Electric vehicles are catching on in many countries, notably the Nordic states – and Scottish tides are powering cars there.
The race to meet present and future demand for electrically powered vehicles (EVs) is on, with new projects being announced or swinging into action with increasing frequency.
The latest to join the rush into EV technology is the Norwegian company Freyr AS, which has announced plans to build a multi-billion dollar battery cell production facility in northern Norway.
The company has big ambitions: by 2025 it aims to become one of Europe’s biggest cell suppliers.
The oil, gas and aluminium industries have traditionally played a central role in Norway’s economy. But now there are signs of a change.
The Freyr facility is being constructed in the small city of Mo I Rana, close to the Arctic Circle. The company says it’s hiring many executives and workers formerly employed in the country’s fossil fuel and aluminium industries.
Tom Einar Rysst-Jensen, Freyr’s CEO, says battery production is complex and has many similarities with the oil and gas industries.
“Battery production are large, capital-intensive, energy-intensive projects,” Rysst-Jensen told the Bloomberg news service. “If you want to be competitive, then you have to build on scale.”
Norway is a world leader in the uptake of EVs. At present about 60% of new vehicle sales in the country are fully electric and the government has announced a deadline of 2025 for ending the sale of all fossil fuelled transport.
“Most people in Shetland live close to the sea – to be able to harness the power of the tide in this way is a great way to use this resource”
The Nordic region is positioning itself as a centre of battery development and technology in Europe.
Two of Norway’s largest companies, the oil firm Equinor and aluminium producer Norsk Hydro, are teaming up with Japan’s Panasonic conglomerate to build a large battery production facility in northern Norway.
In neighbouring Sweden the Northvolt company, backed by car makers VW and BMW together with the furnishings conglomerate IKEA and bankers Goldman Sachs, is due to open a battery-making factory in the north of the country, close to the Arctic Circle, in 2024.
The Nordic region is viewed as well placed to meet Europe’s fast-expanding EV market. Battery production is power intensive: most electricity in the area comes from hydro sources – renewable and relatively cheap.
The region also has access to many of the commodities needed for producing batteries. “Seabed minerals have been proven in the Norwegian Sea, with large concentrations of cobalt and manganese”, Freyr’s Rysst-Jensen told Bloomberg.
“In the Nordics you will find graphite, cobalt, lithium – everything you need of raw materials for battery cell production.”
At present China dominates the market for EV batteries, with about 70% of the world’s total production.
Europe, which has only a 3% share, is keen to lessen its dependence on China for batteries and aims to have a 25% share of the global market by 2028. In late 2019 the European Commission announced a €3.2bn (£2.7bn) package for funding battery technology research and development.
A smaller but nonetheless significant EV-related development has been announced in the past few days – this time on the Shetland Islands, off the far north of Scotland.
Tidal energy company Nova Innovation has put into use what it says is the world’s first EV charge point with energy sourced from the power of the sea.
The company’s tidal turbines have supplied power to homes and businesses in Shetland for more than five years. EV drivers on the island of Yell can now charge up their vehicles from a charge point adjacent to the sea and have their cars powered entirely by the tide.
“Most people in Shetland live close to the sea – to be able to harness the power of the tide in this way is a great way to use this resource” said one local EV driver. – Climate News Network
About the Author
Kieran Cooke is co-editor of the Climate News Network. He is a former BBC and Financial Times correspondent in Ireland and Southeast Asia., http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
by Paul Hawken and Tom Steyer
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. Available On Amazon
Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy
by Hal Harvey, Robbie Orvis, Jeffrey Rissman
With the effects of climate change already upon us, the need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions is nothing less than urgent. It’s a daunting challenge, but the technologies and strategies to meet it exist today. A small set of energy policies, designed and implemented well, can put us on the path to a low carbon future. Energy systems are large and complex, so energy policy must be focused and cost-effective. One-size-fits-all approaches simply won’t get the job done. Policymakers need a clear, comprehensive resource that outlines the energy policies that will have the biggest impact on our climate future, and describes how to design these policies well. Available On Amazon
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
by Naomi Klein
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism. Available On Amazon
From The Publisher:
Purchases on Amazon go to defray the cost of bringing you InnerSelf.comelf.com, MightyNatural.com, and ClimateImpactNews.com at no cost and without advertisers that track your browsing habits. Even if you click on a link but don't buy these selected products, anything else you buy in that same visit on Amazon pays us a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, so please contribute to the effort. You can also use this link to use to Amazon at any time so you can help support our efforts.
This Article Originally Appeared On Climate News Network