May 17, 2020

Japanese solar car wins international race

1 min
A solar car from Japan has won the 2009 Global Green Challenge race. Facing 31 competitors from 16 countries, the Tokai Challenger covered nearly 1,860...

A solar car from Japan has won the 2009 Global Green Challenge race. Facing 31 competitors from 16 countries, the Tokai Challenger covered nearly 1,860 miles in four days across the Australian Outback - using only the sun's power - and crossed the finish line at 3:39 p.m. local time on Wednesday. The Tokai University team reported the run was smooth overall with just one flat tire at 100 miles left on the course.
Tokai Challenger is covered with 6m2 of solar panels and was fourth in qualifying for the Global Green Challenge with an average speed of 50.87 mph, but it secured the lead on day one and went on to break the winning streak of the Dutch Nuon team, which had four consecutive wins.
The Global Green Challenge (formerly known as the World Solar Challenge) has been held every two years since 1987 to showcase the latest advances in hybrid, electric, solar, low emission and alternative energy vehicles. Japan's last win was 1993 with the Honda Dream.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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