9th Energy Efficiency Forum held in Istanbul

Minister of Energy Berat Albayrak spoke during inaugural ceremony of the 9th Energy Efficiency Forum and Expo. The highlights of his speech are as follow:

“We are all following commercial wars closely. One of our goals should be to achieve the competitive private sector. Our national energy efficiency action plan was approved in January 2018. With this initiative, we aim to save 30 billion Turkish Liras worth of energy until 2023 with 11 billion liras investment. The saving corresponds to 66 billion tons of carbon emission. To achieve our energy efficiency goals, distribution companies and industrial players should take on responsibilities.

The major part of the action plan consists of buildings and services. There is considerable potential for energy efficiency in most of the buildings in Turkey, which can be achieved by insulation and rehabilitation of current buildings. Industry is the second important area, which has significant efficiency potential after buildings. When the necessary efficiency measures are taken, both industrial players and consumers will get cost and welfare benefits out of that.

The other areas that carry significant efficiency potential is transportation, agriculture, public buildings, general lighting, energy and municipalities. In this respect, we want to increase the number of energy efficiency services companies (ESCOs).

Our three main concerns with these energy efficiency measures are “naturalization, security of supply and foreseeable energy market”.

Turkstream Proceeds as Planned Towards Turkish Shore

The company responsible for the construction for the project's offshore section, South Stream Transport B.V, always remained focused on reaching the Turkish shores and is on track to make this happen, said Erich Jurdik, deputy CEO responsible from construction on Tuesday.

Jurdik, who has been working for South Stream Transport for seven years, told Anadolu Agency that he is now responsible from the construction process of the TurkStream, the second project to deliver Russian natural gas to Turkey across the Black Sea. TurkStream is a more challenging and sophisticated project -- due to deeper waters and higher capacity -- than the Blue Stream project, which has been in operation for over 15 years now.

He told that based on the experience from and success of the Blue Stream, surveys were conducted for the TurkStream.  "We are progressing at very high speeds as permitted by the weather, and we will complete the first offshore line of the TurkStream this spring," he explained.  Jurdik remains positive about the project and said that to date, the project did not encounter any major problems including budgetary setbacks.

Asked whether the company considered alternative routes during the jet crisis between Turkey and Russia, Jurdik said that TurkStream remained in focus with Turkey as the destination. "Even during that period, the project was on the table. We worked on it and didn't look for any alternatives," he explained.

"We are in a relatively comfortable position but of course we shouldn’t fall asleep. The project is critical but is progressing positively. We have to be very vigilant and careful about what we do to complete everything in time. From the technical and commercial point of view, I don’t foresee any major issues and delays for the TurkStream," he stressed.

Jurdik hailed the strong relations that the company has with its partners and contractors as a key component to the success of the project. He said that the company has good contractors, with the Jersey-based oil field services company, Petrofac building a $404 million gas receiving terminal for the TurkStream project.

"We work as a team altogether. Close relations can prevent any kind of delays. We also meet regularly with our Turkish partners and have support from BOTAS [Turkey's state-owned crude oil and natural gas pipelines and trading company]. We have good collaboration and open communication. We work with hundreds of people," he said.

He said that the local Turkish company Tekfen, a sub-contractor to Petrofac, has worked on previous projects together with Petrofac, which he said was a big advantage in collaboration. He also commended the other local Turkish company, Ceynak, which has signed a logistics agreement with South Stream Transport for the timely supply of pipes that are now ready in Samsun for pipelaying.

Jurdik gave a briefing on the current status of the project and explained that the onshore facility on the Russian side is almost completed. Construction of the Turkish side has started with the clearing of the site in preparation for construction in Kiyikoy, in the Turkish Thrace region where the pipeline will land.

Highlighting the benefits of TurkStream for both Turkey and Russia, “Russia benefits with a modern and reliable route to one of their largest markets, while Turkey can secure its natural gas supply with a direct connection to Russia. The development of TurkStream is a clear win-win,” Jurdik said.

Careful planning keeps project on schedule

Albert Haak, head of pre-construction and engineering department at South Stream Transport, said Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Ministry has shown support and cooperation for the project.

“We have a great cooperation from ministries at all levels,” he said. He added that both sides, Russia and Turkey, are cooperating well for the project that Russian and Turkish governments endorse. “Very careful planning and cooperation was a must for a project like this and we received all permits on time,” he explained.

Relations between Russia and Turkey soured in November 2015 after the downing of Russian jet along the Syrian border, which had violated Turkish airspace. Relations began to thaw on 29 June 2016 following a letter and subsequent telephone calls between the countries’ leaders.

Source: AA

Electric Cars to Be Cheaper Than Petrol Powered Cars By 2025

Electric cars may be cheaper than their petroleum counterparts by 2025 if the cost of lithium-ion batteries continues to fall.

Some models will cost the same as combustion engines as soon as 2024 and become cheaper the following year, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. For that to happen, battery pack prices need to fall even as demand for the metals that go into the units continues to rise, the London-based researcher said on Thursday.

The clamor to roll out electric vehicles has grown louder as countries and companies race to clean up smog in their cities and hit ambitious climate goals set by the Paris Agreement. U.K. lawmakers started an inquiry into the market in September, probing the necessary infrastructure and trying to determine whether to bring forward the 2040 deadline to end the sale of gasoline and diesel cars.

With incentives, the U.K. could lower its automotive trade deficit by 5 billion pounds ($7 billion), the Green Alliance reported. The World Wildlife Fund said that phasing out diesel and petrol cars earlier could add an extra 14,000 jobs to the industry. In separate reports this week, both groups urged Britain to bring forward the ban on petroleum-fueled cars to 2030.

China, the world’s biggest polluter, is looking to lead the world in electric-vehicle adoption with the government implementing production quotas aimed at increasing sales. The billionaire founder of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Li Shufu, bought a 7.3 billion euro ($9 billion) stake in Daimler AG last month.

On the Charge

Electric-car battery prices are set to slide 67 percent by 2030 on technology and demand.

The expected increase in mass manufacturing of lithium-ion storage should help drive battery prices to as low as $70 a kilowatt hour by 2030, BNEF said. Battery packs averaged about $208 a kilowatt hour in 2017, squeezing profit margins and representing some two fifths of the total costs of electric vehicle.

"Electric vehicle sales will continue to ramp up in the coming years but battery prices still need to decline further for real mass market adoption," said Colin McKerracher, transport analyst at BNEF. "If battery material costs keep rising sharply this could push back the crossover point."

Source: Bloomberg

Trump Tax Updates Could Help Achieve Obama-Era Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Goal

In a 2012 executive order, President Barack Obama called for the U.S. to add 40 gigawatts of new combined heat and power (CHP) capacity by 2020. The White House said the goal would spur new capital investment of between $40 billion and $80 billion and eliminate the equivalent of emissions from 25 million cars. But between 2012 and 2016, the U.S. added just 790 projects: a measly 2.5 gigawatts.

Now, Trump’s recently signed budget and tax reform bills may give the market a new chance at growth.  Though the laws were a mixed bag for clean energy technologies, several policy mechanisms could help push some CHP projects across the financial finish line.

The extension of the 10 percent Investment Tax Credit for combined heat and power -- along with other “orphan” energy technologies -- will certainly help the bottom line for a technology that, as GTM Research contributing analyst Mei Poon wrote, remains underutilized in the U.S. But with the bonus depreciation rate raised to 100 percent, developers can now also write off the entirety of a project’s cost in its first year rather than spreading that depreciation over time.

Consulting firm ICF argues that those changes, plus the energy industry’s increased emphasis on resilience, mean “the business case for CHP has never looked better.” If developers and investors takes notice, it could help buoy a technology with potential “much greater than recent market trends indicate,” according to Poon.
Analysis from ICF found that for a sample 15-megawatt project in the Southeast, the tax changes bump up rates of return by about 6 percent, yielding $900,000 a year. That additional cash may seem small compared to the $23.1 million price tag of the project, but over its lifetime the net present value improves from $61.1 million to $72.4 million under the changes.

Poon’s 2016 GTM Research report noted a handful of obstacles to CHP adoption, including difficulties with interconnection, differences in utility rate structures, and uncertainty created by the Trump administration’s disinterest in climate policy. But ICF said the tax changes mitigate an important one: the upfront financial hurdle.

“Similar to someone going to the store and looking at an incandescent bulb versus an LED bulb, even if you know the LED bulb will save you money over time, it can be hard to pay that money upfront,” said Anne Hampson, a principal with ICF who leads the firm’s CHP group. “The tax credit is a really great way to take some of the bite out of that upfront payment.”

CHP generally makes more sense in areas of the country where electricity rates are higher, like California and the Northeast, Hampson said. The tax changes, though, could help push projects into financial viability in areas on the cusp, where rates are increasing. She points to the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic and the South as possible next frontiers for CHP adoption.

The projects that will reap the most advantage from the changes sit in the range of 10 to 15 megawatts, such as medium-sized industrial facilities. That’s where Hampson said economies of scale help developers "get the most bang for [their] buck.” The ITC only applies to a project’s first 15 megawatts, but can be applied to projects as large as 50 megawatts.

Source: Greentech Media

Old King Coal Loses Crown As Worldwide Phase-Out Campaign Gains Momentum

A combination of community resistance, phase out commitments by governments, cities and businesses, and rapid cost reductions in renewable energy has resulted in a huge slump in construction of new coal plants.  Construction of new coal-fired power plants has tumbled by 73 percent in just two years, according to new analysis which also predicts that the global fleet will start to shrink from 2022.

The rapid-moving trend of decline in coal plant development is spelled out in a report published today by Greenpeace, the Global Coal Plant Tracker and US environmental organisation the Sierra Club. Almuth Ernsting argues that Britain's coal phase out plan has "three dangerous loopholes".

They found that the number of coal plants under development worldwide dropped for the second year in a row - largely due to changes in China and India - both of which have dominated coal plant development over the past decade.

Phase-out campaign

China has tightened restrictions on the development of coal plants following an oversupply of power as the country ramped up its renewable energy generation. This has led to the suspension of an estimated 444GW of coal-fired capacity under various stages of development in the country.

In India, a 50 percent fall in the cost of renewable energy in two years has led financiers to withdraw support for coal, leaving 17GW of coal plant halted mid-construction.

Globally, the researchers found that between 2015 and 2017, newly completed coal plants fell by 41 percent, construction starts reduced by 73 percent, while permitting and planning was down by 59 percent.

The report also revealed that an all-time record of 97GW of coal plants retired in the past three years, led by the US (45GW), China (16GW) and UK (8GW). Retirements of old coal plants will surpass new coal power capacity by 2022, the researchers predicted.

A worldwide coal phase-out campaign is gaining momentum, with commitments from 34 countries and city or state authorities. In 2017, only seven countries initiated new coal power construction at more than one location.

The smokestack

However, the report warned that projected lifetime emissions from existing coal plant fleet will continue to exceed the carbon budget for coal needed to meet the 2015 Paris climate agreement. In order to keep coal emissions within that budget, further building must be ended and existing plants must be retired at an accelerated pace, the campaigners said.

“From a climate and health perspective, the trend toward a declining coal power fleet is encouraging, but not happening fast enough,” said Ted Nace, director of CoalSwarm. “Fortunately, mass production is cutting solar and wind costs much faster than expected, and both financial markets and power planners worldwide are taking notice.”

Meanwhile, the 200m smokestack of the former Kingsnorth coal plant in Kent is due to be demolished today. The chimney is all that remains of the coal power station, which a decade ago, became the focal point of a huge public campaign to stop new coal plants being built in Britain.

In 2007, six Greenpeace activists climbed to the top of the smokestack and painted the name of then prime minister Gordon Brown down the side. They were later cleared of causing criminal damage in a trial, after the jury recognised for the first time the potential damage to property from climate change as a reasonable ground for direct action. Energy firm E.ON shelved plans to build a new coal plant at Kingsnorth in 2010.

The government subsequently abandoned its proposals for a new fleet of coal plants. In 2007, coal generated 34 percent of the UK’s electricity. A decade later, this has plummeted to just seven percent, with the government now planning to close down the remaining 15.5GW of coal plant by 2025.

Source: The Ecologist

E-mobility: the smart city model

The world’s largest city? Tokyo. The oldest? Jericho. The most expensive? Singapore. The smartest? Difficult to say: there is significant competition for that particular title and a large number of urban innovation projects are already up and running across the globe. 

The most promising initiatives are outlined in the World Economic Forum’s “Electric Vehicles for Smarter Cities: The Future of Energy and Mobility” report. The document was compiled by a group of leading figures from the energy sector, including Enel CEO Francesco Starace, who is also co-chairman of the Steering Committee, and his fellow co-chairman Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President and CEO of Schneider Electric.

Making charging easier

The simplest way to encourage the spread of electric mobility is to make charging easier. Stockholm City Council, for instance, allows companies that install charging columns on public property to do so at no cost, while Oslo City Council manages a whole network of charging points and is involved in other public-private projects. However, this kind of commitment is not confined solely to Northern Europe, which has long been at the vanguard of sustainability. Smart payment methods for charging e-vehicles have been integrated into the public transport network in Hong Kong, for example.

Other cities are focusing their efforts on smart charging, often with dedicated districts or hubs. In Oslo, the Vulkan project spans over 100 EV charging facilities, some of which offer fast charging and all of which use Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology to enable cars and motorbikes to feed surplus energy back onto the grid if required. Thanks to its dimensions and the option to book services online, the system can also be used by car sharing and transport companies. In Denmark, Enel launched V2G technology in August 2016 in partnership with the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan and the Californian company Nuvee, a leader in the development of e-vehicle charging solutions. 

Another interesting project took shape at the Euref Centre on the outskirts of Berlin, where the charging hub is powered by a microgrid incorporating wind and solar-powered systems and managed by a computer system that optimises charge times and methods based on grid status and electricity prices. 

However, cities also need to look further afield. If e-mobility is to become truly widespread, it must focus on transportation beyond the confines of the city. In Norway, for instance, there is now a network connecting all the main cities in the south of the country with charging columns every 50 kilometres. Similar projects have also been launched elsewhere on an international scale, not least the CIRVE project (Iberian Corridors of Rapid Recharging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles) connecting Spain, Portugal and France. 

Public transport, car sharing and commercial fleets

The other main direction in which smart cities are moving is the electrification of vehicles other than those for private use. The most evident example is public transport, with many cities already giving priority to electric vehicles. These include Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Montreal, Oslo, Stockholm and, in China Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The same thing is happening in the Île-de-France region where the main public transport company, RATP, aims to have electrified 80% of its fleet of buses by 2025.

There are endless other possibilities aside from public transport. The Los Angeles Police Department has decided to purchase 260 electric cars and invest in charging columns, for example. In London, from 2018, all new taxis will have to be zero emissions and will have dedicated charging points. Dortmund will be offering couriers and delivery companies that use electric vehicles tangible incentives, such as greater access to city centre areas. Oslo also has special lanes for electric car sharing vehicles, while in Paris, a car sharing company called Autolib’ now has a fleet of 4,000 e-cars and 1,100 charging stations with a total of 6,200 charging columns. Similar scenarios are taking shape in many other cities, not least traffic-clogged, heavily polluted Bangkok. Needless to say, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) companies are taking a lively interest in electrification as they provide subscription-based integrated transport services. The biggest operator in the sector in China, DiDi, already uses 260,000 e-vehicles and aims to up that number to a million by 2020.

An integrated approach

Last but not least, the report suggests adopting an integrated approach at city, regional and national level involving all the interested parties in the development of projects.  By way of example, it mentions Montreal, where a commission for the electrification of transport has been set up involving environment, transportation, urban-planning and economic development councillors as well as the public transport company.  

A similar platform has been launched nationwide in Germany with a working group in which individual cities are also involved. The initiative has produced e-vehicle-friendly regulations in the participating cities, such as free parking, the use of special traffic lanes and exclusive access to restricted traffic zones.

The WEF report cites these examples as models for accelerating the development of e-mobility. Political decision-makers, local and urban-planning authorities should take note, as should companies involved in the transport and electricity sectors, particularly those more focused on innovation and sustainability.

Source: Enel


Electric Vehicles for Smarter Cities: The Future of Energy and Mobility

This report examines the major trends affecting the transformation of energy and mobility systems, with a special focus on cities. Topics addressed include: electrification, decentralization and digitalization of the energy system, along with the shift towards electric, shared and autonomous mobility.

Please click here to read the full report.