Daily News Wrap-Up: Ministry Provides a List of 24 Cities to be Developed as Solar Cities

Amazon India and SUN Mobility partner to expand EV deployment for logistics


Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:

In a written response to the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, provided a list of 24 cities identified to be developed as solar cities. The minister specified that there is no separate program for solar cities, and funds available under different programs are to be utilized to develop solar cities. A few highlighted cities on the list were New Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Bhubaneswar in Odisha, and Ayodhya and Prayag Raj in Uttar Pradesh.

Amazon India and SUN Mobility announced a partnership to expand the deployment of EVs integrated with battery swapping technology for Amazon’s transportation and logistics services. These EVs will contribute to Amazon India’s commitment to adding 10,000 electric vehicles to its India delivery fleet by 2025. SUN Mobility plans to integrate its battery swapping technology with an expanded electric three-wheelers (3W) deployment for Amazon’s transportation and logistics services.

The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, mentioned that the number of electric vehicles in the country, as of March 25, 2022, is 10,76,420 and a total of 1,742 Public Charging Stations (PCS), as per the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), are operational in the country, as of March 21, 2022. The minister also outlined the various programs implemented in the country to enhance EV infrastructure.

The Ministry of Mines announced the creation of a joint venture company named Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) to ensure the mineral security of the nation and to attain self-reliance in the area of critical and strategic minerals. KABIL is mandated to identify and acquire overseas mineral assets of critical and strategic nature, such as Lithium, Cobalt, etc. Under this initiative, India and Australia will collaborate on lithium and cobalt identification projects. A detailed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a collaborative framework was signed between KABIL and the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO) under the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources (DISER), Government of Australia, on March 10, 2022, for the same.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review and will hold a wind energy auction for two lease areas offshore the Carolinas on May 11. The lease areas cover 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area that, if developed, could result in at least 1.3 GW of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 500,000 homes. The announcement is part of President Biden’s plan to grow a clean energy economy that harnesses offshore wind projects to strengthen U.S. energy independence, create jobs, and lower energy bills for consumers.

CS Energy, an Australia-based energy company, announced that it would install a grid-scale battery near Chinchilla in Queensland to deliver cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy to the town. The 100 MW/200 MWh battery will be made up of Tesla Megapacks and form part of CS Energy’s energy hub at Kogan Creek. The Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the $150 million project was expected to create up to 80 jobs during construction and ten jobs when operational. Construction is expected to begin later this year after all relevant development approvals have been finalized. The battery is expected to be operational in late 2023.