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Energy

The electric vehicle market growth is just the tip of the iceberg

Over one century ago, Pedro Salom started a project that is currently turning into a multi-billion industry. His first module, called Electrobat, became the first prototype Tobe developed in this line of products. However, like all the other models, it had its deficiencies, including covering 25 miles in a single charge at about 20 miles per hour.

Currently, the industry needs electric vehicle models that have a mileage range exceeding 500 miles. This demand is what is propelling the profitability of this industry and the massive production of electric vehicles to secure the market share. Some of the highlight performances in this industry include Tesla, which witnessed 740% gains last year. China was also represented in this sector with Nio, which recorded 1110% gains.

Another company that has come as a surprise package in this industry is Facedrive. The company managed to secure various deals and partnerships that will help it achieve its strategy of becoming eco-friendly. Various government agencies, famous people, and tech giants have bought into the company’s ideas which they intend to utilize to profit and expand their business through acquisition programs.

Most of the electric vehicle companies have been getting some action with the visible performance that they have displayed. For example, General Motors decided to widen its coverage by creating an ecosystem called Bright Drop. On the other hand, Apple is diving into this business with potential contracts with automotive companies like Hyundai and Kia. An additional advantage in this business is the Biden administration taking charge of the USA and announcing plans to implement green energy policies and establish a portfolio for electric vehicles’ high performance. The president also declared plans of pumping billions into the electric vehicle projects. The US intends to substitute 645000 government fleet vehicles with the electrified versions to ensure that the country aligns towards clean-energy cars.

The Biden administration will also be investing in the supportive infrastructure for the electric vehicle. This move will involve the development of more than 550000 electric vehicle charging stations countrywide. The momentum shaping the industry will be sustained with such strategies ensuring that electric vehicles become the order of the day. However, Facedrive had predicted such alignments in this industry and strategically capitalized on the benefits that accrue from such developments. The company has a simple model where each time a customer rides a gas-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle, the algorithm deducts a portion of the fare and places it into planting trees to overcome the carbon footprint. This system is efficient in the elimination of carbon emissions and will eventually grow to other markets.

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Energy

Restart Energy to Install in Romania a 45 MW Solar Power Plant

Restart Energy is focusing on creating renewable energy to help the planet deal with climate changes. The company’s first step in the journey to the creation of a renewable energy portfolio of 500MW is under a ready-to-build project. It has acquired this deal and has come public about its intention to invest $30 million. The first venture involves the construction of a 45 MW solar power plant.

Restart Energy is one of the top electricity and gas suppliers. In a recent announcement, the Restart Energy claims that it will build a photovoltaic plant in Romania. Its exact location is northwest of Romania. If things go according to plan, Restart Energy will launch the new product next year-end of March. This venture will create jobs for a lot of people. The company needs one hundred people for the construction phase, requiring fifteen permanent workers in the facility.

The plant’s output is estimated to 55 GWh annually, the exact number of 25,000 households in Romania. From the recent reports, this project will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emission. It will prevent the release of over 1.23 million tons of CO2 in the twenty-five years of its operation. In the company’s announcement, the spokesperson stated that the project is ready to start its building process. The first move will involve developing and integrating the upstream segment with 500 MW renewable energy works by 2025.

 How exactly does Restart Energy plan to achieve this ambitious step? It involves the development of 100 MW annually. Restart Energy has a joint venture alongside the United States’ Interlink Capital Strategies for the endeavor. The company hopes to achieve at least $100 million in the next five years in the investment section. The main targets include wind, solar, biomass, geothermal energy, and biogas.

The company bought the Sarmasag project during its brownfield stage from a team of experts. In a Restart Energy CEO and Founder, Armand Domuta, he expressed his excitement about the new project. He stated that Restart Energy is lucky to have a chance to contribute to the green development energy infrastructure in Romania. Also, the company will balance the grid with the introduction of clean and green energy.

Other than the firm’s funds, the project will receive finances via private banks and equity. The management team is working to boost its economy. Currently, the firm also operates in Serbia and is working on expanding to German and Space. Besides, Restart Energy is interested in joining the European Markets. The company’s move will help create energy that is clean and green from renewable sources. Many people hope to watch this project grow and assist in the planet’s mission to net-zero emission.

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Energy

High Country Conservation Center to roll out strategies to boost EV industry in Summit County, Colorado

High Country Conservation Center is a non-profit organization based in Frisco, Colorado. It provides waste reduction and resource conservation solutions in Summit County. In collaboration with Summit’s administration, the organization has prepared a community-based Electric Vehicle (EV) Readiness Plan. “It is a 10-year plan, and the goal of the plan is to create strategies that will help us expand infrastructure and make it easier for residents and visitors to Summit county to drive an electric vehicle,” said Jess Hoover, Climate Director at High Country Conservation Centre.

Summit County has revealed a couple of plans to boost battery-powered transport in the mountainous region. Municipality leaders and policymakers are pushing for a transition to battery-powered public transport, private cars, and ride-hailing vehicles. By 2030, 30% of all vehicles in Summit County are expected to be electric. Fast forward to 2050, the county government targets to have zero-emissions of greenhouse gases from the transport sector.

According to Michael Wurzel, Sustainability Coordinator for Summit County, there are eight public EV charging stations across the county. Four of them are located at the Summit County Library at Frisco. The other four were installed at the Frisco Transfer Center, and the government plans to add more soon. The county administration is looking to build more charge points at the Courthouse in Breckenridge. The town already has 22 charge points spread across the town hall, recreation center, public works building, as well as the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.

Furthermore, the South Gondola Lot parking center will have about 40 charge stations. The newly constructed structure can accommodate more charging points depending on the demand for EV charging. This information was revealed by Jessie Burkley, Sustainability Coordinator for Breckenridge. In Silverthorne, there are several Tesla charging points serving the public since 2013.

The Summit Community Climate Action Plan (SCCAP) resonates with the initiative by the non-profit organization. Hoover said through creating the plan, they will implement one of the strategies identified to meet the plan’s targets. Summit County, Frisco, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, and Dillon came together to adopt the SCCAP plan.

Hoover’s organization collaborated with key players in Summit County to draw this plan. These include the local authorities, ski communities, Xcel Energy, Charge Ahead Colorado, as well as Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

“We definitely want to make it more convenient for residents and visitors to drive an electric car in our community, but we also understand that purchasing an electric car is still out of reach for a lot of Summit County residents,” said Hoover. To ensure affordability across the county residents, some communities give discounts on second-hand EVs. Xcel Energy has a dozen programs lined up that will back the organization’s and government’s efforts. Similarly, the Colorado administration has laid out plans to prepare for the transition to battery-powered transport.

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Energy

GM’s Profits from fuel-engine trucks and SUVs to fuel the Electric quest

The GM is one of the biggest car makers of all time. Sources have it that the company earned over $6 billion in 2020, which will be put in their electrifying move. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which left automakers crippled, GM was still able to record high purchases. The profit totals were higher than some account readings in other years despite the tough times.

The automaker recently went public with an ambitious plan to electrify most of their vehicles in fifteen years. Many people have reacted to this pledge and are looking forward to what the company has up its sleeve. From the company’s recent announcement, it is no secret that they will need every penny to stick to this plan.

GM has set a target for a short-term plan to launch thirty new electric vehicles in the next four years. If everything goes as planned, GM hopes to make at least a million sales each year in the USA. In addition to that, the management team hopes to make at least a million sales in China by 2025. This time is crucial since, despite the rising demand for electric cars, their percentage on the road is 4%. Experts have concluded that the move to electric vehicles will happen. However, details on the time it will take are still data that we are missing.

The budget is also tricky and challenging despite how necessary it is to record positive results. GM has a budget of $27 billion to use on electric cars by 2025. As of this year, the price tag is $7 billion. For a successful calculation of such a considerable amount, the company plans to squeeze a lot of profit from sports cars, trucks, and pickups. In conclusion, the gas engine cars present today will finance the future of GM electric cars.

The chief executive of GM, Mary Barra, spoke of its potential in the auto motors business. And the importance of investing in the industry during this critical time. Last year, the company’s profit ran up to $6.4 billion following the crisis brought about by the pandemic almost half of the year.

GM’s first electric vehicles will be launched in the market next week. Experts claim that the future of GM on this path is bright. However, the adoption process of electric vehicles is only beginning. And this fact can lead to the stagnancy of the company for a while. Also, there is a new problem regarding computer chips.

But, GM was quick to respond that the company’s issue of the chip causes problems for the manufacturing process. Also, Ms. Barra confirmed that the country was working hard to get all the necessary chips. Mary expressed her excitement to work with the government to achieve the net zero-emission project.

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Energy

Autoworkers are not sure how things will be in the era of electric vehicles

After General Motors announced that by 2035 it would only specialize in producing electric vehicles only, this clouded the future of 500000 employees whose jobs could come to an end. GM wants a workforce that will help it develop zero-emissions vehicles. Although this won’t happen so quickly, it means that workers who were manufacturing internal combustion vehicles for many years will now perform different tasks or else lose their jobs.

While making internal combustion vehicles, there are skilled workers who specialize in making muffles, fuel injectors, and pistons.  Now, all these jobs will be replaced by lithium-ion battery pack assembly and heavy-duty wiring harness. The majority of these components are imported. The good news President Joe Biden is committed, and one of the ambitious primary plans is the US electric vehicle supply chain that could lead to the creation of over one million jobs in the auto industry.

However, the future of GM workers plus other carmakers could be at risk. The upcoming plants will require fewer workers since electric vehicles have fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion vehicles. There is the likelihood that automakers will start buying the EV components from supply companies or partner with others to create joint ventures to make the parts. More than 100000 people in the United States will be directly affected. These are people who work in plants that produce engines and transmissions for internal combustion and gas vehicles. 

One of the plants that are facing this challenge is the Toledo Transmission Plant in Ohio. One of the employees who work there, known as Stuart Hill, says that he is worried that the plant will be shut down. He is not sure what will happen after the plant closure. Hill is among the 1500 workers who work at the plant and one of the GM employees. He said that if the plant is shut down, he will have no alternative than looking for work at other plants.

Two years ago, Volkswagen and Ford executives said that EVs would decrease labor hours by 30% per vehicle. This means that autoworkers are not guaranteed that they will secure jobs in the new era of EV.  It is expected that many industry jobs will be lost in the EV transition. However, some argue that there will be many other jobs that the greener economy will create.  These include building EV parts, solar and wind power production projects, and installation of charging stations.

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Energy

Is the insurance industry getting tougher for green energy?

With news continuously loaded with horrific stories about the worsening environmental crisis, it may seem evident to us just how critical the presence and benefits of using green energy are. Renewable electricity is cost-effective. Renewable energy costs less to sustain than the burning of fossil fuels. While it can sound costly to set up a wind turbine, onshore wind turbines, and solar power, the sources are easier to produce energy than gas and power plants. Renewables are sustainable; they can never run out. While coal and oil will run out in 40-60 years, the sun will always rise, the wind will still whistle, and the Universe will always have hydroelectric power.

Enterprises around the globe are still looking for fresh and creative ways of being more environmentally aware. Going green may help fund a business in various ways; when a smart company wants to confirm to the stakeholders and customers that they care about the critical issues, the firm must use renewable energies instead of traditional fossil fuel. Using renewables will be appreciated since it is environmentally friendly, giving the company an excellent public relations boost. A business will enjoy their investment rewards for some time by using green energies such as solar. While the initial expense will be large, in the future, the firm will surely see savings depending on the economic scale, and this move will amount to thousands of pounds annually.

However, the business sector engaging in renewables is facing a hardening insurance market with High rates, a reluctance to cover emerging technologies, and rising prudence in coping with potentially high risks. According to Willis Towers, modern untested technologies can also be reticent because insurers do not have past loss records, making it impossible for risk evaluation to be reliable. Also, Seto explained that there are challenges that concern the technical development and utilization of technology and are yet to be proved. Seto also noted that losses could cost from $0.7k to $1 million to a single wind turbine rotor.

Therefore, a single failure would wash out an entire premium insurer’s pool for a single project. However, Seto claims that insurers are not quick to withdraw out of the market, although they will be putting growing constraints on the form of cover they can have. Nevertheless, there are strategies that insurers can use to minimize their risks, but there is just so much that they can raise and charge the customer. It is much of a juggling act.

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Energy

Electric Cars could soon start undermining what they have been trying to solve

One of the challenges that the transition to clean energy vehicles faces is that traditional cars are the cheaper alternative. That’s why Tesla decided to eliminate the use of cobalt in its electric vehicle batteries. Consequently, the company will be in a position to sell their cars at a price of $25,000 in the next three years. With such a price, electric vehicles will stand a chance in the car market when the customers factor in the price issue.

However, the move would end up doing more harm than good. It would see the transition from conventional cars to electric vehicles become hard in the end. That’s because there will be little in terms of financial incentives for recycling batteries if there is no use of cobalt. As a result, they won’t be disposed of well, leading to another pollution situation. It would be an irony given the fact that the purpose of the transition is to reduce pollution.

With such an inadequate disposal mechanism, where does the rising use of electric vehicles leave the world? It is fair to say that it would lead to zero greenhouse gas emissions, which could combat climate change. The move would also reduce health issues associated with vehicle emissions. That’s probably why there are many policies by various countries in support of electric vehicles. By 2040 if not earlier, most countries, especially those in Europe, will have phased out diesel and gas cars. The target for California is even sooner since its deadline in 2035. General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler, and the likes don’t intend to produce gas and diesel vehicles any more either. So, soon electric cars will be all over.

Nevertheless, electric vehicles also have their vice. Each electric car uses lithium-ion batteries, and they are usually relatively heavy. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz EQC one has a weight of 1400 pounds. Their components include nickel, cobalt, and manganese, and they come from mines and smelting companies. Equally important, they have harmful things that can pollute water and soil if the disposal isn’t right.

One would wonder why not recycle then instead of disposal. It is impossible to recycle them for something good since only half of the opponents can be extracted for reuse. Therefore, the other half will need to be disposed of. Without cobalt, financial incentives that go towards recycling and disposal will reduce. Consequently, the already bad situation will become worse with time, especially since the number will keep increasing, and as time goes by, waste will also go up.

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Energy

These firms would like you to charge your electric vehicle when shopping

It isn’t just Walmart that is adding chargers for electric cars. Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary, revealed Monday that it is installing electric vehicle chargers at over 100 sites, such as retail giant Target, Brixmor-shopping center developer as well as Sheetz- a fueling outlet. The news follows on the heels of last week’s announcement, which said that Walmart would double the E.V. chargers operating with the Electrify America at its outlets. The new real estate deals from Electrify America, announced this week as well as last week, will offer over 200 charging facilities for electric cars across the United States. 

(Each station will have several charging ports with different capacities.) As part of the very first period of installations, the firm intends to allocate $500 million equipping 484 charging sites (such as the infrastructure for the 2,000 DC fast chargers). The recent collaborations show how, as the cost of electric cars decreases, electric vehicles begin to become more popular and affordable as the availability of electric car batteries expands and as corporations invest in charging facilities to help recharge these vehicles in more ways.

Electrify America, which was formed as part of the settlement after the Volkswagen Company was found cheating on its diesel vehicle pollution standards, aims to invest $2 billion across the U.S. on developing electric vehicle charging facilities. “We have seen such an increase in interested parties in electric car chargers,” Brendan Jones, chief operating officer of Electrify America, informed GreenBiz. “I began adding fast D.C. chargers in the year 2011, as well as the hand-raisers which we see currently are unique than they were 5 or 6 years ago.”

There can be a range of advantages from the standpoint of the retail stores, the real estate companies as well as the fueling sites which add chargers. As the demand has accelerated, the enthusiasm of the businesses participating has been changing. For example, introducing chargers to the retail store in the initial periods of electric vehicles was all about achieving environmental targets, Jones observed. But more recently, corporations are finding that it has been “a chance to attract in different forms of drivers to the areas,” he added. In addition to obtaining new buyers, retailers might theoretically retain customers in shops for a prolonged period if their cars are charged outside.

Additional time spent in stores will increase the sum of money which retail consumers pay. For convenience retailers with gas stations, chargers for electric cars may add substantial time to a customer’s experience. Currently, charging an E.V. takes considerably longer than injecting petrol. A selection of charging times can be offered by the chargers which Electrify America uses from Efacec Electric Mobility, ABB, Signet E.V. and BTC Power suppliers. Some would use 50-kilowatt chargers to be on the faster end, and some might offer ultra-fast charging utilizing 350-kilowatt technology.

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Energy

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.

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Energy

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.