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VOLUME 18

ISSUE 4

JULY/AUGUST 2015

Te Solar Issue
Te Solar
Issue

Technology, Policy, Finance and More

Data Points

Understanding the importance of the Power Africa initiative.

p. 34

Wind

Mitigation strategies for underwater noise when building offshore wind farms.

p. 36

Geothermal

Can geothermal exploration enable the energy storage industry?

p. 43

Can geothermal exploration enable the energy storage industry? p. 43 Hydro How it can help rebuild
Can geothermal exploration enable the energy storage industry? p. 43 Hydro How it can help rebuild

Hydro

How it can help rebuild a stronger Nepal.

p. 48

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PROJECT PROFILE The PV Salvador Solar Project.

features

21
21

SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

Ensuring Your Solar Array Doesn’t Get Caught in the Wind

 

Solar PV racking manufacturers explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away.

explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles

Charles W. Thurston

explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. Charles
arrays from getting blown away. Charles W. Thurston ON THE COVER Summer sun and solar go

ON THE COVER Summer sun and solar go hand-in-hand. Our issue pays tribute to that 15 great resource in the sky.

27
27

SOLAR POLICY

Is the Spanish Government Putting the Brakes on Solar PV?

Spain recently auctioned bids for renewable power capacity from wind and biomass, not PV. This isn’t the first time the government has turned its back on the abundant solar resource leaving some to believe that darker forces

are at play Ilias Tsagas

46

30
30

SOLAR FINANCE

Jennifer Runyon

Making a Match: How Solar Companies and Banks Hook Up

Solar EPC companies often partner with a bank to secure financing for their projects. Our article explains how they do it.

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features

36
36

WIND

Reducing Construction Noise at Offshore Wind Farms

Building an offshore wind farm can create quite an underwater racket. Monitoring and mitigation of noise is key to keeping marine wildlife safe.

Holly Waterman

43
43

GEOTHERMAL

Energy Storage and Geothermal Markets Team Up for Lithium

Developers explore exciting opportunities to extract lithium from geothermal brine. Meg Cichon

48
48

HYDROPOWER

Mini-hydro Making a Big Impact in Nepal

In the wake of the earthquake that hit Nepal, development of its 83 GW of hydropower potential may be essential

for the future. David Appleyard

departments & columns

 

5

Editor’s Letter

46

Project Profle

Here Comes the Sun

The PV Salvador Solar Project

6

Regional News

53

Trainings and Educational Events

News from the Global Renewable Energy Industry

 

54

Calendar

17

Te Big Question

 

Can the US Commercial Solar Industry Survive with a 10 Percent ITC?

54

Advertiser’s Index

55

Last Word

34

Data Points

Why Smarter Grids Demand Smarter Communications Networks

The Power Africa Initiative

Communications Networks The Power Africa Initiative On RenewableEner gy World.com RenewableEnergyWorld.com

On RenewableEnergyWorld.com

RenewableEnergyWorld.com keeps you updated on news, opinion and technology for the renewable energy industry. Visit us on the web to:

• Read our editor’s picks – popular articles highlighted for you.

• Nominate a Project or Woman of the Year.

• See who will be presenting at Renewable Energy World Conference.

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From the Editor CHIEF EDITOR Jennifer Runyon ASSOCIATE EDITOR Meg Cichon SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER Stephanie

From the Editor CHIEF EDITOR Jennifer Runyon ASSOCIATE EDITOR Meg Cichon SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER Stephanie Kolodziej EDITORIAL OFFICES

From the Editor CHIEF EDITOR Jennifer Runyon ASSOCIATE EDITOR Meg Cichon SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER Stephanie Kolodziej
From the Editor CHIEF EDITOR Jennifer Runyon ASSOCIATE EDITOR Meg Cichon SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER Stephanie Kolodziej

CHIEF EDITOR Jennifer Runyon

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Meg Cichon

SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER

Stephanie Kolodziej

EDITORIAL OFFICES

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Ahh summer! Hopefully the longer days and stronger sunshine bring

with them time for you to sit back, relax and read your latest issue of

Renewable Energy World, which sits before you now. In it, we bring

you updates from the solar industry — new technology, policy debates

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There’s more to this issue than just a tribute to solar, however. So

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36, you can read about how the offshore wind industry must use noise

mitigation strategies when constructing offshore wind parks. Our fea-

to professionals in the renewable energy

ture on page 43 looks at how the geothermal industry could enable

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the energy storage industry to mine more lithium. And remember the

devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April? We have photos and an update on how it affected the power sector there. Opportunities for renewable energy development are far and wide and I hope you’ll put your knowledge to work bringing power to places in the world where it is most needed. Our Data Points on page 34, hones in on the Power Africa initiative. It’s also time to start making plans to attend Renewable Energy World Conference that will take place in Las Vegas, December 8-10. At the show, you can attend our educational sessions to learn more about all of the topics I just mentioned. Finally, if you have completed a great project over the past year, don’t forget to nominate it for consideration as a Project of the Year. You can nominate projects here.

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the authors accept any liability for errors or omissions. Jennifer Runyon, Chief Editor RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD

Jennifer Runyon, Chief Editor

REGIONAL

news

REGIONAL news NORTH AMERICA Rail-Free Mounting System Now Available EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a
NORTH AMERICA Rail-Free Mounting System Now Available EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new

NORTH AMERICA

Rail-Free Mounting System Now Available

EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting “Rock- It System” that it would be display- ing during Intersolar. Product com- pliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integrated grounding and bonding, fire classification and mechanical loading. EcoFasten Solar’s solar roof mounts and components are designed, engineered and man- ufacturered in Morrisville, VT. Working closely with leading solar developers, racking system pro-

closely with leading solar developers, racking system pro- Credit: EcoFasten Solar. viders, roofing manufacturers and

Credit: EcoFasten Solar.

viders, roofing manufacturers and commercial installation com- panies, the company said that its products are fast and easy to install and “were designed with the installer in mind.”

FIAMM and Northern Power Team Up To Deliver Energy Storage Solutions

Northern Power Systems is partnering with FIAMM Energy Storage Solutions to target the growing demand for energy storage systems (ESS) in the market, especially for North America. A recent Navi- gant report indicates the global installed energy storage capacity for the grid is expected to grow from 538.4 megawatts in 2014 to 20.8 gigawatts in 2024. Northern Power Systems’ FlexPhase power converters comple- ment FIAMM’s SoNick (sodium nickel chloride) storage technology, offering control features such as load shifting, low/zero voltage ride through, voltage and frequency droop control, islanding and seam- less transition, and black start, and providing extremely low DC bus ripple. FIAMM SoNick batteries have a track record of safety and reliability, large energy capacity with a minimal impact on the envi- ronment due to the absence of toxic materials, and are 100 percent recyclable, according to the company. Diego Tebaldi, senior director of global business development at Northern Power Systems, said that the integration of the company’s power converter into this particular chemistry opens up access to a global market with strong potential.

Icebreaker Offshore Wind Project To Incorporate Innovative Foundation Design

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) announced that the Icebreaker offshore wind project planned for the Ohio waters of Lake Erie will use an innovative foundation design that was developed in Europe. Mono Bucket foundations, developed by Denmark-based Universal Foundation (UF), will sig- nificantly reduce installation costs for the pilot project compared to the modified monopile concept LEEDCo developed in 2013. The Mono Bucket foundation is an all-in-one steel structure con- sisting of a monopile shaft attached to a large-diameter bucket. It is installed with a suction system that requires no pile driving

or dredging — eliminating noise and soil distur- bance. A prototype has been supporting a 3-MW turbine in Denmark since 2002. A second proto- type has been supporting a met mast at Horns Rev 2 in Denmark since 2009. “Universal Foundation’s Mono Bucket founda- tion recently emerged as one of the most promis- ing technology developments in the European off- shore wind industry,” said Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo. According to Wagner, the Mono Bucket “is lighter than our original concept, requires sig- nificantly less time on the water during construc- tion, and can be fabricated locally.” UF will join LEEDCo’s team to complete the detailed design of the Mono Bucket foundations for the Icebreaker project. The team will work closely

with U.S. steel fabricators to ensure the design is optimized for fabrication in the United States. The final design will be complete in early 2016. “This is yet another innovation we are bring- ing to the U.S. offshore wind industry that will help meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s cost of energy targets,” Wagner said. “Not only does it move Icebreaker forward, it enables the Lake Erie region to become a central hub of the U.S. off- shore wind industry.” In addition to Icebreaker, Mono Buckets are also being considered for a number of European projects.

For more on eliminating noise during offshore wind farm construction, see our feature on page 36.

EUROPE
EUROPE
wind farm construction, see our feature on page 36. EUROPE Wave Power Device Receives Further Funding

Wave Power Device Receives Further Funding

HiWave, a wave-power system developed by Cor- Power Ocean and nurtured by KIC InnoEnergy’s Highway Programme, has secured in excess of €2 million in investment from the Swedish Energy Agency. The funds will be used to run tests in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Scotland. HiWave has demonstrated promising efficien- cy rates in wave energy absorption, delivering five times higher energy density compared with previ- ously developed technology, and at a third of the cost. This new investment is in addition to €6 mil- lion already invested by KIC InnoEnergy and the Swedish Energy Agency. KIC InnoEnergy has invested a total of €3 mil- lion in the technology since its inception in 2009. The company has also provided support by con- necting CorPower with Iberdrola Engineering

support by con- necting CorPower with Iberdrola Engineering HIWave Concept. Credit: KIC InnoEnergy. and WavEC for

HIWave Concept. Credit: KIC InnoEnergy.

and WavEC for collaboration, developing its sup- ply chain, putting forward partnerships with

established drive train and cylinder

[ cont >]

REGIONAL

news

manufacturers, and helping to structure the company’s product verification methodology. “CorPower has grown from

a one person company with

a small-scale prototype to a

12-person team with a prov- en device that can tap into the

under-utilized power of the ocean,” said Patrik Möller, CEO, CorPower Ocean. “The ocean has enough power

to cover more than 10 percent of

the world’s energy demand,” says Kenneth Johansson, CEO, KIC InnoEnergy Sweden, adding that

he is proud that “the KIC InnoEn- ergy innovation model, based on our international network com- plementing national funding agencies, such as the Swedish Energy Agency, has enabled the HiWave project and the company CorPower to get to this point.”

UK Solar Could Rival Fossil Fuel Electricity by 2020

The Solar Trade Association (STA) published its “Solar Independence Plan for Britain,” setting out how the new government could steer rooftop solar-

generated electricity to parity with retail electrici- ty prices and utility-scale solar farms to parity with new gas CCGT power station

prices, both by 2020. In the report the STA looks at sever- al different scenarios, and recommends the government adopt a scenario with a target of 25 GW by 2020. If adopted, the Plan could see 2.1 million solar homes, 24,000 commercial rooftop and commu- nity schemes, 2,300 good quality solar farms and almost 57,000 jobs in solar

and its supply chains. Achieving this breakthrough would in 2020 cost house- holds around £13 per year. Experts from Imperial College London have independently verified the STA modeling behind the plan. The Centre for Econom- ics and Business Research provided job estimates. The report outlines six changes to existing poli- cy that would double the amount of solar-generat- ed electricity in 2020 — from 10 TWh under DECC’s Solar PV Strategy to 21 TWh under the STA’s Higher Ambition scenario. This would bring solar to a total of 6.9 percent of U.K. electricity demand in 2020 as opposed to the 3.4 percent as per the government’s

current plan with little extra cost. The STA’s recommended policy steps include adjusting the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) in the forthcom- ing review to allow more growth and gradually

Solar Independence Plan (SIP) For Britain

Solar capacity in 2020 25.3 GW Total cost in 2020 20.3 GW £1,510M £1,360M £1,160M
Solar capacity in 2020
25.3 GW
Total cost in 2020
20.3 GW
£1,510M
£1,360M
£1,160M
12.1 GW
DECC Strategy
SIP Minimum Ambition
SIP Higher Ambition

CREDIT: Solar Trade Association

bring tariffs for new installations down to zero by 2020. The STA is also seeking to ensure the Renew- ables Obligation is safeguarded for big rooftops and smaller solar farms until March 2017, and that bar- riers to the grid are addressed decisively. The Plan also explains the importance of back- ing the U.K.’s domestic industry today with stable and predictable policy support rather than waiting for international module prices to fall, since mod- ules form an increasingly small fraction of the cost of installed solar.

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REGIONAL

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MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICAREGIONAL news Latest SE4All Initiative To Encompass Bioenergy The Sustainable Bioenergy High- Impact Opportunity (HIO) was

REGIONAL news MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA Latest SE4All Initiative To Encompass Bioenergy The Sustainable Bioenergy High-

Latest SE4All Initiative To Encompass Bioenergy

The Sustainable Bioenergy High- Impact Opportunity (HIO) was launched in May at the 2 nd UN SE4All Forum to facilitate the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy solutions. At the event, partners for Euro-African Green Energy (PAN- GEA) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) presented a paper with information about how to implement business mod- els that utilize bioenergy for elec- trification and provided policy recommendations to encourage the uptake of biomass as part of

decentralized energy production. Due to the sheer abundance of biomass often available in devel- oping countries, the paper aims to encourage interested stake- holders from public and private sectors to work towards devel- oping bioenergy technologies for electrification in areas where there is no conflict with nutri- tion and other issues. The paper looks at modern uses for solid biomass, liquid biofuels and bio- gas along with practical exam- ples and best practices of the var- ious bioenergy-based business

models currently being imple- mented for rural energy access as well as opportunities for further expansion. “Power from sustainably pro- duced biomass can contribute in meaningful ways to increasing the energy access essential for rural economic development. The ARE-PANGEA report highlights nicely the potential for biopow- er production in different ecologi- cal and developmental contexts,” said Gerard Ostheimer, Global Lead, Sustainable Bioenergy UN SE4All Initiative

Solar PV Costs on Par with Fossil Fuels in Emirates

The UAE’s solar energy pricing has now reached parity with fossil fuel models, making it econom- ically attractive and commercially viable for the

it econom- ically attractive and commercially viable for the Credit: Masdar. first time ever in the

Credit: Masdar.

first time ever in the nation’s history, according to a recent “REmap 2030” report published by the Inter- national Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in con- junction with Masdar Institute and the UAE Min- istry of Foreign Affairs’ Directorate of Energy and Climate Change. Solar PV is on par with gas at pric- es of US $4.50-8.00 / MBtu, which currently makes solar PV economically viable in the UAE. The REmap 2030 puts solar as a critical resource for the UAE, with different forms of solar energy accounting for more than 90 percent of renewable energy use in the region. Additionally, the IRENA report highlights policy as a key enabling factor for renewable energy adoption and urges government

agencies to take holistic, comparative views of ener- gy costs and act on them. Solar power, together with other renewable energy sources, could save the country billions of dirhams annually while introducing innumera- ble health and environmental benefits, while also acting to preserve precious existing fossil fuel resources. “We believe that, for the UAE and wider Arabian Gulf, solar power is perhaps the most promising of all renewable energy sources — creating jobs while preserving existing energy reserves,” said Naji El

Haddad, Group Event Director of the annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) hosted by Masdar and part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. In 2016, the event will launch the “WFES Solar Expo,” a ded- icated area on the show floor for showcasing solar technology and innovation. More than 150 exhib- itors have already confirmed their participation, with global companies from the wind and solar industries to take part in the exhibition and discus- sion proceedings. The World Future Energy Sum- mit (WFES) 2016 will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre 18-21 January 2016.

ASIA PACIFICDhabi National Exhibition Centre 18-21 January 2016. ○ More Solar for Japan with 92- MW Solar

Exhibition Centre 18-21 January 2016. ○ ASIA PACIFIC More Solar for Japan with 92- MW Solar

More Solar for Japan with 92- MW Solar Project Announced

Kyocera, Kyudenko and Century Tokyo Leas- ing Corporation announced a joint investment in Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills LLC, a solar power oper- ating company, to construct and oper- ate a 92-MW solar power plant on a site stretching across Kanoya City and Osaki Town in Kagoshima Prefecture. Once complete, the project will be one of the largest solar installations in Japan. The project, which is sited on a nev- er-built golf course, will accommodate 340,740 Kyocera solar modules, and is expected to generate roughly 99,230 MWh annually — enough electricity to power approximately 30,500 typical households. Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills LLC will

operate the site, and a joint venture

established by Kyudenko and Gaia Power will undertake the design, construction and maintenance of the solar installation. Kyocera will

supply the modules and Century Tokyo Leasing will arrange financing for the 35 billion yen (approx. US $290 million) project.

for the 35 billion yen (approx. US $290 million) project. Rendering of the Proposed Plant. Credit:

Rendering of the Proposed Plant. Credit: Kyocera.

Construction is set to begin in late 2015 or 2016 and should take about 18 months.

REGIONAL

news

EV Market Set for Big Gains As Asian Manufacturers Drive Down Li-ion Prices

The electric vehicle opportunity is set to expand, as battery devel- opers like Panasonic drive down prices of lithium-ion (Li-ion) bat- tery packs by 35 percent to US $172/kWh in 2025, according to Lux Research. However, only the best-in-class players will achieve that cost threshold, while others lag at US $229/kWh. The estimate is based on a new bottom-up cost model built by Lux Research in an industry known for being highly secretive about its costs. The model accounts for differences in battery chemistry, form factor, production scale, location and other nuances. “High battery prices have led to some huge missed opportunities in the electric vehicle market. Now if developers can drive down pric- es to $200/kWh or less at the pack level, they have a chance of selling millions of EVs by the mid- to late-2020s, and reap great revenues,” said Cosmin Laslau, Lux Research Senior Analyst and lead author. Lux Research analysts used interviews and research to build out a cost model for Li-ion batteries and evaluate the new opportunities emerging for developers and OEMs. Among their findings:

• Competitive gap is widening. Technological innovation and scale are helping leaders like Panasonic, in partnership with Tesla, widen their competitive advantage. While Panasonic-Tesla and China’s BYD will achieve $172/kWh and $211/kWh at the pack levels, respectively, the Nissan-AESC partnership risks falling behind at $261/kWh unless it changes technologies and produc- tion strategies.

• Disruptive Li-rich NMC will deliver more gains. In 2025, a dis- ruptive Li-rich NMC would bring in cost gains of $17/kWh over conventional NMC/graphite cells. While scale-up efficiencies like Tesla’s “Gigafactory” remain a key strategy, geographical location and technology like high-voltage cathodes are also key factors.

• Some benefits will reach stationary storage market, too. Li-ion cost reduction will positively impact the stationary storage mar- ket as well. However, it will not address added costs like the power conditioning system, land, construction and integration. Therefore, installed stationary systems spanning from residential to grid- scale will range from $655/kWh to $498/kWh in 2025, respectively. The report, titled “Crossing the Line: Li-ion Battery Cost Reduc- tion and Its Effect on Vehicles and Stationary Storage,” is part of the Lux Research Energy Storage Intelligence service.

LATIN AMERICAthe Lux Research Energy Storage Intelligence service. ○ Companies Eye Chilean Renewables Mkt Chile holds significant

Energy Storage Intelligence service. ○ LATIN AMERICA Companies Eye Chilean Renewables Mkt Chile holds significant

Companies Eye Chilean Renewables Mkt

Chile holds significant potential for renewable energy develop- ment, with a long-term shortage of power and industries that con- sume large amounts of power, like mining. The wind and solar resources in Chile are plentiful, creating many opportunities for the growth of renewables. To harness this potential, renewable energy company SgurrEnergy formed partnerships with two South American ener- gy companies to develop renew- ables opportunities in the Chil- ean market. SgurrEnergy, a Wood Group company, will combine its global renewable energy exper- tise with the local knowledge and experience of new partners, Coener and Mankuk, to drive for- ward the renewable energy mar- ket in Chile. Coener and Mankuk both pro- vide engineering solutions to cli- ents on projects in Chile. SgurrEnergy has a wealth of experience working in Chile including performing the role of lender’s engineer for an onshore wind farm, which required that the company perform an inde- pendent energy yield forecast, review of financial models, site visits and contract reviews.

Brazil and Chile To Install More than 15 GW of Renewables by 2017

Brazil will spearhead renewable energy additions in South America to 2017, with the country’s cumula- tive installed capacity expanding from 19.8 GW in 2013 to over 32.9 GW by 2017 according to Global- Data. The company’s latest report also states that Chile will see the fastest increase in renewables over the forecast period, with cumulative installed capacity rising from 1.06 GW in 2013 to 5.37 GW by 2017, at an impressive CAGR of 50 percent GlobalData’s Ankit Mathur said “Brazil is looking to increase power generation from renewable ener- gy sources and is aiming for 10 percent of its annu- al generation to come from these sources by 2020. In order to achieve this target, the Brazilian gov- ernment introduced the Program of Incentives for

Alternative Electricity Sources (Programa de Incen- tivo a Fontes Alternativas de Energia Elétrica; PRO- INFA) in 2002 to boost renewable energy adoption. “The first phase awarded auctions for 3.3 GW of wind, biomass and small and medium-sized hydro- power plants.” While biomass accounted for the largest share of Brazil’s renewable energy mix with 50.1 percent in 2014, wind power capacity is expected to become the new leading sector with a 41.4 percent share in 2017, up from 27.3 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, renewables are expected to see the largest growth in Chile’s overall power sector, with the country beginning to harness its significant potential in solar, wind and geothermal power.

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The Renewable Energy World Solar Issue

Summer is upon us and with it comes lots and lots of sun. In this issue we pay tribute to that great orb in the sky and spotlight the industries that it supports.

17

21

27

30

Our Big Question looks at how the U.S. commercial solar industry will fare when (and if) the ITC steps down to 10 percent.

Our Technology feature examines how

the wind impacts solar installations both on the ground and on the roof and the technology involved in making sure they stay firmly in place.

Our Policy feature brings us to the Spanish renewable energy market, which has been plagued with so many problems that some fear the country is turning its back on solar PV altogether.

Our Finance feature looks at matchmaking between solar companies and financial institutions. How do they get together to help grow the industry?

As always there’s more great news and information about the solar industry on our website, RenewableEnergyWorld.com. Can’t get enough solar news? Subscribe to our twice-weekly solar e-newsletter here.

Subscribe to o ur twice-weekly solar e-newsletter here. Image: Sunshine Illustration. Credit Shutterstock.

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The Big Question

Stakeholders weigh in on worldwide renewable energy issues

Can the US Commercial Solar Industry Survive with a 10 Percent ITC?

The U.S. Investment Tax Credit, which is a 30 percent federal tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial properties, remains in effect through December 31, 2016. After that time it drops to 10 percent for commercial systems and zero for residential systems. For our Big Question this month, we wanted to hear from bankers, commercial solar installers, developers, fnanciers, potential hosts and other stakeholders. Read the comments below to gain insight on this issue’s big question: Can the U.S. commercial solar industry survive with a 10 percent investment tax credit?

industry survive with a 10 percent investment tax credit? Gary LeBer , General Manager, SolarTyme, North

Gary LeBer, General Manager, SolarTyme, North Carolina

Unfortunately, I believe that it will substantially reduce the commercial installa- tions and virtually eliminate the residential side.

tions and virtually eliminate the residential side. Scott Wiater President, Standard Solar, Maryland Yes,

Scott Wiater

President,

Standard Solar,

Maryland

Yes, it is still a viable market but we need costs to come down and we need electricity rates to continue to go up and we need policies outside of the ITC that don’t impeded our progress. So if all of that was the way it needs to be then we’re fne but as we all know there are probably going to be some fghts and some hurdles. Some states almost overnight become problematic. I think the biggest [state hit] in the solar industry will be California and non-RPS states. Georgia is a good example where without the 30 percent ITC there is no mechanism in place to make

up any shortfall. Whereas in RPS states that have SRECs that are fair-market traded and if the compliance payment is high enough and there is enough delta between where they are currently trading and that penalty payment then there is at least a mechanism in place to make up some of the shortfall if the ITC goes away.

Chas Learned, Energy Sales Consultant, PhotonWorks Engineering, Hawaii

I am currently a commercial solar developer in sales in Hawaii. I think we will sign a lot less deals when it downshifts to 10 percent. The reason being is busi- ness owners so often have such a short-term view. I have had several clients turn

The Big Question

away from the current offering, which often shows approximately a 2-year return. So many properties are not owned but rather leased, you can forget about signing them up after the reduction. It’s really not about effciency improvements. It’s the cost of running busi- nesses, paying rent, all the many line items in a commercial development. The cost of panels is just one line item in a few dozen and those few dozen

are not likely to change. It’s similar in the food industry, if the price of grain drops to zero, little or no change would occur in the price of a box of cereal. Solar will slow down. My employer told me when there was no federal tax

a slow crawl of solar

credit there was nothing happening on the island

integration. And they had in place the 35 percent state tax credit. When the 30 percent federal came on board it took off like a rocket.

just

Lisa Lee Morgan, President, Calor Energy, North Carolina By the end of 2016, the low-hanging fruit in solar development will have been done, at least a large portion of it. If the Feds extend the sunset date, the solar work will continue. After, solar will fall off, as will most renewable invest- ments, because of the extremely low natural gas prices here in the U.S. NG is just over $2/MMBtu; it is about $8 in the EU. That differential is a windfall for those who can fgure out how to ship Liquefed NG around globe for least cost. You will fnd energy investment dollars migrating into the LNG sector and away from solar and wind after the ITC drops. However, solar and wind will still make good fnancial sense in many situations, and will be an easy sell especially to corporate industrial facilities as a hedge against future NG spikes, which of course, are inevitable, too.

18

18

Matt Wright Senior VP, National Cooperative Bank, Washington, DC
Matt Wright
Senior VP, National
Cooperative Bank,
Washington, DC

I think if it is renewed at 30 percent that would be great. There is going to be a huge push to get as much done as pos- sible in the next year or so with the expectation that the ITC will drop to 10 percent. That activity and the pace at which these projects are being developed are creating effciencies in project development and installation. For example, some developers in NC are projecting to have achieved grid par- ity by 2016 as a result of drops in hard costs and effciencies in installation. So what we are going to see across the U.S. in the next several years is a huge run up in projects and devel- opment from now until 2016 followed by a cooling off peri-

od in early 2016 should the ITC not be renewed at 30 per- cent. During this “cooling off” period many believe there will be consolidation between some of the smaller developers and EPC frms.

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The Big Question

However in the long term it will really be benefcial because I think the desire is still out there for solar energy and consolidation will bring even more effciencies and scale to the market. Additionally, many states still have utilities under RPS mandates that they really need to hit. So while there may be a slowdown, there will be a rebalancing across the industry throughout the year while people fgure out the new world order. Generally speaking I don’t see the solar industry going away anytime soon, then again I’m a glass half-full kind of guy.

Mickey Toro, President C-TEC Solar, Connecticut As a developer of both residential and commercial PV projects, I feel that although we have come a long way with sustaining our industry with innova- tion, cost reductions and product improvements, the commercial development will suffer greatly without the tax credit remaining at 30 percent. Business owners view these projects very differently than homeowners and expect very different returns. When you are in business with budgets and forecasts and obviously running your business, you will not spend the time, effort or money on a separate “business opportunity” if it does not at least offer the same return as your everyday business. When the ITC goes down it will not offer the same opportunity therefore business owners, municipalities and fnanciers will not be interested. We need to extend the ITC.

Dr. Jeffery Lee Johnson, President Excelencia Solar, Mexico Solar globally will still do much better if there is no tax incentive. For exam- ple, PV hit grid parity in Jordan, UAE and MENA capacity is surging. The Mexican distributed generation market is growing by 300 percent. Domestic rates there hit grid parity two years ago and industrial tariffs will make grid parity by 2016 – 2017.

Steve Kahl, Former Director of Sustainability, Unity College, Maine

I agree that the industry should eventually wean itself off subsidies. But going from 30 percent ITC to 10 percent overnight in the U.S is a big problem for the industry in the short-term. Our government should recognize that a phase-out of the ITC makes more sense. Say, drop it by 5 percent per year until it is gone by 2022. Now with the GOP in power in Congress, one might think that the ITC has no chance of being extended, but Google this: in 5 states, the Tea Party has aligned with the solar industry to support solar incentives because it is good for employment and the economy. Let’s not give up on Congress extending a modifed ITC just yet.

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Ensuring Your Solar Array Doesn’t Get Caught in the Wind

Solar PV racking manufacturers explain the design considerations needed in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away.

in order to keep solar arrays from getting blown away. CHARLES W. THURSTON Solar power arrays

CHARLES W. THURSTON

Solar power arrays are often exposed to the worst weather that the planet can dish out, including hurricane force winds that can gust up to 200 miles per hour on the U.S. Eastern seaboard and on islands like Hawaii and Guam. Whether the solar panels are mounted on the roof, in a stationary ground array or in moving trackers, calculating wind load is a major factor in the system design. Wind is one of the most frequent causes of damage to solar arrays, said several industry offcials. In Spain, in the mid- dle of the last decade, several large dual-axis solar trackers failed as a result of wind, according to Dan Shugar, the CEO of NEXTracker, based in Fremont, CA. “But horizontal trackers as a category have been very reliable since then, so the solar

industry converged on the horizontal track as the best practical way to get energy gain, avoiding all the steel it would take to protect a dual- axis,” he said.

Designing To Withstand High Winds

Wind defection on solar trackers may be the most complicated design calcula- tion in crafting the product since the tracker parts move in a variety of directions

The SunLink Precision- Modular RMS aluminum system is available for 60 and 72-cell modules and 10 degree tilt. Credit: SunLink.

simultaneously. “If you don’t have a mitigation system, such as a torsion limiter or dampers, the wind can make an array oscillate wildly,” noted John Williamson, director of engi- neering at Array Technologies, based in Albuquerque. Various designs attempt to limit wind impact on trackers. “We have gone to a round tube unlike most others manufac- turers that use square or other shaped steel — so we pick up 30 percent more torsion- al strength,” said Shugar. “We also have gone with a balanced design,” he said, noting that the array will return to a stow or fat position under gravity. “And our stowing speed is fast — from full rotation to stow in one minute,” he said. “Since wind builds quickly, we want to stow quickly,” he added. It’s important to note that stowing may be a prescribed

Multiple DuraTrack HZ v3 tracker rows are connected by a rotary drive shaft and driven
Multiple DuraTrack HZ v3 tracker rows
are connected by a rotary drive shaft and
driven by a single industrial 2 HP, 3-phase
A/C motor. Each v3 motor can drive up to
28 rows of 80 modules each. Credit: Array
Technologies.

response to wind on the edge of a feld, and not be necessary within the more protected center. In fact, stowing a solar panel is not necessarily the best solution for a rapid build-up, others argue. “We’ve never relied on stow for our systems; we design for no stow. Wind forces on a tracker at a zero degree position still can have a signifcant load on the array and near-peak torque on the system,” pointed out Array Technology’s Williamson. “With our new V3 design, we have come up with a passive stow design and added a torsion limiting device that allows it to move to a position where there is less torsion on the array,” he said. “Our previous generation was typically built to 115 mph, but the worst- case install was built to handle up to 175 mph. This was prov- en in the feld at multiple sites including an installation located at the NREL Wind Technology Center, in Boulder, Colorado. The new version would be able to handle 135 mph standard, and similar- ly confgurable to withstand higher speeds,” he said. Wind micro- bursts, or downbursts, can cause winds up to 175 mph on dry land, so exposure to the wind is a given regardless of location. Since wind can affect the outer edges of a solar array feld much more intensely, outer rows need to be built to be both stiff- er and stronger. NEXTracker, for example, uses thicker steel on the outer rows to help design for this effect. Wind, nonetheless, is diffcult to predict. “What some solar companies assume is that wind continues to decrease the further that you get into an array, which is not necessarily the case. Arrays are in a turbulent layer of the atmosphere, and wind is very random and chaotic in nature,” said Williamson.

Testing and Analysis

Crunching the numbers for such wind variables requires a set of tools that includes both computer models and full-scale models. “Computational fuid dynamics will calculate wind load but nothing beats the wind tunnel from the standpoint that you are testing a scale model,” said Shugar. A host of wind tunnel test- ing facilities, including govern- ment labs, in the United States and Canada, permit the anal- ysis of a full-scale solar array to meet certifcation or build- ing code requirements. Some companies make extensive use of them. “We have an industry- leading 120 mph wind rating

Sol ar

“We have an industry- leading 120 mph wind rating Sol ar and are the only manufacturer

and are the only manufacturer we know of to conduct an in-tun- nel, full (dual) tracker wind load test. We wanted to demonstrate to the industry our design strength and commitment to engineer- ing a tracker that will withstand the elements,” noted Andrew Savage, the chief strategy offcer for AllEarth Renewables, based in Williston, VT. Array Technologies also has conducted extensive wind tunnel testing, including tests at the Langley Full-Scale Wind Tunnel, in Hampton, VA, which has since closed. Work there has been taken up by Old Dominion University’s Frank Batten College of Engi- neering and Technology, Norfolk, VA.

PV Wind Standards Still Emerging

Not all jurisdictions accept wind tunnel testing as suffcient, however. Until 2013, the city of Los Angeles, required tradition- al anchored mounting solutions for rooftops rather than non- penetrating ballasted designs, because the LA Department of Building and Safety did not accept wind tunnel data to justi- fy lower ballast requirements. It was not until PanelClaw became the frst mounting system company to have its full wind tunnel data results approved and permitted by LADBS for use in ballast

AllEarth Renewables conducted an in-tunnel, full (dual) tracker wind load test. Credit: AllEarth Renewables.
AllEarth Renewables conducted an
in-tunnel, full (dual) tracker wind load
test. Credit: AllEarth Renewables.
Sol ar Solar panel modules displaced by wind forces. Credit: CASE Foresnics. designs that the

Sol ar

Solar panel modules displaced by wind forces. Credit: CASE Foresnics.
Solar panel modules
displaced by wind forces.
Credit: CASE Foresnics.

designs that the regulation changed. The North Ando- ver, MA-based company’s Polar Bear Gen III ballasted design will withstand winds in excess of 120 mph, equal to a Category 3 hurricane. The solar industry follows wind load provisions that are currently promulgated by the American Society for Civil Engineers (ACSE), based in Reston, VA. The latest stan- dard is the 2013 ASCE/SEI 7-10. But that standard relates more to buildings than to solar arrays, several manu- facturers complain. In a 2012 statement to Renewable Ener- gy World, SunLink CEO Chris- topher Tilley said, “while there are established snow and seismic load standards that can be applied to PV sys- tems in a fairly straightfor- ward manner, there is very little guidance on wind loads. Engineers and permitting offcials have therefore been

left with the choice of applying the building code in ways not intended or accepting designs based on wind tunnel testing without a standard means to validate the testing approach or results. Neither method assures that appropriate wind design values are used.” The Underwriters Labora- tory, based in Northbrook, Ill., nominally covered wind load for PV installations in the 2015 ver- sion of UL 2703, but is also criticized for falling short. “UL 2703 has been good for the industry but it is not an absolute standard. Having a true code in place would level the playing feld by weed- ing out the companies that don’t address important safety and performance factors, such as wind and snow load testing, corro- sion testing and fre resistance,” said John Klinkman, VP of engi- neering at Applied Energy Technologies, in Clinton Township, MI. The Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), based in Sacramento, has done much work toward help- ing to set an industry standard for PV wind loading requirements, said Rob Ward, the chief structural engineer for SunLink. The SEAOC PV committee conducts on-going work in development of code change proposals to the wind design provisions in ASCE. The group has produced its own guidelines for wind load and solar,

Solar panel modules displaced by wind forces. Credit: CASE Foresnics.
Solar panel modules
displaced by wind forces.
Credit: CASE Foresnics.

including the most recent SEAOC PV2-2012, Wind Design for Low Profle Solar Photovoltaic Arrays on fat Roofs. SunLink began testing its line of PV products in 2006 with the help of Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory (BLWTL) at the University of Western Ontario, based in London, ONT. BLWTL has recently upgraded its facilities with four new wind tunnel control and data acquisition systems that allow for completely automated tests capturing data at speeds up to 100,000 samples per second each. SunLink ran 70 models and confgurations through more than 1,000 tests at the BLWTL lab, developing a unique database. The tests included variations in tilt angle, roof height, row spacing, building height, set-backs from the roof edge, and various defec- tor/shrouding strategies that are affected by wind. The company has shared this database with SEAOC, and as a result, the orga- nization is closer to developing a wind load norm with a broad industry consensus, Ward said. SunLink also worked with BLWTL and the engineering frm of

Sol ar

also worked with BLWTL and the engineering frm of Sol ar Rutherford & Chekene, based in

Rutherford & Chekene, based in San Francisco, Calif. to develop software that will help product designers test their designs against the standards of ACSE 7-10. While consistently strong, heavy winds are a blessing for wind farm owners, the same is not be true for PV sys- tem owners and operators. But with careful design consider- ations, increased focused on standards and technology that responds well to all wind loads, PV installation companies can ensure that their arrays will not be blown away.

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SOLAR POLICY

Is the Spanish Government Putting the Brakes on Solar PV?

Is the Spanish Government Putting the Brakes on Solar PV? Spain recently auctioned bids for renewable

Spain recently auctioned bids for renewable power capacity from wind and biomass, not solar PV. Are darker forces at play?

ILIAS TSAGAS, Contributor

Spain’s Ministry of Indus- try, Tourism and Transport announced this spring that it would hold an auction for the installation of 500 MW and 200 MW of new wind and biomass

power capacities, respectively. The date for the auction was not announced but it is expected that the call for submis- sions will be published in the State Offcial Bulletin in the near future. Bids for solar power capacity need not apply. The Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) was upset by the news and is currently working to have solar PV technology, which it called “the most competitive in the world,” includ- ed in the auction. “The attempted eradication of the pho- tovoltaic industry from the government does not have any explanation,” said Jorge Barredo, President of UNEF, adding that solar is highly competitive “not only between renewable energies, but also compared with traditional fossil fuels.” The exclusion of solar PV from the recent auction announcement was not the only blow against the solar PV sector. Pedro Palencia, energy policy director at UNEF explained that earlier this year Spain’s government announced an auction for new power capacity for the Canary Islands that only sought wind. The Canary Islands complex is located in the North West Africa and has the highest solar irradiation in Spain.

Self-Consumption “Sun Tax” In Te Making

There are other concerns regarding Spain’s current policy framework for the self-consumption of PV power and the lack of net-metering. The current self-consump- tion policy framework is very general and applies to both on- and off-grid systems. The government said it would publish the detailed regulations soon, adding that it is considering imposing a tariff that UNEF calls a “sun tax.” Effectively, this would mean that PV system owners will be taxed for the power they produce even if it is solely for their own use and not fed into

even if it is solely for their own use and not fed into Sun Edison project

Sun Edison project in Caravaca de la Cruz (near Murcia), Spain. Credit: UNEF.

Solar Policy the grid. UNEF said that a “sun tax” like that would make solar

Solar Policy

the grid. UNEF said that a “sun tax” like that would make solar uneconomical even for self- consumption. Net-metering, a policy found in almost all other Mediterranean coun- tries, including Portugal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus, is not available in Spain.

Italy, Greece and Cyprus, is not available in Spain. electricity transmission and distribution costs, renewable

electricity transmission and distribution costs, renewable and conventional ener-

gy subsidies and other regulated costs. All Spanish governments have been unwilling to pass the full costs on to customers, and the current situation has worsened due to a decrease in energy demand, the high costs of renewable subsi- dies and more specifcally a terribly wrong remuneration policy for solar PV systems in 2007 to 2012, said Robinson. According to Robinson, the accumulated debt, “accounts for about 55 percent of a typical customer’s electricity cost, with the remaining 45 percent associated with the wholesale price of energy.” UNEF’s Palencia confrms this. “The actual costs covering the electricity generation in Spain count for less than half of the con- sumer’s electricity bill and vary according to the power pric- es. The biggest chunk of the electricity bill covers a huge list of other costs, non-related to the fuctuating power prices of the wholesale market. Such fxed

Large solar installation in Spain. Credit: UNEF.

Te Flawed Spanish Energy Market

The Spanish energy sector faces serious problems stem- ming from caps on retail elec- tricity prices, which have lead to market distortions. According to David Robin- son of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, since 2001 the Spanish electricity sys- tem has accumulated a €30 billion defcit resulting from inadequate tariffs that were not high enough to cover

from inadequate tariffs that were not high enough to cover costs are set by the government,

costs are set by the government, which aims to increase them further,” Palencia said. “Under these circumstances, we [UNEF] don’t see how self-consump- tion can become competitive in Spain,” Palencia remarked.

This article continues online. Click here to read it.

Solar on a residence in Spain. Credit: UNEF.

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SOLAR FINANCE Making a Match: How Solar Companies and Banks Hook Up Solar installation or

SOLAR FINANCE

Making a Match: How Solar Companies and Banks Hook Up

Solar installation or EPC companies often partner up with a bank to secure fnancing for their projects. Here’s how they do it.

secure fnancing for their projects. Here’s how they do it. JENNIFER RUNYON, Chief Editor The a

JENNIFER RUNYON, Chief Editor

The announcements are fairly frequent: SunPower Partners with Admirals Bank for $200 Million Solar Loan Program, Deutsche Bank to Lend $1 Billion for Japanese Solar Projects, Financing Partnerships Drive North Carolina’s Solar Boom. The reasons for the deals are clear. Solar developers need money to build projects and rather than going to the bank again and again with deal after deal, it makes sense to have a fnancing partner and a set of criteria you need to meet already in place so that you can be sure the money will

materialize when you need it. Indeed, as the indus- try continues to mature and especially in light of a 10 per- cent ITC set to go into effect at the end of 2016 for com- mercial projects, fnding a secure, reliable fnancing partner may just be what makes or breaks a solar developer or EPC company.

Finding a match. Credit Shutterstock.
Finding a match.
Credit Shutterstock.

Getting Squeezed from Both Sides

Scott Wiater, president of Standard Solar, explained that in the traditional third-party ownership model his company was getting pinched on either side of their deals. Basically Standard Solar would develop a project for a host, such as a municipality or a corporation, and then set up fnancing with another entity. “We would go to somebody like NRG or Washington Gas and Electric and we would basically devel- op and build the project,” he said, adding “since we are a developer and also an EPC we would [then] package that up and partner with somebody like SunEdison who would fnance the project and then we would provide the O&M on the backside.” Wiater believes there isn’t anything wrong with this approach and proj- ects will continue to be struc- tured like that going forward. For Standard Solar, how- ever, problems were start- ing to arise. “Just being in the middle of that transaction we were getting squeezed both on the customer side — the host side where we have to come up with the low PPA rate — but also on the fnanc- ing side where the fnancing companies are putting more and more of the risk back down on us as the EPC while

more and more of the risk back down on us as the EPC while The 865-kW

The 865-kW solar project on the Knorr Brake Corporation manufacturing facility in Westminster, Maryland developed by Standard Solar. Credit Standard Solar.

they are enjoying their return with less risk.” In an effort to fx this issue, Standard Solar went out and sought project fnance partners. “We decided that to create more shareholder value we should develop our own fund in house and that is what brought us to where we are today.” In early July, Standard Solar announced a brand new $250 mil- lion fund comprised of construction debt, term debt, tax equity and sponsor equity. The fund is the frst of its kind in the C&I (commer- cial and industrial) space and will enable Standard Solar to close projects more quickly, effciently and with lower costs. “We brought in the whole capital stack so we have a debt provider that provides the construction debt which then fips to long-term debt when we place it in service and we have a tax-equity investor that provides all the tax equity,” Wiater explained. What’s more, because there are three partners involved, Standard has more fexibility going for- ward. “Because we control so much of the deal, we have several levers we can pull to be very competitive: whether that is our asset management fee, our O&M fee, our EPC fee, we have many pieces of the pie that we can get aggressive on,” he said.

Courtship and Marriage

Matt Wright is senior vice president at National Cooperative Bank (NCB) and oversees the bank’s renewable energy group. NCB has

Solar Finance been lending money into the solar industry since before the crash of 2008

Solar Finance

been lending money into the solar industry since before the crash of 2008 and is on track to lend upwards of $400 million into the solar space by the end of this year. He explained that for NCB, the commercial solar space offers attractive, stable returns. After the 2008 crash, Wright said the market was “lumpy” and his group didn’t put any money into the market, but once the crisis was over that changed. “When we came back, we looked at all of our businesses and said ‘you

know, the solar line of business has been rock solid. It’s been great.’ So we just started making a renewed commitment to it,” he said. Wright said he primarily fnds companies to work with through word of mouth and that once he fnds a reliable part- ner, he tries to do repeat deals. “We try to fnd a couple of devel- opers a year that we can work with and try to achieve scale,” he said. NCB has been working with Strata Solar to build projects in North Carolina with Duke as the offtaker. To date they have done about 30 deals together, he said. “We have a great relation- ship with them,” he added. “Those are the kinds of things we try to duplicate.” Wright meets potential partners at shows or through word of mouth. “Chances are you would meet me at a conference or you would hear me speak,” he said. While it isn’t as simple as Match.com, Wiater likens fnd- ing a fnancing partner, especially for a huge deal like the one

The 6.4-MW Arndt solar farm developed by Strata Solar. Credit: Strata Solar.

The 5-MW solar project at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission developed by Standard Solar. Credit
The 5-MW solar project at the
Washington Suburban Sanitary
Commission developed by Standard
Solar. Credit Standard Solar.

Standard Solar just announced, to courting. “There’s a dating period where everybody gets to know each other and then [if] the chemistry is there, we decide to go to the next step and get engaged,” he said. It’s during the engagement that all of the due diligence takes place, which is a very long, very costly process. “We think it’s going to cost just in legal expenses somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000,” he explained. Robert Banaski, chief administrative offcer with Admirals Bank, which provides fnancing for residential solar projects agrees that large deals take a long time to execute. For exam- ple, in 2014, the bank announced a $200 million fnancing com- mitment that would be available for SunPower’s residential solar customers. The deal was the product of “a series of meetings to investigate SunPower’s needs and couple them with a fnancing product,” he explained. According to Banaski most solar installers are able to offer Admirals fnancing to their customers. Further, Admirals has a channel program that allows pre-qualifed solar install- ers to offer its Fast Track Loan Program to potential custom- ers much in the same way car dealerships offer fnancing to car buyers. Installation companies that may not ft the criteria for the fast track program can still offer their customers fnanc- ing through the FHA Title I program. “What is nice about our loan programs is we have a wide array of product offerings that meet the many needs of our customers throughout the country,” Banaksi said.

Solar Finance

throughout the country,” Banaksi said. Solar Finance On partnering, Banaski said a conversaton might take place

On partnering, Banaski said a conversaton might take place between the bank and the dealer on the bank’s prod- uct suite, to determine which one would ft with the dealer and its customer base. With Admirals there is a nation- al business development team that seeks potential solar companies to do busi- ness with. “We have a large account team both inside, and outside, the organization that develops new business oppor- tunities,” he said. Banaski, Standard Solar’s Wiater and NCB’s Wright all agree that attending conferences and network- ing are extremely impor- tant for making connections in the solar industry. They also agree that solar growth won’t be throttled anytime soon. Wright explains, “you know we’re just excited about this [the solar industry] as a bank.” Once other banks or large insurance companies who might want to purchase loans from NCB get over their initial concerns about solar, “they realize that once it’s up an running, there is very lit- tle risk,” he said, adding, “if it was engineered proper- ly and you are working with reputable developers, install- ers and managers, these things are just built to work. And long term.”

Western Sahara (under UN mandate) POWERING THE VAST MOROCCO 98.9% TUNISIA 99.5% ALGERIA 99.3% AFRICAN

Western

Sahara

(under UN

mandate)

POWERING THE VAST

MOROCCO

98.9%

TUNISIA

99.5%

ALGERIA

99.3%

AFRICAN

THE VAST MOROCCO 98.9% TUNISIA 99.5% ALGERIA 99.3% AFRICAN CONTINENT LIBYA 1 0 0 % EGYPT

CONTINENT

LIBYA

100%

EGYPT

99.6%

CAPE

VERDE

67.0%

MAURITANIA

18.2%

MALI

16.6%

NIGER

9.3%

SUDAN

29.0%

ERITREA

32.5%

SENEGAL

56.5%

CHAD

3.5%

THE GAMBIA

31.0%

BURKINA FASO

13.1%

DJIBOUTI

49.7%

GUINEA

20.2%

BENIN

27.9%

GUINEA-BISSAU

57.0%

GHANA

60.5%

NIGERIA

48.0%

SIERRA LEONE

12.1%

CÔTE

D’IVOIRE

SOUTH SUDAN

1.5%

UGANDA

14.6%

RWANDA

10.8%

BURUNDI

5.3%

ETHIOPIA

23.0%

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

9.5%

DEMOCRATIC

REPUBLIC OF

CONGO

15.2%

TOGO

27.9%

LIBERIA

4.1%

58.9%

CAMEROON

53.7%

SOMALIA

29.2%

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

29.2%

GABON

81.6%

KENYA

19.2%

SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE

56.9%

REPUBLIC OF CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE)

37.1%

SEYCHELLES

29.2%

PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION WITH ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY BY COUNTRY

Cabinda

(Ang.)

ANGOLA

34.6%

ZAMBIA

18.5%

TANZANIA

14.8%

MALAWI

8.7%

COMOROS

48.3%

Mayotte

(Fr.)

Percent of population with access to electricity, 2010

60.0

– 100%

40.0

– 59.9%

20.0

– 39.9%

10.0

– 19.9%

Less than 10%

NAMIBIA

43.7%

MOZAMBIQUE

15.0%

ZIMBABWE

36.9%

MADAGASCAR

14.3%

BOTSWANA

43.1%

SWAZILAND

35.2%

SOUTH

AFRICA

LESOTHO

82.7%

17.0%

MAURITIUS

100%

Réunion

(Fr.)

CREDIT: AEEP Status Report 2014

The difference between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is no starker than the comparison between access to energy in the developed world and the developing world. The percentage of the population with access to energy in the countries

that make up this region is extraordinarily low as outlined in the map.

Both the U.S. and the EU have announced huge initiatives aimed at doubling energy generation and access in Africa by 2020, and each

has multiple banks and organizations in place to help the private sector develop power projects in every African country.

There will be a session about the Power Africa Initiative at Renewable Energy World Conference

ELECTRICITY GENERATION IN EACH AFRICAN COUNTRY

IN TERAWATT-HOURS (TWH) BY SOURCE

in December. Click here

CCCCCCCCClllliiiccccckkkkkkkk hhhhhhh eeeeeeerrrrrreeeeeee

http://wwweeeeeeerrrrr.renewableenergyworld-events.com/conference/renewables-in-the-developing-world-track.htm

for more information.

Coal Gas Hydroelectric Oil Nuclear Wind Biomass and waste Geothermal Solar tide wave

South Africa

239.166

and waste Geothermal Solar tide wave South Africa 239.166 Egypt 152.914 Algeria 53.795 Libyan Arab Cameroon

Egypt

152.914

Solar tide wave South Africa 239.166 Egypt 152.914 Algeria 53.795 Libyan Arab Cameroon 6.145

Algeria

Algeria

53.795

Libyan Arab

Cameroon 6.145

Cameroon

6.145

Jamahiriya

27.908

Morocco

Côte d'Ivoire5.986

5.986

26.101

Nigeria

Angola5.774

5.774

26.065

Mozambique

Ethiopia5.442

5.442

17.762

Tunisia

16.022

United Republic of Tanzania 5.286

of Tanzania

5.286

Zambia

Senegal 2.818

Senegal

2.818

12.047

Ghana

Malawi 1.929

Malawi

1.929

11.401

Democratic Republic

8.310

Gabon 1.755

Gabon

1.755

of the Congo

Kenya

Namibia 1.687

Namibia

1.687

7.909

Zimbabwe

Uganda 1.536

Uganda

1.536

7.456

Sudan

Congo 1.307

Congo

1.307

7.334

Réunion

Réunion

Réunion

0.923

Lesotho

Lesotho

Lesotho

0.746

Madagascar

Madagascar

Madagascar

0.736

Mauritius

Mauritius

Mauritius

0.584

Guinea

Guinea

Guinea

0.554

Botswana

Botswana

Botswana

0.350

Mali

Mali

Mali

0.320

Eritrea

Eritrea

0.317

Swaziland

Swaziland

0.160

Burundi

Burundi

0.160

 

Central African

Republic

Republic

0.160

Benin

0.146

Rwanda

0.139

Mauritania

0.139

Togo

0.111

Sierra Leone

0.107

Burkina Faso

0.086

Sao Tome

and Principe

0.011

Equatorial Guinea

0.007

Cape Verde

0.007

Equatorial Guinea

0.007

0.005

CREDIT: The Shift Project

CChttp://www.theshiftproject.orgRRREEEDDDIT:: TTThe Shhiftt PProj ecct

WIND POWER Did You Hear That? Reducing Construction Noise at Offshore Wind Farms Building an

WIND POWER

Did You Hear That?

Reducing Construction Noise at Offshore Wind Farms

That? Reducing Construction Noise at Offshore Wind Farms Building an ofshore wind farm can create quite

Building an ofshore wind farm can create quite an underwater racket as monopiles are driven into the seafoor. Monitoring and mitigation of noise is important in order to adhere to environmental regulations that are designed to keep marine wildlife safe.

HOLLY WATERMAN, Baker Consultants

Marine mammal monitoring and underwater noise mitiga- tion is an integral part of the development of offshore wind farms, which, along with many other developments, generate underwater noise that can negatively impact marine mam- mals. For instance, servicing vessels used during construction and operation can generate continuous noise at low frequen- cies, which overlap with the communication signals of many marine mammals, such as baleen whales. In fact, each oper- ation in the development of offshore wind farms has its own acoustic signature that must be identified and quantified in order to assess its impacts on species present in the area. The introduction of noise into the marine environment is a major concern, given that numerous marine species including dolphins and porpoises rely on sound as their principal means of communication and navigation. Noise can be particularly disruptive in the marine environment because sound travels great distances through water. Fur- ther, although some of the impacts of underwater noise on marine mammals and fish have been quantified into specific

3636 JULY/AUGUSTJULY/AUGUST 20152015

RENEWABLERENEWABLE ENERGYENERGY WORLDWORLD MAGAZINEMAGAZINE

thresholds that cause hear- ing loss, either permanent- ly or temporarily, and noise thresholds set according- ly, the thresholds that lead to changes in behaviour and wider population impacts are still largely unknown.

Regulation

The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)

The pectoral fin of a Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Credit: Shutterstock.
The pectoral fin of a Humpback
whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).
Credit: Shutterstock.

requires member states to achieve Good Environmental Status of their seas by 2020 and part of it includes a criterion specifying that underwater noise such as what is generated during offshore wind farm installation, should be at levels that do not adversely affect the marine environment. Two recent offshore wind farms — Borkum Riffgrund 1, which just begun exporting power, and Gode Wind 1 and 2, which is currently under construction and has marine mammal monitoring and underwater noise mitigation in place — are based in German waters in the North Sea. The German govern- ment’s BSH (Bundesamt FÜr Seeschifffahrt und hydrographie) maritime agency has established strict noise thresholds for

Sound Exposure Level (SEL), which must not be exceeded during piling activities. Consequently, an SEL limit of 160 dB re 1 µPa2 s outside a 750-meter radius for pile- driving operations appears in the licence conditions for offshore wind farms. In order for the govern- ment to approve monopile foundations for offshore wind

RENEWABLERENEWABLE ENERGYENERGY WORLDWORLD MAGAZINEMAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUSTJULY/AUGUST 20152015

3737

Wind PoWer Noise Mitigation at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm. Credit: DONG Energy,

Wind PoWer

Wind PoWer Noise Mitigation at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm. Credit: DONG Energy, KIRBI

Noise Mitigation at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm. Credit: DONG Energy, KIRBI A/S and Wommian

Demant Invest A/S.

farms, evidence that under- water noise has remained below this threshold must be given at set intervals during installation before approval is given for any future instal- lations. In the case of Borkum Riffgrund 1, the licence initial- ly only allowed the installation of the first 12 monopiles, with consent for additional mono- piles subject to the outcome of noise measurements.

How It Works

These two large offshore wind farm projects in the North Sea, with 77 and 97 turbines respectively, needed evidence that noise thresholds were met and required mon- itoring of marine mammal activity (harbour porpoises in

both instances) via passive acoustic record- ers during wind turbine foundation instal- lation. It was also necessary to assess the effciency of the noise mitigation strate- gy which in both cases, used the IHC Noise Mitigation System. For Borkum Riffgrund 1, a methods state- ment for the monitoring campaign was drafted and approved by the German gov- ernment in the early phases of the project. After that the installation company (GeoSea), the piling company (IHC Hydrohammer) and the consent managers at DONG Energy were monitored to ensure mitigation protocols were followed and given advice on optimiz- ing the piling strategy to minimize noise. The weather played a role in the project.

Servicing of acoustic recorders in the North Sea is challenging when a specific sched- ule must be adhered to, particularly in winter, as the instruments used are very sensitive. To ensure safe working conditions and avoid accidents, servicing must usually be carried out in sea state 2 or lower, which meant that most servicing had to be completed before weather conditions changed, whilst simultaneously fitting

weather conditions changed, whilst simultaneously fitting Construction of the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm.

Construction of the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm. Credit:

DONG Energy, KIRBI A/S and Wommian Demant Invest A/S.

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Wind PoWer Pingers like these are used for marine mammal deterrence. Credit: Baker Consultants.
Wind PoWer
Pingers like these are used for
marine mammal deterrence.
Credit: Baker Consultants.

around the piling schedule to ensure no data was lost.

Acoustic Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy

At Borkum Riffgrund 1, Pas- sive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) devices were installed at set distances from each monopile and rotated on a regular basis, following the BSH guidance. PAM devic- es measure noise and record porpoise activity in the area. A part of the acoustic mon- itoring included an innova- tive method for monitoring

porpoise activity using full-spectrum recorders instead of click detectors. This allowed investigation of the data waveforms to minimize uncertainty in the results. Specialist bioacousticians designed automatic classifiers to detect the porpoise clicks more efficiently and the results were manually inspected and verified by experienced observers. The aim of the mitigation strategy was to reduce the underwa- ter noise and keep harbor porpoises outside of the piling zone. Overarching guidance on noise mitigation traditionally follows three separate lines of approach: material noise control mea- sures along the propagation path, at the receiver and at the noise source location; and modification of operational procedures. In the cases of Borkum Riffgrund 1 and Gode Wind (and other similar projects), the vast area of the underwater environment affected by localized, noise-producing activities negates the option of using the first noise mitigation strategy, as this would not meet best practicable means (BPM). Therefore, material control

Baker Consultants at work performing passive acoustic monitoring for noise. Credit: Baker Consultants.
Baker Consultants at work performing
passive acoustic monitoring for noise.
Credit: Baker Consultants.

measures were adopted at the source of noise and involved the use of the IHC Noise Mitigation System, which is a double walled cyl- inder filled with a bubble layer, to ensure that the right trade-off

Wind PoWer

bubble layer, to ensure that the right trade-off Wind PoWer between piling energy and blow count

between piling energy and blow count was attained. Operation procedures, too, were modified through the adoption of a “ramp-up” pro- cedure. This procedure was used as a mitigation measure (along with the acoustic deter- rent devices) to warn marine mammals about the upcom- ing anthropogenic activity and encourage them to leave.

Costs

Monitoring underwater noise can be extremely challenging and the costs of these survey

[continued on page 53]

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GEOTHERMAL

Energy Storage and Geothermal Markets Look To Team Up in the Hunt for Lithium

As the lithium-ion battery market heats up, developers are seeing exciting opportunities to extract sought- after lithium from spent geothermal brine.

MEG CICHON, Associate Editor

from spent geothermal brine. MEG CICHON, Associate Editor In today’s fast-paced tech envi- ronment, no one

In today’s fast-paced tech envi- ronment, no one can make a splash quite like Elon Musk. So when he decided to enter the energy storage game in 2014, he did it with gusto. Musk is

now in the process of building what he coined a “gigafacto- ry,” which is a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Nevada. Of course, the plant is being built at such an eff- cient pace that its ahead of schedule and is now set to start production in 2016. Since the gigafactory plans were revealed, Musk has continued to wow the industry with announcements like the unveiling of Powerwall, a residential storage system that pairs with rooftop solar, which can be fnanced and installed by his other company that you may have already heard of, SolarCity. Musk has certainly shined a light on the lithium-ion battery, and analysts expect the industry grow at an exor- bitant clip within the next few years alone. However, big growth like this does not come without its challenges, and in this case, some industry insid- ers have begun murmuring about resource concerns. “If you take a look at [lithium] sup- ply and demand dynamics over the next few years, [in] 2015, you’re already looking at a possible supply of 300,000 tons and possible demand of 480,000

b l e d e m a n d o f 4 8 0 , 0

The Salton Sea. Credit: Shutterstock.

Geothermal tons,” according to Alix Steel of Bloomberg. “We are seeing a 7-10 percent annual

Geothermal

tons,” according to Alix Steel of Bloomberg. “We are seeing a 7-10 percent annual growth for demand, so we would not have enough lithium as proj- ects stand right now.” However, Steel also said that there are more than 13 million tons of lithium reserves — plenty to satisfy our growing need — but the problem is extraction: it takes lots of time and, in some cases, lots of money. Lithium is commonly

minerals. Though it is relatively low-cost, the evaporation pro- cess can take up to two years and it is diffcult to get most of the lithium out of the brine. In order to avoid this process, some developers have turned to the Salton Sea in Imperial Valley, California, which sits on a mas- sive geothermal resource. If developed, it could potentially unlock nearly 3 gigawatts (GW) of capacity. Developers have taken notice, and the Imperial Irrigation District has created a plan to develop 1.7 GW by 2032 — if they can get some fnancial backing. While it sounds like a no-brainer, the project faces several hurdles, includ- ing a lack of transmission and long permitting processes. What does this have to do with lithium? While the Salton Sea has huge geothermal potential, it’s also considered one of the world’s most mineral-rich environments, and developers have taken notice. To pair these two resources, several companies around the world have created a

lithium extraction process from geothermal brine. This technol- ogy allows companies to bypass the traditional evaporation pro- cess, because once a geothermal plant uses up hot brine to pro- duce energy, rather than pump- ing it back into the ground, this new technology snaps it up. Then, using a series of flters and absorption techniques, it separates materials, and even- tually extracts lithium. One company that has caused quite a stir in the U.S. is Simbol Materials, which has demon- strated this technology’s viabil-

49.9-MW John L. Featherstone geothermal plant, which was a 2012 winner of the Renewable Energy World Project of the Year Awards partly due to this innovative technology. “The Salton Sea geothermal feld is among the world’s larg- est and highest temperature resources because it lies directly inside an active plate tectonic boundary,” said ACORE’s Dennis

Geothermal power plant Generator Packaging Steam Turbine Product conversion CO 2 CO 2 Cooling tower
Geothermal power plant
Generator
Packaging
Steam
Turbine
Product conversion
CO 2
CO 2
Cooling
tower
Water
H 2 O
Brine
Separation
H 2 O
Steam Brine
Return
Geothermal zone
Production
Injection
well
well

Graphic: Simbol Materials lithium extraction process. Credit: Simbol

Materials.

extracted from either hard rock via an energy-intensive roasting and leeching pro- cess, or from salty brines. The brine is laid out in pools where it evaporates, leav- ing behind lithium and other

Geothermal

Geothermal The John L. Featherstone Plant in California. Credit: Geothermal Resources Council. McGinn during a press
Geothermal The John L. Featherstone Plant in California. Credit: Geothermal Resources Council. McGinn during a press

The John L. Featherstone Plant in California. Credit: Geothermal Resources Council.

McGinn during a press call. “In addition to generating thermal power, Salton Sea geothermal brines are well-known for their exceptionally high concentrations of minerals. These minerals include lithium, manganese and zinc, which are important to battery and energy storage technology, and are truly a national strategic asset.” Simbol has since produced the world’s frst battery grade Li2Co3 lithium from geothermal brine. The company said that it is currently able to process 6 gallons of brine per minute, but it believes it can increase to 6,000 gallons per minute to produce more than 15,000 tons of battery-grade lithium per year. Salton Sea initiative supporters are hoping that this extrac- tion technology coupled with the growing demand for lithium in nearby Nevada, and Musk’s desire to only use materials pro- duced in the U.S. will bring an extra incentive to develop more geothermal plants, and ultimately boost the local economy and protect the environment. In fact, Simbol was reportedly planning to build a commer- cial-scale plant that would create to up to 150 permanent jobs in an employment-weary area, according to The Desert Sun. How- ever, it couldn’t happen soon enough and in early 2015, the com- pany laid off the majority of its employees citing fnancial diff- culties, leaving its bright future in question.

Meanwhile, other regions are investigating the viabili- ty of this technology, includ- ing geothermal-rich New Zealand. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment commissioned a two-year study to determine if and how mineral extraction could succeed. The April 2015 report stated that though “the composition and volume of geothermal fuids in New Zea- land also offers considerable potential for the extraction of various metals and minerals,” the report questions the tech- nology’s economic viability. “While extracting prod- ucts from geothermal fuids is technically feasible, positive economics is the key driver for commercial success.”

project

Profling Stand-out Renewable Energy Projects Worldwide

The PV Salvador Solar Project

Located near Diego de Almagro in Chile, the PV Salvador project delivers energy to the Siste- ma Interconectado Central grid, where it is sold on the spot mar- ket in direct competition with traditional sources of electricity without government subsidies. Salvador is jointly owned by Etrion, Total and Solventus Energías Renovables; the major- ity fnancing was done through non-recourse project debt from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); and it was built by SunPower on approxi- mately 328 acres leased from the Chilean government.

Credit: @Total – Laurent Zylberman.
Credit: @Total – Laurent Zylberman.
Credit: @Total – Laurent Zylberman.
Credit: @Total – Laurent Zylberman.

By the Numbers

70mw

solar

power

capacity

160,000

SunPower modules

jobs created

during

300

construction

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HYDROPOWER DAVID APPLEYARD, Contributor The earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015 left Kathmandu city
HYDROPOWER
DAVID APPLEYARD, Contributor
The earthquake that struck Nepal
in April 2015 left Kathmandu city
in ruins. Credit: My Good Images /
Shutterstock.com.

Mini-hydro Making A Big Impact on Nepalese Power

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April, development of its 83 GW of hydropower potential has emerged as a key opportunity for rebuilding a country that was already struggling to meet its electricity demand.

developing nations, even before the magnitude 7.9 earthquake hit, Nepal was subject to signifcant load shedding, with rolling black- outs right across the country for some 12 or more hours a day. With a number of exist- ing hydropower projects dam- aged in the seismic event,

Renowned for its vast hydropower resources, the Himalayan nation of Nepal has nonetheless long struggled to meet its growing power demand. Now though, the devastating earth- quake that struck the country in April 2015 is placing even more emphasis on the development of hydropower at a range of scales. The quake not only killed an estimated 8,000 people and destroyed parts of the country, it also had a profound effect on the national infrastructure. As one of the world’s poorest

capacity margins have fallen still further. Putting this in context, the latest available fgures from the Nepal Electricity Author- ity (NEA) — from its 2014 annual report — reveal a peak power demand estimat- ed at 1201 MW, which refect- ed a growth of almost 10 per- cent over the previous year. However, the peak generating capacity was just 791 MW, leaving a 410 MW estimated shortfall — something over 20 percent. [See sidebar for more information on electrici- ty in Nepal today.] Raghuveer Sharma, Chief Investment Offcer of IFC, explained that a sizeable por- tion of the current installed capacity of Nepal consists of small hydropower projects and with the earthquake hav- ing damaged larger hydro- power projects, the coun- try has set further focus on

One of the many rivers in Nepal. Credit: Shutterstock.

small and micro-hydropower development. “As many as 2000 MW capacity worth new power purchase agreements (PPAs) have been signed, which goes to show the potential and promise of small hydropower projects,” he said. For example, last May the World Bank Group signed off on $84.6 million in fnancing for the Kabeli-A Hydroelectric Project — a peaking run-of-river hydroelectric plant with an installed capacity of 37.6 MW. It will be built in Panchthar district in the east of Nepal together with the Kabeli Corridor Transmission Line, a separate project under construction that also has World Bank fnancing. Key to the development of Nepal’s hydropower potential is the issue of fnance. But this is not insurmountable, said Shar- ma. “Attracting fnance for hydropower projects is not depen- dent on size of the project whether small, medium or large. Rath- er, it is the bankability of the project that determines fnancing. The bankability criteria include techno-economic, environmen- tal, social, legal and commercial aspects. Each of these has risks inherent in them, and it is how the risks are assessed and miti- gated that determines bankability.” Sharma said that access to transmission is also key: “If small hydropower projects are near a transmission line, they become more viable,” he said, adding that needing to build out transmis- sion could mean that capital costs “render the projects unviable.”

Small and Smaller Still

Micro- and pico-hydro plants of a few tens of kW upwards are also attracting interest where transmission system connection is

Hydropower Electricity in Nepal Today Nepal has an annual energy demand estimated at 5910 GWh,

Hydropower

Electricity in Nepal Today Nepal has an annual energy demand estimated at 5910 GWh, of
Electricity in Nepal Today
Nepal has an annual energy demand estimated at 5910 GWh, of
which only 4632 GWh could be supplied. Nevertheless, Nepal
continued to export power to India last year. NEA fgures give
2013-2014 sales to India as 3.32 GWh, down from the 3.6 GWh
exported in the previous year.
While this may seem paradoxical, power sales represent
a valuable — if not vital — source of revenue for the national
treasury coffers. In fact, just two weeks prior to the earthquake
— Nepal’s investment board cleared China Three Gorges Corp to
build a new $1.6 billion 750-MW hydropower project on the West
Seti River.
Of the available generating capacity actually supplied, 436.4
MW came from NEA-owned hydropower plants, 22 MW from
state-owned thermal capacity and 216.4 MW was generated by
hydropower from independent power producers. The rest was
imported from neighboring India, which supplied something on the
order of 20 percent of Nepal’s total power demand over the year.
According to the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre of
Nepal, about 85 percent of the total energy consumption in
Nepal is met through traditional biomass. The rest is met through
imported commercial sources such as petroleum and diesel.
Out of the total biomass, frewood contributes about 89 percent,
animal waste 7 percent and the remaining 4 percent from
agricultural residues. ◑

unlikely even in the longer term. With an inclusive communi-

ty-driven model, micro-hydro initiatives in Nepal are meeting the energy needs of rural communities and powering econom-

ic development.

To date, the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) has facilitated the construction of more than 1,000 micro-hydro

plants in 52 districts under the auspices of the National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP) launched in 2012.

A consortium of fve governments, two multilateral banks and

three intergovernmental organizations support the US $184

million budget to execute this fve-year program that aims install close to 7,000 kW of micro-hydro capacity. Among the micro and pico- hydro fnancing projects administered by AEPC are the Micro Hydro Debt Fund (MHDF), which is support- ed by GIZ, the German devel- opment bank. Initially bud- geted at EU €500,000 and later increased by €42,000, the fund envisages more than 400 kW of additional capaci- ty to bring electricity to about 19,000 individuals. Further, in 2012 AEPC — with the support from United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and UNDP — launched its Clean Start pro- gram. The program plans to invest US $1.3 million over a period of four years (2012- 2015) to develop business models for scaling up microf- nance. By the end of the pro- gram, more than 150,000 low-income households will have access to energy. Similarly, a program called Scaling up Renewable Ener- gy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP) aims to provide electricity access to 250,000 households through 30 MW of mini/micro hydro- power. Further, the Micro Hydro Village Electrifcation Program (MHVEP) is anoth- er joint initiative of AEPC and

Hydropower Rice fields around the Nepalese village of Shivalaya. Only some 5 percent of Nepal’s
Hydropower
Rice fields around the Nepalese village
of Shivalaya. Only some 5 percent of
Nepal’s rural population has access to
grid electricity. Credit: Shutterstock.

the World Bank and fund- ed by the Power Development Fund (PDF). During 2012-2013, the lat- est year for which fgures are available, some 133 pico- and micro-hydro projects with a total capacity of 3.2 MW were supported. Further- more, an additional 125 proj- ects are under construction with a combined capacity of 4.3 MW. There are around 42 small hydropower projects current- ly operating in Nepal with a combined capacity of some 16.3 MW. These projects are joined by around 1300 micro- hydro plants with a combined output of more than 24 MW and some 1600 pico hydro- power plants generating 3.7 MW, collectively.

However, the NEA noted that hydro alone “is not suffcient to minimize load shedding,” and added “other probable sourc- es of renewable energy, including solar power will [need to] be connected to the national grid.” In December the World Bank approved a US $130 million credit for the Nepal Grid Solar and Energy Effciency Project. The project aims to increase electricity supply to the national grid through grid-connected solar, which should reduce distribution losses. It includes the design, sup- ply, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of grid-connected solar, with a total capacity of 25 MWp. As Johannes Zutt, the World Bank country director for Nepal, had previously observed: “Nepal will need rapid and sustained growth to continue reducing extreme poverty and increase the incomes of the bottom 40 percent [of the population]. This will require the country to boost investment and narrow a mas- sive infrastructure gap, which is the single most important con- straint to growth.” It seems clear that while Nepal’s massive hydro resources do offer an attractive route to lift much of the population beyond energy poverty and reliance on bioenergy for domestic heating and lighting, the needs of this developing country are such that other renewable energy technologies will also experience a sig- nifcant uptick in growth in the coming years. The key, as ever, is in achieving a market for attractive and sustainable fnance.

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Renewable Energy Training Events

Here is a sampling of training institutions that offer renewable energy educational events and certificate programs throughout the year. Visit their websites to see specific dates, locations and topics offered. Many universities and community colleges also offer renewable energy training programs.

Forecasting & Modeling the Future Energy Mix Green Power Conferences London, UK 20-24 July 2015

Solar PV Mastery Training Kaplan Clean Tech Education Arlington, TX, USA 20-25 July

Renewable Energy and Communication Tower Technician Program Airstreams Renewables Tehachapi, CA, USA 3 August – 11 September

Introduction to Wind Systems Midwest Renewable Energy Association Online 27 July – 23 August

Design & Install Grid Connect Photovoltaic Systems Global Sustainable Energy Solutions Sydney, Australia 22-24 July

Solar PV Mastery Combo everblue Los Angeles, California 3-7 August (Other US locations and dates available)

Wind Power The European Energy Centre Edinburgh Napier University 29-30 July

Hydropower Financing and Project Economy The International Centre for Hydropower Trondheim, Norway 19-23 October Application deadline: 7 August

Free Course: PV Project Development Using RETScreen 4 Heatspring and Renewable Energy World Online On-demand

If you would like your training event to considered for inclusion in this listing, please email REWNews@Pennwell.com subject line: Education and Training.

[continued from page 41] techniques have to be balanced with the added value of gathering
[continued from page 41]
techniques have to be balanced with the added
value of gathering this information. However, in
recent years, the technology available for mon-
itoring underwater noise and marine mam-
mal presence has improved dramatically, with
several affordable and good quality instru-
ments now readily available. This means there
are now multiple ways in which surveys can
be conducted, depending on individual needs.
Most importantly, instruments are now avail-
able that allow the monitoring of sound under-
water both short and long term, autonomously
or from a boat, and allow real-time data trans-
mission to a remote location.
As Passive Acoustic Monitoring requires
minimal human intervention and can be used
when weather conditions are highly adverse, it
therefore reduces time and costs over more tra-
ditional methods. ◑
Holly Waterman is a communications manag-
er with Baker Consultants, based in the UK.
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RENEWABLERENEWABLE ENERGYENERGY WORLDWORLD MAGAZINEMAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUSTJULY/AUGUST 20152015

5353

Renewable Energy World Calendar 2015

Selected multi-day conferences, expos and events for the Renewable Energy Industry

UK AD & Biogas Exhibition

1 - 2 July 2015

Birmingham, United Kingdom W: http://adbioresources.

org/uk-ad-biogas-2015

Energy Storage USA 2015

7 - 8 July 2015

San Diego, CA, USA W: www.energystorageupdate.com/usa/

Intersolar North America

14 - 16 July 2015

San Francisco, CA, USA W:www.intersolar.us/

HydroVision International

14 - 17 July 2015

Portland, OR, USA www.hydroevent.com

POWER-GEN Africa

15 - 17 July 2015

Cape Town, Republic of South Africa W:www.powergenafrica.com

Wind Power Central America

15 - 17 July 2015

Panama City, Panama W: http://www. greenpowerconferences.com/

Green Building Brasil

11 - 13 August 2015

Sao Paulo, Brasil W: http://www.expogbcbrasil.

org.br/2015/en/

Guangzhou International Solar Photovoltaic Exhibition

18 - 20 August 2015

Guangzhou, China W: www.chinaexhibition.com

MED GREEN FORUM

26 - 28 August 2015

Florence, Italy W: www.wrenuk.co.uk/congresses

Renewable Energy World Asia 1 - 3 September 2015 Bangkok, Thailand W: www.renewableenergyworld- asia.com

POWER-GEN Asia

1 - 3 September 2015

Bangkok, Thailand W: www.powergenasia.com

POWER-GEN Asia Financial Forum

1 - 3 September 2015

Bangkok, Thailand W: www.powergenasiafinance.com

Intersolar South America

1 - 3 September 2015

Sao Paulo, Brasil W: www.intersolar.net.br/en/

Solar Power International

14 - 17 September 2015

Anaheim, CA, USA W: www.solarpowerinternational.com

Husum WindEnergy

15 - 18 September 2015

Husum, Germany W: www.husumwind.com

Advertiser’s Index For more information on the products and services found in this issue click here.

Distributech 2015…41

REW Asia…26

Ecofasten Solar…52

Shoals Technologies…20

Everglades University…41

Siemens…2

Nexans…14

Smarter Shows…53

Northern States Metal…25

Socomec…52

Nuscale Power…9

Solar Energy Trade Shows…4

Power-Gen Middle East 2015…29

Spice Solar…16

Projects of the Year/Woman of the Year 2015…39

Surrette Battery Co. …13, 52

REW North America 2015…42

Trojan Battery…CV2

The Adveritser’s Index is published as a service. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions.

the

Last

WORD

Why Smarter Grids Demand Smarter Communications Networks

Mark Madden

is the Regional Vice President for Utility Markets in Alcatel-Lucent’s North American Region where he is responsible for Alcatel-Lucent’s utility market strategy, strategic partnerships, and business development. Mark joined Alcatel-Lucent in 1996 and has more than 30 years of experience with leading companies in the Information and Communications Technologies industry, with the last 10 years directly engaged with power utility communications.

10 years directly engaged with power utility communications. Historically, utility networks and com- munications networks

Historically, utility networks and com- munications networks have had little in common. These two types of net- works have intersected, of course — utilities have relied on communica- tions networks for decades to support a variety of critical capabilities, which have generally run on equipment leased from telecommunications car- riers. Similarly, these carriers relied on power grids to power to their com- munications networks. However, these intersections were few, and the two types of networks were built, managed and operated in very different ways. The world has changed since most grids were built. Today utilities face challenges that aging infrastruc- ture cannot support. In fact, the car- rier networks that utilities have relied on for remote monitoring, control and grid automation will soon be shut down in favor of IP-based networks. Meanwhile, the need to man- age renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, have intro- duced additional demands. Notably, this renewable component typically involves small-scale, distributed ener- gy resources that tend to be connected to the least automated part of the grid — the medium-voltage and especial- ly the low-voltage parts of the distribu- tion network. Utilities need to modern- ize their grids to make them smarter.

Part of this transformation is the tran- sition to a more modern and reliable communications network. This transition is similar to the shift that is taking place in communica- tions networks. IP and Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) technolo- gy was developed to serve as the foun- dation for next-gen communications networks. Carriers have used IP/MPLS networks to consolidate a variety of services and applications — voice, data, video — onto a single, converged infrastructure, making it possible to deliver a variety of services to cus- tomers. Not surprisingly, IP/MPLS has emerged as the chosen path for T&D utilities globally to connect substa- tions, operation centers, data centers and remote grid devices. This is due to its deterministic performance, effi- cient support of packet-based traffic and ability to support legacy traffic. IP/ MPLS enables utilities to support mul- tiple application-specific operation- al networks on a single network while optimizing the performance of the growing number of real time IP-based smart grid applications. All of the capabilities carriers and utilities must support — from movie streaming to linking sensors for sub- station automation — can be served using a dynamic, secure, and mission- critical communications network.