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Spanish solar PV capacity doubles in a year to top coal

  • : Electricity
  • 20/06/11

Solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in mainland Spain surpassed coal-fired capacity last month after doubling in just one year, data released by power grid operator REE show.

Installed solar PV capacity rose by 378MW month on month to reach 9.276GW at the end of May, up from 8.898GW in April. This was the fastest capacity addition for solar PV so far this year.

Solar PV capacity ended last month above that of coal, which has been steady at 9.215GW since late 2018, when Spanish utility Naturgy closed its 347MW Anllares plant.

In May last year, solar PV capacity was at 4.62GW — which means it has doubled in just one year (see Spain's solar PV installed capacity chart).

And solar PV capacity should soon be more than double that of coal, as 4.87GW of coal-fired units are expected to close by 30 June, ahead of stricter EU-wide industrial emissions standards coming into force on 1 July.

Solar PV plants that recently came on line include the 50MW La Solanilla in Spain's central-western Extremadura region and the 50MW Don Rodrigo 2 in the country's southeastern region of Andalusia.

Wind capacity was unchanged last month at 25.468GW but was expected to pick up again this month following the commissioning of the 111MW Cavar wind power complex by Spanish utility Iberdrola.

Fellow competitor Endesa today announced its subsidiary, Enel Green Power Espana, has brought on line the 14.4MW Oriche wind farm in the Teruel province, in the northeastern region of Aragon.

Spain's solar PV installed capacity GW

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24/07/24

Repsol 2Q profit doubles but cash flow turns negative

Repsol 2Q profit doubles but cash flow turns negative

Madrid, 24 July (Argus) — Spanish integrated Repsol's profit more than doubled on the year in the second quarter, as lower one-time losses and better results in the upstream and customer divisions more than offset a weaker refining performance. But its cash flow turned negative as it completed the buyout of its UK joint venture with China's state-controlled Sinopec, raised investments and experienced weaker refining margins. Net debt was sharply higher, largely reflecting share buy-backs. Repsol has said it will acquire and cancel a further 20mn of its own shares before the end of the year, which will probably further increase its debt. It completed a 40mn buy-back in the first half of the year. Repsol's profit climbed to €657mn ($714mn) in April-June from €308mn a year earlier, when earnings were hit by a large provision against an arbitration ruling that obliged it to acquire Sinopec's stake in their UK joint venture. Excluding this and other special items, such as a near threefold reduction in the negative inventory effect to €85mn, Repsol's adjusted profit increased by 4pc on the year to €859mn. Repsol confirmed the fall in refining margins and upstream production reported earlier in July . Liquids output increased by 3pc on the year to 214,000 b/d, and gas production fell by 4pc to 2.1bn ft³/d. Adjusted upstream profit increased by 4pc on the year to €427mn. The higher crude production and a 13pc rise in realised prices to $78.6/bl more than offset lower gas production and prices, which fell by 6pc to $3.1/'000 ft³ over the same period. Adjusted profit at Repsol's industrial division — which includes 1mn b/d of Spanish and Peruvian refining capacity, an olefins-focused petrochemicals division, and a gas and oil product trading business — was down by 16pc on the year at €288mn. Profit fell at the 117,000 b/d Pampilla refinery in Peru after a turnaround and weak refining margins, and there was lower income from gas trading. Spanish refining profit rose on a higher utilisation rate and gains in oil product trading. Repsol's customer-focused division reported adjusted profit of €158mn in April-June, 7pc higher on the year thanks to higher retail electricity margins, a jump in sales from an expanded customer base, higher margins in aviation fuels and higher sales volumes in lubricants. Repsol swung to a negative free cash flow, before shareholder remuneration and buy-backs, of €574mn in the second quarter, from a positive €392mn a year earlier. After shareholder remuneration, including the share buy-backs and dividends, Repsol had a negative cash position of €1.12bn compared with a positive €133mn a year earlier. Repsol's net debt more than doubled to €4.595bn at the end of June from €2.096bn on 31 December 2023, reflecting the share buy-backs and new leases of equipment. By Jonathan Gleave Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Equinor 2Q profit supported by higher European output


24/07/24
24/07/24

Equinor 2Q profit supported by higher European output

London, 24 July (Argus) — Norway's state-controlled Equinor posted a small rise in profit on the year in the April-June period, as a lift in its European production offset lower gas prices. Equinor reported a profit of $1.87bn in the second quarter, up by 2.2pc on the year but down by 30pc from the first three months of 2024. The company paid two Norwegian corporation tax instalments, totalling $6.98bn, in the second quarter, compared with one in the first quarter. Equinor paid $7.85bn in tax in April-June in total. Its average liquids price in the second quarter was $77.6/bl, up by 10pc from the second quarter of 2023. But average gas prices for Equinor's Norwegian and US production fell in the same period by 17pc and 6pc, respectively. The company noted "strong operational performance and lower impact from turnarounds" on the Norwegian offshore, including new output from the Breidablikk field . Equinor's entitlement production was 1.92mn b/d of oil equivalent (boe/d) in April-June, up by 3pc on the year. The company cited "high production" from Norway's Troll and Oseberg fields in the second quarter, as well as new output from the UK's Buzzard field. But US output slid, owing to offshore turnarounds and "planned curtailments onshore to capture higher value when demand is higher", the company said. It estimates oil and gas production across 2024 will be "stable" compared with last year, while its renewable power generation is expected to increase by around 70pc across the same timespan. Equinor's share of power generation rose by 14pc on the year to 1.1TWh in April-June. Of this, 655GWh was renewables — almost doubling on the year — driven by new onshore wind capacity in Brazil and Poland. "Construction is progressing" on the UK's 1.2GW Dogger Bank A offshore windfarm , Equinor said. It is aiming for full commercial operations in the first half of 2025 at Dogger Bank A — a joint venture with UK utility SSE. Equinor was granted three new licences in June to develop CO2 storage in Norway and Denmark. The Norwegian licences — Albondigas and Kinno — together have CO2 storage potential of 10mn t/yr. The Danish onshore licence, for which Equinor was awarded a 60pc stake, has potential capacity of 12mn t/yr. Equinor has a goal of 30mn-50mn t/yr of CO2 transport and storage capacity by 2035. The company's scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions amounted to 5.6mn t/CO2 equivalent (CO2e) in the first half of the year, edging lower from 5.8mn t/CO2e in January-June 2023. It also incrementally cut its upstream CO2 intensity, from 6.7 kg/boe across 2023, to 6.3 kg/boe in the first half of this year. Equinor has kept its ordinary cash dividend steady , at $0.35/share, and will continue the extraordinary cash dividend of $0.35/share for the second quarter. It will launch a third $1.6bn tranche of its share buyback programme on 25 July. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Idemitsu to start black pellet output in December


24/07/23
24/07/23

Idemitsu to start black pellet output in December

Tokyo, 23 July (Argus) — Japanese energy firm Idemitsu is planning to start black pellet production of 120,000 t/yr in Vietnam in December this year. Idemitsu has already completed construction of the black pellet plant in Vietnam's Binh Dinh province in July 2023 and is now carrying out test operations. The black pellets produced at this plant will be transported to Japan for consumers that include power generation companies operating coal and biomass co-firing. The Vietnamese plant is managed by Idemitsu Green Energy Vietnam, which has become a 100pc subsidiary of Idemitsu in March this year. Idemitsu is planning to increase its black pellet output to 300,000 t/yr within three years after the start-up of the first plant. It final target is 3mn t/yr by 2030 , with an aim to launch projects in Malaysia and Indonesia in addition to Vietnam. The company is also considering empty fruit bunches as feedstock for biomass fuels. Idemitsu has been carrying out studies of coal and biomass co-firing and confirmed that it is possible to burn 35pc of black pellets with coal. The company has provided utilities with samples for test runs. Black pellets also can be used in other sectors, such as steel mills and cement plants. Black pellets, which have a higher calorific value compared with typical white pellet biomass, are produced by the torrefaction of acacia and other feedstock. The advanced fuel has better water resistance and grindability than white pellets and can be used in a similar way as coal. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Brazil issues guidelines for Amazon power program


24/07/22
24/07/22

Brazil issues guidelines for Amazon power program

Sao Paulo, 22 July (Argus) — Brazil's mines and energy ministry presented the initial guidelines for a program that aims to reduce power generation costs in the Amazon basin. The program also aims to reduce the carbon footprint of power generated in the Amazon basin. The government plans to hold public hearings to define the eligibility criteria for projects that can participate in the program. The program will use funds from the 2022 privatization of power company Eletrobras. The firm transferred R924mn ($166.7mn) to the federal government on 31 January. By law, these funds need to be used to reduce power generation costs and expand power transmission investments in the Amazon basin. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australia not considering I-RECs for Climate Active


24/07/22
24/07/22

Australia not considering I-RECs for Climate Active

London, 22 July (Argus) — The Australian federal government is not considering allowing international renewable energy certificates (I-RECs) issued in Australia for local electricity consumption under its Climate Active voluntary programme, despite requests from market participants. I-RECs are not eligible to be used by Climate Active reporting businesses to reduce emissions from domestic electricity consumption, with only large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) currently allowed. The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) last year launched a consultation with proposals to reform Climate Active and some companies asked for the inclusion of I-RECs. But "the department is not currently considering updating [I-RECs'] eligibility status under Climate Active," the DCCEEW told Argus . Australian I-REC issuances kicked off in 2022, but just for "below-baseline generation". Under the existing Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, renewable plants that came on line after 1 January 1997 can generate LGCs, while those that were operational before then were set an individual baseline based on average output, and can only create LGCs for generation above that. There are currently 22 hydro plants with a combined capacity of 4.85GW registered for I-REC issuance — all of them commissioned between 1938 and 1996. These include the country's three largest hydropower generators — Australian government-owned utility Snowy Hydro, Tasmanian state government-owned Hydro Tasmania and Queensland state government-owned CleanCo Queensland —according to Angus Rich, executive director at consulting services company Oakley Greenwood, the accredited I-REC issuer in Australia. Issuances rose sharply to 3.26TWh last year from 468GWh in 2022. Redemptions reached only 60GWh in 2022 and 104GWh in 2023, but the reporting timeline lags between nine and 18 months from the time of generation, I-Track Foundation's standard compliance manager Jos Tuinenburg told Argus . Redemptions in the first six months of 2024 alone were at 873GWh, more than five times all 2022-23 redemptions. There is potential for up to 16.4TWh of annual generation to issue I-RECs, but these are eligible under Climate Active only for electricity consumption outside Australia, when businesses have operations overseas. I-REC's recognition I-Track Foundation has "strongly advised" the Australian government to recognise I-RECs under Climate Active in line with international reporting standards, Tuinenburg said. "I-RECs are already being used by some of the largest government-owned companies on both the generation and consumption side and it runs with the same data quality as the LGC system without any costs for the Australian government," he noted. Australia's planned guarantee of origin (GOO) programme, which is expected to start from 1 July 2025 with hydrogen , will also need to rely on "robust" electricity tracking. "We see value in having I-RECs for electricity fulfil or complement that role with the future Rego [Renewable Electricity Guarantees of Origin] system, as I-RECs have already proven to be a reliable and affordable complementing instrument for below-baseline generation to the existing LGC scheme", he said. And Australia could also benefit from I-RECs for its ambitions to become a "green energy superpower" as tracking will become an internationally important topic in terms of export of green products and commodities. "Having the same tracking instrument as countries in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa will be very beneficial when exporting commodities that will rely on its electricity input being from renewable sources," Tuinenburg added. Snowy Hydro said in its submissions to the Climate Active and GOO consultations that excluding existing hydro generation from Climate Active "simply because assets were commissioned before 1997" is "arbitrary and does not make sense" for a programme designed to help organisations measure, reduce and disclose their emissions. The utility's retail company Red Energy has experienced strong interest in I-RECs from commercial and industrial customers, but has not been able to certify its 100pc renewable energy product NetZeroMatch. "The use of baselines in the RET creates a barrier to verifying the provenance of renewable generation created by pre-1997 assets, fails to recognise the ongoing investment required in such assets and establishes an arbitrary and unfair distinction between ‘old' and ‘new' renewable capacity," the utility said. The lack of local certification backing their use explains why Australian I-RECs have attracted low trading interest in the wholesale market. I-RECs trade at a significant discount to LGCs, with recent values just below A$20/MWh ($13.5/MWh) for vintages 2022 and 2023 compared with spot LGC transactions between A$45.75-46.75/MWh. Different views Some companies are against a wider recognition of I-RECs in Australia. According to the GreenPower programme, below-baseline generators should either be ineligible to create Regos — planned to replace the LGCs in 2030 — or be required to immediately surrender all certificates created on behalf of Australian consumers to reduce the emissions intensity of the grid. This is because the construction of most large below-baseline renewables such as the Snowy Hydro scheme have already been paid for through taxes and energy charges, GreenPower claimed. Oakley Greenwood's Angus Rich noted that I-RECs are recognised internationally for complying with several scope 2 guidance documents, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol). Global companies that have significant carbon footprints in several countries, many of which operate with I-RECs, are seeking standardisation across their operating portfolios for scope 2 voluntary reporting. "Oakley Greenwood has been having increasing discussions with these global companies that seek I-RECs across their portfolio given their familiarity and trust in the international tracking standard in countries they have operations in," he added. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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