Interview with ROMAIN RICHE – MESIA International Business Director

MESIA Middle East Solar Industry Association

Can you tell us a bit more about MESIA, its goals and how it plans to achieve it?

MIDDLE EAST SOLAR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

MESIA – Middle East Solar is a non-profit organization that has currently around 80 members, companies of the solar sectors. Its core mission is to promote the growth of the solar industry in the Middle East Region. 

MESIA role is to help connecting solar industry professionals, facilitating networking, providing useful contents on the latest trends in the market and are one of the voices of the solar professionals in front of organizations, government entities or regulators.

In order to do so, MESIA is offering webinars and physical events to facilitate connections between the main actors of the solar industry.

Knowledge-sharing is as well provided through market reports and whitepapers.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MESIA OUTLOOK REPORT 2022 FOR GCC COUNTRIES

Please share a bit about your background, expertise and Role in developing Middle East Solar 

I am an engineer in mechanics and energetics and I’ve been working in the renewables energies business for over a decade. Started off with 7 years managing O&M of Renewables plant in France. Then, in 2017, I’ve moved to the UAE for the construction, operations and maintenance of the world largest PV Project at that time, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park Phase 3. 

I am an elected Board Member of MESIA and take care of International Business

Currently I head the Asset Management, Operation and Maintenance of the renewable’s portfolio of EDF Renewables in the Middle East.

I have both a managerial background and technical expertise in renewables technologies.

Romain Riche

Elected Board Member – MESIA

 

What is the current installed capacity in GCC and how much do you manage?

In the GCC, there are currently around 5 GW of renewable capacity online, most of it being in in UAE and Saudi Arabia. 

I am currently in charge of 1.3 GW which will grow to 4 GW next year, after completing the construction of South Jeddah North and Al Dhafra PV projects.

What are your goals for the industry and for yourself?

My goal towards the industry is to support its development and growth in order to transition into a better CO2-friendly world for the generations to come. This support is materialized by my involvement into MESIA.

In today’s world, I find it very important to be purpose-driven. My purpose is to make sure that at my level and in my capacity, I can bring new ideas to contribute to a better and cleaner world when it comes to environment and energy.

What is your read on the ME & GCC for renewables?

The region is offering great opportunities for the development of renewables, especially for solar.

Lands are largely available, solar irradiance levels are some of the highest in the world, and renewable projects in the region are extremely competitive, continuously breaking world records.

The policies are being put in place to support its development but we are still at an early stage, we need to remember that a few years back they were almost no large renewable plants in the region.

When it comes to storage trough green hydrogen, knowing that around 60 to 70% of its cost comes from the renewable energy electricity prices, this makes sector very promising. 

Adding to this the high experience of major O&G companies to handle gas, this make the region a very favorable environment for its growth. 

With the current commodity price increase across the entire supply chain, how do you see this affecting the rollout of renewables in GCC?

According to IAE, prices for many raw materials and freight costs have been on an increasing trend since the beginning of 2021. Compared with 2020, many estimates that the overall investment costs of new utility-scale PV and onshore wind plants are from 15% to 25% higher in 2022. 

Despite the continuation of pandemic-driven supply chain challenges, construction delays and record-level commodity prices for raw materials, annual renewable capacity additions broke a new record in 2021, increasing 6% to almost 295 GW.

Although it is too early to assess the medium- and long-term implications on the deployment of wind and solar PV, so far governments have made no major changes in their policies or cancelled auctions, both of which are crucial to ensure the continued deployment of renewables. 

Solar PV and wind costs are expected to remain higher in 2022 and 2023 than pre-pandemic levels However, while significant in absolute terms, their competitiveness actually improves, due to much sharper increases in fossil fuels and electricity prices. 

Should commodity and freight prices moderate in the near future, the cost reduction trend of wind and solar PV would continue, and the long-term impact on the demand for solar PV and wind may be minimal. However, there is a risk of a prolonged period of high commodity prices, inflation and rising interest rates increasing the cost of clean energy transitions and slowing the pace of wind and solar PV capacity expansion.

Image Credit: DroneBase

How many GW do you see being installed in this year?

Global renewable capacity is set to break another record in 2022 (+8%) pushing through the 300 GW mark for the first time. Solar PV shall play the major role accounting for 60% (200 GW) with about 200 GW (accounting for 60%), 80 GW Wind and about 50 GW of Hydro and other technologies.

Utility-scale projects account for almost two-thirds of overall PV expansion in 2022, mostly driven by a strong policy environment.

What is your opinion about wind in GCC? Capacity and installation wise?

Wind power has been slow to develop in the Gulf region with only 2 projects online so far : the 50 MW Dhofar Wind Farm in Oman in 2019 followed by the 400 MW Dumat Al Jandal in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Wind technology deployment in the region had to fight for legitimacy among more fully established alternatives. It requires adapted wind resources that are not present in all areas such as solar. 

What do you think about the policies for renewables in GCC and which is the policy that is the best for the region for the rest to follow?

GCC ambitions must be translated into actions via defined policies and regulations that reflect regional context, and thus have the highest likelihood of achieving success.

The policy framework most relevant to low cost renewable power, particularly at utility-scale, is auctioning.

Utility-scale renewable energy auctions with well-established IPP models are catalyzing renewable energy deployment in the GCC countries.

But this can be very limiting with regard to private sector engagement as small firms tend to be left out. For this reason, hybrid policies that include both FiTs and auctions have been implemented. 

For instance, distributed solar power has become very popular in Dubai, under Shams Dubai initiative, with the implementation of a net metering policy and lease-to-own model. This procurement option allows customers to benefit from renewable generation without an upfront capital investment and benefitting from the warranties provided by knowledgeable industry players arranging the financing and taking the project execution risk. 

With this implementation, the emirate of Dubai stands out as one of the few GCC markets where distributed solar power will likely see significant deployment in the coming years

What is the future for renewables in GCC according to you?

The current global energy crisis has added new urgency to accelerate clean energy transitions and, once again, highlighted the key role of renewable energy.

Renewable energy is the fastest growing of all electricity sources, but there are significant challenges to bringing more renewable energy online at scale.

How the industry is tackling those challenges will define how rapidly renewables can substitute fossil. 

I’d like to name 3 important ones:

Intermittency: Providing power on demand – even when it’s not sunny or windy, is a clear challenge. To tackle that, storage equipment (batteries, hydrogen) competitiveness will play a key role.

Power grid reliability: Power grids made in the past were not designed to meet the energy demand of today and more robust transmission system is required for the energy of tomorrow. Solutions could be the implementation of smart-grid systems and to create ‘supergrids’. The basic idea is that if energy is shared over a wider area, there is more chance that the sun will be shining or the wind will be blowing in one part of a supply network, if not another.

Policy support and making the economics work: Strong polices are required to ease the installation of renewables energies.

In my view, for the Gulf region, this decade will mostly be with solar PV and wind, associated with storage system (batteries or hydrogen) and enhanced smart grid support.

Excerpts from MESIA SOLAR OUTLOOK 2022 REPORT
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Towards a Sustainable Battery Manufacturing Industry

The Case for Effective Reuse and Recycling

Executive Summary

The Government of India has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070, the first time India has established such a target. This ambitious target aims for deep decarbonization of India by building on existing policy targets. These include installing 500 gigawatts (GW) of non-fossil fuel electricity generation capacity and reaching 30% sales share of electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030.1 Reaching these targets will require deployment of a high volume of effective energy storage technologies.

Rapid improvements in lithium-ion battery (LiB) performance over the past decade, combined with declining costs and increased global demand, put this technology at the forefront of electrochemical energy storage markets. Total demand for LiBs in India could be between 105 and 263 GWh annually by 2030. This rapid increase in LiB demand in India will be largely in the transportation sector, where EV sales could compose up to 70% of new vehicle sales by 2030. Meeting this demand will require build-out of battery manufacturing capacity, access to adequate resources, and battery management to avoid risks to human health and the environment. The National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage, implemented by the Department of Heavy Industries and NITI Aayog, aims to establish 50 GWh of local manufacturing capacity by 2030.

The material supply chain will be critical to making LiB manufacturing truly secure and sustainable. The supply chain is currently dominated by China, with Australia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Chile being key suppliers of many necessary raw materials. These materials are often mined via carbon- intensive processes and procured from politically unstable regions. For lithium alone, COequivalent emissions can range from 3 to 17 tonnes per tonne extracted and processed. Physical scarcity may have impacts on price, with bottlenecks already being faced for nickel and cobalt. Concentration of these materials in specific geographies also creates risk for long-term viability for LiB production.

Successfully establishing a sustainable domestic manufacturing industry requires India to evaluate the lifecycle impact of LiBs. This includes cultivating opportunities to implement circular economic principles for LiB stakeholders by establishing a policy framework that promotes proper end-of-life management.

Embracing a circular economic model complements India’s domestic policy goals by increasing control
of the LiB supply chain and reducing reliance on imports to meet growth in domestic demand. By 2030, EV LiB retirements could range between 3.5 and 17 GWh of nameplate capacity (30,000 and 145,000 tonnes), depending on the level of EV penetration. Available capacity will be approximately 70% of retiring nameplate capacity. Developing the recycling capacity to meet these needs will require a clear policy framework with strong monitoring and enforcement capabilities to prevent growth of informal markets, as well as heavy investments in recycling infrastructure.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MOEFCC) introduced “Battery Waste Management Rules, 2020” (draft rules) for proper management of battery waste in February 2020. As introduced, the draft rules establish an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program covering battery stakeholders, mandating collection of 30% of end-of-life batteries (by kg) effective two years after implementation. The policy target then graduates to 70% of end-of-life batteries by the seventh year.

Under this policy, materials recovered from recycled EV LiBs could provide 5% of domestic manufacturing needs for minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite by 2030. If EV sales accelerate due to effective market development policies, recovered materials may exceed 20% of domestic LiB manufacturing demands for certain materials. Utilization of recovered minerals to meet domestic LiB manufacturing demand will avoid upstream emissions from mineral extraction, processing, and transportation. While the LiB recycling process also produces emissions, primarily through energy use, the avoided upstream emissions outweigh recycling- based emissions. Implementation of the draft rules will reduce upstream emissions by 50,000 to 180,000 tonnes by 2030. Further, as the grid decarbonizes, the LiB manufacturing process will become less carbon intensive.

While the draft rules would provide strong benefits for India’s domestic battery manufacturing sector and decarbonization efforts, the policy can be improved. This report suggests the following:

  1. Include specific language on hazardous material transport and handling guidance relevant to LiBs Lack of guidance on clear labelling of LiBs (and the various chemistries) or rules on transportation, collection, and sorting of LiBs may result in LiBs commingling with lead-acid battery (LAB) waste. Comingling may pose health and safety risks to recycling centres and staff. Clear guidance that distinguishes LiB and lead-acid battery handling and transport, and distinct standardized labels for battery chemistries can reduce risk.
  2. Establish reuse targetsWhile collection and recycling end-of-life LiBs will recover the value of the minerals, the value of the residual capacity can be captured through second- life applications. Reuse prolongs the use of an EV LiB, delaying the need for recycling. Second-life applications could include firming renewables, battery energy stationary storage (BESS), behind-the-meter storage, or breaking the battery down to cells or battery packs. Reuse targets for four-wheel passenger and commercial vehicles and e-buses could provide between 1.2 and 5.9 GWh of storage capacity by 2030.
  3. Formalize second-life performance standards and warrantiesTo improve the market for second-life LiBs and become a global leader in LiB reuse, India should work with industry stakeholders to devise a methodology for certifying refurbishers, as well as metrics for assessing and guaranteeing performance standards, and establish incentives for innovative approaches for second-life applications.

4. Considerations for costs

Establishment of a battery recycling program will create cost implications. While the EPR framework passes costs on to appropriate stakeholders, key considerations for regulatory authorities are to ensure that the associated funding mechanism is adequate, that the estimated program costs are realistic for achieving the collection and recycling targets, and that the funds raised are not inappropriately used for activities that do not benefit the program.

5. Incentivizing consumer compliance

In addition to costs for recycling and collection infrastructure, another key component will be incentivizing consumers to return end-of-life EV batteries to the appropriate collection agent. Any submitted plan should include an incentive mechanism for consumers, which may include a rebate for returned batteries or a deposit system. Regulatory authorities must ensure that a submitted plan includes some form of incentive program to ensure compliance.

6. Enforcement and penalties

Regulatory authorities should develop a transparent methodology for identifying issues, and steps for remediation or penalties.

Exhibit 1
Exhibit 2
Reserves of Materials
Second Life

Please click for the file below

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Photovoltaic Manufacturing Outlook in India

Ambitious Targets and Incentives Brighten the Future for the Solar Industry

Photovoltaic Manufacturing Outlook in India

Ambitious Targets and Incentives Brighten the Future for the Solar Industry

Report by IEEFA and JMK Research

February 2022

India has made substantial progress in domestic solar module manufacturing capacity in recent years. However, stronger impetus is needed in this regard to achieve 300 gigawatts (GW) of solar power generation capacity by 2030. 

As of November 2021, India had a cell manufacturing capacity of 4.3GW and a module manufacturing capacity of ~18GW.  These are, however, just nameplate capacities. Actual production output at any given time is significantly lower as most of Indian solar manufacturing facilities operate at a capacity utilisation factor (CUF) of less than 50%. Moreover, multi-Si module technology, which accounts for the majority (60-70%) of existing domestic module production capacity, is on the verge of becoming obsolete. Local demand for these modules continues to dwindle and is expected to last for another 1-2 years. On the brighter side, new major manufacturers planning to expand or enter the market are seeking to install machinery that can handle cell sizes of up to M12 (210mm x 210mm), in both mono facial and bi-facial configuration.



There is no existing manufacturing capacity in India for the initial stages of the photovoltaic (PV) value chain, namely from polysilicon to wafer. For these raw materials, Indian solar manufacturers are still dependent on imports, mainly from China. Prolonged dependence on the imports raises the severity of the associated risks. Shortage of raw materials, a power price hike in China and a surge in international freight charges have inflated module prices in 2021 by more than 25% . This highlights the need for a sustainable, vertically integrated domestic solar manufacturing ecosystem.

Without large-scale domestic manufacturing of upstream PV value chain products, the overarching risks of logistics and commodity price fluctuations for imports will persist. The Indian PV industry also faces mid- to long-term challenges of high manufacturing expenses, inadequate Research and Development (R&D) and a shortage of skilled manpower.

To encourage vertically integrated facilities, the Indian Government introduced the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for 10GW capacity of integrated manufacturing of “High Efficiency Solar PV Modules” with a financial outlay of Rs4,500crore (US$616 million). The PLI tender received a tremendous response (54.8GW of bids, a fourfold over-subscription) from the industry, pushing the government to increase the PLI amount by an additional Rs19,500 crore (US$2.5 billion) for solar module manufacturing. 

The Indian government’s ambitious targets and support for the solar sector have made indigenous PV manufacturing’s prospects even more vibrant. As a result, dozens of companies are vying to make a mark in the Indian solar sector. In coming years, given the high growth potential of the domestic solar market and rising favourability of India as an alternative manufacturing hub (for geopolitical reasons), diverse stakeholders such as solar project developers, government-run organisations, PV ancillary players, etc will strive to build their stake in the solar manufacturing market.  

In addition to the PV manufacturing landscape, this report delves into key aspects such as major government initiatives, ongoing challenges and an overview of the way forward for India.
 

Click below to download the full report

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Solar Photovoltaics in Severe Weather: Cost Considerations for Storm Hardening PV Systems for Resilience

James Elsworth and Otto Van Geet

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

NOTICE

This work was authored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, operated by Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308. Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Federal Energy Management Program. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the DOE or the U.S. Government.

This report is available at no cost from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at www.nrel.gov/publications.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports produced after 1991 and a growing number of pre-1991 documents are available free via www.OSTI.gov.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1 2 Baseline Assumptions …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4 2.1 Labor …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

2.2 Modules……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

2.3 Hardware ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

2.4 Other Considerations……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5 

3 Storm Hardening Measure Costs ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

 3.1 Measure 1: Properly Torque Fasteners and Perform a Torque Audit…………………………………….. 6

3.2 Measure 2: Fasteners ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 3.2.1 Wedge-Lock Washers ………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

Other Locking Systems ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

3.2.2 Belville Washers ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

3.2.3 Rivet Lock Bolts………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

3.2.4 Pre-Applied Thread Lock………………………………………………………………………………….. 15

3.2.5 Bolted Joint Standards………………………………………………………………………………………. 17

3.3 Measure 3: Through Bolt Modules ………………………………………………………………………………… 17

3.4 Measure 4: Use Marine-Grade Steel Fasteners ………………………………………………………………… 21

3.5 Measure 5: Select Panels With Appropriate Resistance to Design Wind Loading ………………… 22

3.6 Measure 6: Use a Three-Framed Rail System………………………………………………………………….. 24

3.7 Measure 7: Use Two Driven Steel Pile Supports ……………………………………………………………… 26

3.8 Measure 8: Use Closed Form Frame Elements ………………………………………………………………… 29

3.9 Measure 9: Use a Wind Calming Fence ………………………………………………………………………….. 32

3.10 Measure 10: Use Enclosures With Integrated and Contiguous Rubber Door Seals and Compression Latches on All Sides…………………………………………………………………………………. 35

3.11 Measure 11: Install Equipment on Elevated Pads …………………………………………………………….. 36 3.12 Measure12:EnsureSiteHasWell-DesignedandMaintainedDrainageSystems………………….37

3.13 Measure 13: Take Pre- and Post-Storm Measures ……………………………………………………………. 38 

4 Cost Comparison of Measures……………………………………………………………………………………………. 39

5 Costs of System Including All Measures …………………………………………………………………………….. 41

6 Other Considerations …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42 6.1 Modules……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42

6.2 Through Bolt Pull-Out …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42

6.3 Wire Management ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 42

6.4 Insurance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 43

6.5 Risk Acceptance ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43

6.6 O&M …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 43

6.7 Warranty and Liability …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 43

6.8 Alternate Clamping and Bolting Methods……………………………………………………………………….. 44 

7 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 45

References ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 46

List of Figures

Figure 1. Wedge-lock washers…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

Figure 2. Belleville washer ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11 Figure 3. Excerpt from a module installation manual. Depending on the attachment design, the module has drastically different push (Front) and pull (Rear) load tolerance………………………………. 23

Figure 4. A solar installation in hurricane-prone Florida using a three-framed rail system to support the solar modules. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25

Figure 5. Standard two-rail racking frame …………………………………………………………………………………. 25 Figure 6. Solar PV racking with a single support pile. ……………………………………………………………….. 27 Figure 7. A ground-mount solar array using a dual pier support system ……………………………………….. 27 Figure 8. C, Z, and U purlins for solar racking …………………………………………………………………………… 30 Figure 9. Cold rolled steel support structures are lightweight but can be weak along certain axes……… 30 Figure 10. Tubular steel could provide more strength to PV racking systems. ……………………………….. 31 Figure 11. Highway snow fence ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32 Figure 12. Porous wind-calming fence ……………………………………………………………………………………… 32 Figure 13. Wind-calming fences are porous and let some of the incoming wind pass through, so as not to create a low-pressure region downwind of the fence. Overall, this deflects more wind above

the protected area. …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 33 Figure 14. Wind and dust fences surrounding solar installations ……………………………………………………… 33 Figure 15. Flow visualization for wind loading a PV array. Perimeter rows are 2.25 times more heavily

loaded than inner rows of the array……………………………………………………………………………. 34 Figure 16. Post-hurricane flooding. ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 38 Figure 17. A comparison of the per-Watt premiums for each of the measures estimated in this report….. 39 Figure 18. An older PV module featuring thicker frames and cross supports. This design on today’s

modules would add strength……………………………………………………………………………………… 42 Figure 19. Module installation manual showing different approved attachment methods and rated loads

for each………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 44

List of Tables

Table 1. Storm Hardening Measures for PV Systems and Their Added Cost ………………………………………. 2 Table 2. Ground-Mount Baseline System Assumptions ……………………………………………………………………. 4 Table 3. Roof-Mount Baseline System Assumptions ……………………………………………………………………….. 5 Table 4. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 1: System Torque Audit………………………………….. 7 Table 5. Roof Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 1: System Torque Audit ……………………………………… 8 Table 6. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.1: Wedge-Lock Washers…………………………….. 10 Table 7. Roof-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.1: Wedge-Lock Washers………………………………… 11 Table 8. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.3: Belville Washers……………………………………. 12 Table 9. Roof-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.3: Belville Washers ……………………………………….. 13 Table 10. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.4: Rivet Lock Bolts ………………………………….. 14 Table 11. Roof-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.4: Rivet Lock Bolts ……………………………………… 15 Table 12. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.5: Pre-Applied Thread Lock ……………………… 16 Table 13. Roof-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 2.5: Pre-Applied Thread Lock …………………………. 16 Table 14. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 3: Through Bolting …………………………………….. 19 Table 15. Roof-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 3: Through Bolting…………………………………………. 20 Table 16. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 4: Use Marine-Grade Steel Fasteners ……………. 21 Table 17. Roof-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 4: Use Marine-Grade Steel Fasteners………………… 22 Table 18. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 5: Module Selection ……………………………………. 24 Table 19. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 6: Use a Three-Framed Rail System ……………… 26

Table 20. Roof-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 6: Use a Three-Framed Rail System …………………. 26 Table 21. Ground-Mount Cost Calculation for Measure 6: Use Two Driven Steel Pile Supports …………. 29 Table 22. Cost Calculation for Measure 8: Use Closed Form Frame Elements ………………………………….. 31 Table 23. Cost Calculation for Measure 9: Use a Wind-Calming Fence……………………………………………. 35 Table 24. Cost Calculation for Measure 11: Install Equipment on Elevated Pads ………………………………. 37 Table 25. Cost Premium of a PV System Containing All of the Recommended Measures Individually … 41

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Renewables 2021

Analysis and forecast to 2026

Renewables 2021 is the IEA’s primary analysis on the sector, based on current policies and market developments. It forecasts the deployment of renewable energy technologies in electricity, transport and heat to 2026 while also exploring key challenges to the industry and identifying barriers to faster growth.

Renewables are the backbone of any energy transition to achieve net zero. As the world increasingly shifts away from carbon emitting fossil fuels, understanding the current role renewables play in the decarbonisation of multiple sectors is key to ensuring a smooth pathway to net zero.

While renewables continued to be deployed at a strong pace during the Covid-19 crisis, they face new opportunities and challenges. This year’s report frames current policy and market dynamics while placing the recent rise in energy and commodities prices in context. In addition to providing detailed market analysis and forecasts, Renewables 2021 also explores trends to watch including storage, producing hydrogen from renewable electricity, stimulus packages, aviation biofuels and residential heating.

Executive summary

Improved policies and COP26 climate goals are set to propel renewable electricity growth to new heights

Additions of renewable power capacity are on track to set yet another annual record in 2021, driven by solar PV. Almost 290gigawatts (GW) of new renewable power will be commissioned this year, which is 3% higher than 2020’s already exceptional growth. Solar PV alone accounts for more than half of all renewable power expansion in 2021, followed by wind and hydropower.

The growth of renewable capacity is forecast to accelerate in the next five years, accounting for almost 95% of the increase in global power capacity through 2026. We have revised up our forecast from a year earlier, as stronger policy support and ambitious climate targets announced for COP26 outweigh the current record commodity prices that have increased the costs of building new wind and solar PV installations. Globally, renewable electricity capacity is forecast to increase by over 60% between 2020 and 2026, reaching more than 4 800 GW. This is equivalent to the current global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined. Overall, China remains the leader over the next five years, accounting for 43% of global renewable capacity growth, followed by Europe, the United States and India. These four markets alone account for 80% of renewable capacity expansion worldwide.

China and the European Union are set to overshoot their current targets, setting the stage for a more ambitious growth trajectory. China’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality before 2060 has led to new nearer-term targets, such as 1 200 GW of total wind and solar PV capacity by 2030. We forecast that China will reach this target four years early thanks to the availability of long-term contracts, improved grid integration, and the cost competitiveness of onshore wind and solar PV compared with coal generation in many provinces. The trajectory of renewable capacity growth over the 2021-26 period indicates that renewable power growth in the European Union as a whole is set to outpace what the current National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) envision for 2030. This trend supports the ambition of reaching the stronger targets being finalised under the “Fit for 55” programme. Rapid deployment is being driven by member countries implementing larger auction volumes, corporations contracting for more renewable electricity, and consumers continuing to install large amounts of solar panels.

Improving competitiveness, ambitious targets and policy support are putting renewable power on course for new highs in India and the United States. Relative to existing capacity, renewable power is growing faster in India than any other key market in the world, with new installations set to double over our forecast period compared with 2015-20. Solar PV is expected to lead the way, driven by competitive auctions aimed at achieving the government’s ambitious renewable power target of 500 GW by 2030. Over the 2021-26 period, the expansion of renewable capacity in the United States is 65% greater than in the previous five years. This is the combined result of the economic attractiveness of wind and solar PV, increased ambition at the federal level, the extension of federal tax credits in December 2020, a growing market for corporate power purchase agreements, and growing support for offshore wind.

Despite rising prices, solar PV will set new records and wind will grow faster than over the previous five years

Even with surging commodity prices increasing manufacturing costs for solar PV, its capacity additions are forecast to grow by 17% in 2021. This will set a new annual record of almost 160 GW. Solar PV alone accounts for 60% of all renewable capacity additions, with almost 1 100 GW becoming operational over the forecast period in our main case, double the rate over the previous five years. In a significant majority of countries worldwide, utility-scale solar PV is the least costly option for adding new electricity capacity, especially amid rising natural gas and coal prices. Utility-scale solar projects continue to provide over 60% of all solar PV additions worldwide. Meanwhile, policy initiatives in China, the European Union and India are boosting the deployment of commercial and residential PV projects.

Onshore wind additions through 2026 are set to be almost 25% higher on average than in the 2015-2020 period. Global onshore wind additions doubled in 2020, reaching an exceptional level of almost 110 GW. This was driven by an acceleration in China as developers rushed to complete projects before subsidies expired. While annual additions in the coming years are not expected to match 2020’s record, we forecast that they will average 75 GW per year over the 2021- 2026 period.

Total offshore wind capacity is forecast to more than triple by 2026. By then, offshore wind additions are expected to account for one-fifth of the global wind market, a major milestone. Global capacity additions of offshore wind are set to reach 21 GW by 2026, thanks to rapid expansion in new markets beyond Europe

and China. This includes large-scale projects that are expected to be commissioned in the United States, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Viet Nam, and Japan.

The expansion of dispatchable renewables is critical to support the integration of more wind and solar, but their growth is forecast to slow slightly. The expansion of hydropower, bioenergy, geothermal and concentrated solar power accounts for only 11% of renewable capacity expansion worldwide over our forecast period. Relatively higher costs, lack of policy support and limited remuneration of flexible and dispatchable renewables discourage their expansion.

Asia is set to overtake Europe as India and Indonesia lead renewed growth in global demand for biofuels

Following a historic decline last year amid global transport disruption, total biofuel demand is on course to surpass 2019 levels in 2021. In our main case, annual global demand for biofuels is set to grow by 28% by 2026, reaching 186 billion litres. The United States leads in volume increases, but much of this growth is a rebound from the drop caused by the pandemic. Asia accounts for almost 30% of new production over the forecast period, overtaking European biofuel production by 2026. This is thanks to strong domestic policies, growing liquid fuel demand and export-driven production. Recent Indian ethanol policies and blending targets for biodiesel in Indonesia and Malaysia are responsible for most of the growth in Asia. India is set to become the third largest market for ethanol demand worldwide by 2026.

Renewable heat has gained some policy momentum, but its market share is not set to increase significantly

Since the start of 2020, heat from renewable sources has benefited directly or indirectly from several policy developments, mostly in Europe. Under current policies, renewable heat consumption, excluding traditional uses of biomass, is expected to increase by one-quarter during the 2021-26 period. Its share of global heat consumption is only forecast to rise from 11% in 2020 to 13% in 2026. Fossil fuels are set to continue meeting much of the growing global demand for heat, leading to a 5% increase in heat-related CO2 emissions over our forecast period.

The lack of policy and financial incentives for renewable heat is preventing faster growth. Globally, more than one-third of heat consumption is not covered by any financial incentive for renewables, and more than half is not subject to any renewables-related regulatory measures. The fragmented nature of heat markets

and local characteristics of heat demand partly explain the limited national policy coverage. This makes greater collaboration with subnational actors necessary.

High commodity and energy prices bring significant uncertainties

Rising commodity, energy and shipping prices have increased the cost of producing and transporting solar PV modules, wind turbines and biofuels worldwide. Since the beginning of 2020, prices for PV-grade polysilicon more than quadrupled, steel has increased by 50%, aluminium by 80%, copper by 60%, and freight fees have risen six-fold. Compared with commodity prices in 2019, we estimate that investment costs for utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind are 25% higher. In addition, restrictive trade measures have brought additional price increases to solar PV modules and wind turbines in key markets such as the United States, India and the European Union.

Around 100 GW of contracted capacity risks being delayed by commodity price shocks. Equipment manufacturers, installers and developers are absorbing cost increases in different ways, with some sectors being more heavily affected than others. Smaller companies are more exposed because of their more limited finances. Higher prices for solar PV and wind plants pose a particular challenge for developers who won competitive auctions anticipating continuous reductions in equipment prices. If commodity prices remain high through 2022, three years of costs reductions for solar and five years for wind would be erased. The increased costs would require over USD 100 billion of additional investment to install the same amount of capacity. This is equivalent to increasing today’s annual global investment in renewable power capacity by about one-third.

But higher natural gas and coal prices have improved the competitiveness of wind and solar PV. For corporations, fixed-price renewable energy contracts serve as a hedge against higher spot prices for fossil fuel energy. For governments, higher electricity prices have not brought higher subsidies for wind and solar PV, as around 90% of all wind and PV projects have long-term fixed- price purchase agreements.

Rising prices are slowing biofuels’ growth by more than 3 percentage points in 2021 as polices changed in key markets. Compared with average 2019 prices prior to the Covid-19 crisis, biofuel prices had increased between 70% and 150% across the United States, Europe, Brazil and Indonesia by October 2021, depending on the market and fuel. In response, governments have lowered blending mandates in Argentina, Colombia, Indonesia and Brazil, reducing

demand. We estimate these actions have reduced demand by 5 billion litres in 2021 compared with a scenario in which mandates remained unchanged or were increased as planned.

Supported by the right policies, recovery spending on renewables could unleash a huge wave of private capital

Renewables – including electricity, heat, biofuels and biogas – account for just 11% of governments’ economic recovery spending on clean energy. Renewables are expected to receive USD 42 billion, led by solar PV and offshore wind. But greater public spending on renewable power could mobilise more than USD 400 billion of total investment. If appropriate enabling policies and regulatory frameworks were implemented, almost 400 GW of additional renewable projects – led by solar and wind — could be deployed over our forecast period, equal to the entire installed power capacity of the Middle East. However, the level of private sector contribution will depend on the effectiveness of the policies and implementation measures supporting the new investment.

Despite their important role in decarbonising key sectors, biofuels and biogas were allocated less than USD 5.5 billion of government economic recovery spending. Renewable heat technologies also saw a limited public funding. Both industries would strongly benefit from enhanced recovery stimulus programmes.

Faster growth of renewables is within reach but requires addressing persistent challenges

Governments need to address four main barriers to accelerate renewables deployment. For wind and solar PV projects in advanced economies, various challenges to permitting and grid integration have led to lower-than-planned capacity being awarded in government auctions. In emerging and developing economies, stop-and-go policies, the lack of grid availability and risks concerning off-takers’ financial health are hurting investor confidence, resulting in elevated financing rates. Lack of remuneration and targeted policy support for flexibility are an issue in all countries. In addition, challenges concerning social acceptance of wind and hydropower projects caused an increasing number of countries to delay or cancel planned projects.

In our accelerated case, annual renewable capacity additions in the next five years could be one-quarter higher than in our main case, reaching more than 380 GW per year on average. Our accelerated case assumes that governments

address the above-mentioned policy, regulatory and implementation challenges in the next 12-24 months. Moreover, the stabilisation and eventual decline of commodity prices and increasing volumes of affordable financing from the private sector all contribute to the accelerated growth of renewable electricity capacity.

Biofuels demand growth could more than double between 2021-2026 in our accelerated case. Increasing biofuel demand and production hinges on stronger policies that address cost, sustainability and technical limitations. India, the European Union, the United States, China and other countries are all considering or implementing strengthened biofuels policies. However, relatively higher cost of biofuels compared with gasoline or diesel in most markets remain a key challenge, limiting policy ambition or how well biofuels compete with other emission reduction technologies. Uncertainty over the availability of sustainable feedstocks and technical constraints are also important barriers.

Renewables’ penetration in to hard-to-decarbonise sectors is slowly emerging and promises a bright future

Policy momentum supporting the production of hydrogen from renewables and biojet has stimulated a large number of projects. If realised, planned projects indicate that global electrolyser capacity for hydrogen could stimulate the deployment of 18 GW of additional wind and solar PV capacity in the 2021-2026 period. While this would account for only 1% of forecast growth of renewables in our main case, the fulfilment of the entire announced electrolyser capacity pipeline could bring an additional 475 GW of wind and solar PV capacity in the longer term, the equivalent of one-third of total installed variable renewable capacity today.

Biojet technology is ready to fly but policies to stimulate demand lag behind.

Global biojet demand is set to range from 2 billion to 6 billion litres by 2026 in our main and accelerated cases. The success of biofuels mainly depends on policy discussions in the United States, Europe and potentially China. Given the low absolute volumes proposed, feedstock sustainability will likely not prove a constraint over the next five years. However, increasing the diversity of feedstock supply from waste remains critical to achieve rapid expansion in the medium-term.

Renewables need to grow faster than our forecasts to close the gap with a pathway to net zero by 2050

Globally, annual renewable power capacity additions through 2026 in the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario are 80% higher than in our main

case. For solar PV and wind, average annual additions would need to be almost double what we see in our main case forecast over the next five years.

For biofuels, annual demand growth needs to quadruple. To align with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, countries would need to implement existing and planned policies while also strengthening them before 2026. These policies must ensure that biofuels are produced sustainably and avoid negative impacts on biodiversity, freshwater systems, food prices and food availability. Policies must also incentivise greenhouse gas reductions, not just biofuel demand. For net zero by 2050, renewable heat demand growth needs to almost triple from the main case.

To get renewables on track with net zero by 2050, governments not only need to address current policy and implementation challenges but also increase ambition for all renewable energy uses. Governments can build on the momentum of competitive solar and wind, but they must also significantly strengthen their policy focus on dispatchable renewable electricity and renewable energy use in buildings, industry and transport. Governments should also consider targeting much more economic recovery spending on renewables while also putting in place policies and regulations enabling higher mobilisation of private capital.

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Granular Time of Day Analysis of Balancing the Indian Electricity Grid in 2030 – CSEP

Model and Analysis

  • India has very aggressive plans for scaling RE (450 GW by 2030; today is 100 GW)
  • Using 2019 time of day (ToD) data for both demand and supply by fuel type, what happens over time (2021-2030) for the system (national level) under different assumptions of rising RE? Will the RE be enough to avoid new coal?
     Will there be a risk of “too much” RE (that might be curtailed)? What will be least cost options for the system?
     How should we think of batteries?
     What are the key choices and points of uncertainty that matter?  etc.
  • This is a simplified despatch model but using real 2019 ToD data all-India
  • The focus is on insights and trends – and what factors matter

Unique features of this study/model

  • Parametric analysis with 30-minute resolution
  • Future RE is modeled VERY differently and explicitly Different shapes of outputs
    Different shares of wind vs. solar
  • Segregate capacity and energy for battery
  • Most studies assume “4-hour battery”, i.e., $200/kWh = 0.25 kW output for 4 hours
  • Some studies use LCOE for battery operating like a fuel

• Use varying escalation rates across capital, fuel, forex, interest, etc. (thus, not a simple LCOE)

All RE isn’t the same

• Solar and wind dominate, esp. the growth – 450 GW target by 2030 could be 420 GW solar and wind (per CEA, also projects 2:1 ratio)

• Solar is diurnal variance, less seasonal variance than wind  But wind provides more output during evening peak

• Solar is less expensive on an levelized cost of energy (LCOE) basis
Solar has a lower Capacity Utilization Factor aka Plant Load Factor than wind

New growth may be 27% and 36+%, respectively
That excludes rooftop, which remains low PLFs (and is “negative demand”)page9image35490032page9image35490656

• Big Unknown – shape of RE growth over the years (CAGR, linear, etc.)?

 Model assumes exponential/CAGR
Practical but it also reflects today’s reality in energy terms:

Growth of RE < Growth of Demand (energy basis)

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Impact of Component Reliability on Large Scale Photovoltaic Systems’ Performance

Abstract: In this work, the impact of component reliability on large scale photovoltaic (PV) systems’ performance is demonstrated. The analysis is largely based on an extensive field-derived dataset of failure rates of operation ranging from three to five years, derived from different large-scale PV systems. Major system components, such as transformers, are also included, which are shown to have a significant impact on the overall energy lost due to failures. A Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) is used to estimate the impact on reliability and availability for two inverter configurations. A Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is employed to rank failures in different subsystems with regards to occurrence and severity. Estimation of energy losses (EL) is realised based on actual failure probabilities. It is found that the key contributions to reduced energy yield are the extended repair periods of the transformer and the inverter. The very small number of transformer issues (less than 1%) causes disproportionate EL due to the long lead times for a replacement device. Transformer and inverter issues account for about 2/3 of total EL in large scale PV systems (LSPVSs). An optimised monitoring strategy is proposed in order to reduce repair times for the transformer and its contribution to EL.

Keywords: ; reliability; real data; energy yield; fault tree analysis; failure mode and effect analysis; availability; failure rates

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Rebooting Renewable Energy Certificates for a Balanced Energy Transition in India

India sought after for green energy agreements, says renewables secretary -  The Economic Times

CEEW Centre for Energy Finance
The CEEW Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF) is an initiative of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), one of Asia’s leading think tanks. CEEW-CEF acts as a non-partisan market observer and driver that monitors, develops, tests, and deploys financial solutions to advance the energy transition. It aims to help deepen markets, increase transparency, and attract capital in clean energy sectors in emerging economies. It achieves this by comprehensively tracking, interpreting, and responding to developments in the energy markets while also bridging gaps between governments, industry, and financiers.

The need for enabling an efficient and timely energy transition is growing in emerging economies. In response, CEEWCEF focuses on developing fit-for-purpose market-responsive financial products. A robust energy transition requires deep markets, which need continuous monitoring, support, and course correction. By designing financial solutions and providing near-real-time analysis of current and emerging clean energy markets, CEEW-CEF builds confidence and coherence among key actors, reduces information asymmetry, and bridges the financial gap.

Financing the energy transition in emerging economies
The clean energy transition is gaining momentum across the world with cumulative renewable energy installation crossing 1000 GW in 2018. Several emerging markets see renewable energy markets of significant scale. However, these markets are young and prone to challenges that could inhibit or reverse the recent advances. Emerging economies lack well-functioning markets. That makes investment in clean technologies risky and prevents capital from flowing from where it is in surplus to regions where it is most needed. CEEW-CEF addresses the urgent need for increasing the flow and affordability of private capital into clean energy markets in emerging economies.

CEEW-CEF’s focus: analysis and solutions
CEEW-CEF has a twin focus on markets and solutions. CEEW-CEF’s market analysis covers energy transition–related sectors on both the supply side (solar, wind, energy storage) and demand-side (electric vehicles, distributed renewable energy applications). It creates open-source data sets, salient and timely analysis, and market trend studies. CEEW-CEF’s solution-focused work will enable the flow of new and more affordable capital into clean energy sectors. These solutions will be designed to address specific market risks that block capital flows. These will include designing, implementation support, and evaluation of policy instruments, insurance products, and incubation funds.

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are market-based instruments that allow the unbundling of green power into two products – a green attribute that can be traded in the form of certificates and the commodity itself, i.e., electricity (CERC 2010). Since their launch a decade
ago, RECs worth an aggregate INR 9,266 crore (USD 1.24 billion1 ) have been sold on India’s two power exchanges.

RECs play an important supporting and balancing role in India’s energy markets, but insufficient demand has plagued them to varying degrees. Although down from a peak of 18.6 million in October 2017, the December 2020 closing balance of 5.1 million unutilised RECs still
points to a seven per cent shortfall in demand. Although 99 per cent of REC purchases on power exchanges are done to meet renewable purchase obligations (RPOs), organisations in India, including state discoms, are far from being RPO compliant. In addition, purchases for voluntary reasons are negligible.

The private sector responded enthusiastically. Tenders for new capacity were oversubscribed and record-setting low tariff levels were achieved both during the lockdown (Mint 2020a) as well as afterwards, when the economy gradually opened up (Mint 2020b). Investors also voted
with their wallets, driving up the share prices of RE developers (CEEW-CEF 2020), mirroring a trend seen globally. At the global level, 2020 also saw green bonds cross the USD 1 trillion “cumulative issuances since inception” milestone (BloombergNEF 2020).

Figure 1 RECs issued per financial year vs end-use

floor price reduction (Prateek 2018), the current trading suspension has carried on for much longer. RECs faced other bumps on the road in 2020. Take the revocation of 3.6 million RECs in August, the first such instance since their launch a decade ago. It is important to note that these RECs were not revoked because they had expired, but rather because it was determined that they had been erroneously issued in the first place and the revocation was undertaken to rectify the error (APTEL 2020). More generally, and to allay fears of inventory loss, CERC exercises its power under clause 15 of the REC regulations and extended the validity of RECs
from time to time. For example, recently the validity of RECs which expired or were due to expire between April 01, 2020, and September 30, 2020, were extended up to October 31, 2020 (CERC 2020).

As a result, to date, there has never been a revocation of RECs due to lifespan expiry. However, this should not be misconstrued as an indication of robust demand for RECs. This is apparent from the 5.1 million RECs that remained unsold and unconsumed (closing balance) as of December 2020 as shown in Figure 1. Insufficient demand, as represented by the quantum of unconsumed RECs in the closing balance, has plagued this instrument to varying degrees ever since its inception. Although down from a peak of 18.6 million in October 2017, the December 2020 closing balance still points to a 7 per cent shortfall in demand.

Origin of RECs
RECs were conceived as instruments that would allow the separation of the green attributes of RE from the underlying electricity generated. They act as a bridge between those generating RE and those not in a position to procure sufficient amounts of RE even though they may wish to do so for either voluntary or compliance reasons. Their origin can be traced to regulatory evolution, which commenced a little over 15 years ago, and which had a wide-ranging impact on the Indian power sector.

Each REC issued corresponds to 1 MWh, or 1,000 kWh, of electricity injected into the grid. Depending on the generating source, there are two types of RECs –solar and non-solar. Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) is the REC issuing authority, and as depicted in Figure 2, RECs may be issued to two categories of eligible entities, discoms and RE generators, each with some qualifications. Once issued, sale on the exchange and self-consumption are the only two ways they may be put to use. Further, RECs sold on the exchange must be priced in between the specified floor and forbearance (ceiling) prices, both of which have undergone several downward revisions over the years.

Figure 2 RECs issuance source vs end-use

The four key takeaways that follow from Figure 2 are summarised below

An INR 9,266 crore (USD 1.24 billion) market

An aggregate of 59.5 million RECs worth INR 9,266 crore5 (USD 1.24 billion) have been sold on the two power exchanges in the time since they were launched in 2010. Breaking the volume into respective financial years reveals a general upward trend as shown in Figure 3 The sharp peak in volumes recorded in FY18 was a result of buyers taking advantage of a reduction in the REC floor price. The decline in volumes post-FY18 was perhaps inevitable given the significant quantum that was cleared in FY18. However, reduced as they were, the FY19 and FY20 numbers remained consistent with the linear trend line for REC volume growth. The dismal volumes recorded till date in FY21 are of course an altogether different matter, being the result of the ongoing suspension of REC trading, which has carried on for more than six months now.

Figure 3 INR 9,266 crore (USD 1.24 billion) generated via the sale of RECs on power exchanges

It is hoped that stricter penalties envisaged in the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, will push discoms towards RPO compliance. But to what extent is it possible for them to do so via REC purchase? The short answer is that there just is not enough supply in the market for that to happen. As Figure 4 demonstrates, bridging the FY20 RPO shortfall of 27 RPO undercompliant states alone would exceed all the RECs issued in the previous decade.

Figure 4 Discom demand shortfall

RECs and international relevance: CERs

Market based mechanisms and instruments are not unique to India, and 2021 is poised to be a pivotal year in charting the way forward for certain instruments that straddle the international arena. Specifically, a broad consensus exists on some key issues that need addressing at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) which is slated to be held in Glasgow in November 2021. Among them is Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which deals with voluntary
international cooperation in the implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), including via market mechanisms that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

While RECs were never meant to be mainstays of the energy transition, they remain important supporting instruments that act as a balancing force in India’s energy transition. And with the aggregate value of RECs traded on power exchanges estimated to be INR 9,266 crore (USD 1.24 billion), their scale is not trivial. Moreover, India’s RE ambitions for the next decade far exceed anything seen or even thought of in the previous one. As such, the stakes are that much higher for even supporting instruments such as RECs. Under the circumstances, positioning them to reflect the fundamental changes that the RE ecosystem has undergone in the past decade, and preparing them for the even more dramatic changes that lie ahead, is not
just desirable, but imperative.

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Wind energy: A gender perspective

Ahead of their time: How a close-knit business community sparked India's  energy transition

The expansion of renewable energy promises a broad array of benefits. That renewables are
good for energy security, air quality and health, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is well known. What many do not realise, however, is that the renewable energy transition can boost economic development and create jobs. Global employment in the
renewable energy sector grew by nearly 4 million jobs in six years – from 7.1 million in 2012 to 11 million in 2018 (IRENA, 2019a). Renewable energy is creating jobs as fossil fuel industries are shedding them due to rising automation in extraction, overcapacity, consolidation, regional
shifts, and the substitution of coal by natural gas in the power sector. IRENA’s socio-economic footprint analysis estimates that employment in renewables will almost triple to 42 million in 2050.

The importance of gender equality
Women have long been underrepresented in conventional energy industries such as coal, oil and gas, whether in exploration and extraction activities or in running power-generating plants. All available information suggests that men outnumber women in most of these workplaces, and especially in technical, managerial and policy-making positions (Catalyst, 2019). Energy is still often seen as a man’s domain, where persistent cultural and social
norms sway hiring decisions. More prosaically, workplace disparities reflect educational pathways and recruitment networks that remain heavily male-oriented. The widespread perception that the energy field requires technical skills above all else, and that energy is
a “dirty” business, reinforce these patterns (Paraskova, 2017). Another factor is the relative scarcity of female role models in the sector, and inadequate mentoring and peer networks for women.

Gender in the context of sustainable development
Renewable energy, including wind power, enables the achievement of key social, economic and environmental objectives expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The triangle of sustainable energy, jobs and gender objectives finds expression in three of the
17 SDGs: SDG 7 (access to modern, clean, and sustainable energy), SDG 5 (gender equality and empowerment), and SDG 8 (inclusive growth and decent work). They are closely interconnected. Achieving SDG 7 is indispensable to a vibrant, clean and inclusive economy.
The close interaction between the energy system and the broader economy implies a symbiotic relationship between SDGs 7 and 8. The gender objectives expressed in SDG 5 shape the way the energy industry and the economy at large function, aiming to make them
inclusive.

Figure 1.2: Distribution of survey respondents by region

The survey also asked participants to provide information about the segment of the value chain to which their activities belong, and the size of the organisation participating in the survey. Box 1.4 explains what is meant by segments of the value chain and defines two terms
– “roles” and “activities” – used throughout this report.

Segment of the value chain. Among replies on behalf of an organisation, 23% of responses received were from developer companies, followed by manufacturing firms (19%), service providers (16%) and operators (15%). “Other”2 was selected by 27% of the responders
(see Figure 1.3).

Figure 1.3: Distribution of survey respondents by segment of the value chain

70% of survey participants were women

of the organisation they work for represent a workforce of varying size. Naturally, replies from representatives of large companies or other entities have a significant impact on the overall results. Notably, however, the distribution of total employment by organisation size is unknown; whether the distribution in the survey sample matches that of the wind industry as a whole is therefore also not known.

Survey participation by women and men. Both women and men were invited to respond to all survey questions, but around 70% of respondents were women. This disparity mirrors participation in IRENA’s global renewable survey (IRENA, 2019b) and may serve as an indication that concern about gender issues in the wind sector is still driven by gender itself. The level of education of survey respondents was roughly the same for men and women.

Educational achievement. For individuals, additional questions enabled respondents to provide information about their gender and educational attainment and background, specifically in technical or non-technical fields. The composition of respondents according to
these various characteristics can influence survey results, as personal backgrounds and work experiences will colour perceptions of both problems and solutions. As Figure 1.5 on the distribution of educational status shows, 93% of respondents had a university degree, with over half of the total holding a master’s.

Figure 1.5: Distribution of survey individual
respondents by educational achievement

large numbers of such workers with limited or less specialised qualifications. The underrepresentation of lowerskilled employees can affect the analysis, both in the quantification of the share of women in the industry and in the qualitative analysis. In
fact, parts of the workforce that are less well represented may have very different workplace experiences and could therefore hold views very different from those of the rest of the sample.

Representation of lower-skilled employees in the survey
To assemble a meaningful sample, the survey captured a broad cross-section of organisations
and individuals in the wind energy sector. However, the self-selected nature of participation in an online survey may influence results in favour of people with a proactive interest in the topic, in this case mostly women with higher levels of education. An online survey, while convenient, may therefore unintentionally limit or exclude part of the population of interest, especially the lower-qualified segment of the workforce. Manufacturing workers on a factory floor or construction workers are difficult to reach, especially in remote project locations, unless an online survey is paired with workplace interviews co-ordinated with employers or labour unions.

As Figure 1.6 shows, personnel in management, STEM, and non-STEM functions (including engineers; technicians; experts in quality assurance, health, safety and environment; experts in law, regulation, standardisation and logistics; marketing personnel; financial analysts) account for about a third of the total labour required for a typical 50 MW onshore wind project. These are the types of employees who may be expected to participate most readily in an online survey. The remaining two-thirds of the labour required is in lower-skilled jobs (such as construction and factory workers). The views of people in these types of positions are far less likely to be reflected in the survey results. Similarly, for a typical 500 MW offshore wind farm, low-qualified individuals again represent the highest category (47%). STEM and non-STEM personnel together account for 41%.

Figure 1.6: Roles and skill requirements in onshore and offshore wind

Employment of women in the wind energy sector

This section opens with key findings from IRENA’s wind survey. A series of figures sketch
the sector’s gender landscape by region, activity, and organisational size. The next topic is major barriers to women’s entry, retention and advancement in the sector. The discussion of issues relating to pay inequities draws comparisons with IRENA’s earlier survey of the renewable energy sector as a whole. The section then turns to possible solutions. These include
networking and mentorship efforts; workplace practices, policies and regulations; and mainstreaming initiatives. It closes with examples of grassroots women’s initiatives in the field.

By activity. Developers and “other” activities along the wind value chain perform best in employing women. By contrast, female employment in equipment manufacturing is below
the 21% average for the wind energy sector (Figure 2.4). From the perspective of assessing not just the number of jobs but also their quality, this represents a challenge, given that manufacturing typically offers better-paying jobs than other segments of an industry (Mishel,
2018).

Figure 2.4: Shares of women in the wind energy sector, by activity

Figure 2.5 disaggregates the findings presented in Figure 2.4. For each major activity, it shows the share of women broken down by STEM, non-STEM but professional, administrative and management roles. Once again, administrative positions are where much higher proportions of women find employment. This is particularly the case among developers and in the “other” category. Repeating findings from IRENA’s survey of the entire renewable energy sector,
STEM-related positions also seem to have a significantly lower female presence than other professional jobs (IRENA, 2019b). Indicating an area where gender equality remains a remote ideal, the share of women is by far the lowest in senior management.

Figure 2.5: Shares of women by occupation in the wind energy sector, by activity

Barriers to female entry, retention and advancement in the wind workforce
Breaking down the barriers to women’s entry, retention and advancement in the wind workforce requires full awareness of the impediments. Overall, more than half (53%) of the respondents to IRENA’s wind sector survey stated that barriers do exist. But this average figure hides diverging answers. As was true when IRENA canvassed the entire renewable energy sector (IRENA, 2019b), men tended to see fewer genderrelated barriers than women did.

In fact, the replies were mirror opposites, with just one-third of men acknowledging the existence of barriers compared with twothirds of women (Figure 2.7). On a regional basis, respondents from Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Europe and North America (in that order) recognised gender barriers in greater numbers than those from Asia-Pacific.

Figure 2.7: Perceptions of gender-related barriers in the wind sector among women and men
Figure 2.8: Barriers to entry for women in wind energy, ranked by respondents in order of importance

Barriers to entry
The survey sought to assess the importance of barriers specific to job entry into the wind sector. Of individual respondents who replied that women do face barriers, a follow-up question was asked to rank specific impediments to entry according to their perceived importance (see Figure 2.8).

Barriers to retention and advancement
Once a woman is employed, her ability to stay in a given job and her opportunities for professional growth are shaped by several factors. Women face barriers to retention and advancement that men do not, especially during the childbearing years. Individuals participating in the survey raised several concerns related to the retention of women in the wind workforce (see Figure 2.9). Fairness and transparency in internal policies and processes were identified as the most relevant concerns, followed by some specific policies and working
practices that were felt to be lacking in many organisations.

Figure 2.9: Barriers to retention for women in wind energy, ranked by respondents in order of importance

Selected measures to address barriers
Measures to improve the gender balance depend on specific circumstances. Survey participants support the need to change the social and cultural norms that rule society. Attitudes generally do not change quickly. But organisations in the wind sector (whether
enterprises, industry associations, governmental agencies, non- or intergovernmental organisations, or others) can take steps that will accelerate change, including measures to ensure greater fairness and transparency in internalprocesses and policies to support a
better work-life balance.

In addition, many survey participants highlighted the need to support networking, mentoring, training and opportunities for sharing work experiences (see Figure 2.13). Internships and seminars were seen as less important or effective. These responses echo the results of IRENA’s
gender survey for the entirety of the renewable energy sector.

Figure 2.13: Measures needed to support women in wind energy

The path ahead

Advancing equality and diversity in the wind energy sector promises winners all around. It
establishes greater fairness in an industry critical to making energy use – and thus all economic activities – more sustainable. Women, after all, account for half the human population. That very fact indicates how great a gain the wind industry can expect if it taps into the female pool of talent, skills, and perspectives more fully.

Limitations of the survey
As noted in IRENA’s previous gender survey (IRENA, 2019b), online surveys can have several types of bias. However, as this survey was focused on one sector (wind), more is known about the population of interest (employees in the sector) than would be the case in a multisector study. Some of these biases were solved through weighting, by adjusting the responses to
reflect the distribution of different characteristics in the underlying population.

Table A.1 shows the distribution of known employment in the wind sector (IRENA, 2019a) across locations and compares it to the survey responses. Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean were over-represented in the responses of both organisations and individuals, while the Asia-Pacific region was under-represented. The share of responses from Europe and North America almost matched the share of employment in the combined region in the case of organisations, but the region was over-represented in the sample of individuals. To adjust for these differences, weights were used to calculate global averages so that they would more accurately reflect the regional distribution of employees in the sector.

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Advancing renewables in developing countries

seychelles | IRENA newsroom

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) in 2013 undertook to support renewable energy
projects through a joint initiative with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Through that facility, the fund has dispensed AED 1.285 billion (USD 350 million) over the course of seven cycles. In the first six cycles, ADFD has dedicated AED 900 million (USD 245 million) to fund 24 projects, benefitting 23 countries spanning different continents worldwide.

Six annual selection cycles of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility were completed by January 2019, resulting in the allocation of USD 245 million by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) to 24 selected projects. ADFD at the outset committed USD 350 million in the form of concessional loans for the implementation of renewable energy projects in developing countries. ADFD allocates funding to the projects based on an agreed evaluation and selection process, and the resulting recommendations issued by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

After announcing the selected projects in each cycle, IRENA connects the project proponents
and host government representatives with ADFD to jointly work through five main stages of implementation. IRENA additionally facilitates engagements between ADFD and the various
project teams to support communication and monitors the progress of projects and related
development impacts. Figure 1 shows the geographical distribution of ongoing projects.

Figure 1 Projects progressing from the first six selection cycles

The main post-selection stages are as follows:

  1. Preliminary loan offer, acceptance and onsite project appraisal.
  2. Agreement signing, ratification and loan declaration. This entails processing loan agreement and loan guarantee agreement, where applicable.
  3. Procurement of consulting engineers. Their role is to support the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) in final design and project oversight.
  4. Selection of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor(s).
  5. Construction and commissioning. This stage includes a sequence of disbursements to the project, as per milestones set by the PIU in consultation with ADFD.

Portfolio progress highlights
Overall portfolio implementation progress has improved compared to the previous year, with
more projects reaching the procurement and construction/installation phases.

Five projects are working through the procurement stages (Stages 3 and 4); another four are at various stages of loan agreement processing (Stage 2) and the remaining project is still at the preliminary loan offer stage (Stage 1) (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 Portfolio progress

Subsequent sections of this report provide updates on the progress of the projects at various critical milestones and list the challenges faced by each project to date.

Status of loan agreements
Thirteen of the 18 progressing projects now have signed loan agreements; 12 of those loan
agreements have been ratified and declared effective, paving the way for disbursements. The
loan agreements for a further four projects have been drafted and are expected to be signed in early 2020 The last project in the sixth cycle remains at the preliminary loan offer stage and has yet to reach loan agreement processing.

Figure 3 Status of loan agreement processing
Table 1 Status of projects currently (or soon to begin) generating electricity

Implementation and process improvements, 2014–2019
The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility has achieved notable successes in the six cycles by applying
the lessons learned along the way to improve the evaluation and selection process and facilitate project implementation. IRENA and ADFD continue to actively engage with project development teams to support the implementation process and bring the benefits of renewable energy to the developing world. Project advancement has also been facilitated by joint appraisal missions, together with periodic conference calls with project teams and follow-up missions to monitor and document progress.

Conclusions
Progress was made in 2019 in terms of increasing the proportion of projects completing implementation, with 44% of the portfolio reaching the construction stage, compared to 33% in 2018. Several projects began generating electricity, thereby providing renewable energy benefits to target communities. Loan agreement processing also advanced, with three additional projects signed in 2019 and five others under negotiation. Ongoing follow-up activities include an online progress tracking platform, which is being updated and re-deployed to provide project teams with the ability to issue regular reports on progress,
challenges and mitigation measures.

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