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Thursday, 19 November 2020
Good evening The Carbon Cut Readers! Today's highlights include:
  • Saudi Arabia Aims Next to Be Largest Hydrogen Exporter

  • 2021 Will Be A Banner Year For Renewable Energy In The U.S. with Goldman Sachs predicting that global capital spending on renewable energy will surpass fossil fuel Capex for the first time ever in 2021.

  • Software ‘crucial to the bankability of energy storage’

  • The European Commission will consider hydrogen produced from nuclear power as “low-carbon”

  • New technique seamlessly converts ammonia to green hydrogen

  • and greentrolling - aka “trolling the shit out of fossil fuel companies” on social media is one ‘maniacal plan’ to bring down Big Oil.

Estimated Total Reading Time: 9 mins


💧 Hydrogen

1️⃣ HyGear signs a long-term Gas-as-a-Service contract for hydrogen with Messer in Czech Republic - HyGear, a specialist in on-site hydrogen generation and supply, has entered into a new long-term partnership with Messer, the largest family-run industrial gases specialist worldwide. In the agreement, HyGear and Messer will jointly supply high purity hydrogen to two end-users concurrently. Global Tungsten & Powders spol. s r.o. (GTP) and OSRAM Česká republika s.r.o..

2️⃣ Italy’s Snam Acquires 33% Stake in De Nora in Hydrogen Push - Europe’s largest gas pipeline company is purchasing a minority stake in the Italian designer, manufacturer and supplier of electrode and water technology from Blackstone Group Inc., confirming an earlier report by Bloomberg News. De Nora is valued at 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) including debt. The accord is part of Snam Chief Executive Officer Marco Alvera’s push into the technology after the European Union put hydrogen at the heart of measures to cut greenhouse gases and reach climate-neutrality by 2050.

3️⃣ Nel, Iberdrola to develop green hydrogen production plant in Spain - Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser and Iberdrola have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaboratively develop a green hydrogen production plant with a capacity exceeding 200MW in Spain.

4️⃣ AiP for largest liquid hydrogen carrier yet - This liquid hydrogen carrier has eight times the capacity of Suiso Frontier, a 2,500-m3 liquid hydrogen carrier being built in Japan. Launched at Kawasaki Heavy Industries in December 2019, Suiso Frontier is expected to transport liquid hydrogen produced in Australia from coal gas to Japan starting in Q1 2021.

5️⃣ Havyard Jumps to the Fore on Hydrogen - Havyard said that its complete hydrogen system for ships will be completed in 2021, and to that end the group is establishing a separate company to meet market demand for the solution, which will make it possible also for large ships to sail longer distances with zero emissions.

6️⃣ The hydrogen economy: Hyped for years, the most abundant element in the universe is finally having its moment - When it comes to the global energy transition, there's one word that's repeated so often it sometimes seems to have achieved silver-bullet status: hydrogen. Hydrogen-powered cars, trucks and factories have been hyped for years as clean substitutes to their forebears that run on dirty fossil fuels. Better still for the planet would be green hydrogen, which is cleaner at its source. It's the latter that's getting much of the attention these days.


❄️ LNG & Natural Gas

1️⃣ Maersk, saying 'no' to LNG as fuel, will move straight to clean alternatives - Danish container giant will not order any big ships until it has worked out how to move away from fossil fuels, and the search may take some time yet.

2️⃣ India aims to reduce diesel use with $1.35-billion LNG retail push - Indian companies will spend 100 billion rupees ($1.35 billion) over three years on 1,000 liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations along main roads and industrial corridors and in mining areas, the oil minister said on Thursday, to cut diesel consumption. Diesel, which accounts for about two-fifth of India’s refined fuels consumption, is widely used by buses, truck and in the mining sector. “Even if the LNG vehicle segment achieves 10% market share in a fleet of 10 million trucks, it will have a positive impact on reducing emissions and substituting crude”

3️⃣ Venture Global delays financial decision on Plaquemines LNG until 2021 - Venture Global LNG previously anticipated making a financial decision by the end of 2020 about whether to build an $8.5 billion LNG export terminal known as Plaquemines LNG. That has been delayed until mid-2021, according to its website. The facility would export up to 20 million tons of LNG each year.


🚘 Mobility - EVs, Batteries & Fuel Cells

1️⃣ PEM Fuel Cells - Hoping to Challenge Internal Combustion - The current costs of automotive PEMFCs have reached about $40-55/kW. This has brought them nearer to becoming competitive with internal combustion engines (ICEs), which range about $30-35/kW.

2️⃣ Doosan to develop solid oxide fuel cells with Navig8 - The solid oxide fuel cell system will provide cleaner power for ships and will be based on Ceres’s proprietary SteelCell SOFC stack technology. Doosan will develop and install an SOFC power and propulsion system for one of Navig8’s 50,000-tonne chemical tankers as part of a pilot programme for commercialisation.

3️⃣ Are Japan's Big 3 Automakers Lagging Behind in the EV Race? - Japan-based carmakers, once viewed as electric vehicle (EV) visionaries who popularized mass-market hybrid green vehicles, failed to capitalize on the initial momentum. In 1997, Toyota Motor TM had pioneered hybrid powertrain with its first-generation low emission vehicle, Prius. Two years later, Honda Motor HMC rolled out its first-generation super-efficient hybrid EV, Insight. Honda Insight was the first hybrid available in North America. Another Japan-based auto biggie Nissan Motor NSANY took the electrification game a notch higher by introducing Nissan Leaf in 2010, which was the first fully-electric car designed for the mass market. While many believed that Japan-based automakers will follow Nissan’s footsteps and spend heavily on e-mobility, unfortunately it did not happen. Nissan Leaf is the only popular and successful electric car coming from the nation.

4️⃣ DHL tests Class 8 electric trucks in U.S. fleet - DHL Express is forging ahead with its emissions reduction goals with the launch of four Class 8 battery-electric trucks in the U.S. DHL is piloting the trucks in the Los Angeles market to haul goods to and from the DHL LAX Gateway and local service center facilities.


🦠 Synthetic Fuels, Ammonia, Methanol & BioFuels

1️⃣ Shipping should seize the opportunity of low carbon Methanol - Industry perception of fuel safety risk is that the physical properties of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen make them either more flammable or more toxic than conventional HFO. This is not the case for Methanol. While all fuels are toxic, Methanol is no more toxic than diesel and is miscible in water, making it far safer for the physical environment. Fuel-specific safety and handling procedures can mitigate against these risks and in the case of Methanol, are already in place.

2️⃣ Air Liquide Launches Biomethane Activity in Italy With Two New Production Units - Air Liquide has announced the construction of its first two biomethane production units in collaboration with its local partner Dentro il Sole (DIS). These two units will be built in Truccazzano (Milan) and Fontanella (Bergamo) in Italy, recycling organic material from agricultural and livestock activities to convert it into biomethane, a renewable energy source. These investments to support the circular economy are in line with Air Liquide's Climate Objectives, and contribute to the development of a low carbon society.

3️⃣ Construction begins on Dutch bio-LNG installation - Renewi, Nordsol and Shell have started the construction of the first bio-LNG installation in Westpoort, Amsterdam. The installation is an extension for the current processing of outdated products from supermarkets, among other things.

4️⃣ Golar and Black & Veatch Announce Collaboration in Floating Ammonia Production, Carbon Capture, Green LNG and other emerging technologies - Golar LNG Limited announces today that it has agreed with Black & Veatch Corporation (“B&V”) to expand on their long-standing FLNG relationship and enter into a collaboration agreement in the field of floating ammonia production, carbon capture, green LNG and hydrogen. Golar brings to the relationship its deep experience of delivering and operating paradigm shifting low cost floating LNG infrastructure that works, and B&V, as a leading provider of LNG technology also bring a deep expertise in green technologies. Within 2020, Golar and B&V intend to jointly publish a thought leadership paper on our first area of interest for collaboration, floating ammonia production with carbon capture and storage.


🔆 Solar Power

1️⃣ Construction begins in Georgia on RWE Renewables’ largest US solar-plus-storage project to date - Work has begun on a 195.5MW solar farm in Georgia, US, colocated with 40MW / 80MWh of battery storage for RWE Renewables, subsidiary of Germany-headquartered multinational energy company RWE Group.

2️⃣ Solar Panels + Agriculture: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet - It seems like only yesterday that the idea of combining solar panels with agriculture was just a twinkle in somebody’s eye. All of a sudden the field is exploding, so to speak. In the latest development, the US Department of Energy is putting down $7 million to sow the seeds for a new revolution in American farming. That’s just a drop in the bucket compared to, oh, say, $1 billion for the FutureGen carbon capture project, but in this case a little goes a long way.


💨 Wind Power

1️⃣ South Koreans Form Floating Wind Alliance - South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and SK Engineering & Construction have signed a technical cooperation agreement for floating offshore wind farm projects. Under the agreement, SK E&C will take on the development of the wind farm complex, including the development of the business plan and obtainment of the licenses and permits, while Doosan will assume responsibility for the technology development to manufacture key equipment for floating offshore wind farms.

2️⃣ Vattenfall unveils 156MW Scottish wind project - Vattenfall has unveiled proposals for a new 26-turbine wind farm at Musdale, south east of Oban in Scotland. Scoping documents have been filed with the Scottish government outlining up-to-200-metre hardware for the up-to-156MW project. Local consultation on the plans will start from 8 December and last for two months, including a virtual village hall consultation.

3️⃣ 'Offshore wind is setting a course to be Europe's number one source of electricity' - The EU should be applauded for its ambition to build 300GW of wind at sea by 2050 – and its spotlighting of the capital spending on grids, ports and the supply chain needed to achieve it.

4️⃣ ORE Catapult invests in blade prototyping facility - The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has invested in a prototype blade facility that will use additive manufacturing techniques. The Additive Manufacturing for Wind Blades project will install an advanced manufacturing cell at ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, to help prove technologies which can “reduce blade manufacturing costs, increase production speeds and explore the potential for new materials with a reduced environmental impact”. The blade facility will “challenge” traditional blade manufacturing processes by using sophisticated 3D robotic printing techniques, investigating the use of sustainable materials, as well as flexible and more productive manufacturing methods.


💎 Carbon Capture

1️⃣ Like a leaf – new ways to capture carbon from the air - Leaves make it look easy, but capturing and using carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air is a challenging process for scientists to mimic. To artificially capture CO2, chemists have developed ways to "scrub" it from air using chemicals that react very favorably with it. But even after it is captured, it’s often difficult to release and use for artificial photosynthesis. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will receive $4.5 million over three years from the DOE for research aimed at capturing carbon dioxide directly from air and converting it to useful products by artificial photosynthesis.


🌳 Nature Based Solutions & Offsets

1️⃣ Swiss strike CO2 offset deal with Ghana - Some of Switzerland's carbon dioxide emissions are to be offset through projects in Ghana, the Swiss government announced Wednesday, after concluding a similar deal last month with Peru. Under the Paris Agreement climate change pact, Switzerland has committed to reduce its 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Bern says it will meet the target mainly through domestic measures, but under the agreement, Switzerland can offset its emissions through projects in other countries, which will then count towards its reduction target.


🔄 Recycling, Waste & Circular Tech

1️⃣ Mushroom cultivation produces three times its weight in waste. It's now being turned into burgers and fertiliser - Cultivating mushrooms produces a lot of waste. For every kilogram of mushrooms produced, about three kilograms of soil-like material containing straw, manure and peat is left behind. In the EU, this results in more than 3 billion kilograms of waste per year.

2️⃣ Berkeley-based nuclear disposal startup Deep Isolation lands $20 million - The Series A round was led by nuclear industry leader NAC International Inc.

3️⃣ Waste incineration across Europe and the UK: profit at the expense of climate - Since the introduction of the landfill tax in 1996, waste to landfill in the UK has declined from over 90% in 1993 to less than 10% today. It has been a brilliantly successful fiscal instrument. Average recycling rates across the UK increased until 2010 when they slowed and have since failed to exceed 40%. However, incineration has increased sharply from 15% in 2010 to over 45% today and is growing quickly. In the last three years, recycling and composting rates have started to fall, despite the fact that the proportion of recyclable plastic, fabric and packaging in our bins has greatly increased. For all the talk of a circular economy, the reality is slipping ever further away.


📜 Policy

1️⃣ Administrator Wheeler Announces National Goal to Increase Recycling Rate - Yesterday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler convened EPA’s third annual America Recycles Summit to discuss the draft National Recycling Strategy and unveiled a modern, ambitious National Recycling Goal to increase the national recycling rate to 50 percent by 2030.

2️⃣ IMO Approves Controversial Draft Amendment on CO2 Ranking System - The IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee has approved a draft amendment to MARPOL that would assign a rating to existing ships based on their operational carbon emissions and their progress towards emissions reduction. Ships with a low rating would be required to submit an improvement plan, but there are no penalties for noncompliance.

3️⃣ Additional home solar, battery rebates in Australian state of Victoria’s new budget - Some AU$191 million (US$140 million) will be provided by the state government to expand its Solar Homes programme, meaning an extra 42,000 rebates for rooftop PV will be on offer over the next two years, while small businesses will be able to apply to the scheme for the first time, with 15,000 rebates available.

4️⃣ Texas bill would require study to reach 100 percent renewable power - About 25 percent of electric generating capacity in Texas comes from renewable sources but a Texas legislator wants to see if that could expand to 50 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. Texas Senator-elect César Blanco, D-El Paso, introduced a bill this month that would require the Public Utility Commission to conduct a study on the feasibility of expanding the state’s renewable energy goal.


🧭 General

1️⃣ IRENA, GWEC merge efforts to boost renewables uptake - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) have united their efforts aimed at increasing the adoption and deployment of wind and renewables worldwide. A Paris-compliant future by 2050 requires transformative changes to policy, behaviour and international cooperation, stated IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook report.

2️⃣ Decarbonization of Eastern Europe’s Energy Mix Key to Higher EU Climate Goals - Poland, Czechia, Romania and Bulgaria are European member states with the highest share of coal generation that do not yet have a plan to phase out the fossil fuel. Higher carbon allowance prices will therefore impact coal generators in these countries particularly hard. BNEF modeling shows how these countries’ power sectors could evolve through 2030 in response to higher carbon prices, depending on whether the EU adopts a 50% or 55% emissions reduction target.

3️⃣ Still insufficient progress in making transport fuels more climate friendly, latest EEA data show - According to the EEA’s fuel quality data indicator, the emission intensity decreased by 3.7 % between 2010 and 2018, mostly due to the increased use of biofuels. The emission intensity of fuels sold in the EU actually increased between 2017 and 2018, when considering the effects of indirect land use change due to the increased use of oil crops as feedstocks.

4️⃣ China power giant makes foray into Mexican renewables with Zuma - China’s State Power Investment Corp. is expanding in Latin America’s clean-energy market by acquiring Mexico’s largest independent renewables company. The energy giant known as SPIC bought Zuma Energia through its Hong Kong-based unit China Power International Holding, according a press release provided by a spokesperson for Zuma. He didn’t disclose the price. SPIC has more than $170 billion in assets across 41 countries, including wind, solar and hydropower projects in Brazil and Chile.

5️⃣ 'Investment market has flipped: renewables are now safe and boring, oil & gas is high risk' - IEEFA analyst tells conference why oil companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron, which have failed to embrace the energy transition, are now volatile and unstable investments.

6️⃣ A Wave of Infrastructure Projects to Cause Widespread Deforestation in Coming Decades, Report Finds - A slate of new mega-projects in development around the world — including roads, waterways, railways, and dams — will open up vast tracts of land to natural resource extraction and deforestation, derailing government and private sector pledges to curb forest loss, according to a new report.


🏭 Emissions

1️⃣ Shipping industry’s CO2 footprint projected to grow despite efficiency gains - The latest analysis of CO2 emissions based on vessel tracking data (AIS), vessel specification data and the vessel order book by Swedish big-data firm Marine Benchmark shows that CO2 emissions will continue to rise and track fleet growth. This is because most of the efficiency gains possible by the shipping industry to drive down its carbon footprint over the past decade have already been made; the proportion of eco-ship newbuildings entering the global fleet are projected to drop to historic lows; and the use of LNG as a transitory fuel remains relatively small.

2️⃣ Novartis set to achieve 100% renewable electricity in its European operations - Novartis today announced the signature of five virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs), which are expected to collectively add more than 275 megawatts of clean power to the electrical grid. This move makes Novartis the first pharmaceutical company set to achieve 100% renewable electricity in its European operations through VPPAs.

3️⃣ IMO decision starts race against time to raise ship efficiency - Over the next two years, owners will have to upgrade existing vessels to match the operating efficiency of newbuildings or face a limit on engine power.


🧩 Tech and R&D

1️⃣ Invention that makes renewable energy from rotting veg wins James Dyson prize - A novel material made from rotting fruit and vegetables that absorbs stray UV light from the sun and converts it into renewable energy has landed its designer the first sustainability gong in this year’s James Dyson awards. From a record 1,800 entries – despite the challenges of Covid-19 – the award was given to 27-year-old Carvey Ehren Maigue, a student at Mapúa University in the Philippines, for his Aureus system which uses the natural scientific principles behind the northern lights.

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