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renewable energy

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The Curtis-Teixeiro biomass plant is one the most important renewable energy projects in Europe. Greenalia will invest €135 million in the plant and the construction work is being carried out by a joint venture made up of Acciona Industrial and Imasa Ingeniería y Proyectos. Under the terms of the EPC contract, the consortium will be responsible for the O&M of the plant over a period of 15 years. The Curtis Teixeiro biomass plant is being built on a 103,000 m2 site and will have a capacity of 50 MW when fully operational, enough energy to supply a population of over 250,000. Once completed, this pioneer in terms of technological innovation will be the largest forest biomass facility in the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Europe, using pruning and eucalyptus wood waste.

Once commissioned, the plant will generate 324 GWh per annum and will have the capacity to treat 500,000 tonnes of forest biomass. This waste will be supplied by group subsidiary Greenalia Forest, which will collect it from FSC or PEFC certified forests within a radius of 100 km from the plant.

The plant features the latest biomass power generation technologies and complies with the most stringent European legislation. This is a highly efficient power generation facility, with low CO2 emissions. It uses dry cooling technology, which means minimal water consumption and no effluent discharges. Construction work is scheduled for completion in September and the plant is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2020.

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Global investment in new renewable energy capacity over this decade — 2010 to 2019 inclusive — is on course to hit USD 2.6 trillion, with more gigawatts of solar power capacity installed than any other generation technology, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019 report, released ahead of the UN Global Climate Action Summit.

The report is commissioned by the UN Environment Programme in cooperation with Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and produced in collaboration with BloombergNEF. The report is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety.

According to the report this investment is set to have roughly quadrupled renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro) from 414 GW at the end of 2009 to just over 1,650 GW when the decade closes at the end of this year.

Solar power will have drawn half — USD 1.3 trillion — of the USD 2.6 trillion in renewable energy capacity investments made over the decade. Solar alone will have grown from 25 GW at the beginning of 2010 to an expected 663 GW by the close of 2019 — enough to produce all the electricity needed each year by about 100 million average homes in the USA.

The global share of electricity generation accounted for by renewables reached 12.9 per cent, in 2018, up from 11.6 per cent in 2017. This avoided an estimated 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions last year alone — a substantial saving given global power sector emissions of 13.7 billion tonnes in 2018.

Including all major generating technologies (fossil and zero-carbon), the decade is set to see a net 2,366 GW of power capacity installed, with solar accounting for the largest single share (663 GW), coal second (529 GW), and wind and gas in third and fourth places (487 GW and 438 GW respectively).

The cost-competitiveness of renewables has also risen dramatically over the decade. The levelized cost of electricity (a measure that allows comparison of different methods of electricity generation on a consistent basis) is down 81 per cent for solar photovoltaics since 2009; that for onshore wind is down 46 per cent.

2018 sees quarter-trillion dollar mark exceeded again

The report, released annually since 2007, also continued its traditional look at yearly figures, with global investment in renewables capacity hitting USD 272.9 billion in 2018.

While this was 12 per cent down over the previous year, 2018 was the ninth successive year in which capacity investment exceeded USD 200 billion and the fifth successive year above USD 250 billion. It was also was about three times the global investment in coal and gas-fired generation capacity combined.
The 2018 figure was achieved despite continuing falls in the capital cost of solar and wind projects, and despite a policy change that hit investment in China in the second half of the year.

A record 167 GW of new renewable energy capacity was completed in 2018, up from 160 GW in 2017.

The report also tracks other, non-capacity investment in renewables — money going into technology and specialist companies. All of these types of investment showed increases in 2018. Government and corporate research and development was up 10 per cent at USD 13.1 billion, while equity raised by renewable energy companies on public markets was 6 per cent higher at USD 6 billion, and venture capital and private equity investment was up 35 per cent at USD 2 billion.

Overall renewable energy investment, including these categories as well as capacity investment, reached USD 288.3 billion in 2018, down 11 per cent on the record figure of USD 325 billion attained in 2017.

China still leads, but renewables investment spreads

China has been by far the biggest investor in renewables capacity over this decade, having committed USD 758 billion between 2010 and the first half of 2019, with the U.S. second on USD 356 billion and Japan third on USD 202 billion.

Europe as a whole invested USD 698 billion in renewables capacity over the same period, with Germany contributing the most at USD 179 billion, and the United Kingdom USD 122 billion.

While China remained the largest single investor in 2018 (at USD 88.5 billion, down 38 per cent), renewable energy capacity investment was more spread out across the globe than ever last year, with 29 countries each investing more than USD 1 billion, up from 25 in 2017 and 21 in 2016.

Spain, Vietnam, Ukraine and South Africa were among the countries in the “USD 1 billion-plus club” that saw capacity investment jump by more than fivefold in 2018. India is an increasingly important investor in renewables, committing USD 11 billion in 2018 and a total of USD 90 billion between 2010 and the end of the first half of this year.

Source: BloombergNEF

Installed capacity of renewable power in Colombia is expected to rise from 2% in 2018 to 14% in 2025, with a further rise to 21% by 2030. Renewable capacity in the country is slated to increase fivefold to reach 5.9 GW at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.4%. This growth can be attributed to new government policies facilitating funds for renewable energy projects, energy efficiency measures and announcement of renewable energy auctions in 2018, says GlobalData.

However, GlobalData’s latest report, “Colombia Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations and Competitive Landscape, also reveals that the country’s coal-based capacity will increase by 43% between 2018 and 2030 to reach 2.4GW while gas-based power will contribute 14% of total capacity.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects will handle the demand side management in the near future. The country’s onshore wind capacity is expected to increase from 19.5 MW in 2018 to 3.4 GW in 2030, representing the country’s largest growth among its renewable sources. PV capacity is expected to reach 1.7 GW in 2030 from 172.6 MW in 2019 at 23% CAGR, while the biopower segment will see growth of 7% CAGR to reach 719 MW. To date, Colombia does not have any installed geothermal capacity but it is expected to have 50 MW installed by 2024, leading to 115 MW capacity in 2030 growing at 15% CAGR.”

Colombia’s Generation and Transmission Expansion Plan 2015-2029 is expected to accommodate high volumes of renewable energy in the near future. The anticipated grid expansion and modernization of 4.2GW to 6.7GW, which is aimed to support 1GW coal and 1.5 GW hydro, will involve huge investment in grid infrastructure industry. This, in turn, is likely to open up new markets for energy storage and energy efficiency systems to enable steady supply of power when adequate renewable energy is unavailable.

Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (“MIDIS”), on behalf of its European and Asian insurance company clients, today announced a new transaction in the Spanish renewables sector, with a 38 M€ debt investment in a portfolio of solar farms.

The portfolio is owned and managed by Q-Energy, a leading European investor and asset manager in the renewable energy sector. Comprised of six operational PV plants in south-eastern Spain, the portfolio totals 13.6MWp in installed capacity. MIDIS refinanced the portfolio’s existing debt with 21-year, amortising, floating rate, senior secured bonds, and structured an orphan interest rate swap facility to support the transaction, provided by Goldman Sachs International.

MIDIS continues to explore opportunities in the Spanish renewables market, seeking to match long-dated liabilities with investments that generate stable, long-term cash flows. In the last twelve months, MIDIS has deployed over 150 M€ into the Spanish solar sector to help meet the evolving demand through a combination of separately managed accounts and its Macquarie Global Infrastructure Debt Fund strategy.

MIDIS and Q-Energy completed the transaction on a bilateral basis, with Banco Sabadell and Santander acting as arrangers. Goldman Sachs International provided the interest rate hedging to the issuer.

Since 2012, MIDIS has invested 2.100 M€ of infrastructure debt across more than 30 renewable energy projects with total installed capacity of approximately 6.8GW.

Source: Macquarie

Iberdrola continues to move forward with its renewables strategy in Spain with four new photovoltaic projects, with an installed capacity of 250 megawatts (MW), already submitted for official approval in Castilla-La Mancha, as stated in the Official State Gazette (BOE) and the Official Journals of the Castilla-La Mancha regional government.

Two of the projects, Romeral and Olmedilla, each with a capacity of 50 MW, are located in Cuenca province, in the towns of Uclés and Valverdejo, respectively. In Toledo province, Iberdrola is planning the Barcience photovoltaic plant (50 MW) in Bargas; and in Ciudad Real province, it will develop a unique project in the municipality of Puertollano, with a capacity of 100 MW.

Puertollano II combines several innovative elements, both in the technology used and the storage capacity of this renewable project:

  • The installation will have bifacial panels, which will allow for greater production, as they have two light-sensitive surfaces, providing a longer service life;
  • The plant has been designed with daisy-chained inverters to improve performance and permit greater use of the surface area;
  • The project will have a storage system that will make the plant more manageable and optimise the control strategies. The battery system (with a power of 5 MW) will have a storage capacity of 20 MWh.
  • The start of the development of these projects increases the MW that Iberdrola has under construction and awaiting approval in Spain to more than 2,200: 75% of the capacity the company plans to install by 2022.

Plan to relaunch clean energy in Spain

These actions are part of the company’s commitment to strengthening its investment in clean energy generation in Spain, with the installation of 3,000 new MW up to 2022, 52% more than its current wind and solar capacity. Up to 2030, the forecasts point to the installation of 10,000 new MW. The plan will create jobs for 20,000 people.

Iberdrola is committed to leading the transition towards a completely carbon-free economy by promoting renewable energies and speeding up its investment in Spain, where it intends to spend 8.000 M€ between 2018 and 2022.

Iberdrola is the most prolific producer of wind power in Spain, with an installed capacity of 5,770 MW, while its total installed renewable capacity, including both wind and hydroelectric power, is 15,828 MW. The company operates renewables with a capacity of 2,229 MW in Castilla-La Mancha, mainly wind power, making it the autonomous region with the second highest total of ‘green’ MW installed by Iberdrola.

Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to lead the wind turbine market with an annual installation capacity of 33.14 GW by 2023, largely driven by onshore deployment; followed by EMEA and Americas with capacities of 19.9GW and 11.7GW, respectively, according to GlobalData.

The company’s latest report ‘Wind Turbine, Update 2019 – Global Market Size, Competitive Landscape and Key Country Analysis to 2023’ reveals that the buoyancy in the market is largely due to the global investment trends in renewable energy to address power sector challenges.

In the forecast period (2019–2023), wind turbine installations are expected to reach an aggregate of 312.39GW. APAC will continue to lead the market, with an aggregate of 157.61GW of installed capacity, followed by EMEA and Americas with 88.41 GW and 66.36 GW, respectively.

The APAC region led the onshore wind turbine market by registering an aggregate capacity of 138.20GW between 2014 and 2018, and will continue to do so in the future. The need to improve access to electricity, increasing consumption trends and strong industrial market are primary driving factors for onshore wind turbines market.

The growth in the APAC region is largely contributed by China, which has established comprehensive development plans focused on using renewable energy to sustain its growth and ambitions of becoming a global leader in wind technology development.

In the offshore market, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) dominated the market and will continue to do so reaching 4.77GW in 2023. EMEA’s dominance is largely driven by the European market. The strong technology base in Europe, favorable wind conditions and increasing effectiveness of offshore wind turbines have contributed to the large scale deployment of offshore wind technology to capitalize on the significantly larger resource.

Source: GlobalData

The renewable energy market in Europe broke two barriers in 2018; with supply of Guarantees of Origin nearly reaching 600 TWh – and demand surpassing 500 TWh, according to ECOHZ, commenting on new statistics from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB). The European renewable energy market with Guarantees of Origin continued to grow and seemed like a market more balanced and mature than earlier.

Comparing the first half year supply and demand of Guarantees of Origin for 2019 with comparable figures in 2018, shows supply is growing by 14 TWh while demand grew significantly faster, with 60 TWh.

Netherlands and France with record high numbers – first half of 2019

The Netherlands has over the years installed a large amount of new wind and solar capacity and this is now impacting the volume of Guarantees of Origin issued during H1 2019. An increase of 9 TWh is almost a doubling compared to issued volumes in H1 2018.

France had a 5 TWh increase in issued volumes from H1 2018 to H1 2019 as a result of many more power plants now being able to issue Guarantees of Origin after ended feed-in-tariff periods. The demand still increased faster and grew with 9 TWh.

Dry weather in Norway during the first half of 2019 led to lower hydro power production than normal. This again is likely to further push down Norway’s share of issued Guarantees of Origin in Europe, from a 22% share in 2018 and 27% share in 2017. The Norwegian share of the total production mix has been declining the last year showing evidence of a more robust and diversified European market.

Wind is the fastest growing technology

Hydropower is still the most common technology of issued Guarantees of Origin in Europe with a supply share of 56% in 2018, compared to 64% in 2017 – but changes are occurring rapidly due to increased availability of solar and wind.

New countries will push the market forward

AIB currently has 21 member countries. Portugal and Greece are next in line, and have indicated interest in joining the AIB, and its electronic hub. Even more countries are likely to join the AIB in 2020 and will all-in-all likely bring more supply to the European renewable energy market. In parallel ECOHZ also expects a growing demand for renewable electricity from corporations and households, pushing the market to new heights.

Guarantees of Origin prices

During 2018, Guarantees of Origin prices were at historic high levels – with prices trading at EUR 1.0–2.5 for standard qualities.The combination of steady growth in demand and higher prices seemed to be a wake-up call for many stakeholders, consumers and policy makers. These price levels combined with increased sold volumes resulted in significantly higher market value. How to capture these revenue streams and ensure reinvestments in new renewable capacity became a hot topic. The market has now adjusted, and currently Guarantees of Origin 2019 wind wholesale price is EUR 0.40 – 0.50 and for 2020 EUR 0.75 – 0.85 per MWh.

According to ECOHZ Europe will need 500 TWh of annual renewable power from 2020 to 2030, requiring a lot of investments and initiatives. The cost of renewable energy is still falling, but at the same time the prevalence of national subsidy and support schemes are on the decline. Guarantees of Origin are set to fill the gap for investors, and ECOHZ therefore believes higher prices will be the norm, and with a price collapse not a likely scenario. With a 2020 price around EUR 1.0, slowly increasing toward EUR 2.0-2.5 in 2030, a cash flow of EUR 20 billion will be available to be invested in new renewables.

More and more businesses commit to renewable energy

The corporate sector is the main driver for renewable electricity although households and organisations also contribute to the market growth. An increasing number of businesses see renewable energy as necessary for future competitiveness – to attract customers, employees and investors. Several sustainability initiatives support renewable ambitions, but the most important is RE100. RE100 is a global initiative of over 190 influential corporates committed to consume 100% renewable electricity. The members purchase a huge number of Guarantees of Origin for their operations in Europe.

Source: ECOHZ

Commissioned by the Ecuadorean government to resolve a complex environmental issue confronting the Galapagos Islands, one that threatened the biological sanctuary’s UNESCO designation as a world heritage site, Siemens has developed a hybrid electricity generation system using renewable fuels that could serve as a model for clean power in decades to come.

The issue revolved around replacing the highly pollutive electric power system on Isabela Island, the largest of the national park’s 21 islands and the launch pad for tens of thousands of global tourists who each year take boat tours of the archipelago and its wondrous wildlife.

UNESCO was worried not only about the pollution but the risks incurred by the delivery of the plant’s diesel fuel by ship from the mainland 600 miles away. In recent years, two big fuel loads were spilled during the transfer from ship to power plant, fouling the island’s coastline and threatening the fragile ecosystem. The United Nations cultural agency put Ecuador on notice that a cleaner electric power solution had to be found or the Galapagos could lose its coveted “world patrimony” distinction.

Ecuador, with the key support from the German government, issued an invitation to global engineering companies to submit bids to design a reliable, environmentally clean system using renewable fuels, but the technical and logistical challenges of building and maintaining such as system on a remote island proved formidable. In the end, Siemens was the only bidder. Its proposal: A “hybrid” power plant that combined solar power generation with a biofuels power component that used a little known nut as its power source.

At just 1.2 MW of maximum capacity, Siemens’ proposal was for a power plant with a tiny fraction of the generational power the company is accustomed to building.

The hybrid’s system’s renewable technology consists of three main components: A 952-kW solar energy “farm” consisting of some 3,024 photovoltaic panels; a 1625 kW biodiesel generation system made up of five 325-kW generation sets, and a battery storage element can add 660 kW instantaneously when needed. Tying it all together is a unique control system that Siemens is showcasing at Isabela. It includes proprietary software to manage, among other functions, the energy flows to and from the batteries.

The system has been fully operational since October – but only after an extensive testing period at pilot projects in Ecuador and at a mock-up in Germany. Installing the project with its 600 tof machinery and construction material was a massive undertaking, made unusually complex by the fact that there are no quays or jetties in the Isabela island to which vessels can moor.

The new hybrid power plant has already delivered dramatic environmental benefits. Because it avoided burning 33,000 liters of diesel that fueled the old plant each month, the new power plant saved 88 t of CO2 emissions and one fuel delivery during October. Moreover, the new plant is much less noisy, operating at an average reduction of 30 dB, which is the perceived difference between a jigsaw and a conversation at low volume. And the system proved to be reliable, operating at 99% capacity.

A novel aspect of the project’s biodiesel component is its use of Jatropha, also known as Barbados nut, as the fuel source. The nut, which grows in tropical areas in several South American countries including Ecuador, consists of 40% oil that can be processed into a high quality biodiesel. But the nut heretofore was relatively untested and so more than 5,000 liters of the fuel were sent to Germany for prior testing before final approval. The entire system underwent a six-weeks trial at a mock-up near Hamburg last year, demonstrating the accurate operation of the plant even before being shipped to its final destination.

The special aspects of such a novel type hybrid power plant demand a high degree of reliability to power a complete island as a single source. Commissioning went without issues, and with the extensive R&D work invested into the development of the solution and the prolonged and intensive testing, Siemens was able to guarantee the performance of the hybrid power plant. A remote monitoring of the plant from Austin/Texas and Munich/Germany makes Siemens’ whole expertise in energy generation available to the local operators of the plant.

A Jatropha processing plant staffed by a local cooperative has been set up in Ecuador’s coastal region of Manabi to supply the new Isabela power plant with biofuel – which unlike fossil fuels would degrade relatively quickly if a spill during transport were to occur.

The result is a system that Siemens describes as unique in the world for its “high penetration,” a reference to the fact that the photovoltaic power the system generates during the day exceeds Isabela Island’s current power demand. In addition, excess PV energy generated will be stored in the battery system, allowing the complete shutdown of generation sets, providing daytime stability and giving the biodiesel power units time to start when the clouds come.

Source: Siemens

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Ireland is expected to attract massive investment as the country is set to add 5.8 GW of non-hydro renewable power capacity over the next decade to reach a total 9.6 GW by 2030 and account for 65% of the country’s installed capacity, according to the report from GlobalData, “Ireland Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape”. The report, reveals that to achieve a 9.6 GW non-hydro renewables capacity by 2030 Ireland will massively increase its investment in offshore wind and solar PV capacity.

During the forecast period, offshore wind capacity is set to increase from 25 MW to 1.9 GW at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.8%, and solar PV will rise from 25 MW to 1.3 GW at a CAGR of 43%. During the same period, power consumption in Ireland will see a minimal increase, reaching 31.4 TWh in 2030 from 27.9 TWh in 2019 (a marginal 1.1% CAGR).

Ireland’s offshore wind and solar PV capacity, has considerable potential, which will push the contribution of renewable power to installed capacity to 62% by 2025 and 65% by 2030. This will open up new markets for wind turbines and modules for solar plants, as well as associated equipment required for transmitting generated power to the grid. The market for laying cables under the sea will also be a key business opportunity in the country.

This addition to Ireland’s renewable power capacity is being driven by various government incentives and policies intended to fill the void left by the phasing out of coal in 2025.

Renewable capacity expansion will necessitate grid modernization in order to manage much higher volumes of renewable energy with inherent variability. This, in turn, will involve huge investment in grid infrastructure along with the introduction of energy storage systems to enable a steady supply of power when renewable energy is unavailable.

With a minimal increase in power consumption expected, Ireland’s gas-based power capacity, which provides the country’s base-load power demand, combined with those new renewable resources with integrated energy storage systems are well placed to meet the country’s power demands over the next decade.

Source: GlobalData

Renewable energy, the only way forward to the global climate change mitigation and environmental requirements, is expected to comprise 50% of Chile’s power mix by 2030, according to GlobalData The company’s latest report, ‘Chile Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, reveals that the development of renewable energy is a high priority for Chile. In 2018, the share of non-hydro renewable power reached 19% of the power mix and is expected to exceed 50% of the power mix by 2030.

It is expected that with the growth of renewable energy sources in the future, the gas based power capacity in the country will increase from 48% of the thermal power capacity in 2018 to 55% by 2030.

Chile is now a net exporter of electricity, signifying that the increasing share of renewables and gas based power in the electricity mix will make up for the capacity vacuum resulting from the decommissioning of certain coal capacity by 2030.

Thermal power dominated Chile’s power mix in 2018 with a share of 52.7% of the total installed capacity, followed by hydro and renewable with a share of 28.1% and 19.1% respectively. In the renewable energy mix the major contributors are solar PV and wind with shares of 50.8% and 33.8% respectively in 2018.

Power consumption in Chile increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% between 2010 and 2018 due to increased economic activity.

Chile recognized the need for energy storage as a key attribute to provide continuous, sustainable and reliable renewable power. As such, Chile is looking to energy storage technologies such as batteries, pumped hydro, molten salts and hydrogen as their immediate opportunity areas. The country has also implemented transmission expansion plans to incorporate ease in transmitting the renewable energy.

Chile is a land of opportunities for renewable energy. The Energy 2050 Roadmap, large-scale energy storage solutions, grid modernization and the retirement of the fossil fuel plants are the crucial elements expected to drive Chile’s energy transition. The country is also extending their relations with US to strengthen the infrastructure investment and energy cooperation between the two countries, thus with flexible environmental approvals, several investors would consider investing in its power sector.

Source: GlobalData

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