UK, Germany and Spain reach renewable energy milestone
Renewables generated 38 percent of Europe’s electricity in 2020 - up 3.4 percent year-on-year - overtaking fossil-fired power generation for the first time, according to Ember and Agora Energiewende's fifth annual report.
At a country level, the UK, Germany and Spain achieved the milestone for the first time.
But the report warns that the transition from coal to clean energy is "still too slow" for reaching 55 percent greenhouse gas reductions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.
While Covid-19 had an impact in all countries, its impact on the overall trend from fossil fuels to renewables was quite limited.
"The rise in renewables was reassuringly robust despite the pandemic, and the fall in fossil-fired electricity could have been even more dramatic, had it not been for such a bounce-back in electricity demand and the worst year on record for nuclear generation," the report states.
Other key findings:
- Wind and solar are powering Europe’s renewables rise Wind generation rose 9 percent in 2020 and solar generation rose 15 percent
- But wind and solar generation growth must nearly triple to reach Europe’s 2030 green deal targets Currently national energy and climate plans only add up to about 72 TWh new wind and solar per year, not the 100 TWh/year needed
- Coal generation fell 20 percent in 2020, and has halved since 2015 Half of the drop in 2020 was due to a decrease in electricity demand, which fell by 4 percent due to the impact of Covid-19; and half was from additional wind and solar
- Gas generation fell only 4 percent in 2020, despite the pandemic Most of the fall in fossil was on coal rather than gas last year
- Nuclear generation fell by 10 percent in 2020 – probably the largest fall ever That also kept gas (and to a lesser-extent coal) generation from falling further
- Europe’s electricity in 2020 was 29 percent cleaner than in 2015 Carbon intensity has fallen from 317 grams of CO2 per Kwh in 2015 to 226 grams in 2020
Patrick Graichen, Director, Agora Energiewende, said renewables overtaking fossils is an important milestone in Europe’s clean energy transition, but warned against complacency.
"The European Green Deal – our response to the climate crisis – requires some 100 TWh of annual additions of renewables, a doubling of the deployment speed seen in 2020. Post-pandemic recovery programmes thus need to go hand-in-hand with accelerated climate action," he said.
Awesense launches digital clean energy marketplace
Awesense has launched what it claims is the only energy-focused repository of solutions built to drive the industry's decarbonization agenda.
The Awesense Marketplace aims to provide a common framework for companies to collaborate towards the future of clean energy and digital transformation, uniting applications, solutions and algorithms to solve energy and grid challenges.
Solutions listed on the marketplace cover a range of cases, and launch companies include Doosan GridTech, Kitu Systems, vadiMAP, LO3 Energy, ENGIN, Utilidata, Clir Renewables, ChargeLab, SensorLink, Exeri, Easy SmartGrid, and Athena Power.
“We are welcoming a new era in the decarbonization of energy systems,” said Mischa Steiner, CEO of Awesense. “The goal of achieving a clean energy future requires collaboration amongst key industry players in the utilities and energy sectors. Sharing resources through the Marketplace means that our customers and partners have a truly seamless approach as we work towards our common goal - ultimately, decarbonizing the world’s energy system.”
Utilities, consulting companies, and other organizations struggle to develop solutions that can be scaled across many jurisdictions due to complex data integration and the lack of a standard, open data model. Using the solutions offered throughout the Marketplace, organizations can rapidly accelerate their transition to a decentralized, decarbonized future and develop solutions that are scalable across industry. The platform will open up new revenue streams in areas such as:
Distributed energy resource integration and control
Electric vehicle charging
Demand response and smart-home management
Intelligent asset management
Advanced distribution system management
The new marketplace builds on Awesense's Digital Energy Platform, a digital twin based energy analytics platform that allows utilities to scale at the same pace as the rapidly changing technology landscape of the energy grid.
Together, the Open Energy Data Model and the Awesense Marketplace removes hurdles around data mapping and transformation, expedites data preparation and refining, and provides a common framework for companies to collaborate.
“The energy-specific data model allows utilities, technology companies, consulting firms, and other vendors to build solutions that can be easily integrated by other energy companies, to make a real impact on the industry as a whole, and develop new revenue streams for their organizations” said Steiner. “We’re looking forward to seeing the Awesense Marketplace grow as more partners committed to energy decarbonization join us.”
There are no simple solutions to putting the world on a sustainable path to net-zero emissions, according to the IEA. Reducing global CO2 emissions will require "a broad range of different technologies working across all sectors of the economy in various combinations and applications." it notes.
Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia formed
Amp Power Australia has established the Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia, a strategic portfolio of large scale integrated Solar PV, Wind and Battery Energy Storage assets located in South Australia. The hub also includes the siting of the Spencer Gulf Hydrogen Energy Ecoplex, forming part of the South Australian Government's Hydrogen Action Plan.
The portfolio, acquired from EPS, includes three large Solar PV projects totalling over 1.3 GW of generation, located at Robertstown (636 MW), Bungama (336MW) and Yoorndoo Ilga (388MW) with a total BESS capacity of up to 540MW across the portfolio.
Amp's expansion in Australia will include the implementation of Amp X, a proprietary digital energy platform 100% owned by Amp, which provides a diverse portfolio of disruptive and interoperable grid edge solutions, and includes a smart transformer, which enables real-time autonomous management and optimised dispatch of all forms of distributed generation and loads across the grid.
Palmetto recently opened its marketplace in Arizona, and is now serving 20 states across the country, claiming its proprietary technology, marketplace business model, and consumer mobile application "are all designed to democratize access to clean energy".