Turkey, Kazakhstan sign trade deals worth $1.7 bln.

Turkey and Kazakhstan aim to gradually increase annual bilateral trade from the current $5 billion up to $10 billion over a seven to eight year period, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister said Wednesday.Fatih Donmez's remarks came during his speech at the Turkey-Kazakhstan Investment Forum in Ankara.

"Our trade volume, which saw a downward trend from 2013, has risen by 23 percent in 2017, but it is still well below our potential," Donmez said.In 2017, the trade volume between two countries reached $2.4 billion but Donmez asserted that this could become even higher this year.

"Today we will be witnessing a signing ceremony of 22 bilateral agreements between Turkey and Kazakhstan worth $1.7 billion," he said, adding that Turkey would like to move this partnership to the next level with the addition of new projects and by expanding agreements to further sectors.

The new agreements will see private sector relations enhanced between the two countries specifically in the transportation, machinery, chemicals, energy and mining sectors.

Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev visits Turkey

According to Kazakh presidential sources, Kazakhstan's president will pay an official visit to Turkey on Thursday to participate in the 3rd High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting between Turkey and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and hold talks with Turkish entrepreneurs, according to the Kazakh presidency's statement on Wednesday.

Source: AA

New contractor joins for Turkey's Akkuyu nuclear plant

A new construction contracting company has joined participants for the construction of Turkey's first nuclear plant, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Russia's state atomic energy Corporation Rosatom announced on Monday. According to the company's statement, the new participant company, Titan-2 Concern, will act as a contractor for the Atomstroyexport (ASE) company - an engineering division of Rosatom.

Cooperation with Titan-2 Concern for the Akkuyu NPP is the next step in the company's strategy to have reliable partners for the construction and assembly at all construction facilities of ASE's engineering division, Valery Limarenko, head of ASE Company and the Engineering Division of Rosatom State Corporation said.

According to Grigory Naginsky, CEO of Titan-2 Concern, the company is well placed to participate in the project having extensive experience in nuclear plant construction such as the second power unit of Russia’s Leningrad NPP-2 and pre-construction works at the site of the Hanhikivi-1 NPP in Finland.

"We have accumulated long-term experience in the construction of nuclear facilities. We enter the Turkish project with thorough understanding of the NPP construction processes and technologies," Naginsky said. Rosatom's Rosenergoatom Concern has a 50 percent share in the Titan-2 Concern company. The Akkuyu project started with an intergovernmental agreement signed between Turkey and Russia on May 12, 2010.

On April 3, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attended the plant's groundbreaking ceremony via a video conference call from the Presidential Complex in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency Rosatom and participants will build the plant comprising four units, each of which has a capacity of 1,200 megawatts. The plant will have a working life of 8,000 hours per year, and will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10 percent of Turkey's electricity needs.

The plant has an operational date for the first reactor set for 2023, while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.

Source: AA

Turkish firm to supply power for 3 million Nigerians

Turkish company Ak-Ay Elektrik will supply electricity to 3 million people in the West African country of Nigeria through five infrastructure projects to supply transformer substations. Ulaş Aslan, deputy coordinator of Ak-Ay Elektrik's projects, told Anadolu Agency (AA) in an exclusive interview that to date the company has completed more than 40 transformer substations in the country.

"We have five projects now, one of which is the Lafiya Project that has two 150-megavolt-ampere and two 60-megavolt-ampere transformers. When the project is completed, we will provide the necessary infrastructure for electricity delivery to around 3 million Nigerians living in the Nasarawa province," he said. Aslan explained that Nigeria delivers far less electricity to its people than it produces. The country's electricity capacity varies between 4,000 and 6,000 megawatts.

"The power plants in the country are operating at 5 percent capacity mainly due to lack of maintenance of power plants built for electricity generation, the high costs of natural gas storage, problems in exports, deficiencies in operating systems and the poor infrastructure of distribution companies," he said. The country suffers from frequent interruptions, and it is estimated that only 60 percent of the population are connected to the electricity grid. Generators supplement electricity for the majority of the population, who receive electricity for just for four hours per day via the grid system. According to a report published by The Spectator Index, last year, Nigeria ranked as the second most inadequate out of 137 countries in the provision of electricity supplies after Yemen. The county experiences energy shortages despite the fact that it is endowed with large oil and natural gas reserves. The Turkish company Ak-Ay Elektrik, which operates in various countries, began its first project in Nigeria in 2001.

Source: Daily Sabah

EBRD backs Turkey’s Akfen Renewables with loans of over US$ 100 million

The EBRD, a leading financier of renewable energy in Turkey and its other regions of operations, is providing a financing package of up to US$ 102 million to the renewable energy arm of the Turkish conglomerate Akfen Holding. The funds will be invested in building four new wind farms and nine solar PV plants with a combined capacity of 327MW.

The new financing demonstrates the EBRD’s commitment to the Turkish economy and confidence in the fundamental momentum behind the global shift to renewable energy.

Akfen Renewables, or Akfen Yenilenebilir Enerji as it is known in Turkey, owns and operates wind, solar and hydro power plants. The EBRD and the IFC, a private sector arm of the World Bank, are minority shareholders in the company with a 15.98 per cent stake each.

The company is investing in four new wind farms with a total capacity of 242 MW: Ucpinar (99 MW), Kocalar (26 MW) and Hasanoba (51 MW) in Çanakkale, a province in north-western Turkey on the Dardanelles Strait, and Denizli (66 MW) in the eponymous province in the south west of the country.

The wind farms will be rated and certified annually with regards to their environmental, social and governance performance by Vigeo-Eiris rating agency. Once operational they are expected to save around 340,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

For nine new solar photovoltaic plants in five locations across Turkey, the EBRD is lending up to US$ 52 million. The combined capacity of the new solar PV plants will be 85MW.

Kayrıl Karabeyoğlu, CEO of Akfen Renewables, said: “With the projects that we will realise, we are taking firm steps towards our aim to reach a total installed capacity of 1,000 MW in clean energy generation by 2020. We will continue to make new investments and potential acquisitions, especially in the wind power sector, in the forthcoming period.”

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director in Turkey, said: “Renewable energy remains an attractive investment in Turkey.  Our new financing supports Akfen Holding’s ambition to become one of the largest producers of renewable energy in the country. It is yet another boost to the sector as Turkey is switching to domestically sourced power generation.”

Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director, Head of Power and Energy Utilities, said: “We are delighted to support Akfen in these important projects.  Their size and the speed of their implementation highlight the scale of the energy transition which is bringing secure, clean and affordable energy to Turkey.”

Supporting this project is part of the EBRD’s larger efforts to help Turkey increase its share of renewables in the energy mix. In line with its renewable energy action plan developed by the country’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources with the support of the EBRD, Turkey aims to install 27 GW of non-hydro renewable generation capacity by 2023, 20 GW of which is expected to be wind and 5 GW licenced solar.

The EBRD is a major investor in Turkey. Since 2009 it has invested nearly €11 billion in various sectors of the Turkish economy, with almost all investment in the private sector. Half of the Bank’s portfolio in Turkey constitutes investments that promote sustainable energy and resource use.

Source: EBRD

Hurricane Florence Threatens East Coast Electricity Infrastructure

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Mid Atlantic and by every measure it’s poised to be an extremely dangerous event—lashing winds, storm surge reaching 9 to 13 feet, and inland flooding from 20 to 30 inches of rain, and possibly even 40 inches in select locations. All this will be occurring in an area that has been experiencing above-average precipitation, meaning saturated soils less able to absorb incoming water and trees that are more likely to fall.

Evacuations have been ordered in Virginia and the Carolinas; Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and North and South Carolina have declared states of emergency; and the Navy has sent tens of vessels out of Norfolk to better weather the storm.

But not all people have the means to leave, and many more are bracing for the water and wind to come—as well as the inevitable power outages that will follow.

That’s because energy infrastructure is significantly at risk in an event such as this. Storm surge has the potential to inundate coastal assets like power plants and substations, and inland flooding from extreme precipitation threatens to submerge many more. In addition, heavy winds can topple trees and take down wires and poles.

These outages could be severe, triggering another and separate disaster long after the skies have cleared. Across the region people should heed warnings and be prepared for widespread, long-lasting blackouts, and stock up on food, water, medicines, and fuel.

Here are some electricity-related things to keep an eye on as the storm approaches, plus updates as needed as we learn more.

Power assets at risk

Power outages can occur due to disruptions at any point in the system, from power plants, to transmission and distribution lines, to the many critical substations enabling power flow in between.

This map from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) displays energy infrastructure and real-time storm information. Here’s a clip from Wednesday morning, showing nuclear and coal plants in the region. The map has multiple data layers that can be toggled:

There are 7 nuclear reactors operating in South Carolina and 5 in North Carolina, plus 4 more in Virginia. There are an additional 32 coal generators in the Carolinas alone, plus many natural gas, biomass, and solar facilities, and even one large-scale wind farm.

One plant of immediate concern is Duke Energy’s Brunswick Nuclear Power Station, situated along the North Carolina coast and presently right in the line of the storm. Brunswick is a large, two-reactor nuclear plant. In the aftermath of Fukushima, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted a review and Brunswick found hundreds of missing, degraded, or unverifiable flood seals. The follow-up report is not publicly available, though the company states it has since installed more safety equipment at the plant. What’s more, the NRC recently concluded that reevaluated flood hazards exceed the plant’s current design basis; the stated near-term remedy is to install metal “cliff edge barriers” at targeted locations prior to hurricane landfall.

Nuclear plants must be shut down at least 2 hours before winds of 73-plus miles per hour are expected. EIA tracks nuclear outages here.

We have some further idea about the potential for electricity infrastructure exposure to storm surge in the area as three years ago, my colleagues and I conducted an analysis to examine this issue at five sites along the East and Gulf coasts—including Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry, and Norfolk and Southeastern Virginia. Our analysis focused on power plants and substations in particular, recognizing that many of these long-lived pieces of infrastructure, which are centrally important to the power grid, are already exposed to flood risks and will face increasing levels of exposure as seas rise.

Source: UCSUSA

Fossil fuels will peak in the 2020s as renewables supply all growth in energy demand

Rapid global growth of clean technologies will see fossil fuel demand peak in the 2020s, putting trillions at risk for unsavvy investors oblivious to the speed of the unfolding energy transition, finds a new Carbon Tracker report released today.

Demand for coal, gas and oil is stalling because the cost of renewables and battery storage is falling fast, emerging economies are pursuing clean energy, and governmental policy is being driven by the need to slash emissions, control climate change and reduce air pollution.

Kingsmill Bond, Carbon Tracker New Energy Strategist and author of the report, said:

“The 2020s will be the decade of fossil fuel demand peaks, as one bastion after another is stormed and overwhelmed by the rising renewable tide. This will inevitably lead to trillions of dollars of stranded assets across the corporate sector and hit petrol-states that fail to reinvent themselves.”

2020 Vision: Why You Should See Peak Fossil Fuels Coming shows that solar and wind will displace all growth in fossil fuels as they continue to expand against a backdrop of falling energy demand. With global energy demand expected to grow at 1-1.5% and solar and wind at 15-20% a year, fossil fuel demand will peak between 2020 and 2027, most likely 2023.

The impacts of the energy transition will be colossal:

  • The fossil fuel sector has invested an estimated $25 trillion in infrastructure and there will be systemic risk to financial markets as they seek to digest vast amounts of stranded assets.
  • The transition will directly affect companies that compose up to a quarter of equity indexes and debt markets, hitting banking, capital goods, transport and automotive sectors.
  • Fossil fuel exporting countries will suffer. Russia is one of 12 countries where fossil fuel rents account for 10% or more of GDP.

Kingsmill Bond said: “Fossil fuel demand has been growing for 200 years, but is about to enter structural decline.  Entire sectors will struggle to make this transition. They can expect price declines, greater competition, restructuring, stranded assets and market derating.”

Incumbent industries have typically seen demand peak when the challenger was still very small, at around 2%-3% of total sales. For example, demand for thermal electricity in Europe peaked in 2007 when renewables made up just 3% of total supply. As demand fell following the financial crisis and renewables grew their market share the industry was forced to write down $150 billion of assets.

Kingsmill Bond said: “We have seen a similar pattern in many energy transitions, from electricity, coal and cars in recent years to horses and gaslights in the past. Demand for incumbents’ peaks early, and investors in incumbents lose money early on.”

Much of the fossil fuel industry appears blind to this risk. BP, OPEC, and the IEA do not expect peak fossil fuel demand for another generation or more.   Yet some forecasters such as DNV GL forecast peak fossil fuel demand in the 2020s.

The report finds that the tipping point for fossil fuel demand will come when the challenging technologies of solar and wind make up around 6% of total energy supply and 14% of global electricity supply – far below levels of penetration in many countries in Europe.

It identifies three factors driving the energy transition.

  1. Costs of solar PV, wind and battery storage are falling fast and they are now able to compete with fossil fuels without subsidies. Costs have fallen at around 20% for each doubling in capacity and this is expected to continue. By 2020 renewables will be cheaper than fossil fuels in every major region of the world, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
  2. Emerging markets are driving growth in energy demand and choosing renewables over fossil fuels. They have less fossil fuel legacy infrastructure, rising energy dependency, more pollution and are keen to seize the opportunities renewables have to offer. China and India are already choosing solar and wind over fossil fuels. China overtook the United States as the largest deployer of solar and wind capacity in 2012 and electric cars in 2016. The IEA predicts that 27% of energy-demand growth in the next 25 years will come from India and 19% from China.
  3. Governmental policy is supporting these trends. “The need to limit carbon emissions, the desire to breathe clean air and the drive for energy independence all mean that global regulatory pressure on the fossil fuel industry will only increase,” said Kingsmill Bond.

The report identifies four phases in the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables: innovation; peaking; rapid change; and endgame.  It shows that each energy demand sector in every country is moving through these stages, led by the electricity sector.  Difficult issues around winter heat, airplane fuel and renewable intermittency will not delay peak fossil fuel demand and are likely to be addressed in the endgame phase when demand is already falling.

Carbon Tracker warns that the first impacts of the energy transition are already being felt, and not just in the European electricity market, with incumbents hit as demand peaks:

Coal-fired and gas-fired power plants in Europe and parts of the US are already being closed down because they are uneconomic; in the last 12 months, China has halted construction of 100GW of coal power.

Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal producer, went bankrupt in 2016, two years after global coal demand peaked. The industry built capacity for demand from India and other emerging markets that never materialized.

In 2017 electric vehicles were 3 million out of 800 million cars globally, but 22% of growth in car sales, and are set to provide all growth in car sales in the early 2020s. This has spurred most leading car companies to refocus their strategy on electric vehicles and by 2018 they had committed $90 billion.

Kingsmill Bond said: “Investors anticipate, so they will typically react even before companies see peak demand. This is what happened recently in the coal and European electricity sector transitions. We believe that investors will start to react faster as the energy transition works its way through the world’s capital markets.  As each sector is impacted, it becomes easier for the market to anticipate something similar happening to the next sector.”

Source: Carbon Tracker

India Proposes a Goal of 15% Electric Vehicles in Five Years

India aims to have at least 15 percent of the vehicles on its roads to be electric in five years, an official said, signaling the government’s wish to join a long list of countries around the world that are already seeking to cut fossil fuels aggressively.

“If at least 15 percent comes in the next five years, it will be useful for the country,” Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Thursday at a conference organized by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi. “This is a time for the country to think seriously about pollution.”

India has been a laggard in the global race toward electrification of automobiles, with no clear guiding policy unlike China, which has offered hefty subsidies and incentives to promote battery-powered cars in its efforts to reduce dependence on oil imports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration had earlier expressed ambitions of achieving a target of 30 percent EVs by 2030.

While cumulative global sales of passenger electric vehicles likely surpassed 4 million last week, with China accounting for more than a third since 2011, India sold an estimated 2,000 EVs last year. EVs may account for about 7 percent of sales in India by 2030, according to Bloomberg NEF.

In contrast, China is targeting sales of 7 million new-energy vehicles by 2025, which may account for 15 percent of the vehicle market by then, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The Asian giant has offered as much as $7,000 in incentives for an EV with a range of 400 kilometers (249 miles) and above, making the automobile more affordable to customers.

A slew of carmakers including the local units of Hyundai Motor Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. have announced plans to introduce electric vehicles to the South Asian country as early as next year. Suzuki, which is the market leader, has said it needs to make 1.5 million EVs in the country by 2030 to retain its share of 50 percent. Ford Motor Co. has signed a pact with local partner Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. to jointly develop EVs.

Source: Bloomberg

Mexican Wave Energy Project Moving Forward

Energy from the ocean breakers that pound Mexico’s Pacific Coast could soon be turned into electricity as an Israeli joint venture finalizes permits and financing for the country’s first wave energy plant.

Wave power development has long lagged renewable rivals such as solar, but Eco Wave Power says it could prove an effective way to deliver power to coastal communities in countries such as Ghana or Kenya that have little access to electricity.

“The ocean is the biggest renewable resource that we have and it’s completely untapped, and it has to change,” said Inna Braverman, co-founder of Tel Aviv-based Eco Wave Power. “At the moment we’re a comparable price to solar, but the advantage on top of solar is the availability of the resource... It keeps working 24/7,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

After scanning the coast for optimal wave conditions, the company decided to set up its first Mexican plant near Manzanillo, the country’s busiest cargo port some 845 kilometers (525 miles) west of Mexico City. Situated close to the shore, hundreds of floating buoys connected by arms to a jetty would move with the waves to generate clean electricity at the 4.8-megawatt plant.

The power then would be fed into a sub-station controlled by the state-owned electricity company, said Ernesto Delarue Rodriguez, chief executive of joint venture partner Eco Wave Power Mexico. The plant would be able to power about 2,000 homes, he said. In the event of storms, Eco Wave Power’s system could lift its buoys or submerge them until high waves pass, the company said on its website.

Wanted: Killer App

Aside from wave energy, companies around the world are looking to tap the vast potential of the oceans by creating energy from tides, currents and temperature differences - but commercial breakthroughs have so far been limited, experts say.

“Ocean energy has not yet reached the commodity phase of development. If you want solar, go buy some solar panels. If you want wind energy, go buy a wind turbine,” said Mark Horenstein, professor of electrical engineering at Boston University

“In the case of ocean energy, no one company or entity has come up with the killer application that’s going to be the definitive method for ocean energy.” Any ocean technology also has to be able to survive a “100-year storm” - the worst storm expected over a century - and such events could become increasingly more likely with a changing climate, he said.

The patchy history of large-scale wave energy projects has made some investors cautious about sinking their money into ocean projects, said Braverman, whose company is considering a stock market listing to help raise capital.

The Manzanillo project, which expects to receive final permits in the coming weeks, will cost around $15 million. A chunk of the financing will come from the Israeli company but much of it will be raised by the Mexican venture partner.

Delarue, who is also working on a wave energy project in the Bahamas, said construction should start this year once financing and permits fall into place, though admitted that, in some cases, “Mexican investors... are not used to investing in start-up projects.”

Aside from Mexico, Braverman said her company was waiting to start work on a 5-megawatt wave power plant in Gibraltar that could provide 15 percent of the enclave’s electricity, and has orders in countries including China and Britain.

Born 200 miles from Chernobyl, just two weeks before the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster, Braverman said her experience of the devastating impact of contamination helped spur her interested in clean power.

“There’s many people saying yes, we need to fight pollution in the future, yes, we need to recycle, we need to invest more in renewable energy but they don’t actually understand the meaning behind it,” she said. “I experienced first-hand the negative impact of pollution and I got a second chance in life,” she said.

Source: World Energy News


Five trends transforming the Automotive Industry - Pwc

The mobility of the future is “eascy” – electrified, autonomous, shared, connected and “yearly” updated. In this study, we describe the factors influencing the sector leading up to 2030 in the key US, Europe, and China markets. It also describes how the automotive industry should restructure itself in terms of volume, scale, and complexity.

Through mathematical modeling of key performance indicators and demographic trends, the paper discusses:

  • Mobility behavior of users through social personas and how they could influence traffic demand;
  • External factors that will influence mobility habits, vehicle mileage and frequency of usage;
  • Predictions of car inventory, replacement cycles and new sales; and
  • Implications for manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and their business models.

Please click here to read the full report.