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WORLDS FIRST ENGINEERING NEWS

FOR YOUNG BADASS ENGINEERS

JUNE 2016 ISSUE NO. 004

MAN ON
A MISSION
ELON MUSK:
THE REAL IRON MAN OF
RENEWABLE ENERGY

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS
CEBC GWEC Renewables 100
EESI ISES SVEBIO
EKOenergy MESIA Womens Engineering Society
Euro Solar microSolar World Bioenergy Association
First Solar REN21 WWEA
ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 1
2 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY
GINEERSNOW TEAM

Ems Bagatsing
Sales & Marketing Director
Ems@LincolnMartin.com
Robert Bagatsing
Editor-In-Chief
editor@GineersNow.com
Engr. Alice Hernandez
Senior Editor-At-Large

John Vauden Charity Bagatsing Raymond Gerard del Valle


Senior Editor Senior Editor Junior Editor
Asia-Pacific North America
Abhishek Tarafder
Hina Sapra Engr. Dion Greg Reyes Matrix Media
Senior Editor Junior Editor Information Technology
South Asia Creative & Layout
Jaycee Urriquia
Therese Matheren Engr. Cielo Panda Video Editor
Senior Editor Junior Editor
North America

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ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 3


Editor's
Note
We are on a mission. Time is run-
ning out and the earth is in danger.
part of the clean energy move-
ment. Find out what engineers are
Who do we call to save the day? Of doing to support renewable energy
course, the everyday heroes we love in Europe, Asia and North Ameri-
to call the engineers! With climate ca. All the featured stories will leave
change and pol-lution posing as you hopeful for a future where re-
dangerous threats to our existence, newable energy can power all of our
it is our role as engineers to make homes, industries and offices.
a change!
Through engineering, each compa-
Coal and fossil fuels power our ny should aspire for a positive envi-
homes and our offices. However, ronmental impact. Every de-cision
both resources play a crucial role to produce, to develop and to inno-
in contributing to global warming. vate must be based on how we can
But recent innovations and develop- improve humanity without sacrific-
ments from engineers have changed ing nature. Let us urge governments
the game in the energy sector. What and industries to aim for a circular
was once impossible for most of us economy. Every country must ad-
is now becoming a part of societys just to a way of life that involves no
reality. Im talking about sustainable waste at all. We are inviting young
clean energy, which includes solar, engi-neers to join this growing
wind, rain, waves and geothermal movement. If you dont have a clue
heat. This recent advantageous de- how to start, be inspired by the vari-
velopment is good for us since it not ous orgs featured in this months
only provides us a cheaper alterna- issue. Who knows, you might be a
tive to non-renewable energy, it also part of them one day.
helps us save the planet from immi-
nent destruction. The GineersNow team believes that
each engineer can create, develop
In the fourth issue of GineersNow, and innovate things that support re-
we offer you a variety of stories and newable energy. Lets show the rest
interviews that focus on renewable of the world that a world powered
energy. We want every engineer only by sustainable clean energy is
who comes across this special issue affordable and definitely possible.
to feel inspired and take action in Its within our reach. We are on a
making a difference in our society. mission to save the planet. Join us.
Weve conducted interviews from Lets be part of the clean energy
different organizations all over the movement. Change is coming.
world, with each organization leav-
ing a message on how you can be

Engr. Alice Hernandez


Senior Editor-at-Large

4 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


CONTENTS
PAGE TITLE PAGE TITLE

08 86
ISES: STRIVING FOR
TRANSFORMATION TO A
2016 NEW ENERGY 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY
PIONEERS FUTURE

10 90
GOING SOLAR:
NATIONS LEADING THE SHIFT MIDDLE EAST NATIONS
TO RENEWABLE ENERGY RENEWABLE ENERGY
TRANSITION WITH MESIA

26 IN SEARCH OF AN
ENERGY MIRACLE 94 MICROSOLAR: BRINGING
RENEWABLE ENERGY TO
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

40 RENEWABLE ENERGY TO
BOOST GLOBAL GDP UP TO
$1.3 TRILLION 100 REN21: DRIVING THE
ENERGY TRANSITION WITH
RENEWABLES

46 104
COVER STORY RENEWABLES 100:
ELON MUSK: HELPING THE WORLD TO
THE REAL IRON MAN OF TRANSITION TO 100%
RENEWABLE ENERGY RENEWABLE ENERGY

58 110
CLEAN ENERGY SWEDISH BIOENERGY
BUSINESS COUNCIL: ASSOCIATION: SAVING
TOWARDS A HUMANITY THROUGH
GREENER WORLD SUSTAINABLE BIOENERGY

64 114
EESI: PROMOTING WBA: MOVING FORWARD IN
CLEAN POWER PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE
THROUGH EDUCATION BIOMASS FOR ENERGY

68 120
EKOENERGY: WWEA: AIMING TO ACHIEVE
REVOLUTIONIZING 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY
SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY
RENEWABLE ENERGY

72 EUROSOLARS QUEST
FOR ENERGIEWENDE
136 TOP 10 WIND ENERGY
COMPANIES

76 147
FIRST SOLAR: CAN ONE TOWER REPLACE A
OFFERING PV ENERGY POWER PLANT?
SOLUTIONS EVERYWHERE ENGINEERS SAY YES!

80 150
CHANGING RENEWABLE JUNE 23 IS
ENERGY PERSPECTIVES NATIONAL WOMEN IN
WITH THE GLOBAL ENGINEERING DAY
WIND ENERGY COUNCIL

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 5


ENGINEERS
UNITE FOR A
RENEWABLE
ENERGY
REVOLUTION
I T H A S B E E N A M A J O R FA C T O R sion and transportation losses so that less prima-
concerning us for quite some years now as it has ry energy is required to provide the same energy
a great impact on our lives, including the way we services.
live, and how our future might come to be. We
need to take imperative steps to prevent such di- Through major improvements in energy efficien-
sastrous climate change. cy, combined with a rapid scale-up in renew-
able energy that rely primarily on technologies
The goal might sound simple, but it actually is a that are already commercially available today,
big task that needs to be accomplished soon. Cli- we could be halfway to an all-renewable world
mate change is not a pollution issue that can be within the next two decades. Gssing in Austria,
improved by simply setting random rules. There Rizhao in China, the Danish island of Sams, and
needs to be a defined set of laws to govern the several other communities are already undergo-
emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to date. We ing revolution to achieve energy transformation,
also need transformation in the entire global en- using combinations of various innovations.
ergy system, as there is no benefit attached with
the release of greenhouse gases. Developed and The world can easily undergo the solar energy
developing nations alike will benefit in numerous transformation since technologies involving the
ways from the transition to an energy-efficient use of solar energy are now available at reason-
and renewable world. able prices. Yes! These are possible, with the price
of solar photovoltaic panels declining over 99
The renewable energy technologies should be percent over the last four decades, and the wind
used to replace the thermal processes (such as energy generation capacity has grown for more
fuel combustion or nuclear power), which in turn than 20 percent over the past decade.
would result in a major reduction in the amount
of primary energy required. There are numerous Thanks to the increasing prices of the fossil fuels
renewable technologies that are well-suited for and rapidly growing safety concerns, the day is
distributed uses, generating fuel, electricity, and not too far when the world will be a globally re-
generating heat. Thereby, reducing the transmis- newable energy user!

6 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Photo by Getty Images

HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD


SHIFT TO CLEAN ENERGY
Who wants clean energy for everyone? We all do! be cheap, what makes it expensive is the infra-
Who in their right minds wouldnt want renew- structure spending. Solar panels and wind mills
able energy thats good for the environment and are expensive to install but once its there, life
cheaper for our consumption? should be a breeze (so to speak).
With climate change taking over our lives, gov- Thats where institutions like the World Bank,
ernments and private companies have invested Asian Development Bank and European Bank
billions of dollars in order to shift from fossil for Reconstruction and Development, play a cru-
fuels into clean renewable sources of energy. cial role in our energy shift. According to repre-
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, sentatives from New Climate Economy:
everybody invested a whopping $329 billion last
year. Unfortunately, that amount is not enough Development banks can take on the risks that
for total clean energy consumption. Ceres, a sus- no other actors are willing to take. ... For every
tainability advocacy group, says that the world $1 [development banks] invest, they can leverage
needs $1 trillion in new investments every year! up to $20 in private finance The markets are
working. The cost of renewables are dropping.
Where in the world can we get $1 trillion? Dont People are seeing the promise to energy efficien-
forget thats $1 trillion for new investments. We cy.
also need money to sustain the amount we pay
for shifting our energy from non-renewable to If governments and major key players in re-
renewable sources of energy! newable energy start focusing on implementing
clean energy in our daily lives, it will give us a
One way to get that money is to have institutions huge relief when we see our bills and we get to
like the World Bank to invest on renewable ener- save the planet, too!
gy. While renewable clean energy is supposed to

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 7


2016
NEW ENERGY
PIONEERS
Being the potential front- ing solar, wind, storage,
Bloomberg runners in revolution-
ized the energy sector, 10
transport, bioenergy, en-
ergy smart technologies
New Energy companies were selected
by the Bloomberg New
and machine learning,
said Michael Wilshire, the
Newlight Technol-
ogies (USA) uses
Finance gives Energy Finance (BNEF)
to be part of this years
selection committee chair
and head of analysis and carbon capture
new list of 10 New Energy Pioneers.
They were recognized at
transformation at BNEF.
He followed, We were
technology to con-
vert greenhouse gas
companies the ninth annual BNEF
Summit in New York
City.
delighted to see the
breadth of innovation
emissions into Air-
Carbon, a high-per-
who have been The listed 10 out of the
that is happening in the
industry and struck by
formance material
that replaces a wide
significant in many applicants from
around the world were
the impact that those or-
ganizations could have on
range of oil-based
plastics by out-com-
forwarding the assessed based on their
potential scale, innova-
the energy system of the
future. We are as always peting on price and
performance.
energy sector. tion and momentum by
an independent panel of
industry experts with the
very grateful to our group
of external judges on the
selection committee who
help of BNEFs analysts had the challenging task
and technology experts. of narrowing the field of
entries to a final set of 10
This year, we were im- winners.
pressed by the very strong
set of candidates we re- Here are the 2016 New SolarKiosk (Germa-
ceived for the New En- Energy Pioneers, as de- ny) offers modu-
ergy Pioneers program, scribed by Renewable En-
and the range of activities ergy Focus. lar off-grid solar
that they cover includ- powered business
centers, enabling
last-mile distribu-
tion of products and
services to un-
tapped markets in
remote rural areas
worldwide.

8 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


The listed 10
out of the many
applicants from
around the
world were
assessed based
on their
potential scale,
innovation and
momentum by
an independent
FirstFuel (USA) panel of
24M (USA) ad-
offers advanced data
analytics and in- industry
dresses the worlds
Sentient Science need for affordable
sights that help im-
prove and optimize
experts with the
(USA) predicts
failures in wind
energy storage with
a new, more cost-ef-
energy consump-
tion in buildings.
help of BNEFs
components before
they happen, using
fective approach
semi-solid lithi- analysts and
materials science um-ion technology. technology
and high perfor-
mance computing experts.
to determine the
earliest point in
time when cracks Emergya Wind
initiate and grow Technologies (The
within rotating met- Netherlands) is rev-
Verdezyne (USA) is olutionising wind
al components. a bio-based chemi- energy by providing
cals company, with localised, distribut-
a synthetic biolo- ed energy, at below
gy platform that grid power pricing,
produces a variety to a wide variety of
of chemicals from customer segments.
renewable, non-
food sources.
Mobisol (Germa-
ny), since 2012, has
equipped more than AutoGrid Systems
40,000 rural homes (USA) is a leading
and businesses with Vigilent (USA) is pi- provider of intel-
solar home systems oneering the use of ligent and scalable
in Tanzania and internet-of-things, software-as-a-ser-
Rwanda making machine learning, vice solutions that
it one of Africas and predictive optimize supply and
largest and fastest analytics to deliver demand flexibility
growing providers dynamic cooling across a diverse
of off-grid solar sys- management in portfolio of distrib-
tems to homes and mission critical uted energy resourc-
businesses. environments such es.
as data centres.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 9


NATIONS
LEADING
THE SHIFT TO
RENEWABLE
ENERGY
Among the many countries Perhaps there may be more inno- If theres anything common
forwarding the use of renewable vations when it comes to alterna- between these eleven countries
energy, eleven lead the world tive energy, but existing devices when it comes to renewable
when it comes to wind, solar, and and systems like solar panels and energy, it would be investments
geothermal power generation wind turbines are sufficient to be coming in from different sectors.
and consumption. These eleven used it only takes initiative from Growth comes fast when there is
nations are included in the almost the countries to use and apply enough support from the govern-
200 countries which signed the them for their own good. The best ment, no matter which renewable
Paris Agreement on December, way to do that is to follow the energy source the nation uses.
committing their country to de- leaders: the said eleven nations But one thing is for sure though:
crease greenhouse gas emissions. who have already made signifi- renewable energy is the future;
cant shift to renewable energy. and the time to make the shift to
renewables and follow the leaders
is now.

10 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


SWEDEN
There is no stopping Sweden to commit to
the ambitious goal of going 100% fossil fu-
el-free, because in 2015, they have already
pushed investments on solar, wind, ener-
gy storage, smart grids and clean trans-
port; and even finding the competition to
do just the same.
Photo by Inhabitat

NICARAGUA
It was in 2007 that Nicaragua, through
their then-president, pushed renewable
energy through investments. In 2012,
they already achieved the fifth-highest
percentage worldwide of its GDP in devel-
oping renewable energy. Until June 2015,
Nicaragua already produced 54% of their
electricity through renewables. The goal
in 2020 is to become 90% dependent on
renewable energy.
Photo by Getty

SCOTLAND
Wind turbines works best in Scotland, as
wind power already produced an equiva-
lent of 97% of Scotlands household elec-
tricity needs in 2015.
Photo by PV Magazine

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 11


COSTA RICA
While other countries are yet to maximize
their renewable energy, Costa Rica al-
ready has 99% of their electricity in 2015
coming from renewables alone. Their
unique geography is to thank for, that they
have committed the whole country to use
hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind,
and other low-carbon sources. This small
country also has an aim to be carbon-neu-
tral by 2021.
Photo by Renew Economy

GERMANY
There was a time when Germany had even
to pay people to use electricity for several
hours because they have too much ener-
gy from renewables. But apart from that
feat, Germany, through their solar power,
has been able to meet up to 78% of a days
electricity demand.
Photo by Rex Features

12 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


URUGUAY
It took less than 10 years for Uruguay to
be 95% dependent with renewable ener-
gy. Their investments in wind and solar
is highly remarkable, considering there is
zero subsidies or increases in consumer
costs. Their government is also commit-
ted to it with their supportive regulatory
environment and strong partnership with
the private sector.

Photo by Reuters

CHINA
Despite being the worlds largest carbon
emitter, China was able to commit in in-
stalling wind energy in 2014, the most in
the world. In the same year, they also had
the second highest installed solar PV ca-
pacity. China is slowly phasing out their
coal.
Photo by Business Insider

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 13


MOROCCO
When Morocco realized that there is so
much potential in solar energy, they just
went for it and have gone big they have
the largest concentrated solar plant in the
world which first phase opened this year.
This is in support with the existing win
and hydro plants, which will propel them
to 50% reliance to renewables by 2020.

Photo by Ecomena

DENMARK
Considered to be a global leader in wind
energy generation, Denmark depended
42% of its electricity in 2015 even with
two wind farms offline. That enabled them
to hold the world record for the highest
percent of wind power ever achieved. But
it doesnt stop there, as Denmark has a
2050 vision of being 100% free from fossil
fuels.

Photo by Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Denmark

14 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


KENYA
Kenya has ramped up their geothermal
energy dependence from 13% of Kenyas
total electricity use in 2010, to 51% in
2015. Kenya also holds a bright future on
wind energy by putting up Africas larg-
est wind farm, set to provide 310 MW of
power which comprises another 20% of
the countrys installed electricity capacity.
Photo by PV Magazine

UNITED
STATES OF
AMERICA
Quite a feat in solar power is that of the
United States of America: in 2014, a new
solar energy system is installed every two
minutes and 30 seconds, which earned
them the fifth place on the installed solar
PV capacity worldwide. Not only does the
US specialize in solar, but also wind: they
have the second highest installed wind
energy capacity in the world. But there is
some imbalance between electricity gen-
eration and demand, with only 13 percent
of the countrys electricity in 2014 coming
from renewables.
Photo by Recharge News

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 15


MEXICAN
RESEARCHER
CREATES
CEMENT
PORTABLE THAT EMITS
SOLAR LIGHT Photo by Phys.org

MOBILE Streetlights are the usual lighting system


used to light up roads, streets, highways,
that cement is an opaque body that doesnt
allow the pass of light to its interior.

CHARGERS and bicycle lanes. However, there is new


a way to light them up without using elec-
tricity. Ph.D Jos Carlos Rubio from Mi-
He said that common cement is a dust
that dissolves when added to water. After
Mobile phones low in charge can die in- choacans University of San Nicolas Hidal- which, it will start to become a gel. At the
stantly. And definitely, the worst situations go, UMSNH in Spanish, was able to create same time, some crystal flakes are formed,
could be anywhere that has no power a light-emitting cement that can last up to these are the unwanted sub-products in
source to plug our chargers. To avoid such 100 years. hardened cement. Because of this, the
situations, you ensure that your phone is researcher focuses on modifying the mi-
completely charged before leaving from According to Dr. Rubio, Nine years ago, cro-structure of the cement to eliminate
any premises so that you dont have to when I started the project, I realized there these crystals and make it pure gel, so it
spend even a second without them. Even was nothing similar worldwide, and so I will be able to absorb solar energy and re-
then, it is tricky to keep the battery going started to work on it. The main issue was turn it to the environment as light.
with all those complimentary apps in your
mobile phone. Your apps are constantly
working and updating themselves, suck-
ing up your data and batterys life. But
what would you do when your phone gets EXTREMELY
discharged halfway and you dont have an
electric charging point? You feel helpless, LIGHTWEIGHT
but not anymore! XD Design has come up
with a powerful solution. SOLAR CELLS
Solar-powered phone chargers have been
launched in the market to make your life
THAT DONT POP
simple and easy. Small and compact in
size, these chargers are aesthetically ap- A BUBBLE
pealing. They are simple and easy to keep
in your purse or glove compartment and As renewables and the Internet of Things considered thin-fil substrate like per-
are also quite convenient with their handy have become the mainstream, the renew- ovskites, quantum dots and other organ-
suction cup. able energy revolution is on its way ac- ic layers. And to demonstrate the light-
cording to a new study at Massachusetts weight solar cells, they draped a working
It can be used anywhere either youre at Institute of Technology. cell on top a soap bubble, without actually
home, on travel, in the car or train. The popping it. Wow!
Window solar charger has a 1.400 mAH It seems like a move to entirely renewable
built in battery which can charge your energy within 20 years is really possible. This is definitely revolutionary. Imag-
smartphone up to 60%. It is very simple to ine the convenience and advancement it
use as you can easily stick it to your win- According to the study of Professor Vlad- could make to all our gadgets and tools if
dow and start capturing the sun energy. imir Bulovic Wang and doctoral student this is mass produced? Well see.
Available with a USB output, the charger Joel Jean published at the Organic Elec-
can easily be connected with any phone tronics, scientist can build light weight yet Stay tuned for more renewable tech up-
cable. efficient solar cells. It has been said to be dates!
of a great magnitude thinner and lighter
as described by Max Shtein of University Photo by MIT
The complete charging time takes up to
13 hours. Charging by this solar powered of Michigan. It has tremendous implica-
mini USB cable reduces the time-taken to tions for maximizing power-to-weight.
approximately 3 hours. A red light indi-
cates that it is still charging. Once the bat- Bulovic told the publication that the key
tery is full, a green light pops up on your to this new concept is making three in
phone. once process which includes the cell, the
substrate and the protective coating. The
The technology is advancing and so does substrate should not be cleaned or be re-
the need to revolutionize our energy re- moved from vacuum during fabrication
sources. Its time that you start choosing process to minimize dust exposure that
solar over the conventional forms of en- can degrade over all solar cell perfor-
ergy! mance.

Photo by XD Design Materials were also meticulously chosen


and tested for production process espe-
cially in the in-line substrate, they also

16 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


PURIFYING WATER FUEL CELLS
THROUGH LEDS CAN NOW BE
Purifying water has traditionally been
through chemicals. Chemical treatments
UV-C LEDs do not use mercury so the
risk of exposure is impossible. UV-C
POWERED BY
dissolve pathogen cells entirely, but cer-
tain downsides like toxicity to aquatic
LEDs also have a start time of a few nano-
seconds and have no on/off limitations,
WASTEWATER
life and creation of harmful by-products which allows for instantaneous disinfec-
have been identified. Other solutions were tion and flexible running times, in com- According to two Virginia Tech re-
discovered, and new treatment evolved, parison with conventional laps which searchers, they have found a way to
a better option, which is the ultraviolet takes 5-10 minutes to warm up to peak maximize the amount of electricity
(UV) treatment. disinfection temperatures. Replacement that could be generated from waste-
intervals are also beneficial with LED water.
But UV treatment also has its issues: con- lamps as they can last to over 10 years.
ventional UV lamps usually have 20-200 According to two Virginia Tech re-
milligrams of mercury, in liquid form The low energy consumption is also an- searchers, they have found a way to
or in an amalgam, and can break during other plus for UV-C LEDs as it only re- maximize the amount of electricity
transportation, handling, and operation, quires low voltage DC. Even a small solar that could be generated from waste-
which are then prone to risk of exposure. panel or battery can perform the disinfec- water. In an article that was published
tion. in Scientific Reports, Xueyang Feng
Now, the concept of using LEDs for wa- and Jason He traced bacteria that let
ter purification emerged. LEDs are almost Applications of this water purification them to discover that the two specific
omnipresent in our devices, and are al- technology will help remote communities substrates could produce more ener-
lowing for longer lives, fast on/off times, to purify water with solar power options. gy than either of them did separately.
and low power consumption. LEDs have The effect of UV-C LEDs reaches those The researchers said that this could
been revolutionized to reach what we call who have a problem with clean water. help in the development of a new
as UV-C LEDs, which will help in purify- treatment system called a microbial
ing our waters. This technology is already on the works fuel cell.
through the BIOWYSE Project, who is
currently working on a device that will Mr. Feng, an assistant professor of
use this technology in water disinfection biological systems engineering said
in the International Space Station. Tracing the bacteria gave us a major
piece of the puzzle to start generating
Photo by Hospitality Net electricity in a sustainable way. This
is a step toward the growing trend to
make wastewater treatment centers
self-sustaining in the energy they use.
The researchers found out that when
lactate and formatethe two sub-
stratescombine, the energy output
is far greater that when they work in-
dividually. They work in tandem with
receptors in fuel cells.

E-WAYS: All you have to do is to move into the re-


charging lane when the electric car runs

CHARGING low on power. When you are done, you


can move back into the regular highway
lane. Thats how simple this new recharg-
LANES FOR ing system is. You can achieve those long
trips with no stops anymore unless you
ELECTRIC are going to take a leak.

CARS E-ways are already operating in a few of


the states in the US like California and
Utah. Pilot applications of E-way projects
If you have an electric car, you probably are also used for bus or trams routs in
know how much of a hassle it is to stop South Korea, Germany, Italy, Netherlands
and recharge every hundred miles or so. United States, and England.
That wouldnt be so much of a problem
anymore once e-ways, or charging lanes Several European countries see how con-
for electric cars, will be implemented venient this technology is which have
around the world. been supported through millions of in-
vestment to advance e-ways.
Photo by Stuff NZ

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 17


THE BID FOR
SOLAR POWER
PROJECTS IS NOW
AS LOW AS GRID-LINKED
2.99 CENTS A SOLAR
KILOWATT-HOUR. GENERATION
CHEAPEST PRICE BID FOR SOLAR POWER - NOW IN DUBAI CAPACITY
IN INDIA
EXCEEDS
Would you believe that the bid for solar People question whether there is money
power projects is now as low as 2.99 cents in this projects considering the bankrupt-
a kilowatt-hour? This is happening in the cy of SunEdison, Inc, the biggest develop-

5,000 MW
United Arab Emirates and is considered to er. Banks are said to doubt whether these
be the lowest price so far. The price is even projects can become good investments.
lower compared to that of a coal-fired gen-

MARK
erator. So far, the company offering the lowest
bid for the Dubai Electricity and Water
In a bid to develop 800 megawatts of so- Authority wasnt named. However, groups
lar-power projects for Dubai Electricity including Masdar Abu Dhabi Future En-
and Water Authority, the 2.99-cents mark ergy Co., Spains Fotowatio Renewable As of January 15, the total grid-connected
shows that bidders are willing to take a Ventures BV and Saudi Arabias Abdul La- solar power generation capacity in India
risk in providing the cheapest solar power. tif Jameel were believed to be some of the has grossed to 5,129.81 MW, as reported
According to Jenny Chase, head of solar bidders for the project. by the Ministry of New and Renewable
analysis of Bloomberg New Energy Fi- Energy.
nance, Nobody knows how its meant to Mexico was the previous record holder for
work. the cheapest price for solar power. Now, The following are the leading grid-con-
the 2.99-cent price is 15 percent lower nected capacity according to state:
than the previous record.
Rajasthan 1,264.35 MW
Gujarat 1,024.15 MW
Madhya Pradesh 678.58 MW
Tamil Nadu 418.94 MW
Maharashtra 378.7 MW
Andhra Pradesg 357.34 MW
Telangana 342.39 MW
Punjab 200.32 MW
Uttar Pradesg 140 MW
However, there are states that need to step
up their capacity:
West Bengal 7.21 MW
Uttarakhand 5 MW
Haryana 12.8 MW
Indian government aims to have 175,000
MW of power generation capacity from
renewable sources, including 100,000
MW from solar and 60,000 from wind, by
2022. There is still a long way to go, but
given the circumstances there is a silver
lining.
Under the National Solar Mission, the
government increased the solar power
generation capacity addition target by five
times to 100 GW last year.
Photo by Economic Times

18 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


SOLAR
ENERGY
FOR LESS
In a world full of blossoming technology, code unlocking the system and off they
astonishingly over 1.6 billion people still go. Wait, theres more! Over a 2 to 3 year
lack access to electricity. A new company, period a portion of each prepayment goes
Simpa Networks, has come up with a con- toward the full cost of the unit. Once this
cept to address the concern of the Indian is paid the unit unlocks permanently and
people. Their market of choice is the 400 consumer has free electricity until the unit
million homes in India with no access or lasts (said to be about 10 years).
limited access to electricity. The technol-
ogy is very simple, a 40-watt solar panel This brilliant billing system tackles the
linked to a 26aH battery that can power huge problem of affordability by pulling
2-3 LED lights or charge a mobile phone. the cost of acquisition and operation of
The innovation comes in the form of how energy within the cost band of traditional
this is marketed to the consumer. kerosene lighting or diesel power gener-
ation. Though Simpa is a relatively new
Developing a concept used first by mobile player, I think many will be following the
phone companies called satchel market- company as the concept could well be
ing, Simpa Networks charge the consum- applied to first world markets too. Possi-
er a small initial fee to acquire and install bly ending the need for a grid in the first
their solar kit. The consumer prepays place? Think of the huge advances made
in 5,10 and 50 rupee increments bought in battery technology and the advances
through their mobile phone. Power is ac- made not only in solar but mini wind gen-
cessed by code inputted through keypad eration tech. Soon enough, you may well
on the system. The consumer enters the be dealing with a company like Simpa too.
Photos by Simpa Networks

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 19


SOLAR ENERGY CO2 CAN NOW NEW
GENERATED BE TURNED INTO DESALINATION
FROM STREETS SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY
CONCRETE IN THE WORKS
IN QATAR

SolaRoad, a Dutch technology that al- Researchers at the University of Cali- Membrane distillation is an emerging de-
lows solar pannels to be used in roadway fornia, Los Angeles (UCLA) have found salination technology, and Qatar Univer-
projects made Caltrans Director Malcolm a new method of making concrete ce- sity College of Engineering (QU-CENG)
Dougherty interested and has announced mentby making use of limestone and is up for the challenge to forward this field.
a plan to coordinate with Netherlands CO2.
Vice President Elisabeth Post. Dougherty The research project led by QU-CENG
wanted to develop more sustainable op- Concrete production accounts for 5% of chemical engineering professor Dr. Farid
tions for harnessing the application power CO2 emissions produced globally. So, the Benyahia, with the funding from Con-
of solar energy in transportation infra- research team wanted to take the oppor- ocoPhillips pioneered a process called
structure. tunity to make a cement substitute from membrane distillation desalination. The
captured carbon from power plants. The project has discovered that a hydrophobic
Having implemented already in Kromme- teams method uses CO2 given off during membrane disallows salty water to pass
nie, North Holland last November 2014, the calcination process, wherein it is cap- through and allows fresh water vapour to
solar cells with a translucent top layer of tured and combined with calcium hy- permeate and condense. Requirements of
tempered glass are constructed on the droxide to be able to recreate limestone. this process are minimal to a low tempera-
roads in this SolaRoad project. The con- They were able to construct 5cm cones of ture feed of salty water, often not exceed-
crete panels allow for the sunlight hitting cement substitute, CO2NCRETE, which ing 80 C, and low usage of atmospheric
the streets to be converted into electricity were shaped using 3D printing. pressure.
for street lights, electric vehicles, traffic
systems and even in households. According to associate professor in civil The process has been tested in two pilot
and environmental engineering at UCLA plants at the Ras Bou Fantas power and
Both California and The Netherlands Gaurav Sant, while cement production re- desalination plant and got promising re-
have exerted efforts to push zero-emission sults in CO2, if it is possible to reutilize it sults. The tests showed that membrane
transportation and energy development to make a building material which could properties need to be improved for long-
in terms of sales. In addition, both parties be a new kind of cement, then its an op- term usage and to combine thermal inte-
have performed programs that will limit portunity. gration with existing chemical processes
the effects of climate change through re- in Qatar. This will exploit low-grade heat
duction of green house gases and genera- The big challenge we foresee with this is being dissipated into the environment,
tion of renewable energy. were not just trying to develop a building which in turn, will reduce energy con-
material. Were trying to develop a process sumption for fresh water production, thus
Photos by Symposiet solution, an integrated technology which cheaper water.
goes right from CO2 to a finished prod-
uct. Sant said. Photos by The World Folio

Photos by UCLA

20 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


NEXT ENERGY POWER YOUR
TECHNOLOGIES SMARTPHONES
DEVELOP WITH PEE
SMART
WINDOWS

Soon, buildings and windows will be help- The next time you pee in the toilet, you Aside from electricity, urine is also con-
ing out in energy conservation. may want to remember that your pee verted to clean water after it is processed
could power your smartphones. with microbes, protons and oxygen.
This is the goal of one Goleta startup
the Next Energy Technologies. They aim Yes, you heard that right. No, you dont Dont expect too much from it yet. The
to channel solar power through special- necessarily pee on it. amount of electricity produced by the cells
ly-engineered windows as a source of re- is just in the microwatts level. In order to
newable energy. Researchers have pondered whether pee produce more energy (to make it use-
can be used as an energy source. Now, ful), the research team ran a total of eight
According to the companys design so theres a study in the Bristol Robotics Lab- MFCs in a certain manner that produced
far, Next Energy Technologies windows oratory (a collaboration of University of around 642 mV, 206 W and 312 A. Ac-
can produce 20 percent of a commercial Bristol and University of the West of En- cording to them, this output is enough to
buildings power needs on average. gland) that proved that they can generate charge a Samsung mobile phone.
power using a urine-powered cell. Think
After winning UC Santa Barbaras Tech- of how much your electric bill would According to Dr. Ieropoulos, urine is ef-
nology Management Program New Ven- lessen if you use your pee to charge your fective in creating energy because of the
ture Competition in 2010, they are finally phones. Awesome, right? amount of organic matter it has. With
moving from research phase to commer- its organic level, electrical conductivity
cial productionthis is their goal for Ioannis Ieropoulos led his BioEnergy and acidity, urine is able to power smart-
2018. team in creating this urine-powered cell phones. However, if more power is needed
to convert someones pee into electrical to be produced in this fuel cells, the pee
According to CEO and cofounder Daniel energy. They even have a term coined for must contain higher amounts of protein
Emmet, Theyre smart buildings. Win- it urine-tricity. With an annual pro- content. Increasing the protein content
dows are going from being a passive part duction of 6.4 trillion liters of urine, these may lead to kidney damage.
of buildings to active. Its an exciting time researchers want to convert it into useful
for buildings. energy by processing it with its microbial Photos grabbed from YouTube
fuel cells (MFCs). These cells contain live
Most commercial buildings will be able to microbes where it consumes the urine and
earn back their investment within a year eventually, frees electrons. These electrons
of installation, he noted. are collected by the electrodes in the cell
and generate electricity by connecting it
According to Emmet, Next Energy Tech- to an external circuit.
nologies is continuing to raise its series B
round of funding, they are already half-
way towards their $7 Million goal thanks
to the help of local investors and family
offices.
Photos by Noozhawk

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 21


SHOES THAT PRODUCE
ELECTRICITY CREATED
BY ENGINEERING
STUDENTS IN VIETNAM
I am guilty of complaining everyday about What about studying his lessons under a
traffic jams and unruly motorist. I cannot decent lamp? What about driving away
tolerate getting stuck on the road, and disease carrying insects?
wasting my time travelling from my office
to home. I hate staring blankly at the tail- Engineering students from the Ho Chi
lights of the car before me, wishing my car Minh City University of Technology, with
just flew. the support of socially responsible compa-
nies, have developed a way to convert the
Sitting in front of my computer now, kinetic energy spent by the Vietnamese
counting the hours till its time to go students in walking to usable electricity.
home, I am again bracing myself for the They invented the Green Cross Kinet-
arduous journey home. I am imagining ic Energy Shoes that charges integrated
my route, thinking about how I can outwit batteries while the children walk home.
the other motorist in the race to an ear- Upon reaching home, the children can
ly dinner and a longer TV time. Then, I pull the batteries out of the shoes and use
stumbled upon a video, which first frame them to power battery-operated lanterns.
was a boy walking towards somewhere, With light, the children can study their
which I reckon was home. lessons or help in household chores. The

PAVING THE Like millions of others around the


world, opened the video, in Vietnam
family members will be able to at least see
each others faces and spend some quality
time together over dinner or before going
ROADS OF many children have to walk long distanc-
es to and from school every day. Okay, I
told myself, thinking that it would actually
to bed.
My takeaway is that sometimes, we waste
FRANCE WITH be better for me to walk home, or may-
be jog, and maybe reach at the same time
much of our energy whining about things
that we cant change, like the everyday

1,000 KM
as when I drove. It would be healthier for traffic. Sure, we all have the right to get
my body, and I would not have to spend pissed off about spending hours on the
an additional hour at the gym since my road, but shall we not find comfort in the

SOLAR PANELS workout would have been done.


Often where they live there is no power,
thought of reaching a decent home? For
the Vietnamese children living in rural
areas, just having light at home is already
so by the time they get home its near- a luxury. And they dont complain about
In Frances efforts to turn into renewable ly dark, continued the video. Uh-oh, I how long their journey is no minute of
energy, the country allots 1,000 km (621 told myself, no TV? Then, I realized that walking is considered wasted because
miles) of their road to be paved with du- maybe TV should be the least of that boys every step they make brings them closer
rable photovoltaic panels to supply renew- worries when he reaches home. What to a bright future.
able energy to 5 million people, about 8 about light? What about cooking food?
percent of the countrys population.
It is a product of collaborative research
from Colas, a French road construction
company, and the National Institute of So-
lar Energy. This will hit the history books
as the first time that solar panels will be
installed in public roads, to be applied on
top of existing roads without having to al-
ter such roads.
The patented panel design is called the
Wattway, overall 7 mm thick. It is made
of a thin film of polycrystalline silicon,
coated in a resin substrate to make them
stronger. This enables them to grip more
than other solar road panels and reduc-
es risk of accidents. The panels are also
weatherproof.
The company estimates that a 20-square
meter of Wattway panels can power a sin-
gle French home, excluding heating.
Top photo by Colas
Bottom photo by Science Alert

22 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Photo by Fast Company Photo by Inhbitat

MUSICAL
INSTRUMENT
THAT GENERATES
ELECTRICITY
There are a thousand and one ways to chance of a better education and also ac-
describe music. Immersive. Riveting. cess to services like the revolutionary mo-
Awe-inspiring. Hell, music could really be bile phone banking system, M-PESA. She
indescribable at all. Music is what it is to said that based on the tests, SPARK had
its listener, so even if two people are lis- proven to be useful to the communities,
tening to the same musical piece, the emo- and that the villagers had all embraced the
tions it may excite may be different. technology.
Did you, know, however, that there is a During the testing phase, she said, the
percussion instrument that literally gives people who have tried SPARK said that
of electrifying music? Aptly called it was useful because they had light in
SPARK, this instrument can harness elec- the evenings, which they used for do-
tricity as it is played, so it can be used to ing homework, household chores and
power small electric devices, like a plug-in for lighting their way home in the dark.
light or a mobile phone, at a later time. As Kheterpal said that SPARK would enable
SPARK is played, a magnet moves back- children and their families to eliminate
wards and forwards through the centre of the need for dangerous kerosene light, and
a solenoid, a coil of copper wire. A current provide light for women and girls in ar-
is induced in the loops of wire and each eas where sexual abuse is a huge problem.
time the magnet slides through, it charges Because it can also charge mobile phones,
up a rechargeable battery. With its current SPARK can also facilitate the connection
generation, 12 minutes of shaking SPARK of families living in rural Kenya to medi-
gives an hour worth of electricity. cal help or banking services.
Project Leader Sudha Kheterpal, a band The concept of SPARK is based on the
percussionist featured on records and heart, said Kheterpal, the seat of power
tours of global musical artists the likes of for the human body, a symbol of strength
the Spice Girls and Dido, said that a pro- and courage and what connects us all as
totype of SPARK had been tested in vari- a global community. SPARK takes cues
ous communities in Kenya. In places like from a flint stone, which she said was a
Kenya, where 75% of the population live symbol of a new beginning; the birth of a
without access to electricity, said Kheter- powerful new source of energy.
pal, having the ability to read at night or
charge up a mobile phone gives people the

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 23


HOME BATTERIES
SUPPLY ELECTRICITY
TO THE GRID
Ambri has made great progress by pro- Another factor that has to be considered
ducing grid energy storage that can pro- in truncating the cost of compelling bat-
vide long-lasting power. The storage of en- tery technologies is the reduction of the
ergy, like wind and solar power - with the cost of production. The manufacturing
help of the battery technologies that are process of Ambri is very simple. Ambri
available today, are very expensive. Nev- places the metal plucks as well as the salt
ertheless, new technologies that are being electrodes in a stainless steel cell. The di-
invented today are coming at low prices mension of each cell is four square inch-
and they are making sure that there is an es. The Chief Technological Officer of the
extensive use of renewable energy. company mentions the production pro-
cess can be made automatic.
Ambris effort changes the dimension of
technology and makes it amazingly cool. The executives of Ambri have mentioned
They make use of liquid metals like elec- that they are aiming to bring down the
trodes. It also uses a salt electrode to make cost of battery below $500 per kilo-
products that are economic. Ambri mani- watt-hour. In such a case surplus wind
fests that the project developers of renew- energy will be stored in the night and then
able energy are gaining confidence and are will be sold off during the day or can help Photo by Technology Review
ready to develop new technologies for the meet demands of the peak hours. The de-
storage of energy. mand for these types of batteries is very
high in California and New York.
Ambri is one of the companies that have
taken a vow of establishing a technical

THIS NEW BATTERY


breakthrough that would cut down the
cost of storing energy on grids. There are
various start-ups that have come up with
batteries that are low-priced because they
have built materials that are available in
huge quantities.
STORES RENEWABLE
ENERGY FOR
LONGER USE
Sorrel Technology has created the Sorrel By heating up a combination of everyday
Heat Battery, a Battery that replicates the metals surrounded by a state of the art
way the earths core stores heat in order to ceramic casing, which keeps the metals
store large amounts of energy for almost hot, the battery is able to store energy. The
anything from a few days to few months. whole device is covered by a protective
The way energy is stored nowadays is what safety covering. They use innovative sold-
hinders us to adopt to renewable energy. state heat transfer to release the stored
Renewable energy sourcesprimarily heat either to create steam, or heat up gas-
sun and wind are intermitted sources. es which will turn drive turbines, and be
Nowadays, consumers have to use their able to generate electricity.
energy as they are generated, since there
is no way to store the energy at scale to be This is the first time ever it has been pos-
used later. sible to store large amounts of energy in
a readily reusable form, said John Sene-
Sorrel Technology believed that their schall, a spokesperson for Sorrel Technol-
new technology solves this problem. The ogy. We know this makes energy derived
battery stored energy in its purest form from solar and wind the energy of the fu-
heat. The devices metal core is heated up ture. Its now a case of no sun, no wind,
to 1750 degrees Celsius, and remains hot no problem. The Sorrel Heat Battery can
for many months. This heat can be used to store energy for months. At the flick of a
create power whenever it is needed. It is a switch it can be producing electricity as
clean, safe and very cost-effective accord- and when its needed, in the most environ-
ing to the company. mentally sound way imaginable.
The Sorrel heat battery have different siz-
es: small units (for mobile uses); medi-
um-sized units for domestic applications;
and large units to power whole commu-
nities.

24 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


CLEAN ENERGY FROM LET
BACTERIA-POWERED LEFTOVERS
SOLAR PANELS POWER
YOUR
HOUSE
One of the single biggest landfills in the
U.S. is just for food waste. Americans
throw 40% of their food as leftover and
that is about $640 per household annually.
Worse, they dont care how it affects the
environment according to a survey from
American Chemistry Council.
The government plans to address the issue
by testing out new ways to convert leftover
and other organic materials into biogas.
Food decomposition produces methane,
a greenhouse gas contributing to global
warming but can be used as fuel. It can be
a renewable energy to produce electricity.
Just this January, Philadelphia mandated
constructing in-sink disposal to pulver-
ize food waste from household drains.
They will run through the city pipes and
to a facility that will process the fertilizer
products into biogas. This will save a few
Photo by Science Daily landfill truck trips for about $3 million
trucking costs.
Clean energy can now be generated from The researchers interconnected nine Philadelphia was said to invest $50 million
bacteria! For the first time ever, research- identical bio-solar cells in a 3x3 pattern on its anaerobic digesters where biogas is
ers connected nine biological solar cells, to make a scalable as well as stackable produced. Washington D.C. was also said
also known as bio-solar cells into a bio-so- bio-solar panel. This panel continuously to spend $400 million in installing its new
lar panel. They then produced electricity generated electricity from photosynthesis digester for wastewater treatment facility
from the panel and were able to generate and respiratory activities of the bacteria in in 2014.
5.50 microwatts. This amount of energy 12-hour day and night cycles in 60 total
is greater than any existing small-scale hours. It is indeed a good source of renewable
bio-solar cells. energy as you constantly have a feed stock
However, a traditional 60-cell solar panel according to Amanda Bilek, government
This research uses cyanobacteria, a kind of on a roof of a residential house can gener- affairs and communications director at
bacteria that can easily be found in every ate 200 watts of electrical power. The cells the Great Plains Institute, a green energy
terrestrial and aquatic habitat on the plan- from this study can only generate around firm.
et. This bacteria can be used as a source of 0.00003726 watts. So as of now it isnt that
clean and sustainable energy. efficient yet. But this breakthrough can
open doors to future research and im-
provements that can lead to success in this
kind of energy generation.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 25


In Search of an
Energy Miracle

Bill Gates shares his insights on the


energy challenges facing the world today,
and sounds his ideas on what can be
done to resolve them.

26 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


If you are reading this article on your mobile, tablet or
laptop, then consider yourself lucky. And not only for
Providing Them
having the opportunity to imbibe the nuggets of wisdom Electricity is Important
enlaced in it, but also, and primarily, for the chance of
reading it on an electric-powered device. Many of the worlds un-connected come from rural areas
in Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, as emerging regions,
For most of us, it shall be easy to take for granted the Africa and Asia are facing other challenges, such as
presence of electricity in our lives. Some of us are just insufficient food security, inadequate health services,
used to watching TV or listening to the radio, dozing off and public infrastructure underdevelopment, aside
while reading under the light of a bedside lamp, surfing from limited access to electricity. These aforementioned
the Internet to connect with friends or research for an items often command the attention of the government
assignment, or plugging mobile phones and seeing them and key stakeholders, so that access to electricity
fully charged in the morning. For most of us, electricity frequently takes a backseat.
is ubiquitous, unobtrusive, that we forget that its even
thereuntil its gone. However, the importance of having reliable electricity
can never be overstated. With electricity, farmers can
Imagine for a moment that your computer, mobile or grow more food, hospitals and clinics can operate more
tablet shuts off at this point. Perhaps the power went efficiently, and roads and bridges can be built more
out, or your mobile gadgets ran out of juice. What would quickly. Though not absolutely, a reliable electricity
you do? I am guessing scramble (read panic) to find the can help solve many of the challenges confronting the
fault and make your device work again. Long-press worlds emerging economies, and its high time access to
the power button? Check the plug if its still engaged? electricity gets its share of the spotlight.
Connect your gadget to a charger? For sure.
Now, your device works again. Am I hearing a sigh of With Clean Electricity,
relief? Yes. Good for you. Now, go on reading. Life Will Get Better
If in that short span of (imaginary) time, you felt helpless for the Worlds Poor
and unsettled with the thought of not having electricity
to power your gadget, imagine what 1.3 billion people One of the staunchest advocates of providing sustainable
who do not have access to electricity feel? electricity to the poor is Microsoft founder, billionaire

Bill Gates. Through his 2016 Annual Letter, published


on www.gatesnotes.com last February, Gates said that if
Millions of the worlds poorest one wanted to help the worlds poorest families (as it is
families derive their living from usually the poor that is adversely affected by the absence
of reliable electricity), one had to find a way to provide
farming, and the changes in them with clean electricity that they could afford. He
weather patterns spurred by underlined clean, so that the electricity provided to the
poor would not further contribute to climate change.
climate change affect the growth And what does climate change have to do with poor


of their crops, hence their income people, you ask? Much, and its effects are direct. Poor
and the food on their table.. people, despite being the least responsible for emitting
harmful gases that lead to climate change, are often
the most severely affected by it. Millions of the worlds
Some of them have electricity for a few hours a day, some poorest families derive their living from farming, and
have never experienced what it is like to have power. the changes in weather patterns spurred by climate
change affect the growth of their crops, hence their
Imagine, these people dont have electricity to cook their income and the food on their table. Thus, climate
food, so they burn wood inside their houses; families do change, on top of a limited access to electricity, sinks
not have refrigerators, so they eat spoiled food (if they them deeper into poverty.
are lucky to have food); children do not have light under
where they can read, so they study beside a candle or In order to avoid long-term adverse changes to the
not study at all; fathers and mothers go home from work worlds climate, scientists say that we have to cut
traversing dark roads or pathways, putting themselves our GHG emissions by as much as 80% by 2050, and
in real danger. completely eliminate them by the end of the century.
This may be a herculean order, in light of the fact that in
This is what life is for 18% of the worlds population, 2015 alone, the world emitted 36 billion tons of carbon
and I am afraid it is not imaginary. dioxide to produce energy. How is it even remotely
possible that we can reduce 36 billion tons (and expected
to grow year on year) to zero, nil, nada, niente?
Gates has a simple yet masterful illustration of how the
world might get its CO2 emissions down to zero.
He explained that CO2 is a product of four factors:
P (population), S (services used by each person), E
(energy needed to provide each of those services) and
C (carbon dioxide, which is produced by E). Gates said
that in order to reduce CO2 to zero, one of the factors
should be zero. Simple multiplication, isnt it?

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 27


He explained that CO2 is a
product of four factors:
P (population), S (services used
by each person), E (energy
needed to provide each of those
services) and C (carbon dioxide,
which is produced by E). Gates
said that in order to reduce CO2
to zero, one of the factors should
be zero. Simple multiplication,
isnt it?

But, reducing one of the factors to zero may be easier environmentally friendly technologies, carbon-free
said than done. P cannot be zero, as it would mean wed energy was already possible. Green technologies are
all be dead. But seriously, population is expected to truly gaining traction and are becoming cheaper as
increase in the coming years, so there will be no way more people embrace them, but there is still wriggle
that it can be brought down to zero (unless a catastrophe room for innovation.
happens, and wed all be wiped out like what happened
to the dinosaurs). Green energy sources like solar and wind are


intermittent, and technologies running on them should
In order to avoid long-term still be optimized to become a reliable prime source of
electrical power. Provisions for storing solar or wind
adverse changes to the worlds power will greatly help the cause, but available energy
storage technologies remain prohibitive.
climate, scientists say that we
have to cut our GHG emissions Therefore, even as green energy technologies are
fast developing, Gates called on his readers to feed in
by as much as 80% by 2050, and thousands more of new ideas, even ones that might
completely eliminate them by the sound a little crazy. He called to mind Thomas Edison,


who successfully found 10,000 ways that would not
end of the century. work. He said that in order to find thousands of ideas
that would not work, people have to try thousands of
S cannot be zero, because it actually has to go up to ideas, and in his opinion, this was not happening at
improve the living conditions of the poor. So, S as zero present.
is out of the question.
He also called upon governments to spark new advances,
Efficient use of E has made inroads in recent years, but much like what they had done for other scientific
industry experts still predict that energy use will go up research, like cancer treatment, outer space travel and
by 50% in 2050. So, it cannot come to naught. the Internet.

And were down to C, the amount of carbon emitted Gates recognized that energy research and transition
per unit of energy. Gates said that with the advent of to new energy sources takes decades, so he urged
stakeholders to roll up their sleeves now.

28 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Let Us Be the Miracle
Theres no denying the enormous magnitude of the
energy problem that our world currently faces. But, as
big as the gap is the opportunity that comes with it. If the
world successfully finds a viable solution to the energy
challenges and to the other issues that branch out of
them, it would change the lives of millions of the worlds
poorest people.
To close his letter, Gates sounded his optimism, as
he said that he remained positive for he had seen
miracles happen before. He said miracles did not
happen by chance; they were products of research and
development, and the human capacity to innovate. Im
so optimistic about the worlds ability to make a miracle
happen that Im willing to make a prediction, he said.
Within the next 15 yearsand especially if young
people get involvedI expect the world will discover a


clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and
power our world. Within the next 15 yearsand especially
Like Gates, we have all witnessed miracles at some if young people get involvedI expect
point in our lives. Who would have thought that we can
watch people and events through a box with a screen?
the world will discover a clean energy
breakthrough that will save our planet and


That we can put a computer inside our pockets? That
we can speak to our loved ones thousands of miles away
in real time? That people will get cured of previously
power our world.
incurable diseases? Without prejudice to religion, I say
that we humans can make miracles happen. Theres no
better time than now. And if its not much to ask, can we
be the miracle?

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 29


CAN NUCLEAR
HELP THE
INTEGRATION OF
RENEWABLES?

Craig Morris, author and editor of Re- According to his data analysis, French 7AM to 40GW at 2PM. Without the 9
newables International, released data nuclear does not facilitate the integra- GW of exports, the German conven-
analysis to determine if nuclear helps tion of wind and solar in neighboring tional power would be pushed down to
in the integration of renewable energy. countries, it clogs up the grid and re- 30 GW, which is the reason for the big
duces flexibility. exports.
French nuclear exports help Germa-
ny, the UK, Italy and Spain accelerate In contrast to this, the production of Also, France prefers to sell electricity
their renewable uptake, writes shale solar power from 9am to 3pm in con- at low prices at times of low demand
gas proponent Nick Grealy. What do ventional power plants in Germany are instead of ramping down their nuclear
the data show? Morris quoted Grealy at a modest levelconventional gen- power plants.
on the website. eration is usually around 50GW from
Photo by Extreme Tech

30 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


CYCLING YOUR WAY
INTO A FULL BATTERY
CHARGE FOR YOUR
SMARTPHONE

Think that your bike is the coolest one mean that you will be soaring in the
in the block? Think again after you skies above us mere mortals though.
have laid your eyes on the Levitation. The maglev tech is powered by the ki-
It looks exactly what it is supposed to netic energy of the bike. The tech sim-
be and that is a futuristic bike con- ply lifts up the bike so as to decrease
cept. Designed by Dezien, this bike is wind resistance. This allows you to
the pipe dream of a cyclist or a tech move faster. Additionally, it will also
enthusiast. reduce the shocks from bumps and
debris on the roads.
The list of features that Levitation
possesses is as extensive as it is im- Another cool feature is certainly the
pressive. It features a Wi-Fi hotspot, a energy feature. As you cycle, the en-
battery that is charged by the motion ergy of the motion is captured and
of the bike, a USB port for charging stored in batteries. You can use that
The Levitation is a futuristic devices and a LED screen for starters. electrical energy of the batteries to
Have we missed anything? Oh! It can power up your devices such as your
bicycle concept designed by levitate as well. smartphones and any other device
that supports the USB standard.
Dezien that converts the bikes Wait. What? Yes. You got that right. Dezien also claims that the batteries
motion into electrical energy for This bike is capable of levitating which
is also the reason why it has been
will be capable of charging an elec-
tric car. However, so far, no electric
charging devices. named Levitation. The name should car supports the USB standard. That
have given it away though. The abil- would be a cool sight to see nonethe-
Photos by Dezien ity to levitate has been made possible less. Imagine charging your car with a
by the implementation of magnetic cycle! That would be interesting!
levitation technologies. This does not

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 31


ENGINEERING STUDENTS
CREATE PROTOTYPE FOR
SOLAR THERMAL
ADSORPTION REFRIGERATOR
Engineering students from the Univer- Sustainability Energy Award and ar-
sity of Dayton won three awards at the chitecture and consulting firm organi-
USA Science and Engineering Festival cARCHITECTs Vituvius.
in Washington, D.C., for creating a de-
vice that will soon operate without us- According to the groups advisor and
ing electricity and provide eco-friendly assistant professor of mechanical en-
refrigeration in areas that lack electric- gineering, Jun-Ki Choi The groups
ity. They created a prototype of a Solar prototype model showed one suc-
Thermal Adsorption Refrigerator. cessful replacement of a conventional
fridge with this technology can achieve
This team was supported by a U.S. up to 22 tons of lifetime carbon diox-
Environmental Protection Agency ide emission reduction. Thats equal
People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) to emissions from three typical U.S.
grant. The team won the American households in a year. Even a small per-
Society of Civil Engineerings Sus- centage of the proposed technology
tainability Development Award, the being adopted can significantly reduce
Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Societys environmental impacts worldwide.
Photo by Twitter

32 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


UNDERGROUND
BATTERIES WHICH
WILL HELP SAVE
THE ENVIRONMENT

Photo by Lawrence
Livermore National
Laboratory

Climate change is a big problem reduce CO2 but a way to harness batteries underground for future
that the world steadily faces and energy from it as well. consumption with their paper
one of the main factors that affect entitled Earth Battery. Thomas
this is the enormous amount of A group of scientists from the Buscheck, author of the paper and
CO2 in our environment. There Lawrence Livermore National leader of the LLNL Geochemical,
have been numerous projects Laboratory (LLNL), the Univer- Hydrological and Environmen-
that hope to lessen the amount of sity of Minnesota, tech firm Ter- tal Sciences Group described the
CO2 in our system but none had raCOH, and Ohio State University project as a cost-effective way to
an idea like this team of scientists have come together with a pos- store the energy long enough so it
who proposed not only a way to sible solution to store CO2 into can be used later.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 33


New York Horizon
Photo by Evolo

7
FUTURISTIC
SKYSCRAPERS
THAT BATTLE
GLOBAL
WARMING
In the technological world we live in today, global
warming is known as the number one environ-
mental enemy. This is why many researchers and
engineers have come up with different high tech
innovations to help improve our worlds environ-
mental situation. It started with solar powered
gadgets, then came electric cars, and now archi-
tects are bringing their ideas to a larger scale. This
year, architects from around the world are to de-
sign skyscrapers that can help the environment at
the eVolo skyscraper design competition.

Valley of the Giants Bio-Pyramid


Photo by Engadget Photo by Engadget

34 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Global Cooling Skyscraper Data Tower
Photo by Paolo Venturella Architecture Photo by Evolo

Urban Earth Worm Hydra Tower


Photo by Face Pla Photo by Inhabitat

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 35


PROS AND PROS
CONS OF
Geothermal energys advantages are mainly because it is generated
cleanly and renewably. Electricity that is generated by geothermal
plants dont produce carbon emissions unlike burning coal, gas and

GEOTHERMAL
oil, they produce air pollution.
A country can reduce costs of importing fuel by using geothermal en-
ergy since this results in the generation of clean, domestic electricity.

ENERGY Therefore, there is no need for importing foreign resources.

Photo by Pixabay

36 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


CONS
Geothermal energy has its disadvantages as well. Geothermal energy
production can release chemical gases like hydrogen sulfide, which
smells like rotten eggs. This gas turns into SO2 or sulfur dioxide, a
gas that can contribute to heart and lung issues if inhaled. This is true
only for open-loop geothermal systems. Closed loop geothermal sys-
tems dont release hydrogen sulfide. Open system also releases other
gases such as ammonia, CO2, methane, and boron.
However, the amount of hydrogen sulfide released from open sys-
tem geothermal facilities is still far less than those produced by coal
plants.
Some geothermal plants also generate mercury, which has to be dis-
posed of properly.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 37


India Builds
the Largest
Floating Solar
Power Plant
Photo by Headway Solar

Worlds
First Plant
to Convert
Desalination
Wastewater into
Freshwater
Photo by Veolia North America

Worlds
Largest
Solar Plant
at Risk for a
Shut Down
Photo by The Atlantic

38 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Indian economy is all set to lead the world at the lake near the Sendra tourist resort
with the worlds largest floating solar pow- of Loktak Lake and will be implemented
er station ready to be installed at Loktak under the program for off-grid and decen-
Lake, the largest fresh water lake in North tralized solar applications of the Ministry
East India, in Manipur. A 10-Megawatt of New and Renewable Energy.
(MW) plant was installed in December
2014 at a waterbody in Rajarhat New Aside from helping the Manipur Renew-
Town by the city-based Arka Ignou Com- able Energy Development Agency (MAN-
munity College of Renewable Energy. It IREDA) in the finalization of work orders,
generates about 10 KWP solar power each the college will be providing the requisite
day. The new plant at Loktak Lake in Ma- technical assistance such as fixing the
nipur is a 100-kilowatt (KW) facility and detail design parameters, drawings and
is already yielding encouraging results. specifications for the project.

The floating solar power plant at Loktak With only two other countries, Japan and
Lake in Manipur is all set to become the Australia, having floating solar plants,
countrys largest and only second float- these are a rarity across the globe. India is
ing solar panel installation. It is installed now all set to be in the league!

A certain commercial water plant in Tex- EWM awarded Veolia a 10-year oper-
as plans to convert wastewater from the ations and maintenance agreement for
desalination process into fresh drinking them to manage EWMs commercial water
water, extract contaminants and convert- plant in El Paso.
ing them into reusable mineral products,
as well as boost the drinking water supply According to EWM CEO Hubble Haus-
of El Paso. man Waste brine disposal has long been
the Achilles heel of inland desalination
Global water and waste giant Veolia and facilities. Our El Paso project will demon-
Enviro Water Minerals (EWM), a compa- strate that it is possible to produce mul-
ny which commercializes technology to tiple marketable chemical and mineral
recover minerals discharged in wastewater products from the waste brine while in-
from desalination plants, have created a creasing the recovery of potable water and
partnership to make this wastewater proj- eliminating waste.
ect possible.
The EWM plant is scheduled to begin op-
According to these two companies, this erations in early 2017
new water treatment plant is the first of its
kind, globally.

A $2.2 billion solar power project in Cali- create steam. Their unconventional sys-
fornia, the largest in the world, is recently tem was put into hot water by environ-
on shaky ground for being unable to meet mentalists for burning thousands of birds
its expected power output to deliver to to death; and now much to the delight of
Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern Cali- their critics, the plant is near shut down
fornia Edison. This has put Ivanpah power for failing to produce the required power.
plant in a position at risk for a shutdown if
they dont redeem themselves in the one- Another issue that this power plant has
year allowance given to them. faced is its much more expensive electric-
ity compared to the conventional power
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating plants that acquire solar energy from pho-
System generates electricity through its tovoltaic cells. They have a year to turn
170,000 mirrors planted on the ground this all around if Ivanpah doesnt want to
which reflects sunlight to 450-foot high be forced to go into dark.
towers with boilers that is heated up to

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 39


Achieving a 36 per cent share of
renewable energy in the global
energy mix by 2030 would in-
crease global gross domestic prod-
uct (GDP) by up to 1.1 per cent,
roughly USD 1.3 trillion, accord-
ing to new analysis by IRENA.
Renewable Energy Benefits: Mea-
suring the Economics, released
today at IRENAs sixth Assembly,
provides the first global estimate
of the macroeconomic impacts
of renewable energy deployment.
Specifically, it outlines the bene-
fits that would be achieved under
the scenario of doubling the global
share of renewable energy by 2030
from 2010 levels.
The recent Paris Agreement sent
a strong signal for countries to
move from negotiation to action
and rapidly decarbonise the en-
ergy sector, said Adnan Z. Amin,
IRENA Director-General. This
analysis provides compelling ev-
idence that achieving the needed
energy transition would not only
mitigate climate change, but also
stimulate the economy, improve
human welfare and boost employ-
ment worldwide.
Beyond finding that global GDP in
2030 would increase by up to USD
1.3 trillion more than the com-
bined economies of Chile, South
Africa and Switzerland as of today
the report also analyses coun-
try-specific impact. Japan would
see the largest positive GDP im-
pact (2.3 per cent) but Australia,
Brazil, Germany, Mexico, South
Africa and South Korea would
also see growth of more than 1 per
cent each.
According to the report, improve-
ments in human welfare would go
well beyond gains in GDP thanks
to a range of social and environ-
mental benefits. The impact of

RENEWABLE ENERGY renewable energy deployment on


welfare is estimated to be three to

TO BOOST GLOBAL GDP


four times larger than its impact
on GDP, with global welfare in-
creasing as much as 3.7 per cent.

UP TO $1.3 TRILLION
Employment in the renewable
energy sector would also increase
from 9.2 million global jobs today,
Dramatically scaling up renewables in the to more than 24 million by 2030.
global energy mix by 2030 would increase GDP, A transition towards greater shares
social welfare and employment worldwide. of renewables in the global ener-
Illustration by IRENA gy mix would also cause a shift in
trade patterns, as it would more

40 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


than halve global imports of coal energy, an investment in one is
and reduce oil and gas imports, an investment in both. That is the
benefiting large importers like Ja- definition of a win-win scenario.
pan, India, Korea and the Euro-
pean Union. Fossil fuel exporting Renewable Energy Benefits: Mea-
countries would also benefit from suring the Economics, builds on
a diversified economy. previous IRENA analysis on the
socio-economic benefits of re-
Mitigating climate change newable energy and on REmap
through the deployment of re- 2030, a renewable energy road-
newable energy and achieving map to doubling the global share
other socio-economic targets is of renewable energy by 2030. The
no longer an either or equation, study provides a first glimpse of
said Amin. Thanks to the grow- the full range of benefits offered
ing business case for renewable by a renewable energy transition.

GLOBAL INVESTMENTS
ON RENEWABLES AND
CLEAN ENERGY TOTALED
TO $329 BILLION IN 2015
According to Bloomberg New carbon emission control project, Yingli Green Energy was also said
Energy Finance (BNEF), the total will cover 10,000 companies emit- to build its first overseas factory in
investment on clean energy hit ting 3-4 billion tons of CO2. Thailand aside from its clean proj-
$329 billion in 2015 accounting ects in China.
50 percent of investment from the Also, Solar and Wind tariffs for
Asia-Pacific Region. new plants were reduced starting With continuous growth of
on January 1, 2016, according to awareness in environmental con-
BNEF Chairman of Advisory BNEF. servation and sustainability, it is
Board Michael Liebreich said that expected that these investments
the figures are a stunning riposte Iran was also noted to develop would yield positive results in ad-
to all those who expected clean en- high-growth in the renewables as dressing global issues on pollution
ergy investment to stall on failing it has already a feed-in tariff pro- and energy sources.
oil and gas prices. He even added gramme and line-up of projects on
that they highlight the improving solar, wind and non-hyrdo renew- From a well invested 2015, may
cost-competitiveness of solar and ables. 2016 be a better year for all na-
wind power, driven in part by the tions.
The European Investment Bank
move by many countries to re- also allowed lending all over 100 The European Bank for Recon-
verse-auction new capacity rather billion for climate action for the struction and Development and
than providing advantageous tar- next five years. the Clean Technology Fund
iffs, a shift that has put producers formed a programme to lend $125
under continuing price pressure. China National Building Materi- million in developing geother-
als recently signed a 1.6 billion mal in Turkey. The plan consists
China was said to remain the larg- agreement with Hong Kong-based
est clean energy investor amount- of constructing five geothermal
Welink Global in the United King- power plants.
ing to $111 billion with solar ener- dom for solar power projects and
gy as its largest funding. China is energy saving housing in the Unit- In Japan, the Development Bank
likely to propel towards less pollu- ed Kingdom. of Japan and Japan Wind Devel-
tion actions and less coal powered opment implemented the creation
energy sources as a part of its 13th Meanwhile in South Korea, LG of the countrys first wind power
five year plan (2016-2020) to be Electronics plans to invest $435 funding at $423 million.
implemented in March 2016. Its million in building solar manufac-
National Carbon Emission Trad- turing plants.
ing Program, the worlds largest

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 41


Jordan Mosques
Adopts Renewable
Chinas Wind Power Energy
Capacity to Significantly
Increase by 2030
With Chinas growing demand By 2030, the wind power capacity
for energy, the countrys govern- of China will triple from 149 GW
ment must provide alternative and to 495 GW. That would certainly
cleaner sources of energy. Having help power millions of households
one of the largest populations in and establishments without com-
the world, people have been sup- promising the environment again!
portive of its programs to generate
more of its wind power resources. Chinas government has provided
supportive policies including Law
According to GlobalData, a re- on Renewable Energy, Wind Pow-
search and consulting firm, China er Technology Special Planning
produces the highest wind power - and the Notice on Integrating and
providing a third of the total wind Accommodating Wind Power.
energy capacity in the world.
Srivatsaya added, Recent gov-
Chinas quick adoption of wind ernment efforts have helped to
power can be attributed to a wider expand and upgrade the grid and
global trend driven by depleting China now plans to address con-
fossil fuel reserves, the declining cerns that may potentially impede
cost of wind power generation the initial stage of wind power de- Solar panels will be installed in about 2000
and a growing sensitivity towards velopment. mosques in Jordan and are expected to be fully
environmental issues. says As- powered by renewable energy in just two years.
wani Srivatsaya, power analyst for Photo by Efergy After Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Hayel
GlobalData. Daoud signed a JD4 million agreement with the
Jordan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficien-
cy Fund (JREEEF), fundings for the renewable
energy project in the mosques will change from
the 20% allocated budget to 50% (the remaining
half to be collected from charities and philanthro-
pists).
Although there are about 6300 mosques in Jor-
dan, only some 2000 are in need of the project
since their electricity bills are too high and adding
solar panels could significantly reduce their ener-
gy consumption by 90%. The solar panels are said
to have a generating power of 4megawatts.
Photo by WPID

42 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Australia Needs to
Accelerate Renewables
to Meet 2020 Target
The If Australia still wants to meet
the 2020 target of 33,000 gigawatt
There a silver lining though: the
same report indicates that 9,000
needed hours, they need to accelerate on megawatts of large-scale renew-
its efforts in forwarding renewable able projects have been approved
power this able. This is according to the Re- for development, but still uncer-
year is newable Energy Target 2015 ad- tain whether such projects will be
ministrative report. financed.
equivalent
to about The report indicated that in 2015, A regrouping is taking place and
only about 409 megawatts of re- we will see innovations in the way
20 large newable energy was committed, that investments are made in the
which requires this year to pro- future, Munro said. We said it
windfarms. duce 3,000 megawatts to stay on was adequate under the circum-
track with the 2020 target a more stances and I think the require-
Photo by than sevenfold increase from last ment to pick up the pace was quite
ZME Science year. The needed power this year is important and we are looking for-
equivalent to about 20 large wind- ward to seeing that.
farms.
Andrew Bray, the national coordi-
The figures that were committed nator for the Australian Wind Al-
mean to projects that are consid- liance, reiterates the need of retail-
ered virtually certain to be built, ers to commit in buying energy for
and have been backed by financ- new renewable projects. He thinks
ing and power purchase agree- that energy retailers should al-
ments to proceed. ready commit before getting fined.
The 2016 commitments, accord- He also shares his insight about
ing to the chair of the Clean Ener- the government making clear the
gy Regulator Chloe Munro, reach benefits of the 2020 vision, which
to about 400 megawatts only, far markets are unable to hold a grasp
from the 3,000 megawatts neces- on.
sary power for 2016.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 43


UAE HOLDS A
$1 MILLION
CHALLENGE
TO END
WATER
SCARCITY
Water scarcity is a serious crisis, espe- vative Youth Award amounting to
cially for desert countries like UAE. USD 100,000.00
Thats why the UAE Water Aid Foun-
dation (Suqia) had announced the This award supports the efforts of
start of registrations for the Moham- Dubai and the UAE to help alleviate
med bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global the suffering of the needy around the
Water Award. world. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer,
Chairman of the foundation.
This aims to bring about sustainable
ideas that would help against water The foundation is working to pro-
scarcity. vide water to the disadvantaged and
distressed. He added.
There are three main categories to the
competition: The Innovative Projects This might be a good way to further
Award worth USD 500,000.00, The the studies directed towards water
Innovative Research and Develop- shortage around the world and it
ment Award consisting of National might be the source of a new and re-
and International Institutions worth newable system. Photo by Microgrid Projects
USD 200,000.00 each, and the Inno-

44 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


UAE TO BUILD
The inherent problem of rainfall in the was given a funding of $400,000 in Feb-
UAE has led them to the revolutionary ruary last year to evaluate the effects of
idea of developing a man-made moun- building a mountain on the weather.

MAN-MADE tain to create more rainfall.


US-based University Corporation for At-
The said mountain will help in forcing the
air to rise which will create clouds that can

MOUNTAIN mospheric Research (UCAR) manages


the National Center for Atmospheric Re-
search (NCAR) which is now in detailed
be seeded. Cloud seeding has been the
solution of UAE through NCMSs meteo-
rological department, however it just isnt

TO IMPROVE modelling study, according to NCAR


scientist and lead researcher Roelof Bru-
intjes.
enough. The department revealed that
$558,000 was spent on their cloud seeding
activity last year.

RAINFALL Bruintjes told Arabian Business, What


we are looking at is basically evaluating
the effects on weather through the type
If [the project] is too expensive for [the
government], logically the project wont
go through, but this gives them an idea of
Photo by Drew Custer of mountain, how high it should be and what kind of alternatives there are for the
how the slopes should be. We will have a long-term future, Bruintjes said. If it goes
report of the first phase this summer as an through, the second phase would be to go
initial step. to an engineering company and decide
whether it is possible or not.
UCAR, in a collab with National Center
of Meteorology & Seismology (NCMS),

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 45


MAN ON A MISSION
ELON MUSK: THE REAL IRON MAN
OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
Hailed as a Renaissance man this era that needs them
by Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.,
Elon Musk lived out the comic-book
engineering prodigy behind Iron Man.
Photo by WIRED

46 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


W E ' R E RU N N I NG T H E MO ST He has made it his mission to change is admired for he appears at the front
dangerous experiment in history right the world and save humanity. How ex- of the pack of innovation masterminds
now, which is to see how much carbon actly will he be able to do these things? because of who he is as a person.
dioxide the atmosphere can handle be- He plans to lead us in the transition to
fore there is an environmental catastro- sustainable clean energy. Being labeled as It doesnt take so much of psychology
phe, says one of the worlds famous tech the 68th wealthiest man in the US (with and personality assessment to realize
entrepreneur, $12.3 billion in his pocket), he is set to the main reason why he is well-loved
make this happen. This is one of his mo- by people. Musk shows us he is a hu-
Just like that, Elon Musk had us at his tivations on why he started SolarCity, man being just like us unlike others
concern for the environment. which is focused on providing the grow- who feel superior in a crowd, Elon Musk
ing solar energy demands of the United speaking in front of an audience feels
If you dont know who this engineer is, States. How very noble for someone who like he is just talking with a friend, even
then you must have been living under a has all the money in the world. when he is already delivering a speech
rock. Any engineer dedicated to his/her full of tech jargons. The way he answers
field knows that Elon Musk has made a ON HIS ACHIEVEMENTS questions is so real, that his level of en-
reputation in business and engineering. gagement is unparalleled.
Hailed as a Renaissance man this era For all of his innovations and ground-
that needs them by Iron Man himself, breaking projects, Musk has received nu- The moment he is thrown with a ques-
Robert Downey Jr., Elon Musk is the merous recognitions. tion, he speaks with dignity not only
closest person we can compare to the with his mouth but also with his inquis-
famous Marvel character. If you think Some of which are as follows: In 2010, itive and searching eyes. Elon may be
about it, Musk lived out the comic-book he was listed as one of Time Magazines interrupting himself at times but only to
engineering prodigy behind Iron Man. 100 people who most affected the world. make his piece a more understandable
Some really do consider him as the real On the same year he was awarded by the context to the audience. Ultimately, his
life Iron Man. Well, that could be pos- Fdration Aronautique Internationale greatest asset is to make big dreams be a
sible. with the highest award in air and space, believable reality to his audience.
the FAI Gold Space Medal, for design-
Born in South Africa, this Canadi- ing the first privately developed rocket In their company, Solar City, Musk
an-American inventor graduated with a to reach orbit. Musk was also named by along with his cousins Peter and Lyndon
physics and business degree in the Uni- Esquire magazine as one of the 75 most Rive aim to power homes using solar
versity of Pennsylvania, went to Stan- influential people of the 21st century. energy. They plan to make clean ener-
ford for a PhD in physics but dropped Forbes listed him as one of Americas 20 gy available to homeowners, businesses,
out to hustle with the tech business. Most Powerful CEOs 40 and under. schools, non-profits and government
He is known as the It boy of the Sili- organizations at costs that are lower
con Valley, a risk taker, and many more He is recognized as a Living Legend than if they were to use energy gener-
amazing calls. To back these up, he is in Aviation in 2010 by the Kitty Hawk ated by non-renewable energy sources.
called as such because of achieving un- Foundation for creating the Falcon 9
believable heights. He is a rare genius rocket and Dragon spacecraftthe suc- Solar City has completed installations in
with futuristic ambitions. He pioneered cessor to the Space Shuttle. In 2010, he 27 states with more than 90 operation
the following companies and projects was the Automotive Executive of the centers. The company makes switching
aligned with his aspirations in the areas Year (worldwide) for showing technol- to clean energy easier by analyzing their
of internet, energy, and outer space. ogy leadership and innovation via Tesla customers energy usage and identifying
Motors. In 2012, he was awarded with the different opportunities for improve-
Musk is currently the CEO and CTO of the Royal aeronauticals Societys highest ments. According to their website they
SpaceX, a company that focuses on de- award, a Gold Medal. are the only company that offers inte-
signing, manufacturing and launching grated sales, financing, design, installa-
advanced rockets and spacecraft. He WHY HES DIFFERENT tion, monitoring and efficiency services
is also the CEO and product architect from a single source, without requiring
of Tesla Motors, providing the world FROM OTHER INNOVATORS the services of multiple third-parties.
premium electric vehicles. As if being Because of his great contributions, Musk
CEO of two big companies isnt enough, Another reason why we admire Musk
is regarded as the most relevant person- is his crazy ideas that could ultimately
hes also the co-chairman of OpenAI, ality among space nuts, business freaks,
a non-profit artificial intelligence re- become true in the near future. A fun
clean tech lovers, electric car enthusi- fact you might have missed about Elon
search company. asts, and coding nerds, among others. Musk: He wants to make human life on
But theres more to Elon Musk than his Mars to be possible. As he phrases it, he
wide variety of innovation fields that he is making life multiplanetary.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 47


Its not as though we can keep burning coal in
our power plants. Coal is a finite resource, too.
We must find alternatives, and its a better idea
to find alternatives sooner then wait until we
run out of coal...

HOW HE INSPIRES
ENGINEERS AND
INNOVATORS
More than a guy having a public speak-
ing command is a guy who cares a lot
about humanity. His dedication and
commitment towards helping society
proves so, through Tesla Motors which
produces environmentally friendly
electric cars; through SpaceX which
will provide sooner or later an unprec-
edented transportation system that
will benefit generations; and through
SolarCity which gives clean, abundant,
and socioeconomically decentralized
source of electricity generation.
Photo by Electrek
All these and more are enough reasons
to admire our real-life Iron Man. With
ON CARBON PRICING the magazine covers he is in, the me-
AND ENERGY dia companies parading his name, his
EDUCATION special television appearances, his fans
are deeply reminded of how great Elon
At the World Energy Innovation Fo- In one of his speeches, he expresses his Musk is. There is no shame to be called
rum held at the Tesla Headquarters last take on coal and and carbon pricing: an Elon fan boy or a fan girl, because
May 4th, Musk challenged the masses Elon Musks accomplishments and
to be educated in order to spark a sort Its not as though we can keep burn- himself are indeed worth celebrating.
of revolt to end the unrelenting and ing coal in our power plants. Coal is a
enormous promises set by the fossil finite resource, too. We must find al-
fuel industry. ternatives, and it's a better idea to find
alternatives sooner then wait until we
Musk also announced his support for run out of coal, and in the meantime,
carbon pricing as a means to lessen the put God knows how many trillions of
amount of subsidies that the creation tons of CO2 that used to be buried un-
and use of fossil fuels present. Though derground into the atmosphere.
subsidies are provided to electric vehi-
cles, it still does not equal the subsidies The reality is gas prices should be
that the gasoline powered vehicles get. much more expensive then they are be-
Musk proclaimed that this weakens cause we're not incorporating the true
the economic forcing function to tran- damage to the environment and the
sition to sustainable transport and en- hidden costs of mining oil and trans-
ergy. As Musk showed his stand on the porting it to the U.S. Whenever you
effects of climate change in the country, have an unpriced externality, you have
other people present in the forum have a bit of a market failure, to the degree
different takes on this new direction that eternality remains unpriced.
of the electricity magnate.

48 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Subsidies in
Wrong Places
Affect IS GREEN CREDIT
Renewable STILL VALUABLE?
Energy

Renewable energy has been in-


creasing incredibly. Wind power
Going green is the latest trend. Every big corporate is
and solar power share of the to- claiming to have gone 100 percent green these days.
tal U.S power generation has in- But some say that it is just a feel-good scam.
creased from 0.5% in 2005 to 5%
in 2015. This growth shows both
When we say 100 percent green, we imply The government has not issued any de-
the innovation that has been low- that the company is getting all of its power fined set of rules to verify that the com-
ering the costs and different subsi- from wind, solar, geothermal, or biofuels panies are actually using the renewable
dies which include accelerated de- plants. Companies might be claiming to energy sources. While some countries
preciation, tax credits and grants, do so for the environment, but their ac- claim that they have laws that mandate
loan guarantees, and state renew- tual purpose is also attaining a Renewable third-party audits, many do not. Getting
Energy Certificate (REC). there still involves a complicated set of
able power mandates. decisions, compromises, tough conversa-
The RECs certifies that a company is ob- tions with utilities, and financial maneu-
Renewable energys value is usu- taining all its power supply from renew- vering. What drives this trend of going
ally lower because investments do able sources of energy. According to a green are the reducing prices for renew-
not always target the highest qual- study shared by the National Renewable able energy certificates, strict government
Energy Lab of the U.S. Department of policies, public and shareholder pressure,
ity resourcesolar power goes to Energy, around 13,000 customers bought and a growing body of evidence that is
where subsidies are, not where the 10.5 billion certificates in 2007. Nobody provided by opting for renewables over
sun shines. knows exactly what these cost, but the fossil fuels. Hundreds of companies like
labs best estimates a range from $100 mil- Intel, Cisco and IBM had already pur-
Innovation has brought low- lion to $500 million. chased RECs but continued to buy pow-
er costs for wind, solar and their er from conventional utilities generating
The practice of purchasing the certificates electricity for fossil fuel. It has now just
competitors. This has lowered the has also been supported by the Federal become a big business for green credit.
cost of U.S natural gas, where- agencies. Annual awards are handed over
in the price of natural gas deliv- by the EPA to the companies who pur- However, the I-REC Standard issued a
ered to the power sector in 2015 chase green power through REC suppli- stand about issuing certificates and gen-
ers. This, in turn, encourages competition erators stating that they provide energy
is equal to one-third of the price between universities and other organiza- attribute tracking systems that are easily
than it was in 2008. tions vying to be the greenest among them implemented to consumers in all regions
all. as for compliance. They believe that con-
As the cost of power production sumers are given a choice to where they
has fallen, it is the same for the If this is not enough, then we also have the consume electricity and get resources
demand for electricity. Electricity World Resources Institute and the World within their region. They added that at-
Wildlife Fund that published a guide tributes and uses of renewable electricity
consumption in the U.S. has fallen book, the Renewable Energy Buyers Prin- purchased is also disclosed by end-users.
by 1 percent because of subsidies ciples, on helping companies formulate
and standards targeting energy ef- strategies to go 100 percent clean. The
ficiency. In other parts of the U.S., simplest avenue available is to purchase
renewable-energy certificates (RECs), or
the costs of wind and solar may be credits, that enable companies to claim
competitive with new coal or nat- 100 percent renewable sources without
ural gas facilities, but new renew- getting their power directly from solar
able investment competes with panels or wind turbines.
existing, lower-cost power plants.
These findings result in utilities
relying more on the use of natu-
ral gas than renewables. This is
due to the fact that natural gas is
still more efficient in following the
changes in energy demand.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 49


GERMANY
If theres one country that is way ahead of
us when it comes to renewable energy, it
would be Germany. Why? Because they
are already paying people to use electric-

HAD TO PAY
ity!
The overwhelming heat and powerful
winds enabled this in Germany to hap-

PEOPLE TO
pen. The countrys solar, wind, hydro and
biomass plants provided 55 GW of the
consumed 63 GW, which is about 87 per
cent.

USE POWER
The power prices getting below zero for
several hours on May 8, Sunday, indicated
that the commercial customers were be-
ing paid to consume electricity.

DUE TO Christoph Podewils of Agora Ener-


giewende, a think tank and policy labora-
tory in Germany funded by the Europe-

RENEWABLE
an Climate Foundation and the Stiftung
Mercator, said, We have a greater share of
renewable energy every year. The power
system adapted to this quite nicely. This

ENERGY
day shows again that a system with large
amounts of renewable energy works fine.
This feat in renewable energy by Germa-
ny is good news especially that they plan

SURPLUS
to hit 100% renewable energy by 2050
but ultimately a bad news for the gas pow-
er, nuclear and coal plants, as they have to
be shut down.

SOLAR MICROGRID
REDUCES CARBON
EMISSIONS BY 50%
Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards first from Aquion Energy and power conver-
installed their solar microgrid and other sion technologies from Ideal Power.
renewable technologies some time ago,
and their aim was to cut carbon emission According to Matt Maroon, the vice pres-
by 50 percent. ident and product management for Aqui-
on, the project is one of a number of mi-
The vineyard was able to reach this goal crogrids that now uses Aquion Energys
within a year. Now, they are aiming to at- batteries. This particular on includes 14
tain below-zero carbon emissions by us- Aquion M-Line Battery Modules which
ing renewable energy and storage. are 25 kWh each, and provides about 350
kEh of energy storage capacity in total.
They are located on a 16-acre organic These will be connected to a 32-kW solar
winery and farm from Sonoma, Cali- array.
fornia. The microgrid includes batteries
Photo by Clean Technica

50 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


SOLAR ENERGY FOR
FREE HOT SHOWERS
NOW A THING
Instead of letting excess solar power from your panels go
back to the national grid, you can now use it to heat the
water in your house instead of spending money on electric or
gas-powered heaters.

Yup, its that time of the month again Well, worry no more because new
when you have to whip out your wal- technologies are available to help
let and pay your bills. Im willing to you out. Power Diverter, for example,
bet that one of the biggest leeches in promises to store all the energy it can
your finances is your electricity bill; from your solar panel array. And what
its just so hard to cut down! it cant save, it will divert to your wa-
ter tank instead of routing it back to
Weve all heard of solar technology, the national grid. Not only will this
where energy from the sun is harvest- heat your water for those long, hot
ed using solar panels on your roof or showers spent pondering lifes biggest
yard and turned into usable electrici- questions, Power Diverter can use the
ty. The main drawback of this, howev- hot water to create thermal energy for
er, is that when the suns up and your more electricity!
house is basically overflowing with
power, youre out in the world do- Its basically having two batteries
ing adult stuff! And when you come one an actual battery, and the other
home at night, unless you have a de- your water tank but you get free hot
cent (and expensive) energy storage water on the side!
system, youll be back to using regular
ol technology. Photo by Home Advisor Homesource

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 51


EUROPE AND US CELEBRATE
SOLAR MILESTONES IN 2016
Campaigns to celebrate mile- US President Barack Obama
stones in solar power systems in- joined in on the Solar Energy
stallations were launched by solar Industries Association in their
industry associations in the Unit- #MillionSolarStrong campaign,
ed States and Europe. tweeting that the U.S. has recently
achieved one million solar instal-
In Europe, SolarPower Europe, lations, which is enough to power
which was formerly known as the 5.5 million homes.
European Photovoltaic Industry
Association, said that according SEIA launched the #MillionSolar-
to the HIS Inc. data, Europe was Strong campaign to celebrate this
able to complete the installation of milestone. The association said
100 GW of solar PV. The associa- that the campaign got support
tion plans to celebrate the event in from more than 70 organizations
September. signing an official declaration in
favor of solar.
In the current post-feed-in tariff
climate, we must make sure we By signing this declaration, we are
have the right electricity market joining the #MillionSolarStrong,
design and the right long-term in- and counting, who support the
vestment signals for solar to flour- local jobs, economic activity, and
ish. We hope that the European stronger, healthier communities
Commissions forthcoming mar- that solar energy is generating for
ket design reform and Renewable all Americans. The declaration
Energy Directive will pave the way stated.
for the 200 GW benchmark. Said
James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Photo by Clean Technica
Europe.

52 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Photo by Extreme Tech

#EUsolar100GW
Europe completed the
installation of 100 GW
of solar PV.

#MillionSolarStrong
The United States hit one
million solar installations,
enough to power 5.5
million homes.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 53


WILL THE GROWING
SOLAR POWER OF USA
REACH ITS LOW-INCOME
COMMUNITIES?

America, being one of the frontrunners in ple. The alarming statistics of 22 million There is some hope, though, considering
green technology, has gone to its millionth owner-occupied households in the US that the US government in all levels al-
solar installation now collectively up to 27 have incomes at or below 80 per cent of ready think about solar as a cost-effective
gigawatts of capacity spreading to the 50 their area median income. means to provide energy, through devel-
states. It comprises 1 per cent of U.S. elec- oping policies like the Low Income Solar
tricity, but can grow even more. But it will not come easy to them as sig- Act pushed by the Congress. Such policy
nificant barriers prevent them to flourish, will provide grants and loans for solar
The increasing solar energy efforts of despite the solar costs dropping 17 per- project in low-income communities.
United States may reach to a million more cent. There will be upfront costs, housing
but until then, will the solar power be felt status, and the economic vulnerability of It will not be far that the disadvantaged
among disadvantaged communities? lower-income families. communities will be reached by solar
power. With the kind of growth US has
Giving solar power to low-income com- Africa already has the solar power initia- with solar renewable energy, it be likely
munities will mean lower utility bills and tive in small communities. Source: Policy that even before the next millionth, peo-
well-paid career opportunities that will Innovations ple from low-income communities will
not require advanced training. When already benefit from solar power.
there are solar farms, jobs will be generat-
ed and will help in the welfare of the peo- Photo by UPI

54 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


RENEWABLES
OVERTAKING
FOSSIL FUELS
IN UNITED
STATES
According to reports,
renewable energy
has been the greatest
source of new power
MEXICOS PRICE OF to the electricity in
the United States
RENEWABLES IS last year.
THE BEST MODEL
FOR THE UNITED STATES According to reports, renewable energy
has been the greatest source of new power
to the electricity in the United States Last
Year. Reports showed that developers in-
Undeniably, America is one of the global He said that the cost per kilowatt-hour is stalled 16GW or 68% of clean energy in
leaders when comes to renewable energy, only 4 to 4.5, bare from the mandates, 2015!
but its true price free from subsidies and in both solar and wind. This is because it
mandates is yet to be known. Former has no production tax credit, no invest- In 2015, gas-powered power plants were
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who now ment tax credit, and no renewable portfo- accounted for 25% of the capacity added
teaches at Stanford University, suggested lio standard: in short, its just money with to the grids and a large number of coal
to look at Mexico for some comparison. a little profit. The International Energy plants were shut down. 11GW went of-
Comisin Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Agency or the U.S. Energy Information fline by October and 3GW of the capacity
which is Mexicos state utility, has been Administration predicted that solar may was expected to close in November and
removed last March from the state-owned cost a minimum of 8.9 per kilowatt-hour December.
monopoly which ran for 80 years. CFE in 2020. This is still cheaper than the ad-
was then left open for private companies justed average price GTM Research in According to the report: The already
to bid to supply for solar, wind, hydro, co- Mexico released, which is 5 per kilo- rapid de-carbonization of the US power
generation, combined-cycle gas, and geo- watt-hour in 2016 from 4 to 4.5. sector accelerated with record numbers of
thermal energy. coal plant closures and solar photovoltaic
Clean energy is actually getting much system commissionings, while natural gas
He said that the cost per kilowatt-hour is cheaper than even I, as a perennial tech- production and consumption hit an all-
only 4 to 4.5, bare from the mandates, nical optimist, thought it was going to be, time high. Concurrently, the US contin-
in both solar and wind. This is because it Chu said. But its just in Mexico. If only ued to enjoy greater benefits from energy
has no production tax credit, no invest- America will realize the weight of impos- efficiency efforts as economic growth out-
ment tax credit, and no renewable portfo- ing tax credits on their renewable energy, paced the growth in electricity consump-
lio standard: in short, its just money with just like what Mexico already realized, tion.
a little profit. The International Energy renewable energy could bloom best in
Agency or the U.S. Energy Information the nation where energy crises may soon This year, the Energy Information Admin-
Administration predicted that solar may arise. istration estimates the renewable genera-
cost a minimum of 8.9 per kilowatt-hour tion will grow 9% in the US.
in 2020. This is still cheaper than the ad- Photo by The Energy Collective
justed average price GTM Research in
Mexico released, which is 5 per kilo-
watt-hour in 2016 from 4 to 4.5.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 55


MIT CHEMICAL
ENGINEERING
TEAM CREATES
BIOPROCESS
TO CONVERT
WASTE GASES
TO BIOFUELS

56 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


The effects of carbon emissions to our en- Q:Tell us a little bit about your research uted in the system. However, spatial vari-
vironment has beenand is still one of and why its significant. ations arise in a larger system requiring
the most difficult to combat. Many have sophisticated models and lots of calcula-
tried different methods to combat carbon A: We developed a novel bioprocess for tions to generate a design that works well.
emissions and one of the best ways to do converting waste gases containing car- Another challenge is the logistics and pa-
this is to transform these harmful emis- bon dioxide and a reducing gas such as rameters involved in running a bioreactor
sions into something useful. hydrogen or carbon monoxide into biofu- of several thousand liters, or even bigger,
els. Our process uses bacteria to convert without mixing issues.
Gregory Stephanopoulos, the Willard waste gases into acetic acid vinegar
Henry Dow Professor in Chemical En- which is subsequently converted to oil by An additional issue is the robustness of
gineering at MIT; postdoc Amit Kumar an engineered yeast. It is a very interesting operation. In the lab, graduate students
PhD 10, from the Department of Chem- story of pairing distinct microbes to take can adjust the operational parameters at
ical Engineering; and their team have advantage of their unique metabolisms in will, as frequently as needed, to provide
released a research paper in the Proceed- creating a gas-to-liquids process. optimal fermentation conditions for days.
ings of the National Academy of Sciences. In a pilot plant, there is limited capacity
Their study is about utilizing bacteria to In the United Sates, biodiesel a primary to make these adjustments and the con-
turn waste gases into biofuels. alternative to petroleum-diesel is the tinuous system must be kept stable for
second-most abundant biologically de- months. This imposes higher requirement
To be able to convert wasted gases which rived transportation fuel. This bio-based for the robustness of the microbes and the
contain carbon dioxide into biofuels, the diesel is currently produced from vege- overall process.
process involves using bacteria to convert table or seed oil (lipids) obtained from
the waste gases into acetic acid, or vinegar, crops including canola, palm, or soybean, Successful operation of a pilot plant for
which is then converted into oil by an en- which are costly and limited in available months indicates that the whole gas-to-
gineered yeast. supply. Similarly sugar-based biofuels are liquid fuel process is technologically feasi-
not favored due to high feedstock costs. ble under semi-industrial conditions. But
Being able to utilize waste as a new re- Our bioprocess paves the way for use of that is only the first step in the develop-
source is certainly a ground-breaking dis- potentially cheaper gaseous feedstocks, mental process. Cost-effectiveness is an-
covery in the fuel production industry. which can be obtained from gasification other important requirement. Assessment
of methane or municipal solid waste, but of the economicfeasibility of the process
can also be derived from the exhaust gas- is the major goal of operating a pilot plant,
es of steel manufacturing. As anyone can and/or semi-commercial demonstration
imagine, availability of these sources is plant. The fixed assets required for pilot
huge. construction determine capital costs of
a future commercial plant. Additionally,
An important feature of our method is runs at pilot scale better define energy
that it utilizes waste as a resource allow- requirements, product quality, and other
ing a very low or even negative cost for factors like substrate pre-treatment, heat-
the feedstock. In a broader sense, imple- ing, and cooling, and product recovery
mentation of these concepts for fuel pro- required by a production plant.
duction may extend to a number of com-
mercially important biological platforms Q:What will be some areas of future re-
depending on the potential sources of search for your group?
synthesis gas or its conversion products,
namely, volatile fatty acids. A: We want to enhance our understand-
ing of the basic physiology of the organ-
Q:What changes did you need to make in isms involved in the process and develop
your process to scale up from your pilot better biological toolkits for their genetic
plant outside Shanghai to the much larger modulation to allow production of vari-
semi-commercial demonstration plant ous products by metabolic engineering.
thats set to begin construction? Additionally, we would like to better un-
derstand gasification and other potential
A: Scaling up involves many challenges. supply routes of the gaseous feedstocks in
In a small bioreactor, microorganisms and order to maximize the cost effectiveness of
media are easy to control and well distrib- the process.
Photos by MIT

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 57


CLEAN ENERGY
BUSINESS COUNCIL:
TOWARDS A
GREENER WORLD

C O M P O S E D O F O R G A N I Z AT I O N S from
private and public sectors, the Clean Energy Business
Council (CEBC) is focused in the promotion of a green-
er world by advocating renewables, energy efficiency,
smart grid, energy storage and clean energy technology
and solutions. It is the stage of stakeholders to convene
with ideas, technologies and projects and also the plat-
form for dialogue between member sectors to develop
policies that will forward the use of clean energy across
the MENA region.
THE PERSONS BEHIND Sharath Coorg
Sharath Coorg is the Director of Acquisitions & Project Director, Acquisitions and
Project Finance at ACWA Power
Finance at ACWA Power, a leading project developer
and one of CEBCs Founding members. Sharath was
born in India and specializes in emerging markets cov-
ering both conventional and renewable energy projects.
His job includes traveling to many countries, working
on power and water desalination projects in Saudi Ara-
bia, UAE, Czech Republic, Germany, Mozambique, and
Vietnam.
Sarah Fitzgerald is GM at the Clean Energy Business
Council. With a background in communications, she
got involved in the not-for-profit sector doing fundrais-
ing for various charities. A New Zealander, she moved
to Dubai with her husband and her young daughter five
years ago beginning her career in renewable energy with Sarah Fitzgerald
the Middle East Solar Industry Association, before join- General Manager, CEBC
ing the Clean Energy Business Council in 2014.

58 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


THE CLEAN ENERGY BUSINESS COUNCIL GN: Where is this company headed? Whats your future
expansion plans? Describe briefly your strategic goals.
GineersNow: Are you an educational institution, so-
cial enterprise, non-profit or private company? CEBC: CEBC is incredibly excited about the future of clean
energy in the MENA region as we see a major shift towards
CEBC: Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) is a the adoption of renewables and clean tech solutions along
non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean with the necessary regulatory frameworks. This transition
energy including renewables, energy efficiency, smart to a low-carbon economy presents significant opportu-
grid, energy storage and cleanenergy technology and nities with potential benefits such as growth in economy,
solutions for the environmental sector. Established in creation of jobs, new innovations and technical develop-
2008 by a group of leading institutions, companies and ments, productivity growth and entrepreneurship, and the
individuals who recognized the potential for a clean development of clean and renewable energy financing such
energy revolution in the MENA region, CEBC creates as Green Bonds and Sukuk will help attract new investors.
a forum for stakeholders to come together to exchange CEBC has been working with the government sector to
ideas, share information and facilitate projects. CEBC implement a Green Sukuk, and with the UAEs open and
provides a platform to further dialogue between the developed international financial sector, we see potential
public and private sectors to develop much needed for the UAE to become the global hub for renewable and
policy and regulation to help drive the implementation clean energy financing.
of clean energy across the MENA region.
ADVOCATING CLEAN ENERGY
GN: How big is your company?
GN: What is clean energy as defined by your company?
CEBC: CEBC is a membership organization compris-
ing almost 100 members from private and public sec- CEBC: A common definition of Clean Energy is any gen-
tors which include Masdar, Dubai Supreme Council eration that has a lower environmental footprint than con-
of Energy, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, Etihad ventional (fossil-fuel based) electricity generation technol-
ESCO, Oman Regulatory Authority, Schneider Elec- ogy, although some fossil fuels (natural gas) and fossil fuel
tric, First Solar, Enel Green Power, Adenium Energy, technologies (super critical coal) are considered in some
Enerwhere, Ashurst, Itron, and Latham & Watkins, jurisdictions to be sources of Clean Energy. The CEBCs
among others. CEBC is governed by a Board of Di- definition of Clean Energy includes all renewables technol-
rectors, under the helm of His Excellency Dr. Nasser ogy plus carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency.
Saidi, former Chief Economist for Dubai International In relation to energy efficiency, we represent technologies
Finance Centre (DIFC) and former Minister of Trade that can help improve supply side efficiency and support
& Economy and Industry of the Lebanese Govern- demand side measures to improve the efficient use of elec-
ment. tricity, such as smart grids and distributed generation.

With offices based in Masdar City, CEBCs mandate Applications of clean energy technologies are determined,
covers the Middle East and North Africa region and to a large degree, by the availability of naturally occurring
employs a staff of three, in addition to a voluntary Ad- energy resources and how cost effective they are to harness.
visory Committee who provide guidance on technical Obvious technologies relevant to the region include Solar,
matters and policy and regulatory recommendations. Wind, CCS, and Energy Efficiency. Technologies with more
restricted applications include bio-energy and geothermal.
GN: Describe your mission, vision and values.
GN: Why bother? Whats the importance of pursuing
CEBC: CEBCs mission is to establish a leading fo- clean energy?
rum for companies and government entities focused
on the development and deployment of clean energy CEBC: Renewable energy technologies are clean sources
in the MENA region and to promotethe clean energy of energy that have a much lower environmental impact
industry beginning to flourish in the region, inform- than conventional energy technologies and offer significant
ing the wider community of the benefits of the sector. health benefits. Increasing the supply of renewable energy
We support and assist governments, industries and allows us to replace carbon-intensive energy sources and
communities in the region to meet low-carbon targets significantly reduce global warming emissions. With the
and sustainability goals; and through collaboration cost of renewable energy decreasing, it is now an afford-
with government agencies and other stakeholders, we able and competitively-priced alternative to conventional
aim to drive policy development and regulation and electricity.
financing of this rapidly developing and exciting sec-
tor. By developing strategic alliances with research Wind and solar technologies are less prone to large-scale
institutions, international associations, media and in- failure because they are distributed and modular. Distrib-
tergovernmental organizations, we work together to uted systems are spread out over a large geographical area,
drive the delivery of clean energy solutions for MENA so a severe weather event in one location will not cut off
and coordinate and disseminate data and information power to an entire region. Modular systems are composed
to ensure relevant benchmarking and transparency in of numerous individual wind turbines or solar arrays. Even
the sectors development. if some of the equipment in the system are damaged, the
rest can typically continue to operate.
In addition, renewable energy will not run out, ever, while oth-
er sources of energy are finite and will someday be depleted.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 59


THE MACRO LEVEL OF CLEAN ENERGY THE MICRO LEVEL OF CLEAN ENERGY
GN: Where are we today? What is the current situa- GN: What are the initiatives / projects that you are
tion of renewables? doing (or have done) that will drive low or zero emis-
sion? What are the future innovations that your or-
CEBC: While the MENA region has traditionally lagged ganization is pursuing?
behind much of the developed world in terms of uptake
of renewable energy largely due to its abundant supply CEBC: Employment and human resources will play a
of oil and attractive subsides policies, the landscape has key role in the successful deployment of clean energy,
shifted. We have seen another global first for the UAE and it is our view that the industry needs access to a
with Dubai Electricity & Water Authority receiving wider pool of talented individuals. In response to this,
a world record-low bid of 2.99 cents/kWh for the 800 we launched CEBCs Women in Clean Energy (WICE)
MW third phase of its 5 GW Mohammed bin Rashid program in 2015 to help address this gap and provide
Al-Maktoum solar project. This comes hot on the heels practical steps to encourage more women into jobs in
of the announcement of the Dubai Clean Energy Strat- the renewable and clean energy sectors. To date, WICE
egy which aims to provide 7% of Dubais energy from has established committees in the UAE, Egypt, Jordan,
clean energy sources by 2020, increasing this target to Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.
25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. Plans also include the
establishment of a Dh100 billion Green Fund. CEBC also runs an environmental awareness campaign
in schools across the UAE to educate children and the
The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority also wider community about energy efficiency and the role
announced a tender for a 350MW Solar PV project to clean tech can play in creating a sustainable energy
be built 120 kilometers east of the capital. The facility future. Key objectives of the program are to empower
would produce enough electricity to power more than future leaders, inspire children to consider new technol-
50,000 homes. ogies as well as stimulate kids to think about what sus-
tainability means to their lives and encourage them to
Egypt, Jordan and Morocco have also made good prog- adopt long-term measures to protect the environment.
ress in their solar bids. Morocco plans to derive more We now have 30 schools registered in the program with
than half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 a combined student population of 60,000 children.
with the North African country raising its renewable en-
ergy target from 42% by 2020 to 52% by 2030. That 42 We also launched a Green Sukuk Working Group to
per cent will consist of 2 gigawatts each of solar, wind promote the issuance of Sukuk for renewable energy
and hydropower. Saudi Arabias new transformation projects. Set up by the Gulf Bond and Sukuk Associa-
plan includes 9.5 GW (9,500 megawatts) of renewable tion, the Clean Energy Business Council, and the Cli-
energy by 2030 and Qatar recently announced plans for mate Bonds Initiative the group aims to channel market
a 1GW solar installation. expertise to develop best practices and promote the is-
suance of sukuk for the financing of climate change in-
GN: Where should we be 10 years from now? Are we vestments projects, such as renewable energy projects.
on the right track? Are we delayed? Are we progress- This initiative is the first of its kind taken to finance re-
ing? newable energy projects in the MENA region.
CEBC: Even as oil price plummeted from its peak in In September 2015, theSustainableDevelopment Goals
mid-2014, investment in clean energy has seen a surge. (SDGs) was launched at the UN General Assembly
Global investment in clean energy increased from USD defining the start of a new era of global development
316 billion in 2014 to USD 329 billion in 2015, which is partnerships. SDG 7 provides for SustainableEnergyto
the highest ever beating the earlier record set in 2011. ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and
This has been achieved in a scenario where the cost of modern energy for all. This holds special importance
installing clean energy, especially solar PV, has drasti- in the MENA region, with aspirations across the region
cally fallen implying much higher capacity installation to scale up the share of renewable energy and energy
for the same investment. As mentioned above, we are efficiency in the regions energy mix. To help countries
seeing record low tariffs in solar PV of 3 cents per kWh achieve this objective, the UNDP, Regional Center for
which is cheaper than any form of conventional pow- Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE)
er and record low tariffs have been achieved in wind and CEBC have launched a newArabSustainableEner-
as well. All these trends point to increasing deployment gy Initiative comprising three pillars Capacity Devel-
of clean energy in developing markets which are highly opment,SustainableEnergy Finance, andDecentralized
price-sensitive. Global wind installations are forecast to Energy Solutions.
double from current level of 500 GW, and solar capacity
is forecast to increase four times from the level of 275
GW over the next ten years. MENA region will contrib-
ute a significant chunk of this capacity addition as every
country in the region is planning to deploy large capac-
ities of solar (both photovoltaic and concentrated solar)
and wind in the coming years.

60 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 61
THE CHALLENGES & THEIR SOLUTIONS
GN: What are the stumbling blocks or bottlenecks in
the renewable industry?
CEBC: One of the challenges for clean energy is to GN: How do we provide cheap energy in poverty
compete with conventional energy sources that enjoy stricken areas? How do we ensure access to clean en-
several explicit and hidden subsidies from the govern- ergy?
ments. Governments need to ensure a level playing field
by taking into consideration the environmental cost of CEBC: Free markets are doing a good job of bringing
continued dependence on fossil fuels. Secondly, as the down the cost of clean energy. Off-grid solar PV instal-
interest rate cycle reverses cost of capital will rise for lations are an attractive solution for remote regions that
new projects, this will imply tariffs in the case of capital are not connected by electric grid. In poverty stricken
intensive clean energy deployment will be higher. Also, areas, the key challenge is access to capital. Micro-fi-
low oil price will pose a challenge for deployment of nance organizations can bridge the gap by providing
clean energy by being a cheaper alternative where the loans or lease options to consumers who cannot afford
two are pitted against one another. to invest in a solar PV installation on their own. Further
off-grid battery solutions which ensure uninterrupted
Technologically, the challenge of clean energy, especial- power supply need to improve in terms of efficiency and
ly wind and solar, has been its intermittent nature. As a cost to make it economically viable for poor parts of the
result, these sources cannot replace conventional power world.
as base-load source. The promise of cheap energy stor-
age offers a solution, but the cost of battery storage has ADVICE TO THE YOUNG ENGINEERS
to come down significantly to be at par with conven-
tional base load sources. GN: Please give advice and words of wisdom about re-
newables to our young global audience. What would
GN: What do you think the government, private com- you like to tell to the millennials? Any inspiring words
panies and NGO of each country should do to get rid that you can share?
of this?
CEBC: The world is at the cusp of significant changes in
CEBC: As mentioned above, governments must take relation to how we produce and consume energy. This
into account negative externalities of their dependence will impact all aspects of our lives, the homes we live in,
on fossil fuel when making decisions on energy policy. the way we travel from one place to another and how
In many places, governments have structured carbon companies organize their operations. Companies that
tax and incentives for clean energy. But more can be do not change as the energy markets evolve will be left
done to reduce dependence on fossil fuels for energy behind, and smaller newer companies will take their
needs. Germany, for example, has unveiled a program place. This would apply to countries as well; the earli-
to encourage people to shift to electric vehicles. Battery er they adopt clean energy as a strategic imperative, the
operated vehicles combined with rooftop solar PV in- stronger the clean energy eco-system will be and greater
stallations at household level can be a game changer in the job opportunities for its citizens. For young people
many countries in the coming years. There is also an im- who are still in college or have recently graduated, these
portant aspect of educating people in the Government changes offer opportunities to build a career that will
as well as consumers about energy choices and its im- not only be financially rewarding but also help contrib-
pact on environment where the NGOs such as CEBC ute in making our planet a better place for all.
will continue to play an important role.

62 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 63
EESI PROMOTING CLEAN POWER
THROUGH EDUCATION
Renewable energy is becoming a hot topic in the news EESI on CLEAN ENERGY
today. Whether its on television or on the internet, you
might have heard of numerous countries jumping in on GN: What is clean energy as defined by your organiza-
the cause. But what is renewable energy? What can it tion?
do for us?
Laura: EESI defines clean energy as solar, wind, hydro-
The idea of green energy may already be familiar to you power and other water power generation technologies,
, but a huge number of the people around us are still hydrogen fuel cells, biofuels and biomass, geothermal,
in the dark when it comes to clean power. This lack of as well as energy efficiency.
information and education is what led to the founding
of EESI. Clean energy is important because our wellbeing de-
pends on it. Burning fossil fuels releases carbon and
GineersNow had an exclusive interview with Laura methane in the atmosphere, which traps more heat,
Small, Policy Associate at EESI. causing climate change. Climate change is already having
devastating impacts throughout the world by increasing
GineersNow: Introduce yourself. How many years have extreme weather (particularly droughts, forest fires, and
you been working in your industry? powerful storms), and causing sea level rise and ocean
acidification. Developing countries are most at risk from
Laura Small: My name is Laura Small, and I run the en- the adverse impacts of climate change, although we are
ergy and climate policy program at the Environmental seeing many impacts in the United States already.
and Energy Study Institute (EESI). Im originally from
Palo Alto, California, home to Stanford University and Fossil fuels also emit ozone (which forms smog), mercu-
part of Silicon Valley. Growing up in the Bay Area, I had ry, benzene, and other air toxics. These pollutants con-
access to fantastic backpacking, rafting and climbing tribute to asthma, lung cancer, and other negative health
areas, and my outdoor experiences cultivated a lifelong impacts. Clean energy, meanwhile, releases minimal or
love and respect for the environment in me. Ive been zero emissions.
honored to work on energy and climate policy at EESI
for the last three years. Clean energy is locally produced, creating domestic jobs
Laura Small, that cant be outsourced as well as improving our nation-
Policy Associate EESI OVERVIEW al energy security. Moreover, bioenergy (renewable en-
at EESI. ergy derived from organic wastes, purpose-grown crops,
GN: Are you an educational institution, social enter- and algae) can replace fossil fuels to produce electricity,
prise, non-profit or private company? Describe your liquid fuels, heat and chemicals such as plastics.
company (structure, brief history, board or advisers)
Finally, clean energywith the exception of bioener-
Laura: EESI is a nonprofit working to create an environ- gydoes not require the purchase of fuel or feedstock,
mentally sustainable future. While we have a broad, na- protecting us from fuel price hikes. For example, during
tional audience, we focus on providing Congress and the the 2014 polar vortex cold snap in the Northeast Unit-
policymaker community with unbiased information on ed States, natural gas and propane prices skyrocketed,
energy and environmental issues. EESI does not lobby, while renewable prices remained constant.
and is not partisan instead we try to educate.
EESI was founded over 30 years ago by a bipartisan Con-
gressional Caucus, which saw a need for an independent
organization to educate Congress on key energy and
environmental issues. Currently, we have a staff of 11,
including a team of seven policy staffers. Our offices are
located in Washington, DC.

64 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


THE MACRO LEVEL THE MICRO LEVEL
OF CLEAN ENERGY OF CLEAN ENERGY
GN: Where are we today? What is the current situation GN: What are the initiatives / projects that you are do-
of renewables (locally or globally)? ing (or have done) that will drive low or zero emission?
(If you are a manufacturer, what sort of efficiencies
Laura: In 2015, 13 percent of U.S. electricity genera- if youre an organization, what advocacies if youre a
tion came from renewable energy (hydropower, wind, service, what projects are those if youre a government
biomass, solar, and geothermal generation). The great- entity, what policies and enforcements)
est amount of renewable energy generation came from
hydropower, which generates almost half of all renew- Laura: EESI works to support clean energy by increasing
able energy in the United States, followed by wind, then peoples understanding of its benefits. With a particu-
wood biomass, then solar power. Globally, renewable lar eye to helping policymakers better understand how
energy represented 22 percent of power generation in clean energy can help the United States, EESI holds a
2013, and that is expected to rise to 26 percent by 2020. number of events on Capitol Hill that discuss clean en-
ergy, the jobs being created, and how states and cities are
GN: Where should we be 10 years from now? Are we taking action to move clean energy forward. Our events
on the right track? Are we delayed? Are we progressing? are open to the public, livecast online, and posted on
YouTube afterwards.
Laura: EESI doesnt advocate for specific renewable
energy targets, but we think the world should move to EESI also releases papers, articles, and weekly newslet-
100 percent clean energy as soon as possible. President ters that show the potential of clean energy technolo-
Obama has set a goal to generate 80 percent of U.S. elec- gies and policies, as well as the need to mitigate climate
tricity from clean energy resources by 2035. More than change. Our free weekly newsletter, Climate Change
190 nations, including the United States, have signed News, is especially popular. We have subscribers in all
the Paris climate agreement and committed to reducing 50 states and more than 50 countries.
their carbon emissions. This will require large invest-
ments in clean energy. GN: What are the future innovations that you or your
company are pursuing?
We are on the right track, but there is still much to do!
The fossil fuel industry is resisting moves to clean, re- Laura: Coming up on July 12, EESI will help put on the
newable power, which is slowing the transition in the 19th Annual Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
United States. Until now, progress had been slow be- Expo and Policy Forum on Capitol Hill, which showcas-
cause renewable energy was more expensive than fossil es clean energy businesses to Congress and facilitates a
fuel energy. But that is changing fast, and renewables are conversation about policies to support renewable energy
now competitive in many parts of the world. This will and energy efficiency.
accelerate the switch to renewable energy.
GN: What impact have you delivered (social, economic
and environmental)? Do you have metrics or statistics of
your accomplishments?
Laura: Measuring the impact of our advocacy work is
challenging! National policy is the result of many dif-
ferent factors, often over long periods of time. Fortu-
nately, we know we are making a difference because we
receive lots of great feedback (you can see some of it on
our GreatNonprofits page) and because weve surveyed
our subscribers. EESI was instrumental in making sure
Americas farm policy includes incentives for renewable
energy. We also played a key role in pushing for the fed-
eral government to provide interest-free loans to rural
households seeking to make their homes more energy
efficient. To maximize our impact, we work with Con-
gressional offices, government agencies, businesses,
trade associations, and other nonprofits. Together, we
are accelerating Americas transition to clean, renewable
energy.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 65


ADVICE TO THE YOUNG ENGINEERS
GN: Please give advice and words of wisdom about re-
newables to our young global audience. What would you
like to tell to the millennials? Any inspiring words that
you can share?
THE CHALLENGES &
Laura: Clean energy is a rapidly growing sector, with
THEIR SOLUTIONS plenty of great opportunities. Working in clean energy
GN: What are the stumbling blocks or bottlenecks in the will let you help mitigate climate change, lessen air pol-
renewable industry? lution, improve public health, and improve our energy
security. Its a no brainer!
Laura: Renewable energy faces a number of challenges.
One historic barrier for renewable energy is that many Engineers like you will play a key role in making re-
renewable technologies are relatively new, and have newables ever cheaper and more reliable. And were
needed help to reach the market at competitive prices. also counting on you for the next major breakthroughs!
There has been considerable progress on this front, with There are so many exciting innovations in the works:
renewable energy costs diving in recent years. Another cheaper energy storage, wave power, photovoltaic coat-
problem is that the playing field isnt level. Fossil fuels ings, turbine-less wind power
have benefited from large government subsidies for Clean energy is a really exciting field where you can do
about a century, and continue to receive considerable great while doing good.
public support. Different type of renewables, mean-
while, receive vastly different subsidies and tax breaks,
if any. This creates price distortions, and gives an un-
fair competitive edge to some technologies over others.
Renewable energy also has benefits over conventional
fossil fuels that are not properly valued by the market.
Renewables emit less pollution, for instance, but since
avoiding pollution does not have a monetary value, re-
newable energy does not get a competitive advantage for
it. That is why governments should support clean ener-
gy, making it easier for people to make the socially-re-
sponsible choice.
GN: What do you think the government, private com-
panies and NGO of each country should do to get rid
of this?
Laura: Governments, private companies and nongov-
ernmental organizations can all work together to get
more renewable energy onto the grid and to make effi-
ciency improvements in every economic sector. If gov-
ernments put consistent policies in place, investors will
have more confidence to make long-term investments
in renewable energy. Policy support, good information
about renewable energy options, and more purchasing
of renewable energy by the business community will
help scale up the manufacturing of renewable energy
technology. This is critical to achieving the economies
of scale that are needed to drive costs down.
Smaller clean energy projects like rooftop and commu-
nity solar, geothermal heating/cooling, and improved
energy efficiency can be boons for communities, includ-
ing low-income areas, provided low-cost financing is
available. However, these are generally piecemeal solu-
tions, which help some families but cannot reach every-
one. We also need policy support for the installation of
large-scale clean energy projects to ensure prices are as
low as possible, and that everyone no matter their in-
come can benefit from low-cost clean energy.

66 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 67
EKOenergy thrives on the enthusiasm of many.
Katsiaryna and many other volunteers help spread
the EKOenergy ecolabel to all corners of the world.

EKOenergy
REVOLUTIONIZING SUSTAINABLE
RENEWABLE ENERGY
EKOenergy believes that using renewable energy every-
where is possible. Though it might take years to con-
vince governments of this idea, this non-profit organi-
zation is going the extra mile to raise awareness on using
renewable energy.
EKOenergy wants change in the energy sector. As an
international network of organizations dedicated to the
environment and renewable energy, it has continually
encouraged people in different parts of the world to use
sustainable energy instead of coal and fossil fuels. Mo-
bilizing thousands of citizens across the globe to protect
nature.
Launched back in 2013, this organization is growing
fast, with its members increasing and certifying around
1 TWh of green electricity. Theres definitely no sign of
resting for EKOenergy. In this exclusive interview, get
the chance to know more about the people behind it and
their plans to achieve their goals in providing sustain-
able energy. They even have an advice for all the young
engineers out there.

68 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


INTRODUCTION
GN: Introduce Yourself.
Im Katsiaryna Viadziorchyk, a 22-year old internation-
al relations graduate. Im from Minsk, Belarus. I like
Mumford and Sons, historical movies and traveling. As
a student, I organized several international youth events
and I like to see things moving forward.
GN: How many years have you been working in your Katsiaryna
industry? Viadziorchyk.

9 months ago, I joined EKOenergy as a volunteer of the


European Erasmus+ program. This is my sabbatical
year in which I want to do something useful for society
and for the environment whilst getting a lot of new in-
teresting experiences and contacts.
At EKOenergy, I focus mainly on stakeholders in Rus-
sia and Russian speaking countries. Our aim is to make
Russian consumers enthusiastic about renewable ener-
gy. This is my first experience in the energy sector.

THE COMPANY
GN: Describe your company.
EKOenergy is a not-for-profit organization that pro-
motes renewable energy. Our most visible tool is our
EKOenergy label for sustainable renewable electricity,
which we launched in 2013. We started in Europe but
are now also preparing for launch in other continents.
Our members, over 40 environmental NGOs from over
30 countries, decide about the global strategy and the
budget. The daily management is in the hands of the
Secretariat, which is based in Helsinki.
GN: How big is EKOenergy?
After only 3 years of activities, we now certify 1 TWh
of green electricity and we have about 50 licensed sell-
ers in 15 countries. Both our volumes and network are
growing fast.
GN: Describe your mission, vision and values. CLEAN ENERGY AND
ITS IMPORTANCE
We promote sustainable renewable energy and encour-
age consumers to vote with their wallets. Our ecolabel GN: What is clean energy?
helps consumers navigate the electricity market.
All energy we promote comes from renewable sources:
GN: Where is this company headed? hydropower, wind, solar, biomass. What some people
dont realize is that the production of renewables can
Our size doubles each year and we want to continue at have an impact on the environment; hydropower can
the same speed in the coming years. Our dream is to de- devastate river ecosystems and the production of bio-
velop activities in all countries, with thousands of sellers mass can result in deforestation. At EKOenergy, we take
and millions of proud EKOenergy consumers. these aspects into account as well: we set strict sustain-
ability criteria.
GN: Whats the importance of pursuing clean energy?
We all know that the fight against climate change is a
race against the clock. Amidst a lot of scary news, there
is at least one reason for hope: technically it is possible
to replace all fossil fuels with renewable energy. Also
financially it is possible, renewables have a reputation
for being expensive when this is not the case. In many
areas, renewable energy is already cheaper than fossil
fuels, and the prices continue to fall.
Where politicians and traditional companies dont act
(or dont act fast enough), consumers can take an im-
portant role. Think of the RE100 (www.there100.org),
a group of large multinationals, all striving for 100%
renewable energy. Such actions arent only sound eco-
nomic choices, they also accelerate the necessary, global
growth of renewable energy.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 69


Smaller consumers can have an impact too. Particularly THE FUTURE OF CLEAN ENERGY
if they all pull in the same direction. Here too, EKOen-
ergy has a role to play. We already united 100,000 house- GN: Where should we be 10 years from now?
hold consumers, all asking for sustainable renewable
electricity. We will definitely get a 100% renewable energy world
around the middle of this century. However, more and
GN: What is the current situation of renewables? more scientists are convinced that this is not fast enough
to avoid catastrophic climate change. Therefore, we need
We are at the eve of a breakthrough. Prices for renew- to speed up the energy transition: the effects of switch-
able energy are falling rapidly. Everyday, more people ing are exponential, so the sooner we start the better. Sea
are realizing that we just cannot keep on burning fossil levels of 2100 probably depend more on our decisions
fuels. today than on the inventions of 2050.
This is very clear on the electricity markets. More and GN: What are the initiatives / projects that you are doing
more consumers produce their own electricity and/or (or have done) that will drive low or zero emission?
are looking for ways to buy 100% renewable electricity.
Until recently separate purchase of renewable electricity Our main initiative is the EKOenergy-label for renew-
was mainly limited to liberalized energy markets. But as able electricity. This label helps consumers find the best
more and more international companies want to switch electricity products and increase the positive impact of
to 100% renewable systems, similar systems of green their purchase. Consumers can influence in many ways,
electricity contracts find their way to other continents but to be really efficient, it is important that we all pull
as well. in the same direction. EKOenergy sets sustainability cri-
teria for power plants, e.g. with regard to fish migration
Right now Im studying opportunities how to get these in the case of hydropower. Also, each time EKOenergy is
dynamics to Russia. We want to help Russian companies sold, the seller contributes minimum 0,10 per MWh to
switch to 100% renewable. our Climate fund. We use this money to finance climate
projects that would otherwise not have happened. Last
year we financed solar panels on schools in Tanzania,
Cameroon and Indonesia.

EKOENERGYS FUTURE
AND ITS CHALLENGES
GN: What are the future innovations that your company
is pursuing?
We want to bring our EKOenergy label to new markets.
We made small steps forward in several Asian countries
and also in Latin-America we have concrete plans. Re-
cently we started looking for contacts in the Arab world
and in Africa. By the way, we welcome all help!
My own task is to map opportunities in Russia. We are
in contact with several key stakeholders and discussing
how to enable Russian consumers to play a role in the
energy transition.
Apart from that, we are now also working on the first
international ecolabel for renewable gas and district
heating.
GN: What impact have you delivered?
The best measures of impact are the projects we finance
via our Climate Fund mentioned earlier. Apart from
that, we also manage an Environmental Fund, whose
money is used to finance river restoration projects. Last
year we financed 4 of these river restoration projects.
We can of course also measure the number of EKOener-
gy consumers, and that number is growing fast.
But much more is happening. Via our positive commu-
nication we convinced more people that a world without
fossil fuels is possible. It is not possible to specify how
big our role is compared to the many other initiatives.
We also think this is not that relevant. The energy tran-
sition is taking place thanks to millions of initiatives all
over the world, and we are proud to contribute to that
evolution.

70 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


GN: What are the stumbling blocks or bottlenecks in
the renewable industry?
The main bottleneck is probably the prejudgments. A
100% renewable world is technically and economical-
ly possible but many of us are still doubting. After 100
years with coal and fossils, many seem to have difficul-
ties to believe that it is possible to go on without. But
as evidence accumulates, even the last doubters will be
convinced.
Apart from this, the lobbying networks of the oil and
nuclear sectors are hindering the development of the re-
newable electricity. Just think of the many reports prov-
ing that oil and nuclear get much more state support
than the renewable energy industry.
GN: What do you think should the government, private
companies and NGOs of each country do to get rid of
these?
We have to repeat and amplify the positive stories. Re-
newable energy is contagious. Very few people install
solar because they have read on Bloomberg that renew-
able is cheaper. They do it because their neighbor tells
them how much money he saved after installing solar
panels.
We of course also actively encourage small and large
consumers alike to either invest in own renewable ener-
gy installations or buy 100% renewable energy. A com-
bination of both is of course also possible.
As more and more people invest in the production, elec-
tricity storage will also become increasingly popular.
And as this is a technology too, the costs will decrease
as the number of users increase.
Apart from that, we think that emissions of CO2 should
be taxed, reflecting the real costs they are causing.
GN: How do we provide cheap energy in poverty-strick-
en areas?
Renewable electricity is the cheapest way to produce en-
ergy. Therefore it is definitely the best solution to energy
poverty. In some poor areas, solar is already spreading
fast. And this trend will continue and get even stronger.
GN: How do we ensure access to clean energy?
Clean energy is much more accessible than nuclear and
fossil fuel energy. It just seems to take some time for
people to understand this. Think of what happened to
mobile phones. These have spread in no time and with-
out a clear plan to all corners of the world. The same is
now happening with solar energy.

THE ROLE OF YOUNG ENGINEERS IN


THE CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION
GN: What is your advice to all the young engineers
about there?
Renewables are spreading very fast. But still not fast
enough to be sure to avoid catastrophic climate change.
What happens in the coming 5 years is crucial for the
future of our planet. Therefore each act promoting re-
newable energy is making a difference. Try to avoid
spending money and time on fossils. Instead, focus on
renewable energy. Buy renewable energy whenever Learn more about EKOenergy by going to their
you get the chance to do so, invest in renewable energy,
study renewable energy, find traineeships and student YouTube channel, or by simply clicking
jobs in the renewable energy industry. If you see op- their featured videos above.
portunities for launching EKOenergy in your country,
please let us know!

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 71


EUROSOLARS
QUEST FOR
ENERGIEWENDE
Since 1988, EUROSOLAR has made it its mission to THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE COMPANY
make renewables the main source of energy in Europe.
The people behind this non-profit organization are ded- My name is Tobias and since January 2016 I am the
icated in making a sociocultural and political move- Managing Director of EUROSOLAR. I was born and
ment in influencing political parties, institutions and raised in Wrzburg in Bavaria, Germany. For my stud-
other groups to switch to renewable energy. ies in Sociology I moved to Bremen and worked for
an environment and energy company on the side till I
It has been around for 28 year and it has expanded its moved to Leipzig to work as a key account manager in
office in Germany to the rest of its European neighbors the PV-sector. I developed a strong interest in renewable
- Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Russia, energy and became a member of the The European As-
Spain, Austria, Ukraine, Hungary, Turkey and Czech sociation for Renewable Energy EUROSOLAR. When
Republic. With almost 3000 members, EUROSOLAR I read about the open position of a project manager, I
is promoting the use of solar energy through different applied. Two years in, the executive committee asked me
fields such as the economy, science, politics and culture. to take up the open position of the Managing Director.
With an exclusive interview with EUROSOLAR, get to EUROSOLAR was founded in 1988 as a non-profit as-
know the company and its goal to make all European sociation. Our head office is in Bonn but next to almost
countries convert to fast, decentralized and affordable 3000 members in Germany, EUROSOLAR has sec-
100% renewable energy. tions in Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg,
Austria, Russia, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Ukraine
and Hungary. The elected board consists of President Pe-
ter Droege and eight vice presidents from six countries.
We advocate a quick replacement of nuclear and fossil
energy in the sectors power, thermal energy and trans-
port. True to the slogan 100% Renewables: fast, decen-
tralized, affordable we connect expertise from politics,
economy, sciences and society to expedite the process.

72 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


EUROSOLARS MISSION
EUROSOLARs definition of clean energy is a world-
wide energy supply with neither nuclear nor fossil ener-
gy sources. In our understanding the successful Ener-
giewende can only be reached once all thermal energy
sources and fuels are replaced with renewable energy,
too.
Pursuing clean energy has multiple goals that are all in-
terconnected. The conversation of nature and the slow-
down of climate change can only be reached by turning
our back on extraditing coal and fossil fuels and by di-
minishing the use of nuclear power.
Decentralized renewable energy sources guarantee the
independence from large power companies and oil-rich
states which have repeatedly been involved in political
conflicts and war. Stabilizing the energy provision local-
ly, supporting cooperation amongst regions across state
boundaries, this energy transition does not only bring
clean energy but also enhances cooperation and mutual
assistance amongst people and states and is the precon-
dition for healthier, economically sound and democratic
societies.
In addition, we deal with a steady rise of inhabitants in
this world. We need a secure provision of energy for all
and even the expected power demand will never over-
strain the power of the sun and the wind.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 73


THE FUTURE OF CLEAN ENERGY
Germany has the potential to go fully renewable within
the next one or two decades. We have the technology
to go all in. Only a few weeks back, Germany reached
an almost 100% power supply with RE on a sunny and
windy weekend. Portugal even managed to supply the
country with 100% RE for four consecutive days. Many
countries and regions are ready to take the leap, but pol-
itics are holding back although there is certainly no time
to loose.
Political restrictions keep preventing a quicker transi-
tion to renewable energy. The big coal companies are
very powerful in political processes. They do not want
to lose their share of the cake and are currently work-
ing towards limiting the number of involved actors in
the energy transition. In Germany, the success of the
Energiewende is built on the large amount of small and
mid-sized organizations and companies and millions of
citizens who already started their private transition. If
those players are marginalized due to new legislations,
few large players will be able to dictate their interest in
the future.
Further, the goal to reduce C0, now manifested in the
Paris Agreements, motivates some to bring nuclear en-
ergy back on the table. EUROSOLAR is strictly against
a revival of nuclear energy. Implementing renewable en-
ergy is the cleanest, most sustainable and most peaceful
power!

74 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


RAISING AWARENESS
ABOUT CLEAN ENERGY
Since its foundation, EUROSOLAR has engaged in sev-
eral projects to spread awareness about the energy tran-
sition and its advantages. Several conference series shed
light on several important aspects regarding the energy
transition. The International Renewable Energy Storage
Conference (IRES) is organized annually. Researchers
from all around the world present their newest findings
on storage solutions for renewable energy and connect
with companies and organizations to discuss market
entry strategies. Other conferences focus on the role of
public utilities in the Energiewende, practical aspects of
the transition or political debates centered on frame-
work conditions and legal parameters.
In addition to informing people, EUROSOLAR awards
the German and the European Solar Prize annually to
honor those who put great effort into promoting renew-
able energy. The prize ceremonies are accompanied by
keynote speeches by leading scientists and politicians.
In various campaigns, EUROSOLAR has addressed pol-
iticians to reflect on their energy policies. Most recently
the campaign, Dont stop the energy transition, in-
formed about the political agenda to outmaneuver pre-
vious advantageous legislation. The campaign was fully
financed with the help of EUROSOLAR-members and
published in nationwide newspapers.
With conferences, award ceremonies and campaigns,
EUROSOLAR offers a wide array of methods for raising
awareness and keeping the public informed. As EURO-
SOLAR works completely independent of politicians,
companies and lobby groups, the work remains a 100%
true to the associations mission and vision.

THE POLITICS OF ADVICE TO YOUNG ENGINEERS


AFFORDABLE CLEAN ENERGY
It is absolutely necessary that people all around the
In political science we speak of a phenomenon called world fight for the full replacement of conventional en-
path dependency. It analyses how policies (and people) ergy with renewables. People with different (academic)
are not very open towards change and therefore tend to backgrounds need to work together to make this change
stick to whatever is already there. The change from con- happen. Engineers need to learn from political science
ventional to renewable energy is a revolution that many students and geographers must understand how techni-
are afraid to tackle. Currently, the biggest challenge is cal problems can be solved using the natural sciences.
overcoming political restrictions. Instead of increasing Only when working together and constantly learning
renewable power plants, the German parliament wants from each other, we can make an impact and contribute
to limit onshore power plants by introducing tenders. to one of the largest social and economic changes of our
This would push small participants out of the game and century.
end the decentralized energy transition.
EUROSOLAR wants to contribute to a global change
by making a local impact. We inform people about lo-
cal policies and national political change and create an
awareness of counterproductive political decisions. Be-
ing fully independent, we can make claims that others
are not allowed to voice. That said, governments around
the world should support renewable energy and take
more effort to tax Co-emissions and decrease pollu-
tion overall. Private companies need to think about the
future. Instead of only striving for economic growth,
they also need to think about a sustainable future for
the planet. NGOs need to be more fearless and less de-
pendent on funding from governments and companies.
The political process needs to be stimulated locally and
pushed further to have an impact on the global level.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 75


FIRST
SOLAR:
Offering
PV Energy
Solutions
Everywhere

GETTING TO KNOW
The people behind First Solar believe My name is Raed Bkayrat and I am the
that affordable solar energy must be Vice President for Business Development
available to everyone in all parts of the at First Solar.
world. Offering different energy solutions,
this company has installed over 10 GW I have over 15 years of experience and
around the globe. It aims to provide joined First Solar from the King Abdullah
reliable and affordable solar electricity University of Science and Technology
while minimizing the risks. (KAUST), where I was responsible for
creating the institutions successful
First Solar was able to develop and operate Industry Collaboration Program (KICP).
some of the worlds largest grid-connected During my time at KAUST, I also created
PV power plants and offers its services to a demonstration and testing program for
different solar value chains. Using a well- solar and other clean energy technologies.
developed PV energy services, it delivers
more reliable, dependable and cost- Prior to this, I was part of the core team
effective solutions for our customers. behind Direct Drive Systems, a US-based
start-up that was acquired by an oil and
In this exclusive interview with First Solar, gas major, and previously spent eight years
get the chance to find out more about this in various roles at Siemens AG.
global leader in PV energy solutions.
Find out what they plan to achieve in the I hold a Ph.D. and a Master of Science
near future and what they want young (MS) in Electrical Engineering from the
engineers to take part of. Arizona State University and a Bachelor
of Science from the University of Jordan.
I have been a dedicated techie since I was a
kid to the point that I had no intention to
study anything else but engineering when
I started college. I enjoy spending active
time with my kids and educating them on
the value and need for clean energy in our
day and age. I think I am doing well in
making them Pro Green!

76 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


FIRST SOLAR PURSUING CLEAN ENERGY
GN: Are you an educational institution, GN: How big is your company? GN: What is clean energy?
social enterprise, non-profit or private
company? First Solar currently has just over First Solars photovoltaic (PV) module
6,000 associates worldwide. We have technology harness our most abundant
With more than 13 gigawatts (GW) commercial offices in all the major solar energy resource, sunlight, to generate
installed worldwide, we believe that clean growth markets around the world. We clean, affordable solar electricity.
affordable solar electricity is an essential operate manufacturing facilities in the
part of the worldwide energy mix. Our United States and Malaysia. Additionally, we are able to offer the
proven energy solutions have diversified smallest carbon footprint of all solar
the energy portfolio and reduced the risk GN: Describe your mission, vision and technologies; the fastest energy payback
of fuel-price volatility, while delivering an values. time (less than 1 year); the lowest
LCOE that is cost competitive with fossil water use (on a lifecycle basis); 8998%
fuels. Our mission is to create enduring value reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
by enabling a world powered by clean, and other pollutants by displacing
First Solar has developed, financed, affordable solar electricity. This is reflected conventional generation; and access to
engineered, constructed and currently in the level of innovation that weve been operational, industry-leading module
operates many of the worlds largest grid- able to deliver and also in our commitment recycling services.
connected PV power plants in existence. to sustainable business practices.
By integrating technologies, services and With a commitment to sustainable
expertise across the entire solar value product life-cycle management and
chain, First Solar delivers bankable PV corporate responsibility, First Solar
energy solutions that enable a world is creating enduring value every
powered by reliable and affordable solar day environmentally, socially and
electricity. economically.
GN: Whats the importance of pursuing
clean energy?
Today, we are in the midst of an energy
transition as the world looks to renewables
to generate affordable electricity. The
days of high cost, low efficiency solar
technologies are over. We now see that
solar energy is able to stand shoulder-to-
shoulder with conventional generation
sources and that investments in solar are
being driven by market factors.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 77


FIRST SOLARS
INITIATIVES IN
MAKING CHANGES
GN: What are the initiatives / projects generation to geographic markets with
that you are doing (or have done) that will immediate electricity needs. Moving
drive low or zero emission? quickly into these markets to provide
power at low cost requires us to reduce
We remain focused on fulfilling our waste in our operations and responsibly
mission while delivering on the triple use our own resources including
bottom line of people, planet and profit. capital, time and talent to sustain our
We accomplish this by incorporating growth. Because we are here for the long
sustainable business practices throughout term, sustainability also means forming
our organization to grow responsibly and deep partnerships built on trust in the
remain financially stable. We are increasing communities where we do business. That
THE SITUATION OF our technology and manufacturing trust is also influenced by our stewardship
CLEAN ENERGY TODAY efficiencies to produce solar PV modules of the environment.
and projects with higher energy yields and
GN: Where are we today? What is the lower environmental impacts. At the same We strive to minimize impacts during
current situation of renewables? time, we are driving down the cost of solar the construction and operation of our
energy to provide an attractive alternative projects. Our global, cost compelling PV
According to a recent report from the to fossil fuels in markets around the world. module recycling program ensures that
International Renewable Energy Agency clean energy solutions dont pose a waste
(IRENA), we ended 2015 with 1,985 In January 2015, we celebrated a significant burden for future generations. With the
gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy. milestone becoming the first thin film smallest carbon footprint, lowest life cycle
TO put that into context, thats roughly PV company to have 10GW of modules water use and fastest energy payback
the equivalent of 1,985 nuclear power installed worldwide. This installed time in the industry, First Solar produces
plants. Of all of the various renewable capacity produces enough clean electricity the leading eco-efficient PV technology.
energy technologies available to us, solar annually to power 5 million households, Our modules generate more energy at
is one of the fastest growing, with 47GW save over 18 billion liters of water, displace a competitive cost and with the lowest
of additional capacity installed last year 7 million metric tons of CO2 per year environmental impact per kilowatt-hour.
alone. and reduce other air pollutants by 89-98 In addition to addressing energy security,
percent, based on worldwide averages. climate change and water scarcity, First
GN: Where should we be 10 years from Solar energy solutions are sustainably
now? We arent stopping there. Our corporate
strategy over the next few years focuses delivering competitive, accessible and
on providing even more utility-scale PV reliable solar electricity globally.
By all current indications its clear that
the energy transition is well underway.
Although driven by different factors
environmental, social and economic
adoption of renewable energy is growing
at an unprecedented scale.

78 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ADVICE TO THE
YOUNG ENGINEERS
The only hope for our blue planet, which
is now suffocating under high greenhouse
gas emissions and rising temperature, is
in the young generation taking the helm
and adopting clean energy and energy
conservation not as a job, a business or
just a career, but simply as a choice and a
way of life. Engineers have a pivotal role
to play in developing the technologies
and solutions needed to help create a
sustainable living for all.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 79


CHANGING RENEWABLE ENERGY
PERSPECTIVES WITH THE
GLOBAL WIND ENERGY COUNCIL

W I T H I T S M I S SIO N T O E S TA B L I SH wind INTRODUCTION


power supply in different countries, the Global Wind
Energy Council (GWEC) is working with different in- My name is Steve Sawyer, I was born in Boston, grew
ternational policy makers and companies to open new up in rural New Hampshire, escaped and studied Phi-
markets for wind energy. GWEC and its members rep- losophy at Haverford College, then joined Greenpeace
resent 1500 companies and organizations coming from in 1978. I met my (now) wife at Greenpeace in 1982
80 countries and has worked with local partners to orga- and we have been living in Amsterdam since 1989. We
nize exhibitions all over the world. have two grown up children (23 and 28 years), one do-
ing mechanical engineering and the other focusing on
Theres no doubt that GWEC has played a crucial role the environment/development interface.
in encouraging different organizations in switching to
wind power. Now, wind power has attracted investments At Greenpeace I mainly worked on climate, energy and
worth $100 billion and currently employs over 1 million nuclear weapons issues for most of the period from
people. 1978-2006, and have been at GWEC since early 2007.
In this exclusive interview with GWEC, learn more about WHAT IS THEGLOBAL WIND
its mission to promote wind energy across the globe, their
latest achievements and the companys goals and future ENERGY COUNCIL AND
plans. Find out the status of wind energy and the chal- ITS GOALS?
lenges it faces as countries shift from non-renewable en- Steve Sawyer
ergy to clean energy such as using wind power. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is the glob- GWEC Secretary General
al trade association representing the wind industry. The Buenos Aires Herald
members of GWEC represent over 1,500 companies, or-
ganizations and institutions in more than 80 countries,
including manufacturers, developers, component sup-
pliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables
associations, electricity providers, finance, insurance
companies and law firms.
GWEC works at the highest international political level
to create a better policy environment for wind power.
Our mission is to ensure that wind power establishes
itself as the answer to todays energy challenges, provid-
ing substantial environmental and economic benefits.
GWEC works with national and international policy
makers and industry associations to help open new mar-
kets for wind power. GWEC has a proven track record of
success in helping to build the wind power industry in
emerging markets around the world, including Argenti-
na, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. For
more information: www.gwec.net.
80 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY
Horns Rev II Saylor
We have a small but dynamic eight-person team. melt season has start two months early. CO2 levels are
GWECs headquarters are located at the Wind Power rising at an alarming rate, and we are now in unchart-
House in Brussels, Belgium and we have staff in India/ ed territory in terms of atmospheric concentrations of
US and an office in Beijing, China. We organize wind greenhouse gases, at least since Homo sapiens has been
power exhibition & conferences together with our local around.
partners across the globe including Brazil, China, India,
Mexico and South Africa. The global power sector is the largest single source of
emissions, accounting for more than 40% of all carbon
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and about
25% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. If global
USING CLEAN ENERGY? emissions are to peak and decline in this decade, as the
science shows is necessary in order to meet climate pro-
Clean energy is a non-polluting source of energy that tection goals, one focus has to be the power sector. Wind
displaces greenhouse gas emissions. Clean energy powers scalability and its speed of deployment makes it
doesnt emit pollutants and has a minimal water usage an ideal technology to bring about the early emissions
footprint. By 2020, GWEC projections suggest that wind reductions which are required if we are to keep the win-
power alone would save 1.2 billion tons of CO2 every dow open for keeping global mean temperature rise to
year. Wind power does not emit any other air pollut- 2 C or less above pre-industrial levels.
ants and within three to six months of operation, a wind
turbine has offset all emissions from its construction, to Global emissions need to peak and begin to decline be-
run with virtually zero emissions for the remainder of fore 2020, and a dramatic increase in renewable energy
its twenty-thirty year lifetime. While conventional fos- deployment is urgently required to help make this hap-
sil fuel and nuclear power plants, which make up 78% pen. In the short term the three key options available
of global electricity production, use water for cooling for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions include a rapid
and condensing the steam that drives the turbines, wind deployment of renewable energy, primarily wind power;
power generation requires practically no water. escalation of efforts towards promoting energy efficien-
cy and conservation; and fuel switching from coal to gas.
More than 150 nations gathered in New York on 22
April, on Earth Day, to formally sign the landmark By 2020, GWEC projections suggest that wind power
climate change deal which was agreed in Paris last De- alone would save 7.9 billion tons of CO2. On average,
cember, an all too rare triumph for multilateralism in a each kWh of wind power generated avoids 600 grams
world that desperately needed one. of CO2by displacing the need for the generation of the
same unit of electricity from conventional energy sourc-
While there are many positive signs, Mother Nature is es (coal, oil or gas).
sending signals of another sort: weird weather, droughts,
floods, unprecedented Arctic sea-ice retreat, record high Wind energy installations totaled 432.9 GW globally by
winter temperatures and Greenlands annual glacier the end of 2015, and the industry is set to grow by anoth-
er +60 GW in 2016.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 81


WHAT IS THE FUTURE
OF CLEAN ENERGY?
The global wind industry had another record-breaking
year in 2015. After installations broke through the 50
GW for the first time in a single year in 2014, we reached
yet another milestone in 2015 as annual installations
topped 63 GW, a 22% increase on the 2014 annual mar-
ket; and not only did renewables surpass all other power
sector investments, for the first time capital investments
in renewables surpassed all capital investments in fos-
sil fuels for the first time. By the end of last year, there
were about 433 GW of wind power spinning around the
globe, a 17% increase over the previous year; and wind
power supplied more new power generation than any
other technology, according to the IEA.
Looking ahead, GWEC sees wind power installations
will nearly double in the next five yearswere moving
rapidly towards a power system dominated by wind and
solar, although we still have a lot more work to do on
transport and heating.
Wind power has become the least cost option when add-
ing new capacity to the grid in an increasing number of
markets, and prices continue to fall. Given the urgency
to cut down CO2 emissions and continued reliance on
imported fossil fuels, wind powers pivotal role in the
worlds future energy supply is assured.

GWEC

82 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Finland
Vastavalo,
Raimo Rosholm

WHAT HAS YOUR COMPANY


ACHIEVED SO FAR?
In addition to our international advocacy with the Cli-
mate Convention, IRENA, the IEA and other interna-
tional institutions, we focus on opening new markets.
Two top programmatic priorities at the moment are: 1)
the FOWIND project, in collaboration with Indian and
international partners and the Government of India,
supported by the EU, developing a roadmap for offshore
wind development in India; and 2) taking advantage of
the changed political circumstances in Argentina to help
drive wind power development in that country, which
has some of the best wind resources in the world.
In terms of the impact, we have been instrumental in
establishing wind power markets in China, Brazil, South
Africa and Mexico, as well as helping to establish wind
power as a mainstream energy source in the national
and international energy policy debate. The wind pow-
er industry now employs more than 1 million people
worldwide, and in 2015 attracted about $100 billion in
investment. Both of those numbers are expected to con-
tinue to grow at a substantial rate in the coming decade.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 83


GWEC

WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES


DID THE WIND ENERGY
REVOLUTION FACE?
The main stumbling block to the energy revolution is
the entrenched belief system of utility executives and
engineers who just dont believe that we can run our
economy on renewable energy, because their under-
standing of the technology is 10, 20 or more years old.
They should look at examples like Denmark where wind
supplied more than 40% of all power in 2015, or Portu-
gal, where renewables supplied 100% of all power needs
for four days in May of 2016. There are many others.
What citizens and NGOs can do is to continually pres-
sure their elected officials and demand clean energy at
national, regional and local levels. They need to educate
themselves about the energy system to become effective
advocates, and engage in the policy and regulatory de-
bates at all levels.
In terms of supplying energy to the (mostly rural) poor
in the developing world, what is needed is an effective
national programme which is really supported by the
government, and they will discover that renewables are
most often the cheapest and most effective way to do so.
There are many successful examples of this, the biggest
one being China.
My experience is that when government officials are at-
tending international conferences, supplying energy to
the poor is a priority; but when theyre at home it falls
off the radar. International institutions should insist on
effective market policies and structures to deal with the
problem as a condition of cooperation.

84 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO
YOUNG ENGINEERS?
We dont need technological miracles to achieve our
climate, energy and access goals(although they would
certainly help!). We have proven that we have the af-
fordable, reliable, competitive technology to reach our
goals. Now we need political miracles in energy markets
around the world. That may be a bit tougher, but you,
as engineers, have to be insistent that it is possible, nec-
essary, and economically desirable. You can be part of
the revolution whose only victims will be large energy
corporations who refuse to change; and the winners will
be everyone else, our children and theirs.

GWECs wind power mission


to Argentina GWEC

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 85


ISES: Striving for Transformation
to a 100% Renewable Energy Future

ABOUT ISES
T H E I N T E R NAT IO NA L S O L A R ISES is a leader in the transformation to
Energy Society (ISES) is a non-profit, a 100% renewable energy future through
UN accredited membership organization. its events, webinars, publications and Dave Renn,
Founded in 1954, the Society has a long collaboration with global partners. ISES President.
history of being a trusted global advisor The ISES Solar World Congresses, held
on renewable energy and this remains its biennially since the 1950s, as well as
core value. The Society has thousands of regional events such as the EuroSun,
members and reaches over 50,000 people embody the spirit of international
around the world through its contacts, renewable energy networking and
Sections and partners. exchange of ideas advanced by the Society.
Its objective is to maintain communication
ISES works to achieve 100% renewable between the research community,
energy for all, used efficiently and wisely, industrial and political players.
by providing the global renewable energy
community with a collective, scientifically ISES sees itself in this context as a focal Jennifer McIntosh,
credible voice and up-to-date information point, providing a network within which ISES Executive
gathered and synthesized by its talented different groups can exchange knowledge Secretary.
members. The ISES headquarters is and obtain technical and scientific
located in Freiburg, Germany. expertise. ISES Board Members are
welcome speakers at renewable energy
events all around the world.

86 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Our flagship publication, Solar Energy,
is the official journal of ISES, devoted
exclusively to the science and technology
of solar energy applications. This
publication is thriving, with an increase
from 12 to 18 issues a year in 2016 and an
impressive 1.1 million downloads in 2014.
Since 2014, ISES has been holding free
monthly webinars. The webinars focus
on key renewable energy topics, drawing
a large global audience each month.
The Society also publishes monthly
newsletters, and its members are active
contributors to renewable energy
campaigns on social media.

THE MACRO LEVEL OF


CLEAN ENERGY
The dream of the ISES founders of a global
solar energy industry is becoming a reality.
According to the REN 21 Renewables 2016
Global Status Report, 2015 was a record
year for renewable energy. Global new
investment in renewable power and fuels
reached nearly USD 286 billion; the world
now adds more renewable energy power to achieving 100% renewable energy,
capacity than it adds from all fossil fuels are important factors driving growth in
combined; and an estimated 8.1 million renewables.
people worldwide are working directly or
indirectly in the renewable energy sectors. Yet, the ISES goals to promote the
The total installed capacity of solar PV development and application of solar
reached 227 GW and solar power accounts energy technologies globally are more
for over 56% of total new investment in relevant than ever. The challenges
renewable power and fuels. The growing Farrington Daniels, Henry Sargent and
markets are the result of breakthroughs other solar energy pioneers recognized 60
in research and development, which have years ago are more urgent today and are
led to major achievements in improving expounded further by the growing risk of
solar energy technologies, and thus drive climate change. ISES is looking forward
down costs. Enabling policies, including to lead the energy transformation to a
the increasing number of communities 100% renewable energy world during this
and cities around the world committed century.

Photo by Solarsiedlung GmbH

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 87


THE MICRO LEVEL THE CHALLENGES &
OF CLEAN ENERGY THEIR SOLUTIONS
An important strategic activity of the representing wind, hydropower, From Presidents Column in the ISES
Society is engaging in key partnerships geothermal and bioenergy to demonstrate April 2016 Newsletter by ISES President
with like-minded organizations from how these technologies can work together Dr. David Renn:
around the world. Together with our to achieve a 100% renewable energy
members and Sections, these partners solution to climate change. The event Mobilizing the financial capital to
form a strong global alliance for advancing provided case studies of communities, achieve the 100% renewable energy
renewable energy. ISES provides key cities, countries and regions, where transformation is perhaps among the most
timely information on renewable various high-penetration combinations important constraints to be addressed
energy technology and innovation of renewable energy technologies are both by national governments providing
breakthroughs, policy mechanisms working together. Technical solutions for public finance and by the private capital
and changes, investment strategies and 100% renewable energy systems are in markets themselves. The public and
deployment opportunities. The Society place today, along with the will to invest, private sectors need to work together to
works closely with global partners such and regional resource availability. stimulate private capital flows required
as the International Renewable Energy to finance the energy transformation.
Alliance (REN Alliance), the Global Dr. David Renn, President of the Programs such as the Green Climate Fund,
100% Renewable Energy Campaign, the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), a pool of public capital made available
International Renewable Energy Agency said: The solar energy resource potential through recent climate agreements, if
(IRENA), the United Nations Practitioner is vast. Working with other renewable used properly, can stimulate flow of
Network and SE4ALL initiative, the energy technologies, the solar resource private capital by helping create enabling
International Energy Agencys Solar provides an important component of environments for renewable energy
Heating and Cooling Programme, the 100% renewable energy systems. There business growth, especially with small
Global Solar Council and many more. is plenty of financial capital and public and medium enterprises. As Bloomberg
engagement available to support the New Energy Finance representatives
As a UN accredited NGO, ISES renewable energy transformation, and the pointed out during the IRENA General
participates in the UN Climate Change COP21 agreement in Paris provides the Assembly in Abu Dhabi this January,
Conferences, including the COP21 in political will by national governments to current investment in renewable energy
Paris last November. ISES held a side- create an effective policy and regulatory must double by the year 2020 just to keep
event with the REN Alliance partners environment to drive us towards a 100% up with the climate mitigation goals that
renewable energy future. were established at the COP21 in Paris
in December 2015. Paradoxically, the

88 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ADVICE TO THE
YOUNG ENGINEERS
The International Solar Energy Society and implement measures for the 100%
encourages young people to continuously renewable energy goal. Opportunities for
search for ways to achieve a better future young engineers are growing constantly,
for all people of the world. Modern and and the future green energy economy
efficient technological solutions exist to will result in exciting, high-paying and
provide a 100% renewable energy future, satisfying careers for our future engineers.
but more research and development are Young engineers can be at the forefront of
still needed for continuous innovation. the renewable energy transformation by
ISES supports the development of a choosing career paths in solar and other
workforce that will drive innovation renewable energy technologies.

actual investment levels at present are


being challenged by the lowering cost of
renewable technologies, the strength of
the U.S. dollar combined with a weakened
European economy, and lower oil and
natural gas prices.
The majority of the costs of the energy
transformation will be covered by private
capital. Governments, however, play a
key role in supporting the high-risk R&D
still required to further reduce costs and
improve reliability of renewable energy
systems, and to act on the policy signals
that came out of the recent Paris climate
accord. This accord includes commitments
by signatory countries to reduce carbon
emissions to specified targets, known as
INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined
Contributions). Based on current
projections, if all INDCs were adopted
as specified, global temperature warming
would be limited to 2.7 to 3.0C above
pre-industrial levels (currently global
warming is approximately 1 C above
preindustrial levels).
An energy transformation to a low-
carbon economy is now underway, and
the Paris accord is a signal for national
governments to create policies to
accelerate this transformation, but much
work and many challenges still stand in
the way of a realization towards a 100%
renewable energy future. The political
will is not always there, and governments
do not always sustain the kind of critical
R&D necessary to move innovation
technology into the marketplace. The
fossil fuel interests are mobilizing their
base to thwart or at least delay the
transformation, arguing (falsely) that the
transformation is creating global financial
chaos and disruption.
ISES is playing a key role to ensure that
the renewable energy transformation is
not derailed by fossil fuel interests, or by
reluctance of national governments to
create favorable policies. This role is to
continue to advocate for, and report on,
ongoing and growing support in critical
R&D to advance clean energy technologies
from the laboratory to the marketplace,
and to communicate the viability of a
100% renewable energy future broadly in
ways that stimulate favorable policies and
attract low-cost private capital.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 89


Imtiaz Mahtab, President. Opening
speech for an event in partnership with
DNVGL. (May 2016)

GOING SOLAR:
MIDDLE EAST NATIONS
RENEWABLE ENERGY
TRANSITION WITH MESIA
Countries in the Middle East have been
known to leave some of the largest carbon
footprints in the world. Middle East
Solar Industry Association, a non-profit
organization, plans to change the way
these countries produce energy through
the use of solar power. With an aim to
encourage governments and industries
to have a transition from oil to solar
energy, MESIA became the largest solar
associations in MENA and continues to
keep on growing.
In this exclusive interview with Imtiaz
Mahtab, MESIAs President, we were able
to learn more about the company, its views
on renewable energy, and the challenges
the company faced as it became one of
the most respected solar associations in
MENA.

Members getting together on Dubai rooftop. (December 2014)

90 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


GETTING TO KNOW
Imtiaz Mahtab, A US Citizen, lived and
worked at eight different countries and
in four major continents (America, Asia,
Europe, Middle- East Africa) around the
world. Imtiaz is the President of Middle
East Solar Industry Association. He is
currently SkyPower Globals Managing
Director for the Middle East, and Africa
(MEA) region as well as Strategic Advisor
to its board. Prior to this role, Imtiaz
Mahtab has been the Regional Managing
Director at Air Liquide.
Imtiaz has over 21 years of leadership
experiences in the management of
businesses in Renewable Energy,
Environment and High Technology
sectors. He serves on the advisory board
of various Renewable Energy and High
Technology startups in the MENA region.
Imtiaz is a graduate of Harvard Business
School in General Management, has a
bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering
from University of Texas, Austin in USA
and has an MBA from Rutgers University
-NJ in USA.

ABOUT MESIA
MESIA, a non-profit organization, was
founded in 2009 by few solar enthusiasts in
UAE together with the support of handful
of companies to promote solar energy in
the Middle East; a region where most of
the economic activities are tied to oil and
gas, and where countries have one of the
largest carbon footprint in the world. Shams Dubai Task Force with MESIA members to accompany Dubai government
Over the years, through the dedication implementing the Solar Rooftop program. (September 2015)
and perseverance of its board members
and employees, MESIA became the largest
and most respected solar association in
MENA with a strong membership base of
over 150 solar related companies.
MESIAs vision is to enable solar energy
deployment in MENA, and be the trusted
partner to both public and private entities
to that endeavor. Through its various
regional initiatives (influencing policies,
finance and technology deployment)
MESIA aims to encourage the growth of
solar industry so that solar energy can
represent a larger portion of energy mix
in the region. Its mission is to expand
the use of solar energy, to strengthen the
regional solar industry, and to facilitate
business opportunities for its members.
By 2030, MESIA aims that 30% of energy
will be generated from renewable energy
sources in the region (from less than
1% today) reducing carbon footprint
drastically while creating jobs for many.

Event in partnership with Dupont and Jinkosolar. (April 2016)

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 91


THE MACRO LEVEL OF
CLEAN ENERGY
Clean energy over the last decade had
made significant progress driven both
by technological innovation (i.e. solar
photovoltaic), as well as smart decisions
by the policy makers to encourage users
through various schemes. Solar photovoltaic
installation has grown 100 times over last
ten years globally, and the cost of installation
has fallen by 700%, making it now one of the
most cost effective electricity generation
systems in the world!
And its not only the rich and developed
countries installing the clean energy but also
the poor countries driven both by simplicity
in installation (small scale, decentralized),
and cost competitiveness. In addition,
significant innovations are happening in
the storage/ battery technology as most of
the clean energy are intermittent in nature
(i.e. solar only shines mostly during day
time, wind blows as it pleases), and would
require storage in the future once we install
a significant portion of energy with clean
Solar Energy Trade Mission in Egypt/Cairo. (April 2015) energy sources. As electrical cars become
more available and affordable (with the likes
INTRODUCTION of Tesla and others), the storage or battery
technology will progress even further.
Clean or renewable energy means
generating energy from unlimited In Dec 2015, 195 countries agreed in
resources such as wind, solar, water, Paris, France (COP21) to keep the
geothermal that produce little or no global temperature rise below 2oC. Each
pollutions as opposed to burning limited individual country also proposed its
natural or fossil fuel resources (i.e. coal, target, and when combined, will reduce
oil, gas) or through nuclear power. the temperature rise below 2.7oC; still
Burning natural resources has three above 2oC but well below 3.6oC if we do
adverse effects: first, it emits gases that nothing. Policy makers are becoming
pollutes air causing severe life threatening more confident than ever before to tackle
diseases. It also causes global warming global warming because of advancement
that destabilizes the weather affecting in technology, and cost competitiveness of
lives and properties (i.e. very hot summer, such technology. Countries such as China
very cold winter, flooding). Lastly, if and India, accounting for one third of world
we burn the precious natural resources, population, are following through their very
it cannot be used to make everyday ambitious renewable energy objectives.
products such as plastics, clothes, phones,
cars and many others. If we consume THE MICRO LEVEL OF
this energy at current rate, not only will CLEAN ENERGY
temperature of the world rise to 3.6oC
by 2040 but we will also run out of our At MESIA, we work with both businesses
natural energy resources by 2050. We and policy makers to ensure that deployment
need to find another similar planet to live of solar energy is part of the national
on! It is wildly agreed that if temperature agenda, that right technology would be
rises over 2oC, catastrophic events will developed and deployed, and that there are
start to happen for which we already see investors both locally and globally available
some evidences globally. to fund these initiatives. For example,
MESIA had organized trade missions in
Today, the energy is consumed Egypt and Pakistan where we worked
disproportionately around the world. alongside governments and businesses to
There are 1.3 billion people on our planet initiate the dialogues as well as made policy
without access to electricity, and majority recommendations to deploy renewable
of them reside in Africa and South Asia. energy in these countries. These programs
Deployment of traditional fossil fuel or attracted over hundreds of companies
nuclear based electricity plants to light enabling them to be integrated with the local
these areas will both be very expensive projects, and formed partnership locally.
Recognition ceremony: Vahid Fotuhi, MESIA Founder and time consuming; we need to install Some of these companies also planned to
being awarded by with Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, both large electricity plants centrally, and set up local manufacturing plants to create
Managing Director & CEO of Dubai Water & Electricity transmission lines across to transport the knowledge base locally. When renewable
Authority (DEWA). (May 2015) electricity to access hard to reach places. energy projects are implemented in these
However, renewable energy solution two countries, they would have 15% -
such as solar photovoltaic panels can be 20% of energy coming from renewable
installed at the place where electricity is resources while creating hundreds of
consumed requiring much less money thousands of jobs locally. Similarly, we work
and time; similar to getting access to a closely with stakeholders (Policy makers,
mobile phone vs a land line. Businesses and R&D centers) in UAE to
ensure that a national goal of 100% clean
energy dependence becomes a reality. Our
ambition is to have MENA generate 30% of
their energy through clean source by 2030.

92 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Last MESIA Solar Awards Ceremony: we are doing it every year. (December 2015)

At the other extreme, the oil or natural gas


resources rich regions, such as the Middle
East, must not give away free or low price oil-
or natural gas-based energy or electricity to
its people as the people wont be responsible
on how much they consume, and that they
will always see renewable energy as an
expensive form of energy. Governments of
these countries should gradually adjust their
pricing of energy to the actual cost to create
a level playing field for renewable energy to
prosper.

ADVICE TO THE
YOUNG ENGINEERS
The millennials can simply focus on two
areas: consumption, and education &
entrepreneurship.
First, make lifestyle choices to reduce
Solar Energy Trade Mission in Pakistan/Islamabad. (October 2015) consumption of energy. The millennials are
great adopters of shared and responsible
economy. Instead of owning a car
In addition, we work with local universities THE CHALLENGES & share, drive electric vehicles, take public
to place their students in clean energy THEIR SOLUTIONS transportation, buy recycled products,
related companies so that todays young recycle, plant trees and so on. Study shows that
generation can be the future clean energy Today the biggest challenge in renewable we can easily reduce the energy consumption
leaders! Every year, our organization energy deployment is access to affordable by 25% by adopting just few lifestyle choices
rewards 10 solar pioneers, young leaders money, and deploy it where it requires. enough to have a large impact on reducing
below 40 years of age who progress the solar Besides addressing the environmental the global warming.
energy regionally, with recognition and concern, we need to provide electricity to
mentorship. We plan to extend this widely 1.3 billion people in the world, and one of Second, millennials are also the best adopter
in the region to ensure pipeline of local the fastest and effective way to provide this of technology. Clean energy is essentially a
talents. electricity is to deploy solar technology. technology sector that is growing the fastest,
However, these countries, where the has the highest potential of growth, and can
We brought in both proven (solar heating) unfortunate 1.3 billion people reside, are challenge the established fossil fuel burning
and emerging technologies (storage/ seen as high risk countries to do business businesses. It is very similar to internet
batteries) in the region to ensure fast with. As such cost of borrowing money or mobile technology where established
adoption and implementation by engaging to implement initiatives in such countries, companies were overtaken by newcomers
consumers and businesses. We publish such Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia, is (Think of Apple vs AT&T, Tesla vs GM). The
cutting edge research reports focused on very high and at times nonexistent. Some clean energy sector already created 8 million
both market development and technology companies do find clever ways to reach the jobs last year. Millennials should definitely
deployment providing valuable insights to people directly by installing the solar panel focus on developing this sector further
students, businesses, and policy makers to at their roof, and charging them a monthly through education and entrepreneurship. I
act on. fee that is cheaper than what they would have no doubt among the millennials today,
have spent on burning kerosene. However, we will find the Bill Gates or Elon Musk of
Through various partnership we set up renewable energy tomorrow!
with global organizations such as IRENA, the funds available to these companies and
World Wildlife Fund, Global Solar Council, entrepreneurs are very small compare to
IFC we have now the collective strength the overall potentials. The rich nations and
to support the development of solar energy development banks, together with other
in MENA. financial institutions, must find a way to
provide money with low interest rate to
enable businesses in these countries.
ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 93
MICROSOLAR:
BRINGING RENEWABLE
ENERGY TO DEVELOPING
COUNTRIES
An inspirational interview with
Green Energy for a Billion Poor Author,
Nancy Wimmer

RENEWABLE ENERGY IS NOW


becoming more prominent thanks to the
ever-growing need of clean power. Nu-
merous countries have shown interest by
ridding themselves of fossil fuel usage to
create a better environment for our future
generations.
microSOLAR, a renewable energy re-
search company, not only promotes the
use of renewables but they also specialize
in microfinance in developing countries.
They also do researches for innovation
for rural electrification, as stated in their
website.
GineersNow conducted an exclusive in-
terview Nancy Wimmer, the managing
director of microSOLAR

94 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ABOUT NANCY WIMMER CLEAN ENERGY
ACCORDING TO
GineersNow: Introduce yourself. How
many years have you been working in MICROSOLAR
your industry? GN: What is clean energy as defined by
Nancy Wimmer: I am an American, grew your company?
up and studied in the United States and Nancy: Clean energy is energy from re-
came to Europe to study at the Univer- newable energy sources. MicroSOLAR
sities of Hamburg and Munich; I hold a experience is with solar, wind, geother-
Masters in Philosophy from the Munich mal water in European communities and
School of Philosophy. My professional solar home systems in developing coun-
work began with teaching at the Univer- tries. My extensive experience in India
sity of the Military and serving German and Bangladesh convinced me that solar
industry as a systems analyst. home systems are presently the superior
I now live with my family near Munich sources of electricity for off-grid villages.
where I run the renewable energy re- But only if they are affordable, good qual-
search company, microSOLAR. Based on ity and regularly serviced, which brings us
my 20 years of experience in developing back to the importance of understanding
countries, I recently authored the book, rural business. Some 5 million solar home
Green Energy for a Billion Poor describ- systems have been installed in Bangladesh
ing the amazing growth of the solar mar- alone, making a least developed country
ket in rural Bangladesh. the largest off-grid solar market in the
world.
ABOUT MICROSOLAR GN: Why bother? Whats the importance
GN: Are you an educational institution, of pursuing clean energy?
social enterprise, non-profit or private
company? Describe your company, how Nancy: Why bother? Clean energy is en-
big it is and where is this company head- ergy that doesnt pollute the atmosphere.
ed? Respiratory diseases caused by inhaling
smoke and kerosene fumes are rampant
Nancy Wimmer: MicroSOLAR is a pri- in developing countries. Children cant
vate company which works closely with study at night because the light from ker-
a network of renewable energy entrepre- osene lamps is poor and the fumes toxic.
neurs and experts in Europe, Asia and Their parents cant work after dusk, small
Africa. This is essential. You cant advise businesses like saw mills shut down and
social investors nor can you research poor people cant earn. Moreover, kero-
and promote innovative business models sene is more expensive in rural areas and
for rural business from your desk. Rural dangerous to transport. Bangladesh has
business is still little understood and not no oil reserves. Kerosene is imported, so-
simply out there because millions of vil- lar energy is made in Bangladesh. When
lagers in developing countries are in need the solar lamp is switched on for the first
of electricity. This I learned from my work time in a village household, people marvel
with microfinance and rural businesses at clean, white light without smoke.
in Egypt, El Salvador, India, Honduras,
Nepal and Peru. Green Energy for a Bil-
lion Poor is the outcome of my 15 years
of travelling the villages with young engi-
neers in Bangladesh.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 95


THE MACRO LEVEL OF CLEAN ENERGY
GN: Where are we today? What is the current situation
of renewables (locally or globally)?
Nancy: The ambitious goals of Germany the green
leader of Europe - have not yet been met. Progress is
hampered primarily by legacy systems atomic and coal
power plants - and local government energy policy. But
energy supply is undergoing fundamental change and
there is hope that solar energy will be the prime source
of electricity, eventually.
Most Asian countries have ambitious plans for clean
energy for economic reasons. But advancement in
new energy technologies involving new organizational
solutions is difficult to achieve. Progress is hampered
by deficiencies in administration, infrastructure and by
corruption. Still, spectacular breakthroughs have been
achieved locally, notably in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh Government has set a target to have
3,168 MW of renewable energy capacity installed by
2021 its 50th anniversary of independence. The share
of renewables is to hit 5% by the end of 2015 and then
double in just six years. Solar power will account for the
largest part and should reach 1,740 MW by 2021. As
of 2015, Bangladesh sourced 176 MW from renewables,
including 150 MW from solar home systems, 614 kW
from solar mini-grids and 1, 6 MW from solar irrigation
systems. Wind power stood at only 2 MW, while biogas
and biomass were 5 MW, accordingly.

96 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


THE MICRO LEVEL OF CLEAN ENERGY
GN: What are the initiatives / projects that you are doing
(or have done) that will drive low or zero emission?
Nancy: We are promoting the solar home system ap-
proach, which is technically stable but an organizational
challenge in rural communities. At present we are doing
in depth research on how the worlds largest off-grid so-
lar market with over 200 suppliers and rural companies
developed with the help of a government-owned finan-
cial intermediary. The solar market in Bangladesh is still
unequaled in the developing world and the subject of
my next book.
GN: What are the future innovations that you or your
company pursuing?
Nancy: In future we are primarily looking into mini-
grids, solar irrigation, biogas and smart phone based
services, which will again require very different business
models. We will study, for example, why none of these
renewable energy technologies have to date successfully
reached scale and focus on Bangladeshs recent initia-
tives to promote them.
GN: What impact have you delivered? Do you have met-
rics or statistics of your accomplishments?
Nancy: MicroSOLARs impact can be measured by the
universities, social investors, personal contacts in devel-
oping countries and the many entrepreneurs in Asia and
Africa who seek its advice. Some of their comments are
on the Green Energy for a Billion Poor amazon website.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 97


THE CHALLENGES & THEIR SOLUTIONS There are too few rural energy entrepreneurs serving vil-
lagers in developing countries. They are either unwill-
GN: What are the stumbling blocks or bottlenecks in the ing to take on the hardships or lack the know-how and
renewable industry? financing. This was the main motivation for describing
Grameen Shaktis innovative business model in Green
Nancy: The questions is why 70 % of the rural popula- Energy for a Billion Poor: to teach; to show rural energy
tion in developing countries still has no access to elec- business is possible. This wouldnt have been possible,
tricity in the 21st century - 300 million villagers in India however, without the firsthand experiences with the
alone. engineers whose stories make the intangibles of rural
business comprehensible.
When Grameen Shakti sister company to the Grameen
Bank pioneered solar services in 1996, half of Bangla- But Grameen Shakti is only one company. Far more dif-
deshs population lived below the poverty line and the ficult is the creation of a solar market with local produc-
top half in rural areas was anything but affluent. But ers, suppliers and rural service companies. Bangladesh
statistics told Shakti little about who these people really achieved this through government policy support and
were. On the contrary, it had to find this out by sending reliable funding for solar companies and NGOs. Such
its engineers to live and work in the villages. Moreover support is lacking in developing countries which is the
as a business, Shakti had to figure out how to serve rural motivation for describing the process in my next book:
customers energy needs and still break-even and scale. to teach, to show its possible to create a solar market in a
Solar business in the hinterland was uncharted territory. developing country. Its a rocky road. But the only way
And it still is. to provide cheap energy in poverty stricken areas is to
create local renewable energy markets to serve the rural
population.

98 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


This man is Ismail
Sekitoleko, a social
development student
and the treasurer
of Energy Made in
Uganda, the
community-based
organization that
manages the
Nsamizi technology
center.

ADVICE TO THE YOUNG ENGINEERS


GN: Please give advice and words of wisdom about re-
newables to our young global audience. What would
you like to tell to the millennials? Any inspiring words
that you can share?
Nancy: If you are interested in clean energy for develop-
ing countries, go there. Study the best business models
you can find. You will learn that clean energy in de-
veloping countries may be light years away from your
country. You will learn that rural business is vastly dif-
ferent from what you know. And you will learn that it is
the many poor who need clean energy most.
A young Shakti engineer put it this way: No, I dont
think branch managers should have to stay on this is-
land for more than a year. But I seriously believe they
can learn for a lifetime while they are here.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 99


REN21:
Driving the
Energy Transition
with Renewables

The Renewable Energy Policy Network GETTING TO KNOW


of the 21st Century (REN21) is a global
renewable energy policy network which GN: Introduce yourself.
connects different key actors for the
fast transition to renewable energy. Christine Lins: I was appointed as
REN21 was launched in June 2004. They Executive Secretary of REN21, the
bring together government and non- Renewable Energy Policy Network of the
government organizations, research and 21st Century, in July 2011. Between 2001
academic institutions, and international and 2011, I served as Secretary General of
organizations to work together and learn the European Renewable Energy Council.
from each other to be able to promote and Previously, I worked in a regional energy
advance renewable energy. agency in Austria promoting energy
efficiency and renewable energy sources.
GineersNow conducted an exclusive
interview with Ms. Christine Lins, the GN: How many years have you been
Executive Secretary of REN21. working in your industry?
Christine: I hold a Masters degree in
international economics and applied
languages and have more than 20 years
of working experience in the field of
renewable energy.

100 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ABOUT REN21 STAND ON CLEAN ENERGY THE MACRO LEVEL OF
CLEAN ENERGY
Christine: REN21 is a multi-stakeholder GN: What is clean energy (as defined by
network that works to drive the energy your organization/company)? GN: Where are we today? What is the
transition with renewables. REN21 has its current situation of renewables?
headquarters at UNEP, the United Nations Christine: Any energy that uses renewable
Environment Programme in Paris/France. energy resources (wind, sun, water, Christine: 2015 was a record year
biomass, geothermal). It does not include for renewable energy installations.
GN: Are you an educational institution, nuclear. Renewable power generating capacity saw
social enterprise, non-profit or private its largest increase ever, with an estimated
company? Describe your company. GN: Why bother? Whats the importance 147 gigawatts (GW) added. Modern
of pursuing clean energy? renewable heat capacity also continued to
Christine: REN21 is a global public-private rise, and renewables use expanded in the
multi-stakeholder network on renewable Christine: If we are to have a planet on transport sector. Distributed renewable
energy regrouping international which we can live, we need to change how energy is advancing rapidly to close the
organizations, governments, industry we consume energy. The combustion gap between the energy haves- and have-
associations, science and academia as well of fossil fuels results in short-term nots. Investment in renewables in 2015
as NGOs working in the field of renewable pollutants which directly affect our health reaching USD 286 billion worldwide in
energy. We are a registered NGO. and the generation of GHGs (Green renewable power and fuels; if investment
House Gases). If we are to limit warming in large hydropower (>50 MW) and in
GN: How big is your company? to under 2 degrees, then fossil fuels need heating and cooling is taken into account,
to stay in the ground. Renewables provide the total is far higher. For the first time
Christine: The secretariat is composed of a viable option to fossil fuels. Countries
eight people: six permanent staff and two ever, investment in developing countries
are already powering themselves with surpassed that of industrialized countries.
interns who are with us on a six month renewables (Portugal recently had four
basis. We work with an international consecutive days of 100% renewable GN: Where should we be 10 years from
network of 700 energy experts. electricity and Denmark does so now? Are we on the right track? Are we
frequently). delayed? Are we progressing?
GN: Describe your mission, vision and
values. Christine: The UN Secretary-Generals
Christine: We work with those whose initiative Sustainable Energy for All
promote renewable energy. We do not launched a call for global action to
discriminate by technology and we work achieve universal access to modern
across all sectors. energy services, double the global rate
of improvement in energy efficiency and
GN: Where is this company headed? double the share of renewable energy in
Whats your future expansion plans? the global energy mix by 2030. To reach
Describe briefly your strategic goals this objective we need to rapidly increase
the uptake of renewables as well as
Christine: Our mission is to drive the implement energy efficiency throughout
energy transition with renewables the all energy systems. By the end of 2014,
faster the better! renewable energy provided an estimated
19.2% of global final energy consumption.
We therefore have our work cut out for us!

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 101


THE MICRO LEVEL OF THE CHALLENGES &
CLEAN ENERGY THEIR SOLUTIONS
GN: What are the initiatives / projects GN: What impact have you delivered GN: What are the stumbling blocks or
that you are doing (or have done) that will (social, economic and environmental)? bottlenecks in the renewable industry?
drive low or zero emission? Do you have metrics or statistics of your
accomplishments? Christine: Long-term stable policy
Christine: REN21 provides high-quality frameworks are key for the uptake of
information to assist decision-makers Christine: When REN21 first started its renewables. Investors are reluctant to
make the best decisions possible. We Renewable Global Status Report series, invest in markets that are not underpinned
facilitate the collection of comprehensive it was 30 pages. Today the report stands by long-term policy action.
and timely information on renewable at over 180 pages, reflecting the growth
energy. This information reflects diverse of renewables and the need to diversify GN: What do you think the government,
viewpoints from both private and public what and how the status of renewables private companies and NGO of each
sector actors, serving to dispel myths is tracked. The Renewable Global Status country should do to get rid of this?
about renewable energy and to catalyze Report is now the worlds most frequently
policy change. referenced report on the global renewable Christine: Citizens, business, investors all
energy market, industry and policy need to demand that long-term planning
GN: What are the future innovations that landscape. and policy action be put in place.
you or your company pursuing?
GN: How do we provide cheap energy in
Christine: In addition to tracking the poverty stricken areas?
current status of renewables globally, we
are developing regional status reports to Christine: Distributed renewables provide
better track the growing development clean, affordable energy services. The
within key regions. REN21 is also market opportunity for off-grid solutions
developing a new Global Futures Report is growing rapidly.
to illustrate the credible possibilities for a
100% renewable energy future.

102 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Approximately 28 million households ADVICE TO THE
worldwide were using clean cook stoves YOUNG ENGINEERS
by the end of 2015. Roughly 44 million
off-grid pico-solar products had been sold GN: Please give advice and words of
globally by mid-2015, representing an wisdom about renewables to our young
annual market of USD 300 million. About global audience. What would you like
70 countries worldwide either had some to tell to the millennials? Any inspiring
off-grid solar PV capacity installed or had words that you can share?
programmes in place to support off-grid
solar PV applications by the end of 2015. Christine: Everyone has a role to play
In addition, several thousand renewables- in making this planet a better place to
based mini-grids were in operation. live. As engineers you have a special
responsibility as you will be the forefront
Innovative business models include use of system design. Therefore whatever
of mobile payment systems and scratch specialty you choose make sure to think
cards, the Powerhive business model, systemically; think about how to provide
pay-as-you-go micro-payment schemes clean, efficient energy services in a way
and integrated service providers with that meets a populations needs in a
products that range from simple solar sustainable manner. If we dont get it right
lamps with radios and mobile phones, to in the 30 years we may not have another
aspirational items like televisions. chance.
GN: How do we ensure access to clean There are currently over 8 million people
energy? employed in the renewable energy
sector, tendency growing, so watch out
Christine: By supporting innovative for interesting job opportunities in the
business and financing models through energy sector of the future! But one word
policy support. of caution: working for renewables is
contagious once you start in this sector
you wont want to leave it!

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 103


RENEWABLES 100:
HELPING THE WORLD
TO TRANSITION TO
100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

For centuries, we have been relying on


non-renewable energy sources, and this RENEWABLES 100
has been causing multiple environmen-
tal problems. The best way to solve this GN: Are you an educational institution, 100% renewable energy is not a question
problem is to shift from using environ- social enterprise, non-profit or private of if it will happen, but of how, when
ment-polluting energy sources to using company? Describe your company. and who will lead and profit. In our first
clean and renewable energy sources. years, a good deal of effort had to go into
Diane: Renewables 100 Policy Institute is raising the debate beyond that question
Energy is a very important aspect in our a 501 (c)3 non-profit educational organi- of if, in order to overcome pervasive re-
technological world today, and it is a fact zation founded in 2007 with a mission to sistance, even among environmental pro-
that non-renewable energy sources wont study and accelerate the global transition gressive non-profits. In the past year or
last forever. The Renewables 100 Policy to 100% renewable energy in ways that are two, however, the idea that 100% renew-
Institute, a non-profit organization, has a most sustainable and economical for most able energy is the direction in which the
mission to study and accelerate the glob- people. Our Board of Advisors includes world needs to head indeed is heading
al transition to 100% renewable energy in several long-time leaders in the clean en- is becoming more widely accepted. We
ways that are most sustainable and eco- ergy field, such as utility veteran S. David are finding happily that thanks in part to
nomical for the most people. Freeman, former Congressman and life- our efforts, we are no longer such a rare
long environmental champion Richard voice in advocating for 100% renewable
GineersNow conducted an exclusive in- Oettinger, and Dr. Harry Lehmann who energy. And there are ever more exam-
terview with Diane Moss, the founding is a General Director at the German Fed- ples of it actually happening, which is the
director of Renewables 100 Policy Insti- eral Environment Agency and one of the best way of all to dispel myths and break
tute. founding thought leaders of the 100% through fears.
renewable energy movement. Our intel-
GineersNow: How many years have you lectual founding father was German Par- So looking ahead, while there is certainly
been working in your industry (energy, liamentarian Hermann Scheer, principal still work to do on convincing people of
engineering, NGO)? architect of Germanys renewable energy the urgency and viability of 100% renew-
laws at the turn of this century, which led able energy as the necessary way forward,
Diane Moss: The Renewables 100 Policy to Germany becoming a world leader in our organization will increasingly priori-
Institute team has combined experience this field. tize focusing in a more detailed way on the
of more than 50 years in the clean ener- bigger, more complex questions of how
gy field. Our background covers a broad GN: How big is your company? we get there most intelligently, what mile-
range of expertise, including grassroots stones are best to pursue in what order,
Renewables 100 Policy advocacy, power grid governing, utility Diane: We are a lean organization, with cultivating leadership, and how to create
Institute Founding management, renewable energy and other a core team of three and many partners the most broadly and justly distributed
Director Diane Moss. clean technology industry development, with whom we work on our various proj- opportunities to profit. These questions
policymaking, media and communica- ects and who provide technical support. are all interconnected, and the answers
tions. Our international core team grew need to be worked out region by region,
up and has lived all over the world, in- GN: Where is this company headed? community by community depending on
cluding California and the East Coast of Whats your future expansion plans? De- their values, resources, politics, etc. Our
the US, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Swit- scribe briefly your strategic goals. job is to facilitate and accelerate that pro-
zerland and Italy in Europe, and Nigeria, cess, as well as to help identify and advo-
Ghana and Tanzania in Africa. Diane: Since our first days, our organi- cate for best practices.
zation has asserted that transitioning to

104 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy Conference,
April 2013 in San Francisco, USA
Panel 2 Overcoming Technical Barriers to 100% Renewable Energy
in the Power Sector. From R-L: Keynote Speaker: Stephen Berberich,
President/CEO of CAISO; David Olsen, Managing Director of the
Western Grid Group andmember of the Board of Governors of CAISO;
Dr. Harry Lehmann, German Federal Environment Agency (UBA)
Climate & Energy Director; Angelina Galiteva, Founding Board Chair
of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute; David Renne, President of the
International Solar Energy Society (ISES)-Frank Lacey, Vice President
of Comverge; Peter Asmus, Principal Research Analyst, Navigant; Dr.
Alexa Lutzenberger, Prof. at Univ. of Leuphana; Janice Lin, Exec. Dir.
of the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA); Dr. Mark Jacobson,
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director, Atmo-
sphere/Energy Program, Stanford University.

From L-R: Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco; Diane Moss, Renewables 100 Policy Institute;
Melanie Nutter, Director of the City and County of San Francisco Department of the Environment; Bob
Dixson, Mayor of Greensburg, Kansas; Danielle Murray, Renewable Energy Program Mgr, for the City of San
Francisco Dept, of Environment.

Talking about 100% Renewable Energy is Keynote Speaker, Groundbreaking Climate and Energy Collaboration - Under2 MOU. Governor, State of California, U.S. Jerry
Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco. Brown; Renewables 100 Policy Institute Founding Board Chair Angelina Galiteva, and Founding Director
Diane Moss; Prof. Dr. Eicke Weber Director Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Germany;
and Dr. Harry Lehmann, German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) Climate & Energy Director.
ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 105
RENEWABLES 100S more than 54.9 million people who have
transitioned or are officially committed to
CLEAN ENERGY transitioning within the next few decades
GN: What is clean energy as defined by to 100% renewable energy in at least one
your organization? sector. And we will be mapping dozens
more in the weeks ahead. In the US, so-
Diane: Clean energy is efficiently pro- lar and wind accounted for nearly all the
duced using renewable sources and does new electricity generation that came on-
not increase greenhouse gas or other line this year. This type of growth mirrors
harmful emissions over its lifecycle. Re- whats occurring throughout the world,
newable energy sources include sun, where most new generation came from
wind, some hydro, bioenergy from or- renewables last year.
ganic waste, tides, waves, and geothermal
energy. Renewable energy systems cover Zero emissions transportation and re-
all energy sectors, including electricity, newable heating and cooling are also on
heating and cooling, transportation, and the rise. Electric vehicles worldwide have
cooking. Clean energy systems include surged past the one million mark, sales in
many technologies that support renew- China are exceeding expectations, and ac-
able energy, such as building efficiency cording to the Inside EVs report, US sales
technologies, grid integration technol- have broken records for the last 6 months
ogies, storage, electric vehicles, and fuel in a row. The share of renewables in Eu-
cells. Clean energy demands a system ropes heating and cooling sector rose
wide transition and change of approach. from 10.2% in 2004 to 17.7% in 2014.

GN: Why bother? Whats the importance That said, most of the worlds energy still
of pursuing clean energy? derives from non-renewable sources, so
there is much work to be done and room
Diane: Fundamentally, non-renewable en- for expansion in the energy transition.
ergy sources will by definition diminish.
In the meantime, continued dependence GN: Where should we be 10 years from
on them is causing multiple global crises. now? Are we on the right track? Are we
Renewable energy sources, while they delayed? Are we progressing?
may vary from place to place, are virtually Diane: In the next decade, having a
limitless, scalable and modular. Properly 100% renewable energy target of no later
implemented, they avoid problems of the mid-century and a workable implemen-
conventional energy system like fresh wa- tation plan, as well as meaningful steps
ter depletion and contamination, green- already achieved, should be the norm for
house gas and local air pollution, radioac- all levels of government and corporations.
tive waste, and geopolitical tensions that These plans need to reach beyond elec-
Groundbreaking Climate and Energy Collaboration - Under2 result from depending on commodities tricity and encompass all energy sectors.
MOU. Renewables 100 Policy Institute, Founding Director Diane from other countries who may not share
Moss; and Prof. Dr. Eicke Weber Director Fraunhofer Institute ones values. This process is already underway. Sever-
for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) (Zayed Future Energy Prize 2014 al major urban cities are seeking to reach
awarded the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE). Renewables are also more economical at least 100% renewable electricity within
in the long run, and increasingly in the this time frame, like San Francisco and
short run. As costs for renewable energy San Jose in California, and some countries
technologies drop, communities, regions, are as well, such as Scotland. Many small-
businesses and individuals are more and er cities and regions, as well as islands,
more looking to adopt renewable energy already have achieved or surpassed 100%
as a shelter from volatile fuel prices and renewable energy targets in the electricity
imported fuel costs. Clean energy is also and heat sectors, and this trend can be ex-
a source of new jobs and whole new in- pected to grow.
dustries. Thats good news for engineers,
as well as the many other skilled workers In a basic sense, we are, of course, delayed
who have roles to play in this develop- because there are numerous global threats
ment. Last year, the growth in the solar occurring that almost no one wants to see
workforce outpaced the US economy by happening and are a result of not acting
a factor of 12. In Germany, clean energy sooner to transition our conventional en-
accounts for nearly 400,000 jobs. Glob- ergy system to a safer, more secure one
ally, more than 7.7 million people were based on renewable energy.
employed by renewable energy industries
From L-R: Renewables 100 Policy Institute Founding Director at the end of 2014, according to the Inter- But we are also on track in the sense that
Diane Moss; Advisory Board Member Prof. Richard Ottinger; national Renewable Energy Agency (IRE- adoption of renewable energy is rap-
and Renewables 100 Policy Institute Founding Board Chair NA), an 18% rise from the year before. idly increasing, and few now question
Angelina Galiteva. whether renewables are here to stay and
THE MACRO LEVEL OF whether they are the way of the future. As
CLEAN ENERGY confidence grows, stakeholders across the
board, from prosumers to grid operators
GN: Where are we today? What is the cur- to utilities to businesses are increasingly
rent situation of renewables? seeing clean energy technologies less as
challenges and more as opportunities.
Diane: Renewable energy uptake is rapidly
growing. Increasingly national and subna- Continuing to transform energy systems
tional governments, as well as businesses, at the scale and pace needed, however,
are setting and reaching high targets of up will require policies, regulations, finance
to 100% and beyond. The Renewables 100 structures and markets that open the op-
Policy Institutes project Go 100% Renew- portunities to a broad spectrum of partic-
able Energy (www.go100percent.org) has ipants, while also keeping up with rapidly
so far mapped 8 Countries, 55 Cities, 61 changing technological advances and
Regions/States, 9 Utilities, 21 NonProfit/ consumer demands.
Educational/Public Institutions, totaling

106 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


THE MICRO LEVEL OF
CLEAN ENERGY
GN: What are the advocacies that you are do- ects, studies, and other learning tools that We were also honored to inspire and be a part
ing (or have done) that will drive low or zero showcase how 100% renewable energy is not of UNESCOs official declaration and call to
emission? a fantasy for someday, but a reality for today. action for expanding 100% renewable ener-
gy as the way forward for the world, as well
Diane: Our organizations efforts are entirely Theres more because there is so much to do, as to integrate the call for 100% renewable
centered around our mission to study and but that gives you an idea of some of our ad- energy into the platform at global climate
advance the global transition to clean, renew- vocacy efforts. conferences and among several international
able energy. We do this in a number of ways. coalitions.
For instance, we educate leaders around the GN: What impact have you delivered? Do
world, bring together multiple stakeholders you have metrics or statistics of your accom- As mentioned, our Go 100% Renewable
from different regions to exchange knowl- plishments? Energy project additionally created the first
edge and best practices. An example of this is global campaign for 100% renewable en-
the tours we organized over the last two years Diane: When the organization was founded ergy, along with the first and most compre-
to Europe and California, which brought in 2007, the concept of 100% renewable ener- hensive interactive map of 100% renewable
top level grid operators, policymakers, and gy was too bleeding edge for most outside of energy case studies from around the world.
civil society leaders together for first-time a few places in Europe. We tried to get other The project website go100percent.org and its
discussions, knowledge exchange, and coop- organizations to take on the mission instead social media counterpart are visited by tens
eration building. Reports and video galleries of starting a non-profit ourselves, but there of thousands of visitors a month from every
for these are available on our website (www. was too much political fear, and no one was continent in the world and have been emu-
renewables100.org). ready. Our organization was created to fill lated by several allies.
this big vacuum and to raise the debate. Over
My fellow founder of Renewables 100 Poli- our first nine years, the Renewables 100 Poli- Readers are welcome to read more about
cy Institute, Angelina Galiteva, also traveled cy Institute has helped catalyze a multi-sector what weve been up to on our website: www.
twice in recent months on behalf of the State conversation about 100% renewable ener- renewables100.org.
Department to Argentina and Brazil in re- gy targets and solutions and bring it to the
cent to meet with energy leaders there and cutting edge. Our work has also inspired a
provide education on renewable energy ad- number of cities and regions to adopt 100%
vancement. renewable energy goals.

We also have worked closely with the Office Among specific milestones have been our
of the Governor of California on state, na- Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy confer-
tional, and international initiatives, such as ence, which was the first international forum
promoting multi-state electric vehicle policy in the Americas to focus on 100% renewable
development, efficiency financing, and the energy and brought together people from 4
Under 2 MOU, which is an international continents and more than 10 countries. This
agreement that we initiated that commits forum was the springboard for several cities,
subnational governments to reducing green- including San Diego, to make commitments
house gases 80-95% below 1990 levels or to to 100% renewable energy targets. Other
under 2 tonnes per capita by 2050. These are non-profits and educational institutions in
just a few of the leadership education efforts various countries also initiated 100% renew-
weve undertaken in the last couple years. able campaigns. And numerous government,
labor, and grid operation leaders began a
We additionally engage media to get the facts first-time public discussion of 100% renew-
out to a broad audience. I think we were the able energy targets.
first to get the concept of 100% renewable
energy into some of the major media publi- An outcome of our 2014 California-Ger-
cations in the US. many Learning and Collaboration tour was Renewables 100 Policy Institute Founding
the Under 2 MOU, which was signed first Director Diane Moss interviewed by
We also created the Go 100% Renewable by the State of Cali- fornia and the State of Al Jazeera at our Event PV60.
Energy project on www.go100percent.org, Baden-Wuerttemberg, followed by more
which is our grassroots campaign platform than 120 signatories.
that seeks to maintain a comprehensive data- Energy Regions in Transition
base of actual 100% renewable energy proj- EU-California Tour 2015.
Roundtable Discussion hosted
by Stanford University.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 107


THE CHALLENGES &
THEIR SOLUTIONS
GN: What are the stumbling blocks or 6. Emphasize direct and local or regional GN: How do we ensure access to clean
bottlenecks in the renewable industry? procurement of renewable energy wher- energy?
Diane: One of the biggest is establishing ever possible, in order to encourage en-
vironmental and local economic benefits Diane: This is mainly up to policymakers
policies and regulations that work well. and, in democracies, the people who vote
First, they ideally must have the transpar- like jobs.
for them, to create policies and regulatory
ency, longevity, and certainty to ensure the 7. Aim for a fair and level playing field that frameworks that support access to clean
required sustained investment. Second, includes rather than excludes different energy for all. It is also up to financing en-
they ought to be flexible and responsive types and sizes of clean energy technolo- tities to make low cost financing available.
enough to allow for innovation and quick- gies in the marketplace.
ly evolving consumer demand. Third, they And it is up to all of us collectively to de-
need to ensure that opportunities for en- 8. Open the way for regional collaboration cide that having access to energy, and par-
gagement are expanded to include a broad on grid operations and markets. ticularly clean, renewable energy, is a right
range of stakeholders, from corporations for everyone and that resources must be
to prosumers to communities. Adding to 9. Avoid the inefficiencies of siloed plan- made available to make this happen. Lit-
the challenge, these policy and regulato- ning by integrating clean energy policy- erally, we must bring power to the people.
ry mechanisms need to do two things at making with other relevant planning, in-
the same time: focus on transforming the cluding greenhouse gas reduction plans,
energy system and make sure the energy waste reduction plans, water resource
system is reliable and efficient. protection plans, and food plans.
GN: What do you think the government, 10. Include externalities and lifecycle costs
private companies and NGO of each and benefits into economic decision mak-
country should do to get rid of this? ing.
Diane: There is no silver bullet, one size These are just some best practices ob-
fits all formula. However, there are some served so far. Keep in mind that the play-
best practices that frontrunners have been book is being written as we speak, so stay
demonstrating. Here are some examples. tuned.
1. Set a target of 100% renewable energy GN: How do we provide cheap energy in
with milestones along the way and a prac- poverty stricken areas?
tical plan for implementation. Having the
big picture in view as much as possible Diane: Many of the worlds poor live in ru-
helps prevent inefficiencies of piecemeal ral areas where there is little to no energy
planning. This target setting and planning infrastructure. Electricity grids can take
ideally integrates all energy sectors, since decades at the soonest to reach these ar-
the energy system of the future will be in- eas. Clean energy solutions have been al-
creasingly cross-sectorial. lowing millions of people in these regions
to have power for the first time because
2. Improve public trust and engagement they can be installed by local people in-
by achieving at least one milestone quick- dependently of the big energy companies.
ly, transparently tracking progress, in- For example, solar panels can be hooked
cluding multiple stakeholders from the up to an efficient LED light and a small
community in the planning process, and battery anywhere that the sun shines and
making sure policies allow as many people are often cheaper than traditional forms of
as possible including prosumers - the energy like kerosene. Villagers from these
opportunity to get involved in and profit areas dont have to wait for the govern-
from the transition. Many communities ment or utilities to bring them this energy,
report that getting women involved is also as the technologies are relatively simple
key to success, as they most often make to install themselves. And once they have
household decisions and influence oth- the skills, entrepreneurial individuals can
ers in the community. The same goes for perform the installations for neighbors or
educating and engaging youth, not only train others to be installers, which is an
because they need to equipped to manage added income opportunity.
the future, but also because they inspire
adults to do the right thing. Inexpensive, flexible financing, for exam-
ple in the form of micro-loans, is also crit-
3. Learn from other frontrunners. Were ical to help people overcome the upfront
all smarter when we learn from each oth- capital costs for energy technologies. Its
ers challenges and solutions. been reported that putting the financing
in the hands of women helps to ensure
4. Cut the red tape for adopting renewable that the money is managed responsibly.
energy and complimentary technologies,
such as excessive costs or application pro- Clean energy should be as ubiquitous Renewables 100 Policy Institute Founding Board Chair
cedures for renewable energy installation. as cell phones, which have now reached Angelina Galiteva was invited by US State Department
nearly every pocket of the world, no mat- to Meet With Energy Leaders in Brazil.
5. Lead by example. Any entity is bound to ter what the income level. Maybe not
be more effective at getting the public on everyone has the latest iPhone, but they
its side if they walk the talk. have the means to communicate. This
happened very quickly. There is no good
reason that the same kind of access should
not be so for energy technology.

108 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ADVICE TO THE
YOUNG ENGINEERS
GN: Please give advice and words of wis-
dom about renewables to our young global
audience. What would you like to tell to
the millennials? Any inspiring words that
you can share?
Diane: We are in the middle of one of the
greatest industrial transformations of our
time. This brings with it vast opportunities
for many skilled people, including engi-
neers, to get involved in one of the most
creative and meaningful endeavors hu-
manity has ever had to undertake.
Ill pass on the advice often given by suc-
cessful leaders in frontrunner cities and
regions about the key to success: There are
two ways of thinking about going 100%
renewable. One is to think of all the rea-
sons to fear it and how to slow down the
process. The other is to commit, start and
figure it out as you go, accepting that there
will be mistakes, learning from them, im-
proving and continuing to just go for it for
the betterment of your community and
future generations. Be the second kind of
thinker. Its not only the right thing to do,
it is also a lot more fun.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 109


All photos are taken from the
Nordic Baltic Bioenergy Conference,
a business connection between East and
West which was held in Vilnius, Lithuania
from April 19-21, 2016.
Photos by Marius Linauskas/Makophoto

Swedish Bioenergy Association:


Saving Humanity Through
Sustainable Bioenergy
THE COMPANY PURSUING CLEAN ENERGY THE FUTURE OF
THROUGH SUSTAINABLE CLEAN ENERGY
The Swedish Bioenergy Association BIOENERGY
SVEBIO is a non-profit member Globally, according to IRENA, we have 19
association for companies and persons Clean Energy is renewable energy that percent renewable energy and about 67
with the interest to develop the use of we can use forever without damaging percent of that is bioenergy. We have the
sustainable bioenergy. I am also Chairman nature, causing worse health conditions technology and the economy to get 100
of AEBIOM, the European Biomass or threatening survival of species, etc. percent renewable.
Association with a similar purpose. Clean energy should enhance a healthier
SVEBIO has 12 employees with a turnover world and the survival of species. The We are taking steps forward but not at
of USD$2.4 Million. The companys recirculation of nutrients and minerals is all with sufficient speed. We would need
mission is to increase the use of bioenergy an important part of the natural life. global Carbon Dioxide Pricing as soon
in an economically and environmentally as possible to back out the use of fossils
optimal way. In my view, we as humans, have a given to cope with the climate change. All
responsibility to leave the world a better technology is there but it is more about
Our ambition is focused more on the place than when we came here. political will and knowledge about how
share of bioenergy in the Swedish society. to create the steering instruments to make
Our aim is to have more than 50 percent people and companies move in the right
of bioenergy in the total energy use. We direction. It is not costly or expensive and
are currently Swedens largest energy it has to be done. The alternative is more
source (around 35 percent bioenergy of expensive and damaging. Ten years from
the countrys total use) and we surpassed now, I hope we have a global Carbon tax
fossil oil in 2009, which was the largest of at least 30 USD per Carbon Dioxide
energy source before 2009. ton. Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel
from agriculture are more accepted since
those are the cheapest and best options to
replace fossil gasoline and diesel.

110 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


SVEBIOS INNOVATIONS
AND PROJECTS
Most important project of the company is
the introduction of general incentives such
as CO2 ta., We have to make the polluters
pay since this is the most efficient way
to stop climate change. In many regions,
Combined Heat and Power should be
introduced. It is a very cost-and-energy-
efficient system approach that decreases cost
for energy use. Also, energy efficiency work
is important and very much needed in most
regions. We already have the technology to
replace all fossils, replacing fossil jet fuels by
renewable in aviation, in off grid solutions
for power production, in replacing natural
gas in industry, green houses, breweries, etc.
When I say we have all needed technology
to make the switch, it doesnt mean that
there is no room for further research and
improvement. I believe biofuels for cars will
cost less than a dollar per liter including
VAT and we will use maybe only a liter
to run 30 km. Biofuels will be very cost
competitive to electric cars and batteries.
Also, we see higher share of electricity in
CHP-production which will lower the cost
for electricity from biomass.
In Sweden we have replaced 6000 cubic
meter of fossil imported oil every week in
20 years from 1990 to 2010. This has made
a fantastic impact on Swedish trade balance
and also made possibilities in rural areas
and forestry, where fuel production takes
place. We recommend every country that
import fossil energy to introduce CO2-taxes
urgently to better our domestic resources
and save the climate.
ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 111
THE CHALLENGES &
THEIR SOLUTIONS
The problem is mainly the mind set
believing that it is not possible. But it is
also the subsidies that distort markets
and push investments that are not
optimal or needed. It is important that
it is the customers demand that initiates
investment and not the subsidies and
support schemes that put market demand
out of the equation like in some European
energy markets.
NGOs are actually sometimes part of the
problem, demanding support schemes
that are not optimal and also blaming
biofuels for causing problems. If you
consider the global statistics, the yield
per hectare has increased faster than
the growth of the global population. We
continuously free more land for energy
production and still less people starve.
The fact that people starve has other
reasons than that we cannot produce food
enough. In Europe, NGOs try to forbid
biofuels from agriculture and they say the
land is needed for food production and
thus, biofuels cause deforestation in the
Amazon but at the same time they approve
the 6 percent Ecological Focus Areas that
is used to decrease the surplus production
of food in Europe. The legislation of ILUC
is illogical and stupid and should be taken
away as soon as possible.
We should start to buy renewable
bioenergy from poor rural areas to
inject capital and investments, then food
production can also increase in these
areas when capital is increasing. This
creates a better economic development
and combat poverty.
Again, the Carbon tax is important to push
development and use of renewables. If
people are poor and cannot afford higher
energy prices, a part of the governmental
income of the carbon tax can be used to
support poor people. Income streams
will stop flowing to fossil companies and
start to flow out in regional areas and
into forestry and agriculture into many
different hands and companies.

112 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ADVICE TO THE
YOUNG ENGINEERS
We have the potential of a much better
world ahead; controlled combustion is not
dangerous but a condition for life. There
is actually no life on the globe without
cellular respiration which is combustion
at low temperature. With modern
technology we get rid of problematic
emissions and health issues. You can
make a difference helping poor people out
of poverty when developing agriculture
and forestry in rural areas to produce
food and bioenergy. At the same time,
we can develop better life conditions for
rare species when using natural resources
without consuming them.

VIDEOS FROM SVEBIO

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 113


WBA:
MOVING FORWARD
IN PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE
BIOMASS FOR ENERGY

GETTING TO KNOW
GN: Introduce yourself. How many years have you been
working in your industry?
Karin Haara: I am the executive director of the World
Bioenergy Association and it all started in 2008. Build-
ing up a new global organisation is a major challenge,
but I really believe that bioenergy is going to be one of
the most important players globally in the field of re-
newable energy.
I was born in northern parts of Sweden and studied at
the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. There, I
acquired my Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering.
After attending different initiatives concerning renew-
able energy I decided to devote my professional work
life to something that would be of importance to future
generations, something that would be in balance with
nature. The answer is bioenergy.
In 1983, I started as an energy consultant and later on
in 1988 as a project manager for the Swedish Bioenergy
Association. During this time, I was involved in differ-
ent bioenergy projects such as promoting education, sta-
tistics and information, national and international con-
ferences and lately also international bioenergy business
projects. Bioenergy is a widespread area and throughout
Karin Haara, Executive Director WBA my work I have been able to gain a better understanding
(Photo by Oskar Omne/Dagens Industri) of how different bioenergy systems work and also how
to promote development.

C L I M AT E C HA N G E I S O N E of the greatest prob- Bioenergy is a versatile energy source with a multitude


lems of our world today. The best solution to this prob- of technologies, conversion pathways and end uses. It
lem is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, and is a continuous challenge to keep abreast of all the de-
according to World Bioenergy Association (WBA), bio- velopments in this sector. Every day, there is something
mass will be playing a major role in satisfying the human new to learn in this sector and thats what is so exciting
energy needs. and inspiring.

The WBA is a global organization which was founded in


May 2008, wherein they have been promoting the use of
bioenergy globally in an efficient, sustainable, econom-
ic and environmentally friendly way, as stated in their
factsheet. Their members include national and regional
bioenergy organizations, institutions, companies and
individuals.
GineersNow conducted an exclusive interview with
Karin Haara, the executive director of the World Bioen-
ergy Association.

114 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


WORLD BIOENERGY
ASSOCIATION
GN: Are you an educational institution, social enter-
prise, non-profit or private company? Describe your
company.
Karin: World Bioenergy Association (WBA) is an um-
brella organization for bioenergy associations, compa-
nies and individuals supporting the sustainable develop- Illustration of different ecological systems
ment of bioenergy globally. It started 2008 in Jnkping for biomass origins: short rotation forestry,
(Sweden) by leaders of a group of national and regional
associations. corn and sugarcane and managed forestry
(Photo by SLU)
We are a non profit and a non governmental organi-
zation. WBA has 19 board members comprising one
President and four Vice Presidents. The board sets the
agenda for the organization. The agenda is executed by
the Secretariat which sits in Stockholm, Sweden, led by The biogas plant in the municipality of
the Executive Director. Linkping, Sweden. Sweden is a world
GN: How big is your company? leader in upgrading and use of biometh-
ane for transport. Biogas covers today 1%
Karin: In terms of manpower, WBA has 2 employees of the total road traffic in Sweden
who work fulltime executing the activities of the organi- (Photo by Svensk Biogas)
zation. They are assisted by the President, the Vice Pres-
idents and the Board. Apart from the Board, WBA has a
project advisor, assistants and event managers who work
voluntarily for some of the projects. The organization is
truly global as our 190 members come from more than
50 countries and with various backgrounds.
GN: Describe your mission, vision and values.
Karin: WBA aims to promote the sustainable use of bio-
energy for mitigating climate change impacts of fossil
fuels. We support various actors associations, compa-
nies, institutions, individuals working in the field of
bioenergy. We see a future where bioenergy along with
other renewables become the dominant energy source.
A sustainable energy solution for the future generations
is possible only if we show how bioenergy with other
renewables can meet the energy demands of the local,
national and regional energy needs. We actively work
with knowledge transfer, technology transfer and capac-
ity building as key aspects of promoting a sustainable
future. World largest combined heat and power
plant based on biomass owned by Fortum
GN: Where is this company headed? Whats your future
expansion plans? Describe briefly your strategic goals and Stockholm City started operation in
(10 years to 20 years plan) 2016 in the middle of Stockholm, Sweden
(Photo by Hans Ekestang)
Karin: The association is based in Stockholm, Sweden
but our aim is to have a bioenergy association in every
country in the world. The idea is to be the clearing house
for everything that fits in bioenergy. These national as-
sociations become platforms for Bioenergy entrepre-
neurs, and their job is to educate leaders as well as to
build networks in the different regions where bioen-
ergy is available and/or used. We would like to see the
companies and institutions involved in the whole sup-
ply chain offering jobs and building local businesses as
well as global businesses. WBA is able to be serve as the
hub to transfer both knowledge and technology in both
directions on global level and serve with inspiration to
even local needs.
ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 115
WBA Steering Committee meeting
in Nairobi. (Photo by WBA)

WBAS STAND ON
CLEAN ENERGY
GN: What is clean energy as defined by your organiza-
tion/company?
Karin: Clean energy should be renewable! Clean ener-
gy is tied with the definition of the sustainable devel-
opment as envisaged in the Brundtland commission
report. First and foremost, clean energy should meet the
current energy needs without compromising the needs
of our future generations. Hence, no fossil fuels.
Clean energy should also be affordable and transparent.
Technologies like Nuclear energy which are not only ex-
pensive, but also carry significant cost burdens due to
disasters have to be avoided.
Clean energy should be reliable. Millions of people in
Africa and Asia suffer from unreliable and inefficient
WBA visit to Biogas plant in Nairobi. energy supply which significantly affects development.
(Photo by WBA.)
GN: Why bother? Whats the importance of pursuing
clean energy?
Karin: Energy is everything. We use electricity, heating,
transport fuels to run our planet. Everything we do is
tied with the use of energy. It is of utmost importance as
to where we get the energy and how we use it. We have
been using energy unsustainably with little or no care
for the safety of the planet for generations. Only recently
have we realized the drastic negative impacts of climate
change. Climate change impacts everyone from island
nations in the pacific to mega cities in Asia to quaint
Scandinavian countries up north. What we do on this
planet now affects everyone. It is not an issue between
neighbors or cities or even countries. It affects the whole
planet and in that context energy is central.
Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources is
the only way forward!
In the word of Carl Sagan, one of the greatest astrono-
mers ever: The Earth is the only world known so far
to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near
future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes.
WBA at cookstoves lab in KIRDI, Nairobi. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is
(Photo by WBA) where we make our stand.
In other words, there is no Planet B!

116 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


In a sustainable managed for-
est, trees of different age grow
side by side, to left or in some
cases even trees of even ages as
shown to the right. REN Alliance at COP21 in Paris holding a side-event on how renewables are working
(Left photo by ppcnet.org; right photo together for 100% renewable energy systems. (Photo Bharadwaj Kummamuru)
by Per Petersson, Sveaskog)

THE MACRO LEVEL THE MICRO LEVEL


OF CLEAN ENERGY OF CLEAN ENERGY
GN: Where are we today? What is the current situation GN: What are the initiatives / projects that you are doing
of renewables? (or have done) that will drive low or zero emission? Pellets.
Karin: Renewables currently provide 18 19% of the Karin: Knowledge transfer: We actively publish fact-
global energy. The rest of it is supplied by fossil fuels sheets and papers on the role of various bioenergy tech-
coal, oil and gas. Among the renewables, bioenergy is nologies in a natural science based idea. These factsheets
the largest renewable energy source currently at 14%. are published in collaboration with experts in universi-
Most of it is in the form of traditional biomass wood- ties, companies and associations. They provide an unbi-
fuel, charcoal etc but modern bioenergy (liquid biofuels, ased view and clear the air on various misconceptions
pellets, efficiently used solid biomass, etc.) stands today associated with bioenergy. These factsheets are used by
for 4-5%. The rest of the contribution comes from hy- professors in their teaching, companies in understand-
dro, wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewables. ing the market and associations lobbying in favor of re-
newables in their countries.
The share of renewables varies drastically among na-
tions and regions. European nations have a high share Statistics: One of our key activities is on improving the
of renewables in their energy mix. In Americas, coun- statistics on bioenergy. As the saying goes one cant
tries like Brazil have increased renewables in the trans- manage what one cant measure. Data is key for sustain-
port sector. African nations are largely dependent on able development. A standardized approach to gather-
biomass for heating. Countries like India and China are ing bioenergy data will be an invaluable tool for inves-
also investing heavily in solar and wind technologies for tors, organizations including regional and global policy
their growing energy needs. makers. The availability of consistent data will also lead
to awareness among countries on the true potential of
GN: Where should we be 10 years from now? Are we biomass and the sustainable use of locally available bio-
on the right track? Are we delayed? Are we progressing? mass resources can reduce energy poverty in developing
countries.
Karin: We are not doing enough. Although the renew-
ables have gained the spotlight post COP21 in Paris, Bioenergy Action Plans: Developing bioenergy action
still more than 80% of all energy is supplied by fossil fu- plans for regions will contribute to a growing role of bio-
els. We have to wean off from coal, oil and gas at the ear- energy in the energy system. The development of such
liest (possibly within this century, or even by 2050), if we action plans would create a strong economic benefit for
are to have any chance of limiting the global warming the society in terms of jobs, savings in energy expen-
levels to within 2 degrees the standard metric agreed ditures and increased regional economic growth. The
upon by climate scientists. development will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions Photo by iStock_tchara
and dependency on imported energy.
Having said that, the momentum is shifting. Major fossil
companies are exploring options to invest in renewable Bioenergy Directory: WBA Bioenergy Equipment Di-
technologies. Banks and institutions are thinking twice rectory is a database for companies working in the value
before financing coal projects. Solar prices are dropping chain of biomass to energy. Companies can offer their
at a faster rate than expected. equipment to attract new buyers. Clients can request
information or compare various products and services
We are on the right track, but we have got to pick up the on the website. Such a directory facilitates technology
pace now! transfer within the energy sector along with assisting
companies and clients in accessing relevant information.
Sustainability criteria for Biomass to energy: WBA
would like to implement our sustainable biomass veri-
fication scheme. The role of verification processes is to
participate in creation of a global market for bioener-
gy and biofuels. The goal of the following verification
scheme for biomass is to secure the sustainability crite-
ria for biomass, the supply of biomass in a sustainable
way with clearly defined and consistent quality for spe-
cific purposes.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 117


Global final energy
consumption.
(Photo by WBA)

GN: What are the future innovations that you or your THE CHALLENGES &
company pursuing?
THEIR SOLUTIONS
Karin: Innovation is a difficult word with no borders and
if you expand it a bit then it should cover what the shift GN: What are the stumbling blocks or bottlenecks in the
in thinking means when faced with facts and integrating renewable industry?
bioenergy in the circular driven society. This will open Karin: The Fossil based energy system has built up
for collaborations with other groups to reach the 100% structures that support the fossils. The renewables need
renewable energy driven society. other systems. Even if biomass can fit in the fossil struc-
Our continued focus is on integrating the renewable en- tures we need to have a price on what we do not want so
ergy industry. Our collaboration with the International a carbon pricing would be needed as well as taking off
Renewable Energy Alliance (a partnership of Interna- the support schemes that hold up fossil systems. To get
tional Solar Energy Society, International Geothermal the price right it should follow the Polluters Pay princi-
Alliance, World Bioenergy Association, International ple (PPP) so that the one who is polluting pays the cost
Hydropower Association and World Wind Energy As- of the climate change. It is more of a question of policy
sociation) aims to use our wide expertise in renewable and investment rather than technology. Another topic
energy to inform policy makers on the right decisions. for bioenergy is the ignorance of politicians about the
benefits and role of bioenergy.
Each city, region and nation have to be informed about
their true and sustainable potential of their renewable GN: What do you think the government, private com-
energy resources. We will continue preparing reports panies and NGO of each country should do to get rid
on cities using bioenergy and regional bioenergy action of this?
plans so that everyone becomes self sufficient in a sus- Karin: Firstly, the governments have to initiate a carbon
tainable way. pricing. Fossil fuels have to pay for the pollution that
Our continued focus on improving statistics is crucial they cause. Those countries which already have such a
in meeting the recently announced Sustainable Devel- pricing should increase it further to deter the use of fos-
opment Goals by the United Nations. To satisfy the in- sil fuels.
dicators and goals, measurement of key energy data is
crucial and we strive for the same.
GN: What impact have you delivered (social, economic Traditional family-farming corn straw
and environmental)? Do you have metrics or statistics of
your accomplishments? baling in Region of Becej, Serbia.
(Photo by Herman Wieser)
Karin: Our efforts have put bioenergy on the global map.
Our continued presence at the UN climate conferences
have built up a reputation as the leading global bioener-
gy organization.
Our statistics report is downloaded close to 2000 times
by financial institutions, banks, governments, research
institutes and universities etc. The feedback we receive
is largely positive on the global impact we are ensuring
with updated and relevant bioenergy data.
More than 30 companies have already joined our bio-
energy equipment directory so far. This is leading to
an improved transfer of technology from regions with
manufacturing capabilities to regions with high poten-
tial of utilizing their own resources.

118 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Corn straw bailing in the Region
of Sombor in Serbia.
(Photo by Herman Wieser)

The general public has to be educated on the climate


change issues. Such a debate should not be restricted to
the scientific community, but the whole society has to
be aware of our current energy situation and how it will
affect them in the near future. Moreover, they should be
educated with natural science based facts.
Fossil fuel companies have to explore alternative sus-
tainable energy solutions. The era of big oil, coal and gas
is over and they have to realize that. Banks should stop
financing fossil fuel power plants and invest heavily in
renewables as that is the future.
GN: How do we provide cheap energy in poverty strick-
en areas?
Karin: Bioenergy and other renewables are the best op-
tions for providing energy to rural and off grid areas in
low income countries. Biomass along with solar and
wind are easily available. Off-grid decentralized solu-
tions should be developed as well as central solutions for
easier and cleaner access to energy.
Financial institutions should focus on providing low
interest options for developing renewable energy tech-
nologies.

ADVICE TO THE Company Husk power systems is creating change in rural India by providing
YOUNG ENGINEERS electricity through bioenergy. In Bihar, more than 70 percent of the population
has no electricity but now 200 000 have been provided with electricity.
GN: Please give advice and words of wisdom about re- (Photo by Acumen)
newables to our young global audience. What would you
like to tell to the millennials? Any inspiring words that
you can share?
Karin: Integrate your professional knowledge on renew-
able energy with visions about a desirable and sustain-
able society for future (your) generations.
ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 119
A Kenyan delegation visiting a wind farm
construction site in Germany.

WWEA: Aiming To Achieve


100% Renewable Energy Supply
T H E WO R L D W I N D E N E R G Y
Association (WWEA) is an internation- Stefan Gsnger giving a speech at the PERSONAL BACKGROUND
al non-profit association which special- WWEC2012 in the former German
izes in the promotion of the worldwide parliament in Bonn. GineersNow: Introduce yourself.
deployment of wind energy technology. Stefan Gsnger: When I grew up in the
They have more than 600 members in 1980s, the world was confronted with
around 100 counties and are cooperating many severe environmental crises, which
with different renewable energy organiza- seemed to put on risk the future of man-
tions in order to work for a full shift from kind: air pollution and acid rain, climate
polluting and hazardous waste-causing change, water pollution, the nuclear di-
energies to renewable energies. saster in Chernobyl etc and no solution
GineersNow conducted an exclusive in- seemed to be available. During that time,
terview with Stefan Gsnger, the Secretary I came across the German MP Hermann
General for WWEA. Scheer and his NGO Eurosolar who pro-
moted strongly an economy based on
renewable energy. I noticed immediate-
ly that many of his ideas and proposals
would contribute substantially to solve
our problems and, even more, they would
create completely new prospects for all of
us.

120 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


GN: How many years have you been
working in your industry?
Stefan: I started working for renewable
energy in the late 1990s for Eurosolar as a
researcher and moved in 2001 to the Ger-
man Wind Energy Association where I
started building up the WWEA which was
founded in that same year. In 2003, I was
appointed by the board as WWEA Sec-
retary General and since that time I have
managed the association a great work
which has allowed me to travel around
the world many times and to work closely
with people from all different countries
and cultures.
RENEWABLE ENERGY,
NOT CLEAN ENERGY
GN: Where is this company headed? GN: What is clean energy as defined by
THE COMPANY Whats your future expansion plans? De- your organization/company?
scribe briefly your strategic goals.
GN: Are you an educational institution, Stefan: We do not use the term clean
social enterprise, non-profit or private Stefan: The WWEA Head Office is locat- energy because it is not clear enough. We
company? Describe your company. ed in Bonn, next to the UN Campus in prefer to talk about renewable energy
sight of the UNFCCC Climate Secretariat as it describes very precisely the main
Stefan: WWEA is a non-profit organiza- and not far from the IRENA Innovation requirement our energy sources have to
tion and the global umbrella organiza- and Technology Center. We have cur- fulfill in order to meet mankinds energy
tion for the world wind community with rently researchers also in other countries, demand in a sustainable way. In this sense,
the aim of promoting wind energy and including currently in Pakistan and in renewable energy includes geothermal
other renewable energy sources on the Russia. energy, hydropower, bioenergy, marine
global level, ultimately to achieve a 100% energy, solar energy and wind power.
renewable energy supply worldwide. We WWEA is a very broad and global net-
currently have members in more than 100 work of the wind and renewable energy GN: Why bother? Whats the importance
countries, and our elected board members community around the world. We do of pursuing clean energy?
are representing all continents. The cur- believe in the strength of such networks
rent president is Peter Rae, former Sena- of local and national units, and hence we Stefan: Renewable energies are by defini-
tor from Australia, while his predecessors have also launched two other important tion inexhaustible, and this also implies
came from Denmark, India and China. umbrella networks: The International Re- that in principle they do not cause ma-
newable Energy Alliance brings together jor environmental and hence social or
GN: How big is your company? the global renewable energy technolo- economic problems. Based on renewable
gy associations, and the Global100%RE energy, all human beings have equal op-
Stefan: WWEA has more than 600 direct campaign is a multi-stakeholder network portunities to access modern energy and
members, and through its member asso- from industry, civil society, academia, lo- to develop and to satisfy their needs with-
ciations indirectly far more than 50,000 cal governments and beyond who share out endangering the lives of others. This is
members. This includes national and the vision and goal of a 100% renewable really a unique opportunity for mankind,
regional wind energy associations, the energy future. the first time since industrialization has
whole range of companies, other organi- started. There is a chance that all humans
zations, and individuals. can achieve a similar standard of life.
GN: Describe your mission, vision and
values.
At the Community Power Conference in
Stefan: WWEA works for an energy sys- Tokyo with Samse Energy Director, Soren
tem completely driven by renewable en- Hermansen.
ergy. In order to achieve global 100 %
renewable energy supply, WWEA is sup-
porting especially decentralized and com-
munity based approaches, as we believe
that social support and a broad involve-
ment of citizens is an essential precondi-
tion for the global shift towards renewable
energy. Without that, it will be very diffi-
cult to mobilize the needed resources for
this huge task. In addition, a more decen-
tralized energy supply will also lead to a
fairer and more democratic world.
To achieve our goals, we connect the dif-
ferent actors of the wind community, we
provide information about wind power,
and we work with governments and in-
ternational organizations WWEA has
special consultative status at the United
Nations.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 121


The Secretary General for WWEA
speaking at the WWEC2015.

THE MACRO LEVEL OF


CLEAN ENERGY
GN: Where are we today? What is the global paradigm shift: From now on, Stefan: I have no doubt that the future
current situation of renewables? renewables are the new normal, and belongs to renewable energy. However, it
any other investment needs to be jus- depends on all of us how fast the transi-
Stefan: The global shift towards re- tified. Anyway, we have still a long tion will happen. Climate change experts
newable energy started more than way to go, and it is now up to the re- are telling us that we really need to accel-
30 years ago, in the United States and newables community to demonstrate erate our efforts in order to keep the 1.5 or
in Europe, particularly in Denmark. further how to apply renewable tech- even the 2 degree target. With our Global
In the second phase, other countries nologies. 100%RE campaign we had a long discus-
such as Germany, India or Spain have sion which year we should aim at for the
joined the movement. At the begin- An important element of the global 100% renewable energy target and the
ning of the new century, new emerg- success of renewable energy is that it conclusion was that we should rather in-
ing economies such as China have be- is completely changing the structure sist on the principle that any new invest-
come the largest players. This has led of the energy industry, away from a ment has to be made in renewable energy.
to great technological improvements few large corporations, be it in the oil, Amazingly, the Paris agreement strongly
so that renewables are today compet- gas, coal, nuclear sector, towards mil- supports this principle. If we follow this
itive even without looking at external lions of investors. People like you and principle, we will reach the 100% at the
cost such as climate change. me who install their own solar roof- end of the natural investments cycles, this
top, community based cooperatives, means in about 20-30 years.
Of course todays level of renewable small and medium sized companies
energy market penetration is still and also larger companies. People all over the world prefer renewable
not sufficient, but according to lat- energy but we have also to understand
est figures, renewables in 2015 for GN: Where should we be 10 years that there are still many hurdles to over-
the first time have become the larg- from now? Are we on the right track? come, in particular there is still strong re-
est investment in the power sector. Are we delayed? Are we progressing? sistance from the fossil sector who wants
And Paris has officially launched the to earn as long as possible and as much as
possible from dirty fossil fuels.

122 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


THE MICRO LEVEL
OF CLEAN ENERGY
GN: What are the initiatives / projects newable energy into our economies and Stefan: A simple answer is: Look at
that you are doing (or have done) that will societies. This implies that the way we or- the share of wind power in the year
drive low or zero emission? ganize our economies today needs to be when WWEA was founded: In 2001,
adjusted to the decentralized character of we had a global installed wind capac-
Stefan: One very important initiative is renewable energy. On the technical side, ity of 24 GW, this year we will reach
certainly the Global 100%RE campaign we will need innovation e.g. in terms of more than 20 times this number, soon
which we launched three years ago to- energy storage and demand side flexibili- we will be close to 500 GW. Anoth-
gether with partners from other NGOs, ty, in order to manage the volatile charac- er major indicator: I do believe that
industry associations, and academia. ter of the abundant sources wind and sun. through this practical success and
The second pillar is our work on com- On the social and economic side, we need also thanks to our political work, the
munity power which aims at promoting new business models which allow the Paris agreement became possible.
bottom-up solutions and intends to en- participation of more and more people in
courage citizens and local communities order to benefit directly from the produc- Of course I could also refer you to
to become active drivers of the necessary tive use of the renewable energy sources individual countries where we have
transition to renewable energy. in their environment. And politically, we been active: When we started work-
need the right policies in place which en- ing with our Chinese colleagues in
GN: What are the future innovations that able such innovations. 2003, China had an installed wind ca-
you or your company are pursuing? pacity of around 500 MW. In the fol-
GN: What impact have you delivered (so- lowing year, we held our World Wind
Stefan: The next big technical, but also cial, economic and environmental)? Do Energy Conference in Beijing, which
social, political and economic innovation you have metrics or statistics of your ac- resulted in the first Chinese renew-
has to be the holistic integration of re- complishments? able energy law. Today, Chinas wind
capacity is around 150 GW, 300 times
what it was in 2003!

Launch of a wind power conference


in Coimbatore, India.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 123


THE CHALLENGES &
THEIR SOLUTIONS
GN: What are the stumbling blocks or GN: How do we provide cheap energy
bottlenecks in the renewable industry? in poverty stricken areas?

Stefan: Technology is certainly not a ma- Stefan: There is without doubt only
jor bottleneck any more. It is obvious that one basic approach: The poor need
renewable technology will develop fur- to be enabled to harvest the renew-
ther in the coming decades and centuries able energy potentials in their envi-
like automobiles today are certainly not ronment. There is enough renewable
the same they used to be 50 or 100 years energy around which can be harvest-
ago, and they will again change with the ed, but the poor often only suffer
deployment of electric cars. The main the capability of capitalizing on their
barrier is still a mental barrier: We need skills and capacities so that they can-
a fundamental change in the way we think not get access e.g. to loans. A focus on
of energy supply. To give you an example: energy productivity and confidence
The technical concept of baseload is not in peoples general creativity and pro-
at all needed in order to provide enough ductivity, together with spreading the
energy whenever there is demand. What right business models, can certainly
we need is flexibility, which is rather in bring the needed breakthrough. Ban-
contrast to baseload. But still many peo- gladeshs Grameen Shakti has provid-
ple are stuck in the old way of thinking ed a very encouraging and powerful
and cannot imagine that power supply is example, with its microcredit pro-
possible without baseload. We need also gram for solar home systems.
to make clear that close-to-zero-margin-
al-cost technologies such as wind or solar GN: How do we ensure access to
cannot simply compete on a spot market clean energy?
for electricity as the price would tend to
zero. We need to find other regulatory Stefan: At first, we must exclusively
tools which ensure economic efficiency as focus on renewable energy sources
well, against what most economists have as they are available in abundance
been proposing during the last decades. everywhere. Secondly, we need to en-
able people to use their skills to har-
GN: What do you think the government, vest these energies. There is this nice
private companies and NGO of each example of the young guy somewhere
country should do to get rid of this? in Africa who just had a book about
wind energy and very basic pieces of
Stefan: The best approach is certainly to a bike etc. and he managed to build
point at practical solutions. On the local his own wind generator. If we focus
and regional level, we can already find on the productivity of the use of ener-
hundreds, thousands of models from gy, we can make sure that people can
which the rest of the world can learn how use the energy to create more value,
to organize the global energy transition. re-invest, and eventually escape from
Building networks amongst these practi- poverty.
tioners will certainly be of great help to
close the gap between the overall Paris
goal and the perceived barriers.

124 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ADVICE TO THE
YOUNG ENGINEERS
GN: Please give advice and words of wis-
dom about renewables to our young glob-
al audience. What would you like to tell to
the millennials? Any inspiring words that
you can share?
Stefan: The Indian leader Mahatma Gand-
hi said: There is enough for everybodys
need, but not for everybodys greed. This
is a very important and true statement, es-
pecially when we look at the energy side
of it: There is an abundance of renewable
energy resources on our planet! Let us
harvest them jointly and create wealth for
all people, without putting on risk the fu-
ture of mankind. We have the choice, we
have the responsibility, and we have now
the opportunity to create a better and fair-
er world!

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 125


NEW
BATTERY
HARNESSES
RENEWABLE
ENERGY
The world is going green at a very fast pace. high demand. This urged the team to create
This new green battery Almost everyone is talking about renew- a cost-effective way of storing the energy
is capable of fundamen- able sources of energy and how that could
be harnessed for various power needs. Very
gathered from these sources, which would
also help in making renewable energy read-
tally transforming the way recently, researchers from Harvard Univer-
sity have invented a rechargeable battery or
ily available for future use.
electricity is being stored green battery that can store energy from The team that conceived this organic flow
rooftop solar panels and quench house- battery is led by Michael J. Aziz, Gene and
in the grid, making the use hold electricity needs. This new technology Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and En-
of renewable energy more could revolutionize renewable energy stor-
age everywhere around the globe.
ergy Technologies at the Harvard School
of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He
dependable that it was This new green battery is capable of fun-
created and developed the battery with the
help of Roy G. Gordon,
before. damentally transforming the way electricity
is being stored in the grid, making the use It was not just designed, but also built and
of renewable energy more dependable that tested in Michael J. Azizs laboratory. Profes-
Photo by Harvard SEAS it was before. This invention by Harvard sor Michael is associated with the Harvard
engineers makes use solar and wind power School of Engineering and Applied Scienc-
which are two of the most abundant sources es. The other scientists who worked for the
of renewable energy known today. development of the battery include Roy G.
Gordon, Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor
The battery is a flow battery which doesnt of Chemistry and Professor of Materials
contain any trace of metal and depends on Science, and Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Professor
the electrochemistry of quinones, a nat- of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
urally occurring carbon-based molecule
which acts like the molecules that store Unlike our conventional batteries, the flow
energy in our flora and fauna. This in turn batteries are designed to store energy in
makes the battery more organic than the chemical fluids which are stored in sepa-
batteries we know today. rate tanks. This way, the amount of ener-
gy stored is proportional to the size of the
One of the reasons why this project was tanks which makes the flow battery able to
started is the fact that sources of renew- store larger amounts of energy at a cheaper
able energy such as wind and sunlight are cost.
not constantly available in relation to their

126 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


NEW DEVICE THAT MAKES
COMPOSTING EASIER
Its good for crops, its I think for all of us this was the top choice,
said Kavana Gowda, who like all of her
The difference is The BioBlend produces
a moist, finely chopped form of waste that
Photo by Rice
University
good for water and, in teammates is a senior mechanical engineer-
ing student. Other members are Christina
takes less time to turn to compost than reg-
ular garbage. Alternately, it can be used to
the end, its good for peo- Petlowany, Andrew Miller, Edgar Silva, generate biogas.
Mitch Torczon and Ryan Yeh.
ple and the planet. Why One of the things our sponsors want to see
would anyone not turn The students have spent much of the last
eight months working in the basement of
is if they can make the device large enough
to put in the basement of an apartment
food waste into compost? Rices Oshman Engineering Design Kitch-
en, where they have installed an actual re-
complex or a grocery store or restaurant,
places with a ton of food waste, Torczon
Rice University engineering students asked search kitchen or at least the sink part. said. They could create a lot of biogas they
that question at the start of the school year could then turn around and sell or, if theyre
and have spent the months since refining The project is a partnership with NASA, in a restaurant, use themselves.
their answer. which has an interest in such devices for
outposts on the moon, Mars and beyond, I think a family of four, using a biogas gen-
The team known as (com)post-haste in- and Chalmers University of Technology in erator with their waste, would be able to
vented a device that sits under ones sink Sweden, which pitched Rice on the project make enough for them to cook with, Gow-
and takes macerated food waste produced and intends to install The BioBlend at its da added.
by a standard garbage disposal and sends Living Lab, where it will be tested alongside
it in one direction while liquid waste (in- other emerging household technologies. A weight sensor tracks how full the bin is,
cluding water) goes in another. Effectively, Rice lecturer Matthew Elliott is the teams a cutoff switch automatically trips before it
it simplifies the process of recycling garbage faculty adviser. overflows and a carbon filter helps quash
into a useful product while helping to pro- odors and keep flies away from the com-
tect water supplies. I think one of the major barriers to be- post.
ing eco-friendly in a variety of ways in the
The students make up one of more than 80 United States is people arent willing to put The team has not ruled out giving The
capstone design teams at Rice. Most senior in any effort, said Torczon of the device. BioBlend Wi-Fi powers to alert users to its
engineering students are required to com- This doesnt require users to change their status via the Internet, Torczon said. They
plete a project to graduate and are presented behaviors. They can continue putting food could just make it beep when full, but the
with a host of possibilities when they begin down the garbage disposal, and once every students are wary that annoyed users would
their classes in August. couple of days take it out, just like taking simply disconnect it rather than keep with
out their trash. the program.
For all the members of (com)post-haste,
developing the device they call The Bio-
Blend was a natural.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 127


WORLDS FIRST
EMISSIONS-FREE,
LOW-COST
FOSSIL FUEL POWER
TECHNOLOGY
NET Power breaks ground on
demonstration plant for worlds first
emissions-free, low-cost fossil fuel
power technology.
Illustration by NET Power

128 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


NET Power, LLC, today announced that Rivers and Toshiba, towards delivering a inherently eliminating all air emissions.
it has broken ground on a first-of-a-kind technology that will be the cornerstone The system burns natural gas with oxygen,
power plant that will validate a new nat- of a modern global energy infrastructure as opposed to air, and uses high-pressure
ural gas power system that produces that is clean, affordable and flexible. carbon dioxide, as opposed to inefficient
low-cost electricity with zero atmospher- steam like most power plants, to drive a
ic emissions, including carbon dioxide. Executives from each of the companies turbine. NET Power produces only elec-
NET Power is a collaboration between gathered on the site to mark the start of tricity, liquid water and pipeline-ready
Exelon Generation, CB&I, and 8 Rivers construction of the demonstration plant. CO2, all while operating as efficiently as
Capital. The 50-megawatt demonstration The $140 million program - which not the best natural gas power plants available
plant is being built in La Porte, Texas. only includes demonstration plant de- today. Additionally, for a small reduction
sign and construction, but also ongoing in efficiency, the technology can operate
The plant will demonstrate NET Powers technology advancement, a full testing without water, actually becoming a net
Allam Cycle technology, which uses car- and operations program, and commer- water producer. For the first time, clean-
bon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a cial product development - is funded by er energy does not mean more expensive
combustion turbine, eliminates all atmo- a combination of cash and in-kind contri- energy, and, as a result, our global climate
spheric emissions without requiring ex- butions from Exelon and CB&I. Toshiba goals are within reach.
pensive, efficiency-reducing carbon cap- has developed and is now manufacturing
ture equipment, and ultimately produces a new supercritical CO2 turbine and com- NET Powers 50MWth plant will be a fully
pipeline-quality CO2 that can be seques- bustor for the project. CB&I is performing operational unit that will generate power
tered or used in various industrial pro- the engineering, procurement, and con- to the grid while demonstrating all key
cesses, including enhanced oil recovery. struction of the plant. Exelon is providing aspects of the Allam Cycle. Commission-
operations, maintenance, and develop- ing is expected to begin in late 2016 and
NET Power is the first technology that ment services. 8 Rivers invented and con- be completed in 2017. The plant will also
allows policy and economics to work to- tinues to advance the technology behind provide the validation to begin construct-
gether, instead of against each other, to en- the project. ing the first 295MWe, commercial-scale
sure the world meets our climate targets, NET Power plants. NET Power is already
said NET Powers CEO, Bill Brown. To- NET Power uses a novel process an engaged with customers across several in-
day marks a significant step for our world- oxy-fuel, supercritical CO2 power cycle dustries on the design and development of
class team, including Exelon, CB&I, 8 to produce electricity efficiently while these projects.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 129


WIND POWER
BLOWS AWAY
THE NEED
FOR ENERGY
PLANTS
In an average working mans life, what do you think about by the rise of popularity of renewable sources of
are his most common monthly concerns? Pocket mon- energy. Moreover, there have been technological ad-
ey? Yes. Rent? Yes, that too. But one of the most unsta- vances which have improved power storage and efficien-
ble-priced needs he has to worry about is the electricity cy. This has caused fossil fuels become a more expensive
bills! source of energy.
Yes, electricity bills. Every country in the world has this This resulted in the creation of a cycle that has caused
kind of dilemma. But, it seems like technology is taking the rise in the cost of power generated from gas and coal.
a new turn to try and help keep our wallets from being That in turn has caused more attention to be given to
empty. renewable energies and their production has increased.
Wind power is slowly blowing away the need for energy The fact is that the cost of generating electricity from any
plants using fossil fuels. renewable source of energy such as wind or solar is, at
its essence, completely free. Of course, there are certain-
New reports are showing that the onshore windfarms ly costs of upkeep and staff to take into consideration.
have become the cheapest method for producing elec- Nonetheless, the power company does not have to pay
tricity in the United Kingdom. The price drop is rather anything to get the actual source of energy as they are
significant as electricity produced by windfarms is now free natural forces. On the other hand, power companies
20 cheaper than producing the same amount of elec- have to buy the gas or coal in order to run the power
tricity from fossil fuels. This is certainly a great break- plants when using fossil fuels. Therefore, power compa-
through for renewable sources of energy. Moreover, it is nies will always choose the free source at any given time
not limited to the United Kingdom only. This scenario leading to increase of renewable power plants such as
is also being reflected elsewhere in the world such as windfarms.
Germany, as the cost of solar and wind technologies are
rapidly decreasing while the costs of fossil fuels are in- Of course people would prefer cheaper source of energy.
creasing at the same time. Is this goodbye for power plants using fossil fuels then?
Does this mean our electricity bilsl wont be too high in
In fact, wind power has become the source of the cheap- the future? Lets hope so.
est electricity in the United Kingdom as well as Germa-
ny. This is the first of such achievement by rich countries. Photo by Carbon Brief
According to analysts, this scenario has been brought

130 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


WORLDS
BIGGEST
WIND
TURBINES
Two new wind turbines have just been inaugurated
in Denmark, in Mde near Esbjerg, to call them the
biggest in the world, standing at 200 meters high
with a wingspan of 164 meters and an 8MW produc-
tion capacity. It is enough to power 18,000 Danish
households.
According to reports, if 300 of these huge turbines
will be built, it will be enough to produce electricity
for all the households in Denmark. European Ener-
gy, its main investor, takes the two new turbines a
huge step in forwarding wind energy.
At European Energy this is an important step for-
ward and adds to our exciting journey within wind
development and increased focus on nearshore and
offshore project opportunities. With this coopera-
tion we take an important leap forward and we now
become an important part of the testing process for
the worlds most powerful wind turbines and the
next generation of the 3MW platform. says Knud
Erik Andersen, CEO of European Energy A/S.
The new wind turbines are a collaboration project of
European Energy, MHI Vestas and BMC Energi.

Photo by Windfair

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 131


WINDLICHT:
TAKING WIND POWER
TO A MORE ARTISTIC LEVEL
A team of designers and engineers, led by Daan
Roosgaarde, wanted to let the world visualize the
beauty of green energy through their latest ex-
perimental installationthe Windlicht (windlight).
Photo by Platoon.org

132 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


A team of designers and engineers, led Windlicht is supported by Dutch landline
by Daan Roosgaarde, wanted to let the and mobile telecommunications company
world visualize the beauty of green energy KPN. This year, the company has been
through their latest experimental instal- exclusively using green energy generated
lationthe Windlicht (windlight). Their in the Netherlands since 2011. the update
artwork comprises of a sequence of bright that the artwork gives to the landscape,
green lights that connects one windmill represents important values such as sus-
to the next, filling the sky with beautiful tainability and connectedness, describes
light movements. Special software and KPN CEO eelco blok. because these two
tracking technology are used to detect values are of great significance for KPN,
the windmill blades, which rotates at 280 we are committed to this artwork. with
kilometers per hour (174 mph) and illu- windlicht we support the idea of roose-
minates the gaps between the neighboring gaarde that green energy is something to
windmills. be proud of.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 133


Solar power has given humanity hope in ment and private companies can provide
saving mother nature without sacrificing more jobs to people compared to natural

Top 5 Largest our electrical needs. A free source of ener-


gy, we are provided with power from solar
parks as soon as the sun shines on the so-
gas and coal industries. These certainly
are important details to remember when
we encourage our own local governments

Solar Parks
lar panels. Energy is easily stored during to support the use of solar power.
gloomy days as well. It plays a crucial role
in our society as we stop global warming. Accumulating energy from solar parks
can result to cheaper and accessible power

In The World It has plenty of advantageous - mainly its


affordability. Aside from that, we are as-
sured that it will always be there, ready to
provide us with sufficient energy to pow-
to everyone, especially to the poor coun-
tries. Comparing which countries have
the largest solar parks in the world, China
and the US come out at the top of the list.
er our homes and our offices. Unlike coal The list below shows which solar parks
and fossil fuel energy, solar power is re- have made it to the top 5 largest solar
newable. The sun wont stop shining any- parks in the world.
time soon. Through solar power, govern-

Longyangxia Dam
Solar Park
Photo by Solar Power Today
The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is the
largest photovoltaic power station in the
world. With a capacity of 850 MW, it is
made up of two phases: Phase I with a
capacity of 320 MW and Phase II with a
capacity of 530 MW.

134 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Topaz Solar Farm Desert Sunlight
Photo by Wikimedia
Solar Farm
This $2.5 billion project has a capac- Photo by Alternative Energies
ity of 550 MW. Located in San Luis
Obispo County, California, it has 9 Located six miles north of Desert
million cadmium tellurium photovol- Center in California, this solar park
taic modules provided by First Solar. produces 550 MW. With the help of
It began construction last 2011 and US manufacturer First Solar, Desert
ended in November 2014. Sunlight Solar Farm uses 8.8 million
cadmium telluride modules.

Solar Star Huanghe


Photo by Computer World Hydropower
It is found near Rosamond, California. Golmud Solar
Using 1.7 million solar panels, it has a ca- Park
pacity of 579 MW. The solar panels were Photo by PV Buzz
provided by SunPower.
Producing 200 megawatt, this solar
park is located in Golmud, Qinghai
Province in China. It was construct-
ed back in 2009 and won the China
Quality Power Project Award three
years later. This solar park has an es-
timated 317 GWh production every
year.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 135


TOP10
WIND ENERGY
COMPANIES Photo by Gemenergy

Wind is not only a clean renewable ener-


gy source, it is also free and readily avail-
able. Nowadays, many windfarms around
the world are harnessing the power of the
wind to convert it to electricity. Wind tur- Photo by Foractiva
bines are the main component in harness-
ing wind power and turn it into energy.
Windpower Monthly consolidated fig-
ures for Make Consulting, BTM Navigant
and Windpower intelligence to be able to
come up in this list of ten leading wind
turbine manufacturers. Here are the Top Photo by Siemens
10 leading Wind Energy Companies
When all ten companies are combines,
they have around 270GW installed wind
power which is around three-quarters of
the global total! The companies turbines Photo by Think Progess
range from 20+ year-old kilowatt ma-
chines to brand new megawatt designs.
Here are the Top 10 Wind Energy Com-
panies
Goldwind
Goldwind has come out to be Chinas
Photo by me-boletin leading turbine manufacturer. They are

Siemens now ranked fourth in the world. They


hold 9.2% of market shares.

Siemens is rated as the worlds leading


turbine supplier. Its 10.8% share of the
market equates to 5.63GW in turbine in- Enercon
stallations.
By the end of 2014, Enercon had installed
a total of 16, 867MW in Germany and

General Electric 20,284MW in export markets. They hold


7.8% of market shares.

GE offers a full suite of turbines which are


created for different wind environments.
GEs turbines feature rated capacities Photo by Scandasia United Power
from 1.7MW to 3.4MW for onshore, and
6MW for offshore. They hold 10.2% of United Power is part of China Guodian,
market shares. one of Chinas five largest power produc-
ers, and owener of Longyuan, one of the
worlds biggest developers. They hold 5%

Vestas of market shares.

Vestas has 53,743 turbines installed in 73


countries which has a total joint capaci-
ty of 66GW. They hold 10.1% of market
shares.

136 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Gamesa
Gamesa has over 30GW installed world-
wide, and they are aiming to become the
largest manufacturer in India and Mexico.
They hold 4.2% of market shares.

Photo by Nrel
Ming Yang
Ming Yang is a newcomer in the top ten
status, unlike other Chinese manufactur-
ing companies, they dont benefit from be-
ing state owned. They hold 4% of market
shares.

Senvion
The German turbine manufacturer, for-
merly known as Repower, was one of the
Photo by EVWind first companies to go into the offshore sec-
tor. They employ around 3,500 people in
14 countries and have a little over 12 GW
in operation worldwide.

Nordex
Nordex is a German wind turbine man-
ufacturing company located in Rostock,
Germany. Currently they manufacture two
platforms of wind turbines, rated at 2.4 and
3.3 MW. They hold 3.4% of market shares.
Photo by Windpwer Monthly

Photo by Recharge News

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 137


TOP 5 LARGEST
WIND FARMS
IN THE WORLD
Wind energy is one of the renewable ener-
gies that holds great potential in supplying
electricity across the world. Unlike other
sources of electricity which needs fuel
in processing plants, wind energy gen-
erates electricity through windwhich
is free. Wind can be considered a fuel
that doesnt require to be transported or
mined.
Here is a list of the top 5 largest onshore
wind farms which are currently opera-
tional.

Gansu Wind Farm Project


The Gansu Wind Farm Project, which is
also called the Jiuquan Wind Power Base,
is found in the western Gansu province in
China. It is composed of a group of large Photo by The Guardian
wind farms and is currently under con-
struction. It has a capacity of 6,000 MW
and has a goal of 20,000 MW by the year
2020.

Alta Wind Energy Center


The Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC),
or also known as Mojave Wind Farm, is a
wind farm which is located in Tehachapi
Pass of the Tehachapi Mountains, in Kern
County, California. As of the year 2013,
it is the largest wind farm in the United
States and has a combined installed ca-
pacity of 1,547 MW.

Photo by Almrsal

138 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Muppandal Wind Farm
The Muppandal Wind far, has been se-
lected as the showcase for Indias $2 bil-
lion clean energy program, which gives
foreign companies tax breaks for building
fields of wind turbines in the area. The
village of Muppandal attracts many wind
energy producing companies, which has
created thousands of new jobs which help
raise the income of the villagers. The wind
energy generation capacity for this wind
farm is around 1500 MW.

Photo by Elperiodicodelaenergia

The Jaisalmer Wind Park


The Jaisalmer Wind Park is located in
Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan, India and is
the largest operational onshore wind farm
in their country. The wind parks capacity
is 1,064 MW, which makes it one of the
worlds largest operational onshore wind-
farms.

Photo by Elperiodicodelaenergia

The Shepherds
Flat Wind Farm
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is located
in the state of Oregon. It has an installed
capacity of 845 MW. The wind farm was
built by Caithness Energy using General
Electric (GE) 2.5 MW wind turbines, and
it supplies electricity to Southern Califor-
nia Edison.

Photo by Examiner

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 139


WORLDS
GREENEST
ECO RESORT
What
PLANNED
makes
a green
home?
What is a green home?
A green home is one that has been built,
or remodelled to meet higher standards
than that of conventional construction,
to be able to achieve a healthier, more
resource efficient and more cost-effective
homes which in turn benefits the people
who live in them.
There are independent, third party veri-
fications to document when a house has
met certain standards. The verification Plans to create the worlds greenest eco re- low-lying, angular PV-topped building
will serve as a basis for certification of sort in Liwa, the southern region of UAE, comprised of 84 suits of various sizes.
green homes, and will provide informa- have just been revealed. The Oasis Eco Re-
tion for consumers like helping them with sort, with promising sustainable features, Moreover, there will be a zero-emissions
comparison shopping and decision-mak- was designed by Baharash Architecture zone that will have its own waste treat-
ing. and commissioned by the Eco Resort ment center and a business and research
Group. facility.
The National Green Building Standard
(NGBS) is the first residential green The 8,400 square foot development re- The Oasis Eco Resort, when complet-
building standard that undergone the full sort will be fully solar energy-dependent ed, will be the greenest of its kind in the
process and received approval from the which will be acquired from the 1,570,000 world. Other than that, according to Ba-
American National Standards Institute. square feet of solar panels surrounding the harash Bagherian, it will preserve the
They were developed by the National As- area. It will also feature a spring, out of the regions heritage and provide greater in-
sociation of Home Builders. existing groundwater, which is important teraction with native people. It will also
to Bedouins for trade and transportation provide job opportunities for local which
There are other organization that of- will create a more diversified economy.
fer green building certification, many routes. Such water will be utilized for the
of which are regional or statewide, like resorts crop irrigation, fish farming, and
recreational activities, on top of provid- The compound is expected to be complet-
the Build Green New Mexico Standards, ed by 2020.
largely adapted from the U.S. Home ing habitat for local fauna. The spring will
Builders Association Standards. be the center of the entire resort, with a
Photos by Baharash Architecture

140 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


The 8,400
square foot
development
resort will be
fully solar
energy
dependent
which will be
acquired from
the 1,570,000
square feet of
solar panels
surrounding
the area.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 141


Future of Mobility Concept
Unveiled by Nissan Europe
and Foster + Partners

142 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Nissan has revealed an exciting Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Eu- The need for a sustainable and inno-
glimpse into the future with the first rope, said: Technology holds many vative refuelling network is becoming
look at its fully connected vision of of the answers for the challenges we vital as the market shifts toward alter-
the future of mobility in association face in our cities today. However, the native sources like electric power.
with renowned architects, Foster + true power comes when those tech-
Partners. nologies are integrated with each oth- Today, more than half (54%) of the
er and the world around us. worlds population lives in cities and
The landmark partnership, between by 2050, seven out of every 10 people
the manufacturers of the worlds Weve been at the forefront of zero will live in urban areas[i], so it is im-
best-selling 100 percent electric ve- emission technology since 2010, but perative that the infrastructure exists
hicle and the leading design studio, our vision does not stop there we to support this growth.
concluded that the fuel station of the believe that the future of transporta-
future could actually be the car itself. tion is reliant on both infrastructure Nissan is currently trialing an innova-
and the environment. Were looking tive vehicle-to-grid system in Europe
Illustrated in a stunning two minute for real, workable solutions that go which, when coupled with advances
video, featuring the best-selling Nis- beyond the product. in its second-life batteries, will allow
san LEAF and futuristic IDS Concept, drivers to operate as individual en-
Nissans visionary concept explores Incorporating a range of pioneering ergy hubs able to store, use or return
how our way of living might change Nissan technologies, the vision hints clean energy to the grid.
as technology develops. at how vehicle-to-grid, battery stor-
age, wireless charging, autonomous It is predicted that by 2050, almost all
The collaboration, which concludes a drive technology and over-the-air global energy needs can be met with
12-month partnership, offers a snap- connectivity could combine to revo- renewable energy sources.
shot of whats to come from Nissans lutionise how energy is used and dis-
vision for Intelligent Mobility; a world tributed across Europes major cities. Nissan is the leader in zero emis-
in which cars interact with their en- sion technology, and pioneered the
vironment as populations adopt zero David Nelson, Co-Head of Design, commercial electric vehicle market
emission, Piloted Drive technologies. Foster + Partners, added: Integrating in 2010. The Nissan LEAF the first
zero emission technologies into the mass-market, pure EV launched glob-
The design study is being previewed built environment is vital in creating ally continues to be the best-selling
at this years 86th International Motor smarter, more sustainable cities. That EV in history.
Show in Geneva. commitment must extend far beyond
the car it must sit at the heart of ev- Photos by Nissan
erything we do.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 143


Photo by Lucid Energy

Photo by OPB

LIFT-BASED
TURBINES:
A NEW SOURCE OF
HYDROELECTRIC
Photo by Version Daily POWER
Engineers have devised a new way to pro- You must be wondering how much energy
duce hydroelectric power. Now, the water this system could produce. This depends
Photo by Hydro World pipes that bring water to your home could on the pressure and the flow rate inside
produce electricity too! Did you hear the transmission pipe. Say for example,
about LucidPipes lift-based turbine? This in a pipeline with 60-inch diameter, with
is the turbine that produces electricity as a flow velocity of seven feet per second,
the turbine spins. a LucidPipe can produce up to 100kW
of power! It will extract 11.5ft of head
The set-up has been designed by engi- from the system. Now, if you could add
neers to maximize power production multiple turbines to this set-up, the Lu-
and to limit the onset of cavitation. As cidPipe could produce thousands of watts
the velocity of the turbines increases, the of energy. And the best part is, this power
power production also increases. This generation process is without any sort of
power-producing set-up has a lift-based environmental impact.
design and the system generates power
across a large range of velocities. You can try taking a 40 feet section of a
water pipe and install up to four Lucid-
The LucidPipe Power System is the pow- Pipe units at a distance of 3-4 turbine di-
er-producing system that harnesses the ameters apart. Contextually, you need to
untapped energy of moving water and know that a mile of pipeline of 42 inch di-
produces clean, low-cost energy. It is the ameter is capable of producing more than
kickass system that can work on a wide 3 megawatts of energy.
range of volumes, velocities, and flow
conditions. Finding other ways to get hydroelectric
power has to be influenced by great de-
mands of electricity. Thanks to LucidPipe,
we think that we have found another one.

144 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


THE DOWNSIDE OF
HYDROELECTRIC
POWER Clean energy might make us pay a heavy
price. How?
Researchers of Harvard University have
found out the reason behind the high con-
centration of methylmercury and potent
neurotoxin in the Arctic region: it is the
production of hydroelectric power that is
being used to eliminate global warming.
The research paper published in the PNAS
had started off as a review of the environ-
ment effect assessment of the Muskrat
Falls Hydroelectric dam of Labrador in
Canada. In the year 2017, the dam will
flood an extensive region upstream from
the estuarine fjord called the Lave Mel-
ville. But reports predicted no danger and
that is when the Government consulted
Elsie Sunderland.
So, is clean energy really benefitting us?
No, not when you think of it this way. The
people living on the Coast of Lake Mel-
ville will be affected because they depend
on it being their only source of food.
The research team of Sunderland found
large quantities of methylmercury in the
water of Lake Melville. The methylmer-
cury coming from the river and from the
sediments at the bottom part of the lake
could not justify the level of the same in
the water. The team discovered that the
level increased just below the surface of
the water.
What could be the reason for this? They
found out that it was because of the eating
habit of planktons. When salt and fresh
water meet, the salinity increases along
with the density of water. All organic
matter sinks down to the bottom and gets
collected forming a debris and turns into
a feeding area for marine plankton. The
bacteria of this area cause a complicated
chemical process turning mercury into
methylmercury.
Now there are is actually a risk in produc-
ing clean energy especially on this matter.
Will the government still continue push-
ing through this?

Photo by Energy Digital

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 145


What Does
the Year 2050
Have in Store
for Engineers?
Do you ever wonder what the world
will look like by the year 2050? Is
the technology too advanced for
us? Will it make the world a better
place? Or will the world look just
like those dystopian films we see in
the big screen? Will there be more
robots than people?
Technology is advancing at a rapid pace Similar plans are afoot in London, UK. A
and affecting all industries and sectors in plan has been proposed which can bring
one way or the other. It is likely that tech- about major changes in the infrastructure
nology will have brought to reality things so as to make the city sustainable for over
by 2050 that only exist in fiction now. It 11 million people, the projected popula-
will also have certainly made a major im- tion of London in 2050. One of the major
pact in the sectors of energy production concerns has been water shortage, others
and engineering. In fact, researches have being energy, waste, transport and re-
already uncovered certain remarkable source management.
possibilities will come into being by 2050.
Some of the largest engineering groups in
For example, engineers at the Stanford the world have stated that we already have
University have already developed a plan technologies which are capable of reduc-
that can transform the United States into ing the greenhouse gases in the planet by
a nation that uses only renewable sources as much as 85% by the year 2050. Another
of energy by the year 2050. The plan de- prediction being made for the year 2050 is
tails the actions that need to be taken by that the world will have a total population
each of the 50 states of the country in or- of 9.5 billion. In order to feed such a large
der to achieve the transformation. There population, researchers are suggesting the
are aggressive changes required in the use of genetic engineering and high per-
energy consumption patterns and also the formance computing to increase the pho-
infrastructure. Nonetheless, the plan is tosynthetic efficiency of the plants. This
feasible from an economic and technical method can boost food production and
standpoint. crop yields.
Is it the end of the coal industry then? With all these plans for cleaner energy
Clean energy for all? What will the green and sustainability, do you think engineers
activists complain about then? and scientists can make them happen by
the year 2050? Only time can tell.

146 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Can One Tower Replace
A Power Plant?
Engineers Say Yes! Photo by Solar Wind Energy Tower

The world has seen numerous turbines inside power generators


valuable developments in the to produce electricity.
recent years. The focus of both
researchers and engineers has The exterior of the tower is con-
shifted to making the best use structed with vertical wind
of solar energy. One of the finest vanes at places where atmo-
examples of the company which spheric conditions are condu-
is making the best utilization of cive. These wind vanes capture
Tthe freely available resource is the prevailing wind and channel
Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. it to produce supplemental elec-
The company is working on the trical power. This dual renewable
development of a large Solar energy resource greatly enhances
Wind Downdraft Tower, a struc- its clean energy-producing capa-
ture capable of producing abun- bility and productivity.
dant, inexpensive electricity in
Arizona, Mexico, and Chile. Whats interesting about the So-
lar Wind Energys Tower is that
The tower is the first hybrid so- it does not have any operation-
lar-wind renewable energy tech- al limitations in terms of time
nology in the market. Compris- and can be operated around
ing of a tall hollow cylinder with the clock, 24 hours per day, and
a water injection system near seven days per week. Howev-
the top, the patented structure er, theres an operational lim-
has wind tunnels containing itations with solar collectors
turbines near the bottom. that work only when the sun
shines, and with wind turbines
The functioning of the tower is that work only when the wind
simple. The water is delivered blows.
to the injection system at the
top of the tower by a series of The most remarkable feature is
pumps where a fine mist is that these towers can be oper-
cast across the entire open- ated virtually with no carbon
ing. The water then evap- footprint, fuel consump-
orates and is absorbed by tion, or waste production. It
hot dry air which has been generates clean, cost effec-
heated by the solar rays of tive and efficient electrical
the sun. As a result, the power without damaging
air becomes cooler, dens- effects.
er and heavier than the
outside warmer air, and We hope that the company
falls through the cylin- soon meets its core objec-
der at a speed up to in tive and focus on becom-
some excess of 50 mph. ing a leading enabler of
This air is then divert- clean, efficient renew-
ed into wind tunnels able energy at reason-
surrounding the base able cost.
of the tower where

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 147


THROWBACK

CHANEL
FEATURED
RENEWABLE
ENERGY IN
ITS FASHION
SHOW
Photo by PSFK

Remember the time when Karl Lagerfeld In this season, classic Chanel looks such as
famously put wind turbines and faux solar chains, braids and Chanel buttons werent
panels in his 2013 Chanel runway spring present but an overwhelming occurrence
summer fashion show in Paris Fashion of pearls can be noted on the dresses.
Week? The legendary fashion icon mixed Pearls, pearls everywhere.
fashion and renewable energy on the cat-
walk and showed that even fashion pow- In an industry that is driven by innova-
erhouses like Chanel (probably) cares tion, boldness and progress, Chanel just
about the environment. showcased how delivering a message us-
ing visuals such as iconic green energy
The head designer and creative director materials can make an impact in other in-
of Chanel has always been ambitious with dustries and make ones show memorable.
his fashion shows something people in However, it may just have been a stunt and
the creative world always look forward Lagerfeld may not have a deeper mean-
to. The past few years featured ambitious ing as to why he chose renewable energy
exhibits and 2013 was about renewable as the seasons theme. In an interview he
energy. gave to explain the inspiration behind the
theme, he said:
With 80 looks to showcase, 68 models
Photo from Blogspot showed off the seasons designs in between I started to sketch in St. Tropez over the
13 massive wind turbines on blue faux summer and it was so hot I wanted some
solar panels. Some of the looks featured fresh air.
futuristic designs that mimicked these re-
newable energy icons: a look with a disc- Nonetheless, renewable energy got the
shaped hat and a transparent brim that buzz it needed. Though Lagerfeld is con-
resembles the wind turbines and a blue troversial in his support in using furs, he
dress with a glittering blue embroidery did the renewable energy sector a favor by
that resembles the solar panels. reminding the fashion industry, known
for its materialistic ways, that renewable
energy is in.

148 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Photo by Mic

NEW APPLE HQ
TO RUN ON
SOLAR ENERGY
& BIOGAS
FUEL CELLS
In their Environmental Responsibility Re-
port, Apple revealed that their new head-
quarters will be solar-powered and will
run on biogas fuel cells. The solar power
will be coming from the rooftop solar
panels, some of which will be at the top
of tis two on-campus parking structures.
The biogas fuel cells, on the hand will turn
hydrogen and oxygen into electricity.
The solar power has a capacity of up to 16
megawatts while the biogas fuel cells are
expected to be 4 megawatts of energy.
According to the company representative,
both sources of energy should be able
to generate about 75% of the energy it
needs during peak day time hours to run
its campus. The remaining power will be
produced by a California solar farm called
First Solar, as part of their $848 million
deal for 130 MW in 2015.
Photos by Apple
For the new Apple headquarters to run
entirely on alternative energy, Apple pro-
duced their own microgrid whenever
local power grids fail to deliver to them.
This effort is part of Apples commitment
in running all of its operations on renew-
able energy and in helping solve the prob-
lem of climate change.

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 149


M A R K YOUR CALENDARS !

June 23
National Women
in Engineering Day

An Ar ti c l e by Women 's E ng in e ering S o ci e ty


t h roug h D aw n B on f i el d, CE ng , F I MMM, FICE, FWES .

In spi r i ng Wom en a s E ng i n e er s ,
S c i enti sts an d Te c h n i c a l L e a d er s

Ab out D aw n B onf i el d, CE ng, FIMMM, FICE, FWES

DAW N B O N F I E L D I S C H I E F E X E C U - Dawn has recently written a report for the Institu-


T I V E of the Women's Engineering Society. She is a tion of Civil Engineers called Disruptive Diversi-
materials engineer, graduating from Bath University ty which has set out how this large institution can
with a Degree in Materials Science. She has worked increase its diversity and inclusion to make a step
in the atomic energy, automotive and aerospace sec- change in attracting and retaining a diverse range of
tors for AERE Harwell, Peugeot SA in Paris, British members.
Aerospace in Bristol, and MBDA in Stevenage. She
has also worked for the Institute of Materials, Min- In addition to her work with WES Dawn is Patron
erals and Mining and joined WES in 2011, becom- of Alton Convent School, a member of the Institute
ing President in 2014. She became Chief Executive of Materials Minerals and Mining Women in Mate-
in 2015 - the first CEO that the Women's Engineer- rials committee, a steering group member of the 100
ing Society has employed in its history. Years of Women in Transport Campaign, a mem-
ber of the Royal Academy of Engineering Diversity
Dawn is a chartered engineer, a Fellow of WES, a Concordat, an Advisory group member for the Sci-
Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and ence Museum's Engineer Your Future careers exhi-
Mining, and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil bition in 2014, a judge for a number of competitions
Engineers. She is also a member of the Worshipful in engineering including the Talent2030 National
Company of Engineers. Engineering Competition for Girls and the WISE /
Evoke bursaries for girls in engineering.
She is passionate about supporting women in en-
gineering, and is founder of National Women in Dawn has recently been awarded the SEMTA Diver-
Engineering Day, and the WES outreach activities sity in Engineering Award 2016.
'Magnificent Women' and the 'Sparxx' project. Her
Presidential theme was 'women returners' and she is Information taken from
working on a number of initiatives to support wom- http://www.wes.org.uk/dawnbonfield
en to return to work after career breaks.

150 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


Ab out NWED and WES

T H I S Y E A R I S T H E T H I R D Y E A R of the trending on twitter for 10 hours in the UK and for


National Women in Engineering Day, which takes 5 hours worldwide, and we recorded over 90 mil-
place on 23 June annually, and continually grows lion twitter impressions. The day was mentioned in
in influence and reaches ever greater international English, Welsh and Scottish parliaments and events
audiences. The event was established in 2014 to cel- were supported by numerous high profile celebri-
ebrate the 95th anniversary of the Womens Engi- ties, politicians and members of the Royal Family.
neering Society (WES), a society which was formed The type of thing we have seen on the day includ-
in the UK at the end of the First World War by ed conferences, open days, visits and trips, quizzes,
women who were willing but legally unable to con- videos, competitions, blogs, and social media sup-
tinue in the technical and engineering careers that port. We were amazed by the range of things that
they had been introduced to during the war. Now, were thought of to celebrate the day and the level of
97 years since the inception of WES, the UK still support it received. The day generated an enormous
has a significant problem in attracting women to amount of press attention too, with hundreds of re-
the engineering sector, with the lowest percentage ports appearing on the day nationally and a growing
of women in the engineering workforce in Europe international presence. Last year, we saw events that
at only 8%. take place in India, South Africa, USA, Ireland and
Canada.
The day itself is a celebration of the roles of wom-
en in engineering, and is based on the Internation- This year, the date of National Women in Engi-
al Womens Day model of individual ownership neering Day will coincide with the UKs EU Ref-
around a common goal. Established with the aim of erendum. Not ideal! After a few debates about a
focusing attention on the careers available for wom- date change we decided to go ahead regardless. The
en in engineering, and celebrating the achievements theme this year is Raising Profiles and one of the
made by our women engineers, this day is also a things that WES is also coordinating is the inaugu-
means for companies to look at their own efforts ral list of 50 Top Women in Engineering. This will
to encourage inclusivity in the workplace to ensure be a great way of raising the profiles of our amazing
that we meet the skills shortages that we current- women engineers, and also showing what great role
ly face. The consequence of this philosophy is that models we have out there. We are looking forward
everybody feels they have a role to play, and that to seeing the range of activities that take place again
the onus is on the individual to get involved and in celebration of this day, and we are gearing up for
do something positive on the day however big or a whole week of celebrations both national and in-
small. This was actually the hardest part of the es- ternational - to coincide with our centenary in 2019.
tablishment of the day we had lots of offers of sup-
port, but we didnt want support we needed own- We would like to encourage you all to get involved
ership. We wanted people to let us know what they in some way if you can. And if it is too late for this
were doing, but as a small organisation we were not year, then put the date in your diary for next year.
realistically able to help with anybody elses event
all we could do was encourage and send resources. For further information please see the NWED web-
The result has been a day which has been truly di- site www.nwed.org.uk and get involved using the
verse in its response. In 2015, we saw as many as 400 hashtag #NWED2016. Please let us know what you
individual events taking place across the UK, linked are planning!
by the campaign hashtag #NWED. We saw the day

ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 151


ENGINEERS CREATE
MOBILE HOUSES:

PROJECT
CASAS EM
MOVIMENTO
BRINGS NEW
CONCEPT OF
HOUSING TO
A GLOBAL
SCALE
Project Casas em Movimento Brings reality with the help of transferable
You the New Concept of Housing to a units and advanced technology. The
Global Scale! project of Casas em Movimento is
known to have developed in Portugal,
Imagine your house moving to wher- at the University of Oporto. This proj-
ever direction you want without you ect is based on the east-west rotation
doing much at all. This mobile house of the sun for the production of ener-
can make that happen! gy, adjustment of the lightning in the
room and the consumption of heat.
The University of Oporto has creat-
ed an awesome project creating a The house creates energy through
moving house, which is also capable several photovoltaic solar panels.
of generating energy from sunlight. Thermal cork and numerous complex
This house can also be enlarged ac- structures of timber are added along
cording to the needs of the family. with this, to ensure greater amount of
stability.
The architectural world saw the in-
troduction of a new concept that pri- The houses that are created are known
marily concentrated on the creation to be self-sufficient and help in the
of houses that are adjustable. As the sustenance of energy. As stated above
family members increase, the house they make use of solar energy and
will also increase in size. These type transform into two types of energy,
of homes came into existence with the thermal energy and electric energy.
help of artistic groups like the Japa- This makes the house rotation follow
nese Metabolists and British coordi- the course of the sun.
nation. They are groups that can be
found in an architectural magazine, The primary attraction of this house
known as Archigram. However, most is that it produces twice the energy
of the mobile house designs created that it consumes. Excess of electricity
never crossed the boundary of the that has been produced can be used
page. The only exception is the cool for charging electric vehicles or can
Nakagin Capsule Tower situated in be sold off to the main grid.
Tokyo. All of these happened in the
twentieth century. Wouldnt it be exciting to live in a
house that moves? With people trying
As soon as the 21st century arrived, to revolutionize the green movement,
new ideas began taking form. Thus, this project is one way to inspire peo-
the project has been turned into a ple to use renewable energy more.

152 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY


ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY 153
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COVER

www.GineersNow.com
154 ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY