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The world of renewables this week

Norwegian consulting group Rystad Energy says that the Vietnamese solar markets have reached 4.46 GW of connected solar capacity in Vietnam by June this year, having absorbed 4.45 GW over the past 12 months and much of that in a single period of 11 weeks. Basically there was an end of June deadline to gain access to a particular feed-in tariff. The average time for the construction was 275 days. Vietnam, Argentina, Egypt, South Africa and Spain have all been tipped as massive Solar markets this year with about 7 GW of new capacity.

India’s wind provider Suzlon Energy has approached Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management to sell it a majority stake. Suzlon has had a troubled balance sheet and has now run out of money and a deal is thought to just about cover outstanding debt of over $1 billion.

Wood Mackenzie has forecast wind farm additions globally at an average 71 GW for each year from 2019 and 2023, rising to 76 GW to 2028 in its Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update: Q2 2019 this week, upgrading its global wind power outlook by 11 GW from 2019 to 2028, which is a 1.5% increase from its previous-quarter update. This represents a CAGR of 26%. Seems hugely low to us. The US market has been upgraded by 16% since Q1 alone. Seems a bit mad to make adjustments only one quarter after a forecast. That’ll be because it is not forecasting at all, but regurgitating confidential pipeline figures. In another report Wood Mackenzie says that China is to become largest energy storage market in Asia Pacific by 2024 holding capacity of 12.5 GW of storage from 489 MW in 2017. Front-of-the-meter storage is leading growth there, already up five-fold in terms of installed power capacity compared to 2017.

Eco Wave Power said it has secured investment of $2.6 million in a funding round, which is effectively an IPO, including the Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund and Skandia, Swedish insurance company. AP4 and Skandia and some new board members acquired a 17% holding. If it has water involved it’s a hard sell right now in renewables, whether it works or not.

Global Market Insights says the submarine power cable market will jump from $1500 million now to over $3 billion by 2025. This is partly due to offshore oil and gas platforms and of course offshore wind turbines.

The global solar generator market reached a value of $ 391.5 Million in 2018 but will grow to $ 555 million by 2024, at a CAGR of around 6% according to the Imarc Group. This seems massively under appreciating solar.

The global Virtual Power Plant (VPP) market will reach $4.5 billion by 2024 says BIS Research. A VPP is a cluster of different, normally renewable energy sources, combined with a battery, so that it is grid ready. Demand-response in 2018 accounted for 60% of the virtual power plant market and mixed asset VPPs are expected grow fastest at 33%, with the US in the lead at present, and Asia-Pacific expected to flourish towards the end of the forecast.

BlackRock Real Assets has reached an agreement with Greenbacker Renewable Energy to sell its controlling interest in Community Wind South, a 30.75 MW community-based wind project in Minnesota. The farm has a long-term power purchase agreement with Northern States Power, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy.

The ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund 1 has sold off its interest in Kendall Green Energy to Veolia Energy North America. Kendall is a combined heat and power facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts with 232 MW of capacity which provides 90% of the district steam used in Cambridge and Boston.

EDF Renewables Mexico has switched on the 119.6 MW Bluemex Power 1 Solar Project on 340 hectares near Empalme, Sonora, using panels from Canadian Solar.

DNV GL has signed up with PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, as technical advisor for a 50 MW floating solar project on the Tengeh Reservoir.

The project is south-east Asia’s largest public tender for floating solar farm to date and is due to be operational by 2021.

Developers working on a 2 MW river tidal energy pilot using 30 turbines on the river Rhône in France, have decided not to move forward with the project. The reasons are said to be “site constraints.”

Researchers at Stanford University in the US have modeled how wind turbines can interfere neighboring turbines and found that turbulence can decrease the efficiency of turbines down-wind by as much as 40%. This was published in the National Academy of Sciences proceedings this month. It relates how repositioning turbines at an existing wind farm – a process they call wake steering improved its output considerable. The message is that we need to start thinking about wind farms as a whole, not just individual turbines.

China is to build an ultra-high voltage transmission line across 3,324 kilometers from the Xinjiang province in Western China to the Anhui province in the country’s east. It will be mostly for electricity from the Zhundong coal-fired power plant in northern Xinjiang which outputs 28 GW, to supply areas which have air pollution problems. Coal-fired power stations are banned in the east due to air pollution issues.

We said in June that the Netherlands based marine energy developer Bluerise was declared bankrupt and now Swiss marine contractor Allseas has acquired it. Bluerise has been developing a system which uses the natural temperature difference in the ocean between cold deep water (5°C) and warm surface water (25°C) to generate electricity and had is first installation in Sri Lanka, last year.

Thin film CIGS (Copper indium gallium selenide) module maker Hanergy says its HanWall integrated solar façade has been used on a skyscraper in Nanchang City, in China’s Jiangxi province. It put 4,600 Oerlikon thin film modules on the outside of the China Pharmaceutical International Innovation Park building, over 6000 square meters each generating 100 W. The building’s energy requirements will therefore be virtually “negligible.”

The Mercom Capital Group says that the solar industry has raised $6 billion during H1 2019, up 11% over the $5.4 billion for the same period last year.

The firm recorded solar financing volumes of $3.3 billion in Q2 2019, a 12% year-on-year gain on the $2.9 billion identified in Q2 2018.

Chinese inverter manufacturer Sungrow said it has supplied and grid connected 1.4 GW of solar inverters in the first  half of 2019, many of them in Vietnam.

Siemens Gamesa says it has received its first firm order for the Ørsted’s 900 MW offshore wind power project in Taiwan and will establish a nacelle assembly plant at Taichung Harbour to start production in 2021.

The Financial Times of London reports that EU carbon prices have moved to their highest level since before the financial crisis above €28 a tonne. This has likely happened because of rule changes over free allowances in Europe, and will apply acute financial pressure to fossil fuel plants in Europe.

State regulators have approved three Duke Energy solar project in Florida which will come online in March 2020, part of Duke’s effort to install 700 MW of solar power by 2022.

Bloomberg NEF said this week that winning bids in the next UK Contract for Difference auction are likely to be awarded at wholesale rates, because bids have been highly competitive with the wholesale price, due to the projects using larger multi MW turbines, which will significantly reduce costs.

CleanTechnica reports that the government of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India is about to try something that could sabotage all India progress in renewable energy – a one sided renegotiation on existing renewables power purchasing agreement – purely on the basis that if it signed them now, they would be much cheaper. If successful this would immediately make India’s plight that much tougher, because prices are already so low that virtually no-one can bid in auctions there right now.

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