Both the EU’s ambitious 2030 climate target and the current energy crisis have made it clear that the transition to renewable energy needs to be accelerated.
And although wind, solar and green hydrogen are already on the rise, there are still important steps to take in the coming year to increase their sustainability – and improve what they are capable of.
To find out how this works, Applied Sciences spoke with three experts.
Buy your tickets for TNW Valencia in March!
The heart of technology comes to the heart of the Mediterranean
Floating offshore wind is a “game changer” for the renewable energy industry and a “key technology” against climate change, Felipe Cornago – Commercial Director Offshore Wind, at BayWa re – told us.
That’s because it not only has the potential to take advantage of areas of higher wind intensity, but also to open up markets that were previously incompatible with bottom-fixed technologies.
Compared to fixed installations, floating offshore wind farms also have less environmental impact in marine ecosystems and lower construction costs.
But despite the accelerated development in recent years, as Cornago pointed out, there are still plenty of challenges that need to be addressed.
“Therefore, industry and government efforts in 2023 should focus on a number of areas, including establishing clear regulatory frameworks and improving grid connection and grid planning,” he explains.
According to Cornago, the focus should also be on standardization of technological and commercial solutions. Currently, there is a range of different designs and production methods, all driving up costs.
Finally, he thinks the lack of expertise in developing floating offshore wind platforms will be mitigated in the coming year. This will be done “by leveraging pre-existing infrastructure and knowledge of bottom-fixed offshore wind development”, and by “adapting existing supply chains”.
According to Frank Jessel – Global Director of Solar Trade at BayWare – 2022 will see a rapid increase in adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and associated energy storage solutions.
Jessel expects this trend to continue in 2023 “with more than ever the adoption of renewable energy sources within the residential and commercial PV market, and in particular the price of PV systems falling over the medium term due to technological improvements, declining freight rates and economies of scale. .”
However, there are still challenges that hinder accelerated growth and require solutions, he added. These are disruptions in supply chains and a shortage of skilled labor related to the installation of PV systems.
Green hydrogen, powered by renewable sources such as wind and solar, is a clean and promising alternative to fossil fuels.
But for the industry to achieve efficient production, it is necessary to recognize the vital role of digitization, David Hall, VP Power Systems at Schneider Electric UK and Ireland, told TNW.
“The challenges of producing green hydrogen at scale can largely be addressed by leveraging new digital technologies available today,” he explained.
To begin with, digital twin technology and 3D modeling enable the simulation of data throughout the entire life cycle of a green hydrogen plant, reducing costs, risks and time.
Second, Hall emphasized the importance of an “overarching” energy management system that indicates the optimal times to use electricity from the grid and predict power generation, to ensure the required volume production of hydrogen at a low cost.
Finally, he points to the need for a Unified Operating Center. This translates to using a Pi system – a software that collects and analyzes operational data – that can bring all the different assets together to enable better decision making, optimal performance and reduced downtime.
Facilitating faster adoption of wind, solar and green hydrogen will require our post-2023 efforts, but applying some of the above measures is certainly an important start.