Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:
Union Power Minister R.K. Singh has said no final decisions have been made regarding the rollback of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in the wake of farmers’ demand. Singh iterated that the reforms have been deliberated upon consultation with the states and all stakeholders. The Minister stated the condition of most state government-owned distribution companies (DISCOMs) is a matter of grave concern. Their aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) losses at the end of 2019-20 range from an average of 21% to a maximum of 60.16 %. The gap between Average Cost of Supply (ACS) and Average Revenue Realized (ARR) excluding regulatory assets, and Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) grants averages ₹0.060 ($0.0079)/kWh in 2019-20. The accumulated losses of all DISCOMs in the country by 2019-20 have risen to ₹5.07 trillion (~$67.09 billion). The outstanding payments to generation companies are estimated to be over ₹1.56 trillion (~$20.64 billion). The outstanding dues to renewable generators are around 11 months of revenue. Singh said the government had received letters from the National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE), giving suggestions on the power sector reforms.
Energy giant Repsol and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have signed a collaboration agreement to advance both companies’ sustainability goals. Repsol will contribute to Amazon’s commitment to power its global operations with 100% renewable energy through renewable power purchase agreements. AWS will provide Repsol with new cloud services to accelerate its digital transformation and continue the development of its multi-cloud commitment, defined in the multi-energy company’s 2021-2025 strategic plan. Repsol will supply Amazon with renewable energy generated from 234 MW of solar and wind installed capacity in Spain as part of this collaboration.
Materials manufacturer Covestro and EnBW inked a long-term corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) for solar-generated electricity. Under the agreement, Covestro has secured 63 MW of capacity from EnBW’s 187 MW Weesow-Willmersdorf solar farm in Brandenburg, Germany. The solar power will be deployed at the german Covestro sites in Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen for 15 years from the beginning of 2022. The company will primarily use renewable energy to produce more sustainable, mass-balanced plastics manufactured using alternative raw materials in a so-called drop-in process. These include mass-balanced polycarbonates and mass-balanced thermoplastic polyurethanes.
The Wenzhou Taihan 550 MW solar project, which combines floating solar with aquaculture, built-in tidal land, is now connected to the power grid in Wenzhou. The installed capacity of clean energy power generation in the local power grid will increase by about 26% with the project’s connection. It is estimated that this plant would generate 650 million units on an annual basis, saving standard coal by about 235,000 tons and reducing CO2 emissions by 648,000 tons. The project was funded and constructed by Astronergy and CHINT Solar.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched a new international consortium to advance high-tech mirrors used in solar projects. Heliostat Consortium (HelioCon), led by NREL, emphasizes the significance of heliostats as a critical component of concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies. CSP with low-cost thermal energy storage can be used to produce dispatchable electricity or provide high-temperature heat to difficult-to-decarbonize industries, like cement, steel, and chemical production. HelioCon will develop standards, metrology, techno-economic analysis, and field deployment technologies to address heliostat costs as part of the strategic roadmap. In addition, it seeks to increase domestic manufacturing of solar technologies and bring more professionals into clean energy careers.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.