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Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greenko ZeroC to pursue opportunities in renewables, green hydrogen, green ammonia, and other derivatives of green hydrogen. The activities envisaged under this MoU will contribute toward India’s target of producing 5 million tons of green hydrogen per annum by 2030. The agreement will also act as a stepping stone for ONGC to achieve renewable energy targets as per its Energy Strategy 2040. As the share of renewables in the energy mix is rising, driven by cost competitiveness and a strong regulatory push, ONGC aims to meet its objectives, such as de-risking the portfolio against long-term disruptions and reducing carbon footprint by moving into the renewables space.
LG Chem and General Motors (GM) inked a binding agreement to supply cathode active material (CAM) from LG Chem to GM. The supply agreement will help GM meet its fast-growing EV production needs. CAM is a key battery material consisting of components like processed nickel, lithium, and other materials representing about 40% of the cost of a battery cell. Through the long-term supply arrangement, LG Chem plans to supply more than 950,000 tons of CAM to GM beginning the second half of 2022 through 2030, enough for approximately 5 million units of EV production. The CAM secured by GM will be used by Ultium Cells, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution. GM and LG Chem will also explore the localization of a CAM production facility in North America by the end of 2025. The cathode materials that LG Chem plans to supply are NCMA, i.e., nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum cathode materials for EVs built on GM’s Ultium Platform.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, through its Suryamitra Skill Development Program, has trained 51,331 candidates, of which 26,967 candidates gained employment. The program provides training to youth above 18 years as solar technicians for installing, operating, and maintaining solar power projects. The impact assessment report for the Suryamitra training program prepared by the Skill Council of Green Jobs in December 2020 reported that more than 90% of the trainees had reported improvement in technical know-how and performance in the sector, and 88% of trainees reported an increase in job opportunities. The third-party evaluation report of the Human Resource Development Programme submitted in May 2021 has rated the Suryamitra program with high-level impact in terms of indicators such as the spread of operation, fulfillment of skill gap, work readiness of trainees, and employability percentage.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) released a roadmap charting the feasible pathways to achieving India’s ambitious decarbonization targets. Apart from suggesting policy and technological interventions to achieve the 2030 goals, TERI’s Roadmap to India’s 2030 decarbonization target calls for state leadership in developing pumped storage plants and feed-in-tariff for solar generation. Apart from advocating strategies, the paper examines the prospects of India growing into a cost-effective and competitive manufacturing hub for renewable energy. It suggests the extension of the Production Linked Incentive program to cover the full spectrum of renewable energy equipment production, solar panels, mirrors, and sensors for solar thermal, batteries for grid use, and hydrogen.
Minister of State for Steel, Faggan Singh Kulaste, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, outlined steps to achieve zero emissions. Some of the steps outlined are the notification of the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy to enhance the availability of domestically generated scrap. Steel making through the scrap route is relatively less polluting, he said. Engagement with industry associations and leaders of the domestic steel industry encourages decarbonization of the steel industry. The minister also drew attention to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s National Hydrogen Energy Mission which aims to develop and scale green hydrogen production technology. The steel sector has also been made a stakeholder in the Mission.
TotalEnergies and Veolia signed an agreement to start constructing the largest solar photovoltaic system providing power for a desalination plant in Oman. The power plant will be located on the site of the Sharqiyah Desalination plant, which is a reference in Oman and the Gulf region, supplying drinking water to more than 600,000 inhabitants of the Sharqiyah region. This 17 MW solar project will be the first to be installed in the region. It will produce over 30,000 MWh of green electricity annually, or more than a third of the desalination plant’s daily consumption, enabling it to avoid nearly 300,000 tons of CO2 emissions. The plant will be equipped with more than 32,000 high-efficiency solar panels and will use an innovative east-west tracker system to increase energy production. It will cover an area of 130,000 square meters.