EIB backs Portuguese floating wind farm being constructed by EDP, Repsol
The European Commission has announced its support for a new floating wind farm off the coast of Portugal, having voted with its wallet in the form of a $69mn (€60mn) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The loan will be offered under the InnovFin Energy Demonstration project. The wind farm is being developed by Windplus, a joint venture between EDP Renewables, Repsol and Principle Power.
The facility is set to have a 25MW capacity and will be located 20km of Portugal’s northern coast. It has been stated that the wind farm will produce enough energy to power 60,000 homes per year.
Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said on Friday: “Today’s deal is another example of how EU financing is helping to lower the risk of rolling out innovative energy solutions like WindFloat.
“We need breakthrough technologies to accelerate the clean energy transition in Europe and lead the global fight against climate change. This will ultimately improve the quality of life and create new jobs and economic growth for citizens.”
Floating wind turbines are built to allow electricity generation in water depths where fixed turbines cannot be constructed – this means that there is more potential area available to build wind farms, which can often be built in areas where wind is stronger and more regular.
The WindFloat project will be the second floating wind farm in Europe, with Reuters stating that three turbines will be anchored in water up to depths of 100m.
So far, the consortium has agreed to invest a total of $144mn (€125mn) over three years, with about $26.5mn (€23mn) having been spent on testing.
Antonio Mexia, CEO of Energias de Portugal, described the project as “an absolutely pioneering and innovative project for renewable offshore energy”.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.