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The Basque cooperative has managed to produce 15% of energy through its photovoltaic modules

Mondragon Assembly has launched a project with the aim of achieving more responsible consumption and having more and more sustainable and efficient facilities. The project will be developed in two phases, the first of which was launched at the beginning of 2019, when Mondragon Assembly decided to install 380 solar panels produced by its customers at its Aretxabaleta head office. With this initiative, it has been possible to produce 15% of energy through photovoltaic modules whilst reducing carbon, sulphur, and nitrogen emissions. The investment undertaken, exceeding €150,000, is expected to be amortised over the next 8 years with the generation of energy produced by the installed PV modules.

The second phase of this ambitious project is framed in the context of a European R&D project and consists of the installation of 150 m2 of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) on the façade of the Mondragon Assembly facilities, in Aretxabaleta. There is currently a high interest in Europe regarding the development of BIPV, which consists of the use of photovoltaic modules on building façades. With this installation, which is expected to be completed by early 2021, 18-20% of the energy produced could be generated.

Mondragon Assembly committed to the environment

In addition to this ambitious project, different measures have been implemented at Mondragon Assembly with the aim of achieving sustainable consumption. Examples include the reduction, by one tonne, of CO2 emissions of the vehicle fleet currently owned or equipping its Aretxabaleta plant with LED lights.

Solar panels made with lines manufactured by Mondragon Assembly

One of the strategic businesses of the Mondragon Assembly Group is the design and manufacture of turnkey equipment for the production of photovoltaic modules. For that reason, the PV modules installed at the top of the building are produced by customers who own equipment manufactured by Mondragon Assembly.

About the MONDRAGON Assembly Group

Mondragon Assembly is an international group specialising in the development of automation and assembly solutions. It currently has six production plants: Aretxabaleta (Gipuzkoa), its head office, Mexico, France, Germany, China and Brazil, as well as a subsidiary in India. It operates in sectors such as solar energy, automotive, home appliance components, cosmetics, medical devices, and electronic components. Its staff consists of a team of over 400 individuals, and its 2018 turnover was in excess of €85 million.

The extraordinary statement, made on Sunday by the emirate’s electricity and water authority, compares current per capita figures to a ‘business as usual’ scenario.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has made the astonishing claim the emirate has reduced per capita carbon emissions 19%, although it was not immediately obvious which baseline figures were used for the comparison.

DEWA announced reductions in per capita energy and water use in Dubai from 2015-18 and those figures may be the basis for what the emirate’s Supreme Council on Energy labelled a reduction “compared to the business as usual scenario”.

The DEWA pres release cited the sprawling 5 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and Dubai’s Shams net metering program as contributory factors to the achievement.

How to Improve Carbon emissions reduction with Mondragon Assembly

Mondragon Assembly is an internationally recognized producer of equipment for the manufacture of solar panels. We design and provide turnkey production lines and machinery for photovoltaic systems. We have been providing innovative manufacturing technology for more than fifteen years.

Mondragon Assembly provide their clients with solutions and services throughout the entire value chain.


TURNKEY SOLAR MANUFACTURING LINE


China’s vast continent-spanning infrastructure project could fertilize solar growth along its perimeter at considerable scale as energy demand in the countries along the route is set to surge.

Chinese mega infrastructure project the Belt and Road Initiative opens up tremendous solar potential across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe as a significant proportion of the countries along the route boast some of the best solar irradiation conditions in the world and expect to see their electricity demand surge in the years ahead.

A group of researchers has examined the potential to develop solar in 66 of the 126 Belt and Road countries, in a study entitled The potential of Photovoltaics to Power the Belt and Road Initiative.

The researchers concluded the region boasts solar potential of 448.9 PWh – 41.3 times the electricity generated along the route three years ago. Tapping just 3.7% of that potential would see the nations in question deploy 7.8 TW of PV to satisfy the route’s projected electricity demand for 2030.

Such a transformation would require investment of $11.2 trillion, said the study’s authors. “The money is very large,” said co-author Michael McElroy, of Harvard University. “But if you make that commitment the energy is free. Plus, the cost of building solar farms is coming down very dramatically because of the technological advances. We project it to become similar to fossil fuels within a decade.”

Most extensive Belt and Road solar study

The researchers considered spatial and temporal parameters of solar energy production and estimated the chances of interconnection along the Belt and Road route. Possible PV sites were identified using satellite imagery and analyzed for their annual production potential. Despite the extensive amount of work that has gone into analyzing global solar potential, the report’s authors said it was the first time such in-depth research had been conducted into the Belt and Road route.

“Our model provides a comprehensive analysis of the region’s solar energy potential by taking into account many influencing factors,” said co-author Xi Lu, of Tsinghua University. “We also calculated the solar energy outputs on an hourly basis, which is more accurate than previous estimates that use monthly data.”

The results showed a spatial disparity between solar generation potential and local consumption, as the countries endowed with 70.7% of the examined area’s generation potential consume only 30.1% of its electricity. That finding underscored the focus on developing interconnector capacity along the route.

Along the vast swathe of territory, the study identified potential for 207.7 PWh of solar generation capacity in western Asia. In east Asia, the researchers found a possibility of 122 PWh. Those two regions supplied 73.4% of the total Belt and Road solar potential, the researchers found, with Central and Eastern Europe offering figures of 4.7 and 1.5 PWh, respectively.

Big global carbon emitters

“This advantage coincides with the ‘facilities connectivity’ concept, which is one of the five cooperation priorities of the BRI [Belt and Road Initiative],” said lead author Shi Chen, also of Tsinghua University. “In the context of global energy interconnection, solar power generation is bound to usher in a new development opportunity in the wave of trans-national and even trans-regional power interconnection.”

Four Belt and Road countries – China, India, Iran and Saudi Arabia – are among the top 10 emitters of CO2 globally, currently generating 39.4% of the world’s emissions. However, the researchers wrote, the same nations offer around 53% of the solar PV potential of the Belt and Road route. If solar power could supply 30% of the electricity generated across those four states, the researchers said, 7.2% of the world’s carbon emissions would vanish.

“The solar potential and cooperation opportunities revealed in this analysis is a chance for the BRI countries to leapfrog from their carbon-intensive trajectories to low-carbon futures,” says report co-author Jiming Hao, of Tsinghua University. “The opportunity to decouple future economic growth from increasing carbon emissions does exist.”

The Basque cooperative and the Korean STiN Inc. have reached an agreement to share a patent owned by MONDRAGON Assembly.

It is an innovative solution that allows photovoltaic module manufacturers to increase their productivity.

Mondragon Assembly S.Coop, an Spanish Leading Company dedicated to deliver solutions and Equipment for the PV Industry, and STiN Inc., one of the top suppliers of PV products in South Korea, had entered into an agreement for the sharing of the Intellectual Property of a patented solution owned by Mondragon. The function of the equipment is specifically located at the tabbing and stringing process and known as “continuous stringing” and allows 15% more productivity in cells per hour being processed. According to this agreement, STiN Inc. will be able to deliver this solution to all PV module manufacturers in the South Korea Territory.

About Mondragon Assembly

www.mondragon-assembly.com

Mondragon Assembly is an international group specializing in the development of automation and assembly solutions. The Group currently has six production plants in Spain, Mexico, France, Germany, China and Brazil, and a subsidiary in India. They also have a strategic network of commercial offices in leading world economies.

Mondragon Assembly is a recognized producer of equipment for the manufacture of solar panels. The company designs and provides turnkey production lines and machinery for photovoltaic systems. Mondragon Assembly has been providing innovative manufacturing technology for more than fifteen years.

It offers a wide range of services around the solar panel manufacturing industry, including product design advise, raw materials selection, panel certifying with fast-track, production ramp-up support, personnel training and know-how transfer.

About STiN Inc.

www.stinholdings.com

STiN is an Asia- Multinational Company and aiming to be “Total PV solution provider” to East Asia market and Korea-Based clients in worldwide market. STiN started as PV module supplier in 2013 and currently is structured of  STiN Holdings at Singapore for steering and financing, STiN Inc. at Korea for sales and EPC, Shanghai STiN Energy Technology Co. Ltd at China for procurements and sales, Changzhou STiN Energy Technology Co. Ltd at China for development of value-added energy storing products, STiN Japan Inc. for new product sensing and sales, and PT. Ley Harmony Khatulistiwa at Indonesia for liaison office for new business development.

Through the well-organized operating companies, STiN could supply all products and parts in PV industry: from PV cells to Modules and Module manufacturing facility.

STiN will utilize the agreement for sharing an intellectual property owned by Mondragon for encouraging module manufacturers activity and protecting IP holders’ rights.


Mondragon Assembly has one of its main world headquarters in China, from where we deploy all the technology and infrastructure necessary for the execution of projects based on the production of 100% renewable photovoltaic energy.


A mix of higher operating costs and ageing coal assets – plus historically generous solar tariffs – meant the utility banked more profit from the 1.53 TWh of solar electricity it sold in the first half than it did from 25.9 TWh of coal-fired power.

Coal may still be king when it comes to revenue generated from the sale of electricity by power giant China Power, but the attractive economics of solar have been illustrated in the utility’s first half figures.

The Hong Kong listed power company – which is owned by Chinese state-owned State Power Investment Corp Ltd – generated revenue of RMB8.48 billion ($1.18 billion) from coal-fired electricity from January to June, versus just RMB924 million from solar. However, those figures translated into a six-month profit of RMB290 million from China Power’s PV operations, outstripping the RMB259 million generated from its coal plants.

The devil is in the detail, in this case a combination of the prohibitive costs associated with coal plants and the generous subsidy level awarded solar electricity, ahead of the push for grid parity outlined by Beijing this year.

The figures published by China Power International Development Ltd on Thursday showed the company incurred capital expenditure of RMB2.78 billion for its coal plants and only RMB699 million for its solar operations, even though 474.4 MW of new PV capacity was added during the period.

The cost of coal

Coal brought finance costs of RMB579 million with PV finance costing 254 million and bringing in finance income of RMB28.9 million, versus coal’s RMB6.9 million. Whereas the utility’s PV arm benefited from an income tax credit of RMB1.5 million, the coal unit had to pay a RMB171 million bill.

Depreciation of its coal assets cost China Power an estimated RMB915 million during the first six months of the year whereas only RMB276 million was wiped off the value of ageing PV projects. The long-term amortization payments of solar project development may have cost the PV operation RMB22.7 million but that was partly compensated for by an absence of losses on the disposal of plant and equipment. China Power lost RMB9.74 million on coal equipment it shuttered.

And whereas PV operations recognized a RMB196,000 gain on receivables for impairment purposes, the power company’s coal assets suffered a RMB5 million reversal.

Throw in an average solar electricity tariff of RMB602.46/MWh sold versus coal income of just RMB327.52 and difference between revenue and profits recorded by the two technologies is explained.

Grid parity threatens margins

That tariff income, of course, is set to fall further for PV projects after Beijing’s decision to rein in public solar subsidies. The average tariff for solar has already fallen RMB103.75/MWh compared with the same period of last year while the price of coal-fired power rose marginally. The China Power figures acknowledge the need to double down on costs to maintain profits from grid parity solar. The company has made a high-profile start down that path, by securing approval for China’s largest grid parity demonstration project: the 500 MW Liaoning Chaoyang facility, albeit secured with unspecified “land lease incentives”.

China Power is moving in the right direction with its power mix as PV contributed 16.06% of its net profits in the first half, compared to the 4.86% that came from its coal assets.

However, that solar figure had fallen from a 30.71% slice in the same period of 2018 and it was hydropower that was the dominant force this time around, thanks to markedly increased rainfall. Hydro accounted for 71.65% of the utility’s profits during the period.

Kunshan Industrial Park, Wetside Huangpujiang Rd
Qiandeng 215341 Kunshan, Jiangsu
People’s Republic of China
+86 051 257473586

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited bids to set up 1.2 GW of grid-connected solar under the fifth phase of its national interstate transmission system program. The projects – to be established on a build, own, operate basis – will be awarded through e-bidding and a reverse auction with a tariff ceiling of Rs2.65/kWh. Bidding closes on July 31.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has tendered a further 1.2 GW of interstate transmission system connected solar. The central government body will sign 25-year PPAs with successful bidders with a maximum tariff of Rs2.65/kWh ($0.038). Power from the projects will be sold to utilities.

The last 1.2 GW solar auction saw four companies – Ayana RenewableReNew PowerAzure Power and Mahindra Susten – secure a combined 1.15 GW of generation capacity at Rs2.54/kWh. Avaada Energy secured the remaining 50 MW at Rs2.55.

Capacities offered

As per the guidelines issued by SECI for Phase V implementation, project selection will be technology agnostic, meaning crystalline silicon, thin film or concentrator PV – with or without trackers – can be considered.

Each bidder can compete for 50-600 MW of the available capacity in 10 MW multiples. Individual projects, however must have a minimum capacity of 50 MW and a maximum of 300 MW.

Developers can establish cumulative project capacity at one location or divide projects into blocks at multiple locations however single-project blocks must be in the same state. Projects can consist of any number of blocks, each in capacity multiples of 10 MW, with the minimum capacity of each block 20 MW.

Land and connectivity

Land, connectivity and long-term open access shall be within the scope of developers, which must demonstrate possession of 100% of the land identified for projects within a year of the effective date of power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Solar projects must be designed for inter-connection with the Central Transmission Utility network at voltages of at least 132 kV. The minimum voltage for a single block will be 33 kV.

The declared annual capacity utilization factor (CUF) of successful projects should not be less than 17%. Excess generation over and above 10% of the declared annual CUF will be purchased by SECI at its discretion at a fixed tariff of 75% of the PPA tariff agreed, provided SECI is able to provide a buyer for the power.

India is a demanding market which demands an urgent level of renewable energy development. Mondragon Assembly has been present in the Indian market for many years. Our photovoltaic renewable energy production solutions will help achieve the objectives set by the Government.

The celebration of the subsidiary’s 25th anniversary took place on 22 June, in Orange, France. This plant was the first international investment of Mondragon Assembly.

In fact, in 1994, a decision was made to initiate an internationalisation strategy with the aim of increasing the presence on the market and thus be able to attract new projects from potential customers. 25 years have passed, and year after year, Mondragon Assembly Orange has consolidated itself in the business for automation of industrial processes, becoming, along with the rest of the subsidiaries, a world leader in the Automation sector.

The commemorative event took place near the town of Orange, with the participation of the Director General and the President of the Mondragon Assembly group, in addition to all the people who make up the subsidiary’s team. Both officers thanked the people who attended the event for their years of dedication and the fact of having made Mondragon Assembly Orange a benchmark in the field of automatic assembly lines. During the celebration, some of the people who participated in the project since its origins intervened in the act to recall the first steps of Mondragon Assembly in France.

Mondragon Assembly Orange closed the year 2018 with approximately €10 million in sales and 34 direct employees. The forecasts for this year indicate that it should remain in the same line as the previous fiscal year.

About the MONDRAGON Assembly Group.

Mondragon Assembly is an international group specialising in the development of automation and assembly solutions. It currently has six production plants:  Aretxabaleta (Gipuzkoa), its head office, Mexico, France, Germany, China and Brazil, as well as a subsidiary in India. It operates in sectors such as solar energy, automotive, components for electrical appliances, cosmetics, medical devices, and electronic components. Its staff consists of a team of over 400 individuals and its 2018 turnover was in excess of €85 million.

With buildings responsible for 36% of EU greenhouse gas emissions and half the bloc’s energy demand, European cities will have to accelerate deployment of renewable energy and foster substantial investment in energy efficiency to become carbon neutral by 2050. A new report has found ‘solar skins’ are well positioned to help achieve that goal and multiply the contribution of rooftop solar.

While it still faces hurdles, building-integrated PV (BIPV) could play an important role in the decarbonization of urban landscapes. With 75% of EU buildings having been built before the introduction of energy performance standards, the building sector is facing one of the biggest challenges on the road to carbon neutrality by 2050.

According to a report by the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) and industry body SolarPower Europe, PV-clad buildings could not only contribute significantly to a reduced ecological footprint but also create jobs in the PV construction and installation industries as well as improving the quality of life in cities.

On top of that, rooftop solar and BIPV could reduce the need for grid extensions and improve the stability of power supply as well as passively contributing to thermal and acoustic insulation.

Long way

Although commercial projects exist, BIPV is still in its infancy, with architects and building owners often reluctant to deploy it due to the cost and limitations in design. According to the BIPV report, the main hurdles in Europe are low renovation rates and the slow integration of on-site renewables in cities but an historical lack of awareness of the benefits of BIPV is also a factor.

Nonetheless, the biggest market for BIPV is, and will continue to be the EU, where frontrunners in the novel construction technologies are located, the report stated. The study cited examples such as Brussels’ first zero-net office building: Treurenberg, and the Kollektivhuset Stacken in Gothenburg which features a retrofitted BIPV facade and roof.

With an eye on Europe’s mooted goal of zero-net neutrality and an 80% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2050, the European building sector is facing the onerous obligation of a reduction of around 90% in its ecological footprint.

According to recent studies, the cumulative BIPV potential for the 27 EU member states plus Switzerland and Norway – and excluding Britain – is 5 GW by 2030 at the current growth rate. While that figure appears small compared to rooftop PV potential – which SolarPower Europe estimates could reach 10 GW by 2022 – BIPV could make it much easier to hit EU climate goals, the ETIP PV report found.

Authorities on the move

Beyond Tesla’s solar roof tiles, Hanergy’s BIPV skyscraper product the HanWall and other market-ready solutions, regulatory frameworks are key to the creation of sustainable business models. According to the ETIP PV report, European municipal authorities could promote BIPV in several ways. Suggestions include converting municipal building stock into ‘plus-energy buildings’ – which generate more power than they consume; promoting financing schemes for private property owners such as power purchase agreements, energy contracting and leasing models for BIPV installation; and establishing efficient policies, grid regulations and incentives for the systematic electrification of buildings, heating and cooling and transport.

In hard numbers, the rate of deep energy renovation should be increased from today’s 1% to 3% per year for the EU to meet its long-term climate and energy targets. That means around 200 million buildings needing renovation by 2050.

The BIPV study comes at a time of change in EU politics. In the wake of the last European Parliament elections, which saw the Green MEP caucus grow, led by Germany and France, MEPs are struggling to fill the top jobs. Decisions such as the appointment of the head of the European Commission will be pivotal in determining renewable energy policies over the next five years.

Mondragon Assembly. Ready to ride on the move.

Mondragon Assembly integrates the most advanced technologies on the market into its solutions, pioneering the development of new automation applications. Let Us show you how can we improve the chance on the move:

Looking further ahead, the solar industry wants 20% of Europe’s electricity demand to come from solar by 2030. However, as SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger indicates that a comprehensive industrial strategy and tailored support across the solar value chain are what is needed to get the EU there.

U.S. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has released his climate plan, which focuses on tax cut reversals and executive action to kickstart 100% clean energy and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Like a child screaming on an airplane, U.S. politicians can co longer afford to ignore climate change. The once taboo topic, recognized only by doomsday preppers and Al Gore, has now evolved into one of the paramount issues heading into the upcoming Democratic primaries — an issue that any candidate worth their campaign must be prepared to address.

Enter Joe Biden, the former vice president turned presidential hopeful who has newly released a 22-page plan centered on achieving 100% clean energy and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, all for the price tag of a cool $5 trillion. Of that $5 trillion, $1.7 trillion would come over the 10 years following his presumed first term. The funds for this ambitious would come from reversing the Trump tax cuts for corporations.

Furthermore, the plan promises immediate action, with a serious of executive orderers to be instituted as soon as he would take his seat in the Oval Office.

This is reflected within Biden’s campaign website, which reads:

These executive orders are headlined by three interesting policies:

  • “Requiring aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations.”
  • “Using the Federal government procurement system — which spends $500 billion every year — to drive towards 100% clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles.”
  • “Ensuring that all U.S. government installations, buildings, and facilities are more efficient and climate-ready, harnessing the purchasing power and supply chains to drive innovation.”

In his climate plan, Biden also praises the Green New Deal, using aspects of it as a framework for his own policy development. The candidate describes the legislation as “a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” continuing that the Green New Deal is founded upon the basic truths that the United States, by necessity, must adopt more aggressive and ambitious policies to combat the effects of pollution and climate change and that the environment and economy are entirely connected.

Biden is also looking to add legitimacy to his views by establishing his position as an early advocate for the necessity of renewable adoption and climate change action. His campaign website champions him as a “climate change pioneer,” boasting his commitment to the issue, dating all the way back to 1986. The candidate also boldly promises that he “will not accept contributions from oil, gas and coal corporations or executives.”

What’s not to be forgotten among the specifics of legislation is the bigger picture: climate change has become an issue that demands national attention, and we’re seeing the seeds of change beginning to sprout. Hopefully there’s still time for those sprouts to bloom.

The former director of Fraunhofer ISE will be officially elected at a general assembly planned for September.


The ESCM wants a strong Europe to be part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and also pay attention to sustainability.

The board of the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) has appointed Eicke Weber as provisional chairman. Official confirmation of the appointment is planned for a general assembly of members expected in September.

The association, which unites European PV manufacturers, research institutes and equipment makers lobbies on behalf of its members’ policy interests at the EU.

The trade association has drawn up policies which could aid sustainable construction in Europe.

Policies check clean carbon neutral pricing; application of the EU Sustainable Procurement Framework; consideration of carbon footprints in policy development and state aid; use of ecolabels and eco design; and better access to finance and research funding.

Such an advantage would only apply, however, if imported goods had to align with the same standards as EU products.

According to the ESCM, combating climate change is still considered an economic burden in the political debate. “If you operate an ambitious climate protection policy you create an economic advantage for the manufacturing industry in Europe compared to other countries,” said Weber.

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