WoodMac: Slower H2 demand across most commodities in China
Battery-less Solutions Flood In, Explores IDTechEx
WoodMac: New global wind power life cycle emissions to reach 55 Mt CO2 from 2020-2050
Arte Bunkering consolidates growth around Inatech’s Bunkertech ETRM solution
WoodMac: Asia Pacific renewables generation investments could hit US$1.3 trillion by 2030
WoodMac: Wood Mackenzie scales data analytics across the energy transition by adding Quinbrook as a Lens Power Development Partner
Australia’s low-carbon hydrogen trade could be worth up to US$90 billion in 2050
Producing green LNG is key for Australia to remain competitive
Pollux releases their third product with Epishine’s light cell
TenneT and GreenCom Networks want to unlock flexibility potential of households to manage bottlenecks in the power grid
China’s green ambitions can complement energy security and economic goals
Wood Mackenzie’s latest report reveals that China’s march towards carbon neutrality by 2060 can complement both energy security and economic goals. Faced with a fractured global trading system, China’s leadership has responded with ‘dual circulation’, an economic manifesto focusing on more secure supply chains, growing the domestic market, and improving export competitiveness. At the same time, pressured by global climate change movement and escalating domestic pollution woes, the country announced its carbon neutrality goal by 2060 in September last year. Wood Mackenzie research director Miaoru Huang said: “When President Xi Jinping announced the country’s carbon neutrality goal, he was not simply saying that China would adjust its energy mix to reduce emissions. He was giving notice of the complete transformation of its economy and how it produces, transports, and consumes energy. “This transformation or ‘dual circulation’ is the pivot point to China’s balancing act on its climate change goals, energy security concerns and economic ambitions.” Wood Mackenzie senior economist Yanting Zhou said: “Carbon neutrality aligns closely with the ‘dual circulation’ goals of increased capital efficiency and greater self-reliance through dominance of clean-energy resources and the technologies that will also drive large-scale domestic manufacturing. It aims to ensure that the energy transition is stamped ‘Made in China’.” On its current trajectory (not accounting for carbon neutrality), China’s oil-import dependency would exceed 80% by 2030, while half of its natural gas supply would be imported. However, the pursuit of carbon neutrality halves China’s oil demand by 2040 compared with Wood Mackenzie’s base case, with demand almost eliminated by 2050. For China to meet its carbon-neutral goal, it will need a 75% increase in electricity demand, compared to Wood Mackenzie’s base case, to replace fossil fuels. That equates to a staggering US$6.4 trillion investment in new power generation capacity. Nuclear power will have a role to play but growth will primarily come from solar, wind and storage. For China, building the production capacity is the easy part. The country is already the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines and dominates global solar module production, with around two-thirds of photovoltaic panels produced domestically. In addition, Chinese manufacturers own significant capacity overseas. China also leads the supply and processing of most of the raw materials needed for batteries and other zero-carbon technologies. Three-quarters of global lithium-ion battery production, half of the world’s electric vehicles and almost 70% of all solar panels are made in China. Zhou said: “The difficult part is ensuring a secure and competitive supply of raw materials for this growth. This includes the five essential metals - copper, aluminium, nickel, cobalt and lithium. Most notably, China’s dependence on foreign miners for its copper supply is a major concern. This has fuelled the country’s determination to seek greater control of other raw materials.” Essential for electricity transmission, wiring and wind turbines, the country’s domestic and overseas equity production of mined copper is just 16% of what it needs, leaving it net short of 7.5 million tonnes a year at current demand levels. Despite a decade of Chinese investment in overseas copper assets, western mining majors continue to dominate. Zhou added: “If China can replicate its current global market share in battery and solar-panel production across the entire future value chain of clean energy, it would transform global energy supply, trade and industry. “As more countries and corporates jump onto the net-zero bandwagon, concerns over China’s potential dominance are rising. If meeting expensive climate goals can only be achieved by buying materials and technology from China, how can governments around the world reconcile this with the promise of economic revival that comes with green deals and a clean-energy revolution?” Huang said: “China is changing the world. A decade of state-directed investment has already put China at the front of the grid when it comes to the critical resources and technologies essential to zero-carbon electricity and mobility. And, just as the rest of the globe will need China to help it decarbonise, so China will need others to support its transition.” In the race to lead clean energy, China has first-mover advantage. Through continuous innovation, investment and cooperation, all countries can prosper.
Now Epishine's world unique solar cell is here
Now it's here. Epishine’s ”light cell” that can change how we power small electronics – a thin and flexible organic solar cell that can be integrated in sensors, consumer electronics and other low power devices to reduce or eliminate the need of batteries. “We are very proud to have taken the results from more than 25 years of research into this product. What makes it even better is that we have also developed a production process that is scalable into large volumes. This makes us one of the global leading actors in printed organic solar cells”, says Anna Björklou, new CEO of Epishine. Epishine’s light cells are non-toxic, based on organic electronics and encapsulated in recyclable plastics. The unique scalability is due to the fact that the entire manufacturing process is based on different printing techniques, roll-to-roll. The thin and flexible cells can easily be integrated into typical plastic-based electronics housings. “We can now offer a product that completely redefines the possibilities for anyone developing low-power wireless devices for instance for the growing IoT and PropTech markets. You can now develop products that don’t dependent on expensive battery replacements”, says the sales director Jonas Palmér, Epishine. The global digital transformation requires more and more dataflow between the physical and digital worlds. This will rapidly lead to a countless number of small sensors and displays, that today are powered by batteries. This is not sustainable, neither from an environmental perspective nor from a maintenance perspective. Epishine’s cutting-edge light cell is optimized for ambient light indoors. All electronic devices that today are powered by small batteries that last for a year or more can potentially be powered by harvesting ordinary indoor light with this innovation. The new Swedish light cell that Epishine is starting to sell today is manufactured in an industrial process with capacity for the world market.
Biden administration and what it means for China and rest of Asia Pacific
As Biden’s inauguration approaches, Wood Mackenzie experts share how his administration could impact trade, climate change goals, and changes to the energy sector in Asia Pacific. Yanting Zhou, Senior Economist, said: “While we believe that the potential for further economic decoupling between China and the US still exists under a Biden administration, a less confrontational President may reduce this risk. Trade will remain the number one policy focus for US-China relationships and our assumption is that the January 2020 Phase 1 trade deal will broadly remain in place, despite the agreement looking difficult to achieve. “Amendments and subsequent agreements are likely, though none will be easy to conclude. Throughout the election campaign, Biden maintained that the US lost more than it gained in the US-China trade war as higher tariffs have raised the cost of goods for US households. Efforts to shorten supply chains will continue, as will China’s effort to strengthen its ties with Asia and Europe. “Therefore, we believe that the trade relationship will remain fractious and volumes between the two countries are likely to fall gradually.” Sushant Gupta, Research Director, said: “China’s Phase 1 trade deal commitment to purchase an additional US$52.4 billion of energy from the US by end-2021 looks very challenging. Lower oil prices, reduced US crude production and limited recovery in crude processing in China are all factors. “Crude imports from the US ramped up in 2020 to about 350,000 barrels per day (b/d) on average, but still way below the required amount of more than 1.5 million b/d to meet the deal. China’s temporary lifting of the LNG import tariff has helped increase volumes, but by nowhere near enough to fill the gap left by reduced crude imports.” Gavin Thompson, Vice Chairman, said: “We can expect both collaboration and competition on tackling climate change. Biden is expected to announce that the US will re-join the Paris Agreement on Day 1 of this presidency, along with ambitious plans to deliver a pathway to net-zero emission by 2050. However, the latter will require collaboration with China, particularly to bring others onboard. But at the same time, China and the US will increasingly compete to be the global leader in tackling climate change, with both seeking to expand control over low/zero carbon technology.” Prakash Sharma, Research Director, said: “The Biden presidency bringing the US back in to the Paris Agreement takes care of a lingering uncertainty in energy markets. In Asia, energy companies and investors can breathe a sigh of relief and plan strategies accordingly. “With the US back in the Agreement, we can expect a surge in net-zero 2050 policy announcements. If US Majors such as ExxonMobil and Chevron also raise their climate ambitions in response, then Asian NOCs like CNOOC, PTT, ONGC etc., will come under pressure to do more. This could lead to a race in securing resources for the clean energy sector including semi-conductors, battery metals, renewables supply chains. “In the short-term however, commodity prices could become more volatile as economies return to growth and energy demand recovers. Impact from inflation and foreign exchange is possible depending on how Biden funds his proposed US$1.9 trillion stimulus. If it comes from drawing down past inflows to Asia, price volatility could increase.”
Another year in the doldrums? Resilience and sustainability to be core oil and gas themes of 2021
Wood Mackenzie’s latest analysis asserts that sustainability and resilience will be at the heart of the oil and gas industry story in 2021. In 2020, the oil and gas industry’s immediate actions following the price downturn challenged the perceptions of what’s possible and set records for responsiveness. While many challenges lie ahead, dealing with unknowns has been a core industry strength. Wood Mackenzie believes a broad oil and gas sector recovery is possible. In a series of global outlooks for 2021, Wood Mackenzie highlights some key trends to watch for: · Continued underinvestment in upstream oil and gas; · Industry focus on resilience, sustainability and the energy transition; · Companies working to shape the upstream portfolio of the future. - Continued underinvestment in upstream oil and gas According to Fraser McKay, Head of Upstream Analysis at Wood Mackenzie, the upstream oil and gas sector will endure another year in the doldrums. McKay expects investment levels to remain flat at about US$300 billion in 2021. He says, “falling prices would mean rapid cuts, whereas at higher prices, contingency and resilience will outweigh enthusiasm to take advantage of a nadir in service sector costs.” Strategically, companies will focus heavily on stability and financial resilience. Investment decisions will reflect this priority. Wood Mackenzie expects 20 or so big project sanctions in 2021, up from just over 10 in 2020, but just half the prevailing pre-pandemic trend. The merits of these will increasingly be judged on their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) credentials. “The class of 2021 will not all be low-carbon, low-cost trailblazers. But the direction of travel is one-way in terms of industry stakeholder aspirations,” said McKay. Wood Mackenzie expects continued downsizing in the service sector. This will lay the foundation for improved margins, even if activity does not increase as forecasted between 2022 and 2025. Next year, operators have a closing window of opportunity to lock in lower project costs. - Industry focus on resilience, sustainability and the energy transition Wood Mackenzie’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Research, Tom Ellacott said, “New businesses, and new business models, are emerging from the wreckage of 2020. Companies will focus their investment on building a foundation which will be sustainable across a range of scenarios.” Companies will continue their relentless focus on boosting margins in upstream and downstream. Diversification into new energy will accelerate as more players commit to decarbonisation. “The Euro Majors will put more meat on the bone in 2021,” said Ellacott. He adds that geo-political factors such as the change in the U.S. administration, upcoming COP26, and shifting global sentiment will pressure international oil companies and national oil companies (NOCs) to lay out road maps to net-zero emissions. Governments will have to explore fiscal policies that support the global green initiative, while also balancing the need to restore budget deficits. Higher tax rates on cash-generative legacy oil and gas assets could emerge. Jessica Brewer, Principal Upstream Analyst added: “The momentum to reduce carbon emissions will intensify. Integrated energy hubs, like those envisioned in the UK, could take a step closer to reality in 2021.” What new initiatives are in the cards in 2021? Battery electrification solutions, hydrogen for power, and methane reduction initiatives will all take a step closer to commerciality. Flaring reduction also remains a hot topic and a prolonged pledge. - Companies working to shape the upstream portfolio of the future Producers choosing to stick with oil and gas cannot ignore relentless asset depletion. Some will move on exploration opportunities before competition heats up again. Well count and investments will be down 35% versus pre-crisis levels in 2021, but Wood Mackenzie expects a profitable year. The Majors and larger internationalising NOCs will likely drill 75% of the biggest wildcats. M&A will be the main lever in upstream restructuring. Highgrading will focus portfolios on the most advantaged assets and corporate consolidation will dominate activity in the US Lower 48. Upstream M&A activity will likely top out at 2019 levels of 200-300 deals.
Solar market forges ahead in Q3 as residential installations recover and utility-scale pipeline grows
U.S. solar companies installed 3.8 gigawatts (GW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in Q3 2020, a 9% increase from Q2 installations as the industry experienced a recovery from the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q4 2020 report, released today by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar accounts for 43% of all new electric generating capacity additions through Q3 2020, more than any other electricity source. The report projects a record 19 GW of new solar capacity installations in 2020, representing 43% year-over-year growth from 2019. “This report points to the incredible resilience of our companies and workers in the face of the pandemic and continued demand for clean, affordable electricity sources,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “It also speaks to our ability to support economic growth, even in our darkest moments. While solar will continue to grow, the next administration and Congress have an opportunity to help the solar industry reach its Solar+ Decade goals, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and tackling the climate crisis.” The residential solar market — which was the hardest hit by the business impacts of the pandemic — beat recovery expectations, growing 14% over Q2 but remained below Q1 levels. “Logically, the states with the biggest installation declines in Q2 also had the biggest recoveries in Q3, such as New York and New Jersey where restrictions were substantial,” said Michelle Davis, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “Business model adaptations, such as virtual sales tactics and pricing promotions, continued to pay dividends through the summer and fall.” The utility-scale market was the primary driver of Q3 installations with 2.7 GW of new capacity, representing 70% of all solar capacity brought online in Q3. Sun Belt states are leading the way on new capacity additions this year, with Texas and Florida both installing more than 2 GW through Q3 2020. For perspective, that is nearly the amount of solar that each of those states installed over 2018 and 2019 combined. The utility-scale project pipeline ballooned to a record 69.2 GW, and the U.S. is now forecast to reach 100 GW of cumulative installed solar capacity by mid-2021.
OPEC+ agrees to increase output after tense negotiations
Tense negotiations and rumours of a rift between Saudi Arabia and UAE ended with a compromise deal for OPEC+ on 3 December 2020. Despite concerns on oversupply for Q1 2021, the group agreed to increase output by 500,000 b/d in January. Production restraint is set at minus 7.2 million b/d instead of the Q4 2020 level of minus 7.7 million b/d. Wood Mackenzie vice president Ann-Louise Hittle said: “After the initial OPEC session on 30 November, without its non-OPEC partners, signs of discord pointed to doom for the concept of a simple rollover of current levels of production restraint of 7.7 million b/d. Under the April OPEC+ agreement, that restraint was due to ease to a 5.8 million b/d cut on 1 January 2021. “During November, the idea of delaying that easing in production restraint took hold. This reflected widespread concerns that weaker-than-expected global demand would lead to a large oversupply in the first quarter, unless OPEC+ held back from the nearly 2 million b/d planned increase.” The OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) will meet in January to consider if the 500,000 b/d cut in restraint should be continued for February, or possibly doubled. Hittle said: “This week’s compromise reflects a determination to avoid a repeat of the price war in March and April this year. “The compromise agreement, if continued through February and March by adding 0.5 million b/d to each of these months on top of the previous month’s increase, leads to an oversupply of 1.6 million b/d for Q1 2021. “We expect Brent to hold a floor near US$40 per barrel in January and average at least US$45 per barrel for the month with this agreement.” As expected, given the stakes the group was able to cobble together a compromise. However, now it faces the tricky task of reconsidering production at meetings each month during Q1 2021 and avoiding similar disagreements over compliance and production.
CONTACT Software explores new high-temperature applications for sustainable energy production
The Werner-von-Siemens Centre for Industry and Science (WvSC) has started the project "high temperature applications" with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions from gas power plants. Since hydrogen-containing gases generate combustion temperatures that are too high for conventional gas turbines, the consortium wants to develop new components for "green" fuels whose function and material are designed for temperatures above 1000 degrees Celsius and a long service life. High-temperature components with innovative cooling concepts cannot be produced using traditional methods. Here, additive manufacturing (AM) offers the project partners the necessary freedom in the design as well as in the testing of materials that improve the efficiency of gas power plants. The later prototypes will be printed by selective laser sintering (SLS). CONTACT's aim is to reduce the effort for the optimal setup of the SLS machine. Therefore, many parameters such as the power, focus and movement of the laser must be taken into account to ensure that 3D metal printing delivers the desired result. CONTACT Software approaches the solution from several sides: by repeatedly simulating a manufacturing process with live parameters from the real process. By analyzing simulation data as well as sensor values from the running production. And by comparing the virtual results with the real parameter sets. Basis for this is CONTACT Elements for IoT. "With our IoT platform, we digitize the entire AM process chain", explains Kevin Wrasse, who is one of CONTACT's Industry 4.0 experts working on this project. "The digital twin and new data analytics approaches help us to comprehensively test our simulation model and improve it step by step". In total, experts from five industrial partners, the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Technical University of Berlin are conducting research on the new high-temperature applications for regenerative fuels. Just like the WvSC project "Electrical Drives", which is focused on more efficient power generators for industry, the EU and the Berlin Senate are also supporting this research with grants from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) and state funds.
PV module innovations to help drive down solar costs in coming decade
The global solar industry has experienced tremendous growth in the past decade as the annual demand for solar rose year after year while the cost of solar declined significantly. In the 2020s, solar module costs will continue to fall, albeit at a much slower rate. Instead, improvement in module efficiency and power class will propel the declining capex trend forward and ultimately lower the solar levelised cost of energy (LCOE), new research from Wood Mackenzie found. In its latest Solar PV Module Technology Market Report 2020, Wood Mackenzie examined three technologies that have the potential to improve solar module power class and performance: large wafer, n-type cells, and cell- and module-level techniques. Report author Dr Xiaojing Sun said: “We found that PV modules made of large wafers, such as the M6, M10, or G12 format, could reduce the capex of a utility-scale solar project by 3% to 9%. The cost savings would be appealing to solar developers and installers, which will drive the market adoption.” She said a majority of the major silicon module manufacturers have announced large module products, and many of them are on track to commercially produce large modules between Q4 2020 and Q4 2021. Wood Mackenzie’s data show that the total module manufacturing capacity of M6, M10, and G12 wafer-based modules will reach 28GW, 63GW, and 59GW, respectively, by the end of 2021. By 2025, the production capacity of modules using M10 and G12 wafers is forecasted to exceed 90GW, respectively, making them the dominant technologies by manufacturing capacity. Dr Sun added: “It is important to point out that the market adoption of large modules is dependent on the co-evolution of balance-of-system components such as inverters and trackers to accommodate the higher current and the larger size. “ “Multiple industry alliances have been formed since early 2020 to ensure the entire solar ecosystem evolves to support the adoption of large modules. If the industry’s efforts bear fruit, we forecast that large module shipments in 2021 will account for approximately 40% of the total shipment of crystalline silicon modules. By the end of 2025, modules made with wafer sizes smaller than M6 will phase out of the market.” The report also investigated n-type modules, such as HIT and TOPCon, that could generate more power per panel due to higher cell efficiencies and have lower degradation rates. Unlike large modules, n-type modules do not currently yield system capex and LCOE savings in utility-scale solar projects. N-type modules’ high product costs offset the system-level non-module cost savings. Dr Sun said: “Our analysis shows that TOPCon and HIT modules will need a power class premium of at least 40W and 90W, respectively, or a 6% and 20% price cut in order to be competitive with mono PERC. Admittedly, these are tall orders. Nevertheless, significant efficiency improvement and production cost reduction are n-type modules’ must-take path to succeed mono PERC as the next generation solar module of choice.” The research suggests that the 2020s will be a decade with rapid solar module technology innovations, leading to significant increases in module power class, better performance, more versatile applications. Dr Sun added: “Module technology innovations, in addition to hardware cost reduction, will be the quintessential driving force that propels the continuous reduction of solar LCOE in the new decade.”
Southeast Asia’s wind power needs US$14 billion new investments by 2030
Southeast Asia’s wind power sector requires at least US$14 billion of investments by 2030, says Wood Mackenzie. This is to support the 8.9 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power capacity that Wood Mackenzie expects to be added between 2020 and 2029. With a population exceeding 650 million and average annual power demand growing at 8% until 2030, Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing power markets. To support this growth, the region’s governments are setting renewable energy targets to diversify their energy mix to be more energy self-sufficient. Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Robert Liew said: “Currently there are about 20.7 GW of planned wind power capacity in the pipeline, but we think less than half or 8.9 GW will be realised by 2030. The coronavirus pandemic has slowed development in 2020, as border closures delay equipment transportation and prevented foreign technical staff support in these nascent Southeast Asian markets. “Vietnam has risen to become the shining star in the region’s race to add wind power capacity. It alone accounts for 66% of new capacity expected to be added by the end of the decade.” The surge in projects in Vietnam is driven by the government’s decision to upgrade the wind feed-in-tariff (FIT) in 2018 to 85 US$ per megawatt hour (MWh) for onshore wind and 98 US$/MWh for intertidal offshore wind with a 2021 deadline for both FITs, though a potential extension to 2023 is still to be decided. Power demand is recovering, and Southeast Asian countries will be competing to attract large-scale investments to spur economic recovery. This will provide opportunities for governments to push ahead with their new national power plans with expanded roles for more renewables. Liew said: “There is potential for more upside if Malaysia and Myanmar start utility-scale wind development and offshore wind development occurs in markets outside Vietnam.”
Sumitomo Electric awarded for Redox Flow Battery Systems from Hokkaido Electric Power Network
Sumitomo Electric is recently awarded as a prime contractor in charge of EPC and supplier of Redox Battery Systems by Hokkaido Electric Power Network, Inc.*1(Head Office: Chuo-ku, Sapporo; President: Hiromi Yabushita; hereinafter, HEPN) for their grid-scale battery system with a capacity of 51 MWh (17 MW for 3 hours). Sumitomo Electric started construction work from July 2020. This work plans to be completed by the end of March 2022. HEPN is working on expansion of interconnection between the grid and wind power generation, utilizing grid-scale battery systems, for which HEPN launched a solicitation process. Sumitomo Electric is confident that completion of this project and more opportunities in the future will contribute to the implementation of renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. HEPN commenced the solicitation process for wind power generation utilizing gridscale battery systems to interconnect wind power generators, predicated on installation of grid storage batteries and sharing of the incurred construction costs. 15 wind farm projects totaling 162MW are approved for grid interconnection under Phase I scheme. Sumitomo Electric’s Redox Flow Battery Systems are adopted as grid-scale battery systems. Redox Flow Battery Systems charge and discharge using the redox reaction of metal ions in the electrolytes. Our battery systems offer long life, high safety, and many other features, as described below. (1) Long life Redox Flow Battery Systems have no limitation in recharging cycles in principle, allowing stable operation for more than 20 years (design life intended by Sumitomo Electric). Also, the electrolytes, which do not deteriorate, can be used semipermanently and can also be reused. (2) High safety Redox Flow Battery Systems feature an extremely low possibility of fire and high safety because they operate at room temperature and are made of non-combustible and flame-retardant materials. Moreover, it allows for accurate monitoring of the state of charge, enabling stable operation continuously for an extended period of time without being affected by charge/discharge patterns. After confirming stable operation through 3-year demonstration program supported by Sumitomo Electric awarded for Redox Flow Battery Systems from Hokkaido Electric Power Network2/2 METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), since 2019, Hokkaido Electric Power Co.,Inc. has started commercial operation of Redox Flow Battery Systems (power rating: 15,000 kW; capacity: 60,000 kWh) constructed by Sumitomo Electric. Hideo Hato, Senior Managing Director of Sumitomo Electric said, “I am truly delighted to be awarded this exciting program and also to be able to contribute to HEPN's business. SUMITOMO Redox Flow Battery Systems have been operated stably and safely with the aim of ensuring grid stabilization. With the long life and high safety, these systems will help boost the use of clean renewable energy sources. As a pioneer of the development of Redox Flow Battery Systems, I will continuously work on performance improvement and cost reduction for even more wide spread use of Redox Flow Battery Systems in Japan and overseas.”
ExxonMobil, FuelCell Energy Expand Agreement for Carbon Capture Technology
IRVING, Texas and DANBURY, Conn., Nov. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ExxonMobil and FuelCell Energy, Inc. said today they have signed a new, two-year expanded joint-development agreement to further enhance carbonate fuel cell technology for the purpose of capturing carbon dioxide from industrial facilities. The agreement, worth up to $60 million, will focus efforts on optimizing the core technology, overall process integration and large-scale deployment of carbon capture solutions. ExxonMobil is exploring options to conduct a pilot test of next-generation fuel cell carbon capture solution at one of its operating sites. “ExxonMobil is working to advance carbon capture technologies while reducing costs and enhancing scalability,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “This expanded agreement with FuelCell Energy will enable further progress on this unique carbon capture solution that has the potential to achieve meaningful reductions of carbon dioxide emissions from industrial operations.” FuelCell Energy’s proprietary technology uses carbonate fuel cells to efficiently capture and concentrate carbon dioxide streams from large industrial sources. Combustion exhaust is directed to the fuel cell, which produces power while capturing and concentrating carbon dioxide for permanent storage. The modular design enables the technology to be deployed at a wide range of locations, which could lead to a more cost-efficient path for large-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration. “Today’s announcement underscores our leadership position in fuel cell technology,” said Jason Few, president and chief executive officer of FuelCell Energy. “We are excited to continue to work with ExxonMobil to tackle one of the biggest challenges that exists today. We have a great opportunity to scale and commercialize our unique carbon capture solution, one that captures about 90 percent of carbon dioxide from various exhaust streams, while generating additional power, unlike traditional carbon capture technologies which consume significant power." “FuelCell Energy has always been proud of our technology and our role in reshaping the environmental impact of industry and electrical generation. This is another giant step forward towards the large-scale deployment of this much needed technology.” ExxonMobil and FuelCell Energy began working together in 2016 with a focus on better understanding the fundamental science behind carbonate fuel cells and how to increase efficiency in separating and concentrating carbon dioxide from the exhaust of natural gas-fueled power generation. The new and expanded agreement will prioritize the optimization of the core carbon capture technology for integration into large-scale industrial facilities such as refineries and chemical plants. ExxonMobil engineers and scientists have researched, developed and applied technologies that could play a role in the widespread deployment of carbon capture and storage for more than 30 years. The company has a working interest in approximately one-fifth of the world’s total carbon capture capacity, and has captured about 7 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide. ExxonMobil has captured more carbon dioxide than any other company.
Yanmar Energy System Europe Established as Full-Service Energy Solutions Provider
Yanmar has announced the establishment of Yanmar Energy System Europe GmbH (YESE), a full-service energy company that will provide advanced, full-service solutions to customers in Europe in gas-powered generation, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). The establishment of the company follows the Eschenfelder KKU Group’s move to join the Yanmar Group in April 2019. As a specialist in the design, engineering, distribution and installation of resource-saving refrigeration, cooling and heating solutions for trade and industry, KKU joined with Yanmar group company, Yanmar Energy Systems Co. Ltd (YES), a leading force in development, production and distribution of gas engine heat pumps, chiller and cogeneration solutions for the HVAC industry worldwide, to provide development and manufacturing capabilities that enable production of tailormade solutions for complicated situations where standard solutions fall short. “The establishment of this new company consolidates Yanmar’s wide-ranging energy systems portfolio and capabilities under the one roof,” said YESE CEO Yosuke Tajima. “We can now offer full-service, customized solutions to customers across a broad spectrum of gas-powered generation and HVAC applications.” He added: “This move further positions Yanmar for significant growth in European markets by realizing synergies between company functions and optimizing pan-European business management.” Headquartered in Marl, Germany, the new entity will enable Yanmar to strengthen its development activities to further expand tailor made solutions for its energy customers in Germany and the rest of Europe.
Less waste and energy usage result of Olofsfors switch to SSAB steel
/ins Olofsfors, a Swedish manufacturer of steel products for the forestry and construction industries, has reduced its material usage, optimized its production process and developed a lighter, more fuel-efficient product. How? By moving its production in house and switching to SSAB Boron 27 steel. “We have transitioned from using pre-manufactured parts to buying steel that we press and manufacture in house,” explains Maria Ragnarsson, Olofsfors’ Head of Purchasing and Logistics. “Now that we control our production process, we’re generating less waste and making a more sustainable product.” In 2008, Olofsfors opted to bring the production process for its ECO-Tracks for forestry machines in house. In the search for a supplier to provide the steel for the side supports on the tracks, it chose SSAB Boron 27 steel. “Quality is one of our top priorities,” says Ragnarsson. “If we want to produce the right quality, the material we use has to meet the required quality standards. “We chose steel from SSAB because it maintains a high, consistent level of quality and because SSAB is a sustainably minded company that is also a relatively local supplier to us here in northern Sweden,” she continues. In addition to optimizing fuel consumption as a result of the lightweight properties of SSAB’s steel, the switch to SSAB Boron 27 has resulted in less material use, less waste and improved sustainability for Olofsfors. “The material waste percentage from cut steel can be as high as 50 percent, but, with SSAB’s steel, we’ve reduced that number significantly. Our material use is down too. We make some 400,000 side supports a year and, for each one, we’re saving between half a kilo and a kilo of steel. So we’re heating less steel and wasting less steel,” says Olofsfors’ Strategic Product Developer, Mats Frangén. “SSAB is committed to reducing its long-term climate impact and that’s something we value when choosing our suppliers. With SSAB, we use and transport less material, all of which has a positive impact on our carbon emissions,” concludes Maria Ragnarsson.
Fenix International’s inclusive employee ownership programme gives first-of-its-kind pay-out in Africa
Fenix International is announcing a pay-out to employees such as customer service associates, sales managers, chefs, and guards under their unique inclusive employee ownership programme in Africa. The ‘Fenix Flames’ programme extends benefits to employees in lieu of traditional company stock options. As part of an employee benefits programme, the scheme was designed to offer a pay-out in the event of an acquisition or public listing. Following Fenix’s recent acquisition by global energy company ENGIE, 350 employees based in Africa will now benefit as a result of the programme. The unique ownership initiative was created to ensure all full-time Fenix employees, beyond those eligible for traditional stock options, benefit from the business’ performance and value creation, including an acquisition or IPO event. African-based employees, including sales managers, call centre staff, support teams, chefs, cleaners and guards, will each receive a pay-out, with longer-serving employees receiving up to 2-5 times their gross annual salary. Fenix Flames are a core part of Fenix’s mission to create long-term impact in their African markets, where the average Ugandan earns as little as $1.50/£0.90 a day. In offering a long-term vested interest in the business, it helps Fenix to attract and retain the best talent and has proved a powerful performance driver for the team as Fenix has rapidly expanded. Alongside ownership, Fenix and ENGIE provide employees with professional development, comprehensive health insurance, parental leave and other benefits to empower and develop the team. Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International, said: “At Fenix, we believe that employee ownership is powerful. Fenix Flames drive the team to go above and beyond to achieve our long-term goals, to collaborate across traditional department lines, to operate with integrity and to achieve profitability. We spent over two years working with lawyers, investors and financial advisors to carefully craft the Fenix Flames programme and all of this hard work has paid off today.” Fenix held an all-hands meeting to let employees know the value of their Fenix Flames options. Denis Mutti, National Sales Manager at Fenix International said: "I must say it wasn’t easy to leave a secure job in microfinance to join Fenix in its start-up stage, but today I celebrate taking that leap into the unknown. Alongside being a part of the company’s growth and helping to change the lives of millions of people, I have also been able to earn Fenix Flames which are enabling me to acquire a property in Kampala – a dream come true. Only one in a million companies would do this in Africa. Now that the ENGIE acquisition is finalised we will all be working hard to take Fenix to the next level.” Carol Akello, Chef at Fenix International said: "It's not everyday that one can get an opportunity to receive such a package. To date, I still can't believe it. I have worked in Fenix for over 3 years now. This money is going to bring a big difference in my life. The dreams I had only in my head can now be brought to life." Lyndsay concludes: “Today there are very few companies who extend ownership to employees –despite the transformative effect it can have on customers, employees and shareholders. We hope that programmes like Fenix Flames demonstrate the feasibility and impact of employee ownership and that this is just the beginning. In a few years, we want to see a vibrant business community with many more inclusive employee ownership programmes across Africa, and we will actively support this.”
Inatech Picks Romania to Expand Product Development in Oil Trading ETRM
Inatech, the energy trading risk management (ETRM) systems provider owned by Glencore, today announces that it has picked Romania as a new hub for IT development Inatech has taken on five developers in Bucharest to work on new releases of its key ETRM product for the oil trading industry. The product, named Techoil, enables fully informed and collective decision-making processes by allowing trading firms to see profit and loss in real-time on any given oil trade, and to track the evolution of P&L as variables change such as supply logistics. The development team in Bucharest will complement the work of Inatech’s existing product development unit, headquartered in Chennai, India. “As we grow as an organization, we’re keen to diversify our pool of talent,” said Inatech’s CEO Jean-Hervé Jenn. “Building R&D in more than one location enables a richer exchange of ideas and cross-pollenates unique best practices from each location.” The choice of Romania reflects the high level of skills available locally in IT, a strong sense of professionalism and good education, as well as a cost base 20-30 percent lower than in Western Europe. In terms of technical prowess, Romania is a global leader: the rate of gifted children is twice the worldwide average and the country has ranked No. 1 in Europe at the International Math Olympics this decade.* “We particularly appreciate the way in which our IT specialists in Bucharest like to think long and hard about an assignment at inception,” said Jean-Hervé. “Before coding even begins, you’ll get asked so many questions, it will drive you crazy – but it’s because they’re thinking through the full concept, and at the end of the process you get the product you truly need.” The new team in Bucharest reports to Satyadip Das, Head of R&D, based in India.
Research from Schneider Electric Reveals Companies Unprepared for New Energy Economy
While global business leaders are gathering at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos this week to talk about energy and environmental challenges, a new study released today by Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy and carbon management, and automation, reveals that most organizations feel prepared for a decentralized, decarbonized and digitized future, but many are not taking the necessary steps to integrate and advance their energy and sustainability programs. This false sense of security can be attributed to the finding that most companies still take fairly conventional approaches to energy management and climate action. And the gaps in innovation are further complicated by limited coordination between procurement, operations and sustainability departments, as well as inefficient data collection and sharing. - 81% of companies have made efficiency upgrades or plan to, but 30% or less are considering new energy opportunities such as microgrids and demand response According to the survey of almost 240 large corporations ($100 million in revenue or more) from around the globe, 85 percent of respondents said their company is taking action over the next three years to keep its carbon-reduction plans competitive with industry leaders. But the projects that have been initiated or are in development skew heavily toward energy, water and waste conservation. Outside of renewables, few of the organizations represented are implementing more advanced strategies and technologies to manage energy and emissions. Key findings include: · Eighty-one percent of respondents have made energy efficiency upgrades or plan to within the next two years; 75 percent are working to reduce water consumption and waste. · Fifty-one percent have completed or are planning to pursue renewable energy projects. · Just 30 percent have implemented or are actively planning to use energy storage, microgrids or combined heat and power — or some mix of the technologies. · Only 23 percent have demand response strategies or plan to in the near term. “We are in the middle of a massive disruption in the way energy is consumed and produced,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO at Schneider Electric. “The near-universal focus on conservation is a positive. However, being a savvy consumer is only a part of what’s needed to survive and thrive. Companies need to prepare to be an active energy participant, putting the pieces in place to produce energy, and interact with the grid, utilities, peers and other new entrants. Those that fail to act now will be left behind.” A primary barrier to progress may be internal alignment. Sixty-one percent of respondents said their organization’s energy and sustainability decisions are not well coordinated across relevant teams and departments, particularly true for consumer goods and industrial businesses. In addition, the same number of respondents said lack of collaboration is a challenge. Data management was cited as another obstacle for integrated energy and carbon management, with 45 percent of respondents stating that organizational data is highly decentralized, handled at local or regional levels. And of the people who identified “insufficient tools/metrics for data sharing and project evaluation” as a challenge for working across departments, 65 percent manage data at the local, regional or national — not global — level. Managed cloud services leader iomart is an example of a company that’s taking an integrated, data-oriented approach. It works to coordinate energy efficiency and environmental management across the network of data centers it owns and operates in the U.K. “Having data and actionable intelligence is essential,” said , group technical operations director for iomart. “But what happens once the information is in hand is equally important. Our procurement, energy and sustainability teams compare data, and develop shared strategies to manage consumption and emissions, and cut costs. That collaboration has delivered significant savings for the business, and helped us achieve ISO 50001 accreditation and meet Carbon Reduction Commitment requirements.” - The research points to progress in several areas as well. More than 50 percent of companies represented have initiated renewable energy projects or plan to do so within the next two years, with healthcare (64 percent) and consumer goods (58 percent) leading the way. Plus, the c-suite and corporate functions have a high degree of involvement in these and other sustainability-focused programs. Seventy-four percent said C-suite members review or approve renewables and sustainability initiatives, for instance, indicating this work is seen as a strategic priority. And while ROI is the obvious benchmark for energy and sustainability initiatives, companies are starting to take a longer, more comprehensive view of investments. For example, more than half of the respondents said environmental impact is factored in to the evaluation process. Organizational risk (39 percent) is another important consideration. The study was conducted by GreenBiz Research to identify how businesses develop energy and environmental strategies, collect and share data, and coordinate across departments — a practice known as Active Energy Management. Participants included professionals responsible for energy and sustainability management, from C-suite and board members to individual contributors. Companies surveyed represent 11 primary segments, including consumer goods, energy/utilities, finance, industrial, healthcare and technology. Results of any sample are subject to variation. Read the research report for a detailed summary of the survey and results. And for energy and sustainability news and trends, visit Perspectives or follow @SchneiderESS.
580MW's of Solar Farm Projects being sold by Innovative Solar Systems, LLC
Innovative Solar Systems, LLC (ISS) is a US based Utility Scale Solar Farm Developer. ISS is currently offering for sale a 580MWac portfolio of high quality, high return Solar Farm Projects. The portfolio consists of sixteen (16) individual projects that total 580MWac of grid generation. This portfolio of projects has sites located in the following eight states: MT, CO, UT, AL, NC, SC, WA and TX. These projects are easy build, high return projects and will have excellent rate and term PPA's with credit worthy off takers. ISS is the leader in the development of Utility Scale Solar Farms and has sold approximately 2.7GW of projects to date. Large Investors, Capital Groups and Investment Funds all look to Innovative Solar Systems on a regular basis to supply their large Renewable Energy Investment needs, knowing that ISS develops and builds larger, higher return assets. This known quality allows investors and their stock holders much higher returns. ISS's projects will typically yield its buyers and investors the highest returns in the solar industry. Many factors contribute to ISS's success; such as 1) Better project sites requiring less preparation allowing for quicker build times, 2) ISS has master contracts with some of the best and most economical EPC's in the industry and is able to build projects out for 20-30% less than competitors, 3) Lower long term O&M contracts maximize returns 4) Quality sources of tax equity, 5) Stronger PPA's, 6) Experienced project designers capable of lowering final EPC build costs, 7) Significant in-house services negating clients need for outside consultants.