European solar generation hit ‘all-time high’ in Q2 2020 | PV Tech

https://www.pv-tech.org/news/european-solar-generation-hit-all-time-high-in-q2-2020

European solar generation hit ‘all-time high’ in Q2 2020

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Generation from Europe’s solar PV fleet hit an all-time high in Q2 2020, according to analysis compiled by EnAppSys.

Driven by a collapse in power demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and ideal weather conditions, European solar generated around 47.6TWh throughout the three months ended 30 June. That figure is a 19% jump on the previous record of 40.6TWh set in Q3 2018.

Those generation figures helped renewables take a 45% share of the total electricity mix, equating to the largest share of any asset class.

And the difference between solar and fossil fuel incumbents could not be starker. While solar reached new heights, fossil fuel generators witnessed their lowest quarterly generation for nearly five years. By comparison, fossil fuels provided just under one-third (31%) of total power in Europe in Q2 2020, while nuclear provided 25%.

At 47.6TWh, European solar’s output in Q2 2020 is nearly 22% greater than the 39.1TWh it produced in Q2 2019 and 18.7% greater than the 40.1TWh it produced in 2018. It is also the highest percentage share of total power generation recorded to date at 7.8%. The closest equivalent share for solar was 6.3% recorded in Q2 last year.

While generation conditions in Europe, as was noted by stakeholders at the time, were favourable for solar, the impact of COVID-19 and associated lockdowns has also been highlighted by EnAppSys.

National lockdown measures, while enforced in March, remained in place for much of Q2, triggering a slump in power demand. The quarterly average power demand in the second quarter fell by 13% from 345GW to 298GW, far greater than any decrease associated with seasonality, EnAppSys said.

“By the end of the quarter, overall demand levels seemed to have stabilised after the initial drop. While demand was generally lower than historical levels, the differences became comparable in magnitude with the range of normal year-to-year variations, and the lockdown effects became less clear,” Jean-Paul Harreman, director at EnAppSys BV, said.

Tags: enappsys, europe, solar generation, covid-19, pandemic

Regards,

Rob Such

Renewable generation sees ‘largest year-on-year’ increase as it exceeds 40TWh in Q1 | Current News

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/renewable-generation-sees-largest-year-on-year-increase-as-it-exceeds-40twh-in-q1

Renewable generation sees ‘largest year-on-year’ increase as it exceeds 40TWh in Q1

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The UK’s renewable generation has seen the largest ever year-on-year increase, jumping by 30% in Q1 2020.

Following on from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) publishing its quarterly report, the department has now given in depth figures specifically for renewables.

It found that renewable generation climbed by 9.4TWh from 31.5TWh in Q1 2019 to 40.8TWh in Q1 2020.

Whilst its quarterly report found that capacity increased to 47.4GW, it has now detailed how two thirds of that increased capacity – 1.6GW – came from new offshore wind installations.

It pointed to the completion of the Beatrice expansion, as well as Hornsea One becoming operational in stages and the first stage of East Anglia One coming online, with all three of these being supported by the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme.

Offshore wind, meanwhile, achieved the highest rate of growth of the renewables at 19%. Energy from waste was close behind at 15%, followed by anaerobic digestion (14%), onshore wind (2.5%), solar PV (1.3%) and plant biomass with an increase of less than 1%.

Despite solar PV increasing in capacity, it saw a decrease in generation by 11% to 1.9TWh. This was a result of a decrease in the number of sunlight hours compared to the “relatively high level” seen in Q1 2019, BEIS said.

Solar PV represented a 28.2% share of all renewable capacity by the end of the quarter, with onshore wind having the highest at 29.8%.

Offshore wind came in third with 21.4%, with bioenergy having 16.6% and hydro 4.0%.

Generation from offshore wind did, however, see a huge boost of 53% to 13.2TWh compared to Q1 2019, with onshore jumping 29% to 12.8TWh.

Overall, renewables generated a record 47% of the UK’s electricity, with the technology having never broken 40% before.

The load factor for all new renewables also hit a milestone, being the highest quarterly load factor since Q1 2014 at 39.5%.

In Q1 2020, onshore wind’s load factor was 41.6% (compared to 33.8% in Q1 2019) and offshore wind’s was 59.7% (compared to 47.8% in Q1 2019), with BEIS saying this increase is due to the average wind speeds, which were the highest since 2008.

Finally, BEIS also provided information on small-scale installations, although unsubsidised installations below 1MW that are not registered with the MCS are not featured in its statistics.

It found there were over 1 million small scale installations at the end of Q1 2020, with a total capacity of 6,712MW.

This accounts for 14% of total renewable capacity, with solar PV representing an “overwhelming majority” of small-scale installations, coming in at 99% as well as a “significant majority” of the small scale capacity at 81%.

Regards,

Rob Such

61GW renewables and storage pipeline could bring in £125bn to economy | Current News

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/61gw-renewables-and-storage-pipeline-could-bring-in-125bn-to-economy

61GW renewables and storage pipeline could bring in £125bn to economy

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The UK currently has a pipeline of 61GW of renewables and storage that if developed could bring in £125 billion to the UK economy.

This is according to trade association Regen, which released new analysis of the UK’s pipeline. It found that this pipeline could provide 200,000 jobs and could add £125 billion to the value of the UK economy across the entire country.

This comes as many companies and organisations seek to highlight the benefits of a green recovery from COVID-19 to both jobs and the economy, with the IEA finding that worldwide millions of jobs could be saved and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit finding that tens of thousands of UK jobs could be saved.

The pipeline breaks down into offshore wind scooping up just over half that figure at 31.7GW, with onshore wind (11.9GW), solar PV (8.6GW) and storage (8.5GW) splitting the remaining half.

Regen calculated that 18GW of this pipeline can be deemed “shovel-ready”, using renewable energy planning data to identify the projects ‘awaiting construction’, those that have received planning permission but not begun construction.

It calculated the total pipeline from the registers of ‘accepted to connect’ energy generation assets on the distribution and transmission electricity networks.

To help “unlock” these projects, Regen is calling on the government to implement three key policies that it said would remove barriers. The first of these is to publish the forthcoming energy white paper, which was originally set to be published in summer 2019 but has seen numerous delays.

Secondly, Regen is calling on the government to commit to annual Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions. It was announced in March that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was to consult on opening up the CfD to solar and onshore wind again. Making the auctions yearly would give investors confidence, Regen said.

Its final recommendation is to end what it described as anti-onshore wind policies in the English planning system.

Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen said that the “dramatic falls” in the cost of renewables and storage means the projects in the UK’s pipeline could be delivered by private sector investment which would enable public investment to be focused on “other green energy policies, such as the Chancellor’s home insulation grant scheme announced yesterday”.

Regards,

Rob Such

March sees tripling of battery EV sales despite slumping new car market | Current News

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/march-sees-tripling-of-battery-ev-sales-despite-slumping-new-car-market

March sees tripling of battery EV sales despite slumping new car market

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Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) soared in March 2020 to 11,694 despite a significant drop in sales of new cars overall.

In March, registrations of BEVs almost tripled, accounting for 4.6% of the market, according to new figures released by the SMMT. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales also saw a boost, growing 38% in the month, however they fell short of the numbers BEVs achieved, with 6,818 registrations compared to 11,694.

However, the new car market saw an overall drop in sales of -44.4%, a harsher fall than during the last financial crisis and the worst March since the late nineties, the SMMT said.

Image: SMMT.
203,370 fewer cars were registered than in March 2019, a fall larger attributed to the closure of showrooms in line with government advice to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The reason why BEVs saw a huge spike despite the overall decline is likely to be attributed to several reasons, according to Cornwall Insight’s EV specialist Katie Hickford, one of which is the changes to Benefit in Kind tax which came into effect on 1 April, providing a strong financial incentive for fleet EV purchases.

Another large contributing factor is also likely to be the Tesla Model 3, Hickford said, which is “likely the 9th best-selling car model during March 2020”.

Image: SMMT.
Whilst Tesla is not a member of the SMMT and therefore doesn’t report its data directly, “it is assumed that Tesla, and the Model 3 in particular, comprise the notable majority of the ‘Other’ category”.

“March data also reflects the larger volume of pre-order for the new March number plates. Taken together with the long lead time on many EV purchases, it is likely that April registration data may provide a clearer picture of the impact of COVID-19 on BEV sales,” Hickford continued.

March’s figures come on the back of a string of record-breaking months. January saw sales up 203.9% compared to 2019, with 4,054 BEVs registered during the month compared to 1,334 in the year previously.

The SMMT also announced it has downgraded its interim market outlook for the year to 1.73 million registrations – a -23% decline on the previous outlook made in January.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said that the overall decline has come as “no surprise” due to the UK’s lockdown.

“We should not, however, draw long term conclusions from these figures other than this being a stark realisation of what happens when economies grind to a halt.”

Regards,

Rob Such

www.rsrenewables.com

@rsrenewables

Britain hits ‘significant milestone’ as renewables become main power source | Current News

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/britain-hits-significant-milestone-as-renewables-become-main-power-source

Britain hits ‘significant milestone’ as renewables become main power source

Renewables, especially wind, generated 5.4TWh between January and March.

In Q1 2020, renewables became Britain’s main power source for the first time ever, according to new analysis by EnAppSys.

Renewables hit a new milestone, generating 35.4TWh between January and March, more than fossil fuels combined. This also represents a significant increase from Q1 2019, when they produced 27.2TWh.

During this period 44.6% of total generation was produced by renewables, with the rest generated by gas-fired plants (29.1%), nuclear plants (15.3%), power imports (7.3%) and coal plants (3.7%).

This surge in renewable generation was largely due to weather conditions, as there was consistently high winds throughout the period. Output from wind farms was more than 10GW for 63% of the quarter, and more than 5GW for 85% of it.

Storms battered Britain at the beginning of 2020, bringing record breaking winds. Storm Ciara for example set two wind generation records, with wind turbines generating 56% of the country’s electricity at 2am on Saturday 8 February, the most at any one time, and accounting for 44.26% of power produced across the whole day.

The record breaking start to 2020 was aided by a recent drop off in demand, according to EnAppSys, caused by the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. However, as this was only brought in towards the end of the quarter, it is likely to have a larger impact on Q2.

Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys, called Q1 a “significant milestone” for Britain’s power industry.

“With weather likely to return to more typical patterns in future quarters, the 45% of electricity generation from renewable sources in the quarter is likely to be a temporary high. However, given recent trends which show that renewables are becoming an increasingly dominant player in Britain’s power mix, the continued build of offshore wind farms and the resurgence in onshore wind should see these levels being achieved more often in the longer term.”

The amount of renewable generation on the system meant that not only was there more generation from renewables than gas, there was more than gas and coal-fired generation combined for a whole quarter. This is another first for the country according to EnAppSys.

In the short term, with reduced demand due to coronavirus, we can expect renewables to provide a significant amount of the country’s energy mix.

However, Verrill added that: “Whilst levels of generation from renewables have been on the rise, Britain’s other clean power source – nuclear – generated its smallest overall volume of generation since Q3 2008, producing 12.2TWh in the quarter as older reactors saw increased levels of downtime as they move towards the end of their operational life.

“Levels of nuclear generation are set to continue to decline as plants close, although this will be offset by increased levels of renewable and gas generation as well as any new nuclear builds.”

Regards,

Rob Such

www.rsrenewables.com

@rsrenewables

UK has ‘record-breaking’ year for low carbon energy | Current News

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/uk-has-record-breaking-year-for-low-carbon-energy

UK has ‘record-breaking’ year for low carbon energy

Wind power generated a record 20% of the UK’s energy.

Last year saw renewables records broken across the board as renewables produced nearly 37% of the UK’s power, according to new data released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

In 2019, renewables generated a record breaking 36.9% of the UK’s electricity, it announced today (26 March). Of this, wind power contributed 20%, a further record, with 9.9% from onshore wind and 9.9% from offshore wind.

This amounted to 32TWh of generation from wind in 2019, the most ever recorded. Renewable electricity capacity grew to 47.4GW by the end of the year, a 6.9% increase (3.0GW) on a year earlier.

Across the board, low carbon generation increased in 2019, ensuring that renewables and nuclear together accounted for a record 54.2%. Nuclear provided 17.4%, while natural gas provided 40.9% and coal just 2.1%.

This growth in renewables have allowed greenhouse gas emissions to fall by 3.6% from 2018, and almost 28% since 2010.

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng welcomed the news, in particular during a period of uncertainty in the UK caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These new figures show the extraordinary progress the UK has made in tackling climate change, with emissions falling 45% since 1990. With record-breaking levels of renewable electricity on the grid we are well-placed to build on these efforts in the months and years ahead, while continuing to support the economy through the coronavirus outbreak.”

Overall, electricity production in the UK showed a small decrease in 2019 compared with 2018, with 324TWh produced across the year.

Energy efficiency measures contributed to this, but were also offset by the transition to electric vehicles and electric heating, increasing demand in an effort to decarbonise.

RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said that the figures showed how radically the energy system is changing, “with low-cost renewables at the vanguard”.

“This will continue as we build a modern energy system, moving away from fossil fuels to reach net zero emissions as fast as possible. As well as wind, we’ll use innovative new technologies like renewable hydrogen and marine power, and we’ll scale up battery storage.

“Low-cost renewables are central to the government’s energy strategy and our sector will grow rapidly in the years ahead, as our domestic supply chain expands and we continue to seize multi-billion pound export opportunities around the world”.

BEIS’s statistics today follow reports in January that renewables were on the cusp of becoming the main energy source in the country.

Research firm EnAppSys found that in 2019, 104.8TWh of Britain’s electricity came from renewables, just shy of the 115.1TWh produced by gas-fired power stations.

National Grid meanwhile celebrated low carbon power sources over taking fossil fuels in Britain in January. It found that throughout the twelve months of 2019, 48.5% of the country’s power came from zero carbon sources, including wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, alongside energy imported by subsea interconnectors.

Throughout the same period, 43% of Britain’s electricity came from fossil fuels, predominantly gas and the remaining 8.5% was generated by biomass.

www.rsrenewables.com

@rsrenewables

HuffPost UK: It’s Too Late For Us To Fight Climate Change. Instead, Here’s How We’ll Spend Our Lives.

It’s Too Late For Us To Fight Climate Change. Instead, Here’s How We’ll Spend Our Lives.
What Will Be Lost is a series of reported stories and essays exploring theways climate change is affecting our relationship to one another, to our senseof place and to ourselves.Last year was when the endless bush fires in Australia convinced me and mywife, Susan, that climate change was unstoppable. It’s also when we realizedthat we likely will avoid seeing the worst of the climate emergency.At 64 and 74 years of age, my wife and I believe there’s a good chance thatwe’ll be gone before coastal

Read in HuffPost UK: https://apple.news/AFMNCTbQmR4adTBP6M3eQPA

Shared from Apple News

RegardsRob Such
RS Renewables Ltd

Storm Ciara leads to record breaking weekend for wind generation | Current News

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/storm-ciara-leads-to-record-breaking-weekend-for-wind-generation

Storm Ciara leads to record breaking weekend for wind generation

Gusts of up to 97mph, along with torrential rain pounded the country.

Over the weekend, Storm Ciara hit the UK causing wind power to surge, breaking two records.

Gusts of up to 97mph, along with torrential rain pounded the country, causing electricity outages, flooding and travel chaos.

During this, wind hit a new record for instantaneous generation, as well as a new record for power produced in a day, overtaking a record set on December 10 during the end of Storm Atiyah.

At just before 2am on Saturday 8 February, wind turbines generated 56% of the country’s electricity. This was nearly 15GW of power, according to Drax Electric Insights.

Throughout Saturday, wind power accounted for 44.26% of power produced, a second record beating that set on 9 December.

Wind dwarfed all other forms of generation, with nuclear providing 18.40% and gas just 17.73%.

Eoghan Quinn, global offshore wind director at Worley said that he expects wind generation records to “continue to tumble” during 2020.

“It’s only a few weeks into 2020 and we’ve already seen wind make up nearly half of our generation demand which reinforces the fundamental opportunity of the energy transition. The proposed 6GW of new capacity from the latest the CfD auction will add further diversification in the energy market.”

While the surge in wind power is a positive, the storm caused damage to nationwide network infrastructure.

Peter Kocen from the Energy Networks Association said: “The extreme weather of Storm Ciara has caused significant damage to network infrastructure across UK, and we would like to thank people for their patience as engineers work to carry out the necessary repairs.

“The network companies have been working throughout the night to restore power supplies. As of this morning, power has been restored to 720,000 customers and 25,000 remain without power. Work will continue to get people back on as quickly and safely as possible.”

The record generation caused by Storm Atiyah in December lead to power prices plunging, and subsequently negative prices for a record length of time. As the amount of wind power on the UK grid continues to grow, these instances are likely to become increasingly common.

The government has announced its plans to grow the offshore wind sector, with an aim of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030. However, this will take almost £50 billion worth of investment according to new research by Aurora Energy Research, and lead to much wider spread changes to the energy sector.

While offshore wind looks set to continue to grow however, onshore wind in the UK has been struggling in a post subsidy world. Groups such as RenewableUK has criticised the lack of governmental support for the technology, which is generally considered to be the cheapest renewable energy.

Regards,

Rob Such

Alternatively fuelled vehicle sales continue to smash records, as charge point roll-out accelerates | Current News

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/alternatively-fuelled-vehicle-sales-continue-to-beat-records-as-charge-point-roll-out-accelerates

Alternatively fuelled vehicle sales continue to smash records, as charge point roll-out accelerates

Image: Getty.

Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have continued to soar, exceeding the 100,000 mark in January 2019.

Sales were up 203.9% compared to 2019, according to new statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with 4,0054 BEVs registered during the month compared to 1,334 in the year previously.

However, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) outperformed BEVs for the first time since May 2019, with 4,788 registered in the month.

Combined, alternatively fuelled vehicle registrations reached 11.9% of the market in January, which the SMMT says is the highest on record and is up from 6.8% the year prior.

The figures come in a week where it was announced the government will seek to bring the phase-out of petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, and include hybrids within this for the first time.

Mike Hawes, chief executive SMMT, said: “While ambition is understandable, as we must address climate change and air quality concerns, blanket bans do not help short-term consumer confidence.

“To be successful, government must lead the transition with an extensive and appropriately funded package of fiscal incentives, policies and investment to drive demand. We want to deliver air quality and environmental improvements now but need a strong market to do so.”

As sales of electric vehicles increase, the amount of charging infrastructure across the UK also does. By the end of 2019, there were 17,000 public charge points recorded on Zap-Map and over 10,500 charging locations.

Cornwall Insight pointed to research that shows a 52% increase in the number of charging devices in 2019 compared to 2018.

The number of ultra-rapid charge points has grown from 300 to 800, Cornwall Insight said, and contactless bank card accessible charge points have risen from 300 to approximately 1,000 during 2019.

“The rollout of devices that enable contactless payment is particularly positive as it is providing EV drivers with a version of network interoperability via ad-hoc payments that allow e-mobility to increase,” Tom Lusher, analyst at Cornwall Insight said.

“The scale of the network at present highlights the need to further advance the rollout of contactless payment systems, thereby giving more businesses confidence that their fleet can operate as normal when running on electricity.”

Lusher also pointed to new entrants in 2019, including IONITY and Fastned, which whilst relatively small, “have room to grow”.