World: Nokia, Elisa and Efore commercially deploy a liquid-cooled base station that can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent
Nokia, Elisa and Efore have commercially deployed a liquid-cooled base station system in an apartment building in Helsinki, a world-first achievement that promises lower costs for operators and owners of base station sites, as well as reduced CO2 emissions.
In the deployment, heat emitted from the base station has been redirected to heat the building, lowering energy costs. In previously conducted customer trials with the Nokia solution, Nokia Bell Labs saw a reduction of up 80.percent in CO2 emissions and up to 30 percent in energy operating expenses – significant savings for operators and other owners of base station sites. Liquid cooling permits the removal of air conditioning and fans, promising further operator savings, potentially longer base station component life and silent sites.
The Nokia Bell Labs-developed liquid-cooled base station was made at Nokia’s Oulu facility in Finland and the liquid-cooled power system was developed by power supplier Efore, with Elisa deploying the base station in Helsinki. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. evaluated the environmental impact of the liquid-cooled base station and energy usage compared to those generated by air cooling in the field.
Helsinki Business Hub played a key role by identifying the opportunity and right project partners and connecting them with each other. Helsinki Business Hub is a regional development agency whose role is to enable innovation driven companies to grow and develop in Greater Helsinki.
Minna Kröger, Director, Corporate responsibility from Elisa, said: “We have set science-based targets to reduce our emissions in our effort to become an environmental leader, and we are committed to providing customers the services that enable them to act in a sustainable way. We are excited to leverage the extensive expertise of Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs for this important deployment.”
Pekka Sundström, head of the Elisa customer team at Nokia, said: “Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs have conducted extensive research and testing to explore the possibilities of using a liquid-cooled base station in an operator’s network. This first commercial deployment will enable us to understand the real-world benefits for customers such as Elisa as they transition toward 5G, and how the system can be implemented on a wider scale to help reduce the environmental impact of information and communications technology. We continue to explore ways of introducing efficiencies and reducing emissions across our portfolio, and this project marks a significant step in that journey.”
Vlad Grigore, Chief Technology Officer of Efore, said: “We are dedicated to providing efficient and reliable power supply solutions tailored to our customer’s needs. The power system pilot with MHE (Modular High Efficiency) rectifiers adapted for liquid cooling helps reduce energy consumption and emissions, with a positive impact on environment. We are enthusiastic about this development that continues our long tradition of close cooperation with Nokia.“
S.N.G.N. ROMGAZ S.A. („ROMGAZ”) announces the payment of additional dividends, distributed based on Articles II and III of EGO no. 29/2017 (“2018 additional dividends”), via Depozitarul Central S.A. („Depozitarul Central”) and the payment agent BRD – Groupe Societe Generale S.A. („BRD”), starting with December 28, 2018 (Payment Date), as follows:
- Payment of 2018 additional dividends shall be made in compliance with current regulations on the capital market and in compliance with the Resolution of ROMGAZ Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders no.13 from December 6, 2018;
- ROMGAZ shareholders registered in the Shareholders Registry kept by Depozitarul Central on the Record Date December 21, 2018, have the right to receive 2018 additional dividends; Ex-Date is December 20, 2018;
- The gross dividend per share is RON 1.86, applicable withholding tax payable will be deducted prior to payment, at the legal rate. According to the Romanian Fiscal Code, the standard tax rate applicable to dividends is 5%;
- Dividends will be paid in RON, starting with December 28, 2018 (Payment Date).
Payment of 2018 additional dividends is subject to general prescription provisions being limited within 3 (three) years from the payment date. Last payment day for 2018 additional dividends is December 28, 2021.
BRD’s and Depozitarul Central’s bank charges for payment of net dividends in RON are borne by ROMGAZ.
Resident shareholders, individuals and legal entities, should register to Depozitarul Central with an identity document issued in Romania (with Personal Identification Number) or the document attesting the Fiscal Identification Code given by the Romanian tax authority.
Non-resident shareholders should register to Depozitarul Central with identity documents having Fiscal Identification Number for individuals or Fiscal Identification Code for legal entities, given by the Romanian tax authority. Fiscal Identification Number for individuals and Fiscal Identification Code for legal entities shall be obtained according to the provisions of Law no. 207/2015 regarding the Fiscal Procedure Code and of National Agency for Fiscal Administration order no. 3725/December 19, 2017 to approve taxpayer tax forms and types of tax liabilities that form the tax vehicle. At the same time, non-resident shareholders are obliged to register at Depozitarul Central with full and correct address from the declared residence country.
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Sofia plans to take a minority stake in a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal near Greece’s northern city of Alexandroupoli, Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova has said, according to reports.
In comments made earlier this week, Petkova reportedly said that LNG offers Bulgaria an opportunity for further diversification of natural gas supplies, on top of the one billion cubic metres of gas from Azerbaijan, for which the Balkan state signed a contract several years ago.
“When we talk about the Greece-Bulgaria [gas] inter-connector, we must note the importance of another opportunity for diversification of gas deliveries and that is our participation in the Alexandroupoli terminal,” Petkova was quoted by the Independent Balkan News Agency (IBNA) as saying.
“It is a project of extreme importance to the entire region. It is in full synergy with the Greece-Bulgaria inter-connector and that is why the Bulgarian government discussed the prospect and took the decision to participate in this project as a shareholder, so that we have the opportunity for gas deliveries from various LNG sources, including the US, Qatar and Algeria,” she said, according to the report.
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EnterTrain is a research project funded by AAL-JP with the aim to enhance the health and quality of life of independently living older adults by motivating them for physical Training in an Entertaining way. The project with duration of 36 months (April 2016 – March 2019) and a total budget of 3.1 Million Euros brings together scientific experts from visual computing and intelligent 3D sensors, sociological and take carer experts, and SMEs from the game and software development domains.
The objective of EnterTrain is to enhance the health and the quality of life of independently living older adults by motivating them for physical Training in an Entertaining way. It can enhance the quality of life by reducing risks of some chronic diseases and relieve depression. Additionally, it has positive effects on fall prevention, the mobility and consequently supports people towards a more independent life.
In the context of the EnterTrain project, an exercise gaming platform is developed and evaluated in cooperation with end-users, combining three core aspects of AAL: technology, end-user and interoperability. New, innovative technology for sensing relevant mobility and gaming characteristics of individuals is used to drive a personalized gaming platform. With novel 3D sensors motion of older adults is analysed, a mobility and behaviour model is learned over time and allows to assess the mobility automatically. From an end-users perspective, the increase of quality of life is the primary goal of EnterTrain. This includes motivation and physical activity of older adults as well as the improvement of their self-esteem. In order to ensure that the developed system is in line with the end-users’ needs, end-users are continuously involved throughout the project. Interoperability with existing AAL systems and services is tackled by the use of open standards and a commonly used 3D sensor.
The consortium consists of 8 partner organizations and is led by CogVis Software and Consulting GmbH (Austria). The consortium is well-balanced in terms of involvement of SME partners: SilverFit BV (The Netherlands), BluePoint (Romania); Academic and research institutions: TU Wien, Computer Vision Lab (Austria), University of Vienna, Department of Sociology (Austria), Geriatrische Klinik St. Gallen (Switzerland); end-user partners from National Meteorological Services : Samariterbund Wien (Austria), and National Foundation for the Elderly (The Netherlands).
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Air pollution causes one in ten deaths worldwide, and while it adversely impacts developing countries more, around 400,000 people still die prematurely from air pollution in Europe every year. And that number does not reflect the millions of people that do not die prematurely, but are instead affected by lung disease and heart problems that impact their quality of life.Diego Pavia, CEO at InnoEnergy
Air pollution in Europe is primarily caused by transport and heat generation. There are regional differences but broadly there are still many European cities that fall below the World Health Organisation’s safe air quality recommendations.
For a region that has some of the most progressive energy and climate technologies and policies in the world, the fact that there are still so many premature deaths is shocking. In this day and age smog should not still pose a risk to our health and happiness. We have the ingenuity, and we certainly have the resources; armed with the latest research in our Clean Air Challenge report, industry has the power to make a sizeable change. And if the latest forecasts are to be heeded, we only have twelve years to make a difference. We must act now.
What is clear from the Clean Air Challenge is that innovative transport solutions are critical for combatting air pollution. Of top priority is the continued roll out of electric vehicles, and an interconnected network of fast charging solutions to support them. Smart transport systems such as hybrid fuel trains and artificial intelligence traffic management also have high market and technological attractiveness. Together, with the heat technologies identified in our report, European citizens stand to benefit from a significant reduction in the impact air pollution has on health, which will be particularly beneficial for the elderly and the young, while also saving save €183bn to 2025 under a conservative take up scenario.
But this is not a challenge the market can meet by itself. Supportive policies are required to help overcome some of the barriers that we face in securing investment and stimulating transport technology adoption. There is substantial opportunity for synergy between different sectors including transport, heat, storage and renewable generation, but we must take a more integrated and holistic view and create an overarching policy for sustainable growth. Equally, this is not just a matter for government and the market, there is a need for society to engage with tackling air pollution too: from businesses and the public sector to families, everybody’s choices have an impact.
At InnoEnergy we work across several sectors and actively facilitate opportunities where companies can collaborate to bring innovative solutions to market. We offer support in lots of different ways, whether that is investment, business skills or market access. As the sustainable energy engine for Europe we see it as a vital part of our role to support innovative transport solutions that can tackle air pollution making Europe a healthier, happier place to live.
By Diego Pavia, CEO at InnoEnergy
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Greece, Italy, and Cyprus have reached an agreement with Israel to lay a pipeline connecting the Jewish state’s gas reserves to the three countries, a report in the Times of Israel says.
The paper says that the East Med Pipeline Project is to start about 170 kilometers (105 miles) off Cyprus’s southern coast and stretch for 2,200 kilometers (1,350 miles) to reach Otranto, Italy, via Crete and the Greek mainland.
Work on the project will cost over $7 billion, is expected to begin within a few months, and to conclude within five years, Hadashot TV reported.
The pipeline will have the capacity to carry up to 20 billion cubic meters (706 billion cubic feet) of gas yearly. Europe’s gas import needs are projected to increase by 100 billion cubic meters (3.5 billion cubic feet) annually by 2030.
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called the project “emblematic” of the cooperation between the three countries and said that with cooperation, the Mediterranean would become “a sea of peace”.
Dana Weiss, chief political analyst and anchor at News Channel IL, Israel’s leading news company says it will be the longest and deepest underwater gas pipeline in the world.
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The approaching 2019 will be the most significant year ever for the U.S. liquefied natural gas export business
Next year really is: “the beginning of the boom.”
The U.S. is poised to triple export capacity to around 10 Bcf/d by the end of next year, and we could be on our way to be the world’s largest exporter before 2025. And in a “second wave” of activity, federal regulators will decide the fate of an additional 13 pending projects by the end of 2019.
For an industry that just started in February 2016, U.S. LNG has quickly been extending to all corners of the globe. Yet, neighbor and friend Mexico has received 20% of all U.S. LNG exports, with South Korea second at 19%. At some point though, Mexico’s primary position will slide because the country wants to produce more of its own gas and build more pipelines to gain greater access to cheaper U.S. piped gas. For example, piped U.S. supply to Mexico has averaged $3.18 per MMBtu so far this year, compared to $4.59 for U.S. LNG to Mexico.
Even though China’s 10% tariff on U.S. LNG has led to the delay of at least one major export project in Louisiana, our shipments globally will continue to flourish.
Other importers are looking at more U.S. LNG to appease President Trump in ongoing trade talks, not to mention desperately seeking our flexible contracts.
In Europe, for instance, the goal is for U.S. LNG to buffer Russian piped gas, upgrading Europe’s energy security with more energy supply diversity.
Russia admits there is room for the U.S.: Russia’s Gazprom energy giant does not seek to cover all Europe’s gas needs.
Earlier this month, Polish state-run PGNiG signed a long-term deal with Cheniere for LNG supplies from the U.S. Russia supplies more than half of Poland’s gas demand but long-term contracts are expiring 2022. Critically, PGNiG reports that the price Poland pays for U.S. gas is 20-30% lower than for Russian supply, a global game-changer if such a competitive advantage can be maintained.
Germany too is looking to build its first LNG import facility to potentially access more U.S. gas. Playing both sides, Germany has been working with Russia to construct the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline earlier this year while also pledging to support for domestic LNG import facilities.
Ultimately, one or more U.S. West Coast LNG export facilities would be of tremendous help. These sites would be much closer to Asia than our current mushrooming plans that sit along the Gulf Coast, thereby lowering transport costs for us. An LNG export facility on the Pacific Coast eliminates both the fees and potential constraints that come with transiting the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal has been setting records for LNG traffic, with even more coming to make tolls much higher.
In truth, however, the biggest problem for a West Coast LNG terminal is stringent environmental laws across the region and access to gas. The seven EIA-tracked U.S. shale plays sit distantly to the east, and building pipelines moving gas to the west is anything but a simple process.
Indeed, there are a variety of uncertainties for the U.S. LNG export business, including China’s domestic gas production and pipeline imports of gas, the depth of the commitment for China and India to buy foreign LNG over cheaper domestic coal to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and expanding nuclear programs such as Japan’s restart of facilities after the 2011 Fukushima accident.
Baker & O’Brien document the good news for U.S gas to Asia. Since U.S. competition is mostly linked to the price of oil, lower U.S. Henry Hub gas prices and higher Brent oil prices, the international crude benchmark, greatly bolster our cause (Figure).
The coming year, however, could offer a challenging start for U.S. LNG. A lack of tankers amid rising demand is surging freight costs for U.S. LNG exporters. And for the rapidly approaching winter, an apparent warming trend of El Niño in Asia could lower needs for U.S. LNG this coming winter. Not to mentioned that oil-linked gas from other sellers has been plummeting along with oil prices. Brent crude prices are down some 25% since recent highs – not good news for U.S. LNG.
Our prospects are obviously bright for the long-term. EIA projects that U.S. gas production will grow at nearly twice the rate of U.S. demand, leaving a huge surplus available for exportation. We could up domestic output by 60 Bcf/d over the next 20 years, a 70% gain from today. We will be looking East: Asia LNG demand is expected to rise 70% by 2030.
Our chance to gain customers will be a constant process: since 2008, the average LNG contract term globally has dropped from almost 20 years to less than five.
Global gas demand will continue to soar, perhaps surpassing oil to become the world’s main fuel within 10 years
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By Vinodkumar Raghothamarao, Director Consulting, Energy Wide Perspectives & Strategy, IHS Markit EMEA
Oil and Gas companies operate in dynamic and complex environments, where they face constant challenges especially in terms of supply and demand. Oil and Gas companies have been adopting digital technologies for years, helping to increase the recovery of fossil resources, improve production processes, reduce costs and improve safety.
Oil and Gas companies are emerging from the downturn leaner and more efficient. Although technology and broader forms of innovation certainly deserve some of the credit for these gains—especially around enabling lower-cost design concepts, raising well productivities, and improving coordination among functional groups and assets—the call on technology is likely to rise substantially over the coming years. As the oil and gas industry continues to adapt to a sustained period of volatility, companies are taking concrete steps to reduce costs and raise efficiencies. Technology and innovation are at the heart of many of these efforts and in certain “pockets of excellence” are helping to reduce facility costs by 5–15%, lower operating costs by 10–70%, and raise production efficiencies by 5–20%. The oil and gas sector has a relatively long history with digital technologies, notably in upstream, and significant potential remains for digitalization to enhance operations further. Now with the oil prices steadily increasing, the time has come to evaluate, adapt and embrace new technological initiatives. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the two key technological initiatives driving the tectonic shift within the oil and gas industry.
Machine learning and other big data applications could save the oil and gas industry as much as $50 billion in the coming decade, according to McKinsey. Since the cratering of the global oil price in late 2014, companies have increasingly been looking at technology to reduce costs, improve efficiency and minimize downtime.
Machine learning, the ability for computers “to learn without being explicitly programmed” is one of the subfields of the big data revolution that has been applied to modern business since the 1990s and is coming to the aid of the hydrocarbons sector in the oil price slump.
Of all the parts of the oil and gas industry rife for the rollout of machine learning, the upstream sector is the obvious choice.
Reliant on Bayesian statistics, a branch of mathematics that employs ”degrees of belief” to interpretations of probability, machine learning creates and uses algorithms to make predictions on data. The exploration phase, dependent on the interpretation of layers of information riddled with uncertainties, is a perfect fit for the machine learning approach. The rapid identification of patterns working across multiple variables had been a time-intensive process; this can now be partially-automated and optimised with oversight from experienced professionals. Reservoir modelling, and trying to find out how a formation will react to particular drilling techniques can also be verified using a combination of algorithms and fuzzy logic, a technique used for prediction when information is either unreliable and/or incomplete.
Testing the waters “virtually” before a drill even disappears downhole could save a company anywhere between millions and billions.
Looking back at past failures and applying the lessons learned is a fundamental problem solving technique. Machine learning can speed up this process and widen the search net when seeking prior instances of similar problems in a case library. Trawling through a database of logged events for a description that matches the issue at hand, solutions can be accessed in real-time to provide an essential guide for personnel on the ground to use as a troubleshooting tool.
Deep learning (which is one of the method of Machine Learning) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two aspects of artificial intelligence (AI) that could potentially revolutionise the oil and gas industries. Having already made quite a storm in various other industries including consumer electronics, this couldn’t come at a better time for the oil industry as it currently faces dramatic drops in the price of oil. While there are no doubt several AI practical applications already in place that will indeed help these industries improve the following are three have the potential to make a significant difference across the board.
- Rig diagnostic bots: In the same way that bots are being used in customer service departments, field technicians can interact with diagnostic applications through voice controls. This is made possible through the use of deep learning and and natural language processing algorithms and enables remote diagnostics at the touch of a button.
- Risk detecting deep learning algorithms: It’s very difficult for a human to be able to see in all the nooks and crannies of pipelines, so instead scientists and computer programmers use algorithms to reveal patterns and weaknesses that may have otherwise been left undetected. Drones are now being used at a number of oil and gas sites to inspect pipelines. They are able to record footage in real-time as they fly through the pipelines trying to detect any cracks or leaks. Once the drone footage has been received deep learning algorithms set to work finding any pixel signatures that may indicate a crack or leak.
- Using deep learning algorithms to spot anomalies: Various oil and gas companies have benefited from using sensors attached to equipment such as rack rods or rod pumps in which to gather data. But, trying to detect anomalies in this way is very difficult. Using deep learning algorithms, experts can see anomalies that conventional methods would have missed and can alert the rig’s command centre in advance.
- One key area of the industry that AI could help with is in sourcing the best drilling locations. Currently there are far too many false positives when it comes to locating suitable places to drill for oil, and AI could cut that number down significantly. AI could also be used to determine the most cost-effective shipping routes for vessels carrying gasoline while taking factors such as whether into consideration.
- Other areas that AI will be used in the energy industry include robotic automation various tasks including ship vetting, and improved automated drilling.
Drilling process in the upstream sector is one of the riskiest and expensive ventures, hence this needs to be accomplished with detailed planning and effective execution. Applying ML and AI in the operational planning and execution stages can help improve the well planning process significantly, real-time drilling optimization, friction drag estimation, and other well prediction. In addition to this, the technique can also be applied in the field of geophysical aspect, where the well variables like the Rate Of Penetration (ROP) improvement, well integrity, drilling equipment condition recognition, real-time drilling risk recognition, and of course the operational decision making.
A lot of factors need to be taken into consideration while applying techniques like machine-learning in drilling. Few to name are the traditional data such as pressure differentials at various points, thermal gradient, permeability, porosity, and seismic vibrations.
Reservoir Management – Reservoir being the core of the entire operation in upstream, needs to be maintained and optimized to increase the longevity of the whole production cycle. Therefore, reservoir, facility and the well need to be managed, and this requires an integration of multiple disciplines, such as geology, seismic interpretation, reservoir engineering, production techniques and various other operations. AI techniques are applied in activities like reservoir characterization, modelling and field surveillance.
Fuzzy logic, expert systems and artificial networks are used to accurately characterize reservoir for optimum production output. Complex logics are required to derive a relationship between critical functions like algorithms defining relationship between seismic attributes, and target lithological properties such as well logs and sand properties.
Production Parameter Optimization – With the oil prices fluctuating, new ventures in exploration seem to be slowed down. In such a scenario companies need to optimize the production and manage the decline in production. Decline Curve Analysis (DCA) is one technique used to estimate future production based on the historic data. However, the well’s decline towards the end of its life follows a nonlinear pattern, and usually declines quicker at its depletion stage. Production optimization basically deals with the smart management of parameters that will enhance the well’s life such as pressure, flowrates, and thermal characteristics of injected fluid mixture. Machine learning algorithms can be used to analyze the sensor data, which is collected in massive volumes to determine the health of the system and to identify the optimum operating environment.
The value of AI and machine learning can be applied in a different statistical model, which can help improve asset management decisions. Effective adoption of these learning techniques will be dependent on integration, with data visualization and effective user interface design.
Field Equipment Management – Often the fields and the wells are in remote locations and gathering data on the status of the pumps and well physically, becomes a tedious job. This would sometimes make the data sparse and difficult to access; however, the cost of equipment and the potential it must deliver, needs to be optimized. With the advance in technology, Oil & Gas IoT sensor data is collected at the server level. This data is enriched with other well information and geological complexities to create a more complete picture with the help of various algorithms of what’s happening in the field, or might happen if certain parameters are to be ignoren, for example, situations like equipment failure, its reason for failure, how it arrived at that stage. If it failed sooner than expected, and can it be avoided in the future? Such techniques help in increasing the life of the equipment with less risk of accidents and lower maintenance cost for best possible results.
Through the use of deep learning and IoT, new predicting and monitoring technologies for the oil and gas industries have emerged that could completely transform them. Being able to predict what’s coming and see beyond what’s currently seen allows companies to deal with potential problems before they happen, saving them time, money, and bad publicity. A future where we’re surrounded by artificial intelligence incorporating deep learning and IoT is imminent. Going forward, the impact of ML and AI has already been realized in the industry. Early adopters are taking advantage with a head-start in the competition to protect their assets. Tightening research and development budgets are prompting oil and gas firms and their suppliers to think differently about both how they source new technologies and where they direct scarce resources. These evolving technology approaches are likely to outlast the current downturn and could lead to real changes in companies’ overall business strategies.
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Mercedes-Benz presented its EQC model, the first completely electric car of the company and thus the world of automobiles stands one step closer to zero emissions vehicles. Here is why…
Laws benefit electric cars. Since emissions regulations get tougher and tougher, zero emission vehicles appear to be the only way forward for auto companies in order to reduce average CO2 emitted by their fleets. If that was not enough, many European cities have announced the gradual constriction of circulating conventional vehicles in the years to come.
Batteries and autonomy
Batteries get cheaper. Since the battery’s cost per Kwh gets lower fast, the electric car’s battery, which is its greatest cost, become all the more viable. Therefore, it is calculated that by 2025 the cost of an electric car will be similar to that of a conventional one of the same size and attributes.
Batteries become more efficient. After a certain inertia during the last few decades, battery efficiency improves quickly. Given the fact that their energy density increases by 10% annually, we can have twice the efficiency in a car model that lasts seven years or acquire the same capacity for half the weight. This practically means that even if we do not witness a ground breaking change in battery technology, electric cars will soon have a completely satisfactory autonomy (such as 500km) and lower weight than the first generation electric vehicles.
Range of electric cars
All manufacturers plan to put a socket in their models. Car companies announce one after the other their plans for electromobility and in most cases they include the launching of a great array of purely electric models, but also the electrification of the rest, which means that by about 2025 cars that have an internal combustion engine will also have an electric one. The latter will be supplied by batteries that will be charged during breaking and through a common wall plug.
Competition will accelerate the transition to electromobility. The signs are already present, however the transition to this new technology is expected to accelerate through competition between existing car companies and the appearance of new ones from the East, which will provide high tech for low cost. One only has to look at the five top cell phone companies, where the three spots are occupied by Chinese corporations. Who could have imagined this just a few years ago, during Nokia’s era of dominance? Events are under way in the car industry too.
Mercedes-Benz launches a new, electric age
Mercedes-Benz is one of the few companies that have the power to advance concurrently many different mobility technologies. Purely electric models were not unknown in the company’s range, but today the first model of the new EQ range has been presented. It was announced in the Paris car show in 2016 and EQC is the first one. It is a charming crossover with impressive technical details.
The front adds new characteristics to the brand’s identity. The black shiny line under the LED lights is special and it hugs the lower part of the mask. In this way, it gives a particular image to the model. The back part is the most recognizable with excellent design in its LED lights. Equally impressive are the technical details of EQC, which prove the brand’s technology. Power reaches 407 and 765 Nm of torque. This performance allows the crossover to reach 100 km/h in just 5.1 sec and a top speed of 180 km/h. The battery has a 80 kWh capacity and uses lithium ions. This capacity allows for an autonomy of 450 km. The model is supplied by a water cooled charger of 7.4 KW. According to Mercedes-Benz, there is the ability to charge the car to 80% in just 40 minutes!
Electric cars present in Greece
Even though car companies have invested huge amounts during the last few years and have made a lot of progress, sales remain low across Europe. The lack of infrastructure plays a role, as well as the lack of incentives.
Models like the Tesla Model, the VW Up or the Nissan Leaf can be considered to stand at a very good price and can be purchased without the buyer spending a small fortune, in order to enjoy the benefits of electromobility. The Model S is still a model circulating in the market and manages first place in sales. Having great autonomy, big space and top quality, it can satisfy even the most demanding families looking for high standards.
On the other hand, a fresh proposal comes from Hyundai with the Kona Electric. The model that changed electromobility and preorders led the plant to arrange deliveries for the next six months. It is chosen by those who want a sporty look, a reliable SUV, but do now want to spend too much.
Its full charging takes place in 9.5 hours. The Audi E-Tron is the answer of the German company. It is the first mass produced electric car and the primary competitor of the Jaguar I-Pace. The model charges fully in half an hour with a fast charger.
The BMW i3 is the brand’s electric hatchback and it has a powerful style. Having 181 HP it can reach high performance and it also has good driving dynamics and safety levels. The Hyundai Nexo FCEV is supplied by hydrogen cells instead of batteries and has an autonomy of 600 km.
Jaguar’s first foray into electric cars is done through the I-Pace. It is an astounding model with high tech. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h comes in 4.5 sec.
Nissan’s offensive is spearheaded by the Leaf, which is already sold in Greece and is doing well. Through one charge, it can run more than 400 km. It has big spaces and top technology.
Black Sea Oil & Gas SRL (“BSOG”) together with its co-venture partners, Petro Ventures Resources SRL (“Petro Ventures”) and Gas Plus International B.V. (“Gas Plus”) announce that it has awarded jointly the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation & Commissioning (“EPCIC”) contract for all offshore and onshore facilities and the Development Drilling Contract to GSP Offshore SRL (“GSP”), for the Midia Gas Development Project (“MGD Project”), offshore Romania.
The execution of the contract, which is subject to Final Investment Decision (“FID”), covers the procurement, construction, installation and commissioning of the complete subsea gas production system over the Doina field, the construction, installation and commissioning of new unmanned production platform located over Ana field which will be built at GSP fabrication yard in Constanta, the subsea pipeline system that will link production platform to the shore, the onshore pipeline and the new gas treatment plant (“GTP”) that will be built in Vadu village. A joined contract has been concluded for the development drilling of the five production wells (1 subsea well at Doina field and 4 platform wells at Ana field) for which GSP will deploy GSP Uranus jack-up rig.
Building the entire project infrastructure is estimated to take 2 years. 70% of the costs in relation to these contracting activities, which makes up the majority of the totaled installed project cost of $400mm, is estimated to be of Romanian content.
Mark Beacom, CEO of BSOG stated: “In line with our objective to bring this project to FID we have recently announced the signing of our transportation agreement with Transgaz and a gas sales agreement with ENGIE. We are now very pleased to announce that we have concluded this EPCIC contract and Development Drilling Contract with the largest Romanian offshore contractor for our pioneering MGD project that could provide 10% of Romania’s gas needs, utilize the services of local contractors and subcontractors, deliver gas into the Romania market and deliver significant benefits to our local community as well as to the country.”
Mr. Beacom cautioned however that: “Our ability to take FID, once all the remaining milestones have been reached, is subject to the vote of the Partners and Shareholders and critical to that vote will be how the new Offshore Law, particularly in relation to these new fiscal provisions, impacts the decision to proceed with the investment in the project.”
Gabriel Comanescu CEO of GSP stated: “We are proud to have been selected for this important project for Romania. GSP entered the offshore construction business in 2009 and has gained valuable experience in similar projects in other countries. Our local and global expertise in both drilling and offshore construction, together with our assets and capabilities in Romania enables us to successfully deliver the MGD project.”
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Romania: Ijdelea Mihăilescu provided legal assistance to Black Sea Oil & Gas in relation to the EPCIC Contract and the Development Drilling Contract for the Midia Gas Development Project
Ijdelea Mihăilescu provided legal assistance to Black Sea Oil & Gas in relation to the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation & Commissioning (“EPCIC”) Contract for all offshore and onshore facilities and Development Drilling Contract with GSP Offshore for the Midia Gas Development Project (“MGD Project”), offshore Romania.
The value of the contracts make-up the majority of the totaled installed MGD Project cost of $400mm.
Oana Ijdelea, Partner at Ijdelea Mihăilescu stated: “We are delighted for being once more the choice of Black Sea Oil & Gas regarding the signing of such unprecedented contracts in the last 28 years to be carried-out in Romania. Moreover, we are proud to be part of a project which will contribute to the energy security of Romania and Europe by enhancing and ensuring the diversity of supply and will largely benefit the Romanian economy, 70% of the costs related to these contracting activities being estimated to be of Romanian content.”
Mark Beacom, CEO of Black Sea Oil & Gas stated: “Oana Ijdelea and her team continue to be our trusted advisors on all our efforts in relation to the Midia Pelican Concession. For the development of MGD Project in particular we have been relying on Oana’s advice and leadership with respect to all regulatory matters on this pioneering project, legal advice on a range of diverse issues and the advocacy efforts on the Offshore Law with the Romanian State.“
The MGD Project consists of 5 production wells (1 subsea well at Doina field and 4 platform wells at Ana field) a subsea gas production system over the Doina well which will be connected through an 18 km pipeline with a new unmanned production platform located over Ana field. A 126 km gas pipeline will link the Ana platform to the shore and to a new gas treatment plant (GTP). The processed gas will be delivered into the National Transmission System operated by Transgaz at the gas metering station to be found within the GTP.
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Bulgaria: A growing interest in energy efficiency, autonomous energy systems and smart solutions for cities is registered
Climate change is happening – there is no denying it and we all have limited time to tackle it through knowledge and technology transfer.
EE&RE and Smart Cities is the South-East European exhibition & conference /16-18 April’19, Sofia/ for energy efficiency, renewables, intelligent buildings, transport, infrastructure and public services.
Till 1st of December, companies can take advantage of the last Early Bird Discount and reserve better stand location.
Why to Exhibit at EE & RE and Smart Cities?
- It is well-known in SE Europe. The event will bring together technology providers, distributors and clients. It will help foreign companies to successfully enter the new market.
- The organizer Via Expo provides the exhibitors a lot of online options – an ideal platform to promote their products.
- Looking for Distributors / Associates’ is a new service facilitating the participants to find partners in the Region.
- SE Europe is an attractive market – there is a necessity of equipment and know-how. The business, industry & municipalities are increasingly aiming to achieve more resource efficiency and better performance.
For the first time Via Expo launches 3 new zones for: ‘Start-Ups’, ‘Financing’ with the participation of banks, financial institutions, ‘Industrial zone’ with participants that will show real opportunities for enlarging the business activities in the Region of South-East Europe
In advance – some solutions which will be presented:
- Boilers on pellets; Wood pelleting plants; Heating pumps; Multi-purpose unit ventilators with heat recovery Biogas installations; Gas-flares and modular combustion installations for low-emission combustion of biogas and landfill gas; Gas turbine & battery energy storage systems; Solar panels and invertors
- IoT solutions, smart systems in transport, energy and public administration; Wireless network systems and ICT for lighting, traffic monitoring and parking services, e-Health; Modular AMI/AMR networks of smart meters industrial controllers; Industrial automation; Hardware and software products, etc.
Among the first that have joined the expo are:
Amandus Kahl, Herz, Omnia Contractors (partner of Ochsner), Kawasaki, Balkanika Energy (partner of Viessmann and Schmack Biogas), Proximus Engineering (partner of Hitachi and Hicence), Belfrie (partner of Ennox Biogas Technology and Hexa-Cover ApS), Kuore Term (representative of Ravelli), Green Embedded Systems, Comicon, Intracom, Innova, NCITES, Veldim, etc.
- Energy Efficiency Technologies & Funding • Bioenergy • Energy Storage • Smart Solutions for City, Transport & Mobility, Buildings • Smart Governance
Parallel Event: Waste Management & Recycling
Greece inaugurated on Thursday a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank to boost its storage capacity and bolster its ambitions to become a regional energy hub.
Greece, which relies on Russian gas for its energy needs, has said it expects 4 billion euros in investments by 2030 in gas pipelines, networks and storage facilities.
The third tank on the LNG terminal on Revithoussa, an islet near Athens, will increase its total storage capacity by 73 percent to 225,000 cubic metres and boost the gasification rate by 40 percent, allowing Greece to receive larger LNG cargoes.
“Revithoussa is now an advantageous hub in the southeastern Mediterranean region for natural gas,” Energy Minister George Stathakis said.
Besides Russia, Greece imports LNG from Algeria, which it temporarily stores at Revithoussa before gasifying it to supply its transmission system.
Revithoussa, run by gas grid operator DESFA, is Greece’s only LNG terminal. A consortium led by Italy’s Snam is to buy a majority stake in DESFA by the end of the year.
Greece is developing a second LNG terminal off the northern city of Alexandroupolis that aims to supply gas to southeastern Europe via a pipeline link with Bulgaria, the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB).
The IGB and the LNG terminal would then connect with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which has been under construction to transport Caspian gas to European markets.
Greece wants to boost the use of natural gas in electricity production, transportation and households, to cut costs and reduce its carbon footprint until it replaces most of its coal and oil-fired power plants with renewable ones by 2030.
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New petrol and diesel car sales in Europe must be phased out before 2030 if the auto sector is to play its part in holding global warming to the Paris agreement’s 1.5C goal, a new analysis has found.
Forecourt plug-in hybrids will also have to disappear by 2035 at the latest, according to analysis by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), commissioned by Greenpeace.
Vehicle emissions have barely changed over the last decade and the industry will exhaust its carbon budget within five to 10 years unless there is a radical shift, the DLR scientists say.
“Auto CO2-emissions need to peak as soon as possible,” Prof Horst Friedrich, DLR’s director, told the Guardian. “Looking at the dwindling carbon budget it is crucial to push low-emitting cars into the market, the earlier the better, to renew the fleet.”
The study warns that “stark measures” would be needed to do this with a 66% chance of meeting the 1.5C goal – including a drop in conventional car sales from around 15m this year to 5m in 2022.
Under this scenario, the last vehicle with an internal combustion engine would be sold in 2028 and diesel and petrol powered-cars would be banished from the roads by the mid-2040s.
Behavioural change towards walking, cycling and public transport would also be necessary.
“It would be much easier to keep a 2C target because there is a higher carbon budget and therefore more time to implement the necessary measures,” Friedrich said. “I estimate it could provide us with up to 10 years more time to prepare much better for the fundamental transformations necessary.”
A draft report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear that 2C of warming would expose around 10 million more people in coastal areas to floods, storm surges and crop damage than 1.5C would. Global sea levels would also rise by an extra 10cm, heatwaves would be longer, extreme weather events stronger, economic growth lower, while crop yields and water availability would substantially decline.
“Gaming” of emissions tests
So far, the European commission has proposed a 30% cut in vehicle emissions by 2030, although MEPs are pushing to raise that figure to 45%.
The UK government has announced that sales of all new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned by 2040, while some countries including Germany, Ireland, India and the Netherlands have set a more ambitious deadline of 2030.
Energy utilities have often led calls for greater ambition and Kristian Ruby, the secretary general of Eurelectric, the power sector trade association, said that the current EU proposal was “not in line with the Paris objectives”.
He told the Guardian: “The timeline of a full phase out by 2030 does sound quite ambitious. Car makers are only ramping up now for around 20 new electric models that will come to market next year. But this needs to happen, and faster than currently seen by the European commission. There is no doubt about that.”
Some analysts also believe that Europe’s car manufacturers have made no real-world improvement in auto CO2 emissions for five years, because of the “gaming” of emissions tests.
A spokesperson for the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said: “It is still hard to predict whether the alternative powertrains will have gained a significantly high market share by 2030. This is dependent on factors that are outside the control of automobile manufacturers, such as the necessary recharging infrastructure being in place as well appropriate incentives.”
New EU fuel marking: questions and answers
- What are the new EU fuel labels and what do they mean? What changes on 12 October?
As of 12 October 2018, throughout all 28 European Union member states, the EEA countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey, a new common and harmonised set of fuel labels will be compulsory for use on newly produced vehicles and at all filling stations dispensing petrol, diesel, hydrogen, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas fuels, as well as at vehicle dealerships.
These labels will be placed on the nozzles of all filling pumps, on the pumps themselves and in the immediate proximity of the fuel filler flap/cap of newly produced passenger cars, mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles, light commercial vehicles, heavy-duty commercial vehicles and buses and coaches. They should also appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, and they may appear in the electronic handbook available via a vehicle’s infotainment centre.
- Why are these new labels needed?
The growing diversity of fuels available on the market implies an increasing need to provide drivers with clear and straightforward information on the compatibility of the fuels sold at filling stations and on their vehicles. The increasing diversity of fuel denominations and brands can sometimes lead to confusion for consumers and businesses, especially in a free-movement area such as the European Union. That is why Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure requires EU member states and EEA states to improve the information given to consumers who are faced with such a choice of fuels for their vehicle. In order to help consumers select the appropriate fuel for their vehicles throughout Europe, new labelling requirements have been agreed for newly produced vehicles and fuel filling stations. The newly common fuel labels will provide improved information in a harmonized and easy-to-read manner.
- What do the new labels look like?
The new labels are divided into three groups, with a unique identifying shape for each type of fuel: gasoline will be marked with an E inside a circle, diesel with a B inside a square, and gaseous fuels will be marked with a rhombus. The information inside the shape indicates the maximum biofuel content in the fuel that is recommended for use by the vehicle that is equipped with the new label. The size of the labels is: at fueling stations, 13mm diameter minimum for the nozzle and 30mm diameter minimum for the fuel-dispensing unit; in new cars’ fuel flap/clap, 13mm diameter minimum.
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Greece makes progress in wind energy, however further actions are required in order for the country to remain on the path of green energy. This is one of the basic conclusions stemming from WindEurope’s recent study, the European wind energy association, whose national representative is ELETAEN.
The study presents wind energy’s prospects for the years 2018-2022 and arrives at an opportune moment since within the next three months EU member states, including Greece, have to conclude their energy and climate national plans. Until the end of 2018, all member states must submit their plans to the European Commission, where renewables penetration targets for 2030 will be included.
Estimations about Greece
Greece stands in a particularly climate-sensitive geographical region. Furthermore, all relevant studies expect very negative consequences for the environment, society and the economy in case of a 2°C rise in temperature. This is why the national energy planning needs to set the economy in a path of permanent decarbonization by 2050, if not sooner. This, of course, applies for Europe as a whole.
WindEurope’s analysis showed that short term prospects for wind energy by 2022 are positive, but much remains to be done. Through the study “Wind Energy in Europe: Outlook to 2022”, WindEurope maintains that 87 GW will be installed in Europe during 2018-2022. As part of a conservative scenario, Greece can install more than 1.3 GW during these five years. It is a 50% rise compared to wind capacity at the end of 2017. A satisfactory, but not adequate prospect.
Following WindEurope’s study, ELETAEN’s chairman, Mr. Panagiotis Ladakakos, said:
”Greece has to multiply its efforts and significantly exceed today’s estimate for near future wind installations in order to remain on the path towards green energy. To do that, planning and realization must proceed massively – through specific measures and policies – to advance all forms of wind energy: In continental Greece, in the islands and the sea, with great projects and large electric interconnections, with hybrid systems and storage systems. But also, with smaller investments, such as in small wind turbines”.
WindEurope’s CEO, Giles Dickson, said:
”Wind energy is on a positive path for its further advancement in Europe during the next five years. However, this growth comes primarily from decisions already made. The prospects for new investments are less clear. Most governments have not presented their plans for new wind farms by 2030. National energy and climate plans for 2030 will be crucial. They will determine what renewables quantities the states desire and how and when they will be auctioned”.
The market’s perspectives
When it comes to the market’s conditions, annual wind installations in Europe have risen, according to the study. More specifically, during the last 11 years, installations have risen from 6.7 GW in 2005 to 13.9 GW in 2016. 2017 was a record year with 16.8 GW.
At the end of June, 2018, Europe had 182 GW of installed wind capacity (165 GW on land and 16.9 GW offshore). Germany continues to be the most dynamic market in Europe, followed by Spain, the UK, France and Italy. Five more European countries (Turkey, Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Portugal) have more than 5 GW in installations, while eight more European countries have more than 1 GW: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Romania.
WindEurope’s basic scenario contains a better estimate for wind additions in Europe during the next five years. This scenario takes into account infrastructure projects and existing law in European countries that could lead to the sector’s growth. It also reflects the influence of 2020 targets, the existence of long term national goals and initiated tenders. For offshore wind energy, the basic scenario assumes that all projects are realized according to existing expectations. Specifically about our country, it is mentioned that “in Greece and Denmark, new tenders provide hope for a rebound in 2022”.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a 6-million euro (around 6.8 million U.S. dollars) loan to Albania’s Union Bank for boosting energy efficiency and for supporting investments in residential green technology projects, EBRD office in Albania reported on Wednesday.
According to the EBRD report, Union Bank, an EBRD client since 2008, will on-lend the funds to its own clients in support of investments in high-performance energy efficiency projects in privately owned residential dwellings or buildings.
These on-lend funds will be used by clients to invest in insulation, solar panels, efficient boilers and other green technologies.
“The occasion marks the first time that our award-winning the program for the Western Balkans Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) is made available to a bank to be on-lent to residents and vendors of green technologies in Albania. We will work to expand residential energy efficiency lending and boost the competitiveness of the financial sector,” declared on the occasion Henry Russell, EBRD Director for the Financial Institutions at the Western Balkans, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Gazmend Kadriu, CEO of Union Bank commented that in cooperation with EBRD, Union Bank has already successfully implemented several projects. Through this additional loan from GEFF, Union Bank will be able to support investments in energy efficiency projects in privately owned houses.
According to EBRD, this financing for Albania is provided under the EBRD’s 85 million euro (around 97.4 million U.S. dollars) Western Balkans Green Economy Financing Facility program, that is a joint initiative of the European Union, bilateral donors and beneficiary countries cooperating under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and is implemented in partnership with the Secretariat of the Energy Community.
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Integration of a Battery Energy Storage System into the Cyprus Power Distribution Grid – The StoRES project
By Andreas Armenakis and Nikolas Chatzigeorgiou
One of the key driving elements for the evolution of energy systems around the globe are new developments, regarding Renewable Energy Sources (RES), power electronics and smart grid technologies. However, deploying more distributed energy resources for electricity decarbonisation goals increases the difficulty to maintain the grid stable and reliable. These intermittent sources, particularly wind and solar, are not always located close to the point of consumption and not always coincide with the demand.
Cyprus has the highest solar power potential in the European Union, but currently imports most of its energy. Only around 10% renewable energy share keeps Cyprus on track to reach the target (16% of gross final energy consumption) for 2020. It is noted that according to the Cyprus Renewable Energy Roadmap, renewable energy could provide 25% to 40% of total electricity supply in 2030. Storing excess energy in battery systems until needed, could be a way of addressing grid congestion, improving grid reliability and enhancing the evolution of energy systems.
Today battery storage is a minor part of the energy industry, but developing fast as well for homeowners connected with solar panels, as for larger battery parks connected with the grid. Driven by necessity, Cyprus is learning to squeeze more out of its Energy System and much of that learning is happening between the University of Cyprus (UCY) and the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), where researchers and engineers have lead the way for new techniques in the Energy Sector.
In order to develop an optimal policy for the effective integration of energy storage systems, the European project StoRES (Promotion of higher penetration of distributed PV through storage for all) supports pilot installation in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. The main objective of the project is to boost photovoltaic (PV) self-consumption in the Mediterranean region, while solving market, technical, grid and tariff issues without compromising grid stability and reliability.
In May 2018, a 30 kW / 50 kWh energy storage system was connected to a conventional distribution substation in Nicosia. It is the first important step for connecting electricity storage systems to the distribution network in Cyprus. This system (named Community Pilot) is constituted of state-of-the-art high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. The battery system provides services to the distribution network such as Power Balancing, Network and Frequency Support, as well as Active and Reactive Power Control, services that stabilize and protect the seamless operation of the network and are considered essential for modern power networks.
In Germany, dropping cost of PV panels together with higher grid costs have generated more interest in battery storage. But even battery costs have come down dramatically, there is still a long way to go before they become widely embedded in the grid.
Furthermore there is a clear mission: optimise the utilisation and integration of Renewables, by fast absorbing or injecting power, in order to stabilise and secure the utility grid. The challenges for the EAC portfolio goals is to identify related weak points on the grid and install safe and reliable energy storage systems. EAC has a long experience in performing grid studies and will be in a position to determine the optimal storage technology and its size for each application.
As we know, the battery storage market for grids, homes and cars is growing very fast and the regulatory environment in the EU will be ready soon. The Social Pilot installation in Cyprus ended successfully providing the opportunity to interact with real battery systems and gain knowledge about their operation. As this is considered the first attempt to integrate grid-connected storage systems in Cyprus, valuable lessons with regards to the behaviour of battery systems have been learned towards establishment of a standardised methodology of integrating storage systems to the grid. This work has received funding from the European Union’s Interreg Mediterranean research and innovation programme under the project StoRES.
*Andreas Armenakis, Distribution System Operator, Electricity Authority of Cyprus (AndreasArmenakis@eac.com.cy)
**Nikolas Chatzigeorgiou, FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy, University of Cyprus (firstname.lastname@example.org)
More than one third of all Greeks continues to be threatened by poverty and social exclusion. Many of them are tested by the so called energy poverty, which means that they cannot cover their basic needs for heating and powering their homes.
According to Eurostat’s data, more than 2 in 10 Greeks (21,1%) are unable to pay their home’s energy bills, despite the fact that energy consumption rises in Greece.
As for the EU, at least 112.9 million citizens lived last year in households that faced poverty and social exclusion – a number corresponding to 22.5% of total European population – with the problem being more pronounced in Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.
One of the five targets set by the “Europe 2020” initiative is the reduction of the number of Europeans who face poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020. Energy poverty is a significant part of this target. Earlier this year, the European Commission inaugurated the EU Energy Poverty Observatory, which aims to create a user-friendly platform with open access that will promote the issue of energy poverty and provide information and good practices examples.
Towards the same direction, in order to sensitize about saving energy in households, the European Commission has begun an education campaign for citizens in Greece, the Czech Republic, Romania and Portugal.
The basic task of the campaign is to help households reduce their power bills and change power consumer behavior, as well as that of those investing in the energy upgrading of their homes.
The main message of the campaign is that energy saving measures can help not only with the family budget, but also with energy reserves and protection of the environment. “Even very small changes in the everyday consumer activity can help families save money. And the utilization of the financial assistance, which is available for improving household energy efficiency, can help to save energy and protect the environment”, said Commissioner Jourova.
PPC bills to be raised
Raises are under way for PPC’s bills, while the company seeks ways to increase its income because of the damages sustained. The biggest problem for PPC is the rising price of CO2 emission rights prices that the company needs to buy.
Indeed, according to the latest data for the first six months, the total sum reached 107.2 million Euros from 60.9 million last year. Prices keep rising and have now reached 19 Euros/tonne up from 7 Euros last year.
Energy minister, George Stathakis, said that whether the bills will be raised is an open issue. Speaking to Ant1, he mentioned that “private providers have earmarked in their contracts that the CO2 price is transferred to consumers on a regular basis. PPC has not done that. We observe how the market will move in up to six months time and what the consequences will be”. The most likely path is for the company to include a similar charge.
However, apart from the CO2 price that PPC is likely to transfer to the bills, the operational and strategic plan set by McKinsey&CO includes additional consumer and business charges. According to available information, the charging for printing a bill is proposed, the reduction of the discount for consistent consumers and the unification of consumption grades that will lead to raises.
There is one more threat for consumers, as PPC appears to have been vindicated in the Supreme Court about a decree of the regulator that concerns the calculation of Common Interest Services the company is entitled to since 2011.
The regulator proposed and the government decides to pay retrospectively the sum of 360 million Euros. The company, however, kept claiming the rest 375 million Euros. The Supreme Court, without rejecting its claim, forwarded the issue to the administrative court. If PPC wins, then these 375 million Euros will either burden consumers or subtracted from the social dividend that the government aims to provide.
World: ENEL 2019 – 2021 Strategic Plan: Decarbonisation and customers to boost growth and value creation
Global macro trends such as decarbonization, coupled with electrification, urbanization, and digitalization are shaping the world of energy into a new ecosystem that is progressively transforming utilities’ traditional business model. Renewables, network infrastructures and new energy services are cornerstones of the sector’s transformation and, at the same time, of Enel’s sustainable and innovation-driven strategy, which has customers as its core. Enel’s new strategic plan is designed to maximize the opportunities created by the energy transition and to minimize the risks associated with unpredictability.
- Industrial Growth: the Group is expected to deploy 27.5 billion euros of gross capex over the plan period, resulting in 3.2 billion euro incremental ordinary EBITDA, fueled by the full spectrum of investments in the three categories of Asset Development, Customers and Asset Management
- Decarbonisation, in particular, paves the way for value creation, with renewables expected to generate a total of 1 billion euros of incremental EBITDA between 2018 and 2021; investments focused on markets with an integrated presence and on mature economies, enabling the Group to improve profitability and achieve its decarbonization objectives. In 2021, 62% of Enel Group’s power production is set to be emission-free, vs. 48% estimated in 2018
- Operational Efficiency: 1.2 billion euros of cumulated benefits from efficiencies planned by 2021, mainly from digitalization
- Simplification: Enel will continue to increase its economic interest in subsidiaries, advancing their integration into the Group and streamlining its portfolio via asset rotation, further optimizing the overall return as well as risk profile
- Human capital: SDGs commitment relaunched to 2030. Shared Value approach to communities and people embedded in Group’s core business processes; specific additional targets introduced for SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)
- Improved return on invested capital supporting dividend growth: investments skewed towards higher returns activities, efficiencies and focus on portfolio optimization are expected to yield 400 basis points value creation on 6.2% WACC in 2021, with an over 1.5 times increase on 2018 yields
- Shareholder remuneration: dividend pay-out confirmed at 70% of Group net ordinary income from 2019 onwards with a CAGR of the implicit dividend per share (“DPS”) of around +12%; a minimum DPS is extended for the first time over the next three years, ensuring a CAGR of around +9%
Financial Targets 2018 2019 2020 2021 CAGR (%) 2018-21 Ordinary EBITDA (€bn) ῀16.2 ῀17.4 ῀18.5 19.4῀ ῀+6% Net ordinary income (€bn) ῀4.1 ῀4.8 ῀5.4 ῀5.6 ῀+11% Pay-out ratio 70% 70% 70% 70% – Implicit DPS (€/share) 0.28 0.33 0.37 0.39 ῀+12% Minimum dividend per share (€) 0.28 0.32 0.34 0.36 ῀+9%
Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of Enel said: “Since 2015 we have delivered on all of our targets through a significant improvement in cash flow generation, which, combined with an acceleration on growth, has allowed us to increase our shareholder remuneration, raising DPS from 0.16 to 0.28 euros per share in 2018, and expand our pay-out ratio that is set to remain stable at 70% over the plan period.
Renewables and network operations drove our investment strategy that is focused on a shorter time to market and a higher degree of flexibility to better cope with the progressive transformation of the industry.
A sound industrial growth and the efficiency programs implemented so far have enabled us to progressively increase our ordinary EBITDA to 16.2 billion euros by end 2018, a level we committed to reach back in 2015 and that we constantly confirmed. Moreover, in the last three years, around 8 billion euros were recycled through our active portfolio management, using funds to further simplify the company’s structure and to pursue acquisitions, the most recent being Eletropaulo that increased our customer base by another 7 million, reinforcing Enel’s worldwide leadership in distribution networks.
Today’s Enel is a more sustainable, efficient, profitable and lower risk organization.
The transformation under way in our industry is presenting challenges but also opening new opportunities. We are well positioned to create value in this transformation. Enel’s strategy is at this stage inherently sustainable, having embedded Shared Value concepts and Open Innovation practices in all its core business processes.
The solidity of our 2019-2021 plan allows us to improve our ordinary EBITDA targets for 2019 and 2020 and introduce new upward targets for 2021. The robustness of this strategy will translate, for the first time, into a minimum dividend per share over the full length of our plan. We remain confident and motivated in pursuing our growth trajectory for the foreseeable future.”
The Enel Group (hereinafter the “Group”) is presenting its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan today to the financial markets and media.
The successful execution of previous strategic plans implemented since 2015 has placed Enel at the forefront of the energy transition and enabled the Group to deliver on its key pillars. Looking at Enel’s evolution from 2015 to 2018, the Group has always delivered on its targets, through a significant improvement in cash generation combined with an acceleration on growth and a substantially reduced risk profile, allowing for an attractive increase in shareholder remuneration.
Renewables have been the Group’s engine for industrial growth, as fully reflected in Enel’s generation mix, which at the end of 2018 will be around 50% composed by emission-free technologies with a positive impact on CO2 emission reduction.
A growing focus on customers and Enel’s ability to serve them with both traditional and innovative services have seen the Group’s retail base in the free market expand by 5 million, with the number of end-users served by the Group’s networks up by 20% in the past three years.
Digitalization was and is still a key factor in making the Group’s core business more efficient, effective, data-driven, as well as future-proof for incoming challenges.
Group simplification resulted in a reduction of minorities, which allowed Enel to reduce the cash leakage and to cut by 6 percentage points the dilution on earnings.
Enel’s investment strategy was centered on renewables and networks, focusing on a shorter time to market and higher degree of flexibility in capital allocation to support value creation.
The Group’s active portfolio management program has been completed one year ahead of schedule and was perfectly balanced at around 8 billion euros respectively in sources and uses of funds. Acquisitions allowed the Group to accelerate the transition towards new businesses as well as strengthen its presence in the infrastructure and networks sector. At the same time, the Group was able to dispose assets no longer fitting with its strategic guidelines and returns.
Over the last four years, the Group increased the Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) and reduced the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC), resulting in a significant increase in value creation at the end of 2018.
Enel took strategic actions to embed the Shared Value approach and Innovation practices within its core business processes, as evidenced by the fast progress the Group has made in terms of commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Group has:
- exceeded the goal set for 2020 in terms of beneficiaries of high-quality, inclusive and fair education (SDG 4);
- made considerable progress in providing access to affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), and in delivering sustainable and inclusive economic growth (SDG 8). In the achievement of both goals the Group is more than halfway to its target;
- progressed towards a zero-emission generation mix to combat climate change (SDG 13).
THE NEW PLAN: 2019 – 2021 STRATEGIC PILLARS
The new strategic plan remains centered on the pillars of the previous plan which will be implemented in line with the evolving scenario. As per the 2018-2020 plan, delivery on these pillars will yield sustainable value creation over the long term.
The growth path highlighted in last year’s plan is accelerating further through 2021 with Group’s ordinary EBITDA planned to reach 19.4 billion euros, compared to an estimated 16.2 billion euros in 2018 (up 20%, equal to 3.2 billion euros).
Enel has reclassified its capex plan according to the following categories that are more reflective of the nature of its current and future business. In terms of investments and growth in ordinary EBITDA, the three categories will contribute as follows over the plan period:
- Asset development is expected to amount to 16.5 billion euros and contribute to 2.1 billion of growth in ordinary EBITDA;
- Customers is expected to amount to 4.8 billion euros and generate around 1 billion of growth in ordinary EBITDA;
- Asset management is expected to amount to 6.2 billion euros and contribute to growth in ordinary EBITDA for the remaining portion.
The total sources of funds are planned at around 41.1 billion euros cumulated over the plan, driven by higher conversion of EBITDA into Funds From Operations (FFO), fully funding gross capex and dividends.
Net financial debt is set to remain largely stable over the entire plan period, reaching an approximate 41.8 billion euros in 2021 and maintaining solid credit metrics with an FFO/net debt ratio increasing from 26.5% expected in 2018 to 31.1% in 2021.
- Industrial Growth
The Group forecasts a total gross capex of approximately 27.5 billion euros between 2019 and 2021, a 12% increase on the previous plan. The increase is mainly driven by asset development and customers. In light of the reduction in the asset development capex allocated to the Build, Sell and Operate model (BSO), the new plan envisages 4 billion euros of incremental spending on organic investments fully devoted to renewables. Over 50% of the asset development capex plan is already addressed, giving high visibility on the evolution of Group’s financials.
From a business line perspective, gross capex allocation is expected to evolve as follows:
- 42% will be devoted to Renewables
- 40% will be invested into Networks
- 5% will be invested in Retail business
- 4% will support Enel X development
- 9% will be targeted at Thermal Generation.
Out of a total of about 16.5 billion euro asset development capex, around 10.6 billion euros will be invested in renewables, once again the driver of Group growth. In the next three years, Enel will reinforce its focus on markets where it has an integrated presence such as Italy, Spain, Chile and Brazil.
Value creation will also be achieved through the decarbonisation of the Group’s generation mix not only with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions but also as a way to seize financial opportunities arising from climate change actions. The increase in renewable capacity over the plan period, which is expected to amount to an additional 11.6 GW, is planned to result in around 1 billion euros of incremental EBITDA. Such an increase in renewables will be coupled with a reduction in thermal generation capacity of around 7 GW. As a result, in 2021, 62% of the Enel Group’s energy production will be emission-free, from 48% expected in 2018.
In networks, the Group is expected to invest around 11.1 billion euros, of which about two thirds will be directed at mature economies where the process of implementing a “smart infrastructure” is more advanced. Investments in networks are expected to generate around 1.2 billion euros of incremental EBITDA over the plan period. Overall, these investments are mainly aimed at completing the integration of recently acquired assets, in particular Eletropaulo in Brazil, as well as implementing network efficiencies and improving service quality across all the countries in which the Group operates.
Enel X envisages around 1.1 billion euros in gross capex balanced between asset development and customers, with the aim of generating 400 million euros of incremental EBITDA over the plan period. Enel X investments are split between customer services and new urban infrastructure, with a slight increase on the previous plan, to seize opportunities that arise from customers’ needs. Around 220 million euros (i.e. 20% of total Enel X capex) will be invested in creating the infrastructure to support sustainable mobility, mainly in Italy, Spain, Romania and some selected areas in the Americas. Enel X is also active in fiber optics through joint ventures such as Open Fiber in Italy and Ufinet in South America. In line with the Group’s strategic vision, the deployment of fiber optic networks is a key enabler of smart city infrastructures and digital platforms.
- Operational Efficiency
The Group’s efficiency target of 1.2 billion euros is confirmed for the end of the period (2021).
Digitalization across all business segments will be the main driver in achieving a reduction in opex to reach 8.1 billion euros in 2021, or an 8% reduction in the next three years in nominal terms, resulting from:
- a 36% reduction expected in the retail segment driven by the reduction of opex per customer through market liberalization, enhancement of automation and digitization processes;
- a 33% reduction stemming from the digital transformation of networks through system integration and expected synergies from process optimization;
- a 23% reduction related to the thermal generation fleet, mainly through digitization of assets and predictive analytics.
Enel will continue to focus on asset rotation and on the reduction of minorities, with the aim to improve the overall return on invested capital and to increase the economic interest in subsidiaries.
- Human capital
Enel’s strategy is and will remain strongly linked to human capital in terms of people and communities the Group interacts with, aiming to generate positive effects on long-term economic and social growth.
Group’s commitment to the UN SDGs has been further strengthened and enhanced as follows:
- Current commitments have been relaunched to 2030, setting the target to reduce CO2 specific emissions to 0.23 kg/kWh (SDG 13 – Climate Action) and raising the bar in the Group’s engagement with communities, helping them access education, energy and employment as well as sustainable and inclusive economic growth (SDGs 4, 7 and 8).
- Specific targets have been introduced for SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). By 2021, the Group expects to install 46.9 million smart meters, achieve a digitalization capex of 5.4 billion euros and install 455,000 electric vehicle charging points.
The Group’s 2019 – 2021 Strategic Plan is expected to generate a value creation in terms of spread between Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) and Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) of 400 basis points in 2021, compared with 250 basis points in 2018.
The dividend policy based on a pay-out ratio of 70% of Group net ordinary income is confirmed up to 2021, with the extension, for the first time, of a minimum dividend per share throughout the 2019 – 2021 period.
Therefore, on 2019 results Enel is expected to pay the higher of:
- a dividend per share based on the aforesaid 70% pay-out ratio;
- a minimum dividend per share of 0.32 euros.
Black Sea Oil & Gas signs the Gas Sales Agreement with ENGIE for natural gas supply from the MGD Project
Black Sea Oil & Gas SRL (“BSOG”) together with its co-venture partners, Petro Ventures Resources SRL (“Petro Ventures”) and Gas Plus International B.V. (“Gas Plus”), are pleased to announce the signing of the Gas Sales Agreement (“GSA”) with ENGIE through its subsidiary Engie Energy Management Romania S.R.L. (“Engie”) for natural gas supply from the Midia Gas Development Project (“MGD Project”).
Under this agreement, which is subject to Final Investment Decision, ENGIE will purchase gas from the Ana and Doina gas reservoirs over a minimum period of 10 years in compliance with Romanian law. Expected contractual volumes at project completion represent 0,5 bcm per year. The gas will be delivered at Vadu entry point into the National Natural Gas Transmission System from Romania.
The MGD Project consists of 5 production wells (1 subsea well at Doina field and 4 platform wells at Ana field) a subsea gas production system over the Doina well which will be connected through an 18 km pipeline with a new unmanned production platform located over Ana field. A 126 km gas pipeline will link the Ana platform to the shore and to a new Gas Treatment Plant.
Black Sea Oil & Gas CEO, Mark Beacom, commented: “We are delighted to have secured this important agreement for the sale of our gas. BSOG is working steadily towards achieving all the remaining milestones on the project required to reach FID such that a decision can be taken on whether to approve FID. The assessment of the Offshore Law on the project’s economic viability remains a key part in determining whether a favorable decision to FID will be taken.”
Edouard Neviaski, CEO of ENGIEs Global Energy Management business unit stated: “ENGIE is proud to support the MGD Project partners and we look forward to managing the first gas production from the Black Sea, a very exciting new source in Romania. The MGD project gas can be stable long-term source of supply for the development of ENGIE’s position in Romania and the region and we strongly believe that this would enhance Romanian security of supply for years to come.”