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IEA and OPEC debated the current situation in global oil markets

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Leaders expressed deep concerns about the grave global health crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its related impacts on the stability of economies and markets, notably in developing countries.

The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr Fatih Birol, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, spoke by phone to review the current situation in global oil markets.

The two leaders expressed deep concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is already a grave and unprecedented global health crisis with potentially far-reaching economic and social consequences. Dr Birol and SG Barkindo assessed the impact of the virus and the recent broad-based financial and oil market volatility on the global economy. In particular, they discussed the inherent risks of the fast-evolving dynamics, including the most recent developments in global oil markets. They agreed that these create material impacts, particularly for citizens of developing countries including those that rely heavily on income from oil and gas production for essential services and that are especially vulnerable to market volatility.

Dr Birol and SG Barkindo reviewed the impact on vulnerable developing countries and noted that if current market conditions continue, their income from oil and gas will fall by 50% to 85% in 2020, reaching the lowest levels in more than two decades, according to recent IEA analysis. This is likely to have major social and economic consequences, notably for public sector spending in vital areas such as healthcare and education.

They both underscored the importance of market stability, as the impacts of extreme volatility are felt by producers, particularly in terms of much needed income, and by both producers and consumers, who are affected by an unstable and unpredictable market.

SG Barkindo and Dr Birol emphasised the importance of finding ways to minimise the impact of the current situation on vulnerable developing countries. They agreed to remain in close contact on the matter and continue their regular consultations on oil market developments.

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Early to assess impact of COVID-19 on European wind energy

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The European wind industry is the global leader in the wind turbine market, realising projects in more than 80 countries world-wide. As such, our companies rely on both European and global supply chains for raw materials and components. The COVID-19 virus is impeding international trade, creating delays and uncertainties for different industrial sectors. As the number of infections rises, the European wind industry is likely to be impacted.

First analysis suggests that COVID-19 will have moderate effects on international supply chains for wind energy. With the outbreak of COVID-19 still at a relatively early stage in Europe and other countries, it is too soon to judge its impact on production and revenues in the sector. However, the first logistical delays in the supply chain can be observed already.

“A knock-on effect of a slowdown in China’s manufacturing output is already visible in other countries. The wind industry is, of course, not the only industry feeling the pinch from quarantines, travel restrictions and closed factories. Vehicle and vessel manufacturers, solar-PV panel and battery producers are being similarly affected. We will need to take a strategic approach to ensure that disruption is minimised”, comments WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson with regards to the EU Commission’s Industrial Strategy presented earlier this week.

“With COVID-19 we are likely to see delays in the development of new wind farm projects which could cause developers to miss the deployment deadlines in countries’ auction systems and face financial penalties. Governments should be flexible on how they apply their rules. And if ongoing auctions are undersubscribed because developers can’t bid in time, governments should award what they can and auction the non-awarded volumes at a later stage”, says Dickson.

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Leosphere launches Windcube: Power to customers with data and analytics

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Windcube Insights is the first out-of-the-box software solution to leverage lidar and turbine data for cost-efficient power performance testing

Leosphere, a Vaisala company that specializes in developing, manufacturing, and servicing turnkey wind lidar (light detection and ranging) instruments for wind energy, aviation, meteorology, and air quality, today announced the launch of Windcube Insights at Wind Operations Europe 2020 in Munich. Windcube Insights is a proprietary data analytics software designed specifically for the Windcube Nacelle (previously called Wind Iris) nacelle-mounted lidar that simplifies the wind turbine power performance testing process.

“This new tool empowers operators with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)-compliant data to verify that turbines are performing as promised so they can maximize the energy output of their wind farm,” said Alexandre Sauvage, CEO of Leosphere. “The easy-to-use software allows operators to perform power performance testing and suggest operational optimization — quickly, accurately and efficiently.”

Windcube Insights enables true and fully transparent data analysis and reporting for Windcube Nacelle customers — all within a web-based user interface. The software is the first in the industry to enable the upload of both Windcube Nacelle lidar and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) turbine performance data with a simplified data synchronization process.

The method of operation:

  • A variety of standardized lidar and turbine data filters are available and fully configurable by the user, simplifying preparation of the data sets.
  • The software leverages those data sets to calculate and display the power curve, and the complete set of IEC requirements can be applied with embedded guidelines that reference the proper IEC standard sections, making the service fully transparent and understandable.
  • The production data, along with standardized uncertainties, are calculated and can be exported in the form of a traditional report table.
Wind Turbine Power Curve Determination Value

The handling of IEC standard requirements for issuing a power performance test (PPT) is complex, requires deep expertise, and represents a potential source of error. However, such testing is necessary for regulatory compliance, warranty verification and turbine performance verification during both the development and operations phases. Determining the power curve of a wind turbine in accordance with recognized standards is valuable because the power curve is one of the most important characteristics of the economic value of a wind project.

The Windcube Nacelle lidar measures the wind conditions at hub height ahead of the turbine, enabling operators and wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to efficiently and accurately assess performance and optimize design and production efficiency. When fully integrated within the wind turbine, Windcube Nacelle enables load reduction, design costs reduction, and continuous production gains.

Seeing the global energy demand accelerate at its fastest pace in more than a decade, wind energy and other clean energies are increasingly becoming further engrained into the world’s equation for energy demand. Since 2010, the size of the global wind power market has increased by 35%, and the global market is expected to approach USD 125 billion by 2030.

“Without Windcube Insights, lidar users would have to build their own software programs to analyze the data being collected by the nacelle lidar and the wind turbine,” said Sauvage. “We’ve simplified the process of applying filters, calculating the uncertainties described in recognized IEC standards and displaying data, ultimately creating a simple way to support the utilization of nacelle-mounted lidar following IEC standards and industry best practices. Windcube Insights is just another example of Leosphere’s commitment to innovation and to making our customers’ lives better by introducing tools to help them maximize efficiency and productivity.”

Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, acquired Leosphere in 2018. For more information on how Leosphere provides the most comprehensive lidar-based wind measurement systems to markets around the globe, please visit us on March 5-6 in Munich at Wind Operations Europe 2020 (booth #12).

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Hydrostor & NRStor Together For World’s First Commercial CAES Plant

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Hydrostor, leading developer of Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage, partners with Canadian energy storage developer, NRStor Incorporated. They announced today the completion of the Goderich A-CAES Plant, in Goderich, Ontario, Canada. The plant represents a leap in enduring energy storage. And also the first successful commercial fuel-free CAES technology.

The completion passed with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the plant.

The Goderich A-CAES Facility commercially contracted with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for maximising capacity, auxillary services and complete integration in the merchant energy market. In this way, it is supporting reliability of the grid. Completely fuel-free, the plant produces no carbon emissions, and supports enabling a cleaner, more economical, and more resilient electricity grid.

Hydrostor’s Skill in A-CAES

With 1.75 megawatts (MW) of top power output; a 2.2 MW charge rating; and 10+ megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage capacity, this success id the first in its kind, in a commercial application of A-CAES technology, adapting to all connectivity, function time, performance and transmission standards, determined by the IESO. The facility proves the skill of Hydrostor’s A-CAES technology to completely contribute in and ship a spectrum of meaningful grid services for markets.

Hydrostor’s A-CAES technology works by possessing electricity from the grid to function an air compressor, while generating heated and compressed air. From the stream, the heat is extracted  and stored to be used later. The cool compressed air afterwards goes t underground to a cavern (either pre-existing or built for the purpose). When the grid requires transmittable energy capacity, the air pulls back to the surface, re-allocates the storage heat, and flows through an air turbine, generating power.

Export Development Canada (EDC) supported the project. It received funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). SDTC works with Canadian companies to bring clean technologies to market. In addition, Government of Ontario provided funding via the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

Earlier this month, the Goderich A-CAES Facility also received an Energy Storage North America Innovation Award. That shows its perfectness and leadership in energy storage and positive effect on the sector

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