February 7, 2017 Read More →

Three Solar Auctions of Note: France, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia

From Bloomberg New Energy Finance:

Three countries provided details of upcoming auctions for renewable energy last week. The French Environment and Energy Ministry said it would invite proposals for 3GW of onshore wind parks over three years, with the first tender planned for November, while Saudi Arabia said that in September it would award its first tender for building 700MW of solar and wind energy. These are proposed to be built at the lowest cost in the world.

“The terms on renewable contracts will be motivating so that the cost of generating power from these renewable sources will be the lowest in the world,” Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid Al-Falih Al-Falih said at a press conference in Riyadh. Requests to qualify for bidding will be issued 20 February and bids have to be made on 17 April.

In the third competitive contest mentioned last week, Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Qatar Petroleum are planning a 500MW solar plant, for which tenders will be sought this year. The project will start generating power by 2020.

US President Donald Trump moved ahead with his plan to aid the coal industry by working towards the repeal of several rules from the Obama era. As the US backtracked on climate, the European Union said it was ready to take the lead on the fight against climate change. “Some of the actions that have been announced” in the US “might lead to the situation where Europe would have to assume—and we are ready for that—global leadership in the fight against climate change,” said Maros Sefcovic, European Commission vice-president for Energy Union.

Sefcovic was speaking at the Commission’s publication of a report to the European Parliament and EU member countries on progress toward the bloc’s decarbonisation goals. According to the report, EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 were down 22% from 1990 compared to a legally binding target to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020. The EU also is on track to beat 2020 targets for renewable sources to provide 20% of final energy consumption and a 20% energy efficiency gain.

The UK, which has decided to exit the EU, has seen a jump in trading volumes in the three London-listed UK solar funds. “Brexit is of course not so good in general, but it’s good for solar,” said Michael Bonte-Friedheim, founding partner and chief executive officer of NextEnergy Solar Fund. “With the low interest rates, investors searching for returns come to us.”

Full article (via free subscription sign-up) here: Three renewable energy auctions to look out for

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