The global community is transitioning from fossil fuels to a future of zero carbon emissions as technology is evolving slowly. In particular, because the emphasis on renewable and alternative energy and their impact on economic growth and development continue to shine, it has proved to be rather interesting for the global oil and power sectors last year.
We noticed that more panel discussions on renewables and their ability to transform energy savings took place at most recent conferences we attended, which were held in 2019. The discussions included project financing, growth, policy structures and challenges to be addressed in this process, and the global transition to renewable and alternative energy.
Over the last couple of years, renewable energy activity, particularly in Asia, has increased in recent years with China and Japan heading the automotive cell sector with some typical example such as Re-Fire Technology in Shanghais, Horizon Fuel Cell Technology in Singapore and Balla, and some other western European countries such as Sweden and Germany.
Some of the conferences last year with an emphasis on renewable energy have usually seen the possibility to deal with creative models in the financial financing of fuel cells.
We noticed in China that most of the companies involved in renewable energy at start-up levels tended to be government-wide either as equity partners at the municipal or state level. The capital-intensive aspect of companies at start-up caused the lack of funding at that level meant that equity participation was crucial at these stages.
The need to speed up the deep decarbonization process in order to encourage the pace of transition in China is to meet its challenges in terms of air quality due to mass coal usage in its industrial sector, which accounts for 65% of the country’s consumed resources and more than 70% of its carbon emissions.
Japan has been also very active in this regard as part of its mission to create a clean and sustainable future for energy as a way to reduce its dependence on nuclear energy. To this end, a number of private sector enterprises and public authorities have pursued their commitment to hydrogen and fuel cells and the country has established its vision as a source to diversify and strengthen its energy infrastructure.
During the two-year complimentary collaboration, Isuzu will make use of their expertise in developing heavy-duty trucks and Honda’s in developing fuel cell systems to prepare the technologies for use in a broader range of vehicles for Japanese manufacturers.
The Energy Evolution in Africa
Africa is also seeing a major leap from the 786 MW on the Internet brought into Africa by renewables and alternative energy sources, particularly in the solar photovoltaic sector, which boasts more than 1.4 GW of new plants.
In 2018 a combined installed photovoltaic capacity of 1,067 MW was recorded by the International Renewable Energy Agency in Kenya, Namibia, and Ghana. The latter was named the fastest growing photovoltaic markets on the continent. South African Beer Maker and its parent company AB InBev Africa recently decided in South Africa to use solar installations in their breweries in South Africa, partially supplying each brewery.
Despite the existence of renewable and alternative energy resources, especially fuel cells as alternatives, the initial intensive capital requirements of start-up and hydrogen prohibition in the huge cost of movement and storage in most parts of the world have been hindered.