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1 March 2023

The world of renewables this week

Aberdeen City Council (ACC) in Scotland has ordered 35 hydrogen utility vehicles form ULEMCo as part of a fleet wide conversion commitment. ULEMCo has supplied heavy duty vehicles to ACC previously, and these have been running successfully for over a year. This new order includes further refuse collection vehicles and road sweepers but also a wide variety of other utility trucks including tippers and tractors.

The Australian state of Victoria has announced an $8,000 per year per kilometer payment to landowners who agree to host transmission lines. An alternative route for the VNI West transmission line in the state has recently been published, in an attempt to dodge local opposition.

Canadian Solar is to increase its module shipments by 66% this year, to 35 GW.

Raptor Maps, a seller of solar lifecycle management software, has concluded that the global solar industry incurred a 3.13% loss in output in 2022 due to anomolies, up nearly double from 2019, based on tests across 24 GW of projects, in which losses of $3,350 were found per MW.

China has manufactured its first ±800 kV DC high-speech switch. For now, the company responsible, China Southern Power Grid, is still completely dependent on imports from the West for this component.

NREL has joined calls for a California-led Western Regional Transmission Operator, publishing a report The Impacts on California of Expanded Regional Cooperation to Operate the Western Grid delineating the many benefits, which ultimately come down to a cheaper and more reliable grid.

Masdar and the Indonesia Investment Authority have participated in the $600 million Pertamina Geothermal Energy IPO. Pertamina is an Indonesian company which has been operating geothermal power plants for 40 years.

Lightsource bp has placed an order for 4 GW of modules, over a multiple years period, for First Solar modules. This is its second 4 GW order and these modules are to be delivered between 2026 and 2028, and will power Lightsource bp projects in the US – basically charging infrastructure. The deal includes orders for First Solar’s Series 6 Plus and next-generation Series 7 modules. First Solar is expanding its US manufacturing capacity, with a third factory expected to come online in Ohio in the first half of 2023. First Solar also said this week it has another repeat order from Silicon Ranch for 1.5 GW of solar modules – another repeat order.

Canadian Wind specialist Boralex said in its results that it passed the 3 GW capacity mark at the end of 2022, which much of its new capacity in France and the US. Cash flow from operations was $403 million in fiscal 2022, and it experienced a 21% increase in production capacity. It acquired five US wind farms as well for an installed capacity of 447 MW and has nearly $500 million in available cash resources with EBITDA of $502 million in fiscal 2022.

Loop Energy, a US designer of hydrogen fuel cells, has been selected by Wiggins Lift Company, to provide the fuel cells for its new hydrogen-powered eBull forklift product. Loop Energy will deliver the system and begin commissioning in Q2 2023 to support commercial deployment of the hydrogen-electric forklifts in late 2023.

Australia has blocked a Chinese investment into a rare earth metals firm, China’s Yuxiao Fund has been blocked from increasing its share in Northern Minerals on the grounds of national interest. The Yuxiao Fund intended to increase its stake in the company from 9.9% to 19.2% and according to the government register was blocked by Treasurer Jim Chalmers. Chalmers said that the country would become more selective in who it would allow to invest in its critical minerals industry. Northern Minerals has said that it plans to become a major producer of dysprosium outside of China, which controls 94% of the world’s supply.

Spanish automotive OEM Seat is set to invest €3 billion into its Martorell plant as part of the company’s drive towards EVs and the plant’s 30th anniversary, Seat plans to produce full electric vehicles at the plant in 2025. Seat’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group have outlined its plan for the electrification of its Spanish plants, including its Martorell and Pamplona factories. It also includes battery gigafactories in Sagunto and Valencia and the creation of an entirely new supplier ecosystem.

Shell is considering a move from the London Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange in a bid to win back American investors following a change in leadership. The move comes after the promotion of the company’s new Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan appointed a team to review parts of Shell’s business, one tactic being considered is dropping a commitment made by previous Shell boss Ben van Beurden to allow the company’s oil production to fall by 1 to 2% each year from 2019 as a way to cut emissions. The decision seems to stem from BP’s shares jumping after a decision to lessen commitments to reducing oil and gas production.

BP and APCOA plan on building 100 EV charging hubs across urban centers across Europe, Berlin and Bremen are set to be the first locations to have 24/7 ultra-fast charging access under the agreement. BP Pulse is BP’s electric charging unit which already has a significant presence across the EV charging industry across Europe, APCOA is a Germany-based parking provider, the deal will involve charging hubs being installed across APCOA’s property throughout Europe.


US has proposed the first offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The planned sale will involve 102,480 acres off Lake Charles, Louisiana and two additional area amounting to 179,366 acres near Texas. This is part of the effort made by President Joe Biden’s administration to install wind turbines along every U.S. coastline as it seeks to deploy 30GW of offshore wind energy by the end of the decade.


The Department of Energy of Philippines awarded 55 offshore wind service contracts with an aggregate capacity of 40.68GW, reflecting strong investor interest in the emerging offshore wind industry.

Canadian based Northland Power has secured two Electricity Business Licenses for its 1GW Dado and 0.6GW Bobae offshore wind projects in South Korea. The projects are expected to advance to mid-stage development and will begin progressing with engineering surveys and securing grid capacity.

Taiwan is ready to see its first underwater cable factory begin production as the regional offshore wind sector is set to flourish. Danish company, NKT, will start rolling out these cables as soon as 2027 in order to supply the growing wind industry in the country.