⚡Porsche looks towards e-fuels, GM and Nikola's deal is off, first 100% H2 fuelled homes in Scotland, and why AI and ML are crucial for Renewables

Good evening The Carbon Cut Readers! Today’s highlights include:

  • Amid Porsche Taycan’s success, German automaker CEO looks towards e-fuels

  • General Motors and Nikola aren’t moving forward with plans for the automaker to take a stake in the hydrogen truck startup in exchange for building its Badger electric pickup as the model is being canceled

  • Scottish homes to be first in world to use 100% green hydrogen

  • EU on track to meet greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy 2020 targets, progress in 2019 shows more ambitious long-term objectives are reachable

  • Lufthansa’s First Fully CO2-Neutral Cargo Flight Takes Off

  • Shell taken to court over claims it hampered fossil fuels phase-out

  • and a high-level overview as to why AI and ML are crucial for Renewable Energy.

Estimated Total Reading Time: 10 mins


💧 Hydrogen

1️⃣ Finland and Japan are Studying Hydrogen Powered Ship Designs — An increasing number of projects are seeking to develop hydrogen-based power technologies that can be commercially viable for the shipping industry. Among the projects that are advancing is one in Finland studying the production of green hydrogen for use in the ferries, while a public-private partnership was recently formed in Japan to study and develop hydrogen fuel cells for the commercial shipping industry.

2️⃣ Nuclear looks to hydrogen in a bid to secure its future — Global demand for hydrogen is predicted to soar over the coming decades — and nuclear plants may have a part to play in producing it.

3️⃣ The ships powered by ‘green hydrogen’ — The shipping industry currently emits 3% of all greenhouse gases. To keep temperatures within safe limits, experts say, it will have to decarbonise. Could green hydrogen be the answer?

4️⃣ Cummins to Open Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plant in Germany — Power solutions supplier Cummins continues to invest further in its Hydrogenics business, announcing November 12 that it will open a new facility next year in Germany that will make hydrogen fuel cell systems. Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins said the new plant in Herten will initially focus on building fuel systems that power trains for rail transport provider Alstom. Expected to be finished by July 2021, the facility will have a capacity of 10 megawatts per year.

5️⃣ S. Korea aims to commercialize 300MW hydrogen gas turbine by 2040 — South Korea presented a goal to commercialize a 300MW hydrogen gas turbine by 2040 as part of efforts to push for energy conversion and carbon neutrality. South Korea would start developing a hydrogen gas turbine burner for mixed and full combustion this year.

6️⃣ France Hydrogène and EIB Sign Agreement to Accelerate Support for Hydrogen Projects in France — France Hydrogène (AFHYPAC), the French association for hydrogen and fuel cells, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) — the EU climate bank — have signed a collaboration agreement aimed at facilitating access to the EIB’s financing solutions and expertise for hydrogen project promoters in France.

7️⃣ Hydrogen offers opportunity for energy transition, but economics remain difficult before 2030 — Economic viability for green hydrogen would require a 50% decrease in renewable energy costs, and a 30–50% reduction in the cost of electrolysis — declines within the realm of possibility, but likely not before 2030, according to S&P analysts.

❄️ LNG & Natural Gas

1️⃣ More than a quarter of all tonnage under construction will use alternative fuels — Clarkson data shows that alternative fuels are now in use on 3.5% of the current fleet and 27% of the orderbook by tonnage. By some considerable distance, LNG is the most popular alternative fuel at the moment, followed by LPG, but there are increasing numbers of alternately fuelled ships under construction such as 13 ethane-powered vessels.

2️⃣ Hapag-Lloyd inks LOI of almost US$1Bn for dual-fuel box ships — The six ultra-large container ships (ULCS) “are likely to employ dual-fuel main propulsion using LNG,” reports BRL, “with Hapag-Lloyd seriously considering utilising two LNG bunker tanks on deck of a new type B tank of 18,000 m3 constructed with cryogenic high-manganese steel in preference over normal membrane type.”

3️⃣ Gasum Does LNG Bunkering in Germany — Finnish state utility Gasum has completed its first LNG bunkering operation in Emden, Germany, it said November 30. The bunkering was successfully performed November 22 by Gasum’s Coralius (pictured during a different operation). The customer was SIEM Confucius, a car carrier. It had been confined to the body of water between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, although it did venture into the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area for bunkering in the summer.

4️⃣ Total bets big on LNG bunkering — The French major expects LNG marine use to reach 10mn t by 2025, its head of marine fuels tells Petroleum Economist.

🚘 Mobility — EVs, Batteries & Fuel Cells

1️⃣ Could hydrogen-electric cars be crucial to meeting California’s climate goals? — As California pushes to end the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035, a rivalry over which types of green vehicles will replace the internal combustion engine is playing out. The dominant player is clearly battery-powered electric cars like Teslas and Chevy Bolts. That’s for obvious reasons: California already has about 450,000 plug-in electric cars on the road and more than 67,300 charging ports.

2️⃣ Five Reasons Why Internal Combustion Engines Are Here to Stay — Oil prices are down and bans on automobiles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE) are up — way up. But don’t be fooled; there is plenty of life left in the ICE. To be sure, there’s lots of momentum propelling the electric-vehicle market, including the recent inclusion of Tesla in the S&P 500. But oil-fired cars are here to stay, and there are five big reasons why. Before I get to them, though, a quick review of the bans.

3️⃣ Royal Mail trials hydrogen-powered van for parcel and letter deliveries — British postal service and courier company Royal Mail has introduced a hydrogen-powered vehicle into its fleet for delivery routes in Altens, Aberdeen. A dual fuel vehicle with up to 60% of its power generated by green hydrogen, the van can travel up to 120 miles and accommodate deliveries of all sizes.

4️⃣ The most innovative trucks for the electric future by Mercedes-Benz — The most innovative trucks for the electric future bear the three-pointed star — that’s the verdict of the renowned International Truck of the Year (IToY) jury, which awarded its prestigious 2021 Truck Innovation Award to two trucks from Mercedes-Benz: the battery-electric eActros and the fuel-cell concept Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck.

5️⃣ Audi Pulls Out Of Hydrogen-Powered Car Development — Audi is only the latest in a long line of automakers that have pulled the plug on hydrogen-powered vehicle development. The interest in fuel-cell technology was based in large part on its range potential however with EV battery development roaring full-speed ahead, further investments are being cut. One of Audi’s reasons for dropped fuel-cell development is that they think it will be virtually impossible to produce enough CO2-neutral hydrogen for a huge number of passenger cars in the near future.

🦠 Synthetic Fuels, Ammonia, Methanol & BioFuels

1️⃣ Biogas — Weltec Biopower French Biomethane Plant Goes Live — In November 2020, a biomethane plant of the German energy plant manufacturer Weltec Biopower, went live in Papillonnière near the town of Vire in Normandie, France. The operator of the €11million project, which was rolled out by Weltec and its project partner Agripower France, is Agrigaz Vire, a local company that comprises 40 operations along the agricultural value chain. The plant has created three permanent jobs and digests a yearly amount of about 70,000 t of substrates to biogas, which is then processed to biomethane.


🔋 Energy Storage

1️⃣ BEIS green light for biggest battery in the UK — Scottish company InterGen has been granted consent by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to build the country’s largest battery energy storage facility on the banks of the Thames River in Essex, England. The 320MW/640 megawatt-hour DP World London Gateway project could ultimately deliver 1.3GWh of power, the company said. It added that, when fully charged, the battery could power up to 300,000 homes for two hours.

2️⃣ Gresham House buys 50MW UK battery — Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has completed its investment in the 50MW Wickham Market battery in Suffolk, England. The project has been acquired from Gresham House Devco and Noriker Power for an enterprise value of £32.75m (€36.44m) plus up to £0.75m of deferred contingent consideration.

🔆 Solar Power

1️⃣ Solar power booms in Texas — Wind power made Texas the leading renewable-energy producer in the U.S. Now solar is fast catching up. Invenergy LLC broke ground this year on a $1.6 billion solar farm northeast of Dallas that is expected to be the largest in the country upon completion in 2023. AT&T Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are among the large corporations that have contracted to purchase power from the project, which will span more than 13,000 football fields and supply enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.

💨 Wind Power

1️⃣ RWE and DEME Offshore deploy collared monopiles — RWE is to deploy collared monopiles at its 342MW Kaskasi offshore wind farm in what it says is an industry first. The developer has signed a contract with DEME Offshore for the transport and installation of the new foundation technology with offshore construction works expected to start in Q3 2020 at the wind farm located in the German North Sea, 35 kilometres north of the island of Heligoland. Special collars will be installed around three monopile foundations at seabed level, based on an RWE-patented technology, to provide additional support for lateral loading, increase the bearing capacity and improve the structural integrity of the entire foundation, especially in difficult ground.

2️⃣ Saipem Presses Ahead with Floating Pendulum Wind Turbine Foundation — Italian offshore specialist Saipem and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) have signed an agreement to collaborate on the HEXAFLOAT floating wind foundation project. The HEXAFLOAT floating pendulum concept, patented by Saipem, is currently undergoing validation.

3️⃣ GE unveils 6MW onshore giant — GE Renewable Energy has launched a 6MW turbine, the US manufacturer’s most powerful onshore machine. The unit, which features a 164-metre rotor, is part of the Cypress platform and will increase annual energy production by up to 11% compared with the 5.3–158 model. The new machine will feature a two-piece blade, and GE says it is designed with servicing in mind by facilitating up-tower repairs and featuring condition-based predictive services that will improve return-to-service and uptime, while lowering lifecycle costs.

4️⃣ ‘Floating wind potential is huge, but without government buy-in will be jeopardised’ — To seize the opportunity represented by floating wind through large-scale adoption, both cost and development risks will need to be reduced. Floating wind’s levellised cost of energy (LCOE) is currently more than three times that of bottom-fixed projects — but also on a similar trajectory in terms of cost, technology progress, financing and scale that has been seen in conventional offshore wind market (and previously onshore). It is expected that by 2030 floating’s LCOE will be in the €40–60/MWh ($48–72/MWh) range.

5️⃣ Japan Launches First Fixed Bottom Offshore Wind Auction — The government of Japan has launched its first-ever auction for fixed bottom offshore wind projects within the country’s General Common Sea Area. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) opened the auction for applications on 27 November. The tender will remain open until 27 May 2021.


💎 Carbon Capture

1️⃣ Proposed Carbon Capture Projects Run The Gamut From All-Natural To Heavy Industrial — After more than a decade involving little new construction activity, U.S. projects designed to remove carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere and either store it deep underground or put it to some beneficial use are seeing a resurgence in popularity.

2️⃣ Why Norway’s CO2 Subsea Storage Project Matters — In order to achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, aiming to keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels, it will not be sufficient simply to reduce emissions. We must also actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere and establish a balance between emissions and removal.

3️⃣ Blue carbon a gamechanger in WA’s struggle to curb greenhouse gas emissions — Carbon capture in vegetated coastal ecosystems could sequester millions of West Australian greenhouse gases as it closes in on its net zero emissions target by 2050. Mangroves, seagrass meadows and salt marshes are being packaged as highly effective carbon sinks which could be traded as carbon credits, also known as blue carbon.

🔄 Recycling, Waste & Circular Tech

1️⃣ Masdar, Tribe to establish joint venture for energy from waste projects — Two companies will strengthen their collaboration in the deployment of utility-scale energy-from-waste projects by establishing a joint venture in Australia.

2️⃣ The Race To Crack Battery Recycling — Before It’s Too Late — Millions of EVs will soon hit the road, but the world isn’t ready for their old batteries. A crop of startups wants to crack this billion-dollar problem.

3️⃣ Saudi Arabian Oil Company and Shell & AMG Recycling B.V. Sign Agreement to Explore the Feasibility of Building a Recycling “Supercenter” in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — This “supercenter” will enable Saudi Aramco to refine its crudes in an environmentally sustainable manner through the manufacturing of fresh residue upgrading catalysts required to convert heavy oil fractions into valuable products and recycling the resulting spent catalysts and gasification ash which are otherwise hazardous wastes. The “supercenter” will have the ability to make significant contributions toward the circular economy by bringing state-of-the-art fresh catalyst and recycling technologies to The Kingdom, enabling the realization of renewable energy and GHG emission reduction goals in the region.


📜 Policy

1️⃣ Labour urges government to include international shipping emissions in CO2 targets — The government is being urged to “take responsibility” for the UK’s share of carbon emissions from international shipping after it quietly agreed to let the sector spew out even more CO2. Labour says maritime emissions must be included in emissions targets and has written to ministers criticising them for signing up to “another decade of virtually unchecked emissions growth”. Sea transport accounts for around 3 per cent of the UK’s emissions, but is currently not included in climate targets, despite repeated recommendations from the government’s own experts that it should be.

2️⃣ Poland’s Council of Ministers Adopts Draft Offshore Wind Bill — Poland’s Council of Ministers has adopted the draft bill supporting the development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea. This summer, the Polish government published the revised draft offshore wind bill which would allow for 5.9 GW of capacity to be offered via Contracts for Difference (CfDs) by the end of June 2021. According to the government, the bill introduces a number of improvements, including that administrative and legal procedures have been simplified, reducing the investors’ time to implement investments.

3️⃣ UK scrambles to decide first post-Brexit climate pledge to the Paris Agreement — The UK is preparing to announce its first solo carbon-cutting pledge to the Paris climate agreement, in a tight political manoeuvre ahead of an ambition summit on 12 December.

4️⃣ Italy targets 5 GW of electrolyzer capacity by 2030 — The Italian government has unveiled a new hydrogen strategy that aims for 20% hydrogen penetration into final energy demand by 2050.

💰 Investments & Funding

1️⃣ Pradhan invites investors for India’s renewable energy — Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, on Saturday invited foreign investors, developers and businesses to be a part of India’s renewable energy journey. In the valedictory address at the third RE-INVEST 2020, the Union Minister said that India is progressively becoming a favoured destination for investment in renewables as in the last six years, over USD 64 billion investment has been made in renewable energy in India, according to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

2️⃣ $108 million in Victorian funding for green energy’s next wave — (Oz) Alongside targeted upgrades to transmission, and ongoing solar and wind developments, the Andrews Labor Government seeks to keep the breakthroughs rolling through with commitment to funding renewable energy research and start-ups.

📈Pricing & Trading

1️⃣ IRENA raises carbon price issue in green hydrogen policy guide — Guide to drawing up national green hydrogen strategies acknowledges the global hydrogen economy could fail to take shape if any of the world’s powers decide to stick with fossil fuels to gain a price advantage.


🧭 General

1️⃣ London-based entech unicorn Octopus Energy enters Germany, aims to offer cheaper, greener … — A couple of weeks back, London-based Octopus Energy, an Entech pioneer, established its hub in Manchester with the acquisition of Upside Energy. And now, the company has expanded its operation in Germany with a mission to disrupt the market and deliver contract freedom and innovative tariffs for customers.

2️⃣ What are offshore renewables? And how do they work? — In a world increasingly affected by climate change, burning fossil fuels is no longer a long-term option. Thankfully, the natural world around us offers plenty of opportunities for clean, renewable energy. The ocean is one of them. Today there are three main sources of offshore renewables. This is how they work.

3️⃣ Heat pumps: have a cosy home without warming the planet — Last week the government set a target of 600,000 heat pump installations a year in the UK by 2028 as it launched its “green industrial revolution”. It told housebuilders that in only three years’ time they will be forbidden from installing gas boilers in new homes and will have to put in a heat pump instead.

🏭 Emissions

1️⃣ Poland’s PKN announces 2030 green strategy to cut emissions, boost RES capacity — Poland’s largest refiner, PKN Orlen, said Nov 30 that it plans a five-fold increase in its renewable energy capacity, major investments in gas and biofuels production and significant reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030. The company has earmarked total capex of Zloty 140 billion ($37.5 billion) in its 2030 strategy, according to a company presentation. Some Zloty 30 billion will be spent on sustainable development projects, including Zloty 25 billion on reducing CO2 emissions by 20% from the company’s refining and petrochemical assets.

2️⃣ Carrier Plans to Reduce Customers’ Carbon Footprint by More than One Gigaton — Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR) today announced the company’s first set of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) goals since becoming an independent company in April. Building on the company’s vision to create solutions that matter for people and our planet, Carrier is targeting carbon neutrality across its operations by 2030. The company is also aiming to reduce its customers’ carbon footprint by more than one gigaton, supported by a planned investment of more than $2 billion over the next 10 years toward the development of healthier, safer and more sustainable building and cold chain solutions.