THIS WEEK

https://www.staffettaonline.com/articolo.aspx?id=354419

The Commission is expected to present on Wednesday an update of its industrial strategy for Europe, and a proposal for a regulation on “distortive foreign subsidies".

The 12th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, organised by Germany on Thursday and Friday, will speak about adaptation and climate finance. The high level yearly UN meeting about climate action will focus on i. Industry transition, ii. Zero Emissions Vehicles, iii. The Launch of the Adaptation Action Coalition.

In its brief ahead of the meeting, the Climate Action Network (CAN) argues the parties should work to reach an agreement at COP26 on a single five-year common time frame for nationally determined contributions (NDCs). CAN is also calling for the introduction of a carbon price in international shipping to enter into effect by 2025 (minimum level of $100 per tonne CO2e). The 12th Petersberg Climate Dialogue will be an indication on whether the proposal is feasible. 

A new report on methane emissions is expected from the United Nations.

This week the International Energy Agency is supposed to release a report on hydrogen in Northern Europe. 

Interesting the EU-US collaboration in the energy sector. From Wednesday to Friday, the leader of Germany’s Green Party Annalena Baerbock will attend the EU-US Future Forum, a meeting organised by the Atlantic Council. 

This will be the first international event for Baerbock as the most likely candidate to take Merkel's place. 

During the three-day event, interesting to see how Baerbock will deal with debates on energy prices. Let’s keep in mind that Germany’s hydrogen push heavily depends on oil&gas prices. 

Oil prices have almost doubled since November 2020 in relation to producers’ output restraint, Saudi cuts, and vaccination-led optimism.  Last year low oil prices were a hurdle/nightmare for hydrogen developments.

The Council of the European Union has planned for tomorrow a working party on energy focused on Article 1-3 of the TEN-E. Discussions also about the Energy Charter Treaty.

LAST WEEK

ETS prices are reaching new highs. Logically, the European heavy industry is now asking for a carbon border tax. The Commission's proposal is expected next month. Entry into force: in 2023 at the earliest. COP26 will be key for such a measure

At the 13th German-Russian Raw Materials Conference, leaders of the two countries focused on hydrogen, the transformation of energy systems and the digitization in the raw materials and energy sector. “There was broad consensus that a "green dialogue" on climate and sustainability issues between the EU and Russia has the potential to build new bridges between the two sides.”

But the carrot and stick approach continues. “If Russia invades Ukraine, the EU must make clear the consequences would be severe, including an immediate halt to EU imports of oil and gas from this country,” agreed he European Parliament on Thursday.

MEPs also approved major programmes within the EU's long-term budget: Horizon Europe (€95 billion for  innovation); the LIFE programme (€5.4 billion for climate action and biodiversity); and the space programme (€14.8 billion for satellite services such as Galileo and Copernicus). 

The Commission has received official recovery and resilience plans from France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Denmark, Spain, Latvia and Luxembourg.

In other words, the European budget plans are now becoming real.

In the 2nd half of 2020, average household electricity prices in the EU register a y-o-y marginal decrease, standing at €21.3 per 100 kWh (vs €21.7 per 100 kWh). Average gas prices in the EU followed a similar trend, reads a note published by Eurostat

ACER published its preliminary assessment. “Average gas supply sourcing costs declined in 2020 in most EU Member States and the Energy Community Contracting Parties by more than 4 Euros/MWh year on year,” reads the note published on April 26, also underlining a EU-wide convergence. COVID-19 gas demand reductions and record LNG deliveries the two main reasons.

The International Energy Agency published a report on patents and the energy transition, showing an all-time high in new patents for low-carbon energy (LCE) in 2019. Out of the top 15, five are based in Japan, four in the US, three in Germany and Korea. Big companies (mostly in the automotive and electronics sectors) are the driver of LCE innovation.

SOME QUESTIONS MARKS

As reported by Bloomberg, Daimler, BMW and Toyota “all started the year with sales at records, and things are so hot that used car prices in the US are soaring to all-time highs.” Is it a car renaissance as said by Bloomberg? My interpretation: the sector wants to leverage on the pandemic-related savings to sell more traditional cars. They will use the revenues to invest in EV and in general in innovation. This is the opportunity for EV competition to boom. 

It doesn’t come as a surprise that cobalt’s price recently jumped. Will the rise continue? Instinctively, I would say yes. 

HYDROGEN

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/04/27/the-hydrogen-stream-offshore-hydrogen-pipeline-and-more-electrolysis-capacity-in-germany/

Speaking about hydrogen there is not much to say. Germany is playing a very coordinated and rational strategy. Airbus, ArcelorMittal, Gasnetz Hamburg, GreenPlug, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik, Hamburg Port Authority, HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shell, Vattenfall, and Wärme Hamburg teamed up to apply for EU-wide “Important Projects of Common European Interest" (IPCEI) program for the Hamburg Hydrogen Network (Wasserstoffverbund Hamburg),. That would allow Berlin to invest.

Local energy company RWE  has long-term plans too. Teaming up with Shell (which is emerging as a potential leader in hydrogen production) wants to commission “the first German offshore hydrogen pipeline” by 2035, bringing t the Continent hydrogen from the North Sea.

German companies and institutions are collaborating with Spain, Russia, Sweden, and Australia. Siemens Energy, Messer Group, Daimler Truck are among the protagonists.

British o&g giant BP and Spain’s renewable giant Iberdrola are also getting closer to the construction of the largest green hydrogen production project in the Valencian Community. The project should start with a 20 MW electrolyzer.

In general, apart from Spain and Australia, it is North-West Europe the very strong catalyst of this first phase of hydrogen investments and "movements". For instance, NetherlandsVitol has acquired a 10% equity interest in Gen2 Energy, a Norwegian producer of green hydrogen, for an undisclosed sum; the port of Rotterdam confirms its determination to become the number 1 hydrogen hub in the world; Denmark’s developer European Energy entered into the Danish industry organization Hydrogen Denmark.

Also the automotive sector is on the move, especially the one from the United States: New York State-based Hyzon Motors is mulling collaboration opportunities with Wyoming-based renewable fuels company Raven SR, while also investing in Saudi Arabia’s Neo project

In Europe, Hyundai, Stellantis, Toyota and BMW asked European Commission's VP Timmermans to promote the “roll-out of a common hydrogen infrastructure”. So it won't be just a matter of heavy-duty trucks; the letter suggests that hydrogen could be soon tested on light commercial vehicles and passenger cars too.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/04/30/the-hydrogen-stream-20-mw-electrolyzer-in-spain-hydrogen-alliance-between-russia-and-germany/

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