Cal on January 20th, 2018

Navigant Research projects the total annual revenue for the energy storage and renewable integration sector will exceed $23 billion by 2026. Utility-scale and behind-the-meter applications are likely to experience the strongest growth. Energy storage systems are increasingly viewed as a way to mitigate the electric grid challenges caused by large additions of renewable energy sources. The Asia Pacific region is expected to lead the deployment through this period, reaching an annual installed power capacity of 11,180 megawatts in 2026. According to the report, solar PV has reached grid parity in several locations around the world and no longer requires subsidies and other incentives to encourage deployment in many countries.

The US state of New York announced it has set an energy storage deployment target of 1.5 gigawatts by 2025. The state government will be investing $200 million to “drive down costs and strategically deploy” energy storage in the state and will provide another $60 million for programs and initiatives to remove cost barriers to development, in areas such as interconnection, customer acquisition and financing. Energy storage in grid infrastructure allows electric power companies to time shift electricity to when it is needed.

A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency claims the cost of renewable energy is now falling so fast that it should be a consistently cheaper source of electricity generation than traditional fossil fuels within just a few years. The cost of generating power from onshore wind has fallen by around 23% since 2010 while the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity has fallen by 73% in that time period. With further price declines expected, all renewable energy technologies should be competitive on price with fossil fuels by 2020. This suggests that onshore wind and solar PV projects could be consistently delivering electricity for as little as $0.03 per kilowatt-hour within two years.

Construction is about to start on Australia’s first waste-to-energy facility. Located in Perth, the facility will convert 400,000 tonnes of household waste a year into 40 megawatts of electricity. It is expected to be operational by mid-2021.

Global sales of plug-in electric vehicles surpassed 1 million units in 2017 according to a study by Navigant Research. The research company expects the market to experience annual growth around 38% through 2020. Scott Shepard, senior research analyst, said: 

“Battery costs have shrunk dramatically in the last five years and promise to shrink further with the commercialization of solid-state batteries on the horizon. In addition, increasing regulatory pressure in Europe and China may well push the PEV market to the aggressive end of the forecast range regardless of oil prices.”

Navigant Research predicts global sales of light duty stop-start vehicles will exceed $57 million by 2026, accounting for 54% of all light duty vehicle sales. 21% of these vehicles will feature 48 volt batteries. The technology is part of the automotive industry’s reaction to increasing stringent fuel economy and emissions standards imposed by governments around the world. Sam Abuelsamid at Navigant commented:

“Current systems have reached the limit of practical electrical power availability at 12 volts, and because efficiency and automation demands can be realized only by increasing the operating voltage, 48 volts is the practical limit to avoid the need for additional safety protection. 48 volt stop-start electronic systems will combine with other technologies, including micro- and mild-hybrid capabilities and electric turbochargers, to increase efficiency without the adoption of full hybrid or plug-in electric capability.”

European automaker PSA announced it will offer all of its models with an electric option by 2025 and plans to install partial self-driving technology in most of its cars by 2030. PSA owns the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands. The goal is to have 80% of PSA’s cars with level two automation by 2030, which allows them to steer and brake in certain limited conditions such as on a motorway. By that same year, 10% of the cars will contain more advanced level four self-driving systems enabling them to operate without a human driver at all in most instances.


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Cal on January 20th, 2018

Cal on January 18th, 2018

Cal on January 17th, 2018

According to the International Energy Agency, the petrochemical industry will represent the largest global demand for additional crude oil consumption through 2040.

The US Energy Information Administration predicts natural gas will generate 33.1% of US electricity this year, up from 31.7% in 2017 and will rise to 34.3% in 2019. At the same time, coal-fired generation will fall to 29.6% this year, down from 31.7% in 2017, and fall further to 28.1% in 2019.

The US electric power industry has installed about 700 megawatts of utility-scale batteries on the nation’s electric grid. These batteries made up about 0.06% of US utility-scale generating capacity.  As demonstrated in the state of Colorado, electricity utilities are now putting out request for proposals that involve and energy source (coal, natural gas, wind, solar) and storage and are receiving surprising low electricity + storage bids. For example, power company Xcel Energy received seven wind and solar plus battery storage bids for a total of 4,048 megawatt-hours at a median bid of $30.60. The energy storage projects ranged from 4 to 10 hours in duration.

The South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is investing $11 million over the next three years to commercially produce hydrogen. The agency intends to make use of a microbe called NA1, which will act as a catalyst to produce hydrogen from carbon monoxide and seawater. The demonstration facility will be capable of producing some 480 tons of hydrogen fuel every year which will be used to power fuel cell vehicles in the country.

A study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found the average annual cost to drive a gasoline-powered vehicle last year was $1,117. The average annual cost to drive a typical battery-electric vehicle, by contrast, was $485 last year.

Reuters finds that global automakers have announced plans to invest at least $90 billion on electric vehicles. Investments in electrified vehicles announced to date include at least $19 billion by automakers in the United States, $21 billion in China and $52 billion in Germany. In a series of announcements, the world’s largest automakers are about to introduce dozens of new battery electric and hybrid gasoline-electric models over the next five years. AutoNation Inc, the largest US auto retailing chain. expects by 2030 EVs could account for 15-20% of new vehicle sales in the US.  Most of those investments will be in China, where the government has enacted escalating electric-vehicle quotas starting in 2019.

A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that most electric cars in the US are leased. Leasing covers nearly 80% of battery electric vehicles and 55% of plug-in hybrids. To the authors of the study this signals that many consumers are expecting big performance improvements over the next three years and are not yet committed to buying an EV. EVs presently comprise less than 1% of all passenger vehicles on the road in the US.

The Canadian province of Ontario is offering to cover 80% of the cost of installing electric vehicle charging stations for companies and commercial building owners as the province tries to expand its charging infrastructure. The program will cover most of the capital costs of installing Level 2 charging stations, which take between four and eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. Employers and commercial building owners could qualify for up to $7,500 per charging space. Currently there are more than 1,300 public chargers operating in the country’s largest province.

With the rise of all-electric, hydrogen and autonomous vehicles, Motoring fears cars will become homogeneous blobs.







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Cal on January 17th, 2018

Cal on January 15th, 2018

Ford Motor Co. announced it intends to have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup by 2022. 16 will be fully electric and the rest will be plug-in hybrids. To achieve this goal the automaker is spending $11 billion to develop dedicated electric vehicle architectures. The business plan is to move away from sedans and internal combustion engines to develop more trucks and electric and hybrid cars. GM said last year it would add 20 new battery electric and fuel cell vehicles to its global lineup by 2023. Volkswagen said in November it would spend $40 billion on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022. China, India, France and the United Kingdom all have announced plans to phase out vehicles powered by combustion engines and fossil fuels between 2030 and 2040.

Kia Motors said it will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles, as well as an all-new hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020. The South Korean automaker also plans to commercialize Level 4 autonomous driving technology, with autonomous vehicle testing due to commence in 2021.  Kia aims to commercialize Level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities from 2021 with a new Smart City pilot project. The company wants to make every single model a connected car by 2030.

A survey of 1000 auto executives around the globe by research firm KPMG found a majority think that battery electric cars will fail.  More than three-quarters of these executives think that fuel cell hydrogen vehicles will be the future. Looking at the survey, some auto commentators suggest that all the recent investments in electric vehicles that we are seeing from major automakers are just to comply to regulations until hydrogen vehicles start to make business sense. Gary Silberg, Automotive Sector leader at KPMG LLP said:

“There is no question that automakers are adapting to stricter vehicle efficiency standards around the world, and electrification is a big part of that equation even as manufacturers continue to squeeze miles per gallon out of internal combustion engines. What’s unclear is the value proposition for consumers, especially on vehicles outside of the high-end, premium market. Given the multi-billion dollar investments required, the complex global regulatory environment and rapid technological disruption, there will be clear winners and losers in this EV game.”

Hyundai VP Kisang Lee said hydrogen remains the most viable automobile fuel source for the future due to its long range, zero emissions and fast refueling times. He noted: “We are making pure electric vehicles, but we are prepared for hydrogen to be the next future. Around 2030 the system cost of hydrogen can be more comfortable for pure electric vehicles.” Hyundai expects its hydrogen sales to reach 10,000 globally by 2030, when improved economies of scale and greater recharging infrastructure will help drive down prices. Lee sees hydrogen and electric coexisting:

“In the long term these two technologies can be co-existing. In situations that require big distances, hydrogen can be a big benefit, but in a city where distances are less than 100 kilometers, EVs are very beneficial.”

The Swedish Nordic Hydrogen Corridor project announced will establish eight new hydrogen filling stations for automobiles by 2020. In addition the project will provide financing for 100 hydrogen cars and a central electrolysis production plant. Currently there four hydrogen stations open in Sweden today with two new ones planned to open in Umeå and Stockholm. With the proposed new stations, this will bring the network to 14 stations by 2020.

Nissan has sold its 300,000th Nissan LEAF globally since the model first went on sale in 2010. The battery-electric LEAF is the world’s first mass-produced and best-selling electric car.

Registrations of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the UK last year reached 46,522 units, up 27% from 2016. Approximately 1/3 of the registrations were pure electric vehicles. Geographically, the city of London (9,274) and Eastern England (8,685) registered the most EVs.

According to Clean Energy Canada, only 0.6 of passenger vehicles in Canada are fully electric.  Reasons for the low uptake include that fact the country is vast and cold in winter and electric vehicles lose range in freezing temperatures, partly because efficiency drops and partly because additional power is needed to heat the car.

Tesla had 1,021 operational Superchargers in China at the end of 2017 and intends to add 1000 more this year when it begins to expand to western and central China and Inner Mongolia.

The Ceylon Electricity Board will be be installing 6 electric vehicle charging stations in the city of Colombo as it begins to develop the country’s fast charging infrastructure.  The stations will have charging times ranging between 15-25 minutes, depending on the capacity of the vehicle. The project is part of the Sri Lankan government’s decision to install more than 100 EV charging stations in the nation by 2020.







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Cal on January 15th, 2018

Cal on January 14th, 2018