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Friday, 20 November 2020
Good evening The Carbon Cut Readers! Today's highlights include:
  • The cost of producing hydrogen from renewables will need to fall by over 50% to $2.0-$2.5/kg by 2030 to make hydrogen a viable alternative to conventional fuels

  • Electric vehicle (EV) enquiries soared by 500% after this week’s UK Government announcement that it plans to ban the sale of cars and vans powered wholly by petrol or diesel engines in 2030

  • The US wind industry wants president-elect Joe Biden to make a national clean energy mandate one of his top policy priorities next year

  • EU denies gas plants a green finance tag, offers possible hydrogen loophole

  • Investors plough $70m into secretive Bill Gates-backed 150-hour-battery start-up Form Energy

  • and a £10m plan unveiled for making ‘tropically matured’ rum in Cornwall using geo-thermal energy.

    Have a great weekend!

Estimated Total Reading Time: 10 mins


💧 Hydrogen

1️⃣ TECO 2030 Partner in Breakthrough Hydrogen Project - TECO 2030 ASA today announced that it is named by Verbund, Austria's leading electricity company, as technology partner in the ambitious renewable project Green Hydrogen@Blue Danube. The plan is to produce green hydrogen from renewable electricity in south-eastern Europe. The hydrogen will then be transported via the River Danube to hydrogen users in Austria and Germany by push tugs to be driven by TECO 2030 fuel cells.

2️⃣ China Defies Elon Musk’s Warnings and Pushes Ahead With Hydrogen - Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has spent years mocking the idea of using hydrogen fuel cells rather than electric batteries to power next-generation green vehicles. “Fuel cells = fool sells,” the boss of the world’s top electric-car maker tweeted in June. China, the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles, isn’t so quick to dismiss the alternative to batteries. Officials are promoting the development of hydrogen-powered cars, trucks and buses, with Beijing offering to reward cities that achieve adoption targets.

3️⃣ Australia-Japan hydrogen project eyes full operations by next decade - The HESC project aims to safely and efficiently produce and transport hydrogen from Victoria's Latrobe Valley to Japan, where hydrogen will be transported from a liquefaction and loading terminal at the Port of Hastings, Victoria to Kobe terminal in Japan.

4️⃣ 'We should take every spot in the North Sea we can get' for hydrogen - Offshore and hydrogen sectors stress need for action on maritime and grids planning as EU sees key role for H2 in its Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy.

5️⃣ Green Flamingo: Portugal hopes to export green hydrogen to EU - Thanks to Portugal's high sun exposure, the nation has the potential to produce green hydrogen for Europe. The EU-backed Green Flamingo initiative may enable it to ship the green gas from the port of Sines to Rotterdam.

6️⃣ RWE team seeks EU support for German hydrogen scheme - A consortium of RWE Generation, BP, Evonik, Nowega and OGE has submitted an application for funding from the EU Innovation Fund for the GET H2 Nukleus green hydrogen project in Germany. The aim is to create the country's first publicly accessible hydrogen network with scalable industrial production of green hydrogen, RWE said.

7️⃣ Leipzig decarbonises with gas-to-hydrogen turbines - Siemens Energy is supplying two gas turbine packages for a new CHP plant that will produce electricity and district heat for the German city of Leipzig and will eventually run on hydrogen. The new plant will be built for utility Stadtwerke Leipzig and will have an electrical capacity of approximately 125MW and a thermal capacity of around 163MW.

8️⃣ Oregon solar developer jumping into green hydrogen - The rising green hydrogen economy, as some are calling it, has lured in a leading Oregon solar developer. Obsidian Renewables said Friday it had hired Ken Dragoon to head up a new hydrogen project development effort.

9️⃣ Hyundai Motor Group to Produce Green Hydrogen in Saemangeum - Hyundai Motor Group signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 19 with the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency and the seven companies including Hyundai Engineering, Hyundai Motor Securities and LG Electronics. The MOU is to conduct joint research for the purpose of green hydrogen value chain establishment. Facility construction projects are scheduled to start next year for the first green hydrogen production in South Korea.


❄️ LNG & Natural Gas

1️⃣ LNG enters new phase - There’s a ploy used in tabloid journalism about building up stars and then bashing them once they’ve made it to the big time. The same could be said in the excruciating slow development of LNG as a ship’s fuel. However, the past few days have been rather monumental in the marathon to make LNG a mainstream shipping fuel, led by the fuelling in Rotterdam of a gigantic modern marvel CMA CGM vessel (pictured) – the largest ship fuelling to date of this fuel type. It has taken a long time to get to where we are today – on the cusp of genuine change.

2️⃣ India to get 1,000 LNG dispensing stations: 40% cheaper than diesel, promises higher range - India will see an investment of Rs 10,000 crore in the next three years in setting up of LNG stations, a fuel that promises to revolutionise long-haul transport with reduced cost and lesser emissions, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday. Liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is supercooled natural gas, is favoured by long-haul buses and trucks due to its higher energy density than CNG, its ability to give a 600-800 km run on a single fill, and it being 30-40 percent cheaper than diesel.


🚘 Mobility - EVs, Batteries & Fuel Cells

1️⃣ Spain's Talgo to launch hydrogen-powered train in 2023 - Spanish train manufacturer Talgo SA in Thursday said that it will have a hydrogen-powered train ready in 2023. Talgo plans to carry out on-track validation tests in 2021 and start the manufacturing process between 2021 and 2023.

2️⃣ Amsterdam-based fast-charging startup Fastned wants to open 1000 fast-charging stations in ... - With a goal to open 1000 fast-charging stations for electric vehicles to charge with renewable energy from the sun and wind, Amsterdam-based fast-charging network for electric vehicles company, Fastned, has raised €17M in a fresh round of funding with the issue of bonds.


🔆 Solar Power

1️⃣ Invenergy kick-starts 1.3GW Texas PV giant - Invenergy has started work on the 1310MW Samson Solar Energy Center in north-east Texas, which when completed will be the largest photovoltaic plant in the US. The $1.6bn project is located in Lamar, Red River and Franklin Counties and will support up to 600 jobs over the course of the 36-month construction period. It will be constructed in five phases over the next three years, with each phase commencing operation upon completion. The full project is slated to be operational in 2023.

2️⃣ Capital Dynamics swoops on 316MW US solar trio - Asset manager Capital Dynamics has acquired three solar farms totalling 316MW in the US from LS Power for an undisclosed price. Under the terms of the deal, Capital Dynamics has taken 100% interests in the 252MW Centinela project in Imperial County, California, and 11MW Dover Sun Park in Delaware, as well as a 30% stake in the 175MW Arlington Valley 2 facility in Maricopa County, Arizona.

3️⃣ Clearway grabs majority of 290MW Arizona PV - Clearway Energy is to acquire a 35% interest in the 290MW Agua Caliente solar farm in the US state of Arizona, raising its stake in the project to 51%. The transaction is priced at $202m with the seller unnamed. Subject to customary closing conditions, the company expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2021.

4️⃣ Solar ‘largest power source from 2035’ - Statkraft is forecasting that solar PV will become the largest source of power generation from 2035. The Norwegian developer's Low Emissions Scenario report, released in time for UK Wind Week, predicts a three-fold increase in global power capacity to 2050 with more than the entire increase expected to be covered by renewable energy.


💨 Wind Power

1️⃣ Australasian-backed newbie eyes 1.9GW European wind - Galileo Green Energy has closed a long-term contract with an unnamed development partner to build wind farms in the UK and Sweden totalling 1500MW. About 500MW of projects are located in the UK, with 1GW in Sweden, Galileo said. The company has a further 400MW in the pipeline in Ireland, it added.

2️⃣ What happens when wind turbines get old? New Industry Guidance Document for dismantling and decommissioning - WindEurope’s End-of-Life Issues and Strategies Seminar (EoLIS 2020) explored what happens when wind turbines reach the end of their operational life. Industry experts discussed the latest trends and developments in repowering, lifetime extension, decommissioning and recycling. WindEurope presented a new Industry Guidance Document for the dismantling and decommissioning of onshore turbines.

3️⃣ GE 'considering UK Haliade-X plant' - GE Renewable Energy is considering setting up a plant in the UK to build 13MW Haliade-X turbines for the 3600MW Dogger Bank offshore wind complex off the east coast of England, according to a report in the Financial Times newspaper today. The news report said three locations are being looked at – two in the north-east of England and one in Scotland – which could create at least 3000 jobs.


💎 Carbon Capture

1️⃣ Rotterdam CCS project prepares to bid in Dutch low carbon auction - Porthos CO2 Transport and Storage confirmed Nov. 19 that it would be bidding for support in the Netherlands' SDE++ auction in the week beginning Nov. 22. The Netherlands' SDE++ auction has a budget of Eur5 billion ($5.9 billion), with a bidding window open across four rounds between Nov. 24 and Dec. 17.


🔄 Recycling, Waste & Circular Tech

1️⃣ Eni, Hera Form JV to Build Industrial Waste-Management Platform - Eni SpA said Friday that it would build an industrial waste-management platform in Ravenna, Italy, through a new joint venture with multiutility company Hera SpA. The Italian energy company said the platform would process up to 60 thousand tons a year of waste produced by environmental and production activity. Its authorization process is expected to begin next year.

2️⃣ Turning waste plastic into carbon nanotubes to transmit electricity - The Welsh government is backing a cutting-edge science project at Swansea University that changes waste plastics into highly valuable compounds for the energy industries. Scientist are extracting carbon atoms found in waste plastics and turning them into a nanotube format that can be used for the transmission of electricity. They are producing plastic electric cables without the copper wire inside them, which can be used in residential and industrial construction.

3️⃣ Edinburgh firm receives £60000 grant for energy harvesting technology - Edinburgh-based Vert Technologies has been awarded £60,000 from Innovate UK to fund the development of technology to harvest wasted energy from the UK’s natural gas distribution network.

4️⃣ New solvent-based recycling process could cut down on millions of tons of plastic waste - University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers have pioneered a method for reclaiming the polymers in these materials using solvents, a technique they’ve dubbed Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) processing.


📜 Policy

1️⃣ UK's 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution 'falls short' on CO2 goals, official figures show - Government accused of delivering underpowered green recovery plan that only delivers half of CO2 cuts required over coming decade.

2️⃣ CO2 Tax to turn tide on Climate Change - The answer to halting climate change will be found by revolutionising the tax system – according to one industry leader and port automation technology innovator. Taxing companies’ CO2 emissions is, says Dr Maurizio Bragagni, the only way to guarantee total commitment to consistent compliance on the scale required to restore the outlook for the planet’s future.

3️⃣ Curtis, Phillips Introduce legislation to boost wind energy - "Most carbon emissions come from outside the United States, and a vital component of combatting climate change is the U.S. exporting clean energy resources and technology," said Curtis. "The bipartisan Worldwide Wind Turbine Act does exactly that by bringing together energy companies and U.S. international aid programs to share clean energy technology with the developing world."

4️⃣ EU plans tight car CO2 limits under green finance rules - Under green finance rules that kick in at the end of 2021, the EU will define which investments can be marketed as “sustainable” based on criteria that they make a “substantial contribution” to tackling or adapting to climate change. The EU aims to force providers of financial products to disclose which investments meet these criteria to avoid “greenwashing”, or presenting a product as environmentally friendly even when it falls short, and steer private investment into low-carbon projects. The European Commission published proposals for the rules on Friday, opening them to public feedback before finalising them this year.

5️⃣ New Mexico's Haaland, possible Interior pick, calls for more clean energy on US lands - US Representative Deb Haaland, Democrat-New Mexico, who reportedly is being considered for secretary of the Interior Department by President-elect Joe Biden, said there are too many extractive industries operating on federal lands and that leasing practices should be changed to encourage more clean energy activity.


💰 Investments & Funding

1️⃣ EU approves climate project funding - The European Commission has earmarked a further €280mn ($330mn) of the EU budget to fund climate-related projects under its "Life" programme for the environment and climate action. A total of 120 projects, selected from 1,250 applications, will ultimately receive €590mn in investments, €280mn of which will come from the EU. This is up by 37pc on the year, the commission said.


📈Pricing & Trading

1️⃣ Microsoft Executes First-Ever Peace Renewable Energy Credit (P-REC) Transaction - The first-ever Peace Renewable Energy Credit (P-REC) transaction has been executed by Microsoft with Energy Peace Partners (EPP) and project developer Nuru. P-REC’s are international renewable energy certificates with a supplementary label from issuer EPP certifying that there are co-benefits associated with the new renewable energy generation. These benefits include being in countries that are characterized by high risk of conflict, high vulnerability to climate change, low levels of electrification and limited access to renewable energy finance.


🧭 General

1️⃣ Industry ready to deliver on EU’s plan for 25-fold increase in offshore wind - The 25-fold increase in offshore wind requires major investment in infrastructure. Huge investments are needed in offshore grid connections and also in the reinforcements of onshore grids. And ports need €6.5bn of investments over the next 10 years. All the equipment for offshore wind farms passes through ports. They need extensive space, heavy loading quays and deep berths. Ports are the hubs for operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms, and they’ll become the assembly base for floating offshore wind.

2️⃣ Why The Energy Transition Will Be Fantastic For Small Oil Companies - Small, independent oil producers are seeing the potential for growth over the next decade as major energy companies look to invest in renewables. As big companies are being forced to introduce greener policies, independent producers could profit from this change. Paul Blakeley, chief executive of Jadestone Energy told the Financial Times on Monday., “It won’t be a Shell or BP that will be the last man standing in the oil and gas space… It will be the small independents.”.

3️⃣ Oil Majors Are Paying The Price For Investing In Renewables - Most renewable ventures, like solar and wind projects, tend to churn out cash flows akin to annuities for several decades after initial up-front capital expenditure with generally low price risk as opposed to their current models with faster payback but high oil price risk. With the need to generate quick shareholder returns, some fossil fuel companies have actually been scaling back their clean energy investments.

4️⃣ How To Have The 'Smartest' Home On Your Street - Even if you don’t consider yourself to be tech-savvy, you may already have a ‘smart device’ in your home. You may, for example, have one of the 21.5 million smart meters operating within homes and small businesses across Great Britain. (By 2025, the government wants energy firms to have offered the devices free of charge to every home.) Even a simple inexpensive energy monitors can be linked up to your smartphone or tablet. But what exactly is a ‘smart home device’ – and what makes it smart?


🏭 Emissions

1️⃣ Artificial intelligence & satellite technologies reveal detailed map of air pollution across UK - A novel method that combines artificial intelligence with remote sensing satellite technologies has produced the most detailed coverage of air pollution in Britain to date. Highlighted by new research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and published in Remote Sensing, the methodology provides accurate estimates of concentrations of air pollution across Great Britain. The model offers an impressive level of details, with measurements provided at daily level and in a 1x1km grid across the whole Great Britain. Results indicate that the South-East of England is the most polluted region, and they identify hot spots in urban and industrial areas. Encouragingly, the findings also show an overall decline in air pollution in Great Britain during the last decade.

2️⃣ MacRebur could spell green solution to UK's CO2 emissions - A greener, low-carbon alternative to traditional road surfaces, MacRebur believes it could be the answer to helping eradicate large amounts of these emissions if used on the 4,000 miles of roads planned for across the country. Processing waste plastics destined for landfill or incineration and adding them into asphalt for road construction, MacRebur roads extend and enhance the bitumen (fossil fuel) binder.

3️⃣ EU short of 6pc fuel CO2 intensity cut target - Many EU member states look set to miss their target to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of transport fuels by at least 6pc by the end of 2020, according to a new report by the European Commission.


🧩 Tech and R&D

1️⃣ Green hydrogen: Buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyte - Hydrogen produced by using solar energy could contribute to a climate neutral energy system of the future. But there are hurdles on the way from laboratory scale to large-scale implementation. A team at HZB has now presented a method to visualize convection in the electrolyte and to reliably simulate it in advance with a multiphysics model.

2️⃣ New electrocatalyst for hydrogen production with enhanced faradaic efficiency - Researchers throughout the world are working actively to accelerate the development of new catalysts that can greatly cut the cost of hydrogen production. A number of breakthrough catalysts have been reported, yet their expected performance are often unknown before implementation, and thus further research is required for practical use. A recent study, affiliated UNIST, has introduced a novel highly-efficient catalyst for hydrogen generation and its expected catalytic performance has been also demonstrated.

3️⃣ CEMEX and Synhelion to Demo Zero CO2 Cement - The major global cement producer CEMEX has begun work with the solar fuel start-up Synhelion to demonstrate the world’s first zero emissions cement production with high temperature solar. Synhelion is a solar research spin-off from ETH that uses an advanced concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology to generate temperatures at up to 1,500C for thermochemistry and industrial heat.

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