Energy Environment

New Renewable Energy Tenders Announced in Quebec

Mr. Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources for the province of Quebec, has announced the placement of wind energy in the province’s energy portfolio. Within the framework of his prepared statements, Minister Julien revealed the acceptance of an order-in-council1 (the “Order-in-Council”) asking that Hydro-Québec issue a call to tender for new wind energy resources to meet the province’s long-term energy and power needs, which could begin as early in 2026. A chunk of 300 megawatts (“MW”) of wind power must be included in the call for tenders, according to the vision that has been provided.

In conjunction with this release, the Quebec administration has issued two draft regulations on the same subject matter. A 300 MW block dedicated to wind energy is specified in the first2 regulation (the “300 MW regulation”), which is similar to the language used in the Order-in-Council. A further 480 MW of renewable energy is specified in the second3 regulation (the “480 MW regulation”), which requests that Hydro-Québec continues with an open tender for an extra 480 MW of renewable power. Hydro-Québec will be expected to execute both requests for tenders by December 31, 2021, by these requirements.

Because of a rise in the electricity market from new markets, like agricultural greenhouses as well as electric vehicles, these measures were necessitated. To meet these goals, the Quebec government has committed to lowering its greenhouse gas pollution by 37 percent by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2050 as part of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, which was released in December.

Because the Order-in-Council encompasses various domestic content requirements, the declaration also sends a clear message to the local wind power industry that Quebec aims to support its development. A minimum of approximately 50% local equity participation is necessary for a project to be qualified for competitive bidding. Furthermore, at least 60% of project expenditures must be directed toward Quebec-based content, with 35% of those expenditures being incurred in the Regional County Municipality where the initiative will be housed. The promoters of the project are also required to make an annual payment to a local municipality or even administration of $5,700 (adjusted yearly for inflation) every megawatt-hour (MW).

The contracts that will be issued will be for a period of 30 years, showing the government’s long-term dedication to renewable energy resources. More renewable power calls for bids are also expected in the near future, as projected electricity demand is expected to hit 1400 MW of capacity as well as 1.5 terawatt-hours of energy per year by 2029, according to the International Energy Agency. In a news statement, the Quebec government stated that wind energy will constitute a significant portion of future calls for tenders, with a specific emphasis on wind energy.

Electric vehicles Energy

The city of Naperville is considering eliminating fees for electric vehicle charging stations

According to the city’s Transportation Advisory Board, the Naperville City Council should abolish the price of electric vehicle charging points in public parking lots downtown. The announcement came on the same day that US President Joe Biden established a goal for 50% of all new automobiles sold in the United States to be electric by 2030. Staff raised concerns about the necessity for a fee, according to Michael Prousa, who works as a project engineer with the city’s Transportation, Engineering and Development division, as they planned to substitute charging stations in two lots.

According to Prousa, the electric car charging points averaged $56.08 in monthly utility expenses and earned $133 in monthly revenue from 2015 to 2017. While the city-built credit card processors to manage the transactions, he claimed the equipment was frequently in need of maintenance and was frequently out of service. The city staff assessed that the utility cost is insignificant and recommended that the fee be eliminated. The Downtown Naperville Alliance, according to Prousa, is also in favor of the move.

Fees, in addition to recouping electric costs, might deter individuals from parking in the same area for too long, according to Prousa.

That, however, has not become the situation in Naperville or even other similar localities contacted as a portion of the research, according to him. Prousa added, “We didn’t have too many concerns with cars parking there well beyond the limit.” He stated that police officers might issue warnings or citations to any car that is parked for longer than the time limit. As a component of the Smart Grid Initiative, Naperville received three electric car charging stations in 2011. Two were put at Electric Service Center so that city official could test and regulate electric car charging on the city’s electric utility system and look into the billing related to electric vehicle utility rates.

The third module was installed in Main Street and Van Buren Avenue parking lot. The city substituted the module in the lot across the street with a fourth charger situated in the Van Buren parking deck in the year 2013. The City Council authorized a usage fee a year later to help defray the expense of electricity.

The charging points have been out of service in recent years, which is the reason the city is substituting them. Scott Hurley, a member of the Naperville Transportation Board, questioned the city’s rationale for giving charging facilities and whether the city should have more.

Before installing electric car charging points in garages, the city asks residents to apply for permission. According to Prousa, the Electric Department says that over 250 Naperville residences are equipped. “We know that there are a significant number of cars charging at household and living in Naperville,” said Prousa. “We expect a lot of people to use these charging stations,” says the company. With more electric cars on the road here now and overseas, he said the city needs to provide charging stations for them.

Energy Finances

According to research, federal assistance might enhance renewable energy in New Mexico and create jobs

According to recent research, if supported by government stimulus money, renewable energy industries might deliver a multibillion-dollar boost to New Mexico’s economy as well as thousands of jobs. In research issued Friday, Advanced Energy Economy, a global renewable power trade association, predicted that $20 billion in stimulus investments from the federal government in renewables would add $117 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) of New Mexico.

Consumers, municipalities, and businesses would save $6 billion in energy expenses each year due to the investments, and 796,000 work years, or individual years of employment, would be created. According to the report, the $20 billion investment is believed to be New Mexico’s contribution of a $2 trillion stimulus package from the federal government, with renewable energy projects expected to produce $7.5 billion in tax income for the state each year. Investments in renewable power installations, electric vehicle infrastructure, and energy storage, according to Lea Rubin Shen, Advanced Energy Economy’s policy director, will help lower energy prices and build a more dependable system.

“Investing in this transformative technology not only has the ability to save individuals and businesses money on the expense of cooling their residences and getting where they want to go, but it also has the potential to create decent jobs at a period when many in-state are unemployed,” Rubin Shen stated. She said that New Mexico had made significant progress in renewable power and low-carbon power generation and that federal stimulus money will help accelerate that progress.

Energy efficiency investments would boost New Mexico’s GDP by $73 billion, while car electrification would contribute $22 billion. “The advanced energy workforce in New Mexico already numbers over 11,000 people,” Rubin Shen stated. “A public infusion of cash in a sector to which New Mexico is currently committed would drive major private investment, assisting the state’s advanced energy economy in its expansion.”

According to Mark Allison, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance’s executive director, the shift away from fossil fuels might be profitable for New Mexico, which is heavily reliant on oil and gas for revenue and vulnerable to commodity-based sector booms and busts.

Allison was concerned that the gas and oil sector had thousands of acres of undeveloped land, implying that significant extraction would continue. He believes that federal stimulus for low-carbon energy production and infrastructure could help alleviate the effects of continued extraction and pollution on natural disasters and climate. “Aggressive oil and gas operations have harmed New Mexico’s public lands for decades. This is likely to continue, given that the sector will need years to create all of the leases it has already purchased,” Allison added.

Energy Environment

Green energy will be used to power TC Energy’s North American energy pipelines

TC Energy Corp (TRP.TO), a Canadian pipeline operator, might spend millions of dollars on plans to reduce emissions by converting to renewable energy to power its vast network of gas and oil pipelines in Canada and the United States. A better response to a call for information on wind energy for ventures in the United States has cheered Calgary-centered TC Energy, which ships gas and oil through approximately 100,000 kilometers of the pipelines, one of the largest networks in North America.

“We started with simply our liquids pipeline, and it gives us a lot of optimism that we will be able to pivot fast to the natural gas pipeline industry both in the United States and in Canada,” president of power and storage at the TC Energy, Corey Hessen, informed Reuters. TC’s intention to use wind and solar energy instead of the natural gas to fuel pipelines is similar to the smaller-scale initiatives by competitor Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO). It would help the company meet investor expectations to enhance its environmental performance. Hessen stated, “It’s a large award and a pretty great opportunity.”

According to him, the initiative is the smartest near-term chance for TC to contribute to the energy transition. Energy companies all around the world are attempting to limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released during the production and transportation of oil and gas. The oil and gas sector in Canada is the country’s greatest emitter. If TC Energy does not decrease its emissions, the growing carbon price in Canada might add a major cost to its bottom line. Canada has vowed to minimize emissions by 40-45 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and raise the carbon price from C$40 per ton to C$170 per ton by 2030. It also imposes an output-based pricing scheme on commercial carbon emitters like TC.

As per the company website, TC’s scope 1 & 2 emissions – emissions it creates or that are created to provide it with power – from its gas and oil pipelines totaled over 14 million tonnes in 2019. TC said it is still calculating how many tons of carbon pollution would be saved if renewables were used to power pipes. According to the business’s most recent sustainability report, the corporation spent C$69 million in 2019 on existing carbon pricing schemes, up from about C$62 million in 2018. TC anticipates that majority of its assets in Canada, the United States and Mexico will eventually be subject to carbon emission laws.

Energy Politics

Direct pay is altering the renewable energy investment projections

Congress and the White House have developed a plan that offers direct payments to the US entities running renewable energy projects. The US President Joe Biden supported this proposal and came up with a $2 trillion American Jobs Plan in the Growing Energy and Efficiency Now Act (Green Act) and section 45Q carbon capture legislation (ACCESS 45Q). These acts’ success will allow the energy developers to enjoy tax credits through direct pay for their renewable energy projects.

Initially, renewable energy projects depended partly on tax equity financing, which generated investments that allowed huge corporations to enjoy tax credits for the projects. These tax credits would allow the companies to reduce the impact of tax liability. However, the pandemic changed this narrative because the energy developers are pessimistic about the tax credits and their likelihood of becoming profitable through tax equity investments.

Direct pay would help the energy developers evade tax credits utilization since it has no tax liability links. This direct pay structure would allow the developers to assume that the renewable energy projects’ tax credit is payment for tax returns filed. Some of the credits in this category include investment tax credit (ITC) or production tax credit (PTC). This decision places developers as the receivers of tax refunds since direct pay surpasses tax liability. The previous tax equity structure would absorb the tax credits’ value to the level of the tax liability. However, this new structure allows the taxpayer to feel the tax credit effect without regarding the individual’s tax liability.

Direct pay proposals place developers of renewable projects in line to receive tax credits that were promised in Section 1603 Cash Grant program of 2009. The developers won’t have to wait for approval of cash grants by the treasury to convert their tax credits into cash. Moreover, direct pay eliminates the need for various bureaucratic processes like taking the proposal to Congress to approve the grant program and allocating the necessary funds to support them.

Furthermore, direct pay is executable through the IRS procedure, just like companies usually file their returns annually. Direct pay would enable the developers of renewable energy projects to run the other projects when they can’t access tax equity financing. Finally, the strategy seems plausible since President Biden has recommended it in his American Jobs Plan and congressional legislation.

Energy Environment

Solar Energy Scotland is calling for a greater emphasis on solar energy

Thomas McMillan, the chair of Solar Energy Scotland, has written to the Scottish political parties, explaining the case for further ambition as well as policy backing for solar energy in Scotland. In the letter, Thomas urges the parties to provide a comprehensive course of action for solar energy implementation as a component of their election campaign. He applauds Scotland’s leadership for its net-zero goal and use of other clean energy innovations. Still, He laments the country’s shortage of solar energy adoption, accounting for just 3 percent of all green energy in Scotland.

“Scottish solar has remained in the darkness of the wind market for way too long,” stated Thomas McMillan, chairperson of Solar Energy Scotland. “We must eradicate the idea that solar energy is not a significant resource in Scotland. Enough sunshine falls on a region the Isle of Hoy’s scale to satisfy all of Scotland’s electricity needs. Solar is cost-effective with wind power, as it is available to consumers who choose to produce their energy at a lower cost than what they will pay from a provider. It’s past time for Scotland to receive its fair share of renewable energy.”

A manifesto that follows the study points out five measures that will dramatically improve Scotland’s solar potential:

Increase current housing stock’s energy quality requirements.

Expand financial assistance for residents, city governments, and housing councils who choose to install solar panels on their homes.

Solar energy, as well as batteries, may be exempt from the non-domestic rates.

Extend the allowed construction status of all solar ventures from 50kW to about 1MW or higher, as is England’s case.

Enable farmers who lease property for solar parks to earn compensation under the Basic Payment Scheme whether the land is still utilized for sheep grazing or even biodiversity enhancement.

Encourage the creation of a smart grid such that solar will lead to an effective and well-managed infrastructure.

As opposed to its neighbors, Scotland is still at the bottom of the solar installation league, adding just 2.5% of overall power in the UK. While having an environment and population similar to Denmark, the invention’s land has just a third of the country’s solar energy. Scotland’s solar energy capacity could expand by over ten times its current levels if main obstacles are eliminated.

Renewable energy development in Scotland is a subject that has risen to prominence in scientific, economic, as well as political terms in the early years of the twenty-first century. Renewable energy has a large natural resource base by European as well as even global norms, with wind, wave, and the tide is the most significant possible sources.

In 2020, renewables generated 97.4 percent of Scotland’s energy, with wind power accounting for the majority of this. Scotland delivered 59 percent of its electricity from renewable energy in 2015, surpassing the country’s target of 50 percent renewable power by that year. Scotland had 11.8 gigawatts (GW) of deployed renewable energy power at the start of 2020, accounting for about 25% of overall UK renewable production (119,000 GWh). Scotland exported about 28% of its generation in 2018, and green power generation accounted for 90% of total energy demand in 2019. Onshore wind, offshore wind, hydropower, solar PV, and biomass all add to Scotland’s renewable energy production, in declining order of capacity.

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.

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.

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.