ARENA has just opened a?$70 million?funding round to help fast track the deployment of hydrogen electrolyser technology. The new funding aims to drive down the cost of producing renewable hydrogen through commercial scale electrolyser projects.
With a goal of bringing the cost of green hydrogen production under $2 per kilogram, projects seeking funding must deploy electrolysers with at least 5 MW capacity that are powered entirely by electricity from renewable sources.
Applications that will use electrolysers that are 10 MW or larger will be preferred, which is expected to make the successful projects some of the world?s largest renewable hydrogen deployments to date.
The funding round is?now open with the aim of awarding funding before the end of 2020 (go to https://arena.gov.au/funding/renewable-hydrogen-deployment-funding-round/). Two or more hydrogen projects will be supported, with the aim of starting construction as early as 2021.
In other great news, Australia?s wholesale electricity prices are forecast to continue to fall over the short and medium term ? due to the combined impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on demand, and the growth of renewables on supply ? and will likely shift investments towards new ?mega? projects over smaller wind and solar farms.
Energy market analysts RepuTex have just released a new study that suggests the coronavirus pandemic has helped create a ?perfect storm? in Australia?s main grid, known as the National Electricity Market (NEM), because it has cut demand, and lowered gas prices.
This, combined with the commissioning of large scale wind and solar projects currently under construction, is likely to depress electricity prices by an average 20 per cent for the next two years.
News from the old dart is that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the Government?is consulting on bringing forward the end date for new petrol and diesel cars and vans sales to 2035, five years earlier than previously targeted. The PM went further by stating that the UK government will consider whether a faster transition is feasible and proposed the possibility of?including hybrid vehicles in the ban.
Australia?s lack of progress on EV policy is disappointing (especially as it is meant to be an active arm of the Climate Solutions Fund). Nevertheless, the Australian EV market is slowly gaining more traction with new models coming onto the market and new EV prices dropping.
I still think though, the most powerful weapon EV?s have on their side is the keeping-up-with-the-jones psychology. People tend to judge you by the car you get out of, so come maybe 7 years, people will start judging (internal combustion engine) ICE owners as desperates.
Stuck-at-home online series
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A big reminder that grant applications for the $40 million Community Energy Efficient and Solar Grants 2020 program are now open. I am still wiping the sweat from my brow, rushing to get an application in before day?s end for our NFP, Sunshine Project for Community Inc (www.sunshineproject.com.au). ?Why? Because there are different assessment criteria for this program. Namely, there are only two grants allowed for each Federal electorate and its first-in-best-dressed (I notice unfilled quota electorates are getting less in number). If interested, internet search Energy Efficient Communities Program.
The aim of the program is to help community organisations save energy and lower bills through:
- Equipment upgrades that reduce energy consumption.
- Investment in energy and emissions monitoring and management systems to better manage energy use.
- Completion of energy systems assessments according to the Australian Standard or feasibility studies to investigate energy efficiency opportunities.
- For community organisations only, energy generation and storage projects (for example, solar PV?panels, batteries and solar hot water)
The business stream is due to be opened in June.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average up 33.33 points on Friday EST or 0.41% to 23,537.68, the STOXX 600 steady and up 1.86 points or 1.86% to 324.92 and the Shanghai Composite index up 8.76 points or?0.31% to 2,819.94.
The VIX fear gauge down steady on 40.62.
ASX 200 up 164 points for the week to 5,416.30. The Aussie dollar on 63.11 US cents.
Australian based Ecofibre Limited, a hemp-based products retailer has seen its shares jump by 19.4% in the last week to A$2.40. The rise came after news that the company?s third quarter revenue was up 42% from a year ago. Not bad in a coronavirus hit economy.
The graph shows the share?s performance over the last year.
Ecofibre operates in USA and Australia, targeting slightly different segments of the market. In the USA, the company operates in the hemp derived nutraceutical sector targeting the health and well-being segment via its Ananda Health brand. In Australia, the primary focus is on hemp-derived food products supplying hemp seed foods via the Ananda Food brand. Ecofibre also has a research and development arm with the aim to commercialise hemp-related fibre products.
Ecofibre is involved in several parts of the value chain, from growing to manufacturing up to the sales and marketing of its products, which include protein powders, dehulled hemp seeds or hemp oil. Ecofibre Limited offers Australian investors the opportunity to gain exposure to the fast-growing industrial hemp industry.
In order to be considered a food ingredient, hemp seed has to contain less than 0.5% of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ? which is the key differentiator to marijuana.
Hemp has so many great qualities. For a start, it contains more protein than quinoa and approximately the same amount as soybeans, around 25% protein. In addition, most essential amino acids as well as vital oils and vitamins are present.
Hemp sequesters 10 times as much carbon as an area of forest the same size, it can generate 4 times as much paper from the equivalent area of forest, its fibres are lighter and stronger than comparable construction wood products and it is a beneficial rotational crop. Go to https://www.hempmasonry.com.au/industrial-hemp/ for more info and also have a look at our hemp carbon offset program at Ecoprofit.com.au.
Eco-tip for the day ? Conduction of heat is U-value
U-value (expressed as Uw in windows) measures how readily a window system conducts heat. It is a measure of the rate of non-solar heat loss or gain through it. The rate of heat is indicated in the terms of the U-value of a window assembly which includes the effect of the frame, glass, seals and any spacers. The lower the U-value, the greater a window?s resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value.
A simple formula can help quantify the impact of improved U-value:
- the amount of heat conducted through a glazed unit (in watts) equals the U-value (Uw)
- multiplied by the number of degrees difference in air temperature on each side (T)
- multiplied by the area of the glazing unit (A)
Uw x T x A = watts (W)
If your home has 70m2?of windows and glazed doors with aluminium frames and clear glass (i.e. U-value of 6.2), on a winter?s night when it?s 10?C colder outside, the rate of heat loss would be about:
6.2 x 10 x 70 = 4,340W (or 4.31kW of thermal energy)
The humble curtain can reduce heat loss by 40% and more if pelmets are in place.? Thermal?curtains?or blinds?can reduce heat loss through windows?by up to 60% for single glazed?windows – in this example avoiding about 2.5kW rate of heat loss.
Eco Market Spot Prices
Sources:?RenewEconomy, demandmanager,? Reuters, SMH, Market Watch, greenglobaltravel