Greece keen to utilize American RES technology; funds eyeing market

The government wants to utilize latest American technology for more recent RES and RES-related domains such as offshore wind farms and energy storage, the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou noted yesterday during a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US officials in Thessaloniki.

For quite some time now, American renewable energy producers, institutional investors and funds have been scanning the Greek market for RES market opportunities.

A complete framework for offshore wind farms in Greece will be presented early in 2021, Sdoukou pointed out during yesterday’s meeting.

Major offshore wind farm development has been achieved off the American west coast, featuring, like the Mediterranean, waters of sudden depth, ideal conditions for the development of offshore wind farms.

US firms such as Invenergy, one of North America’s biggest wind energy producers; 547 Energy, a RES platform for Quantum Energy Partners; National Energy; and wind energy equipment manufacturer General Electric, have displayed a rising interest in the Greek market.

Besides RES and RES-related companies, a number of American funds are seeking investment opportunities in Greece.

At least ten US funds appear to be keeping a close watch on power utility PPC as a result of the corporation’s strategic turn to renewable energy.

They include Bell Rock Capital, Sephora Investment Advisors, Waterwill Capital Management, Cleargate Capital, Golden Tree Asset Management, Helm Investment Partners, Knighthead Capital Management, Craftsman Management, Colt Capital Partners and Kirkoswald Αsset Μanagement.

 

 

 

 

 

Jinko posts big Q2 increase in module shipments

Jinko’s module shipments in the second quarter increased significantly compared with the first quarter, despite the negative impact caused by the global pandemic, Q2 2020 financial results just released by the company have shown. 

Strategic Business Updates:

  • Module shipments in the second quarter increased significantly compared with the first quarter, despite the negative impact caused by the global pandemic.
  • Large-area N-Type monocrystalline silicon solar cell reached a record high efficiency of 24.79%.
  • Demand and deployment of large-size modules exceeded expectations. The company recently launched its Tiger Pro N-type large-size module products with maximum power output of up to 610 W.
  • Industry consolidation is accelerating due to increased competition in a challenging economic environment. Module shipments of the top five module manufacturers are expected to account for 65% to 70% of the total shipments in the industry this year.
  • Announced the plan to list the Company’s principal operating subsidiary Jiangxi Jinko on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Sci-Tech innovation board, or the STAR Market.

Second Quarter 2020 Operational and Financial Highlights

  • Total solar module shipments were 4,469 megawatts (“MW”), within JinkoSolar’s guidance range of 4.2 GW to 4.5 GW, an increase of 31.0% from 3,411 MW in the first quarter of 2020 and an increase of 32.0% from 3,386 MW in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Solar Products Production Capacity – as of June 30, 2020, the Company’s in-house annual mono wafer, solar cell and solar module production capacity was 20 GW,  11GW (10.2 GW for PERC cells and 800 MW for N type cells) and 25 GW, respectively.
  • Total revenues were RMB8.45 billion (US$1.20 billion), exceeding JinkoSolar’s guidance range of US$1.10 billion to US$1.18 billion; a decrease of 0.4% from the first quarter of 2020 and an increase of 22.2% from the second quarter of 2019.
  • Gross margin was 17.9%, within JinkoSolar’s guidance range of 16.0% to 18.0%, compared with 19.5% in the first quarter of 2020 and 16.5% in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Income from operations was RMB434.7 million (US$61.5 million), compared with RMB732.7 million in the first quarter of 2020 and RMB260.3 million in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Net income attributable to the Company’s ordinary shareholders was RMB318.0 million (US$45.0 million) in the second quarter of 2020, compared with RMB282.4 million in the first quarter of 2020 and RMB125.4 million in the second quarter of 2019.

Operations and Business Outlook

  • Strong market demand is expected to continue until the end of the year. COVID-19 has negatively impacted demand and caused substantial challenges across the supply chain, which is expected to further accelerate market consolidation within the industry. The penetration of large-size modules exceed expectations.

Third Quarter and Full Year 2020 Guidance

  • For the third quarter of 2020, the Company expects total solar module shipments to be in the range of 5.0 GW to 5.3 GW. Total revenue for the third quarter is expected to be in the range of US$1.22 billion to US$1.30 billion. Gross margin for the third quarter is expected to be between 17% and 19%.
  • For full year 2020, the Company estimates total solar module shipments to be in the range of 18 GW to 20 GW.

Solar Products Production Capacity

  • JinkoSolar expects its annual mono wafer, solar cell and solar module production capacity to reach 20 GW, 11 GW (including 800 MW N-type cells) and 30 GW, respectively, by the end of 2020

 

PPC turn to renewable energy backed by BNEF report findings

Wind and solar energy production costs will be lower than those of existing natural gas-fueled power stations by 2025, according to a BloombergNEF analysis on Greece’s electricity market.

The projection vindicates the power utility PPC’s decision to turn to renewable energy, the corporation’s head has indicated.

“The conclusions of the BNEF report are in full agreement with the key pillars of our new strategy,” PPC’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis said.

Installed wind and solar energy capacity will have quadrupled by 2025 compared to present levels, and renewable energy sources will have captured an energy mix share of nearly 50 percent, toppling fossil fuel from its dominant position, even if RES subsidies are not offered for existing technologies such as solar and wind, according to the BNEF analysis.

“The ever-increasing competitiveness of renewable energy sources also confirms, from an economic point of view, our choice to restructure our portfolio and transition our production towards renewable energy sources,” Stassis noted. “By focusing on clean energy, we can achieve a decarbonization of our activities in electricity generation and also reduce the cost of electricity for consumers.”

In addition, the report highlights the important role of consumers as key players in the future energy system, the PPC chief noted.

This supports PPC’s decision to develop a new customer-oriented approach and offer a reinforced portfolio of products and services, using new technologies and digital systems, according to Stassis.

Utilizing lower generation costs offered by wind and solar energy production, PPC will be well positioned for leading roles in other energy sectors, beginning with electromobility, the PPC head supported.

According to the BNEF report, Greece can establish itself as one of the EU’s energy transition leaders.

Lower-cost solar and wind energy production, as well as storage systems, plus increased CO2 emission right costs, are all radically transforming the country’s energy system, the BNEF report noted.

Greece is expected to gain an additional 18 GW in generation capacity by 2030, 67 percent of this increased output represented by wind and solar energy.

No turning back on decarbonization effort, PM stresses

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking at a press conference at the Thessaloniki International Fair, has described the country’s decarbonization effort as personal challenge and one for the government as a whole.

He was responding to questions on whether the plan can be successfully implemented given resistance by unions and local communities at the lignite-dependent regions of west Macedonia in Greece’s north and Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese.

Mitsotakis was critical of any thoughts concerning extended operations at power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations, stressing a decision for their gradual withdrawal has been reached as a result of financial and environmental factors.

State-controlled PPC is incurring losses worth hundreds of millions of euros as a result of hefty CO2 emission right costs, he noted.

The Prime Minister informed he would soon visit the west Macedonia region and also launch a 204-MW solar energy farm, Greece’s biggest to date, currently being developed in Kozani by Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE).

 

Ministry preparing to request RES auctions extension

The energy ministry is preparing to submit an official request to Brussels for an extension of up to three years for RES auctions – both mixed and separate (solar, wind) technologies – a support system securing fixed 20-year tariffs for new wind and solar energy installations.

Greece’s current auction system expires at the end of this year. The energy ministry may seek an extension until the end of 2023, when RES auctions will no longer be available in the EU. A request for a shorter extension is also being contemplated at the ministry.

The energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou has called a meeting for September 18 to involve the participation of all related authorities for decisions before the official extension request is drafted.

A technical report published by global service provider GIZ, analyzing  Greece’s RES auctions over the past three years, RES market achievements during this period, as well as problems that have emerged, will serve as a base for the talks at the upcoming meeting.

The energy ministry wants to prevent any momentum drop in the RES market and believes fixed tariffs, through auctions, over extended periods are necessary as they secure financing for RES projects, and, by extension, their development.

On the other hand, the ministry does not want to overburden the market through excessive RES special account obligations.

Tariff extensions for private PV units, problems acknowledged

The energy ministry intends to extend the validity of existing non-auction tariff prices for private solar energy facilities up to 500 KW and energy community units up to 1 MW in order to offer support to private RES producers who may not be able to electrify their projects by November 26, when a tariff revision is scheduled.

The extension of current tariff prices is expected to fall well short of a six-month period requested by Greek solar energy producers association Pospief, but it should be enough to cover producer needs.

The energy ministry has recognized difficulties faced by private producers not participating in RES auctions, the most significant of these being connection delays of completed projects by the distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, and, secondly, a market shortage of photovoltaic equipment, exacerbated by solar panel delivery delays.

In addition, some time may still be needed for the ratification of a draft bill that would enable RES projects to secure tariffs as soon as they have been certified as ready by DEDDIE/HEDNO, instead of at the time of their electrification, as is the case at present.

This revision has already been prepared by the energy ministry but its ratification faces delay as the matter is linked to the progress of a draft bill concerning spatial regulations for RES projects, still a long way off.

 

JinkoSolar earns top ranking on Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition scorecard

JinkoSolar, an innovative global solar module manufacturer, has earned a top ranking as the leading manufacturer in Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition’s latest Solar Scorecard.

JinkoSolar earned a score of 100/100, more than the other 36 module manufacturers in the scorecard, the company announced in a statement.

The scorecard is a resource for consumers, investors, developers, EPCs, distributors, and installers who want to purchase PV modules from responsible product stewards. Scorecard criteria includes environmental, health, and safety metrics.

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition is a nonprofit organization engaged in research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to promote human health and environmental justice in response to the rapid growth of the high-tech industry.

This JinkoSolar achievement comes a year after the company became the first PV module manufacturer to join the RE100, pledging to power 100% of its operations with renewables by 2025, the company statement noted.

Kangping Chen, Chief Executive Officer of JinkoSolar, commented: “We support SVTC’s goal to ensure that the solar industry does not overlook the importance of equitable environmental and holistic sustainable approaches to all business operations. We hope more of our peers follow our lead, so the solar industry as a whole can become a beacon of sustainable practices.”

Sheila Davis, Executive Director of SVTC, remarked: “We applaud JinkoSolar for its transparency, leadership, and commitment to producing modules in a clean and responsible way. Customers have choices when they make purchases, and we hope that the Solar Scorecard can help them make informed decisions.”

GoodWe announces IPO, listed on Shanghai stock market

Power technology company GoodWe announced its initial public offering of its common stock last Friday and is now officially listed as a public limited company.

The shares began trading on the Shanghai Stock Market on Friday under stock code 688390.

The ceremony was attended by leading figures of the solar industry and coincided with GoodWe’s 10th anniversary – 10 years marked by relentless hard work, continuous innovation and international success. The company executives look back on the 10-year success story and set their sights on future goals, enshrined in the company’s Corporate Growth Strategy.

“GoodWe has achieved consistent, continuous and sustainable growth for several years and has proven, year after year, that its financial success is a result of its step-by-step approach of strategic growth and consolidation. We have been working relentlessly for over ten years and have reached new frontiers. The IPO marks the beginning of a new chapter” said CEO Daniel Huang.

“GoodWe is a stable, bankable and sustainable company with a sound financial management strategy. We have achieved good results in a relatively short time and we are confident about the company’s future growth trajectory. At GoodWe we don’t wonder what the future holds, we shape the future with our actions and innovations” added Rong Shen, VP of International Sales.

Milestones & Growth in 2019/2020

2020

Stock Listed – Shanghai Stock Exchange (“SHA688390”)

Ranked Global No. 1 Hybrid Inverter Supplier by Wood Mackenzie

5 consecutive years of TÜV Rheinland All Quality Matters Award

First non-European inverter manufacturer to obtain the VDE-AR-N 4110-2018 certificate from TÜV Rheinland

Awarded “Top Brand PV Netherlands & Australia 2020” by EuPD Research

2019

New Global Headquarter in Suzhou Hi-Tech New District

GoodWe ranked Global Top 7 PV Inverter Brand by Wood Mackenzie and BloombergNEF, and ranked Global Top 4 PV String Inverter Brand by IHS Markit

Awarded “Top Brand PV Australia 2019” by EuPD Research.

Future Business Strategy

Following its IPO, GoodWe’s Board of Executive Directors outlined the pillars of its Corporate Growth Strategy.

Leader in Storage

GoodWe is already the undisputed leader in the storage segment with 15% global market share and is currently ranked as the World’s No.1 residential hybrid inverter supplier by Wood Mackenzie. GoodWe will continue to expand its storage portfolio to include the latest innovations and continue leading the storage revolution. In 2020, GoodWe launched its SMART HOME solution, designed to give users maximum choice and flexibility. Further improvements in inverter technology and battery compatibility are expected in 2021 and 2022. GoodWe will continue to lead research efforts in SEMS energy applications to enable owners to benefit from timely automated energy choices based on real-time operating conditions and maximize use of clean energy. GoodWe will likewise lead research efforts aimed at implementing energy trading technologies enabling shared energy communities and zero-carbon future.

Pioneer of Global-Local Strategies

GoodWe has been operating continuously in over 80 countries and currently has offices and branches in 16 countries and also operates registered subsidiaries in the largest markets in the solar PV industry, including Germany, Australia, Korea and UK, with plans to expand this list to include the US and Japan, among many other countries. GoodWe maintains a strong local presence in every market with a robust network of sales, after-sales, technical and managerial staff employed locally. This enables the company to pay great attention to detail, not only on global market trends but also on local developments, policies and requirements. Following its IPO, the company has already implemented plans to expand its global reach with office premises in every major market while also increasing its localized presence to guarantee efficiency and quality of service worldwide. GoodWe has invested 160 million RMB in a new production line in its Guangde plant to match the growing demand from international markets and cater to the needs of each individual market in which the company operates.

Strength in Innovation & Development

GoodWe’s innovation is the result of continuous and persistent efforts from its 200+ R&D team. Over the course of the next few years GoodWe will increase funds directed at R&D operations and will expand its team and continue to provide the market with groundbreaking technologies aimed at improving energy efficiency and component resilience, as well as contributing to research in industrial automation and artificial intelligence. Over 200 million RMB will be invested in a brand new Smart Energy R&D building that will focus on developing cutting-edge technology.

Strength in Utility

The IPO marks GoodWe’s transition from stable, bankable company to a global multinational backed by international investors and heralds a new era of unlimited opportunities for the company and stakeholders alike. This makes GoodWe a trusted partner for utility-scale projects, where financial readiness is a key component. On top of that, the new HT Series, with current capacity of 100-136 kW will see new versions released up to 250 kW from 2021. The HT inverter seamlessly incorporates different sets of technical strengths intended to achieve higher savings in the installation, enhance productivity and diversify monitoring options, taking safety to the maximum possible level in accordance with the most demanding national standards. GoodWe is committed to contributing to the development of PV technology and its recent IPO is a key event that is going to accelerate that process.

 

Cox Enterprises begins Greek RES entry with Panagakos deal

Cox Enterprises, a privately held global conglomerate headquartered in the US and holding interests primarily in automotive services, communications and media, has reached an agreement with Spec Solaris, a member of the Panagakos Group, for the immediate purchase and development of solar energy farm projects with a total capacity of 18 MW.

These projects represent part of a 275-MW package of 43 PV parks in mainland Greece and the Peloponnese for which the Panagakos Group has secured tariffs.

This deal is expected to be the American investment company’s first of more to come in Greece. Cox Enterprises, currently pursuing investment opportunities in various sectors around the world, is believed to be aiming to amass a Greek RES portfolio of about 1 GW.

The American investment fund, which appears to have sought RES capacities of approximately 400 MW in Greece in the past, through other companies, is currently seeking further acquisitions of solar and wind projects in Greece, either under construction or at a mature stage. It has held talks with Greek companies without reaching any agreement so far.

The first batch of 18 MW in Spec Solaris solar energy projects to be acquired by Cox Enterprises must be ready by January, 2021, meaning their installation needs to be carried out swiftly if binding terms are to be honored.

The American investment company is believed to have reached an agreement with a listed Greek firm for the project’s construction.

The American investment firm is expected to soon also acquire the remaining 257 MW of solar energy park capacities held by the Panagakos Group. These have completion deadlines ranging between April and October in 2022.

The 275-MW package held by Spec Solaris was inducted into a fast-track procedure for strategic investments a decade ago.

Cox Enterprises is believed to be one of dozens of foreign investment funds seeking to make a dynamic entry into the Greek RES market, especially the PV sector, offering attractive terms, including fixed 20-year yields.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PPC Renewables, Germany’s RWE aim for business deal by end of year

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, and RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer, have set an objective to develop a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two sides last March into a realistic business agreement by the end of this year.

A team of RWE officials, completing a three-day working visit to Greece today, visited northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, a lignite-dependent area, for on-site inspections of areas offering investment interest to the German company.

Besides new projects, RWE is also keen to take on projects already being developed by other companies.

Details seen fostering the development of the MoU into a business plan, including project financing prospects and the establishment of working groups, were addressed by the two sides.

The visiting German team also held a meeting, yesterday, with the leadership of the development and investment ministry and the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou.

The length of time required in Greece for RES licenses was discussed, as were financial incentives promised through the fair transition fund, an EU plan to support green economy transitions.

PV investor tariffs depend on legislative agenda order

The ability of PV investors to secure tariffs by November 26, when reference prices are due to change, will depend on whether related legislation can previously be submitted to Parliament and ratified.

The energy ministry has completed revisions enabling RES project investors to secure tariffs once their projects have been declared as ready for electrification, not based on their specified electrification dates, as is the case at present.

However, these revisions still need to be ratified in Parliament to come into effect. They are expected to be attached to a draft bill concerning spatial regulations for RES projects, whose consultation period expires tomorrow after having been granted an extension.

Tariff opportunities for projects that have been declared as ready for electrification will be missed if the draft bill is not legislated by the November date.

The energy ministry revisions cannot be attached to draft bills prepared by other ministries, meaning the ability of PV investors to secure tariffs before reference prices change will depend on the order of the government’s legislative agenda.

 

Solar energy investors stunned by sharp price rises of panels

Solar energy investors, big and small, are troubled by a considerable rebound, over the past couple of months, of solar panel prices, an unanticipated development that has overturned a widely held view that the cost of this technology would just keep falling over time.

Solar panel prices have risen between 10 and 25 percent, depending on the model and manufacturer, from early July to the present, an energypress survey has found.

The survey was conducted on Chinese solar energy systems, nowadays exclusively used in Europe.

Besides the increase in prices, a shortage of solar systems has also developed, requiring investors to wait for deliveries.

The delivery delays and price hikes can be attributed to a number of factors, including a sharp rise in global demand for such technology,  technical issues with existing equipment, as well as a drop in the exchange rate for the US dollar.

This has all made the prospect of finding solar panels in 2020 – at higher prices, too – a daunting task for investors.

Those facing upcoming deadlines for projects are troubled most. For example, local tariffs for PV facilities up to 500 KW will change on November 26. Many investors are seeking to have electrified their projects by then, or at least have officially declared being ready – enough to secure them existing tariff levels if a new licensing procedure is implemented by the aforementioned date.

Some pundits think the upward trajectory in solar panel prices could swing in the opposite direction by the first quarter of 2021, but forecasts are generally being avoided at this stage.

Competition in Greece’s PV sector is intensifying as an increasing number of foreign manufacturers and traders are entering the Greek market to strive for a share of a market that is anticipated to keep growing.

EU solar generation up 15% in first half, Greece also on upward trajectory

EU solar generation, resisting pandemic-related impact, increased by more than 15 percent in the first half of 2020 to reach 68 TWh, from 59 TWh during the equivalent period a year earlier, according to a new study by EnAppSys, an energy market specialist.

The study, which examined data from 2015 to 2020, found that solar generation in the EU increased by 70 percent over the five-year period.

Developments in the Greek solar market reflect the EU’s upward trajectory, attributed to the global trend for a reduced ecological footprint and continual technological developments that have slashed RES equipment and generation costs.

New solar energy projects with a total capacity of approximately 130 MW were connected to the Greek network during the first half of 2020, while the bulk of new additions is expected in the second half. Though a precise figure is difficult to forecast, some market officials expect a second-half tally of over 200 MW in Greece.

The country has set an ambitious solar energy capacity target of 6.9 GW by 2030.

 

 

 

PV investors seeking fertile land installations stuck in bureaucracy

Many investors wanting to install photovoltaic systems at land rated as highly fertile report being stranded by bureaucracy as they seek to meet supporting document demands and tight deadlines set by DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator.

Investors complain being stuck between contradicting requirements of DEDDIE and DAOK, the country’s Directorate of Agricultural Economy and Veterinary Services, despite not being at fault and having applied for all necessary permits.

JinkoSolar ranked as top solar brand in debt financed projects

JinkoSolar, one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, was ranked as a top solar brand in debt financed projects and named a most “bankable” PV manufacturer by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the company announced in a statement.

Forty-nine global solar module manufacturers were ranked based on BNEF’s global survey of key PV stakeholders assessing which module brands used in projects are most likely to obtain non-recourse debt financing from commercial banks.

Survey respondents included banks, funds, engineering, procurement, and construction firms (EPCs), independent power producers (IPPs) and technical advisers involved in solar projects around the world.

The survey addressed product quality, long term reliability, field deployment performance, and the manufacturer’s financial strength.

JinkoSolar was considered highly bankable by 100% of the survey respondents.

Further confirming JinkoSolar’s high bankability score, BNEF’s data also shows that projects using JinkoSolar modules have secured more term-loan financing than any other Chinese PV brand ever, the company statement noted.

“As one of the leading solar module manufacturers, we are proud to be recognized once again by BNEF as a most trusted solar brand by customers, investors, and banks all over the world. This is a testament to the outstanding research, stringent quality checks and world records we have set to revolutionize the solar industry with our advanced technology, reliability, and high-quality products,” said Mr. Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar. “We have invested heavily in R&D over the years and will continue to invest in the quality, proven reliability and long-term performance of our PV modules because we believe this will generate value and better returns for investors.”

Going solar boosts UK house prices by average of £32,000

The installation of roof-mounted solar energy systems is boosting property values as prospective buyers appreciate energy self-sufficiency and reduced energy bills in the long run.

In the UK, the market value of houses with roof-mounted PV systems increases by an average of 32,459 pounds, or 36,000 euros, according to a study conducted by energy solutions company EffectiveHome.co.uk in ten major cities.

The impact of roof-mounted PV installations on property value was biggest in London, prompting price increases in excess of 90,000 pounds for properties worth the city’s average housing price level of 686,321 pounds, according to the EffectiveHome.co.uk study.

Bristol followed with a property price boost of 45,142 pounds for properties worth the city’s average property level of 322,444 pounds. In Edinburgh, the boost measured 40,095 pounds for the average housing price of 286,397 pounds. Leicester followed with a 31,577-pound price boost for the average housing price level of 225,552 pounds. In Manchester, the increase is 29,278 pounds for the city’s average housing price level of 209,134 pounds.

PV systems offer potential electricity bill savings of at least 27,500 pounds over a 30-year period, the study determined.

“With house prices currently experiencing a mini boom, it’s interesting to see what impact solar energy and benefits such as reduced energy bills and lowering carbon emissions is having,” noted Dan Graby, director at EffectiveHome.

The value of properties equipped with PV systems is expected to be particularly boosted in countries with abundant sunshine, such as Greece, as the world increasingly turns its attention to green energy solutions.

A third round of a subsidy program – worth 850 million euros – supporting energy efficiency upgrades of properties in Greece is expected to be open for applications in October.

Suppliers want IPTO to take on part of €45m retroactive charge

Electricity suppliers, reacting to a 45 million-euro retroactive charge handed out by power grid operator IPTO for account discrepancies between November, 2019 and May, 2020, want the operator to accept responsibility for part of this cost and also expect the energy ministry to intervene.

Suppliers have asked for legislative and regulatory initiatives to offer greater transparency in calculations of various market-related accounts.

The operator has already delivered the resulting charges to suppliers, prompting their irritation.

The share of the 45 million-euro total cost for suppliers is proportional to their retail electricity market shares, meaning power utility PPC, the dominant player, has been asked to cover the greatest amount.

IPTO’s retroactive charge resulted from account miscalculations, by the operator, that did not factor in a part of RES output, specifically PV production in the low-voltage category.

The issue has also caused accounting confusion for suppliers, whose financial results for the months of November and December, 2019 – both included in IPTO’s discrepancy calculations – have already been finalized and published.

Entities such as IPTO ought to provide reassurances and solutions, not create ambiguities and problems, suppliers, bracing for further pandemic-related challenges as of September, have complained.

The ministry should intervene and offer market stability if the operator is unable to do so, suppliers asserted.

Solar power production cost seen soon falling by 50%

The cost of solar energy production will fall by 50 percent over the next few years, when this technology’s contribution to global electricity generation will have reached 8 percent, up from 2 percent registered last year, Ramez Naam, a leading analyst specializing in energy transition matters, has projected.

Solar energy production is currently breaking one record after another in various parts of the world. The downward trajectory is still at an early stage, according to Naam, a former computer scientist at Microsoft.

Once the PV sector’s contribution to global electricity generation reaches 8 percent, this technology’s production cost can be expected to drop to levels of about 2.5 cents per KWh in the world’s sunniest locations, such as California. PV production costs in Europe’s north can be expected to drop to levels of about 4 to 5 cents per KWh, Naam has estimated.

He predicts near-zero solar production costs in the world’s sunniest locations by 2030 to 2035.

Global solar energy production will eventually reach 19.2 TW, in the distant future, the analyst projected.

The International Energy Agency, in its most recent World Energy Outlook report, projected solar energy production will soon grow at an annual rate of 16 percent.

The cost of solar energy production has fallen by as much as five to eight times over the past decade, in certain parts of the world, and by 350 times compared to levels registered back in 1979.

Household PV producers still awaiting decision for new plan

Electricity consumers interested in installing solar panels with capacities of up to 6 kWp on rooftops for the sale of production to the grid are being forced to keep waiting as a result of a delayed ministerial decision, despite the ratification of related legislation in March.

This ministerial decision was planned for June but the emergence of other priorities at the ministry, including preparations for a subsidy program supporting electric vehicle purchases through the EU’s post-pandemic recovery plan, has delayed this decision’s delivery.

Legislation was approved in March to once again enable household consumers to sell their self-produced electricity to the grid at a set price. An older program, concerning solar panels of up to 10 kWp for both households and businesses, expired on December 31, 2019.

The new legislation sets a selling price of 87 euros per MWh, or 8.7 cents per KWh, for domestic PV producers. 

The pending ministerial decision is expected to fine-tune various installation details.

The new program enabling households to sell their self-produced PV output to the grid should be ready for launch by autumn, barring no further delays.

Solar, wind project tariffs at time of project readiness

The energy ministry is preparing a legislative revision to secure tariff levels for solar and wind energy projects at the time of their certified readiness – by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO – not electrification, as is the case at present.

Energy ministry officials are convinced of this revision’s necessity as, in many cases, RES investors have completed the development of their projects but DEDDIE/HEDNO, for various reasons, cannot promptly offer grid connections for these projects, meaning tariff-related opportunities can be missed.

DEDDIE/HEDNO has expressed its support for the energy ministry’s planned revision. As part of the new procedure, the operator will conduct on-site inspections to confirm whether projects are ready for electrification before providing related certificates.

The overall revisions are expected to take two months to complete and be ready for implementation ahead of reference price changes scheduled for November 26. The energy ministry is expected to submit a legislative revision to Parliament within September.

PPC Renewables OKs terms for Motor Oil joint venture, a 100-MW wind farm

The board at PPC Renewables has approved the fundamental terms of a prospective agreement with Motor Oil for the development and construction of a 100-MW wind farm on one of the Greek islands, still unspecified, energypress sources have informed.

On another front, PPC Renewables yesterday announced a tender for the construction of a 50-MW solar energy complex project in Megalopoli, Peloponnese, whose budget is estimated at 30.7 million euros, not including VAT.

The winning bidder, to be selected through an online auction scheduled for September 30, will be tasked with the Megalopoli project’s design, procurement, transportation of materials and installation of the project’s two parks and substation.

The Megalopoli project will be comprised of two solar energy parks, one with an 11-MW capacity, the other 39 MW.

The project’s 11-MW section recently secured a tariff of 49.11 euros per MWh at an auction staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. The 39-MW section will operate within the target model’s framework, through two-way power purchase agreements with power utility PPC, PPC Renewables’ parent company.

Meanwhile, preliminary procedures are progressing rapidly for the development of another PPC Renewables-PPC solar energy project, in northern Greece’s Ptolemaida region, until now a lignite-dependent local economy. This project’s planned capacity, 230 MW, makes it one of Europe’s biggest solar energy projects. The project promises to play an important role in Greece’s decarbonization effort.

Work began last month on two smaller 15-MW units to represent part of the overall 230-MW project. Work on the main 200-MW section is expected to commence in January.

Over 300 jobs are expected to be created for the Ptolemaida project’s construction needs, offering vital support for the local economy.

Environmental permit exemption for PVs between 0.5-1 MW

A recent ministerial decision concerning the environmental classification of RES projects has been published in the government gazette, enabling the utilization of benefits offered by recent environmental legislation to photovoltaics between 0.5 and 1 MW, no longer requiring environmental permits.

There has been considerable confusion about environmental permit requirements for this RES category as regional authorities have been inconsistent with their policies. Some have exempted PV installations from the need for environmental permits while others have not.

To contain the confusion, the energy ministry had advised regional authorities not to offer environmental permit exemptions until the delivery of its related ministerial decision. Even so, a significant number of projects were offered permit exemptions prior to the ministerial decision.

It remains unclear how authorities will go about processing PV projects that were exempted from environmental permits but have remained stagnant following connection offer applications submitted to distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO.

JinkoPower, EDF Renewables land UAE PV project, world’s biggest

JinkoPower and its bidding partner EDF Renewables have been awarded the Al Dhafra Project, the world’s largest standalone Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, JinkoPower has announced in a statement.

A 30-year Power Purchase Agreement was been signed by the consortium this week with Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a leading company in the coordination of planning, purchasing and providing of water and electricity across the UAE, the statement noted.

With an expected production capacity of 2 GW, the Al Dhafra Solar PV Project will almost double the size of the approximately 1.2 GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant – amongst the largest operational solar PV plants in the world. The Noor Abu Dhabi project, which was awarded to Marubeni Corp and Jinko Consortium in 2017, commenced commercial operations in April 2019.

Once operational, the Al Dhafra Solar PV Project will lift Abu Dhabi’s total solar power generation capacity to approximately 3.2 GW. This will reduce the overall Emirate’s CO2 emissions by more than 3.6 million metric tons per year, which is equivalent to removal of the combustion output of approximately 720,000 vehicles.

In June 2019, EWEC, a part of ADQ, launched a call for tenders. The winning consortium formed by China’s JinkoPower and France’s EDF Renewables submitted the most cost-competitive tariff of USD 1.35 cent per kilowatt-hour on a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) basis, which is approximately 44% lower than tariff set by Jinko Consortium three years ago on the Noor Abu Dhabi project – Abu Dhabi’s first large-scale solar PV project and a world record tariff-setter at the time.

With the collaborative effort and consensus with the partners, JinkoPower-EDF Renewables is committed to begin the development of the Al Dhafra Solar PV Project by delivering diligently the latest world-class technology and construction methods in order to reach its commissioning by 2022.

Charles Bai, President of Jinko Power International Business, commented: “Jinko, once again, is privileged to take on the unforeseen challenge of building the largest PV generation plant in the world, following our success of Noor Abu Dhabi project. Utmost fairness, transparency, and an attractive environment for investors underpin our long-term desire to keep developing renewable energy projects in Abu Dhabi. The Al Dhafra Solar Project raises the bar for international infrastructure investment and creates the avenue for an elite group of competitions to demonstrate how records can be made. Today Jinko undertakes within our capacity to deliver this technology and construction benchmark in two years to come. We are proud to have the chance to break our own world record and Jinko will diligently execute this project with our partners.”

Speaking about the milestone, Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “We are delighted to work with our partners and sign a PPA with a record-low tariff for solar power. We are working to secure long-term energy supply and reinforce solar power’s integral role in meeting current and future energy needs. Combined with key technological advances, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project will have a significant impact on diversifying the approach to our current electricity supply, and drive our strategic plan to further contribute towards the sector’s transformation in water and electricity production, as we develop a low-carbon grid in the UAE.”

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables added:

“We are very proud to be awarded the largest solar project in the world at Al Dhafra. This success reflects the quality of our competitive bid submitted to EWEC in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Jinko Power.

After the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park 1 GWp Phase 3 with DEWA and Masdar as partners, and the implication in the built of the Hatta hydroelectric with storage power plant, near Dubai, this new ambitious project represents a major step forward in EDF group’s renewable energies development in the UAE. These solar projects, along with the Dumat Al Jandal 400 MW wind farm under construction in Saudi Arabia, clearly demonstrate our commitment to actively participate to the energy transition of the Middle East. The region with its great ambitions in low carbon energies is strategic for EDF. Al Dhafra new project greatly contributes to meet the EDF Group’s CAP 2030 strategy, which aims to double its renewable installed energy capacity from 2015 to 2030 worldwide to 50 GW nets.”

Tariff clarity for private PVs, energy communities up to 1MW

Tariff levels at which photovoltaic energy producers not participating in auctions sell output will, as of May 1 next year, be fixed and not adjusted in accordance with average prices of preceding auctions, as has been the case until now, as a result of a number of legislative acts and related ministerial decisions.

This new system concerns private owners of photovoltaics with capacities up to 500 KW and photovoltaic energy communities with total capacities up to 1 MW.

However, until May 1, 2021, numerous photovoltaic projects will have secured tariffs determined by the results of a recent RES auction on July 27.

Tariff prices until November 26, 2020 will be 70.3 euros per MWh for private owners of photovoltaics up to 500 KW and 73.64 euros per MWh for energy communities up to 1 MW.

Between November 27 and a four-month period following a RES auction announced by the energy ministry for December – in other words, until April, 2021 – private owners of photovoltaics up to 500 KW will be able to sell output for 65.73 euros per MWh and energy communities up to 1 MW for 68.86 euros per MWh.

Further ahead, between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022, private owners of photovoltaics up to 500 KW will be able to sell output for 63 euros per MWh and energy communities up to 1 MW for 65 euros per MWh

Barring unexpected changes, tariff levels have been set all the way to  April 30, 2022, offering investors clarity for their business plans.

Authority issues new wave of RES licenses for 27 projects, 491 MW

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has just issued 27 RES producer certificates for as many projects, taking the tally of this new certificate, part of the government’s RES licensing simplification process, to 33.

The authority issued a first wave of new producer certificates towards the end of last month.

The 27 new producer certificates, issued by RAE yesterday, concern eight wind energy parks offering a total capacity of 171.15 MW, 17 solar energy projects with a total capacity of 318.48 MW, and two small-scale hydropower projects offering 2.1 MW, their overall capacity being 491.73 MW.

Four photovoltaic facilities planned by Consortium Solar Power in central Greece’s Fthiotida and Larissa areas, totaling 284 MW, are standout projects in terms of scale.

Enel Green Power was also well presented in this licensing round with a total of six projects, all solar, three of these in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, totaling 7.07 MW, and one each in Rodopi (2.72 MW), Kozani (3.6 MW) and Ioannina (1.99 MW).

As for the two small-scale hydropower projects just issued licenses, one, offering a capacity of 1.54 MW, belongs to the Koryfi K2 Energiaki company, the other, 0.6 MW, to Hydroilektriki.

PHAOS: Sungrow inverter orders over 100 MW since last August

PHAOS Renewables, a Greek company with extensive experience in the PV sector and the official distributor in Greece and Cyprus of SUNGROW, the global leader in solar inverters, has announced SUNGROW inverter orders have exceeded 100 MW since August, 2019.

More specifically, PHAOS Renewables has undertaken the supply of  SUNGROW’s solar inverters concerning the new Commercial Extreme (CX) and High Extreme (HX) lines, PHAOS Renewables announced in a statement.

SG110CX, SG50CX and SG250HX inverters along with the appropriate telecommunication systems, COM100E, were ordered for and are supplied to 135 projects of 500KW to 1MW nominal power, adding up to the impressive figure of 103 MW in less than a year, the company noted. The projects are owned by various energy communities and private investors in Greece, it added.

The company estimates this achievement would have been even greater had global market activity not been suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.  The company is set for plenty of Q3/2020 action with a significant pipeline of projects in line.

PHAOS Renewables remains committed to continuing in the same manner so as to preserve the achievement of more than 100MW in less than a year, without any impact in terms of the quality of the services that it provides to its clients. For this reason, it continues to invest in people by hiring experienced solar experts and looks towards the future with greater confidence, the company noted.

PHAOS Renewables has already achieved partnerships and cooperation with global solar leaders and guarantees the provision of high-quality solutions regarding solar inverters, PV modules and mounting structures, both fixed and moving (solar trackers).

Moreover, it has successfully participated in the supply of PV modules and mounting structures for various projects in Greece.

Aiming to exclusively provide absolutely reliable products, and also committed to serve its partners’ and clients’ needs with products and services of the highest possible value, its portfolio consists of PV equipment coming from the leaders of the industry, it noted.

Germany’s ABO Wind dominates RES auction’s PV category

Germany’s ABO Wind was the most dominant bidder at Greece’s latest RES auction, earlier this week, securing approximately one third of the photovoltaic section’s total capacity for five 10-MW projects in Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece, according to a PV-Magazine report.

The German energy group submitted the auction’s lowest bids, 0.04586, 0.04587 and 0.04883 euros per KWh.

Wind energy projects secured a far greater total capacity than photovoltaics at the auction, 481 MW compared to 142 MW. Also, photovoltaics registered new record-low tariff prices for the Greek market.

Heliotherma secured tariffs for two solar energy parks of 11.9 MW each in Thiva, northwest of Athens at prices of 0.053 euros per KWh. Metka secured tariffs for four projects representing a total capacity of 11 MW.

Other successful bidders included PPC Renewables, securing tariffs for an 11-MW solar park, part of a planned 50-MW complex, in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

The auction’s highest tariff price was 0.06245 euros per KWh, while the average was 0.04981 euros per KWh. A total of 39 projects secured tariffs at the auction.

Tariff prices for the auction’s wind energy section ranged from 0.05386 euros per KWh to 0.0577 euros per KWh.

RES auction prices down in both wind, solar categories

Wind-energy capacity bids at a RES auction staged this morning fell as low as 53.86 euros per MWh, while, in the photovoltaic category, bids dropped to a level of between 45 and 46 euros per MWh, sources informed.

Levels were lower than those registered at the most recent RES auction, last December.

A capacity of about 10 MW was left over for wind energy installations while the entire capacity on offer for photovoltaics was taken up.

Successful bidders included PPC Renewables, for an 11-MW solar energy facility, part of a 50-MW solar park in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

A total of 52 projects representing an overall capacity of 199.43 MW took part in Category 1, for solar energy projects of up to 20 MW. Investors behind these projects competed for 142.45 MW.

Category 2, for wind energy projects of up to 50 MW, drew 25 projects representing a total capacity of 748.37 MW. Investors competed for 481.45 MW.

At the most recent RE auction, last December, the average price for solar energy projects of up to 20 MW ranged between 65.99 euros per MWh and 53.82 euros per MWh, averaging 59.98 euros per MWh.

Prices, last December, for wind energy projects of up to 50 MW ranged between 61.94 euros per MWh and 55.77 euros per MWh, averaging 57.74 euros per MWh.

JinkoSolar silicon cell breaks solar conversion efficiency record

JinkoSolar, one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, has announced that the maximum solar conversion efficiency of its large-area N-type monocrystalline silicon solar cells reached 24.79%, and have set a world record for large-size contact-passivated solar cells. This result was independently confirmed by the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin (ISFH), Germany.

JinkoSolar’s R&D teams of experts in silicon wafer, solar cells and solar modules have made significant breakthroughs in the field of high efficiency and high power of cells and modules for many years, the company noted.

The record-breaking mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a high quality CZ mono-Si substrate, with a practical size of 267.72cm2, and several advanced technologies have been implemented to achieve this new record of 24.79%, including passivating contact technologies, advanced diffusion system, surface passivation and advanced anti-reflection technologies, and a series of material upgrade were integrated into the cell process. The record-breaking mono-crystalline silicon solar cell will be gradually applied to product production.

“JinkoSolar has reached a key R&D milestone and our commitment towards technological innovation in silicon material, cell fabrication and module processing technologies has led to multiple world records for the efficiency of solar cells and modules. We are very proud to break the world record with advanced large-area N-type cell in the world, and this innovative cell technology also holds the world record for PV module efficiency,” commented Dr. Jin Hao, CTO of JinkoSolar . “We will constantly invest in upgrading technologies to achieve mass production, and to lead the way by providing high efficiency and competitive industrial products for our global customers.”

 

Solar energy sector country’s biggest RES player since 2014

Solar energy systems have played a key part in the RES sector’s increased share of the country’s energy mix since 2014, data provided by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

RES and combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) units in operation at the end of 2019 totaled 6,373 MW, of which 3,301 MW concern wind energy parks and 2,640 MW concern photovoltaic systems.

The number of RES licenses granted until the end of 2019 totaled a capacity of 30.3 GW, according to IPTO data included in the operator’s ten-year development plan covering 2020 to 2029, forwarded for consultation.

These licenses mainly concern wind and solar energy projects, with hydropower stations as well as biomass and biogas units playing a smaller role.