The signing of the renewable energy agreement by UAE and Israel

On Wednesday, Emirati and Israeli companies’ officials signed a renewable energy agreement, as Israel is looking forward to being the global leader in the energy industry. This is one of the reinforced commercial ties for the United Arab Emirates and Israel since the establishment of ties in September.

The energy agreement’s chief corporate signatories are EDF Renewables Israel, French utility giant EDF’s subsidiary, and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar. The initial investment capital will be $100 million, which is expected to grow yearly as the number of projects launched increases. The Masdar and EDF Renewables’ strategic cooperation consists of Abu Dhabi investment funds to gain entry to the existing projects and upcoming projects through tenders given by Israel.

Masdar head, Mohammed Jamil al-Ramahi, said that this marks a new era of coordination in green energy investment between the two nations. The Israeli Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz, said that the agreement is Abraham accords’ fruits in the energy industry. He added that they hope that this cooperation would make Israel the solar energy’s global leader in the next six years. Bruno Bensasson, EDF Renewables Group Senior Executive President said that the agreement would bring a better collaboration between different EDF Group’s subsidiaries, which operates in both countries.

EDF and Masdar have similar projects in North Africa and the Middle East. One of these projects is in the UAE called the Al Dhafra Project, which will be the biggest solar energy facility in the world with a capacity of 2000MW. These two companies are also working together towards the construction of the Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum solar park in Dubai, with a capacity of 800MW. In Saudi Arabia, the companies also have another project known as the Dumat al Jandal wind farm, which is the biggest project in the Middle East with a capacity of 400MW.

EDF Renewables and Masdar collaborate in the installations of eight renewable energy projects in the US. All these projects would impact positively to the two countries’ economies as they expect an economic boom. The construction of these projects would also help create tens of thousands of jobs for the youths and professionals. The most significant thing is delivering clean, renewable energy to millions of homes. These projects will also play a vital role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to enable the countries to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.


Scientists are patching up to 125 years of data to understand the Triple-star system

Scientists are utilizing the advanced spacecraft they developed to observe a 125-year antics triple-star system called HS Hydra and project what will become of it in the future. The first scientists to observe the HS Hydra system did this noble course in 1893. The system looked like a star in space, and the experts think it might offer more details concerning the solar system. Astronomers will discover these intricacies after NASA developing the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). This satellite could unravel more alien features of the cosmos, a feature for which the satellite is renowned. Researchers who met in the recent American Astronomical Society meeting held through a webinar think that the satellite could reveal more binary star systems once it resumes its missions.

James Davenport, one of the astronomers involved in this mission, stated that they were anticipating hearing a report about TESS’s potential when it comes to exploratory missions. He added that the past generation enjoyed studying and collecting details about the binary systems, and it is time to explore further than this into the triple star systems. Initially, TESS recognized exoplanets by identifying small regular indents in the stars they were monitoring. The exoplanet is visible when the strange cosmic world impedes the star’s visibility from the spacecraft’s observatory point. In other cases, these may be two stars rotating each other, and their point of overlap has created a binary star system.

Davenport and his team undertook the objective of studying the binary stars that the amateur astronomers labelled in the past. Davenport explained that TESS was instrumental in differentiating binary star systems and the opposite phenomena. The astronomer has been researching deeply about these stars before they can decide where the previous astronomers were right and those systems that they just speculated. This search for information revealed that the HS Hydra is actually a three-star system following a study conducted in 2012. The third star is a smaller one tagging itself close to the double. The triple system was repositioning, a phenomenon that would have made it difficult to identify them as a trio and not a binary system. Scientists anticipate the ongoing eclipse of these three to fade away next year. Data retrieved by Davenport and his team from TESS explains that the eclipse might not end next year, but any day in the first quarter of this year, allowing the scientists to analyze them intensively.


What is Behind the Green Energy Boom in Vietnam?

The total capacity of the non-hydroelectric clean energy (like wind, solar, and biomass gasification) in Vietnam peaked at 109 megawatts (MW) in the year 2014, one-third of the 1% of the total installed capacity of about 34,079 MW in the world. Hydropower (46%), coal (29%) as well as natural gas controlled Vietnam’s energy mix at the moment (22%). At the end of the year 2019, 5,700 MW of installed power was accounted for by solar and wind, around 10 percent of the overall supply. That implies that Vietnam sees wind and solar power go from virtually zero to 10% of its supply in just five years. What’s behind this boom in green energy?

Vietnam’s exponential pace of growth is the main catalyst. Since 2014, Vietnam’s economy has expanded by 6% or more a year, hitting 7% in 2018 and 2019, as per the Asian Development Bank. This exponential growth drives the use of resources at an extraordinary pace. Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the electric utility which is owned by the state, has seen the quantity of energy sold rise from around 128.6 terawatt-hours (TWh) in the year 2014 to around 209.4 TWh in 2019. Electricity consumption has risen or more 11% each year, increasing at a rate far higher than the GDP. This is driving a virtually insatiable desire for further production and investment in energy.

The historical dependency of Vietnam on the hydroelectricity puts it in a vulnerable position here. The viability of river-damming power production is minimal, and the geopolitics of the region’s shared hydropower resources are already complicated. Certainly, Vietnam cannot forever regulate this degree of economic development by hydroelectricity. But what about coal as well as, natural gas the two big sources of power generation? Vietnam is a net coal importer as of 2015, importing 43.7 million tonnes in 2019. Natural gas, as well as crude oil imports, have both been increased sharply since 2014.

In 2017, EVN was approved by Vietnamese authorities to pay a competitive rate of 9.35 cents per kilowatt-hour to buy solar power from independent developers.  This form of feed-in tariffs has been shown to be, under some circumstances, effective inducements for the purpose of jump-starting renewable energy expansion. Usually, a high tariff alone would not get the task done. It must be supported by administrative and political support, particularly from the implementation body, the EVN, which is a state-owned utility, in this case. EVN dominates the transmission as well as the distribution of electricity in Vietnam via its subsidiaries and has traditionally controlled about 60% of the generation industry.

Apart from the possibility that imports of coal, as well as natural gas, are pushing up output costs (that cannot be easily recovered by higher retail prices, as the government carefully regulates Vietnam’s energy demand prices), this is part of a much broader attempt to drive through market changes and make Vietnam increasingly investment-friendly. This includes reducing the state’s position in key industries and showing that Vietnam is a location where healthy yields can be produced by private capital.


Schools in Montclair approve vendors of green energy projects

Montclair is one move closer to the schools being able to generate renewable electricity. Two firms, Eznergy, centered in Toms River, as well as Greenskies Renewable Energy headquartered in North Haven, Conn., have been given a solar panel contract by the school district. The award of the deal to those 2 firms was approved by the Board of Education on December 2. The solar panel initiative is the form of Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) of district, a $11 million set of programs to help schools save money on long-term energy bills.

The deal is recognized as a lease-purchase arrangement. The district will accommodate its buildings with solar panels as well as infrastructure and purchase solar electricity from the two suppliers at a cheaper cost than much of its electricity is currently paying for. But Greenskies, which will be responsible for funding development, will own, run and maintain these panels; Eznergy will do the installation. Three other vendors filed bids: Biostar Renewables, based in Overland Park, Kan., HESP Solar, based in Montvale, as well as Sunvest Solar, based in Pewaukee, Wis. Jeff Hintzke, Greenskies’ vice president of strategy and emerging markets, stated Eznergy and Greenskies have collaborated with other school solar ventures.

Hintzke stated Montclair would pay Greenskies, at a rate cheaper than what the district actually finances for most of its power, for the power that is generated by the panels. The district’s analysts predict that even if they implemented the solar lease-purchase, together with the other ESIP initiatives, Montclair schools might save as much as $12 million in electricity costs. Under the deal, Eznergy, as well as Greenskies, will supply power at a base price of around $0.0049 per kilowatt-hour to a school system. The district has budgeted $1,139,205 in the year 2020-2021 financial plan for utilities.

Usually, solar panels generate between 250 and 500 watts, with average higher wattages for industrial and academic solar panels as well as typical lower wattages for the residential panels. For instance, a 400-watt solar panel that gets five hours of sunshine a day will generate 2,000 watts of solar power a day or two-kilowatt hours. That would mean adding to 730-kilowatt hours annually if the panel got five hours of direct sunshine a day for a year that would cost $3.58 under the negotiated base price. “For schools, that are a lot; schools are indeed stressed due to COVID-19,” stated Jim Brown, Eznergy’s president.


In 2 months, Turkey will start mini solar tenders, the energy minister states

In the next two months, Turkey will initiate 74 mini solar energy bids for its Renewable Energy Resource Zones (YEKA), the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources revealed. In a teleconference at the very first Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association (GENSED) Solar Energy Summit, Fatih Dönmez stated that the tenders would include solar power stations with a cumulative capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) distributed throughout 36 various regions.

The tenders are relevant for inspiring more investment in the nation’s solar energy market, especially for small to the medium-sized enterprises in the energy industry, the minister reiterated. “The tenders will become an essential factor in influencing the investment culture as well as investor profile,” he noted. The YEKA tenders are part of the Turkey’s target of sourcing 65% of its energy requirements by the year 2023 from domestic as well as renewable sources.

In the year 2017, a successful bid price of $6.99 per megawatt-hour (MWh) was approved by Turkey’s 1,000 MW solar tender via the YEKA tenders of the Energy Ministry. At $3.49 for every MWh, an equal capacity wind bid, also offered in 2017, was accomplished. On May 30, 2020, the nation concluded its second YEKA wind bid. Dönmez stated that it had managed to raise its installed solar power from 40 MW in the year 2014 to the current 6,630 MW over the nation’s 10 years of solar energy production.

The share of overall capacity for renewable energy has now crossed 7 percent and 4 percent for electricity generation. “Our total capacity in the solar power doubled in 3 years. Around one hour of everyday energy usage comes from solar,” he added. Dönmez stated that Turkey, in aspects of installed solar power, ranks seventh in Europe as well as 13th in the world. He reiterated the nation’s dedication to the production of renewables and the continuity of its progress over the coming years.

The energy transformation in the world is a component of its economic growth policy; he clarified how to rebuild the global economic downturn and markets. “Renewable sources represented 98 percent of 4,900 MW of total capacity installed that came online in the year 2020. Our clean energy installed capacity hit 49,500 MW as well as the share of the cumulative installed capacity currently stands at 51.7 percent,” Dönmez stated.

Also speaking at the conference, Mustafa Yılmaz, Chair of the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK), stated that the nation’s solar power capacity had surpassed 6,500 MW since investments were launched almost 5 years earlier. In order to ensure energy freedom, Yılmaz labeled solar power among the most significant options. “We started the solar investments 5 years earlier. Throughout that time, the solar power capacity in our nation increased to more than 6,500 megawatts. I will say that Turkey has generated more capacity than most of the nations that began their investments in solar power a bit quicker,” Yılmaz added.


Year-on-year, the sale of Electric Vehicles doubles as results of fleets

Comparison to the prior year, double as many electric vehicles were recorded in 2020, with new business car tax thresholds leading the absorption. Review of the RAC’s recent sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveals that since the year 2010, over 200,000 pure Electric cars have already been recorded. 21,914 electric battery vehicles (BEVs) were recorded in the month of December alone, the maximum ever registered in one month, beating the number of 21,903 in the month of September. All in all, 108,205 BEVs were marketed in the year 2020, slightly more than 66,879 registered plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) throughout the year.

As far as non-plug-in mild hybrids are concerned, SMMT data reveals that 110,087 vehicles have been registered. Rod Dennis of the RAC notes that there is indeed a long way to get there, with just a “small fraction” of the sum of 31.2 million vehicles zero-emission on the United Kingdom’s highways. Still, the course is becoming apparent; he stated, “The prospect of more electric cars on our highways, several sporting number plates with latest green flash ‘trademark’ could start making drivers who are thinking about changing their vehicle look at if it makes perfect sense for them all to ‘go electric’.

Aside from charging infrastructure problems, it is the challenging economics of owning or leasing a vehicle that may still push them back with the pure electric vehicles continuing to control a high retail value over their gasoline and diesel counterparts. However, discounts for fleets and business car drivers have pushed the record-breaking the year Electric car registrations, due to new benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates, that was launched in the last spring.  Majority of the registrations (68 percent) for BEVs as well as PHEVs is from the fleets.

Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), says that 2020 has been a “tipping point” for EV uptake and demonstrates what can be achieved when Government works closely with fleets to develop a set of powerful grants and tax incentives and invest in a robust public charging network. “The recent BVRLA statistics indicates that the fleet industry continues to dominate the drive towards the zero-emission automobile, with the battery electric vehicles accounting for 21 percent of the company car registrations in the 3 months to October 2020,” he added. With 6.6 percent of all the new cars registered in the year 2020 being zero-emission, an increase from just 1.6 percent in 2019 as well as 0.7 percent in the year 2018, the increase in Electric Vehicle approvals is remarkable. This suggests that a quarter of all vehicles which were registered last year (17.5 percent) were capable of zero emissions, an increase from just 7.4 percent in 2019.