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Extending the life time of renewable energy assets

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Carlos Albero Carlos Albero
Global Finance Segment Leader
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Generating new value from ageing renewable energy projects
DNV GL paper with options for extracting further value from renewable energy projects that are nearing their planned end of life.
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Two key questions facing owners, investors and other stakeholders today are “How long will my renewable energy assets last?” and “What happens at the end of their planned lifetime?” In a new report, DNV GL provides guidance on the options for extracting further value from renewable energy projects that are nearing their planned end of life and reveals how to identify the best option based on your circumstances. 

The energy transition towards a greener, cleaner and smarter future is changing the game for energy investment. There are new players, new opportunities but also new risks. For example, cost reductions are leading to the fading out of subsidies for renewables and revenue diversification for all types of generation, meaning investors face much greater merchant risk. Understanding this new landscape is essential for making financial decisions that will provide the greatest return investment. 

End of life planning is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in the renewables sector

This is particularly the case for wind power. When the first commercial wind farms were developed, few would have predicted how quickly renewable energy technologies would become established, how widely they would be adopted, and how far their costs would fall. The first commercial wind energy projects are now reaching – or in some cases just passing – their expected 20-year lifetime. The original plan for many of these wind farms would have been to decommission them at the end of their contracted life, with the only consideration being how to extract value from the leftover hardware. 

However, today the smartest option isn’t necessarily to decommission existing wind and solar projects, as there are benefits to extending the lifetimes of these projects. The performance of the project to date will inform lifetime extension decisions, and this requires extremely detailed analysis of topics such as:

  • Site conditions / Environment
  • Maintenance
  • Operation
  • Design
  • Manufacturing
  • Regulatory environment

For asset owners of newer projects, preparing for the end of planned commercial operation periods can bring huge competitive advantages

Download our report Generating new value from ageing renewable energy projects and find out how you can extract further value from renewable energy projects that are nearing their planned end of life.