Texas Could be Next Global Leader in Wind Energy
When most people think of Texas and energy, they think big oil. Home to some of the most profitable reserves in the world, Texas is the poster state for the black gold.
While this may be the public’s common notion of the state, it may not be the complete reality for much longer.
Investments in a large-scale wind energy network in Texas total around $7 billion and span some 4,000 miles. Wind generates more than 12,000 MW for the state and ranks first in the nation for wind power capacity by a wide margin.
The rapid growth of wind in Texas was born from conditions ripe for harvest, such as public subsidies, new federal carbon regulations, and private investments.
Wind has been a big player in Texas since the mid-‘90s and has created thousands of jobs in the state.
Perhaps ironically, it’s oil and gas giants who are riding the Texas winds.
BP, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, has wind properties totaling more than $1 billion in Texas, including 4 of 16 the largest wind farms (producing more than 2,600 MW) across the nation.
Not all of the investments are private, however, and that has some Texans concerned.
Executive director of the Texas Ratepayers’ Organization to Save Energy Carol Biedrzycki told the New York Times that she supported green energy, but “we’re supposed to have an electricity market where the power producers are taking the risks.”
The $7 billion wind energy network is being paid for by taxpayers who will see slight increases to their energy bills. Advocates for the wind network say that the savings will outweigh the costs. While oil is the still the first thing that comes to mind in Texas, that may be blown away before we know it.
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.