Deviation cost limit on small-scale PVs with FiTs to be halved

The energy ministry is planning to halve a cap concerning the balancing cost of small-scale photovoltaic systems operating with feed-in tariffs and balancing responsibilities, energypress sources have informed.

The current level does not permit this cost to exceed charges and overstay disincentives imposed by FOSETEK, the green aggregation representative body.

The energy ministry’s legislative revision, expected soon, will halve the current upper level permitted for these costs. It will primarily concern small-scale photovoltaics with capacities ranging between 400 and 500 KW for which agreements had been signed with DAPEEP, the RES market operator, beyond July 4, 2019, as, during the resulting period, all PV projects with capacities of over 400 KW are required to operate with feed-in-premiums.

According to market officials, a total of approximately 180 PVs operate based on feed-in-tariffs with balancing responsibilities intact.

Meanwhile, the energy ministry plans to temporarily increase reference prices for biomass and biogas units as a result of the energy crisis. The increase, expected to be 25 percent, will concern projects that have signed operational support contracts. The increase will apply until the end of 2023, while an extension through a ministerial decision will be made possible.

 

Roof-mounted solar system subsidy program from March 8

The scheduling details of a subsidy program for roof-mounted solar panels are close to being finalized with an opening date for applications by interested parties expected to be set within the first ten-day period of March, probably March 8.

Authorities are aiming for the installation of approximately 250,000 photovoltaic systems by households, farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises, while greatest possible priority is expected to be given to applicants also intending to attach batteries to these systems.

The subsidy program, to offer 350 million euros for roof-mounted solar panel installations with batteries, will cover as much as 60 percent of the investment cost.

Authorities expect some 80,000 of 250,000 applications in total to combine roof-mounted solar panel installations with batteries.

At least 100,000 households are expected to receive subsidy support for roof-mounted solar panel installations, while program applicants from the farming and small and medium-sized enterprise categories should each total 75,000.

Officials aim to deliver a preliminary announcement of the subsidy program’s guidelines from early February onwards.

Grid capacity for net metering, energy community projects

Investor application rights for new solar energy projects will continue to remain suspended for an indefinite period, but existing distribution network capacity will be made available to investors submitting applications for net metering and energy community-related projects, highly ranked energy ministry officials have informed energypress.

The ministry is determined to offer as much grid capacity as possible for projects aiming to reduce the cost of energy for a wide range of consumers, the energy ministry officials noted.

Grid capacity totaling 2.5 GW has been reserved for roof-mounted photovoltaics concerning net metering projects. This reservation is expected to enable the installation of approximately 250,000 solar energy systems of up to 10 KW in the household, small business and farming categories.

New NECP at Interministerial Committee on Monday

The revised National Energy and Climate Plan, a strategy of greater ambition aiming for 24 GW in wind and solar energy installations, 4 GW in hydropower and pumped-storage stations, as well as energy storage projects totaling 8 GW, all by 2030, is scheduled to be presented at the Interministerial Committee on Monday.

As a next step, the road map of the NECP, now completed according to energypress sources, will be officially announced by the energy ministry before undergoing consultation.

The RES sector’s share of the energy mix has been increased to 80 percent in the revised NECP, up from a 65 percent target set in the previous edition.

The existing NECP’s RES and hydropower target had been set at 19 GW. The revised version’s target has been boosted to 28 GW.

The RES installation target of 24 GW, it should be noted, includes offshore wind farms of 2 to 2.5 GW, indicating that the NECP is, for the first time, committing to the development of this new green energy technology.

Last year ended with operating wind and solar facilities of 10.2 GW, meaning installations representing a total capacity of 13.8 GW for the two RES technologies will need to be installed over the next eight years if the NECP’s 24-GW target is to be achieved.

December gas energy-mix share up to 43%, RES input falls

Natural gas usage for electricity generation increased in December to represent 43 percent of the energy mix, up from 37 percent in November.

At 43 percent, natural gas-fueled electricity captured the biggest share of the energy mix in December, followed by renewable energy sources – wind, solar and biomass – at 26 percent, lignite, at 17 percent, net electricity imports, at 10 percent, and major-scale hydropower plants, at 4 percent.

Combing the RES and hydropower contributions, the renewable energy sector’s share of the energy mix in December essentially reached 30 percent.

Natural gas-fueled generation and RES generation reached 1,645,055 MWh and 1,012,485 MWh, respectively, in December, while lignite-fired output for the month totaled 656,157 MWh.

In 2022, overall, natural gas’ share of the energy mix increased by one percent, while the RES sector’s share shrunk by 8 percent.

Energy demand increased in December, reaching 4,013,598 MWh, following four successive months of decline.

Less red tape for net-metering PV installations

The energy ministry has set as a priority to simplify the bureaucratic procedure households and businesses must go through to install solar panels for net metering purposes, before it launches a subsidy program for over 250,000 such installations, as it has announced.

Officials at the energy ministry and distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO are currently finalizing legal revisions needed to simplify the procedure for net-metering solar panel installations.

The country’s political leadership has asked officials working on the matter to abolish the need for any unnecessary supporting documents and make the procedure as simple as possible for applicants.

The objective is to simplify the procedure down to a level requiring just a few steps, all online.

The distribution network operator has made available 10 MW at each of its sub-stations to facilitate grid entry for the forthcoming subsidy program’s solar power systems to be installed for net metering purposes.

The government is expected to publish guidelines for the subsidy program early in 2023.

 

Subsidies guideline for PV net-metering units in early January

The energy ministry plans to deliver, early in 2023, guidelines concerning a prospective subsidy program offering support to at least 250,000 small-scale solar panel installations by households, farmers and businesses for net metering purposes.

A starting date for applications by interested parties, once the guidelines have been released, has yet to be set. Prospective applicants are expected to be given sufficient time to study the subsidy program’s details before the starting date for applications.

The subsidy program, budgeted at 700 million euros, is expected to offer support for at least 100,000 solar panel installations by households as well as 75,000 installations by small businesses and that many more by farmers.

According to energypress sources, the precise subsidy amounts to be distributed to each of the three categories has yet to be determined.

Government officials have indicated they are planning to offer top-tier subsidies of as much as 60 percent for solar energy project installations combining energy storage systems. Minimum subsidy levels are likely to be as low as 15 percent.

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has made available capacity for these net-metering PV projects by freeing up 10-MW capacities at each of its sub-stations.

 

 

 

GEK-TERNA winning bidder for PPC 550-MW solar farm

GEK-TERNA has emerged as the winning bidder in a tender staged by PPC Renewables for the development of a 550-MW solar farm, one of Europe’s biggest, and its interconnection projects in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, at a location where power utility PPC, PPC Renewables’ parent company, has operated a company-owned lignite mine, sources have informed.

GEK-TERNA outbid five participants, METKA, RES INVEST, CMEC, AVAX and AKTOR, for this solar farm contract, a pivotal project for the decarbonization effort in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, as well as PPC’s dynamic turn towards renewable energy.

Procurement of the project’s panels and all other equipment will be handled by PPC Renewables.

The project’s completion will represent a milestone for PPC’s business plan, foreseeing a rapid increase in installed RES capacity over the next few years.

PPC Renewables, nowadays organizing tenders for such projects at an extremely fast pace, is aiming for an imminent start in the Ptolemaida solar park’s development, so that this investment, worth roughly 280 million euros, can be completed by 2024.

The Ptolemaida solar farm will rank as one of Europe’s biggest. At present, a 626-MW solar power project being developed in central Spain by Solaria Energia is Europe’s biggest.

The Ptolemaida solar farm will more-than-double the capacity of Greece’s biggest such unit at present, a 204-MW solar power plant developed by ELPE in Kozani, northern Greece.

 

‘Energy storage installations can wait for lower prices’

The National Technical University of Athens’ professor Stavros Papathanasiou, also head of the energy ministry’s committee for energy storage, has proposed, in an interview with energypress, a rational and careful approach to Greece’s storage needs.

A RES energy-mix share of 80 percent by 2030 will require more pumped-storage projects, while decisions on the prospective installation of 900 to 1,000 MW in energy storage systems – a capacity to soon become available through auction procedures – can be left for later on, when price levels for this technology will have fallen significantly, the NTUA professor noted.

The professor also offered a detailed analysis on how storage investments should be remunerated when they provide congestion relief services to the system.

He also stressed the role of storage stations in combination with RES stations (behind the meter) is absolutely crucial, adding that investors behind existing photovoltaic and wind energy facilities should be given incentives to install batteries as a part of their investments.

The professor also noted it is necessary to reform the existing net metering system so that production and consumption of energy could be synchronized instead of having energy injected into the grid at times of congestion.

Net-metering PV installation subsidy details by month’s end

The details of a subsidy program concerning small-scale PVs installations for net-metering purposes by households, farmers and businesses will be finalized within the next few days, Alexandra Sdoukou, the energy ministry’s secretary-general, has told the 5th Athens Investment Forum.

Prenotification of the plan, expected to subsidize no less than 250,000 PV installations, will be delivered by the end of November to inform interested parties and also enable improvements if constructive proposals are made.

PV installations for at least 100,000 households, 75,000 small-scale businesses and 75,000 farmers are expected to be subsidized through the forthcoming program.

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has freed up capacities of 10 MW at each of its substations to facilitate new grid connections to result from the subsidy program’s PV installations.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the subsidy program concerning small-scale PVs installations for net-metering purposes at the Thessaloniki International Fair last September.

 

 

 

PPA contract prices driven lower by market imbalance

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) have fallen to levels of between 40 and 50 euros per MWh because of two key factors, firstly, the need of many RES project investors to establish bilateral contracts in order to upgrade their projects and meet priority-status standards set by power grid operator IPTO, and secondly, as a result of low absorption rates of production as large-scale consumers who could absorb big RES quantities have already made intra-group arrangements, a leading official at Aurora Energy Research has told energypress.

In addition, potential off-takers are limited and have low creditworthiness, the official noted.

“The supply and demand imbalance is putting downward pressure on PPA prices, resulting in PPAs trading at levels significantly below their value,” the official pointed out.

PPA contracts running from 2025 and 2035 in the Greek market should actually be worth between 60 and 90 euros per MWh for solar energy and between 70 and 100 euros per MWh for wind energy, the official noted.

 

PV grid connections hit record levels in 2022, upward trend since 2019

Solar energy projects are being connected to the country’s grid in record numbers, resembling an initial surge experienced back in 2012 and 2013.

So far this year, PV connections to the grid have reached 1,340 MW, about a quarter of the 5,466-MW total accumulated since 2010, when the sector was still going through its embryonic period, data just presented by energy consultant Stelios Psomas at the SolarPlaza conference has shown.

The heightened level of PV connections this year reflects the strong RES interest expressed by investors. A series of strategic agreements for the country’s renewable energy market have been reached over the past couple of years.

A minimal number of PV connections were made in Greece between 2014 and 2018, but the sector began experiencing renewed growth in 2019, at an increasing rate, data presented at the conference showed.

PV connections to the grid reached 161 MW in 2019, 459 MW in 2020 and 838 MW in 2021, and are at 1,340 MW so far this year, the date showed.

Subsidy program for PV net metering systems in January

The energy ministry is working towards launching, in January, a subsidy program for small-scale solar energy systems to be installed by households, farmers and small-sized enterprises for net-metering purposes as a means of reducing their energy costs.

This subsidy program was announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at September’s annual Thessaloniki International Fair.

It is expected to offer subsidies for solar energy panel installations to at least 100,000 households, 75,000 small enterprises and 75,000 farmers.

The subsidy funds to be provided for households and farmers are expected to stem from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and the REPowerEU program, introduced by the European Commission to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy sources. The government is expected to provide subsidies for small businesses through the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The initiative is seen subsidizing up to 60 percent of solar energy system installations combining energy storage. Subsidies for simpler systems are expected to cover at least 30 percent of their cost.

Growing number of investors complain about faulty online auction procedure

Investors who were unable to participate, due to technical glitches, in an online procedure staged by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO on October 21 for solar energy unit capacities to help resolve the saturated Peloponnese network have been filing a growing number of complaints.

A variety of online platform issues, including a dysfunctional drop-down menu list, the system’s block of information participants were expected to upload, as well as frequent server disconnections, meant that bidders were unable to submit bids before the procedure’s deadline.

Roof-mounted solar panel application procedure to be simplified

The energy ministry is working on simplifying an application procedure for roof-mounted solar energy systems, ahead of a related subsidy program, by reducing the amount of supporting documents needed by interested parties and shortening the overall process, energypress sources have informed.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had first announced the procedure would be simplified during his speech at the annual Thessaloniki International Fair in early September.

The ministry’s revisions will seek to reduce to a minimum the number of supporting documents needed by applicants and spare them of the need to resort to civil engineers to obtain some of the needed documents.

The aim is to establish an online procedure for applicants. Energy ministry officials are currently collaborating with DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, to finalize the revised list of supporting documents needed as well as the new procedure.

A subsidy program covering as much as 60 percent of the total cost for roof-mounted solar energy systems will soon be offered, Alexandra Sdoukou, the energy ministry’s secretary-general, told the recent Renewable & Storage Forum, staged by energypress.

PPA-linked RES project interest surges, favorable conditions

Investment interest in wind and solar energy projects planned to offer their output through power purchase agreements (PPAs) has grown sharply, as indicated by a large number of preliminary PPA agreements submitted by investors to power grid operator IPTO for entry into a priority-status category established through a ministerial decision.

A 1,500-MW limit that had been set by the ministerial decision for this category has been greatly exceeded, according to energypress sources. The energy ministry has already decided to elevate this limit, but it remains unclear if the bar will be raised sufficiently to fully cover the heightened level of investment interest being declared.

RES producers are turning to PPAs in greater numbers as a result of lower fixed tariffs being offered at RES auctions staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, market officials have pointed out.

Another key factor behind this trend is the greater need for green power generation being expressed by suppliers, due to a wholesale cap, as well as industrial players, all of which is creating favorable PPA conditions offering RES producers higher fees.

A considerable amount of grid capacity for PPA-based RES projects is expected to be made available through the cancellation, by energy authorities, of RES projects that have held connection terms for quite some time but inexplicably remained stagnant.

RES applications for 17 GW in 2022, PV units dominant

A total of 17 GW in RES project applications have been submitted in 2022, adding to the accumulation of older applications, but the October cycle, which expired last Monday, was subdued, resulting in 179 applications for producer certificates representing 2,504 MW.

Solar energy projects represented the majority of applications submitted in the October cycle, numbering 61 in total for 1,559 MW. Wind energy project applications totaled 79, representing 733 MW, in the October cycle.

A recent trend, confirmed, once again, by the October cycle figures, has shown a preference by solar energy project investors for facilities with greater capacity, compared to the past, while, on the contrary, wind energy projects are becoming smaller.

The October cycle also included 33 applications for small-scale hydropower units totaling 19 MW, 5 applications for hybrid projects representing 191 MW, and 1 biomass application representing 1.5 MW.

‘Virtual net metering law for businesses by Christmas’

Legislative action to utilize technology enabling virtual net metering through solar energy installations for medium and high-voltage voltage consumers have been announced by energy minister Kostas Skrekas.

The minister said legislation for medium and high-voltage voltage virtual net metering would be ratified by Christmas to enable enterprises to use self-produced electricity generated by off-site PV systems.

The minister, who was speaking at the Professional Chamber of Athens (EEA), addressed the energy crisis and responded to related questions by members on government intervention and actions.

Skrekas told the chamber’s members that energy sufficiency has been secured through government measures but stressed energy waste will need to be restricted.

Recent data showed an electricity consumption reduction of 13 percent in early September and a 40 percent drop in demand for natural gas over the past three months, the minister noted.

Subsidies to cover 40-60% cost of net-metering solar panels

The government plans to offer a subsidy package covering between 40 and 60 percent of investment costs for approximately 250,000 roof-mounted solar panels installed for net metering purposes by households, farmers and small businesses.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the government’s plan over the weekend at the ongoing Thessaloniki International Fair.

The overall capacity of small-scale solar energy panels to be installed through this support program will reach 2.5 GW, while a 10-KW limit will be set for each installation, energypress sources have informed.

Some beneficiaries with less energy needs will undoubtedly opt for smaller solar panels, meaning the number of parties eligible for subsidy support will rise.

The program’s funds for households and farmers will stem from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) as well as the REPower EU action plan, designed to rapidly reduce European dependence on Russian fossil fuels and accelerate the green transition.

Small businesses will be included in this subsidy support program with corresponding amounts from the development fund.

 

Investor participation limited for first RES auction in 1½ yrs

Participation at an upcoming RES auction, the country’s first in one-and-a-half years, will be limited, despite the growing interest in green energy investments, a provisional list of auction participants just released by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has shown.

RES investors behind 34 projects with a total capacity of approximately 944.5 MW will seek to secure tariffs at the auction, scheduled for September 6. One application was rejected after failing to meet a guarantee payment deadline.

Given the auction’s rules, RES projects representing a total of 525 MW will secure tariffs at this September auction.

Its participation level is down approximately 50 percent compared to the previous RES auction, held in May, 2021, a session that was dominated by solar energy units.

Sector officials have named low starting bid levels set for solar and wind energy units as one of the factors behind the upcoming auction’s limited turnout, noting these levels do not reflect increased project costs, driven considerably higher by steep equipment price increases.

A starting bid level of 54 euros per MWh has been set for solar energy units, while the starting bid level for wind energy units is 63 euros per MWh. PV investors underlined investments cannot be sustainable at such levels.

 

Country’s solar energy capacity on course to overtake wind energy

Solar energy units are on course to overtake wind energy as the country’s biggest RES sub-sector, given the growing number of installations of the former and a slowdown of the latter during the first half, latest data provided by DAPEEP, the RES market operator, has shown.

At the current rate, the total capacity of solar energy facilities could, for the first time ever, exceed that of wind energy units in the second half of this year.

At present, the country’s wind energy capacity totals 4,294 MW, solar energy capacity is at 4,173 MW, and roof-mounted photovoltaics are at 371 MW. They are followed by small-scale hydropower units (246 MW), biogas-biomass (99 MW) and cogeneration-combined hear and power (118 MW).

The country’s installed RES capacity increased by 207.4 MW in May, solar energy units being the biggest contributor (153.2 MW), followed by wind energy (51.8 MW), small-scale hydropower units (1.7 MW) and biomass (0.7 MW), the DAPEEP figures showed.

The RES market operator expects renewable energy installations in 2022 to reach 1,900 MW, led by solar energy units (950 MW), and followed by wind energy (910 MW), biomass (15 MW), cogeneration-combined hear and power (15 MW), and small-scale hydropower (10 MW).

Greece’s total installed RES capacity reached 9,300 MW in May, up from 8,500 MW at the beginning of the year, the DAPEEP data showed.

 

PPC Renewables tender for big 550-MW solar farm imminent

PPC Renewables plans to announce a tender by next week, at the very latest, for the development of one of Europe’s biggest solar energy farms, a 550-MW facility in northern Greece’s Ptolemaida area, where sections of lignite mines owned by parent company PPC, the power utility, will be used for the renewable energy project.

The tender will concern the project’s construction. PPC Renewables will install the solar panels itself.

The Ptolemaida solar farm will not participate in RES auctions for tariffs as PPC Renewables intends to establish Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with buyers for direct purchases of the solar energy farm’s output.

PPC Renewables aims to have a construction company working on the project’s development by the end of this year for completion of the investment by 2024. The project’s budget is worth approximately 280 million euros.

Europe’s biggest solar energy farm at present, still under construction, is a 626-MW project in central Spain. It is being developed by Solaria Energia. Also in Spain, Iberdrola is developing a 590-MW solar energy farm.

Greece’s biggest solar farm, already operating, is a 204-MW facility owned by Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) in Kozani, northern Greece.

 

DEPA Commercial makes another RES market acquisition

Gas company DEPA Commercial has further penetrated the RES market by fully acquiring NEW SPES CONCEPT, possessing solar farms with a total capacity of 232 MW, and is preparing to buy a further 51 percent stake, for full ownership, of North Solar, whose business plan features 500-MW of solar farms in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region.

DEPA Commercial aims to build a RES portfolio with a 1-GW capacity.

NEW SPES CONCEPT is currently developing 14 solar energy projects and holds as many electricity producer certificates.

DEPA Commercial made a first step into the renewable energy market last year with the purchase of a 49 percent stake in North Solar and is now expected to exercise an option for the other 51 percent of the company.

North Solar’s 500-MW solar farms in the country’s west Macedonia region are expected to receive finalized connection terms in the third quarter of this year, sources informed.

Besides its stakes in NEW SPES CONCEPT and North Solar, DEPA Commercial also holds a 20-percent stake in Gastrade, a consortium established for the Alexandroupili FSRU project in the country’s northeast.

Next RES auction in early September, for 1,000 MW

The next RES auction, to feature a new remuneration framework for investors, is set to be held early September, following the signing of a related ministerial decision, which paves the way for the session’s official announcement by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The authority will officially announce the auction imminently, giving participants time to prepare for the session from early July onwards, according to energypress sources.

The signing of the ministerial decision, one of two signed, enabling the procedure to go ahead, was announced yesterday by the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou during a speech at a conference, Green Deal Greece 2022.

Sdoukou reiterated that the RES auction will be a mixed session for solar and wind energy facilities and will offer tariffs for projects with a total capacity of 1,000 MW.

Bidders will be able to submit multiple bids, the formula also used for the previous auction, the energy ministry official noted.

PPC seeking big-name offshore wind farm partnerships

Power utility PPC is seeking to establish a strategic partnership with a major international partner or partners for co-development of offshore wind farms in Greek territory as a follow-up to its partial acquisition of energy firm Volterra’s renewable energy portfolio, namely 112 MW in wind and solar energy projects, both already operating and under construction.

PPC is looking at offshore wind farm collaborations with the likes of Norway’s Aker, France’s Total and EDF, as well as Germany’s RWE. The Greek power utility has already held discussions with some of these companies, according to sources. Partnerships could be established with one company or even two, offering 33.3 percent shares to each.

According to the sources, PPC aims to have reached an agreement for offshore wind farm collaborations within the summer, concurrent to the energy ministry’s establishment of a legal framework for an offshore wind farm sector in Greek sea territory.

The ministry’s framework for the sector is nearing completion and could be forwarded for consultation as soon as mid-June.

This explains why PPC is currently giving preference to offshore wind farm projects in Greece over wind and PV project acquisitions in the Balkans, which the company has kept a close watch on for investment opportunities since the end of 2021.

Record-Breaking Ultra Large PV Plant With Unity Controls

Inaccess has been awarded the PPC contract, one of the largest single solar PV plants in the world, a 2GW photovoltaic project in the EMEA region.

The Unity Power Plant Controller (PPC) was selected for the grid integration and overall control of this record-breaking project currently under construction. Consisting of approximately 4 million bifacial solar panels and more than 80,000 trackers, this flagship PV plant will generate enough electricity for around 160,000 homes and mitigate 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Inaccess will deploy Unity PPC in a master-slave configuration that controls approximately 8,000 string inverters and a series of capacitor banks. The active and reactive power control functionality will be complemented by our state-of-the-art automatic voltage regulation, which is essential for the smooth integration of this landmark project into the grid. In addition, Unity’s built-in redundancy will provide the necessary reliability and availability, guaranteeing the continuous and correct operation of the site control.

Learn more about Inaccess here.

 

DNV ‘contributing’ to floating PV company ‘bankability’

By Michalis Mastorakis

An important step to enhance the maturity of the floating photovoltaic industry in Europe is being advanced by the independent energy expert and assurance provider, DNV.

This is starting with the implementation of two Joint industry Projects (JIP’s) which aim to create standards and guidelines for anchorage and mooring design as well as testing and certification of floats.

DNV intends to formulate a “roadmap” for potential investors and operators of floating photovoltaics, developing for the first time in the world, a specific certification and verification framework in terms of design, development and operation of floating photovoltaics.

The Norwegian classification society already collaborated with 24 sector companies as part of a previous JIP effort, that led to the publication of DNV-RP-0584. DNV has also invited others to participate in the two new JIPs, Michele Tagliapietra, solar energy advisor and DNV’s Global Practice Lead for Floating Solar, has told energypress.

As Tagliapietra explained speaking to energypress, there is a significant gap and this affects the “bankability” of investors, resulting in significant obstacles to the maturation and implementation of projects in the industry and even at a time, as he characteristically stated, that the technology of floating photovoltaics is booming and has significant investment interest in major markets on the European continent.

DNV’s first new Joint Industry Project for this sector aims to share and verify optimal practices concerning floating photovoltaic anchoring and mooring design. Taking into account the sector’s experience, so far, and existing concepts, this effort, involving participants from across the entire floating photovoltaics domain, will produce a design standard tackling a range of challenges that are expected to arise during design and installation.

The second new Joint Industry Project, concerning float design, testing and qualification – it is based on DNV’s knowhow and network – will aim to establish an adequate standard for design, testing and certification of floating PVs. This step promises to introduce clearer, swifter and lower-cost procedures.

Specific technology for specific conditions

Evaluating the Group’s overall experience in the floating photovoltaic industry, the senior DNV executive stated that the “key” to the successful development of the projects is the combination of “appropriate technology in the right place”, emphasizing that the project design must take into account the geographical, weather and technical conditions of each place selected for a project.

Determining the level of “maturity” of this technology, he said that for the time being it remains immature for application on the high seas, without however being ruled out in the near future, given that this technology is experiencing rapid development. Today such projects are mainly found in lakes and water basins within the mainland.

The case for Greece

Of particular interest is the case for Greece, where DNV has a long experience in the industry. According to Mr. Tagliapietra, Greece has a comparative advantage with the sea areas near the coastline that are considered particularly favourable to host such projects. “The Greek coastal region may be an optimal choice solution for the installation of floating photovoltaics,” he said.

The European trend

While the Netherlands is at the forefront for installed capacity in Europe, countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and Germany are currently starting to implement floating solar specific regulations and initiatives to promote the sector.

Overall, European countries are becoming more favorable to the development of floating photovoltaics, a stance that puts this technology in good stead as a sustainable solution for energy sufficiency and supply within the framework of the European Commission’s new REPowerEU plan.

DNV forecasts

The geographical potential for floating photovoltaics installation is estimated at 4 TW by the World Bank. Following a hesitant start, the global floating PV market grew to 3 GW in installed capacity in 2021 and, according to DNV, should reach between 7 and 11 GW in installed capacity by 2025, a surge in development expected from 2023 onwards.

 

Solar energy investors focusing on large-scale projects

Increased emphasis is nowadays being placed on large-scale solar energy parks around Europe, as well as energy storage, through hybrid projects combining photovoltaics with batteries, participants at Intersolar Europe 2022, a major international conference and trade fair, held annually in Munich, have agreed.

The solar energy sector has enormous potential, especially in Europe, as a result of the EU’s decision to greatly reduce its reliance on Russian energy sources, participants noted, without overlooking concerns troubling the market, regarded as unstable by many.

Highlighting the growing level of interest in the solar energy sector, Intersolar Energy 2022 involved the participation of 1,356 exhibitors from 46 countries, attracting 65,000 visitors from 149 countries, a 33 percent increase compared to 2019.

A host of Greek companies took part, these being: Sunlight Group Energy Storage Systems, Elvan S.A., ILVIEF SA, Inaccess ltd, Nanotechnology Lab LTFN, Organic Electronic Technologies PC (O.E.T.), Profilodomi, Protasis SA, Raycap GmbH, Recom Technologies, S.K.EVANGELOPOULOS AND CO, SOLBOTIX S.A.

Local representatives of major international players also participated, representing companies such as Huawei, Jinko, Goodwe, Krannich-Solar, Kostal and Raycap, all active in the Greek market.

 

Shell, Inaccess to deploy Unity platform in hybrid PV+Wind 100MW Dutch project

As renewable energy penetration increases, many grid operators and consequently developers are facing challenges due to reduced grid capacity. The Netherlands is one of the countries dealing with such challenges stemming from the fast growth of its renewable energy sector during the last couple of years.

One of the solutions to circumvent grid congestion is to co-locate Solar and Wind plants. These types of generation assets complement each other very well since there is an abundance of solar energy during the day and in the summer months while there is plenty of wind during the winter months.

This complementary nature of solar and wind can stabilize the intermittent nature of the energy production and maximize grid connection utilization, leading to significant benefits in terms of dispatchability, flexibility, and reliability.

Shell, as part of its global push in the renewable energy space, developed a hybrid asset in the Netherlands. The power plant consists of a 50MW photovoltaic power plant and a 50MW wind farm.

In order to control and monitor this complex project, Shell worked with Inaccess, a global leader in control and monitoring solutions for renewable energy projects. Building on their successful cooperation for utility-scale projects in Australia and the EMEA region, Shell and Inaccess will continue collaborating on a project pipeline in various countries.

The Unity system of Inaccess optimizes the operation of modern renewable power plants and portfolios encompassing PV, Batteries, Wind and Microgrids by offering:

  • Fine-tuned control: low-level distributed control architecture and grid interaction
  • Crystallizing and Centralizing by providing accurate data acquisition and scalability
  • Maximizing energy production by identifying and evaluating cases of underperformance
  • Optimizing market revenues by minimizing imbalance costs and maximizing Energy Capture Price

The integrated nature of the Unity system ensures “no-excuses” accurate monitoring, control and optimization and acts as the single version of truth among the EPC, O&M, Asset Management, and Market Management ecosystem, thus eliminating inefficiencies.

Co-locating wind farms with solar assets provides more grid-friendly power that is necessary in today’s congested grids. This pairing has the potential to disrupt and transform many renewable energy markets globally that are facing similar challenges.

About Shell

Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com.

Globally, Shell is building an integrated power business that will provide customers with low-carbon and renewable energy solutions. Shell Renewables and Energy Solutions spans trading, generation and supply. We offer integrated energy solutions including hydrogen, solar, wind and electric-vehicle charging at scale, while buying nature-based carbon credits and using technology to capture emissions from hard-to-abate sectors of the energy system. Today Shell has deployed or is developing more than 6 gigawatts of wind power generation capacity across North America, Europe, the UK and Asia, and in January 2022 Shell secured the seabed leases to develop up to 5 gigawatts of floating offshore wind in the ScotWind leasing round.

Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. For more information on our net-zero emissions customer-first strategy visit here.

About Inaccess

With a global presence, Inaccess is an innovative company providing centralized management solutions for Renewable Energy and Telecom infrastructure, mostly offered on a turn-key basis.

Inaccess is one of the largest independent solar SCADA leaders in the world with a cumulative portfolio of more than 30 GWp across more than 2500 sites and 57 countries. Our singular focus is to provide high-quality solutions to our clients (EPCs, O&Ms, Developers, and Funds) for better and effective management of their renewable assets.

Inaccess has the team capacity to implement the Plant SCADA system in many plants in parallel, allowing us to deliver several GWs in solar and storage projects annually around the world.

The Inaccess group is acknowledged as one of the leading independent monitoring providers for the utility-scale PV and Battery Storage segment globally. Inaccess has significant activity in wind, hybrid, mini-grid, and off-grid RES projects as well.

RES investors pressured by increased project development cost

Investors behind solar energy projects still in development are facing budget pressure as a result of a steep rise in equipment costs, prompting talks of increased tariffs for non-auction projects.

Price increases, compared to early 2021, have reached 35 percent for solar panels, 75 percent for AC electricity cables, 35 percent for DC cables, 20 percent for low and medium-voltage sub-stations, while the cost of metal bases has also risen.

Data presented recently by SPEF, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers, at a recent energy conference showed that the construction cost of a standard solar farm has increased by 15 to 20 percent, in line with figures presented by IEA, the International Energy Agency.

Wind energy projects face similar rises in cost, which has prompted the energy ministry to increase non-auction tariffs for new projects of up to 6 MW to 89 euros per MW/h from 72 euros per MW/h.