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Energy

Turkey’s renewable energy sector has grown but needs better long-term carbon targets, say IEA

According to the latest evaluation by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Turkey has seen immense growth in the renewable energy sector. However, the agency noted that the European country needs to ramp up its efforts to ensure sustainable and long-term carbon reduction goals.

The government has laid out policies to ensure the green energy market grows and energy supply is reliable. As energy demands rise due to population and economic growth, the country has experienced a surge in import dependency on fossil fuels.

 The government has unveiled a new long-term plan centered on energy supply security to cut down on import expenditure. Firstly, Turkey is exploring domestic oil and gas for production. The administration has invested billions of dollars in the newly discovered Sakarya gas field found in the Black Sea regarding production and supply infrastructure.

Secondly, the European nation has expanded its renewable energy capacity and reduced energy consumption by employing efficient energy consumption policies. Through auctions, investors are drawn from various fields to drive the start and support of clean energy startups.

Lastly, the government uses a mix of new approaches to realize a combined effort of decarbonizing Turkey’s energy sector. With solar power projects, onshore wind projects, and nuclear power, the country is moving forward at an appealing rate. The 2023-scheduled launch of a nuclear power plant will further diversify the country’s cleaner energy sources.

“In the last decade, Turkey’s energy balance has become substantially more complex. Renewable energy, driven by hydropower, solar, as well as wind, has risen dramatically in recent years, aided by a favorable policy climate, ” Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, stated.

The report adds that Turkey’s renewable energy sector has grown by fifty percent over the last five years. In2019, the country had the highest green energy additions across Europe. Globally, it was ranked at the fifteenth position for countries with the greatest improvement in cleaner energy.

However, the country is far from realizing a perfect score in renewable energy. Turkey currently utilizes barely three percent of its solar energy potential and less than 15 percent of its onshore wind capacity.

According to IEA, the Turkish administration should pull up the socks and rectify some areas pulling the green energy down. For instance, the government should rethink the significance of lignite-based power generation in the climate change dialogue. Besides, Turkey should also invest in the electric vehicle industry, energy storage, and digital technologies.

“Turkey has made significant progress in modernizing its energy markets, increasing the importance of renewables, and enhancing its energy stability over the last decade. I hope that this report will assist Turkish lawmakers in making informed decisions as they attempt to manage the country’s next step of energy growth in some of the most cost-effective, safe, and long-term manner possible, “Dr. Birol said.

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Energy

Grant Program proposal to fund EV charging stations in Florida advances

Electric vehicles are the future of the transport industry since they are clean products that give us safe rides and maintain a secure environment. In the past, Tesla was the domineering EV carmaker company since it is the pioneer of EVs. However, recently many carmakers have taken an interest in electrification settings. This evolvement is crucial since it entices more people to get an electric vehicle. However, significant concern has been rising regarding places to charge electric vehicles. Experts argue that electric vehicles’ development has to go hand in hand with charging infrastructure’ development.

There is a proposal running on an electric charging station in Florida whose primary goal is to encourage people to invest in cars. This proposal will allow local governments, state agencies, and others to get a grant to fund the development plan of charging station installation. The funding should cover equipment purchase and the installation cost.

How will the grants be paid? The bill proposes an increase in license covers for plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles to cover the funding. Sen Jeff Brandes sponsors this bill. He claims that the additional fees don’t go against anyone since electric car owners don’t pay for gas tax responsible for the Florida transportation Infrastructure.

In that case, the state administration has to look for an elegant and beneficial solution to deliver revenue from electric vehicles that use the states’ road just like the internal combustion engine vehicles. Jeff also claims that the fees are affordable in comparison to other states. Reports from other areas indicate that the prices are running up to $250 while Florida law will focus on the vehicle’s weight to charge a driver.

For example, for a vehicle like Tesla weighing 10,000 pounds, the charges are $135 from January 2025 but would rise to $150. Other cars weighing more will have higher payments. Nick Howe, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts club, the vice president, claims that he and the club are ready to support the license fees. Nick stated that they would pay for the tax share and not take advantage of other people. However, Nick claims that fixed charges are unfair since it doesn’t reflect how electric drivers use their cars.

He agrees with Sen Lori Berman, who claims that the best solution is charging depending on usage. For instance, the state calculates the annual vehicle miles a car travel and charges a driver instead of a fixed charge. Jeff Brandes explained that collecting tax from gas is simple since it deals with distributors who are a few, but for EVs, it is for every electric vehicle, a burden to the state. He also stated that the law stands the chance of changes.

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Energy

General Motors’ EV plans start to take shape with new less-expensive Chevy Bolts

The world is transiting from fossil-fuel cars to electric vehicles, and the shift is inevitable. This topic is one of the most trending news since the beginning of this year, with many carmakers making plans and setting targets. One of the companies that are moving to the electrification field is General Motors. It is a giant car manufacturer that has been running for years, creating traditional vehicles. Recently, the company announced its plans to become all-electric vehicle makers by 2035. Different people pointed out how ambitious the target is, but General Motors’ plan starts to take shape with their recent announcements.

Reports state that the automaker is working on launching two Chevrolet Bolt models this summer. Later before the year ends, it will release a $113,000 GMC Hummer EV pickup. The electric bolts, a redesigned hatchback, and a new crossover initial price are under $34,000. This start is the beginning of General Motors’ automaker hopes will grow to a full lineup of high-quality and affordable EVs.

The company is building scale to lower the upcoming electric vehicles’ cost, including the Hummer inputted with new battery systems and platforms. Jesse Ortega, the chief engineer of GM’s battery electric vehicle architectures, spoke of the upcoming launches. He said of the GMC Hummer EV and Bolts EVs as a representation of what the company can build in construction and performance.

It is the company’s two-pronged approach to address the luxury and mainstream markets. When you compare the two launches, it is inevitable to miss out on the price difference between the two cars, which comes down to the battery technologies. The upcoming Bolt models in the current company platform include batteries that provide less driving range than the next-generation batteries and Ultium platform, which will start on the Hummer EV.

All the three vehicles are part of GM’s plan to launch at least thirty new EVs by 2025 under a $27 billion investment. Tony Johnson, director of Chevrolet marketing, talked of the intentional price strategy that the company is putting in a place whose primary goal is to encourage customers to adopt the EVs. He stated that future launches all have a role to play in GM’s mission to electrify all the cars.

President Mark Reus and CEO Mary Barra spoke of future targets to deliver a profitable new generation of electric vehicles. Tony spoke of the company’s development team’s dedication and hard work to ensure excellent performance and driving cost out of their system. All these advancements are the reason why Bolt can lower the prices of the Bolt launches.

The company is offering lower-priced vehicles as part of its campaign to lure people into adopting EVs. Ortega stated that they are aiming for customers for life as they offer them affordable options.

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Energy

Hawaii is ahead of the timeline in the Renewable energy adoption

Different places are working on adopting renewable energy. However, the time taken to adapt to the energy transition varies from one state to another. There are various reasons why some states surpass others in the same venture. One of the states with an exceptional record in the renewable energy sector is Hawaii. Statics show that the state is ahead of the planned target by the government.

The state of Hawaii previously issued a mandate indicating that 30% of electric power by 2020 should come from renewable sources. However, with the recent reports, Hawaii has exceeded that figure and is working on the 100% clean energy program.

Hawaiian Electric is the state’s most significant utility, and in their recent reports, the utility 2020 generation ran up to 34.5% renewables in Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island. Their renewable production has a 21.5% increase from the 2019 data. Despite the lower demand thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, this growth took place as a lot of things went to a halt globally. And this means that the denominator of the market-share fraction used is less than other years, despite the various patterns. At regular rates, Hawaii Electric is confident that the company would have hit the 32% target.

The utility’s spokesperson, Shannon Tangonan, spoke of the results and the hard work to achieve the figure. It results from a lot of work and effort in creating a renewable portfolio, and these are the benefits of the company staying true to its goals while keeping an eye on the final destination.

Other utility cooperatives are yet to report the final numbers for the 2020 energy report. However, their spokesperson, Beth Tokioka, spoke to Greentech Media, claiming that their figures are over 60% on renewable power. This figure is ahead of the state’s 30% renewable energy target and KIUC’s 2023 target of 50%.

In recent years, there are supposed impossibilities in the energy sector that different states have proven wrong. For instance, no state can commit to 100% renewables which Hawaii kicked off the list five years ago, with other states following closely. During the campaign period, President Biden talked of the 2035 phase-out of fossil fuel energy, which many are eager to see how it runs.

Setting a target is the first stage of making the transition increase its speed. With a timeline, corporations know what they are aiming at, and since it is mandatory, it involves putting effort into the matter. Hawaii is an island with limiting land but importing fossil fuel energy is also expensive to manage. This fact explains the state’s good response as it is working on committing to renewables by setting up plants and other energy infrastructure.

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Space

Cygnus Cargo Ship honoring “hidden figure” Katherine Johnson gets to the space station

Behind the successful space study, powerful men and women work hard to achieve the targets and launches. And in most cases, they are not people the media get to interact with or learn about them. This detail explains why the name” hidden figures.” One of these people includes one of the best NASA mathematicians who made the first human flight into space. The late Mrs. Katherine Johnson passed away last year at the age of 101 years. Northrop Grumman, in their recent Cygnus cargo ship, named it after Katherine. Its launch took place on February 20th, carrying various experiments and supplies for astronauts in space.

Reports from NASA have confirmed that the cargo ship arrived at the International Space station on February 22nd. It took a 2-day spaceflight and arrived safely carrying worms, artificial retina experiment, advanced supercomputer, and many more. The Cygnus NG-15 craft took a cargo weighing over 8,200lbs of supplies.

After the triumphant arrival, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi caught the ship with a robotic Canadarm2. His backup man was Michael Hopkins, NASA’s flight engineer.

In NASA’s recent update on the spacecraft, it claims that the ground controllers took the craft into the Earth-facing port where the controllers locked it. It will take up a three-month mission on a variety of experiments. Reports indicate that the Cygnus cargo ship took less than two days to get into space’s orbit after lifting off from the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket.

This launch took place in February in the Virginia NASA Regional spacecraft. One of the experiments in the launch includes an investigation concerning the muscle strength of worms. Also, the SpaceBorne Computer under the Hewlett Packard Enterprise aims to reduce the data experts in the ground receive and come up with a product it processes more data on the orbit.

After receiving the cargo, the astronauts will unload the supplies and experiments before reloading it with trash before May’s departure. Before this Cygnus launch, Northrop Grumman launched another craft with investigations regarding the fire in space and high-speed 5G communications. After completing its mission, it entered the atmosphere, burning up according to the initial plan.

With this cargo ship, astronauts can refill everything they are missing, upgrade the working tools, and various experiments. This launch is a show of NASA’s support for the crew members as they work to improve the space world. Experts hope to achieve all the results from the experiments and that the crew members working have all the necessary tools.

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Energy

The first wind farm in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam by GE Renewable Energy

In the recent news, GE Renewable Energy announced that the company has a contract with Ocean Renewable Energy to supply fifteen 4 MW-137 wind turbines for installation in a wind farm in Lam Dong Province. The Cau Dat wind farm facility is the first such facility in the province. Other than supplying the wind turbines, other terms in the contract indicate a 10-year agreement in the maintenance and functionality of the wind farm. This wind farm will mark Vietnam’s strength to venture into renewables in different parts of the country.

What is the GE 4.0-137 wind turbine? It is a 4 MW power output turbine whose rotor diameter measures up to 137 meters. This wind turbine is the upgraded version of the GE 3 MW platform series. The two turbines have similar hardware, but the performance of the 4 MW is better, resulting in high energy production. These turbines come with a hub height of up to 111.5 meters and are perfect for exploiting the wind conditions in the area. The installation location’s choice is great since it is the Central Highland of the country in the mountainous range.

This joint venture marks the first partnership between GE Renewables and the Ocean Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company. However, it is no secret that the two companies have been working closely on wind farm layout, design, engineering, and transportation for a year. The development team hopes the wind farm construction ends by the third quarter of this year. From the look of things, the project has multiple benefits, including creating jobs in the construction, operations, maintenance, and support services and improving the province’s economy. With these facts, the general economy of the country will rise.

Gilan Sabatier, GE Renewable Energy’s onshore wind business regional leader in South Asia and ASEAN, commented on the partnership. He started by thanking Ocean Renewable Energy for the opportunity to take part in this historic project. The General Director of Ocean Renewable Energy, Mr. Do Van Binh, spoke about how the project will assist the Lam Dong province in the energy sector. It will give the province a chance to contribute to the ongoing renewable energy goal of Vietnam. Besides, it is a way of setting up a portfolio for other areas to venture into renewable energy projects soon.

GE Renewable Energy is a long-term partner that has been helping Vietnam in the energy transition process. Over the last few years, there is an increase in demand for renewable energy, and this wind project will help Vietnam provide more renewable energy. With this project, GE can provide technological support for various power generation projects. Currently, GE has over 1,600 employees in Vietnam.

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Energy

Pennsylvania’s AEPS goals need to be stretched to attract more investors

Pennsylvania’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) has not been up to the expected standard. Energy experts and government critics have pointed out that the state needs to expand its targets to keep up with neighboring states in the clean energy sector. At the beginning of February, Greg Vitali, a Pennsylvania state representative, published an article titled ‘a realistic climate agenda for Pennsylvania’. He highlighted what ought to be done to boost the state’s green energy industry.

Pennsylvania is the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the United States, according to a recent study. “Pennsylvania emitted about 215 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, making it the fifth-largest emitting state in the nation,” said Vitali in the article.

According to Vitali, political disagreements will drag the state’s approach to climate change down. “Pennsylvania should be doing things like increasing its Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), expanding the energy conservation provisions of Act 2019, and joining the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program. But with the State House and Senate firmly in Republican control, it’s unlikely that any of these things will happen this year,” added Vitali.

His sentiments are valid and realistic. However, they are also below average compared to Pennsylvania’s neighbors, who have robust and well-planned green energy projects.

“Pennsylvania’s current AEPS goals require a paltry 8% of electricity come from renewable sources, with 0.5% from in-state solar by May 2021. These numbers are meager compared to Pennsylvania’s neighboring states,” said Andrea Wittchen, an energy expert. Increasing these targets will attract more investors in the region. According to Wittchen, increasing the renewable energy goals to 18% with solar accounting for 5.5 % would increase the state’s investment values to billions of dollars and provide job opportunities to residents.

On the contrary, if something is not done to ramp up these values, investors will avoid investing in Pennsylvania, leaving the state’s economy stagnant. Investors will camp in the neighboring states making Pennsylvania lag behind in growth, market viability, and low clean energy industry.

Pennsylvania’s AEPS was enacted in 2004 to introduce alternative energy solutions to the state’s electricity demands. Electricity distribution companies and suppliers were mandated to ensure that by 2021, eighteen percent of the state’s electricity is sourced from renewables. To address climate change and contribute to the nation’s zero-carbon targets, Pennsylvania needs to adopt new policies on the expansion of battery-powered vehicles, endorse the use and production of large-scale methane and authorize the adoption of community-based solar power projects.

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Energy

Impressive data of SAIC’s electric car sales going for $4500 in China

There is an electric car available in the SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile dealer showroom in Chongqing. It is none other than the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV, which entered the electric vehicle market last year in July. Ever since then, many Chinese have decided to test its experience by buying it. It is a car that accommodates up to four people. It is box-shaped, measuring less than 3 meters and 1.5 meters for length and width, respectively.

With as low as 28,000 yuan, equivalent to $4460, you can take an electric vehicle home. However, one model stands out given that it also has air conditioning that goes for $5,000. According to a salesman, there is also an option of making a down payment of 13,000 yuan then pay the rest later without incurring any extra cost in the form of interest.

If one compares it with Tesla in terms of performance and range, it will emerge the loser. Despite that, it is one of the best-selling electric vehicles in China. It is also doing very well among the combination of all clean energy cars hybrids included. That’s the case since it comes at a pocket-friendly price, not forgetting its users’ convenience. Its success is also something that SAIC Motor, a renowned automaker in China, has a reason to celebrate, no doubt. After all, it is the majority shareholder of SAIC-GM-Wuling responsible for the Wuling EV’s production and sales. It is also important to note that General Motors is also part of this venture.

The majority of the average consumers can comfortably rely on it entirely for their daily driving needs. Upon charging it fully, its driving range is 120 km, and the speed can go as high as 100 kph. That corresponds with what markets often call the commuting tool of the people. If a need arises, it is possible to charge it using a standard public charging station hence convenient to own and will avoid getting stranded in case the charge dries. The manufacturer didn’t settle for the cutting-edge battery, thus available at a low price.

From July to the end of 2020, the car had registered annual sales of 112,000 units making it only second to Tesla’s Model 3. However, going by monthly sales, it took the lead, and even Tesla’s EV followed. As far as the best-selling electric vehicle models are concerned, it is also number two after Tesla Model 2 globally.  LMC Automotive research firm analyst Alan Kang says it owes high sales to its design and low cost. He also added that relatively high sales were recorded in provinces such as Shandong and Henan.

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Energy

Grids being served by renewable energy are reliable even in extreme weather conditions

Millions of Americans have been living without power for quite some time through the past week. This situation is attributable to the extreme winter season that escalated the dependence on electricity for warmth and other heat-generation operations. Nonetheless, the high demand for electricity is not the only problem leading to the shortage. Other factors include insufficient development of electricity utilities and restrictive regulations regarding the safety of forests from wildfires. Moreover, some grids need winterization to minimize future risks. This year witnessed millions of people spend the best part of winter in cold environments without power, making some freeze to death.

Meanwhile, politicians began pointing fingers at where fault should lie. Some decided to blame renewable energy for the sole creator of the outages. This move, of course, is simply not right. The technical failure was across the board for all energy generation in the state’s isolated power supply, and an investigation will look into how state policy played a role.

On the other hand, politicians started playing the blame game, with some pointing at renewable energy as the primary problem of a power outage. Experts have come up with an informed plan that will resolve such contentions about electricity supply in the future. A renewable energy research scientist from the University of Albany, Richard Perez, participated in the formulation of this plan. He explained that the electric grid could operate solely on renewable energy by engineering it to survive peak demand, harsh weather conditions, among other physical factors. Perez emphasized that the solar or wind energy structure must have high resilience to ensure continuous service provision even in extreme conditions.

The other challenge that people have managed to design the solution is the snowing on photovoltaic fields. The experts think that the ideal solution for this problem is winterizing the resources that can be coated with snow. This strategy has played out effectively in Canada, and the experts are hoping that it can shine in the US since Canada experiences way colder weather than the US. The next strategy is developing solar panels or wind turbines that can get the best results from any kind of weather. This move will help the country avoid the trouble of spending on the storage technology for this energy when they can tap it regularly and intensively. He outlined that a fusion of solar and wind energy collection technology can work out this magic and save the Americans the hustle of spending winter in blackouts.

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Space

L3Harris wins a $137 million deal for the GPS digital payloads

On February 23, L3Harris Technologies reported that it had secured a $137 million deal for 4-digital payloads, which are meant for the GPS navigation satellites from the Lockheed Martin firm. The navigation payload flight data units produced by Lockheed Martin are meant for the next-generation GPS satellites identified as GPS 3 Follow-on or the GPS 3F. For the next generation of the GPS satellites, identified as GPS 3 Follow-on or the GPS 3F, Lockheed Martin provided L3Harris the green light to begin the production of the fully digital navigation payload.

The digital payload passed what the military considers an “important design review” that allowed the modern payload design to be shown to be mature enough to move to the final test as well as delivery of production. The mission data unit, which is intended to provide more efficient signals and ensure reliable atomic clock procedures, is the core aspect of the navigation payload. Lockheed Martin develops the satellites for the United States military. The organization uses L3Harris’ 70% digital mission data module for 10 GPS 3 satellites. Throughout the 11th satellite of GPS 3 constellation that will be the Follow-on version, the 100% digital payload will be added.

In the year 2018, Lockheed Martin chose L3Harris to design as well as develop the very first two completely digital mission data modules and awarded the firm a deal for two payloads for $243 million in the year 2019. The latest award is for an extra four units. The newest payload will enable the transfer of GPS constellation to the potential ground control system, identified as GPS OCX, produced by Raytheon, stated Ed Zoiss, who serves as the President of Space as well as Airborne Systems at the L3Harris Company.

The GPS 3 satellites that are presently being deployed have a digital 70% L3Harris mission data unit. The very first four GPS 3 satellites are currently operational and have been deployed. In the coming years, six more will be deployed. In 2026, the United States Space Force aims to begin deploying GPS 3F satellites. These will also have a digital payload of 100 percent. In September 2018, the United States Air force approved a contract valued at $7.2 billion to Lockheed Martin to develop a maximum of 22 GPS 3F satellites.

L3Harris (L3Harris Technologies) is an American-based technology firm that manufactures C6ISR systems and devices, night vision equipment, wireless equipment, tactical radios, avionics and electronic systems, space-borne antennas, and terrestrial to be used in the defense, army as well as commercial sectors and the information technology services provider.