Benelux_Infrastructure_Forum_171
5 April 2017 2017 11:45 AM GMT

Large-Scale PV Finance Amongst Hot Topics At Intersolar Europe Conference 2017

An increasing number of photovoltaic plant constructors are investing in large-scale power stations worldwide, raising new questions about the industry. What options are available for financing PV power plants? Which markets will be relevant in the future? What is the role of smart renewable energy, i.e. combining energy generation, storage and management? Experts are set to discuss these questions at the Intersolar Europe Conference, taking place at ICM – Internationales Congress Center München from May 30–31, 2017. The event runs alongside Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners, (May 31–June 2). This year’s conference is being led for the first time by new chairman Dr Pierre-Jean Alet.

The photovoltaics industry continues to grow, and large-scale power plants, in particular, are currently driving forward the deployment of PV technology on an international scale. Questions such as financing, management, operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plants are therefore becoming increasingly important. In light of these developments, the future of large-scale plants also forms a key topic at the Intersolar Europe Conference, with several sessions focusing on the issue: The PV Power Plants: Forecasting Technologies session examines new technologies aiming to better integrate meteorological forecasts into calculation processes. The PV Power Plants: Operation & Maintenance Business session addresses business models revolving around PV plant maintenance and the optimisation of plant profitability. The use of drones and robots is also examined in this context, with the session titled PV Power Plants: The versatility and impact of drones and robots taking a look at their growing importance for the profitability of PV power plants.

More and more power generation projects are combining various renewable sources of energy to form hybrid power plants. The session titled Smart Renewable Energy: Renewable Hybrid Plants explores the latest challenges presented by such projects. The industry is also currently focusing on the topics of intelligent networks and decentralisation, sharing, digitalization, smart grids and big data, the latter of which is being discussed across the entire sector. The Smart Renewable Energy: Digitalization, Energy Clouds & Big Data session takes an in-depth look at data management and data security, examining matters such as how various market participants can access data quickly yet securely while observing data control rights.

Constant change doesn’t just characterise the PV industry, it also applies to business and financing models. The major decrease in the price of solar power has led to an abundance of new business models. At the same time, the influence of rating agencies in new rounds of financing continues to grow. The Solar Merchant PV Power Plants/The Role of Rating Agencies/Insurances session sheds light on the impact of rating agencies and insurance companies and how their services have evolved in the context of global financing.

This year, SolarPower Europe is once again exclusively presenting its Global Market Outlook 2017-2021 at the Intersolar Europe Conference (May 30, 10:15 am). The report includes a five-year global market forecast that not only features the latest facts and figures for anticipated growth markets but also comments on the industry’s key driving forces and predicts how the market will develop. Further sessions shine the spotlight on the American, Asian and African markets. Last year, Asia and the key markets of China, India and Japan accounted for 70% of global demand. Countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand are expected to witness an increase in demand in the future. A surge in electricity consumption is also creating a positive market environment in Africa, especially in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.

Dr Pierre-Jean Alet is chairing the conference for the first time in 2017 and brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the table. An engineer and physicist, Dr Alet obtained his PhD from the renowned leading French university École Polytechnique. He previously researched cell technologies and energy services at Sharp Laboratories of Europe. In his current role of activity manager at Swiss research and development centre CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique or Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology), he is responsible for the performance of PV systems as well as the storage system and grid integration. Dr Alet is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Technology and Innovation Platform Photovoltaics, where he leads the platform’s activities on grid integration. With his extensive expertise in energy generation, storage and management for the new energy world, he is well-placed to ensure that the conference covers a wider range of relevant topics.

“Market developments, especially in Europe, mean that the photovoltaics industry must turn away from debating energy generation costs and concentrate on the value of electricity instead,” explains Pierre-Jean Alet, commenting on his main area of focus. “While cells and modules will remain essential, innovative research in the PV industry will increasingly centre around issues such as energy management, forecasting and digitalization. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to preside over this forward-looking meeting of distinguished industry experts,” comments Alet.

August 14th 2017
Offshore Wind Drives 6.1 GW Of European Wind Installations In First Half Of 2017

6.1 GW of extra wind energy capacity was installed in Europe in the first half of 2017, according to figures released by WindEurope. The figure puts Europe on course for a bumper year for installations, although hides some worrying trends. WindEurope Chief Policy Officer, Pierre Tardieu, said: “We are on track for a good year in wind capacity installations but growth is driven by a handful of markets. At least ten EU countries have yet to install a single MW so far this year. Although this won’t translate into lower installations for another few years, the industry needs clarity on volumes for the post-2020 period to maintain the current cost reduction trend”.

August 9th 2017
35% Of German Electricity Consumption Now From Renewables: Grid Challenges Ahead

The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) have stated in an initial assessment that electricity generated from clean energy accounted for 35% of Germany’s consumption in 1H 2017. It’s the first time that this mark has been reached. The total share of electricity generated from renewables was up 2% from last year. The growth from onshore wind was 13.6%; offshore wind saw the steepest growth at 47.5%; growth from biomass increased by 2.2%, whilst the growth from PV systems was 13.5%, compared with the 1H 2016.

August 9th 2017
IDFC Alternatives Fund Acquires Solar Projects Totaling 190MW From First Solar

India Infrastructure Fund II (IIF II), represented by its investment manager, IDFC Alternatives Limited, one of India’s largest alternatives fund managers, is to acquire seven operating solar projects owned and operated by the First Solar Group in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana aggregating to a capacity of 190 MW. All the projects utilise First Solar’s advanced CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) based thin film modules, one of the most environmentally friendly PV technologies, and sell the power generated to state utilities, under long term power purchase agreements. Aditya Aggarwal, Partner, IDFC Alternatives stated that “consistent with its stated strategy of aggregating operating renewable assets, IIF II is well on its way to achieving an installed base of 400-450 MW of operating renewable assets by the end of the current financial year.”

August 4th 2017
Enel Awarded 339 MW Of Solar Capacity In Spanish Renewables Tender

Enel S.p.A., acting through its Spanish subsidiary Endesa’s renewable company Enel Green Power España (EGPE), has been awarded 339 MW of solar capacity in Spain. The award followed the tender aiming at collecting 3 GW from renewable energies, launched by the Spanish Government to help the country achieve its target to cover 20% of energy consumption from renewables by 2020. The solar capacity adds to the 540 MW of wind power capacity that EGPE was already awarded last May. “This new milestone confirms our commitment to green energy in Spain, a country which continues to offer growth opportunities for our renewable projects,” said Antonio Cammisecra, Enel’s Head of Global Renewable Energies.