UK sets up £400mn electric vehicle charging fund
The UK is setting up a fund for electronic vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure which is set to be worth £400mn (US$524mn). The government is currently inviting bids for the management of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund. Bidding is now open with a Request for Proposal having been covered.
The fund will support the installation of charging points for EVs as well as software, platforms, grid connections and battery storage solutions. It forms part of a goal announced in the 2017 UK budget, with the government pledging to spend a total of £540mn (US$707mn) for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
Half of the investment will come from government, with the remaining £200mn (US$262mn) being matched by the private sector.
Energy Live News states that the fund will make it “easier and more viable for the public to switch to cleaner vehicles”.
The news outlet also reports that Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, stated: “We want the UK to be a world leader when it comes to the number of electric cars on our roads. Uptake is increasing and we want the opportunity to own an electric vehicle to be available to all. But crucial to encouraging the take-up of these cars across the country is increasing people’s access to charging points. We want to scale up at pace and ensure interoperability for ease of use.”
It was also announced earlier this week that Ofgem, the industry regulator for the UK, has put forward a number of proposals to support the UK’s so-called ‘revolution’ in electric vehicles. Petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned in the country by 2040.
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.