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Stuart O'Brien

IEA and B20 call on the G20 to accelerate clean energy transitions

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The Business 20 (B20) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have issued a Joint Statement calling on G20 leaders to accelerate clean energy transitions for a resilient recovery, coinciding with a series of G20 Ministerial meetings involving ministers of environment and energy.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a historic, yet temporary, decline in energy demand and energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions – according to the IEA, global CO2 emissions are expected to be about 8% lower in 2020 than they were in 2019.

However, the pandemic also threatens the pace and scope of energy transitions, with a 20% decline in global energy investments in 2020 according to the same organisation. It says that between now and 2050, $3.5 trillion of annual energy investments are required globally across all energy sectors to meet the targets for a sustainable path, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

As the world economy and energy systems recover from the crisis, the IEA and B20 assert that G20 Members have a unique opportunity to enact policies that prevent a rebound of CO2 emissions and support a sustainable recovery, while boosting growth and creating new green jobs.

The Joint Statement recommends specific and pragmatic policy options that could spur the much needed investment cycle if G20 countries, namely:

  • accelerate the deployment of existing low-emissions and emissions-neutral technologies, and boost innovation in crucial technology areas including hydrogen, batteries, and carbon capture utilization and storage;
  • enhance energy market stability by improving global energy data transparency and evaluating energy market risks;
  • take necessary steps to secure energy systems and provide access to affordable and uninterrupted flow of clean energy for all;
  • implement energy pricing and tax reforms, using the revenues to finance a just transition.

Yousef Al-Benyan, Chair of B20, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic with historically low energy prices is a unique opportunity for governments to enact policies that steer their clean energy transitions at low financial, political and social cost.”

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, added: “Mobilising the critical investments for meeting international energy and climate goals requires a grand coalition spanning governments, companies, investors and citizens. The IEA is pleased to work with the G20 and B20 to accelerate the major deployment of clean energy technologies that we need to build more sustainable and resilient energy systems. Despite the challenges we face from the Covid-19 crisis, stronger clean energy actions and ambitions from a growing number of governments and companies around the world make me increasingly optimistic for the future.”

Image by skeeze from Pixabay 

Solvay and Veolia partner on electric vehicle batteries

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Solvay and Veolia have announced a partnership on a circular economy consortium to offer new solutions that promise better resource efficiency for critical metals used in lithium ion electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

With the number of electric vehicles on the road expected to grow from 8 million in 2020 to 116 million by 2030, the partners state that ensuring stable access to raw materials is a strategic challenge. Furthermore, they claim materials used today in EV batteries are not always recovered at their maximum value. 

Solvay and Veolia, through its subsidiary SARP Industries, say they are already actively engaged in discussions with a car manufacturer and battery cell producers, to coordinate, collaborate and leverage on respective technologies and core competences at each step of the value chain – from access and spent battery feedstock to dismantling, metal extraction and purification. 

Solvay’s role in this consortium is to optimize the extraction and purification of critical metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium and transform them into high-purity raw materials for new batteries, ready for another fresh start. Solvay is also present in the EV and hybrid battery value chain thanks to its high-performance specialty polymers for binders and separators and specialty additives for electrolytes. 

“I am truly excited about our partnership with Veolia, aiming to take circularity another meaningful step forward towards cleaner mobility,” explained Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri. “At Solvay, our technologies will bring new life to batteries at the end of their cycle. Our unique know-how combining Specialty Polymers, Composites and Mining solutions together with Veolia’s unique experience in waste management, is a fantastic opportunity to build a greener battery ecosystem.” 

In its recycling plant in eastern France, Veolia has already been dismantling batteries for electric vehicles since 2013. The combination of mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes makes it possible to treat the active cells and extract the active metals. These metals are then used by industry and transformed into new materials. Press Release 2 

“The recycling of electric vehicle batteries and the management of the pollutants they contain are major ecological and industrial challenges. By partnering, Veolia and Solvay help develop the recycling value chain and the production of strategic raw materials for the production of new batteries. If today the essential compounds of batteries are mainly imported, tomorrow they will be regenerated in Europe”, said Antoine Frérot Chairman and CEO of Veolia. 

Establishing this partnership is integral to Solvay Group’s sustainability ambitions and its Solvay One Planet commitments. By 2030, Solvay will generate 15% of its revenues from either bio-based or recycled-based materials.

The Energy Management Summit has gone VIRTUAL!

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The Energy Management Summit will be held as a virtual event – bringing the industry’s leading buyers and suppliers together for business collaboration.

Date: Tuesday 6th October

During such challenging and uncertain times, it is key to stay up-to-date with the all the latest industry news and source new solutions for every eventuality.

Your bespoke place is entirely free and includes benefits such as;

Flexibility – Your attendance is flexible, you can either attend for half a day or the full day.
Gaining industry insight – Enjoy a series of topical webinars led by industry thought leaders.
Prepare for every eventuality – We can build you a bespoke 1-2-1 itinerary of meetings with innovative and budget savings suppliers who match your requirements.
Save time – We will handle everything for you, saving you time and money by arranging all the meetings for you based on your requirements.

Click here to secure your free place

Do you specialise in Lighting solutions for business? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on Energy Management Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the market – and in October we’ll be focussing on Lighting Solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help energy management buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Lighting Solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Lisa Rose on 01992 374077 / l.rose@forumevents.co.uk.

Our features list in full:

Sep – Solar PV
Oct – Lighting
Nov Heating & Ventilation
Dec – Utility Management

Italian renewable industry expands future renewable development

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The Italian Government is expanding the integration of renewables in its generation mix to create an infrastructure for supporting sustainable green generation, thereby tackling the issues of land constraints and making continuous strides in meeting the net carbon neutrality ambition by 2050.

The constant decline in the development costs for offshore wind and floating solar PV has garnered special recognition in the country’s renewable energy plan. The Italian renewable capacity, excluding hydropower, is estimated to reach 60GW by 2030 from the current 36GW, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5%, according to GlobalData. 

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, said: “The floating offshore wind project is a technological advancement and investments in the segment provides Italy the prospect of staying ahead in the growth curve. Along with the floating offshore wind projects, developers are also looking at building hybrid offering with integration of solar PV to improve the generation yield.” 

This year is attracting growing interest from various players that are active in the supply chain and who are investing in the Italian renewable energy landscape. In June 2020, Italian developers began work on the €750m (US$840m) 7Seas Med floating wind project with 25 floating wind turbines with 10 megawatts (MW) capacity. Terna has pledged an additional investment of €7.3bn (US$8.3bn) by 2024 to meet the growing demand for electricity from green energy.

Recently, Saipem signed a pact with renewable energy (RE) developers Agnes and Qint’X, to co-develop a project combining 450MW of offshore wind capacity with floating solar PV technology in the Italian Adriatic Sea. In a similar instance, Eni New Energy SpA has laid its plans to invest €14.7m (US$17.3m) and construct a 14 MW floating solar PV plant in Brindisi.

GlobalData says Italy is one of the primary markets for several global investors, as the country provides a perfect amalgamation of ideal climatic conditions, optimum solar irradiance, and wind speed to implement cutting-edge solar and wind technology. Floating offshore wind turbines provide more access to deeper water than conventional fixed-bottom wind turbines. This expands the practical range for wind energy development, and can potentially get access to locales with steadier and higher wind flow.

Das added: “Being limited in geographic landmass, the country is making use of its coastlines and its waters to meet its RE installation targets by the conclusion of the decade. Italy has the 2nd largest solar PV installed capacity in Europe and is looking to make headways in the offshore wind segment. The RE space is seeing global players like European Energy A/S, Sonnedix, Octopus Investments Ltd, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners KS investing in the country, making giant steps towards sustainability and zero-carbon generation.”

The importance of supply chains for the sustainable business

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By Katie Burrows, Energy Services Solutions Manager at Haven Power

Global giants Google and WWF turned heads this June after announcing the details of their environmental data platform, a joint initiative which aims to tackle harmful emissions and waste across fashion industry supply chains. This will allow fashion brands to source raw materials and track their sustainability, providing them with greater transparency over the environmental impact of their supply chains.

The news comes as the fashion industry continues to grapple with a giant sustainability problem. Today, the industry accounts for about 2-8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, much of which originates from the raw material stage.

The same issues with unsustainable supply chains can be felt across every industry. For decades, major corporations have outsourced their environmental impact to other companies, and in some cases, other countries. Supply chain emissions are up to 5.5 times greater than a company’s direct operations – but until recently, a lack of transparency and accurate data prevented us from seeing the full picture.

Now the tide is starting to change. In the UK, we are seeing pressure being applied across the supply chain by a growing number of companies, both big and small, as they align their business strategies with the nation’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions targets. This has led to a radical shakeup of the traditional tender process, with many companies now listing sustainability, including the use of renewable energy, as a prerequisite for doing business. Suppliers with a poor environmental performance now risk being struck off in favour of competitors with greener credentials.

Take Sainsburys, for example, who this year pledged to invest in a greener future for the whole business. As well as reducing its use of plastic packaging, this also includes ensuring that its suppliers are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Consumers are now directly influenced by a company’s sustainability policies and are aware of how this impacts their commercial performance. According to research by Unilever, a third of consumers now choose to buy from brands who they believe are doing social or environmental good. The research also found that ‘sustainable brands grew 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of its turnover growth.’

Customers are also increasingly willing to do their own research, with data playing a greater role in consumer decision-making. Apps such as Almond provide consumers with more transparency into the brands they are engaging with, giving greater insight into the products they are buying and their carbon footprint. Many of these apps give brands a rating based on their corporate responsibility, including how carbon conscious they are.

We are in the midst of a revolution in how we work, with more and more businesses now putting sustainability at their core. Despite great progress in recent years, the urgency for increased transparency in supply chain sustainability has never been greater. As countries around the world continue to wrestle with the financial and social impact of Covid-19, supply chains are becoming increasingly fragile.

Widespread disruption to manufacturing and logistics has seen many companies rush to reroute or find alternative sources, running the risk of partnering with the wrong suppliers. On-site audits are being cancelled due to travel restrictions and quarantine rules, and so sustainability standards are now at a risk of being compromised to meet new demand.

Companies must be proactive in their due diligence and mitigation strategies to ensure that any progress made so far has not been in vain. At the same time, they must encourage/enact change across their operations and accelerate progress towards a zero carbon economy.

Image by winterseitler from Pixabay 

Energy savings without capex

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By Onsite Energy Projects

Most businesses have a short payback limit on the capex they invest. But pressure is growing for businesses to be more sustainable and save money. “Quick wins” have probably already been done. Often companies have projects they would like to do, but don’t hit the payback target, or need help in identifying solutions. 

OEP provides a data-led approach to identify and then fund the measures with off-balance sheet services agreements.

The benefits are:

  • Profit growth (cost savings) without any investment
  • Full benefit of emissions savings
  • Acceleration of sustainability investments and plans

With COVID-19, many companies are facing capex cuts.  So why not look at our no-capex approach.  There is nothing to lose, it won’t cost anything and you could learn something about the opportunities you have.  

If this sounds interesting then please get in touch with David Kipling at david@on-site.energy or call him on 07824 018991. OEP specialises in supporting energy intensive industry.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Derwent FM energy management & sustainability

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By Derwent FM

What impact are we having on the environment? What is our legacy for the next generation? These decisions now underpin all key strategic moves we make as a business. We do not just ask such questions of ourselves, but also of our supply chain and subcontractor base.

Each of our suppliers now is vetted for their green credentials and monitored for activity going forward, with those failing to meet they key criteria no longer used.

We pride ourselves on our complete and comprehensive approach to energy management and sustainability, and this means no aspect of our business is exempt from our continuous assessment of how we impact our environment. 

For more information, visit: www.derwentfm.com

Discover the secrets of renewables at the Energy Management Summit

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There’s a place reserved for you at the upcoming hybrid Energy Management Summit – and you can attend either in person or virtually. 

5th & 6th October – Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted

The top five areas covered at the summit:

– Renewable Energy
– Solar PV
– Carbon Management
– Workplace Vehicle Charging
– Metering & Monitoring

As our guest, you can enjoy industry seminar sessions, a bespoke itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with innovative suppliers, networking with peers, overnight accommodation and all meals & refreshments.

If this would be useful for your business, please confirm your attendance here – Live event and virtual attendance options are available.

Places are limited. This event is entirely free of charge.

Nuclear ‘should have extended role’ in clean energy mix

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With the world looking to consolidate ventures in cleaner and greener electricity sources post-COVID-19, electricity from nuclear sources offer a key option.

The World Nuclear Association in a recent study states the opportunity for governments to invest in nuclear energy, which addresses the COVID-19 crisis and manages issues such as climate change, air pollution and energy crisis.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Nuclear power plants can maintain grid stability with the ability to regulate plant yield to follow demand and help constrain the impacts of seasonal variances in renewable energy yield. In the current situation, investment in nuclear energy is anticipated to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, increased energy resilience and creation of huge numbers of long-term, high-skilled domestic employment that pay premium compensation.” 

The share of nuclear-based generation in South Korea rose amid the pandemic, whereas in the UK, nuclear played a key role in providing the support to make up the lost production from crippled coal generation during the COVID-19.

In China, electricity production diminished during January-February 2020 by more than 8% year-on-year. Compared to the significant reduction in generation from coal and hydropower, nuclear was more resilient with a mere 2% reduction in China. Even with the pandemic this year, the share of nuclear in electricity generation in the generation mix is anticipated to remain steady in the country as last year. 

The Nuclear Energy Agency in its policy briefs mentioned the COVID-19 recuperation phase as an opportunity for appropriate policy and market frameworks to incentivize investment in fundamental infrastructure that bolsters low-carbon electricity security and economic development. The 108 new planned nuclear reactors and the long-term operation of existing 290 reactors globally can play a key role within the post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts by boosting economic development and provide stability to the generation mix. 

Das concluded: “The global power industry and governments need to consider and provide a level playing field to the nuclear generation that values reliability and energy security. A harmonized nuclear regulatory environment and a holistic safety paradigm along with RE development will act as a catalyst towards global decarbonization.” 

Image by Markus Distelrath from Pixabay