I keep trying to peddle good news stories here, yet the politicians seem determined to undo it all.
UK pension funds buy 12.5% Hornsea 1 stake
Octopus Energy Generation and GLIL Infrastructure have acquired a 12.5% stake in UK offshore wind farm Hornsea 1 from Global Infrastructure Partners.
Octopus made a £200m investment on behalf of Nest, one of the UK’s largest pension schemes representing a third of the UK workforce.
GLIL Infrastructure, a UK infrastructure investor initially set up by London Pensions Fund Authority and Greater Manchester Pension Fund in 2015, is also investing £200m.
The deal represents GLIL’s first ever offshore wind investment.
The Orsted-operated 1218MW Hornsea 1 wind farm comprises 174 wind turbines and has been generating power since 2020.
GIP acquired 50% of the wind farm from Orsted in 2018 and has made a series of piecemeal equity divestments in the project over the past year.
Equitix, Greencoat UK Wind and InfraRed and RES-managed The Renewable Infrastructure Group (TRIG) fund have all so far acquired minority stakes. (renews)
Photo: Hornsea 1
AMTE Power in next-gen EV deal with Cosworth
AMTE Power, the Scottish manufacturer of battery cells for specialist markets, has signed a deal with automotive engineering company Cosworth to support the development of next-generation electric vehicles.
The non-binding Memorandum of Understanding paves the way for the Thurso-based company to supply its Ultra High Power cells for use in Cosworth’s advanced propulsion technologies.
A partner to major brand builders, Cosworth designs innovative battery and electric vehicle solutions to power the high-performance automotive, aerospace and marine sectors.
Following its recent acquisition of electrification specialist Delta, the company has accelerated its development of battery systems to complement its market-leading electrified powertrains and engines.
AMTE Power’s cell technology will be used in Cosworth’s technologies which are developed at the engineering company’s state-of-the-art facilities.
AMTE Power announced last week that its first Megafactory will be built in Dundee which will enable it to produce its cells in the UK at industrial scale and get its high value products to market quickly and efficiently. (dailybusiness)
Study Underway to Make 40,000 Council Houses More Energy Efficient
The project involves seven local authorities who own housing stock looking at ways it can be made more energy efficient thus cutting down on carbon emissions. Much of the housing is old, meaning heating leaks easily from windows and roofs as well as tenants continuing to rely on gas for heating.
At a presentation given to members of the board which runs the City Region, Ian Fitzpatrick, the Deputy Chief Executive of Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council, said these sums gave the authorities a high degree of buying power to enact change if they worked together.
The work, called retrofitting, involves giving older homes upgrades, possibly including triple glazing, solar panels, replacement LED lighting, door replacements and alternative energy systems such as ground source heat pumps.
Fitzpatrick’s working party includes experts from the University of Brighton, which is also a member of Greater Brighton, and an unprecedented number of retrofit consultants from the private sector. The working party has already identified 10 types of housing and are developing a system of cross-checking how many energy-saving additions are needed to save the most carbon emissions cost effectively.
Already other regions of the UK are making enquiries about the project and companies such as heat source pump manufacturers are indicating ‘bulk buying’ of the technology across councils could significantly reduce costs. (renewableenergymagazine)
Xlinks chalks off latest milestone for Morocco-UK solar link project
Xlinks has appointed engineering consultancy WSP to provide technical advisory services for its Morocco-UK solar link project, marking another step forward for plans the multi-billion pound development that could see solar power exported from North Africa to the UK.
WSP has become the latest partner for the ambitious Xlinks project, which aims to build an interconnector between giant solar farms in Morocco and the UK, with the potential to deliver 3.6GW of reliable and clean power to the UK.
Under the terms of the contract, WSP will provide technical advisory services for the tendering of contracts that are expected to be worth over £1bn to deliver four HVDC convertor stations and ancillary works for the project. The tenders would include UK grid connection works, connection to the generation assets in Morocco, and an interface between the converter stations and the HVDC cable systems in the UK and Morocco. (businessgreen)
photo: Octopus Energy
Vital Energi to Deliver New Heat Network in Bedfordshire
The UK is set for another major heat network after a new Bedfordshire-based project received £16.9m in funding from the Government’s Heat Networks Investment Project. Vital Energi will deliver the project which will take waste heat from the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility, operated by Covanta Energy Europe and distribute to nearby homes and buildings.
The heat network will be future proofed for easy expansion to serve a number of local planned developments and could eventually be capable of delivering circa 30MW of heat to up to 12,000 homes and commercial buildings. (renewableenergymagazine)
photo: Vital Energy
UK to yield the power of biomass with new £37m package
Projects that will harness the energy potential of biomass have been awarded £37 million in government funding.
The grants are expected to increase the production of sustainable biomass that can be used as a renewable energy source.
The Aberystwyth University in Wales will receive more than £2 million to accelerate the breeding of miscanthus, known as elephant grass, grass varieties considered as well-suited for biomass use.
Another project will be supported with more than £2.8 million to develop techniques to farm and harvest seaweed off the North Yorkshire coast, taking advantage of seaweed’s qualities as a source of biomass and its ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
The funding will also support technologies that will generate hydrogen from biomass and waste. (energylivenews)
EV OF THE WEEK
The XBus Camper is a quirky, cheap & fun
The XBus is a minuscule modular marvel from Germany’s Electric Brands that features 4 in-wheel motors and various battery packs from 10 kWh to 30 kWh. Now don’t go snickering about the tiny standard battery. The basic XBus is so efficient, it can go up 200 km — more than the Series I Nissan LEAF with its 24 kWh battery.
The XBus features an array of modular body configurations — flat bed, pickup truck, tilt bed truck, cargo van, or 4-door pickup. If your neighbour has one, you can mix and match the various components so you both have the vehicle you need when you need it. The batteries are removable, so you can swap in fully charged batteries when needed rather than waiting for charging to take place while you are out and driving your XBus. (cleantechnica)
photo: Electric Brands
Stellantis Overtakes Tesla In Europe EV Sales
Stellantis is on a roll in Europe when it comes to electric vehicle sales, with the Franco-Italo-American group overtaking Tesla in the first half of the year and closing in on Volkswagen Group.
The automotive group born from the merger of France’s PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles aims to become Europe’s top seller of battery-electric vehicles, ahead of Volkswagen and Tesla.
In the first half of 2022, Stellantis sold 105,413 fully electric cars in Europe compared to Tesla’s 78,277 sales, and was just behind Volkswagen Group’s 116,307, according to figures from Dataforce cited by Automotive News Europe.
The best-selling electric vehicle from Stellantis in Europe was the Fiat New 500, which was also the best-selling fully electric car in Western Europe in the second quarter, according to analyst Matthias Schmidt. This marked the first time that a Tesla model did not get that honor since the last quarter of 2020. It was the best seller in Italy and Germany. (insideevs)
Hyundai rolls out 27 heavy-duty hydrogen trucks in Germany
More hydrogen-powered trucks will take to the road in Europe this week thanks to funding from the German government, which will support the rollout of 27 heavy-duty Xcient Fuel Cell trucks by Hyundai to a group of seven German companies.
The seven German companies working in logistics, manufacturing, and retail will put 27 Xcient Fuel Cell trucks into their fleets in the future thanks to funding for eco-friendly commercial vehicles from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV).
While hydrogen fuel cell transport is probably not viable for mass private transport, and making it uses more electricity than simply supplying the electrons to batteries alone, many believe it has a place in long haul and heavy transport. (thedriven)
World’s first vessel powered by an H2-storing salt
The world’s first ship to be powered using a solid form of hydrogen — said to be far safer and easier to store than compressed or liquid H2 — is due to go into operational trials at the Port of Amsterdam next June.
The Neo Orbis passenger vessel — designed to operate in Amsterdam’s canals and in the channel between the city and the North Sea — will be powered by hydrogen released from a salt called sodium borohydride (NaBH4).
This solid chemical is mixed with pure water and a stabiliser to form a non-combustible liquid fuel, with the dissolved NaBH4 then reacting with a catalyst to release hydrogen, which is then used to drive a fuel cell.
The Neo Orbis will be built by Dutch shipbuilder Next Generation Shipyards after it won a competitive tender from the Port of Amsterdam and H2Ships project, which is co-funded by the EU. (rechargenews)
FOCUS ON: US / China trade
CATL Pushes Back American Battery Plant News Amid Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit
CATL is the largest EV battery producer in the world. It has been looking at plans to build future battery factories at a minimum of two locations in Mexico, which are both very near the Texas border. The company is also considering locations in the US. The battery maker has been checking out the locations and attempting to finalize negotiations and decisions to pave the way for a major announcement in the near future.
Sadly, China is calling Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit provocative. China considers Taiwan part of its territory, and relationships surrounding the situation are strained. According to Reuters, some people with information related to CATL’s future plans have noted that the company will now postpone its battery factory announcements until September or October 2022. The people sharing the details note that the delay comes thanks to Pelosi’s decision to follow through with the visit to Taiwan.
It’s important to note that CATL hasn’t substantiated the anonymous claims. Tesla and Ford have also declined to provide statements. (insideevs)
US Crackdown on Chinese Solar Means Sales Recovery Ruled Out
Giant solar producers in China are ruling out any recovery in panel exports to the US as a recently enacted law targeting forced labor has stalled negotiations between US project developers and some foreign manufacturers.
China-based module producers, the world’s largest, expect no significant lift in shipments to the US in the third quarter and a high risk to fourth quarter shipments, according to Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Dennis Ip, who cited conversations with company officials.
The key concern is the US Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which went into effect in June and targets goods produced in China’s Xinjiang region, a hub of the solar supply chain. (bloomberg)
As Lobstering Weakens, Seaweed Farming Is Reviving
Research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that lobsters can remain happy and healthy in waters up to 20°C. After that, they hit a “stress threshold.” Prolonged exposure to warmer water causes problems with their respiratory and immune systems, increases chances of shell disease, and makes it harder for the marine animals to successfully reproduce.
A 2018 study seemed to suggest that the Maine lobster fishery was more resilient than its collapsed southern New England counterparts due to adaptive management strategies (e.g. escape slot sizes, minimum and maximum size limits, and conservation of egg-bearing females).
Alas, that hopeful forecast was not to be, and even the northern lobster fisheries of Maine are facing long-term, climate-driven vulnerability.
But there’s hope: seaweed farming.
Around New England there are perhaps 40 – 50 farmers of all sizes and experience levels working small ocean plots of a native kelp species, Saccharina latissima, right now, with Maine at the forefront of regional production. From 2015 to 2020, the harvest of farmed sugar kelp in Maine increased more than 3,000% from 6.6 mt wet weight.
To grow kelp, the fishers suspend 1,000-foot-long ropes covered with tiny kelp seeds in late fall. Over the winter, the kelp grows vertically in the water column to lengths of 6 to 10 feet. Harvested in the spring, each rope has close to 6,000 pounds of fresh sugar kelp attached to it.
The kelp is sold freshly chopped, dried, or flash frozen. It can be a cube in smoothies, served in long noodle form for slaws or wraps, added as an ingredient in slaw or kraut, used as a garnish on entrees, or substituted for pasta — and more. (It can used as large animal food, too.)
Seaweed is easy to grow, sustainable, and nutritious. It is farmed without land, pesticides, or fresh water. (cleantechnica)
Photo: NOAA / public domain
Start-up with ultra-efficient electrolyser to develop pilot factory
Australian start-up Hysata that says it has developed the world’s most efficient electrolyser has attracted A$42.5m in an oversubscribed Series A funding round.
The money will be used to grow the company’s team and “develop a pilot manufacturing facility” for its innovative “capillary-fed” technology, which it says will be able to deliver the “world’s lowest-cost green hydrogen” due to its superior efficiency.
Hysata says its capillary-fed electrolyser (CFE) requires just 41.5kWh of electricity per kg of hydrogen. The industry benchmark for highly efficient electrolysers is 50kWh/kg.
The company explains on its website that a green hydrogen project producing one million tonnes of H2 per year using 52.5kWh/kg electrolysers would require 14GW of wind and solar power at a world-class location. With the CFE, the same developers would only need 11GW of renewable energy — a cost saving of about $3bn (rechargenews)