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renewable energies

The share of renewables in global power should more than double by 2030 to advance the global energy transformation, achieve sustainable development goals and a pathway to climate safety, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable electricity should supply 57 per cent of global power by the end of the decade, up from 26 per cent today.

A new booklet 10 Years: Progress to Action, published for the 10th annual Assembly of IRENA, charts recent global advances and outlines the measures still needed to scale up renewables. The Agency’s data shows that annual renewable energy investment needs to double from around USD 330 billion today, to close to USD 750 billion to deploy renewable energy at the speed required. Much of the needed investment can be met by redirecting planned fossil fuel investment. Close to USD 10 trillion of non-renewables related energy investments are planned to 2030, risking stranded assets and increasing the likelihood of exceeding the world’s 1.5 degree carbon budget this decade.

Additional investments bring significant external cost savings, including minimising significant losses caused by climate change as a result of inaction. Savings could amount to between USD 1.6 trillion and USD 3.7 trillion annually by 2030, three to seven times higher than investment costs for the energy transformation.

Falling technology costs continue to strengthen the case for renewable energy. IRENA points out that solar PV costs have fallen by almost 90 per cent over the last 10 years and onshore wind turbine prices have fallen by up half in that period. By the end of this decade, solar PV and wind costs may consistently outcompete traditional energy. The two technologies could cover over a third of global power needs.

Renewables can become a vital tool in closing the energy access gap, a key sustainable development goal. Off-grid renewables have emerged as a key solution to expand energy access and now deliver access to around 150 million people. IRENA data shows that 60 per cent of new electricity access can be met by renewables in the next decade with stand-alone and mini-grid systems providing the means for almost half of new access.

Source: IRENA

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Enel Green Power España (EGPE), Endesa’s renewable energy subsidiary, has connected the El Campo, La Estanca, Loma Gorda and Santo Domingo de Luna wind farms to the grid. Together, these four wind farms have a total capacity of 98 MW and have involved a capital expenditure of €100 million. They are located in the province of Zaragoza and with them the number of the company’s wind farms commissioned in the region of Aragon in recent weeks, following the Sierra Costera I (Teruel) and Campoliva I, Campoliva II and Primoral plants (Zaragoza), rises to eight.

EGPE was awarded 540 MW of wind power and 339 MW of solar energy in the government auctions held in May 2017, which entail a total investment of more than €800 million. The company has so far connected 339 solar MW and some 285 wind MW to the grid and is completing the construction and connection of the remaining wind projects, which will be ready by the end of the year.

The El Campo wind farm, composed of six turbines, will be able to generate 75 GWh a year, enough energy to supply 19,100 families. Its coming on stream will prevent the emission of more than 49,000 metric tons of CO 2 annually into the atmosphere. It straddles the boundary between the municipalities of Mallén and Fréscano, in the province of Zaragoza. Work for its construction began on 21 January 2019 and ended on 21 November. It was connected to the grid on 13 December.

The La Estanca wind farm consists of eight wind turbines that provide a total capacity of 24 MW. It will produce 97 GWh per year, enough to supply energy to some 24,500 families and will prevent the annual emission of some 63,500 metric tons of CO 2 into the atmosphere. Its construction began on 25 March 2019 and ended on 21 November 2019. It was connected to the grid on 13 December. A total of 51% of this wind farm is held by Enel Green Power España and 49% by Bancale Servicios Integrales S.L. It is located in the municipalities of Mallén and Fréscano in the province of Zaragoza.

The Loma Gorda wind farm, consisting of seven turbines, will be able to generate 70 GWh a year, enough energy to supply 17,800 families. Its coming on stream will prevent the emission of more than 46,000 metric tons of CO 2 annually into the atmosphere. It is located in Fuendetodos, Zaragoza. Ground was broken on 5 October 2018 and ended on 31 October 2019. It was connected to the grid on 29 November 2019.

The Santo Domingo de Luna wind farm has a capacity of 30 MW and nine wind turbines. It will produce 116 GWh per year, enough to supply 29,500 households, and prevent the annual emission of 76,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Its construction began on 20 November 2018 and ended on 27 September 2019. It was connected to the grid on 18 November. It is located in the municipalities of Luna, Las Pedrosas and Sierra de Luna in the province of Zaragoza. Enel Green Power España, with 51%, and General Eólica Aragonesa, with the remaining 49% are the plant’s shareholders.

During the construction of these wind farms, Enel Green Power’s “Sustainable Construction Site” model was applied. This included the installation of photovoltaic panels to cover part of power needs during construction. Water saving measures were also adopted by installing rain collection systems and tanks. Once construction is finished, both the photovoltaic panels and the water saving equipment will be donated for public use. The construction of these wind farms has contributed to partially funding an Industrial Development Plan in the area.

The construction of this renewable capacity is in line with Endesa’s strategy of completely decarbonising its generation mix by 2050. According to the company’s latest Strategic Plan the next milestone is to reach 10.2 GW of renewable installed capacity by 2022, compared with the estimated 7.4 GW by the end of 2019, with a total investment of some €3.8 billion.

Endesa has followed a facility development model that encompasses actions to create social value for the environments in which they are built, the so-called Creating Shared Value (CSV) model. Among these actions, priority was given for these four projects to the incorporation of local labour, as well as hiring catering services and workers’ accommodation locally.

In the case of Santo Domingo de Luna and Loma Gorda specifically, some of the notable actions undertaken, worth more than €184,000 and €117,000 respectively, included the promotion of electric mobility for transfers in construction jobs by installing a charging point and using electric vehicles. In the case of El Campo and La Estanca, with CSV actions worth more than €190,000, energy efficiency actions, such as efficient lighting projects by replacing with LED technology and promoting self-consumption, were carried out in five of the municipalities in the area.

Source: Endesa

Acciona has put two new renewable energy projects into service in Chile in the last trimester: the San Gabriel wind farm (183 MW) in the region of La Araucanía and the Almeyda photovoltaic plant (62 MWp) in the region of Atacama. This means that the company has increased its operating capacity in the country by 84%, strengthening its position as the main generator of 100% renewable electricity in the Chilean market.

The start-up of San Gabriel and Almeyda takes Acciona’s renewables capacity in Chile to 536 MW, these two facilities joining the Punta Palmeras wind farm (45 MW) in the region of Coquimbo, grid connected in 2014, and the El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant (246 MWp) in Atacama, operational since November 2016.

Acciona’s generation capacity will continue to grow in Chile in 2020, when it will complete the construction of the Tolpán wind farm (84 MW) in the region of La Araucanía and the Usya photovoltaic plant (64 MWp) in the region of Antofagasta. These plants are expected to enter service in the middle of the year.

In recent years, Acciona’s growth in Chile has been the result of contracts awarded in two of the public energy auctions called for regulated market clients in Chile, and energy sale contracts with companies such as Google, Falabella, ENAMI, LATAM Airlines, Aguas Chañar and ECONSSA.

Source: Acciona

Countries are being urged to significantly raise renewable energy ambition and adopt targets to transform the global energy system in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that will be released at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid. The report will show that renewable energy ambition within NDCs would have to more than double by 2030 to put the world in line with the Paris Agreement goals, cost-effectively reaching 7.7 terawatts (TW) of globally installed capacity by then. Today’s renewable energy pledges under the NDCs are falling short of this, targeting only 3.2 TW.

The report NDCs in 2020: Advancing Renewables in the Power Sector and Beyond will be released at IRENA’s official side event on enhancing NDCs and raising ambition on 11 December 2019. It will state that with over 2.3 TW installed renewable capacity today, almost half of the additional renewable energy capacity foreseen by current NDCs has already been installed. The analysis will also highlight that delivering on increased renewable energy ambition can be achieved in a cost-effective way and with considerable socio-economic benefits across the world.

Increasing renewable energy targets is absolutly necessary,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Much more is possible. There is a decisive opportunity for policy makers to step up climate action by raising ambition on renewables, which are the only immediate solution to meet rising energy demand whilst decarbonizing the economy and building resilience”.

IRENA’s analysis shows that a pathway to a decarbonised economy is technologically possible and socially and economically beneficial,” continued Mr. La Camera. “Renewables are good for growth, good for job creation and deliver significant welfare benefits. With renewables, we can also expand energy access and help eradicate energy poverty in line with the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. IRENA will promote knowledge exchange, strengthen partnerships and work with all stakeholders to catalyse action on the ground. We are engaging with countries and regions worldwide to facilitate renewable energy projects and raise their ambitions”.

NDCs must become a driving force for an accelerated global energy transformation. The current pledges reflect neither the past decade’s rapid growth nor the ongoing market trends for renewables. Through a higher renewable energy ambition, NDCs could serve to advance multiple climate and development objectives.

Source: IRENA

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Enel Green Power España (EGPE), Endesa’s renewable energy subsidiary, has connected six new 42-megawatt photovoltaic solar plants (252 MW), it has built in Extremadura, to the grid, for an overall investment of 200 million euros. All the solar projects awarded to Endesa in the 2017 energy auction (339 MW) are now connected. These comprise six plants in Extremadura and one in Totana (Murcia), which went live in September.

EGPE was awarded 540 MW of wind power and 339 MW of solar energy at the government auctions held in May 2017, with a total investment of more than 800 million euros. The company has now connected 389 MW (339 solar and 50 wind) to the grid and is finalising the construction and connection of the remaining 490 MW of wind generation facilities, which will be complete by the end of this year.

This renewable capacity is in line with Endesa’s strategy of decarbonising its generation mix. The first milestone will be to reach 8.4 GW of renewable installed capacity by 2021, compared to the current 6.5 GW, with a total investment of about 2,000 million euros.

Each of Endesa’s three photovoltaic installations in Logrosán – Baylio, Dehesa de los Guadalupes and Furatena – comprise more than 42 megawatts of capacity each (127 MW in total). The facilities cost around 100 million euros to build. These solar installations are composed of around 372,000 modules, and can generate more than 240 GWh per year, avoiding annual emissions of approximately 158,000 tons of CO 2 into the atmosphere.

In the meantime, Endesa’s three solar plants in Casas de Don Pedro and Talarrubias – Navalvillar, Valdecaballero and Castilblanco-, which cost approximately 100 million euros to build, have more than 42 MW of installed capacity each. These solar farms, composed of more than 372,000 modules, can generate approximately 250 GWh per year, avoiding the annual emission of more than 164,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

These power plants have been built based on the “Sustainable Construction Site” model implemented by Enel Green Power, which uses renewable energy during construction. This is provided by a photovoltaic system that covers the energy needs of the works, as well as the implementation of initiatives designed to involve the local population in the execution of the project.

Endesa follows a facility development model that encompasses actions to create social value for the environments in which they are built, the so-called Creating Shared Value (CSV) model. Specifically, CSV projects implemented in Extremadura have boosted employment and improved employability in Extremadura, prioritising employment of local labour to build the plants, as well as the use of local workforce for tasks related to the site, catering and accommodation services for workers, renewable energy training courses for local residents, and other local associations.

Source: Endesa

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Long-term contracts, known as power purchase agreements, are transforming how companies buy and sell renewables-based electricity in Europe with profound implications for the sector.

Scope Ratings says the surging demand for PPAs represents a profound shift in risk-bearing in the sector: from operators of unregulated renewable energy power plants (utilities, independent power producers and financial investors), on the one hand, to so-called off-takers, on the other. Besides energy suppliers, owners of generation assets increasingly find direct buyers with energy-intensive corporates.

For the seller of electricity under a PPA, the PPA can be considered a tool of risk transformation,” says Sebastian Zank, analyst at Scope. “For the off-takers, the long-term visibility on energy procurement, potential for profit associated with PPAs and reputational benefits offset the extra risk they take on,” Zank says.

We believe the overall impact of PPAs for sellers and off-takers is credit-supportive,” he says. However, the overall impact depends on the specifications of used PPAs and the impact on a seller’s revenue and margin recognition or an off-taker’s raw material procurement strategy.

PPAs do, however, introduce significant counterparty and forecasting risk because the contracts are complex, non-standardised transactions between a buyer and a seller unlike hedging transactions for conventional sources of electricity which typically take place on power exchanges or through short-term contracts.

The primary catalysts for PPA take-up in Europe are the phasing out of subsidies for newly installed wind and solar assets across Europe and the achievement of “grid parity” in many countries whereby solar- and wind-powered electricity generation has become competitive on price with coal, gas and nuclear power.

Owners of unregulated renewable energy assets/projects – such as Encavis, Energparc, Energiekontor, Neoen, Akuo – renewables divisions of large European utilities or financial investors – such as Octopus Investments, Aquila Capital, Greencoat Capital, Luxcara – have a natural interest to hedge electricity sales over a longer time horizon. Such long-term hedges in the form of PPAs are already well established with off-takers such as energy traders or utility incumbents, for example: Engie, Vattenfall, Axpo, Alpiq, Uniper among others.

Extra demand for PPAs is increasingly coming from industrial and corporate consumers, particularly energy-intensive companies. Aluminium supplier Alcoa, steelmaker ArcelorMittal and state railway companies Deutsche Bahn and SNCF are among those with PPAs in Europe wanting to procure environmentally friendly power supplies which they can use to burnish their “green credentials,” hence recent PPAs with renewable-energy suppliers.

The global market for corporate PPAs with direct consumers of electricity is set for a new global high this year, with the 13 GW contracted in the first nine months of the year already at the level of mid-to-long-term PPAs signed for all of 2018 – itself a record year – with much of the growth in the Americas.

Europe is catching up: “We expect continued strong growth in Europe judging by recent corporate PPAs struck in Q3 2019,” says Zank.

PPAs in EMEA, primarily Europe, will likely cover a renewables capacity of around 3 GW of electricity this year, up 30% from 2018. And this volume comes on top of the PPA signed between sellers and energy suppliers which is estimated at a volume of between 7 and 10 GW per annum (Source: Pexapark).

Another shift related to the rise in use of PPAs is the growing competition that the trading/supply businesses of incumbent European utilities face from smaller competitors. Consumers can directly procure energy volumes directly from the generator without an intermediary and newcomers, such as the energy-supply arm of British Octopus Energy, or smaller energy suppliers, such as Audax Renovables or Factorenergia, can source electricity using PPAs struck with individual renewable-energy projects without necessarily having generating assets of their own.

In doing so, they can take on the trading and even retail operations of the incumbents,” says Zank.

Source: Scope Ratings

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The RE-Source Platform has launched a comprehensive new toolkit, offering guidance and advice on corporate sourcing of renewable energy. The toolkit has a dual purpose: first, to raise awareness and inform entrant corporates and policymakers to the opportunities in sourcing renewable energy; second, to facilitate business transactions between buyers and sellers, making them faster, easier, and cheaper.

 

The Renewable Energy Buyer’s Toolkit includes an ‘Introduction to Corporate Sourcing in Europe’ report, that outlines the main business models of corporate renewable sourcing in Europe, and is intended for corporate energy buyers who are new to corporate sourcing and the European market to use as an introductory ‘how-to’ guide, helping them to start their journey in renewable electricity purchasing. The toolkit also includes:

  • European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) Template corporate PPA: A standardised contract to provide guidance and simplify transactions.
  • European Corporate Sourcing Directory: Information on possible models of corporate sourcing in particular countries.
  • PPA training courses for corporate buyers: How to value and compare corporate PPAs.

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Europe has set a target that 32% of its energy should come from renewables by 2030, up from 17.5% today. Corporates are and can play an even bigger role in meeting this target. Thousands of key corporate buyers – including from the steel, aluminium, ICT, and chemicals industries – and clean energy suppliers, are meeting in Amsterdam at the RE-Source 2019 event – for a two-day conference to discuss how to accelerate efforts to source more renewable energy.

The last weeks have seen an abundance of significant solar and wind sourcing agreements from major corporates around the world. Google announced its largest corporate renewable purchase in history, including nearly 800 MW of new renewable energy in Europe. Amazon recently unveiled plans to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The Airports Council International (ACI Europe) also announced at the event a new partnership with the RE-Source Platform to accelerate the clean energy transition of the airport industry and help it achieve its 2050 net zero commitment. In addition, the RE-Source Platform received a €500,000 grant from Google.org to fund further the development of new renewable energy purchasing models, provide training and resources for consumers, and enable more widespread access to clean power.

Corporate sourcing of renewables has risen rapidly in Europe, with 7.5 GW of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) deals signed over the past five years, and 1.6 GW worth of deals in 2019 alone. More European countries are engaging in PPA deals: 13 countries have inked PPAs in 2019 so far. Commercial and industrial on-site corporate sourcing accounted for 3.4 GW in 2018 and is expected to grow considerably in the next decade.

Industrial and commercial consumers account for more than half of Europe’s energy consumption today. Powering these corporate consumers with renewable energy could deliver both significant reductions in CO2 emissions and make European industries more competitive due to the rapidly falling cost of renewables.

According to a recent study from the European Commission, if EU-based corporate buyers committed to sourcing renewable electricity to meet 30% of their total electricity demand by 2030, the EU renewable energy sector would generate more than €750bn in gross added value and over 220,000 new jobs.

Governments can play their part in facilitating more companies to source renewables, by removing administrative hurdles for corporate renewable PPAs, and on-site and direct investments in renewable energy generation that exist throughout Europe. Under the new Renewable Energy Directive, European governments now have the duty to remove these barriers. Currently, only two of the draft National Energy and Climate Plans for 2030 even mention PPAs and none comply with the agreed legislation.

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Spanish renewable energy developers, asset owners and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are missing out on opportunities to engage with international investors and maximise the value of their assets in the primary and secondary markets. This is according to Augusta & Co., a specialist financial adviser to the renewable energy industry, which has managed transactions to an aggregate value of over €10 billion throughout Europe.

In particular, Augusta has highlighted the limitations of an insular approach, whereby Spanish asset owners selling on projects are choosing to engage in bilateral discussions with familiar investors, rather than seeking to broaden the pool of prospective buyers – both domestic and international – via a Structured Sales Process.

These bilateral discussions limit the value that sellers can unlock from their assets, often allowing buyers to take the upper hand and dictate pricing. They are also leaving sellers vulnerable to complexities or weaknesses in the eventual Sales Purchase Agreement with respect to factors such as warranties or financial penalties.

Indeed, Augusta estimates that Spanish IPPs and developers could be missing out on up to 20% of potential asset value as a result of limitations to negotiating power, and inability to fully engage with the international investment community.

Spain is currently a hotspot for European renewable energy, and has recorded a huge amount of deal flow over the past 18 months, demonstrating considerable investor appetite,” said Axel Narváez, Managing Director, Head of Spain, Augusta & Co. “In order to sustain this momentum, however, and for owners to unleash full value from their development and operational projects, the market needs to ensure that it is open to and bringing on board the investors that are the best fit for these assets.

By entering a Structured Sales Process, supported by an advisor with a genuinely international network, developers and IPPs in Spain can mitigate the risks inherent in dealing with a single party, and ensure that they achieve a fair sale value.

For Spanish asset owners, an independently managed Structured Sales Process will bring a broader range of potential investors into play, including institutional investors from Spain and overseas. This will create a more competitive environment in which sellers have greater control over the terms of the sale, and the valuation of their project or portfolio.

By creating – and then narrowing down – a targeted shortlist of investors, advisors can ensure that buyers are sought who have a genuine interest in the asset and are prepared to offer a fair price. In turn, engagement with the wider international investment community will support Spain’s ambitions to more than double its installed asset base and meet its ambitious target of 74% renewable energy generation by 2030.

Source: Augusta & Co.

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Public and private sector leaders are being urged to double annual investments in renewable energy to keep the world well below 2°C of warming, says a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. With just 11 years left for action to limit the effects of climate change, annual investments of USD 4.3 trillion in the energy sector until 2030 is the world’s most practical and readily available climate solution.

Annual renewable energy investments for the next decade need to double from around USD 330 billion to nearly USD 750 billion per year until 2030.

The findings form part of a new climate investment report by IRENA that highlights how cumulative global energy investments must pivot overwhelmingly towards low-carbon technologies including renewables. More than USD 18.6 trillion of planned fossil-fuel investments by 2050 need to be redirected to hold the line called for by the Paris Agreement and reaffirmed by the recent special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Despite the urgency, current investment patterns show a stark mismatch with the pathway necessary to ensure a climate-safe future. Together, renewable energy and energy efficiency, along with deeper electrification, can deliver 90 per cent of the energy-related emission cuts needed under the Paris Agreement.

It’s possible to limit climate change and meet the world’s growing energy demand by rapidly accelerating the speed at which we deploy renewable energy,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Only an energy transformation driven by renewables will allow us to meet the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. Renewables are the only ready and available instrument we have to hold the 1.5°C line over the next 11 years.

In meeting climate goals, we can also boost economic growth and deliver on sustainable development with renewables,” continued Mr. La Camera. “But there is an urgent need to rethink long-term energy investment decisions to ensure they lead us to the sustainable future we need. Doubling investments in renewables offers us a tremendous opportunity to improve health, create jobs, deliver economic opportunity and tackle climate change. No other solution is as plausible.”

Transforming the energy system with renewables offers a more cost-effective path than climate inaction. Every dollar invested in the energy transition will offer returns of up to three to seven times in improved human health, lower climate related expenditure and reduced subsidies.

But accelerating renewable energy deployment requires policies that create an enabling environment to unlock investment and encourage economic development, the new report concludes. IRENA will work closer to the ground, facilitating projects and assisting countries in building attractive investment frameworks for renewables. The Agency will also enhance cooperation with the private sector, international financial institutions and multilateral organisations.

In support of the UN Secretary General’s call for decisive climate action, IRENA has launched a campaign that underpins renewable energy as a practical climate action solution. In co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Agency’s “Lead the change. It’s possible with renewables” campaign aims to inform about the potential of renewable energy technologies and in turn encourage concrete climate action.

Source: IRENA

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