offshore wind turbines increased their power generation to 18.3 TWh in 2017. That is almost 50 percent more than in 2016 (12.3 TWh).

Two offshore wind farms with a capacity of 780 MW are currently under construction. For another five projects with a capacity of 1.5 GW, the final investment plan is now available. Until 2020, the legal extension of offshore wind energy up to a capacity of 7.7 GW is possible.

However, the reduction of the expansion path for wind energy at sea, as envisaged in the German renewables regulation (EEG) in 2017, particularly at the start of the 2020s, is slowing down this positive development of the offshore wind industry in Germany. Therefore, Cuxhavener Appell, initiated by Germany´s coastal states, trade unions and the offshore wind industry back in September 2017, called for an expansion of the offshore wind target to at least 20 GW by 2030 and 30 GW by 2035. Only higher expansion volumes in Germany and throughout the whole of Europe will ensure further and permanent cost reductions, as well as innovations in technological development. Furthermore, the free converter capacities that will arise following the tender results in Germany in spring 2018 should be used promptly. The results to date from the exploratory talks between the parties CDU, CSU and SPD also make this a logical course of action. The massive cost reductions in renewable energy open up new potential and clearly show that the relatively young technologies are now largely competitive to other forms of power generation.

A greater expansion of renewable energies is also necessary from a climate policy perspective. To achieve its domestic and international climate targets, the new federal government must create a political framework limiting the emission intensive power generation, whilst ensuring a higher expansion volume for renewable energies, and thereby adapting the energy system accordingly.

Higher expansion volume for more value creation and employment

Furthermore, a higher expansion volume in the offshore wind energy sector is highly important for more employment and value creation in Germany as an industrial location. Around 20,000 people are currently employed in the German offshore wind industry, at an annual turnover of approximately two billion Euro. Germany accounts for roughly 40 percent of all offshore wind industry employees across Europe. Although final production for the turbine manufacturers predominantly takes place in the north of Germany, the supply industry is spread across all federal states, in particular in North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Many companies in eastern Germany are also important suppliers to the wind industry.

Manufacturers and suppliers therefore need the prospect of their production capacities being utilized to retain and add industrial jobs. A stable and sustainable domestic market is the basis for expanding exports of European wind energy technologies. Wind turbine manufacturers currently have an export quota of more than 70 percent. Alongside Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands are also showcasing new technologies and are attractive markets for offshore technologies. And the progress continues – manufacturers are now already working on turbines in the 10 MW class and beyond. It is therefore important to implement the plans for a test field for prototypes in German waters as soon as possible.

Germany can only retain its technological leadership in the field of offshore wind energy through intensified efforts in research and development. Future energy policy should not be oriented towards current technological knowledge – it must be open for innovation.

Priority for grid expansion and sector coupling

In addition to the expansion of renewable energies, the success of the energy transition in Germany is also dependent to a large extent upon grid expansion and the progress within sector coupling. Therefore, the new federal government must make the expansion of the large transmission grids a priority. It is vital to avoid further delays. Furthermore, all technical possibilities must be utilized in order to temporarily or permanently avoid bottlenecks in the grid. These include measures for improving the capacity of the existing grid. It is also important to check the amount of must-run capacities necessary for system stability.

Moreover, the regulatory obstacles to the further coupling of energy sectors must be removed as soon as possible. The mobility solutions of the future must be demonstrably based on renewable sources. Furthermore, access to heat grids needs to be improved and the barriers to direct delivery to industry must be eliminated.

There is some good news on the Renewable Energy Directive. The 28 Member States agreed to give three years’ visibility on the volume and budget of public support schemes for renewables, which is key for industrial planning in the supply chain. Member States will also be able to keep running ‘technology-specific’ auctions, which is important for further cost reductions in offshore wind and the most effective way to plan the energy transition.

As expected, the Council supported the Commission’s proposed 27% target for renewables by 2030.  The Council has watered down the Governance Regulation but countries at least agreed yesterday to set three indicative benchmarks. By 2023, they should meet 24% of both the 27% target and national goals. By 2025, progress should be at 40% and 60% in 2027. Together with detailed National Plans, the benchmarks will improve visibility for the wind energy supply chain including in the chemicals, steel, construction and other sectors – every €1,000 invested in wind generates €250 value for them.

On energy market design, the Council outcome had some good points. It retained priority dispatch to the grid for existing renewables – which protects existing investments. But the risk remains that existing renewables may be exposed to balancing responsibility before having proper access to balancing markets.

There’s also encouraging movement on security of supply – national capacity payments will now need to address real supply challenges. This means that the role of grid interconnectors, demand response and renewables to energy security will always need to be taken into account. However, the methodology for ‘system adequacy assessments’ and the criteria for allocating capacity payments is still too national and not sufficiently coordinated at regional or European level. This risks costing consumers. Cooperation on capacity investments could save up to €4.8bn on annual energy bills by 2030.

On the Emissions Performance Standard of existing and future power plants, the Council watered down the Commission’s original proposals. They agreed later dates for both new and existing plants: 2025 and 2030 respectively.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson: “We’re encouraged by some of the progress the Council has made on a number of issues in the Clean Energy Package. It’s good they’ve endorsed the Commission’s proposals on: the 3-year visibility requirement for renewables policies; the need to remove barriers to corporate PPAs; and the binding template for National Energy Plans. These will be key if we want to maintain the strong industrial base of the wind industry in Europe post-2020: wind contributed €36bn to EU GDP in 2016 and employs 263,000 people.  But crucially the Council’s failure so far to move anywhere towards the Parliament’s support for a 35% renewables target by 2030 – despite Denmark and Portugal’s best efforts – is deeply disappointing from an economic perspective. The costs of non-ambition on renewables – the difference between a 27% and 35% target – is €92bn investments not made and 132,000 jobs not created plus the whole idea of Europe being no. 1 in renewables.“

COMEVAL