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The world of renewables this week

Indian wind turbine supplier Inox Wind has reported a $2 million loss to June 30, compared to a Q1 loss of $7.5 million. Revenue increased to reach $36 million, up from Q1, but down 40% from last year. The Indian government’s shift from offering a feed-in tariff to energy auctions has left wind turbine manufacturers with a liquidity crunch. The Inox order book is now 1.23 GW and it is confident that it can avoid the shakeout of the local wind industry. It won a 250 MW project in the 2017 auctions, but has had to wait until now for the transmission lines to be in place. Last month Suzlon Energy fell into unplanned bankruptcy and had to come to a deal with its creditors.

Infracapital, the equity investment arm of M&G Prudential has acquired a 60MW greenfield wind power project in Finland from OX2. Both projects are pre-construction onshore wind farms, Kröpuln and Storbacken, with 14 turbines and an output of 206 GWh per year. OX2 has developed more than 1,800 MW of wind power. Currently, OX2 is building 15 wind farms with a total of approximately 973 MW in the Nordic region, approximately 190 MW of which are in Finland.

Researchers at the UK’s University of Sussex and Denmark’s Aarhus University have concluded that Europe has the capacity to produce more than 100 times more renewable energy from onshore wind farms than it does today, a total of 52.5 terawatts. The work was done using spatial analysis through a Geographical Information System to exclude houses, roads, restricted areas due to military or political reasons, as well as terrains not suitable for wind power generation. It showed three times the onshore wind potential in Europe than previous studies had shown and 11 million fresh wind turbines could be installed over almost 5 million square kilometers and it identified Turkey, Russia, and Norway as having the greatest potential.

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has bought another 5MW battery storage project for £3.5 million. The project was developed by both Gresham House DevCo and Noriker Power and was connected to the distribution network in April. It will make money on wholesale price fluctuations and National Grid’s Balancing Mechanism. It is Gresham House’s sixth such purchase and takes the fund’s utility-scale battery storage portfolio to 75MW. Its next acquisition is a 49MW operational asset, which is expected to close by the end of the year after it is brought online and two further utility-scale batteries are due to start construction imminently, both sized around 50MW. So it could have a 229MW portfolio by the end of Q1 2020.

Sunnova Energy International, a US residential solar and storage provider, reported a net loss of $49.8 million for Q2 on revenue of $34.6 million and says its total number of customers is now 67,600 up 13,900 on a year ago

Revenue increased by $5.6 million, as a result the number of systems in service. The company signed two dealer agreements and took a $167.6 million in solar loan securitization and closed its IPO in July. Its losses were primarily driven by losses on interest rate swaps as it converted debt.

The Lithium-Ion battery market is expected to grow with at a CAGR of 21.8% to reach 106.5 billion by 2024 said a report this week from Research And Markets, driven by government subsidies and falling battery prices, and the emergence of an electric vehicle market. The nickel manganese cobalt oxide or NMC segment of the market will grow fastest and hold the largest share by 2024.

Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has seen a huge number of fires this year, which are being tracked by the National Institute for Space Research which shows an 84% increase on the same period in 2018 and adds that it has detected 72,000 fires this  year – the highest number since records began in 2013 and has observed 9,500 forest fires since Thursday. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has sacked the head of the agency responsible for deforestation data and randomly blames NGOs for the fires, when clearly it is farmers who feel freed by Bolsonaro’s rhetoric to clear the forest. There has been so much smoke that 1,700 miles away in Sao Paulo there was a daytime blackout. Environmentalists are calling it catastrophic for climate change

The UK’s ESO National Grid is still being hauled over the coals for its few minutes of blackout that caused railway chaos a week ago. It has produced a timeline of events, based on interim findings and submitted them to the regulator Ofgem. It shows that a lightning strike triggered events that led to loss of power for around 1.1 million customers caused chaos on transport networks. The grid’s protection systems operated normally and cleared the lightning within 0.1 seconds, shortly after there was a loss of load from both the Little Barford CCGT power station and Hornsea One offshore wind farm – both connected to the lightning strike. All in all 1.4GW of load was lost from the system, which is only prepared for a loss of 1.2GW. In effect 5% of Britain’s electricity supply was turned off to protect the other 95%. “This had not happened in over a decade and is an extremely rare event,” National Grid said.

Chinese solar cell and module maker Risen Energy has started construction on another 2.5 GW factory at its $465 million fab in Zhejiang province. The cells will be assembled on eight module manufacturing lines into 2.5 GW of annual production at the site, announced Risen yesterday, with 1 GW of bifacial, half-cut module output and 1.5 GW of overlapping modules. The new facility will be operational at the end of 2021. Risen shipped 5.2 GW of modules last year.

Paira Daiza one of the largest Zoos in the world is planning a huge solar PV carport at Brugelette, in Belgium. It will have 62,750 panels across 104,000 square meters, covering 80% of the facility’s 7,000 parking spaces. It should generate around 20 GWh per year, plenty for the entire Zoo, including some new EV charging stations. It was built by Perpetum Energy.

Drax Electricity Insights tells us that last week in the UK renewables provided 67% of the country’s power with wind providing 43%. If you add that to nuclear  and other low carbon sources, the country’s low carbon fleet contributed 87% of UK power. This resulted in an average grid carbon intensity of 72g CO2/kWh for that 24-hour period, achieved at an average wholesale energy price of £31.85/MWh.

Equinor has managed to get more funding for its Hywind Tampen Floating wind project from Enova which has given it $255 million to power offshore oil and gas installations. This was the demonstrator for its UK Hywind project, which consists of 11 wind turbines and capacity of 88 MW. It will now meet around 35% of electricity on five platforms: Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C.

California regulators want to direct $100 million in state energy storage incentives to disadvantaged customers living in parts of the state at the highest risk of deadly wildfires. So $100 million can be used to get the customers multi-hour batteries attached to their rooftop solar system.

Walmart has decided to sue Tesla after seven separate fires broke out on its roofs between 2012 and 2018, for systemic and widespread failures in installing and maintaining solar systems on hundreds of its stores in the U.S. The lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court Tuesday. Tesla agreed to de-energize all of Walmart’s systems in summer 2018 after another fire.

German Electricity utility E.ON has issued two Green Bonds at €750 million each. The high level of demand enabled E.ON to secure favorable interest terms across both maturities, with €750 million maturing August 2024 with coupon of 0% and another €750 million maturing February 2030 with a coupon of 0.35%

A judge presiding over the Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy case has agreed to let a state jury to decide whether the power company’s equipment was responsible for starting a wildfire in California wine country nearly two years ago. State fire investigators already fond a private electrical system caused the fire but victims of the fire disagreed and demanded a jury trial.

Norway’s Statkraft has acquired an EV charging company in Germany E-WALD GmbH to go with its purchase of eeMobility last year. E-WALD operates around 300 charging stations and EV leasing services for a fleet of 100 cars with approximately 7000 customers in total.

The arguments will go on around Solar geoengineering, but with someone as powerful as Bill Gates behind what is clearly a dumb idea it will get a trial – solve global warming by squirting a layer of chemicals into the atmosphere to better reflect the sun. The idea has had a governance committee established to oversee a trial deployment. This idea came up so that fossil fuel addicted companies can continue to pollute with impunity, because of solar geoengineering can then save us later.  If it gets the US government backing, we might as well give up with renewables. It merely puts a sticking plaster on one aspect of global warming, and the likely consequences for neighboring countries to those who conduct geoengineering, are expected to be significant and opposite to those anticipated.

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