Special focus â€“ Wind power in the EU
inside: Obama: prospects for alternative energy Can solar PV beat the downturn? Small wonders: biomass from algae Hydrogen production from renewables
$(*&&5*6%&!!&!*&+!'%#$#%& 7#&+7*8!$#+*65!&$%$! (9)#+ ! % : ;< ; = .
> ; > .: ; > ; . . ? ! % : ; . ; = . : >
7:7 * ;, $ : "= .. @ ; A6 = != #= #;% ?
> 8 ,
$: > .
! % ;
> ; ;>: >); -: ;> . : ; ". : ;..: ".
!"#$!$%%&%!'(#)#$*$$!&+ , -+..
Many believe that the USA could very quickly become the next signiďŹ cant growth engine for the renewables industry.
Er, show me the money? By the time this editorial is in your hands the US President will have signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 â€“ authorising the spending of US$789 billion. And though the details will become apparent in the coming weeks, early indications are that this could be a major boost for the renewables industry, with provisions including: t "O FYUFOTJPO UP UIF 1SPEVDUJPO5BY $SFEJU 15$ TVOTFU EBUF t 5IFBCJMJUZGPSUBYQBZFSTUPFMFDUUPDMBJNUIF*OWFTUNFOU5BY$SFEJU *5$ JOMJFV PG UIF 15$ GPS DFSUBJO QSPKFDUT t 5IF BCJMJUZ GPS UBYQBZFST UP SFDFJWF DBTI HSBOUT JO MJFV PG DMBJNJOH UIF *5$ PS 15$ GPS DFSUBJO QSPKFDUT
Editor David Hopwood email@example.com T +44 1865 843648 F +44 1865 843973 Assistant Editor Kari Larsen firstname.lastname@example.org, T +44 1865 843639 F +44 1865 843973 Weekly/News correspondent Bill Eggertson email@example.com T +1 613 728 0822 F +1 613 728 2505
5IPTF XIP IBWF CFFO MPCCZJOH GPS ZFBST PO CFIBMG PG UIF SFOFXBCMFT TFDUPS JO the USA could well be forgiven a wry shake of the head. Financial support for renewables has, at best, been inconsistent in recent times - and there is an irony that it has taken an economic crisis to deliver substantial support for renewables UISPVHI UIF OPUJPO UIBU QSPNPUJOH BEWBODFNFOU JO DMFBO FOFSHZ XJMM TVQQPSU BO BJMJOH FDPOPNZ XJUI OFX KPCT XIFO USBEJUJPOBMMZ UIF NBJO BSHVNFOU VTFE against renewables is that the technology isnâ€™t cost competitive with fossil fuels and not worth promoting. What a diďŹ€erence a year â€“ and a change of President - makes.
Correspondentsâ€™ network Asia/PaciďŹ c: Richard Mogg; Europe/ROW: George Marsh North America: Don Smith; Paula Mints Editorial advisory board Christine Hornstein Executive Director, ISES firstname.lastname@example.org Bradley Collins Executive Director, ASES email@example.com Production/Design Controller Russell Purdy Marketing Manager Tom Cox Tom.Cox@elsevier.com T +44 1865 843654 F +44 1865 843987
0G DPVSTF HFUUJOH UIF DBTI JT POF UIJOH TQFOEJOH JU XJMM BQQBSFOUMZ CF UIF OFYU hurdle to overcome. New Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu has already gone on SFDPSE UP TBZ UIBU IFMM IBWF UPiUSBOTGPSNw IPX QBSUT PG IJT BHFODZ %P& XPSLT if the Presidentâ€™s stimulus plan is to succeed. Why? Because the stimulus bill could see as much as US$40 billion handed over to the Energy Department XIJDIIBTBIJTUPSZPGEFMBZT IJHIDPTUT BOEBMBDLPGFYQFSJFODFJOEFBMJOHXJUI spending on such a monumental scale. Despite that, the agency will be under pressure to hand out money quickly to projects that would modernise the electricity grid, build electric cars and make homes and buildings more energy eďŹƒcient â€“ thus promoting renewable energy.
Sales Managers Janine Castle firstname.lastname@example.org T +44 (0) 1865 84 3844 F +44 (0) 1865 84 3973 Martine Cariou-Keen email@example.com Tel: + 44 (0) 1865 843845 Fax: +44 (0) 1865 843973 Advertisement sales â€“ Germany/Austria/Switzerland: Irene Smetana firstname.lastname@example.org T +49 (0) 611 880 86-20 F +49 (0) 611 880 86-10 Commercial Director & Publisher Laurence Zipson email@example.com T +44 (0) 1865 843 685 F +44 (0) 1865 843 973 Editorial and advertising oďŹƒces Elsevier Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, UK
David Hopwood Editor
But if this potential banana skin is avoided, many believe that the USA could WFSZ RVJDLMZ CFDPNF UIF OFYU TJHOJmDBOU HSPXUI FOHJOF GPS UIF SFOFXBCMFT industry, taking over some of the demand from Germany and Spain as modiďŹ caUJPOTUPUIPTFDPVOUSJFT'FFEJO5BSJĂľT 'J5T LJDLJOBOEQVUUIFCSBLFTPOTPNF of the growth. One thing is certain though: With a new renewable energy directive in the EU now signed into law, and the US Presidentâ€™s signature on the TUJNVMVT QBDLBHF UIFTF BSF JOEFFE FYDJUJOH UJNFT UP CF BDUJWF JO SFOFXBCMF energy.
renewable energy focus
DO WE LOOK WHEN THERE ARE NO FOSSIL FUELS TO LOOK FOR? As the world races on towards development, our ﬁnite conventional energy supplies continue to deplete. To power sustainable development, we need to look towards renewable, eco-friendly energy sources, like the wind. At Suzlon, we serve your energy needs by providing dependable wind energy solutions backed by excellent customer response and a fully integrated and secure supply chain, which delivers customised solutions to ensure project performance globally. Come to us, so the wind can power the world’s future and yours.
www.suzlon.com World’s 5th largest and fastest growing integrated wind turbine manufacturer | 350kW to 2.1MW capacity wind turbines | Workforce of 12,000 people in USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, India, Italy, Nicaragua, Portugal, Spain and Turkey | R&D in Germany and The Netherlands | Global Management Headquarters in Amsterdam
Contents 01 04 20 22 28 30 32
Editorial News President’s corner Wind: Operation & Maintenance Steve Sawyer/GWEC Carbon Utilities/Renewables
Focus: Wind power in the EU 38 EU wind market: an introduction
What’s the state of play in the EU wind power marketplace, and how will the ﬁnancial crisis aﬀect wind players in the Bloc?
46 Harnessing geography for European wind The concept of location intelligence is playing a growing role in the planning, design and siting of European wind farms.
50 Siemens Wind: a proﬁle What does the future hold for the major EU wind player? Interview with ceo Andreas Nauen.
54 Turbine innovation at BWEA30
58 Full steam ahead for PV in US homes? How will recent tax legislation Stateside aﬀect the takeup of new PV projects?
62 Can Solar PV beat the downturn?
Wind 70 Recycling wind turbine blades As more and more material goes into bigger and bigger turbines, what are the recycling options?
Editor’s pick 66 Economic stimulus in the USA 68 Renewables in Africa
Other articles 34 Hydrogen production from renewables 74 Biomass from Algae Small wonders – biomass from Algae
79 Chile to warm up renewables market 84 How to invest in geothermal 88 Obama: prospects for alternative energy 92 Product Finder 94 Upcoming Events renewable energy focus
■ 3TIER, an independent provider of global
■ Trojan Battery Company has developed a
new RE Series line of batteries optimised to deliver “unmatched life, durability and excellent charge eﬃciency” in renewable energy applications. ■ ICP Solar Technologies Inc, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of solar panels and products, has entered into a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to acquire Spanish Ibersolar Energía, which manufactures and supplies solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar thermal systems, and absorption units. Under the terms of the LOI, ICP will acquire 100% of the shares of Ibersolar. ■ A report indicating that 12% of the world’s energy needs could be supplied from wind in 12 years, and 30% by 2050, has been published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International. Global Wind Energy Outlook 2008 looks at the global potential of wind power up to 2050, and has found that it could play a key part in achieving a decline in CO2 emissions by 2020. ■ Aggressive investment in renewable power generation and energy eﬃciency could create an annual USUS$360 billion industry, providing half of the world’s electricity, and slashing over USUS$18 trillion in future fuel costs, according to the report Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook from the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace International.
© 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This journal and the individual contributions contained in it are protected under copyright by Elsevier Ltd, and the following terms and conditions apply to their use: Photocopying Single photocopies of single articles may be made for personal use as allowed by national copyright laws. Permission of the publisher and payment of a fee is required for all other photocopying, including multiple or systematic copying, copying for advertising or promotional purposes, resale, and all forms of document delivery. Special rates are available for educational institutions that wish to make photocopies for non-profit educational classroom use. Permissions may be sought directly from Elsevier Rights & Permissions Department, PO Box 800, Oxford OX5 1DX, UK; phone: (+44) 1865 843830, fax: (+44) 1865 853333, e-mail: permissions@ elsevier.com. You may also contact Rights & Permissions directly through Elsevier’s home page (http://www.elsevier.com), selecting first ‘Customer Support’, then ‘General Information’, then ‘Permissions Query Form’.
renewable energy assessment and forecasting, has unveiled a 5 km resolution global wind map based on a dataset of global wind resources and their spatial and temporal variability. The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has released a new report, Utility Procurement Study: Solar Electricity in the Utility Market, the ﬁrst in a series of research reports to be released in 2009. The full report is available for download at www.solarelectricpower.org. Elsevier is launching a ‘one-stop’ site for energy researchers covering all aspects of energy including renewables – Energylocate (www. energylocate.com). The platform features energy content, social networking tools, discussion forums, subject news feeds, and RSS feeds powered by ScienceDirect and Scopus. RWE Energy, Siemens and partners have kick started a project focused on developing and implementing integrated concepts to harness and exploit the optimisation potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) in decentralised electricity markets. The project is called Development and demonstration of decentrally networked energy systems for the E-Energy marketplace of the future (E-DeMa). COP14 in Poznan, Poland, which took place in December 2008 made progress in the area of technology. The Global Environment Facility’s Poznań Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer endorsed a plan to scale up investment levels to aid developing countries in dealing with the eﬀects of climate change. The ﬁnishing touches were also put to the Kyoto Protocol’s adaptation fund. For a
outside the institution. Permission of the publisher is required for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. Electronic Storage or Usage Permission of the publisher is required to store or use electronically any material contained in this journal, including any article or part of an article. Contact the publisher at the address indicated. Except as outlined above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher. Address permissions requests to: Elsevier Rights & Permissions Department, at the mail, fax and e-mail addresses noted above.
In the USA, users may clear permissions and make payments through the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, USA; phone: (978) 7508400, fax: (978) 7504744, and in the UK through the Copyright Licensing Agency Rapid Clearance Service (CLARCS), 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1P 0LP, UK; phone: (+44) 207 436 5931; fax: (+44) 207631 5500. Other countries may have a local reprographic rights agency for payments.
Notice No responsibility is assumed by the Publisher for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein. Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, in particular, independent verification of diagnoses and drug dosages should be made. Although all advertising material is expected to conform to ethical (medical) standards, inclusion in this publication does not constitute a guarantee or endorsement of the quality or value of such product or of the claims made of it by its manufacturer.
Derivative Works Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the publisher is required for resale or distribution
Subscription orders + payments An annual subscription to renewable energy focus includes 6 printed issues and costs: €334 for all European countries & Iran
renewable energy focus
fuller overview, see GWEC’s Steve Sawyer report back from the conference on page 28.
Europe ■ OpenHydro has been selected by Électricité
de France (EDF) to develop a tidal current demonstration farm that will be connected to the French electricity grid. The project involves the installation of between four and 10 seabed-mounted marine turbines, with a total capacity of 2–4 MW in a tidal farm located in the Paimpol-Bréhat (Côtes d’Armor) region of Brittany. The turbines will be progressively connected to the French electricity network from 2011. ■ GreenFuel Technologies Corporation and renewables management company Aurantia are now in the second phase of their joint project to develop and scale algae farming technologies in the Iberian Peninsula. The goal is to demonstrate that industrial CO2 emissions can be economically recycled to grow algae for use in high-value feeds, foods and fuels. ■ Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) will sell 50% of the equity in Greater Gabbard Oﬀshore Winds Limited (GGOWL) to npower renewables, the UK fully owned subsidiary of RWE Innogy. RWE Innogy will reimburse SSE for 50% of the capital costs already incurred in developing the 500 MW project. The total cash consideration of the transaction is £308 million. ■ Global warming, energy security and rising oil prices have resuscitated the marine energy
US$385 for all countries except Europe and Japan ¥44,500 for Japan (Prices valid until 31/12/08) Please send payment to: renewable energy focus Elsevier Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxon, OX5 1GB, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1865 843687 / Fax: +44 (0) 1865 834971 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.renewableenergyfocus.com Periodicals postage is paid at Rahway, NJ 07065, USA. Postmaster send all USA address corrections to: renewable energy focus, 365 Blair Road, Avenel, NJ 07001, USA Free circulation enquiries: Tower House, Sovereign Park Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EF Tel: 01858 439612, Fax: 01858 434958 E-mail: email@example.com renewable energy focus is published by Elsevier Ltd, PO Box 150, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1AS, UK. The editor will be glad to consider contributions but no responsibility for the safe keeping or return of unsolicited material will be accepted. The paper used in renewable energy focus is Apollo Gloss manufactured from ECF pulp produced from renewable forest resources. ECF pulp is pulp bleached without using elemental chlorine.
renewable energy focus is printed by Headley Brothers Ltd, Kent, UK. ISSN 1755 0084
Journal number: 02272
more than double the 154,000 jobs recorded in 2007. ■ SeaGen, developed by Marine Current Turbines, has for the ﬁrst time generated at its maximum capacity of 1.2 MW. According to Marine Current Turbines, “this is the highest power so far produced by a tidal stream system anywhere in the world...” SeaGen was deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough in May 2008, and has since undergone commissioning trials.
North America ■ Enbridge, its utility, Enbridge Gas Distribu-
REpower Systems AG has installed the prototype for its new REpower 3.XM onshore wind turbine in the Südermarsch wind farm near Husum, Germany. It has a rated output of 3.3 MW, a rotor diameter of 104m and a hub height of 80m, and is characterised by particularly low sound emissions. It will now undergo extensive testing for certiﬁcation, reports the company.
sector. Ocean energy has the ability to supply approximately 10% of the world’s electricity needs, writes analyst Frost & Sullivan. DONG Energy and Wind Estate A/S have opened the second stage of the Overgård windfarm in Denmark. With the construction of 10 new 2.3 MW wind turbines next to 20 existing 2 MW turbines, Overgård is now said to be Denmark’s largest onshore wind farm. The farm, situated approximately 25 km northwest of Randers in East Jutland, has a capacity of 63 MW. A total Spanish solar capacity of 2.4 GW will have been installed by the end of 2008, according to the Spanish National Energy Agency CNE (Comisión Nacional de Energía). The actual installed capacity may reach 2.5 GW in Spain by the end of 2008, according to the current forecast in the EuPD Research study The Spanish Photovoltaic Market 2008 – Optimism Despite Legal Uncertainties. REpower Systems AG has completed the assembly of the ﬁrst three 6 MW REpower 6M turbines in Bremerhaven, Germany. The wind turbines are expected to be erected at the Westre civic windfarm on the German-Danish border in early 2009, where they will undergo a comprehensive testing programme and checks for certiﬁcation. Early tests of Cambridge Consultants’ Holographic Inﬁll Radar technology indicate that it can distinguish between turbine blades and other moving targets such as aircraft. Tests of a prototype Holographic Radar system at
renewable energy focus
Ecotricity’s 66m diameter 1.5 MW turbine at Swaﬀham in Norfolk, UK, have provided proof of the principle, with a small-scale system discriminating eﬀectively between the turbine and a moving target. Further tests are planned. ■ The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has elected Olivier Drücke (head of sales and marketing at KBB Kollektorbau GmbH) as its new President. ESTIF has also announced that development of national markets in 2008 saw an increase in new installations of 45%-50%, amounting to around 2.8 GWth of new capacity. ■ The Scottish Government has released the details for its £10 million Saltire Prize Challenge – purported to be the world’s biggest marine energy innovation competition. The prize will be awarded to the team that can demonstrate, in Scottish waters, a commercially viable wave or tidal energy technology that achieves a minimum electrical output of 100 GWh over a continuous two-year period. Any technology must use only the power of the sea, and will be judged on the merits of cost, environmental sustainability and safety. ■ The number of jobs in the European wind energy industry will more than double by 2020, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The EWEA report Wind at Work – wind energy and job creation in the EU predicts that the number of wind energy jobs will reach 325,000 by 2020,
tion, and FuelCell Energy have announced the opening of what they call the world’s ﬁrst Direct Fuel Cell - Energy Recovery Generation power plant. The 2.2 MW DFC-ERG plant is said to be the ﬁrst multi-megawatt commercial fuel cell to operate in Canada, and support for this US$10 million project was provided by both the federal and provincial governments. BP Wind Energy has announced the full commercial operation of phase I of the Sherbino wind farm in Pecos County, west Texas, USA. The first 150 MW of the project, which has a potential capacity of 750 MW, has been built through a 50-50 joint venture agreement with Padoma Wind Power LLC. Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has placed an order for 22 wind turbine generators from Vestas for the proposed expansion of the utility’s Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility in Kittitas County, Washington, USA. The planned expansion will result in 149 turbines and a capacity of 269 MW at Wild Horse. The Mayor of Los Angeles has unveiled the Solar LA plan, which aims for 1.3 GW of solar power by 2020, enough to meet 10% of LA’s energy needs. The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced up to US$200 million over 6 years (2009-2014) to support the development of pilot and demonstration-scale bioreﬁneries. The funding, which is subject to annual appropriations, would go to bioreﬁneries using feedstock such as algae, and production of advanced biofuels such as bio-butanol, green petrol and other innovative biofuels. EDF Energies Nouvelles is commissioning its 100.5 MW Wapsipinicon windfarm in Minnesota, USA. The facility features 67, 1.5 MW GE Energy wind turbines and was developed and built by enXco, the US subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles.
The US House of Representatives has passed a US$819 billion economic stimulus package, which includes provisions for renewable energy in the USA. At the time of going to press, the Senate has just passed its version of the Bill. President Barack Obama has pledged a doubling of renewables in the US in the next three years (for more information, see pages 88-91) ■ The US solar PV industry saw a 50% increase
in shipments in 2007, according to a report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), part of the Department of Energy (DoE). The overview report Solar Photovoltaic Cell/Module Manufacturing Activities 2007 shows that the industry is now more than ten times the size it was in 1998. ■ The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Iberdrola Renovables have jointly deployed the ﬁrst of several solar resource measuring stations as part of a planned instrumentation network throughout the United States. The stations located across Arizona are part of NREL’s Solar Resource and Meteorological Assessment Project (SOLRMAP) aiming to collect precise, long-term solar resource measurements.
Africa, Asia and the Middle East ■ Britain has teamed up with Masdar and
Qatar to secure a mix of reliable and green energy supplies for the UK, which could see hundreds of millions of pounds pumped into the ‘green energy revolution’. The deals are: a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Initiative to work on technologies such as onshore and oﬀshore wind, carbon capture and storage (CSS), as well as solar and marine energy;
renewable energy focus
and a £250 million partnership between Qatar and the UK to develop renewable energy and low carbon technology. Sharp has opened a second production line in Katsuragi, Japan, for mass production of thin-ﬁlm solar cells, increasing its production capacity for thin-ﬁlm cells from 15 MW to 160 MW per annum. At the same time, with an investment of around €146 million in new manufacturing technology, Sharp is producing second-generation thin-ﬁlm solar cells in Katsugari. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, has opened its regional R&D hub for Asia at Fusionopolis, Singapore. This marks the ﬁrst milestone of the company‘s 10-year plan to invest up to US$500 million in Singapore to advance research in wind power technologies. Trina Solar has announced the development of a new product line fully based on Upgraded Metallurgical Grade (UMG) silicon material. UMG is a variety of solar grade polysilicon feedstock capable of delivering conversion rates comparable to higher grade polysilicon, but at a signiﬁcantly lower cost. Trina Solar’s UMG-based product is currently meeting the company’s targeted conversion eﬃciency levels of approximately 14%. China’s plans to reach 100 GW of installed wind power generation capacity by 2020 are unlikely to be derailed - or even sidetracked - by the current global ﬁnancial crisis. In a new assessment, China Wind Power Markets and Strategies, 2008-2020, Emerging Energy Research (EER) reports that despite
inevitable slowdowns in markets elsewhere, China’s wind initiatives are so large in scale and so well supported by the Government, that the country’s new renewable energy goals are likely be met well before 2020. ■ China’s Huaneng Group plans a 9.1 billion Yuan (US$1.3bn), 166 MW solar project in the province of Yunnan, China, in 2010. It is co-invested by a unit of China Huaneng and Yunnan Provincial Power Investment. ■ According to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) will start accepting applications for the residential solar generation installation subsidies from mid-January as part of the implementation of the Japanese residential solar generation installation subsidy programme, which was incorporated into the supplementary budget for this fiscal year. The subsidy amounts to 70,000 Yen per nominal output of 1 kW. The annual subsidy budget is 9 billion Yen, and could be applied to as many as 35,000 cases. Eligible systems must have a maximum output of less than 10 kW.
ROW ■ Australia is in a strong position to develop
a thriving national solar industry over the next 20 years, according to a report into the renewable energy sector released by the Clean Energy Council (CEC). The report, undertaken by Access Economics, provides a compelling economic case for the implementation of a gross national feed-in-tariﬀ (FiT) in Australia. ■ The ﬁrst commercial aviation test ﬂight powered by the second-generation biofuel jatropha has been successfully completed in Auckland, New Zealand. A biofuel blend of 50:50 jatropha and Jet A1 fuel was used to power one of the Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400’s Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, and more than a dozen key performance tests were undertaken in the two hour test ﬂight. ■ Natural Power, an international renewable energy consultancy, has acquired the Chilean ﬁrm LatWind Eolica Latinoamericana Ltda, providing Natural Power with a base in Latin America to expand into the burgeoning renewables market there. According to Natural Power, wind power is a relatively new resource in Latin America so the primary focus of Natural Power Chile in the forthcoming years will be feasibility studies, permitting of client’s projects and project development.
World leader in Solar Water Heaters 30 years before the others discover the power of the sun Thirty years of manufacturing Solar Water Heaters, means thirty years of innovating in the field, and introducing new technologies. Three decades of continuous development, combined with vast experience and extensive research, have established MEGASUN products as leaders in most world markets. #/5:8(4+ @ 5 -@ MEGASUN @7(25" @7,9( % @87,9( @,7( 8:*,-2>@ 04@ :8,@ 04@ 3589@ 5:4970,8@* 5-@ 9/,@ <572+ ( 0 2 7 9 8 : @ 5 * - 3 + 4 , 9 8 / @ 5 7 - A 95@ 2@( 80(@ (4+@ :756,@ @A 675;0+4.@ *5490:8@ 4+( ():4+9@/5<,7 Today HELIOAKMI not only represent highly specialized technology and the experience of thirty years, but high quality systems which meet the highest demands. The solar water heaters are offered in both closed and open circuit, in a range varying from 120 to 300 liters. @,/# +*7-5 @409(2: 83,> @7( +,-5 @37 209,78@ :6@ 95@ @ 209,78@ 4+@( 9/,>@ (7,@ 5-,7+@ (8 *5362,9@:4087(> Each systems consists of: -+ "$# ' - $ #" ( - -+ #"$ -+ $" % # - " $ - " -+ A carton box which includes all the connection accessories, the differential thermostat, the pump, the expansion pot, the antifreeze liquid, valvesâ€Ś etc. 489(,5:@-0*>7; 2
@"52(7*,98 2. Storage tank (boiler)
Helioakmi S.A., NEA ZOI 19300 ASPROPYRGOS, ATTIKI - GREECE Tel.: (+30) 210 55 95 624 - 210 55 95 625 - 210 55 95 626, Fax: (+30) 210 55 95 723 No 1 under the sun
4 9 , 7 4 , 9 @ < < < / , 2 0 5 ( 1 3 0 . 7 @ ? @ , 3 ( 0 2 @ 3 , . ( 8 : 4 / , 2 0 5 ( 1 3 0 . 7
Argentine rainforest fungus produces diesel
Isofoton to electrify Guatemala and El Salvador schools Isofotón, a Spain, Madrid-based solar technology company, has won the tender for the rural electriﬁcation of 165 rural schools in Guatemala and El Salvador, which will permit access to education for 10,000 people. The tender forms part of the Eurosolar project, a regional EU programme in developmental aid that focuses on the most disadvantaged zones in South America. Financing will be eﬀected via
funds from EUROPEAID, and this money will help deploy 600 PV electricity generation systems (or hybrids such as PV-wind energy), in rural areas of Central and South America. Each school in the project will have an isolated system of 1.19 kW. Speciﬁcally, the Isofotón project will provide electriﬁcation of 117 colleges in Guatemala and 48 in El Salvador, with an estimated investment of more than €5 million between both countries.
Researchers at Montana State University (MSU) have isolated a fungus that produces a new kind of diesel fuel. According to Gary Strobel, professor of plant sciences at MSU, the discovery may oﬀer an alternative to fossil fuels. The ﬁnd is even bigger, he said, than his 1993 discovery of fungus that contained the anticancer drug taxol. Strobel found the diesel-producing fungus in a Patagonia rainforest in Argentina in 2002. He discovered that the fungus, called Gliocladium roseum, produced gases. Further testing showed that the fungus – under limited oxygen – produced a number of compounds normally associated with diesel fuel from crude oil. “These are the ﬁrst organisms that have been found that make many of the ingredients of diesel,” Strobel said. Described as myco-diesel, it could be an alternative to ethanol, he maintains. Further research is to be conducted by MSU’s College of Engineering and researchers at Yale University, including Strobel’s son, Scott, chairman of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale.
npower and RLtec set to roll out smart fridges London-based RLtec, a clean technology company majority owned by Low Carbon Accelerator, is working with npower, a leading UK energy supplier, to trial Dynamic Demand, a new technology that helps maintain the balance between supply and demand across the national electricity grid. The trial will demonstrate the potential of Dynamic Demand for reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. It will involve 300 refrigerators, is the ﬁrst demonstration action to be approved by OFGEM, the UK regulator, under CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) legislation, and will contribute towards npower’s carbon reduction obligations. Andrew Howe, ceo of RLtec, says, “appliances ﬁtted with our Dynamic Demand technology automatically modify their power consumption in response to second-by-second changes in the balance between supply and demand on the grid – without aﬀecting the fridge’s performance. This means that the amount of carbon emitting generating capacity used to maintain that balance can be dramatically reduced.” Howe claims that the technology has the potential to create a virtual power station and, if widely used in the UK, could save two million tonnes of CO2 per year for example. Dr Stephen Mahon, chief investment oﬃcer at Low Carbon Accelerator, adds, “the global market for demand response products is estimated at approximately US$15 billion per annum, and last year the National Grid spent £770 million on balancing services in the UK alone. We believe large scale roll out of RLtec’s technology would enable electricity companies to make optimal use of existing assets and reduce the need for new power generation.”
renewable energy focus
Solar plant connects to Spanish grid Germany’s Concentrix Solar GmbH – together with its partner, Spain’s Abengoa Solar – have connected a 2 MW power plant to the public utility grid under the (still valid) version of the Real Decreto 661/2007, the ﬁrst Spanish feed-in tariﬀ (FiT) law. Called Casaquemada, the power station is located near Seville and consists of both silicon ﬂat modules and concentrator PV modules mounted on tracking systems. It is claimed to be one of the ﬁrst combination power plants of this kind. Hans jörg Lerchenmüller, ceo of Concentrix Solar, said, “Casaquemada is an important step for us to show that FLATCON is a competitive technology and an alternative to conventional PV technology.”
Concentrix’s FLATCON uses Fresnel lenses, concentrating sunlight 500 times and focusing onto small highly-efficient solar cells. These cells convert the concentrated light directly into electrical energy. The systems are installed on grounds belonging to Abengoa. By the year 2013 total power of 300 MW is planned, which will supply electricity to 153,000 homes in the Seville region. Fernando Celaya, PV director of Abengoa Solar, said, “the excellent results of the test trackers on our test ﬁelds have reinforced our decision to use Concentrix technology.”
London’s hybrid bus ﬂeet expands Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled a range of new, single and double deck, eco-friendly hybrid buses – the ﬁrst stage in a major expansion of London’s hybrid bus ﬂeet. The number of hybrids is expected to more than quadruple to 56 buses shortly, making London home to the UK’s largest hybrid bus ﬂeet. A further 300 hybrids will be in operation by 2011. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said, “a wonderful alliance of fuel eﬃciency and fume deﬁciency makes hybrid engines the way to go for buses in our city.” By 2012, TfL expects all new buses joining the ﬂeet to be hybrid. At a rate of 500 buses a year, it is likely to be the largest roll out of hybrid buses in Europe. Hybrid buses feature a combination of a conventional engine and an electric motor, using less fuel and emitting fewer pollutants. They are said to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 40%. Manufacturers include Alexander Dennis, Volvo, Optare and Wrightbus. All the new hybrid buses can be recognised by the green leaf motif over their traditional red livery.
Plutonic and GE submit bids for Canadian Hydro Vancouver-based Plutonic Power Corporation has joined with GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, in submitting two bids for hydroelectric power projects costing more than C$4 billion. These would be Canada’s largest single private sector hydroelectric generation investments to date. The submissions to BC Hydro’s 2008 Clean Power Call will facilitate the development of approximately 1,200 MW of clean, run-of-river hydroelectric capacity, enough to power 330,000 homes, in the Toba and Bute Inlets along BC’s southwest coast, where GE and Plutonic are already building a 196 MW hydroelectric project. Donald McInnes, vice-chair and ceo of Plutonic, said, “this submission is the culmination of four years of planning, engineering, consultation, permitting and licensing. We are grateful to our First Nations partners, and the cities of Powell River and Campbell River, for supporting our bids, reﬂecting broad public endorsement. These projects will provide long-term economic and social beneﬁts to these First Nations and their communities, in addition to providing BC Hydro with clean electricity.” The projects will expand GE Energy Financial Services’ US$4 billion portfolio of renewable energy investments worldwide.
HRH Prince Andrew shows support for marine energy Following a meeting with Cornwall-based wave energy producer Orecon, HRH Prince Andrew has indicated he will tackle the Government on the tricky issue of marine energy pricing. His presence adds heavyweight support to the marine lobby. The lunch meeting was organised by the UK’s South West Regional Development Agency. Regarding Prince Andrew, Orecon ceo David Crisp said, “I was hugely impressed by both his knowledge and his extremely incisive questions. His experience in the Royal Navy clearly helps him appreciate the marine challenges we are overcoming.” The Prince is the UK’s Special Representative for International trade and Investment. Crisp estimates the UK’s capital equipment market at more than £20bn, based on Carbon Trust projections. “Wave energy can provide signiﬁcant numbers of jobs and economic beneﬁt in areas such as Cornwall and the South West,” he maintains. Orecon says will deploy its ﬁrst 1.5 MW buoy oﬀ the UK coast in summer 2010.
renewable energy focus
OWEL’s Grampus gains momentum UK, Cornwall-based Oﬀshore Wave Energy (OWEL), in association with Basingstoke, Hampshire-based IT Power Ltd, has further developed its innovative wave energy converter, Grampus. New research into the geometric conﬁguration of the Grampus will focus on optimising its performance and investigating its structural loading and mooring requirements. The name Grampus Griseus – or “Risso’s Dolphin” – was historically used to describe the Orca, the largest species in the dolphin family. The speciﬁc name Griseus refers to the mottled grey colour of the dolphin’s body. The SWRDA-supported project will run in parallel with a longer-term physical and mathematical modelling research programme at the Department of Engineering, University of Southampton. In addition to the internal conﬁguration of the device, the research will also consider mooring, survivability and fatigue through a hydrodynamics programme involving comprehensive CFD – computational ﬂuid dynamics – modelling and tank tests in a selected wave basin.
FedEx Express to double solar capacity with new hub FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., the world’s largest express transportation company, has broken ground on a new hub at the Cologne/Bonn airport, the site of the company’s new Central and Eastern European gateway. The state-of-the-art facility will be the largest FedEx Express gateway in Germany. It will also be the first solar-powered hub for FedEx outside of the USA, and the company’s largest solar-powered hub worldwide.
Atlantis signs tidal agreement with CLP Singapore-based Atlantis Resources Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hong Kong-based CLP Group, formerly China Light and Power. According to Atlantis, this is the world’s largest tidal energy generation agreement to date, and will, with other agreements, increase its electricity generating project pipeline to more than 800 MW. Under the agreement, Atlantis plans to collaborate with CLP to develop commercial-scale tidal current renewable energy generation projects across the Asia-Paciﬁc. Sites under investigation span AsiaPaciﬁc, Australia, the UK and North America. Timothy Cornelius, ceo of Atlantis, says, “this agreement has the potential to be the largest ever cooperation of its kind by applying the tidal current technology and deployment expertise of Atlantis with the international network and project development expertise of CLP, one of the region’s largest electricity investor-operators.” Atlantis successfully completed trials of its Solon tidal current turbine in September 2008 (see image) and has previously conducted many successful trials of its Nereus family of shallow water turbines. The commercial launch of a 2 MW Solon turbine is expected in summer 2009. Joseph Jacobelli, group director, Carbon Ventures, CLP, says, “through the MoU with Atlantis, CLP is able to explore opportunities to further expand our renewable energy portfolio to include tidal energy, in addition to our already diversiﬁed sources of wind, hydro, biomass, solar and geothermal.”
renewable energy focus
The hub is slated for completion in 2010 and is expected to employ 450 people. With a 1.4 MW solar PV power system, generating approximately 1.3 GW hours of electricity per year – equivalent to the annual consumption of 370 households – the new hub will nearly double the amount of electricity FedEx currently generates from solar power. The PV panels, ﬁtted to the roof of the new ramp and sort facilities, will cover a total surface area of 16,000 m2.
SolarWorld provides ďŹ rst solar power for the Vatican Bonn-based SolarWorld AG has completed the Vaticanâ€™s ďŹ rst solar power plant next to St. Peterâ€™s Cathedral â€“ as a gift to the Pope. Almost 2,400 solar modules are generating electricity on the roof of the Papal audience hall. Frank H. Asbeck, chairman and ceo of SolarWorld, says: â€œThis solar plant is designed to send out a visible signal for climatefriendly energy supply and the preservation of creation.â€? The new plant has a peak total output of 221.59 kW, generating some 300,000 kW hours of electricity.
The plant was blended into the historical ensemble of Vatican City with a great deal of technical and architectural eďŹ€ort. The solar modules were manufactured at SolarWorldâ€™s facility in Freiberg/ Saxony, while the inverters were donated by SMA Solar Technology, and the grid connection was planned by Italian company Tecno Spot. Since becoming Pope, Benedict XVI has promoted the causes of environmental and resource protection. In fact, the idea of a solar plant in the Vatican dates back to 2002, as the late Pope John Paul II had also expressed interest in solar cells.
Ambientâ€™s smart grid attracts new investment Massachusetts smart grid ďŹ rm Ambient Corporation has raised US$8 million from an existing investor Vicisâ€™ Capital Master Fund, which raises Vicisâ€™ stake to 65%.This reďŹ‚ects a total Vicis investment of US$23.5 million. John J. Joyce, president and ceo of Ambient, says, â€œwe are at a deďŹ ning moment, both as a company and as a nation. The incoming Administration in Washington has stated that the new clean energy economy is a top priority. Along with our partners and the continued support of Vicis, we are enabling energy eďŹƒciencies and technologies that will help the country drive towards energy independence.â€? Ambientâ€™s technology consists of a network of data-carrying cables overlaid on medium- and low-voltage segments of the transmission grid. The network allows utilities to monitor energy use in real-time at all points on the grid, and provide customers with time-based pricing to manage demand more eďŹ€ectively. Ambient NMS, the latest version of the companyâ€™s network management system, is now in demonstration phase, alongside the X2000 communications node. Ambient NMS manages a ďŹ‚exible hybrid communications platform created by Ambient Smart Grid, which provides a single platform for multiple applications. In 2006, Ambient signed a US$4 million deal with Midwestern utility Duke Energy to bring Ambient technology to 6,500 of Dukeâ€™s customers. In April 2008, Ambient received a follow-up order from Duke worth US$10.7 million.
WAsP 9.0 The industry-standard Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program for Windows 2000, XP and Vista. More than 2500 users in 100+ countries have used WAsP for: x x x x x x x x x x
Wind farm production Wind farm efficiency Micro-siting of wind turbines Power production calculations Wind resource mapping Wind climate estimation Wind atlas generation Wind data analysis & display Map digitisation & editing Power & thrust curve editing
Please visit :$V3KLJKOLJKWV1HVWHGZLQGIDUPVÂ‡UHIHUHQFHVLWHLQZLQGIDUPÂ‡ZLQG IDUPSRZHUFXUYHÂ‡VSDWLDOLPDJHXQGHUOD\Â‡UHVRXUFHJULGPDVNLQJÂ‡UHVRXUFH JULGSHUIRUPDQFHLPSURYHPHQWVÂ‡JULGVRI'5,;YDOXHVÂ‡REVWDFOHHIIHFWVLQ UHVRXUFHJULGFDOFXODWLRQVÂ‡DQQRWDWLRQVLQZRUNVSDFHÂ‡HQKDQFHG0DS(GLWRU with complete roughness map consistenF\FKHFNVÂ‡QHZ&OLPDWH$QDO\VWWRRO
www.wasp.dk for more information and details of ordering, upgrading, training courses, download and support, certified WAsP users etc.
renewable energy focus
EU renewables in short ■ In March 2007 the EU Heads of State agreed that Europe would provide for 20% of its energy consumption from renewable energy by 2020. Since then, Member States have been working towards a ﬁnal deal that amongst other things tells all Member States how much they need to contribute towards this target (burden sharing); ■ All burden sharing targets for Member States are set in stone and can’t be lowered at a later date. For example the Italians had recently called for a review clause in 2014, after which time targets could be re-evaluated. The review clause is still there, but doesn’t have any impact on future targets, rather will “serve to improve, if necessary, the eﬃciency of cooperation mechanisms”; ■ The political agreement allows for cooperation mechanisms to allow Member States to: run joint projects with one or more Member States on green electricity production, heating or cooling; transfer renewable energy ‘statistically’ between each other; join or partly coordinate their national support schemes. The compromise also adds the possibility of counting green electricity consumed in a Member State, but produced by newly-constructed joint projects with third countries; ■ The informal compromise backs the target of at least 10% share of renewable energies in the transport sector by 2020, but there are some important amendments: ‘secondgeneration’ biofuels produced from waste, residues, or non-food cellulosic and ligno-cellulosic biomass will be double credited towards the 10% target; renewable electricity for trains will be counted only once; renewable electricity consumed by electric cars will be considered 2.5 times its input; to be counted, biofuels must save at least 35% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels; from 2017 greenhouse gas emission savings of existing installations must be at least 50%, those of new installations at least 60%. The Commission says it will develop a methodology to measure the greenhouse gas emissions caused by indirect land use changes i.e. when crops for biofuels production are grown in areas which have previously been used to grow a food crop, and this food crop production then moves to other areas which were not in use before (e.g. existing forests).
renewable energy focus
Landmark agreement on renewables, but EU climate change package underwhelms
The renewables industry breathed a sigh of relief as EU Heads of State left the renewables directive largely untouched in Brussels, but other parts of the EU’s package that are supposed to deal with climate change - namely carbon trading or ‘cap and trade’ - were not be so lucky. While the headline 20% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 was always considered untouchable, the cost of achieving this led to ﬁerce negotiation and self-interest from Eastern European countries such as Poland, not to mention the huge industrial lobby in Europe. And in a stunning u-turn from earlier versions of the Bill, industrial sectors such as cement, chemicals and steel will now receive free carbon emission permits at least up to 2020, instead of having to buy them under an auction scheme, as previously planned. The concession represented a victory for Germany, Europe’s largest manufacturing nation. It means that revenues from the EU’s auction are now expected to be closer to €30 billion as apposed to €50bn by 2020. The concession will also minimise the incentive for cleaner technologies, give a huge windfall to recipients of the free permits, and punish companies that have already invested in clean technologies, many experts argue. In addition, for central and eastern European countries such as Poland that are burdened with highly-polluting power sectors from the Communist era, a deal was struck that will ease the ﬁnancial pain of switching to a lowcarbon economy. When it comes to the renewables directive, however, the news is far better. The main 20% by 2020 target is still in place, and all of the original Member States’ burden sharing targets have
survived. Many of the potential sticking points were also resolved successfully. On renewables trade, for example, Member States will be able to decide themselves whether (and to what extent) they will engage with other Member States, rather than have mandatory trading forced upon them, something that could have endangered national support schemes. On the thorny issue of biofuels a compromise of sorts has also been thrashed out, sources say. The 10% transport target has been retained, but this will include cars and trains running on electricity (electric cars count 2.5 times towards the target due to increased eﬃciency). The European Commission is to report within two years on the impact on land use of biofuels and on their ‘sustainability.’ And in its second EU Strategic Energy Review the European Commission proposed a wideranging energy package, which gives a new boost to energy security in Europe: ■ It puts forward a new strategy to build up energy solidarity among Member States, and a new policy on energy networks to stimulate investment in more eﬃcient, low-carbon energy networks; ■ It proposes an Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan to secure sustainable energy supplies in the EU, and looks at the challenges that Europe will face between 2020 and 2050; ■ It adopts a package of energy eﬃciency proposals aiming to make energy savings in key areas, such as reinforcing energy eﬃciency legislation on buildings and energyusing products.
Av ail no ab w le !
Develop and expand your environmental energy technology business
in the countryâ€™s most environmentally advanced technology centre Flexible, serviced office, laboratory and workshop units available now The new Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre on the Rotherham-Sheffield border provides the ideal location to develop your environmental energy technology business more effectively and quickly.
Your business will also benefit from a unique package of specialist advice and services, including:
The energy wing will enable you to develop your technologies in an iconic, carbon-neutral building, powered by Europe's largest capacity hydrogen mini-grid system.
7 Commercialisation of environmental energy technologies
7 Access to potential finance and investment networks 7 1 For further information:
The AMP is a Yorkshire Forward project managed by Renaissance South Yorkshire
Part financed by the European Union. European Regional Development Fund
+44 (0) 1709 766 457 firstname.lastname@example.org
NEF: Clean energy shares on the up after 61% battering in 2008? Clean energy shares have been beneﬁting from an ‘Obama Bounce’, surging from their lows in November last year, according to analyst New Energy Finance. The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index, which tracks the performance of 88 clean energy stocks worldwide, slumped over 70% from its value at the start of 2008 to its low in November. Since then, however, it has recovered by over 45% as investors take heart from President Obama’s apparent commitment to the sector. The NEX index started last year at 455.19 and, despite the worsening conditions in the ﬁnancial markets, deﬁed gravity for the ﬁrst three quarters of 2008, trading mainly in the 350 to 450 range. The ﬁnal quarter of 2008, however, saw it collapse, touching an intra-day low of 132.96 in late November. As of 13 January 2009, it was up at 175.34. The drop in clean energy share prices was steeper than that for most non-specialist stock indices. The NEX’s fall compared with a 38.5% setback for the US S&P 500 index in 2008, a 31% fall for London’s FTSE100 index, a 44% retreat for the Dow Jones Eurostoxx 50, and a 41% fall for the US Nasdaq Composite. There were three reasons why the sector was hit so hard: ■ With oil and gas prices collapsing from their July peaks, the sector was bound to suﬀer as these are counted as energy stocks; ■ Investors were getting rid of stocks with technology or execution risk, in favour of longer-established businesses; ■ In an era of sharply constrained credit, investors penalised companies with high capital requirements, even the more established, asset-based clean energy companies, which bear no technology risk, are high-growth and therefore capital-hungry.
In addition, it should be noted that the index had experienced an extraordinary run-up during the last few years, particularly in 2007, when it soared by 58%, setting it up for an almost inevitable correction. Solar in the corner Solar was the star of 2007 but the dunce of 2008, according to NEF. Solar shares fell 75% on average last year as investors took a more cautious view of valuations and worried about the likelihood of falling prices ahead in everything from polysilicon to modules. The biofuels and biomass sector, which performed poorly in 2007, had another bad year in 2008 with its share prices falling on average by 68% as high feedstock prices and the credit crunch inﬂicted double damage. Wind, the largest sector of clean energy, saw share prices fall 56%, mainly because of fears of a weaker project development trend and therefore lower turbine prices for manufacturers. The most resilient sector by far was power storage, which enjoyed an average 6% share price gain as battery makers caught the imagination of investors. No fewer than 84 of the NEX’s 88 stocks lost ground in dollar terms in 2008. Michael Liebreich, chairman and CEO of New Energy Finance, says: “2008 was a bruising year for clean energy shares. There was a point when the NEX index was at a level we haven’t seen since September 2003 – before the ratiﬁcation of the Kyoto Protocol, before Hurricane Katrina and President Bush’s statement that the US was ‘addicted’ to oil, before the publication of the Stern Review, before the premiere of The Inconvenient Truth. That’s plainly absurd, even in the light of the unsustainable surge in valuations in 2006 and 2007.
Which were the best and worst performing clean energy sectors in 2008?
“The growth prospects for clean energy investment remain exciting. Worries about climate change and energy security are still on the political agenda... And Obama is not the only leader seeing clean energy as an important element in the programmes they are planning, to help stimulate economic activity,” Liebreich comments. Figures for the NEX in the fourth quarter of 2008 show that the index slipped 36%, with the period split between a sharp decline up to the low of 21 November and then a significant rally to 31 December. Among the sectors on the index, solar stocks lost an average of 49% in Q4, and biofuels and biomass lost 44%. Hydrogen and fuel cells slipped 40% and wind 30%.
US wind grows by nearly 8.4 GW in 2008 The US wind energy industry installed 8,358 MW of new generating capacity in 2008, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has reported. The outlook for 2009 is less certain, however, due to the continuing ﬁnancial crisis. The growth in 2008 increased the country’s total wind power generating capacity by 50% and channelled an investment of around US$17 billion into the economy. Wind is now one of the leading sources of new power generation in the USA alongside natural gas. At year end, however, ﬁnancing for new projects and orders for turbine components slowed to a trickle and
renewable energy focus
layoﬀs began to hit the wind turbine manufacturing sector. “Our numbers are both exciting and sobering,” says AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “The US wind energy industry’s performance in 2008 conﬁrms that wind is an economic and job creation dynamo, ready to deliver on the President’s call to double renewable energy production in three years. At the same time, it is clear that the economic and ﬁnancial downturn have begun to take a serious toll on new wind development”. The new wind projects completed in 2008 account for about 42% of the entire new
power-producing capacity added in 2008, according to initial estimates. Total wind energy generating capacity in the USA now stands at 25,170 MW and around 85,000 people are employed in the wind industry today. The top ﬁve states in terms of capacity installed are now: ■ Texas: 7,116 MW; ■ Iowa: 2,790 MW; ■ California: 2,517 MW; ■ Minnesota: 1,752 MW; ■ Washington: 1,375 MW.
IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 changes tack In something of a departure from its previous reports, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2008 (WEO-2008) warns of dire consequences of an inadequate response to the climate crisis, and calls for a radical retooling of the global energy system. “We cannot let the ﬁnancial and economic crisis delay the policy action that is urgently needed to ensure secure energy supplies and to curtail rising emissions of greenhouse gases. We must usher in a global energy revolution by improving energy eﬃciency and increasing the deployment of low-carbon energy,” says Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of IEA. In the WEO-2008 Reference Scenario, which assumes no new government policies, world primary energy demand grows by 1.6% per year on average between 2006 and 2030 – an increase of 45%. This is slower than projected last year, mainly due to the impact of the economic slowdown, prospects for higher energy prices and some new policy initiatives. Demand for oil and coal will continue to rise, but modern renewables will grow most rapidly, overtaking gas to become the second-largest source of electricity soon after 2010. According to the WEO-2008, oil will remain the world’s main source of energy for many years to come, even under the most optimistic of assumptions about the developments of alternative technology.
Tackling challenges Stabilising greenhouse gas concentration at 550 ppm of CO2-equivalent, which would limit the temperature increase to about 3°C, would require emissions to rise to no more than 33 Gt in 2030 and to fall in the longer term, says the report. The share of low-carbon energy – hydropower, nuclear, biomass, other renewables and fossilfuel power plants equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) – in the world primary energy mix would need to expand from 19% in 2006 to 26% in 2030. The scale of the challenge in limiting greenhouse gas concentration to 450 ppm of CO2-equivalent, which would involve a temperature rise of about 2°C, is much greater. World energy-related CO2 emissions would need to drop sharply from 2020 onwards, reaching less than 26 Gt in 2030. Achieving such an outcome would require even faster growth in the use of low-carbon energy – to account for 36% of global primary energy mix by 2030, according to the report. However, IEA says these scenarios will not lower oil demand: “Even in [more optimistic] Policy Scenarios, OPEC production will need to be 12 mb/d higher in 2030 than today.” Mr. Tanaka says. Renewable Energy Outlook 2030 begs to diﬀer However, some experts are already taking umbrage with the IEA’s ﬁgures. The Energy Watch
Group study Renewable Energy Outlook 2030 has come to the conclusion that phasing out the use of fossil and nuclear fuels can be accomplished at a manageable investment level. The study looks into the decrease in technology costs resulting from increased production volume, as well as the assumed individual development of the various world regions. On this basis, it generates a more optimistic perspective of renewable technologies than the scenarios of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook series has, according to the Energy Watch Group. The study’s main message is that renewables can be extended at much lower costs than many scientists assume. More than half of the electricity demand (54%) and 13% of the heat demand in the OECD countries can be covered from renewable sources by 2030, it concludes. Stefan Gsänger, World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) Secretary General, comments: “The Renewable Energy Outlook 2030 unveils a realistic path describing how wind energy and other renewable energy technologies will develop in the coming two decades. The study shows that, based on pure economics, wind energy will deliver a lion’s share of the global electricity needs in the not too distant future. We congratulate the Energy Watch Group for this analysis which is much more realistic than many other reports and scenarios published so far.”
Robot inspects wind turbine blades A robot has been developed by Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF to inspect composite wind turbine blades in minute detail on location. The RIWEA robot is said to register any crack and delamination in the material, relaying their exact positions. It also checks the bond with the central strut. Rotor blades, have to withstand wind, inertial forces and erosion and therefore have to be inspected at regular intervals, but their often inhospitable locations – especially when it comes to oﬀshore wind turbines – makes this task diﬃcult. This is not a problem for the robot, which can pull itself up ropes and can climb wind turbines of any size, on- or oﬀshore.
A robot ascends a wind energy converter to inspect its rotor blades for potential damage (image - Fraunhofer IFF).
The inspection system included in the robot features an infrared radiator conducting heat to the surface of the rotor blade. A high-resolution thermal camera can then record the temperature pattern and thereby register ﬂaws in the material. An ultrasonic system and high resolution camera enable the robot to detect damage hidden to the human eye.
renewable energy focus
FiT updates in Turkey and Greece
projects in brief The Carbon Trust is launching the Algae Biofuels Challenge, seeking to commercialise the use of algae biofuel as an alternative to fossil based oil by 2020; Vattenfall has acquired the 300 MW Thanet Oﬀshore Wind project for £35 million from CRC Energy Jersey 1 Limited. The total investment for completing the wind farm is in the order of around £780 million; A cluster of excellence for the development of ﬂexible organic solar cells and modules with a 10% increase in eﬃciency, will receive almost €2 million over four years from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; EDF Energies Nouvelles has oﬃcially opened the 7 MWp La Narbonnaise photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in the Aude region of France, said to be the largest solar power plant currently operating in mainland France. The solar farm has 95,000 thin-ﬁlm modules supplied by First Solar; RWE Innogy plans a 960 MW oﬀshore wind farm oﬀ the German coast. It is to be built 40 km north of the North Sea island of Juist, with an area of around 150 km2 and water depths of 26-34 m. The windfarm is expected to be completed in 2015, representing a total investment of around €2.8 billion.
The purchase guarantee for power generation through renewable energy could be updated by the Turkish government for ten years with a new feed-in tariﬀ (FiT). According to the proposed Bill, the purchase guarantee will be given for renewable power generation. The Government would purchase the electricity for an average of €0.05-€0.18/kWh. Unit prices would be rated by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) and would “not to be lower than average wholesale prices of previous year in Turkish market.” Greece has also introduced a FiT for photovoltaic (PV) through its new PV law. The law sets a deadline for issuing permits and by the end of 2009, all applications that have been submitted so far (more than 3 GWp) must be dealt with and approved or rejected. It also abolishes the unoﬃcial cap of 0.8 GWp that was set by previous legislation. A separate programme for rooftop PV with a diﬀerent
2009 February 2009 August 2010 February 2010 August 2011 February 2011 August 2012 February 2012 August 2013 February 2013 August 2014 February 2014 August Year ‘n’ from 2105 onwards
FiT guaranteed for 20 years will be set up, and the PV law introduces a tender process for PV systems >10 MWp. The new FiT are guaranteed for 20 years and will be adjusted annually for inﬂation (25% of last year’s consumer price index). A grid connection agreement can be signed, however, locking the FiT, and gaining another 18 months to ﬁnalise installation.
Turkish FiT: €/kWh ﬁrst ﬁve years
Wind Biomass Geothermal Hydro Sun
0.06 0.14 0.07 0.05 0.18
€/kWh remaining ﬁve years 0.05 0.10 0.06 0.05 0.18
New Greek FiT for PV (€/MWh): Mainland Grid Autonomous island grids >100 ≤100 >100 ≤100 kWp kWp kWp kWp 400.00 450.00 450.00 500.00 400.00 450.00 450.00 500.00 400.00 450.00 450.00 500.00 392.04 441.05 441.05 490.05 372.83 419.43 419.43 466.03 351.01 394.88 394.88 438.76 333.81 375.53 375.53 417.26 314.27 353.56 353.56 392.84 298.38 336.23 336.23 373.59 281.38 316.55 316.55 351.72 268.94 302.56 302.56 336.18 260.97 293.59 293.59 326.22 1.3* 1.4* 1.4* 1.5* SMCn-1 SMCn-1 SMCn-1 SMCn-1
*SMC = System Marginal Cost
Hemlock and Dow Corning invest up to US $3bn in polysilicon production Hemlock Semiconductor will invest up to US$3.0 billion to expand polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) production. The Hemlock Semiconductor group includes two Dow Corning Corporation joint ventures, Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor LLC. The expansion includes an initial investment of US$1.2bn to build a new site in Clarksville, Tennessee, and up to US$1bn to expand current operations in Hemlock, Michigan. Combined, the new Clarksville facility and the expanded Hemlock operations may add up to 34,000 tonnes of polysilicon capacity and ultimately as 18
renewable energy focus
much as US$3.0bn in investments to support the fast-growing solar industry. Construction of both the Michigan expansion and the new Tennessee site will begin immediately.
site will have the capacity to manufacture approximately 10,000 tonnes of polysilicon, with the ability to expand production up to 21,000 tonnes.
To execute the Hemlock Semiconductor group investment, the company’s shareholders formed Hemlock Semiconductor LLC, a new joint venture (JV) that will manage the Tennessee site. Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation will continue to manage the company’s existing Michigan site.
Most of the polysilicon produced by the new facilities will be consumed by ﬁrms in the solar industry; however, both sites will have the capability to manufacture ultra-pure silicon for the electronics industry as well as solar-grade material. In solar applications, polycrystalline silicon is the cornerstone material used to produce solar cells that harvest renewable energy from sunlight.
Hemlock Semiconductor LLC’s new production facility will be constructed at the Commerce Park site in Clarksville, Tennessee. Initially, this
Renewables in Asia – a roundup Thailand’s Energy Ministry has raised its targets for renewable energy use to 10% of total national energy consumption by 2011 from 8% in line with the Government’s push to encourage growth in renewable energy sources in the country. Once the renewable energy target is met, energy costs could be cut by US$4.4 billion to US$4.5 billion in that year. Electricity and heating power generation are gradually being replaced by biomass, biogas, solar cells, wind power, mini-hydro and waste, which now represent 4% of the total, almost double the renewable energy use of last year. The Thai Government foresees ethanol demand in 2011 to rise to 2.4 million litres a day from 900,000 litres now, while biodiesel will be three million litres, up from 1.3 million litres. Indonesia will use biofuel as alternative energy The Indonesia Government plans to use crude palm oil (CPO) and other biomass fuel as an alternative energy source as the fuel shortage has hit the country. Indonesia is the second largest CPO producer in the world. Together with Malaysia, it controls 85% of the global CPO production. Last year, there was a total of 4.1 million hectares of oil palm plantations in the country. Rice husk gasiﬁers to foster rural development in Burma Rice husk power plants have the potential to reduce Burma’s dependence on oil – at least to some degree – but their major selling point could be that they enable electricity supply in rural areas and foster development. In 2007, a 50 kW rice husk gasiﬁer was installed in Tagoondaing Village in Yangon Division. The gasiﬁer now provides electricity for 304 houses in two villages, Tagoondaing and Alesu.
Bangladesh government approves Renewable Energy Policy The Bangladesh Government has approved the landmark Renewable Energy Policy 2008, encouraging investment in electricity generation from renewables and for reducing dependence on traditional sources of energy. Under the policy, an independent institution - Sustainable Energy Development Agency (SEDA) - will be established under the Companies Act 1994, as a focal point for sustainable energy development and promotion, the policy maintained. As per provision of the policy, both government and private investors in renewable energy projects will get relief from corporate income tax for 15 years, and the electricity generated could be purchased by power entities through mutual agreement. It has been predicted that 5% of electricity demand would be met by 2015 through renewables, and 10% by 2020. The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) will approve the energy tariﬀ as per the provision of the BERC Act 2003 if the capacity of renewable energy project is 1 MW or more. A network of micro-credit support system will be established, especially in rural and remote areas, to provide ﬁnancial support for purchase of renewable energy equipment. Bangladesh’s newly-elected Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also asked energy ministry oﬃcials to push for comprehensive development of the energy and power sector by tapping the potential of renewable energy. The PM has announced waivers on taxes on solar panel and other renewable energy equipment to encourage mass use of clean energy in line with the Renewable Energy Policy approved by the previous interim Caretaker Government. Bangladesh currently has an electricity shortfall of 500 MW. Over 300,000 households already use solar energy equivalent to 15 MW, mainly in the coastal south-western region. Azam Mahmood, Asia correspondent
IRENA greeted as milestone for renewables The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has oﬃcially been founded in Bonn, Germany. IRENA is a milestone on the road towards a future-oriented energy supply. More than 120 government delegations from across the world attended the conference and a total of 75 nations representing a broad cross-section of developing and industrialised countries, signed the Agency’s statute on 26 January 2009. IRENA is the ﬁrst international organisation to
focus exclusively on the issue of renewable energies. Its aim is to close the gap between the enormous potential of renewables, and their relatively low market share in energy consumption. The main work of IRENA will be to advise its members on creating the right frameworks, building capacity, and improving ﬁnancing and transfer of technology and know-how for renewable energies.
In June 2009 the Preparatory Commission will decide on the location of the Agency’s seat and elect the ﬁrst Director-General. The IRENA founding process was led by the German Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Development Ministry, in close cooperation with the Federal Foreign Oﬃce. The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has urged the new US Administration to join IRENA.
California retailers must have 33% RE by 2020 Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed Executive Order S-14-08, revising California’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) upward to require all retail sellers of electricity to serve 33% of their load from renewable energy sources by 2020. The existing RPS requires retail sellers to supply
new goal, a substantial increase in the development of wind, solar, geothermal, and other ‘RPS eligible’ energy projects will be needed.
sion Initiative will identify renewable energy
The order seeks to accelerate such development by streamlining the siting, permitting, and procurement processes for renewable energy generation facilities.
■ The California Energy Commission (CEC)
zones that can be developed as such with little environmental impact; together with the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will collaborate to expedite the review, permitting, and licensing
20% of their total electrical load from renewable
To this end, S-14-08 issues two directives:
process for proposed RPS-eligible renewable
energy sources by 2010. In order to meet the
■ the existing Renewable Energy Transmis-
renewable energy focus
I recently read a prediction that in ZFBSTPGWFIJDMFTQSPEVDFE BSFMJLFMZUPCFFMFDUSJD
Is the PEV/PHEV transition underway? One of the industries that has been hit hard by the global ďŹ nancial crisis is the car industry. The crisis, combined with uncertainties about the future price and availability of oil, has meant that many of the large car manufacturers are considering seriously â€˜greenâ€™ car options including plug in electric (PEV) and hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). In fact I recently read a prediction that in 7 years 30 % of vehicles produced are likely to be electric. This provides quite an opportunity for signiďŹ cant greenhouse gas reductions, especially when electricity supply systems have high penetrations of renewables.
Individual: Regular, Senior, Student 4JMWFS ZFBST (PME MJGFUJNF
Corporate: $PNQBOZ 4JMWFS$PNQBOZ ZFBST
*OTUJUVUJPO 4JMWFS*OTUJUVUJPO ZFBST
Services: t 4PMBS&OFSHZ+PVSOBM3FOFXBCMF&OFSHZ'PDVT )JHIRVBMJUZQFSJPEJDBMT t 8PSLTIPQT DPOGFSFODFT TFNJOBST &YDIBOHFPGJEFBT FEVDBUJPO t 1SPKFDUTBOEJOJUJBUJWFT %FWFMPQNFOUBOEBQQMJDBUJPOPG3&TZTUFNT
Contact details: *4&4*OUFSOBUJPOBM)FBERVBSUFST 7JMMB5BOOIFJN 8JFTFOUBMTUS 79115 Freiburg (FSNBOZ Tel: +49 761 459060 'BY &.BJMIR!JTFTPSH 8FCIUUQXXXJTFTPSH
What I think is exciting are the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) possibilities of EVs â€“ that is the option of delivering power from the vehicle to the grid as well as taking power from the grid for charging. This gives PEV and PHEV owners the option to park at special solar parking stations during the day on the understanding that they can deliver, on signal from a utility, power to the grid during peak periods â€“ of course leaving enough power to get home. Alternatively, the cars could be used to run, say, home air conditioners during peak periods.
Executive Committee 2008 â€“ 2009: 1SFTJEFOU.POJDB0MJQIBOU 7JDF1SFTJEFOUT .FNCFSTIJQ"ĂľBJST1SPG+BO0MPG%BMFOCĂŠDL 4DJFOUJmDBOE5FDIOJDBM"ĂľBJST%S%BWJE43FOOĂ? 1VCMJD"ĂľBJST.BIBMBUI)BMQFSJO *OEVTUSJFT)VBOH.JOH 4FDSFUBSZ%S&EVBSEP"3JODĂ˜O.KĂ“B 5SFBTVSFS5PSCFO&TCFOTFO &YFDVUJWF%JSFDUPS$ISJTUJOF)PSOTUFJO
Just recently I went to the ISES Regional Latin-American Congress in Florianopolis, Brazil. In the exhibition there was a PEV being developed by Itaipu, the worldâ€™s largest hydropower utility (14,000 MW of installed capacity.) Itaipu sees a good potential market for PEVs. The PEVs will provide the company with ďŹ‚eet vehicles and a mechanism for peak lopping. 50â€“100 cars (depending on battery capacity) are needed per MW of load reduction.
renewable energy focus
A global alliance with a vision: rapid transition to a renewable energy world Purpose: t &ODPVSBHFUIFVTFBOEBDDFQUBODFPGSFOFXBCMF FOFSHZ 3& UFDIOPMPHJFT t 1SPNPUFEFWFMPQNFOUBOEBDDFTTUP3&UFDIOPMPHJFT HMPCBMMZ t 3FBMJTFBHMPCBMDPNNVOJUZCZGPTUFSJOH $PPQFSBUJPOCFUXFFONFNCFST &YDIBOHFPGJEFBTBOEUFDIOPMPHZ t $SFBUFBOEEJTUSJCVUFMJUFSBUVSFQVCMJDBUJPOT 'BDJMJUBUFBOJOGPSNBUJPOFYDIBOHF 5SBOTGFSLOPXIPX t 0ĂľFSNFFUJOHPQQPSUVOJUJFT Bring together industry, research, political decision NBLFSTJOTVQQPSUPGSFOFXBCMFFOFSHZ
Two of the main criticisms for EV use are insuďŹƒcient range and lack of fuelling stations. Neither are valid restrictions. With a current range of between 100 and 200km, this is well within the distance travelled by most daily commuters. And with many homes having two cars, the second one can always be the one used for longer distance and genuine oďŹ€-road travel. Also, with many PEVs a single household supply is all that is needed to recharge cars overnight and new developments, for example using supercapacitors to reduce charge times, look very promising.
Following my visit to Brazil, I attended the ISES Regional Asia-PaciďŹ c Congress in Sydney, Australia, where the latest advances in PV and Solar Thermal technologies were discussed. Australia is noted for excellent research work in these topics but the country is traditionally not so good at commercialising the technology. So I hope we are able to capitalise on such progressive thinking.
International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
ISES National Sections .PSFJOGPSNBUJPOBOEDPOUBDUEFUBJMTGPS*4&4/BUJPOBM 4FDUJPOTDBOCFGPVOEBUIUUQXXXJTFTPSHoVOEFS $POUBDUTo/BUJPOBM4FDUJPOT "SHFOUJOB "VTUSJB "VTUSBMJB/FX;FBMBOE "SBC4FDUJPO #FMHJVN #VMHBSJB $BOBEB $IJOB $PTUB3JDB $SPBUJB $ZQSVT $[FDI3FQVCMJD %FONBSL &HZQU 4PVUI1BDJmD 'JKJ 'JOMBOE 'SBODF (FPSHJB (FSNBOZ (IBOB (SFFDF )VOHBSZ *OEJB *TSBFM *UBMZ +BQBO 4PVUI,PSFB .BMBZTJB .FYJDP /FQBM /FUIFSMBOET /PSXBZ 1BLJTUBO 1IJMJQQJOFT 1PMBOE 1PSUVHBM 3PNBOJB 3VTTJB 4MPWFOJB 4PVUI"GSJDB 4QBJO 4XFEFO 4XJU[FSMBOE 5VSLFZ 6LSBJOF 6OJUFE ,JOHEPN 64" *4&43FHJPOBM0ĂśDFTBSF*4&4"GSJDB *4&4"TJB1BDJmD *4&4 &VSPQF BOE*4&44PVUI"NFSJDB
President: Monica Oliphant
400 EXHIBITORS | 15,000 VISITORS | 1,600 CONFERENCE ATTENDEES
July 14 –16, 2009 San Francisco | California | Moscone Center PHOTOVOLTAICS | SOLAR THERMAL TECHNOLOGY | SOLAR ARCHITECTURE
w w w. i n t e r s o l a r. u s
R E S E R V E Y O U R E X H I B I T I O N S P A C E T O D AY A N D S E C U R E A P L AC E W I T H T H E I N T E R N AT I O N A L S O L A R I N D U S T RY !
CONNECTING SOLAR BUSINESS
Wind/Operation & Maintenance
The problem with O&M FRANK MASTIAUX, CEO OF E.ON CLIMATE AND RENEWABLES RECENTLY SAID THAT IF COMPANIES SUCH AS E.ON ARE TO REALISE THEIR PROJECT PIPELINES AND GET MW ON THE GROUND, THE WIND INDUSTRY HAS TO MOVE FROM “BOUTIQUE TO TRULY INDUSTRIAL LEVELS OF OUTPUT”. BUT AS THIS HAPPENS AT AN EVER INCREASING RATE CREDIT CRUNCH OR NO CREDIT CRUNCH, HOW CAN PROJECT DEVELOPERS AND TURBINE MANUFACTURERS ENSURE THAT THE TWIN DEMONS OF POOR TURBINE RELIABILITY AND HIGH COSTS OF O&M BOTH WELL DOCUMENTED DO NOT CONSPIRE TO REDUCE THE POTENTIAL SCALE OF WIND POWER? 22
renewable energy focus
Wind/Operation & Maintenance
Over the next few issues In a new, regular, column, Renewable Energy Focus will look at various aspects of O&M.
the fault of an O&M team. If a wind turbine component is poorly engineered, it will make itself known very quickly to those in the wind industry.
In the ﬁrst installment, Matthew Jackson and Stephen Rogers from the Arthur D. Little consultancy suggest how Oﬀshore wind can overcome its various obstacles (see pages 24-27).
About the only area of design that allows ﬁeld eﬀorts to aﬀect reliability is in the control system. Today’s wind turbine control systems can be over stacked with complexity. The turbine controllers are over protective, complicated and not user-friendly. Such controllers make troubleshooting diﬃcult, especially if the wind turbine’s theory of operation is not made bluntly evident.
But ﬁrst, Jack Wallace, wind turbine technical advisor with US-based Frontier Pro Services, asks whether extended periods of downtime might not just be a problem of faulty turbines, but rather on occasion be down to the lack of expertise – and poor attitude – of the O&M teams themselves…
Downtime and your O&M team – turbine availability begins at home With all the various and uncontrollable causes of turbine downtime that wind park owners and operators are all too familiar with, there remains a frequently overlooked, entirely manageable cause of turbine downtime: the operations and maintenance (O&M) team.
But if you have a speciﬁc wind turbine, or wind park, then that is what you get. That decision is a 20-50 year decision. It is ﬁnal. In all probability no one is going to be replacing that turbine with another design anytime soon. So, the wind park operator needs to change his mindset from the list of problems inherent in the turbine’s design to creating a best-in-class operations plan for keeping the turbines running. Eventually the engineering problems will be worked out, and all that will be left to ﬁx will be up to you.
The most important issue for any wind park operator is to ensure the turbines are available when the wind is on. As wind parks proliferate and turbine technology becomes increasingly complicated, the shortage of qualiﬁed wind energy technicians is taking a signiﬁcant toll on downtime. The stress on O&M that leads to turbine downtime takes many forms. Insuﬃcient training, poor employee motivation, engineering problems, over-complicated and over-controlled procedures, lack of a sense of urgency, as well as the O&M team’s failure to apply an appropriate attention to detail.
“Wind parks that deliver superior ﬁnancial
The most important success factor for any wind park operator is turbine availability – when the wind is blowing, the blades must be turning. The cost of downtime from O&M ineﬃciencies can be diﬃcult to calculate. The diﬀerence is often hidden; meaning that many days of wind can hide one day of a turbine being oﬀ line.
Jack Wallace, Frontier Pro Services
However, these outages add up to signiﬁcant lost revenue when averaged over the course of a year or the lifetime of the wind park. Wind parks that deliver superior ﬁnancial returns typically have well-trained, highly motivated O&M teams that are driven by incentives crafted to ensure the blades will turn whenever the wind is blowing. As a wind technician and ﬁeld consultant for more than 20 years, I have heard and seen some mind-boggling and maddening things. Once a few years ago, I was discussing a customer’s O&M challenges with him, and he told me in all sincerity that “wind is our enemy.” That was as backward and disheartening a thought as I could imagine! So, I began to talk with him and his team further to understand what had them all so frustrated. I discovered that they were understaﬀed or staﬀed with unqualiﬁed people, and that the O&M team’s eﬀorts were unappreciated insofar as their often times extraordinary service eﬀorts were not acknowledged or recognised in anyway. Unrecognised for their work to keep the turbines up (or down!), their motivation to answer middle of the night calls to reset faults was clearly waning – and wind had become the enemy. It is true that a good portion of downtime on wind parks is related to the engineering of the wind turbine. Major component failures are usually not
returns typically have well-trained, highly motivated O&M teams that are driven by incentives crafted to ensure the blades will turn whenever the wind is blowing.”
For years I drove past a wind park that always had many machines oﬀ. I assumed that the turbine had a bad design and that that was the reason for such poor operations. Ten years later, and I am now running that wind park with a team of my technicians. The problem was not design. It was operator motivation. The operator did not try very hard. Today, that same wind park is now operating in its 23rd year, and running well. Maybe the manufacturer will help you get the machines running, maybe they won’t. Regardless, the reputation of your wind park is up to you. You know if you are trying or not, and so do your co-workers. Making the machines run is priority one. Yes, it’s challenging work; but it is the work of the O&M team. We are not talking wind turbine eﬃciency here. We are talking about reliability and run time. If you can keep them running in wind then you are doing your job. All incentives, recognition, processes and procedures must be in line with this fundamental objective: the wind turbines must be available when the wind is on. As far as eﬃciency problems go, they are engineering problems and have to be built in. If you ﬁnd yourself with time to worry about eﬃciency – that is icing on the cake. The bulk of the problem, though, is ensuring the turbines are running. I have worked with many diﬀerent types of wind turbines. The number one cause of nuisance faults causing downtime are controller issues. Once you have the controllers working properly, then the next most common cause of downtime is technician-related.
renewable energy focus
Wind/Operation & Maintenance
Oﬀshore wind project update The UK’s Thanet oﬀshore wind farm has been saved by Vattenfall’s £35m purchase of the project. ScottishPower had been due to purchase the project, but pulled out late into negotiations. Onshore construction work had already begun on the project, with foundation installation due to start before the end of 2008. Foundations will now go in starting in February 2009, using A2Sea’s vessel Sea Jack. Installation of the 100 Vestas V90 turbines will take place in 2010 and will be performed by Marine Projects International. Commissioning on the £780m project is due by the end of 2010. Vestas is supplying 100 turbines with total capacity of 300MW. The high cost of the Thanet project and other forthcoming projects is cause for concern. Major developers such as Centrica have previously expressed concern. For the UK, the falling value of the pound against the euro is exacerbating fears, as is the overall economic slowdown. There is a risk that some of the more expensive projects will be postponed or cancelled. Developers may attempt to bring in new project partners to help share costs on the large oﬀshore wind farms. Supply chain constraints will be an additional factor on projects due post 2010, with an increasing number of projects competing for resources each year. Late last year, the jack-up Titan-1 was lost at sea during transportation from the US to the UK. The jack-up was being moved from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Liverpool ahead of starting an 817-day contract in the North Sea. The job would have covered the installation, servicing and maintenance of wind turbines oﬀ Denmark and the UK. The ﬁrst project was aiding with installation at the 90 MW Rhyl Flats project oﬀ north Wales. Despite this loss, the Rhyl project is on schedule for completion in summer 2009. Other UK activity ongoing includes the 172 MW Gunﬂeet Sands project (consisting of the Round 1 and Round 2 projects combined), due for completion in autumn 2009. Installation work at Robin Rigg is well progressed, albeit behind schedule, with completion of the 180 MW site due in 2009. In Scotland, the bidding process for the Crown Estate’s separate licensing process saw 23 projects put forward from 14 companies or joint ventures, a higher response than ﬁrst anticipated. It is hoped that the ﬁrst of these projects would enter construction around 2016. The actual permitting process these projects would be subject to has yet to be determined. Denmark’s Horns Rev II project is well underway, with foundations all installed and cable installation taking place at present. Turbine installation will begin in March and is to be undertaken by A2Sea. The project remains on schedule for completion at the end of 2009. This will be the ﬁrst oﬀshore completion in Denmark since the ﬁrst Nysted project was built in 2003. The other major current project oﬀ Denmark is an extension to the Nysted wind farm. The Nysted II project will see gravity base foundation installation start in February. Turbine installation and commissioning of the 207 MW project, which uses 2.3 MW Siemens turbines, will take place in 2010. A new 400 MW project is to be built between Djursland and the island of Anholt. The Danish Energy Authority has arranged environmental assessments of the site, the cable route and also geotechnical investigations. After an expression of interest early in 2009, full bids are expected by summer 2010. The Danish Energy Authority want the project to come online by the end of 2012. Eon, Dong and Vattenfall are expected to bid. continued on c1, page 26
renewable energy focus
Controllers for wind turbines are becoming major technical innovations. Turbines are using controllers with thousands of parameters. Any little burp causes the entire machine to shut oﬀ requiring a reset, either remotely or an onsite reset. If it is the end of the day, windy, and a turbine is oﬀ, you need your technicians to go out and look at the machine. This is the diﬀerence between the turbine being oﬀ for 1 hour or overnight for 15 hours. More and more wind park O&M teams are not accepting the responsibility for ensuring that the turbines are running. As wind parks go mainstream and qualiﬁed technicians become scarce, a proud and elite profession is adopting very mainstream problems including low motivation, selﬁshness, lack of ambition, laziness, carelessness, “just a job” attitude, all of which are very dangerous in an industry that services massive machinery. The best run wind parks do not necessarily have the best machines, they just have the best motivated technicians with incentives aligned with the primary objective: keeping the turbines running.
“For years I drove past a wind park that always had many machines oﬀ. I assumed that the turbine had a bad design and that that was the reason for such poor operations. Ten years later, and I am now running that wind park with a team of my technicians. The problem was not design. It was operator motivation.” Jack Wallace, Frontier Pro Services We all hear the grumbling from technicians about poorly designed machines. However, the machines you have are the machines you have. That’s it. It’s all you get. If you want other types of machines to work on, then by all means move to another wind park. But I guarantee, if turbine problems make you grumble, you’ll be grumbling at any wind park. The best technicians accept the challenges, and just work the problems they know they have – and keep the turbines running! Jack Wallace Jr., Frontier Pro Services
Oﬀshore wind – how can it overcome the O&M obstacles? The oﬀshore wind market is a small but growing part of the world energy market. Total capacity reached 1GW in 2007 (around 0.01% of global energy capacity) and is set to increase sevenfold over the next ﬁve years. Activity is currently conﬁned to Europe. The lack of take up in other major markets such as the USA and China is due to the abundance of available land in these countries, meaning that Governments have little incentive to subsidise oﬀshore developments.
Wind/Operation & Maintenance
year, with Vestasâ€™ 30 turbines requiring a change of rotor bearings, at an estimated cost of â‚Ź30m.
Theoretically, oďŹ€shore wind should be a low risk investment, in that ďŹ xed costs represent a high proportion of overall costs. This provides a level of certainty which, combined with guaranteed tariďŹ€s, makes it particularly attractive during times of volatility. But oďŹ€shore installation is roughly 50% more expensive than for onshore, and O&M costs are roughly twice as much.
Failures are also harder to repair because they tend to happen in stormy conditions, and are often not dealt with when they happen, but on an aggregated basis at intervals. That means it can be as long as three months before a turbine failure is repaired. The contrast with onshore reliability is dramatic, and availability levels of 97% are regularly achieved.
In this regard, technical problems present the biggest potential risk to the future of the industry. Technical failure rates in oďŹ€shore wind can be high compared to onshore, and oďŹ€shore failures are diďŹƒcult and expensive to ďŹ x.
As sites move further oďŹ€shore, these problems are likely to get worse. That could mean oďŹ€shore developments in deepwater areas will be seen as unviable. For example, all the potential sites in the German North Sea have been allocated, but it is uncertain as to whether investment will follow.
This is underlined by an analysis of maintenance records, which shows that while service teams for oďŹ€shore wind farms are supposed to make two scheduled maintenance visits every year, unscheduled visits to many installations are made 20 times a year.
The gearbox The main area of concern in the industry surrounds the gearbox. The reason for gearbox failure is currently not a matter of universal agreement. Data indicates that gearbox failures onshore are in line with industry averages. OďŹ€shore, it appears that gearboxes in fact perform better than other parts of the turbine. The problem with oďŹ€shore turbines is that conditions are more extreme, and the downtime which results from the replacement of a gearbox has a greater eďŹ€ect on availability compared with, for example, the failure of a generator. The technology of oďŹ€shore gearboxes therefore needs to improve, and when it does, this will have a dramatic eďŹ€ect on availability levels (nb: in next monthâ€™s issue the O&M column will cover the Gearbox â€“ ed).
Why do turbines fail? The heart of the problem is that the technology being used oďŹ€shore is generally onshore technology that has not been modiďŹ ed suďŹƒciently to meet the diďŹ€erent demands of an oďŹ€shore environment. The classic example of this is the disaster at the Horns Rev wind farm in 2005, following which Vestas is reported to have removed and repaired 80 of its V90 models, designed for oďŹ€shore use, owing to the eďŹ€ect of salty water and air on the generators and gearboxes, which became corrupt after only two years. A similar procedure has been reported this
When Measurements Matter What percentage of error can you afford?
The success of your investments can ride on the accuracy of your measurements. With 35 years of proven field experience, unmatched reliability, and exceptional measurement quality, you can trust Campbell Scientific data acquisition systems when your measurements matter. 8JOE
t8JOESFTPVSDFBTTFTTNFOU t5VSCJOFQFSGPSNBODF t8JOEGPSFDBTUJOH t3FTFBSDIBOEEFWFMPQNFOU
t4PMBSSFTPVSDFBTTFTTNFOU t%JBHOPTUJDTBOEBMBSNJOH t1FSGPSNBODFNPOJUPSJOHWBMJEBUJPO t3FTFBSDIBOEEFWFMPQNFOU
renewable energy focus
Wind/Operation & Maintenance
Marine project update Atlantis Resources Corp., has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CLP Group which lays the foundation for Atlantis to collaborate with CLP in the development of commercialscale tidal current renewable energy generation projects across Asia-Paciﬁc. This, together with agreements with partners in other regions, will bring Atlantis’ total electricity generating project pipeline to over 800MW. Sites under investigation span Asia-Paciﬁc, Australia, the UK and North America, positioning Atlantis as a genuine pioneer in global tidal energy generation. Atlantis recently completed trials of its Solon tidal current turbine and the commercial launch of a 2MW Solon turbine is expected in summer 2009. Last month, the company announced plans to build a tidal energy-powered data centre near Scotland’s Pentland Firth. Aquamarine Power Ltd has appointed ABB to complete the electrical engineering design and construct the electrical generating system for Aquamarine’s Neptune tidal stream device. With a contract worth over £2million, ABB will also install and commission the system at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, where Aquamarine will demonstrate the ﬁrst full-scale Neptune device. Marine Current Turbines Ltd (MCT) has agreed a partnership with Canada’s Minas Basin Pulp and Power Company Ltd (MBPP) to demonstrate and develop tidal power technology and facilities in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. MBPP of Hantsport, Nova Scotia is a sustainable energy and resources company. Working in partnership with MBPP, MCT will participate in the tidal power demonstration centre established by the Province of Nova Scotia. MBPP and MCT intend to deploy a 1.5MW tidal generator when the in-stream tidal energy centre enters full operation and is connected to the Nova Scotia grid. The Scottish Government has granted consent for the Siadar wave energy project on the Scottish island of Lewis. npower renewables, a UK-subsidiary of RWE Innogy will be the operator of the planned facility with Wavegen, the Scottish subsidiary of Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation, the technology partner for the wave power units. Both npower renewables and Wavegen have been working together on the project since 2006.
perform relatively well considering that they receive the bulk of the torque to which the turbine is subjected. Generators are not tested as rigorously, and do not perform as well oﬀshore. Improved testing for gearboxes might involve breaking prototypes rather than subjecting them to limited loads as is common now. Suggestions for improving the design itself include making the gear case more ﬂexible, and possibly reducing the size of the gearbox, to two stages rather than three. Another solution that is not currently being considered is the possibility of complete nacelle testing. Currently the ﬁrst time the components work together is when they are part of a live turbine. The bottom line for technical diﬃculties is that they have the potential to cripple returns, and thus the risk proﬁle of projects is increased and their economics more dependent on generous Government support – not a sustainable model for the future of an industry that aspires to be a key source of world renewable energy.
Another solution that is not currently being considered is the possibility of complete nacelle testing [for oﬀshore wind turbines]. Currently the ﬁrst time the components work together is when they are part of a live turbine. What is needed? The change needed for the industry to secure its long-term future is for the technology to become more robust and reliable:
Adam Westwood, Douglas-Westwood Ltd. ■ Better design of individual components (i.e. smaller, two-stage gear-
The direct-drive system, pioneered by Enercon, and which bypasses the need for a gearbox, could be held up as a solution to this issue. The initial higher costs would be repaid by lower maintenance costs and higher uptime levels. Siemens Wind Power is another organisation currently testing a Direct Drive model. Realistically, the step-change required in the manufacturing facilities of the other main suppliers of turbines, all of whom use gearboxes, would be too great, and we are unlikely to see the disappearance of the gearbox in oﬀshore installations, particularly considering the huge weight of the direct-drive system (up to 500 tonnes). Less rigorous testing is required for onshore turbine components, as they can be replaced with relative ease, on a ‘ﬁre-ﬁghting’ basis, whereas with oﬀshore this is not feasible. For gearboxes, then, better testing will be a key requirement as part of – and in addition to – the development of the technology. Oﬀshore blades are currently tested very thoroughly, and
renewable energy focus
boxes); the drive train (smarter integration of key components) and foundations; ■ Increased levels of R&D – not only in design, but also access and maintenance methods; ■ More thorough certiﬁcation testing so components really can withstand the oﬀshore environment. Analysis from Arthur D. Little shows that testing is probably the crucial element that will stimulate work in the other two areas. To date, testing has clearly been inadequate. Manufacturers have claimed it is possible to test onshore without the expense of oﬀshore testing. However, there is clear evidence that, while it may be possible to test individual components onshore, running a turbine in real oﬀshore conditions for at least a year would bring to light many key problems and save considerable amounts of money. Such testing has already been shown possible, albeit with Government support. In Germany, for example, oﬀshore testing is already taking place at Alpha Ventus (albeit on a partly commercial basis).
Wind/Operation & Maintenance
All this work will need to be underpinned by collaboration. To date, the industry has been characterised by a general atmosphere of secrecy and suspicion and, as a result, there has been fragmentation of knowledge and lack of research progress.
This kind of collaboration is not unusual in the energy sector. In oﬀshore oil and gas, for example, E&P companies have collaborated for years on access and maintenance issues, and the results have beneﬁted the entire industry. This shows that there is a clear model to follow.
The catalyst for change will come from a shift in the balance of power away from the wind turbine manufacturers towards bigger and more experienced customers.
Action is therefore needed from oﬀshore wind farm owners and developers to apply pressure on turbine suppliers to ensure they invest in rigorous component testing and robust oﬀshore-speciﬁc R&D; apply pressure on turbine and component manufacturers to take a long-term view and invest to secure a sustainable future for the oﬀshore wind market; and ﬁnally help is needed from Governments to free up funding for public R&D centres, and projects that can act as catalysts for industry collaboration and ‘open research’.
These customers will have the knowledge as well as the muscle to make speciﬁc demands for improvements in testing and development in a way that was impossible for small wind farm owners. These higher standards will ﬁlter all the way down the supply chain and are likely to result not only in better design, but also better type testing of components and integrated systems during the production process. At the moment, individual company research into the causes of mechanical failures or ways of improving access and maintenance may be prohibitively expensive. Collaboration can reduce those costs signiﬁcantly. In terms of testing, greater openness would facilitate the testing of integrated drive trains. Independent testing facilities – such as the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC), in Blyth, UK – should continue to be used as a neutral location for such tests to be carried out without compromising secrecy. It is true that such shared schemes have been tried before and not succeeded, but in a changing climate these options will need to be considered again.
What should particularly concentrate minds in the oﬀshore wind industry is the clear message that without collaboration, the oﬀshore wind industry will not mature or progress.
About the authors: Downtime and your O&M team – turbine availability begins at home Jack Wallace Jr., is a wind turbine technical advisor with Frontier Pro Services +1 951-849-3194 email@example.com Oﬀshore wind – how can it overcome the O&M obstacles? Matthew Jackson is a business analyst in Arthur D. Little’s Energy and Utilities practice. Stephen Rogers is a director in Arthur D. Little’s London oﬃce.
Parc Chanot, Marseille, France 16 - 19 March 2009
Europe’s Largest Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition Conference: The comprehensive four-day programme covers every key aspect of wind energy – from technical and theoretical to political and practical. Exhibition: Over 290 exhibitors: manufacturers, component suppliers, developers, operators, utilities, consultants and financiers spread over more than 9,000 m2.
Networking: The EWEC social events are specifically designed to combine business networking and enjoyment. They are the perfect place to make the right connections. “Events like EWEC 2009 allow the wind industry, policy makers and journalists to be part of a valuable and positive experience that are of benefit to all.” Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Energy and EWEC 2009 speaker.
Registration and more information: www.ewec2009.info SUPPORTING ORGANISATIONS:
renewable energy focus
A long way to COP 15 GWEC’S STEVE SAWYER TAKES STOCK OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS AND FAILURES OF COP 14 IN POZNAN AND LOOKS AT WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BEFORE COP 15 IN COPENHAGEN AT THE END OF THIS YEAR. In the run up to the 1980 US presidential election, I conﬁdently predicted that the American people would never be so stupid as to elect Ronald Reagan president. Since then, I’ve been somewhat more cautious with predictions. Nonetheless, in October 2008 I set out three conditions for success at the Poznan conference: ■ that Barack Obama would be elected president of the USA; ■ that the European Union would achieve a political agreement on its
“20/20/20” climate package before the conference started; ■ that we would begin to see the beginning of the end of the crisis of
conﬁdence in the international ﬁnancial system. Without these conditions being met, Poznan would be a damp squib. Well, unfortunately, this time I got it right. Although the general international euphoria surrounding Obama’s election and his early statements on the climate issue improved the atmosphere, the EU exhibited its trademark ability to shoot itself in the foot by ﬁnally agreeing the climate and energy package the day after the conference concluded, and as a result was unable to show any real leadership during the proceedings. In fact, some recalcitrant Governments cynically seized upon the disingenuous antics of the European fossil fuel and energy intensive industries to delay and weaken the package and prevent its agreement in time. However, having said that, what remains is by far the most progressive and positive piece of “domestic” climate legislation anywhere in the world. It’s just a pity that they couldn’t take advantage of it to further the international agenda. And of course we’re still waiting to see the bottom of the credit mess. Despite the fact that COP 14 was more just a marker and not a major milestone at the halfway point between Bali and Copenhagen, some things were accomplished. The Adaptation Fund was ﬁnally fully operationalised, and will ﬁnally begin disbursing much needed funds for adaptation to climate change impacts early this year. This unique pot of money is based on a 2% fee, sliced oﬀ the value of Certiﬁed Emission Reduction (CER) credits (from Clean Development Mechanism activities) when they are issued, through the UNFCCC process. It is therefore not “donor” money, and comes only with strings attached which must be fully agreed by all the parties. This fund, though relatively small at this stage and by no means adequate to deal with the rising costs of climate change adaptation, provides a new model for ﬁnancing the international agenda. While an attempt to broaden the levy beyond the CDM to include the other “ﬂexible mechanisms” under the Kyoto Protocol failed, this issue will no doubt come back in later stages of the negotiations. 28
renewable energy focus
The parties also adopted something called the Poznan Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer, which merely gives a name to the complicated body of work which goes under the name of “technology transfer”. This is an obligation accepted by industrialised countries at the inception of the UNFCCC in 1992, but without having any clear idea of what it means, or what it implies that countries should do. This rather unusual discussion may warrant a future column of its own, but for now, the Poles are happy that at least some part of this process will force us to remember that we all spent two weeks in Poznan in December 2008. As is often the case, the most interesting conversations were held in the corridors, bars and restaurants, and at side events, of which there were many hundreds, on every imaginable topic. For the ﬁrst time, the wind energy industry was there in force. We had our own “Wind Power Works Pavilion” near the entrance of the modern conference complex, housed in what was the original building on the site. This was the venue for the launch of the Wind Power Works campaign, an industry-wide campaign for the 12 month period between Poznan and Copenhagen, highlighting the key role that wind power can and must play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also unveiled at the Pavilion was a photo exhibition highlighting 12 diﬀerent wind power projects in key countries around the world, each demonstrating one or more of the key reasons why wind power is the key supply side technology for the power sector in the near future – in a carbonconstrained world. For more info, see: http://www.windpowerworks.net. We also hosted a number of side events and receptions on the subject of wind power, renewable energy, and climate change mitigation, and we also made the hall available for other events and meetings. One high point of the conference was a guest appearance by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) executive director and UN undersecretary general Achim Steiner at the Wind Power Works launch reception. Ever a big supporter of renewable energy in general, and wind power in particular, UNEP and Steiner have made support for renewables a top priority in their call for a “Global Green New Deal” to combat the climate, energy and economic crises facing us at present. Oﬃcially named the Green Economy Initiative, the UN-wide eﬀort led by UNEP calls for major eﬀorts to create green, clean jobs and sustainable economic growth through investment and policies designed to support clean energy, sustainable agriculture, reduced deforestation, sustainable cities and the required infrastructure.
“The competitive economies of tomorrow will be built around clean energy such as wind power,” Steiner said. “There are many good examples of how wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies are – today – providing carbon free energy while creating jobs and contributing to local economic growth, but these need to be promoted more widely. UNEP is proud to support the Wind Power Works campaign as it is perfectly aligned with our own eﬀorts to help countries in their eﬀorts to move towards a greener economy.”
sion of existing renewable energy and energy eﬃciency technologies, as well as adaptation technologies. This would be a welcome redirection of the current discussion. This discussion is either conducted at levels of abstraction which make for meaningless generalisations, or it is focused on future technologies which may or may not make it out of the laboratory to the demonstration stage. Will these technologies make it from there to commercialisation at some point in the future? That is the question.
With these words we march forward into an uncertain future, with the only sure thing being an increased number and increased intensity of negotiations towards a post-2012 climate regime over the next 12 months. What needs to be done? The Bali Roadmap agreed a year ago requires that the package to be agreed on in Copenhagen must have four pillars: mitigation, adaptation, technology and ﬁnance.
On ﬁnance, the notion is widespread that there are somehow going to be many tens or hundreds of billions of Government funds available annually for the climate. And that the USA and other Governments will descend into the basement of their treasuries to print lots of notes to bail out the ﬁnancial sector. This notion has not helped to dissipate this illusion. However, a well-ﬁnanced version of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative could go a long way towards creating the right conditions.
On mitigation, industrialised countries must put forward commitments which will form the basis of new legally binding targets under the Kyoto Protocol track, and these commitments need to be in the range of 25%-40% below 1990 levels if we are to heed the warnings of the IPCC. Negotiators have agreed that this is the appropriate range, but the only bloc to have agreed anything (and they did it two weeks too late) is the EU, which agreed to a 20% cut by 2020, with an agreement to go to 30% as part of a new international agreement, as well as a landmark agreement to source 20% of its ﬁnal energy from renewables by the same date. Australia announced very disappointing targets the Monday after the conference – 4% below 1990 levels (5% below 2000 levels) by 2020, and President-elect Obama’s opening salvo, delivered to a gathering of western governors in the weeks running up to Poznan, was to return the US to 1990 levels by 2020. This would mean an approximate 16% reduction compared with today’s levels. This is ambitious given the recent history of the US, but nowhere near enough. Japan, Canada, and Russia, the other big players among industrialised countries, have yet to lay their cards on the table. Suﬃce it to say that this pillar of mitigation will need a lot of work. On adaptation, it will require billions to address the plight of the world’s poorest struggling to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change, and other than “tithing” a global carbon market, nobody seems to have any idea where this money is to come from. On technology, countries need to be realistic and come up with an agreement that works to support the rapid and widest possible diﬀu-
Some are saying that this is too much to achieve in time for Copenhagen, and it is indeed a lot to do in 12 short months. But with the right political leadership this, and more, could be done. In the wee hours of 5 November 2008 I was, for the ﬁrst time in decades, along with hundreds of others gathered at the Amsterdam Hilton, proud to be the owner of a blue passport with an American eagle on the cover. I am old enough to remember a time when the USA was a leader in global environmental issues, and I think I’ve now lived long enough to see that time come around again. With Carol Browner leading a strong team as climate czar(ina?), Steven Chu heading the Department of Energy and John Holdren heading up the science team, Mr. Obama has demonstrated a clear break with the past and a clear commitment to the future. Let’s just hope that the Obama administration ushers in the era of hope that we need, and that those hopes are not dashed by the time this article goes to print (so far so good! Ed).
About the author: Steve Sawyer joined GWEC as the ﬁrst secretary general on 2 April 2007. He has worked in the energy and environment ﬁeld since 1978, with a particular focus on climate change and RE since 1988. He spent 30 years working for Greenpeace, primarily on a wide range of energy issues. He was the ceo of both Greenpeace USA (1986 – 1988) and Greenpeace International (1988 – 1993), and he served as Head of Delegation to many Kyoto Protocol negotiations on climate change. He also lead delegations to the Johannesburg Earth Summit in 2002 and numerous sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. He is also a founding member of the REN21 Renewable Energy Policy Network and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Renewables 2004 ministerial conference in Bonn. He has also been an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s Working Group III.
renewable energy focus
Emissions trading: for better for worse IN THE LAST IN HIS SERIES OF COLUMNS ON ‘CARBON’, BILL EGGERTSON LOOKS AT A NUMBER OF HICCUPS IN THE EMISSIONS TRADING SYSTEM ETS THAT MUST BE OVERCOME TO EASE THE WAY FOR RENEWABLES. A number of recent issues have underscored the need for advocates of the renewable energy sector to remain aware of many eclectic issues in the global carbon market. Emissions trading is the sale of environment attributes from low-carbon technologies and it is a procedure that is used to ‘penalise’ highcarbon emitters. As the energy sector is a main culprit behind the high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution around the world, the quest for lower emissions makes it clear that wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and the entire arsenal of renewable energy products will become one of the key sets of technology ‘silver bullets.’ To date, most of the market in oﬀset trading has centred on the capture and destruction of nitrous oxides (NO2) and hydroﬂuorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants from industrial operations, but those options are expected to start declining soon as they become less accessible and as other sources (notably renewables) become more widespread and lower priced.
renewable energy focus
The combined value of both mandatory and voluntary oﬀsets is currently estimated at US$60 billion a year, and the market is expected to continue skyrocketing as a result of the growing number of renewable portfolio standards around the world, the anticipation of more measures under the post-Kyoto framework, and the emergence of more national trading regimes such as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The EU ETS was the ﬁrst system oﬀ the block and recently connected with the UN carbon credit tracking system, meaning it can be involved in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) oﬀset projects under the UN process. During each issue of renewable energy focus (2008) and ﬁnishing in this issue, this column has noted the signiﬁcant potential for renewable energy technologies to become a key commodity in the global oﬀset market, and November 2008 noted the trade of the ﬁrst Gold Standard CER (Certiﬁed Emission Reduc-
Bill Eggertson tion) from the People’s Republic of China. That transaction by Essent Trading was derived from a 45 MW windfarm in Fujian Province, and is the ﬁrst CDM project in China to reach the Gold Standard registration phase. Over the past few issues, we have tried to provide some insight into the potential for renewables in the carbon market. One thing is certain. It is important to remember that this is a fast-evolving sector, as noted by the election in the USA (where a new President has pledged his support for a cap-andtrade system, while the Western Climate Initiative and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative continue to expand their presence). And the proﬁle of carbon cap and trade will be raised even higher as we move towards next December’s COP 15 summit in Copenhagen (where nations will agree on the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol). It is, therefore, important to draw attention to some potential hiccups in the path forward,
which need to be overcome if the global vision is to include renewables to the degree which it must. The current economic crisis has already had wide-reaching impacts on investment plans and decisions around the world, and many pundits have predicted a curtailment for renewable energies as limited capital funds are directed to conventional recovery methods. For years, our sector has called for ‘Apollo-like’ campaigns to spur the inevitable transition to renewables, which result in higher job creation than any other investment option, even if one overlooks the extremely high environmental beneﬁts and energy security facets. It has been argued that any fundamental rejigging of the free enterprise system should include a signiﬁcant focus on renewable energies as a new economic underpinning, on the assumption that, well, the time is right and we have no choice in the long run. Assuming the world order returns to its premeltdown status quo, the UK consulting ﬁrm CarbonFree believes that the renewable energy sector is facing a crisis similar to the one it experienced 20 years ago, but with a diﬀerence. The industry of the 1980s was in its infancy while, today, some of the companies have achieved the scale which is required to survive a downturn. “Just as the Dot Com crash did not totally destroy the IT and communications sector, so companies with robust business models will survive the bursting of the Green Tech bubble,” it predicts, adding that renewables can compete and displace most other energy sources, even at US$30 for a barrel of oil. Another warning sign for renewables in the carbon market has also come out of Britain, which recently held its ﬁrst auction for four million permits under the EU ETS, and then announced that the £60 million of revenue would be absorbed into general Government coﬀers. Environmental groups were quick to demand that the money be earmarked for renewables, energy eﬃciency and other green projects, either in the UK or abroad, in order to adhere to the underlying philosophy of carbon trading. They contend that a low-carbon future demands signiﬁcant levels of investment, and that the ETS (or similar oﬀset auctions) is a logical source for money which is derived from companies that are unable to reduce their GHG emissions in a sustainable way. But be thankful for small mercies – at least there was an auction – further disappoint-
Carbon market up 84% in 2008 at US$118bn New Carbon Finance’s latest analysis of 2008 trading activity conﬁrms its Q3 2008 projections – with total transactions throughout the year worth US$118 bn, representing 4 billion tonnes of carbon allowances changing hands. This level of transactions is 42% higher than in 2007, but the change in market value is twice this at 84%, driven by the double eﬀects of higher traded volumes and higher prices. In spite of the uncertain economic climate, the organisation expects growth in the global carbon market to continue, reaching US$150 bn in 2009.
New Carbon Finance’s analysis suggests that credits bought directly from CDM projects – the primary CER market – fell by around 30% in 2008 compared to 2007 from an estimated 551 mt (US$7.4 bn) to 381 mt (US$5.8 bn). This is driven by a smaller number of carbon credits entering the UN crediting approval process in 2008 than in 2007. In 2007 new additions to the approval process included some very large industrial gas projects (HFC, N2O). 2008 saw more projects entering the pipeline, but was characterised by a higher number of smaller projects (mainly renewable energy and energy eﬃciency).
The dominance of the European Union Allowance (EUA) market continues, with EUAs accounting for 70% of the volume of carbon emissions traded in 2008 – and 80% of the value. However, secondary or “guaranteed” Certiﬁed Emission Reductions (CERs), the main currency of the Clean Development Mechanism, have steadily increased their market share from 8% in 2007 to 13% by 2008, and in 2008 accounted for transactions worth over US$14 bn. This reﬂects the growing interest in these credits as a global carbon currency being eligible for compliance against emissions targets under the EU ETS, Kyoto Protocol and the potential Australian and North American schemes.
For 2009, New Carbon Finance anticipates continued market growth, albeit at a slower rate than that seen between 2007 and 2008. Its analysis suggests a total market size of US$150 bn by year-end 2009. This will be driven by moderate growth in the European allowance market (EUA), but most of the growth is expected to come from increased liquidity in the secondary CER market with more issuances and improved registries to transfer and hold these types of credits. The future of the CDM also looks more secure following the international negotiations in Poznan in December 2008, with ﬁrm commitments to improve the transparency and eﬃciency of the mechanism.
ment in this regard arrived recently in the ﬁnal version of the EU’s climate change Bill – recently rubber stamped in Brussels. In a u-turn from earlier versions of the Bill, industrial sectors such as cement, chemicals and steel will now receive free carbon emission permits at least up to 2020, instead of having to buy them under an auction scheme, as previously planned. The concession represented a victory for Germany, by far Europe’s largest manufacturing nation. It means that revenues from the EU’s auction procedures – once forecast to hit €50bn a year by 2020 – are now expected to be closer to €30bn. This will minimise the incentive for cleaner technologies, eﬀectively punish companies that have already invested in clean technology, not to mention give a huge windfall to recipients of the free permits, argue many experts. As this column has noted before, renewable energy advocates must also monitor how the eligibility criteria are set for oﬀset trading, as any technology which emits less carbon than an old coal-ﬁred plant can claim to be ‘clean’ – by comparison. If the deﬁnitions become too
obtuse, it will be diﬃcult to ensure that the commonly-accepted emerging renewable energy technologies are at the front of the line. There are many critics of emissions trading, including those who see it as a commercial licence to pollute and others who fear that its success will result in a transfer of economic beneﬁts to other regions, as well as the basic climate change deniers and those who do not believe that the trade of pollution oﬀsets can be taken seriously. But the market does take emissions trading very seriously, and it is a growing reality in jurisdictions around the world. To deny its need or the existence of the market would be folly; to deny the economic beneﬁts which can accrue to the renewable energy sector would be to lose a major business opportunity.
About the author: Bill Eggertson is a freelance correspondent for renewable energy focus, and has written on a variety of renewable energy topics for the magazine – including “Green Heat”. He is based in Canada.
renewable energy focus
Utilities: the challenge of integration IN THE FIRST OF A REGULAR COLUMN ADDRESSING THE ENGAGEMENT OF UTILITIES WITHIN THE RENEWABLES MARKETPLACE, USBASED RENEWABLE ENERGY FOCUS COLUMNIST DON C. SMITH CONSIDERS THE CHALLENGES THAT US UTILITIES FACE IN INTEGRATING RENEWABLES.
One of the most vexing challenges facing US utilities in integrating more renewable energy sources into their energy portfolios can be summed up in two words: improving transmission. Irrespective of how many wind farms or solar parks are built and how much energy they generate, the fact remains that the electricity generated in these facilities will be of relatively little use unless it can be transported to demand centres across the country. A key hurdle related to substantially increasing the role renewable energy will play in America’s future energy portfolio is one that at ﬁrst appears simple and yet on further examination is perplexing. Put simply, energy generated from renewable energy facilities must be transmitted to population and industrial centres where the demand is highest. The current transmission grid was never intended to serve such a purpose, a matter that the utilities, policymakers, and other stakeholders must successfully address if renewable generation is to reach its full potential. The underlying problem – which some have called the ‘dirty little secret of clean energy’ – is illustrated in a new report by Boston-based consultancy the Analysis Group. Authored by Susan F. Tierney, who was a member of the energy-related issues transition team for President-elect Barack Obama, the report concludes the US will not fully exploit its “rich domestic renewable resources in the near term without
renewable energy focus
strategic improvements to the electric transmission system.” For example, wind farms must be located where the wind blows, and consequently “wind power development is inextricably tied to electric transmission,” Tierney writes. “Many recent studies have concluded that ensuring adequate transmission is built to deliver power from remote renewable projects to consumers in distant markets, is just as important as developing the renewable resources themselves,” she says. There is widespread agreement that constructing this ‘super transmission grid’ needs to be addressed now. A recent report by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the self-regulatory non-proﬁt organisation for bulk power system reliability in North America, concludes: “The existing bulk transmission network is inadequate to reliably deliver power from new renewable resources to demand centres.” Rick Segal, the President and ceo of NERC, has bluntly stated: “We believe that inadequate investment in transmission lines will be the primary limitation to delivering clean, reliable power to consumers. Indeed this issue is already occurring in some areas, with forced curtailments of wind generation due to insuﬃcient transmission capacity.” The new transmission system would preferably be an extra high voltage (EHV) supergrid,
Don C. Smith
which would overlay and easily integrate with the current lower voltage electricity grid. As an example it would allow for the eﬃcient long distance transmission of electricity generated by wind farms in, say, western Kansas or eastern Colorado to Atlanta, Miami, and New York. Energy company AEP, which has experience with its own existing EHV 765 kilovolt (kV) network, says that the nation’s transmission system “must be developed as a robust interstate system, much like the nation’s highways, to connect regions, states, and communities.” Such a system, consisting of 19,000 miles of transmission lines, would establish a combined additional capacity of perhaps 200-400 GW of bulk transmission, thus spurring signiﬁcantly increased levels of wind energy in the overall energy portfolio. The cost, as estimated by AEP, would be in the range of US$60 billion (in 2007). By comparison, the US military budget for ﬁscal year 2009 is more than 10 times that amount. Two key issues in developing a super transmission grid involve dealing with transmission line siting decisions and providing for reasonable and equitable policies to allocate the costs of building the new transmission system. In both cases, what is needed is a federal response, speciﬁcally giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authority to take bold and decisive action. This will, of course, raise the long-standing controversy surrounding federal versus state powers, but there is no
compelling reason not to hand the responsibilities for these matters over to FERC. Despite states’ assertions to the contrary, the development of the supergrid cannot be left to the vagaries of 50 state responses. The siting of transmission lines has traditionally been handled by state level public utility commissions, and these commissions have tended to aggressively protect their corner when it came to anything that could be interpreted as reducing the states’ powers. While such an argument might have been reasonable years ago when the overall energy stakes were much lower, in today’s world the possibility (indeed probability) that individual states may be able to subvert the needs of the nation as a whole are as antiquated as the concept that states should have their own currencies. Moreover, investors in a supergrid would unquestionably be unwilling to even consider funding such eﬀorts if the projects faced a veritable maze of state-level decision making processes. As such, FERC should have the sole responsibility – although after seeking the advice of the states – for making transmission line siting decisions. Similarly, FERC should decide on cost allocations for building the supergrid transmission lines. At the heart of this should be costs allocated on a regional or even nationwide basis, not on a local or state basis. Admittedly, this approach reﬂects a new paradigm in thinking about transmission-related issues. Historically, electricity typically involved moving the fuel to the consumer (for example, building coal-ﬁred plants near demand centres and transporting coal in often enormously long train routes to the plants). Now, however, utilities must be encouraged to generate the electricity where the ‘fuel’ is (i.e. where the wind blows in the case of wind power) and deliver the electricity to the demand centres. One context in which to consider the challenges and opportunities associated with a new supergrid transmission system involves looking back at the philosophical underpinnings of the US Interstate Highway System, an eﬀort begun nearly a half century ago by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. As Susan F. Tierney writes, the vision then was to unite the states in a ground transportation system that would hasten commerce, recreation, and development. “It is easy to believe that the original estimates of the system’s value barely scratched the surface of the actual returns we have real-
New dawn for US’ transmission infrastructure? One of the most vexing challenges facing US utilities in integrating more renewable energy sources into their energy portfolios can be summed up in two words: improving transmission.
ised from the nation’s investments in our interstate highway system,” she writes. Similarly, “A national EVS overlay built to connect the nation’s … wind, biomass, and solar resources … will help to produce economic development, strengthen energy independence, and satisfy customer demand in markets throughout the country,” she concludes. There are indications that the Obama Administration clearly understands the opportunities at hand. As a presidential candidate, Obama said last September: “We’re going to have to rebuild our infrastructure, which is falling behind … making sure that we have a new electricity grid to get the alternative energy to population centres.” In January, Rob Church, vice president for the inﬂuential American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), said: “The Obama Administration is very up to speed on this issue and we understand it’s very important to them.” And this was also conﬁrmed in a speech of 8 January, in which Obama made it clear that renewables – and updating the grid - would play an important part in “saving” the US economy. Outlining his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, which could see spending of up to US$775 billion and the creation or saving of three million jobs, Obama said that energy is one of his priorities. But as well as using “clean energy” as a job creation tool, he addressed the need to upgrade the American transmission system, pledging to start building a new smart grid. According to a report from consultancy KEMA, an investment
of US$16 billion in smart grid incentives over the next four years could work as a catalyst in driving associated smart grid projects worth up to US$64 billion. It also predicts that by the end of 2009, over 150,000 of the 280,000 new direct jobs will have been created. Despite the many compelling reasons to move ahead quickly and aggressively with a new supergrid, there will be many political issues to address not least of which is the matter of providing legislative authority to FERC to make the diﬃcult decisions related to this eﬀort. States and many local politicians will criticise this approach, but such criticism needs to be set in the context of similar objections raised 50 years ago by those who opposed the US Interstate Highway System. Even Joseph Kelliher, who was appointed FERC’s Chair by President George W. Bush, agrees that the additional authority should be mandated by Congress: “Without that authority, we are actually not going to develop a grid that this country needs to ensure reliability, to support wholesale competitive markets, but also to meet the climate change challenge.”
About the author: Don C. Smith is renewable energy focus’ US correspondent. He serves as Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy graduate programme at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and as Editor in Chief of Utilities Policy, a peer-reviewed journal focusing on the performance and regulation of utilities. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +1-303-8871-6052.
renewable energy focus
Hydrogen from renewables
Hydrogen production from renewables IF WE ARE TO HAVE A SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE THAT INCLUDES HYDROGEN FUEL CELL VEHICLES, WE MUST PRODUCE THE ENERGY CARRIER HYDROGEN IN LARGE QUANTITIES FROM CLEAN, NONFOSSIL ENERGY SOURCES, AND THAT MEANS FROM RENEWABLES. SO EXACTLY WHAT OPTIONS DO WE HAVE TO PUT US ONTO THE CLEAN HYDROGEN PATHWAY, AND WHAT CHALLENGES NEED TO BE OVERCOME ALONG THE WAY?
As we plan for the clean, non-petroleumfuelled automobile and truck ﬂeet of the future, we envision a propulsion technology portfolio that includes biofuel powered, electric drive, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV). The last of these is perhaps the most technically challenging, but also the most attractive technology in terms of its ability to dramatically decrease oil consumption, CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, and tail pipe pollution. However, hydrogen is not an energy source – it is an energy carrier. And to fully realise its beneﬁts, we must produce it not from fossil sources, but from renewable energy.
potential for sustainability. That being asserted, there are many challenges to producing Hydrogen from renewables – and perhaps the major one is reducing the cost to be competitive with gasoline and diesel.
order in which we might expect to see them commercially available.
Renewable hydrogen can be produced in several ways:
Electrolysis – splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from one of the many renewable sources; Biomass conversion – via either thermochemical or biochemical conversion to intermediate products that can then be separated or reformed to hydrogen; or fermentation techniques that produce hydrogen directly;
The world produces huge quantities of hydrogen today for industrial and commercial purposes, probably in excess of 50 million tonnes/year. But most of that production is fossil-energy based, either from reforming natural gas, or electrolysis using electricity produced from coal, natural gas, petroleum, or nuclear.
Solar conversion – by either thermolysis, using solar-generated heat for high temperature chemical cycle hydrogen production or photolysis, in which solar photons are used in biological or electrochemical systems to produce hydrogen directly.
Renewables on the other hand are a desired energy source for hydrogen production due to their diversity, regionality, abundance, and
The order above is, in general, also representative of the technological maturity of these pathways, and thus roughly the chronological
renewable energy focus
Figure 1 opposite provides an overview of the various options.
There is a substantial worldwide business in producing electrolysers, and building electrolysis facilities for hydrogen production. The challenges for transportation-ready renewable hydrogen are both in cost, and in understanding the logistics and economics of large central production plants versus smaller distributed facilities located nearer the vehicle users. A 100% eﬃcient electrolyser requires 39 kWh of electricity to produce 1 kg of hydrogen. The devices today require as much as 48 kWh/kg. So, if electricity costs are 0.05 US$/kWh, the power cost for the electrolysis process alone is 2.40 US$/kg of hydrogen. (NB: In the USA, average residential electricity cost is approximately 0.10 US$/kWh and industrial 0.06 US$/ kWh). Capital costs for an electrolysis facility can be a huge factor, and for smaller installations can actually become the predominant cost factor.
Hydrogen from renewables
One advantage of electrolysis is that it is capable of producing high purity hydrogen (>99.999%), which is good for FCVs, whose fuel cells will, at least initially, be susceptible to contaminants and will require ultra-high hydrogen purity.
Solar Energy Wind
The worldwide electricity production potential from renewables is staggering. If addressed and utilised aggressively, there is suﬃcient resource to support not only large inputs to the electrical grids across the planet, but also signiﬁcant hydrogen production. As an example, by itself the available wind power resource in the USA is estimated to be more than 2,800 GW (today, total US electricity generation capacity is roughly 1,100 GW), enough to produce over 150 billion kg/year of hydrogen, which exceeds the US gasoline quantity consumed annually in terms of energy equivalency. Several renewables-to-hydrogen electrolysis test projects are underway in the USA and worldwide. At the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, a partnership between NREL and the local utility, Xcel Energy, has resulted in a pilot scale project using wind and PV (see ﬁgure 2 and case study – ‘renewables to hydrogen’). The hydrogen is stored, then used to fuel NREL’s Mercedes Benz F-Cell FCV, or converted into electricity for injection back onto the grid during times of peak electrical loads.
Concentrated Solar Power
Hydrogen Figure 1: Renewables-to-Hydrogen Technology Pathways
Biomass-to-hydrogen is complex, not only because of the technical details of the conversion processes themselves, but also because of the many process types that could be employed. The conversion type with the most potential for large-scale centralised production, as pointed out in the NRC report, is gasiﬁcation, which in itself is but one of several technologies available within the larger category called thermochemical conversion.
If we are able to transcend the “chicken-and-egg”
In the 1920s and 1930s, MW-scale alkaline electrolysers were built next to hydroelectric facilities in several locations around the world. So, we know how to do renewable hydrogen through electrolysis, have done it in the past, and now need to overcome the relatively modest technical and economic barriers to renewable hydrogen electrolysis for future transportation needs.
problem with respect to FCVs and the supporting hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure, we should be able to make
the technical and business
Because biomass is our only renewable source of hydrocarbons, conversion of a small portion of the planet’s huge biomass resource to fuels is an important option for our transportation needs. Hydrogen can be produced from this renewable feedstock. A recent US National Research Council (NRC) report (Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies: A Focus on Hydrogen, July 2008) asserts that centralised production of hydrogen from biomass gasiﬁcation is the renewable pathway that has the highest likelihood of commercial viability in the 2015-3035 timeframe.
case for renewable hydrogen as the energy carrier for our clean vehicles of the future. Gasiﬁcation – whether steam, air/oxygen, catalytic, or indirect – involves subjecting the biomass to elevated temperatures and pressures in order to reduce the organic materials to hydrogen and carbon monoxide/dioxide
gases (along with varying quantities of undesirable solid and gaseous byproducts). From there, the hydrogen can be separated out by membrane, chemical, or catalytic steps. Technoeconomic analyses indicate that gasiﬁcation bioreﬁneries may have to be large to be economically feasible, which means signiﬁcant capital investment as well as a broad feedstock production and delivery infrastructure to supply each installation. A second thermochemical option is to convert the biomass to a bio-oil via thermal decomposition known as fast pyrolysis, followed by catalytic steam reforming of the liquid (or its vapours) to hydrogen. An advantage of this approach is that the bio-oil, as an intermediate product, has a higher energy density than the biomass feedstock and can more easily be transported. This technique may prove to be applicable to smaller, distributed bioreﬁneries, whereas the gasiﬁcation process described above may cater to the large, centralised installations. Biochemical conversion of biomass to hydrogen also presents several possible pathways. Ethanol produced from lignocellulosic materials could be further reformed to hydrogen, as could other biofuels or intermediate products of various biochemical routes Certain regional implications, feedstock types, or end-use requirements might make this a viable, if not a widespread, option. More interesting perhaps is dark fermentation, a process that uses anaerobic microorganisms to produce hydrogen directly, much in the way that bacteria or yeast can produce ethanol via fermentation. Such organisms might be enhanced to better perform the hydrogen
renewable energy focus
Hydrogen from renewables
Case study: renewables to hydrogen The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Xcel Energy are running a ground-breaking multi-year project aimed at using electricity generated from wind turbines and photovoltaics (PV) to produce and store pure hydrogen, thus oﬀering what may become a signiﬁcant new template for future energy production, storage, and use. The demonstration project (wind-to-hydrogen or Wind2H2) facility links two wind turbines and a PV array to electrolyser stacks. NREL-designed power electronics condition the wind- and PVgenerated electricity, for the stacks to complete the splitting of the liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen. The resulting hydrogen can be stored and used later to generate electricity from either an internal combustion engine turning a generator, or a vehicle fuel. In either instance, the only by-product is water.
is being designed to make the necessary conversion. In addition, up to 10 kW of power from the PV array is conditioned with a DC-to-DC converter for use by the stacks. Two polymer electrolyte membrane (or proton exchange membrane) electrolysers from Proton Energy Systems and a Teledyne Energy Systems (HMXT-100) alkaline electrolyser are used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Finally, the hydrogen is compressed and stored. A hydrogen internal combustion engine (or potentially a fuel cell in the future) then converts it back to electricity to be put on the utility grid during peak demand hours. In addition, the compressed hydrogen also ﬁlls storage tanks and subsequently a fuel cell vehicle from Daimler that is used at NREL.
Located at NREL National Wind Technology Center west of Denver, Colorado, USA, the site includes a building that houses the electrolysers and a device to compress the hydrogen for storage; 6 large tanks to store the hydrogen; a generator run by an engine that combusts the hydrogen; a dispenser to ﬁll hydrogen-based vehicles, and a control room where computers monitor and control all steps of the process.
The entire demonstration project will reveal integration and operational issues as well as identify opportunities for improvement and other potential beneﬁts. NREL and Xcel Energy expect to release a public update soon on the project’s operation. Results of the project will also be shared with other utility companies interested in hydrogen’s future role in the utility industry and transportation sector.
The demonstration project uses two wind turbine technologies - a Northern Power Systems 100 kW wind turbine and a Bergey 10 kW wind turbine. The energy from the 10 kW wind turbine is converted from its ‘wild’ alternating current (AC) form to direct current (DC) and then used by the electrolyser stack to produce hydrogen and oxygen from water. Meanwhile, the energy from the 100 kW wind turbine is captured from its existing controller, which already powers a DC bus of nearly 800 volts. That voltage is too high for the electrolyser stacks, and new power electronics
From NREL’s perspective, the project has two unique aspects. First, the project will study how to achieve eﬃciency gains through a unique, integrated AC-to-DC and DC-to-DC power electronics-based connection between the wind turbines and the electrolyser stacks. Moreover, the project compares multiple electrolyser technologies, gauging their eﬃciencies and abilities to be brought on- and oﬀ-line quickly - as the wind and solar energy vary. NREL hopes to show signiﬁcant cost and eﬃciency gains on the integrated wind- and PV-hydrogen systems.
H2 Vehicle Fueling Station
100kW Wind Turbine
10kW PV Array
10kW Wind Turbine Excess AC Power To Grid
DC Power from Wind Turbine
renewable energy focus
Perhaps the most intriguing options, with huge potential but requiring more development time, are solar conversion techniques. These are thermolysis and photolysis, and are shown on the far left and far right of ﬁgure 1, respectively. Thermolysis involves using the heat produced from concentrated solar power (CSP) to drive one of many thermochemical reactions (hundreds of which are known) that can produce hydrogen, or to drive electrolysis at very high temperatures for more eﬃcient water decomposition. Photolysis may be the ultimate “holy grail” for hydrogen production, using solar photons to produce hydrogen directly via biological or electrochemical systems. Photobiological methods use photosynthetic organisms such as some cyanobacteria and green algae to photoproduce hydrogen – no carbon-based molecules are needed in the process. Much work is still needed to optimise the processes within the organisms, and numerous engineering challenges need to be met to develop large hydrogen generation photobiological systems. Photoelectrochemical photolysis involves the disassociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen directly at the surface of a semiconductor through the irradiation the semiconductor by solar photons. This can be thought of as electrolysis without the electrolyser, because the photovoltaic semiconductor material acts as a catalyst to produce hydrogen directly at the semiconductor and water interface. A major hurdle is ﬁnding a semiconductor material that has the right photoelectrochemical properties, while being economical and robust enough to withstand the severe chemical and physical environment.
Is there enough? H2 Fuel Cell H2 Genset
Figure 2: NREL and Xcel Energy Renewable Electrolysis Project Diagram
AC power from fuel cell or genset during peak demand periods
production task. They typically need to start with glucose, so the cellulosic ethanol pretreatment and hydrolysis techniques that are being developed now to break down cellulose into glucose would also be required for the dark fermentation pathway.
Can renewables really produce enough hydrogen to make a diﬀerence? Figure 3 answers this question for the USA, providing a countyby-county indication of the hydrogen potential from solar, wind, and biomass – compared to gasoline consumption in the US alone.
Hydrogen from renewables
On a gallon of gasoline energy equivalency basis (i.e., no advantage given for fuel cell efficiency compared to a gasoline internal combustion engine)
Figure 3: U.S. Renewable Hydrogen Potential Relative to Gasoline Consumption by County
Only those in blue could produce less hydrogen than their equivalent gasoline use, and those in green approach the capability of 1,000 times more hydrogen than their own needs. The few counties that fall short are typically surrounded by others with an abundance. Even though the US has a signiﬁcant renewable resource, a global analyses might be expected to provide similar results. So, with all these options for renewable hydrogen production and the signiﬁcant, diverse renewable energy resources upon which we might draw worldwide, where do we stand in terms of the research and development (R&D) needed to address the challenges? The answer is not clear, largely due to the confusing global energy picture and recent economic downturn, combined with an apparent emphasis on nearer-term solutions being evaluated to reduce CO2 emissions and stem global warming. Some speculate that there is less enthusiasm for hydrogen than we have seen in recent years, while others oﬀer that hydrogen and fuel cells need to ﬁnd their place in the portfolio of future transportation propulsion options.
In the USA, the end of the President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative (in which President Bush pledged US$1.2 billion to hydrogen and fuel cell R&D during ﬁscal years 2003 through 2008) has had a budgetary eﬀect on hydrogen R&D in general, and on renewable production R&D in particular. Whereas the US Department of Energy’s hydrogen R&D budget had been climbing to more than US$280 million in 2008, the Department’s ﬁscal year 2009 request showed a decrease, including a zeroing of applied R&D funding for hydrogen production (which had been US$40 million in 2008). The rationale was that at least one production pathway had made the US$2US$3/kg cost goal – albeit via a non-renewable pathway known as distributed steam reforming of natural gas – and that funding was being focused on hydrogen storage and fuel cell R&D, where there is greater immediate need. Internationally, renewable hydrogen production R&D eﬀorts continue. The long-standing Hydrogen Implementing Agreement of the International Energy Agency (IEA), in place since 1977, continues to work toward renewable hydrogen production. And many individual countries, including Japan, Australia, Iceland,
to name just a few, continue to pursue renewable hydrogen options. Also, the more recent International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) links many nations in collaborative eﬀorts. If we are able to transcend the “chicken-andegg” problem with respect to FCVs and the supporting hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure, we should be able to make the technical and business case for renewable hydrogen as the energy carrier for our clean vehicles of the future. And, we should be able to do that, not by the 2040-2050 timeframe as some suggest, but in the nearer term in order to oﬀer a renewable, sustainable, and clean transportation option to our future global portfolio.
About the author: Dale Gardner is the associate laboratory director for Renewable Fuels & Vehicle Systems at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a US Department of Energy laboratory located in Golden, Colorado, USA. His research, development, and demonstration technology portfolio at the lab includes biofuels, hydrogen and fuel cells, and advanced vehicle technologies.
renewable energy focus
EU wind focus
Special focus – EU wind IN 2008, MORE WIND POWER WAS INSTALLED IN THE EU THAN ANY OTHER ELECTRICITY GENERATING TECHNOLOGY. STATISTICS RELEASED BY THE EUROPEAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION EWEA AS WE GO TO PRESS SHOW THAT 43% OF ALL NEW ELECTRICITY GENERATING CAPACITY BUILT IN THE EUROPEAN UNION LAST YEAR WAS WIND ENERGY, EXCEEDING ALL OTHER TECHNOLOGIES INCLUDING GAS, COAL AND NUCLEAR POWER.
BUT JUST WHEN WIND POWER SEEMED SET FOR CONTINUED IMPRESSIVE ANNUAL GROWTH, THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS ARRIVED ON OUR DOORSTEPS. WHAT MANY NOW WANT TO KNOW IS WHAT KIND OF EFFECT THIS WILL HAVE ON THE MARKET IN THE EU, BOTH IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM?
While most European markets are stabilising around utilities and opportunities are becoming scarce, many players will continue to leverage their experience to expand into other less developed and faster growing markets like North America, Asia, and Latin America. 38
renewable energy focus
EU wind focus/the market
Introduction Market opportunity
For the ﬁrst time, wind energy is the leading technology in Europe. A total of 64,949 MW of installed wind energy capacity was operating in the EU by end 2008, 15% higher than in 2007. In this special focus for Renewable Energy Focus magazine, we take a look at the wind power market in the EU bloc, starting with an analysis of the market dynamics and a look at how the ﬁnancial crisis will aﬀect wind industry actors – with the help of Emerging Energy Research (EER) and Frost & Sullivan (below, and pages 39-44). Then on pages 46-49, we look at the concept of location intelligence, which is playing a growing role in the planning, design and siting of European wind farms.. One of the most prominent wind organisations headquartered in Europe is Siemens Wind Power, and on pages 50-53 we run an exclusive interview with ceo Andreas Nauen.
And ﬁnally, we turn our attention to turbine innovation, and look at some of the novel ideas that pitched up at the British Wind Energy Association’s (BWEA) 30th anniversary show in London late last year (pages 54-57).
EU Wind market: an introduction On average, 20 wind turbines were installed for every working day of 2008, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) recently reported. By the end of the year, a total of 160,000 workers were employed directly and indirectly in the sector, which saw investments of about €11 billion in the EU. And the wind power capacity installed by end 2008 will, in a normal wind year, produce 142 TWh of electricity, equal to about 4.2% of the EU’s electricity demand, and avoid the emission of 108 million tonnes of C02 per year, the equivalent of taking more than 50 million cars oﬀ Europe’s roads. And according to Emerging Energy Research, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% between 2004 and 2008, and holding steady at around 8 GW capacity installed annually, Europe should re-assert its position in the near term as the bedrock of the wind industry, and many players continue to seek out opportunities in faster growing markets such as the USA and China.
Tapping out remaining sites
Late stage/ Operational project acquisition
Market maturity overview
Greenfield developers and new entrants are locking up high resource sites for their first largescale installations
Tight competition between utilities, IPPs, and turnkey project buyers will scale portfolios of late-stage projects, with guaranteed returns
Utilities and experienced IPPs in mature markets are seeking remaining potential in saturated onshore markets such as Germany and the Netherlands Utilities with balance sheets and risk management skills to handle complex EPC to scale the industry are moving toward project execution offshore
Figure 1: Europe market opportunity and competitive landscape overview (courtesy Emerging Energy Research).
Stabilised market structure Utilities now own 26% of total wind power capacity installed, while industrial independent power producers (IPPs) are rapidly consolidating the league of independent players, leaving fewer opportunities for pure ﬁnance and development players. Few blockbuster, billion Euro (€) acquisition targets remain in play as mega utilities and strong IPPs are now ﬁrmly positioned to execute onshore pipelines while looking toward oﬀshore on the horizon. The current ﬁnancial crisis may in fact further cement Europe’s wind asset ownership structure, as the higher costs of equity may purge highly leveraged players from the market, creating opportunities for utilities and major IPPs to advance their portfolio strategies.
It is clear that project ﬂow will slow among smaller players with lower internal rate of return (IRR) projects. Emerging Energy Research (EER) predicts steady growth of 9 GW to 10 GW through to 2011, which will eventually ramp up to 11 GW by 2014 as oﬀshore sees paced growth, and as remaining onshore opportunities are tapped out. EER also forecasts that the European wind market will reach a total of 210 GW installed by 2020.
Competitive overview – consolidation, growth and scale There have been few shifts in terms of market maturity between 2007 and 2008. Figure 1 shows Europe’s groupings of consolidating, scaling, and growth markets – based on an
In brief: EU wind snapshot ■ Wind power has become a mainstream energy source in Europe; ■ Wind energy’s market structure has stabilised in Europe after a rapid period of M&A over the past three years; ■ Growth through to 2020 will see wind markets shifting Eastwards and embracing the oﬀshore and re-powering markets, despite near-term ﬁnancial challenges due to the global credit crunch; ■ The European wind sector growth continues to be driven by scaling markets and oﬀshore;
■ Development of Europe’s growth markets relies on sporadic project activity; ■ Scaling markets will drive the bulk of Europe’s long-term growth; ■ Consolidating markets welcome wind as a key player in the generation mix; ■ Forecasts Point to 210 GW Market by 2020; ■ Europe to exhibit paced oﬀshore expansion through 2020; ■ Wind players will be forced to adapt strategies to tap out remaining potential; ■ A consolidated Europe will solidify wind in the power mix;
renewable energy focus
EU wind focus/the market
Utilities Top IPPs Other Spanish IPPs Other European IPPs/ German Investors
Figure 2: European ownership shifts to utilities and IPPs (courtesy Emerging Energy Research)
evaluation of each country’s market concentration and wind penetration.
Does the economic slowdown have positive sides? First of all, according to analysts Frost & Sullivan, equipment prices will inevitably follow the raw material prices that sharply decreased in September- November 2008. For example, wind towers accounting for up to 20%-23% of the total wind turbine cost (the second most expensive element after blades) are predominantly made of steel. Steel prices – after reaching an all time historic maximum in JuneSeptember 2008 – crashed down to December 2007 levels in less than 3 months. Another factor contributing to a fall in prices is an increased level of competition along the value chain. The new reality will foster a ﬁercer competition between the suppliers turning into a growth opportunity for those who are capable of reducing their costs and prices faster. Delivery and construction times will see a huge improvement which in turn will make the project lifecycle shorter allowing for faster commissioning and a shorter wait until the project brings its ﬁrst revenues. Lastly, the asset valuations that jumped out of control recently will return to sensible levels. Those interested in growing their wind portfolios will have a chance to acquire existing and new projects at a reasonable price.
renewable energy focus
While countries such as Poland and Turkey moved ahead of the pack, Portugal’s days as a scaling market (characterised by strong remaining resource coupled with stable regulatory frameworks that will facilitate project development) are dwindling. Development of Europe’s growth markets relies on sporadic project activity. Wind energy growth markets include a number of diﬀerent countries in which wind is a nascent market, including Turkey, the Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway, Switzerland, the Ukraine, and Finland. These countries’ markets are nascent, where the gradual creation and implementation of stable regulatory frameworks are expected to facilitate sporadic project activation. At year-end 2007, these countries accounted for 2% of total wind energy capacity installed in Europe. Between 2008 and 2020, growth markets will contribute nearly 11% to
Europe’s new wind capacity. Scaling markets will drive the bulk of Europe’s long-term growth. These markets, including the UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Greece, Ireland, and Portugal will experience high project volume in the near term, and are expected to be Europe’s main growth motor going forward, accounting for over half of the total new capacity added in Europe by 2020. Consolidating markets welcome wind as a key player in the generation mix, and have reached a high level of maturity, are highly penetrated, and have limited Greenﬁeld opportunities available. Despite having a lower growth rate than other
market types, consolidating markets Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium will still contribute 47% to Europe’s installed wind base, declining from 76% in 2007.
Which EU countries are seen as the most attractive? The attractiveness and availability of Europe’s wind power development opportunities are reaching a critical point as markets mature and the competitive environment consolidates around a smaller set of key players driving the industry. Overall, Western European markets continue to consolidate, while less developed markets in Eastern Europe remain the target of regional expansion. Generally, utilities continue to make their presence felt as consolidators across Europe, acting as project buyers, partners, and greenﬁeld developers – vye for project permits and grid connections with smaller IPPs and pure play competitors. While the barriers to entry continue to increase as wind ﬁnds its way into countries’ mainstream power mix, distinct development opportunities exist for those players with a strong understanding of local competitive environments. EER recently looked at each country in detail to gauge an idea of which European countries were the most attractive in terms of wind power development potential, ranking each market based on ﬁve key components: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Wind resources; Regulatory mechanisms; Site approval; Grid connection; Competition.
Some of the most signiﬁcant shifts highlighted by EER’s 2008 Rankings are the improving positions of France (driven by an increasingly transparent permitting process and support for utility-sized projects with a €0.082/kWh feed-in tariﬀ) and Sweden (where an improved regulatory framework has simpliﬁed the planning process for projects up to 25 MW). Countries whose market attractiveness declined in 2008 included Portugal (where a fully permitted or tendered grid capacity will limit development) and Greece (which is struggling with a bureaucratic planning and lengthy permitting process that can take up to ﬁve years.) ■ EER’s most attractive countries (Tier 1) currently include Spain, France, UK, Germany, Italy and Sweden;
No doubt youâ€™ve been let down in the past. With a REpower wind farm you will be sure to maximise your yield. REpower wind turbines combine aerodynamic efďŹ ciency with the latest control and feedback technologies. These are integrated into a system that delivers maximum performance with minimum input. Our investment in technology provides you with the perfect tool for the job.
2%POWER 3YSTEMS !'