Global Strategy Group: 75% of US citizens support solar investment
Global Strategy Group has released a new report stating that more than three quarters of US voters want to see their electric utilities invest more in solar energy, according to a poll released this week, which cited solar as the favourite form of energy among those surveyed.
The research showed citizens want the US government to take more action to encourage the use of solar power on all scales, with Global Strategy Group stating this indicates “solar energy’s widespread appeal among voters and national support for pro-solar policies, such as net metering and renewable portfolio standards”.
The US currently has over 8,000 significant solar photovoltaic plants, with more planned over the coming years – but let’s take a look at the largest plants in the country…
4. Mount Signal Solar – 452MW
Mount Signal Solar plant is still under construction, with two phases currently complete. It is located in California, and is expected to reach full commercial operation, significantly increasing its capacity by the end of this year. It is currently owned by Capital Dynamics which acquired it this year, and is made up of First Solar solar modules.
=3. Desert Sunlight Solar Farm – 550MW
Desert Sunlight Solar farm is co-owned by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corporation of America. It is located in the Sonoran Desert, California, with its solar modules manufactured by First Solar.
=3. Topaz Solar – 550MW
Topaz Solar is located in San Luis Obispo County, California, and has been in operation since 2014. It includes 9mn solar modules manufactured by First Solar, and is owned by MidAmerican Energy Holdings.
2. Copper Mountain – 552MW
Copper Mountain was constructed in 2010 and is located in Boulder City, Nevada. It is made up of four phases, and owned by Sempra Generation.
1. Solar Star – 579MW
Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEAI) said: “Democrats, Republicans and Independents all said, everything being equal, they would vote against a politician who opposed solar power. Politicians can take this to the bank – Americans will not stand for government or company policies that prevent them from accessing clean, renewable, job-producing, affordable power.”
Over 70% of registered voters support both net metering and renewable portfolio standards of at least 50% by 2030, with 90% of respondents saying that their power company should not be able to stop them from using solar energy.
The most convincing arguments cited in the poll for US citizens were that solar causes less pollution, leading to lower health risks; the economic and job growth for local communities where solar plants are based; and the fact that solar is becoming affordable for all Americans thanks to the recent substantial decreases in price.
Andrew Bauman, Senior Vice President at Global Strategies Group, said: “The polling showed that the industry does have an opportunity to move the needle in its favour. Whether it’s support for pro-solar policies, a desire to invest in solar, or an interest taking actions to advancing solar deployment, people’s pro-solar opinions became stronger with better information.”
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.