We have the European Battery Alliance. Europe imports lithium for electric cars, platinum to produce clean hydrogen, silicon metal for solar panels. Moreover, nearly 30 announced projects should largely satisfy the EU demand for batteries driven by e-mobility,” Sefcovic said at a meeting of the Battery Alliance in March. The building of a lithium-ion battery factory in Västerås, Sweden. “In fact, 2020 will go down as the year of the electric car in Europe, as this market saw historic highs – notably, over 1 million e-cars registered, effectively doubling their number on EU roads,” the Commission Vice President added. Moreover, it is essential to strengthen the local sustainable sourcing and processing of raw materials used in batteries as well as local production of key components that determine the performance of lithium-ion batteries, he said. 98% of the rare earth elements Europe needs come from a single supplier: China. It presents the results of six in-depth reviews on raw materials, batteries, active pharmaceutical ingredients, hydrogen, semiconductors and cloud and edge technologies, providing further insights on the origin of strategic dependencies and their impact. This is indispensable, given the expected ramp-up in the production of batteries by 2023, Sefcovic said. The Strategy also shows challenges and dependencies in the area of advanced technologies. “The production of lithium-ion cell batteries has shown the most progress – and by 2025, we are now set to become the second largest battery cell producer in the world, behind China. She said the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) established a project for Rare Earth Magnets & Motors and Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion that could be used as a pathway. Asked how lithium mining for electric car batteries in Europe could be done in a way that does not endanger the environment, the Greens MEP reminded that she is a member of the Industry Committee and a shadow rapporteur on the own Initiative Report on the European strategy for critical raw materials. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>German MEP says EU must wean itself off China’s batteries

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

A charging station is pictured during a site-visit of Northvolt AB in Vasteras, Sweden on April 27, 2018. follow on twitter @energyinsider
  “Battery production is key to build a green energy,” Hahn said in a phone interview. Turning to producing green hydrogen, the German MEP told New Europe the EU leads on innovative technologies. “The European Commission set a target of getting at least 30 million zero-emission cars on the roads by 2030 and the ambition is that the European factories would cover more than 90 percent of the demand for batteries. In order to keep up the pace, the EU must accelerate the work on the proposed Batteries Regulation – i.e., adopt the General Approach in the Council under the Portuguese Presidency and strive for the adoption of the proposal by 2022 at the latest, while maintaining the overall level of ambition on sustainability and circularity. “We all know currently China to dominate the battery production but, on the other hand, the European Union is strongly involved in supporting its battery sector. Also, the European battery success story depends on the EU’s ability to address the fast-emerging skills challenge, as the manufacturing of batteries requires a specific set of skills and currently, the European labour market does not sufficiently meet the demand, the Commission Vice President said, adding that the industry estimates that by 2025, this growing skills shortage could amount to some 800,000 jobs across the entire battery value chain. European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic in charge of the European Battery Alliance said earlier that despite the pandemic, Europe continues to be a battery hotspot, closing the investment gap to its major Asian competitors, and in moving fast towards its open strategic autonomy in this critical sector. “If the battle of hydrogen and reliance on China for electrolysers can be won, I think that China currently produces the cheapest electrolysers but Europe leads the innovative technology to produce clean hydrogen,” Hahn said, adding, “So, the EU is keen to preserve its industrial leadership in electrolyser manufacturing so we are in a good way there as well”. So, we did not lose the battle,” Hahn said. Europe is developing quickly its battery businesses,” she added. Cohesion funds are another source of funding to consider,” Sefcovic said, adding that the involvement of the European Investment Bank (EIB) is decisive to de-risk raw materials projects, leverage additional private money and effectively, to close the estimated financial gap of €15 billion by 2025. As the Member States are finalising their national recovery and resilience plans, I encourage them to include investment in raw and advanced materials. “This calls for significant investment and greater mobilisation of public funding. The import of rare earths from China is probably the most critical issue in this area, because Europe has no mining or processing activity for these important minerals. © EUROPEAN UNION, 2019/PHOTO: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

But rare earth elements power bloc’s electric cars, solar panels

Facebook

Twitter

Linkedin

WhatsApp

Viber

Email

Print

The European Union should lessen its dependence on China for batteries and green hydrogen electrolysers, Bavarian MEP Henrike Hahn told New Europe on May 4. On May 5, the European Commission updated the EU Industrial Strategy to ensure that its industrial ambition takes full account of the new circumstances following the COVID-19 crisis and helps to drive the transformation to a more sustainable, digital, resilient and globally competitive economy.

The project is expected to cater to the power needs of approximately 4 million households and offset approximately 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, contributing directly to the government’s aims to generate 30% of Uzbekistan’s power capacity from renewable sources by 2030, to meet growing yearly electricity demand, efficiently and sustainably. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Saudi ACWA Power to build largest single-site wind farm in Central Asia

By New Europe Online/KG

Saudi and Uzbek Ministers oversee signing of implementation agreement for 1500 MW wind farm

Facebook

Twitter

Linkedin

WhatsApp

Viber

Email

Print

In the presence of Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Investments and Foreign Trade Minister Sardor Umurzakov, ACWA Power signed in Riyadh an implementation agreement with Uzbekistan for the development, construction and operation of a 1500 MW wind power project in Karakalpakstan, the Saudi company said on May 4. The implementation, development, construction, and operation of the largest wind farm in the Central Asian region seeks to bolster the Uzbekistan government’s efforts to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase its renewable energy capacity in line with recent strategic reforms. For his part, the ACWA Power Chairman hailed the finalization of the implementation agreement for the 1500 MW Karakalpakstan wind farm with Uzbekistan. “We value our partnership with ACWA Power and welcome this expansion, which will be the largest facility of its kind in the Central Asian region once commissioned,” Umurzakov said.   The agreement was signed by ACWA Power Executive General Manager of Business Development Ayad AlAmri and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Energy Minister Sherzod Khodjaev and Deputy Investment and Foreign Trade Minister Shukhrat Vafaev. “This project will contribute to the implementation of our national renewable energy target of bringing the total renewable power generation capacity to 25% by 2030,” he added. “ACWA Power’s project will be a major contributor to our plan to generate 25% of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030,” he said. ACWA Power also has a 1500 MW high efficiency gas fired power project under construction in Sirdarya, Uzbekistan. The announcement follows the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and Investment Agreements for two wind power projects in Bukhara and Navoi, concluded earlier this year with an aggregate power generation capacity of 1000 MW. Once operational, the project will become the largest wind farm in the Central Asian region, and one of the largest in the world, ACWA Power said. Uzbekistan’s Energy Minister Alisher Sultanov said Uzbekistan, as an energy producer, is learning much from its Middle Eastern, especially Saudi, partners as the Central Asian country navigates the transition to a low-carbon economy. ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan also attended the ceremony.

It is clear that they would greatly help with campaign canvassing, especially in three or four constituencies where the d’Hondt formula for two or three hundred votes sent the last mandate from the opposition parties to the ruling Socialist Party. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Learning from past mistakes and moving ahead in the wake of the Albanian elections

By Genc Pollo
Albanian MP and former Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration. The Democratic Party alone won 1/4 of the municipalities in 2015. But the opposition could not stop the latter. I would not recommend that the missing Democratic Party municipalities do the same. But even those members of the group and of the council who were little influenced by superstitions faced a difficult dilemma; to reject the proposal also meant public delegitimization of the leadership. If only I could turn back time
Looking in retrospect does not mean practicing hindsight bias. All this was before local elections were to be held,  followed by those for the parliament. Seen in retrospect, both the proposal and the decision were wrong. (I was not doing what was on every portal)
I was imagining what if the electoral code had not been changed unilaterally by Edi Rama last autumn and that the Democratic Party and Socialist Movement for Integration were both competing within the United Opposition coalition, but each with its own list. But since the two opposition acts did not bring the promised political change, the neutral part of the public began to see them as a problematic venture. The result of this exercise surprised me. If the Rama government in the campaign would not buy votes, abuse the state and call on bandits for help, control the media and so on, the victory of the opposition would be deeper. He is also an ex-Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Education; Telecoms

Albania's parliament buidling in the capital, Tirana. Those who remind me that the fault can be found more to the thief than the guard can have an answer which explains that you don’t have to leave everything before the predator as a gift. The kingmaker remained the Social Democratic Party, which in September would likely do what its chairman said on April 26. It is true that the public inside and outside became aware of Rama’s bandit oppression and some internationals began to open their eyes to him. But, however, that did not happen. Epilogue
If the opposition did not venture off track in the spring of 2019, most likely it would manage to win at least 70-71 seats. In other words, I applied the D’Hondt formula, which was named after a 19th-century Belgian mathematician, and is commonly used around the world to distribute mandates. Two months later, the National Council of the Democratic Party discussed and approved another unusual proposal “to commit to preventing the holding of façade elections” or as it is already widely known, the boycott of the local elections of June 30, 2019. This self-critical analysis helps to understand what happened and serves us all as an experience. The decision-making took place in an atmosphere influenced for months by a popular superstition that such extreme measures would automatically bring about a change of government. This is not about crying over spilt milk. That was enough and more for them to become aggressive with the opposition. Perhaps the goal would have been achieved if it was consciously acknowledged that the costs of a “color” revolution, like in Ukraine and Georgia, one would have been worth it and the will to get things done would have been hardened, even when the end was near the extreme. With this result, the Socialist Party received only 69 seats and the United Opposition, 68. If the Democratic Party, and the whole opposition, had not “burned the mandates” then Rama would not have been able to abrogate the pre-electoral coalitions that were practiced in the last two decades and would not have been able to take 2.8% of parliamentary seats just with this trick; or even five of them as the exercise above showed me. I could go further and speculate about ‘what if?’ the opposition had not made certain mistakes, but this seems unnecessary now. Personal and collective responsibility
In February 2019, the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party discussed and approved an unusual proposal that the MPs heard a day before on TV – the definite leave from the assembly, or as it is also known “the burning of mandates”. In five constituencies the opposition received one more mandate than it currently has in Tirana, Durres, Berat, Vlora and Gjirokastra. FLICKR

Facebook

Twitter

Linkedin

WhatsApp

Viber

Email

Print

In the first days of this week after the election results were announced, I conducted a computer exercise, dividing the result of each subject in each county and listing the quotients who correspond to the MP mandates won. I have to take responsibility for my vote regarding the wrong decision; perhaps even to apologize to those who voted for me as a Member of Parliament and a member of the Council. Boycotting the local elections, I predict, was not a path to triumph for the Democratic Party and the whole of the opposition. As for the internationals, both big and small, the concern that such recklessness was becoming an opposition practice in the Balkans, the Caucasus and beyond was much bigger than the internal problems of Albania. Rama took all the municipalities in the country without competition and misused them for elections, thereby massively increasing electoral employment. The opposition could have realistically hoped for more four years later. Political life goes on, as well as the need to learn lessons and not repeat mistakes.