Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

It’s that time of the year. Are you ready for Intersolar Europe and Intersolar North America? PES brings you previews of two of the biggest solar shows. Be sure to come along and make the most of the opportunity to see the latest advance technology, the new players in the market, catch up with old favourites and network like crazy. Smart, solar, sector coupling: Intersolar Europe 2018 showcases the future of modern energy supply. A sunny outlook for the European and global photovoltaics (PV) markets: Photovoltaics deployment of around 110 gigawatts is expected worldwide for 2018 – a significant step forward for PV. The European PV market too is sending out positive signals. New PV systems with a total output of at least 8.61 gigawatts were installed across the continent last year alone. According to the latest analysis by SolarPower Europe, this represents a 28 percent increase over 2016. Over 30 percent growth has been forecast for 2018 – alongside Germany, most notably in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. The PV market in Europe is primarily being driven by public tenders and power purchase agreements. The advantages of solar power self-consumption are also bolstering growth. In Spain and the Netherlands, 2018

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With ample desert space and swathes of sunshine all year round, the solar power industry is starting to heat up in the countries of the Gulf Coorporation Council (GCC). Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are all well placed to benefit from technology advancements and lowering costs. Over the past few years, the UAE has launched some major solar projects, while Saudi Arabia announced the largest-ever project in March this year. The GCC’s increase of solar generation capacity is well timed. The global renewable energy industry is experiencing considerable growth, supported by governments and policymakers’ efforts to combat climate change, a steady decline in renewable generation costs over the past decade, and continued technological developments. As such, we expect that most GCC countries will continue to invest in solar efforts in the years to come. Lower costs, higher investment Renewable power installation costs have been declining sharply over the past decade, driven by technological improvements and the associated increased efficiencies. In turn, these developments are making renewable energy a viable alternative to traditional carbon-based electricity generation. The considerable growth in the global renewables sector as a result is encouraging. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewables represented two-thirds

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Global wind capacity is set to double by 2027, and the United States is in the midst of the most lucrative time to increase production of wind energy. Renewable companies are fueled by an urgency to capture tax subsidies and currently in many parts of the country; wind is the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity. Even with the many environmental benefits of wind farms over traditional sources, wind still faces opposition across the U.S., especially in rural areas. South Dakota has been expecting dramatic growth in wind energy production for some time now, but the contentious debates surrounding the approval of new wind farms has created a drift between residents and caused the state to lag. Although in most cases wind turbines will create a minimal impact on the landscape, some residents feel the turbines are too unsightly, loud, and disruptive to wildlife, ignoring the many benefits, such as tax revenue, the project will bring to the state and local communities. Despite the local opposition, there has been recent good news from the federal government for offshore wind projects, as the Trump administration announced it is pushing ahead with building wind turbines off the Atlantic coastline. The Bureau of Ocean Energy

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Gerry Lalonde, CEO, Orenda Energy Solutions explains to PES that Farmers have a great opportunity to ‘pledge a field’ and reap a financial windfall through small wind renewables. Farmers are having a bad time of it. Many have witnessed a fall in income due to the recent spate of bad weather. There is the worry, too, about how a ‘bad’ Brexit might unfold, with fruit farmers across the country particularly concerned about future harvests and how their reliance on migrant workers might impact on their industry. I’d like to think, however, that small wind renewable energy might help farmers add a few thousand pounds a year to their incomes and they need do nothing more than offer a field or small piece of land to see that come a reality. The UK has remained an attractive proposition for inward investment in the country’s small wind energy industry and there are farming communities across the country already bringing in extra income from this enterprising initiative, with farmers looking beyond their traditional arable, livestock and dairy revenue streams, but much needs to be done now to get more farmers to realise this huge investment potential. Farmers need to maximise land use and with a ‘per-turbine’ windfall

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The UK’s offshore wind sector is racing ahead. With the offshore wind market rapidly expanding, the demand for equipment and services to support its growth is sure to rise with it. The UK is the leader in offshore wind production as well as having an established track record in exporting physical manufactured products. Is there a golden opportunity to be the world’s supplier of choice? This will depend on its ability to invest in its workforce and innovation, and on the extent to which the industry can pursue a culture of collaboration. These factors will be vital if UK firms are to support and make the best of local workforces and their supply chains around the world. A strong position Thanks to its North Sea heritage, the UK already has a globally-renowned manufacturing and knowledge base for the offshore energy industry. The oil and gas sector has long had a wealth of exceptional engineering talent, with extensive experience in and understanding of offshore projects. Alongside this comes a manufacturing capability and infrastructure, geared towards the offshore sector. This was useful when manufacturing new technology, and many technologies were actually translatable into the new sector. For example, at JDR we first entered the offshore

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The state of flux in the UK’s onshore wind sector has never been more apparent than at present. On the one hand, wind energy and other renewable energy sources are currently generating over a quarter of power consumption across the UK annually, at a price cheaper than gas and nuclear, all while enjoying the highest level of public support. At the same time, however, national policy and regulatory backing is at a particularly low ebb, and investor confidence has been dented to such a degree that the pipeline for new development has largely stalled. Recent years have seen the cessation of both the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme and Contract for Difference (CfD) support for onshore renewables, coupled with the rapid degression of Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) payments for all renewables prior to its phase-out in March 2019. These support mechanisms enabled a staggering build-out of onshore wind capacity equal to nearly 5GW since 2012, with some 2.6GW of new generation installed in 2017 alone. In combination, onshore and offshore wind contributed approximately 45% of the UK’s total renewables capacity, resulting in some 37,400 megawatt hours of annual generation. This is roughly equivalent to the domestic power consumption of 12 million homes, offsetting in the range of

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Digitisation and Industry 4.0 are causing the wind industry to rethink how it does business. Sustainable growth is a constant entrepreneurial challenge. The market is characterised by continuous evolution that never takes a break. However, unlike biological evolution, companies can decide for themselves to a large extent how they want to develop. The automation and digitisation of the working world is one of the greatest entrepreneurial changes of our time, and it challenges the wind industry to its core. Where does the industry stand in this process of change? It is exciting to see that wind turbine maintenance offers far more potential for development than many might think. Deutsche Windtechnik, a specialist maintenance provider for wind turbines, has internalised the principles of Industry 4.0 and is now at the forefront of this development. Expecting a revolution The process has been in full swing for years. Ever-shorter development cycles in numerous areas are increasing the speed of change management. Information is available more quickly worldwide. Trends are being circulated around the globe very quickly and products are changing and being placed on the market in ever shorter cycles. At the same time, the range of potential decision-making options is increasing rapidly. This can

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WINDPOWER is being held in Chicago this year. Wind energy is gathering more and more momentum in the US. Every year AWEA strives attract new and diverse groups to the conference, with the aim of sparking new conversations, new connections and new ideas and 2018 is no exception. PES brings you the show preview of what is expected to be the US wind energy event of the year. AWEA WINDPOWER 2018 Wind power continues to lift the American economy. The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes. The wind industry is powering forward to continue growth into 2018 and beyond. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing. If you are invested in U.S. wind energy or looking to enter the market, AWEA WINDPOWER 2018 Conference & Exhibition is the place you need to be. It is where professionals from across the globe find top-tier speakers, world-class education, cutting edge technology, and premium networking. This complete conference experience

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Words: K. Adriaenssen, W. Smook, J. Peeters A revolution is happening in the world of renewable energy. All key markets have adopted auction-based approaches to subsidising renewables. New wind market dynamics In theory, the idea is rather simple. Set a target level of investment in renewable energy capacity, and then allocate contracts to the lowest bidders. As renewable energy markets mature and penetration increases, a growing number of countries are looking to reduce subsidy costs by spurring competition. This concept will initiate large disruptions as markets evolve to a new equilibrium. Looking at how procurement costs are falling in countries that had previously relied on other mechanisms, it seems possible – even likely – that auction-based procurement is accelerating price erosion and reducing procurement costs relative to what we would have seen otherwise. This sounds like good news. But is it really? It’s good news if falling procurement costs reflect the market’s ability to seek out the most cost-effective projects, and if this competitive pressure will fuel efficient innovation going forward. But there are concerns about whether the industry can cope with the developments and cost reductions going forward. The success of these dynamic market conditions will depend on an understanding of how auctions can be

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Words: Jenny Hogan, Deputy Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables The UK has more offshore wind turbines than any other country in the world. But while Scotland has 25% of the whole European wind resource, only around 5% of the UK’s offshore wind fleet is currently north of the border. Finally, however, that is starting to change. Record-low prices in September’s Contracts for Difference saw EDPR’s Moray East project succeed where it had previously lost out. This scheme will now join SSE’s Beatrice in the stormy seas off our North East coast. It isn’t just the wind farms themselves which are happening in Scotland, either. Two events in coming months – a Floating Offshore Wind Conference on November 14 and Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference on January 29-30 – will allow a burgeoning supply chain to share ideas with developers and decision-makers. Both come at a key time for the sector, with policy optimism still buoying up offshore wind following the largely-positive Clean Growth Strategy and secondly, the CfD auction results. The results of this auction were good news for Scotland, for our environment and for our energy system. The cost reductions in offshore wind have been dramatic and are testament to the determination of developers to drive down costs

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