Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CASARAR (Corrugated sheet Application of Solar npo’s for Asbestos Replacement in Argicultural Real-Estate)
Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2018-10-31
Climate change challenges and environmental expectations have pushed technological innovation towards lowering carbon emissions and enhancing smart grid communities through more cost efficient energy sources. National and European legislation on climate change, sustainability and renewable energy aims that starting from 2020: all new buildings have to be (nearly) energy neutral; greenhouse gas emissions are reduced with 20% compared to 1990 levels; 20% of all energy is produced with renewable resources; and energy efficiency has increased with 20%. In order to achieve the targets large investments are done in renewable energy, most being related to solar PV (55% of total investment in renewable energy ) and wind (38% ).
In the current solar building-applied- and building-integrated-photovoltaics implementation (BAPV and BIPV respectively), multiple shortcomings still exist. Firstly, current PV solar systems utilize series connection to generate the necessary high system voltages to drive a string inverter. When solar panels are connected in series, the total power output is determined by the weakest link. This can cause the power output and performance to decrease dramatically by up to 75% when one of the panels is partially or temporarily shaded or soiled. Secondly, current solar PV systems suffer from lack of architectural flexibility (e.g. geometrically challenging roofs, small locations, aesthetical locations, etc.). Solar roof panels options are low (i.e. ranges between 1,60cm to 1,90cm in length) and the solutions are unpractical and costly (i.e. cutting panels, adapting roofs). Lastly, existing building Integrated PV-solutions for replacement market have limitations. The majority of the PV products are building attached, meaning replacing existing roof systems who require replacement of the roof and the addition of a PV-system. This adds to the total costs of a replacement system. While new national legislation states that no asbestos may exist in roof systems past 2024, this opens up a substantial part of the market for fully PV integrated roof systems replacing asbestos roofs.
Simultaneously, legislation ‘to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from potential harm’ has become more prevailing over the last two decades. This has been a reaction to the increased awareness of health risks due to the use of asbestos. The WHO estimates that 20.000 - 30.000 European inhabitants suffer from asbestos related diseases each year. Since 1999 several European countries agreed to pose a ban on the production, use and trade of asbestos (with some exceptions). Still, many buildings contain asbestos. Most of the applications of asbestos has been in the form of corrugated and flat sheets, used most often in roofing and walls and floors respectively. From these applications a large quantity has found its implementation in the roofing of agricultural real estate. In 2013 the European Parliament, by a vast majority of voters, adopted a resolution on asbestos related health threats and removal plans for the complete abolishment of all asbestos. In the resolution the Parliament urges all European countries to form and adopt national action plans for the removal and monitoring of asbestos. As part of a national action plan proposed in 2016, the Dutch government has ordered that all asbestos roofs should be remediated and replaced by the year 2024. This poses a financial problem since many owners of real estate do not have sufficient capital to support the remediation and replacement of asbestos roofing.
- The team has conducted extensive market research of which the overview of this research can be seen in table 1 of the document (Tech Report - Part B).
- Validated the financial + market model with several market partners.
- Initiated setting up of a fieldlab infrastructure in the Groningen province with the YES-SIR Foundation to further validate the technological developments and business model(s) - this initiation process includes a plan that covers risk assesment, severity / impact checks and mitigation actions to dampen such possible effects.
- SunChip Projects has been itensively involved with the creation of https://nationaleagendafotonica.nl/en/ which is a multi-annual (10Y) investment agenda of atleast 400 million euros for photonics solutions, that has been offered last june to the secretary of state of economic affairs (Mona Keijzer). SunChip is part of the Agro&Food taskforce overseeing a investment agenda of 60 million euros for the next decade for i.e. computational farming, solar-roofs etc.
- The team has covered alot of terrain to set-up the pilot production facility in H2 2019 including a brand new robotics concept for asbestos remediation and BIPV installation.
- A few partners have been rotated out of the current or / future collaboration.
- Partners have been added or scouted to strengthen the project development into the next phases, including the robotics concept.
- Have tapped into a alternative market that revolves around close to zero emission renewable (holiday)housing in Germany.
- SunChip Projects and partners will pursue financing options for creating a asbestos remediation fieldlab / innovation cluster within the context of the Groningen province (Region hit by earthquakes, caused by LNG extraction) this will be in conjuction with the developments of the national photonics agenda.
- The FTO assesment has been conducted 18 months ago, and to the judgement of market / incubator partners, the IPR offers a strong (development)position to expand into new and / or exsisting areas of business within the renewable / solar-energy market. It is forseen that the current portfolio of IPR will gradually expand as the team is fully comitted to keep pushing thechnological and business envelope.
The outlook for the fieldlab / innovation cluster is forseen to pan out as follows:
Economic perspective/market potential: Upscaling effectsof the commercial activitiesfor the province of Groningen focus on two aspects; additionalemployment for the asbestos remediation branch in the short term, their transition to service delivery for solar power installations, microgrids and other sustainable energy technologies, ànd the collective harvesting of sustainable energy for agribusinesses. With sufficient scale, scope and speed an full-fledged industry can be developed within a short amount of time. Specifically for the province of Groningen is the intention to start where the need is the highest, with the approximatley 1700 agricultural buildings and the 45 chemical companies (plus another 200 related companies) in Groningen’s earthquake zone where repairs of earthquake damage and related compensation can be used to not just solve a problem but turn it into a life-saver. Robotization allows asbestos plates to be removed at high speed ànd replaced with a solar roof plate during the same procedure(where the integration of solar panel and roof plate already reduces installation costs to a significant degree). That is a considerable cost-saver.If we keep to the lower priceindications, then the intended approach involves a minimum cost of €25/m2, apart from other indirect remediation costs, for which LTO Nederland and the ‘Economisch Instituut voor de Bouw’ estimates €40/m2, assuming standard costs of approximately €10/m2 removal and €15-40/m2 replacement. Robotization places asbestos removal in a lower class of risk, which results in a significant reduction in remediation costs.
If we want to transform the asbestos problem, from 2020 onwards, but before 2024, then this will involve 107, 166 and 613 jobs respectively. Mind you, this is without a correction in FTE since the required revenueper employee per year can be reduced due to the lowering in safety restrictions by robotizing the most dangerous work. The use of an asbestos-removal/roof-plate-roofing robot provides better protection in the workplace, specific safety requirements are automatically complied with, while integration of roof plate and solar panel, plus the easier installation, simplifies the work even further. Requirements normally imposed on asbestos installers, such as supervision on safety and environment, can be eased, but also secondary employer's costs such as training and insurance premiums can be reduced, while staff in a lower salary scale can be hired. The actual numberof extra jobs is therefore probably higher than estimated. In addition, follow-up orders and repeat business after the transformation of asbestos removal companies were not included in this calculation (new services on the basis of largely the same competences, but also shifting from project-based work with a finite earnings model to repetitive activities in, for example, subscription format) or customer acquisition in the new market. Roughly half of the jobs will translate into long-term employment contracts, but because of the innovative character (first-mover advantage and such path dependencies) the work can also fan out beyond the region and generate even more work. A potential pain point which should not be overlooked is that most agribusiness have a connection to the electricity grid of a maximum 3 x 80 Amps, which is considered for small businesses. However, the generated amount of electricity from an average barn falls within the area for large businesses(the turning point is already around 370 m2). For the new cabling to be installed, not only must selling surplus power back to the grid be taken into account, but also own use by ensuring sufficient on-site capacity, where these quantities cannot be offset against eachother as a simple addition but the different electric currents must be treated separately (so that even if 345 kVA is flowing through farm back into the grid via one of the three power phases, there may be a current flowing in the other direction on another power phase for a cooling installation). Depending on the supplier and connection capacity, the connection costs will then be between €24,000 and €40,000, but the largest cost item is the new cabling to be installed varying between €60 to €110 per meter (from 25 metersof length). In individual cases, this can add up considerably and makes collective arrangements very desirable, not only for an advantageous network topology (dedicated infrastructure), but also for the joint negotiating power of the collective.
Looking at the earnings model for the agribusinesses, we get at some 327 Mwh (megawatt hour)per year (2200 m2*148.8 kWh/m2), at the current rate of 6 cents per kWh it amounts around € 19,640. For the earthquake area, the province of Groningen and the North Netherlands region, this will be €33.4 mln(1700 * €19,640), €51.6 mln(2630 * €19,640) and €192.7 mln per year (9813*€19.640). After the payback time of 6 years (not counting the effects of other subsidy options such as MIA, VAMIL, EIA and KIA), this is pure profit and a welcome investment in the region and potential driver for further development to harvest energy.