Your browser is not supported. Please update it.

6 September 2019

The world of renewables this week

Verisk the owner of Wood Mackenzie, said it will acquire Genscape, a provider of real-time data for energy markets, from the Daily Mail and General Trust, for $364 million in cash. Genscape will become part of Wood Mackenzie and operates a network of in-field monitors and distributes alternative energy data on commodities and energy.

IHS Markit says that a third of solar installations use trackers now. Its latest forecast predicts 150 GW of tracker capacity to be installed in the next five years, which makes up around a third of all ground mount projects, up to 2024.

The recently approved 600 MW Travers plant in Alberta, Canada developed by Greengate Power will be the largest solar installation there. It rivals other large solar projects around the world, including the 754 MW Villanueva project in Mexico and the 579 MW Solar Star project in California. Greengate expects to begin construction on the $376 million project next year and will complete it in 2021.

Vector Group and Watercare in New Zealand said this week they will deploy a floating solar farm in Auckland using 2,700 panels at the Rosedale wastewater treatment pond, but does not say its capacity, only that it is MW class.

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas says it has an order for an 11 MW turbine

from long-term customer Notus Energy Plan GmbH for two V150-5.6 MW turbines, the first for this platform in Germany

Independent Scottish developer Muirhall Energy said this week that construction has begun on the 46 MW Crossdykes Wind Farm at Dumfries and Galloway and it is expected to produce first power in September 2020. Muirhall and its partners WWS Renewables reached financial close on the project in August — believed to be the first subsidy-free development to be financed in Scotland with funding from Close Brothers Leasing and wind turbines to be supplied by Nordex.

Norway’s largest oil and renewables company Equinor said it is launching a share buy-back program for $5 billion up until the end of 2022. The first tranche of the program of around $1.5 billion is commencing today and will end no later than 25 February 2020.

E.ON has decided to carry out its merger squeeze for the remaining shares of innogy that it does not already own. On the German stockmarket there is a rule that once you have sufficient shares to take over a company, the rest of the shareholders can be forced to sell, and this is known as a squeeze out. In this instance it has passed a 90% threshold.

US residential solar installer Sunrun has won a deal to deliver residential solar-battery systems at grid scale, with Hawaiian Electric’s (HECO’s) island grids. It will install up to 1,000 of its Brightbox home solar-battery systems on the island of Oahu by 2024, as part of a contract with Open Access Technology International which is running the HECO new “demand response” program.

The UK new car market was steady in August, down about 1.6% on new registrations but zero emission cars grew by 377.5%, to 3,147, while 4,014 hybrid electric cars also joined UK roads, up 36.2%.

Exxonmobil has fallen out of the top ten of the S&P 500 index for the first time in 90 years falling to number 12 behind companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. Visa has now replaced Exxon in the Top 10 rankings.

GE has had another of its wind turbines collapses in Brazil in Maranhao state, this comes just two months after another GE turbine collapsed in Brazil.

Germany has said that it plans to shut down the first of its power plants which use black coal during 2020, according to Reuters looking at draft legislation as part of the planned phase-out of coal by 2038.

China said this week that its pledge to bring emissions to a peak by 2030 will be met considerably earlier and emissions are likely to begin falling after 2022 according to a research professor with the Energy Research Institute. This comes after news that emissions have grown during the first half of this year by 4% in China.

The US Department of Energy says it is eliminating strict efficiency standards on about half of light bulbs sold in the US. This is Mr Trump repealing a law that Barack Obama’s brought in to phase out older-style inefficient incandescent and halogen lightbulbs by 2020.

French electricity company Engie has acquired Mobisol in Africa, a pioneer of off-grid solar systems founded in 2011. Mobisol has operations in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya and has installed more than 150,000 solar home systems, to over 750,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa.