Europe: A phenomenal start for wind energy in 2019

Mid-March 2019, the milestone of more than 100 billion kWh of generated wind power was reached in Europe. This milestone was never reached this early in the year. Pertaining to the same period in 2018, that was an increase of 15%. The distribution between Onshore / offshore was respectively 90 billion kWh (88.7%) and 11.5 billion kWh (11.3%). It is expected that 400 billion kWh of 2019 wind energy will be produced in Europe. With regard to the production of wind power in the first two and a half months of 2019, Germany is the leader with 35.7 billion kWh, thermostat (11.9 kWh kWh), UK (8.1 billion kWh), France (8.1 billion kWh) and Italy (5.9 billion kWh). In 2018, 2,645 billion kWh of electricity was used in Europe. Of this, 362 billion kWh was wind power, of which 309 billion kWh onshore and 53 billion offshore kWh.
Source: Windbranche.de


Power shortages in Dutch greenhouse horticulturists: Waiting another five years for a solution?


Dozens of greenhouse horticulture businesses suffer from power shortages in their greenhouses. The demand for electricity from greenhouse horticulturists has risen exponentially in recent years. This makes that Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) can’t always meet the demand.

For example, there are farmers who do have a connection, but don’t always receive sufficient electricity.


We have to pull the brake

The entrepreneurs increasingly hear a ‘no’ from DNOs. Problems arise mainly when they want to expand their business or make them more sustainable and replace gas powered components with electric ones. Greenhouse horticulture in the Netherlands is worried and wants the electricity network to be expanded as quickly as possible, but that’s not easy. According to ‘Glastuinbouw Nederland’, more than 50 entrepreneurs experience power difficulties throughout the country.

Greenhouses need electricity for lighting and always had good electricity, but DNOs say: “We have to pull the brake, we do not have enough capacity’. This means that they can’t make their businesses more sustainable right now. Climate control runs on gas fired utilities.  Farmers want to make the transition to electric heating, particularly because of the climate regulations (Paris Agreement red.). ‘It will be difficult to meet the targets, we can do nothing but wait!”

Higher capacity demand

Currently there are about 3000 greenhouse horticulture locations in the Netherlands. ‘Glastuinbouw Nederland’ does not have exact figures of new businesses, “but it will be more than a few dozen locations given the favourable economy”. An average greenhouse consumes as much electricity per year as about 400 households; approximately 1,600,000 kWh.

Distribution Network Operators have not been asleep

According to greenhouse grower Van Wijk; DNO’s from the Netherlands could have foreseen that the demand for electricity would increase. These certain locations in the province of Gelderland have never been designated as a development area for greenhouse horticulture.

This is confirmed by John Rocks, horticultural project manager of the province of Gelderland. He states that Alliander should have made the call “when it appeared that the plans to make the sector more sustainable are not feasible with the current electricity network”.

Alliander does not agree with that criticism. “It’s really not the case that we have been asleep, but this electricity grid was built about a hundred years ago,” said spokesperson Jelle Wils. “Originally, there was not much demand for electricity in the Bommelerwaard, this network was actually equipped with cables which are literally the thinnest in the country.”

It will take Alliander about three to five years to adjust the electricity grid. “We have to install additional cables, build distribution stations, and we have to follow procedures to change zoning plans, for example,” says Wils. “We are trying to predict developments, but future plans must first be concrete before we make a multi-million investment to adjust the infrastructure.”

Returning electricity surplus to the grid

Adapting the current infrastructure, that greenhouse growers ask for, requires a lot from the electricity grid. An additional problem is that more and more people in the Netherlands are installing solar panels on their roofs. The power that these produce is returned to the grid. But this grid is already overloaded.

Especially in the countryside, the return of electricity regularly blocks. The grid operators do not have sufficient capacity to transport electricity from the solar panels or wind turbines, but also to supply electricity to large-scale users such as the greenhouse horticulture sector. The capacity problems of greenhouse horticulturalists therefor lead to power shortages.

Fossil fuel-fired aggregates

Alliander is working on temporary solutions, for example by giving entrepreneurs a connection, but not with full capacity. The entrepreneurs do not sit still. Some have chosen to place aggregates (which are often gas powered) in order to have sufficient power security.

Greenhouse grower Van Wijk: “I now use gas to have enough electricity, but our government wants to get rid of gas.” Less gas through pipes means more electricity through cables, so something has to be done as quickly as possible. ”

Power grid of the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Tennet is the national grid operator, it transports electricity from the power plant to the high-voltage grid. Organizations such as Enexis, Alliander and Stedin are the regional grid operators. They ensure that the electricity reaches the residents and companies via distribution stations.

Source: NOS.nl

An alternative solution

Renewable microgrids could be realized to keep all electricity locally so the already installed network will not be overcharged easily. In this way the grid is relieved from the high demands as well as the return of electricity. The combination of renewable energy sources could generate sufficient electricity for a whole region. Communities can become completely independent from energy generation, which means that they do no longer depend on the unreliable central grids. Local energy production requires that producers and  consumers treat each other neatly and let the common interest be primal to self-interest. This brings along many benefits to local communities. By generating all the energy in a renewable way, the costs of the, now often expensive price of fossil fuel-fired, generated electricity will drop significantly.

The advantage of these initiatives to generate local energy is that consumers become co-producers. Many people already install solar panels on their own roof and often there is still some space left to provide the neighbours with some clean electricity. When there is not enough space within urbanized areas, farmers or other land owners can also place wind turbines nearby.

Want to find out what solution is best fit for your scenario?

Are you curious whether this method can help you to make your energy supply ‘green’, more stable and cheaper? Just contact us, we would be happy to help you and to analyze which combination of energy sources suits your situation best.

smart grids-WES blauw

Smart Integrated Decentralised Energy Systems

The fact that people start generating and sharing energy locally is not only a necessity to make the energy supply more sustainable, but also has the positive side effect of strengthening the cohesion in local communities.


Making your own decisions about energy generation

The advantage of citizens’ initiatives to generate local energy is that consumers become co-producers. Many people already install solar panels on their own roof and often there is still some space left to provide the neighbours with some clean electricity. When there is not enough space within urbanized areas, farmers or other land owners can also place wind turbines nearby.

The solution is to combine renewable sources. The big plus of wind energy is that it is a more constant source of energy. This allows you to properly cover the energy gaps during the day! In areas with sufficient wind, the generation of wind energy is several times cheaper than storing all solar energy in batteries.

To proper organize all this, we have to be able to exchange energy among our neighbours. This is possible with a ‘microgrid’, a local interconnected energy hub which manages the production and distribution of energy.


Common interests come first

Local energy production requires that producers / consumers treat each other neatly and let the common interest be primal to self-interest. This brings along many benefits to local communities. Communities can become completely independent from energy generation, which means that they do no longer depend on the unreliable central grids. By generating all the energy in a renewable way, the costs of the now often expensive price of fossil fuel-fired generated electricity will drop significantly. In addition, the social component is very important. People discuss among eachother whether and how the system grows.

Do we want to invest in wind energy or solar energy? How big and where can it be?
Smart grids have to be built in the long term, so that anyone can give his excessively produced energy to a local resident.

Soon consumers themselves decide what to do with energy surpluses to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy sources.

The micro grids can be joined together to form a mini-grid and eventually all decentral grids combine will form the common network to supply all energy of a region, country, continent or even intercontinental.


Want to find out what solution is best fit for your scenario?

Are you curious whether this method can help you to make your energy supply ‘green’, more stable and cheaper? Just contact us, we would be happy to help you and to analyse which combination of energy sources suits your situation best.


Groene stroom in België nu alweer op

Corporate investments in clean energy exploded!

Corporations bought a record amount of clean energy through power purchase agreements, or PPAs, in 2018, published in the Corporate Energy Market Outlook report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF. The new record smashing the previous one set the year before.

Around 13.4 Gigawatt of clean energy contracts were signed by 121 corporations across 21 countries in 2018. This was up from 6.1 GW in 2017 and positions companies next to utilities as the biggest buyers of clean energy globally.

Jonas Rooze, head of corporate sustainability for BNEF, said: “Corporations have signed contracts to purchase over 32GW of clean power since 2008, an amount comparable to the generation capacity of the Netherlands, with 86% of this activity coming since 2015 and more than 40% in 2018 alone.”

The healthiest signal of continued growth in the global corporate procurement space is the growing alliance of companies establishing clean energy and sustainability commitments. One such campaign, known as the RE100 – consisting of nearly 160 signatories at the end of 2018 that have established 100% renewable electricity targets – has companies domiciled in 23 different markets. Cumulatively, these companies consumed an estimated 189TWh of electricity in 2017, equivalent to Egypt’s electricity consumption.

BNEF estimates these companies will need to purchase an additional 190TWh of clean electricity in 2030 to meet their RE100 targets. 

Read the whole article at BloombergNEF

A global retrospect on renewables 2018

The figures on clean energy have been presented by Bloomberg NEF.

Over 300 billion dollars

Last year, once again, more than 300 billion dollars have been invested worldwide in clean energy. Although the investments had decreased slightly, the generated energy from the projects were higher than ever before.In the field of wind energy, an increase in funding can be seen in 2018. A growth of almost 3% was reported in both off-shore and on-shore compared to the previous year.

Renewable energy investments get more lucrative

Partly thanks to the decreasing costs of the production of parts, the price per MW is declining. Therefor the return on investment in renewable energy pays back more quickly than ever before.

Worst year for new installations in the UK

The UK onshore wind industry recorded its worst year for new installations in almost a decade in 2018 with 598MW significantly down on the over 2.6GW installed in 2017, according to new figures from RenewableUK. The 2018 haul was the lowest level since 2011.

The authorities are stalling the progress

RUK blamed government policy changes for the return including the closure of the Renewables Obligations and the barring of access to the technology for Contracts for Difference auctions.

4.5GW in onshore wind projects remain on the shelf

Executive Director of RenewableUK, Emma Pinchbeck said there is 4.5GW of “ready-to-go” onshore wind that can be delivered to “close the gap between the low carbon power we need and the amount UK’s Government policy is actually delivering”. This is 4.5GW solely for the UK projects which are retained.

A global oppoptunity

This phenomenon applies to more governments world-wide. In order to achieve all the objectives that we have all agreed together in the Paris Agreement, applicated projects must proceed faster by the authorities.

This year it’s time for governments to grasp this grand opportunity to take a great leap in renewable energy coverage.

Key Energy 2018

WES at the Key Energy Expo Rimini 6 – 9 November 2018

WES will be attending the Key Energy Expo 2018, the leading fair for renewable energies in the Mediterrean area which will be held from 6 to 9 November at the Rimini Fiera in Rimini, Italy.

Please come and visit us at our stand, stand number 199 in the Key Wind department, hall D7.

Key Energy has been Italy’s leading exhibition for Energy and Sustainable Mobility for the last 12 years.
Along with Ecomondo, the international exhibition for material and energy recovery and sustainable development, Key Energy forms the most important platform in the Mediterranean basin for European and international green strategies and solutions.

The parallel organised Key Wind Exhibition is the only reference wind power show in the Mediterranean basin, the Balkans and the Middle East.
Key Wind, in partnership with ANEV, the Italian Wind Energy Association, collaborates to develop the sector in Italy, in terms of content, training, information and design.

For more information about the Key Energy Expo Rimini 2018 please visit: www.keyenergy.it

If you are interested in meeting us during the event please contact Mr. Maarten Deutekom: maartendeutekom@windenergysolutions.nl


Espositive Area: D7 199

Product category: Equipment, components and technologies for wind power plants , Network-linked mini wind plants, Offgrid mini wind power plants