Sunday, September 27, 2020

Renewable Energy News

Baker Hughes Plots Low Carbon Future

Snam and Baker Hughes recently tested the world’s first hydrogen blend turbine for gas networks (Photo: Baker Hughes)

Baker Hughes is pivoting to customers preparing for the transition to a low-carbon future, bolstering its footprint beyond oil and gas oilfield services, its chief executive said on Tuesday.The company will continue to downsize its oilfield services and equipment portfolio, CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said at the Barclays CEO Energy-Power conference, putting more emphasis on the energy transition and technology needed for renewables. It has already been shedding some oilfield assets, such as its rod lift and specialty polymers businesses.The strategic shift comes as more customers commit to lower carbon operations…

Robotics: Autobots Transform in the Offshore Energy Sector

BladeBUG is a blade walking inspection robot, focusing on leading edge erosion inspection. Images from ORE Catapult.

Robots and robotics have slowly been entering our lives, in various shapes and forms (and fictional characters), from self-driving household vacuum cleaners to highly automated manufacturing systems. Now they’re heading for the offshore world – in just as many shapes and forms.There could be a lot to gain from robotics, but platforms and offshore wind turbine structures are also very challenging places to put them on. For oil and gas, key drivers are around safety and cost . For the offshore wind sector, the sheer volume of structures being installed is driving a push for robotic systems to do inspection…

RWE Eyes Renewables Deals as Part of $8.4 B Expansion

For illustration  - Credit: Innogy (File Photo)

Germany's largest power producer RWE plans to spend part of its 7 billion euro ($8.4 billion) war chest on growing its 24.7 gigawatt pipeline of renewables projects, its CFO said, just weeks after BP announced a major low-carbon push."A pipeline needs to be worked on constantly. It doesn't grow overnight," Markus Krebber told Reuters, less than a day after the group raised 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in a share sale to fund growth.Unfazed by the COVID-19 crisis, Krebber said that the environment for renewables had improved in the course of the year…

US-China Cold War Would Redirect Energy Flows

© prathaan / Adobe Stock

Worsening diplomatic relations between the United States and China are putting a spotlight on their economic inter-dependency in the context of global supply chains for both technology and energy.Top policymakers in the United States and some of its closest allies, including Australia and Britain, have recently hardened the language in which they describe relations with China.China has been labelled a “strategic competitor” for some time but the country is increasingly described as a “strategic adversary” implying a more confrontational relationship.Complaints about unfair trade practices…

Opinion: Egypt Banks on Renewables to Meet Expected Energy Demand Surge

Photo courtesy: Wärtsilä Energy Business

To meet its soaring demand for energy, Egypt is turning to renewable sources. Its targets, if accomplished, will see it become a pioneer in the African energy landscape. But are the plans realistic?Egypt’s population has now passed 100 million. As one of the most populous and fastest-growing nations on the African continent, providing electricity to all its citizens is a matter of priority for the Egyptian government.To ensure continuous security and stability of energy supply, Egypt has launched an energy diversification strategy…

Oil Industry Veterans to Launch Hydrogen Investment Fund

AdobeStock - Image by CrazyCloud

Two energy industry veterans plan to launch an investment fund focused on hydrogen this year as more and more governments include the niche fuel in their global warming battle plans.Hydrogen has long-been touted as a potential clean fuel as it only emits water vapour but it has failed to gain traction, mainly because of historically high production, transportation and storage costs.But with the European Union for one now looking to promote so-called green hydrogen to help reach net zero emissions, the sector is expected to attract hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in the coming decades.The new fund…

Japan to Develop Offshore Wind Farms at 30 Sites in 10 years

Japan will craft new rules and support infrastructure in a drive that aims to build offshore wind farms at 30 sites during the next decade, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama is expected to announce policy measures soon to target the goal, the paper said, without identifying sources.The new policy aims for three or four projects each year with total generation capacity of 1 gigawatt (GW), from the financial year starting in April 2021 until fiscal 2030/2031, for an accumulated total of 10 GW.To speed the expansion…

Japan's LNG Investments Drive Faces Risk of Souring

Image credit: vladsv - AdobeStock

Japan's banks and public agencies have funneled nearly $25 billion into liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects since 2017 but the investments may sour as prices plummet from the COVID-19 pandemic and as climate change risks rise, a new study shows.Spurred on by the government to boost energy security since the 2011 Fukushima disaster shut down the country's reactors, Japan's investment in LNG rivals that for coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, while more evidence is emerging of the high climate impacts from LNG and gas.The backing of high-risk projects that require decades of sales to return investments looks questionable…

Malaysia to Sue EU Over Palm Biofuel Restrictions

Image Credit: helivideo/AdobeStock

Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, will take legal action against the European Union's restrictions on palm oil-based biofuels with the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling the policy a "discriminatory action."Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said on Wednesday the EU's renewable energy directive "restricts free trade practices.""The policies adopted by the EU in the Delegation Regulation under the European Union Renewable Energy Directive II have created unreasonable restrictions on Malaysia's sustainability efforts…

DNV GL: Oil Demand, CO2 Emissions Probably Peaked in 2019

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Global oil demand and carbon dioxide emissions probably peaked in 2019 as the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on both, energy consultancy DNV GL said on Wednesday.The Norway-based consultancy, which advises both petroleum and renewable energy companies on risk management and technology, said global energy use would be 8% lower in 2050 than previously expected due to the impact of the pandemic."Lasting behavioral changes to travel, commuting and working habits will also decrease energy usage and lessen demand for fossil fuels from the transport sector as well as from iron and steel production…

World First Full Scale 'Ammonia as Fuel' Marine Four-Stroke Engine Test

The project leaders pictured at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Center’s test facility at Stord, Norway from left to right: Egil Hystad, Wärtsilä, Willy Wågen, Sustainable Catapult, and Kjell Storelid, Wärtsilä. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

While there is no consensus on the marine industry ‘fuel of the future’ that will meet ever tightening international emission mandates, a group of organizations has commenced what it is calling the world’s first long-term, full-scale, testing of ammonia as a fuel in a marine four-stroke combustion engine. Wärtsilä, Knutsen OAS Shipping AS, and Repsol, and the Sustainable Energy Catapult Center, have teamed for the effort, as ammonia offers promise as a carbon-free fuel for marine applications, to meet the IMO’s mandate…

UK Gov't Advised to Harness Pandemic to Speed Zero-carbon Aims

Illustration; Offshore wind farm - Credit:pauws99/AdobeStock

From creating jobs in home insulation to hiking dirty fuel taxes and expanding electric-vehicle charging, Britain's government should harness the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate cuts in planet-heating emissions, an advisory panel said on Thursday.With public support for low-carbon shifts growing and the state spending billions to boost its flagging economy, now is "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to ramp up the transition, said John Gummer, chair of Britain's Committee on Climate Change."If we are to emerge successfully from COVID-19…

Amprion Sets Out North Sea Offshore Wind Grid Vision

Illustration; Image by Tim HvW - AdobeStock

German power grid company Amprion on Wednesday unveiled long-term plans for joint European offshore wind links in the North Sea and announced a trebling of spending in the next 10 years.Amprion, with 11,000 kilometers of high voltage transmission lines in western Germany, is the second biggest of four regulated operators of grids criss-crossing the country and offshore, which fund themselves via consumer fees."If we want to have a climate-neutral energy system by 2050, we have to start developing it today," Chief Executive…

USA: Twelve Offshore Wind R&D Projects Selected for Funding

Illustration only - Credit: s_a_j/AdobeStock

The U.S. National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC) has selected twelve projects for contract negotiation, completing its first solicitation for offshore wind research and development technology projects. The twelve awards totaling $10.3 million will support a variety of research areas, including comprehensive U.S. supply chain analyses, studying the impacts of offshore wind on the electric grid system, and innovations in anchoring structures.The Consortium, formed in 2018, was initially funded…

Eni Splits Business into Renewables and Oil & Gas

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi  - (File Photo: Eni)

Italian oil major Eni said on Thursday it was creating a division to focus on renewable energy, as part of a corporate reorganization.The overhaul, which Reuters reported on Wednesday, follows industry-wide upheaval as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted oil markets and sapped the earnings of oil and gas companies.The impact adds to concerns about climate change that had already deterred investment in planet-warming fossil fuels."This new structure reflects Eni's pivot to the energy transition. An irreversible path that will make us leaders in decarbonised energy products…

Shell Weighs Sale of $2B-plus Share in Queensland LNG

Shell Logo - Image by Alexandr Blinov - AdobeStock

Royal Dutch Shell is considering raising more than $2 billion from the sale of a stake in the common facilities at its Queensland Curtis LNG plant in Australia, according to a sale flyer reviewed by Reuters."Royal Dutch Shell plc is considering a sale of a 26.25% interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities - a multibillion-dollar investment opportunity," the sale flyer said.The sale process is being run by Rothschild & Co and is due to be completed in 2020, the document showed.Shell declined to comment on what it called market speculation.

Siemens Gamesa Confirms Fécamp Wind Turbine Deal

Offshore wind nacelles and blades will be manufactured at Siemens Gamesa's offshore wind turbine manufacturing plant in Le Havre, France - Credit: SGRE

After EDF Renewables, Enbridge, and wpd on Tuesday announced the sanctioning of the $2,2 billion Fécamp offshore wind project in France, Siemens Gamesa has confirmed it has received the firm order for the supply of wind turbines for the project.The offshore wind turbine maker will deliver 71 SWT-7.0-154 offshore wind turbines each with capacity of 7 MW. Siemens Gamesa has also secured a 15-year maintenance contract for the 497 MW project located in Normandy.The turbines will be manufactured in the wind turbine plant Siemens Gamesa is to build in Le Havre…

Largest Wind Turbines for U.S. Largest Offshore Wind Project

Image Credit: SGRE

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy's new wind turbines with up to 15MW capacity have been earmarked for an offshore wind project in the U.S.First, the company on Tuesday morning said it was planning to the giant SG 14-222 DD offshore Direct Drive wind turbines at the 300 MW Hai Long 2 project in Taiwan.Later on the same day, SGRE said the same type of turbine - launched just last week - would conditinally be supplied to the massive 2,640-MW Dominion Energy Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project. "This…

Fugro IOVTEC Wins Survey Work at Hai Long Wind Farm Sites

Fugro Voyager - Credit: Fugro

Fugro IOVTEC, a JV between Dutch Fugro and Taiwan's IOVTEC, has secured an offshore geotechnical site investigation project in Taiwan for the Hai Long 2 and Hai Long 3 offshore wind farms. The Hai Long offshore wind farms are being co-developed by Northland Power Inc, Yushan Energy, and Mitsui & Co. Under the newly awarded contract, Fugro IOVTEC will acquire Geo-data at 32 wind turbine locations and the site investigation will be carried out in two phases: seabed and downhole. The seabed phase will be performed using Fugro’s SEACALF continuous drive system.

NOIA: U.S. Offshore Drilling Ban Would Crush Jobs, Govt Revenues

Offshore drilling rigs - Image by wildnerdpix / AdobeStock

A U.S. ban on new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which presidential hopeful Joe Biden promised to enact if elected, would lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses and billions in lost government revenue over 20 years, an offshore drilling industry group said on Tuesday.The report by the Washington-based National Ocean Industries Association comes as Biden and other Democrats hoping to unseat Republican President Donald Trump in November's election have vowed to shift the country away from planet-warming…