Norwegian Energy Partners

NSP 06-11-2017

The establishment of the new organisation – Norwegian Energy Partners – is the result of a merger between INTSOK and INTPOW in 2017 given the name NORWEP. NORWEP will continue to provide support to the oil and gas supply industries in Norway, but will also now work with the renewable energy sector. The Norwegian Energy Partners will be combining the competence in previous INTSOK and INTPOW to mutual benefit for the whole Norwegian energy industry – as the international oil companies now reshaping and extending their investment strategies and the Norwegian supply industry looking to be well positioned to compete also in the renewable markets. In 2018 the Norwegian Government would give 3.7million Euro to NORWEP – to promote the Norwegian energy sector to the international market.  

INTSOK/INTPOW

INTSOK was an effective vehicle for promoting the Norwegian offshore industry’s capabilities to key clients in overseas markets and providing market information to its partners. The focus was on global opportunities, not only amongst large Norwegian companies but also amongst small and medium-sized enterprises. INTSOK was a network-based organisation where the partners exchange experience and knowledge of market developments internationally. INTPOW was the only national and the principal networking organisation for the Norwegian renewable energy industry. INTPOW’s members were Norwegian authorities, companies and other industry participants with an international expansion strategy. The joint forces between INTSOK and INTPOW will be an even stronger unit to open doors for Norwegian companies and technology.

The new organisation – NORWEP  

Norwegian Energy Partners will be combining the competencies of both organisations to mutual benefit for the whole Norwegian energy industry – building on:

  • The Norwegian energy sector has developed industry with experience, ideas, products and technologies – that are competitive in the most demanding global markets.
  • International oil companies are now reshaping and extending their investment strategies in to the renewable energy sector.
  • The Norwegian industry, known for its safe, reliable and energy efficient solutions, could also have a competitive edge with the increasing awareness around climate change.

The Norwegian Energy Partners role will be to continue the effective work done by INTSOK/INTPOW – for promoting the Norwegian energy industry’s capabilities, technologies and competence to key clients in the overseas markets and providing market information to the partners. NORWEP would still be a network-based organisation, facilitating dialogue between energy companies, technology suppliers, service companies and the Government.

New possibilities – Investment in renewable energy

Investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon solutions are rapidly increasing. The Norwegian supply industry has a lot to offer in this changing energy landscape. The petroleum industry has solved technological challenges in a demanding environment on the Norwegian continental shelf since the very beginning of the oil production in Norway. The Norwegian supply industry has over 100 years of experience in developing hydropower, and is increasingly delivering technology to solar and wind development projects. The supply industry’s valuable competence is utilised across sectors. In fact, half of the members of former INTSOK – traditionally delivering to the petroleum sector, also delivers equipment, services and technology to the renewable energy sector.

  • Solar energy
  • Hydropower
  • Wind energy

 

Arctic and cold climate solutions

The Norwegian Energy Partners would also have a special focus on arctic and cold climate solutions – to strengthen Norwegian arctic related technology and competence. NORWEP wants to pave the way for Norwegian industry delivering world class technology and solutions for arctic and cold climate areas, as well as infrastructure – looking at international markets as USA (Alaska), Canada and Russia.

This is of course a very interesting focus for the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, NORWEP and the Norwegian Government discussing arctic and cold climate development projects.

Fast track internationalisation

NORWEP will assist the participating companies from the energy sector – in identifying their most optimal international markets based on the products and services the individual companies offer, as well as connect the companies to their respective markets. The result is an internationalisation strategy with defined activities and action plan on how to achieve the objectives. All done to reach a higher level of internalisation of the Norwegian energy business – building on fast track solutions.  

GREBE Reports on Technology Case Studies

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Many regions of the NPA have some of the best renewable energy resources; however in many cases they are not being effectively exploited. The Case Studies aim to address this by the assessment of a range of renewable energy technologies to determine the drivers and barriers for their transferability to other areas in the NPA where the same renewable energy resource  are available but are not widely exploited.

The Case Studies exemplify how, through the proper identification of appropriate and scaled technological solutions, renewable energy resources in each partner region, can meet the demands of energy markets. The technology case studies were informed by engagement with technology providers and other relevant stakeholders. The focus of the case studies is on technological choices (details of how these operate, innovations etc.), funding mechanisms, processes of delivery and adaptation in different partner regions, assessment of technical and financial risks, and demonstration/piloting routines.

The case study collection provides evidence and data on important drivers and barriers and an in-depth analysis of the Renewable Energy technologies feasibility prospect to be transferred across partner regions. The case studies cover technologies, market access and business growth paths.

These cases studies are based on the following technologies:

TableTM

Further information can be found on the case studies section under the publications page here: http://grebeproject.eu/publication/

Galway giant spins in Ireland

Galway wind farm

SSE and Coillte have started commercial operations at the 169MW Galway wind farm in Connemara, Ireland. The €281m project, which is located in the Cloosh Valley, was built in two phases and consists of 58 Siemens Gamesa 3MW turbines. The 64MW first phase is owned and was fully financed by SSE at an investment cost of around €105m.

The 105MW second phase is a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and Coillte which was funded by project finance totalling €176m. Finance was agreed in 2016 with BBVA, Coöperatieve Rabobank UA, and NORD/LB. Electricity generated by the wind farm will be provided to SSE’s retail arm SSE Airtricity. The project will also soon launch a community fund, which will operate for the lifetime of the wind farm.

More information on this article can be found at: http://renews.biz/108885/galway-giant-spins-in-ireland/

 

Canada needs EU for the development of bioeconomy

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According to the Conference Board of Canada, Northern peripheral areas in Canada have about 300 distant communities, where sustainable development for energy, waste management and clean water could be developed much further than where they currently are. Natural Resources Institute Finland sent Dr. Lauri Sikanen to Ontario to Lakehead University for four months to investigate renewable energy opportunities in distant communities.

Dr. Sikanen sees a great potential to support Canada in their development and to open also markets for European advanced technology of bioenergy and cleantech. Dr. Sikanen hosted the visit of Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Mr. Kai Mykkänen and a delegation of about 20 leading Finnish bioeconomy companies in Thunder Bay 10.-12. of October and now further steps of most promising leads are in his schedule.

Distance communities are producing their energy by transported diesel and that takes energy price in communities sky high. It is normal to pay five or even ten times higher price for energy in those communities than elsewhere.  Large numbers of communities are located in forested areas and have remarkable amount of solar and wind available as well. Using biomass, solar and wind would also bring more economic activity into communities.

EU and Canada just recently made a CETA agreement to harmonize regulations in trade between them. Now export of good and services should be easier for both, but bioeconomy development in Northern areas in Canada needs an extra attention. NPA programme already welcomes some areas of Canadian Maritimes into projects but the need for the development supported together is actually also (and even more) elsewhere. It would be good to have northern areas of provinces like Quebec and Ontario included and joint programme with Canadians could be created.

Fair Isle, one of the UK’s most remote inhabited islands, will soon have 24/7 supply of electricity

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Fair Isle, is a three mile long, island in northern Scotland, belonging to the Shetland island group. It is located 24 miles south of the Shetland mainland, between Orkney and Shetland.

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Since 1980, the community of Fair Isle, currently totalling 55, has been reliant on a combination of diesel generators and wind power for its electricity needs. However, none of the two, has proved to be sufficient to provide the required amount of energy. One of the two turbines has stopped working, while the other one is reaching the end of its days.

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In addition, the back-up diesel generator frequently is turned off during the night, in order to preserve fuel stocks, as deliveries are reliant on the ferry running. Thus, currently, if the wind is not blowing at Fair Isle, the lights need to be off between 11pm and 7am. Furthermore, at present there is no storage ability or capacity for new residents.  Fair Isle is yet another example of the challenges faced by peripheral, isolated, island communities. The community has acknowledged the significance of developing an infrastructure, to allow them to sustain and grow its population, as well as, to transform life on the island.

In the beginning of this year, the project was awarded over £1m of capital stage support by the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme’s (LCITP) funding call for large scale transformational low carbon infrastructure demonstrator projects. LCITP is supported through the European Regional Development Fund and is a partnership programme led by the Scottish Government, with support from HIE, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and Resource Efficient Scotland. The Scottish government has promised half the cost of the project (£1.325m), with Scottish Water and HIE Shetland pledges to match fund the project. The Big Lottery Fund has been approached for £600,000 (not yet confirmed),  the National Trust may contribute up to £100,000 and Fair Isle Electricity Company will put in £20,000. The Shetland Islands Council (SIC) political leader Gary Robinson said:

“It is clear that no stone has been left unturned in this one in search of funding. What we have here is a well thought through and carefully worked up proposal. It’s absolutely clear that Fair Isle needs to have a reliable energy scheme. I am really pleased to see the lengths gone to bring in external funding”.

The £250,000 funding granted by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), marks the completion of the full funding package totalling at £2.6m. Fiona Stirling, development manager at HIE’s Shetland area team, said: “It’s a key factor in attracting new people to the island as well as helping businesses to develop.”

Great Glen Consulting was selected to be the project manager assisting and developing the project, while the technical design and engineering of the project will be carried out by Arcus. The project is being led by a community group, known as the Fairs Isle Electricity Company. The company director Robert Mitchell said:

“Having a constant electricity source may help to attract more people to live in Fair Isle as well as benefit the residents. It will also bring new employment opportunities and sustain existing employment. This ambitious project is the first step in ensuring that the community of Fair Isle continues to thrive.”

The £2.65m investment is for three 60kW wind turbines, a 50kW solar array and lead-acid battery storage of 500 kW hours. According to the project manager Maurice Henderson the summary of costs is the following: £620,705 will be spent on the high-voltage system; £609,435 on the storage; £660,000 on the wind turbines; £125,000 on the solar power; £98,000 on new diesel generators; £192,000 on project management and £345,786 on a contingency fund. Mr Henderson acknowledges that the scheme is not of the highest technology quality available, but he asserts that it is intended for robust reliability, which is an essential consideration for a remote island. It is envisioned to make best use of the use of wind in times of low demand. The scheme will also extend a high voltage network to the north of the island to enable grid connections to the Scottish Water treatment works, Fair Isle Bird Observatory, the airstrip and the North Haven harbour.

South Mainland councillor Allison Duncan believes that the project would help secure the future of Fair Isle, as three new families were moving in, after years of population decline. Project manager Maurice Henderson said: “I would consider this as a key project in the development plan for Fair Isle for growing more population.”

Responding to the announcement, Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Renewable technologies are bringing power to remote communities which otherwise either wouldn’t have electricity, or would have to rely on diesel generators for their supply. It’s great to see Fair Isle will soon join the likes of Eigg and Gigha in taking advantage of a green electricity network. Scotland’s geography and abundant renewable energy resource make it the perfect place to test these advanced energy system.

Another “extraordinary month” for renewable energy in Scotland

ERI June 2017
Source: Scottish Renewables (2017) https://www.scottishrenewables.com/sectors/renewables-in-numbers/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social%20Post

The month of May showed that renewables can still play their part in providing large amounts of electricity even in summer months. Wind turbines alone provided enough electricity to supply 95% of Scottish homes thanks to windy weather. The 863,495MWh of electricity provided to the grid was an incredible increase of 20% compared to May 2016.

Solar energy was also increasingly able to supply 100% of electricity needs to houses fitted with panels across a number of areas in Scotland. Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Lewick houses fitted with photovoltaic panels benefited from 100% of their average use generated from the sun. Solar hot water panels also provided 90% of household’s average hot water needs in the same Scottish areas.

Across the United Kingdom there was also records broken on the 26th May with the National Grid reported a peak of 8.5GWh over a half hour period at midday. This was almost a quarter of total UK demand.

Scotland continues to increase its renewable energy capacity with an average annual increase of over 660MW since the end of 2008. Total installed renewables capacity sat at 8642GW at the end of 2016 of which the breakdown can be found below. This ever-increasing renewables capacity allows Scotland to reach renewable energy targets and climate change targets whilst still exporting low carbon electricity to its neighbours.

GREBE participates in Galway Chamber’s Energy Conference

Panel-Discussion-3

The GREBE Project participated in Galway Chamber’s energy conference in the Galway Bay Hotel on Friday 12th May 2017.  As part of the panel on the International Perspective, Pauline Leonard (GREBE Project Co-ordinator) stressed the benefits of renewable energy for the social and economic development of peripheral regions and the benefits of working with international partners in terms of technology and knowledge transfer. Other participants on the international panel included Chris Stark (Scottish Government Director of Energy and Climate Change), Denise Massey (MD of Energy Innovation Centre UK), Alex White (Energy Policy Group Chair at the Institute of International & European Affairs and former Minster for Energy) and Jim Mulcair (Chairman of Roadbridge).

The conference was organised by Galway Chamber of Commerce and its president Conor O’Dowd expects to see 30% more people living in Galway by 2050. Minister of State for Natural Resources Seán Kyne TD, outlined the Government’s position on the energy sector and stressed how important this sector is to the region.  The leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan highlighted the need for a zero carbon society by 2050

The conference was sponsored by Coillte and SSE, and James O’Hara of SSE stated that the development of Galway Wind Park will herald a huge increase in renewable electricity generation in the West of Ireland.  It will involve 69 turbines, powering up to 84,000 homes and effectively replacing 190,000 tonnes of carbon generated electricity each year.  The wind park near Moycullen will become Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm to date and will assist Galway in achieving the status of a net exporter of renewable energy.

Brian Sheridan of the Galway Harbour Company and John Breslin of SmartBay outlined the potential for marine energy in the region, with discussions about offshore wind and the generation of wave and tidal power.

Repowering onshore wind in the Highlands and Islands

wind turbine 16-05-2017

Planning permissions and consents for onshore wind farms in the UK generally require decommissioning and restoration after a 25-year lifetime. With some of the earliest windfarms being built in the early 1990s we are starting to look at what happens next. With proper operations and maintenance, there is no reason that windfarms can’t operate past this lifetime, especially if they’re receiving ROC payments.

It is important if we want to continue to decarbonise the economy that these existing consented sites continue to produce low carbon electricity and this is represented in Scottish Planning Policy:

‘Proposals to repower existing wind farms which are already in suitable sites where environmental and other impacts have been shown to be capable of mitigation can help to maintain or enhance installed capacity, underpinning renewable energy generation targets. The current use of the site as a wind farm will be a material consideration in any such proposals.’

We are now coming to a stage where many of the first windfarm sites using small clusters of 600KW turbines at around 70m in tip height are coming to the end of their operational lifetime. In many cases, and in eventually in all cases it will be more economic to “repower” the site.

There are numerous benefits in utilising a site, which is already powered: they are grid connected, planned for and there’s years of real data that can inform new design. There can be some difficulties if bases needed replaced or grid connection needs upgraded, the key however is that the sites have the planning permissions in place, if not for larger turbines.

Some sites might even be economically viable to repower before the 25-year lifetime is achieved due to the financial performance of the site and the rapid evolution and increase in wind turbine size. The progress in the last 20 years has been phenomenal with prices tumbling as hub height increases and economies of scale are seen.

There are many options for repowering sites such as maintaining the grid connection capacity by increasing turbine size but lowering numbers. Some sites may wish to maintain turbine numbers but increase the size and capacity but how do these large turbines affect the visual requirements of the area? Sometimes few larger turbines are deemed more acceptable.

Although many sites will not be considered for repowering before the mid-2020s the procedures need to be put in place now and trialled on some of the earliest Highland wind farms. Given the time it has taken to consent these original windfarms there can’t be considerable downtime between decommissioning and repowering considering the ambitious decarbonisation targets the Scottish Government has set.

In an ideal world, we would move to planning for perpetuity.

Contracts for difference for new onshore wind?

ERI image 5

After the 2015 Conservative manifesto pledge to “end any new public subsidy” for onshore wind farms, developers have been locked out of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) framework*.  New research reveals however that ministers could allow onshore wind bid on new contracts without contradicting its previous pledge to end all new subsidies.

The report** produced by industry experts Baringa Partners, commissioned by industry body Scottish Renewables, states that by allowing developers to bid in the first round of the auction, the industry could deliver an extra 1GW of capacity in the UK at the hugely competitive price of £49.40 per MWh. This is around half of the strike price agreed by the UK Government for Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, after being adjusted for inflation.

Since the 2015 subsidy ending announcement there has been a marked slowdown in the rate of development. Neil Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables said:

“Some companies are continuing to look at projects, but it is very difficult to see them going ahead without some sort of intervention,”

“If you want to deliver onshore wind capacity at a scale, which will make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s work to meet climate change targets and secondly keep bills down for consumers then you will need a CfD framework.”

Bidding on the first round of the CfD auction would not represent a subsidy as more money would return to the consumer over the last two thirds of the contract than the limited top up in the first third as the wholesale price of electricity increases. This would represent an overall saving for consumers.

The report also highlights the incredible reductions in the costs of renewables, particularly onshore wind, around the world. The decreasing price of turbines and auction mechanisms to ensure competition have seen the price tumble worldwide. The government can still now plan an important role in offering a low-risk route to market for subsidy free onshore wind.

The report that allows the UK Government to provide subsidy free support to onshore wind comes after a Conservative thinktank Bright Blue published a new survey*** claiming that the majority of Tory voters actually support on shore wind.

*The CfD mechanism is in place to stabilise revenue and cost for developers, thereby lowering the cost of capital and in turn minimises the cost of energy.

** https://www.scottishrenewables.com/publications/baringa-sr-analysis-potential-outcome-pot-1-cfd-/

*** http://www.brightblue.org.uk/images/Green%20conservatives%20polling%20report%20Final.pdf

SSE plans Doraville Wind Farm facelift

Doraville Windfarm

SSE is to reduce turbine numbers and redesign the layout at its proposed up to 115MW Doraville wind farm in Northern Ireland.

The utility-developer is to file the new plans with Belfast’s Department for Infrastructure in response to a request for further planning information for the Tyrone project.  A reduction in turbine numbers from 36 to 33 is being envisaged, as is a new hardware layout plan.  SSE is to kick-off a further round of public consultation on the changes.

It first unveiled the project – that is yet to secure planning approval – in 2014.   SSE community liaison officer Vicky Boden said the company has made the “important revisions” after “listening to suggestions and concerns” raised during planning. “We believe this new design responds to those concerns, providing the maximum environmental protection balanced with delivering the best proposal that can go forward to help all of us meet the challenge of climate change,” she added.