PNM to minimize its baseload power from coal-powered plants and increase renewable energy capacity

The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) has unveiled plans to reduce electricity from coal-powered plants and nuclear plants. Instead, the electricity utility is planning to increase its green energy capacity, add natural gas generation, and tap into hydrogen as power. PNM wants to ditch coal-powered generation by 2024 and cut on the nuclear power generated at Palo Verde Generating Station. The company has filed an integrated resource plan (IRP) for 2020 with the New Mexico Regulation Commission and is pending approval.

Some of the IRP changes include the shutting down of the San Juan Generating Station in 2022, previously slated to last until 2053. The new plan also mentions transferring thirteen percent of the utility’s share in the Four Corners Power Plant to Navajo Transition Energy Company. Furthermore, the roadmap indicates PNM does not intend to renew leased capacity at Palo Verde Generating Station. “We’ll be reducing our baseload down substantially, and we’ll be projecting to bring on a whole lot of renewables and energy storage and other resources to serve our customers,” said Nick Phillips, the director in charge of the integrated resource planning at PNM.

“I don’t think baseload in and of itself is the key to reliability. The key to reliability is making sure that you’ve got a wide mix of resources that if your renewable generation has big changes from minute to minute or hour to hour, you’ve got other resources that can fill in those gaps,” added Phillips. In the meantime, PNM will replace the energy sourced from coal plants with power from nuclear remains. The utility will also add renewables and maybe natural gas and hydrogen, according to Phillips. The hydrogen plants will be brought to life from 2040 and could push the company’s ninety percent clean energy to a hundred percent when complete.

Although the overall ambition is to provide clean energy to its customers at affordable rates, PNM notes that a hundred percent renewables will add some expenses to its clients. “I do think that as you go forward in time, decarbonizing a system completely cannot be done free of charge. And so, we’ll have to see what technologies develop and how the cost of those technologies hopefully declines over time,” noted Phillips.

Interveners think ill of PNM’s plan to transfer its Four Corners Power plant. Camilla Feibelman, director of Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, says the utility agreed to evaluate leaving Four Corners in 2024 and 2028. “By passing off their holdings in Four Corners to NTEC, they are short-circuiting the analysis that they are required to do and could potentially cause the plant to stay open for longer than necessary, not just from an economic perspective but also from a climate standpoint,” Feibelman,said. The New Mexico electricity provider is yet to decide what resources will replace energy sourced from the Four Corners plant.


GICON, a German company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnam Petroleum Institute on green energy

The Vietnam Petroleum Institute (VPI) and GICON, a German energy-sector engineering firm, recently concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on sustainable energy and hydrogen development in the Southeast Asian region. According to GICON, the collaborators will concentrate on wind power as well as biogas, with a particular emphasis on emerging innovative technology for the generation of renewable power and green hydrogen. The groups plan to adopt and improve GICON’s inventions, which the organization has already developed with Vietnamese requirements in mind.

An offshore wind turbine would be connected to an electrolyzer to generate hydrogen from seawater as part of one of the pilot ventures.  In another project, GICON would extract biogas using its patented method, which was developed specially for waste with high impurities. GICON, as well as the VPI, will both share expertise and run study programs in the fields of climate conservation, clean energy, ecology, and environmental toxicology, according to the MoU.

“Each spouse brings their individual abilities to the table in the most effective way possible. We blend GICON’s cutting-edge clean energy technology and engineering skills with our understanding of Southeast Asia’s requirements and our exploration and development capacities.  We improve the regional economy in Vietnam by executing the projects locally. “In a tweet, VPI Director General Nguyen Anh Duc stated.

The Vietnam Petroleum Institute (VPI), centered on the General Department of Geology’s Petroleum Geological Division No. 36B, was established on May 22, 1978, in response to the rapid development of the Vietnamese oil and gas sector. VPI has grown into a leading science and technical research center in the world, covering all aspects of the petroleum industry after approximately 35 years of growth. Processing, Safety & Environment, Petroleum Exploration and Production, Technology Application and Transfer, Economic and Management, Laboratory and Archives are the Institute’s seven specialized research centers.

The below are the roles and activities that have been delegated to the Institute:

• Conducting research and development in the fields of gas and oil prospecting, drilling, manufacturing, transportation, storage, delivery, economics, and management; collaborating with local and foreign organizations in these areas.

• Providing research and technological advice to businesses both inside and outside of the petroleum sector, as well as international energy companies.

• Providing technical and technical consulting in the areas of prospecting, drilling, development, transportation, storage, as well as the economics of oil and gas to the Vietnamese government, Petrovietnam, state agencies, as well as international oil firms.

• Providing instruction, including post-graduate programs, to develop the technical capability of workers employed in the oil and gas sector.


Congress is likely to make amendments to the Renewable Energy Project Development and Investment

Congress is working towards implementing Joe Biden‘s latest plan that is supposed to reinstate the US to its economic position before the pandemic struck. This discussion will feature the extension of the renewable energy tax incentives. The Biden administration is hoping that the tax credits can propel the development of renewable energy infrastructure to achieve the US’s decarbonization targets. The president’s move will witness the expansion of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and the 45Q credit intended for projects eliminating carbon emissions. Other technologies that might benefit from the switch to clean energy include energy storage technology and equipment to sustain the renewables.

Last month, Senator Carper brought forward the Save America’s Clean Energy Jobs Act and the GREEN Act to ensure the smooth procession of the renewable energy credits directly to the involved parties. Additionally, this move will facilitate implementing the other policies surrounding the projects without unnecessary bureaucratic twists.

The S. 985 bills from both houses reveal differences that require further discussion to come to a deliberate conclusion. A perfect example is the time impediment on the repayment of the renewable energy tax credits, which will affect construction work initiation for the renewable energy projects. The regulations differ when it comes to the claim 100% of the renewable energy tax credit as payment. These claims vary depending on the market, and that’s why the legislators are debating the most plausible way to help the economy get back on its feet without sequestering the dues for the customers.

The Carper bill’s inception is essential since it brings both differences in the two bills before the Congressional tax-writing committees. These teams will oversee the payment of renewable energy projects with tax considerations. Hopefully, taxes should not hurt the customers’ claims, or else investors might be scared away. The direct payment of these funds will help accelerate the establishment of renewable energy projects and attract potential investors.

The companies seeking to break even in the carbon capture technology and interfacing would be dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. This move eliminates their involvement with the equity market and brings forth the capital needed for developing mass-production facilities. Luckily, companies that have even little taxable income will still enjoy the payments and obtain refunds. This plan was developed to establish more renewable energy projects and unleash clean energy jobs.


Taiwan Power Company awards a $17.7 million contract to DNV to build the Changhua II wind project

Norwegian independent energy expert as well as assurance provider, DNV will partner with Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) as the latter’s engineer for the Changhua II offshore wind farm. In this $17.7 million deal, DNV will be in charge of the design analysis, fabrication inspection, and installation assurance. “Our journey with DNV began several years ago. Drawing on both organizations’ rich culture and technical expertise, we are set up to contribute to the growth of Taiwan’s clean and green future,” said Tsao-Hua Hsu, vice president of Renewables at Taipower.

This project will extend into the second part of the year 2025.DNV will collaborate closely with international and local experts to support project engineering reviews as well as marine coordination during the construction of the 31-turbine offshore wind farm. The outline and design of the project will be released before the year ends. The offshore project is expected to be fully functional in late 2025 when Taiwan purposes to make 20% of its total electricity sourced from clean energy.

“This is a true testimony to the partnership of organizations sharing the same objectives for this market. Taipower and DNV are fully committed to the Taiwan government’s efforts to promote localization and build local capabilities,” added Hsu. Taiwan’s renewable industry will get a boost, with 5.7 GW of the installed capacity expected to be ready from the offshore wind farms by 2025. These wind farms include Changhua Phase I, which has a 109.2MW capacity, and the incoming Changhua phase II project.

DNV is excited about this project and will be working alongside Taiwan-based GIBSIN Engineers Ltd, a local engineering consultancy. “This win is a great example of why we decided to merge the expertise of DNV’s energy and oil and gas organizations. It makes us uniquely positioned to support both offshore project engineering activities and marine coordination work, thereby ensuring smooth project implementation,” said Brice Le Gallo, who works as the Regional Director in charge of APAC, Energy Systems at the DNV.

“Our broad expertise helped secure what the largest-ever offshore engineering project for the power and renewables side of DNV is,” Le Gallo added. Taiwan’s administration is vouching for the addition of 10GW of offshore wind power between 2026 to 2036. DNV will play a significant role in advising the Taiwanese energy sector on renewables’ risks and opportunities.

“We are committed to helping local developers in Taiwan and elsewhere assess the risks and to assist local stakeholders in achieving their renewable energy goals. In our experience, partnering with local companies can eliminate some uncertainties in local business environments,” said Mighui Zhang, who works as the Head of Section Taiwan for the Renewables Advisory at DNV. Taiwan will become the second-largest offshore wind market in the Asia Pacific region, competing with Mainland China that holds the throne.


Canada to mine materials for building more electric vehicles in North America

The automotive industry is slowly transitioning from gas-powered cars to electric cars since the globe is working on cleaning up the environment. However, change means having the necessary resources to build new technologies and resources to help the masses adopt new products. With this shift, we have learned and understood the importance of things in the ground and the role they can play in our daily lives. Before the automotive industry, we drilled to get petrol for our cars’ functionality; however, now we need minerals to help build batteries and electric motors for these digital cars.

Currently, Canada is working on Cobalt and Lithium mining, according to reliable sources from the country. Automotive supply settings are always a mixture of local and global partnerships, which explains why the US is working with Canada to help the country’s electric vehicles’ industry. President Biden’s administration works towards a net-zero emission target, meaning it requires adequate EV production, seeking help from Canada.

Recently, the US government, under the commerce department, held a virtual meeting with battery manufacturers and miners targeting to mine more minerals from the Canadian grounds to supply to the US automotive industry. With that, North America can have adequate electric vehicles to match the much-needed transition to clean energy. This move key reason is an international competition that doesn’t surprise with recent China and Europe’s investments.

VW announced its plans of building six battery gigafactories across Europe while the leading EV market, China, is currently working on its regional electric vehicles supply chain. The Tsingshan Company stated that it would supply about 100,000 nickel tonnes to Chinese battery producers, demonstrating the country’s strategic interest in maintaining its dominance in the electric vehicles’ market.

The US Commerce department declined Reuter’s request to comment on this matter, but reliable sources claim that they were 30 plus attendees, including Talon Metals, Tesla and, Livent Corp. North America is looking to see if Canada can become one of its most extensive minerals’ suppliers and help it handle some issues. In February, President Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau met and mentioned that the two nations would improve the electric vehicles’ sector.

The two leaders agreed to work on the Minerals Action plan to reach the net-zero emission target by improving the batteries’ sectors and improving the renewable energy sources. Several existing EV minerals’ agreements between the two countries giving Canada benefits from these partnerships. Seamus O’Regan, the Natural resources minister in Canada, stated that North America is aware that Canada is the best and safest supplier of metals.


VW targets EV lead by 2025 in platform push

Volkswagen automakers have made a name for themselves in the industry’s short term in the electric vehicles industry. Experts claim that it stands a chance to battle Tesla for the leading EV manufacturing company position despite the current gap. They currently deliver several electric vehicles at a friendly price compared to other carmakers and are targeting investing in new technology to promote the brand.

The Volkswagen Group aims to widen its cost-cutting efforts by using standard vital technologies. This German carmaker plans on accelerating a seismic shift towards electric vehicles in their plans to battle Tesla and keep the traditional manufacturers below them. It plans to make at least one million electric vehicles’ sales this yet and targets becoming the leading manufacturer of EVs in the next four years. Experts argue that shares of electric cars in Europe by the end of this decade are set to increase to about 60% of group deliveries.

In a statement from VW’s CEO, Herbert Diess, he talked about its plan to lead the EV market globally. Herbert stated that by pooling VW’s strengths, the development team would quickly scale up their future technologies. The company is overhauling its sprawling operations to have adequate funds to invest in new technologies to create the largest electric vehicle fleet in the market.

VW seems to be working day and night to combat Tesla and stand out among other traditional automakers from the recent reports. Recently, it unveiled Europe’s boldest move in the battery production industry and partnered with unions to cut more jobs in Germany. How will VW sell out its technologies and products? The company hopes to use a platform approach to raise efficiencies when releasing technologies such as batteries, software, and charging infrastructure.

Volkswagen is working on a plan to lower the fixed cost of electric vehicles by 5% equaling 2 billion euros and 7% of material expenses by 2023. In their recent interview, the VW carmaker explained that they expect their operating margin to increase by 5% to 6.5% this year. The company still keeps its dividend proposal the same even as experts braced for a cut. It replied that the management team expects a rise in vehicle deliveries to improve the revenue significantly.

VW’s effort to electrification slowed down last year after the covid-19 pandemic hit the globe, and with the health crisis, the management team was quick to stop most of their factories and showrooms. As European countries struggle with the rising infections and slow vaccination, the electric vehicles industry is suffering from inadequate semiconductors, which are slowing the production of electric vehicles.


P.E.I. is planning to provide $5K incentives for new or used electric vehicles

In the quest to make electric vehicles more affordable, P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island) has revealed plans that would ensure that these vehicles go for a lower price after the incentives are implemented. The Islanders will receive a $5000 incentive for either a new or used electric vehicle bought from an Island contractor.

Moreover, there will be a $2500 incentive for plug-in hybrids bought within this circle. Steven Myers, the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, stated that he is excited to witness P.E.I obtaining the bragging rights for being the first province with net-zero emissions as per this program.

Myers explained that they have decided to reach the 2030 vision by electrifying all the vehicles roaming this province’s roads. He added that the primary factor facilitating the high emissions from Prince Edward Island is the transportation sector. Therefore, switching to electric vehicles mitigates this emission problem. Additionally, the program ensures that anyone who purchases an electric vehicle is entitled to a free level-2 charging station that charges the vehicle in a short time.

The amount stated as an incentive was infused into the operating budget when it was being rolled out. The appropriation committee will be meeting to discuss the date when this plan becomes active. The Islanders will be observing the sliced price when they go to their car dealers to purchase the electric vehicles. Myers added that the dealers would be submitting their paperwork to the province for indemnity as provided in the budget allocations.

Myers emphasized that they are doing all this to effectively ensure that the people in all the income brackets transition to electric vehicles. He added that the incentives would be making the electric vehicles cheap for the low-income earners to access this new technology. Moreover, people can take loans to procure the cars since it is a prime time to utilize the cars to repay the loan and save the Island from the emission problem.

Myers noted that the remote and vulnerable areas are still skeptical about this idea since they fear that the models might not be suitable for their geographical habitat. One of the factors cited by these critics is the mileage range of the cheap models when factored with the availability of the charging stations for the cars. Myers articulated that they are working on disbanding these myths and proving that electric vehicles can efficiently serve rural areas. He explained that many of these vehicles could suitably host a person around the Island since the whole area does not have roads that can surpass 500 kilometers.


Philippines leading grid operator gives Wartsila a contract to install a floating barge-mounted energy storage system

Finnish multinational energy sources manufacturer and service provider, Wartsila Corporation, will supply materials and install a floating barge-mounted 54megawatts (MW) energy storage system in a contract granted by Therma Marine Inc. (TMI).TMI, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation, one of the significant grid operators in the Philippines, placed the order in September 2020. The first delivery is expected before the end of 2021 and will be carried out on a fast-track basis.

Wartsila, headquartered in Helsinki, will be the sole engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) operator for this project. Wartsila will install the new barge next to TMI’s thermal power barge with a 100MW capacity in the Maco municipality in Davao de Oro province. “Wartsila will meet our urgent needs with this innovative and unique floating energy storage barge. Their ability to deliver this first-of-a-kind solution in less than 12 months is, to say the least, impressive,” said Aboitiz Power CEO Emmanuel V. Rubio.

This will be the first floating storage system in the South East Asia region. Wartsila will place ten of its Wartsila GridSolv Max system using its GEMS technology. The technology is an intelligent software platform that monitors, controls, and optimizes energy assets on-site and portfolio levels. The project will deliver flexibility for TMI in their subordinate role for the National Grid Corporation.

“In addition to meeting TMI’s needs, it is important to note that Wartsila is the sole EPC provider for this kind of project. The alternative would be to have one supplier for the barge and another for the energy storage system, which would require a lot of coordination and would undoubtedly slow the final delivery considerably,” said Kari Punnonen, Wartsila’s Energy Business Director for the Australasia region. Wartsila’s services in South East Asia are well recorded. The company prides itself on a great portfolio, including 9,000MW of installed systems.2000MW among the 9,000 were installed on an EPC basis, and 300MW represent energy storage technology.

A floating power barge enables a fast supply of electricity to areas with limited infrastructure and is a mobile asset, promoting relocation or trade. Globally, the Finnish company has installed about 26 power barge systems, with a total power output of 1,500MW.GEMS is one of the fastest-growing and widely used energy storage software and integration platform worldwide. It can manage and coincide with any complex composition of energy assets such as wind, solar, thermal, and storage. The Wartsila GridSolv Max is an advanced energy storage solution that can support both stand-alone and combined energy storage systems. The technology provides flexible and modular storage for the core hardware assets within an energy storage system.


A Study on the future of how OEMs will adopt the Charging Technologies

A recent report has been released following the study on the transformation of EV charging technologies and infrastructure. This study including analyzing the future of the charging technologies adoptions extensively as far as OEMs are concerned. It looked at AC charging, and the DC charging was not excluded either. OEMs have integrated Electric Vehicles in their business strategies. After all, it is a clean energy initiative, and everyone would like to be part of such a life-changing situation. It has also played a considerable role in the automotive sector’s rapid growth in environment conservation and technology.

The future seems bright for electric vehicles, and sooner or later, the sector is most likely going to boom. In preparation for the same, automakers including Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (RNM), Volkswagen, and Hyundai-Kia are coming up with complementary strategies. What the three have in common is coming up with business units that deal with electric vehicles exclusively. Every action has a reaction, and in this case, the latter is a rise in the need for charging stations. In addition to the infrastructure, there is also a need for safety regulations and standards when using them.

However, the electric vehicle market has its fair share of challenges. They include charging and vehicle range inconveniences, and that’s where the OEMs come in. their focus at the moment is coming up with technology that’s advanced enough to deal with such problems. Nevertheless, what they offer the consumers depend on what the EV on-board chargers (OBCs) dictate. After all, the responsibility of determining the specifications lies on their shoulders. OEMs need to come up with second-generation charging stations to facilitate fast AC charging. Currently, one needs 8 hours to charge a 25 kWh battery unit since most stations have a charging power of 3.7 kW. With the right technology, a power rating of 6.6 kW is possible, resulting in fast charging, saving time, and convenience.

A large percentage of OEMs, 98.3% to be specific, plans to change from 3-5 kW to 6-11 kW OBSs. That makes them ideal for the changing charging infrastructure, which could go up to 43 kW OBCs come 2027. There are high chances that the standard for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will soon become anything between 6 and 8 kW OBCs, whereas that of battery electric vehicles will be 11 kW OBCs. DC charging will also soon become dominant for battery electric vehicles, and 50-250 kW options will become the standard charging capability. Whereas DC charging is not typical among plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, that is bound to change in the future. After all, at least 8 OEMs are currently working to change it.


Minnesota will soon have electric cars and Republicans and Democrats disagree about how the state government should proceed

In Minnesota, electric vehicles account for just a small percentage of all automobiles. That, however, is about to change. Automakers are gradually focusing on electric vehicles over gas-powered vehicles, and state and federal policymakers across the United States are supporting EVs as part of a drive to curb carbon emissions from transportation.

Legislators in Minnesota are considering a slew of reforms to the state’s laws in order to plan for the emergence of electric vehicles. However, Republicans in charge of the Minnesota Senate, as well as Democrats in charge of the Minnesota House, have found no commonality on how exactly the state can respond to the burgeoning sector so far in the year 2021.

The GOP has concentrated on requiring electric vehicle owners to pay a replacement fee in lieu of Minnesota’s gas tax, which funds road construction, as well as stripping Gov. Tim Walz of his authority to set new car emission standards. DFLers also suggested electric car rebates in the hopes of encouraging the state government to buy more electric vehicles, finance the acquisition of the electric buses in the Twin Cities, and install charging stations in the state parks.

Senator Dave Senjem, who is a Rochester Republican who serves as the chairperson of the Senate’s Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee, stated, “I think we all recognize that Electric Vehicle transportation is on its way.” “It’s a modern way of doing things, and it’ll be here sooner than we think.”

Electric vehicles have for a while been predicted to potentially compete with the gas-powered vehicles, but in the United States, those projections have only recently become a reality. General Motors stated in January that by the year 2035, it would only sell electric cars. California, the world’s largest vehicle market, intends to prohibit the selling of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, significantly reducing fossil fuel use in transportation.

Minnesota officials have stated that they would not take similar measures in the near future. Walz, on the other hand, is working to introduce stricter new vehicle pollution regulations that would force automakers to sell more cars in the state. Minnesota’s transportation system emits the most greenhouse gases, surpassing a power grid that has shifted away from the fossil fuels faster compared to the cars and trucks. As per the electric car analysis website EVAdoption, there are only about 14,484 electric or the plug-in hybrid vehicles in Minnesota in the month of September, as well as EVs, had about a 1.14% market share of the net sales in the year 2018, compared to the nation’s top California (7.84%) as well as Washington state (4.28%).