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20 April 2022

The world of renewables this week

Algeria is struggling to ramp up its gas supplies to Europe, as the continent looks to replace its imports from Russia. The country, which currently supplies 8% of Europe’s natural gas, does not have enough resources that can be made available quickly, according to officials, who blamed a longstanding shortage of foreign investment in the countries hydrocarbons sector. Last week, Algeria’s Sonatrach and Eni which will see Algeria gradually increase exports, hitting as much as 9 billion cubic meters in 2023 and 2024.

LG Energy is leading a South Korean consortium in the investment of $9 billion in the Indonesian EV supply chain, having signed a deal with local mining company PT Aneka Tamban and Indonesia Battery Corporation. It comes as battery makers look to reduce their reliance on Chinese suppliers and to spread risk to hedge against rising commodity prices. The project aims to span across the full battery production process including smelting and refining nickel, manufacturing precursors, cathode materials and cells, and assembling finished products.

US President Joe Biden has rolled back pledges to ban oil and gas leasing, buckling under pressure to bring down petrol prices. Around 144,000 acres of public lands will be put up for sale next week, the interior department said on Friday, marking the end of the moratorium that was one of the president’s earliest acts in office. The new leases will charge higher royalty payments than before – 18.75%, compared with 12.5% previously – and significantly cut back on the amount of land that will be auctioned.

The Philippines could host up to 21 GW of offshore wind capacity, according to its Offshore Wind Roadmap that was released this week. A low growth scenario, according to the report, suggests that the country has the potential to install 3 GW of offshore wind by 2040, making up 3% of the country’s electricity supply. The high growth scenario shows the potential to install 21 GW making up 21% of its electricity supply.

Start-up Swiss Clean Battery says it will build the first giga factory for solid state batteries in Switzerland with production starting in 2024 at 1.2 GWh and rising to 7.6 GWh. Solid State batteries tend to carry 50% more charge for Kilogram of weight, and are far less likely to combust, and do not contain rare metals such as cobalt. All chemicals and machines will be sourced from Switzerland and Germany. An initially investment of $262 million is planned and the company will then IPO on the Zurich Stock Exchange.

Canada’s e-Zinc, an electrochemical energy storage specialist focused on a zinc-air battery design, has raised $25 million in an A series funding round, which will be for making its first pilot product. Funding was led by Anzu Partners with additional funding from BDC Capital, Toyota Ventures, and Eni Next. Toyota Ventures will provide guidance to help e-Zinc scale its manufacturing and supply chain. Israel’s Phinergy also works with both aluminum-air and zinc-air batteries for EVs, had perfected its technology in 2019 and has partnered with the Indian Oil Company.

The Penske Truck Company in Michigan in the US says it has put in an order for 750 Ford E-Transit cargo vans and will take first deliveries in the few weeks, where they will first be made available in Southern California then phased in elsewhere in the US, for both day rentals and longer term leases.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has issued a tender for a 500MW/1,000MWh standalone battery storage, which is expected to be the first of a procurement of up to 4,000 MWh. It says it will need 27GW/108GWh of battery storage by 2029-2030, in addition to 10,151 MW of pumped hydro.  This tender is for two projects in Rajasthan and the battery will connect directly to India’s inter-state transmission system.

Volkswagen said at its results this week that despite supply bottlenecks for semiconductors and wire harnesses, it has delivered 99,100 all-electric vehicles by the end of March up from 60,000 a year ago.  The orders for future delivery for EVs have risen to 300,000 in Western Europe while

BEV deliveries in China were up by four times to 28,800. The company says it is chasing a BEV market share of 7% to 8% percent for the full year. Total EV deliveries in the quarter were up 65%, with 58,400 of those in Europe.

Broad Reach Power in Texas has planned 6 projects to install on the ERCOT ISO for energy storage, using CATL battery for energy storage on the grid amounting to 950 MWh of storage to all be complete by end of 2023. Broad Reach has a 21 GW portfolio of utility-scale wind, solar.