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network April 2017

British Photovoltaic Association Member Magazine


Special issue on the twin challenges of decarbonising grids and vehicles



Mercedes ramps up battery production for cars and storage

Falling cost of solar PV is unlocking demand



Rolling out EV fast-charging stations, the Dutch way

Exploring second-life options for EV batteries


British Photovoltaic Association


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Welcome Hello and welcome to the second issue of Network. Following the new chancellor’s Autumn Statement, plug-in hybrids and allelectric cars, including charging infrastructure, are getting a boost in support including £80 million towards supporting EV charging infrastructure. We welcome the move. Policy support is crucial in new EV markets especially for encouraging charging equipment players to supply the infrastructure needed to underpin the adoption of electric vehicles. In this issue Network explores the e-mobility transition and where EVs, solar PV and energy storage intersect. The articles in this issue look at the various opportunities, from the UK solar company launching PV carport structures to a Dutch start-up’s strategy for commercialising fast-charging infrastructure, incorporating solar PV generation. Some of the leading automotive brands are also seizing the opportunities that the growing demand for stationary energy storage presents, such as grid balancing services, as the build-out of solar PV and wind continues. The idea of an automotive manufacturer also supplying technology designed to store solar energy or help grids run more smoothly was for a long time simply a concept. Tesla changed that. By launching Mercedes-Benz Energy as a new subsidiary in 2016, Daimler Group is showing how an established automotive brand is embracing new opportunities offered by energy storage. An aspect the company is pioneering is exploring the various second-life options for electric car batteries, including the possibility of using new spare part batteries as well as used EV batteries to form part of multi-MW grid storage systems, which is covered in this issue. In this issue, you can also read about the latest news from our members as well as updates on policy related matters and a round-up of significant and interesting energy storage projects announced in the last few months. We hope you enjoy this e-mobility special issue and look forward to hearing your feedback. Reza Shaybani Chairman

April 2017 | network 1

Contents 24

Charge up and go

NEWS 5 Global solar PV installations in 2016 exceed 70GW New report forecasts fastest growth for solar 6 Dubai Sustainable City attracts international interest as city of the future 7

UK installs nearly 2GW of solar capacity in 2016

8 Chancellor pledges £390 million towards clean transport tech 9 Quercus launches renewables infrastructure funds 10 Lightsource acquires 1.3MW rooftop portfolio JinkoSolar supplies panels for Nissan factory in China 12 MyPower completes Gloucester cathedral rooftop solar installation Vikram Solar kicks off 2016 with awards flourish

15 Solarwatt to launch MyReserve residential storage system in UK UK solar park powers household waste recycling 16 Leclanché taps into North American grid storage 18 Nidec ASI wins 50MW UK battery deal 19 Anesco acquires UK storage projects Daimler trials spare part batteries as grid storage plant 20 UK government to provide £28 million to support energy storage R&D 21 AES and Mitsubishi win 10MW grid battery deal Home energy storage pilot starts in London boroughs


Together in electric cars

13 SMA installs solar-hybrid system in Kenya for Krystalline Salt Vector Cuatro technical adviser on Primrose Solar’s assets sale 14 BIPVco supplies SAB Miller in Nigeria with BIPV roof

2 network | April 2017


Solar central to Vietnam’s renewable energy ambition

network British Photovoltaic Association Member Magazine April 2017

© Copyright BPVA 2017 Network is published six times a year by the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA) and distributed free of charge to the association’s membership.



Recycle? Reuse? The big question

Sustainable Dubai

Contributors Diego Biasi (Quercus Investment Partners), Anil Srivastava (Leclanché), Ben Harrison (MyPower), Daimler Group, Michiel Langezaal (Fastned), Colin McKerracher (BNEF), Cathal Murphy (Sunfixings), Siobhan Goss (BPVA), Sara Verbruggen Publisher The BPVA Reza Shaybani (Chairman) Olivia Hall (Director)

FEATURES 22 Packing value into batteries Car maker Daimler talks to Network about its plans for the grid storage market

24 Charge up and go Meet Fastned, the company behind the roll-out of fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the Netherlands

27 Together in electric cars Advances in different areas of technology is driving a revolution in mobility, unlocking opportunities in distributed generation, according to BNEF

32 Putting carparks to work UK firm Sunfixings is targeting opportunities to add solar PV to carparks and carports


British Photovoltaic Association

34 Solar central to Vietnam’s renewable energy ambition In south-east Asia focus is turning to the potential for solar in Vietnam, which could provide export opportunities, especially once a longawaited FiT is introduced

38 Recycle? Reuse? The big question From 2020 onwards significant volumes of spent lithium ion batteries will start to emerge, yet recycling these batteries is a cost the EV and stationary storage industries have yet to factor in

46 Events Solar PV conferences and exhibitions

48 Solar roads Road surfaces incorporating PVs are being trialled with plans to commercialise ‘solar roads’ from 2018

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Cover photo Roos Korthals Altes

April 2017 | network 3


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Over 70GW of solar PV installed in 2016 2016 was a big year on record for the global solar industry, with analysts calculating as much as 70–75GW of new capacity installed last year. According to numbers from analysis firm PV Market Alliance, 75GW of solar PV was installed, showing a 50% jump in growth, compared with 2015. Total cumulative installed capacity worldwide exceeds 300GW. Much of the activity was

in China, which installed 34GW and is the largest market by installed capacity, with 77GW. The second largest market is the US, which installed over 12GW in 2016, followed by Japan. Europe managed only 6.5GW, part of an ongoing trend of declining installation rates, with the UK accounting for about 2GW of the region’s solar PV installations last year. India almost installed as much as Europe, building

5GW in 2016 to more than double its cumulative installed capacity. Back in January Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) published its figures for 2016, which claim 70GW was installed. Other analysts numbers are similar to BNEF’s and PV Market Alliance’s. However, despite a 20% increase in installations compared with 2015, BNEF found that investment in global solar PV actually fell by 32%

last year. This is partly because PV costs – including those associated with components, installations and soft costs – have fallen. While China and Japan saw large amounts of installations in 2016, it is unlikely these two markets will install as much in 2017, as they each face the challenge of connecting so much additional PV capacity to the grid.

IRENA forecasts fastest growth for solar PV A new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds renewable energy costs – solar PV especially – are falling, as auctions lead to recordbreaking low prices. Falling costs, driven by innovation in technology and policy, is spurring renewable energy deployment and with it a myriad of socioeconomic benefits, according to the new REthinking Energy report, released at IRENA’s seventh Assembly. The publication states that solar PV will grow the fastest in terms of capacity and output, and new ways to store electricity will be a game changer for growing

variable renewable energy generation. IRENA estimates that battery storage for electricity could increase from less than 1GW today to 250GW by 2030. The report highlights how global investment in renewables has steadily grown for more than a decade, rising from less than $50 billion (£40 billion) in 2004 to a record $305 billion in 2015. Despite this enormous growth, current investment and deployment levels are making headway to meet international carbon reduction targets. The publication provides insights on the innovations, policy and

finance driving further investment in sustainable energy systems. According to the findings: Renewable energy auctions are gaining popularity in developed and developing countries, generating record-

$305bn investment in renewables in 2015

breaking low energy prices; Demand for battery storage is increasing rapidly and playing a larger part in integrating variable renewables; New capital-market

instruments are helping increase available finance by offering new groups of investors access to investment opportunities; Institutional investors are moving into renewable energy as it offers stable returns over the long term; New business models promise new ways to finance renewable energy. Off-grid renewables provide electricity to an estimated 90 million people worldwide, and enable people to climb the energy ladder. REthinking Energy describes how offgrid solutions can provide modern energy access to hundreds of millions of more people and achieve development goals.

April 2017 | network 5


Dubai Sustainable City draws global interest The Sustainable City project in Dubai could be a blueprint for similar developments all over the world. Continued population growth in major cities and urban centres is creating challenges for governments in developed and developing countries about how to manage resources in future. The Sustainable City, designed and built by Dubaibased property developer Diamond Developers, includes more than 500 residential villas, which each deploy the energy-saving technologies, from insulating materials, to solar water heaters and solar PV panels, as well as energy-saving home appliances and lighting. Together the technologies and features contribute towards reducing energy consumption by up to 50% in each villa. Dubai-based City Solar, one of the project’s contractors, has installed the solar panels, which can generate up to 10MW. As well as rooftop solar systems the complex includes extensive solar carport structures, which can provide shelter as well as power for electric vehicles and buggies used to get around the complex. The city also includes a system for separating waste water, where recycled grey water is used for irrigating vegetables, fruits and herbs grown under cover within the community. The idea behind the

6 network | April 2017

flagship city is that by involving residents in its everyday running, from organic farming to education, and enabling them to reap the economic benefits of sustainable living, the residents will become stakeholders in ensuring its sustainability in the longterm.

and decommissioning. The building is off-grid, with an energy storage plant providing its electricity needs. The centre will house applied research and incubation facilities for sustainabilityfocused start-ups and will also include an amphitheatre and atrium for exhibitions. A smart control room

An oasis of sustainability, from energyefficient housing to eco-tourism – Dubai’s Sustainability City

As well as rooftop solar systems the complex includes extensive solar carport structures, which can provide shelter as well as power for electric vehicles and buggies The Sustainable City also boasts a higher education and conference facility, the Diamond Innovation Center, which will be the first building with a negative lifecycle footprint in the region. Over an anticipated 50year lifespan, the building itself will produce 140% of its energy requirement, offsetting emissions during construction, operation,

will constantly monitor the entire Sustainability City from individual villa and commercial office units up to the entire urban centre. The data generated will used to help Sustainable City’s community use its resources more efficiently. The control room will also provide information for future similar projects that Diamond Developers and its partners engage in.


UK installs nearly 2GW of solar PV capacity in 2016 Provisional statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), show that 1.9GW of solar PV was installed in 2016, taking installed capacity to over 11.5GW. The installed capacity spans nearly 1 million installations. The biggest increase in capacity during the year was registered in March 2016, before the Renewable Obligation scheme for projects under 5MW was closed, with a one-year grace period for some projects. Compared with the previous two year’s installations, 2016 has seen a fall in demand for solar PV, due to the ending of

the Renewables Obligation scheme. In 2015 over 4GW of new solar PV capacity was connected to the grid. In 2014 the new installed PV figure was 2.5GW and in 2013 it was 1.09GW.


UK solar PV capacity in 2016 To date, 47%, which equates to 5,525MW of total installed solar PV capacity, comes from large-scale installations greater than 5MW, with 21% – 2,466MW – coming

from small-scale 0-4kW installations. At the end of December 2016, 57% of capacity, equal to 6,641MW, came from groundmounted or standalone solar installations. This includes the first operational solar farm to be accredited for Contracts for Differences (CfD). So far, January 2017, has seen just 9MW of new solar capacity installed, most of it for rooftop installations up to 4kW in size. In January 2016 the figure was over 200MW, prior to the cut in feed-in tariff (FiTs) for domestic and small-scale rooftop installations from £0.12/kWh to £0.0432/kWh.

BPVA EV Charging Infrastructure Summit: The Role of Solar & Storage in EV Charging SEPTEMBER 2017 This one day event brings together key stakeholders from Government, the renewables, energy storage and automotive industries to discuss current policy, technical challenges and the future of decarbonisation of transport.


British Photovoltaic Association

April 2017 | network 7


UK benefits from low emissions vehicles funding Future transport technology such as ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs) will receive £390 million in funding, set out in the Autumn Statement. In his Autumn Statement, the UK chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans for the government to invest this amount by 2020–21 to support transport technology of the future, including ULEVs, renewable fuels and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). The funding is on top of the government’s commitment, announced in 2016, to invest up to £600 million in ULEVs by 2020. The £390 million package, includes £80 million for charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs), £150 million in support for low emission buses and taxis, £40 million of further support for the government’s plug-in-car grant, £20 million for the development of alternative fuels for heavy goods vehicles and aviation, and £100 million for new CAV testing infrastructure. In addition to the tax incentives for ULEVs in company tax and salary schemes set out in the tax chapter, from to the end of March 2019 the government will also offer 100% first-year allowances to companies investing in charge-points for electric vehicles. As demand for EV charging increases it will place pressure on the grid to support these

8 network | April 2017

new loads. As solar PV becomes cheaper it can be used as a source of electricity to support EV charging loads. Energy storage can be used reinforce the grid as the electrification of vehicles and transportation continues. The UK government has set a target for every car and van to be a zero emission vehicle by 2050. The Department for Transport is consulting on a series of measures that will make charge points more accessible, making it easier for drivers to recharge as demand for low emission vehicles increases. The measures are due to be included in the Modern Transport Bill, which is due to be laid in Parliament in 2017. The £600 million the government pledged over the 2016–2017 parliament to boost the ULEV market is being administered by

the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. There are more than 11,000 public charge-points across the UK, which also boasts one of Europe’s largest networks of rapid charge-points. However, the government recognises that areas still need to be addressed if its 2050 target is to be reached. These include giving powers to set common standards for all public charge-points to ensure electric car owners can recharge anywhere, anytime. Other measures include making consumer pricing information for electricity and hydrogen fuels consistent and transparent, supporting smart electric vehicle charging that is flexible to grid demands and ensuring there is provision of electric charge-points and hydrogen refuelling points at large fuel retailers and motorway service areas.

There are more than 11,000 EV charge-points across the UK, however the government recognises there needs to be more progress, such as ensuring more electric charge-points at large fuel retailers and motorway service areas


Quercus launches renewables infrastructure funds The renewable energy asset manager launched its latest three funds in 2016, which have a collective target of €500 million

Diego Biasi, Quercus


n late 2016 Quercus Investment Partners closed €150 million of three renewable energy infrastructure funds with a target of €500 million. The firm, with offices in London and Milan, was set up in 2010 by Diego Biasi, who had a previous career in banking, and Simone Borla, who had worked in hedge funds. Quercus’ initial funds invested in solar PV assets in Italy and then in the UK. Following Borla’s passing away from cancer in 2014, Biasi decided on a new project and started looking into expanding to other renewable energy asset classes and other European markets. The firm then set a target to raise €500 million, across three funds. One is a €150 million fund focused on Italian solar PV assets, the second is a €150 million fund focused purely on Italian wind power assets and the other is a

€200 million fund, focused on a broader mix of technologies – solar PV, wind, biomass and hydro power – across a wider geographic range, principally spanning Italy, the UK and the Nordics. The renewable energy market in Europe has changed from a construction-led one, responding to government incentives, such as feed-in tariffs. “From 2005 to 2013 wind and solar saw lots of new projects being built – 2013 was probably the peak of that boom. It was very fragmented and there is an opportunity to consolidate, by buying up different assets, restructuring debt and boosting returns,” says Biasi. Across each fund the target is 9–11% return, with yields of 8%. Biasi’s ambition is that this third fund will help to position Quercus as one of the top three in Europe’s investment managers that specialise in renewable energy investments. Increasingly the firm’s investors are outside of Italy, including London. Quercus is also exploring fund raising in the Middle East and also Asia. In 2015 Quercus appointed a chairman, Vito Gamberale. Before joining Quercus,

he founded and directed F2i, the largest European infrastructure fund and also created F2i Energie Rinnovabili and E2i, leading solar PV and wind farm operators in Italy. To date Quercus owns or has shares in about 305MW of solar PV and wind power assets. ASI’s portfolio consists of nine solar PV plants, totalling just over 77MW. Italy’s five largest solar PV portfolios account for just 5% of the market. The plan with ASI is to consolidate further by acquiring other portfolios. In December 2016 Quercus signed a joint venture to create a large wind platform. In the longer term Biasi also sees a role for energy storage co-located with renewable energy assets. He says: “We are seeing most investments in energy storage to date as being standalone systems and for providing grid stabilisation services, mainly. From the point of view of a renewable energy producer energy storage is just another piece of equipment, like SCADA, or short-term forecasting and so on, to ultimately optimise the asset’s performance.”

April 2017 | network 9


Lightsource Renewable Energy acquires residential solar portfolio Leading European solar company Lightsource Renewable Energy has completed the purchase of a 1.32MW portfolio of residential solar PV installations. Lightsource bought the portfolio, comprising 469 installations, from Ecos Solar Nine in a deal valued at £2.3 million. As part of the deal, Lightsource will receive the feed-in tariff (FiT) payments from the installations and will manage the maintenance of the systems for the length of the FiT term. The portfolio, which has an average installation size of 2.8kW, was introduced to Lightsource by real estate specialists Strutt & Parker. Lightsource is looking

Shopping spree: Lightsource has just acquired a portfolio of residential solar PV installations, over 1MW in size

to invest in growing its residential rooftop solar PV portfolio over the next five years. The company is exploring opportunities to acquire both domestic and commercial systems in 2017. Lightsource also recently launched a buyback scheme where businesses and

homeowners can earn a cash lump sum for their existing rooftop installations. With an O&M fleet in Europe standing at just under 2GW, the company has invested in its own monitoring infrastructure, which allows Lightsource’s inhouse team to monitor

hundreds of thousands of PV systems. Clients can be assured that they will receive the best possible performance from their system in terms of electricity generation, carbon savings and financial savings on their energy bills. Kareen Boutonnat, Lightsource’s chief operating officer, said: “Managing a residential portfolio is not an easy task as it can be difficult to service lots of disparate systems with different components. However, over the last six years we have built up solid in-house expertise in finance, development, asset management and O&M, which gives us the perfect foundation for expansion in this area.”

JinkoSolar supplies 30MW of panels for solar canopy at Chinese Nissan factory Chinese PV module manufacturer JinkoSolar has provided 29.64MW of high efficiency solar panels to power the world’s largest solar canopy. The canopy is being built at the Donfeng Nissan factory in Guangzhou, China. The solar canopy

10 network | April 2017

covers 360,000sq m, about the size of 27 football pitches, which will shelter over 10,000 finished car products made at Dongfeng Nissan as well as the cars of the company’s employees. The installation will produce over 28 million kWh of electricity

annually, enough to offset most of the facility’s annual electricity consumption, saving the equivalent of a quarter of a million pounds sterling in electricity costs every year. “Initiatives like this are setting a good example for car makers to harness

clean, renewable solar power to operate their facilities in a significantly more energy-efficient and cost-effective way. This decentralised solar project will generate both economic as well as environmental benefits,” said Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar.






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Mypower installs solar PV panels on Gloucester Cathedral Gloucester Cathedral has made history as one of the oldest buildings to have a solar PV system installed. Mypower was chosen to carry out the installation following a tender in June last year. Ben Harrison, Mypower’s managing partner, says the interest and publicity the installation has attracted, has already led to enquiries from other owners of Grade I listed buildings across the UK, including two other cathedrals. However, it will be while yet before subsequent expressions of interest come to fruition, due to the length of time permitting can take to complete. Harrison says the project has been an

inspiration to work on. “The care and attention that we’ve put into this – as we do with all our projects – will hopefully show that if Gloucester Cathedral is safe in our hands, then so will other similar buildings that are looking to install solar.” The project involved installing 150 solar PV panels on the nave roof of the cathedral. Due to the shading caused by the parapets and other architectural features of the building, solar optimisers were ‘absolutely necessary’, according to Harrison. To fix the panels to the roof four and half tonnes of concrete ballast was installed. Over a thousand hoists up and

down the cathedral was needed to transport the various components and materials onto the roof. “I spent a few sleepless nights thinking about the installation design, so that for anyone seeing the roof from the tower, it would look like a seamless sea of black modules. So that meant having to ensure that the concrete blocks holding it down did not remain visible,” says Harrison. The nave roof did not provide much in the way of space. “At times it’s been extremely tight in terms of manoeuvrability around parts of the site, particularly when required to work just inches away from centuries-old gargoyles.” Mypower, which along

with Harrison and an office administrator, employs three engineers and electricians, worked alongside the Cathedral’s team, which included an architect and structural engineers. “By keeping the team small and our operations lean we can offer a high quality product and service. It is an approach that has helped see us through the boom-andbust cycles of the industry. We are interested in long term growth.” The company punches above its weight in terms of productivity, having installed 4MW in 2015. Many installations have been on farms, in the Midlands and southwest England, as well as commercial rooftops.

Vikram kicks off year with awards flourish Vikram Solar has taken home prizes from the cream of India’s corporate and renewable energy awards ceremonies. The company bagged the prestigious ‘Fastest Growing Company’ award for the second time in a row, along with the ‘Highest Job Creator’ award (INR 300 – 100 Crore category) at the

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fifth ET Bengal Corporate Awards, held in February 2017 at the Taj Bengal in Kolkata. Prior to that, in January, Vikram was also honoured at the sixth Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) World Awards for ‘Outstanding Contribution in Renewable Energy EPC’. Vikram bagged

the award due to its contribution in the build-out of solar PV infrastructure across India. The company has a portfolio of 130MW of installed solar capacity, and 500MW slated to be installed further by end of the 2016-17 financial year. Other recent key developments include a memorandum of

understanding with the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Vikram and the IIEST will collaborate on solar PV in areas, including knowledge generation, technology exploitation, system development, and applied research to meet the needs of the Indian market.


SMA commissions solar hybrid system in Kenya SMA Solar Technology and its subsidiary SMA Sunbelt Energy have commissioned one of Kenya’s largest solar hybrid systems in Malindi, in East Africa. The 1MW hybrid system comprises solar PV modules and diesel generators. The system generates about 1.6GWh of electricity per year, saving 25% of Krystalline Salt’s future electricity costs. “The 1 MW PV Hybrid System with the SMA Fuel Save Controller 2.0 combines the PV system, electricity grid and diesel generators and ensures that the solar power is used completely for the operation of the

Bird’s eye of view of Krystalline Salt’s solar hybrid system, reducing the company’s energy costs and carbon emissions because less diesel fuel is needed

factory,” said Enrique Garralaga, head of project development at SMA Sunbelt Energy.

Restricted local availability of components and logistics issues posed challenges. SMA worked

with local installer Kenyan Harmonic Systems to complete the project reliably and quickly.

Vector Cuatro acts as technical adviser on the sale of Primrose Solar projects The Spanish firm has advised Primrose Solar from the early stages of its project to the recent divestment, providing technical support during the development and construction phases. Primrose Solar, one of the leading solar PV developers in the UK, recently announced the sale of its five remaining

solar assets totalling 80MW. Primrose Solar’s portfolio peaked at 253MW with 15 solar farms in England and Wales, including some of the largest plants in the country and built under some of the best quality standards that can be found in the UK. Vector Cuatro has

actively participated during all phases of most of these projects. The company has supported the Primrose Solar team from the initial analysis to the sale of the portfolio, providing also the technical support during construction and commissioning. Vector Cuatro entered the UK´s renewable

energy market for the first time in 2011 as technical adviser for solar PV power projects. Since then, the company has carried out several technical advisory projects positioning itself as a key reference in this market. The firm has over 1.5GW of solar PV assets under management.

April 2017 | network 13


BIPVco wins SAB Miller contract and bags two awards UK manufacturer of solar PV-integrated roofs BIPVco is supplying a building owned by the SAB Miller brewery, in Nigeria, and has had its innovative technology recognised by BusinessGreen’s awards. The 2kW buildingintegrated PV (BIPV) roof was installed at the end of 2016, to serve as a pilot for the international brewery to assess the technology’s performance. SAB Miller owns breweries throughout the African continent and is investigating the use of different technologies to create an entirely carbon zero brewery. “Solar generated electricity is a no-brainer for many high consumption businesses, but buildings on the African continent can often lack structural integrity, which rules out use of crystalline silicon PV panels because they are too heavy. That’s where we step in,” says Justin Canning, chief commercial officer at BIPVco. SAB Miller will use the 2kW pilot to satisfy itself that the technology is able to perform in an environment and climate that is often very hot and harsh. “It is an internal process to see that the system works well. Once the company is convinced, it can move forward with further rollouts,

14 network | April 2017

Seamless integration: BIPVco’s lightweight BIPV products can be used on rooftops that lack the structural

over the next 2-3 years.” To make the BIPV roof for the SAB Miller project, 18 sheets of specially coated stainless steel, a product known as Colourcoat Urban, made by Tata at the Shotton Steel works site in North Wales, has been integrated – or functionalised – with solar PV cells. The process embeds the renewable energy generation functionality for the next 30 years of operation. BIPVco’s technology includes a thin layer of photosensitive copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) which are bonded onto the precoated steel substrate. Because of the multiple cell interconnections soldering between the cells is not required. This further increases the cells’ suitability to be attached directly to steel and aluminium roofing materials. About two years ago, a team from SAB Miller became familiar with BIPVco’s technology, through visits to the SPECIFIC programme, led by Swansea University. SPECIFIC, which is funded

by the UK government, is an academic-industrial consortium that aims to derisk the commercialisation of various technologies for making buildings sustainable, through various passive heating, cooling as well as solar generation and storage systems. Many of the technologies are designed to be integrated into a building’s envelope structure. Industrial partners include the chemicals and coatings conglomerate BASF and Tata. Thomas Brewer, process engineering manager at SAB Miller, said: “We are delighted to be associated with this pioneering manufacturing company that has taken the technology of integrating solar photovoltaic cells onto roofing substrates into a new paradigm.” At the BusinessGreen awards, held in December, BIPVco was nominated in four categories, scooping awards in two of these, winning the Solar Technology of the Year and the Clean Tech Start Up of the year awards.

integrity to support conventional flatplate silicon PV modules


Solarwatt to launch MyReserve energy storage system in the UK In the first quarter of 2017, German solar company Solarwatt is to launch its residential and smallscale energy storage system, MyReserve, in the UK. Ahead of the launch in April 2017 the system has been installed in several pilots in the UK, including Northern Ireland and also Ireland, at residential and commercial locations. Two distributors have been selected for the MyReserve system, BHC Distributors, for the Irish market and Wind & Sun for the UK mainland. “We have been working with BHC as our distribution partner since 2011 and we have a great relationship

German solar company is launching its home storage system in the UK and Ireland

based on loyalty and trust on which to build in terms of introducing MyReserve to the market. Wind & Sun have been established for a long time

in the UK market, around 30 years and have also accumulated knowledge and experience around battery and energy storage installations with

solar,” says Pol Spronck, Solarwatt’s international sales manager. In November Solarwatt’s high-performance dual-glass solar PV energy production and MyReserve storage systems, were certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme to mark their compliance with the scheme requirements. All products in power classes up to 305W are now fully certified under the scheme. The output of the glass-glass PV panels are higher over their lifetime, compared with other modules and come with a 30-year warranty.

New UK solar park to power household waste recycling centre Building work has started at Barnfield solar park in Swindon, in England, which will be connected directly by ‘private wire’ to the Swindon household waste recycling centre to power the plant and the depot. Public Power Solutions (PPS), a wholly owned company of Swindon Borough Council, developed the 2.5MW project on the council-

owned former landfill site adjacent to a recycling centre. As well as saving the council money on the energy costs of operating the plant, Barnfield will be one of the last solar farms to benefit from UK government support. Overall the project will generate an additional income for Swindon Borough of approximately £200,000 a year.

The recycling centre houses the UK’s first Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) Plant for municipal waste which is now diverting 97% of Swindon’s domestic rubbish from landfill and producing a valuable energy-generating resource which is displacing fossil fuels. The facility was completed in 2014. Sean Magee, Head of Waste Solutions, PPS,

said: “Operating our SRF plant using solar energy from Barnfield is more sustainable. Not only does it reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, it will also reduce the plant’s running costs.” Council-owned PPS is also looking at other related technologies, such as energy storage, to optimise the amount of renewable energy used to power the plant.

April 2017 | network 15


Leclanché taps into North America’s grid storage demand In 2017 Leclanché will build on its foothold in North America through its partnership with new energy storage owner/ operator Swiss Green Electricity Management

16 network | April 2017


he past year has been a busy one for Swiss battery cell and battery systems provider Leclanché. In April 2016 the company announced the opening of its North American subsidiary office in order to capitalise on opportunities in the US and Canada, following a $28.9 million (£24 million) purchase order to deliver a grid storage system to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The contract covers the battery storage system and power conversion equipment for the project. In November Leclanché announced its role as overall engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and turnkey battery energy storage system provider for the 20MW/10MWh utility-scale Marengo project in Chicago, developed by US company GlidePath Power. The energy storage system will generate revenues from the provision of frequency regulation services into PJM Interconnection’s wholesale power market, one of the largest in North America. Marengo was acquired by (SGEM), an independent owner and operator of energy storage assets based in Europe. In August SGEM and Leclanché signed a preferred partnership agreement, paving the way to a new business model in energy storage.

Anil Srivastava, CEO, Leclanché

LECLANCHÉ SGEM’s aim is to develop a portfolio of energy storage assets with diversified revenue models across different geographies, financed by private investors. The company has a firstmover advantage in energy storage, which provides long-term recurring revenues, and its first investment in PJM’s frequency regulation market demonstrates the high level of interest from European investors in US energy storage assets. According to Leclanché’s CEO Anil Srivastava, the North American market will continue to be a major source of stationary – particularly grid-scale – energy storage demand during 2017 and beyond. SGEM has already identified five further investment projects in the USA, Canada, Germany and other developed markets, equating to approximately 90MW/60MWh. The company has also secured preferred access to a total pipeline of approximately

“For Narada our technology will enable the company to leapfrog the performance of its cell technology allowing it to compete with the South Korean and Japanese manufacturers” 150MW/150MWh of ten grid-scale battery storage projects.

Narada partnership leverages economies of scale

In December Leclanché signed a strategic partnership with Chinese lithium ion battery producer Narada Power. Under the terms of the deal, Narada is licensed to use Leclanché’s lithium titanate (LTO) technology in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and it made a strategic investment in Leclanché. Leclanché will support Narada with the technology transfer to achieve low-cost, volume manufacturing of Leclanché’s proprietary high-cycling and fast-charging LTO and high energy density graphite nickel manganese cobalt (G-NMC) battery storage technologies. “The deal with Narada enables us to monetise our proprietary battery technology,” says Srivastava. “For Narada our technology will enable the company to leapfrog the performance of its cell technology allowing it to compete with the South Korean and Japanese manufacturers.”

With the ability to produce a more advanced LTO cell chemistry, Narada will be able to target the high-growth domestic markets, such as electric transportation – China has the largest electric bus market in the world, worth an estimated $4 billion, according to Navigant Research. Since Narada will produce the batteries on an industrial scale, therefore lowering production cost, the deal will also allow Leclanché to continue to unlock new demand for its lithium ion battery storage technology across stationary, microgrid, commercial and industrial and electric vehicle applications. Narada will manufacture both G-NMC and LTO at its facilities in Hangzhou, China. The company is also planning to open a new 2.5GWh fabrication line in 2017. The Chinese production will complement Leclanché’s manufacturing capability at Willstätt, Germany and Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland. Bo Chen, president of Narada, said: “We are confident that Leclanché’s G-NMC and LTO are advanced-class technologies. Through our cooperation we can drive global-leading technology performance. The alliance provides a foundation for expanding our market share in fast-growing sectors including electric vehicles, renewable energy integration and telecoms.” In Europe, Leclanché is contracted to supply energy storage projects in Germany and is working with partners in the UK which are looking to interface grid services software platforms with advanced modular and scalable battery storage infrastructure. In the UK Leclanché was also selected by North Star Solar in 2016 to supply its TiBox home energy storage system. TiBox uses lithium titanate cells, one of the highest cycling lithium battery chemistries on the market, with a lifetime of 20 years and 20,000 cycles. North Star has introduced a financing model which allows its customers to save on electricity costs with repayments coming directly from energy savings, with no upfront fee. For customers on differential tariffs, where electricity is cheaper during off-peak times during the day, the TiBox system can be used to recharge in off-peak periods and release the energy for use by the customer during peak time when pricing is higher. To do this requires a battery that can recharge and discharge more than once a day with minimal degradation occurring.

April 2017 | network 17


EDF Energy Renewables hands Nidec ASI 50MW UK grid battery contract FRENCH utility EDF Energy Renewables has signed a contract with Nidec ASI to build a battery storage project at its site in West Burton, Nottinghamshire, ready for the first half of 2018. It is the second large-scale battery project made public by a utility in the UK, following Centrica’s announcement of plans to build a 49MW grid battery in December 2016. When built the 49MW battery will provide services to the transmission system operator (TSO) the National Grid’s new 200MW enhanced frequency response market, which will be deployed across the UK to balance the grid. Nidec ASI will supply the battery storage system using its power conversion technology. The system will integrate a power management system developed by EDF Store & Forecast, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles. EDF Energy Renewables won the contract for the 49MW project last August. The utility’s final investment decision in December followed the award of a capacity market agreement from 2020 to 2035, which will ensure longer term revenue streams for the plant as the EFR contract is for four years. With the strong growth of renewable generation and the closure of large power

18 network | April 2017

EDF’s West Burton site, home to 3GW of thermal generation, will soon have 50MW of batteries

plants, battery storage technology supports the stability of the national grid network. The technology can be used to respond quickly to fluctuations in the electricity grid. Storage is expected to play an important role as part of a balanced energy system which will include renewables, nuclear and gas. The EDF deal is the second large order Nidec ASI has received related to National Grid’s first round EFR tender. Nidec ASI is also supplying 90MW-worth of battery storage, using lithium ion technology, to German utility Steag, costing a total of $100 million (£90 million). Nidec ASI was renamed as such in 2012 when Nidec, a Japanese multinational corporation listed on the Japanese Stock Exchange, acquired Italian industrial firm Ansaldo Sistemi

Industriali (ASI). EDF Energy’s West Burton site already has more than 3000MW of thermal generation. Centrica’s lithium ion system, which is being supplied by German firm Younicos, will support multiple, market-driven use cases ranging from peaking to frequency regulation. To be completed by winter 2018, the battery, to be built at the site of the former Roosecote coal and gas-fired power stations in Cumbria, will respond to fluctuations in electrical demand in less than a second. Younicos has already installed over 150MW of battery storage globally. The German-American company provided the software controls for UK Power Network’s 6MW “SmarterNetwork Storage” (SNS) Project, outside London.


Anesco acquires UK storage projects ENERGY efficiency business Anesco has acquired four battery storage projects from Green Hedge Energy, which have been awarded Capacity Market contracts, following the auction results in December 2016. Green Hedge’s battery projects, 10MW apiece, will use lithium ion batteries to store energy then release it at times of peak demand, helping to stabilise the electricity grid. The four projects will be built in 2017 and will operate for 25 years. Located in the

East Midlands and West Sussex, the projects were among the first energy storage schemes to be allocated 15-year contracts in the Capacity Market auction. Green Hedge Energy UK’s commercial director, Tim Marsters, said: “Having successfully taken our first four Energy Barns, totalling 40MW, through planning, contracting, grid connections and capacity market pre-qualification, we are delighted that Anesco has decided to become our development partner to realise them.” Anesco installed its first

Green Hedge is promoting its energy storage systems, termed ‘energy barns’ to land owners in the UK, who may have several spare acres to lease for building grid-balancing batteries

grid battery in the UK two years ago. The company claims to have 100MW of batteries on order for delivery in 2017. Energy storage does not

receive any government subsidies. According to analysis by National Grid, the technology could save consumers hundreds of millions of pounds.

Daimler trials spare part batteries as grid storage plant GERMAN automotive company Daimler Group is in the final stages of constructing a spare lithium ion battery storage facility that will also function as an energy storage plant. Around 3000 of the battery modules, designated as spare parts for Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles (EVs), are being pooled to create a stationary storage facility at a site in Herrenhausen belonging to partner Enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover). When the 15MWh plant goes live in

May 2017 it will provide services for the German primary balancing market. The storage facility is the third large-scale stationary project by Daimler. In the Herrenhausen pilot the batteries have been produced as potential replacements for the third generation Smart EV sold by Daimler subsidiary MercedesBenz. Instead of just putting them onto a shelf until they might be needed to replace the battery

pack in a customer’s EV, Daimler has connected the batteries as part of an energy storage system. If a battery is not in an active mode, being charged, during the time it is stored, it can lead to depth discharge and changes in the cell chemistry, which could have a detrimental impact on the battery’s operational lifetime. The batteries are housed in a controlled environment, which maintains constant temperatures. They are

permitted a limited range of performance within the energy storage system without stressing any individual battery too much. The charging and discharging process is carefully controlled and balanced, using software controls. The lifetime of the battery performing within the energy storage system, will be at least 10 years, and it could be deployed for a further 10 years, either as a replacement battery in an EV or in another stationary storage application.

April 2017 | network 19


UK government announces over £28 million in funding for energy storage and innovation projects THE Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced new funding competitions for energy storage and innovation projects as part of efforts to reduce energy costs. Up to £9 million is being made available to reduce the cost of energy storage technologies, spanning electricity and thermal storage as well as powerto-gas technologies. A further £0.6 million is available to support feasibility studies for a potential first-of-a-kind large-scale future storage demonstrator. The government is also committing up £7.6 million for innovative demonstrations of energy demand side response technologies deployed within the UK commercial and public sector, to reduce energy in peak times and imbue the energy system with more flexibility. The energy storage cost reduction competition comprises two tranches, the first with a deadline in March and the second with a deadline in June. The deadline for the feasibility funding competition was also in March.

20 network | April 2017

To reduce the cost of energy for industry, the government will invest around £9 million in a competition for ‘industrial energy efficiency accelerator’. The competition would help to find new ways of improving the energy efficiency of UK industry, helping to develop industry-specific options for a low carbon future. Delegates attending the Electricity Storage Network’s Annual Symposium in Westminster on 25 January were told of the funding by the Department for BEIS’ Sally Fenton, just after the official announcement. The general consensus during the symposium was that while government funding has been crucial in supporting early stage energy storage R&D projects and pilots, the real challenge is for the government and regulator Ofgem to address policy and regulatory barriers still standing in the way of market-led deployment of commercially viable energy storage technologies, across the transmission and distribution (T&D) system. The competitions form part of the government’s

Highview Power Storage is a British firm commercialising liquid air energy storage, which has received support previously from the UK government to help scale up its technology

commitment to double support for energy innovation, up to £400 million per year in 2021. In January the UK prime minister Theresa May also launched plans for an industrial strategy. Five sectors, which include low CO2 emission vehicles and industrial digitalisation, will receive special support from the government, detailed in a green paper on the new industrial strategy. Ministers have also tasked the government’s chief scientific advisor Sir Mark Walport with deciding if there is a case for the UK establishing an R&D centre for energy storage, batteries and new power grid technology. Energy storage has emerged as a technology that can help the grid operator, National Grid,

continue to manage the grid’s smooth operation, while the proportion of intermittent renewables, like wind and solar PV, in the overall energy mix grows and electricity demand rises, driven by electrification of transportation and heating. Batteries are also at the heart of drivetrains in electric vehicles which the government is backing. “Given the UK’s underlying strengths in science and energy technology, we want to be a global leader in battery technology,” the industrial strategy said. More details about the competitions can be found at news/developing-amodern-industrialstrategy


AES and Mitsubishi win 10MW grid battery deal in India AES and Mitsubishi are to deliver a grid-scale energy storage system to the electric grid operated by Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL). The two companies will develop and own the 10MW Advancion energy storage array, which will manage peak loads, increase flexibility in the system and help ensure grid reliability for over 7 million electricity customers in the region. The battery will be built in Rohini, Delhi at a site operated by Tata Power-DDL. The array will provide peak load management, grid stability, and renewable

integration services in the region when operational by the end of 2017. The project is one of the first grid-scale storage installations in India. “For a rooftop solar programme to be successful, the distribution network has to integrate energy storage to take care of power generation spikes and fluctuations, system stability, reactive power compensation and grid emergencies. Tata Power-DDL has implemented many smart grid technologies. This project will prove to be an important learning curve for developing integrated rooftop solar and storage

solutions for India,” said Praveer Sinha, CEO of Tata Power-DDL. India plans to install 160GW of solar and wind generation over the next five years and energy storage will play a critical role in ensuring its integration into the grid. “Rapidly growing generation capacity will need large scale deployment of energy storage for transmission decongestion, protecting processing plants from grid frequency and voltage drop triggered outages,” said Rajendra Shrivastav, president of AES India. “We expect electricity regulators in India will understand and

appreciate the value of ancillary services these storage systems bring into the system operation.” AES has installed 166MW of energy storage capacity, which is in operation. A further 270MW is in construction or late stage development across seven countries, four continents, and eight different power markets. AES and Mitsubishi Corporation signed an Alliance agreement in February 2016, combining the capabilities of both companies to ensure Advancion is available for sale to customers in markets across Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

London home energy storage pilot scheme kicks off In December 2016 households in London began taking part in a new pilot to test the suitability of home storage systems to tackle fuel poverty. In the 24/7 Solar project, which is being funded by the British charity National Energy Action (NEA), Moixa, Sonnen and Growatt are supplying the energy storage systems to be trialled. The systems are installed in 40 homes and properties across three boroughs – Camden,

Islington and Waltham Forest, in north and northeast London. The London Borough of Camden is delivering the pilot. NEA is interested in the benefits to fuel poor customers of storing electricity generated by solar PV during the daytime and supplement a household’s evening use with stored energy. Findings from the pilot will enhance current understanding of the role that home battery storage technologies can play in

reducing domestic energy costs. The systems each contain different lithium ion battery technology and are managed by each of the suppliers’ proprietary software controls. The evaluation will consider the costeffectiveness of the each energy storage system. Camden Council is administering the scheme to fit the batteries into council-owned and tenanted street properties in Camden, Islington and

Waltham Forest. Other partners include North Star Solar, which is financing the solar PV systems in the scheme and sourced the battery models being trialled. Lakehouse is managing the project and Solgain is installing the solar PV and storage systems. The project aims to significantly reduce household electricity bills and will this will be monitored and verified through robust evaluation.

April 2017 | network 21


Packing value into EV batteries Car maker Daimler Group is targeting grid storage as another market for its advanced lithium ion batteries


onstruction is well underway for a €500 million expansion of Daimler’s lithium ion battery plant in Kamenz, in Germany, while battery production continues to ramp up along with the release of more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by the carmaker. Daimler was one of the first to market with an all-electric car. But with the unveiling of its all-electric concept SUV, the EQ, at the Paris Motor show exhibition in October 2016, with a range of 500km, the company demonstrated how EV performance is starting to catch up with mainstream internal combustion engine (ICE) models. The EQ, powered entirely by lithium ion battery modules, will hit production in 2019. Later in 2017, the automaker plans to launch the fuel cell electric version of its GLC SUV, which includes plug-in hybrid technology, to achieve a 500km range. Madeleine Herdlitschka, spokesperson for Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Cars division, says: “All- electric cars form part of a much wider portfolio within Mercedes-Benz, which is dominated by increasingly fuel-efficient ICE vehicles due to the integration of 48-volt battery systems in combination with starter generators, as well as a wide range of plug-in hybrids.”

In November 2016 Daimler announced the creation of a joint venture with other global carmakers, including BMW, Ford and Volkswagen Group, that will deploy a high-powered direct current (DC) charging network for battery EVs covering longdistance travel routes in Europe. The systems will have power levels up to 350kW, to reduce charging time compared with currently available systems. Initially 400 sites are planned in Europe, based on the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard. .

Setting sights on stationary storage

In setting up Mercedes Benz Energy in 2016, Daimler is also unlocking stationary storage demand for the lithium ion battery modules

“In addition, software is needed to drive the batteries – not every cell is 100% the same, in terms of performance”

produced by its subsidiary Accumotive, ranging from home storage systems for solar PV self-consumption to multi-megawatt grid battery plants for utilities and large commercial and industrial customers. Daimler is also showing how the battery Investing in EV infrastructure packs that are retired from its electric By 2025 Daimler Group aims to have vehicles can be repurposed to support grid launched more than 10 pure electric vehicle balancing. models, not just cars but also vans and In September 2016 a 13MWh lithium ion commercial transportation vehicles. By then, battery system in Lünen, Westphalia, started when rooftop solar PV coupled home energy commercial operation. The battery plant’s storage systems are more widely available, output is providing grid balancing services EVs can be charged at home using clean in Germany’s primary control power market. energy. All of the plant’s battery systems are from The new generation of electric vehicles second generation Mercedes Benz smart will be based on an architecture developed fortwo electic cars. Accumotive reprocesses specifically for battery-electric models. The the lithium-ion batteries. Forty-six of the architecture is scalable and can be used battery systems with a capacity of 600kWh across all models. The wheelbase and track form a string. A total of a thousand batteries width as well as all other system components, are installed in Lünen. especially the batteries, are variable due to the “The systems must, of course, be tested modular building-block system. before they are reused, the power electronics

22 network | April 2017


must be rebuilt and battery management system must be configured accordingly. In addition, software is needed to drive the batteries – not every cell is 100% the same, in terms of performance,” says Herdlitschka. The 13MWh grid battery is the result of a joint venture between Daimler, The Mobility House, a company that has developed technology to integrate electric vehicle batteries into the power grid, and energy services provider Getec. Reusing the modules from electric cars in a battery storage system doubles their economic value and can also ensure lithium ion batteries can achieve their full operational lifetimes, in a second application, rather than going to waste. The final partner is German waste and recycling group Remondis, which will finally recycle the batteries once they have reached the end of their operational lifetime. The battery plant itself operates from Remondis’ Lippe plant.

Cradle to grave

High performance, carefully maintained lithium ion batteries can end up having a useful life of 20 years or more. Working with companies, such as Remondis, Getec and The Mobility House enables Daimler to implement a cradle-to-grave lifecycle programme for all of the batteries coming out of its factory, from the vehicles they first go into, to reconditioning for other EV

The power behind the electrified drivetrain: A lithium ion battery module that will be used in the MercedesBenz all-electric SUV model, due to enter the market in 2019

applications, or repurposing for grid storage, up to the point when they are eventually collected and recycled with the separated and reprocessed raw materials being fed back into the production cycle. Since installing its 13MWh stationary storage plant Daimler Group has developed another stationary storage plant for grid balancing. Around 3000 of the battery modules, designated as spare parts for the third generation Mercedes-Benz Smart EV are being pooled to create a stationary storage facility in Herrenhausen at a site belonging to utility partner Enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover). The 15MWh plant will go live by May 2017. The pilot project could be applicable wherever local production of batteries takes place, as car makers like Daimler will need to make sufficient numbers of spare parts, including EV batteries. The other big EV markets are the US and China. The batteries are housed in a controlled environment, designed to maintain constant temperatures and permit a limited range of performance. The charging and discharging process is controlled by specialist software. In future when EV demand is sufficient to justify the building of local battery production plants, the approach deployed in Daimler’s Herrenhausen pilot could be replicated in partnership with local providers of grid services.

April 2017 | network 23


Charge up and go The Netherlands is paving the way in the deployment of fast-charging infrastructure for electric cars


astned is the company behind the expansion of electric car fast-charging infrastructure across the Netherlands. Company co-founder Michiel Langezaal used to work at Epyon, a Dutch start-up developing fast-charging technology, which was bought by ABB in 2011. Prior to the acquisition, Langezaal, along with one of Epyon’s investors, Bart Lubbers, began thinking about the practical challenges of implementing and commercialising fastcharging infrastructure. They went to the Dutch government and inquired about how a company could apply to acquire locations for building fast-charging stations on the service areas along motorways. When the Dutch government tendered the first fast charging concessions for all 245 locations, Fastned, which was set up in 2012, secured 200 of them for 15 years. “In the Netherlands there are about 4,500 petrol stations. Only a small share of that number are really profitable, and that is down to their location, while the rest do just okay or worse. When they went to tender, we

“It has been important to establish the right locations first, you can add more chargers later, or more higher power chargers later, as demand grows” acquired concessions to build and operate charging stations on most of the sites service areas along the Dutch motorways. Well known locations, which already had very profitable petrol stations and restaurants – we identified these as being good places to build our fast charging stations,” he says.

Roll out

In November 2013 the company opened its first five fast-charging stations. Since then it has increased this number to nearly 60, most of which are located on Dutch motorways.

24 network | April 2017

Recently Fastned opened its first two urban fast-charging stations, both in the Dutch city of The Hague. By 2019 the plan is to have 200 fast charging stations open for business on motorways and in more cities in the Netherlands. Across Fastned’s growing network of fast charging stations, the average usage rate is around 2-4% and this is increasing rapidly. “As demand for electric cars grows, not every driver will have access to a charging pole on their street or at home, especially as some municipalities have now stopped installing them. This will make fast-charging the only option for more EV drivers,” says Langezaal. On the technology side, batteries are getting bigger in terms of capacity and charging rates are also going to increase, all of which will lead to increased usage of fastcharging stations. Customer usage of Fastned’s fast-charging stations varies, from occasional drivers who only drive their electric cars at the weekend, so perhaps need to fill up once a month, to electric taxis that are using the stations to charge the equivalent of 60,000km a year,

Fastned recently opened one its first urban fastcharging stations, in the Dutch city of The Hague

SPECIAL FOCUS: E-MOBILITY to lease car drivers that charge every other day.

UK prospects

Outside of its domestic market of the Netherlands, Fastned is working on expanding its network to the UK, where government agency Transport for London (TfL) has put out a tender to issue concessions for fast charging stations in Greater London. “The Netherlands grasped early on that fast charging infrastructure is needed on motorways to sustain the transition to electric cars and that incumbent oil companies should not be allowed to decide whether or not they will support that transition. In other countries, like Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland, governments are yet to understand this. In the UK TfL is definitely on the same page as the Dutch government.” Langezaal adds: “Our experience shows that it may be some time before the actual locations become operational, since gaining grid connections and permits can take time.”

Fastned’s offering

Fastned’s fast-charging stations have been designed to stand out. Each station has at least two fast chargers, and is covered in a yellow canopy, made from wood. The canopy roof itself is made from solar cells sandwiched between glass layers. To use the stations, and pay, drivers have to sign up via an app. WiFi is available at all the stations. For EV drivers that are doing most of their charging at home, but occasionally refuel at a Fastned station, they pay €0.59/ kWh. Other payment packages include a subscription fee of €29.99 a month reducing the cost of charging at a Fastned station to €0.19/kWh, which is comparable to retail electricity rates in the Netherlands.


“We decided a smart phone app was the most simple and straightforward way of signing up customers and for them to pay, rather than use charge cards. Creating the app and putting all the required interfaces in

A map of locations where fast-charging stations are based in the Netherlands

place was hard but it has paid off,” Langezaal says. Another early challenge for the company was the design of the canopy. “We wanted the solar cells to be seen when people look up, but at the time there were not that many solar glass products available, although this is changing rapidly and today you see them more and more in public infrastructure like railway station roofs.” The company has focused on forming an entire supply chain, which has helped speed up the process and drive down the cost of building its stations. The company is now able to install one station a week. “One of the aspects of the process which can take up quite some time is the grid connection access, because often the distribution system operator requires additional permits and their engineering can take up to several months,” he says. In all of the station locations, more chargers can be added. “It has been important to establish the right locations first, you can add more chargers later, or more higher power chargers later, as demand grows.” All of the chargers that Fastned installs are supplied by ABB though the company is not tied into an exclusive relationship. Upgraded fast-chargers, 150kW for CHAdeMO and CCS, are expected to be market ready by the end of 2017.

“As demand for electric cars grows, not every driver will have access to a charging pole on their street or at home, especially as some municipalities have now stopped installing them. This will make fast-charging the only option for more EV drivers”

April 2017 | network 25


Future energy storage opportunities

Solar PV demand is growing, even as incentives are being done away with, because the technology is now so affordable, so does Fastned see opportunities for energy storage in combination with fast-charging to enable higher levels of solar penetration in the grid? “We see fast-charging as a very complementary technology to solar because our data shows that most charging from our

Paying to recharge at Fastned’s stations is easily done via an app

Fastned’s CEO, Michiel Langezaal

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stations occurs in the daytime. Storage is interesting but given today’s battery prices you need several use cases to pencil out the economics of installing energy storage,” according to Langezaal. “For example, where cars are charging either at dawn or dusk, it may make sense to have some onsite storage to optimise the use of solar PV output for car charging.” The fast charging technology roadmap means that 300kW systems will follow on from 150kW systems. “If you have a couple of 300kW fast chargers at a site, you are looking at more costly grid connections, which depending on the station’s utilisation you might not require all the time. Installing a battery instead would allow the station to use a smaller grid connection by powering the chargers with energy stored in the battery, as opposed to drawing more power from the grid,” Langezaal says. Fastned is also one of a few entities with access to the medium voltage grid all over the Netherlands. “In future we could be in a position to inject or absorb electricity, to be paid to provide grid balancing services to the transmission system operator. As battery prices continue to fall, it will help to make a case for deploying storage at some of our sites more compelling,” he says.


Together in electric cars PHOTO: AUTOLIB

Advances in technology – from algorithmic software-based car-share and ride hailing platforms to higher performance lithium ion batteries – is driving a transformation in mobility, helping to unlock opportunities for distributed generation

Autolib, operated by the Bolloré industrial group, is an EV sharing platform set up in Paris in 2011


obility is due for a revolution. A white paper published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and McKinsey in the final quarter of 2016 states as much. Continued urban growth, and the ensuing congestion, plus the rapid maturing of several technologies underpinning the transformation of different facets of mobility, will change how people get around in future, as well as how cars and other forms of transportation are powered. A co-author of the report, Colin McKerracher, Head of Advanced Transport at BNEF, says: “We felt that research had looked at all these trends separately, but by looking at them together we saw there were more reinforcing effects than people initially realised. For instance, EVs still have high upfront costs, but car-sharing, as one of the other key mobility trends addressed in the report, can improve the economics of EVs as shared vehicles are used more intensively.” According to An Integrated Perspective on the Future of Mobility more shared mobility, could drive up electric vehicle (EV) sales. In turn, higher EV demand and production investment to meet that demand will accelerate innovation and will drive down

the cost of batteries, the single largest cost component of EVs today. Higher adoption of EVs opens up opportunities to deploy adjacent technologies, like distributed energy storage. Broadening the application of distributed generation, such as solar-plus-storage, as part of EV-charging infrastructure could improve the greenhouse gas abatement of EVs because more of their ‘fuel’ would come from clean resources. While EVs will contribute on average a modest 3% of all vehicle sales by 2020, in some countries sales penetration will be much higher. McKerracher says: “EVs represent 30% of all vehicles sales in Norway. Much of this demand has been triggered by generous government subsidies by the Norwegian government.” However, even in the UK, the government is showing its support for EVs. In the chancellor’s recent Autumn statement, the government will put £80 million towards supporting EV charging infrastructure, as part of wider measures to support a long term target of nearly every car and van being zero emissions by 2050. Other measures to support adoption of EVs include enhanced capital allowances for businesses installing recharging infrastructure, as well as continuation of the salary sacrifice scheme for ultra-low emission vehicles and new lower company car tax bands for the lowest emitting cars. “The UK is moving in the right direction in terms of providing incentives and support to encourage adoption of EVs. Policy support is going to be important in new EV markets and to encourage pure-play charging infrastructure players to supply the infrastructure that will be needed,” says McKerracher.

“Second life EV batteries probably have a window, but that starts to close as batteries continue to get cheaper and their performance continues to improve”

April 2017 | network 27


High mileage improves the relative economics of EVs Total cost of ownership ($/mile, 2025) 0.4


Internal combustion engine Battery electric vehicle




13.5 Average private car (US household)

35.5 Cost competitiveness

70 Shared car (New York taxi)

Annual mileage (’000 miles)

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, McKinsey

EVs are likely to benefit when governments in countries like the UK, Germany and China, which have domestic automotive industries, view the technology through an industrial policy, rather than a renewables ‘lens’. “These governments want to make sure that important established industries, like automotive, are not left behind, whereas with something like solar PV that’s harder to do, when most of the manufacturing now occurs overseas. In the UK, making EVs part of industrial policy will give the sector the push it needs,” according to McKerracher.

Continued reduction in battery costs

Falling prices of lithium ion batteries, enabled by large investments in production capacities, especially in Asia, have helped to unlock demand for EVs. According to BNEF, which has been tracking lithium ion battery prices, these have fallen by 73% between 2010 and 2016. McKerracher says: “Based on our calculations for 2016, there has been a 22% drop in prices since 2015. We don’t see an immediate end in sight in the next few years.” Cost decreases brought about by scaling production of lithium ion batteries are also helping to drive the adoption of stationary energy storage markets, where lithium ion chemistry remains the technology of choice. However, despite the growing adoption of stationary storage in markets like the US and

28 network | April 2017

Europe for grid-balancing type services and for renewables integration, the estimated 38GWh of lithium ion batteries in vehicles on the road today is far more than the installed grid and stationary storage capacity. With lack of lithium battery recycling infrastructure in place, and increasing volumes

“In the UK, making EVs part of industrial policy will give the sector the push it needs” of lithium ion batteries expected to come out of vehicles over the next decade and beyond, the concept of second life – where ex-EV batteries are repurposed for stationary storage applications – is gaining currency. For instance car maker Nissan at its plant in north-east England has started collecting and testing EV batteries that have taken out of its vehicles, to supply to partners such as Eaton for incorporating into energy storage systems. Mercedes-Benz is also piloting second-life EV batteries in stationary storage systems to help with grid balancing. BNEF estimates that it will cost about $50/ kWh (£40/kWh) to repurpose an EV battery pack for a grid storage application. Potentially a viable second life market for exEV batteries can help to enhance the residual value of EVs and has been touted as a solution of what to do with large volumes of batteries

SPECIAL FOCUS: E-MOBILITY without recycling infrastructure in place. But, there are lots of challenges to establishing the market, from delineating ownership and endof-life responsibility of assets that could end up deployed in not one, but two different markets. McKerracher says: “There is also a question mark over whether used batteries, which have already been deployed in a car for 7-8 years, are going to meet the warranty and financing requirements of utility-scale grid projects. Large volumes of batteries will be coming out of the EV industry that are not fit for purpose for second life applications, so the ultimate question remains, which is about how these are recycled. Tesla, which is in the business of making new EV batteries, has publicly said its batteries will go into recycling and not second life applications.” Handling large volumes of large format batteries for recycling is going to be an issue the industry has to deal with at some point in future. “Second life EV batteries probably have a window, but that starts to close as batteries continue to get cheaper and their performance continues to improve. We could see the market establish itself but start to fall off by the mid2020s as recycling capacity scales up,” he thinks.

Key excerpts from An Integrated Perspective on the Future of Mobility

An Integrated Perspective on the Future of Mobility identifies trends affecting mobility. The core trends identified are vehicle electrification, shared mobility and autonomous driving. Ancillary trends identified include connectivity and the internet of things; urbanisation and other macroeconomic trends and decentralisation of the energy system. The paper looks at the reinforcing effects of some of these trends in combination. These include:

An uptake in shared mobility will accelerate vehicle electrification

Relative to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, electric cars have high upfront costs – the battery – offset by lower marginal costs: electricity is generally much cheaper than petrol and maintenance costs are lower. Consequently the higher mileage driven by shared cars helps advance the point at which EVs become cost-competitive. At the same time the higher mileage that a typical ride-hailing vehicle clocks up will also reduce its lifespan, accelerating the transition time to next generation cars that are fully

electric and autonomous. For every 10% increase in shared mobility as a proportion of the total, the cumulative number of EVs sold in 2015-30 could increase by 5%.

Electric vehicle production at scale would accelerate battery cost reductions with multiple effects

A high uptake – and corresponding production increase – of EVs could speed up the rate at which battery prices fall, in turn improving the relative economics of electric cars and speeding up their adoption. This could also unlock new battery applications such as home energy storage for increased solar selfconsumption or increased consumption of electricity from the grid at cheaper tariff rates. The expected cost reduction per cumulative doubling of manufactured volumes of EV lithium-ion batteries is around 16-20% in line with historical trends. If such rates were to hold the production volumes of EVs could drive battery costs down to below $100/kWh in the next decade, without any additional technology breakthroughs. This in turn could enable more intermittent renewable energy to be added to the grid, as EV batteries can use the excess energy and play a part in grid balancing, improving the overall emissions profile of an EV.

Self-driving EVs – private and shared – will change the requirements for EV charging infrastructure

Having the right charging infrastructure available could have a reinforcing effect on the uptake of electric cars and vice versa. However the locations and types of charging platforms would need to be different for private EVs versus future shared self-driving vehicles. The latter would have higher usage, favouring fast-charging methods and could navigate autonomously to cheaper recharging locations. Equally, a lack of appropriate infrastructure could slow the electrification of shared vehicles.

Increasing renewable power generation will make EVs more attractive as a means to reduce the carbon intensity of the transport sector

Even in countries with high amounts of coal generation, like China, EVs have lower CO2 emissions per mile driven than the average ICE vehicle. Even with aggressive assumptions about improvements to internal combustion engine technology, EVs will still have lower CO2 emissions per mile by 2030.

April 2017 | network 29

SPECIAL FOCUS: E-MOBILITY Moreover this differential will increase after 2023 as the share of renewable power generation grows faster than ICE engines can improve. EVs thus become an attractive means by which to decarbonise the transport sector as a whole.

Blurring the boundaries

Changes in the mobility system threaten to erode the boundaries that exist today both within and between sectors. New business opportunities look set to emerge in various areas including autonomy platforms, autonomous services and decentralised power generation, storage and charging. EVs will have a limited impact on the power sector in the next 15 years, but this looks set to rise quickly thereafter in select regions. By 2030, EVs could represent as much as 3% of global electricity demand. In Europe, EVs could represent 4% of total electricity, offsetting a general decline in demand of this form of energy for other uses. In Asia the additional demand for electricity from EVs is expected to be small compared with overall demand. From 2030 to 2040, EVs are expected to start making a greater contribution to overall demand for electricity. According to BNEF, light electric vehicles could add 8% to global electricity demand by 2040. Operating charging infrastructure may be a natural opportunity for utilities. However, the extent and composition of public charging infrastructure needed is still unclear and will likely remain so until there is more certainty on average vehicle range. The next generation of purely electric vehicles will have ranges of over 300km, which increases the number of trips between overnight charging at home, which will reduce the need for public or workplace charging of private EVs. More EV charging infrastructure – home, work and public – offers the potential to reduce peaks in electricity demand and improve average utilization of the power system, provided most charging takes place during offpeak periods. Conversely, uncontrolled charging could exacerbate spikes in demand. Utilities could use incentives, such as time-of-use pricing, to deliver a strong price signal in favour of off-peak charging, to help mitigate the contribution of electric car and other vehicles to peak demand. Today over 20 utilities already offer time-of-use charging tariffs aimed specifically at US EV owners,

30 network | April 2017

Local impacts of EV charging: UK example For the UK the white paper examines how EV charging could aect total electricity demand under three charging profiles. The first scenario assumes a fixed charging profile for all EVs in the UK, based on current observed EV charging patterns with time-of-use rates in place. This is intended to represent EV charging behaviour today. In the second profile, all vehicle charging takes place flexibly at the time of day when wholesale prices are at their lowest, while still accounting for the time needed to charge. This could minimize the impact on peak demand and improve overall capacity utilization factors. This pattern would also result in much lower CO2 emissions per electric mile driven, as the lowest wholesale price typically corresponds with high levels of renewable generation by 2030. The third profile is a blend of the two previous profiles, with daytime charging (between 06:00 and 19:00), following fixed charging patterns, but with night time charging dispatched when wholesale power prices are lowest. A flexible profile would have the lowest CO2 emissions, due to rising amounts of solar. In the example above, the weighted average emissions from EV charging in the flexible profile would fall from 253gCO2/kWh in 2015 to 76gCO2/kWh in 2030. The overall impact is still limited, but would become more pronounced after 2030 as EV penetration rises. Even at modest levels of EV penetration in 2030, EV charging would improve average system utilization and prevent curtailment of renewable generation.

where peak prices are roughly two to five times higher than off-peak rates. Utilities may also have to adjust rate structures in step with the continued build-out of solar PV. To best capture the benefits from a system-efficiency and emissions perspective, utilities and regulators in these areas may consider rate-based public or workplace charging infrastructure investments. California, for example, is in the early stages of this approach with all three investor-owned utilities making or proposing investments in charging infrastructure funded through electricity rates. This approach could also help reduce curtailment of renewable power generation. An increase in shared vehicle fleets, may open up new key accounts for utilities. Utilities may look to target these groups with specific rate plans as their share of electricity consumption rises. Utilities are likely to be highly supportive of the rise of EVs, as they represent a major source of new load growth over the coming decades.

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Putting carparks to work Solar carports have seen little deployment in the UK, but one company aims to change that


High profile demo

A major building contractor is developing the project. “We design, supply and install the solar PV canopy. We’ll also be working closely with the energy storage system provider,” says Murphy. “When it is complete we think it is going to serve as a highprofile demonstration to show other city councils how they can transform similar public parking and park-and-ride sites for additional revenue.” Over the past five years Sunfixings has been refining its systems. “On the utilityscale side our designs have changed many times over the past year as our experience of varied site conditions, installation methods, options such as battery storage

32 network | April 2017

and LED lighting, EV charging points, digital advertising has emerged,” says Murphy. Even though other companies are looking at supplying solar carport structures, Murphy says: “We have put substantial technical and financial resource into this new product development and we now believe we are ahead of our competitors such that we are ready to supply and install within very efficient delivery lead times using high quality products.” The company employs 16 staff. Installations using its solar PV mountings include One Fenchurch Street, the Walkie, Talkie Building and South Bank Tower in London. Supermarket customers include Sainsbury’s and ALDI. As part of efforts to commercialise its utility-scale solar PV carport structures and canopies Sunfixings has set up a new subsidiary company, Solar Perfect. “Based on feedback from our customers, including building contractors, they were more comfortable with a single source doing entire turnkey projects for solar carports, using an established network of installers,” Murphy says.

Below: Cathal Murphy, Sunfixing’s MD, standing under one of the company’s solar PV carport structures

Extending solar opportunities LISTED buildings, older properties, living in areas of outstanding natural beauty, can all impede permitting for a rooftop solar PV system. Sunfixings has developed a bespoke solar PV carport structure, which includes building integrated PV (BIPV) modules to provide a less imposing method of enabling homes and old buildings to generate solar electricity. The range includes steel and aluminium systems that incorporate wood panels so the system fits in with the building and the surrounding area. The systems can incorporate battery storage to enable the building to optimise its solar self-consumption as well as provide sufficient energy to recharge EVs.


ity councils, hospitals, factories, schools and airports are starting to realise the added value that solar PV can offer to their open spaces, to provide a new revenue stream. One company that has developed solar carport systems is Sunfixings, which was set up in 2011 to supply solar PV mounting structures. In the last few months, the company, which is based in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, has received enquiries for system sizes up to 2.4MW and has installed a 42kW system at a call centre in Portsmouth, southern England, for the energy supplier SSE, as well as a 30kW system for the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Africa. Sunfixings is able to supply and install single carport structures as well as projects for utility and commercial customers. In the first half of 2017 the company will install a project for a city council in the UK, says managing director Cathal Murphy. The 1MW solar carport will be installed at a park-and-ride carpark. The project will also incorporate battery storage. The electricity generated in the day as well as the energy stored in the batteries will be sold to a neighbouring recycling plant at cheap rates. Electrical vehicle (EV) charging points will also be installed as part of the project.


Solar central to Vietnam’s renewable energy ambition In south-east Asia focus is turning to the potential for solar in Vietnam, which could provide export opportunities, especially once a long-awaited FiT is introduced



ietnam is one of south-east Asia’s fastest growing economies. Faced with a growing population – in the region of 92 million today – with its rising appetite for goods and services, continued migration to cities and increased economic activity in industrial and service sectors, the government is under pressure to provide adequate and reliable energy supply, if Vietnam’s policy of socially inclusive economic growth is to be maintained.

Renewables potential

Vietnam has significant potential for renewable energy, especially solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass, and small hydropower. Discounting hydropower, renewable and clean power generation is negligible. The total potential for small hydropower generation exceeds 7.2GW. Some of the best wind resource can be found in Vietnam which has an estimated

‘The total technical potential for solar power generation in Vietnam is estimated to be at around 13GW. To date 4.5MW has been built, for R&D and other small projects’ 27.7GW of wind energy potential. Gridconnected wind power in operation stands at over 100MW. The total technical potential for solar power generation in Vietnam is estimated to be at around 13GW. To date 4.5MW has been built, for R&D and other small projects. On 18 March 2016, the Vietnamese government approved the adjustments of Seventh Vietnam Power Development Plan, from 2011-2020, with an outlook to 2030.

34 network | April 2017

Alongside Singapore and Thailand, Vietnam has one of the highest electrification rates – where most households are connected to the grid or have access to electricity – in south-east Asia. According to the revised PDP VII, Vietnam aims to increase its renewable energy share in power production from 3.7% in 2015 to 6.5% in 2020 and 10% in 2030. Though renewables’ share was forecast to grow from 4GW in 2020 to 14GW in the original PDP VII, in the revised plan the government expects the share of renewables to grow from 6GW from 2020 to 27GW in 2030. However, coal will continue to dominate electricity generation. Following the publication of the revised PDP VII a workshop was held in May 2016 in Hanoi on renewable energy development in Vietnam, organised by the General Department of Energy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the UN Development Programme. At the workshop, Pham Trong Thuc, director of Renewable Energy Department under the General Department of Energy, presented the Renewable Energy Development Strategy, which links to the revised PDP VII. Under this strategy solar

Compared with its south-east Asian neighbours, including Thailand, Vietnam is a latecomer to solar, but the government recently identified 13GW of potential


power will increase from a negligible level at present up to 850MW in 2020, 4GW in 2025 and 12GW in 2030, which would require exploiting most of Vietnam’s estimated solar potential.

Solar surge

If this is achieved the share of solar power in total electricity production shall account for 0.5% in 2020, 1.6% in 2025 and 3.3% in 2030. Conversely prospects for wind under the revised PDP VII are less ambitious, even though there is an installed capacity of gridconnected wind in Vietnam of about 100MW today, significantly more compared with solar PV, which is less than 5MW. Wind has not seen the same sharp rate of cost declines that solar PV has gone through, over the past five years. Solar continues to fall in price, so that the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) of solar PV in a growing number of markets around the world is now close to or crossing that of wind power. Any strategy towards increased electricity generation capacity over the long-term also requires commensurate investment in grid infrastructure, especially when significant amounts of intermittent renewable energy resources are added to the energy mix. According to the Vietnamese government, a priority is also to continue extending and upgrading the grid. To address grid overload, which can occur when there is an increase in intermittent renewable energy generation on points of the network, there will be increased investment in expanding the 220kV distribution grid. In addition to investing in new transformer stations, smart grid

The British Consulate General (Department for International Trade) in Ho Chi Minh City hosts a variety of networking events to help promote British business, trade and industry interests in Vietnam

“Even with a lack of FiT there is a lot of investor interest with some solar PV projects having already signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for $0.11/kWh” technologies, such as energy storage, will also be applied in the distribution grid.

Incentives needed

With a target of 12GW, solar is expected to be the largest contributing clean and sustainable non-hydro resource to helping Vietnam reach its target for building

sufficient generation capacity, whilst reducing reliance on fossil fuel generation. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is expected to issue a feed-in tariff (FiT) for solar before mid-2017 as part of the first Solar Decree ever issued in Vietnam. According to an anonymous source working with the MOIT, a FiT rate of $0.09/ kWh and $0.10/kWh for grid-connected solar PV plants has been recommended. According to observers, shortage of policies on tariffs for renewable energy, especially solar electricity, has prevented the sector from attracting investors. Wind and solar development projects are concentrated in central Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces, while other areas including Quang Ngai, Thua Thien Hue, Ha Tinh, Hau Giang and Bac Lieu, are also attracting interest from investors.


Still, the lack of clarification on incentive mechanisms for solar, has not stopped domestic investors from developing projects. In 2015, construction firm Thien Tan Group announced it had started construction of a 19.2MW solar PV project in the Quang Ngai province costing $40 million (£32 million). Thien Tan Group’s pipeline is substantial. It includes a project in Ninh Thuan province, with a capacity up to 2GW. In 2015 the company announced plans to build a 1GW solar PV plant, which is estimated to cost $2 billion. It then petitioned the government to extend this to 2GW, which has been confirmed, according to the company’s website. In February 2016, Thien Tan Group and First Solar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), targeting utility-scale project development in Vietnam. Under the

April 2017 | network 35

COUNTRY INSIGHT: VIETNAM MoU First Solar will provide its thin-film PV modules for Thien Tan’s project development pipeline. In hot and humid climates thin-film modules, like First Solar’s cadmium telluride (CdTe) technology, can achieve better efficiencies and perform more reliably than crystalline silicon modules. In October 2016, China’s JinkoSolar Holding confirmed that it is developing a 40MW solar PV park in Vietnam’s Hau Giang province. The facility, to be located in Phung Hiep district’s Hoa An commune, is expected to require a total investment of $54 million. Other companies that are also reportedly developing solar PV projects in Vietnam, include international developer Kimin Power, which has built several solar farms in the UK. The company is developing a 150MW solar PV plant, costing in the region of $225 million. The first phase is expected to be 50MW in size. According to a source, even with a lack of FiT there is a lot of investor interest with some solar PV projects having already signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for $0.11/ kWh, more than many observers expect will be the final FiT amount in the upcoming decree.

‘In 2015, Thien Tan Group announced it had started construction of a 19.2MW solar PV project in the Quang Ngai province and costing $40 million’ International solar investors and developers that are entering the market include companies from many countries including Germany, Canada and the US. There is also lots of scope in Vietnam for rooftop solar PV development and according to the Department of New and Renewable Energy, a net-metering scheme is under consideration. In July 2016 the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Dragon Capital Group, and Energy Conservation Center announced they were supporting an initiative to help businesses in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Long An, and Dong Nai to develop rooftop solar PV systems. The initial phase of the ‘Supporting Southern Vietnam Solar Photovoltaic

36 network | April 2017

The Solar Hub THE UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, along with Dragon Capital Group, Artelia and Energy Conservation Center announced in 2016 they were supporting an initiative to help businesses in Vietnamese cities to develop rooftop solar PV systems. Since the announcement of the Solar Hub initiative, more than 80 projects from interested parties have been reviewed, with 14 of these chosen for pre-feasibility studies. The total installed capacity of the 14 projects amounts to 12,800kW. The programme also promotes and supports the supporting mechanisms for solar investment, under draft form by the Vietnamese government, which should be made law by mid-2017. Solar Hub has also built a dedicated website,, to provide a calculation tool for rooftop solar PV systems, legal frameworks, information on the pre-feasibility Studies, investors, suppliers, contractors, and a database to support solar power development in southern provinces and Vietnam.

Development’ (Solar Hub) initiative, with financial support from the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund, will last until March 2017. Technical support will be offered to selected rooftop solar power systems to conduct pre-feasibility studies, solar radiance resource measurement, and financial viability evaluation. The Solar Hub will gather and consolidate data from existing sites to build a database of solar information accessible to the government, suppliers, consultants and businesses wishing to generate solar energy. Andrew Holt, head of prosperity, at the British Embassy Hanoi, said: “I am very pleased that Vietnam is among the first countries to benefit from the new £1.3 billion Prosperity Fund announced in November 2015. I am confident that the Solar Hub project will demonstrate real impact on the uptake of solar power in Vietnam and will help make the case for investment in renewable energy sources more generally.” Though the revised plan for energy outlines a much larger role for solar, the 12GW target of installed solar capacity over the next 14 years, is only double the amount that India installed in 2016 alone. If Vietnam is serious about exploiting its solar potential and at least hitting the targets it has set itself until 2030, foreign as well as domestic investment is required. Attracting foreign investment requires de-risked conditions, which is achievable through subsidy, as many other fledgling renewable energy markets have shown.


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Recycle, reuse? The big question From 2020 onwards significant volumes of spent lithium ion batteries will start to emerge, yet recycling these batteries is a cost that the EV and stationary storage industries have yet to factor in


s vehicle electrification demand continues to grow along with demand for stationary energy storage for integrating renewables, the question of what to do with used advanced batteries, which are predominantly lithium ion, is arguably a question of rising importance for the industry. Among global regions Europe has enacted legislation regulating the appropriate takeback and recycling of ‘high-tech’ waste, from discarded electronic gadgets and household appliances to batteries.

Recycling supply chain

In the UK there are companies that specialise in collecting, sorting and recycling batteries for various different applications, and which also provide compliance services as well. One such company is G&P, a leading provider of waste battery collection, sorting and recycling services, which operates

“We have relationships with some major OEMs in Europe that are theorising what to do with out-of-warranty EV batteries, which includes testing their application in stationary storage systems and projects” nationwide. The various types of batteries collected are taken to the company’s headquarters in the West Midlands, where they are then sorted into various chemistries until a sufficient quantity is reached for recycling. Another player is the European Recycling Platform (ERP), which was set up, following the initiation of various waste directives. Its founder members – Sony, Hewlett-Packard,

38 network | April 2017

End of life lithium ion battery market 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000

From 2020, annual volumes of lithium ion batteries emerging for recycling will start to rise acutely, to over 60,000 tonnes by 2025

30,000 20,000 10,000 0

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025


Electrolux and Braun-Gillette – wanted to see a competitive market in Europe for offering compliance and waste management services arising from extended producer responsibility legislation. A producer will want to know what they have to do to ensure compliance across all markets they may be involved in, whether as a direct entity in a country or as a supplier to an importer in a specific country. They do not want to have to tackle the issue country-by-country, as this would entail a big administrative burden. ERP offers manufacturers a pan-European service for compliance with various wasterelated legislation, including the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and the Batteries Directives. Headquartered in Belgium, Umicore operates recycling facilities for discarded lithium ion batteries from all over the world. Umicore is in the metals business, supplying a number of markets including thin-film electronics and optoelectronics as well as automotive.

THE BATTERY DILEMMA Umicore, which recycles batteries, operates one of the largest metals recycling facilities in the world in terms of capacity and breadth of metals recycled

“Eaton’s entry models, starting at 4.2kWh, which incorporate a second life EV battery from Nissan vehicles, are some of the most affordable, with a starting price of £3,200 (€4,000)” installed a global network of drop-off points where customers can dispose of end-of-life batteries. The drop- off points are either Umicore-owned or run by external partners. The batteries are collected, safely stored and prepared for transport to the company’s dismantling line in Hanau, Germany. Large battery packs, like those from EVs first require a step where packs are


Products include catalysts and cathodes for lithium ion batteries. The company is the largest metals recycling operation in the world in terms of capacity and the various types of metals and materials that it specialises in extracting and recycling. Lithium ion battery cathodes for premium portable electronics, electric vehicles and energy storage systems feature the metal cobalt. To ensure a supply of the metal, which could meet its strict criteria on ethical and sustainability grounds Umicore invested in its own recovery process several years ago. At its recycling facility in Hoboken, in Antwerp, the company specialises in longloop recycling, where products containing lots of small amounts of different metals and materials are broken down to these constituent materials, to be extracted. Over 20 different metals can be processed at Hoboken. The bulk of lithium ion battery materials recycled at Umicore’s facility come from premium portable electronic device batteries, which tend to use batteries based on lithium cobalt oxide chemistry. Umicore has also invested in its Hoboken facility in preparation for recycling large volumes of lithium ion batteries from EVs. The more recent generations of EVs tend to use nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) chemistry. The process is validated and the company is ready to scale it up by 2020, when the end-of-life lithium ion battery market is expected to be in the region of 5000 tonnes annually, rising sharply to over 60,000 tonnes by 2025. To further facilitate the transport of batteries from e-mobility, Umicore has

dismantled to the module or cell level, before they are treated in the company’s ultra-high temperature furnace, based on technology developed in-house. Based on analysis of lithium ion battery markets, NMC lithium battery technology will see the most growth, with the automotive market being the main driver. Umicore is sensitive to metal prices. When these are higher, profitability margins improve. Sensitivity comes mostly from pricing mechanisms in recycling activity, hence the company is focusing on high-end consumer batteries containing cobalt as well as the automotive EV market and mass transportation markets, such as electric buses. In the coming years Umicore expects to invest further in China, the largest automotive market in the world, with stringent emissions legislation which is driving the adoption of EVs and, therefore lithium ion batteries. The company also sees China as a key market emerging for gridscale energy storage.

Lessons from solar PV

The current situation in solar PV module recycling is relevant for comparisons. In the recycling of solar PV modules, which now come under the recast WEEE Directive, the glass and the aluminium used to make the frames, as well as precious and conductive metals such as silver and copper used in the cells in the modules can all be

April 2017 | network 39

THE BATTERY DILEMMA The lithium ion batteries used in the drive-trains of MercedesBenz’ all-electric cars are being deployed in second-life stationary storage applications, including large batteries for gridbalancing.

recycled as there is demand for these from other markets. But it is far from fully evolved, since volumes of discarded PV panels are still too small to require an advanced recycling operation. Glass from old or damaged PV panels is used to make fibreglass, an inferior product to PV glass. To go back into its original manufacturing supply chain, old PV glass would have to be processed into culets, a higher value commodity. Silicon, the material for making the cells themselves, is now so cheap to produce that the cost of reprocessing it to a level of purity needed for reprocessing back into wafers for cells, is too costly. Instead it finds its way, ground up, into construction. Solar PV technology has become rapidly commoditised in recent years so that it is now close to competing with fossil fuelgenerated electricity prices. Margins are

“Recycling is an afterthought, put into place once the supply chain and manufacturing is already in place. My advice to companies would be to have an effective take-back system built into their business model”

40 network | April 2017

low, compared to what they were, which is not conducive to encouraging an industry to finance for something that will pose a problem in 20-30 years’ time. One PV manufacturer to have implemented its own global take-back and closed loop recycling process is First Solar, which makes thin film modules from cadmium telluride. Like lead, cadmium is a heavy metal and extremely toxic to the environment, so it was critical to First Solar’s business from early on to institute its own recycling programme. Like solar PV, a few years previously, the lithium ion battery industry is going through price reductions, opening up demand for the technology but, in turn, this is turning these batteries into mere commodities to be used as a component – albeit a critical one – within a product, such as an electric car or an intelligent energy storage system.

Second life batteries

A potential solution, which is gaining ground, is to optimise the use of out-ofwarranty EV batteries by diverting them into stationary storage markets. One company involved in these developments in the UK is Future Transport Systems, founded by Matthew Lumsden. The company’s first pilot won funding from the

THE BATTERY DILEMMA In its recent study Lux Research posits that recycling, rather than reuse, is likely to be the more attractive option for up to 65GWh of secondlife batteries poised to enter the market in 2035 with the retirement of the first generation of plug-in vehicles

There will be 65GWh of annual second-life battery supply in 2035 250 200 Forecasted annual global second-life battery supply

150 100


2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025

50 0

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035 10-year service life

Likely scenario


UK government for a demonstration pilot, as part of a consortium. In the Electric Vehicle Embedded Renewable Energy Storage and Transmission (EVEREST) project, which ended in late 2015, the consortium produced a proof of concept unit. Future Transport Systems is in the process of commercialising this product, which is called E-Stor, a modular energy storage platform. A key point of the project has been to design the system so that the batteries do not have to be “unpacked”. This incurs costs and the company wanted to be able to use them as they come out of the vehicle application and into the stationary storage application.


After setting up Future Transport Systems in 2009 Lumsden then co-founded Connected Energy to commercialise the E-Stor energy storage systems in behind-the-meter applications for commercial and industrial electricity customers. One of Connected Energy’s partnerships is with Renault, where the carmaker is supplying its EV batteries to Connected Energy to be used in its E-Stor system. The application is an EV charging station. Scott Butler, regional director at ERP, is seeing growing evidence of automotive companies investigating second-life options for EV batteries. “We have relationships with some major OEMs in Europe that are theorising what to do with out-of-warranty EV batteries, which includes testing their application in stationary storage systems and projects,” says Butler.

15-year service life

One such partnership is between Eaton, a maker of power control systems, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and energy storage systems and carmaker Nissan. At its factory in Sunderland in north-east England, Nissan is taking back out-ofwarranty batteries from its EVs and testing them, before sending them to Eaton to incorporate in residential battery storage systems, which are produced under Eaton’s xStorage brand. The battery systems come with a 10-year warranty. Eaton’s entry models, starting at 4.2kWh, which incorporate a second life EV battery from Nissan vehicles, are some of the most affordable, starting at £3,200 (€4,000). Eaton has also supplied commercial versions of its xStorage units, featuring ex-EV second life batteries to Amsterdam Arena. Eaton sees substantial opportunities to supply businesses and organisations with critical power needs, such as stadiums, hospitals, hotels and shopping centres with stationary storage. Ex-EV batteries suitable for second life deployment in stationary storage markets will become available from 2020-2022 in significant volumes. The major benefit is to use them before they are prematurely recycled. It adds value to the EV application, which benefits customers, and also helps to reduce the cost of grid storage. For example, Daimler has projects where batteries from Mercedes-Benz EVs can be used in a second life application in grid batteries. The total lifetime of a lithium ion battery in an EV and in stationary storage applications can be 20 years.

April 2017 | network 41


Recycling v. reuse

Nevertheless, at some point batteries emerging from EVs and stationary storage deployments will require a system for takeback and recycling, in Europe at least. “Recycling is an afterthought, put into place once the supply chain and manufacturing is already in place. My advice to companies would be to have an effective take-back system built into their business model,” says Butler. According to a recently published study by Lux Research, recycling, rather than reuse, is likely to be the more attractive option for up to 65GWh of lithium-ion batteries poised to enter the market in 2035 with the retirement of the first generation of plug-in vehicles. Reuse of batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) will deliver questionable returns on account of reduced performance, limiting them to application with less frequent and shallower depth of discharge cycles. An oversized 11.2kWh residential system from second-life batteries will cost just over $4600 (£3600), compared with nearly $6,000 for a new 7kWh system. However, reduced round-trip efficiency and cycle life make residential units and other daily cycling applications a poor fit compared to some others. According to Chris Robinson, the report’s author, more suitable reuse applications might be in grid-scale storage systems, where batteries are not cycled as intensively as they would be in residential storage applications. He says the long-term obvious technology for dealing with old batteries is recycling, rather than reuse. However, the logistical challenge of recycling larger batteries found in EVs is costly. Umicore’s operations are based in Europe. It is not a long-term option for cars in the US to have their batteries collected, disassembled and shipped over to Belgium for recycling. But as more batteries come out of EVs it is likely that infrastructure will emerge to recycle them, especially if more comprehensive legislation is introduced in major EV markets like the US. “Fortunately recycling can be reactionary. There is data available about volumes of batteries for EVs and when these will start to come out of cars,” says Robinson. To repurpose an EV battery for a second life stationary application could cost around

42 network | April 2017

Legislative framework BATTERIES fall under three waste framework directives in Europe. These are the Battery Directive, the End of Life Vehicles Directive and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. The end-use products that the batteries are used within can dictate which directive has the most relevance for compliance when these products are disposed of. The directives place legal and financial responsibility on producers and manufacturers for the safe collection and disposal of used and old goods that fall under each of their remits. Directives are transposed into national regulations of EU member states. In the UK, battery producers are responsible for minimising harmful effects of waste batteries on the environment, by: • improving the design of new batteries • paying for waste battery collection, treatment, recycling and disposal. For the purposes of compliance, a battery producer is a company with a UK presence, which is the first entity in the value chain, including importers, to make batteries available for supply or sale in the UK market. Battery producers must register with appropriate environmental regulator and accurately record the tonnage and chemistry of batteries placed on the market. The specifics of registering as a battery producer also depend on the types of batteries the company sells, by application – whether portable, vehicle, or other automotive, or industrial – and the amount of batteries the company places on the market. UK battery regulations define an industrial battery or battery pack as one which is designed exclusively for industrial or professional uses, is used as a source of power for propulsion in and electric vehicle, is unsealed but is not an automotive battery, or is sealed but is not a portable battery. Producers of industrial batteries, which span several stationary applications, must register within 28 days of first placing batteries on the UK market with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Producers are obligated to take back waste industrial batteries free of charge from any end-user, if the producer supplies them with new batteries, if the batteries are the same chemistry as batteries the producer placed on the market, or if they cannot be returned to another producer. Producers must also tell end users how they can return waste industrial batteries, for example through information on the producer’s website.

$50/kWh (£40/kWh). The cost of recycling is hard to quantify, but could be higher. “The point is that because both are in their early stages, there is huge scope for costs to reduce. Repurposing is almost a manual process, including dismantling and testing. To occur at scale manual procedures would need to be automated. Again recycling is not occurring at scale but once it does then costs will come down,” says Robinson.

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British Photovoltaic Association

Who we are

The British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA) is the national trade association of the UK solar photovoltaic industry. The BPVA is a strong political and commercial organisation. As an influential and trusted voice of the industry, we have made a significant contribution to the emergence of the UK’s solar PV industry in recent years, which is now one of the largest solar markets in the world by installed capacity.

The BPVA stands for quality and value to its members Our mission is: “To ensure that solar photovoltaic energy is established as the leading renewable energy source in the UK and to promote the UK solar industry internationally.” We promote solar PV and assist our members in the development of their businesses at home and abroad. We recognise the importance of energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging technologies for solar PV. Through a number of innovative programmes, we are actively engaged in developing sustainable business models connecting solar PV, energy storage and EV charging technologies.


The BPVA is a fully independent, not-for-profit organisation. We are the only trade association entirely focused on solar PV. A dedicated in-house team oversees the daily activities of the BPVA. These include membership management, marketing, events, finance and policy. The executive committee is selected from various membership categories and represents all members’ interests. The BPVA has seven working groups: policy, communication, application, education, finance, energy storage and EV technologies. These are aimed at sharing knowledge and resources, channelling members’ expertise, advising key decision makers on market development and coordinating policy and lobbying activities.

Our members

Our members span companies across the entire solar PV value chain. These range from PV panel, inverter and balance of system (BoS) component manufacturers to installers, developers, investors and utilities, while we are attracting companies from the emerging sectors of energy storage and EV charging infrastructure. Solar module manufacturers MCS-certified installers Inverter manufacturers EPCs and system integrators Developers Distributors, retailers and resellers Production equipment manufacturers Material and BoS component suppliers Architects, homebuilders and developers Universities and educational institutions

Research organisations Banks, financial institutions, investors Lead generation, marketing and media Consultancies Utilities and energy suppliers Recruitment and training companies Insurance firms Community energy initiatives Housing associations Local authorities and councils

Legal and other professional services Governmental organisations/institutions Roofing contractors Energy storage system manufacturers Energy storage integrators Electric vehicle charging infrastructure companies Monitoring and energy management companies Other trade associations

Why join the BPVA

Our key objective is to grow solar PV’s share of the UK’s energy mix. We engage with the government at the highest level making sure the industry is represented. Our members play an important role in this process. By becoming a member, your organisation will be influencing decision makers. You will have access to intelligence on current and future regulatory frameworks and market developments, all of which is critical to enable your business to develop.

Tap into emerging solar PV opportunities

In the past few years, thanks to good subsidies and a strong regulatory framework, the UK has rapidly grown into one of the largest markets for solar PV by installed capacity. British and UK-based solar companies have exportable skills and expertise in all services that are required in the planning, design, development, construction and financing of PV projects. We are committed to helping our members tap into opportunities in new emerging solar PV markets worldwide. Membership also provides numerous other benefits, including a number of high-profile networking events, ministerial round-table meetings, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and working group meetings where our members meet in an exclusive environment. BPVA events are the ideal networking platform for you to develop effective political and business contacts. By joining the BPVA, you will be directly involved in the UK solar PV market as well as connected to international opportunities.


British Photovoltaic Association

Be involved

Take part in shaping the industry by being at the heart of the decision-making process. Work in partnership with the government and be part of the policy development team. Increase awareness and promote solar PV as an important part of the UK energy mix.

Be informed

Obtain key information on market, data forecasts and government policies to help you plan your strategy. Get exclusive access to the latest information and regular updates on all developments directly aecting the solar PV industry in the UK and globally.

Be connected

Make the right connections, improve your brand, develop your network and meet new business partners. Gain visibility through our website and unique marketing activities.

Be ahead

Be the first to learn about new and developing technologies and applications such as energy storage, electric vehicle charging solutions and BIPV products.

Be global

Let the BPVA be the first important step in helping you unlock some of the exciting new PV opportunities in emerging markets around the world.

BPVA – The voice of the solar PV industry in the UK Member benefits

Lobbying and policy development Market information, market research and surveys Exhibitions and conferences Sponsorship opportunities enabling you to gain awareness and credibility in the industry enhancing your brand Networking events - including annual drinks reception at the Houses of Parliament Discounts on events, products, publications and services Access to industry experts providing advice on the market, regulations, certification processes and technical support Trade missions and opening export markets Weekly e-newsletters Access to publications, market research and reports Sales and marketing support Member and installer directory Public awareness campaigns Insurance services Financial services Recruitment services Training and workshops Standardisation and certification Use of BPVA logo Networking with other members Exposure to our global industry network of over 115,000 contacts Membership certificate and membership card Sales leads from and the BPVA website Numerous brand-building opportunities Exposure through the website BPVA video casts BPVA member pavilion at major trade shows Free subscription to Network magazine, published by the BPVA Free subscription to Smarter Living magazine, published by the BPVA & Haymarket Media Group CONNECT WITH US |


The 2017 solar calendar Clean Energy Summit Africa

4–5 April, 2017 La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel Accra, Ghana Clean Energy Summit Africa is designed for project owners large and small to meet and win new business. Incorporating the 3rd annual Solar & Off-Grid Renewables West Africa conference, the event will put solar at its core with breakouts sessions designed for pico to utility scale projects. We will also bring major financiers and investors, innovative micro-grid operators and large energy users to see how Africa’s power landscape is maturing. Government representatives are also invited to contribute to the debate by outlining policy to support universal access to power.

SNEC PV Power Expo 2017 with concurrent event: International Energy Storage Technology & Smart Grid Conference & Exhibition

17–21 April, 2017 Conference: Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai Exhibition: Shanghai New International Expo Center The size of SNEC has grown from 15,000 sqm in 2007 to over 150,000 sqm in 2016 when the expo attracted 1618 exhibiting companies from 90 countries and regions all over the world. The overseas exhibitor ratio is over 30%, ensuring that SNEC has become the biggest international PV tradeshow with incomparable influence in China, in Asia and worldwide.

Clean Energy Summit 2017

24–26 April 2017 The RIBA Building 66 Portland Place London United Kingdom The Clean Energy Summit will highlight how large energy users are reducing electricity costs, lowering carbon while improving quality of life. With solar and storage at the core of today’s modern energy strategies, learn how both public and corporate sectors are capitalising on the move

46 network | April 2017

Accra, Ghana is the destination city for Clean Energy Summit Africa

towards 100% electricity generation. The UK government is getting ready to develop a new, flexible energy network. Ensure you don’t fall behind. From offsite PPAs and demand side management to smart grids and attracting the best talent, the Clean Energy Summit will detail all you need to know about benefiting from the decentralised energy system.

MENA New Energy

25–26 April 2017 Hyatt Regency Dubai, UAE In the last decade, the MENA region has started to harness the abundant natural energy resources that it has in plentiful supply – namely, solar power – but also, more recently, it has looked to take advantage of the power of the wind. To augment this movement to “New Energy”, MENA New Energy (formerly known as MENASol) was created to facilitate the discussions between governments looking to add renewable energy to their country’s grid and developers. Last year’s show attracted more than 600 attendees, and had over 30 sponsors.

Solar Energy & Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition 3-4 May, 2017

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Melbourne, Australia 5,000 delegates, 100+ expert speakers, 100+ exhibitors. Energy

Storage World Forum

8–12 May, 2017 Berlin, Germany The 10th Energy Storage World Forum includes more than 60 topic titles thoroughly researched for the Berlin 2017 Programme. Already over 31 speakers are confirmed, of which 23 are from the TSO and DSO sectors. The forum includes the 4th Residential Energy Storage Forum, to be held over two days, as well as three days dedicated to large-scale energy storage applications.

Intersolar Europe

31 May to 2 June, 2017 Messe Munich Munich, Germany Intersolar Europe and ees, a leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners, takes place annually at the Messe München exhibition centre in Munich. The event’s exhibition and conference focus on photovoltaics, energy storage systems, renewable heating technologies, as well as

CONFERENCES & EVENTS products and solutions for smart renewable energy. Since being founded 25 years ago, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry.

Wind & Solar Energy Storage Advancements

13–14 June, 2017 Prospero House, ETC Venues London, UK Agenda includes: • The Flywheel Energy Storage plant with potential to revolutionise renewable sector • Real-world performance analysis of leading Wind and Solar energy storage solutions and technology • Transferring experience and developments in power predictability and frequency response from North America to Europe • How to successfully add energy storage to a wind turbine and the perceived performance benefits from an OEM perspective

European Solar PV Asset Management

28•29 June, 2017 Venue TBD London, UK The European Solar PV Asset Management Forum will bring together the leading executives and experts from across the sector to discuss what is next for Solar in Europe. Asset management (AM) and operations and maintenance (O&M) are at the heart of project development. Therefore we shall discuss solar AM, O&M and issues for utility-scale projects, including the overall industry learning curve, contractual challenges, and common gaps in planning.

Intersolar North America

10–13 July, 2017 Moscone Center, San Francisco, USA Since its establishment in 2008, Intersolar North America has become the most attended solar event and the premier networking platform for the North American solar industry. Co-located with ees North

America and SEMICON West the event’s exhibition and conference focus on photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage and solar thermal technologies. A total of 554 exhibitors and more than 18,000 trade visitors participated in Intersolar North America in 2016.

Solar Power International

10–13 September, 2017 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, USA There is only one place in North America where more than 18,000 attendees, and over 650 exhibitors gather from across the world to bolster the burgeoning solar market, Solar Power International (SPI). The annual North Americn event, which is powered by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), grew by 20% from the previous year. Energy Storage International, colocated Solar Power International and in collaboration with the Energy Storage Association, paves the way for synergy between energy storage and solar markets.

Intersolar Middle East

25–27 September Dubai World Trade Center Dubai, UAE Intersolar Middle East 2017 is the key event in the Middle East dedicated to the solar industry. The conference is a premier networking platform and has a focus on established, emerging and the ‘untapped’ markets in the MENA region, PV power plants, best practices, financing and business models.

Solar & Storage Live 2017

3–5 October, 2017 NEC Birmingham, UK Evolving from Solar Energy UK and 7-years of continuous show growth, this year’s show heralds an exciting new focus on Solar, Storage, EV infrastructure and related technologies that will empower the transition to cleaner energy. A new seminar programme of four forward-thinking theatres (1 brand new!) have been finalised, including:

• Installer Central Feature Area • Energy Management Theatre • Energy Storage Theatre – NEW • Solar Business Focus Theatre

BPVA EV Charging Infrastructure Summit: The Role of Solar & Storage in EV Charging

September 2017 Venue TBC This one day event brings key stakeholders from Government, renewables industry, energy storage sector and automotive industry to discuss current policy, technical challenges and he future of decarbonisation of transport.

Energy 2017/UK Construction Week

10–12 October 2017 NEC Birmingham UK Construction Week is FREE to attend for trade visitors and consists of nine shows, including Timber Expo, Build Show, Civils Expo, Plant & Machinery Live and Energy 2017. Energy 2017 is the industry trade event dedicated to renewables, innovation and power solutions. Uniting all the key business players in the industry such as architects, project/energy managers, engineers and developers, this event provides the perfect platform to unite the energy sector and the wider interconnected industries.

2nd BGS Solar Summit

20–21 November 2017 Sheraton Tunis Hotel Tunis, Tunisia The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies of Tunisia has launched the first phase of the renewable power generation programme, which aims to develop 650MW of solar and 350MW of wind over the 2017-2020 period. The plenary session will unveil the details and first results and, of course, first challenges of this initiative. The event then breaks out into different streams including the North Africa and East Africa streams on day one and the Middle East and West Africa streams on day two.

April 2017 | network 47


The rundown on solar roads Road surfaces incorporating photovoltaics are being trialled in Europe and the US with plans to commercialise ‘solar roads’ from 2018


e’ve heard of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Now civil engineering firm Colas is commercialising a road top surface made from solar panels. Colas is targeting multiple applications with Wattway, such as powering roadside signage, as well as smart grids.

Rue du Soleil

Colas also has an agreement in place with French company SNA, which will produce Wattway. SNA will potentially produce up to 5000 m² in 2017, but has the capacity to make 150,000 m² a year. At the end of 2016 a stretch of road in Tourouvre was re-surfaced with Wattway. The few thousand cars using the road on a daily basis will test the resistance of the panels. Other trial locations include the UK. The Wattway material is made of polycrystalline silicon cells coated in a multilayer resin and polymer-based substrate, which lets sunlight through but protects the cells from traffic and is also skid-resistant. Other initiatives are attempting to turn solar roads from concept to reality. SolaRoad is a Dutch company that has developed a surface for cycle paths based on photovoltaics.

An additional 20 m was added to the existing 70 m SolaRoad bike path in the town of Krommenie in northern Holland in 2016. The extension consists of new elements with improved technology, the result of two years of R&D. New solar panels were developed, which are better tailored to application in pavements as the panels in the initial trial cracked. The reengineered surface no longer includes a glass top layer and two of the elements have thinfilm solar cells embedded.

Solar kicks on Route 66

In 2016 Californian highways agency Caltrans and the province of North Holland, signed a declaration of intent to look at technologies for integrating solar PV into transportation infrastructure. The proposed location is in Lebec, Kern County. Also in the USA, husband and wife team Scott and Julie Brusaw have established Solar Roadways to commercialise their joint idea of – you’ve guessed it – a solar generating freeway. Solar Roadways installed its first pilot in Sandpoint, Idaho in late 2016. The company is working with the Missouri Department of Transportation on a project at a rest stop on Route 66 with plans to enter commercial production later this year.

European transportation infrastructure firm Colas has developed a solar road surface designed to withstand heavy traffic use

48 network | April 2017


Phone: +44 (0)330 113 1439 Email:

BIPVco, PV Accelerator Building, Shotton Works, Deeside CH5 2NH

Network Issue 2  

Network promotes the association’s and its members’ activities, spanning solar PV, energy storage, smarter homes and electric car charging i...

Network Issue 2  

Network promotes the association’s and its members’ activities, spanning solar PV, energy storage, smarter homes and electric car charging i...