Bright Ideas: Global trends in solar finance

Ray Hudson

Solar power has been an amazing success story of the ongoing new-energy transformation. Global installed solar capacity has grown by 95 GW in just 4 short years to 140 GW.

Due to advances in technology and manufacturing techniques, the cost of PV modules has dropped significantly. In 2008, the average cost of PV modules was approximately 4 USD per W—by 2014 it was just 70 US cents per W. The resultant drop in the cost of solar generated electricity has further added to demand for solar power plants. Continue reading

When predicting wind regimes in the blind, experience is our sixth sense

Jean-Francois Corbett

In a recent wind flow modelling blind test conducted by E.ON, it was announced that DNV GL’s results were the most accurate of any participant. Some may be surprised that even now, when we have grown to become a huge multinational organisation, we care so much about these sorts of results. But there is a very good reason for this.

One of the key qualities that DNV GL has based its global reputation on is its extensive experience and knowledge of the fields that it works in. For the most part, the advantages this experience offers our clients are clearly understood, but sometimes quantifying it in terms of real world benefits can be quite difficult—its impact on a project often being quite broad and non-specific. Continue reading

Disruptive forces at PJM: Three things all utilities should know about the proposed redesign of the PJM capacity market (even those without demand response programs)

Will Gifford

There have been a number of proposed changes to the design of the PJM capacity market recently, especially related to demand response (DR) participation. In this post, three of these significant changes and their impacts on utilities are discussed:

  1. DR and energy efficiency will now be accounted for on the demand side of the capacity equation.
  2. PJM’s proposed direction would transition toward phasing out seasonal capacity resources.
  3. Measurement and Verification (M&V) using smart meter data will become the new standard for all DR programs, including residential direct load control.

Continue reading

Grouping BES Cyber Assets into BES Cyber Systems under CIP Version 5

David Carty

With CIP Version 5, a new term BES Cyber System has wormed its way into the NERC lexicon. CIP V5 explains this new concept and how it can be applied to simplify the organization of evidence needed for compliance. Countless articles to date have been written on the topic, many of which replay verbatim language from the Standards while lacking a fresh perspective. In today’s blog post, we purposely stay out of the weeds to make our points, but do include citations where additional detail may be found. This allows the reader to pause and dig further into unfamiliar terms, concepts, rules, and applications as needed before resuming with the main thread. Continue reading

Climate Change: Implications for Buildings – AR5 Summary

Erik Dyrr

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the most comprehensive and relevant analysis of our changing climate. It provides the scientific fact base that will be used around the world to formulate climate policies in the coming years.  The report concludes that climate change is unequivocal, and that human activities, particularly emissions of carbon dioxide, are very likely to be the dominant cause. Changes are observed in all geographical regions: the atmosphere and oceans are warming, the extent and volume of snow and ice are diminishing, sea levels are rising and weather patterns are changing. Continue reading

Offshore wind industry (finally) takes the plunge in Japan

Fliss Jones

Visit the hot springs of Jozankei-onsen and you’ll see many a tourist cautiously dip their toes in its steaming water.

There’s been a fair amount of offshore wind industry toe-dipping in the waters off the coast of Japan too. 45 MW of offshore wind has been installed, as of end-2013. Whilst not insubstantial, much of this is very close to shore, and it represents less than 2% of what has been achieved in the UK (3,653 MW), the world’s leading market.

Meanwhile, solar PV deployment in Japan is well over 14 GW and counting. Continue reading

How can utilities benefit from using smart grid technologies?

Dennis Flinn

Distribution systems are inherently complex given the myriad of equipment, equipment condition, configurations, load characteristics, environmental effects as well as utilities’ financial constraints and regulatory obligations. Smart Grid technologies offer a variety of options from control to deployment strategy. This variation in Smart Grid implementation creates opportunity to improve utility operation efficiency from metering, SCADA & control, to communication and IT integration. However, it is also brings complexity in the cost-benefit analysis, as the same technology application in one case yields drastically different cost-effectiveness on another. Continue reading

Renewable integration: Is it time for a second paradigm shift?

Peter Vaessen

An effective functioning power grid must maintain a balance between generation and load. So the question is: how do you achieve this balance with an increasing share of variable renewables—like wind and solar—and large amounts of embedded generation in the distribution system?

One of the answers lies in paradigm shifts. It is now about the “load adapting to the available variable generation” through a.o. automated demand response schemes, which is different from the 20th century paradigm where controllable generation is adjusted to the variable load. But is it time for yet another paradigm shift? Continue reading

Implementing renewable energy – secrets of success

Viktorija Namavira

Today 144 countries worldwide introduced renewable energy targets [REN21, 2014] and policy frameworks in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is expected that by 2030 the global renewable capacity is estimated to reach over 3,000 GW in 2030 [IRENA, 2014] growing at an average rate of 6% per year. Although renewables are universally recognized as a clean source of energy, many renewable projects are experiencing significant delays and/or cancellations due to environmental or aesthetic concerns.  For instance, many wind projects have been delayed for years due to aesthetic concerns, whilst the presence of sensitive habitats and rare plants have prevented the implementation of ground mounted solar projects, as well as the adoption of geothermal, hydropower and tidal/wave technologies. Continue reading

What makes a city “smart”?

Luisa Freeman

What makes a city “smart”? It depends on who you ask. Responses covered a full range of opinions at a recent gathering of the Smart Cities Council (SCC), of which DNV GL is a sponsor. The SCC is an international organization of large companies doing business with the cities of the future. It’s a diverse mix of major global corporations each with its own take on what the Smart City of the future will look like.  Here are a few perspectives from SCC participants: Continue reading