Turkey’s First Drilling Ship “FATIH” sailed out to Mediterranean

Turkey's first drilling ship sailed off to the Mediterranean to start the country's first deep-sea drilling operations. The ship departed yesterday following a ceremony held on the northern Marmara coast with Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak in attendance.

While the minister explained Turkey's oil and gas exploration plans both in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean with a seismic vessel and its drillship Fatih, he announced that the country is planning to obtain its second drilling vessel. He said that the news of the purchase will soon be shared with the public.

"Since we are launching a new period, we named the vessel Fatih," the minister said. "We are witnessing a milestone in Turkish energy history."

Turkey's first drilling vessel Fatih has a length of 229 meters (751 feet) and is capable of drilling to a maximum depth of 40,000 feet. It is scheduled to conduct deep-sea drilling operations off Antalya's shores, as soon as the necessary drilling equipment is loaded on to the vessel, Albayrak said at the ceremony. The first drilling well will reach 2,600 meters in depth. The minister emphasized that Turkey will commence well drilling operations with local engineers and domestically developed state-of-the-art equipment. The project of the first ultra-deep-sea drilling well was designed by Turkish engineers who will predominantly run the management of the operations.

Turkey has already undertaken oil and gas explorations using two drilling ships. Turkey's first seismic vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa has been conducting operations in the Mediterranean since April 2017 while a second vessel the MTA Oruc Reis is ready for exploration.

Source: AA

Turkey’s power generation from geothermal sources increased by 35 percent

The Association of Geothermal Power Plant Investors (JESDER) reported that in the first four months of this year, the amount of electricity generated from geothermal power plants increased by 35 percent compared to the same period last year and reached 2 billion 259 million kilowatts.

In a statement from the JESDER, it was announced that the share of geothermal, which is a renewable and domestic energy source, in power generation has increased. JESDER Chairman Ufuk Senturk said: "Geothermal has reduced Turkey’s need for coal and gas imports."

Efficiency has also increased

According to the statement made by the association, the total installed power of the geothermal power plants reached over 100 megawatts by the end of 2017, and by 2018 it was 155 megawatts. The increase in the amount of electricity generated from geothermal power stations is said to be because the plants are growing more efficiently as well as growing in installed capacity.

Source: Aksam

TANAP to supply Turkey's cheapest gas: SOCAR Turkey

Gas supplies to Turkey via the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project will be the cheapest out of all the country's gas imports, Vagif Aliyev, board chairman of SOCAR Turkey confirmed Wednesday.
"TANAP gas will be the cheapest gas among Turkey's gas imports. Even tough Turkey's national company BOTAS cannot announce the prices as they are confidential business information, we can say that TANAP is the cheapest one of all," Aliyev, affirmed.

According to sources, TANAP's agreement carries the condition that the Azeri gas would be cheaper than Russian gas - another major gas supplier to Turkey.

Turkey currently imports gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz-1 field, Russia, Iran and through LNG cargoes.
Aliyev confirmed to Turkish media during the opening ceremony of 25th Caspian Oil and Gas Conference in Azerbaijan's capital Baku, that the opening ceremony for TANAP would be held on June 12 in the central Anatolian province of Eskisehir, where the project's compressor station is located.

He said that TANAP, with a capacity of 16 billion cubic meters per year, would deliver 2 billion cubic meters to Turkey in the first year and volumes would gradually rise to 6 billion cubic meters by 2020.

The remaining 10 billion cubic meters is planned for delivery to Europe via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is expected to be ready to receive gas in 2020.

Aliyev said that TANAP takes the lion's share of costs out of the $40-billion Southern Gas Corridor project. He further confirmed that TANAP's cost significantly decreased thanks to falling oil prices and good management. He noted that the projected investment cost was $11.7 billion while the realization of the investment stood at $8 billion.

BOTAS is an investing shareholder in TANAP as well as gas recipient from gas producers in the Shah Deniz-2 field. Turkish Petroleum also has a 19 percent share in both Shah Deniz-1 and Shah Deniz-2 oil production fields, Aliyev said.

"TANAP's current 16 billion cubic meters of gas delivery capacity can be increased to 31 billion cubic meters. We are currently working on our other offshore gas production fields but this does not mean that the project will deliver only Azeri gas. We can include gas from other sources like Iran or Iraq. This is a strategic project," Aliyev noted.

The 1,850-kilometer-long TANAP is the largest section of the 3,500-kilometer-long Southern Gas Corridor, which was officially inaugurated on May 29 during a ceremony held in Baku with the participation of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.

SOCAR Turkey's investments of $14.5 billion will be realized within 2018. He said these include $8 billion for the TANAP and the company's STAR Oil Refinery, the second biggest investment, is due for an October launch in the Aegean region of Izmir.

The $6.3 billion investment in the STAR Refinery is expected to narrow Turkey's current account deficit by $1.5 billion by alleviating raw material imports, including diesel.

Source: Anadolu Agency

VESTAS is the Winner of New Turbine Tender of Borusan EnBW Enerji

Borusan EnBW Enerji has come one step closer to reaching its goal of becoming a leader in wind energy with its continuous investments in the industry. The wind turbine supplier has been chosen for two wind power plant projects with a total capacity of 210 MW, located in Çanakkale (138 MW) and Kırklareli (72 MW).

Borusan EnBW Enerji has signed a letter of intent to start contract negotiations for 20 units of V136 3.6 MW turbine model for its Kırklareli project and for 35 units of V150 4.0 MW turbine model for its Çanakkale project with Vestas, the prominent global wind turbine supplier.

Borusan Holding CEO Agâh Uğur has made the following statement regarding this investment:

“Borusan creates value for Turkey in all the sectors it is operating in. This also applies for the energy sector. The total investment cost for these two projects is approximately 240 million USD. High interest was shown to the wind turbine supply tender we have conducted. We were extremely happy for the interest shown by the world’s strongest and most important wind suppliers in this area despite some fluctuations in the currency rates and the current pre-election period we are in. This interest is a symbol of confidence in Borusan and the Turkish economy. We have decided to continue our investment with Vestas; one of the most important wind suppliers in the world. This is not our first collaboration with Vestas. We had worked together with them previously, also in other significant investments. We believe that we will, again, get the best and most efficient results for this investment.”

In 2014, Borusan EnBW Enerji had signed a contract for the supply and maintenance of turbines with Vestas for four Wind Power Plants (WEPP) and a capacity increase; which was one of the largest onshore wind energy investments in Europe.

Borusan EnBW Enerji General Manager Mehmet Acarla; evaluating the new investments of Borusan EnBW Enerji has stated:

“We continue to develop our country’s renewable energy resources and decisively follow our vision of being the leader in the wind energy industry. We continue with our investments to reach this target. After the two new investments in Çanakkale and Kırklareli are completed, 705 MW within our existing 1172 MW portfolio will be active and running. The remaining projects of our portfolio which are currently under development will also be put into operation as soon as possible. When this investment is completed, we will have a total installed capacity of 210 MW and an electricity generation of 725 GWh per year. This means, that we will meet an energy need of approximately 300,000 households per year and we will be reducing emission of CO2 by 400,000 tons annually.”

Source: Borusan EnBW

2018 Expectations: General Manager’s of DSOs in Turkey

MERAM Electricity Distribution Company CEO Erol Uçmazbaş

I think the distribution sector is one of the most dynamic and innovative sectors of our country. I see 2017 as a successful year for the distribution sector, especially in terms of increasing customer satisfaction. As MEDAS, our main focus areas are human and serving to them. In today's conditions, electric energy has become one of the indispensable necessities such as water and air. We have planned our 2018 targets in this direction. The services we provide and our main activities become much easier with the integrated and efficient use of technology. For this reason, we strive to use every applicable field technology.

OSMANGAZİ Electricity Distribution Company CEO Muzaffer Yalçın

The year 2017 was quite efficient in terms of the electricity distribution sector. Distribution companies have made network investments over their obligations. The consumer satisfaction sector was the most focused. With the increase in investments, we have observed that the satisfaction of consumers also increases. Transformers, poles and line replacements have put a significant distance in placing cables underneath. As Osmangazi EDAŞ, we were able to increase consumer satisfaction with the investments we made. In 2017, we invested a total of 400 million TL.

SAKARYA Electricity Distribution Company CEO Bekir Sami Güven

We completed 162 projects for 2017 and achieved the investment target of TL 113 million. In our investments we have focused on information technology by expanding and improving network capacity to make our subscriptions easier and give them quality and uninterrupted power distribution services. As SEDAS, we started investment activities for 2018 to ensure satisfaction of our customers through capacity increase and renewal activities in distribution networks. Our target is to invest TL 544 million in Sakarya, Kocaeli, Bolu and Düzce between 2016 and 2020.

Household energy prices in the EU remain nearly stable compared with 2016

Household electricity prices in the European Union (EU) slightly decreased (-0.2%) on average, between the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2017, to stand at €20.5 per 100 kWh. Across the EU Member States, household electricity prices in the second half of 2017 ranged from below €10 per 100 kWh in Bulgaria to more than €30 per 100 kWh in Denmark and Germany.

Household gas prices fell by 0.5% on average in the EU between the second halves of 2016 and 2017 to stand at €6.3 per 100 kWh. Among Member States, household gas prices in the second half of 2017 ranged from around €3 per 100 kWh in Romania to almost €9 per 100 kWh in Denmark and more than €11 per 100 kWh in Sweden.

Taxes and levies in the EU made up on average over a third (40%) of the electricity price charged to households in the second half of 2017, and about a quarter (27%) of the gas price. These figures on energy prices in the EU are complemented with an article published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Across the EU Member States, the highest increase in household electricity prices in national currency between the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2017 was registered in Romania (+7.2%), Malta (+7.1%), Estonia (+6.5%), the United Kingdom (+5.3%), Bulgaria and Belgium (both +4.8%) and Poland (+4.5%). In contrast, the most noticeable decreases were observed in Italy (-11.1%), Croatia (-7.5%), Slovakia (-6.2%) and Greece (-6.0%) respectively.

Expressed in euro, average household electricity prices in the second half of 2017 were lowest in Bulgaria (€9.8 per 100 kWh), Lithuania (€11.1) and Hungary (€11.3) and highest in Germany (€30.5), Denmark (€30.1) and Belgium (€28.8). The average electricity price in the EU was €20.5 per 100 kWh.

When expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS), an artificial common reference currency that eliminates general price level differences between countries, it can be seen that, relative to the cost of other goods and services, the lowest household electricity prices were found in Finland (13.0 PPS per 100 kWh), Luxembourg (13.4) and the Netherlands (14.0), and the highest in Germany (28.8), Portugal (28.0), Belgium (26.4), Romania (26.0) and Poland (25.4).

Half or more of the electricity price is made up of taxes and levies in Denmark, Germany and Portugal

The share of taxes and levies in total household electricity prices varied significantly between Member States, ranging from two-thirds in Denmark (69% of household electricity price is made up of taxes and levies) and over half in Germany (55%) and Portugal (52%) to 5% in Malta in the second half of 2017. On average in the EU, taxes and levies accounted for more than a third (40%) of household electricity prices.
Source: Eurostat

Strong policy and falling battery costs drive another record year for electric cars

The number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the world’s roads exceeded 3 million in 2017, a 54% increase compared with 2016, according to the latest edition of the International Energy Agency’s Global Electric Vehicles Outlook.

China remained by far the largest electric car market in the world, accounting for half sold last year. Nearly 580,000 electric cars were sold in China in 2017, a 72% increase from the previous year. The United States had the second-highest, with about 280,000 cars sold in 2017, up from 160,000 in 2016.

Nordic countries remain leaders in market share. Electric cars accounted for 39% of new car sales in Norway, making it the world leader in electric vehicle (EV) market share. In Iceland, new EV sales were 12% of the total while the share reached 6% in Sweden. Germany and Japan also saw strong growth, with sales more than doubling in both countries from their 2016 levels.

Electric mobility is not limited to cars. In 2017, the stock of electric buses rose to 370,000 from 345,000 in 2016, and electric two-wheelers reached 250 million. The electrification of these modes of transport has been driven almost entirely by China, which accounts for more than 99% of both electric bus and two-wheeler stock, though registrations in Europe and India are also growing.

Charging infrastructure is also keeping pace. In 2017, the number of private chargers at homes and workplaces was estimated at almost 3 million worldwide. In addition, there were about 430,000 publicly accessible chargers worldwide in 2017, a quarter of which were fast chargers. Fast chargers are especially important in densely populated cities and serve an essential role in boosting the appeal of EVs by enabling long-distance travel.

The growth of EVs has largely been driven by government policy, including public procurement programs, financial incentives reducing the cost of purchase of EVs, tightened fuel-economy standards and regulations on the emission of local pollutants, low- and zero-emission vehicle mandates and a variety of local measures, such as restrictions on the circulation of vehicles based on their pollutant emission performances.

The rapid uptake of EVs has also been helped by progress made in recent years to improve the performance and reduce the costs of lithium-ion batteries. However, further battery cost reductions and performance improvements are essential to improve the appeal of EVs. These are achievable with a combination of improved chemistries, increased production scale and battery sizes, according to the report. Further improvements are possible with the transition to technologies beyond lithium-ion.

Innovations in battery chemistry will also be needed to maintain growth as there are supply issues with core elements that make up lithium-ion batteries, such as nickel, lithium and cobalt. The supply of cobalt is particularly subject to risks as almost 60% of the global production of cobalt is currently concentrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Additionally, the capacity to refine and process raw cobalt is highly concentrated, with China controlling 90% of refining capacity. Even accounting for ongoing developments in battery chemistry, cobalt demand for EVs is expected to be between 10 and 25 times higher than current levels by 2030.

The report notes that ensuring the increased uptake of EVs while meeting social and environmental sustainability goals requires the adoption and enforcement of minimum standards on labor and environmental conditions. The environmental sustainability of batteries also requires the improvement of end-of-life and material recycling processes.

Looking forward, supportive policies and cost reductions are likely to lead to continued significant growth in the EV market. In the IEA’s New Policies Scenario, which considers current and planned policies, the number of electric cars is projected to reach 125 million units by 2030. Should policy ambitions rise even further to meet climate goals and other sustainability targets, as in the EV30@30 Scenario, the number of electric cars on the road could be as high as 220 million in 2030.

The IEA’s latest Tracking Clean Energy Progress report shows that EVs are one of the 4 technologies out of 38 that are on track to meet long-term sustainability goals.

Source: IEA
What Happens When Renewables Eat Their Own Profits?

The plummeting cost of renewables could be a double-edged sword if energy markets fail to deliver the financial returns to justify further investments, experts believe.  In the U.K., for example, a study by Cornwall Insight, an analyst firm, this month found that unsubsidized renewable energy projects could cease to be viable by the 2030s because solar and wind generation would have pushed wholesale power prices so far down.

The company modeled the U.K. energy system and found, unsurprisingly, that periods of low or even negative pricing would become more commonplace as the level of low-cost solar and wind increased on the grid.  By 2034, the analysis revealed, negative prices could account for 13.5 percent of out-turn periods. At the same time, there would be an increase of energy pricing spikes, caused by the need for flexible generation to step in when wind or solar was not available.

Cornwall’s modeling showed prices could top GBP £120 ($160) per megawatt-hour for 9 percent of all out-turn periods in 2034, compared to just 0.04 percent in 2018. These pricing swings could be good news for investors in flexible generation assets and energy storage, because “increased volatility creates greater arbitrage value,” said the report.

At the same time, though, a general reduction in wholesale energy prices and a narrowing window of opportunity to sell into markets already packed with renewable generation would make it increasingly hard to achieve a return on unsubsidized wind and solar projects.

Cornwall estimated a 10-megawatt onshore wind project built in the U.K. in 2031 would make 34 percent less revenue than one built today. A 5-megawatt solar project, meanwhile, would see revenues cut by 22 percent.

The findings echo research published in the U.S. this month by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory into the impact of a 40 to 50 percent level of wind and solar generation on the grid.

As reported in GTM, the study, which involved modeling year-2030 scenarios across the CAISO, NYISO, SPP and ERCOT grids, found U.S. wholesale energy prices could drop by as much as $16 per megawatt-hour.

As with Cornwall’s findings, the Berkeley Lab study concluded there would be more variability in energy pricing and flexible generation resources would become increasingly important. There could also be a growing role for energy storage.

These impending changes in grids around the world have led some observers to question whether it might be time to overhaul the way energy markets are set up.

Dr. Varun Sivaram, the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations, said grid operators and regulators should start planning for low-carbon grids immediately.

“Failing to plan for a diverse mix of low-carbon generators could lead to premature shutdown of some resources, such as nuclear, even when keeping those resources running might be the most cost-effective decarbonization path,” he told GTM.

To reduce the impact of intermittency at high renewable penetrations, grid planners should expand electricity networks, make customer demand more responsive, deploy energy storage and assemble a diverse mix of generation sources, he said.

And, importantly, policymakers might need to move away from cost-only measures of efficiency, such as levelized cost of energy, as a way of choosing what types of generation are best for the grid.

“The value of solar or wind changes as more of it is deployed, meaning that at different penetration levels, renewable projects that cost the same amount might fall out of the money,” Sivaram said.

Instead, he commented, “energy markets should be structured to ensure that the mix of electric power supply achieves the desired greenhouse gas emissions level, ideally zero by midcentury, at the lowest possible cost, while assuring reliable and safe electricity supply.”

One way of achieving this might be to stop looking at the energy market as a single entity. In an opinion piece written a year ago, Bloomberg New Energy Finance's Michael Liebreich advocated such a transition.

“Electricity is a commodity, but there are multiple ways of supplying it,” Leibreich said. “The key to cheap, resilient, clean energy lies in the ability to put together the perfect portfolio of different types of power.”

Source: GTM

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

Every month, it seems that blockchain’s potential to revolutionize the energy sector is proclaimed anew, from Wired Magazine announcing that “microgrids and the blockchain are powering our energy future” to Renewable Energy World claiming that “blockchain could change everything for energy.“

There’s a growing degree of certainty that blockchain will transform the energy system. But the question is how.

Blockchain or not, the grid is fast changing from the old system of analog, fossil-fuelled, centralized generation and transmission to a new paradigm defined by a high percentage of renewables, especially solar and wind, and customer-sited smart technologies, such as rooftop solar, battery energy storage, electric vehicles, smart thermostats and more.

In May, more evidence of this fast-approaching future appeared. Firstly, a report from Rocky Mountain Institute found that in the US alone, as much as $1 trillion in future investment and fuel costs for natural gas power plants through 2030 could be stranded by cost- and technology-competitive combinations of renewables and smart devices. Secondly, Reuters reported that two major US utilities, serving 5.5 million electricity customers across 12 states, said that they are “done building combined cycle natural gas-fired power plants”.

But how will we manage an electricity grid with billions of connected, customer-sited technologies in an era when Tesla’s South Australia virtual power plant (VPP) – currently hailed as the world’s largest – looks like a mere drop in the ocean? The approach to date has largely been to “bolt on” solutions, such as centralized Internet of Things (IoT) cloud computing, to manage distributed solutions such as VPPs and microgrids.

Yet this approach will eventually create limitations. A more distributed and decarbonized energy future requires a more decentralized solution, in order to make the leap from the legacy grid of yesterday to the most fully realized grid of tomorrow. That’s where blockchain becomes central to the story.

At the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), in collaboration with more than 50 affiliates from around the globe, we are developing an open-source, scalable blockchain platform tailored for the energy sector. The Energy Web chain is designed to handle the transaction throughput required from the fast emerging decentralized, internet-connected electrical grid.

We are also building the Decentralized Autonomous Area Agent (D3A), which gets even more directly to the heart of how we manage and operate a heavily decentralized grid. The D3A is a transactive energy market design platform operating on top of the Energy Web chain. It offers a framework that pushes the bounds of what is possible, running the electricity market in an entirely different way. Rather than take the legacy centralized system and try to extend its reach ever deeper into customers and devices at the grid edge, it flips electricity grid balancing on its head.

The D3A balances the grid from the edge up, not the top down. In matryoshka-like fashion, at every scale of the grid – from individual devices, to buildings, neighborhoods, and regions – the D3A nests hierarchical markets, coded as blockchain smart contracts, which govern the transactions that balance electricity supply and demand. In this way, the D3A functions like pieces of digital DNA, providing the foundational blueprint for each “cell” of the system without centralized dispatch, like a conductorless orchestra playing a harmonious symphony.

“This alternative approach is capable of achieving a high uptake of renewables, provides the greatest degree of freedom for consumers, enables broader market participation, and increases grid resilience to both physical and cyber disruption”, explains our colleague Sarah Hambridge, D3A product owner for EWF.

This is the real future of transactive energy (a popular buzz phrase these days, including in blockchain circles). It is not just theory – it is becoming reality.

In April 2018, at Event Horizon in Berlin, EWF unveiled a D3A proof-of-concept simulation environment, in advance of an open-source simulation tool and fully-fledged hardware implementation expected in the next year or two of development. And Stedin, a distribution system operator in the Netherlands and EWF affiliate, is starting to pursue a blockchain-based D3A-like project with what it calls the Layered Energy System concept.

While these are all promising developments, much remains to be done before the D3A, or blockchain more generally, achieves any kind of true commercial scale in the energy sector.

“We still need to build out further functionality and capability of the Energy Web chain, which is currently available as a test net, and then accelerate its adoption”, says Ewald Hesse, vice chair of EWF and co-founder of blockchain developer Grid Singularity.

“Then when it comes to the D3A, we also have the pure technological challenges of real-time electricity grid balancing and issues around regulatory acceptance to contend with.”

Source: Europeansting


Global EV Outlook 2018

The IEA Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Outlook 2018 provides a comprehensive look at the state of EVs, charging infrastructure and policies around the globe today as well as a series of scenario outlooks to 2030. It is a leading global resource, promoting efforts to accelerate the deployment of EVs within countries and cities, with the aim of increasing energy security, improving air quality, reducing noise pollution, and tackling the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Please click here to read the full report.