Germany Pushes Expansion of Electromobility
Berlin wants to expand its role as the showcase metropolis for electromobility. The charging infrastructure within the capital is to increase from 100 to 300 by 2013 and to 800 by the end of 2015. The Berlin senate has released a corresponding EU-wide tender. Germany Trade & Invest will attend this year's "The Battery Show" in Detroit from November 13 to 15 to present the industry's latest prospects and developments.
An increasing number of municipalities have consulted the Federation of German Industry for Electromobility for information regarding the advantages and savings potential of electric cars - a clear signal to the industry that the topic of electromobility will remain of importance.
"There is certainly a lot to do, but the trend lines show that if conditions are right, electromobility in Germany will become more than just a short-term hype. Two recently passed laws that offer tax incentives to buyers and users of electric cars will come into effect in 2013," said Stefan Di Bitonto, electromobility expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.
Due to the high purchasing cost of an electric or hybrid vehicle, there will be a future taxation reduction for company cars used privately. As the battery system usually accounts for a significant portion of the price, the costs will be subtracted from the taxed sum of the total car price. Moreover, all pure electric or fuel-cell vehicles are exempt from the motor vehicle tax for the next ten years.
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The private sector is also interested in the use of more economical and low-emission vehicles. "Some companies are intent on converting parts of their fleet vehicles to plug-in hybrids or electric cars in order to test them in a working environment. An example of this is the German Post (DHL) who has recently announced their second testing phase of 50 electric cars developed specifically for letter and postal delivery.
Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies seeking to expand into the German market. It supports German companies that seek to enter foreign markets, with foreign trade information.
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly