Cal on March 1st, 2017

The Canadian government will invest up to $7 million to develop advanced electric-vehicle charging stations across the country. Quebec-based electric-vehicle charging company AddEnergie will install more than 1,000 new charging stations across Canada by 2019 and develop next generation fast-charging stations for homes, businesses, and cities.

Alt Energy Stocks tells us how to purchase and install a home electric car charging station.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company plans to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations across the emirate to 20 to meet the anticipated rise in petrol-alternative cars. Currently there are 12 EV charging stations in Abu Dhabi. The United Arab Emirates has at least 85 charging stations. In addition to Abu Dhabi’s 12, Dubai has 68.

German luxury car manufacturer Porsche announced it will be unveiling its first all-electric car within two years. The Mission E model is expected to compete with the major players in the high performance electric vehicle market.

The Belgian cities of Charleroi and Namur have together ordered 90 Volvo electric hybrid buses as well as 12 electric charging stations. Delivery and installation takes place this fall.

Automakers Renault-Nissan announced a partnership with Transdev to develop a public and on-demand transportation service using a self-driving electric car fleet. The program will have a focus on electric vehicles and it will first be tested in Paris with Renault’s all-electric ZOE. Transdev is a private-public transport operator in Europe.

A group of hedge funds have amassed a large stockpile of cobalt, a key mineral for the production of electric car batteries. Cobalt boosts the power of lithium-ion batteries. Half a dozen funds, including Swiss-based Pala Investments and China’s Shanghai Chaos, have purchased and stored an estimated 6,000 tonnes of cobalt, worth as much as $280 million, according to the investors, traders and analysts. This is equivalent to 17% of last year’s global production of the metal. The speculators hope to profit from the increasing demand from automakers for cobalt as they increase their electric car production. Commodity consultant CRU projects the demand for cobalt will increase 20% a year for the next five years, outstripping supply. Cobalt is mined almost exclusively in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The South American country of Bolivia announced a program to convert 20,000 vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG). Since  2010, more than 135,000 vehicles have been converted to CNG, most in the public transportation sector.

State-owned Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has ordered 489 compressed natural gas buses manufactured by Chinese bus company Sunlong. The first batch of 291 vehicles has been delivered and will replace aged conventional-fuel buses on 22 routes throughout Bangkok.

The Mexico City government is replacing 1,500 gasoline-operated vehicles in its fleet with those powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) as part of an effort to offset the increased prices of petroleum-based fuels. In addition, the city will add 10 CNG refueling stations.

In the US state of Florida, Miami-Dade Transit is adding 300 40-foot compressed natural gas buses to its fleet.  The buses will be taking to the roads throughout this year and next. Miami-Dave Transit is the largest public transit operation in the state.

In the Canadian province of British Columbia, the city of Nanaimo has purchased 49 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, representing the first fully CNG-powered bus fleet in that country. These buses join an existing fleet of 25 CNG buses acquired in 2014. The BC city of Kamloops will soon being joining Nanaimo with a 100% CNG bus fleet as it adds another 19 CNG vehicles to its existing fleet of 25.

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Cal on March 1st, 2017

Cal on February 28th, 2017

Cal on February 28th, 2017

While Canada and the US ban Arctic drilling for crude oil and natural gas motivated by environmental concerns, Norwegian energy companies are planning to increase drilling in that country’s Arctic shelf in the Barents Sea.

The North Caspian Operating Co., a joint venture operating the giant oil field in the Kazakh waters of the Caspian Sea in Central Asia, confirmed that production from Kashagan would accelerate to 180,000 barrels per day in the coming months. Once secondary production methods are optimized to increase pressure in the reservoir, the first phase of Kashagan is expected to reach production capacity of 370,000 b/d by the end of 2017.

The partnership in control of the Leviathan natural gas field off of Israel, among the largest gas fields in the world, said they envision flows by 2019. The project is expecting a production capacity of about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.

Australian energy company FAR Ltd. said there may be more than 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil in basins off the coast of Senegal. Senegal is located on Africa’s Atlantic coast.

The US is on track to become a net exporter of natural gas next year, driven largely by the growth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, according to that country’s energy department. The US. started exporting LNG last year and is increasingly piping more natural gas to Mexico while, simultaneously, importing less gas via pipeline from Canada.

Researchers at Harvard University in the US say they have developed a long-lasting flow battery capable of storing intermittent renewable energy from wind and solar that could operate for up to 10 years, with minimum maintenance required. A flow battery is a cross between a conventional battery and a fuel cell. The US Department of Energy has set a goal of building a battery that can store energy for less than $100 per kilowatt-hour, which would make stored wind and solar energy competitive with energy produced from traditional power plants.

The UK’s Tokamak Energy is developing new materials and technologies and hopes to have commercial fusion power on the UK electric grid by 2030.  Using its ST40 reactor, currently under construction, the company hopes the most powerful compact spherical tokamak in the world will be able to produce plasma temperatures hotter than the centre of the Sun well before the end of this year.

“The ST40 is designed to achieve 100 million degrees C and get within a factor of ten of energy break-even conditions. To get even closer to break-even point, the plasma density, temperature and confinement time then need to be fine-tuned,” CEO David Kingham said. “The next step is to build a reactor that takes this knowledge and uses it to demonstrate first electricity from fusion by 2025. This will then form the basis of a power plant module that will deliver electricity into the grid by 2030,” he added.”



with h/t Tom Whipple

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Cal on February 27th, 2017

Cal on February 27th, 2017

As of January, a total of 274 hydrogen refueling stations were in operation across the globe, almost 30% of which were inaugurated last year.  83 of the 92 stations that were opened in 2016 are publicly-accessible. The others are dedicated to refueling buses and fleets. Currently there are 106 stations operating in Europe, 101 in Asia, 64 in North America, two in South America and one in Australia. 188 of these are publicly-accessible. Plans for 90 future sites worldwide have already been announced.

The Telegraph shows us how filling your fuel cell vehicle with hydrogen works.

A partnership of Royal Dutch Shell and automaker Toyota will build seven fueling stations for hydrogen cars in the US state of California. California’s goal is to have 100 retail sites where hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can fill up by 2024. Currently the state has just 25 of these stations. Shell currently operates six hydrogen stations – four stations in Germany and two in the Los Angeles area. Later this month, Shell will operate a seventh near London’s Heathrow Airport in the UK.

A trial is underway in the UK city of London to convert streetlights connected to UK Power Networks’ electricity network in central London into charge points for electric vehicles. The trial in Onslow Gardens s allows two local residents to charge their vehicles from a street light near their front door, and receive accurate bills for their electricity use via their smart phone or computer. This technology avoids the need to build new electricity networks and makes better use of the cables, particularly in the daytime when the lights are switched off.

In the US, VIA Metropolitan Transit of San Antonio, Texas recently announced plans to purchase 270 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. The purpose is to replace aging buses in its current fleet, which are at least 15 years old.

The South America country of Bolivia plans to convert 20,000 vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG). Since 2010 more than 135,000 vehicles in the country have been converted to CNG, with the majority operating in the transportation sector.


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Cal on February 26th, 2017

Cal on February 26th, 2017

A new report from Business Insider Intelligence examines the transformation of the automobile. Over the next five to 10 years, the integration of the car with the Internet is expected to change the car ownership model, create a new platform for consumers to access content, lead to fully autonomous vehicles, and revolutionize the auto industry. Here are some of the main projects of this report:

  • Over 380 million connected cars will be on the road globally by 2021. Automakers plan to connect to the Internet the majority of the vehicles they sell.
  • Automakers are connecting the vehicles they sell because the connection offers clear business opportunities.
  • Consumers are adopting the connected car faster than expected.
  • Hi tech companies will play a major role in the future of the automotive market. The big question is whether tech companies will eventually manufacture cars themselves (eg. Google, Apple)
  • Fully autonomous cars are just years away. Technological, regulatory, and consumer adoption hurdles still remain, but there have been many strides towards a car that can drive itself from point A to point B with little to no human interaction.

A new report by Lux Research says second generation biofuels are finally starting to replace first generation biofuels. New facilities based on non-food feedstocks and producing new kinds of fuels account for over half of new capacity deployment for the first time in the biofuel industry’s history. The global biofuels industry will grow at a 2.2% annual rate to 67 billion gallons a year of capacity by 2022. First-generation biofuels, which currently hold a 91.5% market share, will continue to dominate but will lose 6% market share, as advanced biofuels see rapid growth.  This period will see a rapid growth of low-carbon and high-performance drop-in biofuels such as renewable diesel. Thermochemical and catalytic technologies will surpass bioconversion processes to make up over half of the new capacity expansion for the first time in the biofuel industry’s history.

India announced the 7,000 railway stations across the country will be powered by solar energy as part of the Indian Railways mission to implement 1 gigawatt of solar power capacity. Work to set up rooftop solar power systems at 300 stations has already started, and soon this number will increase to 2,000 stations.

Electric car sales account for about 5% of all the automobiles in Norway. The country hopes to register 400,000 all-electric vehicles by 2020. Currently there are about 130,000 electric vehicles on Norway’s roads.

Automaker Volvo announced it will introduce its first all-electric cars in 2019. The company plans to deliver vehicles ranging between 100–450 kilowatts (kW) of propulsive power, with battery packs of up to 100 kilowatt-hours. The models will support AC charging up to 20 kW and high-speed DC charging.

Daimler says that as of the end of this year it is converting its Smart brand in North America to all-electric. Currently the Smart cars are the most popular all-electric car sold in the US with 8.5% of all sales in this category.

9 US states now impose fees on electric cars as a way to pay for road maintenance, while another 6 states have legislation under review. The fees are a substitute for the gasoline taxes that, because they don’t buy gas, electric-car owners don’t pay.

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