California leads the way in energy storage
Research by The Climate Group has shown that California is changing the energy storage industry through innovative new legislation which supports its own dedication to climate change.
California has long been a global leader in energy storage; it currently has more than 4.2 GW of installed storage capacity, but that is still far from the 13 GW required to meet daily peak power demands. In order to tackle these identified needs, California Public Utilities Commission is undertaking a 1,325 MW procurement mandate for energy storage by 2020, which includes chemical, mechanical, and thermal technologies. Storage is increasingly crucial as renewable energy in the state continues to grow, and new technologies must be adopted to handle it.
The case study on this topic is part of The Climate Group’s Energy Transition Platform, which supports the acceleration of a low-carbon world within sub-national governments. It is highlighting California’s good work in order to inspire other local and state governments to take on their own energy challenges. Energy storage costs continue to decrease – particularly lithium-ion batteries – and as such interest in the sector has grown exponentially. For example, Tesla’s work-in-progress Gigafactory is set to produce more lithium-ion batteries a year than were created globally in 2013.
California’s new mandate will allow security for investors and storage solutions providers due to a guaranteed demand for energy storage. Around 488 MW of energy projects have already been procured and are being planned – and the mandate doesn’t end for another eight years. The state is far ahead in the US, but others are beginning to follow; Oregon adopted a similar bill in 2015, and Massachusetts is working on its own procurements targets for 2020. GTM Research found that 21 states have at least 20 MW of energy storage planned, and 10 have more than 100 MW.
Kevin Barker, Advisor at the California Energy Commission, said: “We designed a state-wide procurement target large enough to drive the market without impacting negatively on ratepayers. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to storage, but states and regions must go beyond renewables targets and recognize energy storage as a key element of a successful energy transition.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.