Thursday, December 14, 2017

US Invests $18.5 Mln in Offshore Wind Research

© Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced $18.5 million in new Department of Energy (DOE) funding for a consortium that will conduct research aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the U.S. As it seeks to capitalize on momentum in the offshore wind market, the U.S. still faces several challenges, such as deep water requiring floating foundations, the need for models predicting how Atlantic hurricanes will impact offshore turbines, and supply chain and operations and maintenance solutions to address the challenges of building and maintaining turbines at sea.

Norway Open to Offshore Floating Wind Power

Norway plans to open one or two offshore regions for construction of floating wind turbines, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said in a statement on Wednesday.   "The government wishes to accommodate offshore wind power, in particular with demonstrations of floating wind turbines in mind," it said, adding that this should happen "as soon as possible." Norway is western Europe's top producer of oil and natural gas, and has so far lagged Nordic neighbours Denmark and Sweden in wind power developments. Reporting by Terje Solsvik

EDF Wants to Take Part in Saudi Nuclear Plans - CEO

French state-controlled utility EDF wants to take part in Saudi Arabia's plans to build nuclear power reactors, its chief executive told Reuters on Monday. Saudi Arabia, which wants to reduce oil consumption at home, is considering building 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear-powered electricity generating capacity by 2032 and has sent a request for information to international suppliers to build two reactors. Sources familiar with the situation said last month EDF has already held…

Sparrows Group Acquires Alpha Offshore Service

L-R - Stewart Mitchell, Sparrows Group and Mikkel Lund, Alpha Offshore

Sparrows Group has cemented its position in the renewables sector with the acquisition of Danish wind energy specialist Alpha Offshore Service A/S. Already a supplier of capital equipment to the wind energy industry, the deal significantly strengthens the group’s operations and maintenance capabilities in the sector. Alpha Offshore provides engineering personnel and inspection services to the energy industry, specialising in the delivery of operations and maintenance, and supervisory and commissioning services to onshore and offshore wind developments.

FERC Seeks Delay of Coal, Nuclear Rule

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) carolyn franks)

The new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late on Thursday requested a 30-day delay on a decision on a plan promoted by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize aging nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Kevin McIntyre, a Republican, wrote a letter to Perry proposing to extend the deadline for a decision on the so-called Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. Perry in September had issued FERC a directive to consider the rule and decide on it by Dec. 11. The plan…

Gangway Innovation Allows Safer Transfer at Offshore Wind Farms

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann has created, in cooperation with Seaway Heavy Lifting, an industry first innovation allowing workers safe and efficient access to install the jackets for 84 wind turbines on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited project in the Outer Moray Firth. Global offshore contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting awarded the EPCI contract to Ampelmann to design and create an Angular Boom Tip. This will allow secure connection at difficult angles for safe gangway transfer between the 5…

German Onshore Wind Subsidies Cut by 2.4%

© chungking / Adobe Stock

Feed-in tariffs for onshore wind parks in Germany that were not awarded in auctions will decline by 2.4 percent from April 1, 2018, as capacity expansion was ahead of the government's target rate, Germany's energy regulator said on Friday. * Germany is shifting from a subsidy-based system to one of auctions, but very small facilities or those approved by end-2016 and starting operations by end-2018 are still eligible. * Wind energy accounts for over half of Germany's renewable…

Fugro Wins Work at US Offshore Wind Sites

Fugro said it has been awarded contracts by Ørsted to undertake geotechnical investigations at two large-scale offshore wind development sites in the U.S. Ørsted is pursuing the development of the two new projects: Bay State Wind, located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. and Ocean Wind, 10 miles off the New Jersey coast – to bring wind energy to American consumers and businesses. The marine site characterization at both sites involves specialized sampling and in situ testing which Fugro will perform from its DP2 geotechnical drillship, Fugro Explorer.

German Regulator Allows Higher Prices at 2018 Onshore Wind Auctions

© jorisvo / Adobe Stock

Germany's energy regulator said on Wednesday it had set higher maximum prices for auctions next year to build 2,800 megawatts of onshore wind parks and avert the risk that low auction results could discourage sufficient building. The agency, the Bundesnetzagentur (BnetzA), has powers to fix flaws in changes enacted to the renewable feed-in law in 2017. These were aimed at cutting future income for new renewable power installations to relieve the burden on consumers, but it was recognised that tariffs may fall too sharply for the desired expansion of fossil-free energy to be viable.

Vattenfall Orders Offshore Wind Turbines from Siemens Gamesa

Sweden's state-owned Vattenfall has sealed an offshore wind turbine deal with Siemens Gamesa involving 113 turbines to be delivered for installation at three Danish projects with a total power capacity of 950 megawatt (MW), it said on Tuesday. The order had recently been agreed and marked one of the single largest investments in renewable energy made by Vattenfall, it said. Vattenfall said the overall investment into the three projects totalled 1.7 billion euros ($2.0 billion) but did not specify the cost of the Siemens Gamesa order alone.

First Turbine Turned On at E.ON's Rampion

© 孤飞的鹤 / Adobe Stock

The first turbine has come online at E.ON's Rampion wind farm off the coast of southeast England, the German utility said on Monday. The 400 megawatt project is being built off the Sussex coast by E.ON, UK Green Investment Rampion Ltd and Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge. "Over the coming weeks and months the turbines will one-by-one begin to be turned on and generate power as they are brought online. This process will take us into 2018 to complete," said Matthew Swanwick, Rampion's project director.

Wison Signs MOU for Medium Large Floating LNG Power Solution

WisonShanghai Electric Strategic Cooperation Signing Ceremony (Photo: Wison)

Wison Offshore & Marine has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) on strategic cooperation with Shanghai Electric Power Generation Group. Two parties will join their efforts in medium to large-scale floating LNG power generation barge, with regards to its product development, global marketing and technical services. Such collaboration aims to promote the commercialization of this new electrification solution while opening up a series of further cooperation in power sector between Wison and Shanghai Electric.

Deal for Floating LNG Powerplant in China

As the proliferation of LNG use spreads rapidly in the maritime and energy sectors, word from China is that Wison Offshore & Marine has signed an MoU with  Shanghai Electric Power Generation Group, on a joint effrot to develop medium to large-scale floating LNG power generation barges. Wison brings a wealth of experience and integration capability in floating LNG facilities, while Shanghai Electric is a leader in core gas power equipment and EPC services for international power projects.

Norway's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Constitution, Lawsuit Says

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Norway's plan for Arctic oil exploration is unconstitutional because it violates the right to a healthy environment, a lawyer for Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth environmental group told an Oslo court on Tuesday. The case is the first of its kind in Norway and says a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil , Chevron and others violates the constitution. Norway signed the 2016 Paris accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century. The country is Western Europe's largest oil producer and oil and gas are its most important exports.

Coal's Future Remains Uncertain

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

A year after Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to revive the ailing U.S. coal industry, the sector’s long-term prospects for growth and hiring remain as bleak as ever. A Reuters review of mining data shows an industry that has seen only modest gains in jobs and production this year - much of it from a temporary uptick in foreign demand for U.S. coal rather than presidential policy changes. U.S. utilities are shutting coal-fired power plants at a rapid pace and shifting to cheap natural gas, along with wind and solar power.

U.S. Wind Firms Cheer Senate Tax Bill Provisions

File Image (CREDIT: Siemens)

The U.S wind energy industry on Friday cheered a Senate tax proposal that, unlike the House version unveiled last week, preserves the tax credit that helps wind farms compete with plants fired by fossil fuels. The Senate plan brought relief to an industry that has spent the last week warning lawmakers on Capitol Hill that changes to the credit would put $50 billion in planned investment at risk. However, if the House and Senate pass their differing proposals on the Republicans' broad tax-cut plan…

Rovco Wins Gwynt y Môr Windfarm Contract

(Photo: Rovco)

Rovco has been awarded a three-year contract to support one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, Gwynt y Môr, eight miles off the coast of North Wales in the U.K. The U.K. subsea company said it will provide its underwater ROV 3D visual survey solution, alongside traditional video, blueview sonar and cathodic protection analysis techniques. Gwynt y Môr consists of 160 turbines that generate enough energy for more than 400,000 homes across the country. It extends over an area of about 80km² and includes two offshore substations and 134kms of onshore cable installations.

Attollo Offshore Joins ELITE

Ben Moore (Photo: Attollo Offshore)

Attollo Offshore, an offshore marine operator, has announced it has joined London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) international business support and capital raising ecosystem, for high growth companies, ELITE. The Aberdeen-based company, renowned for its superior management of assets required for late field life, rig-less well intervention, plug and abandonment and offshore wind projects across Europe, opened the London market on Wednesday 8 November. The Stock Exchange was opened by Aberdeen MP…

Record Low Bid for 24/7 Block Mixing Wind and Solar at Chile Tender

Project Render (Photo: Verano Capital)

Verano Capital, an American project developer headquartered in Santiago, has announced that the 47 MW solar project they initially developed was selected in Chile’s latest energy tender with a winning bid at $25.38/MWh, the lowest 24/7 block price combining solar and wind ever recorded in the history of energy tenders. The winning bid was offered by a solar project which will be coupled with wind projects to offer a 24/7 supply over a 20-year period. Dylan Rudney, CEO of Verano Capital…

Siemens Gamesa to Cut as Many as 6,000 Jobs

Siemens Gamesa said on Monday it plans to cut as many as 6,000 jobs worldwide as it braces for sales to plunge by as much as a fifth next year. The job cut would amount to more than 20 percent of the company's total workforce of around 26,000. Wind turbine makers have been facing growing competition, putting pressure on pricing and inventory values and raising expectations for more takeovers to build scale. The Spanish-based wind power joint venture, which cut its earnings forecasts twice in recent months, has to date been planning to cut only 700 positions.

Booming Demand Erodes Oil Inventories: Kemp

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Leeylutung)

Global oil consumption is growing rapidly, helping account for the decline in reported inventories, the recent surge in prices and the shift in futures markets from contango to backwardation. Consumption is much harder to measure than production, which is why the demand side of the market receives less attention. Even in the advanced economies, consumption data is only available with a delay of two months or more, and reliable data from emerging economies often not at all.

Offshore Wind Firm Orsted Q3 EBITDA Lags

(Photo: Orsted)

Danish energy group Orsted , formerly known as DONG Energy, posted third-quarter profits well below analyst expectations on Wednesday as proceeds from a wind farm sale will be booked later than expected. The firm reported earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 1.76 billion crowns, compared with 4.09 billion crowns seen in a Reuters analyst survey. The firm lifted its 2017 EBITDA outlook for continuing operations to 19-21 billion crowns…

Redfern Joins RCG

Simon Redfern (Photo: RCGP)

The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) announced the ongoing growth of its expert services team with the addition of Simon Redfern to the firm’s London office as Director. Redfern has a proven and well-respected track record in managing large, multi-disciplinary, geographically diverse teams across the full offshore wind asset lifecycle including development, project financing, construction, operations and equity sale processes. Redfern has deep, senior level commercial and technical experience across the full asset lifecycle of offshore wind projects…

Statoil Aims to Sign Power Purchase Agreement in NY in 2018

Photo: Statoil

Norway's Statoil aims to sign a power purchase agreement with a U.S. utility to develop an offshore wind power project off New York, a senior company official said on Tuesday. Statoil won a lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York, which could be potentially used to develop up to a 1 gigawatt (GW) capacity wind power park, by bidding $42.5 million last December. "Now we need to sign a power off-take agreement to develop the project. The counterpart would be one of New York's utilities," Stephen Bull, Statoil's senior vice president, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.

Coal to Become a Scarce Commodity?

file Image: An Asian coal berth (CREDIT: BMT)

The idea of coal as a scarce commodity seems somewhat preposterous given it remains one of the most abundant mineral resources on the planet, but the coming years may see a deficit in seaborne markets for the polluting fuel. The current debate surrounding coal is generally one of how long it will continue to play a role in the world's energy mix before it is replaced by cleaner alternatives, mainly renewables such as wind and solar. While various analysts will disagree on how quickly this process will occur…

U.S. Wind Prospects Soar as Trump Signals Support

File Image: A U.S.built (Blount Boats), Jones Act compliant fit-for-purpose Wind Farm Support Vessel races to another assignment.

The United States signed a deal with Denmark on Thursday to expand cooperation on offshore wind power, giving a boost Europe's biggest green energy players. Danish companies DONG Energy and Vestas had feared the nascent U.S. offshore wind sector would be stymied after President Trump vowed to revive the coal industry, challenged climate-change science and blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies. But both companies now say the Trump administration is increasingly looking at Europe's experience as it seeks to kick-start the sector.

US Marine Sanctuary Oil Drilling Report Sent to Trump, Not Public

(Photo: David J. Ruck/NOAA)

U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross sent a report to the White House on Wednesday containing recommendations on whether to change the boundaries of 11 marine sanctuaries to allow more oil and gas drilling, but the report was not made public. Commerce reviewed sanctuaries containing 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches, as part of an administration strategy to open new areas to oil and gas drilling. The goal was to “put the energy needs of American families and businesses first…

Statoil’s NY Offshore Wind Project Named 'Empire Wind'

Photo: Statoil

Empire Wind is the project name of Statoil’s offshore wind site located off the southern coast of Long Island, N.Y. “The name Empire Wind captures the pivotal role that this important project will play in helping New York achieve its ambitious renewable energy goal,” said Statoil’s Empire Wind Project Director, Christer af Geijerstam. The 79,350 acre site, secured by Statoil in a federal auction in December 2016, has the potential to generate up to 1GW of offshore wind power for New York City and Long Island…

Rule Changes to Spur French Wind Power Projects Within Months

France will propose rule changes within six months that will remove administrative hurdles and speed the development of onshore wind power projects, its junior ecology minister said. France, which depends on nuclear power for over 75 percent of its electricity needs, plans to ramp up the development of renewable energies during the five-year term of President Emmanuel Macron so as to reduce its dependence on atomic power. Lagging its European peers, France plans to increase installed wind capacity to 15 GW by the end of next year from 12.3 GW as of June…

Siemens Gamesa Announces Board Reshuffle

Siemens Gamesa announced on Friday a major reshuffle of its board, following a Reuters report about investor concerns about the way Siemens is managing the Spanish-based wind power joint venture. Alarmed by a second profit warning last week, Iberdrola representatives had called for significant changes at the top of Siemens Gamesa during a board meeting on Friday, two people with knowledge of the matter said earlier.     Reporting by Tom Sims

Vattenfall Building Denmark's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Swedish state-owned Vattenfall said on Friday it had started construction on Denmark's largest offshore wind farm in the North Sea, able to power 425,000 households. The 406 MW Horns Rev 3 wind farm will consist of 49 8.3 MW-turbines delivered by MHI Vestas, a joint venture between Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. "Horns Rev 3 is the first of three offshore farms that Vattenfall will construct in Denmark in the coming years," said head of Vattenfall's wind division Gunnar Groebler.

SEA-3250-LT: Innovation in Offshore Wind Installations

The SEA-3250-LT is a dedicated low CAPEX wind turbine installation solution for the emerging U.S. offshore wind market. (Image: GustoMSC)

GustoMSC is targeting the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind energy market with an innovative jack-up design that it claims will help to reduce risk and increase efficiency when installing units offshore: the SEA-3250-LT installation jack-up. Designed to be a safe, stable and solid platform to lift these heavy, delicate components to heights of more than 426 ft (130 m) in an area where technicians are performing assembly tasks at the same time. GustoMSC plays a pioneering role in the offshore wind installation market…

BP Eyes Smaller Renewable Investments

BP is targeting smaller and wider-ranging investments in renewable energy to avoid large losses in the sector like those it suffered earlier in the decade, Chief Executive Bob Dudley said on Wednesday. BP and peers including Royal Dutch Shell and Total have recognised the need to reduce carbon emissions in the fight against global warming, but their investment in renewables remains tiny compared to oil and gas. "We're making smarter, in many cases, smaller bets, and making more of them across a wider range of technologies and business models…

World’s First Floating Wind Farm Starts Production

The Hywind Scotland floating wind farm. (Photo: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Statoil ASA)

The world's first offshore floating wind farm has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid, providing power to approximately 20,000 households. The 30MW Hywind Scotland wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was officially opened today by First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” First Minister Sturgeon said. “The…

DNV GL, Taiwan Pact for Offshore Wind

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has signed an agreement with leading Taiwanese stakeholders to collaborate on offshore wind testing and certification to drive the expansion and facilitate the development of offshore wind in Taiwan. The regulations for certification will be headed by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection since it has been designated by the highest authority in Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the rising offshore wind markets in the world.

Where's the Money? Oil Traders Ask as Peak Demand Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Gear STD)

Traders still see opportunities in oil trading as Mercuria bets on power markets in U.S., China. For major trading houses that ship millions of barrels of oil every day, the prospect of diminishing fuel demand and a shift to renewable power poses a brain-racking challenge with few obvious solutions. "It is a very fair question - what the hell are we going to do?" said Ian Taylor, chief executive of the world's top oil trader Vitol, which trades seven percent of the world's oil. "It's not obvious.

U.S. Windfarm Builder says Poland Violated Contracts

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

U.S. company Invenergy LLC, which says it has spent more than $600 million building windfarms in Poland, said on Monday it had written Poland's president to say it was formally in dispute with the government over state companies failing to honour contracts. The company said the letter to Poland's president and prime minister would serve as formal notification of dispute under the U.S.-Poland bilateral investment treaty and the Energy Charter Treaty. "Bilateral investment treaties protect investors whose rights have been violated by another country…

Advanced Monitoring Proves Its Capabilities Offshore

(Photo: RED Engineering)

New monitoring technology developed by RED Engineering has been used for the first time to improve accuracy, speed and safety during the installation of jacket foundations for wind turbines at the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd project in the Moray Firth, Scotland. The development by the North East-based firm of engineers features remote proximity sensors to confirm the correct engagement of an internal lifting tool (ILT) in use by Seaway Heavy Lifting, a Subsea 7 company.

Innogy Issues $1 Bln Bond to Fund Wind Farms

© Terrance Emerson / Adobe Stock

Innogy, Germany's largest energy group, on Thursday issued a 850 million euros ($1.01 billion) corporate green bond to refinance wind power projects in Europe, it said. Proceeds of the bond, which has a 10-year maturity, will be used to refinance four offshore wind farms in Britain and Germany as well as an onshore wind farm in the Netherlands that is either under construction or already operating. The bond was met with "strong interest from investors and was oversubscribed several times", Innogy said.

GMG Acquires Fugro’s Trenching, Cable Laying Business

(Photo: Global Marine Group)

Global Marine Group (GMG) will acquire Fugro’s trenching and cable laying business in exchange for an equity stake of around 24 percent in the combined business valued at $65 million, and a one year secured vendor loan of $ 7.5 million. Fugro said it will realize a gain on this transaction, valued at approximately $73 million. GMG is a supplier of subsea cable installation and maintenance services in the telecoms, offshore renewables, power and oil and gas market segments.

US Solar Industry's Growth Region: Trump Country

Solar Panel AdobeStock / (c) 孤飞的鹤

President Donald Trump's administration has vowed to revive the coal industry, challenged climate-change science and blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies. And yet the solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and those same subsidies, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support. Data provided to Reuters by GTM Research, a clean energy market information firm, shows that eight of the 10 fastest-growing U.S.

Innogy Becomes Sole Owner of Triton Knoll Wind Project

File Image: offshore wind operations in progress (CREDIT: CWind)

Innogy buys 50 pct stake from Statkraft; Triton Knoll will cost about 2 billion pounds. Innogy, Germany's largest energy group, became the sole owner of a 2 billion pound ($2.64 billion) British offshore wind farm project after buying out Norway's Statkraft, it said, adding the final ownership structure could still change. The purchase of a 50-percent stake in Triton Knoll for an undisclosed sum follows state-owned Statkraft's strategic move to no longer invest in offshore wind power projects to free up cash to be able to pay a full dividend.

UK to Provide 557 mln stg Funding for Renewables

File Image: CREDIT Blount Boats

The British government confirmed on Wednesday up to 557 million pounds ($734 million) of funding for the next clean electricity auctions for less-established renewables. The next so-called contracts-for-difference (CfD) auction will take place in spring 2019, the government said in a statement but has not yet confirmed how much will be available for that auction. Less-established renewables include offshore wind, biomass, energy-from-waste technologies and some combined heat and power projects, a government spokesman said.

Ampelmann Gangway System Increases Operational Efficiencies

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann has enhanced its existing E1000 gangway transfer system to speed up conversion of its gangway from personnel to cargo mode from at least ten minutes to less than one minute, providing greater operational efficiencies. The innovative and adaptable E1000 motion compensated access system can transform from a gangway into a crane boom. It is 30 meters in length and is capable of safely transferring people and up to 1,000 kilograms of cargo in rough sea states in wave heights up to 4.5 metres.

Nate Becomes a Post-Tropical Cyclone: NHC

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) mode_list)

Former hurricane Nate has become a post-tropical cyclone that continues to pack heavy rain and gusty winds, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.   The storm system is about 85 miles (135 km) northeast of Columbus, Ohio with maximum sustained winds of 20 mph (55 km/h), it said.   Nate was expected to continue tracking northeastward, moving through the Ohio Valley and into the lower great lakes on Monday.   Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala 

NOIA Appoints Four to BoD

Martin Stauble

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Chairman David Welch has appointed four new members to the association’s Board of Directors. The appointments were announced today during NOIA’s fall meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the association is commemorating 45 years of commitment to America’s offshore energy industry. Today, the oil and gas industry, long centered in the Gulf of Mexico, produces 17% of America’s domestic oil and 5% of our domestic natural gas, while off the coast of Rhode Island…

T/S Nate Kills 22 in Central America, Bears Down on U.S. GoM

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) mode_list)

Tropical Storm Nate killed at least 22 people in Central America on Thursday as it pummeled the region with heavy rain while heading toward Mexico's Caribbean resorts and the U.S. Gulf Coast, where it could strike as a hurricane this weekend. In Nicaragua, at least 11 people died, seven others were reported missing and thousands had to evacuate homes because of flooding, said the country's vice president Rosario Murillo. Emergency officials in Costa Rica reported that at least eight people were killed due to the lashing rain, including two children.

Statoil Takes First Bite of Solar Market

(Photo: Scatec Solar)

Norway's Statoil is taking its first step into the solar sector on Wednesday, partnering up with Oslo-listed renewable energy firm Scatec Solar in a joint venture aiming to build several large-scale solar plants in Brazil. Bruised by pressure on oil prices over the last two years, European oil companies have been intensifying their expansion into renewable energy to seek new sources of revenue. With a 40-percent share in Scatec's construction-ready 162 megawatt Apodi farm and a 50-percent share in the project execution company…

Solar PV Grew Faster Than Any Other Fuel in 2016

New solar PV capacity grew by 50% last year, with China accounting for almost half of the global expansion, according to the International Energy Agency's latest renewables market analysis and forecast. For the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal. Boosted by a strong solar PV market, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world last year, with almost 165 gigawatts (GW) coming online, according to the new report, Renewables 2017 (explore the report here).

DNV GL’s New WindFarmer

Image: DNV GL

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has launched WindFarmer: Analyst, its new software tool designed for optimised wind resource assessments. The software provides an intuitive step-by-step approach to calculating the potential energy yield of a wind farm project, delivering increased calculation transparency and accuracy. The new wind resource assessment and analysis tool, is built on the experience of conducting “bankable” energy production assessments on over 200,000 MW worth of wind farm projects globally.

Perry's Proposed Grid Rule Scrambles Energy Alliances

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's attempt to save the coal and nuclear industries by proposing a new grid resiliency rule is making for some odd bedfellows across the energy sector. The proposed grid resiliency rule threatens to turn two of the Trump administration's most loyal groups of supporters against one another, as the gas and coal industries square off for a fight over market share. The White House has celebrated the growth in domestic gas production and associated reduction in greenhouse emissions but also wants to rescue coal and nuclear producers.

Amarenco Acquires Renewable Energy Developer Groupe Carré

Olivier Carré  (Photo: Groupe Carré)

Amarenco, an independent power producer based in Ireland, has announced its acquisition of Groupe Carré, a renewable energy project developers active in France. This acquisition supports Amarenco’s strategic objectives and strengthens its position in France’s promising wind and solar energy markets. Operating under the brand name Amarenco France, the new entity has the depth of skills, experience and financial girth to quickly become one of the main vertically integrated IPPs active in the country.

France Wins EU Nod for Renewable Energy Schemes

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

EU state aid regulators approved on Friday four French schemes that will allow the country to produce more than 7.5 gigawatts in energy from onshore wind and solar, saying the projects were in line with EU competition rules. France aims to produce 23 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The European Commission said France will evaluate the schemes and brief regulators on the impact with an interim report in 2018 and a final one in 2022. "The measures are completed by a technology neutral tender which will stimulate competition between solar and wind installations…

Energy Industry Says 'No Thanks' to Trump Offer of Marine Sanctuaries

The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (Photo: NOAA)

In a bid to boost energy development, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering shrinking or eliminating 11 marine sanctuaries designed to protect 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches. The review is part of a broader strategy to open new areas to oil and gas drilling and “put the energy needs of American families and businesses first,” according to the order Trump signed in April that triggered it. But interviews with energy industry representatives signal the effort will likely miss its target.

Statkraft Divests Renewable Energy Assets in Four Markets

Norway's Statkraft swapped its hydropower units in Panama, Laos, Philippines and Zambia with other renewable energy assets in South America and Asia previously co-owned by a Norwegian development fund, the two organisations said on Wednesday. Statkraft acquired full ownership of hydropower, solar and wind assets in Peru, Brazil, Chile, India and Nepal from Norfund, part of its strategy to operate in fewer places but increase its ownership in different renewables. "We want to focus on fewer markets and have a plan to increase wind and solar power capacity…

Japan Fires Up Biomass Energy as Fuel Shortage Looms

© Mikael Damkier / Adobe Stock

As the sun sets on Japan's solar energy boom, companies and investors are rushing into wood-burning biomass projects to lock in still-high government subsidies. More than 800 projects have already won government approval, offering 12.4 gigawatts (GW) of capacity -- equal to 12 nuclear power stations and nearly double Japan's 2030 target for biomass in its basic energy policy. The sheer number of projects has raised questions about how they will all find sufficient fuel, mostly shipped in from counries like Canada and Vietnam…

Mission Accomplished? OPEC Banishes Contango

“There is no doubt that the oil market is moving in the right direction,” the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries noted with satisfaction in its most recent bulletin published on Wednesday. “The rebalancing process was never going to happen overnight; it was never going to happen in a linear fashion; and it was always going to require a concerted effort,” OPEC observed. “Patience and perseverance are still required”, the bulletin warned, but the organisation is well on the way to achieving the objectives it set when announcing output cuts in November 2016.

Hopes Lifted for Norway-Scotland Power Cable Project

The prospects for a planned 1.4 gigawatt (GW) power interconnector linking Norway and Scotland have improved following the re-election of Norway's right-wing government this month, the project's chief said. NorthConnect's 650-km subsea cable could meet about a quarter of Scotland's peak demand with clean energy from Norwegian hydroelectric dams and wind turbines. Opposition Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere had said before the election he would not back the NorthConnect concession application if his party took power.

US Natural Gas Prices Rise as Winter Stocks Look Tight: Kemp

U.S. natural gas stocks look somewhat tight after low prices this summer worked off the excess stocks that built up in the first half of the year. Current stocks are in line with the five-year seasonal average but that may not be enough given the increase in exports and the number of additional combined-cycle power plants that have become operational in 2017. The last two winters have been exceptionally mild; if this winter proves colder, which is likely simply on the basis of probabilities, inventories could come under pressure.

Total Ups Renewables Stake With Two Deals

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

Total buying 23.5 pct stake in EREN RE. Oil major Total has stepped up its expansion into renewables with investments in solar and wind energy producer EREN RE and energy efficiency firm GreenFlex. Bruised by pressure on oil prices over the last two years, Europe's biggest oil companies have been intensifying their push into renewable energy to seek new sources of future revenue. Total said it was buying a 23 percent stake in renewables company EREN RE for 237.5 million euros ($285 million), and could later acquire full control of the business.