Lower Costs Entice Large Corporations to Embrace Renewable Energy Solutions
Global climate change has already had devastating effects on the environment due to the constant use of non-renewable energy resources. Non-renewable resources are seen to be detrimental because they take millions of years to form while also emitting harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. The Union of Concerned Scientists said that the burning of fossil fuels emits air pollutants and causes adverse effects to both the environment and public health. Consequently, the effects of climate change have caused glaciers to shrink, rivers and lakes to deplete, all while displacing various species of fauna, according to NASA. Overall, scientists have been concerned about the rising global temperature and believe that it will continue to climb for the next several decades to come. And despite the ongoing efforts to control the rate of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which consists of 1,300 scientists from the U.S. and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. As a result, many countries have signed pacts in order to mitigate the use of non-renewable resources. Specifically, some countries are beginning to transition towards using renewable resources such as solar, hydro, or wind power. Typically, these resources can be harnessed through naturally recurring elements and when compared to non-renewable resources, clean energy solutions are much more beneficial for the environment. Overall, the continued efforts to promote clean energy solutions are further accelerating the renewable energy market. And based on current trends, the industry is positioned to become one of the fastest-growing global marketplaces. According to data by BP's Energy Outlook, the global renewable energy market could potentially grow by 400% by 2040. However, the renewable energy industry is still in its infancy stage, as it is expected to only account for 14% of the total global energy demand. Despite the small figure, its rapid development in countries like China and India could further expand the prevalence of the clean energy industry. MGX Renewables Inc. (CNSX:MGXR.CN), Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE:JCI), JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE:JKS), Pattern Energy Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PEGI) (TSX:PEGI.TO), Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ:RUN)
In its energy outlook, BP notes that the robust growth of the industry is largely due to the cheaper costs of renewable energy compared to oil and gas. Prices of wind and solar energy are marginally cheaper than non-renewable resources, but as the industry continues to progress, clean energy prices can be expected to decline even further. However, despite the growing initiative to transition towards clean energy, BP projects that carbon emissions are expected to increase by 10% by 2040. However, the 10% growth is significantly less than the 55% rate by which carbon emissions have grown in the past 25 years. Nonetheless, many businesses are actively investing to create clean energy solutions in the near future. For instance, large international corporations such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Wal-mart have all pledged to transition towards using renewable resources to power their operations. Moreover, oil and gas giants such as Exxon have established wind and solar energy plants in order to shift towards a cleaner future as well. Michael Polsky, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Invenergy, said that corporations are expected to be the fastest-growing customer segment of the renewable energy market. And over the next several decades, the market share of renewable energies is expected to drastically increase compared to non-renewable resources. By 2025, wind and solar energy are expected to make up 50% of the world's electricity as fossil fuels account for only 31%, according to BloombergNEF. "Renewable energy is good for customers, the environment and the bottom line of corporations that run their operations with it," said Letha Tawney, Director Of Utility Innovation and Polsky Chair For Renewable Energy at WRI, and Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the World Resources Institute, "We know corporate demand for more renewables is coming. We know it's one way to prosper while cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution. It's time to listen to the demand side and let the supply side understand that it's in their best interest to make this shift-- for profit now and continued profitability down the line."
MGX Renewables Inc. (CNSX:MGXR.CN) announced yesterday the, "production of next generation carbon based cathode for its Zinc-Air Fuel Cell Battery. To date the Company has produced 300 cathodes for use in its initial mass storage battery systems. Each 5kW fuel cell stack utilizes 50 cathodes. MGXR has developed proprietary and patented fuel cell and battery technology and will continue to specialize in the design and manufacture of cathodes in-house. The planned initial scale-up of cathode production is for 36MW of annual equivalent capacity with a minimum storage of 8 hours or 288MWh of storage followed by the addition of similar scale fabrication machinery as necessary. The Company continues to develop a hybrid manufacturing strategy of leveraging its proprietary designs utilizing fabrication partners for standardized components such as injection molded pieces, with the most technically advanced and proprietary components, such as the fuel cell cathode, being manufactured in house.
MGXR Energy Storage System: The MGXR ESS is a modular Energy Storage System designed to deliver power in the range 20kW - 50MW and energy storage in the range of 120kWh - 1GWh over extended periods of time. With the advantage of rechargeable zinc-air battery technology, the system can be configured to support a wide range of discharge power, recharge power and duty cycle requirements. Since the energy storage capacity of the system is determined only by the size of the zinc storage tank, a highly cost-effective and scalable solution now exists as an alternative to the fixed power/energy ratio of the lithium ion battery.
Technology: The MGXR ESS is based upon unique patented zinc-air battery technology. Energy is stored in the form of zinc particles, similar in size to grains of sand. When the system is delivering power, the zinc particles are combined with oxygen drawn from the surrounding air. When the system is recharging, zinc particles are regenerated, and oxygen is returned to the surrounding air.
Applications: The flexibility of the MGXR ESS enables it to service a wide range of applications. Typical examples include:
Storage and smoothing current from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar
-- Commercial, industrial backup replacing diesel generators
-- Industrial scale, on-demand power for peak shaving or standby
-- Grid scale energy storage for energy trading and arbitrage
Architecture: The MGXR ESS is designed according to a modular architecture that enables a wide variety of system configurations to be created from a small number of common subsystems. Each subsystem implements a single element of the technology:
-- The Zinc Regeneration Subsystem (ZRS) provides the recharging function
-- The Fuel Storage Subsystem (FSS) provides the energy storage function
-- The Power Generation Subsystem (PGS) provides the discharging function
About MGX Renewables: MGXR has assembled an experienced team to execute the development and commercialization of a dependable low-cost zinc-air battery. This mass storage system offers both environmental and efficiency benefits. MGXR strives to meet the growing need for secure and reliable power. The sun doesn't shine all the time. The wind doesn't blow all the time. MGX Renewables mass storage batteries for the rest of the time.
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Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE:JCI) is a global diversified technology and multi industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. Johnson Controls and Consolidated Edison Solutions, Inc., a Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc. subsidiary recently announced a joint venture to expand the market for the energy storage technology developed over the last several years by Johnson Controls. Con Edison Solutions will be the majority owner and operating partner of the joint venture, while Johnson Controls will participate as a minority owner and will contribute the intellectual property that it has developed for battery management systems and controls. As part of the relationship, Con Edison Solutions has been designated as the exclusive provider of battery energy storage to customers of Johnson Controls. Con Edison Solutions is a leading energy services company that provides renewable energy, sustainability services, cost-effective energy efficiency solutions, demand response, and energy performance contracting. The battery energy storage systems developed by Johnson Controls allow for seamless integration with building systems and employ adaptive algorithms that provide for flexible and customized applications such as peak shaving, frequency regulation, demand management, and integration with renewables. "We are proud of the success we have built with our energy storage business over the past five years and with this joint venture we are creating even more opportunity to take advantage of growth in both the behind-the-meter and front-of-meter market," said George Oliver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Controls.
JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE:JKS) is one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world. JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. recently announced that it has supplied 95 MW of highly-efficient solar panels to Vena Energy Australia, an independent power producer with shareholders including Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and China Investment Corp., (CIC), for use in the Tailem Bend Solar Project. Located in Adelaide, Australia, the Project was connected to the grid earlier this year and began generating power in February 2019. The Project is expected to meet the electrical needs of 40,000 homes by generating 200,000 MWh of renewable energy per year. It is also one of the first large-scale solar projects to begin generating power in South Australia. "We are honored to have been chosen by Vena Energy Australia to supply solar panels for this project," said Ms. Anita Li, General Manager of ROA. "JinkoSolar'spanels generate competitively priced energy, offer high levels of reliability and are proven to generate power consistently over the long-term. Supported by our industry-leading technology and quality, the panels installed at the Tailem Bend Solar Project are expected to generate power efficiently for a quarter century or more."
Pattern Energy Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PEGI) (TSX:PEGI.TO) is an independent power company listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and Toronto Stock Exchange. Pattern Energy Group Inc. recently announced the acquisition of a 35 megawatt owned interest in the Stillwater Wind facility from Pattern Energy Group 2 LP. Stillwater commenced commercial operations in late October and is located in Stillwater County, Montana. Stillwater has a 25-year power purchase agreement for 100% of the energy produced. Stillwater is utilizing a total of 31 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines comprised of five 2.3 MW turbines with 108 meter rotors and 26 2.625 MW turbines with 120 meter rotors. During each year of operations, the 80 MW facility will generate energy equal to the needs of more than 23,000 Montana homes. "This accretive acquisition is another proof point of our ability to execute our growth strategy and increase our CAFD without relying on issuing common equity," said Mike Garland, Chief Executive Officer of Pattern Energy. "Stillwater is the first of two projects from our iROFO list in Montana, a robust wind resource region, and the fourth project we have executed under the joint venture arrangements with PSP Investments. It is also the first acquisition we have made directly from Pattern Development 2.0, providing meaningful benefits to the business through our 29% ownership interest in Pattern Development 2.0."
Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ:RUN) is the nation's largest home solar, battery storage and energy services company. With families across the country enduring a rising number of power outages, Sunrun Inc. recently announced that it is bringing its Brightbox home solar and battery service to customers in Vermont. Starting in August, Vermont households can get Sunrun's solar-powered home battery, Brightbox, from as little as zero dollars down and at a consistent, low monthly rate. Brightbox customers in Vermont will also have an opportunity to enroll with Sunrun in Green Mountain Power's (GMP) innovative bring-your-own-device (BYOD) battery program, which will harness the power of home batteries across the state to provide clean energy and valuable services to the electricity system - cutting power plant pollution and saving money for all consumers in Vermont. "Vermont is showing the way towards a cleaner, more people-powered energy system with home solar and batteries. We are excited to bring our Brightbox home battery service to the state," said Lynn Jurich, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. "Green Mountain Power has long been a leader in the transition to clean, renewable energy. Together, we will bring the full benefits of home batteries to residents across Vermont - providing resilient back-up electricity to customers, reducing the need for dirty power plants, and building a more affordable energy system."
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