Australian government gives $8.25mn to blockchain energy project
Power Ledger, an Australian energy startup company, has been awarded a AU$8.25mn (US$6.25mn) grant by the government.
The project that received the funding aims to create the country’s first green city in Fremantle, west of the country.
The company plans to utilise blockchain technology in order to create a peer-to-peer renewable energy network.
This network will enable the trading of self-generated units of solar power to energy retailers, who will then broker the energy to utilities.
The startup raised AU$34mn (US$26mn) through an initial coin offering (ICO) in October, with a final sum of approximately AU$22mn (US$17mn).
Now the project will receive AU$2.57mn (US$1.95mn) from the government, with an additional AU$5.68mn (US$4.3mn) being funded by project partners including Curtin University, Murdoch University, Curtin Institute of Computation, LandCorp, CSIRO/Data61, CISCO and Power Ledger.
“A large solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, rooftop solar PV panels, a precinct sized battery, an electric vehicle charge station and precinct water treatment and capture systems will be orchestrated using blockchain technology and data analytics, and demonstrate the interconnected infrastructure of future smart cities,” reported the Mayor of Fremantle, Brad Pettitt.
“This collaboration between existing infrastructure, renewable energy and innovative technology fits with our One Planet zero carbon energy target and will help us to secure the ongoing sustainability of essential services for communities that live here.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
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).
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.