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Knowledge-Transfer Webinar: New Market Opportunities in Wind Power

Yesterday, the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program conducted its fifth and final Knowledge-Transfer Webinar of 2020. The webinar took a forward-looking approach by focusing on “New Market Opportunities in Wind Power,” with presentations on: digitalisation, green hydrogen and corporate procurement of wind and renewable energy. ” 

We welcomed three speakers to the webcast for presentations and Q&A: Suma Gopal, General Manager, Utopus Insights; Rabia Ferroukhi, Director, Knowledge, Policy and Finance Division, IRENA; and Amanda Niklaus, PPA Transaction Manager, Pexapark.

The webcast began with Suma Gopal discussing the paradigm shift to digitalisation in the renewables industry, as technology and practices move from building to optimising, reacting to acting, data democracy from OEM to customer, as well as machine revolution to a software revolution. She spoke about how wind project operations were becoming intelligent for stronger revenue recovery and O&M planning, enabling real-time forecasting and analysis which can better manage the variability of wind power generation (below).

Rabia Ferroukhi then discussed the current policy landscape for green hydrogen, driven by net-zero commitments, diverse actors, decreasing costs for variable renewable energy sources and a multi-sector focus. She provided an overview of the power-to-X potential of green hydrogen, as well as the cross-sector barriers for its deployment, including techno-economic challenges, limited infrastructure for green hydrogen transport and market coordination (below). For deployment to take off, she made four recommendations: national hydrogen strategies; prioritising policy across a variety of end-uses, from industry to transport; guarantees of origin schemes; and other enabling policies across finance and standardisation.

In the final presentation, Amanda Niklaus provided an overview of the global and European corporate PPA market, highlighting that deal activity remained strong despite the pandemic (below). As COVID-19 has reflected high price volatility as a feature of power markets, PPAs have also reflected significant regional differences in prices, as well as differences in credit and structure of agreements. She concluded the presentation by outlining two strategies to identify the best corporate sourcing opportunities: a focus on LCOE/PPA match to identify the biggest volume; and a focus on liquidity cost to identify the best value.

Attendees asked questions about the power-to-power application of green hydrogen versus batteries, the gender divide which needs to be bridged in digitalisation and the feasibility of corporate procurement in monopolistic power markets. At the end of the Q&A, speakers were invited to share their career advice with participants, and reflect on any personal/professional lessons learned from a tumultuous 2020.

Speakers and participants both shared thoughts on how the year has demonstrated the importance of perseverance and passion to drive their careers forward in the face of adversity. With that, the final Knowledge-Transfer Webinar of 2020 came to a close. We look forward to another dynamic series of webinars next year!

 

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