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15 March 2023

The world of renewables this week

Reuters claims that Tesla has signed with China’s Ningbo Ronbay New Energy and Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing to help it trim material costs as it ramps production on its new 4680 battery cell. It has also signed a deal with Korea’s L&F Co to supply high nickel cathodes which will increase the battery’s energy density even further.

Renewables leader Statkraft said it will incite new shareholders into its EV charging operator Mer, so that it can stick to aggressive growth plans. It has engaged Carnegie and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken as financial advisors for this process. Mer has 300 staff and 35,000 charging points across Europe.

GE told investors this week that it will launch a 17 MW to 18 MW Haliade-X turbine for offshore wind farms. Its current model has an output of 14.7 MW.

Japan’s Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure has bought a minority stake in the 1.2 GW Hornsea One offshore wind farm in the UK in the North Sea which was developed by Denmark’s Ørsted and Global Infrastructure Partners.

UCLA engineers decided to try a semi-transparent solar roof on a greenhouse which absorbs different frequency of sunlight from that which plants need. The result was published this week in Nature Sustainability and shows that the solar has no bad effects on the growth of plants in the same greenhouse. The team used organic solar cells relying on carbon-based materials, instead of conventional solar all of which looks good for farming and solar farms working side by side.

NREL and Fortescue Metals Group have announced a partnership at the Colorado Innovation Center, a US-based Green Hydrogen R&D center in Colorado. The initial collaboration will be three years, but ultimately Fortescue plans to invest $80 million over 10 years in R&D projects with NREL.

The hydrogen electrolyzer stack test bed in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility

Ørsted and Eversource today announced they have submitted a joint proposal in response to the US Rhode Island’s offshore wind solicitation proposing the 884 MW Revolution Wind 2.

The UAE’s Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has stated in its Statement of Future Capacity Requirements 2023-2029: Summary Report that 4.1 GW of solar capacity should be added by 2029 including the 1.5 GW Al Ajban complex which is due for 2026. To firm this is advocates 300 MW of battery energy storage.

This week saw the EU announce measures to support such industries through to the end of 2025. A leaked European Commission draft paper last week proposed that 40% of EU demand for clean technologies such as modules, should be met from domestic sources by 2030, with a 50% target for electrolyzers, 85% for wind turbines, and 60% for heat pumps.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs has announced its strategy to accelerate solar installations through to 2030. The Ministry states that to reach government targets, annual German installations must reach 9 GW this year, then 13 GW in 2024 and 18 GW in 2025, reaching a plateau of 22 GW in 2026. From 2026, The Ministry seeks 11 GW a year in the ground-mounted sector, and is laying out various regulatory adjustments which will incentivize rooftop adoption.

BMW has removed diesel options for variants of its 1-series, 2-series, 4-series 5-series, and X2 model vehicles in the UK as demand fell significantly over time. The most popular variant to be eliminated from the options of future customers was the 118d which sold just over 1300 sales in 2021, falling to 505 in 2022.

Fluence and Siemens Smart Infrastructure have completed a renewable energy microgrid project on the island of Terceira, a Portuguese Azores island. Fluence supplied a 15MW/15MWh battery system which will be paired alongside 6MW of renewable energy generation. The island’s share of renewable energy generation will more than double to 60% as a result.

Following on from BYD’s announcement last week that its Atto 3 SUV is now available for orders within the UK with deliveries starting this week, Octopus Electric Vehicles has signed an MoU with BYD to order 5,000 vehicles over the next 3 years for use within the company’s salary sacrifice scheme. The company already offers a breadth of EVs including the MG 4 EV, the Nissan LEAF, and the Tesla Model 3.

Electric truck registrations within the European Union rose 32% from 2021 to 2022, half of which being registered in Germany, bringing the market share up from 0.5% to 0.6%. Diesel remains the fuel of choice within the trucking industry, with 96.6% market share and Central Europe contributing heavily. Trucks running on alternative fuels like ethanol, LPG, or natural gas decreased year-over-year from 3.6% of the market in 2021 down to 2.8% in 2022.

Israeli hydrogen company, H2Pro, has agreed to build a 500MW electrolysis plant to provide green hydrogen to Japanese corporation Sumitomo. The deal will see H2Pro cash in $250 million until the end of the decade for what is still an unknown amount of the green gas. H2Pro’s founder, Talmon Marco has publicly stated that this is “not a one-time deal, it’s a relationship” which implies that the two Asian companies will expand on this deal as and when the hydrogen industry will grow.

Shell is investing $10 million to form the Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator programme with the aim of deploying a test turbine equipped for the unique weather challenges of the Gulf of Mexico. Shell will make the investment as part of a partnership with Louisiana-based Gulf Wind Technology, a US turbine rotor company. The potential for wind energy in the area is believed to be over 500GW.

Hydrom, a subsidiary of Energy Development Oman, has signed multiple deals, worth $20 billion, with a number of developers specialising in green hydrogen projects including Green Energy Oman, Green Hydrogen and Chemicals, Hyport Duqm consortium and SalalaH2 consortium. These developments will require an installed capacity of approximately 15GW of electrolysis.

A consortium formed between the United Arab Emirates’ renewables developer Masdar, Egyptian renewables developer Infinity and German project developer Conjuncta has revealed plans to build 10GW of electrolysis capacity for a green hydrogen project in Mauritania that is expected to cost $34 billion.