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The world of renewables this week

China has said it will strengthen its climate plan and have it ready by 2020, which will involve a reduced emissions targets, Climate Home News reports. In a joint statement with France and the UN, China also said it would publish a long term de-carbonization strategy. The implication is that China can make stronger pledges than it signed up to before.

Offshore wind developer Ørsted said it will help Germany’s EEW build a steel factory for turbine foundations in Paulsboro, New Jersey as part of its efforts to roll out its recent win in the US offshore wind sector when it won a 1.1 GW project known as Ocean Wind. EEW will build monopile foundations.

Huston’s Sunnova Energy is expected to issue an IPO valuing it at more than $1 billion according to filings it has made on the SEC website. Sunnova has had over $2.5 billion in investment from backers including Energy Capital Partners, Triangle Peak Partners and Quantum Strategic Partners, so will remain underwater on those funding rounds for a while yet. Sunnova provides residential solar and offers consumer loans to install it.

A former CEO of EQT, Steve Schlotterbeck, one of the shale gas powerhouses in the US, has come out and said openly that the entire business of fracking in the US is an unmitigated disaster for investors. A prior estimate from the Wall Street Journal found that the top 40 US shale gas firms have spent over $200 billion more than they earned.

PNM, the New Mexico utility has issued four scenarios for investment in renewable energies and adhering to its Energy Transition Act which takes it to 100% renewables by 2045. It favors one that continues to use energy from a new 280-MW gas-fired power plant, plus 350 MW of solar capacity, 130 MW of battery storage and 140 MW of wind power which it already has. PNM views the gas plant as a bridge prior to using battery technology.

ShipEco Marin has a new idea for retiring giant oil tankers, it wants to cut large holes in their hulls to build watertight silos inside, and harvest wave power to run electrical generators like giant pistons. The idea has been tested on scale models at Cranfield University where the air displaced by waves drives a turbine. The eventual idea is to use this energy at sea to produce fresh water, around 18,000 and 36,000 tonnes a day before bringing it ashore. Or it could make hydrogen or liquid nitrogen.

Vestas seems to send us release after release of orders and this week came up with a 281 MW order in Brazil delivered 2021; and said it finished its Q2 with a further 1,775 MW of new wind turbine orders in the last four days of the quarter, pushing its total orders for the first half of the year to 7,605 MW, 40% up over last year. It said it secured its first 4 MW platform order in China’s distributed wind market, but did not say who with; and a 76 MW order for the final phase of the Serra do Mel project in Brazil at energy company Echoenergia. It also had a 197 MW order for the Folha Larga II wind park, at Campo Formoso in Bahia, Brazil and one in Finland for 151 MW, the first order for the new larger EnVentus platform turbine.

CoensHexicon and Shell said they will develop floating wind in South Korea through a Joint Development Agreement to build a floating wind farm 40 km offshore from Ulsan. It described it as the start of its commercial journey in South Korea. A project company called TwinWind Development has obtained a water area offshore using the Swedish Heixcon floating platform.

Audax Renovables, an independent renewable energy supplier in Spain will partner Statkraft, in the largest power purchase agreement in Spain to supply

Audax Renovables with 525 GWh electricity annually for a period of ten and a half years, sourced from its Spanish solar portfolio.

Oxford PV has taken a further £34 million in new funding to build a 200MW heterojunction (HJT) solar cell line using perovskite – silicon tandem cells from next year in Germany. The investment is partly from Meyer Burger and others, including Legal & General, and is additional to the £31 million of Series D funding it took in March 2019 for capex. It is expected to begin ramping by the end of 2020. China’s Goldwind and Norway’s Equinor were in the earlier round.

Wood Mackenzie has come out with a solar forecast which says that European solar installations will double over the next three years which will push installed capacity over the 250 GW in 2024. The forecast is bolstered by several EU states committing to 100% zero-carbon by 2050. Over 170GW of gas, coal and nuclear capacity will be displaced from the market by 2040. Solar PV’s share of generation will reach 13% by 2040 up from 4% today.

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