12-14 October, Rome Exhibition Centre, Italy
WIND ENERGY UPDATES
26 November 2021
Government decree for the development of offshore wind
The Italian Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, has prepared a decree on the basis of the provision with which the EU directive called Red II will be implemented. Europe asks member states to indicate measures to “accelerate the transition from traditional fuels to renewable sources”. The EU targets envisage reaching at least 95 gigawatts of installed power by 2030: the Minister predicts that with the new rules it will be possible to reach 120 gigawatts.
The government’s strategy is, in fact, based on three pillars, wind, photovoltaics and biogas. The first concerns wind energy: the decree focuses on the development of offshore power plants, also thanks to the new technology of floating plants, anchored to the seabed. In this way, they can be built much further off the coast, where winds are more favorable. At the moment, 39 “expressions of interest” for offshore plants were filed and only one was authorized, off the coast of Taranto, Apulia. The decree pushes for the development of grid networks that will have to connect the plants in the sea to the mainland, and storage systems to store excess energy to be used during peak times to lower the costs of the energy bill.
15 November 2021
Italy receives 64 expressions of interest for offshore wind farms
Italy reported that it has received a broad range of interest with proposals for numerous projects in its first efforts to develop offshore wind farms along its coast. The Ministry of Ecological Transition reports that it is continuing its work aimed at encouraging the development of a new generation of floating offshore plants located off the Italian coast.
At the conclusion of the first round of meetings and call for submissions of interest, the ministry reports it has received 64 expressions of interest, of which 55 were from companies and business associations. In addition, three environmental protection associations, WWF, Legambiente, and Greenpeace, also participated in the discussions as well as seven other organizations and researchers representing interests in the electricity sector as well as development and research in the Adriatic and Mediterranean.
At least 20 of the expressions of interest proposed detailed projects, which in many cases involve floating plants located over 12 miles off the coast. In total, 40 floating offshore wind farm projects were examined, with more than 20 proposals mainly located off the coast of Sicily and Sardinia, an additional 10 for the Adriatic coast, and others distributed between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas.
Represented among the companies expressing interest were many of the leading international companies in the sector as well as industrial companies from Italy. Among the companies cited were DEME, ERG, RWE, Saipem, and EDF as well as Italian companies Fincantieri, Eni, and RINA.
Italy has been moving aggressively to lay the groundwork for the development of its offshore energy sector. In February, Italy’s Premier Mario Draghi created a new cabinet level minister naming physicist Roberto Cingolani to the role. The ministry is focused on the country’s sustainability policies and many of the responsibilities for energy policy were transferred to the new ministry after having been overseen by the broader focused ministry for industry.
In announcing the results of its first round of meetings, the new ministry said that a further round of meetings is planned. They expect to explore possible synergies deriving from the provision of more plants in the same sea areas, seeking agreements between participants, and to share the status of the work with the environmental protection associations and other participants.
Work began in September 2021 for the first wind farm to be located both in Italy and the overall Mediterranean. The project which consists of 10 wind turbines is being built near Taranto harbor in southern Italy. Dutch firm Van Oord received the contract to install the monopiles and ten Ming Yang 3MW turbines for the 30 MW wind farm being developed at Renexia.
More than 50 wind farm projects have been proposed for locations along the Italian coast, but none are currently operations and only one other beyond the Taranto project has even begun the application process. In October, a new project was proposed for the waters off Brindisi, which at 1.2GW could become Italy’s first large-scale wind farm.
11 November 2021
ACWA Power awarded 1.1GW wind power project in Egypt
In the operational highlights, ACWA Power revealed that it had been awarded a “…power purchase agreement (PPA) for Egypt’s 1,100MW wind IPP (independent power producer) by the council of ministers of the Egyptian government.”
According to sources close to the scheme, the contract was awarded following direct negotiations with the government rather than through competitive tendering.
In April, Energy & Utilities reported that ACWA Power had signed the final project agreements for the 200MW photovoltaic (PV) solar Kom Ombo solar project in Egypt.
Also in the operational highlights of its maiden quarterly results, ACWA Power revealed it had sold a 32 per cent equity stake in the oil-fired Shuqaiaq power and water plant, part of its net zero target.
ACWA Power revealed in the results that operating income, before impairment loss and other expenses, for the first nine months of 2021 was US$440mn – flat when compared with the same period in 2020.
Other operating highlights include:
1) Financial close of the 1,500MW Sudair PV IPP in July
2) The commissioning of the 300MW first phase of the 900MW fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) solar park in Dubai
3) Signing the asset acquisition and project financing agreements of the US$12bn Jizan integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant in September