Confirmation That Trollhättan/Sweden Working To Attract Next Tesla Gigafactory

February 28th, 2017 by

As a followup to our earlier article reporting that Trollhättan, Sweden, may be working to bring Tesla’s next Gigafactory to the area, we now have confirmation that this news was correct, as well as additional details.

Sweden’s Economic Development and Innovation Minister, Mikael Damberg (S), confirmed the efforts by Business Sweden to attract Tesla to the region in a conversation with Sveriges Radio P4 Väst earlier this week.

His comments (as translated for us by our Swedish friend Viktor Irle of EV Volumes) read: “I know a letter has been sent to Tesla and that they (Tesla) have marked that there is interest for Sweden. There will likely happen more things to this area in the near future,” said Mikael Damberg.

As we noted in our earlier coverage, the city of Trollhättan could potentially be a good choice for the location of the next Gigafactory (despite high labor costs) because of the largely idle ex-Saab plant there, the workforce in the area that has experience with auto manufacturing, and the proximity to Gothenburg’s rail-hub.

The ex-Saab plant is currently owned by China-based NEVS, but the company is reportedly open to leasing it and has a lot of extra space.

Viktor adds the note that, “Trollhättan is located on top of a hydropower plant that has been running for ~100 years and still produces about 1–2% of Swedish electricity. Infinite power. 😉 It even uses a natural dam, so no extra land was covered in water to make it. Very ecologically friendly.” That definitely seems like a powerful selling point for Elon/Tesla.

But it doesn’t end there. Viktor adds: “About 100 meters from Saab, GKN aerospace makes jet engines and rocket boosters (major parts). So, there’s a lot of engineering competence here in related fields.” The potential connection to SpaceX must also be appealing.

Back to the local news source: “We will see what we can do to draw them here to Sweden,” Damberg continued.

Not letting the point sit too subtly, the news source summarizes: “According to Mikael Damberg, the Swedish government can support [the Gigafactory] if Tesla Motors will go ahead with this plan.”

Sweden has a lot of competition, though, as we noted previously, with more or less every other country in Europe having now expressed interest in attracting the next Gigafactory. Tesla will reportedly be revealing the location of the next Gigafactory (or the next 2 or 3) by the end of the year.

In addition to a new facility in Europe, Tesla is also looking likely to begin building new Gigafactories in Asia and the US within the near future. How else will it keep up with demand for the Tesla Model Y & Model 3, Tesla Model S & X, Tesla semi trucks & pickup trucks, Tesla mini buses, Tesla Powerwalls & Powerpacks, and who knows what else?

Photo: Olidan Hydroelectric Power Station in Trollhättan, Sweden, by Tubaist (CC BY-SA 3.0)

About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.




Syngas and Derivatives Market to Cross a 256,605 MWth by 2024; Emergence of Syngas as Alternative to Fossil Fuel to Drive Growth, Research Report by TMR

ALBANY, New York, February 28, 2017 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- ALBANY, New York, February 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Transparency Market Research has published a new report titled "Syngas and DerivativesMarket for Chemicals, Power Generation, Liquid Fuels and Gaseous Fuels End-user- Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2016-2024." According to the report, the global consumption of syngas and derivatives market was 115,000 MWth in 2015 and is anticipated to reach 256,605 MWth by 2024, rising at a CAGR of 9.4% between 2016 and 2024.

Syngas is a fuel gas mixture used for production of chemicals, power generation, liquid fuels and gaseous fuels. Coal, petroleum, natural gas / biomass waste and others are used as feedstock for manufacturing of syngas. Syngas is majorly used as a substitute for natural gas, as natural gas is very costly. It constitutes 50% of the energy density of natural gas.

In terms of feedstock, coal held the major share of the market and is expected to grow at a rapid rate during the forecast period. There are large reserves of coal available across the globe, as a result it is cheaper in nature. Natural gas is costlier compared to coal, therefore the share is lesser in the market.

Download Industry Research Report Brochure for more Professional and Technical Insights: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=B&rep_id=2284

In terms of production technology, syngas and derivatives market is segmented into partial oxidation, steam reforming, biomass gasification and others. Biomass gasification is the most used technology for production of syngas and derivatives as organic or fossil fuel-based carbonaceous materials such as coal and biomass are converted into syngas, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. Steam reforming is another method or production technology used for the manufacture of syngas. Here, syngas is produced by using natural gas as a feedstock. During the process, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and other useful products are also produced. In this process, the reformer reacts with the steam at high temperature and fossil fuel to yield syngas and other products. Partial oxidation technology held an average share of the syngas and derivatives market, but the demand is anticipated to rise at a rapid rate during the forecast period.

In terms of end-user, the market can be segmented into chemicals, power generation, liquid fuels, gaseous fuels and others. Syngas is majorly used as an intermediate for manufacturing of chemicals. It is also used as intermediate for manufacturing of liquid fuels, like creating synthetic petroleum to use as a lubricant or fuel. Power generation held average share in the market. The demand for gaseous fuels segment is expected to increase rapidly during the forecast period.

Browse Research PR: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/pressrelease/syngas-derivatives-market.htm

Asia Pacific dominated the syngas and derivatives market in 2015. This trend is expected to continue during the forecast period due to the increasing demand for automobiles and power generation in the region. Rise in population is another factor that is expected to propel the syngas and derivatives market in Asia Pacific. The demand of syngas and derivatives market in Middle East & Africa region is expected to increase during the forecast period.

Major players in the syngas and derivatives market includes Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Air Liquide SA, BASF SE, Sasol Limited, Siemens Ag and others.

The syngas and derivatives market has been divided into the following segments.

Syngas and Derivatives Market - Feedstock Analysis

  • Coal
  • Petroleum
  • Natural Gas/Biomass Waste
  • Others

Syngas and Derivatives Market - Production Technology Analysis

  • Partial Oxidation
  • Steam Reforming
  • Biomass Gasification
  • Others

Syngas and Derivatives Market - End-user Analysis

  • Chemicals
  • Power Generation
  • Liquid Fuels
  • Gaseous Fuels

Syngas and Derivatives Market - Regional Analysis

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • Egypt
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America

Browse Other Related Market Research Reports:

About TMR

Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a global market intelligence company providing business information reports and services. The company's exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trend analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR's experienced team of analysts, researchers, and consultants use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather and analyze information.

TMR's data repository is continuously updated and revised by a team of research experts so that it always reflects the latest trends and information. With extensive research and analysis capabilities, Transparency Market Research employs rigorous primary and secondary research techniques to develop distinctive data sets and research material for business reports.

Contact Transparency Market Research State Tower 90 State Street, Suite 700, Albany NY - 12207 United States Tel: +1-518-618-1030 USA - Canada Toll Free: 866-552-3453 Email: sales@transparencymarketresearch.com

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SOURCE Transparency Market Research

Copyright (C) 2017 PR Newswire. All rights reserved


A zero carbon UK is achievable with business backing for clean technology

wind turbine - featured image
  • 28 Feb 2017

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A new report from research organisation Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) claims that the UK can become entirely self-sufficient for its energy needs, if businesses and policymakers can demonstrate a strengthened support for existing low-carbon technologies.

The transport, building and energy sectors are examined by the report, to identify the changes required to move the UK onto a zero-carbon pathway, thereby creating thousands of green jobs and bringing great economic, environmental and social opportunities to the UK.

CAT Project Coordinator Paul Allen has expressed the importance of providing clear evidence that workable solutions already exist, as it gives policymakers no excuse for inaction and empowers citizens.

Decarbonising transport

About a quarter of the UK’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions are contributed by transport, which is the only major sector where emissions are gradually rising.

The transportation sector could help to tackle climate change and reduce the estimated health costs from air pollution with decarbonisation of the sector.

The paper highlighted that all cars, light vans and buses will need to be electric, hydrogen or run on biofuels in order to achieve a shift towards a zero-carbon transport industry.

In addition, it states that policy measures such as more integrated urban and transport planning, high quality infrastructure and services, and economic incentives would aid the addressing demand for air travel and car dependency.

Economic benefits of £8.7bn could be generated to for the UK economy with an energy efficiency programme, CAT claims.

For the country to meet its climate change targets, the report states that around a 50% reduction in energy demand from buildings is required along with a switch away from fossil fuel powered heating systems to zero-carbon technologies.

Low-carbon living

The report proposes retrofitting the entire existing building stock and switching to zero-carbon heating and highly efficient lighting to reduce heating demand by at least 60% from 2010 levels. Carbon emissions would be reduced by flexible energy demand in buildings that involves increased amounts of energy storage, as would low-carbon construction materials.

Despite the fact that the country is not on track to meet its target to generate 15% of its energy from renewables sources by 2020, the UK has good natural resources for low-carbon energy development, the research shows.

It is insisted in the report that the UK can meet its energy needs with 100% renewable energy by scaling up installed systems such as wind, solar and tidal technology. In addition, it calls for the repurposing of some land to grow biomass needed for parts of a 100% renewable energy system.


Biomass subsidies ‘not fit for purpose’, says Chatham House

A handful of biomass. Image:

The report adds that policymakers should tighten up accounting rules to ensure the full extent of biomass emissions are included.

The analysis outlines how policies intended to boost the use of biomass are in many cases “not fit for purpose” because they are inadvertently increasing emissions by often ignoring emissions from burning wood in power stations and failing to account for changes in forest carbon stocks.

It argues that UK and recently revised EU rules for bioenergy are inadequate for managing and monitoring the emissions from burning biomass.

Carbon Brief examines the main arguments of the report, which cut through the long-running debate about the climate impacts of burning biomass.

This report hangs on the fallacy that it takes decades for a forest to recapture carbon. That isn’t true. A well-managed forest is continually growing and it locks in carbon at an optimal rate.

Nina Skorupska, chief executive, Renewable Energy Association

Contentious issue

The rising demand for renewable power around the world has led to a large increase in the production and burning of wood pellets. Advocates, such as power firm Drax – the UK’s largest biomass user – argue they are more reliable for providing baseload power than other renewables, such as wind or solar.

Worldwide production hit a record 28 million tonnes (Mt) in 2015, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), up from under 20Mt just three years earlier. Meanwhile, the UK has become the world’s largest importer of wood pellets, burning 42 per cent of the 15.5Mt of total global imports in 2015.

The chart below shows how global electricity generation from biomass, which includes wood pellets, more than doubled between 2005 and 2015.

Biomass-fired global electricity generation, by country/region, 2005–15. Source: United Nations Environment Programme (2016). Graph by Chatham House

As the chart shows, the EU is now the world’s biggest user of biomass for electricity generation. Bioenergy is expected to contribute 57 per cent of the EU’s total renewable energy by 2020.

Following calls for the EU to introduce better safeguards for biofuels, a revised legislation proposal in the latest EU energy package in December introduced new sustainability criteria for bioenergy production.

These included new rules aimed at ensuring forests are harvested sustainably and conservation areas are protected. It also established new thresholds for how much greenhouse gas emissions need to be saved by switching to biofuels.

However, the Chatham House report argues that even countries who have already begun to apply these new criteria largely fail to include changes in the levels of forest carbon stock in their calculation of greenhouse gas savings.

The report attacks two underlying assumptions which are used to classify biomass as “carbon neutral”. It argues financial and regulatory support should only be given to biomass feedstocks which cut carbon emissions in the short term – which it says is not the case for most of the woody feedstocks used for biomass energy.

Wood for trees

The first assumption is that since trees absorb carbon as they grow, forest growth will balance the carbon emitted by burning wood for energy. For example, the methodology specified in the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive for calculating emissions from biomass only considers supply-chain emissions and counts combustion emissions as zero. Several national frameworks including the UK’s also make this assumption.

However, the reality of the situation is more complicated, the report argues. (See this Carbon Brief investigation for more.) The overall emissions from burning trees will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of woody biomass used, what would have happened to it if it had not been burnt for energy, and what happens to the forest from which it was sourced.

For instance, the report argues harvesting whole trees to burn as wood pellets will nearly always results in more emissions than using fossil fuels instead, since the trees will no longer sequester carbon as they grow and soil carbon can be lost during the harvesting. This is particularly the case for older trees, which sequester more carbon than younger trees.

The so-called “carbon payback period” – the time it takes for regrowth of the forest to reabsorb the emissions from biomass – also becomes important here. In a context where climate tipping points could be crossed in the short term, as some evidence suggests, increasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, even for a few decades, becomes relevant.

The report suggests only biomass energy with the shortest carbon payback periods should be eligible for financial and regulatory support. The feedstocks which are most likely to reduce net carbon emissions would be primarily mill residues and post-consumer waste.

In addition, since woody biomass is less dense and contains more moisture than fossil fuels, burning wood for energy usually emits more greenhouse gases per unit of energy produced than fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, supply-chain emissions from harvesting, collecting, processing and transport all play a role in the total climate impact of biomass feedstocks. The report says:

“Overall, while some instances of biomass energy use may result in lower life-cycle emissions than fossil fuels, in most circumstances, comparing technologies of similar ages, the use of woody biomass for energy will release higher levels of emissions than coal and considerably higher levels than gas.”

Some types of biomass feedstock which do not require extra harvesting – such as sawmill residues or black liquor – can be carbon-neutral at least over a period of a few years, the report adds. This is especially likely if these are burnt on-site as this will reduce emissions from transport and processing.

However, even for waste feedstocks, it is still important to consider whether they could have been used for other, lower carbon purposes. For instance, mill residues can also be used for wood products, which would keep the carbon trapped in materials, such as particleboard, for several decades more than if it is released into the atmosphere through burning it.

The concerns highlighted in the report are also relevant to bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). This is the leading candidate to provide the negative emissions which are heavily relied on in many pathways to global climate goals, including those for the UK.

If the assumption that biomass is effectively emission free at the point of burning is flawed, then this puts a serious dent in the potential of BECCS providing negative emissions. The report reads:

“The reliance on BECCS of so many of the climate mitigation scenarios reviewed by the IPCC [International Panel on Climate Change] is of major concern, potentially distracting attention from other mitigation options and encouraging decision makers to lock themselves into high-carbon options in the short term on the assumption that the emissions thus generated can be compensated for in the long term.”

International frameworks

The second assumption which leads biomass to be seen as carbon neutral stems from international frameworks for reporting and accounting emissions, such as those used under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. But these decade-old rules are currently under revision by the IPCC, with the burning of imported biomass for power (as takes place at Drax) already identified as a topic in need of updating.

In order to avoid confusion or double counting of emissions, these frameworks currently allocate emissions into the land-use sector rather than the energy sector. However, flexibilities in land-use accounting can leave biomass emissions falling through the gaps, counted in neither the country of origin nor where it is burnt. The Chatham House report says:

“This risks creating perverse policy outcomes. Where a tonne of emissions from burning biomass for energy does not count against a country’s emissions target but a tonne of emissions from fossil fuel sources does, there will be an incentive to use biomass energy rather than fossil fuels in order to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions – even where this reduction is not ‘real’ in the sense that it is not accounted for by either the user or the source country.”

The report argues that land-use accounting rules need to be reformed to ensure all parties to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement include the sector in their national accounting, while counties importing biomass from countries which do not account for the related emissions should account for them themselves.

The report echoes a similar finding from a study conducted last year for the Natural Resources Defence Council by energy specialists Vivid Economics. It concluded that the UK’s use of biomass in power stations is leading in some cases to higher emissions than the coal it is replacing.

The risk of biomass being worse than coal was the subject of a report commissioned by the now-defunct Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). But despite receiving the report in April 2016, the findings have yet to be published.

Subsidies

The Chatham House report is quite specific about how it thinks policy support, principally through subsidies, should be redesigned. It says:

“A more practical approach would be to limit the types of feedstock that can be used, as several EU member states and the US state of Massachusetts already do. The aim would be to restrict eligibility for support to those feedstocks that are most likely to reduce net carbon emissions (or have low carbon payback periods): primarily mill residues, together with post-consumer waste.

Fast-decaying forest residues could also fit into this category, but in practice this is small-diameter material that is likely to contain too much moisture and dirt to render it usable by biomass plants; and it would be very difficult for policy to distinguish easily between fast and slow-decaying residues…”

It continues:

“Policies should ensure that subsidies do not encourage the biomass industry to divert raw material (such as mill residues) away from alternative uses (such as fibreboard), which have far lower impacts on carbon emissions. This may require the sustainability criteria to be adjusted from time to time depending on market conditions.”

However Drax insists the biomass it uses is sustainably sourced from working forests where biodiversity is protected, productivity is maintained, and growth exceeds what is harvested. In a statement released in response to the report it says:

“We agree that not all wood should be used for bioenergy. We source from working forests which supply other industries – including construction and furniture making – with high grade timber. We take the low grade material to make the compressed wood pellets used to generate electricity.

This includes tree tops, limbs, sawmill residues, misshapen and diseased trees not suitable for other use, as well as thinnings – small trees removed to maximise the growth of the forest. There is a widespread scientific consensus that this low-value wood is precisely the material which delivers the biggest carbon reductions.”

Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), which represents Drax, adds:

“This report hangs on the fallacy that it takes decades for a forest to recapture carbon. That isn’t true. A well-managed forest is continually growing and it locks in carbon at an optimal rate.

Conclusion

The debate over biomass is unlikely to be resolved soon. The Chatham House report is just the latest analysis to outline how policy support for using biomass as a way to reduce carbon emissions is far more complicated than once thought. It concludes that while the use of waste biomass can in some cases save carbon, much of the biomass obtained from other sources may well not.

This story was published with permission from Carbon Brief.


EU biofuels targets should be ‘more ambitious’, industry says

The biofuels industry urged member states yesterday (27 February) to review the European Commission’s proposal on post-2020 biofuel use in transport.

Ahead of a meeting of EU energy ministers yesterday, a group of seven industry associations representing Europe’s biofuels industry sent a letter urging them to review the executive’s proposal and set more ambitious goals for renewable energy use in transport.

At the very least, the associations called on EU ministers to ensure policy continuity by keeping the share of biofuels in European transport unchanged.

In November, the European Commission presented its draft proposal to review the Renewable Energy Directive for the post-2020 period as part of a Clean Energy Package.

The executive proposed reducing the contribution of conventional biofuels in transport from a maximum of 7% in 2021 to 3.8% in 2030. It also set an obligation to raise the share of other ‘low emissions fuels’ such as renewable electricity and advanced biofuels in transport to 6.8%.

The Commission’s change of heart on conventional or first generation biofuels has sparked heated discussions in Brussels.

Green pressure groups have highlighted the environmental damage of biofuels, in particular palm oil used in biodiesel, which according to some studies, can emit three times as much as fossil fuels.

Campaigners have pushed for accounting the effects of indirect land-use change (ILUC) from biofuels in EU legislation, saying demand for bioenergy in Europe was causing farmers in countries such as Indonesia to switch crops from food production to energy, causing deforestation and a rise in food prices.

The Commission admitted to this when it proposed a separate directive to reduce the indirect land use change of biofuels, which was adopted in 2015. The new law limits to 7% the use of harmful biofuels that compete with crops grown on agricultural land.

But producers claimed that the executive’s latest proposal to limit biofuels even further was “biased” and not based on scientific evidence.

In their letter, the biofuels associations urged EU energy ministers not to lower the contribution of first generation biofuels to the share of renewables in EU transport. Not all biofuels have the same carbon footprint, they argue, with ethanol making a positive contribution to decarbonisation goals.

With its current proposal, the Commission is hindering decarbonisation in transport and does not help the EU meet its climate and energy goals, the associations claim.

“To meet the EU’s overall decarbonisation goal of 30% in non-ETS sectors including transport and reach at least 27% renewables use by 2030, the EU cannot roll back its 2020 ambitions,” the letter reads, adding that higher ambitions for renewables in transport should be set, with each member state increasing its share of renewables in transport to a minimum of 15% by 2030.

It also stressed that the whole EU biofuels chain would be highly affected, risking approximately 220,000 direct and indirect jobs.

EURACTIV.com recently asked the Commission whether it had conducted an employment impact study of the case.

Bernd Kuepker, policy officer with DG Energy, noted that the policy’s objective was not to create new jobs but that it would not decrease employment either.

“We looked at different factors and generally what has been considered is that the highest share of jobs is in the agricultural sector and we don’t expect it to stop,” he stated, adding that with the plans for advanced biofuels, job losses related to first generation biofuels will be compensated.

Policy continuity

The industry also focused on the need to ensure policy continuity and maintain the 7% target for the contribution of biofuels from arable crops to the EU’s renewables objective.

“The figure is the result of a three-year policy debate. This compromise is still being implemented by member states and addresses concerns over the alleged impact of the EU’s biofuels policy on the availability of biomass,” the letter noted.

In addition, the biofuels industry claims that sustainable biofuels that can contribute to the EU bio-economy and circular economy by generating protein and feed for the EU animal sector as well as low-emission biofuels should be differently treated and go beyond the cap.

“These [sustainable biofuels] should be defined as biofuels that: save at least 60% emissions compared to fossil fuel; and are produced from feedstock that complies with mandatory sustainability requirements as set out by the EU Common Agricultural Policy,” the letter reads.

Moreover, the industry believes that an EU-wide cross-checking traceability database needs to be established to “avoid any kind of potential fraud”.

Advanced biofuels should be additional

The first generation biofuels industry does not oppose the promotion of so-called advanced biofuels but says it should be seen as an additional instrument to further reduce fossil fuel use and GHG emissions.

“A policy that plays off biofuels against each other will only protect the market share of fossil fuels, favouring oil imports from unstable regions over renewable fuels which are locally produced from domestic biomass,” the letter pointed out.

“The deployment of advanced biofuels should build on existing legislation and industry, to secure investor confidence, which is a prerequisite for any new investment in renewable fuels projects,” the biofuels industry emphasised.

Positions

Commenting on the Commission’s proposal for the use of renewable energies in the transport sector after 2020, Pekka Pesonen, secretary-general of the association of European farmers and agri-cooperatives (Copa-Cogeca), recently told EURACTIV.

“Well, first of all, you can’t climb the tree from the top. You have to start somewhere. And especially when it comes to those targets for the transport sector, on the sustainability of the transport sector as a whole, we have to ensure that we play our part. We certainly see some opportunities there. We have some investments in place. We can deliver”.

“We talk about millions of tonnes of raw material or the biofuels that we produce and, to a large extent, this provides a co-product to the agricultural sector, especially when it comes to oilseeds and crop-based biofuels. These provide protein-rich co-product for animal feed, which is hugely important for us because we can actually source that from European outsources cultivated in accordance with European Union common agriculture policy,” he added.

“This is hugely important, and it seems the Commission has pushed that aside. We bring in millions and millions of tonnes of perfectly good raw protein material for feed, and we feel that these should also be taken into account. And of course we have nothing against the second generation advanced biofuels; we are very happy with the advances there. But then the reality is that, for the foreseeable future, we are still quite dependent on liquid fuel, and you can’t reach for those sustainability targets if you don’t have the biofuels available. 3.8% in total is an understatement from our perspective,” Pesonen emphasised.

In an interview with EURACTIV, Laura Buffet, an expert in oil and biofuels at the Transport & Environment (T&E) NGO, stressed, “First generation biofuels have benefitted from quite a high level of public support until now, and the policy has not driven as much support for better alternatives, such as biofuels from waste and residues or renewable electricity used in transport.

"We had commissioned a study on the question of investments which showed for example that 95% of investments in biodiesel installations would be paid back by the end of 2017. So it’s time to shift the policy support to better alternatives”.

“The most crucial element to secure investments in advanced biofuels is to ensure that we get the new sustainability framework right for these biofuels. A clear and robust sustainability framework will bring policy certainty and investment security. If we want to avoid another policy U-turn on advanced biofuels, the proposed sustainability criteria currently on the table need to be improved,” she added.

Further Reading


Lords report should be a wake-up call over electricity industry

LAST week the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published it Price of Power: Reforming the Electricity Market Report. Its findings could be the wake-up call Downing Street needs with respect to the sorry state of the UK electricity industry.

Their Lordships are unambiguous and unequivocal in their conclusions, soundbites from which include: “The growth of renewable energy supported by contracts that guarantee a given price for a fixed period has left the UK facing a possible shortage of capacity as investors have not been willing to build new conventional power plants.”

Indeed Professor Deiter Helm of Oxford University commented that “capacity margins are effectively nought so the security of supply problem is back with a vengeance”.

The report also said “successive governments are perhaps guilty of overlooking security at times” and mentioned “the disincentives for private investment in electricity generation created by the growth of intermittent renewables”.

The report adds that “we must] ensure that security of supply is always the first and most important consideration in energy policy. Affordability and decarbonisation must not be prioritised ahead of security. This may mean waiting for the development of new technologies which can reduce emissions.”

It concludes that constant intervention by successive governments in the electricity sector has led to a complicated uncompetitive market “that is failing consumers and businesses”.

It confirms that domestic electric bills in Britain have risen from second cheapest in Europe to seventh since the mid-2000s with decarbonisation having added more than 10 per cent to our average bill. Bills for UK industry are now among the highest in Europe.

The report sees the need to create a National Energy Research Centre to search for “new methods of producing cheap, clean energy and translate them into commercial applications” and an Energy Commission to “provide greater scrutiny of energy policy decisions”

I believe we need to go further and provide such a group with the legal authority to system-model (which is not presently being done) establish, dictate and enforce the future requirements for our networks to guarantee the UK’s security.

The report further logically advocates the development of a “Plan B” to address the possibility that the proposed Hinckley new nuclear station is delayed or fails to produce the anticipated power, which is a real possibility given the difficulties the selected design is having in the Flammanville project.

Following their Lordships’ report the silence from renewables groups and the subsidy sustained wind and biomass generators has been deafening - a result, presumably, of its clinical disentrailing and exposure of the reliability reducing and cost-increasing contribution so called “renewables” are making to our energy networks.

Let us hope Downing Street has not binned it upon arrival.

DB Watson,

Saviskaill, Langdales Avenue, Cumbernauld.


Vattenfall plans to install additional wind turbines near Aberdeenshire wind farm

Published 24 February 2017

Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company, has announced plans for additional wind turbines next to an operating wind farm in Aberdeenshire.

The developer is seeking opinions from technical specialists and the public on early ideas for 16 turbines next to Clashindarroch Wind Farm, which has been generating clean, green electricity since 2015.

Speaking ahead of March community information days in Rhynie, Haugh of Glass and Huntly, Vattenfall’s Project Manager

Andrew Bennett, said: “Vattenfall’s Clashindarroch Wind Farm has been successfully generating clean, green electricity for 18 months now. On the back of this success, we would like to build further wind turbines in the Clashindarroch Forest area.
“Clashindarroch II will provide the local community with the chance to own part of the wind farm in addition to having a community benefit fund to invest locally.”

Vattenfall has ambitious targets to significantly grow production from its wind business. This strategy is in line with Scottish aspirations, recently announced by the Scottish Government, to deliver 50% of all energy demand from renewables by 2030.

Guy Mortimer, Vattenfall’s UK Development Director for onshore wind, said: “Vattenfall wants to be carbon neutral by 2050 and wind power is going to drive our transition to a sustainable energy company. That is why Vattenfall wants to triple the size of its wind business by 2025, Clashindarroch II will be part of that transition. But we also think it can be part of Scotland’s transition to a low carbon energy system.”

Vattenfall will submit a request to the Scottish Government to identify the scope of environmental assessment needed to understand the impact of the early plans. This scoping request would be the basis of a discussion with the local community. The opinions of both technical specialists and the public would then help shape the project ahead of a planning application.

The existing Clashindarroch Community Fund receives £185,000 (index linked) every year from Vattenfall’s Clashindarroch Wind Farm.

Source: Company Press Release


UK Startup Squeaky Connects Small Businesses To “100% Renewable British Electricity”

Clean Power

Published on February 23rd, 2017 | by Derek Markham

February 23rd, 2017 by

Taking a page from the corporate renewable energy purchasing trend, Squeaky aims to help UK small businesses make the move from dirty electricity sources to ‘squeaky clean’ ones, at no additional cost.

The UK startup Squeaky sees the business energy market as “broken” and is on a mission to fix it, and to do so in a way that will continue the trend of businesses moving to cleaner electricity, but without any price premiums. That’s an audacious goal, especially when considering that the company’s focus isn’t big business, where high volumes may help corporations cut good deals, especially on long-term agreements. But the team believes it is well positioned to deliver on its promises, as the principals are experienced in corporate electricity purchasing, and are able to now bring that expertise to bear for “all businesses.”

“Squeaky clean energy, for the same price as dirty energy.”

The magic sauce, so to speak, of Squeaky is in cutting out the middleman, because although there are options for buying renewable energy through existing utility agreements, all too often that comes at a price premium. And for smaller businesses, choosing to make the switch to green electricity, but at a higher cost, is a bit of a hard sell, and one that doesn’t make a whole lot of financial sense. Switching to clean electricity can help UK businesses with their social responsibility goals and their environmental commitments, and perhaps help them in trying to communicate their sustainability efforts, but if it costs more and impacts their bottom line negatively, it’s also one of the first things to go in a financial crunch.

What Squeaky has done is created a platform that allows businesses to purchase directly from clean energy generators in their own local area, which not only helps the business by getting them powered by renewables at the same cost as conventional electricity, but it also helps support and grow local renewable energy generators as well.

“What Squeaky customers are actually doing is going straight to the source, cutting out the middleman. The Squeaky platform allows energy buyers to effectively buy at wholesale prices directly from generators rather than at retail prices from a big brand name energy company, often with the added cost of a broker. We just provide the framework to make the process safe and easy for everyone – buyers and generators alike.” – Squeaky

Allowing businesses to purchase directly from generators also helps the generator financially, by cutting out some of the margin that is lost to the middleman, as Squeaky founder Chris Bowden tells FastCoExist:

“The typical margin between a generator and customer might be 20% to 50% depending on the size of the transaction, and much of this margin is lost on intermediaries, credit costs, trading costs, and high-legacy industry costs, including inefficient systems and processes. Squeaky is able to cut this margin in half so both sides benefit.”

According to the company, Squeaky has “exclusive access to one of the largest portfolios of solar, wind, and biomass energy in the UK,” so there’s plenty of domestic renewable electricity available, with no need to import from overseas. In addition, the company claims that its electricity supply is backed by Europe’s largest renewable generator, “which has an A- credit rating – better than British Gas or Npower,” which may help alleviate any concerns about either financial risk or supply risk during periods of fluctuating renewables generation.


 

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!




UK’s CDC Group plans renewable energy platform for India, South Asian countries

New Delhi: CDC Group Plc, the UK government’s development finance institution, is planning to set up its own renewable energy platform focussed on east India and neighbouring countries.

This dedicated platform will focus on eastern states such as Bihar, Odisha and Assam, and also set up clean energy projects in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.

“We can confirm that in the coming months, we are planning to launch a new independent renewable energy company, that will be 100% funded by CDC,” said a CDC spokesperson in an emailed response. “The company will be focused on developing hundreds of MW (mega watts) of high-quality greenfield generational capacity for underserved Indian states and neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.”

The CDC Group has invested $1.3 billion in India since 1987, including in IDFC Alternatives-backed clean energy firm Green Infra Ltd.

ALSO READ | No such thing as a perfect renewable energy contract

The development finance institution plans to leverage its experience in running Globeleq Africa, a company in which it acquired a majority stake in 2015, for green energy investments in India and the region. Globeleq has a 1200MW power generation capacity spread across Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.

“CDC’s plans to set up its own renewable energy platform also stems from goals such as poverty alleviation and employment creation,” said a person aware of the development, requesting anonymity. India’s demand for green energy is expected to grow seven-fold by 2035, according to the latest BP Energy Outlook released last month. Accordingly, the share of renewable energy in the country’s fuel mix will rise to 8% in 2035 from the current 2%. Also, for the emerging Asian economies, the share of fossil fuel may decline from 92% of present demand to 87% in 2035. CDC is one of the largest investors in private equity funds in South Asia, supporting 37 funds investing across the region, according to its website.

ALSO READ | New solar auction lights the way to Modi’s green targets, dims coal outlook

In India, the biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China, renewable energy currently accounts for 15%, or 45,917MW, of the total installed capacity of 310,005MW. The Indian government has been working to promote green energy by exploring a change in the tariff structure for electricity from clean energy sources. The ministry of new and renewable energy is contemplating a fixed-cost component to the tariff for electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind. India plans to achieve 175GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as part of its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted by 195 countries in Paris in December 2015.

ALSO READ | India’s solar power sector turns a corner, thanks to Rewa record tariff bid

First Published: Thu, Feb 23 2017. 03 54 AM IST


UK couple behind revolutionary customer-owned energy firm call for support to take on the 'Big Fix'

 

UK couple behind revolutionary customer-owned energy firm call for support to take on the 'Big Fix'

A UK couple are a step closer to breaking British energy supply's "big fix" and have appealed for more public support in a successful online crowdfunding campaign that concludes this week.

Entrepreneurs David Pike and Karin Sode have already attracted more than �300,000 towards founding Our Energy, a revolutionary company set to stand in contrast to Britain's Big Six suppliers of gas and electricity by being completely transparent and customer-focused, giving 75 per cent of profits back to consumers and ensuring user representation on its board of directors.

Once up and running, Our Energy will reward with free energy those members of the public who have donated towards a crowdfunding campaign, which ends on Friday (February 24) at midnight. The company will become operational later this year and break new ground in national energy supply, providing two simple tariffs, 'lean' and 'green', respectively the cheapest and most environmentally-friendly supply the company can offer. Now, David and Karin are aiming to attract �450,000 in order to increase Our Energy's competitiveness on price with major UK suppliers.

David said: "We are delighted to have received backing from over 1400 supporters who have raised more than �300,000 to ensure that Our Energy will become operational later this year. By attracting further funding, more customers can reap the benefits of a democratic and transparent energy supplier."

Karin said: "We have been amazed by the positive response we have had from people, not just through their pledges, but also in the many positive comments we have had. There is an absolute desire to change how essential services are provided to people in our communities. People are expressing a hunger to be part of a business model that returns ownership of a natural resource to them and is built on sharing rather than grabbing."

Customers will be represented on the board, have voting rights on business decisions and be informed of all costs involved in running the energy business.

Consumers can secure their place as future owners of Our Energy by donating at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ourenergy. Shares cannot be bought and sold, instead remaining in the hands of customers.

For media interview please contact 07884 141152.

ABOUT OUR ENERGY

David Pike, director

David originally trained as an engineer and in recent years has provided leadership consultancy to the power generation and network sectors for EDF and Scottish Power. An experienced business leader, he has led multimillion pound organisations from loss to profit.

What is Our Energy?

In a radical new move, Our Energy will put profits and ownership in the hands of UK consumers of gas and electricity. People are fed up with being taken for a ride by large corporates, and they have lost trust in their energy suppliers (43% of consumers don't trust their supplier to be fair, according to ofgem). 75% of the profits will be returned to customers in an annual rebate!

How will customers own the business?

Customers receive free share ownership of the business within three years. When customers stay with Our Energy, they are given free shares which they can keep as long as they remain a customer. They can't sell the shares to someone else. Our Energy wants UK citizens to always own their own energy supply.

How will it be democratic?

Customers will vote and shape the direction of the company. When major decisions need to be made within Our Energy, customers will have a vote on the direction of the business.

How will it be transparent?

Our Energy's directors will share decisions, accounts, our salaries and wholesale energy costs openly. Together, the staff and customers will change the way that resources that naturally belong to the public are distributed among them. Power in consumers' hands - no less, no more.

Is it green?

Green energy is very important to the company and Our Energy will offer real renewable options to its customers. Over time, the company will also invest in local renewable energy generation.

Published in M2 PressWIRE on Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Copyright (C) 2017, M2 Communications Ltd.


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