Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

The global energy transition is underway. The uptake of renewables is accelerating, as the technology undercuts fossil fuel based energy generation and governments seek to achieve international climate targets. Renewable energy is now also accepted as an opportunity to drive green economic growth and job creation to help support the recovery from the impacts of Covid-19. Offshore wind has a key role to play in this energy transition, having grown nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018. The IEA predicts global offshore wind capacity to increase fifteen-fold by 2040, becoming a US$1 trillion industry. After successfully lowering the price of bottom-fixed projects, the next frontier for industry is floating offshore wind. Floating wind unlocks new markets A key factor driving the development and scaling of floating wind is the technology’s ability to unlock new markets for offshore wind development. An estimated 80% of global offshore wind resource is located in deep water areas (depths of more than 60m), where winds are typically stronger and more consistent, with the potential to yield superior capacity factors. The first larger capacity floating wind turbine (2.3MW) was installed and tested over a decade ago in Norway. Since then interest has increased as the viability

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Silfab Solar is a North American manufacturer of high-efficiency, premium quality solar panels and solar solutions. Our company leverages over 35 years of experience spanning the entire vertical Photo Voltaic value chain including R&D, engineering and product innovation. With our experience in the PV industry, premium product offering and our nimble business model, the company gained traction and business success in the US market over the past few years, competing against foreign manufacturers who could not offer the flexible solutions, delivery options or the quality products demanded by US customers. Silfab currently operates out of two fully automated manufacturing facilities, one in Toronto, Canada and the other in Bellingham, Washington, US. Recognized as a 2020 PVEL Top Performer for both our conventional and MWT modules, Silfab continues to develop new PV manufacturing processes and technological innovations that leverage strategic partnerships such as this one with DSM Advanced Solar to manufacture premium, high efficiency, MWT solar modules exclusively for the North American market. MWT is an acronym for a PV cell technology that has been designed specifically on crystalline silicon type solar cells. It stands for Metal-Wrap-Through (MWT). MWT redirects electrical current from the emitter region, typically on the front side of the

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Energy grids have undergone immense change in recent years with the introduction of smart devices, new hardware, and software solutions that enable communication and data exchange. While these shifts signal a positive trend toward widespread renewables adoption, utility companies struggle to analyze and improve the power grid’s efficiency. Even with more connected devices and new methods to generate energy, outdated processes continue to force operators to create nonstandard solutions to solve challenges. Standards implementation usually vary between vendors’ control systems and devices, and accessing grid data requires several different devices, each of which may involve different processes. In addition, we’ve historically delivered electricity in one direction, preventing operators from controlling loads on a small scale. This leads to losses in efficiency when supply and demand aren’t properly matched. With more devices such as batteries, solar panels, wind turbines and non-wired solutions at the edge, supply and demand are more unpredictable. The current infrastructure limits communication of information about energy and the creation of automated multidirectional intelligence across grids. This complexity will only increase, and we’ll need to use AI and automation to facilitate transactions at microsecond intervals to remain safe and balanced.

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This briefing is intended as an update on three key policy and case law developments that have taken place over the summer. 1 New European Court ruling – ‘Sweetman II’ On 25 July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court) delivered its ruling in the case of Edel Grace and Peter Sweetman v An Bord Pleanala, or ‘Sweetman II’ (also known by some in the industry as ‘People over Wind II’.) The judgment developed the position taken in People Over Wind and Peter Sweetman v Coillte Teoranta (‘Sweetman I’), delivered in April this year. The Court again focused on the interpretation of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive, which concerns the need for an appropriate assessment where a project is likely to have a significant effect on a site (onshore or offshore) designated as a special protection area or a special area of conservation (SPAs and SACs) The key question for the Court was at what point in the assessment under this Directive should mitigation measures be taken into account. Current practice relating to appropriate assessment is based on a four-stage approach. Briefly, these stages are: (i) Screening to establish whether a likely significant effect may exist on the integrity of a

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Alan Gooding, director and co-founder of Smarter Grid Solutions, explains that the secret to harnessing offshore wind lies back on dry land. The growth of offshore wind power is nothing short of astounding. The UK’s capacity already sits at 8GW, with 2GW added during 2018 alone, and energy minister Claire Perry wants that total to rise to 30GW by 2030, enough to provide a third of the electricity Great Britain needs. Engineers are already rising to the challenge of installing scores of turbines around the coast. Yet harnessing the full power of the wind out at sea will also require changes in the way the electricity system is managed back on dry land. As anyone who’s ever stood on a beach can testify, the wind doesn’t blow at a constant speed all day long – sometimes it comes in strong gusts and sometimes it drops completely, leaving a perfectly still day. That intermittency sits at the heart of the challenge of integrating offshore wind. Wind farms can be spread out along the coast to help smooth out some of the variability in the wind; after all, if it’s a calm day down in Cornwall then the wind may still be blowing up in

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Offshore wind will be one of the main pillars of India’s energy transition, as was proven in June 2018 when the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) set national targets for offshore wind power of 5GW by 2022 and 30GW by 2030. The first 1GW tender, expected to be launched off Gujarat later this year, has attracted some of the biggest international offshore wind players together with many Indian renewables’ developers. The spectacular cost reductions achieved by the offshore wind industry in Europe have attracted the attention of many countries, including India, interested in exploring offshore wind as a viable source of energy generation. Offshore Wind Consultants (OWC) and Tata Consulting Engineers have been developing a paper on India’s offshore wind outlook reviewing the policies and risks and presenting the key risks offshore wind developers and OEMs will face navigating the Indian offshore wind market. Among those risks, the study of soil conditions is a major driver for foundation and wind turbine generator designs and, hence, project economics. This article aims to summarise and shed more light on the soil conditions developers will find in the most advanced Indian offshore wind regions: Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Previous desk studies of Gujarat

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There is a reason why developers should always prioritize best practice. Thomas Broe, Director of HSEQ, K2 Management, tells PES why this is so important. Some of the reasons are less obvious, but will be top priority to companies in our industry. In developed markets, health, safety and environmental (HSE) regulations are often robust and comprehensive but this is not always the case in emerging markets. What might sound like an opportunity to reduce costs by simply complying to local regulations could in fact be a false economy. Despite local requirements potentially being simple there are sound moral and financial reasons for investing in health, safety and environmental performance beyond those local requirements. Bankability International banks, financiers and investors almost exclusively demand that wind and solar projects follow international best practice standards, before they will invest. Banks and investors have a code of ethics for their engagements, which apply globally no matter what market they are investing in, so project developers will have a hard time getting a project financed without promoting a certain standard of health, safety and environmental performance. This is something that will be flagged during the due diligence process. In some markets, there is no requirement for an

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As the wind industry continues to grow and mature, O&M models for the servicing of wind farms are becoming more diversified. With increasing competition and margins under pressure, it’s crucial to adopt an O&M model that is cost-efficient while securing high availability. Over the last decade, while the wind industry was still maturing, most development companies had a clear focus on portfolio growth. This resulted in a quick build-up of competencies around project development and construction, with less focus on O&M strategies. But as more owners in the industry became industrial – overseeing GWs rather than MWs of installed capacity – the need for more strategic asset management became apparent. Like other industry players with roots in the conventional energy sector, EC&R adopted the proven approach that has been applied to hydro, coal, gas and nuclear assets for over 100 years: performance optimization during operational lifetime, and lifetime extension to maximise returns on both past and future investments. Choosing the right O&M model Today, there are three main wind O&M service models available in the market: OEM services, Independent Service Provider services and self-perform/in-house O&M: Buying a wind turbine from a manufacturer typically comes with an OEM (full) service contract. Such a contract is

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By Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager, Scottish Renewables With two-thirds of the UK’s onshore capacity and an offshore sector now getting steel in the water, Scotland has long been a leading champion of the wind sector. The country is the birthplace of wind-powered electricity generation and the windiest place in Europe, with 25% of the continent’s offshore wind resource. Scotland has capitalised on that to deliver economic and environmental benefits across the country. The Conservative manifesto commitment to end new subsidy for onshore wind locked both it and large-scale solar – our two cheapest renewable energy technologies – out of the energy market. With costs continuing to fall, however, a report from Baringa Partners, commissioned by Scottish Renewables, found that the UK Government could deliver 1GW of new onshore wind capacity at no additional cost to consumers over and above the long-term wholesale price of power. The report’s conclusions are dependent on mature renewables being able to bid in future auctions for long-term contracts for clean electricity such as those offered to offshore wind and the new nuclear facility at Hinkley Point.

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Are there cheaper renewable energies out there? Does saving the planet mean we, the consumer has to pay more? The EU has set targets and the UK is offering incentives to companies who meet these targets. Find out what savings you can make whilst doing your bit to save the planet… Saving Money Whilst Saving the Planet: Solar Investment If you have been interested in saving money on your energy bills lately, both in the domestic and commercial environment, you have likely already looked at all of the options available to you on the switching company side of things. While this can help you in the long run, there’s one thing it doesn’t achieve: helping to save the planet in the process. Energy companies that rely mostly on fossil fuel energy are often the cheapest providers, and opting to turn to renewables could alleviate some of the damage your property could do to the environment. The EU has been aiming for a target of 20% of its energy to come from renewables across all member states, including a further 20% of cuts to greenhouse gases and carbon production. States are required to be collectively meeting these targets by 2020. 2014 saw a huge

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