Blog

Thu

12

Dec

2019

Renewables to become the new normal at remote mines

The Energy and Mines World Congress shows that 2019 will be considered the tipping point for solar and wind projects in the mining sector 

The Energy and Mines World Congress that took place in Toronto provided great insights into the recent developments of onsite renewable energy applications at remote mines. Generally, the year 2019 has been identified as the tipping point. The business case for partly substituting expensive fuel like diesel, heavy fuel oil (HFO) or gas by solar and wind had been positive on paper for years. However, actual projects have evolved slowly. In 2019, almost a dozen new projects have been officially announced and at the same time many more projects are under development and on the verge of being announced.

Major on-site solar and wind power projects in mining
Major on-site solar and wind power projects in mining

Nick Holland, CEO of Gold Fields, a mining company that is a pioneer in integrating renewables, pointed out in his keynote that costs savings are possible, and a cost-efficient decentralization of power generation enabled by renewables comes with further advantages: “Renewables make for great business – lower cost and supply security. Independence from the grid is critical – microgrids are the future!”

 

Sustainability goes well beyond renewables

Mining companies see the need to decarbonize and pursue initiatives that go well beyond renewables, such as electrification of mining vehicles. These initiatives will further increase the electricity demand in mining and in the long run the need for locally generated renewable energy.

 

Trust in renewables has been building up over the years

Miners are gaining trust in renewable energy solutions. The fear of production losses has been decreasing over the past years with every new renewable energy system that has been added to a mine globally. Before, the general attitude was characterized by “wait and see”, but the mode has been changing in 2019 to “let’s act now”. The individual decision makers today run a relatively low perceived risk by driving forward renewable energy projects. The solutions that are being built now are often more sophisticated than they were before, and they incorporate a higher share of renewables that is also enabled by storage solutions.

 

Australia and Africa are leading the way

The epicenters of these developments are Australia and Sub-Saharan Africa, two regions having substantial areas with insufficient public grids and typically excellent solar resources. At the same time, renewable energy development also has a local driver. Though the mining sector is rather global, the word-of-mouth and political pressure on mining players to add renewables unleashes additional speed on a local level.

 

Shorter power purchase agreements (PPAs)

In comparison to the physical lifetime of solar and wind assets, the lifetime of mines or the mining licenses are often rather short. In addition, miners are used to relatively short-term energy supply for diesel, HFO and gas. Long-term purchase agreements for renewable energy often require a change of thinking and have slowed down the development of many projects in the past. More and more companies have come up with redeployable solar solutions that allow for offering short-term PPAs. On the hardware-side, the costs of redeployable solar solutions have come down significantly, but at the same time this approach is a bet on future growth of this segment. Redeployability also means that new target projects need to be available within a reasonable time period in the future. If not, the solar assets would have to be stored in warehouses until new deployment, which can prove to be costly.

 

Combining different renewable energy sources and energy storage

Several newly announced projects combine solar and wind power. One of the biggest disadvantages of solar and wind solutions is that they generate unsteady energy. Solar and wind output are often negatively correlated, which means that when solar irradiation is high wind speeds are typically low, and vice versa. This phenomenon allows for increasing the renewable energy share in the system while minimizing the need for storage.

THEnergy CEO, Thomas Hillig, during a presentation at the Energy and Mines World Congress 2019 in Toronto
THEnergy CEO, Thomas Hillig, during a presentation at the Energy and Mines World Congress 2019 in Toronto

In his presentation at the Energy and Mines World Congress, Thomas Hillig, Managing Director of the consulting firm THEnergy, said that for mining companies it makes sense to consider all sustainability levers and that also hydro could experience a real renaissance: “In a research project that is supported by the German government with approximately USD 1 million, THEnergy is analyzing in collaboration with two universities, RWTH Aachen and TU München, the potential of hydro-electric solutions in the mining sector. We are still looking for mines in Peru to participate - free of any charge.”

Mon

28

Oct

2019

Renewables require real marketing and branding – like other sectors

Renewables require real marketing and branding – like other sectors

Electricity is extremely abstract, which makes it nearly impossible to differentiate at the product marketing level. For the first hundred and fifty years of the category, especially in regulated or nationalized markets, differentiation was not even required. Liberalization and deregulation of the energy markets has produced new and unstable playing fields for energy providers. The pace of accelerating liberalization across global markets has created extraordinary challenges for energy companies as they struggle in their nascent efforts at brand building and product marketing.

For energy companies, differentiation, is mainly done based on product-support services and the origin of the electricity. The origin, or source of their power, is one of the most top-of-mind topics in the global consciousness, especially for the millions of young people demonstrating each week in the streets against the ticking clock of climate-death countdown

The energy industry is acutely aware that electricity and heat generation accounted for more than 40% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve the 1.5-degree objectives from the Paris Agreement, it will be mandatory to decarbonize these two sectors almost fully. Although clean or renewable energy generation costs have come down significantly during the last several years, this trend hardly reaches the end-customers – neither private households nor corporations.

 “To some extent, this is due to a lack of marketing and branding”, points out Dr Thomas Hillig, Managing Director of the Germany based energy consultancy THEnergy. And this is why THEnergy and New York based Free Radicals have set up a new partnership. Hillig continues: “We help our client partners to pull the available and appropriate marketing and branding levers. In the end, this will also contribute to accelerate the energy transition.”

Free Radicals and THEnergy combine two approaches that will give customers radical insights – also quantitative. Research is generative, focused on value outcomes for the business. The partnership leverages the complementary tensions between the unique disciplines of the two consultancies.

Both partners highlight the importance of “unMcKinsey-thinking”. “You have to make some trouble to get attention for your brand”, emphasizes Thom Kennon, Managing Director of Free Radicals. “Happy talk about innovation and disruption will not solve the business, brand and marketing problems these energy companies face. In our unorthodox workshops we develop street-ready strategies that can start paying bottom-line dividends within weeks and months not quarters or years.”

The brand-building and marketing functions within energy companies do not historically enjoy a central seat at the business planning table.  The new approach tackles this problem in two ways. First, Marketing insights around the customer can and should inform all strategic planning. Second, leveraging the marketing function as the essential connection point with the customer and the market to deploy, test and optimize rapid and cost-effective initiatives for business-building.

 

”Making some trouble means  designing initiatives where the brand shows up in the customers life with surprising saliency. It’s about a new kind of value marketing, suited to the needs, lives and consciousnesses of the emerging generation of energy consumers.   

 

The target clients for the new approach include both large  utilities who have read the signs of the times and are prepared to join the honest fight for new customers, as well as emerging energy providers  who are poised opportunistically to make some trouble for the incumbents – both in B2C and B2B electricity markets.

For more information about our newly combined offering please ping Thomas Hillig at thomas.hillig@th-energy.net or +4915236186442.

Wed

07

Aug

2019

Africa: New microgrid with 30 MW solar announced

B2Gold announced that its Fekola gold mine would be upgraded with 30 MW solar by 2020.

The mine that is located in Mali currently runs on heavy-fuel oil. The addition of the solar power plant and a "significant battery storage component" is estimated to cost around USD38 million and has a four-year payback period. The project is scheduled for completion in August 2020. For B2Gold it will be the second off-grid solar power plant, after having inaugrated in May 2018 the Otjikoto gold mine solar plant, in Namibia. 

 

For more details, please have a look at: https://im-mining.com/2019/08/07/b2gold-soak-solar-power-fekola-gold-mine/

Wed

17

Jul

2019

Top 5 Microgrid News – Summer 2019 by THEnergy

The new edition of our “Top 5 Microgrid News” features two mining microgrids, a military application, an island solution, and an investment in an innovative microgrid company. It covers two projects in Australia, one in the USA and one in Nicaragua. 

Top 1

Australian gold mine to be powered with wind, solar and battery

The Western Australian Agnew gold mine will be the first mine to be powered by a wind, solar, battery and gas microgrid. The South African mining company Gold Fields continues its sustainability efforts in Australia after a first project at Granny Smith gold mine.

The new project will consist of five wind turbines (18 MW total capacity), a 4 MW solar system, a 13 MW / 4 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) and a 16 MW gas and diesel engine power station. Energy producer EDL has signed a 10-year agreement with Gold Fields. In a first step, EDL will build the thermal and solar power plants which are due to be completed in mid-2019. The wind and battery systems will be added in a second step are expected to be commissioned in 2020. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is funding the project with AUS13.5 million. JuWi has been selected as solar EPC, Saft will provide the battery and Goldwind the wind turbines.

https://arena.gov.au/news/gold-fields-gold-mine-to-be-powered-with-wind-solar-and-battery/ 

James Harman, EDL CEO, explains: “The Agnew hybrid renewable project is the first in Australia to utilise wind generation as part of a large hybrid microgrid in the mining sector, and will enable EDL to provide Agnew gold mine with greater than 50% renewable energy over the long term, without compromising power quality or reliability. This ground-breaking project is a major step in Australia’s journey to sustainable energy, and EDL has been an active contributor in this transition through our demonstrated success in hybrid renewable projects.”

 

Top 2

Ameresco completes microgrid with an 8MWh battery at US Marine Corps Depot

The project at the United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in Parris Island, South Carolina generates power with a 3.5MW combined heat and power plant and a 5.5MW solar system. The microgrid project is expected to save USD6.9 million in annual utility and operational costs, cut utility energy demand by 75%, and lower water consumption by 25%. It did not require any upfront capital from the Marine Corps depot.

https://www.energy-storage.news/news/ameresco-completes-8mw-battery-storage-system-at-us-marine-corps-recruit-de

 

Top 3

Microgrid with 2.1 MW solar and 2.4 MWh storage inaugurated on Caribbean island in Nicaragua

The microgrid is located on Big Corn Island and includes besides PV plant also a lithium-ion battery solution and diesel gensets. It will be operated by the state-owned utility ENATREL. The project was supported by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Nicaraguan government. The hybrid power plant provides electricity to 1.940 households. There are plans to expand the system to two other villages on the island.

https://www.el19digital.com/articulos/ver/titulo:92081-inauguran-planta-de-energia-solar-con-sistema-hibrido-mas-grande-de-la-region-en-corn-island-

 

Top 4

Shell Ventures and Sumitomo invest in microgrid blockchain start-up LO3

In 2016, LO3 become famous with its Brooklyn Microgrid project that aggregates solar energy from several roof-tops and allows neighbors to buy and sell solar power among themselves using blockchain technology. Shell has made other investments in blockchain technology, e.g. using blockchain-based oil, derivatives and commodities trading platforms.

https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/shell-sumitomo-invest-blockchain-start-lo3

Kirk Coburn, Investment Director Shell Ventures, adds:Utilizing market principles at the grid edge can efficiently compensate customers for the value their DERs provide – both to other community-members seeking local clean energy, as well as the grid itself. A platform which allows that value to be shared within communities today, critically, engages people in new ways and establishes a market-based foundation from which to manage the grid of the future.”

 

Top 5

OZ Minerals to power their Australian mine with solar, wind and storage

Australian mining company OZ Minerals will integrate solar, wind and battery storage to power its Carrapeteena copper and gold mine, located to the north of Port Augusta. OZ Minerals will partner with SunSHIFT to deploy a pilot-scale hybrid energy system, that includes 250kW solar, 10kW wind and a 250kW lithium-ion storage solution. As part of the project, electric vehicle charging facilities for light vehicles used at the mine site will also be incorporated.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/copper-and-gold-turns-to-renewables-oz-minerals-to-power-site-with-solar-wind-and-storage-67306/

Andrew Cole, CEO OZ Minerals, comments about the potential role of microgrids in the Australian mining industry: “The ability for microgrids to be established in remote locations, often where renewable sources like wind, solar, thermal and hydro are found, also make them a potentially attractive, environmentally-friendly, reliable and cost-effective source of power for mining operations.”

 

 

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Mon

06

May

2019

Top 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel-Hybrid + Microgrids) – Spring 2019 by THEnergy

The new edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” features four projects and a partnership announcement. Interestingly all microgrid projects included an energy storage solution. Two projects were in mining, one in rural electrification and one in the hospitality sector.  The selected projects are located in South Africa, Argentina, the Philippines,and the Maldives. This edition features Bushveld Minerals and Energy, Millennial Lithium, Ergy Energy, ADB, ANTECO, OREEI, Four Seasons, Swimsol, ABB, Rolls Royce, and MTU Onsite Energy.

Top 1

First vanadium redox flow battery project at mine announced in South Africa

Bushveld Energy has initiated the development of a microgrid project at Bushveld Minerals’ Vametco mine. It will consist of a solar power plant and a 1 MW/4 MWh vanadium redox flow battery and will feed electricity directly into the internal distribution network of the mine. The project is structured on an unsubsidized, commercial basis with project finance and aims at showcasing the commercial viability of both renewable energy and energy storage technologies. The new mini-grid will be able to deliver up to 1 MW of power to the grid-connected mine, the largest size permittable without a generation license under current regulations in South Africa.

https://im-mining.com/2019/03/28/bushvelds-vanadium-redox-flow-battery-projects-progress/

Top 2

Millennial Lithium’s exploration project in Argentina adds solar

Millennial Lithium announced that its Pastos Grandes Salar lithium project in Argentina has inaugurated a solar power plant that was provided by Ergy Solar. The exploration project includes a 60-100 person camp with dorms and other facilities, an on-site laboratory, and a first process pilot plant under construction. The power plant consists of 178.2 KWp of solar power and 500 kWh energy storage solution and still diesel generators. The solar-plus-storage solution can provide power at maximum capacity for more than 18 hours throughout the daily 24-hour cycle, with diesel generator back-up only for some peak energy consumption times and infrequent non-sun events.

http://www.mining.com/millennial-lithiums-project-center-argentina-goes-solar/

 

Top 3

ADB launches PV-plus-storage plant on Philippine island

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced the inauguration of a 50kW solar system with the 273-kW lithium-ion energy storage unit bringing uninterrupted electricity supply to a rural community living on the Malalison Island in the Philippines. The Malalison PV-plus-storage hybrid system is a pilot project carried out by a private joint venture (JV) between Philippine utility Antique Electric Cooperative (ANTECO) and One Renewable Energy Enterprise, Inc (OREEI), with the ADB providing technical assistance. Previously, the island community relied on costly diesel-fueled generators, which supplied power for only four hours a day, leaving residents in the situation of limited economic opportunities. Now the solar-plus-storage solution will generate electricity during the day while a 54-kW diesel generator will serve as support.

https://renewablesnow.com/news/adb-launches-50-kw-pv-plus-storage-plant-on-philippine-island-649560/

 

Top 4

Solar at Four Seasons Resort Maldives will replace diesel consumption

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru commissioned an 838.35kWp solar plant which is one of the Maldives' largest resort-based solar installations. The project installed by Swimsol on the roof of the staff village comprises 3,105 panels and covers 5,380m². It is estimated that the new solar plant will produce between 900,000 and 1.1 million kWh of energy every year and save between 250,000 and 300,000 liters of diesel, which corresponds to 650-800 tons of CO2.

https://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4092579.html

 

Top 5

ABB and Rolls-Royce announce global microgrids cooperation

ABB and Rolls-Royce have announced a global partnership on microgrid technology and advanced automation. Together the two companies will offer microgrid solution for utilities, commercial and industrial entities.

https://www.esi-africa.com/industry-sectors/renewable-energy/global-partnership-to-advance-micro-grid-technology-with-automation/

“The partnership with Rolls-Royce combines the footprint and technology leadership of two industry leaders to extend the benefits of microgrids to various applications worldwide.”, says Markus Bruegmann, Global Product Group Manager, Grid Edge Solutions, Power Grid business, ABB. Andreas Schell, CEO, Rolls-Royce Power Systems adds: “Combining our integrated MTU diesel and gas genset system technology and our control solutions, with ABB’s modular microgrid solution, control capability, and remote service, will offer customers the combined strengths of the two world leaders in technology.”

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Mon

25

Feb

2019

Huge potential for renewables in the telecom sector

Substantial cost savings achievable and a USD 100 billion+ investment opportunity for onsite renewables

Telecom companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, BT, Euskaltel, and Telstra have signed some of the biggest corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) to date. Telecommunications giant AT&T is ranked second in corporate PPAs and BT is only one step short of being 100% renewable on paper.

A recent IRENA report reveals, however, that globally, telecommunications companies only cover around 7% of their electricity needs with renewable energy resources and only 19% of the analyzed telecom companies had renewable energy targets.

Powering telecom towers with renewables is a great opportunity – especially for towers in remote locations. Typically, these towers run on diesel gensets that require significant costs for operation and maintenance. The recent price decrease of solar and batteries allows at least for partially replacing diesel by renewable energy sources.

One industry trend is the outsourcing of telecom towers. Tower companies build, operate, and maintain these assets – often on behalf of several telecom operators. This means at the same time that the corresponding emissions are normally not attributed to the telecom companies themselves. Public pressure is considerably lower for outsourced C02 emission.

Experts estimate that globally there are more than 3 million telecom towers. It has become obvious that the potential for renewable energy solutions is therefore huge. This also applies for energy storage as telecommunication applications require extremely high availabilities. The total market is estimated at far beyond USD100 billion.

The extreme price decrease of renewables makes onsite solar and wind energy often less expensive than electricity from the grid. The approach is straightforward: when onsite power is available, it will be used for the tower, if not, electricity will be used. If there is an outage, the back-up gensets provide an emergency supply.

The business case is even more favorable for off-grid towers. In a first step, diesel gensets still run 24 hours to generate a spinning reserve in case a solar array is shaded, or the wind stops. In a second step, renewables can be integrated in a way that diesel gensets are switched off during sunny or windy periods so that the tower fully relies on solar or wind energy. When solar or wind outputs do not meet the power requirements of the tower, energy storage acts as a bridge to start the back-up diesel gensets. Finally, adding even more solar or wind power would mean that the towers are powered also during night-time or during less windy periods by renewable energy that is stored in large amounts. Back-up diesel gensets would only be required in case of very unfavorable seasonality. Innovative companies also have developed concepts of combining the renewable energy-based power generation for telecom towers and neighboring villages.

The biggest hurdle is the high investment requirements for renewables. However, more and more independent power producers (IPPs) are entering the market and are willing to invest in renewable energy and storage assets. They would then sell back the electricity to the tower operators – i.e., either the tower company or the telecom operator.

Thu

21

Feb

2019

Top 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel-Hybrid + Microgrids) – Winter 2018/19 by THEnergy

The new edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” features several applications in the commercial and industrial microgrid segment: two projects in mining and one in banking. We have also selected an island microgrid and rural electrification approach. The selected projects are in Mali, the Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Oman, and Niger. This edition features Resolute Mining, Ignite Energy, Wärtsilä, ContourGlobal, Unity Bank, Daystar Power, Nama Holding, Tanweer, GoviEx, and Windiga.

Top 1

Resolute Mining procures 40 MW solar hybrid power plant for its Syama mine in Mali

The Australian mining company Resolute has signed a joint development agreement with Ignite Energy for the development of a 40 MW independent solar hybrid power plant at its Syama gold mine in Mali. The microgrid will combine solar, battery and heavy fuel oil technologies and will replace the existing 28 MW diesel-fired power station at the mine. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/resolute-procures-40-mw-solar-hybrid-power-plant-for-syama-2018-11-26

John Welborn, CEO of Resolute Mining Limited explains: “The Syama Gold Mine in the South of Mali is one of the most advanced underground mines in the world. Resolute is building the world’s first fully automated underground mine and we will power this mine with the largest off-grid hybrid power plant ever implemented for operating a mine.  The combination of leading solar, HFO, and battery technology will provide Syama with sustainable low-cost power for future expansion, and the potential to provide electricity to the local community.” “The potential of hybrid projects to remote mines in Africa is significant and is expected to grow through a combination of cost reductions and increased efficiencies of renewable technologies, creative financing solutions, and forward-thinking and open-minded mine owners”, adds Grant Berndsen, Managing Director of Ignite Energy Projects.

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Top 2

Caribbean island Bonaire combines solar, wind, diesel, and storage

Bonaire is part of the Netherlands Antilles. The Caribbean island will soon have a state-of-the-art microgrid that combines 11 MW wind, 6 MW new energy storage, a pre-existing 3 MW battery bank, and a small solar array. ContourGlobal has awarded Wärtsilä with the integrated 6 MW energy storage project contract for Bonaire. The renewable energy and storage assets will be used to limit the use of the 17 MW of diesel generators.

https://renewableenergycaribbean.com/2019/01/25/bonaire-awards-6-mw-energy-storage-project/

“The Caribbean will benefit greatly from hybrid projects. Primarily batteries will allow higher utilization rates for intermittent renewable energy. As an additional benefit, batteries can provide vital frequency support during any disturbances in a small grid keeping the lights on everywhere”, adds Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North and Caribbean, Wärtsilä Energy Business.

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1098627662883500034

 

Top 3

Nigeria’s Unity Bank to move the branch network to solar power

Unity Bank and Daystar Power have announced to move the power supply of the bank’s branches across Nigeria from diesel generation to cleaner and more efficient solar-powered solutions. Unity Bank is a Nigerian retail banks with 240 branches across the country and the eighth largest bank in Nigeria by business locations. The hybrid solutions include lead-acid battery storage systems that will act as a buffer for the evening and the early hours of the morning.

http://www.africanreview.com/energy-a-power/renewables/nigeria-s-unity-bank-to-move-branch-network-to-solar-power

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1098586482753880065

 

Top 4

Oman to install solar-diesel hybrid plants totaling 160 MW across 11 sites

State-owned Nama Holding’s subsidiary Tanweer – Oman’s Rural Areas Electricity Company – has launched the plan to build 160MW of hybrid solar-diesel power generation capacity in non-interconnected areas. The hybrid plants will be developed as independent power producer (IPP) projects at 11 off-grid sites. The final bid evaluation is planned for June, while contracts for the projects’ realization should be awarded in August.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/01/22/oman-to-install-hybrid-pv-diesel-plants-totaling-160-mw-across-11-sites/

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Top 5

GoviEx and Windiga working on hybrid solar power solution for Madaouela in Niger

GoviEx has requested that Windiga develops a concept to power the Madaouela project and the surrounding local community through a hybrid power plant combining solar panels and diesel generators, with a total installed capacity of at least 20 MW.  GoviEx targets a power purchase agreement for the priority supply of electricity for an initial term of 21 years, extendable at the request of GoviEx.

https://im-mining.com/2019/02/01/goviex-uranium-windiga-sizing-hybrid-solar-power-solution-madaouela/

“It’s a tremendous time for the integration of renewables in the mining sector. The cost of energy using pure thermal solutions is becoming an issue for many operational mines and projects at the feasibility stage looking for financing. Contracted hybrid energy systems to an independent power producer can remove a significant part of the CAPEX while still offering great savings and predictability for the OPEX. Solar-diesel power plants are now unavoidable for this industry”, comments Benoit La Salle, CEO of Windiga.

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1098540171035885574

 

 

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Wed

28

Nov

2018

Survey: Commercial and Industrial Applications for Renewables and Energy Storage in Africa

Commercial and industrial off-takers might become a main driver for the energy transition in Africa. THEnergy is at the moment conducting a survey in this attractive market segment to provide detailed insights.

Around the world, more and more commercial and industrial off-takers integrate renewable energy solutions for powering their sites. Different business models can be observed: onsite renewable energy generation or supply through the grid. Companies often have the choice of investing their own capital or buying the electricity from an independent power producer. In hybrid projects, renewables will reduce the consumption of diesel or heavy fuel oil. We see renewable energy projects in numerous sectors such as mining, cement, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), food and beverages, telecommunications / telecom, agribusiness / agriculture, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics and rubber, wood processing, textile and garments, refineries, banking (such as ATMs), petrol service stations / filling stations, data centers, real estate, shopping centers, and hospitality such as hotels, island resorts, restaurants, or safari lodges.

In Africa, the potential for renewables in the commercial and industrial segment is huge. Some of the flagship renewable energy projects in Africa rely on commercial or industrial off-take:

  • Iamgold (Burkina Faso)
  • Nevsun (Eritrea)
  • B2Gold (Namibia)
  • Ohorongo Cement (Namibia)
  • Namibia Breweries (Namibia)
  • London Distillers (Kenya)
  • Northern Noodles Ltd. (Nigeria)
  • Orange (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Ecobank ATMs (Ghana)
  • Garden City Mall (Kenya)
  • Mall of Africa (South Africa)
  • Unilever (Kenya)
  • Coca Cola (South Africa)

just to name a few.

 

The objective of the study is to enquire about the drivers of renewable energy adoption in the commercial and industrial segment in Africa. What are the bottlenecks? What could speeding up the development? What are regulatory requirements? We will also have a look beyond renewables and analyse energy storage solutions.

 

We are still looking for commercial and industrial offtakers to participate in the survey. As an incentive, we will share the results with those we select for the survey. You will even have the opportunity to ask questions in an exclusive conference call. Are you interested in which direction your industry is developing? Participating in our study is also an easy way of supporting renewable energy deployment in Africa! Contact us under info@th-energy.net to participate. The phone interview will only take 15-20 minutes.

 

Are you interested in the results of the study? Please subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you updated: https://www.th-energy.net/newsletter/.

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Wed

31

Oct

2018

Top 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel-Hybrid + Microgrids) – September / October 2018 by THEnergy

The new edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” is about a strategic investment and several applications in the commercial and industrial microgrid segment: another project in mining, a large shopping mall, an agricultural solution and a microgrid at a corporate headquarter. This edition features Zenith Energy, Independence Group, Atterbury Property, Attacq, Solareff, Rolls-Royce, MTU Onsite Energy, Qinous, Cubbie, VivoPower, Aevitas Group, and Siemens.

Top 1

Solar-diesel hybrid plant with 6 MW PV at Independence Group’s Nova nickel-copper mine in Australia

Independence Group has chosen Zenith Energy to add a solar plant to its existing diesel power station at its Nova nickel mine. Zenith will build the 6 MW solar plant under an amendment to its existing power purchase agreement. The plant is expected to be commissioned by September 2020 with an initial supply period of six years and an option for Independence to extend for another two years. A conventional 20 MW diesel-powered plant currently powers the Nova operation in Western Australia.

https://thewest.com.au/business/energy/zenith-to-add-hybrid-solar-diesel-plant-to-independence-groups-novo-nickel-mine-ng-b88999783z

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1059479623623356416

 

Top 2

Mall of Africa inaugurates the world’s largest rooftop solar-diesel hybrid solution in South Africa

The Mall of Africa, in Waterfall City in Midrand, South Africa uses solar energy. Solareff was responsible for the installation of the 4,8 MW PV solution that covers about 45 000m² of roof space. The shopping center’s developer Atterbury Property, which owns 20 percent of the mall with the majority 80 percent owned by listed property company Attacq, pointed out that they will use integrated rooftop solar-diesel hybrid solution at more of their properties in the future.

https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/companies/mall-of-africa-covered-in-r50m-rooftop-solar-system-glory-17255606

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1059366666956627968

 

Top 3

Rolls-Royce invests in energy storage company to expand microgrid offering

Rolls-Royce announced that it is investing in Berlin-based start-up company Qinous GmbH, a provider of energy storage solutions and control systems. With the investment, Rolls-Royce will now focus amongst others on the global hotel, hospital and emergency shelter market segments for microgrids.

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/10/rollsroyce-invests-plugandplay-energy-storage-company-to-expand-microgrid-offering.html

Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems adds: “In addition to the diesel and gas gensets supplied by MTU Onsite Energy, together with our partners such as Qinous we will now offer battery containers, include renewable power generation plants, and combine that with intelligent control. This strengthens our position as a provider of innovative power solutions who is able to supply customers with microgrid systems tailored to their specific requirements.”

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1058987259003879424

 

Top 4

Australia’s largest cotton producer reduces diesel consumption with a 3.6-MW solar solution

The project will be owned by a subsidiary of Cubbie Ag, the largest cotton producer in Australia, and will produce electricity to help power Cubbie Station, the largest irrigation property in the southern hemisphere. It will generate enough electricity to supply 40% of Cubbie’s energy needs at Cubbie Station during the peak cotton ginning season, running from April to September. VivoPower International’s wholly-owned Australian subsidiary, Aevitas Group Limited has been awarded the EPC contract. The project is the first phase of a longer-term plan to expand to 7.2 MW, and will also include battery storage.

https://www.irrigationaustralia.com.au/news/vivopower-lands-epc-contract-for-australian-project

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1058685087116607488

 

Top 5

Siemens launches microgrid with 1 MW solar and 140 kWh energy storage in South Africa

The system is located at Siemens’s South Africa headquarters in Midrand. The microgrid is built around a 1 MW PV plant strategically positioned throughout the Siemens Park campus that takes full advantage of the high solar irradiation.  Excess energy is stored in a 140KWh lithium-ion storage system.

http://sweetcrudereports.com/2018/07/04/ge-commissions-hybrid-distributed-power-unit-for-digo-village/

Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa explains: “This system will drive down our organization's energy costs and cut carbon emissions. We have already reduced the energy demand from the national grid by approximately 40% compared to previous years and more savings are expected with further optimization.”

Vote by liking and retweeting: https://twitter.com/THEnergyNet/status/1058263439762771968

 

Please also have a look at the survey that we are conducting at the moment in the African commercial and industrial renewable energy and energy storage segment: https://www.th-energy.net/2018/10/09/insights-commercial-and-industrial-applications-for-renewables-and-energy-storage-in-africa/

 

 

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Fri

12

Oct

2018

Renewables for commercial and industrial solutions give hope for Africa’s energy transition – takeaways from the BNEF Future of Energy Summit

Corporate PPA-based renewable energy solutions could play an important role in markets that build up new capacity

The main topics at this year’s BNEF Future of Energy Summit, which took place last week in London, were related to challenges in the shift to a more decentralized energy system, flexibility and market design requirements in a low carbon economy, the role of utilities and oil&gas companies in the energy transition, e-mobility, digitalization, renewables beyond subsidies and emerging markets.

 

BloombergNEF’s Tom Rowlands-Rees illustrated impressively that grids were centralized mainly because traditional power plants could offer immense economies of scale. This is not the case for wind and solar energy. The problem is that the market design has often not been adapted and incumbents try to defend their ground. In an optimized low emission energy system, power generation can be generated closer by off-takers and grid capacity can be partly replaced by energy storage.

 

This is a point that was also covered by the session “Powering Business in Africa and the Middle East” in which responsAbility, Greenwish, CrossBoundry, Aggreko, and Oxygen Africa participated. In many African countries, the power system is not mature. Significant generation and grid capacity is missing. Building up the system allows for an optimized approach. Additional generation capacity can be built on-site.

 

In Africa, we have seen renewable energy solutions from large mining companies such as IAMGOLD (Burkina Faso), Nevsun (Eritrea), or B2Gold (Namibia). Similar systems are applied in many other sectors such as cement (Ohorongo Cement - Namibia), food & beverages (Coca Cola Bottling Partners in South Africa and Ghana, Unilever in Kenya), telecommunications (Orange in DRC), shopping malls (Garden City Mall in Kenya and Mall of Africa in South Africa), and banking (Ecobank ATMs in Ghana). Commercial and industrial off-takers do not have to invest their own capital, but more and more IPPs build on-site solar or wind power plants and sell back the electricity to off-takers.

Picture credit: Bloomberg
Picture credit: Bloomberg

CrossBoundry’s Kathleen Jean-Pierre made clear that though corporate PPAs look good on paper, in reality, severe challenges must be accepted. These challenges have several roots and range from the complexity of contracts and regulatory issues, to the general risks of doing business in Africa.

 

There is a huge un-tapped potential for on-site renewable energy solutions in Africa. Even if it does not constitute a significant share of their current business, several oil&gas companies are entering the electricity market, certain with a renewable energy focus as the following overview from BloombergNEF shows:

Picture credit: Bloomberg
Picture credit: Bloomberg

Our experience at THEnergy is that many oil&gas players have a special interest in African markets. This can be explained to some extent by the fact that many of them are already active with their downstream or upstream business in Africa and are more experienced in doing business in this challenging environment. Through their downstream business, oil&gas companies often have long customer relationships with commercial and industrial off-takers. This could give them a strong advantage in the field of corporate PPAs and onsite renewables.

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Thu

12

Dec

2019

Renewables to become the new normal at remote mines

The Energy and Mines World Congress shows that 2019 will be considered the tipping point for solar and wind projects in the mining sector 

Read More

Mon

28

Oct

2019

Renewables require real marketing and branding – like other sectors

Renewables require real marketing and branding – like other sectors

Read More

Dr. Thomas Hillig Energy Consulting
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