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Vehicle-to-grid charging is coming fast — here’s how regulators and utilities can prepare now

Utility Dive - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 06:00

If utilities do not start planning now, in a few years we will have millions of EVs on the road that are not being used to their full potential as a source of energy storage.

DNV Buys Solar Forecasting Firm Solcast

Solar Industry Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:42

DNV has acquired global solar irradiance data and forecasting provider Solcast, further expanding its offering to solar energy customers with digital and data-driven services that help maximize the value of solar power plants.

Solcast, based in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Asia, Europe and the Americas, develops the data and tools needed to plan, construct, operate and manage photovoltaic systems. Solar forecasting enables solar power producers to deliver reliable and resilient electricity to grids across fast-growing markets. The integration of solar forecasting with energy storage brings a unique opportunity allowing customers to plan and later dispatch energy on demand to get the most value out of each solar power plant.

Moreover, real-time access to high-quality, accurate short-term forecasts enables customers to easily evaluate power plant operations, evaluate losses and improve plant performance, leading to improved plant and portfolio management.

Solcast uses the latest in global weather satellite imagery, machine learning, computer vision and historical and forecast data to produce more than 600 million new forecasts every hour in a cloud-based environment and provide real-time access to forecast data via an application programming interface.

“As a digital native company with strong domain expertise, Solcast fits DNV’s strategy to support our customers with trusted data-driven services,” says Remi Eriksen, group president and CEO of DNV. “DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook forecasts that solar PV will grow 20-fold by 2050, and this acquisition will help us meet the sharp increase in demand for reliable data analytics and trusted monitoring systems.  Digital products, such as those provided by Solcast, are key to unlocking the potential of solar.”

The post DNV Buys Solar Forecasting Firm Solcast appeared first on Solar Industry.

ACE NY: NYPA Shouldn’t Become a Renewables Developer

North American Windpower - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:28

The Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) has voiced its concerns about a measure in New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2024 Executive Budget proposal that would give new authority to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to own, develop, finance and operate renewable energy facilities.

“We fully acknowledge that renewable energy projects are not being deployed fast enough,” says Anne Reynolds, executive director of ACE NY. “It makes complete sense that NYPA should be involved in helping break down barriers to renewable energy development, but we do not agree with this approach.”

Developing renewable energy projects in New York is difficult, costly, financially risky and time-consuming, the organization says. ACE NY believes that a combination of private enterprise, in close collaboration with government agencies like NYPA and NYSERDA, and community and environmental advocacy groups, is the most cost-effective, efficient way to get responsibly sited wind and solar power projects built.

“There are real barriers to renewable energy projects reaching construction in New York,” Reynolds says. “There are significant transmission constraints, onerous permitting processes, non-standardized project taxation and an interconnection process that takes too long and is too expensive.

“This proposal does not solve – or even help to solve – any of these problems,” she says. “A better approach would be to harness NYPA’s resources and expertise to invest in the transmission system to unbottle opportunities to site wind and solar energy projects and open up new areas for projects, in addition to making other improvements to the investment landscape in New York.”

Photo credit

The post ACE NY: NYPA Shouldn’t Become a Renewables Developer appeared first on North American Windpower.

ACE NY Takes Issue with Hochul Proposal for NYPA

Solar Industry Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:25

The Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) has voiced its concerns about a measure in New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2024 Executive Budget proposal that would give new authority to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to own, develop, finance and operate renewable energy facilities.

“We fully acknowledge that renewable energy projects are not being deployed fast enough,” says Anne Reynolds, executive director of ACE NY. “It makes complete sense that NYPA should be involved in helping break down barriers to renewable energy development, but we do not agree with this approach.”

Developing renewable energy projects in New York is difficult, costly, financially risky and time-consuming, the organization says. ACE NY believes that a combination of private enterprise, in close collaboration with government agencies like NYPA and NYSERDA, and community and environmental advocacy groups, is the most cost-effective, efficient way to get responsibly sited wind and solar power projects built.

“There are real barriers to renewable energy projects reaching construction in New York,” Reynolds says. “There are significant transmission constraints, onerous permitting processes, non-standardized project taxation and an interconnection process that takes too long and is too expensive.

“This proposal does not solve – or even help to solve – any of these problems,” she says. “A better approach would be to harness NYPA’s resources and expertise to invest in the transmission system to unbottle opportunities to site wind and solar energy projects and open up new areas for projects, in addition to making other improvements to the investment landscape in New York.”

Photo credit

The post ACE NY Takes Issue with Hochul Proposal for NYPA appeared first on Solar Industry.

Costa Rica-Atome Energy announces new green ammonia JV focusing on Central America and Caribbean

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
International green hydrogen and ammonia production company, Atome Energy, has announced a new joint venture developing green ammonia and fertiliser projects with the focus on Central America and the Caribbean.

Spain-GE Renewable Energy selected by Repsol to supply 6.1 MW wind turbines for Spanish wind projects in Aragon

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
GE Renewable Energy has been selected by Repsol to supply 22 units of its 6.1 MW wind turbines to six of the wind farms in Repsol’s Delta II project (Santa Cruz I, Amp, II, III, and San Isidro I and II) in Aragon.

DNV acquires solar data specialist Solcast to expand its solar forecasting expertise

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
Independent energy expert and assurance provider DNV has decided to expand its digital and data-driven offering to solar energy customers by acquiring global solar irradiance data and forecasting provider Solcast.

Wienerberger Launches New Integrated Solar Tiles

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
Wienerberger UK and Ireland has launched ‘Sandtoft in-roof Solar’, a brand-new roof tile which provides housebuilders with a seamlessly integrated solar energy source, helping them meet the requirements of recent Part L legislation and future-proofing new homes for the Future Homes Standard 2025.

Global Support Tool to Help Bus Fleets Decarbonize Goes Live

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
The GenComm Enabling Support Tool, (EST) to help bus fleets decarbonize has gone live online globally for the first time. This key output of the Belfast Met-led Interreg North West Europe hydrogen project GenComm is a tool that allows stakeholders to identify the ideal bus routes that are suitable for the use of hydrogen buses. In addition possible variants for economically valid mixed bus fleets (Hydrogen, Electric and Diesel) are identified.

Plug Power and Johnson Matthey partner to accelerate the hydrogen economy

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
Provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy Plug Power (Plug) and Johnson Matthey (JM) , specialists in sustainable technologies, have announced a long-term strategic partnership to accelerate the green hydrogen economy.  

Sunstone Credit announces $20 million Series A funding to enable businesses to go solar

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
Technology-enabled clean energy financing platform Sunstone Credit, Inc. has announced an oversubscribed $20 million Series A funding round to provide flexible capital and best-in-class guidance for growth-stage clean energy companies.  

South Korea-Dongguk University researchers develop novel electrode material for hybrid EV supercapacitors

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
Researchers at Dongguk University in South Korea have designed and synthesized a novel hybrid composite electrode material that significantly enhances the performance of supercapacitors for use in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

Fusion Processing Ltd accelerates autonomous bus development in Scottish CAVForth2 project

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
Fusion Processing Ltd is to continue developing its CAVStar Automated Driving System as part of the second phase of the successful CAVForth autonomous bus project in Scotland, which will feature a longer, more challenging route.

U.S. Department of Energy Awards $118 Million to Accelerate Domestic Biofuel Production

Renewable Energy Magazine - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 05:15
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)  announced $118 million in funding for 17 projects to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels for America’s transportation and manufacturing needs. The selected projects, located at universities and private companies, will drive the domestic production of biofuels and bioproducts by advancing biorefinery development, from pre-pilot to demonstration, to create sustainable fuels that reduce emissions associated with fossil fuels. 

Solar group urges FERC to unlock MISO’s ancillary services market for intermittent resources

Utility Dive - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 03:02

Allowing wind, solar and hybrid resources to sell ancillary services would increase their revenue, improve reliability and lower overall system costs, the Solar Energy Industries Association said.

Stop Burning Money

Rocky Mountain Institute - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 03:00

LEER EN ESPAÑOL

Imagine that you are a typical family living in a low- to middle-income community in the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic. You earn close to the average salary of US$250 per month and your monthly household electricity consumption is 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) — about one fifth of the average US household. You pay on average US$25.00 per month for your electricity. The real cost of electricity is US$62.50, but the government is paying nearly 60 percent of that to subsidize the high cost of fossil fuels used to generate electricity in the nation. Even with the government subsidy, 10 percent of your salary must go toward powering your house. Without this government subsidy, 25 percent of your salary would have to go to electricity costs, making the subsidy essential to maintain a basic standard of living for you and your family. Each year, you pay US$300 for your electricity and the government pays US$450. This electricity is not only expensive, but polluting your environment — spewing increasingly high amounts of carbon into the atmosphere as local populations increase. This has happened for decades, and if nothing changes, it will continue to happen into the future.

Now imagine next month, instead of giving you the electricity subsidy that you would require over the next three years, you receive a grid-tied, net-metered solar photovoltaic (PV) system on your roof that provides 100 percent of your electricity needs. Incredibly, in the Dominican Republic, a grid-tied PV system that produces those 200 kWh/month can cost approximately US$2,400. To pay for the system, the government gives you a grant of US$1,330 (equivalent to three years of subsidy) and a local cooperative provides you with a loan for US$1,070.

The system lowers your monthly electricity cost to US18.75/month (25 percent less than what you pay now for electricity), of which US$2.40 is the fixed fee and US$16.35 is your monthly payment to the cooperative for five years. This system ensures reliable electricity for your family and, while you pay off the loan for the solar system, your cost of electricity is reduced by 15–25 percent from its prior level. In five to six years, once you have fully paid off the system, your electricity costs are 90 percent lower than their initial level, now making up only 1 percent of your salary. The graphic below depicts your monthly cash flow, with a savings of US$6,900 over 25 years.

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Let’s flip roles. Now imagine that you are the Government of the Dominican Republic, aware of the challenges in the power sector such as high and fluctuating electricity prices, energy dependency due to reliance on imported fossil fuels, and poor grid resiliency, which are problems faced by many nations in the region. Historically you have tackled these challenges in an atomistic way — choosing to focus on the largest and most short-term problem: the high electricity prices to consumers. The most effective strategy that you have found is a monthly electricity subsidy in which you pay for 35–60 percent of all electricity consumption for each consumer to offset the high costs of fossil fuel. This costs you US$2 billion/year, or 11 percent of your 2023 annual budget, to ensure that the nearly 2.8 million households in the country can not only power their homes, but also afford an acceptable quality of life for their families.

You realize that rather than continuing to pay billions in electricity subsidies each year, you can invest three years of electricity subsidies, around US$6 billion, to help install stand-alone solar systems at all residential homes. Amazingly, every time you help a family install a solar system on their home, since the family is now producing their own electricity, you don’t have to pay the subsidy anymore... forever. Thus, your new strategy has eliminated the electricity subsidy completely and will save you at least US$2 billion a year, as fuel costs are likely to rise further in the future. Further, this model is scalable globally, providing a long-term solution for other nations with a similar history of using fuel subsidies to stabilize electricity costs.

Turning the Electricity Subsidy into Solar Power

The current subsidy is effective at lowering costs for electricity consumers, but ineffective at reducing overall country costs and creating lasting change. At the end of the day a subsidy is still money sent off island. In a changing world with highly volatile fuel prices, an increasing frequency of grid-impacting storms, and a drastic cost reduction of an ever-improving solar technology, the electricity subsidy is just a band aid for the much larger issue at hand: a power sector reliant on fossil fuel. The billions of dollars being dumped into the electricity subsidy just continue to perpetuate the struggling power sector in a negative feedback loop — the subsidy supports burning fossil fuel to allow for more and more energy consumption, which further increases the need for the subsidy. The government is literally burning money to burn more money in the future. The good news? They are actively exploring new systems and possibilities.

It’s possible to rethink the electricity subsidy using blended financing to create a more lasting impact. The RMI Islands team has used a blended financial model in Puerto Rico to help install commercial-scale solar and battery systems at critical facilities. It involves a blend of money from “free” capital, either philanthropic donations or grants, and a bank loan to surpass the high upfront capital cost barrier for solar systems. However, within countries that currently have high energy subsidies that could be used as the “free” capital, blended financing is a no brainer to quickly transform energy systems, paving the way toward a more holistic approach to tackle not only the high cost of electricity, but also longer-term resilience and independence goals.

The blended financial model presents a solution to rapidly scale solar — which ripples into fixing most other problems: the reinvestment of electricity subsidies generates local jobs in the solar sector, improves energy independence, reduces carbon emissions, and improves overall environmental health. The blended finance approach works because it addresses the barrier of high upfront capital costs that the Dominican Republic and many other countries in the Caribbean face. If the government could spend 2.5 to 3 years of its typical electricity subsidies, or US$4.5–US$6 billion, in funding rooftop solar systems for residential households and small businesses, it could eliminate the electricity subsidy forever.  Thus, using electricity subsidies in combination with loans to fund rooftop solar systems is a win-win for consumers and governments.

Max Lainfiesta (on the left), Euren Cuevas (third from the left), and coalition members after a meeting in October 2022 with World Bank representatives to discuss the solar power solution for the Dominican Republic.

Euren Cuevas, executive director of the Lawyers Institute for the Protection of the Environment (INSAPROMA) in the Dominican Republic thinks it’s a great idea. “Consumer electricity costs essentially vanish, and the government no longer needs to pay billions a year in an electricity subsidy,” he says. “It just makes sense — and we have the capacity to do it today.”

It seems too good to be true, but it could be made a reality through continued collaboration and a holistic view of the energy space.

What Next?

Alongside the government and local partners, including INSAPROMA, RMI has been pioneering this blended finance model in the Dominican Republic to resolve systematic problems of electricity subsidies and to unlock rooftop solar for 200,000 homes in low-middle income communities and small businesses in vulnerable sectors. The electricity subsidy is essentially flexible capital that the government is already committed to spending in the future that can be better utilized to quickly transform the power system. A newly formed coalition called “RD 100% Renovable,” which translates to “Dominican Republic 100 percent Renewable,” includes the Government and various local and regional entities that are committed to install 600 MW of rooftop solar in the Dominican Republic using this model.

Santo Domingo November 4, 2022, "RD 100% Renewable" representatives in a meeting with the Dominican Republic energy minister and team. During the meeting, the energy minister expressed his desire to pursue the initiative and designated the energy vice minister and his team for the co-creation of the final strategy.

The process is already underway with negotiations and excitement from all stakeholders — however, we need to take a few critical steps first. While the long-term model is self-sustaining, meaning that the money saved by the government from not having electricity subsidies will be used to fund future solar systems, some upfront capital is needed to start and initially sustain the project, such as for hiring, assembling key stakeholders, project procurement, and more. Additionally, there will be costs to maintain, execute, and communicate on the broader mission and outcomes of the model — both within the Dominican Republic and beyond. Philanthropic support will help us close these funding gaps and get started more quickly.

This model is transferable, meaning it could provide reliable clean electricity to millions of customers and reduce spending on energy for governments around the world. The exhibit below shows 2022 estimated fossil-fuel subsidies for electricity and oil around the globe as a share of GDP, and it reveals that there are many countries in Africa, the middle east, Oceania, and bordering the Caribbean that could benefit from this model.

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Leveraging over 10 years of deep national partnerships and collaboration, as well as technical expertise, RMI is well placed to support the Dominican Republic’s transition to renewable power. To make a gift and accelerate our collaborative impact, contact Jennifer Stokes, managing director of Development, at jstokes@rmi.org. If you are interested in more information on this initiative, please reach out to Max Lainfiesta at mlainfiesta@rmi.org.

The post Stop Burning Money appeared first on RMI.

Energex and Origin to roll out 35 neighbourhood batteries in solar soaked regional city

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 22:05

Queensland will install 35 neighbourhood batteries to soak up the excess solar in one of the state’s top 10 rooftop PV postcodes.

The post Energex and Origin to roll out 35 neighbourhood batteries in solar soaked regional city appeared first on RenewEconomy.

NSW announces grants to help big manufacturers slash emissions

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 20:01

New South Wales state government to support four of the state’s highest emitting manufacturers to transition into low-carbon facilities.

The post NSW announces grants to help big manufacturers slash emissions appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australian solar forecasting innovator snapped up by EU energy giant

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 19:56

Norway-based independent energy expert taps Aussie-made solar data and forecasting upstart, Solcast.

The post Australian solar forecasting innovator snapped up by EU energy giant appeared first on RenewEconomy.

First solar hydrogen project strikes offtake deal, to nearly double solar farm

Renew Economy - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 19:27

A green hydrogen project that promises to be one of the first in Australia to produce at a commercial scale has signed up its first offtake partner.

The post First solar hydrogen project strikes offtake deal, to nearly double solar farm appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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