Daily News

Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken out against linking the operational permit for the Russian-German gas interconnector Nord Stream 2 to efforts to de-escalate the Ukraine crisis. “Nord Stream 2 is a private sector project,” he said, stressing it is up to regulators to decide how far Nord Stream 2 must meet EU unbundling criteria.

Conrad Energy and Teledata have agreed to install 1.2 MW of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) from Bloom Energy at Teledata’s 1,500 squaremetre data centre in Manchester. Conrad will fully fund the installation of Bloom’s hydrogen-ready energy servers that help Teledata increase the operational resilience of its data centres.

Rolls-Royce will ensure a climate-neutral energy supply at the container terminal currently under construction at the port of Duisburg, Germany. The company’s power system unit MTU will supply fuel cells to cover peakload demand and a hydrogen-based combined heat and power (CHP) station.

Large e-cars are often cheaper than combustion engine vehicles – both in terms of purchase price and total cost – even without subsidies, the think tank Agora Verkehrswende finds. E-car subsidies in Germany can reach up to €9,000 but analysts say total costs need to be more transparent and the purchase of smaller e-vehicles also needs to be subisidised if the government wants to reach its target of having 15 million electric cars on the road by 2030.

BASF New Business and Boston-based Advent Technologies have teamed up to boost the manufacturing scale of fuel cell membranes, used to separate hydrogen from gas mixtures. The German chemical giant aims to improve the stability of its Celtec membrane and push up the production capacity with the help of Advent’s fuel cell systems and membrane electrode assembly.

Ohio-based Magellan Scientific has struck a US$12 million deal with Anax Power to generate zero-emission electricity from natural gas flows for Magellan’s data centres, using 500 kW Anax turboexpanders. The green power will lower the carbon-intensity of bitcoin mining.

Sembcorp Energy UK plans to build Europe’s largest battery – a 360 MW energy storage system – at Wilton International on Teesside. The project will help the UK reach its Net Zero emission targets while increasing the resilience and response rate of the electricity network in the face of a growing renewables build-out.

MAN Energy Solutions works to upgrade its four-stroke engines to run on power-to-X fuels such as synthetic natural gas (SNG) and hydrogen. The Augsburg-based company will offer hydrogen-fired engines to power stations from 2025, which will also run on ammonia and methanol in late 2022.

Seoul-based LG Energy Solution (LGES) and Siemens have agreed to work together to digitalise the battery production process. CO2-neutral mobility hinges on high-end batteries, and LGES has won a contract to produce such batteries for the US carmaker General Motors (GM) in Tennessee from 2023.

Fossil gas can only be a bridge to a decarbonised electricity supply in Germany, RWE CEO Markus Krebber said, calling on policy-makers to clarify the transition to green hydrogen. “As an energy supplier, we have no desire to have the discussion we are having about coal today about gas again in ten years' time,” he underlined.

The green hydrogen market is seen surge at a rate of 33.8%, expanding from $0.58 billion in 2020 to reach $0.78 billion by the end of this year and over $2.94 billion in 2025, according to ResearchandMarkets. Competing technologies are alkaline vs. proton exchange membrane vs. solid oxide electrolysers. 

Sunrise Power and Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG) will build a new clean energy commercial vehicle factory in Ordos City, China. The partners agreed to spend 2.3 billion Remimbi (US$360m) on the new plant, intended to produce H2-based power systems and vehicles. The first 200 H2-fuelled cars are due to roll off the production line in spring 2022.

Growth rates of 5.9% through 2030 could help push the global market for lithium-ion phosphate batteries beyond US$9.9 billion by 2030, up from US$5.6 billion in 2020. Tesla’s Models 3 and Y, for instance, use such batteries but the high cost of lithium-iron phosphate remains “a restraining factor,” – as is the “high presence of alternatives [technologies]," ResearchandMarkets cautioned.

Lithium-ion based batteries are still dominating the stationary energy storage sector but a rising number of companies try to develop different technology types. Among the Li-ion batteries competitors, the Redox Flow Battery (RFB) system – based on flowing two liquids as electrolytes across the electrode – is seen as an attractive approach.

News in Brief

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 18 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop projects for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

GE to repower Long Lake plant

Jan 17 – GE will modernize four generors at the Long Lake hydropower plant in northwest US, operated by Avista Utilities. Once refurbished, the plant will have an installed capacity of more than 100 MW. The first modernized Long Lake unit is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2024 and the last one in 2029

mtu to power Romania’s largest data center

Jan 14 – mtu Series 4000 gas generators will provide electricity heat and cooling for Romania’s largest data center. ClusterPower is building a 273,000-squaremetre technology campus near Craiova by 2025, where it will host five data centers with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1

Green hydrogen from Quebec

Jan 13 – Charbone has agreed to provide the US propane distributer Superior with green hydrogen from its Sorel-Tracy facility in Quebec, Canada, starting from the third quarter of 2022. The hydrogen will be delivered directly from Charbone’s H2 plant to Superior’s customers which include mining, power generation, transportation and industrial energy users. 

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 12 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop project for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

US rivals Australia as world’s largest LNG exporter

Jan 11 – Analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) are confident that the growth in US LNG exports could see America’s liquefaction and send-out capacity exceed that of Australia and Qatar – the world’s two largest LNG exporters. Looking ahead, the EIA expects US exports of the super-chilled gas will rise 17% from 2021 levels to average 11.1 Bcf/d from December through March.

Africa’s first FLNG plant arrives in Mozambique

Jan 10 – Coral Sul FLNG, Africa’s first-ever floating LNG facility has arrived in Mozambican waters. The plant is critical to develop the US$7 billion Coral South project, led by the Italian oil and gas company Eni. Some of the produced gas will be used for power generation in Mozambique, though most will be liquefied and sold to global markets.

GE snaps up Opus One Solutions

Dec 23 – GE Digital has agreed to acquire Opus One Solutions Energy Corp, a Californian software company that helps utilities integrate renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) at scale across the electric grid. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, GE stated without disclosing what price was paid for the takeover.

Qatar invests in Rolls-Royce’s nuclear power business

Dec 22 – Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest £85 million in Rolls-Royce SMR, the company’s new technology for small-scale, low carbon nuclear power. UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng called the investment a “clear vote of confidence” in the UK’s nuclear innovation. It follows £210 million Qatari investment in the development in Small Modular Reactors. Now fully funded, Rolls-Royce SMR business also received £490 million through commercial equity and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant funding. 

JERA helps Japanese film producer curb emissions

Dec 20 – Toho, a Japanese film producer and entertainment company, will get support from the country’s largest power producer JERA to reduce CO2 emission from film production. To that end, JERA will supply zero-emissions energy to Toho and draw up a roadmap to decarbonise the media company as a whole.

Tractebel develop concept to store H2 offshore

Dec 17 – Tractebel Overdick and partners have developed an offshore infrastructure and processing facilities concept that relies on the storage of hydrogen (H2) in offshore caverns. The design study outlines a scalable offshore platform for the compression and storage of up to 1.2 million cubic meters of hydrogen.

Ethatec uses CO2-free power to produce ethanol

Dec 15 – ESG Clean Energy has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ethatec to use ESG’s patented CO2-free gensets to its ethanol production. Ethatec uses waste from bakeries and pizza factories which is being crushed and then mixed with water and enzymes and heated in a multi-stage mashing process to saccharify the starch. It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks, where yeast is added. for alcoholic fermentation of the sugar. After 72 hours, the mixture is fed to a distillation system where ethanol is obtained.

Anax helps Magellan mine bitcoin under US$12m deal

Dec 16 – Ohio-based Magellan Scientific has entered a long-term accord, worth US$12 million, with Anax Power to generate zero-emission electricity from natural gas flows for Magellan’s distributed data centres, using 500 kW Anax turboexpanders. This green power will be used to lower the carbon-intensity of bitcoin mining and help US interstate pipeline operators and utilities accelerate their net-zero emission goals.

Cryogenic insulation market to top $4.6m by 2026

Dec 14 – The global market for cryogenic insulation is forecast to reach $4,659.85 million by 2026, expanding at an annual rate of 8.76% over the next five years. According to ResearchandMarkets, companies need to keep investing in R&D to deliver more efficient products at a lower cost and improve product durability.

Industry wary about new German energy policy

 Dec 13 – The German industry is closely watching how the new coalition government will implement its clean energy policies.  Security of supply is a major issue given that the coal exit date has been pushed forward by eight years to 2030, while electrification of transport and hard to abate industries is set to push up demand substantially. To decarbonise traffic, over 15 million electric cars are meant to be on the roads by the end of this decade.

ADNOC awards FEED contract to Technip

Dec 10 – Technip Energies has been awarded a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract to integrate carbon capture technology to ADNOC’s Ghasha mega project in Abu Dhabi. The Ghasha Concession is the world’s largest offshore sour gas development, where ADNOC together with Eni, Wintershall Dea, OMV and Lukoil aim to develop up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of natural gas, as well as condensate and oil.

US gas-burn down 3.6% on mild weather

Dec 9 – Natural gas used in the US power sector has fallen by 3.6%, or 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) over the past week amid mild weather conditions, although industrial sector consumption was up 0.5%, or 0.1 Bcf/d over the same period. Natural gas exports to Mexico increased 3.6%, or 0.2 Bcf/d . Natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities (LNG pipeline receipts) averaged 12.0 Bcf/d, or 0.3 Bcf/d higher week-on-week, according to government data.