BIO: For Italy on 1st of March 2018 the EU Commission approved €4.7 billion public support scheme for advanced bio-methane and biofuels: under the scheme, producers of advanced bio-methane and biofuel from feedstock that do not require agriculture land for their production (waste, agriculture residues, algae), will receive a premium that allows them to compensate for the higher costs compared with fossil fuel production and thus compete with fossil fuel in the transport sector.

The premium can be increased if producers also make investments to improve the distribution and liquefaction of bio-methane. The scheme will help Italy reach its 2020 target for the use of renewable energy in transport, fight climate change and replace fossil fuels in the transport sector.

WAVES: In 2017 in Australia an established Energy company has developed a new system based upon a point-absorber wave energy converter buoy device which floats on the ocean surface and extracts energy from waves by the extension and retraction of a tether to its gravity base on the sea bed.  Major design benefits include:

  • Scalability – the system is designed to provide low cost energy for a wide range of applications, from small to large scale production.
  • Versatility – the system is designed for dedicated or simultaneous production of electricity or the desalination of seawater.
  • Affordability – the system concept provides cost effective, consistent and reliable renewable energy in low and higher energy wave resource locations.

The concept design is based upon a compact architecture which targets power production from a small, low cost design aimed at keeping the projected levelised cost of energy down.

SOLAR: In March 2017, the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) awarded a contract to a consortium led by the Chinese company JinkoSolar, for the massive 1.2 GW plant at its Sweihan site near Al Ain. ADWEA will pay $2.42/kWh for energy from the plant, which is projected to be operating by early 2019.

What really ignited the price decline was the approach to bidding adopted by the utility. Instead of setting a tariff and inviting participants, they set a capacity and invited bidding on price.

Another important point is the low cost of capital, which has been a key factor in the Emirates. There, solar energy developers enjoy some of the lowest capital costs in the world. The big solar parks are set up to minimize regulatory and installation costs for developers. Debt is cheap because of ample bank financing in a stable political climate.

Equity is also available as the utilities take majority stakes in the projects.

Salvo Ciccia | Senior Sustainability Consultant at KBC Advanced Technologies


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