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Energy

EQUIGY blockchain power grid consortium joined by Austrian’s APG

Austrian Power Grid (APG) is now the fourth to become a member of the EQUIGY blockchain energy balancing platform. Other members of this platform include TenneT, Swissgrid, and Terna, which hails from Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, respectively. The joint initiative wants to address the issue of imbalance between renewable energy demand and supply.

Energy transition, which is the process of shifting from using fossil fuels to renewables, is facing a lot of challenges. One of these challenges is the volatility in power supply like solar and wind. Renewable sources do not have the capacity to offer sufficient power when the demand increases. Consequently, power grids are forced to spend more money in maintaining a balance between demand and supply.

Many renewable energy sources in Austria rely on the weather. With the growing power usage, the energy system has to provide a lasting solution to allow market members to trade effectively. This will be achieved by 2030 when the energy system will provide 100% power from renewable sources.

EQUIGY’s solution will enable all participants, whether big or small, to generate and store power, which will be used to balance power grids. The platform uses blockchain, electric vehicles, and batteries in stabilizing power grids, which facilitate the participation of commercial providers and households in the power trading market.

Batteries can be used to store surplus energy and delivered when renewable sources do not meet demand. The blockchain’s main objective is to help track the transactions whenever a business or household delivers power to the grid. In 2019, the APG developed a platform that enabled small-scale consumers to participate in the power trading market. APG wants to develop the platform further and partners with other transmission grid traders to extend the technology.

The initiative aims to achieve its goals at both the national and European level. In 2020, the APG intervened on the grid almost every day, making them come up with several measures. The measures are taken costed APG about £134 million. Joining EQUIGY will enable international participants to interact in renewable energy trading in Austria. This will help reach an equilibrium between power demand and supply, making the entire system stable and flexible.

Various companies and organizations are trying to solve this problem of power grid instability. For instance, Sonnen Group, a German energy storage systems provider, collaborates with the Energy Web Foundation to reserve wind power in batteries.

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Energy

The significant role of Australian Retailers and other industries in tight yet promising Renewable Energy Commitments

According to Greenpeace research, the Australian retail sector is doing a great job in renewable energy commitments. In fact, it is the leading sector among all the industries. Going by the statistics from REenergise 2020 Corporate Renewable Snapshot, the second sector in clean energy commitments has a figure slightly above half what retailers commit to. After all, the retail industry clean energy commitment is at 1146 MW of wind and solar energy. That’s a good figure as it could be enough to power 533,021 households and, in the process, create employment. Clean energy is the future, and 2,063 new jobs in such an industry are something incredible.

The telecommunications industry clinched the second position with a commitment of 713 NW. Property and construction were at the bottom of the list, having registered a commitment of 88 MW. The bottom line is that you can expect up to 2.8 GW from new renewable energy projects. That’s because up to 28 big electricity consumers have pledged in support of clean energy. It would make a massive difference since it is enough to power almost the entire Perth and Brisbane combined. A capacity that can power 1.3 million homes is no joke.

Some of the contributors in the retail industry did way better than others. Excellent examples include ALDI, Bunnings, and Woolworths. These three companies are going for a 100 percent commitment to renewable energy. According to Greenpeace Australia Pacific REenergise campaign director Lindsay Soutar, 100 percent renewable energy is perfect for every business. In addition to being clean, it is also relatively cheap. Equally important, every business has a significant role in tackling climate change and one wouldn’t imagine a better way to do so.

According to Greenpeace Australia Pacific, major retail brands such as Kmart and Coles should follow suit and commit to 100 percent renewables. Soutar also suggests that Vodafone and Optus follow the footsteps of Telstra and start sourcing power to renewable energy sources exclusively. The director also pointed fingers at the government, which is yet to come up with a policy on matters emission reduction.

She adds that despite the government’s disappointment, other stakeholders, especially corporates, are closing the gap in the best way they can. Soutar says it is a necessity since a clean energy future is inevitable. She also appreciates how not even the coronavirus pandemic stops people from thriving to the transition to renewable energy. Data from 2020 shows an improvement from the previous year in terms of 100% renewable commitment from companies. Therefore, if the trend continues, things will even be better this year.

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Energy

The Southeast Asian region is aligning itself towards renewables to recuperate the hard-hit economy

Before the coronavirus pandemic halted energy operations, the transition to clean energy shaped up with policymakers and investors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) spearheading these regulations. Renewable energy facilities were expanding considerably in the region, demonstrating the governments’ urge to greenhouse gas minimizes emissions, make electricity affordable, and promote this technology. However, the pandemic period slowed the construction activities because financial constraints forced the governments to switch the funds heading in this direction to other projects. The scale-up of the renewable energy potential and the recuperation of the pandemic’s economy have demanded the development of the five-year ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC). The plan recommends the development of renewable energy capacity by the addition of 35 to 40 GW.

The countries pioneering this plan are Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which boast of 84% renewable energy capacity in the entire region. Vietnam is the head of this pack contributing 34% of this share. This trend is indicative of the government’s desire to achieve net-zero emissions in the set period to facilitate the exploration of other projects. The country has been aggressive in the fight against coal utilization to generate electricity to minimize carbon emissions by 15 percent before the end of this decade.

Vietnam will also be leading the development of renewable energy in the region by establishing the installation of projects that can produce more than 13 GW. Solar power and hydropower will facilitate the transition in the first half of this decade before the other renewable energy sources like wind and biopower can follow up. For this decade, the National Power Development Plan provides that onshore and offshore wind energy must account for not less than 50 GW of the electricity utilized in this region.

Other countries hit by the pandemic are Singapore, which, according to the Energy Market Authority (EMA), witnessed a reduction in solar photovoltaic technology installation by half the annual rate. The country went into shelter-in-place regulations to protect its citizens, forcing the new renewable energy systems linked to the grids to provide half the energy capacity they were generating. They did not have the engineers who were monitoring the systems effectively on site. Nevertheless, the country is set to rejuvenate its energy sector this year since the government is attentive to renewable energy infrastructure development. More projects are underway in the country to reinstate it to its financial position.

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Energy

SK Innovation is hastening the initiation of operations at its EV battery facility in Georgia by recruiting employees

SK Innovation revealed its plan of recruiting over 1000 employees by the end of next year in the preparation to start operations at the company’s newly acquired electric vehicle battery center in Atlanta. The company revealed that this is its first step to ensure that Georgia becomes the biggest center for electric vehicle battery production globally.  

SK Innovation crossed the 60 employees mark this year, where most of them are administrative officers, engineers, technicians, and specialists in the various fields of production. These core employees will help lay down strategies to ensure that the other employees go through proper hiring procedures and procure mostly skilled employees for the efficient continuation of operations in the facility.

SK Innovation has so far managed to develop the frontal structures and foundations for the second plant of Georgia’s company. This new facility in Georgia will combine efforts with others to ensure they produce enough battery cells to fit over 200000 electric cars.

SK Innovation announced that the other projects, like the one in Jackson County, are making crucial steps towards the turnaround of the area to become a hub for clean energy vehicles. Commissioner Pat Wilson of the Georgia Department of Economic Development added that the facility would create over 2000 employment opportunities once its full potential becomes visible.

Pat Wilson expressed his gratitude to all the partners who facilitated employees’ training to ready them for absorption into the facility under development in Georgia. He reiterated that the project proceedings in Georgia would activate industrial development in the area and accelerate the creation of jobs through clean energy projects like electric vehicle production.

SK Innovation stated that its electric vehicle plants at Georgia would create employment for the people in this area and raise their living standards. Additionally, the other upcoming projects will create more jobs in the next three years while realigning the region to adopt electric vehicles and minimize emissions from the ICE cars.

Commerce Mayor Clark Hill stated that Jackson County and Commerce projects would activate economic growth in these areas while creating jobs through the battery manufacturing projects. In conclusion, SK Innovation will be collaborating with QuickStart and Lanier Technical College, which offer employee training and technical education to people to ensure they are ready for absorption into the electric vehicle battery manufacturing factories. SK Innovation chief executive Jun Kim reiterated that the training would make the employees viable for jobs in the coming transition to clean energy, especially in the auto industry.

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Energy

Proterra launches the Proterra ZX5 advanced electric car

Proterra’s ZX5 electric vehicle is the company’s latest electric vehicle that runs purely on electricity. The electric vehicle illustrates the sufficient technology with enough energy storage capacity that makes the car ready for speed and range maximization. 

The Proterra ZX5 has a power potential of 660 kWh of power, making it cover over 300 miles in a single charge. Proterra explained that the vehicle comes in both 35 and 40-foot lengths, allowing the customer to select the car with the capacity they require. Nevertheless, more details on these two models are accessible at the Proterra ZX5 social media platform. 

Proterra’s president, Jack Allen, stated that in 2010 the company ventured electric buses’ production and marketing. This move implied that the industry would soon be switching gears to this mode of transportation. Currently, the transition to clean energy is visible, with automakers agreeing to the change. Additionally, Proterra is rolling out its fifth electric bus, which will grace the North American roads.   

Proterra has admitted that this ZX5 electric bus meets the electrification requirements with a physical stature that will last for an extended period. Additionally, the make of the bus connotes the safety of the passengers and high reliability. 

The ZX5 has the best design with a body that enables the passenger to board it with much ease. Additionally, the charging system has easily accessible ports making the bus a beauty to maneuver around busy cities and recharge quickly. 

The engineers designed the bus to advance the previous model with high acceleration and an enhanced horsepower. Additionally, the model can move through the steep hills without wheezing like other cars struggling through the same path. 

With the latest battery design and technology, this ZX5 battery enables the vehicle to surpass the ICE cars’ efficiency rate since it does not require frequent maintenance and checking of parameters of the acceleration system. The dual drivetrain of the bus increases its efficiency in winding up the hills and steep landscapes. Additionally, the bus can accelerate from zero to 20 mph in less than seven seconds. 

The Proterra ZX5 features Proterra battery systems. Designed and manufactured in Proterra’s California battery manufacturing facility, Proterra says its battery systems are safe, durable, and efficient. Proterra batteries are manufactured with safety mechanisms built directly into the battery architecture and have undergone testing to ensure they can withstand a full-service life under the most challenging conditions. 

Finally, Proterra hopes that customers can purchase this new model and test its efficiency. The firm conducted its research and development on the battery technology and are confident of its capacity to sustain the car through the 300 mileage range.

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Energy

Technological advancements in Solar Power provide affordable electricity

For the past ten years, the electricity sector has received very little funding to develop renewable energy sources and the relevant infrastructure. During the last industrial revolution, many state governments directed huge investments into the manufacturing and processing industries. Most of the countries never acknowledged the effects on the country’s electricity demand. Statistics showed that most manufacturers operated fossil-fuel-powered facilities, contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases. Different zero-emission initiatives implemented in the last decade aimed to address the advanced effects of global warming. 


In 2009, the Israeli government decided to incorporate a green electricity initiative that failed terribly. Israel aimed to utilize wind and solar to produce at least 5% of its electricity by 2014 and predicted growth to at least 10% of electricity generation from renewables by 2020. The country never attained most of its targets, and currently, only 8% of the country’s electricity production comes from green energies. Despite the failures in achieving a higher contribution of renewables, many companies announced tremendous breakthroughs as the industry shifts to the prevailing trends.

Ayalon Vaniche, CEO of EDF Renewables Israel, said that the government continues to develop different regulatory policies, after learning from other countries’ mistakes. In an interview with Lior Gutman, Ayalon stated that the current world is competitive, and there are no more subsidies for companies developing renewable energy technologies. The interview happened during Calcalist and ESIL Technologies’ Sustainability and Innovation Week. Venice stated that renewable energies are affordable in Israel, and technologies continue to create opportunities for the country.


 According to Ayalon’s statement, renewable energy sources generate very cheap electricity such that other sources no longer compete. In the last few government contracts awarded to energy corporations, solar bids amounted to only 33% of the natural gas tenders. The statement cited a tender whereby the price for solar offers at less than 3 cents per kWh compared to 7.5 cents per kWh for natural gas. 


Ayalon proposed a significant industrial development is to use energy storage in solar-powered electricity generation facilities to enable the firm’s operations when the Sun is not out. Incorporating energy storage technologies increased the solar bid price to 6 cents per kWh, projecting that lithium-ion batteries aim to substitute conventional power facilities. The electric vehicle (EV) industry and energy storage facilities are the primary demand for batteries.
The Israeli government faces a significant challenge of scarce land to support large-scale solar power production. Even though power production efficiencies continue to improve, limited land inhibits the country’s full potential. But a proposed dual land-use program plans to solve the issue. In summary, developing infrastructure to support renewable energy is a crucial strategy to achieve an emission-free economy.

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Energy

IEA gives a directive explaining the need to accelerate the clean energy technology transition

The International Energy Agency calls for a quick transition to clean energy technology globally for the world to achieve the set climatic change goals and energy objectives. The IEA explained that even though there is awareness about climate changes and global warming, there are still high rates of greenhouse gas emissions, which, if not curtailed, will spur to unmanageable levels. Nonetheless, the coronavirus pandemic measures have brought some hope into realizing the climate and energy goals. Emissions have temporarily witnessed a drop since most human activities that catalyze the increase in emissions into the atmosphere have reduced.

The Energy Technology Perspectives report of this year articulates that transitioning only the energy industry to green energy must not be the only solution to achieve an emission-free ecosystem. Various stakeholders must be involved in this move, starting with the transportation industry, manufacturing industries, and legislators. The appropriate technology is also vital in the switch to clean energy since it will resolve people’s desire to return to the pollutive power by releasing state-of-the-art resources and electric cars.

The IEA proposed an additional venture into hydrogen energy technology to supplement the other renewables. The agency explained that hydrogen energy would be the best substitute for nonfunctional renewables and stop the people from resorting to the old pollutive energy sources. For instance, industries like the steel industry, which require the indirect form of electricity, would benefit highly from this technology.

The IEA observed how renewable energy projects have been affected in some countries and championed the introduction of solar photovoltaics to revitalize the renewables’ performance in the affected countries. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a decrease in the erection of renewable energy resources like solar panels and wind turbines. The IEA found out that these challenges are the products of the coronavirus pandemic measures 2hich must strictly adhere to save lives.

In conclusion, the IEA discovered variances in the rate or household installation of renewable energy infrastructure. The team identified that states with stern adherence to the pandemic shelter-in-place measures recorded the highest drop due to fear from the people of contracting the noble coronavirus. However, the IEA is encouraging countries with low cases of the spread of the coronavirus to work out a strategy that will help them transition to clean energy since they have the workforce to commit to these programs.

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Energy

The advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a battery electric vehicles (BEV)

Battery electric vehicles are the choice for anyone desiring to try the electric car models. Nonetheless, there are few things to understand while venturing into this field. There are three primary branches of electric vehicles, which are the hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The hybrids are a fantasy for those hoping to remain relevant in both the current pollutive sector while also experiencing what the future of EVs will turn out. On the other hand, BEVs are a demonstration of what the future will look like if the ICE cars were to stay clear from the roads forever.

Battery electric vehicles are cars that are purely powered by batteries that run on electric energy. One exciting feature of these cars is that they lack the internal combustion engine making them a beauty watch as they maneuver down the busy highways without emitting fumes. Although the hybrids are making a sneak preview of the future, they come with their advantages and disadvantages, which we will be detailing in this article.

Advantages

First, the BEVs showcase the future in which the transportation industry will be transitioning two in the new decade. Navigating around cities and towns in your battery electric vehicle marks your freedom from the guilt that your car is emitting greenhouse gases. 

Although battery electric vehicles’ prices are substantially high, they deliver quality for their customers that utilizes electric energy to operate. BEVs are durable for car owners who love to save their money on fuel for the ICE cars.

Battery electric vehicles are less noisy than their ICE substitutes, thereby minimizing air pollution. Some governments had to stipulate that they must install horns to honk the pedestrians out of the roads to reduce accidents.

Furthermore, BEVs are easier and affordable in maintenance than the ICEs, which are costly to repair and replace the movable parts. As for BEVs, they have fewer moving parts that demand replacement saving the owners even more cash.

Disadvantages 

It goes without argument that battery electric vehicles are expensive because the developers have invested technology and paid the price to produce the cars. This concept pushes car fanatics and low-income buyers away since they can’t afford them.

Next, electric vehicles run on electric energy from batteries. These batteries are what factor in the prices of the cars escalating their values. Additionally, replacing an electric vehicle battery would cost you much because it is its “fuel.”

Insuring these vehicles is extremely expensive, considering that their premiums evaluation depends on their value. The technology imparted in these vehicles makes them very expensive in all aspects.

In some countries, there might be insufficient garages for repairing the vehicles in case they encounter malfunctions. Additionally, some states may not have enough charging infrastructure nationwide, limiting the cars’ usage to places where there are charging stations. To conclude, the cheap electric vehicle models have a short mileage range, making the car buyers anxious and avoiding them as much as possible.

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Energy

Three Oil Majors that put money on massive renewables

Frequently, Big Oil has been reprimanded for attempting to buff its renewable recommendation, and it has done slightly to influence us that it is progressing to the green world. Pledges that are made by Big Oil to pursue net-zero agendas will remain weakest at its best, despite the big urge of the huge renowned trend (about the global electrification) to shift to renewable energy. An examination done on near-term spending strategies by the biggest oil and gas entities shows that actual investments in renewable energy will continue to pale concerning capex strategies of making fossil fuel projects green. 

In the last two years, Big Oil used less than 1 percent of its total budget on green energy schemes. According to Rystad Energy, Big Oil will get $166B into new oil and gas endeavors by 2025. As a result, it shortens the presently specified expenditure of about $18B for solar and wind energy schemes. Much of Big Oil’s reductions in greenhouse (GHG) emissions fall on the ‘natural gas bridge.’ 

The good thing is that recently, the Italian multinational oil and gas giant Eni SpA (BIT: ENI) unleashed a pledge full of ambitions by an oil supermajor. Eni announced its strategies for reducing its greenhouse emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Eni’s natural gas production will entail 85 percent of its total production by the end of the estimated year. A significant Oil entity has the probability of earning its bands as real renewables energy outfit by 2030, and such bets can turn out to be fruitful. Remarkably, the U. S oil and gas supermajors became prominent after their names were absent.

The Equinor

Such alone oil entity has the most useful green plan compared to all the other entities. Out of the $18B that supermajors want to invest in clean energy by 2015, about a half and more will come from Norwegian state-possessed multinational energy firm, Equinor ASA’s (NYSE: EQNR) coffers. If you take out Equinor from the calculation, investments from the Equinor will reduce by 2023, having minded the deep capex reductions caused by Coronavirus outbreak. The Equinor stated that it wants to invest $10B into renewable energy in the next five years, basing mainly on its offshore wind portfolio. The firm’s primary goals are aiming at growing the capacity of renewable energy from 4GW to 6GW in the next six years.  

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Energy

Big oil businesses of Europe are switching to electric

It might result to be the year that big oil companies, particularly ones in Europe, began looking just like electric companies. In the previous month, Royal Dutch Shell received a contract to construct a vast wind farm off the Netherlands coast. Earlier in the same year, the Total of France that runs a battery producer consented to make various significant investments in solar energy in Spain and a wind farm in Scotland. Total also purchased an electric and natural gas amenity in Spain and is linking with Shell and BP in widening its charging business of electric vehicle. 

Simultaneously, the companies are rejecting plans for additional borer wells as they cut back capital budgets. Shell lately confirmed that it would postpone new fields in the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, while BP has assured not to hunt for oil in any modern state. 

Prodded by investors and governments to address the change of climate concerns about their products, Europe’s oil companies are increasing their cleaner energy production. Regular electricity, and sometimes hydrogen and supporting natural gas, which they dispute, could be a cleaner changeover fuel from oil and coal to renewables. For several executives, the unexpected drop in oil demand caused by the Coronavirus pandemic is another caution that unless they adjust their companies’ composition, they jeopardize being extinct just like the dinosaurs. 

The evolving vision is more walloping since most long-term oil business veterans share it. Claudio Descalzi, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Eni and has been working with the Italian company for nearly four decades, stated that they had tremendous volatility in the commodities of oil throughout the six years. He added that he wanted to construct a company gradually more based on green power rather than fat. He said that they want to move away from the uncertainty and volatility. 

BP veteran Bernard Looney, who also became the CEO in February, later confirmed to journalists that what the world needs from energy is shifting. So, they should change, quite honestly, what they present the world.

The gamble is that electricity will be the principal means of offering cleaner power in the forthcoming days and, therefore, will rapidly breed across the nation. American big companies such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil have been slower than their European equivalents to entrust to climate-related targets that are far-reaching.