Tags Posts tagged with "renewable energies"

renewable energies

The mining industry faces an interesting paradox. It is the lynchpin of the transition to a low-carbon economy, providing the materials that go into new grids and electric vehicles, yet miners’ extraction processes gorge on large amounts of power. Miners account for 6% of the world’s energy demand, and meet most of it with fossil fuels.

Miners, which account for 22% of global industrial emissions, are facing more pressure to decarbonize than ever before – from investors, customers in the technology and auto industries, and even consumers further downstream. Companies recognize the risks to their operations from climate change, and continue to reaffirm their commitment to sustainability. Some 21 mining companies, including Glencore, Rio Tinto, BHP, Vale and Anglo American, are members of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, or TCFD. This means their financial reporting discloses risks and opportunities from climate change. The next step for many of these companies is implementing changes to drive direct decarbonization – a daunting task.

But things are starting to change, and fast

Mining companies have seen that part of the solution lies in tapping into renewables. Clean energy procurement by miners has accelerated to unprecedented levels in the last two years, as the drop in the cost of wind and solar power has made this an increasingly attractive pathway to decarbonize operations. Miners have contracted for 5.9 GW of clean energy in the last decade – three quarters of which was signed up in the past two years.

Big conglomerates have been driving this activity, such as BHP, which last year said renewables will power 100% of its largest copper operations in Chile by 2025. Rio Tinto has similar ambitions, announcing a plan last month to invest $1.5 billion to reach net-zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050.


A long way to go

Despite this momentum, solar and wind are still just a small fraction of the energy used by the industry today. Miners have been much slower in adopting renewables than other corporates. For instance, Google alone has procured more clean energy than the entire mining sector in the last decade.

Investors will play a big role in accelerating activity. The sustainable debt market is now worth more than $1 trillion, with major asset managers and institutional investors like Blackrock committing to divest from companies that are not aligned with a low-carbon transition. Increasingly, mining companies have to engage in decarbonization in order to access capital.

What does the path for 100% clean energy in the mining sector look like?

Solar and wind are the cheapest forms of new generation capacity in two-thirds of the world. This means miners can negotiate off-site, long-term power purchase agreements, or PPAs, at lower prices than thermal generation. It also allows them to sidestep the volatility of energy markets.

PPAs are the preferred clean energy procurement mechanism for miners. Many deals are structured as so-called sleeved contracts, in which a utility or energy retailer pulls from a portfolio of clean-energy projects to deliver round-the-clock electricity to mines. This model has proven effective in Chile, the leading country for renewable energy in mines. It allows companies like BHP or Anglo American to meet 100% renewable energy targets without forfeiting reliability.

Alternatively, miners can also install renewables on site at their operations. Mines could save up to 25% of their total electricity costs by leveraging solar, wind, or batteries on site, according to BNEF models. On-site renewables will appeal to mines where grid or fuel access is difficult, expensive, or unreliable – a common theme in markets like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia.

Source: BNEF

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Iberdrola refuerza su plan de movilidad sostenible, destinando más inversiones -un total de 150 M€- a intensificar el despliegue de puntos de recarga de vehículo eléctrico en los próximos cinco años

Iberdrola has decided to ramp up its sustainable mobility plan, with more investment – a total of 150 million euros – to provide an even larger number of electric vehicle charging stations within the next five years.

Iberdrola has made transport electrification one of the priorities of its strategy to transition toward a decarbonised economy based on renewable energy and smart networks, which is why it is stepping up the charging infrastructure plan in Spain, and implementing it in other markets where it operates, such as the United Kingdom, Portugal and Italy.

The new sustainable mobility plan entails installing around 150,000 electric vehicle charging points – six times the number in the original plan – in homes, companies and public highways in cities as well as the main motorways and highways over the next five years.

The availability of these infrastructures on public roads is essential to meet demand for charging points, to cater for the demand foreseen and to cover Spain’s main road and motorway network. Because of this, Iberdrola is installing rapid charging stations and will provide ultra-rapid stations (350 kW) every 200 kilometres, super-rapid (150 kW) every 100 kilometres and rapid (50 kW), every 50 kilometres.

Electric vehicle drivers using Iberdrola charging points can charge their electric vehicles with 100% green energy from clean generation sources with renewable Guarantee of Origin (GoO) certificates.

Current situation: 2,000 rapid charging stations in operation and development on public roads

Iberdrola’s new five-year Sustainable Mobility Plan is more ambitious than the programme for 2021, with approximately 25,000 charging points (residential, companies and public, urban and on highways and motorways) in Spain.

So far, Iberdrola has installed 5,000 electric charging points nationwide. Around 400 of these are rapid charging points on roads and motorways. The company has almost 1,600 charging stations in different stages of development, more than 300 of which are about to go into service.

During the first 18 months of Iberdrola’s mobility plan it signed more than 30 agreements to roll out the infrastructure with the main players in the mobility market which include government agencies and institutions, companies, service stations, dealerships and electric vehicle dealerships.

In this regard, the company has opened the first sustainable car park at the IFEMA trade fair facilities in Madrid, reached agreements with almost all electric vehicle manufacturers, associations and dealerships. It is rolling out an ambitious points plan for fast vehicle charging at service stations operated by brands like AVIA, Ballenoil and Valcarce, collaborating with sustainable mobility plans with companies like Ikea, McDonald’s, Telefonica, REE, Auchán, etc, investing in electric mobility infrastructures in shopping centres, restaurant chains and hotels. It has also joined the Zity initiative to develop electric mobility services in several Spanish cities.

Iberdrola’s sustainable mobility plan aims to speed up the transition to electric vehicles in its fleets. In 2019, Iberdrola became the first Spanish company to join The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, committing to electrifying the entire fleet of vehicles of its businesses in Spain and the United Kingdom by 2030.

The first public highway charging App in Spain with 3,000 electric charging points

Iberdrola’s electric mobility strategy also includes measures to provide digital solutions for streamlining electric vehicle charging for drivers.

Iberdrola has updated its Public Charging App, adding up-to-date information about all Spain’s electric charging points. There are currently more than 3,000 of these stations operated by Iberdrola and third-party operators.

The digital app, which enables drivers to locate, book a charging point managed by Iberdrola and pay through the mobile – whether or not you are an electricity customer . It is the only one that includes all available charging points in Spain, whether managed by Iberdrola or another mobility operator.
To upgrade the first public charging app in Spain, Iberdrola spent months geolocating all existing charging stations on Spain’s public highways, checking that they exist and are operational.

It will continue to update the map with new additions to the electric charging station network as they come online, whether operated by Iberdrola or by third parties.

FuturENERGY February 2020

Enercapital Developments is a company specialised in the integral development of renewable energy projects (wind and PV power). With more than 15 years of experience and hundreds of projects undertaken around the world – over 5 GW in PV projects alone -, the company focuses its activity on the development of projects to bring them to the Ready to Build stage (RTB). Its services cover simple assessment to full implementation, making the company a reference in the sector. Enercapital is currently developing around 1.5 GW of PV projects in Spain, including a significant part of the Audax Renovables portfolio…

FuturENERGY February 2020

Wind power is one of the most studied topics in the renewable energy sector. In recent decades, the approach has particularly focused on different aspects of the modelling and analysis of onshore wind turbines. Currently, a group of researchers, lead by professor Alexandre Simos, from the Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Department at the Engineering School of the Universidad de São Paulo (EPUSP) in Brazil, and thanks to the financing provided by the US Office of Naval Research Global (ONR Global), is studying ways of increasing Brazil’s wind power generation capacity, heading up an effort to reduce the structural weight of new designs of floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs)…


FuturENERGY February 2020

Tamoin is currently an Independent Service Provider (ISP) and a reference in the European and global wind power market. Its engineering maintenance division offers high value products and technological solutions for wind farms, maintaining over 6.5 GW of wind power in different technologies. The company’s value proposals include integrated maintenance contracts, the supply of spares and design improvements…

Wärtsilä has completed the delivery of an island grid energy solution on Graciosa in the Azores. The order for Graciólica, announced in January 2018, was placed by Portuguese project company Graciolica Lda and supported by its majority shareholder, Denmark based Recharge A/S. The inauguration of the Graciosa Hybrid Renewable Power Plant took place on Graciosa on 20 February 2020. The purpose of the island grid is to reduce diesel fuel consumption and maximise renewable energy for the over 4,000 island inhabitants. The use of renewables will be increased from 15% to 65% with Wärtsilä’s new technology solution.

Energy storage is needed to overcome the intermittency of renewable sources, manage the frequency and quality of the supplied power, and provide backup energy to meet spikes in demand. The power plant includes an energy storage system that enables a more resilient and sustainable power system as critical grid asset.

The entire island’s energy management is monitored, integrated and optimised by Wärtsilä’s GEMS, an advanced energy management software system. GEMS software uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to optimise multiple energy generation assets based on load patterns and weather forecasting. GEMS’s computing technology and logic also accommodates the island’s renewable intermittent sources such as solar and wind. Particularly unique to the project is that GEMS does both individual asset control as well as system balancing to maximise renewable energy penetration, something traditionally carried out by system operators. GEMS has allowed the island system to perform at its best while decreasing the cost of diesel power generation. Wärtsilä will also provide software maintenance services under a five-year agreement.

Demonstrating the potential of energy storage on islands

Island grids present a unique set of challenges, particularly the heavy dependence on liquid fuel imports, coupled with a growing concern for climate change and need for reliable energy to provide critical power needs. Energy storage is a sustainable alternative. Wärtsilä’s island grid solution enables maximum renewable penetration, lowers reliance on imported liquid fuels and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The Graciosa Hybrid Renewable Power Plant has the potential to eliminate approximately 190,000 liters of diesel fuel per month.

Source: Wärtsilä

The year 2018 saw $2.8 billion spent on renewables projects in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) – a regional record and some $600 million more than the previous year, according to a new report published by BloombergNEF (BNEF). More renewables investment flowing to sub-Saharan African countries than ever before is a testament to how cheaper technology, investor familiarity and subsidy schemes are helping clean energy spread across the continent.

As investors cast a wider net, projects are being built outside of mature markets such as South Africa. Many utility-scale solar projects are being developed in countries that have not built much renewables infrastructure to date. Some 1.2GW of PV are expected to come online in 2021 outside of South Africa – that is more than twice the amount commissioned in 2018.

Country-level targets and incentives are backed by assistance from multilaterals, which remain a key source of finance and have helped roll out renewable energy auction programs. The World Bank’s Scaling Solar program for instance awarded just under 400MW of PV capacity over 2015-18, equivalent to 39% of the total installed outside of South Africa over the same period. Such auctions have yielded some of the world’s lowest bid prices for solar power – several projects have won capacity at prices under $0.04/kWh.

But such auctions are double-edged. On the one hand, they prove that large-scale renewables can be procured throughout the region and help develop local familiarity with clean energy. Many are bundled with features designed to reduce project costs and risk, such as pre-secured sites. Yet, as BNEF analyst Antoine Vagneur-Jones points out, “that helps lower prices, but can also lead to government expecting to procure power at the same rates for projects that are not backed by such frameworks.”

Other hurdles remain to be overcome. Several sub-Saharan African countries sport an apparent surplus in installed power generation capacity. Taken at face value, this can weaken the case for adding renewables. But plant availability issues and transmission constraints mean that the gap between supply and demand is often less clear than it would seem.

Meanwhile, a prevalence of take-or-pay contracts means that producers are remunerated for power that is not consumed. Whether by attempting to terminate or renegotiate contracts, governments are striving to reduce their obligations in countries such as Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Achieving clarity on how to balance future clean energy investments with procurement agreements will be vital if the clean energy is to grow at scale.

The development of regional power markets will allow countries to move beyond such bilateral agreements. Power has long been traded in southern Africa, and nascent power pools in eastern and western Africa will enable countries to exchange surplus electricity across their borders. But a lack of private investment in transmission infrastructure, concentrated power markets and small generation fleets will hinder their growth.

Developers having access to guarantees and hard currency lowers barriers to investment, but risk perceptions are such that access to local financing for large-scale renewables remains a distant prospect. Yet recurrent shortages of hydropower and a shift away from financing coal by such backers as the African Development Bank are increasing the attractiveness of clean energy.

Source: BloombergNEF (BNEF)

Wärtsilä has been contracted to add a 10 MW/26 MWh energy storage solution to a power plant owned by Roatan Electric Company (RECO) on the Caribbean island of Roatan in Honduras. Wärtsilä’s proprietary GEMS energy management software solution will control the utility’s energy system, including earlier delivered Wärtsilä engines, and solar PV. The order was placed with Wärtsilä in December 2019.

The addition of energy storage and GEMS solution to RECO’s generation resources will provide additional flexibility to integrate renewables into the local grid and secure reliability while eliminating the need for mechanical spinning reserve. The storage system will provide virtual spinning reserve capacity needed to maintain stability of the grid – particularly important for the energy security of an island. The solution will be delivered on a fast-track basis and is expected to be operational before the end of 2020.

The system will allow more cost-effective and optimised operation of the existing thermal power plant, plus enable more renewable energy to be incorporated into the system. It’s anticipated that by the end of 2021, over 20 percent of the delivered island energy will come from renewable sources. This is made possible by an integrated energy storage solution using tertiary control from the GEMS software.
The existing 28 MW plant was delivered on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Wärtsilä in 2017. It operates on four Wärtsilä 34SG-LPG engines running on propane gas.
Wärtsilä’s total installed power capacity in Honduras is approximately 500 MW.

RECO is constructing 12.5 MW of solar PV energy, has a 26-turbine wind farm, and a recently completed a 6-mile underwater subsea cable to expand their distribution system to two nearby islands.

Source: Wärtislä

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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

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