Hydro-PV Hybrid Project in China Connects to Grid

What is believed to be the world’s largest hydro and PV hybrid project has been connected to the grid and is now supplying power from the Longyangxia Dam in Qinghai Province, China. Yingli Green Energy Holding Company, who supplied 15 MW YGE series photovoltaic (PV) modules for the project congratulated the project team for its successful efforts.

Longyangxia DamWith a total capacity of 320 MW, the project began construction in March 2013 and started grid connection and commissioning last week. During its 25 years lifetime, the hyrdo-solar project is expected to deliver 498 million kWh of electricity per year to the grid.

“We feel delighted about the successful grid connection of world’s largest hydro and PV hybrid project,” said Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “In addition to this hydro and PV hybrid project, the company has also been acting proactively in integrating PV with architecture, agricultural, and other fields. For example, the Power Valley International Hotel – world’s first five star hotel with BIPV application applied our curtain wall Series PV modules, integrating solar power generation into the overall design and making the building more environmental friendly.”

Miao added, “The Company also focuses on the innovative applications of PV modules with traditional agriculture, promoting the development of eco-agriculture. Besides, we installed more than 20 MW PV modules on our factories, parking lots, and other facilities, which will provide approximate 23 million kWh solar electricity per year for the company’s production and operation. This will help the company to reduce CO2 emission and increase renewable energy consumption.”

Multi-Feedstock Biodiesel Plant in France Ready

BDI-franceAn Austrian company is bringing a multi-feedstock biodiesel plant in France into operation. BDI – BioEnergy International AG announced the $22.5 million project uses animal fats and used cooking oil as its feedstock.

The commission covered the entire BioDiesel process, including installation of the plant. The project was completed on schedule and as budgeted within eleven months, when it was handed over to the satisfied customer. The biggest Multi-Feedstock BioDiesel plant in France does not process the predominant raw material in France (rapeseed oil); instead of this, it produces high-quality BioDiesel solely from waste materials and animal fats.

The French customer ESTENER can benefit from this plant in an additional way too, because BioDiesel manufactured from waste materials in France counts double towards the achievement of the national renewable energy targets.

“We are particularly proud that our technology was chosen for the construction of the first Multi-Feedstock BioDiesel plant in France and that we have succeeded in satisfying our customer by implementing the project successfully”, says Dr. Edgar Ahn (CSO).

BDI – BioEnergy International AG builds customized biodiesel plants using vegetable oils, used cooking oils and animal fats.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reach $544B

According to the World Energy Outlook fossil fuel consumption subsidies have reached $544 billion in 2012, up from $523 billion in 2011. This news has caused the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) to criticize leaders of the most developed nations for failing to reduce fossil fuel subsidies despite their commitment to eliminate them four years ago.

This weekend marked the end of this year’s United Climate Change Conference and Bliss Baker, GRFA spokesperson said “Another year has passed without any progress being made in eliminating these wasteful crude oil subsidies. These market distorting subsidies hurt developing economies and slow the development of alternative fuels, like biofuels.”

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 11.22.41 AMIn 2009, at the Pittsburgh G20 Summit, the world’s most developed countries committed to eliminating unnecessary fossil fuel subsidies. Back in 2009, fossil fuel subsidies had reached $300 billion, 45 percent less than where they are today.

This year’s figure of $544 billion in fossil fuel consumption subsidies shows that efforts to reduce them are not working says Baker. Even more egregious is the fact that this number does not include the production subsidies governments provide directly to crude oil companies, which is widely accepted to be in excess of $100 billion he adds.

“The GRFA finds it worrying that although we seem to be very aware of climate change, the leaders of the world’s most important nations have not slowed the subsidization of the consumption and production of crude oil in four years,” said Baker.

This year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference featured a “Transport Day” and “Fossil-Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change” side events. The focus of these events was land transport and fossil fuel subsidy reform. Land transport, according to the International Energy Agency (EIA), is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing 13 percent of global emissions. Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies could further reduce global emissions by a minimum of 10 percent.

“It is disturbing that no progress on the sources of over 20% of the world’s carbon emissions was made and that land transport and fossil fuels subsidies were reduced to side events at the premier conference established to determine the best ways of combating climate change,” added Baker.

He concluded, “This year’s Warsaw Climate Conference is another lost opportunity for leaders of the most developed nations to show some leadership and get serious about cutting subsidies to crude oil and increase biofuels share of the global future energy mix.”

Argentina Helps Biodiesel by Upping Blend

argentinaflagArgentina will be using more biodiesel in its power generation and vehicles. In a move to help its biodiesel industry hit by European sanctions, Biofuels International reports the South American country will require a 10 percent biodiesel blend in fuel burned for power generation and will step up vehicle blends to 10 percent starting next month.

Biodiesel producers have been pushing hard to convince the government to raise the local blending requirements for mixing biodiesel with conventional fuel to compensate for European trade lost after the EU imposed strict anti-dumping duties on Argentinian imports earlier this year.

The government has said it wants to raise the biodiesel blending requirement to 20% by 2015, but has so far struggled to increase the actual blend much higher than the original 7% mandate set in 2006.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, Argentina exported 755,200 metric tons of biodiesel from January to September of this year compared to the 1.3 million tons shipped during the same period in 2012, according to Argentine biofuels chamber Carbio.

Biodiesel is big stakes for Argentina, as the country’s refiners have spent about $500 million to build biodiesel plants in recent years.

Global Effort to Bring Clean Energy Amps Up

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim have announced a concerted effort by governments, international agencies, civil society and private sector to mobilize financing to deliver universal access to modern energy services such as lighting, clean cooking solutions, and power for productive uses in 567790-uncity-1bdeveloping countries, as well as scaled-up energy efficiency, especially in the world’s highest-energy consuming countries.

After a meeting of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), which they co-chaired, they welcomed the growing momentum. “Energy powers growth and opportunity,” said the UN Secretary-General. “We count on all actors to lead by example in scaling up and accelerating action that will provide clean, efficient and sustainable energy for all. Today’s many announcements are a testament to the resolve of partners to chart a path forward.” Continue reading

South Africa Adopts Biofuels Mandate

The Department of Energy of South Africa has announced that beginning October 1 2015, all gasoline and diesel sold in the country will include the addition of biofuels. The mandatory blending regulations released by the Department of Energy of South Africa in August 2012, allows mixing of B5 biodiesel and between E2 and E10 for gasoline, ie between 2 percent and 10 percent ethanol blended into gasoline.

South African flagThe Executive Director of the Sugar Cane Industry Union (UNICA), Eduardo Leão de Sousa, noted the introduction of mandatory blending, supported by clear policies and long-term, represents an important step towards the creation of a regional market in South Africa. “Considering the political and economic leadership of South Africa in the region, this initiative should encourage neighboring countries to adopt similar policies, enabling larger scales of production and consumption.”

The regulations also make sure that the biofuel-blended fuel are of high quality. Blenders may only negotiate with producers who are licensed to produce and sell biofuels and they will be required to provide a certificate that guarantees the quality in the production process. Oil producers will have to pay a regulated price and the South African Department of Energy is currently working on a table of biofuel prices that it hopes to have completed by the end of the year.

The effective date of October 2015, also takes into account the need to develop and improve the infrastructure for manufacturing, supplying and blending of biofuels. An implementation committee for biofuels was created especially to ensure that issues are resolved to the blends before the regulation comes into effect.

Africa has great potential to produce ethanol from sugarcane, which is considered an advanced biofuel by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) meaning its reductions of greenhouse gases are higher than 50 percent. Sugarcane ethanol emits up to 90% less carbon dioxide (CO2) compared with gasoline.

London Buses to Run on Waste Grease Biodiesel

stagecoachSome buses in London will soon be running on biodiesel made from waste cooking grease. This story from the East London Advertiser says more than 100 buses are testing a B20 blend of the green fuel.

Matthew Pencharz, Boris Johnson’s senior advisor for Environment and Energy, said: “This is another example of the mayor’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions and making our city’s transport even cleaner and greener. The mayor has called for investment in a large scale biodiesel refinery in the capital and with London operating one of the biggest bus fleets in the world, this pilot is an important step in demonstrating to the UK’s biodiesel industry that there is a huge potential demand for it here.”

Mark Threapleton, managing director for Stagecoach London, added: “Stagecoach was the first bus company to use 100 per cent biofuel back in 2007 and we’re delighted to be at the cutting edge in the use of this cleaner, greener biofuel in London.”

The buses will be running to some famous sites in the city, including Trafalgar Square.

An approximately 12,000-gallon storage tank has been put on the bus depot site so the biodiesel can be mixed right there.

EPA Setting Dangerous Precedent for Biofuels Globally

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is setting a dangerous precedent for the global biofuels industry according to spokesman Bliss Baker with the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA). On November 15, 2013, the EPA announced its proposed biofuel volumes for 2014 for the Renewable Fuel Standard and for the first time since the legislation was passed in 2007, the amount of biofuels for all categories was reduced.

GRFA says for the first time the U.S. government has bowed to petroleum industry pressure and the proposed changes would have severe economic and environmental consequences.

GRFA1“The EPA proposal cuts the demand for domestic fuel produced by America’s renewable fuel industry, which will increase the cost of gas at the pumps,” said Baker. “You cannot remove over 1.3 billion gallons of fuel from a fuel pool without it having an impact on fuel prices.”

Baker noted that the U.S. has been a leader in the global biofuels industry and the latest EPA proposal will tarnish this leadership role, putting at risk other jurisdictions who have followed the lead of the the country to introduce biofuels friendly policies. Baker continued by saying The EPA proposal jeopardizes the progress biofuels have made in reducing global crude oil dependence, cutting carbon pollution and boosting rural economies.

“This EPA proposal is a terrible precedent for the global biofuels industry. Today over 60 countries around the world have adopted biofuels friendly policies, many of whom have adopted mandates. This EPA proposal will send a very negative message to those countries trying to reduce their reliance on crude oil,” said Baker.

The GRFA forecasted that global biofuels production in 2013 will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100 million tonnes. This equates to 20 million cars or all the cars in Portugal and the Netherlands being pulled off the road. The EPA proposed claw back in biofuel demand and use would result in an increase in GHG emissions in America.

“Globally, if we cut biofuel demand like the EPA proposes, it would significantly hamper our ability to combat climate change because biofuels are the only commercially available alternative to crude oil. “Moreover, the GRFA finds it somewhat ironic that a proposal from the Federal Government’s Agency entrusted with protecting the environment will result in an increase in green house gas emissions,” concluded Baker.

Argentine, Indonesian Biodiesel Hit with EU Duties

inareuflagsBiodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia are now subject to punitive duties imposed by the European Union. Reuters reports they were hit with the measures after the EU ruled that producers there were selling into the bloc at unfairly low prices.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said in a statement on Thursday the duties would be set at an average of 24.6 percent for biodiesel from Argentina and 18.9 percent from Indonesia, confirming earlier Reuters reports.

The duties will come into effect on November 27.

EU member states voted in favour of a Commission view that Argentine and Indonesian producers dumped their products to the detriment of European manufacturers.

The Commission said Argentine and Indonesian companies benefited from artificially low raw material prices because of high export taxes imposed on soya beans and soybean oil by Argentina and on palm oil by Indonesia.

Argentina is the world’s biggest biodiesel exporter, and the two countries represent 90 percent of EU biodiesel imports. Their share of the EU market rose to 22 percent in 2011 from 9 percent in 2009.

The companies set to be hit by the duties on exports from Argentina include agribusinesses Bunge Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Commodities, which face duties of 217 euros ($290) and 239 euros ($320) per tonne, respectively, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Argentina will be challenging the duties in front of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to go with its challenge that’s keeping biodiesel from reaching Europe. Indonesia is also likely to appeal the duties.

World Energy Scenarios Report: More Must Be Done

WEI2013-1-216x291COP-19 is taking place in Warsaw, Poland and today the World Energy Council (WEC) released a new report, “World Energy Scenarios: Composing energy futures in 2050.” The world is set to face several significant challenges in balancing global energy needs in addressing the triple challenge of the energy trilemma. The WEC study assesses two policy scenarios: the more consumer-driven Jazz scenario, and the more voter-driven Symphony scenario, which places greater focus on climate change mitigation and adaption. The report highlights that energy demand is set to double by 2050, driven by non-OECD growth (OECD is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). To meet this growing demand, total primary energy supply is set to increase by between 61 percent and 27 percent.

WEC analysis in the World Energy Scenarios shows that despite significant growth in the relative contribution of renewables from 15 percent today to between 20 percent and 30 percent in 2050, in absolute terms the volume of fossil fuels used to meet global energy demand will be 16,000 MTOE (million tons of oil equivalent( in the Jazz (the more consumer-driven scenario) and 10,000 MTOE in Symphony (the more voter-driven scenario), compared to 10,400 MTOE in 2010. This represents a 55 percent increase in Jazz but only a 5 percent decrease in the absolute amount of fossil fuels used in Symphony by 2050.

“The inconvenient truth is: we are looking in the wrong place to address the issues facing the energy sector,” said Christoph Frei, Secretary of the World Energy Council. The focus of current thinking about the energy system is biased and inadequate. If we are to deliver sustainable energy systems, the focus must shift from the supply mix to demand efficiency. We need more demand-side investments, innovation, incentives, and stronger technical standards to reduce energy intensity.”

The report finds that some renewables will experience exponential growth, to reach 20 percent in Jazz and 30 percent in Symphony by 2050. In particular, the use of solar for electricity generation is set to increase by up to a staggering 225 times over 2010 levels. Currently solar power only accounts for just over 34 TWh/y in the electricity generation World Energy Council logomix, but it could provide somewhere between 2,980 TWh and 7,740 TWh in 2050. This equates to between US $2,950 billion and US $9,660 billion of investment in solar, representing the largest potential investment area of any renewable energy resource. However, fossil fuels will ultimately remain the dominant energy source supplying between 77% and 59% of the global primary energy mix.

“While there will be opportunities in the future for a range of technology solutions, the ultimate issue is that demand continues to grow at an unsustainable rate,” said Karl Rose, Senior Director, Policies and Scenarios at the World Energy Council. “One of the most significant findings in the report is the strong regional variation of priorities and solutions in the energy system. Too often we look at the world as one entity and seek global solutions but the reality is very different and this needs to be recognised.”

Frei added, “The financing challenge is vast but the current lack of climate framework clarity is leading to short-term investment decisions to satisfy current demand trends. We need drastic action from policymakers and industry to make concerted efforts to align and reduce the policy risk of energy investments.”

Call for EU Climate & Energy Framework

Eight European companies are calling for a strong 2030 EU climate and energy framework based on mutually reinforcing tools and targets, including an ambitious and legally binding target for the share of renewable energy in the energy mix of more than 30 percent. Collectively, the group represents 176,000 jobs and over EUR250 billion annual turnover and is providing cleaner generation technologies, equipment and energy to more than 70 countries worldwide.

According to the group, Europe must remain on the path it has chosen. The energy sector has long investment cycles, and investment decisions in the EU’s liberalised energy Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 9.43.18 AMmarkets need as much policy certainty as possible. The group also says the key to minimizing costs is a stand-alone, stable and predictable 2030 framework with an ambitious binding renewables target alongside an ambitious binding greenhouse gas reduction target and a robust CO2 price.

“Mutually reinforcing and coordinated targets will significantly minimise uncertainty, lower investment risk, reduce the costs of capital and hence the level of additional financial support needed,” the group writes in a statement. “This framework will help Europe’s competitiveness by driving innovation and technological leadership, and job creation. It will bring down our energy and electricity bills, and help remove the need for renewable energy support in future. It will help ensure a reliable, low-cost supply of clean energy for Europe’s citizens and industry.”

In addition, the group call for a need to reduce energy prices and risks, a fair market, and the need for a coherent overall energy system. Finally, they say, this change will not be possible without a true European market.

“The European single energy market must be rolled out and all efforts should be made to finalise the deployment of vital transnational networks and power exchange mechanisms whilst ensuring the viability of the other parts of the energy system. In this way Europe will maximise its consumption of clean renewable energy, reduce its enormous energy dependence and reduce energy prices for Europe’s citizens,” the statement concludes.

Football for Hope. Energy for Hope.

Yingli Solar has announced a milestone in its work with Federation Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) Football for Hope program. The 16th center has been officially inaugurated in Alexandra, South Africa. To honor the occasion, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr. Gert Oosthuizen, FIFA’s General Secretary, Mr. Jerome Valcke, representatives of the non-profit organization Grassroot Soccer (GRS), the South African Football Association (SAFA) and Yingli Green Energy (the parent company of Yingli Solar) jointly addressed the media.

The FIFA “20 Centres for 2010″ campaign, which was launched as part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup official corporate social responsibility program “Football for Hope,” is nearing YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING COMPANY LIMITEDcompletion. Alongside FIFA, Yingli Green Energy, an Official Sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and one of the world’s largest PV module manufacturer, utilized its expertise in renewable energy to provide solutions for this campaign to assist FIFA in improving the social environment for children in Africa with solar power. For the centre in Alexandra, Yingli Green Energy provided PV modules for the solar street lighting system.

“I would like to thank Yingli Green Energy for their contributions in our social campaign ’20 Centres for 2010′ and the installation of the solar panels that are crucial for the sustainability of the Centres,” said Mr. Jerome Valcke, General Secretary of FIFA.

Yingli Green Energy has equipped all centers with a total of 258 pieces of PV modules with a supply capacity of 23 kilowatt peak. Each center was able to choose between a variety of photovoltaic systems such as a solar-powered lighting system for the playing field, a water pump including water reservoir or a photovoltaic power supply system. Since the launch of the campaign, 16 centers have been built across the African continent and four remaining centers pending by the end of the year or in 2014.

FIFA has closely and constantly collaborated with the communities where the center had been built, in order to ensure that the new infrastructure would meet the local needs. Each Football for Hope center consists of a playing field for football and a building where educational projects take place and football is viewed as an instrument for promoting motivation and dialog within the community.

“We are happy to bring light and hope to the children in Africa,” said Judy Tzeng Lee, Vice President of Global Marketing at Yingli Green Energy. “Even though the project is coming to an end, the Centres will keep on supporting young people for many years. We look forward to continuing our partnership with FIFA in creating a more sustainable future through our expertise in renewable energy products and our passion for football.”

More Argentine Biodiesel Headed for U.S.

argentinaflagThe amount of Argentine biodiesel headed to the U.S. will double from year-ago levels. But the increase isn’t putting a damper on the domestic production of the green fuel. Bloomberg Businessweek reports 450,000 metric tons of Argentine biodiesel will arrive in the American market through December, more than double the year-earlier 221,000 tons.

“The U.S.A. has become the leading export destination for Argentine biodiesel,” Hamburg-based Oil World said. “A large part of the U.S. biodiesel imports is destined for re-export to African and Asian countries.”

U.S. biodiesel output rose to a record 128.3 million gallons in August, according to the most recent monthly data from the Department of Energy. Inventories of soybean oil used to make the biofuel fell to an eight-year low of 773,000 tons at the end of the 2012-13 season on Sept. 30, and supplies may slide further to 741,000 tons by the close of 2013-14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.

Argentina’s annual biodiesel exports still will decline in 2013 to 1.224 million tons from 1.558 million tons a year earlier, Oil World said. Shipments to the European Union tumbled as the 28-country bloc made plans to institute anti-dumping tariffs on both Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel, the researcher said last month.

Argentina is looking at raising its domestic use mandate to a 10 percent blend to help make up for the EU blocking its biodiesel.

Mewah Acquiring Malaysian Biodiesel Plant

mewahlogoMewah International, a palm oil refiner in Malaysia, will buy the biodiesel assets of Gomedic Sdn. Bhd for $13 million. Biodiesel Magazine reports the assets include 25,055 square meters of land, with a lease expiring in 2109, and a 30 MMgy biodiesel production facility.

According to Mewah International, the biodiesel plant is strategically located in the vicinity of the company’s largest palm oil refinery in Pulau Indah Industrial Park, Westport, Malaysia. The investment is expected to further consolidate the group’s position as an integrated palm oil processor.

The deal is projected to be finished early next year. Mewah is one of the largest palm oil processor in the world.

Largest Solar Plant in Japan Launched

A 70 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan has come online. The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant went online officially on November 1, 2013 and is being operated by a special purpose company established by Kyocera Corporation and six other companies to sell the electricity to a local utility under Japan’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program. An inauguration ceremony was held recently to celebrate the country’s largest utility-scale solar power plant.

70MW Solar Power Generating System 1Following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March of 2011, interest in solar energy has risen as a viable way to resolve power supply issues. To help promote the use of renewable energy, the Japanese government launched a restructured FIT program in July 2012 which mandates that local utilities are required to purchase 100 percent of the power generated from solar installations of more than 10 kilowatts (kW) for a period of 20 years.

Kagoshima Mega Solar Power Corporation was established by Kyocera and six other companies in July 2012 to explore a new business model for utility-scale solar power generation. Under a financing plan devised by Mizuho Corporate Bank, the new company was tasked to develop and operate the 70MW solar power plant on land owned by IHI Corporation with the power generated to be purchased by Kyushu Electric Power Co. based on the FIT program. As the largest shareholder of the new company, the Kyocera Group was responsible for the supply of solar modules as well as part of the construction, and will also undertake maintenance of the system with Kyudenko Corporation.

In addition, a tour facility has been built adjacent to the 70MW plant that is open to the public and features a circular viewing room where visitors can observe the 290,000 solar panels from an elevated vantage point and enjoy the view of the ocean bay and grand Sakurajima volcano in the background. Display zones for visitors such as students and tourists provide information about environmental issues and the science behind photovoltaic energy generation.