Quality assurance plays a crucial role in achieving a robust photovoltaic (PV) market and confidence from investors, policy makers and consumers, according to a new report launched by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).The report was released in Santiago, Chile, at the Forum on Regional Cooperation: Developing Quality Infrastructure for Photovoltaic Energy Generation. The event, organised by IRENA, the German National Metrology Institute and Solar Committee of the Chilean Economic Development Agency, and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, focused on engaging policy-makers and regulators in the Latin America and Caribbean region, in the development and implementation of quality infrastructure for solar PV systems. The forum has attracted representatives from ministries and technical agencies from thirteen countries in the region. “We are experiencing a solar revolution in Chile, and this is the result of the policies that we have implemented in the last three years,” said Mr. Andrés Rebolledo, Chile’s Minister of Energy, at the three-day forum aimed at supporting the establishment of a collaborative network between quality infrastructure institutes in the region. “This Forum supports policy-makers and industry across Latin America to implement the quality assurance instruments needed for the successful deployment of PV technology,” said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. “Through success stories from frontrunner countries, IRENA shows in its recent report that the benefits of providing quality infrastructure services result in substantial additional revenues for PV markets and are essential for the continued expansion of renewables in the region and beyond.” “The implementation of quality infrastructure can enable an effective route to achieve policy objectives of renewable energy, as it has a positive impact in each of the stages of the technology lifecycle,” the Director-General added. Mr. Ulf Hillner, the German National Metrology Institute’s Head of the Department for Technical Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “What makes this event so important, is that stakeholders from different implementing backgrounds come together to share their experience, and to make use of knowledge from international and regional experts. As a result, an adequate quality infrastructure, matched with appropriate government policies, can contribute to significant improvements in the performance and longevity of solar PV systems.” Titled Boosting Solar PV Markets: The Role of Quality Infrastructure, the report describes how a quality infrastructure can support the uptrend of newly installed PV capacity, which is expected to be maintained in the years to come as new markets in Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Asia continue to expand. IRENA projects that by 2030 total installed PV capacity could range between 1,760 gigawatts (GW) and 2,500 GW.Continue reading
The new rules were discussed with local and international investors and equipment suppliers at a seminar organised by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), with the participation of the Energy and Mining Ministry and the Argentinian-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK) at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange on 1st September.”Renewable power development today occupies a central place in Argentina’s energy, political, social and economic agenda”, said Sebastian Kind, Undersecretary of Renewable Energy at Argentina’s Ministry of Energy and Mining. “We have settled long-term policies and we are witnessing the outcomes of such policies”, he added.Ramón Fiestas, President of GWEC’s Latin America Committee, says “A new scenario for development and financing of renewables projects will open up as a result of the new scheme.” He adds “We have seen how the development of private PPA markets has become an important driver for the wind sector in a growing number of countries around the world.”Argentina is currently seeing a boom in investments in the renewable energy sector, and the event follows the announcement by the government of the next round of renewable power auctions, known as RenovAr 2, which will take place in October, and which is expected to lead to a further US$ 2bn being invested in the sector.Argentina’s Act 27.191 was approved by congress in 2015 and passed into law by the government in 2016. It foresees Argentina achieving 8% of its energy supply from renewables by 2017, and 20% of its supply by 2025. This foresees adding around 10GW of renewable power capacity to Argentina’s system, this translates into 1 to 1.5GW of new wind power capacity per year.Argentina held its first RenovAr tender in October 2016, and a further tender known as RenovAr 1.5 in November. Together, the two auctions awarded 2.4 GW of new renewables capacity, enabling around US$ 4bn of investment.In August 2017, the Energy Ministry launched RenovAr Round 2, in which a further 1.2 GW of capacity will be auctioned. The auction will take place on 29 November.Continue reading
Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will set a new record this year on the back of a robust 8.8% growth – the fastest since 2011, according to new research published today. This surge is driven by uncertainty of nuclear power generation in Northeast Asia, energy market reforms and concerns on air pollution in China, and higher capacity in major exporting regions. This is despite disruptions like Qatar’s rift with Saudi Arabia, demands for export curbs in Eastern Australia and falling demand in Latin America.The latest forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s global gas team, shows that consumption will continue to rise despite an overall fall in the cumulative demand of the world’s largest importing region of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (JKT). Ashish Sethia, global head of LNG analysis said: “Asia will continue to be the center of gravity for the world’s LNG demand, importing over 70% of the fuel until 2030. However, from 2025, China, India & ASEAN (Southeast Asia) together will import more LNG than Japan, Korea and Taiwan combined.” The report highlights that LNG will continue to reach new markets as prices remain low, while floating storage and regasification technology makes it easier for new countries to set-up low cost import infrastructure. “By 2022, 20% of global LNG import capacity will be from floating storage and regasification terminals, which are faster to deploy. This will help unlock demand in many new markets,” commented Maggie Kuang, head of Asia Pacific LNG analysis and lead author of the report.European LNG imports are expected to expand in the long-term and cross 100MMtpa by 2030. “European LNG imports will double by the late 2020s, as declines in indigenous production open up opportunities for Russian pipeline exports and LNG,” stated John Twomey, head of European gas analysis. The sustained growth in demand is not expected to result in surging prices as the forecast for LNG supply is higher until 2024 – driven by significant build-out of export capacity in the U.S. and Australia.Continue reading
The meeting, entitled: ‘Working Together to Promote Geothermal Energy Towards a Sustainable Energy Future’ – the largest such meeting of ministerial representatives to discuss geothermal energy – was marked by the release of a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), coordinator of the GGA, in which access to capital for surface exploration and drilling was cited as the main barrier to geothermal development. The report also noted that more ‘transparent government regulations that avoid project delays’ were needed to provide sufficient certainty to developers and investors.Minister of Environment, Mr. Gian Luca Galletti stated: “Italy considers the Paris Agreement to be irreversible and non-negotiable and therefore strives to promote geothermal and other renewable energy sources as a vital component for the planet’s sustainable development.”“Geothermal’s vast potential is currently untapped,” he continued. “We must develop new technologies and encourage new investments to ensure we cover this gap. The Alliance will multiply its efforts to guide this process, and Italy will provide its contribution with its long experience and know-how.”Ms. Teresa Bellanova, Italy’s Vice Minister of Economy and Development, said: “Geothermal energy’s consistent and continuous availability make it a highly precious source of renewable energy both in Italy and many countries all over the world. Through our knowledge of the industry, Italy can play an important role in achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, in addition to stimulating sustainable job creation.”Director General of IRENA, Mr. Adnan. Z. Amin, said: “This meeting has, without question, allowed both the policy and industry communities to identify common ground in the pursuit of what is a renewable energy source with tremendous potential. “If we can identify and implement mechanisms that deliver a greater level of certainty to investors and developers, then we will move beyond meaningful dialogue to decisive action that accelerates geothermal production,” continued Mr. Amin, “contributing significantly to decarbonisation of the global economy, whilst creating jobs and supporting growth around the world.””Access to low carbon forms of energy that support economic development while mitigating climate change, is a core priority for the African Union,” said H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. “Geothermal energy is emerging as a hidden gem of Africa’s renewable energy resources and we must work together, across nations, to ensure this resource achieves its potential.“Through partnerships and the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility, the African Union is currently supporting twenty-six projects in East African countries that will generate more than 1500 MW of power,” continued H.E. Abou-Zeid. “We aim to build on this, supporting sustainable exploration, through the work of this Alliance.”The GGA meeting was attended by more than 200 high-level public, intergovernmental, non-governmental and senior private sector representatives committed to scaling up geothermal energy deployment worldwide.Mr. Carlo Pignoloni, Head of Renewable Energies Italy, Iberia, rest of Europe and North Africa at ENEL, said: “Geothermal power can play a significant role in promoting a sustainable and clean development globally. Stable regulatory frameworks, long-term licenses and bankable PPAs, in addition to transparent and public tenders, are key to if we are to take full advantage of the vast global geothermal potential.”The GGA membership is composed of 42 countries, and 29 partner institutions, including multilateral organisations, development partners, international and regional organisations, global financial institutions, academia, research institutions and the and private sector.The Alliance aims to enhance multilateral efforts towards a more favourable environment to achieve a 500 per cent increase in global installed capacity for geothermal power generation and a 200 per cent increase in geothermal heating by 2030.Continue reading
This project utilizes Schneider’s Conext XW+ inverters in a system that will provide a residence with 61.2kW of continuous backup power and 166kW-hours of total energy storage capacity. and is a testament to the versatility and scalability of the Conext XW+ platform. The 61.2kW Conext XW+ Multi-cluster consists of nine Conext XW+6848 inverter/chargers configured to 120/208V 3-phase, which happens to be the same as the utility feeder for this 45,000 square foot residence. The Iron Edison LiFePO4 batteries are compatible with the custom charging profile provided by the Conext XW+ system. The batteries are kept full and ready for a power outage in this AC coupled system. The grid-tie micro inverters allow PV to reduce the demand from the utility grid, and can produce power to the critical loads even after the grid goes down.
This large residential project was designed by Manfred Thyssen, System Designer from OnTime Energy Solutions, a California based, family-owned and operated business. OnTime has been providing Southern California residents with reliable HVAC and solar energy services for over 20 years.
Evan Vogel, Director of Marketing, Schneider Electric Solar Business said “We have seen off-grid solar make a difference in locations such as California, and know it really changes lives for the better in so many locations in developing nations where it replaces costly diesel generated energy.”
The project will provide a total capacity of more than 37 MW, with installations beginning later this year and continuing through 2019.Fuel cells will be installed at seven Equinix IBX data centres in Silicon Valley in California, three in the New York area, and two in Los Angeles. It builds on the 1 MW pilot programme that began in 2015 at Equinix’s Silicon Valley SV5 IBX data centre.Equinox also has fuel cells at two IBXs in Los Angeles and New York acquired from Verizon this year, so the new project means the company will have more than 40 MW of fuel cell power at 15 locations.The new project is financed through Southern Company, and reflects the strategic partnership between Bloom Energy and Southern Company to support onsite fuel cell solutions, which kicked off last autumn when Southern Company subsidiary PowerSecure agreed to acquire an estimated 50 MW of Bloom Energy Servers under long-term PPAs.Two years ago Bloom Energy announced a partnership with Texas-based Vapor IO for distributed ‘green’ data centres.Bloom recently installed two more SOFCs for IKEA in California and Connecticut, and supplied the power plant for an independent fuel cell microgrid in Hartford, Connecticut.Continue reading
Dr. Groh wins the award for the project The Energiewende 3.0 – Smart P2P Solar Grids. In short, a SOLshare grid is created when rural households or SMEs agree on setting up a “swarm network” that consists of existing and new solar home systems (SHSs) and storage devices and enables the interconnection of larger loads. ME SOLshare provides a peer-to-peer solar energy trading platform empowering individuals and SMEs to become solar entrepreneurs offering pay-as-you-go and cash-in-as-you-go electricity solutions to low-income households. ME SOLshare therefore has potential to play a crucial role in supporting rural development and providing a means of direct income to rural communities.The Renewable Transformation Challenge, launched in February, aims to honor and showcase outstanding work that supports the transformation to a world powered by renewable energy and has potential to widen access to energy, particularly in developing countries. The challenge was open to individuals and organizations in both not-for-profit and commercial sectors worldwide. Over 200 entries were received which were scored in terms of applicability, impact, sustainability and scalability in two stages: first by the Juror Panel, and then by the Elsevier-ISES Award Committee who selected the final winner from the ten shortlisted applications.“Elsevier were impressed by the project’s potential to positively impact people and the planet – reducing the cost of energy access; supporting women who are the main energy consumers during trading hours; creating solar entrepreneurs and social empowerment; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by increasing use of renewables and reducing reliance on unsustainable energy sources such as kerosene and diesel,” said Katherine Eve, Executive Publisher of Elsevier’s renewable and sustainable energy journal portfolio. “By backing community projects like SOLshare, Elsevier, in collaboration with our partners such as ISES, continues to play a significant role in supporting the UN Sustainability Development Goals.”
“ISES is very excited about this award, and the groundbreaking work being undertaken by ME SOLshare. A major key toward achieving 100% renewable energy globally is for there to be effective business models that provide reliable and clean energy access for all, including the 1.2 billion people around the world who currently do not have access to electrification services,” added Dr. David Renné, President of ISES. “We are confident that ME SOLshare’s efforts will make major strides toward achieving clean energy goals in off-grid regions.”
Dr. Groh, on behalf of ME SOLshare, will receive a monetary prize of €20,000, one ISES Gold membership, and one free registration to the Solar World Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi where he will be presented with the Award during the conference dinner on 1 November 2017.
The winner explained “ME SOLshare plans to use the Renewable Transformation Challenge award fund to kick-start a new pilot project to support clean energy transportation. By upgrading the existing SOLshare swarm grids to create a multiplier effect, SOLshare will offer free solar charging for the over 800,000 battery rickshaw drivers of rural Bangladesh. The equivalent of the charging cost will be credited to the SHS owners in the SOLshare grids who will jointly provide the charging and receive the financial return.”
Read more about the Award on the Renewable Transformation Challenge homepage, the Solar Energy journal homepage and on the ISES website.
According to the RECAI, The UK has climbed back into the top 10 most attractive countries for renewable energy investment but the outlook for the industry remains cloudy amid a lingering lack of clarity around targets and subsidies. The RECAI says that the UK investment environment is more settled than recent years, which were beset by subsidy cuts, but the future post-Brexit remains uncertain. While the UK is behind schedule to meet its 2020 EU renewables target, coal-fired power has declined significantly and even reached zero for a day on 21 April.The RECAI states that in April the UK kicked off the second round of renewable energy auctions for Contracts for Difference (CfD) subsidies. The Government plans to allocate £730m of annual funding over three rounds, including £290m in the current round.Emerging offshore wind sector offers hope for futureThis round of CfD auctions is open to “less established” technologies such as offshore wind, wave, tidal stream, geothermal and biomass with combined heat and power. Falling costs and advances in technology in the offshore wind industry now represent the UK’s best hopes for future investment, according to the RECAI. US drops to third placeThe RECAI also saw China and India surpass the US, which fell to third in the index following a marked shift in US policy under the new administration. The report identifies the US Government’s executive orders to rollback many of the past administration’s climate change policies, revive the US coal industry and review the US Clean Power Plan as key downward pressures on renewable investment attractiveness. In China, the National Energy Administration (NEA) announced in January 2017 that it will spend US$363b developing renewable power capacity by 2020. This investment will see renewables account for half of all new generating capacity and create 13 million jobs, according to the NEA plan.India continued its upward trend in the index to second position with the Government’s program to build 175GW in renewable energy generation by 2022 and to have renewable energy account for 40% of installed capacity by 2040. The country has added more than 10GW of solar capacity in the last three years – starting from a low base of 2.6GW in 2014. Economically viable renewable energy alternatives coupled with security of supply concerns are encouraging more countries to support a clean energy future. Kazakhstan (37), Panama (38) and the Dominican Republic (39) have all entered the index for the first time, according to the RECAI.Continue reading
The study, carried out by Xodus Group, an engineering consultancy with experience in the oil and gas, utilities, and renewable industries, concluded that there are a range of technically feasible options available to develop an offshore wind project off the coast of Guernsey. However, it also cautioned that due to higher costs, the majority of the project should be funded by the States of Guernsey to secure the lowest cost of finance.Amongst the report’s other findings were:The current preferred site is offshore towards the 12nm boundary. This location is in relatively deep water and most suited to the new floating wind turbine structures; The lowest cost site is likely to be in the shallow waters off the north coast (or any coastal site). However, this near shore location may have visual and other human impact.Consideration should be given to pursuing an extended wave and wind data gathering programme that could be relatively low cost but high value for the future.According to Xodus, the States of Guernsey Renewable Energy Team have been progressing the recommendations following receipt of the report. Peter Barnes, Lead Officer for the Renewable Energy Team, said ‘Wind technology is continuing to mature and will offer increased levels of security and independence of supply. Guernsey is well positioned to benefit from those developments.Continue reading