Whilst in Madrid they talk the talk, we direct our lens at those who are actually looking to build the renewables that will enable the energy transition

Company news….

Repsol Is First Oil Major to Pledge Zero Emissions by 2050
Repsol SA embarked on the most ambitious attempt yet by an oil major to align itself with the Paris climate goals, saying it will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and its customers by 2050.
The Spanish giant’s exploration and production unit will focus on value instead of output growth, according to a statement from the company on Monday. It also revised its long-term view of the value of oil and gas assets in a decarbonizing world, resulting in a 4.8 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) accounting charge.
Spending will be redirected into the transition to clean energy, and Repsol’s board of directors approved new investments in two solar and one wind project with a combined capacity of 1,600 megawatts, boosting the company’s total renewables portfolio by 40%. (Bloomberg)

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Fund has successful IPO
Octopus joined the ranks of UK quoted yieldcos today as the Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Fund float was announced raising £350m to invest in construction ready developments in solar and wind in Europe and Australia. Other such funds run by Greencoat, Bluefield, NextEnergy, Foresight and others are trading at a premium to NAV. Octopus will be hoping to join them. (RNS)

UK news….

GB needs tenfold increase in energy storage for net zero, research claims
Great Britain will need at least 30GW of energy storage if it hopes to reach net zero by 2050, according to new research.
The analysis, produced by Imperial College for energy giant Drax’s Energy Insights paper, states that as intermittent generation from renewables like wind and solar grows, the country will have to increase its storage capacity tenfold.
As efforts to decarbonise power continue, Britain is likely to source 70-80% of its power from wind and solar power by 2050. Storage will be needed to balance the peaks and troughs created by such generation, with the majority of power generated in the middle of the day and the highest demand in the evening generally. (current-news)

Octopus toasts Sardinian solar seven
Octopus Renewables has started commercial operations at seven solar farms in Italy totalling 70MW.
The plants are located near Cagliari on the island of Sardinia and produce enough energy to power roughly one fifth of homes in the city.
The solar panels use single axis trackers to follow the sun during the day, providing a 30% uplift in production compared with if they were laid flat.
The projects receive no public subsidy and have fixed price power purchase agreements in place until 2023. (renews)

National Grid outlines future of frequency response
National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has outlined the future of frequency response and reserve procurement as it bids to keep an increasingly renewables-driven power system stable.
As renewables penetration increases, usable inertia on the system is falling – and that is likely to continue, said the ESO. So it has redesigned frequency services to try and better meet evolving needs for faster response.
It will replace existing frequency response services with a suite of new products: Dynamic Containment (DC), Dynamic Moderation (DM), and Dynamic Regulation (DR).
Dynamic Containment will operate post fault, in response to significant frequency excursions, such as the August incident which ultimately ended with demand being disconnected.
For that service, the ESO needs very fast (sub-second) response in both directions and said it will likely procure high-frequency and low-frequency versions separately. (theenergyst)

VW, Tesco and Pod Point Launch Over 100 Charging Stations In UK
Volkswagen announced last year it had partnered with Tesco and Pod Point to install around 2,400 charging points for electric cars.
The rollout is well under way – with EV owners at 100 Tesco stores across the United Kingdom now able to top up their battery for free while shopping.
To highlight the scheme, Volkswagen visited the Potters Bar store in Hertfordshire with its exciting all-electric ID.3 – the first time the model has been in the UK since its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The appearance of the new car – which arrives at UK dealerships in the summer – coincided with research by Volkswagen which revealed the average Brit spends 50 minutes per week in a supermarket buying food and drink.
Electric car owners who plug in their vehicles could get around 22.5 miles of free charging from the 7kW points during that 50-minute period – enough time to do the weekly shop.
Over a whole year this works out at 1,170 miles – the equivalent of driving from London to Rome for free. (insideevs)

EV of the week….

Guangzhou Auto Show and the EV’s we shall never see
Guangzhou is China’s second largest auto show, so highly significant in global EV terms. As usual there are plenty of new goodies on show but do not expect to see them on the streets of Europe any time soon. Below are four, all of which look attractive and come well specced.
Of particular interest are Xpeng, who announced their second EV, the P7, a luxurious saloon with a range of around 350 miles (maybe 250 miles in reality) and 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds and a sticker price of $38,000. Xpeng have also built their own dedicated charging network and 90 stores. (greencarreports)

 Clockwise from top left: Kia K3, Weltmeister EX5, Buick Velite, Xpeng P7

European  goodies….

Orsted Signs Largest-Ever Corporate Deal for Offshore Wind
Denmark’s Ørsted on Wednesday announced the largest-ever corporate offshore wind deal, with German chemical company Covestro signing up to take 100 megawatts of capacity from the upcoming 900-megawatt Borkum Riffgrund 3 project.
The 10-year, fixed-price corporate power purchase agreement will start in 2025, the year the wind farm is due for completion in the German North Sea. (greentechmedia)

Europe to regulate emissions trading for shipping
The European Commission will shortly introduce emissions trading for shipping in what could be the industry’s next greatest shift after the sulphur cap starts in four weeks’ time.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in one of her first major speeches, promised on Monday at the UN climate conference (COP25) in Madrid to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050 by introducing the so-called European Green Deal.
In March next year, the commission will propose the first-ever European Climate Law to make the transition to climate neutrality irreversible.
This will include extending emission trading to all relevant sectors including shipping. (splash247)

Focus on: Oceans and global warming

As, no doubt, they will be discussing at COP25 the energy transition can only happen if there is a massive return to growth in investment into renewable energy. This week I have hunted for a few Titbits that might suggest that this surge is starting:

Iberdrola launches huge renewables plan for coal wind-down in Spain
Utility Iberdrola is submitting a plan to build 550MW of subsidy-free wind and solar to replace the group’s last Spanish coal-fired power plants.
Speaking at the opening of the COP25 UN climate summit in Madrid, Iberdrola group chairman Ignacio Galan said the renewables projects would replace two coal generators that are scheduled to be decommissioned next year.
The proposal, to be presented on Monday to Spain’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition, would see 420MW of new wind and PV deployed in Velilla in the province of Palencia, and four wind farms with a joint capacity of 130MW in Lada, in Asturias, both in the country’s north. (rechargenews)

Statkraft makes German PV power play
Norwegian energy company Statkraft is to buy electricity from five solar farms in Germany totalling 52MW owned by Enerparc under a 12-year power purchase agreement.
The projects, which are located in the Bavaria region, will supply Statkraft with about 600 gigawatt-hours of electricity from May 2020 to December 2031.
All five solar farms are expected online in the spring of next year.
Sunnic, the direct marketing subsidiary of Enerparc, is responsible for short-term marketing on the spot market.
The long-term purchase of the generated electricity by Statkraft provides Enerparc with the necessary planning security to implement a project of this size, the company said. (renews)

Dedicated Biomass Power Generation at Suzukawa Energy Center
Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) has made plans to launch a biomass power generation project, having agreed to terms for procuring fuel (wood pellets) and completing arrangements for a non-recourse project finance.
View of Suzukawa Energy Center Power Station (Mitsubishi)
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mitsubishi Corporation Power, MC and its partners Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd., and, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., established the Suzukawa Energy Center in September 2013. The partners have been in discussions since then on developing a dedicated biomass power generation project at Suzukawa EC.
After converting Suzukawa EC’s facilities in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture, from coal to wood pellets, the project will use the facilities as a biomass power plant. Suzukawa EC went online in September 2016, with a rated output of 112,000 kW. In conjunction with Suzukawa EC’s existing boiler designed to fire both coal and biomass, turbine and fuel conveyance equipment, fuel-storage and other new equipment will be installed with an aim to commence dedicated wood-pellet power generation in April 2022. (renewableenergymagazine)


India crawls towards wind target with just 2GW added in a year
India’s government said the country’s wind capacity has hit the 37GW mark, adding just 2GW in 12 months as it inches towards a target of 60GW by 2022 that commentators have warned will be a major stretch.
The figure, which covers installations to the end of October, was released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and compares to the 35GW cumulative total at the same point in 2018, released a year ago. (rechargenews)

Eco Home…

Combat urban sprawl? Cut houses in two
In an effort to fight urban sprawl and accommodate the growing population in Lawrence, Kansas, nonprofit Studio 804 has created a subdivision for two sustainable homes to show how urban density can be achieved in established neighborhoods. Designed and built by graduate students at the University of Kansas Department of Architecture, the Houses on Oak Hill Avenue are the most recent achievement of the comprehensive year-long design/build learning experience offered at Studio 804. As with every Studio 804 project since 2008, the recently completed buildings are certified LEED Platinum. (inhabitat)

Global stuff….

Power Ledger Brings P2P Blockchain Solar Power Trading To India
New Delhi-based BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) recently announced that it has partnered with Power Ledger to run a pilot project in a New Delhi suburb to enable peer-to-peer solar power trading. The project will be implemented in closed gated communities with rooftop solar power systems installed. The pilot project will cover a capacity of 5-6 megawatts of solar power.
New Delhi has a robust rooftop solar power policy that allows residents and large communities to install solar power systems. Any surplus power generated from these systems is sold back to the grid through net metering.
In this P2P trading project, however, any surplus power generated by these rooftop solar power systems would be traded within the neighboring gated communities instead of sending it back to the grid through net metering.
According to a press release by BRPL, consumers would be able to procure electricity at much cheaper rates compared to that available through the distribution utility. (cleantechnica)

Hydrogen-powered drone completes 43-mile open-ocean flight
In a first for the U.S. unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry, Skyfire Consulting, Doosan Mobility Innovation Inc., the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Health and other partners teamed up this week to successfully complete an open-ocean drone test flight between two islands in under two hours.
Driven by the goal of improving timely delivery medical services in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Doosan hydrogen fuel cell-powered DS30 drone carried 40 simulation vials and health supplies for 43 miles, from a testing facility on St. Croix to a hospital on St. Thomas.
The team physically followed the flight by boat along with a Doosan pilot that hand-flew the drone throughout the full length of the trip while traveling at an average speed of 23 knots. At the end of the flight when the drone landed on St. Croix, there was still 30 minutes of supply left in its tank.
The collaborative effort, which is supported by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), began two years ago in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The USVI Department of Health was challenged to find better ways to move medical samples and supplies between islands, particularly when infrastructure was down and traditional methods like seaplanes and boats were too slow or inaccessible.
The Doosan DS30 is the world’s first fuel cell powerpack that enables long-endurance flight for different commercial drone models and applications. The multirotor drone’s technology enables long-endurance flight up to 120 minutes (without payload) and is capable of handling up to 11 pounds. (insideunmannedsystems)

Battery Pack Prices Fall As Market Ramps Up
Battery prices, which were above $1,100 per kilowatt-hour in 2010, have fallen 87% in real terms to $156/kWh in 2019. By 2023, average prices will be close to $100/kWh, according to the latest forecast from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF).
Cost reductions in 2019 are thanks to increasing order size, growth in battery electric vehicle sales and the continued penetration of high energy density cathodes. The introduction of new pack designs and falling manufacturing costs will drive prices down in the near term.
BNEF’s 2019 Battery Price Survey, published today at the BNEF Summit in Shanghai, predicts that as cumulative demand passes 2TWh in 2024, prices will fall below $100/kWh. (bnef)

Techie corner….

Swiss Startup Wants To Put Geothermal Panels In Underground Garages & Tunnels
Enerdrape is the name of the Swiss-based startup behind this ingenious idea. It all starts with a simple question: Have you ever noticed that it gets kind of warm in an underground garage or down in a metro or subway tunnel? That is basically geothermal energy. That is energy that can be absorbed and then diverted to another part of the building.
This startup’s idea is to place heat absorbing panels in underground parking lots and underground subway and metro tunnels. Place panels on all the walls that can absorb it and you can use that energy to either heat, or if used in reverse, to passively cool a building. One of these panels could potentially produce up to 250 kwh of energy in the form of heat, and each panel only costs a mere €150. The technology can reduce emissions of a building by up to 85% per KWh. (cleantechnica)