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renewable energy

The in-depth study, which analyses hydrogen’s current state of play and offers guidance on its future development, is being launched by Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, alongside Mr Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, on the occasion of the meeting of G20 energy and environment ministers in Karuizawa, Japan.

Hydrogen can help to tackle various critical energy challenges, including helping to store the variable output from renewables like solar PV and wind to better match demand. It offers ways to decarbonise a range of sectors (including long-haul transport, chemicals, and iron and steel) where it is proving difficult to meaningfully reduce emissions. It can also help to improve air quality and strengthen energy security.

A wide variety of fuels are able to produce hydrogen, including renewables, nuclear, natural gas, coal and oil. Hydrogen can be transported as a gas by pipelines or in liquid form by ships, much like liquefied natural gas (LNG). It can also be transformed into electricity and methane to power homes and feed industry, and into fuels for cars, trucks, ships and planes.

To build on this momentum, the IEA report offers seven key recommendations to help governments, companies and other stakeholders to scale up hydrogen projects around the world. These include four areas:

  • Making industrial ports the nerve centres for scaling up the use of clean hydrogen;
  • Building on existing infrastructure, such as natural gas pipelines;
  • Expanding the use of hydrogen in transport by using it to power cars, trucks and buses that run on key routes;
  • Launching the hydrogen trade’s first international shipping routes.

 

The report notes that hydrogen still faces significant challenges. Producing hydrogen from low-carbon energy is costly at the moment, the development of hydrogen infrastructure is slow and holding back widespread adoption, and some regulations currently limit the development of a clean hydrogen industry.

Today, hydrogen is already being used on an industrial scale, but it is almost entirely supplied from natural gas and coal. Its production, mainly for the chemicals and refining industries, is responsible for 830 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions of the United Kingdom and Indonesia combined.

Reducing emissions from existing hydrogen production is a challenge but also represents an opportunity to increase the scale of clean hydrogen worldwide. One approach is to capture and store or utilise the CO2 from hydrogen production from fossil fuels. There are currently several industrial facilities around the world that use this process, and more are in the pipeline, but a much greater number is required to make a significant impact.

Another approach is for industries to secure greater supplies of hydrogen from clean electricity. In the past two decades, more than 200 projects have started operation to convert electricity and water into hydrogen to reduce emissions.

Expanding the use of clean hydrogen in other sectors – such as cars, trucks, steel and heating buildings – is another important challenge. There are currently around 11,200 hydrogen-powered cars on the road worldwide. Existing government targets call for that number to increase dramatically to 2.5M by 2030.

Policy makers need to make sure market conditions are well adapted for reaching such ambitious goals. The recent successes of solar PV, wind, batteries and electric vehicles have shown that policy and technology innovation have the power to build global clean energy industries.

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Growatt and 3S Solutions held a conference in Telangana of India on July 5 with a large crowd of installers, EPCs and system integrators from across the region. Mr. Neelam Janaiah, managing director from TSREDCO (Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation Ltd.) attended the event. Mr. Neelam Janaiah showed high recognition of Growatt’s products and outstanding achievements in India.

Growatt entered Indian solar market back in 2011 and its focus on product quality and technological innovation had driven its strong sales growth in Indian rooftop sector over the past eight years. Introducing to the audience, Growatt regional director Rucas Wang said, “Growatt is a global leading brand in solar inverter industry and we’ve shipped over 1.33 million inverters worldwide. According to IHS Markit, Growatt has become the TOP 3 world single-phase PV inverter supplier by 2018.

Speaking at the event, 3S Solutions managing director Mr. Suresh Bhavani said, “3S Solutions is committed to providing high quality solar products and services. Growatt inverters can perfectly work at high altitudes, dusty locations and hot & cold areas. We are pleased to collaborate with Growatt and help bring its reliable PV solutions to the Indian solar industry.

In a step to further strengthen its market position, at the event Growatt launched its most up-to-date residential inverter MIN 2500-6000 TL-X in India. The new inverter MIN has got very impressive features. For instance, at first glance a lot of customers like its compact design and elegant looking. It comes with OLED display and touch button, which has a longer lifespan and can last over three million clicks! MIN uses ‘aerospace grade’ flame-retardant lightweight materials, making it easy to carry and install.

To expand business across India, Growatt has built a strong local service team with over 15 experienced service engineers. “Customer service is at the center of our collaboration with our clients. We’ve established our service center and warehouse in Hyderabad, where we have sufficient inventory of inverter service parts and replacements. A toll-free service hotline has also been set up to provide fast response for our customers. Usually our service team can provide solutions for clients within 48 hours when an issue of the inverter occurs. And for systems in some remote areas, we can solve the issues within 72 hours.

By partnering with 3S Solutions, we are actively exploring the business opportunities across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. And with Growatt’s high quality products and professional customer services, we look forward to seeing good results at the end of this fiscal year!” said Wang.

Source: Growatt

Acciona has begun construction work on the 64-MWp Usya photovoltaic plant, the third owned by the company in Chile. Acciona is currently constructing almost 400 MW in Chile in two wind farms and two photovoltaic plants, which will enter service in late 2019/early 2020.

 

The Usya plant, located in the municipality of Calama (Antofagasta region), will have a maximum capacity of 64 peak megawatts (MWp) -51 MW rated capacity- and an estimated annual emission-free energy generation of 146 GWh, equivalent to the electricity demand of around 70,000 Chilean households.

The new photovoltaic plant will be equipped with 187,200 modules mounted on fixed structures, which will be installed on a surface area of 105 hectares. The plant is expected to enter service in mid-2020.

Around 400 people will work in the project during the period of highest construction activity. After it enters service, the new plant will avoid the emission of around 141,000 T of CO2 to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations.

Other plants in Chile

Acciona is currently building three other renewable energy facilities under its ownership in Chile, two wind farms in La Araucanía totalling 267 MW and a 62-MWp photovoltaic plant in Atacama, which will join the 291 MW already in service in the country.

The company’s construction effort will lead to a total of almost 700 MW of renewable capacity under its ownership in Chile by 2020, with an investment of around 1,000 M.

A blueprint for energy transition
Nestled in the foothills of a Catalonian mountain range is a small village that packs a big punch when it comes to Europe’s sustainable energy future. Avià is showing Europe how citizens in local communities can engage in the energy transition, helping the EU achieve its climate and energy targets. In 2015, the local council in Avià adopted an easily-implementable blueprint for boosting renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection.

This cut down its carbon emissions and lowered its demand for expensive fossil fuels, benefitting both citizens and local authorities.

Avià’s public sector alone saves over 300,000 kilowatt-hours in energy each year – a 60% reduction compared to before 2015. This means that the village saves €20,000 and 90 T in CO2 emissions a year, not including private buildings.

Bringing tax savings for citizens
With a budget of €500,000, Avià’s council took a range of relatively simple and attractive steps. First, they reduced local taxes for any citizens taking green measures like fitting solar panels on their roofs and insulating the facade of their house.

In public buildings, solar panels were installed, lighting was switched to LED, buildings were better insulated and only 100% renewable energy companies could bid to supply electricity for public buildings and lighting in the village. Meanwhile, the village has been planning a joint purchase of solar panels for citizens who cannot fit them on their roofs.

The local authority significantly improved the door-to-door recycling scheme, boosting recycling to 70% of the village’s waste. They also implemented measures to protect natural wildlife in the local river, promoted car-pooling with special parking spots set up and installed charging points for electric and hybrid cars.

The village also set up schemes to compost tree trimmings, banned the pesticide glyphosate
in public spaces, and provided dog waste bags to dog owners as well as dog waste composting
facilities.

Providing a model for sustainability
With its easily-replicable model, strong citizen engagement and bold political decisions, Avià
is clearly doing as much as it can to become as efficient and sustainable as possible, providing
a model for villages to help the EU achieve its climate and energy targets.

Source: EUSEW

The technology group Wärtsilä has commissioned its 6 MW/6 MWh energy management and storage system project for its customer ContourGlobal Bonaire on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. With Phase One complete, the island no longer has to curtail wind resources. It has nearly doubled renewable energy penetration, and prepared the system for additional capacity to accommodate peak demand during tourist season. ContourGlobal’s entire island grid is managed and operated by Greensmith GEMS advanced software platform.

The utility’s phased approach allows time for system operators to add new hybrid solutions and spread out costs, and leaves room for new technologies to come online. For Bonaire, Phase One involves GEMS managing an optimising dispatch and operation of existing generation assets. It also provides spinning reserve requirement with energy storage to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Furthermore, Phase One involves unlocking curtailed wind energy and improved system reliability by providing frequency and voltage control. To optimise the system GEMS now factors in real-time asset performance, as well as load and renewable energy forecasts. With Phase One complete, GEMS can balance Bonaire’s resources and seamlessly optimise thermal, wind and energy storage assets.

During the commissioning tests, several load rejections were tested, including loss of wind, loss of engines and loss of demand, and in every circumstance GEMS instantaneously tracked and maintained the quality of the generation avoiding the load shedding of the grid. This is just one example of how this project will improve operations through automation while helping the island avoid blackouts, achieve greater efficiencies and use more wind power.

Commissioning of the project puts Bonaire on the path to achieving its 100% renewable target. This is the beginning of a longer-term plan to fully modernise the island’s system and add additional capacity and renewable energy generation to the grid. ContourGlobal Bonaire commissioned the project after years of seeking solutions to integrate more renewable power into the existing island grid.

The next phases for the Bonaire project will replace outdated thermal technology with five new engines and add more wind and solar to the generation mix. As the island grid increases in size, GEMS will enable further renewable penetration and lower the cost of energy. GEMS machine learning and AI capability will incorporate weather, electricity demand and other variables and data into its forecasting models. This data will inform the automated decisions managing ContourGlobal’s entire fleet.

Source: Wärtsilä

Renewable energy is increasingly powering the world, but erratic policy making is holding the sector back from its potential contribution to cutting carbon pollution and meeting climate and development targets, according to REN21’s Renewables 2019 Global Status Report (GSR).

The report confirms that for the fourth consecutive year, more renewable power capacity was installed than fossil fuel and nuclear power combined – 100 GW of solar PV alone was added in 2018, enough to meet more than 25% of electricity demand in France.

But a lack of ambitious and sustained policies to drive decarbonisation across the heating, cooling and transport sectors means countries are not maximising the benefits of the transition – including cleaner air and energy security – for their people.

A key breakthrough could occur if countries cut their fossil fuel subsidies which are propping up dirty energy” says Rana Adib, Executive Secretary, REN21. Ambitious policy and regulatory frameworks are critical to creating favourable and competitive conditions, allowing renewable energy to grow and displace more expensive and carbon-emitting fuels. Forty countries have undertaken some level of fossil fuel subsidy reform since 2015, but these subsidies continued to exist in 112 countries in 2017, with at least 73 countries providing subsidies of over USD 100 million each. Estimated total global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption were USD 300 billion in 2017, an 11% increase from 2016.

The Report finds:

  • Solar PV and wind are now mainstream options in the power sector. Over 90 countries had more than 1 GW of renewable power capacity installed, and 30 countries had more than 10 GW. At least nine countries generated more than 20% of their electricity with solar PV and wind. (These are: Denmark, Uruguay, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Greece, UK, Honduras.)
  • Global renewable energy uptake no longer depends on just a few countries. In 2018 the global deployment of renewables kept up a steady pace overall with the European Union’s roll-out slightly up and China’s annual installations and investment declining compared to year prior. This shows renewable energy is a strong, global powerhouse.
  • Cities are increasingly becoming strong drivers in renewable energy deployment, adopting some of the most ambitious targets for renewables globally. In numerous cases, these commitments and actions have exceeded national and state/provincial initiatives. More than 100 cities (ranging from Nairobi/Kenya and Dar es Salaam/Tanzania to Auckland/NZ, Stockholm/Sweden and Seattle/USA) use at least 70% renewable electricity, and at least 50 cities put in place renewable energy targets covering power, heating and cooling, and transport.

There is a huge opportunity for countries to drive action by expanding the transition to the heating, cooling and transport sectors. Renewables supply more than 26% of global electricity, however they provide only 10% of the energy used for heating and cooling and just over 3% for transport. This imbalance between energy sectors is in large part due to insufficient or unstable policy support. The number of countries with a policy for renewables in heat actually declined.

Despite insufficient support, initiatives in transport, heating and cooling sectors are being implemented. Sustainable biofuels, EVs and fuel economy policies are reducing overall fossil fuel dependency in the transport sector. Ambitious policies, such as Brazil’s 27% blending mandate for ethanol and California’s (USA) Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, demonstrate renewables’ contribution to the transport sector. Heating and cooling policies include building energy codes, renewable heat incentives and mandates, and indirect approaches like carbon pricing. Carbon pricing remains acutely under-utilised. By the end of 2018, only 44 national governments, 21 states/provinces and 7 cities had implemented carbon pricing policies, covering just 13% of global CO2 emissions

With the countries needing to come back with more ambitious climate targets in 2020, this report shows there are an array of opportunities to scale up action and improve people’s lives by extending the benefits of the energy transition throughout the economy,” says REN21 Chair, Arthouros Zervos.

Source: REN21 

Deep declines in wind, solar and battery technology costs will result in a grid nearly half-powered by the two fast-growing renewable energy sources by 2050, according to the latest projections from BloombergNEF (BNEF). In its New Energy Outlook 2019 (NEO), BNEF sees these technologies ensuring that – at least until 2030 – the power sector contributes its share toward keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 ºC.

Each year, NEO compares the costs of competing energy technologies through a levelized cost of energy analysis. This year, the report finds that, in approximately two-thirds of the world, wind or solar now represent the least expensive option for adding new power-generating capacity.

Electricity demand is set to increase 62%, resulting in global generating capacity almost tripling between 2018 and 2050. This will attract $13.3 trillion in new investment, of which wind will take $5.3 trillion and solar $4.2 trillion. In addition to the spending on new generating plants, $840 billion will go to batteries and $11.4 trillion to grid expansion.

NEO starts by analyzing technology trends and fuel prices. The results show coal’s role in the global power mix falling from 37% today to 12% by 2050 while oil as a power-generating source is virtually eliminated. Wind and solar grow from 7% of generation today to 48% by 2050. The contributions of hydro, natural gas, and nuclear remain roughly level on a percentage basis.

BNEF’s power system analysis reinforces a key message from previous New Energy Outlooks – that solar photovoltaic modules, wind turbines and lithium-ion batteries are set to continue on aggressive cost reduction curves, of 28%, 14% and 18% respectively for every doubling in global installed capacity. By 2030, the energy generated or stored and dispatched by these three technologies will undercut electricity generated by existing coal and gas plants almost everywhere.

The projected growth of renewables through 2030 indicates that many nations can follow a path for the next decade and a half that is compatible with keeping the increase in world temperatures to 2 degrees or less. And they can do this without introducing additional direct subsidies for existing technologies such as solar and wind.

The days when direct supports such as feed-in tariffs are needed are coming to an end. Still, to achieve this level of transition and de-carbonization, other policy changes will be required – namely, the reforming of power markets to ensure wind, solar, and batteries are remunerated properly for their contributions to the grid. NEO is fundamentally policy-agnostic, but it does assume that markets operate rationally and fairly to allow lowest-cost providers to win.

Europe will decarbonize its grid the fastest with 92% of its electricity supplied by renewables in 2050. Major Western European economies in particular are already on a trajectory to significantly decarbonize thanks to carbon pricing and strong policy support. The U.S., with its abundance of low-priced natural gas, and China, with its modern fleet of coal-fired plants, follow at a slower pace.

China sees its power sector emissions peaking in 2026, and then falling by more than half in the next 20 years. Asia’s electricity demand will more than double to 2050. At $5.8 trillion, the whole Asia Pacific region will account for almost half of all new capital spent globally to meet that rising demand. China and India together are a $4.3 trillion investment opportunity. The U.S. will see $1.1 trillion invested in new power capacity, with renewables more than doubling its generation share, to 43% in 2050.

The outlook for global emissions and keeping temperature increases to 2 degrees or less is mixed, according to this year’s NEO. On the one hand, the build-out of solar, wind and batteries will put the world on a path that is compatible with these objectives at least until 2030. On the other hand, a lot more will need to be done beyond that date to keep the world on that 2 degree path.

One reason is that wind and solar will be capable of reaching 80% of the electricity generation mix in a number of countries by mid-century, with the help of batteries, but going beyond that will be difficult and will require other technologies to play a part – with nuclear, biogas-to-power, green hydrogen-to-power and carbon capture and storage among the contenders.

BNEF’s analysis suggests that governments need to do two separate things – one is to ensure their markets are friendly to the expansion of low-cost wind, solar and batteries; and the other is to back research and early deployment of these other technologies so that they can be harnessed at scale from the 2030s onwards.

In NEO 2019, BNEF for the first time considers 100% electrification of road transport and the heating of residential buildings, leading to a significant expansion of power generation’s role.

Under such this projection, overall electricity demand would grow by a quarter compared to a future in which road transport and residential heat only electrify as far as assumed in the main NEO scenario. Total generation capacity in 2050 would have to be three times the size of what is installed today. Overall, electrifying heat and transport would lower economy-wide emissions, saving 126GtCO2 between 2018 and 2050.

Source: BloombergNEF (BNEF)

Renewable energy is the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the world already today, the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows. The report contributes to the international discussion on raising climate action worldwide, ahead of Abu Dhabi’s global preparatory meeting for the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September. With prices set to fall, the cost advantage of renewables will extend further, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018 says. This will strengthen the business case and solidify the role of renewables as the engine of the global energy transformation.

Renewable energy is the backbone of any development that aims to be sustainable”, said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “We must do everything we can to accelerate renewables if we are to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. Today’s report sends a clear signal to the international community: Renewable energy provides countries with a low-cost climate solution that allows for scaling up action. To fully harness the economic opportunity of renewables, IRENA will work closely with our members and partners to facilitate on-the-ground solutions and concerted action that will result in renewable energy projects.

The costs for renewable energy technologies decreased to a record low last year. The global weighted-average cost of electricity from concentrating solar power (CSP) declined by 26%, bioenergy by 14%, solar PV and onshore wind by 13%, hydropower by 12% and geothermal and offshore wind by 1%, respectively.

IRENA_COSTES-1

Cost reductions, particularly for solar and wind power technologies, are set to continue into the next decade, the new report finds. According to IRENA’s global database, over three-quarters of the onshore wind and four-fifths of the solar PV capacity that is due to be commissioned next year will produce power at lower prices than the cheapest new coal, oil or natural gas options. Crucially, they are set to do so without financial assistance.

Onshore wind and solar PV costs between three and four US cents per kilowatt hour are already possible in areas with good resources and enabling regulatory and institutional frameworks. For example, record-low auction prices for solar PV in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have seen a levelised cost of electricity as low as three US cents per kilowatt hour (USD 0.03/kWh).

Electrification on the basis of cost-competitive renewables is the backbone of the energy transformation and a key low-cost decarbonisation solution in support of the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

Source: IRENA

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With a volume of more than 4 GW of capacity shipped in 2018 and more than 12 GW of total capacity installed all over the world, in 2018 GoodWe became the 7th largest supplier of PV inverters on a global scale. That is according to a recently released report by Wood Mackenzie and titled Global Solar PV inverter market: Market shares and shipment trends 2019.

This is not the first time that according to an authoritative international institution GoodWe makes it to the list of the largest suppliers of PV inverters (IHS and Bloomberg on previous years have also identified the company a major supplier).

According to the report: in 2018, the GoodWe shipments of PV inverters reached 4% of the global market share. In two large solar markets, Europe and Asia-Pacific, GoodWe maintained an outstanding performance: last year, GoodWe supplied 3% of the inverters acquired by the European market, which made the company the top 10 largest supplier of this continent. In Asia-Pacific, GoodWe reached a 5% of the market share, making othe company the 4th largest supplier, which is remarkable given the volumes involved and the size of the national markets of this region, that include the largest world markets of China and India and the sophisticated market of Australia.

The year of 2018 was very challenging for the Chinese solar industry, but GoodWe still managed to expand in the global market and the inclusion of our company on the Wood Mackenzie top ten list bears witness to those efforts. It is also worth mentioning that the more than 4 GW volume shipped by GoodWe last year was 35 times more than what we shipped in 2012 and more than double of what we shipped in 2016. The Wood Mackenzie report fully illustrates that despite the challenges of last year, GoodWe has managed to maintain a remarkable high rate of annual growth that since 2012 has averaged 100%.

Across the world the solar industry is experiencing a fresh wave of growth and the demand has continued to expand and diversify. The quality expectation of consumers around the world has become more complex and the inverter suppliers are forced to innovate and deliver value to meet the rising demand and excel amid fierce competition. GoodWe’s competitors are formidable companies and being part again of the big leagues is not a small feat in these times of rapid evolution.

The continuation of GoodWe on the selected group of the world top largest PV inverter suppliers rests on several factors. Three of them stand out: GoodWe has understood that service is of critical importance to win customers trust and satisfaction and as such it has set up local service teams in Europe, Latin America, India, Australia, Korea and other markets. The expansion seen over the past year of the GoodWe businesses across the world is just a reflection of those efforts. Another factor is that GoodWe is distinguished by its capacity to react quickly to the customer demand, something that has been allowing the company to improve its products over significantly short periods of time. Last but not least, it is worth mentioning the wide and expanding portfolio of GoodWe products that allow the company to cater to different market segments and within these, meet the quality expectations of different kinds of customers.

Source: GoodWe

In partnership with the RE-Source Platform, BayWa r.e. has published its Energy Report 2019 which analyses the attitudes of 1,200 European corporations towards renewable energy. While 89% of all those surveyed agreed on the leading role corporations must play in driving the energy transition, 76% identified bureaucracy and complex regulations as major barriers that are hindering further investment in renewables.

 

For the majority of corporations, the benefits were clear – almost 90% felt the use of renewables resulted in a better public image, while 80% felt it gave them a business advantage. And when deciding to invest in renewables, 92% did so to reduce energy costs.

However, a perception of long payback periods (44%) and high investment costs (38%) were identified as barriers by corporations across all surveyed countries. At just under 50%, the perception of investment costs as a barrier was highest in Poland and the UK.

While companies in Germany, the UK and France mainly focus on greenhouse gas emission targets, companies in Poland, Italy and Spain aim to increase the overall use of renewable energy.

Over half of all surveyed corporations were planning to use renewable energy or install their own renewable energy facilities within the next five years. Spanish corporations were particularly ambitious with 76% planning to increase their use of renewables, while Italian corporates recorded 70%.

Source: BayWa r.e.

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