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DNV GL approves carbon capture technology

DNV GL, the technical advisor to the oil and gas industry, has approved as qualified, technology for a full-scale demonstration project in Norway to remove carbon emissions at a cement plant. Gassnova, the Norwegian state’s agency for implementation of carbon capture and storage projects, initiated the project which will apply carbon capture technology developed by Aker Solutions at Norcem’s cement plant in Brevik, Norway.

Globally, the cement industry accounts for 5-7% of total CO2 emissions – from all industries and sectors. Aker Solutions’ post-combustion technology is intended to capture and liquefy 400,000 tons per year of the released carbon dioxide at the Norcem plant. Once the technology is applied this will contribute to Norway’s target of becoming a low-emission society by 2050.

DNV GL engaged with Norcem and Aker Solutions to verify the application of DNV GL’s recommended practices DNVGL-RP-A203 Technology Qualification and DNVGL-RP-J201 Qualification procedures for carbon dioxide capture technology at the plant.

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Novel elements of Aker Solutions’ carbon capture technology and potential technological risks were evaluated and mitigation identified. Documentation was reviewed to provide a better understanding of the technology and the specific application and conditions at Norcem’s plant.

Arve Johan Kalleklev, Regional Manager, Norway and Eurasia, DNV GL – Oil & Gas said: “Carbon capture, and subsequent storage, is currently the only technology that can achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions from industrial processes. Carbon capture can play a vital part in decarbonizing our planet. DNV GL’s qualification review of Aker Solutions’ technology is a great example of how we engage to enable implementation of this crucial technology. “

As a result of the qualification procedure review, DNV GL issued a ‘Statement of Qualified Technology’ for Aker Solutions’ carbon capture and heat recovery technology, applicable for the conditions at the Norcem Brevik cement plant.

Per Brevik, Director Sustainability and alternative fuels in HeidelbergCement Northern Europe states: “Aker Solutions have tested their technology at Norcem Brevik for 18 months. Their world class expertise, systematic work and the promising results from pilot testing in Brevik give us confidence that realisation of the full-scale capture plant will be successful. Based on the third-party technology qualification professionally executed by DNV GL, we trust that the project risk related to novel technology elements is low.”

The Norcem Brevik carbon capture plant forms part of Europe’s first industrial demonstration of CO2 capture, transport and storage. The captured CO2 is to be transported and injected into a CO2 storage site offshore Norway, developed by the Equinor-headed Northern Lights consortium.

Oscar Graff, Head of CCUS in Aker Solutions said: “The extensive experience and systematic qualification procedures from DNV GL have been a great support for our engineers in our technology development. The procedure is an excellent tool to identify risk elements and to propose how to solve them. To get a statement of qualified technology from DNV GL, as a recognized third party, has high value for Aker Solutions and our clients.”

About DNV GL

DNV GL is the independent expert in risk management and quality assurance, operating in more than 100 countries. Through its broad experience and deep expertise DNV GL advances safety and sustainable performance, sets industry benchmarks, and inspires and invents solutions. 

Whether assessing a new ship design, optimizing the performance of a wind farm, analyzing sensor data from a gas pipeline or certifying a food company’s supply chain, DNV GL enables its customers and their stakeholders to make critical decisions with confidence. 

Driven by its purpose, to safeguard life, property, and the environment, DNV GL helps tackle the challenges and global transformations facing its customers and the world today and is a trusted voice for many of the world’s most successful and forward-thinking companies.

DNV GL is the technical advisor to the oil and gas industry. We bring a broader view to complex business and technology risks in global and local markets. Providing a neutral ground for industry cooperation, we create and share knowledge with our customers, setting standards for technology development and implementation. From project initiation to decommissioning, our independent experts enable companies to make the right choices for a safer, smarter and greener future.

dnvgl.com

About Norcem

Norcem is the leading Norwegian supplier of cement, the main component of concrete. Norcem has a wide distribution network of depots along the Norwegian coast. Norcem is also the sole producer of cement in Norway, with plants in Brevik and Kjøpsvik. 

Norcem is a company in HeidelbergCement Group, a global player in cement, aggregates, concrete and downstream activities, making it one of the world's largest manufacturers of building materials. The company employs about 60 000 people in more than 60 countries. 

About Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions is a global technology and service company providing solutions and products for the industry. Aker Solutions is offering low carbon solutions such as floating wind power and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). Aker Solutions has developed an Advanced Carbon Capture Technology since 2005 and are now offering commercial plants in the market, both modularized and large-scale integrated plants. Aker Solutions is providing technology and products for the entire CCUS value chain, from capture, via transport, injection, storage and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). The company employs about 16 000 people in about 20 countries and 50 locations.

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Switzerland attempts to lift solar PV market with rebates amid COVID-19 pandemic, says GlobalData

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss solar PV market is on the verge of experiencing a slump. To offset this threat and support the residential and commercial rooftop solar, Switzerland has offered to increase financial support through rebates by another US$47m. This means around US$387.6m will be available under the solar PV rebate scheme. This attempt is in line to arrest any possible slump in the solar market due to the pandemic, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.  

After hydropower and nuclear power, solar PV installations forms the third major source of power in Switzerland. 

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In 2018, the Swiss Photovoltaic Association, Swissolar, introduced the rebate scheme to benefit the residential and commercial PV customers. The rebate scheme was targeted at not only reducing the waiting time for the implementation of FIT contracts but also guarantee maximum coverage of 30% of the investment costs. The scheme acted as a massive push for more consumers to apply for the solar PV systems.”  

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Within months of implementation of the scheme, a large number of residential PV project applications came in and further applications of projects up to 100 kW had to wait for another two years. In 2020, applications under the scheme were coming in at a steady rate until January, however more recently, owing to the pandemic, applications have significantly reduced. In all probability, consumers have started predicting that the worsening pandemic situation would lead to the authorities failing to compensate for the project costs. Even with supply chain disruptions and prospective rise in investment costs, the guaranteed coverage, of the rebate scheme, has chances of experiencing a drop. 

Das concludes: “The increase in the funding of the rebate program would put these concerns to rest. The extra funding will not only expand the rebate budget, helping authorities to maintain the guaranteed coverage against investment cost but also help reduce the waiting time for payments.  

“The number of large projects awaiting payments has already started decreasing. Clearly, in the pandemic, the Swiss government with the expanded rebate budget averted the solar PV sector to experience a major blow.”

  • Comments provided by Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData
  • This insight was based upon data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis, and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors.

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Poland Quadruples Solar Energy Output, Becomes 5th Largest Producer in Europe

The European Union increased its solar energy market by more than 100% making 2019 the most successful year so far. Being one of the five countries contributing to this growth the most, Poland has almost quadrupled its solar capacities in one year to reach 784MW. The leading solar developer in the region, Sun Investment Group, credits the self-consumption model and government efforts for unprecedented growth.  

Last year was the most fortunate year for the European Union in the solar energy sector. In 2019, the EU added 16.7 GW solar energy installations to its portfolio, increasing the number by 104% since 2018. The sharp rise marked the biggest growth in solar energy generation since 2010. So far, five member countries have contributed the most, including Spain (4.7 GW), Germany (4 GW), the Netherlands (2.5 GW), France (1.1 GW), and Poland (784 MW).

Although the other 18 member states are lagging behind to meet the EU’s energy plans, the majority of the members are contributing to the progress, including a significant Poland’s achievement. The country quadrupled its solar power installations from 203 MW connected to the grid in 2018 to 784 MW in 2019. In 2020, Poland is planning to almost double its installations to 1.3 GW. These changes are important for the EU and Poland, as the country is the biggest coal producer in the Union.

Previously, the country has been struggling to meet the Union’s renewable energy plans, but in 2019, Poland had a sharp rise in solar energy generation. Although the biggest renewable source is wind power, Poland is turning its focus on expanding the solar energy sector.

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With many new projects on the way in Poland, Sun Investment Group - the leading solar plant developer in Central Europe - shares their take on it. The organization has been working with the Polish market for years, and they have already developed 109 MW solar power capacity in the country. And with the rapid increase in the solar energy market, the organization is expanding further. They have 500+ MW of projects under the advanced development stage in different regions around.

Deividas Varabauskas, CEO and managing partner at Sun Investment Group, comments on aspects contributing to the transition to renewables and the sector’s further growth. “We are excited that Poland is now turning to be one of the fastest-growing solar power producers in the European Union. We believe that the progress was only possible due to source-specific auctions organized by the state (for PV projects of less than 1MWp), which will soon be boosted even further by big PV projects that will replace wind projects in technology-neutral auctions as there are very few new wind projects that comply with new regulations. This is a win-win approach, as current price bids are very close to the market price, giving a predictable revenue for 15 years to the PV generator and very soon an additional revenue for the Polish state treasury.”

Mr Varabauskas adds that the transition to solar energy will benefit not only air quality and environment but also the Polish state treasury and energy system. “Due to the rising CO2 certificate prices, the state will soon start generating income from the difference between auction price awarded to the generator and a market price of electricity, that in a few years will become higher than auction price awarded to PV (photovoltaics) generators. The impact of CO2 European Emission Allowances price increases will severely affect power prices in Poland, as coal is the most CO2 intensive source of energy, and Poland is mostly dependent on coal for its power and heat generation. Obviously, this is an enormous motivation for Poland to transition from coal to renewables as soon as possible, however, it will still take a very significant time to fully transform its energy infrastructure, which means PV is going to help save money to Poland and its citizens and businesses.”

According to Mr Varabauskas, these changes would be impossible without the country’s government’s significant dedication to establishing the solar power production market in Poland. It is also very important that auction system is prolonged beyond 2021 to ensure the uninterrupted investments in new PV projects, as relying on purely market solutions is just wishful thinking, especially in the current economic recession environment. “Although the solar energy market in Poland is in its early stage, the 2019 Global Infrastructure Index ranked the country as one of the top markets for clean energy production, which makes it very attractive to investments in solar energy and renewables.”

The European Union is growing its renewable energy market and breaking new records each year. The progress would be impossible without countries like Poland joining the train and expediting the transition. With many new projects on the way, the EU can expect even more prominent growth.

ABOUT SUN INVESTMENT GROUP

Sun Investment Group (SIG) was founded in 2011 as an investment management and development company focused on solar energy assets within investment-grade markets. It has extensive experience in developing solar power projects across Central Europe and the Baltic region. SIG has a track record of 158 separate projects delivering a total of 131 MW capacity. 500+ MW of projects are currently under the advanced development phase.

For more information, visit www.suninvestmentgroup.com

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Nidec ASI supplies battery energy storage solutions for next-generation Norwegian electric ferries, for tourism with zero environmental impact in the fjords

The partnership continues with Brødrene Aa for Seasight IV, the third vessel equipped with BESS solutions by Nidec ASI designed to offer fully green sailing that respects nature

Nidec ASI, the Nidec Industrial Solutions platform belonging to the Nidec Group, has supplied battery energy storage systems (BESS) for the latest vessel developed by Brødrene Aa, a Norwegian company that builds cutting-edge ships. Nidec has implemented a BESS solution which allows the Seasight IV ship to sail electrically and silently, without producing any polluting emissions, guaranteeing maximum respect for the entire marine ecosystem, while at the same time ensuring completely safe sailing. The project is in response to the need to comply with a decision of the Norwegian Parliament that, by 2026, will restrict the movement of vessels within the fjords to electric ferries only, creating zero-emission waterways, that will benefit the health and wellbeing of the local population. This is a Norwegian direction which the whole of Europe should be following: in fact, it has been calculated that in just 10 hours a cruise ship docked at a quay produces approximately the same amount of CO2 as 25 medium-sized cars in a year.

Seasight is a catamaran characterized by an unusual design, inspired by the Norwegian paths that zig-zag up the steep mountain slopes. The vessel gives passengers a chance to admire the breathtaking scenery of the Norwegian fjords on the external decks that surround the internal lounge.

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This new vessel represents the third testament to the successful collaboration between Nidec ASI and Brødrene Aa. Together they have already designed and launched two other catamarans: one hybrid (the "Vision of the Fjords") and one fully electric ("Future of the Fjords", which won the 2018 Ship of the Year award), which carry tourists along the splendid coast of Norway, silently, safely and reliably, providing a new and more sustainable approach to tourism.

Specifically, as with the 2 previous Seasight vessels Nidec ASI worked on, the company provided the BESS solutions with two 1200kW-1009kWh systems for a total of 2018kWh (2.4MW), symmetrically located on the port and starboard. However, what makes the Seasight IV's system unique is the rack modules set-up, greater than that on the sister ships and significantly improved on a technical level. Nidec also supplied the data recording equipment, the battery management system and a closed circuit air cooling system that works thanks to an air-water heat exchanger.

This important project confirms our commitment to supporting innovation in an increasingly green viewpoint in the nautical sector, strategic for the promotion of more sustainable mobility. The projects we have pursued over the years, starting with the Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian Navy's training ship, up to the Wider yachts and the other vessels for Brødrene Aa, demonstrate yet again the validity and adaptability of our energy storage and management solutions. The continuation of our partnership with Brødrene Aa is a new and exciting recognition of the seriousness and professionalism of all our colleagues."  Dominique Llonch, CEO of Nidec ASI and Chairman of Nidec Industrial Solutions, declared. "Seasight IV truly represents the future of sailing: a very low impact vessel that fits in with the landscape and respects the ecosystem in which it operates. I am therefore delighted that it incorporates customized solutions by Nidec."

This new project, together with the Nidec branded batteries presented at the latest Electric & Hybrid Expo in Amsterdam, and important projects such as the electrification of the quays in the port of Genoa, make Nidec ASI a real leader in energy transition for the maritime sector as it moves towards the affirmation of increasingly green and sustainable sailing.

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ib vogt first development project sale of their Australian portfolio

ib vogt GmbH (ib vogt) is pleased to announce the sale of the Sebastopol Solar Farm to Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV). ib vogt, a successful global Solar PV developer and EPC contractor first entered the Australian solar market in 2016 when it constructed the 11.1 MWp  Williamsdale project in the ACT.  Since then the company has identified and progressed to the advanced stages of development over 450 MWp of Solar PV projects throughout NSW and VIC.  The most advanced of project of this portfolio is the Sebastopol Solar Farm.

The proposed Sebastopol Solar Farm is located near Temora in the Riverina region of NSW and once operational, will supply up to 90MW (AC) of renewable energy to the grid. ib vogt Initially identified the project in 2017 and has fully developed the project to the final stages of development with the project having full planning consent, all land rights secured and grid ‘Committed’ status with AEMO for the project to commence into generator registration.

ibvogt logoThroughout the development process ib vogt has strived to build strong and collaborative relationships with both Temora Shire Council and Junee Shire Council and the local community to ensure that the Sebastopol Solar Farm was suitably developed to address any concerns or adverse impacts.  This resulted in the project receiving no formal objections to the Development Application and a very supportive community towards the project.

The project will connect into a 132kV line adjacent to the site, which is owned and operated by Essential Energy. Ib vogt also enjoyed a great working relationship with Essential Energy throughout the grid connection process.

Carsten Stang, Chief Commercial Officer of ib vogt stated:” The proposed Sebastopol Solar Farm is a world class solar PV project and highlights our expertise in successfully developing solar projects in a challenging solar market. This is our first development project in our attractive Australian portfolio and we look forward to progressing our next projects to a similar stage shortly’

‘We are grateful to the local Council and broader community in Temora for the warm welcome and support they have shown our team throughout the development process over the past 3 years and wish FRV all the best in the next stages of development for the Sebastopol Solar Farm’