Companies in 75 countries actively sourced 465 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to the report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). With the continued decline in the costs of renewables, the report suggests, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills, hedge against future price spikes and address sustainability concerns.
Wind industry intelligence service A Word About Wind has launched its Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index report for 2018, which provides insight and analysis into the most attractive emerging markets for wind companies. The index, now in its second year, ranks the top 30 emerging markets that investors should consider when investing in wind in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The list considers factors including political and economic stability for investors, alongside the growth of electricity demand and potential for wind growth, in order to rank the countries by overall potential. As with last year’s report, China tops the list and the ongoing trade war with the US shows no sign of slowing China’s formidable growth.
Europeans will now be entitled to consume, store and sell the renewable energy they produce in line with ambitious targets set by the EU. The targets are to be reviewed by 2023, and can only be raised, not lowered. By making energy more efficient, Europeans will see their energy bills reduced. In addition, Europe will reduce its reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, improve local air quality and protect the climate. For the first time, member states will also be obliged to establish specific energy efficiency measures to the benefit of those affected by energy poverty. Member states must also ensure that citizens are entitled to generate renewable energy for their own consumption, to store it and to sell excess production.
Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”
Arsenal Football Club has unveiled a battery storage system (BSS) to store enough energy to run the 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium from kick-off to full time. It follows a unique collaboration with Pivot Power to install a 2MW/2.5MWh lithium ion BSS, with funds managed by Downing LLP. The project, the first of its kind in the UK, will also save club money as it works to support low-carbon plans. The BSS allows Arsenal to avoid peak power prices, buying electricity when it is cheap and storing it for use when prices are high. Typically, energy can cost three times more at peak times than overnight. The installation maintains Arsenal as the leader in sustainability in sport following its commitment to clean energy with Octopus Energy in 2016.
Renewable energy is the most competitive form of power generation in GCC countries, according to a new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It says that achieving stated 2030 targets brings significant economic benefits to the region including the creation of more than 220 000 new jobs whilst saving over 354 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE) in regional power sectors. Furthermore, the power sector’s CO2 emissions can be reduced by 136 million tonnes (22%), while water withdrawals in the power sector can be cut by 11.5 trillion litres (17% reduction) in 2020.
Participants from more than 80 countries explored the disruptive innovations in digitalisation and decentralisation that are transforming energy systems around the world. Remarkable cost reductions driven by technological innovation and an increasingly conducive policy environment have made renewable energy increasingly competitive with conventional fuels in many parts of the world. In parallel, innovations such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart charging of electric vehicles, and hydrogen power and storage are making energy systems increasingly integrated and flexible and are supporting the transition to a renewable-powered future.
Ahead of speaking at the 17th annual Benelux Infrastructure Forum next month in Amsterdam, Macquarie Capital, Ballast Nedam, and DEME have recently announced that they’ve reached financial closure on the largest PPP project ever awarded in the Netherlands. The €1 billion Blankenburg Connection PPP project, which involves the construction of an immersed tunnel under the Rotterdam port waterway, a land tunnel and two junctions, aims to improve road links between Rotterdam and its port. This further establishes the Benelux PPP market as one of the most active and important regions for global infrastructure projects business.
The European Parliament’s Industry & Energy (ITRE) and Environment (ENVI) committees have voted their position on the Energy Union Governance Regulation, just a week after the ITRE committee called for raising the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target to 35% instead of 27%. The Governance Regulation sets out how EU Member States will deliver the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy goals including the binding EU renewables target and how they will give visibility to renewable energy investors on post-2020 deployment volumes. The IEA now says that wind will be Europe’s leading electricity source soon after 2030.
European ports are set to take on an expanded role in the offshore wind supply chain. By 2030 Europe is expected to have installed 70 GW of offshore wind. This means there will be more than 10,000 turbines in the water. This is equivalent to a build-out rate of 6 GW per year, 20% of which will be repowering existing sites with brand new turbines. Investments of €0.5-€1bn in new port infrastructure could help the offshore wind sector to cut costs by up to 5.3%, according to figures released recently, by the WindEurope Ports Platform in Hamburg.
InnoEnergy and Deloitte’s radical new research reveals that EU citizens could save €183bn by adopting innovative smog-reduction technologies to 2025. This is in response to the European Commission’s finding that smog will cost the EU an astonishing €475bn between 2018 and 2025. The report identifies best technologies to reduce Europe’s 400,000 pollution-related premature deaths a year. These key technologies include fast, interconnected and interoperable car charging solutions, solar thermal, and underground energy storage.