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Making Wind Energy More Bankable…Faster!

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ZephyCloud (Making Wind Energy More Bankable…Faster!)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-07-31

It is foreseen that near 375 GW of wind energy will be installed in the next 5 years worldwide, being Europe, China, US and India the most growing regions. The general market trends show clearly that the wind energy sector in Europe keeps growing up. However, the wind energy sector faces serious investor confidence which hinders many wind projects from taking off. The viability, profitability and trustworthiness of any wind energy project is crucial to make the project bankable and de-risk the investment for utilities, investors, banks, greenfield developers, wind turbine manufacturers and grid operators.
The installation and the development of a wind farm is a very complex project, especially due to the natural variability of the wind which necessarily introduces uncertainties at each and every stage of a project development. In order to maximize the wind farm efficiency and ensure a high profitability, the site has to be chosen carefully, the wind resource has to be assessed with accuracy and the wind farm has to be designed and adapted to the site conditions. This overall analysis from site selection to optimization has become essential for a successful wind farm project and requires IT solutions for wind simulations and forecasts. Nevertheless, this is currently done either internally buying expensive IT licenses or externally paying for costly consulting services, and both solutions are time-consuming since running simulations could take weeks.
At Zephy-Science, we have developed a disruptive, open source wind modelling software package with a range of online analytical tools called ZephyTOOLS to help our clients in performing wind farm pre-constructions tasks, namely site prospection, wind modelling, micro-siting and energy yield assessment. These are the ZephyCFD and the ZephyWDG. We have recently made a step ahead and launched the first version of ZephyCloud, a cloud-based simulation platform that extends the possibilities of ZephyTOOLS and enables well-trained engineers to gain a significant amount of time thanks to cloud calculation and reduce dramatically the IT costs thanks to our pay-per-use model.
We would like to go a step further and make ZephyCloud the reference platform in the wind power industry by (1) building a completely new user experience based on web applications, (2) opening our advanced CFD cloud calculation engine to developers and (3) extending our toolbox ZephyTOOLS with innovative wind farm post-construction applications that will help our clients to optimize wind turbine performance and extend turbine lifetime after project construction.
During the phase 1, we have analyzed the business opportunity of extending the current ZephyCloud platform with new features and tools covering pre- and post- construction scenarios that will really make a significant impact in the wind power industry. We know this industry is demanding faster, more accurate and more transparent tools that are offered at cost-effective pricing schemes such as those enabled by the SaaS model. The successful launch of the first version of ZephyCloud among early adopters in March 2016 is a good proof of it.
The thorough analyses carried out during the Phase 1 have included a technical feasibility study, a competitor analysis and market assessment at European and worldwide level. We have validated our previous assumptions with actual and potential clients through meetings and conversations. Finally, we have synthesized the results and elaborated a complete business plan in which the business model is defined and both the exploitation/commercialization plan as well as the financial plan are described. The figures show the huge business potential of our value propositions and encourage us to pursue our goals.
We have not identified any major technological obstacle that prevent us from advancing in this direction. Our platform will rely on well-known, proven technologies and tools starting by our own CFD cloud calculation engine. Besides, today computational power is not a limitation anymore.
We are offering a market-first technology solution for our customers who champion wind energy as a resource-efficient and green energy supply. With Phase 1 funding we have established the foundations to accelerate our next generation wind simulation platform to allow our customers to better forecast, design and optimise wind farm energy yield before and after deployment.
The wind energy sector is made up by different players who are fundamental for a wind energy project to be successful. Before wind farm construction, ZephyCloud is an essential tool for each player, helping to reduce the risks and costs associated with wind energy and making projects more bankable. In operating wind farms, we estimate that thanks to the new ZephyCloud features and tools, we can increase annual production of operating wind farms by 3% through a very cost-effective way that will speed up the adoption of such optimization measures. This is a major improvement that would increase profitability of wind farms and would help Europe and other regions worldwide to get closer to their CO2 emission objectives.
We target a 9 billion€/year market worldwide and we are convinced of the great growth opportunities for Zephy-Science.