The headquarters of CATL, China’s fastest growing battery maker, lie on the edge of the city of Ningde, a stone’s throw from ponds where farmers raise carp and a street of cheap noodle restaurants and vehicle repair shops frequented by migrant workers. Inside the vast factory, battery parts move silently on automated conveyor belts. Signs on the walls encourage workers not to waste materials or time, or indulge in “unnecessary bending” for their own safety. The plant looks like lots of others dotted across the country. But with a valuation of $11.5bn, Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd, to give it its full name, is anything but mundane. It is set to become China’s Panasonic – a national champion – and a key part of Beijing’s ambitious plan to re make the global battery market and exploit rising demand for electric cars.
FT 5th March 2017 read more »
Tesla Motors Inc. is making a huge bet that millions of small batteries can be strung together to help kick fossil fuels off the grid. The idea is a powerful one—one that’s been used to help justify the company’s $5 billion factory near Reno, Nev.—but batteries have so far only appeared in a handful of true, grid-scale pilot projects. That changes this week. Three massive battery storage plants—built by Tesla, AES Corp., and Altagas Ltd.—are all officially going live in southern California at about the same time. Any one of these projects would have been the largest battery storage facility ever built. Combined, they amount to 15 percent of the battery storage installed planet-wide last year.
Bloomberg 30th Jan 2017 read more »
World leader Electrochaea announced it had obtained EU patents for the selectively-bred archaea microbes it uses to eat hydrogen and CO2 to make methane for the gas grid. The hydrogen comes from electrolysis using surplus or curtailed electricity while the CO2 can either come from biogas or flue gases. The company claimed that rapid expansion is now possible and that ‘gigawatt scale plants are feasible by 2025’. If Electrochaea’s technology continues to work well it will provide one of the central pillars of world decarbonisation.
Carbon Commentary 5th March 2017 read more »