Turkey to Open Mini Solar Tenders in 2 Months

Turkey is set to receive solar energy applications in two months for 74 mini Renewable Energy Resource Zones (YEKA) tenders, totaling 1,000 MegaWatts (MW) in capacity for 36 regions across the country, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez announced on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 1st Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association (GENSED) Solar Energy Summit through video link, Donmez said the tenders are important for deploying more solar energy investments in the country, particularly for small to medium-sized energy sector enterprises. "The tenders will be an important factor in changing the investment culture and investor profile," he said.

The YEKA tenders form part of Turkey's aim to supply 65% of its energy needs from domestic and renewable sources by 2023.

In 2017, through the energy ministry's YEKA tenders, Turkey's 1,000-MegaWatt solar tender accepted a winning bid price per MegaWatt-hour of $6.99. An equivalent capacity wind tender also in 2017 was achieved at $3.49 per MegaWatt-hour. The country finalized its second YEKA wind tenders on May 30, 2020.

Donmez reiterated that throughout the 10 years of solar energy development in the country, it managed to increase its installed solar capacity from 40 MW in 2014 to the current 6,630 MW. Now the share of solar energy of total capacity has reached 7% and 4% for electricity production. "Our installed capacity in solar energy doubled in three years. Almost one hour of daily electricity consumption comes from solar," he said.

Donmez confirmed that Turkey ranks 7th in Europe and 13th in the world in terms of installed solar capacity and he reaffirmed Turkey's commitment to developing renewables and continuing its success story in the following years.

The country's energy transition is part of its economic development strategy to help revive the global economic slowdown and markets, he explained.

"Renewable energy sources constituted 98% of the 4,900 MW of total installed capacity which came online in 2020. Our renewable energy installed capacity reached 49,500 MW and the share of our total installed capacity now stands at 51.7%," he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Turkish University Team Produces Energy From Sewage Sludge

Turkish scientists are producing electricity and gas from sewage sludge using the gasification technology developed in Dokuz Eylul University's (DEU) Environmental Engineering Treatment Sludge Laboratory.

Scientists at the Izmir-based university in western Turkey are working to create alternative energy sources to limit the negative effects of fossil fuels on the environment, and they recently developed the project on gasification technology, according to a statement made by the DEU on Wednesday.

Professor Azize Ayol of the Department of Environmental Technology and her team produced hydrogen-rich synthesis gas from biomass with the method they developed within the scope of the project developed under the roof of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).

Ayol, whose views were included in the university statement, said that they use good-quality synthesis gas that is obtained from sewage sludge using the gasification technology to generate energy. The study has taken its place among the world's few projects on the potential of gasification, Ayol said. "We take the sludge formed in wastewater treatment plants that need to be disposed of as raw material and reuse it for different purposes with gasification technology," she said.

During the trials, 1 KiloWatt-hour of electricity and 1.2 cubic meters (42.4 cubic feet) of hydrogen-rich synthesis gas were produced from 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of dry treatment sludge, the professor said. “We can operate our pilot plant for 12 hours without interruption. We can generate approximately 20 kWh of electricity from the treatment of sludge per day. This is enough to meet the electricity consumption of at least four families,” she stressed.

Emphasizing the importance of providing energy from renewable sources, especially in rural settlements, Ayol noted that with such systems, it is possible to convert organic waste directly into electrical energy in rural areas. “There is no need for very high investment costs for these systems,” Ayol said, adding that the gasification system causes zero or extremely low air pollutant emission. “In terms of air pollution, these systems are an alternative to incineration technology,” she said.

Source: Daily Sabah

10 Ways Renewable Energy’s Boom Year Will Shape 2021

Even after Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on almost everything else, the new year begins with surging growth for renewable energy. “2020 was the year of positive surprises for the environment in a way that very few saw coming,” says Jeff McDermott, head of Nomura Greentech. “It was the breakout year in sustainability and infrastructure.”

Growth will likely continue into 2021, fueled in part by last year’s major turning points. China has now committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2060, putting the world’s biggest market for solar and wind power on the path to ramp up installations as it begins its next five-year plan. Some analysts have started predicting that the U.S. power sector is approaching peak natural gas. That would leave room for solar-panel installations to build on the ongoing boom.

To understand what’s driving the renewable expansion—as well as what might hold it back—we’ve put together a guide to the biggest recent developments and the major forces shaping the global renewable market in 2021. Residential installations in the U.S. dropped nearly 20% in the second quarter of 2020 from the first—the most ever—as the pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, according to Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association. By the end of the year, however, the sector bounced back and the country added 19 GigaWatts of total solar power, based on projections in December from Wood Mackenzie and SEIA. That would be slightly more power than existed in the entire nation of Colombia at the end of 2019, according to BloombergNEF.

Even after the government locked down large swathes of the country early in the year, businesses still wanted solar. The country’s main solar industry group expects a record surge in business over the next five years following President Xi Jinping’s September announcement that the country will zero out carbon emissions by 2060.

New battery-storage capacity in the U.S. more than doubled in the third quarter of 2020 from the second, according to Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association. Projects in California were a key reason for the surge. Electricity from solar farms in the country with Europe’s greatest solar potential was up over 60% in 2020 compared to 2019, generating over 15,000 GigaWatt hours of power, according to data from the country's grid manager Red Electrica. While the sunny Southern European country still has about a third of the installed solar capacity as the EU’s leader Germany, Spain’s sector is set to grow at about double the Germans’ pace in the next two years, according to BloombergNEF.

During the height of the pandemic, when overall power demand sank, renewable power's share of the grid surged in Europe. About 40% of the electricity in the first half of 2020 in the European Union came from renewable sources, compared with 34% from plants burning fossil fuels, according to environmental group Ember. A 67-day period became Britain’s longest stretch without coal since the Industrial Revolution and helped make 2020 the country’s greenest year yet for its power grid. Britain is going to completely phase out the polluting fuel by 2025 as a growing share of its power comes from wind farms. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also vowed to ban new gas-power cars by 2030 and spend $1 billion this decade to capture carbon emissions from at least two industrial hubs. 

Source: Bloomberg

Seven Emerging Technologies That Will Be Vital for Fighting Climate Change

As chairman of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) — an association of more than 250 public research centres and universities working on low-carbon energy research, made up of about 50,000 researchers across 30 European countries — Nils Røkke has an unmatched perspective on which under-development technologies could have a significant impact on the energy transition.

EERA plays an important role in the EU’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 as it oversees the European Commission’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan, , which aims to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies to help the bloc meet its goal. The plan largely consists of 17 research “Joint Programmes” that each cover a different part of the low-carbon energy sector, including wind power, PV, energy storage, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

In a wide-ranging interview with Recharge, Røkke discusses many of the technological breakthroughs on the horizon that could help the EU reach its climate goals.

Floating wind arrays could be cheaper than onshore wind farms within ten years, Røkke tells Recharge. “Innovations are going to come in floating wind systems, which is still in its infancy,” says the Norwegian. “And I think in the future that this will be cheaper than onshore wind because they can be made modular and you don't need to have tailor-made turbines for every application. You will be able to produce them in their thousands. Modularised design — and getting an efficient production chain for this — I think that’s going to be the next big thing.”

The cost of solar energy may have by fallen by almost 90% over the past decade, according to analyst Lazard, but the efficiency of solar panels remains remarkably poor, capturing only about 20% of the energy thrown at them by the Sun. There is still plenty of room for improvement. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology has cornered the battery market, accounting for more than 90% of all utility-scale and electric-vehicle (EV) batteries, and seeing cost reductions of 85% between 2010 and 2018, according to Bloomberg NEF.

In the past two years, hydrogen has emerged as a key technology of the energy transition, as it is a versatile zero-carbon fuel able to be used for long-term energy storage, heating buildings, long-distance transport and high-temperature heat in heavy industry. The pyrolysis process could also be used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, not just methane, Røkke points out.

While biomass can be used for renewable carbon-negative energy — as planned at the giant Drax power plant in northern England — it will always be a limited resource due to land-use constraints.

The fifth generation of wireless mobile phone technology, known as 5G, offers super-fast broadband communication at speeds of up to 2.5GB per second, allowing remote locations to communicate vast amounts of data quickly.

Yet despite all the promise of these upcoming technologies, net-zero emissions will not be reached without new regulations and laws “to guide the energy transition”, explains Røkke. These should include emissions performance standards (EPSs) and laws that set a date for phasing out certain technologies, he explains, pointing to how the car industry has reacted to regulations on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. [Initially] people said they’re going to kill the industry, but it didn’t, and now these kinds of processes are all well-managed and controlled in terms of emissions. And we’ve seen that EPSs are not going to ruin our industry. It’s really showed that you need to have these regulations in place to make things happen.

“In Norway, we have a parliamentary agreement that all new cars sold by 2025 have to be zero-emission. That is really, really driving consumer behaviour.”

Without such rules and regulations, no-one will invest in technologies such as Clean hydrogen, CCS and carbon-negative solutions, he declares

Source: Recharge News

EIB Funds Installation of 470 EV Chargers in Spain

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has issued €50 million ($61.6 million) in funding for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in Spain.

EV service provider Wenea, via Nordian CPO, will use the funding to deploy over 470 fast and ultra-fast EV chargers across Spain by the end of 2022.

The whole project will cost €100 million ($123.3 million) and is designed to increase the use of EVs for long-distance travelling in Spain. The EV chargers will be located along Spanish motorways including those of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

An estimated 25% of the EV chargers will be deployed in less populated areas of Spain (cohesion regions). The chargers will have KiloWatt (kW) power of between 50kW and 150kW, enabling vehicles to charge between 60% and 80% of their battery in 20 minutes. The project will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by 31 000 tonnes a year and is financed under the Future Mobility project, which is backed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the NER300 Programme of the European Commission.

Around 150 people will be contracted to deploy the EV chargers.

The project contributes to the implementation of the Spanish National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNIEC), which sets the ambitious target of having five million EVs on the market by 2030.

EIB vice-president, Ricardo Mourinho Felix, who is responsible for the Bank’s operations in Spain, said: “Transport is the second-largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, the decarbonisation of this sector is key to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. A lack of EV charging points is one of the major deterrents to the adoption of electric vehicles. This is why, as the EU climate bank, we are delighted to back Wenea in this endeavour that will strengthen long-distance clean mobility and boost job creation in Spain, contributing to a sustainable and inclusive revival of the Spanish economy.”

Source: Smart Energy International

Capacity Utilization a Key Issue in a World Energized by Renewables and Hydrogen

A European research team has investigated the implications of renewable energy intermittency on capital utilization across a future electricity-hydrogen system, including transmission and storage infrastructure. According to its findings, idle capacity substantially increases the system costs and limits wind and solar development.

A world energized mostly by renewable energy and hydrogen may face low utilization rates in various parts of its integrated energy system and optimal capacity utilization will be key to making this energy system work on a global scale. This is the main conclusion of the study On Capital Utilizaiton in the Hydrogen Economy: the Quest to Minimize Idle Capacity in Renewables-Rich Energy Systems conducted by researchers of Germany's Hertie School of Governance, and Norwegian research institute Sintef Industry, and published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.

In the paper, the scientists outlined four different future low-carbon scenarios, two of which describe green hydrogen from renewables as prevailing over blue hydrogen, from natural gas, and two presenting the opposite outcome.

All the scenarios take into consideration how the intermittency of renewable energy may affect capital utilization across the entire electricity-hydrogen system, including transmission and storage infrastructure. “All elements of this integrated system must be included in the optimization to accurately represent the cost of reduced capital utilization caused by variable renewable energy integration (VRE),” the academics explained. “The main finding is that capacity utilization imposes an important economic constraint on VRE integration using hydrogen, regardless of the chosen system development pathway.”

The research team said that different solutions can be applied to shift the cost deriving from low utilization rates from one part of the energy system to another. “Blue hydrogen scenarios are less sensitive due to less VRE deployment, reducing total system costs by the equivalent of about 1% of GDP relative to green hydrogen scenarios,” it stated, adding that a cost-optimal solution was proposed to avoid idle capital in each of the four scenarios. Referring to green hydrogen and its chances to prevail, the academics stressed that its future will depend on the availability of wind power resources, as producing hydrogen with solar alone would result in higher electrolyzer costs, although PV is projected to become cheaper than wind.

In the green hydrogen scenarios, grid costs were found to influence the attractiveness of co-locating electrolyzers with demand, while renewables-electrolysis co-location was influenced by the costs of electrolyzers, as well as by hydrogen transmission and storage costs.”Optimistic technology cost reductions allow large overbuilds of VRE, electrolysis and transmission infrastructure; but such large capital expansion increases the likelihood of cost escalations from public resistance to wind turbines, transmission lines and hydrogen pipelines,” the researchers emphasized.

The blue hydrogen scenarios face similar constraints, although their sensitivity to capacity utilization is mainly limited to the natural gas price. “Low financing costs are key to the realization of these energy systems, particularly those relying on green hydrogen,” the authors of the study concluded. “High discount rates, reflecting the high risk and uncertainty inherent in a rapid and complete overhaul of the global energy system, strongly increase the cost of low capacity utilization.”

Source: Pv-Magazine


New Energy Outlook 2020

Bloomberg NEF’s report New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2020 has three major components: Economic Transition Scenario (ETS) is the core economics-led scenario that employs a combination of near term market analysis, least-cost modelling, consumer uptake and trend-based analysis to describe the deployment and diffusion of commercially available technologies. NEO Climate Scenario (NCS) investigates pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet a well-below-two-degree emissions budget. This year we have focused on a clean electricity and green hydrogen pathway. In future analysis we will look at other pathways to deep decarbonization. The final section is called Implications for Policy. This offers BNEF perspective on some of the most important policy areas that emerge from our two core scenario analyses.

Please click here to read the full report.