Phoventus was proud to be the Owners Engineer on this important project.

Crimson Storage is the largest battery storage project in the world to reach operation in a single phase, and it is the second largest energy storage project currently operating. Sited on public lands in Riverside County, California, the project holds two long-term energy storage contracts with California’s largest utilities, Southern California Edison (“SCE”) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”). Both contracts are part of reliability procurements directed by the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”).

Phoventus celebrates a decade of positive growth for renewables and hybrid power solutions

As Phoventus celebrates its 10th Anniversary, we look back at the extraordinary rise in the use of renewable energy worldwide since we launched our business and ponder the challenges for the sector that lay ahead.

It’s quite extraordinary to reflect back on the dramatic changes we have seen as a business and within the global energy market since Phoventus launched 10 years ago. Back then, the world was still reeling from the shock of the global financial crisis in 2008. Then, meaningful international action to curb the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and ensure more sustainable supplies of energy for all was still up for debate. At the same time, more than 1 billion people in the world remained without access to electricity at all.

With years of austerity ahead, the then Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Nobuo Tanaka, issued a warning. “We cannot let the financial and economic crisis delay the policy action urgently needed to ensure secure energy supplies and to curtail rising emissions of greenhouse gases.” Launching the IEA’s World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2008, he said: “We must usher in a global energy revolution by improving energy efficiency and increasing the deployment of low-carbon energy.”

Perhaps to many people’s surprise, that is precisely what happened. Whilst there is still much work to do, the rise of key renewable energy technologies – such as solar PV and wind – to become the mainstream power sources they are today has been nothing short of revolutionary. Furthermore, something happened for the first time ever. 

The total number of people without access to electricity has fallen below 1 billion in the last year.

Phoventus plays an important part

Here at Phoventus, where our consultancy specializes in renewables and hybrid power solutions, we pride ourselves on playing our small part in the energy revolution. We share those same goals Tanaka spoke about as he launched the 2008 WEO all those years ago. The 2018 update of the IEA’s flagship WEO publication (published last November) and its earlier report, Renewables 2018 (published in October), clearly show how far the world has come. This is all thanks to some extraordinary political will and technological innovation over the last decade.

From growing electrification to the expansion of renewables, “major transformations are underway”, says WEO 2018. Today, we live in a world where onshore wind power and solar PV are cost-competitive with fossil fuels in some parts of the world. In fact, since 2010, the cost of new installations has been reduced by 70% for solar PV and 25% for wind. Moreover, their share of the global power market continues to rise beyond expectation.

Strong outlook

Whilst coal and gas still dominate supply, renewables now account for 25% of the world’s power generation mix. In 2023, the IEA expects renewables to account for almost a third of world electricity generation. Also, by 2040, the share of renewables in power generation should rise to over 40%. This is under the New Policies Scenario (NPS) in WEO 2018. “In power markets, renewables have become the technology of choice, making up almost two-thirds of global capacity additions to 2040, thanks to falling costs and supportive government policies,” says the IEA in WEO 2018. “This is transforming the global power mix.”

Others are even bolder in their projections. For example, in its New Energy Outlook 2018 report, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF) suggests wind and solar alone will together provide 48% of the world’s electricity by 2050. 

“Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 – on the back of precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply. Coal shrinks to just 11% of global electricity generation by 2050.”

What’s the forecast?

It forecasts some $11.5 trillion being invested globally in new power generation capacity between 2018 and 2050. Interestingly, $8.4 trillion of that will go to wind and solar. Another $1.5 trillion will go to other zero-carbon technologies such as hydro and nuclear. This investment will produce a 17-fold increase in solar photovoltaic capacity worldwide. And, it will also produce a six-fold increase in wind power capacity. The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from new PV plants is forecast by Bloomberg NEF to fall a further 71% by 2050. On the other hand, that for onshore wind will drop by a further 58%.

These two technologies have already seen LCOE reductions of 77% and 41% respectively between 2009 and 2018. “Beaten on cost by wind and PV for bulk electricity generation, and batteries and gas for flexibility, the future electricity system will reorganize around cheap renewables – coal gets squeezed out.” This is what the company’s head of energy economics, Elena Giannakopoulou said.

Growth markets

The 178 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity additions in 2017 broke another record. It accounted for more than two-thirds of global net electricity capacity growth for the first time, notes the IEA. Solar PV capacity expanded the most (97 GW), over half of which was in China. Meanwhile, although markets remain strong, onshore wind additions globally declined for the second year in a row. And, hydropower growth continued to decelerate.

Over the five years to the end of 2023, IEA expects renewable capacity to grow by over 1 TW (46%). This is under prevailing market and policy conditions. Solar PV capacity will account for more than half of this expansion, with almost 600 GW added. Despite recent policy changes, China remains the absolute solar PV leader by far. It holds almost 40% of global installed PV capacity in 2023. The United States remains the second-largest growth market for solar PV. India, whose capacity quadruples, comes in third.

What do the experts expect?

Wind will remain the second-largest contributor to renewable capacity growth. In addition, hydropower will still be the largest renewable electricity source by 2023. The experts expect wind capacity to expand by 60% (324 GW to reach a cumulative total of 839 GW). This is with offshore wind accounting for 10% of that growth (with cumulative capacity tripling to 52 GW). Meanwhile, spurred by technological progress and significant cost reductions, onshore wind capacity triples. Its growth continues to move beyond Europe to Asia and North America. The Renewables 2018 report adds that if governments were to introduce some market and policy enhancements before 2020, the growth in renewable capacity to 2023 could be 25% higher (reaching 1.3 TW). This means, therefore, we can expect annual additions for solar PV to be in the 110  – 140 GW region. And, onshore wind at around 50 – 60 GW, it says.

In terms of markets, China has become the powerhouse for renewables growth. The IEA expects it to become the largest consumer of renewable energy, surpassing the European Union by 2023. Of the world’s largest energy consumers, Brazil has the highest share of renewables by far. It has almost 45% of total final energy consumption in 2023. It was driven by the significant contribution of bioenergy and hydropower.

Global electrification

Importantly, there has been a marked growth in rural electrification. Off-grid and hybrid power solutions development helped reduce the number of people without access to electricity significantly. India has completed the electrification of all of its villages. Furthermore, many other Asian countries have also seen significant progress. The IEA analysis also shows that the electrification rate in Indonesia is almost at 95%, up from 50% in 2000. In Bangladesh, 80% of the population has access to electricity, up from 20% in 2000.

Progress has also been made in Africa, with Kenya and Ethiopia proving particularly successful so far. In Kenya, access has increased from just 8% in 2000 to 73% today (aiming for universal access by 2022). Additionally, in Ethiopia, access is up from 5% in 2000 to 45% (aiming for universal access by 2025, with 35% of the population served by off-grid solutions).

Is there a reason to be optimistic?

Nonetheless, the IEA points out that the world still remains off-track in its efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7.1 to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030. In sub-Saharan Africa, 600 million people are without access to electricity, equivalent to 57% of the population. In that region, 15 countries still have access rates below 25%. Meanwhile, 350 million people lack access in developing Asia (9% of the population). In addition, the IEA says nearly 2.7 billion people lack access to clean cooking facilities worldwide. They rely instead on biomass, coal, or kerosene as their primary cooking fuel.

But, there is every reason to be optimistic. As we know here at Phoventus, with the technology for off-grid hybrid power projects (featuring renewables and/or energy storage solutions) becoming more effective and less costly day by day, the wave of positive change is seen in the last decade looks set to continue. Companies that operate in remote regions – such as those running mining operations – are now increasingly turning to hybrid power. They do it to secure their energy supplies, boost operational efficiency, and reduce their overall running costs. With this, we often see the benefits spread beyond their direct operational borders and into nearby villages. And, this trend is likely to continue.

Battery breakthroughs

Development in battery energy storage and demand-side response technology is now a key focus of energy industry innovators. This is especially important for rural electrification and for wider-scale use in traditional utility power networks. Moreover, it will be critical as the world continues to increase its use of renewables. “Flexibility will be the cornerstone of future electricity systems,” says IEA’s Claudia Pavarini, a WEO energy analyst. “New sources of flexibility, including battery storage and demand-side response, are projected to grow fast. They will contribute 400 GW by 2040.”

As she points out, battery storage systems are modular and allow a wide range of applications. “As costs continue to fall, installations have tripled in less than three years. They are largely driven by lithium-ion batteries – mostly aimed at providing short-term storage. And, they now account for just over 80% of all battery capacity. For applications with longer storage durations other battery types, including sodium-sulfur and in particular flow batteries, are attracting increased interest. Small-scale battery storage is also making inroads. In off-grid solar applications for energy access, the vast majority of systems now include a storage unit.”

What about the cost?

Further cost declines for battery storage systems are about to happen, says Pavarini. She notes that costs for four-hour battery systems are projected to fall to $220 per kWh by 2040 in the NPS. “Together with the appropriate market design that rewards these flexible assets, these falling costs are projected to drive the strong deployment of batteries. This includes utility-scale deployment reaching 220 GW by 2040 in the NPS. Most battery additions are expected to be paired with solar PV and wind power as they increase their dispatchability. It will allow revenue stacking from energy arbitrage and ancillary services offered to the grid.”

Bloomberg NEF concurs. Its NEO 2018 report highlights the “huge impact” falling battery costs will have on the electricity mix over the coming decades. It predicts that lithium-ion battery prices, already down by nearly 80% per megawatt-hour since 2010, will continue to tumble as electric vehicle manufacturing builds up through the 2020s. “We see $548 billion being invested in battery capacity by 2050. It includes two-thirds of that at the grid level. And, one third installed behind-the-meter by households and businesses.” Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for BNEF and lead author of NEO 2018 said that. “The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar. This is so these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas, and nuclear.”

Political lead

The incredible energy transition that has got underway in the last ten years has been spurred on by positive policy action by governments worldwide in the wake of international climate change agreements. This started with the Copenhagen Accord (a global agreement to try to limit global temperature rises to 2oC). It was signed in December 2009 followed some years later by the more concrete goals in the 2015 Paris Agreement. It came into force in 2016 and sets the ambitious goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C. At the same time, it is pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

But, ten years after Tanaka issued his 2008 warning, his successor at the IEA, Dr. Fatih Birol, has also called on political leaders to remain focused and proactive amidst difficult economic conditions. As he launched WEO 2018, Dr. Birol was firm: “The world’s energy destiny lies with government decisions”. Whilst solar PV and wind are charging ahead, other low-carbon technologies and especially efficiency policies “still require a big push”, he said. Across all regions and fuels, policy choices made by governments will determine the shape of the energy system of the future. “Crafting the right policies and proper incentives will be critical to meeting our common goals of securing energy supplies, reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality in urban centers, and expanding basic access to energy in Africa and elsewhere,” Dr. Birol said.

What’s to come?

Going forward, higher electrification in transportation, buildings, and industry, whilst leading to a peak in oil demand by 2030 and reducing harmful local pollutants, would have a negligible impact on carbon emissions without stronger efforts to increase the share of renewables and low-carbon sources of power, says the IEA. At the same time, the rapid growth of disruptive renewable energy technologies brings challenges that policymakers “need to address quickly”, Dr. Birol said.

With higher variability in supplies, power systems will need to “make flexibility the cornerstone of future electricity markets in order to keep the lights on”. The IEA says the issue is of growing urgency as countries around the world quickly ramp up their share of solar PV and wind. It will require “market reforms, grid investments, as well as improving demand-response technologies. Some of them include smart meters and battery storage technologies”.

Is the New Policies Scenario good enough?

Dr. Birol and his team of IEA analysts behind the WEO make one other key thing clear. For the world to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the New Policies Scenario is not good enough. “We have reviewed all current and under-construction energy infrastructure around the world. This includes power plants, refineries, cars and trucks, industrial boilers, and home heaters. They will account for some 95% of all emissions permitted under international climate targets in coming decades,” said Dr. Birol. In fact, IEA analysis published in December shows the world’s advanced economies saw an uptick in their carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, bucking a five-year-long decline.

“This means that if the world is serious about meeting its climate targets then, as of today, there needs to be a systematic preference for investment in sustainable energy technologies. But, we also need to be much smarter about the way that we use our existing energy system. We can create some room for maneuver by expanding the use of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, hydrogen. We can also do it by improving energy efficiency, and in some cases, retiring capital stock early.”

The IEA’s prognosis

The IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario offers a pathway to meeting various climate, air quality, and universal access goals in an integrated way. In this scenario, global energy-related CO2 emissions peak around 2020. Then, they enter a steep and sustained decline, fully in line with the trajectory required to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. “To be successful, this will need an unprecedented global political and economic effort,” said Dr. Birol.

As we enter our second decade of business, all of us here at Phoventus look forward to playing our role in achieving that success.

Solar 101

This presentation provides an overview of key concepts in relation to the planning, design as well as construction of ground-mount solar 101 projects intended for a non-technical audience.

Planning Key Principles

The best practice for the engineering of large capital projects involves a phased approach. Usually, it begins with Front End Engineering Design or FEED, also called Front End Loading. In fact, the work completed in each phase is just enough to allow making decisions to advance the project.

In each phase, uncertainty decreases and so does project risk. As uncertainty decreases, the precision of estimates improves (project yield, CAPEX, OPEX).

Moreover, a gate review is completed after each phase to determine whether to move forward to the next phase. Also, the gate review is linked to a spending decision.

Energy Storage

An energy storage system has both a Power rating (Watts) and an Energy rating (Watt-hours or Wh). In particular, multiples types of energy storage might be appropriate for the same application. In order to select and optimize the energy storage device, first, you need to develop specifications.

Consider the following: Stakeholder objectives, System requirements, Load/generation profile, Costs (capital + operational) vs benefits. You should also pay attention to Operational requirements, Replacement frequency, Technology risk as well as Environmental risk.

Phoventus is an Engineering firm with a global reputation for excellence in power systems engineering. Canadian Power Engineers is the newest member of the family and a wholly-owned division of Phovetus Inc. Our Mission is to provide an unparalleled technical focus on the core issues affecting the ownership, reliability, and profitability of power and energy projects. We are a driven, passionate team. Our value is our insight into the latest technology and approaches needed to deliver our client’s projects on time and within budget. Renewable Power Specialist.

To view the PDF, please click here.

Last month, Rob Lydan, visited the University of Windsor to present a guest lecture as part of the Canadian Infrastructure Law and Project Finance course. At the University of Windsor presentation, he introduced the law students to Phoventus’ work, services, and core areas of specialty. One of Phoventus’ core business areas includes professional engineering services in the electrical, civil, and structural sectors. But, what role does an engineer play when it comes to the law?

In the realm of project finances, Rob bridged the gap between engineering and legal. He discussed the responsibilities of independent engineers when taking on projects across all industries. The students at the University of Windsor presentation had the opportunity to learn how independent engineers are represented, how to find one, and how the firm’s culture may impact the way they work. Beyond speaking about the role of an independent engineer, Rob also provided examples of legal documentation used in the industry to hire one. He also gave a quick run-down of how to interpret these documents, so that each student has a well-rounded understanding of what to expect.

Key points

After laying down the groundwork, Rob discussed liability management and risk. Rob touched on the following talking points regarding liability, and provided some scenarios:

Rob also discussed risk management in both foreseeable and unforeseeable contexts, and how to mitigate risk from a legal standpoint. He highlighted the importance of establishing Standards of Care when managing EPC contracts. Rob provided examples where risk can occur in an EPC contract, and how to disseminate this information from legal documentation. The take-home message was to understand how to identify risk, and how to manage it.

The Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) event on Building Your Personal Brand took place on October 3rd. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation hosted the event in Oakville Ontario.

If you’re not familiar with WRISE, they focus on creating a diversified workforce that strengthens the renewables economy in the U.S., and around the world. Indeed, they recognize that the number of women working in the renewables sector continues to increase. And with that, they hope to change the future of renewable energy through the actions of women.

Phoventus’ very own Kathryn Klement, a committee member for the WRISE Southern Ontario Chapter, along with William Gillam, our Environmental Specialist, participated in the event. Undoubtedly, they had the opportunity to network with fellow renewable energy enthusiasts. Moreover, they learned inside tips on how to build your personal brand identity in the fast-paced world of social media. Also, they received valuable advice on how to progress in their careers.

The first speaker, Natalie LeBlanc, is a talent acquisition expert. If you have trouble navigating LinkedIn and keeping up a pristine social media presence – Natalie is the perfect person to talk to. With the changing landscape of the hiring process, your social media channels can either hinder your chances of getting a job or strengthen your resume.

Here are some tips that we learned from Natalie:

Tip #1 – If you don’t have a social media presence, you don’t exist. Shying away completely from social media could be a bad thing. The truth is, hiring managers will run your application through a program that gathers traces of your online presence in a snap. So, if there’s absolutely no trace of you online, you might not make the cut!

Tip #2 – Always maintain a professional presence online. This one might be obvious, but always a good reminder. If your Facebook account is riddled with an embarrassing history of nonsensical ranting, it might be best to delete those posts or make sure that your profile is private.

Tip #3 – Don’t be discouraged if you feel “unqualified”. Remember that skills can always be trained on the job, and everyone experiences learning curves! If you have the right behavioral traits, and strong interpersonal skills, you can build yourself towards becoming a good employee. Adaptability, motivation, and enthusiasm can take you a long way.

Tip #4 – If you want to become a social media influencer, know what type of content you should post! Natalie says you should be dedicating 70% of your efforts towards sharing other people’s posts. The other 30% of the time, you should be creating your own work.

No matter what industry you end up working in, building a personal brand is important for the future of hiring.

Other key points from WRISE

The second speaker, Joanne Atalay, has extensive experience in the energy industry. She works with Algonquin Power and knows the ins and outs of progressing a career within an organization.

Having trouble finding training opportunities within your organization? Don’t fret! You don’t always have to attend a conference in order to learn something new. Gaining new skills in the workplace can start with your colleagues around you – also known as peer-to-peer learning.

Will Gillam from our team really put this into perspective. He says,

“Even though I’m an environmental specialist at Phoventus, I’ve had the opportunity to help with the engineering department through tasks like capacity testing. Although engineering isn’t my specialty, I collaborated with a colleague outside of my department and learned something that could even benefit my environmental work as well.”

Phoventus is proud to see our employees grow as they progress through their careers. We encourage active engagement and collaborative efforts to bring diversity and amazing talent to our clients! Also, we believe that every employee brings a unique skill set to work every day, and we love learning something new each day.

If you would like to know more about the WRISE group or are interested in future events, sign up for their mailing list:

The next event will take place in Q1 of 2019, and we hope to see you there!

For more information on Phoventus Inc. follow us on social media or go to our website

Section 1. 0 Excerpt -, Bloomberg 2018 Tier One methodology, Copyright Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Please see the link below for the full document.

“Section 1.0 – … recommend that module purchasers and banks do not use this list as a measure of quality, but instead consult a technical due diligence firm such as …. or Phoventus. These would usually consider what factory the module comes from, as well as the brand. They would then give an informed opinion on whether the modules will perform as expected.”

BloombergNEF PV Module Tier 1 List Methodology

BloombergNEF has developed a tiering system for PV module makers based on bankability. The aim was to create a transparent differentiation between the hundreds of manufacturers of solar modules on the market. This basic categorization serves as an advertisement by certain manufacturers. However, it should never replace a proper due diligence process in product selection. Hence, this document explains the tiering criteria and their limitations.

Why divide the PV market into tiers?

Clients frequently request BloombergNEF for a list of ‘major’ or ‘bankable’ suppliers – in common industry parlance, tier 1 suppliers – for use in manufacturing forecasts, preliminary competitor analysis, and other internal comparisons. It is very common for industry players to refer to ‘tier 1’ players, but these terms are seldom defined or described, which is unhelpful for firms outside the solar industry trying to get a basic overview.

We strongly recommend that module purchasers and banks do not use this list as a measure of quality. Instead, they should consult a technical due diligence firm such as Edif ERA (formerly OST Energy), ATA Renewables, Sgurr Energy, DNV GL, Black & Veatch, TUV, E3, STS-Certified, Clean Energy Associates, Solarbuyer, Pvbuyer, Enertis, Oravia, Leidos Engineering or Phoventus. These would usually consider what factory the module comes from, as well as the brand, and give an informed opinion on whether the modules will perform as expected.

Tier 1

Tier 1 module manufacturers are those which have provided own-brand, own-manufacture products to six different projects, which have been financed non-recourse by six different (nondevelopment) banks, in the past two years.

How can manufacturers improve their ranking?

Since a tier 1 ranking is not a recommendation, we advise manufacturers against spending much energy pursuing it. On the other hand, one of the characteristics of a tier 1 manufacturer is transparency and good data availability.

Read or download the full PDF.

The Phoventus Team is excited to be attending this year’s American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Siting and Environmental Compliance (SEC) Conference. In addition, the conference takes place in Memphis, TN.

Above all, we look forward to connecting with like-minded individuals and coming to a better understanding of current industry trends. Also, we anticipate learning about the advances in siting, permitting, and environmental impact mitigation. Of course, these will be presented at this years’ conference.

About Phoventus and Canadian Power Engineers

At Phoventus, our goal is to help our clients improve the lifetime operations of their facilities by providing insightful recommendations to support strategic direction decisions based on our technical and regulatory understanding, application of industry trends and best practices, and sound engineering and scientific principles.  We support all aspects of the project lifecycle from inception and development. In fact, we do that through construction, operation, re-powering, and decommissioning.

We have more than 50 years of combined experience in their respective fields. During that time, the Phoventus management team has provided successful consulting services for over 500 distributed energy projects around the world. In everything we do, our goal is to minimize risk for our clients, maximize project efficiency and profitability. And, of course, to guarantee their long-term success.

Canadian Power Engineers is the newest member of the family and a wholly-owned division of Phovetus Inc. We are an Ontario-based, fully licensed, and accredited Engineering firm with a global reputation for excellence in power systems engineering. 

Our goal is simple. To maintain excellence in all we do so we can serve our clients better than anyone else. That aim
is at the heart of our company’s philosophy.

To set up an in-person meeting at this year’s  AWEA conference, please contact our Director Environmental Services, Leslie Greener at

Click here to download our latest Statement of Qualification.

According to Navigant Research, renewable sources will meet five to eight percent of energy needs in mining by 2022. Moreover, wind power is the technology that is closest to receiving wide-scale investment from mining companies.

In renewable energy news, solar energy is gaining importance, due to a rapid decline in costs. But, solar resources vary with latitude and other factors. At locations in the southern United States, costs are now below 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. However, solar power at remote projects in Canada’s North is currently likely to cost between 30 and 40 cents per kilowatt-hour, says Royer.

Forcione says he believes solar can and will compete with the wind in Canada. “In Germany, there are 50,000 megawatts of solar already installed,” he points out. “Some places in Canada that are about the same latitudes can certainly use it.”

Renewable Energy Future

No matter the source, adds Sediqi: “Today, we can generate 20 percent of the total energy demand of a mine with solar and wind technology without the need for storage.”

But, to what extent will renewables replace diesel in future mining projects? Is a 100 percent penetration rate realistic?

“I think in some year in the future, you will see 100 percent availability for a project like ours, but not in the short term,” says Busby.

It is clear that whatever improvements are made, diesel will always play a big part in autonomous grids. “You can reach 100 percent renewable energy, but you still never want to remove your gensets as a backup,” says Armstrong.

Less clear is whether others will be joining companies like Rio Tinto and Cronimet on the frontier of renewable energy in mining very soon. Lydan says it may take some time for leaders to realize the benefits their organizations could reap; “For some people, it is too good to be true. And, this renewable energy news will change the game going forward.

The WRISE Leadership Forum is a great opportunity and an exclusive experience, combining professional development with tools to advance renewable energy. This year the Forum took place at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort Albuquerque in New Mexico, on 6-7 November. The main objective was to discuss current renewable energy trends and policy issues; while facilitating networking opportunities with leaders from various sectors in renewable energy, such as transmission, utilities, and development.

Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) has the goal to promote the education, professional development, and growth of women. Indeed, the goal was to achieve a dynamic-vigorous diversified workforce and support a strong renewable energy economy. In fact, WRISE started as an innovative idea in Spring 2005 by Lisa Daniels, Trudy Forsyth, and Mia Devine and was initially called ‘’Women of the Wind’’.

The aim was to unite women and men in working to change the face of renewable energy. Finally, the organization has grown over the years into a network across the United States and Canada.

On behalf of our team at Phoventus, Kathryn Klement attended the WRISE Leadership Forum. She had the great opportunity to network with the sector’s leading women. Also, she participated in Practice Sessions 1 and 2. It was a unique experience to exchange ideas on our energy future to achieve a robust renewable energy economy.

The Caribbean Infrastructure Forum took place on December 11-12 at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The forum had drawn heavily on the title sponsors’ -CIBC FirstCaribbean and KPMG- resources and their networks to broaden the reach and ensure its value to the region. Undoubtedly, CARIF 2017 was a central forum to address and promote the need for substantial investment in infrastructure in the Caribbean. This year, some of the most influential leaders participated in CARIF; among those, there were three Caribbean heads of state, Michael Lee-Chin of Portland Holdings, Stephen Beatty, Global Head of Infrastructure for KPMG, and Laurie Mahon, Managing Director & Co-Head of the Infrastructure Group at CIBC.

The Objectives

The objective was to promote interaction and exchange ideas. Therefore, the first panel considered the use of national infrastructure plans to develop public consensus and investor confidence. Participants shared views on the impact of shifting political sands in the Americas. They also discussed how investment in the region affects the market, as well as strategies for incorporating climate resilience and adaptation into planning. Another panel on Monday served as a broad guide to the public sector’s role in enabling infrastructure investment. Along with questions, it led to a dynamic and structured discussion between panelists.

Speakers also talked about the private equity perspectives on investor and sovereign risk in the region and strategies for mitigation and discussed assessing relationships with new international sources of finance (such as Chinese development capital) and how these relationships are evolving in the region.

Another panel covered the vision of governments and utilities for incorporating LNG into the energy matrix and JPS experience in Montego Bay and the long-term outlook for LNG in the region. Old Harbour Bay Power and LNG, Jamaica was presented as a case study. Also, panelists answered what to do when the political situation in the US will impact the availability of cheap gas.

The First Day Of Caribbean Infrastructure Forum

The first day of the forum ended with panels on analyzing the comparative performance of various airport models, considering the broad spectrum of financing and operational models currently being engaged or assessed; opportunities in the pipeline for ports and related logistical infrastructure; balancing transparency and competitive tension in the procurement of government assets and maximizing the value of unsolicited bids; financing water, wastewater, and irrigation projects; and prioritizing climate resilience in infrastructure planning.

The Second Day Of Caribbean Infrastructure Forum

On the second day of the forum, panelists exchanged ideas on transitioning to utilities-driven renewable development. They also discussed what this shift implies for the pipeline and what the associated opportunities are for financing. One of the questions, panelists took the most time on was how the shift fits with NDC commitments and national energy planning and investment across the region. Hence, they highlighted the importance of assessing the potential for regional connection and other strategies to make projects more bankable.

The panel reviewed the results of KPMG’s regional Universal Health Coverage (UHC) survey. In fact, it identified common trends, best practices, and insights related to the United Nations’ goal of achieving UHC by 2030. The session referred to new models for affordable healthcare that result in improved health outcomes. CARIF 2017 was ended by cited the tourism and infrastructure connection. Also, speakers mentioned examples of successful partnerships in tourism-related infrastructure. Finally, they emphasized that without infrastructure there is no tourism industry; and without a tourism industry, there is no funding for infrastructure.