Nations agree to end financial support for coal

Nations agree to end financial support for coal

Some milestone moments…

First the G7: At the end of last week after what The Guardian described as “two days of wrangling” the world’s richest nations agreed to end their financial support for coal development overseas, in a major step towards phasing out the dirtiest fossil fuel. The G7 environment and energy ministers, hosted virtually by the UK, all reaffirmed their commitment to limiting global heating to 1.5C, and committed to phasing out coal and fully decarbonising their energy sectors in the 2030s. You can read more about what caused the ‘wrangling’ which involved Japan and China and financing of coal power on The Guardian. All the other G7 members – the UK, the US, the EU, France, Italy, Germany, and Canada – were all united in calling for an end to such financing.

Next, the CBI who have kicked off the week with a report into how businesses could help transform the economy over the next decade, it said the UK was at a turning point. Telling Guardian readers that “British businesses have the opportunity to create 240,000 low-carbon jobs and boost green exports by billions of pounds to radically transform the UK economy over the next decade” and that “businesses across the country stood to gain from an ‘early mover advantage’ by leading a campaign to decarbonise the global economy to avoid a climate meltdown”. It has called on companies to “’seize the moment’ amid demands for radical economic reforms after the Covid-19 pandemic. No doubt waking up report readers by declaring that decarbonisation, innovation, growing trade and levelling-up Britain’s lopsided regional economy could unlock commercial growth opportunities worth £700bn by 2030.

In the build-up to November’s COP26 no doubt we will see more articles like the Equinor-sponsored one in the Financial Times. “Becoming a net zero economy by 2050 will require a complex effort over the next thirty years” it declares; and asks the question “How can the UK deliver that transition?” With the help of great infographics it delivers answers on targets, offshore wind, hydrogen and – like the CBI – jobs.

From the big picture to a very personal one – there is a lovely LinkedIn post by Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables summing up both ScottishPower’s ethos and her own, ending with: “I can honestly say I wake up each and every day thinking about the opportunities ahead and it really excites me, knowing we are making a difference”.

In case you missed this key announcement…

The new Scottish Government: Scotland’s former Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has taken over responsibility for Scottish energy policy as Cabinet Secretary for Nex Zero, Energy & Transport. Richard Lochhead becomes Minister for Just Transition.

Homing in on projects/developments

Last week saw Dogger Bank C in the news: Dogger Bank Wind Farm and GE Renewable Energy have finalised contracts for the supply of 87 Haliade-X 14 MW turbines and a five-year service and warranty agreement for Dogger Bank C, the third and final phase of what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
GE Renewable Energy secured a preferred turbine supplier agreement for the third phase of the Dogger Bank offshore wind project in December 2020. Now, with the wind turbine supply contract in place, the company is confirmed to deliver a total of 277 units of its Haliade-X turbine for the entire 3.6 GW project located off the north-east coast of England.

The contracts are still subject to Dogger Bank C reaching financial close, expected in late 2021.

Ørsted breaks ground on first renewable hydrogen project

Ørsted has started the onsite construction work on the H2RES project in Copenhagen. Dan Jørgensen, the Danish minister for Climate, Energy & Utilities, led the groundbreaking ceremony of the H2RES project, marking the onsite construction start of Ørsted’s first renewable hydrogen project.

H2RES will have a capacity of 2 MW and will be situated on Ørsted’s premises on Avedøre Holme in Copenhagen. The project will investigate how to best combine an efficient electrolyser with the fluctuating power supply from offshore wind, using Ørsted’s two 3.6 MW offshore wind turbines at Avedøre Holme.

The facility will produce up to around 1,000 kg of renewable hydrogen a day, which will be used to fuel zero-emission road transport in the Greater Copenhagen area and on Zealand. The project is expected to produce its first hydrogen in late 2021.

‘Competition for space’ between CCS and offshore wind in North Sea

CCS and offshore wind, a pair of key decarbonising technologies, are in “competition for space” in the North Sea causing a regulatory headache, according to an industry leader.

Ian Phillips is development director of Pale Blue Dot, which runs the Acorn CCS (carbon capture and storage) project at St Fergus. Speaking during the Decom Week conference, he said: “The Acorn storage licence is a very odd-shaped piece of real estate, designed to capture a deep underground sandstone structure.

“However, the Crown Estate, who we have to secure a lease for accessing this, has also got a much more lucrative line going in offshore windfarms and there are some interesting part regulatory and part commercial challenges as to whether an area of the ocean should be licensed for wind generation purposes or for CCS. Or both.”

BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science had two highly relevant segments last week – one on carbon capture and storage and the other on converting discussed coal mines into heat sources as the following information explains:

“The Science Museum reopened this week with a new exhibition looking at the science of Carbon Capture. Inside Science took former Formula One technical champ Paddy Lowe to have a look round. He is interested in Carbon Capture because he has started a new company – Zero Petroleum – that aims to do nothing less than kick start a synthetic (hydrocarbon) fuel revolution.

“Using carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere, he and colleague Prof Nilay Shah believe they can use renewable electricity and other feedstocks to transform captured carbon into fuels and create a whole new petrochemical supply that could close the loop on the industrial revolution – especially for those energy uses where batteries could not currently work, such as jet engines and heavy remote machinery.

“Meanwhile, up in the north east of England, Charlotte Adams of the UK’s Coal Authority describes progress on measures to convert disused coal mines to geothermal heatpumps, providing reliable steady heating for new-build homes across many parts of the UK, and taking strain off the electrical grid.”

So, it’s ‘goodbye Wave Hub’: Wave Hub, the undersea “socket” located off Hayle in Cornwall and launched 11 years ago is to be sold to an offshore wind farm company reports the BBC, who said last week that “owner Cornwall Council said it would be sold for an undisclosed sum to Swedish firm Hexicon in a deal expected to be completed at the end of May”.

The DeepWind Offshore Wind Cluster webinar

The DeepWind Offshore Wind Cluster webinar hosted a webinar last week on the Salamander project a pre-commercial size project, up to 200MW capacity, located off Peterhead in the east coast of Scotland. Due to its privileged location the project is currently exploring different routes to market including oil and gas decarbonization and hydrogen production. The project is in an advanced planning stage and it is aiming to secure a Contracts for Difference (the government’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation) in 2025.

The Salamander project is a pre-commercial stepping-stone project that is following the philosophy that Simply Blue Energy is using in the Celtic Sea and therefore has a strong focus on supply chain development. Salamander will provide an opportunity for the local supply chain to gear up for commercial scale opportunities in Scotland, as well as de-risking floating wind technologies for the future commercial projects.

This will allow Scotland to maximise the financial benefit of its strong offshore wind resource and generate long term jobs for its local communities. Importantly it is eager to hunt out likely suppliers NOW. Could you become one? We have invited them to take part in the ‘Meet the Developer’ 1-2-1 meetings feature at All-Energy 2021.

Greenbackers launch SuperPitch

In advance of COP 26, the UN Climate Summit, Greenbackers has launched its “26-for-COP-26” SuperPitch which aims to get 26 of the most promising Net Zero start-ups (earthtech oceantech cleantech) funded with Seed or Series A investment between program launch at the end of May and the actual conference in November.

Greenbackers SuperPitch will promote nominated and selected ventures via the Greenbackers Showcase (their online deal room) continuously between this month and November and their efforts will culminate in a live Pitch in Glasgow, livestreamed to a global investor audience, during the COP. Could you be one of the 26? Now is the time to apply.

Iberdola launches innovative solutions challenge

Iberdrola group is seeking low-cost & environmentally-friendly solutions to combine PV plant roll out and primary sector activities in rural areas in a sustainable way

In some cases, the areas where photovoltaic plants are built coincide with sparsely populated zones where the rural economy is based largely on agriculture and livestock production.

As a result of this, Iberdrola — through its International Startup Programme – PERSEO — launches this challenge to identify competitive and innovative solutions that allow combining solar photovoltaic plants with activities related to agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fish-farming or bee-keeping in such a way that they improve the land use. It is what we know as agrovoltaic energy.


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