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Aracati Park

The overall renewable power capacity in Brazil is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% from 31 GW in 2018 to 60.8GW in 2030, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData’s latest report: “Brazil Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape” reveals that increased renewable energy auctions, promotion of hybrid renewable energy projects and other government initiatives such as tax incentives, smart metering, renewable energy targets and favorable grid access policies for renewable energy are likely to result in renewable expansion by 2030.

Between 2019 and 2030, solar PV and onshore wind segments are expected to grow at CAGRs of 14% and 6%, respectively. The significant rise in these two technologies will result in renewable energy being the second largest contributor to the country’s energy mix by 2030.

The connection of over 25,000 power systems, mostly solar PV systems to the Brazilian grid in mid-2018 under the net metering scheme, further underpins the renewable growth pattern over the forecast period.

The main challenges for Brazil’s power sector are its overdependence on cheap hydropower for base-load capacity and lack of a robust power grid infrastructure. In 2018, hydropower accounted for 62.7% of the country’s total installed capacity. In case of a drought, depletion of dam reservoirs could result in power shortages and switching over to costly thermal power which will increase the electricity prices.

In the long term, hydropower capacity is expected to decline and be compensated with increased renewable power capacity. On the other hand, thermal and renewable capacities are slated to increase and contribute 28% and 18%, respectively of the installed capacity in 2030.

Brazil is moving towards a balanced energy mix as it prepares to double its non-hydro renewable power capacity by 2030. With an almost 10GW increase in thermal power capacity by 2030 compared to 2018, the country is on course to better manage peak demand, reduce dependence on hydropower and maintain a healthy grid.

Source: Globaldata

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Global clean energy investment, 2004 to 1H 2019, $ billion

The first half of 2019 saw a 39% slowdown in renewable energy investment in the world’s biggest market, China, to $28.800 M$, the lowest figure for any half-year period since 2013, according to the latest figures from BloombergNEF (BNEF).

 

The other highlight of global clean energy investment in 1H 2019 was the financing of multibillion-dollar projects in two relatively new markets – a solar thermal and photovoltaic complex in Dubai, at 950MW and 4.200 M$, and two offshore wind arrays in the sea off Taiwan, at 640MW and 900MW and an estimated combined cost of 5.700 M$.

The Dubai deal in late March, for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum IV project, is the biggest financing ever seen in the solar sector. It involves 2.600 M$ of debt from 10 Chinese, Gulf and Western banks, plus 1.600 M$ of equity from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Saudi-based developer ACWA Power and equity partner Silk Road Fund of China.

The two Taiwanese offshore wind projects, Wpd Yunlin Yunneng and Ørsted Greater Changhua, involve European developers, investors and banks, as well as local players. Offshore wind activity is broadening its geographical focus, from Europe’s North Sea and China’s coastline, toward new markets such as Taiwan, the U.S. East Coast, India and Vietnam.

BNEF’s figures for clean energy investment in the first half of 2019 show mixed fortunes for the world’s major markets. The “big three” of China, the U.S. and Europe all showed falls, but with the U.S. down a modest 6% at 23.600 M$ and Europe down 4% at 22.200 M$ compared to 1H 2018, far less than China’s 39% setback.

Breaking global clean energy investment down by type of transaction, asset finance of utility-scale generation projects such as wind farms and solar parks was down 24% at 85.6 M$, due in large part to the China factor. Financing of small-scale solar systems of less than 1MW was up 32% at 23.7 M$ in the first half of this year.

Investment in specialist clean energy companies via public markets was 37% higher at 5.600 M$, helped by two big equity raisings for electric vehicle makers – an $863 M$ secondary issue for Tesla, and a 650 M$ convertible issue for China-based NIO.

Venture capital and private equity funding of clean energy companies in 1H 2019 was down 2% at 4.700 M$. There were three exceptionally large deals, however: $1 billion each for Swedish battery company Northvolt and U.S. electric vehicle battery charging specialist Lucid Motors, and 700 M$ for another U.S. EV player, Rivian Automotive.

Source: BNEF

Australia’s growing battery storage industry has prompted the update of battery rules. From June to July Growatt will join a number of senior industry experts in New Battery Rules Training Workshops held by Australia’s SEC (Smart Energy Council) and present its smart solar storage solutions to the audience. PV and battery installers, designers, electricians and sales representatives are coming together for training on battery installations, system configurations and storage solutions.

Growatt provides a wide range of solar storage solutions for customers. Growatt SPH single-phase and three-phase hybrid inverters can work at both on-grid and off-grid modes, and they are also compatible with a variety of lithium batteries. For existing solar system, owner can choose to retrofit the system with Growatt SPA single-phase or three-phase inverter and turn it into energy storage system.

Yet, that’s not all. At the event in Melbourne on June 27, Growatt product manager Rex Wang introduced a neat storage ready inverter, TL-XH. The inverter works with low voltage battery and is perfect for home owners who are looking to convert their rooftop PV systems into solar storage systems in the future. What makes it more special is its smart storage management system. With the system, Growatt can gather real-time battery data, including cycle number, cell information, voltage and current of each battery cell. Customers can read the electricity generation, battery status, power consumption on Growatt OSS(Online Smart Service) platform. This data can also help service engineers quickly analyze and diagnose the system and locate faulty part in case of a system failure.

Furthermore, Growatt has been developing and testing its Smart Home Energy Management System that will maximize energy production and optimize power consumption of your solar storage system according to your system location, power consumption habits, etc. In addition, grid operators can access Growatt storage system and integrate the system into the “Micro Grid” to enhance grid stability.

For better customer experience, Growatt offers battery, inverter and accessories as a package. Customers can avoid the hassle reaching out to both inverter and battery manufacturers in case there’re system issues. With extraordinary products and services Growatt has become the World Top 3 Single-Phase PV Inverter Supplier by 2018 according to IHS Markit. Globally, Growatt shipped a total capacity of more than 3.3 GW inverters in 2018 and the number is expected to reach 4 GW this year.

Source: Growatt

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 International Energy Agency’s latest and most comprehensive assessment of clean energy transition finds that the vast majority of technologies and sectors are failing to keep pace with long-term goals. Of the 45 energy technologies and sectors assessed in the IEA’s latest Tracking Clean Energy Progress (TCEP), only 7 are on track with the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS). The SDS represents a pathway to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, deliver universal energy access and significantly reduce air pollution.

These latest findings follow an IEA assessment published in March showing that energy-related CO2 emissions worldwide rose by 1.7% in 2018 to a historic high of 33 billion tonnes.

Some clean energy technologies showed major progress last year, according to the new TCEP analysis. Energy storage is now “on track” as new installations doubled, led by Korea, China, the United States and Germany. Electric vehicles had another record year, with global sales hitting 2 million in 2018. China accounted for more than half of total sales.

Solar PV remains on track with a 31% increase in generation – representing the largest absolute growth in generation among renewable sources. But annual capacity additions of solar PV and renewable power as a whole levelled off in 2018, raising concerns about meeting long-term climate goals.

This year’s analysis expands coverage to include flaring and methane emissions from oil and gas operations, which are responsible for around 7% of the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Despite some positive developments over the past year, current technology deployment rates, policy ambition and industry efforts are still falling well short.

The buildings sector also remains off track, with emissions rising again in 2018 to an all-time high. This was the result of several factors, including extreme weather that raised energy demand for heating and cooling. Another concerning development was the slowdown in fuel economy improvements around the world as car buyers continued to purchase bigger vehicles.

Given the urgency and scale of actions needed for clean energy transitions around the world, this year’s TCEP features much greater emphasis on recommended actions for governments, industry and other key actors in the global energy system. The analysis also includes in-depth analysis on how to address more than 100 key innovation gaps across all sectors and technologies.

TCEP provides a comprehensive, rigorous and up-to-date expert analysis of clean energy transitions across a full range of technologies and sectors. It draws on the IEA’s unique understanding of markets, modelling and energy statistics to track and assess progress on technology deployment and performance, investment, policy, and innovation. It also draws on the IEA’s extensive global technology network, totalling 6,000 researchers across nearly 40 Technology Collaboration Programmes.

TCEP is part of the IEA’s broader efforts on tracking energy transitions and key indicators to help inform decision makers on where to focus innovation, investment and policy attention to achieve climate and sustainable development goals.

Source: IEA

Global energy investment stabilised in 2018, ending three consecutive years of decline, as capital spending on oil, gas and coal supply bounced back while investment stalled for energy efficiency and renewables, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest annual review.

The findings of the World Energy Investment 2019 report signal a growing mismatch between current trends and the paths to meeting the Paris Agreement and other sustainable development goals.

Global energy investment totalled more than USD 1.8 trillion in 2018, a level similar to 2017. For the third year in a row, the power sector attracted more investment than the oil and gas industry. The biggest jump in overall energy investment was in the United States, where it was boosted by higher spending in upstream supply, particularly shale, but also electricity networks. The increase narrowed the gap between the United States and China, which remained the world’s largest investment destination.

Still, even as investments stabilized, approvals for new conventional oil and gas projects fell short of what would be needed to meet continued robust growth in global energy demand. At the same time, there are few signs of the substantial reallocation of capital towards energy efficiency and cleaner supply sources that is needed to bring investments in line with the Paris Agreement and other sustainable development goals.

Renewables investment edged down, as net additions to capacity were flat and costs fell in some technologies, but was also supported by plants under development. Lower solar PV investment in China was partly offset by higher renewable spend in some areas (e.g. United States, developing Asia).

Energy efficiency spending was stable a second year in a row, with limited progress in expanding policy coverage. Despite soaring EV sales, transport efficiency has stagnated, while spending in buildings dipped.

Investment in renewable heat and transport edged down, but spending on new biofuels plants grew.

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The world is witnessing a shift in investments towards energy supply projects that have shorter lead times. In power generation and the upstream oil and gas sector, the industry is bringing capacity to market more than 20% faster than at the beginning of the decade. This reflects industry and investors seeking to better manage risks in a changing energy system, and also improved project management and lower costs for shorter-cycle assets such as solar PV, onshore wind and US shale.

Even though decisions to invest in coal-fired power plants declined to their lowest level this century and retirements rose, the global coal power fleet continued to expand, particularly in developing Asian countries.

The continuing investments in coal plants, which have a long lifecycle, appear to be aimed at filling a growing gap between soaring demand for power and a levelling off of expected generation from low-carbon investments (renewables and nuclear). Without carbon capture technology or incentives for earlier retirements, coal power and the high CO2 emissions it produces would remain part of the global energy system for many years to come. At the same time, to meet sustainability goals, investment in energy efficiency would need to accelerate while spending on renewable power doubles by 2030.

Among major countries and regions, India had the second largest jump in energy investment in 2018 after the United States. However, the poorest regions of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa, face persistent financing risks. They only received around 15% of investment in 2018 even though they account for 40% of the global population. Far more capital needs to flow to the least developed countries in order to meet sustainable development goals.

The report also found that public spending on energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) is far short of what is needed. While public energy RD&D spending rose modestly in 2018, led by the United States and China, its share of gross domestic product remained flat and most countries are not spending more of their economic output on energy research.

Source: IEA

The sustainable finance market surged in 2018, with a record $247 billion worth of sustainability-themed debt instruments raised during the year, according to research company BloombergNEF (BNEF). Green bonds issuance amounted to $182.2 billion in 2018, whereas one new product, sustainability-linked loans reached $36.4 billion.

The sustainable debt market is comprised of labelled bonds and loans that finance projects with green benefits, social benefits or a mixture of both. Many investors target these debt offerings in order to meet their own objectives or mandates on environmental and social impact.

The focus of the market has historically been on green bonds, which were first used by European banks around 2007 to finance clean energy projects and have since also been issued by governments and a wide range of industrial businesses. While green bonds continue to make up the largest part of the market, attention is now shifting to a broader range of sustainable bonds and loans.

As a result, growth in green bonds slowed to 5% in 2018 YoY compared to 68% in 2017 while sustainability-linked loans, surged 677%. Sustainability-linked loans are term loans or credit facilities that come with a sustainability pricing mechanism. The pricing mechanism is typically tied to the sustainability score or performance of the borrower, which can go up or down.

For example, in November 2018, French electricity utility EDF agreed to a 4 billion-euro facility with pricing indexed to the group’s key sustainability performance indicators. If the company underperforms against its targets, then the margin of the debt facility will increase, and if it outperforms, the margin will decrease.

Dan Shurey, head of green and sustainable finance at BNEF, said: “More investors in debt markets are demanding dual social and green benefits, and more investors are demanding customized sustainability options. The markets are responding, with new products emerging such as green loans, green commercial paper and sustainability-linked loans. This helped to make 2018 the seventh consecutive year of record issuance in sustainable finance since the green bond market began.”

Corporations are not the only ones pioneering sustainable debt – a growing number of governments are issuing their own debt instruments with a sustainable label, meaning that the money raised will be earmarked to go into environmental or social projects.

Aiman Mallah, sustainable finance research analyst at BNEF, said: “Green sovereign debt hit $17.6 billion in 2018 – a 64% increase from 2017, thanks to inaugural issuance from countries like Belgium and Ireland, as well as further taps on the French sovereign bond. These governments are raising the debt to meet national and international environmental goals, particularly on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

New policies to scale sustainable finance proliferated in 2018, as governments vied to become international hubs for these investment products. In the year, Hong Kong and Japan established programs to incentivize market growth, while the European Commission made progress to create a green bond standard.

The two leaders in sustainable debt issuance in 2018 were the U.S. and China. In the U.S., some $45.4 billion of sustainable debt products came to market, far surpassing China’s $25.5 billion. Mortgage giant Fannie Mae accounted for the vast majority of the U.S. issuance, thanks to its ambitious green financing programs. Removing green commercial mortgage backed securities from the picture, the U.S. total for 2018 stands at $25.6 billion – remarkably similar to volumes seen in China.

Source: BloombergNEF

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SENER and Acciona Industrial have reached a critical milestone in the construction project of Kathu Solar Park. Namely, the successful synchronization was achieved on 18 November, electric power was generated and transferred on the National grid complying with all expected parameters to ensure the supply of power starts and end users can consume reliable energy once the plant is operational.

The Kathu Solar Park CSP Plant, which will provide clean and reliable energy to 179,000 homes is equipped with a molten salt storage system that will allow the plant to keep producing electricity 4.5 hours steadily in absence of solar radiation and guarantee dispatchable energy generation to meet on demand needs. Likewise, the use of SENERtrough®-2 collectors, a parabolic trough technology designed and patented by SENER, will aim at improving efficiency of the plant.

Mr Siyabonga Mbanjwa, SENER Southern Africa Regional Managing Director, said: “With the successful first synchronization at Kathu Solar Park we are heading into the final stages of the construction and commissioning phase of the project that will ultimately reach the COD (commercial operation date) for the plant in the next couple of months. Once fully operational, the plant will provide clean energy to the local community of the John Taole District Municipality, the Northern Cape Province and South Africa as a whole. The use of molten salt as thermal energy storage system will allow Kathu Solar Park to operate in a cost-effective manner, storing the generated energy from the sun, producing and dispatching electricity, in absence of solar radiation, to satisfy South Africa’s peak demand. At SENER, our aim is to provide the most innovative technology. It is such innovation that enabled SENER to not only provide clean energy but to ensure that it is also reliable and sustainable.”

Francisco García Bueno, Project Director at Acciona Industrial, said: “For the EPC consortium, plant synchronisation is one of the most important final milestones that will enable us to complete a process that began in 2016, and we achieved it with success and the greatest guarantees. The participation of local companies in the construction of Kathu, as well as Spanish companies, has been key to reaching this milestone. The principle that governs the entire project is that of sustainability in all areas: economic, social and environmental. That is why all activities are planned with the rigour and detail that both Kathu Solar Park and the John Taole District Municipality community demand of us.”

Construction on the unit began in May 2016, and it is expected to be completed in early 2019. During this phase, around 1,200 jobs are being created impacting positively the local employment prospects. In addition to this, it is estimated that the Kathu Solar Park will save six million tons of CO2 over 20 years, and it will foster more local economic development through several project. These include a SENER and Acciona´s fund of R29 300 000, managed by Kelebogile Trust, for the local community that will benefit the area around the municipality of John Taolo Gaetsewe in Northern Cape, in addition to subcontracting other services to local businesses.

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Strong and coherent energy policies that successfully integrate the three dimensions of sustainability, equity and security of supply which constitute the Energy Trilemma are not just the preserve of rich countries and can also drive positive performance of emerging and developing economies, according to a new report by the World Energy Council launched at World Energy Week.

Although the top ten countries within the Energy Trilemma Global Index in 2018 remains relatively stable, there are changes that buck the usual trend associated with national GDP with countries such as Slovenia entering the top ten at number six. Several nations show significant improvement and demonstrate that a balanced energy system is not a luxury, but a product of smart integrated approaches to the energy transition.

Taking a long-term view as energy systems transition, countries such as Nepal, Kenya and Bangladesh with more vulnerable economies, have significantly improved their Trilemma scores for Energy Equity while pursing the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 agenda to improve energy access. The three nations have developed different policy pathways tailored to their national circumstances to improve significantly their citizens access to energy, varying from micro-grids, to micro hydro systems, with a focus on rural access.

The World Energy Trilemma 2018 published by the World Energy Council in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, shows eight nations achieving an AAA grade balance. Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark all retain their position at the top.

The report highlights additional key findings:

  • Some of the biggest improvers in 2018 are Middle East & Gulf and North African countries
  • Energy Equity dimension ranking led by countries where energy is affordable due to government policies
  • Six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have improved their Trilemma performance with UAE ahead at number 36
  • Countries with low energy intensity and as well as falling carbon intensity, resulting in lower emissions, perform well in the Environmental Sustainability dimension
  • New Zealand remains top of the leader board in the Asia-Pacific region.

Source: World Energy Council

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AIE, Shutterstock

Modern bioenergy will have the biggest growth in renewable resources between 2018 and 2023, underscoring its critical role in building a robust renewable portfolio and ensuring a more secure and sustainable energy system, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest market forecast.

Renewables will continue their expansion in the next five years, covering 40% of global energy consumption growth, according to the IEA’s Renewables 2018 market analysis and forecast report. Their use continues to increase most rapidly in the electricity sector, and will account for almost a third of total world electricity generation in 2023. Because of weaker policy support and additional barriers to deployment, renewables use expands far more slowly in the transport and heat sectors.

While the growth in solar PV and wind is set to continue in the electricity sector, bioenergy remains the largest source of renewable energy because of its widespread use in heat and transport, sectors in which other renewables currently play a much smaller role.

“Modern bioenergy is the overlooked giant of the renewable energy field,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “Its share in the world’s total renewables consumption is about 50% today, in other words as much as hydro, wind, solar and all other renewables combined. We expect modern bioenergy will continue to lead the field, and has huge prospects for further growth. But the right policies and rigorous sustainability regulations will be essential to meet its full potential.”

The focus on bioenergy is part of the IEA’s analysis of “blind spots” of the energy system – issues that are critical to the evolution of the energy sector but that receive less attention than they deserve – such as the impact of air conditioners on electricity demand, or the growing impact of petrochemicals on global oil demand. Assuming strong sustainability measures are in force, the report identifies additional untapped potential for bioenergy to “green” and diversify energy usage in the industry and transport sectors.

China leads global growth in renewable energy as a result of policies to decarbonise all sectors and reduce harmful local air pollution, and becomes the largest consumer of renewable energy, surpassing the European Union by 2023. Of the world’s largest energy consumers, Brazil has the highest share of renewables by far – almost 45% of total final energy consumption in 2023, driven by significant contribution of bioenergy and hydropower.

Meanwhile, solar PV dominates renewable electricity capacity expansion. Renewable capacity additions of 178 GW in 2017 broke another record, accounting for more than two-thirds of global net electricity capacity growth for the first time. Solar PV capacity expanded the most (97 GW), over half of which was in China. Meanwhile, onshore wind additions globally declined for the second year in a row, and hydropower growth continued to decelerate.

Solar PV capacity is forecast to expand by almost 600 GW – more than all other renewable power technologies combined, or as much as twice Japan’s total capacity, reaching 1 TW by the end of the forecast period. Despite recent policy changes, China remains the absolute solar PV leader by far, holding almost 40% of global installed PV capacity in 2023. The United States remains the second-largest growth market for solar PV, followed by India, whose capacity quadruples.

Wind remains the second-largest contributor to renewable capacity growth, while hydropower remains the largest renewable electricity source by 2023. Similar to last year’s forecast, wind capacity is expected to expand by 60%. Meanwhile, spurred by technological progress and significant cost reductions, offshore wind capacity triples, with growth moving beyond Europe to Asia and North America.

Even with renewable energy technologies becoming increasingly competitive, appropriate policies and market design are critical. Under an accelerated case, which assumes greater supportive government measures, the expansion of renewables in electricity and in transport could be 25% higher.

Untapped potential of bioenergy in cement, sugar and ethanol industries is also significant. Bioenergy growth in the industry, transport and electricity sectors combined could be as considerable as that of other renewables in the electricity sector. A significant proportion of this potential relies on wastes and residues that offer low lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate concerns over land-use change. In addition, using these resources can improve waste management and air quality.

Source: IEA

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