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Monday, 16 November 2020
Good evening The Carbon Cut Readers! Today's highlights include:
  • The World Economic Forum has named green hydrogen among its top 10 emerging technologies of 2020

  • LNG as a marine fuel is going through a growth spurt with around 10pc of the total tanker orders made so far in 2020 were for LNG dual-fuelled vessels

  • Reports suggest that the UK Government has decided to bring forward the ban on new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 10 years, from 2040 to 2030

  • Rumour has it that the European Commission is considering a massive increase in installed offshore wind capacity by 2050, with as much as 300 GW to be in place by that time - note: these targets are a 25-fold increase of current 12GW of installed capacity

  • and oil trading giant Vitol has formed an offtake agreement with Norwegian firm Wastefront planning to produce liquid products from used tyres.

Estimated Total Reading Time: 8 mins



💧 Hydrogen


1️⃣ The Hype and Hope of Sahara Desert Green Hydrogen - Desert energy is back. As the European Union sets its sights on a green hydrogen boom as part of its plans to meet decarbonization pledges and rebuild economies ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, North Africa has emerged as a possible source for a significant chunk of Europe’s future hydrogen supply.

2️⃣ Japan Looks To Open The World's First Hydrogen Import Facility - Next year March the import terminal of Kobe will receive its first hydrogen shipment. Kawasaki Heavy Industries and energy supplier Iwatani have been working on a facility that is the first of its kind. According to Motohiko Nishimura, the head of Kawasaki’s hydrogen project development center, “hydrogen is indispensable for Japan to reach the zero-emission goal. Renewable energy alone isn’t enough to meet the nation’s hefty energy needs.”


❄️ LNG & Natural Gas


1️⃣ Mexican president wants to make a deal with Sempra on LNG project - San Diego-based Sempra Energy has been waiting about a year for one final permit from the Mexican government to proceed on making a final investment decision to expand a liquefied natural gas, or LNG, facility near Ensenada. At a Friday news conference in Mexico City, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the permit will be granted, provided the company helps the Mexican government take excess gas off its hands.

2️⃣ Haisla Nation approves partnership for Cedar LNG project - The Cedar LNG project will be a floating natural gas liquefaction facility. It is also aiming to be the first majority Indigenous-owned LNG export facility in Canada, the majority stake being owned by Haisla Nation.

3️⃣ Europe's Green Deal Is Bad News For U.S. LNG - The Green Deal formulated by the European Commission is based on three main goals: eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; decoupling economic growth from resource use; and leaving no person and no place behind. Whether the latter two are achievable is arguable. The first goal, however, is what has been drawing the most attention anyway: net-zero greenhouse emissions.

4️⃣ New emission standards will make US LNG exports more acceptable to the EU - President-elect Biden is expected to undo looser emission standards imposed by the Trump administration, especially the regulation of methane emissions in the production of LNG.


🚘 Mobility - EVs, Batteries & Fuel Cells


1️⃣ UK battery startup Zenobe Energy secures £150M to trigger electric vehicle and battery revolution - As the UK government looks to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035, the demand for battery operated vehicles is rising. And so is the investment in battery storage and providers startups and companies. The latest one in news is London-based Zenobe Energy ( formerly known as Battery Energy Storage Solutions Limited), which is one of the largest independent owners and operators of battery storage in the UK.




🔋 Energy Storage


1️⃣ Utility AGL plans 250MW / 1,000MWh battery project in South Australia - After a series of large-scale battery announcements in Australia from Federal and state governments, utility company AGL has followed up by saying it plans to build a battery system in South Australia with up to 1,000MWh of capacity.

2️⃣ Eos Will Supply More Than 1GW of Zinc-Based Batteries for Hecate’s Energy Storage Projects - Eos Energy Storage has entered an agreement to supply more than 1GWh of zinc-based batteries to Hecate Energy. The deal, which was officially signed by both parties on November 4, is estimated to value around US$250 million. Headquartered in New Jersey, Eos has developed a DC battery system that is scalable for various applications and requires no rare-earth materials.

3️⃣ 'World's largest battery' to power Saudi Arabia's $10bn green tourism mega-resort - Saudi Arabia said it will build what’s claimed as the world’s biggest battery facility to store wind and solar to power a vast luxury tourist complex on the Red Sea that will boast 50 hotels and its own airport. The Red Sea Development Company plans to deploy 1GWh-worth of battery storage to make the The Red Sea Project the biggest holiday destination on the planet to be fully powered by renewables 24 hours a day.


🔆 Solar Power


1️⃣ CSP startup Heliogen scores $39 million for CO2 project - Heliogen, which was founded by serial entrepreneur Bill Gross, aims to revitalize concentrated solar power with sCO2 tech to cut costs, water use, and plant footprints in industrial applications not suited to solar PV.

2️⃣ EDF unveils 50MW UK solar plans - EDF Renewables has announced plans for an up-to-50MW solar farm, Bloy’s Grove, between the villages of Swainsthorpe and Mulbarton, just south of Norwich. A number of ecological and other feasibility surveys have been carried out and the company is now consulting with local people about the proposal ahead of submitting a planning application to South Norfolk District Council in the spring.

3️⃣ Greenbacker acquires 80MW South Dakota solar - US developer Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company has bought through a wholly-owned subsidiary an 80MW solar project in South Dakota from Broad Reach Power for an undisclosed price. The Fall River solar farm is located in Fall River County and has a 20-year power purchase agreement with utility Black Hills Power.

4️⃣ The Wagyu Solar Project Reaches Commercial Operation in Texas - The 162 MW Wagyu solar PV project in Brazoria County, Texas, is now delivering power to the grid. Located near Houston, the project is owned by Cubico Sustainable Investments, a global investor in renewable energy, and was developed by Cypress Creek Renewables, a company that develops, finances, owns and operates utility-scale facilities.


🌊 Wave, Ocean, Hydro & Tide


1️⃣ CorPower cleared for Portuguese wave demo - CorPower Ocean has secured a 10-year licence from the Portuguese authorities to establish a wave energy project in the Atlantic Ocean. The Tupem license – awarded by the national Directorate-General for Natural Resources – provides a ‘Permit for the Private Use of the Maritime Space’ up to 10km off the coast of Aguçadoura in northern Portugal. CorPower Ocean country manager Miguel Silva said the permit unlocks the demonstration phase of the company’s flagship HiWave-5 wave energy converter (WEC).


💨 Wind Power


1️⃣ Big UK offshore windfarms push risks harming habitats, say campaigners - The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has promised that every home will be powered by offshore wind by 2030, which will require dozens of new sites for large turbines around the coast. However, the turbines require connections to the electricity grid and other construction on land, proposals for which are decided by local authorities on a case-by-case basis, and there is little national coordination of their construction. That means sensitive coastal sites, such as wetlands and marshes that are home to birds and large numbers of other wildlife, could be at risk, according to campaigners.

2️⃣ ‘It's time for the wind-power industry to openly discuss turbine fires' - The lack of transparency around major turbine failures could damage the sector's reputation and slow industry growth.

3️⃣ Black Sea wind ‘could be a substitute for Romania’s stalled offshore gas projects’ - Romanian senate passes law to establish offshore wind support as Brussels-based think tank sees huge potential for Black Sea.

4️⃣ CIP invests in 1GW Spanish onshore portfolio - Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) is linking up with Forestalia to develop a portfolio of onshore wind farms in Spain with a combined capacity of over 1GW. The 27 projects, which are located in the Spanish province of Teruel in Aragon, have all secured grid connection rights and are currently being progressed towards financial close, which is expected in approximately 24 months.

5️⃣ New group targets more sustainable offshore wind - A coalition of renewables developers, transmission system operators and NGOs, including Orsted, Siemens Gamesa and TenneT, have joined forces to cooperate on the sustainable deployment of offshore wind. The 18 organisations from across Europe have signed a memorandum of understanding and committed themselves to working together to develop offshore wind, while ensuring alignment with nature protection and healthy marine ecosystems.




🌳 Nature Based Solutions & Offsets


1️⃣ CO2-neutral flying: Lufthansa customers now compensate their flights by click - Lufthansa announced that CO2-neutral flying is now even easier for Miles & More customers thanks to a new offer. Customers can now see the CO2 emissions of their flight in the Miles & More app. They can offset these emissions directly with just a few clicks. The new offer is available not only for all Lufthansa Group flights, but also for travel with Star Alliance and joint venture partners for which the customer has received or used Miles & More miles. The new application is called “mindfulflyer”.


🔄 Recycling, Waste & Circular Tech


1️⃣ Products from fruit waste are replacing leather on global scale - Beyond Leather Materials, this year’s winner of the GGF’s clim@ competition, counts on rising demand for plant-based leather alternatives as it builds up the manufacturing capacity for its solution. It produces the substitute from apple pulp and is considering to use different fruits.

2️⃣ The problems of plastic pollution - (UK) The new approach called for on waste incineration (Increase in burning of plastic ‘driving up emissions from waste disposal’, 16 November) is a welcome acknowledgment of a longstanding and growing problem. To reduce waste to landfill, the authorities needed another waste stream for unrecyclable materials, including much soft plastic and film packaging.




📜 Policy


1️⃣ Extra £40m for green spaces in England, Boris Johnson pledges - A further £40m is to be ploughed into green spaces in England as part of a plan to restore species and combat climate change. The government says the cash will fund thousands of jobs in conservation. The prime minister also promised new national parks and greater protections for England’s iconic landscapes.

2️⃣ California ban on diesel opens new front in hydrogen vs. electric trucking battle - Another front opened in the battle to level the playing field for zero-emission vehicles this week when nine California legislators sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to take a “technology-neutral” approach to decarbonization and not focus the state’s transportation sector investments solely on battery-electric vehicles, especially in medium- and heavy-duty trucking.

3️⃣ UK legislation to lift barriers on 50MW+ battery storage projects goes into effect - Planning law in the UK allowing energy storage projects over 50MW has officially changed, allowing much bigger projects to come online without going through the national planning process.

4️⃣ Debate: should the EU embrace small-scale or large-scale clean energy projects? - The European Union aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, a feat that will take a myriad of projects to achieve. Yet debate remains as to whether larger, continent-wide policies, or smaller, more regionally-specific programmes, are likely to help the EU meet these lofty ambitions.

5️⃣ To become climate-neutral, the EU needs a carbon sink strategy - Climate neutrality means more than just reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This became clear most recently when the European Commission suggested that emissions sinks should be included in its calculations for reaching a strengthened 2030 climate target, by including the effects of afforestation measures.

6️⃣ A renewed trade policy for a stronger Europe – WindEurope’s response to the EU public consultation - Read the position paper here

7️⃣ Italy drafts guidelines for national hydrogen strategy, document shows - In a draft document called National Hydrogen Strategy Preliminary Guidelines, seen by Reuters, the Industry Ministry said it was targeting investments in the sector of around 10 billion euros ($12 billion) to 2030, with half of the amount coming from European funds and private investments.


💰 Investments & Funding


1️⃣ Clim8 raises £2.4M: London-based app lets you invest responsibly so you can save the planet and ... - Clim8 Invest is a London-based sustainable investment platform that helps consumers invest exclusively in companies focused on tackling the climate crisis. The startup has now raised a further £2.4 million in funding through British investment crowdfunding platform, Crowcube.

2️⃣ Bezos Earth Fund donates $30 million to Salk Institute for innovative climate change research - Salk's Harnessing Plants Initiative (HPI) will receive $30 million from the Bezos Earth Fund to advance efforts to increase the ability of crop plants, such as corn and soybeans, to capture and store atmospheric carbon via their roots in the soil. This work will explore carbon-sequestration mechanisms in six of the world's most prevalent crop species with the goal of increasing the plants' carbon-storage capacity. It complements an ongoing HPI project focused on identifying genes for increased carbon sequestration in model plants and then utilizing those genes to enhance carbon sequestration in crops.




🧭 General


1️⃣ Shell is closing its refinery in Convent. What does this mean for clean energy in Louisiana? - State's oil and gas sector has taken minimal steps to green future but could easily move in that direction, analysts say.

2️⃣ Is This The World's Most Ambitious Renewable Energy Project? - The world’s most ambitious renewable energy project to date is the proposed Australia–ASEAN Power Link. This project would combine the world’s largest solar farm, the largest battery, and longest undersea electricity cable. The 10 gigawatt (GW) solar farm would cover 30,000 acres in Australia’s sunny Northern Territory. That is about the equivalent of 9 million rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The solar farm would be paired with a 30 gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery storage facility to enable round-the-clock dispatch of renewable power.

3️⃣ Low-Carbon Cement Can Help Combat Climate Change - Concrete, the most widely used human-made material, shapes much of our built world. The manufacture of one of its key components, cement, creates a substantial yet underappreciated amount of human-produced carbon dioxide: up to 8 percent of the global total, according to London-based think tank Chatham House. It has been said that if cement production were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter after China and the U.S. Currently four billion tons of cement are produced every year, but because of increasing urbanization, that figure is expected to rise to five billion tons in the next 30 years, Chatham House reports. The emissions from cement production result from the fossil fuels used to generate heat for cement formation, as well as from the chemical process in a kiln that transforms limestone into clinker, which is then ground and combined with other materials to make cement.

4️⃣ Kazakhstan forges ahead with Renewable Energy - The signing of a syndicated US$95.3 million deal to support the construction of the Zhanatas 100 MW wind farm in southern Kazakhstan, marks a major milestone in the decarbonisation and diversification journey away from the country’s coal legacy.

5️⃣ North Sea Electricity Super-Highway Project Kicks Off in UK - SSE, National Grid, and ScottishPower have started work to develop a multi-billion pound underwater super-highway expected to turn the North Sea into the hidden powerhouse of Europe. Subsea surveys have started on the Eastern Link project which will see the world’s longest subsea high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables with a combined capacity of up to 4 GW.

6️⃣ Siemens Energy to build Afghan energy hub - Siemens Energy has signed a multi-phase agreement with Afghanistan to establish the country as an energy hub in central Asia by developing a modern, sustainable and cost-effective power system that incorporates renewable energy generation. The agreement builds on a memorandum of understanding that Siemens signed with the government of Afghanistan in January 2019, to support the country’s sustainable development.


🏭 Emissions


1️⃣ Energy Efficiency Network reduces CO2 emissions by 36000 tons - Mitsubishi HiTec Paper, and 13 other companies from the chemical and paper industry in the German North Rhine-Westphalia region, has saved a further 113 million kilowatt hours of energy, minimizing the carbon footprint by 36,000 tons.

2️⃣ Bendix eyes renewables to cut CO2 - US commercial vehicle equipment manufacturer Bendix is planning to ramp up its use of renewable energy and buy carbon offsets as part of a plan to cut its CO2 emissions in half over the next 10 years. The Elryia, Ohio-based company on 4 November unveiled a series of new sustainability goals, including achieving carbon neutrality by next year, that it says it will meet through the use of renewable energy, including on-site projects, and energy efficiency, along with carbon offsets.

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