The Netherlands still trailing behind on EU renewable energy targets


The Netherlands is trailing the rest of Europe when it comes to reaching sustainable energy targets, according to new figures from the European statistics agency Eurostat. In 2017, just 6.6% of the energy used in the Netherlands came from sustainable sources, but the target is 14% by 2020, Eurostat says.

Luxembourg, where 6.4% of energy consumption derived from biofuels, hydro or wind power, solar or geothermal energy in 2017, has a 2020 target of 11%. The Eurostat statistics show 11 EU countries had already reached their targets two years ago. Continue reading “The Netherlands still trailing behind on EU renewable energy targets”

Global Wind Turbine Market Value To Hit $48 Billion By 2022, Led By APAC

The global wind turbine market is expected to continue to grow over the next few years, according to new figures published by analysts GlobalData, with market value estimated to be $47.83 billion in 2022, up from $44.75 billion in 2017, driven primarily by onshore development

GlobalData published a new report last week which claimed that the global wind turbine market will surf the wave created by renewable energy global investment trends aimed at addressing power sector challenges. The authors of the report point out the obvious, that “solar and wind are prevalent due to the availability of resources across the world” and that “Power sectors in countries are moving towards improving energy security, self-sufficiency, and addressing climate change issues; driving the utilization and deployment of clean energy technologies such as wind as a power generation source.”

With regards the wind turbine market specifically, GlobalData expects the Asia Pacific region to lead the way, with a market value in 2022 of $17.24 billion and an aggregate market value of $93.85 billion. They will be followed by the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) with an aggregate market value of $88.77 billion — although, it’s worth noting, GlobalData expects EMEA to “outrun” the Asia Pacific region in terms of market value for offshore wind installations, as compared to wind as a whole Continue reading “Global Wind Turbine Market Value To Hit $48 Billion By 2022, Led By APAC”

MGP makes major commitment to renewable energy

MGP, a leading U.S. supplier of premium distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches, has embarked on a major renewable energy initiative, committing to sourcing 100 percent of their electricity needs from renewable wind power.

Through a three-year agreement that took effect April 1, the company has made a commitment to renewable energy through Westar Wind, a Green-e certified program offered by Westar Energy.

As a result, total electric usage at MGP’s facilities in Atchison, Kan., and Lawrenceburg, will be offset by green energy provided by Westar’s wind resources in Kansas.

“We are proud and excited to enter into this agreement which represents a significant step in our efforts to realize both the direct and overarching benefits of renewable energy technologies,” MGP President and CEO Gus Griffin said. “Among these is our ability to take on a more prominent and proactive role in further supporting environmental sustainability through greater use of clean energy. This initiative is consistent with the long-term view we take for our business, and reflects our enduring commitment to our communities and social responsibility.” Continue reading “MGP makes major commitment to renewable energy”

Developing markets take prominent spot in Q1 clean energy investment

Solar farm. Author: iamme ubeyou. License: CC0 1.0 Universal.

The first quarter (Q1) of 2018 saw global clean energy investment decrease to USD 61.1 billion (EUR 49.4bn) as solar investments dipped, but was marked by prominent outgrowth in development markets, with several “eye-catching projects” reaching financial close there.

The January-March total was 10% lower in annual terms, show figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released on Wednesday. “The global first quarter figures are the lowest for any quarter since 3Q 2016, but it’s too early to predict a fall in annual investment this year,” said BNEF analyst Abraham Louw.

The weaker Q1 figures included a 19% year-on-year drop in solar investment to USD 37.4 billion due to decreased activity in some markets and lower prices of photovoltaic (PV) systems. According to BNEF, the benchmark global dollar capital costs per MW for utility-scale solar slipped by 7% in the past year and also contributed to the overall decline.

The quarter saw a rebound in investment in developing countries as several renewable energy projects in Morocco, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico reached financial close. The biggest one was the 800-MW Noor Midelt solar project in Morocco, estimated at around USD 2.4 billion.

Meanwhile, global investment in wind rose by 10% in the three months to USD 18.9 billion. Continue reading “Developing markets take prominent spot in Q1 clean energy investment”

Wind and solar to lead renewable energy demand growth in US

U.S. demand for renewable energy is forecast to reach 12.6 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2021, according to Renewable Energy: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Demand for solar energy is forecast to rise 20 per cent per year, the fastest among the resource segments. Government incentives and renewable portfolio mandates will propel rapid expansion in solar energy production capacity and demand. In addition, falling component prices and suppliers’ improving installation experience are deflating project costs.

Continue reading “Wind and solar to lead renewable energy demand growth in US”

Solar and wind over biomass the ‘smart economic choice’ for UK power

Powering the UK on wind and solar is not only possible, but the “smart economic choice” according to a new report which has condemned the future prospects of biomass in the country.

Earlier this week the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released its ‘Money to Burn II’ report, a follow-up to its landmark report from last year, concluding that the UK should look towards onshore wind, solar and natural gas for its electricity.

The report, compiled alongside UK-based economics consultancy Vivid Economics, claims that solar and onshore wind would be the least cost option to decarbonising the country’s power supply and issues a damning indictment of biomass technology and, in particular, coal-to-biomass conversions. Continue reading “Solar and wind over biomass the ‘smart economic choice’ for UK power”

UK greenlights ScottishPower’s offshore wind farm

The Government has given the green light to a major offshore wind farm which could prove to be the cheapest yet in UK waters.

Greg Clark, the Business and Energy Secretary, granted ScottishPower planning permission to build the second phase of its East Anglia wind farm 42 miles off the coast of Norfolk using wind turbines more than two and a half times the height of London’s Big Ben.

The 1.2GW project could produce enough electricity to power nearly a million homes by 2025, and is expected to be better value than the first phase of the development which is the cheapest to go into construction so far.

ScottishPower Renewables, owned by Spain’s Iberdrola, will need to compete with other projects in an auction to secure a contract which guarantees a set revenue stream through top-up payments from consumer bills.

The first phase of the East Anglia project is the cheapest offshore wind project to be built, but the £119 per megawatt hour deal has nonetheless raised calls for developers to work harder to reduce the burden on bill payers. Continue reading “UK greenlights ScottishPower’s offshore wind farm”

Wind and solar expected to supply third of global power by 2040

The plunging cost of wind and solar power mean they will be cheaper than coal-fired generation in many countries within five years, and will provide a third of the world’s electricity in about 25 years, a leading analysis firm has predicted.

It gives a very different view of the energy outlook from the projections set out by large oil companies such as ExxonMobil, demonstrating the uncertainties that exist in any assessment of possible futures for the industry.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which compiles the most widely-used data on investment in renewables, says unsubsidised solar power costs less than electricity from new coal-fired plants in the US, Germany and Australia, and by 2021 will reach that tipping point in other countries including China, India, Britain and Mexico.

In its New Energy Outlook report, published on Thursday, BNEF predicts that by 2040, 34 per cent of the world’s electricity will come from wind and solar power, up from 5 per cent today.

By contrast, Exxon’s most recent forecast is that all renewable sources excluding hydro power will provide just 11 per cent of the world’s electricity in 2040.

Big oil companies including Exxon, BP and Statoil produce regular assessments of the outlook for world energy over the next 25 years or so, which are used internally to inform investment decisions, and externally to try to influence public and political debate.

The divergence of views about the outlook is a reminder that these forecasts are well-informed estimates rather than infallible predictions.

Oil companies argue the advantages of fossil fuels, including high energy density, ease of storage, flexibility and cost, means they will continue to dominate the energy landscape for decades to come.

Ethan Zindler, analyst at BNEF, said there could nevertheless be very significant changes in the global energy mix by 2040.

“Given the rate of change that we have already seen in the power sector, to assume a status quo scenario is a risky forecast,” he added.

Over the past nine years, the cost of wind power has dropped by 71 per cent, and solar by 83 per cent, in the US. BNEF projects these expense declines into the future, predicting that the levelised cost of electricity will by 2040 drop by 47 per cent for onshore wind and 66 per cent for photo-voltaic solar.

These price declines mean that in the BNEF forecast, renewables become increasingly competitive against both coal and gas-fired power generation, without any government subsidies.

On the BNEF projections, new large-scale solar power plants are expected to become cheaper sources of electricity than new coal-fired equivalents some time between 2019 and 2021. In the US, onshore wind and large-scale solar are expected by 2023 to become cheaper than new gas-fired plants, which are now the most competitive form of power generation.
The International Energy Agency, the government-backed research group, publishes scenarios for future energy outcomes that suggest that unless there is a greater policy push, the adoption of wind and solar power is on course to be faster than expected by Exxon, but much slower than is suggested by BNEF.

In its World Energy Outlook last year, the IEA published a “new policies scenario”, reflecting countries’ policy commitments including pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions that showed renewables except for hydro power accounting for 21 per cent of world electricity generation in 2040.

However Mr Zindler said BNEF did not make any assumptions about new policies to support renewable energy in its forecasts of faster growth.

It still expects fossil fuels to provide a significant proportion of the world’s electricity in 2040, with 6 per cent of power coming from gas and 22 per cent from coal. Fossil fuels will be needed to back up variable renewable sources, and the existing stock of gas and coal-fired plants will remain viable for a long time.

However, BNEF expects that the great majority of new investment in the power sector will go into renewables. It forecasts $7.4tn of capital spending on wind and solar worldwide between now and 2040, about three-quarters of all investment in power generation.

BNEF points out that even if its projections are correct, the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will be only about 4 per cent lower in 2040 than they are today.

To hit the trajectories that might be needed to stand a good chance of keeping global warming to the internationally-agreed objective of “well below” 2C, more radical action would be needed, said Mr Zindler.

Article source: The Financial Times