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Alberto Escobar's Comments

February 07, 2015

India Plans 4.2-Gigawatt Wind and Solar Energy Park

Unfortunately, most of the comments from people who had been involved for a long time in infrastructure projects development with a world wide scope, are usually based in real experiences, an therefore, when the coincidences leave in evidence that the coherence and or rationality it is not allways the main priority in the final decision making procedure around the world, it is difficult to avoid some important "quotation marks".
If we consider the Power Sector for instance:
The Power sector had been very much related to the Countries´s transformation as consecuence of their own politic-economic evolution, an certainly, the global influence reach a higher share value in the strategies an decisions... specially in subjects related to infrastructure basic problematic such as: comunications, power,roads.etc.
(Health, education an many others very important ones are also priorities but at the moment we are referring to Power Industry ..)
The Power options had ben very much related to Grid or network development capacity- quality, and having into consideration that " Power storage it is not yet possible ", the efficiency in the distribution step meaning by distribution step the capacity for delivery the required KWh in real time to every consumer when switch on his kitchen,lamp or engine,..if we watch Country by Country, it is clear that unfortunately many Countries are far away of being able in provide with a minimun power output to his citizenships just because the lac of grid coverage.....this feature, it is the main reason to explain and justify the " distributed generation concept."
For instance, the interesting question as practic excercise could be, taking as sample the " aparent declaration of the India Prime Minister: "India’s SJVN Ltd. will hire a consultant for setting up a 4.2 gigawatt clean energy park in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Mod" - the first questions should be be related to:
a) It is this location the optimal in terms of : a1) average wind availability along the 8760 hours considered in 1 year? and a2) solar radiation also during the same period of time, day by day?
b) does the actual distribution of cities an population inside India or the full grid today shows a resonable coherence indicator?...... Consider a population of app. 1.247.000.000 (2012?) an a surface of 3.287.590 km2 out of which, the Gujarat state located in the western part of India ( wikipedia reference) has 196,204 km2 an a population of app. in " excess of 60 million" ...

All this basic considerations, some how introduce a reasonable doubt about the " possible preliminary feasability evaluation timing " an related to that, how long could be to introduce a legal acceptable frame suitable to potentiel investors?......we shoud have into considerations that the most important recent developments in Spain an Italy since 2004 had been at an average cost per MW of 5.000.000€ ... that the tariff granted by specific legislation a tariff over 0,30€ per KWh during 20 to 25 years?.......
After 4 years of the limit to start into operatios the Plants, the tariff agreed by decret had been dramatically reduced...?

Certainly this 2 European Countries experience should be keep as a valid alert for preventing legislations to investments based in " ad hoc or specific legal frame to promote non soustainable and /or non feasable financial conditions as exercise of aplicated basic rationality .... when we are searching for soustainable power alternatives..?

January 10, 2015

Listen Up: Solar Racking for Large Ground Mounts

I fully agree with the concept of prepacking the maximun components for a Solar Plant, providing that he structure in order to be efficient it must comply with certain basic principles in order to prevent or minimize the targets and/or requirement to be reliable along the Plant expected life wich it should not be less than 20 yr.:

1.- The materials an components related to the structure it self must be selected an assure that will last as minimun 20 years an optimal 25 yr....some of the reasons to better understand this I would mention as prioritary assumptions in the Plant design as finnancial targets :
1 a.- That we had selected the best relation price/quality..
1.b.- The pannels to be used must have a 20 yr. guarantee, which today tecnically it should not be a problem.( keeping in mind the specific conditions usually considered as exception to such guaranties for any serious or reliable supplier of the main components )
In this consideration I would select panels with at least 280- 300 watts per panel.
2.- That the rack an wiring design assure an easy acces for maintenannce an handling,

Certainly about the Plant design could exist many alternatives depending of the location an specific environment but I assume that the main considerations had been properly evaluated for the Project Developers an or Investors.

In General I would say by own experience that any possible saving it is wellcome, specially if reduce the construction period in any place in the world...

October 23, 2014

The 51st State: What’s Your Ideal Energy Market?

Congratulations for the initiative. I believe the concept could be summarized in what is usually named as : " Distributed generation", which is something so simple such as to organize the supply of the neccesary output for every specific community at the shortest possible distance in order to " avoid or minimize the losses involved in the transport from one distribution center to other. ..Usually the Power Plants could be at long distances from a city and therefore you will have losses ( technicaly considered for the system in real time...-
- Returning to the needs of this Community, the shortest distance could be;
a) PV energy at the home roof- which certainly will limit the available energy in real time ,in first place to the "Radiation available according with the site features...
b) The next it will be the output require for the Home as peak demand and therefore it will be neccesary to "transfer the excedentary energy to other consumer......all this is not a problem today..
c.- It could be in order to compensate the non radiation hours to do itt with a Small wind generator ( if available ) or geo thermic or Hydro ......an finally if neccesary to contract the local deficit in order to optimize the Community needs during the 24 hours with the closest utility at the most convenient rate per KWh after concluding a pre study to optimize the full power management....
I must say that most probably in Europe or Latin America as consecuence of the " Monopolistic practices imposed for the Power Companies who control the full Gryd system, the proposed alternative for Real soustainable power management an performance would be unacceptable.....I believe that is USA is still plenty of possibilities to extend this way to optimize the Power requirements which in my concept would be the optimal solution anywhere .

August 26, 2014

What’s Next in the SolarWorld-China Game of High Stakes Poker?

I believe that all the precedent comments are anfortunately corrects in my concept, an in order to avoid the risk of been miss understood with the sentence " in my concept" I would like to explain based in my own experience related to this subject why I want to introduce some global scope about Power development in general referred to the Universal fact that the Power market it is nothing but the result of a Particular Society with all the features involved in such simplification:
Therefore we could find all kind of particularities in every one of them.- Certainly many coincidences and or many differences but nevertheles the Universal fact it is that every society it is organized as result of his history and untill today the history it shows that " the local prices of any product in a particular society specially when referred to more specific applications,( as it is the case of renewable energy and still more soecific in the case of Solar techologies) - allways , or allmost allways it happens that the final price to local users became directly or indirectly much more expensive that the average existing ,fob price or cif prices previus to that particular increase in demand........when we talk of energy I assume that nothing could be from one day to other....why?
- in first place because the Gryd features cannot be adjusted from one day to other as well as the Grid management- it is not possible to increase the connection or evacuation points......Considering this fact, independantly the WHO manage or own the Grid it is clear that require a previous regulatory frame definitions or requirements that impose finally an specific procedure to follow an it will be difficult to imagine that all this "usually new regulatory specific frames could be defined, achieved an impose it in less than 2 or 3 years previous to the definitive final legal and operative frame?"
Therefore during all this preliminary GLOBAL DEMAND´ potentiel INCREASE as it had been the case of Solar energy during the last 10 years in Europe, we can say that fortunately USA MARKETS an others, also based in market principle can make possible to keep the idea of competitiveness alive....
IBetween years 2007 up to 2008 were installed app. 7.000 MW ( 1 MEGAWATT= 1.000 Kilo WATTs) and the price for the KW ( Kilo Watt) referred to the panels (plate ) it was 3.700 € (4400 us$ per 1.000 KW) non installed when installed and operating on turn key basis it was
6.300 € KW output..........
- What did you received in exchange per net KWh deivered to the Gryd?...€0,45 per KWh in prnciple during 25 years.......

IT IS CLEAR THAT WHEN THE REGULATORY FRAME IT WAS PUBLISHED BECOMMED one of the best investment product in the market..

.BIG QUESTION TODAY IT IS ...A1- WHICH IT WAS THE REAL PRICE FOB China, or Canada or USA at that time?

A2.- WHY it was allmost impossible to get 1 MW on CIF basis 1 year previous to the date of the regulatory frame for 1 small turnkey engineering proyect in Spain at a lower price?

Most probably the regulated markets are in a high percentage responsible of the changes in prices but nevertheless I believe that the main obstacles are the main utilities in every market as for them any advantages for the consumers it become a pressure again their tariff to final users...
Certainly it is difficult a summary about a complex Global reality , but this are just a few concepts based in my own experience as Developer, Engineering and Consultant during 30 years around the World...

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July 03, 2014

A Ray of Clean Energy Sunshine Peeking Through the Beijing Haze

Some times when we had been involved for a long time in the Development problematic ( 45 years in my case as independent researcher and Consultancy) it is regrettable the lack of continuity in the reference to this subject which should be a first priority and in theory had been like that in the most advanced Societys.....
- Just some samples
In Many European Countries,the Cities with less that 8.000 citizens, DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION REQUIREMENTS........?

- What about India'....

But let us review common sense Isolutions within the principle of applicated RACIONALITY in the Power sector:

- For instance : waste water and or sea water desalting technologies alternatives...

Since over 40 years it is available the Multi step flow technology (MSFT) which represent at least 30 % energy saving comparatively to reverse osmosis alternative...........

If we consider that for this purpose or any thermic application we could use the waste thermic energy availble in any Power Plant regardless how old it is and if we add the compensation given to the Utilities in the EU during the last 20 years compensated from the consumers bill.....certainly any one will get a good amount of questions related to the real meanning of soustainability and or applicated reasonable solutions.....

June 28, 2014

Listen Up: SEIA Explains New Tariffs on Chinese Solar Products

Congratulations to all this efforts which will help to facilitate the changes in the local legislation any where......
Unfortunately in Europe and many Countries the utilities are becoming an strong obstacle and we could say that legislation it is becoming comparatively regressive.

June 03, 2014

German Energy Reforms Could Spell Trouble for Small Renewable Energy Producers

It seems that the tendency in the EU it is to reduce the impact of the : medium, small size producers in PV Plants when they do not belong to the main utilities sharing the Power business within the European Grid... it seems more an imposition from such main utilities sharing the Grid once finally the full grid it will become integrated according with EU target for year 2014...
It seems that after many years promoting cogeneration as common targets within the EU, "THE FINAL KWH PRICE TO END USERS BECOMES EXCESSIVE AS CONSECUENCE OF THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF THE INSTALLED CAPACITY IN RENEWABLE OR COGENERATION CONCEPT....WIND POWER, PV OR SOLAR TERMIC + HYDRO +COGENERATION FACE TO COAL,NUCLEAR, COMBINE CYCLE,ETC......
It seems meaningfull the relationship between the pseudo planned cost along the last 20 years and consecuences Country by Country as debt increase face to the real cost per installed MWH.......just growth increase based in non efficient management.
It is interesting to compare the differences in Power cost per MW between USA and Europe in any technology durin the last 20 years

December 25, 2013

Microinverters Moving Into Commercial-Scale Solar: When Will It Happen?

I believe in first place that any development in this direction it must be promoted and backed up for the sector´s members in benefit of the short, medium and long term real growth of PV technology as one of the most feasible alternatives as contribution into the equation ;
sustainability- cost - rationality.
The fastest the technology grows less damage for the community pocket and even skepticism as result of the generalized screwed up happening in some countries ( i would recommend the recent Spanish experience since yr. 2004-2013 for better understanding as the most frustrating case ).
In second place, I would recommend a sort of generalized consensus between the main active Countries promoting the PV market, and or Thermic Solar or any Recognized renewable technology , to assume and facilitate with the main Power companies actives in their Grid Systems that " sustainable energy it means an impact in the traditional way to handle the technical-economical balance in their systems and therefore their traditional economics results "
Considering that in most of the main Countries in the world the power markets had been controlled or managed as monopoly or oligopoly either under the States or Economics Groups .
USA is a singular case as market in the world and therefore the way that business decision are made in USA has nothing to do with the rest of the World.
Competitiveness, Legislatives Criteria or practices are positively far of the rest in other Continents.

I would recommend in benefit of a better understanding just to " make a comparative international wholesale and final consumer price per KWh".
After that just compare the amount of Companies per Market an the Internationalization of them....

Most probably after that exercise it would be easier to understand the difficulties for obtaining a real fair result for the final power consumers any where..( better possibilities in USA it is definitively clear)

Alberto Escobar

October 18, 2013

The Big Question: Can Countries Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy?

My name is Alberto Escobar, I´m 76 year old. Y was born in Chile (1937), actually leaving , currently since 1986 in Spain but with four year stage in North America, Germany, Italy and Belgian....
Since 1970 working for my own intending to understand the Development problematic from a Global prospective......
Rationality and fair Play regardless how big it is the individual desire, it is always in a very high dependability of the political and culture scenery related to such or any human being since is borne - including in this culture the full environment ; religions and nature.
International trade and rational or reasonable behave is / or should be the main aim in every individual on earth IF WE ARE REALLY EDUCATED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF OUR LIFE IN SUCH DIRECTION ......but any one who read this and follow up regularly the difficulties for reaching transformations which could means a high benefit for the human community any were such as the "sustainability concept" must have clear that without reaching first certain priorities in the prevailing concepts and individual behave it will be difficult to reach a feasible grade of achievements for any society.
Related to power development I believe that most of the people who is related to any identify development ( in this case Power ) knows that :
. The first obstacle or priority in the case of feasibility in a Power Project it is the " Way to become integrated and/or interconnection to the existing Grid .......

Any one who has experience in this subject and specially in an International scope most probably knows that most of the Grids in the world regardless the quality of such grid- in definitive expect to operate in a " fair and reliable operative conditions "......

- Just if we pay attention to the difficulties to reach important targets in USA, (identified until year 2050), one of the most complex it is exactly this one but not as technical complexity, mainly as result of the different companies which had been involved along many years as core business activity going thru complicated " writes of way" , permitting process, special legislations issues and long etc.etc.etc.
The today reality it is different for instance of the European one which since European Union had forced modern and integrated under the same regulatory frame The European power Operative Structure"

Most probably with a very " expensive cost as result " of the historic companies relationships plus a very complicated political background which unfortunately it behave more as a "OLIGOPOLY " between the members in order to preserve their interest in every specific market..
I would recommend related to this subject research as sample Spanish case since 1994 up today .

I believe that in a long range rationality it will impose over individual " excess of money or any power appetite or ambition"....but it will be a permanent need to insist for the community or individuals to follow up.
Personally related to the power experience I did built with a friend a Mini Solar thermic plant for heating water at home in Santiago-Chile in 1965.
I had been Adviser to International Corporations in the Power-waste treatment and Cogeneration Plants.
We had built with our small Engineering a Cogeneration Power Plant with 8,200 KW output and a 6,600 photovoltaic Plant ( 2007-2008) in Spain
Related as Adviser to other Pants and combined cycle.

September 29, 2012

China Gets Serious on Solar Energy

Some times when you had been many years dreaming and fighting for a clear Behave Of the industry and the main goverments rulers in the World promoting a real change toward racionality and soustainability in the Power sector, it is difficult to accept and watch that The share value in the markets it is more important than the real use of the PV or Solar Termic as solución or complementary need in any market when THE KW/H price to the end consumer it is over certain level ......today in many markets around the World the level it is over us0,15 Kw/h.......and at that price any one who knows the sector has the possibility to acces.Feasability should be assured.
It gives the impression that it is more important the Finnancial Marketing than to gain real markets or strategic position......
The. Best sample in PV output, specially considering the average available radiation it is Germany and certainly the worst case it is Spain?Oficial scrockery in prices, incentives and abusive pactices .....but then the Industrial sector it was happy when the overage installed Kw it was over us5.500 and the delivered net kw/h 0.40€ guaranty per at least 20 years-this it was only in 2008-
Today the cost in Us$1.500 an the kw/h Us$0,07......
It is a pity to watch how the reality it is ignored in benefit of Services Business just for lack Of genuine interest in the development problematic.

I

April 11, 2012

Solar Industry Sees More VC Deals, But Total Investment is Down

I believe it is a very interesting and actual article mainly as other evidence that everyday " investment priority in the risk markets it is more based in " just that...to gamble with the risk intending fast and repetitive growth of the capital", that the real meaning of the long term targets of the sector as total or partial solution of the power problematic face to the use of traditional fuels or environment long terms targets ....?
It is evident that the improvements or technological achievements are more important as " a opportune product image to be use to attract the individual stock markets funds"....that the technology value or investment support requirement.
- Globalized stock markets are accelerating the evidence of the Gap between money used in more risky or less risky funds and the real need of that funds for improving the quality of the normal world citizen hopes at the right level.
- Which is the correlation between this evident Gaps and the Lobby sector activities related to the legislation sector any where in the world today?

I believe that this kind of evidences should be also an important matter to think about as conscious member of the human community every day ..

Alberto Escobar

Alberto Escobar

Navy School, ( equivalency to industrial Engineering.Chile) 1957/1961 Chilean IBM : 1961/1964 -Formation in IBM and Method superviser in the: Santiago main IBM center service. 1964-1967- Chilean University: Internal Inspection Department...

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