Daily News Wrap-Up: Tesla to Make Cobalt Free Batteries

Shell and Microsoft have expanded their technology collaboration to achieve their net-zero ambitions

September 24, 2020


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

Tesla, a U.S.-based electric vehicle manufacturer, announced that it would make electric vehicle batteries with cobalt-free cathodes to make electric vehicles more affordable as cobalt is an expensive material. The company also revealed its plans to develop a ‘tabless’ battery that could enhance the electric vehicle’s range and power.

Shell and Microsoft have expanded their technology collaboration to achieve their net-zero ambitions. The expansion will support Shell’s objective to become a net-zero emission energy business by 2050. As a part of the new expansion, Shell will supply renewable energy to Microsoft to meet its goal to have a 100% supply of renewable energy by 2025. Both companies will also work together on new digital tools so Shell can offer its consumers support in reducing their carbon footprints.

National Grid Ventures, a commercial development arm of National Grid, and Dutch transmission system operator TenneT announced a cooperation agreement to explore the feasibility of connecting Dutch and British wind projects to the energy system of both countries through subsea electricity cables. According to the agreement, both companies will explore the development of multipurpose interconnector to connect up to 4 GW of British and Dutch offshore wind projects between the British and Dutch electricity system, providing another 2 GW of interconnection capacity between two countries.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) said that it has successfully begun the operation of its second large-scale solar project in Bukit Selambau, Kehad, ahead of its scheduled time. The 30 MW of solar project is equipped with 134,880 solar photovoltaic panels and 14 inverters. The company said that the project had increased its large-scale solar generation capacity, contributing 80 MWac to the national grid.

LONGi, a solar energy company, has signed an agreement with TEBA Sunoasis to supply 360 MW of solar module for TEBA’s production facility at Shihezi City. As a part of the agreement, LONGi will prioritize the delivery of 103 MW of Hi-MO 5 module, designed for ultra-large ground power projects. The company said that the production capacity of the Hi-MO 5 module would reach 12 GW this year.

Swancor Renewable Energy has unveiled its plans to develop 4.4 GW of offshore wind projects in Taiwan. The projects Formosa 4-1, Formosa 4-2, and Formosa 4-3 will be situated about 18 to 20 kilometers away from the coast of Miaoli. The projects with a potential of 4.4 GW can satisfy the electricity demand of up to 4.5 million households.

SunPower has secured financing commitments from Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital and other capital providers for its residential solar lease program and its new solar plus storage program.  The new fund will be utilized to satisfy consumer demands through mid-2021. These consumer financing provisions will supplement the solar loan and cash sale alternatives currently offered by the company. The new fund is structured as a levered tax equity partnership with a multi-party forward purchase commitment.

QuantmRE, a real-estate fintech company, has formed a strategic partnership with Florida-based SoIArmy to provide debt-free financing options for households to add solar panels on their homes without any loans and monthly payments. SoIArmy is now able to offer an alternative, debt-free solution – the Home Equity Agreement. For the homeowners that means, they can get solar panels for their home and achieve a monthly saving with no loans, no interest, no monthly payments.

Iberdrola has announced the launch of its Global Smart Grid Innovation Hub. The hub, located at the company’s Distribution Operation Center in Bilbao, Spain, will begin its operation in the spring of 2021. The company already identified 120 innovation projects worth €110 million (~$ 128.81 million). The company also confirmed its commitment to green hydrogen by creating a new business unit to produce and supply hydrogen from clean energy sources. It is currently developing a green hydrogen project in Puertollano with an investment of €150 million ( ~$ 175.56 million), which will be commissioned in 2021.

LG Chem said that it would split its battery business. The company added that it held a board meeting and resolved a corporate spin-off plan to raise the corporate value and stockholder value by concentrating on the business area of expertise. The company is expected to receive approval from the stockholder’s meeting on October 30, 2020, to launch ‘LG Energy Solution’ as exclusively in charge of the battery business. The company plans to foster the new corporation to achieve sales of over 30 trillion South Korean won (~$ 25.75 billion) in 2024. The expected revenue of the new corporation is around 13 trillion South Korean won (~$ 11.15 billion) this year.

Vietnam has the potential to develop 10 GW of operational offshore wind projects by 2030, according to a Danish Energy Agency study. The Danish Energy Agency and the World Bank will present their recommendations for offshore wind projects expansion in Vietnam to the decision-makers, authorities, and corporates during a two-day virtual conference. Previously in 2019, a screening made during the Danish-Vietnamese government suggested that Vietnam has a technical potential for 160 GW of an offshore wind energy portfolio.

Here is our previous daily news wrap-up.

Image credit: RudolfSimon / CC BY-SA

Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.

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