South Korean industrial large Hanwha launched its new Q Vitality enterprise over the summer season, and is shifting ahead with an formidable technique of power initiatives throughout the European continent. pv journal caught up with Sang Chull Chung, CEO of Q Vitality Group, for a take a look at its plans to speed up deployment of renewables to alleviate Europe’s power challenges.
Hanwha Group lately reorgnized its downstream photo voltaic enterprise in Europe and launched the Q Vitality Options SE entity. Does this imply the corporate is now coordinating its actions throughout Europe?
It’s our ambition to sort out the European renewable power market with a powerful new model. For this function, we launched Q Vitality on July 1. It’s comprised of three firms – a Berlin primarily based holding firm and two subsidiaries, which mix expertise from greater than 20 years of profitable initiatives, significantly in photo voltaic and wind. On high of those, we may even have interaction in power storage and later in inexperienced hydrogen, and act as an unbiased energy producer.
Our objective is to speed up the deployment of renewable energies in Europe throughout all market segments. That is the one manner ahead to decrease carbon emissions whereas on the identical time reaching larger power independence. We’re satisfied that Q Vitality is coming into the scene at precisely the best time limit to be a part of the answer for Europe’s power challenges.
The newly created Q Vitality at present owns a PV challenge pipeline of over 9 GW in France, Spain, Portugal and Germany. What’s your opinion of the expansion alternatives for large-scale PV in these international locations?
These are our core markets, and we see nice alternatives in all of them. The annual set up volumes of large-scale PV and wind capacities must develop considerably if these international locations wish to attain their objectives of lowering carbon emissions by 2030 and past. Set up targets for photo voltaic and different renewables look promising. Nonetheless, we name upon the nationwide governments to additional take away obstacles and dramatically de-complicate allowing procedures.
Take Germany: The federal government has introduced the goal to extend gathered PV installations by roughly 155 GW in lower than 9 years, of which about 50% are speculated to be giant scale PV. We strongly help the goal and see first optimistic measures. Nonetheless, the allowing instances between buying the land and really placing the plant into operation need to considerably lower from immediately’s actuality of two to 4 years.
Photo voltaic module and inverter costs are at present excessive. Do you consider this may occasionally halt some initiatives within the European markets?
We hope not. It’s true that costs for modules, mounting programs and substations are rising, however so are electrical energy costs and income potentials normally. This could steadiness the consequences of upper materials value. Present political measures to mitigate the power value disaster additionally come into play. Quick-term visibility and plannability are low. However in the long term, accelerating the deployment of renewable power can clear up our issues and that’s what we’re dedicated to.
Are potential future value hikes sustainable for the photo voltaic sector? Do you see a crucial threshold approaching?
The present value will increase in PV are a direct results of Covid-19 and the unstable geopolitical scenario. On this sense, they’re a part of a normal development and never an industry-specific concern. The most important problem for the sector within the coming years can be about satisfying the rising international starvation for dependable PV programs, whereas on the identical time making certain that photo voltaic power will stay the most cost effective manner of manufacturing and consuming electrical energy.
Is the corporate making particular plans within the occasion that offer chain circumstances worsen? What sort of benefit is it that Hanwha Group additionally produces photo voltaic modules?
Being a part of a worldwide firm like Hanwha is a bonus in lots of respects – bankability in fact, but in addition concerning its prowess in sustainable high-tech supplies for inexperienced power options. Relating to photo voltaic modules, nevertheless, it is going to be essential for us to make sure a diversified provider portfolio. Whereas QCells is our sister firm and a possible module provider, we’re unbiased in our determination making. We are going to buy photo voltaic modules from the free market in response to the standard aggressive standards like high quality, availability, and value.
Q Vitality additionally plans to increase within the UK, the Netherlands and Italy. Will being a late mover signify a bonus or somewhat the other?
Q Vitality is increasing into these markets at precisely the best time limit. All three present nice untapped potentials for large-scale PV, wind and storage initiatives and Q Vitality will leverage them within the coming years. In truth, only in the near past we entered into an settlement to co-develop 21 initiatives within the Netherlands – a portfolio of round 300 MW in whole. We have now additionally secured the primary growth challenge within the UK.
What sort of initiatives are at present beneath growth or building? Is storage or hydrogen together with solar energy technology being thought-about?
On the PV facet, most of our initiatives are floor mounted, a few of which use trackers, like in Spain, some mounted, like in France. Vitality storage options together with PV are already a actuality and can grow to be much more essential within the coming years: In Portugal, round 300 MW of our initiatives will mix PV with power storage; the UK is engaging for storage options as nicely. And France shouldn’t be solely considered one of our most essential markets, but in addition an innovation hub: Only recently, we obtained the inexperienced gentle to go forward with the biggest floating PV challenge in France on a former quarry. With a pipeline of 200 MW of floating initiatives Q Vitality is already one of many primary gamers on this sector in France.
We’re satisfied that inexperienced hydrogen will play a serious function sooner or later, and we’re actively pursuing it. The markets for inexperienced hydrogen nonetheless must mature, however we will definitely have interaction in inexperienced hydrogen initiatives within the coming years.
Europe is internet hosting a number of authorities packages to develop agrivoltaic options. Is the corporate planning to participate on this market sub-segment?
The concept of rising crops whereas shading the vegetation and producing clear power concurrently is certainly intriguing. What can be essential for its growth although is straightforward and clear regulation all the way in which all the way down to the neighborhood stage. The scenario actually differs from nation to nation. In France we’re already energetic in that area of interest. Over the summer season, we inaugurated our first two prototypes. Considered one of them, a so referred to as hydrovoltaic prototype, will even cowl the watering of the vegetation.
We’re carefully monitoring Germany for its agrivoltaic potential as nicely. Whereas the German authorities promotes the concept, the measures within the revised EEG are usually not but sufficient to create a aggressive enterprise mannequin. The present bonus scheme applies solely to horizontal agrivoltaic initiatives inside common tenders. Nonetheless, the initiatives gained’t be aggressive towards common floor mounted initiatives. As an alternative, particular ideas like agrivoltaics, but in addition floating PV, ought to go into devoted tenders.