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renewable

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

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

The publicly owned company Econssa Chile S.A., responsible for ensuring access to potable water and wastewater collection and treatment services in nine regions of the country, has awarded Acciona the supply of 100% renewable electricity to the desalination plant it is now building in the municipality of Caldera in the region of Atacama.

According to the terms of the PPA, the contract will come into effect in November 2019, with a long-term horizon to cover all the desalination plant’s electricity requirements. It is the sixth PPA for the supply of energy singed by Acciona in Chile.

All the electricity supplied by Acciona will come from the company’s renewables plants in the country, where it currently has 291 MW in service and facilities under construction –some of them in the final phase of assembly and start-up- totaling 393 MW.

1,200 liters of water per second

In a context of water shortages in many parts of the country, Econssa has been building a seawater desalination plant since early 2018. Its total production capacity of 1,200 l/s will cover the consumption of people living in four municipalities in Atacama. Until now, this supply was covered by a spring.

Initially, the electricity supplied will allow Econssa to carry out the first technical tests on the plant. The energy supply will gradually increase as the three stages of the start-up of the plant are completed, from 450 l/s in the first phase to 1,200 l/s when it is operating at full capacity.

Sixth PPA in Chile

The supply contract signed with Econssa joins others signed with major corporate clients in Chile. For example, with Google for the supply of electricity to its data center; the distribution chain Falabella, to supply around one hundred stores of the group and its subsidiaries; Aguas Chañar for its end-to-end water facilities in the region of Atacama; LATAM Airlines Group for its corporate offices and operation and maintenance base in Santiago airport, and the National Mining Company of Chile (ENAMI) to supply its plants in the regions of Antofagasta, Atacama and Coquimbo, as well as the consumption associated with the modernization of a publicly-owned copper casting facility.

Acciona has also signed supply contracts with all the distributors and cooperatives in the country following an energy tender for the consumption of regulated clients called “Tender 2013/03, 2nd call” and “Tender 2015/01”.

Source: Acciona

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At the Hydrogen for Climate Conference, EU companies Hydrogenics (BE), Meyer Burger (DE), Ecosolifer (HU), and European Energy (DK) presented their joint proposal for the European Union’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

The project proposal entitled ‘Silver Frog’ foresees the construction of a cutting-edge 2 GW/year solar PV manufacturing facility. This factory would provide over 10 GW of installed PV capacity, also including wind, for the production of 100% renewable hydrogen, transported by gas pipelines to hard-to-decarbonise industries, such as steel and chemicals. Over a period of eight years, the project is estimated to produce 800,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen, and reduce 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, each year – approximately the CO2 footprint of the whole city of Brussels. At least 6,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the project.

In the proposal, Belgium’s Hydrogenics Europe would supply the water electrolysis technology, Germany’s Meyer Burger would supply the solar PV manufacturing line, Hungary’s Ecosolifer would produce the modules and focus on heterojunction technology (HJT), while Denmark’s European Energy would act as the energy developer. SolarPower Europe would offer support to its members throughout the project.

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe said: “Solar is crucial in delivering fully renewable electricity throughout Europe. The ‘Silver Frog’ project reveals how solar can facilitate the development of renewable hydrogen. Further, this project’s emphasis on the integration of PV manufacturing facilities sends a strong signal to the European Commission that any discussions surrounding renewable hydrogen will require a robust renewable industrial strategy.

Thomas Hengst, Head of Global Sales at Meyer Burger commented: “The ‘Silver Frog’ project has the aim of helping to deliver the EU’s Green Deal, with a focus on hard-to-decarbonise sectors. The crucial element of our project is to develop a new European manufacturing capacity for solar PV cells and modules. The new technology has been developed in Europe and has the potential to establish sustainable and globally-competitive solar cell and module production thanks to its very high efficiency. By focusing on the production and transportation of renewable hydrogen, we can address existing and future demand, as well as offering the concept as an integrated solution.

The notion of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) is laid down in Art. 107(3)(b) TFEU as part of the State aid rules. An IPCEI is a specific possibility to find aid compatible with the internal market.

The IPCEI on hydrogen includes eight ambitious proposals, all of which aim to develop the hydrogen sector, with projects surrounding the generation, transportation, and innovation of green hydrogen. The final selection for the IPCEI will take place in 2020.

Source: SolarPower Europe

Ignacio Galán in a electric Iberdrola car

Iberdrola, a world leading renewable energy company, has further enhanced its sustainable ambitions by becoming the first Spanish company to sign up to The Climate Group´s EV100 initiative.

EV100 is a global initiative bringing together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030.

Under the agreement, sealed within the framework of the Climate Week NYC, Iberdrola will fully electrify its vehicle fleet and provide charging for staff across its operations in Spain and UK- where local EV market conditions make this possible- by 2030.

Iberdrola will also aspire towards this objective in Brazil, Mexico and the USA, but this will be reliant on national characteristics and further developments in the wider EV markets in each of these countries. As part of the partnership, Iberdrola will work with The Climate Group to engage key stakeholders in these countries to help overcome barriers.

A fleet of more than fleet of more than 3,500 vehicles across Spain and UK

This initiative will see Iberdrola have a fleet of more than 3,500 vehicles completely electrified in these two countries by 2030.

Light passenger cars and vans are included, as well as off-road vehicles used for windfarms and power line maintenance tasks like SUVs, pickup trucks and man basket cranes.

Iberdrola has already committed to installing up to 16.000 charging points at homes and 9.000 at workplaces in Spain by 2021. Beyond that, the company´s Smart mobility program for customers is increasing in popularity, which includes both the provision of a charging point and a special tariff to charge vehicles with green electricity.

In the UK, ScottishPower was the first energy company to offer and end-to-end EV ownership package for customers. Working with major car retailer Arnold Clark, buyers can purchase or lease an EV of their choice, book a home charging point installation and sign up to a smart 100% renewable electricity tariff as part of the same package.

In the US, Iberdrola´s subsidiary Avangrid just recently announced the expansion of its partnership with Nissan North America, seeking to provide 3.2 M customers and employees across New York, New England and Oregon with a 5,000 $ discount on the purchase of a Nissan LEAF EV. In addition, the company is also delivering a 34 M$ investment in the expansion of EV charging infrastructure across Maine and New York.

Source: Iberdrola

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Offshore wind East Anglia One

Iberdrola has hooked up the East Anglia One offshore wind farm to the British electricity grid. It is building the facilities in the North Sea, around 50 km from the coast of the county of Suffolk, in the United Kingdom, and it is scheduled to go into operation next year.

The first of 102 wind turbines, the so-called WTG E19, has already supplied clean power to the land substation in Burstall. Its subsidiary, ScottishPower Renewables, which installed 25 turbines on the site this summer, will gradually connect them to the grid.

With an investment of approximately 2.5 MM£ and covering an area of 300 km2, East Anglia One is one of the largest scale projects being developed by Iberdrola and the biggest renewable initiative ever developed by a Spanish company.

Once commissioned in 2020, it will be the world’s biggest wind farm, with an installed capacity of 714 MW that will supply 630,000 British homes with clean energy.

The construction of East Anglia One is driving the offshore power industry in Europe, providing jobs for more than 1,300 people in several countries – Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates – and is crucial to several sectors, such as the naval industry. The project has been a great driving force in Spain, since Iberdrola has used local companies like Navantia, Windar and Siemens-Gamesa for the development of many of the essential components of the wind farm.

Technical specifications ofeast anglia one

  • 102 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines make up the wind farm, each with a capacity of 7 MW. Once installed, they will have a total height of 167 m.
  • A marine substation (Andalusia II), manufactured by Navantia in Puerto Real (Cádiz), will be responsible for receiving the electricity produced by the wind turbines and transforming the voltage so it can be sent to the coast through two undersea cables, each around 85 km long.
  • These cables are joined to a further six underground cables measuring around 37 km and running from Bawdsey to the new land-based transformer in Burstall, which connects the offshore wind farm to the national grid.
  • Of the 102 jacket-type foundations, Navantia has manufactured 42 in Fene (Spain) and Windar has built the pilot cables in Avilés (Asturias). The other 60 foundations were manufactured by Lamprell in the United Arab Emirates and by Harland & Wolff in Belfast.

 

Iberdrola, steadfast commitment to offshore wind power

Over the next few years, Iberdrola will redouble its investment in offshore wind production, developing a project portfolio with over 10,000 MW. This growth focuses on three main areas: the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the United States.

Clean power generated by offshore wind farms are the cornerstone of the company’s strategy, which expects to allocate 39% of the 34 MM€ earmarked for the 2018-2022 period to this type of generation: 13.26 MM€.

The group is currently operating two offshore wind farms: West of Duddon Sands, which went into service in the North Sea in 2014, and Wikinger, in the German waters of the Baltic Sea, which has been operational since December 2017.

In the United States, Iberdrola is in the process of building the biggest offshore wind farm in that country: Vineyard Wind. Just off the coast of Massachusetts, it will produce 800 MW of power to cover the energy needs of a million homes.

In Germany, in April 2018, the company was awarded contracts to build two new plants in the Baltic Sea, with a total of 486 MW of power: Baltic Eagle and Wikinger South.

In addition to these new plants, the Sant Brieuc Wind Farm, which is located in French waters, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022. It will have 496 MW of installed power and will be located just off the coast of French Brittany, 20 km offshore.

Once these projects are operating in late 2022, the company will have installed 2,000 MW of offshore wind power, after which it will add a further 1,000.

Iberdrola is seizing this excellent opportunity for growth, with ambitious objectives for new wind generation facilities in the United Kingdom and the United States for the next few years: 30,000 MW for 2030 in the former and 25,000 MW in the latter, each with different timelines.

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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

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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

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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.

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Acciona has created a hub in its El Romero Solar plant (Atacama, Chile) to test new photovoltaic technologies that will improve the efficiency and performance of solar energy facilities.
The hub will focus on the mechanical and energy capacity of double-sided crystalline, split-cell and thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) technologies, all of them in the development phase, with the intention of shaping PV energy’s evolution. The solar modules have been produced by JA Solar and First Solar, and a variety of solar trackers will be used, manufactured by STI Nordland and Soltec.

The innovation center, in which two of the three tracker zones have already been installed, will have a power generation facility with a total capacity of 492 kWp (180 kW rated) consisting of 1,280 modules in three series of trackers connected to nine inverters. These will be assisted by other equipment to measure and monitor parameters such as incident and reflected solar radiation, ambient temperature or the production temperature of each kind of module, among others.

Unlike conventional solar modules, which only have photovoltaic cells on one side, the double-sided modules have cells on both sides of the panel to capture reflected solar radiation and increase output per surface unit occupied.

In split-cell modules each cell is divided into two parts. This reduces energy losses and improves the durability of the panel.

Finally, the thin-film modules are made from semi-conductive materials as alternatives to conventional crystalline silicon –such as cadmium telluride- that reduce both manufacturing costs and their carbon footprint during their working life.

Advanced technologies

Advanced technologies in photovoltaic solar are one of the main strategic approaches that guide Acciona’s innovation activities in the field of clean energies. One of the most innovative projects to date is the hybridization of organic photovoltaic panels in a wind turbine tower to power a turbine in the Breña wind farm (Albacete, Spain).

El Romero Solar is one of the biggest photovoltaic plants owned and operated by Acciona, with a capacity of 246 MWp. Located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, an area with some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, it produces energy equivalent to the consumption of around 240,000 Chilean households. Part of its capacity will be used to supply Google’s data center in the country.

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