Please click here for the previous Edition of Low Carbon Pulse. Please also click here and here for the first two articles in the Shift to Hydrogen Series (S2H2): Elemental Change series: the S2H2 series provides a narrative and perspective on hydrogen generally. Please click here for the first feature in the Hydrogen for Industry (H24I): the H24I features provide an industry by industry narrative and perspective.
On August 4, 2021, members of the Global Ashurst Towards NZE team published an article entitled Realising Reserves and Realising Capital. The article outlines the key dynamics for International Oil Companies (IOCs) and National Oil Companies (NOCs) in progress towards NZE, and the importance of IOCs and NOCs to achieving NZE.
Finally, the PDF version of this Edition 23 includes, as an appendix, the July Report on Reports foreshadowed in recent editions of Low Carbon Pulse: this Report on Reports was planned as a standalone Report, but having tested the preferences of a number of readers, it has been included as an appendix. The July Report on Reports is also available here.
A PDF version of this article is available for download below.
Progress towards COP 26:
- Develop world needs to adapt to changed environment: Article 2 of the Paris Agreement is best known for the Stabilisation and Stretch Goals (Article 2.1(a) of the Paris Agreement). It would appear that attention is turning towards Articles 2.1(b) and (c) (to many the forgotten objectives of the Paris Agreement): "Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emission development, in a manner that does not threaten food production" and "Making finance flows consistent with the pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development". In the countdown to COP-26 it is to be expected that initiatives and policy settings will emerge in relation to each of these objectives. It is becoming increasingly clear that the science behind the Paris Agreement is incontrovertible.
Big Bill - History Made to Make Infrastructure:
- US Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (nearly) Done: In the last two weeks, it has been reported that the USD 1 trillion infrastructure investment package (IIP), as part of the Build Back Better agenda, has been close to finalisation: the IIP includes the previously approved USD 550 billion in new Federal Government funding for infrastructure.
Colleagues in the US have penned a summary of the IIP, and as such this outline looks at the NZE orientated elements of the IIP. Depending on how one reads the IIP, up to USD 114 billion of funding is to be made available for energy infrastructure and energy transition.
On August 6, 2021, the US Senate voted to advance the IIP infrastructure bill (the Senate having addressed procedural issues), but is yet to finalise it. Once the IIP infrastructure bill is finalised, the Senate will develop a budget framework, "to pave the way" for the human infrastructure bill.
- NZE initiatives:
- The Inconvenient Truth is true: It is coming up for 20 years since the author of Low Carbon Pulse attended a dinner hosted by former US Vice-President, Mr Al Gore.
The dinner was memorable for Mr Gore's literacy on the science of climate change, and because Mr Gore was a great speaker, charismatic in a way that television could never capture. The subject matter of the dinner became a book and a film. On August 2, 2021, Journal Nature Communications reported that climate change is the result of anthropogenic GHG emissions, with less than a 1% chance that climate change has occurred naturally. This is consistent with the 2021 Report.
The private sector, and a number of States of the US have acted on the science that has long informed Mr Gore. Hopefully in the next short while the legislature will finalise the IIP bill, "to play catch-up".
Big Bill at the Gate:
- Breakthrough at cost: Breakthrough Energy founder, Mr Bill Gates, continues as a voice of reason, engaged with the size and shape of the task in hand:
"Every year, the world adds approximately 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere trapping heat and driving up global temperatures. The only way to avoid the worst impacts of climate change is to stop adding greenhouse gases by 2050.The starting point is clear, the end point is clear, it is the bit in the middle that is the challenge!
We need to get from 51 billion tons to zero while still meeting the planet's basic needs. That means we need to transform the way we do almost everything".
- Breakthrough Energy - cost so far: One of the key tenets of Mr Gates thesis is that clean technology must be deployed and improved, noting that the development and deployment of solar photovoltaic, wind and lithium-ion batteries will continue, but those technologies need to improve, and other clean technologies allowed to develop.
For this purpose, Breakthrough Energy provides a platform to allow accelerated development and deployment. It has been reported that Direct Air Capture (DAC), Green Hydrogen, Long-Duration Energy Storage (LDES) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) are four areas of focus.
- Breakthrough Energy - connections: Mission Innovation (MI) was announced at COP-21 by Mr Gates: it was established to provide a structure for the public and private sectors to come together to accelerate clean energy innovation to address climate change. MI has links to the private sector through the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of private sector investors, of whom, one is Mr Gates. As reported in Edition 19 of Low Carbon Pulse members of MI reaffirmed their commitment with a second phase of MI, Mission Innovation 2.0.
On July 26, 2021, S&P Global Platts, published its Platts Global Integrated Energy Model – Strategic Planning for a world in transition (IEM). The IEM provides a 30 year look back (noting the "profound transformation" in total primary energy supply), and a 30 year look forward, with some particularly helpful graphics showing the forward looking transformation by source of energy to use of energy.
As with the reports published by the International Energy Agency or IEA (Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for Global Energy Sector), the International Renewable Energy Agency or IRENA (World Energy Transitions Outlook), Wood Mackenzie publication, and BloombergyNEF (New Energy Outlook, 2021) (and reported on in Editions 20, 21 and 22 of Low Carbon Pulse), the IEM provides a rich data set, and a strong narrative, and is well-worth a read. (The IEM, with NEO, is long, and strong, on data.)
The August Report on Reports will summarise the IEM.
Don’t do too little – says Deloitte:
On July 28 / 29, 2021, a Deloitte study, entitled Hydrogen4EU – Charting Pathways to Enable Net Zero was released (DPS). The DPS is excellent. Framed within the European Green Deal, the DPS goes down a number of layers to provide a clear line of sight as to how hydrogen may be used in the decarbonisation of activities across each sector and industry.
The August Report on Reports will summarise the DPS.
The Science Based Targets Initiative:
- Substance has to be core of action: In Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse, the carbon neutral versus net zero emissions debate was canvassed. In canvassing the debate, it was noted that while the debate may be interesting, ultimately substance counted: "the bigger issue is ensuring, whatever term is used, that the decarbonisation of activities occurs over time". What "over-time" means is becoming ever clearer: global GHG emissions must be halved by 2030 to avoid the worst effects of increases in average global temperatures.
- The Science Based Targets initiative: As such, rather than debate, each country and organisation should consider how best to halve its carbon footprint by 2030.
- The Economist provides straight shooting: During the week beginning the July 26, 2021, The Economist published an article outlining possible consequences of exceeding the Stabilisation Target under the Paris Agreement. The 2021 Report provides a like narrative on the imperative to act, and to act promptly.
CCS Support Framework in the Netherlands and Hydrogen import:
- Policy setting, with an end in sight: On July 26, 2021, a briefing (entitled The Industrial CCS Support Framework in the Netherlands) was published that outlines the framework in the Netherlands to promote and to support ("carrot and stick" to some) the development of CCS / CCUS capacity, and its use.
The SDE ++ program provides support in the form of a 15 year "legal instrument" that compensates the user of CCS / CCUS for the increased costs of using CCS / CCUS compared to the counter-factual: counter-factual being, not using CCS / CCUS, and as a result incurring cost under the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (see Editions 12, 19, 21 and 22 of Low Carbon Pulse) and being subject to the Carbon Tax regime in the Netherlands.
Effectively, the SDE ++ program provides a subsidy to address the negative externality of GHG emissions, the subsidy "pricing the benefit of capturing those GHG emissions". Also GHG emissions captured and stored are exempt from the Carbon Tax regime in the Netherlands.
As currently configured, these policy settings will apply until 2035, with this support regarded as transitionary, allowing industry to move to lower, low and no carbon technologies over time.
- Port of Rotterdam continues to lead the way: Edition 20 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on leading roles of the Ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam (under Getting ready for supply and distribution). This leadership continues:
- Hydrogen storage facilities: On July 28, 2021, it was reported that the Port of Rotterdam Authority (PORA), Chiyoda Corporation, Koole Terminals, and Mitsubishi Corporation signed an agreement to undertake a study jointly to assess the feasibility of the import of hydrogen to a Koole terminal, using proven hydrogen storage and transportation technology developed by Chiyoda.
See: Study for commercial-scale hydrogen imports
- Ammonia import facilities: On August 5, 2021, is was announced that PORA and Horisont Energi signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to import Blue Ammonia (produced in northern Norway, at the Barents Blue project (BBP)) and to store it at the Port of Rotterdam, pending distribution throughout North Western Europe. A final investment decision on the BBP is anticipated towards the end of 2022. The BBP will have production capacity of 3,000 tpd of Blue Ammonia, or 1 mtpa.
As noted in previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse, ports are critical to the export and import of hydrogen and hydrogen-based energy carriers. Blue Ammonia, a hydrogen-based energy carrier, is produced from the combination of Blue Hydrogen and Nitrogen. Currently, up to 15% of the energy carriers imported into western Europe enter Europe through the Port of Rotterdam.
As things stand, PORA is reported as estimating that up 20 mtpa (or 100 mtpa) of hydrogen will transit through the Port of Rotterdam by 2050. These estimates may be regarded as conservative. (See Port of the Future: The Importance of Hydrogen to get the perspective of PORA and the role of hydrogen.)
See: Horisont Energi and Port of Rotterdam sign memorandum of understanding regarding blue ammonia and Port of Rotterdam website
GCC countries continued activity:
- UAE, another week, and another week of progress: On July 29, 2021, it was reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had signed a strategic partnership agreement (SPA) with Austria. UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Austrian Chancellor, Mr Sebastian Kurz, signed the SPA during meetings in Vienna, Austria. At the same time it is understood that a cooperation agreement was signed in respect of the development of links to develop a hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuel value chain.
- ADNOC exports Blue Ammonia to Japan: On August 3 and 4, 2021, it was widely reported that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Fertiglobe (a joint venture between ADNOC and OCI chemical (world leading producer of soda ash)) exported the first cargo of Blue Ammonia from the UAE to Japan. The Blue Ammonia was produced at the fertiliser plant in Ruwais. The cargo is reported to have been sold to Itochu (leading Japanese trading house). It would seem that the Blue Ammonia has been produced using Blue Hydrogen, with CO2 arising from the production of that Hydrogen being reinjected into the Bab and Rumaitha Fields to achieve enhanced oil recovery (see Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse under CCS can be a challenge).
It is reported that Fertiglobe is to combine in joint venture with ADNOC and ADQ (a key UEA holding company) to develop the Ta'ziz Blue Ammonia Project at Ruwais.
See: ADNOC and Fertiglobe Partner to Sell UAE’s First Blue Ammonia to Japan’s Itochu and Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC sells its first ‘blue ammonia’ cargo to Japanese trading firm Itochu
The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) has released a research paper (ARP) on the use of ammonia as an energy carrier and as a feedstock. The ARP is recommended. Also Renewable Energy News included an article on ammonia, entitled Ammonia – The Key to Unlocking Hydrogen's Potential As A Low Carbon Alternative to Fossil Fuels. As with the ARP, it is recommended.
- PowerTap to deploy 100 hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs): On August 5, 2021, it was reported that PowerTap Hydrogen Capital is to deploy at least 100 hydrogen HRSs working with a number of governments in the Middle East. It is understood that HRSs may be co-located with existing refuelling stations.
See: PowerTap website
Germany feeling the push to accelerate off-shore wind:
While it has been reported that the development of off-shore wind capacity (as opposed to on-shore wind capacity) in the German sector of the North Sea may be fallow in 2021, it is clear that this state of affairs is not likely to continue, and more broadly Germany continues to be active in the deployment of renewable energy, but there is no doubt that more off-shore wind field capacity is needed.
- On July 27, 2021, it was reported that four green giants, Equinor, Gasunie, RWE and Shell are exploring the potential for the development of an off-shore hydrogen park in the German sector of the North Sea. While this project has been in concept for a while as the AquaSector as part of the integrated AquaVentus project (see Edition 17 of Low Carbon Pulse), this project would go beyond current thinking around AquaSector (as a pilot scheme), to encompass a 300 MW electrolyser development to produce up to 20,000 tonnes of Green Hydrogen a year. The Green Hydrogen would be transported to the mainland of northern Europe via the AquaDuctus.
- On July 27, 2021, Oil Price reported that despite a 62% increase in the installation in wind capacity across Germany in the first half of 2021, compared to 2020 (to 971 MW), this is not sufficient to achieve the national and EU wide targets for new installations. Under the Renewables Act in Germany, a little under 4 GW of wind capacity is to be installed each year.
India – the beats up:
- SECI in beat, not wasting time: As reported in previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse, state-owned corporation, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is active in the development of solar photovoltaic capacity.
On July 26, 2021, it was reported that SECI is planning the development of a 2 GW energy storage system comprising a number of projects developed on a build-own-operate basis (each an ES BOO contract).
Each ES BOO contract will be for a term of 25 years. It is reported that SECI will come to market later in August 2021. It might be expected that the ES BOO contracts will be awarded in tranches, each tranche reflecting the expected roll-out of the SECI's solar development.
- Green Hydrogen Projects: On July 29, 2021, it was widely reported that Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) had signed a framework agreement with JSW Future Energy (a leading Indian power company), under which the corporations will work together to identify and to develop opportunities to use Green Hydrogen for iron and steel production and for mobility, and the production and use of Green Ammonia.
This continues to global initiatives if FFI in a number of countries that will benefit from the capital and markets that FFI is able to unlock.
See: Fortescue Future Industries website
Israel to introduce carbon tax:
To be phased in: On August 2, 2021, The Times of Israel, reported that Israel is to introduce a carbon tax over a five year period, 2023 to 2028.
Targeted Tax: As reported the carbon tax:
- will apply:
- to about 80% of the GHG emissions arising from the use of fossil fuels (coal, fuel oil, liquified petroleum gas, natural gas and petcoke) in Israel;to GHG emissions arising from specified sources, including from cooling systems of all kinds, and landfill;
- will not apply to the use of diesel in the transport sector because, as reported, the excise duties on diesel in Israel are among the highest in the OECD.
Israel's NDC: As COP-26 approaches (in Glasgow, Scotland, in November), Israel has restated its national determined contribution (NDC) for the purposes of the Paris Agreement - 27% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, and 85% reduction by 2050, compared to 2015. Modelling undertaken by the Environmental Protection Ministry indicates that the carbon tax will reduce GHG emissions by 67% by 2050, compared to 2015.
Japan's draft 2030 energy mix:
Pausing to consider the implications, Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the draft plan for the 2030 energy mix for Japan. For some, there was an initial "cat among the pigeons" or "fox in the hen house" moment following the release of the draft Strategic Energy Plan, by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
While there has been much analysis, possibly the pithiest assessment the author has read is that provided by Wood Mackenzie on July 27, 2021. Leaving to one side what may be regarded as stretch targets for renewables and nuclear power in the draft Strategic Energy Plan, from a policy setting perspective the draft from METI is consistent with the reduction of GHG emissions to 46% compared to 2013 levels by 2030.
ROK's energy mix dynamics:
- On July 31, 2021, The Korean Times published an article entitled LNG power generation poses dilemma for Korea's energy policy. As with Japan, one of the "pause for thought" moments that has emerged in recent times in the Republic of South Korea (ROK) is the role of LNG, in particular the use of natural gas derived from the regasification of LNG as a fuel for power generation.
For some time, the policy settings in ROK have been oriented towards phasing out coal-fired, and nuclear, electrical energy generation. To achieve this phasing out, LNG is critical: in April 2021, power generated from firing natural gas derived from re-gasified LNG became the largest source of fuel for electrical energy generation in ROK. As noted on previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse, and other Ashurst publications, LNG is regarded as a key transition fuel source because it gives rise to lower levels of GHG emissions than the use of coal.
The policy settings in ROK reflect this role for LNG: 59 GW of electrical energy capacity sourced from LNG by 2034 (an increase of 20 GW), representing 30.6% of projected load. It is increasingly likely that these policy settings will need to be revisited.
|Current and Project Electrical Energy Sources in ROK|
|2019 CAPACITY (expressed as a percentage of load)||2034 CAPACITY (expressed as percentage of load)|
UK in consultation mode:
On July 2, 2021, the UK Government (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) opened consultation in respect of:
- Carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS): offshore decommissioning regime for CO2 transport and storage: the key purpose of the consultation is stated to be to seek views on BEIS's proposals for a funded decommissioning regime of CCUS projects, that satisfies the "Polluter Pays Principle", and encourages investment in the sector.
The BEIS notes that the consultation process will be of interest to certain participants and prospective participants, including the CCUS-enabled industrial regions such as South Wales, Scotland, the North West, North East and Humberside (see Clustering and Hubbing around the UK below); and
- Carbon capture, usage and storage CCUS: duties and functions of the economic regulator for CO2 transport and storage.
Policy Setting Updates:
On August 3, 2021, HyResource published International Hydrogen Policy Development An Update (July 2021) (HySource Update). The HyResource Update is a helpful publication, as was its March 2021 publication (International Hydrogen Policies – Key Features).
Both publications are great reference sources, and will be covered in the August Report on Reports.
As noted in previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse, it is anticipated that bio-energy is going to play a key role in progress to achieving NZE. In recognition of this, Low Carbon Pulse will include details of bio-energy projects globally. These projects may not appear to be significant of themselves, but in combination they will reduce GHGs, critically, they will reduce CH4.
- Biogas to RNT: On July 27, 2021, it was reported that the City of Toronto (CoT) is to derive renewable natural gas (RNG) from organics collected from its green bin system. The CoT intends to work with the Enbridge Gas. The CoT's Solid Waste Management Service Division has installed infrastructure designed and constructed by Enbridge Gas, at the CoT's Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility (which is an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility with capacity to take up to 55,000 tonnes of organics annually). The Enbridge Gas technology takes raw biogas arising from the anaerobic digestion of green organics, and processes that raw biogas further to scrub it, so to derive RNT or bio-methane that can then be used as pipeline gas.
- Biogas to energy: Towards the end of July 2021 the Santa Barbara ReSource Center is reported to have commenced operation of a materials resource recovery facility (MRF) and an anaerobic digester (AD). As might be expected, the AD will process the organics collected from the waste stream to derive biogas, with the biogas to be processed further to derive bio-methane, with the bio-methane then used to provide renewable energy.
- Whisky delivery trucks to run on "green biogas": On July 27, 2021, it was announced that Glenfiddich, producer and purveyor of single malt whisky, is to derive biogas from the residual material arising from the distillation of whisky to derive green biogas. The green biogas is described as "ultra-low carbon fuel gas that produces minimal carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions". In hard statistics, it is reported that the use of the green biogas reduces CO2 emissions by 95% compared to diesel. The development of the technology to produce the green biogas required parental guidance from William Grant and Sons.
See: Glenfiddich whisky lorries in Scotland to run on ‘green biogas’ made from distillery leftovers
- Background: While the author has been following with interest the concept of Blue Carbon, the narrative around possible policy settings has not developed with a coherence, and the science remains to be firmed-up to be even close to proven. The exception to this proven science is the apparently strong science around mangrove swamps.
A report published by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJFR), outlines the role that oceans and waterways have in limiting the effect of climate change through the absorption and retention of Blue Carbon.
- Facts and Stats: The EJFR contains some facts and statistics that assist in framing thinking, and in confirming other information gleaned over time (mangroves store up to four times more carbon per hectare than tropical rain forests).
The EJFR is well-worth a read. This said, with the exception of the restoration and planting of mangrove swamps and other flora close to oceans and waterways, as yet the science tends to support a Socratic approach – do no harm.
BECCS and CCS and CCUS:
A number of news items in this edition of Low Carbon Pulse cover BECCS and CCS and CCUS (critically, Clustering and Hubbing around the UK below). The next edition of the Shift to Hydrogen (S2H2): Elemental Change will cover BECCS and CCS and CCUS in considerable detail, including in the light of the IPCC 2021 Report.
- Time for a "cold one": VBB registered with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO): A previous edition of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the decision of Neoen (leading global renewable energy corporation) to develop the Victorian Big Battery (VBB): some may recall the lame joke from the author about Australia's favourite beer.
Around July 28, 2021, it was announced the VBB had registered with AEMO. As reported, from commencement of construction to registration has taken 205 days.
This is testament to the project development acumen of the principal, Neoen, the timeliness of the supplier of batteries, Tesla, and the contractor, Downer UGL, and the role of AEMO and AusNet. To all, great outcome.
See: Neoen website
- Time for another "cold one": In late July, 2021, it was announced that the Windoan Big Battery (WBB), owned by Vena Energy (leading global renewable energy corporation), had obtained its registration from AEMO. The WBB is 100 MW / 150 MWh. The WBB was constructed by Doosan.
See: Vena Energy website
- UK Breaking Battery Limits: On August 4, 2021, publication, Energy Storage, reported that there is an ever-increasing pipeline of submissions for the installation of utility-scale batteries: at the end for Q2 2021 it reported that the pipeline of submissions stands at 20 GW.
This pipeline is expected to continue to fill, possibly not yet to its limits.
- Big Batteries Filing In: On August 5, 2021, it was widely reported that Maoneng (see Edition 21 of Low Carbon Pulse) has filed planning applications for the development of three new Big Batteries in Armidale (150 MW / 300 MWh), Lismore (100 MW / 200 MWh) and Tamworth (200 MW / 400 MWh) all in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia.
See: Maoneng Group website
E-Fuels / Future Fuels:
- Korean Green Ammonia Alliance: Edition 2 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the establishment of the Korean Hydrogen Association.
On July 20, 2021, it was widely reported that that:
- five public institutions: Korea Institute of Energy Research, H2 Korea, Korea Research institute of Chemical Technology, and NETO; and
- thirteen private organisations: Doosan Fuel Cell, Doosan Heavy Industries, Hanwa Solutions, Hyundai Glovis, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Oilbank, Hyundai Steel, Korean Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, Lotte Chemical (see Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse), Lotte Fine Chemical, POSCO and Samsung Engineering,
combined to establish the Green Ammonia Alliance (GAA). Members of the GAA undertake activities in each link in the ammonia supply / value chain: production, transportation, cracking (i.e., extracting Green Hydrogen from Green Ammonia) and use.
It is understood that the members intend to cooperate in the areas of ammonia production, transportation and use, including for marine use, and ammonia–coal co-fired power stations, Green Hydrogen as fuel for gas turbines, for high-temperature heat processes in the iron and steel industry, and as Green Hydrogen for FCT use, both mobility and stationary.
- The nearer the destination, the more progress is made …: On July 26, 2021, the World Economic Forum (WER) released a report, in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group.
Whether the credo or the conclusion (or possibly both), it is clear that: "Addressing supply-chain emissions [as a whole of supply chain] enables many customer facing companies to impact [a mass] of emissions several times higher than they could if they were to focus on decarbonisation their own operations and power consumption alone – and achieving a net-zero supply chain is possible with very limited costs".
Of course this is a paradigm, but it is one that resonates across the freight sector (land or sea). The August Report on Reports, will provide further consideration of the WER report and the full range of fuel initiatives in the freight sector.
- It is Scotland in Chile: Edition 21 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the development of the Haru Oni Methanol Plant close to Punta Arenas, Magallanes, in Southern Chile. The E-Fuels production project will use Green Hydrogen as feedstock to produce synthetic fuels; the Green Hydrogen will be combined with CO2 captured / filtered from the air to produce Green Methanol. Edition 20 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the engagement of Howden in respect of the supply of a high-pressure diaphragm compression system for HYBRIT, the world's first fossil free steel plant at Svartoberget, in Lulea, Sweden. On July 27, 2021, it was widely reported that Howden is to supply hydrogen compression solutions for the Hari Oni Methanol Plant.
- Russia has a key role to play: On July 27, 2021, in a comprehensive article Oil Price (under Russia Ramps Up Its Hydrogen Energy Ambitions), the various narrative strains that have emerged over the last month or so are pulled together. The article is well-worth a read.
- Eggs and baskets: Bio is used frequently, including biogas and biomethane, bio-ethanol, bio-methanol, bio-fertiliser, and bio-LNG. Bio (effectively short for biomass) indicates that the feedstock from which the energy carrier is produced is not a fossil fuel, but is produced in whole or in part from an organic compound, i.e., comprising carbon, that on oxidation will produce CO2, and likely NOx and SOx.
For any bio-energy carrier derived from a carbon intensive source to be carbon neutral, it needs to be produced from a renewable resource, with the electrical energy used to produce it, from a renewable source. This does not mean that on oxidation of an energy carrier that CO2 will not arise, but rather, in theory, because the CO2 that arises will be absorbed into another renewable resource on its growth, with the continued growth of that renewable resource providing a carbon neutral outcome. For any bio-energy carrier to be a blue energy carrier, all carbon arising on production of that energy carrier needs to be captured and stored.
In this context the use of organic waste arising from agricultural and forestry activities and from waste collection and waste water collection is an ideal feedstock for the production of a bio-energy carrier.
- Swiss for Hydrogen: On July 29, 2021, it was reported that Alpiq, EW Hofe, and SOCAR Energy Switzerland are to develop, at Freienbach, Switzerland, a 10 MW electrolyser to produce 1,200 tonnes of Green Hydrogen a year. It is understood that the Green Hydrogen plant is to source renewable electrical energy to power the facility, and that the Green Hydrogen produced will be used for mobility, principally to power and propel 200 FCT light commercial vehicles.
See: Green hydrogen: EW Höfe, Alpiq and SOCAR Energy Switzerland mark a new milestone
- Green Hydrogen to deliver NZ NZE: Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the outline plans for the development of renewable electrical energy, and the use of that energy at Tiwai Point, Southland (location of Tawai Point aluminium smelter).
Contact Energy and Meridian Energy (two of New Zealand's electricity generation corporations) are testing the appetite for the development of a world-scale Green Hydrogen production facility (Southern Green Hydrogen).
On August 1, 2021, the Otago Times provided an update on Southern Green Hydrogen, noting that production of Green Hydrogen may commence as early as 2023. The update noted the likely involvement of Fortescue Future Industries or FFI (a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group, founded by Dr Andrew Forrest, AO).
On August 3, 2021, The West Australian (Western Australia being the home state of Dr Forrest, AO, and FFI), picked up on the FFI interest in Southern Green Hydrogen.
On August 4, 2021, FFI announced that it had signed a collaboration agreement with Murihiku Hapu of Ngai Tahu in respect of the potential development of a large scale, Green Hydrogen production project in Southland, New Zealand.
- Mixed combustion testing in ROK: Edition 18 reported on the plans to co-fire ammonia and natural gas in Japan. On August 3, 2021, Hanwha General Chemical and Korea Western Power Co agreed to work together to mix hydrogen and natural gas derived on the regasification of natural gas form LNG to allow co-firing of those fuels to generate electrical energy. As note previously, the higher the proportion of hydrogen in the co-fired mix, the lower the CO2 arising on combustion, but the lower the energy density of the mixed H2 / CH4 stream.
See: Hanwha, Korea Western Power to test mixed hydrogen combustion
- Hydrogen power plant for Texas: On August 3, 2021, it was widely reported that Entergy, Texas, intends to seek approval for a hydrogen and natural gas fired combined cycle gas turbine power station, to be located in Orange County, Texas (Orange County Advanced Power Station or OCAPS) . While the details have yet to emerge from the filings for approval, it is understood that the OCAPS will be using 30% hydrogen and 70% natural gas as its fuel, converting to 100% hydrogen in the future.
See: Entergy Texas Plans New Generation Facility To Power Southeast Texas
- Spanish Hydrogen Value Chain: On August 4, 2021, it was widely reported that Bosch, Petronor and Repsol have signed a letter of intent to work together to assess development of, and to develop, a hydrogen value chain in Spain. Each corporation regarded hydrogen as a key energy carrier for the future, in particular for the purposes of mobility (cars, buses, trains and shipping).
See: Bosch website; Petronor website; Repsol website
- Raven SR selects designers for waste to hydrogen project: Edition 16 of Low Carbon Pulse and the first feature in the Ashurst hydrogen for industry (H24I) series outlined plans by Hyzon Motors Inc and Raven SR to develop up to 100 waste to hydrogen facilities to derive hydrogen from waste delivered to landfill sites across the US.
On August 4, 2021, it was announced that Raven SR has appointed Power Engineers and Steller J Corporation to complete the final design of the first two waste to hydrogen facilities.
See: Raven SR website
- Green Hydrogen under water: On August 5, 2021, it was widely reported that Fincantieri SpA (global leading ship building corporation) and Enel Green Power Italia (part of the global leading renewable energy corporation) agreed to explore the use of Green Hydrogen for vessels, including submarines.
Head of Business Development for Enel Green Power, Mr Carlo Zorzoli said:"The signing of this agreement represents a further step forward in Enel Green Power's commitment to collaborating with operators interested in developing solutions for the use of Green Hydrogen in sectors where electrification is not possible, this contributing to the energy transition process through the decarbonisation of industrial activities".
See: Enel website
- BP inks-in Blue: On August 5, 2021, it was widely reported that BP (global leading international energy corporation) had inked a number of agreements for the sale of Blue Hydrogen. As noted below, BP plans to develop a 1 GW Blue Hydrogen production facility on Teesside, in the North East of England, and to proceed with the development it is contracting with off-takes of Blue Hydrogen. It is reported that CF Fertilisers, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Sembcorp Energy UK have each signed memorandums of understanding with BP for the supply of Blue Hydrogen, and that Alfanar Company and BP have signed another memorandum of understanding for the supply of Blue Hydrogen to Alfanar at its waste to SAF facility.
See: BP website
- Deutsche Bahn and Statkraft: On August 6, 2021, it was reported in publication, Clean Energy Pipeline, that German rail corporation Deutsche Bahn signed a 10 year power purchase agreement with Norway's Statkraft for the supply of 190 GWh pa of renewable electrical energy.
See: Deutsche Bahn website; Statkraft website
- Iceland and UK killer combination: On August 6, 2021, it was widely reported that Icelandic utility corporation HS Orka and, the UK based corporation, Hydrogen Ventures Limited are to develop a methanol production plant using Green Hydrogen as the feedstock.
The Green Hydrogen will be produced using renewable electrical energy from HS Orka's geothermal power plant at Reykjanes.
It is reported that the methanol produced will be used as mobility (for cars, vans and trucks) and as shipping fuel.
See: HS Orka website; Hydrogen Ventures website
Green Metals and Minerals, the Mining Industry and Difficult to Decarbonise industries:
- ArcelorMittal Green Bases: Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on ArcelorMittal's plans to develop its Sestao steel mill in Spain as a zero carbon emissions steel plant following the development of a direct reduced iron (DRI) plant and an electric arc furnace (EAF). The DRI and EAF projects are to proceed following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) by ArcelorMittal and the Spanish Government, with the development of the projects scheduled for completion in 2025, with up to 1.6 mpta of zero carbon emission steel to be produced annually.
On July 29, 2021, AcerlorMittal and the Government of Canada announced a similar investment "to green" AcerlorMittal's Hamilton, Ontario steel plant. The investment means that the Hamilton plant will transition from the use of blast furnace technology to the use, and operation of, DRI and EAF technology.
See: ArcelorMittal and the Government of Canada announce investment of CAD$1.765 billion in decarbonisation technologies in Canada
- Comment on CO2MENT: In late July 2021, the Journal of Commerce, reported on a "first-of-its-kind" carbon capture, and use, pilot project at the Lafrarge Canada (part of LafargeHolcin, global leader in cement products), cement plant in Richmond, British Columbia (CO2MENT Project).
The CO2MENT Project is using technology developed by Svante, Inc: as reported, the technology captures CO2 arising on the production of clinker and reuses CO2 (and as such stores that CO2) in cured concrete – thereby achieving the troika of "capture, use and storage".
As outlined in Shift to Hydrogen (S2H2): Elemental Change, cement production gives rise to a significant mass of GHG emissions, which when added to the GHG emissions arising on transportation of limestone as feedstock, transportation of cement for concrete production, and transport of concreate to point of use, leaves a significant carbon footprint.
- Komatsu Greenhous Gas Alliance: On July 2, 2021, it was widely reported that Komatsu (world leading manufacturer of yellow gear and other mining equipment), has set up an alliance with global mining giants, BHP and Rio, and Boliden and Codelco (KGHGA).
It is reported that through KGHGA, Komatsu will work on product development and deployment to accelerate the development and deployment of NZE mining equipment and infrastructure. It is reported that an early development prospect is the development of "power-agnostic" truck and can be powered by a range of power sources, including battery and fuel cell.
At the risk of beating a drum too long and too loudly, the KGHGA illustrates the willingness of mining corporations to engage so as to accelerate progress towards NZE.
- Anglo American and Salzgitter partner on the greening of iron and steel: As covered in Editions 13 and 18 of Low Carbon Pulse, Anglo American (global leading diversified mining corporation) and Salzgitter (global leading rolled and tube steel producer) are both active in making progress to achieving NZE in their respective core businesses.
On August 4, 2021, Anglo American and Salzgitter, announced that they had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop shared understanding of the greening of steelmaking and the use of natural gas and hydrogen as energy carriers to displace fossil fuels and other carbon intensive fuels for high-heat temperature processes to produce iron ore pellets and lump iron ores for DRI.
This is noteworthy because it illustrates that Anglo American is positioning to address its Scope 3 emissions.
See: Anglo American partners with Salzgitter Flachstahl to advance green steelmaking; Salzgitter AG and Anglo American cooperate in optimizing iron ore supplies for low CO2 steel production
Clustering and hubbing around the UK:
- On October 25, 2021, as part of the Track 1 CCUS Programme, two successful clusters will be announced, as will one individual project connected to each cluster. At the same time, the process for the Track 2 CCUS Programme will be announced.
Hydrogen Cities, Councils, Hubs, Infrastructure and Valleys:
- First Solar, another first: On July 30, 2021, it was widely reported that First Solar (Arizona, US, based global leading solar corporation) intends to develop a USD 680 million, 3.3 GWdc solar photovoltaic thin film solar factory in the state of Tamil Nadu, India (TNF). On completion of the TNF, in combination, the global manufacturing capacity of First Solar will be a little over 16 GWdc during 2024. It might be expected that this capacity will increase as further capacity is added to respond to increased demand.
As noted across previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse, the progress to NZE is layered. Electrification is core to progress to NZE. Electrification is dependent on increased manufacturing capacity, including to realise the benefits of scale and the resulting reduction in unit costs of production. Increased manufacturing capacity is dependent of the extraction and processing of metals and minerals (and production of other materials) as the raw materials for manufacturing. Increased extraction and processing of metals and minerals requires expansion and new mine development. Each requiring the deployment of capital, either from free cash flows or from borrowing, or both. Like dynamics arise in respect of the development of the Green Hydrogen supply chain.
Decisions by the private sector to invest, involve decisions around assumption of risk, and once investment decisions are taken, development,. This takes time. As noted of late, the global carbon budget does not afford the luxury of time. As COP-26 approaches (it is less than 100 days to the commencement of COP-26), the clock is ticking: the need for government policy settings and direct investment is becoming ever more pressing. What is needed, is known.
- Battery recharging infrastructure - Australia: Continuing the theme of infrastructure development required to achieve NZE, downstream of renewable electrical energy generation (and hydrogen production) is the development of recharging infrastructure (and refuelling infrastructure). As noted in previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse, there is a role for government in the development of this infrastructure.
On July 29, 2021, the Australian Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) agreed to provide support in the development of 400 fast recharging stations, from the ARENA managed, Fuel Fund and the private sector, Ampol Australia, Engie and Evie Networks. Co-funding of this kind may be regarded as ideal: the private sector is best placed to assess risk, with investment risk shared, so as to provide supply to the market for BEV to allow it to develop at a greater rate, with the attendant GHG emission reduction benefits.
- BEVs to use recharging infrastructure – UK: On the same day that Australia announced the development of 400 fast recharging stations working with government, seven UK corporations combined to provide a blue print to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles across the UK. BP, BT, Direct Line Group, Royal Mail, Scottish Power, Severn Trent and Tesco, as the Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA). The blue print is intended to accelerate progress to deliver on GHG emission reduction targets, critically in the area of road transport. The August Report on Reports will summarise the proposals.
As noted in Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse, road transport in the UK accounts for nearly 90% of total GHG emission arising from the transport sector.
- North to South: On July 27, 2021, it was widely reported that the first Green Hydrogen scale production plant is to be developed in Hokkaido (HGHP) towards the end of Q1 2024. It is reported the HGHP will produce up to 550 tonnes of Green Hydrogen a year, modelled to be sufficient to fuel 10,000 FCEVs. The electrical energy to power the HGHP will be sourced from an on-shore farm in the first instance, and off-shore wind fields in future to allow expansion of the capacity to 2,500 tonnes per year. It is understood that Green Power Investment, Hokkaido Electric Power, Nippon Steel Engineering and Air Water (industrial gas supplier) are participating in HGHP.
By way of a reminder, the policy settings (Green Growth Strategy) contemplate that by 2030 the use of hydrogen in Japan will be around 3 mpta, increasing to up to 20 mtpa by 2050.
- West Coast, US: Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the prospective development of off-shore wind capacity off Northern California. On July 29, 2021, it was reported in, renews.BIZ, that the US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has called for information and nominations, by September 13, 2021, to determine interest in developing off-shore wind fields in two new areas, the Morro Bay Call Area, East and West Extensions (adjacent to the Morro Bay Call Area, which BOEM identified in 2018).
BOEM Director, Ms Amanda Lefton said: "Today's announcement builds on the earlier agreement between the White House, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense, and the State of California to advance areas for off-shore wind off the northern and central coasts of California. If approved for off-shore wind … development, these areas could bring us close to reaching this administration's goal of deploying 30 GW of off-shore wind by 2030".
- Orsted US: On 4 August, 2021, it was widely reported that Orsted had completed the development of its 367 MW on-shore wind project, its largest in the US.
See: Orsted website
- Masdar winding up: It has been a busy couple of weeks for Masdar with the development of the floating solar photovoltaic Cirata Project in Indonesia (see below) and the connection to the grid of the 400 MW Dumat Al Jandal (DAJ Project) on-shore wind farm in Saudi Arabia.
On August 8, 2021, The National News, reported that the DAJ Project, developed in joint venture between Masdar (the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) and EDF (global leading French electrical energy company), had produced its "first carbon-free megawatt-hours … of energy [that] will help bolster Saudi Arabia's network during the hot summer months when electricity consumption is at its peak".
The electrical energy generated by the DAJ Project is to be supplied under a 20 year power purchase agreement to the Saudi Power Procurement Company (as subsidiary of the Saudi Electricity Company). The DAJ Project comprises 99 wind turbines, each with 4.2 MW of output. The turbines were supplied by Vestas (world leading renewable energy supplier and contractor), which also acted as the EPC contractor.
Solar round up:
- Pertamina to develop solar photovoltaic plants: On August 2, 2021, it was widely reported that PT Pertamina New Renewable Energy (PNRE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of PT Pertamina (Persero), is to develop 500 MW solar photovoltaic plants to be co-located with facilities that are part of the Persero Group. It is understood that PNRE has completed solar photovoltaic plants at Badak LNG Terminal, Cilicap and Dumai Refineries. The continued development of solar photovoltaic capacity is consistent with Persero Group's objective of reducing GHG emissions by 30% by 2030.
See: Pertamina website
- Masdar floating solar commences build: On August 4, 2021, Masdar (the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) announced that financial close has been achieved in respect of the 145 MW Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant Project (see Edition 18 of Low Carbon Pulse).
The Cirata Project is the first floating photovoltaic power plant in Indonesia. It is being developed by PT Pembandkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT JJBI. The Cirata Project is expected to be commence operation in 2022.
See: Masdar joint venture reaches financial close and starts construction on Indonesia’s first utility-scale floating solar power plant
Sustainable energy round-up:
- WEF report on US Renewables: In another short video, the WEF reports on progress on renewable electrical energy development in the US during 2020. In 2021, 21% of electrical energy in the US was derived from renewable energy sources, second to gas fired generation capacity, and ahead of coal (in 2020, falling 20% to 20% of electrical energy generation) and nuclear. As is the case with Australia, the US has achieved this progress on the basis of State, rather than Federal, policy settings, intended to support the development of renewable electrical energy.
- West to East, and back again: Previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse have reported in the proposed development of the 2 GW EuroAsia Interconnector connecting Attica, Greece, Crete, Greece, Cyprus, and Israel so as to create a means of achieving electrical energy security through access to renewable electrical energy sourced from different countries.
It was noted that the EuroAsia Interconnector had been designated as a Project of Common Interest (PCI13,10), which allows access to EU funding and support.
On July 27, 2021, it was reported that the Council of the EU had allocated €100 million in grant funding. It is expected that the development of the first phase of the EuroAsia Interconnector will be completed, so as to allow commissioning, by the end of 2025.
Edition 21 of Low Carbon Pulse name checked "first movers" and "early movers", including Cummins Inc (CMI). There are of course three major corporations "that are key" to progress to development of hydrogen power and propulsion, and those corporations are Air Liquide, Air Products and Linde: all three corporations are long-standing industrial gas producers, and technology providers, key to decarbonisation across a number of sectors.
- Global Market Leaders in complementary combination: On July 27, 2021, it was widely reported that CMI and Air Products are to work together to accelerate the development and integration of fuel cell technology for heavy goods vehicles / trucks in the Americas, Asia and Europe. It is reported that the focus for the corporations in working together includes CMI providing FCT powertrains for use to transport Air Products industrial gases.
As with the working relationships underway among Hyzon Motors Inc and TotalEnergies (see Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse), the CMI and Air Products arrangements allow each corporation to play to its global leading strengths, while at the same time ensuring that its core business benefits in a complementary way from working with the other.
- Air Liquide ROK solid: On July 27, 2021, it was widely reported that Air Liquide had continued its run of success in South Korea, with arrangements progressing with:
- Lotte Chemical (see Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse) to develop high pressure hydrogen refilling and refuelling infrastructure (HRI) and refuelling stations (HRS);
- SK Energy (see Edition 20 of Low Carbon Pulse) to develop a scale hydrogen liquefaction plant to liquid hydrogen (LH2), with that LH2 to be used in mobility markets; and
- Yeosu City and Jeollanam-do province to undertake studies relating to the development of hydrogen liquefaction facilities on the south coast of South Korea, in the heartland of refining and petrochemical industry.
- On the high road and on the road overhead:
- Hyzon Motors Inc keeps trucking to deliver:
- Hyzon Motors Inc and RenewH2 align: Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse reported that Hyzon Motors had signed a memorandum of understanding with TotalEnergies' Marketing and Services division to work together to develop hydrogen refuelling infrastructure (HRI) across Europe, and to continue to develop long-haul transport solutions for customers for those services across Europe.
On August 3, 2021, it was reported widely that Hyzon Motors had signed a memorandum of understanding with RenewH2 (a hydrogen production, liquefaction, distribution and delivery system corporation) to develop liquid hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS). It is understood that a number of HRS are to be developed and that they will be used to deliver hydrogen derived from biogenic methane, produced using gas reforming technology. The first feature in the Hydrogen for Industry (H24I) series featured similar plans of Hyzon Motors in the context of locating hydrogen production facility and HRS at landfills.
As has been the case with many other news items reported stories in Low Carbon Pulse, this is another instance of the private sector positioning to be able to match supply to demand, and positioning for purchasing decisions made by other participants in the private sector.
See: Hyzon Motors partners with liquid hydrogen production company RenewH2 to develop fueling stations and RenewH2 website
- First Hyzon Motor waste collection vehicle: On August 2, 2021, it was reported that the City of Rotterdam has commenced use of its first Hyzon Motors FCT waste collection vehicle. As noted above, Hyzon and Raven SR are in joint venture in the US to develop up to 100 hydrogen from waste facilities located across the US, with the intention to use the hydrogen derived to power and to propel waste collection vehicles.
See: Hyzon Motors website
- Hyundai Motor Co invests in H2 Mobility: As may be expected by one of the world's leading FCT proponents, Hyundai Motor Co has invested in H2 Mobility (a German HRS operator). It is understood that Hyundai joins Air Liquide, Daimler, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell and TotalEnergies as an investor in H2 Mobility.
See: Hyundai becomes shareholder in H2 Mobility
- Scaling up first movement: Previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse have reported on the progress that Hyundai has made in the development and deployment of fuel cell technology (FCT) heavy goods vehicles / trucks (FCEVTs) (see Editions 1, 17 and 18 of Low Carbon Pulse). Likewise, the pace-setting of Macquarie Group has been covered, including through Green Investment Group. On July 27, 2021, Macquarie Group announced that it had entered a consortium with Hyundai Motor Company to complete the deployment of 20 Class 8 FCEVTs in North America. Macquarie will own the FCEVTs, and lease them to the freight transportation sector.
- E-Highway in UK: Edition 21 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the first overhead electrical cable freight system (under On the high road and overhead) (E-Highway). On July 27, 2021, it was reported that the Department for Transport, through Innovate UK, is conducting a study into the development of the UK's first E-Highway. It is reported that Costain is leading a consortium to undertake the study, initially over a nine month period. If the E-Highway study proves up viability, E-Highways may be adopted in the UK during the 2030's.
- Midlands – all change to hydrogen:
- Birmingham City Council (BCC) takes delivery of 20 hydrogen buses: Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the delivery of the first London Buses to be powered and propelled by hydrogen.
On July 28, 2021, it was reported that BCC took delivery of its first fleet of hydrogen buses.
See: Birmingham gets first hydrogen bus
- H2GVMids funded: Also on July 28, 2021, it was reported that the Department for Transport is to provide funding under the Zero Emission Road Freight program to deploy heavy goods vehicles / trucks (HGVTs) across the Midlands in the UK for the purposes of demonstrating their use for freight transportation.
- Miles and miles: Edition 21 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the approach of the first anniversary of the commencement of use of the Hyundai Xcient truck in Switzerland (August 2020), and the intention of Hyundai to extend its horizons to the US.
On July 30, 2021, it was announced that tests are to commence in California of the Hydrogen Xcient truck, based the FCT technology used in Switzerland, with the range of the Californian FCT truck to be 500 miles (or 805 kilometres) (the Class 8 500-mile).
As reported in Hydrogen Fuel News (under 500-mile range Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell semi-trucks under-go testing), the testing program is to take place under the NorCal ZERO project, with grant funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and California Energy Commission (CEC), together providing funding of USD 20 million, and the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMCD), together providing funding of USD 7 million.
As the project progresses, it is reported that Hyundai intends to develop hydrogen refuelling infrastructure (HRI), starting with an hydrogen refuelling station in Oakland, California.
See: Hyundai's XCIENT Fuel Cell Hitting the Road in California
- NorCal ZERO Project: The NorCal ZERO project is intended to, and will, deploy the hydrogen fuel cell trucks. The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) is working on the project, with the support of CARB. In addition to CTE, CARB, ACTC and BAAQMCD, Air Liquide, EBMUD, FE Fuel, Fielder Group, Macquarie, NorCal Kenworth, Port of Oakland, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, and two Berkeley based policy and research organisations, are involved in the project.
- A Vision for Freight Movement in California – and Beyond: On August 3, 2021, the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) released its vision for the use of HD class 8 fuel cell electric trucks (FCETs) entitled "Fuel Cell Electric Trucks: A Vision for Freight Movement in California and Beyond" (Foundational Document).
The Foundational Document contemplates the deployment of 70,000 FCETs and 200 hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) by 2035. While trucks represent 2% by number of vehicles on California roads, they give rise to 9% of the GHG emissions, 32% of its NOx emissions and 3% of its particulate emissions. The stated intention is accelerate private sector investment in FCT as progress is made toward NZE (whether in 2045 or sooner).
The release of the Foundational Document follows CARB's Advanced Clean Truck rule: a world first in that it requires truck manufactures to transition from diesel powered and propelled trucks and vans to electric-zero emission vehicles.
Shipping News and Forecast:
- Best laid plans of Norled – first ferry delivered: Edition 12 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the liquid hydrogen supply arrangements for the world's first hydrogen powered and propelled ferry (with Linde to supply hydrogen from its Leuna Chemical Complex in Germany, using a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser technology).
In late July 2021, it was reported that the first ferry had been delivered. The ferry is named MF Hydra. As reported previously, the MF Hydra is 82.4 metres in length, with capacity for 300 passengers and 80 motor cars.
- BP joins Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping: Low Carbon Pulse has reported on the establishment (see Edition 16 of Low Carbon Pulse) and progress of the Maersk McKinney Moller Center (MMMC) (see Editions 19 and 22 of Low Carbon Pulse).
On July 27, 2021, it was reported that BP and MMMC signed a partnership agreement, with each committing to work together over the longer-term to develop and to deploy new fuels and lower or low carbon solutions for the shipping industry.
The partnership agreement and the resourcing and cooperation that it is intended to engender, is another illustration of the private sector combining consistently to navigate a route to NZE.
See: bp joins the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping as a strategic partner
EU Forest Strategy:
- Wood for the trees and woods with more trees: As part of the European Green Deal (see Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse), during the week beginning July 21, 2021, the EC released its Forest Strategy. The Forest Strategy contemplates that between now and 2030, at least 3 billion additional trees are to be planted across Europe: it is estimated that the additional trees will provide the EU with a verified carbon sink of 310 mt of CO2.
- Woods and well-being: While the preservation of forests (and more generally the preservation and rehabilitation of land), is regarded as contributing to NZE, it is not, and should not be, regarded as a central policy setting to decarbonisation.
Yes, carbon credits, and their use to offset GHG emissions, are important to transition, and will be critically important as a tool to bridge (the hoped for) ever narrowing gap between decarbonised activities and activities remaining to be decarbonised (using negative GHG emission initiatives), and yet woods are linked to the well-being of fauna and flora, and humans.
- Trees bare in the woods: The Forest Strategy, should be viewed as, and the EC views it as, one of a number of policy settings that in combination go to the environmental and sustainability outcomes generally: the purpose of the Forest Strategy is: (1) for carbon storage; (2) Improving our health and well-being; (3) halting the loss of habitats and species, which in turn form part of a broad set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Soil science = sinking feeling: Edition 20 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on recent reporting on findings as to the percentage of flora that is underground. These findings are allowing a reassessment of the mass of CO2 stored in flora, and the mass of CO2 that can be stored in new growth flora.
On July 27, 2021, Quanta Magazine published an article entitled A Soil Science Revolution Upends Plans to Fight Climate Change. There has been an orthodoxy, actual or perceived, that soil, in particular that humus, has within it carbon-rich molecules that capture and retain carbon for hundreds of years (if not thousands).
The challenge is that carbon-rich molecules are consumed by abundant micro-organisms: there is no carbon that cannot be broken down / consumed by micro-organisms, and this results in CH4 emissions.
One of the consequences of these findings is that models used to predict temperature are probably underestimating the mass of GHG emissions that will be released from soil as temperatures increase. (This leaves to one side the estimate 2,000 trillion tonnes of CH4 estimated to be contained in the permafrost.)
While soil science continues to develop, there is one takeaway: decarbonisation is the only fail safe means of achieving NZE.
EU progress in respect of the 17 SDGs:
Sustainable Development Goals, globally relevant: The European Green Deal goes to achieving some, but not all of the United Nations 17 SDGs. (UN SDGs). Of late, there has been reporting on the UN SDGs, and progress towards them. As part of this reporting round, the EC has published a helpful graphic indicating progress of the EU in respect of each of the UN SDGs.
While the subject matter of UN SDGs goes beyond the usual scope of Low Carbon Pulse, it is an area that is going to get more scrutiny, critically in the context of the Paris Agreement as countries seek to adapt to the consequences of increased average global temperatures. In the context, it is to be expected that policy settings take an increasingly holistic perspective.
As Temperature Changes, policy needs to do likewise:
- Snap shots of long term temperature change: Edition 19 and 20 of Low Carbon Pulse included some interesting and informative arcs and circles reporting on emissions and temperatures.
During the week-beginning July 26, 2021, another graphic (this time a time lapse graphic) came to the attention of the author showing the Temperature Change 1880 to 2020 linked to over a 100 countries. The graphic conveys a compelling message in a little over 35 seconds.
- Policy forged in heat: On July 31, 2021, The San Francisco Chronicle (SFC) published an article entitled Carbon neutral is not good enough. California needs to be carbon negative by 2030. The headline grabs the attention of the reader.
The SFC notes that the mass of GHG emissions projected to be emitted in 2021 from the production, transportation and use of energy and resources is going to be in the region of 37 giga tonnes (37 billion tonnes).
This will be a record.
This record will follow a record decline in GHG emissions during 2020 (2020 Dip). (Previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse have reported on the 2020 Dip.) Reporting and analysis of the 2020 Dip continues, including in the highly respected and influential BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021 (BPER). The BPER, with the benefit of more time and analysis, estimates a 6% decline in CO2 emissions from 2019 to 2020 (compared to earlier estimates of around 7%).
- Impact and Politics local: California is drier and hotter than it was in 1990. In this context, Governor, Mr Gavin Newsom is seeking acceleration of progress on clean energy, and as such climate protection and environmental justice objectives.
- California has long led: As noted in Edition 9 of Low Carbon Pulse, California (under Negative GHG emissions … not new, but higher profile likely) has been ahead of the curve on policy settings, including the need to develop and to deploy negative GHG emissions initiatives. Among other things, Edition 9 of Low Carbon Pulse notes the policy setting of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2045.
- There are now calls for California to:
- Reduce GHG emissions to below 80% of 1990 levels by 2030; and
- Commence negative GHG emission initiatives to remove GHG from the atmosphere by 2030,
in combination to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
In addition, on July 28, 2021, it was reported that a bipartisan group in the Californian legislature seeking USD 300 million for the development of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure (HRI).
It is no coincidence that a State experiencing the effects of climate change is responding to them.
- Policy settings need to be global: As noted in previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse (and above), and as illustrated by the Temperature Change 1880 to 2020, developed countries need to do more, and to do more at an accelerated pace, than countries that are not as developed.
The calls for acceleration in California as timely: as noted above, the elephant in the room is that development countries aiming to achieve NZE by 2050 is not going to be enough to stay safely, if at all, within GHG carbon budget. The developed world needs to accelerate, thereby taking responsibility for both past emissions and because developed countries are able better to afford acceleration.
While all politics is local, responsibility is global. Taking responsibility is manifested and delivered through policy settings, and the effective funding and implementation of them.
- Drier and hotter = drought: The following link provides a real time US Drought Monitor. As noted previously in Low Carbon Pulse, and in this edition, an objective of the Paris Agreement that has been forgotten is Article 2.1(b): Adapting to climate damage.
The extreme weather conditions in Europe and the US appear to be forcing governments (Federal, State / Provincial, City and Local) to turn their minds to the need to adapt to climate change, including, the recognition of new weather patterns, and the economic, environmental and social impact of them.
It has to be said that those familiar with the thought processes to crafting and drafting of Article 2.1(b) have been surprised by the lack of thinking at country by country level, other than those countries at threat because of rising sea-levels.
Carbon credits and Carbon offsets, Insurance, Investors, Negative Emissions Initiatives and Sustainability:
- Walk the Talk: the how as well as the what: Previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse have mentioned the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), and the roles of key members of IIGCC in driving NZE outcomes at a corporate level (see Edition 19 of Low Carbon Pulse). The IIGCC has recently increased the definition around what is required from corporations.
Critically, investors are going to require corporations to disclose target reduction plans, i.e., how the particular corporation intends to achieve any announced reduction target, appoint a director or directors responsible to implement the plan, and the requirement that investors vote on progress of implementation against plan.
Set out is the IIGCC's Paris Aligned Investment Initiative and Net Zero Investment Framework Implementation Guide.
- NASA surveys for Vital Signs of the Planet: Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse reported in the NASA study, undertaken by its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.
One of the headline grabbing by-lines from reporting of the study has been that the Amazon Basin is both a carbon source and a carbon sink, and that across the entire Amazon Basin it is close to becoming neutral. The reasons for this are many and varied, but are reported as arising as a result of deforestation, and the degradation that results, the impact of increased average temperatures, including drought and its affects.
Edition 25 of Low Carbon Pulse will take a closer look at the findings and the implications of the NASA study, including in the light of the 2021 Report, and how the findings and the implications of the NASA study are core to the basis of policy setting for carbon credits, and ability to use them to off-set GHG emissions: planting trees is not sufficient.
Airports and Aviation:
Edition 25 of Low Carbon Pulse will update include an update on Airports and Aviation.
NZE News and Facts and Statistics:
- Amazon and TotalEnergies firmly planted: On July 29, 2021, TotalEnergies announced a strategic collaboration with Amazon under which TotalEnergies will contribute to Amazon's 100% renewable electrical energy commitment (474 MW of renewable electrical energy in Europe and the US under a single power purchase agreement (SPPA)) and Amazon will work with TotalEnergies to accelerate its digital transformation. It is expected that in time the SPPA will cover load in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
On its face, this may appear to be just another business to business deal, and to some extent it is, and yet it goes beyond the transactional to the transformational: President, Gas, Renewables & Power, TotalEnergies, Ms Stephane Michel stated: "… we are proud to enter into this key collaboration with Amazon and to accompany them on their journey to carbon neutrality. We are also counting on Amazon and AWS [Amazon Web Services] to help use advance our exponential shift in the speed, scale and advancement of digitalization'.
See: TotalEnergies and Amazon announce strategic collaboration
- Sunniest Cities on Earth: In previous editions of Low Carbon Pulse, graphics have been included from the Visual Capitalist. In another great graphic, the Visual Capitalist has provided a graphic representing World Cities Ranked by Average Annual Sunshine Hours.
For ease of reference, the Visual Capitalist graphics are included as links below:
As noted above, at the end of future editions of Low Carbon Pulse reports that have been reviewed for the purpose of that edition of Low Carbon Pulse will be listed, by organisation, title / subject matter, and link.The author of Low Carbon Pulse is Michael Harrison.