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Energy Environment

Vestas retains top position as the largest supplier of wind turbines thanks to its diversification strategy and strong performance

Vestas Wind Systems holds the crown as the most prominent global wind systems supplier in 2020, a position it also claimed in 2019. According to preliminary reports by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the Aarhus-headquartered company beat big players like General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy and Chinese Goldwind due to its increased turbine installations across several markets despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

GWEC Market Intelligence noted that the Danish firm outdid its competitors due to its “wide geographic diversification strategy, with over thirty new installations across the globe. Also, Vesta’s strong performance in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, France, Poland, Russia, and Norway gave it an upper hand.

“Our preliminary findings from the supply side confirm that 2020 was an incredible year for the wind industry,” said Feng Zhao, Strategy and Market Intelligence chief at GWEC. American multinational green energy giant GE Renewable took the second position, moving two places up from position four in 2019. The win came mainly due to the firm’s “explosive growth” in the United States and its mighty presence in the Spanish renewable energy space.

GE Renewables is still the number one US-based wind energy supplier two years in a row, despite the delays and work interference by the Coronavirus outbreak. Amid supply chain disruption and project execution delays experienced worldwide in 2020, the firm managed to install more wind energy projects with over 10GW capacity.

Chinese state-owned wind turbine manufacturer, Goldwind, took the third position globally but retained the first position in China. Back at home, the Beijing-based manufacturer-installed more than 12GW of wind energy. Also, the multinational delivered up to 1GW of onshore and offshore wind projects outside China. Although Goldwind is still the king in the Chinese market, two local wind systems suppliers give the 23-year-old firm a run for its market share.

Envision Energy, headquartered in Shanghai, is a wind turbines and energy management software dealer founded in 2007. The private-owned company came fourth in the preliminary findings, moving one position from the fifth spot in 2019. According to GWEC, the firm managed to beat big players in the competitive space by “taking advantage of strong market growth” in China.

Envision installed 10GW wind projects in 2020, setting a new record. “Turbine makers in China and the United States had a track record of new installations, with the majority of them climbing the international turbine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) industry lists. This makes sense as it reflects the situation that the world’s two largest markets; In 2020, China as well as the United States accounted for the lion’s share of global wind installation,” said Zhao.

Spanish Siemens Gamesa made its mark by acquiring the fifth spot, a fall from the second position in 2019. The Biscay-based wind engineering firm installed thirty wind turbines in varying markets in 2020. Despite its fall in position, Siemens Gamesa still holds the crown as the biggest offshore wind turbine supplier globally.

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Energy Environment

Lightsource BP inks Pennsylvania PV Supply Deal

After the planet first spoke of renewable energy, there was doubt among the people, with many questions rising about this sector. Renewable energy comes from natural sources like wind and the sun probably why many people questioned their efficiency to deliver adequate power to the world. As a result, many people never paid attention to the details climate experts gave on the subject. Years later, the climate sector’s challenges resulted in people heeding the advice of transiting to renewable energy, explaining why many governments are currently striving to introduce clean energy to the people.

The Pennsylvanian’s Commonwealth will source half of the annual energy demand from renewable energy via a deal with the Energy Provider Constellation and the Lightsource BP. Pennsylvania recently awarded power accounted across the state to the Constellation, resulting in an agreement to get power and the project-specific RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) from the Lightsource BP current solar project sourcing out 191MW.

It is a popular project located in seven sites across six counties in Pennsylvania, the PULSE (Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy) that will achieve its commercial operation by late 2022 if things go according to Lightsource BP’s plans. After its completion, it will supply clean energy to at least 16 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agencies. Also, the Commonwealth constellation contract will start in January 2023. The agreement states that Commonwealth will source solar energy in the next decade.

This project comes in handy after Governor Tom Wolf set a Climate Change Executive Order targeting lower greenhouse gas emissions. The order targets recording a 26% reduction of gas emissions by 2025 and 80% in the coming three decades compared with the country’s 2005 greenhouse gas levels. It also aims to have at least 40% of electric power from the state’s clean energy sources.

Tom Wolf stated that Pennsylvania has been and is the national energy leader for over a century as the state works on diversifying the power grid with clean energy. It aims to maintain the top rank in energy leadership and deliver economic, environmental, and health benefits to Pennsylvania. To achieve its goal, it needs innovative ideas as demonstrated by renewable energy projects with a strategic partnership which is evident with the Constellation and Lightsource BP collaboration.

The terms of the deal require Constellation to purchase RECs and energy from Lightsource BP and later sell them to the Commonwealth accounts. This deal is the most significant offsite venture to date for Constellation. Jim McHugh, the chief executive officer of Constellation, commented on the joint venture stating that it will enable Commonwealth to achieve sustainability benefits and unlocks economic benefits. Kevin Smith from Lightsource BP expresses the company’s commitment to helping the field of renewables.

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Electric vehicles Energy

Foxconn plans to renovate Wisconsin factory to manufacture electric vehicles

The Foxconn head, a Taiwanese manufacturing firm, stated that the company might begin manufacturing electric vehicles at the Wisconsin plant, which Donald Trump abandoned. Foxconn’s presiding officer, Young Liu, said that the firm would complete its strategies before the end of July to prepare the firm’s effectiveness before 2023.

The original strategy to refurbish the Wisconsin Plant was announced in 2017, where the actual plan was to manufacture LCD screens. It was not long before there were allegations of occupants being forced to relocate. Millions of US tax breaks were placed under security, and this was the point Foxconn decided to re-examine if it was able to manufacture screens at the location.

The plant has promised over 13,000 job opportunities and $10 billion in local investment by 2023 deemed mysteriously. Young said that his group recently found out that probably electric vehicles would be the best product to manufacture from the US. Electric vehicles are enormous products and not that easy to distribute. Young also made an exploration around the Wisconsin area, and he found out it is near where vehicles are manufactured, meaning the facilities are there.  

Young was asked if he is worried about how the US would perceive the firm now that Foxconn had failed to deliver its promised project to Philadelphia and other nations overseas. In response, Young said that all resources are already in place, the land and the factory buildings. So the only thing left is to implement their strategies and remain on track.

Young added that investment that would be made must surpass the previous one by 30 percent.  Foxconn used to manufacture iPhones and other consumer-related electronics, and now it has extended to the electrical manufacturing facility in just a year. Foxconn has built joints businesses with vehicle manufacturers in China and Taiwan and not forgetting Fisker, a US start-up. Foxconn has begun making an open software and hardware program for its manufacturers, which would help reduce the time used to make products.

In February this year, Young vowed two to three electric vehicles would be manufactured before the year-ends. He added that the firm aims to provide 10 percent of all-electric car production, making deals with one firm from the US. Young did not mention the US-based firm; however, he said it was not a traditional car-manufacturing firm.

While Foxconn has no prior experience with electric vehicles, Young believes that their lack of experience and “pace” can help them contend with companies like Magna, the current market leader, who recently revealed a $1 billion partnership with LG to supply EV components. Young, who took over from creator Terry Gou in the 2019 and became the company’s second-ever CEO, has been extending the company’s presence into new regions. He created the firm’s semiconductor division in 2014.