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Renewables Academy Online

Certified Renewable Energy

Project Developer
Project planning and financing with a technology-specific focus

Online training on economic indicators, support mechanisms and

bankability. Focus on: Photovoltaic, PV-diesel hybrid systems,
bioenergy or solar thermal for water heating
Renewables Academy Online

RENAC Online: E-learning for actual practice!

RENAC aims to make renewable energy and energy efficiency know-how available worldwide, for clients in
any location or time zone. To this end, RENAC has launched the Renewables Academy Online. RENAC staff
and lecturers offer extensive support throughout the learning process via the course forum and live
lectures (Virtual Classroom). At the end of the training, participants can take an exam to receive a RENAC

“Certified RE project developer”: the online training

This one-semester online training covers the essentials of support mechanisms and bankability for
renewable energy in general. In addition, it contains one technology-specific project planning course.
A short introductory course explains the most important economic parameters that will play a role in the
following courses.
The next course of this training presents renewable energy support Features:
mechanisms and their respective methodologies. It conveys • Three live events (chat +
knowledge of legal and regulatory frameworks, which is essential for
virtual classroom session)
the successful implementation of renewable energy projects
• Online material (text,
The following course shows which aspects are critical for assessing graphics, charts)
the bankability of renewable energy projects. The course
• Self-tests for learning
demonstrates the bank’s view on risks related to PV, wind and biogas
projects. It includes a checklist for the project developer to ensure assessment
that all data is ordered and complete, thus facilitating the decision of • 3 hours of video lectures
the bank or investor to fund the project.
In the last part of the training, participants will gain insights in the planning process for a medium- to large-
scale plant from the earliest stages to implementation. Each participant can choose one of the four eligible
technologies: Planning of multi-MW photovoltaic power plants, planning of PV-diesel hybrid systems (case
study: 1-2 MVA minigrid), planning of biogas plants (case study: agricultural bioenergy, 250 kWel plant with
CHP unit) or planning of large-scale solar thermal installations for water heating.
The training is in the process of certification by the German central office for distance learning (ZFU).

The online training is targeted at professionals working in the field of energy who are interested in
acquiring economic and financial knowledge for planning and executing bankable renewable energy
projects. It is also meant for those who are responsible for setting the legal and regulatory framework for
the implementation of such projects. The training is suitable mainly for participants with an academic
background, e.g. in the fields of law, economy, political or natural sciences, or engineering.

You can register for all online trainings via the registration form at:
Choose the online training that you would like to register for and click on the link, then on the button

Course fee
The fee for this online training (four courses, one semester) is 1.190€ (incl. 19% VAT)
Early bird discount (before 19.2.2016): 10% - Group discount: 10% - Combination of both: 15%
Payment can be done via VISA, MasterCard and American Express, or per invoice (+ 10€ fee for invoice payments)

Renewables Academy Online

Schedule Estimated study time: ca. 130h

The courses will be made accessible one by one, from April 1 , 2016: Recommended effort:
1.4.2016: Economic aspects (50 screen pages, ca. 30h study time) 5-10 hours per week.
17.4.2016: Support mechanisms (50 screen pages, ca. 30h study time) Online training duration: 4-6 months
25.5.2016: Bankability (50 screen pages, ca. 30h study time)
15.6.2016: fundamentals course for the chosen technology (20 screen pages, ca. 10h study time)
29.6.2016: planning course for the chosen technology (50 screen pages, ca. 30h study time)
There are three live events during the online training:
o Introductory live virtual classroom (webinar): April 1st, 2016 – 11 a.m. CEST
o Live virtual classroom with lecture: “Energy yield of RE”: June 9th, 2016 – 11 a.m. CEST
o Live virtual classroom with lecture: “Financial aspects of RE projects”: July 20th,2016 – 11 a.m. CEST
Participants can take the exam after 4 or 6 months. Exam dates: August 3rd or September 29th,2016.
If a participant cannot attend or does not pass an exam, an individual resit can be scheduled.
Participants who pass the final exam (60 questions, 90 minutes) with a score of 80% or more will receive a
printed RENAC certificate by mail.
Participants who did not attend or did not pass the exam or re-exam, but who participated actively in the
course, will receive a certificate of attendance (PDF per e-mail), which does not indicate a specific grade.
All courses will be online until September 30th, 2016.

Course content
Economic indicators
 Levelised cost of electricity (LCOE)
 Net present value (NPV)
 Pay-back period
 Internal rate of return (IRR)
 Debt service coverage ratio (DSCR)
Support mechanisms for renewable energy
 Grid parity and fuel parity of renewables
 Net metering and feed-in tariff (Fit)
 Auction mechanisms (sealed bid and descending clock auctions)
 Quota-based mechanisms using tradable green certificate mechanisms (TGCs) and renewable
portfolio standards (RPSs)
 Financing renewable energy support mechanisms and frameworks
 Electricity markets and revenue streams (the ’merit order effect’)
 Support mechanisms and risk perception for project financing
Bankability of wind and PV projects
 RE project financing and bankability assessments
o Three different financing options
o The financing process in four steps
 Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) contract negotiation
 Business plan requirements from the banker’s perspective
 Checklist: risk assessment guidelines and project monitoring
 Three case studies (wind turbine, PV plant and biogas plant

Renewables Academy Online

(Participants can choose one of the following four technologies)

a) Photovoltaic

PV application
 Applications and market development
 Solar radiation
 System components
 System configurations (grid-tied and off-grid)
 Introduction to System design and yield estimation
PV technology
 Physics of a PV cell, photovoltaic effect
 Different types of PV cells and their characteristics
 PV modules and arrays: configuration, efficiency and shading
Planning of large-scale grid-connected PV
 Components (standards and certificates, PV modules mismatch, inverter concepts, …)
 Irradiation measurements, data sources for solar resource measurements
 Feasibility study, assessment of location, estimate of yield
 Quality criteria for bankable yield assessment studies
 Contracts, legal aspects
 Environmental conditions, infrastructure, grid connection
 Project completion schedule
 Commissioning procedure
 Operation and maintenance

b) PV-diesel hybrid systems

Please note: the PV-diesel elective course requires some previous knowledge on either PV or diesel systems.
If you are completely new to the field, we advise to choose the PV elective course instead.
Fundamentals of PV-diesel hybrid systems:
 Categories of PV-diesel hybrid systems
 System components and system sizing
 Dynamic system behavior
 Economic evaluation
 Case studies
Planning of PV-diesel hybrid-power stations („Fuelsaver“)
 Global cost advantage of PV-hybrid systems
 Feasibility study, load profiles, load projections
 Characteristics and dynamic behaviour of diesel gensets
 Technical concerns (hybrid system control, communication infrastructure, spinning reserve,
minimum load, fluctuating PV power)
 System optimization (generator setup, storage technologies)
 Detailed financial analysis (structure of cash-flows, comparison of investments by LCOE)
 Installation and commissioning (pre-installation check list)
 Maintenance, operation and data monitoring

Renewables Academy Online

c) Biogas

Fundamentals of the biogas technology:

 Benefits and potential
 Classification of biogas plants
 Components of industrial biogas plants
 Substrates for biogas generation
 Biogas energy conversion
 Digestate as fertilizer
 Planning and implementation of biogas plants

Planning of medium-sized biogas plants

 Plant concept and design, process control
 Substrate characteristics, suitable substrates
 Main design parameters, main components
 Feasibility studies, sustainability aspects
 Planning, construction, commissioning
 Quality assurance, procedural safety
 Cash flow analysis
 Operation and maintenance

d) Solar thermal

Solar thermal fundamentals

 Relevance of solar thermal in the energy mix
 Functional principles of solar thermal systems
 Solar thermal collectors and other system components
 Main types of solar thermal system
 Basic system sizing
 Installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance
 Basic system economics

Planning of large-scale solar thermal projects for water heating

 Flat plate and evacuated tube collectors, efficiency of solar collectors
 Storage cylinders, heat exchangers, pumps, armatures in large scale installations
 Different system types (thermosyphon or forced circulation, open – closed, direct – indirect)
 Efficiency and solar fraction, calculation of heat quantity
 Calculation of energy demand, collector area and storage capacity
 Dimensioning and selection of components, collector array arrangement
 Pressures and pressure losses in the system
 Commissioning and frequent faults
 Economic aspects

Renewables Academy Online


Each training comprises at least two live

events, one of which is a virtual classroom
session (webinar). These are conducted by
RENAC staff. During and after the
presentation participants are welcome to
ask questions via the chat (also via
microphone, if there are less than 10
participants in the virtual classroom)

All courses are structured in small comprehensive

units of instruction, in which learners are guided
from one page to the next to work through
the material step-by-step.

Support and communication take place in a

discussion forum for tutors and participants.

Several self-assessment tests within each course

will help participants to test their knowledge and
prepare for the final exam. The final exam will be
a multiple choice test; all participants who score
above 80% will receive a printed RENAC certificate.

Video lectures are included in most courses,

explaining some of the most important
topics in a visual and entertaining medium.

Renewables Academy Online

Renewables Academy Online

Contact person:
Katrin Backhaus
Project Manager E-Learning

Renewables Academy (RENAC) AG

Schönhauser Allee 10-11
10119 Berlin (Germany)

Tel: +49 (0) 30-52 689 58 70

Fax: +49 (0) 30-52 689 58 99