California: Renewables sustain groundwater sustainability

ESI Africa | November 11, 2019

Solar and wind farms are popping up around the US to lower carbon emissions, and these renewables also have another important effect: keeping more water in the ground. A new Princeton University-led study in Nature Communications is among the first to show that solar and wind energy not only enhance drought resilience, but also aid in groundwater sustainability. Using drought-prone California as a case study, the researchers show that increased solar and wind energy can reduce the reliance on hydropower, especially during drought. Consequently, this could help divert more surface water from hydropower to irrigation, thereby reducing overall groundwater abstraction. While the scope of this study focused on the US, the framework can also be applied internationally, especially for policymakers working to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, said lead author Xiaogang He, who worked on the study as a Ph.D. student at Princeton. He is now a Water in the West postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. “Traditionally, the social value of solar and wind energy has mostly been focused on air pollution mitigation and carbon emission reductions,” said He, an incoming assistant professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore.

Spotlight

Saft explains how microgrids that combine diesel generators, renewable energy resources and lithium-ion (Li-ion) energy storage can enhance security of supply while reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. When an energy storage system (ESS) is added, an operator can maximize the contribution of renewables, increasing the penetration of PV power and allowing diesel-off operation.

Spotlight

Saft explains how microgrids that combine diesel generators, renewable energy resources and lithium-ion (Li-ion) energy storage can enhance security of supply while reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. When an energy storage system (ESS) is added, an operator can maximize the contribution of renewables, increasing the penetration of PV power and allowing diesel-off operation.

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PRODUCTS,INDUSTRY UPDATES

Octopus Energy Launches Electric Vehicle Business in Texas with New Leasing Service

Octopus Energy | July 07, 2022

Renewable energy retailer Octopus Energy U.S. announced today the launch of Octopus Electric Vehicles (OEV), its new business line that will accelerate accessibility and adoption of EVs and smart charging. OEV’s inaugural product is EV Concierge, the first-ever integrated demand response EV leasing plan offered by an energy retailer. With EV Concierge, Octopus Energy will not only help customers lease an EV of their choice, but also seamlessly integrate smart charging and billing into their existing energy plan.New and existing customers living in Texas are invited to apply for the beta leasing program at octoev.us. The Octopus Concierge team will provide qualifying customers white glove service, helping soon-to-be EV drivers through the entire search and vehicle leasing process, including selection and delivery of a new or used EV of their choice, installation of an EV home charger and education on best practices for EV ownership. “Interest in electric vehicles is at an all time high. With Texas as the third-largest market for EVs, and a global leader in energy, we will be positioned to help customers realize vehicle and energy savings all on one bill, As fossil fuel continues to be impacted by inflation, it's never made more sense to get an EV paired with smart charging to extract the lowest priced energy from the grid. EV Concierge will ensure that new EVs enter our state optimized to create a more reliable, clean and affordable energy system.” -Chris George, Director of U.S. Octopus Electric Vehicles Core to the EV Concierge program is Intelligent Octopus, which allows customers to access power when it is cheaper and greener, while helping to balance the overall stability of the grid. Intelligent Octopus is powered through Octopus Energy’s proprietary Kraken technology platform that uses advanced data and machine learning to automate a majority of the energy supply chain. Customers who lease an EV and use a smart thermostat with Intelligent Octopus will have the opportunity to take advantage of a new, discounted energy plan that is 20% to 30% lower than the average 12-month energy plan in Texas today. This reduced rate plan will launch this summer. Initially launched in the UK in 2018, OEV has grown to offer an all-in-one service where Octopus leases the cars, installs home charge points, provides specialist EV energy tariffs, and offers access to over 250,000 public charge points across Europe via the Electric Juice Network. Its most popular product is EV Salary Sacrifice, which has allowed 1,500 UK businesses to switch their staff to electric vehicles with huge discounts of 30% and above. “We’ve seen that consumers are looking for experts that can offer the full EV package to guide them through their journey, With more EV models entering the market every month, and innovative tariffs like Intelligent Octopus making charging your car as easy as your phone, we only expect the transition to accelerate. ”We’re thrilled to be able to open up our ultimate EV package to millions of new customers both in the UK and the U.S. Our roads are transforming and we plan to lead from the front, making it easy for drivers to make the switch.” -Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles. Increasingly, EVs are being designed to not only allow drivers to go from Point A to Point B, but to also be used as a mobile power plant. An EV can hold enough energy storage to power a home for two to three days, offering the ability to significantly power a home during an emergency and fuel critical infrastructure despite shocks to the energy system. Michael Lee, CEO of Octopus Energy U.S., said, The modern retailer is here to support customers in ways beyond just selling electricity. This is especially true when it comes to emerging technologies, such as EVs, where energy retailers can maximize the value of the vehicle on the grid, including through vehicle-to-grid as this solution grows. Octopus Energy is here to accelerate the energy transition with integrated, innovative offerings that ultimately unlock lower costs and reliable power for our customers. The launch of EV Concierge comes one year after Octopus Energy U.S. landed in Houston to provide affordable, renewable energy to Texas homes. Since then, its customer base has grown 10x while the team has launched programs, like Superpower Savings, to reward customers who conserve energy and balance the grid while demand is high. To sign up or learn more about OEV, visit octoev.us. About Octopus Energy Octopus Energy Group is a technology-driven, renewable energy retailer, directly supplying over 3.2 million customers globally with 100% green electricity at a cheaper price and with a focus on incredible customer service. Founded six years ago as a global energy retailer, Octopus Energy entered the U.S. market in 2020, forming Octopus Energy U.S. and fueling the company’s global expansion. Octopus Energy is valued at nearly $5 billion and is one of energy-tech’s fastest-growing private companies. To learn more, visit: www.octopusenergy.com. About Octopus Electric Vehicles Octopus Electric Vehicles, part of the Octopus Energy Group, was launched in 2018 to make it easy for drivers to make that switch to clean, electric transport. With over 65 electric cars now available from 28 different brands, Octopus Electric Vehicles’ team provides everything drivers need to take the road in a new EV. Offering an all-in-one service, Octopus lease the cars, install charge points, provide specialist EV energy tariffs, and offer access to over 250,000 public charge points across Europe via the Electric Juice Network. All with a 5* rating on Trustpilot. Octopus Electric Vehicles also specializes in salary sacrifice schemes - an employee benefit that makes driving a brand new electric car cheaper than the petrol or diesel equivalent through tax savings. Placing customer experience first, Octopus Electric Vehicles has designed the scheme to be simple for an employer to set up and run, and support them at every step. Drivers typically save 30% or more every month on the cost of their EV; and at zero-cost for an employer to set up, it’s great for their team, their hiring and retention, and for their sustainability goals.

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TRANSPORTATION

Fisker and Wallbox Partner Globally for Home EV Charging Solutions

Fisker and Wallbox | September 26, 2022

Fisker Inc. (NYSE: FSR) ("Fisker") – passionate creator of the world's most sustainable electric vehicles and advanced mobility solutions – and Wallbox (NYSE: WBX), a leading provider of electric vehicle and energy management solutions worldwide, name Wallbox as Fisker's global partner for home EV charging solutions Fisker and Wallbox are partnering to offer Fisker EV owners Wallbox home EV chargers for purchase through the Fisker website in the U.S., Canada, and European launch markets. The Pulsar Plus, Wallbox's best-selling charger worldwide and one of the smallest smart universal EV chargers, will be available to the North American market through Fisker. In Europe, Fisker will be the first OEM to offer Wallbox's Pulsar Max charger, providing localized charging solutions to drivers in seven European countries. Like Pulsar Plus, Pulsar Max delivers top charging speeds and offers the full Wallbox energy management suite, including solar charging, so users can enjoy their EVs to the fullest. Both chargers display customized Fisker and Wallbox logos and can be installed in homes, offices, and multi-unit dwellings to provide straightforward and efficient charging. "Fisker is laser-focused on giving our customers simple and intuitive technology combined with clever design to make owning an EV easier. Together with Wallbox, we are providing class-leading, competitively priced chargers for Fisker owners, "Wallbox's track record of delivering well-designed, innovative, and dependable charging systems on a global scale makes the partnership a perfect fit for our customers and our business." -Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker Making home charging accessible is key to accelerating the transition to EVs globally, and partnering with Fisker will allow us to support more drivers as they make the transition, said Douglas Alfaro, General Manager of Wallbox North America. There is a natural alignment between our two brands, so we are excited to announce our partnership with Fisker. Fisker and Wallbox also plan to offer home installation services provided by Wallbox in Europe. In the U.S. and Canada, installation services will be provided by COIL, a recent Wallbox acquisition. Wallbox Pulsar Plus smart chargers will be available to Fisker Ocean reservation holders starting November 2022 in the U.S. and Canada. Wallbox Pulsar Max smart chargers will be available to Fisker Ocean reservation holders starting November 2022 in our European launch markets: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and The United Kingdom. Pricing to be announced. The Fisker Ocean, Fisker's ground-breaking all-electric SUV, is available in three trim levels: Extreme, Ultra, and Sport. The top trim Fisker Ocean Extreme travels 350 miles1 on a single charge, with dual-motor, all-wheel-drive, three driving modes, Revolve 17.1" rotating screen, SolarSky roof, California Mode, Smart Traction, and many first-to-market safety features, including the world's first digital radar, all for $68,9992 in the U.S. Production of the Fisker Ocean is on track for November 17, 2022, at a carbon-neutral factory in Graz, Austria. Deliveries to customers will begin shortly after. About Fisker Inc. California-based Fisker Inc. is revolutionizing the automotive industry by developing the most emotionally desirable and eco-friendly electric vehicles on Earth. Passionately driven by the vision of a clean future for all, the company is on a mission to become the No. 1 e-mobility service provider with the world's most sustainable vehicles. To learn more, visit www.FiskerInc.com – and enjoy exclusive content across Fisker's social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. About Wallbox Wallbox is a global company, dedicated to changing the way the world uses energy in the electric vehicle industry. Wallbox creates smart charging systems that combine innovative technology with outstanding design and manage the communication between vehicle, grid, building and charger. Wallbox offers a complete portfolio of charging and energy management solutions for residential, semi-public and public use in more than 100 countries. Founded in 2015, with headquarters in Barcelona, Wallbox's mission is to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles today to make more sustainable use of energy tomorrow. The company employs approximately 1,100 people in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

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STRATEGY AND BEST PRACTICES,ENERGY

Fortlev and Brenmiller Energy Inaugurate the World’s First Renewable Energy-Powered Thermal Energy Storage System for Plastic Manufacturing

Fortlev | August 10, 2022

Brenmiller Energy, a global leader in thermal energy storage, announced today that it and Fortlev, the largest producer of water storage solutions in Brazil, have inaugurated a bGen Thermal Energy Storage (TES) unit at Fortlev’s production facility in Anápolis, Brazil. The bGen unit is the first TES system powered by renewable energy to be used to generate hot air for manufacturing plastic products in the world and also the first thermal energy storage system powered by renewable energy to be used for commercial operations in South America. The 1 MWh bGen unit enables Fortlev to use renewable biomass rather than natural gas to heat the air it uses to make plastic water tanks with rotational molding machines. Substituting biomass for natural gas allows Fortlev to lower the fuel costs associated with heating this air by more than 75%. Use of the bGen unit will also lower the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with heating this air by approximately 800 metric tons per year. Fortlev and Brenmiller Energy are in discussions to install 60 bGen units at the facility, which will enable it to avoid 48,000 metric tons of GHG emissions per year – an amount equivalent to the GHG emissions released by approximately 10,500 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year. “Fortlev is dedicated to delivering its customers high-quality, competitively priced water storage solutions while respecting the environment, By helping Fortlev lower our fuel expenses and decarbonize one of our thermal manufacturing processes, Brenmiller Energy’s bGen technology is helping us realize this goal and do well while doing good.” -Antonio Torres, Fortlev Solar CEO. Having demonstrated the financial and environmental success of bGen’s TES technology, over the next few years Fortlev might not just expand its use of bGen at its Anápolis production facility, but also at its seven other manufacturing facilities in Brazil. In addition, Fortlev Solar, as a partner of Brenmiller Energy in Brazil, is intending to open a manufacturing factory to produce bGen units for the Brazilian market. Storing Renewable Energy as Heat to Produce Steam, Hot Water, and Hot Air Many industrial companies have found it difficult to economically decarbonize plastic roto-molding, food preparation, chemical production, pulp and paper manufacturing, and other thermal processes that require the production or use of steam, hot water or hot air. For example, battery-based energy storage technologies do not efficiently store renewable energy for hours to days at a time, nor do they efficiently convert this energy on-demand into the heat needed to produce steam, hot water, or hot air. By combining thermal storage, heat exchange, and steam generation together in a single solution, Brenmiller Energy’s bGen technology can provide industrial companies with the energy efficiency, output stability, scalability, and other capabilities they need to cost-competitively decarbonize their thermal processes. Brenmiller Energy’s technology is also flexible, enabling companies to use both electricity (from solar panels, wind turbines, and the grid) and thermal sources of energy (biomass, flue gas, recovered heat) to charge the bGen units. The crushed rocks in the bGen units can efficiently store this energy as heat for minutes, hours, or even days. Then, when companies need it, they can use this heat to produce clean steam, hot water, or hot air on-demand to mold plastic, clean food, dry wood, or complete other industrial processes. “Forward-thinking industrial companies like Fortlev want to decarbonize their thermal processes. But until recently, there have been few, if any, reliable, cost-effective, long-lived solutions that allow them to do so, Our bGen technology enables these companies to start using renewable energy resources and waste heat to efficiently produce clean steam, hot water, and hot air on-demand, allowing them to decarbonize their thermal process – and in some cases, like Fortlev, reduce their fuel costs while doing so.” -Avi Brenmiller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brenmiller Energy The installation of the bGen unit at Fortlev manufacturing facility was supported by the Israel Innovation Authority and the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII). “It is inspiring to see this binational cooperation, where an innovative Israeli company implemented its groundbreaking technology in a factory of a large Brazilian company, This partnership has great potential in the Brazilian energy storage market and beyond.'' -Daniel Zonshine, Ambassador of Israel in Brazil A Way to Decarbonize a Wide Variety of Thermal Processes In addition to generating hot air to mold plastic, Brenmiller Energy’s bGen thermal energy storage technology can be used to decarbonize a wide variety of other industrial and power generation thermal processes that currently use fossil fuels to generate heat. Brenmiller is working with Philip Morris International (Romania), Enel (Italy), and other industrial and utility customers to use its TES technology to decarbonize a diverse range of such processes around the world. About Fortlev Fortlev is the biggest manufacturer of water tanks, pipes, and water connections in Brazil. Fortlev is the benchmark in water storage solutions all over Brazil. Since 1989, Fortlev has specialized in bringing quality to its customers. And, for that, innovation is required. Today Fortlev has one of the most modern pipes and fitting industrial parks in the country. In water tanks, Fortlev is always one step ahead, seeking bold solutions for consumers. About Fortlev Solar Fortlev Solar is a distributor of photovoltaic products from the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. The company’s goal is to maintain a sustainable future, saving costs on the electricity bill and marketing quality products, delivered with agility and safety anywhere in Brazil. In the past two years Fortlev Solar has become the biggest distributor of Solar Solutions in Brazil. About Brenmiller Energy Brenmiller Energy delivers scalable thermal energy storage solutions and services that allow customers to cost-effectively decarbonize their operations. Its patented bGen thermal storage technology enables the use of renewable energy resources, as well as waste heat, to intelligently heat crushed rocks to very high temperatures. They can then store this heat for minutes, hours, or even days before using it for industrial and power generation processes. With bGen organizations have a way to use electricity, biomass, and waste heat to generate the steam, hot water and hot air they need to mold plastic, process food and beverages, produce paper, manufacture chemicals and pharmaceuticals, or drive steam turbines without burning fossil fuels. For more information visit the company’s website at https://bren-energy.com/ and follow the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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