E.ON issues €1.5bn green bond package
E.ON has not disclosed how oversubscribed the bonds were, but chief financial officer Marc Spieker said there was “high demand from investors”.
Proceeds from the bonds will be used to support E.ON’s energy transition plans for 2024. The company’s Green Bond Framework outlines projects eligible for support from the bond proceeds, including wind and solar power generation; low-carbon hydrogen production, storage and distribution; district heating and cooling systems; onsite clean energy solutions for external organisations, and EV charging infrastructure.
Also included in the Framework are projects needed to improve electricity distribution infrastructure to support the addition of extra low-carbon generation capacity to the grid. (edie)

Northvolt Raises $1.2 Billion
Northvolt AB raised $1.2 billion from North American investors including BlackRock Inc. and CCP Investments as the Swedish battery maker is said to be in talks to set up a new factory in Canada.
Northvolt extended last year’s $1.1 billion convertible note to $2.3 billion to finance an expansion of its production capabilities in Europe and North America, the company said Tuesday. Ontario’s public-sector investment vehicle and its pension fund also invested.
The battery maker has raised more than $9 billion in equity and debt in the past six years, bolstered by over $55 billion in orders from automotive clients including BMW, Volvo Cars and Volkswagen. The company has said it plans to eventually go public. (bloomberg)

photo: Northvolt


Scotland-England subsea ‘power superhighway’ gets green light
All onshore and offshore elements of the Eastern Green Link 2 (EGL2) project have received planning consent from relevant authorities in both England and Scotland.
EGL2, a collaborative effort between Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN Transmission) and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET), aims to establish a high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable that could potentially power more than two million homes.
Upon completion, EGL2 will span from Peterhead in Scotland to Fraisthorpe on the East Yorkshire coast, with an underground route connecting to a converter station near Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire. (energylivenews)

John Lewis Partnership to co-develop HGV biomethane refuelling station
The parent company of Waitrose and John Lewis was one of the UK’s earliest corporate adopters of biomethane-powered HGVs and now operates 400 such vehicles. It has operated these vehicles since 2015 in a bid to reduce fleet emissions.
As the retailer works to increase that number to 520 by 2028, it is co-investing in several pieces of refuelling infrastructure, including ReFuels’ new refuelling station in Aylesford, Kent. John Lewis Partnership notably hosts its distribution centre for the South-East nearby.
Other fleet operators will be able to access the refuelling station, which will host 12 pumps and have the capacity to provide a 500 full tanks of fuel each day. The site is near popular routes including the M20 and M2. (edie)

photo: ReFuels

JLR creates new renewable energy storage from used car batteries
JLR has partnered with renewable energy specialist Wykes Engineering to develop one of the largest energy storage systems in the UK to harness solar and wind power using second-life Jaguar I-PACE batteries.
The batteries will be stored in containers installed at three locations across the Wykes-owned Chelveston renewable energy park in Northamptonshire, and JLR aims to supply enough to store a total of 7.5MWh of energy – enough to power 750 homes for a day – by the end of 2023.
After this point more containers can be created to house additional second-life batteries removed from used production vehicles in the future. (theenergyst)

NatWest joins forces with Supply Chain Sustainability School to build retrofit skills base
NatWest has announced a new partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to provide the construction industry with a free retrofit learning programme that aims to bolster efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s buildings.
The banking giant said it has become the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s first partner within the finance sector, adding that it has a “shared objective” to boost the skills of the construction industry to retrofit both the UK’s housing stock and commercial buildings. (businessgreen)

Scottish scientists score £1m to trap CO2 in volcanic rocks
A scientific team is engaged in a study to establish the feasibility of a technique that involves the conversion of captured carbon dioxide (CO2) into minerals through the utilisation of basalt volcanic rock.
The team has been granted £1 million by the UK Government to examine innovative methods for tracking carbon dioxide (CO2) storage within volcanic rock.
This technique, called mineralisation, turns captured CO2 into minerals in basalt volcanic rock, effectively locking it underground.
The scientists are collaborating with Carbfix, an Icelandic leader in mineralisation, to test new ways of monitoring CO2 captured from Iceland‘s largest geothermal power plant. (energylivenews)

photo: Carbfix
* For more on Carbfix and their Icelandic projects see Titbits last April HERE


Affordable urban/commuter runabout is what is generally agreed to be what the market wants from an EV. I am not sure this caters to that need:

Lamborghini unveils Lanzador electric concept
Lamborghini unveiled the Lanzador electric concept at Monterey Car Week—a vision of a future purely-electric fourth series production Lamborghini. The concept for the fourth model is not just a technical demonstrator but also a refined laboratory on wheels in terms of sustainable materials.
The concept car boasts a high specific power electric motor on each axle ensures permanent all-electric drive in every condition, surface and driving style and a peak power of over one megawatt. The all-wheel drive also offers active e-torque vectoring on the rear axle for particularly dynamic cornering behavior, extremely finely tuned and adapted for every situation. The energy is provided by a new generation high-performance battery, which also ensures a long range. (greencarcongress)

photo: Lamborghini


Eco Wave Power is Officially Connected to Israeli Electrical Grid
Eco Wave Power Global AB, a leading, onshore wave energy developer, announced that its station at the Port of Jaffa in Tel Aviv, EWP-EDF One, has officially connected to Israel’s national electrical grid – making it the first wave energy project to deliver electricity to the country’s power supply.
The EWP-EDF One power station we built in collaboration with and co-funding from EDF Renewables IL and the Israeli Energy Ministry. The Israeli Energy Ministry has recognized the Eco Wave Power technology as a “pioneering technology”. The EWP-EDF One power station has an installed capacity of 100 KW.
The wave energy system installed at the Port of Jaffa is comprised of ten floaters along the Port of Jaffa’s pre-existing breakwater. Each floater connects directly to Eco Wave Power’s land-based energy conversion unit, which enables easy access for operational maintenance and upgrades.
In addition to providing clean energy to Israel’s electrical grid, the EWP-EDF One power station will also serve as a public education center. Eco Wave Power recently announced that the it received the GREENinMED grant by the European Union, which will fund the creation and installation of a unique educational experience at the Port of Jaffa station. (renewableenergymagazine)

photo: Eco Wave Power


This idea for this Focus was from an article by the FT’s statistics man John Burn-Murdoch (HERE subscription required). He has pulled together data from the Transit Costs Project at New York University which shows that the costs of building roads and railways in the US and UK are over three times that in other OECD countries. For example the average cost of twelve recent rail projects in the UK comes to £262m per mile, compared to £36m per mile in Germany. Here are two examples to show that renewables investment in the UK is suffering from a similar combination of environmental bureaucracy, Government indecision and nimbyism.

Scotland needs more pylons for clean energy
Scotland is facing a pressing need for increased investment in pylons, power lines, and substations to drive down energy costs, enhance energy security and address the challenges of climate change.
Scottish Renewables, a trade body representing the renewable energy sector, has underscored the critical nature of this infrastructure overhaul.
The existing electricity network developed nearly a century ago with fossil fuels in mind, has become a barrier to progress, the trade body has said.
The latest findings from Scottish Renewables reveal that this outdated infrastructure is impeding the expansion of clean energy projects.
Nick Sharpe, Director of Communications and Strategy at Scottish Renewables, said: “The UK’s electricity network is not fit for purpose. While the deployment of cheap renewable energy generation has increased fourfold over the past ten years, investment in Britain’s transmission grid has flatlined and has even decreased since 2017.” (futurenetzero)

UK renewable energy investment lagging behind rest of world, data shows
The UK’s investment in renewable energy has lagged significantly behind the rest of the world in recent years, according to an analysis of global data.
The latest government figures reveal the UK’s renewable capacity has fallen to an average increase of 4.45% in the past three years, compared with an average 9.67% annual increase globally.
In the UK, total renewable capacity grew by 1.96% in 2020, 3.65% in 2021 and 7.74% in 2022, averaging a capacity of just 4.45% a year – well down from the 24.26% growth recorded in 2015.
The rest of the world recorded much higher levels of growth in renewable capacity compared with the UK in the last three years. In 2020, renewable capacity grew by 10.3%, followed by 9.1% in 2021 and 9.6% in 2022. This averages a 9.67% increase, more than double that of the UK over the same period. (guardian)


Biophilic building enhances biodiversity in the neighborhood
Kaiserstraße is a new residential building currently under construction in Blumenau, Brazil. The project is designed by Alencar Arquitetura and aims to harness connections between residents and the natural world.
On the ground level, the building is entirely open. This allows for public access where pedestrians can interact. Visitors get to experience the building and get a feel for what the building is like to live in without entering the private spaces. They experience materiality of different textures, particularly the contrast of exposed concrete and natural vegetation. This gives the project a modern feel, whilst invoking a connection to nature. Moreover, the building features a stepped design with terraces that overlook the city. Through the building’s form, the designers ensured that each level would receive copious amounts of sunshine and natural airflow.
Each apartment features balconies with a private pool and lush gardens. This vegetation enhances biodiversity in the neighborhood and the area overall. Additionally, these terrace gardens create a microclimate on every level that mitigates the urban heat island effect. This effect occurs when infrastructure, such as buildings or roads, replaces greenery and land cover in urban areas. The infrastructure tends to absorb and re-emit a lot of heat, which results in pockets of heat called “heat islands.” (inhabitat)

photo: Alencar Arquitetura


Investment in new Australian wind and solar farms stalls
Investment in new wind and solar farms has all but stalled with developers facing a “raft of barriers” despite strong political support, the Clean Energy Council said in its latest quarterly report.
The first half of 2023 produced the slowest pace of final investment approvals in the council’s six years of data tracking. Just four generation projects accounting for 348 megawatts – or roughly the size of a single coal-fired power station unit – secured financial commitment in the June quarter. (guardian)

CATL battery to offer 249-mile range with 10-minute charge
China-based battery manufacturer CATL has revealed details about its EV battery, capable of delivering 249 miles of driving range with a 10-minute charge.
Shenxing, which is expected to achieve mass production by the end of 2023, is a 4C superfast charging lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery which is also claimed to have a range of more than 435 miles on a single full charge.
The technology leverages super electronic network cathode technology and fully nano-crystallised LFP cathode material to create a super-electronic network, which facilitates the extraction of lithium ions and a rapid response to charging signals.
It combines superfast charging, high energy density and a high level of safety at the same time, advancing innovation in the battery industry. (theenergyst)

Photo: CATL


Bacteria that ‘eat’ methane could slow global heating
A group of researchers from the University of Washington are proposing a method of removing methane by using a group of bacteria known as methanotrophs to naturally convert methane to carbon dioxide and biomass. All the bacteria in this group “‘eat’ methane, removing it from air and converting part of it to cells as a source of sustainable protein,” according to the lead researcher, Mary E Lidstrom.
Typically, this group of bacteria thrive in environments with high levels of methane (between 5,000 and 10,000 parts per million (ppm)). The normal concentrations in our atmosphere have much lower levels of only about 1.9 ppm of methane. But certain areas such as landfills, rice fields and oilwells emit higher concentrations of about 500 ppm. (guardian)