May 17, 2020

Clean Energy Recommendations for US Industry

energy digital
Pew Charitable Trusts
Pew
clean energy
Admin
3 min
Moving the green economy forward
The global clean energy marketplace is expanding rapidly, but the competitive position of American industry is at risk because of increased competitio...

 

The global clean energy marketplace is expanding rapidly, but the competitive position of American industry is at risk because of increased competition abroad and uncertain policies at home, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The study, Innovate, Manufacture, Compete: A Clean Energy Action Plan, states that revenue in the clean energy sector worldwide could total $1.9 trillion from 2012 to 2018.

Yet roundtable discussions with more than 100 U.S. industry leaders reveal that the country is at a crossroads: Private investment, manufacturing, and deployment of renewable power have been constrained because of the lack of a long-term, consistent energy policy. To strengthen America's global competitiveness in this growing economic sector, the report outlines policy recommendations, including investments in energy research and development, extension of key manufacturing incentives, and establishment of a national Clean Energy Standard that sets milestones for deployment of renewable and other clean sources in the electric power sector.

Related Story: China's Renewable Energy Boom

"Industry is telling us in no uncertain terms that the United States needs to adopt clear, consistent, long-term energy policies that allow American businesses to thrive, make our country more energy secure, and advance environmental imperatives," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's Clean Energy Program. "Our research shows that there is a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity in the clean energy sector. U.S. industry has the capacity to be a leader, provided we have the right policies in place.  It's time for Congress to support a comprehensive energy strategy by delivering long-term certainty for businesses and investors in renewable power."

Clean energy markets are large and growing, offering the United States an important opportunity for innovation, investment, job creation, and manufacturing.  Pew's research projects that revenue associated with installation of wind, solar, and other renewable power is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8 percent, rising from $200 billion in 2012 to $327 billion annually by 2018. In the United States, clean energy installations are projected to reach 126 GW, which would more than double non-hydroelectric generating capacity.

The U.S. position in the industry is constrained by numerous challenges, including tight credit markets, growing international competition, and an uneven playing field with fossil energy sources.  "It's difficult to get funding today," said Jeff Metts, president of Astraeus Wind Energy, which makes turbine components. "We need some stability in this market."

Aaron LeMieux, founder and chief executive of Tremont Electric, said: "To compete effectively for clean energy jobs and manufacturing, the United States must adopt national policies that stimulate diverse domestic clean energy investments and production."

Related Story: The Army's Great Drive for Renewable Energy

Pragmatic federal clean energy policies would help enhance the competitive position of the U.S. renewable power industry.  

Throughout the past year, Pew has conducted research and consulted business leaders and industry experts across the country to evaluate strategies for strengthening the sector and improving America's position in the global clean energy race. Based on this input and empirical research, the report recommends that the United States:

Establish a clean energy standard to guide deployment and investment for the long term. Significantly increase investment in energy research and development. Enact a multiyear but time-limited extension of tax credits for clean energy sources.  Level the playing field across the energy sector by evaluating barriers to competition. Renew incentives for domestic clean energy manufacturing. Create a strategy to expand markets for clean energy goods and services abroad.

Pew's research in developing these recommendations included empirical data by Pike Research, a leading market research firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean energy technology markets, and qualitative evidence gathered through roundtable discussions with stakeholders across the country and at a Washington, DC, conference featuring panels of experts and more than 100 members of Pew's Clean Energy Business Network. 

Read the entire report at http://www.PewTrusts.org/CleanEnergy .

SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

cleantech
manganese
USA
Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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