35bn: The leading role of European companies in the USA and Canada

€35bn were exported by the renewable energy industry in 2014. Renewables represent a significant European export industry
Source: Eurostat – Comtrade, 2015

European companies supply a growing global renewable energy market playing a world-leading role. To fully tap this global economic opportunity, the EU needs to adopt strong renewable energy legislation.

Geothermal know-how, from Europe to the rest of the world

Europe is undoubtedly the number one in geothermal energy technology, which is being exported all over the world. A new trend, tested by Italian utility Enel Green Power, is to combine geothermal energy with other renewable energy technologies, making geothermal plants more efficient and sustainable.

Recently, Enel combined geothermal energy with hydropower in Cove Fort, United States to provide more electricity for the plant’s operation. The innovation involves the installation of one generator in a reinjection well, which produces electricity from the falling flows of water previously used by the geothermal plant. The result is an unprecedented innovation that reduces operating and maintenance costs, while offering the opportunity to generate additional revenues.

The ground-breaking technology, the first in the world in such large scale, originates in Italy, where the phase of research and design took place. The company’s power plants around the world are in fact controlled by young Italian engineers working from the geothermal plants in the Italian provinces of Pisa, Siena and Grosseto

EU tidal technology dominates Canadian developments

European technologies are the clear global leaders in tidal energy, and are well positioned to dominate the global market. Signs of this are already manifest: developments in the Canadian East-coast, an early non-EU market, are led by European turbine manufacturers.

The Bay of Fundy in Canada is home to the fastest tides in the world. On a flood tide, 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow into the Bay of Fundy – more than four times the estimated combined flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers during the same 6-hour interval.

European companies such as DCNS/OpenHydro, Atlantis, DP Energy and Schottel are leading the deployment of tidal energy farms in the Bay of Fundy, exporting European technology and know-how.