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EBI News for July 21, 2021- Advancements In Clean Hydrogen Technology

EBI News for July 21, 2021- The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, news on advancements in clean hydrogen technology, acquisitions, and more!

Advancements In Clean Hydrogen Technology


EQT Infrastructure to acquire Covanta in waste-to-energy

Sweden-based investment firm EQT Infrastructure is acquiring Covanta (Morristown, N.J.), owner of 41 waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe. The deal is valued at $5.3 billion including debt. Covanta provides waste processing and services, energy production, and metals recycling. With nearly 4,000 full-time staff, the company is expected to generate adjusted EBITDA of approximately $460-$480 million in 2021. Earlier in July, EQT announced the acquisition of Cypress Creek Renewables (Santa Monica, Calif.), marking its first purchase of a renewable energy platform in the United States.


Johnson Controls launches OpenBlue Net Zero Buildings as a Service

Johnson Controls (Cork, Ireland) announced OpenBlue Net Zero Buildings as a Service in July to provide a one-stop shop for companies pursuing net zero carbon and renewable energy goals. A survey of more than 1,000 firms commissioned by Johnson Controls in May found over 90% had significant goals to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption by 2030 or beyond, with over 60% targeting a 50% or greater reduction. Data centers have the most ambitious goals followed by lodging and education. Over 90% of respondents plan to pursue a LEED certification yet run into challenges with measuring emissions, notably aggregating data from multiple sources. Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Net Zero Advisor offers real-time, AI-driven tracking and reporting of sustainability metrics. 


Asia Pacific solar PV capacity to triple to 1,500 GW by 2030

Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, according to Wood Mackenzie (Singapore). China is forecast to remain leader in the region and globally, adding 619 GW of solar PV capacity over this decade to 2030. The country’s strong policy push means it will contribute over 60% of Asia Pacific’s solar PV capacity by 2030, Wood Mackenzie predicted. Runner-up India is expected to add 138 GW by 2030 after rebounding from an installation decline due to the pandemic. Japan and South Korea, ranked third and fourth, are expected to install 63 GW and 58 GW, respectively, in the next 10 years, while Vietnam will add 45 GW of solar PV capacity this decade. 


DOE funding advances clean hydrogen technology

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $52.5 million to fund 31 projects to advance next-generation clean hydrogen technologies and support DOE’s recent Hydrogen Energy Earthshot initiative to reduce cost and accelerate breakthroughs in the clean hydrogen sector. The projects will focus on bridging technical gaps in hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization technologies, including fuel cells, paving the way toward decarbonization of the electricity sector by 2035 and creating of well paid jobs in the hydrogen sector.


Shell proposes large-scale CCS facility in Alberta

Royal Dutch Shell (Calgary, Alberta) announced plans to build a large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Alberta. The proposed Polaris CCS project near Edmonton would capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Shell-owned Scotford refinery and chemicals plant. The initial phase is expected to start operations mid-decade. Polaris would have storage capacity of about 300 million tonnes of CO2 over the life of the project. In its initial phase, CO2 captured from the refinery’s hydrogen plants would produce blue hydrogen for use in the refining process, with the potential for large-scale blue hydrogen production in future phases. In 2020 CCS facilities worldwide had the capacity to capture more than 40 MtCO2 each year, according to the International Energy Assn.; plans for more than 30 new integrated CCS facilities have been announced since 2017 with the vast majority in the United States and Europe. 


Strong market for curbside recyclables 

RecyclingMarkets.net reported that sellers of recyclable materials continued to enjoy strong markets with virtually all grades of curbside fiber, plastics and metals seeing value boosts from June to July 2021. Published in the July 13 edition of Resource Recycling e-news, the review found the national average price for old corrugated containers (OCC) was up $20 per ton from June and trading at a national average of $132 per ton compared to the $55 range one year ago. Sorted residential paper pricing was up 24% from June and averaging $93 per ton compared with $75 last month. The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans increased to 71.13 cents per pound from 70 cents last month compared to an average 39.19 cents per pound this time last year. Benchmarking is based on Recycling Markets’ Secondary Materials Pricing (SMP) Index, which provides real-time price reporting for curbside recyclables and data on 37 recovered post-consumer categories.


B&V Management Consulting and Copperleaf form strategic alliance 

Black & Veatch Management Consulting LLC (Overland Park, Kansas) and Copperleaf (Vancouver, Canada) are helping electric and gas utilities manage critical infrastructure. The alliance will support utilities in achieving reliability, resiliency, grid modernization, customer service, safety, and other key strategic objectives. Copperleaf provides decision analytics software solutions to companies managing critical infrastructure. “Our alliance with Black & Veatch further enables electric and gas utilities to break down traditional siloes in investment planning,” said Garrett Sizer, Copperleaf’s strategic alliances director. “Black & Veatch’s expertise in the full asset lifecycle, along with their experience developing cost-benefit analysis, will undoubtedly yield faster adoption of Copperleaf solutions.” 


Blackstone acquires ESG specialist Sphera for $1.4 billion

Blackstone has acquired Sphera (Chicago, Ill.), a provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) software, data, and consulting services from Genstar Capital in a deal valuing Sphera at $1.4 billion. Founded in 2016, Sphera has around 1,000 experts worldwide working with organizations to “surface, manage, and mitigate ESG risk” in EHS and sustainability, operational risk management and product stewardship. The company has more than 3,000 customers globally. “The increasing importance of environmental, social, governance issues to businesses globally is a key thematic investing focus for Blackstone,” noted Eli Nagler, senior managing director at Blackstone.


ERM acquires Element Energy

ERM (London, UK) has acquired Element Energy (Cambridge, UK), a specialist energy consultancy that works with organizations to implement integrated low-carbon technology solutions to meet net zero and decarbonization challenges. The acquisition brings expertise to ERM in the development, commercialization and implementation of emerging low-carbon technologies such as hydrogen and fuel cells, electrification, energy storage and carbon capture use and storage. The company adds approximately 90 employees based in the UK, France and Australia. The deal follows ERM’s recent acquisitions of The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) and energy and sustainability strategy consultancy E4tech, both based in London. 


WWC Engineering gains complementary skills and geographic expansion

WWC Engineering (Sheridan, Wy.) has acquired Montana firm Northern Rockies Engineering Inc. (NRE), gaining access to professionals experienced in water and wastewater engineering, land development, irrigation systems, water quality protection, water rights, environmental cleanup and environmental site assessments. NRE has decades of experience in the Rocky Mountain region and other states and brings a satellite office in Bozeman, Mt., with other personnel in Sheridan, Butte and Missoula. WWC Engineering is a multi-disciplinary professional firm that has served the Rocky Mountain region since 1980 and has more than 90 employees.


Gausman & Moore announces merger with Ayres

Gausman & Moore (St. Paul, Minn.) has merged with consultant Ayres (Eau Claire, Wis.), resulting in an approximately 350-person firm with offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Colorado, California, and Wyoming. Gausman & Moore has provided MEP consulting services for more than 80-years; Ayres was established 62 years ago and provides civil and municipal engineering, transportation, structural design and inspection, environmental, geospatial, planning and development, river engineering and water resources, and telecommunications and subsurface utility engineering. The move strengthens and diversifies both firms and preserves Gausman & Moore’s existing partnerships with its base of architecture clients to design efficiency into buildings.



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