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Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Good evening The Carbon Cut Readers! Today's highlights include:
  • A report on how BioLNG can help decarbonize transport sectors

  • Solar takes it all as not a single wind project enters oversubscribed tender at Germany's latest renewable auction

  • Joe Biden was accused during the presidential campaign of planning for the end of oil, but some analysts say the president-elect won't hurt — and may actually help — the industry

  • From Autonomous Cars To Green Hydrogen, Here Are The Top Techs For 2021 according to Lux Research

  • and how CO2 could be gold for global shipping.

Estimated Total Reading Time: 9 mins


💧 Hydrogen

1️⃣ Green hydrogen 'gamble' risks costly mistakes, warns Enel boss Starace - Renewable power giant's CEO says still unclear if centralised or distributed model to dominate, with danger of stranded investments for backing losing option.

2️⃣ Shouldn't we demonstrate the case for hydrogen before running a town on it? - (UK) The Government’s 10 point net zero plan commits to delivering hydrogen to a town by the end of the decade. Before the taxpayer funds trials on hydrogen in towns, should we not see the comparative evidence against electrification that demonstrates hydrogen for domestic heating as being good for the UK consumer? Staying with the ten point plan, it was heartening to see the BEV passenger car receive centre stage. There was no mention of the hydrogen FCEV for passenger and light vehicles, thus effectively signaling the end of the UK’s interest in hydrogen for the majority of transport emissions.

3️⃣ Green hydrogen generation from municipal waste - Since the construction of the suspended railway in the late 1800s, Wuppertal in Germany has been pioneers in transportation, with the Schwebebahn still in operation today. Once again, Wuppertal is putting themselves on the map for their innovative approach to mobility, with the implementation of a fleet of fuel cell electric buses, powered by the green hydrogen generated from the incineration of municipal waste.

4️⃣ Scientists Create Living Factories That Churn Out Hydrogen Fuel - By jam-packing photosynthetic algae into sugary droplets of water, scientists are building mini biological factories that churn out hydrogen that could be used as a source of carbon-neutral energy.


❄️ LNG & Natural Gas

1️⃣ The great gas investment divide - Gas’ part in the transition to a climate-neutral energy system is more controversial than for any other major source of primary energy.

2️⃣ Titan launches free LNG comparison tool to enable like-for-like benchmarking to other fuels - Available on Titan LNG’s website, the new LNG delivered price page provides an overview of LNG prices delivered onboard in various quantities and ports, aiming to increase transparency and understanding of the cost of LNG as a marine fuel. Furthermore, it displays up to date indicative pricing on a weekly basis in five key LNG fueling locations: Rotterdam, North Sea, Baltic, Mediterranean and Singapore.

3️⃣ Thumbs down for LNG as industry innovators thrash out the future of fuels - TradeWinds' expert panel plots its way to 2030 while discussing the merits of hydrogen, sail power, ammonia and more.


🚘 Mobility - EVs, Batteries & Fuel Cells

1️⃣ China’s new NEV plan targets battery electrics, ‘quality brands’ - China’s plan for new energy vehicles (NEV) in the next 15 years aims to promote the transition from a state-led to a market-led industry. In the eyes of the policy makers, Chinese brands should lead the way and control the domestic market. Whether the plan (in Chinese) will succeed hinges on how the government manages the phase-out of purchase subsidies after 2022.

2️⃣ Battery-electric trucks will win race against fuel cells and e-fuels - Battery-electric trucks are set to take over heavy duty road freight because they are much cheaper to run than other low-emission technologies, says green vehicle expert Auke Hoekstra, a researcher at Eindhoven University of Technology. Trucks equipped with fuel cells or using e-fuels will never be able to compete with electric trucks' business case, forecasts Hoekstra in this interview. Catenary trucks could be a viable alternative, but it will be hard to get the technology off the ground on a large scale, argues Hoekstra, who is also programme director at NEON Research and founder of ZEnMo simulations.


🔋 Energy Storage

1️⃣ JERA demonstrates battery storage data platform - JERA has begun a demonstration of its Battery Energy Storage System Data Platform named BESS. BESS is a membership-based platform that provides services based on operational data collected from storage batteries installed on user premises. It is built on top of JERA’s IoT platform. According to the results of a survey conducted by JERA, the main reason users install storage batteries is to provide backup energy in times of disaster, so the batteries have surplus capacity during normal times.

2️⃣ EStor-Lux to set up Belgium's largest battery park - EStor-Lux is constructing Belgium’s largest battery park in Bastogne in a partnership with Centrica Business Solutions. The latter will be responsible for operation and enhancing the revenue received from the batteries. The battery park will function as a virtual power plant, making efficient use of the available supply on the high-voltage grid and discharging the power when demand threatens to outstrip supply.


♨️ Geothermal

1️⃣ French group planning development of up to 4 geothermal projects in Serbia - As part of an announcement of a planned wind farm near Kikinda in Serbia, French company IEL OIE Balkan Renewable Energy also announced plans for a geothermal power plant next year.


🔆 Solar Power

1️⃣ Cubico completes 270MW US PV purchase - Cubico Sustainable Investments has completed the acquisition of a pair of US solar projects totalling 270MW from RES. The Delta’s Edge and Crossett projects, located in Mississippi and Arkansas, will be built by RES. The projects are expected to reach financial close in the first quarter of 2021, with commercial operations starting in 2022.

2️⃣ Solar-plus-storage is a ‘zero-emissions threat’ to gas-burning power plants in the US - Solar PV combined with energy storage represents a “zero-emissions threat” to gas generation in the US, according to a new report from BloombergNEF. While PV and batteries can perform the same services and “offer similar value” to natural gas power plants, dynamics of the competitive threat posed in the US energy market by solar-plus-storage and different types of gas generation are nuanced, the analysis firm said.

3️⃣ Sonnedix Acquires 160 MW Utility Scale Project in Chile - Sonnedix, the global independent solar power producer (IPP) has recently acquired a solar PV project in development stage from the renewable energy developer and constructor Andes Solar. The transaction includes the co-development of the project.

4️⃣ Massive Solar Facility Would Displace Farmland, Forest - A plan to build one of New England’s largest ground-mounted solar installations is drawing opposition, but it’s not coming from residents. The 485-acre Gravel Pit Solar project in East Windsor, Conn., has a 120-megawatt capacity, with 50 megawatts designated for Rhode Island. But despite the project’s name, only 16 percent of the solar facility’s footprint will cover gravel and sand quarry land. Farmland and forest account for 288 acres.

5️⃣ Stanford scientists invent ultrafast way to manufacture perovskite solar modules - "Perovskite solar technology is at a crossroads between commercialization and flimflammery," said Stanford University postdoctoral scholar Nick Rolston. "Millions of dollars are being poured into startups. But I strongly believe that in the next three years, if there isn't a breakthrough that extends cell lifetimes, that money will start to dry up." That's why a new perovskite manufacturing process developed at Stanford is so exciting, Rolston said. In a new study, published in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Joule, he and his colleagues demonstrate an ultrafast way to produce stable perovskite cells and assemble them into solar modules that could power devices, buildings and even the electricity grid.


💨 Wind Power

1️⃣ Saitec wins €2.4m funding to scale-up floating wind project - Saitec Engineering has been awarded with €2.4m funding to bring its SATH floating wind technology to market. The European Commission finance for the SATHScale project will allow Saitec to scale up its prototype from the technology validation and demonstration in a relevant environment to Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).

2️⃣ Siemens Gamesa collects 130MW Canadian contract - Siemens Gamesa has signed a 130MW order to supply wind turbines to Berkshire Hathaway Energy Canada's Rattlesnake Ridge wind power project. The 26 SG 5.0-145 wind turbines will be installed at one of the first subsidy free wind farms in the country. Located southwest of Medicine Hat in Alberta, this project will provide clean, affordable power for more than 79,000 Canadian homes.

3️⃣ Japan's largest gas company joins race to build offshore wind - Tokyo Gas joins partners Northland and Shizen for 600MW plan off Chiba Prefecture.


💎 Carbon Capture

1️⃣ More trees, please: Lukoil's Fedun targets Russia's carbon farms and CCUS potential - Russia has vast potential to tap into the growing global decarbonisation market, with the development of carbon sinks as well as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) facilities presenting a huge opportunity set for the oil and gas producing powerhouse, according to Lukoil's Leonid Fedun.

2️⃣ Subsea CO2 storage plan offshore Denmark clears first regulatory hurdle - The mission to store CO2 beneath the Danish North Sea has cleared the first major hurdle after the intended subsea reservoir was confirmed feasible for CO2 injection by independent certification body DNV GL to the endorsement of Danish authorities. With this certification of feasibility to DNV GL’s Carbon Capture and Storage certification regime and the international standard, Project Greensand has successfully completed the first phase of validation of the project aiming to develop capacity to deliver a significant part of Denmark’s CO2 reduction target by reusing discontinued offshore oil fields.


📜 Policy

1️⃣ Biden’s Plans For Carbon Capture Buildout Could Make Headway In Congress - President-elect Biden in his Plan For A Clean Energy Revolution, calls for the nation to “accelerate the development and deployment of carbon capture sequestration (CCS) technology.” The plan goes further, to advocate for technology that not only captures the carbon but puts it to beneficial use, such as in enhanced oil recovery. Citing the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labor unions and environmental organizations, the plan states that “carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) is a rapidly growing technology that has the potential to create economic benefits for multiple industries while significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

2️⃣ Biden presidency to create 'big momentum' on tackling climate change: IEA's Birol - The election of Joe Biden to the US presidency and his commitment to rejoining the Paris Agreement will create a "tremendous momentum" to fight climate change and will likely lead to a "big push" for technological innovation in the area, International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol said Nov. 25.

3️⃣ Changes to UK's renewable energy auction scheme announced - The changes follow a consultation process ahead of the CfD allocation round 4, which will see onshore and solar wind projects eligible to participate for the first time since allocation round 1, and an extension of the deadline by which generators must demonstrate delivery progress, among other amendments.

4️⃣ NSW’s ‘urgent’ electricity infrastructure bill includes 2GW of long-duration energy storage - Policymakers for New South Wales (NSW) in Australia have been debating a bill to co-ordinate investment in the state’s electricity infrastructure that includes 2GW of long-duration energy storage and AU$50 million (US$36.71 million) support for green hydrogen over 10 years.


💰 Investments & Funding

1️⃣ Vestas launches venture investment programme - Vestas is launching a new venture investment programme to accelerate the deployment of sustainable energy, the electrification of societies and unlock new growth opportunities. Vestas Ventures will invest in early-stage start-ups within sustainable energy. It will partner as a lead or follow-investor with start-up companies globally with promising technologies and solutions.

2️⃣ Chancellor announces £4.3m offshore wind enabling fund - Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled new funding for the Government to work closer with the offshore wind industry on removing barriers to growth and protecting biodiversity. In today's Spending Review he announced a £4.3m Offshore Wind Enabling Actions Programme to be jointly run by DEFRA and BEIS. The Programme is "designed to increase understanding of the environmental impacts of offshore wind and find strategic solutions to reduce barriers to its expansion in English waters", according to HM Treasury documents.


📈Pricing & Trading

1️⃣ CO2 exceeds EUR 28/t as auctions near year end - The benchmark Dec 20 EUA contract climbed as high as EUR 28.12/t on Ice Futures, the second time carbon has breached the EUR 28/t barrier since late September.


🧭 General

1️⃣ What will the future of energy in Europe look like? - It is expected that in 30 years, more than a quarter of Europe's electricity will be produced at sea, up from only 2% today.

2️⃣ Egypt on track to take title as 'green powerhouse of Africa' by 2025 - Development of 9GW-plus clean-energy pipeline led by giant Gulf of Suez Red Sea wind power project to carry nation past South Africa for first time.

3️⃣ How Renewable Energy Technologies Amplify Buildings - Photovoltaics are apt for buildings where they can reside on the unused rooftop area. Instead, they can also use the car parking space, where along with producing energy, they offer protection to cars and individuals from rain and sun.

4️⃣ Philippines aiming for 34,000 MW of renewable energy by 2040 - "Coal and oil shares will also continue to decrease due to the use of alternative fuels for transport, among others. This also translates to a power generation mix that shifts from being coal-centered to one where RE, natural gas, and other emerging clean energy technologies will have increased shares," Secretary Cusi said.

5️⃣ Big Oil And Big Tech Are Spending Billions On Renewable Energy - According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report, global corporations have been striking a record number of clean energy power purchase agreements, or PPAs. In 2019, corporations purchased 19.5 gigawatts of clean power through long-term contracts, marking an impressive 40% Y/Y increase. Indeed, over the past three years, companies have quickly ramped up their clean energy purchases from 4.3GW in 2016.


🏭 Emissions

1️⃣ China's CO2 emissions will be higher in 2020 than in 2019, says IEA's Birol - China’s greenhouse gas emissions will increase in 2020 compared to 2019 as they have rebounded after the COVID-19 outbreak, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday. “As of today, Chinese emissions this year, 2020, will be higher than in 2019, they rebounded,” Fatih Birol told a digital energy conference organised by Norwegian oil firm Equinor.

2️⃣ Microsoft announces 100% renewable datacentre region in Sweden - Microsoft has confirmed plans to launch a world-class sustainable datacentre region in Sweden in 2021. The region, which will include three datacentres, will be powered by 100% renewable energy and will deliver Microsoft Cloud services across Sweden to support businesses with advanced connectivity, data privacy and security.


🧩 Tech and R&D

1️⃣ Dutch students build electric car from recycled material - The bright yellow, sporty two-seater which the students named 'Luca', can reach a top speed of 90 kilometres (56 miles) per hour and has a reach of 220 kilometres when fully charged, the Technical University of Eindhoven said.

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