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A new report on the global market potential of biogas will be launched by the World Biogas Association (WBA) at the inaugural World Biogas Summit 2019 in July.

The report will set out the potential for growth in biogas markets in different regions across the world and on a global scale, and will build on a series of existing WBA reports, some focused on biogas markets in particular countries and others on the contribution that biogas can make to meeting specific policy goals such as the United Nations’ (UNs’) Sustainable Development Goals, improving urban air quality, mitigating climate change, and tackling food waste.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas technologies convert organic wastes and purpose-grown crops into renewable heat and power, clean transport fuel, and nutrient-rich natural fertiliser.

WBA President David Newman said:

“If rolled out on a large scale, biogas technologies can reduce global emissions by a staggering 20% – a huge contribution to tackling the urgent challenge of climate change. There is enormous growth potential for these technologies right around the world, particularly in countries with poor existing facilities for managing wastes such as inedible food, sewage, and manures.

“This exciting new report will be the first to offer a global overview of the growth potential for biogas markets, as well as focusing on specific regions. We want this to be the go-to guide for investors, governments, and policymakers looking to reap the many economic and environmental benefits of biogas around the world.”

The report will be launched at the inaugural World Biogas Summit 2019, the largest ever dedicated global biogas conference, taking place on 3rd-4th July at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. The summit is being co-organised by WBA and the UK Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) and will be co-located with UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2019, the world’s largest tradeshow dedicated solely to AD and biogas.

Commenting on the development of plans for the Summit and Expo, Mr Newman said:

“Together with ADBA, we’ve been investing both time and money into these flagship events to make them the largest and most international to date. This has included appointing a dedicated events management company to grow the events and creating the World Biogas Summit, a major new international thought-leadership forum that will run alongside the Expo and put anaerobic digestion and biogas at the very heart of global sustainable development, where it needs to be.”

ADBA will be celebrating its tenth anniversary at the events and reflecting on the progress of the UK AD industry over the past decade. One of the key topics for the Summit and Expo will be food waste recycling, following the announcement at the ADBA National Conference 2018 this week by a government minister that the universal food waste collections will be included in the UK’s forthcoming Resources & Waste Strategy.

ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said:

“We’re hugely excited about both the Summit and the Expo, which will offer those working in the UK AD industry the perfect opportunity to network with and learn from others from around the world to discover the latest products, services, and expertise that can help to drive the growth of AD in the UK.”

The WBA will also host a reception at the House of Commons in London on 18th February bringing together WBA members, ambassadors, and trade officials to attract global interest in the benefits of AD and biogas worldwide and discuss how these technologies can support countries around the world in reducing their emissions quickly and deeply. International delegations will then be able to explore these benefits further at UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2019.

On October 8, in the context of the European Week of Cities and regions, Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu participated to the launch of an interregional partnership on batteries.

The European Battery Alliance is part of our Energy Union Strategy and aims at strengthening clean mobility, fight climate change and reduce dependencies deriving from energy imports. Led by Slovenia and gathering Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Nouvelle Aquitaine in France, Andalucía, Basque country and Castilla y León in Spain and Lombardy in Italy, this interregional partnership will receive tailored support from the Commission to develop and scale-up joint projects in advanced materials for batteries, under the smart specialisation pilot action for interregional innovation.

Vice President Šefčovič said: “Regions are the living labs of our industrial policy. It is therefore excellent to see that the European Battery Alliance is now attracting those set to embrace this modernisation opportunity and join up with their strengths and capabilities. These interregional partnerships will play a crucial part in building a competitive, innovative and sustainable battery value chain in Europe, to capture a market that could grow to €250 billion annually by 2025 onwards. In the run to the first anniversary of the EU Battery Alliance next week, we will be showcasing that the EU has what it takes to become a global leader here.”

Commissioner Creţu added: “I hope this new partnership inspire other regions to think about how they can make best use of the available EU support for reinforcing the European value chain for batteries in the years to come, include in the next generation of Cohesion Policy programmes, for the 2021-2027.”

The pilot will run until the end of 2019 and the partnership will benefit from the support of special teams established within the Commission, involving experts from several thematic departments, but also from external experts on financial modelling, business plans or intellectual property. More information on the EU Battery Alliance and smart specialisation pilot actions for interregional innovation and industrial transition is available online.

SOURCE: European Commission

Siemens and Northvolt today announced a partnership for the development of best-in-class technology to produce high-quality, green lithium-ion batteries. The partnership, which will be supported by Siemens through an investment of EUR 10 million, also includes the supply of lithium-ion batteries.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, Europe is accelerating its transition to renewable energies. Electrification and an increased use of batteries is one of the cornerstones of this transition, enabling the large-scale conversion to sustainable transportation as well as a deep integration of renewable sources in the energy mix. With limited current and planned capacity in place, Europe is now facing a major battery deficit of within the next few years.

“We are happy to support Northvolt in building the battery factory of the future. With our Digital Enterprise portfolio, we contribute to a competitive battery cell production in Europe that fully exploits the benefits of software and automation: greater flexibility, efficiency and quality with shorter time to market”, said Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens Digital Factory Division.

“Northvolt is driving the battery production to build a battery with very low CO2 footprint. Our Digital Enterprise portfolio will support Northvolt in building a state-of-the-art battery plant. We are excited to go in as a partner in this project”, said Ulf Troedsson, President and CEO of Siemens Nordics.

Once completed in 2020, Siemens intends to purchase batteries from the factory, making Northvolt a preferred supplier. Siemens will support the partnership through an investment of EUR 10 million.

Siemens sees the Northvolt initiative as a reference project for the battery production of the future, which will rely on the integration and digitization of the entire value chain: from the design of the battery cell through production planning, engineering and production to services.

The technology partnership is set up around two main areas of collaboration:

  • Cutting edge technology. Use of the Siemens’ Digital Enterprise portfolio, encompassing everything from manufacturing planning and design software to automation, including industrial communications networks and cloud solutions, will allow Northvolt to optimize its battery production and sharpen its competitive edge.
  • Supply of lithium-ion batteries. Siemens intends to purchase batteries from Northvolt once its large-scale production facility is up and running. The companies are also exploring potential areas for joint development programs.

“The European industry is moving rapidly towards electrification. With its world-class expertise within electrification, automation and digitalization, Siemens will become an important technology partner, supplier and customer to Northvolt in this coming transition. Once we begin large-scale production, our aim is to supply the greenest lithium-ion batteries in the world”, said Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO, Northvolt.

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The role of corporations is central to the renewable energy transition and helping to address climate change. But faced with many options and considerations, from multiple providers, the ‘opportunity’ quickly becomes seen as a ‘challenge’ and progress slowed.

act renewable, an independent specialist renewable energy consultant, has been launched with the express aim of helping corporations to cut through market complexity and the multiple options available to them, to help drive forward their renewable energy ambitions.

Rasmus Nedergaard, Managing Director of act renewable, explains: “While many corporations recognise the moral and business case for renewable energy, a lack of internal expertise makes the transition process seem particularly complex. This is compounded by the numerous options available. The net result is that progress is slowed and the benefits from a transition to renewable energy go unrealised.”

The starting point is to recognize that all corporations are different and have different values, business models and priorities.

Rasmus continues: “Independent advisory firms do not start with a shortlist of options. We start with the corporation and what it wants to achieve. We then progress along a logical path that considers Business Case, Renewable Technologies and Financing. And, at each step, can consider whole-market options to arrive at the best possible solution. We form a crucial bridge between the corporation and the renewable energy market. The potential for corporations to be the main global driving force in the renewable energy transition is well recognised, but for this to happen it is crucial they have access to advice and guidance that can cut through the complexity and multiple options available to them.”

act renewable is an independent advisory firm on a mission to help companies achieve their full renewable energy potential. act renewable is a joint venture between renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. and renewable energy and environmental consulting firm RESET Carbon. By combining BayWa r.e.’s technical expertise with RESET Carbon’s corporate consulting insights, act renewable is able o to offer business solutions for every stage of the corporate renewable energy transition.

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Cupertino, California — As part of its commitment to combat climate change and create a healthier environment, Apple today announced its global facilities are powered with 100 percent clean energy. This achievement includes retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries — including the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India. The company also announced nine additional manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23.

“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”

RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS

Apple and its partners are building new renewable energy projects around the world, improving the energy options for local communities, states and even entire countries. Apple creates or develops, with utilities, new regional renewable energy projects that would not otherwise exist. These projects represent a diverse range of energy sources, including solar arrays and wind farms as well as emerging technologies like biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies.

Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity, with 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online in 2017, its most ever in one year. It also has 15 more projects in construction. Once built, over 1.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.

Since 2014, all of Apple’s data centers have been powered by 100 percent renewable energy. And since 2011, all of Apple’s renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 54 percent from its facilities worldwide and prevented nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2e from entering the atmosphere.

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Apple’s renewable energy projects include:

  • Apple Park, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, is now the largest LEED Platinum-certified office building in North America. It is powered by 100 percent renewable energy from multiple sources, including a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation and four megawatts of biogas fuel cells, and controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy.
  • Over 485 megawatts of wind and solar projects have been developed across six provinces of China to address upstream manufacturing emissions.
  • Apple recently announced plans to build a 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center in Waukee, Iowa, that will run entirely on renewable energy from day one.
  • In Reno, Nevada, Apple created a partnership with the local utility, NV Energy, and over the last four years developed four new projects totaling 320 megawatts of solar PV generation.
  • In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy every year — enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes.
  • In Singapore, where land is scarce, Apple adapted and built its renewable energy on 800 rooftops.
  • Apple is currently constructing two new data centers in Denmark that will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.

SUPPLIER COMMITMENTS

To get to 100 percent renewable energy for its own facilities, the company worked to set an example for others to follow. Apple also announced today that 23 of its suppliers are now committed to operating on 100 percent renewable energy, including nine new suppliers. Altogether, clean energy from supplier projects helped avoid over 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted in 2017 — the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the road. In addition, over 85 suppliers have registered for Apple’s Clean Energy Portal, an online platform that Apple developed to help suppliers identify commercially viable renewable energy solutions in regions around the world.

New supplier commitments include: Arkema, DSM Engineering Plastics, ECCO Leather, Finisar, Luxshare-ICT, Pegatron, Quadrant, Quanta Computer, Taiyo Ink Mfg. Co,…

Decarbonising transport is central to achieving Europe’s policy commitments on climate change. The transport sector is expected to deliver a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the EU by 2050. Achieving these commitments is expected to require a complete decarbonisation of the passenger car fleet. The more ambitious COP21 commitment to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C will demand a complete decarbonisation of transport by 2050.

This study has been carried out as part of the EAFO project to look at the pathways and the impacts of a transition of the EU car fleet to ZEVs (Zero Emission Vehicles). Undertaken by the EAFO partners AVERE, TNO and VUB, the study is designed to help policymakers understand the impacts of a rapid transition to a ZEV fleet. It considers the effects of this transition on imported fossil fuels, GHG emissions, air quality and the overall competitiveness of EU industry.

An extensive literature review failed to identify any scenarios or forecasts that provide new insights on the impacts of a complete transition to a ZEV fleet in the EU. To address this need, a range of scenarios were modelled to determine the financial, energy and CO2 emission impacts of a transition to a ZEV passenger car fleet by 2050. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY December 2017 – January 2018

Photo: OECD/Axel Schmidt

Integrating measures to tackle climate change into regular economic policy will have a positive impact on economic growth over the medium and long term, according to a new OECD report prepared in the context of the German Presidency of the G20.

“Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth” shows that bringing together the growth and climate agendas, rather than treating climate as a separate issue, could add 1% to average economic output in G20 countries by 2021 and lift 2050 output by up to 2.8%. If the economic benefits of avoiding climate change impacts such as coastal flooding or storm damage are factored in, the net increase to 2050 GDP would be nearly 5%.

 

The report says G20 countries – which account for 85% of global GDP and 80% of CO<sub>2<sub> emissions – should adopt a combination of pro-growth and pro-environment policies in developing their overall growth and development strategies. This means combining climate policies such as carbon pricing with supportive economic policies to drive growth centred on investment in low-emission, climate-resilient infrastructure.

Infrastructure investments made over the next 10-15 years will determine whether the 2015 Paris Agreement’s objective to stabilise the global climate can be achieved, and delaying action will end up being more costly. The report shows that taking action only after 2025 would lead to an average output loss for G20 economies of 2% after ten years relative to taking action now. The delay would mean that, eventually, even more stringent climate policies would have to be introduced more urgently, risking greater environmental and economic disruption and leaving more fossil fuel assets as economically unviable.

Infrastructure is at the heart of economic growth and yet there has been chronic underinvestment in most G20 countries. Limiting the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees, in line with the Paris Agreement, will require USD 6.9 trillion per year in infrastructure investment between now and 2030, only 10% more than the carbon-intensive alternative. In addition, climate-friendly infrastructure is more energy-efficient and would lead to fossil fuel savings totalling USD 1.7 trillion annually, more than offsetting the incremental cost.

Even in countries where the transition to a low-carbon economy will be economically challenging, such as in net fossil-fuel exporters, the right combination of policies can mean that low-carbon growth offsets the cost in terms of the economy and jobs of putting in place mitigation policies.

The report recommends that G20 countries:

• Ensure the integration of climate objectives in pro-growth reforms, in particular to deliver better resource allocation, stronger investment and structural reforms in line with the low-emission transition.
• Strengthen climate mitigation policies, including carbon pricing, fossil fuel subsidy reform, smart regulations and the use of public procurement to help drive low-carbon innovation
• Scale up efforts to mobilise private investment in low-emission and climate resilient infrastructure through further efforts to green the finance system.
• Engage local governments, employers and workforce in the transition of exposed activities and communities, to deliver a just transition for workers.

Source: OECD

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The EU is strongly promoting the growth and development of a sustainable European bioeconomy, of which one of its core components would be the greater uptake of biomass – organic materials to produce chemicals, materials, energy, pharmaceuticals, and many other sustainable and innovative products. This shift to biomass is being underpinned by substantial R&D efforts under FP7 and Horizon 2020

Increasing the production and mobilisation of biomass can have a number of highly positive benefits for the EU’s economy and wider society. These include contributions to the EU’s fight against climate change, ensuring European (and global) food security, building blocks for new and sustainable raw materials, as well as helping to diversify the EU energy sources. The cultivation and sourcing of biomass will also benefit the EU’s long-term economic growth and would be a key generator of new and highly-skilled jobs, all within the broader context of a flourishing and vibrant bioeconomy.

In particular, the agricultural sector will have a crucial role to play in bringing biomass’s full potential to fruition. Many promising avenues are currently being explored and supported by the European Commission, such as the development of industrial crops able to grow on marginal lands, new methods being pioneered on crop diversification, and the growth of multi-purpose crops (i.e. providing both food but also non-food outputs).

 

As part of the wider picture, it is planned that these efforts will provide the agricultural sector with the knowledge and expertise needed to support resource-efficient and resilient strategies and solutions for biomass production that allow for increased biomass production but without compromising sustainability targets or local ecosystems.

This CORDIS Results Pack is thus focusing on eight EU-funded projects that have been leading the way in integrating novel biomass solutions into the wider European bioeconomy.

Selected projects include EUROPRUNING, which has developed a truly innovative pruning-to-energy value chain and the ITAKA project that has used camelina oil to produce sustainable commercial biojet fuel that has the potential to power more than just the aviation industry. Meanwhile, the GRASSMARGINS project has identified the optimal perennial grasses to cultivate as biomass crops on marginal non-arable land, whilst the OPTIMA consortium has cultivated high-yielding perennial grasses capable of serving as the source of many exciting new bio-based products.

Source: CORDIS

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It’s been just 11 days since Donald Trump was inaugurated in the US and so far the new president seems set on solidifying the promises he made during his campaign, including some that would impact climate and energy. The 1,000-mile long wall that Trump intends to build between the US and Mexico would release as much as 1.9m tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if it were to be built out of concrete, according to an estimate from Columbia University. Trump signed an executive order last Wednesday to direct the construction of such a wall and to boost the number of patrol forces along it.

Meanwhile, another executive order signed over the weekend to halt immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries could have an impact on companies from General Electric to General Motors – both of which employ immigrants from the nations affected. GE is one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers and in 2015 almost 14% of its revenue came from the Middle East and Africa, according to Bloomberg data. GM, maker of the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt and Volt plug-in hybrid, has vast manufacturing operations in Michigan – a state with a substantial Muslim population.

 

Trump is also likely to follow through on his intention to pull the US out of the landmark climate pact signed by more than 190 nations in Paris in December 2015, according to Myron Ebell, who headed Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team. “President Trump made it clear he would withdraw from the deal.” As the world’s richest nation and second largest polluter, US participation in the accord is fundamental to limiting global warming, say climate researchers.

One area that might survive Trump’s protectionist stance is the gas export market between the US and Mexico, according to asset manager ING Groep and Pira Energy Group. Pipeline deliveries of natural gas from the US to Mexico have more than doubled in the past two years, in response to declining oil and gas production in the latter and a supply glut in the former. The market supports jobs in the US and provides Mexico with cheap fuel and so may avert any interventionist measures, say the companies.

In California, large battery storage plants are moving in on the traditional role of natural gas to provide electricity to the grid during peak hours of demand. Three large plants – built by Tesla Motors, AES and Altagas – will go live in southern California this week in order to fill the power glut caused by the natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon in Los Angeles, which was subsequently shut down. The leak emitted 109,000 tonnes of methane into the atmosphere and led to the displacement of thousands of local residents. The battery storage projects have all been completed within six months and will alleviate the risk of winter blackouts.

On the US east coast, the country’s largest offshore wind farm received approval last week, a key milestone on the way to its deployment in waters off Long Island. The 90 MW project will generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes and is the first step towards New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal to develop 2.4 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

In Europe, the offshore wind industry will install more than 3.5 GW of capacity this year, according to a forecast by the WindEurope industry group. Germany and the UK will be market leaders – installing more than 1.6 GW each, while Belgium will add 165 MW and Denmark 23 MW. This will add to the continent’s current capacity of 12.6 GW of offshore wind.

The market for offshore wind in Polish waters and elsewhere in the Baltic Sea also looks promising, according to a BNEF Research Note that sees a current unfinanced pipeline of as much as 2.5 GW. The Baltic region has so far been behind in developing offshore wind due to a lack of supportive policy, low power prices and a ready supply of hydro-electric and nuclear power. Nevertheless, Poland has an auction on the cards for 2017 and at least 200 MW of capacity could be commissioned in the country by 2022, the note says.

Taiwan’s market for offshore wind is also heating up following news last week that Dong Energy and Macquarie Capital had both bought stakes in the country’s first commercial-scale offshore project– the 128 MW Formosa I wind farm. Macquarie now owns half the project, Dong Energy holds 35% and the initial developer — Swancor Renewable – holds the remainder. Formosa I is expected to be fully built in 2019, subject to a final investment decision.

India’s solar installations to escalate from 2017 onwards (GW of capacity)

India added 3.85 GW of grid-connected solar generation capacity in the first 10 months of 2016 — almost double total installations in 2015. BNEF has revised its projections for subsequent years based on the amount of capacity auctioned in 2016 and anticipated installations in the future. States will be under increasing pressure to meet the renewable purchase obligation targets set out at federal level, which require 6.75% of total electricity consumption across all states to come from solar-powered generation by the end of 2019

This article is based on the BNEF Week in Review published January 31.

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Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President Technical Infrastructure:

Every year people search on Google trillions of times; every minute people upload more than 400 hours of YouTube videos. All of that takes an incredible amount of processing power — which means energy. Our engineers have spent years perfecting Google’s data centers, making them 50% more energy efficient than the industry average. But we still need a lot of energy to power the products and services that our users depend on. We began purchasing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change — but it also makes business sense.

 

I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centers and offices. We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly; we signed our first agreement to purchase all the electricity from a 114 MW wind farm in Iowa, in 2010. Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 GW of wind and solar energy.

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Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 % and 80 %, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.

Our 20 renewable energy projects also help support communities, from Grady County, OK, to Rutherford County, NC, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden. To date, our purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States. These projects also generate tens of millions of dollars per year in revenue to local property owners, and tens of millions more to local and national governments in tax revenue.

cumulative-corporate-renewal

Since the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, we’ll also broaden our purchases to a variety of energy sources that can enable renewable power, every hour of every day. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone — not just Google — has access to clean energy.

The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority. We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth.

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