In­ter­so­lar Europe 2017

Power Watch India - - EVENTS INTERNATIONAL -

Re­new­able en­er­gies are tak­ing the world by storm. As a re­sult, de­cen­tralised en­ergy gen­er­a­tion and above all the smart in­te­gra­tion and man­age­ment of re­new­able sources of en­ergy are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant. In­ter­so­lar Europe is tak­ing up this topic at the Smart Re­new­able En­ergy spe­cial ex­hibit and col­lab­o­rat­ing with three Helmholtz As­so­ci­a­tion cen­tres to demon­strate what the en­ergy sup­ply of the fu­ture could look like. In­ter­so­lar Europe, the world’s lead­ing ex­hi­bi­tion for the so­lar in­dus­try and its part­ners, will be held from 31 May – 2 June 2017 in Mu­nich. The suc­cess of re­new­able en­ergy con­tin­ues un­in­ter­rupted around the world. Ac­cord­ing to a new re­port pub­lished by the McK­in­sey Global In­sti­tute, the global share of en­ergy from re­new­able sources could grow from the cur­rent 4 per cent to 36 per cent by 2035. A sub­stan­tial amount of this will be con­trib­uted by so­lar en­ergy. Ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures re­cently pub­lished by So­larPower Europe, 76 gi­gawatts (GW) of so­lar en­ergy were in­stalled in 2016 – as com­pared to just 50 GW in 2015. China and USA in par­tic­u­lar led the surge last year, with both coun­tries al­most dou­bling their so­lar ex­pan­sion.

The con­se­quence of rapid devel­op­ment world­wide: The share of re­new­able en­ergy in the power grid is con­stantly in­creas­ing. In light of this, the ques­tion of how re­new­able en­ergy can be ef­fec­tively in­te­grated into power grids and en­ergy sys­tems is be­com­ing ever more im­por­tant – be­cause sup­ply safety must be guar­an­teed in the new en­ergy world. Re­new­able en­er­gies do not sup­ply the same amount of power at all times of day or year, so the global en­ergy tran­si­tion needs a mod­ern, smart in­fra­struc­ture and in­no­va­tive stor­age op­tions to en­sure that the nec­es­sary quan­ti­ties of power, heat and fu­els are avail­able at all times. In­ter­so­lar Europe is ex­plor­ing this topic at the Smart Re­new­able En­ergy spe­cial ex­hibit (hall B2, booth B2.140).

In­tel­li­gently con­nected – Re­searchers test en­ergy net­works of the fu­ture: The Karl­sruhe In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (KIT) and its pro­ject part­ners from the Helmholtz As­so­ci­a­tion – the Ger­man Aero­space Cen­tre (DLR) and Forschungszen­trum Jülich (FZJ) – will present how new meth­ods and tech­nolo­gies can shape the en­ergy sys­tem of the fu­ture. Their new in­fra­struc­ture plat­form En­ergy Lab 2.0, funded by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment and Fed­eral State of Baden-Würt­tem­berg, in­ves­ti­gates the com­plex in­ter­play of com­po­nents in the en­ergy sys­tems of the fu­ture. As a “real-life lab­o­ra­tory” and sim­u­la­tion plat­form, En­ergy Lab 2.0 tests new ap­proaches to in­te­grat­ing di­verse tech­nolo­gies into the en­ergy sys­tem. Among the top­ics the re­searchers are ex­plor­ing is how dif­fer­ent stor­age tech­nolo­gies are best con­nected to elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and con­sump­tion. This is linked to the ques­tion of what sort of an in­for­ma­tion and data net­work is re­quired to fa­cil­i­tate this. For the first time in Europe, larger test fa­cil­i­ties for gen­er­at­ing re­new­able elec­tri­cal en­ergy, for stor­ing and con­vert­ing en­ergy to gas, fu­els and heat as well as for re­con­vert­ing chem­i­cal en­ergy sources back into elec­tric­ity are be­ing com­bined with each other in a fa­cil­ity net­work.

The core of the En­ergy Lab 2.0 is the Smart En­ergy Sys­tem Sim­u­la­tion and Con­trol Cen­tre, where all data from the fa­cil­ity net­work come to­gether and are an­a­lysed, stored and used for sim­u­la­tion. “Changes in the en­ergy world re­quire a new grid ar­chi­tec­ture and IT-based ap­proaches in or­der to in­tel­li­gently con­nect and con­trol the dif­fer­ent play­ers. Ex­ten­sive re­search in the En­ergy Lab 2.0 will be de­voted to this is­sue over the com­ing years. In­ter­so­lar Europe is a great op­por­tu­nity for us to present the pro­ject to trade vis­i­tors and to pro­vide in­spira-

tion for how the frame­work con­di­tions might be de­signed,” said Pro­fes­sor Dr-Ing. Roland Dittmeyer from the In­sti­tute for Mi­cro Process Engi­neer­ing at KIT.

Ex­pert dis­cus­sions at the Smart Re­new­able En­ergy Fo­rum: Ex­perts be­hind the En­ergy Lab 2.0 will be in­tro­duc­ing the pro­ject and other ground­break­ing re­search ini­tia­tives for re­al­is­ing the en­ergy tran­si­tion on 1 June 2017 in the Smart Re­new­able En­ergy Fo­rum, di­rectly op­po­site the spe­cial ex­hibit. This will be fol­lowed by a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion with in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als. On all three days of the ex­hi­bi­tion, press­ing is­sues for the new en­ergy world will be tack­led at the fo­rum and dis­cussed by ex­perts from a broad range of dis­ci­plines.

The role of mer­chant PV power plants, rat­ing agen­cies and in­sur­ance com­pa­nies: The suc­cess or fail­ure of a PV pro­ject hinges on ap­pro­pri­ate fi­nanc­ing. In re­cent years, nu­mer­ous new fi­nanc­ing mod­els have emerged for so­lar in­stal­la­tions of var­i­ous sizes. In­ter­so­lar Europe and its ac­com­pa­ny­ing con­fer­ence are shin­ing a spot­light on the topic this year, pro­vid­ing vis­i­tors with in­for­ma­tion on the most im­por­tant de­vel­op­ments. Dis­cus­sions will in­clude the in­flu­ence of rat­ing agen­cies on the suc­cess of PV projects and the mar­ket prospects for so-called mer­chant PV power plants. The grow­ing num­ber of large-scale PV power plants and re­duc­tion in the feed-in tar­iff have spurred the in­dus­try to be­come ever more cre­ative in re­cent years when it comes to new and in­no­va­tive fi­nanc­ing mod­els. With so­lar and wind en­ergy de­ploy­ment set­ting new records in 2016, the topic is more rel­e­vant than ever. Ac­cord­ing to ini­tial es­ti­mates from an­a­lysts at Bloomberg New En­ergy Finance (BNEF), an ad­di­tional de­ploy­ment of 127 gi­gawatts (GW) is ex­pected, with ap­prox­i­mately 70 GW com­ing in the form of so­lar in­stal­la­tions. Fi­nanc­ing is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant here, be­cause although op­er­at­ing costs are low, pho­to­voltaics are ini­tially as­so­ci­ated with rel­a­tively high im­ple­men­ta­tion costs. New fi­nanc­ing mod­els are thus es­sen­tial to pro­mot­ing the global ex­pan­sion of so­lar en­ergy in the fu­ture. The in­dus­try has proven to be par­tic­u­larly in­no­va­tive in this re­spect, with count­less new busi­ness and fi­nanc­ing mod­els for PV projects emerg­ing in re­cent years.

Leas­ing and crowd-fund­ing: The option to lease en­tire in­stal­la­tions is a rel­a­tively new op­por­tu­nity in PV fi­nanc­ing for pri­vate and com­mer­cial use. The ad­van­tage: The prop­erty owner does not need

to make an in­vest­ment or deal with in­stal­la­tion, in­sur­ance or main­te­nance. Roof-mounted in­stal­la­tions aren’t the only area where in­no­va­tion abounds; nu­mer­ous new mod­els are also avail­able for large-scale power plants. In­ter­so­lar Europe is show­cas­ing the var­i­ous op­tions, and new fi­nanc­ing mod­els are tak­ing cen­tre-stage on both days of the con­fer­ence. To see which in­no­va­tions are en­ter­ing the mar­kets in the USA, Canada and Mex­ico, visit the So­lar Trends in North Amer­ica ses­sion on 31 May.

The role of rat­ing agen­cies: One promis­ing new ap­proach is crowd-fund­ing, which is pri­mar­ily prac­tised in Ger­many, Great Bri­tain and France. With crowd-fund­ing, in­vestors be­come coown­ers of an in­stal­la­tion. Count­less past projects have shown that this model is not just suit­able for neigh­bour­hood as­so­ci­a­tions; it can also be suc­cess­fully ap­plied to fi­nanc­ing large-scale PV power plants. Green bonds of­fer an­other lu­cra­tive option for fund­ing so­lar projects. 2016 was a record year, with the is­suance of green bonds in­creas­ing by 120 per cent to 93.4 bil­lion dol­lars. The rat­ing agency Moody’s ex­pects fur­ther growth in 2017, with a pre­dicted is­suance of 206 bil­lion dol­lars. This growth is at­trib­uted to the mo­men­tum from the 2015 UN Cli­mate Con­fer­ence in Paris as well as ex­tremely strong de­mand from in­vestors. The ses­sion ti­tled ‘Fi­nanc­ing Op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Global Sec­ondary PV Mar­ket’ on 31 May will ad­dress fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties in the stock mar­ket for in­vestors and pro­ject de­vel­op­ers. Rat­ing agen­cies have an im­por­tant role to play in this con­text. They in­ves­ti­gate and as­sess the prof­itabil­ity of bonds, and thus have a ma­jor in­flu­ence over how these are im­ple­mented. The sig­nif­i­cance of rat­ing agen­cies for the suc­cess of so­lar projects con­tin­ues to grow, as they are also ma­jor play­ers in the area of mer­chant so­lar power plants. Un­der this model, the PV power gen­er­ated is sold di­rectly on the en­ergy mar­ket. This in­volves a cer­tain de­gree of risk: In or­der to be com­pet­i­tive, the en­ergy sold must not be more ex­pen­sive than en­ergy from con­ven­tional sup­pli­ers. Suc­cess­ful projects with a to­tal vol­ume of 31.2 megawatts are al­ready un­der-way in South Amer­ica. The ses­sion on ‘Mer­chant PV power plants – The role of rat­ing agen­cies and in­surances’ which will be held at the In­ter­so­lar Europe Con­fer­ence on 31 May will ad­dress the ef­fects of rat­ing agency ac­tiv­i­ties and the role of in­sur­ance com­pa­nies.

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