According to the IEA, global wind capacity additions almost doubled last year to 114 GW. In the US, renewable capacity growth this year and next is mainly spurred by the extension of federal tax credits, the IEA said, adding that the forecast does not take into account the US administration’s new emissions reduction targets or its infrastructure bill. The increase in 2020 is set to become the “new normal”, with about 270 GW of renewable capacity on course to be added in 2021 and almost 280 GW in 2022, despite a slowdown in China after an exceptional level of additions last year. According to a new IEA report, the growth in Europe and the United States will be even brisker than previously forecast, compensating for China’s transitional slowdown after exceptional 2020 growth. In 2021-22 renewables growth in China is set to stabilise at levels that are below the 2020 record but still over 50% above where it was during the 2017-19 period. That growth will slow down a bit in 2021 and 2022, but the increases will still be 50% larger than the average expansion during the 2017-19 period. In 2020, China’s share rose to 50% for the first time due to a rush to complete projects before government subsidies were phased out. China is at the center of global renewable demand and supply, accounting for around 40% of global renewable capacity growth for several years. At the same time, global HVO production capacity is expected to nearly double in the next two years, significantly expanding the capability of producing biofuels from waste and residue feedstocks. However, the current surge in Covid‑19 cases in India has created short-term uncertainty for this year. Solar PV installations will continue to break new records, with annual additions forecast to reach over 160 GW by 2022. China is the largest manufacturer of solar panels and wind turbines, as well as the biggest supplier of raw materials such as silicon, glass, steel, copper and rare earth materials needed to build them. India’s capacity additions declined by almost 50% last year compared with 2019. If enacted, the bill would drive a much stronger acceleration in the deployment of renewables after 2022. Those forecasts have been revised upwards by more than 25% from the IEA’s previous estimates in November as governments around the world have auctioned record levels of renewable capacity and companies have signed record-level power purchase agreements, even as the pandemic spread macroeconomic uncertainties and supressed demand, the IEA said. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>IEA: Renewable power capacity added in 2020 rises by 45% to 280 GW

By New Europe Online/KG

Global wind capacity additions almost doubled last year to 114 GW. IEA.ORG

Growth in Europe and US will be even brisker than previously forecast, compensating for China’s transitional slowdown after exceptional 2020 growth
 

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The International Energy Agency said on May 11 renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar grew at their fastest rate in two decades in 2020 and are set to expand in coming years at a much faster pace than prior to the pandemic. Shifting power generation to renewable sources is a key pillar of global efforts to reach carbon neutrality, but CO2 emissions are set to rise this year because of a parallel rise in coal use, underscoring the major policy changes and investments in clean energy needed to meet climate goals. Transport biofuel production declined 8% globally in 2020 as the pandemic limited travel. The IEA noted that renewable electricity expanded at fastest pace in two decades, with huge additions of solar and wind becoming the ‘new normal’ going forward. Any slowdown in China in the coming years will be compensated for by strong growth in Europe, the United States, India and Latin America where government support and falling prices for solar PV and wind continue to drive installations. Production is expected to recover this year to 2019 volumes, and expand another 7% in 2022 as biodiesel and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) production increases globally and ethanol expands in India. “A massive expansion of clean electricity is essential to giving the world a chance of achieving its net zero goals,” he said. The amount of renewable electricity capacity added in 2020 rose by 45% in 2020 to 280 gigawatts (GW), the largest year-on-year increase since 1999, the IEA said in the agency’s latest market update. However, growth is set to rebound and renewable expansion is expected to set a new records by 2022, driven by the commissioning of delayed projects. “Wind and solar power are giving us more reasons to be optimistic about our climate goals as they break record after record. That would be almost 50% higher than the level achieved in 2019 prior to the pandemic, affirming solar’s position as the “new king” of global electricity markets. However, the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 crisis on demand, as well as price competition for sugar cane from sweetener manufacturers in Brazil, continue to keep ethanol production in both the United States and Brazil below 2019 levels. That extra power is equal to the total installed capacity of ASEAN, a grouping of 10 dynamic South-East Asian economies. Supply chain constraints, including due to a fire in a Chinese silicon factory last year, have recently pushed up prices of PV modules, highlighting the sector’s potential vulnerabilities in the longer term. Last year, the increase in renewable capacity accounted for 90% of the entire global power sector’s expansion,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, adding that governments need to build on this promising momentum through policies that encourage greater investment in solar and wind, in the additional grid infrastructure they will require, and in other key renewable technologies such as hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal.

Currently, preparatory works have begun to allow implementation of radial drilling technology — an innovation used to stimulate oil and gas wells by reaching remote parts of productive geological formations. Additional plans for using hydraulic fracturing are also being discussed. “I believe our dynamic and highly efficient team was instrumental in unlocking the full potential of these assets and providing feedstock for the Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex. In 2019, ERIELL Group was awarded a contract (No 19E-1) to oversee the overhaul of 100 wells. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>ERIELL wins Uz-Kor contract for new works in Aral Sea

By New Europe Online/KG

Uz-Kor gas chemical

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ERIELL Group announced on May 10 it has won a tender from Uz-Kor Gas Chemical and signed a contract to work on 150 wells at the Surgil field in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, northwestern Uzbekistan. The tender involves ERIELL Group  carrying out workovers and side-tracking works at the bottom of the Aral Sea. The project is being implemented in line with presidential decrees regarding the construction of the Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex and employing gas from the Surgil field, ERIELL Group said, which has been cooperating with Uz-Kor Gas Chemical since 2013. Overall, at the Surgil field in Karakalpakstan’s Muinak region, ERIELL Group has completed construction and commissioning of 85 wells, and an additional 184 wells were overhauled. Collaboration between ERIELL Group and Uz-Kor Gas is yet another example of achieving stable gas supplies from the country’s own resources, producing value added products as well as satisfying Uzbekistan’s growing energy needs,” he said. Works were completed ahead of contractual deadlines by the end of 2020 with the total overhaul of 113 wells. The complex consists of five plants: a gas separation plant, an ethylene plant, a polyethylene plant, a polypropylene plant, and an energy supply plant. ERIELL Group RBU Central Asia head Bakhrambek Ismailov noted that despite many technical and logistical challenges, his company was able to complete the required works successfully and on time.  
  Since September 2015, all gas from the field has been feeding the Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex. From 2021, and as part of the new contract, an experienced workforce from ERIELL Group will carry out the multidimensional workovers using its own coiled tubing unit.

TOTAL EREN/FILE PICTURE

One of the first private-sector renewable energy projects in the country

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The government of Uzbekistan’s plans to develop 8 GW of solar and wind capacity by 2030 have received a major boost following the approval of an €87.4 million financing package jointly organised by, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European investment Bank (EIB) and PROPARCO, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement, the EBRD said on May 10, adding that the funds will be used to construct and put into operation a 100 MW photovoltaic solar power plant near the city of Samarkand. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU supports Total Eren’s 100 MW solar plant project in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

By New Europe Online/KG

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A 128 MWp solar plant by Total Eren in Kazakhstan. “PROPARCO is pleased to contribute to financing the Tutly solar power plant, a unique project developed by Total Eren and our first project in the renewable energy sector of Uzbekistan,” said Anne Gautier, head of PROPARCO’s Power and Digital Division for this region. “We are eager to commission the Tutly solar farm and to develop other renewable energy projects in Uzbekistan and in the region,” he said. EIB Vice-President Responsible for operations in Uzbekistan Teresa Czerwiνska noted that the Tutly solar plant in Uzbekistan will make an important contribution to both country’s sustainable economic and social development, and allow Uzbekistan to reinforce the global fight against the climate change. “This financing is fully in line with AFD Group’s ‘100 per cent Paris Agreement’ commitment,” she added. Once implemented, the project will help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 160,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent and generate an additional 270 GWh of electricity for thousands of inhabitants of Central Asia’s most populated country. After the commissioning, the electricity produced by Tutly Solar will be sold to the operator, National Electric Networks of Uzbekistan, through a 25-year power-purchasing agreement. EBRD Managing Director, Sustainable Infrastructure Group, Nandita Parshad said the bank is very proud to co-finance this landmark project conceived by Total Eren. I am grateful to our partners from the European Union, the EBRD and Total Eren for the far-sighted partnership for a safe and prosperous future of Uzbekistan, Central Asia and the world,” she said. “I would like to thank the Uzbek authorities and our lenders, the EIB, the EBRD and Proparco, for their support, as well as our teams in Tashkent and Paris for their hard work,” he said. Juin said Total Eren is one of the first independent power producers to develop, build, and finance a solar project in Uzbekistan to supply the population with low-carbon electricity and help reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. According to the EBRD, the package will be provided to project developer Tutly Solar, which is fully owned by Paris-based Total Eren, a leading independent power producer (IPP) from renewable energy sources (mainly solar and wind), active globally. The project will thus contribute to priorities identified in the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; and climate action, the EBRD said. It will consist of an EIB loan of €43.7 million and two loans of approximately €21.8 million each from the EBRD and PROPARCO. The project, which involves Total Eren as one of the first Independent Power Producers in the country, will develop Uzbekistan’s huge solar potential. “It is contributing to Uzbekistan’s long-term decarbonisation strategy, which is being developed jointly with the EBRD and is designed to achieve carbon neutrality of the power sector by 2050, as well as to align development of the country’s power sector with commitments under the Paris Agreement,” she said. Total Eren EVP and CFO Laurence Juin said his company has successfully finalised the financing of its first solar project in Uzbekistan. “This makes Tutly an investment in local economic development and the future of our planet.

The public sector loan facility specifically targets public entities to implement projects to help to achieve the just transition providing support with the help of grants combined with European Investment Bank (EIB) loans. “I am also very happy that we managed to introduce an additional article with stringent criteria to avoid loopholes in case the facility will be opened to finance partners other than EIB, i.e., national promotional banks,” Hahn said, adding that in the future their lending policy will be consistent with EU environmental and social standards, good tax governance and transparency of projects financed will be ensured. “This Public Sector Loan Facility is very important to us as the third pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism. It is a key tool of the Green Deal to ensure that the transition towards a climate neutral economy takes place in a fair way, leaving no one behind,” Hahn said, adding that it addresses the social and economic effects of the transition focusing on the regions, industries and workers who will face the greatest challenges. “Our priorities for this file were met and I am particularly happy that we have succeeded to emphasise the need to integrate a gender perspective in the just transition process,” the Greens MEP said. “We ensured priority support to less developed regions and local municipalities to implement high standard projects for new jobs and new businesses. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET/FILE PICTURE

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The European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs adopted on May 10 the provisional agreement resulting from inter-institutional negotiations on the Public Sector Loan Facility under the Just Transition Mechanism (PSLF) which will support the green transition in Europe to achieve the Union’s 2030 climate targets and an EU climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

A general view of a plenary session of the European Parliament. Priority will be given to projects located in less developed regions, to projects contributing to climate objectives and those being promoted by public entities that have adopted a decarbonisation plan. The provisional agreement was adopted by 84 votes in favour, 6 votes against und 5 abstentions. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>MEPs adopt Public Sector Loan Facility agreement, boosting green transition

By New Europe Online/KG

epaselect epa08282665 A general view of a plenary session of the European Parliament debating on the novel coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium, 10 March 2020. “The Public Sector Loan Facility will support the green transition in Europe to achieve the Union’s 2030 climate targets and a EU climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest,” German MEP Henrike Hahn, rapporteur on the Public Sector Loan Facility (PSLF) under the Just Transition Mechanism in the European Parliamentary Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, said after the vote. Due to the novel coronavirus Covid-19 emergency, the plenary session has been reduced to one day. “We have also ensured that Taxonomy will be included as a tracking tool in the interim Commission evaluation,” the MEP said, adding that the Facility shall comply with a set of horizontal principles, including the Do No Significant Harm Principle. In the facility, we pay special attention to most vulnerable regions, with clear prioritisation criteria for projects and a co-financing rate for less developed regions with 25%,” Hahn added. The Plenary vote is scheduled for July 2021.

Here the first step is to avoid defeatism and be clear-eyed about the attributes that democracy brings.  
  He has more than 25 years of experience in democratic governance as a researcher, analyst, educator, consultant and public official. As a matter of principle, the protection of those rights ought to be a defining criterion of democratic performance. Identifying democracy’s strengths and shortcomings to deal with the climate crisis is crucial to guide reforms to help democracies confront complex inter-generational issues. These assets are, of course, matched by weaknesses, including the short-term bias that often afflicts democratic decision-making, the danger of policy inconsistency, and the permeability of the policy-making process to interests adverse to fighting climate change, often through the outsized role of money in politics. Dealing with climate change will test democracy’s capacities to confront existential issues for humankind, and hence core to its worth as a governing tool. epaselect epa08016615 Smoke rises from chimneys of the gas boiler house as the temperature dropped to minus 10 degrees Celsius in Moscow, Russia, 22 November 2019. What use is a political system that is unable to protect the survival of human beings? Kevin Casas-Zamora
Secretary General of International IDEA, a Stockholm based intergovernmental organization working to support and strengthen democratic political institutions and processes around the world. But there is also increased interest in the promise of new practices of deliberative democracy to tackle politically sensitive, often long-term, issues in which the interests of citizens may diverge from those of political actors and interest groups. Chief amongst them are the free circulation of information, the capacity of society to hold policymakers to account and, ultimately, the greater correctness and legitimacy of public policies. Democracies comprise over half of the emissions globally, with 15 democracies amongst the top 20 CO2 emitters. As a number of democracies mull declaring climate “states of emergencies”, their governments must show their worth versus authoritarian regimes by creating political consensus over the thorny, trillion-dollar issues of fairly distributing and compensating costs of decarbonization policies, whether it is shutting coal stations, taxing air travel or investing in train networks. The COP25 World Climate Change Conference will take place from 02 to 13 December in Madrid. First, on the narrative. Second, we need to measure performance. At the same time, how democratic systems adapt policies to drastically reduce their carbon footprint will define future global stability. It is not exactly random that Greta Thunberg and her global movement were born in Sweden. As has been the case with the COVID-19 pandemic, some proponents of authoritarianism –most notably China —see in the responses to the climate crisis an opportunity to prove the virtues of centralized decision-making and showcase the perceived clumsiness of democracy to deal with urgent challenges. Our future rides on it. As a matter of policy, incorporating climate change responses into the measurement of democratic performance may create incentives for democracies to tackle the climate crisis, as we do with women’s and LGBTQ rights. EPA-EFE//MAXIM SHIPENKOV

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In the long-run climate change is an existential issue for our species. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Smoke rises from a massive Soviet-built gas boiler house in Moscow. Third, we need to reform institutions in ways that increase democracy’s ability to adopt climate-friendly policies. Democratic systems can mobilize significant assets against climate change. By Dr. The connections between democracy and climate change are here to see. China is 27th. Small European democracies like Sweden have shown how institutionalized dialogue between unions, employers and government agencies can enable fair and innovative policies, including those related to the environment. We may be seduced by Xi Jinping’s confident pledge to make China carbon neutral by 2060, but the truth is that democracies, on average, do better in dealing with climate change and honoring international agreements on the environment. It is a model that other democracies could learn from. Climate change is impacting democratic governance with its effects on food security, migration, water scarcity and the financial impact of extreme weather events. It is unwise to isolate the performance of democratic systems from their response to such an existential issue as climate change. In the short term, it is an existential threat for democracy. Even if we do not ascribe rights to the unborn, a democracy that enacts policies that deepen the climate crisis actively undermines the right to life for all people and the rights of today’s younger population to the material basis of their future wellbeing. As world leaders from the United States to the European Union and India commit to ambitious carbon cuts, we must tie in climate change discussions with an urgent agenda to help democracies rise to this global challenge. For example, the institution of a citizens’ assembly –a randomly selected group of 99 citizens—was used in Ireland in 2017 to discuss climate change policies. We must prepare democracies to deal with this crisis. The Climate Change Performance Index 2020, which measures climate protection performance by 57 countries and the European Union, accounting for over 90% of global greenhouse gas emissions, has 9 democracies amongst the top 10 places. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Is climate change an existential threat to democracy? The quality of democracy’s response to the climate crisis will also be key for its future viability as a political system.

It stipulates that an attack on one member is an attack every nation in NATO. Practically all NATO nations made human sacrifices in Afghanistan, with the UK being the second largest contributor both in the number of troops deployed and the total amount of casualties suffered. This enabled practically all NATO member states and a number of non-NATO allies, such as Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, to militarily support the United States in Afghanistan for the duration. Though the Americans have the largest deployment of troops in Afghanistan, and provide the bulk of logistical support for other Allied troops, the US forces are highly reliant on joint cooperation between the various contingents within the international coalition. Italian soldiers of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrol on a road in Herat, Afghanistan. At the same time, however, Trump never bothered to acknowledge the Allies’ own investments into guaranteeing the US’ security, as has been the case in Afghanistan. The United States has been the anchor of security in the transatlantic space since the end of World War II. At the time of President Joe Biden’s announcement in April, the combined Allied presence in Afghanistan has dwindled to around 10,000 troops; of which, over 2,500 are American. As of May 2021, 2,355 American military personnel have been killed. Unfortunately, the dismissive attitude towards the Allies’ contribution to the burden-sharing in Afghanistan is not limited to Trump’s circle of isolationist supporters. EPA//JALIL REZAYEE
While American public opinion is usually aware of the British and Canadian contributions and deaths, most in the United States are woefully unaware of the human cost to the substantial French, German, Dutch and Italian forces. As the Allied forces were progressively pulling out, they often left behind costly defense equipment that was either donated to the Afghan security forces or was simply overused and destroyed throughout the duration of the operation. For some of the less wealthy and smaller Allies, the de facto loss of equipment in Afghanistan represented a considerable expense to their defense budget and, consequently, set off major investments into the modernization of their military capabilites. EPA-EFE//JALIL REZAYEE

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After nearly twenty years of engagement in Afghanistan, the United States has now set in motion the process of pulling out all its forces by September of this year.  
Between 2011-2014 the Allied contributions to various US-led operations in Afghanistan at times totaled more than 40,000 troops from the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Canada, the Netherlands and dozens of others. EPA-EFE//JAN WOITAS
The reality is very different and has been since the start of the operation in October 2001. Some, in fact, greatly endangered their own national security by taking part in the Afghan mission. For example, the tiny former Soviet republic of Georgia, which today remains the third-largest troop contributor, had its best-trained combat forces tied in Afghanistan when it was invaded by Russia in August 2008. epa07340036 US soldiers attends a training session for Afghan Army soldiers in Herat, Afghanistan, 02 February 2019 (issued 03 February 2019). Responding to the attacks, in which over 3,000 people were killed, NATO – for the first and only time in its history – invoked Article 5 of the alliance’s charter. Hopefully, the Biden administration will be more generous in recognizing the role performed by the rest of the Allies in Afghanistan, all of whom were driven first and foremost by their deep sense of solidarity with the United States following the tragedy of September 11th. After the Americans opted to draw down its operations nearly seven years ago, NATO’s own active mission also became lighter and changed focus from combating the Taliban to supporting and training the Afghan security forces. Moreover, hardly anybody in the US or Europe is aware of the casualties suffered by the Czech, Estonian, Georgian, Polish and Slovak contingents. The Allies joined the effort in Afghanistan to support the United States, following 9/11. The 12,000 NATO-led troops in the country have a mainly training and backup role in the context of operation Resolute Support, since the withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014. The US’ allies, many of which were caught by surprise by Washington’s announcement, are following suit. EPA-EFE/JALIL REZAYEE

US soldiers attend a training session for Afghan Army soldiers in Herat, Afghanistan. It is also important to acknowledge the human sacrifice of the Allies. Furthermore, most of the countries were not directly threatened by the security situation in Afghanistan. German Bundeswehr soldiers of armoured infantry brigade 37 hold a minute of silence during a roll call in Frankenberg, Germany. The various nations’ militaries were responsibile for providing security and protection to the civilian population in various parts of the country. This became particularly apparent during the presidency of Donald Trump, who routinely complained about the scale of investment that the United States commits to in order to guarnatee the security of its fellow allies in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>In Afghanistan the Allies invested in the US’ security

By Marcin Zaborowski
Policy Director, GLOBSEC Future of Security Programme. The United States went to Afghanistan to destroy Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in response to the 9/11 attacks. During the nearly two decades of operations in Afghanistan, over 3,500 Allied troops have been killed and more than 22,000 wounded. This fact is not always fully appreciated in the US, where the Afghan operation is often seen as a unilateral endeavor that has turned into an endless burden that is not shared with any of the US’ allies in Europe and Asia. The NATO allies unanimously decided that the US was attacked on 9/11 and that perpetrators were sheltered by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The 2,000 soldiers of the brigade returned home from a deployment in Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif, Feyzabad and Kunduz where they were deployed in March 2009. At one point, Italy had 4,000 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s ISAF. This has required a continuing amount of investment in its military presence in Europe and other parts of the globe, which is costly and sometimes may cause some resentment in the United States, itself. A further 1,150 Allied, non-American, troops have also been killed. The motivation of the US’ allies was different and was largely guided by their sense of solidarity with their American allies. Most of the sacrifice came from the American forces.   This meant that the transatlantic alliance had to respond by supporting the country that was attacked.

Today, the company employs more than 3,000 people with active community programmes to attract the next generation into the industry. Working closely with researchers, scientists and NGO’s, which includes joining the World Wildlife Fund, Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative and Marine Stewardship Council, Norebo has fully embraced sustainability at the heart of all its operations. The fisheries industry, more than any other, has trailed behind others when it comes to implementing change to really address these issues, despite it being in everyone’s interests to avoid overfishing. However, such growth comes with its own problems and today the industry faces two major issues: the first of which is climate change, which is causing fish stocks to move away from their historical habitats and forcing fleets to travel further out to sea for longer periods of time. While many won’t recognise the name, the company supplies a large percentage of its hauls to Europe to several well-known household names including Birdseye and McDonalds, with some statistics suggesting that one-fifth of all cod eaten in the UK coming from.  
The company’s fleets are using the latest technology to help their practices become more sustainable, including electronic registration of catches and vessel tracking to avoid over-fishing and systems that count all bycatch quicker and more efficiently in order to increase the survival rate of fish before they are released. For Norebo, future commercial success is very much dependent on ecological preservation. Within its holding structure are  25 companies, that are directly engaged in harvesting, processing, transporting, infrastructure and trading. And while climate change is an issue far bigger than the fishing industry alone, technological developments in recent years mean real opportunities to promote sustainable practices are more accessible than ever. Norebo is a post-soviet success story that was borne out of a tumultuous time, where lawlessness was seemingly the order of the day. Norebo Group, one of Russia’s largest vertically integrated fishing companies, is one of these companies that is leading the charge in technological and sustainable development. Secondly, and certainly, the most trending topic of the moment, not least following Netflix’s recent ‘Seaspiracy’ documentary, is responsible fishery and sustainability – how do we continue to fish at such industrial levels while ensuring we maintain healthy fish populations and protect our oceans? From LED lighting that targets specific fish behaviours that effectively programme fishing nets to resolve the issue of bycatch, to geo-tracking, whereby the location of trawlers and vessels is monitored to ensure compliance with regulations designed to protect endangered or protected species and vulnerable habitats,  there are more opportunities for fishery businesses to lead the way and step up to these challenges and at the same time, help to ensure the industry, which employs more than 260 million people worldwide, strikes the right balance to sustain its own thriving future. FLICKR

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Fishing, one of the world’s oldest industries has grown exponentially since the mid-20th century and is now responsible for feeding almost half the world’s population. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Fishing for the future

By Sergey Sennikov
Chief Sustainability Officer, Norebo Group. The company being a driving force in many projects frequently works closely with other fleets to ensure the coordination of trawlers in complying with scientific advice to ensure the practices of one fleet does not undermine the efforts of others in protecting marine habitats. This growth has brought millions of people around the world into employment and allowed many countries that may not otherwise be rich in natural resources to benefit from the wealth circulating in the global economy. Its portfolio includes companies in the North West of the country as well as the Far East. Seafood is more than just a food source for many, it’s a part of their culture and traditions, and ensuring that future generations do not miss out, is what fishing is really all about. Docked Russian fishing trawlers. It is the largest employer and tax-payer in its HQ town of Murmansk and led the charge in bringing the local industry up to full IFRS compliance. Over the past 24 years, it has grown into a leading global business with world-class standards in quality, safety, corporate governance and regulatory compliance and transparency. This allows oversight from catch to distribution, maximising efficiency to reduce waste while also meeting increasing customer demand for traceability and sustainability. Despite the very visible criminal elements that were common to the time, one of Norebo’s co-founders, Vitaly Orlov stayed true to his values and ideals and was successfully able to navigate and influence the fledgling free-market industry in Russia.

We are delighted to partner with Pure Planet to develop this smart tech which can help inform smarter energy decisions,” BP Senior Vice President for Zero Carbon Energy Felipe Arbelaez said. Pure Planet, recently named as a Which? We’re building on our low carbon and green contribution to society by offering exciting new tech services and low carbon insights and are looking forward to sharing these with a wider audience,” Ralston added. Initial BP-powered features for Pure Planet Members include personalised insights into energy consumption at home and on the move, an estimate of  how  many CO2 emissions members are saving with Pure Planet, EV drivers will see real-time data on their energy usage, car battery status and cost per mile, and ability to link any car (petrol & diesel) to the app to see and estimate of how much CO2 it emits and compare it with an electric vehicle
Recommendations for other sustainable solutions to help them save even more, such as smart thermostats and EV home charging points. Pure Planet, which launched in 2017, is Britain’s first energy supplier to offer both 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas as standard across all tariffs. BP is a shareholder in Pure Planet. “Industry, business and individuals all have a part to play in achieving a net zero future. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>BP and Pure Planet form tech partnership

By New Europe Online/KG

 
BP’s new zero carbon digital services to be launched with renewable energy supplier Pure Planet, building on their existing relationship

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BP and 100% renewable energy supplier Pure Planet announced on May 5 a partnership to launch a new digital energy service that will support households, EV drivers and energy consumers in the UK. The move unites the award-winning digital renewables retail expertise of Pure Planet with the e-mobility focus and scale of bp. “By deepening our relationship with bp, we’re creating Pure Planet 2.0. The low-carbon technology platform is intended to help people simply and more efficiently manage all of their varied energy usage – at home and on the road. “And they must be low carbon. recommended energy provider for the second year running, is also one of the Sunday Times’ Top 100 Small Companies to work for and the only independent energy supplier to be a signatory to the UN’s Global Compact, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. This new service helps people manage their energy better by giving them all the information they need to reduce their emissions,” he said. Pure Planet co-founder and CEO Andrew Ralston said future energy services are more dynamic, personal and digital.  
 
  The digital services will be available to every Pure Planet Member and will be embedded into their app and online energy accounts, BP said. This exclusive UK partnership builds on the existing relationship between the two companies. It will be launched exclusively on Pure Planet’s award-winning app and website next month, BP said in a press release. According to BP, the new digital service brings smarter control of renewable home energy, electric vehicles, batteries, smart heating and solar power, as well as carbon-offsetting options, onto one easy-to-use consumer platform. Equipping energy users with knowledge and understanding can help them better manage their energy and make more sustainable choices.

 
According to government figures, 1.3 million people out of the country’s total population of around 7 million have been fully vaccinated with either the Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V or Astra Zeneca vaccines. In Albania, Varhelyi also stated that the country is now ready to hold its first intergovernmental conference with the EU, which is the procedure that will formally launch Albania’s EU accession process. China’s Sinopharm vaccine sales to Serbia have been essential to that country’s program, and direct deliveries are now proceeding to Montenegro and North Macedonia, following some small donations from Serbia. Exact figures are unavailable, but some sources note around 300,000 doses for the Western Balkans region have been ordered via the COVAX program so far, much of which is supported by EU funds, as well as other donors. Media reports of small Turkish vaccine donations to Albania are also sporadic and difficult to confirm, but Albanian officials have claimed a significant deal with Chinese producer Sinovac arranged through Turkey will yield large deliveries later this year after an initial delivery was made in late March.  
Media reports about sizeable new Chinese and Russian vaccine delivery contracts with Western Balkans countries are seen practically every day but reports of confirmed deliveries are still minimal. Serbia took an early lead in acquiring vaccine supplies, enabling it to make small symbolic donations to neighboring states that formerly comprised the Yugoslav Federation, as well as opening the country to a small amount of “vaccine tourism” from countries farther afield. These include direct purchases by the Western Balkan countries themselves, but also deliveries from the World Health Organization (WHO) under its global vaccine distribution system for low-income countries named COVAX, as well as donations directly from the EU. In most cases, the non-EU countries in the region are still running relatively small vaccination programs with tightly constrained supplies arriving from multiple sources. Varhelyi visited Serbia on May 3, followed by stops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and North Macedonia on May 4 and finally Albania and Kosovo on May 5. COVAX covering critical needs
The WHO’s COVAX program has been a key initial supplier for much of the Western Balkans, especially in the dark months of early 2021 when vaccine supplies were tightest. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>COVID-19 vaccine supplies trickle into Southeast Europe

By Alec Mally
Director for Global Economic Affairs at IPEDIS

Sinovac vaccine development

SNL

To a starving region, limited quantities being delivered are better than being forgotten

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In line with global trends, deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine supplies to Southeast Europe increased in April, but the record to-date shows it was anything but a steady supply. Finally, direct bilateral donations and early purchases have arrived from several countries, usually in symbolic quantities, which have been used to support several levels of so-called “vaccine diplomacy.”
Serbia reigns supreme
Serbia retains the number one spot in Southeastern Europe in terms of vaccinations per capita, surpassing even the EU member states in the region including Greece, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria in doses administered per capita. Weekly deliveries will continue through August, with an extension of the program considered likely. However, to combat a decline in vaccination rates, President Aleksandar Vucic announced a plan on May 5 to begin paying a small stipend to those citizens who receive at least one vaccination before the end of May. Quantities delivered along the way were particularly small (in the low thousands at each stop) as Varhelyi was traveling in a small private-sized jet plane.  
 A plethora of sources, but very limited quantities
Vaccine supplies are reaching the region through several routes. This accomplishment places Serbia into one of the global top tiers for its vaccination program. Another EU roadshow, but this time with valuable cargo
New Europe readers will recall in April the Commission announced, via the coordinating country Austria, that a total of 651,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses are being donated to Western Balkans countries over the next few months. Direct purchases
Obviously, the Western Balkans countries have accepted nearly every opportunity to obtain goodwill donations or sign supply contracts from any and all suppliers, especially Russian and Chinese. The deliveries were paid for under a 70 million Euro package adopted by the Commission last December.  
This week’s delivery came under the auspices of Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, who was finally able to visit the region bearing more than the promises and the encouraging tweets heard since the start of 2021.

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has opened two areas for offshore renewables (Utsira Nord and Sorlige Nordsjo II), and the authorities are currently working on the licensing process. “The North Sea has some of the world’s best wind resources,” Equinor Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions Pal Eitrheim said, adding that floating offshore wind farm at Utsira Nord could be the next project at scale to drive industrialisation of floating offshore wind and create new opportunities for Norwegian industry. Vårgronn and its owners make available their competence and commitment to help further develop a new industry within the renewable energy sector in Norway” Hetland said. As the leading floating offshore wind developer, Equinor has the experience and capabilities necessary to develop the next full-scale floating offshore wind farm in Norway after Hywind Tampen” Eitrheim said. “Together with Vårgrønn, we are eager to contribute to a new chapter in Norway’s energy legacy and position floating offshore wind as a new industry contributing to the energy transition.   “This project will be essential for Vargronn development and for our ambition to achieve 1 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity by 2030. Developing a home market for offshore wind power, particularly floating, will be crucial for developing the Norwegian industry in this sector and for positioning new technologies in a growing global market. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>ENI through Vargronn ink deal with Equinor for wind project offshore Norway

By New Europe Online/KG

parco eolico energia del vento energie rinnovabili

ENI

Plan application to the Norwegian authorities to develop floating offshore wind at Utsira Nord west off Utsira and Haugalandet in the Norwegian North Sea

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Italian energy major ENI said on May 6 Equinor and Vargronn, the Norwegian renewable energy company established by HitecVision and ENI, have signed a collaboration agreement to jointly prepare and submit an application to the Norwegian authorities to develop floating offshore wind at Utsira Nord west off Utsira and Haugalandet in the Norwegian North Sea, one of the world’s most important areas for wind resources. Vargronn CEO Olav Hetland hailed the partnership with Equinor on floating offshore wind, contributing to the continued development of Norway as a leading energy nation.

A gas pipeline with diameter of 114 × 6mm and a total length of 650m was installed. Furthermore, well 86 of the Eastern Berdakh field was commissioned. In the Bukhara region wells Nos 89 and 90 were put into commercial operation at the Dayakhatyn field of the Gazli oil and gas production department, Eriell Group said, adding that the flow rates of the wells are 146.7 thousand m3/day and 34.1 thousand m3/day respectively. “We are also delighted to have brought online seven new wells, which proves the world-class nature of our onshore gas play. Following a geophysical survey further perforation at intervals has been carried out, resulting in an industrial flow of gas of 271.7 thousand m3/day. Well 209 was put into operation in the Kashkadarya region in the Alan field of the Mubarek Oil and Gas Production Department, which was subsequently connected to an existing gas gathering point, and construction of a 458m long gas pipeline with a diameter of 168 × 6mm was completed. In particular, over this period, works aimed at restoring wells’ operability were successfully carried out at: Andijonneft JSC (56 wells), Jarkurganneft JSC (31), Mubarek Oil and Gas Production Directorate (75), Shurtan NGDU (65), Gazli NGDU (84), and at Ustyurt NGDU (17), Eriell Group said in a press release on May 6. The well flow rate is 102.6 thousand m3/day. The construction of a gas pipeline with a diameter of 114 × 6 mm and a total length of 1,150m was also completed. In the Republic of Karakalpakstan, at the Severny Berdakh field of the Ustyurt Oil and Gas Production Department, well No 98 was commissioned. The investments made into this extensive work also help Uzbekistan meet the growing gas demand. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Eriell Group, Uzbekneftegas brings new gas wells online in Uzbekistan

By New Europe Online/KG

ERIELL GROUP

Completes workover of 328 wells

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Eriell Group, an international oilfield services group providing well construction and workover services to major oil and gas companies in Central Asia, Russia, and the Middle East, announced that, in line with the “Program of measures to increase hydrocarbon production for 2017-2021” and in cooperation with Uzbekneftegaz, it has completed workover of 328 wells and has put into commercial operation seven new gas wells in the Kashkadarya and Bukhara regions, as well as in the Republic of Karakalpakstan. As a result of well stimulation, a commercial gas flow was secured with a flow rate of 233.1 thousand m3/day, together with completion of a 1,681m long gas pipeline with a diameter of 108 × 8mm. At the Shimoliy Berdakh field, well 99 was put into operation with a flow rate of 182.4 thousand m3/day with construction of a 114 × 6mm diameter 340m long gas pipeline, Eriell Group said.  
  At the Kulbeshkak field, well 54 was also commissioned where hydrochloric acid treatment (SCT) was additionally carried out to increase the gas flow. This gives us confidence that we are well on track with progressing the state program of gas commercialization and monetisation in Uzbekistan,” he added. The current well flow rate is 56.2 thousand m3/day. “We are very pleased that, as a result of our successful collaboration with JSC Uzbekneftegas, 328 wells were given a complete work over and are back in operation,” Eriell Group RBU Central Asia head Bakhrambek Ismailov said. In addition to Uzbekneftegaz, Eriell cooperates with Russian and international companies such as Rosneft, NOVATEK, Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, LUKOIL, Gazprom International, Petronas, CNPC, MOLGROUP and others. Gas pipelines with a diameter of 108 × 8mm and a total length of 1,036m were built at the site.

“There is no shortage of resources worldwide, and there are sizeable opportunities for those who can produce minerals in a sustainable and responsible manner. The new World Energy Outlook Special Report examines the complex links between these minerals and the prospects for a secure, rapid transformation of the energy sector. “Insufficient supplies would risk delays and extra costs,” he wrote in a tweet. “Today, the global energy system is in the midst of a major transition to clean energy. As clean energy transitions accelerate globally and solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars are deployed on a growing scale, these rapidly growing markets for key minerals could be subject to price volatility, geopolitical influence and even disruptions to supply,” he wrote. The IEA’s new special report on The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions shows critical mineral supplies emerging as an energy security challenge that can be addressed by proactive steps by governments and industry. “An evolving energy system calls for an evolving approach to energy security. “The challenges are not insurmountable, and critical minerals don’t undermine the case for clean energy,” Birol argued. Birol noted that today’s supply and investment plans for many critical minerals fall well short of what is needed to support an accelerated deployment of solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles. “These hazards are real, but they are surmountable. Demand for these minerals will grow quickly as clean energy transitions gather pace. The response from policy makers and companies will determine whether critical minerals remain a vital enabler for clean energy transitions or become a bottleneck in the process. A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and an offshore wind plant requires 13 times more mineral resources than a similarly sized gas-fired power plant. The efforts of an ever-expanding number of countries and companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero call for the massive deployment of a wide range of clean energy technologies, many of which in turn rely on critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements,” he wrote. Birol shared some thoughts on how to ensure minerals enable rapid clean energy transitions in an article published on May 6. Because no single country will be able to solve these issues alone, strengthened international cooperation is essential,” Birol said, adding, “Leveraging the IEA’s long-standing leadership in safeguarding energy security, we remain committed to helping governments, producers and consumers tackle these critical challenges”. The new IEA report identifies risks to key minerals and metals that – left unaddressed – could make global progress towards a clean energy future slower or more costly, and therefore hamper international efforts to tackle climate change. “Many minerals come from a small number of producers. “Though mineral extraction is relatively emissions-intensive, the lifecycle emissions of EVs today are about half those of a traditional car and only a quarter with clean electricity,” he wrote. Long-term visibility is essential to provide the confidence investors need to commit to new projects, Birol said, adding that efforts to scale up investment should go hand-in-hand with a broad strategy that encompasses technology innovation, recycling, supply chain resilience and sustainability. According to the Paris-based IEA, minerals are essential components in many of today’s rapidly growing clean energy technologies – from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles.  
  An essential step is for policy makers to provide clear signals about their climate ambitions and how their targets will be turned into action. “Governments need to act now and act together to reduce the risks of price volatility and supply disruptions,” he tweeted. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>IEA: Demand for critical minerals is set to soar as the world pursues net zero goals

By New Europe Online/KG

IEA

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Demand for critical minerals is set to soar as the world pursues net zero goals, a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed. And producers must be compelled to meet stricter environmental and social standards. For example, in the cases of lithium, cobalt and rare earth elements, the world’s top three producers control well over three-quarters of global output. This high geographical concentration, the long lead times to bring new mineral production on stream, the declining resource quality in some areas, and various environmental and social impacts all raise concerns around reliable and sustainable supplies of minerals to support the energy transition,” he wrote. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol noted that the energy sector’s needs for minerals could rise by as much as 6 times by 2040. The IEA is committed to helping governments ensure that mineral supplies don’t hinder global clean energy transitions, he wrote. The IEA’s report technologies differ profoundly from one that runs on fossil fuels. Based on this special report, the IEA identified six key recommendations to ensure mineral security. “The IEA is determined to play a leading role in enabling governments around the world to anticipate and navigate possible disruptions and avoid damaging outcomes for our economies and our planet,” he wrote. Critical minerals certainly don’t undermine the case for clean energy,” Birol wrote, adding that, for example, although mineral extraction is relatively emissions-intensive, the lifecycle emissions of EVs today are about half those of a traditional car and would fall to only a quarter with clean electricity.

The authorities would similarly block access to the many cultural and religious monuments, graveyards, and so on that have been brutally bulldozed as part of an overall program intending to destroy indigenous, non-Han Chinese, identities by razing their cultural foundations. This will inevitably be the same for every single person arranged to meet with a UN delegation to Xinjiang. He was formerly a cultural attaché at Sweden's embassy in China, and also served as director of Sweden's Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. EPA-EFE//DIEGO AZUBEL

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When Michelle Bachelet became the world’s top human rights official in 2018, she expressed deep concern about the human rights catastrophe in the Xinjiang region of China. EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL

A member of China's People's Armed Police stands guard at a detention center for political prisoners. The man and his family could not be relocated. She knows that autocrats will say and do anything to cover up their crimes. epa03446276 A paramilitary guard stands inside the Beijing No.1 Detention Center in Beijing, China, 25 October 2012. Ilham Tohti’s daughter, Jewher Ilham, accepted the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on behalf of her jailed father. But these demands now look hollow, pointless, and counterproductive. They gave us a preview when they recently refused the European Union ambassadors’ Xinjiang visit because the EU asked for access to Ilham Tohti, the celebrated Uyghur scholar who is the recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, but was jailed for life in 2015. It is only because this is the modus operandi of the current Chinese Communist regime. I’m a Swedish scholar who’s been engaged in Chinese studies for over 40 years. Bachelet is a former political prisoner of the military dictatorship in Chile, her home country. EPA-EFE//CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON
I’m sure that the leaders of the EU, and countries such as France and Germany, meant well when they repeatedly insisted on a Xinjiang inspection under UN auspices. Furthermore, they give a false impression that we don’t have enough evidence — which we do. In late 2018, the camps became undeniable because of the thorough documentation abroad, by way of satellite imagery, Chinese state documents, numerous victim testimonies, and more. It’s the same with the recent wave of coerced videos of “happy Uyghurs” that the same Chinese TV propaganda operatives are currently busy churning out. The same pattern is on open display in the forced confessions on Chinese state TV, the pre-trial parading of victims made to denounce and humiliate themselves — including European Union citizens like Gui Minhai. What of the hundreds of prominent Uyghur and Kazakh intellectuals, artists and cultural heroes disappeared without a trace, probably sent into extra-legal detention like so many others? He is a leading human rights advocate and a vocal proponent for the implementation of regional autonomy laws in China. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said negotiations are ongoing. She would also know that participating in such spectacles, such as attending interviews with coerced victims, carries profound ethical risks for the UN and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, too, as the world’s conscience. Tohti is a Uyghur economist serving a life sentence in a Chinese labor camp. One of the first steps must be to scrap the demands for on-site inspections and instead proceed with an expeditious international investigation under Bachelet’s supervision — regardless of what the Chinese genocidaires say. Similarly, the authorities will prevent any on-site insight into forced labor schemes, or the brutal treatment of mass-sterilized women and mass-confiscated children — some of the direct violations of the UN Genocide Convention. The future process of obtaining justice and compensation for the millions of victims will take a long time, as will the reconstruction of our international justice system. There is nothing to indicate that the Chinese authorities would respect Bachelet’s high office and provide real access.  
Uyghur women hold posters reading ‘Stop Genocide and Free Eastern Turkestan’ during a gathering in Paris, near the Chinese embassy, against the Chinese Communist Party’s abuse of the Muslim Uyghur community in Xinjiang province. Only the master’s voice is allowed, and when necessary, it is imposed by force, to be parroted on pain of severe punishment. As the late Kofi Annan argued, “We have little hope of preventing genocide, or reassuring those who live in fear of its recurrence, if people who have committed this most heinous of crimes are left at large and not held to account.” 
And, as Gambia’s Justice Minister Aboubacarr Tambadou suggested, who is currently prosecuting Myanmar in The Hague for its genocidal campaign against its Rohingya population, ‘If not us, then who?’ They allow the Chinese regime to continue stalling while proceeding with the atrocities. It is time to take real actions that can force the Chinese Communist regime to halt the genocide. Four years later, many describe what is happening there as a genocide, targeting millions with a wide range of destructive measures. There are precedents for proceeding in this way when offending UN member states refuse meaningful access. Another preview: The New York Times was offered to meet a camp “graduate.” He was presented to them in a Urumqi apartment, complete with a family — but when the journalists later returned to check, it seemed obvious that no one actually lived there. They would have no freedom to speak their mind, and if they broke this taboo it would risk their lives. To try to counter this setback the regime followed its usual path: They constructed an alternate-reality set of Potemkin “camps” and staffed them with select detainees coerced to parrot the party line, and to sing and dance, like in a movie, for “friendly” journalists and others who go along with these charades for their own reasons. No reasonable person can believe these aren’t orchestrated, too. The detention center, which has a maximum capacity of 1,000 inmates, was shown to members of the press during a rare visit ahead of the 18th party congress. The regime has publicly insisted that their Xinjiang policies are “completely correct,” and they will do everything in their power to pre-stage and control every detail of the itinerary. I have been watching how the current genocide is creating lasting generational trauma and profound damage not just to the Uyghurs, but also to the Chinese nation, to the UN, and to our entire world. And it’s what they have already been doing in the Uyghur region, especially after they could no longer deny the concentration camps, a key tool of the genocide. Instead of insisting on a futile visit, which cannot conceivably happen other than as a fake spectacle, the United Nations should initiate a formal probe based on the mountains of irrefutable evidence that is already available to us. But such a visit would inevitably be stage-managed by the Chinese authorities, the perpetrators. That presents a grave risk of tarnishing the prestige and reputation of the UN and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. It’s why the regional government shut down its website as soon as its demographic data was analysed abroad. If the UN asks to see them, what will the Chinese government do? Ever since 2018, the UN has been demanding that its human rights specialists be allowed to visit Xinjiang, without Chinese government restrictions. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Michelle Bachelet should not go to Xinjiang on Chinese government terms

By Magnus Fiskesjö
Swedish scholar who teaches anthropology and Asian studies at Cornell University. The real camps, for which we have the coordinates and many details, are off-limits. FLICKR
Why does Chinese TV keep broadcasting such things even after its own global channels have been convicted and fined for grave violations of journalistic ethics and suspended in several countries? It’s what they do.

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

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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.

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

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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.