Offshore Wind Fastest Growing Power Sector in Europe

Offshore wind energy development in Europe is the fastest growing power sector with 4.9 GW of new capacity under construction according to the European Wind Energy (EWEA). The 4.9 GW will be comprised of 16 commercial offshore wind farms under construction.

EWEA 2014 Statistics ReportDuring the first six months of 2014, 224 new offshore wind turbines totaling 781 megawatts were fully connected tot the grid. This is 25 percent less than during the same period in 2013. However, there are 282 wind turbines installed that have not been connected to the grid during the first six months. Once connected, this will add an additional 1,200 MW of offshore wind energy capacity.

“Despite offshore wind power installations being lower than in the first six months of last year, it remains the fastest growing power sector in Europe” said Justin Wilkes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at EWEA. “However, despite significant financing activity in the first half of the year, the contraction in installations we have witnessed in these first six months, may well continue into 2015 and 2016.”

“To ensure healthy growth in the latter part of the decade, and to ensure offshore wind energy plays its role in meeting the EU’s competitiveness, security, renewable and climate objectives, the industry must be given longer-term visibility,” Wilkes continued. “An ambitious deal on the 2030 Climate and Energy package by the EU’s Heads of State in October would send the right signal, making their decision particularly important for the offshore wind sector,” he concluded.

Total installed offshore wind capacity in Europe is now 7,343 MW in 73 wind farms across 11 countries, capable of producing 27 TWh of electricity, enough to meet the needs of over 7 million households – or the entire population of the Netherlands.

Researchers Make Green Plastic from Biodiesel By-Product

csirlogoResearchers in India have created a green plastic from the biodiesel by-product glycerin. This article from the Business Times says the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) developed the biodegradable plastic from a jatropha-based biodiesel process.

“We had initiated a research on using the residue of bio-diesel to be converted to plastic.The idea of green plastic came as a result of our concern to effectively utilize the crude glycerol which is the byproduct of the Jatropha biodiesel,” said S Mishra, principal scientist, CSMCRI.

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and CSMCRI have started research related to the development of ‘green plastic’ in 2005 during the second phase of the project entitled ‘Biofuels from eroded soils of India” sponsored by Daimler Chrysler, Germany.

More than 500 gms. of green plastic has already been produced in the laboratory at gram scale which was distributed to some firms for research analysis and studies on its further applications in bio-medical area. “Now ,our target is to scale up the process from gram to kilogram scale per batch production. Besides, we are also trying to improve functional/physical properties of the product,” she added.

A European patent has been granted for these bioplastics that degrade in the soil in three months.

The institute is also looking at developing algae found in the Indian coastline to be made into biodiesel.

EU Tariffs on U.S. Biodiesel Could be Renewed

USEUflagsTariffs by the European Union against American biodiesel could be renewed. This article from Bloomberg says the EU is threatening to renew the tariffs of up to $323 per metric ton based on some probes against Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM), the world’s biggest corn processor, and Cargill Inc.

The inquiries will determine whether the expiry of the import taxes would be likely to lead to a “continuation or recurrence” of subsidization and dumping and of “injury” to EU producers, the European Commission, the 28-nation bloc’s trade authority in Brussels, said today in the Official Journal. The anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties were due to lapse tomorrow and will now stay in place during the investigations, which can last as long as 15 months.

The subsidy and dumping cases highlight tensions accompanying EU and U.S. efforts to expand global trade in biofuels. Biofuels, which also include ethanol, are a renewable energy from crops such as rapeseed, corn, wheat and sugar. In a separate trans-Atlantic commercial dispute, the EU in 2013 imposed a five-year anti-dumping duty on U.S. bioethanol.

U.S. exports to the EU of the type of biodiesel covered by the European anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties were valued at $1 billion a year and came to a virtual halt after the bloc imposed the levies in July 2009. In May 2011, the EU widened the duties to cover more blends and extended the levies to Canada, saying American exporters dodged the trade protection.

The investigation also comes as the EU is trying to meet its own goal of at least 10 percent of land transportation fuels to come from biofuels in 2020 and more than double the share of overall use of renewable energy in the EU to 20 percent.

Globeleq Inaugurates Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm

Globeleq has inaugurated its latest wind energy project in South Africa. The 138 MW Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is located between the towns of Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp in Eastern Cape and has an estimated annual production of 460 GWh and will provide renewable electricity for nearly 100,000 average South African households.

Jeffreys Bay Wind-Farm-SunsetBack in April, Globeleq marked the start of operations at two solar facilities, the 50 MW De Aar and 50 MW Droogfontein installations on the Northern Cape. All facilities are part of South Africa’s renewable energy program and according to the company, are among the very first large scale renewable power plants to be built in the country.

Mikael Karlsson, Globeleq’s CEO said, “The completion of these facilities is the result of a truly global partnership with the Government of South Africa and Eskom and the private sector of developers, investors, lenders, constructors, suppliers and the local community. It demonstrates significant support for independent private power producers in the region and indicates the sustainability of the renewable energy sector. As the leading African private power company, Globeleq is committed to pursue further investments in clean and reliable power for the region.”

Similar to other countries, South Africa has identified job creation and skills development through development of renewable energy. During the wind farm’s construction, Globeleq said more than 700 people worked on the site, of which 45 percent were drawn from the local community. A percentage of the project’s operational revenues will be reinvested into the local community through socio-economic and enterprise development programs creating the skills needed to support the growth of the renewable energy industry in South Africa.

“What an exciting time to be a part of this industry. In such a short period we have built an alternative source of energy which will provide ongoing benefits for the country and the industry alike,” said Mark Pickering, Managing Director of Globeleq South Africa.

Globeleq is the majority shareholder in a consortium group, consisting of Mainstream, Old Mutual, Thebe, Enzani, Usizo and the Amadla Omoya Trust. Globeleq through its wholly owned South African subsidiary, manages the operation and commercial aspects of the Jeffreys Bay, De Aar and Droogfontein facilities.

Aemetis’ Biodiesel Gains EPA, EU Approvals

aemetislogo1A California-based company making biodiesel in India has gained important approvals from the U.S. government and the European Union. This news release from Aemetis, Inc. says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved issuance of D4 Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) for Aemetis’ imported biodiesel produced from waste fats and oils (WFO) at Aemetis’ 50 million gallon per year plant on the East Coast of India, as well as the EU certification.

The superior quality and low carbon intensity biodiesel produced at the Aemetis India plant has recently earned [the EU's] International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) Category 2 certification. With the recent construction and commissioning of a biodiesel distillation column at the India plant, the company is producing a colorless biodiesel with 99.5% esters and nearly no monoglycerides, water or other contaminants. Aemetis biodiesel has met and exceeds all D6751 biodiesel specifications, allowing for use in all diesel engines.

“Receiving ISCC Category 2 and EPA certifications are great steps in ramping up India to full capacity with the capability to grow and implement new technologies,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “After the successful installation of the India plant distillation unit, in June Aemetis made its first shipment of Category 2 biodiesel to customers in the E.U.” added McAfee.

Aemetis’ India plant is able to make biodiesel from a wide variety of feedstocks.

UK Company Offering 100% Biodiesel Marine Motor

A company in the United Kingdom is carrying a line of marine motors able to run on 100 percent biodiesel. Mermaid Marine says it has the Citius series of heavy duty engines from AGCO SISU Power, which is unique in being the only common rail engine available and is approved to run on pure biodiesel with no compromise in performance.

citiusmarineengine1“The importance of biodiesel is continuously increasing with biodiesel such as rapeseed accepted as an alternative fuel for use in engines,” explained Mermaid Marine sales executive Julian Osborne. “The fuel – either 100% biodiesel alone, or in any mixture ratio with diesel fuel according to EN 590 or ASTM D975, can be used in all the engines which are equipped with a mechanic or electronically controlled injection pump.”

AGCO SISU Power, formerly Sisu Diesel, was originally founded in 1942 and since then has produced engines known for their quality and reliability. The engines are built at the company’s main factory in Finland and comply with IMO 2 emission regulations and are future proofed for the forthcoming IMO 3 legislation.

Direct injection technology, crossflow cylinder head, centrally supported cylinder liners – unique in engines of this size – and advanced turbocharger technology have been everyday features in SisuDiesel engines for decades.

The engines have been designed for reliability, low operating costs and easy servicing. Classic, sturdy basic construction is combined with new generation control electronics and modern injection system, producing an engine that meets even the most demanding user needs.

You can get the engines in four and six cylinder versions from 130hp to 410hp. Mermaid Marine says they are designed for extreme conditions from blistering equatorial heat to the harsh winters of Northern Europe.

Windiga Energy to Become Indepedent Solar Producer

Burkina Faso, located in Africa, is going solar. Windiga Energy will become the first independent solar energy producer in the country with the signing of an investment support agreement. The company has selected Siemens Energy Smart Generation Solutions to build and operate the 20MW photovoltaic power plant to be located in Zina, in the Mouhoun province. The solar power system is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015 and will be the largest PV power facility in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Burkina FasoThe Honourable Edward Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade who was in Burkina Faso as part of a trade mission to Africa congratulated Windiga for the signing of the historic agreement saying, “This US $50 million project will help to meet the country’s electricity needs.”

The electricity will sold to the National Electric Company of Burkina (SONABEL) through a 25 year power purchase agreement. Funding for the project includes monies from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Frontier Markets Fund Managers and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

“We are very pleased with the support that we received from both the Governments of Burkina Faso and Canada allowing us to conclude this strategic agreement that will bring about the construction of a major renewable energy project and the launch of the solar energy industry in Burkina Faso,” said Benoit La Salle, president and CEO, Windiga Energy. “This power plant will also contribute to the economic development of the region, employing about 150 Burkinabé workers during the construction phase.”

La Salle added, “The strong support and commitment of our employees, our African colleagues and our legal advisors, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, were key to the success of this historic agreement.”

Isuzu to Partner to Develop Algae Biodiesel

isuzu euglenaJapanese car maker Isuzu is partnering with a fellow Japanese company to develop a new kind of biodiesel from algae. This article from Bloomberg says Isuzu and Euglena Co. hope to establish the technology by 2018.

The companies want to develop a type of fuel that can be used on its own unlike existing kinds that need to be mixed with light oil, they said in a statement today.

“As long as we use light oil for diesel engines, emissions of carbon dioxide are inevitable,” Susumu Hosoi, president of Japanese truck maker Isuzu, said at a news conference. “It is important to diversify types of fuel” for resource-poor Japan, he said.

Euglena, a Japanese biotech venture, has been developing jet fuel from algae with airline operator ANA Holdings Inc., President Mitsuru Izumo said at the event.

Indonesia Coming Up Short on Big Biodiesel Goals

Indonesia flag1Indonesia looks to miss some pretty ambitious goals this year for its biodiesel program. Reuters reports that problems with logistics and infrastructure are what government officials cite as the reason for the miss.

The government has set a biodiesel consumption target in 2014 of 4 million kilolitres, of which 1.56 million kilolitres is for subsidised diesel for vehicles, with the rest to used by power plants and non-subsidised sectors such as mining and plantations.

But by end-May, only 447,000 kilolitres had been used in the subsidised diesel sector, Dadan Kusdiana, director of renewable energy and energy conservation at the mining ministry, told Reuters by text. He was unable to give data for other sectors.

Kusdiana said the figure for subsidised diesel was forecast to rise to 1.34 million kilolitres by the end of the year.

Analysts, however, have been sceptical the government could meet its targets due to issues in making biodiesel available throughout the island archipelago, particularly in more remote eastern provinces, and providing adequate supervision to ensure the new standards were being adopted.

The shortfall from the goals also comes as the country tried to spark more internal use, boosting the mandate for transportation fuels from 3 percent to 10 percent and doubling the power generation industry’s mandate to 20 percent. Another reason for the shortfall not mentioned in the article might be the trouble Indonesia is having exporting its biodiesel to Europe right now.

GRFA: UN Sustainable Goals Must Include Biofuels

This week the 12th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals began at the United Nations in New York City. In response to the meeting, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) is encouraging participants to include specific targets for biofuels developments as part of UN’s sustainability goals. In addition, GRFA stressed to delegates that the use of sustainable biofuels as a replacement for crude-based grfa_logo1transportation fuels significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions while diving investments in agriculture.

“As participants continue to set new UN Development Goals for the next fifteen years they must keep in mind the positive affects that the global biofuels industry has on agriculture, the environment and the energy sector,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA.

According to GRFA, the global ethanol industry alone this year will produce 90.38 billion litres of ethanol which will help the environment by reducing GHG emissions by 106.4 million tonnes. This year’s production record will reduce global GHG emissions by over 291,000 tonnes per day. This is equal to 21,279,808 cars being removed from the world’s roads in 2014 OR removing more than all of the vehicles registered in Malaysia off the road each year.

“Global biofuel production and use leads to a more sustainable environment because ethanol use is the largest single contributor to GHG reductions in transportation and the only commercially available alternative to crude oil,” added Baker.

The agriculture sector has also benefited from biofuels production over the years as developing countries adopt biofuel-friendly policies, said Baker. According to a recent publication of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), “Increased agricultural productivity and output has ensured that the global supply of crops available forUN FAO Biofuels and the Sustainability Challenge non-biofuel uses has continued to grow over the long term.” Additionally, for every tonne of cereals used for ethanol production, on average one-third re-enters the food chain as animal feed. The UN FAO confirmed this in its report “Biofuels and the Sustainability Challenge,” stating that “the by-products of biofuel production can be useful sources of food”.

“In short, the global biofuels industry has increased the amount of food available for human consumption and feed available to farmers for livestock around the world,” said Baker.

The creation of sustainable green jobs going forward has become a priority for governments around the world. In 2012 the GRFA released a report that found that in 2010, global ethanol production supported nearly 1.4 million jobs in all sectors worldwide and contributed over $273 million to the global economy. A recent IRENA commissioned report confirmed that the global biofuels industry has grown, finding that in 2013, 1.45 million jobs were supported by the global liquid biofuels industry.

“It’s clear that because of the global biofuel industry’s ability to reduce our reliance on crude oil, reduce GHG emissions, increase agricultural productivity and create millions of jobs, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals post 2015 must encourage further growth of the global biofuels industry,” concluded Baker.

DuPont Lights Up Solar Plant in Cernay, France

A new 4.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant is now online in Cernay, France. This DuPont project is the largest solar power installation to date and now one of 13 solar installations worldwide on DuPont land. When combined, the solar projects generate over 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The Cernay installation is expected to produce 5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar-generated electricity each year, which is roughly the equivalent to the amount of electricity 2,000 households consumed every year in France.

The solar farm is spread over 15 acres of land and features 18,400 crystalline silicon solar panels, manufactured by Jinko Solar. The solar panels feature advanced materials from DuPont that according to the company, are designed to improve the power output, durability and return on investment for solar energy systems. The panels are made with DuPontTedlar polyvinyl fluoride film-based backsheets, which they way are CernaySolarArraythe only material proven to protect solar panels for more than 30 years even in extreme outdoor conditions. They also contain DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes that help ensure maximum power output.

The project was developed by Hanau Energies, a French project developer and investor in solar installations, and was built in a record time of two months. It falls under a 20-year power purchase agreement with energy provider Eléctricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF).

“We are extremely proud to partner with a global player like DuPont on this project in France. The solar park in Cernay is a perfect illustration for how advanced and reliable technology and best practices in installation, operations and maintenance can be put into practice,” said Jean-Luc Westphal, president, Hanau Energies.

The project is aligned with Cernay’s federation of municipalities aim to preserve resources and limit its environmental footprint. At the global and national levels, the development of solar and other renewable energy sources are expected to grow in the overall energy mix. According to industry analyst IHS, France’s annual installation of solar is expected to increase by 50 percent in 2014 to exceed 800MW and should keep growing steadily over the following years. Globally, solar is expected to grow 20 percent annually each of the next several years.

“The solar park in Cernay is a prime example of DuPont demonstrating its commitment to develop collaborative and innovative solutions and helping to ensure a more energy secure future,” said Martin Virot, country leader, DuPont France. “We are pleased to see this project realized in France, leveraging our advanced materials to ensure a well-performing, long-term source of electricity as we strive to meet the growing global energy demand more sustainably.”

“The Cernay solar park is a brilliant showcase of socially responsible investment and collaboration between the private and public sectors,” Member of Parliament and Mayor of Cernay, Michel Sordi concluded. “I congratulate DuPont, who continues to be at the forefront of science and technology and has developed multiple projects in the region for over 30 years.”

Tea Time? No, Brits Look to Coffee for Biodiesel

coffeecup1While the Brits might be known for their tea, it could be coffee that fills their biodiesel tanks. Researchers at the University of Bath have found a way to turn coffee grounds into biodiesel.

Oil can be extracted from coffee grounds by soaking them in an organic solvent, before being chemically transformed into biodiesel via a process called “transesterification”. The study, recently published in the ACS Journal Energy & Fuels, looked at how the fuel properties varied depending on the type of coffee used.

As part of the study, the researchers made biofuel from ground coffee produced in 20 different geographic regions, including caffeinated and decaffeinated forms, as well as Robusta and Arabica varieties.

Dr Chris Chuck, Whorrod Research Fellow from our Department of Chemical Engineering, explained: “Around 8 million tonnes of coffee are produced globally each year and ground waste coffee contains up to 20 per cent oil per unit weight.

“This oil also has similar properties to current feedstocks used to make biofuels. But, while those are cultivated specifically to produce fuel, spent coffee grounds are waste. Using these, there’s a real potential to produce a truly sustainable second-generation biofuel.”

The researchers found a surprisingly high level of consistency among the various types of coffee grounds for their appropriateness as a biodiesel feedstock.

The work seems to be in line with other studies we have reported on here on Domestic Fuel, including a London startup looking to turn coffee grounds into biodiesel and work at the University of Cincinnati.

IncBio Biodiesel Processor Going to South America

incbio_south americaPortugal-based IncBio delivered its latest fully automated ultrasonic biodiesel reactor to South America. This company news release says it will produce 120,000 metric tons/year of the green fuel using the ultrasonic transesterification process, a technique touted by the company as much more efficient than traditional biodiesel makers.

José Marques, IncBio’s CEO said: “By updating the existing technology, our client is bringing its plant back to profitability, something with which most outdated plants are currently struggling with. Ultrasonic reactors not only speed up the conversion, by causing a reaction in seconds vs the typical hours of agitation or recirculation, but because they also require lower amounts of methanol and catalyst, ultrasonic biodiesel reactors exponentially improve the financials of existing plants. By reducing reaction time, and methanol consumption, we greatly reduce energy consumption (mostly reducing the volume of methanol to be distilled).

We are seeing the interest in our technology growing by the day and this is not surprising, since existing plants are struggling to turn a profit, mostly because they are using 20th century technology, at a time when we’re already well into the 21st century and the technology has moved on substantially. The reactors end up paying for themselves very quickly, with the typical payback time being measured in months, not years.”

Earlier this year, IncBio delievered a biodiesel processor to Tunisia and inked a deal to deliver one to turn animal fats into biodiesel in Saudi Arabia.

FIFA World Cup to Feature Biofuels & Solar

FIFA World Cup BrasilThe FIFA World Cup 2014 is underway in Brazil and this year’s event features several renewable energy and sustainable measures never before seen during the event.

Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA) is supplying the governing body of the football fleet (known as soccer to those living in the U.S.) with ethanol. Flex-fuel cars from Hyundai, Model HB20 Edition FIFA World Cup, are running the streets and roads of Brazil powered with fuel from cane sugar.

The adoption of ethanol is one of the measures to avoid, reduce and offset emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) released dioxide in the atmosphere, the ‘Football for the Planet,’ according to FIFA’s official environmental program that aims to reduce the negative impact of their activities on the environment. In Brazil, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 2014 World Cup are putting in place projects that address key areas such as waste, water, energy, transport, logistics and climate change.

Kids play football on the beach as Brazil prepare for the World Cup on June 11, 2014 in Maceio, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Kids play football on the beach as Brazil prepare for the World Cup on June 11, 2014 in Maceio, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

For the consultant Emissions and Technology of Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA), Alfred Szwarc, the initiative of the FIFA program is extremely appropriate as sugarcane ethanol compared with gasoline. He cites sugar-based ethanol reduces 90 percent of greenhouse gases that cause climate change when compared to straight gasoline. Reducing global warming is one of focuses of the “Football for the Planet” FIFA campaign.

In addition to biofuels, Yingli Green Energy has provided dozens of solar panels to various operations involved with FIFA and this year the company plans to offset all carbon emissions arising from its promotional activities in Brazil to make the FIFA World Cup Brazil the greenest in history. The company’s efforts included all solar powered stadiums, commercial displays, customer hospitality, media activities, and employee travel and accommodation. To achieve carbon neutrality, Yingli has:

  • Supplied over 5,000 Yingli solar panels and nearly 30 off-grid solar energy systems to help power matches at multiple FIFA World Cup stadiums;
  • Partnered with ClimatePartner, an independent, certified environmental agency, to accurately calculate and verify emissions data for the duration of Yingli’s sponsorship activation in Brazil;
  • Committed to investing in carbon emission reduction certificates that are generated by a local Brazilian project, and that are certified by the Bureau Veritas Certification Holding SAS.

“By becoming history’s first carbon neutral sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, Yingli is honoring its commitment to our environment and to our planet,” noted Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “As a company whose products and mission are deeply intertwined with sustainability issues, we are dedicated to reducing the ecological impact of all aspects of our business operations, including our highly visible and pervasive marketing activities.”

Ennovor’s Biodiesel Earns Sustainability Certification

ennovor-group-logoA European biodiesel maker has earned an important sustainability certification. This company news release says Ennovor Group is the first in the United Kingdom to garner the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) sustainability certification for their used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) biodiesel. The certification is based on 12 key principles, providing a holistic approach towards sustainability assurance, covering social, environmental, economic and operational aspects in its analysis.

“As an international certification system, RSB is appropriate for any feedstock in any country thus works very well along the entire supply chain,” says David Frohnsdorff, CEO of Ennovor. “The RSB certification will enable Ennovor to demonstrate strict compliance with EU and international sustainability standards”.

“Ennovor’s commitment to feedstock traceability fits very well with the robust RSB approach to waste verification. We are very pleased that Ennovor has chosen RSB to demonstrate the sustainability and greenhouse gas savings of their biodiesel and that RSB-certified waste-based biodiesel will be now be available in the UK,” said Rolf Hogan, RSB’s Executive Secretary.

Ennovor is one of Europe’s largest sustainable biodiesel producers, using an online “digital chain of custody” record for every consignment of biofuel it trades.